Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My 200th Post...

Being that my 200th post has come and gone, you would think I would celebrate and that this post would be special. Thought provoking. Insightful even!

Psshhh! Look at who is posting. ::Snorts::

Sadly, if you are reading this it means I am on VACATION! Woot! My wonderful, supportive mother is turning 75! Don't tell her that I just told the whole world. ::Laughs again:: But personally I think it is a milestone that just screams for celebration. So my siblings and I are taking her out to dinner and then having a morning picnic the following day. We will be spending lots of time together and then I get to see my sister-in-law (on my husband's side) Cheri! She's the best.

I'm working to get some scheduled posts up. I know I should be able to do some posting while away as I will have my laptop with me. I can post some pics to show you all.

So I wanted to leave you with some funnies. Just because I love Icanhascheezburger.com.

This is one of my absolute favorites. Hehe! (The church to the right)

As is this one:

And at least one more:

See you all soon!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Glad You Are Here...

I am always very thankful for this blogging community I am blessed to be a part of even if I don't voice it as often as I should. I do want to thank all of you and sometimes it just doesn't seem to be enough to just say it. So while I am baking down in Arizona, I'll be looking for some cool little things for prizes and have a Give-Away when I return. Woot!

Now since you are here, I have to ask: Where do I get Beta Readers and does anyone want to be one?

I'll be checking my email as often as I can. I don't want to let it get so bogged down that it takes me hours to filter through it all. That's just no fun. So if you want to help me or know where I can look, either comment here or email me at: Paridzule(dot)Keep(at)gmail(dot)com.

I'd also be interested in doing reviews. You can send me information there about those as well.

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dear Blogger...

Please fix the many, many issues that have been cropping up lately. I wish for my friends to have their blogs back or at the very least, be allowed to do things such as post, comment or even follow their friends.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Something To Think About...

My friend, Melissa J. Cunningham over at A Writer's Reality posted this blog.

I know I have lots of friends/followers out there who write YA books. What is your take on graphic sex scenes and foul language use in a Young Adult novel? Should it be allowed? Should the trend be halted now?

I may not like romance books due to the somewhat constant sex scenes and cookie cutter plots. That just isn't my thing. If I find a good romance book with a good plot, I can let the gratuitous sex slide. I am no prude, but there are just some things I don't want to read about. I will read a good romance, meaning it has to have a good story.

I like to read YA as well. Something tells me though, that this trend of graphic sex and language is due to the fact that more and more adults are reading YA, so the author is throwing stuff in for our sake.

All I can say to that is, PLEASE DON'T.

The reason I read YA is because it isn't full of that, pardon me, crap. I want a GOOD, CLEAN, STRONG story. Some of the VERY best written works out there did not have foul language or sexual content. Seriously.

I understand there is an audience out there for things like this, but there is a larger audience, I feel, that just wants a good, entertaining story. Am I wrong in saying this? Maybe. The same could be said for movies as well. A good story can be told without foul language and/or sex.

While this won't fly in the adult book world, we do have to preserve whatever innocence is left of our children and don't allow this to enter into the YA world for whatever reason. Just because our children act more mature every generation doesn't mean we need to feed into it.

What is your opinion?

Getting Unstuck...

"Some days we just get stuck and bogged down. Some days all you can do is smile and wait for someone to kindly remove your butt from the hole you find it wedged into."

So as I sit here and stare at this blank blog page, I realized, this will be my 198th post. I am almost to 200 posts. Wow! Didn't think THAT would happen. I would have already been there had I not stopped back when I started working.

But this gives me something to focus on other than everything that isn't going so well in my life at the moment. I'm trying to get back into writing, editing... anything, really. I even thought maybe that short story contest I had won on Writing.com would have kick started me. Sadly it only proved just how well I can write on the fly and when I came back to editing, I got stuck. Again.

I have two. TWO. Books in the process. I feel like I am being far too OCD about them, that they have to be absolutely perfect. That I must have the first sentence, paragraph and all that worked out before I can move on. I'm focusing too much on one aspect or the other and not on the stories as a whole. Does anyone else have this problem? How do you get over this "rough patch"?

I would have thought that by now I would be at the stage where I would have beta readers, be ready to send out the queries, all sorts of things. Perhaps it just isn't the right time for these stories and I should stick them in a drawer (I'd hate to) and move on to something else. That just makes me feel like someday I will end up with a drawer (or two) full of unfinished stories... Hmm.

Any suggestions?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

If I Die Young Book Review...

I've had the wonderful opportunity to meet Talia Jager, a YA author, through Book Blogs. I've also had the honor of reviewing her book and have said review right here. Very cool.

"If I Die Young" is Talia's 3rd e-book. You can purchase it online at Amazon, B & N or Smashwords for just $2.99.

Here's my review:
"If I Die Young" by Talia Jager

Caelyn Noel is your ordinary teenager. Maybe not as active as some of her friends, due to asthma, but she still has the usual problems. Getting homework turned in, final exams, breaking up with her boyfriend.
Just as she gains interest in the cute boy she's liked for years, things take a turn for the worse and she collapses at school. Her heart is giving out and she is in desperate need of a new one.
All of Caelyn's friends seem to disappear except for Lindsay, her best friend. Her parents are by her side every step of the way, so she isn't entirely alone. But what about love? What if she dies without having found the love of her life? When she meets Austin Walker, she thinks that maybe she does have a second chance at love at the very least. Is he the one for her?

"If I Die Young" is a must read for any young adult. It is a sweet romance and filled with Caelyn's trials and tribulations as she deals with heart disease and facing death. Once I started reading, I couldn't put it down. Caelyn's situation is a bit terrifying, a lot for a young girl to go through, yet she soldiers on. I don't want to give too many details away, I just suggest you read it for yourself!

Worse Off Wednesday...

I'm enjoying this meme. The blog I got it from (I really need to remember who I got this from so I can link...) (I got it! The Book Buff! See, I guess I am not a total idiot, then...) had Severus Snape last week and I almost kept in line with the Harry Potter theme, but went with Frodo instead. But I just got done watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One for like... the umpteenth time, so I am going to go with Harry Potter himself.

I find myself saying, "Poor Harry" so often I might as well make a recording. I am looking forward to the final movie and know what happens, but still.... Poor Harry.

Orphaned, given to family who wants nothing to do with him. MUGGLES on top of it all! At least Dudders learned to respect Harry even if he was unsure why.

Harry's only hope of peace and as normal a life as he will ever know is to be sent off to Hogwart's. Ron and Hermione are the best friends he could ever have, but people look at him like he's grown a second head on his shoulders. All because he never knew he was "famous". And then to have his teen years, the best years of his life, full of stress and heartache as he battles Voldemort.

How would you feel if you had to fight for your life almost every single day because people are trying to kill you? Gah! Horrible.

So yes, I should hope I am not worse off than Harry Potter.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Am I Forgetting Something?...

So it is Tuesday! Well, not much to be excited about, except for the fact I am packing to go on vacation.

I will be gone for two weeks, so I am trying to spend some time getting some posts scheduled. I hate to leave after having come back from a long absence! Don't leave me... Anyway...

So on that note, I would like to know if any of you might have some time to write up a guest blog for me, shoot it on over to my email and I'll schedule it in and let you know when to expect it to be posted. :D Pretty please?

Last minute, I know. And I am SO sorry.

I don't like the beginning or end of a trip because I almost ALWAYS forget something either way. If I don't forget it for the trip, I end up leaving it behind. Isn't that always the way? Never fails. But the middle of the trip... that is always fun.

Okay! So if you want to be a guest blogger, shoot me an email. Paridzule.keep@gmail.com. That's me!

What's your strategy to make sure you remember everything for your trip? Do you ever forget anything? What is the weirdest item you've forgotten?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Are You Still Here?...

Well if you are reading this, apparently certain predictions did not come true. Hehe! So much the better for us! Hopefully they'll learn they can't predict these sort of things if they would just read the Bible. I have to say, I walked into McDonald's with my daughter to get her check wearing my "My Little Ponies of the Apocalypse" t-shirt. There was a family there fresh from church, eating ice cream. Yeah, I got a glare from the dad. Hehe! Anyway!

It is Monday! Monday... hmm... Monday....

I am going to be on vacation next week. I will be gone May 30th to June 14th. In the meantime, would anyone like to be a guest blogger? I'll be scheduling some posts and trying to keep up. I will have my laptop with me after all. But just thought it might be an awesome opportunity to have some guest blogs.

If you would like to be a guest blogger, send me an email this week with your blog post. I will schedule them in and respond with the date so you can tell people when you'll be over here. I'll return the favor when you need it. Just ask.

All right, have a great week and great "second chance"!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Gotta Love The Prompts...

I belong to Writing.com or WDC as everyone over there refers to it. They have a daily writing contest called "The Writer's Cramp". Basically you have 24 hours to write a short story of 1,000 words or less or a poem 40 lines or less using the given prompt.

Well guess what... this one spoke volumes to me so I entered. Don't even care if I win. ( NOTE: It did win! I had this scheduled for Sunday but am changing that...just wanted to share!) I had to write it. The prompt was to write a story or poem based on the proverb "better to tell a lie that soothes than a truth that hurts". So, here is my entry (forgive the mistakes, they do!):

“Does this dress make my hips look wide?” Hannah's mother asked. Hannah rolled her eyes, blowing a bright pink bubble to avoid answering the question. “Hannah?”


“Yes, mom. It makes you look like you need a 'wide load' sign posted right above your rear.”

“Thanks for that,” her mom said. She shot her daughter a dirty look before disappearing into the changing room. “I don't understand why you can't just lie once in awhile. Why do you always have to tell the absolute truth?”

“I would rather be honest with someone then tell them something they want to hear,” Hannah said. She flipped quickly through the pages of the latest fashion magazine, curling her lip at the so-called styles.

“That is not a skill that will get you very far,” her mother chided her.

Hannah recalled that memory as she rode the elevator up to the fourth floor of the hospital. She had been 16 years old. Her mother's words still hung in the dark closet of her mind, even after all these years. Hannah sighed as the bell dinged and the doors slid open. She never did like hospitals. She didn't know if it was due to the smell or the idea that people were sequestered away in little rooms waiting to die or spreading disease. She could feel the germs creeping along her skin like malicious little sprites waiting for their chance to infect her.

Down the hall and fourth door on the left. That is where they had taken her mother. They wouldn't let Hannah see her after the accident. She would just get in the way. Now she had been stabilized and would only allow Hannah to see her for a few moments.

“Is she going to live?” Hannah had asked the doctor.

“She's lucky to have come this far. If we don't get the internal bleeding to stop, she may not make it. We're going to do everything we can for her, miss Lanford.”

Hannah stopped in the doorway, staring at all the tubes and lines connected to her mother. Her beautiful blonde hair that she had always insisted be styled before leaving the house now lay against her skull, dull and flat. If her mother got hold of a mirror...

Hannah had made a good life for herself, despite what she now called her best trait and worst flaw. She had lost a lot of friends over the years for being so honest. Most of the time, in public, she kept her mouth shut. But during working hours, she would let her honesty have full reign. She was probably one of the most hated critics at the newspaper. Her stacks of hate mail far outweighed her fan mail. But when she did get a nice letter, a gem in the pile of crap, the person always thanked her for her honesty. Her mother never did understand where it came from. When Hannah was little, she had always been told to, “be honest”. Hannah lived her life by the Golden Rule of treating others how she wanted to be treated. She certainly didn't want people to lie to her, so she took it to heart.

One of the monitors beeped as Hannah stood by her mother's bedside. As she looked down, her mother's eyes fluttered open. For a moment, she looked at Hannah, confusion furrowing her brow. After a moment, recognition flickered and her mother gave her a weak smile.

“There you are,” she said. She could barely speak and the oxygen mask muffled her words further.

“Don't try to talk, mom.” Hannah dropped her coat on the nearby chair, turning her face away so her mother couldn't see her pained expression. She had always known she would lose her mom someday, but not now. Not like this. She took a deep breath to compose herself before turning back to her mother. She need not worry, she had fallen back asleep. Hannah dragged the chair over to the bed and sat down.

It seemed like hours had passed when her mother opened her eyes again and turned to Hannah. Hannah smoothed back her mother's hair and tried to smile best she could.

“I look like hell,” her mother said.

“No,” Hannah shook her head. “You look fine. Really.”

“Don't patronize me, Hannah.” She paused, breathing in her oxygen. “Am I going to make it?”

Hannah chewed her lip a moment, a habit her mother recognized from when she had been a little girl. Hannah thought it over a moment, debating whether or not to tell the truth. Her mother studied her with serious eyes as Hannah struggled with the Honesty demon within.

“Yes, mom. You're going to be just fine. Doctor reassured me. You might even be out of here in a couple of days.”

Her mother regarded her for long moments.

“That is exactly... what I wanted to hear.” Her mother's eyes closed once more and her breathing became slow and even. Hannah stayed close, knowing in her heart it would be the last time she would see her mother and those may very well have been her last words.

It was a short time later when Hannah noticed her mother's chest had stopped rising and she had a peaceful look upon her face.

Here There Be Pirates...

I saw it! I saw Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides. WOO!!!

If you don't know by now, I am a pirate at heart. I play a pirate in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism). Captain Sorcha MacGregor of the Blue Drake is my full title/name.

So what did I think of the fourth movie in the series?


Now, I am not just saying this because Captain Jack Sparrow makes me swoon. He bein' a pirate after me own heart an' all...

Seriously, this was a GOOD movie. Pay the money to see it or wait, makes no difference to me. The action scenes were awesome and well choreographed as usual. The costumes were cool. Can I just say I want Black Beard's ship as my future home? You got to see some familiar faces in different and unexpected places as well as a few new ones. They all added to the special blend of pirates and worked it's spell as usual. If you are not one to stay for the credits, you must. It is a pirate tradition after all.

And for the record, if any of you ever need some help writing some ship navigation or commands... by all means, come see me. I kin shiver the timbers wit' the best o' them! Or keelhaul the bilge rats an' make 'em dance a jig. Have a good weekend and remember, dead men tell no tales...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Finally Friday...

Not that the week stretches out too long for me. But Friday just means I have made it through yet another week.

I've noticed an increase in followers lately and I have to give credit to those wonderful people over at Book Blogs.

Visit Book Blogs

I'm truly loving it over there. Plus, I've changed the look of my blog. Granted, I went for a patterned background, but I just have to have a splash of fun color in my blog. I also want it to be easy to read and white or light gray on a dark background... I wasn't loving it. So tell me what you think of it.

Okay, now on to my Friday post. I've decided to post books I have read or want to read. I would also love, LOVE to have suggestions from you. I also know a lot of you are writers and have published, so I would love to read your book(s) as well. I'll gladly read your books and post my thoughts on them here.

What I have read: The entire Harry Potter series, by J. K. Rowling. I started the first one and just could not stop there, I had to read them all! I am a kid at heart after all.

The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, by J. R. R. Tolkien. Now, being a fantasy writer, you all expected that, right? Well guess what. I did not read ANY of these books until AFTER the first movie came out. That's right, you heard me correctly. I tried to read The Hobbit when I was a teen and just could not get into it. I've even had my work reviewed on Writing.com and was told I have a Tolkien-esque style. I never realized the full compliment until I read his work. Now I devour anything he's written.

I am currently reading The Saxon Shore by Jack Whyte. So far, I love it. I'll give you more details when I finish it.

Okay so give me some suggestions as to what I should read next! I'm eager to hear what you have for me. Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Honesty Still The Best Policy...

I've been asked a few times what my best trait is. Well, my best trait is also my worst flaw, in my opinion. Most of you know this already, from following me for so long. So what is it?


I am always brutally honest. I don't sugar-coat a blessed thing just because it is something someone wants to hear. Now, before you say, "Wow, that sounds mean..." let me just say:

No. It isn't.

I have been dubbed a lightning rod with a bullwhip by my husband. I have been told I have the tact of a brick wall. I have lost countless "friends" due to my honesty. So why don't I change? Quite simply... Why?

People are always afraid of the truth. No one wants to hear it. No one wants to have a mirror shoved in their face to confront what they want to hide. Same goes for me, but I certainly would rather hear the truth than some shallow compliment only to have that same person turn around and speak ill of me behind my back. I'm sure they do anyway. But that isn't my problem.

Now don't get me wrong, I do try to soften the blow of my Sledge Hammer of Honesty. I always, always try to find positives if what I have to say is coming across as negative. My truths come with helpful suggestions.

If some woman were to ask me if her dress made her look fat, I would not simply blurt out "Yes!" if it did. I would study her and let her know that she might want to try a different style because that one is simply unflattering. So see, I do use tact when absolutely needed. But there have been lots of times when I haven't. I'm awesome at spouting off my opinions.

So how does this pertain to writing? Well, you will always get an honest response from me. I will tell you, "Gosh! That was super awesome! But look, I did find some areas I think might need some work." There are so many of you out there, in this blogging community, that are super writers. There are so many of you, sadly, that I have not even read a single word of what you have written. But there are those I have had the honor of looking over your MS and thought, why won't this get published? This is an awesome story, it flows well and heck, I would buy this book! I can't begin to tell you how many books I've picked up over the years, read the back cover and thought it was interesting only to drop it after the first couple of pages. Yawn!

Then there are the ones that I can't stop reading, no matter how awful. They're like a bad traffic accident I can't help but look...or read as the case may be. That is when I am completely baffled going... HOW. Did they get published??? Who did they bribe/sleep with/know in the industry? And plagiarism! I have read a couple of books that completely steal other author's hard work and it still got published! Grr....

So how honest are you when reading someones work? What would you rather hear? The truth or what you want to hear?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Worse Off Wednesday...

This is a meme, my first ever, started by the Book Buff. This is her post for the day.

I know lots of characters who have it worse off than myself. There are always characters in dozens of cases of trouble! More often than not, when I am reading, I find myself lamenting, "Oh, poor so and so!" It just seems like certain characters just cannot find a break.

Like Frodo, in Lord of the Rings. While Frodo chose the burden of carrying the One Ring to the fires of Mordor, he certainly did not have to go through half of the obstacles placed before his furry little feet. He had a good life in the Shire, played match-maker for Samwise and drank lots of ale. But once the ring entered his life, it all went downhill from there. Fate can be cruel sometimes.

Being stabbed by one of the Ring Wraiths. Being hunted down like a rabbit bound for the cook-fires. Even when he rid himself of the ring and was rescued, he returned home to find nothing there for him. It no longer held the luster and beauty he fondly remembered on his journey to wipe evil from the world.

His reward was being allowed passage on the ship of the Elves heading west, but it meant leaving all he had known behind. Again.


So yes, if I had to choose someone who has it worse than me right now, it would be Frodo Baggins of the Shire.

New Trend...

I've visited lots of blogs that offer up a "Get To Know You" or GTKY post either weekly or monthly. Figured I could give it a shot as I am gaining more followers in my networking efforts.

Every Wednesday, I will post at least three things about myself and would love if you would answer the questions in the comments so I can get to know you as well.

Okay, ready? Here we go:

1) Favorite movie of all time? I'd have to say my favorite movie of all time is "Made in Heaven". Why? I'm not much of a romantic buff. I sort of avoid romance novels like the plague and am the same with movies as well. But every once in awhile, I will find a "chick flick" that I like. "Made in Heaven" was made sometime in 1993. There are cameos by Rick Ocasek (The Cars) and Tom Petty. But that isn't why I love the movie. I'm a firm believer in reincarnation, that people have life lessons to learn and if they don't learn it the first time around... well history does repeat itself. I also believe that everything happens for a reason. And this movie portrays that really well. We meet people all the time that we feel we know, but have honestly never met. Why is that?

2) Favorite book? I have always loved "Faerie Tale" by Raymond E. Feist. Being a fantasy writer, you would have thought I would have chosen J. R. R. Tolkien, right? Well... here is where a confession comes in. I tried to read "Lord of the Rings" back when I was like... 13. I could not get into it. Actually, when I think about it, I tried reading "The Hobbit". My mom didn't like that I read all these fantasy books and I think that was around the time she bought "The Odyssey" and "The Illiad" for me. Could not read those either. I can now, though. But I did not pick up J. R. R. Tolkien until after the first movie came out. Seriously. I stopped telling people I had never read his books because I got weird looks. Either that or people would say, "You write fantasy like this and you've NEVER read Tolkien?!?!?!" Yeah, I got that a lot. Over on Writing.com I had someone tell me that my writing was very Tolkien-esque. I glossed over the compliment with a, "Thanks" and left it at that. After seeing the first movie, however, I was floored. Do I really write like that? Did someone just compare my work to this ... this absolute fantasy genius?? Yeah. After that I read the entire series, including "The Hobbit" before the second movie came out.

3) Favorite color, food and TV show? I know this is a three in one question. I'm cheating! But they're simple ones. Favorite color is royal blue. Favorite food has to be the nachos I make every week for dinner. TV show? Well, I have several. Lie To Me, Charmed, Monk and Friends. Not really in that order.

Okay now it is your turn. And leave me some feedback, please, if you would like me to continue this post on a weekly or monthly basis. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What Characters...

You know, filtering through blogs today I came across this one over at the Bookshelf Muse.

Just reading through the comments, I saw someone saying how character creation is the 'bane of her existence' and thought to myself, "What? No way!"

Character creation is one of my absolute favorite things about writing! I love it with a capital L-O-V-E! I don't know why. Every character of mine has different traits, different quirks and views on life. They have such unique, individual personalities, it is hard to NOT love them. At least for me.

But character creation is not the only aspect of writing that I enjoy. I enjoy all of it except editing. Ha! Yeah, editing is the bane of my existence. I tend to ramble on and to tighten my story and remove words tends to be heartbreaking. Not only that, the story is written! It's done, it is out of my system, so why do I have to go back to edit and revise it? Well of course I *know* why... I just don't wanna do it. But I have to, I suppose. Ok, so no supposing about it. :D

What is your favorite part of writing? What is your most hated?

Things I Want To Teach...

I swear, there are times when I want to go house to house and teach people with children how to raise them. I'd get thrown in jail, but it would be worth it!

People just don't get it sometimes, but what can you do. I suppose that is why I am enjoying the fact that my children are grown, decent people and my cats are my kids.

I like to pass on knowledge. I should start a whole other blog for that, but I won't. I would rather devote all my time to this one. So if I go off on a tangent, just bear with me. I'll get back around to my writing.

I wish I could teach something in that area, but I am still learning myself. And I have lots to learn. I admit that I know only a fraction of what most people I am connected to know. That is okay, though. I love learning. I love researching history. LOVE researching history. I loved when I had to research my name and era for my SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) character.

If you could teach people something, what would it be?

Monday, May 16, 2011


Because I took a long hiatus from blogging, I've lost a couple of followers and I have to get back into the groove of getting people to comment on my blog once again. When you leave like I did, that is something that is detrimental to a blog. I feel like I am starting over with my networking. I sometimes feel like Basement Cat.

I can sit here and make all the excuses in the world as to why I didn't keep up with my blogging, but when I get right down to it, I just did not have time. Sadly. I have had to get back into my "routine" as it were. What exactly is my routine? Well....

Once I roll out of bed, I spend my time reading emails and such as I slowly wake up. Coffee in hand. Sometimes it is a two cup morning, but I usually don't have more than one.

I stroll through the new blog posts a couple of times. The first time, I respond to the ones that catch my bleary eye, then I go back and post or read others I might have skipped or missed.

I head on over to FaceBook to post something if I feel like it. Otherwise I just catch up on the newsfeed area and comment here and there. I now have included Twitter in this part of my routine.

Finally, I head on over to Writing.com and log in, just to check things out. I wrote a new post to newbies over there. I had clicked over to the "Read a Newbie" section and pretty much laughed my butt off or shook my head sadly. All the newbies over there using internet-speak or putting "uhhh" or "hmmm" in their descriptions of their work. Okay, okay, they're newbs... but seriously? I will not read someone who puts "Looking 4 r8 and feedback, plz?" in their description of their work. Granted, you are limited to how much you can put in there, but "srsly"?

Book Blogs is now another place I go visit. I am slowly trying to look for people to 'friend' over there as well. If you are on Book Blogs, leave me a comment, I'll find you.

So what is your networking routine? How do you get yourself "out there"? What have you found that works? What doesn't?

Have a great week everyone!

In Case You Missed It...

I know weekends are super busy for everyone. I know, because I usually spend my weekends cleaning the house.

So on the off chance you were super busy this weekend as well, please click on the link to my sister-in-law, Cheri Chesley's, blog. Cheri's friend has been diagnosed with breast cancer and two days after her diagnosis, she had a mastectomy. Cheri is offering up proceeds from her book and e-books to help with the medical expenses, so head on over and see how you can help.

Tweet about this, post it on FaceBook or blog about it. It is a cause near and dear to all of our hearts in more ways than one.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Looking For Some Feedback...

Alright. I actually had the entire house to myself Saturday evening and I did my best to take advantage of the quiet. I've been focused on the beginning of my story, "Crowning Absolution" and determined that it should begin with a conversation. Well, it kept stumping me and so I began to work around that focus to find somewhere else to start.

Everyone talks about that very first sentence of the story. The one to draw you in and then draw you deeper with the first paragraph. I think... I think I might have nailed it. Sometimes it takes me a while to realize that I am obsessing over how I think it should be, rather than what is going to work. I would like to share the very beginning with you.

It is only 171 words long at the moment, but I tell you what, I revised each one of those words to tighten it up even more, trying to make sure I didn't end a sentence with a preposition... one of my lovely habits apparently. I've tried to eliminate the use of the word 'was' as much as I could... Okay scratch that, 165 words. See? Am I obsessing? Yes, yes I am.

Okay I will stop fussing and fretting until I see what you have to say about it. Maybe .

"The last memory Kayta Ni'adzul clung to as she fell into the cold, unforgiving sea was the brush of Alabassin's lips against hers and the promises he had whispered in her ear. She struggled to keep her eyes open, but the blow to her head made focusing difficult. The icy water stung her exposed skin and her hands flailed about looking for anything that would support her, buoy her in the high waves. Above Kayta, the fighting ensued and others fell overboard, most of them already dead when they hit the water. A loud crack sounded as the smaller, attacking ship rammed into the larger one. Pieces of Kayta's ship fell around her, striking her prone body. She held tightly to a large piece of wood that supported her, but as debris rained down, pain coursed up her leg causing her to black out as something struck her, breaking the bone. As she sank into blissful darkness, her best friend screaming her name followed her down into the abyss."

Okay, so it ended up being 169 words as I had revised yet again before posting. What can I say? Anyway, as the post suggests, I'm looking for some feedback please. Don't worry about hurting my feelings, be honest. Thanks!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Reading For A Cause...

We've all been there. Sick, scared and more often than not, no insurance and broke due to medical bills.

I'm in that same place these days. Although I have no diagnosis so I am not going to post details yet until I have one.

There is a woman, though, who does have a diagnosis, she's a mom, a wife and has breast cancer. My sister-in-law is donating ALL of her proceeds from her book as well as her e-books to her friend to help with the medical bills.

As Cheri says, "A little click can go a long way..." So head on over to Cheri's Blog and read the details to see how you can help. And please pass this along. Tweet it, FaceBook it, Post about it... If you can donate, do so. If you can't, do what you can.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Working It...

I've been given a little boost in inspiration from two of my Blogger buddies.

Mary over at M.P. MacDonald Has The Write Stuff. Her offer to join her and her friend in their one hour writing sessions. I have yet to get in on one due to stupid Doctors. But I really look forward to participating in one soon to get me back in the groove of writing!

My other inspirational buddy was Hart over at Confessions of a Watery Tart. Her Divine Order post had me thinking... I'm already doing that!

I have had the idea for awhile to gather a following before promotion when (and if) I get published. I have my website up and running with all sorts of information as if I am already published.

What I didn't think about, was what Hart said in her post about promoting other authors. It isn't just good Karma, but it configures into all the networking we do. I have tons of author friends on FaceBook and "know" dozens of authors in my networking efforts. Plus, I've been trying to figure out what exactly to add to my website pages. Well, this is it. My author promotional page. I get to take down the silly page of books on my personal shelf and leave that specifically as a sidebar. There are lots of people who want/need promotion.

So here's the deal. You send me: Website link, a pic of your book (.jpg is preferable) as well as a pic of yourself and a short bio. Even a quote from your book or review quote. You name it. I'll make your little section look as professional as possible on my site. All I ask in return is a link back to my site. Once I get published, we'll talk details. :D

Eventually I will be getting around to guest blogs. I would like to post guest blogs here and on my website as well. I have a blog as well as a forums area where I can archive the guest blogs/interviews.

So where do you send your info? Right here: Paridzule.Keep@Gmail.com. That's me! I'm looking forward to this. :D

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What ...Writing?

Oh yeah, writing. That is what this blog is supposed to be about. Silly me. I almost forgot. :D

Not really, but over the internet you really can't appreciate my dry sense of humor or my sarcastic wit. Hmm.. maybe you can.

Anyway! Yes, this is a blog about my "career" as a writer. However, it seems like life gets in the way more often than not. Things these days are more of a struggle than they were say... several months ago. I did not participate in the last National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I have fallen out of the habit of logging into my Writing.com account.

Quite honestly, I don't remember the last time I wrote something or edited or revised. Huh.

I wake up every morning to my map on my wall covered on one side with blue post-it notes. Ideas had even flashed in my mind awhile back about turning it into an online role playing game similar to World of Warcraft.

What has gotten into me? Well... work. But that doesn't stop most authors I know. Life. Doesn't stop them either. Being sick... no. Being lazy... probably closer to the truth! Instant gratification taunts me. But I think my biggest motivator as of late has been....


Every artist/author experiences fear to some degree. Everything has to be perfect. This is US we're selling, after all. For me, I'm a bit of a conundrum. Fear of success and fear of failure play huge roles in my life. I so need to get over it or I won't publish until I'm 80! Or won't be published until after I am dead. Where's the fun in that? I won't get to enjoy the ride!

So basically I am back to telling myself to get over myself and DO something.

Yeah, I'm working on it. :D

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Who Do You Love...

The way to know life is to love many things.
~~Vincent Van Gogh~~

I love a great many things. I love writing, I love my family, my friends. I even love my cats. ALL FOUR OF THEM! I'll be the Crazy Cat Lady later on in life, I'm sure of it.

I love the outdoors. I obviously love food. I love music, movies, games.

Life has been good to me for the most part. Every day has been a lesson or a struggle in lots of different senses of the words. I almost always feel like I am fighting an uphill battle, but at the end of the day, I do get to sit down with my family at dinner and reflect.

Was it a productive day? More often than not, it hasn't been very productive. That is my own fault, though. When it has been a productive day, when things have actually gotten done, I sit and enjoy the glow of satisfaction.

My favorite time of day... well I have two. It sounds very strange, but my favorite time of day is when everyone is home and sleeping. The quiet of the house is nice. My other favorite time of the day is dinnertime.

My sister-in-law introduced "Favorite part of the day" at the dinner table. My son picked it up and began doing it with us when he visited and we picked up the tradition as well. (That also happens to be my favorite tradition now.) I love listening to the conversation at my dinner table. Living with my husband, daughter and brother-in-law means having some interesting (sometimes socially unacceptable) dinner conversations. Our dinnertime tends to last at least two hours. Forget television. We do very well entertaining ourselves, thank you very much.

Personally, I like living life that way. Everything slows down at dinnertime and we get a chance to sit there and let our food digest while we enjoy the conversation. It is difficult, though, when we have friends over. We ask them to participate so as not to feel left out. There are a couple who don't participate. We know to just gloss over them now and pretty much ignore them and don't let them ruin it for us. Sounds mean, but hey, if you are going to bring your misery to MY dinner table, deal with the rudeness. Hehe!

So what do you love?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Aww, Shucks...

Well I had an awesome Mother's Day, thanks to my family. Got to do a whole lot of nothin', which is becoming more the norm these days... Anyway... I want to share a few links with all of you. First of which is a song my daughter wrote for me and posted on YouTube.com. You can see it here: Her Hero (Original)

Also, when I woke up today, I had an email waiting for me from Jen over at "A Book, A Girl, A Journey" telling me she had awarded me the "Stylish Blogger" award.

Woot! It has been awhile since I have received an award, so thank you so much Jen! I love it!

And as usual, I must pass it on with rules. I have thanked Jen, who bestowed the award and I have to give the award to five (5) new bloggers. So I have found five (well, more than five) more blogs to follow! That is always awesome, of course. And I have to tell you seven (7) random things about me. Oh boy.

Ok, so here goes!

1) I have obsessive compulsive tendencies. Basically meaning I have germ phobias about certain things. No, I'm not like Monk in the fact I have to have a wipe after shaking hands, but that isn't a bad idea....
2) I am addicted to Word Whomp over at Pogo.com. If you play over there, you can find me under CapnSorcha.
3) Hmm...harder than I thought. I play Alliance on World of Warcraft. (Probably already knew that... lol)
4) I have watched the entire first season of "Glee" through Netflix.
5) I write fantasy but I am a Horror fanatic at heart.
6) I did try my hand at writing Horror and failed... epically.
7) Let's see.... I don't like country music. (Don't hate me! lol)

Okay, phew! That is finally over. Now I can move on to the fun part! I get to give the award away. Woohoo! The Stylish Blogger Award goes too.....

1) Pamela at Reviews She Rote
2) Marcie at To Read or Not To Read
3) Cheryl at Cheryl's Musings
4) Charissa at A Day In the Life of An Aspiring Author
5) Scott Niven at Scott Niven - Author

That's about it for today! Hope everyone had a great weekend, mothers or not. Have a great week as well!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

To Moms Everywhere...

This pretty much sums it up. But I would like to add to it anyway:

To all the moms out there who love their kids, maybe sometimes too much. If there is such a thing.

To all the moms who want to catch their children when they fall and to the ones who bite their nails when they're older, still wanting to be right there when they stumble.

To all the moms who struggle to make ends meet and to all the moms able to spoil their children.

To all the moms who stay up late at night, listening for the key turning in the door. And to the ones who lose sleep even though their children are miles away fighting in ugly wars.

To all the moms strong enough to take on the responsibility of raising a human being to become a contributing member of society and to those moms who make the heartbreaking decision to give their child a better life than they can provide for whatever reasons.

We all know that anyone can be a parent, that there are those who shouldn't be. So this is a day for those who stepped up and sacrificed more than anyone knows to do the right thing.

Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wow, Who Knew?...

I spent some time working on the new layout of my blog. I'm sure you already noticed that, because you're quick that way.

I, however, just figured out I had a whole bunch of new followers. I'm up to like... 153! What is so cool about that is, I didn't even have to use the calculator or ask my husband to figure out that number. How freakin' cool is that? Totally awesome!

This is motivational, you know. Makes me want to keep blogging and writing and getting my rear in gear! It also helps to stave off depression. You guys, that is. And the writing as well, but mostly knowing that you guys are still here, even after my months of hiatus.

Well, gee... now I have to think of something cool for you all. Oh, the pressure! ;)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Still Here...

Awesome, I have a couple new followers. Welcome and hope I don't bore you to death. Actually, I've been told I'm pretty entertaining.

These days I don't feel very witty, however. Lots going on, too many details to really divulge. Especially when most of what I know are just "Possibilities". Nothing concrete as of yet to share.

It seems that my brain-to-fingers connection is still working as well as it was several months ago. Now if I could just get that brain-to-mouth connection back, I'd be as quick witted as ever. I like being he comic relief.

Speaking of comic relief, I absolutely enjoy writing in those quirky characters that make the reader laugh. It gives me an outlet for all my sarcastic, snarky, smart-assed-ness that just seems to build up in my system and has no way of being let out. I could be more like that in these blogs just the same, but then no one would read my stuff. Ha!

So how do you use your characters to your advantage? What is that dark side you hide, only to filter through into your creations? I want to know!