Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day hikes

I have been thinking since yesterday about hiking.  When one sets off on a day hike they take with them their day pack with some snacks and water.  I always pack my binoculars and my field guide hoping to run across some unique species of bird for my life list.  I suppose one should pack the first aid kit and some supplies in case of an emergency, but I never think that far ahead.  I tend to walk on well traveled paths with good signage and I never travel too far from civilization.  I suppose that provides me with a false sense of security.

The last hike I took was to Sol Duc falls with friends.  The path is a mile long and well traveled although uneven in places and slick with dampness from the falls.  On that occasssion I didn't even take food and water. We were close to our cabin at the resort.  We would be back very soon.

However, even that short walk was filled with possibilities of danger.  One could turn an ankle on the slippery rocks.  One could go left when the others went right and be seperated and lost from the safety of the group.  Someone could lean too far over the edge and fall into the water or worse yet over the falls.  I planned for none of these emergencies.

Life is often like that.  I have often set out unprepared on life's journeys. I didn't have the proper equipment or the map I was given was faulty.  I have blindly followed the directions of others, only to find myself stuck at the edge of an abyss or trapped in a box canyon.  I have planned for a day hike only to be trapped out overnight, without fire and food, and forced to face the elements alone.  I have been afraid and dispaired of anyone finding me.

In the past I have repeated this pattern time and again, but those experiences have shaped who I am.  I have made magic with a couple of sticks rubbed together and I have eaten the fruits which Nature has provided.  I have learned what I need to carry with me for safety and whose advice I will listen to when planning a trip.  But mostly I have learned to trust myself and my instincts.  I will stay away from slippery precipices.  I will avoid fellow travelers who take too many chances.

I have become my own best guide.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Writing and Women's Stories

This morning I attended a Women's Story Circle group which is organizing near my home.  I have to say that I was apprehensive.  I have never considered myself the most outgoing person and I tend to avoid meeting new people, but the energy and support which emanated from this group from the first few moments were remarkable.

This group of smart literate women joined by the passion for writing and the telling of stories was so uplifting.  I was able to tell my story in a non-judgemental group was something I have been lacking for a long time.  I think I have been so tied up by the rejection of agents that I am on some level afraid to put fingers to keys and get busy.

I have a writing assignment for the group which is buzzing inside my head.  We are to write about ourselves at different ages.  I am thinking about age 20 and how the choices I made then affected the outcomes of my life now.  Always keeping to the positive.

I have also toyed with the idea of trying to get a newspaper column started as a platform for my other writing.  Two of the younger women in the group were already doing that so now I am empowered to go forward with that.  I think I would like to write a medical column which not only addresses physical wellness but the effects of psychological and sociological pressures on health.  And I would like to do it in a upbeat, friendly kind of way.

Thank you to Linda for organizing the group.  I hope you are the "Butt Glue" I need to settle down and get to writing again.  And as we were talking about this morning...

"It isn't easy for any of to transcend the past, or pain we might have suffered.  Yet, there are gifts in those pains, and we can choose to let light into the dark places"

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Claddagh Ring


Michael Richmond placed his left palm against the familiar front door. He listened for some sign of life on the other side. His hand trembled as he slipped the key into the slot. The door swung open.

The condo was altered from the last time he was here. The comfy furniture was pushed back against the walls. I was replaced by a stainless steel hospital bed. An unfamiliar, medicinal smell made the back of his neck prickle.

He crept to the rail of the bed. The occupant’s ice blue eyes were wide open, but they were focused on a specter Michael couldn’t see. A guttural groan issued from her dried, cracked lips. Michael stood transfixed with horror. What was happening here?

He jumped as the kitchen door banged open. A woman entered. He thought for an instant this was his beautiful Rhiannon, but the scowl and the flash of green eyes told him this was her daughter, Beth, instead.

Beth carried a loaded syringe between her teeth as she pulled on rubber gloves. She slipped the needle from the plastic cap and inserted it into the IV in the woman’s hand. Beth watched her patient’s face a line of concentration between her eyebrows.

When the syringe was empty and the moaning stilled, Beth acknowledged Michael. “What are you doing here?”

“Why didn’t she call me?”

Beth removed the syringe from the tubing, recapped it and looked up from the IV line. “Look, Michael, not everything is about you, okay. Mamma said you were busy, and she would call you when she could.” She glared at him. The heat of her hatred penetrated him.

“Beth, I don’t want to fight with you. I came because you said on the phone your mother was ill. I need to be here. I want to help.”

“Kate and I don’t want your help,” she spat and strode out of the room.

He was alone except for the click of the IV pump. Rhiannon lie quiet and still. She looked so old. When had that happened? She was always alive, willing to go anywhere and do anything. Had he gotten too busy for her: taken her for granted? Then he realized that she had never depended on him. Loved him, yes, but never needed him.

He heard a crash against the kitchen wall.
Lately my life seems to be speeding by and I have no idea where it is going.  Two weeks ago I was poised to begin anew.  Then a special friend came for the weekend and I got off track again.

So here we are where I was two weeks ago.  I did make some changes to this blog this morning.  I decided to drop my Claddagh Ring domain name at Yahoo.  I had only gotten one email in 18 months and it was expensive so I dropped it.  I also removed my Twilight updates from the bottom.  I will be researching more interesting and appropriate gadgets in the future.

Later today I will post the prologue to The Claddagh Ring.  I will post the announcement to my Facebook and Twitter accounts and see how many comments I get.  If you want me to continue, please post.  Your comments will help me decide if the time is right to make an attempt to epublish or not.  I WILL take all comments seriously.  Please stay tuned. 

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Claddagh Ring

I have been doing a lot of thinking this week about my novel and what would be the best way to get some reader impressions.  I thought about going to a small publisher and getting 100 copies made to send to all my friends.  I also thought about sending it as an attachment to everyone I know.

I had considered sending it out to an epublisher and seeing if I could get a following,  But after much consideration, I have decided to use all the formus which I belong to instead.  With that goal in mind, I am going to work on serializing The Claddagh Ring to this site, and see what reader comments I can generate.  If I get a favorable response then I will probably approach an epublisher and see what I can rustle up!  LOL

I also found a writing challange in Stephan King's book that I am going to work on.  It consists of writing a short story for which he has laid out the scenario.  I am intrigued by the idea, so will set to work on it soon.  He even says if you email it to him he will read it an critque it.  Very interesting!

My good friend Chassily Wakefield will be home from the RWA convention this week.  We are having lunch on Wed.  I am going to ask her to edit the first fifty of my memior so that I can send it off to the agent and editor who expressed an interest.  I finally got up my nerve and read the critiques I had gotten.  I got a 67/100.  They wanted the story tightened up a bit but they liked the concept. 

Anyway, I will be working on a couple of minor changes I want to make to TCR this weekend.  So look for the first installment sometime this week.  I look forward to your input.  Thanks.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Busy ness

I can not believe it has been nearly six months since I was last here.  Since I checked in last my new grandson has been born.  My condominium closed, been remodeled and I have moved in.  I have taken a trip to Holland with my cousins and attended a writing conference.

That writing conference is the reason I am back.  I forgot in the busy-ness of life that I have a goal and to achieve it I have to find a quiet peaceful place for my muse to find me.  Today has been one of those days.  And for that I am grateful.

I started the morning with the newspaper and coffee.  I read a bit of Stephen King's On Writing. He inspired me to get off my hamster wheel, put on some Butt Glue and start writing again.  I spent four hours revising my memior.  It was brilliant.  I was cutting out unnecessary words and killing adverbs left and right.

I got a couple of bites on my memior at the writer's conference so I need to get it ready to send it out.

Alas no one seems to be interested in my novel.  However there is a local outfit called Long Tale Press.  They publish the first few chapters of your book and see the reader response.  I am thinking about using them to get a feel for the market.  I have also considered serializing it here ala Stephanie Meyer.  I am going to give it a bit of thought before I do anything rash.  However I feel compeled  to do something.  I think the right answer will come to me very soon.

Anyway, it is good to be feeling the muse.