#NaNoWriMo

5:30 AM Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Recognize that hashtag?  If you do, you know the time is fast approaching for the yearly rush to create something wonderful! Stunning! Exciting! Or at the very least... long.

Fifty thousand words in one month is the goal of NaNoWriMo writers. We're talking one thousand six hundred and sixty seven (if you round it up) words per day for 30 days straight!

Whew! I'm exhausted just thinking about it!

This will be my first year as an official participant of the event. Last year, I was only brave enough to register (personally, I found that a pretty good accomplishment in and of itself!). Now that the day is fast approaching, I'm getting nervous.  Furiously outlining and researching for the project, I am hoping that I am prepared enough for the challenge.

Here's a quick blurb for the novel that I am planning to write. I started it earlier this year and I am planning on using NaNoWriMo to finish it.  Let me know what you think.

The Colony (book 1): Remembering Alara Zaran


Earth is a penal colony...

Ben Pruett has no family and no future, till he remembers his life before he came to Earth and the father he must save.

Nathan Theed was born to a body too small for his spirit and must fulfill the reason he came here before he can return home.

Alana Drake was imprisoned to contain a political secret. Now, to save the galaxy, she must expose herself to it, when all she wants to do is hide.

As one by one they realize their purpose, this group of strangers must figure out a way to escape the prison that is Earth.  Guided by a poorly written novel, and pursued by Earth’s warden, the trio must escape both police and interplanetary forces to return Alana to her rightful place in the galactic government.

Book Review: Four Thousand Miles

7:58 AM Thursday, October 14, 2010

What would you do if:

  • You lost your job?
  • Found your husband in bed with another man?
  • Informed that your self-absorbed mother was pregnant (from her thirty-year old boyfriend, who also happens to be an ex-classmate of yours)?

Now, what would you do if this all happened in the same day?


Natalie Spencer from Milwaukee, does what I, and many others, would want to do, but probably wouldn't have the courage (or money) to pull off. She jumps on the  first international flight to any English speaking country!

Four Thousand Miles

Four Thousand Miles, by Jesi Lea Ryan, is about healing and creating a life again after losing it all. Natalie finds a friend in Gavin Ashby, a songwriter from Pluckley.  Thinking that her life can't get any worse, she accepts an offer to recuperate on his family farm while helping renovate the stables into guest rooms. She becomes fast friends with Gavin's sister, Maggie, and her daughter, Emma.

However, this family is  full of secrets and struggles of its own. Gavin is introverted and recovering from his past, while Maggie and Emma struggle to connect as mother and daughter.  Natalie lands  in the midst of their struggles as she finds herself falling in love with Gavin, an idea that is not acceptable to some at Flenley Farm.

While reading Four Thousand Miles, I found Natalie's time at Flenley Farm a bit too perfect. She fell into life there easily, and for a bit, there seemed to be a lack of drama in the story. However, all good things come to an end and Natalie's life gets more complicated as the story goes on.  She realizes that the life she is creating in England may not be right for her and has to make important decisions for her future, including what continent to call home.

Overall, I enjoyed the novel. I'm not one for heavy romance, so I was happy with the love story that developed between Natalie and Gavin.  I also enjoyed the plot lines that developed between secondary characters and how those interwove with the bigger picture. Most of all, I loved the imagery of the English countryside.  I have always had a fascination with England, and Ryan makes the country come to life.

My favorite line from the book is a spoiler, so scroll over the space below only if you've already read the book:
"I wouldn‘t care if you drew a ring on my finger with a ballpoint pen. All I want is you."

Read this book of you like contemporary women's lit or romance novels (even though I wouldn't classify this as a romance novel, I think you will still enjoy it).

Get your copy of Four Thousand Miles by Jesi Lea Ryan HERE!


Have you ever had to call 9-1-1?

Have you ever had to call for someone else?

Unfortunately, I have had to do this a couple of times. Once when my son was smacked in the head with a golf club (Do you know how much head wounds can bleed!?), and another time when we thought someone was breaking into our house (Turns out it was a friend who wanted to talk to us but not wake up our children. My husband almost shot him!).


Calling for emergency help is usually surrounded by emotional circumstances. There can be tension, sadness, anger, fear, desperation, confusion, and other emotions all vying to be dominate at once. It can create excellent drama (or comedy if the situation is right), thus the slew of medical based dramas on TV. They are popular because they invoke emotions within us and get us reflecting on our own lives.

What would we do if we were in that situation?

Would I be prepared to deal with that?

Is that hot young actor who plays Dr. So-and-So single?

Start a story with a call to 9-1-1 or one that centers around calling  emergency services.

Sixty

12:03 PM Tuesday, October 12, 2010



Each week for the past few months (with a few exceptions) I have participated in the 5 Minute Fiction Challenge found over at Write Me!

This is what I can come up with in 5 Minutes (prompt = Sixty, thus the name of the story):



Sixty


Jerry had already visited the first five people on his list, but there were many more to see tonight. Sixty in all. Sixty people he wanted, no needed, to see before the authorities caught up with him, and they would catch up to him. He didn’t delude himself about that.

Number Six, Seven, and Eight lived about thirty minutes away from the rest, but they were worth the time lost. Number Six had betrayed him. She’d married Number Seven after dating him for over a year and breaking his heart. Number Eight was sorry the result.

They would all have to go.

All sixty who had hurt him, broke him, rejected him, scolded him, or lied to him. All sixty who had made him the mad man he was today. They would all get to see him one last time.

He knocked on the door. He had no reason to hide from anyone now. He was confident, he had the upper hand. There was no answer. There were a few lights on in the back of the house so he walked around to the kitchen. Peeking in the windows, the house looked abandoned. The knob was locked, but was a quick and easy fix.

He let himself in and took a look around. Meals sat half eaten on the kitchen table. A cordless phone on the counter. He picked it up and threw it out the still open door.

Turning around, he was met with the barrel of the shotgun. It wasn’t the end he had in mind, but it would do. He raised the hand with the pistol and pointed it at Number Seven. Not sure if he got a chance to pull the trigger, his world went dark.



You can join the 5 Minute Fiction Challenge each Tuesday at 1:30pm EST. If you don't write for the challenge, you can still vote for your favorite story. Visit Leah Petersen's blog, Write Me!

I promised my own story from the Story Starter I gave late last week. I thought it would be easier as the story I originally went with was semi-autobiographical. Turns out I couldn't make anything of that... yet.  Instead, I pondered it all week and thought up my first 6 sentence story (inspired by the blog of the same name here.)

Escaping the Valley


Row upon row of grape vines were flaming behind their house in the valley.  It was twilight on a dry summer night, no rain for weeks.  She swore this was the last time she'd pretend everything was fine when he returned from the other woman's bed.  His empty promises rang in her head as she poured the remaining lighter fluid and dropped the match.  When he pulled in the drive, he'd find his fortune burning in the California night. She and the boy would be long gone by then.

I am starting a semi-regular event here that I'm going to label "Story Starters." This is for those times when we lack the inspiration to write anything at all. Here's how it'll work:

  1. I'll list one or more ideas in a post that should get you thinking of a story. It may be a word, phrase, picture, or even a song that can start inspiration.
  2. If you find one of the prompts interesting enough to write something, let me know in the comments section. You can post the story itself, or feel free to leave a link to your blog, etc where you posted the story.  I may even feature some in future posts (with your permission, of course)!
  3. Um... there is no third step...

There's no time involved, so if you read a story starter new or years from now (if I should be so lucky to still be around) feel free to still participate. I will also post a story inspired by the prompt as well, but seeing as I do generate them quite randomly and I want to give you the chance to come up with ideas on your own, I will do this in the near future.

And with that, the first Story Starter is:


"Row upon row of grape vines..."

The End of Publishing

6:53 AM Thursday, June 17, 2010

This is a wonderful little video going around the internet within certain writing/reading circles. Once I finally watched it, I thought it was very well made and something to share with you here.  I hope you find it as clever and enjoyable as I did.



Writing Comic

12:02 PM Friday, June 4, 2010

This was too funny not to share.


Have a Happy Friday!

Who Is Your Celebrity Muse?

5:02 AM Thursday, June 3, 2010

Ewan McGregor
My favorite celebrity muse

I am a very visual person. When I'm reading a story, I often have problems visualizing characters clearly. This is usually through no fault of the author, I just have a hard time visualizing people (places, things, not so much a problem). So just like Jessica over at Diary of a Bibliophile, I often assign a "dream cast" to my reading. This is usually someone of considerable fame to represent that character. 



Sometimes this "vision problem" is a deterrent to my writing as well. I often feel I am not accurately describing a person's visage clearly to my reader. So I usually try to find a celebrity who is similar in appearance to my concept for that character. 



This is purely visual. I do not (or at least I try not to) let the real celebs personality affect my judgement of how close he/she is to my character. For instance, if I need a awkward and shy, middle-aged, black woman I may still envision Oprah Winfrey as my muse for this character even though she is certainly not awkward or shy.   


I have the feeling I am not the only one who does this. 
So what I'd like to know is, 

Who is your celebrity muse? 

Book Review: The Book Thief

4:06 AM Friday, May 14, 2010

Who knew Death was such a compassionate soul, who remembers things by it's color, and is fascinated by the life (not death) of 9 year old German foster girl? Through Death's perspective, we watch Liesel Meminger become a thief (of the best kind) as she copes with the world going crazy around her. While losing her family, befriending Jews, living under Nazi rule, and dealing with her best friend, 9 yr old Liesel struggles to put her mind around what is going on with the world.


I am not someone who likes to know, or predict, the ending of a book, scene, or story line before it is told. In fact, I won't hesitate to put it down if I can. However, Zusak's unique narration keeps someone like me engaged while giving away what is about to happen. So even if you're like me, read on! This isn't a story about the destination, it's about the journey.

I'm not usually one for making a prediction for how well a book will sell or how wide spread it's influence will reach, but every now and then you see one you know is going to go somewhere.  The Book Thief is one of those books.  I believe that this book will one day be considered a classic.  If it isn't yet studied as part of high school curriculum somewhere, it will be one day.

You up for a quickie?

9:05 AM Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Here's a little poem I did in, literally, 5 minutes for the current CCC.


Terror?



No problem.
Just come a little closer.

Casually float here and I’ll respond to your release.

Forever will I draw the line and remove all your doubt.


Any suggestions for a title?
(Someone called it "vampiric." Maybe I should go with that?*shrug*)

Another CCC

6:29 AM Friday, May 7, 2010

Another Creative Copy Challenge. Have to say that I am really enjoying these. They can get the creative juices flowing for a day of writing.

Here was Thursday's challenge: 

1.                  Sprint
2.                  So good
3.                  Focus
4.                  Style
5.                  Why should I?
6.                  I need
7.                 Go
8.                  I know
9.                  Shock
10.              Final

The Runner

I sprint in this race and I know I should keep going.  But I cannot focus and it’s impeding my style. Why should I run this final lap when it would feel so good to just stop?

I’m in shock when the front runner falls.

I need to go faster!

The Writer's Bio

5:35 PM Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I have been trying to submit several flash fiction stories to literary magazines around the country only to be stopped by one thing: I didn't have an author's bio.

This was difficult for me considering that my creative writing is yet to be published (and as much as I like my "publish post" button, I don't think any editors/publishers will count it).  So what do I write about myself?



Here is some of the advice I collected around the internet (in no particular order):

  1. Always use the first person.  This is not a resume or a cover letter for a job. Using third person (she/he) makes you seem more professional and gives the reader a more objective view of you, even if it was written by you. 
  2. Talk about your education. What education, degrees, or training have you had. It isn't important if you have writing training. Maybe you have medical training and have included that in your story. Listing that training in your bio will give you credibility.
  3. Show your intent.  Are you writing novels? Are you interested in flash fiction, short stories, or poetry? Give the reader an idea of who you are by showing them what you are doing.
  4. State your strengths.  If you are unpublished, it's not necessary to state that. Think positive and tell them what you are, not what you aren't.  For example, even unpublished authors are freelancers; if you write poetry, then you're a poet; etc. 
  5. Give them something personal. Tell them where you are from, or where you are currently living.  Maybe mention your family if it brings credibility or value to the story. This makes you seem personable, and in its own little way, credible. But be careful of being too personal. Stating that you are a stay at home mom of 3 boys and a girl may make you seem unprofessional.
These are the tips I used in my own bio though there are plenty of them to go around. When in doubt, go to your bookshelf and read the author bio's on some of your favorite books.  For an example to you, here is what I came up with for myself:

Julie Beddoes is a freelance writer of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Born in Dubuque, Iowa, she received her BA in English, Business, and Behavioral Sciences from NYIT – Ellis College in 2005. Now residing with her family in Columbus, Ohio, she has written technical and business documents for various companies while writing short stories and flash fiction. Currently, her focus is completing her first novel, while writing flash fiction for literary publications.

As always, I appreciate your input! 

Two Challenges In One

9:38 AM Monday, May 3, 2010

To continue my Story A Day challenge for May, I combined it with another little one I found here on Creative Copy Challenge.  Take ten assigned words and make a story.  Sounds like my kind of thing.

Here are the 10 words assigned and the story that ensued:

    1. When I grow up
    2. Just one thing
    3. Flirt
    4. Sign
    5. Slippery
    6. So far away
    7. The end
    8. Spice
    9. Wrong
    10. Fear
The Wait

"When I grow up I want to be an accountant," the little girl said as she sat so far away from me at the end of the bench."They help people, without ever really having to touch them." 

I was just there to keep an eye on her while she awaited an attempt to right the wrong that had been done to her. Nervous fear radiated from her as we sat together waiting for the bailiff to call her into the courtroom. The floor was wet from all the rain that was being drug in by people's shoes, but no one had thought to put up a "Slippery When Wet" sign. It was so dark from the clouds that I found the EXIT sign above the door blinding.  




"It was wrong of him to flirt with me," she said when we were introduced.  That was the end of her  explanation for why she was there. She immediately turned the conversation to the pumpkin spice colored cushions on the bench opposite us.


She was patient though it seemed like forever before the bailiff came out to signal for her.  Once he did, she got several feet away before she turned to him and said, "Just one thing," running back to my spot on the bench.


"Thank you very much." she said in a voice far too grown up for her age.


"You're welcome, Sweetie," were all the words I could find for her, but I sent up the most sincere prayer of my life as she disappeared into the courtroom.



Story A Day - May

1:52 PM Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Story A Day people have issued a challenge for the month of May.  I'm sure you can figure out what that challenge might be.

A story a day... the month of May...

That's right (or should I say "write"?),  a story a day for each day of May (does anyone else notice that I keep rhyming?). Luckily, they aren't checking up on me every day or I would be in some major trouble! I can take days off if needed, which I may (did ya catch that?).


So, it being May first I wanted to start this month off right (no matter how I end up finishing it). A story a day!  I'm gonna keep it short and sweet today, with a little hint fiction.  

But before I do that, let me tell you this about me, if you don't already know... I love hint fiction. For that matter I love flash fiction and short stories as well. Why?  I'm not really sure. Maybe because I am a mother of 5 kids and have a part time job while trying to write a novel and co-write a non-fiction book with my hubby of almost 18 years.  So, maybe I like the brevity of it.  Who knows for sure.  However, you may see quite a bit of the shortest of short writings here this month.


Today's story: an ode to anyone who has ever struggled with finding the right words... or, for that matter, any words at all!

Writer's Block

Over two hundred thousand words in the English language.
I only need 25!

Writing Is Like...

5:19 AM Monday, April 26, 2010

... this Oreo cookie pie!
  

We're all attracted to it.
It is yummy.
It's delicious when you take a bite of it.
Too much may make you sick.
It's put together just like a story..

To make an Oreo cookie pie:


  1. Start with a crust.  It's not the best part of the pie, but without it, everything else will fall apart. The crust makes the dessert easier to dish out.  (Like a story, planning and preparation are essential to holding everything else together when you present it to a potential agent or publisher.)
  2. Fill it with yummy stuff.  Oreo ice cream is what I'd do, but as long as you've got complimentary ingredients, you can do just about anything. (Your story is subject to whatever you put in it. Better make it good!)
  3. Layer the topping.  Let's be honest, this is what really attracts us to the pie in the first place! It's the only part you can see until you get into it. It makes the whole thing look great, and it tastes good too. (We go into writing with that wonderfully, elusive dream of someday publishing our work. Often, we don't know just how involved that is until we get started.)
Sure, putting a pie together can be a lot of work, 
but the rewards are 
SWEET!

Book Review: Born Standing Up

9:44 AM Sunday, April 25, 2010

Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life by Steve Martin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Steve Martin's journey into comedy is funny and inspiring. Through the narrative of his struggle to the top of comedy, anyone on a creative path will be able to draw insight from his thoughts and experiences.

In the book, Steve (not a ghostwriter, and it shows) chronicles his journey from small boy to big time comedian to movie star. I was surprised mostly by the amount of time and thought (did you know he majored in philosophy?) his journey took.

Family relationships make a major impact on the rising star, both in good and bad ways. The book is full of touching and tragic moments were we can see the life behind the man and his unique comic persona.

Most of all, what I took from the book was that the path to your dreams is not usually a short one. Thought, planning, practice, persistence, and old-fashioned hard work cannot be circumvented. Failures happen. Rejection happens. Depression happens. Self-doubt happens. And all of it is ok. Get through it and move on.

The only thing that disappointed me about this book was its rapid ending. After a detailed account of the early years of the 60's and 70's, which included stories on not only his professional but also his personal life, the book races through the 80's and 90's with much less detail. Was this because of it's more recent nature or because there is less to learn from the success then the struggle to get there? Only Mr. Martin knows. I would have liked the last 20 years to be as detailed as the rest.  Then again, maybe that's just not what the book was suppose to be about.

My favorite bit of insight: "There is no harm in charging oneself up with delusions between moments of valid inspiration."

View all my reviews >>

Hint Fiction

2:27 PM Saturday, April 24, 2010

Mental
I don't know why the neighbors look at me that way.  It's not my fault the naughty, little gnomes taunt me. They must be stopped!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 As I have grown very fond of
Flash Fiction, I have discovered a new (or at least new to me) phenomenon called Hint Fiction

I like it...I like it a lot. :)

Definition of Hint Fiction (in my own words):  Fiction told remarkably fast (about 25 words or less) with a hint at a larger story within the title.  

For a longer definition by someone who knows much more about it then I do, go here

Of course, I felt the need to try out this new toy of sorts. Hope you enjoyed my first attempt at hint fiction with this story, "Mental."

Pounce

2:16 PM Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pounce

I crawled on hands and knees
Down the hall and through the doorway.

I was stealth child
Sneaking into the bedroom.

I knew he was lying there,
I could hear him snore.

My approach was slow but swift.
Dust bunnies swirling about as I moved.

I peer above the bed
Viewing my prey

He sleeps still, soundly,
Not moving.

BOO!

I leap high and fast,
A panther pouncing.

Screaming, my father
Jerks awake!

I spend the day
In the solitude of my room...

GoodReads

4:35 AM Friday, February 26, 2010

Let me take a shameless moment here to plug such a wonderful invention.


Seriously, books for shipping cost only?  I'm in heaven!

If you love books, reading, or shopping you really must check it out! 
(click the link above)

I have successfully navigated a round of "purchased" books (about 5 or 6) from the Bookswap and now "shopping" for many, many more. 

~~ I am in HEAVEN! ~~

(I think my husband feels abandoned though.  Poor guy!)

Flash Fiction

9:04 AM Tuesday, February 23, 2010


No, I don't mean stories based on a certain fictional super hero!

I mean flash fiction as in really short stories.

I have recently fallen in love with flash fiction and have realized that many of my rambled writings can be classified as such.  Though this wasn't a new term to me, I realized I would like to know a little more about it.  Reading a lot of different things, I have come up with this definition of my own:  Flash fiction is a short story that is usually between 500 - 1000 words and still contains character development and an actual plot.

This is the type of writing that is appealing because it can be read while sitting in the waiting room of a doctors office, or in a car as the kids are getting out of school.  No long term time commitments needed, just short and to the point writing.

There is loads of this stuff all over the internet and some are actually very good. I particularly enjoyed  The Times That Bleed Together, by Paige Gardner.

Here are a list of some of the website I have found that feature flash fiction stories:

  1. Flash Fiction Online:  http://www.flashfictiononline.com/
  2. Every Day Fiction: http://www.everydayfiction.com/
  3. Flash Fiction.Net: http://flashfiction.net
  4. Very Short Stories: http://www.very-short-story.com/ (for if you like REALLY short stories)
My questions to you are:
Have you ever read Flash Fiction?
Would you ever read FF?
How interested are you in visiting a website or buying a book based solely on FF?

The answer to these will help me see if this is an avenue I wish to explore a bit more or if my energies are better spent elsewhere. Thanks!


Not entirely sure that this is ready to be shared with the world, but I have enjoyed some of the calls and emails on my other stories that have not only given me insight on how to improve, but also given my ego a big boost.  So here is my latest flash fiction story.

NOTE TO READER: This story has undergone major changes in the following weeks. For publication reasons, I will not be reposting it at this time, but here is the original (first draft) introductory paragraph.


Giving Her Back


The time has come. He knows it as he feels the momentum of the vehicle coming to a stop. He sits in the back of the black limousine, dressed in his finest.  He looks like a million bucks, but feels more like 20 cents.   Grateful that the windows of this limo are tinted a purplish hue, he dreads the moment he has to step out into the bright mid morning sun.



My hubby has been out of town for 2 weeks. This leaves me with 5 kids, 4 snow days, and no lap top (which is what I usually do all my writing on. It's so much easier to lock myself in a back room and work then around the chaos that is my life.)



This is a perfect analogy of what my brain is doing lately.






If this is what your brain is suppose to look like:




This is mine after an absent hubby and
too many snow days with the kids:


To coin a phrase from an old PSA,

Any questions?

Book Reviews: Three books/One post

5:01 AM Thursday, February 4, 2010

(NOTE: This is actually a reposting from my other blog, but figured since it's book/writing related,

I'd repost it here. My apologies if it's a duplicate for you.)



I have read so many books lately.  I actually read one in less than 12 hours the other day.  Ok, it was a YA book, but still give me some credit.  (This should really be a testament to how dull my life has been, I actually have time to READ!)  Here are my thoughts on some of them.



I really enjoyed Zusak's writing style in The Book Thief, so I decided to try out another of his novels that is supposed to be more light hearted and humorous. I Am the Messenger acheives this but if you're looking for something actually humorous and funny, this isn't the book to grab. I still enjoy Zusak's style. It's very conversational. He makes it seem so easy; easy to write and easy to read.  And this book has a positive message to it.  Unfortunately, I think his story falls too flat at the end. Still worth the read though.




My Antonia... well, let's just put it this way:  It's literature.  Ya know, classic, gotta-read-in-college kinda literature.  Let me also add that I am a plot driven reader.  I enjoy the challenges of the characters and how they overcome them.  I like the thrill of the who-dunnit or the how-they-gonna-accomplish-that kinda thing.  If you're like me, you may wanna skip this one (unless of course you actually have this as required reading or something).  Cather is so wonderfully descriptive and her passion for the land and it's people are apparent, but I kept waiting for the plot to start... and it never really did (or only faintly at best).  If you like classic, descriptive literature, you'll love it. If not, skip it.


Among the Hidden by Margaret Haddix.
Why am I reading a YA book, you may ask. I was impressed by this series long before I ever read this book.  It is the series that FINALLY interested my pre-teen boys in books!  D & S read them several years ago and couldn't stop talking about them.  D has been in love with reading ever since.  THANK YOU MARGARET PETERSON HADDIX!!  And as an adult, I can see why they liked them so much.  Keep in mind that the book is simple for the younger reader, but intriguing, and adventurous enough to keep even an adult interested.  I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

Wasted

9:51 AM Friday, January 29, 2010

This is a short story I wrote years ago in college and recently decided to revisit as a writing exercise. I made some changes at the recommendation of a friend, (Thank you, Lisa!), and here it is again. I have also posted a link from the posting of this story on www.goodreads.com. (By the way, if you are a member of goodreads.com, I welcome your friend requests.)


Please read and critique the following short story.

Wasted

Each of them sat facing opposite directions on the edge of the bed in the
small, master bedroom of old house on 54th street.  For more than 30 years, they had lived here as husband and wife, but it still didn’t feel like a home to her.


The cool breeze that blew in from the garden delivered a sweet lilac smell, but provided no relief from the hot summer air that hung between them.  They had argued again, and this time she knew it was different. Her words this time were more bitter and harsh than ever before.

Now, she would not look at him.



She focused only on the picture of Christ on the wall beside her bed, pondering her journey to this time and place. She has spent more then 3 decades of her life with a man she didn’t even like.  Why did she do that? They have no children to be concerned about; no connections that couldn’t have easily been broken.

She didn’t love him. 

It was probably her mother’s influence.  Hours of cleaning and cooking turned into overbearing lessons of loyalty, marriage, and the inessentiality of love.  Her mother wanted her daughter to be married, and married for a very long time. Mother wanted her to be happy of course, but that was only secondary to the duties of a real wife. Until now, she never really understood the ramifications of her mother’s teachings in her life.

Well, she thought, at least my mother got what she wanted.

Papa was different.  He never lectured her on how she should be.  Although she was very plain and not what most men were looking for, Papa never made her feel that way; that is, not until she met her would be husband.   This was probably also the reason her father grew to like her husband so quickly. 

“He is a good provider; he will take care of you and your children,” he pressed her. She knew her father was too kind to say that she should take the chance to marry while she had one.  It would probably be her last.  He loved his daughter, but he knew reality as well.

In the end, it was not about what she wanted. Pressure from her old-fashioned family rendered it unacceptable for her to go to college and travel as she wished to. In the end, she never even brought up the idea. Now, she thinks she should have tried.

With these thoughts, a feeling of grief replaced her anger. She mourned for things she could have studied in school; the classes she could have taken; the things she could have learned, for lost memories and experiences she’ll never know, and most of all, for the years she now feels she wasted.

She sighs, inhaling the smell of the lilacs from the garden and exhaling their earlier argument, rendering herself numb. Since she does not love this man, then there is no reason to be angry with him either. It was all a waste of time. Dinner time was fast approaching and there was a meal to be made.


On the opposite side of
the bed he agonizes over the argument that just occurred between them. The cool breeze brushes the scent of lilacs past him, but they are no consolation for the feelings of dismay he harbors. He stares at the picture of her in her wedding gown which hangs on the wall beside his bed.  Taken nearly 32 years ago, she gazes down upon him each morning and night to remind him how lucky he was to get her.

If she only knew how much I love her,
was all he could think. 

An Introduction

5:42 PM Thursday, January 28, 2010

First and foremost, thank you for stopping by my blog today.

You may wonder why I'm here. Well, I decided that if I was going to take myself seriously as a writer, I needed a place to display my writings for multiple reasons:
  1. I need feedback. What things do I need to work on? Where can I improve? And let's not forget, What am I doing right?
  2. Someday, I hope to attract editors, agents, and publishers to my writings. Maybe this will be a tool I use for that purpose or maybe it's just a spot to clean up my act until that day. We shall see.
  3. By putting myself out there, I can avoid making excuses for not doing this. Now, I have someone to report to.
  4. I admit it...I like the "PUBLISH POST" button. It makes me feel good :)
No matter your level of expertise, whether the published author or just someone who likes to read, sit back and enjoy what you see here. And if you don't enjoy it, speak up! And if you do enjoy it, speak up too! I need all the help I can get here.

Book Review: My Life In France

11:45 AM Friday, January 1, 2010

I did finally finish "My Life In France" by Julia Child for our book club. The book was interesting but it isn't something I would have picked up on my own and I'm not even sure if it would have keep my attention all the way through if I didn't have to meet with the group to discuss it. I know who Julia Child was but had no idea how she became a world renown chief. All I can say is, now I do. It is not a page turner, but if you like autobiographical books, cooking, or France, this book is for you.