Tag Archives: love bites

Love, and everything it entails.


Pirouette is officially done!!!!   I just finished the final edit 2 days ago.  It feels really strange to not be working on it.  I’ve worked on it for almost 5 months solid.  Now, I’m thinking, now what?  It’s out to my critiquers, so now I just have to wait to see what they say.

Currently, I believe it’s good, but not necessarily ready to submit.  Why?  Because there are things that I’m not sure about, bu I didn’t want to get into an endless loop of rewriting/editing, and some of it just might be me.  I can’t be objective any more.  After a total of 5 passes, I’m not even sure what end is up.  So that’s why I need critiquers. To show me where I may have faultered, to assure me about things that might be okay.  So, after I get the crits back, and if there are things that need to be addressed, I will do another edit/rewrte/whatever.  For now, I’m going to try to put it out of my mind.

But, I am glad that it’s finally done.  Never thought I’d get here.  One step closer.

Next project up is Survivor, which I promised myself I would try and finish.  Right now, I’m currently dead stuck on a plot point.  I’ve been thinking about it for the past two days, wanting to write again, but not feeling quite ready.  So my plan is to break out the Tarot and do a reading.  A bit unusual, but I think that’s what I need.  Something to wake my sleeping muse.  I think she thinks it’s vacation time or something.

I also have two plotbunnies nipping at my heels.  I promised myself one new project this year, so I have to choose between them.  One is a paranormal romance, Soulfire.  It’s going to be reworked.  What I got so far is really cool, and I’m dying to start writing.

The other one, I Wake Up Alone, is based on a poem I wrote a few years back.  A situation in my real life prompted this poem and an idea to combine and it turned into a really cool concept.  I’m thinking novella length.  I’m also trying to decide if it ends happily (which would make it paranormal romance) or a bit sadly (which would make it straight horror).  I blame TV tropes for this, because I discovered that there are about a zillion ways to end a book/novella.  Mercy me, as Alisia would say.

And finally, here are my final ending stats for Pirouette:

Type in attempts: 3
On manuscript page: 729
Scenes rewritten: 21
Scenes cut: 18
Scenes added: 7
Scene re-rewrites attempted: 3
Final wordcount: 141k
Sanity level: 99.9%

I’m happy, and I’m looking forward to the future.

Living poetry

For the past few days, I’ve been digging through my chapbook manuscript, Life as a Moving Target.  I wrote it 5 years ago (??!) after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia and intractable vertigo.  Originally, it was just to cope with the changes in my life, but it grew beyond that.  So I decided to try to write a chapbook.  I ended up with about 40 pages.

Over time, I tried to get it published, but no luck so far.  That’s why I’ve decided to renew my efforts.  I want to educate people about fibro and intractable vertigo.  I’ve been made fun of, judged, and treated unfairly because of my health.  Most of it is simply ignorance.  And that was understandable 6 years ago.  Now, with medication out and commercials and stuff, people should be more aware.  But I still encounter ignorance, and it stings.

I feel that the poems in the chapbook are some of my very best.  They’re also a bit different from my other work.  They are grittier, more in-your-face.  I tell it like it is.  I think that suits the subject matter, because fibro and vertigo aren’t exactly light subjects.

So I hope to find a publisher for it. 

I wrote two poems late last year for the chapbook, and I noticed a difference in the feel.  Like, I’d changed.  And it’s true — I’ve made peace with it, am happier than I’ve ever been, and I’m almost pain-free.  I’d made some changes in my life, all for the better, and it has really helped.  I did include them, because they are pretty good.  But it’s interesting to note the difference.

And I’ve found that I really can’t go back and find my voice from when I wrote the bulk of the manuscript.  It’s like I’ve changed so much that my voice changed, too.  And that’s okay.

I also noticed, when editing the manuscript, I used alot of the techniques I use with writing.  Parts needed to be rewritten, and I found it tough to get back into the poetry mode.  It’s been years, folks, years.  I remember when I was younger, all I did was write poetry.  Got alot published, too.  But as fiction took hold of me, I began to write poetry less and less.  I did write a good amount of poems around the time I broke up with my ex-spouse, again as a way to cope, but that’s the last “poetry binge” I’ve been on.  Kind of sad, really, how life changes and your goals change. 

I thought about trying to get back into it, and I think I will, gradually.  I don’t want to put pressure on myself — I’m already a perfectionist — but I’d like to give it a shot.  Like, devote a few hours a week to it or something.  I have another chapbook, Love Letters, that I never did finish.

So, viva la poetry.  It’s time.

In the home stretch. And a little bit of history.

I estimate another 4 scenes and Pirouette will be finished.  It’s exhilerating and a little scary to be this close to the end.

It will still need some work before I start doing the agent rounds, but that’s ok.  I’m just one step closer to it being ready.

I’m a bit stumped on a plot point, and that has derailed me today.  I’m pondering it, throwing out ideas to myself, seeing if something will stick. 

Pirouette  is now at 167k.  I’m hoping to finish it on or near 170k, but we’ll see.

10 months of hard work has come down to this.  It has survived a divorce, a move, 2 parental surgeries back-to-back, recurrent tendonitis and a transition to voice recognition.  It has haunted me and kept me motivated for three years.  It has kept me grounded, kept me guessing, and has given me more pleasure that I can even express.  I absolutely love this book, and the Pirouette world.  The characters have grown and deepened over time.  Alisia is always fun to write.  Alisia and Lucien together rock good.

This book started its life as a short story called “Salvation.”  It was to answer the question: what if your salvation was really your hell?  Alisia started out as Emily, a woman who gets into a near-fatal car crash and almost dies.  Lucien, a doctor, offers to save her –but only if she become a vampire — his vampire mate.

It made it to 12 pages, and then Nano rolled around, and I decided to expand it.  Emily became Alisia, and became a ballerina/necromancer.  Lucien lost his M.D. degree and ended up becoming a vampire Prince.  And countless other things were added and twined together.

And now, with the second draft almost in the bag, I can’t help marveling at its evolution. 

Next up is Survivor.  I’ll be taking a short break from P after finishing to recharge the batteries, and I can’t wait to dig into it.

On 70 days of sweat, I made my goal of 60k, and then some.  Not sure if I’ll officially finish P by the end (May 16), but if I don’t, I know I’ll be pretty darned close.  Thank you, Sven.


indexing and a resurrected novel.

For the past few days I’ve been focusing on indexing, and my practice index.  It is very challenging, but I am enjoying it for the most part.  It involves reading the material and narrowing it down to essentially topics and keywords, and possible words or concepts that a reader might search for.  There’s alot involved, but I am confident that I can get the hang of it.  Rome wasn’t built in a day.  I remember when I developed my first few rolls of b&w film….they were far from perfect.  Same thing with my pictures.  I didn’t become a good photographer overnight.  It took alot of work, blood, tears, frustration.  Especially when I’d spend 45 minutes in the loading room, banging my head against the wall trying to get film loaded, only to have it loaded wrong and be ruined.  Fun times.  Now, my rolls always come out fine.  Because I’ve had 10 years experience, I know the tricks.  I know it like I know my own mind.  My hands literally move as if they have their own minds from years and years of doing this every week.  So like that, I just need to get the hang of it and practice, practice, practice.   I have faith.

Onto writing.  Occasionally I’ll shelve a project due to various factors, then resurrect it.  Transparent Eyes was my 2nd attempt at a full-length novel.  It was psychological horror/paranormal romance, inspired by some real-life events (yet heavily fictionalized).  This was in 2001.  I made it to 8 chapters and stalled.  Plotted it; stalled more.  This is when I gave up plotting altogether (big mistake).  And this story languished on my hard drive, making the transition to a 2 new computers, 2 moves, a marriage, and a divorce.  I wasn’t sure I’d ever touch it again.  I’ve changed, become a better writer in the past 6 years.


The story called to me.  I want to change it to be paranormal suspense.  There is a mystery already in it, as well as some paranormal elements.  I have a few possibilities for directions, although I will probably fall back on the basis — a psychological thing, combined with ghosts and messages from beyond the grave, a murder, love, hate, passion.

Yeah.  So it’s getting interesting.  I originally called it Transparent Eyes based on something that happened to me, a person who’d waltzed into my life and changed it …actually for the better, but at the time, it really sucked.  I was devastated.  And I wrote alot of poetry.  And one poem had the phrase “transparent eyes” in it.  And that’s what I called the story.  But that element — the one that I wrote the poem about–probably will not stay, so I was off to find a new title.  I had a few ideas but nothing grabbed me.  So I went to bartleby.com to peruse poetry.  And found this gem “passing footsteps of ghosts.”  I got a chill down my spine from that one.  So, Footsteps of Ghosts was born.

Naturally, I can’t do anything with it, except some fleshing out, plotting, musing on it, because I have a serious time problem as it is.  It will go into the plotbunny pile to be pulled out when the time is right.  I’m thinking sometime next year, in between projects.

I think it has potential.  And paranormal suspense is very popular these days.  The basis is there; it just needs a little kick.

I just love writing.

Re-arrange me….let the world try.

This title *points up* describes my thought process at the moment.  Been doing alot of thinking about virtually everything.  The one thing I have never compromised on is on who I am.  In the core, I mean — not the usual dipshit stuff like annoying habits, etc.  — the Real Deal.  My soul.  I have never apologized for who and what I am.  My attitude since high school (after being repeatedly teased and traumatized by my classmates) has been if you don’t like me, too damn bad.  I am who I am, and that’s it.  In junior high I was too wrapped up in trying to fit in that it hadn’t quite touched down yet.  But, in high school, something clicked.  While it still hurt, alot, I started to not care.  I started to revel in the person that  I was becoming, instead of mourning the person that everyone teased.

It was a huge revelation at age 16.

And it is still with me to this day.  Even more so, because now I try to be different.  I purposely don’t follow the pack.  I am who I am.  If you don’t like me, then deal.

It also taught me a very important thing: the value of strength.  I come from a family of true warriors, so this isn’t all that surprising, but discovering it was.  When I was 15, I had major jaw surgery to correct severe TMJ.  The joints were literally worn away, and I was told, quite bluntly, that I’d lose all my teeth by the age of 20 (not to mention the pain of headaches and such that my dad goes through on almost a daily basis).  So I had the surgery.  Was wired shut for 2 months.  Had to be on a liquid diet.  Had to watch everyone around me enjoy food.  That part sucked.  But the pain wasn’t too bad….until they had to re-open my jaws (they were stuck in the same position for 2 mos.) and break adhesions.  Yes, I say break.  I came very close to breaking my mom’s fingers that day.  And folks, I have a high tolerance for pain.  But that–that was unreal.

At age 26, I got my first jaw infection, and had to have 4 pieces of hardware removed from my lower jaw on the left side.  More pain.  A wire had moved and was constantly poking me.  Every time I talked, ate, or just moved my mouth.  Scary stuff.  The second time was in 2004, over Christmas.  Upper left jaw, this time….a few more pieces.  Total: about half is gone.  I started with 28.

So I’m no stranger to pain, physical or otherwise.  As of yesterday, I’ve been divorced for a whole year.  I left my ex because he was unfaithful.  Actually, there’s more to it but suffice to say that it was the best possible thing for both of us.  It nearly killed me, and it was tough, and those sleepless nights sometimes still haunt me, but I made it to the other side.  I’m where I couldn’t picture myself being a year ago.  I couldn’t imagine ever being happy again.  But, life sure knows how to throw you curveballs because, wouldn’t you know it, I’m happier than I’ve ever been.  My health is better.  I feel emotionally strong again.  I’m not severely depressed.  I’m happy.  Imagine that.

But look what I had to go through to get there.  If I were to add up all the bad experiences of my 31 years, it would be a big number.  My life has never been easy.  I’ve always had to fight, to struggle, to make things happen.  I’m also driven to the point of obcession (OCD anyone?  I’m not, but I could be).  Why?  Well….I believe fervently (and this will sound really fucked up) that having fibromyalgia (an autoimmune disorder causing a myriad of symptoms including but not limited to dizziness, chronic fatique, severe pain, migraines, stomach problems…. etc) has caused me to work harder than most people.  I think that without it, I might have fallen prey to complacency, and would not be as accomplished as I am today.  It also made me take stock of my life, and focus on the things that count, toss away the garbage.  In that respect, it’s a true gift.  And I thank God every day for it.

So, we’re warriors.  My dad had his consultation with his surgeon today.  His surgery has been postponed because it’s not quite time yet (to preserve his privacy, I’m purposely omitting details, so it prolly sounds hokey, but it’s really okay) and in 4 months, his body will have had enough time to do what it has to to prepare.  It really is the best course of action.  He had to have a shot, and the doc suggested Monday.  My dad said, “Monday?  What about right now?”  The doc was floored.  That’s my dad.  Bring it on!  He wants this over.  He knows he’s in for alot of pain and discomfort and being laid up for awhile (which to him is not cool), but he’s doing everything he can to stay alive.  He’s making the choice to live.  To beat this thing and come out the other side, victorious.

I wrote a poem, many moons ago, about a failed engagement.  This poem became a song that my ex, my dad, and I used to perform.  It was sorta “our song.”  Anyways, it’s about fighting and being victorious.  It’s hard to sum up because it’s an experimental, very different kind of poem.  Here’s a snippet:

on the other end of the line

it was a mistake
but you pushed
so now you have it.

you’ve reached
I am victorious.

It was actually me talking to the woman who used to be my best friend.  I can remember when I wrote it.  I was working the afternoon shift at the office of the job I had then, typing away, mostly freewriting, when my muse handed this to me on a silver platter.  I don’t think I even edited it much. 

Ah, the memories.

So, anyways, just wanted to share that.  I know, with everything in me that Dad will be okay.  That he’s strong, stronger than most, that he has history on his side (my grandfather fought in WWII and lived to tell about it –he’s still alive; my grandmother fought cancer and fibromyalgia) and he has us.  We love him and want him here with us.  But more so than that, we want him happy.  I want him to be out in the garage, working on his cars, cruising Gratiot and Woodward and going to his car club on  Thursdays.  I want him to walk me down the aisle if I ever get married again.  I want him to hold my first book in his hands and cry with me when I get The Call.  I want him to grow to a ripe old age of 100, and live the fullest life he can possibly live, because I love him, and dammit, he deserves that.  He deserves to be able to live his life, to enjoy the little things, to spend time tinkering with his cars.  He’s not ready to go yet, you know.  I don’t think that day will come for long time, if I know my Dad. 

He taught me how to fight.  I think if I had to pick one thing that he taught me, that profoundly changed the course of my life, I’d have to say that it’s fighting for what you believe in.  And I don’t just mean picket lines and unfair labor practices.  I’m talking about everything.  I fought to have a full life despite fibro; I fight to write every single day; I fight depression.  Different people fight for different things.  But it’s that spark — that fire that won’t extinguish; that thing deep inside that refuses to give up.  My dad won’t give up —he won’t let cancer take him.  I know this.  Just as I will fight, possibly forever, to be the writer I want to be.  Note that I didn’t say published.  I do want that, don’t get me wrong, but ultimately, it’s the words.  That’s what’s most important.  I want to be published but failing that I just want to write.  And sometimes, it’s not as easy as hitting little buttons.  Sometimes it feels like I’m tearing some deep part of me loose.  Sometimes it’s facing off with my muse.  Either way, I won’t be happy without it someplace in my life.  It’s a fact.

But anyhoo, my point is that you gotta fight for what you believe in, for that thing that won’t leave you alone, because you need to.  You need to be the person you want to be.  And if the world doesn’t like it, well, fuck ’em.

Queensryche really said it best here.  Really, truly, deeply.


I wanted to share one of my favorite haiku.  Forward Motion has a haiku challenge every April.  This is the first year I’ve participated because, well, I’m not that good at haiku.  But I’ve found it to be a refreshing change to the usual stuff, and it actually keeps me (and the muse) on my toes.  Dare I say I might be getting better? 

You decide.

The following haiku is on the theme of “plants.”  Naturally, my dark mind goes in positively twisted directions, so naturally I went to a tragic subject (well, tragic for me, anyways).  It is based on a photograph that I actually took of myself after a major, devastating loss (love, not a death.  Well, not a physical one, anyways).  The photograph pretty much set me on my current path: self-portraiture.  By the time I graduated from college, I’d been known for my self-portraits and “haunting” work (this is what people told me, that my work was haunting).  I really want to get back into it.  But, anyhoo, here it is in all its glory (or not):

Black rose, loss of love
black, not red.
Stark photograph, black and white
death not life.
I am still.
No color breaches
the walls
of my heart.