Wednesday, February 1, 2017

MY HAUNTED COMPUTER - AN IWSG POST



I’ve been absent from the blogging world since my last IWSG Post and at that time, I didn’t get around to visit many of you. Let me explain:

While everyone was lamenting the trials of 2016, I thought it was a pretty good year. I should have kept my mouth shut. 2017 came in like a beast for me. Severe snow (four feet on the level) here on the shores of Lake Tahoe. Large trees snapping off at the top. One took out the fence at my front yard, and one the fence and deck in my back yard. Next, my recurring infection (due to my failing kidneys) is back. I need to be back on antibiotics because I’m at risk of sepsis, but the antibiotics make me really, Really, REALLY sick. Finally, I’m agonizing over a short story that I want to submit for an anthology; it’s due by the 28th of February.

I almost wasn’t going to post for the IWSG, but then I realized I promised myself I would make at least these twelve posts each year, so…I had one more thing to agonize over. Then this happened.

The short story I’m submitting for this anthology has to be a ‘ghost story’. I have a novel written that IS a ‘ghost story”. This should be easy, right? Just excerpt out the 10k words or less for the short story. Not as easy as it sounds. I have been feverishly working on a 10k rewrite, feeling like everything I wrote was crap, and thinking maybe I wasn’t supposed to be doing this.

Monday, while checking my emails, I found this:



I was totally irritated by this spambot, but also curious as to what post they were commenting on, so I clicked on the link. Needless to say, I was blown away when I read the post, it was from December 13, 2011. Here’s a link Far Away Eyes Blog Post 12-13-2011. Just in case you don’t have time to go there, I'll give you the ‘cliff notes’ on that blog post.

This post is where I’m yakking about this ranch I lived on in Colorado and the ghost that shared his place with us. When I wrote the novel ‘Not Quite Right’ (working title), it was based on my personal experience with this ghost and in part tells his true story. After all of this, I’m guessing ‘Martin’ (the ghost’s real name) wants me to tell his story, as inadequate as I might be.

I decided I’m gonna do what it takes to finish this short story, edit it to death, and hope I’m accepted into the anthology. Perhaps ‘Martin’ will infect the computer of the folks making the final decision, like he did mine and this story will be published. One can always hope, right?

February Question: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

I read with a more critical eye. Catching things like continuity, redundancy, and even some grammatical errors. Sometimes, I feel like it spoils the pure pleasure of simply enjoying a story and being more forgiving to the author of some of those errors. Sometimes the story and characters are great enough, I can just let it go.

Please take the time to thank Alex J. Cavanaugh and the host of others who help to make the IWSG what it is today. Also, please click HERE to go to the list of other participants. I encourage you to check out other posts. I know you’ll find some interesting stuff.

34 comments:

  1. Sorry your medicine makes you sick. The doctor needs to try something new.
    That was a sign and you will finish that story in time.

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    1. Thanks Alex. Unfortunately, I've already been down that road. Docs have changed meds several times. I seem to have an adverse reaction to most antibiotics, but when the choice is infection spreading throughout your body or an uncomfortable adverse reaction, what can you do?

      It was a sign and certainly kit a fire under me. I finished this morning, Now the real work begins, Editing. I'm 3014 words over the maximum count. Gotta slash and burn.

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  2. Here's hoping for you! Don't you love how inspiration comes right when we need it? I hope your February is less chaotic than January, and that you're able to kick the infection. In the meantime, there's cheese, eh?

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    1. Thanks Crystal. You are always so kind and inspirational. I really appreciate that. I'll try to enjoy the cheese. Make mine goat though, among other things I have a problem with most dairy.

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  3. Best of luck for the anthology! And I hope life settles down for you. I feel about the same about how being a writer has changed my experience as a reader, but as I've been a writer for much of my reading life, I don't know that my critical eye has spoiled the fun for me, at least not frequently. Definitely occasionally, though.

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    1. Hey Patrick, nice to meet you. Thanks for stopping by. I guess if you've been a writer for most of you life you don't know any different, Me, I started late and used to simply enjoy without a care for the mistakes of others,

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  4. Blah to the snow and all the crap it caused. Ugg to medicine side effects too. Sure you'll get it done, and yeah it would be nice sometimes to not get too critical and just read to read once more.

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  5. Oh my, a real ghost story! Go for it. Hope you're feeling better.

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    1. Thanks Bish. It's onto the editing process now,

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  6. Best o' luck with the re-writing / editing.

    My jury is still kind of out on ghosts. I think at least a large number of them are really demonic apparitions. Although I have not at all ruled out the possibility that some smaller amount of incidents are true ghostly manifestations of a soul not willing to move off this earthly plane for emotional reasons.

    Yak Later...

    ~ D-FensDogG
    Check out my new blog @
    (Link:] Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

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    1. Thanks.

      While I can't disagree with you on the demons vs. ghosts thing, I'm sure Martin was no demon. I've had unfortunate experience with both and think I can tell the difference. I might be fooled or foolish, but in this case it was a sorrowful man who had made too many mistakes in life. I believe he couldn't forgive himself.

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  7. Too bad about all the stuff you've been dealing with. And I thought I was cold here where I am. At least we don't have any snow.

    I wish you well on the story. Don't edit it to death or the ghost of the story might start haunting you.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Unfortunately, this story is going to undergo some serious murder.l That killing off your darlings, thing. I finished up at 13,014 words and it can't be over 10k. Editing I must go, to the death of 3,014 little itty bitty words.

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  8. Shorter works can be so hard! Good luck with your submission.

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    1. You ain't a kiddin'. Just finished up this Anthology submission and it came in at 13014 words. Time for some serious slash and burn. I really hate killing off my darlings.

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  9. Best of luck with your submission. I have to admit, I believe in spirits. We think we may have on in our home. Too many strange things happen here.

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    1. I'm right there with you. Too many experiences not to be a believer. Thanks for stopping by. Nice o meet you.

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  10. Good Luck with your submissions. Cramming what you need to get down into a small amount of words means so much attention to each choice!

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    1. It is hard, but I really believe that working on short stories will help me be a better writer in the long run. If you can tell a good story in a few wor, just think about the great fullleh novel you could craft.

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  11. Yikes, I hope you feel better soon. And I am excited to hopefully hear about Martin's story one day (potentially).

    Also, let's just say you aren't the only one being plagued by that particular spam bot.

    http://i.imgur.com/DZZGkQ0.png

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    1. Since that spam bot hit you guys also, I hope he/she/it directed you someplace useful, like it did me. Course, there's a chance you found the 'strippers' more useful that me.

      I'm seriously hoping that one day you do exactly that, read about Martin in a published book.

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  12. I'm glad you posted, but I'm sorry your year is off to a poor start and I hope you get healthy! Good luck with your story. I'm so glad you found/received an inspirational nudge in the right direction! Christy

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    1. Hey Christy, thanks and nice to meet you. That poor start to '17 is what I get for bragging about how good my '16 was. That'll teach me to keep my big mouth shut.

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  13. Ghosts preserve us, this sounds like a good haunting. I'm so sorry to hear of your health issues, and all the mayhem the weather is causing. I've had to frequently go the long way around Donner Pass just to get to all my stores up there. I suspected you were pretty well snowed in. Yuck!

    I'll be home the week of Feb 12. I can beta read for you if you want. Everyone needs a partner in crime when it comes to murdering your darlings.

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    1. I am so done with the snow. Can you believe that three years ago I was excited to experience3 a 'real Tahoe' winter. Right about now I would like to shove that real Tahoe winter up someone's...

      After being stuck on I-80 for amost 8 hours Thanksgiving Weekend when I came back from Disneyland, I'm afraid to travel anywhere unless clear skies are predicted for five days straight. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like that's gonna happen until April or May. I think of you often out on the highways and byways during winter.

      I'll definitely be in touch. A partner in crime is exactly what I need.

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  14. I do so love when ghosts give me the direction I need. I'm glad Martin gave you the push you needed to submit your story, and glad that you posted for IWSG. I'm just getting back on the train myself. Good luck with the submission.

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    1. Isn't that cool? Thanks S.M. It's sad but true that often we need a serious push out of our comfort zone, or in my case the lazy zone.

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  15. Best of luck with your ghost story, and I hope you feel better!
    (I love ghost stories.)

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  16. Antibiotics are nasty because they kill good bacteria along with the bad, but if you need them to survive, you have no choice. You must take them. However, their side effects might be lessened if you take probiotics, such as acidophilus, at the same time. Probiotics help restore bacterial flora in your guts. Take them about a couple hours after an antibiotic dose. And then, after you complete the course of antibiotics, continue with probiotics for at least another month. It should help.
    Good luck with your ghost story.

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    1. Thanks Olga, you are so right about the antibiotics and the probiotics. due to my autoimmune disease my guts are a mess, therefore I regularly take a good probiotic, but have to increase the dose while on the antibiotics. don't you just love that...take this med for one thing and now take this to counteract the harmful affects of that med. I really hate pharmaceuticals and try to stay away from them, but with a serious infection,. I have no choice.

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  17. I love that a ghost (maybe) commented on your old blog post about ghosts and got you to write a new story. I'm sorry to hear your kidneys aren't working that well. Hope you feel better soon.

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    1. Thanks Kalpanaa, co nice of you to stop by. I have a special place in my heart for Martin (this ghost). I sincerely hope he is able to 'go on'. I also appreciate the well wishes fo my health.

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