It’s that time again…

Each year since 2006, I’ve spent the month of October preparing for National Novel Writing Month.  This year is no different.  I’ve already signed up.  I’ve got my title (Crossing Paths).  I’ve got character images, setting ideas, dialogue prompts and such like on my pinterest page.  I’ve got a blurb.

I’m going to be spending this month getting to know my characters a bit more by writing drabbles featuring them and crafting character outlines.  Meanwhile… here’s what I do know about my story:

My blurb:
When he checks into the Bayview Inn, Andrew Smith is only looking for a dry place to stay for the night.  A chance encounter in the lobby may change his life forever.

Andrew, called Andy, is the main character.  There are five other major characters in the story.  There are, very likely, a host of minor characters that I’ll dream up as I need them.  I got the idea for this story from a prompt that I found online a few years ago.  I took it and ran with it in a completely different direction.

The basic idea is that Andy is going to meet someone at the Bayview Inn that he knows and who knows him.  The last thing he wants is to encounter someone who knows.  Why?  Because he’s on the run!  He’s hiding from… something.  I know what he’s hiding from, but I’m going to work on making that something of a mystery, at least at first.

One thing that I’ve learned from doing NaNo for so long is… what I think I’m going to write in November and what I actually end up writing is, at times, completely different.  I’m a discovery sort of writer, so that’s all right with me.

So… Are you going to participate in National Novel Writing Month?  If so, what are you writing about?  Are you a plotter, a pantser or (like me) something in between?


It can mean revelation, inspiration, insight – that moment when you realize what’s going on.  For Christians, it has another meaning.  It’s the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi.  Today is when we celebrate Epiphany – also called Three Kings Day or Twelfth Night (the twelfth night after Christmas) or Little Christmas.

Some people mark the day by having the Three Kings (or other entities) visit and leave presents for the kids.  Other people have house blessings or perform baptisms.  There are a host of other things associated with Epiphany.  However… it’s basically the end of the Christmas season – Epiphany season begins.

My socks this Friday were a Christmas gift from my brother.  They’re bright and colorful, so I felt that they were fitting for such a day.

Fun Sock Friday

I can’t even remember now exactly when it started. However, I do know how it started. I was watching an episode of Bones and someone mentioned to Booth that he wears socks that are neither plain white nor plain blue/black because it’s his little way of rebelling against the regulated, regimented life he leads as an FBI agents.

It gave me this idea… I wore plain socks and dressed professionally for work. Friday was the unofficial start of the weekend. So, each Friday, I began wearing “fun socks”. I’d wear seasonal socks or just crazy socks that made me smile. Then, every time I thought of my socks, I remembered that it was nearly the weekend and I would smile.

So… now years later, I still wear fun socks each Friday. I’ve also gotten my sister and my best friend started doing it. The socks that I wore today were a Christmas gift from my older brother. They have little black cats on them – I have a little black cat that I live with named Samwise.

A Poem for Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving happening later this month and with the focus this month on thinking about the positive things in our life… I figured a poem about the things I’m thankful for was appropriate.  I wrote it a couple weeks ago, but I’m posting it for the holiday.



For family and friends
Both near and far away
For birds in treetops high
That sing to greet the day

For things that scamper
Through fallen leaves
For things that swim
Within rivers and seas

For all our furry friends
That give us so much love
For sun and moon and stars
That shine down from above

For the snow and rains
That help the flowers grow
For the forests, fields and deserts
Wherever we call home

For all the good things
We have here on earth
For the unfailing grace
We’ve had from birth

What Makes a Good Person?

This is a poem that I wrote that was inspired by the phrase prompt: the secret of the making of the best persons (from the WriYe DreamWidth).  It was also sort of inspired by the time of year.


Are people born good?
Are they made that way?
Is there a secret somewhere?
Is the idea just too cliché?

Maybe the thing we all should do
Is to show others due respect.
Treat others as we’d want to be:
Like they’re a person, not an object.

Instead of doing something nice
Expecting to have that kindness returned
Just do it because
It’s best for all concerned.

How much different would the world be?
How much better would we all feel?
Maybe it might even help
The wounds of the past begin to heal…

Somewhere in Space

Getting back to my aliens… Shanmias is confused by art.  Jennifer tries to explain it to him.  This was inspired by a photo prompt on the WriYe DreamWidth.


Shanmias frowned at the artistic depiction of the solar system.  There were so many inaccuracies, it made Shanmias wonder why Jennifer bothered to hang it at all.  At the same time… he couldn’t quite bring himself to ask her.

“What’s wrong, Shawn?”

He glanced over his shoulder at the woman in question.  “This is not to scale,” he said, shaking his head.

“A painting of the solar system to scale probably wouldn’t fit on the wall,” Jennifer pointed out.  Then, she tilted her head to one side and added, “Or… it wouldn’t have enough detail to know what it was.”

Shanmias blinked at her for a moment.  “So… the artist did this on purpose?” he asked.

“It’s called artistic license,” she said, nodding and heading out of the room.  “There are cookies, if you want some.”

For a moment, Shanmias hesitated.  Then, he shifted from one foot to another and spun around.  “Do they have the little sprinkly things on them?” he called.  He frowned when laughter answered his question.

Blind to the Obvious

I’m having too much fun writing about Trodlar and Shanmias.  I love the way they interact.  This story was inspired by a phrase prompt from the WriYe DreamWidth: the public will believe anything.

“How can they not notice?” Jennifer said, as they walked among the costumed crowd.  When Trey shrugged, she scowled.  “You’ve got three eyes, Trey.  No one’s even… bothered by the third eye in your forehead.”

“They believe that it’s part of a costume,” Trey said, shrugging.  He grinned and waved at a young woman.  “I like your tail,” he said.

“Thanks,” she said, shaking her backside to make the tail sway.  “Your eye is great!”  Then, she meandered away from them.

Trey nodded after her.  “Thank you,” he said, all three of his eyes squeezing closed in pleasure.  Then, he looked at Jennifer.  “It’s easy for them to see what they want.  As a whole, people will believe nearly anything, given an explanation they can comprehend.”

“It’s Halloween, so that must be a costume,” Jennifer said, frowning.  “Even though it blinks and tracks them as they walk by you?”

Shrugging again, Trey said, “Easier to believe that than for them to believe that I’m a real alien.  Right?”

“Works to our advantage, anyway,” Shawn said, scowling.  He glanced at Trey.  “Do you sense anything?”

Nodding, Trey pointed off to the left.  “This way,” he said.

What’s the Purpose?

This little scene was inspired by both a picture from the WriYe DreamWidth and my own experience with something called a “Pumpkin Walk”.


46-84f0f70264Jennifer wasn’t sure why she’d invited Trey and Shawn with her to see the carved pumpkins.  However, now that they were there, she was glad she’d done it.

“Some of them look… happy,” Trey said.  He waved a particularly manic looking pumpkin and said, “Is that a spider in its eye?”

“I can’t tell,” Jennifer admitted, shrugging.  She pointed to another.  “That’s a witch flying across the moon.  Really well done, too!”

“What’s the point in carving faces into pumpkins?” Shawn asked, sounding confused and annoyed.  “What is this… Halloween?”

“It’s just for fun at this point,” Jennifer said, waving his words away.  She frowned at Shawn when he made a scoffing sound.  “Don’t your people do anything just for fun?”

“No,” Shawn said, his voice soft.

Trey chuckled and nodded.  “Yes, we do,” he said, poking his companion in the arm.  “The light shows.”

“That’s exercising our – our gifts,” Shawn said, shaking his head quickly.

Trey chuckled.  “Right,” he said.  Then, he looked at Jennifer and shook his head.  “Mostly, though, it’s just for fun.”

“Well, the pumpkin carving gets sort of competitive,” Jennifer said, shrugging.  “People try to outdo each other – carve more and more intricate designs.”

“That I can understand,” Shawn said.  He waved at a particularly intricate pumpkin and said, “This one exceeds the others by far.  I would say that its carver won.”

“That’s the spirit,” Jennifer said, as she moved ahead.  Pointing further out, she said, “What about that one?”  Soon, it seemed that both of her new friends were enjoying themselves and really, wasn’t that the whole point?

Oh, my gourd…

This fun little seasonal piece was inspired by a picture prompt over at the WriYe DreamWidth.


45-c15925f120Amy couldn’t help but smile at the way that Brook reacted to the scene.  It couldn’t have been better than if she’d just taken her younger siblings to pick pumpkins.  They would have wanted them to carve, but Brook had other things in mind.

He zoomed around the scattered pumpkins and gourds, his wings buzzing loudly.  Finally, he lighted on the largest pumpkin in the group.  “This one,” he said, looking at her.  His eyes were wide and hopeful.  “Please, Mistress, may we get this one?  It smells so delicious!”

“Well, all right,” Amy said, stifling a laugh.  She turned to the farmer and pointed out the pumpkin that Brook had picked out.  “That one,” she said, “could you help me get it to the car?”

“Sure, miss,” he said, smiling.  “That’s going to make one fine jack o’lantern.”

Amy chuckled and shook her head.  “I doubt it’ll last that long,” she said.  When the farmer gave her a quizzical look, she shrugged.  It was kind of hard to explain to the man that the little winged being he couldn’t even see would probably devour the pumpkin on the way home.  Sprites simply couldn’t resist gourds and squash of any kind.

One Step Behind

This little scene was inspired by the phrase prompt, “I have seen the future.” from the WriYe DreamWidth.


Jennifer settled down at the table with a cup of coffee.  Her two strange guests had tea instead.  Shawn was convinced that coffee couldn’t possibly be good for them.  Jennifer had to wonder if tea was any better.  “So,” she said, looking from one to the other, “Shawn’s an investigator.  That explains why they sent him.  Why send you with him?”

“Well,” Trey said, flushing.  He glanced over at Shawn and then turned back to Jennifer with a shrug.  “I have some kind of connection with the person we’re pursuing.”

“He sees the killer in his dreams,” Shawn said, his voice faint.  When Trey winced, he added, “Actually, he sees the attacks – but through the killer’s eyes.”

“You saw him attack me?” Jennifer said, her eyes going wide.  She leaned closer to him and shook her head.  “I don’t remember the attack…”

“…which isn’t uncommon with head injuries such as you suffered.”

Nodding, Jennifer said, “If you saw it happen…” She stopped when Shawn shook his head quickly.

“No good,” the taciturn man murmured.

“The problem is… I see if through his eyes, so I don’t know what he looks like,” Trey said, shrugging.  He sipped his tea and then sighed.  “It’s also… silent, so I don’t know why you let him near you, so that he could shove you down the stairs.  I just saw it before it happened, so we were on our way here.”

“This is the first time we’re reached a scene where the victim was still alive, though,” Shawn added.  “The only reason we could this time was that I recognized the place he was describing.”  In a softer voice, he added, “I’ve been here before.”

“Here… as in Earth?” Jennifer said, blinking.

Shawn grimaced and shook his head.  “Here… as in this town – this house,” he said.  In a voice that was so soft Jennifer could barely make out the words, he added, “I had a human wife, once… a long time ago.  She died.”

“I’m sorry,” Jennifer said, her voice soft.  She chewed at her lip.  The house where she currently lived had been in her family for a long time.  She’d grown up there, as had her father.  It made her wonder just how old Shawn was and… could she possibly be related to him?  Was something like that even possible?  Shaking the thought away, she said, “So… you see the future, but not far enough ahead to do much good.”

“Not so much,” Trey said, nodding.  “We’re always just one step behind the man we’re pursuing.”  In a faint voice, he added, “It’s been… frustrating.”

“To say the least,” Shawn grumbled.

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