Aug 14 2012

Alternate Universe – Friday Fiction

contemplation of the multiverse begins over a cup of coffee. I opt to add a bit
of milk which I carefully pour from a crystal creamer I inherited from my
great-grandmother. Odd, I went to school for a short while with a girl named
Crystal Creamer. She moved frequently, so almost no one but me got to know her.

            I glance
over to my spouse who is sketching something. I recall that I dated from a wide
variety of choices in the singles pool in my day.  No “type” for me it would seem. And
while none of them had much in common beyond having dated me, here my spouse
sits, embodying the finest quality of each of them. The artist, the rational
one, the one wiz in the kitchen, the passionate seducer, … all the qualities
that I liked rolled into one delicious body that is equally devoid of the
traits which I was bothered by enough to cause a string of past relationships.

            I flick on
some music. An album comes on that I’ve had for several years. I recall
attending a concert in a meadow where ten bands came out to jam one day.
Admission was free because no one had heard of any of these unsigned musicians
who played on a makeshift stage that was three pallets high. I had bought a
demo CD off of the one band that I liked. They’re playing a concert in Vegas
this weekend. The cost of a ticket would take someone on minimum wage seventeen
hours to earn, before taxes of course. The other bands which did not hold my
interest have all slipped into an abyss of obscurity so deep that even Goggle
has no record of them.

            Having used
the last of the milk for my coffee, I make a quick run to the store. It’s only
a few blocks. It should be uneventful. It isn’t. I pass a colorful character on
a bicycle. The light turns red, and he passes me. As I think about how
distracting his outfit is, a three car pile up happens just ahead of me. It’s
bad. Someone was trying to snap a picture of the bicyclist while they were
driving. The news would later report that the person died. The focus of the
story is that mobile phones are the root of all evil. I wonder why cars do not
yet come with options like a 360 camera and voice-to-text. There’s a colorful
graph which shows the amount of accidents and fatalities where a phone is in
the car today compared with how many happened thirty years ago. It’s concrete
evidence that there were significantly fewer accidents with phones in cars
thirty years ago. I draw my own graph that proves there were significantly less
automobile accidents three hundred years ago. No one around me gets the
correlation or appreciates the humor.

            Yet I feel
like someone out there has. I feel like none of these things have simply
happened. There must be a reason that my life is not dull. Some justification
must exist for the way life has unfolded so neatly, even with the curveballs I
have been thrown at every almost-easy or nearly-humdrum turn.

            The answer
is obvious. I am not the writer of this universe. I am the puppet on the
string. I am the character of this story. Heath is writing me. It’s payback for
all that I’ve done to him in my universe where he exists only at the bottom of
my inkwell. Touché. 

Aug 04 2012

5 Writing Tips from Kristen Lamb

Today I came across a fine blog by the author Kristen Lamb. The post I read was about 5 common writing blunders. I have read a great many books, blogs, web-sites, and posts about writing topics, and even taken a few classes. This post, however, listed a few tips that I had not come across before. I hope that my fellow writers will take a moment to read this over, especially if one is attempting to publish a first book!
Kristen Lamb is the author of We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer

Jul 31 2012

A Hero – Just for Fun

I have taken part in the hero blog hop as a reader only. (I
missed the deadline to join in!) However, the more I read, the more my characters (especially
Heath) are demanding that I write a hero post for them. So here it is! (Now
maybe a writer can get some peace and quiet for a few hours…)



J Lenni Dorner: Alright Heath, since you’ve demanded this
post, why don’t we start with you telling everyone just why you are a hero?


Heath: I didn’t demand anything. I just casually suggested


J Lenni Dorner: I’m trying to imagine you making a casual
suggestion. Would that be like the time you wrote “for your mouth” on


Heath: (interrupts with a booming laugh) It’s positively
sinful how well you know me. Why don’t you insert that stuff you’ve been saying
about me all day?


J Lenni Dorner: My favorite fictional hero is my own, Heath.
(Because he’ll stone me to death if I name anyone else. Seriously, living with
this guy in my head is quite the experience! LOL)

He isn’t actually fully aware yet that he is going to be a
hero, but that won’t stop him from shoving his way into the spotlight! The
funny thing about this is that when he actually does something heroic, like
saving a bunch of orphans from a flood or beating the daylights out of an
abusive bastard, he doesn’t brag about it. He’d much sooner talk about his
sexual conquests, his chess match wins, or his sexual conquests. (He’s with
twins right now, thus the double mention. My poor brain. LOL) But in the end,
he will prove that he is a great hero. Then again, maybe he’ll be the ultimate
villain. I’d hate to rule anyone out just yet, as readers will have a long
journey ahead before that answer sneaks out!


Heath: I sent the twins back home! It’s almost breakfast
time, after all. They had their fun.


J Lenni Dorner: Uh huh.


Xavier: What’s going on here?


Heath: The author is bragging about me.


J Lenni Dorner: You know… there was a blog post that
I read where the character being interviewed was wearing only a towel. 


Heath: Hell, I can do that! (Starts stripping.) X, go grab
me towel would you?


Xavier: (facepalm)


J Lenni Dorner: Why don’t you just stay naked, Heath. I’m
sure there are readers that like you that way.


Xavier: I’m shocked he ever bothers to get dressed at all.
So what is this interview about?


J Lenni Dorner: Heroes.


Xavier: (stares at me)


J Lenni Dorner: Oh come on, not that look! It isn’t my
fault! Heath demanded to be named the hero.


Heath: I’m leaving the Alpha blog for Xavier. He can lead.
I’ll stay back here and take care of the women.


Xavier: (glances back and forth between the two of us)


J Lenni Dorner: You have your heroic moments in the first
book, Xavier, but I’m sure a few will question your wisdom after your
confrontation with Tred.


Xavier: I’m sure they will. I think it will make sense later
though. It was how it had to be.


Heath: I disagree.


Xavier: Is that because you don’t know how to keep your paws
to yourself?


Heath: Maybe. I just think you should have taken charge of
that situation.


Xavier: You don’t understand what I was asking of her, what
I was taking from her.


Heath: It’s nothing compared to what you were giving her.


Xavier: If that was the whole truth, the story would have
started out with us together.


Heath: Whatever you say, oh fearless leader.


J Lenni Dorner: Are you a fearless leader, Xavier?


Heath: Yes he is.


Xavier: I don’t know about fearless. I lead because that’s
what I am supposed to do. I was born into this, what word did you use before
… Alpha role.


~A voice drifts in to the room: We’ll see which of you is
the Alpha.


Xavier: Who said that?


Heath: Beautiful voice! Who does it belong to? And why does
this place suddenly smell like cookies?


Xavier: It does
smell like cookies! What’s going on here?


J Lenni Dorner: I guess you to will have to wait to find


Heath: If I tell you that you’re our hero for writing the
story and thereby giving us new worshippers, will you tell me who that
seductive voice belongs to?


J Lenni Dorner: Not yet.


Heath: I got naked for this! I at least want one of those
freakin’ cookies!!!


J Lenni Dorner: (laughs)

Jul 30 2012

Armor (Friday Fiction: One Minute Writer)

(Written from the point of view of a character in my
Existence series.)


            You want to
know about armor? I’m the master. I have worn every type of armor ever
conceived. The purpose of armor is to keep one from getting hurt.

that’s why armor went out of fashion. There’s no such thing as returning from
battle without being hurt. Some warriors will tell you that there is, but they
are lying. It’s a very old lie. Without that lie, it wouldn’t be possible to
convince people to go back to war.

that lie, we could not convince ourselves that we did not get hurt.

            You want to
know the flaw that all armor has? About the hurt which it cannot protect you
from no matter the style, craft, or material? My wife is the master of that. As
much as I enjoy a good battle, the glory ends when I see my wife again. No
armor can shield against the blows of her tears. She grieves for every life
lost, for every widow left behind, for every orphan made, and for every parent
who has to bury the hero they raised. Then she grieves for the animals harmed
by the conflict, and for the trees, flowers, and blades of grass which were
destroyed without thought.

            Ask my wife
sometime who won a battle- any battle at all- and she will tell you the same
each time. No one. What armor have you to protect someone from the pain of such
a truth?

Jul 27 2012

A delicious appetizer


Jul 20 2012

Rafflecopter Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jul 19 2012

A to Z whoops…

There is a fantastic gift from the April A to Z blog challenge. It’s a clickable thing that allows one to randomly skip from blog to blog. I used it myself for a while. I discovered wonderful new friends this way.

There’s also a share button here on my blog, under each post. This allows readers to share what I’ve written on a variety of websites with just some quick clicks. I really love that share feature. It too can bring me more friends. 

My share button stopped working. I was alerted to this only yesterday. I contacted support. They informed me:
Support Staff Response
Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for bringing this issue to the attention of Advanced Technical Support.

We have reviewed the issue with the “share this” feature not working in your Quick Blogcast for JLENNIDORNERBLOG.WHAT-ARE-THEY.COM. The issue is caused by a conflict with the A to Z next button script in your sidebar. You will need to either remove this script from the Quick Blogcast or replace with different code that does not cause the issue. 

Please contact us if you need further assistance. 

Dennis S.
Advanced Technical Support

So it seems that I can no longer feasibly keep this button on my sidebar. It isn’t really gone from the world- it can be accessed from other sites, after all. 

I am sorry for any confusion caused by the removal of this button, and also any confusion or difficulty created by the share button having been dysfunctional.  
J Lenni Dorner

Jul 18 2012

A Kindness for Writers

This was posted by my fellow writer, Elizabeth Marx

Besides sending us a personal note about how our book touched you, the nicest thing you can do for an author is write us a review. Many people have no idea how to do this, myself included. I’ve been a booklover my entire life, but I was never a reviewer. So this is my simple approach to writing a book review. You need to supply some basic information: title, author, genre and short plot synopsis. Next, we want to know your personal reactions and connections to the story. Basically, this is how you feel about the story. Did it keep you up until all hours of the night? Make you laugh out loud? Prevent you from going to work because you had to know what happened or couldn’t stop crying? Then close out your review with your recommendations and the value and quality of the writing. What you liked about the style and prose of the novel. Simple right? So take a few minutes to write a review for your favorite author.

Jul 11 2012

Liebster Blog Award

My deepest and most sincere thanks to @nicolehill17 from for the gift of this award. 

The rules are: 


1. Thank and link
back to the person who presented you with the award. Add the award logo to your


2. Answer the eleven
questions posted for the nominees.


3. Share eleven
random facts about yourself.


4. Write eleven
questions for your nominees and then…


5. Nominate eleven
worthy blogs and contact those bloggers so they know about it! (No tag backs.)



The Liebster Blog Award is given bloggers who have less
than 200 followers. Liebster is a German word meaning: sweetest, kindest,
nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and

As a new blogger, it feels good to know that someone out there that
follows me loves my blog and my posts, therefore they love my mind.” – Lil

The eleven questions
I was given and my answers to them:

1. Early bird or night owl? I am definitely a night owl.

2. Who inspires you? (Anyone from history dead or alive) Anyone with the wits to reply with a
well-written lie while under fire from the pie in the sky… LOL! Alright, name
dropping: Edgar Allen Poe, Stephen King, JK Rowling, Bill Bryson, The Lorax (I
shall count this character because you can’t prove that there’s no such thing.
Ha ha.), Heath (Now I’m counting one of my own characters! Yeah well, you try
living with him in your head and then we’ll discuss acquiring an ability not to
count him for this question!), my mom (… and now I’ve thrown in a cliché…),
and about a dozen of my readers/fans/followers.

3.  What is the best
book you’ve read in 2012 so far? The
by Stephen King

4.  How many hours do
you spend on your blog per week? That
depends on the week. Usually two or three.

5. Where do you wish to be in ten years? Earth. I don’t think the Mars colony will
have a decent coffee shop in ten years, so I’m pretty sure I’ll stay here.

6. Are you doing what you love? Yes, I am proud to say that I am.

7. Any profession in the world, what would it be? A choice.

8.Did you start your blog for you or for the readers? For my readers.

9. Beer or Wine? Depends
on what you’re serving with it.

10. Bubbly or boring? In
my drink I prefer boring. In my cheerleader I prefer bubbly. Ha.

11. Your perfect mate would be? My spouse. I am tempted to select a certain character from my series,
but that person already has a mate and I wouldn’t stand a chance in that


11 facts about @JLenniDorner

The questions for my nominees:


1- What is the most inspiring blog prompt you have


2- What is the biggest step you have taken toward achieving
your dreams?


3- Who is your favorite fictional character of all time and


4- What could someone say about a newly published book that
would cause you to go get it immediately?


5- What is the most fun activity you have ever engaged in
with others online?


6- Do you care enough to change something in the world; and
if so, what is it and how do you try to change it, and if not, why not?


7- What makes it all worth it?


8- Would it be better to be world famous for a failure or to
be considered the greatest but only known by a small group of people?


9- Do you feel that the golden rule (do unto others as you
would have them do onto you) still applies in today’s online world of tweeting,
Facebook fanpage subscribing, and anonymous page/post commenting?


10- What is the kindest act that you have seen someone do in
the past 30 days?


11- What does your blog offer to the world that no one
possibly could?



My 11 nominations:


1-    @nutschell


2-    Timothy Brannan


3-    @christinenolfi


4-    Craig Mcgray


5-     @emeraldkell



6-    @dwightokita  (unable to partake)


7-     Carly at Createliveblog


8-   Kara Monterey


9-    Melissa Lummis



10-   Victoria Teoh


11-     Maria Hammarblad


Jul 10 2012

I write like…

A link to this site was posted on Facebook. Curious, I gave it a whirl:

I write like
James Joyce

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

Then I put in Xavier’s Easter Essay.

I write like
Dan Brown

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

I suppose that is who my fictional character writes like!

Jul 10 2012


Great things are happening. The Liebster Award has been given to this blog. Watch out for upcoming posts about that! 

There are some new additions to the sidebar widgets. Please take a look at the one and the blogaholic network one.


Jul 07 2012

How Bob Fed His Family for Free for a Year

            Bob opened
the box of heavy weight paper which had mysteriously vanished from the supply
closet of his employer. He put the sheets into the used printer he had acquired
from a neighbor (who had been given a shiny new ink jet with all the bells and
whistles for Christmas and no longer had need of this old machine). She had
passed along the extra ink supply as well. “Your children can use this for
school projects, right?” He said they could. Never mind that his children
printed everything at school. They didn’t like the very old laptop that Bob had
found in a box marked trash the autumn of the year before. The program for
typing documents finally appeared on the dented plastic screen. Bob flexed his
fingers and then composed his letters.


Dear Farmer Brown,


allow me to introduce myself. I am Robert Efron, general manger of The
Restaurant on Willow.
Word of your superior tomatoes has been all the buzz around town. I wish to
have my master chef craft a special dish which will pay homage to your unique
and flavorful tomatoes. This dish will be served without charge for one evening
during our charity dinner. I shall send someone by in one week to pick up a
crate from you. If you prefer not to accept this honor, simply decline in
person when the truck arrives. Thank you for your consideration.


            Bob read
the letter over again before printing it out. He continued with his template
changing the names of the farmers, what they grew, and when the truck would
come until there was a large stack resting on the outbox hanger of the printer.
Bob tucked the letters into a plastic folder which had a sticker of a sandwich
plastered over the front (covering the logo of the company that Bob worked
for). He headed out the door, got on his bike, and proceeded to pedal down long
country lanes. “Great house, plenty of land, absolutely terrible
road,” he said to himself as he pondered what a real estate agent would
never write in describing a home for sale that he passed along the way.


            A week
later, Bob borrowed a truck from his brother. He was happy to find that the gas
tank was full, as he had no intention of contributing to such a thing. Bob
drove from farm to farm. “Yes, that’s right, Robert Efron had me bring you
that letter. Will you be contributing? An extra bushel you say? Wonderful! A
donation to the cause? How thoughtful!” His smile was genuine with each
acceptance. His conscience bothered him a bit when he saw how few turned him
down compared to how many believed that this would generate more sales for
them. One farmer said that this was the sort of endorsement he had been looking
for, that now the folks at the big brand vegetable company would surely take
him on as one of their trusted growers. Bob considered that perhaps this wasn’t
really a bad thing to be doing. He decided to focus on his elation at getting
away with it.


            In the
kitchen at home, Bob’s wife Edna, who had studied culinary arts at community
college, set to work at crafting the first dish. The money Bob had been given
as a donation was used to purchase a few extra ingredients. Edna carried the
dish of stuffed tomatoes to their dining room; where over the door of their Willow Street home
hung a sign that their children had crafted which proclaimed this place
“The Restaurant.”

Jul 04 2012

For the Want of a Name

What’s your name?” I asked the woman.

do you need to know that? I am here! You have been graced with my presence.
There are people that already know my name. I would tell you how many, but it
would shock you. I do not have to tell you my name.”

            I glanced
around the room. Everyone that I saw had a name tag. It was evident that they
belonged there. Then again, couldn’t any fool go out and get a nametag? Did a
simple “Hello my name is” sticker truly offer verification of
anything? The people who I saw getting nametags, including myself, were
required to show identification to prove that they were who they claimed to be.
I suppose they could have an illegal fake identification though. But here was
this woman, wearing no such tag, and refusing to disclose her name. She claimed
that there were enough people who knew who she was.

            I was going
to let it go. I was going to walk away. Why should I concern myself with who
this woman is?

            But then I
saw my friend ask the same question of her. The same response was given. I
moved behind a shrub. I watched quietly for a while to see if someone would
walk up and greet this woman by name. If a shocking amount of people knew who
she was, surely someone would use her name soon.

            It didn’t
happen. Two hours went by and it was all only more of the same. I can not say,
looking back, why I wasted my time on this. Time I could have spent networking
with others. Time I could have spent doing anything else. I suppose there was
something about the way she dismissed my friend. Maybe I’ve got something
against anyone with a superiority complex. Maybe I was just asking for it. I returned to the woman and pointed out that
the legitimate guests were wearing nametags.

            “I see
that. My name has nothing to do with that though. You ought not to ask such
things! I can not believe what horrible people are mingling on this side of the
room. No where else have I ever experienced such a negative energy directed at
my person! I should have never come over here. You are all a terrible waste of

I said, “I am sorry if I came off as negative. I was merely hoping to get
to know you better. You seemed interesting.” It was true. She had seemed
interesting before she spoke. I wanted to let it go. I wanted to drop the whole
thing and step away. But my friends were watching me. They wanted an answer.
How did I land up as the only one with the stones to keep at this? I felt sick
to my stomach. Why did I start a conversation with her? What had I hoped to
gain? Even if I found out her name, what good was it going to do me now?

            “I am
interesting! It’s appalling that you would have the audacity to ask my name
though. I was charitable enough to grace you with my presence! That great gift
is now being rescinded. Good day.”

            I asked
around. No one else knew her name. Not a single party guest that I spoke to had
any idea who she was. A friend and I discussed this as we left the party. The
valet overheard our conversation as I dug around for my ticket.

chick with the motorcycle? I know her. She’s awesome.”

Someone that knows her at last. What’s her name?”

            The valet
fumbled with my keys. “Oh I don’t actually know that. I just know that I
like her and that a bunch of people I know like her. She’s not into


            I never did
find out the woman’s name. I got a dirty look from a man in a Harley jacket the
other day. I was tempted to ask if he knew the name of the woman who probably
told him of my negative energy. My gut told me not to bother. It was better to
drop it. So much drama over such a simple question. 

Jun 30 2012

Nursery Rhyme Poem Redo

Sugar and spice,

And your every vice;

That’s what Jezebel is made of.


A frog or a snail,

A beast with a tail;

Yeah, that’s Caleb alright.





What are little boys
made of?
Frogs and snails, 
And puppy-dogs’ tails; 
That’s what little boys are made of. 

What are little girls made of? 
Sugar and spice, 
And all that’s nice; 
That’s what little girls are made of.


Jun 29 2012

Part 4 of the Interviewed by My Characters series

Part 4 of the Interviewed by My Characters series


(For a full explanation of what’s going on here, please
scroll or use the categories feature to get to the first interview.)

Thank you @Melissa_Foster for the #LedByMyCharacters


Anonymous enters. She
has a way of putting me at ease. If anyone might speak directly to someone’s
soul, it would be her.

Anonymous: So, I get to ask the questions?

 Much to my undoing, yes.

Anonymous: (taps a finger on her lip, hiding a smile) I’m
really not scary, certainly not compared to the rest… Or perhaps I am

 I believe that you are the most valuable and
powerful of your kind.

Anonymous: (blushes, shaking her head) I find that concept a
bit of a challenge, but thank you. The others have managed without me for quite
a while now. I know why I have to wait, but they really could use me.

 You are like the increased energy source. Once
they have you, they become more. They aren’t even aware of this. Humans are the
same way. They got along just fine without combustion for thousands of years.
Once they had it though, things changed.

Anonymous: Fair enough. I’ve been figuratively reading over
your shoulder while you’re writing. You have an interesting view on your
characters. Three of them are very strong and outspoken. Does that not become
confusing at times, trying to sort out the voices?”

 Each voice is very clear in my head. And while
Jez and I do not always get along, I am very glad that she is there. The series
needs a woman with passionate boldness throughout. Nothing extinguishes her.
I’m proud of her character; even though I’m sure she will be criticized. The
same people who enjoy Heath’s easy going fraternizations are going to probably
suggest that Jez is a tramp.

Anonymous: Fraternizations… what an interesting word to
describe his life as it is now. As for Jez, she is what time has made her. I’ll
admit I was a bit startled at how they are now. It’s not how I picture them.

 You voice is in there too, but it’s always
soft. Not that you always say soft things, but your voice is like a silky
smooth coffee creamer. You have a very distinct way about you that doesn’t fit
into the categories of outspoken boldness nor of reserved shyness. It’s something
else entirely.

Anonymous:  My voice
is almost always soft, but I tend to repeat until the other listens. Many have
thought of me as weak, but they are mistaken.

 They are indeed mistaken.

Anonymous: I am fond of each of the others in different
ways, but I do have a favorite among them. Is there a character that you feel
closest to?

Hmm, it’s hard to say
who I feel the closest to. It shifts at any given moment. I was rooting for
Xavier until what happened in California.
That disagreement on his path upset me. I try to feel close to Heath, but right
now he’s still so lost that it’s difficult to be near him. There’s another
character who has not been introduced yet. He is in a cave right now. He is the
most interesting to converse with, but I’m not sure that this marks closeness

Anonymous: I have done a lot of reading during my existence.
The Bard, romances, mysteries… Being able to read as I do has steadied, exhilarated,
saddened… even made me cry. I am alarmed by how many people there are who
cannot share this pleasure… who cannot read or write in any functional way.
May I know your thoughts on this?

is a great gift that is undervalued today. Our ancestors understood the power
of the written word. They went so far as to outlaw many from having the right
to learn how to read at all! But there is always someone who figures such
things out and then passes it to others. And that is where revolution begins.
Thomas Jefferson understood this perhaps better than any American president
since. Words have power. That which is penned is able to last for generations.
There has never been a battle that mattered which someone did not record, for
without someone to document, the battle would never have a winner. History is
made this way. Fiction is made better this way. Books change the world. Reading changes a person.
It opens the mind to new ways of thinking. The Existence series could change
the way that many view things, for it has the answer to the question that so
many have forgotten to ask. That answer is powerful. That answer changes
everything. Of course, on a smaller scale, people will no doubt start to see
how they might be related to the main characters. That day is coming.

The Literacy Site

Anonymous: I agree, but I think reading goes further than
that. I believe that it encourages us to express emotions that we might
otherwise keep hidden, repressed somewhere in our souls. In the written word,
we can be anyone. We can feel the emotions of others and vent those of our own
that are troubling us. As I’m sure you have noticed, I do not tend to hide my
emotions. As I followed this story as you wrote it, I laughed and cried… even
got angry once or twice. Is that part of what you hope will come out of this?
That your readers will empathize with your characters?

 I believe that each reader will find a small
reflection of him or herself in at least one of the characters in the series.
The goal of any published work of fiction (and several types of non-fiction as
well) is to get the reader to empathize with your characters, even the evil
ones. Good horror scares us. Great horror makes us feel for the villain, even
if we hate or fear that villain. Poor Jason Voorhees was disfigured and picked
on, so now he goes around slashing up people at Crystal Lake on Friday the 13th. Poor Freddy
was burned alive by the townsfolk, so now he invades the slumber of teenagers.
Poor Jack was abused by his father and inherited alcoholism, so he went on a
murderous rage while snowed in at the Overlook Hotel. The existence series
isn’t horror, of course, but there are characters that have a villainous
intention. But do they really? It will come out in the second book that those
eyes in the shadows are doing what they believe is best. It’s possible that
some readers will agree. Not everyone will be in favor of the main characters.
Some will want to see them destroyed. That’s how people are. The hardest for me
to accept are the ones who want to see you destroyed, not because of you, but
because they feel they lack you so completely.

Anonymous: How do you hope people will see the addition of
my character… when that time comes?

 Hope? Well I hope they’d throw a parade and
jump up and down going yippie yippie. But I don’t think that will be the case.
I think they’ll call foul. You make me break the rules. Not the minor rules,
but the really big rules that everyone says shouldn’t be broken. But that’s how
it is because that is how LIFE is. The rules writers aren’t supposed to
break… they sometimes get broken in real life. Sometimes a person really does
have a 360 on their personality. Though I think any readers that studied
psychology will see that the one you change the most secretly always was that
way- you just unmask him.

Anonymous: Many actions have been perpetrated in my name.
Some have been amazing and change the very flavor of the universe. Some have
destroyed tiny parts of me. As you said, I am not weak but I am flexible. I am
willing to sway and bend to care for the others, yet when my feet dig into the
Earth, nothing can move me. Will you show all sides of me? Not just the ones
that people enjoy?

 You ask as if you’d let me write you any other
way. (laughs)

Anonymous: I can’t force you to do anything. I can only…
encourage. Yes, we’ll stick with encourage.

 (laughs more) I believe I had this discussing
with Xavier. You aren’t my puppets, I am yours.

Anonymous: (smiles) Good. Then this will be very
interesting. Is there anything you would like to ask me before we end, and I go
back to being that quiet voice amongst the much louder ones?

 If they dedicate themselves enough, can anyone
and everyone eventually find you?

Anonymous: I’m not sure how to answer that. To find me, you
have to be willing to be vulnerable and accept that I may not be there just
because you think I should be. But I am always close, and I want everyone to
have a part of me. Even if I choose to only be with my one… the one who makes
my soul sing. But perhaps it is when I am whole again that I can help more to find

 Then I suppose I need to keep writing so that
you can be fully flushed out and whole, lest the mobs show up at my door with
torches and pitchforks!

Anonymous: Perhaps you could let me come home soon then?
They need me, and I fade without them. It’s very lonely in that quiet,
sheltered part of your mind.

 I shall have to harass my favorite editor some
more. The next books cannot go too far until the first one is truly done. And
by truly done I mean on the way to the presses. But it won’t be on its way
until it is submitted to an agent. And that won’t happen until my favorite
editor and I finally say that it is as polished as it can be. There are only
two more corrections we’re making, but they seem to have taken longer than the
amount of time it took to write the whole book! (laughs)

Anonymous: Then I shall have to be patient. Thank you for
letting me speak.

 Thank you for existing.

Jun 27 2012

Pic quote


Thank you Margaret Gladue for sharing this one!

Jun 26 2012

Part 3 of the Interviewed by My Characters series

Part 3 of the Interviewed by My Characters series


(For a full explanation of what’s going on here, please
scroll or use the categories feature to get to the first interview.)

Thank you @Melissa_Foster for the #LedByMyCharacters


Xavier flashes one of
his smiles as he sits down across from me.

Xavier: Open up and say “Ah” please.


Xavier: You mean this isn’t an oral exam? Heath said I
should expect oral.

(laughs harder) You
two are terrible! Do Wend and Caleb know you are saying these things?

Xavier: You tell me. You’re the author. We’re the ones trapped
in your head. Just rattling around up here, hoping to make enough noise that
you’ll eventually let us out. I’ve seen the competition in here! I’m lucky to
have made it on to a page. You will keep us, won’t you?

I couldn’t shake you
if I tried.

Xavier: We exist. We deserve to be on the page. We are not
meant to be forgotten.

It’s scary to hear you
talk this way. Scary in a good way though.

Xavier: It’s the truth. The people need to know. I won’t
suggest that anyone will believe, but they need to know. You have to plant the
seed. You’ve protected it in your mind for so long, carefully looking over it,
giving it the nourishment it needed. But the time has come for our seed to be
planted in the world. They have earned the right to read this story.

You know this is
supposed to be an interview, right? One where you ask me questions.

Xavier: I live in your head. What exactly am I supposed to
pretend not to know?

You’re being

Xavier: Funny, the other two said the same thing about you.


Xavier: Is talking to me like talking to yourself?

Not at all. You and I
sound nothing alike.

Xavier: But I’m in your head.

So you keep telling

Xavier: Aren’t I?

Maybe you are. Maybe
you aren’t. There’s a fictional version of you in the attic, but there’s a more
concrete one that I’ve fed off of as well.

Xavier: So you finally admit that you’re a vampire.

(laughs hysterically)
Afraid not.

Xavier: Just a normal human?

I hardly think of
myself as normal. But I am a Homo sapien.

Xavier: Do you think we’ll ever loose touch?

I’m sure we will for a
while once the series reaches a certain point. Knowing the group though, I
think you’ll come back again.

Xavier: We do bounce quite well, don’t we?

(hears Heath laughing)
I’m not going answer that.

Xavier: (laughs) Fair enough. Is there anything that you’ve
always wanted to tell me but haven’t?

There are many things.
This question is making me tear up. Pick another!

Xavier: Why is it making you upset?

Because I do not want
to imagine a world where I can not tell you something at some later time. I do
not choose to think about a world where you are gone.

Xavier: Is that why some people stop believing? Because it’s
easier to not believe than to imagine one is gone, even if they aren’t gone
forever, and even if they aren’t really gone at all but rather just not present
in a physical or productively communicative way.

You might well have
just hit on something there. You have a lot of wisdom in you.

Xavier: Hmm, interesting. You say I have wisdom in me, but
yet I am in you, so does that really mean that my wisdom is your wisdom?

Did you take a job
selling headache medicine and fail to tell me about it?

Xavier: Ah, could I do that? Could I do anything from in
your head that you do not know about?

Xavier the
philosopher, ladies and gentlemen! Yes X, I suppose that if someone in my head
were going to do something without my knowledge, it would be you. Or perhaps
Heath. Do try to remember that my body is only human though.

Xavier: Didn’t you say that the bodies which we are in are human
as well?

I suppose I did make
that statement.

Xavier: I am really screwing with your head, aren’t I?

Yes. I think I need

Xavier: And just where would you turn to for protection from
the characters living in your head?

To another character,
of course! To the one that I believe is the most powerful, valuable, and
important of you all. She doesn’t see it, of course, but maybe that’s part of
what keeps her as she should be.

Xavier: Does this character have a name?

Yes, but as the
audience hasn’t met her yet, we’ll leave her name as “Anonymous.” 

Jun 25 2012

Funny Pic

Pic tribute to Wend and Tred.
My thanks to Sandy Shelonchik & Gary Owain Jones

Jun 24 2012

One Minute for Teeth

One Minute for Teeth


scrape, plink, plink, and swoosh. Davis
listened as his rake moved back and forth over the freshly fallen autumn
leaves. He was glad that the forecast had been wrong last night about the
predicted rain. Wet leaves would be gloppy. The teeth of his rake had no desire
to gnaw lazily at piles of mush! It was the sultry sound of newly dried leaves
that the rake’s teeth were created to chomp at. The backyard pile grew and grew
as Davis kept
on. Crunch, scrape, plink, plink, and swoosh.


written on Friday, June 22, 2012

Jun 23 2012

Part 2 of the Interviewed by My Characters series

Part 2 of the Interviewed by My Characters series


(For a full explanation of what’s going on here, please
scroll or use the categories feature to get to the first interview.)

Thank you @Melissa_Foster for the #LedByMyCharacters



Gwendolyn sits with
her pen poised over a notebook, trying to look professional and business like.
She’s not fooling me. Xavier peeked through the door to wolf whistle at her.
She tugs at her pencil skirt, trying to make it longer, as if the exposure of
her knees is a sin. Poor girl, she still has a long way to go.


Wend: Thank you for agreeing to this rare interview. I am
Gwendolyn, and I will be conducting this today. Please call me Wend.

I know who you are.

Wend: How is that possible?

Umm,… God told me.
Yeah. I’m awesome like that.

Wend: Please do not mock the Lord.

I’m not! Why do you
not believe that it’s possible that this is how you came into my head? Not all
plans are obvious. I certainly can’t explain why I know you. Nothing about our
relationship makes sense. As a character, I barely understand you, and that is
very unusual for me!

Wend: Let’s get back on track.


Wend: How old are you?

I am old enough to not
have to answer that question, but too young to qualify for the senior discount

Wend: What is your favorite color?

That depends on a
number of factors. At the moment it’s that deep shade of purple that is just a
few notches brighter than the black night sky and has just enough hints of red
to not be mistaken for royal blue.

Wend: How many people are in your family?

Almost enough.

Wend: You are being difficult.

Thank you.

Wend: Are you male or female?

It doesn’t matter.

Wend: What do mean by that?

I mean that it doesn’t
matter! I am a writer. I write stories. Either readers will like them or they
won’t. Either they will discuss the stories with others or they won’t. My
gender has nothing to do with this.

Wend: But many believe that women write better chick-lit
than men; therefore, an author’s gender matters.

There are a great
number of things wrong with that. Your sheltered life has kept you from seeing
the importance of equality, Wend. My mother worked in retail for about two
decades, more than half of which she spent behind the counter of various
automotive parts stores. She knew more about car parts than most of her
co-workers. She could look things up faster, order faster, and ring the
register faster. Yet all too often customers would come in and ask one of the
guys for help instead. The guys often ended up turning to her for help, because
she was the senior employee who had the answers. This is just a personal
example of why I’m opposed to this question. There are plenty of other examples
I could give of jobs we are told that men can not do or women can not do simply
because of gender. There are jobs out there that they say Hispanic people and
Jewish people can’t do. These things shouldn’t matter!

So unless we are going
mate with the purpose of procreation, or unless there is a medical reason, you
do not need to know my gender.

As far as calling
something chick-lit, what is that? Who decided that men shouldn’t be interested
in reading books about women? Why aren’t straight men interested in women? Why
is there only chick-lit? Why isn’t there Jew-lit? Sure, I thought the Diary of
Anne Frank was worthy and notable fiction, but maybe I was wrong. Maybe we
should file that into a little box and say that it really only appeals to a
Jewish audience. And that story Mulan about the cross-dressing girl who saved China from the
Huns? Why don’t stick that into a category as well… hmm, which to file it
under… Asian-lit, cross-dresser lit, or maybe that can be chick-lit too since
the main character is a female.

I’m not saying I have
anything against authors of chick-lit. I’m saying that I have something against
the segregation. I don’t want to fit into a box.

Wend: A box?

Malvina Reynolds sang
it best in her song “Little Boxes” – “Where they are put
in boxes, And they all come out just the same… And they’re all made out of
ticky tacky, And they all look just the same.”

Wend: You are very strange.

Thank you.

Wend: That wasn’t a compliment.

It was to me.

Wend: Alright, let us move on. What is something you want to
learn this year?

There are a great many
things I want to learn! I believe my favorite thing to learn would be something
unplanned and random that just sneaks up on you. For example, after two decades
of water always boiling over on the stove, I one day learned that adding a few
drops of oil to the water will often prevent that. Totally random and
unplanned, but there it is. I love moments like that. I recall in eleventh
grade English class our teacher was going on about whatever lesson, and in the
midst of the class discussion he used the word sacrilegious. The entire class
was at attention suddenly because there was a new word, one that sounded like
other words we knew, but which none of us had heard before. It came out of
nowhere. There was a spark of learning that day, a moment when thirty or so
students all at once eagerly awaited this new vocabulary- the very same
students who groaned every Friday when an actual vocabulary test was handed

Wend: Was there a time that you didn’t like me?

Wend, I am still
working on getting to the time that I do like you. There are moments here and
there that lead me to think I will eventually, but mostly at the moment you
annoy me. We’ll work on that.

Wend: Wow. Don’t hold back on account of my feelings.

What are you going to
do, sick Xavier on me?

Wend: Yes.

That figures.

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