Friday, February 28, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things-February 28, 2014

For those of you who have stopped by to check out my posting for the WIP The Movie blogfest, you can check that out HERE.

Now, on to the purpose of this particular post.  It's Friday!  That means it's time to Celebrate the Small Things with VikLit.

This Friday is a payday, which is always nice.  Granted, a lot of the money coming in is already dedicated to paying bills, but there's no way around that. Not unless we want the heat and lights to disappear, and believe me, that doesn't sound fun to me at all.

I'm also finding my mood a bit lighter as I realize that February is almost at an end.  Winter is not over by any means, but the end is in sight, and I'm eager for spring.  Or, more specifically, I'm looking forward to the spring weather.

I completed a large grocery shopping trip today, and as far as I can tell, I only forgot one thing.  For me, this is a record.  I even managed to keep my cost down to a reasonable level, and as anyone who does grocery shopping can tell you, this is no easy task.

What would you like to celebrate?

WIP The Movie

It's time for WIP The Movie!  This blogfest is co-hosted by the always awesome Kyra Lennon and Rachel Schieffelbein.

The objective of this blogfest is simple:

Almost all of us have imagined who would play the characters in our WIPs if they were ever made into a movie. On February 28th, we want you to “cast” your WIP, and post photos of the actors/actresses you would choose to play the characters in your latest manuscript. You don’t have to cast everyone if you don’t want to, just show us your MCs and tell us a little about them.

Also, we’d like you to tell us which songs you’d have on your WIP Movie soundtrack! This can be one song that fits the main theme of the story, or several songs that make you think of your story.

I'm not sure I'd make the best casting director, but I'll give it a go.  It's all in the spirit of fun anyway.

I'm using my WIP Silent Soliloquy for this one.

Carey Mulligan as Tippie 

Tippie is a ward of the state, and the personality the world sees is designed to manipulate. She is essentially a weapon. She can persuade people to her point of view with relative ease, or simply make them feel as if they can trust her.  She can also act brutally when the situation calls for it.

The narrator of the story is the personality that was subjugated to make way for this programmed personality.  She is the person that Tippie might have been, and she can only helplessly watch while Tippie wreaks havoc.

Helen Mirren as Kali (older, present day)

Kali has been a ward of the state her entire life.  Her body generates a deadly poison that the state uses for its own purposes.  Now an older woman, she is relentlessly haunted by the deaths that have resulted because of her existence.  She sits in the courtyard every day, crushed by the memories, and the narrator sees what she may one day become.

Logan Lerman as David 

David is a member of the resistance.  He is haunted by the memory of what happened to his childhood friend, who became a ward of the state.  David blames himself for the way things turned out, and he gave up a life of relative comfort to try to bring down the system that has harmed so many.

Jurnee Smollet-Bell as Lassandra 

Lassandra was a college student bound for an upper tier career when one fateful event changed the way she saw the world forever.  Unable to deal with the injustice she became privy to, she joined the resistance and eventually became a leader in the movement.  Assigns David to a task that brings him into contact with Tippie.

As for the soundtrack, I chose two songs that I felt captured the feelings of the narrator.  She is isolated, and she wants to feel loved, though she knows it can't happen because she has no way to even address the outside world.  She is simply a prisoner within the mind of a killer, making real human connection essentially impossible.  (Cheerful, huh?)

The Naked and Famous-Birds

The Beatles-Eleanor Rigby

I hope you enjoyed what I had to share!  Feel free to hop around and visit the other participating blogs.  You can find the linky list HERE.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Express Yourself: Joining a TV Show or Movie

The Express Yourself Weekly Meme is hosted by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

The question for this week is: If you could be in any movie or TV show, as yourself, what would you choose, and what could you bring to the table?

First of all, if I could be involved in any TV show or movie, it would have to be either science fiction or fantasy.  That's where I'd have the most fun.

I'll choose two for this, one movie and one TV show.  There are so many more that I could choose, but I can't dedicate enough time to write about them all here.

As for movies, I'd love to step into the Harry Potter films.  Any one of them, or all of them, will do.  I think it would be great fun to step into that world.

As for TV shows, I'd love to spend some time on the bridge of the Enterprise.  I'd choose Star Trek: The Next Generation so I could stand next to Picard when he orders his drink: "Tea, Earl Grey, hot."

What I'd bring to the table is the same for both Harry Potter and Star Trek: TNG.  I'd like to be the traveling writer who tags along on various adventures to document them, all the while adding the occasional sarcastic one-liner into the mix.  I could also ask all kinds of impertinent questions, which is always fun. (How many lights do you see, Captain?)  I wouldn't be anything like Rita Skeeter though.  I'd try to stick to the truth of the situation, but I'd probably write about my experiences in the form of a personal memoir so I could inject my own humorous thoughts into the narrative.  Gotta give it a touch of my own personality, you know?

What movie or TV show would you like to join?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things-February 21, 2014

It's Friday!  That means it's time to Celebrate the Small Things with VikLit!

This hasn't been the best of weeks.  My kids have both been sick all week.  I'm posting late today because I have now caught their illness, and I'm not feeling at all well myself.  My motivation to write, along with my motivation to do housework, has all but disappeared.

Still, there are things to celebrate.  Due to snow days and a scheduled day off, Jude only missed one day of school in spite of being ill all week.  The timing couldn't have been much better.  That is, if you can count any illness as well-timed.  So that's worth celebrating.

The kids are also feeling much better now, which will make taking care of myself a little bit easier.

Tonight, after I do dishes (which I absolutely cannot avoid anymore), I plan to sit down with a hot cup of tea and enjoy some Netflix.  I can't think of a much better way to spend the evening while ill.  Yay for Netflix!

What would you like to celebrate?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ubuntu Bloghop

Today, I am helping Michelle Wallace at Writer-in-Transit celebrate three years of blogging anniversary by participating in the Ubuntu Bloghop.  This is an impressive milestone for anyone to reach, so I'd like to congratulate Michelle on a job well done!

For those of you who don't know about the Ubuntu Bloghop, here's the info you need to know.

What is ubuntu? "In Africa, there is a concept known as UBUNTU – the profound sense that we are human only through the humanity of others; that if we are to accomplish anything in this world, it will in equal measure be due to the work and achievement of others." – Nelson Mandela.
So in the spirit of ubuntu, I invite you to join me in celebrating my 3rd blogoversary!
Date – 18th to 21st February. I've allowed 4 days to make it easier for you guys, since some people only post once a week… save the date that coincides with your blogging schedule!
What can you contribute?  Any form of creativity that captures the spirit of ubuntu is welcome!
So, as I reflected on how to reflect the spirit of Ubuntu, I found myself looking at the little light-up planetarium that I recently got for my kids.  In watching the little pinpoints of light dance on their ceiling, I was struck by the knowledge that we all live under the same sky, and that fact alone connects us.  From there, inspiration poured forth.  The result is what follows.  I'm not really sure what it is, but I know what I felt when I wrote it.  If I managed to capture a fraction of the interconnectedness that I felt as I pondered these things, then I've done my job.
Beneath the crystalline dome of blue sky, treading the same trampled ground, you will find them all, harmonizing together to create the magic of the everyday.
The baker, the undertaker.
The lawyer, a first class litigator.
The teacher, the preacher, the nonbeliever.
The barista, dispensing bright mornings with a smile.
The mechanic, the plumber.
The doctor, saving lives day by day.
All different kinds of people.
Many working hard, contributing their best.
Threads of different colors weaving together to create something more, the tapestry made more beautiful in its diversity.  Strengthened by the textures of daily life.  Yet, where there is good, there is also strain.  The same sky shelters the threads that are about to break.
The conman, who takes advantage.
The murderer, who deals in death.
The thief who takes, but does not give.
Those who take until their dying breath.
And there are those who want better.
Those who don’t know how to climb.
Hopelessness abounds in the shadows.
To darkness they are resigned.
Strain wears holes in the fabric, exposing many to the cold.  Yet many of those who struggle have learned to see the light.  Sheltered by the dome of night where stars twinkle bright, you will find them filled with dreams.
The lonely child who has been ignored.
The celebrity whom all watch yet don’t know.
The single parent who struggles for everything.
The student, out of money, nowhere to go.
The homeless man who once had it all,
until the world fell apart around his feet.
So many stories, woven in tattered threads.
The bravest, most hopeful people you could meet.
Lives woven together, side by side, crossing paths from time to time.  Though littered with imperfections, the tapestry remains strong.  The beauty of each life shines through, making it radiant.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Express Yourself: 5 Books You Would/Would Not Live In

The Express Yourself Weekly Meme is hosted by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

The prompt for this week is: List 5 books you would NOT want to live in. Then list 5 you would.

First of all, there are a lot of dystopian futures portrayed that I would not like to experience firsthand.  Reading about them may be enjoyable for me, but I definitely would not want to set foot in these worlds.

The Hunger Games (series) by Suzanne Collins
Legend (trilogy) by Marie Lu
The Culling by Steven dos Santos
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
1984 by George Orwell

Now here are the 5 that I would like to live in.  These novels may have elements of conflict that I would like to avoid, but the worlds are so well imagined that I still want to step inside them and walk around awhile.  They are not perfect worlds, but they are entertaining, downright hilarious, or filled with hope.

Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling
Discworld (series) by Terry Pratchett
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Which books would you choose?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day Love Stories

Happy Valentine's Day!  I know this is my third post of the day.  What can I say? I have a lot to share today.

If you're here to check out my post for The Bloody Valentine Blog Hop, click HERE.  I promise you won't be sorry.  Well, maybe you will be.  If you enjoy being deeply disturbed, it's right up your alley.

If you came to Celebrate the Small Things with me, you can do that HERE.

Now that I've gotten through all that, I'll get to the point of this post.  Earlier this week, The Huffington Post asked for paragraph-long stories of how their readers met and fell in love with their special someone.  I submitted a paragraph about how I met and started dating my husband, and for some bizarre reason, my story was one of the lucky few selected for publication!  Anyone who would like to check it out, you can find the article HERE.  My story is the 9th one down. And don't worry, my name is written right underneath it, so you don't have to count if you don't want to.

I know it's small, but I love sharing this story with the world, and it's wonderful knowing that something I wrote is out there for the world to see.  I'm a writer, so I can hardly be faulted for enjoying that feeling.

Have a fantastic weekend!

The Bloody Valentine Blog Hop

Happy Valentine's Day!  Today I'm marking the occasion by participating in A.F. Stewart's The Bloody Valentine Blog Hop!  It's a hop to showcase love gone wrong.

I decided to write a piece of flash fiction.  It's definitely lacking the normal warm and fuzzy feelings that many people associate with this particular holiday.  I hope you enjoy it!

Until Death

Steph’s eyes traveled across the ceiling, noting the way the soft moonlight played across the hills and valleys in the plaster.  The digital display from the alarm clock cast a faint red hue over the bed, and Steph’s thoughts darkened when she was reminded of the time.

4 AM.

Nothing good can ever happen at 4 AM, she thought bitterly.

A faint gurgling sound disrupted the brief quiet, marking the beginning of another cycle of torment.  Steph glanced at the sleeping form beside her.  Martin’s mouth hung wide open in his slumber, a trail of drool leaking out of the corner of his mouth.  She suppressed a shudder as she surveyed the disgusting sight.

He used to be so handsome, so charming.  What the hell happened?

The answer to this question was, of course, obvious.  Once she had a wedding ring on her finger, his entire demeanor changed.  It wasn’t an immediate change.  Oh no.  It snuck up on her bit by bit.  He stopped complimenting the way she looked when they went out for date night.  Then their date nights became increasingly infrequent.

He forgot their anniversary.  I was so sure he’d remember my birthday at least, Steph thought as she clenched her hands together until her knuckles were as white as a skeleton.  What I didn’t anticipate was him remembering, only to buy me a waffle iron so I could have the great honor of cooking his breakfast.

The gurgling had grown much louder, rising like a wave about to break against the beach.  This fact was made more irritating by the fact that Martin always insisted that he didn’t snore.  Steph often wondered how he didn’t wake himself up with his cacophonous nocturnal nasal symphony.   

At the crescendo, Martin choked mid gurgle.  For one blessed moment, he was silent.  That was, until his breathing passage cleared once more, allowing the horrendous sounds to resume.

If he keeps it up, he’s eventually going to drown in his own fluids!

Steph pondered this for a moment.  For the life of her, she couldn’t remember why this would be an undesirable thing.

He complains about my cooking.  He insists I don’t clean thoroughly enough, but he won’t help me either.  He never tells me happy Valentine’s Day, let alone gets me a gift.

That woeful thought brought Steph’s eyes back to the table.  Beside the clock, bathed in red light, was the half-eaten bag of candy hearts.  She’d purchased them in the hopes that Martin would see them, and that he might think to make some kind of romantic gesture.  A small gift.  Or a compliment.  Anything would have done, really.

No.  Instead I get to lie here sleeplessly, listening to you snore and wait for the ‘until death do you part’ section of the vows to become a reality.

Rage began to burn in her veins.  I deserve better than this!  I wanted so much more out of life, and this is all I get?

The decision wasn’t a conscious one.  Before Steph knew what she was doing, the bag of candy hearts was in her hands, and she was straddling the sleeping form.  “Good night, sweetie,” she declared as she clamped one hand roughly over his nose.  The other hand tipped the bag so the little chalky candies poured into Martin’s gaping cavern of a mouth.

His eyes flew open immediately.

“Oh, so this is the way to wake you up,” Steph said thoughtfully, more to herself than anyone else.  “That’s good to know.”

The gurgling had turned into full on choking as the candy completely blocked his airway.  Candy hearts filled his mouth to the brink, spilling out everywhere, tumbling over his lips and onto the bedspread.  His nails raked at her wrists as she firmly held him in place, one hand atop his throat, the other still covering his nose.  Blood oozed out from beneath her fingers, indicating the she must have damaged his nose in her fervor.


His eyes bulged, both terrified and pleading, but this only fascinated her.  She hadn’t seen any kind of strong emotion from this man in a long time, and she fixated on his horrified expression with an almost childlike wonderment.

She continued to watch as his attempts to dislodge her grip weakened.  Then he ceased struggling altogether.  His eyes were still wide, but they no longer saw her.  They were vacant, even more vacant than they had been while he vegged out in front of a football game.

Steph sat back for a moment, looking down at the candy hearts that rested near Martin’s blue lips.  Smiling faintly, she selected two white ones (the kind Martin hated most of all) and went to the bedside table to get a pen.  A red pen.

On the blank side of each heart, she carefully wrote in her own little message.  When she was satisfied with her results, she placed a heart atop each lifeless iris.  The first read UNTIL DEATH, and the second completed the familiar phrase with DO US PART.

Steph sighed before collapsing back onto her side of the bed, hoping that she’d be able to fall asleep before dawn.

Celebrate the Small Things-February 14, 2014

It's Friday!  Let's take the time to Celebrate the Small Things with VikLit!

First of all, Happy Valentine's Day!

I'm celebrating the fact that I got a lot of cool things this week.  First of all, here's a picture of the shirt that I won from Jolie duPre over at Precious Monsters.  It looks cool, right?

Here also are some pictures of the pocket watch I bought.


And lastly, here's a photo of me wearing the dragon ear wrap I bought.  I think it looks pretty awesome.

Also, I'd like to celebrate the fact that my husband and I are supposed to have the night without the kids on Saturday.  I love spending time with the kids and all, but it'll be nice to have a date night for Valentine's Day!

What would you like to celebrate?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

FSF: Strength

It's time once again for Five Sentence Fiction!  The word for this week is STRENGTH.

You can find the first chapter of this new ongoing story HERE.

A Life for Sale
Chapter 2: Strength

Strength wasn’t optional in Aurora’s world, and it never had been.  She grew up in a government-run orphanage, having been born to parents who couldn’t even hold jobs to support themselves, let alone a child.

A lack of education, while cruel and restrictive to her prospects now, didn’t feel quite so awful as the total lack of love she had growing up.  The hot sting of whips on tender flesh represented the sole source of human contact she experienced until she was sixteen.

Aurora reflected on these things briefly as she stepped up to the auction block, crowding up against a number of thin, trembling bodies, and waited for the bidding to begin.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Express Yourself: Adorable Book Couples

The Express Yourself Weekly Meme is hosted by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

The prompt for this week is: Tell us about some book couples you adore.

Fiction is certainly filled with great romantic pairings, and I've thoroughly enjoyed a great number of them.  A great story is often enhanced by the relationships within it.  Here I'll share with you a few of the many couples I've adored in books, and an explanation of why they've made this list.

From Stardust: Tristran and Yvaine
     This pairing was fun because the relationship begins in a fairly antagonistic way.  Their banter is filled with sharp wit and sarcasm at first, but that softens over time.  As they get to know one another, they come to care for each other a great deal, and though there is still plenty of sarcasm throughout, you see that love developing through action.  Actions speak louder than words, right?

From the Harry Potter series: Lupin and Tonks
     This relationship isn't a prominent one in the series, and we only see it through the eyes of the main characters.  Yet I find it fascinating from what little we do see.  There's a bit of an age difference between them (about 13 years-same as my parents incidentally), but that isn't nearly as much of an issue as the fact that Lupin is a werewolf.  He's worried how the stigma that's attached to his lycanthropic condition will attach to anyone who dares to love him.  Then when Tonks gets pregnant, he's even more worried about the baby and whether it would inherit his condition.  Though these issues are a significant strain, they make it through it all together.  That is, until . . . Well, if you know Harry Potter, you know how it all ends for them.
     I need a tissue now.

From The Mortal Instruments series: Magnus and Alec
     There are a plethora of issues to work through here.  They face homophobia, as well as racism (Magnus is half demon, Alec is part angel).  Yet the heaviest issue of all proves to be immortality.  Immortality is often romanticized (imagine spending eternity with the one you love!), but there's a darker side to it.  Being immortal, Magnus stands apart from the rest of the world.  He participates in it, but it all continues to fall away.  He's watched many people he's loved die over the centuries, and he's accumulated a lot of painful memories and secrets along the way.  In a world where so many things die, immortality is a burden, and it often wears on relationships until they fall apart.

From The Infernal Devices trilogy: Will/Tessa/Jem
     Love triangles are certainly common enough, but they're difficult to write.  I frequently either find it easy to choose who I want to end up together in the end, or I find that it becomes to burdensome upon the rest of the story.  I don't like it when it feels like the rest of the story suffers because of the love triangle.  That being said, it can be done right.  Of course, we all have different ideas of what works and what doesn't.
     In this case, I never could choose whether I wanted Tessa to end up with Will or Jem, though I know other people were able to make the choice.  For me, both Jem and Will are good people, though they each come with their own baggage.  Then again, who doesn't?  But what really makes it hard for me to choose is the relationship between Jem and Will. They're like brothers, and they love each other enough that nothing can come between them.  They both love the same girl, but they never stop wanting the best for the other.  And in my opinion, the action going around them never suffers from the love-related conflict.  If anything, it heightens the stakes and makes it feel more human.  At least, that's what it does for me.

From The Time Traveler's Wife: Henry and Clare
     Talk about a complication!  Henry can't control where and when he'll jump from one time to another.  Henry can never relax because he doesn't know when he'll travel, and he has no clue what to expect when he gets there.  Clare can't have a normal life either, because her husband is often gone for long periods of time, and she never knows how old he'll be when he returns again.  Yet you want things to work out for them, even if their relationship can never be what most of us can expect from life.  And as much as I care for the characters, I'm endlessly intrigued by the questions I found myself asking when contemplating how such a scenario would work.  (This is probably one reason why time travel shows like Doctor Who hook me like they do.)

From Much Ado About Nothing: Beatrice and Benedick
     I can't help it.  I like couples who start out trading jabs at each other.  It might just be a product of my upbringing.  My parents were always joking around with each other, trading playful jabs.  It's also how my relationship started with my husband.  I teased him all the time when we first met.  We never outright disliked each other, although he told me later that he thought I didn't like him very much.  What can I say?  If I liked someone, I teased them.  If I genuinely didn't like someone, I ignored them altogether.  So yeah, I can't help but like relationships that begin with a bit of antagonism.

Now, if this weren't limited to couples in books, this list would have been a whole lot longer!   I have a lot more favorite couples from TV and film, but that's another list for another time.

Which book couples do you adore?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Join the Blog Blitz Team!

For those of you who don't know about it, there's this awesome thing called the Blog Blitz. The mastermind behind it is the one and only D.L. Hammons.

The idea of the Blog Blitz is simple.  Members of the team receive emails from time to time designating a blitzing "victim" and a date for the planned attack.  On the day of our planned strike, we descend upon the victim's blog and read their most recent post and comment on it. The end result is one unsuspecting blogger receiving a deluge of amazing comments.

Sounds cool, right?

Though I should warn you, taking part in the blitzing activities may trigger the following side effects:

1. A sense of community with your fellow bloggers.
2. A warm, fuzzy feeling when you realize that you've helped to brighten someone else's day.
3. Fascination when you discover a blog that you've never visited before.
4. A potential increase in traffic to your own blog when bloggers pay you a return visit.
5. An improvement in your general outlook on life.  (After all, community building is a powerful activity, and goodwill in the blogosphere is bound to leak out into our daily lives-which is awesome!)

So, of these possible side effects sound acceptable to you, click HERE to sign up and join the nearly 400 other bloggers who've already climbed aboard.  You won't regret it!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things-February 7, 2014

It's Friday!  Let's take a moment to Celebrate the Small Things with VikLit!

First, I'd like to celebrate accomplishing one of my goals for the month, though my wonderful husband had just as much to do with our getting it done.  We bought a car!  We found a used car that runs well, looks decent, and it cost us $2800.  Not too shabby!

I also bought a copy of CassaFire by Alex J. Cavanaugh for $0.99!  The promotion is still going strong until the 10th, so anyone who wants to take advantage of this opportunity can find it HERE!

I also won an awesome zombie tank top from a giveaway over at Precious Monsters, which is always fun.  Who doesn't love winning things?

My writing is going well this week, though car shopping was a bit of a distraction from that, albeit a necessary one.

That's all I've got for now.  What would you like to celebrate?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

FSF: Heartache

It's time for Five Sentence Fiction!  The word for this week is ACHE.

A Life for Sale
Chapter 1: Heartache

Aurora leaned forward, her scarred palms resting against the chilled glass.  Her apartment, hardly more than a walk-in closet and poorly heated, afforded a perfect view of the upper-scale complexes across the river.

It was selection time again, and she peered at the empty crib beside her bed, thinking of the daughter she had to leave behind for the next month, and aching because she could think of no other way to provide for her.

The selection was scheduled to take place in an hour, and she wondered which upper-crust hot shot would bid for her services, as well as what kind of services they would demand.  She shudders as she remembers the scars she acquired last year, of the horrific month that led to the conception of her little girl, and lamenting the fact that if she didn’t resort to this, she would be homeless.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Insecure Writer's Support Group: February 2014

It's the first Wednesday of the month, and that means it's time for the next meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group!  This amazing group is hosted by Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh.  The co-hosts for this month are Sheena-kay Graham, Julie Musil, Jamie Ayers, and M.L. Swift.

For those of you who would like to get the most out of your IWSG experience, you can visit the IWSG website as well.

At first, I didn't know what to write about.  I've been immersed in my WIP, and it's been difficult to refocus my attention on other things.  You know how it goes. The brain can be a stubborn thing.

Then I realized something.  I can use this problem as the subject for my post. Why not?  If I'm already thinking about it, it makes perfect sense to use it.  

Do any of you have trouble shifting gears when you're really immersed in writing something? How does that manifest itself in your daily life?

Most of the time, the immersion isn't all that problematic.  If I fantasize about my writing while doing dishes or folding laundry, I'm not losing anything.  Many tasks can be performed while my thoughts are elsewhere, and if anything, working out problems in my WIP at this time makes me more productive. However, when I'm having a conversation with my husband or children, my mind will occasionally get sidetracked by my creative projects, and I end up feeling like a jerk.  I'm not trying to do it on purpose, but it does happen on occasion.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who has this happen.

To all I may have unintentionally offended by fading out of the occasional conversation, I'm sorry.  It's not a problem with you.  It's undeniably a problem with me.  Maybe I'm just losing my mind, and my inability to remain in the real world is a symptom of this.

As always, I'll do the best I can to balance the real world with my fictional one, but I have the feeling we writers are always going to have one foot out the door of reality.  It's part of who we are.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Special Promotion for CassaFire by Alex J. Cavanaugh

Alex J. Cavanaugh is a friend to bloggers everywhere and super stealthy ninja. He also happens to be a fantastic writer.

For those of you who don't yet own his novel CassaFire, here's your chance to get a great deal!  From February 4th through Feruary 10th, CassaFire will be available for only $0.99! Seriously, you can't get a better deal than that!

If you need further convincing, check out the details below!

CassaFire by Alex J. Cavanaugh – Amazon Best Seller!
Science fiction - space opera/adventure
EBook ISBN 978-0-9827139-6-9 $.99 special!

CassaStar was only the beginning… 

The Vindicarn War is a distant memory and Byron’s days of piloting Cosbolt fighters are over. He has kept the promise he made to his fallen mentor and friend - to probe space on an exploration vessel. Shuttle work is dull, but it’s a free and solitary existence. The senior officer is content with his life aboard the Rennather.

The detection of alien ruins sends the exploration ship to the distant planet of Tgren. If their scientists can decipher the language, they can unlock the secrets of this device. Is it a key to the Tgren's civilization or a weapon of unimaginable power? Tensions mount as their new allies are suspicious of the Cassan's technology and strange mental abilities. 

To complicate matters, the Tgrens are showing signs of mental powers themselves, the strongest of which belongs to a pilot named Athee, a woman whose skills rival Byron’s unique abilities. Forced to train her mind and further develop her flying aptitude, he finds his patience strained. Add a reluctant friendship with a young scientist, and he feels invaded on every level. All Byron wanted was his privacy…

“This sequel to Cavanaugh's first novel, CassaStar, delivers on the promise of its predecessor, combining military action sequences and political intrigue with strong, memorable characters. Reminiscent of the action-driven stories of Robert A. Heinlein's early fiction…” - Library Journal

That's high praise, and it's certainly well-deserved.

To purchase your copy, follow one of the links below!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Express Yourself: February Goals

The Express Yourself Weekly Meme is made possible by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

The question for this week is: What goals do you have set for yourself this month?

This is a good question, because I've set my sights high this month.  At least, as high as I can while still making sure my two boys don't get themselves into too much trouble.

First of all, I'll mention an important goal that has nothing to do with my writing. I've been looking into finding a decent used car for $3000 or less.  It doesn't need to be fancy.  It just needs to run and have a backseat for hauling kids around.  We never got around to replacing the Buick that spontaneously combusted on us in October 2012, and I think it's about time we did.

As far as my writing is concerned, I've set the goal of completing the first draft of my WIP by Valentine's Day.  I hope I can do it.  If not, then at least I hope I can do it by the end of the month.  You see, I've arranged for tiny little saboteurs to come to my home and make my life miserable if I fail in this mission.  Though if they mess with my coffee supply, we'll have major issues!

I've also signed on for three fun blog hops this month.  The first is The Bloody Valentine Blog Hop on February 14th.  It's hosted by A.F. Stewart, and it's all about love gone wrong.  It should be a lot of fun coming up with something for that.

The next is the Ubuntu Blog Hop, and it's running from February 18th through the 21st. This gives participants plenty of flexibility in deciding when to post, which is always nice.  This one is hosted by Michelle Wallace, who has now been blogging for three years.  The purpose of the hop is to capture the essence of ubuntu, and it's up to you how you decide to do that.

The last blogging event of the month that I've signed on for is WIP: The Movie. This one is being co-hosted by Kyra Lennon and Rachel Schieffelbein, and it takes place on February 28th.  For this one, we're being asked to cast actors to play the characters in our WIP, and to post pictures of them.  We're also being asked to come up with a soundtrack.  This sounded like a good bit of fun to finish out the month.

One other goal is to keep plugging away at my posts for A to Z.  I've finished all of them for this blog, but I'd like to get a few of them done for my other blog, Warped Nerdiversity, by the end of this month.  I have my subjects selected for each post.  It's just a matter of writing them out.

And last but not least, I'd like to look into doing some freelance writing and editing work to earn some more cash.  As life gets more expensive, I must search for more income.  That's just the way of things, I suppose.  If any of you have any advice for me in this realm, I'm certainly open to it!

Anyway, with such a busy month ahead, I'd better get to it!  What are your goals for this month?