Thursday, October 27, 2022


 I have decided to participate in National Novel Writers Month starting Nov 1st this year.

I will be working on the second novel in a contemporary gothic romance trilogy called the Chosen Poets Trilogy. The title of the novel I will be working on is Black Windows - so named because of a dark ritual the protagonists mother put her through when she was growing up.

I am tentatively putting myself in the plantser category because I am doing some plotting & some pantsing. This is a nanowrimo badge for that:

Plotters start with outlines & character studies, etc.
Pantsers start with a blank page and a vague idea in their heads.

I don't have it all worked out but I have more than a vague notion.

I am eager to start!

This protagonist writes paradelles. Paradelle poetry has a colorful history as it started out as a joke - hoax created by former poet laureate Billy Collins. For details of the hoax & the poetry structure go here.

I leave you with the theme song for my protagonist, Charlotte Bronte Harrison, from the WIP novel Black Windows.

Touch of Grey by the Grateful Dead

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Pinellas Writers

UPDATED TO ADD: Completed version of the chapbook: Overly Fond Of Prisms emailed to 2 Sylvias / Wilder press today!!! See poetry page for details!

In my about page I mention that I am a member of Pinellas Writers.

We have a Zoom meeting weekly where we critique & accept critique. One of the rules is - don't respond. This can be hard but it is valuable to take a critique in and sit with it a minute. This article talks about why.

Giving critiques is also useful to developing skill as a writer. Learning to listen for plot holes or vague wording or whatever takes you out of someone's story helps you to learn how to find the same weaknesses in your own story.

Tonight I was moderator for the meeting for the first time. It was a little scary yet at the same time enjoyable. 

Lately I have been writing funny recaps of meetings for our Facebook page.

This was tonights recap:

For everyone who didn't make it to the meeting tonight - let me recap.
It was my first time moderating and I feel I was a success. No one died on my watch so that means success, right?
No one died but Louise did talk about killing. I'm telling you that little lady can be scary. And her story was killer, too.
Glenn read more of his Mato story and we were all sorry to hear the timer go off at 10 minutes.
Tad talked about drinking coffee which was from 3600 miles away out of the bum of an Ethopian goat - which is kind of true of all coffee if you think about it. Tea anyone?
We were a blood-thirsty bunch with Eve reading a story about learning to use a gun to protect herself from burglars and such.
Monica stayed on target (get it - on target?) continuing her story about finding out who murdered the woman who donated an expensive purse to the charity store.
Yours truly read about adventures in the rain. Now I would have thought there wouldn't be any way to make death an important factor in what I read - but B.J. did it. I was getting feedback about whether I should include a story that ends in my friend dying.
B.J. Did your husband die?
Me: he's not my husband.
B.J. Oh, kill him off then.
Your next opportunity to join us is Tuesday 10/25. Zoom meeting starts at 6 for show up / tech difficulty stuff. Actual meeting 6:30 to
9PM Eastern time.

I call myself being clever and I definitely have a good time writing my recaps. I think I deserve some fun considering that I stayed up all night yesterday getting 53 pages of poetry shaped into a chapbook!

Speaking of poetry - I have definitely decided to include the tanka and the story behind it in my wip about rain adventures. Tanka is 31 syllables in one continuous line. This is my Tanka For Michel:

>We strolled the beach laughing while you chased our umbrella that kept blowing away and rain got in our coffee days before you died.<

RIP Michel.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

"Trying to be perfect is a toxic journey." Jane Fonda

 Jane Fonda In 5 Acts is a memoir documentary, streaming on Hulu among other places, that delves into the amazing person she is.

For certain she has not been perfect. The good far outweighs the bad, though, in a life that could have been shallow and selfish, if she so chose.

Karen Salmansohn said:

"Sometimes you just need to talk about something—not to get sympathy or help, but just to kill its power by allowing the truth of things to hit the air."

Jane has done this. On more than one occasion she has spoken truth to kill its power at the expense of people hating her.

In 1972 she travelled to Hanoi, North Vietnam while the US was at war with them. She did not do it because she hated the US. To the contrary - she did it because she loved her country and believed it was capable of recognizing a wrong path and getting off of it.

2 things happened as a result of her trip: 

>Richard Nixon was forced to drop his plan to bomb the dikes in North Vietnam. Bombing them would have killed at least a million civilians - not soldiers or government officials / workers. 

Her courage made that truth hit the air and stopped that course of wrong doing. I respect and admire her for that.

>On the other hand - she made a mistake. She allowed herself to be photographed with North Vietnamese troops on an aircraft gun that would have been used to shoot down American planes.

She explains on the documentary that she was caught up in a moment and did not think about what that would look like to Americans. She regrets doing it and apologizes profusely.

Again truth, this time her truth, hitting air. So many people can not admit mistakes. I admire her for admitting and owning hers and apologizing for it.

She is 80 years old and has lived her life to the fullest. 

She talks about her marriages and how she is now alone and okay with that. 

I can relate.

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Hurricane Ian


Morgan Park

corner of Gulf Blvd & Morgan

Bellaire, FL


Hurricane Ian was set to make landfall right on top of us. So we evacuated. Hide from wind, run from water. We ran.

At the last minute, he did not come here. He destroyed Naples and Fort Myers and surrounding areas instead.

I am grateful that the only damage I got was bent trim & the need to dump my refrigerator. The last I heard there were 76 deaths and more. It could have been so much worse.