Monday, August 14, 2017

How About Some Cheese With That Whine?

I would love to say that I am brave, resilient, tough, that I zoom back like one of those super bouncy balls. But I'm really just a big mush. I admit it - I whine. I wallow. I mope. I cry.

Now, I believe there's a time for this (hello, one millionth rejection!) I also believe in treating ourselves with gentleness and kindness and respect. Beating ourselves up doesn't do much good. 

However, there comes a point - for me, anyway - when even I can't stand the sound of my own whimpering, and that is when I turn to one of my all time favorite lines from The Big Bang Theory


How's that for some Monday Motivation? Too harsh or just what you needed to hear today? What do you tell yourself when you need some tough love?

Monday, August 7, 2017

We All Float Down Here

Way back, in 1987, I read this:

Today, the pages are yellowed, the print is probably too small for me to read, and it smells like old books and memories. It's one of my favorite King books.

In 1990, I watched this:

Not on DVD but on TV over the two nights it was broadcast. I'm pretty sure I didn't sleep either of those nights or many of the ones after. Tim Curry terrifies me to this day.

In about a month from now, a new version of IT returns. While I'm usually skeptical of remakes, the trailers for this not only look true enough to the core story, but they also make me want to pee my pants. Seriously. I'm not sure I'll be able to see this movie in the theater.

I've included the teaser trailer below because it's my favorite so far. If you have two minutes to spare, if you're in a well-lit place, and if you're not afraid of clowns or red balloons, I'd give it a look. (Okay, honestly, I just don't want to be the only one with nightmares . . . . )

Have you read IT? Seen the original miniseries? Plan on seeing the movie? If so, are you brave enough to go to the theater or will you wait for viewing from the safety of your couch? Do you have any favorite horror novels or movies? 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

IWSG: Sand Dollar or Stinky Fish?

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When I walk on the beach, I search for dolphins out at sea, smile at skittering sandpipers, prod at shells wedged into wet sand. I also peer into piles of sea stuff - seaweed, driftwood, shells - washed up on shore because you never know what you'll find. Sometimes a huge, whole sand dollar. Sometimes a stinky fish.

This WiP, this new novella, has become that fish. I dig through ideas, characters, dialogue, excitement and passion only to end up with something so smelly it makes my eyes water.

However, I don't think it's time to move on to another pile - or another project - just yet. I hope that if I just nudge aside some clingy kelp, if I sift through more broken shells, I'll find that sand dollar, find that story. It might be dirty and stained. It might even be inside that fish. But if it's there, I'll find it. I'll unearth it. I'll clean it up. And I will make it glow.

Monday, July 24, 2017

When Amphibians Attack: A What If? Scenario

Picture it: Sunday Night. Game of Thrones is over. The hard shelled members of the family are sleeping, the rest of us getting ready for bed. Suddenly, my husband calls out from the bathroom, his tone of voice not 911-emergency-urgent but tense enough to concern me. I hurry to him. Crawling up the wall is the biggest frog we. have. ever. seen.

What if . . . this frog is the beginning of some apocalyptic plague? What if it's a harbinger of doom? 

What if . . . a genie - instead of a prince or princess - was turned into a frog by someone disgruntled with the three-wish-making process? What if the next person who kisses the frog turns it back into a genie and gets a swamp-load of wishes?

What if . . . the tortoises invited their friend the frog over for a sleepover and forgot to tell us? 

Your turn! Is the frog a warning, a magically-cursed critter, or a playdate? Something else entirely? What would you do if you saw a big old frog crawling around your bathroom? (In case you're wondering, I ran away screaming - big surprise - while my husband scooped it into a cup then released it outside.)  

Monday, July 17, 2017

Library Luck, or Books Everywhere

Although right now the heat where I live makes my brain melt, it also does something amazing - it chases almost everyone else away. Mwahahaha! 

No, seriously. Come summertime all the snowbirds fly on back to wherever they live when it's not covered in snow. For full time residents here, this means all kinds of things, like less traffic on the roads and discounts to restaurants and . . . way less waiting for books at the library!

Yes, I am letting my geek girl flag fly because few things makes me happier than coming home with an armload of books from the library. New books that normally would've been plucked up by those pesky snowbirds are just sitting on the shelf as if waiting for me. Bestsellers and big to-do books I'd request then have to wait forever for, I now get the week they come out. (Who needs a vacation? This is my vacation. No sunscreen or bug spray required!)

I am fortunate that I can - and do! - buy lots of books. (The Barnes and Noble Cafe should name a drink after me.) But the library is a fantastic place to try out the work of new-to-you authors and explore different genres. As you can see from the tower on my nightstand:

This does not include the other stack of library books on a different bookshelf. Or the stack of books I recently bought. Or . . . Never mind.

How often do you go to your library? (I'm there once a week, pretty much.) How many books do you have right now sitting on your nightstand or on your Kindle? Does the population where you live change with the seasons or is it pretty much the same all year round?

Monday, July 10, 2017

Winter is Coming . . . .

Okay, not here in FL, where it is melt-your-face hot.

But it is on Game of Thrones and I. Cannot. Wait.

Even if it means this guy shows up -


In preparation for Season 7 - starting July 16th! - my husband and I have been re-watching GoT from the very first season, and I am still blown away by how amazing it is.

One of my favorite things about the show is how no character is safe. No one. Anyone from a butcher's boy to a king is fair game. You only have to watch the end of the very first episode to see that. It drives the suspense so far up I watch every episode on the edge of my seat - even though I already know what's coming!

This brings me to the characters. Characters I love to hate - Cersei! Joffrey! Ramsay! - and ones I love to love - Brienne! Samwell! Davos! I know what all of them are about to do. I know the horrible decisions they're about to make and yet I sit on the couch yelling at the TV, begging them to do something, anything, differently this time. (Sansa, you're killing me! And Theon, please don't go back to the Iron Islands!)

And the dialogue! The clever quips! The names! My husband and I walk around quoting lines from the show, and in our house I am known as Mother of Tortoises. (It doesn't have the same ring as Mother of Dragons, I know, but I make it work.)

Yes, I am an adult (supposedly) but stories of all kinds - GoT, movies, books, my own creepy ideas  - make me feel like a kid at Christmas. It's like opening a wonderfully wrapped, giant box full of dragons and detectives and old women who see ghost children. People I know in "real life" often don't understand that but you all do.

It is known.

Are you a Game of Thrones fan? Do you have a favorite character? Line? Scene? Episode? (Just be careful of spoilers, please!) And if GoT isn't your thing, what is? I can always use more stories in my life. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

IWSG: The Long and the Short of It

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This summer, I'm considering working on a longer project, most likely either a horror novella or a collection of linked scary stories. This in itself is a challenge for me since my work tends to be on the shorter side. But I want to push myself. I want to set another goal AND achieve it.

That being said, I have a second goal - to take this new project and either self-publish it or submit it to smaller, niche publishers. Even though I self-published my two flash fiction collections, it was only in ebook form and it was more years ago than I care to think about. The publishing and reading world has since changed.

This is where you all come in. The depth and breadth of publishing and reading experience in this group is amazing, so I would love to hear your thoughts: Novella or linked stories? Self-publish or traditional? Ebook only or ebook plus?

Your advice, recommendations, suggestions, thoughts are all appreciated!