Sunday, August 31, 2008

Dance Along the Way

Have you ever danced for no reason other than the music you were listening to was fun or the beat was irresistible? Danced by yourself, with whoever was available, your dog even counts - just danced?

If you've lost your muse, life's dragged you down - dance.

And if you're feeling great, feel a little better - dance.
Here's some songs that are uniquely fun and some that just make you want to - well you know - dance.

The Bangles, Walk Like an Egyptian
Streets of Fire, Nowhere Fast
Smash Mouth, Walking on the Sun

Life's too short not to dance.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Run Away Trains

I haven't written for two days and I feel it. Writing is me. It's what I do. But sometimes that journey through life just broadsides everything else. This week was a train wreck.

It was a week where one problem followed another and today, at the end of the week, I can only hope that it has all wound up. That next week, will be not only a new month but a new start. At least I promise myself that as I look longingly at my laptop before rushing headlong into another crazy day.
When life broadsides me, writing is how I lower my keel and stabalize amidst chaos.
I feel better already.
What do you do when life broadsides you?
From the Dust

Monday, August 25, 2008

Flip Flops and Business

In my travels I have collected a few pet peeves. Here's one of them.

I cringe at the attire some women wear to work in an office. Some days it's hard to imagine what they may walk in the door with. But my pet peeve, aside from shorts, is flip flops.

I love flip flops. They are my favorite choice of footwear in the summer. But the office? Throughout the summer, flip flops complete with toenails enhanced with every garish array of nail polish color you could imagine, arrive in the office at 8:00 a.m. with frightening regularity. And it's just not flip flops. Exposed toes in the office is just, I think - wrong.And to make matters worse, I love toe rings - but the office?! Really - if you want to play in the field - get serious. That's all I have to say on the subject. I'm going back to my corner.

What's bugging you today?

From the Dust
Ryshia at MySpace

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Romance Fights Back

Literature is a form of escapism. I get tired of hearing that romance is simplistic or written on a formula. Romance is literature. Fiction, literature. And there is no formula - people! True - there are lines that are more stringent than others. There are word counts. But there is no outline that says he places his lips on her, chapter 5, page 45!

Where do these myths come from? And as a result of these myths, romance takes a hit in the gut over and over again.

Every genre has some degree of formula attached to it and every genre has writing that explodes out of any rules attached to it. Talented writers are found in every genre. Talented writers create fiction that one day will be literature. Remember that Dickens wrote pulp fiction in his day. How many years after his death did it become literature?

You can't blow off romance any more than you can blow off sci-fi or horror or any genre as not being worth reading. Romance and love stories pervade through history and entwine within literature. I think the issue is women's roles in society. Romance and women's fiction empowers women and that can be a very threatening thing.

Look back through all the bestsellers and see if romance is not woven through almost every story. Just like murder, suspense and horror are written into
many a romance. Romance and love are a potent part of society and one I think many are afraid to acknowledge.

There, I feel better! What do you need to let out to make you feel better today?


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Journey into Imagination

When I researched beheading, I didn't realize there were so many people through history that had been beheaded. In fact, the list was quite frightening. Not nearly as frightening as the Regina Leader Post Newspaper trumpeting the recent beheading on a Greyhound Bus in Manitoba. Yes, now Canada is on the beheading map! Wikpedia lists us as a country where a beheading has occurred. Not exactly a thing to be famous for. That was too close to home and too sad.  A touch of reality is not always a good thing.

But back to the purpose of my post. Beheading. Yes, I am talking about beheading but it's a story people!  Last Man Standing, the story of Garrett and an expedition of entomologists into the Borneo Rain forest. And the story of one reluctant "Wild Man" aka Aidan, who helps them out.

But even in the land of the headhunters, in a story that is a trek into the unknown and unmapped journey of a romance, beheading was not expected. And although a dead man washing up on shore is not, by virtue of its setting, as shocking as a Greyhound bus in 2008, it's still horrifying.

Where did your imagination take you today?


Saturday, August 16, 2008


With a story moving sweetly forward, I'm in the zone. But I've reached my limit. In the morning that limit is two hours, sometimes three depending on his mood. Who is that timer? Well, he's red and he's Irish and, although he thinks he's human, he's not. Rourke, that well documented, Irish Terrier is muttering and shifting continually from his place just behind me. I suspect if he could speak they would be words not said in polite company. I sense his patience has reached an end. The daily walk has been mandated.

I will return to the story but not for another hour. For now, it is time to go and enjoy a summer day. He might be pushy but Rourke reminds me that there is a whole world out there, and not just one I imagined.

What keeps you grounded in reality?


Saturday, August 9, 2008

911 - Squirrels are Everywhere

You can't see him very well but that's a squirrel in our yard. That's not unusual, in our neighborhood there are squirrels everywhere. Some neighbors feed them peanuts and some neighbors wage a silent warfare with them. Me, I just enjoy them.

But the other day put a whole other spin on the squirrel issue. There was a stuffed dog toy, a pig actually, left on the lawn by Rourke and friend. Today, there was a squirrel playing with it. I apologize, the pictures are a little blurry, the squirrel was small and you can only get so close before they run away. But he was whirling end over end flipping that pig around, hugging it and rolling again. He spent five minutes playing with that dog toy. It was so sweet and what a break from today's writing research.

How fast does blood congeal?

So, what's your take on wild life in the city or blood congealing for that matter - LOL?


Friday, August 8, 2008

Plentywood, Montana - Because We Can!

With Rourke in the driver's seat - we headed to Plentywood, Montana. Now before you run scared and report us to the local authorities, Rourke spent most of the time in the back seat. It was only when we were not in motion that he put himself, quite literally, in the driver's seat.

The border guards look at us in disbelief as we tell them this is an afternoon jaunt and that there really is no purpose to our trip other than that.

Two hours there and two back - I'm sure they don't quite believe it. But it's hard to look sinister with Rourke hanging over your shoulder. He managed to wangle a dog biscuit from one officer and was literally hand fed by the officer who only asked gruff questions of me. Go figure - the dog has charm!

So a little over a year after the inaugural road trip that opened this blog, we are back!

Plentywood appears timeless. And on this hot, summer day, the pace is languid. Here and there are the subtle differences that remind you that this isn't home and you are in a different country. The American flag drifts softly in a breezeless sky, the hint of an accent at the table next to you in the local restaurant but the biggest differences in culture can always be found in the local grocery store.

I've shopped grocers and markets in many places in the world just because they are so fascinating. Maybe it's a quirk or maybe it's a well-kept travel hint but you really get inside the head of a culture when you visit their local grocers. Now there are no freshly caught sardines grilling on a spit or chicken feet or fish eyes available in Plentywood, Montana. The differences aren't that drastic. There is butter in a tub - tempting, never saw that before. And the fact that butter is always referred to as sweet - not so in Canada - not sure why.

I didn't think it was possible to analyze the chip aisle but in our search for mustard pretzels, which they don't have, analyze we did. There are also no barbecued peanuts - what do they eat on the deck on a hot day with a cold beer? There are Pringle chips in flavours I've never heard of, Cheetos actually has a Cheesy Jalepeno flavour and you can buy Campbell's soup in the biggest cans I've ever seen outside a warehouse store. There's bud with Clamato juice already in the can and another beer with lime and salt already added. There's beer with lemonade and honey called Shanty - and just the fact that beer is in a grocery store at all is novelty enough. Then, of course, there's the candy. I try to stay away but a package or two of Nut Rolls do find their way home with us.

At the till there's the same old little packages of things to tempt you into that last minute purchase. Maybe you needed that razor or a pack of cards or, wait - there's an LED mini flashlight complete with panic button that shreaks at a minutes notice. No, I didn't buy it but I'm sensing there's room for it somewhere in a story - in fact, I know just the one.

When was the last time you did something - just because?
Just because you can!

From the Dust
Ryshia's MySpace

Monday, August 4, 2008

Win the Book - From the Dust

The Long and the Short of It have a contest all week. You could win a copy of "From the Dust". So come on over and take a chance, enter the contest.

A widow...
A man with a dream...
a farm they both claim.

The Saskatchewan prairie - 1935

Sometimes love can be so...unexpected.

Head on over to The Long and The Short of It website and check out the contest. Enter and maybe you'll win!

Good Luck!


The Long and Short of It Reviews

Tuesday, August 5 the Long and Short of It Reviews is posting an interview with me on their website. While you're there take a read of my short story "Espresso Nights" or read the review of "From the Dust". And on Wednesday, August 6 Long and Short Reviews - Yahoo group will be having a Q and A with me all day. So if there's anything you've been dying to know about me or "From the Dust" or any of my other works in progress - come on over and join the fun.

From the Dust

Friday, August 1, 2008

RWA Nationals - San Francisco

Do you find sometimes you have that twinge of regret about a decision, a choice you made? Today is one of them. RWA Nationals are on this week in San Francisco. I've never been and always plan to, some day, but this particular conference...

Well, let's just say - wish I was there.

"When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us." Alexander Graham Bell