Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Trick or Treat? Treat Yourself This Halloween!

New Release from another break-out author! 
Danger, suspense, creepy things in the woods...Perfect for a Halloween Treat!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Authors You Should Know and Read

Twitter Breakthrough Authors can be rare and hard to find. Here are some of my favorite gems with books every fan of paranormal, fantasy, romance and rock and roll (don't forget the vampires) should read.

Julie Hutchings - Author of Running Home and Running Away

Kristen Strassel - Author of The Night Songs series, Seasons in the Sun and Secondhand Heart

J Elizabeth Hill - Author of The Mirrors of Bershan Series

Please check out This Page for more interesting authors. Feed the Muse! Support Indie Authors!

And check out these other favorite authors!
Katie Hayoz

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Summer Life

I've been MIA and I'm not sorry. I have been putting my life in order and trying to enjoy summer. It's been a summer of many changes and renewals.

One of our hens hatched her first egg and is as stressed as any mama could be with her new baby. We've been spoiling them rotten. I think mama is ready for some grown-up chicken time, but the baby sure isn't.

We've got a volunteer monster mystery squash that we think might be a pumpkin, or maybe it's a melon...spaghetti squash? We've gone from A to Z trying to identify this thing. Right now, it seems pumpkin is winning. The photo doesn't show it in its current jungle glory. The photo is just before it exploded to that level.

Our other garden is also crazy in parts, and we are moving into the harvest zone pretty quickly.

Over all, it's been a quiet summer. Weddings are coming up for the extended family, and soon we will have to get ready for the school season.

Hope everyone is enjoying their seasons, where ever you might be!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Brain Noise

Let's see if I can remember my blog post from before I fell asleep last night.

Ah yes. Brain noise. I've been struggling with what I call "too much input". It's been too noisy in my head for my characters' (those imaginary friends we writers all have) voices to come through.
I keep telling myself I need to unplug, to only use my computer as the writing tool it was meant to be. I need to leave possible social networks either turned off or relegated to special use on my phone only.

Social networks are awesome. Some of them. We won't get into my strong dislike of Facebook. Buuut, I've got this thing that makes me keep going back to my networks of choice. I've got cultivated relationships there, and I am afraid that everyone will leave, if I go Do All the Things.

One wise person commented: life has a tendency to rear its ugly head when most inopportune. Anyone that doesn't understand that isn't human. (Thanks, Matthew Stevens! You really helped me take this needed step. :) )

Still, the fear of abandonment runs deep in my psyche. It's not a rational fear. So I stay waiting for the next instantly gratifying interaction that satisfies my addiction and calms my fear. It's a fear I need to battle to gain the victory of discipline.

I love the besties I've made on Twitter and Pinterest. I may have an overblown perception of the level of BFF I've got going with some, but I still love them. My awesome tweeps say A LOT, and as I said, my chatty and interesting network is starting to drown out my more fragile and introverted imaginary friends I call my characters.

If I can't hear my characters voices, I can't write. I always (almost always) start every story with my characters. If they run and hide, I'm doomed to a writers' block as real as this winter has been horrid.

So my darlings, if this blog gets neglected...if you don't see me much on Twitter or Pinterest...it's because I'm trying to clear the noise in my head.  I may have a fear of everyone leaving, but my characters abandoning me is even scarier. I have to trust that I'll get real people back, but characters are even more easily surrendered to the ether, if they aren't allowed to shine through above everything else.

 I know I've said things like "I'm unplugging" before. Fear has kept me from complying with discipline. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

Incidentally, while I'm clearing out some brain noise, you'll want to go read a book by one of my very first BFF tweeps, Jen Naumann. She's got an intriguing take she calls Mind Static. I guarantee it's more entertaining than my noise. Also, if you like a little creepy in your life, check out her newest release Paranormal Keepers. Don't forget the rest of her books. You won't be disappointed!

See you back when I've got a grubby little manuscript clutched in my ink stained fingers! 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Kicking the Blarney Stone

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I'm Irish. I forgot to wear green today. Maybe that's why the leprechauns were particularly nasty to me today. I feel like I kicked the Blarney Stone instead of kissed it. It was just one of those days.

So much for the Luck O' the Irish.

This is really just a filler post. I could ramble on about a hundred different random things. I am not going to risk it though, because I have had enough bad luck for one day.

I hope everyone is having better luck than me today and the leprechauns have left you all alone.

Enjoy the rest of your evenings/days/afternoons, etc. Remember, at least there are no more snakes in Ireland.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Smoking Hot Cover Reveal

It's Teaser Time! Oh yeah, and this book cover is steaming! It's going to keep you in anticipation until the book's release date on March 26th, I can tell you that much.

So roll out the red carpet and get your programs folded into fans to cool you down...

I present to you the cover for (drum roll please!)

Night Moves by Kristen Strassel - the steamy, raw tale that is second in her Night Songs Collection and will keep you hanging on the edge of your seat until the third book comes out! I just love the intensity of her expression and the art deco style of the font. This book has the style, the heat, and the tension.

Melanie Vaughn’s job ruined everything. Her social life, nonexistent. Her relationship with her boyfriend, a hostile roommate situation. She resolves to fix everything one snowy afternoon, but instead comes home to discover her boyfriend is already exploring other options. Blonder, bustier options. Rage drives Melanie to do the unthinkable.
When Soul Divider was on the top of the world, so was Ryder Maddox. When the band faded into obscurity, Ryder’s luck plummeted with it. In a last ditch effort to rekindle the band’s heyday, Soul Divider teams up with powerful vampire clan leader, Talis de Rancourt. In return for her services, the band pays the ultimate price for never ending fame.
Now on the run, Melanie meets Ryder in a middle of nowhere hotel. She never expected her teenage rock star crush to be as lost and as in need of a companion as she is. Their connection is all consuming, even before they find they share another kinship: murder.
The newly turned vampires in Soul Divider still have a lot to learn. The police and public begin to connect the girls that go missing or die in sync with the band’s tour schedule. Back at home, clues are also adding up against Melanie as well. Between constant media coverage and unrelenting attention from the authorities, Melanie and Ryder find themselves in uncharted territory.
Add Night Moves on Goodreads! 

Whew! Got those programs flapping? It's hot! Save the date! Night Moves comes out March 26! Be sure to read Because the Night and Seasons in the Sun to get in the mood!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Honoring Your Own Pace

I'm a very slow paced, go with the flow kind of girl, but I'm dualistic, so there's a side of me that is impatient as hell. Each side of me fights with the other, a LOT.  I'm a Pisces, we do this. I've got the internal Tortoise/Hare struggle all the freaking time. 

Right now my hare is winning. I am even rushing through my breakfast just so I can finish this post.

What is wrong with me?!

Winter is a good time for the tortoise side of me to take over. It makes sense, since everything slows down in winter.

Now that it is looking like it will finally be spring, I'm getting restless and the hare will take over. The two sides will still fight. Tortoise likes spring too.

The problem with having a dualistic pacing is that I end up being very hard on myself, especially when the tortoise is taking over. This isn't a world where a lot of tortoises are encouraged despite the "take a load off" and "go with the flow" shouts and quotes out there. I doubt there are a lot of people who feel like they can "just relax" or "keep calm..." in today's world.  Nobody wants to be thought of as Slow.

I don't like that aspect of society. I like my tortoise probably more than I like my hare. I really get to use all of my senses when I don't feel like I need to rush off to the next project or the next chore, or the next meal, or whatever.

I complain about being constantly interrupted. I am. I have a 4yo who worships the ground I walk on, but that also means I'm the only one who can do anything correctly in her world.

Sometimes those interruptions make my hare feel in control. He's winning when I have to rush off to attend to the next thing before the next calamity hits.

I'm using my analogy of the tortoise and the hare, but really my power animal is a sloth. I move very very slowly in general...my physical self is extremely slow even when my impatient side is winning....my hare side feels extremely irritated with my tortoise/sloth side then.

I lost my train of thought during one of those interruptions I mentioned above. So, my point is this: No matter if you are slow, fast, or dualistically paced, you've got to be easy on yourself and honor whatever pace you're moving at during the different times of your life. If the river is running slowly, (oo, I get to mix my metaphors now) use that sense of slowness to rest or do things that need intense attention to detail. If you're headed toward the rapids, let it happen and go with that flow too.

The idea is not to beat yourself up. I'm good at beating myself up, but it doesn't do me any favors. Even though we often feel inadequate on the journey (inadequacy is a big thing with me too), we shouldn't feel this way because no one is ever really prepared for the things that pop up along the way. A crocodile could jump out of the river and eat the hare! You just never know.

I once read a blog post from James Clear that helped me. Enjoy the system and don't worry about the outcome is another way of saying enjoy the journey, the destination is never quite a certain thing.
"...Goals suggest that you can control things that you have no control over." - James Clear

Monday, March 3, 2014

Awesome Blog Content Award

Look! I got nominated for another award right during Oscar time! Unfortunately, I was too tired to watch the Oscars, and when I hunted up the highlights they were dreadfully boring...aside from a few tidbits like Benendict Cumberbatch photobombing U2. Gotta love the British! 

Speaking of, one of my favorite British ladies nominated me for this award, the awesome blogger in her own right, and beautiful blossoming novelist: Fiona Chapman. I am so grateful that someone, at least, thinks I have awesome content on my blog. 

Without further ado, here comes my "acceptance speech" in the form of the A-Zs of what is important to me. Hope you enjoy this little bit of goofiness. 

A - Apple© Products - without them, my creativity and level of distraction would be non-existent. 

B - Bunnies - BUNNY! bunny bunny bunny bunny bunny bunny bunny (saw the small print real fast) I happen to have a huge soft spot for my eldest daughter's rabbit.

C - Coffee and Chocolate - My writing vices of choice. I have to add creativity too because without it, I wouldn't exist. I could say the same of coffee and chocolate.

D -  Doors - because without opening them, I would be devoid of opportunities. 

E - Exile - sometimes you just have to get away from it all. 

F - Family - I have one of the best. 

G - Griff -  He's my Muse. 

H - Husband - He's my rock and my other muse and my totally awesome other half. 

I - Inner Strength - I keep looking for it, and sometimes I even believe I have it. (You thought I was going to say Internet, didn't you?)

J - Jasmine - She's the best little sister in the world and she will make an incredible doctor. 

K - Kids - they drive me nuts sometimes, but without them I would not be able to fulfill my whole purpose.

L - Llamas - I want to have some on my future farm.

M - Music - I try to have a soundtrack for my life, and I have a musician for a husband. 

N - Noir - I try to get a flavor of it in my writing. 

O - Open Mindedness - Everyone has a point of view, and there are at least two sides to every story.

P - Pinterest - Yup. It's my photo hoard of inspiration and part of my Internet platform. Pictures tell a thousand words and most of my hoard reveals secrets about me. 

Q - Quest - a form of making dreams come true. 

R - Research - an essential part of being an author.

S - Shakespeare. I have a renewed appreciation for The Bard. He might be my biggest intellectual crush.

T - Twitter - My Internet support group. I can't believe the number of talented people there, and the number of connections I have made in such a short period of time, even finding awesome people in my local area. The people I have met there so far have been been my backbone for braving this world of public writing.

U - Unity - Everyone comes from the same stuff. 

V - Visuals - go along with my photo hoard. Scenery is a good thing.

W - Writing. This is my life. As I say everywhere, for me, writing is as necessary as breathing. 

X - SupercalifragilisticeXpialidocious - about as ridiculous as the Letter X. ;) 

Y - You - My readers. I have high hopes for dragging all of you along on my journey and hopefully providing you with some entertainment along the way. 

Z - Zoos - I have a latent desire to be a zoo keeper, and I have quite an in-home menagerie. 

There you have the A to Z of what's on my awesome list. I am pleased to nominate a few of my friends for this award. They may not succumb to this blog goofiness, but their blogs are worth a visit, and their books are must reads.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Murder of Marketing

There is a future in self publishing. If nothing else, self publishing gives you almost complete control over your books. However, it comes with a heavy price. Marketing. I feel like I am constantly drowning, trying to prove that I am a real author without being published. Only a few people know that I have always been a writer at heart.

I should start saying my blood type is ink.

I can't survive *not* writing. I *really* don't like trying to prove this to other people, in part, because I must prove to myself that writing is a legitimate career, and that I am a real writer, even though I am not yet published. CBMusicworks (husband) tries to remind me all the time that I am, in fact, a writer. He tells people that his wife is a writer. This still boggles my mind. I fall into my complex of "Who's really going to believe that I have what it takes to do what I love?"

Why is that? What is it that makes me have such low confidence?

I can only answer part of that question. The first part has to do with the many roles I must play in my life.

My writer's role wars with my mother's role, and sometimes with my wife's role. My writer's role wars with just about everything else most people think of as "normal" in society.

It requires me to be alone a lot, which at the moment, is nigh impossible. It requires more money than I have to actually do location research and beyond. *sigh* It requires me to bear my soul, to strangers.

It requires me to write alone after writing with my co-writer for 10 years. This is a requirement because I want to publish and my co-writer does not. My co-writer is my muse. I will never give him up, but I do need to expand my horizons.

So why the low confidence? It's a matter of exploring the unknown. I like taking risks, but I am very cautious about which risks I take. However, I am getting better at just plugging my nose and diving into the deep end.

This year I have gained a lot of confidence after doing NaNoWriMo two years in a row, and finding my footing in social networking a little more. I am finding new and exciting ways to do location research. I am diligently working on a novel that takes place (finally) in the world I have been wanting to write. Also, I am beginning to not fear feedback as much. *shudder* I am posting some of my short stories, which are similar in flavor to my novel in progress. This is frightening because it opens myself up to that terrifying feedback.

Overall, it's a journey, and I love to travel in all forms. And because I now have a new dream for how to get my writer's retreat; here's my little plug for Amtrak's new plan to have Writers in Residence on their trains. How cool is that!? I want to make this happen so much! I love trains and this would be *perfect*.

My writing will always be a part of me. I look forward to sharing with the rest of the world someday, but I'll still be taking some baby steps along that path for awhile. More importantly, I will be struggling along the path in my own way. There won't be many people who can tell me how to make my book(s) happen. I get too overwhelmed with the extreme number of options out there. Along with my novel(s), I have to make this marketing thing up as I go along.

I'll leave you with some words of wisdom on marketing and choosing a publisher avenue from Lynn Viehl and the National Novel Writing Month Blog.

"How you pick your pub is a business decision, not an illustration of your character, a demonstration of your ego, or a yardstick to size your IQ. If you view publication as an industry (which it is) you’re basically opting to either work with an established company (traditional) or set up your own business (independent.) My advice is to set your priorities, educate yourself, choose what’s right for you and stick with it—like a pit bull, in cleats." - Lynn Viehl  Since her debut in 2000, New York Times bestselling author Lynn Viehl has published 47 novels in 8 genres, and is the host of Paperback Writer, a popular publishing industry weblog featuring writing advice, market info and free resources for writers. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

I'm on Fire!

Ok well, not really, but I feel like I do sometimes.

I'm kind of high on the word count right now. I managed despite a screeching parakeet (who knows how much it hurts my ears), a 4 year old who is practicing to be a professional banshee with her own screaming, many pets, and numerous other distractions (ahem, Pinterest, Twitter, email...)

I'm rocking 12K in the last three days. Yeah, baby!

I need to publicly thank my family. If it weren't for my husband, Mark, I definitely wouldn't be able to function like a human being. My kids are awesome and not online (at least not that I'm sharing), and even when they drive me crazy, I still get things done. It's difficult and not the most fun of lessons, but it is possible to give yourself *your* time.

So if you're having a hard time with your word count, or breaking through that wall, you *will* get there. I know you will. If something is really getting you down, I have discovered that doing a different creative project does, in fact, let your subconscious work on your writing project.

I would also like to thank Julie Hutchings, J. Elizabeth Hill, Kristen Strassel, Chris Allen-Riley, Kristen Jett, Fiona Chapman, Megan Paasch, Summer Heacock, Jen Naumann, Katie Hayoz and all of my good Twitter friends for backing me up as I broke through this wall. Since I am not really Chuck Norris, I need all the help I can get. Love you guys! Honestly, if I didn't surround myself with the writers on Twitter, I don't think I could have made my most recent launch into creative efforts. It might be a weird network, but it's a good one!

This is my sneaky way of promoting people. Please check out the authors and creative people above. You can follow us all on Twitter to keep tabs on what we're up to.

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Writing Exercise

This might not be an original idea. I highly suspect it was buried deep in my subconscious, after practicing it a long time ago in my college creative writing course. In any case, it emerged again last night.

The exercise: Take your main characters (and your side characters too, if you want) and find their opposite selves... for example: You have a female protagonist. Who would she be if she were male instead? And vice versa with a male character. Simple really.

You could be as elaborate as you want. Fill out a character profile sheet for the male version of your female, or just find a male actor who your female character would look like. And vice versa. You could do this all day. It's not only a great way to get to know your characters, it's a distraction from that looming scene you've been trying to write. It might even give you some insight for the scene.

Choose the traits you like from the yin side to add to your character's yang and you've got a deeper character. You can do this with same sex versions too. It's merely an exercise in opposites so you get a well rounded character.

It's a project I am still working on. Here's a small example. Marilyn is inspiration for my female protagonist. She would be Paul Newman if she were male.

Now go have fun with some extra curricular character development! Feel free to share your insights in the comments below! 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Little Background

Pinterest is where I hoard all the photos that inspire the hell out of me. It's what you're supposed to do there, after all. 

Right now, a particular board is very important to me. It's my current WIP board. It's changed names three times and descriptions more than that. We're talking serious Work In Progress.

I will be the first person to tell you that I don't know a thing about self marketing, branding or any of the stuff that is proclaimed to be the best way for "getting your book out there." I kind of ignore things and go about it my own way. If I don't, I get overwhelmed.

In doing things my own way, I have Twitter and Pinterest, and will never have Facebook. I might sneak into reddit once in awhile. Three cheers for the rebel in me! I should probably never use the word never. Anyway, I was going to tell you a little background on my WIP board

If you visit, it looks like a hodgepodge. That's intentional, even beyond the nature of Pinterest. I am cryptic when it comes to giving away my secrets. I'd like to say I am mysterious, but cryptic is probably the better word. This board has my main characters in it, and it looks like the board of a crazy fangirl, somewhat. There's a reason for that. 

Good lord, those British actors (and a few of our domestic ones) inspire me like nothing else, and they happen to fit super well for the all star cast in my head. I promise things will be revealed a little bit as I develop them, or I might just leave things up to your imagination. Books are better for that sometimes, right?

What do you have to look forward to? 

Well, hopefully a series of books that will knock your socks off with a little bit of noir, a little bit of blood, a little bit of murder, a goodly portion of conflict, romance, adventure and a whole lot of sex appeal. 

I hope you'll keep watching my board to see how things develop! Hell, I'll keep watching my board to see how they develop. Gosh, don't the photos on this post tell quite a story already? What do you think it will be? Who will get the girl? ;)

If you want more to hunt down, my short stories are over here. The stories are just a taste. As novels are wont to do, they will have a slightly different flavor, but be all the more tasty for the effort. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Case of Miss Kitty and the Thief

Inspired by a new Twitter friend, here's another short story that takes place in my WIP world. This is a tale from my MC's past, a prelude of sorts. This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real life is coincidental and all of that. Links are provided with most of the photos. Many thanks to web folks from whom I pilfered photos. 

The Case of Miss Kitty and the Thief
by Shanah Wooldrage © 2014

I was once the victim of fraud. The worst part about it was that I kind of liked it. My illustrious career as a finder of things was not always so pure, you see. When you're looking for lost things, you run into a lot of other people's treasures. You also run into a lot of people who want other people's things. 

I needed money and I was low on cases, and didn't have a day job. You know, the hard luck story. This run down castle of mine, believe it or not, was even more of a pit before this adventure. I was endeavoring to improve matters when my exploits began.

I never knew his name, and I will always think of him as The Thief. He stole the item he wanted me to find, and he stole my heart. Sappy, right? The lines for a bad romance novel. Cue Lady Gaga. Anyway, I was dumb then, and thought I could show off. I succeeded in both showing off and being dumb. 

Let's see…what had I been doing the day The Thief walked into my life? Oh yeah, I was going through some of my late father's papers in the library. I had just finished planning out how I was going to turn my drafty Dracula's castle into a cozy cottage, and was looking for the blueprints of the place. My dad had lovingly designed the castle for my mother…out here, in the middle of nowhere. Midwest. USA. Wisconsin. Where the closest village was called Rooster Bush. It was always fun to tell people my alma mater. 

Incidentally, it is still called Rooster Bush and I still live in the castle lovingly built and consequently destroyed by my father and his wise investments turned sour. That's another story. I was looking for the blueprints so I could give them over to the contractors who were kind enough to offer me a remodeling estimate. 

I had my platinum blonde hair tied up in a scarf. I was wearing my oldest, most faded, most full of holes, pair of jeans. Several cobwebs were accessorizing my torn t-shirt and my head. I was cleaning and digging through the really old stuff. That's when I heard the doorbell echoing through the cavernous entrance hall. Every castle had to have one. 

Wiping back a strand of hair, and a few hundred sticky webs, I stretched from my squat in front of dad's trunk and tottered stiffly to my front door. Opening the door revealed the sexiest salesman I had ever seen. We must have stared at each other for five minutes before even uttering a greeting. I am not ashamed to say he looked like one of my favorite actors, and he was staring at me like I was his next starlet. 

"Uh…I'm sorry." He brushed his hand over his receding, but saucily still wavy, hair and blinked his sea foam greenish blue eyes at me. 

Wrong starlet, I guess. "Oh, um, may I help you?" I tried not to sound too hopeful.

"Huh?" He was still staring at me. 

"May I help you? You know?" I nodded toward his briefcase. I had to nod twice. "Proclaiming my saved soul? Or maybe selling some life insurance? I assure you I could probably use both." 

He coughed a chuckle. "Uh, well, no actually I am here to see Miss Katherine Montrose, and I just thought, well, I kind of thought I was looking at Marilyn Monroe…a grubby one, certainly, but all the same." 

That's when it hit me he had a British accent, was calling me Marilyn Monroe, and my knees were feeling pretty liquified. "Uh huh..heh, well yeah I guess I do bare a certain resemblance." I patted my cobwebbed shrouded scarf and tugged back some more locks of hair. "It's natural…"

He had stepped into the foyer, or whatever the heck people called my entrance thing. "What?" He eyeballed me with a raised eyebrow. 

"Uh, my hair…" I blushed like a fool. "Never mind…Ok so you're looking for Katherine Montrose and not Marilyn Monroe. Well, sorry to disappoint you, but I am Katherine and *not* Marilyn." 

The man, who had not introduced himself, just blinked at me some more. "Uh, right… ok…so, I would like to hire you." 

I stared at him. "Oh…well, I am uh…" Crap. I really did need the money, but I was promising myself a few weeks off to get things in order for the remodelers. This was a big castle, after all. I studied my guest and noticed his clothes were expensive, his hair product or cologne smelled expensively spicy and his boots were clean. He had not been in Rooster Bush long. "So…" I gestured to my library door. "Please, come in and sit down." 

What followed was a long drawn out conversation in my library with me jumping up to fetch coffee and my guest, who I will call Jude, since he looked like a stand-in for the actor Jude Law, told me about the item he wanted me to find. 

At the end of his story, which involved hijackers, the black market, art collectors and a few religious fanatics, I was staring at a photo of an artifact. It was a jeweled bauble, said to have belonged to some saint of something or other. I understood the religious fanatics' involvement. "And you say it has been in your family for years…" I murmured, my doubt obvious. 

"Yes, that's right."
I pulled myself away from imagining him in a Victorian suit and cravat and eyed him. "Well, I'll have to do my research." 
"Of course." 
"And we will have to make up a contract." 
If he purred at me any more I would write up any old thing into a contract that would make Rumplestiltskin proud. "Right, ok…"
"You've got some idea then?" 
"Pardon?" I was catching onto his British cadence and word choices. 
"For finding it. You have some idea?"
I glanced down at the bauble that looked like some kind of princely plaything. "Yeah. Actually I do know where to look for it." 
"Oh my god, that's fantastic." 

I raised an eyebrow. "Yeah. I guess so…I do make mistakes sometimes…" I didn't want to give him an overinflated idea of my abilities. "I'll still have to do some research. There will be travel expenses, uh, insurance, transport, that kind of thing…"

"Of course," The Thief said. 

I shook my head. I probably was a goner right then, and shouldn't have convinced myself of his resemblance to the British actor, but then he thought I looked like a spider web covered Marilyn Monroe, so I decided not to keep score. "You've got an awful lot of confidence in me for never having done business with me before." I ventured there. I didn't want to, but I needed to know his background. 

Maddeningly, he responded with something along the lines of "You come highly recommended, Miss Montrose." 
I replied with equal flippancy. "Call me Kit." 

A broad smile widened his handsome face and I melted into the palm of his hand.

The weeks that followed took me back to my nomadic childhood. Jude and I traveled to Rome. We visited Spain and the Riviera. Greece, France, Germany…He wined and dined me all in the name of research, and I was hot on the trail of his jeweled ball. Ahem…er, yeah…the artifact. 

Anyway, it was one of the more romantic adventures, of course. I found the bauble. It was….where was it? Oh yeah, it was hidden in some chamber of an idyllic ruin of a chapel buried under brambles in Scotland. The thing had a crazy lifespan. I handed it over. He handed me a check. We kissed goodbye and I never saw my fantasy Jude again. 

Nope, instead I went back to Rooster Bush, Wisconsin and my drafty castle, which was somehow nowhere near as fabulous as the places The Thief and I had explored. I was subsequently arrested. 

My one and only arrest, I assure you! Captain Reginald Gallagher, good old Reg, camped out in my library. His boots were resting on my dad's papers, his arms were folded, and he had a big grin on his face. When he said "caught ya" I nearly threw my suitcase at him. The jerk. 

I went through all kinds of questioning. I told the whole story, and Judge Hilary couldn't prove I had any previous knowledge the bauble was stolen property. It had merely been placed where my thief couldn't find it. His partner had double crossed him, apparently. He had given me no indication whatsoever about the truth, of course. He hadn't even given me his real name. I think he was amused that we went on calling each other Jude and Marilyn. It was a whirlwind romance and a job for me, that was all. Fortunately, Judge Hilary believed me, while Captain Reg "Regulations By the Book", police chief of Rooster Bush, wanted me behind bars or to be his own personal crime dog. 

"Anyone who can find a piece of stolen antique junk, thousands of miles from where its thief thought it was supposed to be, needs to be on the police force." 

He tells me this weekly, if not daily. Depends on if I see him at the coffee shop or not. 

I've mostly forgotten the adventure with my thief. It probably would have made a good film. Jude Law would look pretty good with a platinum blonde on his arm. And yes, it is natural.

Friday, January 31, 2014

White Knuckles on the Keyboard

I wish I could say this was because of a frenzy of writing bliss that I couldn't resist, and that I was furiously typing the next best thing. Nope. It's being furiously frustrated.

I can't follow my own advice and be gentle with myself. I've been going through a lot. I should give myself a break. Nope. I want, I NEED to write, damn it...but like hell if the ideas will flow.

Everyone protests that writers' block isn't real. It's not allowed. If you have it, you're not a writer. You don't deserve to be a writer. You're not a real writer if you simply can't write sometimes. I'm writing right now, but I am not writing what I WANT to write. I am blogging.

Sure, that keeps my fingers nimble and slightly less bruised than banging them against the keyboard to work on the stuff I want to write...but gah...why can't I write what I want?

So, here I am to say that I don't care what other people say. Writers' block is very real to very real writers. And it usually involves blood, sweat and tears and headaches to get through the damn wall.