Welcome to my blog Upstate Girl, (a.k.a Follow Your Bliss Part II), I am an independently published author. This blog is all about writing and the stuff that inspires me to write, the joys and obstacles that come along with the writer's life, and my fascination with the psychology of people and what makes them tick...the human condition, as is...and my love for words, playing with them and making sense of them...and I throw in a few photos from my acre of the world just to make things pretty...sometimes there are things I have no words for, only pictures will do.

*Copyright notice* All photos, writing, and artwork are mine (
© Laura J. Wellner), unless otherwise noted, please be a peach, if you'd like to use my work for a project or you just love it and must have it, message me and we'll work out the details...it's simple...JUST ASK, please.

Friday, March 27, 2009

25 Random Things...quotations from my little ghost story DUSTY WATERS

Dusty Waters is now for sale through CreateSpace, my E-store address is:


Now...here's 25 Random Quotations from Dusty Waters...

What did one ghost say to the other ghost? Do you believe in people?

Page 7

“What would make you feel safe?” he asked one night.

“A fire breathing dragon,” I replied. “Her name is Lucy.”

“A girl dragon?” he asked with curiosity as if a female dragon was unheard of in the realm of dragons.

“I’m a girl—why would I want a boy dragon?” I reasoned.

“I guess it would be icky, the boy dragon would have to look the other way whenever you changed into your jammies. Okay, where will she live—in your closet?”

"No—under my bed—she’ll also keep the dust kitties away—they make me sneeze."

"Oh, I see, she’ll be a double-duty dragon—bad dreams and dust kitties."

Page 11

A little bit at a time, I started to give a damn about things like a man named Nixon, the president of the United States of America. I pledged my allegiance to the flag of our country in school even though I had no idea what half of it meant because no one ever explained it—I just did it because the teacher expected me to follow without question. Being a little kid and fairly sheltered in a comfortable life, I had no reason to question the things expected of me. Democracy was still an abstract concept of freedom given to me in big word form, and Capitalism, unbeknownst to me, had everything to do with how many pennies it took for me to buy bubble gum at the corner store. Communists, nuclear bombs, and Vietnam were bad things in our world that the television reported with nightly regularity when I would much rather be watching Popeye kicking the tar out of Bluto to the tune of Columbia, Gem of the Ocean.

Page 16

Distinguished is an indistinguishable looking critter—blue, pear-shaped, and fuzzy with ping-pong balls for eyes and a pink plastic curler for a mouth; he’s an alien from a faraway planet of blue fuzzy critters. In spite of his startling appearance, he is a benign little guy, often confused by the world around him, but happy to be here.

Page 39

...the longer I stared up at the canopy with restive eyes, my imagination got the better of me; the canopy scared me because of that old movie Thirteen Ghosts. “Lucy, I’m scared,” I whispered.

Pages 48-49

I secretly went there to lie on my stomach with my arms flung open to embrace the earth; I’d press my face into the sun-warmed grass, loving its ancient being with its memory of the world carved by glaciers; a life that emerged from the rubble of time.

Page 53

“Wow, you live in the Witch’s house!” Dede blurted out. “It’s so creepy—how cool is that? Is it really haunted? Is it true that Phoebe Lamoureux hung herself in the attic?”

Page 61

“Engine, Engine Number Nine going down the Chicago Line, if the train should jump the track, do you want your money back?”

Page 81

“Easy there, Dede Sage, pull up your socks, I have no quarrel with you—I deserved the fat lip fair and square,”

Page 88

“Mommy, Mommy, the school is throwing up!”

Page 106-107

“I regret deeply any injuries that may have been done in the course of the events that led to this decision. I would say only that if some of my judgments were wrong, and some were wrong, they were made in what I believed at the time to be the best interest of the Nation.”—Richard M. Nixon, August 8, 1974

Page 138

Some little kids are like that, nigh indestructible, they can wipe out as bad as the Agony of Defeat Guy on ABC’s Wide World of Sports, and get up to go about their business like nothing happened except for the annoyance of a scrape or bruise.

Page 140

Why hadn’t they walked with her? Because, they said, Sandy wanted to stop at Mooney’s for candy. Why? Because she found a quarter on the playground. Why didn’t you go with her? Because we can’t walk downtown because we aren’t allowed to go there without our parents. Sandy should have known better because there’s no Safety Patrol on the corner of Broad and Church Streets because it’s dangerous.

Page 157

“Why do I see these things, why do I hear everything from the past—I can’t touch anything in this house and not have it talk to me or show me something—I need to understand why am I like this?”

Page 180

I hated to think that my relatives were a bunch of boring girls who did nothing but sit on their bustles, drinking tea, eating cake, darning socks, and popping out as many babies as humanly possible during their child bearing years.

Page 184
Tell me you wouldn’t do the same if you could stop the diabolical deed of choice from happening by hitching a ride with Dr. Who in the Tardis, traveling to the past to make a particular bad person go away. Okay, I’ll leave you with your pondering feet dangling from that metaphorical fence.

Page 187
What’s she gonna do, scare me? Yeah right, “BOO!” I ain’t scared of no ghost.

Page 207
Today has been one of those days in which I thought boredom might kill me; I don’t know why I feel this way, but sometimes I have this overwhelming urge to implode or something messy—

Page 217
“I think you need to go to the shut-the-fuck-up room,”

Page 260
"Everything’s wrong—what the fuck, I can’t even die right!"

Page 266

Tag, I’m it—he got me—now it’s my turn to be dumbfounded. Just because he’s dead, he ain’t stupid—I’m the smart-ass idiot, who suddenly thought she knew, but I didn’t, and I still don’t. He’s the one dead, yet more alive, I have unfortunately fallen into a natural progression of prejudice that occurs when there are differences between people—I’m alive, he’s dead; I’m tangible and he’s not. Just because I can’t touch him—or to be crass—can’t fuck him, it doesn’t make him less of a being without his human parts. “He ain’t nobody without no body,” you say? I beg to differ, especially after this day.

Page 292
“Don’t ever try to surprise me without asking ever again.”

Page 294

I definitely looked like some moldy leftover rock star that got forgotten at the back of the music industry fridge—I was a walkin’ freak show. “Hi, I’m sore thumb, nice to meet ya.”

Page 297
“Listen, honey—I know how hard it is being a girl on her own. I’ve disentangled myself from enough relationships with men to know what you’re going through. You feel guilty for leaving him because you’re afraid he can’t take care of himself, or he’s gonna kill himself, or find you and drag you back to the cave by your hair—whatever flavor your nightmare is, it will pass. Forget him—you need to take care of you. Trust me, one day will come you will look him in the eye and know in your heart you did the right thing leaving him.

Page 320
I looked up at the solitary white cloud in the blue sky—its shape shifting, a spirit from a puddle somewhere—or a ghost from a river—now a mysterious little goddess figure, and then a god, its existence shredded to pieces by the lack of faith of its followers.

So...what do you think so far???

Any questions, comments, giggles? Feedback is always helpful...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The book cover

(Click image for a closer look)

Here it is...the cover for my little novel Dusty Waters...I've been reading the whole thing through cover to cover this weekend, and just finished reading a couple of hours ago, and then went immediately into the garden to do a little bit of work cleaning up the left over hollyhock and sunflower stalks...it's been a gorgeous day...now I'm very tired, my body humming and my head buzzing...I lay down on the porch floor and sunned myself with my little dog-friend, listened to the birds squabble at the feeder, and a little mole squeaking and rummaging around under the dead leaves in the flower bed...it just felt so good to have the sunshine on my face!

What an odd little book I have written! I love it just as much as I did when I first finished it...I've been away from it long enough to have forgotten a little bit...there are times where it's quite funny, Dusty has a fun-loving grasp of the absurd things in life...yet she's serious about the things that matter, I call it a compassionate rage. It's a ghost story, there are lots of ghosts in it...but there are things that are scarier than ghosts in the world, much scarier...people are sometimes scarier than ghosts.

I was asked more than once last week...how long did it take me to write this book...well, I started it in 1999...which is sort of true, because I started most of my manuscripts around that time because for some reason I hit a sweet spot and everything came at me all at once, and I just made up my mind to finally do something about them...it just took a very long time to write everything down! The stories found in Dusty Waters are really much older than that...I started thinking about this stuff in the 1970's when I was flailing around in those awkward phases of growing up. I loved telling stories, I would claim that they were true (cross my heart and hope to die true) and I told them like I believed every word...but I was often accused of being a liar and I would be indignant...

Funny isn't it?

Well, fun stuff...ghost stories...

I need to sit down with my Fred and go over the things that I want to change...and then...well, then it'll be ready for public consumption...I'll keep you posted!

The photos used in the design are mine...the house used to stand at the old Fox Sister's homestead in Hydesville, New York, it's gone now, burned down some time ago...I took the pictures of the place sometime in the mid to late 1980's...it's where the Spiritualist movement began, the girls (Kate and Margaret) allegedly heard rappings in their parents house and devised a "code" to talk to the dead, and held seances. It was just one of those things that set my imagination on fire way back when I was young and impressionable...

So much...at time too much...for now, all I can say is "Wow."

As soon as we're done tinkering, and I approve the next proof...I'll make it for sale...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Playing with a spider...

Not really playing with it, just took a picture of one on my bedroom wall because the angle of the light made a cool, yet creepy shadow...it was just an itsy-bitsy spider...the photo turned out too blurry to be anything great, so I made it look like a drawing instead...

I'm in the process of self-publishing my novel, Dusty Waters through Createspace, I just ordered the proof of the book this morning and should have it in hand in about a week or so...stay tuned...my Fred and I worked on the book cover Friday night, burning the midnight oil...I've shared it with a select few supporters for feedback, so far everyone that has seen it, loves it...I'll post it here as soon as it's "For Sale"...I almost did it this morning, but changed my mind...

What in the world does a spider have to do with my book...nothing really...tho' my character Dusty Waters would've probably found the spider cool too...her birthday is on Halloween...the book is a good ghost story...

I'm very excited about becoming published...I'm trying not to get too excited tho', know what I mean? There's potential for disappointment and more frustration...let's just say, I'm being realistic about this process. I have no high expectations about making millions, maybe some pocket money if I'm lucky, trust me, self-publishing isn't that good of a deal, I would have to inflate the price to an unaffordable price for the reader to really put a bulge in my wallet. I'll do what I can to self-promote it through blogging, hand selling it, making it available for Kindle and other e-book readers...I'll muddle through...it's all a learning experience. Over the course of ten years, I've written five novels (I'm working on my sixth)...in the line up Dusty Waters is the fourth one that I wrote, it is the first one to be published...since I can't seem to get through the gatekeepers the traditional way, I had to crash the party on my own terms...I'm not doing it to make the money, I'm doing it to get it out there...

It's a wait n' see...

Here's a picture of the heart of one of our trees...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Work in Progress and Cat Naps

Work in progress...a little more green than the last time...there are about a half dozen other half finished works on paper floating about...I'm on a break from working on my new novel, Layers of Illusion...meanwhile, I'm re-reading The Fractured Hues of White Light...I felt it necessary to read it again since I'm sending it around to agents...

I finally finished reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell...such a nifty book, very enjoyable...

It's been a busy day, I just got done being the white tornado, cleaning my house up and down, now its time for a nap...

Nap time...

Fatty Woo works hard at sleeping...it's serious business according to him...I am also learning the art of napping, and usually there's a fat tabby showing me the way...it's that hypnotic purr...it's magical...

When one is sleepless, read this...

It's so good, it's narcotic. I'd guarantee that you'd be asleep soon...it's all that yawning, it's very contagious!