Monday, October 20, 2014

In A Strange Place

I’m in a strange place. 

No, I don’t mean I’m in Luxembourg or something. (Which is an awesome place, and close to where I used to live once upon a time.)  I’m in a strange place with my writing.  I want to start another book while my WIPs are being critiqued, but I don’t know which one to start first.
from Bing!
I hear the voice of one of my favorite characters in my Mafia book.  She’s letting me know she’s not ready to be put aside just yet.  She has more adventures to share and I’m tempted to listen to her.
from Bing!
Another voice, not nearly as strong, is calling me to continue writing a book I started many, many months ago.  Although started is loosely used. I think I have all of five pages written.  And, every one of them needs to be edited before I continue.

I feel like I’d be happy to settle into the familiar world of the mob again.  It’s a fun place for me to travel in my imagination.  Yet, that smaller voice calls from a place I haven’t explored yet - horror.  Not scare the crap out of you horror, more like horror lite, if that’s even a thing.

Would I be happier trying something new?  Or, cozying up with the mob?  Both worlds are fairly scary, but which one would be more satisfying?

I think I’ll quiet my mob chick first, then pop over to the world of horror for a bit.  I’ll see which one motivates me to keep my rear in the chair more often.  Something tells me it’ll be the mob.  But, maybe that’s because I have a gun at my head.  Figuratively, of course.

Are you ever torn between ideas or projects?

Speaking of horror, has anyone been watching the latest season of American Horror Story?  What do you think?  

Can you believe Twisty the Clown:

is really this guy, John Carroll Lynch?:

Yeah, me either! 

Enjoy your week, everyone.  And, watch out for those pesky clowns….

Friday, October 10, 2014



I watch with tears as you retreat
never from the war’s front lines
only further into the recess of your mind

your thoughts are plagued by violence and death
and you wonder if suicide is perhaps the best
way for you to surrender to your pain

your mind is wracked with feelings of guilt
for the families of the men you had to kill
and the child who’s life you had to end

but he was only playing pretend 
as the sunlight struck the barrel of his gun
he thought it was the right way to have some fun

and honor those who protected his land
then his blood soaked into the sand
while his father wept along with you

but you did what you had to do
your men were in clear and present danger
such is the life of an army ranger

There is a part of you that knows
that sometimes this is how it goes
while you protected your team

they surround you now, a protective band
telling you they understand
but you’re lost inside your mind like a darkened cave

You refuse to remember all the lives you saved
and the men you helped live another day
the ones you comforted at night

when the terrain was void of light
you held their hands and told them to hang on
they’d be with their families before too long

they flock by your side 
to show their respect
but you continue to deflect

from your terrors to theirs
because it’s easier to hear their sorrow
than try to look ahead to your tomorrow

With the pill bottles dropped on the floor
you tried to say I can take no more
but God’s not ready for you yet

and we aren’t willing to forget
the person you were before this carried shame
while you continue to feel at blame

Kill a kid and save your team
now he resides in all your dreams
when you cry out into the night

and wish for a death we don’t want
but for one you desire
so you can escape the hell fire

never forget who’ll be left standing
over your grave

your wife, your kids, and all that you gave 

This poem is dedicated to my nephew.  He did two tours of duty before the PTSD got it's claws in him and caused three suicide attempts in less than a year.  The last was this week.  If you're the praying sort, please pray for him and for all of us.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Advice for Fellow Newbies - IWSG

Click here to find the other awesome people in IWSG
Happy One Year Anniversary  Insecure Writer’s Support Group website.  Wow.  That was a mouthful.  Yes, it’s that time of the month.  No, no.  Not that time...IWSG time.  A chance to share our fears, frustrations, or offer words of wisdom with other writers.  Today, I'm lucky enough to be a co-host along with Kristin Smith, Suzanne Furness, and Fundy Blue! Be sure to swing by and say hello to them.

When Alex J. Cavanaugh put word out the IWSG was putting together a book to help other writers on their journeys, I thought I’d have nothing to contribute.  I mean, I don’t even have a book published yet. What could I possibly have to offer anyone?  Then, I realized, waitaminute, I do have some words of wisdom to pass along.  Here they are:

Don’t be afraid to share your writing with a critique partner.

Perhaps not the most earth shattering piece of advice but worthy enough to pass along to nervous newbies like me.  

I was petrified to ask someone to review my book.  What if they told me it was a piece of garbage? What if they said it had terrible characters or an awful plot?  I didn’t think I could handle the criticisms. Even if they weren’t catastrophic.  

Finally, I told myself enough is enough.  I reached out to one of my favorite authors for a helping hand.  I chose him because I loved his writing and his crazy sense of humor.  He’s a great fit for me and has been with me every step of the way.  It was the best thing I ever did for my writing.  Not only did I learn how to fine tune my work and accept writing tips without being offended, I made a great friend too.  

If you’re almost finished with your work in progress, it’s time to start thinking about finding a critique partner or two.  Search for someone you think you’d get along with so their suggestions won’t feel so personal.  Look for a writer with a similar style to yours even if it’s not in your genre.  Find an author who’s a few steps ahead of you in their journey.  The best people to help you are those who’ve walked the path before you.

Good luck on your journeys my fellow newbies!

(Category: Writing.  I give Alex Cavanaugh permission to use this submission for his book)

On a side note, I’m looking for someone who has experience with relational trauma or any kind of addiction (either yourself or a close family member/friend) to critique my self-help book on recovering from a partner’s sex addiction.  

You don’t have to personally identify with sex addiction, just be familiar with recovery work. I have someone helping me with grammar and all that fun stuff, but I want to make sure it’s as helpful as it can be. It’s less than 95 pages.  If you feel you can help, please leave a comment below or email me directly to remain confidential: mock.turtle.musings @  Thank you!