How Harry Potter Changed the World

I like the idea of a magical story impacting the lives of children. Just this week I witnessed it several times.

The first time I heard about Harry Potter was from a teenager many years ago. She was a huge fan and kept making references to magic I wasn't getting so I started reading the books to get up to date. Since then, it seems everyone just lives and breaths the magic, and if I wasn't in the know, I'd be missing out on a lot of fun.

I was walking through the school to pick up some kids for an after school program when a six-year-old randomly stands in front of me all serious. He took a deep breath and just blurted out, "So where are you on the Harry Potter Lego Game? I'm stuck." Ha! Love it. Of course it ended up being a very in-depth gamer discussion.

And so I'm reading a book with my teen and after a shape-shifting scene she jokes, "Someone drank their polyjuice." I won't ever be able to read a shifting scene again without chuckles.

And I'm standing out in the cold, wrapped in my scarf when a young boy asks if I went to school at Hogwarts. He looked so serious. Why would someone ask that? Confused, it took me a moment to realized I was wearing my Gryffindor scarf. And so I played along and asked if he had attended the school of Wizardry and Witchcraft also. Of course he had.

Have you noticed the magic of a Potter fan?

I like it when a magical story impacts my life like that.

Bedside Notes

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night and leave yourself notes? 

I do this when I’m on a writing binge, which happened a few times during my little blogging break.

For some reason, my brain works out all the plot holes in my sleep, and I wake up and have to write it down before I forget and so I can go right back to sleep. I do need me my beauty sleep when I'm binging.

These notes don’t say much, just a word or two that should help me get where I need to go. So here is a little fun peek into my night time genius. Yup, this is what the notes looked like (the ones I can read anyway):

Cracker Jack colours
No pants in a tornado
Kill the dog
Piss off God
Pa knows what Cal did

What does this list mean? Anyone can venture a guess and go ahead, it might be fun to see what you would do if this list was at your head in the morning.

This is what I did, hopefully I was close to what my night time genius wanted:

Cracker Jack is the name of my MC’s teacher, well not her real name but it’s the name he calls her. Colours means she’s going to use a laundry reference he won't get. See how my brain works in the dead of the night?

Tornado is a scene I wanted to add in to up the stakes. Straight forward. The no pants part... well, what if my MC got caught with his pants around his ankles when the tornado showed? I mean, what if, right?
Kill the dog is an expression I use to not tick the reader off but in this case, I had to actually kill the dog. Don't worry, I got someone else to do it.
Piss off God is another expression I use to up the tension by making the MC go against his beliefs. (Will God be vengeful?) This clearly related to the why his pants weren't covering his ass when the tornado hit. Yup, God was pissed off something fierce about that one.
And Pa knows what Cal did. Cal is not the MC. So this is a subplot that will relate to our MC. What did his brother Cal do?
As for potatoes, we were out.

So what do your lists look like? Where else do you make lists?

Old Books

I grabbed an old book off my shelf the other day. It wasn't one I'd read. I picked it up at one of them tiny used bookstores in the hospital. The pages were faded a brownish yellow. The words were tiny. There was no light shining on it or buttons to push.  It had the strangest smell-- like leaves stuck in a jar.

It was just me and the strange voice of this very over-the-top character. And magic happened. I wasn't rushed. My headache left. There was no time limit; I could read one word or all of them without a gauge to pressure me into reading one more percent. No option to have it read to me while I did the dishes. I was forced to hold it and turn the pages.

And I did.

Between the editing, research, critiques, drafting, rewriting, studying... I forgot what it was like to read for pure enjoyment. I didn't add it to Goodreads. I didn't give it a review. I just read it and put it back on the shelf.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy reading on my Kindle or my computer, and I can get by in a pinch on the tablet-thingy my kids like, but it always feel like... writing-related work. Even reading new books with hardcovers and turning new pages with new smells feels like checking what's hot and what's not.

This didn't matter to my writing world, it was me cracking open the past and peeking in. The writer had different views and beliefs than me. Yet it was a timeless story told by a master storyteller.

Do you find a difference between old and new books? How do you balance ebooks in your life?

Humbled by your Craft

My daughter was watching one of those reality shows where talented artists come out and share their work with judges and they decide if they move on in the competition. Now, these performers would step on the stage, and before they would utter a word she would cast her own judgement. "This one won't go on." "This one will be good." Such comments. And she was always right. So I asked her what she saw when they walked out. She said some people just have a star quality. That simple.

So I sat with her to see if I could identify what a star quality was. Out comes this young man. He had the looks. He stood well. I could see him on the cover of Star magazine. She disagreed, this is apparently what a wanna-be star looked like. She assured me that he was about to fail miserably and he wasn't going to take it well. She was right.

And this had me curious.

Next was a shy boy, just as nice looking as the last. Perhaps shy is the wrong word. But he didn't stand like the previous fellow. His shoulders were in a touch, like his talent had beat on him good. I suppose this is how I saw it, and it might not be the case, but I can only report what I was seeing and feeling. And well... I know what it feels like to have a talent beat you senseless. His head moved naturally when he walked. He wasn't paying attention to the cameras or the crowd, he was there for help, not bragging right. Or, so his walk told me.

I wouldn't have been surprised if he ran off stage for no apparent reason. Yet he didn't. Maybe he was now in too deep to give in to that urge.

His stance reminded me of how I feel when I hand over a ms for someone to read and so what I experienced watching him became personal. 'Cause I was living this panic he felt. I know I have to share to get better, and so I do, but I know I'm not good enough to be sharing and so I want to puke.

When he spoke, he clearly knew his craft. He wasn't pretentious. He didn't say weird things like this is his last break, or he worked hard to get here, yet it was clear he'd practiced and he not only knew the long journey it took to get here, but he knew how much harder it would be if he was accepted in this competition. He didn't act like he was about to prove himself, just grow. Perhaps this gave him courage.

When he performed, my son came in from the other room to watch. My daughter who was also texting, stopped to ogle. I caught myself not breathing because I didn't want to miss a thing. We were entranced by the magic.

What we were witnessing was this star quality she referred to. It was raw talent, ready to be nurtured. And when the judges gave him praise, he said thanks, in the quiet way that one artist says thanks to another for offering them a hand when their craft beats them senseless.

He was humbled by his craft, and somehow, that made him a star.

Time for a Break

I am taking a blogging holiday for a few months. See ya all in a few. Hope everyone has a good summer. If you stop in, tell me what you're up to, reading, or writing!!!!

Things I Can't Do

Birthdays are just those horrible days that remind you that you should be one more year wiser. I even hear that little voice of reason inside me scream that I can do anything, that nothing is impossible. Yet I think it's time to accept that there are just some things I will never be able to do.

Like doing my hair. Don't get me wrong, I'll still try, (even bought myself one of them straight irons for my birthday) but it's safe to say that if after 37 years I haven't mastered this daily chore, really, I never will.

Sing. I enjoy listening to singing, and there's a magic there I don't understand but feel in my soul. I long ago accepted that the beauty of song was in my ears, not my voice.

Kill little pests. I mean, mice freak me out, gophers annoy me, snakes are always in my way, but I just can't kill them. Relocate-- let them freak out, annoy and get in the way of my friends.

Figure out Google Plus. I love that place. I feel the potential there. I see the interactions. I watch others doing things, but for the love of writing, what is it?

Wear high heels. Another thing I can't figure out. Why do I need to pretend I'm taller by cramming my extra large feet into that tiny itty bitty slant? Can't do it.

Cook a perfect meal. We'll survive, we made it this far. This one really just come down to my attention span, it's easily distracted by other kitchen chores I have neglected.

Draw. What my mind sees can't ever be recreated with that much detail or perfection, not by these clumsy hands anyway. Words have always been more my thing.

Which brings me to writing. What is it I can't do as a writer? 

Take a day off. I'd kinda like to know that I could go without writing for a day or several and come back to it, but something inside me screams that if I taste freedom, I won't ever chain myself to my desk again. Maybe I'm just obsessive. Passionate. Insane. afraid.

I considered picking one of my non-talents and working on them, perfecting them, or at the very least making the attempt, but then, really, do I have time to waste on things I haven't cared enough about to master yet?

What has wisdom taught you? Are there things you accept that you can't do?

Is Chasing Boys Even a Talent?

I went on my first cross-country race because I wanted a day off from school. I wanted to meet kids from other schools. I was basically just being me.

Now there were some in our group who were so nervous about this race, they threw up. I wasn't one of them. I never really understood the competitive nature of any sport, and at 36, I still don't.  But that's okay, I still learn things in my own weird way.

We had to run with the boys in a ditch between the highway and the woods. We weren't against the guys, just running with, I guess this saves time in these long races. So our clump sets off and the guys sprinted ahead of us girls. Well, the girls were at a leisurely jog, gabbing and all seemed to know each other. One was ahead of me and had her hood up, and there was also a guy a few paces behind Hoody. So I decided I'd go meet them, since meeting two seemed easier than integrating into a pack of girls, and I had to talk to someone. I mean, it was a long race.

So the guy talked with me. I learnt that he was from the Reservation and that he planned to be a doctor. He was very nice, but after awhile he said, "Guess I should join the other guys, eh?" and with a chuckle he sprinted up to the pack that was ahead of us. The group of gals was very far behind us, and I wasn't about to stop running to let them catch up, so that left me and the gal in the hoody. But every time I got closer, she glanced over her shoulder at me and sprinted ahead. Okay rude.

A few minutes in, I realized we were alone. The clump of guys in front of us were thinning out, and the gaggle of gabbers was lost around the bend. Still, she wouldn't let me run with her. Maybe she didn't like talking while she ran. We were running fast, way faster than I was used to.


She was running to win. Well, okay, I could respect that, right? So I followed her, no conversation. At least we were together, because the idea of running along the woods by myself was frankly, a little terrifying. It was a long run, but the scenery was nice and people drove by to cheer us on and I felt safe with this rude chicky in front of me. Although, I must admit, she could run fast. I was actually getting a little tired when I saw the finish line ahead of me. And well, I usually didn't run hard enough to get played out! With a glance over her shoulder she sprinted ahead, and so I sprinted too, still not sure why, but it was fun to kick it up a notch.

Now our sprint really got  the people at the finish line going nuts. My school group was almost on top of the bus. Geesh. So before anything, I walked up to this gal who was so dedicated to win, and "she" drops her hoody and reveals the shocking truth. I'd been chasing after a guy. The girls still were no where in sight. That's right, this guy didn't want a gal to beat him. I wasn't sure if I should be insulted or feel guilty for chasing after him, but I didn't have time to fret about him and his ego because that meant...

I actually won a race I went to for fun. And not only won, I was standing there recovering and the girls were still out there someplace. I had no idea I could run as fast as a guy. It meant I wasn't pushing myself half as hard as I should be. It meant I could do better. And even though I won, it didn't feel like I did.

I mean, in what world is chasing after a guy who wanted nothing to do with me, followed by a group of girls who I found intimidating a talent?

Ever stand in a crowd of cheering people and feel utterly alone? 
That was me. No one knew the truth but me. I sucked. I wasn't talented at all, I was just afraid to run alone. I was just intimidated by the gals I wanted to meet. I hadn't really meant to win.

Still everyone; coaches, friends, family, nurtured my "talent". I ran many races and brought home many medals trying to prove to myself that I didn't suck. It never got me anywhere, but it taught me drive, determination, endurance, and that it's not about winning, but actually wanting something no one else understands.

What talents do you have and how were they discovered? What did they teach you?

A Peek into your Life- EJ Wesley

A peek into your life, is a segment spotlighting authors, specialists, and friends who brave my countless questions day in and day out. It's the best way I can share with you all, the many people who taught me the bizarre things I know, who satisfy my thirst for knowledge and adventure, and who keep me motivated.

Visit EJ Wesley at The Open Vein. I met him during a crusade (I know, scary stuff). I remembered his first comment and really, it just is so EJ that it says it all.
 "I can spot a fellow smart-arse a mile away. We're going to be great friends!"
Well, I didn't want to prove him a liar but at that point, I wasn't so sure. I had been treated pretty rudely by some bloggers and really, I didn't seen any friends in my future via this route. Luckily, his comment haunted me, made me feel among friends. It was so easy to be friends with this guy. If you visit his blog- and I suggest you do- you'll discover for yourself how open, honest, frank, and down to earth he really is. Plus! He's just a lot of fun to hang around. What more do you want in a friend? Besides, I like people who can predict the future like that. They come in handy.

I'm enjoying the Moonsong Series. Read them. All I gotta say. They made me laugh, sit up full of tension, and shove them at my friends. Quick, fun reads that leave you thinking, cool, can we do that again?

Blood Fugue, Moonsongs Book 1:
Barnes & Noble

Witch's Nocturne, Moonsongs Book 2:


Barnes & Noble

Dark Prelude, Moonsongs Book 3:
      Barnes & Noble

We're talking monsters, hunters, and some brave kickass characters. I laughed out loud at many of the thoughts Jenny has. What a character. My fav has to be the last one, and I don't want to spoil it for you, but it just didn't end how I expected it to, and well, I always like that. Being a writer I am hard to surprise.

Let's take a little peek into what makes EJ, well... EJ.

I know you've been visiting a lot of blogs these days promoting The Moonsongs Books, but I also know that as a writer, once we get in over our head, we just keep digging. So tell us, what are you currently working on when you're down in the trenches?
You definitely know how this works. *hands you the shovel so I can take a break* :) Let's see, I'm plotting out more Moonsongs stories, just started writing a contemporary New Adult novel I'm very excited and nervous about, and trying to keep up with the weekly New Adult Twitter chat I organize. Oh, and I'm still getting my feet wet as a new contributor to the New Adult Alley Blog. We're writers, yet we get so little time to actually write it seems. *takes shovel back and starts digging* 

Each character is so unique, I feel like I know them well and I'm always laughing with them or worrying about them. When Dark Prelude ended, I must admit, I was a little worried about Marshal, but then... well... I know he'll be fine, cause he's very well grounded. Kinda got me thinking that those are character traits I would like to have. You know? So that even when all hell breaks loose, others don't worry about me, they just know I'll survive cause I'm me. Which character do you see yourself being, or not being?

This is a tough one! I'll do the one I wouldn't want to be--mostly because all of the characters have so much baggage. I don't think any of them have what I'd call an ideal life. LOL So for me, the person I'd least want to be is Bill from the newest story, Dark Prelude. I really don't like that guy! He's ignorant, mean, on a constant power trip (he's a very BAD cop), and just kind of a miserable human being. Nobody wants to be THAT guy, and he is. :)

Ha! That he is. Stupid jerkface annoyed me too.

So what are you most proud of?  
Getting my Master's degree was a big life accomplishment for me. Neither of my parents were college educated, so even attempting higher education seemed like a leap from where I'd come from. Not only did I go to college, but I excelled and got an advanced degree. It really made me understand that so long as you're willing to work for something, and stick with it, there's really nothing you can't do--I guess I'm saying you're only limited by what you're willing to do. That has helped me in my life in a lot of ways, but particularly on my writing journey. 

What did you learn on this journey that you wish you could pass on to other writers?
YOU decide how your writing career/journey is going to go, no one else. It's going to seem like other people and things are constantly dictating what you can and can't do in this business. That's crap. We live in an age of doers, where your desire dictates your success.

Neil Gaiman did a fabulous commencement speech, and basically said, "Don't wait for permission, just do." So learn the craft, read lots, surround yourself with other writers who care only about writing and getting better, and write the stories you'd love to read. Don't worry about who's going to publish it or how. When that story is ready, there'll be a path. Take it.

Now that, is some kicka advice.

About the Author:

E.J. Wesley resides in South Texas. He holds degrees in psychology and counseling, but prefers to examine the heads of fictional characters over the living ones. He likes his food and his stories spicy, and tries to give a little extra 'kick' to paranormal, horror, and the other genres he writes. In true Texas fashion, he is very neighborly, and enjoys chatting about books, movies, music, and family. He is the author of the Moonsongs books, a series of speculative paranormal action novelettes, with a Texas twist. Say 'howdy' at:  Blog | Twitter | Facebook |Goodreads

Thanks for the peek EJ! Can't wait to read the next one.


Rewriting. It's probably the most magical thing I do. Apart from healing boo-boos with a kiss, I mean.

On a whim I decided to read my first manuscript-- after almost twenty years of pushing it aside on my shelf . With my new eyes I saw some interesting things. 

First, I pulled out the three characters that had enough tension between them to explode in an erotica. And well, I put them in one. Trust Me was born at the end of last year and is still a draft.

Then I took the stale plot and twisted it up with some magic, demons, and two new characters. I created an urban fantasy- Guardian of the Notebooks- with it that still needs an end, but I'll get to it shortly. If you ask me, this is the book it was intended to be, I just didn't know how to get there back then.

After all that, I decided the original amateur murder mystery was still worth saving and so I added it to my pile of manuscripts that need a rewrite and for now, The Donor sits in limbo, not in hell

It got me thinking about how my work evolves over time and well... I came across this scene in my cut pile that I thought I'd share just to prove how important everything we write is. It was from the first draft I wrote of a romance called Fire and Ice. I tore that romance apart, using parts of it in various novels, but the moment I saw this little paragraph I knew where I'd re-used it, even if it was an unconscious action on my part. I shared this scene before, but here it is at it's birth and maturity.

1ST DRAFT-2007 Fire and Ice
Melody’s body moved to the heat of the water and to my delight, every time I touched her, but still she slept. It was awesome, when at one point she mumbled “ice”.

           IN FINAL EDIT-2012 Finding Balance
Her body moved to the heat of the water and to my delight, every time I touched her. I took my time, tasting her, smelling her, whispering to her body. She had me so entranced that when she moaned I moaned back.

Her breath was sweet and her body heaved up to meet my hands.


My world stopped.

What did she say?

Who the fuck was Markus?
Rewrites. Code word for magic. You ever go back and see how your writing evolved? What happened to your first manuscripts? Ever recycle scenes from dead books and turn them into ones you love?

Escaping the Snow

From four steps to a slide!
I am buried. I normally like snow. I never felt cramped by it or like I was gonna go berserk at any moment. But! The snow has piled up, inspiring depression and kicking all hopes of sunshine into the plow. I know there is a road out there, and hopefully beyond that-- life.

At least one of us enjoys this
And so I snooped in my photos for an escape. Something to remind me that it will end. That I don't have to pull out my tuque fuzz or break my shovel in half. Maybe a fun trip we took last year would remind me of the joys of this country...

I came up with a field trip to Lower Fort Garry in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

It was warm. It was fun. It was educational... and it inspired a story. What more can I ask for? Sounds like the perfect escape so I filed through the photos and decided to share a few.

So here I was, on a field trip with my daughter's class... just walking Lower Fort Garry, learning about Canadian History, actually explaining a few things we were seeing to the students since I did enough research on some of these time periods, I actually had my own stories to share when... a new story hits me. No clue where it came from.
I was standing here when the voices in my head took over.

 I actually heard the voice of the girl talking to a young man. She was looking out the the window to the right on the second floor. Her dress had lace that crept up her neck and her hair was half done in a braid. The young man, a hunter, stood in my shoes, a dead rabbit in his left hand, his bow gripped tightly in his right. He wipes at the dirt on his face, wishing he'd taken a moment to clean up. They are at that telltale point where they both know to look away. Yet... she leans further out the window and he steps toward her. I see her father through the window underneath her and he gets up to see what's going on. The story is so clear in my mind, I'm moments from breaking into a writing binge to get it all out.

That might be a fun escape from all this snow.
We even learnt how to make a bed.
The attention to detail make it a very life-like experience.
Even the detail in the yard added to the magic.
We learnt how to make a nail. But what was really interesting is that this guy was making the best pay in the entire fort. At about 40 bucks a year.
How do you survive the long winters like this one?
Have you ever found inspiration for a story when you didn't expect it?

Captain Underpants Changed my Life. You got a Problem with That?

Here's the challenge set to me by Teresa at Dreamers, lovers, and Star Voyagers ; I must pick my FIVE favourite reads and ask 5 friends to do so also.

As if right? I'll never do it. I know that before I begin. I always avoid this question. But! This was a challenge and I like to prove that I can do anything if I try really hard. So I scribbled down a list. Around twenty-five titles I just knew it was impossible. I would never cut this list back. In fact, I kept adding to it throughout the day. So then I thought, maybe I could do this by genre and pick my faves by genre. Still impossible, I like too many genres. And the reasons I like a certain historical are very different than the reasons I like a certain sci-fi. 

By author? Too many. Even picking one author I really like, I couldn't bring it down to five. There is a lot of good writing out there. I even tried by era. Not at all helpful, in fact it added to my list since I'd forgotten lots.

So then I asked myself, well, WHY do I like this book and want it in my pile? The whys were a little different and 5 jumped out at me.

So. Here it is. The 5 books that changed my life and my writing (both) in some way so significant that I just have to share them with you. 

The Haunting of Hill House By Shirley Jackson

I was probably in grade 7 when my wonderful English teacher pulled this one off the shelf of meager selection for me to try. (SHOUT OUT TO ALL THOSE WONDERFUL LANGUAGE TEACHERS.) I was already an avid reader and enjoyed a variety of books but this one hooked me in a very different way. I remember looking at storytelling with new eyes.

I keep thinking I should reread it now that I'm slightly older, but I'm scared to. What if it doesn't affect me the same way it did over twenty years ago? I'd hate to ruin the magic. I mean, when I put this book down my only thought was that one day, I'd be a storyteller, too.


Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print by Renni Browne, Dave King

This book is one of many that gave me the confidence I needed to turn my quantity into quality. I chose this one because I found it pulled me from my closet and made me think, "I can."

This is my motivation. It is written in easy to follow English. It is fun to read. It works. And it means I can story tell in a way that doesn't make my wonderful English teacher cringe.


Reincarnation by Suzanne Weyn

There were actually LOTS of books that fit this slot. But I picked this one out of the bunch cause it is a shining example of the type of storyteller I want to be. It makes writing look easy. It breaks the rules. It had me so invested I was furious, breathless, frustrated, happy AND THEN.... it left me satisfied.

I don't actually remember putting it down until it was done which is what made me select it over a few others that I consider the best rule breaking fiction out there. It made me think, "Why am I following the rules? Just... tell the story the way it needs to be told."

You Can't Lie to Me by Janine Driver
This one changed how I write. It changed how people talk to me. It changed the way I look at people around me. (potential characters... um right?) I don't always like what I see or learn, but the truth hurts and this is a new element that I brought into my writing that adds flavour and nasty evilness

Anyone who was in my life while I read this book must have found me annoying, cause it was all I talked about. I use it all the time. I use it in my writing, in my business, in my life, with my kids. To start conversations... and to end them.

 Captain Underpants- the entire collection by Dav Pilkey 

Is there a child in you life? Heck with the age, the gender, just grab a copy of any of the Captain Underpants and snuggle up to read for a few minutes...

Magic will happen.

I was shocked. I still am. These books changed everything. They reminded me that the audience is the boss who every storyteller must please. WHO do we write for? Now I look at each word I write and ask myself if this is the right word for my target audience. Is it the magical one that will make them giggle, cry, cringe, keep reading. 

 But... it did so much more.
It added laughter in my life. Two giggling kids rolling off the bed means we will read this again and again. So far, we read the entire series twice. A book takes us two to three nights to devour. Next time they get to read it to me. We have voices that I can't get wrong. My oldest one quite often added in her two cents, reminding me that she is young enough to enjoy a goofy book, but old enough to know I should have used a much more boring tone when reading that Blah blah blah part. Come on, Mom! 

It brought us together as a family. It got my son to pick up other books in hopes they are THAT good. It got my daughter reading a series she likes to her brother. It made me take a look at what works in a book. It might be a silly book, but it changed my life, my writing, and left a wonderful scar on my children.

So now I'm supposed to pick 5 who I challenge to share 5 of their faves with us.Since I know how hard this is, I'm not going to point the finger. I challenge everyone. Dare you to try and find books that are your favourite and tell us why. Link back to me so I can read your list. Can't wait to see who wins this challenge.

Everyone else, who just isn't up for the challenge, well, what book changed your life and why?    

Looking for Gold

Like me, my dad had a hobby that turned into a passion, and lingered on the edge of addiction, but he hoped to make it a career. He flung around words that only those in his trade understood clearly. He made contacts, got educated in every possible way, even the art of magic. He spent countless unpaid hours, days, even years trying to get it right. He planned, schemed, marketed, sought help, invested, and sought more help. I wasn't always on the same page as him, but I caught the gist of it-- he was looking for gold.

Aren't we all?

Let me explain, because this post isn't about a madman searching for an easy dollar. There is nothing easy about dreams this big and it is never about the money. It's a promise of a better future for everyone they love, of achieving something so great no one can imagine the moment, it's worth dying for, living for, dreaming of, it's proof that you are, that you were, and that you wanted to be. It's what we all strive for, just in different forms. So yes, it is about a madman but his dreams were like yours and mine.

He collected these little nuggets. They weren't worth much. Each golden beauty was deformed, odd looking, but held a hope, a promise, and potential. They were symbolic of his search; results of the efforts he'd made so far. Some were flukes, luck in disguise, others were really, really earned, and some he could have never found alone. And as the pile grew, so did the stories and the hope.

In his search he found other things, that really made the journey worthwhile, yet he didn't quit. I suppose, at some point, his soul committed, and the rest of him couldn't back out. Even the noblest of us, who get up at two am to fight a fire feel this drive they can't explain. It's our blind search for gold and it doesn't make sense to anyone, especially us.

He would get frustrated and excited with the success of others. He wanted them to succeed because it meant he was close, and really, everyone deserves to achieve their dreams. Yet he felt if he'd have dug two feet over, that could have been him. Why was he so stupid?

Did those who succeed stop searching? "Of course not, once you find it, that's when the real work begins." What? Really? Was he serious? He did all this so he could work harder? Deep down, I knew he was right. I was doing the same thing.

Did his obsession blind him to life? Au contraire, it gave him a passion for everything. He was a horrible dreamer, but he was dedicate to the real world. Somehow, the two relate and I sit here because of that flawless unwavering determination, yet that hopeful dreaming.

As I look at my little nuggets, piled so neatly in the shape of manuscripts, I know the truth. There is no end to the search for gold and finding it doesn't mean everyone will live happily ever after. It means more work. I'll never have enough gold nuggets in my pile to justify the journey, and so in the end I'll just push them around and retell their stories. Because that's what every journey is about... a story we can't wait to share.

Enjoy each nugget.

What are yours shaped like? What does your search for gold look like?

I'm Breaking Up With You, Bonehead

I just adore romance.  I just don't adore arguing with smart people who suddenly choose to be stupid, no matter how cute they are.

Dating Superman for Valentine's got me thinking about how easy it is to be with him, and well, that led to funny memories of how impossible it is to be with others.

These are the top two reasons I walked off a date and went home annoyed;
  • We argued (briefly, I really I didn't have time for people this annoying) over if Casey from Mr Dress Up was a girl or a boy. Idiot. And don't get me started cause I will unfriend you over this and slam the door in your face, facts are facts after all.
  • We argued (somewhat longer than the other argument cause this bonehead was adorable and I was willing to take the time to teach someone this cute) over Crocodile Dundee. Another idiot. He clearly checks Walter's watch before he pretends to read the sun for the time. Why would someone even argue that unless they were just trying to annoy me? Still, I gave my cutie a chance. About ten minutes later, for whatever reason, we were arguing about whether Casey was a girl or a boy!?! I had to walk away. I mean, that's my breaking point.
Mom always told me when it was the right one I'd see pass comments like this and let them slide. I was horrified. No. I would not pretend Casey was a girl and Crocodile Dundee wasn't a horny sap trying to impress a city chick. Casey is a boy, Mr Dress Up said so. I was there. Dundee checks his watch and then pretends to read the sun for the time. These weren't people's opinions, these were facts. I clearly needed to be with someone who paid attention to the world around them. Especially the imaginary one. Geesh.

What's the funniest reason you walked off a date? 

Happy Valentine's Day! Hope all your kisses are super and kinda magical.

You Wanna Write a What? On a What?

My blog is two this month. Means two years ago, I was a blogging virgin, and I believed a post was still a post. In fact, the first time I heard the word blog was a little baffling. I was at a writing workshop in a small town rural library. A published Saskatchewan author was mentoring writers from all over Southern Saskatchewan.

Let me set the scene...

We were sitting around the table. The author in charge asked us to introduce ourselves, the genres we write, and what we hoped to get from this weekend. Now this was a long time ago, back before I had Internet at my house and way back before I left comments on posts.

We were quickly looking to the woman to my left. She was dressed in burgundy with some accentuating bling that showed she actually put effort into her wardrobe. (Unlike me, rubbing at a sad stain of baby vomit on the nicest blouse I owned. Eurk.) She smelt nice too. Weird what I remember. But I was used to smelling baby puke, I guess.

Anyway, she says something like this; "I blog."

Yup. She said I blog.

Up until this point, I had almost understood everyone at the table, (the sci-fi writers were speaking their own language and even though I love sci-fi, I didn't know which planet they were from) but I blog clearly had them stumped, too.

Just an aside, blog actually comes from the words: WEB LOG. Eventually it turned into one word, weblog, and that looks so cool people started saying we blog and so we became bloggers. See how we work, just creating words?
Well I could see the dictionaries looming on the shelf. But! I figured it would be rude to ditch the group to look up this word.

So I waited, figuring she'd dish out more clues. Eventually, I could ask her in private. Well, the author in charge did not miss a beat. If she didn't know what blogging was she did not let on. She said, "Tell us about it." There that would help. Well, I'm going to paraphrase here because I don't remember her exact answer but it went something like this, "Well, I was thinking about making my own blog."

So now it was a noun? Something she could make and had to attend a writing workshop to help her with. These clues were getting me nothing.

Oh and then she said something that truly stumped me. "I enjoy leaving comments on posts and would like to sound professional."

Comments on posts? Holy Writing Wizards. I mean... what the heck was she talking about? I suspected that maybe, just maybe, she was creating words. Us writers, we do that.

Break time. I beelined for the dictionaries. Blog. Was it a type of writing like a book or poem? How was she leaving comments on posts? 

Well, the dictionaries were by the author's book display and when she saw me rush toward them... well...  I never got a chance to look it up until I got home and well, a post was still a post, and blog- be it the verb or the noun- wasn't in my ancient dictionary. Wow. Time to update my dictionary.

I had talked to her about it and got the impression it involved the Internet. Which was like a sea of information I couldn't access so I left it at that for a few years.

Getting dial-up Internet meant I could contribute to writing groups. I hit it off with a few writers and they referred me to their blog. Now at first I ignored such invites cause it felt a lot like they were giving me directions to their private posts. Why was everyone so trusting with these posts?

Then on an agent website I see the words, "MUST HAVE A WRITING PLATFORM INCLUDING A BLOG". huh. It was requested by an agent? So I went to check out these links I had. I was sucked in instantly. Not because some agent wanted it, I mean really who would do that? It was because wow...

They basically had their own mini website on which they could self-publish their thoughts (each entry being a blog post) and ideas whenever the heck they felt like it. Others could comment, like a game. OMGosh! Why the heck hadn't anyone told me such a thing was possible???????? Oh yeah, they had, I was just stuck in a field somewhere looking at a post I couldn't comment on.

And so two years later, here I am. On a blog. Waiting for someone to comment on my post.

My fav part about blogging is chatting around our posts about writing.

The worst thing is that I don't have enough time to post weekly. I don't want to give it up and so I fit it in when I can. I visit new blogs, familiar blogs, and posts that intrigue me. I wish I could read every post. (Okay I might be coming off an addict. Hi. I'm Tanya and I have a bloggling problem, going on two years now. I went to Google about it and was referred to several posts I could comment on.)

Sadly, I watched some bloggers I adored vanish this past year. Just gone. Some posts are still there, buried under a sea of grass and weeds.

But!! I laughed a lot, too. Blogging is fun, it's unique, and it's very in-the-moment real.

I blog.

Best words ever.

Happy Blogoversary!!! (Look at me- just creating words.)

Why do you blog?