As a writing community, I believe we need to help one another. There doesn’t need to be a competition or an unfriendly or unhealthy antagonism between us. We are people who share a love of the written word, a desire to share our stories.
When one of my writer friends introduced me to one of her writer friends, I was happy to join and jump in to help.
I had the honor of helping Dan Rhys bring The Lone Escapist to publication life.
When I heard he’d become a finalist in the Chanticleer Awards, I knew his book would be a great success.
It’s a detective, sort of mystery, sort of noir of old. I think Hitchcock would have loved it. The baser of our human needs and selves sometimes win out and cause us larger problems. Where exactly was Kelton when a school shooting took place in his very own classroom?
Wracked with guilt, he wants to find the shooter himself.
Released just this week – the writing is tight and the topic is contemporary – The Lone Escapist is available on kindle and in print. Audiobook to follow.
How do you get your book to become a finalist? to win an award? – Read Dan’s and find out!
Okay, so not bragging, but….. I’ve been hard at work….
The Healer’s Daughter in The Ear
The Healer’s Daughter is a departure for me. It marks a turns in my writing that came about just this year. It’s more mystical. Risky, maybe. A woman’s daughter describes her mother’s gift and discovers she has her very own gift, but will she actually use it?
The Healer’s Daughter will be featured in my summer release of How to Throw a Psychic a Surprise Party. It’s a book of short stories, all of which have a special or surprising twist.
Friends, Lovers, and Liars in Home Renovation
Originally titled Deception, it didn’t find a home. In fact, the topic of lies and cheating offended one editor. I think it may have hit too close to home. It, too, will be released in the summer release of How to Throw a Psychic a Surprise Party.
How to Throw a Psychic Surprise Party in The Electric Press Magazine
The title story for the book of short stories. Inspired by a show in which I saw a television host throw a “surprise” party for a psychic. It struck me – How do you throw a psychic a surprise party?
This story may answer that question. Maybe not. How much empathy can you muster?
Hunger and other poems as well as some photography in Voices of Eve
Not in the book of short stories. But well worth the read. Hunger is one of my favorite poems.
Also in the book of short stories –
The Crier: In a time when emotions are unheard of, people need a release.
The Mirror People: Ever wondered what’s inside the mirror? You know there’s something, right? Here’s a woman who collects them – she knows.
Bowie and the Basket Case: Anna’s things keep disappearing and reappearing. At first she thinks she’s misplaced them, but then she’s sure she hasn’t!
How to Throw a Psychic a Surprise Party is available for Pre-order!
Have you ever been inspired by a book? Chris Pellezzari’s Last Night in Granada planted lingering images of Spain, Flamenco, and Lorca.
I’ve undertaken a trip to Spain because of that book. Whereas travel is always on my mind, locations are not usually a question. I have a list. This book moved Spain to the top.
I was playing with a story in my head before leaving. A few of the people I’ve met are to become characters. I’ll decide later if I’ll tell them. 😊
Travel. Experience. Write.
An extremely good conversation in my literature class about intelligence (Inspired by Ted Chiang’s The Great Silence). We talked about other species that fall under the definition of intelligence, which is “the ability to understand and apply knowledge.” Considering Alex the Parrot and Koko the Gorilla, and other species: crows are problem solvers and remember faces. We discussed dogs, cats, and others. Is love, as an abstract idea, understood and applied by animals? And then – is intelligence found in showing love?
This is what good literature should do. Teach, delight, and create wonder.
Many years ago, in a suburb north of Los Angeles, Eat My Cupcake was in danger of becoming another victim of the gluten-free, sugar substituted society when Zin stepped in.
People wanted choices, she said. Eat my Cupcake changed to Eat My Muffin and featured exclusive, secret recipes that other bakers tried to duplicate but none succeeded; the some sweet, some savory, some healthy, some masquerading as healthy became a much sought-after experience.
Therefore, in the once nondescript neighborhood with the small bakery, lines around the corner formed beginning early each mornings, people waiting for the one and only Zin’s famous muffins.
Among one of the favorites was a Millet Muffin. The savory-sweet combination of light and fluffy grain pastry was a hit.
Zin was offered money, lured by head baker guarantees at more established places with promises of salary, health insurance, assistants.
But she liked where she was, who she was, and the freedom to create.
Rob became Zin’s lover years before she became almost-famous. Rob followed her from place to place, always a second to her baking but accepted the position. They loved each other.
But more hours meant more workers meant more people in Zin’s life. Zin had two weaknesses, fresh white flour and sweet young flesh. She slipped into an affair with one of her assistants, Rob was heartbroken and angry.
One night, crying over a tequila sour, the recipe came out in a drunken slur. Friends who sympathized turned for a single moment to make a note.
Zin begged forgiveness and agreed to work fewer hours, no assistants. Rob forgave her. He barely remembers his drunken night but thinks something may have slipped. Zin is blissfully unaware that her recipe is being shared in whispers like a friend’s quite insinuations.
What follows is the rumored recipe from a once famous bakery and a once famous baker.
½ cup of millet
1 ½ cup of flour
1 tsp baking soda
Dash of salt
½ – ¾ cup of brown sugar
1 (room temperature) egg
1/3 cup of butter (room temperature)
¾ cup of buttermilk (room temperature)
Mix the wet ingredients
Mix the dry ingredients
Oil the muffin pan/preheat the oven to 375.
Mix the wet and dry ingredients together and place the muffins in the oven.
Bake for 18-20 minutes.
*Based on a true story. Names/places changed.
To the best of my knowledge, this is the original recipe. Although I have not baked them myself, I’ve been the beneficiary of the final product. Mmmm.
There are two lessons to this story. First – don’t cheat on your partner who may have your secret recipes. Second, don’t trust a writer with your stolen secret recipe.
I know people say writing is a commitment, but it’s more than that. Writing isn’t “like” a relationship, it IS a relationship. A writer must be involved with the whole process of writing, must love it, need it, want to continue to work to make it better. It takes commitment, time, dedication, and the desire to move forward in life with writing.
A few years ago, I was at a conference where the main speaker (don’t remember his name) said, “You have to be selfish. You must take the time for yourself, for your writing.” He went on to say he spent every Friday at a hotel with his writing. (are you picturing him checking into a seedy, no-tell motel with an old typewriter?;-)
My friend joked, “Noreen does this thing where she actually spends time writing.” My regular action became fodder for humor because he is a writer, but he falls under the category of non-writing writers like many others.
Life happens. We have families, pets, jobs, homes, tons of responsibilities. But notice that list – I put family first. People we love comes first. This is why a writer might consider writing as a relationship – so they give it priority.
I schedule things around my writing whenever possible. I will make doctor appointments, meetings, and everything I have power to plan secondary to my writing by scheduling them before or after my planned writing time.
Once a person considers themselves in a relationship with their writing, they may naturally form relationship goals! If writing were a romantic relationship, how would you handle it differently? Would you want to go to sleep with it or wake up with it or both? What would you want to give it? Would you spend more time with it, going over the details, working it out so it was just perfect, going over it and over it again to work it out nice and smooth? What do you do for your significant other? Take it out to dinner? On vacation?
Writing, like a lover, needs constant attention and nourishment. Placing it on the back burner means we may never get to it. It’ll be there, but not as warm and flush as we’d like. Being in a relationship with writing means the needs of both are fulfilled. Writing is fresh and flowing and continually improved and the writer is happier, more productive.
We do this because we love it, we are driven to do it. Treat writing like it’s important to you.
Think of writing before you fall asleep, when you wake up in the middle of the night just to say one more thing.
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