California Hillside – Friday Flash Fiction

His red hair flamed against the cobalt blue of the California sky, his white teeth flashing in a charm-filled smile. His cocoa brown eyes warm, and full of love.

Bristly cheeks, a hearty laugh. Big hands, gentle in his touch and deft with a painter’s brush. “Look, princess,” he’d say. “What do you see?”

A world of color, a maelstrom of emotion too mature for young eyes. The heart of an artist speaking the only way it knew how – with oils and strokes, palettes of hues and whorls of feeling.

He never came in rescue from the monsters of childhood nor the tears shed in the face of life’s bruising. Never chased away the unworthy boys; never walked down the aisle with his princess on his arm to give away. He never held his first grandchild, or even seen his face.

He was not there, or ever would be, yet he lingered in every curve of my heart. I thought I could see him out of the corner of my eye and I would turn, only to face my fear. He lived; he was dead. Dead to me, but alive to his second, and favored, family.

Thirty years later, all I have is an enameled box filled with the remnants of a life that should have been.

I opened the box and released my father’s ashes on the California hillside.


This *IS* Work….Honest

Yes, I should be working; I have a tight deadline to meet this week. However, I am often seduced by the fiction part of my chosen profession (like I chose it, instead of the other way around, that’s so funny!) and so I have a few links to share with you I think you might find useful or amusing.

First of all, a good friend of mine passed along a new market for short fiction. Blue Crow is accepting new submissions, deadline March 15, 2010.

Second, I found an Evil Editor and I’m soooo happy our species is not extinct. Don’t let the sharp humor scare you — there is a lot of excellent information here to which more writers and editors should pay attention. Including myself.

Looking for an agent? This is the blog for you. I might not be ready yet, but I will be soon, and it never hurts to keep an ear to the ground.

And wrapping it up for today, are you writing an online serial novel? Have you thought about taking your writing to the next level? Check out Digital Novelists, an innovative and fabulous community of writers exploring the power of profitably writing fiction for the web. An absolutely stellar bunch of people, and they get my hearty recommendation.

It’s supposed to be Tuesday, but it just feels like Monday dressed up in Tuesday’s cast-offs. The pants are a little too tight, but I’ll just have to make it work. Speaking of work, stop distracting me with shiny things…heh.


Burning Daylight

I have been having technical difficulties with the website lately, and nothing but the run-around trying to get it resolved. This makes me cranky. Couple that with a Monday and a decreased caffeine intake, and what do you have? Ohhhh, it’s not pretty.

However, we shall persevere.

I have been neck-deep in non-fic work, and while I’m very happy that I can make some kind of progress at chipping away at the pile of bills which grow fangs in the night and try to eat me in the morning, it has severely curtailed fiction-type endeavors. This does not make me happy, but it is what it is. I will say that anyone who tries to tell you writing for a living is easy work is a damned liar and you should beat them with a shovel.

I’m halfway through the Big Project, applied for a couple more gigs that seem up my alley, and am hurling words at a rate of about 2500-3500 per day. Considering that’s on the same subject, I’m satisfied with that although my brain likes to tell me otherwise.

Speaking of which, no, I have not completed the last three chapters yet. Pallas yells at me almost every night. She just does not get the concept of earning a living. I tell her when she can pay the bills, she’ll have my undivided attention, but until then I’m the boss of this rodeo. She laughs at me.

I’ll be so glad when that wench is written out and over. At least, for this round.


That’s the update. I’ll leave you with this comedic tidbit, which cracks me up:

Don’t Waste The Shave


It's A New Day, It's A New Dawn

And, it’s a cold one! Frigid, even. Holy moly, these single digits are killa. Makes it difficult for the brain cells to fire.

I realize I have taken a hiatus from blogging, tweeting, and general internet stuff, and most of that was not on purpose. Oh, you have your usual holiday issues, then some health issues, and of course, the ever-present real-life drama issues, and next thing you know, a whole  month or more has passed by with nary a blog word written. Although only one out of the three have actually been resolved, it’s past time to dive back in to the blogosphere. I hope I haven’t lost all two of my readers (heh) but I’m willing to work hard to woo you back into the fold.

Let’s start with some Twitter-love, shall we? #Fridayflash is still going strong, and a “Best of” anthology is planned. For writers, I strongly urge you to participate in this weekly exercise, because…well, because it is so much fun! As a reader, I urge you with equal fervor to make the rounds and read…there is some astounding talent out there, and you won’t be sorry. As a matter of fact, I suspect you’ll thank me profusely and maybe even name your first born child after me. Yes, the stories are that good. Check it out.

The latest Twitter hashtag that’s come to my attention is #storystarters. How cool is this? Clifford Fryman had the brilliant idea (while in the shower, heh) to post 50 “story starters” to “kickstart creativity when your muse is a no show.” Each #storystarter is 125 characters, and he started posting them today in batches of five. I can see the potential for it to catch fire in the same way #fridayflash did. According to Cliff, who was kind enough to respond to my nosy questions, the idea is to provide a daily place to post or take advantage of a prompt. He posts three per day, usually. The 50 #storystarters were the result of a Twitter challenge Cliff posted, in order to raise awareness. It worked! He met the challenge, so today starts the posting marathon of the fruits of his labor. Anyone can participate and post a #storystarter by simply using the hashtag. He encourages people to first of all, write! And direct message him or Tweet the link to any story inspired by one of the story starters.

Cliff has tentative plans to release his personal story starters in a free e-book around NaNo time, but the future of #storystarters is still in the infant stage. The potential is shining and exciting. You can follow Cliff on Twitter here, and I highly recommend you do so… there could be more challenges to come, and you don’t want to miss them!

Cliff and I agree that Twitter has been a huge benefit, and he considers this his way of paying it forward. That’s the great thing about Twitter — many fine, talented people who are generous with their time and talents. I love Twitter.

I’ll be keeping a close eye on this, and have already scribbled a couple of #storystarters on my trusty notepad for future reference. Very cool, and the gods know that muse of mine needs a good poke now and then.


This is my latest earworm by DJEarworm — a seriously talented young man. Dare you not to do some chair dancing when you see it 🙂


Well, this is a start on getting it on with the new year. I have expectations tempered by a realistic outlook. This ain’t my first new year, but hopefully it will be better than the last two have been, which in all honesty, have sucked the hairy nutz of Lucifer. One thing I can say about the last sixteen months in particular…I may have been bent, but I am not broken, and I still have hope. I’m gonna take that and run with it.