Showing posts from February, 2023

Flashback Friday:

 I found this in the archives from 2016. It made me laugh, and I hope it gives you a smile.  Sit back and enjoy a warm vacation as winter continues... 860 words The Devil’s in the Details   “Watch your step as you exit the bus. The ground may be uneven or extremely hot. Watch your step…” The guide droned on, words and intonation exactly the same as each person stepped down out of the tour bus. He seemed unaffected by the exclamations of the tourists.   “It’s sure hot here!” “Hope the hotel has AC.” “Darling, I don’t know…” “Well you said you wanted to go someplace warm.”   The man and woman, dressed in plaid Bermuda shorts (him) and a hibiscus-print sundress (her) clutched each other’s arms as they looked around the blasted volcanic landscape. All that hot lava looked very close.   “Hey! Keep moving!” Someone behind them called. “We want to get off this bus and see too, you know!”   “I’m not so sure that’s a good idea,” the woman whispered

Writer's Update: #amwriting

Okay, not writing as in generating new text, but editing and rewriting, which any writer knows is the real work of writing. Yes, work on the first of the new Seffi Wardwell series has resumed, and I'm diving into what was wrong with my main character and how I can fix that. The woman in my head had definitely not come out on the page, and I had to dive into some hard places to ask myself why not. The answers were complicated, but I think in large part boiled down to me not being ready (when I first drafted it) to deal with some aspects of her backstory.  I think I can handle Seffi's story now, but I have also realized that a lot of it doesn't need to enter into the book at all. Figuring out just what the reader needs to know will be part of my task. I'm also working on moving the narration more into deep POV, something I've been learning about and think would improve the narrative voice. If you are interested in getting a sneak preview--i.e., being a beta reader (po

Non-fiction audiobook review: Leave It As It Is

Teddy Roosevelt and saving our public lands.   Title: Leave It As It Is: A Journey Through Theodore Roosevelt's American Wilderness Author: David Gessner Publication Info: Simon Schuster, 2020. 352 pages hardback; 12.5 hours audio. Source: Library Publisher's Blurb: “Leave it as it is,” Theodore Roosevelt announced while viewing the Grand Canyon for the first time. “The ages have been at work on it and man can only mar it.” Roosevelt’s rallying cry signaled the beginning of an environmental fight that still wages today. To reconnect with the American wilderness and with the president who courageously protected it, acclaimed nature writer and New York Times bestselling author David Gessner embarks on a great American road trip guided by Roosevelt’s crusading environmental legacy. Gessner travels to the Dakota badlands where Roosevelt awakened as a naturalist; to Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon where Roosevelt escaped during the grind of his reelection tour;

Photo Friday: Abstracts

Since I have actually caught up with my travels, I thought I'd dive into the archives and start sharing some of the "art" photos I've taken in the last few years. I enjoy shooting abstracts, but can include very few in my slide shows and fewer still in my trip reports on this blog. There's no narrative here--just enjoy the photos. I've explained some of them, but you don't have to read that part! Amazing how often close-ups of rocks look like aerial photos of the arid West. Sandstone offer nearly limitless possibilities, with or without lichen. This and the following 2 shots are from Valley of Fire State Park, NV--some of the most colorful rock I've seen anywhere. Just add water. Plants. Ancient trees--Bristlecone, white pine, and similar--fill me with wonder at the colors as well as the twists and curves. And one to leave you with... sometimes it's all about perspective. Hope you enjoyed those! ©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2023  As always, please ask per

Memoir review: The Electricity of Every Living Thing

Reviewing this fascinating memoir today. Title: The Electricity of Every Living Thing: A Woman's Walk in the Wild to Find Her Way Home Author: Katherine May Publication Info: Trapeze, 2018. 285 pages (Kindle edition) Source: Library Publisher's Blurb: In anticipation of her 38th birthday, Katherine May set out to walk the 630-mile South West Coast Path. She wanted time alone, in nature, to understand why she had stopped coping with everyday life; why motherhood had been so overwhelming and isolating; and why the world felt full of expectations she couldn’t meet. She was also reeling from a chance encounter with a voice on the radio that sparked her realisation that she might be autistic. And so begins a trek along the ruggedly beautiful but difficult path by the sea that takes readers through the alternatingly frustrating, funny, and enlightening experience of re-awakening to the world around us… The Electricity of Every Living Thing sees Katherine come to terms w

Spotlight: Influenced, by Patricia Josephine Lynne

 I am happy to give a little attention to the sweet love stories of Patricia Josephine Lynne. Take a look! About Patricia A paranormal and fantasy junkie, Patricia J.L. loves to craft young adult and new adult stories about vampires, mermaids, angels, demons, zombies, and other mythical monsters. Aliens might even appear in her stories. No matter what fantasy creature you crave. Patricia J.L. has a story for every imagination! You can find her young adult novels under Patricia Lynne and her adult novels under Patricia Josephine.   Get in Touch!    Influence: Sweet fantasy enemies-to-lovers romance series INFLUENCE OF LOVE  Their voices guide us. Or deceive us. But is there more to Light and Dark?

#WritePhoto: Through the Door

 Participating again in KL Caley's #WritePhoto, inspired by this really cool door in a wall. Blue. Image by KL Caley   Participating in the weekly #WritePhoto blog hop at KL Caley's New2Writing blog. Every Thursday a new photo prompt. Post stories, poems, or whatever by the following Tuesday and link back to KL's page. About 800 words. Through the Door “Don’t use that one.” I reached out a hand to stop Beth from touching the latch on the big blue door.   “But we always go this way. This isn’t the time to explore. It’s going to rain.” She waved a hand at the clouds that had grown thicker and darker as we walked that morning.   “I know. But look at this.” I pointed to the small, pointed door in the bottom half of the big one. “Let’s use this one.”   “Isn’t that the cat door?” She was running her hands over the metallic gold stars that studded the door, her fingers trying to read the meaning of the array.   “Pretty big for cats.” The

Writer's Wednesday: What I'm learning while teaching

For the last few weeks I've been teaching a class on novel writing at the local senior-education non-profit. I started with a lot of ideas about what I should cover and how I should teach it, almost all of which I had to chuck the first day. Instead, my four students and I are wandering through different aspects of creating a story, the decisions that must be made about character, setting, plot, voice, narrative point of view, etc.  The result? A great excuse for me to delve more deeply into elements of my craft that I haven't thought about consciously, or haven't thought about enough. I get to talk about them with people who read a lot and write at least some. My neat and orderly progression through the stages of writing got dumped, but I, at least, am learning a lot! Here are some of the very relevant things I've been thinking about: Character . What does it take to make a character that readers will like, identify with, or at the least give a hoot about? How do you m

Book reviews: Several books about transgenderism

As I mentioned last week, I have recently learned that I have a transgender daughter. Because I'm an academic at heart, as soon as she told me this, I began hunting up and reading books on the subject. Because I'm cheap, I've been working on what's available at the library, on ebooks because I'm lazy and didn't want to walk up to the library in the rain. One thing jumped out at me: the library really needs to update the collection in this area. I was able to find virtually nothing (aside from memoirs, which aren't really what I was looking for at this point) less than 8 years old. Most seemed to date from about 2012. Here's a quick run-down on what I found, and what might or might not be helpful.   Title: My Child is Transgender: 10 Tips for Parents of Adult Trans Children Author: Matt Kailey Publication Info: Tranifesto Publishing, 2012. 28 pages. Publisher's Blurb: Your adult child has come out to you as transgender and is considering, or has alre