45 Days To Go!

Welcome the spirit of Fall! Looking forward to reading the entries!!

Area 5 Bloody Pen Contests

Wow! Summer holidays are over or almost over for most of us, where did the time go? It also means that there are only 45 days to get your entry in for The Day of the Dead Contest!


Entries are due October 12th, at midnight EST. Check out the details for the contest here and the rules here. Send your entry or questions to area5bloodypen@gmail.com

Need some inspiration or want to get a head start on reading some great stories that relate to our theme? Check out these already published stories: Day of the Dead Inspiration List

Happy Writing!

Area 5 Bloody Pen Team

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Happy Birthday Ms Buffy!

I mention that writing is not a solitary activity. It is a truism for me on several levels. There are those I seek to entertain with my storytelling, my readers. I am not entirely blind to the wishes of those who write me, reading and commenting, but I do listen to the voices of my characters first. Kind of like hearing voices in my head – hopefully in a non-creepy way most days.

Then there is another level of those with whom I share my story-telling. There is the person who listens to my concept and makes the story alive through an image. I have been fortunate in my association with American Android. She has made inspired pieces for my stories.

And then, there are the women who see my stories in the rough, my beta readers, Breathesgirl and Ms Buffy. I mention them in my Author’s Notes, these two wonderful women who week by week read, edit, kibbitz, polish, and sometimes argue my work.They are my heroes even when I give them a hard time, and never more so than when I argue and they are right!

Today, I celebrate the birthday of one of those women – Ms Buffy.

Happy Birthday, friend! I hope that today is a day that all those whose lives are made happier just because you are here have a chance to let you know. For truly, this is not a day for you to celebrate, it is a day for us to celebrate you!

Best wishes!


Comment boxes and nominations

Take a look at who was nominated for this blogger award. Best of luck to each of them!

SVM & TB Stories

It appears that WordPress decided this past weekend they would play a joke on me.

It seems a lot of comments were sorted as spam, whether there was a link or two in them or not so I urge all of you to check your spam filter to make sure 1. your nomination didn’t get lost and 2. any regular comments didn’t get lost.

Since one of the rules of the Blogger Aware was to comment on the nominee’s blog to let them know they had been nominated it was most definitely an inopportune time for it to happen.

So, since I know at least one of those particular comments got lost in the aether I’ll post them here for you to see and please know, I did let each recipient know, unfortunately WP hiccupped.

I have heard from a couple of people so I know some nominations got through.

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Returning from Wild Places

First of all – thank you for letting me know that Chapter 29 – Running the Gut had lost its Comments box. Fixed now.

I will doubtless collapse in bed early tonight. I ended up spending time kayaking this weekend, which was unexpected. The water was so clear I could see a good twelve feet into thIMG_0140e water. There was a small island not far from shore and I slept there Friday night, just me and the stars.  It was lovely because the rain that had been forecast decided to pass me by. It was still humid and warm. In the night you hear fish rising to eat the insects – and there were insects! There was no moon to mention, but the stars stretched above me in layer after layer of milky light punctuated by pinpricks of stars. There are more satellites now than I recall. You see then moving in their predictable progressions, arcing too high above to be planes and too regularly to be meteors. In the morning, as the sun rose, I had that wonderful moment of peace that only comes from sleeping in wild places. The oak leaves lace above, the rising light changing the greens from moss to forest and back again.  I have included some other images from the hiking I did. A fairy circle of new growth surrounding the stump of a tree taken in logging. An eff, which is a kind of salamander walking on the forest floor, two pictures which show why I use bear bags. We have black bears here and they are shy. I have a bell on my backpack, but I also talk out loud as I walk. So – if you run across an older woman who is babbling on the trail, it isn’t that I’ve lost my mind. I’m giving fair warning to bears. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Happy trails to everyone and have a great week!


Raring to go…

I will be posting later today, grinding on about the walk I took. It was beautiful and there are parts of me that will hurt for a few days. What I do find is that I am anxious to push the next chapter. Because of my travel I am a day short. So, before I reward myself with shower and a nice, cold beer…

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Off on an adventure..

So I leave tomorrow straight from work for a walk in the woods, which is what I call a couple days of backpacking. It has been awhile since I’ve been out, just me and my feet, and I don’t think I’ll be going for distance. My pack isn’t too bad this time since I’ll only be walking a couple days. I’m at just over 45 pounds including water, so that’s pretty good. The bad news? It’ll be raining most of the next two days (sigh). Doesn’t matter.

There is something about being on the cusp of these little jaunts that just gets my heart pumping. What will I see? Who will I meet? Will there be a decent place to pitch the tent? Will I succeed in stowing my food up high or will I end up with (my more usual) pathetic throw where the evening is spent with one eye open wondering if my supplies will survive the night. (Usually, the answer is ‘yes’). Sometimes I end up camped near a deer run and you hear them walking around you in the dead of night. If I’m very lucky there are owls that hunt over head.

I will return Sunday, footsore and weary; dirty and smelling bad; joyful and calm.

Have a great weekend.