Saturday, March 23, 2013

Getting Ready for April Challenges

I've decided to bite off a challenge. I might be crazy but it sounded fun. Basically, the challenge is  Blogging From A to Z. You use a letter of the alphabet for each day.

So I am gathering little pieces of trivia, story ideas, book reviews, and anything else I can think of to accomplish this feat. I can't promise each post will be a masterpiece, I hope that there will be something for everyone.

And now I am off to do more research, maybe right a few more words, and try to figure out why this year seems to be flying by at the speed of light. Along with why it is late March and we have freeze warnings in the Deep South along with thunderstorm warnings.

See everyone on April 1st for " 'A' is for April!"

Friday, March 15, 2013

Lucky in Love? That Depends

Lucky in Love? Well, are you? It's a time of luck and wealth...or not. With each romance we find ourselves in a new world of love and memories. Are these just by chance? Is it luck? Welcome to your second annual Lucky in Love Blog Hop where we want to hear about your love, your romance, and how much you love St. Patrick's Day!!! Are you wearing green? Ready to get pinched...or you like that?

Almost 300 bloggers have giveaways and posts about those men we love!

But that's not all....

We have TWO grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!

Now what are those prizes?

1st Grand Prize: A $100 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
2nd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!
Have you ever met a couple who were lucky enough to have found their one true love? Sometimes they are insufferable to be around, always completing each other's sentences and sharing the same clothes (which is weird on a different level all together). But my question has always been: was it luck that brought them together or something else?
For example: Let me introduce Will and Frankie. Raised in two different geographic regions of the country, they met at the theatre in a small college town. Will was tall and handsome, outgoing and talented in music as well as academic subjects. Frankie was quiet and beautiful, smart as a whip and working her way through graduate school.
Two different people there never were. He liked to go out dancing, visiting with friends, being seen. She was more interested in reading at the library or taking long walks through the woods near the campus. But their relationship worked because of their differences.
They complimented each other in the areas they needed it most. She would follow him out into public, letting him take the lead and talk for her. He would go with her to the library and work on his own projects while she indulged in her favorite authors.
After only six months together, they married. Then came children and careers, moves and relocation that covered most of their years until at last all the kids had flown from the nest and it was just the two of them, remembering how it had been all those years ago, dancing to the music only they could remember.
However, happy endings are hard to find, even if you are lucky. First Will fell ill, and they couldn't discover what was wrong. Then he had a stoke, which eventually led to his death, many years too early. That left Frankie alone, with no Prince Charming to share the newspaper with or to go for a walk. But it was OK, because she knew they would be together again soon.
But the years ran away, 5 years then 15 years. Soon it had been 20 years alone, and the loneliness is overwhelming. The saving grace? The failing memory which gifts her with visits from her Will when none of the rest of us can see him.
Are they lucky to have found each other? Absolutely. Was it fair for Will to die young and leave Frankie alone? Well, who ever said life was fair?
So go be lucky, who know what you might find? My parents (whose names have been changed because otherwise I'd be in trouble!) found each other in the middle of nowhere during a war. If it is meant to be... who needs luck?


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Nature of Insecurity

Book Two of the Guardian Stories is submitted, oh happy day! This story has been up and down on my ladder of attention for most of last year. Now all I need is to work my way through my fabulous editor's suggestions and Vivienne will be ready to continue her adventure across the Kingdoms in search of Devon and her enemies.

Becoming a writer has been a dream come true in many ways. Perhaps the most drastic change has been in my relationships with other people. I have never been the most gregarious one in the group. Now as I find myself writing and promoting, I've made friends with other writers around the country. I admire each of them, not just because they are living their dreams and writing, but they all seem so confident about their abilities.

Big confession time here people: I have always been insecure. There are a variety of reasons, some of which are environmental, others are organic. When in college I found out "Speech Class" meant to give one, not just write one, I dropped the class rather than face my fear of public speaking. Even now, giving speeches or being on a question and answer panel requires days of mental preparation.

I used this crippling sense of unworthiness when formulating Vivienne. Born into a man's world, asked to complete a hero's quest, daunting tasks for anyone, much less a woman whose sense of self-worth is crippled and weak. Only as she grows in experience will confidence begin to mature. Much the way I feel as I navigate the oceans of literature.

Identifying with characters is important. If we don't feel their struggles then we cannot adequately tell the story to others. One of the things I insist in all my personal book choices is a good story line. I call it "The Well Told Tale". The characters I spend the most time listening to are the ones with which I feel the most in common. Such as Vivienne.

What other elements are required for a story to grab your attention? I'd love to know what entices other readers. Leave your thoughts and let's start a discussion on elements. Every story needs them, what happens when they don't meet your expectations?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Liebster Award

Thanks you so much to  Mary Montague Sikes of Notes Along the Way on my nomination for a coveted Liebster Award. The Liebster Award is given to bloggers with fewer than 200 followers. It is such an honor just to be nominated. The rules are as follows:

Liebster Award Rules:
1. Thank the blogger who presented you with the Liebster Award, and link back to his or her blog.

2. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator; list 11 random facts about yourself, and create 11 questions for your nominees.

3. Present the Liebster Award to 11 bloggers, who have blogs with 200 followers or less, whom you feel deserve to be noticed. Leave a comment on the blogs letting the owners know they have been chosen. (No tag backs.)

4. Upload the Liebster Award image to your blog.

Eleven random facts about me
1. As a child, my grandmother used to singe my hair instead of cut it because she heard cutting ruins naturally curly hair.
2. I love to travel and would love to have been a globe trotting flight attendant.
3. I'm allergic to penicillin and mangoes.
4. I rode the Mindbender looping roller coaster at Six Flags Over Georgia 54 times without ever getting off.
5. I wrecked my mother's car 8 days before I had a driver's license. She was not amused.
6. I believe our souls life on past our physical death.
7. I've always been shy, which some people have mistaken for being a bitch.
8. My husband and I met at a gas station.
9. I have more books than bookshelves but I can't bear to part with any of them.
10. As a child I wanted to be a jockey.
11. I tend to sometimes be brutally honest, which again people mistake for bitchiness. 

Eleven Answers:
1. Knowing what you know today, what would you choose to be (profession)? Why? I would still be me, it's taken a long time to grow into a person I am comfortable with and get along with, why would I change that?

2. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be? Why? I would live several places: the beach, the mountains, wherever the mood takes me. The world is a constant adventure.

3. Would you rather visit the mountains or the sea? Why? Both. Each moves my soul in different ways.

4. Tell about your favorite dinner. Deep fried lobster with a hollandaise type sauce at Chops Lobster Bar in downtown Atlanta. Best. Lobster. Anywhere.

5. What part of your home most inspires you?  My family. No matter where they are, they are who I get out of bed for on a daily basis.
6. Do you like to read fiction or non-fiction? Both, it just depends on the subject.

7. What is your favorite book? I re-read "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy whenever I feel blue. I also re-read Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" whenever our fabulous government pisses me off.

8. Did you have a favorite subject in school? History. It fascinates me.

9. How many vacations would you like to take each year? Where? I would make my life a vacation if I could. In reality we take two, one in each of our off-seasons at work. In the summer we usually go to the beach and the winter always depends on the weather. Sometimes we ski, sometimes we visit family in warmer climates.

10. Do you prefer to fly or to drive? Fly, but I do love a good scenic car ride.

11. Are you an extrovert or an introvert? I am an introvert whose life and job have forced her to become an extrovert. 

Eleven New Questions for New Nominees:
1. What inspired you to start blogging?
2. Where do you spend most of your time when writing, developing the story or editing?
3. What childhood memory brings the biggest smile to your face?
4. If you were given three wishes, what would they be? Why?
5. Where is your favorite place to vacation? Why?
6. What are you most afraid of?
7. If you could redo one thing in your past, what would it be?
8. What is your favorite classic movie?
9. Where is the strangest place you ever found yourself?
10. If you could have one night with any person in the world, who would it be? Why?
11. Short hair or long hair?

I'm checking out blogs and gradually adding to make my list of 11. If you have time, I hope you will accept and follow the instructions for the award. I'll keep track of my growing list here, so check back often: