COVID-19 is rebuilding my support system as I discover and search for hope.

Photo by Tirza van Dijk on Unsplash

At Winterfell, in the godswood, Jamie asked, “How do you know there will be an afterward?” Bran Stark answers, “Humans tend to find hope in the darkness of circumstance.”

Game Of Thrones

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to live someplace tropical. Instead, I lived in small-town Texas, seven hours from the nearest ocean my entire life.

So, after twenty-two years of working as a 911 Emergency Dispatcher for Police/Fire/EMT, I decided to semi-retire early moving from Texas to Florida.

I did not recognize it then, but I was leaving behind a robust support system…

An ode to Jean my cherished friend.

Me & Jean Taken June 2011 in the back lot of the Greenville Police Dept by the employee break area the day before I moved to Florida. Love you, miss you always… RIP October 2, 2019.

My Dear Beloved Jean,

Beautiful, radiant spirit, so funny and good-natured,
So humble and kind. Such a loving generous spirit,
Not always seen and often misunderstood by the outside world.
A treasure I cherished. God how I miss you.

Please don’t make me say goodbye.

Let’s have one more cup of coffee.
One more cup Jean sitting at your kitchen table.
Another game of Chicken Foot I beg,
Let’s talk about history, books, movies, and world affairs.

And let’s laugh Jean, late into the night like so many times before.

Such joy in laughter you gave.
You showed me how to look at my…

Editing software that helps you clean up your manuscript and lets you creates your own style sheet.

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I am super excited about an online editing software called AutoCrit. Why?

I don’t know about you, but I am always on the lookout for easier ways to edit and improve my writing. Professional editors for publishers often create style sheets for their authors when they ask them for revisions and edits.

The first time I heard about style sheets was from Shaunta Grimes middle-grade author and founder of The Ninja Writers Club.

She said her style sheet marked the words and phrases she tended to overuse and repeat throughout her manuscript and much more. It was a deep dive…

Take your reader on a memorable journey utilizing engaging fictional techniques and deeper points of view.

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I wrote my first short story in 2004 when I wrote about the impact my mother’s death had on me. It was a memoir short story.

A short story is exactly what it sounds like — a short story. It can be fiction shorts or nonfiction shorts. Publications will specify types of shorts they will accept.

In nonfiction, the difference is the memoir short story is told in story form like a fictional story, not essay format, despite being based on real life. …

It taught me to listen with attention to my muse and others, so I know how to ask the right questions when I am writing.

Photo by Hack Capital on Unsplash

The role of a 9-1-1 Emergency Dispatcher and Call Taker is as a first responder. They are the first line of assistance to anyone calling on the phone for help. They are the only link to help and information available to the caller in the middle of a crisis and the emergency units responding.

In that position, you only know what you are told or can hear. Obtaining priority information is important to the safety of all, and to a quick response. People in crisis often do not know what to do, or what to tell you so you can…

When your brain makes you blind to your errors.

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I naturally think in concepts. I take in the meanings, the ideas, the principles, recognize the patterns, and see the bigger possibilities.

It is why I have a knack for worldbuilding and series creation. Conceptual thinking lends itself to the long term and the future, seeing past the here and now.

The kicker is, details matter when it comes to editing and implementing your ideas. In taking note of the details, you lay a solid foundation for clarity in writing.

Seeing the details is also what makes a great editor. It is a skill you can learn, but if you…

If you love to world build, make it a productive past time that aids your writing rather than delaying it.

Photo by Christine Roy on Unsplash

Creating worlds sounds like a herculean task. It can certainly be daunting and overwhelming to the new and aspiring writer.

It can also be an addiction that becomes procrastination to not get your writing done, if you're like me. I love building worlds and can spend hours doing it, but if it does not relate to your immediate story then it is an excuse not to write. Muses are tricky like that.

Worldbuilding does not count as writing nor does revising, just saying.

If you already have a story idea, then only build the parts of the world that you…

Ode and tribute to WHAM!

Louise Palanker from

Ode and Tribute to WHAM! — All capitalized titles are a contemplation of WHAM! songs. A sound poem.

One Blue Christmas I said,
Wake Me Up Before You Go, Go.

You told me I Gotta Have Faith,
It only takes one Heartbeat.

To find A Ray of Sunshine.
You need to Enjoy What You Do.

Standing on The Edge of Heaven,
Where Did Your Heart Go?

Nothing Looks The Same In The Light,
Why? Battle stations.

Careless Whisper, Lovemaker,
Do It Right, Come On.

Everything She Wants,
Credit Card Baby.

Club Tropicana, Young Guns, Bad Boys,
Jitterbug, Club Fantastic, WHAM! Rap…

Let your story come to life on the big screen of your imagination.

Photo by Sergey Semin on Unsplash

No survivors? Then where do the stories come from — I wonder.

Captain Jack Sparrow

When Pirates of the Caribbean came out, I was enamored with the movie. I loved Johnny Depp’s version of Captain Jack Sparrow.

Why? Because he brought the character to life. He was full of personality, beyond the typical.

Captain Jack, whether by his own devices — which was most often — or because of others’ machinations, meant trouble. The big screen came alive when he stepped into the camera view. That is what your stories need to do. How do you do that?


Make me laugh, cry, love or hate, I want to feel something.

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I have always gauged the world around me through emotion. I’m an empath in the way I operate and function. I did not always know this. This made me highly aware of others and more self-aware in some ways than I might have been.

That was just me. It gave me a superpower, I guess you could say, in understanding how emotion works in story. (No, not the superhero kind of power. I wish.)

Words are powerful. The right words can change minds, help shape the world, and inspire others.

What are power words?

Power words, as defined by Jon Morrow, are persuasive, descriptive…

Juneta Key

Writes Speculative Fiction*SS/FF*Visit me @ &

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