Friday, December 28, 2012

Funny Photo Friday

Welcome back! I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. Ours was snow and sugar filled. We didn't even do a decent dinner because we were all so full from candy and cookies. I suppose I shouldn't admit to that. You'll all think I'm a terrible mother. We did have carrots with dinner. And a banana. They're healthy. Right?

I spent the day after Christmas setting up my website, which you can find at or you can click on the Website Home link in the Menu on the sidebar. I also added Finding Meara to Goodreads and became a Goodreads Author. If you want to view my author profile it is the same link that is in the Social Media links in the sidebar. Right now I'm concentrating on Goodreads as a reader, so if you want to share books with me, please friend me over there!

Last week's winner for funniest photo is:

Now let's see what we can find for this week!

They look so harmless. I wonder when skunks can spray. Are they born with the ability or is it something they grow into?

I could not resist the Star Wars reference.

Good enough reason to stay on the nice list.

And Dog learns you don't ever cross Liam Neeson.
And that's the best I could find. It took a while to find them, too. Apparently all the clever people took time off at Christmas from writing nifty captions for funny pictures.

My favorite is Santa's Psychodog helper. Which is yours?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Funny Photo Friday

And another week is done. What a crazy week it's been, too. I'm looking forward to the start of a two week vacation. I try not to brag about that Christmas Break thing, but man, I really need it this year.

Also, if you're reading this, it's most likely the world didn't end on the twenty-first. My best clue the Apocalypse wasn't going to happen? An article on Accuweather which pointed out that the Mayans didn't have leap years. Their calendar expired looong before our December 21st.

Are you ready to enjoy some funny photos? To laugh is one of my favorite activities, after all.

Last weeks winner is...

On to this week's photos!

And, since Christmas is right around the corner!

I will not be posting on Tuesday (imagine that!) I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas. Please enjoy your families and friends, as well as the goodness and beauty that surrounds us all. See you back here on Friday for more humor and laughs!

Did any picture make you laugh harder than the others?
Which is your favorite?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

I'd seen the Next Big Thing Blog Hop going round this summer and thought it would be a fun one to get tagged in. My dreams have finally come true, thanks to Marcia Richards and Cindy Keen Reynders.

I'm supposed to answer the following questions and then tag five of my soon-to-be-famous writer friends. I obviously answered the questions, but most of the people I know who like to be tagged have, well, already been tagged. Therefore, I encourage anyone who wants to be a part of the blog hop to feel free and cite me as their tagging resource. If you let me know when you are running the post, I'll be happy to link your post on my blog!

I contemplated answering the questions for Finding Meara, which is due to be released in February. I've already talked a lot about that story, though, and will be talking more about it in a couple of months. I decided to discuss the next book in the Adven Realm Adventures series instead. It's still in the early stages, so things could change, but I think the basic structure is ready to be shared.

What is the working title of your book?
Finding Meara Number 2 - I can't figure out a title.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I needed to plot for another book, watched Harry Potter and thought it would be funny to have a Pixie infestation as a part of the plot.

What genre does your book fall under?
I'm going with Contemporary Fantasy. I can't feel comfortable calling it Urban Fantasy.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Hazel - I have no idea. Because it's written from first-person point-of-view I never see her face. Weird, huh.
Arden - He's kind of like a Legolas (Orlando Bloom)/Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) cross.
Benolt (Arden's Brother) - Viggo Mortensen as he looks in the Lord of the Rings

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
To obtain the antidote to the Pixie bites which bring her son and younger sister to the edge of death, Hazel is forced to choose between the lives of her family and the lives of innocents.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I'll self-publish.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I haven't even broken 10,000 words yet. I'm trying to get Finding Meara ready to publish in February, so I'm just working on #2 as I have time.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I honestly know no other books like mine. I write weird conglomerations. I did have someone compare Finding Meara to Charles de Lint, but as I've never read any of his books, I can't say for sure.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The 2012 Presidential campaign. It's hard to explain.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
If you like contemporary fantasy, action, forbidden love, and some humor sprinkled in, my book is for you. I believe my ideal reader is aged-out Twilight fans (twenty-somethings and up).

What are you working on right now?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas, Blog-O-Thon of Doom and My Book Cover

Is that not the most eclectic title ever? 

First, if you are curious as to what exactly a Blog-O-Thon of Doom is, read this post for a definition. 

As part of the Blog-O-Thon, I must write a short post with a Christmas theme. Last time I recounted some of my favorite holiday memories. This time I'm going to share with you some thoughts I have about giving at Christmastime.

I used to, misguidedly, feel superior over people who pay special attention to giving at Christmas. Who were these selfish people who only think of others one time of the year. How much better the world would be if everyone would share the wealth year-round. Yep, I was pretty judgmental. It's a character trait I try to beat into submission every day.

Now, my perceptions have changed. I still think the world would be amazing if everyone would be as thoughtful year round, but I also have come to appreciate the kindness the holiday season brings out in people.

You see, November and December are two of the more emotionally trying months at my job as a school social worker. Bad things happen to families, caused sometimes (often?) by their own bad choices, and the children are left to suffer through the aftermath of Dad ending up in jail, increased domestic violence because of the stress of the season, Mom gone to rehab, and kids not getting presents because they just don't have the money.

There is nothing in the world sadder than a sad, hurting child.

That's why I've come to really appreciate the giving of the season. People's hearts open and so do their pocketbooks. I am able to help make children's lives a little happier, and ease the worry of the parents who couldn't "do Christmas." I can give new coats to children and watch their faces light up with joy that such a beautiful, seventeen dollar coat is theirs, and it even has a matching hat and gloves.

My faith in humanity, which takes a beating the other ten months of the year, is renewed. I believe again that people do care about more than the bottom line and that there's hope for all of us. So thanks to all of you who give and care, whether it be just at Christmas or year round. Either way, your kindness is a little ray of hope in a sometimes struggling, dark world.

Now - lets stop being all depressed. 

Briane Pagel kindly allowed me to give away his book, Up So Down, to a random commenter, so I could participate in the Blog-O-Thon. 

Last month Kimberely Gabriel won a copy, and now you can be the next lucky winner! Just leave a comment to enter and I will announce the winner on Friday.

I don't have my own book to give away yet (which is why Briane let me give away one of his) but I do have my book cover now! Here it is!

Now I just need to get the inside finished and I'm ready to roll! I'm in the middle of final edits (a huge thank you to my feedback friends) and am still aiming for a release in February. Stay tuned for further information!

How are your writing projects going?
Are you ready for Christmas?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Funny Photo Friday

Between sick kids and lagging motivation, this week has not been terribly productive. Yes, it's true. I've been a writing slug. Come to think of it, I've kind of just been a slug, period. Nothing to do now except to get back to business, I suppose!

I didn't get a chance to try out the one-hour plot method, but as soon as I do I'll share how I thought it worked.

With three posts, next week is going to be a busy blogging week. Tuesday I will be posting for Briane Pagel's Blog-O-Thon of Doom and plan to share the cover for Finding Meara, too. I've been tagged twice for The Next Big Thing (by former Life List Club founder Marcia Richards and writing friend Cindy Keen Reynders) and will run that Wednesday. Finally, Friday will be funny photo day!

The winner of last week's photos was:

And now on to the new ones!

This goat reminds me of some actor, I just can't think of who. Anyone have any ideas?

And the moment you get close to the fence he goes all Cujo on you!

I didn't notice it's tongue is sticking out!
That makes it much more funny!

Do you think they know how to "smize", too?

I guess we know who is the better driver!

And finally, player dog tries again. 

The dog in the car won for me, hands down. I haven't laughed that hard at a photo in a while!  I hope you all have a fun, relaxing weekend!

Any photo make you laugh more than the others? 
Do you have any exciting weekend plans?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Fraction of Stone Cover Reveal

Today I'm so excited to be a part of the cover reveal for Kelley Lynn's soon to be published novel, Fraction of Stone. Kelley is a superb writer, fabulous critiquer and generally all-around nice person, so I am happy to share this big moment with her. I'll turn ye olde blog over to Kelley now so she can share her beautiful cover with you. Don't forget to check out the book trailer and sign up with Rafflecopter for the chance to win one of two ARCs of Fraction of Stone!

Wow. I can't believe the day is here! Time for the FRACTION OF STONE cover reveal.

Before we get into that, I just want to say thank you to everyone who has helped me get this far. All the fine people who are helping with this cover reveal, my CPs/Betas, family and friends. And of course, thank you to Sapphire Star Publishing for helping make my dream a reality. (And also letting me have a huge say in how this cover looks.) I am so, so excited and feel so blessed.

To thank you all, there is a drawing for 2 ARCs of FRACTION OF STONE which you can enter to win at the bottom of this post! You can enter until December 14th at which point the winners will be chosen.

Okay, now that, that has been said. Here we go!

Fraction of Stone by Kelley Lynn

Release Date: March 21st, 2013 by Sapphire Star Publishing
Genre: YA Fantasy

Book Description:

Wind tunnels, torrential rains and earthquakes tear apart Casden. The cause of the world’s imbalance is unknown, but the mounting occurrences suggest there’s little time before life ceases to exist.

Rydan Gale and Akara Nazreth are the only humans with the ability to wield magic. The tattoo on their necks and the discovery of an ancient book, dictate they are the key to the world’s survival.

But the greatest obstacle for saving mankind isn’t the bizarre creatures, extreme betrayals and magic-fearing men hunting them.

It’s that Akara doesn’t believe the world is worth saving. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

Eventually the day came when the voices in Kelley Lynn’s head were more insistent then her engineering professor’s. So instead of turning to her Thermodynamics book, Kelley brought up a blank page on her computer screen and wrote. Somewhere along the way she became a Young Adult author.

Kelley was born and raised a Midwestern girl. She’s not afraid to sweat and fills her free time with softball, soccer and volleyball. (Though you probably don’t want her on your volleyball team.) She occasionally makes guest appearances as a female vocalist for area bands.

You can find Kelley hanging out at her blog, titled in her name, as well as the group blog she shares with her fellow critique partners, Falling for Fiction. Kelley is a member of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators.

Kelley Lynn's LinksBlog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Thank you, Kelley, for sharing your gorgeous cover here. I'm so excited for your upcoming release and future success!

Friday, December 07, 2012

Funny Photo Friday

I hope everyone had a fabulous week and will have an even more fabulous weekend! At our house we're finally going to get our Christmas cheer on and do some decorating.

The other night I bought The Busy Writer's One Hour Plot by Marg McAlister. I'm excited to try out the one hour plot method on my current work-in-progress. I haven't been able to get past the first plot point, but after reading the book I had a couple of great ideas to increase stakes and get some action going in the middle. Maybe magic will happen this weekend!

An extra photo made it's way into the mix today. There were so many cute ones, I had to post them all. I hope you don't mind.

Last week's winner, by one, was:

And here's the new photos!

I tend to agree.

Been there, felt that.

Moose gone bad.  Actually, moose are quite scary and dangerous, so the caption is accurate.

Did you notice the color of the towel matches the cat's eyes?

Aw, player dog, you're so cute.

I love the cat's face. Is Grumpy Cat from a specific breed? Anyone know?

What can I say! He looks like Batman!

I love the Leia cat, but player dog has my heart (and my vote for favorite.)

Have you done any Christmas decorating yet?
Which is your favorite?

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Can Failure Be Avoided?

Of late I've been freaking out. I'm scared to death my book is going to sink, people are going to laugh at me and I'll have to slink away to hide in the shadows of the blogosphere. I also am afraid I'm not going to be able to write a decent follow up book to Finding Meara.
Photo Courtesy

In other words, I'm scared I'm going to fail.

"Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out." Benjamin Franklin

Thanks, Ben. Part of me seized when I read this quote. Does he mean me, right now? Am I going to know failure? But then I caught on to how freeing it can be to embrace failure. Sure, we'll all know failure at some time, which means we might as well get on with it all. If we fail, we just do something different next time. No biggie.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

Excellent point, Winston. Even if we do succeed once, there is no guarantee that we won't ever fail again. And no one is going to take away our respective birthdays if we do fail. In the grand scheme of things, at least for me, the stakes of writing aren't all that high. My ego is at risk, but that's about all.

"Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure." Confucius

The courage to continue on and keep moving forward becomes the previous preparation Confucius is talking about. We get better, we learn new things and can try different methods to accomplish that for which we are working so hard.

So I guess the answer is no, the option of failure can not be avoided.  But we need to be courageous and try, anyway. Otherwise, it's guaranteed we will never experience success.

How do you handle the fear of failure?

Friday, November 30, 2012

Funny Photo Friday

I can't believe it, but I actually forgot to get today's post together. I have been fighting to get well all week long and last night I just wanted to go to bed. So I did! Unfortunately, I didn't even think about my blog responsibilities.

Last week's winner is:

And here are some new funny photos for you!

Notice all the people are on the other side of the jeep?

I always imagined this would happen if you did "taste the rainbow."

It was too cute not to include.

The power of teamwork!

Even penguins have to have dreams.

Why do sloths always look so happy?

I kinds was thinking along the lines of torpedo. It sure is a cute little hippo!

The winner of Brian Pagel's book, Up So Down, is Kimberly Gabriel! I'll get in contact with you soon.

My favorite today is the baby hippo, although the lions made me laugh. Can I call it a tie?

Have a happy weekend. I'm hoping to finally get well!

Anybody else sick out there? Which is your favorite picture?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Merry Christmas To All (e)Book A Day Traveling Blogathon (of Doom!)

Today is the day! It's my turn to host The Merry Christmas To All (e)Book A Day Traveling Blog-O-Thon (of Doom!) or The Blog-O-Thon (of Doom!), as I've come to call it.  The Blog-O-Thon actually started on November 23rd and will continue every weekday until December 24th.

Participating bloggers picked a day or day(s) and will post "something to do with the holidays," as well as give away one (e)book to a randomly-chosen commenter on their post.  

You may be wondering how I can do this, considering I do not yet have a book to give away. Quite easily, the Blog-O-Thon's creator, Briane Pagel, offered to let me give away his new book, Up So Down.  Since I really wanted to participate in a Blog-O-Thon (of Doom!), I jumped at the chance.

I'll have a special surprise for my next Blog-O-Thon (of Doom!) post on December 18th. I'll be sharing the cover for my own novel, Finding Meara, whose tentative release date is in February.  I'll also be giving away another copy of Briane's book, Up So Down.

Random Memories of The Holidays

When I think of Christmas, three separate memories pop into my mind.

My Eeyore today. He's almost 39 yrs old!
The first is one of my earliest memories. When I was two and a half Santa brought my sister a large stuffed Pooh-bear and me an Eeyore. I actually remember finding them under the tree. Eeyore was my best night-time buddy until well into adulthood.  At first he kept me safe from aliens and things that go bump in the night, and then I just couldn't go to sleep without him in my arms. Some people need music, I needed Eeyore. I'm okay with that!

The second is the year I was twelve years old.  My sister and I always used to get a doll.  That was our tradition and when I was twelve, even though I really didn't want a doll, I didn't want to admit I'd grown up that much.  I wasn't ready.  So, I put a doll at the top of my list, and it was the last year I received a doll from "Santa."

The last memory is Christmas not so long ago. About seven years ago, as a matter of fact.  My firstborn's due date was the first week of January but I began labor Christmas afternoon. My husband and I played Lord of the Rings on the Playstation and waited for things to pick up.  Our little guy took his time and was finally born two days later - on my father's birthday!

My question for you? 
What is one of your favorite Christmas memories?

Leave a comment for the chance to win Briane Pagel's newest release, Up So Down.

When "Bumpy" takes his sister's fiance out for a night on the town, a mysterious drowning crashes through their lives like a wrecking ball into an already-crumbling wall. Sarah mourns her lost lover by halfheartedly joining a group dedicated to proving there is a serial killer on the loose and jealously guarding her dying mother, while "Bumpy" moves to Las Vegas to take up a new career, only to accidentally stumble into his old one.

Through the course of a year that unfolds haphazardly and out-of-sequence, Bumpy and Sarah try to figure out how much of the past they ought to hold on to, and how much of the future is worth looking into.

Also, you can find more great giveaways by visiting the athors below on the days listed.  Have fun!

11/30: PT Dilloway, on his blog "Tales Of The Scarlet Knight,  Author of "A Hero's Journey."

12/1: Vanna Smythe, on her blog, author of "Protector: Anniversary of the Veil, Book One." 

12/3: Cindy Borgne, on her blog "Dreamer's Perch," author of "Vallar"

12/4:  Michael Offutt, on his blog SLC Kismet, author of the trilogy "A Crisis of Two Worlds"

12/5: Tony Laplume on his blog Scouring Monk, author of Monorama.

12/6: Briane Pagel at his blog Thinking the Lions

12/7:  PT Dilloway, on his blog "Tales Of The Scarlet Knight,  Author of "A Hero's Journey."

12/10: Andrew Leon, on his blog Strange Pegs, (theauthor of The House On the Corner and Shadow Spinner.

12/11:  Briane Pagel at his blog Thinking the Lions

12/12: Tony Laplume on his blog Scouring Monk, author of Monorama.

12/13:  Briane Pagel at his blog Thinking the Lions

12/14: PT Dilloway, on his blog "Tales Of The Scarlet Knight,  Author of "A Hero's Journey."

12/17: Andrew Leon, on Strange Pegs, (the author of The House On the Corner and Shadow Spinner.

12/18: Lara Schiffbauer, on her blog Motivation for Creation.

12/19:  Tony Laplume on his blog Scouring Monk, author of Monorama.

12/20:  Briane Pagel at his blog Thinking the Lions
12/21: PT Dilloway, on his blog "Tales Of The Scarlet Knight,  Author of "A Hero's Journey."

12/22: Vanna Smythe, on her blog, author of "Protector: Anniversary of the Veil, Book One." 

12/24: Brian Pagel at his blog Thinking the Lions

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Letting Go Is Hard To Do

Do you ever get caught up in the net of perfectionism? I totally agree that writing well, having a good grasp on the craft of writing is important. But when does mastering craft morph into the hideous monster of perfectionism?

The fear of getting something wrong can be paralyzing. It can grab a writer by the throat and send them trembling to their knees. Well, maybe it's not that bad, but it can stifle creativity. Brain research indicates that when the Amygdala is screaming it's not safe (ie. having an emotional reaction like fear), the rest of the brain isn't interested in functioning. It just wants to get back to the status quo and feel happy and snuggly-safe again..

What can we do then, if we are stuck in the process of making everything perfect? At some point, we have to let go. We have to accept that maybe our work isn't the best of anything, while acknowledging it has value in and of itself. We have to get to the point that we recognize we've done our best and it's time to move on.

Making a mistake is not the end of the world. Having a typo isn't instant writer career death. That's the Amygdala talking. As stated in the quote above "life goes on."  With each new story or novel, poem or essay, we will grow and learn and get a little closer to perfection. It's okay for us to not know everything at any given time.

The only thing that can stop us from being successful writers is not writing. I'd add never finishing what you start, too. Oh--and not letting other people see our work, ever.  In other words, if we don't have anything to offer to readers, we are going to fail. If we have a pretty good story, even if it's not the best, we have a start. And then we can only improve.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Funny Photo Friday

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving! Due to illness, I ended up staying home with my youngest while my husband and oldest went to my husband's parent's house.  We had a good time though and still ate turkey, so I guess it's all good!

Last week's winner is:

And now for this weeks photos!

Totally the way I felt at Walmart on Wednesday.

I know some people I'd like to do this to, but I'm too afraid...

I love it for the pun!

Remember the old Looney Tunes with the dancing frog?

I'm developing a thing for walruses, I think. They're so cute!
Have a fabulous weekend!  I think my favorite is a tie between Moist Owelette and the Walrus.  The expressions on both their faces are adorable!

Which do you like the best?


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