Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Welcome, Marsha Moore

Thanks, Roseanne, for inviting me to be here today. Since this month is all about Muse Publishing and getting to know its authors, I thought I’d invite you and your readers into my home to see where I spend lots of time writing.

I’m pleased to have a room to myself, an extra bedroom converted into an office space, I don’t have to share with anyone. In there are my laptop and desktop computers, and reference books about magic, alchemy, ghosts, demons, witches. I like to write late at night and my tiny dragon figurines keep me company. On the floor is a woolen Indian rug, part of my Indian art collection. I never worry if Indian d├ęcor mixes with fantasy dragons. This is a room for my inspiration.

When I take a break from writing, I use a separate desk for doing my watercolor paintings. Both desks are ages old, the painting desk an authentic Mission style from the turn of the century. They belonged to my dad, who is no longer with us and I miss much. Using his furniture brings me close to him.

As my writing time has increased, I’ve found one of the biggest hardships is giving up time outside. I often take notepads and write longhand at local beaches, easy to do year round here in Tampa. Last week, we finished a summer-long remodeling project in our backyard, expanding the patio area. It’s enclosed in a lanai to keep hungry Florida bugs away. After surviving plenty of sand, dirt, and cement dust for a couple months, we have finished with a nice floor of pavers leading from our family room. Finally, I have a comfortable place to sit at the patio table with my netbook and write outside, thinking about my characters while staring at the lagoon behind us. The hammock gives a nice spot to lounge and brainstorm plot twists. We have put in a hot tub, which I haven’t yet managed as a writing aide – the warm water seems to sap my strength. But, it does serve as a great reward after meeting a good day’s word count. I’m having no trouble getting comfortable writing outside in our new lanai.

I always like to see where other writers spend hours gaining their creative ideas. A writer’s workspace seems to have an energy unique to that writer. It’s been fun sharing where I like to create.

To learn more about me, my writing, and my upcoming Muse release, Tears on a Tranquil Lake, please visit my website at http://www.marshaamoore.com/

Here’s an excerpt of my coming book, Tears on a Tranquil Lake, Chapter Ten:

The Black Hawk made port and its crew secured her to a dock. In every direction I looked were pirate ships.

Sam sidled up to me. “Feast yer eyes, lass. There be every type of privateer vessel here today.” He pointed them out, one by one. “Next to us be a square-rigger, massive enough to store plenty of booty . . . over there be a nimble sloop fitted with its dress canvases . . . and there, a two-masted brigantine workhorse . . . and farther back, a fleet of schooners with shallow drafts to make swift course in shoal waters.”

“Amazing! And all fly the skull and crossbones flag,” I said.

“That be the Jolly Roger, the buccaneer mark displayed aside their own war pennants, like ours be a black hawk set on a red field.”

What a sight, seeing dozens of fine sailing vessels docked or anchored in the tropical cove.

With the gangplank finally lowered and secured all hands anxiously waited for the captain to come on deck to dismiss them. Although only a few moments passed, the men grumbled.

Black Sam shot them a long, fierce glare before Raphael appeared.

The captain grinned from ear-to-ear, his booming voice full of excitement, “Aye, ye scallywags, the Hawk sets sail again midday tomorrow. Be here or be left behind. Now get yourselves ashore.”

They all scampered onto the dock like mice, yelling and laughing in anticipation of merriment and adventure.

Raphael proudly extended me his arm. “Ciel, you look lovely. Let me now show you the wonders of Tortuga.”

Along the promenade that followed the shore I struggled to match his gait. I was impeded by my less than agile tail flipper, and glad for his arm.

He sensed my dependence upon him and beamed, in high spirits. Smiling to familiar faces, he tipped his three-cornered black hat, its billowing white plume waving in the breeze. He looked dashing, outfitted in a purple waistcoat and gold brocade jacket. Slim black trousers and knee-high dress boots with shiny silver buckles accentuated his trim physique.

I smiled at him, pleased to be on his arm for reasons more than for physical support.

Everywhere I looked strode the most bizarre beings and unusually dressed people imaginable. At the sides of the promenade, men swallowed blades of any cutlass, dagger, or sword passing buccaneers might volunteer. In amazement I paused to try and discover their secrets, while Raphael pulled me along by the arm with my head turning back over my shoulder, mystified.

Scantily clad women preformed miraculous contortions, happily accepting gifts of doubloons tucked into any edges of their skimpy clothing or body orifices the seafarers wished to leave tips within. Their spines seemed boneless and I wondered if they were truly human.

Many merfolk, both male and female, accompanied pirates, while others sauntered alone or mingled in groups of their own kind. The mermaids all looked so beautiful, wearing lavish golden jewelry and their hair gleamed in the sunlight. I felt rather plain in comparison with only sea baubles for adornments.

The pirate captains and their staff all dressed in an eccentric array of finery. They lent a festive atmosphere, in their bright colors, fancy hats, and tall boots. Garb from around the world proudly boasted, of their travels in the Caribbean, as well as remote destinations of the Far East and Africa.

Amongst the mariners I caught a glimpse of one extremely odd creature strolling past who made me gasp. I could not help but stare. I knew not whether the being was male or female. I could see human legs, covered with pants and shoes, but also the upper body of a seal. I whispered to Black Sam beside me, “What is that sea creature?’

Noticing my bewilderment, he chuckled. “One of the bizarre wonders of the abyss. Pure magic. That be a common sight only on the land of this isle. He's a selkie who's not donned all his sealskin.” He pointed to draw my attention, which was unnecessary, since my eyes were already fixed to the sealman. “See that brown mass danglin' down behind him? That be the rest of it. Left out his legs, likely, so he can walk.”

“I envy him. I wish I could pull my scaly skin back to find some feet to walk upon.”

Raphael was smiling and listening to our conversation. “Don’t forget I can solve that problem for you, Ciel,” he whispered in my ear.

I sensed pressure to make my decision conveyed in his tone, and a wave of panic swept over me, taking my attention from the selkie.

The captain tightened his grasp upon my arm and looked imploringly into my eyes for that answer.

My pulse raced, unable to grant him the choice I knew he expected, yet also unable to leave his world behind for the sea.


Debra K. Dunlap said...

Your outdoor space is beautiful, Marsha!

Karen McGrath said...

Love the patio, Marsha. Sounds like Florida is such a haven! Best wishes with your writing.

Marsha A. Moore said...

Thanks lots. The patio took forever, but I love being out there writing.


Charlie said...

Nice job. Your patio is divine. I'm jealous. The excerpt sounds wonderful Good luck!

Margaret West said...

Loved the excerpt. I have an office at home too, full of crystal, books and so forth. Like you I miss being outside. So in the summer I take my laptop to the beach. A tan and chapters to boot. A writers lot is hard but someone has to do it. lol Good luck with your books.

Anonymous said...

Love it. I, too, write on my patio--well, when it's no longer sporting triple digits out here in the desert. It's one of my favorite places. Thanks for letting us into your world!

Have a great day!

Marsha A. Moore said...

Thanks, ladies. Margaret, you're right; having a place set aside with special things that make you feel secure and balanced is necessary, since we spend hours and hours there.

Lynn, I'm so happy part of our patio is under roof or I'd melt in the Florida heat, which I'm sure you understand. The desert would be a lovely setting to write in.

Flying Monkeys said...

I love the patio it's beautiful. Congrats on your new release. Great excerpt.

Tonya Callihan said...

I the love your outdoor writing space. I bet it's peaceful. How many stories have you written out there?

Congrats on your release!!

tonyacallihan AT homtail DOT com

Heather Haven said...

What a fun world you've created, Marsha! That's a great photo of you, too. Did you pose for your book cover? If not, you could have!

Rebecca Rose said...

What a wonderful space to create in! I had to share mine with my three children, whom I kicked out over the weekend and redid it. :) Much more peaceful and organized now.
Loved the excerpt.

Have a Sparkling Day!

Marsha A. Moore said...

Thanks lots for stopping by, Tonya, Heather, Rebecca, and Flying Monkeys.

Your kind words make me smile.

Anita Davison said...

I'm jealous, Marsha, my writing space is a tiny round table and chair tucked behind the sofa! Often I am greeted by the yell,'Stop tapping I can't hear the TV!'
I have a lamp of my own though.

Anonymous said...

Hi Marsha,
I enjoyed hearing about your writing space and what it is that inspires you there (like your Indian rug, dragons, and your father's table). Thank you for sharing it all in beautiful pictures.
Congratulations on your book - your excerpt sounds great.
Kay Dee

Marianne Stephens said...

Seeing how other authors set-up their writing space is interesting. Surrounding yourself with "inspiration" is a definite plus!
Enjoy the hot tub and let us know if you figure out how to use it and write at the same time...I think using it for a "brainstorming" activity sounds good!

Marsha A. Moore said...

Thank you Anita, KayDee, and Marianne for your kind thoughts. This week has brought a bit of cooling here in Tampa (80s)and it's lovely to be outside.