Three way of sorts

Three stories are bouncing around in my head.  There are no errands to run this weekend so I’m hoping for some serious writing time.  Maybe I can manage to get one or two of the stories out of my head and down on paper.

Last night I wrote until my eyes were blurry.  I’ve got nearly 28,000 words in a story which is a little outside my comfort zone.  I’m loving it.  My characters are strong, the format is interesting, and the plot needs more depth but it is coming along.

I slept for crap last night, which is not unusual at this point.  However, this morning I woke up and KNEW what the next steps are in the story I’m working on.  My fingers itch to get it down.

I’m fighting with myself though because I have a list of things I want to get done.  Do I write on this story that I am inspired to write on or do I work on the production and other things on my list.

High pain level today so I don’t know how long I’ll be able to manage at the computer but I have two or three things that specifically need to be done here.  It will be a challenge.  Perhaps if I get into what I’m doing, I’ll be able to ignore the pain and just get work done.

With two screens on my office computer, I am better able to move between documents and screens.  I love having the two screens.  However, I’m sitting here writing my blog and my story is on the other screen.  I keep looking at it thinking, it really won’t take me long to write the next scene or three.  Guess I know what I’ll be working on first this morning.

Check out my books at these locations:

Secret Past
Moon Affirmations  Daily Meditations Using the Moon Phase to Focus Your Energy
Available for sale at: on Amazon: on Barnes and Nobles:

Moments in Nature

Available at: on Amazon:

Moments in Spirit


With my daughter living with us, I rarely get time alone in the house.  Now don’t get me wrong she doesn’t intrude but the time I get completely alone is rare.  I like my alone time.  She is off today volunteering at the library and having lunch with a friend.  This leaves me completely alone in my house (well except for the stalker cat Sasha). 

What to do with my alone time?  There are certainly a ton of options but I will be responsible.  I have transcribing to do and then after that I think I’ll work on editing stories.  I have to edit the two stories I turned in to my Fiction Writing class.  The one is nearly done and the other is a long way from being done. 

This week has been good so far for getting things done.  I have finished more than half the transcribing and will hopefully get that done this morning.  I also finished one of my going away gifts.  My to do list definitely has things crossed off.  After I answer emails this morning I’ll wade back into the list and see what other things I can get finished off. 

The weather here has gone from too warm to normal.  This means yesterday when the temp in the house dipped to below 65 we actually turned the heat back on.  You have to love weather in Wisconsin in March – erratic is the best way to describe it. 

I do have another entry in the Curse of the Black Thumb blog.  Go check it out:

Also I’ll be having two more guest bloggers this week.  Kelley Harrell.  She is a wonderful author.  Here is her bio:

Kelley holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, and is pursuing a Masters of Divinity. She lives in North Carolina with a wonderful lover and a couple of energetic Twinkies. Her open dialogue with souls is recorded at Intentional Insights. She writes for The Huffington Post and in a mezzo experience of herself, Kelley is a prolific fiction writer. Her shamanic practice is Soul Intent Arts, LLC. She walks the path of the modern Druid and is a proud founder of the nonprofit organization The Saferoom Project

Elizabeth Hazel is the other author.  She has a weekly horoscope column and is a published author.  Here is her bio:

Elizabeth Hazel is the author of “Tarot Decoded” (Weiser) and writes the weekly Third Rock Almanac Horoscopes posted every Sunday at Kozmic Kitchen on Facebook. Liz is the editor of the American Tarot Association Quarterly Journal, and the author/artist of “The Whispering Tarot” deck and book. Her book “Chiron and the Lady Asteroids: A New Perspective” will be released in 2012. Articles on a variety of topics can be seen at her site:
Watch tomorrow for Kelley’s posting!!!


I wish this was a cry of completion but it isn’t.  I’m just tired of working on homework.  For Fiction Writing, I’ve read, done the critique and written a letter for each of the three stories we had to read.  I realized that the letters we have to write are very similar to the letters in Book Editing we have to write – only in Book editing it is only one (thankfully). 

I helped a class mate out by editing her paper, a sister out by discussing her paper, and I’ve played on Facebook – had to or go insane.  I still have an assignment for Book editing to do, read the rest of Chapter 9 which was due last week, and edit my two stories for Fiction Writing that I have to turn in for the final.  One of them is nearly there I think.  The other one is not. 
Today while it is a beautiful record high temperature outside with beautiful blue skies with puffy white clouds, I’ve been sitting at my laptop in my office working on homework.  I have transcribing to do and numbers to work on for budget stuff.  All I really want to do is take a nap. 
I got a rejection and an acceptance this week for my writing.  It is nice that it balanced out.  Usually it’s just rejections.  I have to get those noted on my spreadsheet. 
Ken has been VERY busy in the kitchen working on a project.  I can’t wait till it is done as I think it will improve the storage in the kitchen / dining room.  Vicki has been busy too.  Sasha has been napping and I just punished her by waking her up and rubbing her belly.  She didn’t seem overly punished though as she grabbed on to my hand and licked it while I rubbed…


This semester has been kicking my butt.  I’ve whined here on my blog and in real life about how tired I am.  My classes are good.  I’m enjoying the challenge of them.  The schedule is just beating me up.  Monday I am at work by 7:45 am and I am in class until 8:45 pm.  This means my day typically lasts from 6:00 am to about 12:00 am. 
Every week I’ve struggled going to work on Tuesday and feeling like I’m the walking dead.  By Wednesday evening I’m ready for the week to be done.  It has been exhausting.  This is the first week I’ve not felt completely wiped out.  It’s only taken six weeks and it might just be a fluke.  I’ll have to see how next week goes.
My classes are better this semester.  I’m not doing as much writing as I would like but I think I could have a writing assignment every day and still want more.  My Book Editing class is great.  I’m learning a lot about the publishing process.  I did an interview with Barbara Ardinger (great author and editor) to discuss why she switched from traditional publishers to self-publishing.  I’ll be turning that assignment in soon.  You should check out Barbara’s books – they are wonderful!
With the work from my editing business I’m starting to get and all the other things in my life, I’m lucky to get to bed before midnight.  How sad is it that I consider 11 pm an early night?  I am excited to have five hours of sleep a night.
While my schedule is kicking my butt, I’m still loving what I’m doing.  I am enjoying the challenge of my classes.  I’m content at my day job.  I’m thrilled to be making money with my new business.  I just have to find time to write.  I still manage to do some submissions but at some point I need to finish some projects.  If only I could figure out a way to not sleep I could do more.

Done… mostly

Well I had a lot on my to do list and most of it is done or at least in a better place than I was on Friday.  Alex’s 30th birthday party was yesterday and I think we had a good time with everyone who showed up.  At one point we were segregated by gender which I found amusing – no matter how far we progress we still can’t get away from the stereotypes.
My paper which is due on Friday is going – I think I have a good rough draft for it.  Tomorrow instead of book editing class I have a meeting with the professor to discuss the project.  I’ll have to see how that goes.  I’ll be interested to hear what she has to say about my stuff so far.
For fiction writing I managed to get all the stuff done that needs to be done for tomorrow but I need to take some time to review the critiques I got from both the professor and the other students.  At least I think I should – though part of me thinks I should just write the story the way I wanted to in the first place.  I think if I hadn’t edited it down for a publication requirement it would be a stronger story.  Anyways I need time to do this – now it is just a matter of finding the time.
I also got a side job of transcribing.  I worked on that this weekend too.  I still have about 9 minutes left to do.  This has to be done before Friday.  I have a few things due all at once – isn’t that how it usually goes?

Here it is almost midnight on a Sunday night and I’m still up.  Vicki was a sweetheart and packed up my lunch/supper for me tonight – it is waiting in the fridge and on the counter so all I have to do in the morning is grab it – thank goodness.  One more thing after this blog posting and then I’m off to bed with things mostly done that I needed to get done… mostly…


My critique in Fiction Writing went well.  I got a lot of information I could use and some that I couldn’t – or maybe more to the point won’t use.  It was an interesting experience to hear what people thought and how they reacted to my characters and plot. 
I looked on this as a focus group as some of the people said they read a lot of science fiction.  From them I got useful fixes that will make the story stronger.  It was wonderful to hear what worked and didn’t work for these readers.
I always wanted the story to be longer – maybe not novel length but definitely longer.  The pace of the part of it was too face for most of the readers.  I wonder if part of the problem is they don’t understand the mob mentality that is part of this story.  However, if they don’t then don’t I as the writer need to explain it? 
I’m excited to revise and work on this story – I just need to find the time to do it.  The experience of the critique wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  There was a point where suggestions were made to drastically change the story which I didn’t like – it isn’t part of the story I’m telling.  At least the readers liked it enough to offer them though. 
Overall a good experience and I wish I could have more but I think we will just get one per semester.


When is it okay in writing to use swear words and offensive language?  I’m not sure I have an answer to this.  I do like a good cuss word.  I like the humorous ones where the person has been particularly inventive.  I like the scene and time appropriate ones. 

However, I just read a short story to critique for my Fiction Writing class.  The author used a lot of swear words and offensive language in the story.  First I felt that it was more for affect than for advancing the story.  It seemed contrived and forced in order to evoke a dislike for a character that didn’t need to be disliked. 
Is it okay to use words like faggot, queer, cunt, whore and so on?  I think it is if you are using them in the right way.  Authors have to remember that these words create a visceral response in most readers so they need to be used cautiously.  They generate a response and you don’t want the response to be too negative. 
I know that boys talk smack to each other but at the same time are readers going to be receptive to it.  In a story about boys of a certain age, you are going to have some of this derogatory language.  As you tell the story though there are mechanisms that can be used instead of the actual words in order to get the point across.
As I read this story, I found myself going between annoyed by his repetition of the vulgarity (very offensive) and his lack of inventiveness to tell the story.  Now I have to write a critique and try to be gentle when I tell him the words were ineffective and in all likelihood lost the audience.

Good Day!!!

It was Ken’s birthday today.  We don’t really do a lot for birthdays but he got a cake and lots of well wishes.  It was also a beautiful day today which means work was less stressful on him. 
I also got home last night to a package from Pillhill Press.  I’d ordered copies of the book where my short stories are published.  They arrived yesterday!!  Here is a picture of the cover.
Photo snapped on my cell phone…
Also my second posting on my new blog came out today.  The web address for it is here:  The pictures in there turned out really good so go check it out.  There is a bit of advice and a bit of humor for my black thumb state.
My Fiction Writing class is going to be interesting next week.  I’m going to have my short story critiqued.  I can’t say anything.  I just have to sit there and take notes.  This should be interesting.  I don’t know if they are going to like the story as when we talk in class these people (yes I’m making a concerted effort to not call them kids) seem very idealistic and high brow.
We were having a discussion on happiness and whether you can successfully write about happiness.  The article we had to read was quite scathing and condescending.  I disagreed with him.  I think in poetry particularly you can write about happiness.  The professor said we can only see the happy moments in hind sight.  I was appalled at that – how can you not be aware enough to recognize those moments.  I raised my hand (sometimes I wish I had someone to restrain me in class and my damn hand going up) and disagreed with her.  She told me that perhaps being older makes it easier for me to recognize those moments. 
Now I’m not touching about my age.  I’ll soon be 48 and am quite proud of that.  But in this instance I wanted to say it has nothing to do with age but with an awareness of how rare and fragile happiness is.  I mean really can you name a lot of truly completely happy moments in your life?  If you are lucky you are nodding and saying hell yes! 
I think happiness is the carrot and life is the stick.  The problem is life is happiness if you let it be but people don’t recognize that even when you are fighting or struggling or just having a bad hair day – you can still find happy moments in your day.  It is the little things – really as much of a cliché as that is – that matter the most.  (This from the wise old age of 48!!!)
Anyways – I’m enjoying my classes and feel challenged by them.  This is a good thing in the second week of classes.  My professors are miles and miles better than the two I had last semester. 

Next week I’ll find out if I can reach the audience of college students with my short story.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.


I think I’ve earned a doctorate in this.  Yesterday I worked on organizing, cleaning, and clearing out some of my office.  It was completely a procrastination attempt for doing my paper.  It always takes me a bit to settle into homework but this weekend I was off the charts with procrastinating. 
The good thing about that is I got my office picked up and organized a bit more.  I sorted through paperwork.  I filed, created files, threw out, and took care of a large amount of paper.  It was a very productive morning.  I got a bunch of tax stuff organized (yup it is nearly that time of year again).  I even found more articles for my paper.
Finally I settled down to reading.  For a two page paper I have ten articles.  I discarded fifteen other articles.  I have six pages of notes.  I worked most of the day with the procrastinating cleaning and working on homework.  Still no paper yesterday.
I spent the evening (after 7) with Vicki watching stuff on the DVR and crocheting.  I’m currently working on Stephanie’s afghan.  It is star shaped and takes me an hour to do one round.  I’m also working on a wrap for Vicki.  It is made with a large hook and simple pattern so I get a lot of progress with little effort. 
At midnight I came back to my desk with the intention of reading the final article and starting to write.  That didn’t happen.  I played on the computer.  I’m loving Rummy 500 in the Hoyle games right now.  However, I did send my professor for Fiction Writing my short story.  I have no idea how she will take it.  It isn’t due for a while so this gives me a chance to change it if need be.
This morning I finally sat down and wrote my paper.  I had to stop at one point to email my professor because it ended up being just slightly longer than three pages.  Fortunately she was quick about the turn around and told me that was just fine. 

All that’s left is editing it one more time.  I’ve read it through once and so has Vicki.  I will go through it one more time before I submit it.  My mini to do list is almost all done.  That is somewhat shocking.  I even added things to it as the weekend has progressed and most of those are done too.  I guess I did procrastinate but in a good productive way – if that is possible.

First Full Week

I’ve had my first full week of classes.  I’m exhausted (and feel somewhat old), overwhelmed, and a bit excited. 
My fiction writing class seems like it will be a lot of fun.  I am looking forward to the critiques of my fellow students.  We will be turning in two short stories for the class and she wants literary rather than genre driven so that will be interesting.  I’m not sure what type of story that entails.  I’ve got tons of ideas for what I want to do so I have to narrow it down.
My book editing class I feel very overwhelmed in and yet at the same time I feel very intellectually stimulated by it.  I think that I’m going to learn a lot about the business end of the publishing field.  While I may not want to enter that field, I believe it will help me develop a better package if I opt to go with traditional publishing for my books. It will be a good reminder that publishing is a business and that means authors have to approach it as such.  Most authors I know are more artsy about this so it is the balance I’m going to have to work to maintain.

I’ve got a bunch of homework to do this weekend.  I’ve got 14 short stories to read (not all this weekend) and I need to decide on what I will submit for my first one or start writing a new one.  I’ve got a research project to get done, two page paper, and a bunch of articles to read.  Plus it is a pay week so there is a lot to do.  It will be jam packed and busy I’m sure.