Monday, April 24, 2017

Writing Endeavors 13: A Writer’s Cycle

The recent fantasy novel about a reluctant prince is coming along well. So far, my writing group has positive things to say about it.

Still editing/revising a thriller about a woman stuck on an island. Hoping to send in queries by Summer.

The previous novel I queried didn’t get accepted yet, but I think I’ll set it aside and revisit it (and the letter) later. Maybe it still needs some fixing.

As for poetry, I submitted to various sites. I’ll let you know if any are accepted.

Focusing on the Writer’s Digest Poetic Asides’ prompts. (Happy Poetry Month, by the way!)

Heading to the Annual Mt. SAC Writer’s Weekend for some more workshops.

And that’s what it’s all about. Write. Read. Write. Re-write. Revise. Edit. Write. Repeat… 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Books I’m Reading 32

New and Collected Poems: 1975-2015 by Jay Parini. This collection moves one’s soul. He writes about the mining country to farms to the human experience. Very well written poems.

Clarity by Kim Harrington is a young adult novel about a teenager named Clare who finds herself aiding the police in solving a murder case by using her psyche abilities. Good read. Published by Point, an imprint of Scholastic Inc. (2011)

The Dirt on Pigpen by Charles M. Schulz is a compilation of comic strips with the character Pigpen from the Charlie Brown collections. If you’ve never heard of this character or you weren’t paying much attention to him, his the one that goes around being a magnet to dust.

The Fibro Manual: A Complete Fibromyalgia Treatment Guide for You and Your Doctor by Ginevra Liptan, M.D. Doctor Liptan provides examples of this

Monday, April 10, 2017

Writer’s Workshop 22: Practice Monologue

During a 2014 Mt. SAC fiction workshop, Michelle Dowd provided two prompts that build on the previous one. The key was to have a monologue with yourself. That means to talk to yourself. You could be reminding yourself about something, or figuring out how to do something. Either way, don’t hesitate to play with the prompt and if you just can’t think of something, then, write what comes to mind.

Here’s the first prompt:
Write from the perspective of a character using first person. Let the voice come through and have them talk to self in monologue about their problem.

Here’s my attempt:
My fist. My fist went through the wall.
Why do I do this? Why do I hurt myself when I get angry?
I just want to have them understand. Want them to hear me say the things I need.
My hand throbs. Rub my knuckles. Rub my knuckles.
There’s a hole in the wall. No one must know.
Where’s the bumper sticker I put away?
Cover it up, idiot!
Stop slapping yourself. Stop it! Stop it!
Cover it up so no one knows about the hole in the wall.
Forget it.
It’s covered.
No one will be the wiser.

Here’s the second prompt:
Now, make your character have a scapegoat they blame for their problem, but still talking back to self.

My sister’s to blame.
She just talks and talks and lets things slip out.
She had no right to tell everyone about my need to keep things in order.
She doesn’t understand the need to keep it a secret.
The TV remote goes above the TV.
Make sure it’s placed there every time.
Or else?
Or else the consequences will be severe.

Take some time to try the prompts. you never know, it might springboard another idea.

three of my poems in "Nasty women's Almanac: Poetry Edition- Feminine Voices for a Brighter Day." You can purchase a copy at

Monday, April 3, 2017

Time for April Awareness Month

April is a lot of things for people and it’s also home to various Awareness events, such as Health. I have listed a few and some websites so you can find out more about each:

Autism Awareness Month

certain Cancer Awareness Month 

Child Abuse Prevention Month

Alcohol Awareness Month

Monday, March 27, 2017

Pet News 24: Leash Training and Decreasing Jumping

I’m always on the lookout for sage advice when it comes to training and caring for pets. Sometimes, one idea will work well with one pet, and another might not. I can easily train my male dog tricks, but my female dog is stubborn. It’s not because she’s a senior, it’s part of her personality. Since a puppy, she has been that way. Perseverance and patience has made her the number one guard dog. So, don’t give up. It all pays off in the end.

The book I came in contact with was Miriam Fields-Babineau’s Training your Puppy in 5 minutes: A quick, easy and humane approach (2005). The author made many suggestions and gave examples, but I’m only going to focus on two.

The first is taking your dog on a leash:
use a treat to lure pup/dog beside you
            give treat only after say “sit” then, move on
            do this a few times

The second is what the author calls “the jumping bean syndrome”:
            redirect pup/dog in positive means by stepping away
immediately lure pup/dog to sit
            reward pup/dog by giving attention (but don’t ignore pup/dog when sit or will start jumping again for attention)
            Note: when jumping on someone else-
redirect with a noise ex. put 15 pennies in a box, shake, and growl “No”
            when pup/dog stops, lure to sit, and praise

Redirection is the key to lure pup/dog to a positive behavior and to focus on you.
Find what entices pup/dog and use that as a treat such as a toy, food, stick, etc.
You want to teach pup/dog that good things come from you.
Good luck!
I know I’m going to need it when I try it with my dog to stop him from jumping. Yikes!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Art 13: Lines and Sketching

This was a five-minute warm-up sketch for a life drawing workshop.
I began a focus on the torso and moved to the thigh, which explains the lack of a real head =}
This piece showed movement and varied use of line. The proportion of the body wasn’t bad.
The legs, arms, and head were lacking in perspective, but I didn’t expect much in five minutes.
Actually, if I can’t be happy for the achievement on what came out well on the drawing, who would?

So, always look at the positive side of things and practice. Life just gets a little better =)

Monday, March 13, 2017

Books I’m Reading 30

Pogue’s Basics: Essential Tips and Shortcuts (that no one bothers to tell you) for Simplifying the Technology in your Life by David Pogue. This is a book that does exactly what the title suggests.

Treasury of Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes and Monsters by Donna Jo Napoli. The art and the myths provide a glimpse into the lives of these deities.

Sentenced to Life by Clive James. This poetry collection takes you on a journey through memories. Very nice.

The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Chris Riddell. Gaiman teams up with Riddell again for another graphic story. This time, he interweaves the Sleeping Beauty and Snow White themes and makes it his own with a shocking ending.