Friday, January 31, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things-January 31, 2014

It's Friday!  Let's take a moment to Celebrate the Small Things with VikLit!

First of all, after officially signing on to do the April A to Z Challenge on two blogs, I volunteered to be a minion in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Ninja Army.  Look at my awesome badge! The color even matches my blog!

I've been plugging away at my writing.  I came up with a new scene for my WIP that I think adds a lot of depth to the story that was missing before, and I'm feeling really good about it.

A friend of mine had a baby boy named Leo on Tuesday.  He's got the cutest chubby cheeks, and he's perfectly healthy.  That's certainly something worth celebrating!

I also want to mention something that isn't happy, but deserves to be acknowledged.  Today would have been my mom's 50th birthday.  She died almost 3 years ago.  I can only imagine how she would have reacted to turning 50.  I remember she wasn't all that happy about 40. Still, as displeased as she may have been with hitting the big 5-0, I'd rather she'd made it there.

What would you like to celebrate this week?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

FSF: Frozen

It's time once again for Five Sentence Fiction!  The word for this week is FROZEN.  It's certainly an appropriate word for this time of year, at least where I come from.


Entranced by the bird sitting on the ice-covered pond, Malcolm inched forward, his camera clutched in his cold-reddened hands.  The only thing that mattered in that moment was capturing the perfect picture, and his focus prevented him from noticing a few crucial details, the most important of which was the sound of the ice cracking beneath his feet.

Suddenly, the ice gave way, plunging him into the frozen darkness.  His camera slipped from his grip, but that didn’t register as his brain fought to catch up with what was happening.  Needles of cold pierced his body, drawing the warmth from his skin as his heavy limbs struggled to propel him from his chilling nightmare.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Studying Vocabulary

I was inspired to write this short story while perusing lists of odd vocabulary words.  I'd tell you what the word is, but that might spoil the story.  You'll know the word when you see it. That's all I can tell you.  Enjoy!

Studying Vocabulary

Open textbooks littered the kitchen table, but that didn’t stop Savannah and her best friend Will from binging on snacks.  An open package of Oreos was perched on Will’s calculus book, and Savannah’s bag of potato chips sat beside her vocabulary worksheets.

She reached into the bag only to have her fingers scrape the bottom.  A thin film of oily residue coated her fingertips when she withdrew her hand.  “Darn it,” she mumbled.  “There’s only a tittynope left.”

Will spluttered, and Oreo crumbs flew from his mouth, coating his homework.  “What?  There’s a  . . . what?”

“A tittynope,” Savannah replied with a smile.  “It means ‘a small residual of something that is leftover.’”  She held up the vocabulary sheet from which she’d read the definition.  “I’m studying my vocabulary like I’m supposed to be.”

Will looked down, noticing the mess that he’d made of his work.  “I hate you.  There’s no way you weren’t trying to get a reaction out of me.”

She shrugged.  “It’s just one of the many reasons why I love vocabulary.”

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Express Yourself: Self-Improvement

The Express Yourself Weekly Meme is hosted by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

The question for this week is: Is there anything you'd like to change, or work on, about yourself this year?

I think we all have those things that we'd like to improve about ourselves.  My main issue is that I'm not confident enough.  When it comes to my writing, I second guess myself all the time, and sometimes it's almost crippling.  I try to put myself out there as much as I can, which is why I started this blog.  Even so, I think I could accomplish more if I didn't spend so much time feeling inadequate.  Yes, I have a lot to learn, but if I let myself give up before I try, I'll never learn what I need to know to be successful.

I need to tell myself that I can do it.  Every day I need to focus on my goals instead of the reasons why I might fail.  I know that focusing on failure instead of the possibilities will only doom me to failure.

I know where my insecurities come from, and I know that I want to do everything I can to overcome them.  Sure, we all have our moments of doubt, but we can't let them define us. This year, I want to do everything I can to stop my insecurities from defining me.

What would you like to work on in the coming year?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Musing About My Writing Goals

This week, I'm feeling pretty good as far as my writing is concerned.  My muse is sticking with me for the time being, and I'm pleased about that.  My current WIP Silent Soliloquy has been challenging for me, so while I haven't made the kind of rapid progress I would like, I still feel like I'm making steady progress.  If all goes well, I hope to have the rough draft done by Valentine's Day.  I'm going to do all I can to adhere to that goal.

I've also finished all of my A-Z posts for this blog, and now I plan to start the posts for my other blog sometime soon.  I have the topic for each post selected, so hopefully those will come together for me relatively easily.

The weather here is awful, and probably won't be much better tomorrow. Perfect weather for staying inside.  Hopefully that will keep me motivated.

What are your goals for the week?  Has your muse been kind to you lately?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things-January 24, 2014

Today is Friday, and that means it's time to Celebrate the Small Things with VikLit!

First of all, I'd like to give a couple of shout outs.  Today is the last day for the Love is in the Air Blogfest, so if you're curious about it or would like to jump in before time runs out, click HERE.  Also, if you'd like to check out my entry for this blogfest, you can find it HERE.

Next, the one and only Alex J. Cavanaugh is nearing an amazing milestone.  He has nearly 2,000 followers, so he's looking to celebrate with an awesome giveaway.  To learn more, click HERE.

As for my own life, I've had an extremely productive writing week.  I selected my theme for the April A-Z blogging challenge, and once I did that, I was so excited that I had to make a head start on it.  Now, as I write this, I have 22 out of 26 posts written.  I am almost never this ahead of the game, and it's a little stunning to me.  Of course, I'm trying to keep my posts short this year so people can have a quick little read and then move on to the next blog.  That might have something to do with why I've been able to get so much done.

Also, we did our taxes this week.  We're well ahead of time on that, but taxes are bets dealt with in a timely manner as far as we're concerned.  Putting them off only seems to invite trouble.

What would you like to celebrate?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

My Writing Notebook Has Been Claimed

As a mother of two boys, I don't have as much time for writing as I once did.  I find that carrying around a writing notebook helps in that I can jot down notes wherever I happen to be.  That way, even when I don't have the time or ability to really work on a story, I'll at least be able to jot down ideas before they escape my head entirely.

This is my current writing notebook.  One side is London, the other is New York.

So far, I've really enjoyed this notebook.  The paper is good quality, and it smells good.  Hey, anyone who doesn't know how to appreciate the scent of paper is missing out as far as I'm concerned.

Here are some notes I've taken to prove that this is indeed supposed to be a writing notebook.

Why would I need to prove such a thing to you?

See the following pictures for the answer to that question.

My children want my writing notebook to be a drawing notebook.  

While I was working on some notes, my kids asked me to draw them something. Yes, these drawings are mine. Though I'm not the best artist in the world, I could have drawn better than this.  I simply had hopes that if I sketched these quickly, they would be satisfied and go back to their coloring.

No such luck.  I really should have known better.

This is inevitable, I guess.  I'm always a mother, as I am also always a writer.  The two identities are bound to clash occasionally.  Oh well.  I suppose a few doodles on the pages never hurt anyone.

FSF: Sparks

It's time once again for Five Sentence Fiction!  The prompt for this week is SPARKS.


It began all in a coffee shop with a stolen glance, a cautious smile, and a cleverly concocted excuse to walk over and say hello. 

Melanie felt the chemistry between them, like sparks under her skin.  Before that first meeting was over, they’d exchanged phone numbers, promising to see each other soon.

All of it was unexpected, but Melanie was open to experiencing all that life had to offer.  So she accepted the fact that she was falling for Bridgette, who was nearly ten years her senior, and cherished the experience as those initial sparks kindled a long-burning flame.

Photo courtesy of pakorn/

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


I decided recently to try writing drabbles.  It seemed like an interesting challenge.  After all, how does one tell a story with exactly 100 words?  You certainly have to choose your words with care.

I used a random word generator to provide the inspiration for this piece.  The word I got was EXECUTION, and what follows is the story born from that inspiration.  Enjoy!


“Any final words?”  The booming voice echoes through the courtyard, and the murmur of the crowd subsides.

I stand tall and proud.  I can only hope that my voice remains steady as well.  “I am not a traitor.  You are.  Every one of you who refuses to stand against the occupation of our nation is betraying what we once held most dear.  If it takes my death to show you that, then it’s a price well paid.”

There’s a moment of absolute silence.


Though blindfolded, I picture the barrel of the gun that will swiftly bring about my end.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Express Yourself: Chores

The Express Yourself Weekly Meme is hosted by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

The question for this week is: Name a chore you dislike and one you love to do.

Can I really only choose one chore I dislike?  So many of them depend on the day.  Some days I dread dealing with the laundry, and others it doesn't seem so bad.  Some days the thought of doing the dishes seems about as appealing as having a tooth pulled.  You know how it goes.  Whenever you're dealing with a chore that needs to be done daily, you're bound to have good days and bad days.  Still, one chore that I always dread is cleaning the bathroom.  I hate scrubbing toilets.  It's just a thoroughly unpleasant experience for me.

One chore I enjoy is cooking.  Some people may not count this as a chore, but since it needs to be done daily, I'm totally counting it.  And I typically enjoy it.  I dread the aftermath of dirty dishes, but preparing a good meal gives me a sense of accomplishment.  It also means I can eat, which is definitely a bonus!

Which chores do you like?  Which ones do you dislike?

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Love is in the Air Blogfest

When I saw this blogfest, I knew I had to join in on the fun!  The Love is in the Air blogfest is made possible by the lovely ladies at Unicorn Bell.

What is this blogfest?  How does one participate?  Well, I'm glad you asked!  Okay, okay.  I was presumptuous and asked on your behalf.  Please be nice and play along! :)

It's a celebration of that little thing called love. Be it steamy or sweet, puppy, kitty, teen, aggravating, first kiss or final goodbye, let your scene tug at our heartstrings.

Share your lovey dovey moment on January 20th and then visit and comment on the other blogs on the list.

Simple, right?  Here's my scene.  It comes from my WIP that I've tentatively titled Silent Soliloquy.  At this point in the story, we don't have passion, but I hope I've conveyed the beginning of something in the midst of a bizarre and difficult situation.


*               *               *

“Hey, Tips,” David says softly as he slides into place on the bench beside me.  His shoulder bumps mine, and I savor that innocent moment of contact.  I try to imagine that, in this moment, I am merely a girl who’s meeting with a boy.  No hidden agendas attached.
The fantasy is quickly ruined when he leans in to kiss me.
I can’t help but note the flavor of the lip balm that’s been liberally applied.  Cherry.  An extremely artificial, almost medicinal, cherry flavor.  I know that mine isn’t any better.  The grape flavor is just as medicinal, just as artificial.  A constant reminder of the utility of the kiss that I’m expected to perform.
Though, I must admit, if I ignore the odd taste, the other aspects of the kiss are kind of nice.  His lips are soft, and his body radiates a surprising amount of warmth considering his size.  I’m glad when my hands move to rest on his shoulders, increasing the amount of physical contact between us.  It feels grounding, so even though I can’t fully ignore the reason why I’m kissing him, I can momentarily push the knowledge from the forefront of my thoughts.
To anyone who might see us, we look like two lovers stealing a private moment after curfew.  Such activity carries penalties, but being arrested for having a public romantic encounter after hours would be much better than being busted for what’s really going on.
When he pulls back, my lips turn up in a smile.  “Hey, David.”
He smiles back, and I can’t help but notice the way the expression translates to his eyes.  It’s such a rare thing that I’m taken aback by it, though I know my face remains entirely unaffected.
Part of me grows cold as I recall that I’m working to put that light out.

*               *               *
That's it from me!  Now go visit the others participating in this blogfest!  Click HERE to find the linky.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Musing About A-Z and Other Things

Now that we're in a new year, there's been a lot of talk about the next April A-Z Challenge. That's certainly understandable.  It's an exciting event, and it tends to bring a lot of the blogging community together.  Even those who don't post can partake in the joy of reading what their fellow bloggers have to share.

I have decided that I will participate again this year.  On both my blogs.  I pulled it off last year, and I have no doubt I can do it again.  I just need to remain motivated.  I have my themes selected, and I've written a few posts so far.  My goal is to try to keep them short and interesting.  Hopefully.  I'll reveal more about my plans as we get closer to April 1st.

I've also started writing some 55 Fiction.  It's extremely difficult to tell a complete story in exactly 55 words, but it's been a fun and valuable exercise. I've learned to use my words wisely.

And of course, I'm still working on my longer stories.  My mind is a veritable storm of ideas right now, and I'm trying to harness them the best I can.  Wish me luck!

What are your writing aspirations for the week?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things-January 17, 2014

Yay!  It's Friday!  That means it's time to Celebrate the Small Things with VikLit.

I have a number of small victories to celebrate this week.  First of all, I finally located a notebook that I misplaced about a month ago.  It's a good thing too, because it has a bunch of handwritten notes for which there are no backups.

I also managed to fix one of my favorite necklaces.  The chain on it is very thin and delicate, and it had become badly knotted.  It took about an hour of patient fiddling, but I succeeded in untangling it.  That means I can wear it again! Jewelry, while beautiful, can be frustrating at times.  That being said, I'll never complain about receiving it as a gift.

I'm also going to celebrate the fact that I saw the following video.  I watched it when I was feeling particularly frustrated, and it gave me a much needed laugh!

What would you like to celebrate?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

FSF: Hold On

It's time once again for Five Sentence Fiction!  The word for this week is CLUTCH.  The photo below was also offered up for inspiration.

Hold On

I remember clutching on to your leg, convinced that the world would end if I dared to let go.  The darkness around us was suddenly assaulted by the sound of shattering glass, and the brutal winds wailed as they tore through our hiding place.

Fear washed through me as I thought about Mom and Dad, who weren’t home, and more than anything, I wanted them there to keep me safe.

Yet I needn’t have worried so much, because you, my big brother, ran a soothing hand through my hair and shielded me from the debris.  Though you too were concerned for the safety of our parents, you focused on me, and allowed me to hold on to you for dear life, kindly ignoring the scratch marks my five-year-old nails left in your skin.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Express Yourself: 2014 Movie Releases

The Express Yourself Weekly Meme is hosted by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

The question this week is: What movie(s) are you watching in theaters in 2014?

As a mother of two highly energetic young children, I don't get to the theater all that often.  I can't honestly say for certain which movies I'll get to see in the theaters (if any), but I can list a few of the movies I would like to be able to see if the opportunity arises.

The Maze Runner
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

I may also learn of more movies as the year progresses, so this list might grow. Time will tell.

What movies would you like to see in the theater this year?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things-January 10, 2014

It's Friday, so let's Celebrate the Small Things with VikLit!

My second blogoversary was awesome!  Thanks to those of you who posted for my Endings Blogfest, and for those who stopped by to comment on the posts. Those who participated had some wonderful things to share, from poetry to quotes to favorite film and book endings. Seriously, you're all amazing!

I'm having another good week of writing, so I'm happy about that.

The weather here is slightly better.  We're not dealing with subzero high temperatures right now, so that's definitely an improvement.

My son Jude has the day off school today for a teacher inservice, so we'll probably spend half of the afternoon being silly.  His little brother Lyle will certainly appreciate it.

What would you like to celebrate?

FSF: Moonbeams

It's time for Five Sentence Fiction!  The word for this week is MOON.


The snow shimmered, reflected moonbeams radiating back toward the night sky, easily escaping the gravitational pull of the earth.

“I wonder where that light is going?” Owen murmured to himself as he gazed up at the night sky.

The chill of the snow was sinking through his clothes, and he had no doubt that his skin had taken on a distinctly bluish hue by that point, but there was nothing to be done about it.  Using his remaining strength, he turned his head slightly, and upon seeing how much of the snow surrounding him was darkened with blood that looked almost black, he knew without a doubt that a chill would have overtaken his body either way.

Owen, as he looked back up at the moon, silently acknowledged that perhaps this was not a good night to go for a stroll after all, and waited for the last of his life to slip free of the gravitational bonds of the world he knew and ride out with the scattered beams of light.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Endings Blogfest

Wow!  I've been blogging for two years!  When I first sat down to create this blog, I had no clue what I was doing.  I just jumped in and started, hoping I'd figure it out as I went along. And so far I've managed to make some fabulous friends, so no matter what else I may or may not have accomplished in that time, that fact counts for a lot.

To celebrate this blogging anniversary, I decided to host the Endings Blogfest. For those of you who don't know the details about this little blogfest of mine, here they are!

Sign up!

Display the badge on your blog!

Sometime during the day of January 9th, post about some kind of ending.  [Note: If you want to participate but can't post on that day, just let me know what day you plan to post in the comments.  I'm pretty flexible!]  Please include the badge in your post as well.

What kind of endings can you post about?  Any kind you can think of!  For example:
-You can talk about the ending of a book, movie, or TV series that impacted you in a significant way (whether good or bad).  
-If you're a writer, you can talk about how you deal with endings in your stories.  Do you know how a story will end when you sit down to write it?  What kind of endings do you prefer (happy, sad, open-ended, etc.)?
-If you'd prefer to deal with real life, you can talk about a graduation, the ending of a relationship, or anything else that you feel deals with a significant ending of some kind.
-Or, if you'd prefer, you could write some flash fiction or poetry about endings.

You can also include the linky list in your post with the following code: <script type="text/javascript" src="" ></script>

For those of you who still want to join, I will leave the linky list open until midnight CST.  I don't want anyone to get left out.

Simple, right?

I had trouble deciding what kind of ending I wanted to talk about for my post.  In the end, I decided to visit the realm of fiction.  As a writer, I spend much of my time in the fictional realm, so it seems appropriate.

With T.V. and book series, it can be particularly difficult to let go when they come to an end. You have plenty of time to get invested.  And even though it's better for something to come to an end at the appropriate time rather than have it drag on until it falls apart, it can still be sad to say good-bye.  Here are three endings that have had a significant effect on my emotional well-being.

1.  Babylon 5
     This is one of my absolute favorite shows, and it always will be.  Call me a geek if you like. I'm not afraid to admit to my geekiness.  I loved the characters in this show, and the story pulled me in.  We got 5 seasons before the time came to say farewell.  I won't lie.  The scene where they destroy B5 at the end makes me sob like a baby.  It's the music, I swear.  It gets me every time.  I also love that J. Michael Straczynski, the creator and writer of the series, is the guy who turns out the lights before the station gets blown to smithereens.  He insisted he had to be the one to do it, and I think it seems quite appropriate.

2. Harry Potter
     This applies to both the books and the movies.  The release of the final book and film were both important endings for me.  I must say that the series ending was quite satisfying for me, and while there was a part of me that has missed looking forward to the next book or film to be released, I feel like it ended at the right time and in the perfect way.  J.K. Rowling sure knew what she was doing when she plotted the story out.  She told a complete and thrilling tale in a world so rich that you could fill whole libraries with the stories that could be told in it.

3.  Firefly
     This is an example of something awesome ending too soon.  The series was canceled far too early, and seeing the loyal fan base that it's acquired over the years, I have no doubt it could have had a much longer run if it had been given the proper chance.  Oh well.  We can't go back and change that fact.  And at least we got Serenity, which is an amazing movie in my opinion.  I simply lament the loss of the stories we never got to experience.  There could have been so much more, but I'm still grateful for what we got.

Are there any endings you'd like to share?  You can leave a comment or sign up to join in with the linky below!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group: January 2014

It's time for the first Insecure Writer's Support Group of 2014!  Our Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh started this mighty group, and I predict it will continue to grow and inspire many writers in the coming year.  The co-hosting minions for this month are Bob Milne, River Fairchild, Julie Dao, and Sarah Foster.

Be sure to check out the IWSG website and Facebook group for additional writerly support!

Also, my Endings Blogfest is tomorrow!  Check it out and sign up if you're interested!

I'd like to first of all thank all of my blogging friends who've offered me words of encouragement over the past year.  No matter what happens to discourage me, I'll always know that you're there to motivate me when I need it.

The beginning of a new year brings a new sense of motivation and hope for me when it comes to my writing.  Everything feels possible.  I have a lot of hopes for 2014.  There's a nagging insecurity in the back of my mind that I might soon lose momentum, though.  After all, how many people fail to keep up with their New Year's resolutions?  A lot.  (Funny side note-I heard a friend say their resolution is to stop making resolutions.  Unfortunately, the fact that they made the resolution means they automatically failed.  Oh well.)

The best I can do to beat that insecurity is to keep writing.  I won't put so much pressure on myself that I crack.  I just need to find a good way to motivate myself.  There are times, after all, when the words flow easily, and others when my muse goes on hiatus.  If any of my wise writing friends out there have any good suggestions for how to motivate myself to write during those more difficult writing patches, please share them!  We all need a little help from time to time.

What are your hopes and/or goals for 2014?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Express Yourself: Books to Read in 2014

The Express Yourself Weekly Meme is made possible by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

The question for this week is: What books are you looking forward to reading in 2014?

You mean I have to choose?  That is certainly no easy task, but I suppose I must, because we can't possibly hope to read every worthwhile book out there.  We simply don't have the time.

First of all, I intend to try to read the books I didn't get around to in 2013. Hopefully I can fit at least a few of them in.

Now, here are a few of the other books I'd like to read in the coming year.

The Sowing by Steven Dos Santos
City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
The Poisoner's Handbook by Deborah Blum
Dragon's Egg by Robert L. Forward

I reserve the right to add more books to this list at any time, of course.  You never know what wonders you'll find when you visit the bookstore, after all.

What books would you like to read in 2014?

Monday, January 6, 2014

Musing About the Cold Weather

I have one important complaint to make.  It's COLD outside!  Granted, about half of the country is suffering right now, so plenty of you are having to suffer along with me.  The high today was in the negative single digits.  The last time I checked the actual temperature before I went to bed last night, it was -14.  The wind chill was hovering around -40.  I've been through the kind of weather before, but it's more than a little unpleasant.  It's the kind of weather that makes me consider moving to a warmer climate.

Either way, my muse and I are safely huddled away inside the house.  She's even more sensitive about the cold than I am.  Luckily, sitting in a warm house with a thick blanket and a hot cup of cocoa is good for the creative juices.  I'm hoping the weather improves soon, but in the meantime, I plan to make the most of my forced hibernation inside my house.

My kids, of course, are being extra loud to make up for the fact that they can't go outside, but what else can you expect?  They can also be a tremendous source of inspiration.  I've come up with an astonishing number of ideas just because I was trying to figure out what they're thinking when they do something strange.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things-January 3, 2014

It's Friday, so let's Celebrate the Small Things with VikLit!

First of all, Happy 2014 everyone!  It's a fresh year full of possibilities.

I'll do my best to follow those orders.  They're coming from Captain Picard, after all.

My family spent New Years Eve with my dad, and we ate way too much food!  We received a few more generous Christmas gifts from extended family as well, and that helped to brighten our week!

My husband just started back to work yesterday.  He had a week and a half off work, and while having him around all the time threw off my writing schedule, it was definitely nice to have him around so much!

I'm also excited because my 2nd blogging anniversary is next week.  I'm celebrating that with the Endings Blogfest!  It's Thursday, January 9th.  If you'd like to learn more or join in, click HERE.  The more the merrier!

What would you like to celebrate?