Category Archives: Writing

NaNoWriMo 2014: All About That THREE-peat!

‘Tis the season, fellow writers and lovers of the written word! National Novel Writing Month, a day-by-day literary reckoning. Many sign up, few complete 50,000 words, even fewer, before November 30th.

First year…SMASHED IT!!

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Second year…BOOM!!!

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And I blogged intensely about it right here in WordPress in case you need to know what insanity reads like. :) (Search NaNoWriMo in Make Contact)

 

This year, going for Da Tre. Win #3. And I’m really excited to enter this novel as a contender, especially at the cusp of another presidential election season!

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The picture does the synopsis no justice, so here’s the extracted text in full:

The sequel to NaNoWriMo 2012 Winner The Black Parade, the United States has economically imploded, sending the leadership into self-dug graves, the wealthy running for sanctuary, and the general population taking the law in their own hands. With hungry eyes and salivating chomps watching America, smelling opportunity for land takeover, will the faction-ed camps of Kills Enemy and Vargas, the people responsible for the initial uprising which brought down Archie Wilcoxon at the expense of Shenandoah Leslie’s life, put their issues aside to protect the fractured nation from marauders?

Thursday nights I’ll be NaNo’ing at Community Cafe. There are other write-ins around Pinellas County; please check nanowrimo.org for the region you’re in and where those WriMos be at!

GOOD LUCK AND FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS!!!

The inspiration for my original work, “Welcome To The Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance:

 

 

The Crowd Pleaser

Every event has its own outfit. Every outfit contributes to the show. I didn’t learn this from a fashion magazine, I learned this from a grown man wearing an arrow through his head!

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Courtesy Tumblr user tucec9

Steve Martin wants to get you to dance the King Tut? He throws on a Pharaoh’s crown. Needs to prove to you he’s a normal (crazy) guy? Steve Martin pushes on bunny ears! He doesn’t do it to feel complete; he does it to engage his audience. In person, he’s quiet, introverted, and even distant, as I read about him years ago. Kindred I feel, and thus, do my best to emulate.

Given the choice of sitting on a couch listening to talented storytellers, or, standing under spotlight to tell a tale, I’m likely to be in my baggy sweats, legs curled under me, rapt in attention. But, there are moments when the crowd becomes the crowd pleaser. My most recent event found me wrestling with that discomfort: while I enjoy writing and I love my stories, I’m worn out from stage life and the spotlight. However, if I’m trying to profit off my art, I gotta do the arty thing and get on stage with it! Yikes.

For me, it’s not a nerves thing. It’s more of a fun-ed out thing; the more time I spend reading completed art, the less time I’m spending on incomplete work and I’d rather invest my time at the computer screen. So, when I find myself wrestling with the duality of solitary writer/crowd performer, I settle my nerves with a simple question: WWSMD?

Steve Martin would coat, shellac, paint, tighten, sculpt, mould, highlight, tweeze, press, scald, twist, puncture, squeeze, and freeze spray for SpookEasy! Here’s what two solid hours ended up with at my vanity:

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Nothing 49 coats of mascara and a set of Spanx can’t fix!

Since I read from Night Walkers, a Horrified Press anthology featuring ‘creatures of the night’, I dressed as a glamorous gangster, and introduced myself as ‘Queen of the St Pete Underworld’ before launching into my short fiction, “Tokyo Rose,” a story of a woman’s slow, terrifying downspiral during an evening at a martini bar. I am actually not sure when the book will be released, but I imagine if you visit their Amazon page, you’ll be able to find it eventually. See?? Proof that I’m not into the marketing end of things!

You do performances to keep people abreast of your art, but you be a writer – you exist as a solitary individual ensconced in the deep folds of imagination, preoccupied with hours upon hours of unrelenting play, to create what brings you joy, and, maybe, develop that creation into a format worth sharing, should you choose to do so. Being is so much easier than doing, but doing can be a delight!

Here’s a few pics with me as The Glam Gangster, courtesy of Community Cafe’s Facebook Page:

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SpookEasy host Monika sharing her 2012 short story. There’s me, stage right with Meg, another performer for the evening.

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Performed Tokyo Rose, then ‘Stopping By The Master’s Grave,’ then switched ‘Ode to Three Birds Tavern’ to ‘Ode to Community Cafe’ en homage to Ms Mandy, the cafe’s owner.

 

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The glam breaks through the darkness. :)

Also went ahead and got some head shots taken before the eyeliner seeped into the crow’s feet! :D I’m using this one as my new Avatar. Ya like??

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Von Simeon as Queen of the St Pete Underworld

 

 

 

Come Out To SpookEasy Friday Night!

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Sharing

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Writer’s Block @ Community Cafe October Meeting

A Gathering of Artists

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Writer’s Block @ Community Cafe September Meeting

Writing Prompt: Dirty Bunny

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Vector #666 by Tomasz Brymora – $360 on display at Community Cafe, 2444 Central Ave, Saint Petersburg, Florida

[Fun day with Writer's Block last Sunday! This was an ekphrastic exercise, my favorite timed prompt. Here's what I produced in the 15 minute time frame.]

Concept: Observe one of the featured paintings on the Community Cafe wall, and write in response.

He bought me this bunny. He bought me this bunny because when we first met at the fountain, he overheard me talking to my best friend Jordie about the movie “Con Air.” Jordie and I thought we were the only Americans at the fountain in Hannover until that afternoon. The three of us kept talking about bunnies in movies. “Best film rabbit ever?” “Donny Darko!” He and I hugged at whim, a random affection imparted to a random man in a not so random city, or as Jordie pointed out, in a very romantic city. “Come on,” Jordie begged like a whiny kid, “give love a try, one more time, for me.”

“For you, or because we’re in Europe?”

“Just fall in love, kiddo.”

He brought the velveteen, blue-gray bunny to the bistro that evening. I’m so glad you called, he said. Where’s Jordie? He asked. When I didn’t answer, he blushed. “I brought you something.” I already saw its black leathery nose peeking out of the top of his bulky cargo pants. I watched as he fished around, knowing what he was going to do before he did it, but psyching myself to not laugh until he did it.

And then he did. And I laughed so hard, so hard… I don’t remember ever laughing that hard before. Or ever since.

That bunny rode on his dashboard during the six months he was away; I, back home in Florida, pretending not hearing from him every second of every minute of every damn day didn’t cause me any heartache. One scary phone call at 4am; he thought he was in trouble. I trembled for him, I cried for him, all the while repeating, “You stay alive, baby. That’s your job, stay alive,” in the steadiest voice I could.

I never knew the beauty of a sunny day until the day he landed at the airfield. Safe, all in one piece, handsome in his tailored suit. It looked like the one we saw across the street from our table, on a headless mannequin behind a shop window. I squinted as sun rays coaxed him down the stairs and into my arms…yes, it is the exact same suit.

In a separate bag, he carefully removed the bunny and placed it in my hands. Coated in motor oil and sand, he kept apologizing for its sorry state. I hugged the dirty, sandy bunny, the talisman that brought my heart home in one piece.

And that’s why, my sweet little girl, this bunny is so old and dirty. It was busy keeping your father’s love for me alive.

It’s My Anniversary!

One year ago, I moved from Patch.com to WordPress and never looked back!!

Love my blog. Love all of you who read my blog. Keep reading, I’ll keep writing! :*

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Two En Homage To Poe

Like any disillusioned Gen X teen buried in 90’s angst, I drank in Poe’s work like a healing elixir. I embraced my darkness, played with the ‘black dog’, and became enthralled by the beauty of madness. No secret I borrow directly from Poe when I compose my more macabre pieces; in fact, I make sure to mention when I’m channeling Edgar Allan Poe in a composition.

May I not suffer his fate, but if I do, please write a decent obituary, and perhaps, throw in these original poems, inspired by The Master:

Ode to Three Birds Tavern

(Composed 5.31.12)

Once upon a day dreary
wind choppy, sky bleary
I wandered into tavern here
soaking wet, ordered a beer
Soon it amounted to more than one
and out peak’ed the afternoon sun
Kristen sparked the music box right
with rockabilly to delight
the boys in the back pushed the cue
the bartender kept pouring brew
the winds calmed down
the sky did clear
and all of this cause
I stopped for a beer.

Stopping By The Master’s Grave

(Composed 4.4.13)

youandI have been here before
youandI
youandI have spoken in cold air
and youandI were youandI
despite the chill
 
youandI have much in common
youandI
darkness we wear like
a furry cloak in the air of despair
 
will me
towards the black
trust me
to honor your way
your words
your fundamental melancholy
 
youandI have much in common
youandI
I will see you
brother
it will not be too soon.

Writing Horror: A Feel Good Activity

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Bela Lugosi as Dracula

The moderator of my new writing group was kind enough to edit my latest horror story’s opening gore scene two weeks ago. Finally, after a week of not-so-great moments, I pulled myself together to address her notes, as I’ve given myself a personal deadline of completing a first draft by Sunday, 5 October.

But how to go about it? On Saturday, Texas A&M played against Mississippi State (you can never get tired of typing Mississippi…Mississippi…Missississp..oops!),Ole Miss against Alabama, LSU played Auburn, and Michigan State played Nebraska. I usually hunker down when intense writing – telly vision and phone off, mood music, tea kettle on perpetual boil – but there’s a deadline AND football! What to do, what to dooooo…?

I decided to give distracted writing a chance. I left the ArtHouse, arrived at the poolhouse, set the telly to Game 1 and began to review edits. By the time Mississippi State posted 24 points over the Aggies, I finished her notes, and expanded in ever so gruesome detail the horrors of that particular scene, channeling my frustration with Kenny Hill and the entire Aggie offense, and yes, even you Seals-Jones!, into Scrivener.

While Game 2 was on, a gaggle of tween girls entered the house to use the computer terminals. No biggie; as long as they didn’t interrupt my football watching or my train of thought. They loudly looped a very popular song, much to my chagrin, then started to sing boisterously along with it! I tell ya, nothing will get your skin crawling, nay, UNDULATING, like 11 year old girls singing, “I’m gonna love youuu/until you hate meee…” at the top of their just-started-menstruating lungs. Which inspired another gore scene. Thanks creepy girls!

Between Game 2 and Game 3 I got into a heated text-fight with the BF. To comfort myself, I sought either a bowl of cheese or a burger, to which a visit to Local Family-Friendly Sports Bar was in order. I got the manager to kindly put Auburn-LSU on the top screen, Michigan State-Nebraska on the lower screen, ordered a medium rare Angus beef burger, and continued drafting hate-fueled sequences in my writing journal.

All at once, I was eating, watching plays, writing scenes, fact checking data, web searching points of reference, maintaining all at a constant flow:

As Auburn was metaphorically stomping LSU’s nuts, I took to physically macerating a character’s genitals. Nebraska and Michigan State were putting up such a frenzy, I used the excitable energy around me to describe a shoot out. Not trying to be an entire asshole, I text-apologized the BF between burger bites. By Nebraska-Michigan State’s half, I had finished my first draft!

Man, do I feel accomplished! And happier with the SEC. Big 10, well, you know I’ll always love you, heck, my protagonist’s family hails from East Lansing, Michigan! Kenny, get it together for next week, or at least, fail so miserably I’ll have no choice but to kill a character in my next story.

Ya never know what’ll work until you try it!

Wordless Wednesday: Secret Places

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Afternoon shroud

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A great place to write.

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