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My daughter says she wants to see the prequel and sequel to The Little Mermaid.
“In the prequel, we find out what happened to her mom,” she says.
“Wasn’t she hatched from an egg?” I ask.
She gives me a long look. “You know nothing about mermaids,” she says in a pitying tone.
“Well, no. I’ve never done any research on them, that’s true.”
“Ariel wore seashells on her chest. Mammals have mammary glands. Didn’t you ever notice the seashells, Mom?”

I’m being schooled in mythical creature biology by a girl who said, “I don’t know Uncle Walt’s first name!” This would be the Absent-Minded Professor syndrome, I suppose.

Magic can be hard.

My 12-year old daughter just got another loose tooth out of her head.
The sad part is that now that she is older and no longer believes in the Tooth Fairy, she handed me the tooth and asked, “Can I have a quarter?”

On the other hand, what had been a stressful night-maneuver in the bedroom of a girl who woke to her door opening has now turned into an easy business transaction.

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It’s been raining for two days. Thunder and lightening! And raining very hard! With wind! It’s glorious!!

I live in the desert. We are all very, very happy.

When we moved into our house, it had a bad roof (that the roofer [paid by the bank] okayed. He really sucked.) So it leaks. But we bought five years ago and the drought was getting into full swing so it hasn’t caused us too much trouble. My roof leaks and I’m still very happy it’s raining.  However, with the predictions of a wet winter (yay) we might have to get someone out to look at the roof. Pretty sure we need a new one. I know we can’t afford it. This is a sucky place to be.

But IT’ RAINING! Woo hoo!!

I hate when authors think that readers are stupid. One of the things I’ll point out in my book reviews is repetition of facts. As if readers can’t be trusted to remember things.

And I hate when authors think that readers don’t remember and then try to change the story.

An example of this is found in True Blood, the kinda-sorta adaptation of the Sookie Stackhouse novels by the amazing Ms. Harris. I’m not complaining about how the the screenwriters forgot her story. I liked some of the changes they made (Lafayette lived and was fabulous!) and other changes I loathed. But I went with what the author said: “They don’t tell me how to write my books. I don’t tell them how to do their tv show.” So they introduce Hep V and everyone is all, “What the hell is that? What? That’s something I am shocked to hear about!”

Now, at the time, I admit that pissed me right off and I paused my streaming viewing to rant for a couple minutes on the fact that Hep V was introduced in the first season! A fangbanger had it and Sookie stopped Bill from drinking from him. Then Bill explained to Sookie and the audience that it was a strain of Hepatitis that effected vampires, making them slow and sick (and therefore easier to kill) for a few months. Sure, ok, I’m binge watching with the wife and we’ve gone through five seasons in as many weeks. However, Netflix had already become a thing when this show was out, so the screenwriters would have known binge-watching was something they’d have to be conscious of. I’m offended they would think this would be forgotten.

So, fine, my bad. The first season referred to Hep D. Not V. Easy mistake to make. It had been a few weeks, after all, since I’d seen that episode. But it had stuck out in my mind as both an interesting story bit as well as being underwhelming by it’s negligible effect on and threat to vamps.

But the fact that every character was horribly shocked by a blood-born disease for vamps was ridiculous. They knew about Hep D. The more realistic reaction would have been to make a comparison to Hep D (thereby reminding the audience that they are not talking about the disease that is nearly homophone to the new disease), to brush it off as being not so scary since Hep D wasn’t that bad, and/or to be shocked that it could be a lot scarier than Hep D. To act as if the idea itself was new and strange was stupid. And insulting to those of us paying attention and invested in the story.

Books do it too, and it’s the quickest way to toss me out of the story. When I’m reading, I’m building a world out of the material you’re giving me. You can’t hand me straw when you’ve been giving me bricks and tell me no it’s been straw all along. You have to stay consistent. But you don’t have to repeat it over and over. If it’s been a while, or a detail that might have been lost in a greater scene, then yes, please do shine a light on it. But if you’ve told me something twice don’t say it again. If you do, I’m going to assume that I am not dumb enough to be your intended audience and DNF your book, pronto and with extreme prejudice.

Like, scary hard.

I have this series- No, let’s be more specific. It’s an anthology, really. Same set of characters with different short stories and novellas about them. A good friend and great editor has told me to package it into a novel. So, trying to figure out the lay of the book, I put each story on its own index card, then tried getting them into some sort of novel form.

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

No.

The issue is that each short story grew the characters in some way, which is great, obviously. I’d have been falling down on the job if they hadn’t. But how do I cut and splice these into a coherent whole? I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to make them into two or three novels. Now I have the task of getting each book it’s own solid plot as well as the over-arching plot of the multiple books. The first book will be nearly all new material, never before seen. That’s exciting. And the major climatic point of the whole “series” will also be never-before-seen stuff. I have to admit it is really nice to be able to use all the ideas and partially written bits that had never had the chance to make it into the original. It’s more than nice. It’s exciting and fun and I’ll be happy that my unfinished story will get to be finished for real this time. Back in the before times, I burned out and we closed the site pretty quickly, so I could only give as soft a landing as I could for readers. This is going to be good. Really, really daunting. But, yeah, good.

And I’ve got a name for the island, so double-good!

Name That Island!

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Open call for anyone who wants to name a fictional island. It must be in Spanish. Or Chumash, if you know it.

Characteristics of the island:

  • It’s an archipeligo
  • It’s off the coast of Southern California
  • It is an island that had been used for target practice by the Navy during WWII.
  • It is “in the middle” of two other sets of islands, the Northern islands and the Southern Islands.
  • It was turned into a resort with a small year-round population.

I’ve only been able to come up with Santa Bonita, but that doesn’t make a lot of sense, unless there really is a Saint Beauty. And Isla Bonita is from a Madonna song. …maybe not enough people know that song? Could I get away with it? Hmm.

Ok, creative peoples! Sock it to me! Name. That. Island! (studio audience goes crazy)

Some of you may know that I wrote a series of serial fiction called Island Ink. It’s been hidden away from mass consumption for a few years now and I need to get it out there. So I’ve been editing it. The biggest part about editing this particular work is that I have to change its location from a Caribbean island to… somewhere else. I had been working on putting its new location in Chesapeake Bay. I thought that was perfect. And I’ve been diligently switching weather and seasons and fauna from the Caribbean to Maryland.

I just realized I have no clue what Maryland is like.

Talk about writing what you know! It’s not like there is a plethora of movies or tv shows based in the Chesapeake Bay to even give a writer a clue. Best I could come up with is some nature documentaries. I’ve been doing a lot of reading, but, seriously, this is not working. Maryland is a state between the South and the North, oh, and it’s on the East coast. All three things I know nothing about and there is no way I can take a quick jaunt across the country to explore the location. What the hell was I thinking? It took me six chapters to figure this out?

So, here I am, realizing my stories are once again taking place in the air. The great, blank air.

I hate editing my own work. I can’t be trusted with it.

I love adverbs. When I write, I want to use them. Here, in my “informal” writing, I don’t really think about them and they are used or not. But when I’m writing my novels and short-stories, every time I want to write a word ending with -ly, I hesitate. And I kinda hate that. I especially worry when I am using an adverb after the word said. Such as “Quiet!” she said, loudly.

I do understand what the “experts” mean when they say not to use them. Or use them sparingly. I do. But as a reader, I know I’m not bothered by them. They illustrate what is going on. Sure, there are other, and probably stronger ways to do so. But I really don’t think adverbs are the sin some people make them out to be.

Maybe I’m just irritated because I’m having to think more when I write than I used to. Man, thinking while writing sucks! It’s so hard and stuff.

I dunno. What do you think of adverbs, as a reader and/or writer?

I coulda DIED!

Well, not really. But MAYBE!

For the past couple of weeks Ive been trying to work out regularly. My style of choice right now is Zumba. I have a YouTube playlist filled with Zumba trainers who have wonderfully recorded their classes. I have about an hour-long playlist, but I’m lucky if I get to the 25 minute mark. I would just hit a wall and couldn’t go on. Head pounding, muscles barely responding, I’d drop out and be frustrated that I was so out of shape.

I bought a used heart rate monitor gadget, tried it out today, and it just kept beeping at me. I read the manual, but it wasn’t very forthcoming on what the “training sounds” meant. So I just assumed it meant I was “in the zone” and worked my ass off. In between two songs, as I was contemplating quitting at about 13 minutes in, I fiddled with the monitor and it was quite insistent that I was way past the zone. The little thing had been trilling at me to slow down! Feeling weird, I did slow down and I was able to complete 46 whole minutes of Zumba!

Turns out that it wasn’t that I was doing too little, but I was working too hard and burning myself out. (I do so love to rock the beat.) So, yeah, that little eBay extravagance was totally worth it. Makes me wonder how often that happens to people trying to start exercising and causes them to give up, thinking they are not able to workout “right.”

This is pretty damn spot on. It makes me laugh, and sigh with a shake of my head.

INFJ Blog

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The idealist temperament makes up about 15 to 20 percent of the population. According to psychologist David Keirsey, this temperament includes the Myers-Briggs personality types INFJ, INFP, ENFJ, and ENFP. Idealists are passionately concerned with self-growth, yearn to help others, and dream of making the world a better place. Below are some of the characteristics that make being a dreamer in a world of practicality a constant struggle.

1. You’re never completely content with how things are.

Whether it’s your job, your relationship, or what you had for dinner, being a future-oriented perfectionist means you’re constantly thinking about how to make things better.

2. You find it extremely difficult to live in the moment.

You envy your friends who can seemingly act without any regard to future consequences, since that’s basically all you ever think about.

3. People rarely seem to take you seriously.

Idealism is often a trait associated with…

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