Alas, poor Yorick…

•November 18, 2010 • 8 Comments

And so I say goodbye to another phase of my work life.  It is a death I embrace with soaring spirits.  Because after a year of forced abstinence, writing is now at the top of my daily priority list.  The muse, once kicked into gear, has unleashed a plethora of words and characters in my head.

Most importantly, she allowed me to finish my final rewrite of book one….Beloved Resurrected.  With the manuscript and synopsis both polished and ready…today I will begin the phase of pitching and pleading…in search of the publishing home it deserves.

Secondly, my immortal muse has envisioned more than enough ideas to finish the outline of book two…currently unnamed.  The writing of the rough draft has begun.  😀

Unlike poor Yorick, I am ready for the next phase of my mortal existence…ready to jest and fancy another day.


Lynda Gail


What’s in YOUR Toolbox?

•August 12, 2009 • 2 Comments


Hmm.  Today is a great day to gather up my “writing tools”, and organize them.  I have my usual suspects already lined up on my links palette: Facebook, Gmail,,,….oh, and

So, my daily routine begins by checking my email, typing a quick blog, and linking it from Twitter and Facebook.  Then, it’s time to write for a while.  Because we’re writers.  Writers write.  Writers don’t sit there twiddling thumbs.  Writers don’t get sucked into various networking sites for hours on end.  Writers don’t get addicted to following all of their friends on Facebook.  Writers don’t get hooked on following the tweets of agents like viral stalkers.  Writers don’t get so involved in research that they click link after link like a web of intrigue.  Writers don’t….


Writers do, don’t they?  They get sidetracked by all of the wonderful things this world wide web provides.

Today, break that link.  Break the cycle of time-wasting…and get to work.  Put your derriere (aha, just used my dictionary “tool” to spell check) into your computer chair and just start writing!!!!

But…before you break the cycle :)…comment to me your top three online writer’s tools.  I’d like to begin my own sidebar of quick links to GREAT sites that really help a writer break through.

I’ve already mentioned mine.  As I write, I always keep in an open tab.  So many wonderful synonyms out there for me to have fun with.  As a fiction writer, is fantastic.  I write paranormal/urban fantasy.  It’s fiction anyway.  And  Yes, I use it.  Any action you need to describe in a scene….and you can find an example of it on YouTube:  a karate scene, a cooking demonstration, a guy falling off of his bicycle….you name it.  It’s there.  Having the visual helps me put details of sight and sound into a scene.

I hope you’ll share with me and my viewers YOUR top three web resources: for ideas, for support, for guidance, for inspiration, etc.

What’s in YOUR toolbox?


Lynda Gail Alfano

My Daily Word – Dreams

•August 10, 2009 • 2 Comments

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” – Carl Jung

I would think that most writers are inherently visual people.  I am certainly in that category.  I have a visual-based memory, and learning new skills comes more quickly through visual techniques. With all the “visuals” stuck in my head, it’s no wonder they leak out in dreams.

Dreams are a vital tool for me…more than just a biological brain dump of discarded images.

For one thing, dreams seem to be a distinct indicator of my psychological well being.  In recent years, I’ve discovered a pattern.  When my life is overtaken by stress and anxiety, deep restful sleep eludes me…and so do the memorable dreams.  The experts say the dreams are always there…but during these times I have no memory of them.

On the flip side, when life is good…my dreams could rival the big summer blockbusters.  🙂

As a writer, I not only depend on my dreams for visual ideas, but I’ve learned how to physically use my dreams to work through problems in the stories I write.

I have no idea if there is an actual term for it, but I call it “directed dreaming”.  It is my process of problem solving.  If I’m working on a scene that just isn’t coming out right, I construct the scene in my head before I fall asleep.  Of course, as dreams (or daydreams) evolve, I tend to end up in the scene myself.  🙂

That’s just fine with me.  In that dark netherworld, I’ve fought demons with swords, strutted around in tight leather outfits like Kate Beckinsale, and kissed hunky guys like….hey….that’s enough of that.  You get the idea.

But that’s the exciting part of “directed dreaming”.  A dream might begin with a little bit of conscious control, but as REM sleep approaches…the brain unleashes its arsenal of tricks.  The results can be pure, unadulterated, unfiltered, and unedited brilliance.  Or pure crap too.  🙂

A writer’s bane is our internal editor.  That pesky mental tutor that makes us stop at every period and re-evaluate what we just wrote.  Hate that guy!  He interrupts the creative flow like a huge, concrete dam.  Yet in dreams, he is banished forever.

As a writer, how do YOU use dreams?

Today, I give you a senryu on dreams…again, it may be a bit shy of irony, and it’s blended with haiku imagery…but, that’s poetry.  Enjoy. 🙂

Nature's Dream Catcher

Nature's Dream Catcher


a white wispy web

trembles as morning mist

blankets my dream catcher




Lynda Gail Alfano

My Daily Word – Harley

•August 7, 2009 • 4 Comments

Today is a tribute to Harley…Harley Davidson!

Me on a Harley in Cairo

Me on a Harley in Cairo


Yes, this is me…on a HOG…in Cairo!

What, you don’t believe me?

You can’t imagine that there are Harley’s in Egypt?!

Look at the scarab on the poster.




Okay, try this one…

Poster says "Cairo Chapter"

Poster says "Cairo Chapter"

See the poster now?

It’s says…..”Cairo Chapter” next to the scarab.

No, I didn’t get to ride it.  Are you kidding me?  Have you ever been to Cairo?  Would like to know how they drive?  They are crazy.  On a two-lane road, the bus drivers fight for the fourth lane.  Yes, I said fourth lane.  Rules?  There are no rules over there.  It’s called creative driving.  Make your own lane.

But, they do use their horns…a LOT.  It’s almost a second language the way they lean on those horns that toot with a dusty cough.  Remember, they share their road with critters too.  A large tourist bus has to the share the road with donkeys pilled high with produce, carts full of sugar cane, and water buffalo hauling equipment.

No, I wouldn’t ride a Harley on those crazy roads.  I’d be roadkill for sure.  So, I just sat on one in the show room!!

Alas, we can’t even feel the freedom of the wind whipping past our helmets here in the US.  (Sigh) We had to sell our Harley…to pay bills.  Darned economy!

Someday, we’ll get another.  Slick polished chrome pipes.  The throaty thunder of the throttle.  The hot vibrations under our…..

Hey.  What do think this blog is all about?!  Clean up that mind of yours!  🙂

Have a brilliant day!  Keep writing!  🙂


Lynda Gail Alfano

P. S.  Today’s blog is dedicated to the late Bruce Rossmeyer…may he rest in peace.

Is it Fate or Destiny?

•August 5, 2009 • 3 Comments

I love this topic.  When my sister Judy mentioned “destiny” in her comments to my post on Foreshadowing, I knew it was time to discuss my philosophy on the differences between destiny and fate.

Without going through the long history of both words, here are quick excerpts of their meanings from…and both are the first definition listed.  Destiny is “something that is to happen or has happened to a particular person or thing.”  Fate is “something that unavoidably befalls a person.”

Very similar.  Yet the distinction that I see is in the tone of each word.  Say destiny aloud, and you might find your lips curving upward into a gentle smile.  Something in the word destiny evokes positive images…like a new path brought before us.

Say fate aloud, and you might find a smile harder to induce.  The word conjures up images of ruin and destruction.  It evokes a tone of finality, as if nothing can prevent it.

Once called the moirai in Greek mythology, the Fates were three goddesses who controlled human lives…their length and the amount of suffering to be endured.  Clotho spun the web of life.  Lachesis measured its length.  Atropos was the one who cut the web, sealing the human’s ultimate fate.  The archetypes of these goddesses carried on into Roman and even Norse mythologies.

With such a history, there is little amazement that the term “fate” has come to symbolize death.  Not an uplifting idea.

As I research the word “destiny”, nothing dreadful appears on my screen.  Instead, I seem to find myself reading about manifest destiny, the belief in the inevitable expansion of colonists across the continent.  Ah, we are back at the idea that destiny implies a beginning of something…a new path.

So, here’s my ultimate summation on the difference between destiny and fate.  Both terms allude to some thing or event in our future…Point B.  You are currently at Point A.  It is how you go from Point A to Point B where the difference lies.

Your path to Point B is locked onto a chosen path…a web.  You are as stuck to this path as a fly to a web.  You will arrive at Point B, but only at the time and direction of Fate!  Sounds so confining to me.  (I shudder to think about it.)

Destiny, however, gives you a bit of breathing room.  (Ahhhhhhh.)

Destiny will eventually bring you to Point B, but there is no sticky web holding you onto some predetermined path.  You are free to choose from multiple paths along the way.  Yet, somehow whichever path you chose will inevitably bring you to Point B.  Destiny sounds so much more exciting…enlightening.

I would like to be set free, knowing that I will meet my destiny on a path of my choosing. 

How about you?  Has your life been stuck on a fateful path?  Or have you had a vivid moment in your life where you knew Destiny played a hand…brought you to a new beginning you didn’t expect?

A couple of quotes on today’s topic:

fates-old“The thirst for adventure is the vent which Destiny offers; a war, a crusade, a gold mine, a new country, speak to the imagination and offer swing and play to the confined powers.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“To punish me for my contempt for authority, fate made me an authority myself.” – Albert Einstein


Lynda Gail Alfano

My Daily Word – Foreshadowing

•August 3, 2009 • 3 Comments

I spent the weekend going through a box of old files that I found in my garage.  There is something very cathartic about purging old papers.

I discovered several folders full of articles and worksheets from various training and leadership seminars from years ago.  With the internet, I realized I could easily google up this stuff in moments…so I decided to get rid of them.  Now, instead of the feeding those flattish, paper-eating bugs…my old papers have now fed my big, shiny, black shredder.  (Burp)

Yet, the fate of my files isn’t really today’s topic.  Foreshadowing is the topic of the day.  I think our lives are like a novel, but of course we tend to see the plot points more clearly in hindsight.  Foreshadowing is our tool to show our reader a little glimpse of something…a hint, an omen, a vibe, etc…that indicates something to occur later in our story.

So, how does this apply to my little purging adventure this weekend?  Well, I’m hoping that one simple, handwritten note is a good omen for what is in my future.

Years ago, and I won’t tell you how many :), I wrote a research paper in my masters program.  The paper was titled “Job Satisfaction:  Where, Oh Where Has It Gone?”.  My professor hand wrote a very telling comment on it.  He said….”Your writing has a nice “flair”!  Is there a novel in your future?”.  I did earn an A on the paper.

Finding this little gem from my past really made me pause and think about how life does work like a book.  I remembered that old phrase….“you are the master of your own destiny”.  In other words, you are the author of your own story.  You control the character arcs…the pacing…tone, mood, conflicts, motivations, goals, and more.

But, what about the plot?  That seems to shift focus many times throughout our life, and sometimes through forces beyond our control.  Just like fiction, every book is as individual as our finger prints.  Our plots twist in a variety of directions, from who we choose to marry, what career paths we take, the friends we choose, the brand of coffee we purchase…

It is fascinating to me to find a little piece of my own history where I chose a path…I went into the hospitality field.  Then, my plot shifted into sales, and then diverted into HR, and finally twisted into entrepreneurship in a whole different industry.  However, through all of those careers, I’ve kept writing.  The stories in my head have survived the plot twists of time.  Hopefully, my personal plot arc will include seeing my books on the shelf at Barnes & Noble!

No poem today.  I’d like to hear from you.

So, what’s in your plot? What little gems of foreshadowing lie in dusty boxes in your attic, basement, or memory? 🙂


Lynda Gail Alfano

My Daily Word – Research

•July 29, 2009 • 3 Comments

I hadn’t planned on blogging today, since I am knee deep in preparing my 5,000 word submission for critique in my Gotham Writers Workshop.

However, I just read a blog posted by Jennifer Neri  a few days ago…and I love the photos she included with it:  Jennifer’s Blog.  I especially identify with the post-its all over the laptop.  🙂

I love this subject! Research is my favorite part!  The problem can be in stopping the research in favor of actually writing.  I initially spent about a year researching ancient Egyptian life before I started writing my novel.

In the end, I have at least a dozen notebooks filled with ideas, facts, questions, links, etc.  And I have a collection of over 30 books on various Egyptian topics: daily life of Egyptians, Egyptian gods and goddesses, alien theories, pyramid and sphinx theories, etc etc etc.

What I love most….is finding the gaps in history…and thinking of paranormal ways of filling them! :)

So, thanks Jennifer…for inspiring today’s daily word…research.  I’ll admit…today’s senryu is very corny, but it’s all in good fun.

post-it-noteGoogle has found it!

Universe solved and not a

Post-it anywhere!


Keep researching…and writing!


Lynda Gail Alfano

My Daily Word – Memories

•July 27, 2009 • 5 Comments

At the end of a two week tour through Egypt (two years ago), our fabulous tour leader gave us a great insight into memories.  I have never forgotten her explanation.

She described our memories as being like little zip files, files compressed to save space making them easier to save or send.  What a great visual, and she was right.

She also said that memories would return to us…like little zip files.  Some would stay vivid in our minds from the day we left Egypt, and others would pop back into our minds and decompress days, weeks, even years later.

How absolutely brilliant!  I can attest that in the past two years, I have experienced little pop-ups of memory from my trip.  Some open up during conversation.  Others are triggered by senses, like a smells or sounds.  For example,  the other day I read a scene from one of my critique partners in which she described a character’s eyes as being as “blue as the Egyptian sky”.

Wow.  That could sound trite or cliche to some people, but for me it unzipped feelings I experienced while standing beside the Great Pyramid.  I do remember being in awe of just how blue the sky was.  Even in my photographs, the sky seems bluer than in ones I’ve taken here at home.  Standing beside the great stones, I felt…eternal, and eternally small.  🙂

Here is my daily senryu, dedicated to all of the compressed files hidden inside YOUR mind!

To Zip or Unzip, That is the Question

To Zip or Unzip, That is the Question

memories return

like mental pop up windows

unzipping the past



Try unzipping a memory today…and keep writing!


Lynda Gail Alfano

My Daily Word – Eternal

•July 22, 2009 • 4 Comments

As a writer, it doesn’t hurt to remember that what we post online becomes an eternal representation of ourselves.  Once it’s out there….it’s out there:  linked, pinged, forwarded, copied, pasted, and otherwise flung into the far reaches of the world wide web.

I watched a local story on the television last night where a mother left her two children in the car while she went grocery shopping.  She did leave the car running, but her 8 month old was left in the care of a 7 year old.  What??!!

A concerned woman in the parking lot called in the cops…who thankfully have arrested the woman.

Here’s where the “stupid keeps coming” (love that phrase Teresa),  the woman is pleading her innocence, but after bailing out of jail she talks about what she did on her MySpace page.  She titles it with one very obnoxious word:  BUSTED!

Now they get to use her words against her in court. 🙂

So, here’s my quirky senryu for the day, and remember…anything you post…is now on an eternal journey through cyberspace.

wordsshare, publish, go, send

a fool and her ideas

are soon parted


Have a brilliant day, and keep writing ya’ll!


Lynda Gail Alfano

My Daily Word – Demons

•July 21, 2009 • 1 Comment

Demons are certainly more than the dark creatures portrayed in fantasy novels (like mine)!

In many cases, they are emotions and thoughts inside our own mind.  They hold us back when we should move forward.  They push us down one path when we should have chosen the other.  They make us cower away when our core personality is more assertive.  They create doubt in our minds, leaving us blind to the possibilities.

Today’s senryu poem is so affected by demons, that it is missing the usual irony, and that is intended:

Demon Kneeling by Walter Myers (

Demon Kneeling by Walter Myers (

let fly your demons

to flail on ebony wings

so dreams soar again

Do not let the demons of  doubt, fear, and indecision overtake your authentic being.  Know your true self…and live it…everyday.  Stay committed to it.  Keep the demons locked inside the realm where they belong…in fiction and fantasy!


Lynda Gail Alfano