I write to keep me sane. I write so that my words may outlive my life. I write to find redemption

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Well this is the last post before NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo ( both of which I have no idea how I am going to handle keeping up with!).

Three Word Wednesday words-


Rock Bottom- Part Two by Sara

After spending the last few nights sleeping on the streets of the Windy city, it feels like all the dirt in Chicago got together and took up residence on my skin. When you are curled up, wearing all the clothes you own, and keeping warm by a trash can fire, it don’t matter if you used to be a junior level executive at one of the cities premier financial institutions- you are a bum, plain and simple, like the one sleeping on the right and left of you.

I told Thomas I would only crash at his place for the weekend but, after being here five minutes, I already am starting to feel more human and less savage, and I can't imagine leaving in two days. He can't send me back out there again.

He’s my brother. He owes me.

So I start to take from him- like a vulture- a shower, a shave, my clothes get washed, my stomach filled with all the bread and lunch meat in the fridge. Thomas is still holed up in his spare room, where he said he’s on the net. Probably gambling. He’s always had a problem with that. My mother used to tell him to shape up and “Act more like, Eric.” We buried her a few years back. I don’t think I could stand to look her in the eyes if she was alive today.

While my clothes are in the dryer, I head into the bedroom to see if Thomas has a robe I can borrow. But, like everything else in my life since Angie threw me out, that plan don’t quite work out like I expected.

I trip over his size twelve Nikes, stumble for a few steps while I try to stay upright, and then take a header into the corner of his wooden bed frame. I land on the floor with a thud, my forehead bleeding, and stars dancing before my eyes. The phone and three books from his night stand managed to fall on top of me. Pushing them off, I start to haul myself upright, when, out of the corner of my eyes I see green. Money green.

Jerking my whole head to the side so I can look under the bed I see a black bag that’s zipper is slightly open. It is filled to the brim with cash. My hands are on it before I can complete a thought.

If I took just a handful of this, I could get a place to stay, some suits, new copies of my resume. I could be back on my feet again.

If I take it all.......

He’s my brother. He owes me.


Note- I am thinking about keeping this going. Maybe writing from Thomas POV next.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Poetry Tag

I was at The Shores of My Dreams when I saw this post:

It's a game of poetry tag. Be the first to post TAG in the comments. Then take these lines and add one, in a post on your own blog, along with these instructions. Whoever adds the nineteenth line then takes the poem to Poets Who Blog at and puts the whole poem in the comment section there. Each person who plays need to also mention what site you were at when you found the poem so that other bloggers can follow the breadcrumbs back to this poem. You can play more than once but not twice in a row.

Poetry Tag Poem

The sound shook his bones
like a cymbal
crashing fast against his soul

My line is the third one. Tag me and you can be the person who writes the next line. Post it at your own blog.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Three Word Wednesday prompt this week is:



This was the last thing I wanted to do. The last place I wanted to be. But it wasn't like I had any choices left. They say that your family has to take you in when you go back home, but like a lot of things people say, that is not strictly true.

“Can I stay, man, just a few days?”

Thomas immediately tensed, and moved to block the doorway to his apartment.

I beg “Let me stay just for the weekend. Monday I’ll be off your couch and you won’t hear from me again till Christmas - like usual. Come on, man, I need to get off the streets for a couple nights...”

I know I sound pathetic, look pathetic, smell like a dead body that was left at the dump for a month and then got up and walked down the street. I reeked of desperation.

The second Angie kicked me out, throwing my duffle bag at me on the stairs, I’ve been steadily sliding down to this place till I finally landed right on rock bottom. It took a little over three months of crashing on friend’s couches till the last friend on my list stopped returning my phone calls and didn’t answer when I pounded on his door- though I know I heard someone moving around in his place.

Who can blame him really though? If I saw me coming- this man with ratty hair and clothes, and eyes that looked a little too angry and defiant to trust- I would not merely look the other way, I would run the other way.

But Thomas is my brother. He don’t have that option. I shove my foot in between the door and the frame, so he can’t close it. After a moment, where his dark eyes meet mine in a silent warning, he sighs and motions me inside. “What the hell happened to you, Eric?”

I tell him, “I hit an unexpected run of bad luck, is all.”

What am I supposed to say?

I wasn’t always a screw up. I graduated college- unlike Thomas- and had a decent entry level job with room for advancement. But the waiting to get there, up that ladder, was like a rest stop in Hell. No man with a fully functioning brain stem and my sense of ambition could have put up with it for long without relief.

So I let loose every now and again- just a few drugs, a few pills, staying up a little too late once too often- but it was enough to get me canned. Angie didn’t like a lay about boyfriend and soon me, the duffle bag, and my ever growing addictions were tossed out the door.

Thomas doesn’t know about any of that. We don’t keep in touch and I wouldn’t be here right now if I had anywhere else in the world to go. He knows that and seems to resent that I have fallen so far that I am now forced to burden him with my situation. Maybe he wants to be concerned, thinks he should, but it is obvious to both of us that he just can’t work up the energy to care.

“I was online,” Thomas says, with a wave of his hand toward his office.

“Sure. Go back to it. Don’t let me keep you.”

“There’s not much in the fridge. I eat at Gina’s a lot. But I’m sure there’s something you could make a sandwich out of.” Thomas walks off, closing the door to his office, while I am still standing just a foot inside the apartment.

He doesn’t want to deal with me. I can’t blame him. I am now at the last place I have to turn and he wants me gone as soon as possible. All I can think as I stand here is This is what being completely alone in this world feels like.


Note- I am thinking of continuing this next week with the Three Word Wednesday prompt, because I have an idea for how to change Eric’s luck.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Pre-NaNo Pain

I still don't have an idea for my novel. The clock is ticking louder and louder as each day passes. I don't usually do much planning before I start a novel but this year I would love to spend some time doing character sketches and rounding out some background for them. But to do sort of need characters.

At least I am pretty sure that is how it works.

In Worst Case Scenerio

Do not panic. This post is just a test. Should this be a real NaNoWriMo Emergency, you would hear screams and see smoke coming out of the ears of the fried brain of the writer before you. In that instance, do not attempt to engage subject. Simply turn off computer and wait for brain synapses to start firing again. If this does not happen by December 1st, seek medical care.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Smile and the world smiles with you

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Marie, who blogs about her novel writing pursuits at Deep Thinker, has nominated me for the

It's heartwarming to think my blog does that for her. I started this blog to help me focus on my writing, to make me work harder toward my goal, and to find others who were working toward publication to share the highs and lows of this ride with so it is a bonus that I also managed to make a few good online friends.

I thank Marie for thinking of me and urge you to check out her blog. I'm looking forward to one day being able to buy a copy of her tale about vampires.

Now it is up to me to nominate five bloggers who make me smile. Whenever I visit these sites I think that I have been lucky enough to stumble on another person with the true soul of an artist:

Saoirse Redgrave from Hollow Hearts and Hollow Hills

JM from Fiction Scribe

Adrain Swift from Chronicling the Novel

Shakir from The Crimsonflaw Lived to Tell the Tale

And, of course, Marie from Deep Thinker. I nominate her not because she nominated me but because she has been kind and understanding to me, and supported this blog and others of mine, for months. She is an unexpected blessing to me.

There are other bloggers who make me smile, too. If you hit on any name in my blogroll under the section Writers I Read you will find the work of those I respect, admire and love.

Happy writing, my friends, and remember that if you enjoy reading someone's words online that its a gift to leave them a comment saying so. Who knows you just might make someone :)

Friday, October 12, 2007

In Case of Emergency

The Three Word Wednesday words look deceptively easy this week.


At first I was relived because they really seem to go together well and surely an obvious story would leap into my mind from them but....not so much.

Just as it holds true that love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant...the muse is fickle, the muse asks not what you want but gives what she deems, the muse is stingy and moody and stubborn.

The muse is within me and I am within her. Sometimes the words flow easily between us and sometimes it is akin to caged deathmatch with me fighting for my creative sanity. But the muse always wins. She’s a badass that way.

This is the story the muse wants to tell this week:

In Case of Emergency

There is one sound a pilot never wants to hear. It’s a hard knock of metal on metal and always immediately proceeds the most silent silence known to man. Tyler knows that if he ever hears that sound there will only be minutes left in his life.

He thinks it won’t ever come. But one sunny, cloudless afternoon-perfect flying weather- it does.

The initial thought that floats through his mind is: Maggie.

She’s not his wife. He put off the wedding five times and after the sixth she had asked him “Why don’t we admit we’ve gone as far as we are going to go together?”

He reached out to pull her close, that day, to soothe away her fears and make all the promises he had a million times before but she didn’t want to be touched then, or comforted, or lied to anymore.

She found herself a school teacher and eight months later they were husband and wife. Tyler went to the ceremony and danced with the bride. He felt relived to not have to be someone’s husband and only now, as he plunged toward Lake Michigan in his single engine cessna, did he see how damn foolish he had been.

Maggie had a blonde haired two year old son now. A child he could have fathered, but didn’t.

Tyler didn’t see his whole life flash before his eyes. The bungee cord jumping, the motorcycle racing, the climbing to the top of every mountain in this hemisphere was wiped from his mind. All his big triumphs in corporate America, the wild days of being a frat boy, the time he took his first sip of beer, and kissing Kelly Winters at the roller rink in seventh grade - all those things he swore he would never forget- might as well have not happened at all because to Tyler, in these last seconds of his life, they did not exist anymore.

All he could see in his mind eye’s was Maggie. His hands gripped the wheel as he tried to pull out of the freefall, knowing it was too late now but having to try anyway. He wanted to get back to her. To slip out of this place and time and back to when she still believed in him. He had always been so selfish with professing his feelings for her. She had to drag it out of him. He wanted to scream his love for her now.

The water rushed up at him, sucking him into its depths, flooding the cabin with its icy life stopping force. he squeezed his eyes tightly close and did not see the blue-green coffin around him, instead Tyler took his last breath seeing the woman who had loved him better than he loved her. And his last thoughts were not of himself, his goals unfulfilled, of the old age he would never see. Instead it was all about her:

You were more than my love, Maggie, you were my best friend. I don’t want you to cry for me but I know you will...I should have said yes....I should have kept you mine...I should have...oh.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I'm it

I have been tagged by the blogger who runs the awesome writing site Fiction Scribe.

Check out the rules of this unique meme:

* 1. After your intro, copy/paste this line and the rules below it: The originator wants to see how far it goes so please keep his link intact:

* 2. Encourage people to post with the incentive of a link by including those who have passed it along here: Audrey, Celtic Angel, JM

* 3. Visit at least 3 on the list who’ve written and passed this meme. Leave them a comment.

And then you are supposed to, “pick three things that enrapture, consume, fascinate, or otherwise enliven you more than blogging. Then write a few lines about each to explain what the nonblog activity does for you, why and how.”

1. Soap operas- after about fifeteen years of watching them everyday I would say I'm pretty hooked. I know the history of the characters lives on the ABC soaps as well as I do my own history.

2.Family- I would say I spend more time thinking about, planning for, and caring for my immediate family than I do myself.

3. Writing fiction- two years ago I started working toward being able to write a 100,000 word novel that would one day be able to be purchased at your local Border's book shop. Suffice to say, it has turned out to be harder than I ever thought. But, also, more rewarding than I even could comprehend when I first started scribbling away in my notebooks years ago back in my days of hop scotch and barbie days. It's the driving force in my life. Each day I type away, trying to figure out this mysterious craft, and each day I move one microstep closer to reaching my goal. It's a hell of a way to spend a life, I recommend it whole heartedly.

I tag the talented writer Deep Thinker.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Inside the mind of me

If you were able to get a computer printout of my mind right now this is what you would read:

I'm so jealous of anyone who has an idea for their NaNoWriMo novel. I wish I outlined. Maybe I will outline my next novel? What the hell am I talking about? I've never outlined and never will. I'm as allergic to outlining as I am to dogs.

God, I am itching just thinking about dogs.

Maybe I could write a novel about dogs....oh my hell, am I desperate for an idea.

Think, think....I wonder what is going to happen on GH today? That show so needs to fire Guza. He can't write worth a....focus, no soap opera ranting allowed right now.

NaNoWriMo ideas so far:


This is a girl becoming

Story Ideas?

Something like the movie Crash with different independant storylines of many different characters that are somehow all connected.

Connected how? Somehow.

Hello, muse, you there? Hello? HELLO!


I really need an idea for my NaNoWriMo novel.......

National Blog Posting Month

Fiction Scribe just clued me in on the fact that November will be the second annual National Blog Posting Month event. The idea is to post a new post on your blog everyday in the month of November. I don't think I heard about this event last year. Or, if I did, my brain was so addled by NaNoWriMo that it didn't sink in, because I have no memory of knowing about it.

I am not sure if I will take part in NaBloPoMo. It could be fun but I could also be insane over National Novel Writing Month and all my posts would read like gibberish.

Let me know if you take part in NaBloPoMo.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Elmore Leonard Knows Best

I found a quote today that embodies my writing philosophy.

"I try to leave out the parts that people skip." --Elmore Leonard

Mr. Leonard is one of the writers I love to read and any advice coming out of his mouth carries great weight with me, but this particular piece of advice is the credo I write by.

I don't spend time in my writing describing every lamp in a room, or every speck of gray hair in someone's head. I jump into the story and let my reader's imagination do what God intended for it to do: fill in the blanks.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Goodbye, Mr. Understanding

I found myself struggling to write something with the words offered this week. Unlike a few weeks ago, though, I did not drive myself batty spending hours writing the start of 20 different stories I hated. Instead I waited until this character, this frustrated man with a need to scream, came to me. Meet Martin Langley on the day he comes undone......

Goodbye, Mr. Understanding

A crime of passion. That is what the newspaper would say about this tomorrow, Martin Langley was sure.

Wouldn’t the people who knew him- all those nosy neighbors who peeked out their windows when Tanya moved out, and all the bloodsuckers down at his office- find it ironic that he was the one who snapped? For if there was one quote he was sure would be in the article about this incident, it would be “Martin was not the type to lose it that way.”

Maybe he hadn’t been, but he was now. Walking the line had proved less than useless. Crossing it felt like his first breath of freedom after twenty-eight years and eleven months of being the perfect, unappreciated, good guy.

Hell with the laws, with what people would whisper, with what it would feel like to have a rap sheet. He needed this and he would have it.

Wearing a self satisfied grin, he went from room to room collecting every item that Tanya left behind. An errant shoe tossed under the couch. The painting she picked out in Tuscan that he silently despised ever moment it had hung on their wall. Her copy of The Secret that was left on the bedside table. And the wall calendar- all marked up with her handwriting, telling him about birthdays and parties and holidays they wouldn’t be sharing now. Because of her, because of what she did.

He could still smell her all over this house. That wouldn’t do. He grabbed the used towel still hanging on the back on of the bathroom door. Next he whipped the comforter off the bed- she insisted on goose down feathers even though he was allergic- and all the pillows, too.

Everything went into a pile on the floor of the living room. Tanya had loved this house. She just had to have four bedrooms- saying it was for the children they would have but knowing all along it was just to have one more than her sister in Cleveland.

There were no children here. There will never be any children here.

With that thought in his head, he struck the match and watched her things start to burn. But it wasn’t enough. Tanya was still here, everywhere, still lying to him and sneaking off into the other room to take a call from Hank, who Martin had been assured, ad nasueam, was just a friend.

A damn good friend, it turned out. The type you walk out of your marriage over.

Needing Tanya- and everything that she had loved once- gone from this house, Martin’s eyes darted around for more kindling. He spotted the picture on the bookshelf. A smiling, in love pair on their wedding day. Grabbing it he cursed her face as he flung the frame into the fire.

The smoke alarm went off, piercing the air with a ear shattering beep, just as the door rang out a high then low, ding dong.

Martin pulled it open to find Emily Grabowski, the gaurd dog of Lincoln Street. At seventy-two years old, she had spent fifty of them looking out her window at all of them, noting and judging their small little existences.

“Dear,” she started in her condescending way “I thought I smelled smoke.”

“Very astute of you to notice. But then nothing gets past you, does it? Well, come in, come in, I’m having a barbecue.”

She hesitantly stepped one foot inside, turning just enough to look into the adjoining living room, and gasped at the flames that now had burned not only the pile of belongings but also the carpet and couch.

“Hot dog or hamburger, Mrs. Grabowski?”

She gave him a look reserved for very small, unaware children or very large insane men. Martin thought himself neither but then she wouldn’t understand him so how could he expect her to see this wasn’t the act of a crazed, cheated on, abandoned spouse but instead of a rational man who knew the only way to begin anew was to destroy the old. He had not misplaced his good sense, no quite the opposite. He had found the guts to do the only sane option Tanya had left for him now.

Smoke started to cloud the room.

“I’m going to call the fire department,” she said, then fled back out the door, leaving it standing open.

Martin reached in his pocket and pulled out the last thing he wanted to toss into the flames- a band of gold, now tarnished and not worthy of hanging onto.

He wound up, like a pitcher trying to strike out the last player in a baseball game, and with a whoop of joy tossed the ring onto the top of the blackened pile. Then he picked up his briefcase, full of the only documents he needed to start his life over, and walked out the door.

Mrs. Grabowski was whispering to her old cohort in snooping, Mr. Lee, “The way I heard it was she just up and left in the middle of the day while he was at work....oh, Martin, dear,” she called out after seeing him walking down the sidewalk toward his car “the fire department will be here any minute.”

“No rush,” Martin said as he climbed into his car. “Tell them to not waste the water. There’s a drought going on, you know. Remember you are the one who told me just last week- no using the sprinklers on Tuesdays, right?”

He smiled at her. The front window of the house exploded outward. The neighbors on the lawn scurried toward the street.

Martin drove away, passing the speeding fire engine that was barreling toward his house. He flipped on his CD player. The song playing was one he used to listen to in high school. Before he was a banker, before he owned a four bedroom house with two mortgages, before Bush was in office, before Martin had a low sperm count, before he ever met Tanya.....before.

Martin decided he would ditch the car but take the CD with him. Wherever he ended up, whoever he ended up, he would still need good music in his life. It was one thing he was sure of. That, he figured, was enough to know for now.


Thanks to Bone at
Three Word Wednesday for the words this week: