Friday, June 17, 2016

New Words

It's been nine long months since I last posted here. So much has happened since then. I started, and completed, an employability skills training program, during which I regained a ton of confidence and self-respect that I hadn't realized I'd been missing. In April, I started a diploma program, my first foray into the world of student loans and post-secondary education. It's going really well, and I'm feeling all kinds of positive about it so far, but the real nitty-gritty doesn't start until the end of June, so we'll see how I feel about it then. Meanwhile, I'm maintaining honours-level marks and am ahead of the game when it comes to progress, so, as they say, it's all good. I'm working on a few different projects right now, with different deadlines for each, some self-imposed and some externally-imposed but not mandatory, which is making things interesting.


Words are such powerful things. By stringing them together into sentences, we can change the course of someone's day, often unintentionally. One simple word, said at just the wrong time, can send someone into such a tailspin that they go off half-cocked, and who knows if that one little word was the actual reason for the outburst, or just the catalyst? How do you apologize to someone if it was just the catalyst? Will they accept the apology? Will they recognize where things went awry?

I've been guilty of getting angry over something that was actually completely unrelated to what was really upsetting me. The problem lies in the inability in that moment to find the words to explain that it's not the target that's the problem. The problem exists between my brain and my mouth. Give me a keyboard, and I can expound upon why I'm upset all day long, including the inciting incident, but don't expect me to verbalize it while I'm still steaming mad.

In light of this, I've learned to take breaks, breathers, when I feel my ire rising. When someone else's words are starting to affect me to the point where I know my words will affect them, I try to step away for a few minutes, an hour, however long it takes, and do something more productive. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't. When I'm finding that it's still not working after an hour, I figure it's time reassess what caused me to become so upset in the first place. Who was involved? What did they say or do? Why did it affect me so much? How can I change my reaction? If I take a more logical approach to it, I can usually make a better evaluation of the situation than I can when I'm still emotionally charged.

I know my methods won't work for everyone, and maybe not even most people, but I figure that as long as I'm not coming at people with a knee-jerk reaction over something that is, in the grand scheme of things, silly, I'll be a better person in the end.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Death Came Knocking At Our Door

On my 'About' page, it states that my ever-faithful writing companion is Sadie, a beautiful cat with the saddest eyes you’ll ever see.

Twenty-four hours ago, I held Sadie in my arms as she took her last breaths. She wasn't quite seven years old. She took ill quite suddenly, and deteriorated quickly.

I keep wondering how long it will take for me to stop expecting to see her when I turn a corner. When will I quit waiting for her to climb into my lap when I sit on the couch? When will my bed feel less empty at night?

I know it's only been one day, but it already feels like it's been forever. I miss her so much.

Keep your loved ones, both human and furry, or scaly or slimy or whatever floats your boat, close tonight. Love them fiercely. Let them know what they mean to you. You never know how quickly they'll be ripped away from you.

Friday, August 7, 2015


Tonight, I watched a movie that always makes me cry. I don't get to watch it often, as it would irresponsible to expose my kids to it at their ages. At the point where the tears always come, I was reflecting on how the author of the book the movie was based on must have had to work SO HARD to get the voice of her characters just-so.

Writing in a voice similar to my own, of course, comes easy to me. But writing in a voice similar to my own all the time makes for boring reading. I try to mix it up, though I know I'm not always successful. I have never managed to diverge from myself so completely as this author seems to have for this book, and I am in awe.

I hope that someday, I can stumble across a blog entry by someone, whether it's a reader or a struggling author like myself right now, who has read something of mine and is in awe of my work. That would be the ultimate compliment. That would be the icing on top of the authoring cake.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Old words

A little over a week ago, an old friend contacted me with an offer to send me some old poetry that I had sent him approximately twenty years ago. I jumped on the offer, with the thought in the back of my mind that I was missing a good chunk of my writings from my youth from my collection. I received the package last Tuesday, the 19th, and was in awe. There was an inch and a half thick stack of just poetry that I had written from 1992 through 1996 and, as I had suspected, I had lost a lot of them over the years.

I have spent anywhere from two to four hours per night over the past week typing up the poems I was missing, and making adjustments to the ones from which I had been missing such details as the dates they were written. I realized when I was done going through those poems that my digital collection was probably missing some that my own hard copy collection had in it, so I pulled out my 3 inch binder and went through it, one by one, and made adjustments where necessary and typed up the missing poems. All told, I’ve worked on 227 poems over the past week ranging from 1992 through 2000.

It’s been an eye-opener. Some of those poems were, well, abysmally terrible. What do you expect from a twelve, thirteen, fourteen year old? But the growth that I went through as a person is obvious as you read through the years. There are a few poems that I am quite proud of, in particular, but at the same time, I’m quite shy to share them. I feel that my poetry bares a part of my soul that my fiction doesn’t expose, and it’s a raw nerve that twangs painfully whenever someone flicks it by reading it. So, for now, I shall leave it at maybe someday.

Among the poetry were some stories I wrote nearly or over twenty years ago and forgot about. At least one of them has got some really good bones in it, and completely rewriting it will be my NaNoWriMo project in November, or perhaps for Camp NaNoWriMo in July, depending upon planning completion.

I haven’t written anything, not a single original creative word, since early February. It is now late May. That’s almost four months of radio silence. That’s the longest I’ve gone without writing in years. I was starting to wonder what was going on, what was the deal. With this unexpected influx of forgotten memories, words have started swimming around in my brain again, too, so I have hope that the words will flow with relative ease when I do sit down to write again.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Another announcement

Save The Last Dance is officially available on Amazon, CreateSpace, and Smashwords! Check out the links on the Books page, and be sure to let me know if you buy a copy!
Thanks to everyone who has supported me in this journey. I appreciate all of you so much!

Friday, December 5, 2014

NaNoWriMo Highs

Well, NaNoWriMo has been over for 5 days now. I hit the 50,000 word goal on the 14th, and ended the story on the 26th with 71,118 words.

There's something of a high to writing during NaNoWriMo. The rush of hitting the daily goal - and surpassing it most days - leaves me almost breathless. Seeing the daily word count creep up - 100, 500, 1000, 1500, and then BOOM! 1667! - makes me feel like maybe, just maybe, I'm doing something worthwhile.

I have always loved writing. It's just something I've enjoyed for as long as I can remember. I wrote my first "book" when I was in the sixth grade. I came across that piece of work earlier this year when I was looking through boxes. It's got some good bones, and I'll probably give it a rewrite at some point. As it sits, however, it's pretty terrible, and I'm okay with that. It's pretty good for a twelve-year-old's story.

Writing is a release. It takes everything that's been bottled up inside my head and lets it out in a healthy manner. With writing, I can explore worlds of my own creation and not worry about people getting into trouble for the situations in which I've put them. I can explore things I have only researched, and hopefully do the topics justice.

NaNoWriMo is a bit of a cathartic month. I go through fits and starts of writing throughout the year, but when November hits, I buckle down and get to work and pound out a novel. Whether it's good or bad doesn't enter my mind at all during November. Just getting that first draft out is all that is on my mind.

Now that December is here, though, it's time to buckle down and get to editing. Whether I edit the latest novel or go back to work on a previously-written one still stands to be seen, but something will be edited and readied for release over the next month or two.

As always, thank you to everyone who has supported me by purchasing copies of Lullaby and Ray of Light. Your encouragement means the world to me. I hope you continue to enjoy my words and my worlds.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

A Small Announcement

I’m pleased to announce that my second novel, Ray of Light, is now available for purchase at SmashWords and Amazon! There are under the Books heading that will lead you directly to them.  As more venues come available, the list will be updated. Thanks so much to everyone for their continued support! Please share!