Monday, January 30, 2012

A to Z Challenge Sign-Up!!!

Yes, you can!

Sign-up today for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge!

I'm #78! (and I signed up at 6:20am EST!) 

Time it takes...the month of April.
Letters involved...26.
Price you pay...brain cells.
Feeling a sense of accomplishment mixed with the pleasure of meeting new friends...Priceless.

Oh, but you don't have a blog? They're free. You can get one today. 

Oh, but you don't know how to write? Neither do I. Doesn't stop me.

And you don't need to be a writer. You can post pictures, comics or jokes. You can post information about your family or your pets. You can hawk your wares or a friends. You can talk about games, movies or music.

Whatever floats your boat!

If you think it sounds like a fun challenge then you should join in!

Go HERE! Sign-up!

And then... if you're a planner, start planning.

If you're not a planner, well then, just go on about your day and we will see you on April 1st!

Wow. That was exciting. I think I need a nap.

Will you be joining me? In the challenge...not the nap.

Go here to check out my post for Tara Tyler's Auntie Tara's Short Story Prompt for January.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Auntie Tara's Short Story Prompt

Auntie Tara ... aka ... Tara from Tara Tyler Talks has come up with a monthly writing challenge for her blog followers.

I don't know if I can or will participate every month but I gave January a try.

January's prompt: write a short story of 750 words or less including these four words: EVIL, CROWD, HARP, WATERFALL.


“What about a xylophone?” the salesman asked.

“No. That won’t work at all. She played a harp. It needs to be a harp.”

Perhaps he needed me to say the word ‘harp’ in a different language because he didn’t understand me in English. I only stopped in this jewelry store on a whim figuring it would be too small to carry what I was looking for. Now, I was pretty convinced that was the case.

“I see a French horn and a piano but no harp.”

“Thanks for checking for me. I guess I’ll have to head up to the mall,” I said turning towards the front door.

“Wait! Is this a harp?”

I walked to the counter he was hunched behind and tried to make out the pins beneath the grimy glass.

“I do believe that’s a harp. Can you bring it out to show me?”

“Sure. It’s old so be careful.”

“Of course. Sterling Silver. Great condition. Clasp still functions. But, there’s no price tag on it.”

“I can check the book but I think its $100.”

“It’s not encrusted with gems. Just silver. I’ll give you $30."

“It’s antique. $80.”

“It’s been in your store cabinet long enough to develop a layer of dust an inch thick. $40.”

“You’re the one who wants it. $60.”

“I’ll give you that. $50 is my final offer.”

“You’ve got a deal.”

I paid the salesmen and he placed the pin in a small velvet bag before he handed it to me with my receipt. I left the store feeling triumphant. I had the perfect gift for my father’s new wife.

A little silver polish and elbow grease to spruce it up and I could give it to her at her fiftieth birthday party. William, my father, had an elaborate celebration planned for his new love. He had chosen a very special restaurant and booked the Rainforest Room.

He was exceedingly excited when he told me, “Dana, it has an indoor waterfall and live exotic animals behind glass in the same room as the party! She’s going to love it!”

Arriving back at my apartment I gathered the items I would need. Newspaper for the kitchen table, the silver polish, some clean cloths and cotton swabs. After reading the polish instructions I began to carefully clean the pin.

It seemed to warm in my hands as I rubbed the polish around with the cloth. The metal was very beautiful once the coating of dust had been removed. Flipping it over I noticed there were small words printed on the back. I couldn’t make them out and had to find my magnifying glass.

Bain ceol as an saol.

“How the hell do you say that?” I wondered.

I continued working on the pin using the cotton swabs to clean the individual silver strings. All the while my mind was trying to pronounce the strange words.

Pleased with my work I used a new cloth to remove all the excess polish. As I gave it a final swipe the foreign words simply formed on my tongue and I spoke them aloud.

“Bain ceol as an saol."

The kitchen lights flickered above me. The harp pin began to glow softly in my hands. A warm breeze lifted the hair off the back of my neck and the air sizzled with electricity.

I had just a moment to wonder if I was being electrocuted when a thunderous clap sounded from the other room. I dropped the pin and hurried down the hallway. Standing in my bedroom doorway was the most beautiful man ever created.

Tall, broad, built by the gods. Face chiseled from stone. Hair as dark as a winter’s night. Eyes as green as the thickest forest.

Dressed all in black he looked deliciously evil. He wore heavy boots over tight pants. His shirt lay open to reveal a large expanse of golden skin and a single tattoo on his chest of a harp.

“And the crowd goes wild,” I mumbled under my breath.

“My name is Kieran. You’ve called to me, Dana.”

“I did?”


He stepped from the doorway and now stood inches from me. Looking up at him I was giddy. He smelled of the ocean and heat radiated from him giving me goose bumps.

“What did I say?”

“Bain ceol as an saol. It means, reap music from life.”

“That’s beautiful.”

With one more step he had me backed up against the wall. All his hard plains fitting against my soft curves.

“You're beautiful. I’m here for you. Whatever you need or want.”

His mouth captured mine in a soul searing kiss that left me boneless and breathless. As his lips trailed down my neck, setting my whole body on fire, I prayed I would remember to pick up a nice gift card for my step-mother.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Hook, line and...

...I'm such a sucker.

I was on Facebook, minding my own business, when I read a post by Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. 

They mentioned they saw an ad for a book called Truths and Roses from Inglath Cooper and they loved the book description. (I know. That is some author name.)

Here's the description: Will Kincaid. Hot pro-football player. Hannah Jacobs. Reclusive small-town librarian. Ten years. High school was long ago. Wasn't it? 

Not only did the book sound really good but it sounded very familiar.

I clicked on the link for Amazon and the book was only 99 cents. I'm hooked. So, I purchased it. (Sucker!)

Let me say this right up front. The book was ... enjoyable. I didn't love it. I didn't swoon over the romance. In fact, I was disappointed because it was a 'sweet' romance and there was absolutely no sex in the book.

If I had known that there wasn't any sex in the book I wouldn't have bothered to buy it.

I consider that a 'talking/thinking' book not a romance novel. I'm just quirky that way.

Any-hoo. What really hooked me in to the purchase was how close the premise of her book was to my first book.

Replace hot pro-football player and small-town reclusive librarian with rock star and veterinarian and you have my two characters.

Thankfully, the plots differ greatly.

But, I distinctly recall one of my fond rejection letters remarking that they weren't interested in my book because my storyline had already been done.

Of course it had been done. They've all been done. It's all about the characters and what you do with them.

My characters are awesome and they do awesome stuff. But, I may be slightly biased.

Ever buy a book that you couldn't wait to read only to be this disappointed?

Monday, January 23, 2012

And a one, and a two, and a ...

WHAT'S UP????????

Only one post last week? What's with that? That's no way to treat my wonderful blog peeps! 

Here's whats doin'!

Stormy the Weather Gnome has made his triumphant return from the glue farm and reported on the weather all weekend long or at least three times. In case you missed it you can check him (and me) out of Facebook!

Last week was filled with 'paid' work and 'unpaid' work. I did do some editing on Maguire's Corner and I think I made a tiny dent. Let's just say the creative juices have begun to flow and I'm not going to over think it.

Although I should have been editing more, on Sunday I decided to read a book while watching the AFC and NFC Championship games.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Tawna Fenske's book Making Waves. I left my review on Goodreads if you are interested.

But the best news was that the Giants beat the 49ers in OT and are going to the Super Bowl!! Woo and a Hoo! 

As for the other game, I was rooting for the Ravens, mostly because of Ray Rice from Rutger's University, but the Patriots prevailed.

I know what I'm doing on February 5th. SUPER BOWL SUNDAY! How about you?

Sign up for the A to Z Challenge starts in a week! Don't wimp out! With a little pre-planning you can participate and make some great new friends too!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Reporting to you live ... this is Stormy the Weather Gnome.

First, I would like to thank all of you that were asking about me during my convalescence.

The road for my rehabilitation was long and bumpy and even a little rocky and sometimes hilly, but I prevailed and I'm a better gnome for it.

After weeks of bed rest...

...a healthy diet...

...and some really great glue, I am happy to report that I am back on my feet.

I will once again be covering all major or not so major or even just mildly interesting weather related events in the Tri-State area.

You can count on me, Stormy the Weather Gnome.

P.S.: It's currently 18 degrees, clear and sunny, with a chance of snow flurries tonight. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Not coming up for air yet...

Haven't made the amount of progress I was hoping for. I let too many things distract me. Going back under.

How are you guys doing?

Do anything special for Friday the 13th?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

First the Earth cooled...

I've taken the first step.

I printed Maguire's Corner.

On paper.

It's 183 pages.

About 36,000 words.

And only about half complete.

Edits to commence.

I'm going in.

If I'm not back on Friday ... send coffee and chocolate.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Full brain! TILT!

There is so much going on out there in the blogging world!

Too much for my little brain to handle.

Also too much for me to re-write so I will just post the handy links of the two places I saw everything today.

Alex J. Cavanaugh 

Tara Tyler Talks

They have all the latest news on contests and blogfests and giveaways ... oh my!

The only one I'm really probably most likely to possibly think about doing is of course the 2012 A to Z Challenge which happens in April.

It really is a labor of love.

I'm thinking of going with a theme this year. I mostly just wrote by the seat of my pants last year.

I'm debating working with Stormy the Weather Gnome for the challenge. If you are unfamiliar with Stormy please check him out here.

Although, Stormy had a little accident and broke his foot in the fall. Not in a fall but in the fall. He did fall but it was in the fall. And he broke his foot.

So, I guess I will have to do some Gorilla Glue surgery for him if I want to use him in April.

I guess I could also use my cats as a theme. That might get boring after awhile. They actually don't do very much.

Well. I have some time to think about it.

Any of you thinking about it?

Sign up starts at the end of this month! 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Just a little more....

I had dinner out last night.

My husband loves Sushi. Bleh.

My son and I like Chinese food. YEAH!

We go to a great restaurant that serves both.

My son loves sweet & sour chicken. Mostly because they serve the fried chicken pieces and the sauce separately.

Wondering where I'm going with this aren't you.

About three in the morning I was regretting picking off my son's plate.

Holy agida!

I suppose it could have been the giant amount of broccoli I ate.

Either way I was awake.

Still wondering?

About two hours later I was ready to go back to sleep.

And I had a dream about my Maguire's Corner story.

I had a dream about writing.

As far as I'm concerned that is one step away from actual writing.

I haven't even thought of that story in weeks, much to the disappointment of one of my favorite editors.

But I could see it in my head when I woke up and I remembered what I had been dreaming.

It was pretty damn cool! 

That tiny flutter from the other day has turned into more of wobble of excitement.

I'll try just a little more chocolate as an incentive.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Anyone else getting that wobbly feeling lately?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I'm not Insecure...I'm Confidence Challenged!

Is it really January 4th?

Holy Shnikes!

Welcome to today's Insecure Writer's Support Group Post.

Please don't forget to go visit the other WONDERFUL bloggers that participate. You can find them at Alex J. Cavanaugh's Blog. 

Last month we discussed a syndrome known better as W.W.W. or Writers Without Words.

I thought I was the foremost expert but there are quite a few of you out there that openly admit you also suffer from this malady and a few of you even self-diagnosed brand new ailments!

W.O.T.O.T. - Words On Tip Of Tongue

W.W.E. - Writers Without Emotion

W.W.W.S.P. - Writer Who Won't Stop Procrastinating

Now, we are writers united with a cause! If you prick us do we not bleed ink? Where is our ribbon? Where is our celebrity spokesperson?

What was that? All published authors talk about this stuff? Publicly?

We're not alone?

Oh. Well.


Time to get back to work then.

I refuse to let my blank brain win. I was lucky enough to have some time to read a little over the holiday and I think I may have felt a little flutter of interest from my Muse.

Although I received a wonderful offer of a Ninja Ass Kicking for my Muse I think I may try to coax them out with some treats. Maybe a little more reading. Maybe a little chocolate.

If that doesn't work I might just have to outright dare the damn thing to come out. Dare threats still work, right?

How about you guys? Are you challenging your writer self?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Do you hear that?

You don't? 

Are you sure?

It's the sound of the holidays being over!

Can you hear it now?


It's so quiet.

No more lists. No more menus. No more shopping. No more holiday music. No more decorating. No more wrapping. No more eating...hopefully. ;)

I haven't had a chance to un-decorate, and actually this week is going to be rather busy with actual work, but that's OK. I can take down a tree in half the time it goes up.

Let's all rejoice.

And......moving on.

Thank you for all the support. I sure as HELL better get my Muse back on track or there will be HELL to pay!

How are you guys? What do you have planned for January?