D 2014

It’s Friday morning, and that means it’s Friday Fictioneers time!  My submission for this week came in at exactly 99 words and is listed below. If you like flash fiction and want to learn more about Friday Fictioneers, here’s the link to their page for this week’s photo prompt.


The light beckoned to her. Donatella knew it meant trouble, but its siren song was proving to be irresistible. She took one step, then another, until she was almost close enough to touch it. Her dress fluttered around her legs in the breeze that always accompanied her. A faint smile played on Donatella’s lips, as she reached up with her hand towards the lamp, the light glowing warmly.

Footsteps echoed in the darkness, and the night watchman came into the pool of light. Everything was as it should be, just him in an empty studio. The silence was comforting.







Writing Time!


It’s drawing close to Camp NaNoWriMo again, and I’m hoping to actually succeed this time!  What is Camp NaNoWriMo?  I’ll provide a link at the end of this post so you can get the full info, but in a nutshell Camp NaNoWriMo is all about writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.  Yes….you read correctly – 30 DAYS!

This will be my second Camp NaNoWriMo – I attempted to participate in April; I don’t know what I was thinking then – that’s when our state academic testing is, and the stress levels for both students and teachers are THROUGH. THE. ROOF.  All we do is review, reviews, review.  The time after spring break and right up until testing is basically a giant cramming session. Which I’ve always thought was ridiculous – if the students don’t know the concepts by then, stuffing it down their throats isn’t going to make them perform better on the state testing – but that’s what the school and grade level lead teacher said to do, so I had to do it.

Back to camp – I wasn’t successful.  I accomplished all of about 3,000 words before I threw in the towel.  In a way, NaNoWriMo is like that giant academic cramming session.  You write like mad to make the 50,000 word goal by the end of 30 days.  Cram, cram, cram.  If you average about 1,700 words per day then you’re guaranteed to reach the goal (and go slightly above it).  But that’s 1,700 words PER DAY.  If life happens and you can’t write that many words every day, then you feel the need to write madly (cram, cram, cram) for the remaining days until you’re back on track word count-wise.  What do you get at the end of the month?  A 50,000 word document and a label under your avatar that says “Winner!”.  As petty as it may sound, I want that label of “Winner!” under my avatar.  I want that 50,000 plus word document to put aside, wait until November to revise and then shop it out to beta readers for review.  So….I is willingly entering that giant cramming…err, writing…session again in seven days.

Wish me luck!


For more NaNoWriMo info, click here:

Writing conference in an unexpected place…

Today is the first Monday of June, and I finally feel as though I’ve rejoined the human race!  The last three weeks of school in May are always hard, but this year it felt harder, as I was not only reviewing concepts already learned, but teaching the beginnings of algebra to my sixth grade class.  This is in addition to completing the end of the year reports with data and graphs that the school I taught at required, as well as packing up my room, getting things ready for the sixth grade promotion, and doing the student cumulative files.


Giganto bags were soooo popular this year.

I went from the craziness of the last three weeks of May (our last day was Friday, May 24th) directly into the local Comicon convention we have here in the Valley of the Sun.  This makes for year four that I’ve attended, but I’ve only attended on Sundays in years past.  This year I attended panel sessions all day Saturday and Sunday.

Some of the panel sessions were fantastic and I learned a lot!  I’ve never really looked at the panels that were available for writers – and I was very impressed with their offerings this year.  My first session began at 10:30am on Saturday, and my last session ended at 8:30pm that night.  Most of the day found me in panels that were basically back to back, with one 1 ½ hour break that began around 5pm.  I was so glad to get something to eat!

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman in line to get pizza!

Sunday found me back at it – same bat time – but my last session ended at 4pm.  Attending all the panels cut into my picture gathering, but I did manage to get a few snaps…


This year’s Phoenix Comicon was a great learning experience for me, and I’ve decided that next year I need to make arrangements to attend on Friday as well – there were sessions for writers that dealt with publishing law and editing that I would have LOVED to have attended!  2013 Comicon was a writing conference for me, and I loved being able to take with other writers (published and unpublished), learn new things, and just people watch (new characters gathering!) all for just $50.00!

The down side to all my month of May is that I was completely brain dead last week!  Yes, I am sorry to say that my 41 year old brain gave out, and it took a week to recover and begin to feel human again.  LOL  🙂

We can find things to help us in unexpected places – we don’t always have to attend actual writing conferences.  So I would like to challenge you to take a look at what your community has to offer… just may be surprised at where you can find people and information to help improve your writing skills.  🙂

Elf boy

Happy Writing!

Z is for Zen…


Today is the last day of the Blogging from A-Z Challenge with the letter Z….and if you participated in the challenge then you may be feeling a little happy (I made it!  :)  ), a little sad (it’s over???  :(  ), and have a slight feeling of loss (NOW what do I do??? ).  All of those things pretty much sum up my feelings this Tuesday morning, and that’s why I chose the book “Ten Zen Seconds” by Eric Maisel.


I think I’ve read most of Dr. Maisel’s nonfiction books – he really understands the creative individual, and I’ve learned things from his books.  This book appealed to me because I am the Queen of Procrastination, and this is something I really have to work on!  So, I read the book, tried out the twelve incantations, and found it does help to calm my brain before I go to sleep if I’m worried about something.  It also helped calm me when I had to face a couple of difficult challenges last year in regards to my work.  However I will be honest…I still have my Procrastination Queen title, so it hasn’t helped me give up that title, although I’m still trying too!  LOL  :)

“Ten Zen Seconds” involves two parts – breathing and thinking.  The breathing I was already good at:  I do both Pilates and Yoga, so I’m able to slow my breathing and stretch it out.  But the thinking….I’m a naturally “the glass is half full” type of person, and while I know I should think more positive, it’s HARD!  However, with the techniques and sayings suggested in “Ten Zen Seconds” I’ve become better at thinking positive.

So, dear reader, this is the end of the line for Blogging A-Z this year.  However, I’m working on a posting schedule, and will continue to post three times per week (possibly more…we’ll see).  One post a week will be about hiking or some other healthy thing, I’ll have one post a week about writing itself – or time management, which I need to get better at – and at least one post will be about bliss.  I’m also thinking of joining the Blogher challenge on blogging about comfort for the month of May – I’m definitely going out of my own comfort zone as of May 24th (I resigned my teaching job at the school I’m currently teaching at).  I hope you’ll continue to come along with me!

Happy Living!  ;)

Friday Fictioneers – Blue Door


Hot.  Sticky.  The air felt as though it held an entire ocean within its hand.    She stopped for a moment, looking around.  The note had said to look for the blue door, down a small alleyway.  But the note didn’t say which alleyway.  She had to find it, had to keep looking, keep searching. She jerked her head to look behind her at the sound of a footstep.  No….it couldn’t be him.  She had been so careful, had traveled by rooftops to avoid him.  Her heart began to race, and she took off running, her whiskers twitching and a single thought running through her mind…blue door, blue door, blue door.

Onward and Upward

Good morning everyone!  I’m late, but here – so that counts for something!!  LOL  Anyway, my Friday Fictioneers short tops out at 116 words. Sixteen words over, but I hope you enjoy the twist.  Have a wonderful Sunday!

Henry smiled with satisfaction, as he sat on the bench that ran the perimeter of the blip’s cabin and gazed down on the scenery below him.  “How tiny it all looks,” he thought. “The trees look like mere sticks, and the humans like those little black sugar ants that James was always complaining about.”

At the thought of James, the smile on Henry’s face grew.  He certainly wouldn’t be complaining anymore, stupid human. Such a shame about his accident – one should really make sure the door to a blip is fully closed.

Henry jumped down from the bench, padded over to the captain’s chair and leaped up onto it.  The first stage had begun….cats would rule!

To plot, to plan, to outline…

It’s a lovely Sunday morning, and I’m writing on my patio.  My kitties are roaming throughout the backyard while I am impatiently waiting for the coffeemaker to HURRY UP AND BREW THE COFFEE!!!

As you may be able to tell, I’m not a particularly patient person – I tend to just do things (especially when it comes to writing), versus planning, plotting, researching……which leads to a question I have for you.  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I am a pantser – I typically get an idea, sit down, and let fly my fingers across the keys of my laptop.  Unfortunately, I discovered in November of last year (while participating in NANOWRIMO) that this process doesn’t work when it came to the novel I attempted to work on then!

The basic premise of the story is fantastic – the problem is the setting.  You see, the story needs to be set in Dublin, Ireland……and I’ve never been to Dublin, Ireland.  I don’t know the names of the roads, or any of the interesting buildings/sights one might see as they are being pursued (and need to duck into, etc.).  So, I will try my hand at outlining (and researching) for this particular novel.

I have a book to help guide me through the process…..











A book to show me some visuals of Dublin…..

And a fantastic map that shows the roads, historic buildings, pubs, etc. of Dublin…..








I’m off to begin my journey through this new “land of Oz”.  Any suggestions   you might have for me would be GREATLY appreciated!

Friday Fictioneers – Rainbow

Good morning!  I’m running behind this week – a case of too many things to do, and not enough time in which to accomplish them!  LOL  I would love critique on this short – not my best work – I knew what I wanted to say, but the words had a difficult time going down on paper.

Upon opening his eyes, Stanley looked in awe at the rainbow that arched itself over the other end of the forest and ran down into the very trees themselves.  The forest was beautiful, and he felt so lucky to live there!

Stanley stretched his limbs, yawned, and gave himself a good shake all over.  The air was cool, and the sky a vivid blue after last night’s storm.

For one brief moment the thought occurred to Stanley that he wished he could paint the picture in front of him, wished he could capture that moment in time forever.  Then Stanley gave a small laugh.  Whoever heard of a tree being able to paint like those odd creatures called humans!

100 Word Friday Fictioneer – A Poem

I actually wrote a poem this time – odd, since I can count on one hand the number of poems I’ve written in my life!  The Muse woke me up at 3am yesterday to write this.  Needless to say, I wish she would learn to TELL TIME!!!  LOL  🙂


In the depths of these ancient woods

While its animals are sleeping

Comes a softly lilting sound

Floating on the gentle breezes.



If your eyesight is very keen

And your step silent as the night.

You may see him in the clearing

The young man who plays his pipe.



He won’t be tall, this man in green

And looks so very young

Make no mistake though, who he is

This creature known as Puck.

Dreaming and fear

Last Sunday I talked about courage, and I had a couple of really great responses (thank you SO MUCH for responding!) Littlewonder2 said, “(I) didn’t even let people read my writing in the past, or tell them about it, so I’ve already improved”.  Yes Littlewonder2 – you have DEFINITELY improved!!!  J  One of my FB friends sent me a private message, and strongly encouraged me to follow my dreams.  She told me of the things that she had learned from me, and the things that she had witnessed my teaching to my sixth graders that went far beyond the “traditional three Rs”.  I REALLY appreciated what she said, because sometimes (at least for me) it’s hard to give myself permission to go for what I want.  Do you ever have that problem?

I grew up poor – there were times when my mother had to take commodity food just to have something for us to eat, and as a teacher I don’t make a lot of money now.  Every time I read about a teacher who makes $50,000 – $75,000 a year, I always think ‘What state do THEY work in?!?!?!’ (Obviously NOT where I live!)  The thought of not having that paycheck coming in every two weeks is frightening, but there are times when I think my current job is killing my soul.  Which is NOT a position I want to be in!

There’s a book I read this past week, it’s called “The Dip.  A Little Book That Teaches You When To Quit (And When To Stick)”, by the Seth Goodin.  Now it’s a little book (80 pages), and since it came out in 2007 I bought it off of Ebay.  Yes, I was looking for the cheapest price!  LOL  In a nutshell, this is a book that says there are three types of “curves” that we go through in everything during our lives.  They are:  the “dip”, the “cliff”, and the “cul-de-sac”.  Both the cliff and the cul-de-sac are dead-ends, and we need to quit them when we are able to recognize them.  The “Dip” is that lull – you know, the time after beginning to learn something new (so much fun!), but before you’ve actually mastered that thing.  According to Seth Goodin, the dip is when we need to continue on, to NOT quit, but to push on through.

After pondering the messages of the writer, and looking at my own life, I decided to go ahead and spend the money (which was SO HARD to do) to take a copywriting class.  I’ll be learning a new skill that involves writing – which I love – and might help me to come to the point where I have enough income to quit my “cul-de-sac” and, as Robert Frost says, “…take the road less traveled…”

What about you?  Are you looking to make any changes in your own life, to begin the process of following your dreams (whatever they may be)?  I would love to hear about them!  Have a wonderful Sunday.

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