Archive for March, 2013

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Winding Road

It is funny how we can convince ourselves that something isn’t worth it over a tiny setback. It’s as though a small part of us is just waiting for any excuse to shut things down and throw in the towel. The sad thing is if we listen to this obnoxious, good-for-nothing voice cowering in the back of our mind, we will get absolutely nowhere in life. Life is all about turmoil, struggles, hurdles, challenges, and obstacles. If we gave up at the first sign of trouble, we’d be finished the moment we first started–leaving us wallowing in self-pity, fear, and regret for the rest of our days.

I, for one, abhor that whiny little coward. But time and time again, when panic sets in his voice is the loudest in my head. He’s a slimy, detestable toad–always intent on sabotaging me to prove that he is right. So, I’m incredibly happy when I smash his ugly head into the ground and prove once again that all he spouts is lies.

Today, I beat him that sniveling pest again! March has not been my month. I’ve been sick with one illness or another the majority of this month, most likely a product of this insane winter and early spring we’ve been experiencing. My latest illness, a head cold, has mostly left, but still lingers as a buzzing in my head. It’s slowly getting better, but every tiny sound seems to resonate in my head, making it impossible to think straight.

Sick or not, though, life must go on, so I’ve been trying to soldier along and doing the best I can. However, with your head constantly buzzing, writing becomes a difficult chore, and at times, it’s challenging to even know what you are trying to say. Turns out I wasn’t the only one having issues understanding my garbled writing. Today, I had an article sent back for a rewrite. I was frustrated and discouraged because this was my first editor decline, and let’s just say I didn’t take the news so well.

Yes, that annoying jabber-jaw started spouting all kinds of nonsense and trying to convince me it was the end of the world. Well, after finally hearing enough of his insanity, I brushed myself off and calmly looked over my editor’s constructive criticism. Then, I reread my article, cringed, and started from scratch. It was perhaps THE worst article I have ever put together. Truthfully, it wasn’t a nightmare, but I strive to always write the best I can. Obviously, my head cold had fried some connections in my brain, and it was time to start over fresh with the edit.

I set my inner moron in his place, reminding myself that we are all human and make mistakes. It’s what we do with those mistakes that make or break us. I jumped right back into the writing saddle, rewrote that assignment, and it was published a couple hours later.

I know I’m not the most talented writer, but I’m still learning and evolving. I realize I’m going to have plenty of bumps in the road and I might even make a few wrong turns now and then. However, that certainly doesn’t make me a bad writer or take away from the talents I do have. All the mistakes and problems will only make me stronger if I distance myself from that whiny, skeptical voice and learn from whatever crosses my path.

Photo Credit: Tom Murphy VII

Photo Credit: Tom Murphy VII

This month I volunteered to participate in a blog hop with a number of my friends.  It is called the Next Big Thing Blog Hop.  Basically, authors answer a number of questions about their current work in progress and link to the person that referred them.  They also try to find 3 more bloggers to carry on the hop.  It is a fun and creative way to share what everyone is working on, while meeting some new authors and readers along the way.

My friend and inspiration for my fibromyalgia blog, Kimberley Linstruth-Beckom a.k.a Amanda Kimberley, was the one who finally convinced me to join in on the blog hop fun.  You can click the following link to learn more about her work. Website:  http://www.fibroandfabulous.com

I am actually working on a number of novels, but I am going to focus on my newest creation since I am actively working on it this month.  For a little sneak peak, click here.  Now with introductions aside, let’s get started on the blog hop questions:

1: What is the working title of your book?
The working title of my book is The Ear of Silence.  It is a very, very rough title.  It is one of those titles that just came to me while I was half asleep.

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?  
My story is actually based off of a recurring dream I kept having a few months ago.  I kept dreaming that I was the man who is the main character of my novel.  It was such a vivid and surreal dream that it still is fresh in my mind.

3. What genre does your book come under?  
Although my book is still in the early stages, I would have to say it is a sci-fi/thriller story.

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?  
To be honest, I would love to see a fresh face for my main character.  He is at a very vulnerable time in his life because he has lost his hearing due to an accident.  It would have to be someone able to identify with this fragile state of mind.

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?  
This is a hard question for me since my story is only in its infancy.  But I’ll give it my best shot: A recovering soldier starts hearing strange noises and voices from his hospital bed even though his doctors insist he may have permanently lost his hearing.

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
Most likely I will be self-publishing this book.  I have been a writer for years, but I have yet to publish a book.  This will be a new and exciting experience for me!

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I am still hard at work.  It’s been a few months since I first started writing this book.  But I have so many other projects that I tend to bounce around from one to another and then back again.  It can get a little crazy, but I’ve found that it keeps my creative juices flowing.  When I switch to a different project my mind is still churning new ideas for the previous one, so my brain is never too far away from any of my projects.

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I am not sure.  My dreams and creative ideas tend to be a crazy mess of all my favorite authors, books, and movies with my own creative ideas thrown in for good measure.

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I guess I would have to say my favorite books and my OCD-like need for completion have inspired me to write this book.  From a small child, I have been addicted to great stories, and I can’t help but want to bring this dream to life.  I also can’t handle the thought of leaving a story hanging, and my dream never had an ending.  I have to write this one or it’s going to mock me for the rest of my life!

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
My story is going to be a struggle between reality and delusion and wrestle with one of our darkest fears: Is what I am experiencing really there or am I just a helpless prisoner to my minds delusions?

I hope when I finish this book you will get the chance to read it and tell me what you think.  I was unable to find some other authors to continue the blog hop on my end.  But I encourage you to explore those authors behind me.  And if you want to join in the fun, just let me know.

ImageAs an avid reader and book lover, I am constantly on the look out for interesting and unique books.  And one of the advantages of being a writer, I have the privilege and honor of connecting with people who are creating them every day.  Today, I’d like to share with you a little about a book I am excited to check out: How I Got Him To Marry Me: 50 True Stories by my friend and fellow writer, Cherise Kelley.

How I Got Him To Marry Me: 50 True Stories is now available in eBook form at Barnes and Noble for Nook, Amazon for Kindle, and Kobo for the Kobo Reader. The paperback will be available April 1 through Amazon. The eBook should be on iTunes soon.

Short Version of the Book Description:

He likes it. Now get him to put a ring on it! Learn from these 50 stories of women who have been there! You don’t have to interview 50 married women to find out how they managed to get that ring on their finger. The author has done that for you. All 50 were married after 1990, so this is modern information for our changing times. Read and find out how you can get him to marry you and not just live together!

LIMITED TIME OFFER:

Please see the end of the eBook to learn how to claim a free paperback copy after you post an honest review! Limited to the first 25 reviewers at Amazon.com, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes. (226 pages in paperback.)

Excerpt:

After he got out of the hospital, he managed to enter my upstairs apartment’s bedroom window by climbing a ladder. I was not home at the time, but my neighbors were. They called and alerted me to the fact that a man wearing a sling and a bandage on his head was climbing through my window. I told them not to call the cops and that it was my former boyfriend, Mati.

I was angry and ready for a confrontation with him. However, when I arrived home, I saw my apartment covered in candles and rose petals. He had a CD playing with my favorite music and on the TV he had stuck a poster that said:

“Will you marry me?”

I said, “No way! You think you can settle for me now, but I know you won’t be monogamous. Your friends are always going to be influencing you to get in more fights. We’re just going to eventually drift apart. That is not the life I want.”

He told me, “I really want to make this work. You are who I want. I’m not settling for you. When I was in the ambulance, going to the ER, the one thing I wished was that you were there with me, holding my hand.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, straight up, really.”

We kissed a lot, and then I told him, “I’ll only marry you if you agree to be 100% honest and refrain from fighting.”

He told me that the only thing that he would ever fight for is my heart.

I then agreed to marry him, and I put on the custom designed engagement ring that he bought me.

Does this sound like something you want to read? Here are the places where you can buy the book!

ImageYesterday, I read a friend and fellow writer Christine Rice’s blog post about the Seven/Seven Blog Challenge and decided I HAD to participate.  Over the last few months, I’ve seen a similar challenge making its rounds on Facebook among many of my writing friends, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed seeing what works-in-progress everyone is working on.  I thought that this would be a wonderful and fun way to offer you a glimpse into my newest work-in-progress, a sci-fi thriller that I just started writing based off of a recurring dream I had had a few months ago.

Here are the rules of the challenge:

1. Choose seven lines from page 7 or 77 of your current work-in-progress.

2. Invite seven other writers to post the same and link back to you.

3. Mention and link back to the person who nominated you.

I am inviting some of my writer friends to join in on the blog challenge, and if you want jump in, as well, just comment and I’ll be sure to link to your blog in this post.  The more the merrier because nothing breeds more creativity and inspiration than a little mystery, fun, and sharing among friends!

Without further ado, I introduce to you 7 lines from page 7 of my currently untitled novel:

I cursed and swore at the ungodly being; I begged and pleaded for it to release me.  Still, it refused to relent.  I knew it heard me because I could hear its laughter and see its grotesque smirk inside my mind.  Uncloaked and in its true form, it was feeding off of my agony, devouring my suffering like a glutinous hog.

With my last scrap of strength, I raged and fought against the hideous beast in my mind.  If I had to die, it was going with me.  Such an unnatural monstrosity didn’t deserve to live, and it, the last of its species, was going straight to hell with my final breath!

So, what do you think?  This is an initial rough draft and I have a long journey ahead before I complete this novel.  Yet, I am super excited to see where this story will take me because my dream never did have an ending!

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My dog Honey Bear

True pet owners will all agree that their pets become much more than simple pets to them.  Their pets become family members, companions, confidants, and best friends.  Their furbabies grow to be an integral part of their household, their lives, and their very souls.  There isn’t anything more noble or strong than the bond, devotion, and love between pet owner and beloved animal!

I am a proud pet owner and I am not ashamed to admit that my pets are like children to me.  They love me unconditionally, and I love them back just as deeply.  Before I eat breakfast every morning, I make sure my dog and cats have fresh food and water in their bowls.  My pets share my bed, couch, and chairs.  And I look forward every day to spending some cuddle and play time with each and every one of them.

I watch over them when they are sick.  I pray for their safety if they get lost or injured.  I worry about whether I’m raising them the best way I can.  I even buy them special treats and gifts from time to time.  And I constantly talk to them like they can understand me—and often times they do.

If you are a pet owner like me, I’m sure you do many of the same things with your furbabies.  It just seems the natural thing to do, and with such adorable faces and sweet personalities, how can we not shower them with so much love and see them as a part of the family?

But what if one day you got a knock on your door and you were told that you had to give up one of your pets?  What if you were forced to hand over one of your sweet, loving furbabies simply because a handful of fearful, ignorant people decided that your pet was dangerous and unpredictable…all without spending even a second with your pet?  Unthinkable, isn’t it?  And yet, it happens far too frequently in this world…and it happened to a wonderful friend of mine.

This friend is a loving, caring, and giving person.  And she is doing an amazing job passing these admirable traits on to her children.  This warm family stumbled upon a helpless puppy in distress and immediately got her the necessary medical attention to save her life.  Then, they went above and beyond what many people would do to try to find her owner, housing, feeding, and loving her the whole while.  And what was their reward for their kindness?  After integrating this gentle pup, Lulu, into their family, breed-specific legislation ( BSL) told them that their new furbaby had to go, simply because she was the ‘wrong’ breed!  Does this seem fair to you?

I know it doesn’t to me.  I have loved small dogs and big dogs and every size in between.  I’ve owned dogs and known people with dogs of so many various breeds, including some of the supposed dangerous and aggressive breeds (i.e., German shepherds, huskies, boxers, and rottweilers).  And I am convinced more than ever that the danger of a dog is NOT in the breed but in the dog owner.  Yes, certain dogs have been bred to be more energetic and powerful, but with proper training and care, any dog can be a friendly ball of fur–devoted, gentle, and playful with the people around him.

BSL laws are archaic, cruel, and wrong.  Why penalize the animal for his breeding, which is completely out of his control?  Instead, why not encourage responsible dog ownership, and penalize the bad owners?  The dogs and the majority of owners are paying the price for the crimes of a small percentage of people.  It isn’t right and it isn’t fair to break up families and sentence animals to death simply because certain people choose to be cruel and abuse their rights as dog owners.  Dogs, no matter what the breed, are living, breathing things.  They feel emotions and they feel pain, and we, as human beings, have to be held accountable for their treatment.  So long ago, we chose them as our companions and we have bred them into what they are today.  They merely chose to stay at our sides and accept our companionship for better or worse.  It is time for us to celebrate their devotion and stop turning a blind eye to their suffering!

If you want to read more about Lulu’s story, click here.