Never Wave the White Flag

Remember that dragon – old George?

Don’t worry, dragon lovers, he’s still alive and well.

But I’m not letting him win.

I’ve started a challenge for myself, and I encourage you to join. I found an article online (you know, you follow a link through a link through a link), it may have been through Writer’s Digest email distribution list.

I found a list of about 12 online journals. They don’t pay particularly, but they offer excellent opportunities to test the bounds of what and how I usually write, to stretch my imagination, and to start building up guts when it comes to sending things out.

Some have deadlines. Some have rolling submissions.

Those with deadlines are written in red on a special calendar; those without have also been written in in red in the spaces between.

And you all better be my witnesses and keep me on track.

Between school, and work, and my health: I am going to keep writing. I’m going to write new and different things, I’m going to meet those deadlines, and I’m going to submit new stories.

The work will happen. Stories, stories I would’ve never found, are going to slide through my fingers and come to life, and I’ll grow braver and wiser.

You? You have two jobs. the first, is that you keep me on track. Ask me, see what I’m working on, where I’m at – make sure Little Dragon George isn’t winning.

And two? You join too. Find a challenge. Embrace it. Force yourself, no matter how impossible it seems – there is no impossible. My favorite quote says, essentially, that we have no more and no less hours than the greatest people in the history of the world. We just have to use ours better than we do now.

Let’s do it, shall we? After all, as my Dove chocolate told me this morning: “Sleep late tomorrow”.

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Little Dragon

I’ve decided there’s a little dragon on my left shoulder.

And no, I have not become quite suddenly delusional.

This little dragon perches up there, relatively dormant – until something happens.

A sniffle.

Suddenly little dragon is a great, huge, ROARING dragon – “Oh, was that a sniffle? You better stay home from work today, that’s a good idea.”

A sigh.

“Oh wow, you must be awfully sad. You better watch episodes of Prison Break until your eyeballs fall out.”

A stall in the writing.

“Hm, that’s a huge hurdle, you’re never getting over that. You really better just take a 15 hour nap.”

I like my dragon. I might like my dragon too much to slay it.

My dragon says exactly what I want to hear, when I want to hear it. I call the dragon George, for absolutely no reason other than it sounded like an appropriate dragon name.

It’s true name, I’m quite sure, is laziness.

Do you have a dragon that roars fire at you and at the same time offers everything you want?

How do you slay your dragon?

Open Handed

Oh, you guys.

I’m such a little chicken hearted soul.

You wouldn’t know it, just at a glance, but I am very fearful – and about writing most of all.

Sometimes, I’m afraid I won’t have words.

Sometimes, I’m afraid the words that come won’t be enough for the vision in my mind.

Sometimes, I’m afraid the words will be too much.

And most of all, I’m afraid of the words themselves – because they are pieces of me, and to throw them out into the vast sea of human experience is at times like putting ME out to sea on a precarious raft.

And, given my last canoeing experience, that would be most unpleasant. My family doesn’t let me row anymore.

All that to say: I’ve entered the ABNA competition – you can learn more about it through Amazon. And no matter my fear, no matter the improbabilities, I have to say: sometimes it is utterly satisfying to even attempt the utterly ridiculous.

Below is my pitch – you can take a peek, if you like. I’ll let you in.

“Matchmaker, Matchmaker” :

He’s a matchmaker: he connects the clients with their perfect targets; found and acquired, cash on delivery. When an order comes in, this time from the man who is rumored to make or break those in the business, Erik Moran knows it’s his big chance – and he’s ready to risk everything.

Erik’s made it from the bottom of the heap, bit by bit; fought his own wars and battled his own demons. He may not be a good man, he’s never pretended to be, but there are lines he’ll never cross, not with his sister’s cries haunting him each night. But now, on the fast track to the top, he finds that power is far more unwieldy, and far more tempting, than he had once believed.

She’s a nurse: whether it’s dancing in her kitchen in her underwear or telling a child a story to distract from the needle in their arm, she lives to the fullest. But when the events of her own life are taken from her hands and placed in another’s, Caroline Seeley finds that freedom is an elusive ideal, perhaps now lost to her forever.

Her former life now nothing but memories, Caro finds that she is capable of a love more vast and a darkness more deep than she had ever dreamed. Though her hatred for the men who have ripped her life apart grows daily, her love for her new young charge, Corrigan Merity, captures her even more powerfully.

But what Erik doesn’t know is that Caroline Seeley has a secret. Watched at every turn, Caro finds that right and wrong are terrifyingly gray. And while she’s used to fighting for the life of her patients, this secret may lead to a death she cannot prevent – her own.

 

 

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And the Wonder of it All

Are you among us, those who

hope,

despite impracticalities?

Does the world ever simply

astound

you with it’s wonder?

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Does your heart

beat

faster?

Are you ever so very entirely

certain

that a world awaits you, just beyond your grasp?

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It is said that they who truly

seek

shall find,

And they that

wait,

shall not grow faint.

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Perhaps that which we are waiting for,

yearning,

to find, is something yet beyond our grasp?

A portal to something of awe,

breathless,

delight?

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May it be that if we anticipate,

plead,

and watch with expectant eyes?

If we never give up,

dream,

it will arrive?

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Can it be true that magic; the wonder,

delight,

is just a breath away?

This I believe: that perhaps,

perhaps,

we may stumble upon it some day.

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“We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.” – Willy Wonka

*Pictures found on Pinterest

And All Those New Sorts of Things

Did you think you were rid of me?

You are not!

It just takes some sorting, don’t you think? An altogether new year ought to have a moment or two to itself – to finish, to absorb, to note the passing and coming. Just as life can spring from death and death from life, so a year can come and go together and at once.

And now on, always on.

Did you set goals?

Please say yes. Otherwise I might believe I’m the only one sinking into this horrendous trap known as resolutions.

I made approximately 47. That way when I keep 3, I can feel a sense of pride and watch my chest swell accordingly. That’s so there’s room for my medal.

I’ll focus on the writing though, since that’s what we come together here to speak of –

My goal is to complete several IP projects, unless of course I get 92 pages in and realize I have a hunk of coal on my hands. But at present, they are as follows:

Matchmaker, Matchmaker: completed but needs editing. I like to think not much, but don’t we all. The story of a man whose trade is human, and who believes he’s found the one who will bring him to the top of his game – until he discovers she’s hiding secrets of her own.

Paper Moon on a Crystal Sea: Nano 2012 shoutout! Desperately needs editing. Truly. Part adventure, part fantasy – what would you do if you learned you had a gift that was far more of a burden..and not only did you not know how to use it, but it comes from somewhere beyond you, you cannot control it – but someone else can, and will, unless you stop them?

The Sea Between Eternity and Time: I am becoming crazily excited about this book, you guys! It’s the sequel to Paper Moon, my first sequel ever, and in a genre utterly new to me, and the further I understand what this book is going to be about and the story that will be told, the more excited I am. Think Prophecy, Hope, Anticipation…redemption.

Stories from the Spaces: a half written novel that is truly a collection of short stories compiled by a single thread story of a journalist who has an “oops” with a source and is exiled to the Midwest to gather some human interest stories. Excited to complete!

Dark Horses: What if vampires are not made, not born – but choose to be? And most importantly, if beauty is the most desirable thing, what happens to a human taken by mistake and swept into a game far beyond what she can comprehend? Four chapters in, many more to go!

 

Well I think that’s enough of that – I probably lost most of you at the mere concept of resolution anyways! But I’d love to hear from you: what’s simmering in your 2013 literary crockpot? And most importantly – do crockpots simmer? Another resolution is to avoid the setting off of my smoke alarm for at least three consecutive months.