Maine and Stephen King

When some folks discover I’m from MAINE…I get two questions. So let me begin this blog post by answering them in the order I generally receive them:

1. Yes, we people in Maine do have electricity- have had it for some time now believe it or not.

2. No, I do not know Stephen King personally.

Stephen King's Mansion in Bangor, Maine

Stephen King's Mansion in Bangor, Maine

However, I coincidentally do live on King’s Mountain in Orrington and I understand Stephen King may have some property somewhere near the top. Yes, Pet Semetary is in Orrington- as it was portrayed in the movie. As a matter of fact, our cat Ebenezer showed up on my doorstep 14 years ago on Christmas Eve. His behavior often makes me wonder if he wandered over from the Pet Semetary? And I’m pretty sure Cujo knows my running route!

My twelve year old son, Jack, plays hockey. We often play at Sawyer Ice Arena in Bangor, which is just around the corner from Stephen King’s mansion. So, yes, we do drive by his home. He has the most awesome black iron fence out front- very spider-like.

I’ve seen him around town- Bangor mostly. I live ten minutes from him. He is very down to earth. Real. He and his wife, Tabitha, are very generous to our area. Recreation & libraries- and I’m certain there must be a long list.

While my writing will NEVER hold even a birthday candle to that of the famous Stephen King, I do hope that by merely breathing the same air as he- I will be at an advantage.

Twitter Is The New CB Radio!

My father recently commented about Facebook & Twitter as being a waste of time. I pondered his statement.

CB Radio from Wikipedia

CB Radio- like the one my father had in the 1970's.

 “Gee, Dad. What was that “thing” you yacked on non-stop during my childhood in the 1970′s. That “thing” in the living room that blared loud voices at all hours of the night and you leaped over furniture to grab the mouthpiece that was attached to a bungee cord & radio set. Not to mention the 40×20 metal frame antenna eyesore that was erected at the top of a telephone pole on our front lawn. Remember the flack we took from the neighbors at such a spectacle?”

Yes, it is true. Twitter has become the CB (Citizen’s Band) Radio of the future. Back then, users went by handles- much like our Twitter names today. My Twitter name is @redheadnews for example. In the 1970′s, my father made friends with people all around the United States & Canada- perhaps even beyond that! The radio was popular with long haul truckers, too.

Today, I have an interesting “Twitter Family” with friends such as @mist_writer, @PrudenceMacLeod, @TinaBoscha, @BRandleas, & @Clive_SJohnson…to name only a few. While I have a few thousand followers, there are only a few that I keep regular tabs on. Would that be acceptable socialized stalking? -I ponder yet again.

If my new character Molly Watkins had a Twitter handle, I surmise it would be something like @takenocrap or @womanincharge. She will make her debut in just a few days, so we can ask her when the time arrives.

So you see, Dad, the more things change the more they really stayed the same! -Minus that ostentatious monster gadget on our front lawn!

Writing Inspiration Is Everywhere!

Maine Covered Bridge From Yesteryear

When I was eight years old, I knew already that I wanted to be a writer. I’d ride the school bus to my babysitter’s house after school and…write my novel. The name of my first novel was to be Apple Blossom. – It was a story about a horse. I still haven’t finished that novel by the way! Anyhow, even back then I was inspired by things around me – nature in particular.

My first completed story was written when I was only six years old. It was a hot summer day. My sister and I were playing in the yard near the trees when a snake hissed at us. Needless to say we became marathon runners and dashed inside to safety- where I wrote “The Cobra Queen”. I actually think the snake was a harmless garter snake, but the imagination of a child has no limit…

Growing up in Maine, there has been no shortfall of nature in which to inspire me. I love random photos. Like a feathery bird crossing the snow covered road. Or a babbling brook where two people may have fallen in love? A quaint church still standing in a town that has been hard hit by recession, the open water in the foreground. My favorites are old barns, weathered shacks, and historical things like railroad beds and factories.

Who Lived Here?

I love color and black and white. I love to wonder “what if” and imagine a story. These are some photos taken by my Maine friends that offer inspiration to me. In the winter I find I write stories with more feeling if I’m actually there, in the blizzard. In the fall, I love to write love stories.

(Thank you Kathy Manson Photography on Facebook, she has prints for sale, too).

Of course, my two favorite little people, Emily & Jack -my children, offer the most inspiration! But this blog story is dedicated to nature inspirations…sorry guys:)
My children- my best inspiration!

Emily & Jack, Fall 2011

My Grandparents Inspired “Cherry Cheesecake” Valentine Story

Real Valentines

In Love For 70 Years

You know how sometimes you see or hear about something and you think, “Wow, that would make a great story?” My grandparents, who have been married for over 70 years now, would make that kind of story.

From what I understand, their life has not been without hardship. My grandfather was a watchmaker by trade, hitching rides on Boston-bound trains from teeny tiny Brewer, Maine just to attend school. That is a five hour drive by car today!

Money was virtually non-existent. When my grandfather returned to Maine he worked 2 jobs. They went on to have  3 young children by the time they were in their early twenties- poking holes in my Nana’s theory that my Grampa was difficult at times:)

If you were to ask them what their “secret” to a 70 year marriage would be, they would each have a different answer- and they’d probably bicker over which one of them were correct… I think that “passion” may well be one of their “secrets”???

This past week I entered a short story contest with a “Love” theme in honor of Valentine’s Day. I used their undying love as my inspiration. I’m not sure if I will win the contest or not, but writing the story made me happy:) If you’d like to check out my short story contest submission (1250 words) simply click here

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/131273 - it’s free, just download to your Kindle or read on your computer as a PDF file.

There are some other free short stories that are previous contest submissions as well- and they are all free.

Here’s hoping that everyone has a very happy Valentine’s Day!

What kind of emotions, events, or stories inspire you?

Cherry Cheesecake – Free Valentine Day Short Story

I wrote this short story (1250 words) for a contest going on at http://thewritepractice.com/show-off-contest/. (Contest deadline is Feb.10 for those interested in submitting an entry with a Love them- for Valentine’s Day, of course.

My entry is available for a free read at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/131273 , along with 3 other free reads. All the short stories were contest submissions.

I have recently begun to enter writing contests. The reason- because I’ve learned that peer reviews from other contestants and readers who frequent the sight- are priceless. Most are kind in their criticisms (Yes, it is possible to be kind while telling the author that they really need improvement!). I have received some insights that I would not have gotten otherwise. My writing has improved since I’ve added contest entries to my weekly work assignments. Of course I’m still plugging away on a longer novel (Hannah’s Storm) and my novella Molly Watkins Chronicles (steampunk fiction). Molly will be a series and I’m very excited about getting to know her better by writing about her- but that’s beside the point…

I wonder if anyone else has found that writing for contest entries has improved their writing? Please let me know…

P.S.- Yes, I actually won a contest recently over at Miss Snark’s Blog http://misssnarksfirstvictim.blogspot.com/2012/01/january-secret-agent-11.html , in case you were wondering:)

The Inspiration For “Molly Watkins”

I’d been writing a lot of “serious” stuff when the inspiration for The Molly Watkins Chronicles hit me from out of the blue. Instantly I knew that I had to write about her.

On August 17, 2011…we lost our beautiful yellow lab, Molly Mae Watkins. She was a ripe eleven years old and full of personality. My children- as well as myself- were devastated. At the time, I pushed my grief to the back of my mind and carried on- through the days, weeks, holidays, etc.

Then one day…I thought about her. I realized that I could make myself feel better if I put pen to paper (okay, words on computer) and expressed my feelings by telling stories about Molly- if she had been a human.

Molly had spunk! She didn’t care if the other three dogs wanted her treat or if they wanted to be in her “spot”. Her disposition was always good; a free spirit. Of course, she was adamant about getting that treat in the first place:) She’d bark to remind you to toss her a bone or to get her a fresh bowl of water. . She didn’t care for car rides. Simple, basic things made her happy, like having her ears scratched or chasing a ball.

We miss Molly a lot. But at least I can revisit some of her “dog days” by creating a character that reminds me of the joy she brought to our lives in those eleven short years:)

Molly Watkins is a series of steampunk novellas and the main character, Molly Watkins, will have some fun adventures- just like my Molly did.

I miss you, Molly Watkins!

Molly Watkins Gets A “Face”

The cover art for Molly’s Soap Parlor (Book #1 of the Molly Watkins Chronicles) has arrived. (Thank you Derek Murphy!) It’s such an awesome feeling to see the character, of whom I’ve been creating and giving depth to for a while now, take on a “real” look. After all, Molly Watkins is a “real” person to me. I know her habits, such as her fetish with beech tree gum. I also know about her weaknesses, her likes and dislikes, and of who she has a major crush on.  But underneath all that other “stuff”, Molly has spunk and I’d really like to “hang out” with her some day.

If you’d like to read about Molly and her first adventure, Molly’s Soap Parlor, A Steampunk Novella, expect her to be available some time in  March, 2012.

Molly Watkins Chronicles Book #1

March, 2012 Debut

Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 42 other followers