Monday, January 27, 2014

Quote 6

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Wishing for something is different from wanting to reach a goal.

Wishing is like dreaming without providing any action to attain it, whereas the goal deals with motivation and a desire to succeed. 

For example, “I wish for a nice birthday.” This doesn’t really tell you how it will happen. In other words, you need to be a little specific.

Consider the following: “I am going to make my birthday a nice event by doing x and x.” Those x’s will help make the goal a success.

If you apply this kind of thinking to writing (or any type of work), you will see that you’re more motivated to get it done.

I, for one, have set a goal to complete my outline for my Young Adult novel and to write the thriller novel that’s been brewing in my head. I will do this by writing at least for one hour a day. The second hour will be for the outline, and any additional time will be set for online activities.

I didn’t ask myself for much, but enough to get me wanting to do it so I could reach my goal.

The reward is a great feeling you’ve been productive. Then again, a nice scoop of my favorite ice cream wouldn’t hurt.

So far, making a goal has helped me achieve a complete edit for my Young Adult novel, write thirty new poems, and allow time for reading. Maybe it can help you.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Death as Metaphor 7

Figurative language makes what is literally written to be more interesting through the use of alliteration, allusion, personification, simile, etc. but the most common type is metaphor.

A metaphor compares two unlike things without the use of “like” or “as.” The way to do this is to describe or refer a thing as being something else it resembles.
For example, a poet may refer to a person as “stone” if they do not show emotion after a loss OR a person could be referred to as a “snake” if they are sneaky and take advantage of others.

Metaphors are powerful tools that are used in poetry to explain or help interpret ideas or emotions that are hard to describe.
Sometimes, a metaphor is used throughout the poem that makes it easy to identify the language and symbols used. It can also help facilitate in the interpretation of a piece as is the case for some poets who use figurative language to refer to mortality.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Pet News 6: Dog Triggers

You know how you can tell which situations might get you upset or frustrated, maybe even hysterical? Well, your dog has situations like that too, except, it’s our job to make sure we don’t put them there in the first place.

Why do we want to avoid triggering these situations? For one, it stresses our pets out (even we get stressed). Two, they respond by running, barking, or biting the nearest thing available (watch out for the hands!). Third, many people think they’re at the end of their ropes and instead of working on the problem, decide not to have their pet (big no no).

So, what can we do when, let’s say, the person on a bike or skateboard passes right next to us dog walking people? For one, don’t panic yourself. It only works on transferring the emotion to your pet. Two, make sure your dog is secure with a leash, better yet, a harness, so as not to choke them if they pull. Third, move your dog to the opposite direction of the oncoming person (safely) or cross the street. Sometimes, giving your dog a command helps, such as “Stay,” “Sit,” or “Leave it.”

If you’re inside a fenced yard, again, don’t panic. Call your pet to you and if that doesn’t work, distract them with something else. Have your dog sit next to you while keeping a hand on his collar while the person passes. Maybe consider placing a fence taller than your pet to deter them from jumping after anyone.

Certified pet trainers at local pet stores or online can assist you if the problem is severe. Always look for options. There are many books, magazines, and online resources available that discuss this topic thoroughly.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Short Stories & Such: Killing Your Best Friend's Wife, Draft 3

There was a writing prompt from Writer’s Digest titled: Killing Your Best Friend’s Wife. You had to write about how the character confronted the victim and how the murder played out. Here is my third attempt at it…

Killing Your Best Friend’s Wife

Harry’s not the kind of close friend one lets down. His idea of a good time was playing chess with the boss’s daughter, frosting in mind. His wife Patty, on the other hand, was innocent as a fawn chewing green pasture in the middle of hunting season. Harry couldn’t afford to have her anymore. He had gotten too big.

Harry wanted Victor’s help in killing her.

To Harry’s expectation, Victor agreed without hesitation- not because he disliked his wife, but because she’s the only person who knew Victor’s deepest and darkest secret that could ruin his life forever. The truth of him committing credit card fraud, hijacking cars, and being part of a business computer hacking didn’t amount to that particular secret: participating in her best friend’s suicide attempt.

Harry got all of the materials ready for the big day. He had it all figured out, too. Victor was to pick Patty from the airport, since she travelled to visit her mother out of state. Then, Victor was to deliver a demise to which she would not return.

When the big day arrived, Victor did not hurry to his destination. He first had to imagine Patty dead and remove any small grain of pity from his heart. He envisioned his fingers around her swan neck while he puffed a smoke.  

“Hi, Victor,” Patty put her bags down and gave Victor a quick hug. Little did she know it would be the last attempt to save herself.

“Hi, Patty,” Victor reached down for the bags and placed them in the trunk of the car. “Sorry your husband couldn’t make it.”

“Don’t worry about it. I’m sure he is far too busy at the office.” She brushed some loose hair from her face, “But I’m glad someone took the time to come.”

In the freeway, Victor pictured Patty’s bulging eyes and pale cheeks.

“You know, Vic, you don’t have to just drive on account of Harry. He might be a little bossy, busy, and ungrateful for all you do, but I’m not. I can see how much you have helped him…”

Throughout the trip, Patty did most of the talking. Even when Victor took the wrong exit, she talked, probably due to nervousness. And when Victor pulled into a deserted gas station, locked her side of the door, and placed his leather gloves on, she stuttered.

“What are you doing, Vic?” Clutching her mother's necklace, tears streamed down Patty’s eyes.

Victor placed some drops on a handkerchief, “Don’t take this the wrong way…” and he smothered her mouth with it.

Patty struggled to break free, but Victor was too strong for her petite body.

“There,” Victor licked her cheek.

She shrieked and Victor pressed again until she was motionless.

Victor caressed her face and smoothed out her fine brown hair.

“Won’t Harry be proud?”


The original story was written for November 29, 2011. You can view the unrevised version here: