My Books With Links update 12/11/12

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Do Text Messages Count?

NaNo Date 24
Time 1013 PST
Location: Breezy California desert oasis
Companions: Felines, Voices in my head

Nano, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the USS Have I Lost My Damn Mind. My mission: To create conflict and resolution while integrating plausible story lines and fulfilling character development. My nemesis: the romance genre, combined with the wicked forces of cruel daily word counts. Together, with voices in my head and furry feline companions, we boldly go where my word count has never gone before. 50,000 words in 30 days!

My journey began strong 24 NaNo days ago. Hope filled the tips of my fingers as they plucked at the back lit letters on my Sony Vaio keyboard. We were hopeful. We were bright-eyed with ideas, even though we only knew the beginning and the end. We strove for success one word at a time.

We were naive.

NaNo date 24. We are exhausted, fingers calloused, wrists aching. Our once bright eyes now scream out for daily doses of Visine, searching blindly for reading glasses tucked away last Christmas. The beginning has passed, while the middle is seemingly endless in its pursuit of a climax. One plot twist!!! The voices in my head scream for one miserable plot twist. They bicker now and conspire to side with a lesser word count.

Why did I take on this task? I was naive.

But I plow forward, wondering if I could somehow fit this blog into my story to increase my word count. Does that signature I wrote on my check count? How about text messages? I write a lot of those. Facebook updates? Tweets? So many words wasted away from my daily goal. Alas, there are only 6 NaNo days left in this journey. I beg my characters to stay with me, to keep the journey just six more days. Together we will carve our way passed the middle, run to the top of the climax, and dance around the plot twist, sprinting through bubbles and rainbows toward the end.

Until then, send words … I am afraid we are losing hope.


Picking up the Pieces

I realize how much I miss writing after a severe hiatus to pursue an advancement in my career. People have asked why I don’t pursue writing full time. My answer is always the same: when writing supports my family is when I can write full time. My status in life has changed little in the year I have been away, save for a few different things: I now covet a Baccalaureate in Nursing from Grand Canyon University and I am single. I’ve learned a few things on my journey to this day: I am stronger than I think I am. I can only multitask so much. And when life happens my true passion suffers.
After being away from my craft for so long I found just how easy it was to walk away. With a manuscript collecting dust for two years, and ideas dwindling, I was okay with being out of the game. In fact, it was comfortable. Without my head buried in a computer, fingers growing callous, and wrists feeling the strain of carpal tunnel, I found more time to do much of nothing.
Once school was completed in July my time became wide open and I vowed to tinker with some ideas. That never happened. Writing is comparable to getting in shape; it’s hard to get into a routine, but once in a routine each day is easier. Falling out of the routine means starting from scratch. Starting from scratch is painful, but I vowed to do it.
For the first year in my life, I jumped on the NaNoWriMo wagon. If I’m going to get back in shape might as well go all out. The last novel I completed was in 2012, it sat in editing limbo falling victim to the time constraints of higher education. My first exercise at hand was to get that off my desk. Second was to run through many ideas I had jottedd down over the years and pick one. Third was to create a NaNo account. Fourth was to open my computer back up on November first. I’m back! I’m back and I’m loving every minute. Here’s to writing a novel before I head back into the education system for 18 more months.


Lessons in Writing Fear & Love

In helping a young author learn to write emotions, I gave a simple assignment: write the emotions of a woman who just saw the love of her life walk through the door. Next, write the emotions of the same woman who just saw a stranger with a gun walk through the door. In neither description can you say “love” or “hate/fear,” and you must show without telling.

To be a good teacher, I also participated in this little lesson. We both had the same outcome: writing the emotion of love was almost exact to writing the feeling of fear. I found that quite interesting. It certainly is a fine line.

if u can write






Tania L Ramos, RN and Author

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Presenting in DC

Last week I was excited to be given the opportunity to attend and speak at the National Council for Literacy convention in Washington DC. This came very last minute, down to the days, but I made it. For those who don’t know, DC is clear across the country for me. Thanks to Frontier airlines, I made the trip for $244 round trip, which meant I could drag my son along. Perk!

I spoke on Saturday at the convention to a small group from Vermont;  they were wonderful, friendly, and quite receptive. I then had the privilege to hear another group speak. It was fascinating to hear about so many literacy programs in the k-12 circuit. All-in-all, I was honored to be there to represent the High Desert Chapter of the California Writer’s Club DCB Memoir Project.

111The Dorothy C Blakely Memoir Project challenges seniors at a local high school to take on the task of picking a senior citizens, conducting interviews, and writing their memoir. They are given a once monthly class, put on by the HDCWC, to teach interviewing skills, point of view, and creating a memoir among other things. The memoirs are critiqued over the course of the program, until the final draft is turned in. They are then edited, and selected for publication. Not all memoirs are published. The HDCWC then takes the selected memoirs and  creates a cover, creates a template, and finally creates an anthology of the memoirs. The seniors graduate as published authors. In 2014, this project was recognized by the National Council for Literacy, and was presented as a literacy project in Washington DC…which I presented at.

This is a wonderful program, and I’m grateful to be a part of it. I love teaching.

Fun fact: Most the students who participate are NOT aspiring authors.

Tania L Ramos, RN for more info   To see last year’s memoir: AMAZON


Shattering Two Souls

Its funny what perspective can be gained from writing characters. Are they insights into our own souls, or are they pieces of coal that a character turns into diamonds? I’d like to thank these characters for one of the best scenes ever:

“Don’t buy into it. Don’t buy into ‘a soul is half whole until it finds its other half.’ Two souls wander the earth until they find their perfect match, and then and only then do they become whole and know how simple and easy loving can be.


A person is whole. A soul is whole. There are no halves. One does not give 50% and think that they can get 100% from that. Love is brutal. It’s a big huge pain in that ass that breaks your soul. It breaks your heart from being so afraid that you’ll lose it at any moment. And only when you have been truly shattered can you pick up the pieces with her. You pick up the pieces, yours and hers, and you put them together to build something new. Something that isn’t half you and half her, where you take sides, but something that is beautifully put together, where you don’t know where she ends and you begin.”

“I’ve been shattered for two years since she left. Since I let her leave.”

“Boo hoo. Two years. Is she dead? are you dead? Do you still love her? Of course you do,  you’re shattered! You lucky bastard!”


Tania L Ramos, RN and Author

Copyright @TaniaLRamos 2014 No reproduction in part or whole without written permission from the author.

Spring Girl

Thought I’d share one of those 4 a.m. poems. I’ll let you figure out what its about, but damn!

Spring Girl

Spring is a place to live so free
The fields of gold, the hurting tree
The spec of a girl with eyes blue as the sea

Summer sun burns so unfair
Words and snickers also there
The spring girl with the burnt brown hair

Fall drops pain from its fingertips
Shunning and bruising wicked tricks
The spring girl with the rosy pink lips

Winter shatters and freezes out sin
People are cruel again and again
The spring girl with the pasty pale skin

Retrieved from:

A season turns like a wily fox
Laugh at your joke, throw your rocks
Stare at the spring girl in the pretty wood box

Copyright @TaniaLRamos 2014

Tania L Ramos, RN, Author

The 4 a.m. Poet

Every day we live, we learn. If you think you know everything about yourself then you are most certainly wrong. Opinions change from day to day, and one simple bad experience, or one wonderful great experience can sway you in an entirely different direction.

There are paths in life; some you chose, some you follow, some are pre-designed. For example; my daughter was adamant that she would hate surf school, that she would drown, be left out in the big waves alone, and most likely die. After much convincing, and the promise that she only had to try once then could walk away, she gave it a go. Wouldn’t you know (because I knew) that she loved it!

We just don’t know what we can do until we do.

I for one appreciate poetry, but a poet I am not. My brain thinks in long strands with elaborate situations, much to wordy for poetry. Then I had a two day run with messing up my internal sleeping clock. Day two was quite unique in that I promptly fell asleep at 9 p.m. then promptly woke up at 1 a.m. Wide awake! About 3 a.m. I was able to fall back asleep, but by 4 a.m. my brain was back on. Well, I assume it was back on, though the part of the brain that tells the body its awake was off. I remember 4 a.m. like I remember 10th grade geometry.

aa4But there on my phone was proof that some kind of electrical function was fusing at 4 a.m. Three poems on my phone, all written within 45 minutes of each other. Three very very different poems from heartache to funny to surreal all stared at me at 7 a.m. with the option to “save.” I was amazed; dumbfounded! They weren’t half-bad and one made me laugh. Maybe I’ll be sleep deprived a few more days, because apparently I’m only a poet at 4 a.m.

Tania L Ramos

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