Friday, April 27, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-April 27, 2018

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  I am her co-host.

My son Lyle is going on a field trip to the zoo today, and the weather turned out beautiful for it.  He's super excited to see the giraffes.

On Wednesday, I posted a fun Mad Lib story on the Parallels blog.  If you feel like having a quick bit of fun with words, feel free to check it out!

I've started a regular exercise routine, and I'm three days in.  There has been some soreness, which is to be expected, but it hasn't been too bad.  I just need to stick with it.  The decision to get back into shape won't be easy to implement, but I intend to follow through with it.

The Kickstarter for the Normal Deviation anthology I'm involved with is still ongoing.  If anyone wants to help support the project, please check it out!  And if you can't support it financially (which I completely understand), please help spread the word!  I've composed a tweet below to help make that easier.

Do you like #weirdfiction? The #NormalDeviation #anthology is a collection of #stories from @wonderboxpub based on one #strange picture. Please help support this collection on #Kickstarter and get some cool rewards!

What would you like to celebrate?

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Savior's Champion Release Day!

Title: The Savior’s Champion
Author: Jenna Moreci
Release date: 4-24-2018
Genre: Romantic Fantasy Action/Adventure
Category: Adult


Tobias Kaya doesn't care about The Savior. He doesn't care that She's the Ruler of the realm or that She purified the land, and he certainly doesn't care that She's of age to be married. But when competing for Her hand proves to be his last chance to save his family, he’s forced to make The Savior his priority.

Now Tobias is thrown into the Sovereign’s Tournament with nineteen other men, and each of them is fighting—and killing—for the chance to rule at The Savior's side. Instantly his world is plagued with violence, treachery, and manipulation, revealing the hidden ugliness of his proud realm. And when his circumstances seem especially dire, he stumbles into an unexpected romance, one that opens him up to unimaginable dangers and darkness. 

Trigger warnings: this book contains graphic violence, adult language, and sexual situations.

Buy links:
The Book Depository:

Free Excerpt:

Read the first three chapters of The Savior’s Champion:

Author Bio:

Jenna Moreci is a Silicon Valley native and Youtube sensation, dominating the authortube community with her straightforward and hilarious writing channel. A lifelong storyteller, Jenna specializes in crafting thrilling adventures with heaping doses of bloodshed and romance.
When she’s not writing or ‘tubing, Jenna enjoys angry music, potent wine, and laughing until her face hurts with her goofball fiancĂ©.

Author Links:

Friday, April 20, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-April 20, 2018

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain.  I am her co-host.

I'm happy that my short story "Becoming Death's Personal Assistant" is going to appear in the anthology Normal Deviation.  This anthology is filled with weird stories, and all  of them are inspired by the same strange picture.  It's kind of amazing how one bizarre image can inspire such different tales.  A Kickstarter campaign just launched to help this project come to life.  Feel free to check it out if you're interested, and please help spread the word!

My son Lyle's glasses broke this week, which wasn't so great, but he thoroughly enjoyed picking out a new pair.  They should come in sometime within the next week, and he's excited to wear them to school.

There was a snow storm this week, but it looks like the weather may actually turn spring-like in the coming days.  I hope this is true, because I'm seriously ready for this endless winter to be done.

What would you like to celebrate?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

WEP: The Road Less Traveled

It's time for more fun with Write . . . Edit . . . Publish!  Thank you to Yolanda Renee, Denise Covey, Olga Godim, and Nilanjana Bose for making this event possible!

The theme for this month is Road Less Traveled.  Let's get to it.

Transcript of Graduation Speech

Robert Frost High School

May 27, 2018

Good afternoon graduates, family, and friends.  When I was invited to be the guest speaker, I didn’t know what to talk about.  I’ve become well-known for being a bit of a rebel.  I got my big break because of a viral YouTube video, which to be honest, showed me in a bit of an unflattering light.  Talking about how to make a name for yourself professionally after being caught performing acrobatic feats in a shopping mall while intoxicated may make for a memorable speech, but it’s hardly appropriate for a high school setting.  It was wicked fun, though.
To help me come up with ideas for an appropriate speech, I looked to your class motto “The Road Less Traveled.”  It makes sense given the name of your soon-to-be alma mater.  I’m betting this theme has been touched upon by numerous classes that came before you and will continue to be used long into the future.  You may even be sick of hearing it after all these years and chose it out of a sense of obligation.  It pays tribute to your school, after all.  It also fits the theme of the day. 
Graduating means choosing a new path to take in life, and this is bound to be the first real decision in that regard most of you have made.  Up until now, you’ve been at the whim of your parents.  That helplessness may have come with a sense of frustration as you yearned to spread your wings and soar, but it also brought with it a sense of security.  You’ve had people to catch you when you fall.  You knew which steps to take next.  You’ve gone from one grade to the next, safe in the knowledge of what you needed to do.  Go to class.  Get good grades.  Choose an extracurricular activity or two.  Find an after-school job.  There were elements of choice sprinkled throughout, of course, but failure didn’t necessarily spell disaster, no matter how much it may have felt that way. 
Gearing up to go into the larger world, though.  That’s when consequences really start to feel real.  When I was your age, I was shaking in my shorts with anxiety, though I played it cool.  The sheer number of options and lack of guarantees seem daunting.  Still, you can look to others and seek advice from the adults in your life.  You’ll hear plenty of people suggesting you attend a certain college and study a certain field that has proven to be lucrative.  Others will suggest studying a trade or following in the footsteps of family members.  Which path should you follow?
People always suggest out-of-the-box thinking, but they usually want you to do it within the confines of a normal, comfortable career.  Maybe you find that path appealing, or maybe it seems too confining for you.  Perhaps you hear the stories of successful entrepreneurs who bucked the system and got mega rich, as I unintentionally did, and feel inspired to go that route.  And why not?  The comfortable, safe careers are still subject to economic downturns and shifts in consumer demographics and moods.  The safe careers can also result in you being kicked to the curb with little warning, which runs counter to the reasons many give for choosing those career paths in the first place.
So yeah, why not get onto the road less traveled and hack your way through the underbrush to create a life for yourself?  I’ll give you one good reason not to do it.  It’s hard.  Really, really hard.
There’s a reason the road less traveled is designated as such.  It’s a desolate place to be.  A dangerous place with even less guarantee of success or safety as the more stable, so-called respectable career paths.  This road less traveled is overgrown with obstacles that can twist your metaphorical ankle and leave you hobbling and at the mercy of vultures who would happily pick the flesh from your bones.
Great imagery, right?
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t go that route if you feel you must.  It still might be the right option for you.  Not all of us fit happily into the molds well-worn paths would have us live in.  Some of us royally suck at being normal.  I know I do.  However, if you’re going to take the road less travelled, you need to be prepared for failure. 
Failure is not an abstract concept in the real world.  It’s a legitimate, and even likely, possibility with painful consequences.  Everything costs money, and when you run out of money, needless to say, it can put a crimp in your life.  You need to embrace the possibility of massive failure and everything that comes with it.  You need to be ready to push through terrible circumstances and learn from them so you can stand on your own two feet again.  That failure can be a badge of honor if you’re strong enough to bounce back from it.  Sure, it feels crappy and makes you want to quit, but that’s part of life.
So yeah, do what you think is best for you, and be prepared for life to chew you up and spit you out from time to time.  Does this count as an inspirational speech?  Probably not, but I never aspired to be an inspiring person.  Shi . . . I mean, heck, I used to be the cautionary tale parents used to keep their kids in line.  Look at me now!  Don’t let past screw-ups keep you down.
Bearing that in mind, what do you think the odds are of me being invited back to speak next year?

Word Count: 960

Friday, April 13, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-April 13, 2018

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  I am her co-host.

It was a nice day yesterday, so I took my kids to play in the park after school.  It was a rare thing considering how the weather has been here lately.  I think spring got lost on its way here.  Or maybe it forgot to set its alarm.  Either way, it's supposed to snow over the weekend.  Ugh.  Rather than focus on that, I'll try to focus instead on the fact that it's bound to stop feeling like winter here eventually.  Right?

WRiTE CLUB has its first bout on Monday, so be sure to stop by, read some good pieces, and vote for your favorite!

I'd also like to take the time to say Happy Friday the 13th everyone!  Be careful out there, especially if you know anyone who has a hockey mask.

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, April 6, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-April 6, 2018

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain.  I am her co-host.

Today is my son Jude's 9th birthday!  I don't know how he's gotten so big.  It doesn't seem possible.  He's bringing cupcakes to school to share with his classmates, and he's excited about that.  Meanwhile my other kids are hoping there are leftovers to bring home so they can have some too.

I just signed a publishing contract for a short story that was accepted for an anthology earlier in the year.  I also got paid for that sale this week, which was nice.  We need to buy a new tire for one of our cars, so part of the money will go toward that.  We must have run something over while on our way to celebrate Easter, because there was a big hole in our newly-flattened tire.  Oh well.  It happens.

I have a few other exciting things going on in the world of writing, but I'll share the relevant details in the near future.

What would you like to celebrate?

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The Insecure Writer's Support Group: April 2018

It's the first Wednesday of the month, and that means it's time to convene another meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group!  Our leader Alex J. Cavanaugh has rounded up another wonderful group of co-hosts: Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Renee Scattergood, and Tamara Narayan.

Be sure to check out the IWSG website!

I'm happy to report that I met my writing goal for the month of March, though just barely.  My goal was to hit 80K in my WIP.  I surpassed that by about 300 words.  Going into the month, I was well ahead of the curve, but I got derailed for a little while.  Luckily I was able to get back on track before the month was out.

Now it's time to answer the question of the month.

When your writing life is a bit cloudy or filled with rain, what do you do to dig down and keep on writing?

Given the struggles I had with my writing last month, this is a timely question.  There are a lot of factors that can lead to a lack of writing progress.  Lack of inspiration, stress, issues in our every day lives, and a lack of self-confidence can all take their toll.  The way I try to pull myself out of a slump depends on the cause that lies behind it.

When lack of inspiration is to blame, I try to listen to music or look art.  Sometimes taking a walk and seeing some new sights can help.  If you're not feeling inspired, try to do something that you find invigorating.

I find that setting small daily goals can help when life is hectic or my self-confidence is lagging.  Accomplishing a small goal may not seem impressive to others, but it can be just the boost you need to get back into the swing of things.

How do you keep writing when all seems gloomy?