- About Me
- Liftoff/Rayatana Series
- Dark Blade: Forged of Aramatir
- The Champion Trilogy of Aramatir
- Ashes Burn
- Writing Prompt Books
- Collections of Stories and Poems
- Individual Story Publications in Ebook
- Non-fiction Articles and Notable Posts
- Writing Curriculum
- Creative Writing Resources for Tweens and Teens
- Events and Appearances
Friday, May 31, 2013
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Stephen Tremp, Alex J. Cavanaugh, Michael Di Gesu, and L. Diane Wolfe have teamed up for a Blog Hop that focuses on health.
The Objective: Share with everyone something you have done that affected your health in a positive way.
So here are my 3 top tips, followed by a video:
1. Just Dance . . . in other words, just move - no matter how awesome the dance moves are, or anything else for that matter. That's my biggest tip, and the attitude that helps me get moving when I've falling into a sluggish state. Just turn up the music and move . . .
2. Pray before eating. Taking a moment to pray over my food (even snacks) helps me remember to treat this body like a treasure instead of a trash can. (I'm still working on this one, but it definitely makes a difference.)
3. Surround yourself with positive, loving people.
Speaking of which, I happened to know this guy, Dennis Nichols, who recently did a TED talk on healing hearts. He's a heart surgeon, the husband of a beautiful lady-writer named Grace, and the father of eight kids (5 adopted). It's kind of a longish video, about both physical healing (and heart transplants), and spiritual healing (a different kind of heart transplant), but it's definitely worth a watch.
(You might need some tissue though . . . he's a army surgeon who's been deployed in combat zones and he stops mid-talk with tears running down his face)
And if you don't have time to watch it now, bookmark it and watch it later.
And if you just can't make the time, I'll tell you his key note: Love. Love the face in front of you. Love, and make a difference in someone's life.
So, that's my bonus tip: LOVE! (It will keep your heart healthy)
Friday, May 24, 2013
Randi at The Emotional Process of Writing a Novel, is hosting the awesome, encouraging 3 Up! Blog Hop! Each blogger visits another blogger and gives them 3 Ups, or writes a 3 Ups post in their honor, or writes an e-mail, or all three . . .
So, I just want to present to you:
Sydney Aaliyah! Now I admit, even though I follow Sydney, I realized I needed to get to know her better/stalk her blog to give her the best 3 Ups that I could. So here's what I've discovered anew about Sydney:
1. She sets goals, and gets them done. She's written novels, short stories, articles, and movie reviews. She's putting foundations under all her dreams, and it's pretty exciting to read her posts, and check out her Bucket Lists. Seriously, this lady has climbed the Wall of China and participated in a half-marathon! Wow! She rocks! She's also eaten some amazing food at world-renowned restaurants and traveled to amazing places.
2. She has great taste in movies! I loved her choices for the recent Best and Worst Remakes Blogfest. Total Recall rocks, and I love her reasons for choosing it - it made her want to write scifi and do world-building. She also is a great movie quoter. I love movie quotes, but I can never remember them "just right" in conversations or posts, so I have to say, wow! Great memory, great quotes! (And loved her post on Iron Man 3)
3. Her blog has a great theme: "Happiness, Passion, Love, & Faith." It's a fun place to hang out. I highly recommend you visit her!
My parents are healthy and well! (This is actually a huge celebration)
They embarked on an adventurous planned out two month road trip on Tuesday on a motorcycle with a sidecar. They planned to take a long slow drive on back roads to Arkansas to a "Sidecar Rally" but after just three days, they were in an accident. When they called last night, I seemed to just focus on that word - accident. I had to call them back later and talk to them again, because I really lost any sense of the conversation after that word. It was a word that I feared - knowing their ages (75 and 72) and some of their health issues - I had been nervous about them taking this trip - but at the same time glad that they were fiercely living life to the fullest.
The accident, thankfully, took place at fairly low speeds, and they both stayed on the bike (this is the benefit of the motorcycle with the sidecar - more stability), and the medics who arrived on the scene checked them over and decided that they didn't need to visit the hospital. My dad's wrist is sprained, but other than that and the bent up front wheel of the bike, they are ok. They will be coming home, in a rental car or Uhaul truck, early next week. They plan on selling their motorcycle, and their motor scooters. However, this last part is a bit bittersweet for me. I'm glad, and I'm sad at the same time. I don't want them to lose their adventurous spirit.
Here is a few pics of them from last Tuesday when they took off:
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Whether it's the funny best friend or that goofy kid next door,
we want to know what secondary characters
you just couldn't get enough of and why.
are cohosting and were all generous enough offer critiques as prizes!
These ladies are brilliant, wonderful critiquers.
Rachel is also planning on giving away a three chapter critique along with an ebook
of Secondary Characters,
which releases on May 28th. Cassie Mae and Kelley Lynn will also pick a winner to get either an ebook of Reasons I Fell for the Funny Fat Friend, or a signed copy of Fraction of Stone.
Favorite Secondary Characters:
Valentine and Graff in Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. Valentine gives us insight into Ender's family and world politics, and that helps make the decisions made by Ender all the more meaningful. Also, Graff is a great secondary character and we get most of him just through small quotes at the beginning of chapters.
Sam in LOTR. He's loyal, heroic, faithful, and all he really wants is to go home and have a good meal.
Luna Lovegood and Neville in the Harry Potter series.
Wash from Firefly.
Sulu from Star Trek.
Monday, May 20, 2013
Friday, May 17, 2013
When Hollywood runs out of ideas, they remake older films. Sometimes this works, and sometimes it fails miserably.
List the best remake you’ve ever seen and the worst.
Added bonus – list the worst and/or best song remake you’ve ever heard!
Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law. Out of all the Sherlock movies ever made, this is my favorite. Robert Downey, Jr. captures the arrogance and the cleverness of Holmes in a thoroughly enjoyable way.
If we are just looking at old movie versus new movie, and not looking at the myriad of different takes on a similar character (Sherlock), then I would have to say the new Total Recall is a cool remake of the older movie.
I'm going to go a different direction with this one . . . I had a tough time thinking of just movies here.
I loved the Nickelodeon show, Avatar: The Last Airbender. It was fun, clever, had great character development, and a redemption theme with one of the villains. In short, it was just awesome, and my family and I have watched it over and over again.
If you don't know why Nimoy is singing about Bilbo Baggins, check this hilariously bad video out.
Have a great week! Hope you have small things or big things to celebrate! And tell me, what's the best, or worst remake ever?
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
I've been reading a couple of writing books simultaneously, On Writing by Stephen King, and the Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Creativity by Julia Cameron, and I have to wonder why I didn't read them both sooner. They are wonderful gems, and I love them both for their honesty and pointed advice. They are very different, and yet, both great books. This isn't really a review, just a momentary gush.
A few quotes the many that I like from them:
On writing what you know and love, Stephen King says this: "Be brave. Map the enemy's positions, come back, tell us all you know. And remember that plumbers in space is not such a bad set up for a story."
On filling the well of creativity, Julia Cameron says this: "Our focused attention is critical to filling the well. We need to encounter life experiences, not ignore them."
I also think that paying attention to the world, or even the blogworld, can help us find prompts for our creativity, so I just want to highlight a few creativity inspiring fests.
Misha Gericke is hosting a Word Master Challenge . . . it's definitely inspiration for creativity, so go check it out.
Also, this Friday, Alex J. Cavanaugh is hosting the Best and Worst Movie Remakes Fest along with Stephen Tremp, Livia Peterson, and Al Diaz.. . . and I know sometimes I find that thinking over movie making gets my own creative ideas going. You know those thoughts that you might have when leaving a movie theater, "I didn't like the way the director did _____. If I was directing the movie, I would have _____." So join in, have fun, and maybe we'll all get more creative! (or just have fun!)
Also, Julie Luek is hosting Writing Through the Seasons, a four part series on writing through the seasons of life. I highly recommend checking it out. This week, Jennie Bennet shared what it takes to make a writing dream come true.
What do you do to fill the creativity well? Have you read Stephen King's On Writing, or Julia Cameron's the Artist's Way? Signed up for the Word Master Challenge, the Best and Worst Movie Remakes Blogfest, or read some of Writing Through the Seasons?
Monday, May 13, 2013
Wasn't that back in January?
Well, I like to re-make my goals at least three times a year: January 1st, Spring/School Ending, Back-to-School/September.
So, this spring/summer, my writing goals are:
1. Finish revisions on Champion in Flight by the end of August.
2. Publish Dragonfold and Adventures in Writing sometime in June. (Any title suggestions are welcome . . .)
3. Write 3 morning pages daily, creatively, with no worries.
4. Write a new short story or poem or article each week. (or all 3 if I'm super ambitious)
5. Keep reading good writing books . . .
My health goals are:
1. Remember my thyroid medication each and every single day, preferably in the morning before breakfast when I'm supposed to take it.
2. Exercise daily, meaning: Cardio and Strength Combo - 3 days a week, Fun Fitness - 3 days a week (biking with family, dancing, fencing, etc), and Stretching - 1 day a week (well, every day but with one day devoted to that)
3. Measure portions of my food. (I can't stand calorie counting, but I think I can handle using measuring cups, etc)
1. Have fun with family!
3. Enjoy the outdoors.
4. Large amounts of yard-work, berry picking, and jam making.
Do you make or re-make goals at different times of the year?
Friday, May 10, 2013
Ooh, I get to answer this one too? There are so many cool inventions that it's hard just to pick one. At the moment my instant hot water heater that got my tea water ready in less than two minutes sounds good . . .but in reality, I think that the awesome innovations being done in robotics and prosthetics are seriously cool.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
I'm setting up a writer's workshop night at my church, and my life is so crazy busy I can't decide on the best date . . . and my writing time has dwindled lately.
So I need to just write.
I think that's just where I'm at today, as an Indie writer . . . I need to write. Nothing else will do.
What about you? Where are you at today?
Sunday, May 5, 2013
I'm a reflective mood these days, not just from A to Z, although I'll focus mainly on that.
Today, I feel like that last word on the badge "SURVIVOR" - I came into A to Z this year, excited, sure, and ready to go. By the end, due to personal life stuff and the nature of the challenge, I felt like I barely survived.
I wanted to visit more, comment more, be a better blogger buddy. It was tough.
And yet, I still feel blessed to have been a part of the challenge. Not only did this amazing, talented blogger Michael Di Gesu honor me with a guest post on J - Joker's Wild Day, but I also found a whole batch of new-to-me, talented bloggers to follow and befriend.
I enjoyed so many of the posts, but I'm going to highlight a few of my favorite themes here: Michael Di Gesu creatively introduced us to 26 books and authors, Alex J. Cavanaugh intertwined favorite movie characters with talented bloggers and his favorite music, Michelle-in-Transit had us guessing definitions of words, Mark Means unearthed a variety of lesser known comic book heroes, Misha Gericke's writing and faith posts at her two blogs made me think and laugh, and Father Dragon had me laughing every day, and I needed that laughter. I also love the eclectic posts that were slices of life, the travel blogs that expanded my horizons, and the faith based blogs that helped me gain a little more perspective in the midst of a tough April. I also appreciated Diane's tips on marketing in little slices throughout the month.
For all the challengers, and for all the hosts, and for all the minions, I just want to say:
BTW - it's Sunday, but this is my Monday post . . . I decided not to wait, but just put it up.
Oh, and scarily enough, I have some ideas for next year's challenge . . .
Friday, May 3, 2013
By Laurel Garver, author of Muddy-Fingered Midnights
(Yes it does!)
(I love Laurel's thought that "truth is beautiful, no matter where you find it.")
(I completely agree, Laurel!)
Thank you for bringing some poetry to my day, Laurel!
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Today is the National Day of Prayer, a time to entrust all our cares and worries about our lives and our nation to the Lord, and to do so together in prayer.
I'm thankful to be a part of a group of churches in our community who are taking part in a 24/7 prayer vigil starting this morning at 12a.m. and going through May 19th (The Global Day of Prayer) at midnight. My church's day is May 6th, but I'll be focused on prayer throughout that time.
We are called to "pray without ceasing," but what does that mean, really?
I usually pray when I wake, and before every meal, and with my kids at bedtime, and then by myself before I go to sleep, and then, you know there are those "Lord, help me," kind of prayers throughout the day, that are more like whining than prayer, and the few "Praise God" moments when I'm thankful.
But what does it really mean, to pray without ceasing, or to pray continually?
What do you think? And what are you praying about today?
1Thessalonians 5:16-18 (KJV)
16 Rejoice evermore.
17 Pray without ceasing.
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
or in the NIV translation
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Scripture for today from Bible Gateway
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. 1 John 5:14-15 NIV
A simple prayer for the moment:
Lord, mighty, awesome God, savior, friend, and lover of my soul, teach me to pray. Amen.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
This month, I'm weary. Overwhelmed.
This is not about the A to Z challenge, it's about life and writing and blogging and teaching and housecleaning and yard work and homeschooling and writing and blogging and life and . . . everything just seeming to pile up.
Or, it's the fact that my thyroid levels are low. I have hypothyroidism with Hashimoto's Disease and a goiter. Most of the time the symptoms are under control with medication, but lately they don't seem to be and a recent blood test confirmed that my levels are low. The problem is, I seem to be forgetful about taking my medicine, which is driving me nuts. I have one of those pill holders now like the one my grandma used to have. . .you know the ones where each day of the week has its own container.
The problem is, I'm not sure which it is: just too much craziness in life, or the thyroid thing.
Either way, I'm just weary. With 8 hours of sleep behind me, I still feel like I could easily retreat under the covers of my bed this morning.
And insecurity, well defying it is taking some serious effort these last few days. Yesterday, I almost wanted to sit down in the middle of a walking trail that seemed all uphill, and just give in to the feeling that I would never, ever have enough energy to make it up that hill, or finish revising my second book, or get all the things done that seem to be piling up.
However, I did climb the hill, and I did write, and I did homeschool my kids yesterday, and I did grade papers, and I did get up this morning, write, and make a mammoth list of things to do, which I then broke into reasonable chunks.
I will continue to defy insecurity.
And I will continue to defy weariness. (as well as figure out if this is a thyroid thing, or something else with another blood test and doc app scheduled in a few weeks)
I didn't want to write a whiny, kicking my feet type post this month, but I'm laying it all out there like raw road rash.
How are you doing this month? Are you defying insecurity? Are you walking about with a spring in your step?