the hours like birds on the wing



Yesterday and the day before was devoted to research for Princess of Rosenstein. Today I’m thinking Sleight of Hand needs attention. I’m stuck in the worst way and don’t know what to do about it. The story remains unfinished and I’m wondering if I’ll ever finish it. Getting stuck always makes me question my ideas.

The sunny days of October are sliding by, the hours like birds on the wing, and I sit wrestling with words, worrying about not finishing my story. I took an hour-long walk with my neighbor which left my arthritic knees unhappy for nearly three days, but the walk was good for my heart.

1382220991000-Bones-ep905-sc31pt-0910Bones last night was delightful, but incredibly, I dozed off during a commercial break and missed the resolution of the crime–woke up just in time for Brennan’s and Booth’s wedding–thank goodness! Best TV nuptials ever! Still, I want to know what happened to the poor victim. 

Took advantage of a free month from Redbox in partnership with Verizon, and the trial membership also comes with four movie credits so not only do I get to watch movies for free for a month, but I get four additional movies for free too. This week I watched After Earth and Oblivion. After Earth was disappointing, but Oblivion was surprising–it was good. A complex science fiction story, nicely executed. 

What bothered me about After Earth was the acting–not very good. Will Smith usually does so much better. The story was a father/son tale, but I dunno, I was expecting more. I still have two free credits to use. Guess I’ll get Ironman 3, or Now You See Me or World War Z tonight. Hmm–my abhorrence of zombie films seems to be weakening, but I still have no intention of watching The Walking Dead.

Time to get back in the ring with Sleight of Hand. Writers write.


things i like, really like, and have lost my mind over

Vampires, solitude, silence, Christian Bale, anything Tanith Lee writes, The Dancers of Arun, sociopaths, Batman Begins, the original Mission Impossible theme, the show Mission Impossible, the original Star Trek, Star Trek (2009), my Mr. Spock doll, Rufus Sewell, Caitlin Kiernan’s writing, 30 Days of NightLord of the Rings, Alien, Aliens, coffee, cherries, Supernatural, Jane Austen, Twilight, B-movie horror films, Dark City, science fiction, colored inks, James Bond, Clark Ashton Smith, Clive Owen, Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, Elizabeth George’s Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley, Spike, beetles, Idris Elba, Junior (my Toyota Yaris), Daniel Craig, fried chicken, Firefly,  pomegranates, Tim Burton, maps of imaginary places, Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series, the Harry Potter books, The Wind-Up Girl, rubies, my bronze veiled Alexandrian dancer, cats, Angry Birds, handmade paper, marbles, antique jewelry, my Star Trek coffee mug, swords, crawfish,  shapeshifters, garlic, Sigourney Weaver, LEXX, ancient Rome, my vampire Tarot deck, the Renaissance, Closer, the Regency period,  Dances with Wolves, cashews, China Mieville, All About Eve, Crystal Blue Persuasion, Bejeweled 2, True Blood, olive oil, Hieronymous Bosch, Shoot ‘Em Up, the Arts & Crafts style, Art Deco too, La Bacchante by Jean-Leon Gerome, Pre-Raphaelite art, ancient history, seafood, gumbo, all kinds of semi-precious gems, lemons, John William Waterhouse, Betty Davis, eucalyptus trees, Maxfield Parrish, fairytales, Star Wars, Drag Me to Hell, Kay Nielsen, Rome, The English Patient (novel), Pride & Prejudice (2006), Fargo … hmm, think I just spammed myself.


Red Carnations, Mona Majorowicz

The acrobat, a petite young man, balances easily on a big golden ball, feet moving in quick syncopation, the ball rolling beneath his soles, perfectly controlled. A horse strolls on stage to join him, and an intriguing tableau, laced with alluring music, is enacted between acrobat, ball, and horse. Under an enormous white tent that reminded me of the medieval tents you’d see on a battlefield, Cavalia begins.

The horses–magnificent animals–are of different breeds with long noble bloodlines–the Arabian, the Lusitano, the Belgian, the Comtois, the American Quarter Horse, the Paint Horse, the Appaloosa, the Oldenburg and the Warmblood, the Criollo, the Canadian, the Pure Spanish Breed–all geldings and stallions–no mares perform on stage. Apparently mares are too easily distracted, difficult to train, and tend to distract the stallions. The show is a delightful mix of drama and revelry. We laughed when during the Grande Liberte performance one horse comically missed his cue, and had to run to catch up with the rest, the horse mistress’s finger ticking at him in admonishment.  The cavalcade circled into a new formation where each horse laid his head on the back of the horse ahead of him, forming an arabesque of horse’s heads and flowing manes. Lovely.

It was a wonderful show–meticulously trained horses performed delicate movements showing artistry, strength, and beauty. Cavalia is the brainchild of a former Cirque Du Soleil executive who noticed that the horses in Cirque’s shows drew lots and lots of attention, and he put together a fabulous entertainment–Cirque Du Soleil starring horses against a background of colorful sets, with acrobats, aerialists, riders and musicians.  The Cavalia troop originates in Quebec, Canada, and the equestrian performers come from ten countries, all experts in their disciplines.

My one experience riding a horse was a near-disaster, but fortunately didn’t put me off my affection for horses. Cavalia was a delightful way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

let me see…

Jason and Medea, John William Waterhouse

The weather has turned frigid, morning air like cold glass against my face. Have reviewed 121 pages of The Foreigner and made lots of notes. I’m thinking now the story should begin on the day Marius Saul leaves Gabrysia and arrives in Amara. What he’s going through on that day provides motivation for what he does once he’s in Amara.

Reading:  Gail Godwin’s Journals: The Making of a Writer.  The  journals are fascinating, detailing her life as she struggled to become a writer. I’ve never read any of her work, but now I want to.

Also, I’ve started to write a fantasy poem, not on my list of things to write, but for a long time I’ve had lingering in my mind an image from living in Germany–a white flowering pear tree on a hill near an ancient Roman ruin. On the way to school, the van drove a road that wound past that hill every day and every day I looked up at that pear tree and the remains of what might’ve been a Roman temple, all that was left were the columns. Below that hill at road level stood a red brick wall, its edges blackened, all that remained of a building bombed during the war, I guess. It had stood there like that against that grassy embankment for decades. I’m not a poet but a writer writes, and a writer can write anything. Right now I’m playing with image and mood, looking for the right words.

“Auno’s Widow”, a short fantasy story I finished years ago has floated to the surface lately. I’d like to revise it, been asking myself questions about it, looking for a way in to making it better.

Made it to yoga class last night, wasn’t sure I would go–been feeling out of sorts all day, but I went. I must be gaining strength ’cause for the first time I was able to lower myself into plank without collapsing onto my mat.

Tomorrow is Writing Saturday with Michelle, and Sunday I’m going to see Cavalia in Burbank–like Cirque du Soleil with these fantastic horses. So looking forward to that! Happy Friday!


Still have not written the final scene of Werewolf, Zombies, Sunrise, doing the procrastination waltz, La Muse has been rolling her eyes at me all week. Been thinking about A Lamentation of Swans too. So far all I’ve managed are scribblings in the Moleskine, and promises to at least write one sentence, just one little sentence, on that scene.  I know the story has problems, but I need to finish it before I deal with its issues. Can’t work with invisible clay.

The Horror Zine anthology, And Now the Nightmare Begins, containing my story, Ghost of Roses, is still garnering good reviews. Gives me the warm fuzzies.

Books I’m reading:

  • Bullet, Laurell K. Hamilton (nice to have Jean-Claude around again)
  • The Swan Thieves, Elizabeth Kostova (like the story but it’s starting to drag)

DVD watching:  Trueblood, Season 2 (actually, re-watching!)

serengeti september

FindingofDonJuan.Ford Madox Brown

The Finding of Don Juan, Ford Madox Brown

47,546, Sweet Taboo. Serengeti September. Think I saw a herd of gazelle crossing the 405 this morning. Just commenting, not complaining. Considering summer’s reluctance to settle in June, July, and a good deal of August, ironically, it’s taking its leave with a vengeance. Hot days and nights, and the late afternoon sun shining through an amber haze from the wildfires.

Loved episode 3 of Supernatural, season 4; watched it last night. Season 4 deepens the story arcs began in Season 3. Sam and Dean are reunited, and the storylines combine singular incidents of the brothers fighting supernatural creatures to each following their own path on a converging arc. Great writing, compelling action, strong themes.

Sweet Taboo is attempting to stall, but I’m not letting it go from a running stream to still water. Need to think through the plot some more, need to clarify my themes, which I hope will shape the action and yield a satisfying conclusion.

Monthly meeting with Michelle tomorrow. It’s the last quarter of the year; time for a review. I dropped the great big ball of A Lamentation of Swans, despite my promise to finish it this year, but I’ve had other successes so there. Still, one of these years…

So glad it’s a long weekend!

grapes and onions


Morning Work

47,546, Sweet Taboo. Even the early morning air is warm. Summer’s closing with a vengeance, but since June and July were not particularly summery, September ‘s taking up the slack. I’m trying to avoid getting off track with Sweet Taboo. The story is veering in the wrong direction, and I’ve run into the brambles. Things aren’t falling apart in the second draft, and I’ve reached what I feel is the last third of the book, and I’m stuck. There’s still the Deidre-Randall arc, and the Demario issue. Conclusions grow from within characters. Their actions and reactions carry the seeds that will bloom into the story’s end. I know the final scene, have already sketched it, getting there is the problem.

Finally got my dvd set of Supernatural, 4th season. I’m two episodes in–the first show had me watching wide-eyed and breathless; the second was terrific. Ruby has a new body so that’s an adjustment and Sam has acquired a new power, which he’s hiding from Dean, of course. The 4th season looks like an all-around winner–may be the best season yet. Love when a favorite show just keeps getting better and better.