Short stories, poetry, haiku, expository and technical non-fiction. Report Cards and observations on writing. This began as my repository of exercises from the "What If?" self-help writers group at AOL. It has become more and less, since leaving AOL.

Saturday, December 24

Writer's Weekly Question #12

Do you have an ideal reader? If so, how does this reader make a difference in your writing? Why do you trust them with your writing?

My Answer:

I have an “idealized reader” that I write to. She was once the love of my life and sharp as a tack, erudite and extraordinarily perceptive. I write to her in my mind, and even hold conversations about characterization, plot elements, pacing and transitions. She married a friend and I haven't seen them in thirty years. But I write to her in my mind every day. Like you, I'd like a real, live adult reader that I could interact with. Sadly, I haven't made that acquaintance yet. Until I do, I'll write to my chimera.

Now for the skiddlydiddly:
You do not have to be a writer to participate in the Writer's Weekly Question. Anyone with a relevant comment is welcome to participate. Simply write a response you would be proud to post at your blog or journal, post the response, come back here and post a link so that everyone can read and enjoy. It's as simple as that!

Free Image Hosting at

Special Thank You to Vince for the graphic.

Tuesday, November 15

Clever Anagrams

This has got to be one of the most clever E-mails I've received in a while. Someone out there either has too much spare time or is deadly at Scrabble. (wait until you see the last one)

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:


When you rearrange the letters
(With no letters left over and using each letter only once):

Yep! Someone with waaaaaaaaaaay too much time on their hands!

Monday, October 24

MEME: Writer's Weekly Question #2

Jenn has started a weekly writer's meme. Oddly enough, she calls it the "Writer's Weekly Question." She posts it each week on her AOL Journal "CIW: The Other Invisible!" I am aware of it only because of Patrick's blog “A Stop At Willoughby” in which he answers this week's question. Guess I missed an earlier question somehow. Anyway, I decided to take a stab at it. Whether there is to be a repeat performance will have to wait. Although, I see I'm a week behind and there's already a #3 to be considered. All in good time...

Writer’s Weekly Question #2: Why do you write? Is it because you want attention, or is there some other reason you are driven to do this? What draws you to this craft?

I write to exorcise the demons within --

chittering, howling, screams in the din.

Writing eases the pressure,

allows a momentary chance to breathe;

silence creeps in to replace the anguished cries .

I resisted writing for nearly thirty years ...

returning only recently to the addiction of putting words on paper.

Oh, there was daily writing for work all those years,

but it didn't count; was rarely read, except in synopsis.

Even rarer were my cautionary words heeded by the hoi poloi.

I write now to maintain sanity as I otherwise madden.

I write seeking a soul that never existed,

goals that have failed.

I write for my very existence.

I write ... therefore, I am.

Thursday, October 6

NaNoWriMo 2005


It's coming. Oh, my, yes indeedy, it is coming!

“What?” you might ask.

“NaNoWriMo2005,” I'll reply.

“What the heck is NanuNanu, or whatever it is?

“It is NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH and it is November, 2005.”

Learn all about it here in the General FAQ.

No, I haven't decided if I am going to participate this year. I only got four chapters into it last year (about a tenth of the way to the 50,000 word minimum) when you went off and re-elected George W. Bush as your President. Silly me – your momentary thoughtlessness at the polls plunged me into two months of black depression so severe I had to use a putty knife to scrape the shit away from my ears when I emerged in 2005.

But, that can't possibly happen this year. The nightmare that is the administration of George W. Bush continues, but there is no election to sneak up and depants my psychic well being. Besides, you've had a whole year to wallow in GW's greatness. Given the polling lately, one would think you have come to regret your earlier support of Dubya...

So, if I can keep it together and not weaken significantly, a chance exists. We'll see. But you – you could be the one who writes the Great American Novel this year and that would be truly wonderful. Even if you hate fund raising as much as I do, it's conceivable that you could manage a penny a word, or at least a halfpenny. Couldn't you? It goes to a wonderful cause and you'd be betting on yourself...

Sunday, October 2

What Kind of American English Do You Speak?

Your Linguistic Profile:

40% General American English

35% Yankee

15% Dixie

5% Midwestern

5% Upper Midwestern

Via Lily.

Monday, September 26

Death Sucks!

You have to give this new blog-story a try.

Saturday, September 3

Magical Thinking

I couldn't have been much more than three, maybe four. It was a hot summer's afternoon, sticky as only a toddler can become when wrapped up in his pillow in the mid-afternoon Pennsylvania heat and humidity. I was coming awake, terrified from the dream I had had.

I'd stumbled onto a man sleeping in the woods in a clearing, a man with long hair and a beard, sleeping the sleep of the dead as only old men can when life has outpaced them. I had shyly approached this sleeping giant and tugged on his winding cloth or sheet – it wasn't clear which it was. A faun came up behind me and told me to desist.

If you wake him up, all of this will cease to exist.”

Brat that I was, I proceeded to persist. The old man stirred, rolling on to his back. The winding cloth fell from his loins. His manhood was exposed to the air, semi-erect. The sleeper stirred further. Another roll now, he was onto his side. One great eye opened under the ponderous eyebrow.

You! What do you think you're doing, you little monkey?”

Terrified, I ran. Ran as hard as I could, whipping branches of trees slapping me in the face, roots tripping my running feet until I burst into another clearing. There before me, as the breath screamed into my heaving lungs, lay a man on a slab, his back to me. A sheet was wrapped about his legs like a shroud. He appeared asleep, although how that could be with my lungs screaming for air, my muscles burning in pain, my breathes ragged as I gulped fresh air while exhaling.

His hair was long and his beard was longer. Save for the breeze rattling the leaves, it was deathly still. Nothing moved down at ground level. A chipmunk was frozen on another stump. Even the ants seemed to be locked in the piney amber as the old giant slept on.

Crow spoke to me through the breeze overhead.

Do not wake him, little one. For to wake him is the end of all that we know.”

Brat that I am, I approached, reached up and tugged at the sheet covering his backside.

The edges began to melt. Like so much celluloid burning up from a torn film in a projector, the very edges of existence were immolating, dripping and bubbling away, with naught but a white background behind.

Terrified, I ran. Screaming, I woke, hair matted, face red from silent tears shed as I sobbed the end of all we knew.

I've been running ever since.

The moral? Oh the moral, little one, is to always let sleeping grampas lie...

Tuesday, August 23

Scott Westerfeld - PEEPS

Some days you wake up, and you just have to write a vampire novel.”

After all, “there is no shortage of vampire novels already out there. If you search Amazon for "vampire" you get 2,616 books to choose from. There are opera-loving vampires, horny vampires, southern vampires, emotional vampires, bondage-loving vampires, and (of course) Canadian vampires who solve crimes.”

“Maybe there are too many vampire novels,” says author Scott Westerfield, on his web page dedicated to peeps. “But that was part of the challenge, to see if I could do something that felt new and interesting, while still being full of bitey goodness.”

You and I get our chance Thursday to find out if he succeeded. If the Kirkus Review is anything to to go by, it'll be a fun romp. Good thing Friday is SWMBO's payday, isn't it?

{ ~~~~---~~~~}


"Both medical thriller and science fiction, this fast-paced,
captivating modern vampire story is enriched with biology and history. . .
Entrancing throughout—but squeamish readers beware."
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

FIRST THINGS FIRST: Peeps comes out this Thursday, August 25, 2005. Unlike the books in the Uglies and Midnighters trilogies, Peeps is one of a kind. (Click here to order from Amazon.)

Monday, August 22

Blogger for Word!

Hey! Are you a blogger? Are you a writer most comfortable in the offline world of Micro$oft WORD? If you are, then read this little blit by Ev on a new plug-in for Blogger – Blogger for Word! Only good with the windoze environment, Word2000 and later. I only stopped using WORD97 as my writing environment when I migrated to Windoze XP. Now it's OpenOffice (available for windoze, Unix, Linux and others at

Oh well. A case of "too little, too late for me" I guess. Unless I suddenly get rich and can afford to buy WORD, I'll be sticking with OpenOffice. It almost works as well and the price is suitable for us paupers. I truly understand the wisdom inherent in "Beggars can't be choosers."

Saturday, July 30

Virtual Postage Meter

If you are an average writer, you have a variety of manuscripts out in the slush piles of publishers, others waiting to go out and some returned with pink slips.

The Toolbox provided by Syne Mitchell is a virtual postage meter that allows you to calculate the weight of a ms and thus cost of postage needed to be purchased online or at the post office. Second, he's created a script that calculates the number of days between two calendar dates to determine response or, more often in my case, lack of response for ms you have already submitted. Just in case you are getting antsy-pantsy.

via Heather Shaw

Friday, July 29

25-Word Challenge: ORIENTAL NOIR

25-Word Challenge: ORIENTAL NOIR

WitNit has begun a chain story, set in Shanghai in an asian noir style. Come on, Whatevers, jump on in. The water's plenty warm...

The Rules: Add to the story with exactly 25 words, no more, no less. No consecutive comments, but feel free to come back and add more as often as you like. And Wired JAFA wisely reminds us to remember to hit F5 to refresh before you post!

And be sure to read each entry twice for story coherence.

Also, use BloggerWit for the story, NOT HaloWit.

The story title is ORIENTAL NOIR. And so we begin...

Luna Moth

Ethereal, sea foam visitor,
graces us but once in a blue moon.
Half a hand span and more.
Twenty times in my lifetime, maybe more.
Not rare, but never frequent.

Picture Credit: Ohio State University, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Copyright ©2003, 2005 All Rights Reserved to the Board of Regents, OSU.

Sunday, July 10

Some Thoughts On The "How" Of Writing.

A blogging acquaintance was complaining about the difficulties she was having writing a book about havng been raped. She was trying to edit herself as she went along. Here are my thoughts, left in a comment, about the writing process. Your mileage may vary -- you probably have a Prius.

"Allow yourself the freedom to write the way you want to write without self-censoring the first time through. Plenty of time for rewrites. Just let it come, spelling and grammatical errors and all (we all make them).

Once you have the tale you want to tell down on paper -- give it a rest. Take a week off. It's not going anywhere.

When you come back to it, bring your red pencil and go to town - be merciless, mark it up and indicate the rewrites desired. Let those sit a week or two, simmering.

Now go back and rewrite, using your marked up manuscript and your fresh view -- the one you have now that you have it all down on the page. Here it comes - now is when the turn of the phrase is polished, the extraneous cut, the explanation exposited upon - you get the idea.

Once you are done a major rewrite, farm it around to your writing support group for comments and suggestions. Once they have weighed in - edit or not, as YOU see fit.

Ready? Send it off to your chosen publisher or to your agent and let her market it for you.

Good luck - as someone has already pointed out, write from the heart. All the rest is just editing."

Friday, July 1

Simon of Space

Hello, my name is Simon. Or so they tell me.

I Think, Therefore

Do you remember the first moment of your life?

I do, but then most people suffer from the inherent deficits of infancy when they're born, whereas I had the special indignity and privilege of being thirty-six years old at the time.

Thus begins a new novel, a blognovel by Matthew Frederick Davis Hemming, better known as Cheeseburgerbrown to his afficianados. I know others have touted this novel, not the least of whom was AOL's own blogfather, John Scalzi. Still, I'm going to pimp it here, because I love this book so far and I haven't any reason to believe it'll tank before it ends. Give it a try folks and be prepared to lose many minutes a day to reading the further adventures of Simon.

Sunday, June 19

Contrary Brin

I recently stumbled onto this blog by one of my favorite contemporary authors, David Brin. He describes it as: "Contrary Brin -- An occasional online journal to handle discussions generated by "The David Brin Site" ( ) Courteous argument is welcome..."

Tuesday, May 3

Crow Takes A Holiday

Jack Daw, that black feathered fucker,
taunting me until all I could see was rage,
lowered me down the well,
dangling from the ginn pole like a bindlestiff.

Clinging to sanity by a thread
no thicker than the spider's web tangled in my hair,
I searched for the cause of the foul taste
and Stygian odor in the dank atmosphere of the shaft.

It's cold at the bottom of a well.
Hence the old saying,
"Colder than a well-diggers arse," I suppose,
My teeth chattered, sparks flying from the fillings.

There, in the sidewall, tucked in a niche,
the corpse of a rat, source of my night terrors
and tiny bites upon my face and arms
when but a babe in swaddling.

I screamed silently,
lest my tormentor recover my wailing carcass
as fast as a bucket of water raised with no regard for spillage.
30 foot ginn poles can move like lightning.

With thumb and forefinger I latched onto the tail,
placing the odious flesh with my feet in the bucket.
Straining leaves and flotsam with the screen provided,
gorge rising as death wafted all about me.

Satisfied by the absence of solids
where liquid belonged
I released the bleach tablets in the sack at my side,
the stench of decay hidden in the acrid clean of bromine.

Now I loudly voiced my readiness to ascend
Job completed, yearning for the light,
the radiant warmth of the sun,
a hope for the future.

Jack Daw, that black feathered trickster,
went fishing, leaving me to dangle alone.
Now I am the alpha and the omega
of the stygian stink emanating from the well.

Never trust a Crow to do a man's job...

cc2005 Creative Commons Wil Mosher

Verses created in response to a request by the Poet Ivy,
@ Ivy is here, seeking the weird, strange, etcetera
experiences of our lives. Whether it serves her purposes,
only time and Ivy can tell.

Sunday, April 24

Unconcious Mutterings #116

"Best friends are like diamonds, precious and rare. False friends are like leaves, found everywhere." ~Anonymous, but often attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt, who was fond of using it in speaking engagements.

Usually, I do this over in my regular blog The Daily Snooze and The Daily Snooze on AOL but something got into me and what is usually just a word list then became it's own "mad libs" and I figured what the hell...

I say ... and you think ... ?

1. Detachment:: Dehisc
2. Regard:: With Detachment
3. Community:: Project
4. Strike three:: You're out
5. Congregation:: Christians
6. Generous:: helping
7. Pretention:: airs
8. Pregnant:: oops!
9. Drinking:: whiskey
10 Brilliance:: Diamonds

Like Diamonds

He looked with detachment at the wound on the end of his forearm, it's lips gaping open in mute testament to a poor job of sewing as flaps of dehisced skin gaped open. Oh well, slap an old sock over it and call it good... So much for finishing the Community Project. It would be many months before the average do-gooder would forget the sight of blood spurting rhythmically onto the floor of the meeting hall they'd been constructing below him. One false move up on the overhead with a circular saw and it's "Strike three ... you're out!" He didn't even feel any pain until he tried to break his fall with his missing hand. He'd screamed for hours at the hospital.

Passing through the soup kitchen line, he graciously accepted the generous helping from the fellow dishing out the stew. Looked like it might be beef today. Not that he was complaining, mind you. He wasn't like those sick fucks with pretentions to nobility, putting on airs and holding forth on nonsensical subjects as though their opinion mattered. No siree, not him! As long as he had enough bucks from his SSI check for a bottle of whiskey, a flop that was snug and dry, and no one messing with him, he was happy.

Once upon a time he'd had a future. But he was young, stupid and got her pregnant. Oops! Any hope for a future went down the drain almost as fast as the marriage and the baby's bath water. He was reflecting on the spiraling water when his mind was illuminated with a blindingly bright white light, it's brilliance like those of the diamonds in the window of the jewelry store behind which he was copping a squat in the alley. That was the last thing he remembered, as the light faded with his life ... "like diamonds."

You wanna play? Go sign up with Patricia, that crazy chica, she'll treat you right. Send you words every week and everything. What you make of them is your business. Except you gotta leave a link to your stuff in the comments at La Luna NiƱa, cause the rest of us want to read what you write, too.

Like Diamonds © 2005 Wil Mosher All Rights Reserved

Friday, March 4

A meme and an update

I'm alive and have been posting on my regular blog, The Daily Snooze for a few weeks now. I haven't been writing anything except responses to memes, but its coming back and shouldn't be too long now.

I was reading Patrick's Writing Journal and he had this meme in there that I just had to do. I actually liked the results. Give it a try ... it is well thought out and the level of detail in the questions asked leads me to believe it will probably hit your genre on the head, or ass, too.

SUSPENSE! - High-speed adventure is where youre at!
Girls! Guns! Intrigue! Conspiracy! You want to
write it gritty with sharp heroes and
devastating babes. Rich and powerful villains
rule your world and your hero is out to save
it! Ian Flemming and the Die Hard movies are
your inspirations!

What Kind of Novel Should I Write?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, January 25

Novel Habits

Patrick asks in his What If?Journal the following questions. Here's my answers Patrick, for all the good they'll do.

1. What's your favorite genre or type of novel? (i.e., Suspense, Mystery, Western, Romance, etc)

Science Fiction is the genre I consider my favorite, although a lot of the new stuff being published lacks any resemblance to science and a few authors I have come across are still working up an understanding of "fiction."

2. Who is your favorite fiction author and why do you like this author more than any other?

Robert Heinlein is still my favorite for his ability to weave a tight plot with good characterization, a discernable POV and the ability to tolerate other world views without wavering from his own. Spider Robinson is slowly supplanting Heinlein.

3. When you're in a bookstore and you're trying to find a book to read, how do you decide to buy one if you haven't already heard of the book before?

The title has to grab me; then I read the fly cover excerpts. If intrigued, I go to page 95 and read the entire page. If I like what I see, it comes home with me.

4. How long does it take you to read the average novel?

I have four different reading places - each one varies in the amount of time it takes to finish a book. I keep a novel going in the car and these days it takes about 3 weeks to finish a book while I wait to pickup the wife from work. The novel in the bathroom usually takes a couple of weeks. The one by the side of the bed can take upwards of six weeks as I tend to conk out when my head hits the pillow these days. And, if I carry a book around with me all day to read in snatches I'll finish it in a day or two.

About Me

My photo
Well past (by at least a decade) the half century mark. One foot in the grave, the other on a banana peel at the rim of the abyss and the view from here is disconcerting. I am a former student, pearl diver, cook, truck driver, firefighter, EMT, CEO, Town Fire Warden, mechanic, oiler, marine engineer and computer whiz bang. Mostly I sleep these days in an aluminum tube. And So It Goes... I waste my time reading blogs and kvetching about the weather, playing with our Schipperke sidekick, Ignatz McGraw and waiting hand by foot upon my wife, the Queen of our Hovel, She Who Must Be Obeyed (SWMBO).