Don’t Panic

Don’t panic. If you’ve ever read Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you know all about that awesome catch phrase. Besides awesome works of fiction, it applies to any humans’ daily life as well.

Today I was driving to work and as I neared my destination (I was about ten minutes away) I felt this excruciating burning on my back. What the hell? I had to think about it for a second. Then it went away, and I kept driving. Then it came back. Holy shit, what the hell is that?! I knew what it was, but I couldn’t figure out how it got to my back. Then I realized all four of my windows were down (my AC doesn’t work) and the culprit must have gotten sucked into the cab of my truck.

Bee sting. Ouch.

Once I figured out it had to be a bee, I took deep, intentional breaths and found a spot to pull over (church parking lot). I was moving faster now as it was burning like hell. I threw the truck in park, hopped out, ran around the side away from the traffic and tore my shirt off over my head. I shook my stripped clothing vigorously and spotted the bee.

“Mr. Bee, why?” I asked as he fell to the ground. He didn’t answer but I knew that it didn’t matter why, it just mattered that I managed to not panic and was able to pull over and get my situation back to normal (without causing an accident) before I continued to work. When I got there, one of my female coworkers was in the office and I asked her to go in the bathroom with me and see if there was a stinger in my back. She looked and there wasn’t. Just a giant, red welt.

Okay, I can deal with that. I took some Advil, made my green tea and got on with my day.

So, why am I telling you this weird story about a bee sting and not panicking? Because when we panic, shit gets effed up. I mean, what if I had panicked and drove into oncoming traffic? Or hopped out of my moving car? I’m not sure that it is human nature to panic or of we just tell ourselves that because we’re expected to panic.

No matter what happens: don’t panic.

In my new book, I am writing about a carnival that comes to a small Pennsylvania coal town and a local waitress disappears during this time. Are they related? You’ll have to read the book to find out. But in writing my female lead, she is also the type of person who doesn’t panic – other people in my books panic, but my female leads don’t. I tend to like people who don’t panic…

Do you tend to panic or remain calm in high stress situations?

Advertisements

Hanging Out With America’s #1 Crime Writer

Good morning everyone… Consequences hit shelves a couple weeks ago and people are loving it. The first review is five stars! If you haven’t read it yet, go pick up a copy at Amazon here.

Today I am guest blogging over at Barry Bowe’s website to say hello to everyone. His latest book is The Uber Connection. I love Barry’s story telling style, and you will, too. He shares some of his Uber ride experiences on Facebook, so it is no wonder he got a great idea to use his experiences as a great fictional story.

The more books I read these days the more I notice a lot more telling versus showing and, hey, that’s great if you’re writing a memoir or an essay. In fiction, it’s boring to read the blow by blow of action coupled with varied tags. So come over and hang out with me and we can talk about how we show and tell.

And we’re talking about showing vs. telling over here.

Thanks so much!

Cozy

 

warm-and-cozy-1975215_960_720
Image: Pixabay

Did you have a cozy holiday weekend? I hope so. I did. We no longer have a fireplace but the hubs and I put one of those TV ones on with the Christmas music and had an enjoyable Christmas Morning with Spirit the Cat. I got a bean and spice grinder and so made some fresh coffee for us. We both got some new PJs and that made it even cozier!

 

So, my novel, Consequences, is currently being checked over one last time by me before I make a date with a great editor referred by a friend. I had sent her the first ten pages and she looked through it and gave me some pointers. I did notice a few things that needed sprucing and that’s what I am doing now.

My first publication, Poetry Through Darkness, is available on Amazon at the moment. Despite being for sale right now, I have a secret to share with you! It will be free this Saturday and Sunday! Yes. One whole weekend the kindle version of Poetry Through Darkness will be free. I could use some reviews on it so if you buy it or wait until it is free, please leave a review. I am hoping to generate some interest along with the other over 1,000,000 books currently for sale on Amazon. My father would see that and tell me to not even bother, and twenty years ago I would have listened.

The New Year approaches and we all know what that means… resolutions! Or as I like to call them… goals.

I don’t have many this year.

  • Get my novel published.
  • Pay off some debt.
  • Get back in shape.
  • *be able to quit the day job*

They are the big three  – and one wing and a prayer one – for me. The novel is a huge one. I feel like this novel is the one! I truly do. I was thinking of doing some character posts. I have read these before. The writer posts a blurb from one of the main characters as if the character is speaking directly to the audience. Have you ever seen anything like this and what did you think?

I hope you all have an awesome rest of your week! It is bitter cold here on the East Coast today so I am truly doing my best to stay cozy. Being at work, however, they frown upon fuzzy blankets, good books, and giant mugs of hot chocolate!

via Daily Prompt: Cozy

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/cozy/

Brassy Lass

 

valentine-background02-preview
Image: graphicsfuel.com

 

Brassy.

That’s what they say about me.

I know it is a polite term that means bitch.

And that’s okay.

I spent too many years being the nice girl.

I cried too many nights being the pushover.

Now…

I am brassy.

 

I won’t go out of my way to be mean.

That’s not who I am.

But I will stick up for myself.

I guess people think that means I’m a brassy bitch.

Nope.

Just a brassy lass that takes no crap.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/brassy/

 

Portion of Control

 

abandoned-1845188_960_720
Photo: Pixabay

 

Hell, I tried a thousand times to live with this.  My life seemingly perfect with an outer crust of smiles and lipstick. Everyone I met mentioned that I was so wonderful and how I had my ‘shit together.’ Apparently, bullshit had become an art form for me.

Kind of like that time in second grade when I didn’t have a pencil and faked my way through an entire day of school until the teacher caught on at the end. Sure, I acted like I had some portion of control. But how much control does anyone have at the age of seven? How much control does anyone have… ever?

Dramatic, maybe.

Portion control isn’t just for chocolate cake and cocaine.

Wait.

Portion of control.

It’s all in the mind.

I control my thoughts which in turn, control me. I have no control over anything else; I have not one portion of control over things I think I have control over.

Like when I thought I had control over my drinking and drugging… I started to lose it and lied to myself that I had a portion of control. Now I have control over it because I don’t do it. Eleven years and counting.

Is there really such a thing as having a portion of control? Can anyone have some control? Is it an all or nothing instance?

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/portion/

Daily Reprieve

Daily Reprieve

 

 

6a011571275931970c019b005e1431970b
Image: pgurvrn.uhostfull.com

 

This is just a short blurb because it is Friday and it is a holiday weekend (Thank a Vet!) and I have a lot of serious editing and finalizing a novel to do over the three day weekend… mark my words, I will be a national best-selling author.

Usually, a reprieve is saved for things like religion and prison.

But every day I have to give myself a reprieve. I am a human being and while I desperately do my due diligence to be the best human on the planet, I at times falter.

And while some fuckups are not forgivable, some need to be because, hey… shit happens.

So if you’ve done something that you aren’t proud of and when you really pick it apart, that demon is nestled in your brain whispering awful things to you… you have to figure out a way to get in front of that and let it go. You need to forgive yourself. That demon needs to be smothered for good.

I held onto my demons for many years, beat the hell out of myself in every way (mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically) and at the end of the day, I was still an empty shell of self-loathing. And I was not getting any better.

I can’t really tell you how to get to the point of giving yourself a reprieve… but if you’re sitting in a self-inflicted hell right now, it might be something to take a look at…

Self-loathing leads to terrible roads, and sometimes when we get lost on those roads, there is no way to get back. Don’t travel into that dark abyss too far… figure it out and find the light.  There is always light somewhere…

The Draft

draft-300x190

The first draft. The revised draft. The final draft.

I completed my second NaNoWriMo project in November 2016 and am happy to say I just finished the revised draft of the same manuscript.

What does that mean? First, it meant a lot of cursing, tears and wanting to drive to the Grand Canyon just to throw my laptop in there. Then I could come back home and set the hard copy on fire.

After I calmed down and figured out that hey, this is the part that makes you a writer, buddy ol’ pal, I exhaled and…

While in Scrivener, I looked for ways to format it and pretty up the cover page. And how do I label the chapters for an e-book and, and… I had to slow myself down.

Whoa there, pardner.

I jump the gun sometimes… okay, a lot. And this is one of those times I want everything to go as smooth as possible! I can’t forget to dot one ‘i’.

So, in November, I wrote the first draft and when I was done I printed it out and put it away… for two months. While it sat I decided to do other things and…

  • I read books.
  • I painted things.
  • I tried to walk my cat (and still have scars to prove it).

Then, I took my printed manuscript, grabbed a highlighter and a red pen (and a giant mug of coffee. OK… several) and old school edited. Afterward, I made the changes on the computer copy and then…

It sat for another two weeks.

Then…

I put the whole damn thing in Scrivener. Yep! Chapter by chapter, I put it in there and that is where I edited, rewrote, and deleted parts of this manuscript that I am so nervous and excited about.

I wrote three books before this one and wherever they are, they taught me a lot and maybe I’ll get back into them one day; maybe not.

This manuscript, though… this one is the best one so far and I cannot wait to go back in and polish it up nice and shiny.

Do you have any manuscripts that never made it past the first draft stage? How long do you let your first draft sit before editing?