Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Beyond the Binding Cover Reveal

Excited to share the cover for Beyond the Binding, a new ebook to be released soon. It's a companion book to the Composers for Relief album--both of which support relief to the Philippines. More info to come soon!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

I'm thrilled to be part of Composers for Relief: Supporting the Philippines.

In the spirit of collaboration, 28 writers from across the globe will join in discovering the stories of triumph lurking in the notes of each track on this inspiration album. The final tales will be compiled into a companion ebook anthology for the album, with all proceeds going to Gawad Kalinga.

I chose the track, Beautiful Life. It is one of the most moving songs I've ever heard. Here is the story it inspired. 

Beautiful Life
Andrew loves to sleep. In his dreams he’s whole again. He can feel the warm sand beneath his bare feet and the sting of muscles well used on a long walk down the shore. He would never have done it in the waking world,  but in his dreams he tosses bread to the  gulls above.   He understands, now, their desperate swooping for one more morsel. Awake, he rolls himself out onto the porch of his parent’s old beach house where he can feel the breeze from the ocean soft on his face and through his hair.

He wants to be grateful for what is left, but he misses what is gone. He had a normal life—a car, a job, a girl he loved. He had thought of all the things he would lose, she wouldn’t be one. He was wrong. The accident had taken the life he knew how to live. This knew one is a mystery to him.  So he lives in his dreams.  At night, anything he imagines can become real. He can be a soldier victorious, a bird over the ocean, or better yet—he can  be who he once was. In his dreams, he’s not alone. He is in love and loved in return. He has friends. He has family.  Awake he is reminded of his loss. His friends, not up for the challenge, his parents—already lost to him years ago. All for the better, he thinks. He would be too much of a burden now.

What he has left of his parents is this house where he spent childhood summers on the shore, where he learned to surf, where he sneaked out late to meet a girl under the moonlight. He remembers friends and nights out at the pub in town—drinks over lively conversation, bar food too greasy for its own good. He knows the loss of his friends is as much his own fault as theirs. But it's hard to be jovial when your world has broken in half at the center. A company sends a nurse aid who help him do the things he has become too complacent in his misery to do for himself.  She’s friendly, but it isn’t the same.

It’s been one year today that he awoke to a foreign life. He wants to wallow in his sorrow, but outside along the shore, he sees a young boy playing. The boy’s mother watches from a blanket nearby. The boy pretends to be a gull—arms outstretched, swooping and diving. The boy’s blond hair lifts up in tufts, buoyed by the salt air. Andrew watches with wrinkled brow and is suddenly determined to get back what is lost. He wheels back into the house and turns on his computer. He thinks about going to his old social networking sites, maybe starting up a blog, or at least reading someone else’s. But what  would he say to the avatars anyway? Who would he claim to be?  One step at a time, he tells himself. First, go somewhere that is not a doctor’s appointment. He looks up the local movie listings and picks a flick that looks like something he would have wanted to see when he was his old self.

He knows going to a movie isn’t much different than going to sleep. It isn’t real. But it’s a start. He calls the local assisted travel service and is put in touch with a handicap accessible taxi. He dresses and readies himself. It takes longer than he expects and is a fair amount more frustrating than he thought it would be to make himself presentable enough for the general public. But he does it. He will miss the early movie, but that’s OK. He will not be discouraged.

Ready, he calls the taxi service and meets them in the lobby. At the movie theater, he’s deposited into the real world with not much idea of what to do. Silly, he thinks, he used to do this all the time. He knows the city. He knows how to purchase a ticket and watch a movie. So he does just that. It’s a thrill to sit in the darkened theater among other folks and laugh when they laugh. He feels connected. When the movie is over he doesn’t want to go home. He rolls himself over the uneven sidewalk to a pub just a few doors down. He gets a table, lamenting a seat at the bar for just a moment.  He orders a drink and chili cheese fries. He smiles at the greasy goodness.

When he’s on his second beer a young womanl comes and sits at the table with him.

“My friends dared me to come over and speak to you.” she says.

At first he’s offended. Why, because I’m in a wheelchair, he wants to ask, but doesn’t.

“They say you look like Matt Damon.” she says. “I say Jude Law. The bet is, do you have a British accent?”

He doesn’t think he looks like either one, but he appreciates the complement. He shrugs his shoulders and smiles at her. She laughs out loud. She goes on asking questions and he goes on answering them with only gestures. It’s a silly secret to keep from her when there is a real one just under the edge of the table.

He finally does speak and she pouts saying that she has lost the bet, but doesn’t care.

“It was just an excuse to come over,” she says, and blushes.

 They continue to talk and she asks if he wants to go outside, get away from the noise. Better to get it over with he thinks.  She stands up and he rolls back from the table. He watches for her reaction.  She doesn’t flinch. He points to the chair.

“I already know that,” she says. “I saw you come in.”

he's confused by her indifference to his condition. But of course, the's not the first person to ever be in a wheelchair. As she opens the door for them without pity or pretense Andrew realizes that it is not the world that has left him, he has left the world. He has thought the worst of world and assumed it felt the same. He is wrong.  She asks if he’s seen the new comedy. He lies and says no.

“We should see it,” she says.  “If you want to.”

He nods. He points to a bench along the empty street and they sit and talk. The warm night air floats around them. Andrew thinks of the gulls along the shore. He thinks of their wings and their determination. Their freedom.  Life is not what he thought it would be, but in this moment, it is better.


Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more information on how you can purchase the album and ebook and help support the Philippine people affect by this tragedy. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Guest Hosting Today! July 31st!

Hey guys and gals, I'm thrilled to be the guest poster/ hoster on the A to Z Challenge Blog today, July 31st! Ya'll remember the A to Z Challenge back in April? yes!

They've been having guest hosts every day for a while now and I'm thrilled that it's my turn today. Check out it out at A to Z Challenge/ . You'll find my brilliant advice on writing. Lol. Maybe brilliant is a bit much, but it is advice on writing--take it for what it's worth. I hope you find a kernel of helpful insight somewhere in there.

Then stick around and check out some other posts and info at A to Z.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Many Minds, One Story

Hey guys! Are you visiting from Writerlysam's Amazing Audiomachine collaboration? If so, thanks! I hope you liked my start of the multi-author writing collaboration based on Audiomachine's new album, Tree of Life.

Keep going back every day as we watch this story unfold together! I can't wait to see what happens next.

If you're visiting for other reasons, then go check this out at Tree of Life, Branching Out.

Samantha Redstreake Geary is hosting a collaborative promo on her blog with Audiomachine to help them celebrate the release of Tree of Life. Spend some time on Sam's blog and make sure you check it all out.

This will go for 26 days and there will be wonderfully inspiring music, prizes, and great writing! This collaboration has been drawing attention from people ALL OVER THE WORLD. Don't miss it!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Do you listen to music when you write?

If you do, you must make a note to follow Writerlysam in July! She's doing an amazing promotion for Audiomachine's new album. There's going to be amazing music, prizes you can win, and two ongoing stories using Audiomachine's new songs as inspiration.

One story will be by Samantha Redstreake Geary and will be an awesome combination of genre that will blow you away. The other story will be a continuing story done by 25 invited writers who will each contribute 150 words a day to create one story. I'm thrilled to be part of this list of writers! I'm up first and am thrilled to get the story underway. Where it goes from my 150 words is any writer's guess!

So mark your calendar and tell you friends! Audiomachine Promo coming in July! Don't know who they are-check them out! Audiomachine. They do that amazing music that you hear in movie trailers that makes you HAVE to see the movie--yeah that's them!

Don't miss it!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Insanity or Determination?

So they say the definition of insanity is repeating the same action, yet expecting a different result. (Personally, I think the definition is more along the lines of standing on the street corner in your underwear singing the Star Spangled Banner while feeding a stray dog corn on the cob.)

So would you call it insanity to keep writing, querying, hoping, alas--failing and then going back to do it all over again? Or would you call it determination?

Either way, I like to think that it's the mark of a writer who means it. Someone who will write and submit their work and rewrite and search again and not take no for an answer. (Not that said writer doesn't get bummed out for a little while in the process--she's only human.) But what's "a little while?"

Well, a few minutes ago, I just heard "no" from an agent who very kindly and excitedly asked to read my novel, but in the end, graciously passed on representing it. She had very encouraging words about my writing skills, which was nice to hear. (This is what we call a "good rejection." Writers sure can spin words can't we.) I pouted for a minute, called my husband, sighed heavily and then opened my computer and started writing.

Hair of the dog that bit me? I guess so. But bite away, dog, bite away.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Woven Tale Press--A to Z Blog Challenge Issue is Out!

I'm thrilled to be included in the A to Z blog challenge issue of Woven Tale Press! You'll find me at B. I'm excited to have this blog entry chosen because it's the opening of my novel. Hopefully this is a little thumbs up for heading off in the right direction.

Look at H as well. What a small world that my writing partner and super-good (yeah I'm 41 and I said super-good) girlfriend, Samantha Redstreake Geary had a blog entry chosen as well.

Take a look at this issue. You'll be glad you did. There's good writing, art, insight and much more! Fun stuff!

Thanks for choosing me, Woven Tale Press!