Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sunshine needed to keep me awake

Pilot coming along. Up till 1:00. Almost done. Need to chat with D before I can finish. I kind of like it. Now for the sunshine:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

EDF's BEST Nomination time is here!

Me in the corner, jumping up and down: Pick me, pick me!!!

One of my biggest thrills of 2008 was to learn my three eligible stories published at Every Day Fiction would find their way into the EDF Anthology, The Best of Every Day Fiction, 2008.

It's that time of year again. I have two stories this go round because for the first part of the year I worked as a slush reader at EDF and could not submit. Those stories are Stranger on the Porch and The London Eye, two very different pieces of flash.

Part of the selection process for The Best of EDF includes the ratings created by readers' votes using a 1-5 star system. (This process of rating is very simple. If you like the story a lot, just click the fifth star once. If you liked it but have reservations, click the fourth star) A second consideration is to nominate or mention a piece you feel belongs in the anthology on EDF's forum thread for anthology nominations.

If you have time, I would be flattered and grateful if you would do either (read and star-rate or nominate at the forum) or both . And only, of course, if you like the stories.

My eligible stories can be found at these links:

Stranger on the Porch

The London Eye

Click on this LINK to find the page where you can nominate one or both of my stories for inclusion in the Anthology and or the above story links if you want to star-rate.

While you are visiting EDF, you might consider reading and rating stories by my writing buddy, Sarah Hilary: The View from Olympus, Kanti chooses Santa, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Revenge of the River Gods.

Thanks for putting up with this blatant appeal. I'm getting too old these days, however, to sit around and hope something will happen.

Monday, July 20, 2009

10,000+ hits at my EDF Daily Prompts thread!

Okay I admit I'm a little hung up on strokes. Any kind. Comments, hits, praise--of course--any attention. What it can mean is someone may stumble onto one of my stories or one of my posts and say, I like that!

Am I different from anyone who is free-floating in the blogosphere these days? I don't think so. You don't write in public if you don't want to be read.

But most of us want to be useful too. Not just use our presence in the ether to stroke our egos, but also maybe to help someone else achieve some goal, learn something new, have an experience, or an ah-ha moment. At least, that's one of my goals.

With that in mind, awhile back--November 21 2008--I launched DAILY PROMPTS on my thread at the Every Day Fiction Forum and today the thread crossed over the 10,000 hit-point. Now I know for many out there, this is a pee-squirt in the ocean, but to me it's the idea that there might be many hard drives full of new stories that came from one of my prompts or even a few published stories.

STARKVILLE, the story I wrote here at Words in Place, came from one of those prompts!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Misc. ramblings from the brain dead

Not sure I have anything of interest to share here except the previous post has been up for a while and I'm bored with it.

Been Busy.

Working on a TV pilot with a friend (keeping it underwraps):

a) to keep the concept A SECRET from would be claim jumpers

b) in case it doesn't sell

c) in case I get kicked off the project

Spec scripts are like sand castles. You can put a lot of effort into them, even create a masterpiece, but most of the time someone is going to come dashing through it with size 14 EEEs or the next big tsunami will wash it out to sea.

Sister coming in for a landing, kids in tow

For her reunion. Let's see. She's still a kid herself. I think this is 30th? Won't see much of her though since she's up to her eyeballs with planning the whole thing. Facebook has proven to be the biggest boon to reunions since botox.

Hubby back from field trip

To Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Missed him especially with the Cinder thing.

Rejections coming in slowly

Waiting worse than watching paint dry (cliche, I know. I'm tired). Roxann G tracks these by number. Outstanding submits v. rejects v. acceptances. Let me count. 22 subs of 9 stories. At this rate, I'm not going to get anywhere. Goal for next week: Explore new markets for outstandings and rewrite w-i-p and explore starts.

On a positive note: Waiting for Rimshot to show up at Dogmatika soon.

The novel

Yeah, well, it's been opened and read almost to page 109, but I got waylaid with the idea of writing a pilot!!

Okay. That's it for now. Back to work.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Paintings up at ETSY

When I redesigned my website,, I created links to my writing, but also to my jewelry and my painting. The writing link over there brings people to this blog, but the other two??? Dead as a flea in the freezer.

Since I don't believe that anything can kill a flea, I hired my friend Katharine to organize my paint-and-brush efforts and the results are at this fabulous site called Etsy. My home there is

As for the jewelry, well, hmmmmmm. Not sure what's going on there. I've got this novel to rewrite, ya know.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Go Read Sarah Hilary's piece in LitnIMAGE NOW

Once again Sarah Hilary has managed to blow my socks off, this time with a new piece in LitnIMAGE called "A SHANTY FOR SAWDUST AND COTTON." It's more rhapsody than shanty. Check it out, but be sure to put some suspenders on those GOLD-TOES.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Pledge on Mayor Drive

Calle Mayor Boulevard cut like a wide river between a gently rising hill and the muddy flats that used to be Walteria Lake.

We were a little over a mile from the beach. A fierce ocean breeze swept through the valley most afternoons, bringing with it the smell of salt. Instead of stately oaks and elms, we were surrounded by palm trees and tract houses built after World War 2, simple three bedroom-1 bath stucco affairs with small patches of grass front and back, along Louise, Marion, and Mayor Drives.

There were two Mayor Drives, half moons, both streets changing names somewhere in the middle. On the east side of our neighborhood K-8 school, the other Mayor Drive turned into Juan Drive. On our side of the school, we shared the street with Theo. I never did know exactly where the division was.

This was my new world in the fifth grade after moving eight times and attending three other elementary schools. My parents had bought the house, painted it green, and planted a carrotwood tree. We were here to stay.

Named after its street, Calle Mayor the school was cutting-edge fifties, a low-slung institution designed to meet the needs of the onslaught of children born after the second world war. The entrance was a large grid of grass and cement with a flag pole and an American flag in the very middle. Behind that were administrative offices. Two wings of two long one-story buildings spread out in lazy vee-formation, grass between them, the furthest buildings opening onto black top and a huge grassy field.

On my first day of school, I wore a plaid dress with a white collar and long sleeves. Anxious to make a good first impression, I'd forgotten how hot it could be in Southern California in September. I had crescents of sweat under my arms by the time the first bell rang and we lined up in front of our classrooms, boys parallel to girls, all of us listening to the principal's welcome to a brand new school year over the public address system.

While the sun burned hot against the back of my head, the principal made a few announcements about the cost of lunch in the cafetorium, the penalties for misbehavior, and the fire and drop drills that would be practiced periodically. We were in the deep freeze of the Cold War and we had to be prepared. I was eleven. I understood this. I'd seen a TV special showing what would happen if Russia decided to send an A-bomb our way.

Then the principal instructed us to stand at attention and put our hands on our hearts. The strains of the Star-Spangled banner boomed out over the speakers. The students stood perfectly still--that is my memory--and when the song ended, we said the Pledge of Allegiance.

I was proud to be an American and scared too because we'd emerged from a terrible war just fifteen years before, Korea seven, and new hostilities were evolving in Viet Nam, but I wasn't so aware of these wars themselves as aware of the world created by them. America had been threatened by outsiders and was pulling into itself, trying to get on with the "Dream," back when patriotism was still honorable.

I was too young to know about the Rosenbergs and McCarthyism and all the other awful things that had been perpetrated by fear. I understand clearly now that we are a flawed people, that we have often put people in power who make grievous decisions. We still do.

But I wonder if we're letting too much slip through our fingers? We no longer say the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools. At sporting events many Americans no longer know the words to "America the Beautiful" and "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Are we so ashamed these days that we're unwilling to admit we love our country? Isn't there a way to be proud of our ideals, strive to accomplish them, and not condemn the whole institution because it is often run by people who are flawed just as we are all flawed? We've elected these politicians, but can't we, if we care enough, elect them out of office? We can if we remember what the founding fathers believed in, what we believe in.

In the past, the Pledge sought to remind us of who we wanted to be and that we must always continue to strive for our ideals. Are we still reciting it now?

I can't shake that moment on the Calle Mayor blacktop, relieved and proud to live in a country willing to make sacrifices for the ideals of freedom, justice, and honor.

For those who don't remember, here is the Pledge. Recite it today of all days.

"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Thursday, July 02, 2009

EDF's July Calendar of Stories

July 1-G. Lloyd Helm Tender
July 2-William Wood Recipe
July 3-J.C. Towler Legends Collide
July 4-Walter Giersbach Death in the Afternoon
July 5-Grant Bergland “I Love You”
July 6-Marc Bona Shakers
July 7-Tapes Alice
July 8-Aaron Polson Inked
July 9-Glenn Head On/Off
July 10-elissa vann struth A Little Bit of a Good Thing
July 11-Angela Carlton The Songbird
July 12-J.P. Tioga The Only Thing Left To Do
July 13-Jon Gibbs Wild West Justice
July 14-Jeanne Holtzman When the Moon is in the Seventh House
July 15-Lia Molly Deromedi Leftovers
July 16-Elizabeth M. Thurmond-Modern Love
July 17-Nicholas Ozment Two Roads Diverged in a Wood
July 18-Rhonda Parrish Why Are the Clocks Melting?
July 19-Anne Brooke The Skeleton Wood
July 20-Paul A. Freeman A Gothic Adventure
July 21-Jenny Schwartz No Enemy But Time
July 22-David J. Rank A Giving Heart
July 23-Priscilla Kipp Amen
July 24-Jeremy Lightner Ramon-3
July 25-Therese Arkenberg Firebringer
July 26-Andrew S. Fuller Adrift
July 27-Frank Roger The Big Farewell Party At The End Of Time And Other Historical Documentaries
July 28-J.A. Matthews Cocooned
July 29-Scott W. Baker-How Quickly We Forget
July 30-Joshua Tate Cat Lovers
July 31-TW Williams Squatter’s Rights