Friday, May 27, 2011

In Memoriam. Thank You for our Freedom.


"We look upon you,
after bittersweet exits,
for this day has come
to hear us shout,
It’s time we express,
don’t forget our merits,
lives or memoriam,
we ask, remain devout.

“Our bodies are gone,
we hope not forgotten.
We’ve left a legacy
to use for future plans.
Grief lingers, a new dawn,
read what we’ve written
value our tenacity,
and the historians.

 “War left us broken
some beyond repair,
others decay in the earth;
emotions locked away
left horrors unspoken
push farther into despair
while trying to find worth
as we struggle to stay.

“These were sacrifices,
for family and freedom
we hope you’ll remember
many years from now.
To some, too great a price,
misused humanity’s wisdom,
but we’re of high caliber,
today’s tribute, every day’s vow.”

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I’ll stop the world…

…for you. Over the past few days people have been talking about the end of the world. I guess some guy predicted today at 6:00 p.m. will be our demise. Was that 6:00 p.m. central time? I don’t know. And if I can recall correctly, I thought the bible says the world will end by man’s hands alone. Hmmm…nuclear power plants come to mind so I can believe that.

This talk of the world ending brings up some good questions about life. Could you answer “yes” to all of the below if the world was about to end?

1) I have no regrets
2) I’ve kept in contact with everyone important to me.
3) I’ve spent quality time with friends and family
4) I’ve lived a fulfilled life
5) I accomplished my goals
6) I’ve done everything I wanted to do
7) I worked hard to get and keep what’s important to me
8) I fixed any poor choices I made
9) I’ve worked hard to become a better person
10) (If you’re a Christian) I kept God as an important part of my life
11) I’ve worked at living a healthy life

The list could go on and on, but these are just a few. A few I’ve asked myself at different times in my life. When I’ve made these statements in the past, they sometimes put me back on track in life. I think it’s important we ask ourselves such things every now and then because it puts things into perspective.

“I’ll do it tomorrow”. Tomorrow may never come. “I will when I have enough money”. You may never have enough. “Let’s wait until the children are grown”. You might not be here when they’re grown. “I don’t have time”. This is true—you don't have much time—so get going.

If anything, reach out to someone special today. Hug a stranger who looks like they could use one. Write down your goals and start achieving them. Mend the past and learn from it. Work every day to become a better person. Keep God in your heart and mind.

I can’t stop the world for you but I can lend you a hand.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bear with Me

I have finally finished my third revision and what a relief. After going through my fabulous beta’s comments, and taking in my editor’s suggestions, I dug deep on this revision. This edit added 24 more pages, thickening the suspense, and I can’t thank my beta reader and editor enough for their hard work and thoroughness. Along with the additional chapters, I created a character list (as they appear) and another document for dates, notes and additional chapters.

It felt like I was working on this revision for a long time, but I want to make it the best it can be. In my experience as a reader, I think thrillers are more plot driven than character driven, but mine has to balance the two. It’s important I keep the two a high priority. As a whole, my characters and plot need to bring the reader in and keep them interested, and I think I’m really close to the finish line.

Thank you for following along with my writing. Hope you have a nice week.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I Need You!

How is everyone doing? Are you sick of this rain…if you live in Chicago? I can’t wait to see the sun. 

First things first, I’m selling my condo. In the side bar, you’ll find a link with a description and pictures for my “Condo for Sale”. If you know of anyone looking for a condo on the south side of Chicago, please forward the link. It’s within walking distance to the train, which is appealing as we watch the price of gas rise.

Secondly, I’m planning on self-publishing a book of poems but I’ve run into a brick wall. I’m having trouble coming up with a book title. My poems aren’t about one specific subject; death, writing, seasons, dreams, religion, life, and more. I’d like a title embracing many topics. Please let me know if something comes to mind.

Thanks for any help you can give me with the above.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Royal Vacation—if I had the Money!

It’s a beautiful day in Chicago so I thought I’d make this post about something fun instead of hearing about my manuscript progression. Since we’ve been bombarded with news about the Royal Wedding, How to dress like Kate, and 20 plus year divorces, I thought I’d present *tum ta da da* “My Royal Vacation—if I had the Money”.

If I had the money, I’d first go shopping for a new summer wardrobe. When I get home with my clothes, I’d pack them in suitcases and go on the internet to book my trip to leave that day for Lake Garda, Italy. Over the pond, I’d stare out the airplane window at the blue water and cotton stretched clouds until we land in darkness.

I’d rent a driver to take me to my house where I would retire for the night. When I wake up, I 'd open the french doors to my bedroom balcony to see the rising sun kissing the top of a mountain. 

I would hurry to get ready for the day and begin my exploration of the towns around the lake. At the end of a pier, I'd find a bench, sit down, close my eyes and listen to the waking. The water licking the boats and shore while in the distance window covers are pulled up. 

When people begin venturing out onto the pier, I would start walking down the streets, getting lost in the beauty of these townsfolk’s lives. Worn stones, uneven streets—a simple peace. A wonderful way to soak up culture.

Then I’d take a ride up into the mountains for winter warmth overlooking the towns and lake.

I’d drive around the lake, stopping at the beautiful villages for pictures and food. After filling up on pizza, and waiting for the end of the day, I’d get comfortable sitting on a pier gazing at a row of orange trees with a mountainous backdrop.

What’s your Royal Vacation? I’d love to hear it.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother’s Day!

What a gorgeous day it is out there! I was up early to walk the Beverly Breast Cancer 12th Annual Walk with my niece. Every year is a new and wondrous experience, and every dollar counts to fight against breast cancer, so I made sure my boobs were there.

I wish you all a wonderful Mother’s Day! Here’s a poem I'd like to share—the author unknown.

Mother’s Love

Her love is like
An island in life’s ocean,
Vast and wide
A peaceful, quiet shelter
From the wind, the rain, the tide.
‘Tis bound on the north by Hope,
By Patience on the West,
By tender Counsel on the South
And on the East by Rest.
Above it like a beacon light
Shine Faith, and Truth, and Prayer;
And thro’ the changing scenes of life
I find a haven there.

If you have one, please share one of your favorite poems.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Query to my Readers

I thought I’d share a little something with you…stop laughing…this is different. :D  Everyone talks about query letters and their importance on snagging an agent. Many established agents and writers say to immediately get to the point, provide a tag line and then a synopsis. But I must point out that query letters are different for fiction and non-fiction…at least that’s what I’ve read. Anyways, I did some research and came up with a few query letters so I thought I’d post one of my letters to see what you think…if it captures your attention and if my manuscript is something you’d want to read. I’m not planning on sending this letter out…it’s merely to get my readers’ input.

Dear Agent:

One lonely evening in a chat room, Sydney Hayes is approached by a man named Arcane, who soon takes possession of her head and heart, until games and unfortunate events force Sydney to move away and change her identity—but can she truly hide from evil.

Lonesome, independent Sydney Hayes never met her ‘knight in shining armor’ during her daily routines and solitary weekends until a snowstorm hits Chicago. Restless and bored, Sydney enters a chat room full of people reflecting the same feelings and then a window pops up on her screen with a greeting from a stranger. At first, their relationship is strictly online, but swiftly turns to a real life relationship with real life consequences. After chiseling away at her independence, Arcane takes Sydney against her will and begins playing with her life, situations becoming more sinister than the last one. Sydney has no other choice but to leave town—to become someone else.

In a new state and with a new identity, Sydney begins to build her confidence and reclaim her life. As she becomes comfortable in her new surroundings she befriends a man by the name of Garrett Hart—time and exposed secrets bring them close—but not before the evil she is running from gradually shows signs he is not too far away. Now Sydney must fight against Arcane to protect those closest to her.

[Title of Book] has allowed me to explore the depths of loneliness, the horror of stalking, the line between sanity and insanity, so I could write characters that will do anything for revenge and/or to protect their loved ones. My book is likely to appeal to the same audience of Shutter Island.

[Title of Book] is my debut psychological thriller at [number of words] words. Thank you for your time and consideration.”

Let’s hear it. What do you think? Did this capture your attention? Do you want to read it? Not interesting? Not your genre?

Monday, May 2, 2011

I had a Dream

…that the world was at peace—even if it was for a short time. The world breathed easier and it released some tortured souls of blame...provided closure for others. Even though it still existed, we felt a unity knowing evil can be defeated. A unity in knowing that violence swirls around the world—sometimes behind a mask of religion. But in this dream, we smiled at an encouraging future…hope massaged our hearts.

…that our journey back to the U.S. was completed by finding work. The worry of separation didn’t exist, and we began building and saving for our future. We savored our luck, thanked the Lord for our blessings, and vowed to never separate again. In this dream, we found a home, married, and over the years, watched our bodies decline. But in this dream, our spirit remained mesmerized with all the things we learned about each other.

…that I published my novel and it was a success. The days of repeated revisions for my book to grow stronger were worth it. My plot and characters satisfied even the worst critics. I found an inner peace from believing in myself…an understanding that I DO have writing strengths. Through the years, I continued to write poetry, short stories and a few more novels…some for me…some for you. But in this dream, I not only wrote a bestseller, I lived it too.