Thursday, July 24, 2014

Still Time To Sponsor Writers

Now your Write-a-thon sponsorship can go even further!

An anonymous donor has offered to match donations from now to the end of the Write-a-thon, up to a total of $1000. Your $10 sponsorship will become $20, and your $50 sponsorship will become $100. This fantastic opportunity will make every dollar you give go twice as far.

You can double your support for Clarion West by sponsoring a writer today. Now is the time!

To find a writer to sponsor, you can go to the writer list on the Write-a-thon site and search or browse.

Too many choices? Visit our Facebook page to browse our past Write-a-thon writers of the day. Any of these fine writers would love your sponsorship.

Or visit and use the PayPal button to sponsor several writers at once—or even a whole class. It takes less than three minutes to donate via Paypal.

With a little over a week left in the Write-a-thon, the Clarion West Writers Workshop truly needs your support. Help us meet our fundraising goals and keep the workshop strong today and into the future.

Keep well and write on!

Kris Millering
Clarion West Communications Specialist
Class of 2009


Friday, July 18, 2014

Name That Gnome!

Still going strong on the Write-a-thon. I'm working tonight on dusting off a short for submission and then hopefully, if I still have juice left, working on my newest short. I'm still recovering from my bout in the hospital and the latest round of meds and tests, but determined to keep my commitment to my sponsors that donated to the fundraiser! You guys and gals are my rock right now.

In the meantime, I've been outside enjoying another nice day and photographing The Gnome again. Have to name him. Anybody got any ideas for names? If so, leave them in the comments section and I'll respond.

Also, if you'd like to support future workshops for writers through Clarion West Writer Workshops, please click here. As always, happy writing and happy reading! And happy gnaming too! LOL

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Gnomething to Write About!

After another eventful doctor's visit, I headed outdoors to huddle behind my camera before settling into my mermaid noir story for the evening. (After dinner of course! Can't write on an empty stomach.)

The Write-a-thon is still going on through the end of July. There is still time to sponsor me and help raise money for Clarion West Writer Workshops, the speculative fiction workshops every budding writer dreams of attending. 100% of your donation goes to the foundation. (Hey, that rhymed!)

While I deftly maneuver my fingers over the keyboard, please enjoy some gnome photos. Another favorite character you can pop in a fantasy story any time. As always, happy writing and happy reading to all! And please check out the fundraiser page!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Writing Beauty With Pictures

When I'm not writing, I've talked about my other love, which is art and photography. Pictures tell stories too and often inspire my writing. I'd like to share something beautiful with you because I've had an ugly day at the doctor's office talking about more tests and surgery.

As always, happy writing and happy reading to all! And enjoy the photos!

Friday, July 11, 2014

And Things Continue ...

So, in the midst of the Write-a-thon 2014 I ended up in the hospital again. And it seems I cannot get a break. I went in for a CT scan and had a terrible reaction to the contrast, which has never happened to me before. I'm sure I'm one of the most memorable patients, since I managed to puke on the machine, the staff, and everything in sight. And then my face swelled up like a puffer fish. I made quite the dramatic exit in an ambulance and was forced to stay overnight for observation in hospital. They found a three inch ball of unidentified flesh pressing against my intestine. I'm meeting with a surgeon next week to discuss treatment options and further testing. This Write-a-thon seems to be the glue holding me together at this point. It's the one thing that is not full of drama in my life.

My elderly father just came home from rehabilitation today and the house is crazier than a rat on crack. Everything is F.U.B.A.R. In the midst of acclimating dad and his new handicap accessories to the house, the cats adjusting to the chaos, as well as all of us, there is a lot of tension amongst the family. But words are orderly and comforting and reassuring. And while I normally don't get very emotional on my blog, it's mainly just about writing, there is so much going on outside of my writing that it is really hard not to discuss it. But I can't let myself get sucked into a black hole. I am at least glad I can lose myself in a good book or the mermaid story I am writing. I hope all my readers are finding peace and comfort in their lives. And I wish you all the best. If there's one piece of advice I can give you, it's to never give up on your dreams. Hold onto them. Sometimes they will be your life jacket when you feel you're going under. They can save you. And I hope they save me.

If you'd like to follow my progress during the Write-a-thon, you can find me here or at the link below. Donations for the fundraiser are appreciated. 100% of your donation goes to the foundation for their speculative fiction workshops. Thank you for your support.

As always, happy writing and happy reading to all!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Dark Side of the Mermaid


There's a darker side to mermaids, Virginia. Yes, there is! As I've found out since I started work on goal #3 for the Write-a-thon, creating a few new short stories. My romantic love story started out with the paramour of the main male character being a mermaid and he discovers this, after imagining what the woman attached to the beautiful singing voice looks like. But then, without warning, my darker side struck. And now I'm writing a mermaid murder noir! LOL It's very different from anything I've written thus far.

And yesterday, I was visited by my muse. She gave me the perfect names for the two female leads. As I woke up, I heard a female voice whisper, "Magda. Delphine." I rushed to look up the meaning of both, knowing the former is a religious name, but discovered it also meant: One who comes down from the tower. Now this is absolutely perfect symbolism for a succubus, but completely unplanned. As is Delphine, which means "dolphin" in French and is the name of the lovely murdered mermaid. Splendid! Thank you, my muse! Thank you!

As promised, I'll share with you my work in progress, unedited. Here's an excerpt from my untitled short:

“There’s a dead mermaid in the bathtub. N-not in my apartment, but in the one above mine. I didn’t even know there were such things as mermaids, until today. And I-I’m still not sure what I really saw, but I took a picture of it with my phone.”
He slid his phone to me across the desk, which is when I saw his perfectly manicured nails and that got me thinking about other things, but I didn’t have time for that now. I had a client to serve, not myself, though if I had my way, he’d end up in my bed before this investigation was over. I stared at the photo of the young mergirl curled up in a fetal position in a dirty white bathtub filled with water and what looked like sea salt, pounds of sea salt soaked in blood, but it wasn’t hers. There wasn’t a mark on her. Her dark brunette hair spun through with streaks of bright poppy, had been trimmed recently, it looked, from her blunt bangs. Though judging by how translucent her skin looked and the fact that I could see her veins and tendons and muscles, she’d been out of the sea for more than three days, so perhaps, her killer had cut her hair after abducting her.
 "You say you took this photo today?”                                                                                  
“Yes. She’s in the apartment above mine.”

I raised one arched eyebrow at him.
“I know what you’re thinking and I don’t normally go sneaking around my neighbors’ apartments, but she was special.”
“Special how?”
“She had this voice. This amazing singing voice. And I heard her singing.”
“And you fell in love.” Typical story. Guy hears a little mermaid sing and instantly she becomes his paramour. I nodded my head and pinched my lips together, trying very hard not to focus on the intoxicating heat rolling off his body and the sound of his heartbeat in my ears. I needed an energy boost and soon. I shifted in my chair, tucking my tail tighter beneath me. It was almost undetectable in the skirt I wore. I don’t even think this delicious human recognized me as a succubus, he was so shocked at discovering a mermaid in a bathtub. Better to not reveal myself to him. This poor whelp had seen all he could handle for today.
“She’s dead.”
“Yes, I can see that.” I set his phone down on my desk and took another sip from my mug. “I’d offer you some coffee, but as you can see, I can’t afford a secretary and there’s no coffee machine in my office. My apologies.” I flashed my best apologetic smile and uncrossed my legs. “Have you shown this photo to anyone else? Your friends? The police? Your girlfriend, perhaps?”
“No. No one. I live alone and I thought about going to the police, but I-I wasn’t sure they’d believe me. Since that mockumentary on television and everything …”

I hope you've enjoyed this as much as I've enjoyed writing it. Tune in to see what happens. I'll be posting more excerpts as I continue. If you like what you've read here, please consider sponsoring me for the Clarion West fundraiser. It runs through August 1st. 100% of your donation goes to keeping these wonderful speculative fiction workshops by Clarion West going. Just to be clear, I am not participating in a workshop, this is just me plodding away at my keyboard and raising a little money for a foundation I believe in.

As always, happy writing and happy reading!