October means it’s Poe-aween!

Sorry – I get a little childish around this time of year.

October is my favorite month (besides January – mine and Poe’s birthdays!)

I LOVE HALLOWEEN & I LOVE POE

This year, the 170th anniversary of Poe’s death. This is not necessarily a good reason to like October, but it is part of what makes October so memorable.

Edgar_Allan_Poe_daguerreotype_cropSo… 170 years ago, Edgar Allan Poe visited some friends at a pub, saw a doctor who suggested he not travel, then boarded a train, forgetting his trunk, mistakenly left with the Doctor’s cane, to pick up his “dear Mother,” Maria Clemm. She was to come and live with him and his new fiance, Elmira Royster Shelton.

The rest, we know, is surrounded in mystery. I was interviewed in June regarding my thoughts of what happened. Thank you to the members of Super News Live.

 

 

Since the publication of my book Eddy, I’ve read at the Poe Museum at his birthday celebration and published a few other books. This year, I’ve scheduled a number of readings and signings for October in honor of my love for autumn, halloween, and Poe.

Come and see me if you can.

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Writing and sleep

Four a.m. is my haunted time. The first rays of light creeping through the window, the cat sitting next to the bed, details of the next story weigh on my mind. And I wonder – do I get up and write?

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No doubt, we’re fresher when we sleep. But, writers seem to sleep better when we write. Has anyone else noticed this?

If I haven’t written in a few days, I have trouble falling sleep and I wake in the middle of the night. I feel like I have too many stories on my mind, too many details that I must put on paper.

Most experts agree journaling helps people sleep, but that’s to lift worries. I’m not worried about anything except that I haven’t written.

Write.

Then Sleep.

Book Signings!

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Awful People, Awful Places

I had the unfortunate displeasure of spending time with people I’m not fond of. I am barely able to tolerate negative people. I can’t stand people who are so mired in their own sense of self importance or righteousness that they can’t see beyond their own bullshit.

I came away regretting my decision to go and feeling very nasty inside, as if a piece of my soul had been burned away. I sat with it all night, no television, no radio, nothing to drown out or distract myself from the boiling nastiness of an impression they left on me.

2333Then I thought – I’ve never written anything about them. And I can see why. I never want to deal with them or be around them or even think about them ever, ever again.

But that inspired something. One woman has a big round face that appears to be growing from another face. Her husband stared at me as if he was planning the perfect recipe for my kidneys, liver, heart. “A slaw, soaked in buttermilk and vinegar.” I’m pretty sure I heard him say as he passed by.

And then the keepers of the whole chud-like crew.

I’ve been known to write some pretty dark things. People like this are the reason why.

Untitled, but begun.

I will give these soul sucking people a different life. I’m sure they won’t like – if they bother to recognize – themselves.

This will give that scent of madness, the sickly feeling of food poisoning filling my bodily cavities, some place to go and rest.

Use it, ladies and gentlemen, use all the things and people and places you don’t like to fuel your writing.

Braggadocio, accidente.

I’m ashamed, truly. I don’t usually brag, but someone asked…  they asked!

I once woke up with a line to a story. It was four in the a.m. and I woke up with “the day she ran over her neighbor’s dog…”cover

(Pet lovers – no dogs were injured in the writing of this story.)

I wrote it down, but then the story started pouring out, so I got out of bed and wrote for three hours until I had to go to work, then finished it when I returned home. Of course, that was the first draft of “Of Strays and Exes.”

A few more drafts and it was published just a few months later. Sometimes that happens.

They wowed – so I wanted to share that not all stories go that way. Another story, took YEARS. I want to say maybe six or even eight years to get right. It went through many drafts and grew.

I’m pretty damn proud of that story. Yeah, I said, it was pretty damn good.

Maybe I lost them, I don’t know. I laughed, they laughed.

See – sometimes things spill out and they are a gift from the muses; other times, things are hard and you have to work and work to get them right, and when you’re finished and it’s accepted and loved, you feel your hard work has paid off, it’s successful.

I return to my usual humble self.

 

 

 

 

Failure is a great teacher!

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Challenge yourself

1264406_688057367890259_1482695798_o.jpgCaving in the Sierras six or seven years ago.

We have to challenge ourselves to become better versions of our old selves.

To become better at anything, we must challenge ourselves.

To grow, learn, understand, and create new connections in our brains, we must get out of our comfort zones.

That is in writing and in life.

Our brain, our writing, our lives are built on what came before. If there’s nothing new to add, we can’t grow.

Growing makes us better people, better writers. Therefore, challenges make us become better people, better writers.

 

* saying things in different ways can help more people understand and relate.