Saturday, November 2, 2019

The Art of Listening (Suicide)

A reader writes of Æfintýri, ch 2-12: "I always thought Tess was a great mom who’d fought through so much to raise her daughter."

Tess IS a great mom, and she DOES fight so hard to raise her daughter... and she DOES see what an amazing daughter her daughter is.


This is a chapter of people not listening to each other. Tess refuses to listen to Siggi. Tess refuses to listen to Jada. She just can't hear that this monster has anything to say, nor can she hear anything about this monster.

Siggi is a murderer. Siggi ingratiated herself into their home. Siggi ruined her daughter's life.

And here Siggi is, all chummy with Jada, just like before. Just like right before all hell broke loose.

What can Siggi say to change that? She can't. What can poor, deluded ... AGAIN! ... Jada say now?


So Jada may as well just shut up.

Of course, Jada won't listen to her mother. She's come to terms with Siggi in her life, ... a little bit, ... made some peace with it, this uneasy truce and compromise, and here Mom is, being all uncompromising, CALLING THE COPS? and what happened?

Exactly what Siggi said what would happen.


But did Tess listen? No. Because she's RIGHT. So she called the cops and put them through hell, because she just. wouldn't. listen. to anything other than Mom-mode: ACTIVATE.

And Jada wouldn't listen. Not to Mom. Tess didn't call her 'stupid,' but that's all Jada could hear. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

And the stupid-demon swallowed her up, and there was nothing left of Jada, nothing left to her, except stupid.

And the knife.

Which also called her stupid.

This was such a hard chapter for me to write, so I had to remove myself from it, and it just wrote itself. It wrote itself so fast it was scary.

This chapter was all me. 100%. Because I was right there, with the knife in my hand, and me, screaming and crying, and our cat just looking at me, like it didn't know what to do.


I sighed.

I put the knife away.

And I went to bed.

Just like that.

Good things these are just stories, huh?

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Readin' and Writin' (no 'rithmetic)

Do you know what a writer does?

A writer doesn't write. That's when a writer is most self-aware.

"I'm not writing."

When a writer writes, the writer actually goes away, ... the good ones, that is. The writer disappears, and what remains are the words, being written.

Then, once written, a reader reads. Do you know what a reader does? It's so simple: being a reader, because you just read, and then you disappear into the words written, and all your troubles, cares, and worries disappear for that chapter, and you're there and you're more alive than you ever were, because you're there, in that moment, experiencing this with the characters.

A writer gives every last drop of themselves to the written word, so a reader can take it, take it all, and finally be in that blissful state of coming to be alive and who they really are, for just that one magic moment.



Wednesday, September 25, 2019

My Very First Story

My very first story was Bella and her friend Angela, and they were sealing wedding invitations for Angela's wedding, this, after Edward has just proposed to Bella, as well. Then Bella started crying, because she didn't know why Edward would want to marry her, so how can she keep him from running away again ('for her own good,' he said. ... Edward is an idiot)? And Angela's answer was to hug her friend as she cried.

"Bella's One Fear"

And I wrote that story, and I published it, and ... I got some good reviews on it. A one-pager.

And suddenly, I was no longer 'just a reader' ... I was a writer now, for real, too!

Wow! Just wow!

Albert Einstein said: "Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish on it's tree-climbing ability, that's what it is to you, and that's what it becomes."

That's me.

Now you. You have stories in your heart. Take your funny, yummy, happy stories, and run with them. Lock them away in your heart, and make them yours, yours, so that nobody can take them away from you.


Take your stories, all of them, one by one, and ... play with them, have fun, have tears, have adventures!

And one day, you will begin to touch hearts, and save lives.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

"How's the writing coming along?"

Okay, I'm gonna vent a little*

* big, long, and ... long

about writing.

This chapter effing sucks. I can't start it, and I can't start starting it? But you know what really sucks? Have you seen the movie 'The Shining'? You know what's the worst thing to ask a writer? 'How's the writing coming along?'

"How's the writing coming along?"

Because there's only two(hundred and fifty-six thousand) answers.

  • one: It's already published. How do you like it?
  • two: It's not published, and do you wanna know why it's not published? Glad you asked, because it effing sucks and I hate myself, and want to put out my eyes and throw myself into a meat-grinder, feet first, so I'll die in the worst possible agonizing pain, and that will be a huge relief to what I'm experiencing now with you asking: "How's the writing coming along?"

Because there're only two possible answers to that question.

Dear reader, do you even put yourself in my position when you ask this? Nope, not even a little tiny bit, because if you did, you'd back the eff off and thank God that a story that's developed over two years, which means one chapter a month and you're asking for a chapter how many days after the last one was published?

Get me?


But when you publish your first WIP and get a reader so involved in your story that you get a PM from them saying: "Hey, love your work, ... when's the next chapter coming?"

Then you'll get it.

THEN you'll be sorry. And grovel. And say to yourself: "SELF!" Because that's what you'll say to yourself when you're talking to yourself [writers do this: talk to themselves, and write about talking to themselves]. "SELF!" you'll say, "geophf was right! Why can't these readers just give me space to contemplate my navel, and to do anything but write that next chap, which I know, if I just grit my teeth and write the words, my readers will love, but will I? No! I'll say to myself: 'SELF' [so now we're two levels deep in the self-talk ... still with me?] 'I have to get this just right!' But I know what I'm really doing is just stalling, and that's just torture for a writer, and I have to get away from the keyboard, but then effing laptop does an effing OS software update for an hour when I was just settling in to write, and I get a PM from my number one fan asking for how's my writing going, when I just want to throw my laptop with my 1 hour software update out the window ... of the Empire State Building?'"


So, how my writing going?

Is it published yet? No. So you know exactly how my writing's going. It's going to hell faster than Satan sprayed with Holy Water. That's how it's going.

So, are you now glad to know how my writing's going? Why the EFF do you even ask a writer how's it going? Why don't you just take a knife and stab me in the stomach? Because that'll hurt less. Okay?

"How's the writing coming along?"
"Oh, it's coming along fine. How are you?"
"So, when can we expect to read that next chap?"
"Lovely weather we're having today."

Do you even read what every single writer in the world says about writing?

"Writing is fun and easy and I like it so much."


Or did you expect me to say that? You asked me that question so I'd say: "Good, good, ... and you?"

"leiked the chap update son"


You know what's the worst thing about writing? Beside everything? Is when you've written a good chapter. Why? Because you have to follow that up with something. How can you follow up a good chapter with a good chapter, when the first good chapter took everything out of you? Okay, so now I'm drained. I guess I can try to wring some water out of the rock, or blood from this stone, because that's about all I've got left.

But then, I have to do something, don't I, because what's worse than writing (remember the meat-grinder?) (which is better than writing?)? Not writing.

Absolute. effing. torture.

But no. Not only am I not writing, but I now get to answer "How's it coming along?" and pretend like I'm not an utter failure because I can't even write the word 'the' without hating it and hating myself.

But it's coming along great. Just ... great.

Writers hate themselves more than they hate everybody else in the world, which is a lot, because they can't write when OTHER PEOPLE want to say: "Hey, how's it going?" when it's going sucky. AND interrupt their writing, ... which they're not doing, so they just SCREAM at OTHER PEOPLE to LEAVE THEM THE EFF ALONE instead of blaming the real loser here, themselves, and actually doing what will make them happy, which is to actually write the thing.

But no.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Pray for Drought

So, this just happened: dénoument.

In the most recent chapter (chapter 14, "Forgiveness") of the Æfintýri, book II, Jada's mom has forgiven both Siggi and Jada for their various sins against her, so, we've come to completion for Jada's mom: she can now let go of a lot of her anger, and, instead of being an obstacle to both Jada and to Siggi, she can, well, she can do whatever, because this conflict is now done.

Good, right?

Not for me as the writer, because that means that everything is done and that anything can happen.

Okay, no problem: next chapter. Jada's still at the hospital and things are now "all better" for everybody. Yay! Happy-ending dénoument.

But there's a problem now: I go to start chapter 15 and ...

... and nothing. Not word one comes out onto the page. What to do? Massive panic? Yup. At the disco? Even better!

Okay, so, besides having a massive panic attack at the disco, what are some things that I do when the writers' block hits me?

  1. Tell myself not to beat myself up, ... as I'm beating myself up. This is the most important rule for me. Why? Well, for sure, I'm going to go into the 'beat myself up'-phase, but – hey! – I've been here before. In fact, I spent one three-year period in writers' block. You think you have writers' block? Let me tell you about my writers' block! But beating myself up only causes the downward spiral, and the downward spiral is no fun and doesn't accomplish getting the words on to the page. Okay, so I have writers' block. Okay. So what? Who cares? Some people do ("geophf, next chapter, please,") but they'll live or they won't, just like me.
  2. Don't write. Okay, every author everywhere says, "You've got writers' block? Great! Get to writing!" I say, okay, fine, be that way, and get to writing, if that works for you, but here's what worked for me: I took the rest of the day off, I went to bed, and slept on it. The next morning (this morning), I had the next chapter in my head. Other things that work for me:
    • read: read some awesomely written work, and become inspired
    • watch: watch a movie that you can taste how well the writing of it was, and become inspired
    • walk: and smell the flowers, and become inspired
    • shop, at the mall: people-watch, listen in on one conversation, and become inspired
  3. Be grateful. What does "writers' block" mean ... literally!? (I win) (Confucius say: "He who says 'literally!' and in italics wins). "writers' block" means (literally!) that you're trying to write something, and you can't. Let's break that statement down:
    • You're trying to write something. Okay, stop right there. How many people are trying to write something. A lot, right? How many people are writing something? A very, very few. You've got writers' block because you've written something already, and now you're stuck. Well, pilgrim: you've written something already. You've just separated yourself out to the 1% of the world that has written something. Be grateful that God gave you this gift made especially for you: you've written something.
    • ... but you can't. Okay, fine. You can't write a single d-mn word. You are stuck. Be grateful. "God, I'm trying to write something, and I can't. Bless you, Lord!" God is tryna tell you sumthin', pilgrim! God is telling you this: "not now," or "overcome this," or, in my case: "I've got something so much better for you that what you want to write." Let's face it, writers' block is you could write something – anything! – that you know is going to be el crapola now, or you could just wait a minute, or day, or, in my case, three years, and write something so much better. Now, Benjamin Franklin says: "I'll take the speckled ax now" instead of the perfect ax at four times the cost, so balance what the proper waiting time is. What is the proper waiting time? Well, from my experience, waiting three years, or in the case of one PhD student, seven years, is way, ... way, way, way, WAAAAAAYYYY too long. Give yourself a day. Nothing still? Give yourself another day, but in this other day, do something different. The first day you moped? No results? So maybe try something from 2. above and see what inspiration percolates for you. And also be grateful. Thank God you have the ability to write and you have something to say that will touch hearts, then listen to see what God has to say to you to direct what you have to write.
Because you do have to write. You are a writer, and a writer writes the same as a human being breathes: to live. Writing is your life, but, more importantly: your writing gives life and hope and joy and a shared moment between you and your readers.

So, writers' block? Will it stop you, as it has stopped me? Sure. But it's there to remind you what you are: a writer, and a writer writes, and in writing, saves that one person, that one reader, who needed to read what you wrote today.

Friday, July 19, 2019


What to do when you must write that tough scene?

Jada's mom has just come home after a long shift at INOVA to find Siggi, the mass murderer, in her house, after she told Jada never to see Siggi again, and to call the cops if she did.

Now this.

I'm not good with confrontation, but who is?

This is the writer's life. You have conflict: it must resolve or it must escalate, or everybody pretends to ignore the white elephant in the room.

But you, the writer, aren't writing the book to shy away from the hard choices. You, the writer, have to face them, then write them.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Why I Use, and why you should, too.

Writing is hard, and lonely, and disappointing, and gut-wrenching.


This site,, gives me the gumption (or the 'gumbo') to write every day, with


... with 2. streaks and timing, because I like to streak every now and then ...


with 3. feeling and concerns break-down and composition in the writing
... cuz muh writin's all 'bout teh feelz

with 4. Mindset whilst writing and time orientation

and with 5. word clouds (which you don't get to see)

And what does this all give me? It tells me where my writing is focused, and if I like that focus, I write more to that, but if I want to change my focus, I see where I am, and, as I change my writing, I see the change tracked