Author Archives: Miriam Hurdle

“Spotlight” Author Blog Tour #RRBC Karl Morgan @karljmorgan

I’m excited to host “Spotlight” Author on my blog. Please join me to welcome #RRBC member Karl Morgan. We will learn more about his writing, his life and his book Carl Prescott and the Demon Queen.

 

AUTHOR PIC

Sometimes I wish I was an Outliner and not a Pantser

 

In my darkest thoughts, I see an author who outlines their story even before they start to write. How smug to know where your story is going before you get there. You snicker under your breath when you encounter a pantser like me who is desperately searching for the next idea to keep their story alive. You have to leave the room before you burst into hysterics of laughter as you see the poor, sad pantser shake their head while deleting days or weeks of work. Later, the outliners will gather for a coffee or beer to share their superiority and disdain for the lowly pantser.

I said that was my darkest thoughts, right? Of course, the outliner is nothing like that. We are all on the same road and heading toward the same destination: Popular Authorville. We all live for our characters, stories, and love of words. Each of us is a storyteller first and foremost. I also know that an outline is only a plan. Having spent many, many years in the corporate world, I recognize that plans always require tweaks if not complete overhauls.

In a way, that makes me an outliner too, but just barely. When my fingers first hit the keyboard, I have an idea I believe will make a perfect crescendo finish. Reality sets in after a few pages and that conclusion begins to morph. For example, in my book 2125: Home of the Brave, I expected the bombing of the cannibal stronghold would be the end. Blow up the evil dudes and the hero wins. Yay! I got to that point and said, “Meh. Too easy.” Trust me. It really was not easy. In fact, it was horrifying. Someday, I will tell you about Galloping Goblins. Anyway, I decided my hero, Jack Kennedy (no, not the one you think), needed a more dastardly finale. In the final ending, Jack was slowly being sliced to pieces by the leader of the cannibals. Yada, yada, yada, he survives and wins.

Ultimately, I am thrilled to be a pantser, although I prefer to call it a stream-of-consciousness writer. First, because that is the way my brain works. I also believe my story improves as I go along. New ideas pop in my head, I switch gears, and am off to the races again. Of course, there is a downside. With the story I am writing now, I got totally off-track. That is easy to do when you are dealing with supernatural beings, time travel, and alternate universes. I had to take out my trusty machete and whack off a bunch of text that did not fit where I wanted to go. Currently, I am on a hiatus from that tale while my mind rests and figures out the next steps.

It does not matter what writing style you like. If you like it, that is what counts. We each need to remember something truly amazing about us. We are writers! That is an incredible gift and a rare talent indeed. We are on the same journey, and as members of the Rave Reviews Book Club, we take that trip together. Whether you use a computer, dictation software, tablet, Smith-Corona typewriter, or even a legal pad, you write. We are artists and masters of the written word. Embrace and celebrate that! We will all leave a legacy in print that will survive long after we are gone (except me of course, I plan to live forever…). Today, I celebrate you.

 

 

CARL PRESCOTT AND THE DEMON QUEEN

 

Carl Prescott may have saved the world from the Beast, but the duties of the Invisible Hand never end. The story begins when a medieval castle is discovered hidden beneath the Thorndike Institution. While the professors search for clues, our hero is summoned to Hell to meet the demon Sylvia. She once ruled a satanic kingdom in Eastern Europe from that castle, and will do so again.

There is much more to this beautiful woman than evil intentions. To stop her plan, Carl must first understand why she is so focused on him. To learn the truth, he must face God, Satan, and Death. In this nonstop action-packed adventure, he must stand at the Crossroads of Existence and cross the Rope Bridge to meet his destiny.

If he succeeds, life can return to normal. If not, the galaxy and every soul therein will be devoured by a voracious black hole, which even God will be powerless to stop.

 

Author Bio:

Karl Morgan has a lifelong fascination with stories in the science fiction and fantasy genres, whether it was the Tom Swift novels by Victor Appleton he read as a young boy, or television like Lost in Space and Star Trek, and especially films like Star Wars, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. All of those tales put the protagonist in terrible situations where the odds are against them and, yet, somehow they prevail. The reader/viewer is always left with a sense that something greater than ourselves is watching over us.

In his new Carl Prescott young adult fantasy series, the journey continues as our hero faces terrible danger and odds to help his friends and family. At the end, he will learn new things that will change his perspective on life.

Karl lives in the San Diego area with his best, four-legged friend, his toy poodle Chachis.

 

Follow Karl online:

Twitter

Facebook

Website

 

Colleen’s Poetry Challenge – Personal Preference

Colleen said, “Let’s PLAY with opposites! Here are your two words for this week: Pretty & Ugly.” – Synonyms Only.

Here’s the poem about contrast and personal preference.

 

Image result for contrast images

 

Personal Preference

 

Pleasing view to me

Unsightly scene to others

Taste buds are distinct

No worries of sweet or sour

In time, you’ll find lovers

 

 

 

Colleen’s Poetry Challenge – Personal Preference

 

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #53: Flowers

This is one year anniversary of Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. I want to thank Patti, Ann-Christine, Amy, Tina and their team effort to make the photo Challenge fun. To celebrate the anniversary, the theme for #53 can be individual’s choice or one of their suggestions. I chose to show some flowers.

Welcome to My Garden!

There are many kinds of flowers in my garden. Some are perennial and some annual. To make gardening manageable, I have mostly perennial flowers because they come back year after year. I just keep some spots for annual flowers to have fun planting new every year.

Our front yard and backyard were remodeled fifteen years ago, twelve rose bushes were planted. The original tags were gone and I don’t remember the names of most of the roses. I tried to keep the tags of twelve rose bushes planted after that. Since these twenty-four rose bushes are in different colors, I decided to have ten white iceberg roses on one side of the driveway.

There are about a dozen kinds of annual flowers not included in this post. Yes, I like flowers.

 

1.tea rose 1

Double Delight

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” – Abraham Lincoln

 

2.tea rose 3

Hybrid Tea

“We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon – instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today.” – Dale Carnegie

 

3.tea rose 2 Grateful heart

Grateful Heart

“The rose speaks of love silently, in a language known only to the heart.” – Author Unknown

 

4.hibiscus

Orange Hibicus

“Love is the flower you’ve got to let grow.” – John Lennon

 

5.hisbicus pink

Pink Hibicus

 “Flowers… are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty out values all the utilities in the world.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

6.daylily

Daylily

“Where flowers bloom, so does hope.” – Lady Bird Johnson

 

7.clover

Clover flowers and their visitor

“Flowers are the music of the ground. From earth’s lips spoken without sound.” – Edwin Curran

 

8.sunflowers

Sunflowers and their visitor

“A rose can never be a sunflower, and a sunflower can never be a rose. All flowers are beautiful in their own way, and that’s like women too.” – Miranda Kerr

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #53 – Flowers

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge – Mary Chase Perry Stratton

July 4, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using your choice of microhistory from Keweenaw National Historic Park. Be historical, funny, or flagrantly fictional. Choose a character, time, place, or event. Be as creative as you want in telling the story. Go where the prompt leads!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image result for Mary Chase Perry            Image result for Mary Chase Perry

 

Image result for Mary Chase Perry        Related image

 

Mary Chase Perry Stratton

 

“Welcome to Pewabic Pottery. How can I help you?”

“I want to take a pottery class.”

“That’s wonderful. Let me show you around.”

“Great. Who is in the picture on the wall?”

“She is Mary Chase Perry Stratton, our co-founder who started Pewabic Pottery in 1903.”

“Wow, a woman who did it 116 years ago.”

“Yes, when she was 36 years old. She studied art with the sculptor Louis Rebisso when she was 20.”

“Do you have anything she made?”

“We do, and pictures too. She lived to 91 years old and did many projects.”

“She is my inspiration.”

 

Related image                  Image result for Mary Chase Perry

Flash Fiction Challenge – Mary Chase Perry Stratton

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #52 – Serenity

The theme from Tina for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is: Serenity.

These are a few of my favorite places of calmness, peacefulness and serenity.

 

2018 Huntington 4

Chinese Garden, The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens. Los Angeles, California, USA

Learn silence. With the quiet serenity of a meditative mind, listen, absorb, transcribe, and transform. – Pythagoras

 

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Moulton Falls Regional Park, Washington, USA

The waters are in motion, but the moon retains its serenity. – D.T. Suzuki

 

Maui sunset 2014.10

Maui, Hawaii, USA

Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace,  joy and serenity. – Nhat Hanh

 

Newport

Newport Beach, California, USA

Peace is the simplicity of heart, serenity of mind, tranquility of soul, the bond of love. – Pio of Pietrelcina

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #52 – Serenity

 

 

To a Daughter Leaving Home by Linda Pastan – re-post

linda-pastan

On May 27, 1932, Linda Pastan was born to a Jewish family in the Bronx. She graduated from Radcliffe College and received an MA from Brandeis University.

Among her publications are – Carnival Evening: New and Selected Poems 1968-1998 (W. W. Norton, 1998), which was nominated for the National Book Award; The Imperfect Paradise (W. W. Norton, 1988), a nominee for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Linda Pastan lives in Potomac, Maryland.

I feature two of her poems. The first one makes me laugh and think. When I first read the title, I thought she was writing about her daughter going to college, or at a wedding. When I read on to the last line, I could feel her heart. Yes, our children leave us in different stages and different circumstances.

I found myself letting Mercy go little by little as she was growing up. Letting her go in a way of respect her to become independent but still stay close by to be her support. When Mercy was in fifth grade, she configured my first cell phone. When she was a young adult, she became my friend as remains to be my daughter. At the present, I rely on her expertise and am not afraid to ask.

~

To A Daughter Leaving Home by Linda Pastan

When I taught you
at eight to ride
a bicycle, loping along
beside you
as you wobbled away
on two round wheels,
my own mouth rounding
in surprise when you pulled
ahead down the curved
path of the park,
I kept waiting
for the thud
of your crash as I
sprinted to catch up,
while you grew
smaller, more breakable
with distance,
pumping, pumping
for your life, screaming
with laughter,
the hair flapping
behind you like a
handkerchief waving
goodbye.

The second poem evokes my reflection on the question: when am I most myself? I think it is ever since I had cancer. I reflect on life vs. death, health vs. sickness, essential vs. contemporary, personal right vs. relationship. I accept who I am and no interest in pretending. I’m satisfied with what I have and no ambition to acquire “one more.”

~

Something About the Trees by Linda Pastan

I remember what my father told me:
There is an age when you are most yourself.
He was just past fifty then,
Was it something about the trees that make him speak?

There is an age when you are most yourself.
I know more than I did once.
Was it something about the trees that make him speak?
Only a single leaf had turned so far.

I know more than I did once.
I used to think he’d always be the surgeon.
Only a single leaf had turned so far,
Even his body kept its secrets.

I used to think he’d always be the surgeon,
My mother was the perfect surgeon’s wife.
Even his body kept its secrets.
I thought they both would live forever.

My mother was the perfect surgeon’s wife,
I can still see her face at thirty.
I thought they both would live forever.
I thought I’d always be their child.

I can still see her face at thirty.
When will I be most myself?
I thought I’d always be their child.
In my sleep, it’s never winter.

When will I be most myself?
I remember what my father told me.
In my sleep, it’s never winter.
He was just past fifty then.

~

This is an expansion of Pantoum Poem Form from 4 stanzas to 7 stanzas.

Stanza 1: 1, 2, 3, 4
Stanza 2: 2, 5, 4, 6
Stanza 3: 5, 7, 6, 8
Stanza 4: 7, 9, 8, 10
Stanza 5: 9, 11, 10, 12
Stanza 6: 11, 13, 12, 14
Stanza 7: 13, 1, 14, 3

 

 

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