Posts

Showing posts from 2013

I Didn't Win

Nope, not a chance. I'm not popular enough to have gotten enough votes to win, but at least writing the story for the Gaelsong contest was good practice. So now I will share my entry with you all:
Betty by K.E. Skedgell
Every Halloween, Betty took delight in watching the neighborhood children dressed in costumes go door to door for treats. And every year she hoped at least one child would stop at hers. From her parlor window, she watched a young bee begin to waddle up her sidewalk, but the bee's mother grabbed hold of their arm and said, “No, not here. This is the home of that old witch.” Betty sighed and her heart sank as all the children passed by her lighted porch. Another year without handing out candied apples to even one child. Every year she said, “Why do I bother?” She looked about her home to her favorite things: her collection of owl statues, the crystal balls she used to read fortunes from, now gathering dust, her books of Shakespeare and Poe, a skull engraved with Cel…

I Entered A Contest...

Image
...of sorts. It's called the Samhain Visions Cover Story Contest where you write a story, poem, or essay about the photo on the cover of Gaelsong's catalog. So I wrote a short story (the name of it is "Betty") and I think it's an okay little story. I need more votes though to win the big prize (hint hint) since the stories are voted on by your peers. Hence, it doesn't really matter how good the story is, or how well it's written, just as long as you can get enough people to vote for your story. Anyway, the voting runs until the 29th of October and you can vote on a story once a day every day until the the voting ends. I'm just looking to be somewhere near the top, I guess, and not dead last. I have ten votes as of writing this. Hope I get more.
In other news...
My progression on my Lake One Gothic romance novel, or novella, or whatever it'll be, is coming along slowly but surely. I have over 12k words written, some of which I'm sure I'll kee…

I Came To A Conclusion

Now, this is going to sound like I'm making up excuses, and maybe it really is, but I think I came to a conclusion as to why I'm having so much trouble writing this year as opposed to previous years, even when I was going through a spell of depression. The reason--my family.
Now, I love my family, and it's not them personally that is making it hard for me to get in the writing spirit again. The problem is that there is never a time when I have the house to myself. Never. There is always someone here in this house, whereas when I lived with my ex there were numerous times I had the house to myself, and that's when I got most of my writing done. When he was in the house I had a hard time concentrating on my work. He could be very quiet and still; yet, it was like the light shut off on my imagination until he went to bed. When he was gone and I had the house all to my very lonesome, I could turn on some music, light some candles, you know, set up an atmosphere, and have th…

Not A Lot A Happenin'

Image
I haven't made a new post in over two months for good reasons. Not much has happened. Well, maybe a little. I have a job now, which being jobless was really taking its toll on my sanity. It's nice to finally have some money rolling in. I've been in a depression funk for quite some time and it still has yet to lift, but it's getting better. Not enough for me to get back into my writing, though I did start on a new project, sort of. I have about 3000 words written, The direction I wish for it to go is horror on the Gothic side, but since I'm a 'by the seat of the pants' type of writer, it could turn out to be anything. The working title is Lake One, and here's the gist of it:
During the summer of 1923, strange murders plague the "friendly village" of Nashville, Michigan, and the residents don't know who could be behind the deaths. Young women and children are found drained of blood laying on the bank beside an old boathouse on Lake One. Jenni…

Dudes, I'm Freaking Out!

Image
So I have myself a few beta readers now and they're actually reading my story! Uh, yeah, I mean that's what I want, no doubt about it, but see, I'm used to handing off the first chapter or two for friends to read to get their opinion (and granted this was back when my writing sucked insert expletive) and the usual caveat was no reply back. Ever. Even though my writing is somewhat decent nowadays, I expected that to happen again after finding me a few betas.
Well, the first one that I hitched up with hasn't responded to me in two weeks, and I gave them the first six chapters three weeks ago. Gave them some time, thinking, okay, people have lives and they probably can't get to it right away. No biggie. Got an email saying they were still working on their notes and would send them to me in a few days. Sweet. So I waited, and waited, and still no email. That figures, I thought. Well, perhaps my story really does suck insert expletive. I tell peeps, if it isn't your …

A Reminder Of My Failure

Image
For the past couple of months I've made it a point to go for a walk every evening, or most evenings after supper to burn off the calories I had ingested. I was growing tired of my midsection expanding further and further and needed to do something to put an end to that nonsense, so I started taking long walks. So far I've lost ten pounds since winter, not a lot, but the weight didn't come on suddenly either. It was a gradual gain and will be a gradual loss.
This post isn't about my weight loss, it's about what I discovered a month or more ago on my walks that has reminded me of my failure in life, my failure to have a good job or career, to have money in the bank or even for recreation, let alone for retirement and what have you. It stands on the corner of Washington and Middle streets in my home town, in all of its Victorian, tan brick, and purple shingled glory. Yup, a house. But not just any house, it's the house that since I was a young girl had dreamed of o…

Draft Three Complete!

And the search begins for beta readers. I have a few willing readers already, that's if they can make it through all 180k words. Yeah, I failed to cut it to my goal of 150k words, but doing so would have taken out large chunks of the story that I would have had to rewrite and possibly change the story to where I didn't want it to be. Maybe I'm just too attached to the thing and maybe a beta or two may find something that can be cut or reduced (hopefully not expanded on, it's a doorstop as it is).
My next task at hand is to search for another couple more betas, see if any of them will be a good fit for me and my work, and begin working on book two and a query letter. I may hold off on the query letter for a while yet until I get some more feedback from my betas in case any major restructuring will have to happen, which I doubt but you never know. Ideally I would like at least one beta that knows their stuff about 15th century Romania and Hungary and can help me make the …

An Evening Romp Through Quaker Cemetery

Image
I have a fascination with cemeteries because of the history of the dead laid to rest in them and their peaceful atmosphere. A friend and I went to this little hidden gem of a cemetery yesterday in eastern Barry County Michigan, only a few miles south of where we live, located in Maple Grove TWP on a dirt back road. It's easy to miss it if you don't know where to look for the drive, partially hidden behind wild shrubbery and grasses, looking every bit like a private drive. The drive is a two-track that goes up a steep hill, full of ruts from the heavy rain we've had lately here washing out parts of the drive, and on either side wild growth trimmed just enough to not scratch up your car too badly. However, not all the tree and shrub branches are cut back far enough to avoid scratches, so taking a car you wouldn't want scratched would be a good idea, or leave the car parked at the bottom of the hill off to the side of the road and walk.




Once you reach the top, the drive en…

One Year Old Today

Image
Yup, today my blog becomes one. The main purpose with this blog when I first started out was to share my writing experiences with y'all and some history stuff, and whatever else that floated into my noggin' that I wanted to share. Lately I've been quiet, my writing has ceased which is mainly the reason for my silence since this is supposed to be a writer's blog. No writing, nothing to share. I've even ceased with the random song of the week since it didn't seem to be very popular. Eh, it had its run.
I've been in a funk lately, as is usually the case this time of year where my mind switches over to gardening mode and my writing sits on the back burner. Last year I was in neither gardening nor writing mode, but I did write more last summer than I had ever done before, and managed to finish the first draft by the turn of the new year. Still working on draft three slowly but surely of book one, very slowly, and haven't touched book two in a long while. Perh…

The Last Few Days Have Been Something

Image
I'm sore, burnt, and have tons of work to do. Last Friday my mom, a friend and her son, and me, all went down to Ohio 200 miles away to my ex's house to dig as many plants from my flower beds as we could fit inside the little 4'x8' trailer and the backs of both of the SUV's. And we didn't get them all. So Saturday my mom, brother, and me, went back down there while we still had the trailer and hauled some more. Still did not get all that I wanted, but got the majority. I could have grabbed a few others that would have fit, but I was so tired from digging I just didn't care anymore. I have roughly about 400 plants that I brought up here.
I suppose it's a good thing that I didn't grab more, now that I have some of them spaced out around in the beds I made, I wouldn't have had room for more. I'm afraid I won't have room for all of my hostas. Some may have to go in pots and I may have to dig out more grass. In the meantime, they'll get pl…

Long Time, No Posts

Image
It has been nearly three weeks since my last post. Nothing of any merit has happened since then. I've been outside digging my mother's yard for the last couple of weeks in preparation for the plants I'll be bringing up here from Ohio next weekend, assuming the weather cooperates. Speaking of weather, this has been one cold, wet, nasty spring up here in Michigan. Welcome back home, my home state says, enjoy all the cold and rain and yuck. Rivers and lakes are flooding all around, some of the worst around the Grand Rapids area. Low lying areas around here are underwater, the ground is just so saturated that it can't hold anymore. Except for my mom's yard. It's a sandy loam soil, so it drains really well, which will be good for my plants and will be quite the opposite of which they are growing in now, poorly draining clay loam.
On the writing front, sadly, not much has been done. I've barely started my second pass of edits (I decided to make a third draft after…

Random Song Of The Week #42

Image
Ludovico Einaudi -- Newton's Cradle
Album -- In A Time Lapse (2013)



Instrumental.

Yes, another Ludovico song. I love his music, and this is a dark and chilling piece from his newest album. The video I found on YouTube is a time lapse video, and it's awesome. Do watch! Of course, to get the full effect of the music, it's best to listen on a headset or ear buds, but if you don't have either, watch this anyway and turn up the volume.

I'm Still Alive

Image
I've been rather quiet on my blog lately, with good reason. I've been working on the edits of my manuscript for the past few weeks now that I'm out of my funk from having broken up with my boyfriend of seven years and moving back home with my parents. I still get mopey from time to time, but I'm doing better.
Today I finished my first pass of edits on this draft. I don't plan to have other drafts other than the first and this one, I just don't see the point in keeping so many versions (but, who knows, I may change my mind). I'll just hack away at this one until it's as tight as I can make it. I didn't get anywhere near my goal of cutting the manuscript down from 189k to 150k, I managed to cut a measly 7000 words. I'll let the manuscript sit for a week or so and then I'll start on pass number two. Hopefully I can cut more then with a little distance from it. Afterward I'll be seeking betas and their advice or suggestions. I've never ed…

Random Song Of The Week #41

Image
Pearl Jam -- Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town
Album -- Vs. (1993)


I seem to recognize your face
haunting, familiar, yet I can't seem to place it
cannot find the candle of thought to light your name
lifetimes are catching up with me
all these changes taking place, I wish I'd seen the place
but no one's ever taken me
hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away...
hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away... 
I swear I recognize your breath
memories like fingerprints are slowly raising
me, you wouldn't recall, for I'm not my former
it's hard when, you're stuck upon the shelf
I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate
perhaps that's what no one wants to see
I just want to scream...hello...
my god its been so long, never dreamed you'd return
but now here you are, and here I am
hearts and thoughts they fade...away...
hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away...
hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away...
hearts and thoughts they fade...

Random Song Of The Week #40

Image
Richard Burmer -- A Story From The Rain
Album -- Across The View (1988) & Sunday Morning Coffee (1991)



Electronic ambient artist and Michigan native, Richard Burmer. If you have a good set of headphones or ear buds, you may want to listen to this on those, then turn the sound up and prepare for your skin to goose pimple.
Rest in peace, Mr. Burmer.

New Specs

Image
So Thursday I finally went to see an ophthalmologist to get my eyes examined and to get some new contact lenses, only I didn't get new contacts this time around (yet), I got glasses instead. And let me tell you, wearing them feels strange! It's been since the early nineties when I last wore glasses, I've always worn contacts because of the comfort of not having something sitting on my nose and being able to wear sunglasses. Putting them on for the first time in many moons is such a weird sensation, everything seems farther away and rounded and distorted and when I walk or even move I feel dizzy and out of balance. I'm sure in a few days I'll adjust, but until then I'm not driving or going into public.
I've always told myself for the past several years that I should have a pair of glasses in case something should happen to my contact lenses, or to give my eyes a rest from wearing them. But I didn't, and now I'm paying the price for my procrastination …

Random Song Of The Week #39

Image
Madonna -- Take A Bow
Album -- Bedtime Stories (1994)


Take a bow, the night is over
This masquerade is getting older
Light are low, the curtains down
There's no one here
(There's no one here, there's no one in the crowd)
Say your lines but do you feel them
Do you mean what you say when there's no one around (no one around)
Watching you, watching me, one lonely star
(One lonely star you don't know who you are)

I've always been in love with you (always with you)
I guess you've always known it's true (you know it's true)
You took my love for granted, why oh why
The show is over, say good-bye

Say good-bye (bye bye), say good-bye

Make them laugh, it comes so easy
When you get to the part
Where you're breaking my heart (breaking my heart)
Hide behind your smile, all the world loves a clown
(Just make 'em smile the whole world loves a clown)
Wish you well, I cannot stay
You deserve an award for the role that you played (role that you played)
No more …

QUILTBAG Characters

Image
QUILTBAG. What does that mean? Here's the definition according to the Queer Dictionary:

QUILTBAG is an acronym. It stands for Queer/Questioning, Undecided, Intersex, Lesbian, Transgender/Transsexual, Bisexual, Allied/Asexual, Gay/Genderqueer. It is meant to be a more inclusive term than GLBT/LGBT and to be more pronounceable (and memorable) than some of the other variations or extensions on the GLBT/LGBT abbreviation.

When I first came across this acronym, I thought, what the hell does QUILTBAG mean? It can't mean a bag made out of a quilt, because, you know, silly me, that's the first thing that popped into my mind. So I looked it up and it all made sense to me. The acronym itself is befitting, like a quilt it represents patches of the different aspects of queer life, all wrapped up into one acronym like a bag.

The representation of queer folks in entertainment has grown in the last several years as the world becomes more accepting: from books to TV and movies to music, QUIL…