Tag Archives: JL Mo

Another Woman’s Thoughts

 

One night, my husband and I went out for dinner. Next to our booth sat an elderly couple. The woman appraised my husband as he sat, but then all of her attention went back to her food.

After the server brought the drinks, our friend Bob came in and joined us. The old woman was now in my line of sight every time I turned toward him. She had looked up as he sat down, and stared. And stared. Eyes narrowed, lips tight, holding her fork with a slight tremble.

Once, at a much younger age, I might have grown uncomfortable. All the thoughts of why she might be staring would play through my insecure head, and end with the certainty she was judging me in some way. Today, not so much.

Then, my imagination kicked in.

“…She’s checking out my husband and Bob. Probably wondering if there’s gonna be a threesome tonight. She’s probably remembering her first threesome now…”

I literally laughed out loud. Then everyone was looking at me. I gotta tell you, at fifty-six, I don’t give a crap.

For Geek’s Sake Podcast II

 

What a blast I had sitting in on a recording session with the crew (minus Al) at For Geek’s Sake. As a writer, I’ll take every opportunity to promote the current work. As I recall, should you choose to listen in, you might hear me make mention of that fact once. Okay, maybe twice. Fine. I’m pretty sure I maxed out at three. Well. Pretty sure.

The actual reason I was invited to come on was to discuss the philosophy of art ownership. Once a beloved character has been released into the world, who owns it? There are a few schools of thought on this one. Let’s use  Superman  as an example.

One, Superman belongs to the fans. He’s been around since 1933, and so has his fan fiction.

Two, Superman still belongs to the creators (the estate, in this case) Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster.

Three, Superman belongs to the corporate entities that last purchased the rights.

I won’t give any spoilers on what each opinion was, but I don’t think Producer Dan and my fellow guest Eddie hated me by the end of it. (Well, here’s hoping.)

And, if they didn’t know before hand, they now know I’m writing a mystery series titled McShane Mini-Mystery  and the first four ebooks are available on Amazon.

 

 

(Insert shameless self-promotion below:)

JL Mo is a mother of two full grown geeks, and Nana to their geeks-in-training. She is also the author of the McShane Mini-Mystery series, and has had a number of stories published in various anthologies which can be accessed on her Amazon Author Page.

 

A Writer’s Frustration

A Writer's Frustration Cover

 

If you’ve ever written more than one thousand words for a project, you should appreciate this…

The McShane manuscript for book four moved along nicely. The first two chapters barely saw a difference between the first draft and the third. Then came chapter three. Almost five hundred words in and I knew it wasn’t working.

At All.

I tried to edit by moving the text from the back to the front, deleting a paragraph, rewriting a scene, to no avail. I had to admit. The draft sucked. So, I deleted the whole thing and started from scratch.

The end result of chapter three speaks for itself, although I’ll tell you anyway. Fantastic. It moved the plot along nicely. The problem, however, is that it moved the plot in the wrong direction from the original outline. *sigh*

So, I started chapter four with a new direction that either had to be brought to heel and conform to the outline, or rethink where these characters are taking me.

Two thousand one hundred and fourteen words into the fourth chapter, and I knew it couldn’t be saved. The whole chapter was one long conversation between two characters. While funny in places, and intriguing for the plot line in others, it would not work. If this weren’t a novella, and I had to find words to fill space, this might have been an award winner.

But it’s not.

So, not only did my time frame get busted, so did my plotline. I really like where I ended with three, but I have to go back and rewrite my outline to conform. Chapter four now has five hundred forty-eight words toward that goal.

With uninterrupted time, I still should have a new draft written in the next few days. But who ever gets uninterrupted?

Wish me luck!

The Mushroom Murder is coming

Keep an eye my blog for the upcoming post of Chapter One, the new McShane Mini-Mystery Series installment The Mushroom Murder. I hope to have  it posted here on January 4, 2016.

I’ll be adding a chapter each Monday. Since, as my readers know, there are only five chapters to each book, the draft of this novella should be complete by February, 2016. This will be the fourth book in the series. If you’d like to catch up on the first three, you can find them on my JL Mo Amazon Author Page.

I am certain you’ll enjoy the return of reluctant billionaire, Sam McShane.

The Elephant Hunter

 

So this happened… Largest Elephant seen in 50 years killed by Hunter. A German (thank God not an American this time) hunter, who, like Cecil’s killer, obtained the proper certification from the government prior to his hunt.

 

Why is everyone up in arms NOW about the government-sanctioned hunters, who add $50,000 to $60,000 per hunt into the local economy?

 

Save your rage for the poachers, who are currently pouring cyanide into an elephant’s water source, to kill them for NOTHING but their TUSKS!  The poachers (read: murderers) actions have grown so rampant that the practice has been dubbed The Bloody Ivory Trade.

 

Where is the fury over the Blood Ivory Trade? Where are the protesters? This has been going on for years, without so much as the bat of an eye from the general populace.

 

I do not understand the world today.

 

After conducting research for my story For the Love of Ivory, I’d found that there are more slaughters of elephants by ivory poachers than ‘legal’ killings every day.

 

I am going to donate half of the author’s payment for every book, “For the Love of Ivory” sold between now and December 31, 2015, to the Bloody Ivory organization. They have an ongoing battle with multi-country associations, so they are at the front lines of the war on poachers. Let’s pool our resources, and give them what we can.

The Future is now…

This cracked me up…

“Last night my friend asked to use my USB port to charge his cigarette, but I was using it to charge my book. The furture is stupid.”

 

I read this in a “tickld” article and had to share. Here’s the link (Link removed due to robots. Damn robots.) if you’d like to check out the other nineteen items. But this was the best one for me. But then again, I’m old.

 

A New Shed in Florida

 

An old, rusty, metal shed that had sat in the backyard for over twenty years, needed to be replaced. The bent and nearly broken door sounded like nails on a chalkboard whenever it was moved along its track. Dart and I agreed it was time to let the old thing go.

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First we did the techno-savvy thing and researched the sheds we liked online. Okay, Dart researched the sheds he liked, and showed me the ones he came up with. And, as you know, I am fully compliant, and submissive, and subservient. So, anything my husband wants is fine by me.

*snicker*

Anyway… The shed we agreed on was this gorgeous thing that looked like a little house. Well, kind of. The manufacturer, “TKO” (an alias) out of Canada, provided details of the product leaving no question unanswered, complete with a presentation of how to put the whole thing together. The two people in the video assembling it never even broke a sweat. The fact they were building it indoors, and she wore a scarf that never moved, should have been a heads up. But, hindsight is 20/20, isn’t it?

After deciding that we want this shed (we’ll call it TK), we began the process of purchasing it. Surprise, surprise. They won’t sell it directly to us. A major department store in the US is the sole distributor of this product. I won’t name names, but the major department store rhymes with Tears.

We went in to find the model TK we wanted, but they didn’t have one set up. The rep positively gushed about what a fantastic wood/plastic composite shed this was, and the price could not be beat. We agreed, after all, we’d done the research. Since we’re ordering it, and planning on assembling it ourselves, the only real drawback would be if we needed to order replacement parts. He told us that could take a while, so he suggested we order such things through TKO, rather than Tears. We nodded. A word to the wise is sufficient. Taking a deep breath, we ordered the shed, on faith that it was everything the website, and the Tears rep, claimed.

Three weeks later, the boxes arrived.

 

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This is the time to open each, and every one of these boxes, and take an inventory of every single item.

We didn’t.

First, the instruction manual. In today’s world, we do not have “Tab A into Slot B” type instructions. No. Now, it’s “Part MODFL connects to MODF9 with SC14.” And that is my interpretation, because there are very few actual words in this forty-six page book. It is ALL diagrams.

05 blog

 

So, after lengthy discussions regarding the placement of the floor onto the foundation we’d built, and dodging the thunderstorms (Florida, remember?), it did take a while, but once we determined which pieces were needed for the floor, we began our project.

We moved along at a brisk pace. And by brisk, I mean we could only work on the weekends, and then only when the sky wasn’t shooting lightning bolts at us.

I’ll admit, I grew more than a little frustrated, and irritated as this thing was being put together. Dart is a stubborn man who feels a bit chaffed at being told that he might be wrong. (I know, right?) So, for me, being a stickler for the instructions, had the misfortune of explaining that TKO did not agree with him on a couple of assemblage points. He eventually agreed with TKO. Not with me, of course, but with TKO.

 

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A good three weekends went by of hard work, sweat, mutual frustration, cursing, occasional blood, and then we unpacked this…

 

01a blog

 

Yes, we should have inventoried the boxes. Yes, the corners are very, very, important. Yes, the entire project came to a standstill.

Following the Tears rep’s original advice, we tried to order through TKO. They sent us back to Tears, where it was explained to us (via email) that the part we need is on backorder. Of course it is. It’s part of the wall. What company would keep extra inventory of such non-important things like wall slats? ARGH!

In the four weeks and two days it took to get the replacement part, the floor had started to warp. We placed cinderblocks to counteract the bend, but it was going to be a struggle.

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We had tried to ignore the giggles from the neighbors, who had decided that we weren’t going to ever finish the thing. It grew to be quite the embarrassment.

After the parts did arrive, we took time off from work and dedicated ourselves to finishing it. Once again, Dart and the TKO manual disagreed. I was adamant that Dart was doing it wrong. However, it turned out he was right. The diagram showed the little guy backwards, to indicate the work was being done inside. You’d have to see it, but, yes, I apologized.

The shed, now complete, was worth all of the hard work and effort.

Complete

 

I’d like to see that young woman with the immovable scarf who helped assemble it indoors on the video, come to Florida and try it. It’s safe to say that, at the very least, her scarf would move. She would also be drenched in sweat, cursing like a sailor, and threatening to shove the instruction manual where the sun don’t shine.

For the Love of Ivory

I am offering a small sampling of my latest book, available through Amazon in the next few days. I hope you enjoy it.

 

An excerpt from, “For the Love of Ivory

 

***

 

In the darkness of the deep woods, on their way to the spot Dr. Song last saw the herd, the hope held that Rupiah remained alive and with his inoperative Jeep. Kalanzo listened for any warnings of predators above the birds shrieking their annoyance at being disturbed.

He stopped the Jeep, shifting to neutral, and turned off the headlamps. “Dr. Song, please turn the light off for a moment.”

“Why?”

“Because, I don’t want to be a beacon in the night for predators. Also, the birds will settle and I’ll be able to hear more than their protests.”

Song huffed, but complied. The sudden darkness took a moment to adjust to. The rain had stopped and the cloud cover lightened enough to allow a soft glow of the full moon to shine on their trail. Kalanzo shifted into first, and drove on without headlamps.

A tingling sensation raced up Kalanzo’s spine. Something was not right, but he could not say what. The night birds called, the trees swayed in the night wind, no growls of large cats in the distance to announce a feeding. So, why this feeling of dread attempting to squeeze his heart to bursting?

A gunshot shattered the relative quiet of the jungle.

Dr. Song shrieked as a second deafening blast burst the small trunk of a palm next to them. Kalanzo swerved the Jeep off the trail.

They knew this to be poachers, warning them off their course. The gunmen were not trying to kill them, or else they would be dead. With hate-filled gratitude, Kalanzo spun the Jeep around and raced back down the dirt path.

Song now had his shotgun in hand, barrel pointed behind them, bouncing hard with every hole in the trail. The jeep sped through the dark until they hit a sharp rise in the road. The tires left the earth for a moment and crash-landed with such ferocity as to slam his jaw together. Kalanzo’s head spun, but he realized no blasts were following them. He heard neither the sound of engines or shouts of man. He slowed the Jeep to a halt.

 

***

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt. Please check out  the rest of the story on Amazon.

Welcome

Welcome to the new site for JL Mo.

It’s not that I’m rare. I’m just unusual.

Through a strange sequence of events, my previous JL Mo site, established 2011, was hijacked. My server, Fat Cow, with WordPress as my platform, had been caught in a never-ending loop (omit un-necessarily long explanative). No access was granted to add, edit, scream, rant, or even rave. Fat Cow suggested WordPress might be the issue, and they said it was probably Fat Cow. I gave up and went to Blogger.

After posting there for a year or more, someone came along who could help me with my original site. Thanks again, Danielle.

Fat Cow explained to her that my site had contracted a virus, and that must be the reason it was inaccessible for so long. (All right you techno-geeks, let’s skip the “you should have…” and get on with this, shall we?)

Here we are today. My shiny new blogging website. All of the posts, circa 2011-2014, have been taken out by one entity or the other, possibly both, and I have to start from scratch.

It’s like my doctor told me about something I was suffering a long time ago, “It’s not that it’s rare, it’s just unusual.”

That’s me in a nutshell.