Thursday, April 19, 2018

Quitting is never an option for writers

When life gives us lemons, as often it does, don’t be content making lemonade. Throw those sour bastards back and demand chocolate!

Don’t give into the stress and pressures going on that make us say, “I can write later.” Put your boxing gloves on and fight through it. Duck life’s left hook and counter with a powerful uppercut by finishing off that next chapter or blog post. 

Quitting a current project or giving up even temporarily is not an option. When the writing gets tough the writer needs to kick ass. We change goals and pound out pages of words through writer’s block, character frustrations, plot holes, appointments, and real world tasks screaming to be done. Whatever is attempting to hold us back from our story we will fight back.

This week down that pot of coffee, eat the whole bag of peanut butter M&M’s, order take out, or duct tape the kids to the wall. Okay, maybe not that last one, though you have to admit some days it’s tempting. Just don’t lose heart, or give in to that urge to say, "well, I’ll make it next round." There is still plenty of time this round to make our goals. I’m ready, how about you?

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


I bought a cheap watch from a crazy man, who stood in front of the five and dime with a box full of junk. Trinkets maybe, from his better days.

I tried to walk by and pretend I didn’t notice him, but something made me look up. Our eyes met, a shiver coursed down my spine. His eyes held the cold weight of some kind of dark knowledge. I didn’t want to know what he knew, yet I couldn’t turn away. I felt fate’s hand push me toward him.

“Is there something you like, miss?” His voice was older than his grizzled face. The old man tipped the box so I could see the contents closer.

I tried to look away, my eyes turned themselves to the box. I shook my head gently. “No, thank you. I don’t have time, I’m late.”

He reached out and grabbed my hand. “I have just the thing for seeing time.” He pulled a pocket watch from the box. Its age showed on the engraved metal. Rubbed smooth where it had been held and touched most often.

“That’s a lovely watch but….” The moment he placed it into my hand I felt a tingle of energy flow though my hand and up my arm. Suddenly the air around her felt charged, like before lightning strikes.

When I tried to pull my hand from his my fingers brushed the release. The case opened and my eyes fell to the face of the watch. The hands ticked on minutes and hours as the air thickened around me. It seemed like an ordinary thing, just a cheap watch on the outside but there was something else.

I could feel it becoming part of me. I tried to let go of it but my fingers curled tighter around the thing instead. I pulled five dollars from my pocket and placed it in his old withered hand. When I looked into his eyes this time, I saw relief.

I would soon find out what curse he had passed on to me.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

One word in sixty seconds: Gears

She slathered more grease on the actuating arms and a few of the more rusted teeth of the gears.
"I'm not sure this is going to help. This piece of junk has sat far too long without any care."

She closed the cover of the mammoth war machine and stepped back. "Punch it Louis!"

He turned his cap backward and pumped diesel through the veins of this metal creature. When Louis pressed the ignition switch the gears and plates trembled before breaking their bond of rust and years of dirt.The armored suit took one step then another.

She let out a yell and raised her  grease smeared arms in victory.  If they can revive a few more of these beasts, the allies may yet have a chance. is a website for getting the muse warmed up. Each day you get one word and sixty seconds in which to write what it inspires.This is my entry for today's One Word. What's yours? For more of my past One Word entries, check out my One Word Profile EliseV.
Your turn, 60 seconds. Go!

Monday, April 16, 2018

New York Can Wait

Cynthea walked though the airport and sighs. He’s late, he wanted me to come to New York and he’s late.

Five more minutes she decided to give him before getting a taxi. Then she heard him call her name and wave as he hurried though the crowd. In his hand was a large bouquet of white roses. 

He rushed to her, his arms sliding around her as his lips pressed to hers in a passionate kiss. Cynthea sighed into the kiss hugged him back. Emotions and memories flooded though her.

His fingers curled into the back of her hair as the kiss deepened… and a small child plowed into them skating on his Heelys. 

The boy grabbed around their legs to keep from falling. Connor tried to keep his balance and hold onto Cynthea at the same time. The magic of the moment interrupted Connor peeled the boy from their legs.

The boy’s mother rushed over. “Bobby, Bobby honey, are you alright?”

Connor sighed a bit aggravated. He wanted the moment to be special, it had already been delayed by a traffic accident on the way. “We’re fine too, thank you for asking.” 

The mother gave him a look as though they shouldn’t have been in her son’s way. Cynthea nudged him and grinned. “You’re late.”

He laughed that wonderful staccato laugh and offered the flowers with a hand over his heart. “I’m sorry, there was an accident on the freeway and we were held up for miles.”

Cynthea took the roses inhaling their sweet scent as she watched him pick up her suitcase. She missed him, maybe they should give it another try. Maybe.

They settled in the back seat of the taxi. As they make their way though the streets Connor covered her hand with his and laced their fingers. “Have you missed something, in New York?”

She turned her from her view of the cityscape Cynthea nodded with a grin. “That pizza place on 8th. I could really go for a slice right now.” When Connor’s head tipped forward to hide his grin, she reached over and gently pulled her hand though his hair. “I kind of missed you too.”

His dark eyes looked up at her as he leaned forward. Their lips almost touching as the cabbie slammed on the breaks. The cab skidded forward on the pavement, Cynthea slipped off the seat into the floorboard and who knows what had been there before her.  “Arrgh… gross.”

Connor helped her up back to the seat and glared up at the cabbie. Not for the rough stop. He opened his back door and handed their fare to the driver. “You’ve got a suitcase with wheels don’t you?”

Cynthea stepped out and looked at him.” I didn’t pack that much, but yes.”

When she turned to step up on the sidewalk, he saw the back of her coat. Connor looked at her softly. “Um, sweetheart… “

She looked back and then tried to see what he’s pointing at. He helped her off with her coat and she grimaced seeing the back. “I don’t even want to know just toss it in the trunk. He can have it as a bonus.”

He pulled off his coat for her, he grined softly as he helps her roll the sleeves up. “This one is cuter on you anyway.”

She grinned and kissed his cheek. “It smells like your cologne.”

They laugh it off and start down the street hand in hand. After about two blocks, Connor slid his arm around her waist and walked with her against his side. She relaxed against him and everything felt right again.

They stopped at the corner across from his building. He reached over and pressed the crosswalk button. “We’re almost there.”

She grinned and stepped forward nuzzling his neck. “Finally.”

He looked down into her eyes; they were dark shimmering pools he could get lost in for hours. His fingertips caress her cheek as his lips brush over hers before….

A car sped around the corner and splashed them with water from the earlier rains. Cynthea squeaked in surprise then looked down. They were both drenched.

Connor swore, he couldn’t even get a kiss in edgewise. The light changed and they could walk across. He took hold of her hand and case hurrying to the center of the street.

Cynthea was thoroughly aggravated now. This was an omen that this whole trip was a bad idea. When he stopped half way across the street she wasn’t in the mood for anything else. “Connor…”

He stopped her speech when he turned and pulled her close. His lips pressed to hers gently then deeper until her arms wrapped around him. They kissed passionately in the middle of the street. Their hearts racing, cars honking, people yelling and whistling.

Cynthea didn’t hear any of it only the beat of his heart the feel of his kiss. This is why she fell in love with him. He made her feel as though there were nothing else in the world.

Everyone else wanted to interrupt their moment. He was going to take it right there and the rest of New York could wait.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Movies with the write character

Writers write stories but they make great characters too. Quite a few movies have been made with writers as the staring character. Here are a few of my favorites, and many of them started life as a book. :) 

Swimming Pool
Mystery Writer Sara Morton needs a change of view. Her publisher offers the use of his French villa for her to write and relax. (yes at this point I’m insanely jealous.)  The beautiful villa has a large swimming pool which becomes a common element between Sara and the young Julie claiming to be the publisher’s daughter shows up out of the blue, bringing chaos and intrigue into Sara’s well ordered world.

I enjoyed watching Sara go from being a strict well ordered woman to finding her self doing things far out side her comfort zone.

Secret Window 
Demented John Shooter accuses mystery writer Mort Rainey of stealing his story. Claiming he wrote it first. Shooter demands restitution and for Rainey to tell the world the truth.

Through out the film you’re never quite sure what the truth is. There are hints of it if you really know where to look. Johnny Depp portrays Rainey with is usual witty and entertaining way. With a conclusion with a twist that will tickle any mystery buff.

State of Play
This is the American adaptation of the British series. Of course there is no way to pack all the great stuff from the series into a 2 hour movie but I think we did a pretty good job representing the spirit of it with this version.

Russell Crowe (*sighs dreamily*) plays journalist Cal McCaffery. He’s assigned to a story which involves his old college buddy turned politician, played by Ben Affleck. The more Cal digs into the truth the more dangerous it becomes. For he and his side kick Della.

Of course it doesn’t help that Cal, had an affair back in the day with said buddy’s wife. You’ve got a powerful story of politics, cover ups, romance, and murder. Who done it, who’s still doing it, and who’s going to cover it up.

True Crime
Clint Eastwood plays the hard core, boozing, skirt chasing reporter Steve Everett. Everett is sent to San Quentin to interview a man on death row. The inmate claims to be innocent, the evidence against him was all circumstantial.

Something about the story rings in Everett’s ears. He sets out to find the truth, did the man awaiting execution in a matter of hours murder that woman or was it mistaken identity. Something else that appeals to me, this story is based on a real life event. It’s a thrilling tale not just about the inmate and his truth but the revelations Everett has about his own life.

There you have it four films to sink your writer’s teeth into. So pop some corn and heat up the DVD player for a night of great writing on screen.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Ladies Never Cheat

The rowdy noise of the saloon floor rose up to where Caroline and some of the girls leaned on the balcony rail. Caroline took a long breath as she gazed down at the floor.

Miners had started to fill the room, their pockets filled with gold nuggets and ready to spend their new found fortunes. Caroline was ready to relieve them of it. One man burst with laughter, her husband had laughed that way. May he rest in hell.

With that thought it was time to get to work. She checked her bodice and her gun hidden in her skirt, and then walked down the stairs. A young miner eager for company caught her hand at the landing. “How much for your time? “

She raised a brow was he referring to her as a … she tilted her head with a sassy grin. “Sorry, darlin’, you can’t afford me?”

Caroline paused at the bar to pick up a bottle. After a glance around, she sat near the poker table to watch the players for a few hands. After the fourth hand played one of the men folded, closed his cards and gathered what was left of his wealth.

When he vacated the table with the remainder of his cash to the bar, Caroline smiled as she takes the seat. “Evening boys, mind if I take some of your money?”

A few laughed heartily as she poured herself a drink and tossed her ante into the pot. The pot was well stocked with cash and gold bits. She would be able to move out of this stink hole and into the hotel for a few days on this kit.

The dealer began the ritualistic shuffle and toss of cards before he passed them round. Caroline waited until all five were dealt before she picked them up in her dainty gloved fingers.

The player to her left a well-to-do rancher leaned over with a grin. “Just match the numbers, honey.”

Caroline closed her cards and held them to breast, with an innocent expression. “Thank you, for your advice. I’m such a novice at the game.”

Three hours later….

The dealer called for the final time and Caroline laid a straight flush across the table top. Two of the men swore and sighed as they tossed their cards back to the dealer. The third shook his head. “You must have that beginners luck or somthin, Miss Watson.”

Caroline grinned and reached out to pull the large pot her way. “Thank you, gentlemen. It’s been a true pleasure meeting your acquaintance this evening.”

The rancher scoffed and grabbed her wrist. “You’re not taking my money. This was a con of some sort.” He jerked her sleeve up searching; the pearl buttons snapped off and tumbled into the cash.

Caroline tried to pull her arm back but his grip was too tight. “Sir, I assure you, my game has been honest. Or do you question my skill as to deflect attention from the real cheat?”

“Lady, I don’t know what your scheme is but I know a cheat when I see one.” He squeezed her wrist tighter just to make his point as the other men around the table started to question and protest.

Calmly she reached to his far vest pocket with her free hand. Caroline slipped the ace from her cuff. From the view of the other men around them, it appeared she pulled the card from his pocket. “So do I, sir. I think these gents do as well.”

One player grabbed the rancher, another swung, it didn’t take long before Caroline was forgotten. She plucked the rancher’s hat from the back of the chair and swept everything from the table with her arm into it. She’d sort chips and shot glasses from the take later.

Caroline hurried upstairs for her bag and an exit out the window. It was a new year and time to find another town, she’s been too naughty here.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Kiss: Half Excerpt

About HALF
Guarding CEO Alex Blazen during a charity gala was an easy job for Valeska Gorstef...until all hell breaks loose...literally. Forced to face her own darkness, Valeska may lose her only chance to live a human life. Two sides of her soul will be at war. Which HALF will win?
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Valeska stood within the darkness of the room and felt it breathe. The dark was a living creature part of what she was. Her darkness, her vampire, and she hated it. A bit of dust and the stain was all that was left of her father. Once she had thought killing him would free her to live a normal life, but that was just a pretty lie.

After all this time, she still had to exist in the twilight between two worlds. Trapped. She was lost in the past when she heard footsteps and smelled Alex’s cologne before he reached the room. Good. He’ll see the darkness and run. It would be that easy to stop this before I want any more than I can have.

Alex didn’t run. Instead, he walked over, embracing her and kissing her blood covered mouth. All he cared about was showing her it didn’t matter. That he loved her human or not. Plying her lips with his tongue, he gently pushed into her mouth and met sharp fangs.

She tasted fresh blood and pushed him away roughly. “Alex stop! I haven’t fed enough.”

He gazed at her and the concern she saw there was more than she could bear. “I couldn’t. I couldn’t take an unwilling victim, not even a four-legged one.”

He looked beneath the splatters of blood to the pain her eyes held. What horrors she must have endured to survive over six hundred years of life.

She wanted to push him far away. “Don’t you see me? This is Valeska Gorstef. Alex, I can’t change what I am. I can smell the sweet copper scent of blood in your mouth. I can hear your heart pumping more through your veins and I want it. I want to taste you in ways that have nothing to do with passion.”

The video flashed in his mind. “I see the beautiful woman who walked into my office three days ago. I see the dark desire in your eyes. Blood isn’t all you want.”

She shook her head. “Alex, you don’t know what you’re asking.” Valeska felt her control starting to slip.

“No, I don’t.” Alex unbuttoned her shirt, peeled the blood soaked fabric from her shoulders. He pulled off his own shirt and tossed it in the pile. She was dizzy from bloodlust and need. Need to give in, need to love him.

She stood stiff as he embraced her and kissing, caressing first one lip then the other. He was more careful exploring the warmth of her mouth. He licked her fangs tasting the sweet copper in her mouth.

Weakening with the scent of his body so close, she kissed him back him feeling his warm clean skin. They fell to the floor, she rolled over him. “We can’t do this. I have to feed.”

He grabbed her face as he kissed her again. “Then feed.”