Saturday, April 23, 2011

Ideas, Ideas...

Today I'm enjoying a well deserved long weekend with my husband's cousin in Jersey. The weather has been nice; humid and mild compared to cold, cold Montreal and though rain threatened to ruin our day, it was kept at bay by the good gods that protect tired student-mothers on vacations.

Right about now, my mental batteries are 'bout half way up in recharge and, by tuesday, I'll be fired up and ready to go. My trusty quality supervisor (the husband) hasn't yet been able to proof-read my previous story, Feast Day. I'm hoping he'll get to it through the week and I'll be checking mags taking in submissions as soon as I finish this update.

Next week I'll send a few mails everywhere and start to make the rounds trying to get it published. The other thing that'll keep me thoroughly busy is to start working in two different stories where I already have the generals written and it's time to get to the narrative. There are actually quite a few in the works: there's the one that involves 'end of the world' kinda stuff with a touch of biblical spices; this one is planned to be a series of short stories all intertwined by a few threads only, so, in all reality, these are a pack of five short stories. Then there's the one that deals with japanese ghost lore; and finally the one that I'm planning to write in spanish...

So, lots of ideas to chose from... not enough time. What is one to do? I don't know if I should go for the shortest ones and work up to the lengthiest or the other way around. It's a hard decision but, since I'm supposed to be back at french school by the first week of may, I'll go with the shortest and work hard to get that first draft soon; then keep going for the other first drafts. When I have them, start all over again with the seconds and so forth until I get to a satisfactory bunch of final manuscripts... in say, six to eight months?

I always blow up my schedules; I'm lousily bad organized like that. But there's no hurry, all that matters is good stories, right? And maybe a few good mags and editors interested in them.

As labours are reassumed and work advanced, I'll keep updating you and maybe even giving you a few glimpses into the stories.

Don't go too far.

Friday, April 15, 2011


A few years ago, I went with my sister in law to the movies to watch "The Haunting in Connecticut". We had fun, screamed a bit  and laughed a lot since the guy next to us spent the whole movie rocking himself front to back and saying "I'm scared" while covering his eyes... now, that's what I call entertaining.

During the movie, one of the characters recites fragments of a Hughes Mearns' poem and fragments of another poem that caught my attention. After some research I came to know the second one is considered a "Lying song" that's aimed at being a moral exercise and there are other kind of 'poems' called "Nonsense Verses". The latter have become a bit of a passion of mine but it's not easy to find information about them.

Anyway, that's when I decided to try my hand at this kind of writing. I wrote poetry very early in my life, most always in spanish and not very successfully; but I was a child. As years went by, I kept writing poetry and, I have to say, there are a few that still today give me goosebumps. As you all know, I eventually transitioned to short stories and novel but my curiosity about poetry has always rested within me. Here I share with you my first attempt at a "Nonsense verse" and, though I know it's no master piece, I think you might enjoy it.


Timmy visits me everyday,
the dark of night lights his way.
I see him walking without legs.
Please, please go away.
The dead boy lively chats
in an empty house full of life.
I ask him to leave me alone,
but he comes back even more.
He'll haunt my dead soul as I live,
how I wish him to be free.
On the day and night that become one,
the sun shines dark and
the moon rises high;
on such day he'll go home
dancing sadly without song.
Rejoicing many that he's here,
going closer without feet.
He visits me every night,
even when nobody's around
please... please, go away!
but he misses me, he says.

By Georgina Morales.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Reading and Learning

You always hear how great writers are also great readers. Well, I haven't been abiding by that law for some time. It has always been a great scape of mine to read; I actually read my way out of my worst depression ever, and before having kids I used to read as much as five books a week. Admittedly, I did little else but read; I was single, on vacation (a half-year sabbatical), and with no friends in the city... so, things have changed... a little.

In previous posts I've told you all about my present hectic schedule and I'm not THAT crazy to believe I'll be able to make even a book a week; no, my goal is much more attainable: twelve books per year.

Of course I don't start january first: ready, set, go. I take it slowly and get 'party season' out of my system first, but eventually, I make my way to it. Now, another matter that can grind the whole thing to a stop is the selection of books. I gave it a lot of thought and after reading, twice, each Twilight book last year and nibble "The Host", unsuccessfully I must add; there were no "in" books that attracted me that much. So, this year I decided to start with the classics. You see, I'm Mexican, meaning I know something about Latin-American Literature but very little about English Literature.

There, I had my road plan. I started around end february with Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice", followed by Richard Matheson's "Hell House", back to Austen's "Sense and Sensibility" and presently I turned gears to J. K. Rowling's "H.P. and the Philosopher's Stone" in french. I figured, as long as I'm reading, I might as well go ahead and make my french teachers happy.

Four books... well, three books and a half, so far... not too shabby! I have to say, though, I'm finding Austen's stories not as compelling as I imagined them to be. I don't want to upset anyone but after hearing a lot about them, I found them a little slow. Too much beating around the bushes for my taste, and in the case of "Sense and Sensibility", not rewarding enough. However, I may have chosen exactly those who cater worst for myself and to get a better sense of her style, I'll read a couple more, or maybe all of them... call me a purist.

As for Matheson's "Hell House", I liked it a lot. I might be antiquated, but I happen to love classic haunted houses and ghost stories. This one gave me a couple of restless nights and in general was VERY entertaining. Since I'm a sucker for everything paranormal, I'm more or less up to date to the latest 'science' of investigating ghostly apparitions. This might have actually hindered my enjoyment of the story. It was written in the mid 70's and relies quite heavily on medium seances and 'ectoplasmic' production. Since these methods have long ago been proven a hoax, I found its constant presence a bit of a turn off and somewhat hard to block from my mind. Anyway, I hadn't came across a book that gave me nightmares since Stephen King's "The Shining" and it's a gratifying feeling.

What's next? Well, this is my plan as of today. After Harry Potter I'll go back to the english language with "Dorian Gray's Picture", probably Matheson's "Stir of Echoes", "Harry Potter and the Chaber of Secrets" (back to french), another Austen work, "Wuthering Heights"... and I'll figure where to go from there.

There are hundreds of books to chose from, and sometimes the amount of possibilities makes it real hard to take a decision. For this reason, whatever advise you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Remember, I'm trying to get a crush course in English and American Literature but I'm not an over-educated snub and my taste might be a bit too simple: great stories, simply written and great finales... Isn't that what we're all expecting? =D