Kreativ Blogger Award

Last week, I was awarded the Kreativ Blogger award.

Yay! But the award comes with a price.

RULE 1 – Thank and link back to the awarding blog.

Thanks goes to Elizabeth Twist, a blogging buddy of mine, who has been equal parts entertaining in her posts about some of the more esoteric and creepy parts of our world (check out her A to Z challenge series) and inspiring in her ability to take some of the weirder calls out there and make story magic.

Thanks so much, Elizabeth!

RULE 2 – Answer the following seven questions:

1. Name one song you listened to over and over as a teenager.

George Gershwin’s Cuban Overture. I’m not kidding. In fact, I listened to only classical music until my freshman year of high school. That’s when my friends had an intervention, and it was alternative and indie rock from then on out. Now I listen to just about anything that’s not super hard-core rap, metal, or country *shudder*

2. What’s your favorite dessert?

Anything chocolate. This is usually a good place to start (and it’s as good as it sounds). Though now that summer is less than a month away, there’s nothing better than a slice of key lime pie on a warm evening.

3. What do you do when you’re upset?

That depends. Are we talking upset-sad or upset-mad? The former involves some sort of alone time where I read or listen to music to distract me. The latter usually involves me playing a shoot-em-up video game so I don’t bite someone’s head off.

4. Which is your favorite pet?

Umm…I have just the one. And how could she not be my favorite?

5. Which do you prefer? White or whole wheat?

Whole wheat. Unless it’s Thanksgiving. My family’s traditional stuffing calls for white bread. Nom.

6. What is your biggest fear?

Failure. That and spiders.

7. Do you think it is better to help people or leave them alone?

My initial thought is that people should have the freedom to fail (or succeed) on their own terms. You learn a lot more that way. And some things can’t be taught, only experienced. That said, there’s a greater potential for karma points when you help others. So it depends, on both the person needing the help and the situation.

RULE 3 – Provide ten five random factoids about yourself.

  • I really hate talking about myself.
  • I can crack my jaw.
  • I only get pedicures for the calf massage.
  • I was born on Good Friday.
  • I am allergic to cats. Plus they take over your mind.

Thanks again, Elizabeth, for the Kreativ Blogger award! Be sure to check out her blog or on twitter.

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Unforeseen Cirucmstances

Today’s post has been indefinitely delayed because I found this in my house this morning!

That’s a 10in diameter glass bowl btw.

I must make sure this isn’t a sign of the impending apocalypse and is just a hazard of living where I do. Needless to say this has derailed my plans for the day.

Brownie points to anyone who can id this…thing. (PS, I had to call the county extension office for help with that.)

Until next week!
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Odds and Ends

Sometimes there are no themes, no ways to organize life. Things just are. Kinda like this post.

The Seven Year PenThe Seven Year Pen from Seltzer Goods is just flat out amazing. I bought one the other day, since I’m a big fan of ballpoints and writing longhand. According to the packaging, “100 million pens are discarded every day,” and this pen is designed to write 1.7 meters a day for 7 years. Sign me up! Um…literally.

Local Writing Group Resumes – Today, I’m meeting with the ladies in my local writing group for the first time since November. I’m really looking forward to reconnecting with everyone and getting back into the rhythm of critiquing and exchanging work. Taking December off was great for personal reasons, but now it’s time to get back to writing.

Fat Girl in a Strange Land ARC GiveawayCrossed Genres Publications is offering three advanced reader copies of the Fat Girl in a Strange Land anthology (which includes my story “The Tradeoff”) through Goodreads. Go here for your chance to win. I’ll also have an interview with the editors when we get closer to the anthology’s release in February.

Another Resource Roundup Forthcoming – I’ve just started to pull together a post on querying, which should be ready to go next week. Fingers crossed. I’ve been putting it off since these types of posts are so time consuming, but hopefully it will be worth the effort!

Taos Toolbox – I found out this week I was accepted to this year’s Taos Toolbox, a two-week master class in science fiction and fantasy writing this summer. It’s led by Walter Jon Williams and Nancy Kress, with Daniel Abraham as a guest lecturer. I’m really excited for the workshop, but now I’m already paranoid about what projects I’ll be workshopping, whether I’m well-versed enough in the genre (I’m not), and other feelings of unworthiness. There’s still time to apply to Taos and other SFF workshops this year – check out this great post by John Joseph Adams for Inkpunks breaking down the different options.

That’s it for me this week. Happy writing!
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Digital Archaeology and More About Me

I was bestowed two blogging awards last week thanks to Laura Marcella of Wavy Lines and L. Blankenship of Notes from the Jovian Frontier. I meant to post this on Friday, but life got in the way as it is wont to do. Anyway, here we go.

Laura gave me the 7 x 7 Link Award. Laura posts writing prompts, inspiring quotes, and other factoids that help keep you motivated. The 7 x 7 award asks the winner to sort through old posts that match the criteria below. Kinda like digital archeology. Thanks, Laura!

MOST BEAUTIFUL: Anatomy of a Story – Not beautiful in a traditional sense, but it was one of my better early posts and the ideas I put forth in the post still resonate with me.

MOST HELPFUL: My Resource Roundup posts, hands down: Finding the Right Word, Conjuring Up Titles, Crafting Dialogue, Opening Your Story, and the NanoWriMo Edition.

MOST POPULAR: Best of the Best: The Writing Blogosphere’s Major Players – A little dated now, but still has some good resources here.

MOST CONTROVERSIAL: Social Media Guilt – Not controversial per se, but I got a range of comments and have long-term plans to explore this issue in greater detail.

MOST SURPRISINGLY SUCCESSFUL: Coffee Shop Etiquette – Thought this was a silly post at the time, but got tons of traffic (for me).

MOST UNDERRATED: A Case of the Not Enoughs – Still relevant. At times it seems no matter what we do, what we produce, it won’t be enough.

MOST PRIDE-WORTHY: Acknowledging My Fears of Submission – This is particularly poignant as I plan to query my novel (again) later this fall.


L. Blankenship gave me the Versatile Blogger Award. She writes both science fiction and hard fantasy and blogs about writing, with particular attention to worldbuilding. Check her out. For the Versatile Blogger Award, I must share seven facts about myself.

1. The only states I’ve never been to are: Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Florida, Wisconsin. 39 out of 50 ain’t bad.

2. My parents took my sister and me to Paris and London for a two-week vacation while I was in high school. It was an amazing time. A London cabbie made us blush and we learned that drunken dirty old men in Paris aren’t stereotypes. The only international trip I’ve ever taken (so far).

3. My husband and I never had a proper honeymoon because he was still in grad school. We spent a couple days at my family’s beach house, but that doesn’t really count. So we are saving up to a trip to Peru to see Machu Picchu.

4. I run with my dog at least three times a week and I make her wear these because of the terrain. She’s not a fan of them, but she loves the activity.

5. I hate getting dressed up. Skirts and dresses and suits and dress slacks are the bane of my existence. I’m eternally grateful I never worked in a profession that required business dress all time.

6. I hate bananas. The smell, the taste… gives me the heebie jeebies.

7. I love seafood, but I’m starting feel guilty about it after doing research on overfishing for one of my specfic stories. It doesn’t help that a lot of the tasty fish are labeled as “do not eat” in many guides like this one.

Thanks again to Laura and L. for the blog awards! Happy Writing!
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First Campaign Challenge and Blog Award

For the first challenge as a part of the Writers’ Platform Building Campaign, hosted by Rach Writes, we were asked to do the following:

Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “The door swung open” These four words will be included in the word count.

If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), use the same beginning words and end with the words: “the door swung shut.” (also included in the word count)

For those who want an even greater challenge, make your story 200 words EXACTLY!

So that’s what I did. Behold:

The door swung open as Mrs. Fawcett took the rattling tea service out to the parlor. Bright bursts of laughter invaded the kitchen before the door cut it off, swinging back on well-oiled hinges.

Kitty caught the sickly-sweet whiff of roses from the funeral home bouquets, set out like trophies in the hall. They would need to throw them out, but Madam enjoyed her life as a widow too much to destroy the evidence just yet.

Kitty couldn’t blame her. The Master was not well-loved in life, nor would he be sorely missed in death. The increase of afternoon teas was the only impact his death had below stairs. But talk of gambling debts and unrealized investments made Kitty wonder just how secure her placement at Bethany manor was.

She had gotten better at interpreting Madam’s imperious tone, knew how to avoid the son’s roving hands, and which cook didn’t mind her sneaking a bite here and there. She didn’t want to start over. Not again.

Mrs. Fawcett pushed back into the kitchen with a look that said “Mind yourself, Kitty.” The only thing she knew how to do.

More laughter. More roses.

Kitty shuddered as the door swung shut.

200 words exactly. Boo-yah!

Also, I learned today that Gail Shepherd who blogs at Paradoxy gave me the Versatile Blogger Award. I met Gail through the campaign and have been impressed with her series of interviews with other writers. Thanks so much for the award, Gail!

In accepting the award, I must share seven random facts about moi:

  • I’m a big fan of tennis and I’ve been trying to catch US Open matches this week in between my writing and reading time.
  • I have a freckle smack dab on top of my right foot. Growing up, my parents used to take a marker and put a polka dot in the shoe intended for my right foot, so I’d know which one went on which foot — just connect the dots. I contend that this is why I still have trouble distinguishing between right and left today.
  • I got a little verklempt last week when I went to my local Borders to buy books for the last time. I’ve been going there since middle school and have fond memories of the place despite all that’s happened.
  • I tripped getting out of the limo at prom. I tripped and nearly fell on my first date with my now-husband. I tripped and fell on a run with my dog last year. I fell off the sidewalk walking around the neighborhood with my husband and my dog. Clumsiness is a constant in my life. The good news is I know how to fall without hurting myself. Usually.
  • I love spicy food. Not so hot I can’t feel my tongue — no hot wing eating contests for me — but I love a little heat and bold flavors in my food. So bring on Mexican and Thai food.
  • I’m allergic to cats. The only thing that I know of that I’m allergic to.
  • I have never broken a bone in my body. Pretty amazing given #4. Let’s hope it stays that way.

Thanks again for the award, Gail!

Happy writing!
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