Those “Perfect” Highlight Reels

This was just what I needed to hear.

Clockwork Clouds

Did you know that, when you look at a portfolio for an artist, you’re looking at their best work?

It’s a shocking revelation, I know. I’ll let you sit down and take it in.

Did you know that, when you read a book you’ve bought, whether from highstreet or Amazon, you’re reading a fully edited, final version of a novel?

Again, another shock.

Last week I wrote about Kicking the Perfection Addiction and I’m not quite done. I want to talk about Highlight reels. Specifically those perfect highlight reels, the ones our idols have.

In life, we are often forced to view the “highlight reels” of other people. Whether we follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or even here on WordPress, you can subjected to simply how good someone else has it. Pictures of all the great things that are happening, statuses and updates about all their good news…

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In one of the guided meditations I listened to through Happify a few months ago, the goal was stillness. After breathing in and nourishing and releasing as I exhaled, there was stillness. 

Listen to me, my friend. I give you a small serenity. I would give you a large one, but I am uncertain of human capacity, and I furthermore believe you would not wish it. This is a serenity you can hold in the palms of your two hands. – Rose Daughter, Robin McKinley

This is the view from Saltwater Cowboys. We ate here on vacation after a long day at the beach. 

I enjoyed the view and the stillness as we for our table and thought I would share it with you. 

Right now I need a small serenity. The vacation is over and it’s hard for my well to refill as I begin a new writing project. I sit down and the words come to me at a frenetic pace. I find I must stop before the well runs dry.

How do you find serenity in the everyday?  How do you refill your inner well?

Summer Sweetness 

A yellowed recipe book  awaits on the counter just visible through the floating lace curtains. 

Janine’s hands are stained red as she plucks the sweetness of early summer from an algae covered tree. 

Childhood memories are accented by hard pits. 

Thus is a late entry for #3Line Tales. I’m going to start doing these weekly diversions. 

How to Pick the Perfect Name for Your Character

When I was twelve I read a book with angels and demons in it.  In the back of the book there was an appendix listing the meanings of the names of each of the characters. I resolved to employ this detail when I wrote my own stories in the future.

Like so many things from that age, now that I’m older they seem stupid in practice. I also thought I would iron my future husband’s clothes for him #purefantasy.  My husband irons his own clothes like a boss.

How does one choose the perfect name for a character?  One doesn’t. Why?  It’s not necessary and it’s not realistic.


I didn’t choose my name.  I’m betting that you probably didn’t either unless you had your name changed. Our parents choose our names and often they’re from family names, popular culture, or a random baby book.  Sometimes meanings are a consideration — a wish for the child.

It was far easier for me to choose a name by using and just picking one almost at random. For Threads of Fate, I wanted it to have an ancient Germanic feel to it, so I narrowed down the names to fit that category.  I read up on German surnames as well, but also has surnames by ethnicity.

Besides ethnicity, I sometimes use popularity by decade and choose the person’s age. Madison is a newer name and wouldn’t be as appropriate for a 50 year old woman  as Cynthia would be.

I’ve picked most of my names pretty randomly from the list.  The names don’t have to be perfect.  After writing a bit if you don’t like a name, you can always change it.

Here’s a good test — listen to the duck:



Saying No

This year my husband and I have tried to say no. 

I was giving myself a hard time about not finishing Camp NaNoWriMo. I ended up deciding it was too much and focused on the Speculative Literature Foundation’s Diverse Worlds Grant instead. 

When I let my crit. partner, Richmond Camero,  know that I didn’t enter a different contest he said what I needed to hear. 

As writers in this busy world, it’s okay to say no and focus on our priorities.

I’ve read that our lives should be story factories and that if it doesn’t help build the story it doesn’t belong.

Working on my synopsis today felt very satisfying. I know there’s plenty of work left and yet can’t wait to start the next book. 

I still need to focus on what’s at hand and finish what I’m working on. Not only do I need to say no to contests and other projects, I have to also say no to myself starting anything new. This is where I stopped NaNoWriMo this to me. I’ll finish that story later but Threads of Fate is the focus now. 

Writing isn’t the only area of my life that I’ve had to say no in. Knowing my limits and honoring them are two different things.