NaNoWriMo 2016

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So…I am back in play for this year’s NaNo. I’ve been adding characters to my Story Bible for the last two years, but don’t really have much in the way of a plot. Fortunately, I don’t need one. I spent the last two months proofreading and helping to half-ass edit my friend’s 2014 NaNoWriMo project. Not being a professional editor, or even a very good proofreader, I’m a little nervous for the reviews of her book on that front. I can just see it now on Amazon:

Holy shit, this author needs to get an editor! There are grammar and punctuation mistakes everywhere! My five-year old can do a better editing job than this! I like exclamation points a whole fucking lot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


But here’s the book, and you can pre-order it for delivery to your Kindle on September 9, 2016.


Resurrection by Sophia McGregor

So what the hell does that have to do with NaNoWriMo 2016? Well, other than my friend writing the third book in the Horrors of Ivory Tower series (she wrote Book Numero Dos for last year’s NaNo), I am writing a mother fucking script for Resurrection. All the work is done for me! Plot, characters, dialogue. All I have to do is totally fuck her story up with a crappy screen adaptation! Brilliant. Work smarter, not harder.

You will notice, if you clicked the link to her book, that I’m listed as an editor. Oh, my dear Sophia…I’m flattered that you think that highly of me. But to be honest, this was really my job:


DISCLAIMER: We totally used pseudonyms. Isn’t mine just the picture of sweetness?


NaNoWriMo 2014

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Book Trailer – Writing Prompt

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From the NaNoWriMo Facebook page:

What was the last song you listened to? That song is now playing over the trailer for your next book: Give us a three sentence synopsis of that book, GO! And include the song title, too, yeah?

Clara Barnes had it all – a great career, loving fiance, a close circle of friends. When a tragic accident leaves her broken and alone, she must learn how to live again. An off-chance meeting between two strangers changes Clara’s life forever. 


Describe An Object – Writing Prompt

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Look around the room and pick an object. Write one paragraph describing the object in full detail and a second paragraph explaining where it came from.

High on top of my bookshelf, there is a monk doll. Not the Tony Shaloub Monk. A doll of those dudes who live quiet, non-materialistic lives and don’t touch themselves.  He is about 6″ tall, bald head, bare feet. At least I think he is bald underneath the the plastic ridge that circles his head like a bandanna. At some point, there may have been fabric on his head because it feels slightly rough, like there had been glue on it and the material torn away. He has a dirty, chubby face and a long neck, lined with folds of fat. The top of his robe is a dark brown color, a little rough and grimy from years of collecting dust. It’s worn in a few spots, even picked away in some areas, exposing the plastic below. His hands are folded across his large belly, lopsided and disconnected from anything that resembles an arm. There is a piece of yarn tied around his waist, representing a belt. At one point, it may have been white, but how it’s more of a light grey. The yarn is badly glued – it goes around his belly nicely in the front, but crosses his backside like it’s a pair of pants falling off one of today’s gangstas. The bottom of his robe is a warm brown piece of felt and doesn’t look nearly as old and worn as the rest of the doll. There is an opening along the front of his leg, and the material hangs to his ankles. He is wearing sandals with a brown painted strap across the top of his feet. His toes look like mini corn cobs. They are all pretty much the same size, with lines just pressed into the plastic all the way across. I think the doll may have been mounted to something else, because at the bottom of each sandal is a lump of plastic with a ridge, like it snaps into some sort of opening. It’s a simple religious figurine, until you press his head. When you push down, a two inch long penis pops out from under the robe. It’s about the diameter of a pencil eraser, with ridges meant to resemble veins and folds of skin. The head is freakishly large, like a grape on the end of a toothpick. And he has no balls.

Where on earth did I get this novelty? When my dad died in 1987, it was in the things my mother brought back when his stuff was divided among family. I think she kept it for a while, and I just ended up with it in high school. A few years later, I gave it a name. I named it Jack, after one of my geoscience professors. Because he was a dick.

NaNoWriMo 2013 – Prologue

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I wrote my prologue back in July when I was going to do Camp NaNoWriMo. I didn’t have time to do much more than that. I’ve debated sharing any part of the story. Hell, I’m even debating doing this story this year. I still have to think about it. But for now, I’m going to share my prologue. I have shared it with one other person, a fellow NaNo writer. He said it was depressing. Good.

“Baby, it’s so cold in here.”

Declan Adams spun his office chair in the direction of the voice. It was soft, female, that of his wife. He rose from the chair, dropping the stack of papers he was reading on the desk as he stood. Only the glow of his laptop screen illuminated the room as he walked slowly around the large mahogany desk that had once belonged to his father, and before that, his grandfather. The original owner built the desk several generations before him, and no one in the family quite remembered just how many. Like Bibles, fine china and durable silverware, many things had been passed down from father to son, mother to daughter. Each item had been kept in pristine condition, and the desk was no exception. Declan was meticulous about its upkeep, and with every move he had made over the years, it was carefully wrapped in thick padding as it made its way to each new home. The desk was the only thing he wanted when his parents passed away. The other family heirlooms were distributed amongst cousins over time, and would someday be passed on to the children with whom they had been, or would be, blessed.

Except for the desk. Declan had no children and did not foresee any his future. At forty, he lived alone in the big house he had purchased in central Vermont six years prior. The two story farmhouse needed surprisingly little work when he bought it, though it had sat unoccupied for several years before he passed by it on one of his frequent drives to nowhere. The property included ten acres of trees, ponds, and grass, with a winding dirt driveway from the two lane highway that cut through the desolate part of the state through which Declan liked to drive when he needed to clear his head. The day he first noticed the FOR SALE sign, he parked at the end of the driveway and walked the muddy distance to the porch to peek in the windows. When he returned to his car, he called the number for the real estate agent. Thirty days later, he was unpacking boxes and hanging pictures on the walls.

“Dec, I’m cold,” the voice called again, low and far away.

Declan crossed the floor between the desk and the doorway in three steps and peered into the long hallway to his right. His eyes were not yet accustomed to the darkness before him, but he knew the path from his office to the master bedroom well, and did not need light. The was nothing on top of the hardwood floor to block his way. The hallway was empty and free of clutter. There were only three rooms on the second floor of the house. A bedroom-turned-office was large, taking up most of one side. At the far end of the hallway, a smaller bedroom remained empty, used at various times as storage space. Across from that, the door to the master bedroom was opened, and he turned to step inside.

To his right, a five-drawer dresser stood next to a walk in closet. The door to the closet was ajar, and he reached out to push it shut. It closed with a barely audible click, and Declan stepped further into the room. His bed was unmade in front of him, sheets rumpled and spilling off the mattress and onto the floor. The windows behind the bed allowed light from the full moon into the room. Though the window was open, the sheer curtains hung still. Outside, Declan could hear the crickets and frogs. It was early summer, and unusually humid.

Declan caught movement to his left, toward the master bathroom that adjoined the bedroom. He swiveled his head and saw Sophie standing in the doorway between the two rooms. She wore her usual bedtime attire – a ratty pair of boxer shorts with red lips on them and a once hot pink fitted t-shirt, faded from years of washing. Her chestnut colored hair, which hung just past her shoulders, was disheveled, as it often was. She never cared about her appearance, and had to make no effort to be beautiful. Her skin was unblemished and maintained a hint of tan year round, despite the Vermont winters.

She looked at him, her once luminous brown eyes now dulled with sadness. “I’m cold, Declan.”

Declan’s breath caught in his throat as he stared back at her. Sophie had been dead for three years, two years longer than she had been his wife. He did not believe in ghosts, but his heart skipped a beat at the vision before him. He blinked and shook his head, and still, she stood in the doorway looking at him.

“Sophie,” he breathed.

Sophie turned away and walked into the darkness of the bathroom. Declan forced his legs to follow her, and when he crossed the threshold, all he found was an empty room. The only trace of his deceased wife was her hair brush on the vanity near the sink. It had taken him a year to get rid of her things, but the brush was full of long, brown strands, and he could never bring himself to throw it away. He picked it up and gently stroked the nest of hair that wrapped around the teeth of the brush. Bringing the brush to his face, he inhaled deeply, hoping to catch a hint of her shampoo, but with all the years gone by, it held only a faint, dusty smell.

Setting the brush back in its spot, Declan sighed and walked back out of the room, his eyes searching the bedroom and finding nothing out of the ordinary. He sat on the corner of the bed closest to the bathroom and rubbed his face. He needed to shave. He hadn’t done so in several days and his scruff was almost a full beard. With a yawn, he laid back on the bed, his feet still on the floor. He rested the back of his arm across his forehead and stared at the ceiling.

Hours later, when the sun rose and daylight filled the room, he hadn’t moved and his eyes were still open. He spent the night thinking about Sophie, trying to make sense of what he had seen, but neither sleep nor answers came to him.

Only On Sundays – Writing Prompt

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Finish these sentences: “Every day of the week I _________, but Sundays are different. On Sundays, I ________.”

Every day of the week, I take my son to school and drink coffee while catching up on my shows before work, but Sundays are different. On Sundays, I snuggle under the covers with my Kindle. Then I get up and drink coffee while I read on my Kindle. I take breaks from reading and clean the house. And drink more coffee. Then I read on my Kindle until I fall asleep.

Exciting life I lead, huh?

Late Show Top Ten – Writing Prompt

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You’ve been hired as a writer for “Late Show with David Letterman.” Your first assignment is to come up with a witty, nonpolitical Top Ten list for him to read on air.

Bargain Hunters Board Edition! I met most of my best friends on BabyCenter’s Bargain Hunters board, which I started trolling back in 2008. I clearly remember what brought me to that particular board. A mom on my July 2004 birth board posted about a diaper deal she had found on the BHB. The BHB was infamous for having more drama than bargains.

The Top Ten Ways You Know You’re A Babycenter Bargain Hunter:

10. You have a Diva Cup, a Ped Egg, a Rubbermaid Reveal mop, magic pants, and Magic Cream.

9. Only Ticonderoga pencils and Crayola crayons will do for your special snowflake. And no, you will not contribute to community classroom supplies. That spiffy superhero/princess folder was expensive, and your kid isn’t getting some cheap ass yellow folder that will fall apart after the first week of school.

8. You know what an iSlice is.

7. If there is any possibility that you may be pregnant, you pee on a stick and post 10 pictures for everyone to tweak.

6. You are passionate about topics such as breastfeeding in public, character clothing, light up shoes, returning shopping carts, having nice things while receiving government assistance, and tipping servers at restaurants.

5. You are excited to get a Box of Crap.

4. Someone calls you out on an obscure comment you had made more than four years ago. Or you call someone out on the same.

3. You can name all fifty spin-off boards that were created after being kicked out of Canada.

2. You know that a huge thread about something mundane usually has great drama, so you open every page of the thread in a new tab because it will inevitably disappear before you reach the end.

1. You know there are actually no bargains posted on the Bargain Hunters board, and asking where the bargains are will get a newbie’s ass handed to her.

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