Happy Wednesday, everyone! Or as we say in the United States, “Happy Hump Day!” Those of you who live outside the U.S. may not be familiar with the term; I’ll let you draw your own conclusions as to its meaning. Makes it more fun that way!
I’ve set aside the wine glass and opted for coffee this evening in an attempt to stay awake long enough to write this post. If I begin to doze off, do wake me. But please be gentle!
Last time we met, I shared with you Heather Costa’s blunt advice on how to get on with one’s writing. Many of you seemed to think the advice was good and enjoyed the post. Complaints? Well… I did hear from Buckingham Palace. Seems the Queen was not amused by my photo of her. I was roundly chastised for my Yankee impertinence. So much for my ambition to one day have tea with the Queen. Now I won’t even get an invitation to fight over doggy biscuits with the corgis. (Heather, why didn’t you tell me the Queen was so sensitive? And who knew she’d be reading my blog!)
Regarding Ms. Heather, I’ve spent much of this week making arrangements for her visit in August. There are plans for us to attend a ballgame at Oriole Park where I shall attempt to teach her the finer points of America’s Favorite Pastime. I’ve also booked a two-night stay in New York City where we girls will shop ’til we drop and sample all sorts of interesting libations while gazing out on Times Square. We also have tickets to see the show “Phantom of the Opera.”
I don’t have any worries that Heather will be ready for New York; I do wonder if New York will be ready for Heather. I can assure you that some humorous blog posts will likely come out of this visit – if our lawyers manage to keep us out of jail…
Last week I posted a photograph of my writing room with the caption “Where is Kate?” After thinking about that photo, I figured it was now time to show Kate. Seemed like a brilliant follow-up to me. So I asked Mr. Loveton if he would take a nice photo of me I could post on my blog.
Now, Mr. Loveton is a wonderful man. He’s sweet, charming and funny. (He also has good taste in women… ) What he’s not, however, is a good photographer. When photo after photo of yours truly emerged with my head cut off, I remembered why there were more photographs of Mr. Loveton than of Kate in our photo albums. It’s because Kate always takes the photos – by necessity.
It took a lot of courage for me to finally post a photograph of me sans sunglasses, big hat or hiding behind a computer. In February, I celebrated a significant birthday. A milestone birthday. The kind of birthday we don’t discuss in polite society! But with the help of a nifty little app on my iPhone, I was able to blur all the smile lines. This was a free app. I could have paid for a better app. A better app might have made me look like a young Elizabeth Taylor. But I’m cheap so I settled for a few less crow’s feet.
Moving right along, I want to share with you that the last week has been a very productive one for me. I came up with several ideas for new stories, completed three of them, and made a good start on two others. So, whether or not the Queen liked my post, Heather’s advice did get me moving.
I started journaling over at “750 Words.” I don’t know why I like journaling there more than in a word doc on my computer. Perhaps it is because they congratulate me for my stick-to-it-tiveness when I journal for more than just one day. They also give me cool little badges to chart my progress. After three days of journaling, they awarded me the turkey badge. (Um… I know some of you are dying to comment on that, but please try to control yourselves.)
Now, with eight days completed, I am considered a penguin.
I like Penguins. They know how to dress for formal occasions. People could learn a lot about fashion sense from observing penguins. Basic black with a touch of white – you can never go wrong with that combination. Ask Johnny Cash, the Man in Black. Um… well, maybe not since Johnny is no longer with us. But while he was, he understood that black is always a good look.
But back to journaling: I have found it helpful. One of the stories I wrote this past week got its genesis from a childhood memory. The finished story was significantly different, but the idea surfaced from the memory – and that came out of journaling.
Another story came to me when I was thumbing through a book titled “Now Write!” A nifty little idea grew out of one of the exercises that I attempted from the book. My story went far afield of what the exercise intended, but I was happy with the idea the exercise generated. It’s a rather freaky idea. I like freaky. If you read my blog fiction, you’ll see that 75% of it is freaky.
Last Thursday I was blowing my hair dry after showering (too much info? sorry!), and an old song started bedeviling me. I couldn’t get that damned song out of my head. It was on a continuous loop. But the more I thought about the song, a story started to emerge.
Sometimes you have to work hard to come up with a story; sometimes they just appear like a gift out of the blue. Have you ever experienced that?
Speaking of stories, this is the perfect opportunity to tell you that I’ve read a couple of good ones this week.
First, I finished Noelle Granger’s second book in the Rhe Brewster series, “Death in a Dacron Sail.” Noelle doesn’t disappoint with this newest Rhe Brewster mystery. I hope you’ll look for my review next week, and then I hope you’ll go to the links I’ll provide and order a copy.
I also read W.K. Tucker’s short story, “Saving Grace.” W.K. Tucker is one of my favorite bloggers. I like the short fiction pieces she publishes on her blog as well as her haunting and eerie poetry, which puts me in mind of Edgar Allen Poe.
“Saving Grace” is a short story about an old woman, her dog and a surprising encounter in a cornfield. It’s a sweet story with an interesting outcome.
I learned today that Ms. Tucker has a new book of short stories available on Amazon. The book is titled “A Raccoon Problem and Other Stories.” She describes the ten stories in the book as a mix of horror, science fiction and just plain strange. I’m intrigued. You can bet I’ll be getting a copy of this book soon.
Well, as Porky Pig used to say, “That’s all, Folks!” Thanks for joining me yet again for another Wednesday Whine.