Friday, December 5, 2014

mystery solved

So, what's been wrong with me for so long: apparently I have multiple sclerosis.

It's quite an adjustment, trying to understand that my damn brain is being attacked (by my own screwy self) when hey, all I've wanted is to be able to think clearly. After all, I have adventures to write. I am writing them, dammit.

I am the tortoise. Slow and steady (except when I'm not) and all that shit ... explains why I feel so damn foggy at least.

I know it's not funny, not at all, but even a tentative diagnosis of a lousy thing like MS gives me knowledge of what's happening to me, and that's power.

Dropping the Methotrexate and starting on Avonex next week. Wish me luck.

There are 24 chapters to Book I of Mal and Zach's Most Excellent Adventure(s), aka Rising Wolf. 

Monday, November 10, 2014


A thousand words a day is a magical thing. I know there are others who write much more, but (at this point at least) I will take it:)

saw this from Gina Storm Grant: 7/7/7

It's like this: seven pages into your WIP, go seven lines down and post the next seven lines of your WIP. Which I did.

Zach shifted in his sleep, restless, back pressed to Mal's chest. Mal leaned his head closer and heard him mutter something, not words but a sound. Something fearful.

"We're out, Zach. You're home, you're safe." Mal put a careful hand to Zach's chest, knowing he'd awakened by the tension beneath his fingers.

Zach reached up and gripped his hand, saying nothing.


I finally managed to finish Book I in longhand, which is something I thought I'd never do again, but I can take pen and paper everywhere I go. 

I have no appointments scheduled this week and the kids are in school, so I'll start Book II.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

It's really true

that in writing as in most things: KISS, or keep it simple, stupid.

Because this piece (Rising Wolf) has come to mean many things to me, including the victory of knowing I finished (when I do), there's a corresponding pressure. Which does me not one wit of good.

So, Theda: keep your stage direction to a minimum. You don't have to convey every single visual. Nobody cares if he turns right, scratches his head, belches, squints and goes to the bathroom. I mean any of those things can be pertinent, but likely not so much.

I realized this when I wrote a fan fiction, short but just breezed it out, and it was *easy.* Cuz I kept it simple, stupid (not you, me).

I do hope I will never stop learning things about writing.

I'm also laughing at a post I made here where I had a cute little writerly progress bar for Rising Wolf. Something like 20,000 words out of 50,000 done. Go me! Except I'm at 80,000 now and nope, not done.

Thought Book I was pretty well edited, but there's a problem, I realize. Too much back story in the ms where maybe it should have been things I need to know, but not necessarily the reader. So I'll have to go check that out, reducing word count but hopefully flowing better.

Yeah, I haven't written in a while. But I'm currently back at it, hoping to keep at it.

Life. She's a mountain to climb, right?

Monday, July 28, 2014


My best friend sent me this for my birthday. I love her. She scares me.

follow-up to the hike: took me a week to recover. It was worth it.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Chimney Tops, Great Smoky Mtns

Today I hiked. I love the mountains so much, but I've not walked the trails for a few years mostly due to the health issues. However, I had promised my oldest and her best friend that we'd go hiking in the mountains before the summer is over.

At one point I didn't think I'd be able to keep my promise, but I was prescribed some meds that helped me be get moving after waking up, so I grabbed my two girls and Johnny and we headed up into the Smokies. Only a 30% chance of rain for later in the day according to the forecast - good odds, I thought. Which, like many of our local weather forecasts, turned out WRONG. A steady rain all day.

We still went. Johnny wanted to try a more difficult hike (well, difficult for us - we've none of us ever been regular hikers) because he'd had surgery recently and wants to regain his strength. (He's sixteen.) I agreed to go for the Chimney Tops, which I hadn't hiked in about twenty years! (It's not a long hike, but as this article will tell you, it's quite steep).

I frankly figured I couldn't make it, but if that were the case, I'd just sit and wait for the kids while they finished. I wanted to try. I hate owning up to being unable to do things I used to be able to do. I already do that so much, and it kills the spirit.

It was the hardest thing I've ever done, physically. My body just didn't think it could do it, and I tended to agree with it. I'm a stubborn cuss, however, and for the last half mile up the trail I sent the kids on ahead and took the climb as I could (talked to myself a lot). As I climbed higher, the wind began to blow, cold and crisp. It was rejuvenating, and really, by the time I made it to the foot of the rock climb, I was exhilarated. What a gorgeous view: clouds rolling over the mountains, wind hissing and rocking the tree tops.

Though I didn't quite make it to the top of the final 50 foot (wet, slippery) rock climb as I did twenty years ago, I got most of the way there. Only my thirteen-year old got higher than I did. My sixteen-year old got a bit freaked by the height, and Johnny didn't climb without her.

(This photo isn't mine - the others are)

my view, if a little blurry - see my daughter's red hair? :)

I can't say I didn't overdo it. I did. The walk down was kind of horrible, and my stride became very awkward and shambling (my left side drags). The legs almost gave out on me. I did a sort of crab-leg thing part of the way. But whatever works.

I'm my father's daughter - too much spleen to be good for anyone - irritable, stubborn, but determined. The last mile was pretty much stubbornness, pride, and mumbling to myself through gritted teeth about a bottle of wine at home if only I could get the fuck off the damn rock.

Not pretty, but what the hell, I did it, and I wanted to do something I know I used to be able to do.  It makes me sad to think I'll probably never do it again.

One of many reasons I love my husband: he'd just gotten off work when we came back. He immediately noticed my gait. I told him where we'd been and said, I'll probably never be able to do it again.

He said, "You might." He believes it, and makes me consider the possibility.

Cone flower by the side of the trail

Saturday, June 14, 2014

just write

Just write. It doesn't matter if it's shit, or if your brain's not clear. Just put down words. You can fix them later.

It's not a performance. It's not an epic tale. You don't need hours, don't need your desk situated just right, or a trumpeter to mark your performance. It's just words. If you have a few minutes, put them on paper.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

it's been a long time

I've been hiding out, so to speak, determined to say nothing, make no promises about writing.  I can't even pretend to engage or do all the things authors are supposed to do. Testing regarding health issues continues, currently for MS. I've had an irregular MRI, blood work irregularities and been crushingly tired. Floundered for months with Rising Wolf. 

But the amazing thing is how today, through all the brain fog and the body pain and discouragement, their voices came through so perfectly clear as I was writing. I didn't expect it.

It's so nice to listen to characters speak and put words down.

Monday, April 14, 2014

review: Scowler by Daniel Kraus

ScowlerScowler by Daniel Kraus
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The book is well done, driven and effective, but there were a couple of things that kept me from being wild about it.

I found some of the wording pretentious. I hate saying that because this writer knows words and has an ability to feed them to the reader in a way that truly horrifies, but when I pay more attention to the use of the language than to the feeling evoked, it's over the line for me. Especially so in a story where it has the effect of stopping the action. Your mileage may vary.

Somehow I never came to care for the characters on a personal level, though I felt bad for what happens/happened to them, and pity for Ry and his state of mind. It's a bit odd that I didn't, because the portrayal of Ry is so impressive. What was done to him hurts. (SPOILERS FOLLOW)
However, I didn't particularly buy into Ry sounding suddenly reasonable and somewhat mature at the end, not after the level of batshit crazy so impressively displayed. Might have been better if he'd come out of this with a manic-confidence - I'd have believed it, and still hoped for Ry's future.

There's a brilliant, vivid, surreal flashback scene complete with quotes from Mr. Furrington and Jesus Christ. I'd recommend reading this book for that chapter alone. It was that good.

Final note: this is, as other reviews have stated, horror. It's not sugar-coated for the YA audience and I don't think of it as YA, aside from almost all of it being from the POV of a nineteen year old.

View all my reviews