The Long and Winding Road…Do you need GPS?

Do you need a map or is your compass all you need?

I love road trips. I don’t know about you, but with me, I am never in a hurry. Hurry equals anxiety which I don’t need. What does a road trip look like for you?

I have a rough idea of where I need to end up around dark thirty. I don’t like driving at night, so I try to be situated in the vicinity of where I will spend the night before evening tea.
The road less traveled generally interests me as that is where you will find the small shops that time has almost forgotten. Since the box stores had all but killed the mom and pop shops, I look for them when I travel. Once there you will usually find “Mom and Pop!”

Those brave souls that dare to fight the box stores or the mega marts are a dying breed. I search them out and try hard to purchase something from them. Yes, it is usually overpriced, and of course, if it is food, it is probably not as fresh as I could get off the main drag. Still, the moms and pops have a story to tell.
Usually, if you are at a mega-mart, you will not find the stories there as their bosses will not be happy if they take a moment to chat. I do chat. I will learn their name, and try to learn something about them. Before I go, it is my goal to leave them with a smile.

Those that might be with me are amazed at how those people’s demeanor change when I am working magic on them. It is my magic, and no it is not witchcraft. I like names. I try to put a personality with a name, and I can only do that if I engage them. You have no doubt been somewhere in some line and the person checking folks out is surly or truculent while watching the clock until their break or time to go home. Folks that is depressing.
Those folks I try a little harder to leave a smile on them. Smiles are contagious you see. If I can get him or her to smile the next person in line might catch their smile and just maybe it will find its way to others who need one.
When you toss a pebble in a pond of water, the waves radiate away from it until the energy from the stone has dissipated entirely. If you can make an impact on the person behind the counter just how many others will see that impact and they themselves might be impacted?
That is the brilliance of comedians. Bob Hope, one of the all-time greats, sacrificed much of his life touring with the USO bringing joy and happiness to soldiers who were often in harm’s way or in grim situations. Before comedians became activist, they were delightful to watch. Now they spread hate and discontent.
The road we are on often has a fork.
Just like a smile is contagious so is hate. During the Christmas season when things are crazy how many times have you seen shoppers take out their frustrations on the person behind the counter?
That too gets passed down the line.
The twists and turns in life often take us by surprise, and that is ok. It is how we handle those revelations which define our character or who we are.
Yes, the long and winding road is a metaphor for life, and sometimes we need a GPS.
“Make a legal U-turn when possible!”
What does it take for you to realize that the path your on is not the right one?
My life often is fraught with “recalculating.”
As an author, our lives are different than most. We spend a lot of time alone with our thoughts. If we are inspired at three in the morning, we get up and write. A fun story for us may not be a best seller. Just maybe people don’t really want to read about the things that delight us.
“Veer right in 100 yards.”
Authors must be marketing gurus if they don’t have an agent. Even if they do have one, who is your agent? Do they know what they are talking about?
My novels are selling worldwide, and that makes me happy. I still have a day job because the royalty payments are just like those few good shots in golf that keep you coming back for more frustration.

  • Robyn Williams did a brilliant skit on golf which I still remember. The truth is you get a few good shots that keep you coming back to the course to do it again and again. Why do it?
    • I enjoy the outing.
    • I enjoy the fresh air and comradery with friends and business associates.
    • More business is transacted on the golf course than the boardroom.
    • Writing is that way too, I enjoy what I do.
    • I enjoy telling a story.
    • I love reading what I wrote and making it better.
    • I love the art of marketing what I write. What do I need to say about this story that will have people willing to download it?

Price is a small factor in the general scheme of things.

When the next release of 50 shades or Harry Potter were released, people did not care that it was $15, or whatever the price was. They had to know what happened next!

My Hole In time series was like that on Kindle Unlimited. Free with Prime and people read it and seemed to enjoy it. Would they have read it if it were not free?

Until I hit that magical place where the GPS tells me that I have reached my destination, I will continue to plug away. Thankfully I love what I write so at least one person will be thrilled when the next book is finished.
What about you? Where are you headed? Where does your road lead? Are you happy with your life? Are you an aspiring writer or artist? Perhaps you are a musician. What in your life makes you look forward to tomorrow?
I invite you to saddle up and ride with me as I travel the road less traveled. I might in fact cut across an open prairie, find a comfortable place and camp out under the stars.

Our ancestors did this, can you?
When I think of what their life was like without a smartphone or phone for that matter. To be isolated on a thousand acres of land where a trip to the store was an all-day affair. Can you imagine?

What if families actually talked with one another without the aid of facebook or SMS?

Much Love -TW

Come Away With Me…

Yes, it is that easy to take a trip to another galaxy and never leave your comfy reading place!

I love Norah Jones, well I love her music… I have no idea what kind of person she is but if her music is any indication of her soul, I would love to know her.

I was thinking of this as I was working on a new novel this evening.

While music resonates with my soul and who I am, my words, thoughts, and imagery are what I offer to you the reader.

As I take you on that mountaintop in Under Roswell or that fantasy in deep space or under the ocean, I invite you to come away with me.

Together we shall travel the depths of the oceans or the skies miles above them.  We can learn some secrets of the universe or what lies beneath the sea in Ghost Signal from Colorado Springs.

So come away with me through these novels that I have created.

I try not to let the news of the day affect me or my creative style, but it often does.  I see it time and time again as I witness the sheer lunacy of those in charge and the crazies out there rebelling in destructive ways.  Movies and novels are a form of escapism, so I offer you a pathway out of the trials and tribulation of life or your particular rut.  Come away with me through my words as we travel together saving a race of beings from their short-sightedness.  Might we learn something from them that we can use in our world?  Come away, and let’s find out!

I received an e-mail asking me if I really meant it when I signed my writings with “Much Love?”

“Of course I do!”

The followers here on WordPress and of course twitter and most importantly the base of readers building worldwide… They have come away with me.  What about you?

Out of thirty novels, certainly, you can find one that interests you.  Take a journey with me through Scotland in the Girl Nextdoor. This book is full of magic!

Discover that all life has meaning in the Hole in Time series.

Come away with me as we learn that love comes in many shapes and sizes.  Diamond Joe is probably my most romantic novel where part of me is in that book. I love reading it again and again as I found parts of myself, my soul within those words. I have put it back on sale through the spring for less than a cup of coffee from Starbucks.

Come away with me and listen to the seabirds calling to you too.  There is magic in their cries, can you hear it?  Come, lets listen together…

From adventure to Sci-Fi to something slightly tawdry I have tried my hand at it.  I did it to attract the many different readers out there that might want to come away with me for a bit.  Most of the comments from readers are food for my soul, and I much appreciate them and you.

As time permits, do Come Away with Me… I won’t sing you a song but, I will tell you a bedtime story, or I will entertain you on a rainy day where a comfy chair and hot tea awaits you on our journey to somewhere.

If you are so moved, please invite your readers or friends to come away with us, as we discover what lies behind that wormhole, or perhaps through that door.

Much Love -TW

Peace Through Strength. Are Guns really the issue?

I was taken aback by this picture. I want to be somewhat controversial on this topic.

As a society, we have stopped thinking outside the box.  In fact, it would seem that knee-jerk reactions are all the rage.

This picture and others like it were sparked by the Parkland shooting.

  • Guns are evil. All firearms must be confiscated.
  • Ooops knives are evil, all knives must be confiscated.
  • Wait, trucks are evil nobody needs to drive a car.
  • Ummm Rocks are evil we should grind them all into powder
  • Err Ummm clubs are evil nobody needs a club.

The simple facts are that people can be evil so that is where we must begin.

I would have my students on day one of the class write their obituary.  If you died tomorrow what would be on your tombstone?  Why not write a will?  Why not have a sense of reality thrust in your safety space world?  You, my friends, are the future.  Why not get a dose of reality?

Here is a dose of reality my pets.  13,206,482 people voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary.  Why is that enlightening?

Bernie Sanders is a died in the wool socialist. This means that Thirteen Million Two hundred and six thousand four hundred and eighty-two people have no idea what socialism is.

In a nutshell, Socialism is Shared Misery!

Why is that fact germane to our discussion today?

Anyone who voted for this clown is either ignorant as a stump, has the IQ of a houseplant, or is so filled with hate that they would rather see the country fail than accept the will of the voters or…they are Russian trolls trying to destroy the country from within.

There can be no equivocation on this.  If you are one of these 13 plus million people, please sit the hell down with a good history book and learn why Communism is a bad thing!  Pick up a book on Stalin for starters.

I spoke with a college student when the primaries were happening.  She told me she was voting for Bernie.

“Ok, glad that you are voting can you tell me why Bernie?”

“I like his message.”

“What about his message do you like?”

“He is for the little people.”

“Who are the little people and why do you say that?”

“He wants everyone to have free healthcare and free college.”

“Umm dear, that is socialism, we are a capitalist society, not a communistic one.  Do you know what socialism is?”

“Um, wait let me look it up.”

“Go ahead, I will wait.”

Pulls out smartphone “cost $1000” and googles Socialism.

The look on her face was fascinating to watch as this is the first time she had ever bothered to learn what it was.  College grad from a liberal arts college and had no clue what I was talking about.

Finally, she looks at me in the face and said. “We just want the good parts of that, socialism stuff.”

“Darling, there are no good parts of socialism.  The elite run the country, and they take from everyone until there is no more to take, and then everyone but them starves.”

“That is not true, you just don’t like Bernie.”

“It is true, and I do like him.  He is delusional, but I think he is entertaining and he might mean well, but I doubt it.”

The proof of his meaning well or not was made clear after Hillary rigged the election. His true self appeared when he allowed himself to be bribed with aircraft and houses to campaign for Hillary.  His ethics were up for sale.  That is the problem with most power brokers and politicians, they all have a price!

“Now let’s go back to the “I should be writing my essay and not my will.”

The problems today are not the weapons of choice, but the motives and the mental health of the perpetrators.

You, the essay writer, your generation spends more time on screens and video games than on writing essays.  They certainly spend more time on texting and Facebook than learning history. Your level of ignorance on display; only highlights the facts that our education system is failing you, or you are willfully stupid.

When I see or read about people being triggered by history, I cannot help but wonder how much longer this country and others like it will be free.  This outspoken mouthpiece for CNN and other media sources looking for ratings at the expense of any tragedy is also willfully stupid or under the control of the media who has an agenda.

You will actually need to go to the library and pick up books on history as the internet is malleable.  When Wikipedia is the go-to source for anything information wise, they could write anything that they wanted.

Case in point I was in a bookstore the other day.  There was this massive section on WARS.  Looking at all the different titles and all of the histories in that section on how men kill one another over land or things or merely control of the masses, I was amazed at just how willfully stupid we are as humans!

Want some enlightenment, read about the early church.

  • Power hungry.
  • Were the spiritual leader.
  • Were the schools.
  • Were the government.

The early church was the power broker of the day.  If you dared to have an opinion that was not in lock step with theirs you might very well be killed.  You were not allowed to read or have a copy of the bible.  An ignorant society is much easier to control than one that is intelligent and can think for itself.

During the days of slavery, it was illegal to teach a slave to read.  Why?

Yes, we are using the Socratic method of teaching here.  Think about it.

Multi-generations of wars and fighting with one another over just about anything and everything, you think that someone would have had more than a few neurons firing and figured out that diplomacy might work better than knives or trebuchets or swords, clubs, rocks and yes guns and cannons and other missiles and even poison gas.

In my novel Under Roswell, I talk about not letting the ship fall into any governments hands as they would undoubtedly use its technology to kill others.  When we take each new discovery and figure out a way to weaponize it, you can quickly discern that it is not the gun or knife, but the heart of man.

My friend with the sign, pick up a damned book and learn why we have so many nukes pointed at our enemies, and why they have so many aimed at us. Peace through strength!

You can take away the guns and knives and trucks and cars and clubs but, as long as man has free will and he has motivation he will find a way to kill.  Early man of 6 million plus years ago ate each other.  Cannibals still exist in parts of the world today.  Thier motive for killing is they are hungry.  What will the motive be for the next mass murderer? He or she was triggered by some statue?

Laws only affect those that obey them.  I know very few criminals who would look at that sign on your home or business that says Gun Free Zone and turn around if they intended to come in and do some nefarious act.

Much Love -TW

Character development   Tom and Susan

Will I connect with your characters? Will others?

I find it fascinating that the creative juices seem to rest, after finishing a manuscript.

Sometimes I think it is like grieving as the characters that you created have met with the definitive “The End”

What are your characters up to?

It takes a long time to develop each character.  I have a page dedicated to characters places and events that I update as the story progresses.

An example might be Tom and Susan.

Tom is tall, sandy colored hair, blue eyes, and a hint of five o clock shadow.

Susan is short, busty, with auburn hair and wears clothes that are too small for her as she will not admit that she is chubby. Her brown eyes are large and seem to see into your soul.

Now those are two characters that I just created on the fly.

  • Where do we go with Tom?
  • What does he do for a living?
  • Is he smart or is he more a jock, not that a jock cannot be smart.
  • Is he white collar or blue collar?
  • Factory or office worker?
  • He puts up with his wife’s flaws, she still wears clothes that are too small, so he does not intervene.  Does she rule the roost?
  • Is he afraid of her?
  • Does he love her too much to hurt her feelings?
  • Is Susan insecure?
  • Is she overconfident?
  • Is she a person of Walmart?
  • Do they have kids and is that baby fat?
  • Where do they live?
  • Is it hot or cold most of the year?
  • Is it humid or dry?
  • Where they live can tell a lot about their political beliefs, does that play into your story?
  • While analysis to paralysis is always possible some backstory for your characters is helpful if nothing else than for you to write the story.

A hint for you is something that I do.

When I create characters, I generally use the personage of someone that I met or know that has charisma.  For a non-player supporting actor part, I can create them out of my head.

There are times I might borrow a movie star from some movie that I liked them in.

Your characters make your story.  You can have the best plot going, but if I as a reader cannot connect with them, I will not read your book.

One of the tricks EL James used in 50 shades is the way you connected with the leading lady.  That little voice in her head that shared what she was thinking or feeling.  We came to know and connect with her.

I tried that in my latest novel Kitties Titties & Winks.  See what you think.

Follow me, to keep up with what is going on in my life as I press forward on another novel.

Much Love- TW

Lost In Space II

Would you trust Dr. Smith?

Ok, I did it, I binged watched the season with my company. This is the most TV I have watched in twelve months. The cats in my lap made it bearable.
I still love the characters. I like how they are being developed.
The writing is still too predictable…There were no surprises for me as I knew what I would do as a writer.

  • Have you watched it?
  • Were there any surprises for you?

Breaking the laws of physics with the alien thing is a great way to invent your “flux capacitor.”
I actually try to stay within the confines of physics so the plot will be more interesting to those who are nerdy enough to understand that sort of thing.
Until season II is released I guess we can sit back and pontificate on where they will go with this story.

  • I give high marks to the special effects crew.
  • Again I love the characters.

If you have Netflix go and watch it and tell me what you think.

Much Love -TW

Lost In Space, and other fun things.

“If you cannot score with them sober what in the world makes you think that you can when you are drunk?”  

 

As many of you know, I don’t watch TV.  I have company at the moment which is the nightmare of a writer.  We cannot hold up in our lair with house guests. We must be fully engaged in the entertaining process, and that includes the domestic “stuff” that goes along with it.

What to do?  How do I maximize the use of my time while still doing the entertaining thing?

Dinner out, got that covered.  Shopping, ok I can do that.  There is nothing I need but remember what I said about looking for fodder for your characters or story.  Always maximize your time without being rude.

Take them to dinner at a place where there might be interesting clientele.  I find it entertaining to take people to places where others tend to drink a little too much.   Is it wrong to derive pleasure from those who try to score with people way out of their class once they have imbibed enough liquid courage?  I know, it is a weakness.

“If you cannot score with them sober, what in the world makes you think that you can when you are drunk?”

Gentlemen, ladies are not the only people who get better looking at closing time, buy a girl a drink or two…   I digress….

Shop where there might be people who would be fun to watch.  I love watching couples shop.  “Honey, do I look fat in this dress?”  “Woman, how do you expect him to answer you?  Do you want your husband or mate to become a proficient liar?”

“Don’t ask him stupid questions.”

“If you have to ask you are probably fat.”

Embrace your body no matter what type is and love it.  How do you expect him to love you if you don’t love you?

Now we get to the time suck part of entertaining company…what to do?

TV, ok if I must, what would we all like… I know, how about something science fiction?

I cut my teeth on science fiction.  I loved the original lost in space and the first Star Trek.  It was Stargate Universe that prompted me to try my hand at fan fiction.

After I figured out that I could do this, I went on to write Under Roswell.

NetFlix has released a new version of Lost In Space.  I love the twist.

“Writers you are too predictable and….you need to bone up on physics.”

I like the way that they incorporate the backstory into the plot.

I think if they stick with the Gilligan’s Island in space theme, it will lose my interests quickly.  Dr. Smith was way too predictable and I did not care for that as well.

I very much like the characters. Have I ever mentioned that I like strong women?  Damn, right I have about a million times.

I am not going to ruin it for those of you who might watch it.  I will not spoil it for you with the technical fopaux’s, nor will I tell you what the writers are thinking.

As a writer, I can see the path and so far it is heading on the path that I would write.  Do non-writers see the future too?

We watched the first three episodes which were about all the TV I could take.

If you are like me and a writer watch it like you are disassembling a watch.  Pause it if necessary and think about what the writers are doing.  If you are going to sit in front of the TV why not learn from it while “enjoying it?”

To me, the bloopers were in your face.

That is the difference between a high budget film and one that is not.  Still, Netflix is breaking new ground, and I applaud them for doing so.  I wish they would buy the rights to Stargate Universe and pull it out of mothballs!

“Somewhere I have several chapters if you want them…”

I like the juxtaposition of good and evil, so I will stick with it a little bit longer and see where we go.

 

I hope that you who follow me get something out of my input and critic.

The pearls I am casting out on writing tips you might also enjoy.

 

Much Love  -TW

 

Fodder for Writers.. Where do ideas come from?

Are you on the lookout for story ideas?

 

 

The last few days I have been talking about character development.  How do you come up with who your character is?

I am a people person!  I used to travel a great deal!  So much so that when the TSA came about and spoilt it for me, I was upset.  No, I am not on any no-fly list …yet…., they just make traveling such a pain in the ass!

I have this wonderful sense of humor.  When the doctors are poking me, or the mechanic tells me that I need this or that I manage to make a joke of it and laugh.  Life is too short to cry over that which you cannot control.

Did you know that you cannot joke with those “TSA people?”

I tried, nope, not a good idea.  To work as a TSA agent, they must have had their sense of humor surgically removed.  My gut feeling is they have this incredible god complex going on.

So here is a free idea for the TSA…Ok, ready….Have an agent there with a sense of humor who jokes or is nice to the people in line waiting to be hassled by your version of the SS.  Can you imagine someone with a sense of humor making nice to the passengers easing their stress levels?

Gadz, what if people actually laughed while taking off their shoes, belts, emptying their pockets and being virtually stripped searched?

I know that is thinking outside the box, but hey, that is what you get with a thinking person and not a government automaton.

And far be it from me to tell you how to do your jobs but, you could use this same person to screen passengers who are not acting right.  A little incognito profiling.  If you were smart, you could even have those friendly people with the stress relief dogs be those agents… I know the stuff of novels… Again, out of the box thinking…buy me a drink next time you feel me up, and I will give you some more thoughts!

I deal with stressful situations with humor.  Flying today is a stressful situation.  Get there early, give up all of your rights once you enter the “secure area” and be treated like shit until you leave the “secured area.”

I do not think that is an exaggerating at all. Travelers still need a bill of rights, and as of yet, it does not exists.

In this country, the USA, we just did not have the issues until 911 and the infamous shoe bomber and then the candidate for the Darwin award, the underwear bomber.  This guy had to have the IQ of a plant to pull that one off.  In this country, we have surrendered our rights to privacy for safety with the caveat being, that now we have neither.

Our typical security was walk through a magnetometer that often was not switched on, or was not set very high.  I used to get through it usually without emptying my pockets or removing jewelry. Today you might as well be naked as I think it picks up the fillings in your teeth.

My last trip through the infamous porn scanners, I could not lift my left arm up as high as they wanted me to, and the bitch yelled at me.  I had a frozen shoulder FFS, and she did not give a crap! Because I could not do the spread eagle, hands up don’t shoot pose perfectly, I got the hands all over my body until they met resistance!

Someone owes me a drink, or a goodnight kiss, just saying!

What do you think would have happened if I would have yelled back at her?  I am not a mean-spirited person, but I must tell you words that rhymed with “Duck” were right on the tip of my tongue.  This bitch must have been a holdover from the SS, or a love child from Hitler’s third mistress six times removed.

Folks, we can bitch about the injustices in life, or they can become fodder for your next adventure.

My novels are adventures.  In The Girl Nextdoor, I introduce that term, and I love that story.  It is a rags to riches story that is slightly naughty and again a lesbian story of romance.  Magic from Scotland plays into the mix making this story fun for anyone who might read it.

Truth told; life is an adventure.  When life kicks you around, kick back and write about it!

I want to write a story that is so out of character for me.  I want to write a story where my main character is like this mob boss who takes shit from nobody!  The blond sister who was just rude for the sake of being rude would not survive this story.  Or if she did, she might be made to suffer at the hands of some large man who had a thing for mean bitches.

I can just see her tethered in such a way with his hands on her hair pulling it back…oh, baby!  I feel better already!  Perhaps I need to go to work for the TSA….maybe not….

My problem is that I am a lover of folks and I even made an excuse for her in my mind. When I left, I told her to try and have a nice rest of the day.  It was better than to say to her to go Eff herself!   That she might have enjoyed… I most certainly would have missed my flight and been strip-searched and …well …hmmmm ….do you think….never mind….

She is a character in one of my novels, and I am not telling you which one.  You will have to find her if you are interested.

I did not get her name, and I usually make a point to get people’s names who impress me one way or the other.  Friend or foe I can channel them and then I can have my way with them …. LOL…

Did someone make an impression on you?

If your name is Victoria, please forgive this next question.  Why is it that people named Vickie or Victoria seem to be, more likely as not, to be a total vacuous bitch?  Is it just me?

Next time we meet, we can talk about names.

Check out my novels and assist an independent author.

Do you have an airport story to tell?

Does someone owe you a drink?

 

Much Love -TW