2020 First quarter writing Wrap Up

Hey! Tomorrow is the first of April  which means it's a new quarter and time to revisit the goals I set for myself for Quarter one.  I persevered in writing almost every single day, some of which I posted. I pretty much failed with my current WIP-RT.  I did print it out and put it in a notebook, but other than that no progress.  Lent arrived and I concentrated on free writing.  

I'm still reading "A Year of Writing Dangerously: 365 Days of Inspiration and Encouragement by Barbara Abercrombie. I've been forging ahead, reading a few entries at a time, quotes and conversations inspiring me or full of synchronicity.  Such as

"It's the imagination that gives us poetry...You have to follow where the poem leads. And it will surprise you.  It will say things you didn't expect to say. And you look at the poem and you realize; that is truly what I felt. That is truly what I saw." ~ Philip Levine. 

I don't consider myself a poet and there are very few poets I read unless doing research for the next 52 Books sunday post.  However, I'm writing more and more poetry along with snippets of conversations with myself and characters and the universe, a few story scenes. Whatever comes to mind.  I'm  tempted to commit to A to Z poetry and post a poem every day for the month of April.    I'm also tempted to do the A to Z writing challenge.  However, I know I wouldn't be able to keep up with it. I'm unofficially setting a goal to continue writing every day during the month of April as I have been for the first quarter, diligently for Lent and after Easter as well. And if I happen to come up with enough poems to post everyday, that will be just groovy. I'm not going to force it though and we'll see what happens. 

I filled my first quarter goals with my eyes are bigger than my stomach syndrome and planned way too much.   I gave up on Crafting the Personal Essay and Dinty Moore's Flash Fiction as neither inspired me.  Both were books I'd used before and for some reason, once I'm done with a book, I don't like to go back.  I have several writing books on my shelves, including Barbara Abercrombie's Kicking in the Wall as well as Anne Bernay's What If, which  I have yet to utilize so I'll be drawing on them for a variety of reasons which includes helping me finish revising WIP-RT. 

I have a tendency to quit writing when I'm stressed and I'm trying hard not to let the stress of the day stop me.   

I'm following the KISS method this time!


Guest Post -James M's review of IDW Sonic issue 27 (Guest guest starring some Zeti)

Greetings again, people.
Today, we're looking at issue 27 of IDW Sonic, the last issue of the series before the comic goes on temporary hiatus due to the coronavirus causing comic book companies to close down thanks to the infamous aforementioned disease.
We're in the home stretch at last, the nightmare of a saga's almost over.

When we last left off, Sonic and his friends devised a plan to defeat the Deadly Six and rid the world of the Metal Virus threat once and for all in order to save the world and Silver's future. The heroes have used the Warp Topaz to go after the members of the Deadly Six simultaneously only for things to go a bit south for the likes of Cream, Espio and the Babylon Rogues.
Lets see what happens in this story...

Starting on Tails and Amy's side, the battle with Zomom the fat one has already begun and they're trying not to get squished by that gluttonous Zeti. Tails' attempts to trick Zomom fail as the Zeti only gets "hangry" and declares, "YOU WON'T LIKE IT WHEN I'M HANGRY!" Has this guy been reading Hulk comics or chatting with Bruce Banner? Anyways, he sends Zombots after them. However, Tails and Amy manage to gain the upper hand and trap Zomom beneath a gate and snatch the blue Chaos Emerald from him, leaving Zomom at the mercy of the Zombots. Take that, fat one!

Zomom | Sonic News Network | Fandom


Me: You!


Me: Can I finish this review please?

Zomom: Uh, I guess.

Me: Thank you...

Where were we before that guy showed up? Oh yes, Tails and Amy beat Zomom. Meanwhile, Cream is seemingly at a Zeena-controlled Gemerl's mercy, however, the robot manages to break free from Zeena's control. Cream attacks Zeena angrily, spin dashing the female Zeti before shouting that she hates fighting and meanies like her. Zeena hurts Cream and offers her to the Zombots only for Gemerl to turn the tables and, together, the robot and Cream get Zeena's Chaos Emerald and Zeena ends up getting infected by the Zombots.

Zeena | Sonic News Network | Fandom

Zeena: Really humiliating.

Me: Hey, what are you doing here?

Zeena: It wasn't my idea, it was Zazz' idea.

Me: Oh cr*p...

Zazz | Sonic News Network | Fandom



(Zazz, Zomom and Zeena shriek and run away)

Ok, time to finish up. After Zeena goes down, it turns out Cream got the Metal Virus. Gemerl takes pity on the 6 year old and vows to protect her, look after her until its all over. As for the chaos emerald they got from Zeena? They throw it through the portal, now the heroes have two Chaos Emeralds. SCORE for the good guys.

Bad News. On Angel Island, Sonic and Eggman spot the Faceship approaching. This means one thing, the heroes are out of time and Zavok has found them. DUN DUN DUN!

This issue is quite something, it's definitely all uphill for the heroes with a bit of struggle for them as they fight the Deadly Six and as Zavok approaches the island. But its gonna be awhile before we see issues 28 through 30 with the finale of the Metal Virus saga, again, due to the coronavirus crisis. IDW Sonic issue 27 gets a 10/10 for its epic storytelling, Ian Flynn sure is delivering an impactful final act to a long story arc that has been happening since Year 2.

See you next time, hopefully IDW Sonic is not cancelled. Who wants SEGA to revoke the license and give it to somebody else? IDW must keep going, we can't have another Archie Sonic loss just like in 2017. Who wants the comic to die again?

-James M

A to Z Poetry: Nature's Washing Machine

Nature’s Washing Machine 

If you could stop the world
for a moment, a day, or a lifetime, 
would you’d sit on the shore
and contemplate the view, the moment,
the past, or the present?

A word or sentence or phrase comes to mind,
speaks to you, leads you, 
raises a question, demands an answer,
literally and figuratively.  

You sit down on the beach
and count the grains of sand. 
Impossible… maybe.  
Fragments shift across your palm,
hot and parched, some moist and cold. 

It flows through your fingers,
grains adhere to the lines and 
wrinkles of your palm.
between your fingers, under your fingernails, 
Sparkling, shiny bits of dust. 
All shapes and sizes: rough or smooth,
large or small, hard or soft.  
Just like your thoughts.  
Hard edges, soft moments.  
You can hold on or brush them away.
Countless grains, 
Particles of life.  

Is it possible to catch the thoughts 
of the person who sat here before you,
when they ran their hands scooped up the sand 
and let it drift through their fingers?   

So many grains of sand, 
so many thoughts left behind.  
Where do they all go?
You reflect and imagine   
they tumble out to sea in a wash of waves.
Cleansed and returned, 
with the flow of the tides,
full of peace, full of quiet power. 

A to Z Poetry: Present

Courtesy Dimitri Otis 

This poem was prompted by something hubby said the other day, when once again kiddo was analyzing past actions.  I'm a stay present, learn from the past and move on, optimistic, glass half full, type of gal. But both my guys love to analyze, reminisce, and discuss over and over again which I've learned not to let it drive me too crazy.  His analogy.  I ride the waves, balanced, living in the present, focused on the day.   If I look back, I'll lose my focus and fall off and the negativity makes me cranky because I can't do anything about it.  I don't look too far forward, because again loss of focus and because it annoys me to worry about something that has yet to happen.


ride the waves, 
you don't look back,
Nor tilt too far forward.
Balance precarious, you
arms reach, knees flex, 
toes grip the board.  
An ever cresting wave 
surges beneath your feet.
There is no fear in failure, 
only lessons to 
and gather in your heart
and teach you to be bold. 
Waves; large, small, fast or slow
You plow through the tunnels
and climb on the crest. 
There's not time to 
But if you fall, 
an option you can't avoid, 
Waves may wipe you out, 
But you'll never be destroyed. 
Our failures are our teachers
us to our core.
So you'll climb back on
and ride the rail some more. 
You balance, ever present to
life's demands and 

A to Z Poetry: Dust

Dusting off some Words by Jabbokdawn
One of the words for the day in Pause for Lent is dust which prompted some interesting thoughts.


Our bodies.
Earthly vessels.
Neither a hindrance,
Nor a necessity.
Crumble and fade,
as our souls soar 
to heavenly heights.

Do we return as dust? 
A grain of sand,  quintillion atoms
float and gather.
All we see and do not see,
everywhere surrounds us.
In the air we breath.
On the furniture, the floor,
picture frames galore. 
Particles of souls long gone. 
Foundation for our feet.
Nutrients for our bodies.
Beginning to finish,  
Start to the end.  
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
Those we love and miss the most.
Beloved dust. 
I am you and you are me.
We are dust and to dust
we shall return. 

I never thought I would appreciate dust and will never look it the same way again. Prayerful dusting shall be the rule from now on. 

Lent: Writerly intentions

Courtesy of Pastel-le

Before the beginning of Lent, I decided my goal would be to write every day, limit my interactions with the web and technology, unless it had to do with business or writing.  I also decided to go on a news diet because all it entails is negative and frustrating and makes me mad.  Positiveness  and light will be on my plate for the foreseeable future. 

Day light savings clicked in early, my body clock still set to change late February instead of March. I began waking around 6:30 or so. Instead of going back to sleep, decided to take advantage of the quiet to write. I also began taking advantage of wake less hours, in order words insomnia, and instead of lying there fretting, getting up to read and/or write until I was tired enough to go back to sleep.  

During breakfast I am sipping on Michael Card's  Luke, Gospel  of Amazement which is a great way to set the tone for the day.  Two books I also picked up for Lent are:  Pauses for Lent: 40 Words for 40 Days which starts your day off with one word per day to focus on, meditate, think, and pray.The second book,  Lent in Plain Site augments Pauses  with  "ten ordinary words Jesus would have encountered on his way to Jerusalem: dust, bread, the cross, coins, shoes, oil, coats, towels, thorns, and stones."  Both books are wonderful, leaving me with much to think and write about, helping to heal old wounds and sparking epiphanies as well as spurring me on to write more poetry, flash pieces, miscellaneous scenes and ideas for my current work in progress. 

I may share some of those flash pieces and poetry along the way as we journey through Lent. 


52 Lists: Favorite quotes

"Life is a balance on holding on and letting go" -- Rumi

"With God all things are possible" -- Matthew 19:26

"Sometimes you have to let go of the picture of what you thought life would be like and learn to find joy in the story you are actually living."  Rachel Marie Martin - Brave Art of Motherhood.

"Let go and let God"  - Daily word 

"Pray to catch the bus, then run as fast as you can."  Julia Cameron 

"As you move toward a dream, the dream moves toward you."  Julia Cameron

"Leap and the net will appear."  Julia Cameron 

"Creativity requires faith. Faith requires we relinquish control."   Julia Cameron

"The key to becoming a writer is a paradox: you must believe that your writing, your story, is important, vital, and a sacred task. At the same time you must be able to write even when writing feels like a job that you are not very good at." Barbara Abercrombie - 

January and February Reading Wrap Up!

A bookworm leads a thousand lives 

I totally forgot to do a wrap up for January so combining with February.   I've done really well with my buying ban and reading from my shelves, considering that our shop is only five minutes away from Barnes and Noble.  The temptation to go buy a latte and spend my lunch time in the bookstore has been great, but I've been good so far.  

I did buy one book but that was because the grocery store check out line was hecka long  so I went to look at the books and ended up getting Karen Robard's Fifth Doctrine.   It's all their fault *grin* 

Stats wise, I read more female authors (16) versus male authors (5) and managed to clear a few dusty books from my shelves.  I read 11 physical books versus 14 e books so my ratio of e books is still way too high.  

Cat O Nine Tales - Faith Hunter (Jane Yellowrock)
Junkyard Cats - Faith Hunter (futuristic)

Dragons and other fantastical creatures
The Burning Page - Genevieve Cogman (#3 Invisible Library, 368, Dusty)
Dragon Bound - Thea Harrison (#1 Elder Races, 338, e)(Gift, Ntma)
The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien (288, dusty)

Iron and Magic - Ilona Andrews (#1 Iron Covenant, 394, e, dusty)
Knife of Dreams - Robert Jordan (#11 WOT, 880, dusty)
The Unkindest Tide - Seanan McGuire (#13 October Daye, 366e, ms)

Feed My Muse
Reading Like a Writer - Francine Prose (Dusty, 273)

Ladies of Fiction
Kitchen/Midnight Shadow - Banana Yoshimito (Japan, 177e)(Ntma)
The Crystal Cave - Mary Stewart (# 1 Arthurian Saga, Historical Fantasy, dusty, 288)

Love and Mystery
Brewed Awakening - Cleo Coyle (#18 Coffee House, e, ms)
The Bookshop of Yesterday - Amy Meyerson (384, Dusty, Ntma)
Golden in Death - J.D.Robb (#50 In Death, 400, new release preorder)

The Fifth Doctrine - Karen Robards (#3 Guardians, thriller, 406)(New/Ntma)
Long Road to Mercy - David Baldacci (#1 Atlee Pine, Thriller, 417 e, dusty)
Silent Blade - Illona Andrews (World of Kinsman, Fantasy, 64e, dusty)

Non Fiction
Girl with Seven Names - Hyeonseo Lee (N/S Korea, 322e) (Dusty, Ntma)
When Books Went to War - Molly Manning (history, 288) (Dusty, Ntma)
It's All Relative - A.J. Jacobs (352, dusty)

Science Fiction
Dark Horse - Michelle Diener (2) (#1 Class 5, 380e) (KU - Ntma)
Dark Deeds - Michelle Diener (#2 Class 5, 360, e)
Dark Minds - Michelle Diener (#3 Class 5, 286, e)
Dark Matters - Michelle Diener (#4 Class 5, 321, e)
Son of Heaven - David Wingrove (#1 Chung Kuo, England/China, 449 e)(Dusty, Ntma)


Clockwork Angel - Cassandra Clare (#1 Infernal Devices, Steampunk, 497,e, dusty)

MS - My shelves purchased prior to 2020
Dusty - on both virtual and physical shelves for a while
KU - Kindle unlimited freebie book
Ntma = new to me author

Guest Post -James M's review of Doctor Who Series 12/Season 38

Hullo Whovians. With the twelfth season of New Who behind us, it's time to take a look at the season as a whole including the season finale, the story arc of the Timeless Child and a bit more. So let's get started.

After Series 11 finished in December 2018 and the Dalek episode "Resolution" aired on New Year's Day in 2019, it would be a long time before we heard from The Doctor in  January 2020 with the two part episode Spyfall,  a James Bond parody. The two-parter saw the return of The Doctor's rival Time Lord The Master while the 13th Doctor and her companions Graham, Ryan and Yaz work to solve a mystery involving strange beings made of energy, working with The Master and a madman who wants humanity destroyed. By the end of the episode, the rest of the season was set up with the Timeless Child being mentioned again, having not been mentioned since the episode "Ghost Monument". Also, The Master destroyed Gallifrey and The Doctor's now the last Time Lord once again.

The next episode Orphan 55 saw Team Tardis visit a spa on an unknown orphan planet where they dealt with creatures known as Dregs and discovered that Orphan 55 is actually Earth in a possible future following a thermo-nuclear war. The episode was intense and it ended with The Doctor saying that we have to protect the planet, otherwise, we'll destroy it with our fighting among each other. Nikola Tesla's Night of Terror saw The Doctor meet Nikola Tesla and good old James Edison, history's most brilliant inventors in the United States of America, and them teaming up to deal with aliens who want to use Mr. Tesla for his intelligence.

Fugitive of the Judoon was a big one as it saw the return of the Judoon, who had not been seen in ages, and Captain Jack Harkness, who was last seen in The End of Time Part 2 as well as a couple episodes of the spin-off Torchwood, with John Barrowman reprising his role. Not only that, we ended up meeting Ruth Clayton who turned out to be... The Doctor. Where does she fit in The Doctor's regenerations? Who knows, we'll leave that for later when we tackle the finale.

Skipping past the weird episode Praxeus, we come to the episode Can You Hear Me which continues the Timeless Child arc and sees The Doctor face off against two immortal gods who are stirring up trouble and have to be stopped. Following this episode, we come to the episode The Haunting of Villa Diodati where Team Tardis meets the writer of Frankenstein, Mary Shelly, and encounter the Lone Cyberman known as Ashad, who is a partially converted Cyberman with a visible human face and seeks to restore Cyberman supremacy. During the encounter, The Doctor gives Ashad the Cyberium, an unknown Cyberman substance that can allow you to create Cyberman.

Nearing the end, we come to Ascension Of The Cybermen where The Doctor and her companions team up with a group of humans to fend off and survive against Ashad and his Cybermen forces. The team splits up as they try to escape. The Doctor and Ryan end up at The Boundry at the edge of space while Graham and Yaz end up on a Cyberman troop carrier where they find thousands of Cybermen and end up cornered by Ashad.

On The Doctor's side, as if things could not get any worse, a portal appears and shows the ruins of her home planet before The Master himself pops through, leading into the big finale of the season where The Master takes The Doctor to Gallifrey and they tour the ruins of the citadel, even going into The Matrix where we finally learn about how the Time Lords came to be and who was The Timeless Child.

Spoiler warning, The Timeless Child is The Doctor and she's had numerous lives well before the William Hartnell incarnation. Lore breaking? Not really. She's still a Time Lord.

Anyways, as The Doctor tries to recover from the big shocker, The Master takes out Ashad and uses the Cyberium to turn the remains of dead Time Lords into hybrids known as CyberMasters. What makes these new Cybermen special? They can regenerate. Also, as The Master taunts The Doctor, we get a reference to the Russel T Davies era episode The End of Time Part 1. What is it?

The Master: For Gallifrey!
CyberMasters: For Gallifrey!

The Master: For the Time Lords!
Cybermasters: For the Time Lords!

The Master: For the end of the Universe itself...!

Yup, its the famous speech Rassilon did towards the end of the Last Great Time War as he prepared to unleash the Ultimate Sanction which was thankfully stopped by the Tenth Doctor. What was the speech like in the episode compared to this.

R: For Gallifrey!


Rassilon: FOR VICTORY! (spit flies from his mouth)

Time Lords: FOR VICTORY!



Well, isn't that something?

Anyway, despite the odds, The Doctor is able to come to terms with the Timeless Child revelation and the Cybermen (including The Master) are defeated. But just as we're about to get a sweet, happy but bittersweet ending (with The Doctor's companions and most of the surviving Cyber-War refugees going to 21st Century Earth while The Doctor is in the Tardis coping), things hit the fan when the Judoon show up and throw The Doctor in jail, ending the season and setting up the Christmas Special.

Final thoughts:

This season was pretty good, not a lot of road bumps like with season 11. The only road bump was the freaking Praxeus episode, which I feel is not worth talking about as its a bit gross with creepy stuff appearing on people's skins.

This series/season gets an 8/10. It would've gotten a ten if Praxeus wasn't made or if The Judoon had not arrested The Doctor.

Anyways, can't wait to see whats is in store for The Doctor.


Guest Post -James M's review of IDW Sonic issue 26

What's up people! I'm back and reviewing IDW Sonic issue 25.
Before we begin, I'd like to address something that I skipped over in my summary of issue 25 when I reviewed it last time.

Right before Eggman fired Dr Starline, Starline warned him and the heroes (as well as the reader) the dangers of utilizing the Warp Topaz with Super Sonic, saying that it could warp time and space and break the planet. Not too long after the issue came out, people were discussing it and a handful took Starline's warning seriously to a point where they thought that a reboot was coming. It got a bit out of hand that Ian Flynn took to Twitter to address the situation. What did Ian Flynn say?

To paraphrase it, he said, "We're not rebooting the comic, that was never on the table. The Genesis Wave was never planned out and had to be because of legal problems that don't apply here."

Despite Ian assurances there will not be a reboot, some (like Megabeatman) are "mentally" preparing for the possibility of an IDW Sonic reboot. There's nothing to worry about now!

Anyways, lets get on with the summary of the issue.

The issue opens up on Knuckles' home island in the sky,  the last safe haven for those who narrowly fled the Metal Virus nightmare, where the heroes (and Eggman) have gathered to try and end the Zombot apocalypse and save the world.

With help from Eggman, the heroes have just managed to use the Warp Topaz to make a portal generator that can make multiple portals which our heroes will use to attack the Zeti, now the big bads of the Metal Virus Saga.

Sonic, acting as team coordinator, assigns Tails and Amy to attack Zomom, Espio to attack Zazz, the Babylon Rogues (Jet, Wave & Storm) to attack Zik, Gemerl (and Cream) to attack Zeena and Silver is to attack Zor while Rouge (and Eggman's lackeys Orbot & Cubot) deal with Zavok on the faceship. As the group gets ready for the impossible mission, Sonic has a talk with Eggman, who taunts him by saying that the hedgehog ACTUALLY helped spread the Metal Virus when Sonic criticizes Metal Sonic for going back to Mr. Tinker, allowing him to become Eggman again.

On the Faceship, after sending Zavok away under the pretense that somebody's messing with the Metal Virus chamber (in order to distract him), Orbot and Cubot meet up with Rouge to discuss the next phase of their plan. Yeah, in case you don't know, Rouge sneaked onto the Faceship to try and somehow or another put an end to the Zombot crisis not to long ago.

Back with our heroes, their mission begins and the teams go through the portals to where the rest of the Deadly Six are located. Afterwards things go south...

On Gemerl and Cream's front, Gemerl tried to stop Cream from coming with him but she went through the portal anyway and confronted Zeena, who took control of Gemerl and had him attack her. On Tails and Amy's front, they confronted Zomom who goes into berserk mode. "YOU RUINED MY POST-LUNCH PRE-DINNER SNACK!" He shouts as he was in the midst of eating as usual when Tails and Amy showed up. On Espio's front, his attempt to steal a Chaos Emerald from Zazz ended badly when Zazz caught him and had Zombots encircle him.

As for Silver and Zor, their fight has begun. But with the Babylon Rouges, things are getting worse as Zik took over their Extreme Gear and the trio of birds are encircled by robo-zombies as the issue comes to an end. Wow, what a dark cliffhanger.

Final Thoughts:

Well, that entertaining at best. We've entered the final act of this nightmare of a story arc and so far, the heroes sure are struggling. At least things are about to turn around. After this arc's over, what's next? We know there will be more adventures and we'll be in for some big surprises down the road be it this year or next year. Maybe the Freedom Fighters will show up?

Also, what do the IDW Sonic creatives have in store for Sonic's upcoming 30th anniversary?

The art is amazing and the dialogue is fun, love the character moments in this issue.

Final score is a 9/10.

How will the heroes gain the upper hand against the Deadly Six?
We'll find out in the next issue or two.
I have a bad feeling Espio, Cream and the Babylon Rogues are about to get turned into robo-zombies. As for Sonic, he's bound to enter the picture and go super soon.
This should be interesting when we reach the big finale of this huge arse arc...

See you all next time people.

If there's anything I missed in this review be sure to tell me in the comments below.

Peace out!

-James M

A to Z Poetry: One True Sentence

In the mornings I've been reading several snippets daily from A Year of Writing Dangerously instead of one a day, taking notes and mulling things over, and finding encouragement.  I may write a few sentences, a poem, whatever comes to mind in response.

127 One True Sentence:  

"In a Moveable Feast Ernest Hemingway writes: 'I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think. 'Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now.  All you have to do is write one true sentence.  Write the truest sentence that you know.'  So finally I would write one true sentence and go from there.  It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or had heard someone way."


One true sentence,
nothing fancy, nothing prosaic. 
Just write. 
One word. One Sentence. 
Then more.
A paragraph until you've filled 
the page with words. 
A picture, 
painted in script. 
Flowers made of nouns,
a verb, an adjective. 
A person, a place, a thing
from your imagining.  
No rules, no goals, no end game.  
Pen to paper,
thought to hand. 
Let it all out and see where you land. 

A trail of letters, a path of paragraphs.
lead you to an adventure,
a journey that never gets old.
Flowers, brilliant and glowing,
lead you to a knowing.
Words, soft and quiet,
Tell a story, 
Only you will know, 
If you don't put pen to paper.
One letter, one word, one paragraph.
One true sentence.
Let it all out and  see where you land.