Friday, June 29, 2012

Define Your Genre...

I hopped around to a couple of blogs yesterday, catching up on things and the like. I read a list on Michael Offutt's page with a list of titles that were being listed as Epic Fantasy.

I felt ... well, I felt disgusted when I saw Twilight on the list. So yes, this makes me an elitist genre snob. But not for the reasons you think. I first want to say this: I read all the Twilight books. I have my opinion about them and most of it isn't nice. In my defense I didn't like the way Bella was portrayed as a spineless girl who needed a man to feel complete. And that is all I will say here, simply because I have blogger friends who like the books and I don't want to intentionally insult anyone. If I've already done so, you have my apologies.

I have to add to all of this, that some of the other titles on that list sort of disgusted me as well. Why? Because of the fact that when people think fantasy or epic fantasy, they jump and run. They think of geeky little people running around dressed up as Elves and Dwarves and speaking in Tolkien's Elven language. When they think Sci-Fi, they think of those same people dressed up like Star Trek crew and speaking Klingon.

And I'm the elitist genre snob. Have you seen the lengths people go to to look like vampires??

People have been shunning fantasy and sci-fi for years because of the stories it has produced. So why are they trying to blur the lines of genres? When I think of Twilight, I think paranormal romance. When I think of Evil Dead, I think horror. While some of the werewolves in paranormal/horror could be classified as shape-shifters (and thusly fantasy) I still don't think of it as fantasy.

Heh, I said 'thusly'.

Anyway, a couple of my friends and I were discussing this on Face Book and I thought I would bring the discussion here. You already know my opinion. And if you want the definition of epic fantasy, I have a page here. And for the record, any of those titles could be defined as epic fantasy according to that page. I will agree to that.

So what do you think?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

What Does Reading Do For You?...

I posted yesterday about what you learn from reading books. But what does reading do for you, other than entertain or inform?

By reading books, I learned some cool crafty stuff, because I'm a crafty kind of girl. I used to make jewelry, which I am slowly getting back into. I just can't do much of the tiny, intricate bead work I used to do because of the surgeries I had on my left wrist. But I learned how to make some great lotion bars and fizzy bath bombs.

I also learned how to be a better cook. My skills in the culinary field were very... meh. My mother even commented once that I was not very domesticated. Well, that comment got me going and I have become a very good cook, if I do say so myself.

Other than all of that, however, reading is very important to me. If I can't read a book, I get a little psycho. I need that escape. I don't go out and kill someone because I haven't read a book in months, but people tend to tick me off a lot faster. Watching TV or movies just isn't the same. Even gaming doesn't provide the escape that a good book does.

Escape may be important for me while reading, but it also offers up some valuable ME time. I get to read quietly and work my brain. Exercise my imagination and basically relax. There are nights when I read before bed and I sleep really well. Other nights, when I have no time to read, I can't shut down my brain and don't sleep well. So I make it a habit to try and read before I go to sleep, no matter what. I have to make the time. Then you get into that awesome book you  just can't put down... gah! That just means I have to go to bed a little early the next night, right?

So tell me, what does reading do for you?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Things You Learn From Books...

I have read lots of books in my time. My love of reading began at a pretty young age, watching my mom read her books and fascinated at how quickly she could read. I mean, the woman used to be able to read a couple books a day while she was a stay at home mom. She can still read pretty darn fast and I bet there isn't a book out there she hasn't read. Okay, well there ARE books she hasn't read because they aren't her cup of tea, but not everyone can like every single book. But one other thing I learned from my mom, is don't waste your time on a book that doesn't grab your attention. There were times I would see her get a book, then close it to move on to the next one.

So what did I learn from books? Lots! Not sure if I will ever use most of this information, mind you... I have a useless trivia kind of brain, but I still retained information.

I learned, from reading the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, how to make maple candy in the snow. Doubtful I will ever do that... But I also learned about head cheese, how to make butter and things like that. I remember when I was in elementary school in the midwest, we got to go to school in a one room schoolhouse for the day. Later that week, we churned butter. I clearly remember those events because I felt like I was living in the books! I read those books til the covers fell off. I never bought the set again for some reason, perhaps now is a good time to do so.

The most recent thing I learned was from the Dark Monk book by Oliver Potzsche. Did you know that a hangman, way back when, could not marry in a church, his children could not be baptized and he could not be buried in a cemetery, in consecrated ground? The hangman's daughter could only marry another hangman's son. How messed up was that? They were hired to do the dirty work of the village or town but could not be absolved of their sins.

As a fan of pirates, I learned lots of nautical terms from reading a variety of books. Keelhauling. Interesting to say the very least. Keelhauling is the act of tying a man's hands and feet, hooking him up to another rope that proceeds to pull him under the water, running him from one side of the boat to the other across the barnacles and such... That's something pirates only want to do to someone they really hate. I don't exactly care for that sort of thing, but being a fan of something means I learn the good and the bad about it all. You can't be a fan of something and pick and choose what you like.

I have people ask me how I know so much stuff and I wish I could say I learned it in school, but I didn't. I could go on and on about all the little things I have learned from reading over the years, but it all comes out in time. Why give you the whole freakin' cow at once? I am going to make you keep coming back for more. That's right, you know you love it.

So what unique things have you learned from reading books?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Write What You Know...

So I have something for all of you... You're always being told, "Write what you know" right? Well, this short story will tell you just how much work I've been doing with the paper route these days:

Knights of the Press
(1,987 words)

Mark sat in his car in the quiet grocery store parking lot, waiting for his new boss to arrive.
“I'll be there, 4:00 A.M. sharp,” Greg had told him. Mark looked at the clock on his dashboard. It was 4:03. He yawned, almost cracking his jaw. Headlights flashed ahead and Mark hoped this was Greg. A blue Prius pulled in, paused and then headed in his direction. The car pulled up next to him and Mark hit the power button for his window. Across the way, the other driver did the same.
“You Mark?” the guy asked. His large head took up most of the window and Mark nodded. “Great! Let's move over to the bundles and load up your papers. We'll take my car today, it gets better mileage.” Greg's window went up and Mark simply nodded again, powering up his window as well. He pulled his keys from the ignition and got out, situating his crutches so as not to fall over when he shut the car door. Pocketing his keys, he walked over to Greg.
Greg was working his large form out of the small car as Mark approached. Greg finally extricated himself and stood up tall.
This is one big dude, Mark thought as he got closer.
“Hmm,” Greg frowned as Mark approached. “I didn't know you only had one leg. What happened?”
“Cancer when I was a kid,” Mark said. He was used to the question by now and told people freely whenever they asked, never getting offended by their curiosity. He had had fourteen years of practice in answering by now.
“Sucks. Well, I don't think it will be an issue, but if you don't think it will work out just gimme a call and I'll let you out of the contract. No big deal.”
“It shouldn't be an issue, I'm just driving and throwing papers, right?”
“Ha ha! Yeah, kid. Come on let's load these up, you'll get to see what this route is all about.”
Greg tossed the bundles of papers into the backseat with ease while Mark worked around his disability to get a couple in as quickly as he could.
“Go ahead and hop on in,” Greg said. Mark situated himself in the passenger's seat and buckled in. “You don't get car sick, do ya?”
“Good, hold this bundle on your lap, hang these bags from the visor and we'll roll as we go.” Greg made his way around the front of his car, opened the door and eased himself into the seat. Mark felt himself rise slightly once Greg settled in and gripped the steering wheel. His hands were so huge, they made the wheel look like a kids' toy. He hunkered down behind the wheel, started it up and they took off like a shot.
“We've got a couple places on the route that like their paper at a certain time, but most of it doesn't matter all that much. Couple of critical places, but you're mostly patrolling to keep all the little bastards away,” Greg said as they turned a corner a little too quickly for Mark's taste.
“Patrolling? What little bastards?” Mark asked.
“Kid, there's some things you need to know about people who do a paper route,” Greg said, turning to grin at Mark. Mark felt a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach that wasn't from Greg's driving. With the car in motion, there was no way for Mark to just open the door and get out. “It takes a special kind of person to do this sort of thing. Look, there's one now!”
Greg swerved towards the shoulder of the road, hitting something small that tried to scurry off into the brush. There was the slightest hitch and then Greg got back on the main road.
“What the hell?” Mark yelled. “Why are you aiming for cats?”
“That was no cat, kid.” Greg said, seriously. Mark stared at him and when he turned, he saw the hard glint in Greg's eyes. “That was a freakin' goblin.”
“A goblin? You mean like in those kid's fairy tales kind of goblin?”
“No, I mean the My Pretty Pony kind of goblin,” he said sarcastically. “Yes, the fairy tale kind. What other kind is there? Those things are ugly, nasty little buggers and we are supposed to kill every single one we come across.”
“Wait. What?” Mark frowned at Greg. “I thought this was supposed to just be a paper route.”
“Look, man,” Greg pulled off to the side of the road, the little Prius idling. “There is more to everything in this world than meets the eye. Every person on this planet has a job to do and about ninety-eight percent of it is magic related. The problem is that the majority of people on this planet have been brainwashed into believing magic doesn't exist. Which gives those goblins, and all the other creatures that roam this earth intent on destroying it, free reign. Lots of people do things in their work without even realizing the consequences. It is by pure chance that they kill any of the goblins, chase off the Nightmares and everything else that is hazardous to our existence. But once in awhile, we still come across someone else who can see them, even if they don't understand what they're looking at.”
Mark sat there and stared out of the windshield for a moment, watching the first rays of the sun peek over the hills. He didn't know if he wanted to believe the hulking figure huddled in the seat next to him.
“Just drive,” Mark muttered.
Greg put the car silently into gear and pulled back onto the road. They rode in silence for the next fifteen minutes. Greg only spoke when he had to point out a delivery. It seemed to Mark that just about every house they delivered a paper to had something going on. He watched closely, even though Greg said nothing more than, “This guy gets the paper daily, this one is just a weekender.”
At one home in particular, Mark watched as Greg threw the paper, somewhat haphazardly, but before the paper landed in the drive, it passed through something and it exploded into ash before falling to the ground.
“What was that?” Mark asked.
“Nothing, kid.” Greg said sourly.
“No, really. What was that?”
“That,” Greg said with a heavy sigh, “was the remnants of some kid's nightmare. I don't know the intricate details of it all, but there is something in the ink of the newspaper that destroys them. Someone told me when I first started, but it was something the previous person repeated to them. Lots got lost in the translation from driver to driver. I can find out, though, if you really are interested.”
“Yeah, maybe,” Mark said, not wanting to commit just yet. He had to admit, though, his eyes had been opened up to a whole new world and he didn't think he'd be able to see things the way he used to anymore.
“Problem is,” Greg continued, “is that print is dying. More and more people are reading the news online, reading books on those computer thingies. So who knows what'll happen to the kids who are being bothered by goblins and trolls. What will happen when they're nightmares don't go away?”
Greg drove the Prius up and down winding dirt roads, pointing out which homes got the paper for no reason other than being just a subscriber. The rest of them all had certain problems. Those issues ranged from pixies to trolls and every paper delivered helped to fix the problem somehow.
After a while, they pulled onto a dirt road that gave Mark the creeps. The trees at the edge were still bare even though it was the middle of summer and none of them seemed to be “beetle-kill” trees. Trees that were killed from the inside out by a certain type of beetle infestation. Those trees you could spot a mile away, but these trees... Something else had affected these trees.
Greg slowed the car as they pulled up to a particular tree. It looked like it had been scorched from the inside, the pulp of the tree completely destroyed, leaving only the shell of the bark behind. It was bent over, as if the weight of the branches had pulled it down as its insides were ripped away.
“This is the portal,” Greg said, glaring at the tree. “Those damn little bastards, they killed that Dryad so they would have a way to get here. There are portals all over the world. We try to destroy as many as we can, but they always manage to have five more hidden somewhere else.”
Mark looked at the tree again, noticing how the branches seemed to be arms. They were drooping in such a way that it looked as if the Dryad had tried to shield off an attack, but to no avail.
“We work at it a little bit at a time,” Greg said. “But it isn't enough. We don't have that many people delivering papers. And like I said, fewer people subscribe each year. I'd hate to see what happens when the newspapers stop being delivered.”
Mark opened the car door and got out. He moved carefully over to the tree, a newspaper tucked under his arm.
“What're you doing, kid?” Greg called from the car.
“Just trying something,” Mark called back. He took the paper from under his arm and dropped it into the middle of the dead tree. There was a slight explosion, strong enough to send Mark backwards several feet and knock him on his backside. Behind him, Greg chuckled.
“I could have told you what would happen,” Greg said, still chortling. Mark shot him a dirty look as he got up and dusted himself off. He came back to the car and grabbed several more papers and, from the safety of the car, he threw them all towards the center of the blackened trunk. Each paper that landed shook the tree with a stronger explosion until finally, the tree burst into flames. Mark pushed the button that raised the window.
“Might want to drive now,” he told Greg. The large man nodded and stepped on the gas. They didn't take off very fast, but they did manage to get some distance between the tree and themselves before the final explosion. For a moment, the flames blew outward, then suddenly they seemed to be sucked in. A bright halo of light burst from the center of the tree and expanded rapidly, cutting down the trees in the surrounding area. The concussion from the blast blew out the back window of the Prius and Greg shouted a couple of choice curses. Greg hit the brakes and they skidded to a stop.
“Damn it,” Greg sighed. “This is my wife's new car. She's going to kill me.”
They both turned around in their seats to look behind them and saw the wreckage, the smoldering stumps of trees.
“I think we should get out of here,” Mark suggested.
“Good idea,” Greg said. He turned the car around and they headed back out to the main road. “Don't know why I didn't think of that. But now I'm going to be short papers and they dock that from your pay.”
“I'll pay you back,” Mark said.
“Do I look like I need your money?” Greg asked.
“No, I just – ”
“Don't worry kid,” Greg grinned at him. “So. Do you want the route?”

Saturday, June 23, 2012

This Momentary Pause Brought To You By...

Well, I have had a breather of sorts. I have asked to be dropped down to three days a week at my other job. Not that I have caught myself up on much other than blog posts, some reading, doing artwork for my characters...

But I am taking it a bit easier and things aren't so hectic I can't slow down. This newspaper route has even inspired a story! Imagine that. Once I have it done, I'll share for sure. My husband and one of my co-workers both think I'm crazy because of the idea behind the story, but I do have to keep reminding them: "I AM a writer, you know..."

I hope everyone else is doing well. I've had a good response from people about my upcoming book launch/blog tour. I've got lots of people waiting in the wings to do reviews. That makes me nervous as hell, but it has to be done, right? Like getting a bad tooth pulled. Right? Gah!

I've been working on my character drawings. Laria is the first and I think I still have the preliminary sketch around here somewhere... hang on. *Digs around in her computer files*

Oh yes! Here it is:

Hmm... not the best, but you get the idea at least. I'm still working on it and once I get it all figured out, I'll do a final outline in ink, then comes the color. I've been sending these little updates to my friend Liz and she's ok'd them so far. I'll be adding a quiver to her hip, possibly a light cloak... but Liz said she's heavily tattooed, so I have to work those in as well. Then I'll move on to the next character. This is going to be fun!

Hope you all have had a relaxing, enjoyable weekend. I'll see you all later on this week!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Book Review: The Dark Monk by Oliver Potzsch...

Don't know if most of you know that I am a Bzz Agent. What exactly is that? Well, I signed up on this site to join in on campaigns for trying out stuff either for free or at a discount. So every so often, I get cool, free stuff. This book and the one prior to it were the latest items I got. Now, on with the review!

Title: The Dark Monk: A Hangman's Daughter Tale

Author: Oliver Potzsch

Series: Book Two of the Hangman's Daughter series

Publisher: Amazon Crossing

Pages: 516

ISBN: 0547807686 ASIN: B006JTTK3O

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble

Summary from

1660: Winter has settled thick over a sleepy village in the Bavarian Alps, ensuring every farmer and servant is indoors on the night a parish priest discovers he's been poisoned. As numbness creeps up his body, he summons the last of his strength to scratch a cryptic sign in the frost.
Following a trail of riddles, hangman Jakob Kuisl; his headstrong daughter, Magdalena; and the town physician’s son team up with the priest’s aristocratic sister to investigate. What they uncover will lead them back to the Crusades, unlocking a troubled history of internal church politics and sending them on a chase for a treasure of the Knights Templar.
But they’re not the only ones after the legendary fortune. A team of dangerous and mysterious monks is always close behind, tracking their every move, speaking Latin in the shadows, giving off a strange, intoxicating scent. And to throw the hangman off their trail, they have ensured he is tasked with capturing a band of thieves roving the countryside attacking solitary travelers and spreading panic.

My thoughts:

While this is the second book in the series, this could be a stand alone novel. You don't feel like you have to go back and read the first book to understand what is going on. While there were some typos and grammatical errors in the book, they weren't enough to slow down the reading so much. The pace was decent. I could have enjoyed a little faster read, but overall, I liked the flow of the book. Apparently the author based his characters off of ancestors of his, which I find kind of cool.
The characters are well thought out and portrayed well. I think if I were to have an issue with this book it would be the riddles and the hunting down of legendary fortune of the Knights Templar. I felt like there were too many, but that could just be my imagination.
I also felt like it was running along the lines of Dan Brown's "Angels and Demons", but not quite.
I highly suggest the book and I will be reading The Hangman's Daughter soon. I will also be looking forward to the next installment of this series.

I give it 4 out of 5 Skull and Cross Bones.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Prompting Prompts...

I've been spending lots of my time over at Writing Dot Com (WDC) these days. They have a daily contest over there called the Writer's Cramp. They give you a prompt and you have one day to hammer out 1,000 words, polish it up and submit it. Cramp is not exactly what I would call it. More like "How the hell do you expect me to write only 1,000 words on a subject and in one day no less?!?" but I suppose that is a bit too long.

I have to admit it has helped me a lot. It forces me to be less wordy and pay more attention to detail without dragging on and on. I've entered a couple of them, I've posted the stories up here when I've won. Now, I'm using the prompts more for my own writing enjoyment rather than the contests.

However, that has been pushed to the side as well. I'm focusing more on "Adversarius" these days and everything that goes with it. I'm working on new character drawings. Cleaner, more detailed and a little more sophisticated than what I have previously drawn. Sort of like my writing. I'm hoping to get the artwork done soon for each one and then I am going to make bookmarks with the artwork on the front and a little about the character or a favorite character quote on the back. I thought of holding a contest after the book comes out. A "Favorite Quotes" contest. Give the winner something and also have the winning quote on the bookmark. We'll see.

The other reason for the artwork is for my friends who I have patterned a character after. I plan on framing a copy of the book cover, signed by me and including the character artwork as well. I'm very grateful to my friends who have let me throw their characters into my books.

So that's been taking up lots of my time, but what hasn't these days? I'm just happy to have my financial crisis over for the most part. Gotta do what you gotta do these days. Have a great rest of the week everyone!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Meet Nicholas...

Hey everyone! I just wanted to hop on here and gear up for the week. I've dropped down to three days a week at the one job so I can focus on the paper route a little more and give my hubby a bit of a break. Things are finally settling down, routines and all that.

I also want to introduce you to my friend Nicholas Milano. We've been friends for like... YEARS! We started off playing Cosrin together and have maintained a friendship ever since. He's got a blog over here called Wrandom Words. He's stepping into the first story mode and is looking for guidance. Just like we all were when we logged onto the internet to share our writing experiences. So please, hop on over there and follow him, he's great! He's talented in lots of ways: music, writing, goofing off...

He's my brother in all but blood. His birthday is the day before mine, so of course that makes him my "older" brother. Ha!

See you all soon! Have a great Monday and a great week.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Hell You Say...

"So, what do you know about writing dialogue?" someone asked.

"Eh. Enough to get me by, I suppose. Why?" I said.

"Well, lots of people don't know how to write good dialogue."

"Hmm. This is true, I suppose. Sort of like those who have issues with character creation."

"Kind of. Dialogue should be good, right?" they asked, a slight frown upon their face.

"Well, if you want to keep the story moving and keep the interest of people, then yes. Dialogue is a big part of writing. You don't want people to get confused when reading the dialogue," I said.

"How would they get confused?"

"Well," I paused for a moment, thinking about this. "When reading a conversation between two characters, you want it to sound effortless."


"You also want to make sure that the reader knows who is speaking by adding 'he said/she said'."

"I get that. What else?" they asked.

"Also make sure the conversation sounds normal. Would you write about someone who says things like, 'perchance we shall endeavor to blah blah blah'?"

"No, I suppose not."

"Well then, there you go." I said and smiled.

"But how can you tell if you have good dialogue in your story?"

"Listen to the voices in your head."


"No, not the ones that whisper to you and tell you to hurt people," I said with a laugh. "Listen to the voices of your character. It is like a little movie or play going on in your mind. You know who is speaking at all times. But if you really want to get a good idea of the flow, read it out loud."

"Oh, good idea!"

"Lots of people have thought of that before me, so I have to give credit where it is due. I'm just repeating it all," I said.

"Good for you, for not taking credit. Can you help me create a character now?"

"Sure thing."

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What Was That?...

This month is whipping by pretty fast. Then again, the amount of work I do makes things go by quickly. All in all, things are looking up in the financial end of things around my house. We were able to get caught up on just about every bill in one fell swoop. Most of the bills, that is. I still have a whole crap-load to take care of, but the burden is far less than before.

On writing news, I've been trying to get some things done on my days off. My husband and I have picked up a paper route here in town. Sounds like we're a couple of kids, hehe! But in all seriousness, we've been alternating days. For both of us to do 7 days in a row, I think we'd end up hurting someone due to being so overtired. But by alternating days, we at least get to rest a little more. When he does the route, he goes right into work and comes home. He gets early nights whereas I have late nights at work, then get up for the paper route and come home, go back to bed and get up for work in the afternoon. Not ideal, by any means, but nothing I can do about it.

As far as the writing front goes, I realized last week that the days are going by so fast, I have to get my schedule out. I still don't have a solid release date, but I am going to pretend mid September in my scheduling. I'll be sending out an email to everyone who wants to help me and my sister in law on our blog tour. I have a couple of reviewers lined up as well, so I have to wait for the ARC's, then get them out ASAP. Once my book is due out, I am thinking of taking a vacation from my cashier job so I can focus on my blog, Twitter, FaceBook and blog tour. I'm also slowly adding book covers to my side-bar on my blog of other authors. Takes me a while, but I want to put up ones I have read. I'll have a spot for ones I am getting ready to read. But if you want your book cover up there, shoot me a message! I'll work at getting it up there.

So, if you have agreed to be a part of my book launch tour, expect that e-mail soon! A tentative schedule will soon follow. Thanks everyone, for your support, your patience and loyalty. So much of this could not have been possible without you all there cheering me on! *Much love!*

Thursday, June 7, 2012

What's Wrong With Fantasy...

You know I've posted about this before and still, it keeps happening. People hear that you are a writer, ask what you write. You tell them, "High Fantasy," expecting an excited, "Oooh!" like they do with every other author. Instead you get the, "Oh-I'm-So-Sorry" head tilt.

That look of pity, as if they just found out you're an orphan and all of your friends left you behind. I can't stand that look.

But reading the newsletters I get over on Writing Dot Com gave me proof that this still happens. I can expect it to happen to me when I begin telling people I'm getting published again. It never fails. And I still don't know how to handle it without being snarky.

I do know this, however:

"One of the criticisms often leveled against fantasy (and science fiction) is that it's "escapist" writing, that its purpose is to provide an escape from day-to-day life for its readers, transporting them into another world for a time.

I say, "What's wrong with that?"

I also ask, "How is this different from other genres?"

That's a direct quote from Robert Waltz, who wrote the newsletter. I want to know how this is different from other genres as well. He also stated that escapism can pretty much describe any work of fiction.

Personally, I've always said that every writer includes a little bit of fantasy in their work. First, the character is often fiction. Historical fiction is not spot on, unless someone is hiding a time machine somewhere and not sharing. How can you know exactly what happened and how people reacted? History only gives you a brief glimpse of events. If you did deeper and further into the past, reading letters and correspondence, you still don't get an overall "feel" of who those people were and what they were truly like. We can only speculate.

I'm thankful for the support of my fellow authors and bloggers when it comes to fantasy. While there are genres that I don't particularly care for, it doesn't mean I have no respect for the author. Writing is damn hard work, people! Respect that, if nothing else.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

IWSB (Insecure Writers Support Group)...

Oh, my insecurities run fast and deep these days. However, most of them (okay 98% of them) are not about writing. They do have that connection, though, as in "Will I ever get back to working on my stuff?".

I know I will. Sometimes life has a way of just well, getting in the way. At the moment, Life has decided to not only kick down my door like Hagrid did in the first "Harry Potter" movie, but it has taken up residence in my house, has eaten all my food and is now looking at me like, "What the hell ya gonna do about it?"

I'm not very good with change. I mean, I accept change, I can change if needed and am very proud of myself for growing and maturing as a human being. But you throw more than one change at me at a time and I'll go bananas. Routine is everything to me. I've been that way for some time now, due to all my anxiety and stress and depression. I have to have routine or I flip out. So when I had several changes happen at once over the course of a couple of weeks, guess what happened. Yeah, I flipped.

There is some good coming from it. Most of all, this paper route. As it sits right now, my husband and I do the route together. Now that we know it, we are giving each other a couple days off from it here and there. It isn't a big deal to go it alone. But it is yet something else we need to work a routine into. As it goes right now, I get home from work, sit up for about half an hour to unwind, go to bed, get up at 4 a.m., do the paper route, get home around 8:30 a.m., go back to bed and either sleep til I have to go to job #2 or get up a little earlier to hop in the shower...

I'm bloody exhausted. BUT! We have a goal in mind. We have a certain amount of bills to pay and another amount to save up, then we can drop the paper route and be caught up with cash left to spare. Just my luck, I finally get to the point where I can start saving money and the world will end.

Ha ha! I'm joking. Sort of.

So I suppose my insecurity this month is the fact that even writers have to take a hiatus whether they want to or not. I had no intention of just walking away from revisions and such of books two and three. I will be editing book one once I get my edits from Hellfire and promoting the heck out of that book. But it will be a bit before I can get back to book two revisions and then finishing up book three. In the meantime, I'm having withdrawals from writing so I work on little things, like the daily Writer's Cramp at or polishing  up my short stories.

So to any other writers out there going through some rough times and making sacrifices, this too shall pass.  Good luck!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Update And More Happiness...

Yep, I'm totally ecstatic about my cover. The more I look at it, the more I like it. Which is as it should be. If you haven't seen it, drop down to yesterday's post and have a look-see!

I should be hearing from the editor soon and then I can answer everyone's question of "When is it going to be released?" We're looking at a possible August/September release and the virtual book launch/blog tour will start off with a bang over on the Hellfire Herald. Feel free to drop by and check it out!

I'm continuing to work slowly on my blog page, to get things ready for the launch. I'll also have an author interview upcoming over on the Herald and will link back to that as well.

Keep an eye out for excerpts along the way. I'm still working on some of my short stories to possibly put up on Smashwords and the like, but I need covers for them as well. Which I am also working on, on top of everything else. Phew!

Have a great rest of the week everyone! I'll be seeing you soon.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Cover Reveal...

Guess what!!! I got the cover for my book today and asked if I could share. So, here it is, the cover to my first book in the series:

Wooohoooo!!! Super excited! Have a great rest of the day and a great week!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

My Muse...

Here's a conversation with my Muse. Prompted by another author.

I sat idly at my computer, staring out the glass door in my dining room. Mint was growing between the slats of the wooden deck and held the attention of my cat as it swayed in the breeze.
“What the hell am I going to write, Gir?” I asked the cat. She just turned her head and stared at me with her green eyes, her tail twitched and she went back to watching the mint.
“This sucks. Either I don't have time to write or I can't think of anything at all. I bet my Muse is on vacation somewhere.”
“No. I'm not,” someone said behind me. I think I jumped about three feet and that high pitched squeal, yeah, that was me too.
“Ohmyfreakinggod!” I hollered at the man standing behind my rolling computer chair. “who the hell are you and how did you get in here?”
“Please. I'm your freaking Muse.”
“What?” I gaped at the man. I was expecting a woman, first of all and weren't they supposed to be dressed in clothing from ancient Greece? That's what they wore in that episode of Charmed.
“A Muse does not have to be a woman. You should know that by now. Not all of the ancient stories and folk tales are precise.” He folded his arms across his chest. He wore blue jeans and a t-shirt as well as one of the bracelets I had been making lately.
“How'd you get that?” I asked, trying to focus on something.
“You made it. Duh.”
“Wow, you're sarcastic, aren't you?”
“Aren't you?”
“Well, yeah. Wait, you're my Muse?” My mind was clicking away as fast as my heart raced. “And you obviously can read my thoughts.”
“You are a quick one.”
“Wow, I can so do without the snotty remarks.” I leaned back in my chair. Gir's attention now focused on the man in the kitchen.
“Fine. I am not on vacation, I can hear your thoughts, which should be obvious by the way. I'm wearing this bracelet because I helped inspire you to make them and you of all people know that Charmed is just a TV show. You write fantasy, why can't your Muse be a man? You are always thinking outside of the box, right?”
“Well, sure.” I couldn't think of anything else to say.
“Hm. Speechless for once. Nice.”
“Yeah, you can go now,” I said, smirking. “I'm sorry, I'm just trying to wrap my brain around all of this.”
“Good luck with that.”
“Okay, so why are you here and heckling me?” I asked, getting a little fed up.
“Well, you ignore me all the time. I figured the best way to get your attention would be to just appear out of thin air.”
“How's that workin' for ya?”
“So far, not so good.”
“Well, you can't just pop out of nowhere and expect me to be civil. If you are my Muse, you'd already know how I react to surprises.”
“True. Not my best idea by far, but it is working. You are listening to me, right?”
“Good point. So you think I am ignoring you?”
“I have been giving you so many good ideas lately and you're just blowing me off. It seems like the harder I try, the more you tune me out. Not cool.”
“I'm not doing this to you on purpose. I just feel like I have so little time to do anything. I work full time, I have the paper route... my house is suffering because of it all and –”
“Gah! Enough with the excuses. You read all sorts of blogs and stories by other people who are just as busy as you, if not more. You're awful good at making up some reason or other to not do something. We both know you tend to be a bit lazy.”
“Hey! Okay, yeah I know I can be lazy,” I admitted.
“Well, then write, dammit! You've got the stories in you, I'm feeding you like a freakin' I.V. tube. What more can you ask for?”
“Do you really want me to answer that?” I said with a snort. My Muse just stared me down. “All right!” I relented.
“All right, what?” he asked, arching an eyebrow.
“I will do my utmost to write more, even if it is something as silly as having a discussion with my Muse.”
“Okay, now I'm going on vacation.”