a concert of birdsong

Seeking a way to make aspects of the plot for A Fall of Diamonds work together. The ideas I’ve got are good but the edges are jagged so I can’t get a smooth joining yet I feel they can work together. I found this article inspiring, and the points made me think, https://tinyurl.com/mjrwbma. The first point the writer, Betty Krasnik, makes, “Take the risk and choose the bolder choice, even if it seems there is no way it will work.” certainly applies to what I’ve done already by trapping one of my main characters between a rock and a hard place where he has no control over the rock and the hard place can ruin him. I’m trying to combine that particular idea with another “between rock and hard place” idea. I have a resolution but my resolution throws a monkey wrench into the logic and continuity of the plot and I’m trying to blend the rough, raw edges so that it all works out, but still causes more trouble. My characters are not out of the woods yet.

Spring in southeast Alabama is lovely, dulcet weather, occasional rain, and everything is blooming. Yesterday I did my writing in the backyard beneath the pecan tree. Might do that again today too.

chin up!

IMG_1457 Feeling much better about Runaway Heart–giving it a cooling off period and will look at it again later, in a month or so.

Meanwhile, I’m focusing on A Fall of Diamonds, writing my way into Part II, fingers crossed that it will go well.

My ladybugs arrived yesterday and I released them at dusk into the box garden, shook a few into the large planter pot on the porch, gave a few to the pepper plants near the back fence, and the last of them to the tomato plants. They eat malevolent pests.  So far the garden is looking very good anyway, but I’m sure there are nasty pests lying in wait to devastate my bell peppers, spinach, squash, scallions, tomatoes and melons. Ladybugs to the rescue!

Spring time in southeast Alabama is lovely–the days are pleasantly warm, everything blooms, and I’ve seen more birds of all kinds than I ever saw in California. Robins, bluejays, and this morning I spotted a red-headed bird sitting on the branch of a tree in my yard. It was of medium size, had a dark brown body. Don’t know what kind of bird it was. There are so many birds in the trees and they sing all day. I’m tempted to take up bird-watching so I can properly identify them.

Now that spring has sprung, those brazen squirrels are scampering in my pecan tree. They’re back!  I’m hoping, when the time comes, enough pecans fall so I can get some.

Happy writing!

at least the pecan tree is budding green

I’m having another crisis of doubt about Runaway Heart. I don’t know if I should keep working on it (rewriting the finished first draft) or let it take its place in the failed novel club. Is it worth the work of a second draft when it keeps falling apart?

I keep running into trouble as I try to rewrite it. I’ve been writing it and A Fall of Diamonds on alternate days, devoting one whole day to each. Today is Runaway Heart, but I’m dragging my feet or rather not placing butt in chair and opening the file. I mopped the bathroom floor instead hoping that a mindless task would bless me with a way to go on writing it. The bathroom is clean and shiny; the manuscript is not.

Think I’ll let A Fall of Diamonds have today.

april already!

Today’s the official start of my garden as well as Camp Nano. I’ve been busy, busy all day and I’ve not written word one. Went off to buy plants–Marvin’s is having its Spring Black Friday Sale through the weekend, offering 6-pack veggie plants at 2 for $5.00. Couldn’t miss that plus great deals on garden soil and wood planks, and I needed compost too. I bought heirloom tomatoes, spinach, yellow squash, watermelon, a strawberry plant, and bell peppers. Found a sunny patch near my shed and planted the tomatoes this morning. The potted thyme and oregano have sprouted  and the cantaloupe and arugula need transplanting to the yard so April is going to be a mixed bag of writing and gardening. Yes!

It’s also time for the quarterly progress report, but don’t have it together yet. The month just started and already I’m under the bus. Have to do my April spread bullet journal too.

Spring has turned my backyard into a meadow of all sorts of wild blossoms–lavender bells, little pinks, miniature yellows, and a violet lily that seems to be everywhere–don’t know the names of these various pretties but they are a delight to the eyes.

I was so pooped after planting the tomatoes that gathering one creative word brought on a fainting spell. :)) But I’m rested and ready now so let’s see if anything new happens in the book–A Fall of Diamonds is my Camp Nano project. I’m aiming to write 20,000 words during April. I slashed more than 20,000 words during March, started to rewrite it in first person, went back to third person, apart from having pulled out my hair, I’m okay.

Happy writing!


the ghost stone


My story, The Ghost Stone, is up at swordsandsorcerymagazine.com. It’s my first time appearing in the magazine. For fun, just for this post (not online), I made a cover for the story. I plan to write many more Kamau of the Edanye stories.

Nice way to begin a Monday!



Starting a new sequence of scenes in A Fall of Diamonds today. I’ve been giving myself the weekends off from the novel so that I don’t become overwhelmed. I’ve done a lot of cutting and redeveloping of the story, but I’m on the right path and I’m excited about what’s to come for my characters.

I was invited to do a guest post at Black Fox Literary Magazine. So nice of them. My flash fiction, Crossing San Antonio, was published in the Summer 2015  edition, Issue 12. I’ve drafted the post and it’s cooling off so I can take a look at it with fresh eyes and tweak it if necessary.

Over the weekend I did some gardening, planting mixed hot peppers behind the pecan tree and lavender near the front steps. Can hardly wait until it’s blooming. It’ll be such a nice fragrance to step out and breathe in when it’s finally in full flower. I’ve got arugula started in a big pot planter at the front steps and I’m going to plant beefsteak tomatoes, cilantro, spinach and lettuce next month. Growing my own vegetables will definitely keep the grocery bill in check. I’m going to get a wood planter box and grow a selection of herbs too–basil, marjoram, rosemary, mint and sage.

Time to get to work!

Happy writing!



Woke up to a happy email this morning–sold a sword and sorcery story! :)) I love sword and sorcery! I once spent an entire summer reading Fritz Leiber, Ffahrd and the Grey Mouser, Michael Moorcock, Elric of Melnibone, Robert E. Howard, Conan the Barbarian, stories by Clark Ashton Smith, and Lin Carter, didn’t shake the clash of swords, barbarian yells and wizard’s magic out of my head until school started that year. (And oh yes I watch Game of Thrones!) So my story sold to one of my favorite online magazines. Details to come when it’s published.

I’ve been busy writing A Fall of Diamonds. Lots of deleting, revising and restructuring going on, but it’s coming along and will be at least two books, maybe three. I’m trying not to over-complicate the story so I stopped my crazy quilt pantsering and did a beat sheet and a detailed outline. I finished Book One, that is Part One of the first novel, and this week I’m tackling Book Two (Part Two) and trying not to drive myself crazy. I felt a slump coming on so the short story acceptance really made my day.

Trying to stay on target this quarter, although I did let one anthology deadline pass without submitting the story I’d written for it. The story wasn’t good enough. I’ll wrestle with it another day.

Happy writing!