This is a concept that I am well acquainted with as a writer. I do not know if every writer is like this, or if it is only me. After all, I am a pantser not a plotter. If you do not know what that means, a pantser is someone who sits down and starts writing without a well planned out course of where the story is going or exactly what they characters are going to do or say. Think of it as like where Bilbo Baggins set out after the Dwarves in such a hurry that he didn’t even take the time to pack properly. He still had an incredible journey, but it was probably quite different from what it would have been if he and the Dwarves had sat down and planned out a solid course of action.


A plotter on the other hand, has a very well laid out road map if you will. They sit down and plan out the book in its entirety. They know where the novel begins, where it ends, a loose idea of how their characters will get there, exactly who their characters are, and a rough idea how every chapter will go. While this is a marvelous approach and I honestly wish I could write like this, my characters are much to rebellious to ever agree to anything like this. They like to change course mid-book, mid-chapter, and mid-scene. I’ve learned to just go with the flow.

So yes, my writer’s life is filled with frantic joy. I frantically type trying to get all of my thoughts out while the characters are agreeing and the plot is going to smoothly that it makes me want to weep with joy, but I can’t, because I have to get it all typed. I frantically argue with my characters about staying in line with my idea of what the story is only to get stubborn refusal (although they are usually right and the story ends up being better for it). I also stubbornly try to keep my storyline on track, although usually by the second chapter it is totally derailed.

Also, this past weekend, I frantically typed trying to write 25k words in only four days. But then, I finish the novel and the franticness ends. I can take a deep breath, cry a little bit like a shell shocked survivor that can’t believe that they somehow, impossibly, survived the crisis. I dance around the room a bit (drawing curious and concerned glances from my cats) and treat myself with one of my favorite snacks. And after about five minutes, the next story is whispering at me, starting the process all over again.


So what causes frantic joy in your life?



Harbingers of Spring

Every year, I always eagerly await the arrival of the swallows. They usually arrive in April and settle under the bridges first. It’s always a joy to be driving and see the first flock of swallows setting up shop, making sure everything is ship shape for the coming summer. They swoop and dive, darting in and out, an intricate dance. The most amazing part? I’ve never seen a collision, their flight perfectly choreographed to down to the last bird.

A few weeks later, the barn swallow arrive, letting us know that winter is truly over. Barns are suddenly filled with chaos and activity, unsuspecting cats often get dive bombed at this point, the swallows furious scolding filling the air. Although a few cats try to swipe back and take out their attackers, success is almost non-existent. In fact, most felines slink of in ignominious defeat, off to sulk for a few hours and repair their tattered dignity.

Every year, we wait for the swallows.




They say that you are the sum of your experiences. I both agree and disagree with that. You are indeed affected by your life, but humans also have the unique ability to dream and imagine. Although many people have never been to space personally, they still love to dream about other planets and space travel. So I believe that you are the sum of your experiences plus a certain amount of je ne sais quoi. That is what it means to be human.

Tangent aside, I have been fortunate enough to have been able to travel. Last May, I was able to travel with my company to Nepal for a week.


It was literally half a world away from home for me and so far outside of my comfort zone. Thankfully I was in a group of amazing people. But for a homebody like me? This was a big step outside of my ‘normal’.

First off, I can say that I’ve been to the future. How many people can actually say that, lol? In Nepal, it is the year 2074 as they run off of a different calendar than we do here in America and/or most of the world. Also, they were in the midst of elections, their first ever. After a massacre of the royal family in 2001 by one of the royal princes, the country has been largely governed by corrupt officials. So this was a historic occasion for them. First, all of the candidates are only allowed to campaign for one week. Even then, the campaigning was organized and peaceful. After the chaos of the 2016 presidential race, it was quite refreshing. As a group of Nepali were marching quietly down the street in support of their candidate, I happened to meet the eyes of an older woman, maybe in her sixties, it was hard for me to judge their ages. She had dressed carefully in what I am sure was her best outfit, her shoulders were back and her head up. But it was her eyes and her smile that caught my attention. She had a small smile on her face, not a grin by any means, but there was so much joy in that smile. And her eyes were filled with pride and hope. This is the first ever election in her lifetime I am sure and she was able to make her voice heard. It was life changing. A neat thing about Nepal is that both men and women are able to vote, although the illiteracy rate is so high. Illiteracy is in the high 80’s in Nepal, so what they would do was have their parties symbols and then the picture of their candidate next to it, so people would still be able to vote.


Their culture and history were also so very foreign to me. In Nepal, you can feel the centuries of time and civilization every where you go. America is so new, especially the west were I live. My state is not even 150 years old yet. That’s so very young, especially when you can feel the ancientness of other cultures.


But you can also find things that remind you of other cultures and places as well. This reminds me of an English cottage for some reason. Although I know that English culture had absolutely zero influence on this building, it shows that the human spirit indeed longs for several similar things. All human beings crave ordinary daily beauty, like flowers or a pleasing shade of paint.


My last thought on foreign? Don’t hold yourself apart, but take part in the culture. Even if you absolutely dislike the experience, you still did it and no one can take it away from you. I went solo during the tourist part of our journey (during the first half of the week, we do service projects) and found someone to do henna for me. My artist said that she wasn’t very good and had only been doing this as a hobby for 3-4 years. She hand drew/freestyled this in about 20 mins. I was so pleased and blown away and it was a fun reminder of my trip after I got home. So it was a long trip, over forty hours on the return trip counting layovers, but would I do it again? In a heartbeat.

via Daily Prompt: Foreign




So today’s daily prompt is Talisman. This prompt both intrigued me and confounded me a bit. I know what talismans are, but how do they apply to me, to my writing? Although I know that other writers have their routines and their talismans that help them get into the proper mood for writing, I never had. I tend to be a pantser writer, one that waits for inspiration to strike rather that methodically planning out exactly what I am going to write and then write it. So no, no lucky pen, no certain coffee shop for my writing.

So then I turned my thoughts to how I used talismans in my writing. Here is a picture of a talisman:


Although this is much too ornate for any of my characters to possess, there is no limit to what can be a character’s talisman. A lock of hair, a family heirloom, a treasured missive from someone close to them. For my characters, a talisman is something that they draw strength from, something that allows them to keep going when they have given everything that they had.

This is something that comes up in my second novel in The Seeker Files: In Search of Healing. This book deals more with Aletta’s past and her coming to terms with her powers as a Sheridan. I won’t spoil the surprise by telling you anything more, but I will tell you that a talisman plays a very important part in this journey of hers.

So if you write, do you use talismans in either your writing routine or in your stories? And even if you are not a writer, what do you consider a talisman and do you have one that you use? Let me know, I’m excited to find out what other people think of Talismans.

Follower update: As of this point, I have five followers (so happy!) but this is quite short for my Friday deadline of 25 followers for an exclusive content from In Search of Justice. So I am moving the deadline back to Saturday evening as I really want to share these fun extras with you guys. Happy Thursday everyone!



Words: Identical yet infinite

As an author, words are my stock in trade. They are the door that allow my into myriad worlds and they are they magic that allows me to convey those worlds to others. But in truth, what are words? In the English language, the alphabet is composed of only 26 letters. Imagine that, a little over 2 dozen shapes allow us to formulate an immeasurable amount of words. Not only that, they allow us to convey anything that the human imagination can come up with.

Also, even though words can look the same and/or even be the same exact word, their meaning can change. Take, for example this mug:

coffee mug

Although grammatically correct and spelled right, the four hads are rather overwhelming.  Indeed, instead of clarifying it, I found that I had to read it a few times for its meaning to sink in fully. But, although somewhat confusing, when read, it does convey a sentence that makes sense. So although all four hads are identical, every single one changed the meaning of the sentence until you arrive at the final meaning: The woman has felt no effect from all the coffee she has drank.

Another thing I am fond of are the games where you take a random list of letters and make as many words as you can from them.

make words

It trains your brain to be flexible, to think beyond the words that we use every day. It’s amazing how the same set of letters can be combined in so many different ways. Identical yet different.