A Thought for Every Word

Posts tagged ‘words’

When Nightmares Become You

What do you typically do when you have a nightmare?  One that holds you in its grasp long after that fated scream escapes with force from the dire grip of ‘why can’t I scream’ to the explosive ‘I just woke myself screaming’.  Do you lie awake, listening to the sounds of your room, or stumble out of bed to check the locks on all the doors?  Do you call a friend?  Or text a lover?

Or, do you do as I do…Write down the dream; because you know in there somewhere is a great story.  Some of us are cursed with the capacity to think beyond the pale.  And I do mean cursed.  We see words in the nightmarish pictures. We tremble at the ferocity of the wayward assault on our senses, but manage somehow to put the words down.  Claiming the dream.  Making it a part of the daylight hours, to dissect and disseminate and redefine the parameters to suit our needs.  We still shake when we think about the dream, but in the end…we win.

I have been asked by friends and family, just where do I get my story lines.  To be honest~ from inside my head.  Sure, I read a lot as a child.  All the classic children’s stories before they were taken over by the P.C. police (politically correct police for all my non new-speak readers), you know, Red Riding Hood being eaten by the wolf…and Snow White being physically challenged by the Huntsman.  The stuff nightmares are made of, were my earliest books.  As I grew, I added new stories.  Of course I read Nancy Drew mysteries.  I also read Poe, and Melville.  I read Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, and Ernest Hemingway.  No author was spared, no story unreadable by my definition.  I read Philip Roth and Erica Jong.  Anaïs Nin, and Evelyn Waugh.  I dabbled in Goethe and Grass, Whitman, Ginsberg, and Pirsig.  When a nightmare struck, I knew I could find a story buried deep in the inner sanctum of my thoughts, knowing I had all those authors to guide me.

It was the same with exciting, friendly, and even erotic dreams.  All were subject to my handy and easily accessible cross pen (a prize from an early school poetry contest) and notepad.  From those dreams, I found my stories.

Last night the nightmare was more vivid and more brutal than any I have ever experienced.  It was driven and dark.  I can only hope that the few words I managed to jot down, before I went and checked the doors and windows, will develop into something I can derail and control.  For now the words are the cornerstone, it will be up to me to raise the foundation and write…a story.

long halls and locked doors

cries of human animals

gasping air to scream

What Prompts a Writer

Some of us write because we love the words.  Little words like His and At; words like Remorse or Morbid, and big words like Turpitude or Grandiose, that convey the thoughts that are ever wandering around in our minds.

Some write because we desire attention.  Spilling our guts on black and white, calling attention to the bloodstained tear streaks of our lack of social status, hoping our voices are heard over the din.  Willing our uncensored passion upon you.

Some write because we seek release.  The bottled up thoughts, wishes, hopes, goals, passions, cravings, teeming against each other pushing against our synapse waiting for the explosive gasp of the muse.

Whatever the reason, the stories and verse we set down become as important to us as air is to lungs, or white cells to blood.  Without our stories and verse we would gasp and choke, shrivel and die unable to fend off the invading virus of flaccidity; willing ourselves to step out into the crowded lanes of fast moving traffic.  So, we write.  Some of us are lucky to have our words read by others.  We delight when others read and move their heads, either yes or no; it does not matter so long as the words are read.  We pump our fists and raise our arms in the air when we receive a comment on our words.  A review; a posted comment on a social network; a whispered “have you read this” heard on the train.  We are amazed when others like our work, even though we ourselves love it.  We nurtured it, fed it, cared for it, gave it a bath; a haircut, a new suit, made love to it.  It is ours, and we expect to adore it.  It is when you the reader finds a piece of our word filled pages and claims it as something that moves you one way or another, that we the writer stamps ‘paid in full’ in our ledger.  Only then can we move on.

When I first put my Scar Tissue characters down on paper, I did so with timid and unsure hands.  I wanted to tell a M/M romance story of two men who come together because of an underlying current of connectivity.  Each having shed past demons to become better acquainted with themselves. I had past demons.  I needed to excise those demons.   Thus, the two men came to my aid.  Though these two men started out in a different story, they made their debut to readers here in Scar Tissue. For one of the men –  Bob Elkins, it was a flippant journey. Callous at times, tender at other junctions, ever leading him along a path where he eventually becomes a stronger, more confident man in his own skin.  For Mike Wells, it was a path strewn with boulders; one’s he could not surmount, being forced to go back and find another way around.  Each retreat led him deeper into a solitary existence.  Where Bob could laugh at his past and the deeds he committed to keep from starving on the streets, Mike could not laugh, and he hid from his past.  There was anguish there, and pain.

When the two men come to the fork in the road that will either take them one way together, or split them apart, Mike is able to reach the top of the largest boulder that had been blocking his way forward.  On the other side stands Bob; hands outstretched and waiting.  They have many things in common. They are both former military, and fiercely patriotic.  They are both loyal when it comes to friends.  They both have lost parents.  They are strong men; in heart, mind, and body.  Physically intimidating, tall, and muscular.  And, they are both gay.  Each employed by the government during a moment in time when outing themselves could get them fired from their jobs…or worse.  They struggle with their relationship as does any couple.  What they have together cannot be denied, and it will endure.  Scar Tissue is a novella and is available through Seventh Window Publications here: Scar Tissue

You can also find Scar Tissue at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

My next book, Light and Shadow, another M/M romance, again places two men at a crossroads.  Cody Andrews has left his fast lane partner, and the glimmering sights and sounds of Los Angeles, for an abandoned and run down lighthouse on the rugged Oregon coast.  He is determined to renovate and live in the lighthouse and create a new life for himself; far from the fast lane and its inherent dangers. He finds himself attracted to a tourist, Nick Stanton, who is out visiting the Oregon coast from Chicago.  Cody and Nick hit it off at their first meeting, with just one little hitch…Nick has a partner of his own.  A greedy, manipulative man named Ray Milner.  Ray’s constant badgering of Nick and the quiet coastal town grates on Cody’s nerves, and Cody wishes he could silence Ray’s harpy declarations.

When Ray pushes his luck at little too far, Cody is the only one around to save Ray from his own stupidity.  Nick is grateful, but can Cody leave it at that?  Will he allow Nick and Ray to leave the coastal town peacefully at the end of their vacation, or will Cody try one last time to win Nick from Ray?

Cool winds, bright sun, a lighthouse, and two men; one who thought he had escaped the drama, the other deeply embroiled in it. Light and Shadow will be available later this year through Seventh Window Publications.  More information will made available as the book nears its go live date.

A short story written for the Goodreads M/M Romance event “Love is Always Write“, entitled A Pharaoh’s Promise, is set in Ancient Egypt. A Pharaoh of the Hyksos Dynasty, King Khiyan, has fallen in love with the slave that carves and paints his image on the walls and obelisks of Lower and Upper Egypt.  The slave, Gehdur, cannot believe he has been chosen by the King.  He realizes his place is to obey, but his heart wants more than just to pleasure his King.  He wants the King’s love as well.  This story will be made available free to all Goodreads members June 14th.  I will post a link once the story is published on the Goodreads site.

In the works is a followup novella to Scar Tissue.  This one takes Bob and Mike into the jungles of Honduras and Nicaragua on Mike’s first covert CIA operation.  Bob is already in Central America with the DEA, when he learns that Mike will join him; he is at first excited, and then distressed.  Their forbidden relationship, thus far secret, threatens to heat up the already warm nights in the jungle and each man must make the hard decision to back away from the other before lives are lost.  Sandinista guerrillas, drug lords, and steamy jungle nights bring Bob and Mike to a bridge that must be crossed…or burned.

And, for readers of fantasy romance, Shieldmaiden, is the F/F romance story of unrequited love between the daughter of a famous Druid High Priest, and the daughter of the King of the realm.  The Princess, a dragon mistress, champions her dragon to find her true love.  When the dragon discovers it is the daughter of the Priest, the challenge is to get the two women to recognize their destiny.  The Priest’s daughter knows she is in love with the Princess and with the support of the dragon, sets out to prove her love worthy of a Princess.  Shieldmaiden has not yet been picked up by a publisher, but my fingers are crossed…

The three novels in which Bob and Mike take a long journey through the jungles of Panama, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua, to the drug labs in Columbia, are ready and waiting for an editor and/or publisher to give them a home.  Until then..

For those of you who follow my blog, I wish to express my sincerest thanks for doing so.  My stories and poems are the white cells to my mind; keeping all dark thoughts from manifesting into crowded lanes of fast moving traffic.

Muse Vacations

Earlier this March, I stubbed my toe on a huge writer’s block.  I labored to find the glacial means that dropped this erratic boulder in my path, but to no avail.  Nothing claimed responsibility for this behemoth.  I begrudged my fellow authors their muse, called my own muse names like miscreant and heretic.  I cried out hoping the wind would carry my despair, only to have it change direction and slam hard against my chest.  Aching under the pressure that the lost syllables applied to my already bruised and tortured ego, I acquiesced to the silence.

Then I stumbled upon a writing event.  Prompts and pictures posted for authors to grab in a free for all, to come away with a story that begged to be told.  I began to read through the prompts, languish over the pictures; until one caught my eye, then my imagination.  I felt the room begin to warm against the bitter chill in my writer’s mind. I checked my calendar…one day remained before I could claim my prompt/picture/prize.  That mattered not, as I knew I would write this story.  It was mine.

By the time the event kicked off with many an author claiming prompts for their stories, I had already gotten five thousand words for mine.  It hummed in my head and danced to thrilling notes of exaltation.  I worked the words into my laptop, crafting them, honing them, slashing them, rejoicing over them.  The story is written; the location firmly rooted, and the characters satisfied and anxious to meet the readers.

The story will go now to the moderator of the event and wait it’s turn to be presented to the readers.  My muse sits atop the dark cherrywood bookcase, panpipe in hand, and smiles.  The little vacation away from her charge has refreshed her soul.  Her melodious chants again fill my world and I am happy to report my stubbed toe is beginning to heal.

Perfect Light

I have lived in the brilliant light,
hard and clear like a highly polished diamond
sitting on the finger with a highly lacquered nail
I have lived in the penetrating light,
where you run and hide when the sun reaches it zenith and wait
until the sun sets and the ground cools before you venture forth
I have lived in the cool ice blue light,
and wondered how the sun must feel trying so hard
to touch the earth and warm it with its embrace
Today, I live in the soft light,
where the pale yellow greets the morning,
and the soft lavender whispers good evening
Light is to my heart
as words are to my soul,
and I cannot live without either
Here in the perfect light I wish to remain

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