Living the Dream …

It’s not Tuesday morning, but it still is Tuesday at least. So that’s saying something for me!  Yay!mental self five

Next is: Yes, I want to write! It’s not writer’s block. It’s like the exact opposite. I need to write on Marigold, and Tarina, and Brink, and I get slammed at work (five months out of the year, work is very conducive for writing, but the rest of the summer and fall months ….), and end up getting there early and leaving late and then sandwiches for supper and Momma’s in bed by 9:00.

The weekend is laundry and keeping the mildew in the bathroom down to a transparent minimum and some grocery shopping for the next week of sandwiches. And Momma’s in bed by 9:30.

Yes, I hear you. You don’t have to sleep. Sleep is for the weak. Get up at 5:00 instead of 6:00. Stay up until 10:00 instead of 9:00. Mildew never killed anybody. That thing you’re writing is awesome – Go write on it! Thank you, thank you. But the horrible reality is that I’m no longer 20 something. Or even 30 something. Gone are the days I would raid on the EverQuest until 4:00 in the morning because most of my guildmates were in Europe, and then up at 7:00 and have a full day of fog-free work. Nope. No more.


It’s just. Gone.

Now there’s kids that think they have to eat every single day, and insurance to keep up, and colleges to apply to, and some sort of nameless spark plug problem that causes my car to go into “limp home” mode at the most inopportune times.

It’s enough to make you want to build a time machine and go back to your 17 year old self and update that smart-mouthed little know-it-all.

No, I shouldn’t have to wait until everything is pristine and perfect to write. That’s another , right there. So I’m trying to “sprint” method. At least to tide me over until I can do more than sprint. I write for 20 minutes. I do something else that needs doing (usually involving dirty dishes or dirty clothes) and then I come back and write for 20 minutes. Or in the case of work, I actually get breaks. I write what I can then (welcome to my lunch break) and then hope for the best.

Anything to keep me motivated. And to keep me from just throwing my hands up and saying: You know, my stress level would drastically decrease if I would just give up on all desire and aspirations.


So there we are. And here’s another opportunity suggestion to go get your copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It’s worth it. I’m telling you. It helps me almost daily.


My dad’s birthday was Sunday. (That’s where I had the first homemade ice cream of the year. My mom found this recipe years ago when *I* was in college and now nothing compares. I’ll give it to you at the end of the post. It’s just that good. Eat some while reading Douglas Adams. Oh my.)


I won’t give away anyone’s ages. But my dad is 28 years older than I am. And I’ve been out of college over 25 years. So my dad would not be considered a spring chicken. He gets by. He loves what he does, where he is, and us. So all in all, pretty good. He said something while we were eating cake that came across something like this:

“An old man told me to put lime on my tomatoes to get rid of that blight. I don’t know if it’ll work, but I tried it.”

It took me a couple of times to run that sentence through my head to figure out what was rather odd about it and finally it hit me: An old man told me.


So someone told Dad something was a good idea and because he was older than my father, my father took his advice. Just like I would take someone’s advice who is my father’s age. Because they are older, obviously, they have some experience in all of the things. And so it’s just good sense to listen to them.

Now when does this happen? Because it definitely does NOT happen sometime after the individual turns twelve and before they move out of the house. (I have two teens. ‘Nuff said.) So it must be a Moving Out of the House rite of passage. I know for a fact, I knew everything by the time I was 16 and I’m pretty sure I remember thinking I knew everything even around the age of 22 or 23. Then I got a real job and moved to a different city and then I got married, and then I got a mortgage and … at some point I started listening to everyone and anyone older and more experienced than I was about lots and lots of things.

And that is MY rambling for today!

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I checked on my Go To writing inspiration source, DarWrites, and came across her


This was # 7:

Google any combination of the words fun and writing.  You’re guaranteed to get something interesting.

Writing FLow Chart

This lovely little chart from David Hunter Shaw’s Blog! Nice!

As always, if you like Darlene’s content as much as I do, check out her Pinterest page  for more!

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Home Made Vanilla Ice Cream (The Best)

Vanilla Ice Cream 


2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup milk
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoons good quality vanilla
healthy pinch of sea salt


Place ice cream maker {bowl portion} into the freezer and chill according to manufac- tures instructions.
For ice cream base, measure all ingredients into a large bowl. Stir to combine and dis- solve sugar—about 3 minutes. Assemble ice cream maker and pour cream mixture into machine. Churn until frozen. Spoon ice cream into airtight container and freeze 4 hours to overnight to freeze completely. Serve as desired.


Behold: Jean

So, I have problems. I don’t think this is a surprise to anyone who knows me more than say, a couple of weeks. (Heck, almost anybody can hide anything for a couple of weeks, right?) But I’m going to try to keep it on track as to two specific problems. That I have for a specific story known affectionately as “Tarina.”


The first is a proverb that I first heard a couple of years ago that I didn’t get the FULL IMPACT of until Tarina’s rewrites.

  • “It is easier to give birth, than it is to raise the dead.” *


Not that Tarina should be considered dead by any means. But the sentiment is still there. It’s apparently infinitely easier to create a story from nothingness than it is to rework a story — regardless of how much it is loved and cherished — into something publishable, when it was previously and without question unpublishable.

And the second is:

  • A less than original backstory for the main character. (We will keep the stress to a minimum by not visiting a possibility of Copyright infringement. Nope.)


First the second. Not original, you may say? There is nothing original out there! It’s all been done! Go forth and write!

I say: Nay! I too was of that school of thought. I just need a little of this and a little of that and presto, the character will Become-My-Own through my clever characterization and dazzling plot twining. So in tuned with my own contrivance abilities that I fell completely into that trap and wrote upwards of 600,000 words worth of content for said Main Character! She was, in a word, fabulous. Perfect. Loved her. We shall refer to her henceforth, as Jean.


And then.

Years passed. Decades. But one evening I was watching a television show with my youngest, and we were getting one of the Team’s main character’s backstory. And my jaw dropped. You would’ve thought I had lifted it literally word for word.

Because I had. Only the names had changed. And it had become so inexorably intertwined with Jean, that I only saw it as Jean, and everything else was simply extraneous material I’d drawn on to achieve Jean. And I forgot about this favorite character of mine from 1980’s graphic novels. Suddenly, Tarina was nothing but a lie.

A lie, you say? But isn’t all fiction, technically, a lie? Well, sort of. Except you have to be true to your world, your genre, your style and your characters.

And now I’m gazing at the First Problem with new alarm. Not only do I have to (e.g. want to) rewrite this world into something publishable, but I also have to — somehow — fix Jean so that she is not a clone from this 1980’s character — who has gained new life and a new following in the 2010’s.

Is this even possible?

And if so, how?

How do you strip down a character and make her something unique, while still being true to your world that you created, basically, AROUND this character? Do you start with her? Do you start with the world? Do you just start writing and it will work itself out?

Not if you want to have something publishable by, say, autumn.

I think I HAVE to start with the character. I think I HAVE to sit down with these two favorite characters of mine and work out their differences and make someone new that I am still just as happy with. And then what about all the other characters? (There’s over 600,000 words here, remember.) Will they still be the same around her? How can they be? This is someone different than with whom they had a relationship before? So, not only am I giving birth, but I’m still raising the dead!

Who else gets into these messes?

The good part about this? Tarina has a writing partner whom I trust explicitly. If what she says doesn’t go, then there is at least a well-thought-through discussion on the possibilities and the why’s versus the why not’s. Hopefully, she’ll have a brilliant plan of her own, smack me around, and then I will begin, as it were, again.

…. We shall have to see how this progresses.






*from Donna Wright, Romancing the Smokies, event planner.