Monthly Archives: March 2013

take notes everyone, because this is how it’s done…

So,  I was sitting in my comfy rocking chair, alongside my hubbie, who was  sitting in his, when I heard a piercing scream from the general direction of the kitchen.

“No, oh, no, no, no…” Daughter number one cried.

“What is it? Wait – oh no he didn’t!” added the other, sounding just as mortified.

I turned to my husband who sat there,  quietly typing on his smartie phone, his glasses perched on the tip of his nose.

“What’s going on?” I asked, curious to know if I needed to call 911.

Both girls came running down the hallway and stopped just inside the living room.

“Daddy’s on Facebook!” They shrieked in unison.

Then he turned to me and answered, oh so casually. “I sent them a friend request.”

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a quicky little post…

Well, happy spring, one and all, although, around these parts, one would never guess that blessed first day had arrived. Yeah, I know, more talk of the weather…

It’s just so bland, the colors are SO boring – I’m so ready for flowers and bugs and grass that needs mowing. I thought I’d share a quick pic and a wonderful blog I’ve stumbled upon recently.

First, the pic…

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We get our colors from the sunsets…

Now, onto that blog I mentioned. Carol Walsh over at http://Flowers, Trees, & Other Such Gifts of Nature.wordpress.com. I swear, I’ve never seen such amazing photos of flowers. Ever. Carol has brought me a wonderful gift each day and I’m so grateful for it. She’s kept this little Vermonter sane.

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The Mighty Irish Epic gets a proper name…

I’ve been working on my MIE (you know, “Mighty Irish Epic”?)  for nearly three years and have never been able to name the damned thing. Sorry, I mean “darned” thing. Isn’t it amazing how sometimes the answer is so obvious? That it’s right before your eyes? And isn’t it truly pathetic when it takes your protagonist to give you that answer?

Last week I started setting some goals and writing them down. One of them, not oddly enough, was to come up with a decent working title for MIE. “Muse” just wasn’t working – either for a name of a book (it’s SO done) or to describe what exactly my heroine was. Funny, that in the process of editing the first page I blithely typed this sentence-

“Kathlin was not a Druid, this wasn’t ancient Ireland. She was acting a fool.”

Okay… so just why in heck wasn’t she a Druid? And why did it take a full week for my brain to realize this? (No answer on that one, I’m afraid). When I thought about it – Druid was not only the perfect title, but the absolute best way to describe my mighty little Irish heroine. Hurray for me! I mean, Kathlin!

Because I have some pull over at the McKenna Book Cover Shop, (I literally begged her), she designed this beauty for me. Please note, the verdict is still out – I’m calling Kathlin a “Druidess” because she’s the only female Druid – and thus, the most powerful Druid EVER (insert evil laughter, mawhahaha, here).  But, I’d love some feedback – “Druid” or “Druidess?” Or do you have another clever way to describe a female Druid? And… while we’re at it, what about “The Druid” vs “Druid?”

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So….. what do ya think?

If you’re interested in perusing McKenna’s site, you can find her at:  http://mcbscovers.blogspot.com

Image credit to: dan/freedigitalphotos.net

Categories: short stories, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 17 Comments

of fluffy dogs and winter scenes…

Yes, I know some of you are just counting the days to Spring. Day light savings has just robbed us of an hour – but made it so much easier to take the dogs out after dinner. Why is that, you may ask? Because it’s still light out at 7:00pm. And, I might add, I did watch a damned skunk tooting down my driveway last night…

Ah, well, it’s all good.

I love this time of year – the hope that grows with each passing day as it gets warmer out and the birds begin to sing. Hope because maybe Sue will soon see her friends again when she ventures down off the mountain road.

For now, though, it’s still winter here in Vermont.  There are a few patches of grass, but most is buried beneath a foot of snow. So, in nod to winter’s passing, I just thought I’d share a few last pics with you. Who knows when the first crocuses will raise their lovely little purple heads in my yard?

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It’s a bit grainy, but that’s what you get when you take a pic at night with a smartie phone.

A note – Bella wouldn’t settle down until we tucked her blankie in…

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ah, Bella, you are too cute for words…

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The remnants of my girl’s snowfort/wall thingy.

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Got in another back country ski – but it was tricky.

The snow was fast and there’s not much room for error in the woods.

Still, I enjoyed the run.

Now… BRING ON SPRING!

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I hope others will come and see your wonderful blog. Here’s to you!

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just tooting along…

Last night I was sitting in my comfy cozy rocking chair – yes, I know how pathetic that sounds – and watching Survivor – again, pathetic, I know – when along came this little spider, tooting and minding its own business. I watched, somewhat fascinated (okay, it was far more interesting than watching that stupid show) and noted with interest how the little thing hugged the wall. Closer it came, and still I did not move. I’d dropped a piece of paper on the floor next to my chair  and the spider suddenly veered off course and headed directly for it. I kept thinking, it’ll go back to the wall soon, but nope, it seemed determined to scope out that object that had no business being there. I reached down, moved the paper and shooed the creature away. It ran back to the baseboard and huddled – poor thing- and waited for my attention to once again become riveted by the tv set. Alas, as soon as it had, I spied the spider heading straight for the piece of paper again. Okay, for those who know me, you can just hear my laughter. And I couldn’t stop because that spider came back three times to check out that paper!

Goofy thing.

Good thing the kids weren’t home.

They’d have made me squish it.

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And so…

This has been a good week for Sue’s brain. Been writing up a storm and achieving major breakthroughs with both my mighty Irish epic and the other two works in progress (The Guardian and Fairless). And so, because I’m about to head back to work, I thought I’d take a minute and share two blurbs.

First, from the MIE (Mighty Irish Epic) – okay,  maybe it’s not named. “Muse” is just so taken and I can’t seem to find another title that fits and so for now, it’s called, well, you know… MIE. Like most novelists (hah, isn’t that fun, including myself in that class?) I’ve struggled with the opening scene. I really can’t remember how many generations these first 25 pages have seen – too many to count. And even with the last revision, I knew it still wasn’t there.

Until yesterday. Of course, the inspiration had to hit while I was in the shower (where else would it hit?).  The words just suddenly appeared – the first sentence so clear that I had to hurry and rinse and burn those stinking words into my brain until I could find a scrap of paper. I’ve let them sit for a day and still, they feel right. And so, I ask you, would continue  if this was the first paragraph you read? And please, be honest…

*****

Kathlin could weave a tale of love and sorrow from the mist-shrouded field she traveled through. Of death that’d won over life and deceit over honesty; she need not use her gift of sight or far-reaching imagination to know. If torn and shredded lumps of sod weren’t enough evidence, the pungent odor of death was.

*****

Okay, onto the second breakthrough. Outlining two novels. I was just plugging ahead with the other stories, happy as a clam in mud, when along came that moment when the plots became as tangled as a ball of yarn in the paws of a kitten (like the clichés? the metaphors? Gotta use them somewhere. Sure as heck can’t use them in your novels… or so I’m told). In order to untangle the mess I’d made, I had to outline. Do you know how much I hate outlining?

Sigh.

I really hate outlining.

But I had to, and seeing as there really was no other way, I did it in typical Sue fashion.  No little indents, no sub headings and such. Just numbered paragraphs that each represent a scene, written in a short hand of sorts. I just let the words flow and typed… and typed… and typed… and soon, I had 11 pages of scenes blocked in, I knew where the story was headed and I have a draft to use to flesh it out when I’m ready. Wanna see what it looks like? Sure you do. Why else would you still be reading – I am at 458 words in this post. That’s LONG for Sue.

Okay – here is one paragraph – you don’t need to read it all to get the gist:

*****

  1. Alex returns. Newell can barely keep his eyes open. He sits inside Belle’s stall with his rifle across his knees. Alex’s eyes widen in surprise. You’ve brought out your gun. I have. Seems Montrian has just left with the others he brought with him. And he did a very curious thing. Alex waited for the explanation. He took his horses with him. You think he’s gearing up for a fight? He’s up to something. They heard a noise from the tack room and smelled the smoke first. Bloody hell, the man’s lit the place on fire – Newell scrambled upright. The fire was spreading quickly, too quickly. Leather just didn’t burn that fast. The horses closest to the fire began to snort their fear, then whinny when a puff of smoke emerged from the room. A great rolling cloud of black smoke that hugged the ground before rising to the rafters. We have to get to that fire before it spreads. Another explosion sounded from one of the nearby empty stalls. Too late, the bastard’s set charges. We’ve got to get the horses out. More cries of fright from the animals. Newell slung a rope over Belle’s head and opened her stall. Take them to the pastures, he yells and coughs as he inhales the black smoke. Belle rears and he talks to her. Come, love, we’ve away (in French). She follows, blinded and throwing her head in the air. Get Old Tom, Newell yells to Alexander. He breaks away from trying to douse the fire with buckets of horse water and grabs Tom. The horse’s eyes are wide with fright. He motions to ____ and ___ – get the others out. Men began arriving as word spread of the fire. Newell turned Belle out into the field as others arrived. Montrian, he shouted the answer above the din. He set this. Another cough stole his ability to speak. Newell doubled over and spat out the black soot from his mouth. Alex appeared, leading Tom and he heaved a sigh of relief. How many more inside? Ten at least. Tom clopped along and threatened to bolt. Newell didn’t think, just did what he knew had to be done. He shielded his face from the heat and ran back  inside the burning barn.

*****

And so, there you have it… the general idea. Use it, if it helps (not my story, but my technique – I sure am using a lot of parenthesis today – isn’t that another no-no?). Just sit down and write – forget about punctuation,  let the dialogue just flow and maybe you’ll find yourself writing that novel at last.

Now, its back to work for this little noodle…

Cheers!

Sue

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