Thursday, February 26, 2009

Want to Waste Some Time?

I stole this from Jill. It was a lot of fun and a nice break before going to build reviews for LASR.

Here are the rules:

1. Go to “Wikipedia.” Hit “random article” and the first article you get is the name of your band.

2. Then go to “Random Quotations” and the last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3. Then, go to Flickr and click on “Explore the Last Seven Days” and the third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4. Use Photoshop or some other image editor to add text & spiffify.

5. Post a link to your band's album cover here!

If you play, leave me a link so I can come and see your album cover.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What, When, Where, Why, How with D. Renee Bagby

For another "What, When, Where, Why, and How" click on the button.

What came first, the chicken or the egg?

A pregnant chicken laid a fertilized egg and that egg held a rooster who... ummm... Okay, let me start over. An egg hatched a chicken that... hmmm... that doesn't work either. How about the chicken and the egg existed simultaneously and the egg held a rooster? Yes, that gets rid of the incest. Good. And then the chicken and the hatched rooster have little eggs. Those little eggs hatch and there is no next generation of little eggs because all those previous eggs are related and... you know what? No more chicken nuggets. There is no chicken. It died out due to this conundrum. Humans later found an animal with a similar taste, named it chicken and didn't tell anyone about the first one.

When did you start writing?

First grade. I was really good at M and W but I had a few issues with the lowercases B and D. Oh wait, you meant writing as in book writing. Well let's see... I put pen to paper (literally) in high school so I would have a visual record of my flights of fancy, and it made the teachers think I was taking notes. I still have those stories. I need to scan them into PDF documents so I can get rid of the notebooks via shredding. They are heavy and, as a military spouse, I move way too much to keep lugging them around.

I started writing with the intention of actually publishing something in college. I was bound and determined to get that manuscript finished. It took a few years. In that time I got married, graduated college, and moved to CA before I actually finished my first rough draft. I had a huge sense of accomplishment and the knowledge that I could actually finish something if I put my mind to it. chanel handbags

I then scrapped that entire first draft, totally reworked the plot, and wrote it over again. The only thing to survive were the character names. :D After struggling with finding an agent and failing, I submitted to Samhain Publishing (beta reader suggested them) and then my editor proceeded to bleed red corrections all over ever single page to get the masterpiece that is Adrienne, my very first published work. I'm very proud of it and I still love reading it to this day. :)

Where does the snow go when it melts?

Thin air. Seriously. We had flurries earlier this morning. None of it stuck. It disappeared as soon as it reached the ground. My past encounters with snow are much the same. It snows, it accumulates, and then suddenly it's gone. Well, except for the huge piles of dirty snow on teh side of the road that the plows left behind. But that doesn't count as real snow. At that point, it's ice mixed with rock salt. Now that stuff turns into the white gunk that's all over your car and costs extra to clean off since you have to get the special wax and the deluxe undercarriage cleaning.

Why do fools fall in love?
Because love makes fools of everyone therefore everyone who falls in love is a fool and thus fools fall in love. However, the people that don't fall in love are smart and lonely and are totally missing out.

How do crayons taste?

That depends on the brand and quality. The crayons that draw smooth with very few wax bumps taste like those wax lips minus the syrupy stuff on the inside. Or like dentist wax. Kind of a weird texture and it will stick in your teeth if you chew.

The crayons that look really vibrant but don't transfer that beautiful color to the paper no matter how hard or how long you rub, those taste like the wax paper that sticks to prepackaged foods and never comes off no matter how much you pick at it. You suck it up and eat the food any way with the intention of spitting out the wax paper but you can't tell the difference in texture and end up eating it all.

Then there's the brittle crayons. You look at them and they break. You can't hold them because your hands turn colors and at that point you might as well be finger painting. Those taste like unfinished grits. They've got that sandy quality to them that won't leave your mouth no matter how much you rinse or spit. Even when you think you've got it all, you still hear the crunching when you eat dinner that night.

D. Renee Bagby is the type of woman who lives in her imagination. She visits the real world only long enough to spend time with her husband and two cats and go to her day job. If it wasn't for bills, hunger and fatigue, Renee would more than likely spend all her time trying to get the stories that are in her head onto her computer.

Renee is also the type of woman who looks forward to getting lost just so she can find a new way home. She approaches her stories in much the same way. If there's a roundabout way to get from girl-meets-boy to girl-and-boy-live-happily-ever-after, she's sure to find it and write it.

For more "What, When, Where, Why, How" posts, visit Marianne Arkins blog.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday Meme

1. Does blogging make you fat? Do you find yourself sitting around and eating more since you started your blog? Or do you get so caught up in the whole blogging routine that you forget to eat? I don't think it's blogging per se, but I do a lot of my work on the computer (LASR, editing, writing, etc.), but I have gained weight and I believe that it's because I'm not as active. Of course, I'm also OLDER and my metabolism has just slowed way down. I want an ET....I almost have Bob convinced

2. The one topic I will not touch on my blog is politics. Why? What sorts of topics do you receive the most comments on? What sorts of topics do you receive the least number of comments on? I don't talk politics (or religion) because (1) I don't think anyone cares what my opinion is, (2) talking about it won't change anyone's opinion, (3) I don't like the snarkiness that comes along with those particular topics. At one time I had a "no snark zone" button in the sidebar (can't remember if it's still there or not.. I took a lot of my sidebar down a few weeks ago because the page was causing people's machines to freeze up).

3. Spring is coming. How is your wardrobe? What sorts of clothes do you usually wear in the spring? Where do you normally shop for your clothes? How successful are you in finding clothes for yourself? I hate buying clothes for myself. And, during the spring I wear pretty much what I wear all year round ...jeans and tops. I normally leave off the jacket and sometimes wear shorts at the house (I have a "skort" I wear outside the house). I keep promising myself a new wardrobe if I lose the weight I need. So far, self isn't listening. chanel handbags

4. We should treat every day as a special gift - we’re alive, right? What made this past week special for you? (And if you’ve already talked about that special something on your blog, then think of something else - something little perhaps, but had a big impact on you or your loved ones). This past week I had the opportunity to go to a writers retreat in Panama City Beach. I missed being with Bob, but it was a fantastic opportunity to do nothing but write. And.. I got about 2000 words written...and then something horrible happened:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What, When, Where, Why, How with Aithne Jarretta

For another "What, When, Where, Why, and How" click on the button.

What came first, the chicken or the egg?

Wonderful question! Even as a kid I loved this question. My simple answer was the chicken. I just always figured it was due to the fact I had great respect for mothers because they love, nurture and protect their young ones. With this awesome power, mothers have the innate ability of creation.

Have you ever seen a mother hen protecting her eggs? Oh my gracious. A setting hen can stubbornly face off with humans to protect her nest. I witnessed this first hand as a six-year-old child while collecting eggs with my grandmother. Granny explained to me about gentleness when dealing with her favorite hen. The ruffled feathers and sharp beak are still vivid within my mind even now. :-) That mother hen had no doubts about who came first—the chicken or the egg.

When did you have your first story or book published?

My very first published short story was "Flashpoint," a 700 word flash fiction. (Notice the play on words?) That wasn't the only 'flash' in my tale. There was also a lightning strike. The story was published in The Florida Palm 2006 summer issue along with several other submissions. The fun thing about it was the beautiful magazine showcased a background image behind the written words of a broad multi-fingered lightning strike. chanel handbags (

The Wild Rose press published my short, "In a Heartbeat" and released it in December of 2007. This particular story also centers in the eye of a storm. What can I say? Florida is famous for its lightning strikes and storms. Both these short stories were written early in my writing career and soon after moving here to the land of my heart.

Last summer, I had the distinctive pleasure of winning a contest at LSAR for my short story submission, "The Matchmaker." The paranormal elements in this 1000 word story were subtle, but it remains one of my favorites.

Last but never least, my big baby Concentric Circles arrived from the printers in January. This is a special delivery because it is my 'first' full length novel. Although it comes last on this list it was the actual beginning of my writing. Like a circle it has come back around because without this 'baby' the other stories would never have been created.
( [or mobipocket]

Where is the best tourist spot in your town?

I live in a paradise. This rings true for both Florida residents and our many visitors. There are countless attractions in this wonderful area, but the best by far…

Clearwater Beach

Not just because it is award winning. With the glistening white sand, gentle waves to soothe your stress away and balmy breezes—what's not to love? While the sunshine here is awesome, the moon hanging low over the Gulf can give great pleasure. (I call it absorbing moonbeams. ;o) I've even seen the Gulf waters so still they gave the impression of a smooth mirror facing heaven. When you couple that stillness with the teeming life under the surface you realize the wonderment of our earth.

Why do the angels cry?

Angel tears bless, heal and welcome. They cry in rejoicing when a child is born. Their tears heal the broken hearted, the sicknesses in our world and the tragedies we endure on our life journey. When the time comes for us to move on they greet and guide us. At that time the tears of homecoming are a blessing.

How good are you at chess?

Oh my goodness, not very good I'm afraid. I've only played twice and both times my opponent was more experienced than I. However, I do like the strategy aspect and would one day like to learn more about the game.

Aithne Jarretta was born and raised in Akron, Ohio. The mother of two grown sons, she is a graduate of Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio. While in college she expanded upon her love of history and graduated with a BA in Humanities. For fourteen years she has studied spirituality, metaphysics and history. These elements weave together in her stories and give a firm grounding to her paranormal and magical world building.

Aithne Jarretta
Feed Your Romantic Spirit ~ Indulge in the Magic!
MobiPocket ~

For more What, When, Where, Why, How posts, check out Marianne Arkins site.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tuesday Tidbits

A few things, in no particular order:

Marianne is hosting a special contest on her blog today.... her DD made up a riddle last night and it was actually quite good. I was impressed. So... go see if you can guess the answer and maybe win a book.

I'm blogging at the Writivators blog today, so if you have ever wondered about misplaced modifiers (or even if you haven't) come on over and say hello.

A Quiz swiped from Marianne:

Test of the element
Your Result: Fire

You are most likely one of those, that loves to imagine things. Fantasy and imagination, are the basic description for anyone who is of the element fire. You most likely have positive energies, and you are not too logical in some cases. You are very creative, and you are good at solving difficult situations.

Test of the element
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday Morning Meme and winners

Before we get started, head over to The Long and the Short of It and take a look at the winners of The Best Book of 2008 awards. We had four winners: LASR Best Long Book/LASR Best Short Book/WC Best Long Book/WC Best Short Book. It was a tough contest...and we believe all our nominees were winners!

Now.. on to Monday Morning Meme from Write From Karen

1. What did you do over the weekend? Marianne and I hosted a chat on the WC Yahoo loop that was a lot of fun (and we gave away a pile of should have been there!). Then, I woke up this morning to find my laptop stuck in a Microsoft Update Loop from hell. Trying system restore now to see if I can get out of it.(I'm on the desktop...thank heavens for multiple computers in the house).

2. What was your first impression of your spouse or current partner? Now tell us about your first date with this person. Bob and I talked online for a couple of weeks before we actually met, and when we did my first thought was... what a really neat guy! Our first date was wonderful. He picked me up about 7 (brought me a rose...he had me then), we went to eat and then went to play pool. We dropped in at the VFW dance and walked through WalMart. Then we went for coffee and pie.... had the best time talking. We didn't want the night to be over. He took me home about 3 was ...sigh... a fabulous evening.
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3. How many lurkers do you think you have that read your blog, but never comment? Have you ever been successful at getting them to say hello? Do you mind the lurking? Are you a lurker? Or do you try and comment every time you visit? I don't mind the lurking...I guess because I tend to lurk myself. If I don't have something worth saying, I pretty much don't say anything. :-) My mother taught me that.. lol

4. coffee is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's matter what stage of life you are.

Marianne and I are hosting a chat in our Whipped Cream Yahoo group today, so please come and join us. We'll be giving away LASR stuff, autographed books, gift certificates and having a fun time. We'll be there from 10 am-2 pm Eastern. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What, When, Where, Why, How with Shannon Robinson

For another "What, When, Where, Why, and How" click on the button.

What is one grammar mistake you consistently make? Putting a comma in place when there should be a semi-colon instead, or vice versa. I've caught myself doing that many times - still have to drag along my old grammar books from high school to reference. Those are certainly a treasure trove to hold onto.

Where did you last shop? Walmart - I am a huge Walmart fan. Groceries, electronics, books, etc. etc. I can get at Walmart. And anyone who shops at Walmart knows what a huge inspiration going there can be for a writer - honestly! I'm a people watcher and you can find every type or personality of people at Walmart!

When do you enjoy chocolate? be honest...all the time! LOL!! Seriously, if you put a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup in front of my face, I'm going to eat it. Those are definitely my favorite tantalizing chocolate morsels, but pretty much any chocolate tempatation will do. I particularly crave chocolate during my day job - when I'm stressed to the max - or around midday, about 3pm or so. A little snack before dinner - even though I should be snacking on cucumbers or carrots or something...hmmm....that may be why I can't shake these 20 pounds...

Why is cotton candy sweet? Other than the immense amounts of sugar involved, I truly feel that cotton candy is so sweet because it represents a sweet time period of our lives. What adult didn't indulge in cotton candy at the county fair as a child? As children, we relish the taste of cotton candy, the sweet innocence of devouring that delectable treat on a hot summer day. As adults we remember that time and taste the sweetness of cotton candy once more. chanel handbags

How do you solve a Rubik's cube? This is so unoriginal but I did this to impress my son one time (though he wasn't too happy when he found out I'd tricked him!) Take off all the stickers and rearrange them. That's how you solve the Rubik's cube - Shannon Robinson style.

Shannon Robinson is the published author of, currently, two short stories with Aspen Mountain Press. When she's not plugging away at her day-job, enjoying life with her two beautiful children and wonderful husband, you'll find her curled up with her laptop, creating new worlds for readers to enjoy, or indulging in a new book of her own.

Shannon is a lover of the outdoors, fan of scrapbooks, and baking - even though she'd not very good at it. Her favorite pastime is, of course, her writing. Her stories range from sweet to sensual to a bit naughty, as she loves to explore all aspects of romance.

Her dream of being published was realized in 2008 with Aspen Mountain Press who took the anthology project she was involved in and published it. Now, Shannon's goal is to provide her readers with sensual romances to not only rival your fantasies but stir your hearts.

She invites everyone to visit her website to read more about her, her books, and other projects she's working on.

Shannon's website:

Monday, February 09, 2009

Monday Morning Meme

Click the picture to play along

1. How many coats do you own? Do have a good coat? Casual coat? Summer jacket? etc. Do you wear coats very often? Or do you have a tendency to leave your coat at home whenever you go out? What is your favorite coat? Why is this one your favorite? Care to model it for us? I have several coats... really, more than I need considering I live in south Georgia. But, I was very glad of them this winter. Boy, has it been cold. I have a good dress coat that's long that Bob bought me for Christmas a couple of years ago; a jacket our cousin Roy bought me for Christmas last year that's great with jeans (it has a hood that I really like); but my favorite is the leather jacket that Bob bought me about three years ago.

2. You’ve learned a thing or two about this thing we call blogging. Tell us one thing you don’t recommend to other bloggers. Tell us one thing you do recommend to other bloggers. I don't recommend being too free and open with things. There's a fine line to be drawn between making connections and letting everyone know all your secrets. I would recommend blogging on a regular basis and visiting other people's blogs. I don't do this nearly as well as I need to, so learn from my mistakes :-)

3. Is cursive writing a lost art? Should good penmanship be taught? Tell us about your handwriting - good / bad? Do you think your children have good handwriting (given their appropriate age, of course). I have excellent penmanship, if I do say so myself. And, I think it should be taught more than it is. My kids, for the most part, have good penmanship, but it wasn't stressed as much as it should have been, imho.

4. Have you ever struggled with infertility? If you haven’t, or if it wasn’t the hardest thing you’ve ever had to go through — what was? The hardest thing I've hever had to go through was my ex letting me now he didn't want to be married any longer. But.. I got through it and it wasn't long before I realized he'd done me a big favor.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

What, Where, When, Why, How with Nancy Famolari

What's on your nightstand?

Technically, I don't have a nightstand. The bed is so huge I can't fit one in the bedroom. It would block the door. Instead, I use the corner of the bureau. The stuff is all pretty traditional, diary, current book I'm reading, tissues and pens. My husband's stuff takes up the rest of the space. Who said men don't collect a lot of junk?

When is the worst time for someone to call you on the phone?

Actually, I hate phone calls, so any time is bad. The ones I hate the most come after 8:30 at night. I like to go to bed early and hate to be disturbed by ringing phones. Since we got caller ID, I simply don't answer. I rather like being a hermit.

Where would you live, if you could choose anywhere?

I'd live right here in the Endless Mountains on my farm. I love the mountains. We live on the top of a small mountain. The views are spectacular. The skies are a clear blue. Right now the sun sparkles on the snow making it look like someone dropped a cup of diamonds. This is the most wonderful place in the world, and there aren't too many people! We have five horses. They're excellent company.

Why does hair always look best the day of a styling appointment?

Sorry, this is a tough question for me. I never go to a stylist. I've had very long hair ever since college. I won't tell you how many years ago. I just tie it back and go riding. My hair is quite happy with the arrangement. I assume other people's hair doesn't care too much for being cut, crimped and pulled about. Therefore, it looks good on the day of a styling appointment hoping to avoid the torture. chanel handbags

How do you choose your character's names?

Character's names just come to me. I get an image of the character in my mind and the name just appears. I tried looking in a baby name book once, but it was too confusing. My character, Summer Langston in Summer's Story, is a redhead with a spunky temperament. Summer just seemed like the only name for her.

Nancy Famolari lives with her husband, five horses, two dogs and five white cats on a farm in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania. Her stories and poems have appeared in Long Story Short, Flash Shot, Fiction Flyer, Lyrica, Alienskin Magazine Clockwise Cat, and Matters of the Heart from the Museitup Press. Her first novel, Summer's Story is available from Red Rose Publishing. A second novel, Murder in Montbleu, will be available from Red Rose Publishing in 2009.



For more "What, Where, When, Why, How" issues, please go to Marianne Arkins' blog

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

How is a Medieval Faire Like a Sandwich?

Because the best stuff was in the middle.

Bob and I went down to the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire and hung out for a bit with a writing friend, Gayle Schlafer.

Here she is as "Killian the Bold," who greets visitors at the gate and asks them to help her in her quest. And, here we are together, just to prove I really was there:

There was SO MUCH TO DO! My only regret is that there isn't enough time in one day to take in everything. They had four stages going and entertainment going on almost constantly. You can check it out for yourself here. Food and drink everywhere (including mead, which is not to be missed...mmmmm). Vendors who sell things from corsets ("We bind them up, We bind them down, We make your bosoms plump and round") to swords to services like face decorating and hairbraiding: chanel handbags

The entertainment was awesome. We were able to see a Scottish band, Albannach. The music truly gets your blood wonder they play this going into battle. Here is a (very bad) video of them.

Perhaps my favorite entertainment, though, was "The Singing Wenches." I laughed so hard my face hurt!

To see a bit more about the faire, check out this video:

Monday, February 02, 2009

Monday Morning Meme (and Best Book of 2008..VOTE!)

Before we get started on today's Monday Morning Meme... the reviewers at The Long and the Short of It have chosen the books they considered the best in 2008. We have a poll up for the readers to choose the VERY best of the best. Voting runs from today through February 14, so get out and cast your vote for the Best Book of 2008.

Click on the picture to play along.

January 26th Questions:

1. When was the last time you vacuumed out your car? How often do you wash your car? Do you wash it, or do you run it through a car wash service? How much money do you generally spend to wash your car?
The last time I vacuumed my car was last week. I try to wash it once a week...and I either use a run through this car wash service or I use one of the DIY car washes. If I use Goo Goo, it costs $5 (and the vacuuming is free and I can sit in my car). If I use a DIY, it costs around $2.50 and I have to pay for the vacuuming, and I get wet. So, it depends on how I feel and what the weather is like :-)

2. What kind of car do you drive? What color is it? Do you like your car? How long have you had it? Is it reliable? Would you recommend it to a friend? If money were no object, what car would you buy for your family? Now, which car would you buy for yourself? Do you have an opinion about people who drive expensive cars? (Jealous? Disgusted? Curious?) I've just started driving a champagne colored Taurus. Kinda like this: chanel handbags

I've only had it a couple of weeks. Our daughter bought it, but we've taken over the payments since her hours at work have been cut and we signed over a "paid for" vehicle to her. It has a few minor glitches, but I feel safe going off in it. My mom has the same car, but a year earlier model.

Hmmm.. if money were no object...let me ask my husband (I know next to nothing about cars). Bob said, "Volvo station wagon for a family car; red Jaguar convertible for your car." So...that's what we'll get when and if we win the lottery.

My opinion of people who drive expensive cars? If they can afford it, why not? However, I do admit... I'm curious about people who drive expensive cars while living in a dump. Me? If I'm going to put that much money into something, it's going to be my home first.

3. What’s the biggest thing on your mind right this moment? Why is this issue so important to you at this time? Time and the lack thereof. Like many of us, I'm a busy person with a lot of responsibilities on all sides. Trying to balance everything is a trick. (If you are worried about balance, as well, the first Thursday of every month, Liana Laverentz joins us in our LASR Yahoo group to talk about balance in our lives. And, you're in luck...this coming up Thursday is the first Thursday in February, so come out and join us as we talk about how to be the balanced person we all want to be.

4. Have you ever cried when hearing about the death of a celebrity? If so, who? And if so, why? Who was the last celebrity you remember feeling sorry for? Why? Pick one celebrity you would miss if he/she were to die. Why this person? I came close to crying when Karen Carpenter and Elvis died, but I don't think I did for either of them. I feel sorry for any of the celebrities who can't handle their success. It seems so many of them should be on top of the world, but they have everything the world says they should want, but so many of them are miserable. They have to be, or they wouldn't continue in such self-destructive behavior. It's just sad all around.

I miss the older entertainers as they die's coming to the end of an age.