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While r.kv.r.y. is closed to submissions over the summer, I continue to read for Literary Orphans and enjoy the hell out of that. I want to extend a super big lovely congratulations to Nellie Aberdeen–whoever you are. I pressed the awesome Mike Joyce to accept her story “Inoculate .” The best part–which I read in the cover letter after falling in love with her story–was that it will be her first published story. The B. B. King issue is looking to be one of the best issues ever!

A friend is going over “L&C” and while I wait on his suggestions, I’ve been working on short stories. I have a new one sent out; it’s in a form I haven’t tried often but I think it turned out well. I have another story in that form, but I can’t grab its throat and make it work so I’ve set it aside. The last story I wrote, I set in Texas which doesn’t happen often. I finished tweaking it yesterday and now it’s sitting in a folder waiting a week for another look. The story between those two doesn’t have a title yet. I think I might be working on more short stories today since it’s too wet to do much outside.

At least there are flowers.

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And when I can’t get outside to enjoy those, I find it’s hard to be sad about that when there are pink mini carnations in a cobalt blue vase nearby.

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We’ve had enough rain to make mowing impossible. Wind took down a box elder which fell into the yard instead of the ditch. The two dead pines were taken down. My watching Downton Abbey earned me props from Husband; he’d never before considered pulling out the stumps. With the winch and chains, they each came out rather easily–and the chainsaw blade didn’t get trashed, so thank you Lady Edith for your time on the farm.

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7.16.2014A

Firewood delivery is being arranged; we’re over halfway done with the woodshed extension cleanup and new floor. We have a trip in October forming–we’ll be traveling to Elkhart, Indiana to see Buddy Guy with my fantastic ex sister-in-law and her husband. Stopping to visit friends in Fort Wayne and Cleveland along the way–or on the way home–are options being considered. Just another case of summer in western New York going too fast, but I am enjoying it as best I can–plus I’ll have tomatoes soon. I can’t wait!

 

(*These are my Creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.)

7.3.2014b

While I’m ahead–word count wise–in Camp NaNo, I feel a little off. I haven’t hit a groove yet, but remember I’ve had a hard time before. No matter, it’s only day two as I start this post.

How have you been?

Are you watching Big Brother? We get poor reception here in the summer, so I end up watching it because it’s new and I can. There are worse vices to have, correct? This one is starting a gender war which is interesting to watch. It amazes me how easily men form bonds on this show.

Strangest dream last night…during part of it I was aware I was in my bed and my (dead) mother grabbed my left foot and said either “I (or it) hurt(s)” OR “Dakar,” neither makes sense. Then the rest of the dream went on with regular dream occurrences.

Anyway, the whole marriage thing hit a bump with Husband’s new supervisor. I saw it coming…I was plied with gifts that I knew had strings attached and now that they are being pulled, it kind of ticks me off…

Yeah. So that’s life, isn’t it?

The family life is matching the career life and it makes me sad that those two things are going downhill. I’ve gotten smacked with several rejections at the same time friendships have strengthened and gathered steam. I’m grateful there is good with the bad even if the bad is more pressing at the moment.

Regardless, all I can do is take a picture of something beautiful or wonderful in the universe and attach it to this blog post and send it out to the world and move on.

Right?

 

7.3.2014c{My beautiful baby Sycamore}

7.3.2014A{The bug-free place where I sometimes write}

Thanks for stopping by!

(These are just my creek side reflections. Your experience may vary, as well as your mileage.)

In the summer, my social life gets tangled and wonderful. There’s a million places to go and people to see. On Tuesday, I got to see my best friend and her husband for a few hours. Soon, I’ll be at a graduation party. This year, I’ll try to better balance that with the household chores, maintenance and my “real work.”

I’ve signed up for Camp NaNo (again) and I’m not sure what I’m going to work on. Originally, I was thinking short stories, but I don’t know. I have a few days to decide. I may go back to a novel I started years ago.

I’m excited that an agent asked for my first three chapters on my latest novel. The beginning garnered a “show” in a contest. I’ll be ecstatic if she asks to see more, but I’m not holding my breath–I can’t–I have 4-6 weeks of waiting! I had a piece I originally wrote in 2009 FINALLY find a loving home in an Sci-Fi anthology coming out soon from Divertir Publishing and a cheeky NF piece will soon be appearing in The Other Herald, a gorgeous publication based out of Perry, New York.

Yeah, things are looking good and I’m grateful.

It just seems that there are so many things to do and pieces I want to write and submissions to read and comment on that I worry I’ll become too distracted by a bush and end up tripping over an exposed root–don’t get me started on the lawn care I should be doing and the weeding I should have tended to before now.

No matter what, there’s never enough time or money or oomph, is there–too get everything done.

*Sigh*

Still, I’m giddy at the amazing success of my friends, colleagues and acquaintances as of late. I know I’m pushing my boundaries, but I met Roxane Gay in Boston at the AWP book fair and she recognized my name and she was kind and such a beautiful woman…I’m thrilled that “An Untamed State” is getting so many good reviews. She deserves even more. Alex Pruteanu has a manuscript out for a book that I’m hoping to read soon. The short story, “The Sun-Eaters” was phenomenal–I can only imagine the book being better. Dawn Corrigan, woman extraordinaire has “Mitigating Circumstances” out which I’m badgering my library to pick up though so far they haven’t. (Boo John Saccco!) I shouldn’t be too mean; I love my library and when I got my copy of the summer newsletter, I felt like a rock star–they featured the reading I did with Gary Earl Ross and the other contributors to “Queen City Flash

Plus, the lovely and talented Mary Akers got the July Issue of r.kv.r.y out early and Mike Joyce—my other awesome boss got a lovely write up in Poets & Writers about the Rookery.

Except for the horrid slugs in my garden, things are good. Thanks for stopping by!

(*These are my Creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.)

Chyo has my book on her Kindle and she’s killing me by either not reading it or waiting to tell me what she thinks. Regardless, I’m not sending it to XO Man until I hear from her. That book has wrecked me, but I feel it’s over–at least for now so I’m off to write other things–including this blog post which is a week late–mia culpa. I was in an editing/polishing zone and I really couldn’t break free until just the other day.

Everything was left to slide, including the garden. Yesterday, I spent most of the day out there and was pleasantly surprised that the minor love I’ve been giving it is paying off–the weeds aren’t out of control and the slugs haven’t devoured my pepper plants as of yet. I hate those slugs. They have an entire yard to graze upon but year after year they hunger for my poor peppers.

The irises have come and gone, but today, two of the peonies were in bloom. Here’s one:

peony

The baby pines either thrived or died. I don’t know, it was bad timing when those saplings arrived. I’m grateful my brother-in-law was here that weekend to help with the planting. This one is the best looker of the remaining bunch:one

And the wisteria is beginning to bloom:

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Otherwise, it’s a hot sticky day and the last of the plants in the greenhouse were taken outside so I’ll probably clean that room, maybe finish Gina Miani’s Avalon, get further into Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch. Hell, I might even start a story for The Molotov Cocktail Monster Flash contest. Maybe I’ll even paint.

Thanks for checking in!

 

(*These are my Creekside Reflections. Your experiences may vary.)

In case you didn’t know, I do have a kid and he’s awesome. For MD, he ripped a CD of Lost Souls, Inc. music for me. It was returned because of postage issues, but I got it on Saturday and listened to a song or two before the “Events” took over.

Brother-in-law was here for the Mike Korabek memorial. I’d never been to such a lovely thing before–being a part of the sending off of a man who loved the Grateful Dead. Suffice it to say I had a lovely, happy, joyful time on a Friday night before the trip to the cemetery followed by the VFW tribute. I’m still so happy about the whole thing–not that the guy I’d never met was dead, but that I got to be a part of such a great tribute. I mean there were red roses everywhere and people Husband has referenced since I met him were there to see and talk to–it was fantastic. I loved it.

Lately, I’ve loved a lot of things.

In the “joyous” part of that Friday night, I had a stupid tap hammer slam me in the forehead. I won’t say what, but a tie rod of plot support showed up. I was excited and awed. I mean, how did I not see the organic progression before?

I laugh.

I can’t wait for you to read it and then I can laugh with you when you agree with me–I should have seen it!

Since then it’s been Revision City.

Well, not quite. On Sunday, I went to Vineyard Conference with Mary Jo and everyone had lunch at the McClurg Museum. Shout outs to Mary Jo Hodge, Nancy Leone, Peter Hamilton, Chuck Joy, Michele Meleen, The Can the Man men, Ron Androla, Nancy Kay, Linda Lavid, and Tom Noyes for making it wonderful. (Yes, if I met you, remind me and I’ll tag you, too.)

I’ve been in a good mood for quite a while. Maybe because I haven’t been paying as much attention to the news as I normally do, maybe the purple flowers in my yard are giving me a happy, maybe the last hard scene for my MC was written yesterday and I’m down to the nitpicky edits for this latest book. I don’t know what it is, but it feels good to listen to Ronnie Hall and Phraugue on CD. I feel good even knowing some lousy rejections are bound to roll in soon. I’m okay with them. I warned Husband that I was partial to J. Peterman swag. Yesterday, I ordered a blue dress. It was on sale and beautiful and I cannot remember the last new dress I bought…maybe it will work out with a new car to pose beside like I did back in the day of wrapping up “Campus Crimes” with my car Grace.Grace2

Meant To Be.

Sunday was exciting for the conversation I had with XO man. The pillows on the couch in the library are still in the position they were when I stretched out and laughed at the shared plight of having an inept dentist. We also talked of music, dance, and cleaning women.

I’d been cleaning the house in anticipation of the novel critique group meeting here tonight. It has corresponded with the ‘so called spring cleaning’ time of year, though I’m not moving the furniture yet due to the still chilly nights. Regardless, “art” has been on my mind a lot recently.

My “style” is eclectic to say the least and as I go along, pieces have to hit me to disrupt the equilibrium I’ve established with the pieces in the house. Monday, I met the newest love of my life.

I had a doctor’s appointment at nine–because even though my insurance card says I don’t need a referral, I can’t see a dermatologist unless I have one, which is a bunch of BS, but that’s for a different post. Anyway, because we have the one vehicle, Husband dropped me off then was going to pick me up on his lunch hour.

Randomly, the Monday I went for a referral, I was also sentenced to an X-ray on my leg, blood work, and an ultrasound. After my appointment, I was able to get the x-ray and the blood work done and walked out of there at ten fifteen. Go figure. I had hours to kill. I went to Café 56 and had a snack while I edited. I was quite content until I felt something and looked over to see I was being stared at by some guy in the corner. I didn’t like that at all.

Flustered, I stayed and worked. I looked out the window and swear I saw Agent Chase crossing the street and enter the antique shop. I leisurely finished my coffee, wondering how far I was going to take this. I calculated that if a fictional character walks out of your head and into the sunlight, you want to pursue, but not so quickly as to scare them away.

Bill paid, street crossed, store entered, I found Agent Chase was gone. I wandered the store after a few words with the shopkeeper. Husband had told me his supervisor, Jody Buttons, owned it. I verified that, then took my time looking at all the interesting things in the shop.

Near the end of my walk around, I came to a framed print. In an oval frame with the glass protruding like a pregnant belly, there was the smuggest, sexiest, slyest picture I’d ever seen. It didn’t remind me of Van Eyck as much as Vermeer but I don’t think it’s either of those. The colors are wrong for both. I looked it over, and there was no price. I asked the merchant, he said he’d have to ask Jody. I told him my husband worked with him, hoping for a better price, When husband picked me up, I told him about it. At work the next day, husband said something about it and Jody said, “That was you?”

I called the shop on Tuesday and Jody hadn’t given a price even he was asked about it three times. Wednesday, at break, Jody walked over and just gave Husband the picture. Jody said he didn’t know whom it was by, but the frame was at least one hundred years old. He wouldn’t take any money for it. Norm was aghast as Jody doesn’t giveaway anything.

So it’s mine now and Husband and I agree, in the event of divorce, it is mine. Right now, it’s hanging on the wall, and I’m even fonder of it though I have to change out and move other pieces around to accommodate this gorgeous thing. Once the novel critique meeting is over, the furniture will move and the other artwork will move to accommodate this newest acquisition.

After I had talked to XO man on Sunday, I got a call on my cell from someone looking for Gail and wanting to make sure she got home safely. Gail is the name of the MC in my current WIP so that freaked me out a little, but without that nudge of the fictional and real blurring at times, I might not have followed a phantom that led to this, new love.

 

pj

Sorry, taking a picture through curved glass isn’t easy, but look at the interplay between the women. Exquisite.

 

 

pi

 

(*These are just my creek side reflections. Your experiences may vary.)

If you’re looking for good news, I have quite a bit this go around. On April 8th, I received word that “The Girl Who Loved God” was accepted at Ruthless Peoples Magazine. It was posted on the 10th and I am thrilled! Dominic Hamer was the greatest editor to work with. Please do check this story out if you haven’t already. It’s one of my favorites.

On the 12th, I received word that the first 15 pages of my latest novel won third place in the Houston Writers’ Guild’s Genre Contest. I was up until after 3:00 a.m. last night working on it so I do hope to get that polished, corrected, and submitted before this is old news. So far, XO man does not appear in it, which I’m grateful for, though I couldn’t help myself and put in an inside joke: The water in the vase was gone, leaving the rose petals so dry they were crunchy. Yes, that would take far too long to explain.

I also found out that two of my poems that were accepted for the first issue of Wicked Banshee Press went live. You have to scroll about 4/5 of the way down to read them. (Sorry!) The titles are “My First Big Break” and “Some Mothers.” Many thanks to SaraEve, Jennifer E. Hudgens, and Michelle Nimmeo

Otherwise, the crocuses are in bloom, the daffodils are preparing for their opening and I’ve seen tulip leaves. I really do like spring.

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Well, now I’m off to read Mary’s new opening pages, then work on my own.

Thank you for stopping by!

 

(These are just my Creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.)

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