Dear Diary

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Damn that hurts!

THE TEN "OTHER" CIRCLES OF HELL


I simultaneously stubbed all of the toes on my right foot the other day. For a few seconds, I seriously thought I was gonna die. I lamented on Facebook, telling my friends that I was pretty sure I had found the 10th Circle of Hell. Since then, I have determined that there are in fact, 10 "other" circles that Dante missed. Here they are:


10.  Continuous Eternal Toe Stubbing


Oh Lord! Can you imagine? Stubbing your toes, over and over, being gripped by that breath stealing pain... forever??!! No.


9.  The Never Healing Hang Nail


You know you shouldn't, but you do it anyway.  You grab a hold of that loose nail (usually with your teeth) and rip that sucker off. At least that red, swollen finger will heal in a few days. But, what if it didn't? Ever??


8.  Paper, Cardboard & Plastic Cuts


They suck. The end.


7.  Eternal Smacking of the Funnybone


That shit's not funny. At least it doesn't happen much. The idea of being endlessly and repeatedly whacked in the elbow, feeling  that ripple through the nerves that always causes a second of nausea. .. again, no.


6.  Grease Burns


You know, when the bacon decides that sizzling isn't enough, so it decides to explode like a porky nuke in the pan, sending out molten shrapnel that ALWAYS seems to land on your bare skin. In hell, something like this would bring new meaning to "acid rain".


5.  Splinters


Especially those little ones you can't get out. They just sit there, getting itchy and purple. Rude.


4.  Zits in Your Ear


Seriously, what the hell is that all about? And why are they 100 times more painful than the ones that form on your chin? And and, I'm in my 40's... why am I still getting zits?


3.  Brain Freeze


Yeah, that's gotta the most painful 10 seconds of your life. And as soon as it passes, you dive right back in to whatever you were eating/drinking. Delicious masochism.  Imagine if that pain was forever? It would be like hell really did freeze over.


3.  Smashing a Fingernail


It's such a simple thing, but for some reason, when you do it, a flood of pain induced obscenities flows from your mouth like a river. I have a theory. There's no such thing as turrets... people are just smashing fingers.


2.  Static Shocks


It's not so much that they hurt. .. It's the surprise. It's that blast of panic chemicals your body shoots into your chest.  Pick up a little static from the carpet, then go open the car door. ZAP!! I wonder if that could induce a heart attack. .. Hmmm..............


1.  Stepping on a Goat Head


If you are unfamiliar with these little bastards, CONGRATULATIONS! You truly live a charmed life. For the rest of us, there are few things in this world that are more painful than a goat head in a toe. Obviously they are spawns of Satan... after all, they're shaped like a GOAT'S HEAD!!


So there you have it. The Ten "Other" Circles of Hell, you and I have to deal with everyday. Little moments that help you remember all those cuss words you're always trying not to say.

Your welcome.


PS. Here's a bonus circle:  biting a taste bud. So painful. 

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no peeking!!

NAUGHTY BITS

.

Ah, the sex scene. When you read it, it sends your senses into a tailspin. Your own experiences mingle with the actions on the page, and create a strange, virtual brothel inside your mind.

Sometimes they're naughty, sometimes depraved. Sometimes they're only a hint of physical contact, sometimes they hit you in the head. No matter which, the sex scene gives the reader a glimpse of the animal, inside the character.


I just started writing my first full blown sex scene chapter. I've written "hinted sex" before, but this is different. The character is a carnal being. He is cold, calculating, and a little mad. His partner is paid to be there. There's a mystery and a danger in the air... will he hurt her? Will he kill her? It's important to me to bring these wonders to the readers mind.

When I sat down to write the chapter, I figured it would be a pretty straight forward thing to write.


NOT!


Typing out the act of sex, that personal thing we do behind a closed door, is painful and a little creepy. I sat there, feeling like a voyeur, like any minute a cop was gonna tap me on the shoulder and ask me what I'm doing. I suppose if I were going to write a passionate, love making scene, it would have been better. It would have brought me pleasant memories of my marriage and my awesome husband.


BUT NO!


My story involves a selfish psychopath. So my sex scene needs to reflect... well, that.

I have no deep advice when it comes to these scenes. I only know what I like to read. I want the sex to be an accurate representation of the character's having it. I want to be let in on the naughty secrets, and at the same time, have an air of mystery. It goes without saying that I want to be turned on, but not be left feeling like a pervert for what I just read. But, most of all, if there's going to be sex, it needs to be necessary. If it's just in there for filler, perhaps it would be a good idea to go back through and beef up some storyline.


Well, that's all I got this week, NaNoWriMo is kicking my backside, but isn't that what it's supposed to do????

     

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30 days... 50,000 words

A NaNo WE WILL GO...


I first heard of NaNoWriMo about 5 years ago. My reaction was very straight forward:

Hell no, those people are crazy.

Who writes an entire story, 50,000 words, in 30 days?? Crazy people, that's who.

Every year, my writer friends on fb would all knuckle down and disappear for a month, cranking out first drafts of what would go on to become published works, while I, sat on my fanny, afraid to even try.


Last year, I almost attempted it. I was so close to clicking the sign up button, but didn't do it. I just didn't see how I could possibly put down that much story in a month.


But, that was then...


I recently joined a fb group called 10 Minute Novelists. Wow, what a group! It's hundreds of people, who like me, have squat for time to sit down and do long fabulous stretches of writing. People with lives, jobs, kids, ailments... all the stuff that keeps a writer from writing. The premise of the group, is that everyone can set aside 10 minutes a day, do some writing, and finish their novel.


These folks fascinate me. They have squat for time, but they do it anyway. I was more than inspired. Then I found out last week, that a pile of them are participating in National Novel Writing Month. What the what??


Challenge accepted...


So, at the last possible minute, I put on my big girl pants, and signed up. It's day 4, and I actually feel like I can do it. I mean, like I could actually finish! Nothing inspires like a deadline, or the fear of looking like a dope. Those wonderful writers in the 10 Minute Novelists fb group are an inspiration. I have been inspired to get off my lazy, second-guessing, oh woe is me behind off the couch and in front of the screen. And even if I don't hit the 50,000 words by

November 30th, I will still be farther than I would have been.


That's tastes like winning!


And yes, I will let you know how it goes. I fully intend to finish. I need to finish. My characters need me to finish. They've got a life too, ya know.

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groovy man, groovy...

I'm a Poet...

and Didn't Know it!



I used to carry a dislike for poetry. Probably because I never understood it. It always seemed too flowery and over my head. Sure, I wrote some tragic stanza's of misery and woe when I was a teenager, but I never considered any of those sad expressions to be poetry. It was more like teenage hormone therapy.


Then a bunch of months back, I was approached by my mentor with a suggestion. He was starting up a daily writing prompt on his blog. The prompts would be in video form and would cover a wide range of subjects. We would be posting them on the blog in the comments, for all to read and critique. Oh, and they would be poetry prompts.

Ugghh....


Well, why not? I wasn't in the mood to jump back into the new book manuscript I had started and I had time to kill while I continued to hope a publisher would pick up my novel for publication. So, I said yes.


I quickly realized I was a fish out of water. As the daily prompts came, I tackled them with gusto, trying (really, really hard!!) to write exactly what the assignment asked for. Sitting at my laptop for sometimes hours, staring at one sad line, wishing I could pull some inspiration out of my backside. I managed to turn in a poem every day, along with several other people, who incidentally, were real poets.


After two weeks, I was ready to bow out. I wasn't getting the "Good Job!" remarks I thought I would get. I watched other poets get rave reviews, which of course woke up the little green eyed monster in my head. I ignored it and pressed on, determined to find my voice in poetry.

Then in July, everything changed. First, my novel got accepted by a publisher. With my spirits lifted by this great victory, my poetry writing changed. I found that I actually had a style. I found that my poems had an individual voice. I found out, I was (maybe) becoming a poet.

Since then, I have no problem writing poetry. I have taken suggestions and tried different techniques, different forms, and have found that not only am I getting pretty good at it, I actually enjoy it. What's even more exciting, is that established poets are enjoying my writing too. For me, that was the true turning point.


So, now I'm putting together a couple of collections, submitting my poems to different journals and am actually getting some positive responses. It just goes to show you, in the writing world, giving up is never an option. I mean look at me, I'm a poet, and didn't know it!

Now I can make a rhyme anytime............ heh heh heh!!


* But seriously, if you are interested in writing poetry, short fiction, etc., go to my "Links" and click on the "30 Days til Done" link and join us. Can't wait to read your stuff!

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so AWESOME!

WONDER WOMAN!

All the World is Waiting for You...


When I was five, my ultimate heroine, was Wonder Woman. I hauled my PB&J to kindergarten in a baby blue, vinyl plush lunch box, sporting that raven haired Amazon with pride. Every Friday night, a most rare and magical event happened in my household: I got to choose the TV programming. You'll never guess what I chose...


Linda Carter entranced me with her big blue eyes that contrasted so blatantly with her black hair. She was beautiful, strong, and had way better weapons than Batman. I loved the sound her gauntlets made when the bad guy's bullets ricocheted off of them. I felt empowered when she tied them up with her Lasso of Truth. And seriously, who doesn't want an invisible jet? Wonder Woman was a goddess and every week she came on the screen, promising I could be one too.


Naturally, when Halloween came around, I had to be Wonder Woman. Mom drove us down the 5&10, where I picked out my costume. The plastic pants suit with two ties in the back, accompanied by a molded face mask. I was in Heaven and I was finally Wonder Woman! Huzzah!


Alas, I am no longer five. I no longer haul PB&J's in lunch boxes, and sadder still, I no longer wear costumes on Halloween. But, I do still love Wonder Woman. She still inspires me to be brave, seek truth, be the best I can be, and all those things we look for in a hero. The impression that TV show made on me will certainly last a lifetime.


 Thank goodness for that.

     

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my muses

Our Strange Muses:  Top 10 Must Haves For Writers


As a writer, I fall into a very unique and strange category of people.  I am full of ideas, thoughts, arguments, and "what if" scenarios, that time and time again take me to worlds many are afraid to explore.  But, like Batman and his utility belt, or Harry Potter and his wand, I have to have the proper tools, or I simply never get the car out of the driveway. 


I spent a few days asking around, and discovered that I am not alone.  Everyone I talked to, seemed to have something... something they had to have, in order to make the magic happen.  Here is the list of the most common writer muses: 


1. Music

      The majority seemed to be drawn to classical, with some preferring jazz or even rock. 

      I'm a big band, swing girl myself.

2.   Coffee

      Ah, the nectar of the creative gods.  There was no clear winner in the hot -vs-cold debate,

      and tea managed to squeeze in for an honorable mention.

3.   A View

      It would seem that quite a few writers are particularly moved by the out of doors.  While

      some where content to sit by a window with a view, many insisted that they needed to be

      in nature in order to be inspired. 

4.   Silence

      It is golden for some writers. 

5.   Soda Pop & Water

      Tied for 5th place were these two particular drinks. Personally, the drink of choice is

      not a critical one, so long as it's cold. 

6.   Pen & Paper

      Yes, believe it or not, there are many of us writers, who still use these things.

7.   A Deadline

      Could be the greatest motivator in a writers world.  Nothing gets you moving like the 

      steady tick of a clock.

8.   An empty house

      For many, silence wasn't enough.  Seclusion was just as important.  I found this to be 

      the most common response of writers who had children or multiple pets 

9.   Pot

      No, I am not advocating drug use in order to inspire you.  I was just so impressed that one

      person was willing to admit it, that I had to add it to the list.  Besides, I could have 

      misunderstood...they could have meant pot of coffee!

10. Candy & Gum

      This is my world.  The types varied, but there were tons of writers that needed to have 

      that one particular flavor in their mouths, in order to get the creative juices flowing. 


In fact, as I am writing this, I am crunching away on my Wint-O-Green Lifesavers.  I need them! For some reason, that sharp, minty goodness helps me think.  They bring unique words to my mind, they give life to my characters.  And, I just ate the last one.          

     


 

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I totally WON!!

Contests:  Why You Should Always Enter Them!!


First, lemme get it off my chest.... I WON, I WON, I WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Pheww! Now that I got that out, let's blog, shall we? I never win contests.  My name is never drawn from the hat, my number is never called in the raffle, and the lottery just laughs at me when I buy a ticket. It's just how I roll. I'm used to it.  It never stops me from entering, though. 


Recently, I have started entering writing competitions.  I felt like it was important, to attempt to get my name out, by way of submitting short stories, poems etc... What with my novel coming out next year, and all.  It seemed like a sensible way to gain some name recognition, and at the same time, practice my craft. 


As per my usual MO, I suffered defeats early on.  There are some REALLY good writers out there! But, I continued to press on, writing pieces in my writers groups, editing little projects that had been abandoned in a file on my laptop, and submitting to all sorts of little contests. 


For the record, the third time is not the charm.  The TENTH one is! I received an email last Friday, informing me that my prose piece had been selected as the winner of a short story contest, where the subject was the wild west.  YESSSSS!!!!


There were several things that made this special.  


1.  Hello, duh!! I freakin' won!

2.  The story I wrote was based on my own life childhood experience. 

3.  I wrote it with my writers group.

4.  My name and social media presence got a boost

5.  The best part:  I did it all on my own.


So, now I am totally pumped back up for writing.  I was going through a brief spell of slacking, which happens to us all.  But, winning this small contest, helped to reinforce that I am doing what I should be:  writing.


Take it from me.  If you are in a slump, enter contests.  If you need to keep busy in between major book projects, enter contests.  If you are trying to establish an online presence, enter contests.  Not for cash prizes, or free copies or any of that, but do it, so you can feel that fabulous sense of accomplishment.  And when you win, BRAG ABOUT IT!! You did a great job, and should share it with everyone.  Be an inspiration, to others and yourself. 

Speaking of which, here's the link to my winning piece:


https://literative.com/2015/09/winner-of-the-wild-west-contest/#.VggALVUVikp   

      

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Did We All Eat The Apple?


When I was young, I really wanted to be pissed off at Eve for eating the apple and screwing up the world.  I mean seriously, what part of "Don't eat anything off that tree" didn't she get? In spite of my inexperience with scripture, it seemed like a no-brainer to me.  As I got older and began to seriously study the Bible, I came to terms with our worldly situation, happy and grateful for a Savior, that was willing to foot the bill for all of my shortcomings.  But, that little voice kept gnawing at the back of my mind.  The world wouldn't suck so much, if it hadn't been for her!


That got me thinking.  Why did we ALL have to be punished, for one person's mistake?  I didn't shove that apple down Eve's throat, so why am I in trouble?  The answer came to me yesterday in the car, on the way to the grocery store.  God likes to drop random thought bombs on me like that all the time. 


In the beginning, there was no sin.  There was no concept of sin.  Adam and Eve didn't know what it was, didn't know how to do it, and didn't have the capacity to conjure it.  Like the garden and everything else in it, the first two humans were perfect.  Like a blank piece of paper, waiting for a snake to come along, and scribble his BS all over them.


They accepted everything God told them, because they didn't know any better.  He was their only source of education.  Then suddenly, from the dank recesses of hell, a dark shadow crept into the garden.  The devil, fueled by an insane amount of jealousy for humans, he takes the form of a snake, and feeds Eve a line of grade A bullshit that would come to leave a bad taste in every humans mouth.


He said to the woman, "Did God actually say, 'you shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?" And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, 'you shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die." But the serpent said to the woman, "you will not surely die.  For God knows that when you eat of it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.  -Genesis, 3:1b-5   


This ploy would come to be known as "classic devil BS".  He didn't "exactly lie." See, we weren't meant to grow old, get sick, suffer cancers, or DIE! By eating the fruit, our eyes were opened, as were our bodies.  Sure, we could now distinguish good from bad, we now had the ability to learn the hidden mysteries of God, but we also cleared a path for physical attacks.  We opened the door to death and disease, pain and suffering. 


I know, there's a lot of "we's" in that last paragraph.  Isn't all of this Eve's fault?  The answer is no.  Here's why.  It wouldn't have mattered which one of us was elected to be the Eve.  Our creation would have been the same.  No matter which one of us had been there, we would have made the same mistake, the same way she did.  Eve had no concept of lies.  No concept of deceitfulness.  She believed the serpent, because she had no reason not to.  And neither would we.  The serpent took advantage of her naivety, he capitalized of the fact, that she would believe him, because she had no knowledge or understanding of sin.


And yes, it's bad to know the difference between good and evil.  To know the hidden mysteries of God.  While it's useful to know about evil, in order to avoid it, it's something we never should have had to deal with.  And while it's great that we are learning how to fight killer diseases, those are also things that would have never existed, if not for that stupid apple.  None of the wars, rapes, drug use... you name it, would even exist, and what's more, we wouldn't care. Thanks to the serpent lies, not only do we care, but it seems like sometimes, man thrives on sin.      


So, yes, in affect, we are all to blame, because we would have chosen the exact same way.  There is a happy ending to the story, though. 


"I will put enmity between you and the woman,

and between your offspring and her offspring;

he shall bruise your head,

and you shall bruise his heel." -Genesis 3:15   


Not all is lost.  God gave us a way out.  Eve's "offspring" is a reference to the Messiah, Christ Jesus.  That one day, a branch from Jesse's tree would come and save us from that centuries old mistake.  That we wouldn't have to wallow in the results of ignorance, hate, and jealousy. In God's mercy, He saved us from ourselves, by offering Himself as a sacrifice for the whole world. All we have to do, is accept, repent, and spread the Word.  We are still going to have to deal with sin.  The serpent is still very much active, whispering little tidbits of BS in our ears, hoping that we will start each day with a poison apple. When he comes at you, resist. 


 How do you resist? With prayer and scripture. 


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Created by Molly Neely