Celebrate The Small Stuff - Spring Weather & Poetry

Posted on March 24, 2017
It's officially SPRING, and that means softball, soccer, trail running, and long walks in the park, and bike riding, and flowers blooming, and no more scarfs and gloves and....

Wait. It's still 33-degrees outside. I thought Spring was here? What gives Mother Nature?

**crickets**

While a delayed spring means delayed soccer season for my son and his travel team and solid snow still blocking my driveway, the change in weather, or non-change, has no effect on my writing. I still procrastinate, except now I have more daylight hours when doing so.

But I do have a few milestones since my last post in February, so here we go!

De Colores - A Short Story

Posted on March 16, 2017
The pain struck her abdomen, as it did every morning for the past five years, with unrelenting might. Olivia pressed her pillow down on her stomach and breathed in deeply. Twenty breaths were the norm, and then the pain would dissipate, but today it was stubborn. Twenty-six breaths, twenty-seven breaths...

After forty breaths, Olivia was finally able to sit up. The wooden floors of her hundred-year-old house creaked with agony as she walked down a flight of stairs to the kitchen. A red robe too long for her short frame draped along the floor, and her slippers created a sound like sandpaper upon each step. She snapped her fingers the instant she reaches the refrigerator -- the doctor said no food today. Water was going to be her breakfast regardless how much her stomach growled.

The long-forgotten clattering noise of little girls getting ready for school suddenly filled Olivia's ears. She smiled as she recalled all the times she ran late, forgot lunches, and failed to signed various school forms, and other parenting mishaps. Being a widowed young mother to two independent girls wasn't easy, but they all survived grade school, and then high school, and then college.

The phone rang, and the bustling sounds faded along with her recollection. Olivia dragged her feet to the phone at the opposite end of the kitchen, sandpapering the white tile floor along the way. As she picked up the phone, she checked her cactus plants for new growth.

IWSG - Writing, a Love-Hate Relationship

Posted on March 1, 2017
Time for a post for the IWSG blog hop, hosted by Alex Cavanaugh, where writers talk about their insecurities in writing, publishing, and other related topics.

I am in no short supply of insecurities when it comes to my writing career. As to my actual writing . . . sometimes I hate it, but when I love it, I truly love it.

This isn't bragging by any means -- I am my harshest critique. I've delete parts of stories, some up to 20k words, because they sucked big time. Even those nights where I would wake up from an incredible dream and spend the next 2-3 hours writing 3,000 words of a best-selling story, only to wake up the next morning to read ramblings of an insomniac trying to sow incompatible plots into an ice-cream hamburger salad quilt. 

Yeah... I meant to write that to show how out-of-whack those stories can be. Delete. Delete. Delete. We writers give the delete button real purpose.

Zulema's Bright Future

Posted on February 14, 2017
When decades of Armageddon passed, mankind was left to its wits. Tornadoes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes left survivors waiting for Earth to explode. But it didn't. Mother nature gave mankind a second chance.

Keeping time wasn't easy since the ashen skies made it hard to monitor the sun's rotation. The natural tilt of the planet changed - north and south weren't north and south anymore. The constellations appeared in different parts of the night sky. Was the world spinning in a circle? No one could tell. Satellites, if they still circled the Earth, were sending signals to pulverized control centers. Offshore backup facilities and generators couldn't withstand the underground tremors.

What was the cause of it all? No one alive knew for sure. They say a meteor hit a country called Australia and shock waves rippled across the planet. There were survivors, but they have long since passed, and now their grandchildren's children tell stories.

IWSG & My Attempts At Marketing

Posted on January 31, 2017
Blog Hop hosted by Alex Cavanaugh
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Time for a post for IWSG hosted by Alex Cavanaugh, where writers talk about their insecurities about writing, publishing, and other related topics.

A different question is asked each month, where your answers are shared and you encourage others who are struggling. This month's question is : How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

This is an easy one. There are a lot of things that have changed in the way I read book and watch movies (both tell a story) ever since I started writing. I tend to focus a lot on plot and consistency, so when I spot a hole in a book or a movie, I do a fist pump like I discovered a secret that no one else knows. When things seem unlikely or unreal and the story is in a contemporary setting (not sci-fi/fantasy/horror/etc.) I shake my head.

Friday Celebrations - Poetry, Print Publishing, And Writing

Posted on January 20, 2017
Is the inauguration over yet?
It's time to celebrate! It's Friday! It's almost February! It's inauguration day!

Ok, maybe not all those things are positive, but I refuse to let the actions of a small group damage my faith in the american people and in our system of government. Life must go on. Peaceful protests must continue. Governments must shift. Voices are to be heard. The crazy will be crazy.

And... there is writing to be done.

Here are my celebrations for this week, quite a few writing related:

Silent Inquiries

Posted on January 16, 2017
I asked the water crashing against the shore,
"Who wrote your soothing melody?"
It answered me not, and continued flowing
In from the depths of the sea.

I asked the cut grass brushing against my boots,
"Who designed the freshness of your scent?"
It answered me not, and emitted its aroma
Into the wind that came and went.

I asked the rugged mountains along the horizon,
"Who dashed snow on the top of your peak?"
It answered me not, and stood proud and tall,
Glorifying its mystique.

I asked the universe behind the setting sun,
"Who positioned the stars at night?"
It answered me not, and covered the sky
With swirls of twinkling lights.

I asked the pitch-darkness of my bedroom,
"Who concocted nightmares and screams?"
It answered me not, and lulled me to sleep,
Escorting me to my dreams.

© Tanya Miranda

Celebrate the Small Stuff - Movies That Make You Think

Posted on January 12, 2017
What kind of world do we live in where The Fundamentals Of Caring is averaging 7.4 stars on IMDB? Talk about injustice! It needs to win some awards. It just has to.

I love watching movies that have me thinking about life, death, and relationships long after it finished. This movie, this situation, these people, all of it can be real.

Well, I guess the aliens in The Arrival can theoretically be real and just not be here yet, but the chances that actual aliens will be that cool are probably in the negative digits. (Can probability be negative? I don't know. I'm not a statistician, or one who gambles.)

In between watching the Arrival and The Fundamentals Of Caring, I recall the last movie that had this kind of impact on me was Seeking A Friend For the End Of The World. It was a bittersweet ending, as you can imagine with a title like that. I would categorize it as dark humor, or depressing humor. It made me think about life and the vast universe, the void, total darkness, the possibility of the human race in complete non-existence... Yeah, I lost a lot of sleep on that one.