Bits and pieces of Letters to the Dead


Under another name I putp  ua letter to my birth father after he died. It was my way of dealing with the empty piece of loss inside my chest. After I wrote that one I realized that I have lost a number of people in my life but I never got to say what I felt and what I thought about their effect on me. Since I wrote that piece I have been working on letters to others of the dead who I wanted to finish my thoughts of.While these may never see print I felt I needed to put them somewhere. So here is part of the letter I started to my Nana.

***

As I have reached the second half of my life I have started to lose those who were pillars in the development of who I became. Fifteen years ago I was lost inside myself, wondering why I was here and then I got the call that you were gone. That call devasted me but it also brought me more into focus.

The years since then have been filled with highs and lows as I tried to be as strong as I believed you had been.

Looking back I realize that my earliest memories are not of my mother or father but of you, my nana. You taught me to sew by making outfits for my teddy bear. That ragged blue and white friend looked both silly and so fine to my childish eyes. You taught me to like flavor in my food and to find the absurd in the printed word.

One of my fondest memories was sitting and cutting out stories from the trash rags about spacemen and monsters. I believe you helped me discover what I would find as a life long interesting in all things not mundane. You were a writer in your own right. Everyday you would sit down and write something and being published in the paper was so cool to me.

Before you passed I thought you had told me all your stories but in the past few year I have learned things that saddened me, shocked me and yet convinced me that while some things made you seem selfish you were and are still my idea of a strong woman.

Though for a long time we weren’t sure exactly how old you were it amazed me that you were in your nineties when you left us. Now I wish I truly knew your full story. From raising you son alone in the depression to losing a child to having my mother too early, life was hard.

And it is how you and my mother were together that confuses me. She was your only daughter. A delicate child who should not have survived yet she did. Doggedly fighting to thrive even though she had so many issue. Was it her outwardly timid personality that bothered you? Was it the physical weaknesses or her desire to be what other wanted? Was it her constant babble or was it that she didn’t stand up for herself that kept you from getting close?

I know now that inside you had to have been lost. You were so beautiful that men flocked to you but I think that didn’t help you. Did you ever find yourself for yourself or just through the eyes of the men you dated or married? You came from a different time but women have always had ways of being themselves.

I miss you, missed you even before you left us. I tried to stay in contact with you but in the months and years before you passed you had gone away. Dementia is a horrible thing. It takes away the person you were and leaves in place a different face. You forgot you had a daughter some days and other days thought I was that daughter. The saddest moment was when I last visited and you told me how much you disliked the woman who married your son. You had thought that Al was your son and that mom was the woman who took him from you. The only daughter you had and you forgot her. It broke my heart.

The day I stood at the funeral home and listened to people talk abut you I realized I didn’t know you at all and sadly I never would really know the true story of you. I miss you Nana, every day and every way I miss the woman who had time to teach me little things. I miss simpler times we spent together and I miss you.

 

 

Too hot to write


How about I just give you guys one of my fragments. This is from one of my paranormals that I hope to finish someday

***

592 AD

Somewhere in the mountains of western Europe

“We have to spread out. Too many of us in one place will cause talk and the secret will come out.” The tallest of the men gathered in the big dark cavern turned toward his bretheren. “The humans have decimated our numbers in their unholy war. We need to spread out. Increase our numbers.” The piercing golden eyes of the last lord of a forgotten country went from man to man in the cavern. “Spread out to all the known lands, take lovers but do not let them remember your face or name. Watch the children from these unions. Let your brothers know if you can not stay.”

“You want us to just run like dogs?” From the back came a deep, musical voice. Pushing through the mass of tall, dark warriors the objector stopped in front of his lord and king. A half span shorter than the king with eyes of startling green, the younger man growled low. “We are the last of our blood. What good would trying to breed with the humans who have killed our futures be?” The contained anger and grief in his voice touched each of the men deeply. Brother to the king and chief of the bards, he could use tricks of his training or magic to sway anyone to what he wanted but he was using no tricks. The pain was true as each and every one of them knew. This man had lost everything but his brother in the endless war of extinction that had been fought for decades.

Anwar placed a light hand on his brother’s shoulder. “Not these humans, no little brother. We must each leave this place, go to where our kind are not known and then wait for times to change. Wander from place to place.” Turning back to the gathering he continued. “I have been sent a vision. It will be years but our people will survive. You will each find a woman who you can find peace with. Be careful, follow the old ways and return to this place when the stars realign each time. May peace be with you all.”

As the brethern responded to that blesssing, he kept his hand on his brother’s shoulder and spoke softly. “Stay at my side Constantine. We must speak after the others have left.” He then stepped forward and accepted the oaths of fealty and promises of his men, giving them his blessing and sending them out on their way. When all but his core knights had left the cavern he nodded to those who waited to step away so that he coudl speak privately with the last of his faily and men.

Constantine had moved into the shadows. Sitting on a camp stool, he was softly strumming a sad aire on a lute. Anwar listened sadened by the soft words he could hear. The song was one that he had written for the woman who would have been his life mate. She had been killed when their castle had fallen to the invaders. Constantine had barely survived that day. The sword thrust that had taken away Cerise’s life had cut his brother deep in the belly. It would have killed him had not the tiny, powerful witch not dived in front of her betrothed. The sword sank into her back, bursting through her belly and into his. He held her to him she see passed, thinking only that they would be going to the gods together that night. But with her last breath she cast a final spell that kept him in this life.

The shaggy head, lowered over the lute as fingers stilled the strings. Without looking up his spoke, “So you wished to speak to me?” His voice lost all emotion, again.something that happened more and more as the months passed. He slowly started putting the instrument back into it’s case, fingers lingering on a soft faded ribbon that rested inside.

“Yes, Constantine, I wanted to speak to you more than the rest.” He knelt down in front of the younger man. “You are important to me little brother.

Researching shape shifters for fiction


I have been reading a lot of urban fantasy. The shape shifters we find in these tend to be werewolves, were big cat, and were bears. While these are a lot of fun to read about, I have wanted to read stories about other types of shifters.

Yes I have found stories about Selkies and other shapeshifters but I am finding myself wanting to write about other types of shifters for a while now. It seems like all the other writers out there will only write were predators. Why not stories about non predator species? Or lesser known species of predator…or even the tame versions.

So trying to do research can get both difficult and interesting when deciding to do a tale about shape shifters. This weekend while dealing with the heat all I could think bout is leading into the dog days of summer. Those hot and sticky days that come from the middle of July and through August. Well that led me to thinking about dogs and why aren’t there any dog shape shifter stories? Why don’t I write one?

Well then I decided that I need to do research on bloodhounds. Yes I said bloodhounds. Those incredible dogs who are used by law enforcement to find missing people. What about a story about a shifter bloodhound who is just trying to find a peaceful place to live where they are not bombarded by the man made scents of the city. Of trying to find a bit of peace and quite and then having a mate who is of another species of dog shifter. This could be interesting.

The thing is writing a story that would be a paranormal is a bit out of my wheelhouse. Yes I have written one before. Where Angels No Longer Tread took me ages to write. So while I am going to try to do this, dont expect it too soon. Here is the opening that I have been tossing around.

***

The heat of summer is the favorite time for many, but me? Well I prefer the cool of the autumn. The world in the heat of the summer is filled with the stench of sweat, tar and rotting meat. Yeah like I said, rotting meat. I thought when I moved into the north country people would leave me be but word got around that I had another form. So when kids started gong missing the local police came out to my farm and told me that I would either help them find the kids or I would be brought in as a suspect. So of course I agreed, with a few little caveats.

So now I am snuffling my way from field to forest, looking for the latest of the missing kids. A ten year old boy who was last seen riding his bike over by the train station. The fields are mostly tame over there so even your basic human should have been able to find him if he was there.

***

Just a start that might go somewhere. I hope

 

The difficulty of picking a title


All writers know that we need a good title to catch the attention of our readers. After an eye catching cover, the title really brings people to at least take a moment to look at your book.

Now as many of you know I have been writing for a long time. Coming up with titles is a real pain. There are thousands of books out there, all using titles that you just might have wanted to use. What to do right? Searching every single e-retailer would make any author throw up their hands and just give up. Thing is you just can’t do that with every story you write. Think about it folks. The average novel writer might just put out one book every year or two, but those who write shorter fiction like I do would be going back and forth, changing their title a thousand times before they could publish.

As an example one of my earliest online stories was a Ranma 1/2 fan fiction that I titled Sins of the Father. Go to Amazon and you will easily pull up 20 pages of work with similar titles, 15 on the first page alone. They come from every single genre out there for sure.

Now I could go on and make a chart of how many other titles that I can used would have multiples but it would be depressing.

Random thoughts and babbles while having allergies


Well last night wasn’t fun. Like so many I have allergies. Woke up in the morning with congestion which moved on to a half head of pressure, then pain, nausea, light and sound sensitivity and lethargy. Made me not want to do much. Then when I finally gave in and took an allergy pill before bed, while the mind would not shut down! Lots of very weird and funky stuff would not stop till I got up and wrote them down. Here is what goes on in the mind of the Mad Writer when she can’t sleep.

###

First a really bad poem

Summertime
sniffles abound
Alergies to what
Everything it seems

Restless
Can’t sleep
sun up too long
missing long cool nights
Can’t wait for fall

Lying in bed
pain in my head
tasting alergies
go to sleep you said

Wishing it was easy
only slightly less weezy
meds aren’t even helping
making me too cheesy

###

Then this dribble

Bloody Annoying

I told him back off, leave me alone. If he had listened then I wouldn’t be watching as his blood pooled beneath him. Never say I am doing nothing and to make you a sandwich when I am writing. Really, just get up and do it yourself, stupid. Sorry dear.

###

Then some various story ideas. From this one I am gonna call Zombies, Viruses and Mad Men

***

It’s been ten years since everything collapsed. The old world ended pretty messily.
There were monsters of mankind’s making, both living and dead. Things were pretty bad for a long time, but nothing can last forever.

While the big cities had turned into wastelands or war zones, there were still places out in the world that were barely touched by the madness that had descended. Places that had been hidden so well that they looked like a part of the natural world around them. There were pocket valleys high in the mountains or small islands shrouded by mist on the big lakes. Small enclaves deep into the desserts where few went and even underground caverns that held groups who knew how to hide.

When what ever it was that animated the dead ran out, bodies covered the streets and fields where humanity used to be the thickest. Then came the year of disease. Those who had not succumbed to the viruses let loose by the governments and those thinking they would overthrow those governments changed. There were good, bad and truly evil left, but the numbers of humans dropped from seven billion to just under a million world wide.

I imagine there were places never touched by the plagues, places that the militias hadn’t risen or that the mafias hadn’t taken. I was young when it all went down, a mere child if you want the truth. Recounting how I survived the city after my mother had hidden me away before she had been taken by the gang is another tale, one I try not to remember. It took me a long few weeks to get past the men with guns during the day and the monsters at night.

Before it collapsed there were all kinds of theories. The most popular was of course the whole zombie/virus thing. So many thought they could just blow the heads off and they would survive.

###

To the beginnings of a possible YA story

***

I wanted to be a good daughter and support my parents, but the idea of switching school into a private academy one hundred miles from all my friends was bad enough. Being forced into wearing a uniform with knee socks and a little skirt? Well let me tell you I argued with my parents.

“Mom, come one! This is ridiculous!”

My mom just smile and shook her head. “It isn’t ridiculous persay, sweet heart.”

I tolled my eyes as I tried to tug the skirt down to show less leg. “Really, Mom? You would have never wore this…this!”

My mother chuckled even more before reaching behind me. “Well, I wouldn’t know about that.” She opened what I thought was just some boring old book and turned it toward me. “Open up to page 65, Sara.”

Out of curiosity I did and I swear my eyes near popped out of my head. There in living color was a picture of a much younger version of my mother dressed in the same uniform. She wore it with more style than I thought she had. I mean come on this is my mom. She usually was found dressed in jeans and a tshirt, yet she made that uniform look like something straight out of my favorite manga.

###

You never know what might come out of my head at night. There was another bit but I dont share erotic content. Nope I write it down and sell it! Now here is hoping one of those two story bits turns into something more than a few paragraphs in a folder. Back to the salt mines

 

How about some drabbles?


With the god awful heat and humidity I could sit at my desktop computer and write new stuff or I could sit over by the fan and blog on the netbook. Can you think which I decided to do?

Drabbles are of course fun to read and I need to sit back and write more of these short glimpses into the world of my mind! Enjoy

###

Birth of a Familiar

I sit upon this cold gray stone and ponder the world around me. My brothers are green and my sisters are brown but somehow I am different. Black is the soft skin that covers my limber body, as black as the heart of evil. Scattered across my skin are odd shapes. They glow with an odd purple light that has frightened away my siblings. I look up and see the face of a man and suddenly I understand the odd croaking of his voice. “You are my familiar now. What is your name?”

I open my mouth and answer. “George.”

###

I haven’t titled this one yet but here goes:

The fire burns slowly, melting the snow on the ground. I move closer, shivering from the cold. This night is the one I have waited for, for so long. Watching the skies for that single sign that will tell me that it is time. Winter has gone on to long, stretching out for longer than any living can remember.

There above the slowly brightening sky I see it. The bright tail of light racing across the sky makes the time of change. Soon we will be free of this never ending cold, soon spring will return. Will she be gentle?

###

Stepping into the light

For so long I lived in the darkness, the bars of my cage all I could see. Whether they were there to keep me in or keep things out, I was never sure. As I rested unaware the door opened. I opened my eyes to a golden glow, at first I was afraid, but then I stepped out. There before me was a slender branch, a path to freedom. Taking a deep breath I placed my bare foot on that branch and walked so willingly into a future unknown. The golden light caressed my skin as the world dropped away.

###

Next week who knows I might do poetry or quickie fictions or something else…we will see.

 

Poetry from collections


As I have written a lot of poetry I thought it was time to share some more with you wonderful readers. I have been sharing poems this week on my various blogs and decided to do put up poems from various collections here. From a multi-author anthology to my own personal collections, here are some glimpses into how my mind works.

###

This first poem is from the anthology Reflections of the End.

Smoke Tree

Beneath the smoke tree I sit
Looking over what is left
Once the world was green
filled with promise and dreams

But then they came from above
on wings of fire and darkness
burning away the life we knew
nothing could stand strong

I watched it all from here
And I changed as I did
The fire did not touch me
It seems nothing about me burned

Yet now I sit here
beneath the smoke tree
how cuold I be still here
When the world about me is gone

Nothing lives around me
They destroyed it all it seems
and now I come to realize
that I am smoke too

###

Here is a poem from my collection, Generations of Love

Zoo

It was so hot
the sun beating down
as she dragged us around
from Camels to Polar bears

But how could we say no?
How would we say stop?
Her little face alight
laughter echoing in the air

The joy on her face
matched the wonder on yours
a father long denied
with his baby at the zoo

###

This poem is from the collection, Love, Loss and Lonliness

A song in the distance

Distance
between you and I
between love and life
music bridges the gap

A song
reminding me of you
bringing you close
behind my closed eyes

###

This poem is from the collection, Random Musing of a Poetic mind

butterfly

I let you go
to find your heart with someone else
and I smile when I remember
the times we were so close

A truer friend
you’ll never find
but you needed so much more
and so I set you free

Now I look to the sky
and I hope someday
you will return to me
my butterfly

###

And this piece is from my collection, Seasons of my Mind

Leaves

Green leaves,
flowing down the trees,
vines wrapping tight,
like many arms about the trunk.

Soft, dappled light,
animals scurry by,
I lie back,
and stare up through the leaves.

###

And finally this poem is from my erotic short story and poetry collection, Distance Means Little to Love

Beginnings

A word in the dark,
A distant touch,
I barely know you,
Yet I know you so well.

You reached out a hand,
Lifted up my soul,
With your soft words,
You’ve stolen my heart!

###

I hope you have enjoyed the variety of poems I have shared this week.

Another tragedy


I had planned to blog here this week about the poems I had written for charity and the role of writers in honoring those fallen to tragedy. Over the past few years I have donated work to books that we hoped would raise awareness, to fill in hope and to honor those who died for inexplicable reasons. Then a madman with an agenda decided to buy  weapons and shoot up people because they held different beliefs about love than he did.

There have been and will be many who write on this topic. From Trump’s self serving rants to those who spew hate and want to use this as another example of why we should hate. I find these people to be truly awful.

As has happened so often in the past few years there are those who will defend he right to buy any weapon his wishes. To misinterpret the second amendment as a free ticket to stock up on weapons meant for professionals. For police and for the military.

Those who know me from my personal facebook page know that I don’t like guns. It is a personal choice and I would not dream of taking a rifle from those who need it to feed their family or even a handgun from those who believe (if irronously) that they need a handgun to protect themselves from people in their homes. I strongly disagree that any person needs an automatic weapon, the weapon of war, in there homes.

The tragedy this weekend has once more proved to the world that once more Americans can’t control themselves. I was born in the US, lived most of my life there and was very proud of how safe and wonderful a place it was. But then we started getting mass murders, crazy men (in most cases) buying weapons of war and deciding to kill people either to make some imagined wrong right or to become famous. This needs to stop.

In the United States, a country that was supposedly built on inclusion, there is a major divide building. It saddens me that the place I grew up, that taught me that if we fight for our dreams we could become more has descended into this divisiveness. Remember kind readers that we are all human. No matter who we love, no matter what we believe, no matter where we were born, we are human. We need to truly look into the eyes of those around us and see ourselves. See the child who looks at the world with wonder, to see the heart that beats inside each and everyone of us that looks for that one soul who understands us. Can we try to agree that tragedy is tragedy and killing is wrong?

Like people all around this blue globe I send my prayers for those hurt and the families who have lost a child/father/husband/brother/uncle. My prayers may go to a different face of the divine than most but I know that we all deserve support. I no more want to hear about the man who took his homophobia out on a nightclub of innocent people. I want to hear about the lives touched by this tragedy. Hear about the wonderful people who were hurt, the heroes who tried to save lives and of the lives lost. For every person to be born on this planet is a story worth knowing. Lets not let those who died, those who were injured become statistics. Let them become heroes.

Writing and emotional pain


In the word of writing what goes on in the life of the writer effects what they write. If good things happen, authors can write happy, upbeat stories. If bad then the author can write darker things.

They tell us all the time that you need to write what you know, but as writers of fiction, especially fantastical fiction, we will write abut things we don’t know personally. It is taking what we do know, what we have experienced that helps make these children of our mind become real to the reader.

In the past few months I have had many sad things happen in my life. Loss is one thing that can make or break writing. I have always used writing of one type or another to deal with emotions. The amount that have come at me since the beginning of this year have put me in a confused place.

I have started a handful of different things, from fiction to nonfiction. I hope today to sit down and type up the many notes I have scattered through three different notebooks. From a story about a mute dancer priestess to a letter to the dead, I keep scribbling down notes and hoping they will make sense in the future.

Every author goes through periods of time when they cant write, this has seemed to be mind again. While I have put out collections over the past few weeks I haven’t really written a lot of new and amazing stuff. Today I plan on changing that.

How about we be original folks


There is a lot of argument all over the web about making more inclusive characters in books, comics, tv and movies. Now I am totally for having characters of every race, color, religion, sexuality, etc. What I am not for is taking well established characters and forcing them to be something their creators did not intend just because it is a current thing.

Taking heroes and making them villains because people don’t want heroes anymore is just wrong. Deciding that two same sex characters who are FRIENDS have to be in a secret sexual relationship just because we are now more accepting of those of different sexualities doesn’t make sense. We have gone over board lately. Two people of any sexuality can be just friends, very close and not want to have sex.

If people are so desperate for great characters who are evil or gay or transexual or anything, then you need to WRITE them, MAKE them.

This blog is yes a complaint from a writer and reader and fan who is getting really annoyed with people.  As a watcher, a reader and yes a fan, I want new and wonderfully rich  characters to sink my teeth into. I don’t want beloved characters that I have read or watched gutted and made into something they never were meant to be just because some young person wants them changed to fit their idea of fandom. It might be me being an older fan but I think it is really just I love looking for new and amazing characters to love and enjoy.

I have for decades read fanfiction and this is never more clear than in the fanfiction world. There are thousands of authors out there writing new stories in old worlds. The best of them stay true to the characters they have come to love and they add in new characters that interact and fit into the worlds they are playing in.

In fanfiction people have been exploring those topics that are so hot right now for ages. The best of the authors there have been taking characters who are ambiguous and make them fuller is okay. They make the stories rich and intriguing. They don’t take established characters who are either straight or traditionally sexed and turn them into a chimera of themselves.

You fans out there need to realize that these characters, including the ones I write, are not yours to take and warp into your version. They are gifts to you to enjoy, to get a brief glimpse into the mind of the creative souls who make the characters. Realize that the writers, the creators, pour their heart and souls into these people, the children of their minds and hearts. Don’t mess with them. Read them, watch them, love them but if you desperately need a character to be more like you, Write them, Create them and then gift them to the world.