Tag Archives: my muse is a sadist

Because she is.

Talking to myself: Ending Ever Touched

I’m a bit hung up on a plot point in Ever Touched, so I’m gonna do my usual “talk to myself” thing to see if I can shake something loose.

As always, POSSIBLE SPOILERS for the end of Ever Touched. I may or may not use what I discover here. You’ve been warned.

Okay, so let’s get down to business. I need a way for the Hunters to find the three others who are hidden before they are [redacted].

How, with their implants turned off? I had a thought that maybe they could still sense each other, somehow, but that feels too easy.

What about the old-fashioned way? Using their knowledge of Julian and maybe some clues to find them? But what clues? Tari’s in a shack in the middle of nowhere. I haven’t figured out where the others are.

I’ll try talking to Brianna….

So, how are you going to accomplish this?

I’m not entirely sure. I think there has to be a link between the locations — where each woman is. Maybe places of significance, even if it doesn’t appear to be that way.

What if you are able to sense them without the implant working?

That’d be cool, but I can’t depend on that. He’s going to make sure they are off. And any psychic sense? I just don’t know. It seems risky. We’ve got a time limit.

Tari could possibly develop a sense without the implant, you know. She’s got a computer brain.

I’m still not sure.

Could Julian somehow show his hand and not realize it?

He’s an arrogant SOB. I don’t put it past him to somehow hint at where they are, thinking we’re too stupid to catch on.

And your situation is unstable….

Time’s running out for me, too.

But the visions…they could show you where they are, right?

Vaguely. It would give us a starting point. It will still be tough.

I think you guys could do it. You’ve been in impossible situations before.

Possible, yes. And hopefully before I have my, uh, problem flair up and uh, [redacted].


Okay, so I blame it on the day I’ve had. Of course it was the visions! That’s how this whole thing started, and hello, we’ll come full circle. It’s brilliant!

So I will probably use that or some variation of it. Now I need to figure out where the other two are and how these visions play out.

Lots to think about. 🙂


#AprilLove2016 Day 9: Dear Inspiration

I decided to make this one public, too. 🙂

Well, being a creative individual, inspiration is so dang important. Because without it, we are nothing…or are we?

On to the letter.

Dear Inspiration,

I’ll be brutally honest here. You are an awesome, thrill ride of a thing, but you can be the most vexing. I mean, writers/painters/photographers/other creative types depend on you for everything, but you can be as flighty and elusive and sometimes just not present. I speak of you as my muse, but really? You’re my right brain, my subconscious. Writer Holly Lisle, one of my favorite writers, says that you keep all the secrets and cool stuff and only speak in images. Sometimes words. You’ve caught me off guard with some of them, the most recent one being “old but new, incorporeal people trapped in cybernetic bodies” that spawned the entire war thread of Ever Touched, which was awesome and intriguing, but a bit…ah…different. Yeah, let’s go with that. I hadn’t expected that.

But I’ve learned over the years to expect the unexpected. You can be pure evil, unhinged at times, and at others, you can throw out pieces of cool things like crumbs but remain tight-lipped about the rest until about a third of a way into a book than shout, “hey! This is who he REALLY is!” or, “hey you writer person! She’s not this, she’s really that!” Or my personal favorite, “hey moron, how could you not figure that out? Seriously?”

Photography inspiration you hand me is often bizarre but cool. I’m still working on making your images come alive. You seem to enjoy self-portraiture, which is just awesome, but it’s easier than it looks, you know. So many things…costuming, location, lighting, etc. I’m a perfectionist, and I want to capture what you give me just right. But I have to admit, they are some cool ideas there.

But when you leave me dangling by a thread, like with the end of Survivor [my book, not the show!]? I think I hate you. Because dragging the one piece of information from you is like pulling teeth. Banging my head against concrete. Poking my eye repeatedly. It’s not fun, and it’s frustrating, and frankly? It freaks me out. I need you to work with me on these things. Do what you do best! And you are brilliant! So show me!

But at the end of the day, I’m happy for you, vexing or not. I need you, and I think you need me, too, to bring your ideas to life.

Let us never be parted, huh? Let’s do this together. And make some beautiful, awesome, heart-rending, joyful art and novels and poems.

Because we have to.

#ROW80 Round 2 Goals

Round 2 of A Round of Words in 80 Days begins today! I think I’m a lifer. I have never accomplished so much than when I’ve been ROWing. Accountability is an important part of my process.

Round 1 went well. I was hit with fatigue issues toward the end, but I get almost everything done! So I’m hoping for another productive round!

Here are my goals:

~Finish rough draft of Ever Touched.
~If there’s time, start planning Fireborn revision.
~Continue logging outline for Survivor into Scrivener.
~Reinstate 8 minutes a day of a first draft again/make progress on Covenant
~Make prints of the film I developed yesterday (my test roll).
~Experiment with digital infrared
~Plot Elysium
~Clean office
~Continue #AprilLove2016 when possible
~Exercise 2x a week
~Drink 1 glass of water every day.

There’s a chance things may need to get shuffled around pending any editing jobs or small projects for TDP, so I’m going to try to be flexible. But these are the things I hope to accomplish this round.

#ROW80 Check-in #7

Lucky 7!

Okay, so here’s what I’ve accomplished since Sunday’s check-in:

~8 minutes of writing per day (Covenant)
~2,331 words on Ever Touched for the past 3 days
~Water water water
~Plans to work on my darkroom this weekend
~No physical activity — I need to get back on it ASAP
~Have been filling out my weekly/monthly/daily goals in my planner

I also started working out some more plot details for Ever Touched. It’s getting interesting. I just hope I can pull it off.

How are you doing with yours goals?

Talking to myself: Ending Fireborn

So, whenever I am stuck on something in a story I’m writing, I like to “talk to myself” which basically means typing out my thoughts freeform and hope an answer reveals itself. Typically, I don’t post these, but since it’s been awhile since I’ve done one (I think years), I thought I’d try it again.


So, when i first conceived the idea of Fireborn, I knew my MC, Leliel, a former Grim Reaper, was going to vanquish the antagonist, a ghost who compels young men to commit suicide via self-immolation. Dark subject matter there for sure. I also recently figured out (remember, I am not a plotter) that Leliel will be (almost) compelled to do the same thing. Whether or not the ghost tries to make Leliel’s husband Rick to do it as well remains to be seen.

I have it set up. Leliel and Rick are tied to chairs. One of their allies has turned on them. The ghost, Samantha, who’s wearing a recently dead body, begins to compel Leliel to write her suicide note (as she has done with all other victims). There will also be a Tarot card left at the scene. Which one, I have no clue.

Leliel is actively fighting it, and Rick is freaking out and …then what? Obviously, Leliel ha to fight it enough to get free in order to live (and not die by fire. Factoid: Leliel originally died in a fire.) and I wanted Rick to somehow get free and help her with that (which would be a nice tie-in to how he helps her in episode 1). I need a way for him to get free. I have the traitor to deal with, who’s a powerful witch. Rick has no supernatural powers except sensing the feelings of the dead. I also want to bring in the police and/or the TV news reporter guy. They were both working on the case and Leliel and Rick had been sharing information with them.

There is also the conspiracy to work out. This whole thing started when a group of guys killed Samantha by fire, and she’s just getting revenge. But the school (college) didn’t want anyone to know, because the kids were from money, and that’s just not socially acceptable. So it was buried, and no one would help Leliel and Rick figure this out. So I need to bring that all to light somehow.

Could someone on the inside come forward out of guilt? (Now, the traitor was one such person, so I’m not sure I want to do it a second time).A teacher? A mother? An intern at the news station who runs across confidential information and cannot keep quiet? Hmmm, I kind of like that, but it seems so random.

So back to the showdown. Police come in, guns blazing, and release Rick and Leliel. The witch tries something, and it either works or doesn’t. The distraction is enough for Leliel to fight the compulsion and she stops what she’s doing and is saved. Samantha is somehow put to rest, both her borrowed body and soul. Which Leliel must reap. Maybe. (In episode 1, she lost her powers). But those poor cops will be in for the shock of their lives when they see a decomposed body walking around and talking and…wow, that’s creepy and I kind of like it. 😉

How do the police find out? Someone calls them? Who? Rick’s hands are tied literally. Someone not there? Maybe the news guy. He’s been following them, thinking they’re off their rockers. That it cannot be true. So he calls the police once he 1) wets himself and 2)realizes what’s going on. That would effectively bring him back in. And the cops and so on.

I think Leliel having a distraction and then being able to fight it is a bit weak. So far in this series one of my themes is that love conquers all/love can save you. I think Rick needs to play a bigger role in her saving. Maybe a combination of both? Or have Samantha ignore everything and compel Leliel and then Rick gets untied and is able to get closer to her/talk to her/help her and THEN she’s able to fight it?

Good ideas so far I think. Something to work with, in any event.

#ROW80 Round 1 2016 Goals

I can’t believe how quickly 2015 passed by. Blink and you miss it, seriously! It is unbelievable. But here we are, the 3rd day of the new year, and a new round of ROW80 (A Round of Words in 80 Days). I’ve been participating in ROW80 for the past 2 years because it keeps me producing and accountable, two things I desperately need.

So, without further adieu, here are my goals:

~Finish revision of Pirouette for submission to publisher (currently on page 203 of 243, but don’t let that fool you. I have a few plot holes to fill.)
~Write synopsis (first time doing that!)
~Submit to publisher by 1/31
~Finish Fireborn first draft (Reaper Girl novella, 19k of 25k currently)
~Make progress on Covenant, secondary WIP
~Log in planner goals + to dos every day/every month (trying something new!)
~Physical activity: 15 mins 3x a week (anything that gets me moving counts!)
~After Pirouette revision is finished, 8 minutes of focused writing per day on a first draft of my choice (another new thing).
~Develop test roll of b&w film

So, I think that will keep me moving. Here’s to another great new year!


2015 Year-in-Review and 2016 Goals

Happy New Year!

I’ve been doing this for at least 5 years now, maybe more, because it helps to take stock of what I’ve accomplished (and what I haven’t) and it also helps me to set concrete goals for the new year. So, here we go!

This year’s goals:

~Publish Grave Touched, pending approval, in May (tentative) – DONE! Grave Touched was published May 1st, after a 2-year hiatus. It was my biggest accomplishment in 2015, hands down!
~Write Fireborn, Reaper Girl novella – MOSTLY DONE. I started Fireborn in January, but got tied up with GT’s release and lost momentum. Started it back up after, and ran into some problems, and had to rewrite a portion of it. It’s at 19k currently, with maybe 5-10k left to go. I am hoping to finish it and release it this year.
~Figure out a plot for Ever Touched – DONE
Start writing Ever Touched – DONE for NanowriMo, and it’s at 32k currently.
Poke at Survivor (my book, not the TV show) on Sundays – DONE. Poking has happened, as well as a revised outline. Have not started the rewrite, but plan to this year.
~Start rewrite of Flamebound – NOT DONE, but planned for this year.
Write 1 poem per week minimum – NOT DONE, but wrote 10 poems over the course of the year.
~Do something with darkroom – DONE. Began cleaning and replenishing chemicals.  Shot a test roll of b&w film that I will be developing soon. Also got my 35mm automatic camera working again so I can continue shooting more b&w. Also planning on shooting b&w infrared.

So, all in all, I didn’t do too badly. Other notable accomplishments:

~Started a new novel, Covenant, which is up to 13k currently
~Wrote and posted the second and third installments of my fantasy serial, Changeling, at Turtleduck Press
~Got Reaper Girl ready for publication
~Wrote around 100k for the year
~Made concrete plans for more novellas
~Began the revision of Pirouette for a publisher. Pirouette has been languishing for 4 years because I didn’t know what to do with it

Non-writing accomplishments:

~Diagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia + meds which is improving my quality of life greatly
~Obtained a digital-converted-DSLR and began experimenting with digital infrared
~Began reviving my darkroom and have plans to start working in it this year.
~Revived my editing business and have landed several jobs

So what are my goals for 2016?

~Release one novel
~Finish and release Fireborn
~Finish Pirouette revision and submit to publisher. If rejected, make a ruling as to what to do with it (trad or indie)
~Begin Flamebound rewrite
~Begin Survivor rewrite
~Make progress on Awaken Me
~Finish Ever Touched
~Get back into darkroom
~Try not to stress so much
~Experiment with plotting techniques
~Finish up Changeling serial
~Get back on diet/eat healthy/exercise
~My word for this year is NURTURE: nurture myself, nurture my creativity, nurture my dreams.

Annnd I believe that’s enough.  I have a good feeling about this year, and I hope to get lots done and take care of myself better. 🙂

What are your goals for this year?



#ROW80 Check-in 12/6/15

Annnnd I am back. The time between the last check-in and today seems to have been a whirlwind, but a good one, because I got some good work done.

I finished NanoWriMo with 32,169 words on Ever Touched, which is wonderful. Now I have a good start for when I pick it back up again (probably sometime next year). The story is just starting to take shape, and I’m excited about the possibilities.

On December 1st I began the revision for Pirouette. I brainstormed my little head off and figured out a better opening scene. I am still a bit wibbly on parts of it, but it will do for now. I need to get the new stuff (re)written before I do anything else, because that will take the longest. Alisia, my MC, is trying her best to be snarky, but I am working on making it less for this draft. I LOVED her snarkiness, but it was too much, according to the majority of my beta readers. But I won’t take it all out.

I’m up to page 16 and 8,214 words so far — some of it is words that existed prior, but the bulk of it is new or revised material. So, I’m finally on my way. The good news is that my plot was pretty solid, so not much of that is being changed. I do have one element I’d like to add in if I can. So most of the work is on the characters and their interactions.

I forgot how hard it is to write 3rd person formal speech. I keep slipping into first person (which is my preference) and/or contemporary speech/though patterns and I have to remind myself that it isn’t going to work with this book. I remember waaaaaaay back when I was writing the first draft (10 years ago!) I lamented writing 3rd person for the male lead because I did not, at that time, know how to write 3rd person well. Now I chuckle because I’m pretty good at it now, and I should be okay, but still..little things trip me up.

As for physical activity, I’ve kind of fallen off the wagon there. I will be starting it again this week. Too little time, so damn much to do!

So from now until the end of the round, my priorities are the Pirouette revision and physical activity.

On the chocolate front, not too bad? I finished off our pumpkin-pecan strusel pie which was so yummy, and I’ve been eating mostly WW snacks. We have custard-filled donuts for dessert tonight (topped with chocolate), yum!

How have you all been doing?

#ROW80 Check-in 11/11/15

Nano is in full swing, and I was typing away yesterday on Ever Touched when I came to a horrifying conclusion: it was just not working. No matter how I framed it, this story sucked. I know Nano is all about the wordcount and I believe in that to a degree, but the sick feeling in my stomach would not go away. Especially after last night’s work. I’d thought maybe it was pressure related (book 3 of a series), maybe it was because I was pantsing it and felt like I was floundering….but no matter what I told myself, the feeling continued to get worse. And I can’t continue on a project if I feel this way, Nano or not.

So I made a decision. I would start over. I’ll keep my words and wordcount intact (after all, I did write them!), but I’d start at the very beginning. I’ll do that for a few days. If things didn’t improve, I’d choose another novel and start that. It is still early in the month and I could probably get a good 15-20k in before the 30th.

So today I started it and…so far, it feels better. I feel like my character is acting and narrating in character (that was one problem) and I’ve changed her secret/problem a bit and I like it better now. I’ve also changed the way she and the male lead interact and again, much better.

Whether or not this is the answer to the problem I don’t know yet. But I have a long history of needing to restart stories. Fey Touched I started twice, and Grave Touched three times (not counting the rewrites! Counting them, probably five!). Sometimes you have to go where your heart goes, and I believe my muse was not quite on board. This is one case where brute force was the wrong thing to do.

Did I waste the first 11k? Hell no! I may reuse some of those scenes (with tweaks, of course!) and even if I didn’t, they started me on this path and needed to exist to bring me to this point. It’s all good.


Words written: 12,871
Words remaining: 17,129
Word wars: 9
Word wars with myself: 2
Chapters written: 0
What’s happening: An uncomfortable conversation (again!)
What’s next: Brianna needs to make a decision
Feeling: Better!

Chocolate: Not a lot! I had a chocolate-covered caramel from the hubby, and I ate a WW Sundae with chocolate syrup, yum!I lost a pound and a half!

#ROW80 Check-in 10/7/15

Today is the 9-year anniversary of he day I met my hubby. 🙂 Boy, how time flies!

Here’s my update:

I haven’t written anything, due to the freelance project I’m working on. Things are percolating, and the first sentence of Before the Stars Fall revealed itself to me. Thank you, muse! Like I need any more WIPs…

Physical activity: walked for 15 minutes yesterday and today. One more day to go!

I’m tentatively planning on shooting my test roll this weekend, if things aren’t too nuts. I missed the window for summer flowers (boo!) but since I have the automatic I should be good to go for indoors stuff. We have two animals, a cat and a dog, that always are good for pictures. (If the roll turns out and the pictures are really good, they can be made into Christmas presents).

That’s really about it.

Oh! Chocolate consumption! Everyone’s favorite part! How could I forget? I…haven’t had much chocolate in the past few days. I think I’m slipping! Must remedy that immediately! (she says as she eats a piece of chocolate….)