My Writing Story

Annie from Writing Outside the Lines asked us to talk about our writing journey. I know I’ve talked about it some, but I thought I would go into a little more detail.

My journey began in 8th grade. I had different stories bouncing around my head for years, I just never thought to write them down. Until my teacher wrote a small paragraph for our daily journal and the floodgates opened.

I learned how to format sentences in English class and I read, alot. I also kept writing. It didn’t matter what the subject was. It was in my head and I wrote it down. I look back on some of that early writing and cringe. In my defense, I was a teenager.

I started writing Obsession in college. Orginally it was about 100 pages. I finished it, moved on to other things. New and old stories, boys, homework, work. Eventually I moved to the big city. Don’t remember writing too much during that time. I did read though. Loved to read. Historical romance, fantasy, sci-fi.

Then I met my husband and we started a family. Once the kids were semi-self suffcient, I picked up Obsession and read it. Yikes! And so started the first of many many re-writes.

I have a friend who read Obsession during one of those writings when I was a little over halfway through. She told me she noticed a difference in my writing. She couldn’t quite describe it, just that it was better. I knew why. When I write I listen to music. I’ve made playlists by recording songs from 45s (for you young-uns that is a mini vinyl record) and albums I bought or borrowed. I still have those tapes. What changed is that I started writing to the soundtrack to Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings (FOTR). For some reason the music spoke to me. Still does. That’s when I started to listen to more soundtracks. I still have my playlist with new songs that play on the radio that I listen to over and over. Music, the tone of the songs always helps, but back to the writing.

400 pages and I think, I’m done! Nope.

I start allowing others to read my book. I received good reviews and there were those who said I should publish. I was still fearful of opening myself up to strangers and it took me a while to get up the courage. Then one of those I let read Obsession asked me a question. Why? Why was Alex the way he was? 400 pages turned into four books. I began to send out letters to publishers, only one bit amd they decided in the end not to give me a publishing deal. So I re-wrote again. Ling story short I decided to self publish and here I am.

Well, enough from me. Everyone has a story and it would be interesting to hear yours. Give Annie’s prompt a try. If not this one, then try one of her others on Writing Outside the Lines.

Have a wonderful week. ūüôā


What’s a Little Rain?

Lovely day today. It’s no secret that it’s been a bit…wet in Western Washington. The whole Pacific Northwest has been either wet, frozen or buried in snow. The one thing we haven’t seen much of is Sun. Yes, Washington State is known for it’s rain, but this year Mother Nature has decided to make up for those three months two summers ago when we had no rain whatsoever. Then there¬†were the days where¬†she didn’t know whether¬†it should¬†rain, snow or sunshine, so she¬†decided to throw it at us all at once and see what we would do. Yeah….¬†Fun times, fun times.

Yet even with the weather going every which way, Spring has arrived. Trees and bushes¬†are starting to bud out, Crocuses are almost done blooming while the Daffodils and Tulips¬†are getting ready for their turn to shine. We even got up to a blazing 60¬ļF! I told my best friend who lives down in Texas this, and she said she was not going to comment on that.¬†I told her rather drily that no, no she wasn’t. (Again, lives in Texas.)

So Spring is here, and it’s technically the raining season even if it is on steroids. What this means is IF we do get a sunny day it is in the middle of the week when most everyone is working. At least I am. On the rare nice weekend I was so sick with the cold that was circulating in the school I work at that going outside, no matter how nice it was, was not an option. Frankly, getting off the couch was not an option, but I digress. (See Cold From Hell poem.)

This week we managed to squeak in two and a half nice days before the deluge began once again. Early this morning I looked outside to see water pouring out the end of one of the gutters. This tells me that the drain is plugged. I am of the I’ll clean the gutters tomorrow, but when tomorrow finally comes it pouring down rain society. There are a few of us living in this wonderfully green land with lots of pine and fir trees that fill up our cutters with needles. We all probably have the same conversation when we see the tell-tale sign that¬†a gutter is plugged. “Ah, damn.” Which is followed by a deep sigh and “I really don’t want to go out in the rain” whine¬†with a smidgeon of resignation and muttering as we put on our rain gear and head out for our first or second shower of the day. I am here to tell you that rain water in March is COLD!

As I am hauling the ladder around the yard I notice that along with the plants and flowers¬†I actually want in my garden, ¬†the shotgun weed is doing wonderfully. For those who do not know what shotgun weed is, it’s a small leaf weed with pretty little white flowers. All good, until it goes to seed. Then it’s dangerous. Why? Because when a slight breeze or hand touches it, it shoots seeds far and wide. If you let the weed go this long I highly recommend protective eyewear and make sure your mouth is closed while pulling it out. Yes, it’s that bad.

After I finished with the gutters and my hands are nicely¬†numb I think, what the hell. I’m already out here and wet, why not get some of¬†that weeding done that is quickly piling up. An hour later my husband comes home from running an errand and sees me out there. Here is the conversation that follows, me outside in the downpour, he and the dog by the now open window inside where it’s dry.

“What are you doing?” There is a fair amount of disbelief in his voice.

“Weeding,” I respond as if weeding in a downpour is an everyday occurrence.

“You’ll catch cold.”

“I already have a cold.”

“Well, then you’ll make it worse.”

“Possibly. I was already out here cleaning the gutter and wet so I thought, what the hell.”

He’s was not sure¬†how to respond to that, so he shrugs and¬†says “Okay,” and closed the window.

One thing I noticed, now this may not be new to most of you but bear with me, moss is so much easier to scrap up when the ground is saturated with water. Usually it’s rooted deep and is a pain. I pulled moss out of plants that I’ve been struggling with for years. I also found that my new rain coat that I bought at Costco is wonderful! It kept me nice and dry and warm. Now I wouldn’t recommend it for below 40¬ļF, but it did just fine for 46¬ļ. Much better than being drenched all the way through.

Tomorrow is suppose to be nice. In fact, shortly after I came in and took a shower it decided to stop raining and I did eventually see sun. Maybe I can begin cutting plants back. I heard or was told you should never cut plants in the rain because it gets into the wood from the new wound. We’ll see how it goes. Lots of work still to do.

Have a wonderful evening. ūüôā


Copyright © 2017 Heidi Barnes


Daily Prompt: Year

via Daily Prompt: Year

A year. 365 days. Seems like a long time, doesn’t it. Yet it seems to fly by in a blink of an eye. December is suddenly here and one starts to think, did I do everything I set out to do? Then the year turns in to years and the thought, Why didn’t I go on that trip I planned to go on when I was twenty? Years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, seconds. All gone before you know they are there. I may not accomplish everything I set out to do, or go on that trip I wanted to go on. But I do have to say there is very little I regret in my life. Mostly stupid things that came out on those instances when my filter decided it wasn’t going to work. Very annoying.

2016 is gone. Regrets are wasted energy when 2017 looms before us. Do I hope we have a better year than last? Yes. 2016 was one filled with upheaval, death, and anger. Here is hoping for a year we can be proud of. A year that we live through relatively unscathed. Only time will tell.

Happy New Year!


Copyright 2017

Looking Back

Image: Suzanne Carey

Some say

Never look back.

Learn from your mistakes

Do not dwell in the past

Keep your eyes forward

And keep moving on.

But there are times

When looking back

Means remembering the beauty

Of what once was

What is

And what could be again.

© 2016 Heidi Barnes

Daily Prompt: Witness

via Daily Prompt: Witness

“What can I say that you don’t already know? You were there. You saw what happened. I’m not sure what help I can be at this point.” Teresa threw up her hands in exasperation, turned and paced away.

“Ever little bit helps,” Tom said gently. He knew he had to tread carefully or he would lose her, and he desperately needed her help if he wanted to do this. Taking a step towards Teresa he tried again. “It was early morning. You heard a noise and went outside to investigate….” He waited patiently for her to finish the story.

Sighing as if her bones were weary, Teresa dropped her hands to her side. “I didn’t see anything at first and was about to go back inside when the sun broke over the mountains and…,” she hesitated. It was so unbelievable that after all this time and God only knew how many tellings she still could not believe what she had seen. Looking up into Tom’s eyes, letting the desperation and awe she was feeling¬†fill them, she whispered, “Could it be true? Could they really exist?”

“I want to believe they do,” Tom said quietly, taking another step towards her. When he was close enough that she had to look up at him, he gently cupped her face. “What we witnessed…. It was a miracle.”

“Or a curse,” Teresa muttered placing her forehead on his chest. “Everyone thinks we are crazy.”

Tom smiled. “Not more so than usual.”

Teresa could not stop the laughter that broke through her tears. Once she gained control, she looked up at Tom, the awe returning to her face.

“They really do exist, don’t they,” she breathed.

“Yes, they do,” Tom whispered solemnly.

Copyright 2016 Heidi Barnes


Love’s Sacrifice – part 9

fantastic winter forest shadows at night

Desktop Nexus: Fantastic winter forest shadows at night

The choices we make,
chances we take.
Right or wrong
is the cost worth
the price?
Some wait in the wings,
Never taking that first step.
The fear of the unknown,
of being alone,
to great.
Waiting for someone else
to give them direction,
All the while hating,
those with courage,
a will of their own,
perceived freedom
to be alone.
Not understanding
while fearless outside,
the same doubt,
dwells within.
The choice is,
will always be,
give into those fears,
remain in the darkness,
allow others
to own your soul,
or break free.
Make those choices
on your own.

Copyright 2016 Heidi Barnes

This is a poem/story that came to me while driving and listening to Phil Collin’s, In the Air Tonight.¬†Where it has seemed to take on a mind of it’s own, as with all stories, that firs initial push to write furiously has slowed down. So I will post as soon as my stewing and listening to the song repeatedly give me inspiration. If you have just found this story, here is the link to Part 1. I hope you enjoy. ūüôā

Part 8¬† <—> ¬†Part 10

Love’s Sacrifice – part 8

Sephiroth's Fury

Desktop Nexus: Sephiroth’s Fury

Words meant to deceive,
Do not fall prey
to her serpent’s tongue.
She will ensnare you
bind you
until you can only breathe
at her whim.
It is not your life
she craves,
for she cares not
if you live or die.
what she craves most
lives for,
will kill for,
is a pure
If you freely sacrifice
the very essence of who you are
to one such as she
eternal damnation
is all you will receive.

And you?
What was your sacrifice?
What as you crime?
Why are you bound
to a creature
evil incarnate sublime?

*Rage complete
fills his eyes,
his body,
the very air.
His gaze penetrating
the source unimpressed.
Her only answer
to hatred so fine,
a low

Copyright 2016 Heidi Barnes

This is something that came to me while driving. I was listening to Phil Collin’s In The Air Tonight. I let it simmer overnight and began writing in the morning with that song playing in the background. The poem seems to have taken on a life of its own. What will her answer be?

This is where the fast and furious writing ended. There will be more, just not posted as quickly as the first seven parts were. Bear with me. There will be an ending. ūüôā If you have just joined this story, click here to start at the beginning. Part 1

Part 7¬† <—> ¬†Part 9