Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Musings #9 - The Tilted Kilt

On Saturday night, my husband and I went to The Tilted Kilt, a new place for us. I love Scottish pub food. This place is like the Scottish version of Hooters; a tad American and not as traditional, but still darn tasty! I recommend the nachos and the calamari. My husband recommends the chicken wings.

By now you all know I'm a photo nut, so with camera in hand, I wrangled a few pics. I found myself asking: What type of character would frequent a place like this?

Here are a few things to consider:

1) It's obviously marketed to men first. Hence, the Scottish wench getup.

2) They were showing the latest UFC on large screen.

3) It was not bright, but not dark either.

4) The place has healthy options, but mainly serves great unhealthy bar food.

5) Families with children were present.

Sooo ... My Monday Musing for you. Dun, dun, DUN! In 100 words or less, tell me what type of character you would cast at this restaurant.
Me -- I'd have to go with a hungry vampire who comes in looking for a good bite. *grins*

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Oak Wood Cemetery, Denton, Texas - Photo Essay Part 1

This cemetery was established in 1857. It's not as big and glamorous as some of the others I've photographed, but interesting.

I've mentioned before that cemetery history, rubbings, and photography is one way I blow off some writing stress. I hope you enjoy the photos. As you can see, the cemetery has a mixture of wealthy and less fortunate graves. I'll share some of the grander ones with you soon!


Don't forget to check out my contest for urban fantasy author Michelle Scott's newest eBook, The Soulless!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Five Fun Ways to Promote Your Book by Author Michelle Scott & Free eBook Contest

Michelle Scott received her MFA from Wayne State University. Her stories have appeared in such places as Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, All Possible Worlds and Realms. Her fantasy novel, The Dragons of Hazlett was nominated for a 2009 EPPIE Award. Her latest urban fantasy novel, The Soulless, was recently released from Mundania Press, LLC. Michelle lives in southeast Michigan with her husband and three children. You can read free samples of her work on her website.

THE SOULLESS: They prey upon society’s outcasts--the lonely, the desperate, the guilty--feeding upon the rage and lust and fear hidden in these human hearts. Once they find a victim, they are able to erase the boundary between impulse and action, turning an angry thought into murderous rage and a simple desire into manic obsession.

Only one person understands the danger. Evander Calhoun has spent a lifetime protecting his unsuspecting neighbors from these evil spirits, but--after a nearly a century of service--the old man no longer has the strength to continue the fight.

Evander must find a replacement. But, despite the fact that his master was a nearly crippled, illiterate, farmhand, Evander staunchly refuses to consider anyone but a strong, young male for an apprentice. In fact, he is so blinded by prejudice that he is apt to overlook the best chance he has of saving his beloved town.

Buy a copy.

Book promotion is very important to writers, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be a chore. And when you enjoy doing something, you lessen your chances of burning out. Here are five ways that you can connect with readers that should be fun for you as well.

1. Join online book discussion groups. I’m not just a writer; I’m a reader as well! I love discussing new books, recommending books I love, and talking about my favorite characters. Joining online book sites like GoodReads and Shelfari allows you to find other readers who share your reading interests. The point here is not to make drive-by promotional comments or to mention, “I’m a writer” in every thread. No, it’s to create connections with readers by engaging in conversations about the books you love.

2. Chase a meme. Bloggers, especially book bloggers, use memes (daily topics or question that are passed from blog to blog in hopes of going viral) as a way to lead readers from one blog to another. When you chase down a meme (travel from one blog to another, following the thread of posts relating to the meme) you can discover a huge number of book-related websites. You will not only meet other readers, but you may also connect with bloggers who are willing to review your latest release or host an interview.

3. Host a giveaway. At least once a month, I host a giveaway with one of my books as a prize. Oftentimes, I will do this as a part of a blog hop. (A blog hop is similar to a meme in that several blogs link together so that readers can ‘hop’ from one blog to another in order to enter as many contests as possible.)  At other times, I will write a guest post for a blog and then offer a prize as well.  Not only is it fun to give away prizes, but giving away copies will put your book into readers’ hands.  Hopefully, that will land you either a good review or, at the very least, a little word of mouth.

4. Start a Poll.  Engage your readers by asking for their input.  Maybe you’ll have them help you decide which cover you should use for your next release, or maybe it’s as simple as asking what book you should read next.  What a poll does is build a conversation between you and your followers.  After all, everyone loves to give an opinion!

5. Talk about something other than writing and reading!  It’s easy to forget that there is a world outside the written page.  Readers have a variety of interests, and it’s wonderful to connect with them on a level that doesn’t involve books.  I’ve also been known to start Twitter conversations about topics like Tim Gunn, cats, and chocolate.  Also, as an avid knitter, I interact with other knitters and knitting threads throughout the Web.  Whenever I join social sites (such as Pinterest or Ravelry), I make sure that my profile includes links to my website and books.  That way, if people are interested, they can check out my work. 

Remember, promotion isn’t about shoving your book in people’s faces and screaming, “Look at me!  I’m a writer!”  No, it’s about making connections and building relationships.  Building a fan base can very time consuming, but it can also be rewarding and, most importantly, fun!

You have a chance to win a FREE eBook copy of The Soulless!

Contest Rules
1)      Only ONE comment per person.
2)      Please include your email, if not listed in your profile post link. You can post it like this to avoid spammers: yourname at yourdomain dot com.
3)      I’ll announce the winner on Friday, February 3, 2012. The contest ends at midnight on Thursday, February 2, 2012.
4)      In 100 words or less, tell me how you would protect your own town from evil spirits.
Good luck and have fun my wily demon hunters!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Prisoners In Oakwood Cemetery Were Executed Because...

From the site, Yesteryear Once More, "George Brown, Sr., and his sons, George Jr., Andrew and Jesse, along with others, evidently started out as vigilantes in the wild west of Texas, but soon began to abuse the power of justice and went on a murdering rampage over several years before being convicted. George, Jr. and Andrew were eventually hung for their crimes, but not before 14 people were murdered."

You can all the newspaper accounts of their bloody crimes here. The family killing spree included an innocent widow. They even crudely beheaded one of their victims and threw his head in a nearby river. The father and oldest brother were charged, but found only guilty of being accomplices, as they were "not present" at the time of the gruesome murders. They were not executed.

Their father was the only member of their family to attend their hangings and he left before the execution began. 7,000 people attended the hangings. It took George only nine minutes to die from his neck being broken. Andrew died after eleven minutes from strangulation. Andrew left behind a wife and two sons. George left behind a wife and one son.

You can read more about the vigilante gang and their crimes and the trial here:

List of Executions by Name In Texas

Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday Musings #8 - Why Were These Prisoners Executed?

As I've mentioned before, graveyard rubbings and photos are a hobby of mine to unwind my writer's imagination. While doing some rubbings at a local cemetery, my husband and I stumble upon the headstones of two executed criminals, which freaked us out a little. The cemetery, which will remain nameless until tomorrow, is a beautiful and peaceful one. These two graves stand apart from everyone else under a gorgeous old tree. My husband is often my writing muse and immediately both our imaginations started what we discovered turned out to be so much more interesting than anything I came up.

Here's your musing for today: In a short comment, tell me below what you think these brothers did? I'll reveal the story tomorrow my little demon hunters, so hang on to your pitchforks!

Friday, January 20, 2012

5 Ways to Promote Self Published Books by Cher Murphy

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA – (January 16, 2012) – Whether books have been published traditionally or through self publishing routes, it is important for every author to know effective ways to promote their books. Someone can be the best writer in the world, but if people don’t know about their book, they won’t have many sales.

“It is crucial, when you self publish your book, that you in turn do things to promote it,” explains Sarah Gilbert, director of sales at Lulu (, a self publishing company. “Taking the time to promote your book will result in an increase in sales, recognition and success, without a doubt.”

Here are 5 ways to promote self published books:

1. Start blogging. Blogging can be an effective way to build a platform. Using the right search engine optimization (SEO) words can help draw in traffic to the blog. Blogs can contain written posts, or even video posts. Use it as a way to connect withcurrent fans, and create new ones.

2. Give talks. Giving talks or book readings can be an effective way to get noticed. Offer to give them atlocal book clubs and libraries, or even do an online virtual book tour, engaging in webinars.

3. Connect with media. Many media outlets can be helpful in getting a book or author noticed. Send a press release, or work with a public relations agent, to contact local radio, television, and print media outlets. Offer to do talks, be a show guest, etc.

4. Send review copies. Many people review books, either on blogs or in print. Sending out some review copies, with a nice note enclosed, can be a good way to get them interested in choosing the book for a published review.

5. Use social media. The power of social media cannot be denied. Whether using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or something else, these are effective ways to connect with people and spread the word. Make it a goal to get connected.

“Book sales really come down to people knowing about the book in the first place,” adds Gilbert. “The job of every author, whether self published or not, is to let people know about your book and why they should read it. Make an effective plan of action for marketingyour book, and then work toward it each month.”

Lulu, a self publishing company that was founded in 2002, provides complete services to authors. Their self publishing service is provided free, and authors retain all rights, as well as 80 percent of all profit from sales. To learn more about using Lulu’s publishing tools, log onto

About Lulu, founded in 2002, is a company that specializes in independent publishing. The company has 1.1 million creators and has 20,000titles added to their collection each month. They offer their service for free and authors keep up to 90 percent of the profits when their works sell. Lulu provides anyone with the ability to publish books, eBooks, mini-books, photo books, calendars, cookbooks, and travel books. To learn more, visit the website at

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Michelle Cornwell-Jordan's Tweenscribe - A Writing Forum for Tweens/Teens

Bio: Michelle Cornwell-Jordan is a Director of an after-school program for 5th, 6th & 7th graders. She has been married for 16 years and has a 13 year old daughter. A book lover, her favorite genre has always been paranormal adventures. Another love is writing. Michelle has been writing about as long as she has been a bibliophile! Losing herself in a fantasy world that she is creating on paper is how she loves spending her spare time.

Oh, and one final secret about Michelle is that she believes that she also has a secret power, but if she told, she would have to zap ya!

Happy reading!

Tweenscribe is a writing forum for tweens/teen to showcase their creations; stories, poetry, songs, and music videos! But first it began with words.

The Beginning

I am just like any other parent that believes that every small burp, wrinkled brow, indistinguishable word uttered by their little one, is simply the best and no other child in Kid-dom, has ever measured up to my prince or princess:) I found that this was no different, when that child grew into a rambunctious tyke or when I found myself asking the question, “is this really my child?” Yes, she turned into a foreign teen:) So when my daughter informed me that she wanted to write, and began scribbling in corners, (this time on paper! Yeah!) I took it upon myself (pat on the back) to create a website for her to share her writings in a secure environment. So that is how the forum began.

Who tube?

The evolution into something larger than parental concern, came when I began noticing that many of the kids, tweens themselves(10-13yrs old); began speaking of creating videos, music and placing it on platforms online that are very open to the public, so my concern was for the children’s safety, such as who would view them and what they would view. So along with my daughter’s OK (It was her site, correct?) and her guidance, i.e. how to tweenspeak??? I started opening up the site to children at my after school program. Soon I launched writing contests with prizes that were book related, such as gift cards to or

Happy endings all around when the site began to flourish and it grew to where many children in my community became more and more aware and involved.

The Final Frontier

Now like so many other organizations, I have opened tweenscribe up to the online community; placing inquiries on Goodreads and, Twitter for tweens/teens that would like to share their creations in a safe place! Parents are welcomed as well:)

So if you are between the ages of 10-18 years old, please stop by and share!:)

As I like to say Happy reading AND writing all!:)

Contact Michelle:

Michelle's Blog:


Tweenscribe submissions:

Twitter: mcjordan37


Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday Musings #7 - What Is a Fairy Stone?

The fairy stone eluded me for many years, but this holiday season I finally found one! I contribute my luck to the offering of blessed tobacco at the beach. Immediately after, my fairy stone appeared!

Okay, so what is a fairy stone besides a really cool rock with a hole in it?

The name says it all. The larger stones are portals to the realm of the Fae. Any size brings you good luck and wards you from evil, since they're shaped like an eye. Some believe if you look through the hole, you can actually see fairies. The holes in the rocks form naturally over time from running water passing over the stone. And the fairy stone is a totally cool story writing prompt!

Here are some links for further reading and pics:

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Between the Covers - Book Review #8

My library card is getting a serious workout while I rest up in bed from a nasty fall I took over a week ago. I have seven picks for you this week, so get ready!

1) I finished The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree over my Christmas break, but haven't blogged about it, yet. This is Susan Wittig Albert's new cozy mystery series set during The Great Depression in Darling, Alabama. The ladies of the Darling Dahlia Gardening Club set out to solve the murder of a local girl with a colorful past. There's even talk of missing buried silver from The Civil War and ghost haunting. This cozy series opener is a hit and just as good as her Beatrix Potter tales and the China Bales' series. I highly recommend it for longtime fans and new readers.

2) If you're looking for a short, informative introduction to the world of herbs used in magick, you might enjoy A Beginner's Guide: Herbs for Magic and Ritual. This book by Teresa Moorey discusses making your own incense, herbal uses in magic, astrological correspondences, essential oils, and cooking magically with herbs. She covers a few basic herbs that are easy enough for anyone to find or grow locally. However, I would recommend looking into another book, if you're expecting an in depth read.

3) If you're studying to become a witch or researching Wicca and rituals, then the classic, To Ride a Silver Broomstick: New Generation Witchcraft by Silver Ravenwolf will fit nicely in your library. This book covers all the basics in a friendly conversational tone. Topics discussed include Wicca ethics, The Charge of the Goddess, creating your own sacred place, dedication and purification rituals, networking with other witches, spells, consecrating tools, meditation, divination tools, and a slew of other information. I highly recommend this book for any witch or anyone interested in learning more about Wicca.

4) A Circle of Cats is a quick, delightful read for adults. The book is intended for 8 years and older. Illustrated by the enchanting Charles Vess and written by Charles de Lint, the story follows the tale of Lillian, an orphan who enjoys playing in the forest. Lillian is bitten by a venomous snake one day and falls asleep under the ancient beech tree where cats go to dream. The cats take pity on her and save her life by making her one of them, but Lillian longs to be a little girl again so she can go home to her aunt. She seeks the help of the Apple Tree Man. Will she get her wish? Read and find out. You won't be disappointed!

5) Charles de Lint's Little (Grrl) Lost is an imaginative tale about the Littles, a group of magical people standing just six inches tall. Set in Newford, this young adult novel follows the story of T.J., a teenage girl having a hard time fitting in after moving from the country and giving up her horse, red. She befriends Elizabeth, a runaway Little with a punk attitude and wardrobe to match. Elizabeth is on a mission to prove she can live on her own and discover the origin of the Littles. She's heard rumors that her people can fly and seeks out the help of a local author who can help solve the mystery. This is a great read for adults and teens alike. It's a wonderful introduction to de Lint's fictional town of Newford or a fabulous welcome back!

6) The Undead Zombie Anthology edited by D.L. Snell and Elijah Hall from Permuted Press wasn't all that memorable. It wasn't bad, but truthfully, after letting the stories sit for a few weeks, not one really remains stuck in my head. If you're a lover of zombie fic, this one shouldn't be passed up, but if you're expecting something earth shattering, this isn't the collection for you. The stories are written well, but they just catch my interest.

7) Normally, I don't read traditional crime fiction, but I picked up T. Jefferson Parker's The Fallen at my local library book sale and I loved it! The main character, Robbie Brownlaw, is a cop with a unique ability; he's a synesthesist. He sees colored shapes while people are speaking, allowing him to tell if they are lying or not. This is a result of a nasty fall he took while trying to save someone from a burning building. The strain of his recovery and his new gift has worn thin for his longtime girlfriend, Gina, who leaves him. While coping with the loss of the love of his life he sets out to solve the murder of a local cop turned Ethics officer for the city, who many didn't like because of his dedication to justice. It looks like Garret committed suicide, but did he really. Read and find out. This plot has a few twists and turns to keep you interested. It's not fluffy and Parker's main character has a great tone to him.

Happy reading and happy writing to all!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

5 Common Myths About Self-Publishing Books by Cher Murphy

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA – (January 12, 2012) – Over 1.8 million books have been published in the past nine years at, the leader in self-publishing. More and more, authors are considering self-publishing as a viable option for sharing their ideas and expertise. Despite the increasing opportunities to sell more of their work and reach more readers through a bevy of exciting new retail channels like the iBookstore℠, there are still stigmas associated with self-publishing industry that cast doubt upon everything from the authors’ abilities to their credibility.

“There are a lot of myths when it comes to self-publishing books,” explains Sarah Gilbert, director of sales at Lulu (, a self-publishing company. “They come from the years of vanity presses who would often charge authors an arm and a leg to publish their works, but that model is outdated and companies like Lulu now exist solely to help authors publish with no upfront cost and give them the freedom to share their voice.”
Here are 5 common myths surrounding self publishing books:
  1. They won’t make money. Not everyone is out to make a mint. In fact, some are content just making a coffee table book for their grandma. Having said that, there are plenty of people who have capitalized on self-publishing books. All over the world there are examples such as Goh Koon Hoek, author of e-Start Your Web Store with Zen Cart, who have sold thousands of copies of their works and made well in excess of $200,000.
  2. It takes too long. With new eBook and better print-on-demand technologies, authors today are able to publish a work in about 15 minutes. Direct-live status for retail channels like the iBookstore even enable an author to reach literally millions of new readers instantly with a few clicks of a button. All an author needs is a PDF or a Word doc.
  3. They lose credibility. Self-published authors are often just as credible as those that traditionally published. Some examples of self-published authors include Benjamin Franklin, Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield, and John Grisham. Each of these people, as well as many other self published authors, are deemed credible. What’s more interesting is many traditionally published authors today, like bestselling political author Kevin Powell, and New York Times Notable author, Stephen Stark are making the switch to self-publishing because of the greater control they have over their works.
  4. They can’t be a good writer. It is easy to say that someone who chooses self-publishing must not be a good writer and couldn’t get a traditional publishing contract. But the truth is that many have never even tried to go the route of traditional publishing. Only a small percentage of books are selected by traditional publishers each year, leaving many talented writers behind, holding their books. As pointed out above, plenty of good writers have self-published.
  5. People don’t read self-published books. Over 2.5 million self-published titles were sold at in 2011 – many of which appeared on actual retail shelves at the same quality as a traditionally published book. If you ask 10 people who published the last couple of books they read, the vast majority would have no clue. The truth of the matter is, the reader usually doesn’t pay much attention to who published the book. They want to read an interesting book that is well written. Who published it is likely the last thing on their mind.
“Self publishing is going to continue to rise in popularity,” adds Gilbert. “The more people choose it, the more these myths will continue to fade away. Self publishing, whether paper books or eBooks, is an option worth considering for an author, business, publisher, or educator.”

To learn more about Lulu’s self-publishing tools, log onto

About Lulu, founded in 2002, is a company that specializes in independent publishing. The company has 1.1 million creators and has 20,000 titles added to their collection each month. They offer their service for free and authors keep up to 90 percent of the profits when their works sell. Lulu provides anyone with the ability to publish books, eBooks, mini-books, photo books, calendars, cookbooks, and travel books. To learn more, visit the website

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Roxanne Bland's Blackrose Press

Roxanne Bland Bio: A lifelong fan of fantasy and science fiction, Roxanne Bland began her writing career in 2001. Born in Akron, Ohio, she grew up in Washington, D.C. She received her A.B. from Smith College and her J.D. from Tulane University Law School. She currently works as an attorney and lives in the Baltimore, Maryland area, and is the owner of Blackrose Press.

Thank you, Nora, for hosting me today on your blog. I hope someday I can return the favor.

I’ve dreamed of Doing Something Literary with my life since I was a teenager. Back then, the dream took the shape of a bookstore, the kind where you could drop in, drink herbal tea, eat scones, read in big, comfortable, well-loved chairs, and occasionally even buy a book. The inventory changed over the years, but it essentially boiled down to fantasy, science fiction, horror, mysteries and thrillers. In other words, genres that I liked to read.

Little did I know that after decades, my dream would finally come true, albeit with a twist: Instead of a bookstore, I now own a publishing house.

Blackrose Press opened its doors in 2011. I publish speculative fiction and am especially interested in cross-genre works like my current project, The Underground, a paranormal urban fantasy/science fiction blend. I decided to go POD and ebook because given that I don’t have a literary or publishing background, I figured it was a good way to learn some aspects of the business. Not to mention that I don’t have the space to store 1,000 or so books from a normal print run. At present, since I still have my day job, I expect to publish one, maybe two books per year. Though I’m not accepting submissions at this time, I hope to add more authors as Blackrose matures.

There is a saying that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. I see my founding of Blackrose Press as the start of a journey. I’m taking baby steps, and I will make mistakes, but I believe that what I learn will ultimately enrich my life in expected and unexpected ways.

Thanks again, Nora!

Check out Roxanne’s blog “Of Werewolves and Other Strangers."     

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Cat Burned Her Tail On ...

Thankfully, she doesn't smell like singed cat any more, but it will take a bit to grow out.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday Musings #6 - Burnt Cat Smells Horrible

Any cat owner knows a tail is their cat's pride and joy. My almost fourteen year old, Tiggyr, loves her tail. It is a barometer for her health and displeasure; in fact, the only time I have ever seen her stop twitching her tail at me is when she has been severely ill. Her tail is her pen, as it is for most cats, which any cat owner will understand exactly. (I should write I am cat-owned, as we all know who holds the upper paw in a cat friendship.)

Poor Tiggyr burned half of the fur off the underside of her tail on Saturday night. That's when the phrase, "Burnt cat smells horrible," came into being. And now it's stuck in my head and needs to come out in a story, but I'm not sure which one, yet.

Before you read any further, Tiggyr is completely fine. Luckily, she only wounded her vanity and not her catsona, but I'm sure she will tire of my husband and I laughing at her over the next few weeks as her fur grows out. My husband thinks we should shave her tail so we don't have to smell burnt cat, but I think that's adding insult to injury! What lady wants to shave her beautiful hair?

I know how Tiggyr burned her tail, but you don't. So in a sentence or two, what do you think happened to the frisky feline on Saturday night? I'll tell you on Tuesday, but for now, amuse me, my demon hunters and tell me a good tail -- err, tale.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Demon Stole My Pencil Turned One and Won Another Award

Happy bloggiversary to me! I made it through one year of blogging consistently. Thank you my constant readers/demon hunters!

I also got this nifty Versatile Blogger Award from Shar Wharton over at WordsinSync. Shah has a new author blog up and running that you can check out.

Here are the rules:

· Thank and link to the blogger who bestowed the award.

· Share seven random facts about yourself.
· Spread the love by passing the award to five other bloggers.

Seven Random Author Facts
1) I don't have a set writing goal or schedule. I'm crazy like that.
2) I abhor peas.
3) Sometimes I wish I were a cat.
4) Yesterday, I slept over 12 hours resting my sprained ankle and licking my wounded pride. Bad, shower, bad! LOL
5) If I could own a mythological pet, I'd have a gargoyle. They look cool and they would be awesome for protecting my library.
6) The first two years of high school I spent at least three days a week at church or more, which I think had a profound lasting impression on my warped imagination. LOL
7) I truly believe in fairies.
And now to pass along this nifty blog award:

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Between the Covers - Book Review #7

Time for another book installment, folks! I've been reading a bunch on vacation, since I haven't been sleeping well. I have three picks for you.

1) My first pick is The Enchanted Cat by Ellen Dugan. Ms. Dugan has been a practicing hedgewitch for almost twenty years. Her book is user-friendly and written in an entertaining, conversational tone. The Enchanted Cat is specifically tailored to anyone looking to bring a little cat magic into his or her life or to deepen your relationship with your four-footed friends. I found this book practical and enjoyable and look forward to applying some of the spell work in my own home upon returning from vacation. I highly recommend this book to anyone who doesn't like a stuffy witch read, but wants to gain great knowledge.

2) My second pick is Clive Barker's Mister B. Gone. I don't know how this book slipped past me when it came out in 2007, but it did. This is the published memoir of Jakabok Botch, an unlucky demon with no real skills who is captured by human poachers. Mr. B., as his demon friend affectionately nicknames him, chronicles his adventures in our world above. This book is an entertaining read, but I don't find it to be the complex plot I've come to know and love from Mr. Barker, though I still recommend it. Just don't expect it to be a thick read like Imajica or Coldheart Canyon.

3) My last pick is Christopher Moore's Bite Me: A Love Story, a snarcastic novel of teenage Abby Normal with a quirky and lovable cast of vamps and other assorted characters. Chet, the vampire cat of San Francisco, has unleashed a vampire cat posse on the unknowing citizens of San Francisco bay area and Abby Normal and her friends are in a race against time to stop the feline rascals from spreading and rescue their own vampire friends from being hunted by a group of angry vamps. Just as witty and entertaining as always, this book is a must-read for any Moore fan, though it took a few chapters to get into for me. This is because the book is told from multiple characters' P.O.V. and Abby Normal's is an adjustment, since she is very much a product of teenage webspeak angst. LOL

Monday, January 2, 2012

Monday Musings #5 - A Tiny World in A Light Bulb

I got one of these tiny ecosystems from my best friend, Cindy, for Christmas this year. They're made by Twig Terrariums, a Brooklyn based company. Apparently, this was the hot gift craze in NY. Their site says, "Hi, and thanks for visiting Twig Terrariums, where we specialize in easily contained, easily maintained life."

My tiny light bulb terrarium has a hiker in it; I've named her Heidi, since she looks like she can yodel in The Alps.

Hmmm ... As a writer I smell a good story. What do you think? What will you write?

Happy writing and happy reading to everyone! And if you'd like share your story idea or post part of it or link to all of it, please feel free. The more the merrier.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year Goals

Another year is approaching with the dark of midnight and I've been doing some reflecting while not sleeping on vacation.

This is a stream of consciousness writing exercise. Here's what I came up with for New Year goals in ten minutes off the top of my head.

Laugh more. Play hard. Love fiercely. Read like a beast. Watch more sunrises. Celebrate more sunsets. Enjoy being still. Keep moving. Keep writing. Spend more time listening to the rain with my cats curled up beside me. Bring more green into my life. Talk to my plants. Feed the ducks. Lay in bed and daydream on cold winter mornings. Drink more tea. Let my heart speak for me and my head think for me less. Eat more Indian Food. Write like a beast and then eat more Indian food. Repeat. LOL Find the color in every day. Dream big. Wish bigger. Live bigger. Laugh bigger. Be silly. Be spontaneous. Talk with people. Hug often. Turn on music more. Read more nonfiction. Paint. Take pictures. Travel to new places. Move into harmony. Enjoy the water and the beach. Spend less time wishing I had more time. Just be. Just do. Sing. Wink. Skip and hop. Dance. Savor the moonlight. Cast a few spells. Light more candles. Be happy. Be calm. Be creative. Get published. Continue random acts of kindness. Feel free to make mistakes and not care what others think of me. Walk tall and beautiful. Walk The Beauty Way. Talk with my ancestors. Find freedom. Find solace. Find friendship. Find companionship. Keep less secrets. Open my heart to the sound of the birds in the morning. Count how many shades of blue there are in the morning. See people for who they really are. Do not be fooled by illusions. Discover magic. Find fairies. Find enchantment. Breathe. Repeat. Breathe. And repeat. Smile. Be at home in my own skin.

What will you write? I'd love to hear from you.

Wishing you a wonderful new year from The Demon Stole My Pencil,