Posted in Writing

High Winds

High winds blew all of the leaves off my backyard trees in one swoop night. They were blown bare, which leads me to my next observation. As they stand there, a statement is being made by them in their own way. “Winter is coming, and we’re ready to go the distance.” In the spring, of course, they come back to life and grow to their fullest once more.

As writers, sometimes life blows in and knocks us down in one swoop. Whether it’s family issues, living issues, medical issues, writer’s block, a review your not happy with, or your motivation just isn’t there. Know this: set backs are temporary. There will be a Spring of sorts coming your way, and you will flourish again. Don’t allow the winds of life to knock you down and keep you down. Spring back to life.

Posted in Poetry

Weather’s War by L. M. Montes

The rising sun kissed the horizon
peeking shyly above the edge of Earth,
as it climbs in steady gait,
beaming arms of light ready themselves
to slice through the day.

Clouds compete,
and waft across the sun,
arresting light till the day is done.

Then in gusts wind blows its breath,
and rescues sun’s beams glory light.

On and on this fight is fought,
until the elements blame and gust,
not caring who below it harms,
as long as all get what they want.

Posted in plot/story

Developing Story Ideas

Steps to developing your story ideas don’t have to be difficult. Here are some ways to do this.

Create a Character

Describe his/her physical attributes, personality, their likes and dislikes. You can include their race and ethnicity. What is their job? What other details about them are there?

Identify Your Character’s Desire

What is it specifically that drives your character into action?

Choose a Resistance

What or who will stand in your character’s way?

The Change

Decide on how your character will grow throughout the story.

Captivating Settings

What is going on in and around your character’s world?


Putting it all together

When you first start your story idea, the above will work as a guideline. Jot down some ideas in a journal or notebook for each of the above areas to get yourself started. Then go back and develop each area in more detail. Continue this process until you have enough details written in each of the above areas to bein your story. However, when you begin writing your story will be up to you. Everybody is different. You may not need many details to start, but others will.

Posted in Fiction

The Keychain (Part IV)

“Well,” said Stella, before I throw any ideas out there, are there any rules to using this gemstone?”

“Rules?” asked the man. His brows furrowed, not quite understanding.

“You know. Things like, are there any rules against the types of things one can change? For example, I changed that starfish to a seashell. But what if I wanted to changed something bigger than that, something much much bigger. And do I have control as to what I change said object into? Or is it a random process?”

“Ah ha! No. There are no rules. But…”

“Wonderful!” exclaimed Stella not giving the man time to finish. “Stay right here. I’ll be back in a bit.”

The man started to speak, but Stella ran off before he could get any words out. He faced the water and watched the waves roll over the sandy shore. To no one he said, “Now I know I told her I can’t be more than ten feet away from the gemstone.” He shook his head as he vanished and reappeared in the back seat of her car.

Stella glanced in her rearview mirror and saw the man smiling back at her. She jumped and gasped, jerked her head around to see he was actually there then jerked it forward again. “What are you doing here? How did you…?”

“How soon we forget, miss. I can’t be more then ten…”

She finished his sentence for him. “Yeah, yeah. Sorry. I forgot.”

“Where are you going?” asked the man. “And what are you going to do once you get there?”

“Work. And none of your business.”

“But there is something you should know…”

Again she cut him off. “Look, I don’t need any help. I got this whole change thing. I’ll be just fine,” replied Stella.

“Ok.” The man smiled. Under his breath he said, “But you might be sorry.”

“What was that?” asked Stella.

“Hm? Oh. Nothing.”

Ten minutes later she pulled into the parking lot of the home improvement store she worked at. A few minutes later she was walking down the main aisle and glancing down each side aisle looking for the two nasty ladies she worked with. Just as she was about to walk past aisle ten, they both turned down that aisle at the other end. Stella halted her step, turned down the aisle, and made a b-line straight toward them.

“Ladies,” said Stella with a smile.

Both ladies turned to her and gave her lazy response in return. “Oh, hi. Isn’t it your day off, Stella?”

“Yes. But there is something I wanted to show you. I found it at the beach.”

“Seriously?” asked lady one. “You came all the way over here to show us something? Why couldn’t you have waited until tomorrow when you come to work? It makes no sense.”

Stella was going to enjoy this. Instead of responding to the lady’s comment, she took out the gemstone hanging from the keychain, held it up, and caught the glint of the light.

The man stood ten feet behind her and watched the scene unfold.

The gemstone sparkled and threw out beams of light toward the two ladies. Stella thought of two rags, and the two ladies each changed into a rag. Stella chuckled, picked up each rag, and held it in front of her next to the gemstone. Then something unexpected happened. The gemstone grew to a size much larger than herself and a tint of blue appeared across her vision. The two rags dropped from her hand in the process and landed back on the floor. She turned her attention in all directions and spied the man behind her, but he was huge, much taller now. “What…what happened?”

The man bent down and picked up the keychain. The royal blue gemstone swung this way and that, and inside of it Stella sat in her new environment. “I tried to tell you. But you wouldn’t listen. You can’t change a human. Doing so will suck you into the gemstone and free me. He put it in his pocket. The two rags on the floor changed back into the two ladies. The man bowed before them. “Ladies? You have a good day.” He walked away to begin day one of his new found freedom.

(The End)

Posted in Fiction

The Keychain (Part III)

Stella gave the man a blank stare and blinked three times. If she didn’t know any better, she could have sworn she heard him say the gemstone hanging from the keychain is his home. Rather than give him a response, she backed away several steps, turned on her heal, and ran down the beach in the opposite direction. After a good five minutes, her lungs hurt, so she stopped and bent over. Her heart hammered as her adrenaline continued to fuel the rush of blood through here system.

She stood up and intertwined her finger behind her head, hoping that would calm her breathing. Aloud to no one she said, “Damn, I really need to work out more.”

“Yes, you do,” said the man.

Stella gasped and turned to see the same man from before. “How? How did you…? But I…”

“You what? Thought you left me up the beach? Not likely. As I said before, that gemstone you are carrying is my home. You can think of me as a genie in a bottle but not really. I don’t grant wishes.”

“How were you able to follow me?” asked Stella. She didn’t care about the gibberish he was spewing at the moment. She wanted to be rid of him. A breeze picked up momentum and flung her long brown hair across her face. She swiped at it, hitting her nose in the process, which fed her irritation even more so.

“It isn’t important how I followed you.” He paused, then turned and took a couple steps. Shaking a finger at her he said, “You aren’t nice. You should be nice to people.”

“I am nice. You’re frightening me is all. How do you expect one to behave, when you behave as you are right now? Maybe I wouldn’t be as scared if you’d tell me a little about what’s going on. How were you able to follow me so quickly?”

The man nodded and licked his lips. “Ok. That’s fair. As I said before, that gemstone you are holding is my home. I live in it, or let me put it another way. I am cursed to it. I can’t be more than ten feet from it. So, when it moves, I move whether I want to or not. I go with it.”

“How did you get outside of it?” asked Stella.

“When you changed that starfish into a seashell, I was extricated from it. So, thank you. It’s been quite a while since I breathed fresh air. And the more you use the gemstone, the longer I get to stay outside of it.”

“Use it? You mean change things?”

“Yes, among other things,” said the man.

Stella was going to ask him to go into detail but thought better of it. An idea began to form. The corners of her lips turned up as a devious plan took shape. “Change? You say?”

“Yes. Wait.” Now it was the man’s turn to smile. He rubbed his hands together as he said, “What do you have in mind?”

(To Be Continued)

Posted in Editing

Reading Backwards

As many of you know from a previous post, I finished my second novel this past July of 2022. Since then I’ve been editing, re-editing, and then editing some more. How many time does one need to read their work before it’s polished? How ever many times it takes. You will know when it’s just right. When you’re done with editing it, give it to another editor who knows what they’re doing. They have those editor’s eyes that will see something you missed that you didn’t think was an issue. Also, give your final draft to a beta reader (or a test reader). Yes, you want to do this. They will give you valuable feedback about your story. Trust me, if there is part of your story that isn’t making sense, your beta reader will spot it.

Before you go beyond the editing YOU are doing, read your story/manuscript backwards. Yes, start with the last page of your story and read each paragraph starting from the last paragraph and working your way backwards. Doing this will allow your brain to focus more on the mechanics of each sentence rather than the story. Think about it. When you are reading a story, the story is flowing through your mind. Your brain is focusing on the story itself and not on the mechanical issues you may have that must be fixed. Therefore, you will end up missing mistakes that need to be fixed. By reading it backwards, the story itself won’t get in the way.