A Picture I Took By My Bus Stop (I will have to look up the name)

A Picture I Took By My Bus Stop (I will have to look up the name)
I think these are Clematis (but don't quote me!) - This picture was taken by my bus stop

Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Writer's Health

What are you doing to keep yourself healthy?  This has been on my mind lately.  The type of work we do  leads to a very sedentary life (doh!).  As I've said on one post about the subject (Write Brain Mommy)
all well and good I want to write a best seller but if I don't take care of myself I won't be around to enjoy it!

Take Stieg Larsson who wrote "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest," he died at 50.  I'm sure sitting at a desk writing his masterpieces didn't help.  Okay he did smoke, and I know that Genes (those wonderful Genes) play a big part on your health or lack thereof.  So I thought perhaps this would be a good way to find out what other writers are doing to ensure they keep on writing.

Please let me know your thoughts.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I Am So Tired...Or Which Promises Did You Fail to Keep?

I am practically falling asleep on my keyboard.  I didn't do the exercises I promised myself to do.  

'As soon as I get home,' I said to myself earlier in the day, 'I am  heading straight to the basement and exercise.'  But what did I do?  Nada - nothing - niente - zilch! 

It wasn't all my fault.  I had a physical therapy appointment for my right shoulder (bursitis and tendinitis) brought on by too much mouse-driven, computer work.  I was fine when I could use the quick keys but once I started to exclusively use the mouse, that's when moving my shoulder woes began.  One day I'll post the works of art I drew with the mouse - when I saw myself designing a whole line of greeting cards, etc. and I saw the whole world at my feet doing my bidding - ah fantasy - how wonderful you are! 

Sorry but I digress (my thoughts have taken another turn) going back to 'it wasn't my fault,' physical therapy ran late and I didn't get home until 8:30 pm!!  The other promise I failed to keep was to make myself something healthy for dinner.  I was not in the mood to stand by the sink washing and dicing vegetables so my choices were either Burger King -- I could have bought a salad but I was leaning towards the Whooper but when I thought that I couldn't have the Whopper without the fries -- the chicken roll won out.  But the chicken roll isn't that healthy either.  Why can't they use low-fat mozzarella cheese?  I use it all the time and I can't taste the difference.  You know how many calories we would save?  My whole life lately is counting calories and steps.  How many steps did you take today?  I did walk almost 6,000 steps (I use a pedometer that faithfully follows me everywhere I go - the daily minimum is 10,000 steps) and after I finish this blog, hope to add another 1,000 -- if I have the energy.  

I am also sadly lacking sleep.  Started Easter - too many sweets maybe?  I was up until about 4:30 in the morning.  I was a zombie at work and when I finally got home, I didn't even open my notebook - went straight to bed.  Do you think I slept?  Nope.  Tossed and turned last night too.  Please pray that I sleep tonight.

Friends sorry for this rambling post.  I am in a rambling-kind of mood.  I did have a breakthrough on one of my other stories "A Taste of Nightshade."  Ohhhh - doesn't the title sound mysterious?  I hope so.  Anyway  I felt something was missing and couldn't put my finger on it.  I think I found the answer:  my creative mind works in very funny ways.  It seems that I am given a very important part of the story very early on but I don't realize its importance and sometimes even fail to notice it.  I plop it into my story and I go on my merry way.  Then I suddenly realize, 'wait, this shouldn't be here' or 'I have to lead up to this - this is the answer that I need.'   Sometimes I'm about to erase the whole line, not realizing what I'm doing.  Does this make any sense?  Sorry but I'm starting to feel incoherent!   Why is my mind so devious?   I am glad to say that this time I wasn't fooled.  I see what I need to do.  Unfortunately I cannot do it tonight.  It will have to wait until tomorrow night.  Tomorrow I don't have physical therapy.  So for now, dear friends, I need to go.  My bed awaits.  Good night until tomorrow.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

I am a Work Of Art...

At least my blog is. Little by little I am creating my perfect blog page, adding and removing elements at will.  Today being Easter, when we celebrate renewal and rebirth, I must look to myself - what am I dragging around that no is longer useful?  Am I perfect the way I am?  Are there things I need to change? 

This is the perfect time to make an inventory of your life thus far, of what you are happy with and what you need to change or discard.  Some answers will be out of your hands  -- no use making plans or projections into the future. There's someone guiding you.  You sometimes wonder how you've gotten from where you were to were you are.  Could you have done it alone? 

I, for one, would love to ditch my full-time job and concentrate on writing, but I, and I know many of you, have responsibilities to our loved one and we cannot let them down.  In time though your doubts and fears will be removed and clarity will reign, I'm sure of it.

Are we up to the challenge?  What do you need to change or are you perfectly happy the way you are?  Leave me a comment.  Let me know.

Ciao!  See you tomorrow

Friday, April 22, 2011

Who Are We As Writers? And 5 Rules for Writers by Robert Heinlein

Vanessa Gebbie, short-story writer, poet and novelist, was interviewed by Tim Love and she has a lot to say to a novice writer like me.  Click on the link below to read the interview.  


Have you read Vanessa's interview?  What did you think of it?  Lately I've been despairing over two of my short stories that remain lifeless and dull no matter what I do.  I've tried everything to resurrect them and I was ready to give them a decent burial until I read Vanessa's interview.  Suddenly my stories were given a second chance at life.

This got me thinking if I, we, know ourselves well-enough as writers.  What kind of stories do we gravitate towards, what are our fears, hopes, dreams?  The answers to these questions are well worth investigating.  It doesn't really matter what kind of stories we write but that the stories we do write have a heart and a soul.  Then magic happens; the writer and reader are one.  Sure some areas of our subterranean psyche are scary places filled with turbulent emotions, or if you are lucky filled with ecstasy, but we need not stay too long just long enough to mine these emotions and invest our stories with them.   

How did I come to this conclusion?  The first story I submitted to a contest and won an honorable mention was written in the 'zone', it was one I deeply felt about and just like Vanessa Gebbie said, I didn't have to struggle for metaphors and grappling with what to write, while these other two stories I do.  I know now that it was because I didn't connect with them.  I have to find the "heart,"  the soul.  Why are they so important that I must write about them?  Once I find the answer, words will flow.  I will let you know, dear friends, how I make out and provide you with updates.    

Vanessa hit the proverbial nail on the head.   I definitely agree with you Vanessa that writing " 'in the zone', ... Every metaphor will create itself."  

Thanks for reminding me that all great works of art needs a beating heart. 

Thank you! That was a lovely interview.

Here's a link to her website (hooray!! I finally learned how to insert a link) which I will peruse soon - looks fabulous

But I'm not done yet.  Tonight you get two posts for the price of one as I don't think I'll be able to do it tomorrow night.  Tania Hersham, novelist and short story writer, also has a blog on American Science Fiction writer Robert Heinlein's 5 Rules for Writers which is also wonderful and thought provoking (YEAH!! 3 links in one post - I am definitely getting better at this!)


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How do you Handle Rejection?

Today I received word that my poem did not place in the Fish Poetry Competition.  I know, I have a lot of nerve.  I sure go for the gusto!  I don't start small and work my way up.  No I do the reverse.

I can't let it get to me.  I have to continue on.  The good news is that I rewrote part of Celeste today while I had a few minutes to spare.  I am pleased with what I did and I'm feeling confident again.  I think I'm finally emerging from the fog that had blinded me to the scene's possibilities.  My problem, which I hope writing this blog will help me, is getting over the fear of what other people will think.  You'd think that at my age I'd be over it already -- I'm not.  I know this plays a big part in how I express myself and has been a big problem the past couple of years.  'Why do you want to become a writer then,' you are probably asking the question.  One day I hope I can answer it for you.  

I notice that just when I'm close to a character's truth or when I think I'm doing really well, my brain shuts down.  I can't find the words.  My sentences come out all jumbled.  I have to really pray about it, to have this fear removed from me.  Obviously I'm being led along this path by something greater than me.  Call it what you will, but a path is being laid out in front of me, which I'm gladly following.  The path has taken me to England and back to the U.S.  Let me explain.

When I started on this journey and finally committed to becoming the writer I"ve always wanted to be, I started looking online for some online writing groups.  Lo and Behold I found the Thresholds Short Story Forum on Facebook.  Something about it intrigued me and I followed the link to its web page and I found a treasure trove of wonderful articles, author Q&A, interviews, links --  I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  And Loree Westron and Alison MacLeod both welcomed me with open arms and even though the website is geared towards post-graduate students I was welcomed to participate.  What a joy and a blessing this has been.  This is where I 'virtually' met Tania Hershman.  Another wonderful writer and human being.  She also has a wonderful blog which I'd previously given you a link to or actually she did because I still haven't learned how to do this.  

Anyway, just suffice to say that now I'm enjoying another author's web page, a friend of Tania's Vanessa Gebbie -- this happened just today, who in turn turned me on to  Patricia Ann McNair's blog who is from CHICAGO...so here I am back in the U.S. again.  Sorry to have taken so long to get to this point.  But Vanessa Gebbie has a great discussion on this link about the Short Story:



Again people, please copy and paste.  I still haven't figured out how to add a LINK!  Sorry

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

It's Late - Where Did the Time Go?

My brain is mush.  It's 9:50 and I'm a little woozy, not from anything I'm drinking - thank you very much - no it's from tiredness and those darned allergies.  The cicada's are having another party in my left ear.  It's my fault.  After coming home from work, Physical Therapy, eating a slice of pizza-I know it's bad for me-and getting myself comfortably tucked into bed with my trusty notebook on my lap, my intentions were to start revising "Celeste" and print another story I'm working on.  Unfortunately no such thing happened.  By the time I responded and made comments on some posts, and then fiddled with my blog page, it was time to write the dang post.  It's now 9:55pm.  I'm procrastinating my friends!  Yep, I'm in the danger zone. I can very easily fall off the cliff never to be seen again, as a writer that is.  I cannot let it get to me.  Yesterday I was pretty down on my myself.  But today I did see a glimmer of hope.  I cannot be discouraged.  Sometimes I wonder if I want success.  Perhaps I really don't.  Perhaps there's a part of me that is stalling and dragging her  feet because it's not on board.  It's all of the old tapes that were never destroyed, that are still lurking within me; like a dangerous infection it will quickly gobble up all that I have achieved.  But I won't let it.  I will print out my story.  I will work on Celeste. Until 11:00 pm and then tomorrow is another day.        

Ciao - until tomorrow  

Monday, April 18, 2011

It's Only Monday And Time Doesn't Stand Still

Time.  We always think we have lots of time but the fact of the matter is that we don't.  We never know when our time on this earth is over.  This hour, this minute is to be lived fully.  We must remove any thoughts of could of, or would of - the time to act is now; each day must be lived doing something you love.  I haven't done too bad in this department.  Some obstacles where thrown in my way but something greater guided me and made sure that every day I got to play, to work, to enjoy.  I did not give in to self-pity though I see how I could have lived more.  The past is dead.  It cannot come back.  The past cannot live.  And no matter how much you think things were much better back then, it's how satisfied you are with your life today that matters most.  

Today I can truly say that I'm happy.  I'm happy because I can finally voice what I feel and even if the expression of it is not up to par, if I still hesitate and stumble, I know that I can change it if I am willing to learn.  This morning I was on cloud nine because I had achieved something which I had only dreamed of, that I never thought was possible, yet tonight the doubts started again.  Someone critiqued my writing and showed me my weaknesses and now I'm feeling dejected, dispirited.  Do I think I'm perfect?  Is that it?  I can never be perfect.  I am a work in progress.  

Time doesn't stand still and neither do I.  I can evolve if I let go of my fears.   

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Another Beautiful Sunday Comes to An End

Sorry to post so late,  but life took precedence today.  I did do a little writing earlier this morning, but at about noon I closed shop and went to enjoy the day.  It was Palm Sunday after all and got to see my mother, brother sister-in-law and nephew, nieces and grand-nieces.  I love all of them to death.  We had a wonderful time.  

The past couple of weekends I've been holed up at home trying to polish and finish as much as possible before the summer starts.  The busiest time for my job is the summer.  It usually leaves me so exhausted that I don't even feel like writing.  Plus I love sitting in the sun by my pool, but I usually get some revisions done there too.  Speaking of revisions, stop by Tania Hershman's blog.  I'm enclosing a link to her website.  She has a great blog about this very subject!  I've also given her my two cents.

I hope I linked this correctly, if not, please copy and paste in your browser.


Ciao!  Hope you Have a Great Monday

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Another Dreary Saturday - Sometimes Dreams are Just Dreams

First I want to apologize if you've been receiving too many of my posts.  I thought about this as I was updating my poem.  I shouldn't post until I'm ready to.  Perhaps the way to go is to save everything I write as a draft and then when I'm absolutely, absolutely sure it's perfect, I will post.  The problem is that in the past I've waited for the absolute perfect, perfect version which kept me from submitting my work or showing it to anyone.  I see now what a mistake that was.  Sure.  How old am I now?  But you know the saying, "youth is wasted on the young."  So true, but that time was not all wasted and the decision is not irreversible.  I am making up for lost time.  Sometimes getting what you want is not the answer.  Maybe the universe was keeping me from making an even bigger mistake!

I don't want to keep harping on this, but you must let your writing see the light of day even if you don't become the success you think you want to be.  Don't let your writing fester in dark closets or under the bed,  picking up dust. 

I haven't had an arresting dream in a long time. This morning I remember one part vividly:  I was with a bunch of friends who were planning a rock concert and they were going on about what a great concert it would be, etc., etc., and I, or a version of myself as the voice of reason said, "You must remember you can dream all you want, but sometimes dreams are just dreams."   Will this be true for me?  I hope not.   

Ciao for now.  I need to get back to the business at hand - more editing - hopefully writing the most  amazing stories that publishers will fall all over themselves to publish.

Sorry after saying all that about not posting too many times, here I go.  I had to change the font - it's too small for me to see!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Still Suffering

Yep, my allergies again.  I really should have gone to bed already but here I am.  Can't resist.  It is thrilling to be able to come here and write whatever I wish.  What a gift.  I remember when (I feel really old now!) I used to write my thoughts down in my journal, with pen and paper even, and here I am typing on my notebook.  My first ever word processor was a pc junior, which I think I still have - don't ask there's a hoarder in me I swear, in fact I'm sure of it, my son thinks so too!  My first word processing program was Word Star, which was pretty easy to use, but what a mess my writings were!  I had to use computer paper!  Then my life was re-routed, one of many detours, by some unseen forces, call it destiny or fate or kismet.  I'm just glad I'm here today.    

I reread A Taste of Nightshade while getting physical therapy and I saw things I didn't like.  By the time I came home it was late and I'm not in the mood to read it again.  Tomorrow.  Pretty soon it's the weekend and I'll have two full days of uninterrupted writing pleasure!

Ciao friends - until tomorrow

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Allergies Ugh!

Headache, scratchy throat, coughing, a buzzing in my ear.  Er - excuse me, what did you say?  You heard right.  I am one of those fortunate few who have tinnitus and when it's allergy season (like it is now), it sounds like I have a hundreds cicadas renting out my ear.  It also affects my equilibrium.  At these times I feel like I'm booked on a cruise to nowhere which is being tossed and turned at sea and I'm screaming "Mamma, I want to get off!"   Thankfully it hasn't gotten to that point...yet. 

I am taking care of myself -  drinking hot tea (lemon and ginger) and it feels good going down.  I need another cup.  You'll excuse me if I don't stay too long tonight, right?  The good news is that I think I'm done with A Taste of Nightshade.  I say think because who know what I'll say tomorrow. I'm pretty confident it's ready for another round of submissions and when I re-read St. Rocco's Feast, a troubling passage that had me writing and rewriting, suddenly became clear.  Nothing like a little distance to zero in on what's missing.  Whatever.  I need to stop -- I can't keep adding and removing the same word!  It has happened.  My next project is No Wilting Wallflower, She.  After that story is done, the sky's the limit.  I'm curious to see what kind of stories I will be writing next. 

Ciao for now.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Inner Dialogue - Rewritten A Much better Version I hope


Inner Dialogue

The how and why have been
you've toiled through
many sleepless nights
you've even had a dream
or a nightmare or two
but your masterpiece is done
you're sure of it, 
Oh the joy
until you read it
and with a sober eye
you wonder just what were
you thinking? 

Oh yeah? Oh really?  
You make me
laugh, you really do
you are so deluded,
you are no writer 
you are just a hack.

Face it,
it has to end here.
No use living in dreams.
But no, you shout

it just needs an edit or two, 
I'll be more judicious
and move a sentence here
and where I've
said too much, 
I'll keep it simple,
I swear
I'll remove this adverb
one adjective will do instead of two!

But eventually you must review
you know you do,
postponing it as long as possible,
until it cannot be avoided.
"Buck up"  you tell yourself,
And with baited breath
you either melt in ecstasy 
or despair.

You chose to write, 
to live this life
inhabiting nebulous 
unspoken worlds
wavering between 
the here and now
your words a record
of the endless struggle
to reach the essence of things.

© copyright Doradeecee, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

There Are Some Things I Can't Do With My Blackberry....

Yesterday I spent all day learning the ins and outs of blogging (thank you Lorelei for taking me under your wings and showing me the way!) and tonight I am back, like the faithful follower that I am.   I learned how to post comments, how to change fonts, etc. and most importantly how to change the background...I wish I had such control over the rest of my life.  

I don't have a handle yet on what I want to say, my "platform" so to speak - no I'm not participating in the Miss America contest - but I thought this would be a great exercise to get the writing muscles going.  It's been so long I was sure they had atrophied but it looks like they haven't withered altogether!   

On my way home, (and the way home today was torturous - that tale will have to wait for another blog) I was sure I wouldn't even look at the computer but here I am!   Most of my writing "extra-curricular" activities these days, as I like to call them, have been taking place on my Blackberry but unfortunately blogging from my Blackberry will have to wait.  Apparently there is a way, but I will wait until my son comes home from college - there's only so much learning my 50+ year-old brain can take - so I had no choice but to log on.

How much do I love my Blackberry?  Without my Blackberry I wouldn't have been able to reach out across the world (hello my friends at Thresholds Short Story Forum and a special hello to Tania Hershman writer extraordinaire who's kindly following my blog) and participate in their Q&A with so many wonderful writers such as Robert Shearman, Hanif Kureishi, Alison MacLeod, Adam Marek, David Vann and last but not least Loree Westron and the University of Chichester and all of the wonderful students and bloggers who participate in keeping the website thriving with knowledge and activity.  It is full of many wonderful links and articles geared towards short story writing and it is free!  Please check it out, you won't be disappointed.  Thank you so much for all of your kindness and I hope to make you all proud someday (I hope soon).  Without my Blackberry and with the crazy job I have, there was no way I could have participated with the wonderful community on Writer's Digest and met so many wonderful and helpful writers (thanks again Lorelei) who have given me such a crash course on writing and publishing. I could go on and on but I don't want to bore you and I'm also very sleepy.  In short, my friends, the Blackberry has allowed me to live another life, the life I have always wanted to live but couldn't.  I am so grateful that I can do this today.  You know what they say,  "Today is the first day of the rest of your life."    Live Now. 

Good Night all.    

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I Have A Lot to Say Today

Go figure.  I'm usually tongue-tied.  It takes a lot for me to open up to people.  Major character flaw.  Anyway it's  a dreary Sunday.  In a way I'm kind of glad it is otherwise I would be wishing every other second that I were outside enjoying the sun.  I love the sun.  Perfect day to write.  Perfect day to stay under the covers.   I have to give myself kudos for not giving up on my dream.  So far I've completed 3 short stories and I'm working on compiling a  poetry book.  I will finally get rid of a lot of clutter - tons and tons of paper that I've held onto because it's going to be published some day!  Once all of my scribbles get onto the computer,  the loose leaf and the multiple revisions will be history. The great thing is that there are so many writing contests out there.  Everyone wants to be a writer.  There's a contest practically every month.  And I'm going to take advantage of every one of them.

Where did the Time Go?

It's already 3:00 o'clock and I haven't done a thing except write on my laptop, answer emails and get some research done on this whole new world blogging.  Next is to figure out how to twitter.  Oy Vey!   

Did I have lunch yet?  No.  Did I get out of my pj's yet?   No.  Thank God I had breakfast.  Still drinking my cold coffee.  There's tons of things that need to get done:  food shopping, color my hair (next weekend?),  decide how I want the new bathroom to look (once I finally make up my mind that is) and last but not least making time for exercise!!!  Will I do any of it today?  As far as exercising goes I found a novel way of doing this...I plop my laptop on any surface tall enough for me to type while I walk or jog in place.  Pathetic isn't it?  Welcome to the wonderful world of being a writer.  How glamorous.

Hello World!

Hi All.  This is my very first post and I'm excited to be sharing it with you.  What can I say?  I feel like I've already lived many lives and I'm only a little over a half-century mark.  Isn't it amazing?  I find life amazing, the good, the bad and mediocre.  

I've been privileged to have lived many lives thus far and I've worn many hats.  The most recent one is as a WRITER.  That's right - a writer.  My latest dream is to become a published author and I'm not about to give it up because of my age.  I'll never stop learning!  I hope to be able to share some of my private world with you.  I write poetry, short stories and I am now working on a novel that takes place in Italy. Writing has been my dirty little secret, but not anymore.  I hope you take the journey with me.  I've named my blog Moving Target because that's how a feel my life has been lately as I navigate the challenges thrown at me:  I am a mother, artist, aunt, employee, good friend, blogger, student and I hope a teacher to some of you.  Welcome!  Let me know how you feel.