Posted in Fiction, postaday, stories, Uncategorized, writing

NaNoWriMo Winner! Whew I Did It!

It was hard going, but I managed to get my 50,000 words in today! I am now an official NaNoWriMo winner! Yeah me! Now maybe things will get back to my normal. I can only hope.

I haven’t finished my novel of course. A novel is usually more then 50,000 words. I am actually between half and two-thirds done writing it. Also there will be a whole lot of editing to do! But I’m going to take it easy for a little while and concentrate on my blogs that I have neglected this past month!



I thought I might include in today’s post a another little snippet of my book. Hope you enjoy! Please remember it’s in very rough first draft!




Phillis ran towards Pal’s barking. She heard Malcolm a few steps behind her. The thought briefly went through her mind the for an old man Malcolm was pretty quick. She heard a man yelling and Pal barking and wondered what she would find.
It was dark, but there was enough light from the few garden lights to see Pal had a strange man cornered up a tree. Phillis slowed to a walk when she got close. She didn’t think the man was armed or he would have taken a shot at Pal.
“Pal! Come!” Phillis yelled. A few seconds later a panting and proud Pal came trotting up to her. She patted his head and looked up the tree. What she saw almost made her laugh out loud. There was a strangely dressed man sitting on a limb and hanging on the truck of a large Oak tree with both arms.
To Phillis he almost looked like a leprechaun. Except he wasn’t dressed in green. But he had on a brown coat with wide lapels, with a white shirt peeping out the top around his throat. His pants looked like tweed and were the same brown as his coat. On top of his head he had on a small bowler hat the was sitting crooked at the moment. He had a worn leather satchel hooked over one shoulder and laying against his side.
The man’s black booted feet were hanging in mid air just out of reach. He peered down at Phillis and Pal with wide brown eyes. He had a wrinkled face like the bark of the oak tree that he was hugging. Phillis smiled and thought he looked like a small wizened brown leprechaun.
Malcolm came up to Phillis and looked up the tree also. In his hand he carried a serious looking gun. Phillis frowned at him, “Put that thing away Malcolm.”
“We don’t know if he’s friendly or not. Not after the other night, we shouldn’t take any chances” Malcolm said firmly. But he deposited the gun in his pocket.
Phillis raised one eyebrow and looked at the little man up the tree, “Do you really think he’s a threat?”
“Anyone can carry a gun my dear” Malcolm stated while looking up the tree. He had to admit though, the small man certainly didn’t look dangerous. But then, Malcolm knew that looks can be deceiving.
“Gun? Gun? Now why would ya be thinkin I be carryin’ a gun?” Cried the little man. “I hate the damn things! Why one could hurt themselves with the nasty things! Now would ya be so kind as to be lettin me down?”
Phillis smiled again. He talked just like he looked, except for one thing. His voice was deep. Really deep. Like when you find a old fashion well and call into it deep. She shook her head. This had been a really strange day, why should the night not be stranger.
“You can climb down. Pal won’t eat you, he’s all ready had his supper” Phillis called up to the little man. Pal barked and ran to the tree.
“Ya I can see the beastie looks well fed. But I’m not wantin him to have old Rags as a dessert!” the little man cried.
“Come here Pal!” Phillis called her furry friend over to her again. She was smiling. She couldn’t help it. Who would believe she found a brown leprechaun in her garden? Pal ran over to Phillis again and barked. He almost looked like he wanted to play with his newly treed friend. Phillis smothered a laugh and looked upwards once more.
“Come on down!” Malcolm yelled up. He was curious why this oddly dressed man was here. He wasn’t sure he trusted the little man. He looked too old to be up a tree anyway.
“Yes, yes. I’ll be a comin down now. You just keep that beastie with ya till I can get me feet on solid ground again” the little man called as he started his ascension down to the ground.
Phillis held Pal by his collar till the man could get down. She didn’t think Pal would hurt him, but she wasn’t going to take any chances. For a little old man he sure could move Phillis thought to herself as the man jumped the last few feet and tugged his hat back firmly on his head.
The man must have been a few inches under five feet. He cautiously walked up to Phillis. “You keep a hold of the beastie will ya please” he said. Then he stuck out his hand to Phillis, “I be Mánus Ó Raghallaigh. I was an old, old friend of your Great Grandmothers. You must be Phillis Dragomir, you be a spittin image of dear Edith.”
Phillis put her hand in his small one. He had a firm handshake. He held her hand as he said “I be so sorry for your loss. Edith was a fine woman. None better. I wanted to be here for her funeral, but, ahem, got delayed a wee bit.”
Phillis looked down into the man’s brown eyes and saw the sadness in them. Strange that she had never met him before, if he was such a good friend to Edith as he claims. She felt her hand warm up, almost as if there was a kind of energy coming from the man. She pulled her hand away and as soon the contact was broken the warmth dissipated.
Malcolm and Pal watch the interplay between Phillis and the little man. Malcolm frowned. Pal sat with ears alert and eyes watchful, but he didn’t leave Phillis’s side. Malcolm wasn’t sure what to make of the man. He was suspicious since Edith never mentioned this strange fellow to him. He could see from Phillis’s expression that she had never heard of the man either. This little elf, Malcolm thought needed careful watching.
The little man smiled up at them, a twinkle in his brown eyes. “Just call me Rags, all my friends do.”
“Never heard of you and I was friends, good friends with Edith for years” Malcolm stated.
“Ah, ye was Edith’s companion were you not? Malcolm Gerroud the name is then?” Rags said in his deep sing song voice. “My good friend Edith mentioned you to me she did. Said you were a suspicious type ye be.”
Malcolm looked surprised Phillis noticed, but also even more suspicious. Phillis watched in interest. Rags turned to Phillis and stepped forward. Pal ever alert put his big body between Phillis and the strange man. He didn’t growl, or go after the man, he just stood in between the two.
Phillis looked at the Rags and waited. Rags smiled at Pal and slowly raised a hand toward him. Phillis tensed because she wasn’t sure what Pal would do. So far he hadn’t let any one touch him except her and Damon’s sister. He wouldn’t even let Malcolm touch him. But Rags didn’t hesitate, he let the big dog sniff his outstretched hand, then whispered something to him that to Phillis sounded like Gaelic.
Pal stood still, his ears perked and listening. His eyes never left the small man in front of him. Rags kept talking to Pal in the strange language and stepped closer to the dog. He laid one small brown hand on his head and continued talking.
Malcolm and Phillis watched as Rags then took his other hand and laid it on Pal’s back. All the time his soft deep voice spoke the language of ancients. Phillis watched as the dog accepted Rags.
Rags dropped both hands to his side and smiled at Pal. Pal shifted his body and sat next to Phillis no longer blocking the man. Phillis somehow wasn’t surprised at the developments. This small brown man with the deep Gaelic voice was different. Very different. Time would tell whether that was good or bad for Phillis.
Rags next stepped closer to Phillis, now that the beastie was out of the way. He could see Edith in the girl’s face, even in some mannerisms. She didn’t trust him, which was natural. But she would. He would make sure of it. He needed her trust or doing what he came to do would be impossible.

Posted in Fiction, postaday, stories, Uncategorized, writing

NaNoWriMo Update ~ Day 17

Today I got a late start, but managed to write more words. Go figure. I finished Chapter fourteen and had my protagonist go off in a different direction. She went willingly too for a change. I actually think she approved of where I went with the story. Sometimes I think I’m just there to type the words my characters tell me to. It’s okay though.

I got 1838 words done today for a total of 28465. I am still on track. By Sunday night we are supposed to have slightly over  30,000 words done.  I believe I can do that. Here’s to  characters that are smarter than writers!


Posted in Fiction, stories, Uncategorized, writing

NaNoWriMo Update ~ Day 16

Well it’s Friday, my thoughts are still scattered to the four winds. I will get it together at some point I’m sure. I managed another 1321 words today for a total of 26627. I’m really hoping this weekend goes better.

Here is a snippet of chapter 12, one of the chapters that was giving me hell. It’s a conversation between Phillis (the protagonist) and Malcolm the elderly friend who is helping her find what the key opens. It’s in rough draft and so not as good as I would like. But it is what it is for now.


The Key

Phillis felt Malcolm’s eyes on her but continued to toss pieces of bacon to Pal. She wasn’t sure what to say to him, so she waited for him to speak. Which he did when he finished his first cup of coffee and stood to get his second.

“I’m going to stick close to you from now on my dear girl” Malcolm told her.

Phillis looked up in surprise, she didn’t feel like she needed a baby sitter. “No need Malcolm.”

“Obviously last night proved there is a need” Malcolm said pouring his cup of coffee. He headed back to the table and noticed the frown on Phillis’s pretty face. “Someone is either out to harm you, or out to steal the key.”

“If they wanted me dead, I would be dead. They want something else, maybe the key. All though I don’t see what good the key will do them without the book.” Phillis stated in a reasonable tone.

“Maybe they have the book” Malcolm stated.

Phillis stopped throwing bacon to Pal and stared at Malcolm. She had never thought of that. It seemed far fetched to her though. “If they had the book why are we searching for this same mythical book then? Would not all of our queries have revealed this damn thing even exists?”

Malcolm calmly sipped his second cup of coffee. “It was just a thought” he said.

“Well it doesn’t make any sense. I mean Edith never found traces of this book except for a long distant relative who might have information, or not.” Phillis stated. No she thought to herself. They don’t have the book. Not yet anyway. She was sure that who ever attacked her wanted the key, her, or both. Whether these same people had the book was doubtful. She frowned.

“Maybe these people, who ever they are think WE have the book” Phillis said to Malcolm. She watched Malcolm lower his coffee cup to the table. He stared at her, thinking.

“They must know we have the key” Phillis went on to explain her reasoning. “It is documented that my family held the key for generations. It’s not something that would be hard to find out. What if they also think we have found the book?”

“That might explain why your attacker didn’t just kill you.” Malcolm said thoughtfully. He didn’t notice the grimace on Phillis’s face at the easy statement of her death.

“He could have easily taken the key off you. Or subdued you enough to make you tell him where the key was. But, what if they wanted to kidnap you instead? They would have the key and they would try to find out where the book was through you” Malcolm was thinking out loud now.

Phillis stood and put the plate from the bacon in the sink. She noticed the dishes piling up and thought it was good that the housekeeper and other staff was coming back tomorrow. A housekeeper she was not. She thought Malcolm could be right in his thoughts. All the better to brush up on her self defence courses. She refused to carry a gun. At least around here. Once they got to Europe, that might change, but for now she will put her trust in herself and Pal.

She washed her hands and dried them on a kitchen towel. Facing Malcolm she said, “Well what ever they wanted they didn’t get. They might try again, but I don’t think so. If they do it will probably be over in Europe.”

“Maybe” Malcolm was not convinced.

“In any event, I will be more alert now. The house will have the alarm set. Also, I will have Pal with where ever I go.” Phillis said.

“Go? What do you mean go?” Malcolm asked. “You aren’t going anywhere till we leave for Europe!”

Phillis smiled. “I’ll be fine Malcolm. You can’t expect me to stay in the house cowering at every noise.”

“I don’t think you should cower, but stay close to home, yes most definitely” Malcolm stated firmly. He watched Phillis’s face change. He knew that look well. It was her stubborn look. He remembered she would get it every time something was denied her that she thought she should have. Edith got that same look when she was determined to do something that was frowned on. Malcolm sighed quietly. He couldn’t stop Phillis from doing what ever she wanted to do. She was of age and he wasn’t her guardian.

Phillis put her hands on her hips and frowned at Malcolm. “I have an appointment in town. I will have Pal with me at all times. I will not stop living my life because of some damn family fairy tale!”

Posted in Fiction, postaday, stories, writing

NaNoWriMo Update ~ Day 10

Had a good day on my story today. It was an action scene and maybe that’s why. None the less I was happy. I managed 2261 words  today for a total of 18296 words. Yippeee!!! I should easily hit the 20,000 mark this weekend. So even though the past few day was not as productive as I wanted I am still on track.

Here are a few paragraphs from the novel. Please keep in mind it is in very rough first draft! I thought it would be nice to show  Phillis kicking some ass! haha! 😉


Phillis didn’t even have time to yell, she moved quickly to the side and started to run. She felt the man slam into her from behind and the momentum took them across the kitchen. She landed face down on the kitchen floor with the man on top of her. The breath was slammed out of her body by the sudden impact. She heard him grunt when he landed on top of her. She felt herself begin to panic and then all the self-defense classes Edith made her take in college kicked in.

Bucking her back, she took the black clothed man by surprise. Since he wasn’t expecting her to fight back he had become careless. As Phillis bucked him off her back she rolled over and took both feet and kicked him in his chest. He flew backwards and she scrambled to her feet. She had just managed to grab the kitchen door knob and turn it when she felt rough hands in her long hair. Tears came to her eyes when he yanked her by her hair back toward him. As her head jerked back with the pain, she managed to open the kitchen door.

The only sounds were the grunting of the man and both of their panting breaths. As the large man wrapped one arm around her waist she raised her foot and kicked backward. He managed to move his leg at the last-minute and her foot glanced off his calf. Trying to loosen his grip her hands clawed at his arm. Phillis quickly realized she would have to do something desperate because the man was much too strong for her. The heavily breathing man let go of her hair and put his arm across her neck and squeezed.

Phillis wondered if she was going to die. She had been afraid, but now that fear was quickly turning to anger! She was damned if she would give in this easily! And in her own home too! She remembered a self-defense move her instructor had taught them to use, she raised her arms and cupped her hands. She made herself remain calm as he was choking her and slammed her cupped hands over his ears as hard as she could do it backwards. It might not be enough to actually bust his eardrums but it might hurt him enough to loosen his grip on her throat.

The man grunted hard and his arm loosened around her throat just enough for Phillis to get her head under. She opened her mouth and bit his arm as hard as she could. He had a black sweater on but it still hurt him. She heard him swear. Phillis elbowed his stomach and managed to unlock his hold on her once more. She turned and even though he was a few inches taller than her five foot eight, she curled her fingers and hit him in his throat. He backed off and gagged. She smiled grimly hoping she had hurt him enough for him to leave.

Instead she saw his eyes grow furious. If he wasn’t going to kill her before he was sure going to try now! Without a second look she sprinted toward the door. If she could get outside she knew of a dozen places she could hide. No one knew these grounds as well as she did. She heard a roar behind her as she raced out the door. Did men really roar when they got killing mad??? Her mind skittered over the question. This was not the time for her strange sense of humour to come out. This man meant to kill her!


Posted in nonfiction, postaday, Uncategorized, writing

A Day In The Life of a Newbie NaNo’r – Day 5

The day started off at 8:05 this morning with a cold snuffle in my ear. My dog Sam wanted me up and about so he could have his morning constitution and his morning cookies. He lives for his cookies.

I hadn’t slept well last night for reasons I will refrain from boring you with. But I got up and let the dog out and then gave him his coveted cookies. Jumped in the shower for a quick wake up. Decided I would treat myself this morning with a large coffee, two creams from Timmy’s  (Tim Hortens Cafe here). I do love me some Timmy’s coffee. 🙂

By the time I got back home it was 9:15. Time to boot up the old computer. I’m all ready thinking of the NaNo book I’m working on. Trying to fit some pieces together in my head so I can get them down with some semblance of sense. Whether I manage that is debatable. ha!

9:30 and I’m on  WordPress checking out any comments I might have. Find a few and answer. I love comments too.  Who doesn’t. My ego gets stroked with every one. 😉

Finish with that for the moment and go into email. I swear with the election and Christmas coming I get more spam every darn day. Nothing much of interest in email. Oh, I might have won like 130 million if I answer the email today and send them all my information. Yeah right. Moving on.

10:00 am and I finally boot up the program with my NaNo  novel in it. Read the last few paragraphs and try not to cringe at the editing I must do at some much later date! All though I can’t help but do some tiny little editing things. Opps. But reading the last few paragraphs helps me set my  mind in what I was doing last on the book.

By 10:05 I’m typing my fingers to the quick. I  finally decide how I’m going to tie a couple of things together. Phew! I  type for about 45 minutes and stop to read over what I did. To see how it flows. It’s a habit I just can’t break, even for NaNo. That’s just the way I write. Doesn’t seem to really slow me down much as I type about 55 wpm. The past secretary coming out.

I have to stop writing about 11:30  because my head is getting foggy. A sure sign my blood sugars are getting low and I need to stop for lunch. Darn it. But I take this opportunity to read again what I have written. Not too bad. Make myself a chicken salad, grab a bottle of water (the coffee is long gone, should have gotten two cups!).  I take this lunch break to do a few research things for my book. I figure I need to eat, but doesn’t stop me from doing something else too. Yes, I admit. I am the dreaded ‘crumbs in my keyboard’ person. Hey it’s MY keyboard!

About 12:10 am writing on the novel again. It’s flowing a bit better now my head is clear. Finally finish chapter 3 and start on chapter 4. Finish what I wanted to today.

Unfortunately I have dirty dishes in the sink, my floors need vacuuming. The dog and cats need feeding and the laundry needs washing. Not to mention the dust! Okay, I won’t mention the dust! I need a maid for the month!!! Any volunteers??? The pay is non-existent,  but the benefits are good………..

Hey! Get your mind out of the gutter!! The benefits would be I feed ya! I am a cook after all. heheheh.  And since I have to cook for myself, as much as I don’t want to sometimes, cooking for one more is easy enough. You clean, I write. Sound great to me!

So my word count is now up to 9125 for the past 5 days. Today I did 1664. I’m happy with that. Hope you all had a good day too!


Posted in Fiction, Humor, nonfiction, postaday, stories, Uncategorized, writing

NaNoWriMo ~ Day 4

I’m baaaackkkkk. I have had a great productive day today! Yeah me! It has been quiet, no phone ringing, no dog barking. Nothing but peace and quiet to write in. Blessed be! I managed to produce 2786 words today in a relatively short period of time. It just kept coming so fast out of my brain my fingers could hardly keep up! And I type fairly fast. It’s a good thing because yesterday I got a bit behind. Now I’m predicted to finish Nov. 28Th! Well, only if I keep up the pace.

I now have a total of 7461 words written in 4 days. Not bad.

I was doing some snooping around the NaNo site today after I punched in my word count and some people have 10 or 20 thousand words written all ready!!  20 thousand!! In four days. Me thinks they started writing way before November 1. ha! Of course if I would have been smart and not so lazy I could have done the same I suppose. But what is the challenge in that? Oh well.


Posted in nonfiction, Uncategorized, writing

I Need Your Opinion Please!

I’ve been lurking looking about a bit the last few days. I have been truly impressed with all the blogs out there on writing. Either talking about writing or actually doing the writing. Be it short stories, poems, or memoirs. Even the blogs on daily life, or reviewing books. If you can’t write well, you won’t draw in the readers! You all are so very talented!

What I would like to do, (if feasible) is once a week I would like to interview someone on why they started their blog, how they came to love writing, where they would like to go from here. Also, if they have any tips on blogging, writing, editing, research, etc.

I would send them via email a set of questions, they answer and I post here! Viola!

I personally think it would be interesting reading. And who turns down tips if it will help them achieve their goals in writing? So, what do you think???

If you would like to be interviewed please comment below or send me an email (jrpbooks (at) mail (dot) com)

Also don’t be shy! I really want to know what you think!

Writing journal
Writing journal (Photo credit: avrdreamer)

All right! Now, I’m off to do a bit of creative writing of my own! See you again soon!

Posted in Humor, nonfiction, Uncategorized, writing

10 Things I Want To Do In My Life Before I’m Too Darn Old to Enjoy Them

I thought I might have a little fun and post a few things I want to do before I die. Some of them might actually be doable, some maybe not so much. And a few are just plain silly and will never happen. But hey! Can’t blame a girl for dreaming. 😉

1. Have my novel published and become the next hot author! Now I know there might be a few obstacles on this one. Well when isn’t there. I almost have a novel, that should count for something. So I figure I have as good a shot at this as anyone. I count this one as definitely doable!

2. Ride in a hot air balloon. Now this is something I’ve wanted to do for more years than I can remember! I love plane rides. So I figure a hot air balloon ride should be totally awesome! I do think it’s on my completely doable list!

3. Have one of my paintings sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. I have to admit this one is probably just a dream, but without dreams where would writers be? I mean I’m not the painting elephant (here) , and probably not abstract enough.

4. Go to one of those exotic islands for a month and laze around and work on my novel without any distractions! Here is the place I have in mind ( Island Resort ). A teasing picture is required here.

courtesy of Nika Island Resort


5. Have my very own pet Dragon! Yeah, I know. How old am I again?? Shhhhh, hehehe. But think about it! How cool would it be to own your very own pet dragon? You could train it to roast your marshmallows! Or start your fireplace! I bet there are lots of things dragons would be good for! I even have a name for it. What to you think of Mortimer? Cute right? And yes I know it’s one of those things that will never happen, but it’s fun to dream.

6. Learn to ballroom dance. And I’m talking about like they do on the TV show Dancing with the stars. I’ve always loved to dance, but to be able to dance like they do, oh yeah! For one thing it’s just so damn sexy! The dancing and the men!  😉  Now this might still be doable if I hurry. Well once I get my health back up to par.  But yeah I could handle that!

7. Have a part in a movie. Yeah I’m not so sure this is something I could really do or not. Believe it or not I”m a bit on the shy side. But to be an actor would be pretty interesting. For one thing you get to see the inside story on how a movie is made. I’ve always been curious about that. Also been curious if I could act!

8.Win the lottery so I can buy lots of acreage out in the country and open a sanctuary for rescued animals. Now winning the lottery is the only way I could afford this, but it’s always been a dream of mine to own an animal shelter and help as many animals as I could.

9. Have one of those gardens that people go “ohhhhh” when they see it. I love gardens! Now this one could be doable also. If I inherit a lot of money. Or winning the lottery would come in handy here also.

10. I want to visit England or Ireland and stay in a castle! Talk about a place that would fuel your imagination!

I’m sure I could think of lots more to add to this list. But this is a start! So how about you? What would be something you might put on a bucket list?


Posted in writing

Like the Little Train that Could….I think I can …I think I Can!

I’ve read lots of articles. I’ve had lots of people tell me this. But, believe me it’s easier than it sounds.

Just write! They all say……Just Write!, and it will start to come as naturally as breathing. I sure hope so. When I was younger I used to keep a journal. I would write in it every single day.  And, yes it did get easier I remember. So I guess I will just have to write every day just like back then. Maybe it will get easier again.

Like a lot of other would be writers. I’ve always wanted to write, to have that blockbuster book! That novel that everyone was reading and talking about! Maybe some day I will! But not today. Today I sit with a thousand ideas spinning through my mind. All ideas that could make for an interesting read. If I could just get those ideas down in writing.

I’m beginning to feel like I am running out of time. I keep getting older, letting the years slip by without even trying to accomplish my dream of writing. It’s scary. Writing is scary. You put out in word form all these thoughts and ideas and, yes dreams, for the world to read and judge.

Will anyone even read my words? Will they enjoy the experience? Will they come back for more? Yeah, it’s scary.

I understand why some tell me to join writing clubs. Join anything to do with writing. I think because there is some power in numbers. We all are scared. All us so called writers are scared to death that no one will want to read what we have to say. So we stick together, a pack, a group, a flock of writers. Hoping, dreaming.

So here I am, hoping someone, anyone, enjoys my writings. So I won’t feel so alone and vulnerable. So scared.