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Category: A Writer’s Life

This Pleasure of Music

This Pleasure of Music

This Pleasure of Music

I go to the well and drink
My soul quenched, my spirit at peace
As each note fills my senses,
I sit here absorbed in its beauty,
Oneness envelops me,
There is no negativity, I know only joy,
I wonder, why do I hesitate to enter this realm?
This garden, this forest, this world of light and serenity,
Silent I sit in wonderment as the music caresses me,
Relaxes the tension that once tighten me,
I am one, happy, as the melodious waves consume me
Filling my deepest inner recesses,
This world, this pleasure of music.

Strength

Strength

Strength

I search the embers for the home I knew,
For the life I once had,

There deep in the rumble lies my silver-plated music box,
A gift cherished, now destroyed,
Over there, yes, near that fallen cross beam
Is the meat tray from my mother’s china,
Even in the wet ashes the roses are still fresh,
Too bad the platter is broken,

That’s the story of my life, I am alive
But my memories are gone,
Burned away in the still of a cold, dark night,

“Oh, what’s the use,” I say to myself, if only
I had been consumed in the fire with that antique sofa,
My favorite place to lay reading a cherished book,
Now gone, all gone… And I must start over?
I’m 83 years old, how am I supposed to start over?

Across the wreckage the sun is rising in the east
Just it always has,
That old dependable sun giving me another morning,
A new day,

As its first golden rays creep across the dark ash
They catch a reflection, a burst of brightness,
There in the depth of black soot I dig,

It’s a picture, an old photo of a man’s smiling face,
The man I once called my own, he had always
Stood by me, holding me, supporting me,

And with that frame held to my breast, I knew,
Together, I had the strength to go one.

A Leap of Faith

A Leap of Faith

A Leap of Faith

I am standing on the edge, a precipice,
My world spread out before me, a vast, open canyon,
Do I take a step, perhaps a leap, of faith?

Or do I step back, away from the edge
And move to safer, more familiar ground?
It is easy to take the path more traveled
And return to a life planned for me,

But I have never been one to follow the herd,
No, I’ve always favored the road less traveled,
Moving on my own, the destination unknown,
Unmapped by those few who’ve gone before me,

But this world, this vast unknown frightens me,

I remind myself, fear is a known enemy,
For years I have faced it, head on, refusing to back down,
Not  bowing to its intimidation,

So why should I give in now? Age?
I am getting older, is this journey a path
For the young, their lives uncharted before them?

My God girl, you’re only fifty, why are so afraid?
Do you want to sit in a cubicle, working hard
For someone else, putting their lives, their wants
Ahead of your dreams, your goals, your desires?

Or do you take the risk and face your fear?

Your life is ahead of you, not behind you,
To deny yourself your future, is taking a step
Backwards, and that’s not you,

You are brave, courageous and strong,
Take a step, live, dare to dream, be you,
You were not meant to be boxed in,

Don’t put yourself in chains tied
To another’s dreams, force feeding their egos,
While you are sucked dry, slowly dying inside,
Your feet stuck on their path, not your own,

Remember fear is an enemy to be defeated,
Leap, child, leap, keep your eyes forward,
For yours is the world ahead not behind.

For Ammie ~ Forevermore

For Ammie ~ Forevermore

Forevermore

My world shattered when I was nine

You left me one last time,

I stood on the sofa and watched the lights

Swirl bright and red and I knew you were gone,

I cried and cried, I yelled and yelled,

You were my rock and then you were gone,

We went to the viewing, my family and I

So many people, all strangers,

And then there it was, a large metal box,

Inside was a body, all pasty and pale

Dressed in your finest dress, a flowered blue,

The eyes were closed with a look of peace

And I told everyone it wasn’t you,

If it had been you, you’d hold out your arms to me

Encircling me in your love’s security

When my parent’s fought, your bed was my haven

You were my shield, my advocate and then, you were gone,

Days later as I wept, missing you, you came to me

You held me once more in peace and serenity

You wiped my tears and gave me joy

Just like before and I knew you would be with me

Forevermore.

Your Legacy

Your Legacy

Your Legacy

For years, I watched you, learned from you,

You were my father, my role model,

For good or bad, right or wrong, indifferent,

Emotionally, you were luke-warm,

Physically, strong, determined, stoic,

Burying your pain, your sorrow and even loss

Deeper and deeper, inside you,

Do I mourn for you now?

In truth, I never knew you,

But I do mourn, not for you but, rather

What could have been, the relationship

We never had, the open, honest and even loving

Father-Daughter bond we could have shared,

Even today, when I think of you, I feel nothing

Perhaps that was what you intended, all along.

Fantastic News!

Fantastic News!

Hello my Friends,

Just a quick note to let you know I’m off to a fantastic start writing-wise in 2018. I just released my novel, My Father’s Magic, in print form. It’s currently available for purchase on Amazon.

Also today thru Sunday, my short stories, “Fresh Meat” and “A Home for Rose.” are both free on Amazon. In addition, the price on the eBook version of My Father’s Magic has been reduced. Or, you can get it for free when you buy the print version!

I’ve done all this in preparation for my upcoming new books! Later this year, I plan to release book two of the Esme Bohlin Suspense Series, Revenge of the Dark Queen. And, in 2019, I plan to release Dark Desert Tales: The Collection. Featuring three brand new Dark Desert Tales and alternate endings for A Home for Rose and Fresh Meat.

Needless to say that after a problematic year in 2017, I’m so glad to be busy doing what I love, writing. Thanks for reading and I hope your 2018 is phenomenal!

 

 

 

How NOT to Write a Horror Story –

How NOT to Write a Horror Story –

What I’ve Learned So Far –

For more than seven years I’ve been working on this one horror story, off and on. It’s a story that shows great promise. Truly remarkable and unforgettable characters, one of which scares me witless, but for the life of me, I cannot get this story right.

This morning, I decided that there are a few things I’ve learned from trying to write this story, especially after publishing three others during the time I’ve been working on this one:

  1. Every story is different –

    What works for one story, does not necessarily work for another and as a writer, I must be honest enough with myself to recognize that.

  2. As a writer, I must face my fears –

    Especially while writing horror and, in this case, my fear is my antagonist. While interviewing him before writing this story, he truly unnerved me and unfortunately, I believe at some point, I chickened out.

  3. Don’t listen to other people’s well meaning advice –

    Wait, before you go off the deep end, allow me to clarify. Yes, some writing advice is good and noteworthy. But in the case of your story, no one knows your story better than you do, even if it’s still inside your head and in this particular case, part of it was research.

    In the original story, the focus was on Native Americans, Apaches to be exact, and during a research trip I interviewed a so-called Apache expert on the reservation near Flagstaff. The result of this bound me up creatively so bad that I scrapped the story.

    The other problem I had was taking the story to two different writers’ groups over the years, both of which were helpful in one fashion, but totally confusing in another. So, I put the story on the back burner to “cook” some more.

    In the meantime, I tried changing the layout of the story, adding a prologue, taking away the prologue, because prologues are “bad” right? I’m laughing now, but not then. Then to make the story fit I added two more scenes completely changing the dynamics to fit the new story. Sheesh! Crazy stuff…

  4. When all else fails, rewrite –

    Which is what I am now preparing to do. The first seventeen pages are great and then I get off track. So, that’s where I hope to pick up this afternoon. Sound be interesting as I’m working on the Esme Bohlin series this morning.

  5. Relax. Meditate. But, whatever you do, stay true –

    To your characters and your story. Maybe that’s how Stephen King does it?

    I don’t know. Yeah, I’ve read On Writing, maybe I need to reread it.

    Bottom line, in the process of writing the first version of my story, I knew I’d lost my antagonist somewhere along the way, but had no idea where. Then, to make matters worse, I made him into a love-obsessed “clown.” Maybe he really is a clown…

    Nah, he’s a seven-foot effin’ bone-obsessed, angry, red-eyed dude that can scare people into sticking knifes in their bodies… He’s definitely no clown!

    (Disclaimer – this is in absolutely NO reference to Pennywise in Stephen King’s IT, even though he really was more than just a clown.)

    Venting Over –

    Okay, thanks for listening. Now onto writing and rewriting and hopefully I’ll finally get this horror story done…hopefully, this year. Of course, if you find me with a long, sharp knife sticking out of my chest, you’ll know why.

    As for the picture above, yeah, there’s definitely a cave involved…

 

When Writing – One Should Never?

When Writing – One Should Never?

Tweet or Comment While Writing…

Because one just never knows who’s in the driver’s seat –

When I started writing this morning, this great quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald appeared on my desktop. Seconds before, I had vowed to stay off social media and get serious about finishing my novel in progress. When I saw this quote I realized the wisdom of my decision.

I mean with all these characters running around inside my head, I never know who’s tweeting or commenting. And to be honest, some of “them” are just plain scary…

A good example would be from my novel, MY FATHER’S MAGIC
Esme Bohlin Suspense Bk1
Would you really want this guy to respond to your post?

“Hmm, yes. Fear me, Esme. Good, be very afraid.” His voice seemed to vibrate.

What is he doing? He sounds like— What the—

Okay, Esme, calm down. This isn’t good. Panicking won’t help. Deep breath. Okay, what is the last thing you remember? I was at the penthouse, trying to find my father’s—

No. Not the Book of Spells. If Geoff has that book—

I’m not a praying person, but at that moment I prayed to whatever powers existed, please save me. In the background, I could hear heavy breathing and that squeaking noise Geoff makes when—

Or what about?

“Natasha.” The harsh, graveled voice confirmed my worst fears as I turned to face the drooling mass before me. “What have you been up to, Natasha? I could taste your emotions from down the hall.”

I will not be afraid. I will not be afraid. I will not—

Would you really want either of these two villains responding to your tweets or Facebook posts?

I mean, this guy (below) has responded for me in the past and I had some serious explaining to do afterward:

From my upcoming novel, working title REVENGE:

“With that I heard a chirp, much like I once heard a parakeet do in a pet shop. I glanced over at the large onyx eyes. “Was that you?” My eyes once more on the road, I switched lanes to pass a truck, another chirp and telepathically I heard, “Yes.”

“Wow, you are full of surprises. Aren’t you?” Another chirp made me smile. I was glad for the company.

Nothing like a little “chirping” to your friends…

 

 

 

I Found You Again Today

I Found You Again Today

I found you again today
What’s it been, thirty years?
You still look great, same great
Smile, same clear blue eyes,
You haven’t aged at all,
You were with your family,
Just like I left you, lying
There, inside that wooden box,
The big one in the basement,
I was cleaning up a bit, good
Thing to do every thirty
Years or so, has it been that
Long? Seems like just yesterday
When I said goodbye, surrounding
You with mothballs, you were
Wearing your favorite shirt, blue
Like your eyes, your wife so lovely
And perfect…in her dress, and
The twins, what were their names?
No matter, we had fun, all those
Summer days and nights, there
On the floor of my bedroom,
Oh, look at the spot, there on her
Dress, it was red, wasn’t it, and
Now it’s faded rusty pink,
But you, you still have that look
You were so surprised,
Yes, you never thought I’d do it,
You thought you had a good thing
That we were forever, the five
Of us, but I grew older and got
Wise and so, you all went away,
Packed inside this wooden box
Surrounded by mothballs in
The corner of my basement.

 

 

 

Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin

Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin

Originally posted January 17, 2010

One of the requirements of my horror-writing education is to read every story listed on pages 18 – 22 of ON WRITING HORROR by the Horror Writers Association

ROSEMARY’S BABY by Ira Levin is on this list.

As a child sitting on the sofa between my two older sisters and often through the cracks between my fingers, I watched the movie ROSEMARY’S BABY. To this day I still have a vivid recollection of semi-naked old people and the black bassinet that gave me nightmares for weeks to come. But, in spite of those memories, I was determined to fulfill my horror-education requirements. So, yes, not only did I read the book, but I loved it.

Ira Levin is truly one of the greatest writers I have ever read. He has the rare gift of horrifying you one minute and making you laugh hysterically the next. In truth, as I sit here, six years later, revising this blog post, Rosemary’s Baby is still on of my favorite books of any genre and one I am sure I will read again and again.

Mr. Levin’s main character, Rosemary Woodhouse, is a naive mid-western Catholic girl transplanted into the big city with her actor husband. As in all good suspense stories, there were subtle clues dropped here and there as the story unfolded. Rosemary was everything a woman in her situation should have been. The rape scene midway through the book was intense, the result of ultimate betrayal by her devious husband.

Ira Levin wrote his story at a time when everything was in question, including religion. Mr. Levin accurately portrayed society’s mindset during the 1960s with a conclusion grounded in the most basic of human relationships, the bond between a mother and her child.

On a personal note, I think reading Stephen King’s Introduction, though profoundly well-written, may have been too in-depth a read prior to the story itself.  Because the information given was so complete I do not believe I enjoyed the story as much as I may have if I had read the story first before the Introduction.

Other books on the list from ON WRITING HORROR:

FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley

DRACULA by Bram Stoker

I AM LEGEND and HELL HOUSE by Richard Matheson

….and many others

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