This week I bring to you the workspace of my lovely friend and fellow writer Third Ninja Omniscient Laura.  She has recently finished putting together her workspace, moving it from the dining area to her bedroom, which has a door that can be closed (‘nuf said), and she was kind enough to send pictures.  Thank you, Laura!

It looks so clean and spacious!  My favorite bit is at the bottom though.  Please to enjoy!

Here, Laura has found a better use for windows than just letting in a little ol’ sunlight…plotting with dry erase markers. So smart! I love it!


54.  “Woman Leaves Room” by Robert Reed (Lightspeed)

Good story.  A bit melancholy, I thought…but that’s typical in stories about the erosion of time.

55.  “Spider the Artist” by Nnedi Okorafor (Lightspeed)

Friggin’ awesome.  The world-building is awesome, awesome, awesome…and I loved the main character.  Really had me on my seat.  Recommend.

56.  “The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu (Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Mar/Apr 2011)

My favorite of this week’s round-up.  At first I shied away from it because I have an origami story that I’ve been developing for some time now…but this is a different story…maybe a better story.  And I loved it, every line of it.  Maybe it’s because I have a Chinese mother…I don’t know.  But everything about it resonated true with me.  Very well done.  Love the little paper tiger.  And yes, I did cry.


Solo, Captain of the Guard

Okay.  So I wrote a very lengthy blog post about the “incident” that took the air out of my tires for a good week…and then I sat on it.  Although I think it makes for an interesting and dramatic read, I’ve decided that I don’t want it on my blog…mostly because I don’t think it deserves any more attention and energy than I’ve already given it, and frankly, I’m tired of talking about it.  But I do feel that I owe you guys some sort of explanation for my absence, especially given the fact that I’ve committed to blogging daily here at My Blue Screen.

So here’s what happened in a nutshell:  Friday night before last, I had a peeping Tom.  I used to think that was a funny term, but as it turns out, not so funny.  It was a frightening and unnerving experience, as you may imagine, but now that I’ve gone through all the normal reactions of fear, paranoia, anger, and murderous rage, I think I’m all better. 🙂  At this point, everything that needs to be done has been done.

This incident has clearly demonstrated to me, however, just how important it is to have a good circle of friends and loved ones to lean on, and I am so grateful because I have the best.  My Mom, Dad, and brother Jon are great.  That goes without saying.  My wonderful friend Marian, who was actually with me when it happened, spent two or three sleepless nights (and one very sleepful afternoon 😉 ) at my house to keep me company.  (Thank you, Marian!)  One of my neighbors is on high alert, stalking around my property with a bad attitude and an excuse to bring out his shotgun each morning at 4:30 a.m. before he leaves for work.  Yay, Larry!  All of my other close friends — Jeff, Jim, Danny, Sean, Kellie, Kenia, and Mary — have been there for me whenever I need them.  Thanks, you guys!  Just knowing you guys are there not only makes it easier for me, but for Fat Cat, who is stuck far away and unable to really do much more than worry.

Finally, I must report that the Dogs (capitalization intended and extended forever into the future out of respect for their Greatness), Solo and Dixie, are reassured in their household positions as Guardians of the House Goddess and her Adoring Servant (that would be the Toddler and me) and have enjoyed their new indoor assignments muchly.

But even with all this goodness in my life, I must confess, I’m still pretty pissed off.  The thing that has me pissed off the most is how much time this guy stole from me.  I want it back.  I want it all back.  So I’m taking it back.  I’m rewriting this whole past week like it never happened.  I’m going to write all the blog posts I should have written.  So be on the lookout for links in each daily post for posts written to fill in the days I missed.  Because that’s how I roll…and because, as Marian says, Homey don’t play that.  Just kidding.  (It was hilarious when she said it, but it only makes me feel foolish as I type it, which is why I should leave it in.)

So anyway, that’s what’s been happening around here.  Writing’s going well.  Lots of exciting stuff coming your way.  But right now, I’ve gotta prepare my submission for Ye Olde Third Ninja Omniscient Writers’ Club (and Casino), so in the words of one wise Ninja Colleague, I must away.

Hope everyone’s well and kicking word count ass!  Remember, this month’s dinosaur party is dependent on our word count, which is currently at 17,858 words out of 100,000 (thanks to a recent donation of 2,337 words by the awesome Sparks in Shadow).  I know I have a pretty decent word count accumulated, so I will count that up and update the word widget tomorrow night so we have a clearer understanding how deep the shit we’re standing in is how close we are to 100,000 words!  I wanna play with dry ice, dammit!

Remember, all words, any words — whether they’re an email to your mee-maw or a dirty limerick inspired by your boss, rants and ravings from your journal, or artfully-written grocery lists — I want ’em.  I’ll take whatever you’ve got.

Now I’m off to make more.


Hey, there!  Please, please, please forgive me for silence on my part.  Suffice it to say, I am not dead…merely extremely sleep-deprived.  I will explain later.

But for now…I present to you the awesome, stupendous workspace of my good friend Jeff, a fellow writer of all things noir, gritty, and action-packed.  He is also a full-fledged member of the Third Ninja Omniscient Clan.  I bow to him and his crazy-amazing workspace.  If he puts in a fridge and a chamber pot, he’d never have to move.

Anyway, please to enjoy!


Catching up…catching up…

50.  “Botanical Exercises for Curious Girls” by Kali Wallace (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Mar/Apr 2011)

This was a good story.  It was beautifully written, the setting and characters unique and interesting, and I was satisfied by the ending.  Yay!

51.  “Ping” by Dixie Wragg (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Mar/Apr 2011)

I was a bit reluctant to include this as a short story; however, it is listed as such in the table of contents, and so I do include it.  It is 21 words long.  Besides being slightly embarrassed that I don’t really get it, there’s also the fact that I have trouble defining these clever little micro-flash fiction snippets as true short stories.  However, it is a quick, thought-provoking read (even if I don’t really get it), and to its credit, it is indicated below its entry that it was “first published as an honorable mention entry in The Washington Post‘s weekly humor contest, ‘The Style Invitational,’ Dec. 4, 2010.”  😉

52.  “The Ifs of Time” by James Stoddard (The Magazine of Science Fiction, Mar/Apr 2011)

This was like five stories wrapped up in one big short story burrito…and all the more tasty for all the layers.  I especially liked the ethereal feel of Lady Chandless’s story of Ahn and Shushana, who “had come to the Cinnamon Sea to cease.”  I love Stoddard’s language, and I love this story.

53.  “Samantha’s Diary” by Diana Wynne Jones (“Stories:  All-New Tales” Edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio)

A quirky story of a woman plagued by the outrageous gifts of a wealthy admirer.  An enjoyable, fun read.

EDIT (4/2/11):  I was saddened to hear of Diana Wynne Jones’s recent passing.  Neil Gaiman writes of his friendship with her here.


I’m wearing green for all the Chinese-Irish in the house!  Me and that one other dude.  (Hey, bro.)

Today is not only St. Patrick’s Day, but it’s the fabulous, awesome, rocking-good-time St. Patrick’s Day blogfest hosted by the lovely Alexia Chamberlynn and Colene Murphy.  Everyone’s sharing a flash fiction story today, so put on your seven-league Uggs and start blog hopping.

Here is my literary corned-beef-and-hash offering.  I thought I’d try something I’ve never done before.  I hope you like it.

~    ~    ~

Thanks for reading (watching).  And don’t forget to follow the goblin trail to all the other fine Irish stories and leave a trail of appreciation in everyone’s comments section!

1. Colene Murphy( The Journey) 15. Dawn Embers 29. Holly Ruggiero’s POV
2. Tracy (Forever Endeavor) 16. Melissa Sarno 30. Rosie @ East for Green Eyes
3. Donea Lee @ The QoP 17. Susan Kane 31. Angeline Trevena
4. Jen Chandler 18. Gina C. 32. Jennie Bailey
5. PK Hrezo 19. Sarah McCabe 33. Derek Nastase
6. Alexia Chamberlynn 20. Bish Denham 34. Mara Nash
7. Mary( Giggles and Guns) 21. Loralie 35. Jordan McCollum
8. Madeleine 22. Ian Bontems 36. Liza
9. Hart Johnson 23. Erin Kane Spock 37. Jennee Thompson
10. Bethany@ ASPIRATIONS 24. N. R. Williams 38. ALLIE
11. Michael @ In Time … 25. Laura (Daily Dodo) 39. Roland D. Yeomans
12. Wild Child@ Naked Opinions 26. Writing with Debra 40. Abby Minard
13. Lisa Galek 27. Bess Weatherby 41. You’re next!
14. Angela McConnell 28. Myne Whitman Writes


Three straight hours hunched over the laptop.  When the nice Starbucks man-child came around and offered me a free cupcake, I said, “Yes, please!”  I marauded the peanut butter cup chapeau before it occurred to me to take a picture, but I think it looks better kind of “undone,” don’t you agree?

Hope everyone’s having a happy, productive day.  Happy writing!


Mentone, California ~ March 9, 2011

Last week, it was Spring Fever versus Spring Cleaning.  What do you think won out?  Can you hardly blame me?  The orange blossoms are in bloom, their fragrance filling me with the urge to run naked in midnight fields and howl at the moon.  Well, not exactly, but close.  Already I am finding myself “setting” on the cooler on the back porch in the middle of the night contemplating life with the dogs, an activity generally reserved for warm-weather days.

The weather’s been perfect.  Everything’s green, including our backyard.  (Yay!)  The Toddler and I have been all over the local mountains just hiking, poking around, and taking lots of pictures.  Hard to believe we were shivering our you-know-whats off on the 7th, and making slushballs.

Last week was a little frustrating to me.  I realize I cannot live in this Disorganized State of Hell any longer.  The taxes are too high, the morale is evil, and the food stinks.  I ran shrieking around the house the other night looking for the baby monitor, convinced the Toddler had hidden it somewhere.  Of course, I ran past it sitting on the kitchen counter at least three or four times before I finally recognized it as the Item I Was So Desperately Seeking.  I feel like I can rarely lay my hands on things I need, much less something I saw two minutes before.  I always feel like I’m looking for something.  It is an awful place to be.

My only saving grace is that maybe a year ago, I finally trained myself to put my keys in the same place.  Without that, I surely would have flown screaming off the deep end by now…probably in a kicking and screaming swan dive that nobody wants to see, but can’t make themselves look away.

Anyhoo, I hatched an impromptu plan on Sunday and invited a few friends over in an effort to make myself finally get the house cleaned up.  It worked, though I’m slightly embarrassed to admit why.  Suffice it to say, I’ve got some awesome friends who are willing to wash dishes for two hours, cook chicken sausage and tempura shrimp, and still rock the party.  (heh, heh, heh…my plan worked perfectly!)

Anyway, the head start on the kitchen has been tremendous for my morale.  I’ve cleared working space on my desk, and everything’s a little more flat instead of in slip-slide-y mounds.  (I swear, one of these days I’m going to have to put together a topographical map of my desk — I’ve got at least two Mt. Everests!)

So I am quadrupling my Spring Cleaning effort.  (What’s 4 times 0?)  I may need to use my own office for this week’s Workspace Wednesday.  The dust bunnies scoff at my eviction notice, but their time is coming.  I’m busting out that broom thingamajigger.

Still struggling with Toddler sleep issues this week, though it seems to be getting better.  Blargle! I missed posting two days this past week, due mainly to the fact that I can only pretend to be asleep for so long before I really embrace the role.  It really annoys me that I have to sleep, but such is life.

I dream every day of having a set schedule for the Toddler and myself…where we both sleep consistent hours, I get consistent work hours in (and I’m a little ahead on the blog), and we both slide out of bed every day on rainbows.  This is my dream.  I will have this soon.

But even with all the frustrations of the week, I got a decent amount of fiction writing done.  It was kind of a slog, most of it, but words are progress.

By the way, I just started using Toggl to keep track of my time, and I can tell I’m really going to like it.  My good friend Mona recommended it to me a while ago.  I promptly downloaded the app onto my iPhone and forgot about it.  But then she wrote an enthusiastic review of it on her blog.  Seeing as how it took me a half an hour to add up my hours and stats this week, I was greatly motivated to give it a go.  Easy-peesy.  Using it right now.  Looks like I’ve spent two hours on this post already.  Good to know.  I am interested to see how the 80/20 rule plays out, as Mona mentioned.  We’ll see in next week’s log report.

Anyway, here are last week’s stats:

~ Week of March 5 – March 11, 2011 ~

  • Best Daily Word Count (fiction only):  2,000
  • Total Fiction Word Count:  5,303
  • Total Blog Word Count:  1,087
  • Total Writing Work Hours:  27

~ Personal Stats to Beat ~

  • Best Daily Word Count (fiction only):  3,915 (February 27, 2011)
  • Best Weekly Word Count (fiction only):  12,787 (January 3-9, 2010)
  • Best Weekly Work Hours:  33 (February 27 through March 4, 2011)

~    ~    ~

So how are we doing with our monthly goal you ask?  Well, it’s looking good.  (You understand that my optimism stems mostly from my belief in the 80/20 rule, and that most of the words will be written in the last six days of March. 😉 )

So far this month, we’ve got Sparks in Shadows with a fantastic 3,081 words; Heather gives us 450 words, of poetry, no less!; my good friend and fellow Third Ninja Omniscient Jeff is experiencing a productive creative surge and generously offers us 5,600 words from his Western serial story; and I humbly offer 6,390 words of fiction and bloggerty wisdom.  That brings us to a grand total of 15,521 words, and we’re almost halfway through the month.  You know what this means, kids.  That’s right.  Listen to the dog.

But before you do that, I wanted to mention that on March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, I will be participating in a blogfest hosted by the equally witty Colene Murphy and Alexia Chamberlynn. I am working on a teeny tiny story for the occasion that I hope will knock your socks off, and I hope you’ll stop by and check it out…and all the other Irish love fest participants’ stories.

Now I really have to go.  The dog is really riding me hard this week.  She’s a real hard nose.  Or is it long nose?


This past week has been difficult for me timewise.  At least it’s felt that way.  I’ll know for sure when I add up the numbers from the old work log.  Therefore and forthwith, tonight I turn to my current go-to site for short short fiction.  Next Sunday should be more meaty (in terms of lengths of stories read) as I’ve just picked up the latest copy of the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. (Yay.)

46.  “Mother of the Boy” by Melinda Jones (Every Day Fiction)

I thought this was a nice piece about the contradictions of motherhood, how hard moms love their children, even when it’s difficult.  And I have to add, the author’s blog is an absolute delight!  A bonus!

47.  “It’s Not Me, It’s You” by Anisha Sridhar (Every Day Fiction)

Sort of a confessional story that speaks plainly of the uncomfortable truths of the protagonist’s intimate relationship with her husband.  I thought the fish-out-of-water cultural aspect of it fit in nicely with the misunderstandings and miscommunications going on between the couple.  Not a happy story though.

48.  “God Machine” by Ajit Dhillon (Every Day Fiction)

With a title like that, it’s hard for me to resist.  Add in a mysterious box with a handle, and I’m there!  And although I appreciate the sentiment underlying the story, I must admit I found it hard to believe the jaded wisdom that comes from the mouths of babes.  Even so, nicely written.

49.  “Breakfast For Two” by Rumjhum Biswas (Every Day Fiction)

A nicely written story — as they all seem to be in Every Day Fiction — though it runs along the same disillusioned tone as “It’s Not Me, It’s You.”  I have to be honest, although it’s a nice story, I don’t think I’m the audience for this type of fiction.  I think it’s because I like to read adventure and aliens and holy-crap-that’s-so-cool-what-is-it story lines as opposed to real-life style examination.  But don’t be dissuaded from judging for yourself.  It is a lovely story and worthy of a read.

50.  “Grisly” by Gretchen Bassier (Every Day Fiction)

Yay!  My flash fiction pick of the week!  Me loves to be surprised!