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My Books With Links update 12/11/12

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Fiction Based Loosely on Reality

Much of what is written is stolen from life. Stories often mimic the adage that “Necessity is the mother of invention.” The need to get words and truths onto paper for others to know and understand is at the heart of every writer. And though many of my stories have pulled a few excerpts, thoughts, or locations from my real life, none has hit as close to home as the story of a woman scorned … who discovered there was another woman scorned … and another woman who will soon be scorned and tortmented to know the truth. A story of decades of deceit, mounds that turned into volcanic eruptions of lies, followed by the need to prey on women and their families so one man could satisfy some sick pathological desire to fulfill an egocentric hero complex. At this moment I am grateful at my talent to recall even the vaguest of details, to turn a real life story into the opus of my collection of fiction; to eradicate and expose a predator in what can only be described as “fiction based loosely on reality.” Finally, the writer’s block is over and bad guys never win.

Things in life to know:

  • Don’t ever hurt a woman’s children.
  • Don’t ever hurt the children of a writer.
  • Know your adversary.

 

Tania L Ramos

My Eyes

​Sometimes the writing is on the wall, we choose not to see it. sometimes there’s that one great friend that holds your hand through your own self inflicted blindness. And when you can finally see the writing on the wall, they don’t say I told you so, they say I’m still here for you. And they listen to you cry, even though it hurts them too, because they walked it with you. They hurt for you long before you knew you would hurt. And when the mud and the tears and the hurt are removed from your eyes, you can see clearly, that the one who truly loved you, was the one who was your eyes when you chose not to see.

Now, I see.

Lost Song

Lost Song

Sitting in night contemplating days, the music in my head
Running through madness, this beat found dead
Listen to the song of our life, hear the memories we left behind
An inspiring melody we drew
Fantasy poem as simple as you

In one beat your mine, in one note I’m yours
Memory fades, in what verse did we close the doors
Afraid in this song, alone too soon
Drowning in meaning, singing a different tune

Sweet lyrics tell me goodbye
Beautiful words say you aren’t mine
In a lost song the words become you or me
Love forgotten, in an unloved melody

Running between the music, grasping the lie
Tempted to sing, I try and I try
Under the stars, lost in words
Tear up our song
…In lyrics I don’t belong

lost song

 
© Tania L Ramos

Alter Egos get a Pen name

When I first started writing semi-professionally, I was in the 9th grade. I’ve told the story before, so I won’t rehash it in this post. In 9th grade I knew nothing of love, nothing east of the 605 Fwy or west of the 710 fwy. I was bound in an inner city with little knowledge of anything beyond my ten square miles. That was my world, what little there was, and I had no doubt in my mind that my geographical knowledge was little.

So when a wise teacher discovered an introvert roaming the halls talking to herself, she opened a whole new world. My imagination basically encompassed steamy kisses with Han Solo, and idealistic snippits of stolen romance with Indiana Jones … okay, I had a thing for a young Harrison Ford. But when Ms. Ruben penned me behind an old green screened computer, my ten square miles of life grew into an infinite world that only ended where I told it to.

My first stories were built up around the unknown, around falling through mirrors into deserts where other students had mysteriously disappeared into. The winds spoke of being the Alpha and the Omega, leaving young teenagers to survive in a world of horror. My first stories delved into the unknown, because in 9th grade the unknown was the only tangible thing I could write about. By the end of middle school, I had written five full length horror stories, and my mom tended to pray over me a lot more, though she always supported my talent.

a2As I grew older, my horizons broadened and I dipped into the world of romance, but I never found particular accomplishment in the genre. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for a tragic romance; boy meets girl, boy loses girl, girl finds new guy but secretly hopes her true love will return. The sappy stuff. Where I found my true talent was in subjective fiction, or speculative fiction as it is also called. In the Benjamin Button stories of “what if.” I’ve made a name for myself in my genre of the dark story with the light at the end of the tunnel, but along the way I missed those good horror stories, the ability to invent terror and shock.

A few months ago, I entered a horror story contest to be placed into an anthology. The reviews were magnificent, however I was graciously asked to change the perspective of the story to third person omniscient, and the story would be published, in which I respectfully declined. After talking among family and friends, I decided to publish this short story on my own. And with that grew a new dilemma. My name is my brand, and hopefully synonymous with subjective fiction. But what happens when I publish in a different genre all together? Should my name and brand follow me into the new genre?

In the end, I have decided to use a pen name. I feel it is important to separate subjective fiction me from horror story me, and to keep the brands and identities apart. The way I see it, if I enjoyed reading Jane Smith’s historical romance, then blindly purchased a Jane Smith book based solely on the knowledge that I like her genre, only to start reading and discover it is extreme erotica … well I might be upset. So in the spirit of creative writing and fiction, I will invent my own persona, and thusly birth a new alter ego.

Congratulations, it’s a girl!

Think it’s difficult to come up with a character name? Try coming up with a name you’ll have to live with. By the way, there is a process, and I will further explore this in my next post. Please chime in on your thoughts of using pen names for different writing styles.

Tania L Ramos, RN, BSN, Author
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Bernie Sanders Marshmallow Incident

For those people who have pets, you may be able to empathize. There is usually one pet who is generally smarter than the other. That one pet that “gets it.” Well here is a story of how the ugly face of politics crept into my home by way of marshmallow eating dogs.

The scene: The junk food drawer in the kitchen

The perps: Snookie, a cute, somewhat intelligent Husky looking dog that is anything but Husky.  Ruckus, just picture why this dog is named Ruckus, and add a short wiry haired part terrier with Miniture Pincher coloring.

The victim: Me.

marshmallowI go into the junk food drawer to grab some marshmallows, because I’m quite frankly to lazy to open the fridge and grab fruit. As I look down, both dogs are sitting in front of me with puppy eyes, waiting for a marshmallowy treat. My kids are sitting around watching me, no doubt wishing they had some marshmallows too. So, I hold one marshmallow in my hand and tell Snookie to sit, and she does. I hold the treat to her nose and tell her “no.” She sits politely and waits. After a moment I put the treat closer and tell her, “no.” She continues to politely wait. After another a moment, I tell her, “okay.” She takes the treat. Then I toss a marshmallow at Ruckus and he snaps at it.

My kid looks at me and says, “Why did you make Snookie work for the marshmallow and not Ruckus.” He asks this more because of the unfair treatment toward the favorite dog.

I respond, “Snookie is smarter. She’ll actually work for it. Ruckus will just try to bite my hand off.”

My kid scoffs and says, “okay, Bernie.”

You’d think I would’ve learned my lesson. But, no. A few days later my youngest sees me do the same thing and she asks the exact same question, only to receive the exact same reply. Her response, “voting for Bernie?”

And this, my friends, is why we aren’t allowed to talk politics or religion in my home. Every person in my house  has a different political view, different view on gun laws, and on a million other things. All I know is it’s satire, so I hope this doesn’t turn into a political rant. I found it extremely hilarious how quick witted my children can be over a couple of marshmallow treats. I truly enjoy the humor of my children. To each their own. Snookie now gets an extra treat, and Ruckus … well, I haven’t lost a finger yet.

Tania L Ramos, Author, Dog lover

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Life is Longing For You

I still say I’m not much for being a poet. That being said, this song came to me in a dream. One of those vivid dreams where even when you wake you’re left to wonder if it was real; some kind of deja vu. I was walking through an alley on a rainy afternoon, everything was tinged under a blue filter. A soft, almost jazz like sound filled the air, and I was inclined to find the source. The tune was romantic, yet heartbreaking, reminiscent of a lover in sorrow. I wasn’t running, yet I moved quickly to find the music. As I grew closer, the sound of words became clear and the alley ways shifted from blue to subtle red. Not an eerie kind of red, but red like the sunset and soft. Finally, the words became clear and resounded so beautifully that I stopped in place and closed my eyes to sway in the painful loss of the lyrics. A moment later I stepped out of the alley to find traffic speeding by on a busy street, with a woman standing in the middle of the road, singing without a care as delicate droplet of rain drenched her body. I caught the very end of her song, and watched in aw. When her song ended, she looked up at me and I could decipher the tears from the rain. I couldn’t help but begin to sing the words, and she smiled, happy that someone heard her.

When I opened my eyes the song was still playing in my ears. I grabbed my cell phone and quickly jotted down the only lyrics I could remember. To this day, I hear that song as clear as drops of rain.

Life is Longing For Youlife is longing for you

My life is longing for kisses

Longing for misses

My life is for seeing us through

Bring back your smile

Bring back your style

Bring back the silvery moon

Then shower my heart

It’s yours from the start

And tell me I’ll see you real soon

Because life is for kissing

You’re all that I’m missing

My life is longing for you

Fueling the Writer

I don’t know what to do. Life, as it does, managed to throw a wrench in my plans again. My entire, albeit, short writing career, I vowed not to fall into the stereotypical idea of what drives a writer. We all know the widely held theories of writer’s fueling off anger, angst, Absynthe, and depression. What makes a writer great? Loss, despair?

Thomas Wolfe posed great discussions of his novel, You Can’t Go Home Again. Many writer’s struggle in a conflict of early life and later learn you can’t go home again. F. Scott Fitzgerald, as with many other authors, leave a legacy of alcoholism shadowing their genius. Tennesse Williams, a playwright prodigy, said he could only write of what he knew. Reading A Street Car Named Desire was almost a mirror reflection into his struggle with family.

How many writers and artists fall by the wayside of the stereotype? If there was one thing I was ever able to claim it was that I never fit neatly into the category of pained writers. Now, surrounded by loss, grief, and sometimes guilt, I find that my writing suffers. My words and thoughts were never propelled by anger, angst, despair, or alcohol, yet readers who have read my writings might be inclined to think otherwise. My words are dark, sometimes lost in sorrow, but always seeking out the light. They are in no way a reflection of my life.

Now, sitting in the dark at 3am, suffering from a raging fever, weighed down by a million my words are not a reflection of lifestressors, I find that my writing is not any better. If the loss of a parent brought me anything more than just a hole in my life and silence in my home, I had hoped it would make me a better writer. How’s that for selfish? Fortunately for me, I don’t struggle with conflicts of my childhood, parents, family, alcoholism, loss, or depression. I know we only live to someday die. And that the in between is where the stories are. Life hasn’t thrown a wrench in my plans to ruin my life. . . it’s only allowed me to pause and evaluate what I have. I have stories. Sometimes a wrench in your plans is the best plan.

I still don’t know what to do. Well, that’s a start.

Tania L Ramos, BSN RN