Monday, October 30, 2006


Now I know tomorrow is the big NIGHT for witches and goblins and all things that give fright....sorry, I couldn't resist :)...but after spending two weeks of TV time at night cutting 100 white ghosts out of foam for craft necklaces and a month of planning our local Halloween party for this past weekend, I just had to blog about this cool "holiday".

I found a website that's both fun and laughable at the same time. Try out and you're in for a real treat with a few tricks thrown in. Katrina advertises spells for "Returning Your Lover/Spouse Even if They've Taken Up With Someone Else", "Your SoulMate", "Winning the Lottery", "Custom Spell" - her most expensive one at $99.00 - oh yes, you have to pay for these, but if you buy two spells on the same day she'll throw in a love spell for free! A spell for "Your Job", "Losing Weight", "Falling in Love", and they're all on sale because it's Halloween.

She'll cast your spell within 2-3 days of receiving your payment by VISA, MC, or PayPal, or you can send cheque or Money Order. Most spells will take effect within 60 days, and this is because a spell must enter your spirit and meld within you to begin to work. EXCEPT for the spell which provides instant protection from BAD KHARMA and Negative Energy. Then you get your money's worth right away.

It's a great site for having a laugh and wondering just how much money she makes from this enterprise - enough I guess if she takes VISA, MC, and PayPal. It's sad that so many are vulnerable to believing in this kind of "supernatural" effect on their lives that they'll shell out $39.99 to $99.99 for it - but on the other hand, she does have a disclaimer on her site that it's for entertainment purposes only. At least she's making a clean living and not wallowing around on a bed taking off her clothes for $39.99.

Who knows? Maybe she really can cast a spell removing BAD KHARMA? It could be the plot of a good story - anyone want to give it a try in the comments section? :)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

What the H...???

After working so hard to try and get my head back into my MS and do rewrites, edits, etc. it just doesn't seem to be working. Maybe other writers can salvage their WIPs, but this one just doesn't seem to be doing it for me. Maybe it's just too stressful a time in my life right now, maybe the premise really isn't what I thought it was; the characters are great but I haven't given them the right story. I don't know.

I feel like the picture: upside down in a plane and looking at the ground! What to do next? I have a file full of ideas...time to pick another one. Time to try out that new book I have by Karen Weisner, "How To Plot Your Book In Thirty Days". Well, I've always been part plotter/part pantser. Maybe this will help whip something into shape for me. It can't hurt to start with fresh material.

She recommends making a soundtrack for your book. I've always had a SONG that fit my WIPs, but haven't made a soundtrack, mainly because I don't have a CD burner. This is a very cool idea, however, and thank you Karen for suggesting it in your book. She says to play it while writing, doing chores, in your car, etc. That it will sink into your conciousness and help you brainstorm through plot points and issues in your WIP.

I played Nickelback's SILVER SIDE UP for a novel that was trashed by a big NY house, till I thought I'd wear the CD out. So I realize this does work. It helped me find the motivation and angst in my heroine so well, and other songs on it pertained to the hero.

Not one to give up, I'm off to review my file and pull out the best idea/premise that tickles my fancy at the moment.

QUESTION: How many of you use a song, CD, or soundtrack as background to unconciously influence you to work on your WIPs?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view.
A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.

Friday, October 20, 2006


The following is an online course to be given by a good friend of mine, Margie Lawson. I've already taken it, and it's excellent! You will be so glad you've taken it, as your WIP will jump to life. She uses real book examples, with authors permission, gives homework for your own WIP, and is hands-on. Make November the month to wrap up the final rewrites on your WIP with Margie's course below:


INSTRUCTOR: Margie Lawson, M.S.
November 1-30, 2006
Cutoff date to receive registration and payment: October 30.
Workshop Registration: $25.00 U.S.D.

Empowering Characters' Emotions:

If you want to enhance characters' emotions, learn the nuances of body language and edit for emotion, this is the workshop for you. The following topics will be addressed:

The full range of nonverbal communication: Kinesics, Haptics, Proxemics, Facial expressions, Paralanguage . . .
Proprioceptive stimuli, Involuntary physical responses
Ideomotoric shifts
Mirroring, Communication Accommodation
Levels of intimacy, Love signals
Nonverbal gender differences
Emotional authenticity
In-trancing the Reader
The EDITS System
Basic, complex, empowered, and super empowered passages
Backstory management
Writing fresh . . .
Projecting Emotion for a Non-POV character
Carrying a Nonverbal Image Forward
Objective Constructs

Margie Lawson holds a Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology with a two-year concentration beyond her master's degree, specializing in psychiatric counseling and nonverbal communication. Her resume includes college professor, clinical trainer, sex therapist, Director of an Impotence Clinic, hypnotherapist and keynote speaker.

Margie merges her two worlds, psychology and writing, by analyzing writing craft as well as the psyche of the writer. She developed new psychologically-anchored editing systems and techniques which hook the reader viscerally. A frequent speaker at writing conferences, Margie also presents 1) Empowering Characters' Emotions, 2) Deep Editing: Rhetorical Devices, The EDITS System and More, and 3) Defeat Self-Defeating Behaviors in high-energy one and two-day workshops to writing organizations nationally.

To register for the November course, go to OR email accepts personal checks or money orders (US FUNDS ONLY!).
Please make checks payable to:
Mary O'Gara -and mail to-
1208 San Pedro NE, #188
Albuquerque, NM 87110
Electronic Payments accepted via Paypal.
After logging on to paypal, Email electronic payments to:

Lectures from Margie's courses are also available as Lecture Packets through PayPal. Check her web site for more information, or, e-mail

Monday, October 16, 2006


Sorry for the delay in presenting Part Two. Here is the end of the Story.


A third man rushed forward in the firelight, tackled them and threw them to the floor. "This here be Ruby, ya morons. Ya don't never touch her!"

They were younger men then she had thought. She switched the purse to her left hand, leaving her right hand freer for her boot stiletto. In her haste, she'd forgotten to be safe.

"How is Jazz?" she murmured to the giant who'd saved her.
"Not good. He's real sick, Ruby." The man's eyelids were heavily creased from too much booze and hard living. "I don't think he'll last out the week. He won't let us take him to one of them clinics."

Jazz was a tough, street-smart kid she'd met two years ago. She'd found him on Garland St. one summer dawn with the breeze blowing in off the harbor. He'd been counting his money after spending a night turning tricks for old men in luxury cars.

Now he was dying of AIDS and choking on his own mucus. Ruby held on to the arm of the man who'd saved her from the punks.

"Does he still know who you are?"
"Most times." He hesitated. "Not always, Ruby."

The man led the way through a maze of blankets, boxes, the side of an open van, fires in barrels, and coughing, fighting people.

The young teen lay in a cocoon of threadbare blankets near the north end of the warehouse. It was actually just two sides of a box, and the older man had tried to position it to keep out the wind. The boy's face was gray, a toque over his head, and he was wrapped in several layers of Salvation Army suit jackets. Ruby put down her purse and began chafing his hands.

"Jazz? Can you hear me?"

His eyelids flickered and a tiny bit of drool dripped out of his mouth.

"Could you leave us alone, Frank? Thank you for what you did back there."
"Sure, Ruby." Frank backed away and sauntered off towards a big barrel fire near the center of the warehouse.
"Jazz." She leaned near the boys' ear. "Jazz, wake up. I have fruitcake for you, and brandy."

There was a dirty mug with some water in it. She filled it with a finger full of brandy. Lifting Jazz's head, she poured the tiniest sip in and watched his throat convulse. She talked gently of what a wonderful Christmas they'd have when he woke up, the presents gaily wrapped under the tree, his warm bed upstairs in her house, and the perky dog that would greet him Christmas morning.

Suddenly, his eyes flew open and his hands grabbed her wrist.
"Ruby, is it really you?"
"Yes, Jazz. It's ok, hon, everythings ok."

He took a few more swallows of the brandy and water and then sank back on the backpack he was using as a pillow. He began a paroxysm of coughing and spat up bloody phlegm.

"I brought you a Christmas gift, just like you wanted, Jazz, but I don't know if you should have it."
"You know how much I want this, Ruby. Exactly how I want this."

Her hands shook a little as she took the cigar out of her purse. She unwrapped the fruitcake and broke off little pieces of it. Then she held up his head, cradling his lice-ridden hair to her chest, and hand fed him tiny pieces of Raoul's finest fruitcake. Once in awhile she'd give him a sip of brandy and water. It took him nearly an hour, but he finished all three pieces.

"Just like my gramma used to make." His voice was weak and tired. "I want my cigar now."

Ruby reached under his blankets until she found his lighter and a pack of cigarettes with only three smokes left. She sucked on the cigar until it lit, and watched the spirals of smoke float towards the high ceiling. Then she helped him sit up again, and held the cigar to his lips.

He puffed and the sweet, powerful cigar smoke filled the small space like incense.
"I'd like to go to Christmas Mass, wouldn't you, Ruby?"
"Been a long time since I was at Mass, Christmas or otherwise. Don't talk now."

Jazz reached for the cigar again, watched the red tip burning in the semi-darkness.
"I want you to hold my hand when you do it."
"You gotta do it, Ruby...its gotta be tonight." He stared upwards for a few minutes, as if listening.
"They say 'yes'." He turned to look at her. "Can I see your 'ruby'?"
"You can see anything, if you give up this fool plan!" She pulled up her red sweater and pulled down her skirt. The ruby was a quarter carat and winked from a 14k hoop through her navel. Jazz touched it with awe.

"You're the real thing, Ruby Westlake. I won't ever forget what you done for me these last few months."
"Now. I want you to do it now."

He took a long puff on the cigar, another one, and then another one before he started to gag and choke. He handed it off to Ruby, who ground it out on the concrete beside his nest of blankets. She poured another sip of brandy and water into him when he'd stopped coughing.

"Sure you don't want the rest of this mickey?"
"Naw, give it to Frank for Christmas. I want to do it now."

He fixed his murky blue-eyed gaze on her and held out his filthy hand.
"You're the real thing, Ruby. And I thank you."

She took his right hand with her left hand. Tears smeared her heavy mascara as she sat beside him and drew her boot stiletto out of its hidden sheath. Ruby leaned over his gaunt face - what was he - sixteen, seventeen? She bent closer and closer until their breath mingled together. Her tears wet his cheeks. His eyes were closed, his hand tight in hers. She could taste fruitcake and cigar smoke on his lips.

Gently, she kissed him with the soft whisper of a first lover. Her stiletto out now, she gathered all her strength and plunged it into the right side of his neck, hitting the carotid artery dead on. Jazz's body contorted and she felt hot spurts of blood hit her neck, hair, and chest. She held his hand and the kiss, until the bucking of his body stopped. When she sat up Jazz's eyes were staring at the ceiling with a rapturous look on his face. She reached over and closed them.

Ruby wiped the blade of her stiletto clean, then the handle, with the top blanket. She folded his hands together, and put the mickey beside his pallet. She wiped off the blood on her mouth with the napkin from the floor.

Strong arms jerked her upwards and her feet left the ground.
"Hey Al, isn't it nice when you catch'em in the act like this!"
The uniformed cop set her down with a bone-crunching thud and shook her by the shoulders so hard her wig nearly fell off.

"What are ya, Vampirilla, or are ya going to tell us you just like to steal from the dead?"

Ruby kneed him in the crotch as hard as she could, planted an elbow in his face, and gave his partner a roundhouse kick to the head. A crowd of derelicts and winos had gathered, armed with bricks and planks of wood. The partner was still face down on the concrete, and Ruby had her stilleto up against the first cop's neck, her lips to his ear.

"First of all, you morons, I'm on the job. Badge #501. Second of all, you're about to blow three years of cover. Now get out of here, rookie, before these people give you the beating you deserve."
"Where's your badge?" He squeaked out.
"You'll have to check my crotchless panties. Call Sargeant Hubbard."

She pricked his neck just a little with the stiletto. Al was starting to moan a little on the floor. "Get your partner out of here."

A monotone of "Ru-by, Ru-by, Ru-by" chanting was starting, as she let the cop stand up straight and then pick his cap up off the floor. He radioed for a Sargeant and an ambulance for the body lying in the blankets. Ruby began walking through the crowd.

"Hey, you..." The cop yelled after her.
She waved, but didn't turn around.

********Copyright Laurie J. Wood 2004************************************************

Someday soon, I'm going to write a prequel to this story about Cst. Ruby Westlake, about how she got so far off her moral compass as a cop. Hope you enjoyed it!

Thursday, October 12, 2006


This short story was published in FUTURES MYSTERIOUS PRESENTS DIME, edited by Babs Lakey, Quiet Storm Publishing, Martinsburg, WV, ISBN 0-9749608-6-1, 2004. Author, Laurie Wood.

Part One:

Ruby Westlake still had the goods for a whore nearing thirty-five. She yanked up her leather miniskirt that had twisted sideways on her thin hips, and rearranged her fake red cashmere sweater cut down-to-there so that more of the gold glitter showed on her boobs. She shoved the sweater nearly off her shoulder under her white rabbit fur jacket that just barely touched her tiny waist. Fluffing her blonde wig with her long ruby-red nails in the reflection of a car window gave her a glow of satisfaction.

She looked good and she knew it. Who cared about her birthday on Boxing Day? Tonight was Christmas Eve and she was still only thirty-four, lookin' twenty-eight. Hardly a wrinkle, firm boobs, legs that went on forever in these boots over her knees, and a tight ass to match. Too bad it was so cold; the john's wouldn't find the ruby in her belly-button right off.

Leeza was already warmin' their corner on Warner and Lightguard Streets. It was near the harbor and just south of the respectable part of downtown. Still, there was an all night diner "The Amazon", with a neon red Parrot hanging out front, where the girls hung for coffee and just to get out of the cold. Raoul was a good guy, even if his tattoos were scary. His neck was surrounded in a tattoo of flames, parrots and vines ran up both arms, and his chest and back were covered in Peruvian fire gods.

Leeza blew into her hands, plumes of frosted air in a swirl around her cinnamon face.

"Oh man, ah cain't believe y'all got that mini skirt on girl, yor gonna freeze yor ass off! Y'all never gonna last all night out heah!"

"I don't need all night. Just need till one, maybe two, in the morning. Gotta run for some cigs. You want anything?"

Leeza shook her head no and stamped her feet. Her cheap plastic high-heeled boots slid in the slush. She wore a leather motorcycle jacket over a neon green slit skirt with a leopard print top, draped low in front to her nipples. Huge African hoops swung from her ears and her lips were painted a vivid blood red.

"Y'all got any gloves, girl?" she asked, as Ruby came back and lit up.

"Go get warm. Raoul's put on a Christmas feast for anyone droppin' by. Egg nog, fruitcake, turkey'n everything. Go on, you can turn tricks later." Fiery ash flicked off Ruby's cigarette.

Still blowing on her hands, Leeza nodded. She grabbed the long door handle to "The Amazon", and Ruby watched the chewed up plastic wreath swing back and forth as other street people crowded out the door. Sated on turkey, and Raoul's bootleg brandy, two men went east on Lightguard St. singing Christmas carols and trying to hold each other up. Ruby took one last drag of her cigarette and considered her options.

One car slowed down to take a look at her, and she waved him off. The Giant Tiger Store was still open down the block. She took a few steps forward and tapped one perfect nail against her teeth, right hand cocked on her hip. Leeza was still inside. Ruby ran across Warner St. all the way to Giant Tiger. All she had with her was a black purse that was empty except for a small roll of dollar bills and a thin stiletto. The other stiletto she carried in a special holder in her right boot.

Once inside, she walked carefully up and down the aisles, keeping her eyes out for other shoppers. The clerks were bored and there was hardly anyone in the store. Ruby knew she needed a special gift for tonight, two if she could manage it. She sidled into Ladies Wear and over towards Accessories. The purse was on backwards and she pushed a pair of ladies winter gloves into it.

Brown leather with a soft lining. The clerks were still talking to each other as Ruby walked out and crossed the street to "The Amazon".

It was a relief to get out of the cold. She grabbed a mug of brandy-laced eggnog as the tray went by, and raised it with a smile of thanks at Raoul. Red and green Christmas lights rimmed the long counter where platters of turkey and fruitcake were laid out. Raoul's patrons were a mixture of drunken steet people who would leave here for their grates and cardboard boxes, punked up teens who might find a bed at a shelter if they were lucky, and whores who worked the six blocks surrounding his diner. Someone was singing "Silent Night" and crying in the back corner booth.

"Raoul!" Ruby grabbed his bulky sleeve as he tried to get all 250 lbs. of himself behind his counter. "Can I buy a fifth of brandy from you?" She fished a twenty-dollar bill out of the waistband of her skirt.

"Hey doll, it's Christmas!" His meaty hand slapped her on the shoulder. "And isn't it your birthday soon?" He reached under the counter and tipped a mickey of Napoleon brandy at her.

"Got any more of those really great Cuban cigars, too?" She had to yell in his ear to be heard over the din.

"You don't smoke cigars!" He yelled back.

"It's for a friend! A Christmas gift!"

"Ok, for that I'll take five bucks."

Ruby handed him a frayed five-dollar bill. She tucked the precious cigar into her purse, along with the fifth of brandy. "All right if I take some fruitcake with me?"

"Help yourself! And come back in...don't stay out there all night, ya hear me?"

"Don't worry!"

Ruby stuffed three pieces of fruitcake wrapped in a napkin into her purse. She couldn't close it and it banged against her hip. She found Leeza sitting with a bunch of whores from Fairmont and Leeds Ave.

"Here honey." She held the gloves in her hand. "Merry Christmas, it's just a little something."

"Oh man, I din' get you anythin', girl!"

Ruby hugged her around the shoulders. "You never mind, just stay out of trouble, ok? I'll be gone for awhile, so stay warm until I'm back."

"Where you..."

Ruby was already out the door, and the red neon light from the Parrot drenched her rabbit fur jacket in a bloody red hue.

Two blocks west the harbor turned into warehouses and alleys. Squatters lived there and built their fires, hung their blankets and dragged in cardboard boxes from the delivery trucks. Ruby scrambled over the snowbanks in her high heels, grabbing at icy chunks to steady her, while holding on to the precious cargo in her purse with the other.

She entered a low car park and went around to the back, through a dingy alley that smelt of rotting meat and urine, and then into the back of a warehouse. The door squealed and two men jumped out of the shadows, lunging at her.

****End of Part One*****To Be Continued**********************************************
Copyright Laurie J. Wood*************************************************************

Thursday, October 05, 2006

You Should Be a Film Writer
You don't just create compelling stories, you see them as clearly as a movie in your mind.You have a knack for details and dialogue. You can really make a character come to life.Chances are, you enjoy creating all types of stories. The joy is in the storytelling.And nothing would please you more than millions of people seeing your story on the big screen!
What Type of Writer Should You Be?


You Are a Black and White Cookie
You're often conflicted in life, and you feel pulled in two opposite directions.When you're good, you're sweet as sugar. And when you're bad, you're wicked!
What Kind of Cookie Are You?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Can anyone tell me what is going on in these last two weeks? Three school shootings in the US and one horrible one in Canada as well, on September 14th. I took some hits for blogging about Lukas Rossi winning his first spot that day for rock band Supernova - by email, not that anyone left comments here on the blog. That was the day of our terrible Dawson College shooting in Montreal by Killveer Gill, who loaded himself up with a shotgun, a restricted weapon which he'd obtained legally up here in Canada, and then enjoyed himself killing one 18 yrs old girl and wounding about six or more women and himself before the police got to him and shot him. During the autopsy it was determined that it was his own shot which ultimately killed him, although the police had certainly rained fire down on him.

Now, this one room school house in Lancaster, PA has been defiled by a 32yr old truck driver with a 20 yr old grudge against something regarding a school girl when he was 12. And it just now explodes? He orders all the boys and male teacher out of the school, brings in 600 rounds of ammunition, two assault weapons, ties the girls up at the ankles with wire and plastic ties, and then shoots them execution style. And as soon as the police surround him, like the coward, but no doubt mentally ill person he is, he offs himself inside with little girls screaming and crying all around him.

I left comments in a discussion online with the Globe and Mail newspaper. They took a poll as to whether the media should play such stories as they unfold, when they are such obvious copy cats, omit some details, or downplay them. I wrote in that a) I believed that CTVNewsNet and CNN didn't have to rebroadcast the crime every 15 minutes until society was saturated with it, as it becomes addictive to time bombs such as this man, and in their minds, it makes it "ok" to repeat the offense. I truly believe that it's like watching a violent video game over and over. And b) I felt that the focus should be on the families who've been left behind, and on the victims themselves, not glorifying the killers, as was done here in Canada with Killveer Gill - countless images of him from his Blog, excerpts from his Blog, etc. It was really quite disgusting. And it was CTVNewsNet that put that out there. Nothing on the 18 yrs old he killed until her funeral.

The Amish community according to the media are coping as well as can be expected with this tragedy. They are a people of strength, faith in God, and pull together in times of disaster. I was heartened to hear on the news that the hospital had received phone calls and emails from local churches asking how they could help - either with meals for those sitting at the hospital, or transportation back and forth from their town to the hospital as these are Old Order Amish and do not use cars. The Amish and Mennonites are well known to turn up at local disaster sites to help with the victims of tornadoes and floods. It was so good to see "outsiders" offering to help them in their time of extreme need.

Yesterday, after the shooting, I was in WalMart with my children and our local Hutterites (cousins to the Amish) were in from their settlement to shop. They all wear the same clothes, headwear, and the boys and men all dress in black. Their women look so serene - I would love to have some of that serenity in my busy life! We live in a small town, and they are close by; I couldn't imagine such a terrible thing happening here. And yet, this too is rural prairie - they only have two vehicles in their entire community, and one school.

Our high school has video cameras in all corners of all floors, and yet there is no mandate to sign in at the office or report in anywhere. Students roam freely and so do adults - no visitors passes clipped to their shirts in evidence. All the doors are unlocked. It makes me shiver.

We write about crime, evil, psychopaths, serial killers, murder, rape, what makes criminals do what they do. But reality is far worse than what we write. These madmen take away our innocence, and they slaughter our innocent ones.