Thursday, March 10, 2016

Times of Profound Creativity

This is my Shirley - that impish look says it all.

I was so incredibly happy a few months ago when an idea for a short story came to me.  Unfortunately, it came and went just as quickly. I was in Thailand at the time, I think. 

Now I’m in Malaysia in a smaller town – Melaka – staying in a laidback little hotel with a wonderful cafĂ© next door and nearly a month ago I was hit by a wave of creativity that has not subsided at all. In fact, it has grown to tsunami proportions.

For the past week I’ve been considering writing this post, yet afraid to out of writer’s superstition. Now, I’m so secure in my period of profound creativity that I accept it will last for quite a while. 

How do I know? First, I’m about 2/3 done with a non-fiction book and it has just swamped me. I can’t write fast enough. Secondly, I’ve had two of these periods before and I recognize them now. 

First, I wrote screenplays for about two years – nine, in fact. They just came to me, and one of them got me an agent. I kept spitting them out and frankly, had ideas for several more, but one day, as quickly as the stream of inspiration began, it left me. I had written myself out. 

Then in 2010, when I began writing Red Mojo Mama, my muse returned big time. I finished that novel in just a few months and went on to publish a book of blog posts, a novella, a collection of short stories and poems, a how-to book and finally a second “Red” book. Then my muse moved out for a long period - very long. 

As it turns out, and as I’ve posted, she was hanging out right here, waiting on me. From the second day of my original 8-day stay, she (Shirley is her name) came calling. She carried the idea for the book I’m writing in a little wicker basket dangling from her arm …okay, that’s a little goofy, even for me. But seriously, it has been one beautiful connection ever since and she is again visiting me in my sleep. I wake up with fabulous ideas; the last one for a screenplay, which I haven’t tackled in two decades. But I will give it a try as soon as this non-fiction is out there in the world – changing lives, I hope! The short story has been revived and an idea for a novel from two years ago has started leaving its footprints on my soul. 

And then there’s Red. The third in the trilogy has been due for years. It’s coming. It really is. Finally.

So, I can treasure now the time I have with Shirley, the products of that union that will come and my latest time of great productivity. I hope it stays for years because, frankly, my life is so much better when I can write.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

For a Short Time Only!

I never thought I’d write that phrase, but the time has come to use it. Truly for a short-time only, I’m able to offer a service to fellow writers and at an extremely low rate.

What I’ve rarely shared with others, let alone other writers, is the fact that a thousand years ago, I was an agented screenwriter. I placed in the quarter finals of the Nicholls Fellowships screenwriting competition (associated with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) and that attracted two agents to my work. I ultimately went with one of them who worked hard to sell my manuscript. I “did” meetings with producers at Universal Studios and even Linda Gray (Sue Ellen from Dallas). Unfortunately, that did not catapult me into the Hollywood stratosphere, but it did give me a solid understanding of the process. 

Additionally, I was a freelance reader for Larry A. Thompson, a Hollywood producer, talent manager and book packager. I evaluated books and scripts for their worthiness to produce.

Also, as most of you know, I am a self-published author, but I’ve also been published as a short story writer and poet in magazines.

I have a short stay in Melaka, Malaysia, left in front of me – about a month at this writing - and I’ve discovered I’d like an enhanced income to continue traveling next year, in a slightly more upscale manner. So, I’m in the process of launching myself as a freelance writer and online researcher.

However, I have spoken to several people about the need for readers and critiques in the self-publishing industry. Therefore, I decided to offer my services in that line as well. I’m beginning with the people I know - my blog readers out there, and having been a first-time eBook publisher myself once I know that funds are limited. 

So, here’s my offer. I will read your book or screenplay (under 300 pages) and deliver a minimum of a 3-page critique for $45. I will request a $20 deposit payable through PayPal with the remainder due upon receipt of the critique. I can only take on a limited number of these projects, enough to complete while still in Malaysia (while I still have free time).

Turn-around time on the first 5 would be about a week. For the remainder, I would have to give you a time estimate when contacted. Manuscripts must be available for emailing. Mailing and receipt of a hard copy is not possible at this time. 

If you are interested, please send me an email at

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Dream

My street in Chiang Mai

Dear readers and friends, 

I have been absent forever so this feels like a long overdue missive to reconnect rather than a normal blog post.

As I write, I’m sitting in a hotel room in Chiang Mai, Thailand, four stories up with a lovely breeze slipping through the anti-pigeon screen and birds chattering outside. There are the dimmest of noises from the city streets. This is a city that bustles but doesn’t rush, if that makes any sense.

I’m finally writing because I’m finally writing! For so long I didn’t feel as though I could post to a blog about creating if I wasn’t and boy, my mind was a blank as a stare from most Thais if you ask about anything in English (I got terribly spoiled in the Philippines where most people speak at least some English). And like the silly American (me) that expects my hosts to suddenly “get it”, I was waiting for something to shake loose in my head.

The truth is I just had to shake myself loose somehow. The past 5 weeks of travel in Asia has definitely re-shaped my world already and this morning it affected my creative side…FINALLY.
I woke up at 6 a.m. – a tad too early for me – so as I lay back down I had this thought, “I should start with a short story” and moments later I was asleep. 

Many of you know that the reason my Twitter avatar is me nestled into a comfy Westin bed is that most of my story ideas have come from dreams.

Well, this morning things fell into place as if I’d never been gone. I dreamt a whole, complete story – beginning to end – complete with important details. I began writing it down about an hour ago. This is just a break in that process.

So, my friends, I’m BAAACK!