Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I've been meme-ed, whatever that means

I was reading a friend's blog http://leftbrainwrite.blogspot.com/ and saw Linda had meme-ed me. Or she said she had. I don't know where I find the meme. LOL. I will list my five writing strengths. That's what I think I'm supposed to do.

1. I'm willing to start over, and over and over until I get it right.

2. I'm honest when I critique other people's writing and it excites me and I love letting them know when they've done something magical. I'm humble enough to learn from their brilliance.

3. I'm very creative, a real right brainer. A painter before I became a writer, I live in my imagination a good part of each day. It helps me create the world my characters live in. I actually see them, the town, hear them talk, etc.

4. I'm not afraid to fail. Enough said.

5. I'm willing to take criticism for what it is-an opportunity to make my writing the best it can be.

OK, now I'm supposed to meme two people, but I don't know how. Anyone reading this that knows how to do so, please let me know. :)

A Tiny bit of Painted Black

OK, I've decided to start posting a paragraph from the mystery novel I'm working on once a week. The book is titled Painted Black. Only one paragraph, taken out of context will be posted. Just some samples of my writing. Let me know what you think. Thanks, Deborah
Ok, here goes. This paragraph is from Chapter Two

“I don’t suppose you know who I am?” He drew in his already concave stomach and hitched a thumb in the black studded belt he wore. “I’m in charge around here. Got that baby ready for you.” He nodded toward the jeep. Brown juice oozed from between his teeth when he smiled. His breath had the sour smell of whiskey, and his eyes became silver slits, sharp as knives. “Name’s Peter Lynch.” He cocked his hips. “Big Peter most women call me once they get to know me.” His weak chin rose. “Want anything you come to me. I make the decisions.”

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My Novel Painted Black- It's A Mystery

My novel, sigh, has turned into a mystery. That's good and not so good. I've always intended it to be a mystery, just not the mystery its presenting at the moment. I can't seem to put on those final finishing touches. They keep falling off into the delete pile.

Someday it will be good enough to submit to agents, at least I hope so. I've written the whole thing, that was easy. It's the little bitty part called revisions that seems to have turned into a task as gargantuan as King Kong. Especially those pesky first few pages. No matter what brilliant idea I have for a first sentence, when I re-read it the next day, it, well it sucks.

Maybe I'm starting in the wrong place? You see that a lot in agents complaints, this writer started the book before it got interesting. Lop off the first five chapters. I've tried that and my special readers lamented the loss of some juicy tidbit or another. Then I tried a prologue to heighten the tension. Writer's Digest forum readers said I gave too much away.

Hmm, I guess I'll go back to the beginning, where I first found my protagonist Kate Callahan. She's lying on the veranda of a Southern Mansion and tells the man who offers her a hand up she wants to hang him. Do you think that's a good enough hook?

Monday, August 20, 2007

MySpace-August on Horseback

August is a month that many people wish would speed by. Minds move on to thoughts of fall, summer is close to its end, and people trudge about like they live in a furnace. Most want to stay inside, while away time on the computer. Not I, to me August is the month that highlights the special parts of a summer day, especially when you include a horse. August is MySpace outdoors and a part of me feels a little sad for those inside tapping away on their keyboards.

For example, on the hottest day last week I went out on my horse, caught the trail behind the barn and slid into the deep woods. The temperature dipped from 90 to 80, or at least it felt like it did. My horse, her name is Summer Games, picked up a brisk trot and we moved along the path until we reached the creek and turned onto the "Waterfall Trail". I listened to the icy stream as it tumbled over a ledge and slid between mountain boulders, and felt the mist on my skin. My mare picked her way through the rocks, stopped in the middle of a quiet pool for a drink and then moved onto the pine needle covered cart path leading to the wildflower meadow. We stopped at the edge and watched a doe and fawn fade into the distant trees. The fine smell of a well-groomed horse, fresh cut grass and moss on wet stones filled the air. I found myself with a smile on my face and joy in my heart.

It doesn't get much better than that; the ride made even more special because of the contrast with the heat in a car, on a sidewalk, or working in the garden, and because I've chosen to be outdoors not in. Without August I would never experience quite this level of pleasure. It might be the hottest of months, but in my mind, August on horseback equals perfect summer days in MySpace and I'll save the computer for midnight rendezvous's.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

novel- writing

Working on my novel today between bouts of outdoor sunshine. Painted Black is about a Chicago artist in North Carolina. She goes there to put on an exhibit and to paint and ends up solving a murder. Underground tunnels, secret cellars, horses, and handsome men, figure into the adventure. Her paintings reveal the killer, she almost loses her life and with the help of a fiesty terrier traps the villian.
Today I'm helping her explore her first suspect's movements on the day of the crime. She keeps wanting to go outside and ride horses, but I'm making her stay put and work.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Trapped By An Angel

here's a story someone requested I post. Hope you enjoy it. DeborahB

Trapped By An Angel

All I can see are stark, dark trees against a wall of gray in the forest dusk. Dim shadows lie like ghosts across the snow. Of course I don’t believe in ghosts. Don’t believe in anything except that the world is a tough place and you have to be tough to survive.
“Hold on Janie. Another hour and we’ll be at the barn,” I say. “Need to finish the trapline, stow the game.” My sister Janie’ll never make it alone in this world. She believes in everything good, and never even sees the bad. So, I have the extra burden of watching over her. Carry it like I’m carrying her, nothing I need, but something I’m tough enough to handle. I try to teach her, but… “Your fault you got hurt.”
“Is not,” she says with a giggle. “My Mickey, Mickey, Michael.” One of her red mittens pats the top of my head, while the other grabs my collar. She's always so damn cheerful.
“Humph.” I shift my shoulders, toss her abruptly upwards, and will myself to keep moving. Janie is six, a real, sweet as carnival cotton candy brat. Can’t do a darn thing by herself. Mom treats her like a baby. Took care of myself by the time I was her age. She should too. Does nothing but cause harm spoiling her like this.
My legs tremble and my arms feel as if someone’s pulling the muscles apart strip by strip. I’m strong for fourteen, but she’s like a pack full of empty traps, nothing but dead weight. The burden numbs me to the sights and sounds of the forest. I trudge on through the cold, wet woods.
Janie’s hands clutch my jacket, her legs twine with my arms and I feel her breath against my neck. The only sound is the crunch my boots make as they break through the ice that borders the stream. I stare at the ground looking for tracks, don’t see the glittering world she chatters about in my ear.
“Michael, my ankle hurts so bad.” Janie’s tone changes as we near my game line. I close my mind, like the steel trap that swings from my belt. Her arms tighten around my neck.
“Loosen up. You’re choking me.”
“It hurts.”
I look down at her ankle. Appears normal, hard to tell through the red boot she wears. Probably another one of her tricks.
“Ain’t gonna keep me from collecting pelts. You should’ve stayed home.” I stop, drop her on the snow.
She scowls. “Didn’t have to dump me!” Her voice changes to a whine. “Please no more traps.”
Then, being cotton candy Janie, she lies back, smiles and flutters her arms and legs.
“What’re you doin’?” My hands clench, my jaw muscles jump. Can’t the kid tell I’m aggravated?
“Making angels.” She rolls back into a sitting position. “It’s almost Christmas.” Her cheeks are bright red and her eyes gleam with excitement.
The ice thickens around my heart. “Ain’t nobody giving you nothing. Quit trying to slow me down. I’m getting my traps.” I kick out, spraying snow in Janie’s face, then start down the trail.
She’s followed me everywhere this year and Mom makes me take her. That’s all right if I’m going fishing, it’s kinda funny watching her squirm when I put a worm on the hook, but not when I’m trapping. She cries over every animal I catch. She doesn’t understand that the pelts mean money. I crash through the underbrush.
“I don’t have time for fairytales and Santa ain’t visited me, ever.” The words come from my mouth on large bursts of steam. I mean for Janie to hear them. Branches shower white flakes on top of my parka and against my neck. My shoulder blades jump toward each other as icy wetness runs down my spine. I wish I had a muffler. Can’t afford one. As I draw my head into my coat, I admit Janie’s arms sheltered me from the icy bath as I carried her.
“Still ain’t worth the trouble you cause!” I holler.
Reaching into my pocket, I pull out a piece of gum, hesitate, tear it in two, and put half in my mouth. The brat will want some. It smells like winter and tastes like wild mint. My eyes scan the bushes. Janie’s voice fades into the distance. She can sit there all night for all I care. She knows the way home. She’s no more hurt than I am. I’m filled with the righteous bitterness of a misused soul.
There should be a trap here somewhere. I drop to my knees and dig through the snow. My hand hits against something hard. I grasp it and drag it to the surface. Chain clanks. The trap appears, crusted with whiteness, its jaws pressed together like a demon’s fangs.
“Damn.” I throw it down. Empty, just like the others. Someone’s triggering my traps. “Janie, did you do this?” My voice is loud. “Answer me!” I wait, beating the trap against my leg, thinking of what I’ll do when I see her. No sound comes from up the trail.
Limbs snap against my thrusting arms as I trudge back. I’m out of breath when I reach the spot where I dumped Janie in the snow. She’s gone. The imprint of the angel is clear, makes me uneasy. I look around for tracks. There they are, small waffle boot prints leading off to the deep woods, headed not quite towards the house. I turn to head back to my trap line and then hesitate. Mom will kill me if I leave her little angel out here alone. I sniff the air. It smells like more snow coming. The sky is a somber, ugly gray. I better find her and get home.
“So much for the sprained ankle,” I mumble to myself as I examine the evenly spaced footprints. “God, why’s she always messing up my life?” I glare at the menacing sky and follow her trail.
Janie’s crouched in a group of holly bushes, one finger held to her lips. She crooks the finger, luring me to her.
Thirsty, I pull a glove off as I approach and scoop up a handful of snow. It tastes like pine. I spit it out and wipe my hand on my pants. The cold bites at my fingers. When I reach Janie, I squat behind her.
“What is it?” My words no more than a soft breath.
“Santa’s reindeer.” Her voice high, yet a whisper.
I blow against my hand to warm it. It’s red and rough from work. I tuck it under my armpit as I peer over her shoulder. A huge buck stands not fifteen feet away, next to a doe. He paws the ground by her head. With her front feet spread, neck stretched, nose to the ground, the doe quivers, but doesn’t move. Strange, they aren’t running. My fingers twitch. I wish I had my rifle. The buck’s rack of horn must span eight feet.
A metallic clank fills the air. The doe stumbles back as if released from a tether, then lifts her head, her nose red with blood. My trap. She had her nose caught in one of my traps. The buck’s pawing must have released her.
Janie gasps. I try to cover her eyes. She jerks away. The sudden movement startles the deer. In great leaps they disappear into the deep woods. Janie turns to me. I brace and watch for her accusing eyes. Steal myself against the words I expect she’ll say.
“Michael, Michael did you see them?” Her voice bounces off the trees. “The reindeer, even Rudolf, right here in our woods. Did you see his red nose? Santa must be near. He’ll come this year. I know he will. You knew, didn’t you? I love you.” Her eyes shimmer with excitement. She falls back into the snow laughing and begins to make another angel. There’s a hole in the sole of her red rubber boot.
I look at her and wonder when I lost the magic of believing. I feel so old. Seen through her eyes the woods are a fairyland, reindeer are possible and traps are always empty. I pick her up and nestle my nose in her hair. She smells of soap and things I’d buried deep, under a layer of ice.
My baby sister believes. Emotion freezes my throat.
“Santa’ll come,” I mumble. I don’t know how, but he’ll come. Cold seeps through my coat. I ignore it as I set Janie back on her feet.
Then I fall into the snow, trusting. It feels awkward this trusting, as my body pummels toward the earth, still I’m determined. The snow engulfs me like a soft winter comforter. My arms and legs struggle to make an angel. The sky no longer looks gray. I see it through the shining light of Janie’s eyes. I stand up and my feelings burst forth in a great laugh. It sounds strange, but good.
“Let’s go home.” I unfasten the trap attached to my belt and let it drop to the ground. “No more trapping this year. My gift to you.”
She grins broadly and then frowns. “But I don’t have anything for you.”
“You alone is enough. Climb up and keep my back warm.”
She giggles as she climbs on my back and then becomes still, her arms strong as my traps and warm as a muffler around my neck.
“Trapped by an angel,” she whispers.
I nod my head and turn toward the barn and home. My legs swing easily, for I come bearing gifts. I carry a snow angel on my back. The only sound I hear is ice as it cracks around my heart. I swipe at moisture in my eyes. The world sparkles and I watch with care for reindeer in the woods.

Friday, January 19, 2007

my space

Here's my Space info for me:
http://www.myspace.com/deborahtales">Find me on MySpace and be my friend!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Poem on Weather

15th of January 70 degrees
18th of January we all freeze
21st century Iphone communication
does not stop Mother Nature's invasion

Pretty corny, huh? I'm sitting here looking out on a gray, day of icey drizzle. Less than a week ago, I couldn't stay inside because the weather was so wonderful. January in NC promises surprise, if nothing else. Makes it a little easier to get through winter. Think I'll go make a cup of hot tea.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

January Sunshine and a Husband

Today it is near 70 degrees here. I've spent the day outside working with my husband on a run-in shed for the horses. That really means I held up boards while he used the nail gun and fetched things as needed. I couldn't complain though since they are my horses. He not only doesn't ride he wouldn't even live on a farm if it weren't for me. Marriage is a crap shoot as far as I'm concerned. If you end up with a person you can live with for a long time, you're just lucky or too stubborn to give up. Not sure where we fall in this category, but for today I feel pretty durn lucky.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

New Year, New Writing Goals

Time to get going on this again. It's been awhile, but life got in the way. I'm spending way to much time on Writer's Digest forum. It's fun and you can see some of my work there under posts by Deborah B. I plan to write everyday this year, at least some of the time on my novel Painted Black. I need to get it out there. It's like a noose around my creativity now. Keeps me from forging ahead because I haven't completed the rewrite and given the agents a chance to reject it. How about you? What are your goals?
I read some of the younger writers words and feel almost old fashioned in my story telling. What keeps me going is I know there are a lot of boomers out there who read! All for now.