Friday, January 30, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things-January 30, 2015

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  I'm a proud co-host for this weekly blogging event, along with the always cool TheCyborgMom.

It's been a crazy week here.  I learned that calling the IRS in an attempt to have a simple question answered is the most aggravating thing this family has ever had to deal with, but the question was answered.  At least we came through that mini ordeal with the answer we needed.

The refund check from the post office did finally come in.  Yes!  I am so relieved that issue is finally resolved.  I can't begin to tell you what a relief that is.

I also have some rather big news.  I'd wondered whether I should share it now or wait for a bit, but I'm not good at keeping certain things to myself.  I just found out this week that I'm having a baby.  Sometime in late September, only a couple of weeks before my birthday, I'll be a mother of three.  My kids are happy, as is my husband, but of the three of them, my son Jude is the most excited about the news.  He went to school and told all his teachers and friends.  Apparently there was no keeping it a secret here, even if I had wanted to.  Jude would never have allowed it.

And finally, I'd like to celebrate laughter.  This short little video made me laugh, and I thought it might do the same for you.

What would you like to celebrate?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A-Z Challenge Sign-Ups and Express Yourself: Writerly Advice

I'd like to start this post by encouraging those of you who may be interested to sign up for the April A-Z Challenge.  You can do that HERE.

I LOVE this year's badge.  It's a perfect tribute.

Now let's move to the Express Yourself Weekly Meme, which is hosted by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

The question for this week is:  What are some writerly tips you've found helpful?

There's all kinds of advice out there for fledgling writers.  First, here's a short video from Neil Gaiman where he dispenses some advice for aspiring writers.  It's simple but true.

The next tip I'd like to share comes from Stephen King's excellent book On Writing.  

"Write what you like, then imbue it with life and make it unique by blending in your own personal knowledge of life, friendship, relationships, sex, and work.  Especially work.  People love to read about work.  God knows why, but they do." (pg. 161)

The last tip I'll share with you today comes from Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury.

"In quickness is truth.  The faster you blurt, the more swiftly you write, the more honest you are.  In hesitation is thought.  In delay comes the effort for a style, instead of leaping upon truth which is the only style worth deadfalling or tiger-trapping." (pg. 13)

Remember, you can always go back and polish.  Getting the initial heart of the story on paper, however, is more about feeling than analyzing every detail.  I'm still struggling to follow this piece of advice.  I tend to over think things and get trapped in the process, but I'm working on it!

What writerly tips would you like to share?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

18 Thoughts Bloghop

To celebrate the release of 18 Thoughts, Jamie Ayres is hosting the 18 Thoughts Bloghop.

The rules according to Jamie:
Here’s what’s up, guys: Each person participating will post a thought (belief) that has defined their life, their way of thinking. Post up to 18 if you’re feeling adventurous, and be sure to post the badge below and link to this post as well! You can post any time between Jan. 21st and Jan. 28th. Then visit other participants to comment and connect with fellow bloggers/writers. I’ll pick 2-3 winners each day and keep this post updated as to who the winners were and what prizes are left (winners chosen through

I've decided to be adventurous and post 18 thoughts.  And believe me, it isn't as easy as it sounds to come up with that many.  Still, I enjoy a good challenge from time to time.

1.  Dream big, but also learn to find joy in what you already have.
2.  One can never have too many books to read or notebooks to fill with words.
3.  Stick to your principles when it matters, but also know that compromise does not  have to be synonymous with failure.
4.  We all screw up from time to time.  It's in how we deal with those mistakes that our true character is revealed.
5.  Never underestimate the power of laughter.
6.  Education is one of the most powerful tools you can have.  Embrace it.
7.  Be kind to others, even when it seems as though that kindness is not appreciated.
8.  When the stress gets to be too much, prioritize.  Accept that it's okay to let some things go.
9.  Always maintain a sense of wonder.
10.  Never be afraid to try something new.
11.  Don't be ashamed of your guilty pleasures.  We all have them.
12.  The most normal thing in life is the sense that you are in some sense abnormal.  That's okay.
13.  Embrace the beauty that is coffee.
14.  Embrace the beauty that is chocolate.
15.  Dreams can be filled with meaning, sure.  They can also be weird and nonsensical.  Try not to worry about them too much.
16.  Never take your family for granted.
17.  Your family may be stuck with you, but your friends are the ones who choose to have you in their lives.  Value that.
18.  Always be open to learning new things.

Okay.  That's all from me.  Do you have any thoughts about life that you'd like to share?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things-January 23, 2015

It's Friday!  Let's join Lexa Cain with Celebrate the Small Things!  I am happy to be a co-host, along with the always amazing TheCyborgMom.

I apologize for posting so far into the day.  I'm a bit tired and sluggish today, so I'm trying to get some motivation going right now.  Knowing that tomorrow is Saturday helps, though, trust me.

I'm celebrating because, a little over 90 days ago, we sent out a money order for a few hundred dollars, and it never arrived at its destination.  Well, I'm not celebrating that fact, but just stick with me.  The missing money obviously wreaked some havoc, and it's been awful trying to get a refund.  We got the money order through the post office, and I've been having to spend a significant amount of time trying to figure out how to get my money back.  Have you ever tried to call the United States postal service?  Do you know how impossible it is to actually speak to a living, breathing human being? Finally though, more than three months after this mess started, I might be able to get a refund issued to me by next week.  Hopefully.  That's what an actual person said, anyway.  I'm hoping that proves to be true, because I will be relieved to finally have this mess resolved. 

Another celebration is that my husband and I filed our taxes this week.  We like to get it done as early as possible so we don't have to worry about it.  It wasn't an exciting process, but it's done for now.

What would you like to celebrate?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Express Yourself: Favorite Movie of 2014

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

The question for this week is:  What was your favorite movie that you saw in 2014?

I saw some good ones, so this wasn't an easy choice.  In the end though, I have to go with the off-beat, oddball movie that stuck out most vividly in my mind.

Some people love The Grand Budapest Hotel, and some hate it.  I enjoy the wry sense of humor it offers, I enjoy the style of it, and it was visually interesting.  It also has Jeff Goldblum in it, and that's always good for me.

What was your favorite movie of 2014?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things-January 16, 2015 and Express Yourself: Plays/Musicals

I'll just warn you now.  I'm combining posts again.  What can I say?  I got a wee bit lazy this week.  So hopefully you'll be willing to help me Celebrate the Small Things and see what I have to share for this week's Express Yourself Weekly Meme.  If not, well, I can hardly do anything about it, so I guess it's up to you either way.

So, let's start things out with Celebrate the Small Things.  Lexa Cain is our host, and TheCyborgMom and I are proud to be co-hosts.

This week I'm celebrating the fact that, after a week of super cold sub-zero temperatures, the weather is warming up.  It's hardly a tropical heat wave, but it's possible for the kids to play outside again.  I'll take it.

I'm also celebrating the fact that I got a pair of pants for $5.  The legs were too long, but everything else fits perfectly.  I hemmed them the other day, so now the length is just right too.  I definitely love that I know how to sew.  It comes in so handy.

I've had a nasty cold all week, but I'm starting to feel better.  I'm looking forward to breathing through my nose again.

What would you like to celebrate?

Now on to The Express Yourself Weekly Meme!  This meme is hosted by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

This week's question is: What's a musical or play you've viewed?

Can I count plays I've been a part of?  Because sure, I've seen some plays, but the ones that stuck with me were the ones I acted in.  Probably because enduring three hours of practice per day for a couple of months, followed by dress rehearsals, and topped off with two nights of shows really drills things into your brain.

One of the plays I did in high school was For Whom the Tinkerbell Tolls.  It's about a dude who dies and becomes the Grim Reaper.  Except a mix-up at the dry cleaners means instead of doing his job in the formidable black robes one would expect, he has to work in a fairy costume.  I played Spud, a rather authoritative and eccentric homeless person.  It was a fun roll to play.  If you're curious, you can find a short excerpt of the play HERE.

Another high school play I did was Hotel Frankenstein.  This play shows what happens when Frankenstein's grandson decides to run a hotel.  As you can imagine, it's hilarious.  I played Junior.  Junior was originally a twelve-year-old boy, but we changed the part to a twelve-year-old girl.  I was eighteen at the time, and I was told I passed convincingly enough for twelve.  I hate being short sometimes.  Still, it was a fun part to play as well.  Again, if you're curious, you can find an excerpt of the play HERE.

What's a play or musical you've viewed?  Have you ever taken part in one?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Geeky Dice & Debauchery Tour: Dice Superstitions with Christine Rains

Today I'm happy to host the amazing Christine Rains as part of her Geeky Dice & Debauchery tour.  The first book in the series, Loose Corset, is now available! Christine has a fun post to share with you, but first, I'll give you the details about her book!  You know you're curious!

A weekend away at a convention is exactly what overworked student Morgan needs. Dressed as her character from her favorite online game, Morgan is braced—seriously, could her corset be tighter?—to meet the other players. As Lady Gyrfalcon, she’s ready for everything—except her intense attraction to Dean. A clandestine meeting in the hallway of the hotel and Morgan’s corset is looser but now she can’t breathe for entirely different reasons.

Utterly charmed, Morgan decides to roll the dice and indulge in a fantasy-worthy weekend of sexy roleplaying, scorching sex and life-altering orgasms. Still, through it all Morgan is too smart to believe the chemistry constantly stripping her of costumes and control can last more than the length of the convention. But if she wants to keep a relationship so intense she thought it only existed in fiction, she’s going to have to let go of her cool-headed logic and allow herself to fall far and fast for the perfect guy.

A Romantica® contemporary erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Here's where you can buy the book!

AmazonB&NEllora's CaveKobo

Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She's married to her best friend and fellow geek living in south-central Indiana. They have one son who is too smart for his parents' own good and loves to pretend he's Batman. Christine has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood, but make her a great Jeopardy player. When she's not reading or writing, she's going on adventures with her son or watching cheesy movies on Syfy Channel. She's a member of Untethered Realms and S.C.I.F.I. (South Central Indiana Fiction Interface). She has several short stories and novellas published. The Dice & Debauchery series is her first contemporary erotic romance.

Please visit her website and blog.

You can also find Christine on TwitterFacebookPinterest, and Goodreads.

Now that you know what the book is about and where can you find it, let's have a fun look at dice superstitions with Christine Rains.  Afterwards, you can enter to win cool prizes!

By Christine Rains

Like any other group of enthusiasts out there, gamers are a superstitious lot when it comes to their dice.  This includes very logical me who never steps on a crack or will only get out of bed on the same side I got in to avoid bad luck. Yup, logical me.

As they're essential to most role-playing games, dice have powerful magic. I'm not so weird about my dice as some players, but best you keep these superstitions in mind before you sit down at a table with dedicated gamers.

Do Not Touch! - Many players believe it's bad luck when someone else touches their dice, especially if that other person is rolling poorly or if it's the Game Master. This is the most widespread superstition.  It's best if you never touch anyone else's dice without their permission. I've seen people abandon their dice because another person touched them.

Highest Number Up – When sitting their dice on the table, a lot of geeks will put the highest number facing up to encourage their dice to roll well.

Switching Out Sets – If one die or a set of dice are rolling bad, a player will switch it out for another one and segregate that tainted die from the rest in the dice bag.

Sets For Various Purposes – Some nerds will only use a certain set of dice for rolling stats, another for home play, and yet another for away play.

Praise Your Dice – Some players will cheer and compliment their dice if they're rolling well, and they'll yell at them if they're doing poorly. I've never attended a game where someone didn't talk to their dice.

Keep Rolling – If their dice are rolling well, gamers will keep them going and not let them grow idle or they'll go cold.

Dice Shaming – This is a relatively new thing I've been seeing. Players will take pictures of their poorly rolling dice and state what the dice made them fail. Google it. It's hilarious!

Fame Rub – If a player rubs a die on a famous person's autograph, body, or gravestone, it will give the die good luck. Of course, the most powerful fame rubs include Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson (the creators of Dungeons & Dragons).

Do you or your geeky friends have any dice superstitions?

Now are you ready for a chance to win cool prizes?  I knew you were!

1st  prize - A set of red gem gaming dice from Chessex
and a Christine Rains personalized die

2nd prize - Erotic dice (too sexy to be in the picture!) and a Christine Rains personalized die

3rd prize - 3 people will win a Christine Rains personalized die

Christine Rains personalized die.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 9, 2015

Celebrations and The Sarcasm, Snark & Sass Blogfest

It's a day of celebrations all around for me!  First of all, I would like to mention that Celebrate the Small Things will continue with Lexa Cain as host.  Yay!  I hope everyone will take the time to wish her well in her duties.  I will continue to co-host, as will Katie @ TheCyborgMom.  Below is the new linky list, so if you've been participating and would like to continue, you'll need to sign up again.  And if you'd like to hop on board for the first time, we'll be happy to have you!

My son Jude's glasses broke last night, but they're still under warranty so they should be replaced for free.  It's a bad situation that is bound to turn out better than it might have, so I'll still count it as an overall win for the week.

A hose broke on one of our cars this week, but my husband happened to have a brand new hose sitting in the trunk already, so that turned out to be pretty handy.

Now it's time to get down to an important order of business.  Today is also my third blogging anniversary, and I'm hosting the Sarcasm, Snark & Sass Blogfest to celebrate.  I can hardly believe I've been blogging for this long!

Anyway, I decided to post sarcastic responses to a few stupid questions.  Some questions come from life experience, while others were pulled out of thin air.  I hope you enjoy!

(You walk inside dripping wet.)
Question: Hey, did you get caught in the rain?
Answer:  Nope, I was just testing out the new outdoor shower I installed.

(Someone looks down at your broken glasses.)
Question:  Did you break your glasses?
Answer:  No.  The left bow decided to break things off and try to get together with those sleek new frames my neighbor just got.

(Someone approaches as your car is reduced to a cinder.)
Question:  Your car is on fire, huh?
Answer:  No.  It's just auditioning for a role as a firecracker in an upcoming film.

(Someone looks down at the gaping wound in your leg.)
Question:  Have you been shot?
Answer:  Of course not!  This is just an extra large piercing in an unorthodox place.

(Someone looks down at the table filled with food.)
Question:  Is that dinner?
Answer:  No, it's bait, and it obviously worked, because you're here now.  (You smile wickedly.)

There's my snark for the day.  Have you ever dished out a sarcastic answer in response to a silly question?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Insecure Writer's Support Group: January 2015

It's time for the first 2015 meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group.  The wonderful Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh is our fearless leader, and he's recruited a few minions to assist him in his duties this month.  They are Elizabeth Seckman, Lisa Buie-Collard, Chrys Fey, and Michelle Wallace.

Feel free to visit the IWSG website if you have the time and inclination to do so.

We're doing introductions today.  Here's mine.

For those of you who don't know me, I am L.G. Keltner.  The L.G. stands for Laura Gene. Yes, my middle name utilizes the male spelling, thanks to a great aunt and my parents' love for Gene Roddenberry.  I am married and have two young boys.  I write science fiction when I have the time, I read voraciously, and I love coffee.  I am also a redhead.  This typically serves as a useful warning to anyone who considers incurring my wrath.

Now on to this month's insecurity.  It's a new year, and I feel like I need to find some new direction with my writing.  I feel like I should be setting goals (which I haven't) and that I should have some concrete plans about where I want the year to take me (which I don't).  Sure, I have some vague ideas about what I'd like to accomplish, but it feels a bit nebulous.  This year I'm playing things by ear and waiting to see where inspiration takes me.  Is this the right course of action?  Do you feel better having a concrete goal in mind, or do you prefer to see what naturally comes your way?

On a side note, it's really cold here.  So cold that school was canceled for the kids. Everyone loves waking up to wind chills like this.  We've had colder, but there's only so much you can do outside on days like this.

Perhaps I'll be able to make use of my day indoors.  That's my hope, anyway.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Express Yourself: New Year's Resolutions

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

The prompt for this week is: Do you have a New Year's Resolution, if so, would you like to share?

I don't have an official resolution, but I do have goals.  First of all, I want to learn how to do some fancy tricks on my new sewing machine.  I have plans for purses, quilts, throw pillows, and all sorts of other things I want to make.  Before I do that, though, I'll have to experiment a bit.

I also hope to keep up my determination when it comes to writing, no matter how discouraging things might be.

Nothing exciting, I know, but I'm definitely excited to see what 2015 brings me.  What are your New Year's resolutions?

Friday, January 2, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things-January 2, 2015 and Express Yourself

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

I'm happy to be a co-host, along with these other lovely bloggers:

Diana Wilder
Katie @ TheCyborg Mom
CaffeMaggieato @ mscoffeehouse

This week, I'd like to celebrate our host.  VikLit has been an amazing host for the past couple of years.  Today she announced that she's stepping down from her hosting duties.  She simply hasn't had the time to dedicate to it lately, and I think that's something we can all understand.  I'd like to thank her for all the effort she's put in since this weekly celebration began.  The wheels are turning as we work to see whether we can keep CTST alive in some form or another.  Regardless of what happens, though, I think it's important to make an effort to express our gratitude for the things we have and the people who bring joy to our lives.

I'd also like to celebrate a new year!  I hope 2015 is a good and prosperous year for all of you!

Finally, the Sarcasm, Snark & Sass Blogfest is coming up soon!  January 9th is only a week away, after all.  I'm happy with the number of people who've already signed up to take part, and I'd be happy to welcome anyone else who might like to participate!

What would you like to celebrate?

And for those of you who are willing to stick around for part two of my double post (I meant to post this earlier in the week, but time got away from me), thank you!  The Express Yourself Weekly Meme is hosted by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

The prompt for this week is: Repost your favorite EYM from 2014.

Easy enough, right?  So, without further adieu, here it is!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Express Yourself: Warning Labels

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

The prompt for this week has to be one of my all-time favorites.  It is as follows: If you came with a warning label, what would yours say about you?

Here's mine:

Keep this in mind.  It qualifies as invaluable survival information.

What would your warning label say about you?