Monday, February 28, 2011

Write beautiful

My daughter, Karagin, and I went to the spa last week. It was sooooooo amazing. We got the signature pedicure. Talk about getting pampered! We arrived a 6 p.m. and didn't leave until 9 p.m.! The beautiful pedicure was just the icing on the cake. We got big fluffy robes, a leg and foot massage, numerous different kinds of treatments like deep leg and foot moisturising and hot paraffin wax treatment for the feet, just to name a couple. There's yummy snacks and tea or water, or even wine if you'd like to buy a glass. There's even these little cabanas surrounded by sheers that you can recline in while your pedicure dries. Oh! Did I mention you get a massage?! Oy! :o)

Karagin would like to make it a yearly occurence...hmmmm...I like the sound of that.

On to the writin'!

Destination unclear to the naked eye,
Floating freely, weightless in the sky.

Desire to dream infinitely unaffected,
Focus of mind intensely perfected.

Inspiration true to form,
Ideology so easily born.

A gateway to a perfect place,
Leave far behind, the human race.

Time and space a veritable blur,
Peaceful message so sweet and pure.

But back to reality, one must come,
To the place that leaves one numb.

Body mired in fire and ice,
Soul mislead by fanciful entice.

Not to be fooled by beautiful dreams,
Nothing is ever as it seems.

I haven't written a poem in a very long time, especially the rhyming kind - they're tough! I have a re-newed appreciation for poetry.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Write cold!

Okay, old man winter is seriously getting on my nerves. It was -41C with the windchill today. On the way to the bus this morning, I had icicles hanging off my eyelashes and the rubber soles on my boots turned hard and I was slipping all over the ice. I REALLY don't like winter...I'm just sayin'... It's days like today that make me wanna pack up and head to Jamaica for good!

Have I mentioned previously that I LOVE Jamaica?? Okay, maybe once or twice.

So, my son, Jay, really liked my previous writing exercise -- liked that it was different. He sent me a very cool image with the challenge: "Let's see what you come up with on this one, this is a handful." Hmmmm...what to do....what to do...

I fear the worst.

On their knees, my comrades pray to whatever Gods still remain. I find no comfort in their words.

I turn my filthy, blood-spattered face toward the heavens. The dawning light chokes and sputters in a dismal, sepia-coloured sky, taking with it the faint, flickering hope in my heart.

The earth, soggy and saturated with the blood of our fallen brothers, gives beneath our feet with a grotesque sucking sound. The screams of the dying chill me to the bone.

Walls of our once great city lay in shattered ruins all around us. Neighbouring cities turn their backs on us, for what had we done to bring such wrath down upon our heads.

We are all that remain.

The high-pitch howl of gulraths send shivers up and down my spine. Gulraths -massive beasts that moved upon hind legs and knuckles, like great apes. Hideous spikes protrude from distorted spines, rows upon rows of razor-like teeth and claws that could rip a man in two. The ground shudders as they near.

I flex my trembling fingers on the hilt of my battered sword. What good is steel against warlocks. I see the lighted tips of their staffs in the distance - too many to count.

Weak with hunger and no rest. The few against the many. Steel against magic and beast.

Yes, I fear the worst...

I can honestly say that a whole story could come from this image, Jay! Thank you so much for this one! Can't wait to see what you come up with next. :o)

Monday, February 21, 2011

All the write peeps

Sunday was family day - spent the afternoon with my aunt and the evening with my mom.

My aunt cooked a huge meal - was sooo good! She followed it up with a desert called: 'monkey buns'....yup, I'm totally serious, that's what they're called. Basically, it's cinnamon bun dough made into balls and placed in a bundt pan and baked. Then covered with cinnamon and brown sugar drizzle and icing...oy. Actually, she wasn't done. It was my bday recently and she knows I love shortbread cookies - so she made me five dozen!

And, there's even more...

It was my mom's bday Sunday, so we had a little party. My daughter, Karagin, and I made her a card. Karagin drew an amazing picture (she's a fantastic artist and photographer and she's only 15!), and I wrote the inside. My mom loves stuff like that.

After all that family fun, I seriously need to get back to my running program!

I wonder how many calories typing burns.....let's find out!

Remarkable folly. Incredible feat. Unimaginable gateway.
Indescribable fascination. Copious generosity. Beautiful autonomy.
Practical thoughts. Impractical decisions. Inevitable repercussions.
Typical insight. Obscure scruples. Infinite power.
Strength displayed. Empathy displaced. Fear discerned.
Incredulous disgust. Phenomenal backlash. Force withdrawn.
Peace restored. Questions remain. Lesson learned?

Okay, I'm thinkin' I didn't burn many calories....dang.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Write scary

I had to do a presentation at work on Friday. Let me tell you, public speaking is NOT something I enjoy. It totally freaks me out - my heart pounds, my hands shake, I feel light headed and my mind goes blank.


It's not like I haven't done public speaking, I did plenty when Pretty Pretty first came out. But, I just can't get used to it. I could join Toastmasters, there's chapter at my workplace, but I haven't been able to bring myself to do it yet.

So, why is speaking in front of people such a big deal? Why are we so afraid to look silly? I know I tell myself over and over that I don't care what others think of me -- but ultimately, I do. So, if I do public speaking more often, will it cure me of the fear? Okay, now I'm just breaking out in a sweat. I think this fear thing is gonna take a wee bit of work.

I'm gonna do my writing exercise to get my mind off it.

How vast life seems. I yearn for things that seem so far out of my reach. I have walked for miles, but the wind erases my footsteps, so I cannot remember where I've been or how far I've come. I tell myself, only one more hill and I will be where I need to be, but all I find is more hills as far as the eye can see. The sun beats down, relentless. I feel weak. Maybe, I could just rest here. But I fear if I fall to my knees, I will not stand again. I feel something deep inside propel me. I find strength where I thought I had none. I find love in the most unlikely places. My dreams will not be quieted. I will not fear the hills ahead; for they are my inspiration. I will touch the horizon. I will paint the sky blue. For all that I have ever needed has never been over those hills, it has always been within me.

Perhaps I've just answered my own question...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The kitty is always write

Yup, my crazy lil kitty is at it again. She's a demanding little thing, especially when it comes to her food and water. Whenever we eat, Xena eats, so, while we're eating breakfast, the lil diva decided her water dish wasn't fresh enough. She meowed, rubbed our legs, tried to stare us down, but we ignored her. Not one to be ignored, she jumped up onto a perch that allows her to see out the kitchen window and proceeded to lick the frost on the to say, I freshened her water dish.

Anyway, I discovered that my netbook's MS Office was only a trial version...ugh. I mean, it did warn me that the trial was coming to an end. Said some features would be unavailable...ummm, really?? The only feature that works is the window that allows you to purchase the "full version". Okay, so I'm thinking my idea of "some" and theirs must obviously be QUITE different. So, I wasn't able to work on my book last night. KC was not happy. :o(

I did, however, find a new image to write about. Yay! Check it out:

Roiling mist swirls around tree roots jutting raggedly from a dark, thick, mossy base. Sharp, earthy scents hover, mocking the senses. A dream-like state, eerily manifests itself with a headiness that makes one question one's sanity. Silence presses down with suffocating intent. Pinpoints of light battle with gloom for dominance. The ground feels like a living, breathing entity, moving with each step. He returns here...over and over. He needs to see her, if only in his mind. His heart, broken and bloodied. Why hadn't he said the things he should have? Regret burns like acid. Taken too soon. No more time. No rewind. A final chapter, remains unwritten...

I love how things evolve when I'm writing. When I started to write my impression of this image, it changed in mid-type and just...became. Awesome!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Write from the heart

Happy Valentines' Day!

In the spirit of the day, I thought about writing something nice and sweet, then it hit me...


That's what everyone else is doing -- it's all about the unicorns and rainbows. :o)

I decided I wanna play devil's advocate. So I dug up an image that isn't very 'heart day' like...

Dark cupid...unfathomable phantom of the human psyche. Rising from fiery depths; the earth, scored and blackened. Fevered, filled with hunger, unmerciful. Stark, bony, garish features. Eyes, hollow. Wings, black as soot. Vile stench of evil. Torment dwells deep. Sadness emanates upon a haunting melody that lures shattered souls. Abundance of loneliness and despair on which to feed. Broken hearts of the fallen, relinquished with ease. Promises and lies, indistinguishable. Hope, wavering. Fall not to desolation. Fight, demand the legacy. Speak not with acrimony. Hold true to oneself. The journey, arduous. Strength, within. Love, powerful. Time, both an enemy and a saviour. Tire not. Falter never. Live…always.

Yup, this was short and me! =D

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Write crazy

So, today, I kept having this feeling that someone was watching me and every time I turned around, there was my cat, Xena! She just sits there and stares at me. Okay, I think I mentioned my kitty's a little strange. So get this, I literally have a conversation with my little creeper and she gives me total attitude! With a flick of her tail, she stalks off, leaving me to wonder who's crazier -- my lil stalker, or me for trying to get into the head of a feline -- not a pretty sight. Just sayin'...

Since my last post, I worked on the edits a friend made to my second book. I have to admit that I was pleased that the tracked changes were minimal. I need to do a read thru now to see how well the changes flow, but so far it's looking good!

I kept thinking about my writing exercise today. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, so I searched thru a bunch of images for one that would grab me. As I looked at each image, I realized that I'm really rather likin' the fantasy genre. The genre is kind of a stretch for me, which is something else these exercises have taught me -- I do all right when I push myself out of my comfort zone. Here's my latest:

Moonlight presses hard against tightly crossed branches; weak tendrils of light find victory only to get smothered by vapour coiling angrily across uneven terrain. Whispers hiss from shadows; filled with both despair and rage. Darkness solidifies, reaching out from crumbling masonry with bony fingers. Fear resonates, stinking of brimstone. Horror rises like bile, scorching and vile. Walls hide, but do not contain the blasphemous ugliness. Unceasing fires burn, but fail to destroy such evil. Only one, pure of heart, will crumble both stone and spire and expose the cursed to the light that it so fears.

Book time tomorrow. Gonna be great!

Ummm, little creeper is back again...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I'm all write

I tried...I really did; to get on here yesterday and complete my blog, but it was not happening. My body said, 'nope, not feeling well', and all bets were off. But, okay, I can live with that.

I did work on my next assignment today, it was tough, but I did it. I was going to keep upping the time on these exercises, but I'm at a place now where I'm actually spending longer on each image, which is good. My initial idea behind these exercises was to get me to sit down and write, even if only for 10-20 minutes, and I've accomplished that.

I'm going to continue with these exercises, cuz they are awesome to force creative thinking, but I'm going to do one every 2nd day as opposed to every day, and on the alternate days I plan to work on my books. I'm so very pleased at how fast the desire to write kicked in. This worked even better than I anticipated.

Because I'm still not feeling 100%, I did struggle with this exercise, but I was determined! So, let's pop into my head and see what we find:

The looking glass does not lie. A slave to perfection, the diamond chains that bind, cut deeply into flesh where no one sees. Pain and fear delve so deeply that it manifests itself into a beast of its own. Obsession rewrites all rational thinking, feeding and nurturing the beast. Vanity is prevalent and empathy withers and dies. Beauty becomes a shallow facade, with barren ugliness scratching violently beneath the surface. Time, a vulgar enemy, eagerly awaits its snide revenge against those who would mock it. A battle that is infinitely futile brings about a forced surrender that lays open the soul. Relish in the day where beauty enjoys free reign, for this time is foretold, and the end is far too near.

I don't know about you, but I'm seein' a pattern here...I lean heavily to the dark side (they have's an incentive =D ). Which explains why I'm drawn to mystery, suspense, even horror genres.

Tomorrow, I work on some edits a friend of mine did on Sleep my Pretty.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Write up my alley

I can't help but wonder if my cat, Xena, is a little bonkers. I've always kinda known she was a little odd, I mean, she drinks water from her kitty bowl with her toe...I kid you not! She dips her toe into her dish and licks off the water droplits.


If you follow my work, then you'll understand why I patterned "Buttons" the cat in Pretty Pretty after Xena -- there are a few similarities....uh huh...

Anyhoo, I messed up the times of my writing exercises, so I've adjusted that in my previous blogs. So, I was able to spend 20 minutes with my assignment. I think I actually took longer...but it's all good... :o) My imagination went wild with this picture -- a whole story could evolve from the image. For now, I'll settle for what I came up with for this exercise:

A fine mist settles over dark, dank pillars of crumbling stone. A canopy of foliage encroaches, creeping forward to devour its prey and obliterate the atrocities of days gone by. An eerie silence hangs heavy in thick, pungent air. Like bones of a great prehistoric beast, the ancient structure juts out, ragged and broken…reaching for the heavens that abandoned it. A vile darkness hangs, scorching the earth, marring remnants of a former majestic beauty. Blood stains these sacred stones…where steel crossed steel and shattered flesh and bone. The tears of angels do not touch this place…as evil resides here…its breath wretched of death and decay. A cold emptiness permeates the soul of those who enter, and strip the mind of reason. Let the demons lay undisturbed…for they know no mercy. Let the bowels of earth take back into itself the fallen. And let us remember this place no more.

These exercises have been amazingly helpful, and I would highly recommend them to anyone who has found themselves out-of-touch with their inner writer. :o)

And, yup, you guessed it -- 22 minutes!

Monday, February 7, 2011

All the write stuff

I fear I live in an environment where even polar bears run for cover. Ugh! It's surprising how the weather here chooses to torment us - where one day it's only -2C, then the next, -20C with a windchill that brings it up to -35C. Brrrrr!!!! My ears turned into frozen blocks on my head.

Thankfully, I have a woodstove in my home and trust me when I say, there is NO heat like wood heat. Just sayin'...

Movin' right along.

Armed with another picture compliments of my son, Jay, who is really good at finding images that stir my imagination! He and I knocked around some really cool impressions. I get eighteen minutes with this incredible image, so here goes:

Secrets…buried deep in these walls, like a township of lies piggybacking upon one another. Arrogance, so deep and dark in the belief that no one sees the city of deception, fools no one. Yet, it remains...festering and growing. Beautiful in appearance, yet putrid and decaying just beneath the surface, harbouring fear and rage and loneliness. The winds of time blast the fragile formation, tearing it apart fragment by fragment. Particles like old, ragged scars against the bluest of skies. No lessons learned. No deviation. No atonement. Just indifference...

I have to admit, I'm really enjoying these exercises! Tomorrow -- 20 minutes.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

On the write track

Can you! I'm really excited how quickly the old writing instincts are coming back.

My out of shape brain's a lil tired today, prolly from pushing it these last few days. So, I'm looking for inspiration!

The pic my son gave me is awesome -- love the colour, the thoughts it evokes. The cool thing is that what it means to me could be totally different to the next person and I love that!

So, I got my picture -- now, gettin' some tunes to match my thoughts.

It's true, the right song can literally pull the words from me. A lil loopy? Well, think about it, it's like in the movies, when you are watching a scene and a great song begins and makes the scene amazing. It's the same for writing - the right song can set the scene - paint it right before my eyes. So, here's the pic and my thoughts:

He finds himself in this place again, with reality at his back and his dreams so close he can touch them. He sits and lets his gaze love that which draws him back again and again. It's beauty, breathtaking. Yet he feels torn. Solid and dependable, his reality stands firm beneath him, compelling him to do what is right, what is safe. His heart yearns for more, so much more. And he knows...all he needs to do is stand up, take that first step and never look back.

Woot! Guess what's next...eighteen minutes!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The write time

I was vacuuming earlier today and running through some ideas for my fourteen minute writing exercise, and it dawned on me -- it's been a long time since I've brainstormed! Lately, when doing household chores, I usually just fall into a vegetative state. So, let me tell you, this is very exciting!

I was talking to my son, who is also a writer, about my little project and we were kicking around some writing exercise ideas. He told me he likes to dig up digital media pictures, usually fantasy genre pics, and create a short story or poem from the image. He gave me an image to work with, which I will incorporate into my next exercise.

For today's exercise, I did something a little different. When I wrote my book "Pretty Pretty", I got this one line stuck in my head -- " pretty." It was from that line that I built the entire story. That line dogged me and banged around in my head for weeks before I finally sat down and worked on an outline.

This time, the line -- "hands of time cut deeply into her skin..." -- popped into my head. I really wanted to spend 14 minutes with the digital media pic, working on imagery writing skills, but that crazy line wasn't going away.

When I let my mind run with that line, I got this mental picture of an older woman staring sadly out a window. I searched online, looking for an image of my lady and I found it. Unfortunately, beneath the image, it mentions that it's subject to copyright, so I decided not to post it here. But, from that image, I let myself get carried away for 14 minutes:

Hands of time cut deeply into her skin. Knowledge burns brightly in ancient eyes, yet does not disguise the sadness that dwells there. Yearning for days long gone, of a simpler time, of beauty, of youth. Years pass so quickly -- where did they go? Once, surrounded by love and friendship; now only aching loneliness remains. When did it begin that waking to the dawn no longer brings joy? Memories, once so perfectly clear, falter and fade. Her body, once strong and beautiful, now harbours frailty and pain. The hands of time cut more ways than we can imagine...

This was a great exercise! Next one: 16 minutes.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Write from the bottom of my tummy tum tum

I was supposed to workout last night - undoubtedly a great way to clear ones head to get ready for some writing time. Yet, alas...instead I went out to partake in some extremely unhealthy eating. And you know how it is when you eat fast food, it's like swallowing a lead weight and makes breathing seem like a chore. So, feeling sleepy and bloated, I decided to try meditation as a means to prepare to write.

Sitting cross-legged, eyes closed, breathing deeply...yes...this is exactly what I needed to relax...except...who knew a stomach could make that much noise! Clearly, I did not consume a burger, but rather a small creature intent on extricating himself from my belly. Ugh!

A handful of Tums and about 20 minutes later, I finally got down to writing. I think I could get use to this again!

Thinking about the kind of books I like to write, I decided that tonight, I would get into the mind of one of my would-be evil characters for the next 12 minutes and I came up with the following:

Rain tap tap tapped like skeletal fingers on the window pane. Embers buried beneath dark soot, gasped for air within the craggy hearth. Darkness consumed everything in the room, even the man that stood in its depths. A heart beat, the tempo slow and even. Fear, harvested with each breath the man takes, fills the air with a putrid stench. Sanity has but a tenuous grip...and it is faltering. Wave after toxic wave of animosity burns from deeply hollow eyes, scalding its way down to that place where a soul should live. He fears no evil. And yet...evil fears him.

I realized after this exercise that there was some real hope of firming up my flabby brain muscles, and all I could think of was...I wanna do it again!

Okie doke -- it's go time! Fourteen minutes of writing.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

All writey then

So yesterday was my first creative exercise. I heard standing on your head helps increase bloodflow and oxygen to the brain...and in turn, gets those creative juices flowing.

Umm, really?

I prolly shouldn't believe everything I read on the internet. ^_^

I passed on the head standing and went right to the ten minutes of writing. I'll admit I had to force myself into the chair and I only struggled a little. But, once I got down to it, it felt great.

So as not to over-tax my flabby brain, I just imagined a pleasant scene in my mind and set out to describe it. It's a little rough, but passable.

Blue skies, bluer ocean and sand in my bellybutton. Blazing sun presses down hard, cacooning, almost stifling. Throbbing reggae wafts upon a cooling tradewind, mingling with a familiar and intoxicating scent. Sand, raspy yet silky. Surf, warm and inviting. Thoughts of home tease the recesses of my mind, but I'm not ready to let go of this transfixing, beautiful country...Jamaica.

Do you think I'm just a little Jamaica obsessed? Okay, maybe a little.

Brain workout for tonight -- twelve minutes of writing.