Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Skipping Stones

I don't believe I every gave much thought to anything of significance as a child. The sun came up and went down regardless of what I did or where I was. Politics, homelessness, war...were talked with hushed tones. To say I was sheltered was an understatement. I was, and to some degree still am, spoiled. As such, I never really did grasp the whole actions/consequences concept. To this day, I still struggle to mend fences I tore down years ago with my carelessness or thoughtlessness of others. I didn't learn until way too late that words hurt faster than they heal and somethings should be left unspoken even with the best and closest of friends.

In the end, I wish I had realized that words/conversations are a lot like skipping stones across a lake. It doesn't take a lot of force or many attempts to disrupt the calmness of the water. That first bounce sends waves racing a distance away, never able to be taken back. The repercussion sparks a new ripple which sparks a new one and so on and so forth. You can never take it back. You just have to let it flow and pick up the pieces left behind. A stone unthrown will never cause a ripple or a break, but it also won't go anywhere.  

The best we can hope for is a group of friends willing to forgive us for our shortcomings and that stand by us come what may. Sometimes the biggest drama queens put on the best shows. I just need to remember that just because someone is there for me at my worst, does not mean they always will be, especially if I continuously take them for granted. That the person who always says yes, might need a hand in helping them learn to say no (even to me). 

As I write this, I can think of so many people I have hurt and that in a way have inspired me to help others. I wish I could change the harsh and insensitive things I've said and done, but I can't. I wish I could say I will never do those sorts of things in the future, but I will. All I can do is try to be better and hope the ripples I send out into the world inspire others and not tear them down. I am the only me I can be, but I am getting better.

~Mags :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Who Cares?

I had every intention of writing a piece on the illusion or myth of fairness, but as I sat down and began to write this piece, it suddenly hit me...Who cares? In this world of minutia, we post pieces about anything that strikes us as important, but do we really care any more? I'm just as guilty (if not a little more). I rant and bellyache about whatever slight I feel I've incurred, dwell on it and spew out whatever spin I give on the situation. Often, after some time has passed, I can see the situation more objectively, can pick out the information I need to grow and discard the rest. Before Facebook, Twitter, and email, we had time to cool off, to gather our thoughts and sort out what we needed to say before confronted someone or something. Now, everything is instantaneous and for those of us with impulse issues and personality, it can be a volatile rollercoaster ride.

I know life is not fair for in order for one person to win another must lose. I know that sometimes a person is successful for nothing more than being at the right time at the right place. Luck, fate and perseverance can be as important (if not more) as education, training and connections. People can rant "why do bad books sell?" or "why does that (fill in the blank) get a raise and I don't?" The simple answer is because they do. What right do we have to judge what is good or bad, who's deserving or not. Writing is an art and as such, success is judged primarily on what sells. In the end, hype can be more valuable than proper grammar or structure. It doesn't mean you shouldn't care about such things, it just means that you have to write for you and if you happen to tap into the vein of popular commerce then you should consider yourself blessed.

Everyone has their dark days filled with doubt. Fear shadows and doubt haunts us all. I guess you just have to get to a point where you say "F*CK EM", maybe I can't write (or paint, sing, dance...whatever) but I enjoy it and so what if I never get to be the next (fill in the blank), but that's okay because I am better at just being me. (Okay that was my Jack Handey moment). So, here I go, being me. I have gotten back to writing and will have this wip "Just Say Yes" finished by Sunday (yes, you can hold me to this) and ready to send off for a good round of edits with a professional. Ultimate goal is to have it submitted to the publisher before December. Then I will go back and pick another unfinished project and complete it (rinse/repeat).

I might suck, but at least I will no longer be digging myself any deeper into this rut I've fallen into. I've chosen my path and picked a direction. There will be thorns and hazards along the way and tons of bunnies to distract me, but I'm moving forward and however long it takes, I'm going to get there...eventually.


Thursday, November 1, 2012


Well, it's November and that means one thing, National Novel Writing Month, better know as NaNoWriMo, or NaNo. For some it is a hectic month of a frenzy of wordage in order to have a silly little badge to display on your blog and website. Many think it's impossible to write a book in a month, but there is also a site that touts a Book in a Week. In the end, if you really sit down and ponder the concept some, you see that the real agenda is to get you to write dirty, to leave your inner critic in the dust and just put pen to paper/fingers to keyboard and write.

It helps you get in the habit of meeting daily writing goals. I have definitely been lax about writing every day. I write in spurts. But I can see that writing is like a muscle, the more you use it and exercise it, the more apt it will carry you when you need it. I recently read that the main reason for failure is the inability to take consistent action. If it takes 21 days to form a habit, then NaNo is perfect for creating a worthwhile habit.

I sincerely hope that this is true. I am the first to admit, I am skeptical. I've done and won NaNo in the past. Those projects still sit in a folder, unedited and unrevised, deemed too craptacular for public consumption. In the end, this will be a difficult task for me to overcome. One, I am riddled with self-doubt. My inner critic absolutely shreds me for every word I write. I get great ideas and think "Oh this is 'the one" and then he'll start to nit pick it til I can hardly stand to do anything more than wish about writing. The second and probably the hardest to overcome is my ADHD. It is hard for me to stick with any one project for any real length of time.

So, here I stand on the first day of NaNo and I'm one chapter in and so far feel pretty confident. For me, I have added that I must send my work to another person for verification. This hopefully will guilt/shame me into sticking with it until the end.

I do know that I need to sit down and do some plotting and character charting. I am not sure if this story will have some romantic elements or stay as a mystery thriller. I am reminded of an interview with R.L. Stine. He said that if you can figure out how the story ends first the rest will fall into place. I'm not sure if that is really true, but I am going to give it a try.

Wishing all the best of luck with your own projects, whether you were crazy enough to sign up for NaNo or not.

~Marguerite (Mags)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

WiP Wednesday

           Like so many other things that I end up doing, WiP Wednesday idea came to me at 3am. For me, there is just something magical about the hours between 1 and 4 in the morning. Personally I think it is because my inner critic is NOT a night owl. So I usually get these off the wall ideas for stories or crafts or whatever. Usually this results in some very odd emails or texts to friends, but thankfully I have yet to be disowned by them. Anyhow, I had this idea about posting a clip from a work in progress heretofore known as WiP. The thought was still hanging in the air dripping fuzzy clouds and sparklies, when a story idea stepped forth demanding it be first. Of course, I shooed it away, but it kept coming back, poking at me til I sat down and began to write.
          This story changed several times while I wrote. The original one had to do with mistaken identity and a marketplace bombing, but I have found that I must let the story run its own course. So here it is. Djinn There, Done That. I hope you find it interesting, but please remember this is the first draft after all and just the first chapter.

Djinn There, Done That

Ancient plastered covered buildings towered over the dust covered cobblestone streets. Vendors and beggars called out in a strange and exotic tongue. Even the air smelled foreign, filled with a mixture of spice and earth. It had a heady quality that warmed the soul and suffocated spirit at the same time. Colorful tapestries hung from lines stretched taunt across the roadway, a bold dash of color to a bland beige backdrop. At five-foot-four, even Jenn had to duck and weave to make it through the maze of rugs and throws. Monkeys jumped from rooftop to rooftop, chattering to one another as they searched for open windows.

Never had Jenn seen so many people in such a small area…okay maybe on Black Friday, but that’s totally different. Kids ran in-between the maze of merchants, laughter ringing out as the grabbed for the candy she held out for them. She could sense the stares, being fair-skinned and auburn hair she’d expected as much, but there was something unsettling creeping about just below her ribs, making her shiver. She scanned the crowd in attempt to see what had set off the ominous sensation. Lost in a sea of faces, she desperately tried to spot anyone staring at her. 

Startled, Jenn screamed when someone or something had grasped her arm.

“Oh, I’m sorry, but you startled me,” Jenn rambled. Her cheeks burned with embarrassment. The old woman didn’t mean her any harm. She just wanted her to buy a necklace. The crone cooed to her, apparently talking up the jewelry. The only word that Jenn could make out was ta’wiz. It wasn’t anything remarkable, just a black pouch on a string. It smelled of musty herbs and paper, it reminded her of the library after a hurricane had flooded the town. The woman fastened it around Jenn’s neck before she knew it. The woman gave her a toothless grin, very pleased with herself. Not wanting to offend her, Jenn found some coins and held them out. The old woman grabbed a few and with her other hand stroked Jenn’s cheek.

“Safe now,” she rasped as she went back to her stand. The old woman kept watching as Jenn stood there debating whether to keep wearing it. She grabbed her camera, raised it and snapped a picture of the woman. One day, she will show this snapshot when telling this story the next time one of her friends complains about mall kiosk workers.

Hands grabbed at her pants leg as she passed by, nearly skeletal men begging for change or a bit of food. This was completely different than the streets of Atlanta. It broke her heart to see so many hungry. Knowing it really wouldn’t solve much, but unable to walk away Jenn purchased some strange meats, fruits and a couple jugs of water and handed it out to all that she could see.

In her mind, she could hear her grandfather say something about the nothing good comes from feeding strays, but how could she call herself a Christian if she turned a blind eye and just walked away? She felt a bit better when rationalizing it as payment for her using them in her photos not as a hand out. A crowd began to form around Jenn as she handed out the bits of food.

She spotted a man at the entrance of an alley, partially hidden by debris apparently too weak to make it to her. Several times he tried to stand only to collapse, shivering at the attempt. Jenn pushed people aside to get to him. She tried to pat him arm to reassure him everything was going to be okay, but he flinched away from her. Obviously he was use to being struck and had come to expect it. She gave him water and fed him some of the remaining meat. He coughed and tried hard to keep it down. 

       A gentle smile began to spread across is leathered face. His eyes were the only thing youthful about him. They had a mesmerizing quality to them, almost a glow within those deep obsidian pools lined with just a touch of mischief; you could lose yourself in the depth of those warm dark eyes. When he pointed to her neck, she knew he wanted her necklace. Without realizing what she was doing, Jenn had unfastened it and held it out for him. He cautiously reached out for it and she let go, letting it fall. He turned his hand at the last moment letting it hit the ground and kicked it away. Amused and confused, Jenn started to ask why he had done such a thing, but those eyes…They made her so dizzy.

He broke the spell when he bowed and kissed her palms in thanks. His lips were soft as silk and cold as ice, sending chills from her tips of her fingers straight to her heart.  He must have been a real ladies man in his youth for even now she was flustered by him. Jenn looked around and found that they were all alone in the darkened alleyway.  Apprehension tugged at her and she pulled her hands back.  It took her a moment to realize she was holding onto something. Slowly opening her hand, she found he had placed a small coin in them as payment. She tried to give it back, but he was adamant she keep it.

The coin was oddly heavy for such a small thing. Jenn flipped it several times, admiring the artwork of this unusual find. A slight tingle seemed to emanate from hit when she grasped it tightly. She looked back to try once again to return the coin, but when she did she discovered he had vanished. The only evidence he had ever been there lay in the middle of her palm.

"Heads left, tails right," speaking only to feel less alone in the dark, dank alleyway.

She flipped the coin high in the air, caught it, and slapped it on the back of her hand.  Jenn hesitated, unsure if it was due to the sudden disappearance of a clearly frail man, the isolation within the dimly light alley or the sudden knowledge that a new journey was about to begin.

"Left it is."

Jenn started off at a fairly good clip. She managed to get a block away before she was thrown to the ground. A deafening roar shook the ground and the sky lit up brighter than the fourth of July. Screams seemed to come from everywhere at once, even inside her head. It wasn’t until she felt the tension in her own throat did she realize she was screaming too.

Another explosion rocked the market sending Jenn back to the cold cobblestones, only the layer of dirt and sand cushioning her fall. Rolling onto her back she could see the fireball shoot up to the sky, like a demon hungry to grasp the stars.

The air began to shimmer from the heat. A strange buzzing sound kicked up and grew in intensity to an almost maddening level. Jenn covered her ears trying to buffer it out, only to discover it came from within. Everything shimmered and wavered like glitter filled water. Jenn reached out to see if it held mass. At first she thought she was imagining it, her hand was transparent. Holding it up and covering her eyes, she could still see the marketplace and the fire that ensued.

A crack appeared in the cobblestone just before her. Jenn tried to move away, but she felt encased in gelatin. The buzzing spread throughout her, echoed and amplified, shaking her to her core. She saw a thin thread of bluish silver smoke wrap round her and snake up her body. It worked its way to her head and wove back round to her feet. Jenn tried to break free, but it just moved with her, like it was part of her. Cocoon, was the only thought her mind could grasp and the mist-like smoke encased her.  Her world had become a shimmer of silverish blue.

People ran past her, like she was invisible, her screams muffled to an inaudible whisper. Jenn punched and kicked to break free, but the mist began to squeeze her. A dull electrical like current pulsated in time with her heart. A floating sensation began in the pit of her stomach and she swore she would soon pass out. A young woman carrying her child ran toward her. Jenn thought she had made eye contact when the pair ran straight through her. Not around her, but through her. Jenn clawed at the mist. She saw the tail end of it begin to be sucked down the crack in the road. Her mind screamed as she felt herself be pulled toward that small yet deep abyss.

“This wasn’t what I meant when I prayed for an adventure,” she sobbed. Prayers and promises flowed from her like water until the darkness finally took hold.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Ruined by Rants

I don't know if it's just me. but there seems to be a lot of ranting going on. I don't know if it is just due to the political climate or what, but it seems like every day my inbox is just filled with subject lines of hate-filled rants. Now a few have turned out to be laced with quite a bit of humor or have a tongue in cheek self-deprecating vibe, but overall there are just too many that are ranting at the world.

I believe everyone does have a right, a need, to vent, but is a public outlet the right way to go about it? I was always taught not to do this in such a venue as publishers and agents may read these tantrums and decide they can live without the drama or avoid the future risk of being included in one of these public tirades. Maybe I'm being paranoid or overly cautious, but I for one know I have enough stress in my life without subjecting others to my emotional take on the publishing world. Poorly written books will continue to be printed, some will even make the bestseller list and make millions, but that doesn't mean they should. Agents and publishers will continue to drop writers for whatever reason, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't seek representation.

Writing is an art, and as such, is subjective. Just because someone doesn't like one story, doesn't mean they won't like another. Randomly pick 10 books from a shelf and I think you'd be lucky if you liked one third of them. Like with most fields, you must develop a thick skin and learn to pick your battles. In the end, we write simply because we must. I've come to think as the whole publishing industry as speed dating. You are going to get burned quite a bit before you finally get to sit back and enjoy the fire. So write for you. Get it down and send it off into that great abyss known as publishing. You never know, maybe yours is the next must read.

Good Luck and Best Wishes,
Marguerite (Mags)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Chance to Win $50 Amazon Gift Card

I just created an Amazon Author's page and I'm trying to get my like numbers up. So, I started to think "what's in it for you?" You are asked by a million authors to do this or do that and seldom to you get more than the ocassional thank you. Don't get me wrong, it isn't easy for us either ( at least not me) to continually bombard you with requested, but it is the nature of the beast with publishing. Anyway, I thought I would do a giveaway of a $50 Amazon gift card once I hit 50 like and we'll see where we go from there. You get one entry for liking my Amazon Page and either post here, or FB with a tag to me or tweet @margie2092 that you've liked it and you're entered. If you post the link or tweet it you'll get another entry. So you can have up to 3 entries for just a moments work. Thank you for your support and good luck! ~Mags

Monday, May 28, 2012

Coming Soon ~ Camdyn's Curse

I've decided to try something new (well new for me) and write a story exclusiveness on this blog. Each Friday I will post a chapter and hopefully (fingers crossed) at the end I will have a full and complete story and you will have enjoyed the creative process.

Friday, July 13th the debut chapter of Camdyn's Curse will be up and ready for viewing.

Art student Camdyn Barrett thought she was doing her dad a favor by using her summer break to clear out her grandmother's cabin so it could be sold. Little did she know she would be opening a door to a secret from her childhood long since forgotten.
Fifteen years ago, eight children in the small rural town of Axson went into the woods for an adventure, only one came back. Camdyn was only seven when she and her friends followed a mysterious light deep into the woods surrounding Avalon. Several days later, she stumbled onto the local road, catatonic and covered in blood. No trace of the children was ever found.
Camdyn’s biological father fell under suspicion and when he was found hanging in the woods, the local law deemed it a suicide, even though it clearly was a lynching. Fearing further retribution her mother packed them up, left the town of Axson and the horrific memories behind them. That was until Cam’s dad received notice that her grandmother had passed on. She hadn’t realized she had any surviving family. So when her stepfather said they could sell it to pay for a year at the Sorbonne, she jumped at it.  
Now she is faced with a past she can’t remember and a town full of hushed whispers of witchcraft and a curse that bears her name. Her only friend and ally is a young firefighter, who always seems to be there to rescue her. Can Camdyn solve the mystery from her past before she becomes the next victim of Camdyn’s curse?

Remember: Camdyn's Curse starts on July 13th so I hope you'll save the date and stop by each Friday for each chapter.