Just a Voice

I was standing in a corner of the café, chatting with two of my friends, when a deep and raspy voice sounded near my ear. “Don’t try to sit down,” he murmured as the chair near which I was standing disappeared, and him along with it. “Yes sir,” I stammered back, his voice having traveled straight down my spine and lodged, tingling, into my arms and legs…

“This is ridiculous,” I groan, tossing the notebook away across the desk as I allow my head to flop forward and bounce off of the hard surface before settling, dejectedly, with a cheek smushed against scattered pens. “It doesn’t sound like real life, I can’t seem to get this right.”

“How can it not sound like real life?” He asked calmly, used to my manic writing emotions. “This is exactly how I remember it happening. I do have to say, though, you never told me about the tingling limbs.”

“Shut up,” I moan, feeling his hands coming down to rest on my shoulders, “I didn’t want your ego to grow anymore. If we popped you and let the hot air out, you would shrink by at least 6 inches.”

He squeezed my shoulders gently before snatching up the notebook and perusing the rest of my short story outline, “Hey Goofball, why are you throwing a fit? This isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever read.”

“Oh that makes me feel better about life,” I mutter caustically against the veneer of my desk and strangely, it really did.


Vyx Villafree

The beginning of this story has been bopping around my head for a while now. While I am not really participating in NANOWRIMO this year, or really writing much right now, I took a bit of time out today to write up a (very rough) first few paragraphs. I hope that you enjoy what little I’ve got completed, and please feel free to let me know what you think!


Once upon a time in a cruel and crooked kingdom, there lived a maiden who was neither of those things. Though she had been raised as the rest of her generation had; to be shifty, thievy, and downright untrustworthy, this maiden refused to follow her friends’ trends. She did not join in on their cruel pranks. She did not approve of their backstabbing and lies. She even secretly left payments (with tips!) when their group went out for their weekly dine and ditch dinners.

 Those who thought they knew her best would have never believed these things of her. They would have argued fiercely that she was one of the worst in her crowd and, if anything, she would be the one to call for the hurting of whatever namby pamby wusspocket was soiling her bad name.  

In their society, names were everything. Her taken name, the one she chose for herself at the 15th year naming ceremony, meant strength, terror, and a vile disposition. Yes, Vyx struck fear into the hearts and souls of everyone around her. In short, she was a leader to be emulated and revered. Or so they all thought.

However, outside of her ill-mannered island, Vyx Villafree: Princess of Piratical Island, voted Most Vile 3 years in a row, was known as Violetta Vyllia, beloved sweet heart of the outlying kingdoms.

Another Day, Another Story

As you might have figured out by the title here…I have a new work in progress. If you read my recent post “Scraps of Inspired Receipts” then you’ve seen the first line of this new piece: I have never seen a human being look quite so much like an angler fish.

I know that I said it didn’t fit with anything I was currently writing and so I wasn’t going to be pursuing more of that story just yet. Apparently, that was a lie. I am pursuing that story. Or rather, that story seems to be pursuing me. I couldn’t get that description out of my mind the other day, so I expanded on it just a little bit. That just a little bit turned into the first couple of pages of new story…one that is in a completely different genre and age level than anything else I’m writing (or have written before), AND a pseudo-elevator pitch. I say pseudo-elevator pitch because an elevator pitch is meant to be short. It is something you write that quickly and easily describes/summarizes what you’ll be working on. Mine turned into more a book jacket summary:

During the summer of her junior year in college, Maria is suddenly drawn into a dark and different world when a new family moves into her quiet neighborhood with big plans for the small street.

With her family’s business, and life as they know it, at stake Maria must learn to note to trust anyone, including herself.

Joey “The Fish” Barbo has his name for two reasons.

#1 he looks like a creepy fish from the dark of your nightmares.

#2 he doesn’t play well with others and is always a cold fish.

It doesn’t really hurt anything that his last name literally means Fish in Italian.

He uses these things to his advantage now. Everyone who doesn’t know about the Fish will soon enough. Especially that flame haired tailor’s daughter. She’s going to get to know him very, very well.


Sounds like I’m in for a thrill ride with this one and I am excited, even if it is the fourth project I’ve got juggling around right now. How many things do you work on at a time?



Scraps of Inspired receipts

One of my favorite things as a writer, and as just the kind of person I am I suppose, is to sit back and people watch. I love to overhear snippets of conversations and watch body language from across the room. My brain busily makes up scenarios for the people around me, even on the highway while I’m driving (though, happily, not often or to the detriment of my driving). I get so much inspiration from these little forays to the outskirts of socialization that sometimes it blows my mind.

One of my least favorite things as a writer, and as just the kind of person I am, is people watching. I can be over here, minding my own business, and my brain is lazily observing whoever is around me and doing whatever it is they are doing…and then BAM a kid cries, a person yells, a car horn blares. I want to help them, I want to figure out the problem, offer to hold the kid or buy it whatever the frazzled mommy won’t (contrary to my own frazzled mommy self awareness and knowledge). I want to fix the issues. I can’t fix the issues and, even if I could, most of the time my anxiety levels would be through the roof just asking if they would like for me to help.

All of that aside, one of my love/hate relationships with people watching is, in fact, all of the inspiration. Sometimes I get ideas and help with something I’m actually working on. I hear a snippet of a one sided conversation and my mind races to the finish line, filling out the unheard participant’s lines, switching the characters around, and fitting it into the space allotted for such a scene. Much more often, however, I get inspired to write random conversations, random scenes, from random pieces that I had never thought of before foolishly setting out to people watch. I have so many scraps of inspired receipt backs and notecards with weird little scenes or descriptions on them that I wouldn’t have any idea where to start with them (and that’s AFTER a big clear out last year).

Take, for example, today’s foray into the world for a sandwich and chips. As I was about to pull into my parking space, an elderly gentlemen drove past in a decent sized truck. I thought to myself, I have never seen a person look so much like an angler fish. Now I have a complete description of a man somewhat based off of that poor guy who’s distorted image I spotted through 100 degrees and two moving windshields, that, so far anyway, does not fit into any of my current works in progress.

What are your favorite/least favorite things about what you do?

The Importance of being PUSHED

My Grandparents came to visit yesterday.

I know what you’re thinking: Beth, what does that have to do with the price of tea in China? THIS is a writing blog!

Just hang in there guys. I promise the old guys are relevant!

So my grandparents came to visit yesterday and brought me the huge couch from their living room. I didn’t really need a couch but when Grandpa said he was getting rid of it…well, that couch is the best reading/writing/napping while you pretend to read and write couch that we’ve ever had. I wasn’t letting that get away! We spent a couple of hours chatting while my child ran around all crazy like and went out for a family dinner. After dinner my parents and child went to an area VBS and left me to visit with Gamma and Peepaw. I didn’t even get into the house before Gamma banished me to my room. You see, she is one of THOSE grandmas. One of a kind in the clique I hope we all have or have had access to in our lives. She is capital P Proud of me. She likes to write in her free time and she LOVES that I strive to write every day and across multiple age levels and genres. She is absolutely convinced that I will get an agent and publishing deal any day now. She doesn’t brook any arguments. So when she said: We’re just going to be down here reading. Don’t you want to go up to your room and write while its quiet hun? it didn’t take me long to realize that was NOT a question but a command. Whether in my home or hers, that woman will send me off or sit me at the table and make sure I get my writing time in. Word count doesn’t matter to her, the act of pursuing my dreams and goals does. She will often ask me for my favorite sentence of the day, or what (in my opinion) is the best thing I’ve written lately. She pushes me and makes sure I know that she loves to do it.

That whole long story was not just told as an homage to my Gramma (although she is an amazing woman and I love her dearly). It was told so that we can get to the meat of the story, and the question.

Sometimes people show their love and support in different ways. There are some who pay lip service and move on, still never quite understanding your drive but wanting to be supportive. Then there are some who, whether or not they understand, push you to keep going, remind you of your goals, and gently shove you over the cliff when you’ve sat down to rest. My Gramma is the second type. If she knows I’m writing, or she has sent me to put in my time, then heaven help the person who interrupts me. If I stop to rest, she’s there to shove me over the word cliff. When I reach the bottom she’ll hand over some coffee and a rope because it’s time to scale the next rock face.

So the question is this: DO YOU have someone like my Gramma who is there to push you and make sure you make it to your goals? If not, I suggest snatching up a writing buddy or two and really pushing each other. Let me know if you need me to fill in every once in a while. I get a little perverse thrill from sending my friends to their rooms to write.


Works in Progress: Update 7/19/2017

Some days (or nights) you just have an idea that pops out and won’t leave you alone. That is exactly what happened with the Monster Under My Bed. He hopped out, grabbed my foot, and held on for dear life until I started writing his story.

At first I was frustrated and annoyed. I wrote a short synopsis and intended to leave it at that until I was finished focusing on Sock Jacked, the middle grade book that I am currently living, breathing, in love with. That didn’t seem to work for Franco, my monster.

He bugged me.

He whispered lines to me.

He made it impossible to ignore him.

So now I am working on three writing projects. You would think I would be overwhelmed by all this…three very different plotlines, three very different age levels, and three very different genres. The truth is that the addition of this new children’s book just makes me even more excited to get to writing every day. No matter what I’m working on, the energy and electricity pulls me through word to word to sentence to story.

As for the new book…well I will tell you more about Franco soon. He’s feeling a little shy today.

Work in Progress: Sock Jacked

When I started working on this concept, I thought it was a children’s tale! However, the more I thought about it, the more I worked on it, the more it became obvious to me that this should be a middle grade novel. Along with the changing age level of the story, the feel edged its way from bright, light, silly prank story to a darker, chilling summertime thriller. I’ve never written one of those before and you know what? I AM LOVING IT!

This story is so different from anything I’ve ever written in the past and I was afraid that this piece would be slow going and really difficult to make work. While I have no idea if I’m building the suspense like I should etc, I feel like the story itself is moving along nicely. In fact, I’m so excited about this book that I’m doing episodes of what I’m calling “Reading Wednesdays” on my BookTube channel, reading chapters for my followers/friends. I’ve had a good response from two of my amazing friend/followers and it makes me feel like all of the effort is really worth it. I love this idea, I love the way the story is flowing right now, and I can’t wait to share more of it with you.

I hope that you are having a wonderful time with whatever project you have going right now. I would love to hear about it!

I’ll talk to you again soon! Have a GREAT, FABULOUS, BLESSED Weekend! 😛