Posts by webmasterDHP

Just Because You Can…

Posted by on Oct 4, 2020 in Writing | 1 comment

Last week, I sat down and wrote an oh-so-upbeat blog about writing things (books, articles, poems, etc.) and never getting them published. It talked about how not everything you write is going to, or should, see the light of day. The post talked about how I found a piece I started writing when I was ten, and how I’ve realized that it will never make it fully out of my head and onto paper, no matter how many times I try and have tried (believe me, in thirty years, I tried A LOT). It was my first real novel. It had a plot, a conflict, a resolution. The main protagonist was sympathetic. Heck, even the antagonist was somewhat sympathetic. It had everything it needed to create a good, solid story. And because our stories are pieces of us, I nurtured that piece. I spent years writing and rewriting. I put it on disk, the disk crashed. I put it on paper, the pages disappeared. I have one copy of it and I’m not telling where it is. The article was supposed to be a resolution that it would never be finished, and that was okay. Then, my computer ate my homework. I saved the document and Windows did an update and shut down. When it came back up, I couldn’t find the article in my files. I looked in the temporary files, my recent files, etc. I know I had autosave on, but I also know I saved it, but it’s gone. Somewhere in my computer is a sweet, nostalgic piece about accepting that not everything you write should be shared…And then I saw this…and this. Two different authors and possibly two different publishing houses (I didn’t look that far into it, the descriptions alone were enough to give me a headache) decided a love story where the doctor falls in love with the virus she’s trying to eradicate would be a great idea to publish during a pandemic. Let me repeat that there are two (possibly more) books about female doctors falling in love with a virus. Part of me is curious if there’s a book out there where a female doctor falls in love with the common cold or cancer, but the other part of me still wants to believe there’s hope for humanity, so I’m not going to go there. To me, this is the equivalent of women falling in love with convicted murderers and rapists after they’ve been convicted and are currently serving time. Yes, I know it happens, but it probably shouldn’t. When I was a teenager, just like most teens, I had mountains of angst. Some people drew, some people argued with their parents, I wrote poems and stories. They were awful. Some poems rhymed, some didn’t. Most, nearly all, were dark and depressive. When I was first dating my husband, I found them and tortured him by reading them to him while he drove home. The graveyard shift is torture enough, but he suffered through all the lousy poetry I wrote, and it kept him awake as he drove home from work. He must really love me to go through that. Now, does that mean I published them anywhere? Nope! I didn’t and I won’t. Sure, someone might buy a copy. I also might walk outside, get struck by lightning, and end up with superpowers. The point of this diatribe is that you should absolutely write about whatever comes to mind. It helps grease the cogs on the gears in your imagination. Our worlds consist of “what if” and exist only in...

Read More

“I just saw my reflection blink.”

Posted by on Sep 13, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The author of this sentence has the idea of a short story down to an artform. I’m uncertain of the origin of this six-word short story. However, it packs quite a punch. In six words, the author, which was a winner of one many six-word story contests, gives us an entire story. In six words, the author introduced us to an entire world. We know, from six words, that the protagonist is probably scared out of his or her mind. We can infer that in the world this person lives in, whether it’s our own or another like it, reflections don’t blink. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be worth mentioning. So, what’s my point? My point is that we often use too many words when we can use a few. Notice, I didn’t say writers always use too many words. Some people don’t flesh out their stories, and others don’t add enough description in the same number of words. In either case, being succinct and deliberate in your prose will only make it better. The six-word story isn’t a new concept: Many authors in the past have written a story using as few words as they can. Ernest Hemingway wrote one that stated: “For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.” Margaret Atwood talked about relationships in hers, and while Dorothy Parker couldn’t be bothered to follow trends, she had a seven-word one-liner: “Men never make passes at women with glasses.” So, why not try it? In the comments below, give me your best six-word...

Read More

Yes, I’m still here.

Posted by on Jun 26, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I’ve probably started and stopped more than thirty blogs in the past three years. I’ve tried keeping everything the same and doing what I’ve always done and realized I can’t. Let me start four years ago: four years ago, I had five editors, an admin, a busy publishing schedule, and a full-time job. Then, my world fell apart. My confidant, mentor, biggest encourager, and an absolutely incredible woman, died horribly. It was devastating, a loss I couldn’t imagine and one I wouldn’t wish on anyone. At the time, I didn’t think there was anything I couldn’t handle. I knew what I would do in the event I was too sick to continue, in the event I died, etc. I didn’t know how to handle this. It hurt to breathe. I couldn’t think, couldn’t focus. And we weren’t done. Three weeks later, I was told I have a chronic condition that will not only never go away, but is also exacerbated by stress (yay). And the hits kept on coming. It seemed as soon as I started recovering from one thing, something else would happen. I soon found myself facing another surgery, losing my editors, going through admin after admin, and generally trying to survive. Instead of focusing on my business, I now had so many more pressing needs to focus on and all of my backup plans I had going up in smoke. So, what does this mean for the business? I realized I had to make some significant changes if I wanted to continue. Stopping is not an option, never has been, so I will continue. Luckily, I have incredible support and help from my friends and the people I love. I’m reorganizing, so pardon the dust and look for more in the...

Read More

John Steinbeck

Posted by on Jun 12, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

So I almost misquoted one of my favorite authors in writing this blog post. I know I haven’t written one in a long time, and for that, all I can say is that sometimes life gets in the way. Now, if you haven’t figured out who the author I almost misquoted is by the title, I can’t really help there, but I can say that John Steinbeck is one of my favorite authors for several reasons, and not one of them is because he was required reading in high school. There were other authors I couldn’t stand who were from the same era, and my English teachers (some of them) would be completely shocked if they knew how much I hated reading the works of authors like Hemingway (gasp!). Back to Steinbeck: his fiction was short, his prose simplistic, but his words packed a punch. His descriptions created pictures in the readers’ minds that were both vivid and real. I remember the first story of his that we were required to read, The Pearl. I loved it. The book opens with the main characters getting up to do their typical work on a typical day. From the setting, the actions the characters take, etc., we know all we need to know about them. He sets up foreshadowing in the first chapter as well, then punches us with a parent’s worst fear: their child being deathly ill and not having the resources (money, medicine, etc.) to help. The story takes the reader through a roller coaster of emotion, all the way to the end. Whether he was making a social commentary with his stories, or just writing his stories to entertain, there is always a takeaway. Speaking of takeaways, there was supposed to be a lesson in this story too, but it turns out (as many stories do), to be something completely different than what I originally intended. So, if you want a lesson from this article, there are a few: first, make sure you do your research, even if you believe that you are correct; second, your writing doesn’t have to be long in order to be effective; and third, if you haven’t read anything by Steinbeck, I’d highly recommend reading his works to understand what I’m talking...

Read More

Nuclear Power Plants

Posted by on Oct 28, 2016 in Tales of the Weird | 0 comments

Recently, the thriller, The Defect was published by Deer Hawk, and I now know more than I probably wanted to know about nuclear power plants. Previously, my knowledge of them was that there were some still in existence, and that, while the incidence of issues with a nuclear power plant are very low, they can cause great havoc when something goes wrong (Japan, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl) but in my daily life, I never actually thought about them…until I edited the book. Here are a few things I’ve learned: I learned about the inner workings of a nuclear power plant, and how one is decommissioned. There are 60 nuclear power plants in the U.S. Many are near large cities (for good reason, they need more power than suburban areas). There have been fifty-seven nuclear incidents since Chernobyl and most of them have been in the U.S. Chernobyl was the only nuclear accident in history to cause deaths. People think that with homeland security, a terrorist attack couldn’t happen on U.S. soil, but something happened in 2013 at one of the power plants in Tennessee where two shots were fired and the assailant got away. The area around Chernobyl is still unlivable. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go hide in a corner and rock back and forth. *****Correction: there have been two nuclear accidents that have cost people’s lives. One was in the United States, but the incident didn’t kill anyone with radiation, steam was the killer...

Read More
Download mp3