You Know You’re A Writer When….

I needed a laugh today and this provided.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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So, I am gearing up for Nanowrimo and (of course) Hubby decides to get the flu because he is plotting against me  and secretly doesn’t want me to succeed  it is cold and flu season and this stuff just happens.

Poor thing.

Anyway, this means I was up all night long and have yet to go to sleep, but I did find a way to amuse myself between 1 and 4 a.m. before the fun hallucinations kicked in.

I found…THIS! Yeah, yeah, some of you have heard it before but it still cracks ME up and since I am here to amuse myself most of the time? Pthththththth. Haters gonna hate. Usually I do just fine blogging and writing in November, but just in case y’all don’t hear from me for a bit…

I figured I’d share since we all can use a good laugh before the real fun begins…

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I’m at war.

Don’t get excited; it isn’t anything spectacular.  But war is war and there will be causalities.  God willing, it won’t be my wife or myself or either of our pets.  At the same time, I plan on making others dies for their cause.  Die by the hordes.  They have invaded my home and they shall pay with their lives.

Current numbers are:

Nick — 4

Mice — 0

Yes, I am currently fighting a mouse invasion.  I don’t know how many of them there are, but I am fed up with it all.  Those little buggers seem to be everywhere.  That and their feces.

If you’ve ever had mice, then you know what I mean.

It’s not like I have a dirty home.  K and I don’t employ a maid or anything of the like, but we like to keep things nice and tidy and free from all those germs that make you sick.  So when Nynaeve found the first one and chased it across the house, I knew that things were going to change.  Since then, both our dog and cat have attempted to hunt down more than one—neither with any success.  What they have done is let us know that more are in the house and that we need to keep putting out traps.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not having oddball thoughts about it.  Last night, I could have sworn that I heard a mouse the size of my cat jump off a ledge onto the floor with a mighty thump.  And before you say that it was my cat, she was lying at my feet preventing me from rolling over.  Could have been the dog, but she was downstairs sleeping—I’m sure—on the couch.  Before I could get up and check it out, I fell back asleep and had dreams of mice dressed as Roman legionaries and marching in formations across my kitchen floor.

That’s not a dream you want to wake up from.

Tonight, I am off to campaign again, striking at flanks and seeing if I can turn the enemy.  Unlike the Nazis, I shall turn them back into the sea.

Wish me luck.

Tonight: A #BlogBattle Story

I’ll just leave this here. . . .


Another #BlogBattle for you!  If you haven’t done it yet, what are you waiting for?  They’re fun!  You can find the rules here.


The moon hung low in the sky, impossibly large and shining like a majestic pearl in the heavens.  Light almost as bright as noonday sharpened shadows into distinctive lines which alternately illuminated everything or nothing. Muted colors shone in the light, if not with their original pigment, then with the same fervor.  All these things Cheswick Horn noticed absently, his mind on the three men working their way through one of the fenced off pastures near his barn.

Cattle rustlers.

Several days ago, word had spread to his farm of strangers lurking about nearby ranches.  At the same time cattle, sheep, horses, they’d all go missing.  It wasn’t some isolated event.  And, if Cheswick was right, he was next.  Well, they wouldn’t succeed here.

Cheswick waited long enough to see the three men move up to the barn before standing up and pulling on a pair of pants over his nightshirt.  He moved silently though the house, slipping on his boots before grabbing the repeating rifle he kept loaded by his side of the door.  There wasn’t any fear of waking anyone else up—he lived alone—but he didn’t want to warn the trespassers that he knew they were about.  Only the slapping of the closing door behind him gave anything away.

The barn door stood open as he made his way across the yard, a black maw that stared off into the abyss.  Grass rustled in the distance—whispers that almost failed to reach his ears—muffling the crunch of dirt under his boots.  He moved slow, carefully putting one foot in front of the other, avoiding any detritus.  Some animal yipped in the darkness; once, twice, then it was silent.

With a sudden cry, the three men burst out, riding reckless on two mares and his prize stallion.  Two were as white as the moon, the third hidden under a wide brimmed hat.  Each waved a pistol in the hand that didn’t hold the reins.  One pointed his gun at Cheswick and fired.

He dived aside, the bullet hitting the ground a foot in front of where he’d been standing.  It took a moment for Cheswick to roll into a position that brought his gun to bear on the escaping thieves.  A deep breath and he leveled the rifle at the nearest back.  The sights shook but he pulled the trigger before waiting for them to steady.

Luck guided his bullet.  That was the good news.  The bad was that he missed the man he was shooting at.  Instead the bullet took the mare of the lead rider.  Horse and man tumbled end over end.  Neither of the following men were far enough back to avoid the grounded animal, and Cheswick saw the other two drop in a tangle of horse and limbs.  Dust obscured his view as he popped to his feet and charged toward his quarry.

Bare bushes snagged on his flapping nightshirt as he raced forward.  More than once he felt a tug and heard a ripping sound over the thudding of his heart.  Air came dry and hot through his mouth and his chest heaved.  His throat burned.  Ahead, the dust was settling, but it was still too far away.  He pumped his legs faster, doing his best to avoid rocks and hidden holes.

A sudden, sharp pain bloomed in his chest, as if someone had shoved a knife between his ribs.  He staggered as the gunshot reached his ears, collapsing as another flew by his ear.  The ground came up to meet him and dirt filled his eyes and mouth.  For the third time, a gunshot rang out.  Cheswick only noticed it absently.  Rolling on his back, all of his attention was focused on his chest.  Blood—bright and red and sticky—stained his shirt.  Shaking, his fingers tore the nightshirt and exposed a fountain of blood to the air.  Pain wracked his body and he let his head hit the ground.  Beside him lay his rifle, and the hand not clutching his chest gripped it.  His finger traced the trigger before coming to a rest beside it.

Crunching reached his ears in a staggered and stuttering manner.  Whoever was coming his way was hurt themselves.  The footsteps came on slow.  They hardly registered.  Pain was everything.  There was nothing else.  But a face forced itself into his consciousness, a rugged thing with thinning hair and moustache.  Its eyes were filmy themselves, but they focused on Cheswick.

It said something, but he couldn’t catch it.  Wasn’t it obvious he was in pain here?   That he was dying?  The face disappeared and the barrel of a gun replaced it.  Black and all consuming, the death stared down at him, set on speeding his journey to an already certain destination.

“Albert and Johnny broke their necks in that tumble you gave us.”

A gunshot rung out and the pistol disappeared.  Cheswick’s hand slid away from the rifle and the suddenly hot barrel.  Only stars were above him now.  Stars and that beautiful moon.

Silence descended on the Oklahoma prairie.

Finding a Voice in Your Writing

Interesting, though I’m not sure I 100% agree.

What does everyone else think?

The Politics of Writing

To all fiction writers, and even nonfiction writers, one of the most discouraging issues encountered is to find a suitable voice for their writing. Often times when reading the work back over they’ll find that it is too dull or or that it is unmemorable. This is a simple issue but it is also a crucial issue. Some writers are so outright with their voice that just by a single excerpt readers will know who’s work it is. Other writers are more subtle with their voice. Just to get a general idea of what voice is, this video nicely explains.

The first thing to do is it actually identify what you’re trying to say. Take fiction for example. When crafting a story the writer has to consider what point of view would fit best and what tone the story should have to be the most effective. Some writers will…

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My Latest Addiction

If you asked my wife, that would be Metal Gear Solid V.  But she’d be wrong.  I’ve been addicted to that game series longer than I’ve known her.  It’s the video game franchise that predates my marriage.  Love comes and goes, but video games are forever.

Don’t tell her I said that, OK?

No, according to me, my latest addiction has to do with one of my other interests: Music.  I’m a bit ashamed of this, so I’ll just put it out there.  I can’t get me enough David Bowie.  The thing is, I’ve listened to him off and on throughout the years.  Love me some Space Oddity or Life on Mars, but lately I’ve been hitting repeat on entire albums.  Can’t get enough of The Man Who Sold the World or Ziggy Stardust.  It doesn’t stop.

Not that there’s anything wrong with listening to David Bowie.  He’s a fantastic performer who has left an indelible stamp on music.  I respect that and what he’s done.  The shame comes from two other directions.

  1. All I have, every David Bowie song, comes off of a greatest hits album.  That limits me to only the popular tunes and prevents me from digging deep into his catalog to find those gems that didn’t get radio play.  Or at least limited radio play—a la Stairway to Heaven (One of the most popular rock songs of all time and never released as a single).  At least, in my mind, there is a connection.  Of course, the solution is to start picking up albums and listening to them.  Easily enough fixed.
  2. It took me this long to appreciate his music.  That is ridiculous.  I should have well before now.  Blinded by my own narrow-mindedness.  The same thing happened to me with Bob Seger—though not to the same extent.  What I need to do is start listening more.  Actually listening better.  Noticing what’s out there with an open mind.  The same thing happens to me with books on occasion.  That phrase—Never judge a book by its cover—comes to mind.  Think I can apply it to music as well.

So if you all will pardon me, I’m off to spend some money.

Has this happened to anyone else out there?  Which bands/artists?  Curious.  Always looking for a good listen.