Wednesday, August 19, 2020

WEP Blades of Grass

Toya thumped to the ground with a sigh. The grass tickled the back of her knees and she reached to pull a blade from the ground.

A wide blade, perfect for making duck calls. Toya placed the blade between her thumbs but didn’t make the call.

Granny would have laughed.

The voices of the adults drifted around her, but Toya ignored them all. None of them were talking to her anyway.

Granny would have talked to her.

“Toya,” she’d say. “You blow on that grass, sunshine girl. Life is too short to be demure. You go out there and live some, you hear?”

Still, Toya didn’t blow on the grass. Instead, she rolled it between her fingers until it was a tight little ball then plucked another one.

And another.

Soon, there was a little pyramid of grass balls in front of her.

“What do you see, girl?”

A pyramid of knitting yarn Granny would use to make a sweater.

A pile of balls waiting for a cat to play.

Ammunition for a pea shooter to get back at Roger for tugging at her braids.

“Always thinking small, girl. Think bigger.”

Magic mints for the fairies and brownies who filled the woods behind the farm.


Each ball a memory.

Granny stirring up a pot of soup.

Sitting in the sunbeams playing with the cats in the barn. Granny always said you were never too old to play in the sunbeams.

Granny holding her hand in the cemetery, telling Toya her folks might be gone, but they’d always be with her.

Making scrapbook pages with Granny.

Toya picked up the tiny balls of grass and tried to imprint each of them with a memory. She had to remember.

“Time to go.”

The woman’s voice broke Toya’s chain of memories, but she didn’t look up into that face she didn’t know.

There weren’t any other voices left. The other adults were gone.


Toya picked up another ball of grass. Granny laughing with her as they tossed out her first attempt at peanut butter cookies.

The big bed where it was safe when the nightmares came along with the thunder.

“Toya, please stand up. We need to leave. It’s getting late and the Lawsons are expecting us.”

The Lawsons. The people she hadn’t met yet. The people she didn’t want to meet.

“Toya, it’s getting dark. It’s time to leave.”

The sun peeked over the top of the headstone but as Toya looked up, the sun winked and dropped below, leaving her in the shadows.

In Granny’s shadow.

Toya picked up the last ball of grass and added it to the memory pile in her hand. Then she rose out of the comfort of Granny’s shadow and went with the lady she didn't know.


This is an entry for the WEP August challenge The Long Shadow. If you click on the link, you'll find a host of other stories based on the prompt. The stories are always diverse and entertaining - well worth the time to read!

How about you? Any memories you've preserved for yourself?
Badge for the WEP Challenge The Long Shadow

Monday, August 17, 2020

Patricia Jospehine and The Influencers

Please welcome my buddy Patricia Lynne Josephine back to the blog today!!

1. What's your favourite way of coming up with names for your characters?
I go to baby name sites and look up names and their meanings. Sometimes I try to pick a name that has a meaning that fits with the character's personality. Othertimes, the character tells me their name.

2. Let's talk titles. Hard or easy? How did you come up with Influencers?

Titles are hard. You have to come up with as few as one word that describes a 50 thousand plus word story??? I came up with Influencers because that's what the characters do: influence mortals. You can say that's lazy or just common sense. LOL!

Let's go with Common Sense - it totally works!!

3. You have to choose:
Light or Dark?
Light, it energizes

Vampires or Werewolves?
Vampires, duh! Why would you choose anything else? =P

Sunrise or Sunset?
Sunset. Both are pretty, but I'm always asleep during sunrise.

Wolverine or Iron Man?
Wolverine. He's not as stuck up as Iron Man.

Vacation in the City or at the Beach?
Vacation in the city because there is a lot to explore.

Spring or Fall?
Spring because the snow is freaking going away!

As you now know, Patricia's new book is called Influenced. I was lucky enough to read an early copy and it is a lot of fun! Here's my review!

The Influencers can't be seen by humans, but they sit on the shoulders of the mortals and whisper n their ears. Eating that extra piece of chocolate cake? Influencer. Letting your colleague use the copier first? Influencer.
The book contains three intertwined short stories with influencers dealing with their humans and trying to push them towards the Dark or the Light.

The stories are quick reads with intriguing characters (both mortal and otherwise). You'll find yourself thinking of the message behind the stories long after you finish the last page.


There is no Light without Dark.

Influencers are the voices that whisper in our ears. Tiny Angels and Devil sitting on our shoulders and guiding our choices. They are sworn to thwart the other. It is their duty.

Or so they thought…

Nothing is as it seems and questions are piling up. Do Kale and Ariel have the strength to face the truth? Will Antonia and Landon be forced to choose a side? Can Soleil break through to Kemuel? Three tales, three choices: Light. Dark. Or the shades of gray between.

Which one will win?


About the Author

Patricia Josephine is a writer of Urban Fantasy and Sci-Fi Romance books. She actually never set out to become a writer, and in fact, she was more interested in art and band in high school and college. Her dreams were of becoming an artist like Picasso. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head for fun. That was the start of her writing journey, and she hasn't regretted a moment. When she's not writing, she's watching Doctor Who or reading about serial killers. She's an avid knitter. One can never have too much yarn. She writes Young Adult Paranormal, Science Fiction, and Fantasy under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow. 

Social Media Links: 

Website: -

Patreon -

Ko-Fi -

Facebook -

Newsletter -

Goodreads -

Amazon Author Page -

How about you? Iron Man or Wolverine? Light or Dark? Who are you working on influencing? Anyone influencing you?

Monday, August 10, 2020

Why I Love Scrivener - Double Vision

I'm been asked multiple times about Scrivener and why it works for me, so I thought I'd put together a few posts. Hopefully, they're helpful!

The first post on The Basics is here.

I don't use the whole range of tools in Scrivener but I've found that MANY of the features really work for my brain. This program has saved my sanity and my stories on many occasions.

In this post, I'll talk about the physical layout of the Scrivener program. This is probably the main reason I love Scrivener.

Like any word document or writing program, there is a blank space for you to write. In the screenshot above you can see the main writing space is in the middle.

On the left is the Binder. It's the organizer for your project. Each of the arrows shows that there are files or folders within. On the right is the Info section. The small blue icon in the very top left either hides or shows this panel. I generally have this hidden to give me more writing space.

For me, one of the biggest reasons for using Scrivener is that I can have 2 writing spaces open and visible at the same time. If you can see it, in the top right corner of the main writing space above is an icon showing 2 rectangles together. With one click I get this.

As you can see, I've also clicked the blue icon to hide the info panel. If you have notes in there, you might want it open. If you want to label the scenes (pov, settings, point in the novel, first draft...) you'll have to have it open. The tool for that is at the bottom of the Info panel.

There are many reasons I might want 2 writing panels open.

When I'm working on the first draft, I often have the Character's Path section open on the right while I type in the left. This keeps me on track with Goals and Flaws. I might also have the Secondary Characters file open to help me remember the name of the coffee shop baker or the pizza delivery guy.

Drawing of a stick figure hanging from a red heart
(Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash)
When I'm revising, I can have Version 1 open in the right panel while I work on Version 2 in the left. That way I can see what the changes look like before I make them permanent. For me, Version 2 is often a complete rewrite. Having the Version 1 file open on the right helps me pick and choose what I want to keep and delete.

I also use the second panel to fact check within the MS. I can easily scroll through to find out what I need to know without losing the place where I'm working.

Sometimes I have the previous scene open on the right to make sure the flow works.

Sometimes I'm skimming through the MS on the left and copy/pasting good Pull/Promo Quotes into the file on the right.

Other times I'm using the research page I've saved into the research file so I don't have Gage fishing for walleyes out of season.

Often I have my To Add, Change, Remove file open on the right while I'm revising on the left.

Or my file of overused words...

So the double writing space feature of Scrivener is probably my favourite feature. What about you? Do you think the double writing space feature would help you? Do you have any other ideas for ways to use that second space?

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

IWSG and Bloo Moose On The Road With Alex J Cavanaugh & Denise Covey!

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.

IWSG badge

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!


It's IWSG Day and Alex J. Cavanaugh and Denise Covey are hosting Bloo Moose!

At Alex's blog, we're talking movies and I'll be answering today's question over at Denise's blog. I hope you'll find time to pop by and visit!

Reaching For Normal
She’s no damsel in distress. 
He’s no Prince Charming.  But if they don’t team up it won’t 
be only wolves that’ll be dying.    
Apple.     Kobo.    Google Play.
Barnes and Noble.    Goodreads.    

 Reaching For Risks
One Reno List for the B&B. 
One Risk List for herself. 
One sexy retailer who should be 
the last one she wants.   
Apple.    Kobo.     Google Play
Barnes and Noble.     Goodreads.    

Reaching For Everything
Love means nothing in tennis.
Can he prove to her that 
love means everything in life?   
  Apple.     Kobo.     Google Play
Barnes and Noble.    Goodreads.