So  one of my favorite readers, Mina, left a comment on The New Canvas yesterday…

Damn. Now I want to *see* this piece!

that got me thinking…could I do that?  See, I’m not slouch in the drawing department.   But if I were to tackle something like that I worry that I wouldn’t have time to write.

So I started musing out loud to Mr. Greyson who immediately said, “I think I could help you with that.  I’ve had a clear image of that tattoo since you started writing the piece.”

Wow.  So he’s going to try his hand at drawing up the tattoo for me.  We need to sit down and discuss it some more to make sure that we agree on what it looks like and all that, but I think I might be able to illustrate the story as well as tell it!

Cool, huh?

I apologize for the lack of posts lately, but life has gotten a bit…full…here at Chateau Greyson.  Late Thursday evening Mr. Greyson pulled a moving van into our driveway with his sister and our four year old niece behind in her car.  They’re moving in with us for a while until she can find a job and get on her feet and so on.  It’s already proving to be a challenge but I’m sure we’ll all adjust.

I’m just grateful for the gift of my Muse Room and plan to spend more time in there! 😉


Long in the birthing…

The first post of my latest serial went up on Saturday, and I have to say, this one was a long time in coming.  The initial inspiration for this one came from working on one of Alison Tyler‘s 250 word challenges, one that involved tattoos.  Well, as soon as I wrote the piece I knew there was more there, but I was already hip deep in the Voyeur series.

So, now I get to work on this one, and I must say it’s proving harder than I expected.  The original piece was written in the first person from a male perspective.  Well, I certainly won’t pretend to have much knowledge of that POV, so I switched it to third person.  But I do adore tattoos, and am looking forward to writing this piece around the process of getting tattooed.

I generally fly by the seat of my pants when I write…I usually only know a fraction of the story that I’m writing, learning more as I write.  Well, with this serial I had to think a little more, as as I thought,  I made the decision that I would alternate POVS.  The next piece will be from my other MC’s point of view, and in the first person.  I think by doing this I can explore both sides of the story but in a way that is distinctly different and hopefully interesting!

Writing the serials is very enjoyable for me.  I like the feedback loop created and the anticipation that draws readers back week in and week out.  The promise I make to post weekly keeps me honest and doesn’t let me squirm out of writing when I hit snags in the story.

I like to think it works out for both writer and reader.  What do you think?

A 26 week journey.

Fork in the Road by Patrick Smith

On July 31st, 2009 I posted the first installment of the Voyeur series, All for a Glimpse.  I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do with the serial and thought it would be an interesting thing to accomplish.  The original intention was that each installment would be a short story in its own right, tied together by the character Veronica.  But it didn’t take long before it morphed into something else entirely.

The last installment of this project will be posted today.  I have it mostly written but am struggling with pulling the trigger on the final piece of the puzzle, worrying it like a dog with a bone.  It’s wrapping up somewhere around 24,000 words, which just amazes me.  For the most part I wrote the entire series in roughly 900 word pieces.  When I was preparing for NaNoWriMo I wrote four or five pieces in a week and could feel the change in flow.

Noticing that means that when I get going on my next serial(yes, there will be another.  I hope to post the start next Friday and continue posting weekly as I have with Voyeur) I want to make sure I write three or four at a time, in close proximity.  If there’s one thing I know is that I am not a sprinter, neither with words or on my feet.  I like looking ahead, pacing myself, planning how I’m going to make it to the next chapter, the next plot point.  So I’ve no intention of even thinking the next serial will be anything but that ~ a novella delivered in serialized form.

I also intend to go back through Voyeur in its entirety, do much need rewrites, perhaps expound on things touch on all too briefly, then release the novella as an eBook.  As that process unfolds I’m sure I will blog about it, and keep track of the progress.

I’m off of work today and Monday, and hope to make some writing progress.  For now, I’ve a lovely little werewolf piece flowing, so I’m going to stop knawing on Voyeur and work on it for a bit.  Perhaps knowing there are other projects in the wings will give me the strength to let her go.

You Know What I Mean…

You know that person you just want to grab ahold of and sit down?  The fidgeter, the worrier, the pacer who’s constantly moving in your peripheral vision? 

That’s my muse right now.  She’s ancy, nervous, twitchy.  She won’t sit down and absolutely refuses to talk about it.  I’ll hiss at her to stop and she’ll freeze like a rabbit hoping the predator will pass her over and the moment my attention is redirected her toe starts to bounce again or her fingers to tap.

I’ve really no explanation for this happening. 

The absofantabulous Sommer Marsden posted a TED conference video yesterday that made me rather sigh in relief a little.  While Elizabeth Gilbert was talking about people viewing creativity as from within themselves, I’ve always personified mine.  If I’m not writing something(as I am right now) then my muse is not letting me in on what she’s doing.  If she were, I imagine I might be writing poetry, to judge by her level of angst and agitation.  If I wake in the middle of the night at a jolt of inspiration I will tell you that my muse woke me up.  And I rarely, ever, claim my work, instead saying that I’m merely channeling my characters at the bidding of my taskmaster of a muse.


Check out the video.  It’s amazing.

And hopefully my muse will clue me in on what’s wrong, so I can get back to writing soon.

Beginner’s Ball: Fear of Falling

hidingFear is an emotional response to threats and danger. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus, such as pain or the threat of pain. Psychologists John B. Watson, Robert Plutchik, and Paul Ekman have suggested that fear is one of a small set of basic or innate emotions. This set also includes such emotions as joy, sadness, and anger. Fear should be distinguished from the related emotional state of anxiety, which typically occurs without any external threat. Additionally, fear is related to the specific behaviors of escape and avoidance, whereas anxiety is the result of threats which are perceived to be uncontrollable or unavoidable. Worth noting is that fear always relates to future events, such as worsening of a situation, or continuation of a situation that is unacceptable.

New things are often scary.

We are afraid to venture from our safe places, afraid to fall, afraid to fail, and in some cases, afraid to succeed.  Our reaction to that fear, whether it’s fight or flight, in a lot of ways stems from our upbringing.  I come from a family that fostered a habit of exploration, at least a little bit.  While no one crouched beside me, encouraging my six year old self to go explore, no one discouraged me either.  I spent my youth scaling trees, exploring random paths, and otherwise going places that in retrospect I’m certain would have given my mom fits.

I don’t climb trees any more.  If there’s one thing growing up has taught me is a healthy respect for gravity.  But I do explore random paths and I’m certain that my mom would at least raise an eyebrow at the things I do.

But, even scarier than trees and unknown paths are the depths of our imagination.  And sharing what our imagination creates can be downright paralyzing.  I didn’t originally plan to do my Beginner’s Ball post on fear.  I actually had planned to delve into perception a bit more.  But lately it seems I hear the words “fear”, “frightened”, and “scared” from all quarters.  And on other fronts, I’ve encountered the dark specters my own mind can conjure recently, and that, too, has seen me whisper, “I’m scared.”

Being an artist of any sort is a daunting prospect.  Of course, we’re specifically discussing being a writer.  And as such, pen name or no, you have to build a persona that has thick skin to deal with critics, you have to let rejections roll off your back, and you have brave the waters again and again.  I’m so new to this process that I haven’t had those really sink in yet.  I’m sharing my writing, but haven’t been through the submission and rejection process yet.  I will, and soon, though, I’m sure.

So.  We’re all afraid of falling.  What do you do to conquer that?  How do you work through the fears that plague the writing process?  Do you find yourself afraid to write something in particular?  A subject, theme, specific story lingering in the back of your mind?  How do you brave them, the trials your own mind sets before you?  If something specific haunts you, or has haunted you, have you come up with a plan of attack, or, if successful, how did you do it?

Writing this morning. . .

I got my first rejection Thursday.

And it didn’t sting as bad as I expected.  Granted, part of that is because, at least in my small circle of acquaintances and friends, no one could figure out what they wanted.  But, I will say that the editor was generous enough to include some feedback which I will take to heart.  I think another side of it is that the inspiration for this piece was SO long in coming that I didn’t finish it until two days before the deadline.  So I can say with complete honesty that I know I didn’t put my best foot forward.

So.  Onward.

Mr. Greyson has been a rock of support for me through this.  He’s proud of me.  Proud that I pushed through, writing at a blistering pace to complete something instead of just shrugging it off with a procrastinator’s guilt.  He’s also been acting as my first line of criticism.  He doesn’t pull punches(and, well, after 11 years you would hope it wouldn’t) and is quite honest with me when he thinks something isn’t working.  Generally that means I’m trying too hard and I need to step back from it.  If it weren’t for his support. . .well. . .

I have too many pies in the oven right now.  I have a novella waiting for me to return to it, the ongoing Voyeur series, and two other flash series in progress or waiting to be started.  My writing folder is a jumble of files with just one sentence or three paragraphs or whathave you just waiting to be expounded upon.

Right now, though, I’m going to turn my attention to yet another new project.  Yes, I know.  But a vivid dream yesterday sparked my imagination and I started writing an opening paragraph.  And another dream last night exploded that paragraph into a story.  It’ll be dark and maybe a little twisted.  I don’t know all of where it’s going(I never do) but I’m interested to see where my muse is headed.  She’s cast herself in a film noire light this morning, I think.  The story will be titled “Piece of Strange”.

Off I go.  I need to refill my coffee mug and start getting the images out of my head.  Have a great Saturday!

Summer’s Surrender

I could feel it this morning.  That cusp between summer and fall.  I stood on my porch in the dark, Venus hanging low in the velvety cloudless sky, the horizon faintly lined with the palest purple.

Summer’s surrendering.  It’s plain to feel when dawn is struggling for a grasp on this world.  Summer never really gained a foothold here.  Never have I spent so little time sweating through the months of July and August.  And now it’s truly in its last throes. 

The morning breeze off the lake was warm, little tendrils lifting my hair from my neck, a lover’s caress. I shivered, rubbing the goosebumps from my arms.  Even though the summer wasn’t hot, I still love the arrival of this weather.  This afternoon I know I’ll go out and stand in the sun, feel the rays warm my flesh with a tingle. 

And tonight, as the sun yields the sky to the moon, the air will grow crisp again.  My body will cool.  And I’ll get to choose whether I want to snuggle into an oversized sweatshirt or, better yet, pull him to the couch and burrow into him.  Feel his skin warm, then hot against my fingers, and take advantage of the need to make a little heat.



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