Bits of thoughts

A_picture_is_worth_a_thousand_wordsI don’t know if it is because I am a writer or just because I am naturally curious, but I tend to pick up a lot of useless information. I kind of seek it out. Saddly, it isn’t organized in my brain at all, but kind of shoved together like an over full closet that you try to fit just one more thing into.

Right now there is a show on talking about Oracles of the dead. Just that thought is fascinating and will probably have to have a story at some point. I also learn about psychometry and animals in Australia. I am sure it will come in handy some day.

Psychometry actually solves the small pause I just came up against in a current work in progress. The problem is that I can’t read about it right now to see if I can tweak it to work with my main character. I’ve tried but my eyes just glaze over the words.

I see the letters but the words aren’t making it through and my brain isn’t really paying attention. It is days like this I need someone to sit and read stuff to me. My ears are working fine but my eyes and brain are refusing to work together.

I guess I will go work on that scarf I have been crocheting for my son, then try it again. If that doesn’t work, I may just take a nap. Naps are like rebooting a computer, only you are rebooting the person.

Mooch-in-the-Morning…Yeah, a nap sounds good.

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A bit of Fiction from a tired writer

Out of the list of things I had planned to accomplish today, I managed one. It wasn’t a blog post. However, it is still Monday so by the end of this my daily accomplishments will be up to 2.

I had over a dozen topics to blog about just a few minutes ago. Then I sat down at the the computer and my mind went as blank as the page I have been staring at. It is a good thing that blog post aren’t viewed in the real time it took someone to write them or I would have lost you all after the first paragraph.

Okay, so here is what I am going to do. Last week I didn’t do a proper post and this week I am struggling. So how about some fiction?

I wrote this short for a writing contest in October but never got to use it because they closed submissions early. It’s not exactly my best, but the few people I’ve shared it with found it amusing.

 

tink's moonlight pic

Lunch Break

It was a dark and stormy night. All I wanted to do was to eat my Hot Pocket before it cooled beyond room temperature but the rain and the full moon, hidden behind the clouds, drove people into the store. Some were on their way home. Some were stopping in before heading to work a swing shift. All had the wild look a full moon, visible or not, brings out. Eyes open too wide revealing more of the white than normal and pupils dilated dark and round.

I just wanted to eat my lunch, but the flood of people ridden by moon madness prevented me. Who really needs a pack of gum at two in the morning?

I felt a growl slip out as I handed the lady chatting on her phone back her change. She snatched it and her diet coke up without ever making eye contact. My hot pocket was growing colder, my stomach emptier, and my temper hotter with each customer.

I finally got rid of the line and sighed as a glance out of the dirty windows revealed no one in the parking lot. Once again I turned to my lunch. Just as I raised the food to my lips a car pulled up and sat idling in front of the building.

I paused before biting into my Hot Pocket as a couple of teenagers hopped out of the car. One stood in front of the door while the other rushed inside wearing tan pantyhose to disguise his face. Any other day I would have laughed, but I was hungry and I had dealt with enough people for one night. Then he did the unthinkable.

Brandishing a gun he slapped my Hot Pocket out of my hand. I watch the flaky crust of my lunch splatter and crumble on the stained tile floor, all of its cheesy goodness leaking out to join whatever people had tracked in on their shoes. I couldn’t hear what the robber was saying over the rushing roar of my anger reaching its peak.

My hands shifted as I reached for the desecrator of my Hot Pocket. My claws dug into his arm as I bent it backwards, bones snapping as the were forced to go in an unnatural direction. Then the idiot pulled the trigger, shooting himself in the chest. His buddy rushed in from outside, yelling profanity as he took in the blood joining my ruined lunch on the floor. I let him jerk his friend free from my grip when he grabbed for him and the two slipped and tripped their way back to the running car.

It spun out of the parking lot in a squeal of tires and I let my hands return to normal. When I was sure they were long gone, I washed my hands in the employee’s only sink, popped another Hot Pocket into the microwave, and went to fetch the mop.

 

Mondays and Missing Cats

Hello all. What is it about Monday’s? It’s like I wake up with an automatic To-Do list that somehow complied over night. Today is going to be a busy one.

I didn’t do much this weekend but sit around in comfortable clothes and watch Doctor Who. I had some sort of stomach nasty that wouldn’t let me get too far from a toilet without dire consequences. It was kind of nice to have self permission not to do anything. I could have done without the being sick part though.

Panda
Panda

Today I have to play catch up. There is housework to do, writing to get done, and a cat to find. Panda, our black and white cat, hasn’t been home in several days and I am beginning to get worried. Sometimes she will disappear for a day or two after we have done something to offend her, but this is a bit long. Usually these absences will follow a few days of breakfast being served late or us not letting her outside when she wants. She is the queen of the household and knows it.panda

I’m not only worried about Panda but my daughter as well. Technically she is my daughter’s cat. We brought her home from the animal shelter as a kitten, shortly after we moved into our house.

At thirteen, my daughter is all moody teenage girl. Her cat is the one she talks to when things get to be too much, because obviously mom can’t understand. (I was a teenager once too and did the same thing, so I know how this works. Cats can be wonderful confidants and they have the added bonus of being fluffy.)10502233_10201355538529691_2457240744323550533_n

To complicate things, not only does she have the usual teen stuff to deal with, but her father just moved across the country. She has always been a Daddy’s girl. She has always known if she needed him, he was right there and I would take her to see him. Now that is a bit more difficult since he is a couple of thousand miles away. They still skype and stuff but it isn’t the same.  And now her cat is missing.

My daughter does talk to me. It’s not like we have no communication, but talking to her Daddy and talking to her cat is different from talking to mom. Kids have a lot to deal with. So do parents for that matter.

I had more to say but my kids are awake now and I have lost my train of thought. I have to go make breakfast and get my son started on his homeschooling. He is full of energy this morning and is irritating his sister. She is in a good mood and is irritating him back so my house is very loud right now.

I’ll return with cat updates as I have them.

Thick With Sleep

Garfield-Mornings-garfield-172375_312_318Waking up today feels like pulling myself out of a tub of molasses. In a good way. I slept solid last night. I entered so deeply into the realm of dreams that I don’t remember sleeping and I’ve not quite returned to waking.

Yesterday was my son’s 11th birthday. His party was a lot of fun and I got to meet up with friends I haven’t seen in a long time. It was three hours of happy social interaction but by the time I got home I was done in. Only stubbornness helped me stay awake until a reasonable bedtime. (I would have just given in, but my daughter was out with a friend. I was waiting for her to be brought home.)

catnapAfter weeks of restless sleep and waking feeling like the day before never stopped; this thick with sleep feeling is welcome. It is cool outside which makes hot coffee all the more enjoyable. I don’t know what this Monday will hold but I am greeting it with a sleepy contented smile and a warm cup.

Late Night

Weep not for me and my lost sleep

Pity not my missed nightly dreams

For I have been traveling the word roads

I slipped between sentence spaces to journey

I danced among worlds hidden in print

I’ve drunk the tears of dragons and feasted on fears

Now I return to this world sated

I may yawn till my jaw cracks and my eyes may blur

But every traveler pays a cost to take a worthwhile journey

And I have willingly given away sleep and what nightly dreams may have come to mine.

Chasing Tall Tales

A week ago my mom bought a booklet of local ghost stories a thrift store for a quarter. Just twenty-two pages long, bound with staples and orange card stock, it really doesn’t look like much. However, the first story in this book has been driving me to distraction. Short enough to be considered flash fiction, the story is only two paragraphs long and is a reprint of something that appeared in a local paper nearly 20 years ago.

Roughly it states that, while working on widening a rural road, a road crew dug up a body of an adult woman. She was buried in the middle of the road with a wooded stake through her heart. Both the stake and the body had been petrified.

The lack of information immediately intrigued my curiosity. I am well aware that this a toothless gifwork of fiction. Sort of a local legend. It’s the kind of thing my older cousins used to make up to scare me when we took walks in the woods near my grandparents house. However, whatever it is inside that makes me a writer started whispering, “What if?”

It is plausible that a woman could have been killed and buried in an unmarked grave. Depending on when she was buried, maybe there wasn’t a road there at the time. Or maybe it was the only convenient spot. The story wouldn’t leave me alone. It claimed to have happened less than thirty minutes away, so I began digging. (Figuratively. I am pretty sure I would be writing this on the walls of the local jail if I actually tried digging up the road.)

Armed with just the name of the road I searched and found out that they did widen the road back in 1917. I also discover there has been precedence set for the petrification of human remains, if under the right conditions. The part of the road were the story claims the woman was buried runs close to the Hiwassee river. This is important because not only would the soil need the right minerals but it would also need the right amount of moisture.

In 1867 there was a great flood that decimated the area. It took out bridges and caused a train wreck where many died. There are even claims that the streets of Chattanooga were so flooded, that a man living on Lookout Mountain watched bodies float down them.

background-313572_1280So if the mythical woman had been killed and buried before the flood, then it is even plausible that she could have been petrified. If she existed. But if so, what happened to the body? Why was she buried in the road? Did whomever it was that killed her think they were slaying a vampire or a witch?

These are questions I don’t have answers to yet. I did find a similar story in a book called The Granny Curse and Other legends from East Tennessee by Randy Russell and Janet Barnett. It is about a chair haunted by the ghost of a vampire. (I didn’t know vampires could have ghosts but stranger things have become local legends.)

I am still investigating. Some people will probably laugh at me for chasing ghost stories and say I am on a snipe hunt or a wild goose chase. Just because it may not turn out to be true, doesn’t mean it isn’t teaching me a lot about the past. I had no knowledge of the flood of 1867 or of body petrification until now. I am sure it will end up being useful at some point, even if it is only in fiction.

A State of the Author Address

Writer-once-upon-a-time-1024x576I am a bit grumpy this morning. I thought about just rolling over and going back to sleep but I have way too much to do today. Hopefully, coffee will fix it.

It is still dark here so there isn’t much of a view from my window at the moment. So, I am also trying pinterest for a mood booster. Which could be dangerous. There are pretty pictures to look at but pinterest is kind of a Pandora’s Box. You can start by looking at landscapes and fairies, then the next thing you know you are looking at steampunk crocodiles and being attacked by a mountain of plot bunnies.

For once, I need not fear the plot bunny. The short story I was working on has been completed and will probably be available on Amazon by tomorrow. (Blood Relations by Tammi A. Miller) I have started a sequel to it already, though I hadn’t planned to.

I do still have a several actual books I need to be working on. However, I am home schooling my son this year. My writing time has become whenever I can make marks on paper. Short stories seem to be the format my writing is taking to adapt to the current situation.  Modern technology and google documents are a tremendous help with this. I once wrote on my phone while waiting for a public restroom stall to become free.

*Yawn*  I need more coffee. Good luck today my friends. My your writing be creative and you coffee/tea cup be full.