Category Archives: Life

Ode To My Yellow Sheep

I plucked the tiny flowers
And made the dye.
That stained your wool
Into such a lovely yellow hide. 

Down into the mountain I went
Diamonds and glory sought.
Thinking you and your rose kin
Safe in a pen carefully wrought.

How then blocky friend
Did you come to be.
Perched in the midsts of a lava fall
Terrifying me so thoroughly.

I tried to reach you
My bridge though did fail.
And down into the lava did you fall
Bleating your tiny blocky wail.  

I know you’re only pixels
And rows of 0’s and 1’s.
But watching you disintegrate into ash
Was truly no flipping fun.  

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Germanic or Roman?

The saying “When in Rome do as the Romans do.” is oft heard but is it really understood?

Roman culture gave us the idea that laws had fixed boundaries. Another culture around at the time, and a little before, was the Germanic culture. This culture was based on the idea that you carried the laws of your tribe with you. So if you were raised in a tribe where drinking milk was taboo, even if you went to a tribe where is was OK it was still taboo for you. Simple right? Heh. You can see why the Roman way of laws won out. 

In a way, I was raised in a “Germanic” style household, though I highly doubt my parents thought about it like that. By that I mean, friends that visited were bound by their parent’s rules. For example, if they weren’t allowed soda at home, they weren’t offered it in our house. 

This was all fine and dandy until I spent the night at a friend’s house. Her mom plunked a basket of laundry in front of the friend and I. I had no idea what she wanted until she pointed at the basket and (this is a direct quote) said “No worky, no eaty”. I was floored. No guest in my house would’ve been expected to do chores. Heck I wasn’t even expected to do chores. (Yes, I was a spoiled brat, just ask my Sister 😉 )

I vaguely remember folding a wash cloth or two and deciding that was enough for whatever I was going to eat in the house. Needless to say I do not remember there ever being a second sleep over. 

I like to think this dichotomy helped me become more understanding towards other peoples ways of doing things, but in reality it just irritated the crap out of me. 

However, when I develop characters this is one of the things I try to think about. I may not go through an entire detailed backstory but I do at least try to get a semblance of how they were raised and which style they were raised under, and how it may have influenced them. 

How about you or your characters? Germanic or Roman?  

 

Happy Holidays – See You Next Year

Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Blessed Solstice! Or… Enjoy Your Time Off Work!

What ever your flavor of celebrating I hope it is full of laughter, light, family and friends. 

And.

May your New Year be a joyous occasion full of excitement for new beginnings. 

I’ll be back with new fiction and new posts next year. 

 

 

Chat Rooms And Forum Boards

I used to do chat rooms a lot and yes the non family friendly kind. Countless hours of my life were spent typing into a tiny box, waiting with baited breath to see if anyone would answer. This <cough> detour into the underbelly of the internet actually had some payoff. I’m a blistering fast typist now. Topping out at almost 100 wpm when I hit the zone. And I’d like to believe it helped hone some of my creative talents, though THOSE particular stories will never be part of this blog. 😉

So why am I bring this up? Because, as I surf the net, (looking at writing sites, honest) I see many writer forum boards and a few of them have chat rooms associated with them. I joined one a while back and then popped into it’s attached chat room 

… AND WHOOOSsshhh. I was emotionally teleported back in time nearly two decades or more. The stomach acid churned. I was shocked by my own shock. What if I misspelled something? What if they thought I was a newb…. Oh gosh, what if no one answered at all!!?

Ridiculous! 

I haven’t been back since that soul jarring bit of self discovery, but I think about it often and I wonder… Do they help?

Is it worth wading through the emotional minefield to perhaps learn valuable tips of the trade or are chat rooms and forum boards dinosaurs of old better left to the archeologists?

 

 

Mottos I Try To Live By

Just a few words of wisdom I’ve picked up over the years. Some I’ve made up and some I’ve appropriated from others.

1) Good enough never leads to great. (Personal Motto. I love it so much I had it engraved on to a charm and wear it daily.)

2) Marriage is a Team Sport.

3) Regret tastes worse than fear and lasts longer.

4) No one, on their death bed, wished they’d slept more. (This is what I tell myself when I want to sleep in instead of getting up to write.)

5) Even Stephen King got rejection slips. 

6) The First Draft of Anything is Shit – Hemingway. (This is what I remind myself when the internal editor starts giving me crap.)

7) When being with another person is more important than being right all the time you’re with the right person.

8) This too shall pass. 

9) If you run headlong into your fears you can usually get past them. If you run from them they’ll just follow you forever.

10) You’ve got to live this life you’re given like it’s the only one you’ve got. – Three Doors Down “The Only One You’ve Got.”

 

44 Facts about Rylie Dalthrys

This post is inspired by a post the Optimistic Kid put out. [I’m new to WordPress so if I’ve gotten the link wrong I’m Sorry!]

His post was 67 facts about the O.K. I don’t know if I can top 67 but we’ll see. 😉

 

1) Rylie Dalthrys is a pen name. I use a pen name due to the nature of my day job. AND for the simple reason that if I ever have to switch jobs again I want a prospective employer to find my professional accomplishments if they google me not my writing. By the same token, should I ever be fortunate enough to be googled by an agent I want them to only see my writing.
All the letters in the nom de plume are from my real name and it is the ONLY “off truth” that will ever be in this blog. 

2) I love hockey. I watch it constantly, not just my fav team but just about any game that’s on. During the lockout I even watched AHL, college and <gasp> High School hockey to get my fix. 

3) I also watch Football, Soccer, Curling (when I can, we don’t get much down south), Rugby, and some Baseball.

4) I don’t smoke.

5) I rarely drink but when I do it’s bourbon or whiskey, usually in an Irish Coffee or Hot Toddy. 

6) Hubby and I have been together 26 years and I adore him more with each passing day. I consider it one of the greatest blessing in my life to be able to be with the same fella from teen years to middle age. 

7) This is my favorite number.

8) I cry at sappy commercials, blog posts, news articles, and any story about animals being lost or reunited. And if anyone gives me crap about it I’ll cut’m!

9) I own one firearm and I know how to use it. My reasons behind having the pistol are simple. How can I write a convincing running gun battle if I don’t even know what recoil feels like. 🙂

10) I think Astronaut Abby totally rocks! [same caveat about links as above] Seriously, check her out. She’s amazing. If the link doesn’t work just Google Astronaut Abby. 

11) I’m a space nut. Even my coworkers IN the aerospace industry think I’m a nut. 

12) Hubby’s a space nut too. 

13) I’ve been to England several times.

14) I’ve been to Scotland once.

15) I’ve been to Seattle half a dozen times. 

16) We want to retire to the Pacific Northwest some day.

17) I’ve been to the Caribbean but didn’t like it much.

18) I’m struggling to get to 20…. geesh, how it O.K. get to 67. 

19) I love Christmas music. 

20) Wow, I just witnessed a road rage altercation outside my window. They yelled at each other for a bit and I screamed Merry Christmas at them. I doubt they heard me but it was fun and they did finally move it along. 

21) My current addiction is to Harribo’s Lemon-Ginger gummi candies, hence number 22.

22) I need to lose weight. 

23) I don’t text. 

24) I don’t even own a cell phone that can text.

25) It was impossible to get a cellphone without a camera but it was amusing to see the various expressions from the sales reps when I asked. (Work related issue.) 

26) I was raised with dogs but I currently own cats. Love’m! 

27) I have ridden a horse and an elephant, neither is something I care to experience again.

28) I love to swim. 

29) I own a house with a fireplace and have never used it.

30) I was raised in Central Florida without air-conditioning or heat, and survived just fine thank you <twitch>.

31) I’ve done past life regression and discovered I was completely ordinary and boring in every one. 

32) This time around I aim to be a little more memorable. 😉

33) I hope to one day live completely off the grid. 

34) And I hope one day to make a living by writing. 

35) I clearly have a lot of work ahead of me to get to 33 & 34. 

36) I can’t watch scary stuff before bedtime. It gives me nightmares. 

37) I prefer Sci/Fi and Fantasy but will read some types of romance and mysteries.

38) I read science books for fun.

39) I read books on grammar for fun too. 

40) I like bananas but dislike anything banana flavored.

41) I love anything watermelon flavored but dislike the fruit.

42) Clowns freak me out.

43) I can’t stand emory boards or the sound of things being sanded.

44) This is as far as I’ve gotten in life so this is where I’ll stop. 

 

 

 

 

 

Word Counts – UGH!

Word Counts… I hate them. 

They’re little, wart skinned gremlins. They perch just in the corner of your vision and mock. Their eyes are hourglasses with perpetually more sand at the bottom than the top. 

And yet… I use them. 

I set mine ridiculously low because if I made it reasonable and missed it I’d beat myself up. If I missed enough times I’d be too bruised to continue and I’d just chuck the whole laptop out the window and move on to something easier like finger painting. 

Even with the bar set so low there are times it takes me hours to reach the paltry sum. 

And yet … they work. 

On the days I think everything I touch is crap. The days when writing is the absolutely last thing I want to do. The little word count gremlin whispers at me. 

“C’mon,” It whines, “You sneeze more words then your goal. If you don’t like them tomorrow you can take them out. Just freaking do it you wuss!”

And … I do. 

 

What process works for you? Do you use guilt or rewards to help you finish your projects?