Saturday Stories…ON Sunday (again)

So I’m not exactly sure why I didn’t take the time to write this yesterday. It was a fairly busy Saturday, but that’s no excuse (right?). Anyway, the point is that I’m here now. So here we go!

My goals for the past week were completely switched around and messed up but that’s what happens!

First off, I’m not gonna lie…I finished Aesop’s  Fables but put Emma back on the shelf. I just wasn’t able to sit down and read large chunks all together and was getting frustrated with doing that so I set it aside and did a big library haul. I finished “A Study in Charlotte” already and absolutely adored it.

I am a few more chapters into Wired for Story and have videos up for the first several chapters.

As for the writing…well I haven’t gotten caught up yet and most likely will not get to my goal for the month. However, the point is that I tried and will continue to try. I will keep writing and will, eventually, surpass that goal and any others I set.

Here is part of what I did write this week…chapter 5 of The Way We Were (part 2):

Chapter 5

“Oh my gosh,” the blond highlights in front of him blinked owl-like golden eyes and dropped to her knees, babbling apologies like an infant cooing as she scrambled to help Lee collect the groceries that had flown from his arms.

There was something familiar about her backlit curls, her long eyelashes, her…her. There was just something about her. Lee couldn’t shake, or place, the feeling and so he bumbled, grumbled, made a right ass of himself and, with cheeks flaming from the humiliation, turned to stalk away.

The well-manicured fingers lightly glazing his bicep stopped him cold in his cracks. In her other hand, held out between her fingers, was a folded receipt with a number scrawled hastily across it.

“My name is Cecily,” she murmured self-consciously, “Call me sometime and I’ll take you out for some apology coffee.”

“Lee,” Lee responded stupidly, unable to force his mouth to shape itself around any other words.

“Come on Cee,” Another set of highlights and manicures called from the store front, “You’ve been in here for ages!”

“Gotta go,” one more brilliant smile and she was off, jogging with her lethal cart to the checkouts.

Lee looked around bemusedly and tucked the highlight’s – Cecily’s – number in to his pocket before wandering outside.

A well timed text reminding him not to forget the eggs propelled the poor man back in to where his hapless groceries were still sitting in the middle of an aisle, waiting for him to wake up and buy them.

 

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Coloring with Wonder

I love to color. There is something creative and almost freeing in the act of choosing colors and finishing pages. I find so much inspiration in coloring, in fact, that I often incorporate it into my own writing process. So is it any wonder that I jumped at the chance to review another coloring book? Not really. Especially not since this particular coloring book is an imagining of Lewis Carroll’s world of Alice in Wonderland.

While I was expecting a fun and whimsical coloring book, the reality was so much more. Artist/Author Amily Shen not only created a gorgeous new reimagining for us to color, she included us in the story. Separated into 9 chapters, each section begins with a title pulled from Carroll’s Alice, followed by a few paragraphs that read as though you are, in fact, the one that followed the rabbit down into Wonderland.

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I love the artwork in this book. The style is distinctly whimsical and fun, showcasing wonderful imagination and inspiration from the artist  and for the color-er. Not to mention the fact that it came with a dust jacket that, when removed, revealed a cover ready to be colored on AND the inside of the dust jacket as a long poster waiting to be colored. SURPRISE!

Some of the pages are almost a little disturbing in their difference from my own imaginings or memories of the illustrations and movies. But my biggest complaint is that this doesn’t have more pages. I vote for a full Alice novel with coloring borders and illustrations.

**I received this book in exchange for an honest review**

Wired for Story Chat | Intro and Ch. 1

I have decided to do a series of videos dicussing each chapter in this book and how it affects what I, as an author, am writing. This is a nonfiction that connects Neurology with Writing and is not only important, but interesting and well written as well. I hope you enjoy this (long) video. I promise the rest will be shorter!

Please comment with any suggestions, ideas, constructive criticisms, etc.

GIVEAWAY: THE DRAGON’S BLADE: THE REBORN KING

book-giveaway

 THE DRAGON'S BLADEThe Dragon’s Blade: The Reborn King by      Michael R. Miller

Genre: Fantasy

Series: The Dragon’s Blade #1

Publisher: Acorn Independent Press (November 10, 2016)

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Length: 408 pages

Dragons once soared in the skies, but that was before the Transformation, before they took human form. Now, demonic forces stand to obliterate them. When left mortally wounded, Darnuir, the Prince of Dragons, can only be saved through a dangerous rebirthing spell. He is left as a babe in human hands.

Twenty years later, Darnuir is of age to wield the Dragon’s Blade. As the last member of his bloodline, he is the only one who can. He is plunged into a role he is not prepared for, to lead a people he does not know. Shadowy demons ravage his new home and the alliance between humans, dragons and fairies has fractured.

Time is…

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GIVEAWAY: THE DRAGON’S BLADE: THE REBORN KING — Legends of Windemere

The Dragon’s Blade: The Reborn King by Michael R. Miller Genre: Fantasy Series: The Dragon’s Blade #1 Publisher: Acorn Independent Press (November 10, 2016) Author Information: Website | Twitter Length: 408 pages Dragons once soared in the skies, but that was before the Transformation, before they took human form. Now, demonic forces stand to obliterate them. When left mortally wounded, Darnuir,…

via GIVEAWAY: THE DRAGON’S BLADE: THE REBORN KING — Legends of Windemere

Saturday Stories April 16th

This week did not end with a huge amount of writing completed. HOWEVER, I read 3 full books for #genrethon and am in 3 others (I will discuss this down below). I did write a bit, about 3000 words I believe, which is not bad at all…unless you think about the fact that I’m supposed to be writing at least 834 words a day in order to complete my personal goal of 25,000 words in April (Yay Camp NaNoWriMo…crushing dreams and spurring both writing sprees and depression/self-disgust all at once.) But I digress.

Here is the breakdown of this week’s goals:

I wanted to finish at least 3 books for #genrethon, which ended last night. I was able to complete:

100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson – this is the first in a MG trilogy. I am really looking forward to the other 2 books in this grouping.

be different by John Elder Robison – this is a non-fiction pseudo-memoir short story collection meant to offer advice on how to handle having Aspergers, or dealing with people who do. While I enjoyed it for the most part, I feel as those the advice was very buried within a testosterone fueled autobiographical feed.

Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener by M.C. Beaton – this series of cozy mystery novels is well written and hilarious. This was my third listen to an audio book adaptation (so it counted for 2 genres *raise the roof*) and the adaptations, at least the ones that my libraries Overdrive have, are actually radio plays performed by the BBC Radio personalities and WOW. They are the reason people used to gather around their radios and listen to radio plays. It not only brings a bit of nostalgia for when my dad would turn on the radio play he enjoys (I cannot think of the name…I want to call it Wildwood but I’m sure it isn’t). As a small(er) person in the backseat I would often pause reading or just lay back half-asleep listening to the hilarity and these audio books really bring that feeling back for me.

I did start four other books and am currently working on three of them.

The one I am not working on is Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. I had to return this audio book to the library so I’m waiting for another go at it.

While I wait I am reading Wired for Story by Lisa Cron (I will be posting a chat about each chapter on YouTube and will link it here as well), Emma by Jane Austen, and Aesop’s Fables.

As for my writing, I’ve done a few flash fiction pieces (started my own wattpad, which I’m still a little unsure of), a short story (as requested for a bed time story from a friend who couldn’t sleep…talk about a proud moment J ), and about 1500 words on The Way We Were, Part 2. It took me awhile to get anything done on TWWW, but then I shot a character and that really helped the baddie get it together so hopefully next week will be a bit better for writing.

And now, since you’ve managed to get this far with me, I give you the piece of flash I wrote on Friday. Please enjoy! (now I’m begging people…walks away with head hung low).

 

So there I was man, swimming along, minding my own business, and looking for some nice plankton to have myself a tasty snack and some BIG ship lilts over and blocks out the sun. Thanks moron, I only see in black and white and you take my light away. While I was trying to get my eyes to adjust to your wobbling shadows, all the plankton ran off. You let my snack get away! I have BLOOD SUGAR ISSUES!

Drunken Spaniards.

Oh, yeah…there ya go. Just run into the coral reef. Do you KNOW how many of us are trying to live or eat over there? Great, run off my snack and level my favorite diner. Seriously, what is that noise? Screaming, crying…you’re acting like my cousin Fred last year when he swam through a shipwreck…oh, a shipwreck. You totaled it.

Yup, serves you right! All I wanted to do was eat. You’re lucky I don’t come over in the shallows and knock you around. Silly little sticks with legs sitting on wooden things and thinking they have any say over what happens in the waters. That’s right, row away…oooh look, a squid.

 

 

Review – Be Different

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Written by John Elder Robison as a series of short stories from his childhood and meant to give the reader a peek into the Aspergian mind, this book is a mix of memoir, education, mental health, and even self help.

Originally published: U.S. March 22, 2011

Blurbed by Temple Grandin and Mark Roithmayr (president of Autism Speaks) and sporting a beautiful cover, be different draws the audience in and prepares them for some quirky fun as they learn more about Aspergers, a form of autism.

When I requested, and was subsequently sent, this book for review from Blogging for Books, i was expecting something that looked more into the technical bits of Aspergian life. I saw that it was a series of advice/short stories and was honestly expecting to see articles, anecdotes from other Aspies (Robison’s word for those diagnosed with Aspergers), and maybe even some notes from a teacher or two. However, this book was not at all what I expected. While I was looking for the ‘advice’ part promised to me in the title, what most of the book entails is actually the other part, the part where he details his own adventures with Asperger’s. Except Mr. Robison was not diagnosed until his 40s. Which means that the stories we get in this book are actually told to us as an acknowledged Aspergian looks back at his childhood and discusses what happened in the light of having NOT KNOWN he was Aspergian. Sound confusing? It isn’t really.

What Mr. Robison does well in this book is, among other things, detailing what he did and what happened to him and then spending a sentence or two describing whether that was or was not a good way to handle it in the light of Aspergers.

The writing style is fairly clear and well done. The stories are mostly memoir with very little advice thrown in until the final chapter, but the advice seems like something most people can easily discern without explicit directions. (Unless you’re one of those Aspergians who NEEDS explicit directions. Hmm…)

However, Mr. Robison only mentions females as ‘girls’ to be learned about, feared, and, hopefully, dated. The only instance of women otherwise mentioned (besides offhand mentions of his mother) were of Little Bear, his son Cubby’s mother. She also has Aspergers…but he offers no advice or comments TO females. In fact, all of his stories and advice is written with an obvious slant to males. While this is understandable since he is, in fact, a male, AND the advice is applicable to both genders, someone with autism might not feel they ‘belong in/reading’ a book that doesn’t mention their gender. As someone dealing with a form of autism, I felt that he should have known and dealt with that at some point. He is also very self involved, which is typical for Aspergians and comes across well. I haven’t decided, and likely never will agree with myself, on whether this is frustrating, annoying, and a poor writing choice (especially in the times when he completely condones physical violence and leaving schools) or if it is necessary.

On the whole, I found this book to be well written and interesting. Though I would have liked more advice and possibly less repetition on the themes, I feel like this is a solid book for helping teen Aspies, Prot-Aspies (people with traits but not full on Aspergers) and Nypicals (neuro-typical or non-autistic people) understand how to handle their side of the spectrum and possibly how to help others.

I am rating this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Leonard the Lemur

Our new Picture Books – Leonard the Lemur – is OUT!!! Beginning tomorrow (Tuesday April 12th) and going until Thursday (April 14th) the Kindle version of Leonard will be available for free. Please feel free to grab the book!

If you do, please remember to leave a review or comment telling me what you think.

Thank you! Have a great week.

Saturday Stories 4/9

Hello Friends. This week has not been the best. I won’t go into details again here but suffice it to say that the week has been long, difficult at points, frustrating, and a little surreal. Yesterday, however, was great.

So let’s talk about my goals real quick:

This week I wanted to get Leonard the Lemur completed and ready. Guess what?? I DID! As of yesterday afternoon you can find Leonard on Amazon and Createspace for paperback and as an e-book on Kindle!!

I cannot put into words how amazed, grateful, and proud I am to have the opportunity to put this together. I love all my book babies, but I truly believe that Leonard is something special. Please go check him out.

This week I also kept saying that I was going to focus on finishing up the first draft of Paulonious Punk and the Search for an Adventure. My first children’s book, this was a lot more difficult to write than I had expected. The first draft is rough and I’m sure there are a lot of things that need edited and revised…but I did it guys. I FINISHED IT!! Yesterday morning as I awaited my class’s completion of their quiz, I jotted down a few pages of things that were twisting in my head and suddenly (because I had no idea it would be that quickly) I was writing ‘to be continued’ on the bottom of a page. I’ve finished the book and I may have started a series.

I was at school 3/5  days this week and I don’t typically read while the kids are in class UNLESS it is an AR reading day (in which case I model by reading a page or two and then I get up and walk the class) because it is very difficult to monitor the and read at the same time. I don’t know how so many people do it. However, I was able to read 30 more pages in Rachel Caine’s Prince of Shadows and start John Elder Robison’s Be Different, in which I’m on page 29. I am still enjoying both immensely and will be sure to review them for you when I’m done. Genrethon starts tomorrow so I’m hoping to finish them up and get a few more things ticked off the to-be-read pile in the coming week.

Finally, here is the short story. I began this at some point last week. It has no title and is not a completed work. However, I did write it in the past week so here you go 😛

Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend. (trigger warning – abuse and foul language (mild) )

He took three quick, mincing steps towards her and raised a fist, swinging his body just short of releasing it. She stared him down without flinching. Only a very observant onlooker, who knew what to look for, would have noticed her subtle push of feet and skull backs into the brick wall she leaned on. To the world, she looked completely at ease. The veneer of nonchalance was thick and shiny across her surface. She had worked years to make it so. Worked years to bury the past and move on. It wasn’t going to all be lost just because of one asshat that raised a fist to her. He probably couldn’t hit half as hard as her ex had anyway. This guy was just an old mistake. Sometimes they liked to pop back up to remind her how far she’d come. All of this would fly through her mind later, at the moment all she could think was don’t flinch, don’t flinch, don’t look scared. Concentrate, you have to watch for weaknesses and listen so you can make a sassy comment in a minute. Be the strong female lead in your own life. Don’t flinch. DO NOT FLINCH.

She didn’t flinch, but boy howdy he did. When she had gathered herself up and used the foot propped behind her to shove quickly off the wall, his forward momentum couldn’t be stopped. The fist meant for her soft nose instead smashed into the side of the old building, sending dust softly fluttering down around them as he howled in pain and anger.

“What was that?” She asked softly, examining her nail beds as he rounded on her again. “Did you hurt yourself? You really should be more careful.”
“That smart mouth of yours is what got you in this mess,” he ground out between teeth clenched in pain, “You might want to keep it shut before it gets you hurt.”

“So far it seems that your anger is only hurting you,” She retorted smartly, “My mouth had nothing to do with that.” “Why you little whore,” he growled, “You’ve been talking shit on me and now you’re blaming it on me too?”

“No honey,” she purred, name calling only serving to help strengthen the walls she put up. “I’ve only been telling people the truth when they ask. Besides, whores get paid and I barely even get anything.”

“You had me,” now his anger took on a whine that made him sound like a petulant child.

Writing Tips #1

If you weren’t aware, NaNoWriMo has online ‘camps’ twice a year: April and June. I am participating in April’s camp and saw a video recently discussing that particular lady’s top 8 writing tips. (I can’t seem to find the video now but it was pretty awesome. Check out YouTube writing tip videos!) I thought I would give you my top tips for writing.

  1. NOISE

Some people like to be surrounded by noise, some don’t, so this tip is to just look within yourself and decide what level of noise you can handle. If you don’t like noise you can go to a quiet corner or our to a field where there isn’t much sound. If you enjoy background noise I would suggest a music playlist or turning on a movie you’ve seen millions of times. The noise will fade into the background and just keep that noisy non-writing part of your mind busy.

2. Write by Hand

I know that most of my writer friends seem to be moving towards, or already are, doing all of their writing on a computer. I, personally, have found that I get more words that way BUT I DO NOT REMEMBER EVERYTHING I WRITE! When I write by hand I have a better memory about what I’ve written and don’t have to go back and remove or rewrite as much.

3. Carry it With You

Carry a notebook or small pad of paper and a few writing utensils EVERYWHERE YOU GO. (I have a spare in each car, plus several in each bag. Yes, even in the gym bag.)

Ok, those are my top 3 writing tips. I’m sure you’ve heard them all before but I hope they’ve triggered something in you. Let me know what your favorite tips are.

Happy Friday Friends!