Thursday, November 2, 2017

DIA DE LOS MUERTAS - AN IWSG POST



I have to concede that it’s only fair if you begin to refer to me as ADL&ADS – a day late and a dollar short. I admit to having been overwhelmed lately, especially during the month of October. A quick trip to La La Land, winter coming much too quickly to my part of the world, and then Halloween was a bit much for me to keep up with. Yeah, I’m that kind of a light-weight.
At any rate, I had promised myself to post each month for the IWSG no matter what, so here I am even if a little less than timely. I know I read what the ‘suggested’ question of the month was, but for the life of me, I can’t remember. Since its November 1-2 I would like to talk about something else.


Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead
Día de los Muertos — also known as “Día de Muertos,” or “Day of the Dead” in English — is a holiday with Mexican origins that is celebrated on November 1 - 2. While some imagery might be close to that of Halloween, there are significant differences between the two. Día de los Muertos is a day to celebrate death — or, more specifically, the deceased — while on Halloween, death is seen as something to be feared. Día de los Muertos has both indigenous origins from the Aztec festival for Mictecacihuatl, The Lady of The Dead, and Catholic origins  from the Spanish conquistadors’ All Saints and All Souls Day.
In my life celebrating the dead was not unusual although my family has neither Mexican nor Aztec origins. When I was a young adult I remember my father asked me if I knew who’s birthday it was on a given day, and then he would proceed to tell it was my great-grandmothers or some other distant long-dead relative. As a young adult I thought that was weird, but then a lot of things about my family and my upbringing in general were kind of weird. Today, as a much older person I find myself remembering my parents, and other close friends and relative who have long left this world on their birthdays, death dates, and other significant times. It seems only natural. Is that weird, or am I merely a product of my environment.
Something even weirder is that it seems in almost everything I write someone and often multiple characters die or are dead. As writers we are told to ‘kill our darlings’, but I’m pretty sure this is not meant literally. So, my question to you today is…Is this too weird? Is it a complete downer if the MC dies at the end of the story, even if that’s they was it was ‘meant to be’? Can you see the possibility for romance, even if it is a tragic love story? I’m just not sure.
I hope that I handle it delicately and my deaths are not gratitutious, but I have to admit I can’t seem to help myself. Not every one of my characters are destined to die, but many do.
This is my IWSG Post for the month of November. If you want to know more and read other, quite possibly more interesting posts please go HERE.
Please take the time to thank Mr Alex J. Cavanaugh and those who help him continue this blog hope each month. For this overwhelmed writer it at least, helps me keep my head and hand in the blogging world.



Wednesday, October 4, 2017

"YOU DON'T KNOW HOW IT FEELS" - AN IWSG POST

Hi guys. Miss me? It's been quite some time since I posted here. I even thought maybe I was through with blogging. Not saying I'm planning on returning on any sort of regular basis, but I am going to try to post at least once a month for the IWSG. Well, let's say the only thing I know for sure is that...I'm gonna post this month for the IWSG.

I guess we don't often think of most musicians as writers. Of course they write music and if we're really lucky some incredible lyrics. I suppose technically they are called lyricists, but for  my money we're all just writers of one creative sort or another.

If you know me or think you know me, or if you've only come around here occasionally you know that my favorite musician/writer of all time is Tom Petty. This past summer, right smack dab in the middle of my move from Nevada to Idaho I was taken to see him perform in person at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado. Not the ideal time for a road trip, but what are ya gonna do. Tickets were purchased and let me tell you the cost was almost obscene, but in the grand scheme of life, 'it's only money'. This is when it really pays off to be 'the girl'. Anyway there was no way I was gonna miss this concert. AND, IT WAS TERRIFIC.

When Tom sang 'Wildflowers', I promise you it was just for me. Red Rocks is an outdoor venue and one of the best, in my opinion. As usual it poured rain. There are no alt dates so the musicians take cover and the audience just waits out the storm and enjoys the 'light show' playing out over the prairie. When Tom and the Heartbreakers came back they played about twice a long as planned to give us our money's worth, because he was that kinda guy. Do I need to tell you how glad I am that I didn't miss this show?

Tom Petty wrote my life in his songs. I know a lot of people say that about musicians, but this is uncannily true. I participated in a meme a while back titled 'My Life According to..." you can find it HERE. The one and only time I participated in the A - Z Challenge my 'W' post included Mr. Petty's "Wildflowers". You can find that one HERE (if you have limited time, read this one, it's one of my better memoir pieces). My writing has all been inspired by music and great lyrics, much of it Mr. Petty's.

I had a recent conversation with a blogger friend, in person, about writing We had an interesting weekend with a lot of brainstorming and some good advice. I also recently joined a new writers group here in Idaho, which I hope will prove fruitful, but nothing helps me as much as music.

I've backed away from blogging, because I really do want to devote more time to serious writing. I have a two book series of what I hope won't be more than three completed, and have set a personal goal to finish the third and work hard to have the publication process (traditional) at least in it's earliest stage by June of 2018. Easy feat for a procrastinator like myself, eh?

 I have decided to take all the writing advice and throw it to the four winds. I'm not sure where I'm going in the last book and not exactly sure where my story ends, but I do believe that as I begin to write my characters will tell me. After all it's their story not mine. They are only lending it to me for the telling. My goal is to be good enough, strong enough, inventive enough to tell it properly. Believe it or not, I have confidence I can do this.

Losing Mr. Petty at such a young age(yeah 66 is pretty damn young - see, I'm older than most of you probably think) and the recent events that have proved just how cheap life in an advanced country like the US really is, or at least should be, a wake up call for us all. It's my goal to take the time to 'write good stories' . What about you?

To Mr Petty and his family I want to say thank you, Tthank you for putting my life to music. Thank you for giving me the inspiration in my ear to complete the work I want to do.Thank you for being an extraordinary writer who also exhibited pure musicianship. You Tom 'belong among the wildflowers, You belong in a boat out at sea, Sail sway, kill off the hours, You belong somewhere you feel free.' If you meet Mickey have him tell you his stories and maybe one day we can all sit down together and listen as you put them to song.

Probably not what you guys were expecting in an IWSG post, but I gotta go where my heart takes me. To read more and probably better posts go HERE. Take the time to thank the admins, especially Mr. Alex Cavanaugh for their efforts in keeping this forum going. I do appreciate you guys.












Wednesday, July 5, 2017

IWSG - WHAT I'VE LEARNED SO FAR

Here we are at the first Wednesday of the month, or in other words IWSG Day and I'm not prepared AGAIN. YIKES! LET ME EXPLAIN...

Back on May 22 I left my home at Lake Tahoe to make a move to Idaho. For the past seven weeks I've been staying with family. It has been an adventure. Idaho is not completely foreign to me (I lived here sever years ago), but it is a place I thought I would never return to for more than a visit. Anyway, things have been a bit today-turvey for a while now, I am moving into my own place onFriday and hopefully will be able to settle in and have a more normal live back. Ha, ha, ha! Like I would know a normal life if it bit me in the butt.

The IWSG QUESTION of the month is something like "What have you learned since you started writing?" I'm gonna tell you what I've learned about writing and life in the last seven weeks. Family is important. They can drive you nuts and even take incredible advantage of you (kind of like I have been for the past seven weeks), but in the end they love you and take care of you in a fashion that most others won't even attempt. Now when it comes to writing, family can provide you with some of the best fodder for your imagination. Whether you're writing a memoir: where family and family reminisces are of the utmost importance, or just creating characters for a totally fiction piece, your family and their nuances can be of tremendous value.

My advice to each and everyone of you...value your family. If you've had a falling out with one or more of them make amends and do what you can to build a bridge. If you live far apart make an effort to stay in touch, regularly. Life is shorter than you think and I promise you, one day you will be wishing to have a nice sit down with a family member who is no longer with you.

Having said that, today is my mother's birthday. She is no longer with me and has been gone for quite some time (38 years). I was much too young to lose her when I did, but that's life or the absence of it, I guess. Love love you Momma and I miss you every day of my life.

Now get yourself on over to the IWSG site where you can find the list to visit other participants and see what they have to say. Unfortunately, I'm still having computer problems and working on a iPad, which is way smarter than me and won't let me make the link. But, I trust you're smarter than this dumb blonde and can find it without my help.

Enjoy my parents song.




Tuesday, June 20, 2017

WEP CHALLENGE - 'Burning Bridges"

Well friends I finally got my WEP Challenge finished up. I'm having computer problems, so this was written on am iPad and this dumb blonde can't figure out how to turn on the word count feature. I'm hoping I'm not too far over the 1000 word limit. If I am please forgive me. Although I did have plenty of time, I did put this together kind of last minute. It's from an idea I had for awhile based on a song by Garth Brooks. I hope you enjoy.

BURNING BRIDGES



     "Clair, Clair, you in there?”
     “Hummm…”
     “I’de like a a little more coffee, if you can tear yourself away from the screen door. What are you staring at?
     “Coffee, yeah sure, Abs. On the stove,” Clair responds without turning her head.
     Here we go again. I know this look, this attitude, this persona of Clair. She’s deep in thought and getting ready to run. After refilling my mug, I saunter over to see what’s she’s looking at. Adam. I shouldn’t be surprised. Adams’s the latest man in Clair’s life. They came back to the ranch together almost two years ago and have been crazy in love since.
     “He’s younger than me,” Clair mutters more to herself than me.
     “Yeah, but you look about a decade younger than the truth. Besides it doesn’t seem to bother him.”
     “Not today, but it will. Besides I’m such an emotional mess. Why would a guy like that want to be involved with me?”
     “Look honey, why do you continually question a good thing. Who knows why any of us do what we do. Just accept that this guy is crazy about you. You’re still crazy about him, aren’t you?”
     “Yeah of course I am, but one day he’s gonna wake up and it’s gonna hurt real bad.”
     There’s no talking to Clair when she gets like this. Two bad marriages and a raft of broken relationships, this girl is sure nobody is ever gonna love her for the long haul. Clair has this idea in her head that it hurts her less if she leaves them, than waiting around until they are tired of her. Truth be told, she has no idea, because she never gives em the chance to leave. A couple of years and she starts thinking it’s time to end it, then a year or two of severe depression until she meets someone else. Clair throws herself into every relationship like a sixteen years old debutante. This girl knows how to love a man, she just has no idea how to let them love her.
     “He is gorgeous, isn’t he?” She asks.
     “That he is,” I agree. “Course you’re no slouch yourself.”
     “Yeah, right the grey hairs coming in and those little crows feel around my eyes only add to my overall charm, right?”
     There’s no convincing Clair. She’s been sure of her downhill spiral since divorce number two, when she was just a little over thirty. I could shoot that guy for the way he messed my sister up.
     “Look honey, I gotta run. Please promise me you won’t do anything drastic till we can talk some more. This guy is a real keeper and I’m sure he feels the same way about you.”
     “Yeah, Abs that’s what you say about them all.”

     Three days later it started to rain. Not a gently downpour, but a real gully washer. The barrow pits were full in the first few hours and the creeks were running high. Adam stopped by when he was in town and said he was trying to talk Clair into staying with me for a few days, because the ranch was likely to flood out. Of course I knew that would never happen. If Clair was anything it was stubborn to a fault, there was no way she was leaving the ranch in a crisis.

      A week to the day later Adam was on my porch, but this time it wasn’t a cordial visit. He looked like someone had shot his dog and dragged him through the mud. Over coffee he told me what I already feared.

     “I can’t figure her out,” he lamented. Four nights ago when the thunder and lightening was the most violent I thought I was dreaming. She kissed me and told me how much she loved me. Said she loved me enough to let me have the life I should, and then she was gone. When I woke up, her side of the bed was cold and the house was oddly quiet. The storm raged on, but the silence in that place was deafening. I knew she was gone.”
I didn’t know what to say. I also knew she was gone, but I held out hope that Clair would come to her senses and return once the storm cleared out.
“I’m sure she’ll be back,” I tried to reassure Adam.
“Nope, not happening. We had a big discussion about this very thing about six months ago. She kept telling me I could do better and should be with someone younger and less ‘used up’. ‘Used up’, what do you think she meant by that?”
“Look Adam, Clair’s had her heart broke more than once, she’s real skittish about being hurt again.”
“Yeah, but Abs, I didn’t hurt her and I wouldn’t have. I really love her. Love her like grow old together, love her,” Adam pleaded.
“I have no doubt, but it’s not me who needs convincing.”
“Abs, I did everything I could to convince her, show her, be there for her no matter what. A day didn’t go by that I didn’t tell her how much I adored her, but it didn’t seem to matter. She just wouldn’t believe me. Six months ago, she told me that if she ever left, I shouldn’t worry, sometimes she just needed some space, but if she was gone for three days and didn’t return then it was over and I was free to move on with whoever I wanted. It’s been four days now. I gotta go. I gotta save some self-respect and face the fact that she doesn’t want me.”
There was nothing I could say. He was right about one thing, Clair had moved on. It wasn’t that she didn’t love him, most likely she was scared she loved him too much, but she was terrified of that love. Horrified that her love for him would somehow destroy her. Clair was one messed up cookie. Always looking for the exit. Ready to run, before she was given the boot.
“Why don’t you hang out in town for a few days. With this storm and all, she may make her way back sooner rather than later and you guys can talk about it try to work something out,” I suggested.
“Nope, she has been preparing me for the last six months for this day and I know what I gotta do. Abs, take care of yourself. You’re a good sister to her and have been a steady friend to me, but it’s over. I would rather move on and lick my wounds in private.”
“I get that, but Adam, you gotta know that she does love you,” I explain.
“You know in some strange convoluted way, I do know that. I know she thinks this is what’s best for me, but in truth she doesn’t get to make that decision. Her fears override everything good and precious in life. You and I both know she’s gonna hurt for a long time and so will I.”
“I know,” is the best I can do.

I don’t know how many days after Adam left it was, but Clair did come back. She looked awful. I could tell she had been crying non-stop for some time and I don’t think she had a shower in a week. Turns out she went up to Carrolton with the intent to head farther out west for a few months.
“Abs, I got to Carrolton and took a long hard look at myself in the rear view mirror. You know my usual plan to never look back. In that rear view mirror I started looking back. I saw this great guy and couldn’t stop thinking about how much I loved and needed him. I decided it was time to give up my running and face life, and I wanted to face it with Adam. I got a room in Carrolton,  a good nights sleep and fixed myself up real nice in the morning before I headed back. When I got to Big River it had left it’s banks and the bridge wasn’t safe, so I waited while they made some emergency repairs. On the third day, they were planning to open the road and the bridge just washed away. Right before my eyes, I saw much future wash away in that muddy water. I couldn’t get back until this morning. I been living in my car.”
“Awe Clair, I’m sorry.” I was actually a little surprised that I meant that. I mean, I love my sister, but all of this trouble with men was her own doing. Sure those two guys she was dumb enough to marry messed with her real bad, but she had the choice to get over it or not. She made a bad call here. This wasn’t anybody’s fault but hers, but still, she was devastated.
“Honey, you tried. If the storm hadn’t been so bad, if the bridge wasn’t washed out…” I tried to console her.
“Abs, you and I both know I lit the match and tossed it onto that bridge myself. No one here to blame but me  .”

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

IWSG Post - Are you a Quiter?


The topic for this month's IWSG is something about have you ever quit writing and come back, and why?

I haven't quit. I promise, but I know it looks like that. Let me explain...

About a five weeks ago everything in my life went to hell in a hand basket. Yeah, yeah, you're thinking, who's life hasn't, but seriously folks, it was like (for a woman) someone took my purse and dumped it upside down in the middle of the Interstate. First, my landlord decided to put the house I was living in up for sale. Being somewhat of hermit (feel free to read crazy writer) it was driving me nuts to have strangers parading through my house, peeking in my closes and opening the junk drawer.
Then the realtor said they had a contract and I needed to get out. I tried finding another place to live in Tahoe but the real estate prices have skyrocketed and the rents followed suit. It was insane. I was going to have to pay (in rent) more than what a $400,000 mortgage would cost. So, I made a big more. Like a really big move, back to Idaho (I had lived here about seven years ago) where I have some family.

Is that crazy enough for you. I haven't opened the computer to write in all that time. I only would have been one major whine anyway, and nobody needs that.

Anyway...I haven't quit writing and the events of the past few weeks have sent my brain into overdrive with ideas for the next new project. Did I mention that during all of this chaos, I took the time to travel to Denver to see a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater (best concert venue ever) of one of my all time favorites? Yep Tom Petty! He was, needless to say, amazing. Joe Walsh opened for him and was also great. Tom sang several numbers from his 'Wildflowers" album (my all time favorite) including the song Wildflowers. Which, but the way he sang just for me.

I also took a side trip to some of the places I used to live in Colorado. Those were good times and some sweet memories with awesome friends.  More fodder for my stories.

I'm hoping to participate in the WEP Challenge this month. I've crossed a lot of BRIDGES this the past few weeks, and as that's the topic of the Challenge, I have more than a few ideas.

My advice to any of you who have or are considering giving up..."Never surrender dear, never give up!"

Please visit as many of the participants in this monthly blog hop as possible. Find the Linky list HERE While you're at it give a shout out to Mr. Alex Cavanaugh and this months helper hosts for all that they do to keep this meme going and therefore keep all of us in line.

Until next time HAPPY TRAILS!

Here's Tom singing 'Wildflowers' just for you. Enjoy!


Love, FAE

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

WEP CHALLENGE

It is with sincere regret and a heartfelt apology that I post this today. I signed up and intended to post a 1000 word Flash Fiction piece for the Write, Edit, Publish Challenge, but  A 'Series of Unfortunate Events', in other words my life story, prevented me from doing so. I am sorry for having wasted anyone's time by your stopping by. I will be better in the future.

Please enjoy the other entries. I shall try to make it around to as many as possible throughout this week. There are some seriously talented writers who normally publish here.

Thanks you for your continued patience with this dumb blonde.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

THOUGHTS OF AN INSECURE WRITER



Here we are the first Wednesday of the month, time for another IWSG Post. I realize I haven’t posted anything since my last IWSG update and I’ve been totally lax about getting out and visiting you my blog friends. For that I apologize.

At the beginning of the year I took the admonition to stop writing about writing and simply write to heart. That’s when I resurrected one of my WIP’s and tried to turn it into a short story for an Anthology submission. Last month I was proud to report that I accomplished the task and overcame my insecurities enough to hit that submit button. This month I regret to inform you that my short story was rejected for publication. I admit I had a day of sorrow and ate a pint (actually I don’t think those cartons are a full pint any longer) of Ben & Jerry’s. The next day I was back at it working on self-edits of my first love, my ‘WIP Far Away Eyes’.

I joined a few on-line writing groups and have found some beta readers who are going over my work as fast as I churn it out. I’m about half way through and once I finish up looking over the suggestions of this batch of betas, I’m hoping to send it on to some trusted people who have beta read for me in the past. I sure do hope I’m getting better.

Aside from the time and effort I’m putting in on self-edits and beta suggestions, I’ve been reading like mad various articles and books about the craft. I started out as a blogger to support my writing and somewhere along the line became completely distracted with blogging, chatting, and in general procrastinating working on my ‘real’ writing.

Don’t get me wrong, the blogging community has been a tremendous help with my writing, but I have to work real hard to stop focusing on all those chickens running past my window each day. I appreciate the help so many of you have been to me. I really appreciate the help and inspiration I’ve received through my participating in the IWSG. It’s nice not to feel ‘alone’ in this singularly endeavor.

There you have it in a nutshell…my reason for all but abandoning the blogosphere. I do intend to post the first Wednesday of each month for the IWSG – ‘God willing, and the creek don’t rise’ (Recently that’s more literal than you would think-the snow pack in the Sierra is tremendous.). And I promise to try and carve out some time to visit more on Wednesday April 5, but if I’m sincere in my wishes to change my status from writer to author I must ignore the chickens, no matter how delightful they appear and concentrate on finishing up the WISP and beginning the query process.

My best wishes to all and any who read this and a hope that your fondest dreams may come true as I work to fulfill mine. I’ll look forward to seeing you at that book signing, either yours or mine, it will be a wonderful time.
I do plan to return for the Write, Edit, Publish writing challenge on April 19. Maybe we can catch up at that time.

Congratulations the The IWSG for making it onto the Writers Digest 100 Best Websites for Writers.

Take the time to stop by and thank Mr. Alex J. Cavanaugh ( the inspiration behind the IWSG) and this months co-hosts. Click on over HERE to find the list of other participants. Visit as many as you have time for. I promise you won't be disappointed.

See that little ballerina on the far right; that's me in one of my earlier dance classes (not really, but it could have been). Those are the kids voted most likely to become a writer. HA!