If We Were Having Coffee – Trying to Focus….

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that I’ve spent most of the day trying to work on a short story.  I’ve managed to get nearly 2k of the 3-6k that I need for it – and I have at least a vague idea of what is happening in it and think I’m at about the halfway point.

But I hit a point where I’ve run out of energy and tried, without much luck, to get back into it.  Normally I’d let it sit for a while – like a few days – but I am hoping to have it together for the IWSG Anthology contest, which means it needs to be completed and polished by November 1st.

It’s frustrating, I’ve been thinking about and trying to write this story since they announced the contest back in September, but it wasn’t until this morning that I finally found the right story. But, of course, that means it’s now taking forever to pull the story out, which interferes with my plans to also do some reading and cleaning this weekend.

Honestly I think part of what helped was that I tried a different medium.  My computer was running really slow and my internet was frustrating me this morning (I didn’t need it for the writing, but the fact that it was running slow made me upset at the computer as a whole) so I tried handwriting a bit but… that wasn’t working. So I ended up getting out my typewriter and trying to start drafting that way – and it worked!  The only problem is that when I start to get into a flow I can’t type fast enough on it.  I type pretty quickly when I start going, which results in a jammed typewriter.

Starting the draft, while the “Inevitable Betrayal” dinos stand by.

Probably I just need to set a timer and do some word sprints now that I’ve moved myself back to my computer.  I know that I’ll end up with a bunch of stuff that needs to be cut but I also am pretty sure that now I’ve gotten into the story a bit I’m self-sabotaging… my inner-critic and editor or cutting me off at every turn and telling me that nothing I’m writing is good enough.  It’s that tell-tale “what are you thinking?  Why would you do that?” nagging tone that gives it away.

I should leave the “you shouldn’t be writing,” and the “you’re doing it wrong” nagging to Midnight Monster.

I’m pretty sure he’s telling me to cut that paragraph. I didn’t listen.

This week has been an interesting one.  Lots of stuff happening at work, so I’ve been keeping pretty busy there.  But there was also some excitement (and tragedy) in Portland this week.  I heard that the natural gas explosion that happened here made national news, so you may have heard about it.  An old family friend worked at the tattoo shop that was destroyed in the blast, so I’ve been trying to spread word about the GoFundMe page that the business started up to try and get back onto their feet.

My re-gram of my brothers instagram post about it.
My re-gram of my brothers instagram post about it.


Please help if you can.  It’s so amazing that no human’s were killed in this, and that there were no critical injuries.  Unfortunately it does sounds like some animals were killed — there was very little evacuation notice before the explosion and some people were unable to get their pets.  It’s caused me to think some about how I would even evacuate with Midnight Monster, and I think the best solution I have is that I would grab a big-enough box and put him in there with a blanket and a toy real fast (since getting him into his crate is a serious ordeal and not likely to happen in a timely manner).  He might end up hopping out and darting away but at least I think I’d be able to get him OUT, and would just hope and trust that he’d find his way back.  Actually, he’s quite the scaredy cat, so he probably would end up holding really close to me out of fear.

Okay, I really should be getting back to work on that short story – I’m clearly procrastinating at this point.  How has your week been?  What are you up to this weekend?



If We Were Having Coffee: Hunkering Down in the Storm

If we were having coffee, I’d be sticking to comfy footy PJ’s!  It’s a pretty rainy and gross day out, with the expectation of a bit of a wind storm on its way.  Just how big of a storm remains to be seen — it could be the biggest since the Columbus Day Storm or it could be just a strong windy day. The reality of it remains to be seen… as is the case with weather. I don’t anticipate it will have too much impact on me, other than spending the day hunkered down (which, thankfully, was my original plan for the day)!

Stormy Skies during my evening commute yesterday.
Stormy Skies during my evening commute yesterday.

There is writing to be done!  And cleaning, of course… as always….
This week was pretty low-key. I had a bit of a stomach ick mid-week, and spend the better part of one day sleeping, then all my non-working, non-commuting hours sleeping a few other days. It seems to have helped!

I also got to have some fun with Nerd In The Brain’s “Go Play” Challenge (it’s not too late to join!) and it’s been a lot of fun!

One of the challenges was to wear a tiara in public.. Midnight Monster was not terribly excited by it!
One of the challenges was to wear a tiara in public.. Midnight Monster was not terribly excited by it.

What happened this week for you?  Anything exciting? How about your plans for this weekend?


Passionate Geeks: Horror Comics!

This month’s Passionate Geek is Robin!  Robin Rivera trained as a professional historian and worked as a museum curator. She writes young adult thrillers and her blog is Write On Sisters. Or you can find her on Twitter at @RobinRWrites.

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Background Artwork by Rose B. Fischer. http://rosebfischer.com/

We’re always looking for more people to share about their passions!  Check out what’s been done in the past, and contact me if you’re interested in contributing!

As a college kid, I stumbled into my local comic book store on a back issue sale day.

While my then boyfriend, now husband, haggled over the issues he wanted, I struggled to find anything that would make me part with my hard-earned cash. After about an hour, my partner had already spent much more than he could afford. His haul included his first 3-D shadowbox comic art created by Todd Reis. Trust me, look this artist up. He is amazing and photos do not do his artwork justice.

I finally found something interesting that day, but not until I’d drifted into the store’s back room.

The back room was a place I normally avoided because it was a crazy jumble of comic book boxes stacked four high. The boxes were wedged side to side across several long tables. Most of these books were out of order, often damaged or by lesser-known publishers. Basically it was a room packed with all the stuff no one wanted to collect.

Within moments of cracking my first box I was enraptured. I had discovered a small cache of early Bronze Age horror comics. These issues were adorned with lurid pulp fiction inspired covers and packed with Gothic tales and other seriously weird stuff.

There were monsters comics.

A few vamps.

But mostly there were ghosts, ghouls and other supernatural stuff.

Frankly, I loved them!forbidden-tales-of-dark-mansion-group

Best of all, the store wanted to sell them for pennies on the Overstreet recommended prices. I picked up about 20 books that day. Most of them were only twice the original cover prices and since they were in the .15 to .25 cent range I managed an impressive haul without denting my bank account.from-beyond-the-unknown-coverinside-shot-beyond-the-unknown

That day was my first major dive into collecting DC comics. Originally I built my new horror collection with one of everything, but slowly I started to pick up runs in several series.


I liked Secrets of Sinister House, originally called Sinister House of Secret Love.


Also House of Secrets. Many of these books featured Neal Adams cover art.




And The Phantom Stranger, 2nd series. This series often features Jim Aparo cover art.

Later, I added a number of Marvel series to my collection, picking up an assortment of Where Creatures Roam. Although consisting of reprints from earlier monster tales, these are often packed with Jack Kirby artwork and still one of my favorites.


Issues of Dead of Night, including issue #11, the highly desirable Scarecrow storyline.

And no collection like this would be complete with a batch of Weird Wonder Tales.


Over the last few years, some of these series have gained traction, leading to several Showcase Presents editions from DC and a few Marvel omnibus collections. If you have an interest in reading early horror comics, you might want to start with those books. There is also this amazing and highly detailed analysis of the genre, Superheroes from the Crypt posted at The Thought Bubble: http://www.wymann.info/comics/007-SuperheroesFromTheCrypt.html

worlds-of-unknown-cover cool-retro-textbox

The horror comics are still not a BIG thing for most comic collectors; many of these books sell for just a few dollars each, especially in lower grades.

marvel-chillers inside-shot-mm supernatural-thrillers-1 crypt-of-shadows-group

I hope you enjoying seeing a small sampling of the books in my collection.



If We Were Having Coffee – a weekend of nails, writing, and networking!

If we were having coffee I’d invite you to join me for some warm drinks by the fire.  It’s a rainy day out today, perfect kind of day to curl up and read or watch TV.  Or, you know, enjoy some coffee and cocoa with friends.

It’s been a pretty busy weekend already, and I have more planned for today  – not to mention an editing project that needs to be done by tonight and a short-story I need to have written and polished by the end of the month that… uhm… has a lot of work still to be done on it.

Yesterday was the Jamberry Regional meeting here in Portland – so I got to spend the day with a bunch of other consultants, and absolutely lovely individuals. We learned a lot, I got a lot to reflect on and think about, and just had a good time.  Added bonus – the Gluten-Free option at lunch was sandwiches, just like everyone else had, but they had actually good gluten-free sandwich bread for us!  I have had so many sandwich bars where the GF option is simply NOT having any bread, or the bread they provide is terrible that this made me super-happy.  I’ll admit, I have certain expectations of events here in Portland (we have so many good GF options) that when they don’t come through I get more than a little annoyed.

Since my plans to go out with people for dinner didn’t happen I came back to my part of town earlier than planned and met up for some milkshake time with my good friend and one of her daughters – which included racing the 4 year-old around the clock-tower.  She said we had to race 4 times around so… yeah, she won. I just can’t keep up with her, and was reminded why I had gotten myself an inhaler (which, of course, I didn’t have with me). It was a lot of fun though  – always good to hang out with those gals!

Today I’m meeting up with a bunch of people from my neighborhood to look at forming a book-group and a writing-group (at the least, accountability partners). I’m really looking forward to it, but have to admit I’m also a bit nervous.  My introverted and shy self is getting a lot of “new-people” time this weekend and it’s pretty exhausting.  Meanwhile I’m seeing things pile up around my room that need to be cleaned, sorted, and disposed of, books to be read, and a Midnight Monster who isn’t getting nearly enough attention.

I”m going to have to gear up to head out soon — the wind and rain is REALLY making me not want to venture out at all… but I know that where we’re meeting has really yummy omelettes and good coffee (and we’re out of milk, which is a requirement for me in my coffee) so… I shall brave it!

How has your week been?  How about your weekend?

Insecure Writers Support Group: Time To Be Honest


I’m going to be brutally honest. I want to claim that writing hasn’t happened due to being to busy, but I that isn’t entirely true. I mean, I’ve had the time to binge watch a number of seasons of streaming TV so clearly the time is there somewhere.

But why have I not made the progress I want to make if I’ve had the time to do so?

I think part of the answer to that may be fear. I know that, not always that deep down, I have a lot of insecurity about my abilities. Not just in writing, but writing is the thing I’m focusing on just now. See, if I use the excuse of “not enough time” (or whatever excuse might be handy in the moment) then I don’t have to look further into the reasons I haven’t been dedicating my time and energy to writing.

When, really, part of the reason is fear. What if I give my all, dedicate all my efforts and energy into the writing projects and then, when I put them in the hands of another I discover that I am NOT actually a good writer? Then what?

I know this fear is silly. I have been given enough evidence that should support me being a writer – all evidence points to it being within my capabilities but… that doesn’t quiet the fear. And I’m not entirely sure how to push through it. It’s frustrating to know you want to do something, but not having the courage to push through the convenient excuses in order to make it happen.

This is my monthly post as part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a great group of supportive writers, helping one another through our writing ups-and-downs.
There is also a great Facebook Community for more daily connection!  More posts from the group are tagged on Twitter at #IWSG.

Weekend Coffee Share – on the go!

If we were having coffee we’d be enjoying our coffee while watching the cloudy fall day fly be the window of the train. Today is a pretty full day for me so I’d have invited you to join me at the Gluten-Free Food Allergy Festival. We’re taking public transit down there since that’s a whole lot easier than dealing with parking and downtown driving – at least for me! 

Beautiful way to start October here in Portland!

After this I have grocery shopping and food prep to do. Tommorow I’m going to an Apple Festival and need to make of my baked applesauce for that! Like I said, busy weekend!
This week has been pretty run of the mill – most of my free time has been dedicated to writing posts for Banned Books Week – I have a reflection I’m woraking on that will probably go up later this week. I’ve also been trying to get my posts together for Comparative Geeks, I know its in me I just need to translate my thoughts to the page, which is proving harder than it should be for some reason.

I’d tell you that I’ve been thinking about a lot of “extras” lately, thinking about how to best lay the groundwork for the things that I’d eventually like to do. Things I’d like to be doing with my life, activities I’d like to save for, projects I want to see come to fruition, things like that. At the moment it’s a bit of a jumble in my mind but I’m trying to work it all out.

How has your week been? Any exciting plans this weekend?
Join the Weekend Coffee Share linkup at Part Time Monster!

Banned Books Week: Two Boys Kissing


Two Boys Kissing
By David Levithan

Reasons for Challenges: Homosexuality and other (“condones public displays of affection.”)

This is one of the most beautiful books that I’ve read in a long time.

The language use and way the story is structured are very poetic, a style of writing that I admire and would love to be able to emulate. Based on a true story, it is, at a very basic level, about two boys trying to break the world record for the longest kiss, but it is about far more than that. (There’s a good review of the book here)

Told through the haunting voices of those who have died from AIDS. It creates a sense of hopefulness and regrets – the reflections and comments in the story are worth paying attention to.  

We wish we could show you the world as it sleeps. Then you’d never have any doubt about how similar, how trusting, how astounding and vulnerable we all are.

We no longer sleep, and because we no longer sleep, we no longer dream. Instead we watch. We don’t want to miss a thing.

You have become our dreaming.  -Two Boys Kissing

This book has faced a few challenges, with the arguments that it is obscene.  One case in Virginia saw an argument arguing that cited the Virginia Code, which “defines obscene as materials that as a whole appeals to an apparent interest in sex and excites lust,” and claimed that the book fell into this category. 

The school board voted (unanimously) against banning the book.

One of the things that is always reassuring about looking at books that have been challenged is when the community responds in a positive way.  When they stand together against the challenges and present arguments about the importance of freedom of speech, about the importance of representation, and don’t allow the important voices of the story to be oppressed.

A bit of this, a bit of that, the meandering thoughts of a dreamer.

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