Tag Archives: Cancer survivor; Writing Craft;

Fantasy Man Monday

We have neglected a very significant hot man component in our Fantasy Man Monday Blog — The Villain.

The hot baddies are in their own right the hero’s of their story.

Who can forget this handsome bad guy from Die Hard movie fame.

Often we find many redeemable qualities in these characters.

The villain can be the ultimate bad boy, a tortured soul.

These actors might not have been cast as the villain of a movie but they are hot devils. Not all villains have to be ugly and evil. Go against the stero type — make your next villain handsome as sin

Fantasy Man Monday

*laughing and singing* Here comes Peter Cotton Tail. Hopping down the …. Well, you get the idea.

Monday after Easter Sunday begs me explore interesting Peters in the world. *snicker*

The first Peter that came to mind was….. Aww No, don’t even go there. However, he is ageless and at least 300 years old. Does that entitle him to buy beer?

Peter Pan

Moving on! The next peter I found was

Peter Parker? Yikes. You know even with the upside down kiss scene… I didn’t find this one particularly sexy. What do you think?

I must dig deeper for a more interesting Peter.

LOL – Come on work with me…. I wait all year to make Peter puns about Peter’s Peter. Peters everywhere cringe at this time of year, don’t they?

Aww here is one. My favorite Peter….

Peter Jackson. Director of the *sigh* Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The person with the brilliance to make the menage of directing work for filming/editing/producing three epic movies at the same time. The intelligence to see how to masterfully edit Tolkien’s original work. *sigh* okay. Love Peter Jackson. Now, Love fest over. He is as cute as a hobbit though isn’t he?

I must have more Peters! Ah here is an interesting one. Peter Facinelli of the Twilight Saga Fame. He has the pretty boy look doesn’t he? He is leading man sexy enough to be on camera!

Oh, and how is this one for an obscure Peter?

Peter Sims author, speaker, entrepeur. Isn’t he a hottie? Love that smile and the mischievous twinkle in his eyes.

Okay I’ve shared my Peter(s) with you. Do you have a Peter to share with me? Who’s your favorite Peter? Buhahaha. Don’t you dare say Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater!

*Laughing & Singing* Hippity Hoppety Easter’s gone away.

Writing is a Journey

Writing is a craft, an art, a career, an advocation.  Writing keeps me sane or rather, perhaps it channels my insantiny into socially acceptable norms.  I mean seriously …. voices in my head ….. The state mental hospital isn’t that far away my friends.

I always hope that 2010’s work in progress manuscript will be better than 2009, 2011 better than 2010, etc. I hope that I will be a stronger, tighter writer.  I wish to have a better grasp of voice, of deeper third point of view, get better at showing not telling.  As a somewhat organic writer I always hope to write less.  That is… to spend less time re-writing because of previous days and days of writing myself up a blind alley and finding myself in a plot corner from which there is no return. Delete, Delete, Delete. And lastly of course (for Abigail) I always hope to get better at knowing where to put those damn commas.

I feel the world changing.  I know this time is passing and soon there will be a revolution in my life that will change the face of everything I know.  Perhaps it makes me a little melancholy.  I’m MORE excited for the adventure. 

Writing is a lot of things to me but seldom a destination.  And while writing is so much a solitary occupation it is also rarely a journey one takes alone. Over the next few weeks I might highlight a few of those rare individuals who are brave enough to take this journey with me. So….keep reading…..

Lee Roland.  I brilliant author.  Her voice is clear and deep and a work of art. She broaches themes that sometimes unsettle me and always makes me think.  She presses me to be better than mediocre. Some will aspire to be a hollow reflection of her talent in days to come.  NAL recognized her talent this year and July, 2011 Viper Moon will hit shelves.  I hope she has a long line of success writing for them. She has paid her dues and endured the journey well. We all doubt ourselves at times. Lee didn’t let the negative voices stop her. I hope I can learn from her diligence and strength.

Charlie Allden was one of the first writers who could hear my voice. Maybe even before I could hear my voice. She is amazing. In critique while the rest of us are stumbling she zones in like a laser and knows precisely what to say that will be uplifting and most beneficial. I adore her work and can’t wait for her to get her call. She has given me excellent critique and I have cherished her wisdom. There are times when I know she saved me as a writer. She created a really cool blog for Science Fiction and futuristic readers. It encompass a variety of media, film, books, games. Great Great blog to read. I would love to see this blog, Smart girls SciFi go viral.

Abigail Sharpe is kind and witty. she is one Sharpe cookie *pun intended* She has a command of english that I would aspire to. This woman knows her mis-placed modifiers like they were kissin cousins and always, always, knows where to put those damn commas. Her voice has a delightful sense of humor that keeps me giggling as I read her work. All right, I will confess that sometimes I laugh out loud. Yep, she also will be getting the call one day very soon.

I tease her and say she is my Best Breast Buddy. Abigail heard my cancer story late one night during the 2009 Southern Lights writers conference. I may have been drinking wine and gave too candid a glimpse at the broken heroine inside me.

She was appalled that I had dropped out of follow-up after going into remission. She gave me her oncologist and her reconstruction surgeon. The imp followed up with me and I think if I had not made appointments on my own she would have made them for me and dragged me to them kicking and screaming. You have to have spent a year in cancer treatment to understand how I felt and why I ran from doctors after going into remission. It wasn’t the smart thing to do…no, not at all. Abigail as a cancer surviver knew what I was going through. She became my breast buddy that day. Love you girl. Now we discuss our surgeon’s long eye lashes and just how brilliant he is as the King of Tata’s. 2010 I completed Breast reconstruction surgery. I was gobstobbered at how much that outward change went toward helping me begin to heal some of the inward scars. But that is fodder for another blog, another day.

And then there is Jamie. Wickedly clever, intuitive, gifted, lyrical, Her voice contains lilting prose in almost every sentence. When you read her stories you are truly swept away to a different place and time. You want to cry when it is over for having taken the journey with her and that the time has ended to quickly. ((And NO JAMIE. I’m not blowing smoke your way just because you have my dream agent. pfffttt.))

Right now she is writing a blog that will give you a taste of her wonderful world. “I’m Trying to Do Something”

Thursday thoughts

humm. I am thinking, thinking, thinking perhaps some really deep thoughts. Maybe the thoughts are just self absorbed, moaning prattle.

My creativity has been hiding. I hope it is not broken. I’ve given a lot of thought as to why my muse is on vacation. I don’t necessarily have any answers. Maybe writing this blog will help me find some.

I’ve had this crud sick mess going around and actually missed two days from my day job. During the time off I cleaned my mothers area of the house. That was daunting and frightening all at the same time. I can’t even talk anymore about it. It’s enough said that I toted away four garbage bags of purses to the donation center. Yes there is a reason the show “Hoarders” makes me physically ill.

Last year was very intense. I had a lot of surgery … all elective… all dealing with the after effects of cancer. So it was a good thing.

Family dynamics have been rolling around. We had my oldest daughter with us most of the year because her hubby was in Afganistan serving with the Marines. He is home safe and actually getting ready to ship out again. Daughter is pregnant with their first child. Again, all good.

My mother has been a jonah stone but we are resolving. She is going to move into a senior retirement center in June. She will be happy about it. The family will be happy about it. Yes, She WILL be happy about it. Once again, all good.

Shhhh I have a secret. There is real romance in my life again. shh, not telling. It’s complicated. (lol) However, my facebook status should reveal “in a relationship” ha! All, Very, VERY Good. However, self discovery drawing threads from my whole life into a circle to greater self understanding. humm deep, mysterious, vague…sigh.

On the down side, cause there is always a down side. My day job has been a trauma. Three…no four new bosses hired. My direct supervisor, his supervisor, my program supervisor, and my local county supervisor. All new three of the four this summer. And frankly after doing the day job I have for ohhhh like eight years through all kinds of dis-functional bosses. My bull shit meter is full and I am just not enduring like I used to be able to. enough, maybe too much, said.

And, the romance, like all romance has it’s roller coaster moments. Damn Alphas. And long distance to boot. I have to do something about that distance. So the FB Psychic foresees a lot of travel in my future. Snort. Ms. Obvious.

And Mom’s craziness had a lot of emotion. Do you ever wonder what happens to that guy who sends you the email that he is stranded in South Africa, lost his passport and needs your help? Think everyone is too smart to fall for that?

Well, not everyone. Nuff said. I have two comments for her. American Embassy and TSTL (Too Stupid to Live) Okay I had a lot of words for her but NONE of them are appropriate for this blog. Again, TMI right? lol

So as you see gentle readers…. Who said that? Was it Dear Abby who used to address her peeps as ‘gentle readers’?

Yes, well….anyway, as you see there has been a lot of stress. Good things, bad things, WONDERFUL things, stressful none the less.

So, last year my WIP for 2009 / 2010 contested fairly well. I finaled in two out of the three contests I entered. Not, the Golden Heart but I had good scores overall. Not a final, but not a fiasco.

Then, in January 2010 I plunged into the second of the series, a stand alone but with the same world and secondary characters from 2009’s WIP rising to the forefront for his/her time in the sun.

I had reached the point where I finally felt like I could write a clever story with interesting characters. I felt I found my voice somewhere in 2010.

I had established a relationship with a wonderful critique partner, Charlie, who actually gets me and hears my voice and knows the perfect thing to say to me to help me.  I felt like I had the same emotions for her writing. We had paced each other very well through the second half of 2009 and into 2010.

Then, in May of 2010 things in my writing just kinda unraveled from all the afore mentioned stuff and kept unraveling. I was diagnosed with a genetic eye issue that became a major obstacle. I couldn’t keep pace with Charlie any longer. I didn’t produce pages for the live critique group any more. I didn’t spent my time writing any longer.

It’s like there is a leak in my creativity. I had used writing as an escape from horrible things in the past. Why now does horrible….and good things…..stop me?

I can psychoanalyze myself till he cows leave home. Is it fear of success? Is it a traumatic stress reaction? did it get too hard? Do I start things and never seem them through to completion? AM I TOO Random Abstract? Am I angry? Life isn’t fair. Snort, tell me something new, that’s a lesson I should have figured out long, long ago.

I have learned so much from my association with my critique group, my critique partner, my writing friends, reading blogs, association with (Romance Writers of America) RWA and (First Coast Romance Writers) FCRW

Author Shelby Reed is a friend. She has the most beautiful ‘voice’. I adore her. She and Charlie have done so much to help me learn. She spent an entire afternoon counseling me about my goals and strategy as a writer.

I went pro in 2010 but I know I am not ready to make my goals come to fruition. I can scrap the first four books I’ve written and call them learning experience. I am on the cusp. Now I’ve learned. I need to write and write and write. Yes, of course I need to continue learning…tons. She and I arrived at the perfect strategy for my career. I have the map. I know where I am going.

Judith Ehrlich http://www.judithehrlichliterary.com/agents.html was the final judge on one of my manuscripts in the Winter Rose contest, sponsored by the Yellow Rose of Texas chapter.

She is brilliant. She took an incredible amount of time with comments and edits on my contest entry. Thankfully most, MOST of what she saw I had already taken care of in edits that occurred while my entry made it’s way through the contest pipeline. However, there were some key elements she saw that I had missed. I realized, OMG I need to fix this thing about my writing. I did diligently apply myself to that endeavor. I had to learn more, integrate it into my skill set. I believe I have.

Okay so where does this diatribe end. I found myself in the middle of writing a book with muddy unclear focus and themes that had rolled along while I was learning, searching and struggling. A hero who is at times dark and scary. I love parts of it. In ways I look at it and it seems written by two different people. I love parts of it. I hate parts of it. I want to fix it. I don’t want to fix it. I can dance the hokey pokey on this one all night long. Hokey pokey conga line with my conflicted emotions. And basically that is what I have done for ohhh eight months.

I admire writer Abigail Sharpe http://donthangupthequill.wordpress.com/

She DID final in the Golden Heart. She had a similar struggle with her WIP evolving and changing. She stuck with it and wrestled that puppy to the ground and make it call her momma. She was spectacular and glorious in the work and effort she did with her manuscript. I admire the heck out of her. I fail pale and weak in her light. lol I’m not blowing smoke here Abigail.

So, January 2011 came around. I gave myself permission to put that 2010 unfinished mess under the bed and start over. I even wrote about 300 words of a scene that came to me during one of my Eliptical hours. (Me and E dancing together for an hour at the gym to burn calories….Another untold story of suffering…yet I digress.)

The scene seems good, different, not sure where it is going. I have tried to think about it. However 2010 WIP is still there lurking in my mind…whispering…”You know you love us…. we need you…tell our story right….if you would only listen instead of being so damn bossy, I would cooperate….”

Awww. Hell. Do I return to endless purgatory for my characters to punish me? Do I reject the whisperings of an untold story? I know I am not alone in examining these wandering threads of reality.

Call this blog, “I hear voices in my head and I like it”. Or perhaps “Where have all the voices gone…. I miss you.” Psycho mama, is it that I am more afraid to let them out? Will they somehow reveal my own dark holes of brokenness that I’m afraid can’t be fixed?

I don’t really know for sure. Yet, I’m not ready to give up so I continue to incubate. I hold onto the faith that I will come out of the other side of this a better person, a better story teller, a better writer.

Heroine Wednesday

Today launches “Heroine Wednesday”. This blog may end up with a little more depth than Fantasy Man Monday and then again it may arrive at an equally superficial place. I’m unpredictable like that.

However, today I am thinking about heroines and how women have shaped the world.

I’ll go on the record as saying I love Belle.

She was the first Disney Heroine that I remember, (Emphasis on remember), being a real individual. She didn’t need the prince on the charger to make her life complete. She had the company of a good book and her own imagination.

She made her own happy ending and didn’t let a difference in species become a barrier to true love.

Thank you Deviant Art

This next picture is obviously an actress portraying Queen Elizabeth. I think the Queen is a modern heroine. I would like to know more about her. Humm perhaps some biographical reading is in order during this new year.

But consider this actresses “look”. This is a picture worth a thousand words. What do you see? Shrewd, thoughtful, planning, …. the mind of a matriarch at work.

I could portray an array of hot women here in the classic heroine roles. Frankly this blog may degrade to that in insuring weeks. I will never undermine the power of a hot woman with a gun in her hand. (lol)

Yet, when I consider the real heroines that are currently shaping my life I think of my breast buddy who gracefully survived breast cancer with the support of her loving husband and family.

My own marriage did not survive the disease. Frankly my relationship with my current ex-husband was sick before I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005. So I really can’t blame breast cancer, although somehow I do. Lately I believe I am thanking breast cancer for giving me the courage to begin to fix things in my life….bad relationships being primary.

My ex had the nerve to give me an angel ornament for Christmas with the breast cancer ribbon around it’s neck saying support, strength, love…. some such nonsense. I resisted the urge to run it over with the truck and send it back to him in pieces with a note saying “yeah pal thanks for the support. Here’s to ya.” Yet I digress muchly. LOL

So my heroines and heroes are families fighting the big C whether it be breast, colon, whatever kind of disease eating at your life and sense of value. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

link to the photography artist responsible for this black and white

Fantasy Man Monday

My FB friend Danica Avet has gotten me hooked on her Fantasy Man Friday’s. http://www.danicaavet.wordpress.com

I need uplifting on Mondays in order to count down to Friday.

So, here’s my take for Fantasy Man Monday.

Doesn’t he just inspire a steamy Werewolf paranormal?

(Jared Prudoff, model)

Dragon’s Mark 2009 Beacon Unpub – 2nd Place Finish

Okay kiddies, Results are in as the title of this blog outs, Dragon’s Mark came in Second to Bad Girl.  Congrats to Bad Girl author for her win.  Those of you who have followed this blog know we struck up a conversation cheering each other on to the finish.  When I said I was hoping for a one two finish I was more thinking me one, you two?? **grin**  Next time babe’  lol.

One of my judges shared that if she picked up a book and found that it had a me’nage theme she would put it down.  What can I say?  This is not the book for you.  I have two heroes and one heroine.  There’s no cliff hanger on how this is going to turn out. At least she/he didn’t say she/he would throw it at the wall.

No judge bashing here.  For the most part judges work very hard to make their comments relevant and educational.  And in all fairness, just because our tastes in literature differ she/he had some important helpful things to say in her specific comments.

So Yeah, Dragon’s Mark 2nd Place.  First contest for this book.  Second contest for me.  I’ve put this piece two more contests with more up to date edited versions.  We’ll see how it goes!

Contest Final

I am so thrilled.  Word just came through that Dragon’s Mark has finaled in the Beacon Unpublished Contest hosted by First Coast Romance Writers a chapter of RWA.

It is the third book I’ve written.  This is the second contest I’ve entered.  Last year I entered the Beacon with a Contemporary Suspense manuscript.  This year I wrote Dragon’s Mark and entered it into the Beacon contest as well as the Golden Heart.

I am doing the happy dance and squeee like a fan girl.

Fingers and toes and eyes crossed for the final round to be announced in Feb, 2010.  Not to mention how much I hope it will do well in the Golden Heart.

Being a Survivor

Being a survivor is a process.   Similar to our writing we continually edit and re edit toward a finished product.

As a Cancer survivor  I am an evolution without end.  The end would be bing bing bing, game over.  I’m not rushing toward a final destination.  Even the word survivor indicates a continuation, an endurance of all things.

So, my trek continues, thankfully.

November/December has brought the blessing of beginning reconstructive surgery to begin another phase of healing from the impact of the big C.

I prepared for the surgery over the past couple of years.  I began weight watchers to learn to eat nutritiously.  I didn’t care about losing weight or thinking about a DIET mode.  I just wanted to control food for a change.  The added benefit was I did loose about 40 pounds.

I realized the scar from the cancer surgery was a continual reminder of all the awful stuff that had happened to me during that time.  Now the scar is gone.  I am beginning to feel whole again on the outside.  Perhaps that will allow me to heal and feel whole on the inside as well.

In the mean time I thought I would accomplish so much writing while being off work on medical leave.  That hasn’t proved to be the case.  However, my CP and I are moving through edits on our individual finished manuscripts from last year.  My WIP with the working title of Dragon’s Mark is getting my attention for editorial overhaul and polish.  At the same time I am plotting and sketching notes for the next in the series, Dragon’s Soul.

Much like my fictional heroines I am strong, resiliant and in search of my own path, my own destiny, my own happily ever after, one day at a time.