Anniversary


Aztec 1

Today is my 1 year anniversary from my big car wreck.  Since then a lot has changed.

  • A large amount of money has passed through my hands to the hospital, to doctors, to the xray lab  and other  places. ( Enough money that I could have paid for a full year for my daughter’s  college)
  • My perspective on  everything!

On life –  I am grateful for each  new day.

On health  –  oh that I would have valued it more before injuries.

On  time management – I have things to accomplish while I am still alive and  don’t want to just waste my time anymore.

The first few weeks after the wreck I suppose it was a state of shock, it was almost as if in a dream state.  I kept trying to figure out what happened, but was in a brain fog that I couldn’t seem to shake.  It wasn’t very long that I knew I had to get off the pain medications or  I would be addicted to them. I tossed them – whether it was a smart decision or not who knows.  Xrays from my neck and back show that  it wasn’t all in my head, and that the  injuries were fairly severe.

So, I’ve been living with pain.  Trying to manage, trying to motivate myself to do things that I don’t feel physically like doing,  and things I can no longer do physically.  My mobility has been  greatly reduced.  Initially this led to a  pity party on my part,  comforting myself with food and  laziness. To which end I had gained  38 pounds.  UGH!

After all the work I had done previously to take off the extra weight, and  get healthy – this has been a  trial of setback after setback.   It does nothing to  your self esteem when you  wallow in self pity.  NO,   I had to get off my butt and get back in life or I would be permanently sidelined.

I’ve been doing a challenge with my friend this past month and have taken off 12 pounds.  It’s a start.  I’m not beating myself up over not keeping up with the workout routines, but rather  accepting this is what I can do now, and I did more this week than I did last week.  It’s a small step but I think in the right direction.

I’ve had a great group of friends that have supported and encouraged me. Without them I think I may have given up.  I owe them a lot! I feel I am on the right track again, even if it is taking longer than I had anticipated. I’ll get there, and with a new appreciation of mortality, I will be more mindful of my time.  Having fun  – on purpose.  Working hard- on purpose. Pursuing my dreams – on purpose.  Making every day count – on purpose.

Bad things happen!  It’s what you do after that defines you. I’m not going to wallow in self pity or worry about the unfairness of it all.  That thinking leads to a bottomless pit. Life is unfair but opportunities abound all around us all we have to do is open our eyes and grab just a few of them.

Me?  I’m not giving up and in fact are more determined than ever.  So in a way this anniversary is not  a bad thing, not a remembrance of  being broken – but of having my goals and dreams defined. I was taking a lot of things for granted and I no longer do.  I was  letting  time slip away from me too casually.  Not anymore. There is time to play in my new schedule but there is serious work time as well.

I hope that all of my readers value each day,  each one is a gift. A new opportunity at every sunrise.

Write on my friends, write on!

Don’t let life pass you by! Lay hold of your dreams today!

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Interview With Aedan Byrnes


114431896.11055181Last week I had the opportunity to interview Aedan Byrnes.  Instead of copying it here – I am going to link you to that other site.

Feel free to leave comments on both blogs!

http://storytimetrysts.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/interview-with-aedan/

Write on my freinds, and  I hope you gain some inspiration from  the interview.

Thanks!

Ellie

Trying New Things


 I  decided that I would try new things this year.   In my writing I am trying my hand at a few different genres. I have an outline developed for  a murder mystery.  

I have trouble sometimes letting the darkness out of the depths.  Today’s offering over at the  other blog is  a taste of  darkness.  Let me know what you think. 

Storytime Trysts. 

Orange Sail boat Lake Michigan sunset only great lake entirely located within US  Photograph by Todd Gipstein

Write on my friends!  

Remember to try new things. Even if you aren’t any good at them , you at least have decided something  NOT to focus on!  

When the world plots against you


Warning – when allowing the radio to choose your playlist for you, be prepared to be overwhelmed with:
a) googly eyed sighs
b) longing that which is currently unavailable
c) thoughts of fantasy and debauchery ( hey I’m an adult – I have adult thoughts)
d)  images of that one HOT and SEXY man that just sends me
e) what if . . . . oh it gets really bad then.
Radio’s are evil. They are torture devices.  They’re either romance or depressing or something silly.
 I was working, needed  some tunage.  Music always helps me write better.  It often helps with mood setting, and sometimes scene setting.   Today I’ve been distracted wanting to hear from my guy.  Wanting to  know he’s ok, wanting to see him. Wanting  to see his smile, hear his voice, and  laugh together.
 I swear at times the universe plots against me.  I know it’s an egocentric statement, but it sure feels as if it’s true and I have numerous friends that will attest to it  happening to them as well.

So, for my heart throb – here’s a sample of the playlist:

  I can’t  hear this song without thinking of him. Trust me I have my reasons.
dirty babe, you see these shackles  baby I’m your slave,  . . . it’s just that no one makes me feel this way, yeah I’m a goner. * shakes head*
OK, the first time I heard this I thought it said  ” the girl in the pink shirt”  and  a statement  that he made ” can’t stop thinking about you in that pink shirt”.  Stupid I know, but  hey my emotions are in high gear here.
 Writing, yes I am suppose to be writing.   I go back to my scene and begin afresh. tap tap tap tap . . . . What do you think he’s doing right now?  Do you think  he’s ok?  He was pretty run down last  night, do you think he’s getting sick?  GAH!!
 OK, get up and walk around, shake it off.  I get a glass of water do a few chores around the house and come back. The conspirators are at it again in full force.
* headdesk*  NO one else can  push all my buttons like . . . . STOP IT! STOP IT!  STOP IT!
Right, a walk.  The dog needs a walk.  For an hour.   Alright, I ‘ve got this now. I switched channels.  HA!  Cut those conspiratorial radio personalities off at the knees.
 Oh that didn’t help at all.   Very naughty thoughts. Bad girl!
Radio station switched again.  We’ll fix this!   Stick  with more off the pop charts.
Really?  * head desk*   I need to write this scene!  It has nothing to do with romance, with holidays, or sweet sugar.  There’s torture and pain.
 GAH! I’m doing it again!
Conflict – yes I am suppose to be writing conflict.  Right, use that for conflict.  Tension, definitely feeling the tension but not in the writing.
You don’t say much but I listen when you do.
 

* dies, sinking further under desk*
Right, this scene isn’t happening today so I’ll write a short story for the other blog.  Ten minutes later story complete, and as I read it through I’ve used his name.  It’s too intimate, too real.  I can’t use this. It feels like a camera in my bedroom. NO,  this one goes in the personal file.
I  message my friend.  Conspiratory theories, girl talk, and she says ” Lol! *hugs* you are so adorable when you swoon!”
Fine, I try to focus again to get back into the writing.

Slips into a puddle in the floor.   That’s it, I’m done.  Can’t focus.   The conspirators win.
I surrender.
Ever had those days when no matter what you hear, or what you read it reminds you of that special person? You hear their voice in everything, see them in everyone?  It  know it happened to me bad after my mother passed. It doesn’t have to be for   the romantic interest,  it can be a cherished family member.  Please, somebody tell me I’m not the only one that this type of thing happens to.  Am I?
As I clean up my stacks of notes, and put away my reference books  my phone rings.
IT’S HIM!
Write on my friends, gotta go!
Aside

images At what point is it too late to turn back?  Obviously once you’ve crossed the finish line turning back is pointless, but before that, what point is the point of no return?

Way back ages ago when I was a teen – yeah,  that long ago –  in driver’s education class Coach told us about entering an intersection and where the point of no return was.  Ironically around that same time Kansas had a big hit.  I liked listening to Kansas until my mother decided one day that Dust in the Wind was actually a good song.  http://youtu.be/o-R8gHj_7v8

Well that killed it! From that point on Joan Jett, Rush, AC/DC, and more metal bands were my fare.  Oh, Eurythmics, Pat Benatar, and Heart were always in the lineup but I didn’t listen to them when the ‘rents were around. Sometimes my emotions get the better of me and cloud my judgment.  Never the less, there are times to call it quits and times to press on.

How do you decide what that point is? I’ve developed my own playbook for making these calls.  No, you can’t borrow it – make your own.  In my playbook there are a few simple rules but mostly guidelines.  Many decisions are not as easily cut and dry as yes or no.  More times than not the decision is like a flow chart with a series of  ‘if-then-else’ statements.  It may not seem logical to anyone else, but that doesn’t matter now, does it?

For example:  Do I continue to pour my efforts into my writing even though certain individuals are unsupportive?  Do I rebuild what I had and try again, gathering my remains with determination or do I lay it to rest in a mass grave and move on to other ventures?  Do I trash the ideas yet push forward on a new project?

IF my sole purpose of writing is for the approval of others THEN I have failed to achieve that, ELSE I attempt to write something that would get the approval, or END the pursuit. IF my purpose for writing is other? THEN conditions for the other apply and have to be weighed in a logical sequential order.  ELSE emotions will take over and my frustration will win and all that will be accomplished is a lot of wailing, crying and gnashing of teeth – and consumption of  Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey. (Quickly shoves evidence of Ben & Jerry’s into trash bin, ties bag removing to outdoor bin. )  Where were we?  Oh yes, the IF THEN ELSE logic flowchart.

I’ve examined all the reasons why not and it pales in comparison to the gut wrenching spasms of  pain that are akin to killing who I am inside just as if I took a large knife and thrust it inside my abdomen and twisted.  I saw that look of disbelief as  you grimaced at my melodramatic comparison.

That part of  me that screams WRITE THE STORY will not shut up therefore I must pursue my endeavors. Even when it means rewriting what I already had written.  Even when I reread and decide to  trash the section and redo it.  Even when I stress over nitpicky details in my make-believe world, yet disregard the stack of dirty dishes in real life.  Come on, the make-believe world is so much better!

The point of no return in this matter is easy to define.  I passed it a long time ago, and I must keep going towards the finish line. In other matters, however the line is blurred.  In relationships  where is that point?  Does time define a point of no return? Does intensity override duration?  Does time outweigh the fights, arguments and  distasteful memories?  It’s a sad thing to end a relationship but if it’s  not a healthy relationship is a break needed?

What  determines your point of no return?  What tips the scale for or against going forward? Life comes from death.  You’ll never tap the life inside a seed until you bury it in the  ground. By burying the broken relationship, you may find new growth, a tender stalk, and soon even fruit on the branch. It’s hard to see life in the middle of winter,  but  eventually life will return to the stark landscape and everything will be fresh,  green, and teeming with life.

Winter is coming is the expression of the Starks in Game of Thrones.  Spring is just around the corner, ignore the groundhog!  New life, a new energy, fresh starts, and new directions lay before us. What dead branches are you holding onto?  Are they unhealthy habits?  Unhealthy relationships?  False beliefs? Are you willing to let go of the tangible to position yourself for the unseen potential that hasn’t sprouted yet?

Write on my friends, let’s look forward to  brighter sunny days ahead!

Point of No Return

The Other Side . . .


578959_10202974111816663_1844792376_n Today I have a guest over on the Storytime Trysts blog.  Aedan Byrnes shares about his new book, the next one that’s due out soon and the entire series.   I don’t want to be redundant, so I’m going to just link you over to there and you can get right to it!

Of course,  trying to give you an auto link has sent the mechanics into a tailspin! Here it is in long form!  Go- read, comment!

http://storytimetrysts.wordpress.com/2014/02/12/the-other-side-of-through-the-oracles-mist/

Feel free to leave comments here as well and Aedan can respond here as well.

Reading is after all part of the writer’s life.

Write on my friends, I hope that you are inspired!

1796700_1498370343722638_2076661166_nThe Street Team is always looking for help, if you are interested contact Aedan!

FRAZZLED!


frazzled

After spending 2 hours searching through documentation,  record books, and county records I  had a figure for a total amount due for fees due  for a loan to close.  I head home from the archives of the dusty basement of our local courthouse to forward my information to the title company. Whew,  time for a little writing.

NO, wait we need to have  the dates covered for these fees that are due.  I quickly revise my documents, save in a new version, and forward to title company.  Time for a little writing.

Oh but wait,  then I get a call from the selling agent.  It seems the buyers are going to pay  the fees out of closing costs, and the property has gone into foreclosure so this is a short sale, meaning the  delinquent fees from the previous owner  to the Home Owner’s Association will not be paid from the previous owners.  After a lengthy negotiation I reduced the fees from previous years of  delinquent payments making myself then liable to the subdivision HOA.  OH, it gets better – this fee will now come out of my commission.

Once again the deadbeat neighbors get away with their  irresponsible  financial decisions. There has to be a way to extract  the fees due from these people.  I am a responsible person, I  pay my bills, and believe in an honest days work for pay.  Apparently I am a dying breed. When did it become ok to just rack up debt  to the amount you can’t pay, and just keep spending until it reaches such astronomical amounts that there is no way in a single mortal life you would be able to pay it?

OH, wait look at the example we have with the national deficit – yeah, never mind.

I had to redo all my paperwork, resubmit my forms, and  get all my loan documentation to the title company by 3 pm for the closing.  I started on this particular loan at 8 am in the morning.  The printer didn’t work.  The copier jammed.  My blue  ink pen died.  I must have blue ink for closings!  What about the inspections?  The  headquarters hadn’t sent any files for the inspections, for the  appraisal.  A mad  frenzy of phone calls, faxes, near hair pulling – and  finally got everything to the title company before the closing time.

Now can I write?  NO, wait!  Now it’s time for my chiropractor’s appointment.

All I wanted to do today was write. Now I have to start getting ready for a seminar  this evening.  I just want to write!

Have you ever had days like this? Days that no matter what you seem to do you can’t  manage to do the one thing that you most wanted to do?  Please share!  Not that we commiserate with each other but that  it sometimes helps to get it off your chest and knowing the camaraderie – we can lift each other up in spirit.  Or  raise a glass to each other through the  net.

Write on my friends, if you get a chance to at least.

Character Building


“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls, the most massive characters are seared with scars. “

Khalil Gibran

How do you create riveting characters?

Nobody wants to read  a story with flat Stanley.   No author wants to write with flat Stanley.  We want fully developed characters that convey the movie playing inside our heads.  We want the world to meet our imaginary friends and love or hate them  the same as we do.

Sometimes,  we like to play devil’s advocate and see if the audience ” gets it” with a character.  It’s simple to write the typical weasel,  the lovable innocent, the  dashing cad that you want to  get his come uppance.  But  how do you  show the tormented soul without being cliche’? How do you show the dark haunted  individual and  keep the audience guessing as to whether he’s good or evil?  Has he gone to the dark side?  Was he always dark?  Or does he appear to be evil but in the end he saves the day?

Allow me to introduce you to one of my scarred souls. Her  birth  name was Hopshetut, daughter of the Pharoah.  Born into privilege, power, and position  it wasn’t enough for Hapshetsut. The life of a woman in 1050 BC came with  certain aspects that she found distasteful.  Her tale is  of woe and disturbing  events.

The only woman Pharoah that Egypt has ever known, disgracing her lineage to the point that her images were scratched from every   place in Egypt. Mystery surrounded the life of the real Hapshetsut.  In her quest for power and immortality she  was entombed alive and leaves behind an empty grave-site.

I found the whole  “mystery” aspect intriguing and well, I just couldn’t leave it alone.  While watching The Mummy with my family,  my mind began to wander  as my National Geographic magazine lay open beside me.  My eyes wandered,  the TV, the magazine.  I’d seen the movie before.  The magazine won.

My version may be a little more fanciful, but it’s not as far fetched as the Loch Ness monster, or Sasquatch!  I was asked what authors  influenced me as many writers  have been.    How do you acknowledge the writer’s of  TV shows you grew up with when you didn’t learn the writer’s names?

The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, Creature From the Black Lagoon  – is it any wonder I’m as whack as I am?  Thrills and chills, goose bumps, things that go bump in the night all influenced my morbid sense of curiosity to play what-if.

Hapshetsut has taken on  flesh in such a rapid manner,   it was like she whispered it in my ear on the night wind.

This is a rendition that a friend has done for me  for Hapshetsut: http://sylvestertemple.tumblr.com/post/74477324809/quite-pleased-with-how-this-came-out-in-the-end

I think he has captured my character there.  Of course, based on the information I gave him, he has done exceptional.

Care for a little taste?

Here’s just a brief  excerpt from chapter one:

Tonight was a banquet.  There were camel trains loaded with gifts, and tithes for the Pharaoh. The annual tribute feast wasn’t for two more moons. Yet she was to be present at her Father’s side. At least she wasn’t sent in with the harem. At these things she was always allowed to present herself as the proper princess.

In another portion of the palace Thutmose II stood arms akimbo, as his servants draped his shendyt over his loins. He stood while the harem girls bathed and dried him. He stood while his servants dressed him. He took great pride in his physical appearance. He sat on his stone bench while Akshermunset the preistess painted his eye makeup. He had long desired her. She trained at the tutors when he was a child, now she was the preistess. She was not considered a commoner and he wanted to ask his father if she could be his queen when he ruled now that he ws next in line for the throne. He dreaded these gala affairs. The only good thing was that when it was over he’d have at least three of the harem beauties in his quarters and have his fill of wine.

Just as Kirsis had finished applying thick black eyeliner to Hopshetsut’s eyes Matia came to the open doorway bowing low. “It is time Princess Hopshetsut.”

It was at times like these she felt she was where she belonged. She held a regal sense of power. Shed seen plenty of the s ancient papyrus; she knew what she had to do to get the power. It was a small price to pay, but blood offered to one of the gods would bring them to the temple. She would arrange the meeting with Senmut.

She walked to the grand plaza, head held high. She would enjoy this night, and make certain her father and brother were both too drunk to request her company. With a smug grin she entered the plaza and approached the throne, bowing before her father who motioned her to stand at his left.

Nubian dancers performed a tribal dance in Pharoah’s honor. Moabite warriors did a sword display then bowed before Pharaoh. Then Pharaoh rose to make his edicts and announcements. This got Hopshetsut’s attention because her father was a wise ruler, and now she would learn the reason for this banquet.

Everyone quieted when the Pharaoh rose. He walked to the Dias, where his throne sat to make his announcements. “Last month, Osiris claimed my sons for her own. Osiris was greedy last month. She took many of your children as well.” He walked behind the queen’s throne. Caressing his hand down her arm. It has been a hard time for all of us. In the grip of grief I have been forced to make decisions that affect the future of Egypt after Osiris has called me to the other side.” He paced, hands clasped behind his back, a stern expression.

“The period for grieving is over as today I have decided for the future of the great nation of Egypt. My remaining heirs, Thutmose II and Hopshetsut” He summoned them to rise and come to his side. “Thutmose II has learned a great deal in military tactics. He has returned to me a man in his own right.”

Hopshetsut didn’t for a second buy the speech. She knew better than anyone what a simpleton her brother really was. But she wasn’t about to interrupt the Pharaoh. She walked to his left side as was the custom, bowing her knee to her father, to her Pharaoh.

Thutmose II wasn’t as gracious, or mindful of protocol. He walked towards his father face on and stood to his right, clasping his father’s hand without a bow, without a nod. Hopshetsut didn’t miss the sudden clenching of their father’s jaw.

“Hopshetsut has been schooled alongside her brother in all matters. She has always been the best scholar and the most studious. Her mind is as sharp as our Captain of the Guard.” He lifted his daughter’s hand to his lips to plant a kiss.

This can’t be good. As he raised her hand for a kiss, she saw the glare in her brother’s eyes and played it up, bowing her head demurely as her father’s lips touched her knuckles. What came next shocked her to her absolute core. In a thousand years she hadn’t expected this humiliating blow.

“Thutmose II, my son shall be named Pharaoh of Egypt when Osiris has called me to the beyond, AND my daughter Hopshetsut shall reign as Queen of Egypt by his side. The two together shall bring our great land into a new era. A greater land than it is today.”

She didn’t know who was floored more, herself or her halfwit brother. After father announced it she thought ‘of course’. Thutmose II would never be allowed to rule alone, and a woman was never to be Pharaoh. Her brother’s blood wasn’t pure, and his hands were bound to hand over the throne to any female. She forced a fake smile on her face. She knew how to play the game. Unlike her dimwit brother, she accepted fate. At least until she could change it.

Well, now I feel I need to go dabble with the Queen of the Fae for her part of this story.

TTFN, and write on my friends – write on!