Here and Now

tmp_1794-old-letters-1082299_12801798884235It has been a while, but the itch to return to writing creeps slowly in, and I find myself unsure about which project to turn the energy loose on. Do I re-read and edit (again) the novel? It’s been about 4 months since I last looked at it. Do I start something new? I have another novel and the non-fiction project ready for attention. 

While I’m in this indecision, I’m engaging in a different kind of writing: letters. Real, old-fashioned, send through the mail letters. I’ve been going back and forth with one of my great aunts for a while. I haven’t had a pen pal since I was 12, she hasn’t had one since her pen pal passed away in recent years. I’m learning so much from her as I learn about her life. I treasure the memories she shares, and I treasure the pages she sends me.

She’s inspiring ideas and enriching thoughts, and I count myself blessed to be in correspondence with her.

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Milestones, Leaps, and Stalls

(Aka, Thought Dump)


Image Source: Pixabay

Last year I set a couple goals for myself, and I didn’t reach them. I didn’t finish my novel, I didn’t seek out sources to publish small works (essays to magazines, etc.), and I didn’t build a platform or try to increase readership anywhere (because how could I possibly increase readers if I wasn’t writing anything?).

Life just took priority (helllloooo, baby #6, due later this year), as it does, as it should, and the writing took a back burner that wasn’t even on.

Then, out of the blue, an opportunity presented itself to contribute a short piece in a collection of works. Suddenly, I’m going to be published. It’s a small step and a small contribution, but it’s a book. And my name will be in it!

Some time after that morning sickness lifted, and with the increase in energy came a desire to return to the novel. So I buckled down, wrote the ten or so pages that was left, seamed it together, and last month I realized–I can’t do anymore with it.

Which brings me to the leap, because the next step (which I’ve been positively dreading, and that may be why it took me so long to write ten pages) is actually showing it to someone else. So far I have given it to four people to read. I’m looking forward to their feedback and insights on what needs to be worked on.

While I’m waiting, though, I ask myself, “Now what?” I have other writing projects in queue, but for this month I’ve taken up sewing baby blankets.

We shall see what November brings.

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Writing on Research: Cleaning a Hand Gun, Glock Field Strip



(Photo: Pixabay)

How to Clean Your Handgun (

A detailed, step by step article on cleaning a handgun.

The Glock Field Strip Disassembly (

A simple, consice breakdown of a Glock handgun with pictures and labeled parts.

There are many other webpages and videos out there for other makes/ models, but so far I haven’t needed to know how to field strip more than a Glock.

If you researched this topic and found other helpful links, please leave them in a comment!

See the (short but growing) complete list of research topics here.

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Writing on Research: Shoes (Italian, Platform vs. Wedge)


Platforms (Photo: Pixabay)

Sometimes I end up ​doing half an hour of research for one sentence. Sometimes the process frustrates me, but in the end I get the satisfaction of knowing that part, at least, wasn’t made up.


Top Ten Italian Shoemakers (

A good starting point for researching high-end, expensive, Italian-made shoes. From there I went to the different companies’ websites until I found the one that best matched my character’s sense of fashion.

Platform Vs. Wedge (


Wedges (Photo: Pixabay)

This may be picking at straws, but I did want to understand the difference. This helped. Doing separate image searches of “platform shoe” and “wedge shoe” helped further.


If you researched this topic and found other helpful links, please leave them in a comment!

See the (short but growing) complete list of research topics here.

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Out of the Archives: Redundant Man (Comic)

Here I am, four months of morning sickness later! Baby #6 is healthy and kicking away, and I am feeling better and slowly edging my way back into routine. And writing. I didn’t do any writing for four months, but it was good to have the break. 

I suppose there was one exception, if you can call it writing. I found myself waiting in the car one day with the kiddos, and the need arose to entertain the four year old a bit, so I pulled out my notepad and pen.

“What shall I draw?” I said.

“Redundant Man!” he exclaimed. Continue reading

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Writing on Research: Car Crash (Broadside/ T-Bone, SUV)

One of my books begins with a broadside crash involving an SUV, but since I’ve never been in a crash or seen much outside of movies, I needed to learn more about the physics involved, common injuries, and how do airbags work anyway?


Crashing SUVs (

A detailed cross-comparison of SUV crash tests, including but not limited to broadside. Includes specific models and where they rate on the safety scale.

Side Impact Injury (
A general list of injuries commonly received in a broadside crash and related symptoms.

Side Collision (Wikipedia)

Contains a general overview as well as charts of how different vehicles scored in the testing and where they fall on the safety scale. Two charts: Newer Cars (after 2011) and Older Cars (before 2011).

How Airbags Work (

This covers airbags in detail. It also explains how the laws of motion work on passengers during a crash.

A collection of side impact stories. (
Some of the personal accounts are quite detailed (consider this as much a warning as anything else), and they all include pictures of the cars involved.

A collection of side impact injury claim stories. (

No photos, just a collection of short stories detailing the types of injuries sustained. Beware all the suggestions to talk to a car accident lawyer.

If you researched this topic and found other helpful links, please leave them in a comment!

See the (short but growing) complete list of research topics here.

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Flash Fiction Friday: Ailish and the Rat

Click here to read about my FF Keyword Challenge.

Keywords: Vegan, Beach, Dogs


Ailish and the Rat

“I love running. I absolutely love running!” Ailish exclaimed. Her paws dug into the warm sand, propelling her forward with ever increasing speed. Her tongue tasted sea spray as it hung out of her big, wide, open grin, and her wiry gray hair rippled in the wind she made.

A little brown Chihuahua zipped across her path, heading for the water, and she saw him just in time.

“Oh!” she exclaimed, jumping to the side in a graceful stop.

“You are big,” the Chihuahua commented, pausing to sniff at her ankle. “But you are not a horse. What are you?”

“I am an Irish wolfhound,” Ailish said proudly, her head tall. “My breed used to hunt wolves.”

Continue reading

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