Please use the following quote as inspiration

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-legged beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!

~Scottish Saying

 

This is where my mind went with that saying.

A Prayer

Imagine having your own village ghost
Happily haunting your guest room
Joining you for a bit of wine and pot roast
But will you be safe on this night of doom

Imagine having ghouls rise from the grave
Chasing the unlucky ones until they scream
Beasties howling from a nearby cave
Joining their forces, they make a good team

Imagine hearing things go bump in the night
When you would rather be sleeping
Everyone knows Hallow’s eve is a demons delight
Come All Saints Day, will you be safe in Gods keeping?

Getting Myself Prepped for NaNoWriMo

There are so many things to establish in the background to assure continuity in a book that hadn’t crossed my mind until I began this undertaking. It made me appreciate all the authors I’ve read in my lifetime. Wow!

I feel reasonably comfortable with my conflicts and my protagonist. I have several minor antagonists and one major one who will definitely make his handsome presence known. Putting pictures on my character trait list did help. I found looking at them and imagining how they would handle different complications enjoyable. Yesterday, I worked on my antagonist, oh he’s  handsome and dangerous. I looked at a lot of pictures of men before deciding I really like how Patrick Dempsey looked in all black, I could easily see him as my Thanatos.Thanatos1

Now, I’m working on an outline I’ll be comfortable working with over the next month. Who knew there would be so many different types– Snowflake, 3-point,  5-point, 8-points, traditional bullet point, Vogler’s, Campbell’s, pure summary, skeletal outlining, flashlight outlining, free writing, visual mapping, contextual prepping and of course all the different software for outlining. Yikes, it’s confusing.

I’ve been reading Vogler’s Writer’s Journey and Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces. Some days I feel like I read more than I write because it’s all part of the process of fine tuning my craft. And naturally, everyone has a different take on successful writing techniques.

My setting was pretty easy I’ve created a fictional town in Maine called Bayhollow, the next town over is a college town called Stone Lake with a university called Kampden University. There’s an active military base about 10 miles away in a town called Deadzone. All of these locations are very near the Canadian border.

On WDC they have prep challenge which thus far has kept me to the task which I’m finding helpful because it’s all new to me. Also, there’s the lingering dread 50,000 words hovering too. I find comfort in seeing familiar names pledged to do NaNoWriMo. Misery does love company.

I was reading Theresa’s blog this morning and thinking about how I overcome writing challenges. My go to is my camera when nothing else works. There is something about looking through the portal of small space that makes my muse happy. My perspective is different and very targeted.

The other day while I was creating my setting I had been gathering all the logistics like population, restaurants, and businesses. (world building) I took a break and caught up on reading blogs. Yes, I’m guilty of reading and not always leaving comments. But in this instance, Theresa had drawn a fence on a white background with shading to give the impression of winter or even a sandy beach. I took it as winter in my mind and I saw my protagonist breaking down on a back road and trodding along this seemingly endless fence. The timing was perfect for my muse because it sparked another opportunity for frustration in what seems like mountains on her journey to better her life. Thank you Theresa.

Another way I open my mind to writing is cutting the newspaper into shreds, readable shreds. I grab random titles and move them around I create a poem or a line that fits perfectly in what I’m working on that may have never crossed my mind.

 

The first poem could easily be part of a conversation my protagonist has and the second could be a fearful moment added to the scene in the cemetery.  Muses work in interesting ways as Barber Adagio for Strings by the London Philharmonic Orchestra plays in the background.

I do enjoy having dark classical playing in the background. What can I say my muse is a bit twisted.

My compost bin enjoys all the snippets of paper when I’m done so everything has a purpose if you open yourself to the possibilities.

The Skeletal Corpse

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The Skeletal Corpse

 

Eyes flare bold red inside the extended dark head
with a huge glistening white-toothed smile.
Wispy smoke swirls hide the body in front of the
pentagram etched in a brazen satanic style.
My neck hair stands up straight in protest to
the sound of nails raked across the granite.
Ew, a smell of rotted meat and cheap perfume
I can’t imagine what created this nasty cesspit.
The earth shudders as the moon briefly appears
from behind the dark sky. The brittle and decayed bones,
what’s left of a  body is so close
clearly in my view.
I try to back up, but my feet are frozen.
His bony fingers clench my left ankle painfully
I scream frantically, I hope someone hears me before my
throat gives out. I tug, twist and kick to no avail,
My ankle is firmly in his grasp, I sense my end is near.
A deep, gravelly growl suddenly breaks the eerie silence, I whisper
Help me. His painful grasp loosens as he contemplates his new prize.
 I tug myself free. I’m so exhausted I can’t move.
The low growls are so close, I step back, it’s hard to stand.
Gravelly voice whispers to me, run when I command thee.
Blood-curdling screams, a moan filled with annoyance, and loud thuds
made it so hard to hear the raspy voice as the battle ensued.
Run, Run, run fast and don’t look back
I stumble several times before I make it to the house
I lock the doors and wonder when it will end.
Tick, tick, tock, tick, tick, tock damn, I hate that clock
Knife in my hand, hidden in the darkness I wait
Tears trickle down my face, I am relieved to be free
but a sense of dread lingers as I await my fate.

Is There A Song For That

Is there a song for that?
The words say I can’t go there.
I need to find a way to be cool.
I thought I could touch this place
but instead, I felt like a fool.
Is there a song for that?
Ain’t no talking to this man!
What’s he trying to say?
He tweets before his brain engages!
My mother warned me about this day.
Is there a song for that?
The words say I can’t go there.
I need to find a way to be cool.
I thought I could touch this place
but instead, I felt like a fool.
Is there a song for that?
Lyric by lyric I looked for love,
I thought if I could only sing my way,
I would find myself in the melodies.
Don’t let me down, I’m too tired to stay!
Is there a song for that?
Ain’t no talking to this man!
What’s he trying to say?
He tweets before his brain engages!
My mother warned me about this day.
Is there a song for that?
Patti Griffin says yeah girl there is!
Don’t whine that you never get what you want
But… but it’s all my fault!
Girl, get ready for a new jaunt
Is there a song for that????…

 

The Lady Don’t Look Back!w/c 216  31 lines

The Painless Truth

There is a crazy contest going on Writing.Com and the prompt for the writing challenge was to write a dark poem answering this question Is death unpleasant?
This is where my mind went after remembering the question life asked death.

The Painless Truth

Is death unpleasant
To have no yesterday
no tomorrow
Sounds inviting to me
I know death is a distant rumor
to you who are young
But not for me,
I long
To forget time,
to forget life
to finally find peace
I’ve flown as high as I’m flying
Our lives will end the same way
Only a few mere details will differ
But you ask why love death
instead of loving life
Life is filled with beautiful lies
Death is the painless truth
and
Truth matters the most to me.

93 w/c including title

 

July flew by on me

Writing Course- Write a Novel in 10 weeks

I just completed the halfway point of the course. Our assignment for this week was the first page of our book. 250 words maximum with the one margin all the way around, 12pt font size and in Times Roman with a header of our title and our last name.  Except, I don’t have a name yet, so I wrote TITLE and then my last name. I always leave word in the setting it comes with and apparently that’s not publishing standards so I had to correct that and the font size. Nor do I ever pay attention to the margins or indentations because typically I write poetry.  It’s just more things to remember to do before I write.

With that said, I wrote my first page and received positive feedback and I’m proud of you from the instructor. I read it to my husband Vic and a good friend who both agreed I had curiosity aroused immediately and they were invested in the character.

Theresa, I have averaged 25 hours a week this month. I have a twelve-page character traits list, three-page ordinary world scene set-up. I have a strange outline going but right now I’m not really sure how much I’ll stick to it. Mairin, my character has a mind of her own and she keeps surprising me as I write.

And if that isn’t enough on  I’m participating in two different writing challenges for the month of August. One I am leading is a virtual blogging trip through all 13 countries in South America. I’ve created activities and planned our lodging and food for each country and the bloggers have to write from those prompts. It’s a fun way to learn about different parts of the world.

Then there is a challenge where we form teams,  we review like crazy other writers work, and do writing challenges in hopes of beating the other teams. There are battles where the two teams pledge to do so many reviews and the winner during the set time frame wins extra points. It’s called Game of Thrones, kind of a play off the show. My house is Florent, there is a fox on our banner. There are 13 total houses competing with 10 people on each team for the whole month of August. Last year, we got bumped out of the top three where we had been for 3 years.

Crocheting Project

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This is one of the jellyfish I’m working on for my eldest granddaughter’s new apartment in Santa Barbara. She loves the ocean so everything in her apartment is related.

AIRBNB

Thus far we’ve only had 2 days off this month of insanity. Thankfully, no more broken pipes like we began the month. A company came in and removed the rug, what a disaster that was. They set up drying equipment and treated the area for mold. There was no way with my allergies could I handle removing the rug, I had difficulty breathing down there with the cleaning I did do.

We’ve met some fascinating people from around the world. We’ve hosted 3 different families from China, a father, and son from the UK,  two different German couples, a young man from India, a woman from Romania, a man from Italy, and right now a young woman from Bangladesh. And tomorrow we have a woman arriving from India and on Monday a man from Africa.

My scones are definitely a hit! Right now I have cinnamon chip scones and cookies I used to make my kids with Rice Krispies, oatmeal, and flour with shredded coconut. There called Ranger cookies. I always tweak them with different ingredients and these have chopped walnuts and dried cranberries.  If I get ambitious tomorrow I’ll post the recipe with a picture.

Garden 

I have peppers, tomatoes, zucchini and cucumbers growing in containers on the lower level. Everything is growing very well in spite of the crazy weather we’ve had. I am amazed at how huge my cucumber plants are, guess they enjoyed all the rain, because they’re huge and covered with buds. I’ve picked three so far that were six inches long. I’ve picked about 20 cherry tomatoes and 2 huge green peppers and there are at least a dozen more almost ready for picking. The zucchini has been a bit slower but it does have buds finally. I did have lettuce but the dang squirrels dug it up. So to be safe I put bird netting on the rest of my planters.

Reading

I haven’t had as much time as I’d like to read all the blogs but after this intense writing course I will catch up.

I’m reading Octavia Butler’s book Parable of a Sower. “Lauren Olamina and her family live in one of the only safe neighborhoods remaining on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Behind the walls of their defended enclave, Lauren’s father, a preacher, and a handful of other citizens try to salvage what remains of a culture that has been destroyed by drugs, disease, war, and chronic water shortages. When a fire destroys their compound, Lauren’s family is killed and she is forced out into the world that is fraught with danger. With a handful of other refugees, Lauren must make her way north to safety, along the way conceiving a revolutionary idea that may mean salvation for all mankind.” I’m really enjoying the protagonist who is a self-assured young woman who instead of being defeated is taking life by the horns.

Real Life Writers and Critique Group

Now, this is definitely something new for me and the writing group as well, we’re going to an open mic in Philadelphia.  A bunch of us are going to present our work to a live audience. To be frankly honest, I’m scared shitless. I panic when I get on stage and there definitely is one there in the bar where this is going on.  Thank goodness I won’t be alone. Jordan, Dan, Marcus, are definitely doing presentations. The guys are so comfortable in their skin whereas I’m not. There are going to be about 10 of us going together to support each other. I wish Sara and Pam were in town, their part of our group but no longer live in this area. The ladies would rock at this. So right now it’s me and the guys.

By the way one of my poems was published in a local newspaper.

http://www.princetoninfo.com/index.php/component/us1archive/?d=current&Itemid=24

Imperfectly Perfect
People Saw It at The Time
Mismatched Yet Perfectly Paired
Idealism
And
Horrific Brutality
Up-close and Unsettled
Inspired by What Lies Beneath
Purposely
Seduced and Betrayed
In a Galaxy, Far Far Away
We See
Belief is Potent
Every Angle
Mismatched Yet Perfectly Paired
We Understand
The World
Doesn’t
Change
For Better
Or WorseLive

 

Enjoy!

 

Poets and Poetry, Writing Challenge and the Mandala

I will admit there is a smugness among poets because we try to use our poetry to make something happen or stop happening. We hang onto that thread of belief that what we wrote will shorten a nightmare, maybe even save a life. We find it unimaginable to not try with our writing.

There are definitely some bad poems out there but for every bad poem, there is the one intellectual poem that will strike a nerve. As an author on more than one occasion, a poem I’ve written has surprised me with the end result being different than where I began.

This particular poem has engaged different readers in ways I didn’t anticipate. From how did you know how alone I feel, or I’ve been there or are you okay?

Undesired

I lie

withered beside

the road like

a broken little bird

to confused to fly.

My neglected state

is apparent

even to the most

oblivious of

the oblivious.

Anger and frustration

sustain me

initially

but even that

energy fades

leaving a pitiful wisp

of what I once

was.

Now, a memory

shuffled among

many, I’ve

lost value

over time

until all

that is left

of me is

dust.©

The writing challenge had a slight bump in the road, Monday, and Tuesday no matter what I began writing ended up torn into pieces in frustration. My poor pencil snapped at one point because I was pushing so hard into the pad. Course, having my migraine spike that the control meds didn’t take the edge off didn’t help. I decided to sleep,  read some and work on the mandala until the Botox injections finally kicked in and the migraine from hades dissipated. It’s been three days since the injections and I am still struggling but at least today when I sat down to write I wrote something I liked.

Marcus sent me back my critique on Death and I and unfortunately, his commentary was the same as Vic’s that with all the time I’ve been spending trying to emulate what other authors in our local writing group do I lost my own voice in the process. So today, I went back to the table with my beloved pencil and began again line by line.

Funny thing before I knew it three hours had flown by and a whole pot of coffee drank. Oops, sorry, Vic.  (I’m a serious coffee drinker unlike my husband, he doesn’t usually drink more than one cup whereas I am usually a pot and more. I sleep like a baby every night regardless what time I indulge.) For this week, Theresa, Ronel, Tami I have almost 5 hours accomplished, although 2 I really feel were unproductive.

I did get some blog reading done. I spent some time with usathroughtyoureyeswith Audrey, Tom, and Emma (their dog). I also tried finger crocheting without much success, Yolanda. I did enjoy catching up with your crochet posts. The sweater is gorgeous but she (Yolanda) is frustrated with the sleeves. My only crochet clothing projects were vests for my children when they were younger. I do hats and scarves quite often because I love the look of Tunisian stitches. I’ve avoided shirts because of the sleeves and the way they drape or don’t drape as she discovered. Misstalkaholic had an interesting post about the Wagah border I enjoyed in addition to her examples of baggy shirts and wearing options. I’m guilty of liking loose baggy shirts untucked and just hanging there but then I’m 61 years old and comfort matters immensely to me. Tami is trying out bloglovin. I wish you lots of luck Tami.  I blog on Writing.com, I don’t have time to commit to another site beyond here and there. I did see oceanoriginals is looking for pattern testers. I briefly contemplated that and decided not to stretch myself any thinner than I already am.

We’re on Airbnb now, trying to earn some much-needed money to finish the renovations in this stone fortress so I really need to stay on top of the house cleaning and not let my furballs get to out of hand.

Mandala update:

I’m on round 66, the most challenging row thus far I have encountered. The directions are a bit complicated and working with two yarns at once have definitely slowed my progress. I’m working with baby blue and royal blue in this section which is Part 10. The designer did note there are only two colors in this part.

Round 64 and 65 were a snap unlike 66. I have taken it apart now 3 times because I messed up the popcorn spacing and the changing of colors which shows big time if you don’t have it as directed. It didn’t help either that Purryl, our oldest tabby, decided to chew the yarn I had pulled out either. A migraine didn’t help either.

“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” ― C.S. Lewis

I’m taking my time and checking often now so I don’t have to take it apart again. Plus I moved to the table so the mandala did not lay on top of me because it is mighty toasty here. I could give in and put the AC on but I’m resisting. We’ve been shut up for so long I want to hear the birds sing, and even that crazy woodpecker who’s clearly not working for the government because I can see his accomplishments .:)

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” ― Aristotle

Have a great day!

Writing Challenge Day 2

Yay, I accomplished 49 minutes and a poem not counting this blog entry.  🙂 I’m joining Teresa Barker and Ronel Janse van Vuuren on the productive writing challenge. Now, you’re probably thinking what’s so difficult about writing, you just do it. Easier said than done. There are so many other things that need to be done every day in a house with a messy Marvin husband and three moving hairballs. ( aka Purryl, Yeats, and Macavity, our four-legged family) The distractions are endless and I feel guilty letting everything sit while I stare at the page.  At least, I do.

A good friend said, “People go to work daily and when they come home they tackle the stuff that’s essential and get to the other stuff whenever. The problem with you is you’re not thinking of your writing as your job.  Or maybe writing isn’t to you? ”

Dang it, he’s right. 😦  I put my writing second to everything. That will be changing. 🙂

So this morning with every attention of writing for 90 minutes,  I sat for the allotted time and found myself getting lost in my thoughts before a poem came together for me. I briefly did get distracted by my surroundings and that stinker Macavity, who is mighty insistent but I did persevere.

My Life in Moments by Lyn Crain

Droplets of water on glossy leaves
and fragrant petals glisten brightly.
My plants joyful for their reprieves
from  Mother’s Natures antics 
savor these moist moments.

Birds singing sweet melodies
and squirrels chattering away.
Each sure, they have the remedies
for the making of a perfect day
create new musical moments.

Coffee cup sitting to my right
while my pencil scribbles on paper.
My thoughts wander as I write
and soon my images blur I’m
clearly lost in the moments.

My youngest kitten nudges my hand.
 He startles me out of my daydream.
 I happily agree to his insistent demand. 
His playful antics are a show stopper
highlighting our magical moments.

I discover something new to embrace
in life’s evolving door of mystery.
At my age, I cherish each place
that gives me the opportunity to
celebrate my life in the moments.

 

“When you are here and now, sitting totally not jumping ahead, the miracle has happened. To be in the moment is the miracle.”~Osho

“Forever is composed of nows.” ― Emily Dickinson

“Be present in all things and thankful for all things.” ― Maya Angelou

If you have the opportunity check out these dear ladies blogs and see how their productive writing is going.  Have a great day. 🙂

I’m off to the treadmill the other promise I made to myself to get back on track.

https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/56405964/posts/6137

https://ronelthemythmaker.wordpress.com/2017/05/07/interview-with-the-authors-of-the-herolost-anthology-mysteriesofdeathandlife/

 

Let’s have coffee together

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Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Evening… I think I have everyone covered.

I’m on Round 7 of the Mandala Madness. Phew. Round 6 had some interesting quirks that hopefully, I won’t be repeating the same errors. No worries, it’s not with the pattern at all. It was totally my yarn choices. I chose my light turquoise yarn to do the shells in Round 39 which was a huge mistake because in Round 41 you are using the back loop of Round 39.  You’re probably thinking so… well the turquoise wasn’t a Caron or a Redheart yarn which hold up very well with more complicated stitches. The turquoise was a Bernina product and it was very disappointing in this case. It kept splitting apart and stretching which means I had to work slower and pick up a lower stitch behind it to help reinforce the back stitch.  😦

I decided after this frustrating round I would read ahead instead of simply following the video. Esther is great but I need to plan so I am not stressed with my work. It defeats the whole meditation process if you’re frustrated.

http://www.crystalsandcrochet.com

The designer’s website provided me with all the tools I needed to plan ahead. Wow, it’s not a lap size blanket as I originally thought to glance at the videos. It’s 7 feet, okay I’m working on a queen size bed project. I can do this.  It’s 111 rounds. I can do that too.

Then I got thinking how to best maximize my color usage. I decided on 18 colors that would give me the vibrancy I am looking for in the finished product. These colors are very prominent in nature and in my home. That’s even better. Eighteen colors means I will be repeating the colors 6 times if I want to have a color balance throughout the project. I can do this.

Since we last discussed colors introduced I added white to my mandala because I wanted innocence to be among my meditative journey. As I completed the white round and was moving on to the next round I remembered how quickly as a child I lost that innocence in my life. I was only nine when my father decided to steal my childhood from me.

 I saw her nine-year-old trusting eyes

trying to cope with her father’s lies.

Her cheeks streaked with silent tears

whenever he tossed back a few beers.

She felt the guilt inside her swell

her young body revolted with the smell.

Needless to say, my color change became abrupt in the next round from white to black. Just like in my life, innocence shattered so did the colors in my mandala.  Unfortunately, so did my peaceful crocheting experience.

I wrote in my journal and wrote 2 poems discussing the abuse I faced as a child. Overall, it became a productive writing day and helped me get back on track for my next color choice which is gold.

I chose gold because I know how important it is to strive every day to be your best. It’s often said that change is the only constant in life. Yet humans are evolutionarily predisposed to resist change because of the risk associated with it. I feel change is essential to our existence, granted there will be the moment of relapse as I had yesterday but it’s important to recognize that you can’t linger in the painful memory you must move on.

When you’re finished changing, you’re finished. -Benjamin Franklin

I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better. -Georg C. Lichtenberg

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. -Maya Angelou

Be the change that you wish to see in the world. -Mahatma Gandhi

Thank you for joining me on this journey.  Crochet on… Write on