Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Funnies & Faves...

Friday posts are getting a little tweak. That's all right, you're just worried about the funnies. I know you!

So for faves today, I have to confess that Neverwinter 2 is becoming my overall favorite game to play now. The ease of the game, meaning all I have to do is put my target over the enemy and hold down my mouse button, heck yeah! Totally easy to play. I do like a challenge, trust me. But my poor old keyboards get worn out so quickly when I'm macro mashing in World of Warcraft.


I also have to say, in light of the Get Healthy blog hop that bounced around, my favorite things to put in my juices so far is... (believe it or not) sweet potatoes and beets. I normally can't stand them!! But to put them in a juice. OMG! Divine!

Also, don't forget to check out this post here to get geared up for the Follow Fest of a blog hop.

All right, you're just sitting there waiting impatiently now. You want the funnies, doncha? Okay, okay... pushy!

Here you go! You'll get these first two if you've ever watched "How I Met Your Mother". Enjoy and I hope you have a great weekend.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Who Wants More Followers?...

It could be for your blog, your Twitter or even your FaceBook 'Like' page. Doesn't matter. I'd like to host an event here for anyone interested.

Next Monday, June 3rd, (my mom's b-day!) I'll have a Linky sign-up. We'll take a week to get everyone signed up who wants to be a part of this event. So help me spread the word, please! I know you will, because you're all awesome that way.

Then, on June 10th (that's a Monday) here is what your blog post will need to include:

 * Any and ALL links where you want the followers. Create links to make it easy for people to follow you.

For example, I want people to 'Like' my Facebook author page, my book page and my Smashwords page. So I'll make sure I have links for all of that. PLUS, I would like more followers on my Twitter, so I'll link to that in the body of the blog post.

 * Share the Linky link in the blog post, so that everyone can visit everyone else involved. (Make sure to try and follow as many people on the list.)

This is important! If you want people to follow you, you'll have to reciprocate. Don't be a selfish noob! I know there are some people out there who won't be interested in my fantasy book or posts relating to it, such as the ones where I post tips about world building. But I do book reviews and I also try to help promote my fellow authors, so even if you don't read or comment on every single post, I'm cool with that. I can honestly say, with me, that'll be a two way street! I won't like everything you have to say, either.

What? I'm being honest!

And last but not least:

 * YOU MUST have a FOLLOW BUTTON in a highly visible place on your BLOG!!!! Don't make people search for it. It can be the Blogger button, the Google Reader button or even the BlogLovin' or whatever kind of BUTTON. But you MUST have it. Seriously. And, it would be nice if you would turn off word verification for the day. (If not forever, which, would be epic... Just sayin')

Oooh, maybe I'll even make a banner. I'm getting a little better with GIMP.

So there you go. We'll spend a week building up our follow list with Linky and then we'll spend the day following everyone. What do you say? Are you in? Do you want/need/CRAVE followers? Well then, hop on, man! (Erm, woman... not trying to be gender-biased here!)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Shout Out For Juli D. Revezzo...

A little while back, I did a review for one of Juli's short stories, 'House of Cards'. I love her writing style!

Yesterday, Juli hung out with me on Twitter and answered a question and chatted with me. Which was totally fun! Today, she has a book up on Smashwords for free and it is also available for 99 cents if you'd like to forgo that ... well, geez, what even costs 99 cents these days? It's a drop in the bucket!

Okay, so here is her book, 'Caitlin's Book of Shadows':

Caitlins book of shadows v6_2smallSomething terrifying stalks Caitlin and her beloved Trevor. Something the bits and pieces she left claimed she had to make sense of–or so legend says. When the curator of their collection finds Caitlin’s long forgotten diary, she wonders will it tell the whole tale? Will it tell why Caitlin seemed so determined to tell the difference between reality and nightmare even as she continued the fight to defend her family from evil? Will it explain why she thought her world twisted? If she really became a witch?
Perhaps the answer lies between the lines of her story, one of lessons, struggles, and the hopes she carried like a warrior’s shield.

This is a side (or supplemental, if you will) story in the Antique Magic series, a companion to The Artist’s Inheritance (Antique Magic, Book One).

Okay, so you have the free link for Smashwords up there and the 99 cents link goes to Amazon. You can also get it here at Barnes & Noble for 99 cents as well. And if you would like to check out Juli's blog, drop by here.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go pick up this book myself!

A Reminder To New Authors...

First of all, let me just say, don't act like you're big man on campus. Or girl. Depending. I'm saying this, because recently I came across a situation where someone was asking for help.

Now, you all KNOW me. I like to help, especially when it concerns FANTASY or better yet, WORLD BUILDING!


I have a bad habit of telling people, "Hey, you can go here for this, this and this..." and then I offer up the solution to whatever issue they've got. I can't help it. I do offer up the link for them to maybe bookmark later on if they don't have the time right then and there to go check it out.

I was told I was redundant for doing that.

Um. Okaaaay...

Not even a thank you. Even if my advice/help did NOT help them, they could have at least said, "Thanks, but that isn't what I'm looking for." Right? Am I being too picky about this? What. The. Hell? Not only that, but I had just joined this group and was just trying to show I can be helpful. I totally felt like it was a slap in the face. Kind of hard not to.

So needless to say, I'm ignoring any more posts from that certain individual.

What do you think? Have you ever been chastised for your help? What do you do? Or say?

Monday, May 27, 2013

My Ask Me Anything Answer Day...

I had a blast with my Ask Me Anything project! I want to thank everyone who asked me a question and participated. I got a couple new followers on Twitter, did some promos for people and basically just had some fun. I think I'll spend some quality time on Twitter from now on.  Anyway, I wanted to share all the questions and answers with you here. I know lots of people don't do Twitter, it's all good.

Q: How does it feel to be a grandmother?

A: I don't think it's quite sunk in, but I'm so happy I could burst!

Q: Has the baby inspired any writing?

A: No, not really. I am just basking in her cuteness.

Q: What do you do to get into the 'writing zone'? Do you have a special setup, certain time of day, any pre-writing requirements (must have mug of coffee etc.)?

A: A: I don't have a 'start' routine. Even if I am not 'in the mood', I just start writing and before too long, my muse takes over. Used to be soda, but don't need much of anything to get going.

Q: Do you have a summer project lined up?

A: A: Not really, my main priority right now is to get book two revised and edited. But I did just have a cool idea for a story recently.

Q: Do you put any special thought into things like the first words or last words in a book?

A: I never used to, but with book two and three, oh yeah, I am totally planning that!

Q: What topics have you researched for your stories?

A: Mostly medieval history. The time of the Middle Ages, armor, weapons, hierarchies.

Q: What do you think makes your style unique?

A:  I try to write my stories as if you are part of a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. If you're a gamer, you know what I mean! I try to pull you in and make that movie in your head begin so you don't want to put down the book.

Q:  What was your greatest inspiration and motivation to write 'Adversarius'?

A: The fact that I had a story I wanted to share with people, that was the biggest motivation/inspiration. Something I knew people would like, if they like fantasy. I was more motivated after being compared to Tolkien. Even if I didn't see it, someone else did and that inspired me to no end!

Q: If you couldn't write, what would you do?

A: I think I'd end up in a padded cell. The voices in my head wouldn't leave me alone! Either that or I'd just sit and drool.

Q: What is your favorite writing place?

A: I write at my desk, but usually it's late at night when everyone is asleep and no one can bother me!

Time To Ask Me Anything...

It's that time! And yes, I do realize this is a holiday weekend. So when you're done grillin', chillin' and drinkin', come ask me anything.

I've got some very good questions from people on FaceBook and, of course, here. If you haven't left me a question, you can still do so. I'll be hanging out on Twitter today, answering questions and doing some promo. So, if you have anything you want me to share, drop me a link for it as well.

Also, some news:

Michael Brookes over at The Cult of Me is having a Short Fiction Contest. Details are listed and Michael hopes to have a contest every month, featuring a new picture to act as the writing prompt. You could win an Amazon gift card. So go check it out!

All right. If you're on Twitter and you've got some spare time today, come hang out with me. You can follow me: @MLChesley

Besides, I need more followers. I can't follow any more cool people because I'm maxed out and I hate doing the whole "follow/unfollow" thing to get there.

See you all later and PLEASE have a safe holiday!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Funnies & Favorites...

Gah! Better late than never. I was going to work on this post last night, but ended up getting home late and all sorts of stuff. Oh well, here we go now!

So favorites... I'd like to do something different today. I'm going to list a couple of my favorite games.

Risk: An oldie, but a goodie. I love Risk and have discovered an online version at I remember playing Risk with my brother. He'd take over a country and flick the pieces off the board. Ha!

Hand Over Foot: A card game my mom taught me last time she visited. I love playing card games, but this quickly became my favorite.

Neverwinter Nights 2: Love, LOVE this game! I've forsaken World of Warcraft to play this game for awhile. I know, *gasp!* right?

Alright, enough of that. On with the funnies!

Alright! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What's Happening...

Not a whole heck of a lot, right now. Compared to this last weekend, life is dull! But I'm down with that. I need the quiet.

I'm currently working on some artwork with GIMP. I downloaded the program and have been tweaking my maps. I was going to attempt to clean up some of my artwork as well, to see what I can do with it. I'm still trying to get used to the program, so if anyone has some tips, please pass them along!

My "Ask Me Anything" week is going good, so far. The Linky at the bottom of the page is for anyone who would like to do the same thing, sort of make it a blog hop. So if you would like anyone to ask YOU anything, click the Linky! Then pick a time and place when you want to answer the questions. You are more than welcome to join me on Monday, the 27th, on Twitter if you like. Just use the AskMeAnything hashtag. (#) It'll be tons of fun!

You'll find my post and Linky here. And feel free to invite anyone else. With the Linky, I'll be able to come 'round to your blog and ask my question.

Have a great rest of the week! And I'll see you Friday with the Funnies.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ask Me Anything...

It's Monday! Why am I so excited for Monday, you ask? Because it's my last week of work. Ha! It's a good thing. The kids have been all fired up and hyper because school is almost out, which makes me tired as all get out at the end of the day.

AND as of Saturday, I became a Grandma! Here is a pic of the cutest baby since my kids! And yes, I'm biased:

Anyway, I wanted to do something to reconnect and get back in the swing of things next week. So I'm going to host a Q & A.

Here's what will happen:

You can ask me anything this week, all week long. Leave your questions in the comments below or email me: Paridzule dot Keep at gmail dot com.

Then, on Monday, May 27th, I'll be on Twitter and will answer your questions there. I'm @MLChesley if you want to add me. And I'll be using the #AskMeAnything hashtag. If you aren't on Twitter, no worries, I'll post answers the day after.

Now, if you would like to join me, by all means, you are welcome to! Sign up below.

So let's get started, ask me anything!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Feeling Blessed...

Kind of late in the evening for me to post, but I'm in such a state of bliss right now.

I have to share, brag, whatever you want to call it. I'm very, very proud of my kids right now. I've had the most amazing weekend of my entire life, so far.

On Saturday, my daughter gave birth to a sweet baby girl, Ally Love. She was 8 pounds 6 ounces and twenty and a half inches long.

My granddaughter!
She was born late afternoon. We came home, happy and exhausted. My daughter lives about 2 hours away, so we have to wait until next weekend to go see her again.

Then earlier this evening, my son graduated from High School. The school he went to is small. A charter school. Both of my kids graduated from there and did very well. They helped my kids so much!

We were running late, but they didn't start without us. They were worried we weren't going to make it, but we did! It was too important an event to miss, just as much as the birth of that baby up there.

So right now, I am sitting here, reflecting. Even with all the mistakes I have made, the trials and errors, the ups and downs, I have two dedicated, hard working kids striking out into the world and making a life for themselves.

I may be a writer, supposed to be succinct and eloquent, but all I can think of right now is just how happy I am.


There is still a lot to do, things to prepare for and attend to, but these two major hurdles have been cleared and so far, it looks like a smooth road ahead.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I'll see you all tomorrow.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Favorites & Funnies...

WOOHOOOO!!! It's Friday!

Can you tell I'm excited?

Of course, with more enthusiasm and well, not getting stuff thrown at me...
So I have quite a couple of shares for you all today. As far as favorite authors/books/reads go. You've all seen my latest two book reviews.

First was "Firehurler" by J. S. Morin. Jeff is going to quickly become a favorite fantasy author. Ranking right up there with A. E. Marling, Stuart Jaffe, Jamie Marchant and Joseph Lallo. I'd recommend their books to anyone!

The other was "Chain of Command" by Colby Marshall. Again, I'd recommend her books as well. I love thrillers. And mysteries. And... well, who am I kidding, I love to read!

I think I have spent more time reading these days, than anything else. Although, I am hopping around the internet, marketing and trying to visit more blogs.

Funny how I find my groove when my job is almost over. Working with kids is seasonal.

Anyway, let's move on to the funnies, shall we? I have a couple of good ones for all of you. So, enjoy and have a super weekend!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Looking For Your Opinion...

Hey all! Hope your week is going well so far. I bet you're all looking forward to the funnies tomorrow, right? Of course you are!

Okay, so I need some help. I'd like to do a poll on audio books, so I'm going to ask two questions here and then I'd highly appreciate it if you would leave your answers in the comment section. Pretty, pretty please!

Send people over to this post as well, if you wouldn't mind. I need some answers.

I'm currently working on the audio-book for 'Adversarius'. Once I have it done, I'll release it. When book two is complete and ready for release, I hope to have an audio-book ready right away for that.

So here is my first question:

Do you listen to audiobooks?

Second question:

Should you include sound effects and/or music in the background? (Not through the whole book, just in certain sections. I'm thinking a little bit of music near the end and beginning of chapters.)

I'm going to be getting some audio-books soon to listen to in order to research this thoroughly, but would like to hear from all of you as well! Your input is very important to me. So thank you for helping me out and have a fantastic day!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Book Review: Chain of Command by Colby Marshall

Title: Chain of Command

Author: Colby Marshall

Publisher: Stairway Press

Pages: 312 (Print), File size: 708 kb

ISBN (10): 098490705X ASIN: B00ALM5BFG

Purchase: Amazon & Barnes & Noble

Summary (from Amazon):

The road to the Oval Office is paved in blood...the simultaneous assassinations of the President and Vice President catapults the Speaker of the House into the White House as the first female President of the United States. Evidence points to a former Navy SEAL as one of the assassins. Young journalist McKenzie McClendon must unravel a dangerous web of lies in a search for the truth.

My thoughts:

What can I say? This book was one hell of a ride! I mean, from the first page to the last, this book kept right on rolling with action.

McKenzie is a sharp girl with an even sharper wit. She's got the guts to take on finding the truth in this story. She's a strong character.

Noah is a strong character as well. His presence in the book is just as commanding as McKenzie's. The two of them together made a huge impression on me.

I seriously could not put this book down. Usually, when I try to find a good place to stop so I can pick the book up later, it's not a problem. But I couldn't find a good spot to put this book DOWN! That's rare for me these days.

So if you want to read an awesome thriller with lots of twists that will keep you guessing from cover to cover, pick this book up!

I rate this book: 5 out of 5 skull and crossbones

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

How To Keep Up With The Joneses...

Reason #5,673 why I can't wait to move to Washington: I'm constantly broke!

Living in Alaska is a bit expensive, especially in my small town. Don't get me wrong, I like this place. Except for the 6 months of snow... but it is not cheap to live here.

I was on Twitter, spending my few, precious moments that I have for promoting my book and saw a couple other authors saying that their giveaway of their book will commence once they hit 5K fans. They're like, a couple hundred away from that goal.

What the eff? I just want 200! Speaking of, if you would be so kind as to spread the word, go to my Smashwords page, click the 'Like' button. Once I hit 200, I'll give the e-book away for free! And Amazon now has my book in paperback.

I'm not an indie author, but sometimes I feel like I promote like one. But how do you market your book when you have no cash? Seriously? I read blog posts on what has worked for some people, but when I go to the link and check things out, these people want payment. Of course they do, you're buying their time, just like any other service in the industry. I'd want to get paid as well!

Don't get me wrong, this isn't me asking for a handout. This is me asking you for your suggestions on some ways to promote that don't cost. I realize, you get what you pay for.

Now keep in mind, I am on Twitter, FaceBook, Goodreads (which, I'm still trying to figure out along with Pintrest), I have this blog and a website (that is dusty as hell). What more can I do? Well, what more can I do without spending money?

Other things I am currently working on, is artwork for my book. I'm trying to do it myself. I'm an artist for pity's sake! I have the skills, the tools, I just need to get it done. Lots of that will be put up on Zazzle as t-shirts and the like. Once I get a good quality scan, which seems to be super difficult in my neck of the woods. I think I found a place, but have yet to check it out.

So what would you suggest/recommend? Did you set funds aside for promoting before your book was out? Who helped you?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Guest Post: Cathy Benedetto...

 I'd like you all to welcome Cathy Benedetto to my blog. I'm the first stop in the tour, so let me share the link with the tour schedule for you now: Tour Schedule and be sure to check out the purchase links for her books at the end of the post!

Without further ado, take it away, Cathy!

GUEST POST “Advice for Aspiring Writers”

I’ll never forget author Terry Brooks’ advice in Lessons From A Writing Life. He adamantly
stressed the importance of working from an outline. A fantasy panel guest, he had given
talk on the necessity of outlining. Afterwards, fellow author Anne McCaffrey whispered to
him “sweetly”, “Terry, I don’t think I’ve ever outlined anything in my life.” Brooks’ admission
cracked me up and resulted in an epiphany that created my first rule for aspiring writers:

1. Beware of rules set in stone.

Personally, I use an outline that’s more of a storyboard. I like visual reminders on post-it notes
tacked horizontally across an eight foot dry erase board. It helps me keep true to the storyline,
and serves as a reminder of unresolved issues. But I love Anne McCraffrey’s dragon series and
find her plots compelling and complex. It amazes me that she does this without an outline but
proves my point. Not all writers need an outline. This segues nicely to my second rule:

2. Know Yourself

I coached women’s sports for over 25 years. During that time I went to numerous coaching
clinics and listened raptly to the beliefs of the nation’s top coaches. Dale Brown, from LSU
and Shaq’s college coach, was the one who said, “know yourself”. His point was to be true
to yourself, to know who you are. You can’t walk in another coaches’ shoes. You can’t copy
anyone else’s style and expect to have the same level of success. Be honest with yourself and
evaluate whether or not your personality and work skills can tackle a method someone else
uses. By all means, go to workshops, read magazines, take it all in, but instead of trying to use
advice from everywhere…

3. Find the golden kernel.

Look for the golden kernel among the entire crop of corn, that one piece of advice that results
in your light bulb turning on. In other words, incorporate an idea if it fits who you are. Best-
selling authors may list their Top Ten Secrets, but it’s entirely possible and indeed, likely that
most won’t fit your personality, your work ethic or your writing skills. It’s also possible that your
golden kernel is a realization that you need to change a bad habit. For example, you may love
to write from the omniscient point of view, but you might lack the talent to do it. This goes
back to the “be honest with yourself” phrase mentioned in number two. If you can’t honestly
self-evaluate, you’ll never find your personal golden kernel. And, the first step towards self-
evaluation, is to…

4. Be Open to Criticism

In the world of competitive sports, this translates to “being coachable”. Ask yourself, as a
writer, can I deal with constructive criticism? Having my feelings hurt? Can I really listen or am
I mentally refuting everything being said to me? Am I willing to try another way? Can I throw
out my much loved prologue, or kill off my favorite character? Can I be honest with myself and
admit my weaknesses? Can I come to grips with the fact that while not all rules apply to me as
a writer, most do? Can I be honest in evaluating my strengths and weaknesses so I can grow as
a person and as a writer? My fingers are crossed for you and I wish you success, but right now I
need to go and shuck some corn.

About Cathy Benedetto:

Ms. Benedetto is a writer, artist and avid reader. Her love of science fiction and fantasy inspired her
trilogy about the mystical race of warriors known as Shala. Her favorite authors, Anne McCaffrey, Robert
Jordan, and Orson Scott Card, have spun stories that shifted Cathy’s imagination into high gear.

The former Vice Principal and education consultant, Cathy was also a five time softball All-American, and
AAU basketball All-American. She was a member of the U.S. Women’s basketball team that played in the
World University Games in Czechoslovakia and the Pan American Games in Canada. While coaching, she
was published in the Women in Sports magazine and wrote a column for the Bellevue Journal American.

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Cathy moved to Lexington, Kentucky in 2003. The former coach
enjoys supporting the Kentucky Wildcats women’s basketball team, woodturning, lapidary arts, and
loves fishing on her pontoon boat. A special joy is playing with David, Charlotte, Kendall, Lily, and Liz.

Purchase link for 'Dark Shala'

Purchase link for 'The Eyes of Sandala'

Purchase link for 'King of the Fels'

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Favorites & A Funny...

Woohoo, it's Friday! I love me some Fridays.

Okay, so I have a couple of announcements before the hilarity ensues.

First, as I write this post, the Smashwords page for my book has 49 'Likes'. A HUGE thank you to all who have helped me spread the word with this!

Second, "Adversarius, Shadow of the Rose: Book One" is NOW available in PAPERBACK on Amazon!!!!

::Cheers and does the happy dance::

I'm very surprised. I was hoping it would be available this month, but with some formatting issues, I was thinking it would be later. But nope, nope, nope! It's here!

I'd love it if you would all help me spread the word on that.

And thanks to all of you for your support and encouragement. I can't begin to express how much it means to me!

And now, on to the funnies!

And there you have it. Thought I'd make up for some lost funnies. Have an awesome weekend!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What's Coming Next?...

Hey everyone! Hope you are all having a good week. So far, so good on my end.

During all the hub-bub of the end of the A to Z challenge, a couple things happened. One was on my blog, the other was over at Patrick Satters' blog.

On my blog, I had a guest post and lots of book information for a gentleman named Andrew Toy, author of "Man in the Box". You can find that post here.

Over at Patrick Satters's blog, yours truly was interview. And someone even asked a question. And now that I look at my answer, I feel like an idiot. But hey, have to give me a bit of a break, never had a blog reader ask me a question in the comments before. So, wooooo hoooo! You can find the interview, here.

I had signed up with Tomorrow Comes Media. You'll be seeing their button appearing soon, as soon as I put up my A to Z Survivor badge as well. But they do book tours for authors and the like. I signed up with them to help spread the word of some of their authors, so Andrew Toy was one.

Monday, May 13th, I will have another author, Cathy Benedetto, drop by. She's the author of "The King of the Fels", "Eyes of Sandala" and "Dark Shala".

Wednesday, May 15th, I'll be posting up a review of "Chain of Command" by author Colby Marshall.

I've also started something on FaceBook and Twitter. I've told people that if my Smashwords page for my book gets over 200 likes, I'll be giving my book away for free for 2 days. Please help spread the word! Thanks! So that's what I have lined up so far. And don't forget to drop by on Friday for my usual Favorites and Funnies. You guys must love those funnies!

Monday, May 6, 2013

After April...

Funny how, when you do the A to Z challenge, things seem super quiet afterwards. I'm at a loss as to what to post about, but I'll find something. I always do.

I'll be back to my usual Friday posts. Sharing my progress on book two. Fun stuff!

I'd also like to say, "Hi there!" to my new followers and hope that I can be entertaining, at the very least. I'll be working on that A to Z list to see if I can find some more new blogs. Maybe go to at least 5 new ones a day.

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, May 3, 2013

A To Z Reflections...

Wow. What a month! The sad thing is, it made the month go by that much faster and now my daughter is literally days away from having her baby.

But this is for the A to Z reflections post so here goes, folks:

What I liked:

~ I loved meeting new people.
~ Getting new followers.
~ Finding new blogs to read.
~ The support of everyone.

What I didn't like:

~ Finding new blogs to read.

Ha! Yeah, that's about it. It's a love/hate with finding new blogs to read because my time is limited to begin with.

My work schedule is from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. I usually don't get up until 10 a.m. or 11 a.m., depending on how well I slept. I have sleep issues. I get bouts of insomnia, I have anxiety, things like that. So sometimes I just don't sleep well and wake up exhausted.

By the time I get home, it is nearly 7:30, unless I have to go shopping, then maybe 8 or 9 if I am lucky. So I hop on the computer after dinner, spend an hour there until about 10 or 10:30 and then shut down. Now, I'm a night owl and it's hard for me to unwind, so this is my reasoning for getting off the computer early. After that, I watch T.V. I don't fall asleep, usually, until 1 a.m. or sometimes later. So my computer time is not only very limited during the week, so is my writing time. And my blogging time.

This month showed me that, more than anything. Precious little time. I made sure to not take on any extra obligations during April. I focused only on the challenge and tried to get around to some other blogs. I did succeed, but I still don't feel like it was adequate enough. I try to read blogs and comment. Sometimes I just don't comment because I'm trying to read as many as I can.

But I love the A to Z challenge, even if I don't participate. I'll cheer everyone on. But this year, having a theme worked the best for me. And I did have to schedule some of my posts well in advance. There was no way I could have done it without planning ahead. I liked seeing some of the other themes. Donna's Harry Potter theme, loved it!

So who else had a theme that I missed? What did you think of my theme? Should I take that compilation and expand on it for a book on fantasy world building?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Please Welcome Andrew Toy, Author of Man in the Box...

Hey everyone, today I would like you to meet Andrew Toy. He is currently on tour with his book: "The Man in the Box". Here is his guest post, followed by the usual links. And here is the rest of the tour dates, if you like. Enjoy!

You writers and creative-types – you’ve been there. It’s a hellish place, for sure. A chasm of fear, doubt,
agony, frustration…

While everyone else around you seems to be excelling in their craft, awards are given to others, your
neighbors hit the jackpot…

Come on, I’m not the only one. You’ve surely been there, right?


A hellish place for sure. It’s worse than that moment you’re about to start the first sentence on a blank
page. It’s miles before you ever even get to that point. Only in a galaxy far, far away do you feel your
idea – your one perfect, once-in-a-lifetime, crowd-pleasing idea – awaits.

It’s out there. You might feel like Horton standing at the edge of the field of pink clovers looking for that one tiny speck that’s out there somewhere calling your name.

“We are here, we are here, we are here…”

Sometimes you can just feel it, can’t you?

You know how I find my ideas? It’s embarrassing, and no one has ever seen me do it, except Sarabeth
when I thought I was alone or I got carried away.

I dance.

I talk out loud.

I sing.

I act.

And I’ve yelled.

It’s humbling, but true. I imagine myself standing before the heads of Universal or Disney Studios and I’ve got five minutes (I’m generous) to pitch them my idea.

So I yell, I act, I pitch like a storyboard artist convincing the director that my idea is the only thing that will work. I talk aloud about something that I believe in.

I might not yet have an idea to believe in, but I believe that I will find one.

I’ve found several this way.

When I worked in retail, I would often disappear to the shipping room when it was empty and I would plot my book out loud, pacing, lost in my imagination.

“So this guy Robbie,” I would say, “he wants to be a good father and husband, like most men do. That’s relatable. But something keeps him from that. I want there to be action, but not much action happens in today’s reality… so he finds a fantasy world! In a… wardrobe! No, on a star! No. In a… in a…” I glance around the shipping room and I notice that I’m surrounded by – “In a box!”

Thus, The Man in the Box was born.

Working from home makes it really easy to do this on a regular basis. And if you are stuck in a creative rut, I encourage you to give this a try. Crank up some Fun. or Owl City, or Delta Rae on the ipad and dance.

Yes. Just start dancing. Let your body go. It sounds zen-like, but just release the stress of everyday life. The last thing you want weighing you down when you’re trying to be creative is the rock-hard facts of life that your readers are looking to escape from.

So… escape.


And talk.

And then ask yourself later, What did I talk about? Anything interesting? Jot it down.

About Andrew Toy:

Andrew Toy lives with his wife and dachshunds in Louisville, KY. He is currently editing books
of nearly every genre and is a writing coach for aspiring authors. He and his wife are trying to
adopt their first child, and he is using the means of writing and editing to accomplish the goal of
enlarging his family. Check out some more of his writing and upcoming books on his popular blog:

Andrew's Links:


The Man in the Box

Book Synopsis:

Work provided Robbie Lake the perfect escape from his family. But his life is turned upside down when he is unexpectedly fired. When he finds a new way of escape through a cardboard box, everything changes. The imaginary world of his childhood has evolved in his absence and is now more savage and hostile than even he could have dreamed. Robbie is drawn in by the excitement of his secret world, but will the cost of abandoning his family prove too high?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group...

It's May 1st! IWSG is in full swing and right after the A to Z challenge, too.

Well, I tell you, I'm a lot less insecure about some things as I was. For a while there, I was having some issues with my revisions on book two.

See, I think I have told you all of this before, but my husband helps me out with ideas. I love that he helps me.  But... he hi-jacked my story.

Really! I was sitting there and typing some things up and he sat down next to me. I started to read a bit of what I wrote and we got to talking and he suddenly said, "Oh! I have an idea!"

And it just went from there. Went off on a huge tangent in the writing and then had to stop him. I had to bring it back around to what I had originally written before it got so far off the beaten path that I would have written something entirely different.

Different is good, mind you, but the tangent he went on focused most on one character. His. Yep, Black Rose. He's Larry's creation. He brought him out of the dust bunny filled darkness of Dungeons & Dragons folders and handed him to me. I love Black Rose, don't get me wrong, but he does have his own story I am working on.

It was kind of difficult to revise this new bit of writing and bring it all back on track, but I think I did it. I think I tweaked it and turned it around just enough. Might be a couple more things I have to tidy up, but it should be just fine.

I suppose I need to start working on Rose's story and just let hubby have full reign that way.

So what do you do when you've gone off somewhere in your story? How do you bring it back? Or do you?