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I've Been Tagged! (The Lucky 7 Meme)

Okay, it's taken me a while to get around to this, but I was recently tagged by Sarah L. Fox in the "Lucky 7 Meme" and it's about time I play! This is where writers take 7 lines from either page 7 or 77 of their current manuscript and post them. Sort of like my Short Snippet Saturdays, but where I have less choice which snippets to show you. Scary!

My biggest obstacle to this was figuring out just where either page 7 or page 77 exists in my (still yet to be re-drafted) manuscript of my scifi/romance/action mash-up WIP, "Fate's Apology". This is because I long ago separated each chapter into its own separate word document to get away from the supremely unwieldy single mega-document that my first meandering attempt at writing a novel turned into. That said, counting the pages as they now stand, I went to line 7 from what may or may not actually be page 77, but we'll call it that for now, okay? Here goes!


"Should they fail again, you will be held responsible. Whatever punishment with which you have threatened them will be carried out upon yourself. Do I make myself clear?"

"Yes, Marquem." Callos ended the transmission, then sat for a moment remembering the threats he had uttered: blinding, skinning, and spit-roasting. Not the way he had envisioned himself to pass from existence. With a frown on his birch-skinned features, he pulled one of his throwing stars from its pouch and tapped it on the arm of his spherniture, leaving tiny scratches in the gleaming obsidiate.


So, here's the rules if you want to play:
1. Go to page 7 or 77 of your manuscript
2. Go to line 7
3. Copy down the next seven lines or sentences
4. Tag 7 people
I'm tagging @CarissaAndrews, @chrisburton99, @RhondaParrish, @sarahzajaczek, @jasonwuerfel, @DiemBurden, @abigail_kern

If youve already done this, just ignore the tag. And of course there's no pressure to participate if you'd rather not!

Earth Day Poetry

So today was Earth Day. I know, we're supposed to get involved in something, somehow, or at least plant a tree or something to show we're "aware". But I didn't. First of all, it may be April twenty-freaking-second, but in Canada that often means "still too darn cold to enjoy being outdoors without earmuffs". And that was certainly true today. So the most Earth-Day-like thing I did was take the over-stuffed bag of recyclable household trash out to the bin then checked on my freezing potted tulip plant, which may die of exposure long before the squirrels find it. Visible activist, I'm not. Oh well.

However, there's a reason for that. To me, every day is Earth Day. Blame it on crying Indiansgiant do-gooder owls, the Energy Crisis, or just plain ol' childhood visits to an actual landfill to drop off our personal trash prior to the luxury of garbage pick-up in rural Litchfield PA, I have always been abhorrent of waste, pollution, and disregard for the fragile little membrane of space all living things occupy on this little green, white and blue ball in space. It kills me to see people buy cases of bottled water and throw the plastic containers in the garbage, or worse, toss them to the curb. And why more communities haven't made plastic bags something you need to purchase is a question that has no good answer, in my opinion. I've been lugging my foodstuffs and other commodities home in reusable bags for a couple years now, and it's really not a difficult habit to adopt. As far as vehicle emissions, I've never, as a self-sufficient adult, had more than one car in my driveway. Yes, I know - peoples' jobs can interfere with that, but more than once I managed to find jobs that didn't require spending most of the additional paycheck on a second mechanical gasoline-sucking chariot just to get both of us there and back every day, a silly trap I refuse to step into.

In short, I think I already do a pretty darn good job of lessening the impact my existence has on the planet. Sure, there's room for improvement, and when the opportunities present themselves, I'll take them. That said, I wrote some verse in honor of the Earth during National Poetry Month. How come? Because I said I would. Enjoy...and remember this: I never stated anywhere on this blog I was a poet!

The smell of dirt and trees and leaves
Wafts along on gentle breeze.
Boquet of Earth in wooded dale
Gives a welcome scent reprieve.

Daytona Beach at sunrise
Photo by Abby Geiger 2007

Waving fields of grain and flowers
Devouring the springtime showers
Reproduce and give us life.
Earth's gifts grow here by the hours.

Heavy sand and salty seas
Waves that bring me to my knees
The lips of Earth on cliff or beach
Two ecosystems meet with ease.

Take it all, put garbage back
Make the good Earth cough and hack.
We won't get a second chance
Once Earth has had a heart attack.

Stop and think before you buy
Where that ends up when you die.
What we do does matter now
Earth is our only life supply.

Short Snippet Saturday: Contrary Critters

Fate's Apology not only has alien craft, but alien critters as well, and they can be contrary little beasties when they want to be.


          At the halfway point, the zaraxen balked. No matter how hard he tugged, the creature stubbornly refused to follow. It was unable to move to either side in the tight space, and it could not look down to see the terrain at its feet. Its eyes were wide, showing their whites, and it began scrabbling backwards, threatening to drag Rey down the rocky chute.

So Buttons

So, I need to get the weeks' lunches ready to take to work in the morning. So, I need to renew my U.S. passport. So, I need to work out. So, I need to call my Mom for Easter. So, I need to sew buttons. Literally. I need to sew buttons.

This is my life at the moment, in all its past-due, piled-up glory. And if you think I'm using "piled-up" as a metaphor, you haven't seen my desk. A laptop whose battery needs charging, a pile of magazine clippings that need filing, an invite from the synagogue to a choir performance, my notebook of high school poetry waiting to be immortalized on hard drive, a stack of my Dad's past several years' worth of thoughts and ideas to transcribe, two winter coats that need missing buttons sewn back on, and a partridge in a pear tree. Which I'll add to the potted gift of tulips that need to be replanted in the garden as soon as winter decides to move further north.

So if you...or better yet I, am wondering why no new blog posts lately, there's your answer. I have ideas. I just had this one. But finding the time to bang them out and draw accompanying artwork is limited. They've piled up mentally like the clippings, coats, potted plants and poetry have, waiting for their moment to be tackled. In the meantime, I've been preoccupied with *deep breath* learning still more songs on the bass guitar for the Jewish musical trio, which is now only a duo, working on the portrait for my friend's web site, continuing the outline of the 2nd and a half draft of "Fate's Apology", and, last but certainly not least, Passover and all its preparation pomp and circumstance. So yeah...send in the clones, because I could use one right about now.

With that, I'm grabbing the sewing box and getting at least one thing off the pile. No, two. I wrote a blog post. Sew buttons, so there!

Short Snippet, Sunday! The Chase is On

I have a confession to make: I absolutely love this guy Jaiynder. If I could choose only one character from Fate's Apology to write a brand new story about, he would be the one.


            Jaiynder looked with dismay at the many streets fanning out before him. Which one? Which way? Making a decision, he pointed. "That one!"
            Zarkis turned the hauler and sped across the courtyard, then guided the unwieldy vehicle down the narrow road, causing others to swerve out of his way.
            Jaiynder scrutinized the passing cityscape, cursing his mistake. How long were we in the cantina? Ten minutes? Fifteen? They can't have gone far. Not on foot.

Short Snippet Saturday: Simple Niceties

Having forgotten to post my snippet last week until the day was almost over, I'm back now with a third installment of Short Snippet Saturday. I've chosen scenes that are pretty self-explanatory without giving too much of the story away, so there won't be an introduction for each scene.


            Rey backed out of the cage, then kneeled beside her once more. Nala rubbed her arms, noticing the chill now that he had moved away.
            "You're cold. Here, take this," he said as he removed the poncho again.
            "No, it is okay," she said.
            "No, it isn't. You're half-starved and freezing. Now please..."
            He frowned, then realized her motive for refusing. "I'm not giving it to you," he said. "I'm just letting you use it for a bit." He unfolded the garment and held it over her, waiting. She nodded, then raised her arms. He dropped it onto her.
            "Better," she agreed.

Make My Monday Merrier

I try not to be the person who complains every week like clockwork "Ugh, Monday. I hate Mondays". After all, there's more than enough of this to go around, and it doesn't make the Mondayness of the day go away. Yet last Monday I awoke with an overwhelming urge to tell Monday to go take a long hike off a short pier, mainly because despite having a weekend off to relax and catch up on sleep *snort* I just wanted to stay in bed. Just one more hour. Then I had an idea: wouldn't it be great if everything just started later on Mondays?
Well, why not? Stores and banks stay open later on certain days so we have more time to take care of our errands. Why not let everything stay closed for an extra hour on Monday morning? Wouldn't it give that crash back into reality a little cushion of comfort? One extra hour to smack the alarm clock and go "Psyche! Not time yet! Mua-ha-ha-ha!" Then we can all get up feeling like we got away with something, starting the day a little more rested and a little less aggravated. Any takers? I'm in.
Now about that three-day workweek George Jetson complained about…

Short Snippet Saturday: Friend or Foe?

Welcome to my second installment of Short Snippet Saturday! I can't guarantee I'll post every Saturday, and yes it should have been earlier, but choir duty called and I forgot how long it takes to prepare myself. Still, I'm aiming for consistency for the first few weeks so better late than never. Without further ado, let's drop in on Nala, the main protagonist in my WIP, Fate's Apology.


            Nala watched the man moving inside the cage as she listened to the monotonous sound of metal scraping against metal. Her muscles were starting to cramp from holding her position, but she dared not give herself away. She wasn't even sure if she wanted him to succeed, possibly being one more foe to fend off. Was he like that? Like the other humans? He called Jaiynder a friend, so they must have something in common. No…he is a prisoner too. He is likely more concerned with his own escape. Still...wait. Don't say anything until…

Short Snippet Saturday: The Die is Cast

So I know there's this writer thing called Six Sentence Sunday, where you post six lines from one of your works for people to read. There's even an official site for this little bit of promotional fun.  Well, I never tried it before, so I'm ready to give it a shot.
But wait…
My problem is that I usually cannot find just six sentences that I think work for a short posting that piques interest. So rather than searching in vain for the required content, I'm starting my own tradition that I can carry out just here on my own web site. Welcome to "Short Snippet Saturday", where I'll randomly grab a passage from my WIP "Fate's Apology" and toss it out there. Here goes!


            Jaiynder snorted derisively and shook his head, his tangled hair skirting about his stealthy eyes. "Friends we may be, but in my business, work must override such social conventions. So I would suggest, 'friend', that you make yourself comfortable for the ride."
            The captive man glared at Jaiynder for a long moment, then spat into his face. "I don't suppose you have an extra pillow I could borrow?" he snarled.
            Jaiynder reached up and methodically wiped the saliva from his cheek. "Now that is going to cost you."

Arts, Charts and Blueberry Tarts

So it's a new year with new projects, and I'm scrambling to get organized so I can churn them out as efficiently as possible. Because although I can think them up and put them on my ta-dah list, actually making them happen within the precious few hours of free time I'm allotted each week is a whole nother story.

First up is the "arts". I need some. As in, I need photos to post with my blog posts, because this particular format gets pretty boring to read without pictures accompanying the text. So I went looking and discovered that 1) most of the sites that offer free use photos don't have what I want, and 2) hunting for what I want on free use sites is immensely time consuming and ultimately time-wasting because I didn't find what I wanted.
So. That means I'm going to have to take pencil in hand and learn to sketch up whatever it is I need. Sound easy? Not really. I'm not much of a cartoon artist, which is along the lines of what I'd be trying to make - something simple and quick to illustrate my point. So I'll have to practice. But hey, that's good, right? A new skill to learn out of necessity. Beginning today.

I'm also about to begin another portrait for my friend's Eric Stoltz fansite, something I don't have to train for fortunately. Having found a reference photo that has all the qualities I require, I'm ready to begin. Give me a few weeks and I'll show you the results. It will look better than this.    ---------------------------------->

Why, you ask, for both of these I don't just post easily-found photos on the internet? Because 1) that's boring and 2) it's stealing. The last thing I need is someone screaming copyright violation, and if preventing that keeps my pencil-hand in good shape, why not just make 'em myself? So there's that.


As for the "charts", that's in the writing category. Actually it's outlines, synopses, elevator pitches and back cover blurbs I'm working on. And those things help chart the completion of the story as well as the later effort that will be required to hopefully get it to print. I've been working on Fate's Apology for far to long to shelve it just because my first-and-a-half-draft hasn't turned out the way I wanted it to. So I took several months off to rethink the areas that need work, make tons of new notes, and re-organize the 'bible' and reference photos-n-stuff. I started a fresh outline today, something I hadn't utilized so thoroughly before, and am looking forward to editing and rewriting the gadzillion words I already have that won't be completely discarded. I'm well on my way again and looking forward to the ride I know my characters are waiting to take me on!

Now about those "blueberry tarts" rhymes and I'm hungry!


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