It’s WIP (i.e., work in progress) Wednesday …
I’m a quiet, serious sort of person, so why do I choose to write lighthearted, ghost stories, or what I call paranormal light, or gothic with a wink?
One – My Muse has Peculiar Taste
I backed-up and fell into this genre.
I thought I would enjoy writing post- apocalyptic stories as they are great back-drops for strong characters.
Boy was I wrong! I have a draft of a story about life after bio-warfare. The virus is carried in weaponized mosquitoes and my tag line was: It only takes one bite. IMHO the bones of the story are pretty good, but it will never see the light of day, because it needs at least six weeks of editing and I can’t stand the thought of spending even one more day with my mind in the ugly darkness of that world. It’s unbelievably hard. Sort of like swimming through mud.
When I read post-apoc, I’m only in that world for a few hours, but when I write it, I need to put my whole mind and heart into it for days on end. [shiver, shiver] It’s just not my cup of letters.
Anyway … as I wrote the postapoc story, my muse would do its best to escape from the harshness of the world I was creating. First, I began writing Haiku, and imagined that my heroine would be writing it, to escape her surroundings. That helped and it was fun, but as I neared the end of the first draft I found I needed more diversion, so I started writing a silly ghost story and fell in love with it.
It made me laugh and the writing was easy and fun. That story became A Highland Ghost for Christmas, my most popular story.
What I’ve learned from this experience is life is easier when I listen to my muse.
Two – Ghosts are Intriguing
Writing humorous ghost scenes, speculating about their lives after death and playing with horror is a lot of fun.
Once I had created the world of Sunset Cove, stories flowed through my head and I couldn’t stop writing them. The next three novellas came easily: A Viking Ghost for Valentine’s Day, Confessions of a Pirate Ghost and The Biker Ghost Meets his Match (launching in June).
Currently I’m working on a spin-off novel, tentatively called Midnight Magic: A Ghost and Abby Mystery, which I’ll publish in the fall.
Three – The Horror/Comedy Seesaw
Ghosts, even when they are funny at times, are dead and scary. I like the push and pull of the emotions they invoke in people (myself included). They create conflict in a story by their mere existence.
So, those are my reasons for writing ghost stories, which I hope will entertain you and let you escape from the stresses and confines of our modern world.
This is my latest release:
It’s Mah Jong Monday …
Dragons in Chinese Culture
Not all dragons are equal. Here in the west, we depict dragons as fire-breathing, aggressive beasts that need to be conquered, but eastern cultures see things differently.
“Chinese dragons traditionally symbolize potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over water, rainfall, typhoons, and floods. The dragon is also a symbol of power, strength, and good luck for people who are worthy of it.” Wikipedia
Given their grand position in Chinese culture, it’s no surprise that there are three dragon tiles in the game of Mah Jong.
Dragons in Mah Jong
The three dragon tiles (i.e., red, green and white dragons) are honor tiles. They play important roles in mah jong hands.
Illustration: white, red, and green dragons. In many sets (mine included) the red and green dragons are actual dragons.
- Chinese Character “Pai”
- it represents the mysterious unknown
- a border is drawn around the white to contain it
- Chinese Character “Chung” (see above)
- it means middle or center and the character looks like an arrow hitting a target
- so the larger meaning of this tile is success or achievement
- Chinese Character “Fa” (see above)
- means to commence – the stylized version of the character looks like an arrow being drawn back, ready to release
- to proceed or start
My 2 Cents
Knowing the meaning of the tiles adds another dimension to the game. Call me cheesy, but it makes it more exotic and fun for me.
My Mah Jong
My winning hand this week was Windvane
Windvane: one of each of the winds, and one paired, a pung in each suite. We play it exposed.
Next Monday I’ll look at the other honor tiles (i.e., the winds, ones and nines).
If you found this post interesting, check out the rest of my Mah Jong mini-series.
“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” ~ Confucius
It’s Flashback Friday.
I loved Archie comics as a kid, my daughters loved Archie comics and now my granddaughter loves Archie comics. They are great entertainment. And now there’s the Netflix series, Riverdale, filmed in Vancouver, which is far more mature than the comics, but still features the kids from the original comics.
What memories do Archie comics bring back for me?
- lazy Sundays and summer holidays
- stretching out on the back seat for a long car ride to visit relatives
- imagining stories with my favorite characters.
What I loved most was that the stories always ended happily. Life in Riverdale was perfect.
Your turn. Did you read Archie comics? What memories do they bring back for you?
As this is WIP (work-in-progress) Wednesday, I thought I would share my semi-final list for the sorcerer’s name. What am I talking about???
In my last newsletter I asked readers to send in names for the sorcerer in a story I’m writing. It’s the first book in the The Ghost and Abby series, which is a spin-off of A Viking for Valentine’s Day, featuring Eric the sexy spirit from Sweden and the widow Abby. Eric is searching for a way to become alive, so that he can spend at least one lifetime with Abby in that form. He finds a sorcerer (who has no name at the moment) who will grant him his wish for a price, but Eric is unwilling to pay that price. This is the subplot btw.
Thanks to everyone who helped me narrow over forty names down to this semi-final list:
Godwin, Kaliber, Declan, Guiden (Swedish for wizard), Severin Segewick the Soothsayer, Grimland the Great, Gavill of Yeoncil, Gavrill the Grey, Eldrax of Eyancor, Wetzel, Daw Thorne of Eyancor, Lionnous
My DH likes Dingus:)
My final two:
Are you in the Declan or Guiden camp?
I’ve got supernatural withdrawal. Bad
First I binged on True Blood (I’m a huge fan of Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse books) and then I binged on Grimm. What now?
I found this top ten summation on You Tube:
This video clip is a great montage of shows, which I recommend watching, but I don’t agree with their list:
10 – Adams Family (5 * – I loved this one as a child)
9 – Being Human (5* from me, too)
8 – The Vampire Diaries (5*, but a bit too much teenage angst for my old bones)
7 – Gravity Falls (never seen it)
6 – Penny Dreadful (never seen it – but it looks good in the clip)
5 – Dark Shadows (never seen it)
4 – American Horror Stories (never seen it)
3 – Twilight Zone (5* – classic terror)
2 – Supernatural (5* – this one scares me so much I can’t watch too many)
1 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer (4* – love it – cult worthy)
But, wait a minute. Three of my favorites only made the Honorable Mention List:
True Blood, Grimm and Charmed
Here’s my top five:
1 – True Blood
2 – Grimm
3 – Buffy
4 – Being Human
5 – Twilight Zone
Your turn. What are your favorites?