Books, Creativity, Emotions, family, Friends, Life, Reading, Writing

Reading Leads to Writing

I did get some writing done on one of my stories yesterday.  I am rereading a series that I have not read in many years, Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles.  I had forgotten how her words and stories flow carrying the reader from the past to present and back again effortlessly.  It gave me some more creative juice to use on my own work.  So for now during the day I will read Anne Rice and at night I seem to got to H.P. Lovecraft on my Kindle.  Both authors have a lot to teach with their writing.  Both can tell a good story (it may take Lovecraft more words to do it sometimes).  Rice paints her worlds and characters with a loving and lavish brush to make them come to life.  I can lose myself in either author’s stories.

Today’s goal is to be able to work more on one or both of my stories.  I have to say that I am having an easier time with the one that has horror in it.  I am not very adept at the straight fiction anymore.  It is easier to lose myself to the supernatural.  Which is evidenced by my library, lol.  I have limited straight fiction.  Looking at my book shelves I am tempted to reorganize them and have a section of the classics.  That would include such works as King Solomon’s Mines (one of my favorites), Frankenstein, Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz (I am trying to get all the books) and other such gems from the past.  I have things divided into topics such as horror, mystery, research, children’s books, creativity and writing… you get the idea.  Other shelves are dedicated to specific authors like Anne Rice and Stephen King.  I do have to say that I love my library.  There are only a handful of books that I have not read in all of them.  Most of them have been read more than once.  Sometimes for pleasure, sometimes for examination and sometimes for a bit of both.  Right now the Vampire Chronicles are a bit of both.

I find myself drawn to different books and I am remembering when I received them.  I have the Chronicles of Narnia that Mom bought me when I was going on the road trip with my Grandma Morin for the summer.  She bought me the whole series to take with as well as a beach towel, a deck of cards (I still have those as well), sunscreen and a few other goodies.  I have A Ring of Endless Light by Madeline L’Engle that Dad got me (with a loving note from him written on the inside) because I loved reading it in the school library.  There is a book of love letters that Chris got me for an anniversary present (the same on he had flowers delivered to my work and I cried my eyes out).  I even have Dad’s copy of the complete works of Edgar Allen Poe (Dad memorized The Raven while he was on a ship in the Navy and that was the first thing I learned to read… and I still have the children’s book we read it from).  Sooo many memories on these shelves!

Goodness I have gone on!  Sorry about that!  I will stop here because I could go on endlessly!  lol.  Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Books, Creativity, dreams, Friends, Life, Thinking, Writing

How to Write (?)

I envy those that can just sit right down and start writing.  I used to be one of those people.  My imagination just feels like a dry vessel.  I seem to be able to do everything but write anymore.  Anxiety creeps in as I am forced to face the world outside of my home on a regular basis.  Seemingly all because I cannot find my way to regularly putting words on a page for money.  I cannot finish a story, polish it and send it out.  It sits barely visible on the page, unable to fight free.

Then there are those that publish and make money from seemingly bad writing.  And the particular piece I am thinking of might actually be very good in it’s native tongue but the translation leaves much to be desired.  What’s worse is that it is a friend of mine and I have been asked to read and review said published piece.  Each page is difficult to get through because of run on sentences and wording that doesn’t make sense.  Usually it is a failed colloquialism.  The piece has gone through numerous editors but it doesn’t show.  A well known book is referenced by name but the title is incorrect.  Not only that but the person that wrote the referenced book is the topic of the book I am reading and my friend is supposed to be an authority on this writer.  I am still only on page 3 of this book.  I skipped ahead thinking that maybe the writing would get better but it doesn’t.  And I don’t know what to do.  I read lines out to Chris and he just stared at me in shock.  It is so difficult to read and if I do finish the book I cannot favorably review it.  The “expert” can’t even get titles correct.  I’m not sure about facts.  I haven’t gotten that far.  This friend is bugging me to tell him if I like the book.  What do I do?  I can’t find anything good to say about the piece.  If I am honest it will probably cost me the friendship no matter how much I sugar coat it.  If I lie then others will wonder what the hell I was on when I read it.

So I sit and stare at the pages and think that I would be better off working on my own writing.  I got close yesterday morning.  I pulled out the notebooks containing my various projects and went outside.  I did the sit and think for a bit and next thing I knew I was sawing off branches of trees for the next few hours.  Things look nice and I won’t have to battle the branches when I mow.  But STILL NO WRITING WAS DONE. So I will try again today.

Thanks for reading and as always stay safe!

Animals, Creativity, Dogs, Emotions, family, Life, Movies, Nature, Photography, Writing

Cloud Watching

This morning my thoughts are a grey as the skies.  Essie won’t eat which means she hasn’t had her medicine.  I still haven’t received my money from the 401K so the vet bill is still unpaid.  I am concerned that Essie does indeed have cancer and that her time with us is more limited than we think.  It is not me being negative.  It is me watching her and her habits.  I’ve not voiced this to anyone here because I would get the talk about being more positive.  I’m not sure how long til we get the results from Essie’s biopsy.  Maybe as late as next week.

We slept later this morning.  Mostly due to us being up late.  We would’ve been in bed by 10pm but when I went to close the sliding glass door I noticed that I could see stars which meant that the clouds from earlier had gone.  Sooooo I decided to wander out and see if I could see the comet.  And lo! there it was just over the house.  So then I had to get the binoculars to see how well I could actually see it.  Well by the time all was said and done it was going on midnight.  The kids really wanted me to go to bed but they wanted to make sure I was ok outside.  Moose and Essie came out alternately with me while I was star gazing.  My patient puppies!

I watched two movies I hadn’t seen for years yesterday.  The first was “Sleuth” with Lawrence Olivier and Michael Caine.  The second was “Deathtrap” with Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve and Dyane Cannon.  I enjoyed watching both of them.  Sadly we had no popcorn but that’s ok.

The sun is trying to come out.  That will bump up  the humidity which I am ok with but I am in the minority.  I am going to try to get some work done on my stories.  Since I seem to be willing to do it mentally I’d better do it while I can.  I will leave you with some photos I took yesterday around sunset.  The one cloud formation reminded me of Godzilla, one of my favorite childhood “monsters” (I never thought of Godzilla as a monster and I always thought that Godzilla was a she because of baby Godzilla).  Anyway thanks so much for reading and your awesome comments!  Stay safe and have a great day!

Animals, Creativity, Dogs, Emotions, family, Gardening, Guitar, Learning, Life, Nature, Thinking, Writing

Evaluations

Moose is gently snoring on the floor behind me.  I am in my office waiting for the rain to fall.  We had a storm last night.  Poor Stella hid in the bathroom for a bit while Essie curled up closer to me.  Moose did not care.  He just laid his head on me and went back to sleep.

I have no idea what to do today.   I didn’t do much yesterday beyond keep an eye on Essie.  I take that back.  I got my custom made leather bag (I ordered this way back in April) in the mail yesterday.  I sorted through and packed it with some necessities and am trying to get used to having it.  It’s quite beautiful.  I also planted a white onion that had sprouted as well as a few garlic cloves that had sprouted.  We’ll see how they do.  It was good timing with the rain.\

I still haven’t done my class work.  I need to do it or cancel the class.  I go great guns then stall out.  I pulled out my guitar and tuned it the other day.  And it is still sitting here in the office unplayed.  Chris loaned me a guitar stand so it is up off the floor.  It all sounds good and fun until it comes to the execution of the project.  Then I stall out.

I think I will make pasta salad for later.  If I do it now it ill have time to cool in the fridge instead of wasting all those ice cubes to cool it in a few minutes.  I’m not sure what to do about the funeral Friday.  I might ask Chris to borrow his truck.  I don’t know if the Jeep will be up to it.  Hell, I don’t know if I am up to it.  But that is the day after tomorrow.  I have a local meeting tomorrow night.  Truthfully I don’t want to do it.  But the flip side is that once I am there I will be fine with it.  It is the thought of leaving the house.  Chris is not going to work Thursday so he can stay home with Essie while I am at the meeting.

I’ve not written any reviews.  I’ve not worked on either novel.  The dogs are restless and so am I.  Nothing interests me.  I usually end up reading or watching tv.  I am currently binge watching The X-files.  We are well into season 8.  I just can’t find anything to hold my interest.

The coffee is almost empty so I will rap this up.  Thanks for reading.  Stay safe.

Creativity, Emotions, Gardening, Learning, Life, Writing

Adaption

I slept hard last night.  We got storms that came in during the early evening hours and last pretty much the whole night.  I managed to get both the front and back yards mowed as well as weed whacked before the rain started.  I like it when that happens because then the grass gets it’s much needed water right after.

Tonight I am covering a meeting.  It is a double surprise because not only is it here in Rapid City but it is also in person.  So I need to leave about quarter to seven tonight so I have enough time to find the building.  I’ve not ventured very far in our small community even though we have lived here for about 20 years.  Working at the lot opened my eyes to a lot of local stuff, people and places, and working at the paper is getting me even more exposure.

*Well this is about half an hour later.  The site went down followed by the internet.  I didn’t find this out until I tried to publish this blog post.  It hadn’t saved anything and it would not save anything.  So all I wrote is gone except for the first to paragraphs.  Soooo do I reconstruct what I had or find something new?

I got my piece written for class and submitted it yesterday.  Today the plan is to go and read my classmates pieces.  I have to read atleast four and grade them.  We’ll see how mine did.  I’m anxious to read what others say.  I don’t really get any feed back for my writing so this will be a nice change.  That being said since I’ve been on here for over an hour between writing and the crash I should get to it.  Thanks for reading and stay safe!

 

Animals, Books, Creativity, Dogs, family, Learning, Life, Thinking, Writing

Hocus Pocus I Can’t Focus

I was in a panic earlier this morning as I had to reenter all my information for unemployment.  I am still a little anxious as I am not completely sure about the dates I entered being correct.  I am currently trying to breathe my way back to calm.  I have Stella rapped around a foot as she sleeps.  Moose is nearby but facing the window.  Essie I think is in the living room in the big dog bed.

Today is the day I take the Jeep to get looked at.  I am anxious because if this is going to be a major repair session it is going to get expensive.  Hopefully our mechanic got back safely from his road trip.  I will text him once I finish with this.  I’m glad I didn’t start worrying about this last night.

I need to get myself together today.  I have things that need to be done and I keep putting things off.  Like my class work.  I still have plenty of time but I have the basics done all I need to do it tweak it and submit it.  It shouldn’t take any time at all.  Unless I procrastinate and then it can take countless hours.  I got all kinds of stuff done around the house for the family but doodlely was done for myself (other than read the new book… and that was supposed to wait until I finished reading my surfing book).

I wrote a to do list last night in bed.  Hopefully I can stick with it.  I have a meeting to cover tonight.  I hope and pray that I can get the Zoom connection to work.  I’ve not reported on this meeting the past two months because the link would not work for me.  I need to just sit down and do things instead of well-maybe-later.

I didn’t take a single photo yesterday.  The funny thing is Essie will pose for the camera but if I am using the phone camera she looks away.

The first photo is with my phone. So I set it down and got my camera. The second photo is with the camera. I didn’t even have to ask her to look at me.

The dogs are getting antsy and I am not far behind. I’m gonna wrap this up. Thanks for reading! Stay safe and have a great day!

Animals, Creativity, Dogs, dreams, Emotions, family, Learning, Life, Love, Thinking, Writing

Finding the Motivation

The rain has gone away.  Yesterday was a much welcome cloudy with rain off and on all day.  It did cool things off a bit.  Back down to normal summer heat for a day.  The temperatures will be right back up there today.  And I am ok with that.

I seem to have run into a mental dry spell over the last few days.  No writing other than this and my journal.  I’ve been lugging one of my guitars around with the appropriate paperwork to practice playing but I’ve done nothing past tuning the guitar.  I have read a bit in the new book.  I seem to not only lost my drive but my focus as well.  I was moving forward with great strides and now… inertia.

Moose definitely has kidney disease so I ordered more kibble yesterday.  I got the lamb since he doesn’t seem too fond of the chicken flavor.  We’ll see how he does.  Essie didn’t eat this morning.  She started getting me up around 6am to go outside in a hurry.  I left the door open for her.  She had to go back out maybe an hour later.  Then once we got up for the day She went directly outside.  Moose wouldn’t eat either.  I wonder if it is because Essie wouldn’t.  He’s in here with me and I can hear his tummy doing hungry rumbles.  I worry that Essie’s cancer is more severe than we think.  They said they got it all out with the lump but I’m not so sure.  And her surgery scar isn’t healing correctly.  Part of it keeps getting opened back up.  Now that Moose has been taken care of I need to call and ask them about her.  That will have to wait until Monday.  Monday I am also dropping the Jeep off for Chuck to look at.  Soooo….

I feel so busy but I know I have plenty of free time if  I choose to use it.  I just need to not do other things, like watch tv.  Moose is dreaming.  It sounds like it is on the border of becoming a nightmare with the sounds he is making.  I am keeping the house up as well as the gardens this year (so much easier and rewarding being able to stay home).  But will I let myself blow off writing?  That is part of the reason I opted to pay for the course instead of taking the free version.  The other part is that I can get feedback from other writers.  If you take the free course you are limited as to what you can do.  If I pay for it and don’t do anything then I am wasting money.  If I take the free version I can blow it off because it “doesn’t count” for anything.  That’s what I did with the guitar class.  So I need to find my way.

On that note I need to get something written before Chris gets up for the day.  He wants to do some running together.  I would rather stay home but it is time together.  Thanks for reading!  Stay safe!

Animals, Creativity, Dogs, Emotions, Guitar, Learning, Life, Thinking, Writing

Up Too Early

It is a dark early morning.  The rain started a little yesterday but got serious in the wee hours of the morning.  I managed to get maybe a half hour out of each hour since 2am.  I finally gave up around 6am.  I didn’t get much done yesterday.  My mind was restless.  I know part of it is worrying about Moose’s test results today.  He goes back in to have his diagnosis of kidney disease verified.

I’m glad I checked the master bathroom before I shut the door when I got up this morning.  I noticed that the bathroom door was partly open.  I figured something spooked Stella and she had gone in there.  I looked in before I shut the door again and there she was still curled up on the floor on one of my rugs.

I got no further in my classwork.  I got my guitar tuned and cleaned up.  I pulled out my notes and diagrams for my guitar class.  And that is all I got done.  I had intended to write a review for The Fishermen this week as well.  Nada.  I am disappointed in myself but not.  I will just keep trying today.

I’m not sure what today holds but I will give it a shot.  Atleast I don’t have to water the gardens today!  Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Creativity, dreams, Emotions, family, Guitar, Learning, Life, Love, Thinking, Writing

Guess Who’s Taking Classes…

Today’s big news is that I signed up for an online class.  Actually classes.  It’s a creative writing collection of courses through Coursera.  I am paying for them so I will get a certification at the end.  Chris didn’t seem too enthused when I told him.  He thought I would go for a photography class.  I don’t think he sees the use in me taking this course since I already know how to write stories.  His second guess when I said I was taking writing classes was journalism.  He knows I can earn money doing that so that would be normal to guess.  But creative writing seems like a waste to him.  Mind you he’s said none of this.  This is all what I am reading into his response.  I didn’t mention that I was paying for the courses.  (You can take all the courses on there for free but you won’t get certified and you might not be able to access everything available in the course.)

I am taking the classes because I am hoping that talking with other creative writers I can get more consistent with my writing.  And I am stuck in my novel so I am hoping that I can use that over the course exercises and get that back on track.  I already have ideas after the first class.  It started yesterday.  I have done everything but write the 250-350 word story and critique others.  I cranked out a rough draft last night before bed (one of the reasons I didn’t get to bed until almost 1am) and I hope to tweak it today and get it submitted.  The twist for it is that they have listed 12 random words and you need to use atleast 6 of them in every other sentence to create movement.  I got a bug after watched a bunch of diverse short documentaries last night.

So that is where I am right now.  This morning I feel a bit run down.  I felt like this last night so not sure if it is merely the continual heat or just me coming down with something.  I think I will wrap this up and go read or work on some writing.  Oh and they are letting me finish the guitar class if I want to (I was almost done before I stopped… maybe one or two hours of work left I think) so I guess I’d better tune the guitars back up and get at it.

Thanks so much for reading and thank you for your thoughtful comments!  Stay safe and have a great day!

Books, Creativity, Dogs, Emotions, Learning, Life, Nature, Photography, Thinking, Writing

Feeling Very Zen

This morning I am writing from my office desk instead of in the living room.  It feels different but comfortable.  Moose is sleeping behind me on the floor.  The girls are in their usual spots in the living room.  Stella wandered in a bit ago to see what was up.  Moose followed me in and has been here the whole time.

There are things I still need to tweak in here (my orchid is on my desk but I may move it as it is sort of taking up room… not a lot but we’ll see).  I also thought of another shelving unit I can put in the master bathroom to help get some of my book piles off the floor.  It does feel rather peaceful in here.

I find that I am calmer and more open lately.  Anxiety attacks are all but gone.  I am making a conscious effort to move forward with myself.  I am less tense and less of a worry wart which is a very welcome change.  I am able to appreciate the moment instead of play “what if” all the time.  The heat has also helped.  Because it is so hot there is not much you want to do.  So I am reading more and I am reading new books.  I’m not rereading comfort books to lose myself in familiar territory.

I found a Netflix series that uses the same story idea that I started with for one of my current stories.  I am going through that to see what they did, mostly for ideas and to make sure that I don’t use the same things in my story.  I am very excited as I have gotten a few ideas of my own from watching.  I sit with my notebook and fountain pen handy as I see how the story unfolds.  It is Italian but dubbed.  I am of two minds about it.  Dubbed means I can take in the whole experience without trying to rush to read the bottom of the screen before quickly taking in as much as I can of the background and what is going on before I have to read the next line on the bottom of the screen.  The other side of that is that I would like to learn Italian and I do enjoy the sound of the language.

I have to be careful that I don’t spend all

my time in front of the tv in this heat.  It is easy to do since the AC is right there in the window.  I try to get out in the yard.  If nothing else I water Minion’s garden under the tree and set up the sprinkler here and there as needed.  And of course take photos.  I got some beautiful ones of the sky last night.  I even got the colors!

I see that this post is a bit longer than usual.  I will add some photos from yesterday and upload for you reading pleasure.  Thanks for reading and stay safe!

 

There is a dragon fly landing to the left on the tiger lilies.