Sunday, April 29, 2012

Monday Mash-up, Tali's Tarot Tips

Before beginning a reading, hold you deck in your hands and ask the godess for her help so the reading might be as clear as possible and the meaning clear. Remember to purify the deck by leaving it in the direct light of the full moon over night.

A Chant for Reading Tarot Cards

Godess on high, Queen of the night
Send your light, lend us your might
That my reading is clean and free
The meaning that is meant to be.

Six Sentence Sunday
It's Sunday. Time to share six sentences from one of your books or WIPs in the comments section. Even better, bur a link to your own website where you post your sentence so we can come see you, that way you get traffic to your blog or website and latch on to a potential reader.

Come on down.

Six sentences from Privy to Murder

“I worry about you, Mumsie,” I said, “thinking you are taking advice from an Egyptian mummy. And if you knew Brian was so bad, you could have warned me.”

“You’ve never paid attention to Ka’s warnings.”

She was right. I lost confidence in mother’s counseling efforts after she began channeling messages from spirit advisors—more than one, she claimed.

Mumsie was  tall, elegant, and slender, with short, sassy white hair.

Okay, your turn to share your web address, blog address or a snippet.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Writing Tricks and Treats

Quotes From Writers

"I often think how much easier life would have been for me and how much time I would have saved if I had known the alphabet. I can nevertell where I and J stand wiithout saying
G, H to myself first. I don't know whether P comes before R or after, and where T comes in has to this day remained something that I have never been able to get into my head."

--W. Somerset Maugham--

"I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork."
--Peter De Vries--

Put your favorite writer quote in the comments section for an electronic copy of Privy to Murder.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Thyme to Rhyme-Poetry Prompt

This form is called the big ten. Write 10 lines, ten syllables for each line. Use any kind of meter, rhyme or subject.

Use this form and write a snapshot poem.



North Texas summer, honeysuckle sweet
long days bright with all possibilities.

Adventure, swimming pool mermaid, chlorine-
scented hair, flowered swim cap like Esther.

Baby oil and iodine, sun worship
confession, movie magazines, real life.

Reading for hours, living other lives
Saturday morning movie theatre

Let's pretend, all the way home, jungle queen
wearring crinoline and penney loafers.

Your turn, pick a day, put a poem in comments, have fun with it.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday Mash-up

FREE Books and Mumsie's Magic

Go here for free books and reommendations

From Mumsie's Magic Book

Since Mumsie likes the idea of doing Tarot readings by computer, over the internet, she wants to protect her computer against viruses.

Turn the computer on and defragment the hard drive. While it does that, you need to clean the outside of the computer, monitor, keyboard, mouse etc. Chant:

Mother Goddess hear my plea,
keep my computer virus free
let it's files stay where they belong
and my writing flow fine and long.

A little sage smoke for cleansing and salt for protection never hurts, but don't expect spells to do all the work. Install a good virus protection system, back-up your files and only download from sites you trust.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Just heard about something called "Six Sentence Sunday." I think it's a great idea, even if I'm not on the link list, so here are the first six sentences from Privy to Murder. I saw it here:   on Calisa Rhose site.

A ghost in the outhouse started everything. That, along with the body and Mumsie’s warning about the “Big Evil.” However, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Ever since I moved into our old falling-down family home, in Love, Texas, I’d been short on money. Mumsie was Lucinda Marie Carter-Downs, hyphenated before hyphens were cool. The day I came back with Sean in tow, Mumsie had said, “Tali Cates, Amen Ka told me several times your scumbag of a husband was no good.”

Come back next sunday for more from Tali. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Writing-Tips and Tricks

Voices Inside My Head

Yes, Maxine is in my head ofte, but I can't think of the good comebacks as fast as she does.

About voice:

I had a difficult time figuring out what "voice" meant when applied to writing. Still not always sure my ideas match with everyone else, or anyone else. But here's my take on it.

Voice is how you recognize who wrote something. If you read something written by Stephen King or Dean Koontz, and you're read things by them in the past, you will likely recognize the style/voice, which often go together.

King has an everyman, conversational style, characters you recognize and fall in love with because you grew up with them. Koontz has amazing imagery when he writes. Is this voice, style or a combination of both.

When I write fiction, my voice shines more when I write in 1st person. Then the character's voice will burst through so you know when she is speaking, or he. For most nonfiction, mine is a conversational style, with humor when appropriate, unless it's technical writing, then all bets are off and we won't tackle that here.

If you are a music fan, you can probably listen to a new piece of music by Vivaldi or John Williams, recognise their style/voice, and know who wrote it without being told. It's that way with writers who have a stong voice.

How do you get there? Practice, paying attention to how your writing sounds. My friend Amy Shojai has a distinct voice whether she is writing fiction or nonfiction. I'll know it right away. Read widely and pay attention to voice as well as style, they are often tied together. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Wednesday Thyme to Rhyme (or not)

The triolet is a short poem of eight lines with only two rhymes used
throughout. The requirements of this fixed form are straightforward: the first
line is repeated in the fourth and seventh lines; the second line is repeated in
the final line; and only the first two end-words are used to complete the tight
rhyme scheme. Thus, the poet writes only five original lines, giving the triolet
a deceptively simple appearance: ABaAabAB, where capital letters indicate
repeated lines.
Here's a Triolet by Thomas Hardy
In "How Great My Grief," Hardy
displays both his mastery of the triolet and the potency of the form:
How great my grief, my joys how few,
Since first it was my fate to know thee!
- Have the slow years not brought to view
How great my grief, my joys how few,
Nor memory shaped old times anew,
Nor loving-kindness helped to show thee
How great my grief, my joys how few,
Since first it was my fate to know thee?
Try one, post it in comments, enjoy each other's poetry. For more go to

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Monday Mash-up (Tarot and Magical Tiddly-bits.)

I'm started a new blog schedule, if I can keep it up.
Mondays will be "Monday Mash-up", a mixture of everything from Tarot Tips, to funny sayings.
Wednesdays will be "Thyme to Rhyme (or not)" Will have poetry I write, poetry challenges or forms. I like poetry but I'm not a poet or teacher, I just have fun with it.
"Tricks or Treats of Writing." Just like it sounds, writing stuff I find and like and share.
Today, "Tali's Tarot Tips"
Find a deck you like and stick with it. (It can be traditional or one of the new kinds. But use the same one so your energy is absorbed and you connect with the cards.
Pick simple spreads at first, like a three card past, present, future spread. (Shuffle the deck (thinking about the question you have, cut the deck by three, take a card off each deck and arrange in a horizontal row, face up. If a card is upside down leave it that way, that also has a meaning. Don't hesitate to use a booklet to tell you the meaning of the cards until they become familar. Soon, you will begin to see deeper meanings as you practice.
Practice on yourself, your friends and have fun. Remember the meanings are not literal, and the cards are fluid, as is your life. Anything the cards tell you about the presence or future can change according to your actions or those of others.
Remember to enjoy, practice a lot and then move on to more complicated spreads. Go to for more tips, Tarot books and tips.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Middle Eastern Poetry meets Bollywood and more.

I went to a creative writing festival last weekend. Saw friends, had my picture taken with a hunky thriller writer (Picture later),learned all about Ghazals and won a prize.

I know you want to hear all about Urdu poery and Ghazals. I'm not a poet or Ghazal expert. I am facinated by a poem that has an overall theme, comprised of 5 to 15 couplets that must contain the over-all theme yet each stand alone, have a rhyming word in the second line of each couplet just before the refrain phrase and contains the poet's name in the last line of the last couplet. Other than that, it's a piece of cake. Oh, and it should be in Arabic, Urdu or lately, English.

The themes dwell upon love, loss of love, things that are missed, regreted, loss of home, the king.

Modern poets are using this poetic form to write poetry and love songs for Bollywood movies. The ancient poets and courtesans used to make them up in their heads and sing them at parties. For much more and many examples see:

Careful, you could get hooked.

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