Tag Archives: death

Death in the Family

My guinea pig Charlie died Friday night. He had been sick for about a week, starting with an infection in his eye that apparently spread to his lungs. We tried treating it, but it was too late. By the time we realized how serious it was, he had already stopped eating and wouldn’t take his medicine. There was nothing we could do. My wife and I were heartbroken when we saw him lying so still in his bed. Here’s a picture of him from before he got sick. Sorry it’s so blurry. I wish I could take more pictures of him now, but that will never happen.

2013-07-08 04.20.41

We miss him so much.

I didn’t get any writing done last week. I did manage to read a book, however. The Deaths of Tao, by Wesley Chu. It is the second book in a series, and I highly recommend it. Now I’m reading Midnight Blue-Light Special, by Seanan McGuire. Another good read, and another second book in a series, also highly recommended.

I’m not sure when I’m going to start writing again. For now I think I just need to start reading a little, and see if that inspires me to put some words on the page. I’ll let you know when that happens.

Until next time!


1 Comment

Filed under About Me

What Did I Just Do?


Dirty Little Freaks #24 was way out of my ballpark. I’m not sure how I got there, but the story took me places I have never been before. Places that are impossible for me to reach. It was a struggle all the way, but I think I can be proud of what I did, even if it was a painful journey.

I started with something simple. A rude comment made by someone at a funeral. As I developed the story, the comment was made by a younger brother and the funeral was the main character’s father. Then things started to get really interesting when I decided that the comment that had been made was true, and that it was about our main character having an incestuous relationship with her father.

It was about pain and loss and love that broke the rules.  And it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to write. I’m not looking forward to editing it, because I know that any changes I make to it will only have to make it better, and I’m not sure how I can. I was really stretching my boundaries on the first draft, so taking it to the next level is going to be rough.

I think that the direction my story took was at least partially influenced by the book I was reading. The Lake of Dreams, by Kim Edwards. It wasn’t about incest, but one of the themes was the death of the main character’s father, and how it affected the course of her life. I could actually see how the story I was writing changed to reflect the story I was reading. That sort of thing doesn’t happen often for me, so it was interesting seeing it happen now. And don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying it was a bad thing, just that it was unexpected and a little frightening to go where I have never gone before.

In other news, that makes 19 days in my Magic Spreadsheet chain, for a total of over 8,000 words. Having the spreadsheet is really giving me that extra incentive to keep writing, even though I might not want to. In the last few months, I have only been worrying about getting the story done, and have skipped some days when I didn’t feel like writing. But now, the focus is on getting at least the minimum in every day, so I have been writing first thing in the morning and taking the rest of the day for myself. The stories have been longer, as I only have to make sure I reach the end by Saturday, but I think they have also been better. We’ll see how it goes in the coming months.

That’s it for this week. I’ll be back next Sunday with another update. See you then!

1 Comment

Filed under The Writing Experience

ROW80 Update April 24 – Happy Easter!


  1. Spend at least half an hour every day on writing or editing, an hour on weekends
  2. Finish rewrite of Dragons at Dawn
  3. Post to my blog on the ROW80 update days (Sunday and Wednesday)
  4. Read at least one of my books on writing every week

I have been working on editing every day, and have finished the Save the Cat book by Blake Snyder. I also attended a meeting of Mad City Romance yesterday. Our guest of honor was Ann Voss Peterson, who has recently been nominated for a RITA award. She gave us a great workshop on character development, which made me realize what was wrong with my outlines. I came home and tore into them, determined to rewrite them with a focus on who the characters are instead of what I can make them suffer. I have also started reading Writing the Short Story, by Jack M Bickham. Hopefully this will give me a better background in writing short fiction, which I can use when I have smaller ideas.

As a follow-up to my post on Wednesday about my nephew’s death, I got more of the story at the funeral on Thursday. It wasn’t a suicide. That doesn’t make his death any easier to handle, but it is some small comfort to know that it wasn’t intentional. If you are interested in knowing more about Jackson Cole Steele, you can read his obituary. You can also watch a couple of short interviews with him and his family taken just a few weeks ago (March 31)  with the links below:

Interview, Part 1

Interview, Part 2

If his story moves you, you can make a donation to Camp Kesem in his name by making the donation payable to “Camp Kesem UW” and sending it to the following address:

Student Activity Center
333 E Campus Mall
Mailbox #104
Madison WI 53715

That’s my update. See you back here on Wedneday!


Filed under About Me, Networking, ROW80, The Writing Experience