Personally, I love to write about Personality Disorders. They give you an automatic sense of character, needs, wants and especially objective. The essence of a personality disorder is a deficit: some task of emotional development has not been accomplished or has gone awry and needs some reparative experience. That’s great: it gives you a chance to put your personality-deficit-ed character into some real problems.
Think of “Split”—a poor schlub finds out he has 25 personalities. Each one has a different objective, so the “host” or main personality, kidnaps this gorgeous girl and her two friends and they try to escape, as his various personalities emerge. One is the host, a no-good dirty dog who wants to get even with women. Another is a nine-year-old who wants to play with them. Another is a sexually-identity challenged guy who doesn’t know how to help them, but wants to.
The opportunities are unlimited. Just when the gorgeous girl thinks she can beguile the nine-year-old into getting them out and free, he morphs into the host who puts them back in their windowless hovel. We can write books, essays, shorts like this ‘til the cows come home.
People love the themes of characters unable to tolerate strong feelings or being unable to express them freely, or being afraid that if they become angry or sad, these emotions will overwhelm them. Then we, as the writers, give ‘em something that WILL overwhelm ‘em and watch what they do.
That’s the glory of writing, in my opinion. The universality of watching someone on the screen or on your pages who is weak, out of control, or just in a pickle get out of the situation. For me, the feelings of out of control, fear, anxiety and panic came at Cal when I was a freshman who had just lost her father. I couldn’t get over it and my mother was alone in San Francisco. My brother was in total denial. I spent my days in the dormitory wanting to be home with her and not having so many changes in my life. Now, fifty years later, I saw a movie, a silly movie, entitled “Happy Death Day” and the girl had just lost her mother, couldn’t connect with her father and was an out of control snob in her sorority. She is condemned to relive her birthday over and over again until she gets it right.
I plugged into that. I’m not a snob, but I was so unsettled at UC and so frightened all the time, rushing up to Cowell Hospital, the university hospital in Berkeley, and yelling that “I’m dying,” that staff and physicians alike didn’t know what to do. Can you imagine? Now that I’m a therapist, I would have recognized panic disorder with agoraphobia (fear of the outside) immediately. Different times.
So plug into personality deficits and I think you’ll be happy with your piece whatever you decide to write. And now with the Internet, you have a whole plethora of problems to use. Well, thanks for reading, hope I helped.
Where do you draw your emotions for your books from? If you are a reader what is your favorite emotion?
It’s here again. Time change. On Sunday morning we turn our clocks back one hour. I, for one, am not looking forward to it, and actually am trying to do things to prevent suffering the side effects that to me (a person with Bipolar Disorder) are hard to deal with.
For about a week now I’ve been dreading the day this event happens. I’ve had flu-like symptoms, headaches, anxiety, and sleeplessness, to name a few problems. As I try to hold myself together all I can think about is how it’ll take precious time out of my life to adjust to the one-hour difference and when I am fully accustomed to the new time it’ll happen all over again. It may sound silly to attribute my problems to a mental health disorder, but there is much proof that it is so.
Benjamin Franklin conceived Daylight Savings Time when he was an American delegate in Paris in 1784. His essay “An Economical Project” outlined his reasoning. It was later, in 1907, that London builder William Willett (in his pamphlet “Waste of Daylight”) caused him to propose advancing clocks in April and returning to Standard Time in September.
Over the years there has been much discussion and many trials of time change. While some do prefer Daylight Savings Time in the summer months because of more hours of light in the evening, the change to Standard Time in the fall causes darkness to come early and others don’t like it much.
There are pros and cons to this practice. In an article I read recently, it has been proven that robberies are down during Standard Time because most people are already home and settled in their homes and seldom go back out. This is different than the summer months, when robberies are more prevalent because folks are out longer enjoying the nightlife due to sunny weather later in the day.
The US changed its date to return to Standard Time to the first Sunday in November in 2006, with the purpose of keeping trick or treaters safe at Halloween. Apparently this didn’t go as planned, as the kids wait until dark to leave, anyway.
There has been a lot of confusion as some states end up with (5) different time zones and while there are many who lobby for an across-the-board time zone, they are in the minority.
We just returned from our summer home at the lake, where we spent beautiful days and gorgeous sunset-lit nights. We had lots of hours of light to enjoy our activities. We moved back home last week and as if that isn’t enough to get my mind in a tizzy, now I’ll have to deal with an hour change. We already have snow forecast and we are in the dark by 6:pm. I’m all for changing the time so children at bus stops don’t have to wait in the dark in the morning. I wonder if I could write a pamphlet and suggest we turn the clocks to “Linda” time? I don’t think so!
I do a lot of journaling in the winter months and I’d like to share this layout I did last winter. I think it’s appropriate.
I have turned over a new leaf. It’s fall as I write this, and nature is turning over many old leaves. Disgusting my husband who is busy turning them over again with a rake. But I’m different, I am turning over a new leaf.
I was inspired by the morning TV show, which I rarely watch, but will have to rectify that since they have profound insights. Today they gave only one tip on how to become a millionaire. So it must be the most important one. Are you ready? MAKE YOUR BED EVERY MORNING!
How simple. If only I’d known. I have failed at this, especially since my retirement when I now have time to make the bed. To think I could have retired in luxury, sipping Ensure in a satin housecoat on a cushioned lift chair.
And here I am, struggling to keep up with the dusting, sweeping and laundry. Balancing the accounts as if my life depended on it. Hoping to win the lottery when I haven’t bought a ticket and don’t know how to play.
However, no details were given. Should it be made immediately? With my hair undone, my pajamas askew and before I put my glasses on? Do I make it myself or can I ask my husband to help? Must one side be made before the other? How many blankets? What kind of sheets? Use quilt or spread?
What about the rest of the bedroom? Do the pajamas have to be put away or can they still be thrown on the closet floor. Must the shoes be lined up in the rack? Does the hamper have to be closed? Should I put my makeup on first?
I wonder what controls they used for the study. How many millionaires did they study? Were they multi-millionaires or just millionaires? Had they always made their bed or just before their fortunes changed? And did they really make their own bed or did they hire maids to do it for them?
If they hired maids, when did that start? After they made a million dollars or before? If they stopped making their beds every morning, did they go broke?
We live in a glorious age. Studies and surveys teach us how to live. We now know what to eat to avoid many illnesses, improve our health and love life, and what to feed our pets to give them more energy. And many people call us daily to get our opinions. No matter how many times we hang up on them or ignore the calls.
We matter! Mega bucks are spent finding ways to help us improve. Every commercial has a tip for some way to enrich our life!
As “age of retirement” people, we can wear Depends that don’t show, run races, romance partners, and never be constipated. All while smiling! I know, because I’ve seen the proof on TV.
Now, I am going to make my bed, right after I crawl back in for my morning nap.
In my opinion, the best book I’ve written to-date is Moshe’s War. I did not intend to write this book at first. I was doing research on another book, which has still yet to be completed. My research was in regard to a character that was a rabbi. Not being one myself, I began my hunt online for Hebrew customs and rabbinical duties.
Well, you simply can not do any sort of research on the Hebrews, or the Jewish people, without hitting on the Holocaust. Naturally, the Holocaust surrounds the horrific concentration camps and death camps. I stumbled across a camp, the Belzec Death Camp, a murder camp far worse than Auschwitz, although the camp was virtually unknown by most Americans. Over 600 thousand innocents were put to death in the chambers. The article I read said that the Belzec Camp was “Twenty Miles North of Lvov” in Poland. That sentence stuck in my head like super glue. I stopped writing the book I for which I was doing the research, and started a whole new story.
I didn’t want to write another WWII story, so I wrote a middle-age thriller romance, set in 1967, 22 years after WWII. A couple “finds each other” while they both struggle with their reminders of the war. Moshe, a devout Jew, and a Nazi hunter is in particular turmoil, as he must deal with his feelings for a Polish immigrant, Ilsa while remaining faithful to his beliefs. He also had to deal with the man he was hunting, a vile “freak of a man” who once led the guards at Belzec. I originally wrote the book with the title “Twenty Miles North of Lvov”, but after six months, my publisher didn’t like the title, so they changed it to “Moshe’s War.” Although I preferred my title, I could see the relationship to Moshe’s War and allowed them to change it. (Not that I had much choice.)
Well, this is where it gets interesting. Four years after I wrote the novel, my son decided he would journey into our family’s genealogy. I always knew I was German, Polish, Finish, Russian and Irish. My son got as far back as the late 1800s on my father’s side. He learned that my great, great, great grandfather, Fredrick Drawert, the first Drawert to come to the United States, originated from Germany. His mother, however, was Jewish, and she was from a little town “Twenty Miles North of Lvov.” Now, how weird is that?
I’m part Jewish, and I didn’t even know it. The fact that I had a relationship with a town Twenty Miles North of Lvov, is mind-blowing. It’s also a bit spooky.
**Where are your ancestors from? Did you learn anything from your research that related to your ancestors?**
First, I’ll get my new story/promotion out of the way. I have a story in the anthology “One Yuletide Knight” that is now up for pre-order and will be available as an ebook on November 2, 2017 with the print version available shortly after. You can purchase it at: One Yuletide Knight
With October 31, Halloween, approaching, I thought it might be fun to look at how people perceived that date in the 1870s in what most would call the West. Below are some actual pieces from papers of that time.
Here we have almost an advertisement for the evening from the Atchison Globe from Friday October 31, 1879 issue in Atchison, Kansas
And this warning from the Lawrence, Kansas, Lawrence Republican Daily Journal of October 24, 1878. Seems mischief has been around for longer than we may have thought.
For the history of the day we can thank the Sedalia, Missouri, Sedalia Daily Democrat of Saturday, November 2, 1878.
Of course no Halloween would be without the special events that take place. Here from Alden, Iowa issue of the October 10, 1879 issue, we have the following
And finally this clip from a piece called “The Fairy Quest” from the Saturday, October 4, 1879 issue of the Republic County Journal of Scandia, Kansas.
I hope you enjoyed a glimpse of what folks back in the 1870s thought about October 31 and Halloween. There are so many stories, and I’m sure each of you have your own. However you celebrate of not, enjoy the fall season and don’t eat too much candy. I know I won’t be bobbing for apples like I did when I was younger, but I might have a piece of…
Doris Gardner-McCraw -Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in Colorado and Women’s History
Late last Thursday afternoon, I was in my office, working on my new novel, when I heard a vehicle with a diesel engine pull into my driveway. I live next door to a day care center, and some parents park at the bottom of my driveway momentarily while picking up or dropping off their kids. I paid no attention to this diesel engine’s rumbling until a few minutes later when I heard a crash.
I stepped outside my kitchen door and noticed that a big, black truck had bashed in my garage door. There appeared to be no action around the truck, but because of my limited vision, I couldn’t tell for sure. Not knowing what else to do, I called 911.
As it turned out, a little girl of about four or five was in the back seat of the truck with her seat belt on when the truck crashed into my garage door. Her parents were apparently inside the day care center, having left her alone in the truck. The good news is that the driver’s insurance will no doubt cover the cost of repairing my garage door.
This reminded me of an incident that happened years ago when I was about the same age as this child. We were living in Tucson, Arizona, at the time. My mother and I stopped one evening at a small market on our way home from somewhere.
When we pulled into the store’s parking lot which sloped up to the entrance, my mother turned off the ignition and asked me if I wanted to go in with her or stay in the car. I opted to stay in the car, but after a few minutes, I was bored, so I went inside and found my mother.
When we came out, we discovered that the car had rolled to the edge of the parking lot near the busy street. Naturally, my mother thought I’d been in the car when it rolled, but I assured her I hadn’t. I had only wandered into the store because I was bored.
I’m thankful now that I did. If I’d stayed in the car, and it rolled, it would definitely have been a frightening experience. I’m sure this child was just as scared, especially with a crazy lady, me, running around the truck yelling, opening the driver’s side door to find no one there, closing it, then disappearing.
After I posted about the incident on Facebook, a friend commented that Social Services needed to know about this. I reasoned, though, that if the policeman who responded to my 911 call thought it was necessary to notify Social Services, he would have done so. Besides, if Social Services were called, and the child was removed to a foster home, that would have been more traumatic than being in a rolling vehicle that collided with a garage door. Also, since my mother left me alone in a car when I was a child, I don’t want to be the one to cast the first stone.
I’m the author of a romance novel, two poetry collections, and a memoir. My work has appeared in The Avocet and Magnets and Ladders. I have a visual impairment and live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my late husband, who was totally blind and partially paralyzed by two strokes. Before that, I worked as a registered music therapist in a nursing home and other facilities that served senior citizens. For more information, please visit my website and blog.
What Did The Ancient Romans Ever Do For Us? That phrase might bring to mind many different scenarios. For me growing up watching UK television in the 1960s and 1970s, the first image would be of an irreverently funny show called Monty Python’s Flying Circus. The weekly show had many spin offs, one of which was a definitely flippant feature film. In the film a character derisively asks “What have the Romans ever done for us?” The answers from those assembled reply: err…sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system via aqueducts, public health…and our peace.” The list seemed endless.
In fact, Ancient Rome was an amazing place. It’s a city that I’m learning more about every day during my FutureLearn Course – Rome: A virtual Tour of the Ancient City which I mentioned in my blog post of a couple of weeks ago. I wrote some posts on this blog in 2016 about making my first ever visit to Rome. I’d been to other Italian cities, but not Rome, and since I write about Roman Scotland it was well past time for me to learn more about the city that sent the Roman Legions to my part of Scotland back in AD 84.
It’s only Week 2 of my course and I’ve already learned about some of the list above. It’s incredible to think of how inventive the original engineers of Rome were back in 312 B.C. when the first short aqueduct of 16 km (c. 10 miles), the Aqua Appia, brought a constantly running supply of fresh water into the city of Rome. The Aqua Appiawas an underground channel but by 140 B.C. the Aqua Marcia(55 miles) had a about 6 miles of its total running over arches. By the first century A.D. there were around 11 aqueducts feeding the city’s 1 million inhabitants with fresh water, many of those aqueducts with parts running above ground and over arches.
The Aqua Claudiais the longest stretch of an above-ground aqueduct near Rome that remains unbroken, still at a length of 1375 m. It was completed by the Emperor Claudius in 52 A.D, though had been started by the Emperor Caligula.
The Ancient Romans didn’t only appreciate the fresh water coming into their city for drinking purposes. They also used it for
continuous flushing out of their communal lavatories
supplying water to their communal bathhouses
for other domestic, trade and industry reasons
for sluicing down their streets and sewers
and for feeding the many fountains around the city.
The famous Trevi Fountain in Rome is still partly fed from the Aqua Virgo which was initially constructed in 19 B.C. during the time of the Emperor Augustus. The Aqua Virgo brought in the fresh water from hills and streams some 18 km (11 miles) away from the city and was used as a source for 400 years till it fell into disuse around the time of the Fall of Rome in approx 397 A.D.
Attempts were made at times to restore the aqueduct during the next 1000 years but it wasn’t till 1453 that it was restored to feed a fountain on the site of the present Trevi Fountain. By 1762 a fabulous new baroque fountain was created, the one we can view today in Rome known as the Trevi Fountain.
The Trevi is famous for various reasons, one of which is the 1954 film “Three coins in the Fountain” that title song sung by Frank Sinatra, though he got no credit for it.
BTW – I’ve also learned about the sewers of Rome but we can leave that topic for another day!
The architecture of the buildings of the Roman Forum are now holding my attention much more, although I confess to being fascinated that had the Ancient Romans settled in my part of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, my surroundings might have been very different from how they are now. Today, there are people who complain about the building of windfarms, designed to supply parts of Scotland with cheaply produced wind-generated electricity. They claim the wind mills spoil the beauty of the landscape. Whether or not they are correct, I wonder what the inhabitants of the countryside around Rome felt when they first saw the Aqua Appia arches!
Do you think any Ancient Romans complained about the arches spoiling the view, or do you think they were delighted with sparkling fresh water gushing out of a tap near their house?
Nancy Jardine writes: Historical Fiction; Time Travel Historical and Contemporary Mysteries.
If you read the October 15th post on my personal blog, you know my husband’s video “Invisible Men Invade Earth” won 1st place ~ Judges’ Pick at the What the Fest (hosted by Weresquirrel and Pocket Sandwich Theatre) in Dallas Saturday night. What only my husband and I know is that I had a panic attack, or maybe just a little panic, when I realized I’d missed my October 14th post deadline for Writing Wranglers and Warriors.
I had it all worked out that the 14th was the next Tuesday, but it was really yesterday, Saturday, and I’d missed it completely, and blah blah blah. How would I ever make it up because the October 15th person had already posted, and I couldn’t post after that one, and more blah blah blah.
At some point, a little spark of sanity flew by: to make certain of the date, I could look on the schedule I always save to my hard drive. But no, I had my Chromebook with me, and I’m lax about moving documents from my laptop to the Google Drive. So I couldn’t look there.
But it would be on Facebook. Somewhere.
I don’t know how I found it–I’m not great at finding things on Facebook–but I did, and lo and behold, my day to post was Tuesday. The 17th. Not the 14th. Well, sometime in the past I posted on the 14th of something. Anyway, peace of mind ensued.
Then, this afternoon, I said to my husband, “Oh, dear, I have a blog post due tomorrow [October 17, not October 14]. I must get on that.”
A minute ago, 9:03 p.m., when my sensible and no doubt tired–those festivals take a lot out of you–husband started up the stairs to bed, I said, “Remember that post I mentioned this afternoon? The one due tomorrow? Well…” I said I wouldn’t write too many more words, but I always write too many words, because it takes me a while to get past the introduction.
A student once remarked, “It seems like the trick to writing an essay is to start with a paragraph about something you’re not going to write about.” I agreed with him. I’d always thought it but had never mentioned it to students because I was afraid they would tell another English teacher I’d said it. It’s not something you find in the textbooks.
Much of what you need to know isn’t found in textbooks, but I didn’t say that either.
(Many of the things you do need to know are in the literature, math, biology, and foreign language texts. You need history, but most history texts are soporific, and I wouldn’t wish one on anybody. And forget about geography. I worked hard stuffing it into my head, and did fine on tests, and even took a class as an elective in college because I was feeling especially Victorian that day and decided it would be good for me, but I still don’t know where or in what direction anything is. Forget about home ec.)
Okay. Thus endeth my introduction, about what I’m not going to write about.
I still don’t know what I’m going to write about. I’ll just give some advice.
Don’t go to the Cheesecake Factory at 6:00 p.m., after the only things you’ve eaten all day are a bowl of Rice Krispies and a Coke, because you’ll eat half of your Fettuccine Alfredo and not want anything more, but will order cheesecake anyway, because after all, you’re in the Cheesecake Factory, and you don’t run across cheesecake every day, and the piece will be about three times as large as the normal serving of cheesecake, and even though you don’t want it, you’ll eat it anyway, because it’s cheesecake.
And don’t go to a film festival that begins at 11:15 at night, when, not long before that, you dined at the Cheesecake Factory, and you didn’t take a nap between, and possibly if you did take a nap, when you’re scheduled to depart for the theatre at 10:00 p.m., you’ll be muy miserable, and your spouse will say something like, We don’t have to go to the festival, we can just spend the night and go home tomorrow, and you’ll say, Nonononono, and then, something like, I didn’t drive all the way from Austin to Dallas [the most boring drive in the world] just to turn around and go back home we are going to that festival.
And then don’t sit down at a table in the (sort of dinner) theatre, because your spouse will say, “I’m going to order pizza. Do you want some?” and you’ll hold your tongue and say, simply, “No, thank you,” and allow him to order you chips and salsa, and you’ll eat little, tiny pieces of chips, slowly, and you’ll want to just want to lie down and be left alone, but, because your days and nights are mixed up already due to your always staying up till the wee hours, you will suddenly come alive and feel ever so good, and will have a grand old time. And eat several great big chips.
And when you get back to the hotel, ecstatic your spouse’s video won first place and got all kinds of compliments from the judges [has a purity, comes from a place of love, we watched it over and over, I showed it to the women in my office…] you’ll start a blog post right then and there, and that will take some time, and putting in the pictures will take forever, because your spouse will have to get them off his camera (you forgot to bring yours) and send them to you, and then you’ll have to be polite while he shows you how to get them from your email to the Google Drive because you did put them on the Google Drive but now can’t find them, and you’ll want to slam the Chromebook to the floor, and the mouse will decide it wants to work only half of the time, and the touch pad will quit working entirely, and your spouse will say the Chromebook is old, and, also, one time he had to stick the back back on, and you’ll say you don’t remember that, and he’ll say he doesn’t remember when or how came off either, but he
remembers seeing a lot of circuit boards, or something, and you’ll struggle with getting the photos into the blog, as usual, and the best one will be a picture of the head of the dragon carved out of wood in the theatre foyer, which is the pits, and you won’t get to bed till 5:00 a.m., but you’ll have to get up and out of the room by noon, and somehow when you wake up, the cheesecake feeling will be back, and you’ll have to make that boring drive to Austin with all the UT-Austin fans who are either sad or mad that Oklahoma won, and you couldn’t care less, but you’ll be almost as sad and mad as they are.
So there’s my advice. If you take it, you’ll have a good time.
If you don’t take it, you’ll have a better one.
The Longhorn in the picture above is a cow. The mascot of the University of Texas – Austin is a steer. For the purposes of this post, a cow is close enough. That’s blasphemy to some, but they’ll get over it.
My stories appear in two anthologies, Day of the Dark and Murder on Wheels, and on Mysterical-E. Another story will appear in Austin Mystery Writers’ second anthology, Longhorn Lawless, to be published by Wildside Press. I blog at Telling the Truth, Mainly. I’ve begun writing under the name M. K. Waller lest I be confused with the CFO of Coca~Cola.
I’ve been reading a western novel, Singletree, for the last few weeks. The more chapters I read, the more I find myself thinking about some of the bloggers on the Wild Wranglers And Warriors, the ones who call Wyoming and Colorado home.
This book by author Jack Ravage, a retired college professor, brings this land to life. The tale takes place in the old west after the Civil War. It’s based on a historical incident. In 1868, a black cowboy rode into Medicine Bow in the Wyoming Territory looking to buy land for a ranch. He was murdered by a mob shrieking: “No nigger’ll ever own land in Wyoming.”
Singletree tells the story of two men, one red, one black in a blue uniform, who forge an uncommon alliance, bonded by a desire to search for justice in the death of a black man who just wanted a chance to make a life for himself.
As I dig into this book, the more I think my fellow bloggers with a love of the Old West will enjoy reading this novel. It feels authentic.
I met Ravage back in September at a book signing at a used bookstore in Henderson. He gifted the book to me, signing it. I’m glad he did. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable read.
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I’m an author with three published fantasy novels – The Emperor’s Mistress, Thief’s Coin and Assassins’ Lair. The books make up a trilogy titled Larenia’s Shadow. A fourth novel, this one a historical romance set during the Civil War, went live earlier this month. It’s called Blessed Shadows Dark and Deep. I’ve begun writing my second Civil War novel – Deepening Homefront Shadows. All my novels can be purchased via the website of my publisher, Wings ePress, as well as the websites of Smashwords, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.