Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Mars, Music, The Staff, Writing

Songs and Places

I’m going for a two-fer today: write about a place and a song. That’s going to be a challenge, not because I don’t know what to say, but I don’t really know where to start. That’s what happens with too many choices.

I’m not in the mood for straight fiction tonight, although I do want to talk about the story. I have an image in my head and it’s this one:

My fantasy with the two travelers, named Daniel and Mira, includes a new home, away from the devastation – kind of. The travelers and their eventual companions are traveling east, to a place called the Deep Lands that may or may not exist. There are stories about them and they’re pretty frightening. In one version, the Gods cursed the land for some infraction or another and killed off its ability to support any kind of plant life. In another version, the air itself has been removed. It’s a place no one in their right mind would want to go. Mira’s hard nosed and skeptical. No air, indeed. It’s just a story to scare kids into behaving, or so she explains to Daniel.

So, what is this a picture of? Mars, actually. Probably taken from one of the rovers happily wheeling around out there. I’m fascinated with the place, although not enough to actually want to go there. I tried to think of the most desolate, loneliest place anywhere. That’s what came to mind.

So, as of my last writing the group of travelers (yes, there are a bunch of them by now and they’ve already had some adventures) have arrived at the beginning of the Eastern lands. They’re currently camped in the remains of an ancient, ancient city and they’re getting a serious case of the creeps. Something feels wrong, although they haven’t found out what yet. They’ve just met (at spear-point) a group of area residents and are about to hear a story. That’s when I had to stop.

So, the music? Eerie, ominous. I grabbed a soundtrack and made a video out of it. Maybe I’ll show it to you later. For now, here’s the music:

Posted in Blogging, Fantasy, Fiction, Writing

Unlock the Mind

So, from Blogging 101 to Writing 101. You’re in for it now! I joined this writing challenge to get my fiction muscles back in shape. I haven’t worked them out for quite some time. I joined in a NaNoWriMo challenge last November, but stopped when my mother passed away early that month. I really didn’t feel like doing any fiction writing until earlier this year, but got sucked into some life challenges that dropped me in my tracks. Now there’s another NaNo challenge in July and I’m going to try it again. In the meantime, I’m going to see what I can do during this challenge to prepare for that.

I have a book I’ve been trying to finish for years. I started it during the worst part of the recession, when both my husband and I were pretty much hung out to dry. I suddenly started thinking about two travelers in a ravaged countryside, two people who had lost some very significant things. One person, the female protagonist, lost her entire family and village and the other, the male protagonist, a soldier who was blinded in an attack. I set this up as a fantasy, set in some pre-industrial era. I started it, then stopped, then started, then stopped. I signed up for NaNoWriMo in 2012 and got my 50,000 words in, but the novel still wasn’t finished. Since that time I’ve written about another 2,000 words.

So, I’ll give Writing 101 a try – if you guys can stand it. I may also post chapters and plot synopses, to see what you guys think about it.

So, here we go again!

Posted in Blogging, Gardening, Journals, Life, Nature, Story-Telling, Writing

To You, Dear Reader

Now that the holiday weekend is behind me, it’s time for some catching up. This blogging challenge – write a post to your dream reader – is making me think. Who is my dream reader? My blog covers a little bit of everything, so at first it seemed like there needed to be more than one.

Is my dream reader a foodie? A gardener? A lover of parks and easy walks? A fiction reader? A humorist?

Yes to all of these, and more. But, then I thought about it some more. What elements do these readers have in common? After a day of thinking about it, I think I’ve come up with an answer:

My dream reader loves a good story. That story may be about anything, but it needs to have a beginning, middle and end.

That’s as true for a short story as it is for a home-made vacation video. I always try to start at the beginning and make my way logically to some type of conclusion.

So, dear reader, I hope you’ll follow me as I go on my various adventures. And, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Now Come Along, Everybody
Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Writing

Halfway Down and Half to Go!

NaNoWriMo Logo
She’s a writing demon!

Just passed the 25,000 word mark, 10 days into the month. Only 25,000 left to write and I’ll meet the  mark! Writing every single day is hard work, but my internal editor has been shut off for the time being and I’m going for quantity over quality.  I can always go back and berate myself for writing a piece of crap (although I don’t think it is). But at least I’ll be able to apply the red pen to an entire novel, not odd chapters here and there that eventually get drowned below an avalanche of other things to do.

And here I thought writing a 50,000 word novel in a month was a stupid idea. In fact, it seems to be the only way I can do it, no matter what the word count.

Posted in Podcasts, Science Fiction, Writing


I listen to a lot of podcasts: news, humor, history, story tellers and fiction. I’m rarely tempted to share any of it, but this story is an exception, a “black sheep of the family” changeling tale that had me – me! – in tears by the end of it. Homecoming covers a lot of emotional territory when it comes to family relationships. It manages to do it within a fascinating science-fiction structure that, at the same time, goes beyond it to tell a universal story.

Here’s the podcast. Listen to it. Share it.

If you like science fiction, or at least podcasted science fiction, visit Escape Pod and sign up for more!

Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Writing

Audio To Go

Happy Reading!

What with the holidays and all coming up, I thought I’d recommend a great site for writers and other lovers of the written word. It’s called Sniplits, and it’s dedicated solely to short audio fiction. Stories cover a number of different genres, everything from mainstream literary works to mysteries, science fiction, travel, animals and sports.

The stories, which range from a few minutes to an hour or more in length, are narrated by professional readers. The quality overall is quite good, both in terms of the physical product as well as the writing itself.

Members get to download stories for free each month. The prices for each story are extremely – and I mean extremely – reasonable. I mean, 50 cents to a buck per story reasonable. Just pick out your story and download the mp3 to your computer. From there I usually transfer it to my iPod for listening on the run.

Actually, I listen to audio fiction at night, when I’m getting ready for bed. I hope you’ll check these guys out – they’re white knights as far as I’m concerned. Getting literature passed around is no easy feat and my hat’s off to Sniplits for doing such a good job of it.

Now, get out there and download some stories!