F=MA: The Secret to Success

Robert Mitchell Jr.

Trains are hard to stop because they have lots of mass and they go fast. (photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

There is a simple lesson that artists of all kinds can learn from Applied Physics. Believe me when I say that, whether you are a writer, a painter, or a martial artist, the equation “F=MA” is directly relevant to you.

For those who don’t remember high school science, “F” is force, and it is equal to “M” (mass) times “A” (acceleration). A bullet is small and light, its devastating force caused by blinding speed.

If you are a martial artist, your mass is largely fixed. In competition there are weight classes. You and the person you are fighting have just about the same mass. The only way you can increase your force is by increasing your speed. Outside the ring, in self-defense, speed is still the answer to the quest…

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The Color Thesaurus

Ingrid's Notes

I love to collect words. Making word lists can help to find the voice of my story, dig into the emotion of a scene, or create variety.

One of my on-going word collections is of colors. I love to stop in the paint section of a hardware store and find new names for red or white or yellow.  Having a variety of color names at my fingertips helps me to create specificity in my writing. I can paint a more evocative image in my reader’s mind if I describe a character’s hair as the color of rust or carrot-squash, rather than red.

So for fun, I created this color thesaurus for your reference. Of course, there are plenty more color names  in the world, so, this is just to get you started.

Fill your stories with a rainbow of images!













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August 15 Peace Projection


peace copy

Recently, I’ve been practicing a form of the Buddhist Metta Bhavana, or Loving Kindness Meditation. In it, I concentrate on projecting unconditional love and good wishes to all life forms. It feels so powerful that I was thinking it may have a beneficial effect if many people were to synchronize the practice and send powerful thoughts and feelings of love and compassion to specific groups of people.

That’s the idea behind the August 15 Peace Projection. On August 15, 2014 at exactly 12:00 midnight GMT, participants will simultaneously project thoughts, prayers and feelings of love and healing to the peoples of Syria, Palestine and Israel.

If you are interested, please visit the Facebook page: This Link, and “Like” to pledge to participate.

Most importantly, I really need your help to promote the August 15 Peace Projection. Please consider posting to social media forums and spreading the word in any…

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My mourning and social media

Dealing with mourning is tough enough.  Over the years I have lost a lot of people.  More people than I care to even think about.  I was about eight when I lost my first relative that mattered.  I was in early teens late preteens when I lost my first peer.  I was a teen when I saw someone die for the first time and held them through the process.  Dealing with lost isn’t new to me.

What is new to me is social media and lost. In the last several years I have not lost anyone that had a social media presence.  That all changed.  This last week I have been dealing with the lost of someone I was connected with.  Xavian was a good friend.  He was someone I looked up to, that inspired me, someone that made me laugh, someone that made me do ridiculous things in the name of fun and someone that changed my life.  A fucking stupid ass medical surprise took him away.  I am devastated and grumpy to say the least.  I have random outburst and tearful episodes.  Xavian cannot be replaced.

This week I have found myself repeatedly checking his facebook, his twitter, his blogs and every other outlet I can.  I realized this is what it’s like now.  People track their lives on the internet and it is all there for us to consume over and over and over and over again.  I think of myself as pathetic for checking every half hour like a crazy person.  His last tweet was about him traveling and how he was going to post pictures with all the cool places he would go.  I keep expecting there to be pictures, snarky comments and witty remarks.  There’s nothing.  Another update will never happen.  Ever.  I don’t know how to deal with that.  His blogs are down so I expect soon everything else will follow.  I don’t really know.  I think of his wife and child and wonder if they do the same.  I haven’t had the courage to talk to them yet.  I just keep going back.  My friends and partner say it isn’t pathetic that it is just me trying to reach out and some form of acceptance will come from after some time.  I don’t know.  He’ll never finish anything else.  He’ll never travel.  He will never send me random pictures of his dog with a mustache at 4am again.

We were writing buddies.  We influenced a lot of each other’s writing.  He was always honest with me about how stupid an idea was or how great an idea was.  He was always the better writer.  He was so amazing.  So much so that the there is a main character in a novel I wrote with his name.  I can’t look at it.  I was working on his characters solo novel with him, getting his input and building his world.  What am I supposed to do now?  Yeah it’s finished but how can I even read it?  How can I edit it?  How can it exist without him?  I decided to keep character Xavian alive because I didn’t want a sad story and now real him was taken from me.

It took me days to use past tense with him.  I guess I have let go on some level.  He will never know what is happening here with us.  He will never know if I do get my head out of my ass and publish a damn book.

Is this what the world has become?  Are these going to be the remaining testaments of our kind like the cave paintings and pyramid’s hieroglyphics are to us?  Will those that come after us just stare at twitter feeds, facebook walls, tumblr dashboards and blogs to try to piece together who we were as a civilization?   Does it get any easier with being able to look back on a part of someone’s life virtually?  Will I ever stop going back?

IV. Me As I Am

                Gabby walked into the room and stopped.  She looked around and realized she must have walked into the wrong door. Though Gabby knew it was the second on the left but she had to have been wrong.  On the bed lay several different dresses with heels to match.  There were different undergarments and hair accessories as well.  There was a large tote and bag that had some more female attire.  Then Gabby heard a very male voice in the bathroom singing.  Gabby eased her way through the room to the bathroom.  Her blood ran cold as she gasped at the sight before her.  It was his room.  Evan wore a black garter belt with lacy panties and a well stuffed bra as he applied his makeup in the mirror.  Evan turned when he heard her gasp.

                “Oh fuck,” Evan mumbled and dropped the mascara wand.

                “What the holy hell is this?” Gabby gestured to him.

                “I can explain,” Evan grabbed his robe and tied it tightly around him.

                “I don’t think that you can.”

                “Gabby please just listen,” he reached for her.

                “Don’t you touch me you sick twisted motherfucker,” Gabby pulled away with a disgusted frown.

                “Please wait.”

                Evan dodged around Gabby and shut the door.  He stood in front of it so she would not be able to leave.

                “Am I just some sort of test to see if you like vaginas?”

                “What?! No it was never that.  I like you,” Evan pleaded.

                “More than you like dick?” Gabby continued to glance around the room at all of the female clothing.

                “No.  I mean yes.  I mean shit.  I’m not gay,” Evan answered exasperatedly.

                “You’re wearing woman’s underwear for god’s sake,” Gabby’s face twisted again.

                “That doesn’t mean I’m gay.  Not all transsexual individuals are gay.  It’s about identity of self not who’s in my bed,” Evan swallowed down the pain and blinked back the tears.

                “All the drag queens I know are.  You cross dressing son of a bitch.  How could you tease me into falling for you?” Gabby crossed her arms.

                “Gabriella.  Just listen please.  It isn’t like that at all.  I care for you.  I am not attracted to men.  This isn’t about sexual orientation this is about gender.  Of all people I thought that you’d get that,” Evan’s voice dropped disappointedly.

                “So you’re telling me you’re gender confused?”

                “No.  It’s not exactly that black and white.  As much as I love being a man I also enjoy being a woman.  It has always been that way,” Evan sought the easiest way to explain it to her.

                “This is w-what you were keeping from m-me?  You’re not cheating on me,” Gabby said quietly as realization dawned on her.

                “Yes.  I knew that you would react the way that you did.  I wanted to be sure of how I felt about you before I let you into my inner shell.”

                “You are such a freak.  A grade A fucking freak,” Gabby shook her head and balled her hands into fists.

                “Don’t you understand?  This is who I am and I cannot change that.  Believe me I tried.  Years of therapy and tons of different medications and still they couldn’t fix me.  It took me forever to come to terms with who I am and I won’t let you or anyone else take that from me,” Evan stated firmly.

                Gabby stood there and finally looked up at him.  She suddenly felt she had betrayed him.  Gabby had broken his trust and faith in her.  She had reacted like everyone else probably had.  Gabby had been his friend first and she had failed him as a friend.  She saw the pain in his eyes from the words that she had thrown at him.

                “Look.  I am freaking out here.  I just need some time.  I need to focus and wrap my mind around this.  Then we can talk.  I just need to get out of here,” Gabby sighed and unclenched her hands.

                “So you’re canceling our date?”


                “Fine.  I get that.”

                Evan had more that he wanted to say but he knew that he had already used up her patience.  Evan felt like he had lost Gabby and he was upset with that but he hoped Gabby would use her skills and see it for the truth.  He stepped aside and opened the door.  Gabby walked to the door and stopped.  She looked up at him again.  Gabby threw arms around him and gave him a tight hug before she left. 

Evan sighed and went back to the bathroom.  He had somewhere to be so he didn’t have time to think about it.  Evan wrapped his hair and put the stocking cap on before he pulled on the wig.  Elani finished getting ready and as she tied on her manolos a thought occurred to her.  Elani jumped up and grabbed her clutch bag.  She glided down the stairs and to the game room where she knew Jacob would be.

                “Jacob!” Elani called.

                “What Elani?” Jacob paused his game.

                “Why the hell did you let her up?”

                “Who? What?” Jacob turned to her.

                “Gabby.  You know that I have an event this afternoon and you let her up.”

                “Oh shit Elani, I didn’t even think about it,” Jacob stood and went to his friend, “I am so sorry.  I was in the middle of cooking and I just was like ‘he’s upstairs’.  I am so fucking sorry.”

                “That’s what I figured. Your stomach was controlling you.  I wasn’t expecting her until eight.  I’m not even sure why she came over early,” Elani sighed.

                “I’m so sorry.”

                “I should’ve told her a long time ago.  We’ve been dating for a year and I still hadn’t told her because I was so scared.  Well I gotta run before I’m late,” Elani slung her purse over her shoulder.

                “Well I know it isn’t any better but you’re looking hot as hell tonight.  Evan has nothing on your sex appeal.”

                “Don’t forget I’m a lesbian.  Your hard body does nothing for me,” Elani winked at him.

                “Baby girl I could change your mind,” Jacob joked as he sat back in front of his console system.

                “See ya later.”

                Elani climbed into the purple convertible with the top down and headed to the luncheon she had put together.  She removed her sunglasses as she reached the restaurant.  Elani checked her makeup and reapplied her lipstick.  She stuck the tube back in her purse and climbed out the car.  Elani smiled at the valet as she handed him her keys.  She flipped her strawberry blonde curls over her shoulder.  Elani sashayed her way into the restaurant.

                “Elani you are as gorgeous as ever,” Aaron said as he kissed her cheek.

                “Thank you.  You too clean up well.”

                “We have gotten everyone here and were just waiting for you,” Aaron stated as he led her into room full of familiar faces.

                “Thanks darling.”

                Elani handed him her purse and went to the middle of the room.  She greeted everyone as she passed them.

                “Thank you everyone for coming out.  We are here for a terrific cause.  I’d like to thank a few people before we get started.  Firstly, Mr. Aaron Williamson for allowing us to meet here in his lovely restaurant, Rachael, my bff, for helping organize this and lastly all of you who understand that it is time to bring our families home from overseas,” thunderous applause went up, “the petitions have been signed and sent to capitol hill.  The proceeds from this evening will go to the families of our troops who are in need of assistance especially those who have been widowed.  So again thank you for your time and donations.”

                Elani handed the microphone back to Aaron.  She found Rachael and gave her a tight hug.  Elani was pleased with the outcome.  There were a few hundred people and a few more that had sent in donations and a more waited for the auction to begin.  Elani made sure she made the rounds and spoke with everyone at least once before she sat down and had her lunch.  After she ate Elani went to the small stage that had been put up during the meal.

                “Alright ladies and gentleman the moment you have all been waiting for.   The bachelor and bachelorette auction,” applause, “our first eligible bachelor please come on up.”

                “Here I am ladies.  Pull out your check books,” Michael grinned as he approached the stage.

                “Okay we start the bidding for Mr. Michael Hendricks at,” Elani looked him over, “Two dollars. Do I hear two dollars?”

                The room erupted in laughter.  Michael playfully punched her.  Elani smiled and looked around the room.

                “How about $50?”



                “$200!” another woman shouted.

                “Wow look at you.  The ladies like a strong man.  He’s as big as an ox and smart as a dolphin or whatever a smart animal is.  So we have $200.  Do I hear $250?”



                “$300 going once…300 going twice…300 going three times–”

                “Two thousand dollars,” a warm silky voice called from the back of the room.

                All heads turned toward the voice.  She sat in the back with her face hidden by a large dramatically trendy hat.  She stood up and pulled cash from her purse.

                “Wowzers!  That is two thousand big ones once, twice, three times and sold to the mystery woman with the sexiest hat in the world.”

                Michael smiled excited about being purchased for the weekend at such a high price.  He walked from the stage area to the woman who had bought his time for the weekend.  She lifted her head and took her hat off.  She shook her hair loose and grinned at him.  His breath caught.  It was the millionaire from the top of the hill.

                “Esmeralda Dominic,” Michael whispered.

                “Nice to make your acquaintance.”

                Elani continued the auction until they had given all the men and women to the highest bidder.  No one had out done Michael but Sam had come in a close second at $1725.  They had raised more than they had shot for and they were proud.  Elani wished everyone farewell and headed home.  She stopped at a gas station to fill up the car.  Elani had a trip the next day and didn’t want to have to stop before she hit the road.  Elani went in to prepay when she literally ran into Gabby.

                “Sorry.  I am so clumsy sometimes,” Gabby said and looked up.

                “No worries shug,” Elani smiled behind her sunglasses and walked passed her.

                “Do…do I know you?” Gabby asked as she gazed at her.

                “Probably from some social gathering.  I do a lot of promotions and fundraisers around here,” Elani suggested as she stood in line.


                Gabby walked to the exit then froze and almost dropped her mug.  She lifted her sunglasses and looked over at Elani again.  Her jaw dropped and she went back over to her.  She left several feet between them as she stared at her.

                “Evan?” Gabby whispered.

                No response.  Gabby sighed.  She must have been confused but she was sure.  Gabby walked closer so it was barely a foot between them.

                “What’s your name?” Gabby asked curious.

                “Me?” Elani asked as she turned back to her.



                “Hm…what’s your last name?”



                Gabby stood there in shock.  It had only been hours.  Just hours and there they were face to face again.  She watched as Elani paid for her gas and walked passed her.  Gabby turned and followed her out.  Gabby passed her bike and went straight to the convertible.

                “Miss.  I am going to have to ask you to stop following me dear,” Elani replied as she pumped gas.

                “So this is what you look like.  How are you going to act like you don’t know me?  We almost slept together dammit,” Gabby exclaimed and felt a few people at the pumps turn.

                “Not here,” Elani said through clinched teeth.

                “I’m serious.  You walked by me like you didn’t know me.  Pretended not to have remembered me quivering next to you just a few nights ago.  Acted like we aren’t involved.  I am not a stranger.”

                A few of the men at the pumps forgot what they were there to do now that they had the images in their minds.

                “Gabriella this is not the place,” Elani responded as she continued to watch the number rise on the pump.

                “You’re gorgeous,” Gabby said once she really looked at her, “you look like a bulked up Peta Wilson.  My god you’re unbelievable.”

                “Thank you.”

                “I’ll meet you at your house,” Gabby turned and went back to her bike.

                Gabby secured her coffee and the bike roared to life as she headed to Elani’s house.  Elani sighed and finished the task at hand.  She took a fearful glance around.  Their eyes were still on her.  She hung up the pump and turned back to her car.  Elani was greeted by a friendly face.

                “If things don’t work out with the biker girl, you can feel free to call me.  I’ve taken ballet for the last ten years,” a beautiful brunette smirked and lifted her leg straight up behind her head slightly as she handed her a business card.

                “I’ll keep that in mind,” Elani smiled wickedly and got in her car.

How to Make Life Better with Words


  • Whenever I’m lonely, I take my carpet, add a space and I have a car pet that I take with me on road trips.
  • I take a piece of paper with me wherever I go. That way, if I want to escape, I can tear the paper in half. Two halves make a whole. The “w” is silent, so I ignore it and exit through the hole.
  • Manure: I just love that shit.
  • Prediction: The first true robot dog will be called “Dogmatic”.
  • They should market tea to blue collar workers and call it “Utilitea”. You could pack the tea bags in your Utilitea belt.
  • Various precarious areas are nefarious, but hilarious.

A Poem, Involving a Cat:

Give a cat a cap, a fedorable cat hat

Give that cat a comb, your catacomb is in a hat

Give your cat a tonic, you have a catatonic cat in a catacomb with hat

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