Her Reading Room – Flash Fiction

LQ4d15U-9780She had a reading room all her own, filled with books she collected over the years. Dusty old tombs from the library book sales. Discarded books that she wanted to give a home to. Unloved books that needed the warmth of a loving soul that would give them new life.

She had new books. Crisp pages and unmarked paper. Stiff spines and smelling of glue and wood pulp.  The old books smelled of time and dust and people. The new held the smell of adventure.

She had picture books and encyclopedias. Fiction, non fiction, how to books. She had books on gardening and sewing. Books on Asian culture and mythology; Greek and Nordic mythology. Fairytales ruled a top shelf that was colorful and arranged like a child would.

Some of her shelves held neat rows of books from a series, while others were arranged by her favorites. One shelf was devoted to books she had plans to read. That shelf was getting more and more full as time went on and she visited more book sales. This book thing was an affliction in some ways.

She had her big open windows to let the gorgeous sun in with a comfortable chairs set so that whatever her mood, the light was just right for reading. The shelves themselves were big and filled one whole wall. In the back corner she had her writing desk and a big bulletin board she frequently had filled with thumbtacked pages of some idea she was writing. The cork board was always cluttered with notes and ideas.  However having the books around her and the dark corner, made writing so much more simple since she couldn’t get distracted.

An up to date sound system, with speakers that were tucked away, filled the room with music from Debussy to One Republic. It all depended on the mood. Sometimes you need a bit of pop music to read by.

And since there was nothing like having tea or coffee while reading, she always kept an electric kettle filled on a small table with cups and tea and instant coffee. Granted, most of the time her drink of choice was cold by the time she actually finished it. When one met the man of their dreams on page 150, tea became unimportant.

Yes, this room was magical, opening worlds she could only dream, or read, about visiting. Her room became the 10351141_814052365327874_232371573355012167_nTardis.

 

Okay, I was inspired by the image of the personal library, to write a bit of flash fiction about it. And as for the last line, I saw this marvelous picture and it has stuck with me. I get shivers looking at this picture.

Enjoy my rambles, dearies.

Kate

 

25 Days of Christmas

25 Days of ChristmasI think I’m a little nuts, but I’m going to attempt a 25 days of Christmas; though it’s more like 25 days of December.

I liked doing the 31 Days of October (look up to your upper right. There, see the tab? Click that for the 31 Days) and I thought it might be fun to keep the ball rolling for December. And like anything else I write about, not all will be themed with Christmas because I just can’t be that kitschy.  So there will be winter and books and Christmas and thought provoking.  Pretty much a usual day for Kate’s Bookshelf.

First post is coming right up with a post called Trees.  Then you can keep track of these days by going under the 31 Days of October heading and you will have a new page for the 25 Days challenge.  I hope that makes sense. I didn’t think about it when I started the 31 Days challenge. I should have aligned it better. Live and learn.

So, enjoy, dearies.

Kate

Saturday Inspires – Books, Ink, Coffee… Mostly In That Order

Books. Gotta have ‘em. Ink. Love it; need it. Coffee. Well, as we all know, a must.

I think all of these things inspire this blog. Maybe because they are all what get me through the day. I can’t live without books. I have been debating a Kindle for a while now, and I have the opportunity to get one for a decent price due to sales and gift cards and what not, but honestly, I’m just not ready. Most of the books; in fact all of the books I read are real books. I hold them in my hand. I don’t want to have to purchase books I want to read for my kindle, when I can spent a quarter at my local library. I’d much rather support the library than anything else.  I’m just not read.

Ink. Well, as a writer, that is crucial.  There I was in the post office today and thankfully I had a pen at hand. I yanked an envelope out of the trash bin and started making a list poem from the bulletin board.  Someone recently just clued me in to how unique our bulletin boards are in my town. We have several of them and you can get anything from a cord of wood to kittens. Just check the boards.

Coffee.  Lord knows I can’t live without my coffee. Right now I have been seriously overindulging in the cafe. I think 7 cups is more than I really should be drinking. I mixed it up tonight with a cup of Gingerbread tea. (Celestial Seasonings) It was herbal, so that was a change. But I love my coffee. If I liked the local coffee shop more, I’d spend too much time there. Since I don’t, I don’t spend time there. Ha!

Here are images that I keep to inspire me all relating to books, ink, and coffee. There might be tea in here too, because, hey, as a writer, we drink a lot of tea as well.

Enjoy.

Not Writing, But Not Not Writing Either

fd1d578ef06d256d79cc4cab1edb6eb3I’m sitting here writing a book review….. Okay, I’m not doing so good since this is not a book review.  Gwyneth Paltrow’s “Just My Imagination” is playing over the new sound system… Which is just connecting the larger computer speakers to a longer cord in Mr. B’s laptop.

I really don’t want to write this review…. not because I didn’t like the book, but because I don’t want to have to think about the complexities of writing a review.  In all reality I cringe when I have to write one. That’s usually twice a month! And part of this is coming from the fact that my write hand (not a typo) is in a brace. I somehow re-injured something and the wrist is acting up. I just had to take it off (a no no) to type faster than a henpeck speed, but I’m going to be sorry. Typing does not help it one bit. Maybe if I tilt the keyboard up….  A little better

I met a man today who is a writer himself, and we were talking about sometimes not writing. You know, where you step back from say I can’t focus on my Work in Progress (WIP for those who do not know the acronym)  The none writing. The flash fiction moments.  I’m starting to get more of those. My focus has been horrible as of late. Maybe because I have sewing projects on my brain and Christmas, and Thanksgiving, and winter, and Boris….I always have Boris on my mind

I actually have this story I’m working that came from a dream. Vampires, Disneyland, castles, sexy vampire hunters… The Disneyland part will not be included. That was just my weird mind, but the rest is actually turning into something fun. If I get the first part fleshed out, I will post it soon.

So I am writing, just not blogging. That’s why the Bookshelf has been so spare. My Saturday Inspires and Sunday quotes are pretty much it.  I’m inspired to write, just not a whole lot of blogging.

Sometimes though, you can enjoy life in the non writing moments.  It is never bad to step back from writing. Experience life. Look at life a bit differently.  Listen to music that touches the heart.  Right now the music has shifted to the Cairo Time Suite. (if you have not heard it, AMAZING)

Think about real life.  I was thinking about what it would be like to write a piece from the perspective of the person that has to clean up the synagogue in Israel after the horrific murders of the rabbis. What would it be like to see the blood smeared and then have to be scrubbing it away. Because it’s not just paint. It’s not just blood. It was a human life. It was someone of importance.  You have the mop and you are trying to remove the red.  The harsh metallic smell of iron or bleach, burning out your sense of smell. But at the same time you don’t want to forget, but you can’t block it from your mind.

That part is so emotional. I was affected by the images of seeing the blood smears on the tile floors on the news the other day.  Sometimes you just have to look at the bad in life. Because it is life. That is what makes life. Yes, I can talk how I love the happy ending, but to get to the happy ending you have to have angst.

So, I am writing.  And there will be a review tonight because I want to get a new book. I think.

 

Signing off

Kate

Plans… Discarded

I’ve gone three days without writing a decent post and I had plans today to write something that was of decent capacity, but here I am writing about not writing. I want to update this blog a bit; I’m not exactly sure what I want to do. I think a bit of a new sidebar and a bit more information that I’ve kind of let go by the wayside. A new quote or two might be nice.

What would you like to see?  Any ideas? Categories you might want to see. A better index?  Do you like my Saturday Inspire posts?

More quotes? More flash fiction?  I’d love to know what you readers are interested in seeing.

Comment and let me know. I’m open to more options.

Signing off

Kate

Where Do Your Thinks Come From

Cover of "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day ...

Cover via Amazon

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson was written as Ms. Watson washed the dishes.  She would stare out her window and plot what was to become a marvelous story (though I have to say I enjoyed the film more….)

 

“Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try…”

Says Dr. Seuss.  And he would know, because my goodness, that man came up with some thinks!

I find that I think my thinks in some of the oddest places, especially when it comes to writing my novels.  Some of my best thinking comes when I’m standing under the hot spray of the shower. Why there?  Who knows. Maybe water is refreshing of the mind. It clears the cobwebs and washes away the dirt and troubles of the day.

I’m also famous for plotting while I spread mulch, wash dishes, clean the toilet, watering the yard, picking berries, walking to town. I can rarely plot while sitting down to write. I find that my mind goes blank while sitting at a blank screen or sheet of paper. Granted, I have found that sitting over the baseboard heater at the breakfast table with a cup of coffee in the afternoon is one of my best thinking spots. I’ve scribbled out countless thoughts and ideas there. Something about having a warm behind and that cup of coffee…

I find that I can come up with ideas when I’m doing the most mundane things, but have no time to write it all down. I have to hold onto the ideas and pray that I don’t forget them while scrubbing the shower until I can grab that piece of paper and a few moments scribble it all down.  It can be exhausting at times, but it’s also exhilarating to have thoughts flood your mind.

So, I’m curious, where do you do your thinks from? Do you plot as you walk? Do you compose as you water with the hose? Are you like Ms. Watson and write as you wash?

How do you get your thinks?

Signing of

Kate

 

Cruuunch!

Real-Acorns-On-The-Ground-WallpapersCrunch. Crunch. Crunch.  Cruuuuuncch.

Ah. That lovely sound of acorns and their caps being crushed beneath your heels. Crunch.

It’s October and as the leaves just start to think about turning to a bouquet of color, the acorns have been on the ground for a couple of weeks now. Crunch.

Every time I walk home I am for those little caps that are like thimbles. Crunch.

Oh, I missed one. Should I back up and make sure I crush that one as well? Crunch.

It’s so incredibly satisfying to hear that crunch below your feet. Crunch. Crunch.

Every year I look forward to it. Like stepping into ice puddles and shattering the glass water. Crack!

Welcome to day one of my 31 days of October, entitled Fun, Fanciful & Factual. Which just means that I will be blogging my regular things: flash fiction, book reviews, and anything that catches my fancy.  I shall attempt to keep up with every day typing. Gads, I’m already sorry I thought I could do this. Someone, stop me now.

I hope to be able to bring a bit of freshness to this blog, and my plan at the end of the month is to do a bit of housecleaning and revamping of the blog. It’s gotten a little cluttered, a little disorganized, and it would be nice to have it a touch more streamlined.

So, here’s to a month. Happy October everyone!

hello-october

Signing off
Kate

Accomplishments

Despite the month of August being a smoke filled month (say hello to California wildfires and forest mismanagement) and the constant fill of farming and watering and working more than I care to think about, I was able to accomplish some pretty nice things this month and I thought I would share them.  So drum-roll…… Well, you can add that in if you want. I’m doing it in my head….

 

  1. I started running again.  Okay, so that might not sound like a lot, but I had to give it up for all of July because it was so hot I could not stand being out in the dark running. I just had to put it on hold until the evenings were cooler and not so intense. I do not do well in the 90’s.
  2. I ran three miles. Whoo Hoo! This is huge! I rarely can run more than a mile, mile and a half at at time.  Last week I ran three miles, and two of those miles I ran in straight mile stretches. I hope that makes sense.  What I mean is, most of the time I can only run a quarter to a half mile before I have to walk a while before completing the mile. Miles 2 and 3 were an entire mile before stopping.  Again, this is huge. Granted, I hurt like crazy and my knees weren’t too happy, or my shoulders, but it felt so amazing. The endorphins high I got was incredible.  And last night I did 2 1/2 miles pretty easy.
  3. I can fit into my size two Ann Taylor sheath dress.  An LBD in some ways. Now, I’m not a size 2, but Ann Taylor dresses must have been invented with smaller sizes to give women a boost. Because I can say I wear a size two. Which is funny since my previous post was about not being a size two…..
  4. I wrote a short story that is semi flash fiction, but my parents love it! It was all inspired by Boris and his trip to Atlanta and I teased him about taking his xs-214 double barreled ray gun. The fact that this story has potential is just exciting. I’m going to need a couple beta readers, so if anyone is interested, drop me a comment with a valid email.  I only need a couple readers since it’s so short. Just over 600 words, but it’s periodical/literary magazine worthy, I think.
  5. I finally solved the yeast infection in my dachshund’s ear after 11 years! Who knew that just plain povidone iodine swabbed daily could clear it up? I didn’t. My vet never said to do this. I gotta tell the vet. This has been something that has driven me nuts for years. My dog hasn’t enjoyed it too much either.

 

Okay, so maybe those are small accomplishments, but small doesn’t mean inferior or not important. It’s the little things in life that count, right? I have to take little things and enjoy or savor them. The running is huge. The short story is huge. So, I’ll go with it.

Anyone else have some accomplishments that made them want to dance around?

Signing off

Kate

Oh Look, The Jealous Factor Creeping In

Oh lord, there it is. You are reading along in a blog then you come across a comment, or something that tells you that another person is a writer trying to get published. And in that instant, boom! You have the green eyed lady smacking you in the face and making you see, well, green. You know this has all happened to you, right? The jealous factor that you have more competition. It isn’t enough that you have your own neurosis to deal with, but now you have that added pressure that someone else might get published before you do. And it’s even worse if you see that they are trying to get an agent, a publisher, a query letter, in your field of writing. For that split second you want to dash their dreams into the ground because, hey, writing is a cutthroat world and YOU want to be published first.

Image by citris blossoms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had this happen to me the other day and I almost screamed for that one moment when I realized I was just one of tons of people trying to publish and I’m not putting in the every day work required to do this. I’m blaming several bloggers I follow, who’s general writings are putting pressure on me. It’s all your fault, people that have ambitions.

Ironically, I just started reading a post by J. Sander of Don’t Delete Me, about our day jobs and wishing our day jobs were writing jobs. First thing tackled is about how you are just one person and there are millions out there that are doing the same thing as you. Gasp, hold on while I take a moment to breathe. BREATHE! That can make anyone panic. Does it make you panic and think you might as well give up now? It makes me for a flash moment.

I even panicked today when I was reading Cassandra Clare’s bio and realizing that I will never, let me stress, NEVER, be that good. (I know, I’m already self destroying myself) Along with the panic was to work on my cover letter, but still, I am constantly panicking that I will never be good enough, that I will always be striving for the impossible, that I might as well give up now. There is the drive to succeed, and the fear of falling flat on my face. I think the fear is more 80% instead of a more level number. (it shouldn’t be that high, should it?)

And there is the constant jealousy that while I’m super happy for anyone that can be published, I also want them to fall flat on their face and make way for me to be published. It’s sick and twisted.

But I bet I’m not the only one, am I?

So, how often do you feel the green lady’s gaze clouding your judgement? Do you get panicked and want to just throw in the towel? D

Signing off

Kate

Hey you, did you know I am writing about you?

Hey you! Yes you. No, not you reading this blog, I’m talking to the people who I base my characters off of. Colin O’Donoghue, did you know you are my lead male in a romance I’m writing?  Martin Freeman, did you know you are part of the love triangle that involves Colin?  (FYI, you don’t win, sorry) Tyler Hubbard of FGL, you are a lead male too.  Ladies? You are all models from clothing catalogs I love. You wear fashion like there’s no tomorrow.

What am I getting at here?  I’m talking about having a model for my characters I write about. Just recently I’ve added two to my list of people for characters. The interesting thing is, as you can see from my above list, all my characters are not ‘real’ people. By that I mean, they are actors and not someone I interact with on a regular daily basis. The newest edition to this list is the singer Mika. I first heard about him when I found his song “Big Girl (You are Beautiful)”, then he wore this most glamorous dark blue velvet suit on Dancing With The Stars singing “Popular” with Ariana Grande. That right there kind of cinched it. (I really thought he looked quite cute in that blue suit). And recently I’ve just taken to listening to more of his music and I really like it.

And I need to have him as one of my characters! I can so see him being this super cool best friend to one of my gals. Like Phaedra who lives in SanFran and is a photographer. Or Mia who works in a book store. Or Kate (who is not me and I had her as Alyssa but I don’t like that name so she’s back to ‘Kate’ till I can come up with something better) who is a hotel manager’s personal assistant.  I just need to use him.

So, while all of my character models listed are not people I know, I do have to add that I just told writer Shawn Bird  that I just have to base a character off of her. Check out her blog and look at that super cool, edgy picture she has! I love her hair! That blond, blue and purple  is just rocker chic and I just know that I could come up with something great about that, right? The thing about this, Shawn wrote back and said “That’s funny. I’m used to turning people into characters, not to be turned into one myself! ;-)”shawn bird tweetWow, I’d never thought about how strange it would be know someone was basing a character after you. I don’t know of anyone who would write about me, and I wonder if I would want to know? I had never thought about this because I’m always ‘borrowing’ people from life for my novels. We’ve all done it right?

Well, I have two other people in my life that I have as characters. Calvin, my first crush when I was 5 and my ideal ‘man’ for years, is the hero of “Kate’s” book.  Then there is Mimi. Mimi has become Coco in my Phaedra novel. She is this voluptuous, sassy, curvaceous, redhead that owns a flower shop and she’s just super cool. Hey Mim’s, did you know you were a character? Well you do now!

So, while I stick with mostly famous people, watch out, bloggers. Someday I just might write about you.

Okay, so readers, do you use people in your life as character models? Do you stick with famous people or do you write about that somebody you saw at the coffee shop or bookstore, or market? How do you get your characters?

I really want to know. So comment below and I can’t wait to see how you create your characters.

Signing off

Kate