Shooting From The Lip

It has been quite a while since I blogged. Even longer since I have written anything substantial. Life changes have silenced my written word flow.  I seem quite capable of speech, though.  That never goes away, apparently.

Thank you to Kevin Hale for hosting me on his fabulous SoundCloud show called, Round of Shots. Get the good, the bad, and the very ugly of Paige Randall. Take a listen. We talk about writing Circling The Shadows, music, reflux and many other fun, ridiculous and random topics.

Let me know what you think.


Screen Characters Blog Hop

Thank you to my twitter/blogger/writer favorite Susan Kicklighter, Writing For Kicks, for including me on this Favorite Screen Characters Blog Hop. Rules of the game… name your ten favorite TV or Movie characters, then nominate ten friends to do the same.

I love this but it is a really good, unintended, personality test. I love villains. I love characters willing to do anything to meet their goals… driven, singularly focused. Unfortunately I’m noticing that many of my favorite female characters are prostitutes. Strong women, sacrificing, typically are not Carol Brady characters. I’m going to dig deep here.


Al Swearengen, Deadwood
No character in recent memory has shown such a complex diversity of emotions. He was vile, funny, terrifying, but had a sweetness that made him the perfect character in my book.

Darth Vadar, Star Wars
I can’t help it, I love every second he’s on screen. At this moment I’m wearing this shirt.


Jesse Pinkman & Walter White, Breaking Bad
I don’t think it’s possible to list one without the other. To understand how Walter’s criminal genius unwinds his humanity, you need to observe Jesse’s hallow, childish, undeveloped psyche grow into his own true humanity. They are perfect foils in their twisted father/son bromance.

Joan Holloway, Mad Men
Male characters never have to go the distance to do what it takes to succeed. They are blessed with the ease of violence or self sacrifice that never includes their own sexual self sacrifice. Joan will do whatever it takes to be something more.

Cullen Bohannon, Hell on Wheels
Confession, Cullen is the inspiration for my main charachter in Circling. Cullen’s grief and strength as well as his blinding need for justice, of his own making, spoke to me and he is sexy as hell.


Sarah Connor, Terminator
No one is more driven than Sara. I love her transformation between the first and second films. She tries to find support within the system and realizes saving the entire world is on her… and she meets the challenge.

Katniss Everdeen, Hunger Games
Katniss had me at “I volunteer as Tribute.”


Baroness Karen Blixen, Out of Africa
The Baroness fought for her coffee, fought for the Kikuyu, fought syphilis and fought for her man. In the end she lost mostly everything, but her dignity and strength were stunning.

Willie Wonka, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory
For younger readers, let me clarify, Gene Wilder is the only Willie Wonka. Period. Sadism dancing with a cane in a purple velvet jacket. Perfection.

That was fun. Join me?

Gary Bailey
Bill Cunningham
Aaran Bhansal
Dena Rogers
Carrie Mesrobian
Michael Frost
Kris Holt
Pieran Dodo
Louise G. White
Victoria Davenport

Emotional Rescue


I was sitting, waiting for my train in Penn Station, remembering the last time I sat waiting for a train in Penn Station. Usually when memories like this come at me, I chase them away and I chase well.  Last time, I had just gotten really bad news, the worst kind of news, but it was more than that.  I shared a few days with some of my favorite people in the world and their world was changing. It has never been the same since and never will be. I sat in a corner chair and cried my face off. Yes I was the crazy lady crying in the train station (Note: Grand Central is shown, not Penn.)

That was a little over four years ago. If I am honest with myself, I have to admit that I went a little dull after that. I couldn’t quite get at the range of emotions I used to have. If the range was a one (misery) to ten (joy), I lived in the four to six zone. Not miserable, but not joyful either. Colors lost their luster. My musical interests closed in, and I probably listened to the same five bands over and over again, for three years. I essentially stopped reading. I wasn’t noticeably different, but I was different.

I’ve talked a lot about the visceral impact writing had on me when I started in February. At risk of repeating myself, I’ll say that it was actually a little disturbing. I stopped eating and sleeping and I felt buzzed 24 hours a day. I was writing thousands of words a day and I couldn’t stop. I could feel everything. Every word that went through me came from a depth that I can’t even explain. But it made me laugh and cry and afraid and unbelievably exhilarated. Less than a week in, I was strongly encouraged to get blood work. There may have been whispers of a nervous breakdown behind my back.

After about a month, the frenetic energy leveled off, but the rest stayed. The access stayed. Now the light is so bright that I can see the rays.  I can listen to a guitar solo seventeen times over and go back for an eighteenth, because the magic is real. It was20141030_104829 there the whole time, but I couldn’t get at it. Every sense is powerful and alive and I feel… awake.  This must be what heroin feels like.

When I wrote Circling, I chose some of my favorite locations for inspiration – North Carolina beaches, Charleston and Savannah. Before I started Forever Falling I had an urge to get to Asheville, NC. I had never been, but I just knew my characters were there so I went in July. My characters were indeed there. Book Three, untitled for now, will be set in New York City, primarily Brooklyn. I am just now taking the train away from New York. I spent an amazing few days there and yesterday I explored Brooklyn.

I was a little freaked out getting myself from Midtown Manhattan to Brooklyn. I have no idea how the subway system works (or do they say trains here) and I wanted to stay above ground to see the bridges. I can’t figure out busses to save my life.  I ended up taking a cab which cost a third of what I had guessed it would. I saw everything I wanted to see, the hospital (main character is a doc), Gloria’s West Indies Restaurant (thank to Anthony Bourdain for the tip), and walked miles and miles of sidewalk. Getting out of Brooklyn was an adventure of its own. Guess what, cabbies won’t go into Manhattan at the end of the day.  It wasn’t the end to the day I wou20141030_154220ld have chosen, but it was an experience all its own.

At one point I saw a park near the hospital, potentially really good setting material.  In my area back home, I don’t wander into parks much, alone on a weekday.  I decided to do it anyway and tentatively climbed a hill with no idea what awaited me on the other side. (Note: since I’m a writer my options were pretty much Ted Bundy, white slavery or gang rape). What I found was something very different, but you’ll have to wait for Book Three to read about it.IMG_20141030_143536

As I stood on that hilltop I wanted to drop to my knees and kiss the ground. (Note: I did not).  The warm air, the golden leaves, the filtered light, the singing birds, the poetic trees, the laughing hot dog vendors, the curious children, the view below me, the enormous blue skies above, steam billowing in the distance … it was all mine. It’s mine because I can reach it now, or more likely, it can reach me.

Here’s to being grateful for every day of this life.  Not everyone gets it and it is an extraordinary honor. Don’t miss a moment.


(Note: Pls forgive typos. Train typing is tough.)