Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Writing Takes Balls

I haven’t written a post in a few days because I’ve been going through, Beyond the Eyes for the millionth time. It was already polished, but I wanted to make some adjustments and see if I could get the word count down, which I did. The word count was at 111,000, and it’s now at 109,000. I know that’s high for a young adult book, but there are YA books with a higher count than that, and I’ve read countless times that if each scene is relevant to the story then it’s fine. When I had first started BTE, the word count was up to 119,000 words, so I did cut a lot out. Anyway, I’m happy with it, and I absolutely love the story. It has everything: romance, friendship, humor, horror, mystery, suspense, and heart wrenching sadness. There are some parts in it that still chokes me up when I read it, and I’ve read it a lot. When my critique partners had read those parts, they told me it choked them up as well. I had wondered if they would get the same reaction as me, and was happy when they told me they did because that’s what you want from the reader. You want them to be emotionally involved in the story and sympathize with the character(s). So yeah, I was pleased when they told me that. Now let’s hope I can leave BTE alone until I get an agent or self publish it.

I was thinking last night that it takes balls to be a writer because you’re exposing yourself to scrutiny and harsh criticism. I remember reading Stephen King saying that Stephenie Meyer can’t write at all. He totally bashed her. I’ve read her Twilight series and enjoyed the story. Although, I have to admit that vampires sparkling in the sun was lame, and Bella’s codependency on Edward was annoying. Oh, and her self-deprecating attitude got tiresome. But other than that, it wasn’t a bad story. Yeah, Stephenie’s writing could have been a lot better, and even I caught errors in her books. But hey, she wrote it and had the balls to put it out there, and now look where she’s at. I just wonder how she felt when Stephen King said that. I think if he said that about me, I’d probably cry. I mean. I love Stephen King. I love his sense of humor, his imagination, and how he writes. I know in this business you’re suppose to have thick skin because people will bash your work, but I’m sure even thick skinned people still get their feelings hurt.

Every time I send some sample pages with my query letter to an agent, I get this scared feeling in the center of my chest. I’m always afraid I’ll get a letter back saying that I can’t write and to give it up. It’s fueled by this pesky little doubtful thought that lingers in the back of my brain, that maybe I’m just kidding myself, and I should move on to something else. However, despite my fears and doubts, I continue on, which I think takes balls. So all the writers out there who has been doing the same thing should be proud of themselves because it is a scary thing to do. I think you guys rock. I also think musicians, singers, painters, and photographers rock as well, because they’re basically in the same boat as us writers. We my favor a different tool to build our house, but we want the same thing, to create a nice frickin’ house that people can enjoy and will last for a long ass time.

When I was thinking about this last night, I thought about when a book does get published, it’s totally out there. It’s like a virgin, fresh and untainted. It's a risk. A scary risk. But honestly, despite the risk of my book(s) getting publicly flagellated and the fears that I have, I cannot stop. I can’t. Even if somebody were to say that I sucked and to give up my writing dream, I couldn’t. Does that make me twisted?

I don’t know.

Sometimes I wish I had a passion for something else, something safe, that would guarantee a stable future, like a doctor, scientist, an engineer and so forth. I think life would be easier if that were the case. But that’s not who I am. I love to write stories. It makes me happy, and it makes me even more happy when people love them as well.

So I’ll continue to grow some thick skin, better myself every day, and remind myself that I have the balls to take that leap into the unknown world full of scrutiny and praise.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Character Voice

The other day I was talking to my wonderful critique partner Valentina about character voice. She’s writing a really good story that I’m critiquing, and she asked me if I ever had a hard time with character voice. Luckily, so far, I haven’t. But before I jump ahead of myself, what is character voice? Quite simple, it’s how a character talks, their voice. What goes hand in hand with that is their mannerism, their opinions, their tone, and so forth. That’s what make a memorable character. But you have to craft the character in order to find their voice.

How do you craft your characters to find their voice? First, you need to know what kind of character you want to write about: How old are they? What kind of family do they come from? What do they look like? What kind of music do they like? Are they opinionated? Do they cuss? Once you have established that, you need to get inside the character’s head, and know them intimately. You need to become that character.

About a month ago, when I was working on Dark Spirits, I came close to struggling with a character’s voice. I was introducing a new character (Ameerah) into the story, and found myself pausing when Ameerah made an appearance. So I took a step back and visualized how she looked, like what color hair and eyes did she have. And then, I thought about her background and got inside her head. Once I knew I was there, a conversation started with the POV (point of view) character Paige, and Paige’s boyfriend Nathan. To my surprise, Ameerah’s voice and personality came out. That’s one of the coolest parts about writing a story, when a character surprises you. Anyway, Ameerah turned out to be a snarky character, who actually has a good heart, but tends to be revengeful.

Once you have the character’s voice, remember to be consistent with it, as well as their mannerism and quirks that they might have. And make sure each character is different, because if we were all the same in this world, it would be a pretty damn boring world.

I’ll do a couple of examples from my book, Beyond the Eyes, which is a YA (young adult) paranormal book. Here’s an idea of what it’s about: After receiving a cryptic death message about herself from a phantom voice only she can hear, seventeen-year-old Paige Felwitch’s life takes on a Twilight Zonish perplexity that her logical mind can’t solve, changing her forever. I’d love to tell you more about it, but I don’t want to spoil it, just in case in the future you end up reading it, which I hope you do.

Now I’ll write a couple sentences from some of the characters with a description of how they look, so you can get an idea on what I’m talking about and visualize that character.

Paige (five foot three, long, straight dark red hair, and dark-green eyes). Here’s what she says at the beginning of chapter three: My mind was whirling. Big time. I mean, seriously, tonight had to be like the weirdest night of my entire life. Not only did I have an out-of-body experience, but now I knew that was Nathan on the platform.

Nathan (six foot one, dark-blue eyes, short brown hair with blond tips that stood on top of his head in 80s skater fashion) Note: Nathan is very protective over Paige. Here’s what he says on page 233: A blaze of anger whipped across his eyes, and he wiped a hand across his face. "I don’t want you talking to him anymore." A blurry streak went by me, and he paced the room. "I realize you have class together, but it’s obvious he’s fond of you, and to what extent, I don’t know. So I’m asking you not to engage in further conversation with that monster."

Carrie (Five foot five, shoulder length dark hair with dark red tips, and brown eyes. She’s Paige’s best friend) Here’s what she says on page 143: Carrie’s eyes darted between Nathan and Matt, her face wrapped in annoyance. "The two of you need to chill out. I know you don’t like each other, but that doesn’t mean you have to ruin our night"–she pointed to me, and then her–"And if you continue with this macho bullshit, Paige and I will leave."
 
Tree (His real name is Jack, but his friends call him Tree because he’s six foot five and has a bitchin’ Mohawk. He’s Paige’s other best friend). Here’s what he says on page 13: He shook his head while putting on his leather trench coat and scrunched up his face. "I don’t think so. I know Matt is your friend, but I think he’s a douche bag." He paused. "And if he ever hurts Carrie," he added, his face now clouded with anger, "I’ll beat his ass."

So you see how different these characters are? It’s not just how they talk, but it’s their personality as well. I know the above examples may not paint a full picture of each of those characters, you’ll have to read the book to get that and fully connect with them. But I just wanted to give you an idea on how each character has their own voice, personality, mannerism, etc.

But what about creating a character who has an accent? Well, when you do that, you don’t want to bog down each sentence with dialect because it’ll pull the reader out of the story, and you don’t want that. At least, that’s what I‘ve read, but it does make sense. So you use their dialect sparingly, just to remind the reader where the character is from. For example, I have a character by the name of Anwar. He’s a bald African and almost seven feet tall. Here’s an example from page 324: He curled his finger beneath his chin and nodded agreeably. "I can see why he would think dat, but let me indulge you in a few things so you’ll understand why I withheld information from you, and why you’ve been through so much heartache lately."

Anyway, I hope this helps you. I don’t know everything, but that’s how I come up with my character’s voice, and I wanted to share it with you. If I can make your life a lot easier in sharing my writing experiences and what works for me, then cool. And if you ever want to add to it, please do because it’s always good to learn from each other. :)

Apply yourself both now and in the next life. Without effort, you cannot be prosperous. Though the land be good, you cannot have an abundant crop without cultivation.
–Plato

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hamlet and That Undiscovered Country.

Hamlet is such a wonderful play. Yes, we love Shakespeare, and had actually seen the play. We’d love to see it on Broadway, but I don’t know if that’ll ever happen.

Anyway, I didn’t post anything yesterday because I wanted to finish working on chapter twenty to Dark Spirits, so I did that instead. And then this morning, I went over the first chapter to, Beyond the Eyes.

See. I told you I can’t sit on my hands. I’m a freak when it comes to perfecting my work or craft as some may call it. I keep thinking: I can make it better. I can make it better. Even though I’ve been told it’s good.

During lunch time, I was thinking about what I can write in my next post, and the only thing that came to me was Hamlet. I was thinking about this one part in Hamlet’s To Be or Not To Be speech that’s just awesome and so true. Here it is. . . .

To grunt and sweat under a weary life. But that the dread of something after death. The undiscovered country, from whose bourn. No traveler returns, puzzles the will. And makes us rather bear those ills we have. Than fly to others that we know not of. Thus, conscience does make cowards of us all.

That's so true. Even if Shakespeare didn’t actually write Hamlet (there has been some debate about that), he wrote other plays like Macbeth that was equally good, and has a lot of truth in it. But the point is what Hamlet was saying. We rather bear those ill wills we have because we’re afraid to go to that undiscovered country. Thus, conscience does makes cowards of us all. Wow. I know I’m a dork, but how he said it was awesome. And nobody really knows what happens to us when we die. Sure there are people who have had a NDE (near death experience), but we still don’t know if it’s true or not. I’ve read countless stories of NDEs because that stuff fascinates me. In fact, I’ve been reading about NDEs since I was like ten. My grandpa Charlie once told me that he had died of a heart attack, and found himself in a beautiful field full of colorful flowers. He said it was so peaceful, and he didn’t want to leave, so when the EMTs brought him back, he was so mad that he cussed them out. I have heard similar stories such as his, so have other people, but still we can’t say for sure that’s where we go when we die. Therefore, when death raps on our door, we’re scared of letting go and would rather hang onto misery than to release it. That is until we finally make peace with it, or it just takes us.

For years my mom had told me she was afraid of dying because she was afraid of going to hell. I told her numerous times that there was no such thing as brimstone and fire, and gave her a history lesson on it, and where the idea of hell came from. But still, she clung to that ideology crap that had been branded on her since birth. I think though, that she knew in her hearts of hearts the type of person she really was, all the things she had done to my sister and me, and so forth, and that was why she was afraid of going to hell. Just about every time we spoke, she’d bring it up. But the last time we spoke was different, this was how part of our conversation went . . .

Mom: "I’m dying."
Me: "Mom, you’ve been saying that for 15 years now."
Mom: (She lets out a short laugh) "I really am. I can feel it."
Me: "So, how do you feel about it?"
Mom: "I’m not scared anymore." (She half-whispers)
Me: "That’s good. You shouldn’t be. It’s supposed be an awesome place."
Mom: "Uh-huh."
Me: "Just think, you’ll get to be with your dad, and you can go fishing with him."
Mom: "Oooooh, that would be so wonderful. I miss my daddy."
Me: "I don’t want you to die though. I want you to be alive to see my book published."

She doesn’t respond, and I get nervous, so I start joking around to make light of the situation.

Me: "Don’t forget. You told me you’d let me know what it was like on the other side once you get there. But it has to be unequivocal, so I know my mind isn’t playing tricks on me. Just don’t appear in front of me at night, because I’ll get scared."
Mom: Laughs.
Me: "If you see Joe, tell him I miss and love him, and I’m going to kick his ass when I see him again."
Mom: Laughs. "I will."

I’m getting really nervous now, so I continue on, basically babbling, telling her stuff I want her to do.

Mom: Laughs. "I’m going to have to get a piece of paper and pen to write this list down."

Soon after, Mom has to go, and I tell her repeatedly that I love her. Because honestly, despite everything she had ever done to me, and that she never truly loved me or my sister, I still love her. Yeah, I’m still and probably will always be hurt and deeply sad that she had once told my sister she didn’t have to like us, but she had to love us because of God, and that she always thought about herself instead of us, and so on, and so on. But that’s okay because I have somebody who truly loves me for me, and I know I’m not defective like she had made me feel.

Sorry. I’m rambling. Back to the story. :)

Less than a week after that conversation, Mom died. This happened last April. The night that she died, I was on the computer looking up flights to Arizona, when all of a sudden a bright flash of light went through my computer room. It was so fast that the computer and light popped off, and then a second later it popped back on. Nothing else in the house went off, or in our neighborhood (I asked my neighbors about it the following day), so I wonder if that was Mom crossing over. I don’t know, but I haven’t heard from her.
So I think she’s just gone, to that undiscovered country.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Quiet the Mind

How do you quiet the mind?

Last night, we were watching that movie Eat, Pray, Love. Liz, played by Julia Roberts was having a hell of a time quieting her mind in meditation class. I’m totally like that. I’ll sit and try to quiet my mind, but thoughts just keep racing. Liz’s friend Richard had told her that she needed to clear the space in her mind. He then went on and said that once she did that she’d have a vacuum with a doorway and at that doorway the Universe would rush in and fill her with more love than she could dream of. I was like, wow, that would be totally cool if that were to happen.

When Liz was in Rome, she went to this place where Augustus had his remains housed. Years later the barbarians had trashed it, and Liz wondered if Augustus had ever imagined that Rome would one day be in ruins. While she was pondering over this, she looked at the chaos it had endured, but yet it had found a way to build itself up again. And then she was reassured, and in her own words she had said that maybe her life hadn’t been so chaotic, it was just the world that was, and the only real trap was getting attached to any of it. Ruin is a gift. Ruin is a road to transformation. We must always be prepared for endless waves of transformation. We all want things to stay the same, and are willing to settle for living in misery because we’re afraid of change and things crumbling to ruins. But ruin is a road to transformation. If you’re afraid of taking risks or going after what you truly want, then what’s the point of being here?

At the end of the movie Liz explained what she called the Physics of the Quest, and this was what she said: It’s a force of nature govern by law as real as the laws of gravity. The rule of quest physics goes something like this. . . . If you’re brave enough to leave behind everything that is familiar and comforting, which could be anything, from your house to bitter old resentments. And you set out on a truth seeking journey either externally or internally, and if you’re truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you except everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you’re prepared most of all to face and forgive some difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you.

For years I’ve been working on getting the shit out of my water. Okay, let me explain what I mean. When we’re born, we’re like a pure glass of water, but as we get older, shit gets thrown into it. Basically, negative, unhealthy, hurtful things that affect us on some level. Well, I have a lot of it, considering how I grew up, but I made progressed and got a lot of that shit out of my water. However, there’s still a part of me that yearns for something and sometimes I feel restless. I don’t know what that is or why I get restless, but there are times when I feel like I’m so close to breaking through this barrier, or whatever it is, crossover, and that yearning and restlessness will vanish.

I don’t know. It’s weird.

All I know is that this is all temporal and to take something that is permanent is madness. Nothing is permanent. I believe when we die we take two things with us, and that’s love and knowledge. I’d say experience, but knowledge comes from experience.

Last night Kevin said that we’re always waiting for something, and he’s absolutely right. I’m always waiting for something. Why is that? Why can’t I just quiet the mind and just ‘be’? I wonder if it’s because I want something more out of life, and I’ve been working my ass off to get what I want. Maybe that’s why I get restless and feel like I’m constantly waiting. But then I wonder, what if it never happens? What if the life I’m working toward never comes into fruition? What if I’m just kidding myself? Then what?

After the disturbing ‘what if’ thoughts, I thought about clues. We’re given clues from the ‘source’ as I call it. I don’t know what it is, but it’s there, and if we just relax and become aware of the clues and follow it, everything flows together.
 
More than five years ago, Kevin and I had moved to North Dakota. We didn’t know a soul, never been to the state, and had bought a house sight unseen. People told us we were crazy to sell our nice house and move to a state we’d never been to. But ya know what? It felt right, and so we did it anyway. Also, we were given clues to do it, and guess what. Moving here was the best thing (besides marrying each other) that we had ever done. Yeah our house is old, needs some work, and is too small for my liking, but so what. Nothing is permanent anyway, right? I can always get the house I want in the future. The point is we were brave enough to leave everything that was familiar, and ignored the negative comments that were thrown at us about moving here to North Dakota. I’m proud of us for that, and because we did it, we now know we can do it again. It’s actually liberating to know that we have it in us to do something like that.


Now if I can only quiet my mind and just ‘be’ then maybe all this brain chattering will stop and I’ll be able to master my thoughts. Wouldn’t that be cool?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I'm Just Saying

About a month ago Kevin came home and asked me what was wrong with kids today. He then went on to say he was telling this kid at his work what he needed to do, and the kid just stared at him, like a drooler as my sister’s husband Bryan calls them. You know, people who stand or sit there with a vacant ‘duh’ look on their face, their mouth hanging open as if they're trying to catch flies. He couldn’t grasp what Kevin was telling him. Kevin was like, "I talk in plain English, so I don’t get why he couldn’t understand me." I shrugged, but when Kevin elaborated more by telling me the kid talks to him in short sentences, I had epiphany.

People don’t communicate like they used to before this technology boom. Think about it. Kids are constantly on their cell phones texting each other in short sentences. Therefore, they’re losing their ability to communicate--not all kids, but enough. It reminds me of George Orwell’s book 1984 (an excellent book), because it’s as if the way the kids are communicating now (texting) has reprogrammed their brain to communicate in a minimal and simplistic form to where they can’t fully grasp the concept or meaning of what’s being told to them. It’s actually kind of scary if you think about it. My dad was telling me that in Indiana, they’re going to stop teaching the kids cursive writing. I was like, "What?" It seems like they, whomever they are, wants to dumb down the kids for some reason. I don’t want to get all conspiracy theory here, but I’m just saying.

Have you ever heard about the frog in a pot of cold water? The frog is in a pot of cold water. No big deal, right? The frog remains in the pot of water; content and has no worries. Slowly the temperature turns up a notch. The frog doesn’t notice. Do you see where this is going? Eventually, the frog ends up boiling in that pot of water, and not once did he try to jump out. Is that what’s happening to us? Are we the frog in the pot of water?

Now don’t get me wrong. I think technology is wonderful, but it’s how we use it, and the whole escalation factor is what’s troublesome. But it’s not just technology. It’s everything. If you step back, and take a good look at what’s really going on and compare it to how it used to be–how we used to be–doesn’t it at least raises your eyebrows?

Again, I’m not trying to get all Ted Kaczynski on you, but I’m just saying.

Friday, August 19, 2011

I'm Not A Hand Sitter.

I am not a hand sitter when it comes to my books. I'd spent yesterday going over, Beyond the Eyes for the millionth time, and I’m still going over it. It has been critiqued already, polished, and I think every scene moves the story forward or is relevant to it, but still I feel the need to go over it. Maybe it’s the perfectionist in me when it comes to my work. I don’t know. Hopefully I’ll find an agent soon who will love this story, but the reality is it could take months or maybe years for that to happen. I had heard from another agent in London the other day, and she told me that she enjoyed reading, Beyond the Eyes (I had sent her the first 50 pages), but they only have four people on staff and it’s not right for her list. She also told me that she’s sure another agent will pick it up. So I’ll keep plugging away at it and continue writing the sequel, which by the way, I need to start on the next chapter. If worse comes to worse, I’ll turn it into a script or self publish. But like I had said before. . . . I really want to get it traditionally published, even though it usually takes 2 years to publish.

Anyway, that’s where I am on the writing front. It’s a long ass process because not only do you have to write the book, you have to edit it, rewrite it, edit it, get it critiqued, rewrite it, edit it, do a query letter, do a synopsis, research agents, etc. And then once you get an agent, you go through your manuscript with her and rewrite/edit parts of it before she sends it to publishers. Once you get a publisher, you do the same thing with them. After that, you start marketing your book because really it’s a business and you need to treat it as such. It’s not like once your book gets accepted by a publisher you can kick back and collect the royalty checks. No. You have to totally promote your book and get it out there. It’s a lot of work, but I love it. Sometimes I feel like one of those people who likes pain and pleasure in sex (sadomasochist?), because it’s painful at times, but yet satisfying. Maybe that’s a weird analogy to describe it, but it works for me :).

Now I better get to work before the morning whips by me.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Come On Fall

For two days now, our house has been buzzing with nasty flies. It seems like I kill one, and then another one appears. I hate flies. They’re gross, annoying little bastards. I keep trying to figure out where they’re all coming from because it’s not like we stand with the door open. I checked the window screens and there’s no holes in them.

It is a mystery.

I can’t wait until it cools off because not only will the bugs go away, but this hot, muggy weather will too. Last month was absolutely miserable. We’ve lived here in North Dakota for more than 5 years now, and the summers have never been like this. It feels like we’ve been living in a swamp or rain forest all summer. Me no likes.

Last month, for the first time ever, Kevin and I experienced a tornado going through our town. Now every time the weather suddenly gets thick and muggy, we wonder if it’s going to produce another one. Right now, as I’m typing this, the sky is dark, the air is thick and muggy, and it’s thundering and lightening. I love thunderstorms, but with the air like this, it puts me on my guide. I probably shouldn’t be on the computer right now, so I’m going to try and hurry this up.

A few months ago, I was at the computer working on Dark Spirits when my hand drifted to the back of my shoulder. I felt a bump there and took my index finger and thumb and pinched around it. I had to literally peel this bump off me, and when I looked to see what it was, I freaked. It was a bug! I threw it across my desk, and instantly had the heebie-jeebies. I touched the back of my shoulder again and felt a smaller bump on that same spot. Then I thought that I better find that bug I had flung off me, just in case I got sick. So I found it crawling on the side of my computer monitor and picked it up with a piece of toilet paper. I went to the kitchen and tried squishing it with my fingers, but it wouldn’t die, so I took the handle of a knife and wacked it. That did the trick. After that, I squeezed the smaller bump and something white came out of it. I swear it looked like a head with antennas. I then took some alcohol and rubbed it all over the back of my shoulder. By this time my mind was going all Sci-Fi on me:

What if that bug had laid eggs and now I was going to have a nest of them, crawling under my skin?

I kept the white, head-looking thing, and when Kevin came home for lunch, I told him what had happened and showed him my evidence. He told me it was a tick.

BLAH!

I hate ticks.

Oh, and get this. Kevin told me that when we went to bed the previous night, he saw it on the back of my shoulder but thought it was a new mole or something. What? You gotta be kidding me? I can’t believe he didn’t say anything, and I had slept with that damn tick sucking on my blood.

Gross.

I still don’t know how it got there. The only thing I can figure is it latched onto me when I was in our yard. I don’t know, but I don’t like them. I know people who are from here thinks nothing of it. Even the farmers, they pick the ticks off of them like it’s no big deal.

Yesterday I thought I had another tick on me because I saw a round black thing on my shin. So I took some alcohol and picked at it. Thank God. It wasn’t a tick. It was just a scab.

I can’t wait for fall and winter because not only do I love that time of year, but it gets rid of the swamp weather and bugs. . . . Come on fall.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Falling Over

Okay, before I tell you what happened to me yesterday, I want to say this. . . . I am done with being klutzy. D-O-N-E. Done! I do not accept that anymore, and will not give energy to it.

Now, I’ll tell ya my story.

Yesterday afternoon I went outside to water our plants, but when I turned the hose on, I couldn’t see the water coming out of the sprinkler.

What the hell?

I was about six yards away, and our tomato plants were blocking the view, so I walked over there to see what was wrong. The sprinkler was turned upside down. I stepped over the railroad ties that we have around our plants, and flipped it over. When I did that a rush of water rained on me. I turned around trying to avoid getting soaked and tripped over the railroad tie. I banged my knee against it and landed on my left hand and felt a crunch. I rolled over on my right side and pushed myself up with my right hand. I was soaking wet, covered in mud, and my left hand hurt like hell. Looking around, I was thankful nobody had seen me fall (talk about embarrassing), but I was worried that I had broken my wrist and couldn’t shake that crunching feeling when I had landed on it. So I darted in the house, calling out Kevin’s name. I knew he was upstairs, and the closer I got to the stairs, the more my hand hurt. It felt like a piece of bone had splintered inside it and was poking my hand. That very image began floating around in my head, and I started to panic.


Finally, I made it upstairs, and Kevin asked me what was wrong. I told him, and he cradled my wrist in his hand. Luckily, Kevin was a combat medic in the Army and knew what to do. He told me to slowly rotate my wrist around. I was able to do that, but while I was rotating my wrist, that image of a splintered bone in my hand, held inside my mind. I started hyperventilating, and then I felt nauseous. Kevin grabbed a hold of my good wrist, and told me it was all right, and to calm down. I told him I felt sick and started retching. And then the room spun and my brain started shorting out. It was the weirdest feeling ever. Lightening speed images flashed in my head, but they were too jumbled for me to know what they were. During those seconds, I didn’t know where I was, or the time of day. The next thing I knew, I was on the bathroom floor. I laid there for a few minutes until my breathing became stable, and I could get my bearings. I looked up and caught Kevin’s green eyes.

"Did I pass out?" I was certain that I did, but asked Kevin anyway because I’d never passed out on my own before.

He was closely watching me and nodded.

What a dork, huh?

Not him.

Me.

I can’t believe I passed out over that.

We don’t think my hand is broken, but it’s sprained pretty badly, and I can’t hold onto things. It also hurts, and if I move it a certain way it feels like something sharp inside it is poking me.

Last night Kevin shook his head at me and the corner of his mouth lifted. "And you want to go up on the roof to fix it," he said with a laugh. "I admire your courage, but now I’m afraid to have you water the plants."

I playfully rolled my eyes at him, raised my hands, putting my thumbs side by side, making a W and said, "Whatever."

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hair Mishap

Yesterday I went to get my hair done and ended up at the beauty salon for more than five hours. I dye my hair blond, and my beautician Amber and I thought it would be better to dye my roots instead of pulling my hair through a cap.

Bad idea.

After she did that, my roots were a bright yellow/orangish color. So she put another color on my roots to get rid of that color, but it didn’t work. I felt bad for her because she looked like she was going to burst into tears, and told me she felt like throwing up. She had no idea on what to do, and her boss told her to dye my hair a different color, and that should work. Not! My hair ended up turning gray. So I had gray hair with bright yellow/orangish roots. EEEEEW. And her boss had the nerve to say it looked good. I think she said that so I would leave. I have heard horror stories where beauticians had turned their client’s hair green, and did nothing about it. Well, my ass was staying firmly planted into that chair until my hair was fixed because there was no way in hell I would live with my hair like that. Thankfully, Amber thought it looked like crap too and was willing to fix it. By this time it was closing time and Amber had to go get her one and three-year-old from daycare. She asked me if I wanted to ride along with her, and I told her no that I wasn’t going out in public like that. She told her boss, which probably annoyed her boss, but I didn’t give a flying flip what her boss thought, and stayed at the closed salon. Once Amber got back, she used a different color on the roots, which toned it way down, then pulled my hair through a cap and added a different color to it. Finally, we had success. It took the gray out, and now my hair is a dark blond color. Honestly, I don’t care for it much but it’s way better than gray. I had told Amber that at least I knew now what I'd look like with gray hair, and it was definitely not the color for me.

Anyway, I hope I never go through that again because that sucked. Note to self, don’t try something new with my hair unless it’s completely thought out, and I’m prepared for any mishaps that might occur.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Binary Code From Aliens?

We love watching the History Channel and last night I caught the tail end of a show on Ancient Aliens. Thirty years ago in December 1980, two military airmen were in the English forest. From what I understood, they had an encounter with an alien ship, and when one of the airmen (James) touched the spacecraft, a numerical sequence of ones and zeros went through his head. The two men rarely spoke about the incident afterwards, but James kept getting a mental picture of those codes. He tried to ignore it, but couldn’t, so he wrote them down–the numeric sequence of ones and zeros–in a small notebook. There was like, I think six pages of those numbers he wrote down, and then he tucked the notebook away and never spoke about it until last year. He ended up given a computer programmer he trusted those codes to see if on the off chance they meant something. He was doubtful though. It turns out that the ones and zeros are a binary code. I didn’t know what a binary code was, so I went to Wikipedia and here was what it said:

A binary code is a way of representing text or computer processor instructions by the use of the binary number system’s two-binary digits zero and one. This is accomplished by assigning a bit string to each particular symbol or instruction.

Anyway, after the computer programmer entered those numbers, to his amazement a message came up. This is what the message was:

EXPLORATION OF HUMANITY
52 09' 42.532 N
13 13' 12.69" W
CONTINUOUS FOR PLANETARY ADVANCE

The numbers are supposed to be (they’re guessing) navigational coordinates. They determined that it points to a mysterious sunken island known in Celtic legend as Hy Brasil. Legend says that Hy Brasil was a civilization that was thousands of years ahead of its time. The other Atlantis is what Hy Brasil is occasionally referred to.

So what does this mean?

When I was watching this last night, Kevin had stepped out of the room, so he missed the story. This morning I told him about it, and he told me that each computer is different when entering a binary code. Therefore, you can get a different result from that code. He went on and said just like the Bible Code. You could make anything out of it. Hell, you could do the same thing with Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. Then he said, "Hey, I hate to be a skeptic here and maybe that story and the binary code is true." He paused, shrugged his shoulders and gestured to the TV. "But that black box tends to bend the truth or leave out important facts to suit its purpose. You have to question everything that’s on it."

I wholeheartedly agree with him, that’s why when you watch something like Ancient Aliens, you should do further research on your own. Right? I just never heard a story like it before and that guy James seemed genuine. I mean, he kept those codes for 30 years. I think archaeologists should check out the sunken island that was supposed to be Hy Brasil and maybe they could find something that would definitely say yes, they were a highly advanced civilization.

Anyway, I thought I’d share that with you because I thought it was interesting. It also makes me wonder if that binary code is true, then why are aliens exploring humanity? Is their planet in trouble, or are they eventually going to let themselves be known to us and show us a way to advance ourselves? Who knows, but if it does happen, I hope I’m alive to see it.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Success

I just finished vacuuming the house, dusting upstairs, and cleaning up the kitchen. It took me 40 minutes to do. I still need to dust the downstairs, but I’ll do that tomorrow morning. Yeah, I did this at 7:30 a.m. It’s probably crazy to clean house that early, but I do it because I’m half asleep, and before I know it I’m finished.

Anyway, I was thinking while I was going through the cleaning motions about success. What is success? Some people think to have a big house, nice car, and a fat bank account shouts that they’re successful in life. Others think that having a wonderful marriage, great kids, and a good job is successful. Success is a word that means differently to each person. So I asked myself, what does it mean to me?

I don’t know.

Well, wait a minute. Personally I think bettering yourself, going after what you want in life, do the things that make you happy, like who you are, and love yourself is successful. And of course achieve the things you want to achieve, and never stop dreaming. Yeah, that’s it.

After my parents divorced, our life went to shit. My mom moved us away from our dad, immediately moved a guy into our house who was a total asshole, told us to tell his mom (he was 13 yrs. younger then her) that he was sleeping on the couch when he wasn’t, got married to him, moved us clear across the country to Arizona, and moved us into a dingy apartment in the ghetto. And it got worse from there. We basically grew up as white trash, and my childhood was nothing but a dark and miserable time. Our mom didn’t give a crap about us and only thought about herself and what she could get. Her mom was the same way, which was probably why she was like that. Her mom was a manipulative, evil woman. Seriously. After I got away from that environment, I had a lot of work to do on myself. It took years to conquer those demons, and to find the tools that were never given to me, to get through this life. The hurt that Mom never really loved us is still there though, and will never go away. It’s branded on my psyche, along with other hurtful things as well. But despite all that, and what my sister and me went through, I was able to turn my life around. Also, my sister had broken that mother-treating-her-daughter-like-shit cycle. She was determined to treat her daughter on how we should have been treated, and she did a really good job raising my niece. She broke that cycle, and I’m proud of her for that.

So, have I been successful in my life so far by overcoming all the things I’ve been through? I guess so, yeah, or how they say it in North Dakota: Ya betcha. I also had hit the lottery–relationship wise–when I met Kevin (that’s another story I’ll have to share one of these days) because he’s like the best person in the world. He’s my best friend :). So I was very lucky in love. Now if only I could be just as lucky in making it as a novelist, I would definitely feel successful. I just wonder what’s going to happen. Kevin thinks because I wrote 2 books and working on my third one that is a huge accomplishment. He had told me I should be proud of myself for that, and I am proud of myself, but I won’t be satisfied until my books are published and people fall in love with them. To me, when that happens, then I can honestly say I’m successful.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Knot Head

I’m officially a knot head. I got up in the middle of the night, stumbling my way through the darkness when wack! I knocked my forehead on the corner of the wall, and now there’s a knot on it. Not very attractive I might add. Did it knock some sense into me? Not a chance. :). I’m such a klutz. I’ve broken my wrist twice, my arm once, my fingers and toes twice, I’ve had to get stitches three different times, and I’ve split my cranium straight now the middle and had a hematoma for months. I remember telling my first grade teacher to feel my squishy head. I also remember her scrunching up her face and shaking her head. But hey, I was six and thought it was cool that my head was squishy. I know. I’m a weirdo.

Anyway, my dad used to joke that I should wear a football uniform for protection. So yeah, I’m a total klutz. And forget about wearing heels. I’m only five feet tall and would love to wear them, but that would surely be the death of me. Hell, I don’t need heels to trip over my own damn feet. This one time I was walking outside the mall and almost fell flat on my face. A car was driving by at that exact moment and stopped when I tripped and broke my fall with my hands. It was so embarrassing. I’m sure they were laughing at me. I had the same look a dog gets when he’s crapping in the yard, and he catches you looking at him. Ya know, that embarrassed look. Yup, that was the look I had.

A few weeks ago a tornado went through our town, which was scary. It’s true what they say about it sounding like a freight train because it did. Anyway, besides it destroying four of our wonderful trees, it also tore shingles off our roof. Right now we’re waiting for the claims department to see what they’re going to do about it. We have interlocking shingles, and since they don’t make those type of shingles anymore, we’re going to have to get a new roof in order for the roofing company to replace the shingles the tornado had ripped off. We’re hoping our insurance company will replace our roof. Otherwise, we’re going to have to wait until next year to replace it. But in the meantime, while we wait for what the claims department is going to decide to do, we need to tarp the spots on our roof that were damaged, just incase some nasty storm rolls in. Kevin can’t handle heights, so I had told him I’d tarp it. Yeah, right. LOL. He’s well aware of how klutzy I am, so he didn’t go for that idea. Too bad because I’m not afraid of heights, and I wouldn’t mind doing it. But that’s okay, he’s going to have a guy who is fixing the roof at his work that was damaged from the tornado as well, tarp it.

Now I’m going to take my knot head, klutzy self and get a cup of coffee.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Waiting

I am the girl in waiting, and frankly it sucks. I know that all writers go through this–waiting for an agent or publisher to represent them–but as the days bleed into each other, and they become stale from the deafening silence, it makes me wonder if I’ll ever get an offer from an agent. But not just any agent, an agent who will love my story and champion it with great enthusiasm.

I don’t know. I mean, will it ever happen? I sometimes wonder if I should rewrite parts of my story, but then I’m told it’s fine and that when an agent/publisher falls in love with the story itself, they’ll have me do rewrites like every writer has to do before their book gets published. But I’m critical about my work, and it’s hard for me to sit on my hands and not mess with it. So I tend to drive myself crazy and hold onto the hope that any second now I’ll hear from an agent who will reprieve me from my madness.

There’s this sweet agent in London who I had sent my query and the first 30 pages of my manuscript to. She had apologized to me that she couldn’t take me on as a client because it wasn’t right for her list. She went on and told me to please not give up, and then she gave me a website to other agents to query. I’ve received similar responses like that from other agents, which I appreciate because I know they’re busy, and to take the time out of their hectic day to do that does mean a lot to me, but even so, I’m still waiting. Their encouragement does help though. And then there’s my wonderful critique partner Valentina who is like my personal cheerleader. She’s great. She loves my story and tells me it’s too good to put aside, that I need to share it with the world.

Not too long ago I was at the grocery store and the cashier had asked me how my book was coming along. I told her it was finished and now I was trying to find an agent for it. A teenage girl who works there asked me what my book was about, and so I told her. Her eyes lit up, and she asked me if she could read it and even offered to pay for it. I was shocked by her enthusiasm, but flattered, and said it hadn’t been published yet. I’d never experienced that before–being in the presence of somebody who was excited about my story–but what a cool feeling that was.

As each day goes by and the seasons change and my life remains the same, I wonder if I’m just kidding myself. Is it just blind ambition? But honestly, I can’t give up because I love my story and the characters too much. I ask myself, what can be the worst thing that can happen? I don’t get an agent for my Beyond the Eyes series, and publish it myself. Or, convert it into a screen play, and try to sell it that way. I do have options, but if I had my choice I’d like to get traditionally published. However, if that doesn’t happen, then I’ll have to go to plan B or C. Either way, it will get published, and hopefully it’ll be a best seller. But for right now I’ll go with plan A. . . .

And so I wait.

Monday, August 8, 2011

What Shocked Me

When I had decided to do a blog, I had planned on doing posts on writing and on the literary world because that’s what I love. And if I can help people through my experiences, I want to. I totally believe in paying it forward. But I also love anything that’s paranormal because there’s so many mysterious things that go on in this world that we can’t explain. So, I guess I’m going to write about whatever suits my fancy at that moment, and not limit myself to just one topic–thus, Wandering Thoughts of a Writer. Of course, I’ll do posts about writing, but right now I want to talk about something in my life that had shocked me.

Yesterday I was thinking if something in my life had ever shocked me. I mean, the way I grew up, it takes a lot to shock me. Seriously. Well, I thought of something that totally had shocked me to the core. . . .

When I was 13, my friend’s stepbrother Mike came to his house for the weekend. Well, Mike was a good-looking, clean-cut kid: short brown hair, green eyes. He reminded me of one of the Kennedy boys. And he was so polite. It was as if he had been plucked straight out of the 50s or something. Anyway, a year later, I was with a group of friends and there was a guy among the group who looked similar to Marilyn Manson with his black clothes, long black hair, black eyeliner that made his green eyes pop in a freakish vampire sorta way. I finally went up to him because oddly enough, he seemed familiar to me, and yup it was Mike. And guess what he told me. He was a Satanist. He said that he was more into Satanism back when I had first met him then he was now.

Whut?

It totally fried my brain and freaked me out at the time. I mean, when I first had met him he was every parent’s dream kid, somebody that a daughter would be proud to bring home to meet her father. That just goes to show you that people aren’t always as they seem.

But a Satanist. Really?

I’ve done a lot of research on theology, and when I do my research I don’t do it from a Christian’s or an Atheist’s stand point. The reason why is because if you do, then you have an agenda and will find information that supports that agenda. So I research all the facts without having a certain ideology in mind. I don’t care if I discover factual information that I don’t like. I just want the truth. So through my extensive research, I came to the conclusion that Satan is bullshit. He’s not real. However, I personally believe there’s negative energy out there, and we have a choice whether to become a part of that or not. My YA novel, Beyond the Eyes has that in there, and the sequel I’m writing right now titled: Dark Spirits, goes deeper into it. But Satanists to me are just frustrated Christians because they have to believe in Christianity in order to believe in Satan. Am I right? It’s totally true.

Anyway, I don’t know whatever happened to Mike. I hope he grew out of it and went on to lead a happy and healthy life. We all go through our stupid phases, so hopefully that was just one of his. Now I’m going to go burn some fat and place it on the altar so the Lord can smell its sweet savor.

Just kidding. :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Master of Puppets

My brother-in-law Joe died in 1999, and still to this day I miss him. He was 4 years older than I, and Kevin and I were very close to him. We had made a pact that whoever dies first would let the other one know what it was like on the other side, but before I go any further with that, I would like to tell you what happened with Joe.

One afternoon he had stopped by our house, and I noticed right away he was fidgety. I’m one of those people who is sensitive to other people’s energy and had felt the chaos in his. When he entered our house, he immediately went to the window and peeked out of it. He told us that black helicopters were following him. Kevin and I looked and of course there were none. We tried to assure him that nobody was following him, and then Joe went off into a bizarre story about the mob. He said that he knew people in the mob who could make it look like he died. As he was talking to us, he continued to fidget and started making weird wet fart noises with his mouth. It was so annoying that we told him to stop. Anyway, we realized what was going on with him. He was on Meth, and let me tell ya, it was heartbreaking. After that day, Kevin and I tried to talk some sense into Joe and help him, but he continued on that path. One night he came over and was carrying a pistol. Now that I look back on it, I wish I had taken the gun away from him, but I didn’t. Instead I begged him to get rid of it and that I didn’t want him to die. He told me he didn’t give a fuck if he died, and then narrowed his eyes at me and said that he remembered our pact. My heart dropped, and I didn’t want him to leave my sight. I wanted to pull him out of that dark, soul-sucking world he had gotten himself into, and bring him back to us. But Kevin was concerned about my safety, and had forbidden Joe to bring any of his Meth-head friends to our house. So we tried an intervention, which honestly was pathetic because it didn’t work. Looking back on it now, there was so many things I would have done differently, but unfortunately I can’t rewind back to that time in my life, and possibly succeed at saving Joe. Not to long after that, my life would be altered in a way that would leave an aching hole inside me that nobody could ever fill.

It was a Tuesday on February 16th that I received a call right when I got home from work. It was one of Joe’s friends. He told me that Joe was in an accident and was at the hospital. I tried to get answers out of him, but he refused to elaborate and kept repeating to call the police. I called Kevin’s work afterwards and relayed the message to him. Kevin told me to meet him at his work, and he’ll call the police station. My heart was racing and my whole body shook. On the way to Kevin’s work I started screaming and crying, banging my hand against the steering wheel, telling Joe that he better not be dead. When I entered Kevin’s work, he was on the phone with a police officer, and had a somber look on his face. As soon as I approached him, he looked up at me and slowly shook his head. I couldn’t believe it and slammed my hand on the counter he stood behind and yelled as my hand made contact with the counter, "NO! NO! NO!" I dashed outside and bawled in my car. I could hardly breathe and the world seemed to have shifted out of place. It was horrible, and even now as I write this I’m emotional about it. I don’t wish this experience on anybody.

Anyway, that morning Joe had gone to a drug house and when he left, a guy he had owed money to confronted him. Joe pulled out his gun and the other guy pulled his out. They shot each other and both died. That night, when I was finally able to go to sleep, I had a vivid dream about Joe. He was sitting on a low wall, and I asked him what it was like being dead. He told me it was weird, but he was getting use to it. I have heard that spirits can communicate with you through your dreams, and I still wonder to this day if he actually had visited me. I don’t know, but I haven’t heard from him since, and I miss him every day. I have another brother-in-law who was Kevin’s sister’s husband who had died a few years later from drugs as well. And again, Kevin and I had tried to help him get off the drugs, but in the end he had chosen drugs over our help.

When I think about my family being decimated by drugs, a lump forms in my throat that I can’t seem to swallow. The reason why I’d decided to write this post was because yesterday Kevin went to the store, and there was a new girl working there with scabs and track marks on her arms. When he told me that, I slowly shook my head and that damn lump formed in my throat. If only I could get in that girl’s face, tell her my stories about what Meth and drugs had done to my family, and wake her up. If only it could be that simple, but truthfully it’s not. If it were, the people that Kevin and I had lost to drugs would still be alive. Joe would be alive, and our world would be a much brighter place.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Psychics

Years ago I went and saw John Edwards, the psychic who can communicate with spirits. I know there are phonies out there, but he seems genuine.

Kevin, the eternal skeptic, had asked me how did I know if John Edward’s team weren’t singling people out while they waited, acting like another audience member to get them to talk?

I don’t know, but again he seems genuine in what he does, and I think he’s pretty cool. But I have to admit, there is that splinter in the back of my brain that questions it like Kevin, and when I was there I had hoped that John Edwards would pick me. If that had happened then that splinter would have been plucked, or further wedged into my brain. But he didn’t pick me, so that splinter remains. However, I still think he’s great and would like to see him again.

Many, many years ago I went and saw a palm reader.

What a joke.

She told me I’d have 3 kids. Well, I can’t have kids. I had to get a hysterectomy years ago so she was totally wrong.

And then at the end of the session she told me I was cursed, but if I gave her a hundred dollars she could remove the curse.

Yeah. Right.

Whatever.

What a scam.

I don’t know how people can live with themselves doing shit like that to other people. That’s almost as bad as family members scamming you, thinking you don’t know they’re scamming you or their underhandedness. But you do know, and if you’re smart you dissociate yourself from them and get them out of your life.

Anyway, I love going to psychic fairs (I’ve been to several of them) because they’re fun and you never know what might happen. Where I live now, they don’t have psychic fairs, which is too bad because I enjoy them. There’s always that hope that maybe something unequivocal might happen, leaving no doubt in your mind it’s for real. If that ever does happen to me, I hope Kevin will be there to experience it as well because then he’d know that it is possible to bridge that gap between our world and the next.

So can some people really communicate with the spiritual world?

I think so, and I’ll tell ya why.

When I was six-years-old, I played hooky and stayed home from school. Well, when I went to turn the TV on, it didn’t work, and I thought I had broken it. I didn’t have my mom’s work number to call her, so I started crying. I cried out to my great grandpa–he had died right after I was born, but I’d always felt a connection with him–that I’d broken the TV, and I needed Mom’s work number.

Now I swear on everything I love and hold dear to in my heart, that what happened next, did happen.

I’m not a nutcase or a schizophrenic.

What happened next was a voice separate from my internal voice and me, said that I hadn’t broken the TV. I continued to cry and argued with it, insisting that I had. Then I begged my great grandpa to tell me Mom’s work number.

And then (I’m not shitting you) the number ‘popped’ in my head. I hopped off the couch, ran to the phone, and dialed the number.

And ya know what?

That was the right frickin’ number, and Mom told me the TV wasn’t broken that she had unplugged it so I wouldn’t watch it.

So yeah, because of that personal experience I had and similar ones like that throughout my life, I do think some people can communicate with the spiritual world.

I’m a very inquisitive person. Like I had said in my other posts, I want to know the truth, the facts about everything, even if I don’t like the answer to it. And I don’t care what it is: history, theology, mysticism, etc. I want to know.

I have a small Chinese symbol tattooed to the back of my right shoulder, and there had been times when people would ask me what it meant, and when I told them it meant ‘truth,’ they’d get a faraway look in their eyes and would slowly nod.

But that’s how I live my life, by the truth, and to me that’s an honorable way to live. And yeah, the truth can hurt, but to me it’s much better to get zinged by the truth then to live this life under false pretenses.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Haunted House.

Haunted houses and spirits in general have always fascinated me.

I wonder why a spirit would haunt a house. I mean, when we die why wouldn’t we want to move on to the next plane of existence, it’s supposed to be awesome, right?

The first book I had written two years ago is about a teenage girl who attempts suicide, but instead of dying she meets her guide and crosses over with him. He tells her heaven is not one place and uses the analogy that heaven is like our body and the trillions of cells on our body are like the different realms spirits can go to. It’s mind boggling, and the human mind can’t wrap itself around it. So he takes her to some of the different realms, and then eventually back to earth, to a house that’s being haunted. She asks him why this spirit won’t cross over, and he tells her the spirit is attached to the house. But not only that, the spirit is stubborn, selfish, and afraid. I remembered wondering as I wrote that chapter if that was true.

Is that one of the main reasons spirits haunt a house?

When I was very young, we lived in a nice house that had a huge basement where my parents would hold their UFO meetings.

This house was haunted.

I don’t remember any paranormal activity except I didn’t like being in the basement by myself, and still to this day, I have bad dreams about a basement.

I often wonder if something had happened to me, but I was too young to remember. However, the subconscious knows and stirs up one of those dreams from time to time.

I don’t know, but I was told some weird shit had happened in that basement.

For example, a friend of my parents was staying over one night. He went to the basement to crash for the night, and a while later he was bounding up the stairs, the color drained from his face. He told my parents that the covers levitated off of him, and then refused to go back into the basement.

Noises.

Mom had told me that sometimes in that house it sounded like somebody was taking a tin cup and running it along metal bars (click, click, click, click). She also told me that one night she had heard a couple who was arguing about their 17-year-old son, and they were slamming cupboards in the kitchen. She said that they got so loud she had to scream for them to shut up.

I don’t know if that’s true, but that's what she told me.

There’s a story my sister and I share that has to do with that house. Memory wise, the event is fuzzy to me because I was probably 3 or 4 years old at the time, but since she’s 4 years older than I, she’s much clearer on it. Anyway, she was in her room trying to go to sleep when she saw something that was dark float outside her room, down the hall. She got up to tell my dad, and he told her she was dreaming and to go back to bed. So she did, and a while later I left my room and crawled into bed with her. I vaguely remember seeing a dark-hooded figure go by my room. Now I don’t know if I actually saw a dark-hooded figure because sometimes your memory can play tricks on you, but I do remember crawling in bed with her, and telling her that I saw a witch. And she remembers it too.

Ya know, for years I had a scary dream about a hooded figure standing at the mouth of a deep dark forest. In the dream, it’s nighttime, and I'm standing in a meadow. The figure beckons me to come to it, but I’m too scared and wake up.

I wonder now if that dream had anything to do with what my sister and I had seen that night. I wish I could remember and say for sure that yup, I did see a dark-hooded figure outside my room, but honestly I can’t. And it’s so easy to slip into Peter Pan land because it’s much more appealing than the mundaneness of every day life.

But I don’t want to live in fantasy land. I want to know the truth, the facts.

Honestly though, I can say for sure about some of the other things that had happened to me throughout my life did happen. I’ll bring it up in another post since this one is getting too long.

Anyway, I wonder about haunted houses and would actually love to investigate them.

Maybe someday I will and write a book about it.

Maybe someday I can find the answers that I seek and have factual evidence to share with the world.

Maybe someday I’ll be able to share my light with the world like I want to and peel back each layer of my soul so people know they’re not alone because this is what I went through, and on some level, we all go through.

Maybe someday I’ll be able to make a difference instead of slipping through the cracks and leaving this world as if I never had even existed here.

Just maybe. . . .

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Paranormal Family

Back in the 1970s, my parents were Directors of the UFO Investigator's League in Fairfield, Ohio.

I can remember as a small child meetings my parents had at our house, and my dad being interviewed on the radio and speaking at conventions. With his straight forward, no bullshit speeches, where fact was fact (i.e., show me the proof that this was a flying saucer or an alien) and bullshit was bullshit, he had piqued the interest and gained respect from quite a few famous people. Jackie Gleason was one of them and had even tracked my dad down after one of his speeches, and sat with him for a while, asking him questions.

That’s one of the things I love about my dad, he has an open-mind and fact is fact.

Yeah, he saw a lot of weird shit in the sky, but he couldn’t positively say it was a flying saucer.

And then there was the case about Betty and Barney Hill where they had missing time, which piqued my dad’s curiosity because of the anomaly of it. I think still today he wonders about it.

Mom on the other hand tended to be delusional. Maybe that’s not fair to say because I can’t disprove the things she had told me.

Anyway, Mom had told me some crazy ass stories, like being abducted by two different types of aliens. One of course was the grays, with the huge black almond-shaped eyes. She told me they did experiments on her, and she believed they had stuck an implant in her.

Another story she told me was she met a man at the bowling ally, and he told her that he was ‘borrowing’ the human body he was in and was actually from a different planet (she couldn’t remember the name of the planet he told her, but had told me it was a reptilian name). He wanted her to come with him and be his queen on his planet. She had refused him, and he told her to look out her window at a certain time that day, and she would see his ship. So she did and saw it.

Another story she told me was one night I was crying, wanting a bottle. She hopped out of bed, went to warm up a bottle for me, and a voice in her head told her to go outside. So she did and the next thing she knew, she was in a room full of computers. There was TV like screens on the walls, monitoring the countries in our world. She remembered looking out the window and seeing planet earth from space ("It was soooo beautiful," she gushed), and there was a man in the room with her. He told her that they’d always be looking out for her. She told me he reminded her of Moses? The next thing she knew, she woke up and told my dad about the ‘weird’ dream she had. Well, according to her, my dad jumped out of bed, went into the kitchen, and found my bottle where she had last left it.

Those were some of the UFO/alien stories I grew up with. Of course, there’s plenty more where that came from.

Moving on to the next thing. . . .

Bigfoot.

My dad used to hunt Bigfoot. He never actually came across one, but he did come across Bigfoot’s footprint. I remember when he came back from one of his hunting trips; he had a plastered footprint of Bigfoot’s. I was in kindergartner at the time and took it to show and tell. LOL. I remember my classmates were totally awestruck, rubbing their hands and fingers over it. I glanced up at my teacher, and she had her arms tightly across her chest, rolling her eyes. But I didn’t care because I had Bigfoot’s footprint!

So those were two things my sister and I grew up with, not counting living in a haunted house, but I’ll save that for my next post. I think that’s why we have a great interest in the paranormal and why I love writing stories about it. Also, the knowledge I gained from my family has helped me in writing my stories and coming up with ideas.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hello World!

Hey there. So this is my first post, and I have to say when I was thinking about what I was going to write on this post, it came to me out of nowhere. It was like the words were being whispered into my ear, but when I sat down to write it, my brain went totally blank.

Why does shit like that happen?

It’s like the Universe is totally screwing with you. It’s like when you get the dropsies (is that even a word?) for no damn reason. You pick something up and drop it. And then it happens again, and again, and again.

WTF.

Or you keep fat fingering a computer key and it messes up what you’re doing. I swear, sometimes I think there’s a phantom jokester who is messing with us, laughing his ass off. Sometimes I just want to flip him off and say, "Ha, ha. Very funny. . . . Dick."

Anyway, I’ve been wanting to do a blog for quite a while now, but frankly I’m a complete moron when it comes to technology.

Hell, my husband and I don’t even own a cell phone or even know how to use one. Isn’t there a button that says talk and that’s what you press to call someone?

If it was up to Kevin (hubby) we’d be living off the grid, deep in the woods in a cabin.

I’d love to live in a cabin, in the woods; however, it would suck ass if I didn’t have the internet or able to watch my two favorite shows (Vampire Diaries and Supernatural). Yeah, I could live without them, but they make me happy and gives me the ability to pursue my writing dream.

But any how, technology and me just don’t click. So my wonderful critique partner Valentina told me she'd help me, and she did.

YAY!

I imagine I’ll need some more of her help later, but for now I’m hooked up.

So I wrote a YA paranormal novel called BEYOND THE EYES, and right now I’m writing the sequel to it. I’ve been querying agents for a while now, and at the beginning I made the ultimate newbie mistake.

Okay, I’m cringing as I’m admitting to this, but I had sent out a butt-load of queries to agents when I shouldn’t have. At the time, I thought I was golden.

NOT!

I was too jacked-up and sent them out way too early. So I blew my chances with those wonderful agents. After I realized what I did, I wanted to strangle myself, and for several weeks a mantra went off in my head: dumb-ass, dumb-ass, dumb-ass.

Finally, I got off the self-depreciation little girl potty, and went searching for a beta partner(s). I had no idea how I was going to do it because I had moved to a town of 1,800 people in North Dakota 5 yrs. ago from Prescott, Arizona, not knowing a soul, and it’s still kinda the same way. I mean, we know people now, but we haven’t connected with anybody, so it’s basically Kevin and I. We do have neighbors around our parents age who we sometimes hangout with, and they’re both awesome people; however, they’re totally not into anything literary. So I was like, ‘What the hell am I going to do?’ Then I came across Absolute Write, which is a kick-ass website for writers. If you’re a writer and have never checked it out, do so because it rocks.

Seriously.

Once I had signed up with them, I put an ad out for beta partners and received a good response. That was where I met Valentina, my beta buddy :). From there, they read and critiqued my story, and I did the same for them, which was fun. They really liked my story and gave me some good advice. Nobody in my family has ever read my story, so I knew that they weren’t bullshitting me like my family might. Now I just have to find an agent and publisher who will love it as well. I also have to stop doubting myself. I tend to be very critical about my work, and I’m my worst enemy.

Wow. This blog is actually long, and I still have a lot to say even though I’m not sure if anybody will even be reading this. I guess I should quit for now and save the other stuff I want to share with you later, like why do I love writing paranormal books. Well, let me just say before I sign off that I grew up in a paranormal-type family. I’ll tell ya about it in the next post.