Monday, March 31, 2008

Writing Prompt Attempt #2

What I’m Reading: Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn

What I’m working on: Plot boards and fun stuff for Slayer and getting new ideas via prompts.

New Words Today: 282

Time to finish up yesterday's writing prompt.

Randomly select one of your firsts and one of your lasts. (Perhaps cut them all up and drop them in a hat.) For example, from my list it might be: The first time I broke curfew, I wore my red high heels. Or it might be: The last time I saw the ocean was the night I attended my first séance.

Here's my attempt from a randomly drawn selection:

I saw him for the first time during the last coyote attack.

I'd shoved shells in the shot gun as I sprinted for the corral. The pack’s attacks continued to increase in frequency, and I had yet to get a shot off. Losing calves equated to pissing away profits.

The cows sounded like the frantic mothers they were, desperately protecting their calves. The most recent birth flashed in mind. I’d pulled the hind legs to help the young mother birth her first – an adorable, petite, pitch black baby. I couldn't lose that one.

I ran faster, rounding the corner in time to see one of the older females butting a mangy dog. I fired a round into the air and hoped it would frighten them off the herd long enough to get a clean shot or two. I ached to take down one of the pack.

Losing three calves in a week hurt ranch profits. Of course, refusing to sell the calves I became attached to hurt the profits as well. So far, I was attached to all of them.

The shot worked and the pack scattered, running into all corners of the night.

I raised my gun as I bolted around the fence. The blurred form bounded across the prairie almost out of range, but I took a shot anyway.

In the moonlight, I couldn’t really tell, but I thought I just might have hit it.

Shoving the gun into a make-shift holster on the four-wheeler parked next to the barn, I peeled out in the general direction the animal had taken.

It didn’t take long to find what I hit.

Naked, bleeding men are pretty visible – even in the moonlight.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Writing prompt #2

What I’m Reading: Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn and A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

What I’m working on: Deciding what I really need to do with Slayer. Thanks Alyson and Katrina for all your help.

New Words Today: 105

Here’s the beginning of a new prompt for you. List at least 10 firsts and 10 lasts in your life. (You can make them up or make them real. It’s up to you.) I’ll tell you what to do with them tomorrow. (And, no, I won’t tell you if these are real or not.)

Here is my list.

The first time I kissed him.
The first time I cheated.
The first time I visited New York City.
The first time I flew on an airplane.
The first time I hiked the Rincons.
The first time I ate sushi.
The first time I fired a gun.
The first time I drove cross-country.
The first time I hitchhiked.
The first time I attended a séance.
The first time I broke curfew.
The first time I gazed at the Pacific.
The first time the power lines came down.
The first time the war ended.
The first time I saw him.

The last time I had a date.
The last time I walked alone at night.
The last time forgot my cell phone.
The last time I got so drunk I couldn’t remember what I did.
The last time I saw the ocean.
The last time I wore red high heels.
The last time I saw my family.
The last time I had tequila.
The last time I saw my hometown.
The last time the Arizona Wildcats won the final four.
The last time I felt warm sunshine on my skin.
The last time it rained.
The last time he called.
The last time the lawyer called.
The last time coyotes attacked.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Writing prompt attempt #1

What I’m Reading: Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn and A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

What I’m working on: Motivating myself to finish.

New Words Today: 100

Here's my attempt at yesterday's promt. Enjoy.

“An unsolved mystery is a thorn in the heart.” This is the opening line of a short prose piece you are to write, meditating on an unsolved mystery in your own life. You can transpose this into purely fictional terms.

An unsolved mystery is a thorn in the heart.

Imagine what a dozen must be.

The old hope chest housed at least a dozen mysteries. At least.

Melissa categorized its contents into two piles: okay, I knew this about my mom and what-the-hell.

It was the what-the-hell pile causing her hands to tremble. At least she hadn’t found this stuff before the funeral. If she had, what would she have said?

How about I loved my mother, the woman that was apparently married at least once before dad?

Or huh, for what it’s worth, it seems we’ve been celebrating the wrong wedding anniversary for my long deceased father and recently deceased mother. It seems that that they weren’t married in January after all. Their marriage license says June. Yes, that’s right. I came along pretty quickly after that.

When she’d offered to sort through this old stuff alone, she’d expected to find some newspaper clippings and year books from her mother’s high school days. Her mom been the head cheerleader and student council VP. Melissa expected to find the veil her mother wore when she married her dad. But she’d found three veils, three different wedding invitations to three different men, and a wedding ring that obviously didn’t belong to her mother or her grandmother. Or, hell. Maybe it did.

What she found made no sense. The woman who was supposed to have been an open book was instead shrouded in mystery.

The what-the-hell pile made the chaos of Melissa’s life look pretty damn tame.

She ought to let this go – just let the garbage truck haul off the junk. Her mom had hidden these secrets and letting them lie seemed the most respectful course of action.

But the anger boiling up would never let Melissa leave it be. Besides, discovering her mother’s secrets might diminish her own secrets a bit. And wasn’t it about time for that?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Writing prompt #1

What I’m Reading: Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn and A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

What I’m working on: Another scene in Slayer. DSM is almost over. I’m so sad, but I do have a grid for my hero and heroine – a grid I like, not the lame thing I started with.

New Words Tuesday: 341
New Words Wednesday: 106
New Words Thursday: 159
New Words Today: 147

I recently received a copy of a wonderful text to review for my favorite high school. Random House sent it to me. I love Random House’s website, magazine, and other media for educators.

The book I received is called Naming the World: and Other Exercises for the Creative Writer. It’s edited by Bret Anthony Johnston and contains ideas from many famous authors. We’re considering it for the creative writing class.

I’ve fallen in love with this book.

I’ve decided to make at least one day a week at my blog a writing exercise day. I’ll post one of the prompts or ideas from the book on my blog and also most an excerpt of my writing as a result. You should feel free to post your excerpt in my comments section or post a comment about the experience of trying the exercise or post your excerpt at your blog (and leave a comment so I’ll know to go read it).

Today’s prompt is from page 7. Try to aim for writing 10 minutes.

“An unsolved mystery is a thorn in the heart.” This is the opening line of a short prose piece you are to write, meditating on an unsolved mystery in your own life. You can transpose this into purely fictional terms.

I'll post mine as Saturday's blog. It's too full of typos to post tonight. And I'm not in an editing mood.

Happy writing.

Monday, March 24, 2008

"Those aren't real books."

What I’m Reading: Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn and A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

What I’m working on: The grid and now the plot board for The Slayer’s Circle. (Yippee for Story Magic.)

New Words Sunday: 189
New Words today: 566

I just finished listening to a nationally renowned motivational speaker. He visited my favorite high school today to speak to the students. He did it for free. (He usually makes 15k a day speaking.) He made ten points about how to be a champion in life – ten foundations for the construction of a champion.

One of his points was to think, to exercise your brain. He stressed the point of reading – everyday.

I thought, “Wonderful! This is what we need.” He challenged the students to read an hour a day! Yes! It’s an ambitious goal, but why not? He pointed out some statistics (don’t where he got them) which indicate that a significant number of men will never finish another book once they exit high school. He said 85% of all books purchased are purchased by women.

I don’t know about those statistics, but okay -- I do think women probably read more than men.

However, it was the next part of his speech that unsettled me. He said to read something worthwhile. (Can you see where this is headed?) He said don’t read mystery/crime novels or romance novels. “They don’t count. Read a real book. Those aren’t real books.”

I was fairly outraged. I write those kinds of books! And, any book you can get a kid to read is one more book he/she is reading. How can that be bad?

I think his point was to read something you can learn from. He thinks you can’t learn from mystery, crime, & romance novels, so therefore they can’t be beneficial.

I disagree. DISAGREE!!!!!! What about you? What would your rebuttal be?


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Saturday Stuff

What I’m Reading: Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn and A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

What I’m working on: Not being so lazy. (I mean, we came home from the beach today. You’d think I’d be up to working hard again.) (Please note the sarcasm.)

New Words Friday: 165

New Words today: 167

Saturday Stuff

1) I’m in a melancholy mood. I’m sure there are plenty of reasons, but the biggest is probably that I have to go back to work on Monday. No more spring break. The second is surely that I didn’t get anywhere close to as much work done as I should have. (Almost none at all.) My brain just shut off and all I could do was sleep in, be entertained by TV (which I never find time to watch) and books (my favorite time thief), and lay around on a couch or in the sun. Anything more was just too taxing on the brain. Third reason for my melancholy: I’ve been reading non-fiction. I just finished Mountains Beyond Mountains and I’m in the middle of A Long Way Gone. The former depicts the apathy of the industrialized world toward the sick poor. It ends well. Dr. Paul Farmer is brilliant and noble, but it’s a very meaty read. I probably should have stuck with light romance over break, but I couldn’t have handled meaty while working. (Plus the book has been selected by dozens of colleges for their Freshmen Year Experience community read. I had to see what the buzz was about.) I’m doing the listen/read thing with A Long Way Gone. It’s amazing to hear such a powerful story read by the author himself. (I got to hear him speak when I was in NY. Wow.) But it’s emotionally draining. So, there. Now you understand the melancholy.

2) I’m at that point in a story (The Slayer’s Circle) that I HATE. I’m about 80% done. And it all SUCKS. I’m at the point where none of it is good enough. The characters aren’t real enough. The plot isn’t strong enough. The writing isn’t perfect. Blah, blah, blah.

3) I’m taking both Empowering Character Emotions and Discovering Story Magic at the same time. (“Fool,” you say.) Yes. Pretty much. I’ve discovered (no pun intended) two things. One: My focus currently is on DSM – and it should be. I think it will help with the suck-age problem in #2. So, I’m checking my email every 10 minutes or so to see if I have comments from the brilliant Laura and Robin yet. I, unfortunately, have to put ECE on the back burner. Oh, I’m printing all the lectures and they’re GREAT, but it seems to me it’s more of a finishing up sort of thing rather than I’m-in-the-thick-of-it sort of thing.

4) My husband has challenged me not to buy any new books until May 1st. I have PLENTY to read so I don’t NEED to buy them. Of course, he challenged me yesterday and I went and bought some today. (Can anyone direct me to a good 12 step program for book addiction?) However, they don’t count. I was filling up a care package to send to my brother’s family in Rome, Italy. By brother is a book worm, too. He travels a lot and hence reads on the airplane. My oldest niece is 12 and has a college reading level. (She finished Flags of Our Fathers in just a few days and was able to discuss it very intelligently.) She’s a bit like me. Books and writing are her thing. The bummer of living in Rome is there are no American bookstores. To get English books, you have to go Naples (2 hours) and buy them at the base. The selection is marginal. All that to say, I send a care package every couple of months. I fill it with books for my nieces (10 and 12) and brother and magazines for my sister-in-law. The packages are a BIG deal to them and they gather around to see what everyone got. The last book I sent my oldest niece was Ally Carter’s I’d Tell You I Love You, but Then I’d Have to Kill You. She got it on a Friday and was done the next day. (You can see why buying books for them doesn’t count!)

5) I’ve stalled enough. The dryer is finished which means I can put the clean sheets on the bed and settle back into reading again. Uh, I mean I can park my butt in front of my MIP and get busy!!!


Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Beach, part 4

What I’m Reading: Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder

What I’m working on: Discovering story magic grid for The Slayer’s Circle. Whew that stuff is difficult, but in the end I know it will help the story. It’s already helped A LOT!

New Words today: 118

It’s late, but it’s vacation so it doesn’t matter. Technically, it’s 2 am, but the post will say 11:59 pm. Vacations always screw up my internal clock.

I’ve been working on my Discovering Story Magic grid for The Slayer’s Circle. And I’ve been writing. A little.

Of course, the reason I’m up so late is because I put off writing until now. I’m a mid-morning writer or a late night writer. Afternoons – not so good for me. Since I slept late and read (a lot) and went to a friend’s condo to socialize, I just decided to wait until late.

Hmm…. Tomorrow ought to be fun. I wonder what time I’ll wake up. (Hopefully, in time to go to this great little café for breakfast……)


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Beach, part 3

What I’m Reading: Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella (our book club selection for the month) AND Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder

What I’m working on: My daily (pathetic) words and my two workshops.

New Words today: 108

Today didn't seem like much of a vacation. We're only an hour away from Orlando and today my blond 1/2 lab, 1/2 golden retriever had a veterinarian appointment, so I made the drive back for a portion of the day. I love Rexy, but poor dog, his tear ducts don't work. He's allergic to meat (and just about everything else). When his allergies are bad, he pulls his hair out.

Today, we came home with 6 drugs, a new halo, and bill for $400.



Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Beach, part 2 and a Tuesday Ten

What I’m Reading: Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella AND Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder (Everyone should read Dr. Farmer’s story.)

What I’m working on: Getting my butt out of the lazy chair. Geez, I thought I’d get more work done on vacation. (Yes, I see the irony.)

New Words Monday: 251
New Words today: 123

I’m still at the beach. Today was quite windy and a bit cold. I worked on some plot issues with The Slayer’s Circle. I’m trying to get motivated to catch up on my Empowering Character Emotions workshop, but I’m so far behind I’ll NEVER read all the emails. Tonight, despite the fact that I brought a satchel full of books to read, I found a tiny little bookstore. My friend, Amy, who is also a book addict, and I prowled around it and bought more books. (Did I mention that my idea of a good vacation is uninterrupted reading time?)

Finally, Mimi tagged me to list 10 weird, random facts or habits about myself. Then choose 10 people to tag. So, if you're reading this and you haven't been tagged yet, consider yourself tagged! (Mimi’s words exactly!)

1. I can not file. If I do, I can’t remember what I labeled the file. File folders only work as an organizational tool if I stack them on my desk.
2. I am a Buffy the Vampire Slayer addict. I’ve seen every episode. (I’ve asked for the entire series on DVD, but the family refuses to buy them. Probably because they are afraid I’ll make them watch it.)
3. When I eat cereal in the morning for breakfast, I always use bowl. At night, when I eat it for a snack, I always use a coffee cup.
4. I hate watermelon.
5. I never actually finished The Great Gatsby because I hated it so much.
6. I can not get into an unmade bed. I have to make it first; otherwise I can not go to sleep.
7. I love young adult novels. I really want to write one, but I just don’t think I have the voice. (Big sigh.)
8. I had severe hearing loss as a child. I couldn’t hear my first grade teacher when she was standing right behind me. No one figured it out for a long time because I learned to read lips without any help. I saw a lot of specialists and it’s mostly corrected now (mostly), but I have to work hard to look at people’s eyes when I talk because it’s still such a habit to read lips. (Watch what you say when you’re across a room from me!!!)
9. I’m an INTJ.
10. I HATE white walls. Give me some color!!


Monday, March 17, 2008

The Beach, part 1

What I’m Reading: Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella AND Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder.

What I’m working on: Empowering Character Emotions workshop. I’m way behind. I think I’ll sip a Corona while I read and catch up.

New Words Saturday: 189
New Words Sunday: 113

I’m at New Smyrna Beach on Spring Break. We arrived yesterday. Hmm…. Not so different from home really. I’ve already been to the grocery store twice and have a list for the next trip. There are only 2 clean towels left. (How did that happen?) Of course, that means I’ll have to wash. All the healthy food is still unopened but the kids have nearly cleaned us out of junk food in just under 24 hours.

Normal fun aside, it’s great to be here. We had dinner with friends last night who are staying at a condo down the way. The kids and their friends were here last night. (Eegads, the girls bedroom is a disaster.) The boys are playing Xbox. (I should send them to the beach to play, but it is their vacation, too.) Marcus just dropped the girls off at the beach house that belongs to some other friends to hang out. The computer hook up is right in front of a big window that looks out over the ocean and its huge white-capped waves.

I went for a run this morning. Funny how much further I can run when the endless blue of the Atlantic extends beside me.

For now, I’ve got to get down to business – writing and editing and Empowering Character Emotions.

I’m so far behind.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Book Club

What I’m Reading: Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning.

What I’m working on: Empowering Character Emotions workshop.

New Words Wednesday: 590
New Words Thursday: 103
New Words Today: 101

We’re thinking about revamping our book club a bit.

Okay, whatever.

Instead of nominating books and voting, we’re thinking each person could take a turn and suggest a book. It could be an all-time favorite or a loved classic or something you’ve never read before. It could be fiction or non-fiction. Old or new.

Alyson listed some books in light of this and so will I.

My first list is books I loved that I could suggest, but probably won’t because I want to pick something I haven’t read yet. We’ll make it a Friday Fifteen:

1) A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
2) Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas
3) Watership Down by Richard Adams
4) Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
5) Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card
6) Incantation by Alice Hoffman
7) The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
8) New Moon by Stephanie Meyer
9) Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
10)Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller
11) Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
12) The Trudeau Vector by Juris Jurjevics
13) The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
14) The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
15) Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton

The next list contains highly possible suggestions as I want to read all these books:
1) A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah
2) How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
3) I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
4) Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn
5) Saving Miss Oliver's: A Novel of Leadership, Loyalty and Change by Stephen Davenport
6) Charm School by Nelson DeMille
7) Her Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik
8) Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder
9) Sunshine by Robin McKinley
10) Moongazer by Marianne Mancusi
11) An Accidental Goddess by Linnea Sinclair
12) The Host by Stephanie Meyer
13) The Foretelling by Alice Hoffman
14) Kiki Strike: Inside Shadow City by Kirstin Miller
15) Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn

Tuesday, March 11, 2008, Synopsis

What I’m Reading: Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning.

What I’m working on: Synopsis for The Slayer's Circle.

New Words Today: 173

Q: How much Snickerdoodle cookie dough does it take to cut a ten page, rough synopsis to a three page, polished one?

A: Not sure. I'll let you know when I'm done.


(Hmmm.. I wonder how many calories are in each spoonfull of that stuff......)

Monday, March 10, 2008


What I’m Reading: Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning.

What I’m working on: Synopsis for The Slayer's Circle.

New Words Today: 1565

I've written more words today than I wrote all of last week.

Of course, I was home before seven tonight. That helps. Last week, I got home after nine every night but one. That pretty much kills the writing.

Those words tonight were new words I added to my synopsis -- propelling it to 10 pages.

Ten pages is a nice length for a synopsis -- except for when the contest you're preparing it for asks for three.

Of course, this means I now need to cut seven pages of my hard work. In the end, I'll likely have a three page, five page, and ten page synopsis (at least).

This synopsis is flowing in my typical synopsis pattern.

Step 1: Write down everything that happens in the story. Use really bad grammar and incoherent sentences. Just get it down. It should read something like: "And then, he fought the demon. And then, he won. And then, he demanded Tara tell him what the hell was going on. And then, she refused because he'd think she was crazy. But he told her what just happened was crazy." Etc.

Step 2: Cut it down -- way down. And make it sound pretty.

No big deal, right?

Yeah. Right.

Happy writing. (Wish me luck.)


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Lame opt-out blog

What I’m Reading: Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning.

What I’m working on: Synopsis for The Slayer's Circle.

New Words Wednesday: 119
New Words Thursday: 105
New Words Friday: 111
New Words Saturday: 221
New Words Today: 259

I'm doing the lame opt-out blog today. This was the busiest week I've had recently. Yikes. I hope the coming week is better or I'll melt down.

I need to write a synopsis instead of playing with my blog so here's my lame opt out.

You Are a Seeker Soul

You are on a quest for knowledge and life challenges.
You love to be curious and ask a ton of questions.
Since you know so much, you make for an interesting conversationalist.
Mentally alert, you can outwit almost anyone (and have fun doing it!).

Very introspective, you can be silently critical of others.
And your quiet nature makes it difficult for people to get to know you.
You see yourself as a philosopher, and you take everything philosophically.
Your main talent is expressing and communicating ideas.

Souls you are most compatible with: Hunter Soul and Visionary Soul.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Tuesday 10

What I’m Reading: Breaking Point by Suzanne Brockmann

What I’m working on: Getting 100 words. See below.

New Words Today: 115

Mimi posted this "ten" and it struck me as very fitting tonight. I spent almost 3 hours at the cheerleaders' end of season banquet for my favorite high school. I would NEVER have gone if my step-daughter was not a junior varsity cheerleader. Every cheerleader wrote a poem to commemorate someone and everyone was very peppy. The entire event painfully reminded me why cheerleading was NOT my thing. Ever. I contemplated this list there, wishing I had a few of the offerings to ease my pain.

Tuesday 10: My ten favorite drinks

1. Water – My drink of choice when I first get up and right before I go to bed. I hate feeling dehydrated.
2. Coffee – I love my coffee freshly ground with sugar and half ‘n half. (Need it now if I want to write over 100 words.)
3. Margarita – I love a good margarita on the rocks with salt on the rim. Make it with Cuervo Gold, Cointreau, Grand Marnier, and a splash of OJ. (Needed more than one a few hours ago.)
4. Dr. Depper – It’s the Texas Coke.
5. Lemonade – Fresh-squeezed on a hot summer day.
6. Hot chocolate – Make it with real milk and serve it up with lots of marshmallows on a cold day.
7. Red Wine – Specifically a good Pinot Noir (Again, I would have happily consumed a bottle at the banquet had it been offered.)
8. Starbucks Mocha (the hot kind) – Yes, this is completely different than coffee.
9. Corona with lime. I'm not a big beer drinker, but there's just something about a corona with lime.
10. Tom Collins. A college fave that I've never out-grown.

If you ever have to attend a cheerleading banquet, plan ahead and take a strong beverage of choice. I wish I had.


Monday, March 3, 2008

I'm home

What I’m Reading: Breaking Point by Suzanne Brockmann (our book club's choice).

What I’m working on: I just started Empowering Character Emotions with Margie Lawson (offered through KOD this month). It is KICKING my BUTT and we're only on day 3. So, I'm working on getting caught up and reading the lectures and lamely attempting my assignments.

New Words Today: 297

I made it home from New York about a day and a half into Margie Lawson's fabulous class.

I feel like I've missed a whole week of Kick-Your-Butt-Unless-You're-a-Genius Physics 500. And I'm pretty sure tomorrow's calendar doesn't allow for alot of catch-up time.

For the first exercise, we had to take a basic line and add emotional power.

I went through about 250 pages of my nearly 400 page WIP and did all ten sentences I was told to do. I took almost 2 hours. (Can anyone point to the slow kid in the class?)

(This will make me a better writer.)

Here are two of my attempts. What do you think? Better?

Before: She heard the edgy rage in her voice and vaguely knew her self control was slipping.

After: Her words brimmed with barely contained rage, evidence of her slipping self control.

Before: He shook his head in slight confusion

After: He shook his head but it didn’t clear. Unsettling, irrational memories invaded.

(Repeat mantra: This will make me a better writer.)