i blog. sort of.

i blog. sort of.

Monday, June 30, 2014

WOD [word of the day]

PUCKA: the stuff that grows alongside the road of life.  In my daughter's words: 'Whoa Mom.  You're veering into pucka.  Don't wanna go there.'

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sunday Extra: Zee tao of Stealth


If you visited when I was a dot com rather than a blogspot, you'll remember Stealth Panda and his wretched French accent.  Those of you who are new to Stealth, welcome.  Those of you familiar with him are, well, familiar with him.  To catch up on his adventures is a journey too long for the here and now and would require a dip into my former dot com world (I moved on to a blogspot as someday I shall likely die and I want my quirky voice to live on forever.  That way my daughter, her daughter and her daughter's daughter can tune in whenever they feel like it.  But I digress.)

Return of zee Stealth Panda
After a brief hiatus from his quest for world domination, Stealth returns by way of a visit to the fabulous, yet roastingly hot, Goblin Valley State Park in Utah, USA.  Within seconds of his first view of the Valley he is reported to have said: "Gah!  Zis vallee!  She is built of roasted marshmallows from zee planet Mars." 

A forty-five minute hike then ensued.  Dehydrated and perhaps sun-stroked, Stealth took time to settle atop a  formation where he deliriously commented:  "Je me suis assis sur la tĂȘte d'un champignon." [I sit upon the head of a mushroom.]

Water was then administered.  Refreshed, he contemplated the world, his place in the world, and his current predicament. Then, as if tumbling from the clear, blue sky, his finely honed wisdom spewed forth:  " I am everything and zee everything, it is nothing."

Thursday, June 26, 2014

WIP: ch 1: The Moment that Changes Maya's Life Forever

goodbye moon

This past week I submitted the first chapter of Goodbye Moon to a writer's competition.  I won't know how it did until September, but what the heck!  It's the first time I've ventured the story out into the world, excepting it's visit last year with an editor . . . and I'll tell a little secret here.  The first time with an editor is always a brutal thrashing and bashing for the better.

Chapter one begins in the Moment that Changes Maya's Life Forever.  I began with that moment without any back story because it's intense.  Once she makes the choice to go with her gut, there's no way back.  But the strange thing about irreversible choices is that when we're making them, we don't realize just how irreversible they are.  So it is for Maya.

Maya, who is out on a date with the fabulous Beck, is setting up for a night of roasting marshmallows and making out when she sees something disturbing in the dig-site below (she is on a hill overlooking a valley where there's a archeological dig).  She decides to investigate.  Beck decides to accompany her (chivalrous guy that he is) and their double-date, Cam and Olivia, decide to tag along.

Fate takes over from there.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

USP [unequivocal self-promotion]

Here's how being came to be.

I was in France, driving along the Atlantic coast, at night.  It was clear and starry and a full moon hung low in the sky.  My husband sat in the front seat with one of our friends--Maxime--who drove.  I sat in the back.

I was tired after a long day of visiting here, there and everywhere, yet we were on our way to dinner.  (The French eat late by my standards.  Dinner started at nine.)  So I tuned out the front-seat conversation and settled sideways, watching the moon-lit world go by.

Then there it was:  Carnac.

At the time, I didn't know about the thousands of megaliths along the coast of northern France.  We'd been sailing all day; touring islands.  I didn't know that what I was seeing--hundreds of standing stones, drenched in the light of a full moon--was common.  All I knew was that it was the most haunting, vivid scene I'd ever laid eyes on, made more-so, I think, by the fact that from a moving car the stones and their moon-made shadows seemed to dance.

Fast forward six years.

My husband was away on a business trip.  I woke up in the dead of night, bathed by moonlight pouring in from the window above our bed.  But all I saw was that night in northern France--and a boy named Shepherd, standing in the shadows, whispering his name.

It was so bizarre I got out of bed and started writing the boy's story.  I wrote it first in third person.  Then from his sister's POV.  I wrote it from Tienne's perspective.  Then Luq's.  But it's Shepherd's story and I felt compelled to give it back to him.  So I did.

Being is my first novel.  My baby.  I thought I'd never publish it but, around last October, I realized the story needed to be free.  If you choose to read it, I hope you enjoy it.  I've read it dozens of times; maybe hundreds.  I still love it.  Even after all that editing and re-reading, it's still at the core, the magical moment from which it grew.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

TAS [traditions & supersitions]

cool rocks . . . but not mine!
I suppose we all collect things when we travel.  I have a friend who collects spoons.  Another who collects pictures of herself at state gateway signs (You are entering ... Idaho!).  When I was a kid I collected rocks.  And I still do.

From everywhere we travel, I collect a cool rock.  Sometimes lots of cool rocks.  It's tradition.  My husband knows that at any moment I might yell PULL OVER because I've seen a rock I absolutely have to have.  My backyard garden is a museum of rocks from all over the western US (carried home in the back of the fabulous silver Tundra).  The railing of my deck is lined with river stones from every river I've ever visited and ocean stones from every ocean.  Then there's my collection of heart-shaped rocks . . . . one of those came from an ancient seabed that's now atop the Tetons and it's chock-full of fossils.  So very cool. 

Call me crazy, but rocks are as much a part of my memories as any photograph--for everyone of them I could tell you where it came from and what we did that day.  My husband sometimes rolls his eyes, but he always helps me lug my latest find home.  I guess deep down he's just grateful I don't collect gnomes.  But I could.  I love gnomes.  They rock--and appear on quite a few pages of my latest book, being.

Monday, June 23, 2014

WOD [words fo the day]

Today's word, drawn from my 13-year-old's endlessly odd vocabulary, is T-REX ARMS.  Apparently this is what you shout when something freaks you out or grosses you out while pinning your elbows against your body and uselessly flapping your clawed hands in the air.  The beauty of it is, you only have to shout it once.  After that, the meaning of t-rex arms sears deep into the consciousness of anyone witnessing it, a never-to-be-forgotten visual cue for: "eww, get that idea away from me."  My daughter T-Rex arms when asked to weed in the garden.  Vacuum the bathrooms.  Fold clothing from the dryer.  Kill spiders in the basement.  (Well.  I do it then, too.)

Just like the tyrannosaurus did, I'm sure.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

WIP [work in progress]

goodbye moon

Tonight I've resumed working on my WIP, currently called 'Goodbye Moon'.  It's science fiction and terrifying.  At least, I'm terrified.  Probably because the story grew from a reoccurring childhood nightmare . . .but let's not talk about that just now.

Maya, the story's MC, is hip and smart and relatively cool under pressure.  The story begins on the night of her first date with Beck Abrams, and across the story she loves him, hates him, loves him, hates him, loves him--almost like her feelings are petals on a daisy.

It's good to be back working on Goodbye Moon, but coming into it so soon after leaving Shepherd's strong, clear voice {he's the MC in Being}, has had me sorting about for the Sound of Maya.  A bit of levity there.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

USP [unequivocal self-promotion]


It's a fabulous day to self-promote and on that note, click here for a chance to win a copy of BEING.
Thirteen copies to be selected on august 31 !!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

TAS [traditions & superstitions]

Every generation, a person in my family dies at 53.  In the mountains.  When I was a kid I found the statistic quirky; the kind of thing I talked about at sleep-overs with a flashlight held under my chin.

As I got older, I took the dismissal route.  I started to point out that those people in those generations had had heart problems.  One had suffered rheumatic fever as a child.  One had undiagnosed chronic heart failure.

Now when the *ahem* family curse is brought up, I joke that in my family, making it past fifty-three is a golden ticket to a long life--my other deceased relatives lived into their late 80s and 90s.

I'm not superstitious about the whole thing.  Not really.  But--knock on wood--I keep my fingers crossed.

Monday, June 16, 2014

WOD [words of the day]

Today we venture into my daughter's world and come up with: LAME SAUCE.  Not only can something be 'lame sauce', like going into a super-hyped movie only to come out bored and with a popcorn kernel stuck in your teeth, something can be 'lame sauce' in varying degree.

My 13-year-old illustrates the phrase this way:
"You know Mom.  Like salsa.  There's mild lame sauce, medium lame sauce, and it goes up from there."

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunday Extra: Cat Voyeur

When I woke up this morning, this very fine mountain lion was sitting outside my window staring in.  She wandered around our house twice before taking off for destinations unknown!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

introducing BEING

Some ten years ago, I woke in the light of a full moon.  It was a warm summer night and the blinds were open.  I rolled to my side and watched the shadows on our bedroom wall--there is a large tree just outside the bedroom and when the moon is full, the shadows dance and play.

As I watched the shadows, I remembered my dream.  It had been about moonlight, a boy named Shepherd and thousands of names, swirling like wind among the megalith stones of Kermario.

I got out of bed, made tea, and began to write.  Below, you'll find the first chapter.