Blog Archives

>BOLO: Be On The Lookout – For These Fantastic Tales!!!!!


I made a new lol. You like it? *cheesy grin*

Well, lolcats may have minions to do all their proofreading and editing and revising, but the rest of us don’t. For a lot of us, just getting a basic rough draft completed is a miraculous cause for celebration.

At this point in my writing, I have one rough draft in surgery, and another in the birthing room. Whew! No wonder I’m dizzy and absent minded lately :))

I feel fortunate to have many of you as blogging friends because I learn from you. You inspire me because you don’t give up. Your determination in the face of countless rejections, your faith in what you’re creating, and, mostly, your openness about the whole journey – is what keeps me going. You provide stepping stones, handholds, and candles to light up the dark and murky places.

Where am I going with this? Right here. Many of you have announced upcoming releases of your books and short stories. Others of you have announced that particular books or stories have generated great interest and that the outlook is promising. And I know of at least one sequel in the works that’s going to be a definite ‘must have’ for me… without further ado, here is a list you may be interested in – in no particular order:

Theresa Milstein of Substitute Teacher’s Saga has two short stories being published. ‘Daisy’ will be published in the anthology 100 Stories for Queensland. ‘Allured’ will be published in a YA anthology entitled Fangtales, a Wyvern publication. You can read all about it here.

In addition to his wonderful Bear With Two Shadows (now available as an e-book), Roland Yeomans of Writing in the Crosshairs, has also e-published Rites of Passage – the first recorded adventure of the amazing Samuel McCord….
….as well as Adrift in the Time Stream, the second book chronicling Sam McCord’s adventures. All three of these books are available for purchase at For more information, click here. Be sure to check out the awesome book trailer on Roland’s blog!

Elliot Grace of So close, but….. is just about to announce the official release date of his long awaited book, South of Charm. The young man in this picture is his son, reading the promised first copy. Get more details here.

Simon Kewin of Spellmaking received some very exciting news – a publisher is seriously interested in his novel, Hedge Witch. He is currently making some suggested edits and we all hope to hear good news soon. Click here to read an excerpt.

Aubrey Dionne of Flutey Words has just signed a contract with Entangled Publishing. Her space opera series, The Star Odyssey – a three book deal! Read about it here.

Nicole Zoltack of Where Fantasy and Love Take Flight just announced the May 1st release of Champion of Valor, the third book in her Kingdom of Arnhem trilogy. She is currently organizing a blog tour with prizes at each stop. Read here for more details.

 Alex J. Cavanaugh has sent his as yet untitled sequel to CassaStar to his crit partners. The next installment takes place 20 years after we first meet Byron, our hero. I’m told that Byron will meet his match on an alien planet – a woman! Alex hopes to have the sequel to his publisher by the end of June, so let’s all keep our fingers crossed! For more info about CassaStar, and to watch the incredible book trailer, click here!

Talli Roland is following up her delightful debut, The Hating Game,with Watching Willow Watts. As with her first release, Watts will be available on Kindle a few months before the paperback release in November. To get a glimpse of the upcoming mayhem, click here.

E. Elle at The Writer’s Funhouse is hosting a unique and fun blog contest. Here are the rules (copied and pasted):

So, here are the rules for A Song in the Words:
1) Be a follower of the Writer’s Funhouse.  You know how to do this.  Just click that follow button over on the left.  Come on, you know you want to.
2) Pick a song.  Any song.  Seriously, any song in the whole wide world.
3) Write a scene in 750 words or less, inspired by the song you chose.
4) Email the title of your song (along with the artist) and your scene to me atthewritersfunhouse(at)yahoo(dot)com by 6:00 PM Eastern time on Wednesday, May 18, 2011.  If the song you chose is kind of obscure, please provide a link to a place where I can hear it (i.e. YouTube or MySpace [is MySpace still around?]).  If attaching the file, please attach as a .doc, not .docx.  I still operate with Word 2003, lame-o that I am.
That’s it!  It’s that easy!  I’ll take a few days to read the entries, then announce the winner on Wednesday, May 25, right here at the Funhouse.  The winner receives a $30 gift card to Barnes & Noble.  Wouldn’t you like a $30 gift card to Barnes & Noble?  I would like a $30 gift card to Barnes & Noble.
Any and all promotion would be appreciated.  So feel free to grab the button and post it on your blog.  The more entries, the greater the competition, the sweeter the victory. 
What are you waiting for?  Dig into your playlist, get your writing groove on, and enter!

Alex J. Cavanaugh is hosting a fun blogfest, too. Again, here are the rules, copied and pasted:

It’s All Fun & Games Blogfest, June 6, 2011 – list your three most favorite games and why. Board games, card games, RPG, video games, physical games, drinking games – even mind games! If it’s a game you enjoy playing, it’s worth sharing.

Well, that’s all the news I have time for right now. I hope you all have had a great week. Just as an update, I do feel much better. Thank you for all your well wishes!!!

And for the hopeful releases, let’s all keep our fingers crossed!!! Much congratulations to all the e-book releases and paper/hardback releases, GO WRITERS!!!

Lydia Kang from The Word is My Oyster is co-hosting this blogfest. Copied and pasted rules right here:

Rules are pretty lax. This is fun, after all!
1. Post a joke that pokes fun at yourself, or writing, or your job (including parenting, of course!), or anything personal. Or if that’s too much work, any joke that you think is funny will do.

The point is to laugh a little. And the posts ought to be quick and fun, so you can hop from post to post and lower your stress level a little.

Because let’s face it. Laughter is good for you and has very few side effects (aside from shooting out food particles from your nose or spraying coffee at your computer screen).

All I can say is, you’ve been warned. πŸ˜‰




Hahahaha, no. I’m NOT pole dancing. Although I could probably make a considerable amount of $$$ from people paying me to stop, lol!!!

Ahem. Friends, I’ve come to a difficult decision. Do you believe in signs? I do. Eventually.

For all kinds of reasons, I believe it’s time for me to put up or shut up with my writing. My nano novel has been gathering dust since the first of December. My first, and favorite wip, is struggling to be born.

In the fall, I will have to sharply curtail my blogging and any writing I’m doing because of the class I’ll (hopefully) be taking. I’ve heard everyone say it’s pretty intense. But it’s science. I like science, so I’m optimistic.

All that said, I’ve decided that I need to really really for real, focus on my writing. It’s hard for me to quit something. Like this challenge, for example. But I have to. My goal is to have two completed rough drafts before classes start in August. Rough drafts that can be sent out for critiquing.

And I really believe this is the right decision because today, I re-wrote the beginning of the nano novel, and it’s pretty good. At least according to some of my co-workers. And they’re passionate readers. And as I was preparing dinner, another kink worked itself out with the first wip.

I feel that to keep the writing on the back burner would be a mistake. I’d miss this opening window.

I hope all of you will understand. I’ll be around on the weekends. Some. It’s pretty impossible for me to stay completely away.

So, that’s basically it for now. Until Saturday or Sunday. Take care, have fun, look for me when you least expect it πŸ™‚



Oh, my friends! It’s been a FRUSTRATING few days!

1. Situation at work that I can’t talk about, but makes me want to claw the skin off my face. Yep, it’s that FRUSTRATING.

Not anything to do with Director/Assistant Director/Evangeline/Co-Workers…..

2. Allergies giving me grief.

3. Lack of sleep.

4. The Biggie: registering for a stupid class. I need one stinking class to get my stinking Assoc. Degree in Early Childhood Edu. One! Last fall, I tried to get into it and I couldn’t. Before, students needing only one class to graduate were let into a class that was full, or they were allowed to take it by internet/telecourse. Not anymore. Nope, you gotta stand in line for HOURS (literally) to get a chance at a ticket. Seriously?!!!!

Well, that’s just ridiculous. Not only could I not miss that kind of work for a CHANCE, but shuffling people around to maintain ratios for such a ludicrous thing is impractical, difficult, and just out of the question.

I tried tonight to register for fall online. Because I wasn’t in the spring semester, it wouldn’t let me. I’ve contacted a former English teacher who said she’d try to help tomorrow. I also sent an email to the lady in charge of part of the registration process, another former teacher. Hopefully, between the two of them, I will get into this class.

If not, I. Am. Calling. It. Quits. I cannot communicate how much I loathe, despise, abhor and detest school anymore. Largely because of the way everything has changed. Before long, we’ll need a BA to teach in daycare!

So, because of these things, and many more I’m not bothering to mention, I’m taking a few days off. Sorry new followers! Sorry fellow A to Z’ers! Sorry bloggy friends! I just can’t focus right now……I just want to stomp, scream, and punch something…..(btw: I’ve always thought having a punching bag would be fantastic therapy….I could use one right about now!)

I’ll see all of you Saturday or Sunday. If things go better tomorrow, maybe even Friday!

>C is for CASTLES


I have loved castles since I was a little girl. Reading fantasy and historical fiction for all these years, as well lots of movies, has only strengthened my desire to one day either live in one, or at least spend a few nights in one.

Did you know that there are castles for sale?!! Yep. All over Europe. Here’s a link to some for sale in Ireland. It’s real quick and only twenty pics. You can just scroll down the page and get a peek at some of the inside rooms. Hurry, do it!!!

If buying a castle is off the menu, but you may be thinking about a trip to Europe, perhaps to Scotland, then you may want to check out this link: It has events, holidays, specials, etc., for locations all over the UK. How cool is that?


I just wanted to get a quick update out here….

There may be a couple days in April when I’ll be late visiting blogs. We have a staff meeting, a fund-raising yard sale, and a couple other work related things going on during the upcoming month. But I will still get around and visit. It just may be a bit faster and perhaps a couple less blogs….

As for this week, a couple things. I can’t seem to kick this darned headache, so I didn’t visit anyone Monday. Plus I had a few errands to run and that put me behind.

And, I’ve been busy scheduling posts. So far, I’m up through ‘J’. I hope to have the awards post up by Wednesday, and I’ll do most of my pre-A to Z visiting then. If I can’t find time to do the awards post, I will save it until the end of the month, or perhaps for a Sunday.

Otherwise, it will be pretty light around here until Friday, when the blogfest kicks off.

How about you? Are you ready? I just read that it’s now at 600+ bloggers participating. W. O. W. That’s pretty awesome!

BTW, my posts are going to be pretty short and relate to things that are in some way favorites of mine. I hope you enjoy them πŸ™‚

>A to Z Challenge – A Couple Questions And Suggestions


Several bloggers have posted tips on how to make the A to Z challenge more efficient.
Some of those tips are:
  • disable word verification
  • use a pop up window for comments
  • keep posts short
  • preschedule posts as much as possible
  • begin going through the list of participants now to see how many bloggers you can realistically visit in one day
And I’m sure there are many, many more that I’ve missed.
Myself, I turned off word verification a month or so ago. And on Saturday, I changed my comment box from embedded to pop up.
I’ve prescheduled a few posts – still need to work on that. And I’ve alloted about 2 to 2.5 hours an evening to visit blogs. It will be a sprint, I can tell you. I also need to work on visiting blogs unfamiliar to me that are on the list. 
Sounds like a lot of work, but hey, many of us did nano last November. It shouldn’t be too bad!
A couple things I’m suggesting/asking:
  1. Let me know if my page is easier to comment on/load. Really!                                                              
  2. Go to settings and enable mobile viewing. I can visit at least 3 or 4 blogs on my Blackberry during my lunch break (it takes a bit to load, my phone is old). However, some blogs I try to visit won’t let me comment….I’m not sure why…..? If you know the answer to this, please let me know.
  3. You may also want to see who you’re allowing to comment. Mine is Registered Users. If there is a better solution, let me know. Do any of you allow anonymous users to comment?
  4. If you would like to use your cell phone and have a limited plan, such as 2 G’s per month or so, William turned me on to this: This will load a blog (or any website)….without the pictures! All you have to do is put in the address you wish to visit. Just be sure to click Hide Images. This should greatly cut down on your monthly allowance usage while also allowing you to visit a few blogs on your phone. Having no pictures to load greatly speeds up the loading process, too.
  5. If you do decide to use your phone and for some reason, you aren’t allowed to comment, don’t forget email. If the link is available, use it to leave your response/comment. ****Bloggers: Make sure your email address is available!!!****
Well, there you have it. A couple simple suggestions and a couple questions. Let me know if this works for you, feedback is always welcome here!
Now, I’m off to schedule a few more posts and this evening, I want to begin going through that giant list πŸ™‚

>Blog Tour: The Bear With Two Shadows – Part 2


Welcome back, everyone. Today, we will continue our interview with the fabulous Roland Yeomans, author of the new book, The Bear With Two Shadows.

Let’s give a warm welcome to our wonderful guest!


Roland, so glad you could join us again today! Now, some of our newest audience members may not be familiar with your current occupation. 

Ladies and gentlemen, Roland is a blood currier. He transports the vital cargo to almost anyplace, works 32 hours a day and is on call 9 days a week. *winks at audience*

Which brings me to my next question.

What is your writing schedule like? Seriously, you do work some crazy hours and are on call an awful lot of the time…..
Well, the ghost of Marlene Dietrich persuades the ghosts of Raymond Chandler, Roger Zelazny, Mark Twain, and William Faulkner to “ghost” write for me.  LOL.  If only!
I carry a pad with me at all times.  If I find a slack time while waiting for a blood hand-off in a rural area, then I use that.  I stay up too late, get up too early, but the writing gets done.
If something is important to you, then you find a way to do it, right?
You’re absolutely right, Roland. You’ve definitely got your priorities in order and it always shows in your stories. 

I’m curious. You blend mythologies from different cultures, seemingly with little effort. Do you have to do research or are you able to just pull all of your mother’s stories from memory?
Many of the tales of Hibbs are from my mother.  Mostly, it is a distillation of my years of reading mythologies, legends, and dreaming them together into one rich tapestry.
When I first started writing, I thought how grand it would be if all my novels would happen in one connected universe.  I shaped it carefully, tailoring the world different mythologies into something that might have actually happened … in Rod Serling’s and Stephen King’s imaginations!
That’s an interesting combination, for sure! Adding reality to mythology makes a story seem so much more relatable and real. 

You know, I grew up listening to stories told by my mom and my grandmother.  Even as a child, I cherished those stories and would sit forever, listening to them, and always beg for more.

Today, we live in a very mobile, disconnected society with families scattered all across the country and even the world.

As a result, the art/tradition of oral history and story telling is fading away and children are growing up without a foundational sense of their history and their heritage.

What impact do you think this is having (or will have) on our society?
A famous city girl of the 1930’s, Anita Loos, the author of GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES, strangely believed as you do.  She wrote :

     “Today there are no fairy tales for us to believe in,
and this is possibly a reason for the universal prevalence of mental crack-up.
     Yes, if we were childish in the past, I wish we could be children once again.” 

That was in the 1930’s how much more starved for spiritual magic are we? 

That’s actually a great quote and your question, and the answer, has the potential to be downright scary. Do you see your book, and other books like it, as having a role, a purpose other than being ‘just’ a great story for children?
Yes, I do.  In fact, I wrote it for a reader to come to love at one age, then to re-read it from one life stage to another, gaining new insight as the reader matures and thinks in new ways.

JK Rowling appeals to adults because she wrote a good story, rich with hidden meaning if you only but look.  Rudyard Kipling in KIM wrote a tale that every reader could enjoy no matter his or her age.  Classics are meant for all ages to enjoy on differing levels.

I set out purposedly to write a classic.  I set the moon as my target.  Why not?

I wanted to tell a tale that would speak to the questions we all ask ourselves in the dark of the night and in the dark of the soul.

I had once been asked by a mother of a dying girl to write a fantasy that would speak to her daughter’s fears of pain and death, while telling a rip-roaring fantasy.

I ended up writing four novels for that young girl as I operated my bookstore.  They were tailored for the girl’s dreams and fears.  But they got to thinking I could do that for a wider audience. 

When a dream murmured to me about Hibbs in my exile caused by Katrina, I decided to take aim at writing a classic, based on my mother’s tales told to calm her fears as well as mine.

If you’re wondering about that young girl I mentioned … some sleeping beauties never awaken.

Wow. It would seem that the tapestry of your life rivals the tales you tell. How wonderful that you’re able to take from all the light and the dark and weave together tales of such beauty and that we can now have one of them for our very own.

Don’t forget, ladies and gentlemen, that The Bear With Two Shadows is for sale on amazon. Remember that you don’t have to have an actual Kindle to purchase it. Amazon offers a free kindle for pc download

Also, Roland is having a contest. There are four amazing books up for grabs and they’re each signed by the author. How cool is that?

For one entry in the drawing, leave a comment. For two, link his book to facebook or twitter. Be sure to email Roland at  For three entries, write a legitimate review on Amazon. 

Now, tomorrow, March 12, Roland will continue his book tour in beautiful, exotic Australia. Sort of. Denise of L’Aussie Writing will be hostess and you won’t want to miss it!

>News, Information, A Head’s Up, And Some Pondering……


Hello friends,

I wanted to share this link with you. Lola Sharp from Sharp Pen/Dull Sword sent me info concerning Lisa Madigan’s son. A trust fund is being set up for him and donations are being accepted. If you would like more information, just click here. I’m sure any amount whatsoever would be greatly appreciated. And please, keep him and his father in your thoughts and prayers.

Also, please remember all the people affected by the earthquake in New Zealand. The devastation is catastrophic…..

Maybe it’s all this sad news (including  the news about Zahra Baker – remember, she lived in my city), but I’ve been in a strange, melancholy funk this evening. The gorgeous weather (I love cold, gray, foggy, rainy days…thrive on them) didn’t help as it usually would. I’ve been thinking a lot about the word ‘legacy’ and all it implies. There’s a blog post coming…..I just have to sort it out.

Do you ever think about the legacy you’re leaving behind?

On a lighter note, tune in Sunday for a special announcement; you won’t want to miss it.

Too, a big, giant shout out to everyone who made the first round of ABNA!!!!!!!! Congratulations!!!!!

This is a strange post, I know. And I haven’t been around to visit. I’ve actually avoided the computer…..yep, my brain-pan is working on something, for sure.

Hope you’ve survived the week intact and relatively sane. Hang in there, Caturday is coming!

>Some Sad News

>Please play this as you read…..

Ah, my bloggy friends, my heart is broken…..

The lovely Lola Sharp left some sad information on my previous post, and I feel I should pass along the news.

I don’t even know how to begin…..

Lisa Madigan, award winning author of The Mermaid’s Mirror, died today. I only ‘met’ her when someone else posted about her diagnosis (stage IV pancreatic cancer) and her last blog post, which you can read here. It’s an amazing post, especially considering everything she was going through mentally, physically, and emotionally at the time. I was so moved by it that when the weekend finally came, I went to B & N and bought their last copy of Mermaid’s Mirror.

I went back occasionally to read the post and prayed that she would be healed, that she’d beat the beast that had invaded her body. I hoped with all my heart that she’d have a chance to write the sequel to M’s M, visit more sunny beaches….have more time with her husband and son (read her post).

I never actually ‘met’ her. But she was a fellow blogger. She was a fellow writer. We’re a part of the same wonderful ‘family,’ the same supportive and incredible community…….and because of that, I feel a sense of loss.

My thoughts and prayers are with her husband and her son…..

And if mermaids are real, a mournful chorus will be heard across the seas tonight……

>Highlights and Sidenotes

>I spent most of yesterday (Saturday) trying to get around to visiting all of you. There are still a few blogs I haven’t made it to, sorry. Working on it. Anyway, while on my trek through blogland, I came across a few things that I wanted to share.

My inspiration for doing this comes from all of you, and especially from Donna Hole. No matter how busy she is, she manages to scour the blogverse and gathers all kinds of important news and goings on, and posts the information in her weekly Flyby’s and Shout Outs posts. Seriously, she does an awesome job and you should always make a point to check her out.

You may have heard the awesome news about Roland. But just in case you’ve been super busy and away from the computer the last few days, (hey, I was gone nearly a month!) Roland has published an e-book. The Bear With Two Shadows is available on kindle at If you don’t have a kindle, like me, you can download a free app to your computer. Hopefully, this is only the beginning of good things to come for him! Congratulations, Roland. We’ve been waiting for this!!!

Michael from In Time……  has been so moved by the responses to his recent posts about earthly angels that he’s decided to do a weekly feature. Earthly Angels will be posted on Fridays and will consist of your comments on his blog. You tell him about someone who has been an earthly angel in the comments section (someone who performed a random act of kindness, for example), and on Friday, he will post the comments as a whole feature. What an inspirational idea! Keep your eyes open and your pens ready. Let’s make this an awesome showcase that focuses on the positive in our world!

I found that a couple bloggers are hosting contests and hoping to grow their reader-base/followers. The first one is JC Martin. Not only is she working on her MS, participating in blogfests and weekly memes (including a weekly post that focuses solely on one of her followers!), she’s in the process of getting married and making her own invitations!!!! Wow! The contest runs from March 4 to March 6, and involves writing a short story of no more than 300 words. The story should be about a race-literal, against time, for life, be creative! she says. For more details, click here. If she reaches 200 followers before March 4, there’s an extra mystery prize! (And she already has some really great prizes lined up for the winners!)

Lisa Claro from Writing in the Buff is having a February Blog Contest. Her goal is to reach 100 followers and she’s almost there. There are three great prizes up for grabs (I like all three!) and the rules are simple. The contest will end on February 25th and the winners announced on the 28th. What are you waiting for? Go check out this witty and clever writer and enter – there’s not much time left!

The lovely Hannah Kincaide posted Friday about several fellow bloggers who have been around for a while, but are still struggling to grow their reader base/followers. If you have a few moments, check out her post, Still Fly and Under 25. In Saturday’s whirlwind race through blogland, I managed to visit and follow a few of them. I’m completely surprised they don’t have more followers! The ones I found were funny, informative, and clever. Kudos to you, Hannah, for your blog love. Now, let’s the rest of us show some, too! Please, check out the post and visit them. Maybe mention some of the ‘fests coming up….

Lola Sharp is hosting a Lolapalooza Partay and Giveaway! There are some yummy and terrific prizes up for grabs and all kinds of ways to earn extra entries. It’s all about paying it forward, showing kindness – in blogland, in real-world-land, to each other…..all you have to do is total up your activities and post them in the comments section of her blog. And really, there’s a crazy list of things that will gain you points! Better hurry, though. The contest ends February 28th!

Don’t forget about DL Hammons’ amazing Whodunnit – 600 Follower Mystery/Celebration. There are clues that go with the short story/mystery all over the blogverse. You can take a guess early; you can gather clues/keep or share them, and make a guess; you can wait for the blogroll that lists the clues and guess….there are several ways to get your name in numerous times to win this mystery contest. How cool is this? It’s like a giant, interactive game of CLUE. Are you participating? Have you found any clues? Have you seen the grand prize? Here is the link to the story. Now, get busy!!!! So far, at least five people (the last time I looked) have correctly guessed the answer. So get your hat, your pipe, and maybe a good dog, and go hunting!

Okay, now, it’s time for a change of pace. My blog title isn’t a random thing. I truly love soft, rainy, cloudy, gray days. I think I’d be quite happy living in parts of England. Especially the parts that I see on this website. Tony Richards is a photographer, and he goes walking every day. On his walks, he takes the most amazing photographs. For me, they take me to long ago, and far away. They looks by turns mysterious, ancient, modern, sleepy, sweet…..and I want to visit every place I’ve seen. Can’t you just imagine woodland and fairy creatures meeting on these stairs? I want to buy some ‘wellies’ and go walkabout. Check out his webpage daily. Or, you can click on the link that says This Week On the Cam. Me…I gotta have my daily fix! (photo property of Tony Richards)

Now, I have a bit of a shocker. Maybe not to you, but it certainly was to me. Lately, as you know, I’ve not been well. I am, however, thankfully, on the mend (I’d say I’m at about 90%). I’ve done really pretty well with the low sodium eating. No caffeine whatsoever. And I’m catching up in the blogverse. I’m still behind in other areas, but that’s coming together, too. If you knew me really well, you’d think all that info was the shocker. It’s not. It’s this: I’ve joined the A to Z Challenge.

I wanted to do the Crusade, too, but I simply don’t have the time. And the A to Z, I can work ahead on it to a degree. So, yeah, I’m in. I have until April to prepare, as well as to move some things around. Kind of like Nano. I’m looking forward to it and already have some ideas. If you want to join, Lee from Tossing It Out is the official host. However, because last year’s A to Z was such an overwhelming success, Alex, and Jen, and Talli, are helping with the hosting duties this year. If you want to join, click on any of these blogs and linky up.

I’m going to put a button on the sidebar and see about linking it to one of the hosts. It’s been a while since I was a daily blogger. I think I went on a more relaxed schedule sometime in the summer. It will be good to do it again πŸ™‚

That’s all I have for now. Hope your weekend has been wonderful!

OH!!! WAIT!!! If you didn’t make it by Saturday to pick up your awards, please see the previous post and do so!