Wednesday, July 28, 2021

If Not Now, When?


My posting has been sporadic, but hey, pandemic, now it's summer, things are opening up again (at least for now), and I'm considering some life changes. I'm not going to say now because I'm only in the thinking stage, but no, I'm NOT going to:


Give up writing.

Enter a nunnery.

Divorce the hubs.

Join a biker gang.

Renounce all worldly possessions and live off the land.

Fly into space.

Sometimes, we need change; it wakes up the emotions, makes us feel vital, gives us a needed charge, or gets us out of a stale situation. Drop in and check up on me. 

In the meantime, do something for yourself, I'm sure you deserve it. 


Monday, June 28, 2021

Be Happy, Dammit!


Photo by Cleyder Duque from Pexels

I don't know where I got this list from, (apologies to the author) but it bears repeating. It's been a tough almost 2 years for all of us, although some people have suffered more. Mere words like "Be Happy!" seem almost like cruel platitudes. 

Nevertheless... I firmly believe (having learned the hard way) you can't get true happiness by depending on others; it has to come from within. Here are 6 precises for a happier life:

1.  Don't let the past haunt you; the mistakes have been made. Learn the lesson and move on. (Just don't forget the mistakes and repeat them!)

2.  No one can make you angry, unhappy, resentful, bitter, etc. unless you let them. (yeah, I struggle with this one too because of all our relationships and interconnectedness, but I try.)

3.  No one controls your life or destiny. It is in your hands. Take and maintain control. (Another tough one because of bonds with others.).

4.  Your future can always be changed. You are not stuck anywhere if you don't want to be. 

5.  You are not dependent upon others for your life; use your brains, talents, ambitions, and soul to find your own path.

6.  Nothing is guaranteed in life- not love, health, success, friendship, or luck.

There are things I do every day to be happy: I write, I collect my strawberries, I work in my garden, I go biking, hiking, and swimming, I laugh with my family, and I take some solitude time to read, care for myself, or just be. Discovering what makes you happy can lead you to many new things.

Happy exploration!


Monday, June 21, 2021

In the Garden of (a Writing) Life

 My meditation garden looks FABULOUS! this year. 😁 I've worked hard on it, but I do every year. Whether I'm contemplating going on strike because the males in my house are making me insane, or killing off a character, I find that putting my hands in the dirt and planting flowers, pulling weeds, and trimming bushes helps me think. Here are the results of my gardening:

 My Star Gazer Lilly

Snow white Yarrow

Sunny Day Lillies and Coreopsis

My purple Irises finally bloomed!

Perky Purple Petunias

Pretty Pink Astible

Hosta (or as 2-year-old son said, pasta!)

Classic Marigolds

Mini Daisies, one son's big favorite

The lustful Ferns

Cool Coleus

Um, I forget 

Yeah, forget this one too

My garden is kind of like my writing life; some days/years are better than others. Sometimes plants- and novels- die. Or are too weak and I have to remove them. Others, like the lusty fern, take over and have to be trimmed. Some plants, like some manuscripts, just never thrive and the next year I have to try something else. Plants such as marigolds are always dependable- like a good character that gets a sequel. Yarrow, which some might consider a weed, has beauty in my eye, like some of my stories, even though others may not see it. Coleus is a new plant I'm trying this year, like a new idea for a novel (series?) I have percolating. Going through my files, I find stories that I'd forgotten, like the plants I have and I don't remember their names. 

My writing, like my garden, requires constant attention, although there are times when it's best to let both rest and go fallow, storing energy until its time. 

So today I will pull a few weeds- in both the garden and an old manuscript so both are pleasing to the senses. 

Of course I'll be doing one of them poolside. With a cold drink. 

Happy Summer!


Thursday, June 10, 2021

To Boldly Go...

 Photo by Jens Johnsson from Pexels

In a new direction. 

(And yes, I know that's grammatically frowned on- split infinitives. It should be: Boldly, to go... or To go boldly.... Humor me).

First, I went to Home Depot and my library without a mask. I'm fully vaccinated and there weren't many people in the buildings. I felt like a rebel, or even one of those people who selfishly buck CDC guidelines. Even with relaxing guidelines, I still felt BOLD. 

My new writing direction is romances. I still have some sci fi, paranormal, young adult, new adult, and middle grade novels to be pubbed, but they are on a back burner for the time being. The reason for going with romance? It's one of the largest selling markets. Humans just love the idea of being in, falling in, and staying in love. That's reason enough to venture into this market. I'm as big a sap for a good love story as anyone. But another reason is there seems to be (so far) less politics. The companies that publish romances have such a broad base that there's room for everyone. I'm not saying that they shouldn't broaden their diversity- I'm just saying there's alot of room. And, it seems that so far (fingers crossed) celebrities are sticking to writing children's books. So while there are a LOT of romance authors, we don't have to worry about a celebrity stealing the spotlight and money that could benefit a number of authors for whom writing is their livelihood.

I'm hoping to hear from a publisher soon about the trilogy I've just finished. I'll keep you posted. Wish me luck.

In the meantime, wishing you all LOVE, in whatever form makes you happy-


Sunday, May 9, 2021

For the Love of Science Fiction

 Photo courtesy of Pexels, Inc.

Is anybody out there?

I love Sci Fi (science fiction); I write it, read it, and watch it on TV/movies. My dad worked at Grummas, building the Lunar Module which eventually took Neil Armstrong and the others to the moon and I was fascinated. Like anything else, choice is personal, but here are my fave Top 5 Sci Fi stories (not in order of preference):

1- The Martian (by Andy Weir). Matt Damon plays an astronaut stranded on Mars trying to survive while NASA works out a plan to save him. Great cast performances, the science is believable, the effects and characters sterling.

2- Indepdence Day (by Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich). Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch, and Randy Quaid are hysterical and quirky in this story about alien ships invading Earth. The special effects and fast pace keep you glued to your seat.

3- Alien (by Dan O'Bannion and Ronald Shusett). Holy smokes, this movie about an alien invadingn a space freighter and hunting the crew gave me nightmares for a year. Sigourney Weaver was the unexpected hero and the special effects- i.e. the Alien- still make me shiver! 

4- The Empire Strikes Back (by George Lucas). Iconic for all time. Luke. Darth Vader. Leia. Han Solo. And the Droids. Everyone knows the story. If you don't love it, we can't be friends good.

5- The Matrix (authorship unclear- the Wachowskis or Sophia Stewart). While Keanu Reeves is fantastic in any movie he makes, I think the Matrix is his best work. The whole premise- that humans are 'power cells' for a giant hostile computer matrix is mind bending. I wish I could conceive something this brilliant. 

There are tons of others that I love- the first in the Dune series, Edge of Tomorrow, Terminator, Star Trek (2009), I, Robot- there are so many to love! 

And it makes me want to go write a sequel to my original sci fi- Lethal Dose. (I plan on doing that anyway....) 

Happy Reading and Reaching For the Stars! 


Tuesday, April 27, 2021

A Poem at Month's End... And a Warning to Editors...

 In honor of National Poetry Month, I'm posting a revised edition of a poem I wrote a number (too many to admit to) years ago. At the time, it was a contest winner on the Write Side Out blog/website (which no longer exists). For everyone who's tried or is trying to get a traditional publisher, this is for you:

Mr. Mink is looking at you, Editor 

Dear Editor, I Have Your Cat

Dear Editor,

I have your cat.
What, no contract?
To Monserrat,
I'll ship your cat.

Refuse to deal?
There's no appeal,
cat's fate you'll seal.
I swear, for real.

Oh, change your mind?
Your cat you'll find
once contract signed
and deal we bind.

Don't want too much,
just fame and such,
fat check to clutch,
then lunch- NO DUTCH.

Ignore this note,
and this I quote,
cat packed on boat,
and then I'll gloat.

What can you do?
Except boo hoo.
Choose- cat or you.

My book debut...

Exclaimer here, I have two rescue cats currently and would never hurt any creature (except spiders that invade my personal space, i.e. inside my house and alligators in my pool). So I'd probably only steal the cats and secretly keep them. ;) 


Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Stepping Back

 It's all overwhelming - things going on in the world when most are beyond our control, things we've got to or want to or need to do, and simple exhaustion from it all. So this week, no rants, no advice, no trying to motivate or cheer. Sometimes we need to So here's greenery, stillness, nature, and the quiet hush and promise of a spring day. 

Remember to take care of YOU. 

Wishing you moments of peace, clarity, and confidence.