Saturday, January 17, 2015

The World I Live In

Companies have focus groups. I have my children. We are huge lovers of all things fantasy, sci fi and supernatural, and wage serious word wars about the merits of earth-bending over X-Ray vision and things of that sort. For a while now, we’ve had an ongoing discussion – serious discussion – around the merits of a panic room in the basement that we can access in the event of the zombie apocalypse. The only thing we agree on so far is that having such a room would give us a huge advantage in our escape – but only so long as the zombies aren’t smart like the ones in I Am Legend. (((shudder)))

Shhh! Our potential panic room. Please
don't tell the zombies where we're hiding
Tonight I asked a question I probably shouldn’t have about the tentative powers of the heroine in my current work-in-progress. Oh, the debate that ensued! My daughter re-wrote my story's entire Black Moment – and my son shot her whole notion down citing an example from some anime he watches. I let them finish before thanking them for the tangent and deciding my direction is a good one.

I love our spirited conversations about things that don’t exist. I cherish their unbridled willingness to not just think outside the box, but concede that there is no box at all. We need the escape. Heck – I need the escape. There is so much sad, bad, heart-wrenching news outside the walls of our happy home that I approach my Facebook newsfeed with a healthy dose of trepidation these days. They know that life is hard and unfair and some kids live with unspeakable horrors. We are lucky, we know. The dangers we conjure live only in our minds and on my pages. No one is harmed in the making of our “what if’s.”

So this is the world I live in. The crazy, every day realm I share with children who will one day blame their warped perception of possibilities on their overly imaginative mother. I figure they’ll either forgive me or wind up on Dr. Phil’s show. My money is on fond memories and grandchildren who appreciate a Nana who believes in fairies.

Twitter & IG: @stefanieworth

Friday, October 24, 2014

Muse Moments: Lifting my kids' playlists

Have I ever mentioned that we listen to a little bit of (almost) every kind of music in my house? Well, we do. And over the past couple of years I have to admit that I've built my 99% of my writing playlist from my kids' song discoveries. I'd never heard of the alternative groups they adore, but now not only do I know their lyrics, I've collected their tunes on my computer. When I'm ready to write I hit play, shuffle, and get carted off into my characters' worlds.

So last week, my daughter plays a song that's new to me by Hozier and I have been absolutely fascinated with it ever since. So much so that I've concocted my own background story for the lyrics and allowed it to serve as my anti-villain's theme for the angst I'm putting him through. He's in a pretty bad spot - the Black Moment - so one song can't carry the whole ordeal. I added in Muse and Incubus and the guy is now out of his mind.

It's been a long week at work. Forgive me, the writer, who's taking it out on the people in her pages. Imagination has its perks. Let's see what you think:

Here's Hozier singing "Like Real People Do." The opening verse says:
"I had a thought, dear
However scary
About that night
The bugs and the dirt
Why were you digging?
What did you bury
Before those hands pulled me
From the earth?"

There's also "Starlight" by Muse. The lyrics that move my keyboard are pretty simple:
"Our hopes and expectations
Black holes and revelations"
But it's mostly the way he sings "I just wanted to hold you in my arms."
And then lastly (for tonight) I've been stuck on "Love Hurts" by Incubus for over a month now. He sings:
"Love hurts...
But sometimes it's a good hurt
And it feels like I'm alive.
Love sings,
When it transcends the bad things.
Have a heart and try me,
'cause without love I won't survive."

Now back to the tormented lover in my book who's about to lose it all. Without love, he won't survive either. Fade to black.

'Til next time, find more me at and

Monday, October 06, 2014

Raking words

Leaves have invaded my yard. The heat kicks in without manually prompting the thermostat. I tossed my grandmother’s quilt across my bed. Fall has arrived. 

And it just occurred to me that I am SO ready for a change in season. 
I can’t say I’ve been in a rut that only autumn can cure. Or that I need a blast of winter to blow all the crap out of my life. No, I’m welcoming the change the way you welcome clean lenses on a pair of dirty sunglasses or open curtains after a dark night. Fresh perspectives are good. 
So the WIP (ridiculously close to finished for too many weeks now) also got a fresh look last week as I spent several nights re-reading it from page 150 forward. That was about 150 pages of me trying to act like a reader, not writer or editor, immersing myself in a stranger’s story. 
For the record, it didn’t work. But what I accomplished was perspective. Yes, the characters are on the right track. The upcoming moments – some heart wrenching, some triumphant – will ring true. And like summer fading into autumn, I will have to let this story go in order to move on to my imagination’s next season. 
Picture me gathering words onto pages like leaves raked into a pile. That’s me today. #changingseasons #amwriting

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