What was she thinking?

Fierce Bichon1

We all can be impulsive from time to time. We don’t think before speaking or can behave recklessly. I size up most situations, but sometimes it’s difficult to anticipate the reactions to our actions.

I’ll never understand my dog, Roxy. She’s a Bichon who is pint-sized at a whomping fifteen pounds of fur and energy. She’s submissive to us although she can be “independent” like most dogs.

When a dog is about Roxy’s size, she will play for hours. The kennel workers love her since she is “gregarious” and “super friendly,” much like her owner. She shies away from larger dogs.

With coyotes she gets a Wild Hair. We have a pack who frequently sniffs around our yard. It’s a part of living in Boulder County. We live in their territory. I respect them and try to stay out of their way.

Roxy doesn’t see it that way. She thinks she owns this plot of land and God help anyone or thing that trespasses.

Fierce 3

My office is upstairs with the best views of the house. While typing yet another query letter late yesterday afternoon, Roxy sat in her usual spot up on the back of couch. She likes to keep a watchful eye from her perch.

She growled and then barked. I assumed someone walked by with a dog. I kept typing. When she flew off the couch and rocketed through the house with a frenzied howl, I knew it was trouble. That particular yap is reserved for coyotes. Continue reading

Blog post ideas for NaBloPoMo or WHATEVER

I thought NaBloPoMo was a new game of swimming pool tag.

“NABLO!” I shout with my eyes closed.

“Pomo,” replies a meek little voice while splashing away.

When I discovered it stood for National Blog Posting Month, where participants are expected to post something (anything), every single freakin’ day for one month, I knew I was out. I had looked forward to NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, and had planned to finish a couple projects. Well, that isn’t happening either. Last year I enjoyed riding the super soaker tidal wave of tireless typists. (Say that three times fast.)

I’ve noticed a few blogging friends huffing and puffing their way to the halfway point. Some have posted about how hard it is to come up with new ideas. Many blank out under pressure. The stage is empty as the restless crowd murmurs. Someone in the cheap seats coughs while the clock ticks away. Tick…Tock…Tick…

Nanowrimo 5

My problem is having too many ideas, which comes from having a creative, ADD mind and not enough time, so I thought I’d share a few links. I hope to fill your stage with self-effacing stories, snowstorm driving, swooping airplane jockeys, crazy dreams, imps, and wimps, but first things first.

Relax and click on the blue links. Let ideas flow onto your empty stage with a new storyline and cast of characters. Open your mind. Release the tension from your neck and shoulders. Feel yourself float above your computer as ideas rush into your head. …zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…..

*snort* What? Oh, you’re still here. *clears throat*

Here is a list of blog post ideas to make your last 15 days of NaBloPoMo a lot easier. You’re not posting? Sit back, relax and read on and try not to fall asleep:  

nanowrimo 2014 2

How about sharing your most mortifying moments? My list is long. I could add more embarrassments to it, DAILY. Here are My Most Mortifying Moments just for You! 

WARNING: With this prompt it is helpful to have no shame, but we’re all friends here. Right? Continue reading

What the WHAT? Signs of Life

After traveling to Wisconsin twice over the last three weeks for funerals and memorial services, I woke up with renewed energy and looked forward to “Birthday Week.” Wanting to catch up with writing and blogging, I planned to take care of a few errands first. Imagine my surprise when cleaning up the breakfast dishes. I discovered this in my garbage disposal.

plant in insinkerator

How could a plant germinate on the rubber shield? Three weeks ago, I donned rubber gloves and scrubbed that filthy thing with bleach. We don’t eat sprouts, so it had to be some kind of seed that stuck in the crack. A pumpkin seed? Continue reading

The House Sitter – 450 Word Flash Fiction

haunting house

After turning off the ignition, the wiper blades stopped their rhythmic beat and Megan stepped into the mist. She pulled the mail from the wrought iron box and then shook rainwater from the plastic sleeve covering the newspaper. Glancing at the Victorian home cloaked in a gray shroud, she shrugged uneasy feelings from her tight shoulders. The home was horror movie cliché with its peeling paint and saggy railings propped up around its wraparound porch. Taking care of the Friedmans’ house while they traveled through Europe was easy pocket money, but something about it creeped her out. One more week.

She avoided stepping in puddles on the uneven sidewalk and made her way to the front door under a canopy of ancient oak trees. Megan imagined they stood guard with watchful eyes hidden within gnarled trunks until their knobby and arthritic branched arms reached out with claw-like fingers to snatch a length of her long hair. She shuddered.

Tapping the number into the lockbox, she retrieved the skeleton key Continue reading

Played by Inspiration

Nantucket Pier

Inspiration is an ephemeral ghost shimmering over shadows, cloaking deep and empty crevices of my mind. She appears from dark recesses and cobwebbed chambers in a momentary flash only to hide once again. I have tried to seek her out, but I do not know the rules of this game for she keeps changing them.

Sometimes she floats into common conversation forcing me to shift my view to see the world in a different slant of light.

Other times she appears in Technicolor dreams where she becomes my muse and skips through fantastic Continue reading

Tales from Denver Comic Con 2015

Courtney's doppelganger

I was a Comic Con virgin. It has always evoked images of nerdy Treky fans and comic book geeks. Neither tickled my happy parts. I haven’t kept up with Star Trek since the television series ended and the one and only comic book I bought back in the seventh grade was Archie. So when my daughter, Courtney, called and expressed interest in going to Denver Comic Con 2015, I hesitated. Continue reading

NEWS From The Pike’s Peak Writer’s Conference

I attended my fourth writer’s conference. Although they are similar in format, this one always stands out in friendliness and inclusivity. A positive energy source emanates throughout the Colorado Spring’s Marriott. It must be built upon a special kind of bedrock. Agents, editors, and best-selling authors are willing to have conversations with people like me; the super fans of the conference.

Here’s what inspired me and what I learned:

If you write fiction: Your blog, social media presence, and overall author’s platform are meaningless to traditional publishers. The agents suggested focusing on writing books instead. After you’re published, they are grateful if you already have a blog since they’ll want to link you up.

If you write non-fiction: The polar opposite is true. You better have a successful blog with lots of social media followers as part of your author’s platform. You should be booked for public speaking engagements, interviewed on podcasts and in YouTube videos. Publishers look at anything and everything you’ve done to build your presence, following, credibility, and to show you’re a respected expert in your field.

Sign up for critique sessions. It can be unnerving, but the input is invaluable especially if an agent you would like to pitch is giving the critique. They are the experts who you are trying to impress.

Attend the agent panel. This is a top priority for me at every conference. They talk about their pet peeves, what’s new in publishing, etiquette, and include their individual stories. You get the most up-to-date info. Every one of them chose their career because they love to read books.

What I learned: Continue reading

Pantsing While Plodding Toward Publication

writing journeyI started writing over four-and-a-half years ago. I had an idea for a non-fiction book, a snarky take on Boulder women. If you’re not familiar with how to assemble a book proposal, non-fiction is skiing down a gentle slope compared to fiction where the writer must plod along the desert and climb craggy mountains with blown out tennis shoes and holes in their socks. I’ll get to that later. At that time, I only needed a query letter, a table of contents, and a few sample chapters. Continue reading

What Twins, Who Inhabit My Brain, and NaNoWriMo Taught Me

boy and girl fighting 2

When I decided to write a novel for National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo, I had no idea if I could. You see, a five-year-old child inhabits my brain and can throw quite the tantrum. If I don’t want to do something, she sends waves through the entire length of my spine which becomes rigid. Then she starts chanting, “I don’t want to. I don’t want to! I DON’T WANT TO!” This screaming fit is usually accompanied by the stomping of feet and the transformation of ordinary household objects into projectile missiles. Continue reading

I Crushed It. Now What Will I Do? I’m Addicted.

I wrote 50,000 words in 23 days to win NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month.

Nanowrimo2014 Yeah baby!

NaNoWriMo2014 1

I happy danced and then cried a little when the NaNoWriMo Team sent a YouTube Video with their congratulations.

nanowrimo 2014 2

Every day in November, I woke up and felt driven. Writing in the morning worked the best for me, but oftentimes I started up again around four O’clockish.  I had to make time for it no matter what was going on. Yesterday, I was less than 2000 words away from my 50,000 word goal, but I went skiing with my husband, Danny, our niece and her boyfriend.

First day at Breck

I wrote on the way down the mountain, (in my car, of course, and no, I wasn’t driving), but I was 800 words shy of the 50,000 word total when we rolled up in Boulder. After writing an average of 2179 words per day, it killed me to be so close, but I had to go to sleep.

Because skiing.

After cranking out a rough draft and working my hiney off every day in November, what will it feel like tomorrow? Continue reading

Hitting the Halfway Point

Boulder Polar Plunge 2013 1

When I wrote my 25, 000th word for National Novel Writing Month, it reminded me of swimming through the Boulder Reservoir to touch the ice during the Polar Plunge on New Year’s Day. They’re both a sink or swim venture.  It got tough when I could barely touch the bottom. My legs and arms grew heavy with the cold and they moved in slow motion. In place of the silly grin I wore while splashing into the frigid water was sheer determination and a painful wince. One of the lifeguards standing on the pier shouted, “Do you need help?” It was hard to breathe, but I yelled back, “I can do it!”

I don’t know how many have dropped out of NaNoWriMo already, but the numbers have got to be high. I think writing 50,000 words in a month takes a certain kind of endurance. Crazy endurance. It’s for crazy people who have the time to commit, or in my case should be committed, but also have a lot of nerve and stamina. I love taking on new challenges and always have.

Not everyone can sit down and write on command. It can be intimidating to stare at a blank page. I’ve never had writer’s block. Maybe it’s all those Thursdays I found myself on a deadline and would crank out a Friday flash fiction or the stream-of-conscious writing exercises from a year ago when I woke up every morning for a month and wrote one word at time in a notebook until I filled a page. In both, I wrote the first thing that popped into my head. Continue reading

Why I Joined the Madness

I’m an obsessed idea freak, by that I mean, once I get an idea in my head I have to accomplish my goal. It drives me nuts until I do. After talking about it, visualizing, and then calculating the best route, I keep my eye on the prize gleaming at the finish line. I’m sure it has something to do with the challenge and enjoying the creative aspect of the work, but I believe it has a lot more to do with achieving sparkly goals.

door with stained glass

In the past, I visualized a stained glass window, and then took a class and constructed five. I visualized angels or birds flitting and floating on my ceilings. Then one snowy Sunday afternoon, I pulled a ladder from the garage and painted them. It gave me enormous satisfaction to create something out of nothing.

ceiling with angels

Since this has always worked with art projects, I wondered if it would work with writing. Continue reading

Happy Haunted Blog Party

crypts 1

Happy Halloween! It’s time to Use Me and Abuse Me by digging up ONE link from your own blog and burying it in my comment section. Click on a few of them and maybe they’ll stalk you back at your haunt.

Make sure to bring a link to a particular story. Otherwise, they may arrive and not know where to look. You don’t want them to go INTO THE BASEMENT! or INTO THE ATTIC! I doubt they would take a shower, but DON’T GO IN THERE!

BEWARE! Only bring ONE link or you’ll end up in the Chamber of Spam. The vile smell of rot alone could make you ill. You don’t want your headstone to read, “I told you I was sick.”

IF YOU LEAVE A LINK, CLICK ON A FEW! No one likes a witch (or warlock), who fills her cape with goodies and then flies away on her broom.

Tell them, “Susie sent me,” and they should click back to your crypt.

I made some witch’s brew, (my Aunt Helga’s favorite recipe), and the eye of newt stew is bubbling. Help yourself to the deep-fried crow’s feet. The warty toad dip is especially tasty.

on my grave

The crypt keeper 5

 Tell your Facebook and Twitter friends. The more, the SCARIER!

HEADS UP! Wild Halloween Party Ahead.

The crypt keeper 3Hey, all you Wild Riders! I’m having a Halloween blog hop on Wednesday. Come with a link from ONE of your blog posts and click on a few. This party should haunt you for days and nights…

It will start at 6:00 AM Mountain Time. Please come and Use Me and Abuse Me! Meet my ghoulish friends. Maybe they’ll follow you home…

Spine-tingling yours,the crypt keeper 4

See you Wednesday…