Monday, May 25, 2015

Hosting the Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh: Writing Influences

Please welcome my guest, Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh! 

Writing Influences – Space Opera

Science fiction (and fantasy) have always been big influences on me, from movies to show to superhero comics to books.

I tend to lean more towards the space opera side. It’s more action and adventure, sometimes with a bit of western thrown in. (Think Firefly/Serenity.) It’s less about the science and more about the characters and storyline. I’ve discovered that even people who don’t normally care for science fiction tend to enjoy space opera.

What influenced me to try my hand at space opera? Since Tyrean wanted to know my top five space opera influences, here are the movies/shows that captured my imagination as a kid:

Battlestar Galactica
Star Wars
Buck Rogers
Star Blazers
Star Trek

I’m also a big fan of trivia! Below are quotes from the above movies/shows. Can you match them up?

1 - Pilot: A message from the Gamilon ship, sir: "Earth fleet, we advise you to surrender now." What shall I tell them?

Captain: Tell them they're idiots!

Pilot: What?

Captain: I said - idiots!

Pilot: This is the Earth flagship 225. Our answer: idiots! Over.


2 - Well, I'm scheduled for execution and if I miss it I could be in a lot of trouble.

3 - I changed the conditions of the test; got a commendation for original thinking. I don't like to lose.

4 - Lt: Just keep it up, old buddy, you're going to get us into real trouble.
Lt: Ten thousand light years from nowhere, our planet shot to pieces, people starving, and *I'm* gonna get us in trouble?

5 - Look, Your Worshipfulness, let's get one thing straight. I take orders from just one person: me.

Answers at the bottom!

Were you influenced by space opera? What were some of the movies/shows/books that influenced you as a kid?

Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design, graphics, and technical editing. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. He’s the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm.


Available now!
Dragon of the Stars
By Alex J. Cavanaugh
Science Fiction – Space Opera/Adventure/Military
Print ISBN 9781939844064 EBook ISBN 9781939844057
What Are the Kargrandes? http://whatarethekargrandes.com/

The ship of legends…
The future is set for Lt. Commander Aden Pendar, poised to secure his own command and marriage to the queen’s daughter. But when the Alliance declares war on their world, Aden finds his plans in disarray and told he won’t make captain. One chance remains–the Dragon. Lost many years prior, the legendary ship’s unique weapon is Hyrath’s only hope. Can Aden find the Dragon, save his people, and prove he’s capable of commanding his own ship?

Purchase:
Amazon  
Kobo 

Answers:
1 – Star Blazers
2 – Buck Rogers
3 – Star Trek (The Wrath of Khan)
4 – Battlestar Galactica
5 – Star Wars

How’d you do?

Tyrean: I actually had the last one! :) 

In addition to hosting the rockin' Ninja Captain Alex, I just want to take a moment and highlight a new book by Nick Wilford:


Have you picked up copies of Dragon of the Stars and A Change of Mind and Other Stories yet?

What's influenced your writing?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things in a Huge List

"When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home."

Time away from my blog has given me some time to write, reflect on content, and write more. I am thankful for that.

From now on, I'll post 2-4 times a month, but I'm going on a writing journey, attempting to finish the daunting set of projects that I've set before me.

However, this may mean that my posts get a little long.

One thing that I noticed in this long list of celebrations is that this is a season of change in my life. You'll see what I mean.


1. Watching Avengers: Age of Ultron! :) 

2. We finished classes for our homeschool co-operative for the year. Last papers are graded, plus high school and middle school students' grades have all been sent out.
Last lunch at our Homeschool Co-op 
(Note the girl in the hat in the center - my rebel daughter, wearing a hat which is against the "rules" on her last day ever at co-op. She's headed off to community college for her junior and senior year.)

3. We had a formal celebration of 8th grade graduation at our co-op this last month. Parents get to talk about their kids before handing them a certificate, and my husband did "the" speech for our youngest and did a great job! And, although I know this isn't a face front picture, I really like this pic my older daughter took of her sister's graduating class - nine boys, four girls, and my daughter is wearing the pink bow dress with a purse over her shoulder. 
(Wearing a bright pink bow in the middle of conservative gray, white, and black - yep, that's my kid.)


4. The home-school formal dance at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium with the theme: Under the Sea Masquerade. As usual, no one in my family took anything other than odd blurry pics of the event itself. However, we did get a few "before" pictures:
Friends getting ready together.

Tying the tie
The formal four . . . (they met two other friends at the dance)

Only current 9th graders and up were allowed to attend this year so my youngest and I stayed home, got rid of a bunch of old home-school stuff, and watched a movie.

5. Time for reflection.

6. Planning some tiny content changes on my blog. 

7. I'm celebrating first lines (or paragraphs) from books that I enjoy, and turning it into a bit of trivia. Anyone know what book the quote up top is from?
Hint: YA from the 60s made into a movie in the 80s
Answer coming next Friday

8. And, I'm celebrating the 17 athletes from the Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Racing Team who made it onto Team USA for two different international competitions: Junior Worlds and Olympic Hopes.  Here's a short article about them: 17 Athletes Qualify. And no, my kids aren't going international . . . yet. (my youngest has hopes) 

9. And, I'm celebrating Ziggy Norberg, a para-canoeist from our team with an article in a local magazine:
Unbreakable Spirit article link - definitely worth a read!
BTW - para-canoe is the term used for para-athletes who kayak or who paddle outriggers because on the international circuit both kayaking and canoeing are just called canoeing.


10. And, M Pax has a new book out! If you haven't started her Backworlds series, the first one is free! But, here's number six!!!!
Available in ebook from:
iBook or main iBook
Kobo 
*
In the far future, humanity settles the stars, bioengineering its descendants to survive in a harsh universe. This is the sixth book in the science fiction series, The Backworlds. A space opera adventure.
The Backworlds hang by a Quantum string, a thread about to snap. Annihilation is coming if Craze can’t stop it.
The genocidal alien he had trapped breaks free, destroying a ship belonging to the Backworlds’ oldest enemy, the Fo’wo’s. The murderous alien wants to overtake the galaxy. The Fo’wo’s want another war.
The Backworlds’ best chance to survive is to overcome a century of hate and forge an alliance with the Fo’wo’s. Because of his history with the alien, Craze is recruited to represent his people. Now he’s the most hated man in the galaxy.
The looming war will be a holocaust unless Craze can stop it, knowing salvation comes at a price.




What are you celebrating this week? 


Next week: Alex J. Cavanaugh will be here Monday for a guest post!
And, I'll have a little something on Nick Wilford's new book.


And, on Friday, I'll post the answer to the quote trivia.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

IWSG, A to Z Reflection, and Celebrations!


“We’ve all had this experience . . . It’s Saturday night. You and your friends have decided to see a movie.” 
from Save the Cat by Blake Snyder






Triple Post

A to Z brings out exceptional bloggers from all over the world. The posts, ranging all over the board in topics, are fun, inspirational, and informative to read. I came out of the challenge with a few more words in my vocabulary, some new blog buddies, and a renewed appreciation for blogging, as a whole.

I struggled with the comment - dilemma and time. I couldn't put my life on hold for A to Z. I decided, early on, to visit bloggers and comment on their blogs before I hit "reply" on my own blog. I tried really hard to visit everyone who visited me within a week of their visit. The other side of this dilemma came in my disappointment after I visited several bloggers who never gave a return visit or comment. So, I had the comment-dilemma, both from my own struggle to visit and the disappointment over the lack of return visits. You would think with that large plank in my own eye, I could handle the speck in someone else's, but it bugged me.
And then, I felt guilty about it bugging me.
Sigh.

On the other side of that, I had some awesome blog buddies and new blog buddies who commented all the time! Thank you. And, I had some fun with the Muffin Commando Squad, led by C. Lee. I was blow away by C. Lee's leadership, and the wonderfully supportive Commando Squad: 
Carrie ButlerYvonne VentrescaDonna McDinePatricia LynneTara Tyler, and Tammy Theriault


I really enjoyed my theme this year, celebrating other bloggers and authors. I hope others did, too.

More, Recent Celebrations:

Cherie Reich released Once Upon a Nightmare last month, and her book blog tour is coming in June!


Milo James Fowler has a novel coming out in installments at Every Day Fiction: Captain Bartholomew and the Space-Time Displacement Conundrum.


Jay Noel released the third book in his steampunk series: The Iron Warrior!





Nate Wilson is hosting his fifth annual Haiku Contest! $25 Amazon gift cards await as prizes, and the deadline is May 7th!!! (Go, right now, to his blog!)


and, Misha Gericke has some awesome news . . . that I don't want to spoil too early. Go, check out her blog!!!




And, what does this have to do with Saturday night?

Well, Saturday night (or Friday) always represents (for me) a night with friends or family, hanging out comfortably, looking for the next story to share . . . in a movie, or a conversation, or a book that we've all read.


So, are you ready to hang out with some awesome IWSG friends on a Wednesday that feels like a Saturday night?

Bonus: if you were going to go to a movie on Saturday night, what would it be?




As we head into the summer months, I'm going to be outside or hunkered down over a few writing projects. So, I'll be posting a blog schedule of upcoming posts at the beginning of each month.

Upcoming May posts: Celebrate the Small Things (only on the 22nd), Guest Post from Alex J. Cavanaugh on the 25th, and Do You Have Goals on the 29th. 


Ongoing Freebies:

"The Bridge Snap" - a flash of sweet romance and photography. Kindle Nook Kobo 
"Seedling" - a super-powered, coming-of-age flash. Kindle Nook Kobo Smashwords 
Ashes Burn Season One: Ashes Away - part 1 of an experimental, micro-epic-fantasy series following the lives of Wend, Teresa, and King Bryant. Kindle Nook Kobo Smashwords


And, if you haven't already, please sign up for my new newsletter on the right of the blog! 













Thursday, April 30, 2015

A to Z: Z end and Blogaversary Giveaways!

A to Z is here! And, we have reached the finish line! It's time to party! Celebrate! Enjoy!

I've part of the Muffin Commando Squad! C. Lee Mckenzie (leader extraordinaire), Carrie ButlerYvonne VentrescaDonna McDinePatricia LynneTara Tyler, andTammy Theriault. Love these ladies!!!

I

My theme has been celebrations! All month long, I've celebrated authors and bloggers who have inspired me with their determination, spunk, and style.

Today's Z author: Zan Marie is a sweet, Christian blogger who writes poetry, prose, and fiction. Enjoy the shade of the cherry tree at her blog. :)
And, check out her latest book, An Easter Walk



And now, it's time to celebrate my blogaversary and the end of A to Z 2015 with short "versary" post and a Giveaway!


I started my blog in 2009 (I can't believe it's been that long!) without any knowledge of what I was doing. I didn't research. I didn't know about following or visiting other blogs. I knew nothing. 
But, I took the plunge anyway. 
I didn't have many followers for a while. 
My posts read like some doubt-filled, half-crazed writer's journal with bouts of faith and Bible study. 

This is the whole entirety of my first post
Blogging and using facebook are new to me.  I hope that I can explore my writing and create a space is encouraging to writers, Christians, friends and family online.

I'm actually amazed that I had a mission statement. 

And, it's still true to today:

I hope to explore my writing and create a space that is encouraging to others.


Somehow, I have followers. I think it's because I learned to visit other bloggers and make comments. :)

Thank you for sharing this journey with me!
I appreciate your comments, your e-mails, your kind words, and your wonderful encouragement.


And now, for the prizes/giveaways:

1. Free Eye Candy for Everyone! It's even calorie free! :)


2. Real Chocolate (Hershey's Milk Chocolate) for the first three continental US visitors with comments and e-mail addresses in the comment boxes. 

3. A first page critique for visitor #10 (with comment and e-mail address).

4. Free E-Book Copies of Champion in the Darkness with this Smashwords Coupon which is good only through May 2nd. 
Coupon Code: RZ33N


5. My usual freebies:
"The Bridge Snap" - a flash of sweet romance and photography. Kindle Nook Kobo Smashwords

"Seedling" - a super-powered, coming-of-age flash. Kindle Nook Kobo Smashwords 

Ashes Burn Season One: Ashes Away - part 1 of an experimental, micro-fiction series following the lives of three characters in a fantasy setting. Kindle Nook Kobo Smashwords


Happy A to Z Finish!

Celebrate the Small Things: I kind of went for the super-sized celebration a day early! :)

What are you celebrating today?

See you for IWSG on May 6th!









Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A to Z: Y Celebrations


I'm part of the Muffin Commando Squad! C. Lee Mckenzie (leader extraordinaire), Carrie ButlerYvonne VentrescaDonna McDinePatricia LynneTara Tyler, andTammy Theriault.

My theme is celebrations! All month long, I'll be celebrating authors and bloggers who have inspired me with their determination, spunk, and style. At the end of the month, I'll have a blogaversary celebration with giveaways . . . 

Today, I'm celebrating:

Lynda Young, an animator, writer, and blogger based in Sidney, Australia who specializes in writing tips and writing posts. She writes speculative short fiction, encouraging and helpful non-fiction, and novels for young adults. I highly recommend checking out her blog, or finding one of her short stories in one of the following collections: Make Believe, and Short and Twisted.