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Friday, September 30, 2016

The Rift

Writing "The Rift" was a challenge. All said and done, I was glad for the experience. It is a different genre than I've been writing this past year. But someone dared me to do something different. To leave what was normal and write something I wouldn't typically write.

To write from the heart.

I wrote from a perspective that we all become estranged at one point or another in our lives with or from the people that love us, or are supposed to love us unconditionally. But there always has to be hope that we can find our way back; that we can find our way home again.

It was so difficult. It felt impossible. I cried so much. I tear up just thinking about a couple of the scenes.

My father passed away when I was four years old. I remember a few things about him. Just snippets of memories. I can't help but feel that if he were alive years ago some of the terrible things that happened to me wouldn't have happened.

I had very little to draw on in the way of father-daughter relationships.

Over the years, there have been "uncles" and "daddies", in my mother's sorry attempt to find someone to fill my father's shoes. Most of them were idiots. Most of them tolerated me at best. I didn't have their love and they didn't have mine. I was an angry, rebellious train wreck, soon to be snared and broken in a fourteen-year nightmare.

"The Rift" is dedicated to Butch Capps, the person who challenged me to write something different. I met him twenty-four years ago, but it seems I've known him my whole life. He stepped in and stepped up to be the dad I needed, whose company I enjoy and whose counsel and wisdom I revere.

For you, Pop.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Writing "do no harm" was gruesome (but it was fun)

Who would have thought that I would have had so much fun writing something so macabre?

Both of my sons have spent some time in the hospital lately, and I started kicking around a "what if" scenario for a novelette.

This latest offering came to me when I exited an elevator (a real E-Ticket ride, for those of you familiar with that term), to a vacant hospital hallway with the florescent lights flickering, quite possibly due to a faulty ballast. I could smell a bit of ozone.

It was creepy. It was all I needed.

I photographed the image and kicked it around a bit with Photoshop.

What I ended up with had me doing a double-take. It would be the perfect book cover. I showed the photo to my family. It freaked them out.

Mission accomplished.

I bounced the story around a bit, and what I ended up with was morbid and dark. It's the type of story that would likely be told around a campfire, on Halloween night while sipping some sort of libation to control the shaking in your hands.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Well ... I never thought I'd see the day

This time last year, I was thinking about writing a novel. I was kind of on the fence about it. I knew that I would be writing pure pain, and all that good stuff from the heart - and it petrified me. The characters were screaming at each other. Day and night. 2-4-7; 3-6-5. Weekends and holidays.

Never thought I'd see the day, though.

Just for grins, I outlined it. First in my head, then in a little red notebook I carry everywhere, then started typing it out. The outline grew into several outlines, which turned into chapters, which evolved into 76,000 words (approximately); and a second novel.

Funny thing is, my first work is not the one that ended up getting published. The novelette was fun to do though, and it was something that I needed to prove to myself. Just wanted to see if I could do it.

I've left my comfort zone a lot lately.

It felt a lot like sitting in the back of my Aunt's '61 Bonneville. I used to get so car sick in that car. I'd love all the places that I got to go, but the trip there was pure hell. My Aunt did everything that she could think of to keep me from getting sick. From soda crackers and 7Up, to starving me, to drugging me. Still got sick. Never got sick in any other car, just hers. It wasn't until years later that we figured out why.

I couldn't see out the windows. I couldn't see where I was going. That backseat sat so low, all I could manage to see was the tops of trees whirling by.

We found this out quite by accident. I'd been begging my Aunt to let me ride up front. Of course, she didn't want a little girl puking all over her (understandable). But she was one to give in to me (after copious amounts of whining on my part).

So she put me in the front seat, on a towel, with a bucket because I always traveled that way, and away we went.

I sat and looked out the window, with the wind in my face. I saw other cars. I saw people walking in the crosswalk. I saw stores and gas stations and everything else that everybody else saw.

I never got sick in her car again.

All the stuff I've been doing lately has me feeling just like that queasy little girl I once was. Not able to see where I was going.

Some things never change.

Hope I don't throw up, because I sure can't see where any of this is going.