Nature vs humans

June is almost gone and the seasonal monsoon is nearly upon us here in southern Arizona and we’ve had a few teaser storms and sprinkles. It is the time of the year that we actually have weather.

I love weather. I love anything that nature throws at us. I’m pretty sure it is because we lived so many places and experienced so much variety in nature.

Humans cannot control nature. It ain’t gonna happen. We can’t predict it, transform it, alter it or have any positive impact. In fact when humans have tried we have managed to bungle it and make it worse. The only positive humans can manage is preparing for nature body-slamming us. Humans have tried to design earthquake/tornado/hurricane “proof” structures to limited success and yet when these disasters occur our efforts are usually humbled by natures truly awesome strength and power.

I am not making light of the losses of those caught in the onslaught of a natural event. My heart goes out to those who lose family and possessions. Yet the cries of unbelief at the destruction of a tornado or earthquake in the places where these things are a fact of life don’t make sense. I know that tornado’s will happen in “Tornado Alley” and earthquakes will happen on the San Andreas fault. Hurricanes will form in the warm waters of the oceans and move a certain direction pushed by prevailing winds. Blizzards bringing heavy snowfall and snowmelt flooding will happen.

What I don’t know is why humans live in these places and expect a result contrary to the norm for the location. Is this insanity? You know doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Southern Arizona gets nasty hot in the summer yet this heat is part of the monsoon engine that brings the afternoon thunderstorms to this part of the state. These storms can be deadly with flashfloods and lightning strikes.

Where I live the monsoon season leads into the slow cooling down time of fall. I look forward to it because I know if I endure it will cool off. 100’s can happen into early October, but they aren’t a daily occurrence like June.

A personal note: Chuck’s company is transferring him to the Midland, Texas site. It is a closer drive and it never gets -40.

Peace out.

-N

the semicolon project

This pain is as real as cutting off your own arm. We need to be open to the signs of depression in ourselves and in those around us.

hpwritesblogs

FullSizeRender-1FullSizeRender Today I went to a tattoo artist, and for $60 I let a man with a giant Jesus-tattoo on his head ink a semi-colon onto my wrist where it will stay until the day I die. By now, enough people have started asking questions that it made sense for me to start talking, and talking about things that aren’t particularly easy.

We’ll start here: a semi-colon is a place in a sentence where the author has the decision to stop with a period, but chooses not to. A semi-colon is a reminder to pause and then keep going. 

In April I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. By the beginning of May I was popping anti-depressents every morning with a breakfast I could barely stomach. In June, I had to leave a job I’d wanted since I first set foot on this campus as an incoming freshmen because of my mental…

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Lot’s of words

I wrote in an earlier blog that I was having issues getting started on a new story, a contemporary romance/mystery and had gone back to an old manuscript and was working it up. Well…that worked out so well for me. I have been having huge fun with the old story, you know getting reacquainted with the people and rewriting it, that during the process words and ideas for the new story started to flow. Lot’s of words and I have been having so much fun.

I also heard from one of my beta readers for the story I finished and want to get published. I was told they really liked it! This is someone who doesn’t read the genre but liked what I had written. There were a few things that out were pointed out which were excellent suggestions and will be considered. Boy was I a happy girl!!

Record breaking heat for Tucson coming our way this week so I will be sequestered indoors. As I have said before I don’t do hot unless I can get wet. So 110 and near a pool I can tolerate. Humans who live where it snows for 3-4 months of the winter do the same thing as I do when it gets this hot. I just don’t go anywhere unless I have to.

I will be getting my puppy the first of August and I am so ready and excited. I am also trying to find a part time job that will force me out of the house and bring in some spare change. Anyone need a proof-reader? I am really good at proof reading. Let me know.

Back to the stories, they are calling my name!!

-N

Is a re-do a good idea?

As I have written earlier I have been working on a contemporary mystery/romance that’s taking me a while to construct. I have several pages of notes but it seems to have stalled. I watched a movie a couple of nights ago titles “Bag of Bones”. The main character is a writer who loses his wife who is also his muse. He is having a painful writers block. His agent is pressuring him to complete the next book. In frustration he pulls out his first manuscript that was never published and submits it.

Is it a good idea to revisit an old manuscript? I have one that I completed several years ago. I pulled it out and read through it, did a lot of editing and cutting, but before I put more time into it I wondered if this is a common issue with authors. After re-visiting this story I remembered how much fun the story was to me and I worked to be critical as I read it again.

My initial genre interest was historical romance, but I have since grown into other areas. The draw for me was the history. I’m a history nerd. My first finished manscript, which was started and completed after I had written the first story, is currently undergoing Beta readers critique. Researching the history is fascinating and really moves the plot along. Inserting my characters into history is my high. This old story I knew wasn’t fully complete, there was a lot to cull out of it but I was excited by the history and my people.

So my question is…do I go back to this story and hope the work will open my mind my new work? Do I walk away and leave it as a lesson learned? I know that I don’t want my work to be pigeonholed in one genre any more than I want to read only one genre.

What are others writers experience in this situation? I have a notebook full of plot ideas for multiple stories in multiple genre’s and I guess I’m trying to find the proper steps for progress.

I write every day whether it is blogging, plotting in my note book or putting words on “paper”. I need to know how do I triage when they each cry out for me to get them out and pay attention.  I would love to hear from others out there with ideas about my babies.

Is this what the mother of triplets goes through? Which baby gets fed first?

I covet your opinions.

-N

I’m hiding out again

Yes I’ve been hiding out, only talking to a few people by phone. It’s hot out and I don’t like it. My air conditioned house has been my hide-out. I’m thinking a lot and my mind is wandering all over the place. My dreams have been crazy, very busy with places and people, causing me to be very restless in my sleep.

My newest story is slowly forming on paper. I know who some of the people are and a little about their personalities. They are like new and interesting people you meet at a party and only have a few minutes to get acquainted before it’s time to leave. I have a couple of them well planted in my mind. The sound of their voices are clearer. Some of the relationships are materializing like cirrus clouds high in the jet stream.

I am starting to tease out their stories. Their backgrounds and needs are pushing through. But there are several who are only ghosts floating through my pen as I construct the diorama of this location. This story has been pounding into my brain the way a song lingers in your mind. Dialogue passes through and pictures of scenes, but they aren’t connected yet.

I’m looking for a mystery. One that is old enough the clues aren’t obvious. Any suggestions? Who is there? This can get messy when I don’t focus on what is already set in place.

What do you do when you are looking for the next step, the next phase or the next light bulb moment? I guess I retreat and retrench. I’m a bit muddled in my feelings and the next few days personally will need me to let this flow. My wine is good and my paper calls.

This story is bubbling just a few thoughts away.

Oh I will be getting a puppy. A beautiful German Shepherd female. Perhaps she will be my muse.

-N

This one is personal

The last few weeks have filled me with the strangest feelings.

I’ve spent time on my own as is usual when my husband is on shift. Normally he flies down for the two weeks off. Not this time. I waited anxiously for Chuck to drive all the way from North Dakota by himself towing the 5th wheel. My nerves were frazzled as I followed his trip and prayed for good weather. It took him almost three days but he arrived safely. No issues with the truck nor the trailer. We settled in for him to take it easy before he got to some projects he had.

My husband and I have lived in our neighborhood for over twenty years. We aren’t best buds with our neighbors but we know each other. We’ve watched the neighborhood kids grow up and move on. We let them know when we are going out of town. After so many years they know when things don’t look right.

Over the years there have only been a couple of homes that have been for sale. It’s pretty much the same folks who have lived here as long as we have.

But, there has been some tragedy in these past years. One neighbor lost her husband not long after we moved here. Mrs. Hadley was sweet lady who worked hard in her yard and had a tough little Yorkie I called “Godzilla.” Another neighbor lost her husband and only child in a fiery car cash several years ago. More recently another neighbor lost his son to overdose after attending a party his senior year of high school.

Last week I learned this same neighbor lost his life in a motorcycle accident. He loved riding his motorcycle. His wife was with him and she was seriously injured. They never wore helmets. She will take a long time to heal and already the neighbors are figuring out how to support this woman we know by name and by sight. I look forward to my chance be there for her.

This past weekend I was once again following Chuck’s travel plans. He had to make a side trip this time for his employer to Hobbs, NM to pick up a huge company owned BBQ grill. This thing is a big black beast and weighs over 7,000 lbs! It delayed his arrival but I hope he will be compensated for the extra miles and gas.

He got there safely and I am on my own again.  But that’s okay, I will do alright with this. It’s getting really hot here and I will soon become a hermit, hiding in the house in air conditioning.  I have to hang in there until the monsoon season starts and the storms come. At least it is diverting.

Cheers,

-N