Tag Archives: time

If I subtract the past from the future will I get the present?

Apparently it’s October. I can’t think how the year slipped by so fast. I can’t imagine how I’ll ever catch up on overdue tasks. I can’t believe… it’s October. So I perceive a whole new fright in this month and ponder, will my next novel come out in time for the Christmas sales. I wonder when my next collection of short stories will be done; will I remember to book a table at the Holiday Bazaar; will I…? Meanwhile I close my eyes while reading time-travel stories. If I turned back the clock, could I post my review last week (or better still, last month when it was due)? But would that change the present?subtraction copy

Of course, the immediate present includes an overdue blogpost (here), a sleeping brain that can scarcely parse words unless they rhyme, a mathematical counter that ticks till the ending of time, and a keyboard. So here’s the (100-word) result:

If you should dream today, tonight,
And if the dreams you pray take flight,
And if the words you say take fright
Because today is not tonight,
Remember this, tomorrow’s dream
Will never grow the way it seems
You think it should; instead today
Will take your coulds and woulds away
Until tonight you dream the past
And future; neither lasts.

But if you dream tomorrow, know
The way that every sorrow goes
Is always backward till it’s gone
And always nightward till the sun
Refines its mystery.

Then, when dreaming’s dead and done,
The rest is history
And one.

Sheila Deeth is the author of the Mathemafiction Novels, published by Indigo Sea Press. Find Divide by Zero and Infinite Sum at Indigo Sea Press or on Amazon, and look for Subtraction coming soon.  Each novel is longer than 100 words. None of them rhyme. And none of them (so far) involves time travel.


Filed under musings, Sheila Deeth

Overwhelmed by Time and Expectations by L.V. Gaudet

There is nothing easier in life than slipping into a rut.  Believe me; I know that all too well.  I’ve been in that dimly lit abyss too many times to forget that lesson.

Your days melt into each other like suckers left on the table in the summer, bright colors oozing and solidifying into a dull brown congealed mess.  Doing nothing is just so much easier than doing anything else.

It’s just too easy to slip into the monotony of letting your days lead you, going with the flow on autopilot. You forget about you.

That will never be truer than it becomes as you go through life, getting older, and have more and more responsibilities heaped on you.

One day you realize that the only time you have for you is the commute to work. Far from relaxing and impossible to do the things you would like to be doing.

At this point, it becomes crucial to shake off that old creativity hat, whack the dust off it, and remold it to fit.


If you are a reader, you need to find ways to read. Yeah, a no brainer, right? Easier said than done sometimes.  I had a hard time giving up the printed book.  Electronics just aren’t the same.  But, what they are is convenient.  I can fit, literally, hundreds of books on my phone.  Wow.  Kobo and Kindle both have free apps you can download on most smart phones, tablets, you name it, and turn your device into a portable eReader without the cost of buying another device just for books.

With eBooks, I can take five minutes to read anywhere and anytime. It’s come down to that, grabbing five minutes to read, write, or edit when and where I can.  Schmooze, share, follow, and keep up on book news find their niche where they can.

I especially like the white print on black background available with eBooks. I can read in the car while my spouse drives (coming out of winter, it’s been mostly dark the past months), and in bed, without a bright reading light.  I’ll let you in on a little secret. That’s pretty much the only time I get for reading now.  And at bedtime, I’m usually so beat that I can’t make it through a page without falling asleep.

That’s the other benefit.  When I wake up and fumble for my book that fell on the floor when I rolled over after falling asleep, your eBook saves your page.  No flipping through pages and spending your entire small block of reading time trying to find your spot, sometimes finding it just as your time runs out.

There is also no shortage of free books, both in print and eBook, if you know where to look. Discounted books too.

The one difference is that there is such a glut of eBooks on the market between the publishing houses, small presses, and self-published books, that authors themselves are giving their books away in hopes of getting reviews and followers.

This is my own observation, but eBooks and print books do have one big thing in common: I’ve probably read about the same number of bad books in both.  Being put out by a large press does not mean a book is good, and being self-published does not mean it isn’t.


If you want to be a writer, you have to write.  You have to write, write, and write some more.  You have to edit that ten times and more, and then go back and edit again. You have to read and explore books and the book culture.

If you haven’t written in a few years because life got away with you, that’s okay.  It doesn’t mean you have to give up.

And when you find, like me, that life has filled you up and you are so overwhelmed by time and expectations that you don’t have time for writing, then you have to find more creative ways to catch those rare moments to breathe and write and edit.

Grab those five minutes when you can. Get creative. Get inventive. Learn to write and edit under stress, duress, and with a lot of interruptions and distractions around if you have to.

When you don’t have the time to write blog posts, but you still need to keep your blog alive and active, share that interesting article you happened on.  Share industry news; something that you can click and share in a few heartbeats. Done.

Take those ten minutes in line to flip through emails and keep up on what’s going on, or to keep in touch and do a little schmoozing with the writing community.

where the bodies are



Filed under books, L.V. Gaudet, musings, writing

The Writer’s Handbook: Managing Time by T. C. Harrelson

For the next few months, I’ll be sharing insights and lessons that I learned while writing my first Young Adult novel The Beast of Macon Hollow in a series entitled “The Writer’s Handbook.”

Time. It’s the one gift we’ve all been given. Granted, some may have more than others (looking at the big picture), but we’re all given just twenty-four hours in a day. More often than not, it’s how we choose to use those hours that make the difference between our success and failure as a writer. So how do I spend my time?

Like so many of us, my life is hectic. I’m married, work a full time job, and have a fourteen-year-old son. With each one of those responsibilities comes a certain amount of time that must be devoted to their health and wellbeing. And speaking of maintaining health and wellbeing, I can’t forget my own—sometime in the midst of meeting my obligations, I need to exercise and sleep. However, when each of these responsibilities has been satisfied, I have “free time.”

In economic terms, my free time could be called “disposable time.” It’s the time left over after all the “bills are paid.” If my free time was money, it’s the funds I could use for things not included in my monthly budget (like buying a new pair of shoes, a DVD, or any number of things). Why do I bring this up? Because it’s my disposable time that will ultimately define me as a writer.

To be a successful writer, it takes a commitment of my time. In my case, it’s my disposable time that I must commit to achieving my long-term goal—to have a successful second career (as an author) within ten years. I used to think my disposable time was very limited, but I’ve learned over the years that I have more than it may appear at first glance. For instance, much of my writing is done in my head, long before I sit down at the keyboard. I often find myself “writing” during the most mundane of tasks, such as while I’m shaving, while I’m driving, or (more often than not) during the wee hours of the morning when I’m supposed to be sleeping. We all have these chunks of time to use as we see fit. And we all use this time in one fashion or another.  It’s my choice to use them to make progress on my next title as opposed to…say, burning precious brainpower on wondering who will win the latest reality show competition. But there’s a cost to making that choice—an opportunity cost (another economic term, although I’m not an economist—I swear!).

The opportunity cost is the cost of the item I gave up in order to make the choice I made. In other words, if I chose to spend my evening on my laptop, deep in the heart of my next title, then I gave up the chance to spend my time elsewhere. Some opportunity costs are small (missing an ACC basketball game on TV), while others may be large (missing some impromptu family time). In any case, however, my commitment to meeting my writing goals costs me something.

Writing—and becoming a successful author—takes sacrifice. At the very least, it’s a commitment to forego wasteful television viewing, Facebook browsing, or Twitter chatting. At other times (perhaps down the road when I’m facing a strict deadline), it may mean sacrificing sleep or family time. In all cases, however, it takes a commitment to manage my time wisely. It takes a commitment to make the most of my “disposable time” so that, one day, I can be a full-time (successful) writer. And then, maybe, I’ll have a little more time to watch reality TV.

How about you? Have you identified your “disposable time?” What can you do differently to ensure you devote time to your writing goals?


T. C. Harrelson is the author of The Beast of Macon Hollow, available from Second Wind Publishing


Filed under writing




I stand

in the hard

fields and watch

a hill like a wave,

sweeping toward me,

chalk crumbled crest

of the rolling

land ocean.


I can stare

until it topples me;

It is just

a matter of







Filed under writing

The Writer’s Clock by J J Dare

I overslept today. I woke up at 6:30, said something nasty to my clock and went back to sleep. When I opened my eyes again, three hours had passed.

I like to believe I’m in control of my own life. Instead, I’m beginning to wonder if my life controls me. How else to explain wanting an additional fifteen minutes sleep and ending up with the equivalent of half a night?

It’s possible that my life is out of my hands and in the care of a subconscious part of me. Maybe that’s the entity I need to speak with in order to get a jump on my 100 resolutions. Maybe this is the big E who wears the pants and cracks the whip in my life.

Control is overrated, after all. Sticking to conventions and norms is good some of the time, but letting go and flying free can lead to all manner of surprising events.

My writing is much like my life. When I’ve tried to force a size ten tale into a size four story, the resulting spillage is, well, not very attractive. While there is a time and place for formulaic prose, ignoring the rules helps your writing life sleep better and wake on time.

I have so many ideas for books in my head. Some of my friends have actually called me the “Idea Junkie” because I can rattle off the synopses of a dozen books within ten minutes. Sitting down and writing them is another story, though.

On further reflection, maybe my author entity has halted the fruition of these stories-to-be. Maybe it’s not time for me to write some tales. Maybe, I need to curse at my internal writing clock and sleep on these ideas for a little while longer.

Wine improves with age. Some stories do, too.


J J Dare is the author of two published books, several short stories and thirty-plus works-in-progress.

Current enthusiasm is sharpening intangible knives and co-authoring at Rubicon Ranch

Facebook addiction


Filed under books, life, writing

Where did the summer go??

I can tell summer is over.  Not by the falling temperatures (we hit 100 degrees in the Black Hills this past week) and not by the school supply lists which have been popping up at all the usual spots.  Rather, I know when summer is over when the quiet returns to the Hills.

The Black Hills of South Dakota are known for its beauty.  And it is beautiful.  We are also home to one of the United State’s most recognizable monuments — Mt. Rushmore.  Thousands of people visit there each year, mostly in the summer months.  The same can be said for South Dakota’s Badlands, for the Crazy Horse Monument, for Custer State Park.  All beautiful, amazing, tourist spots.

But its the lack of noise which falls like a hammer by the third week of August each year which brings home the fact that summer’s days are numbered.  The Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is my personal “final milestone” of the season.

This year was the 70th annual event and visitors came from all over the world to attend.  Can you imagine one little town of 7,000 people swelling to 500,000 almost overnight?  Or more???  Welcome to Sturgis!

Yes, the Sturgis Rally is only a week, and it takes place at the beginning of August.  When the bikers leave, however, summer seems to leave with them.

To be truthful, I’m not even sure where the summer went.  It seems like just yesterday I was bemoaning my snow-packed driveway and now it’s time to winterize the car again.

This rush of time seems prevalent in other areas of my life, as well.  I’m pretty sure it was this time last year when my daughter got on the bus for her first day of kindergarten.  She’ll be a Senior when school starts Monday.  Gone are the days of Legos and Barbie Dolls.  They have been replaced with cell phones and iPods.

I think there is a lesson in all of this — enjoy the moment.  It’s gone too soon.  Alice Morse Earle penned these famous words we should all live by: “The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it is called the present.”

May you enjoy the gift today will bring!



Nichole R. Bennett is the author of Ghost Mountain, available on Amazon.com or secondwindpublishing.com


Filed under life

Staccato: Inception-by Deborah J Ledford

People often ask how long it takes me to write a novel. I see you writers out there rolling your eyes, because really, how do you possibly calculate not only the hours/days/years spent at a computer keyboard or pen in hand, but also the time staring off as your characters hijack your real life?

I’d like to share my journey as to how my upcoming suspense thriller Staccato came to be. This is a long tale that literally spans decades, so I will be breaking this up into a series. The first entry is: Inception.

Over 20 years ago I stood in a frame shop flipping through posters. I have no idea how I found myself to be there as I didn’t normally even pop into that store. Halfway through a stack I flipped to an amazing close-up shot of a pair of hands clasped in handcuffs hovering over a keyboard. I still remember the sensation: I swayed a bit, gaze trained only on the vision as the powerful visual shot straight to my brain. A storyline ignited right there that very moment.

At the time, I was a screenwriter therefore Staccato began as my fourth full-length screenplay. I don’t recall exactly how long it took to write the script, but the characters and locations came quickly. I had taped the poster to my wall so that every time I got stuck all I needed to do was look up to re-ignite the spark that caused such an initial flurry of excitement and creativity.

The Universe offers us so many gifts and I treasure the finding of that poster to this day.

Deborah J Ledford is the author of the debut suspense thriller novel Staccato, scheduled for release by Second Wind Publishing, August, 2009.


Filed under fiction, writing

A completely new life!

As a writer, there are many things you will find difficult.

Reading a book without editing as you go.

I now hate finding a typo or font change in a book, of course, I also now sympathize with them, I’d cringe if I found one in my own at this point. I even edit newspapers and magazines as I go.

Pass by a new author’s book.

Nope I can’t do this anymore either. I can’t go straight for my favorite author without at least giving the new guy/girl on the shelf a look. Simply because I do believe in karma.

Free time.

So, you like to sleep. I remember what that was like. Oh and how I miss enjoying a night of peace. A clean house. A clean car. A long hot bubble bath verses a quick shower. I also remember breathing.

Instead, I use my time for advertising, blogging, and occasionally writing.

Anything you want to add to the list as I run off again?

Suzette Vaughn is the author of “Mortals, Gods, and a Muse” and “Badeaux Knights”


Filed under books, fun, Humor, life, musings, writing