Beauty of Fear-Trailer

Friday, October 30, 2015

Ready, set, NaNoWriMo!

So much has gone on since my last post that I don't know where to start.

For one, I've learned oh so much since my last post.  I had the opportunity to finally attend a Florida Writer's Conference and I have to say except for a minor glitch here or there, am very happy that I did. While it is one of the pricier conferences out there, you definitely get what you pay for. I already have next year's event on my calendar. October 20-23, 2016

I've had the opportunity since my last post to conduct a writing seminar at the Orlando Central Library called Write that Novel and I've participated in a NaNoWriMo panel hosted by Writer's Atelier.

It's been a busy month. I'm working on a thriller anthology with several authors I met at the Indie Bookfest this past summer and I'm working on finishing up a couple of writing projects.

What does this mean for you?  Well, are you planning to participate in the National Novel Writing Month Madness? If not, why?  This is a wonderful opportunity to apply butt to chair and get your words on paper or computer screen.  Set your target goal on the site and go for it!  It doesn't matter if you are in Florida or anywhere else. There are groups you can touch base with or you can join friends digitally by becoming buddies on the site and prompt each other to meet your goals.  NaNoWriMo is a wonderful opportunity to jumpstart your writing again.  Have you stalled? Are you scared? No time? Nonsense!! Ignore the squirrels that scamper in your line of sight and WRITE THAT NOVEL!

I will attempt a blog post at least once a week during this month, wish me luck!

By the way, I'll be your buddy, my name on NaNoWriMo site is Honorcpt.

See you at the end.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Brazen Book Tour

Another Novel Read: Once again I've had the honor of reviewing a book written by an author whose works captured my imagination and I'm sure will capture yours.

Today we’re celebrating the release of BRAZEN by Christina Farley! BRAZEN is the third and final book in the Gilded series about a sixteen-year old girl who must use her martial art skills and wits to save her family, friends, and country from an evil Korean god.

To learn more about this series, visit the Gilded Series websiteWatch GILDED's book trailer here!

Be sure to pick up the letter for this stop at the end of this post to earn extra points in the Kindle Fire or $50 Amazon gift card giveaway! Collect all the letters during the blog tour to spell out the secret message to earn more points.

About the Book:

Find it: Amazon | B&N | Goodreads | Indie

My Review:

I met Christina Farley during LIBCON in Orlando's Central Library this past year and was intrigued by the premise of her series so, being an avid reader, I just 'had' to buy it. I wasn't disappointed. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of not buying the second one so I bought it later that day for kindle and by the end of the weekend (span of two days folks) I was jonesing for the third installment, this installment, Brazen.

I was one of the privileged few who received an ARC in exchange for an honest review which I am more than happy to give. In the words of the little neighbor child in Disney's The Incredibles, "That was totally wicked!!" Yep, there it is, my review.

No really, Ms. Farley has created in Jae not just a character, but a person, with all their doubts, frailties, and strengths.  The decisions are real even as she tries desperately to resolve the myth that she is an integral part of and restore peace. Jae, like the reader, has experienced joy and loss and she takes you with her through her journey. You discover truths as she does and boy does it take you through the ringer. Trust, betrayal, hope, fear, love, all are present in this book. With some series, there is a disconnect in continuity from one book to another but there is no such thing here. If you've read Silvern, the second in the series, you have an idea of where it will pick up but it will still surprise you in a pleasant way. This is one book you definitely want to pick up, but here's a tip, reader to reader. You can read it as a stand alone, but as soon as you start, you're going to go "what?" "Why did that just happen?"  Save yourself the trouble. Buy Brazen, but get Gilded and Silvern too, you won't regret it.

About the Author:

CHRISTINA FARLEY is the author of the Gilded series, a YA contemporary fantasy series set in Korea. GILDED was nominated for Korea's 2014 Morning Calm, Ohio's 2015 Buckeye award, and the Tome’s It List. As a child, she loved to explore, which later inspired her to jump on a plane and travel the world. Christina's adventures sparked her to write stories, infusing the real world with fantasy. Currently she writes from home in Clermont, FL with her husband and two sons—that is until the travel itch whisks her off to a new unknown.

Find Christina Here:

The Giveaway:

Rafflecopter link

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To celebrate the release of BRAZEN, Christina is giving away a Kindle Fire (US only) and a $50 Amazon gift card (international). The letter for this stop is _R__Collect all the letters from the blog tour to earn more points!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Geneva Project: Lies-Book Review and Excerpt...well worth the wait!

Have a look for yourself!
Any one who knows me at all knows that I LOVE to read.  I am voracious and when I find a good series I will tell everyone about it. I will send the info in an email, post it on my blog, tweet it, heck I'll write it on a piece of scrap paper if it will help someone look the book up and join me in the world the author created. The Geneva Project Series is one of 'those' books. I am excited to say that this is definitely a Novel Read and one that everyone will enjoy!

Christina Benjamin, author of The Geneva Project Series has just released the third installment in the series-Lies. The first two, Truth and Secrets set the stage for this continuing saga.

Here is an excerpt from Lies:

After another sleepless night, filled with the same dreams of fire engulfing my friends and Kai standing over their lifeless bodies, I decided to skip breakfast and go to the infirmary. In my restlessness, I must have torn open the cut on my hand and awoke to blood smeared all over my white bed linens. I stripped my bed and put on fresh sheets, before heading to the infirmary. I was disappointed in myself for protesting against stitches initially. If I hadn’t been so terrified of needles, I’d be enjoying a delicious meal instead of another dreadful encounter with the white coats. I pushed open the door to the infirmary and plastered a fake smile on my face.
Good morning.

The white coat woman didn’t look that surprised to see me again.

“I thought you’d be back,” she said. “You want those stitches after all?”
I nodded and fought the urge to run. I could already feel the clammy sweat breaking out on the back of my neck. I swallowed back the bile rising in my throat at the mere thought of a needle sewing together my flesh.
“Come with me.”
“Professor, she’s back.”
“Excellent,” Professor Kobel replied, letting a smug smirk spread across his thin lips.
“Why are you still standing here?” he asked the white coat woman.
“I was wondering if it was safe to continue with our treatment plan. I’ve already given her three doses this week.”
“Yes! Keep giving her the potion. I need to gain access to her mind.”
“Yes, Professor.”
When I left the infirmary, I was white as a ghost and my knees were shaking, but I had seven solid stitches and was assured that my hand would heal properly. At least the injection the white coat woman had given me dulled the pain a bit.
When I pushed my way out into the hall, I was surprised to see Kai waiting for me.
“Geneva! Are you all right? I came as soon as I heard.”
“You heard I was in the infirmary already? Man, the rumor mill works fast here.”
“Well I was worried about you after the way you ran off yesterday.”
“Yeah, sorry about that.”
“It’s fine. Did you get your books? I left them outside your bunkroom.”
“Yes, thank you, Kai. I’m sorry I flaked out yesterday. I haven’t been feeling like myself lately.”
“That’s why I came straight here to find you when I heard you were in the infirmary again. I was in my father’s office when he got the message you were there.”
“What, is he checking up on me or something?” I asked with nervous laughter.
“No, not at all. He was alerted by the Orbiture.” My blank stare prompted him to continue.
“It’s how he’s able to keep track of everything at the Troian Academy. The cuffs we all wear monitor our electrodermal activity and are linked to the Orbiture so he can see where each student is.”
“That’s really creepy,” I said before I could stop myself. “No, it’s not. It’s for your own protection.”
“Protection from what?”
“Say you’re hurt, like you are, it shows up on the Orbiture and someone can come help you in case you’re too injured to help yourself. Or say you were to get lost in the Academy or something, it’ll help you be located.”
This was good. Kai was feeding me information about how these stupid bracelets worked. I took the opportunity to pump him for more.
“Well I guess that is a relief,” I said changing my tune and trying to sound convincing. “So we can be tracked anywhere in the Troian Center, I mean Academy?”
“Yes. As long as you’re wearing your cuff, the Orbiture can see you anywhere within the grounds.”
“What if we leave the grounds?”
“Go beyond the fence?” he asked in shock. “Why would you want to do that?”
“Oh, I wouldn’t. I was just curious. I mean what if someone kidnapped me or something?”
“Are you worried that might happen, Geneva?” he asked with genuine concern.
“Maybe,” I lied. “I met some dangerous people in the forest.”
“We won’t let anything happen to you. My father wants to protect you.”
“He said that?”
“Yes, he even asked me to spend extra time with you and your friends to show you around the Academy and make you feel welcome and safe.”
I continued to look at him skeptically. “Come on. I want to show you something.”
I hurried after Kai. Two Luxors halted us as we entered the courtyard, but upon recognizing Kai, let us pass under the

archway, onto the stone floor baked by the bright midday sun. It felt amazing to have the sun on my skin once more. Even though the Troian Center was now opulent and bright, I still felt claustrophobic spending so much time indoors after having lived among the Betos in the forest for so long. I hadn’t realized it until I was outside, drinking in the sweet aromatic fresh air, like it was the first time I’d actually taken a breath since entering the stone structure.
Two more Luxors stood by the opening in the courtyard that led out to the manicured gardens. I hadn’t been back here since our brutal attack. I shuddered as I looked at the hibiscus blooms. They were the last things I’d seen before the heavy nets were cast over us and my whole world changed.
“Kai, where are we going?” I asked looking at their menacing weapons.
“I want to show you something.”
The Luxors never moved. They held their heavy lances still as we passed them, their gazed fixed forward, like we didn’t even exist.
“Kai,” I whispered.
“Here we are,” he said finally halting.
We were standing in the middle of a beautiful garden. There were stunning hibiscus bushes nestled among tall cypress trees, swaying in the gentle ocean breeze. Kai picked up a pebble from one of the gurgling fountains. He felt the weight of it in his hand for a moment and then took me by surprise by throwing it at the black iron fence that loomed up behind the trees. It sailed high and arced on a path meant to clear the fence, but as soon as it passed over it, a flash of red light exploded and the pebble disappeared.
“See. You have nothing to be afraid of. Nothing can get past the fence, in or out. You’re safe,” he said with a bright smile.
I swallowed hard and tried to choke back my panic. I returned a weak grin, but I felt like a cornered animal, suddenly realizing we’d wandered into a trap. 

Well? Too much?  Not enough?  
I was honored to be able to receive an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review and that's exactly what I did.  

REVIEW: Christina Benjamin's third Geneva Project installment-Lies, picks up immediately where Secrets lets off and boy is it one heck of a ride.  I love to read and am sometimes fearful of starting a series but I feel so vested in the outcome that Lies just helped propel me into Eva's world.  You can feel the pain that the lies cause, the truth, the secrets. You feel for these young people as they try desperately to make sense of their lives and face the frailty of their futures. I don't know where Ms Benjamin will ultimately take us but I have a non-refundable ticket to this series that I definitely want to cash in on. I have taken it upon myself to recommend this series to everyone I come across and hope to make more Geneva Project converts.  Well worth the read and definitely well worth the wait. 

So, what are you waiting for??

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Indie Bookfest 2015 and other assorted oddities...

So this past weekend I attended Indie Bookfest 2015 here in Orlando and I have to say that it was beyond amazing.  It was my first author related conference (probation and victim conferences don't count) and I was privileged to participate on two separate panels, one on Writing Intrigue and another on Diversity in Writing. To say that I was nervous is an understatement.  I spent a significant amount of time in the restroom before each panel thanks to the state of my nerves, but it went well.  I think...

Anyway, the biggest thing about this weekend was getting the opportunity to meet so many talented authors, bloggers, and readers. I was on cloud 9 part of the time and the rest of the time I was just trying to absorb everything around me.  I will never remember the names of everyone I met but I am dead on with faces. I actually got to meet a writer with whom I share a friend. We were introduced on FB and it was great to finally meet her.
The other panels that I attended ran the gamut from what readers want to read, to smexy writing (yes that's smut and sex), how to write for sci-fi or fantasy and the strong female character. In a nutshell, it is a must for any writer going the indie route and even those not since it gives you insight into the other side of publishing. You know, the side that is slowing but surely achieving the heights of traditionally published writers.

I for one will be attending this event next year for sure and hope to be much better prepared. 

The highlight for me though had to be when the Keynote Speaker Jana Oliver sought me out to buy my book, Beauty of Fear. To quote George Takei, "Oh myyy...."

But seriously, this event and the people there have re-energized this humble bard. Not only will I be there next year with two other books, I have started a group called Thrill of the Hunt on Facebook for a few authors who are interested in working on a Thriller Anthology.  Working for a holiday release I expect this experience to be as amazing as Bookfest.

Below is the site if you are interested in perusing.  I for one am looking forward to other conferences that I can participate in or at least attend.  I placed myself behind the 8 ball in my writing endeavors, but no more.  

In the words of Salma Hayek "I will not allow myself to whine about anything I didn't make an effort to change."

By the way, I will be updating, revamping and changing my website shortly so keep an eye out.



Sunday, June 28, 2015

Goals and LIBCON 2015

So yesterday was a very full and satisfying day for me.  Yesterday I was privileged to attend the final  Belt test for our Black Belt candidates.

I was happy to see how many students were taking the test and how hard they worked to get there, but I was in for an unexpected surprise. While greeting families and their students at the door I was approached by father who asked if I remembered him.  Now, I'm terrible with names but great with faces, so yes, I recognized him but I couldn't place him.  Turns out, he remembered me as his son Henry's first instructor in Virginia. It suddenly clicked.  I knew who they were and who Henry was.  He proceeded to tell me that Henry never forgot the words I told him and the rest of my white belt class. "A Black Belt is just a White Belt who never quit."
I was blown away to say the least.  When I saw Henry he looked exactly the same just a little taller.  Dad also told me that he had the first board that Henry ever broke with me hanging up in his bar. Now that tickled me.

When the testing was over, they asked if I would take a picture with Henry which of course I agreed to but was then surprised again, when Dad pulled out Henry's first board for him to hold.  There was the picture I had drawn on it to help him focus on his break. Wow...

I sometimes question my decision to become a martial arts instructor, but in that moment it was all so worth it.
So, fast-forward.  This all began at 7:00am  by noon, we were done and I raced downtown to attend LIBCON 2015 OCLS at the Orlando Public Library. 

There were panels and authors and books galore.  As a writer and of course avid reader, I admit, I was drooling. Anyway, I digress. I missed the Keynote talk by Rick Yancey which I was a bit miffed about but I was still at the Black Belt test, sigh... Enough lamenting, I ended up attending 3 panels and learned so much.  A shout out to the YAChicks their presentation was great and I've included a link to their site so that others can benefit from their wisdom and whimsy.

The Writer Panel:So you want to write a book, was quite insightful since on the panel was a writer who also happened to be an agent, with The Knight Agency, Ms Diver was quite gracious and when I met her downstairs to buy her book, Bad Blood, we spoke briefly and I asked if she accepted unsolicited queries. She gave me her card and suggested I check out the website which I was definitely excited to do and then as she is signing my book she asks the question: "So, what is your book about?" I froze, I realized I had worked on my little schpiel for my other works but hadn't done any practicing on this one, so, I stuttered and rambled and left her shaking my head thinking about what an idiot I am. D'oh!

I continued walking around looking at the various books and came upon one of the YAChicks, Christina Farley. She recognized me and we spoke and I told her what had just happened.  She laughed but was very supportive, telling me a story of her own.  Made me feel better.  I bought her first book, GILDED which I was going to purchase anyway (come on, the main character is a black belt) and thanked her.

On to the YA Highway reader panel which was also a good source for writers and readers alike. They spoke about what inspires, moves and motivates a story as well as how important the readers are in comparison to the story's protagonist. These folks were welcoming and knowledgeable.  As a writer just trying to break into the YA market I realized I did need to read a bit more, much more (though my family would say I read to much)

I finally wrapped up my day and headed home to rest (hurt my leg at testing), to read, and to write.  Well, I did the first two but not the last one. I started reading Gilded and couldn't put it down. I finished it a couple of hours later.  I've already started Bad Blood and am enjoying the differences in them. I've now ordered Farley's second title Silvern and can't wait to read that as well.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that the day was an inspiration to me as I hope it was to other authors and readers who attended. Your local library will usually have similar events for readers and writers alike, take advantage of them.
As for me, I'm actually presenting a little thing called getting your Black Belt in Writing on July 15th at the Central Library. You can see all of the OCLS Writer Programs for July here: Writer's Corner-July 2015

I will also be a signing author at Indie Bookfest 2015, gulp...If you're in the area, come check it out it should be a wonderful reader and writer event.

As always, thanks for reading.

L.E Perez

Friday, June 19, 2015

Black Belt in Writing-Part 3

I started this topic more than a year ago, with my last blog in this series on February 1, 2014. Wow, it's been quite a while hasn't it?  But that makes sense when you think about it because earning a black belt takes time and whole lot of patience. So, just for a bit of review, let's check out our belt ranks again, shall we?

White Belt= ideas bouncing around your head, what to do, what to do...
Yellow Belt=a notebook!  write those ideas down girl or guy...
Orange Belt= These ideas are all over the place but at least they are in one book...
Green Belt=We have a theme! Now to get these ideas sorted...
Purple Belt=I have the meat, but where are the potatoes?
Blue Belt=Slicing and dicing...these characters are starting to seem real...
Red Belt=Backstory?  What the heck is backstory?
Brown Belt=It has a flow!  It actually makes sense as I read it...
Brown/Black or Red/Black=Review, edit,, edit, read...
Black Belt=ready to publish!  Self pub or not, either way you are ready...SUBMIT!
Higher Black Belt Degrees=ALL OF THE ABOVE, all the time...(King, Rowling, Patterson, Cornwell, you get the idea)

Remember, the different belt levels are as I perceive them and are of course open to interpretation. 

So what do you do when you feel stuck in a given level? Do you try another direction, a different idea? 
There are ideals in martial arts that are pretty much universal. One ideal that speaks to the heart of any writer is the ideal of PERSEVERANCE. 

As writers, learn to live that word. We push on through the writer's block, through the mistakenly deleted files, through the crashed hard drive, through the dog eating your notebook. We overcome and persevere because the story lives inside you. 
Granted, as a Beginner-you might lose it a bit when something like that happens to you. I know I did. I lost four of the most emotional, angst ridden pages I had ever written. I thought I was going to lose it. Yup, the person I got miffed with would probably say that I did but I say nah...

I rewrote and worked in the feeling of loss I was personally feeling in that moment and guess what, it worked.

As an Intermediate level writer (based on the belt ranks again), it still hurts when something like that happens, but you deal with it better. You've learned perseverance. You work that newly found strength into your writing. Your protagonist has a strength you didn't know they had.  Your antagonist, a significant chink in their armor.  Every time you persevere your writing gets better.

So as an Intermediate belt, how are you feeling about your work? Are you happy with it? Does it speak to you, or do you suddenly realize that what you are currently writing is infinitely better written than what you initially wrote as a beginner.

Just as with Martial Arts, we practice the same things over and over which just makes us better.  That ugly kick you had as a yellow belt is positively magical as a blue belt. Imagine what you can do with it when you're a black belt. 

So what am I trying to say with all this? Just this: effort = results
The more you work at it the better you become and at each writing level you expand your knowledge and hone your craft just that much more.

As I said previously, when you go from practicing lets say Karate to practicing Jujitsu, you start as a white belt again.  You may progress through the ranks more quickly than before but you still start from the beginning.  Now using the jujitsu analogy is an interesting one.  They generally have less belts though they do offer progress stripes as you unlock/master the next level in your training.  The same is true with writing.  The idea of writing is the same, but a different genre?  How do you go from pure romance to science fiction, or from paranormal to crime drama?  By going back to the beginning.

My suggestion/advice. Read, write, ask questions, listen to conversations, eavesdrop on arguments, research the science you are writing about, outline and flesh out the world you are creating. Leave no stone unturned, just remember though that with each new novel, short story, novelette or poem, you're back to white belt again.

Keep in mind that it is entirely possible and probable that you will be an orange belt while writing your mystery novel and a red belt writing your short story.  Try to keep them straight and remember that writing is very much a juggling act as ideas fight to get written and acted upon by you the writer.
Yep, that's me.  L.E.Perez

Friday, June 12, 2015

Where has the year gone?

If you are anything like me, you woke up the other day and realized, "OMG! Half the year is gone...never to return...(can you hear the violins?) Yeah, okay so maybe you weren't that dramatic but it did suddenly hit you didn't it?

So, what were your plans for 2015.  I had tons and I'm almost afraid to read back through my posts because I've probably fallen short in some areas, but who hasn't?  Hakuna Matata, that's right folks, no worries, all this means is that there is still half a year to go!  So much to do, so little time...

Have you started writing your book? If not, ask yourself why?  Whose permission are you waiting for?

If you have started and you're a bit stuck, like I was, you realize there comes a time when you just have to wallow in the mud a bit, catch your breath, get your bearings and then muscle the heck through!  That's right, don't let that muckety muck hold you back. Just "keep moving forward". (I'm on a Disney kick, bear with me.

Once you've made sure your muse is back from vacay, don't let those thoughts and ideas just sit in your head and heart.  WRITE THEM DOWN! Use your smartphone, your iPad, your laptop, a brown paper bag and pencil, who cares just get those thoughts out before they just "poof!" disappear like so much fairy dust (see, Disney...)

I've written on napkins at a restaurant, on a brown paper bag, on tissue paper, heck even on my hand, just to not lose that idea. Remember it's those ideas that make the best stories, the ones that take on a life of their own if you let them.

And finally, yes, I've dropped the ball on blogging lately but since we are half way through the year I am making my mid year resolution! Post at least once a week. Even if just to say hello. The only thing is I need you all to keep me accountable.  Can you help this poor writer stay on track?  I promise to reciprocate and give you all a kick in the- oops- a gentle nudge in the right direction.

What say you??

As for some general updates, let's see...hmmm....Ooh!

  • I've lost 10 pounds!
  • I'll be giving a presentation at the Orlando Central Library on Wednesday July 15th @ 6:30pm-Topic: Getting your Black Belt in Writing
  • I'll be attending Indie Bookfest from July 31-Aug 2nd @ Orlando's Caribe Royal Hotel along with a bunch of amazing authors. (sooooo nervous)

  • And my goal is to have book one in the Tempus Series and Book two in the Fear series completed before year's end.
Shoot, that's a lot, oh well...



Saturday, April 4, 2015

Easter, Passover and PEACE...

     Sixteen years ago this week, I was blessed to be given the gift of a trip to Rome, Italy by my sister Diana. Now, I have to admit, I knew why I was going.  It was quite simply to be a buffer between her and my mother who was also going. I wasn't about to say no to a free trip so I went.  There were five of us all together, my sister Diana, her husband, Mario, her son little Mario, my mom, and myself.
Top pic-Roman Forum (Mario took pic)/Bottom pic-Me and Mom at Coliseum
It was a trip I will never forget. Being in Rome during Easter Week was amazing and the things we got to see...Vatican City, St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel, the Roman Coliseum, The Roman Forum, Circus Maximus, Trevi Fountain...the list goes on and on.  Mind you, most of our tour was on foot.  That's right, we walked just about everywhere from the little hotel room we stayed at. OMG.  My mother, god bless her was 69 at the time and a hell of a trooper.  My sister and her husband you see ran on friggin energizer batteries and didn't stop much.  I remember one day in particular I believe we were trying to get to the Vatican and my mother and I were both exhausted.  She because of her age and me because I was still recovering from arthroscopic surgery on my knee. It was all forgotten when we came upon Vatican City.  I remember thinking wow, I'm really here.

By the way, it's huge. A huge walled compound in the heart of the city. Amazing really when you think of the irony. The Roman Empire crucified him and now his Church resides in the heart of their city.  Now I know there are folks who will say. "That's not how it is.  That's not true. He didn't really exist, blah, blah, blah."  The truth is, does it matter?  The belief in him exists.  I saw that for myself on the day I was baptized and took my first holy communion.  I saw it when I went to Rome and I see it every day.  Whether the belief is in Jesus, Yehovah, Mohammed, or anyone else the fact is that we as a people, humanity itself, needs to believe.  I choose to believe in my own way.  Do I always go to church? No.  Do I try to commune with my God daily, yes. Today Pope Francis has in his own way renewed my own faith in myself. (My personal message to him-Muchisimas Gracias SeƱor por todo lo que haces para la comunidad humana,no solo los que creen, tambien a los que le falta la fe. Has renovado mi fe en la Iglesia)

This week a large portion of the world's populace is celebrating Passover, others are celebrating Easter. Some folks are just celebrating the fact that they are able to feed their children for another day. They praise, they thank and they worship, whomever and whatever they choose.  Belief, it's what gets us through the day, whether you believe it or not.  I never in a million years would have imagined being able to go to Rome and yet I was there, for almost ten days. Just like for years I wondered if I would ever finish writing a book much less publish it, but I did. 

So, what is this silly little blog all about today? Faith. Belief in yourself. I firmly believe in ideas like, 'ask and ye shall receive' 'the lord helps those who help themselves' 'do or do not, there is no try' (That's right, I used Yoda and the 'Force' in there) Look around. Have you ever wanted to accomplish something but didn't know how to go about it?  Find someone who can help.  They are out there, we are out there.  Pick a brain, pick two, but accomplish what you set out to do and have faith.  If you do that, well heck, I think Peace just comes.
Sight of Caligula's murder (creepy and it was closed off but I just had to go)


Roman Forum

A muuuch younger me at Forum

Bones of the Coliseum

more views

main view

Monday, March 23, 2015

How to catch up with your muse

Have you ever had so many story ideas racing through your head that you wished your mind could just settle on one?  Sometimes if you will it, it will be so.  Then again, sometimes the act of trying to silence a voice makes your muse run off into the night.  Yep, that's what happened to me.  It was to the point that I wanted to pull my hair out because I had a sequel, a new story idea and a sudden new inspiration warring in my head. I was like Batty Koda in Ferngully.
Every tilt of my head sparked a random, thought, idea, or storyline and my Fanfiction work as well.  It was beyond frustrating and then, she ran off.

Who?  My muse of course. Completely deserted me. I felt like I was on an island surrounded by an ocean of ideas but terrified of the water. Everytime I chased a wave my muse laughed at me and ran away with it. I was really starting to hate that bitch. But the muse is fickle.  She would wash ashore and tease me with a somewhat complete thought and then go out with the tide when I reached her.  I had plans, a deadline, a routine damn it!  But nope, she didn't care until one day, she did.

She came back with a vengeance and I'm finding myself unable to keep up but darn it, I'm writing again! #amwriting

So what do you do when your muse runs away? Be patient. Don't fight it and let her come back to you. She will always find her way back and when she does, be ready. For what?  To write of course. I've been writing at all hours. Keep a notebook on you or at least a smartphone so you can jot down notes. Beware of the voice recorder on your phone however. Unless you enunciate precisely with every word, a simple phrase like "it wasn't that she didn't like him," can become "it wasn't that she didn't lick him."  Yup that's right, and when you have dictated a long paragraph and then go back to transcribe you just go "huh?" And spend the next thirty minutes trying to figure out just where you were going with it.

Catching up with your muse? It's kind of like the little twist in Under the Tuscan Sun. When you try to catch ladybugs, you can't.  But if you just lay back and relax under the sun.  They find you.  So just let your muse find you.  Don't push her, don't yell at her, don't get mad at her.  Accept her for what she is, fickle, evasive, and damned inspiring so hold on with both hands when she's there and wait patiently for her to come back when she leaves you. Because as you know, she will leave, but she always come back.

Monday, January 19, 2015

How about a sneak peek?

Yes, I know it's been ages since I posted anything but I've been busy, busy, busy as I'm quite sure you all have. You know, what with the holidays, travel, family visits and the warring muses in my head its a wonder I've gotten anything written. Anyway, I want to keep this brief so here is just a very brief sneak peek into the sequel to Beauty of Fear.

Silence Of Fear

Blanca Morales tripped over a tree root and scrambled to her feet.  She was out of breath but she couldn’t stop or they would find her. She hadn’t meant to see what they’d done. All she wanted was to forget it all, but judging by the sounds she heard behind her she wasn’t going to get that chance. Today was supposed to be a nice quiet day. The plan was to get a quick run in after work and then meet her boyfriend for dinner, not this, never this. 

Bursting through the bushes on the edge of the park she looked around frantically for her car. The parking lot was practically empty, the only car besides hers was the truck the men had brought the girl in. Fumbling with her keys she tried to get to it before they did. She got as far as the door before she heard laughter behind her.

“Donde crees que vas?”

“I’m not…I’m not going anywhere, I…I won’t say anything, please.” Blanca’s voice quavered at the sight of the machete in the smaller man’s hand. There was no mistaking the blood on the blade. “I was just out for a run, really.” She had seen them during her first loop with a young girl who couldn't have been more than sixteen. She hadn’t given them a second thought until she heard them in the bushes when she had looped around again. Curiosity had gotten the better of her and what she saw them doing to the girl had made her gasp loud enough to be heard.  All she could do was run.

“Say anything about what?” The taller of the two men ran a hand along her face. He laughed out loud when she jerked away from him.
“Play nice or we can make this really painful.”

The younger of the two touched her hair and wrapped his hand in it and yanked her head back. Struggling to hold back the whimper that bubbled up she gasped when he brought the machete up and nicked her chin. Teeth clenched she was determined not to give them the satisfaction. 
“What do you say we go play for a little while?” He yanked her back toward him and licked the side of her face, laughing when she tried to squirm away from him.
“Please, I won’t…”
“Please…please…” The taller man mimicked her in a high pitched voice before slapping her across the face. “You shouldn’t have stopped bitch.”
With just a slight tip of his head, the younger man started dragging her back toward the bushes she had come through. She wouldn’t be going home tonight.

See, I've been busy. So, what have you all been up to since last year??