A road dead-ended quietly into a drab yellow stone plaza.  Several structures of the same dusty dingy yellow stone, hundreds of years old, surrounded the plaza.  Footfalls raised stale puffs of dust with each step.

To the east in the gloom stood doors to an old frayed church huddled against its larger looming neighbor.  It was also made of the stone, but the thick, tall doors rose in dark wood gleaming despite the dust in the growing dark.

The air around lay dry and still.  No wind blew, no breeze teased the dust.

The entrance reached over their heads.  At a glance, the dark doors were at least nine feet.  A pediment of sorts crawled and curled and curved its way up and over the doors in a half-moon arc.  Inside the pediment’s half-moon shined defiantly two quarters of stained glass, like slitted eyes of a baleful being staring out from the church.

I wasn’t standing in the Oval Office when it happened.  Those upper echelons don’t know I exist.  Didn’t, I mean.

I bet it was quite a shock, though – a hologram appearing out of nowhere just to the right of the Resolute desk?  I would have loved to have seen the expressions on their faces.  Did they think it a prank?  Did they disbelieve their eyes for a split second?

You know bureaucrats.  It took them way too long to figure out it was real – the message and the alien.

If the figure hadn’t been dressed in high fashion – as in Milan – would it have been so incongruous?

Writing Status for October

Still reviewing my works in progress and developing better premises for my current list of ideas.  Sifa and Peter is still on hold, as is Zeddy and Bubba.  I’ve turned my attention to several science fiction ideas.  One may work as a short story, and another fits an episodic novella concept quite well, at least at this point.

Big Surprise: Writing Flaws = Personal Quirks

I’ve received feedback on my writing from the amazing folks over on Absolute Write.  I’ve submitted the first scene from Sfia and Peter and two thousand words of Out of the Blue 2.0 (see the Science Fiction section), as well as asking for feedback on Zeddy and Bubba as a concept.

Several people touched on the same things in their comments, and those things turn out to be related to what I’m working on in my personal life.  Why am I surprised?

  1. Over-explain.  I explain in too much depth and width.  Anyone who knows me well knows that!  And it clearly shows up in my writing
  2. Emotional Distance.  The readers don’t feel close to my characters.  Since I struggle to clearly identify and express my emotions to others, it’s not surprising this showed up in my writing.
  3. Timing.  My sense of timing, of when to go in greater depth with the settings versus the moment of tension, needs work.  Ha!  If you know me, you know my tendency to blurt, or to say the last thing first, etc.
  4. Lack of clarity.  Sometimes the readers are left wondering “Why?” too much, especially in regard to what the character’s motivations.

The comments were by no means all negative.  I’m just focusing on what’s wrong to make it better.  Stay tuned!

She didn’t seem like the girl he remembered from college.  She hesitated just a little, an almost indiscernible pause, each time before she spoke.  Her only unguarded moment came when she met his wife for the first time.  Her face lit up, and she smiled in delight.

She calmed slightly as she greeted T.

They all sat back down at the bar, H. standing between the two women.

He gestured at the bartender to order his wife a drink, and picked up his own glass, idly twisting it as he watched the others.

Her face expressed a calm warmth, and she was back to the slight hesitation before she spoke.  She spoke clearly, in a low voice, unhurried.

The girl he remembered could babble on for hours.

Developing Writing Skills

Spend a chunk of your time as a writer developing your writing skills.

An author gave that advice in one of the writing podcasts I listened to recently.  I’ve taken this advice to heart, allocating time and researching how to hone my skills (thank you, Writer’s Digest).

So, this month, I’m going to spend some time on word choice, sentence structure, and setting.  As usual, I’ll continue writing in the journal, writing for social media, and fitting in some work on completing some works in progress.

Sifa and Peter On Hold

I am putting my first novel, Sifa and Peter, on the back burner for now while I hone my writing skills.  It’s become evident that the novel is rather intricate for a first novel.  Take a look at my story premise:

A young woman damaged by her childhood and too eager to please, as well as a mother grieving from a damaging and traumatic genetic legacy of blood clotting, and a hard-working but selfish cousin, come together in during a family member’s crisis, coming to terms with not only family secrets but their past, their flaws, and the true desires of their hearts.


I’m going to take some time for shorter works. More on that to come.

Story Concept and Premise

So, what is the difference between story concept and story premise?

Lately, I’ve focused my writing research on this fascinating topic, including the examination of my story ideas for validity as story premises.  Stay tuned for some examples!

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