Wednesday, February 27, 2013

consider me quenched

Quench is such a silly word. But that is our prompt for Sensational Haiku Wednesday this week...

My throat's a desert                                My heart is thirsty
I need water to survive                           Drying up, yearning for love
I'm not a camel                                       Quench my fiery soul

I also wanted to pass on the Inspirational Blogger award I received from Elizabeth Zguta. Thanks, Elizabeth!
Here are the Rules of the Award Blog:
  • Display the award logo on your blog post. 
  • Link back to the person who nominated you. 
  • State 7 things about yourself. 
  • Nominate 15 bloggers to the award. 
  • Notify those bloggers of the nomination by linking to one of their specific posts so that they get notified by ping back.
Being a veteran of this award, I bent the rules a little. This time I want to be inspiring. I give you
7 encouraging tips I have learned while writing...
  1. The only way to have a beautiful garden is to keep tending it. Keep writing!
  2. If you get stuck on one thing, work on something else. It's like crop rotation for your brain - sometimes the soil needs a break from all that work to rebuild the nurturing nutrients and be fertile again!
  3. Read books on the craft.
  4. Read books in your genre.
  5. Write your query like you are writing the back of your book blurb - you want to grab attention and sell your book! The tastiest pie at the fair wins the prize, but a sweet aroma will bring the judges to your table!
  6. Submit! Submit! Submit!
  7. Don't let rejection get you down. Curse at it, settle down, and move on. It's fertilizer - it will make you grow!
Pardon my farming references, feeling down homey today, I guess!

I'm passing this award on to bloggers with less than 250 followers - up and coming friends who inspire me to keep going by sticking with writing and blogging and to give them a boost of inspiration too! Visit them!

And I saved the best for last. Many of you already saw or promoted Mr. Captain Ninja Rockstar Alex's cover for the final book in his Cassa Trilogy, CassaStorm... This is how it will look on my desk...

And this is how it will look when someone reads it...

Have an inspirational Wednesday!

Monday, February 25, 2013

I've gone cuckoo for paranormal romance!

How fitting that I finished, not one, not two, but THREE! paranormal romances in February!!! Just don't ask when I started them... And here are my reviews, in the order completed.

Product DetailsWICKED APPETITE by Janet Evanovich

I dub this paranormal chick lit and I enjoyed the ride. Very fun, reminiscent of Stephanie Plum series. Quirky, hot characters, zany antics, and troublesome sidekicks, including a snarky broom. The reason Evanovich is such an easy read is she surprises us with unexpected, unthinkable, yet plausible situations (at least you wish they could happen), in addition to creating truly awesome tension-filled relationships. WICKED APPETITE is the perfect combo of sparks and spooks!

GIVIN' UP THE GHOST by Gwen Gardner

I am so happy I finally finished a book by one of my blogger buddies! This YA paranormal romance is a wonderful introduction to a new mystery series starring teen clairvoyant, Indigo Eady. Packed with cute, spunky characters, a hint of heat, and a dash of ghostly mayhem, Indigo's first case is full of fun and suspense.

I only had a couple of crits. Set in modern day London, the British vernacular was a bit out of date - I don't think "blimey" is something a teen would say these days. And though a mystery needs a bunch of suspects, I had a hard time keeping them straight sometimes, but that might just be me. Neither of these small stones hindered the story, just suggestions to watch for in the next one, which I look forward to reading!

My favorite parts involved the ghosts themselves. Indigo, and only Indigo, can communicate with them - and they each have entertaining personalities. And the names of the pubs cracked me up! Gwen did an excellent job developing all the characters and creating conflict and danger to keep the story moving right along. Keep 'em coming, Gwen!

But wait! I finished another one! This is a record for me.

1301 - THE MARQUIS by Christine Rains

Christine has woven an intriguing underground world of disturbed paranormal beings hiding their identities from humans and their own kind. They reside on the 13th Floor that doesn't exist in an old apartment building in the subdued, dark city of Carmine. In this first tale, we meet Marc, the Grand Marquis, a retired demon that Hell wants back. But he's grown attached to our world and in particular, a sweet barista named Mae. When an old nemesis comes to claim Marc for some recognition as a greater demon, a destructive battle ensues and Marc has to make a drastic choice. Thrilling, suspenseful, high tension and stakes! I'm hungry for more, especially looking forward to reading about that Dragonslayer in 1303!

What are you reading? Read any of these? I recommend them all!

Friday, February 22, 2013

servers dish it out!

A tale of strength and light defeating evil opposition is revealed in CHAMPION IN THE DARKNESS by Tyrean Martinson. To gain a glimpse, you are hereby invited to eavesdrop on two servers in the dining room at Triune Halls...

Breakfast has just concluded with a hubbub of laughter and chattiness. As the youthful crowd disperses to their three halls - shepherd students, sword students, and law students, Tyrean Tilly and Sara Syler clean up the mess left behind.

Sara Syler: *stacks a tower of plates and nods* That apprentice Clara, she thinks she's ready to be a sword master. I think she's got a lot more to learn, eh, Tyrean?

Tyrean Tilly: *wipes a spill* Well, she has been training here longer than most of these young ones, but I doubt she understands much about those swords of power. Seems all those masters get something they don't expect when they receive them.
background image

Sara: That's certainly true. *winks* I've heard rumors about how Master Dantor acted when he got his, but now he's been hanging out with that Stelia. She's so moody, moping around all the time. What's the deal with her?

Tyrean: *wrinkles nose at a stubborn stain* Well, I heard she was raised by that witch Kalidess and the Dark Sisterhood. I can't imagine that's something she's proud of. In fact I'm surprised the Triune Council let her serve at all with the things I've heard about her past. *leans in and whispers* I've heard she burned whole villages under Kalidess's command.

Sara: No, that's horrifying! I can't believe even Stelia would be so bad. She's probably thankful to be here, where she's safe. That Kalidess is evil, but I don't think she'll ever get a hold of our land. Septily is a fine place, a strong place made of seven united kingdoms. Kalidess and any Darkness she threatens . . . Well, I don't believe she or it will ever come here."

Tyrean: I don't know. Having Clara as an extra sword master would make me feel better.

*Clara rushes by the open door.*

Tyrean: There she is now, off to claim her sword.

Sara: We'll surely find out all about it at luncheon.

Tyrean: Oh, don't even mention luncheon! The students are even messier then.

And, scene!
Hope you enjoyed our play! Thank you Tyrean for telling us a little about CHAMPION IN THE DARKNESS! Here are a few more details...

Clara is younger than most trainees, but she is ready to hold a Sword Master's blade. While visions and ancient prophecies stand in her way, they also offer a destiny unlike any other. Clara is aided by a haunted mentor, Stelia, whose knowledge of their enemy Kalidess is both a bane and a blessing. As evil threatens their land, Clara and Stelia must find the strength to overcome the darkness.

Tyrean Martinson lives and writes in the Northwest, encouraged by her loving husband and daughters, and reminded to exercise by her dogs and cat. Champion in the Darkness is her first book in the Champion Trilogy, but she has previously published short stories and poetry. She can be found online at Tyrean’s Writing Spot.

And here are a couple of giveaways where you can win CHAMPION IN THE DARKNESS!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

play with me!

I love games!
Thank you to Jamie & Allison for letting me talk about games! And who can choose just one? I give you my top ten game list (plus a couple)

Board Games:
1. Apples to Apples - so fun with my witty family and great for all ages (just tried a new version with pictures at xmas - hilarious!)
2. Scrabble / Words with Friends - a given, right?
3. Pictionary - but I don't get to play it very often, not enough interest. I tried Draw Something for a bit, but it had too many
4. The Amazing Labrynth - love logic & puzzle games!
5. Blokus - my son and I challenge each other by using two colors each

Video Games:
6. Any Lego video game - challenging, funny, and revolve around my favorite movies! Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Harry Potter!
Xmas 2009
7. Rock Band - love to sing and play guitar, though it has lost its lustre for my boys...not to mention we never have time!
8. Solitaire games - Mah Jongg, Sudoku, and newer What's the Word (reminds me of one of these things is not like the other...) I was playing Candy Crush, but you have to bother other people to play farther levels - I hate that!

Action Games!
9. Table games - ping pong, air hockey and pool (see how I fit all those in!)
10. Volleyball - can't remember the last time I played, but I love that game. I'd probably break something and definitely would embarrass myself if I tried to play today - but I'm game!!!

Today is also book club day!
Thank you, ML Swift, for hosting this online group! I learned so much and it's only the first book!

by Anne Lamott

Based on her voice, I'd say Ms. Lamott is a tough bird! She's offered her challenging life experiences as positive examples of how to write and live. Humor is essential in her healing and dealing process - we shouldn't take ourselves or others opinions too seriously.

Her thoughts on bearing your soul in your precious story, to someone you hope will validate this and that person tells you it still needs more work. You have to, at this point, question your assessment of this person's character...and decide whether or not you want them in your life at all. (p. 163) I love her sarcasm!

I had to stop reading several times to run over to my WIP and apply it! So here I share my favorite tips:
  • Her images of letting things distract you while trying to get started reminded me of Spongebob trying to write his essay... She suggests narrowing what we start with to as much as I can see through a one-inch picture frame. (p. 17)
  • Love the draft definitions: first draft is the down draft - you just get it down; second draft is the up draft - you fix it up; third draft is the dental draft - check every tooth (p. 25-26)
  • Favorite chapter - Character. It is the most important piece of a book. Don't make them perfect - a person's faults are largely what make him or her likable. and perfect means shallow and unreal and fatally uninteresting... (p. 50)
  • This was my biggest problem with whether to write: deciding what is interesting is about as subjective as things get. (p. 51)
  • Plot concerns Characters. **Find out what each character cares most about in the world because then you will have discovered what's at stake.** (p. 55)
  • Dialog has to define Characters. They should not all sound like you; each one must have a self. And good dialog gives us the sense that we are eavesdropping... and tells what is said and what is not said. (p. 66-67)
  • Another perfect summation of perfection - perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor. (p. 93)
  • Lastly, on jealousy of other writers doing well, historically when people do too well too quickly, they are a Greek tragedy waiting to happen. (p. 128) 
I immensely enjoyed reading this and learned a lot about what makes good writing. Now to apply. And next month we will be discussing SAVE THE CAT by Blake Snyder. I'm excited!

I leave you with my "alternative" Sensational Haiku Wednesday...
go against the flow
find a better way
im such a rebel

Never say I can't
Try alternative method
Always have options

Bands that go beyond -
Cake, Incubus, Linkin Park,
Muse, Weezer, Offspring

What do you like to play? What's your favorite craft book?
And I'm always looking for a good game of Words w/Friends - find me on facebook!

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Adventures of Mish & Elise!

Hey, everyone! Hope you enjoy this cartoon in celebration of Mish & Elise reaching 200 followers! Congrats ladies! (drawn by Mish & Elise, captions by us)

In other news,

This month Writers4Writers is spotlighting authorsGwen Gardner and Melissa BradleySo check out Gwen and Melissa's blogs or the W4WS Facebook page for more details.
I'll be putting up my review of Gwen's book, GIVIN UP THE GHOST next Monday

AND I am helping A to Z host, Jeremy, this year. I'm a minion!

Friday, February 15, 2013

double take

Elizabeth Arroyo is bursting with good advice! 
To help promote her wonderful debut novel, 
she has written a brilliant guest post on COMMUNITY RESOURCE SHARING - where we pool our resources for a common goal! Sounds excellent to me!

Hi Everyone! Thank you Tara for hosting me!

I wanted to talk a little bit about community resource sharing. The blogosphere has captured that pretty well. We have groups like Writers4Writers, Tara's brilliant idea about writers coming together to help organize physical events in the community, and all the wonderful bloggers willing to give a helping hand to other writers. We seem to "get" the power of sharing.

Here's a list of why it works so well and what to think about if you decide to organize a network.
  • Common Goals. Readers: writers, teachers, librarians, booksellers, etc. When designing a group find the common goals that link everyone. When it comes to books, we are all readers. Love of a good book and making that available to readers are our common goals. 
  • Stretching your resources. When planning an event start brainstorming everyone that needs to be around the table. Form a list of major contributors and what they can gain from and what they can provide by being part of your network.
  • Don't do it alone. Networks should have a round table atmosphere. Everyone participates, no one leads. Yes, you have to have that one person who organizes everyone else, but that person should not, let's say that again, That Person Should Not be made to carry the bulk of the responsibilities nor rule with a sword. A pen, yes. No sword. Organization is key and a strong coordinator. I handled this by "volunteering" folks to do things they suggested.
"Wouldn't it be a great idea if we took a shuttle to the moon," says participant number 1
"Yes, it would," says I. "Why don't you see who would fund something like that?"
Participant one scratches her head and nods. Hook, Line and Sinker.
  • Have clear, concise goals and expectations.
  • And...have fun! Get to know each other. Do fun things. Hopefully, the network will prosper and be called family.
About Elizabeth:
Elizabeth has worked in the community for the bulk of her professional career. She enjoys quiet moments, action flicks, and dancing with her four-year-old.  THE SECOND SIGN is her debut novel. You can find more information about Elizabeth at:

Watch the trailer at

Dark YA Paranormal Romance
Sapphire Star Publishing

When a demon guardian comes to collect seventeen-year-old Gabby’s soul, she refuses to give it up. She’s not demon. She can’t be. Her father and twin brother are angels. The demon gives Gabby twenty-four hours to decide her allegiance, and then starts killing her short list of friends, leaving a message behind: She is the Second Sign.

As Gabby and Jake—her almost boyfriend—begin to unravel the mystery behind the Second Sign, she learns Jake may be the key to saving her soul. But it means a sacrifice has to be made that will change their lives forever.

The Second Sign
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

crisis management

Good Sensational Haiku Wednesday to you!
This week's topic is crisis...

courtesy MS clipart
Some crises are big

The destruction of
democracy by the sad
loss of compromise

Some crises are trivial

You've already gone
and can find no TP in
the vicinity

Some are personal

Discovering your
original idea
already in use

Got any struggles or crises this week? Hope they are small ones!

Monday, February 11, 2013

winter is on the outs

Hope my friends in the Northeast made it through the big blizzard! I remember camping out in our basement by the pot belly stove for a blizzard in the 70s! I was born in Plymouth, MA and loved all that snow as a kid.

Well, Winter is almost over and usually I say good riddance, bring on the Spring! But today I am seeing the bright side of Winter...

Top 10 Winter Cheers!

10.  Sweater weather - I like cardigans. I wish could wear a pretty pullover sweater, but I tend to overheat, so I dress in layers. And I can't stand static!
9.   Watching snowball fights
8.   Basketball, baby! (my boys and college)
7.   Fun socks and cozy slippers
6.   Seeing your breath
5.   Icicles!
4.   Warm beverages =P
3.   Bunny and other critter tracks
2.   Snowflakes!
And the number 1 reason I like winter,
1.   Not shaving =)

Too much information?

Since it's Monday, I will leave you with just a few notes and notices...

You might have heard that Alex is revealing his CassaStorm cover on Feb 22 AND announced his blogfest details - March 18th we will share our top ten favorite movies. This will be tough with so many great ones!

I've seen a bunch of mushy, gushy, romancy blog hops I'm sure some of you sweethearts are participating in, but those aren't for me. I'll sit back and enjoy some chocolate <3

Next week - Don't forget Mish & Elise's Blog-o-versary

And Jamie & Allison's Level Up Blogfest

Some great college basketball moments this weekend - incredible buzzer beater, quintuplet overtime, and upsets! Our home courts were pretty intense too. Only a few games left...hope I can take it!

Do you keep up with basketball? What's your favorite part of winter? And are you doing anything special for Valentine's this year? Whatever your plans, have a lovey-dovey week!

Friday, February 8, 2013

TT Talks to Charity!

Fasten your seat belts and get comfortable for your space flight to join the audience of that outer world, renowned, intergalactic talk show, Tara Tyler Talks, on planet Tartylak! Never heard of it? You must be from Earth.

Now look out the portal! There's today's famous world hopping guest, Charity, in her sporty new space cruiser.

Okay, folks. We're here. Take your seats and enjoy the show!

Welcome, everyone! Please give a warm welcome to my fabulous guest, Charity Bradford! *applause*

So nice of you to come, Charity. I am so excited to read your book, THE MAGIC WAKES! You know, I have an aunt who visited Sendek last spring. What's it like?

It’s my ideal world. The people of Sendek have made great strides in technology while also protecting their environment. This means beautiful modern cities with a futuristic look, but also vast areas of wilderness, forests, mountains, rivers and valleys. There are oceans as well, but I’ve not made it to the coast yet. Sendek is a world filled with light. There are two suns and three moons. Luckily the suns are fairly close to each other allowing them to rise and set within seconds or up to an hour of each other depending on the time of year.   

One of my favorite things about living on Sendek are the fully computerized houses. No one cooks anymore, food is ordered from the metabolizers. And they have the best medical care, though Talia has never needed any. If only they would look outward and put their science into exploring space.

You had me at "no one cooks!" Sounds heavenly! But poor Talia, she's the only one who knows about the imminent invasion. What can you tell us about the aliens who want to take over? Are they magical?

*shudders* The Dragumon embody all my worst nightmares. Tall, powerful, scaly, and they don’t care about the sanctity of life unless it’s theirs. They’ve been wandering in space for several hundred years trying to get home to Sendek.

Yeah, you heard me right. They were conceived on Sendek long ago by a mage and his best friend, who happened to be a dragon. I really think they meant to help men, but it didn’t turn out so well. The creatures had to be sent away and all the dragon-kin abandoned Sendek too.

I’m not sure, but I think some of these creatures had magical powers before leaving the planet. They’ve forgotten how to use them though because they’ve not needed them. Who needs magic when you can crush human skulls with your bare hands?  

Scary! So the people might have time, if they get their act together! You got the scoop on the invasion from Talia, a scientist, right? Will she ever come to grips with her extra abilities?

Don’t tell Talia I’m sharing her secrets, okay? It’s hard to gain her trust and I’d like to keep her talking to me. Talia is a scientist, but she only went into that field of study so she could find the facts to back up her dreams. They’re prophetic, but who would believe in something like that? She’s had them since birth, and let me tell you, they sure leave their mark on her—in more ways than one. I don’t think she even knows all that she can do yet.

Or she doesn't want to admit it! And she has a connection with a Major Landry Sutton. What is his job? How did these two meet? Is he a hunk or what?

*fans self* Honey, I’d take him home. The way those clear blue eyes contrast with that black hair. And when he wears the Royalist uniform! Give me a minute.

Okay, let’s see. Major Sutton is pretty young for his rank, but he’s really dedicated to the royal family. They are his family after all. He doesn’t seem to take much time for relationships, pity. However, he’s been spending a lot of time thinking about Talia. They met at the SEF, the Space Exploration Foundation, where Talia works. When I asked Landry about it, he just said she was under investigation. Right, like she has time to join a political terrorist group!  

Now besides covering Talia's story, you participate in other activities. How do you give birth to a novel? and does it hurt?

Sometimes it hurts a lot! More so when you do it on your own. I’ve found that birthing a novel is different for everyone, but one thing is always true—talking about it helps. My good friend Elizabeth Poole and I started this meme in 2011 for Nanowrimo. We decided to bring it back at the end of 2012 with a broader purpose to include anyone and everyone. Every Thursday we post our writing goals and report on how we did with the previous set of goals. It doesn’t matter what stage of the process you’re in, everyone can play. We support and cheer each other on.

What a wonderful venture! Lastly, I'm curious. What happens when you ring a Unicorn's Bell?

Amazing things happen. You learn to see your writing through the eyes of a reader. At Unicorn Bell our goal is simple: Give back to the writing community by providing a safe place to test writing.

When I was sending query letters out, I dreamed of a place to chat with other writers and get their advice… And found it! Carol Coffelt, aka Huntress, came up with this great idea and invited me to join her. I was honored. All seven of us “ladies of the bell”, as I like to label us, are on the same journey as our readers. We hope that by sharing our experiences and providing critiques in small bite-sizes, we can encourage other writers to keep trying. Never give up, and never surrender!

Beautiful sentiment! I think I've heard it echoed in the galaxies somewhere... Thank you so much for taking the time to sit and chat with us, Charity! And thank you, studio audience, for taking the trip light years away to be here! Safe travels home, everyone!

Here are the details for
THE MAGIC WAKES by Charity Bradford
Talia has a secret 
that could save her world, 
yet rip it apart. 
Only she can decide
if the price is worth it.

Scientist Talia Zaryn never considered her childish nightmares of an alien invasion and  her death to be real and always kept them secret. But when her mirror image reveals the face of her dreams, she fears they are prophetic. Talia must prove that life exists beyond their planet, Sendek, and hopes her people will prepare to fight.

Major Landry Sutton is looking for a traitor. His ability to sense emotions convinces him Talia is that traitor until a touch sizzles between them. In an instant their minds are connected and they can communicate telepathically. Just as the two begin to trust each other, the invading force arrives.

Talia and Landry must uncover the secrets of Sendek’s past if they hope to defeat these terrifying creatures. And Talia is the key—if only she can learn to trust the magic coursing through her veins.

Trailer                         Amazon                  Goodreads
Facebook                  Twitter                    Website

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

you need this book!

Heck, I need this book!

L. Diane Wolfe, the Spunkmaster, is ready to help us promote our novels! (Twitter, Facebook)

Publishing and promoting made simple!
This book walks you through the steps of identifying markets, budgeting, building an online presence, and generating publicity. Get the whole story on:
• Traditional & Self publishing
• Print and e-book setup, formatting, and distribution
• Finding your target audience
• Generating reviews and media interest
• Networking and developing an online presence
• Promotional materials and appearances

Give your writing the best chance for success!

How To Publish and Promote Your Book Now!
Available February 5, 2012
$14.95 Trade paperback ISBN 978-0-9827139-5-2
$4.95 Ebook ISBN 978-0-9827139-9-0
Barnes & Noble         Amazon         Amazon Kindle

It's also the first Wednesday of the month, so for my Insecure Writers Support Group entry, I'm going to see how I've done on accomplishing January's goals...

  ü  Created Facebook author page!
  ü  Cut back on blogging, but my posts have grown in size…hmm (this is a perfect example)
  ü  Got my Broken Branch Falls edits done and sent to CPs and already got some great feedback!
  ü  Finished reading a book
  ü  Made at least 3 healthy dinners and drank a bottle of water a day +

Still in progress…
  è Patience. And when you ask for patience, you get opportunities to practice it, like waiting for editing and cover samples. Waiting, always waiting (use voice of Roz from Monsters, Inc)
  è Goodreads author page – will make when my book is closer
  è Bed by 11 worked for a couple of weeks, need to try again
  è Since I met the other healthy goals, I’m bumping them up to 4 healthy meals and 2 bottles of water

And one more thing. I promised Elizabeth I would continue this Blog Chain, so here is a quick look at...
1. What is the working title of your current or next book? Next book - SIMULATION
2. Where did you get the idea for that book? I’ve heard you need to keep the books coming, so I took the droids from the first novel (POP TRAVEL) and highlighted them in this one.
3. What is the genre of the book? Techno Thriller – Futuristic Sci Fi
4. If you could pick actors to play the lead characters in your story, who would you pick? How awesome would that be! Originally I chose Leonardo DiCaprio, Reese Witherspoon, and Aziz Ansari for POP TRAVEL.
5. How would you describe your book in one sentence? A scorned campaign manager creates the perfect candidate and only Cooper and Geri can expose he is really a Simulation – a clone droid.
6. How will your book be published--submitted through the traditional route to a traditional publisher, or will you be handling it yourself through indie publishing methods? Traditional! It worked the first time! Thank you, CURIOSITY QUILLS!
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of this book? Still in the development phase, going to use the Nano format – 1 month (possibly 2)
8. What other books within your genre are similar to yours? Michael Crichton is my inspiration, the techno thriller king! I’d say a futuristic Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book? My nephew was so excited to read POP TRAVEL and said he would like to read more. He really got me going on this sequel.
10. What about your book will pique the reader's interest? It’s fast paced and exciting. Plus the relationship between Cooper and Geri is full of tension – will they ever get together??

Next week the chain continues with the incomparable, incorrigible Peggy Eddleman!!

The secret to fame
isn't a one hit wonder.
It's sequel success!

for Sensational Haiku Wednesday - follow

So how are your 2013 goals coming along?   And how do you feel about sequels?

Monday, February 4, 2013

I will overcome

This piece is for Nick Wilford He is compiling stories from his writing friends about Overcoming Adversity to sell and raise funds for his Step Son, Andrew, to go to a real college instead of a special, state mandated college. He deserves to be heard and have a choice in his own destiny. Here is my contribution.

I am blest. I thank God for all that I have. For my family, my parents, my friends, and my opportunities. I have not had to overcome many obstacles in my life. When a problem presented itself, I found a solution. If my plans didn't work, I made new plans.

But there was a time when I was doing all I could, all I thought I should, taking the bad, hoping for the best, and it wasn't enough.

After college, after working a great job, after getting over a broken engagement, after making some money and buying a car, I wanted to use my degree and be a teacher. It meant more to me than I knew. 

Living on my own was wonderful and exciting. I was free. I was poor. I worked up to four jobs at a time, from a waitress, a temp, a tutor, a night school teacher, to retail, to a medical collections operator, to subbing. All the while longing to teach. Hard to believe, but there were no jobs even then. And during the only interview I got at that time, I cried. I was overwhelmed with how much I wanted to teach. But I didn't give up. I got tougher. At the school I subbed most, two positions came open and they interviewed three candidates. Guess who didn't get the job.

It broke my heart. I felt used. So I quit. I quit looking. I quit all the extra jobs. I gave up on teaching. It wasn't meant to be. I went on a trip with my friend to forget. And when I got back I had a great job waiting for me, not teaching. A few years later, the teaching bug returned and I finally got my own classroom. I never really gave up my dream. And it was worth all I went through to get it.

I started out with a plan. But life had other ideas. As I look back, everything worked out beautifully, despite the timing or what I thought should happen. I have my family, I teach. And now I write - something I never considered in my plans. And it's wonderful! 

So I say, Don't give up on your dreams. If you persevere, they will find you when you're ready. And you might find unexpected happiness disguised as devastation along the way.

Maze of Life

Take the challenge
"Start here," it says
And off you go
So many ways
                         Find clues

Dead ends loom
Steps retrace
Round and round
Losing your pace
                          Pay dues

Easier to give up
Throw in the towel
Hang up your hat
Bury your trowel
                          Don't lose!

You never know
Joys that await
Just around the corner
Could be your sought fate
                            You choose...

And here are the events this week:

2/6 - IWSG ** Diane’s book tour ** Blog Chain
2/9 - Pitchfest with Carrie Butler's group, NA Alley 

Plus some new news you might be interested in

Allison and Jamie are having a fun hop - the Level Up Blogfest on Feb 20 - what's your game?

On sweet Valentine's Day, Madeline will have a story published in  Every Day Fiction!

I know Nick is going to get a great response for his anthology - looking forward to some encouraging stories! 
And hope everyone had fun watching the super bowl (commercials - which was your favorite? OREO!!!)

Friday, February 1, 2013

a glimpse

Final day of Sharon's Build a World fest - the Excerpt...
But first I have to tell you, way back in November I entered Sharon's Title Rating Contest - and Broken Branch Falls was a winner! The holidays were so busy, I never realized it until just now! Thanks again, Sharon!! And now, a scene from BROKEN BRANCH FALLS - where beasts rule!

       After school, I join my fellow goblins for the obligatory extracurricular activity. Marching band. 
       All the fields surge with activity. In anticipation of the Ginkgos’ first home football game, the team is going through some plays. Next to them, the elves are stacking themselves, practicing cheer routines. On another field, the ogresses are having a lacrosse scrimmage. I still think I’d like to try playing a sport. I'm somewhat coordinated and good at strategy. But I’m not very big or muscular. I’d probably get pummeled. Maybe I could invent a nonviolent sport. 
       Finding my place with the other flugelhorn players, I shake my head. I never practice so I’m not very good, even though I come from a long line of flugellers. I only march in the band to please my parents. They say it’s my duty as a goblin and a Thorntry. I think that tradition will end with me.
       As the drum major spouts instructions, my eyes roam back to the other activities. Above the bleachers, puffs of blue smoke drift into the air through the seats. The shadows moving around underneath are no doubt a group of pixies. Nothing unusual. 
       At the lacrosse game, I spot the new ogress. Being smaller and not as hideous as the others, she stands out. Compared to them she’s almost pretty. But she’s also clumsier. As she goes for the ball, she trips her teammate with her stick and then topples over her. I have to snicker.
       The leadoff beat brings me back to my own practice. It’s time to march. I stay in formation and follow my line as I play. But out of the corner of my eye I see the new ogress get creamed. She hits the ground hard and is sent to the bench. 
       In my distraction, I crash into three other marchers. Before they can stop themselves, several more band members trip and stumble over us, causing a noisy pile up. All the other fields halt their practices to check out the debacle and break into laughter, including the new ogress. She holds a hand over her mouth and giggles. I’ve never seen an ogre giggle.
       Completely mortified, I feel purple heat rise on my cheeks and bury my face in the dirt. I don’t bother to get up until everyone else quits laughing and resumes their activities. I wish I could crawl inside a tuba.

Hope that wasn't too long. If you're still with me, I'd like to share one more thing!

And here is my celebration for Vikki's weekly brownie points!

The lovely Chandara (aka Elizabeth Arroyo) awarded me the Liebster Award. Fun! And here’s how Liebster works:
  • paste the award badge to your blog, 
  • give us 11 random facts about yourself, 
  • answer the 11 questions, 
  • and choose your nominees
In the interest of space, I am combining my random facts with the answers to the questions...
  1. What made you want to be a writer? my love of reading & my many adventures * Ever use a fake ID? I did, once. Then when I was actually 21, a mini mart clerk didn't believe it was me!
  2. Where do you find the inspiration for your writing? watching & listening to life, plus songs & dreams! * I was inspired by a song to write a story about a zombie super hero...
  3. What are your goals for 2013? To finish editing BBF, do a PT book tour, and finish first draft of the next in the series, Simulation * Wasn't going to write a sequel but my nephew said I had to!
  4. What’s your favourite quote? I'm going rogue with this one. I replaced song & listener with book & reader in this quote from my fave radio station, The Project, "This may not be your favorite book, but maybe you aren't my favorite reader, smart a$$!" * I love alternative rock =)
  5. Where in the world would you most like to visit? Australia * been to Greece & Scotland
  6. What five things would you take to a desert island? solar powered generator, satellite dish, laptop, unlimited tp, "How to Live on a Deserted Island For Dummies." That should do it =) Let's go! * never been on a cruise, someday...
  7. What is your biggest strength and your biggest weakness? strength, follow through, dependability; weakness, impatience, rushing around too much * I was a geeky little speed walker in junior high squeezing thru the crowds to get to class, it was actually a good skill to have in a crowded club!
  8. If you could meet one author, who would you choose? Michael Crichton, but since that's impossible =( Janet Evanovich, she seems fun! =) * I'd also like to meet all my author friends from blogging!!
  9. What’s your favourite film? Avengers & Incredibles * I think I have a thing for super heroes!
  10. If you went into The Hunger Games, what would be your most useful skill? brown nosing - got an "award" for it during pledge week in college
  11. Which fictional male would you most like to marry? I'm already married, thanks, but I'd love to have lunch with any character played by Colin Firth (ie, Colin Firth!) * I am the only girl in a house full of boys - hub, 3 sons, and even the dog!

Here are the 11 nominations - I leave it up to you if you want to take on this 11 fold challenge and feel free to offer your own set of 11 new questions, but I like these so that's what I am passing on...

Whew! If you're still reading - thanks a heap! So have you been around the world? Sign up for A to Z yet? It's really exploding this year! I might get a team together to help ME visit everyone! Have a great weekend!

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