Category Archives: story telling

The Writing Hour


You’ve heard of the Witching Hour, right? Well, I want to talk about the Writing Hour- the magical time of day when I get to write. I get up at 4:30 in the morning, every single day, just so that I can have this quiet, undisturbed time to write.

Every night, before bed, I set up my coffee maker so that it starts my coffee at 4:15, assuring that it will be ready when I crawl out of the warmth of my blankets way before the first light of dawn. It takes me a little time to wake up- somewhere around the dregs of my first cup, I stop reading and commenting on blogs, and start working on something of my own. Sometimes it’s my novel, and sometimes it’s a blog post- on a good day, like today, I might manage both.

Like many of us, I am an extremely busy person. I work full time, I have a small child (and a not so small child, also), a house full of pets that want my attention. There is homework to be done, and housework, laundry that never seems to be folded, and a million other little tasks tugging constantly on my mind. On top of that, I am in recovery, trying to fit in meetings, and doing all the things that take care of me mentally and physically. Groceries need to be bought, dinners prepared, I have to get to the gym, I have to walk the dog. My God, just writing it down makes me anxious. The list literally had no end- once you complete it, if that ever even happens, you go back to the top and start over.

And that is fine, that’s just the way life is. BUT…doing any of these things at 4:30 in the morning would be pretty unreasonable, if you ask me. The only acceptable thing I can think of to do at that hour, besides sleep, is write. Between the hours of 4:30 and roughly 6:30 in the morning, I am free to indulge myself in whatever form of writing pleases me. I can read blog posts at my leisure, or re-read the latest chapter in my work in progress. I can let my fingers fly over the keyboard as I transcribe the crazy events playing out in my imagination. Not even the sky is the limit. It’s entirely up to me.

Could I use a bit more sleep? Maybe. Would my life benefit at all from me staying up later than 8:30 every night? Most likely. Am I willing to give even an inch on this one thing, and give up my magical Writing Hour? Not even a chance. I’d rather yawn my way through the day and count down the minutes to bed time than give up my writing time.

Happy Friday, and Happy Writing!


The Writer’s Dilemma…


I have started working on a new story, so what is happening is what always happens- I am finding it harder to come up with the time and energy to devote to this blog. It’s funny, because they are such different things, and both of them give me something I want. Blogging has the immediate reward that I love- I have the ability to see who has read what I have written, who I have reached, who enjoys my writing. I get that immediate gratification that I love so much.

When I am writing a story, though, it is different. The story starts to materialize in my mind before I ever sit down to start sketching it out. It always starts like this- I am washing dishes, or walking my dog, or sitting on the toilet, and my mind goes “what if…say a girl was walking her dog early in the morning, like this, and they were by a cemetery…and the dog dragged her into the cemetery, and she lost the leash, and when she was trying to grab it, she fell…into an open grave…” Or maybe I start to see other parts of the story first, and then that first part comes to me. Eventually, it becomes almost painful not to start writing it out. I don’t get any immediate feedback on it, and most of the stories I have started, I haven’t even finished, for one reason or another. I lose interest, or something happens in my life that takes me away from writing, and when I come back, I just want to start something new.

I want to develop better habits, a solid writing routine, because- I have finally realized- this is everything to me. If I don’t get on the ball now, when will I? When I was very young, I already knew that writing was my calling in life, but I thought I had all the time in the world. I don’t know what I was waiting for. I don’t want to wait anymore. So, here I am, back to getting up at four every morning, so that I can have this time to write. I’m two chapters in on my new story, and I intend to finish this one. I also have decided to finish the editing of my first finished novel, and start sending it off again. I figure one of two things can happen- it will be rejected, or it won’t. I don’t need to get all nutty over it, I just need to do it. If no one wants it, then I will come up with something else. I don’t need to be afraid. I should be more afraid of doing nothing.

I plan on continuing blogging, and actually, I wrote a really good one earlier this week, but decided not ┬áto publish it in the interest of not pissing off everybody in the world who disagrees with me…especially a few particular people whom the blog was aimed at. If they weren’t people I knew personally, I probably would have gone ahead with it, but I am trying to be responsible with my words these days, and not go around stabbing people with my literary sword. Although it sure is tempting sometimes.

I am very interested to hear about your writing routine- are you dedicated to it? Is there a time of day that works best for you? Do you have a hard time blogging when you are caught up in other literary pursuits?

I know this is a short one today, but I really just wanted to check in, let everyone know what is going on with me. I’ll be back before you know it!

Do You Believe in Ghosts?


So, the seasons are changing, the nights are getting colder, perhaps fires are being lit in your living room (or if you are super lucky, your bedroom) hearths. Your front step may show evidence of the fast approaching Halloween, little pumpkins waiting to be carved into smiles and grimaces. I even have a scarecrow this year! What better time, then, to bring up a subject that almost everyone loves to chime in on- GHOSTS! If you don’t have a story of your own, you definitely have heard plenty over the years, right?

My question to you is, do you believe in ghosts? Like, REALLY believe in them? My sincere hope is that everyone reading this will share their stories in the comments below, or on my Facebook page, because, on top of the fact that I LOVE to tell my own personal ghost story, I SO love hearing other people’s personal encounters with the paranormal. Now, I am going to tell you mine, and it is 100% true! If you don’t believe me, you can totally ask my mother, as she was there and lived through it, too. Some of her memories will be different than mine- this all started when I was eight years old- but I can promise you that it was an experience neither of us will ever forget.
So, when I was 8, my mother was pregnant with my brother, and we moved into a bigger house, a pretty nondescript, standard, home at 530 W. Dayton, in Fresno. It was a hideous mustard color, at least when we got there, but it had a huge backyard. Anyway, within our first few days there, the first thing happened, and it is the one that I am the most confident of all of. I was laying on my twin bed in my little room, and my mom and grandma had just walked out a few moments before. I was reading (of course), when suddenly, the top drawer of my dresser, right next to the bed, just slid open, all the way. Quickly, as if someone had yanked it, hard. I remember being SO terrified that I couldn’t scream- I opened my mouth to yell for my mom, and nothing came out. By the time I could make a sound, I felt quite wild and deranged. The women came running back in, and I told them what had happened, but I could tell they didn’t believe me.
Pretty soon, though, my mom and my step dad, and eventually, even my little brother, were quite aware that we were not living in that house alone. There was tons of regular poltergeist activity, ranging from footsteps in the hall, to glasses and dishes rattling in the cupboard, to entire boxes of cereal flying across the room. No Shit. The rocking chair would rock with no one in it, and no breeze to explain it, things would disappear and then show up in impossible places.
If that had been all of it, I think it would have been bearable. But it seemed to escalate, and the atmosphere in that house became truly unbearable. I don’t know how to explain it to you- if you have ever lived in a house with an unhappy spirit, you will know exactly what I mean…I was eleven, and I couldn’t be alone in that house. I would walk home from school, unlock the front door, and try to sit on the couch to watch TV. Most of the time, the feeling in that place was so oppressive, so terrifying, that I would wind up sitting on the front step until my parents got home. I couldn’t even be in there. You were never alone, and whatever lived there, unseen, did not want me there.
My mother was up late one night, and she heard my brother walking ( he was a toddler, then) down the hall towards her room. She was reading, and she didn’t look up until the footsteps stopped at the foot of her bed, and a strange voice said “Mama!”. Then, her head snapped up, and no one was there. My brother was asleep in his bed. Eventually, he refused to go into his room at night, screaming in terror, and pointing into the corners, hysterical. I will let my mom finish that story, though, because I don’t really remember it well.
We later learned, from our amazing neighbors, Jack and Hazel, who had lived there since the beginning of time, that a small child had died of Leukemia or something in our very house. So that explains the little footsteps we heard often, and the voice in my mom’s room. But I have always felt like there was something much older and more negative in that place than any lost little child’s soul could ever be. I will probably never know the whole story, since we moved many years ago…but I have always wondered if the people who lived there after us had any similar experiences.
I have had other things happen in my life, but that one was definitely the longest…and for sure, the scariest. So, How about you? Do you believe in Ghosts? And if so, why? Tell me your story! I am so excited, I can’t wait!
Happy Almost Halloween!