New Children’s Zoo Will Be First Major Expansion

As some of you know, My family and I are working on a picture book that will, hopefully, become a series of picture books featuring Leonard the Lemur. I have also made mention that after almost a decade of searching for the right ‘home base’ for Leonard, I had finally found the perfect park that I would be proud to link our names with (And they already have a Lemur named Leonard…PERFECTION!).
Well welcome to that park! Tanganyika has loving and attentive keepers, happy employees, and beautiful animals who are obviously well cared for and happy with their home. Give them a look, go check their wish lists on Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/?ie=UTF8&cid=A3J0TWIVT1P6AH) visit Kansas on your next trip, and show them some love! These guys deserve it!

TWP BLOG

At Tanganyika’s annual benefit event, the Twilight Tour, Assistant Director Matt Fouts shared his vision for Tanganyika’s future. Fouts wowed the audience with illustrations of future attractions, new exhibits, and current exhibits reimagined.

 Tanganyika has always been on the cutting edge of animal interaction and inventive exhibits with current exhibits including Lemur Island, and pygmy hippo and rhino feeding Stations. Fouts’ presentation showed that Tanganyika will once again reach for new and brilliant heights in animal encounters. Fouts showed plans for an expanded Children’s Zoo area with an otter exhibit, a meerkat exhibit integrated into a gemstone mining experience, a new education building, an expanded playground, and multiple water features including a splash park.

 “We firmly believe in strengthening the connection between people and animals, especially children,” said Fouts. “That is why it was clear to us to build an incredibly interactive Children’s Zoo.  We have been visiting zoos across…

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Looking for Suggestions

Ladies and Gentlemen I am here to ask for your help, your advice…your suggestions. You see, I’ve decided to at least one Video blog (vlog) post a week IF I can come up with enough topics to cover. Right now I have maybe 3 video ideas…2 of them are me reading from my own books or my Dad’s books, and one is an interview with Dad about his work and what he’s trying to do with his writing. I think they’re great but….

That’s where you all come in! Do you have any topics you think I should cover? Any questions to ask me? Any vague ideas about a video I could do?? Lay it on me! I am open for ideas! If you think your idea may be better as a written topic…well I need some of those too! Just let me know what you think and I’ll give it a whirl.

I’m looking forward to hearing all of your marvelously wonderful ideas…and all the rest of them too! While you guys are off thinking them up, I’ll be over here watching Kids Netflix with my Monkey and working on crossing things off this forever to do list. ToDoist.com (great place by the way) keeps sending me e-mails reminding me that I have over due goals 😐

This week I’m going to finish up a month long freelance contract (hopefully get another one!), work with the Monkey on getting used to her Chore Chart, put the picture book all together and ready for action, finish the 1st/2nd drafts of Dragons in the Deep, finish organizing the bedroom/sewing room/sitting room space, and hopefully make you guys a smashing video! What are you up to?

On a side note – I’ve been on SnapChat for less than 24 hours now and I’m already sick of seeing my own face. This app sounds fun, and is for a minute or two, but then it isn’t anymore. I don’t know, maybe my selfie game just isn’t strong enough. :/

I hope to talk to you guys soon, I’m off to catch some gold doubloons! Have a great week!

Have

Author Interview: Wendi L. Wilson

Hello and welcome to another installment of Author Interview Fridays! Today I have the great joy of welcoming Wendi Wilson, author of Shadowed Strength. 

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Photo courtesy of Wendi Wilson

Let’s get to it, shall we?

  1. What name do you write under? Is this a pseudonym? Do you use more than one name when you write? 

Wendi L. Wilson, but on Amazon it’s just Wendi Wilson. That’s my actual name, but I may use a pseudonym in the future if I decide to switch genres.

  1. Tell us about the first time you realized that you were an author or were going to be an author. 

I originally wrote my debut novel, Shadowed Strength, when I was sixteen. It evolved over the next two decades, but I didn’t get serious about writing to publish until the last year or so.

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Photo provided by Wendi Wilson

  1. What genre(s) do you write in, and why? 

I write young adult paranormal romance. I love the supernatural in all its forms- vampires, witches, shifters, ghosts, etc.

The popularity of the paranormal doesn’t seem to diminish much either.

  1. What genres are your favorites to read? Why? 

Of course, my favorite is YA paranormal romance, but I also like new adult romance, historical romance, and some erotica (if it’s not too hardcore).

  1. Tell us about your two all-time favorite characters: 1 that you wrote and 1 that someone else wrote.  

My favorite character in my book is Melanie. Her personality and insecurities are based on my own at that age and the strength she finds to overcome obstacles is empowering for teens.

My favorite character from another author: that’s a tough one. I’ve read a lot of books. A. Lot. But off the top of my head, I’d have to say one of my recent favorites is Claire from Tara Sivec’s “Seduction and Snacks.” I don’t know if anything has ever made me laugh that hard. She’s a pistol, and not afraid to say what she thinks.

  1. There is a lot of controversy about allowing books to be made into movies (especially when they cut or change large portions of the plot). Would you be willing for your books/stories to become a movie? Why or why not? 

Absolutely. I can’t tell you how many of my favorite book series’ I’ve found, only because I saw the movie. In fact, I wouldn’t even be a reader of YA PNR if my best friend hadn’t made me watch Twilight, which made me get the books. If a movie, however far off the plot it goes, leads people to me and my books, then I’m all in.

That is a great take on the question! I can’t tell you how many I’ve heard say that they would like the money…and then call other authors sell outs for letting their books be changed so much, or say that they refuse to buy a book or watch a movie because they had heard about the differences etc.

  1. How do you handle writer’s block? 

I stop writing and pout for a while. Then I go back to it with fresh eyes in a few days. Usually, if I flesh out the scene I’m working on a little bit, my brain will take me to the next and the flow will resume.

See everyone, pouting helps.

  1. What inspires you? 

People reading my work and encouraging me. I need a sign that reads “Will Work for Compliments.” haha Seriously, though, I need a push every now and then, because I tend to leave things unfinished. I also get inspired by the theories readers leave in their reviews. They make some interesting points and I am using it to shape my next novel.

What a wonderful inclusion of your readers! That is such a great idea!

  1. How do you respond when people ask what you do, then make that faceif you say “I’m an author”? 

What’s this face you speak of? haha I am fairly new to the game, an luckily I have gotten nothing but smiles and excitement. I’ll let you know when I get one.

I must just have some very uptight, un-literary people in my area…so glad you get excitement and smiles!

  1. Finally, please tell us where we can find you

You can find me on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wendilwilson

Twitter: @wendilwilson

Blog: https://wendilwilson.wordpress.com

My book is on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Shadowed-Strength-Book-One-ebook/dp/B010E3WWCG/ref=la_B010G0OYJQ_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1435329951&sr=1-1

Thank you for taking the time to give us a few insights Wendi! I’m looking forward to seeing more of your work soon.

Let’s all leave a little comment of encouragement so Wendi will get that next novel finished up!

Remember, if you are an author, illustrator, photographer, agent, publisher, etc and would like to be interviewed please, PLEASE leave me a note and let me know. Let’s get YOUR take on things out there too, and you can have a

Here There Be Dragons IS 2!

Wowsers! I can’t believe it…two already!

I was starting to answer a comment earlier and a little golden trophy popped up in my notifications. Interested and intrigued, I clicked the button and there it was. Just a little trifling thing really, a small picture of a trophy with the words “Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com” next to it. However, sometimes the smallest things can make our days and I am so happy to be able to say I have made it two years with this blog!

You guys…you’re just amazing. I appreciate and adore all of you. Without you this blog would have been abandoned long ago. You allow me to continue on this path and I cannot thank you enough. I am so incredibly blessed!

May your inspirations abound and your pens remain inky enough to write it all down!

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Frustratingly

Welcome to our weekly gathering of quotes! If you would like to know more about why several bloggers have begun to enjoy writing up these posts…go check out Silver Threading and blame her for making it so fun!

This week I want to focus on writing through the frustrations. I don’t know about you guys, but when I get flustered and frustrated my brain likes to go on vacation. My tongue and my hands/fingers get spastic (more than usual) and the little minions in my mind are just traipsing around; dancing and cartwheeling all willy nilly.  When that happens, it doesn’t matter how long I stare at the notebook (or reading book, for that matter) I won’t be able to comprehend or write anything that makes any sense whatsoever.

Sometimes you don’t even realize you’re stopping yourself from saying them. When you have an idea, when you have sentences swimming in your head, and you don’t immediately stop to note them down then you’re stopping yourself from saying them. Those words won’t sound or feel the same when you try to recreate them later on at a more ‘convenient’ time

This has been happening to me the past few days. What’s worse is that part of the reason for my frustration is that I had a sudden epiphany and I KNOW what happens in the next big scene, but I can’t seem to get us to it. I’m a blank with a tight, tingling ache in my head and down my neck each time I try.

Imagine with me…you’re writing or composing or painting or whatever it is you do and suddenly you’re stuck. Not really creative block, per se, but definitely not moving forward with the work. Frustrated, sad, and angry you walk outside and see it…a pinata shaped like a cowboy hat with a box next to it…the box contains a couple of bats and a sign juts out. The Sign says “I can help, HIT ME!” Suddenly, in the midst of desperate whacks at the hat, your jumbled brain shifts everything back into focus. The crack in the pinata did it, you were opened up again!

Finally, sometimes you just have to move in a different direction. I’m about to have to take my own advice I suppose…Or I can listen to Dolly Parton. She’s pretty smart!

When you get frustrated, when the winds have changed, your inspiration trickles to a halt and the mind minions go on strike…imagine yourself on a boat, sitting still with contrary winds and then imagine yourself tugging on that rope..the one right there next to your dominant hand. You see what happened? The sails shifted, the contrary wind is now your friend, and you are moving once again. (Sometimes, it takes more than one tug on the rope…don’t be discouraged!)

Artistic Tuesday Featuring Turtleberry

Hello everyone and thank you for joining us o the first ever Artistic Tuesday! This week I am featuring an #STQWRITERSCHAT twitter friend, The ever talented and vivacious “Turtleberry!” Let’s get started and see what she has to say.

1) What made you decide to pick up a camera and begin taking pictures?

I honestly can’t even remember. I have been taking pictures since fourth or fifth grade. I went to a summer program that taught us techniques and how to develop film.

2) What is your favorite type of subject?

I love taking pictures of nature. I also like taking photos of people when they aren’t posing for pictures. Posing seems cheesy to me. I went through a period of being obsessed with taking pictures of the sky.

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3) What kind of camera/gear do you use…and could you explain a little about it for us please?

I use a Nikon D5100. I honestly don’t know a lot about my camera except it is a DSLR. I also like to take pictures with my cell phone.

I don’t know how you do what you do with a cell phone…I can’t make pictures like that on my little digital camera, much less the phone! (Not for lack of trying though, honestly.)

4) When you travel, what equipment do you take with you?

I take my camera and two lenses with me.

5) Is there a piece of your gear that you wish you hadn’t purchased, or that you just never really use?

Nope. I don’t have much. Stuff is expensive. I have to pine for it for a while before I invest.

6) Among your works, which is your favorite, and why?

Oh. Well. I have a picture of a snow-covered tree that I absolutely love for reasons I can only explain as it is very pretty. I also loved working on the More Than Words Project (www.facebook.com/MoreThanWordsProject). Taking fun pictures of my friends was awesome.
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7) Whose work has most influenced your own?

I love photography. I haven’t really studied other photographer’s work much. I love Gordon Parks and Annie Lebowitz. Most times I pay more attention to the image rather than who took it.

8) What advice would you give to budding photographers?

Keep snapping pictures. Also, try out different editing software. Practice is key. I sometimes take three hundred pictures to get ten that I love. Other times I get it right on the first shot.

it seems as though the same basic advice can span over pretty much any profession or hobby. You want to do it? get started and keep going. You want to learn? Practice…Great advice we often forget while searching for the ‘magic’ key to everything clicking into place. 

9) You are also an author, among several other things. Would you care to give us a little insight into that portion of your world and how it interacts with your photography?

It is all about creativity and having creative outlets. I see pictures as stories. I see stories as a series of pictures. Both forms are extensions of who my creative being is.
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10) Finally: Where can we find your work? 

Twitter: @turtleberry @TurtleberryPRS
SnapChat: msturtleberry
Thank you Ms. Turtleberry, for taking time out of your creatively busy schedule to answer these questions for us! You photographs are gorgeous and I love that you don’t weigh yourself down with things the most ‘on trend’ equipment or staying inside your own ‘box’ (lane? Whatever!)
If you enjoyed this, leave a little love for Turtleberry in the comment section! Don’t forget to go check her other pages, photographs, and projects out. She’s everywhere..
If you think you might like your own feature on Artistic Tuesdays, drop me a comment and let me know what it is you do! We’ll probably be able to find somewhere to put your interview…like maybe even featured on a Tuesday! (imagine that..hmmm,)
 Keep that head up, you don’t often find inspiration while staring at your toes. Until next time, I hope you all have a fantastic week!