Get out there and vote

An ugly election season is finally almost over. Those who know me know where I stand on the issues, and if you’ve read my blog posts you can probably figure it out. But no matter who you vote for or what issues are dear to you, please get out and vote. Your vote does count and we are fortunate enough in this country to be able to have that choice. Some people fought long and hard to have the opportunity to vote. So do it! And whatever happens, the sun will still rise tomorrow and we can get back to the business of figuring out how to come together.

“Our daughters daughters will adore us and they’ll sing in grateful chorus,
Well done, sister suffragette!”
-Mary Poppins (rather appropriate for this historic election)

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Flash fiction challenge winner

I’m excited to announce that I have the winning entry to this week’s Flash Fiction Challenge at Indies Unlimited! Check out their post for the photo prompt:

And here’s my flash fiction piece:


(originally posted at Indies Unlimited)

First mate’s log, the former Trident

Day 1 adrift. I spot a ship in the distance but I do not think they can see me. Time runs short. Those deadly, spiteful creatures continue to torment me.

Day 2 adrift. The ship is closer but they still cannot see me. The white devils surround me now. If you read these words, I beg you not to be deceived by them. The white dolphins. Captain said they were good luck when we spotted them leaping near the ship’s bow. They seemed to like it when the cabin boy played his drum.

Day 3 adrift. I fear this will be my last day. The ship is still too far away and my voice only croaks out a call for help. The dolphins circle closer. I thought I glimpsed a drum around the neck of one of them. I keep imagining those last hours on deck, the white beasts flinging themselves at the ship, ramming holes and leaping so high they tore down the mast. The screams of my shipmates as they were flung into the sea and the red waters churning about me as I clung to a piece of wreckage. Their teeth gleam in the night.

First mate’s log, the Pequod

Found the wreckage of the Trident. The lone survivor died not long after we pulled him on board. Something about the white devils. Ahab is certain he meant the white whale. Have only spotted a pod of white dolphins.

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Haunting reads

ravenFall is here. There’s a chill in the air (maybe, since the weather keeps going from hot to cold here), leaves are turning red and gold, and the nights are growing longer. Halloween will be here in less than a day. I have candy and pumpkins at the ready. And nothing says Halloween like a spooky read. Here are a few old and new favorites.

The Girl With All the Gifts: I don’t read a lot of zombie books, but this one is really different. I’d say it’s more of a literary zombie tale. Very unique. And it will make you think long after you’ve finished it.

Ghosts by Gaslight: This is a collection of spooky short stories. If you like gothic, Victorian reads, check this one out. Some stories were better than others, but I found a few gems.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: Not necessarily scary, but it does have a fantastical, creepy vibe. I haven’t seen the movie but really enjoyed the book.

The October Country: My first introduction to Ray Bradbury and still one of my favorites. Lots of spine-tingling creepiness here. “The Emissary” and “Uncle Einar” are still memorable after all these years.

Dracula’s Brood: You can’t go wrong with classic vampire tales!


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15 years…

This was my post on the 10-year anniversary of September 11:

Lots of things have changed over the past five years, but my feelings about that day are still the same. 2016 has been a rough year so far. Friends and loved ones are going through hard times. It’s a very ugly election year. If we can take one thing away from the events of 15 years ago, maybe it should be that during that horrible tragedy, we came together and supported one another. We need that more than ever these days. Never forget it.

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Murder your darlings

“Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.”

-Stephen King, On Writing

Writers love to write. Well, most of the time that is. Actually, for me quite often it’s as painful as opening a vein. But even harder is cutting out something that you’ve written and loved. Maybe in the light of day it’s not as brilliant as you thought it was in the wee hours of the morning. Or maybe it just doesn’t fit in the story any more.

I now have a folder on my computer with a bunch of chapters that have been completely cut from the current draft of Thief of Destiny. It’s sad because there are some great scenes and characters in those chapters, but the truth is they no longer fit with my new plot line. And since the plot is working out much better than before, all I can do is send them to the “old chapters” folder and hope that maybe they’ll see the light of day in a future book or a novella. Somewhere I have a file called “darlings” with deleted paragraphs and scenes from book 1. It’s tempting to post some deleted scenes or make a “director’s cut” version, but on the other hand, things are generally cut for a good reason. Chopping down my beloved prologue from Thief of Hope was so hard at the time; now I can barely remember the original version because the changes worked so much better.

So the writing proceeds. Chapters are cut and new words are added. The book is coming along. I keep thinking of the words of a wise fish as inspiration: “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.”

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