Friday, February 26, 2016


Dear reader,
I am glad for this place where I can come and get away from the routine of life for a little while. I have had a week as busy as I am sure yours has been, but this poem got me through. Louisa May Alcott’s name inspires fond feelings in me. Stumbling across this poem, I was reminded why. Read it and see if you feel too:

---  Fairy Song  ---
Louisa May Alcott     

The moonlight fades from flower and tree,     
And the stars dim one by one;     
The tale is told, the song is sung,     
And the Fairy feast is done.     
The night-wind rocks the sleeping flowers,     
And sings to them, soft and low.     
The early birds erelong will wake:     
'T is time for the Elves to go.      
O'er the sleeping earth we silently pass,     
Unseen by mortal eye,     
And send sweet dreams, as we lightly float     
Through the quiet moonlit sky;--     
For the stars' soft eyes alone may see,     
And the flowers alone may know,     
The feasts we hold, the tales we tell:     
So 't is time for the Elves to go.      
From bird, and blossom, and bee,     
We learn the lessons they teach;     
And seek, by kindly deeds, to win     
A loving friend in each.     
And though unseen on earth we dwell,     
Sweet voices whisper low,     
And gentle hearts most joyously greet     
The Elves where'er they go.      
When next we meet in the Fairy dell,     
May the silver moon's soft light     
Shine then on faces gay as now,     
And Elfin hearts as light.     
Now spread each wing, for the eastern sky     
With sunlight soon will glow.     
The morning star shall light us home:     
Farewell! for the Elves must go.  

---  What did you think? Are you not glad for magic and the night?


Friday, February 19, 2016

Refraction Update

Have you ever looked at yourself (or anything) in the water?

You were not quite the same as how you see yourself in a photo or a mirror, were you? In the mirror, your image didn't bend and wave and change nearly as much is it could in the water.

"Refraction" has me thinking about the way I see things, especially in the story. When I look up the word, the scientific definitions boil down to one thing: change. There is change in the way something looks because of the change in what it passes through, even though its essence is still the same.

That is "Refraction" at the moment. James, my protagonist, is forming...but also changing. He has a semblance of his original self, but the tiniest event in my day alters his shape. And that is good. Because a mirrored view is really very one-dimensional to me. But a watery image, though refracted, is deeply true to life.

That is what I am hoping for as I write this story.


Friday, February 12, 2016


Once upon a time, I had a long week. It was this week. Tuesday was a celebration of the ordinary and was the best day of my week. But it feels like a whole week ago, rather than just three days ago. I could just tell you that I woke up, ate my bowl of cereal, brushed my teeth while thinking about writing “Refraction”, forgot about my first class, arrived late for last two, did the first of several workouts that a friend and I have planned, then collapsed in exhaustion before 9pm. And I realize I did just tell you all of that. Ordinary, right.

But I have heard it said that the extraordinary can’t happen without ordinary and that you have to find that “extra” in the ordinary. That is what I am trying to do for “Refraction” right now. The way I look at it, it doesn’t hurt to find the “extra” in my Tuesday either. It is probably harder to see it in a made up story if I am not able to see it in my own real one, right?  

So, Tuesday. Hmm. Well, that workout? I felt muscles and fibers of my body that I don’t think I have ever been aware of. I still feel them. It is as if when I close my eyes, I can see joints and ligaments bend and twist and flex so that I can move and accomplish almost any physical task I please. It looks like white hot pain right now, but it makes me think of what an amazing machine the human body is. Whether you think a god did it, or primates and time, it is quite...extraordinary.

Now, “Refraction”.  


P.S. Oh, you thought I would tell you the extraordinary in “Refraction”? Not yet, my reader. You will experience it when the story is complete.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Sterling Opportunities

Do you know what it is like when life or providence or the universe sees fit to bless you with just the right thing, at just the right time? I do. 

Yesterday, I had the chance to listen to Sterling Anderson, a seasoned Hollywood screenwriter, break down everything from his experience, process and beginnings, to the practical exercise of actually writing a screenplay for movies and television, including things like how an interesting scene is written and proper notations. It is quite fascinating, even for a novelist. 

As I listened, I couldn't help but notice how experience tempers ego. It was clear to me that this man knew what he was talking about, but he did not have an odor of pride. He understood what it feels like when you tell people that you are a writer and their lips smile while their eyes Say "Poor sap." Or the need for a companion who will let you have your six hours in your writing den without questioning your marital fidelity. 

Most of all, though, he reminded me of the dedication I need to have in order to finish a story. Sterling doesn't go back on a draft, correcting or contemplating. He just gets it out. The permission to do that honestly feels like a relief, although I don't really know who was stopping me to begin with. He also really does spend six hours a day in his writing space, whether he writes anything or not. I won't lie and say I am anywhere near that consistent. I don't even think I stick to fifteen minutes a day very well.

But better late than never. And better now than later. 

All of this has come at a really good time, considering I have my own short story to write. Refraction, like all of my life, will be a training ground for the next and the greater. 

Hopefully it will be entertaining to you too, dear reader.