A Genie Grants Me Three Wishes for My Writing Career–What Are They?

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Okay, so…three writing career wishes…what would I wish for…

  1. To make enough off my writing to support myself and my family–some bestsellers would be great.
  2. To have time to write all of the stories I want to tell and to tell them to the very best of my ability.
  3. To have multiple annual writing retreats all over the world so I could hang with all of my friends and continue to grow as an author.

What three wishes would you want a genie to grant you?

And be sure to check out Jess and Gwen‘s wish list, too!

Monthly Goals Check-In: November 2017

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Okay, so this last month, I said, I’d…

  • Finish all of my scheduled blog posts. Yep
  • Write and practice my presentation on POV for the November GRRWG meeting. Yep
  • Finish the guest blog posts I agreed to. Yep
  • Finish my part of the holiday project. Nope
  • Finish the two very, very late Christmas presents. Nope
  • Finish sewing at least four holiday gifts. Nope
  • Continue the holiday shopping. Yep
  • Complete scheduled audio preps. Yep
  • Complete scheduled client edits. Yep
  • Finish building the last client website. Nope
  • Continue rewrites of re-release books. Yep
  • Read three more books. Yep
  • Sort the bedding and purge my clothes if I don’t finish that this month. Nope

This month I prepped 7 books and edited 2.  And I *gasp* took a last weekend off to go see my niece and nephew and their play. And I still have time to turn those nopes to yeps.

Okay, so for next month, I want to

  • Finish my part of the holiday project.
  • Finish scheduled audio preps
  • Finish scheduled client edits
  • Finish scheduled blog posts
  • Continue rewrites of re-release books
  • Progress on new WIP
  • Finish holiday shopping
  • Finish holiday sewing and knitting gifts
  • Finish client website
  • Sort the bedding and purge my clothes if I don’t finish that this month.

That’s it for me this month. Be sure to check out Gwen and Jess‘ goals, and good luck meeting all of yours!

I’m Thankful For…

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I’m thankful for a lot of things, so let’s get to it.

I’m thankful I don’t have to cook Thanksgiving dinner (other than fancy green bean casserole). Because I really hate to cook (but green bean casserole is easy). And tasty. But I do get to eat Thanksgiving dinner. Which is great because I like to eat.

I’m thankful for my amazing family–both immediate and extended. These are the most amazing, hilarious, loving and supportive people on the planet.  And despite our wild differences, we’re incredibly close and I love them so much.

I’m thankful for my friends–my family of the heart. I’m so lucky to have these amazing people in my life. Without their love, encouragement, creativity, silliness, support, acceptance, understanding, honesty, strength, and therapy I wouldn’t be the mostly functioning person I’m attempting to be.

I’m especially thankful for my husband and kids. They’re the pieces of my heart that live outside my body. Sometimes, they’re lucky to continue living… *strangle strangle strangle* but I wouldn’t trade any of them – even when they drive me nuts.

I’m also thankful to have cats. They’re warm and cuddly little assholes. But I love them. And they make me laugh. Even if they do run away with my knitting needles.

And finally, I’m thankful to and for every person who reads this blog whether it’s the super rando flash fic, the stock photo rants, or the personal milestones and fuckery of life–whatever you’re here for, I’m thankful for you. And I’m thankful to all of you who read my books, too. I appreciate that more than I can adequately express. It’s a gift to be able to do what I love best, and I’m so incredibly grateful.

I’m sending you all love and hugs and wishes for contentment and happiness. Be sure to check out Jess and Gwen’s blogs and see what they’re thankful for.

Flash Fiction #69 – Girl by the Pond

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52888757 - shot of a gothic woman in a forest. fashion.

Gwyndon had no idea how she’d ended up at the pond again. It didn’t seem to matter when she decided to go for a walk or where she was when she decided to go. She found herself on the shore of this same body of water every single time. It was as if her conscious brain shut down and her subconscious kicked in. And for whatever reason, her subconscious thought this pond was a great idea.

She stared over the glasslike surface, the reflection of earth and sky–an impressionistic painting come to life. As it had since she’d been coming here, the water perfectly mirrored the world around it. But no matter how close to the surface she got, she never saw her own image. It was as if the water swallowed all traces of her.

She wished that were possible. That she could just disappear into the nearly perfect likenesses of bare branches and gunmetal gray clouds that marched slowly across the sky. It wasn’t that she wanted wanted to die or anything that dramatic. She just wanted a fucking break from all the stress. From wondering if her parents could continue to afford her brother’s medical care now that her dad had lost his job and their health insurance. From wondering if she should just drop out of college and get a second job. From wondering  if there would still be a world when she woke up in the morning or if the so called leader of her country would have plunged them straight into a nuclear war. What she wouldn’t give for just twenty-four hours of not fucking worrying about every little thing. But that would take some kind of miracle at this point to clear out the governmental corruption.

As she stared at the pond, an anomaly near the center caught her attention. It looked like a metallic point had pierced the surface of the water from beneath. And it was moving slowly toward her, barely creating a ripple. Worry twisted her gut, but her feet were rooted to the spot. She couldn’t run if she wanted to.

As the piece of metal drew closer, it rose farther from the surface, and she realized it was a sword blade. Eventually, the water and weeds sluiced away from the figure carrying the weapon, until a woman dressed in a long flowing white gown, tinged green by algae, emerged completely from beneath the surface. Rivulets of water streamed from  her hair like liquid ribbons, and her eyes slowly opened, pinning Gwyndon with her unwavering blue-green gaze.

She wanted to believe she was dreaming, but she knew she wasn’t. The cold damp of the ground chilled her feet through her canvas shoes, and the bite of the late autumn air sliced through the weave of her sweater. Her nose was cold enough that it had started to run. Yeah, she was definitely awake and in the middle of some fucked up mythical scenario.

“And the time would come…” The woman’s voice reverberated throughout the forest as she continued to hold Gwyndon’s gaze. “When the kingdom’s need was greatest, the sword would rise again and find its way into the hands of the king,”

She stared at Gwyndon expectantly, and Gwyndon blinked a few times. “I…I’m not sure you’ve got the right person. Or…even the right country.”

The woman frowned. “Do you deny that the land is in chaos? That the people are embattled? Tormented?”

Gwyndon shook her head. “No…that’s pretty accurate.”

“Then do you wish for the tyrants to continue to rule?”

If she could have moved, she would stepped back. “God, no!”

The barest hint of a smile curved the woman’s lips. “At times, the health of the body requires the diseased limb to be removed. Are you prepared to excise the illness.”

Gwyndon thought of her brother struggling to breathe, taking only half the dose of medicine he’d been prescribed in an attempt to make it last longer, and she nodded. And she thought about hearing her mom cry when she thought everyone else was asleep. Yeah, she was willing to do some excising if it would make things better for her family–save her brother’s life.

“I’m in.”

“Then take Excalibur, and remember: you and the land are one.”

Gwyndon stepped forward and wrapped her hands around the hilt, as a jolt of energy surged through her. Her back straightened. She’d do whatever it took. Hoping that Greyhound didn’t have a policy against taking medieval weapons on cross-country road trips, she watched as the women walked backward, vanishing beneath the water as silently as she’d appeared.

That bit of randomness is it from me today, be sure you check out the other bloggers’ stories.

Siobhan  *  Gwen  *  Kris

Top 10: Things I Believe to Be True

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Regardless of reality or science, these are just random things I believe to be true, And yes, I will defend them to my last breath. As always, there’s no order to these.

10.) Skynet is only slightly less terrifying than our current social and political climate.

9.) Long flowy hippie skirts are the world’s most comfortable clothes.

8.) Crocheting is a form of dark sorcery.

7.)  I have the best friends and family on the planet.

6.) Van Halen is the worst musical act of all time.

5.)  Math is tangible evidence of evil.

4.) Fuck is the most useful and versatile word in the English language.

3.)  Good lip balm is necessary for me to live a content and productive life.

2.) Spiders are Satan’s snowflakes. There are not individual species of spiders. Like snowflakes, each one is unique. They are individually handcrafted by Satan.

1.) I have the world’s best job, and I’m lucky as fuck to be able to do it.

So…what do you believe to be true? And be sure to check out the other bloggers’ lists.

Jess  *  Deelylah  *  Gwen  *  Kris

Wordless Wednesday – Autumn Where I Live

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Autumn, in Michigan, is stunningly gorgeous. And it’s my favorite season.  Though, there are days that I’m not sure why, since every year, it actively attempts to murder me.  (All photos taken by me.)

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Local apple orchard. 
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Farm near the orchard. 
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Autumn road. 
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Reflections in the pond. 
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Faery gold on the water. 
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That weird autumn light. 

Autumn roses in my mom’s garden. 

Changing leaves. 

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Changing colors under an autumn sky. 
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Peering through the reeds at Merlin’s Place. 
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Patchwork sky. 
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Secret woods.
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Autumn moon. 
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Homemade split pea soup. 
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The autumn survival kit: nebulizer, albuterol, inhaler, allergy pills, airborne, and Gypsy Cold Care tea. Oh, and Kitsune looking very concerned. 

Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ photos of autumn where they live.

Jess * Gwen * Paige

 

Flash Fiction #68 – Call Me Crazy

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This month’s flash fiction song is one I’d never heard before this challenge. It’s called “Call Me Crazy” by Travis Collins. The video is here and the lyrics are here if you’d like to give a listen/read.

Content warning: some violence and allusions to abuse. 

The dirt was clay. She fucking hated digging into clay. It was wet and cold and almost slimy. It sucked at her shovel, stuck into the treads of her too-big, borrowed boots, and made it difficult to get any real power behind the tool, but she’d manage.

Despite the damp chill of the October evening, she was starting to break a bit of a sweat, but that’s what digging a three foot deep hole would do to a person. Dusk settled like an old musty blanket, muting the changing leaves, and dulling the sky. Soon, the only light would be the running lights on his truck.

He’d be pissed if he knew she was letting it run with the doors open so she could hear the music while she worked. Of course, it was so old, it didn’t even have a cassette deck. And it was stuck on that fucking country music station. But, it was better than the eerie near-silence of the rapidly approaching winter–nothing but small animals rustling through the dried grasses and the honking geese up and leaving this desolate place, flying to warmer climes. She’d always wished she could do the same. But, maybe now, she wouldn’t need to.

She straightened as she surveyed the hole. It was finally deep enough. A shiver snaked down her spine as the chorus of one of his favorite songs drifted to her from tinny-sounding speakers. An audio ghost haunting her from a lifetime past. She pushed through the chill. Maybe it was appropriate this song was playing tonight. Though, it was more of a eulogy than he deserved.

Planting the shovel in the mounded clay, she walked to the back of the truck and dropped the pickup’s gate. Thankfully, the tarp-wrapped body hadn’t moved much on the drive out here. Rolling it to the edge, she dragged the deadweight over her shoulder, and hoisted it in a fireman’s carry. Bastard was heavier than she would have thought, but she’d gotten him this far, she could move him a few more yards.

A muffled groan startled her, and she nearly dropped him, but she kept going until she could fling him into the hole. There was a sickening crack as he hit the bottom, then nothing but the tail end of his favorite song and her harsh breath. She filled in the hole then drove over it, repeatedly, for good measure before shifting the fallen tree to cover the signs of disturbed earth. The same one she’d moved to dig the hole in the first place.

Sure, someone might find him someday. If they cared enough to look. But they’d also find the evidence of everything he’d ever done to her–every photograph, every video tape–all sitting in the middle of his kitchen table. Along with his muddy boots on the mat by the door and his truck parked in the driveway.

And she’d be gone. Long gone where the ghosts of the past had been laid to rest.

Okay, that’s it for me this week. Be sure you check out the other stories by clicking on each blogger’s name. 

Jess * Siobhan * Gwen * Kris * Deelylah