Thursday, December 21, 2017



IMG_0624 - CopyDEAR GOD, Jehovah, Allah, Goddess - sorry, I know You have many names and it’s my journalistic soul that wants to try to cover all of them. Forgive me if I get it wrong – I’m rushing the research a bit here.

I do appreciate Your taking the time to listen, as You have done so many times in the past. You must be extra busy with deadlines at this time of the year, because fires, floods, famines, storms, droughts, wars and general stupidity do not stop even in this holy season. 

With all that going on, I hope You can also find the time to celebrate with us the joy and peace that belong to this season.

There have been so many times when You have pulled this tattered manuscript of my life out of the heavenly slush pile, and even when Your reply has been a gentle rejection note, there is always been encouragement to go on using the talents You have loaned to me. 

You have forgiven the times I have been grouchy on life’s deadlines, when I failed to appreciate the wonder of the opportunities in the new life contracts You have offered, and the many times I have ignored Your submission requirements in hopes that You would see past my mistakes into the willing prose of my heart.

Having said all of that, I feel selfish even asking for more, but here goes:

1) It’s a bit of a cliché, but I would join with so many, many others to ask You to give Mankind – and I say MANkind because the male of the species seems to be more inclined to conflict than we females, but maybe I’m biased – if You would just give them all a bit of a shake and tell them it’s time to make peace not war.

2) Please ignore the mean things I said about the intellectual abilities of publishers or agents who rejected my work – I didn’t really want You to strike them. Honest.

3) There are so many of Your people in need, hungry, homeless, afraid, in pain. Maybe You could inspire those of us who have so much to heed Your teachings and work towards a more equitable society. Perhaps You could even slip a little extra blessings into the Christmas stockings of those who have been courageous enough to stand up for what is right.

4) Please forgive the times I’ve cursed at my computer; the technology You have given us is truly a blessing and it was just the heat of the moment; I didn’t mean a word of it. Really.

5) Of course, I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t invest this prayer with a little personal self-interest. First, I want to thank You for all the people who have bought my books – the nice reviews always feel like a warm GodBreeze to my soul.

6) Then maybe You could run to a dollop of forgiveness for all the times I left undone the things I ought to have done, and done those things I ought not to have done? Let’s not get into specifics now, eh? That would be a bit embarrassing and take up too much of Your time. We both know what they were. However, if you could see your way to showing me how to become a better person, and a better writer, and maybe, just maybe, a bit of help in getting through the edits for the next book, I would be very grateful.

I can’t promise that I won’t screw up some more, but Dear Lord, I’m trying to be better.

Please bless all my readers and fellow writers, that we may continue to appreciate and entertain each other with the talents you have given us. 

Thank you - Amen.


Thursday, December 14, 2017

Have You Looked At What's In Your 'Ideas' File Recently?

My (writing) life was in danger of becoming an unfinished symphony.
I’m an Aries, and we love to start things. Unfortunately, finishing isn’t a strong point. I have sweaters, quilts, paintings, gardening projects….well, you get the picture. All unfinished.
Perhaps more importantly, I have a huge file on my computer of novel ideas and, even more alarming, about seven novel manuscripts in various stages of completion.
And then I signed up, as I do every year, for Nanowrimo. You know what I mean, that challenge where you try to sweat out 50,000 words, or an entire novel, in a month. Self-inflicted torture.
And I went through my ideas file to try to figure out what I’d like to work on. And found two mss that had been done to first draft in previous Nanos. And then abandoned like unwanted children.
Oh, dear, my poor babies.
Because they were actually good children, interesting plot lines, characters who sobbed on my shoulder when I told them they’d have to wait to tell their stories.
I felt like a monster.
So, I quit Nano and dusted off a couple of these unfinished stores and got to work.
And it’s going well. The poor things are so happy to see me, they just blossom with words.
My unfinished symphony of a (writing) life was highlighted by talking to a friend who was clearing out all sorts of things. “If anything happened to me, I know my kids and grandkids would just dump this stuff,” she said philosophically.
Uhmm, I started wondering what my kids would do – or think – about a series of unfinished murder mysteries with a couple of hot sex scenes thrown in.
Much better solution is to finish them (the books, not my kids) and get them out to take their chances in the big world.
As for the unfinished craft projects, well, who knows what fate awaits them?
So, have you checked what novel ideas are lurking in your 'ideas' or 'strays' file? You might find almost finished gold, right there!