Category Archives: Books

The Ancient Writer [fiction 450]

She had nothing better to do, so she went with the others to the book signing. The nurse said it would be only a short walk from the bus stop to the bookstore, but it was windy, which exacerbated the chill. By the time they stepped inside, she was too cold and achy to care about a book, even one written by a famous writer.

“Aren’t you buying one?” her friend asked. “Jim Warren will sign it himself!”

She picked up a copy from the stack and stood in line with the others. At least it was pot pie day. That would warm her up. She smiled thinking of the delicious flaky crust and bubbling chicken and veggies tucked inside. Hopefully it would be ready as soon as they returned from this outing.

“You have a beautiful smile.”

She realized she was at the front and it was her turn to pay and have the book signed. The writer was old, much more ancient than he had appeared in the flyer she’d received. His face was a map of lines, and when he smiled they radiated out to the ends of the earth and beyond. His hair was a puff of snow, haloing his head. But his eyes! They glittered like aquamarine jewels, as if an ocean bubbled beneath his skin.

“Thank you,” she said, handing her credit card to the bored-looking cashier.

“To whom shall I dedicate this book?” the ancient writer asked.

“To Daisy.” She felt herself blush for the first time in thirty years as he studied her face and repeated her name. When he handed the book back, their fingertips touched briefly.

On the bus ride home, she opened the jacket to see what he wrote. She turned in her seat so no one else could see.

Dearest Daisy, you have brightened up my morning with your lovely smile. Let’s meet again in these pages and have a wonderful adventure. Yours, James

Daisy skipped lunch and went straight to her room to begin reading the book. Within a few pages, his words swirled her through the mists of her imagination to the beach of his dreams. She was young and beautiful with long golden hair and a body that had no pains. Her pillow was sugary sand; waves of aquamarine flowed over her like a blanket. When a villain materialized from the rocks, a hero galloped out of the clouds on a steed made of fire. He swept her away to the ends of the earth and beyond.

“I hoped I would find you here,” she said.

“Our adventure is just beginning,” he told her. And he kissed her as they headed into the wind.

~*~

Sadje’s What Do You See 3

Image credit to Google via Sadje

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

PFF23: Not Stirred

Ephemeral time

Welcome to my Friday Flashback! This is a post from exactly 4 years ago when I reviewed the new (then) 007 movie Spectre. There’s another one coming out in 2020, and although Daniel Craig swore he was finished with them after the 2015 film, he is in the upcoming one as well. But! That’s it. Absolutely. No more.

Spectre

OK, I saw Spectre yesterday, and it was a lot of fun as Bond movies always are. Craig does an awesome Bond (and I was one of the original skeptics). Overall, I recommend the movie to Bond fans and action movie lovers in general.

But.

I was disappointed in a couple things. Right at the start there was something I considered a faux pas. Bond’s in a hotel room with a beautiful girl and tells her he’ll be right back. He goes off to kill a guy, get chased, leap across rooftops, etc., as he does… and then the film cuts away to the opening song and credits. Wtf? The Bond of old would have kept the date and they should have shown that. (“Now, where were we?”)

Next, I did not like two of the main plot twists. One, Franz the villain turns out to be Bond’s brother via (Bond’s) adoption, which leads to a bunch of babble about Franz killing their father out of jealousy and always having it out for Bond cuz he stole daddy’s attention. Ugh. Yuck. Two, Franz announces that he has taken his mother’s surname and is now called Blofeld (complete with white cat). No! No no no no. This was not a REMAKE of an old 007 flick, but a progression in the life and times of James Bond, and it’s totes uncool for them to grab back a done and dusted bad guy. (Supposedly, Blofeld died at the start of For Your Eyes Only.) What next ~ Scaramanga? Goldfinger? There was no reason not to have a new bad guy with a new name “reboot” Spectre. No reason at all.

I think writers should be a lot more careful with reboots/remakes and the like. Either you stick to the original and update it with cellphones and shit, or just move the hell on and write something new. Certainly don’t take a franchise and grab stale fries from fifty years ago to scatter about a film in the here and now. That’s kind of a cheat, and we know what happens to writers who use cheats a la Stephen King’s Misery.

My last criticism of Spectre is more basic. I object to this kind of SOS writing we’re seeing in action movies lately of having the hero always be a dude who is bravely going against his own government because of one flimsy piece of info, and then it turns out his boss is in cahoots with the villains, or is the biggest villain of all, blah blah blah. Usually Alex Baldwin plays a belligerent general at some point. Then, there are always one or two other peeps in the gov’t who believe in the hero and help him save the world, thereby putting their own careers in jeopardy. Yawn.

I am sick of this storyline altogether. Write something else, dammit.

Other than these minor nits, I enjoyed the movie. If it’s true that Craig is tired of playing 007 and tossing out his tux, I look forward to the next actor (rumored to be Idris Elba).

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Neato!

A big thanks goes out to Dr Tanya of Salted Caramel for thinking of me for the Real Neat Blog Award. Much appreciated! 😻

Now, while I don’t make up my own new questions or tag peeps on these type of posts, I will try to answer the tagger’s questions if I have time. And I do. 🎉

Dr Tanya’s Questions:

Is yours a hobby blog or a professional blog? 

-I have a paid WordPress plan to get rid of the disgusting ads, but it’s still a hobby.

How do you manage to fit blogging in with your other activities?

-Whenever I have time. Tonight it’s after 10pm, and I’ve finished my extra work, so I read some new posts and started on these questions.

How much time do you spend on WordPress every day (just a guesstimate, of course)?

-Anywhere from zero (rare) to 6 hours (also rare), if I’m writing a lot of fiction. Usually around 2-3 hours.

Do you use social media to promote your blog or vice versa?

-Neither. My posts flip to Twitter, but that hardly generates any WP traffic. And I’m not one to badger people here to follow me there because idc.

What is your favourite leisure activity?

-Playing board games.

Name three favourite books.

-The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Kundera; Where I’m Calling From by Carver; Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Murakami.

What was the last book you read/movie you watched?

-I just watched Atlantic City tonight while I was editing. I’d never seen it before! It’s an excellent movie. Really enjoyed it.

Goodnight!

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Questions from Carol Anne

Autumn leaves

My lovely friend Carol Anne has given me some questions. They’re associated with her Liebster Award. Congrats on your award, Carol Anne, and thanks for thinking of me! 💖

My 11 questions to you my nominees are:

1. Can you swim?

I know the basics, but I’m not a strong swimmer, and frankly I prefer to stay on land and gaze out at the beautiful waves.

2. Pepsi or coke?

Coke, please.

3. Snail mail or email?

Email is less wasteful.

4. Do you enjoy traveling?

No. Shocking, I realize. Everyone loves to travel, right? Well, I do enjoy experiencing new sights, attractions, nature, etc., but the expense and inconvenience make it a net negative for me. Travel is very costly unless you go by car, split the cost of gas, have people to put you up at your destination, yada. Or go camping, lol. Then there are all the migraine triggers for me that happen from noise, light, discomfort, etc. Also, there is my ongoing back/neck pain. Not to mention I don’t like leaving my kitty for more than a couple nights because I miss him too much! 🐱❤️

5. Snow or rain?

I’m from the East and honestly I miss the idea of snow but not the reality of it. Snow is beautiful and fun, if you don’t have to be anywhere and can bundle up and take a lovely walk. Rain can be romantic if you’re snuggled indoors with your sweetie, or a kitty and a good book, but again not if you have to drive in it. Since I’m in California, land of perpetual drought, I welcome any and all precipitation! Of course, we always get the “wrong” kind, in the “wrong” place, so they tell us the drought goes on…

6. What is one of your favourite quotes?

Life is short; eat dessert first. 🧁

7. Are you a glass half full or glass half empty sorta person?

Depends on the day.

8. What is your favourite flower?

Sunflower. Or tulips!🌷

9. If you could give your younger self some advice what would you say?

Go to Northwestern (in high school)! Stop dating insane men (in the 1980s). Buy tech stocks (in the 1990s)! Sell the tech stocks (before the crash). STOP DATING INSANE MEN. 🙄

10. If you had one superpower what would it be?

Repelling insane men.

11. Favourite book?

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. Tied for second place: Where I’m Calling From (short stories by Raymond Carver) and Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman (short stories by Haruki Murakami).

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Chill Factor

Pale girl in creepy dark room

I’m not talking about the wind chill factor, but what gives me the creeps in books and film. Mostly, I avoid horror because I don’t find it interesting, nor do I need an extra surge of adrenaline after driving in SoCal traffic. Horror show in and of itself. 😱

But over the decades there have been some works that grabbed me. So to speak. I love Stephen King’s writing. He knows how to tell a story, create compelling characters, set the scene, and build suspense. The Shining is a perfect example. For a while, I enjoyed some of Dean Koontz’s novels too, but his writing became repetitive.

I prefer horror stories that focus on the madness of human beings, which is all too believable unfortunately, rather than layering on supernatural elements like vampires and demons. That said, I loved Frank Langella as Dracula in the 1979 film. I also adored Johnny Depp in 2012’s Dark Shadows. But those are exceptions; most vampire things are silly.

Recently, I watched a few supernatural romances on Prime (with witches) and they were terrible. I wouldn’t even classify them as romances since they didn’t have happy endings, but they were definitely in the horror genre. Campy horror. The witches were incredibly beautiful, natch, in order to seduce unsuspecting men to the Dark Side. Isn’t that always how it is? 😈

I did enjoy Practical Magic with Sandra Bullock though. That was different. But it wasn’t scary. (I’ve never disliked a movie starring Sandra Bullock.)

As a kid, the Candyman movie terrified me, maybe because I was told I was allergic to bees. I’m not even sure if that’s true. I was also told I was allergic to penicillin, and that turned out to be false. 🐝

I think a lot of what makes a movie scary is visual shock value. If there’s too much early on, it can dissipate, so it needs to be doled out carefully. Books are different, a psychological buildup that stays with the reader, in the best case. Hard to forget even after you turn the last page.

Game of Thrones could be classified in the horror genre. It had zombies, witches, and all sorts of gory, shocking deaths. I mainly thought of it as an adventure romance type of show though, since (to me) the focus was more on characters than action. I wouldn’t argue this point however, if you’d rather plunk it in the horror box.

Movies used to have more subtlety. Take Psycho, forex. Don’t you still think about the shower scene sometimes when you’re in a strange bathroom… 🔪

~*~

Laura’s October Challenge (Day 9)

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©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

PFF17: Doctor Sleep

Time

Welcome to my Friday Flashback! This post originally appeared here on September 28, 2016, almost exactly 3 years ago. Today I’m only sharing the link. Why? Because there’s a movie coming out soon and my post will spoil the entire plot of the book (if you’re reading it now in anticipation of the movie) and likely the movie as well. Also, it’s a very long post with formatting issues when I try to copy it.

If you’re a Stephen King fan and have read the book, please discuss in comments to this post, thanks! 😻

Doctor Sleep’s Fatal Flaws

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©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Little Blue Bear [socs]

Beanie Baby America

I have a little blue bear on my desk at work. He’s a Ty beanie baby named America and I bought him when he came out after 9/11, which was shortly after I began working here (I’m writing this Friday lunchtime and will schedule it to post Saturday morning). On the left side of his tag it says that 100% of the profits from the purchase of the bear will go to Red Cross Disaster Relief. On the right side it says: “In memory of those who lost their lives in the national catastrophe that took place on September 11, 2001. We mourn for them and express our deepest sympathy to their families. God Bless America.”

A lot has changed in 18 years. My parents have both passed on. I’m divorced. My two daughters both graduated college and have gotten married. One of them has a baby, which magically makes me a grandma. I’ve moved five times. I had a relationship with a married man for two and a half years. If you believe in “bad karma,” then this gave me mine and I’ve been unable to have a happy/successful romance since. I also had a couple minor car accidents, which were horribly upsetting at the time, but in the grand scheme of things, not so bad really.

In these 18 years, I’ve been a flame warrior on Usenet, made enemies and turned them into Facebook “friends,” and since I quit FB most of them have forgotten my existence again. Perhaps that’s a good thing. I’ve been on Friendster and Twitter and Snapchat and G+ and other “social sites” too dark and dirty to mention here. I’ve experimented with different lifestyles to see if they were for me (no), and they’ve greatly enriched my fiction and poetry writing.

I’ve written a lot during these years. So so much. Poetry, novels, short stories. Zillions of blog posts and tweets. Loads of emails and texts. Have had interesting text chats with many men that I thought might “go somewhere,” but they didn’t and here I am alone, which isn’t a bad thing after all. I’m not sure anyone could really put up with me now… and vice versa.

I find that as I trudge toward my seventh decade I’m more or less the same person I was at age 14. I like to read romance novels and write poetry. I love games and puzzles, kittens and puppies, cookies and pizza. I’m not a sophisticated adult type person with advanced tastes in wine and music. Give me rock & roll and mac & cheese, woo! I’m a homebody and enjoy simple comforts. A hot shower is bliss. As I age, I’ve learned that I get more easily stressed out by other people, so I have to limit my interactions with them.

But through all this, I’ve had a good job, where I’ve been treated well. And every work day, little blue bear has been there to greet me, no matter what else is going on. I am grateful/thankful for my job and for my side work too… and for my book sales even though I wish there were more. (I’ll keep writing regardless.) When I began this post, I assumed at some point I’d say something political, but really there’s no need.❤️🧁💙

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Creative Fources

Shamrock

More Q’s from Rory, S1g4.

What truly motivates you to write?

Depends on the day. Could be a need to express emotion, which I tend to do best via the written word. Could be a need to express the joy of creativity, like yesterday when I wanted to capture how I felt about a beautiful painting of purple flowers. Or maybe I want to challenge myself with a writing prompt outside my usual genre simply to see if I can do it well. Sort of like an intellectual puzzle.


What’s cluttering up your life today and what are you doing about it?

I have a to-do list full of lots of unfinished writing (and other) projects, which bothers me, but I’m always running out of time for all the things. At this very moment, I’ve just finished my weekend paying work, which took me too long because I was texting in between, and now I still have cleaning I want to do. It’s almost 5pm though and it would be nice to relax tonight before work Monday, but I really can’t. This post is my break. Maybe in a couple hours I’ll blog more, or read.


Did you enjoy a creative childhood?

I think so, though there could always be more. I read a lot and began writing little poems early on. I had sketchbooks and paints, and loads of beads for bracelets and such. My mom loved arts & crafts, so we always had something going on ~ candle making, latch hook rugs, macrame, knitting blankets for dolls, etc. Each was a fad, but fun.


Have you ever wanted to write a book or if you have written a book do you feel accomplished for doing so?

I have written books… and at first I did feel accomplished, but now not so much really. My first one was easy because I simply globbed together previous writing, edited it a bit, and made a cover. I was thrilled to have some sales and grateful for each one. When I completed an entire novel though (while working full-time), it felt like a huge deal. I had amazed myself! But then I did it a few more times, so eh whatever. And it turns out that zillions of people are writing novels while working full-time. Plus, they are also finding the time to market their books properly and get way more sales and do promos and send newsletters and tweet and do Facebook ads and so knowing this…

I actually feel like a failure a lot of the time. Like, why did I bother sinking so fucking much of my time into writing? I could have just been watching TV like a normal person and reading romance novels written by others. Blogging sure, since I enjoy that and there’s no expectations. But I did think I’d “get somewhere” with my writing. No, not on the NYT bestseller list, but not a flatline week after week on Amazon either.

I’ve been taking a writing break because I feel so down about it all. And no, I’m not fishing for praise or rah-rah follow your dream type pep talks. Just venting. Maybe someone will come along and commiserate. We can be writing quitter buddies.

The Daily Four

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© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Free Four All

Shamrock

More from Rory’s Question Fun Directory!

Welcome to The Daily Four!

Today’s Questions to the Readers are….

Do you have any friends from your school days and if so how often do you socialise with them?

-Elizabeth is the only old friend I’m in any contact with these days, though I have corresponded with 3 other high school friends in the past. We live too far apart to socialize in person. In college, I didn’t make any lasting friendships.

Do you find it difficult to admit that you are wrong, and why?

-Not at all. I’m wrong frequently, as are most people. (I also have a poor sense of direction and am used to going oopsy.) It’s the human condition to try things out and learn from our mistakes. Otherwise, no progress would be made. Those who refuse to admit error either never try new things and/or suffer from terribly fragile egos.

What was the title of the first movie you watched in a movie theater?

-Mm, wish I could remember! The first clear memory I have is The Sound of Music, which is from 1965, when I was 4, but I’m sure my mom would have taken me to a movie before that.

What was the most awkward thing that you’ve done for a friend?

-Let’s see, back when… a friend was curious about racy novels. I was too, but I’d already read a bunch of stuff my father had lying around. Anyway, we found a sleazy adult bookstore, but friend was too chicken to go in. I wasn’t. I brazened it out and strolled through the door like hey this is normal. It was so icky! This was before men got all their pr0n online. I wandered around a bit (no cell phones then, so couldn’t text her for help) and finally grabbed a few books to buy. We read some in the car, but she made me take them home so her family wouldn’t find them.

Rory’s Daily Four

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© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Sunday Night Blahs

Witch with cat and candelabra

Later tonight my 3TC post will pop into the feed ~ I have 10 more scheduled. These 10 include an announcement that September 10 will be the end of my 3TC hosting. Please let me know if you’d like to host (it’s fun!), and I’ll add your name to the remaining posts so people are aware. I’ve done 178 of these posts now (including the ones coming up), and it’s time for me to move on.

I will continue my Thursday Inspiration prompts because I really enjoy doing those. I don’t always write something myself, but I find it inspirational to search for the music to go with the picture. I’ve been using my Happy Color app pictures, which make me… happy. 🙂

I’ve done two audiobooks and am really disappointed that the narrators don’t seem to be helping out with any marketing. I thought we were in this together. Oh well. It was a good experiment, I guess, but it took a lot of time (and these were short books!), so I won’t be doing more. In a way, I’m glad my 200 page romance novel never got going as an audiobook because that would have taken forever to review.

From time to time, I get bummed out about writing generally, and this is one of those times. I never seem to get anywhere. I don’t have time to market like you’re supposed to, and nothing I write is great enough or lucky enough to simply take off without that. Yes, I write because I love to, but after all these years, it’s depressing not to have made any money at it.

I recently encountered a published poet and his stuff was just so bad… I don’t get it. Not saying my stuff is great or even good. But it’s so random and frustrating what gets attention and what gets published. Same as it’s ever been, I suppose.

Notwithstanding all this whining, there are still lots of good things in my life, just not any good writing news is all. Idk if I want to continue toiling away during my free time finishing all the OCD items on my writing to-do list just to keep seeing a flat line on my sales reports. I could just… stop.

I don’t mean stop blogging. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I have loads of writing in progress. Romance novels in various stages of completion. A murder mystery love story half-done. Stories for anthologies. Finished books I want to edit again. It’s ridiculous.

Happy September. 🐱

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.