One Word Prompts: Secret – Writing 101

5186_16e7I have secrets. I live with secrets. I’m filled with secrets. I love to keep secrets. I hate to keep secrets. Secrets are part of being a woman still living at home. Secrets are what make a writer considering we don’t have time, nor the inclination to discuss all of what is going on in our heads.

I exist sometimes on secrets. Things I have done that no one knows. Secrets I have shared with one person. Secrets of my own thoughts. I can’t share everything about me, nor do I want to, but when I have to, it’s very hard to keep a secret. Especially at Christmas or Birthdays. Then I feel like I need to explode.

In today’s prompt about a one word inspiration, there was a list of words to choose from, ‘Secret’ being the one I picked.   Then there was the suggestion :

If you like these one-word prompts, consider a Prompt Box: an offline well of inspiration that you can draw from on a rainy day. Andrea Badgley keeps prompts on slips of paper in a Chinese tea tin; I use an old jewelry box I bought from a market in Italy. In whatever vessel you choose, add slips of paper with single words, as we’ve practiced here. Short phrases work well, too.

I want to have jars of prompts. And jars of secrets. Jars of places I want to go. Jars of quotes  important to me. Jars of things I want to do with a man…. That’s where the secrets come in. A wish jar. Jars of wishes, hopes and dreams. Jars of secrets.

ce0623ea7abe8a8aebe6a5ba4384d8a0_2_largeIt sounds exotic and wonderful. A little bit sexy, a little bit naughty, and a whole lot of magical. Can you imagine if you, my reader could reach your hand into any one of these jars and pull out a slip and read what I had written? There would be all kinds of things you could find out. Thank goodness for my secrets.

My journal is filled with secrets. Things I would never tell anyone. My journal is dangerous and I would hate for it to get out. But at the same time, sometimes I wish I could share my secrets with someone. Ah, someday.

Secrets are a thing I like so much that I have several songs with the word in the title.  My favorite would be One Republic’s ‘Secrets’, and The Piano Guys cover of the same song.  Second favorite is Maroon 5’s ‘Secret.  That one. Whew… steamy.  But there are several others that have just hit me over the years.

One day I think I’ll have a row of apothecary jars filled with all my secrets. They will be lined up on a mirrored shelf, behind locked glass doors.  One can look and get a glimpse of the secret, but not the whole thing…..

Hermione – Day No. 30


Keeping with the theme of almost Halloween, and girls, and reading…… I love Hermione. I’ve loved her from the getgo. I love that she reads, and thank goodness she did. Hermione is the best witch ever, in my opinion. Better than Samantha (Bewitched) Better than the Halliwell sisters…..Better than a lot of other witches.


Death by Poison – Day No. 28

behold here's poisonPoison: a woman’s weapon, as it has been said.  Poison is a crafty art. It takes much more premeditation to murder by poison. Guns, knives, blunt force…… All can be used in the heat of passion, something men are more likely to use as their emotions tend to be more volatile. But poison is a slow process. Unless you are going for insta-kill, in that case, just pour the arsenic on like sugar.

I love to think of poisoning like the Brewster sisters in Arsenic and Old Lace. Their potion was certainly effective. All those poor, lonely, old men never know what hit them! As Martha Brewster’s recipe goes:” Well, Mortimer, for a gallon of elderberry wine I take a teaspoonful of arsenic, and add a half-teaspoonful of strychnine, and then just a pinch of cyanide.”

Mortimer: “Should have quite a kick.”

1897716_10153608284891291_1671472435308598067_nNo kidding. Quite a kick is putting it mildly. And now days, I’m not sure you could get any of those poisons easily. But then why would you want to?  And plus, do you really want to Google those searches to find said poisons?  As this image illustrates ———->   You have to really be careful out there. I found these comments from Facebook that people made in regards to this picture. I think they are accurate.

I especially worry about my googling for ways to poison someone with a plant. And… how long does it take someone to die if they’ve been poisoned.”

And “I actually worry about this sometimes. I mean…one minute I’m looking up knock-off recipes for Arby’s sauce and the next I’ve googled how much TNT it takes to blow up a city block. Kind of….um….odd.

And  “Lol well, on the bright side, should they google our names we’ll all be on one list & our overnight stay in jail will be one filled with stories”

617VA903KVL51Is9yESLoL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_So, yeah, looking up how to poison your character might not be wise.

For years I’ve wanted this book,   to the left. And the one  to the right is perfect. You could find out all kinds of things to kill off your characters in those books.  And in England there is ‘The Deadly Garden.’ Alnwick Garden, it’s called. I guess that’s to make it sound…. less deadly. Hmmph! Sure. Now that would be a fun place to visit. The Deadly Garden


Poison a la Carte with Timothy Hutton as Archie Goodwin

I’ve always thought it would be fun to kill off a character with poison. Especially ever since there was the Nero Wolfe episode “Poison a la Carte”. ( I can’t ever seem to read the books, but anyhow).  So there was murder by arsenic in that episode and from that point on, it’s like I just wanted to write a story where someone murdered someone by poison. But having to do all the research and writing a mystery is not my forte. The mystery is my issue. But writing about poison is still in my mind.

And yeah, the murderer would be a woman. Clearly.

So…. a woman’s poison…….

Do you ever want to write about poisoning a character? And do you google it? And do you worry about the NSA/CIA/FBI?



Things As Women We Should All Know – Day No. 27

We are four days from being done. I said D-O-N-E with this Write 31 Days.  Someone recently (and since I know you are probably reading this, you will know who I’m talking to…) told Mrs. B that I needed to suck it up and quit complaining about writing every day.  I’d like to see you write every day and come up with fresh content….. Now that I have that off my chest…. LOL.

12027540_977067112352002_6221272141493101965_nOkay, so earlier this year I came across this list of 13 Things No One Tells You About Being A Woman By Chrissy Stockton, after listening to the Joy the Baker podcast.  After listening to some of the highlights of the list, I headed over and read the whole thing.

Whoa. Right on.  This list is so true it’s scary.  First off, before you finish reading this post, head over to the list and read it first. Just click that link highlighted above. ……..


Okay, so now that you have read it…. I am not a feminist. I may have a few feminist ideals, but I think more that they are just common sense and equality in certain aspects. But on the whole, I tend to believe that men are the superior sex when it comes to strength, logical thinking (though sometimes I have to revise that when Mr. B is talking) and general fighting and political tactics.  I will honestly say I don’t have what it takes to think like a man. Nor do I want to.

And for the most part, I don’t feel oppressed by a male dominated world, though in all reality, it’s not half as dominated by men as it used to be 30 years ago. Women have made amazing strides with their lives, jobs, and etcetera.  So, again, not really a feminist, but still I felt this list was something that called to me.  Things I have dealt with in the past and still haven’t come to terms with.

Reading off the list in order….. I have had guys say I should do this, or I should do that. I should get rid of glasses, I should change the glasses, I should do this job or that job. Don’t wear this color, don’t have your hair that way. Women telling me I need to marry this boy or that boy or do this job or that job….. It can be kind of stressful fending off these comments.

I like doing things for guys. I want to be the homemaker (sometimes. Sometimes I wouldn’t mind if he would cook…. and clean a little).  I like the “wife/mom” roles in life. I 12107167_1040926229275315_7022155848237296182_nsaw it, grew up with it, my entire family, extended and all, had this as an example. It’s what I know and I like it.  But everyone wants me to have a career and why would I want to be, gasp, a homemaker?

Yep, I’m emotional. Damn right I am. But so what?! So freaking what? That doesn’t mean I can’t think. Sure, I might not think as well when I am emotional, but you telling me that I am this way does not help your case. At all. Mr. B has not figured this out .

While I can’t really say one way or the other if my relationships are deeper with a girlfriend vs boyfriend, I do know one thing, I can talk to my gals about some things that guys just don’t get, or don’t want to know about. We can commiserate together about those ‘times’ we are ’emotional’.

The biological clock thing irks me. Right at this time in my life, I don’t plan to have kids. That seems to really bother people. Go figure.

Number 6. About Moms…. I’ll just leave that one alone for now, but yeah, I agree with it.

Can’t say as I have been in the number 7 category, but I do get it, and I can get a little overboard sometimes.

I am terrible at asserting myself, but sometimes I really need to. And because I’m not good at doing it, it comes out wrong or people are offended because I do say “no.” Sigh.

Well number 9 is a given. If you aren’t sorry, why say it? And I have had to learn that sometimes when people say they are sorry, that doesn’t mean that all is forgiven because they said sorry.

Oh, I am forever feeling like I am pitted against other women. I compare myself to them. But it’s a nasty habit. I am me, and they are them…. We can’t all be alike.

I have been called crazy, but I still feel sane.

And lastly, sometimes I feel like I won’t survive without a specific guy’s approval. Boris in particular. But at the same time, good grief, half of what he tells me I don’t agree with. Why should I need his approval?  It’s something I do, feeling like I need everyone’s approval. I want people to like me, but honestly, that’s where asserting one’s self and not being a doormat comes in as well.

So those are just some of my opinions on the list. I’d love to hear what you have to say. And if you are a feminist, good for you. I have nothing against you personally. I may not agree, but that’s an opinion.  So, who likes this list? Who agrees or associates themselves with what’s on it? Tell me.

Only a few more days to enter the DaySpring Giveaway.  I urge you to enter with the link here  and  follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading!

The Fashion of Steampunk – Day No. 26


Felicia Day in Steampunked Gear

So yesterday was all about steampunk in the general sense, but today is the real reason I love steampunk. The clothing. Can a get a group choir angelic ‘Ahhhhhh’?  Okay, never mind, y’all might not get the fascination with this like I do.

So you have Victorian fashion already. Bustles, corsets, high boots, buttons, lace, lace, more lace…… Gloves! Hats! Did I mention corsets?  I have this thing about corsets. I love them. Don’t have one, but seriously want one…

Then you add in the eclectic tastes of steampunk; brass buttons, goggles, wire-wrapped anything, top hats, lenses, clocks, gears, funky looking guns, knives, fans, and you have another whole dimension. Not to mention leather and lace and wire and metal in odd but surprisingly flattering places.  The fashion of steampunk, with the corsets, bustles and lace, flatter a woman’s body to no tomorrow and they look so utterly feminine and sexy wrapped up into one package.  The combinations are endless, and if you watched the video of Felicia Day yesterday, then you know kind of what I am talking about.  It’s unique and cool all in one place.

The jewelry consists of lots of copper, brass, springs, wire-wrapped stones, jewels that are big, bright and luminescent….

You can’t tell me that this stuff isn’t cool. Even flattering. Okay, yeah, some of it is strange, but not all of it is that bizarre. It’s just different. It’s taking on a whole genre of scifi fantasy. It’s a world unto it’s own.

One of these days I’ll steampunk it up for Halloween.  And if not that, I just might base a story in that time period. It’s rather cool.


Rockin’ The Steampunk – Day No. 25

STEAMPUNK by Olga Sova on Fivehundredpx


[ˈstēmˌpəNGk] NOUN

  1. a genre of science fiction that has a historical setting and typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology:

    “if you like steampunk, this is a great book for you”

    • a style of design and fashion that combines historical elements with anachronistic technological features inspired by science fiction:

      “the essence of steampunk is homage to vintage fashion with a modern, sassy twist”

Steampunk is a subculture aspect that has taken hold more so in the past few years. From Sherlock Holmes to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, it’s slowly working its way into mainstream. Though honestly, just recently I was watching a show where two guys were trying to make something steampunk, had no clue what it was, and failed, in my opinion, miserably.  There is a right way, and a very serious wrong way to do steampunk.

I have to say…. I LOVE STEAMPUNK! Whew, did I say that loud enough? I could go on and on about the style, the setting, the fashion, the sexiness of it all….. I am seriously hooked on steampunk.

And while you could say cogs, gears, whistles, brass, copper, and clockworks would be a guy thing, personally I think it’s totally a girl thing. Oh sure, you have all the mechanical aspects that would be a guy thing, but all the shiny aspects of steampunk, scream Woman to me. Tomorrow I will delve into the fashion aspect, but today is broad aspects. You are taking total Victorian era, which is totally girl, and throwing in steam powered items, along with gas and beginning electricity, and gears and cogs, and clockworks. How could you go wrong?

More recently it has been something that has taken a hold of me, partly because of the Finishing School books by Gail Carriger and the Clockwork books by Cassandra Claire. Start talking all that steam and derrigibles and ooh la la I start daydreaming away about how I want to live in a steampunk world.

The corsets, the boots, the hats, the little rayguns to zap your foe…… I want a raygun… I NEED a raygun. I want to build the raygun below. Watch it and try to tell me you don’t think that’s cool.

I think all of Steampunk is a seriously feminine thing.  Maybe it’s because it’s actually kind of masculine, so throw a woman into it and she looks decidedly more feminine. Not sure I can explain why. But steampunk enhances a woman. Now this is all coming from someone that loves it, so if you don’t get it, you are not going to get why I say this.




I think these lamps are more girly because of the fact that they are not minimalist. And the cages like a bustle, and the shininess of it all.

Dirigibles and mechanimals (that word being strictly from Gail Garriger’s books). Underwater submarines (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne was one of our first forays into steampunk. He didn’t know how popular that was going to be, I bet.) Steam powered whatsits and whosits and thingamajigs.  Heck, in one of the Finishing School books, there is an oddjob….. a machine that spits out data. What is an oddjob?

Ray guns and gasses. Goggles and gears. The culture is so decidedly unique that me rattling on about it can’t encompass all that is Steampunk. Just go to Tumblr, or Pinterest and type in steampunk.  Then be prepared to be blown away by the amazing things out there. Go on. Check. I’ll wait…………

Okay, so you didn’t feel like looking that up? Fine, I’ll just load in a gallery right here and you can enjoy.

And lastly, check out this fun fashion video with Felicia Day when she goes steam punk… Which will lead us into tomorrow’s steampunk fashion.

Someone Amazing – Day No. 24

11048745_909527932422339_4813715533564715054_nThis isn’t to say I’m amazing. While I have my finer points, I still have a long way to go. But just remember, you are amazing too. You who is reading this, and wow, you showed up. :)

Hope you have had a great Saturday, writing away. I wasn’t writing. I wanted to write, but with regular things taking up time, I will have to write tomorrow.  Thank goodness I planned for one quote a week. A chance to ‘cheat’ with this writing thing.  Everyone needs a day off…. right?



Girls Are Barracudas – Day No. 23

Scuba diver inside a group of sawtooth barracu...

Scuba diver inside a group of sawtooth barracudas in Koh Tao, Thailand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, first, stop laughing. I know you are laughing because Mr. B. burst out laughing the minute I said this at lunch today.  We were talking about how carpenter bees go to purple flowers. I said it’s because they are girls. Which they are. All black carpenter bees are female. Then Mr. B. said that they should go to things that are shiny because girls love shiny things. In which case, I replied, “All girls are Barracudas.” They immediately go to something shiny and bright and sparkly.  I should know. I have been a big shiny picker upper for years. When I was younger, no bolt, screw, washer, nut, or melted solder was safe from my grubby little hands. I picked up anything shiny. When we would go to the mountains, empty shell casings were extremely popular due to the brass. And don’t even get me started on the steel or aluminum ones.

star glitterAs time goes by, yep, I still like shiny. I’m more sophisticated, liking such things as rings, glittery necklaces, and well, more expensive things. I have this love of more expensive things. Go figure. I believe I inherited it from my great-grandmother who saw a cute little car years ago and wanted it, but my great grandfather said no…. because it was a Mercedes.  (I seem to have this knack of  seeing something wonderful, and it’s always really expensive.  And shiny)

Most girls I know gravitate towards shiny things. I think that’s why glitter is so popular on the back pockets of jeans (lord no!)  and there is glitter and sequins on everything. Bedazzlers weren’t made for men. And we lap it up and keep going for shiny.  Heck, just like barracudas, we will fight for our shine.  After holiday sales? Watch out.

There must be something hardwired into our brains about shiny is better. Why are glitter nail polishes so much more exciting than plain? I wonder this all the time as I spend way too much time trying to remove the glitter polish. That much work to remove something shouldn’t be better.  But it is. It sparkles.

We love anything shiny and I don’t know why. We are Chick Barracudas…..

And I still pick up shiny things.  I just don’t keep the washers, bolts, and screws, those go to Mr. B. …..

We are rounding out the third week of this 31 Days thing of mine. You still have time to enter the DaySpring Giveaway.  To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click on this link & follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading!











Another Persona – Day No. 22

Robert B. Parker had made his character, Jesse Stone, a bad boy, but was R. Parker a bad boy himself? Or did he make Jesse the person he wished he could be sometimes?

As women, we are told to be good. Don’t do anything crazy, or out of societies norms. Don’t swear, don’t sleep around, don’t do anything you wouldn’t want your grandma to know about… Don’t put anything on the internet you wouldn’t want your mom to see at your trial. (this works for guys as well.) Be good. As a good girl myself, I sometimes feel the pressure to always be good. It’s exhausting at times.  Sometimes I want to break all the rules. Kiss a stranger I just met….. oh, wait. I did that. Never mind. He was a good kisser……. Moving on.

As writers, we put ourselves into our characters. We make them expressions of ourselves. But we also make them who we want to be. Or in the exact opposite, who and what we deplore in ourselves. Just take one of your faults and magnify it ten fold. You have a pretty rotten person. We take on another persona by writing our characters. Sometimes it’s liberating to be able to be something else within a character.

The Audrey Swoop

The Audrey Swoop

Recently I have wanted a change. I’ve futzed with new nail polish and styles and new hair styles. Out went the short hair (by short I mean chin length) and now I’m growing it out to see what I can do. Just yesterday I tried a new hairstyle that is so different from what I normally do. I have had bangs all but for a brief time in my early teens. Bangs, and variations of bangs. But I have been inspired by Audrey Hepburn and I’ve wanted to try something different. So, I did. I swooped up the bangs, swirled them around and pulled everything else into place with an up-do.  Just a touch of a cat-eye and whoa. I don’t look like myself . Mrs. B isn’t thrilled, but I love it. I love looking not like myself. There are only so many ways I can live within a character… Why not live a different way myself.

Raggedy Anne From Hell day of the dead....

Raggedy Anne From Hell day of the dead….

This is why I love Halloween. A chance to be something you are not. To take on a different persona.  Last year I went totally out of my element. I ghouled it up and was far from pretty. Scared a few people.  It was fun to be something more than I usually am. Sometimes I would love to do something exotic and gorgeous. Be kind of sexy. I had ideas of trying to do this look that I saw on Dancing With The Stars. It is very cool. But as Halloween falls on a Saturday, and I’m not planning on going out, I’m skipping crazy.  But wouldn’t it be fun to waltz around looking like this?

I feel like if I were to do something like this in my small town I would totally blow people’s minds.  Or if I totally Hollywood styled it up in a sexy dress and did my hair up and not me. Heavy makeup…. Yep, that would be a different persona.  Thank goodness I have my characters to live my life through. That being said, at least I can try my new look sometimes.

So, do you ever want to be something you’re not? Do you write your characters as someone you wish you could be? Tell me.

And don’t forget. is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October! To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click on this link & follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading!