Friday, March 27, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things-March 27, 2015

Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  TheCyborgMom and I are her co-hosts.

The A to Z Challenge is next week, so I've been working on getting things ready for that.  It should be a good time!

I finished editing a novella this week.  I'm happy with the way it turned out.  At least, I am so far.  I know how my mind can change on these things.

I also started writing a novel this week.  The inspiration kind of bowled me over.  I'm sure a lot of you know how that goes.  It seems like it's going to turn out to be a YA science fiction book.  Yeah, I know a lot of people sit down with something like that in mind, but I usually don't start writing with a specific audience in mind.  I tend to see where the story takes me.

What would you like to celebrate?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Express Yourself: Changes

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

The question for this week is:  In the past year, what has been the biggest change for you?

I have a couple of answers for this.  One of them is sad, and one of them is a bit happier.

The sad one regards my recent miscarriage.  It was so shocking to be planning for a new baby one day, then having to suddenly come to terms with the fact that I wasn't pregnant anymore.  Sad as it was though, it changed my perspective on things, and I've used that change to motivate me in my writing.  I want to make the pain of the situation mean something.  It's really the only way I could think to handle it.

The happier change in the past year has been having both of my kids in school.  Lyle is only in preschool half the day, but it's clear that my boys are growing up and learning more every day.  It can be bittersweet at times, but I'm glad that both of my boys love school as much as they do.

What changes have you experienced in the past year?

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Change of Mind and Other Stories Cover Reveal and The A to Z Theme Reveal Blogfest

I have some big stuff for you today.  This double post will contain much excitement, so stick around.  I'm participating in the Great and Powerful A to Z Theme Reveal Blogfest, but before we get to that, I'd like to share something awesome from our blogging friend Nick Wilford.

Title: A Change of Mind and Other Stories
Author: Nick Wilford
Genre: Contemporary speculative fiction 
Cover Design: Rebekah Romani
Release Date: May 25th

A Change of Mind and Other Stories consists of a novella, four short stories and one flash fiction piece. This collection puts the extremes of human behaviour under the microscope with the help of lashings of dark humour, and includes four pieces previously published in Writer’s Muse magazine.

In "A Change of Mind", Reuben is an office worker so meek and mild he puts up with daily bullying from his boorish male colleagues as if it’s just a normal part of his day. But when a stranger points him in the direction of a surgeon offering a revolutionary new procedure, he can’t pass up the chance to turn his life around.

But this isn’t your average surgeon. For a start, he operates alone in a small room above a mechanic’s. And he promises to alter his patients’ personality so they can be anything they want to be...

In "Marissa", a man who is determined to find evidence of his girlfriend’s infidelity ends up wondering if he should have left well alone.

"The Dog God" finds a chink in the armour of a man with a megalomaniacal desire to take over the world.

In "The Insomniac", a man who leads an obsessively regimented lifestyle on one hour’s sleep a night finds a disruption to his routine doesn’t work for him.

"Hole In One" sees a dedicated golfer achieving a lifelong ambition.

"The Loner" ends the collection on a note of hope as two family members try to rebuild their lives after they are torn apart by jealousy.


Nick Wilford is a writer and stay-at-home dad. Once a journalist, he now makes use of those rare times when the house is quiet to explore the realms of fiction, with a little freelance editing and formatting thrown in. When not working, he can usually be found spending time with his family or cleaning something. Nick is also the editor of Overcoming Adversity: An Anthology for Andrew. You can find him hanging out on his blog or on Goodreads or Twitter.

Preorder Links: Amazon US, Amazon UK

These stories sound pretty interesting to me, so I'd highly recommend getting a copy of this book when it comes out!

Now for the next part of my post.

Today I am revealing what you can expect from my A to Z posts this year.  For further details on the Great and Powerful A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal Blogfest, go HERE.

This year I'm doing fictional pieces again.  Sorry, I just love producing fresh material to share with my readers.  I'm going to try to mix it up a bit.  Each piece will be inspired by the letter of the day, and some of the words I've chosen are more obscure or interesting than others.  Some of the pieces will be flash fiction, some will be drabbles (a story of exactly 100 words), and some will be poems.

There is one big difference, though.  Once a week, I'll post a Choose Your Own Adventure Story.  I briefly considered the insanity of doing only Choose Your Own Adventure stories, but doing 26 of them seemed like a herculean task.  These CYOA stories will be short, of course.  In total, you'll get three sections to read, and the total word count will place it in the range of a normal flash fiction story.  I know time is precious during the A to Z Challenge, so I don't want to overwhelm anyone (or myself, for that matter).

For those of you who are interested in checking out my CYOA stories, here's a list of the dates when I'll be posting them.

Week 1:
Wednesday, April 1st (letter A)

Week 2:
Friday, April 10th (letter I)

Week 3:
Friday, April 17th (letter O)

Week 4:
Thursday, April 23rd (letter T)

Week 5:
uesday, April 28th (letter X)

I'm excited about another year of A to Z fun!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things: March 20, 2015 and Express Yourself: Expertise

It's time to Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  TheCyborgMom and I are happy to be her co-hosts.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been trying to take care of myself.  I've been exercising some and eating healthier, and as a result, I've lost nine pounds.  Trust me, I can stand to lose a fair bit more, but the change has me feeling more energetic already.

My kids have been on spring break all week.  I've taken them to the park, they've had movie nights where I let them curl up on the floor with blankets and some popcorn. They loved that!  It doesn't seem to matter that we haven't done anything really exciting.  Those boys have been having a great week off enjoying the simple things.

I've been doing a lot of writing and editing.  I've gotten a couple of rejections back on submissions, but I'm not letting that discourage me.  Rejection is part of the game, and no one can get rid of me that easily.

What would you like to celebrate?

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

This week's prompt is: Everyone has at least one subject matter they are self-proclaimed experts in (pop culture, monsters, robots, etc.  What is yours?

Does it count if I say that I'm an expert in useless trivia?  There's a reason I wipe up the floor with my competition when I play trivial pursuit.  I usually do, anyway.  The sports and leisure category is my weakest area, but I still do decently enough in it that it doesn't cripple me too bad.  When it comes to categories like science, literature, history, and other things like that, I retain a lot of snippets of knowledge that aren't all that useful outside of trivia games.  Except for adding little interesting details into the stories I write, of course!  Now, if I'm playing a pop culture version of trivial pursuit, then that's a different story.

What do you consider yourself to be an expert in?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things: March 13, 2015 and Express Yourself: Occupation

Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  TheCyborgMom and I are happy as always to be her assistants.

It's been a tough week, so I haven't been doing a lot of blog commenting.  Sorry for that, but I've had some stuff to work through.  After my miscarriage last week, I've been trying to take care of myself.  My lovely friend Chelsea brought me coffee, wine, and various other goodies to cheer me up.  It meant a lot!

Lots of you have stopped by to offer me so many kind words.  Thank you!  You guys are the best!

I've been eating healthy and getting plenty of exercise.  That makes me feel better when times get tough.  The weather here has also been gorgeous, so I've been taking my boys to the park every day after school.

I also submitted a couple short stories to different magazines this week.  I have no idea how that will turn out, but as long as I keep trying, I know I've accomplished something!

I'd also like to take a brief moment to celebrate the life of the amazing writer Terry Pratchett.  We'll miss you!

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 try out one occupation for a week, what would you choose?

If I didn't have to worry about meeting the physical fitness requirements, I'd be an astronaut.  It's something I always thought would be amazing, but it's a rigorous and demanding occupation.

If I were forced to pick something more reasonable, I'd write fortunes for fortune cookies.  yes, this is a thing you can do.  Those fortunes don't write themselves!  I'd do it for longer, but I'm sure I'd run out of ideas if I tried to keep going beyond the initial week.

What occupation would you try?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things: March 6, 2015 and Express Yourself: Narration

It's Friday.  Or almost Friday anyway.  It's time to Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain.  Your co-hosts for this event are TheCyborgMom and yours truly.

I'm not going to lie.  I don't feel much like celebrating this week.  Sometimes it's hard.

Some of you have noticed that I missed IWSG this month.  I have good reasons for that. As most of you will remember, I recently found out that I was pregnant.  Well, there's no good way to say it.  I had a miscarriage this week.  I found out at my routine appointment.  Things weren't taking care of themselves naturally like they should have (hence why I had no clue beforehand), so I had to go to the hospital to have a medical procedure done.  I'm not up to giving any details right now.  Suffice it to say, it's been rough.

My oldest son Jude took the news pretty hard.  Once the reality of what we told him sunk in, he cried.  He doesn't seem to fully understand it still, but he's pretty upset.

There are still a few things to be grateful for though.  The doctor and nurses I saw made things as easy on me as possible.  They were awesome.  The procedure also went off without a hitch.  I had to go under general anesthetic, but I woke up afterwards even better than they were anticipating.  I also recovered (physically speaking at least) so quickly that I got to leave the hospital more than an hour earlier than they predicted.  

My husband has been amazing through this whole thing.  I know he's sad too, but he's done everything he can to take care of me.  I'm definitely grateful for that.

My youngest son Lyle seems to be taking it all pretty well.  I know it's because he's not quite old enough to understand it, but it makes things a little bit easier that I don't have to worry about him too.

Sorry to be depressing.  The emotional fallout has been the hardest part of this.  I just wanted to tell you a little bit about what's been going on.  I know how supportive this blogging community is.  I'm definitely grateful for all of you as well.

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

The question for this week is: Who would narrate your life in a movie?

I love this question.  My answer is also an easy one.  I've talked about this before.

Morgan Freeman.  He has the best voice for narration.