Indie-Giving Blogfest

November is a time of reflection and giving thanks to our blessings and fortunes. The Indelibles have decided to highlight that tradition by hosting a blogfest to celebrate thanks.

Right now, I’m thankful for being a published author, LOL! Time and again, I hear that while writing is a solitary endeavor, publishing is NOT. It takes a metropolitan-sized group of people to 1) identify your work as something worthy of being pubbed, 2) actually offering to publish it, 3) scrub and polish it into a glorific version of itself, 4) develop cover art, blurbs, etc, 5) help spread the word via the social networks, 6) post reviews, and 7) purchase it!

Each step has its own hurdles and learning curves and without the help of EVERY SINGLE PERSON I’ve met on the blogosphere, writing forums, social networking sites, etc, I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish ANYTHING.

For that, I am THANKFUL.

To spread the Thanksgiving cheer, I will GIVE AWAY to TWO lucky commenters, an EBOOK of YOUR CHOICE! All you have to do is comment here about what makes you thankful.

YAY!

Be sure to come back on WEDNESDAY wherein I take part in the cover reveal for Jennifer L. Armentrout’s OPAL and on FRIDAY, wherein I help with a cover reveal for another fellow author. Then, next TUESDAY, November 27, I host Colin F. Barnes. He’ll be sharing info about his novel, The Techxorcist. Colin also developed Anachron Press, where several short story anthologies–ranging from horror to cyberpunk–call their home. A new Pulp Line is actively taking submissions–check it out!

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Genre Favorites Blogfest

Alex J. Cavanaugh is hosting his SEVENTH blog fest today and it’s all about–you guessed it–genre favs!

Participating bloggers are asked to share their favorite genres for movies, books, and music.

Gotta say, my tastes are pretty simple.

My favorite movies are action blockbusters (usually with a sci fi, fantasy, paranormal, or magical twist)

THE LORD OF THE RINGS Trilogy and the HARRY POTTER series are my ALL TIME favs!

My favorite book genres include paranormal and scifi–either YA or adult. I also enjoy urban fantasy.

My favorite music includes alternative rock (a la Bush, Five Finger Death Punch, Alice in Chains, Breaking Benjamin, Pearl Jam, etc), classical, and I LOVE movie soundtracks (LoTR, Harry Potter, Batman (a la Dark Knight), etc).

How about you? What are your fav genres?

**********

Need a character “shrink-wrapped?” Ask me! I’ll feature your question on Mental Health Monday! 🙂

Mental Health Monday Meets Laughter Is the Best Medicine

Lydia Kang and Leigh Moore are co-hosting the Laughter is the Best Medicine Blogfest today. The rules are simple: Post a joke that pokes fun at yourself, writing, or work.

When I was a resident, I rotated in the state facility where patients with severe and chronic mental illness stayed for months or years. We’d have case conferences with the patients, namely to discuss their treatment and progress, as well as discharge planning of how to transition them back into the community.

One patient came in for his treatment plan review. It was snack time so he had juice and cookie bits stuck in his beard. His clothes were rumpled and stained. His eyes had that wild look that comes only with psychosis. Despite months of medication adjustment and therapy, he continued to hear voices and struggled with impulse control.

We reviewed what he needed to do and our recommendations. Even though we sat in a conference room, we could still hear another patient pitching a fit about not getting enough cookies. Needless to say, it was quite distracting, though, like troopers, we carried on. At the end, we asked the patient if he had any questions.

His response:

“Yeah, could you shut that woman up? Her screaming all the time will make ya crazy!”

*cue laughter*

Yes, the irony of a psychotic patient commenting on his mental health certainly brought some humor to the day.

Is that wrong? 😉

The Nature of Magic Blogfest WINNERS!!!!

Tessa and I have tallied the votes and–drum roll please–we have WINNERS!!!!!!

First Place (winner of a $10 Amazon voucher and a chapter edit/critique from both Tessa and me):

Second Place (winner of a $10 Amazon voucher and a chapter edit/critique from either Tessa or me):

Third Place (winner of a chapter edit/critique from Tessa or me):

CONGRATS everyone–to the winners and the participants! This was a lot of fun and we couldn’t have done it without you!

I’d like to also give a special thanks to Tessa who helped me learn more techy stuff than I ever thought possible! 😉

Click HERE for a link to Tessa’s post and to see who got honorable mentions!

The Nature of Magic Blogfest Finalists!

Oh my heck, there were a LOT of great entries folks! Gotta say, Tessa and I had a hard time whittling down to the finalists, cuz we liked all of your excerpts! NICE. WORK.

As a reminder, here’s the run down of prizes you could win!

…1st choice: Chapter critique from both of us + $ 10 Amazon Voucher
… 2nd choice: Chapter critique from one of us + $ 10 Amazon Voucher
… 3rd choice: Chapter critique from one of us

Here are the Finalists:

  1. Cloak of Shadows by Raquel ByrnesEdge of Your Seat Romance
  2. Cinderella 2.1 by Morning AJ Jobbing Writer
  3. Cave of Miracles by SarahThe Wit and Wisdom of another Sarah
  4. Canvas by EliseGladiator’s Pen
  5. Eldala (excerpt) by Michelle GregoryBeautiful Chaos
Please VOTE on your favorite (poll in sidebar)! The WINNERS shall be announced on APRIL 3rd (that’s Sunday).

Because there were so many wonderful entries, we’ve also come up with a few Special Mentions
(entries that almost made it into the top 5. If you could fit that many into five spaces, we would have):

Nice job, everyone! Now get voting!!!! 😉

 

Nature of Magic Blogfest

Woot! Today is the day! The Nature of Magic Blogfest has arrived. Get your eyes ready and your brain prepared to feast on the marvels of magic.

Gotta say, Tessa and I have been anxiously awaiting everyone’s entries!

As a reminder, here’s the task:

Write or share something you’ve already written that, to you, shows the nature of magic. It can be an excerpt from your WIP, something you’ve written especially, poetry, whatever strikes your fancy. It just needs to show the nature of magic as it exists for you or for those you write about.

EDIT: Unless you’re writing poetry, try to keep the entries somewhere between 250-1000 words.

The rules:

  • Sign up on the linky list (it’s at Tessa’s blog). 
  • Choose or write a piece about the Nature of Magic and post it on your blog on March 26th. That’s a Saturday – we’ll go easy on you and say it has to be up by Sunday night (so last chance midnight on the 27th – that’s when the linky list closes, too)(mind you, that’s midnight Central European Time). Just be aware that if you’re very late your entry might be missed, so please do let us know via comments once you’ve posted
  • Check out what others think of magic and give them some comment love
  • Come back on Wednesday March 30th to see the five “finalists” (chosen by us) and vote on your favourite. Votes will be open till April 2nd, winner(s) announced April 3rd
  • The prizes:

    … 1st choice: Chapter critique from both of us + $ 10 Amazon Voucher
    … 2nd choice: Chapter critique from one of us + $ 10 Amazon Voucher
    … 3rd choice: Chapter critique from one of us
    Mind you, we’re not professional editors… think of us as thorough proof readers, lol. 

    Good luck everyone!

    Here’s my entry:

    “All we need is a spell.” I whirl to the bookshelf and select my favorite spell book bound in leather and well worn from multiple readings. The pages are sticky—that’s what I get for reading it while eating a candy apple that one time—and they crinkle beneath my fingers.

    “Don’t be silly, Anne. That stuff isn’t real.”

    I ignore her comment and flip through the pages, searching for a pact spell. It allows the members to dodge questions and keeps intruders from getting suspicious. What we’re planning must stay secret. No. Matter. What.

    The oily scent of ink mingles with the pungent leather and wafts toward my nose. I take in a deep breath of it and smile.

    “Hey, I was looking for this.” Mary finds the scarf I borrowed and checks to see if it’s still intact. Geez, I’m not that careless.

    “Yeah, sorry. I meant to give that back.”  I bat my eyelashes.

    “Uh-huh. In what century?”

    I barely hear her. The spell I want is staring me right in the face. “Here it is. Look.” I hold the book up so she can see.

    She frowns at the page. “Great. Now what?”

    “Now we chant it.” I set the book on the floor and gather my collection of pillar candles. Within seconds, I have them arranged on the rug, one for each direction on the compass and one for each element. “North, south, east, west. Earth, fire, wind, and water.”

    “It just looks like a circle. Does it really matter where you put them?” She joins me on the floor, folding her legs under her.

    “Yes. It really matters.” I glare at her and strike a long stick match. The bitter scent of sulfur tickles my throat. I light each wick, calling out each name as I go. “North, south, east, west. Earth, fire, wind, water.”

    Our puggle puppies, Polly and Cass, stare at us from their beds. They don’t like fire, even if it’s from a small candle flame.

    “You already said that.” Her tone sounds flat, like she’s already bored.

    “Shhh. It helps organize the chant.”

    Mary folds her arms. “Like you know about organizing.”

    “Don’t block yourself off. It won’t work if you don’t believe.”  I blow out the match. Smoke streams from the tip in a serpentine dance.

    “But I don’t,” she complains.

    I lean back on my heels. “You promised.”

    “Ugh, all right.” She slaps her hands on her thighs.

    “Good.” I shift directly opposite her and read from the book. “Take my hands and close your eyes.”

    We hold hands and I chant.

    “Four elements of life, I beseech you. Hear our plea.

    Let our thirteenth birthday be a great assembly.”

    “Is that really in the book?”

    I open an eye to see Mary peering at me. “Shhh. I’m personalizing it.”

    She sighs.

    “Close your eyes.” I continue.

    “Four elements of life, it is our wish, it is our plea,

    That our birthday planning stays under lock and key.

    Four elements of life, it is our wish, it is our plea,

    That our birthday is filled with magic and revelry!”

    “Now, say it with me.” I squeeze Mary’s hands.

    “I don’t remember what you said.”

    “You’re kidding.”

    She shrugs. “What?”

    I let go of her hands, snatch a notepad and pen from the desk drawer, and scribble the chant. I pass the paper to her. It smells like bubble gum.

    “Gee, thanks.” She holds it by the corner. Her eyes scan the page. “Your handwriting is terrible.”

    I frown. “We can’t be fighting while we do this. Something might go wrong.”

    She throws up her hands. “Oh, great. Now you’re telling me something bad will happen. You shouldn’t mess with this stuff anyway. It’s dangerous.” Her mouth puckers.

    “How can you be afraid of it if you don’t think it’s real?” I resist the urge to fold my own arms.

    She flicks her hair over her shoulder. “Just get on with it, okay?”

    “Say the spell with me. Repeat it three times, that’s all.” I hold out my hands and give an encouraging smile.

    Her hands are cold and clammy, though the room is warm.

    We close our eyes and chant the spell. At the end of the third round, I open my eyes and let out a long breath. “Wasn’t so bad, right?”

    “Yeah.” Mary nods. She rubs her hands together. “So, is that it?”

    “I—”

    The room goes ice cold. The beds, desk, chair, light fixtures, everything starts shaking. Our cell phones ring and the alarm clock buzzes. A gust of wind whips our hair into knots and sends a stack of loose papers swirling in circles. The candles blow out, darkening the room. Cass and Polly howl and dash under Mary’s bed.

    “Oh, crap, we did something wrong.” Mary’s voice tremors with fear. She dives for the floor.

    “Ack!” A paperback novel swoops for my head. I duck. It ricochets off my mattress and slides toward Cass. She leaps in the air, smashing into the box spring above him. Polly barks at her, then the book.

    “Stop it, Anne!” Mary swats an airborne sweater before it wraps around her face to smother her.

    “I don’t know how.” I grab her arm and drag her toward the door. “Let’s get out of here.”

    We huddle by the door and Mary keeps watch for random projectiles while I jiggle the handle.

    “It’s locked.” I twist and twist, but the thing won’t turn.

    By now, the swirling wind, wonky electronics, and yelping dogs have fried my brain. I can’t think beyond, please stop, please stop, please stop.

    “Anne? Mary? Knock off that racket. I need to concentrate.” Mom’s bellowing voice is louder than the commotion in our room. “I mean it. Don’t make me come up there.”

    What’s worse, a poltergeist or Mom?

    I stand and put my hands up. “Four elements of life, hear our plea. Stop destroying our room, I beseech thee!”

    The chaos intensifies. The dogs go crazy. Mary cries.

    “Stop it, stop it, stop it!” I slam my fists against my thighs.

    The wind stops. Everything falls to the floor as gravity once again takes over. Our phones stop ringing. The alarm clock dies.

    I smooth my tangled hair—like it’s possible—and try to catch my breath. Mary is still whimpering by the door. I kneel next to her. “It’s okay. It’s over.”

    She gulps. “We’re never doing anything like that again.”

    Flake-out Friday: Blogfest Announcement

    Hey gang! I’m super stoked to announce Tessa Conte and I are co-hosting a blogfest about…drumroll please–

    The Nature of Magic!

    I know you’re all dying to share what magic means to you (or your character)? Is it all “whatever, it’s a bunch of fluff and nonsense”? Or maybe it’s “abracadabra alacazam”? Or maybe something else altogether different, unknown, and mysterious?

    Bottom line: Magic is different for everyone, and we want to know what it means to you – yes YOU! So, join our blogfest and tell us (or your character) all about it! Here’s what we want you to do:

    THE TASK:

    Write or share something you’ve already written that, to you, shows the nature of magic (in 1000 words or less). It can be an excerpt from your WIP, something you’ve written especially, poetry, whatever strikes your fancy. It just needs to show the nature of magic as it exists for you or for those you write about.

    THE RULES:

    1. Sign up on the linky list below.
    2. Choose or write a piece about the Nature of Magic and post it on your blog on March 26th. That’s a Saturday – we’ll go easy on you and say it has to be up by Sunday night (so last chance midnight on the 27th – that’s when the linky list closes, too)(mind you, that’s midnight Central European Time). Just be aware that if you’re very late your entry might be missed, so please do let us know via comments once you’ve posted.
    3. Check out what others think of magic and give them some comment love!
    4. Come back on Wednesday March 30th to see the three “finalists” (chosen by us) and vote on your favourite. Votes will be open till April 2ndwinner(s) announced April 3rd.

    We’d appreciate it if you advertised our blogfest. If you like, here’s two banners/buttons you can put up on your blog….

    THE PRIZES:

    1st choice: Chapter critique from both of us + $ 10 Amazon Voucher
    2nd choice: Chapter critique from one of us + $ 10 Amazon Voucher
    3rd choice: Chapter critique from one of us

    THE LINKY:

    The Nature of Magic Blogfest Linky

    ***Please do sign up and let us know what magic means to YOU! Also, it would be super nice if you’d comment once you’ve signed up. You can also sign up on Tessa’s Blog if you like, the linky’s the same!***