Enunciation

-enunciation-53098Today I’d like to discuss enunciation. Years ago, I was asked to speak at a Lion’s Club meeting. I don’t remember the topic, maybe my trip to Mexico in 1988. Anyway, I sat in front of the crowd and started mumbling. Somebody told me to stand up and speak up. So I did.

Since then, I’ve been speaking in public for various reasons. Either to attract people to the martial arts club or discussing my books. Each time is a learning experience and a chance for me to work on my speaking skills.

When I was a broadcaster for WKEI/WJRE in Kewanee, Illinois (self-proclaimed Hog Capital of the World, but don’t get me started on the city water) I had to enunciate to be understood by the tens of fans listening. (Seriously. When I would conduct contests, I could wait an hour for ‘the tenth caller’ to call in to win.)

Broadcasting sports was fun. The Wethersfield Flying Geese was the other township in Kewanee, colors green and white. I had to be able to pronounce players’ names and coherently discuss the football or basketball game before me. I never messed up a football game (and that’s saying something for a guy who never played football and barely knew the positions, let alone what play they were running), but I did mess up twice when doing basketball. One time it was enunciation and the other was a faux pas. (Ask me about them next time you see. They’re funny as hell.)

Anyway, I’ve listened to myriad television and radio voices throughout the year and I’ve tried to improve my speaking voice. I admit, I have a problem with speaking too quickly to be understood. Especially when reading material to critique groups. I have to consciously slow down and realize that I’ll have time to read, that nobody is going to hurry me.

I mention this topic, because I think good speaking is important to authors and those who speak for a living, i.e. radio personalities. I think it lends credibility to the individual.

Which is why I’d like to point out two examples of where enunciation is a glaring problem. Sure, everybody fumbles over words. I understand and most can make a nice recovery. It’s when I don’t think the person knows he/she has said something wrong that I have an issue.

I love WHO Radio. I enjoy the shows and the personalities. God bless Jan and hurry back because we miss you. There are two personalities who need to work on slowing down and enunciating a word. The first is one of the weather forecasters. I’ve listened many times to her forecasts and she completes the weather with the standard, “This is the 1040 WHO three day weather forecast, I’m meterologist ____”

No, that’s not a typo. That’s what she says she is, a meterologist. As I said, I’ve listened dozens of times and it’s always the same thing. She doesn’t take the time to add the extra syllable to be correct. She’s a meteorologist.

The other is a guy who has memorized the script he rattles off the closing line too fast. Everybody else says, “This is the 1040 WHO three day weather forecast…” It’s understandable and you can hear every single word in its entirety. However, there this guy who says, “This is the 1040 WHO three d weather forecast…”

Just the D sound, not day.

Why do I seemingly pick on these two people? Because as a speaker I have to watch my words. I have to be understood by the public. Hec, to be a broadcaster, you have to send in an audition tape. Which means people will hear you say words.

What’s happened here? Years of broadcasting has made people lax in their words. These examples are two that have bothered me.

What have you heard mispronounced or garbled?

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Around The Globe With Danica Winters

mountainsWe finish today relaxing in western Montana, looking out through at the snowy mountains drinking wine. I don’t think this is actually Danica’s house on the left, but it might be.

Easing back with a glass of wine, mountains, relax, relax…oops, almost forgot about the interview.

1. Who are you and what makes you the most fascinating person in your city?

I could give you the answer my publicist and editor’s would probably like you to have (the same one that is floating around the entire internet), but instead I’m going to delve a little deeper.

First, let me start of by saying I live in a college town in Montana where I’m surrounded by truly incredible people. I like to think of myself as a nerdy cowgirl. I’m cool, but I’m hardly the most fascinating person in my city… I’m surrounded by activists, biologists, MSN big guns, IBM hotshots, and women who are actively working to make the world a better place.

That being said, I aim to make a difference in my reader’s lives.

With each of my books my goal is to show the world for what it really is and to provide an escape. Life is hard, and to make good fiction, the character’s lives must be as true to life as possible. Yet, unlike reality, in fiction the characters have the chance to fix the wrongs and mend their hearts.

That being said, I always try to have my readers finish the book with a feeling of hope in their heart.

2. Without revealing a deep dark secret (unless you want to), what one thing would people be surprised to learn about you?

One of my favorite hobbies is rockhounding. I love to hike around crazy places around the world and look for interesting minerals and rock formations. My husband doesn’t have to buy me jewelry for birthdays; instead he gets me interesting and beautiful mineral specimens. (I’m currently under the spell of malachite.)

I meant what I said about the nerd thing…

3. What interested you to become a writer rather than something else such as rock star?

If I hadn’t actively pursued writing, I have absolutely no clue what I would have become. I guess my dream job would have been a business owner. I love being my own boss.

4. Writers are readers. With which author(s) would you enjoy sharing dinner? Why?

I always love Jodi Picoult’s books. Her writing is poignant and deep, and it always touches on the moral ambiguity of real life.

I also love B.J. Daniels’ work. She is not only a wonderful writer, but a beautiful person.

5. If I were stranded on a deserted island or suffering from a four hour layover at the airport, why would your book(s) be great company?

That’s easy… The books I write are fast-paced and easy to read. They’re the perfect pick for a travel day as you can finish them by the time your feet touch home.

6. Share your process of writing in regards to: plot and character development, story outline, research (do you Google or visit places/people, or make it up on the spot), writing schedule, editing and number of rewrites.

I have become a plotter. Before I ever start writing I do a great deal of research into the background of the plot and then I sit down and hammer out the details. I try to write 1-3k words a day until the book is finished. Then I set it aside for a couple of weeks (if I can) and come back to give it a thorough once-over. I cut away at it until it’s ready to go. Then I read it again before sending it to my beta-readers. They give it a read, send me their notes, I make the changes, and then it’s off to the editor/agent. After they go through it, I normally two/three rounds of editing before it hits the shelves.

7. “I think I have a good idea for a story, but I don’t know where or how to begin. Your process may not work for me. Any advice?”

If this is your first book, write the thing that scares you the most… use the idea that you’ve been rolling around in your head for years, but are afraid it will offend people. Just do it.

8. I saw an amusing T-shirt the other day which read, “Every great idea I have gets me in trouble.” What is your philosophy of life?

Pretty much exactly that. I step on toes, but over the years of being a writer I have come to accept the fact that no one reads the same book. What a reader takes away from a book may be something completely different than what I’ve intended (for both bad and good) based on what is going on in their lives. Therefore, instead of trying to make everyone happy, my goal is always to write the best book I can and hope that it makes most readers walk away with a feeling of hope.

9. Please tell me you’re not going to stop writing? What’s next for you?

Like most writers, I couldn’t stop writing. I currently working on book 2 and 3 of the Montana Heroes Series with Harlequin Intrigue and I’m also working on a new three book paranormal romance series (the Irish Traveller Series) with Diversion Books.

10. Where can people find more information on you and your projects?

I’m willing to share (but you can always check out my website:

www.DanicaWinters.net or chat with me on

Twitter @DanicaWinters or

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/DanicaWinters

I’m pretty open and honest, so if you ask a question I will answer.

Here is the “unofficial” book blurb for Dust Up With the Detective (Book 2 of the Montana Heroes Series, being published mid-September 2016):

One bad decision can cost you your life…

When she was young, Blake West had been in a rush to escape the a mining town in Montana where she’d been born and raised; instead, a single decision left her with a child and dreams that are now nothing more than a distant memory.

To support her daughter, Blake has taken a job as a Sherriff’s Deputy. Her days are filled with little more than automobile accidents and drunken brawls until the day Detective Jeremy Lawrence’s brother goes missing.

Together Blake and Detective Lawrence must uncover the clues about his brother’s possible demise, all while keeping a safe distance from the feelings that surface between them. As the mystery unfolds, only one thing becomes clear—not everything is as it seems and sometimes, even in rural Montana, the bad guy wins.

And the blurb for Once a Gypsy (Book 1 of the Irish Traveller Series, being published November 2016):

Helena has never fit in with her Irish Traveller family. Aside from her opposition to marriage and her determination to attend university, Helena holds a secret that would make her even more of an outcast: She has the gift of the Forshaw, the ability to see the future.
When she meets Graham, a handsome country man who promises to teach her to control her powers, Helena resists. She is afraid of the damage her abilities might do, and any involvement, especially romantic, with non-gypsies is forbidden. But fate has other plans for Helena’s clairvoyance―and her relationship with Graham.


smoke and ashes coverSmoke and Ashes

Montana Heroes Series

Book One

Danica Winters

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Harlequin Intrigue

Date of Publication: May 1, 2016

ISBN: Paperback: 9780373699070

eBook: 9781488005572

Large Print: 9780373749614

ASIN: B015MO3ZV4

Number of pages: 224

Word Count: 50-55k

Cover Artist: Harlequin Intrigue

Book Description:

Montana’s bravest…and hottest

With a mysterious arsonist on the loose in Missoula, fire inspector Kevin Jensen saves more than Heather Sampson’s house. The sexy single father rescues her from an abusive marriage—and discovers his own past failures don’t have to rule his life. Especially when sparks between him and Heather ignite irresistible desire.

But who’s the arsonist? Why target Heather? What’s his shocking motive? When Heather faces off with him in a brutal attack, she needs her “white knight” as much as he needs her. Both have looked into their souls and risked their broken hearts for each other. Now Kevin will have to risk his life and his heart.

Prologue

He looked down at Heather Sampson as he pulled the matchbox from his pocket. The box dropped from his hand, spilling matches on her bedroom floor in a heap of deadly promise. Crouching down, he scooped them back into the container, careful to move quietly, afraid that at any second she would awaken and find him standing over her.

Her eyes were closed and her lips slightly parted, as if she waited for a kiss from her Prince Charming. She should have known better. There was no such thing as Prince Charming. There were only toads and a precious few men like him—men who worked to make everything just.

The sad truth was that there was no justice in marriage—at least not in any of the marriages he had witnessed. No. Marriage was one lie after another. One hurt feeling masked with a fake smile, only to have another lie strip it away. It was an endless cycle of pain.

What was the point? What was it all for?

As far as he could tell, it was for nothing more than ego and some idealistic hope that if they acted happy, if they faked it well enough, maybe they could finally believe it themselves.

He was here to make her a martyr, not that she would understand, but this was his chance to show her and the world what her marriage truly was—nothing more than smoke and ashes. A fire that had yet to burn itself out. But at last the time had come. The hour was here for him to stoke the flames and let them consume every crumb of her failing marriage.

The inferno could have it all.

He walked out of her bedroom and made his way downstairs, where the glorious scent of gasoline filled the space. Unlike the others, Heather’s house would go up in a flash. In one giant fireball the whole charade would be over—the secrets, the lies, the fake smiles and hurt feelings. It would all be gone, and all her pain could be for a higher purpose.

The night air blew into the house, diluting the gas’s perfume. He made sure to leave the door open as he stepped out and walked toward the garage. A puddle of gas sat on the sidewalk, just waiting for him.

He struck the match.

It was so much easier this way.

The fire’s smoke curled skyward, creating a trail that led to the heavens. If he had his way, life would be better and she would be free.

Danica wintersAbout the Author:

Danica Winters is an Amazon bestselling author who has won multiple awards for writing books that grip readers with their ability to drive emotion through suspense and occasionally a touch of magic. Most recently, Danica was the winner of the Paranormal Romance Guild’s Paranormal Romantic Suspense Book of the Year Award and Chanticleer Media’s Paranormal Book of the Year for her novel Montana Mustangs. She is currently the finalist for the Chatelaine Award.

When she’s not working, she can be found in the wilds of Montana testing her patience while she tries to understand the allure of various crafts (quilting, pottery, and painting are not her thing). She always believes the cup is neither half full nor half empty, but it better be filled with wine.

Danica Winters is represented by Nicole Resciniti and Lane Heymont of the Seymour Agency.

Tour giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card

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Around The Globe With Laura Olivia

yarrow-yellowFrom a farmer’s market to a flower garden, second up wants to do the interview amidst her homegrown French lavender, Johnny Jump-Ups, sweet alyssum, nemesia, and yarrow. Plants I’ve never seen before, but there are several more that she loves, too. Makes her feel magical just saying their names. Before I get caught up in a flowery spell, let’s talk:

The Devil's Disease Banner 851 x 3151. Who are you and what makes you the most fascinating person in your city?

My name is Laura Oliva. I doubt I’m the most fascinating person in my city, but given I’m an urban fantasy writer, I think people expect me to be. Really, I’m just trying to live up to the hype.

2. Without revealing a deep dark secret (unless you want to), what one thing would people be surprised to learn about you?

I sing. Not terribly. This has been known to shock people familiar with my speaking voice.

3. What interested you to become a writer rather than something else such as rock star?

I didn’t have a dependable enough liver to make it as a rock star. I also get bored notoriously quickly, so writing was really the only career I could survive doing long-term. By the time I finish one book, I get to start another!

4. Writers are readers. With which author(s) would you enjoy sharing dinner? Why?

Karen Marie Moning or Stacia Kane (I love their Fever series and Downside Ghosts series, respectively). I think I’d be too wired to actually eat anything; I’d just stare at them and giggle nervously, occasionally babbling about how much I love their work. It would be weird, uncomfortable, and totally epic.

5. If I were stranded on a deserted island or suffering from a four hour layover at the airport, why would your book(s) be great company?

I describe food quite vividly in my books. If you’re starving on a deserted island, you could eat vicariously through my characters.

6. Share your process of writing in regards to: plot and character development, story outline, research (do you Google or visit places/people, or make it up on the spot), writing schedule, editing and number of rewrites.

I’ve written nine books now, and I still have NO idea what my “process” is.

As near as I can figure, it involves a lot of tedious work. I keep lots of lists- names, places, words I find interesting. I plot obsessively, but usually end up tweaking significant portions of my outline once the actual writing commences. I research just as obsessively, often about things I have no idea whether or not I’ll ever use.

Even the most coherent, well-thought-out process only exists for one purpose: to support the actual writing. It never matters how prepared I think I am: some days, writing is a joy. Still others it can be downright excruciating.

In the end, you just have to do what it takes to get shit done.

7. “I think I have a good idea for a story, but I don’t know where or how to begin. Your process may not work for me. Any advice?”

I’m not going to say “follow your muse”, because the Muse is a fickle bitch. Also, if you’re going to be serious about writing, it’s not enough to “follow” anything. In the words of Hemingway, you have to go after your story with a club. Plant your butt in your chair and your fingers on your keyboard, and write. If you do that consistently, you’ll develop your own process along the way.

8. I saw an amusing T-shirt the other day which read, “Every great idea I have gets me in trouble.” What is your philosophy of life?

I’ll try anything once, just don’t tell me what’s in it.

9. Please tell me you’re not going to stop writing? What’s next for you?

At this point, I couldn’t stop writing if I tried! I’m currently working on a companion novella for The Devil’s Disease. It’s called Thicker Than Water, and takes place in New Orleans. After that, it’s on to the next Shades Below standalone novel: If You Were My Vampire.

10. Where can people find more information on you and your projects?

Definitely check out my website: http://ljkolivabooks.com. You can also sign up for my no-spam email newsletter (http://eepurl.com/xRJuD). I’ll send you notices about releases, as well as exclusive content related to the books and characters of Shades Below. See you in your inbox!


SBDDCoverThe Devil’s Disease

Shades Below

Book Two

L.J.K. Oliva

Genre: urban fantasy

Date of Publication: March 31, 2016

Word Count: 93,338

Cover Artist: Amy Mateyka

Book Description:

In the city by the Bay, things are about to get bloody…

Psychic medium Lena Alan always sticks to what she knows, and what she knows are dead people. When her brother Cyrus agrees to look into a troubling incident for local vampire Seneca Lynch, Lena finds herself in unfamiliar territory.

One thing is clear: she needs a detective, and there’s only one she trusts.

Private investigator Jesper MacMillian is ready to get back to business. Between his duties as leader of the city’s Romani community and the stack of unfinished paperwork on his desk, he doesn’t have time to think about ghosts, witches, or Lena Alan. After nearly a month of no contact, he’s starting to think she’s forgotten about him…until she waltzes through his office door and hands him a new case.

Still reeling from his last encounter with the subversive world, MacMillian is tempted to turn it down. But this is Lena, and he can’t bring himself to tell her no. He soon finds himself drawn even deeper into the shadows, into a part of the demimonde where folklore is real and nightmares are born.

This time, there are more than just ghosts walking the streets of San Francisco.

There are monsters, too.

oliviaAbout the Author:

L.J.K Oliva is the devil-may-care alter-ego of noir romance novelist Laura Oliva. She likes her whiskey strong, her chocolate dark, and her steak bloody. L.J.K. likes monsters… and knows the darkest ones don’t live in closets.

http://ljkolivabooks.com

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Bewitching Blog Tours Excerpts: The Devil’s Disease

Excerpt #1

The Wayfare Hotel for Restless Spirits was every bit as spooky as he remembered.

MacMillian wedged his dark green Plymouth Fury into a spot alongside The Panhandle, and stared across the street at the vast old Victorian. Was it him, or had it expanded since he’d last been here? That was impossible, of course. Even so, he could have sworn several of the turrets were new.

Lena waited until he had hoisted himself from the car, then started across the street. MacMillian headed after her with a wince. He should have known better than to sit for so long. Now he was paying for it. Lena glanced behind her. He schooled his face to a neutral expression. Judging by the way her eyebrows drew together, she wasn’t fooled.

She didn’t mention it, merely metered her steps to match his as though it were the most natural thing in the world. They climbed the steep front steps together, crossed the stoop to the massive front door.

Lena turned to him. “Before we go inside, there’s something you should know.”

MacMillian shifted his weight to his cane. “All right.”

She twisted the strap of her purse. “You’re going to meet someone. He’s…not like anyone you’ve seen before.”

MacMillian snorted. “Since I’ve known you, I’ve met ghosts, witches, a knight, and a librarian for God. So unless you’re telling me vampires and werewolves are real too…” He trailed off at the look on her face. “They’re not. Are they?”

Lena shifted. “It’s a little more complicated than—”

He held up a hand. “Please. Yes or no.”

“Well, yes.”

MacMillian stared.

Lena continued hurriedly. “But technically, lycanthropy is a disease. Therians have complete control over their shifts, and are no danger to humans. Anyway, that’s not what this is about.”

MacMillian felt light-headed. “So, a vampire.”

At that moment, the door to the house swung inward. MacMillian jerked his eyes from Lena’s face. A tall, athletic-looking man with disheveled blond hair and a sardonic expression leaned against the door frame.

“I find ‘vampire’ rather a loaded word, don’t you?” The man crossed his arms over his broad chest. His black leather jacket creaked. “I prefer the term ‘sangretarian.'”

MacMillian looked to Lena.

She cleared her throat. “Jesper MacMillian, meet Seneca Lynch.”

Excerpt #2

By the looks of things, the rest of the party was winding down. People poured into the front garden, everyone from fishnet-clad goths to silk-swathed Victorian ladies. MacMillian moved off the path to let one motley group pass.

He shook his head. “Bet you anything half those people are going to work in an office tomorrow.”

Lynch stood beside him and watched as still more people emerged from the house. “I need to tell you something. Kasey Chaplin, the young lady Lena communicated with; there’s something about her you should know.”

MacMillian looked at him. “What is it?”

Lynch’s eyes locked on a raven-haired woman in a corset. “She was a black swan.”

MacMillian blinked. “You mean like Stella?”

A smirk dusted Lynch’s lips. “I’ve met very few people like Stella.” His face grew serious. “I knew Ms. Chaplin. She was part of my circle. She’d been here for blood drives. She was actually a very lovely girl.”

MacMillian snorted. “A lovely girl who hung out with vampires.” He remembered himself too late, winced. “Sorry.”

“Say what you will about us, Mr. MacMillian, but every human you saw tonight was here of their own free will.” Lynch watched the people still trickling past. “They seek us out. They flock to us in droves. Do you know why?”

MacMillian didn’t speak.

“Because we give them something.” Lynch turned back to him. “They give us their blood, and in return, we give them a place to belong. We give them an identity. You’d be surprised how many humans have never had either of those before.”

MacMillian shook his head. “I’m sorry, but I don’t see people with an identity. I see people playing dress-up, so desperate to belong they’ll believe anything you tell them.” He tightened his jaw. “They have no clue what’s really going on.”

“And now you do.” Lynch shifted. “You may be right. It is in our best interests to facilitate certain…fantasies. But really, isn’t that what identity is? The stories we tell others, the names we call ourselves?”

MacMillian didn’t have an answer to that. He gripped his cane a little tighter. “And what about you? What do you call yourself, Lynch?”

Lynch smiled into the darkness. “Why, my dear detective. I am a monster.”

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Around The Globe With Lexi George

Massive Market CrowdsThis week’s featured author didn’t choose a place to be interviewed. On those rare instances it’s up to m. I’ve always wanted to visit the Des Moin Farmer’s Market. So, here I am in the midst of the crowd, facing the courthouse. I’m surrounded by people and produce and crafts…and an author to interview…

Demon Hunting with a Dixie Deb Banner 851 x 3151. Who are you and what makes you the most fascinating person in your city?

I don’t think I’m fascinating at all, which may be why I write books!

I’m an appellate lawyer by day (told yah—boring!), and a writer by night. I write in two genres, paranormal romance and fantasy, and I love both! I can sing and act, but can’t dance worth a toot. I’m a good cook, and I am addicted to Netflix. I can’t stand sad movies—once I turn on the faucet, I can’t stop crying. I’m divorced, and the mother of two fabulous daughters. Thing One is about to sail off to California for film school. She wants to be an editor. Thing Two is finishing up her sophomore year at the University of Alabama—my alma mater—Roll Tide!—and is a musical theatre major. I’ve always been a dog person, but my Dachshund, Boo Lily, died in 2013, and my Lab, Bama Louise, died in 2015. Right now, I have two cats, a Balinese named Sabrina Lynn, and a Siberian called Samson Leonardo. They completely and totally rule the roost. They are both still young, and run the Nascat 500 in my bed at night. If the races go on for too long, I boot them into the living room and shut the door. Mama needs her shuteye!

2. What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I have what is called Resting Bitch Face, meaning I come across as reserved and . . . er . . . bitchy, but I’m not, I promise. When people get to know me, they are surprised to find I have a sense of humor, and that I’m quite bawdy. Guess the real me it doesn’t go with the reserved face.

3. What interested you to become a writer rather than something else, such as a rock star?

I was raised in the country in a rural neighborhood, the third of four kids, but my older sister and brother were thirteen and eleven years older, so we didn’t interact much. There weren’t any other children in my neighborhood, so books were my companions. I grew up loving the written word, and escaping into other worlds and boredom through books. Oh, yeah, and my mom was a high school English teacher. I wanted to be a storyteller like the writers I read and loved. Books were—and still are—my escape and safety place.

4. Writers are readers. With which authors would you enjoy sharing dinner? Why?

Oh, so many! Too many to name, in fact. I would love to meet George R. R. Martin. Whether you like him or hate him, his world building is phenomenal. I think Julia Spencer-Fleming would be lovely in person, and I would totally fan girl over Loretta Chase, Julia Quinn, or J.R. Ward. I belong to a local writer’s group, and I adore getting together with them once a month. And I belong to my local RWA chapters, and I love hanging out with my writing peeps there, too. Writers are, in some ways, strange animals that only other writers can understand. It’s nice to be with the herd!

5. If I were stranded on a deserted island or suffering from a four-hour layover at the airport, why would your books be great company?

Because I would make you laugh! (I hope—eek!) My books are filled with interesting and zany secondary characters. And my demon hunters are majorly yummy alpha males who are stern and no-nonsense. It’s great fun to watch them twist in the wind when they fall in love for the first time, totally bewildered by the new emotions they are feeling. My aim, when I write, is to help you forget your troubles and escape.

5. Share your process of writing.

Writers generally come in two flavors: plotters and pantsers. A plotter has everything nailed down before they start writing. A pantser throws herself into the story and writes by the seat of her pants. I am somewhere in the middle, and call myself a plotser, because I do both. Generally, the characters and the title come first, and then I try to hammer down the story’s hook. Take Demon Hunting with a Dixie Deb. The hook for that book is it’s a fish out of water story. Sassy, the heroine, a pampered, privileged young woman from money, comes to town to sell the family timber mill, meets Grim, the demon hunter, and gets fairyfied. That’s what I had to work with when I started. I filled in the details as I wrote.

As for my “process,” I am a linear writer. I start at the beginning and work straight through, like a stubborn mule plowing to the end of the row. Some writers write several drafts, rewriting as they go. Others write scenes and then quilt them together. I can’t do that. I have to tunnel my way through, with a lot of hair pulling in between. Though I write one draft, I tweak each chapter a squillion times along the way. When the whole thing is done (hallelujah!) I walk away from it a few days and let it get cold. Then I reread it again, tweaking it one last time. Because I write as I go, the process is slow and my word count in any given day may be low, but when I reach the end, I’m done. I try to write every day, but sometimes work and life interfere, but I find if I don’t write regularly, my writing muscles grow flabby. I use Mr. Google for EVERYTHING. I am constantly looking something up on the internet, from fashion to cars and catfish and their mating habits. True story.

7. “I think I have a good idea for a story, but I don’t know where or how to begin. Your process may not work for me. Any advice?

Kurt Vonnegut says, “Start as close to the end as possible,” and that’s what I try to do. By that, I don’t mean you have to start with an action scene. Rather, start with the change that drives your story. In Demon Hunting with a Dixie Deb, the change for Sassy begins when she narrowly misses a demon deer. She’s so startled by Predator Bambi that she runs her stepfather’s prized Maserati in the creek. She is rescued from drowning by Grim, a demon hunter, and the story unfolds from there. I began as close to the end as possible by starting with the events that change everything for my characters.

Take craft classes, and write, write, write. It’s the only way to find your voice. Don’t expect to write the Great American novel your first time out, although I’m not saying you won’t. For most writers, though, writing is a craft learned by doing, and that takes time. Dissect your favorite books. What do you love about them? What draws you into the story? What is it you like about the author’s voice? What things do you hate in a book and make you throw it against the wall? These things will help you find your identity as a writer. As you begin to write, you’ll discover that you cannot read without tearing the work apart, deciphering what works and what doesn’t.

Write what you love, not what’s hot. If you don’t love the genre you write, readers will know. You’ll be shorting yourself and them. Writing is hard work. By golly, you should write what you like!

8. I saw an amusing T-shirt the other day which read, “Every great idea I have gets me in trouble.” What is your philosophy of life?

Be kind. Every person carries a load, though we don’t always see it. Your kindnesses, big and small, will ripple through the lives of the people you meet. The only real and lasting legacy we leave behind is how we treat others. Make your legacy one of kindness.

9. Please tell me you’re not going to stop writing? What’s next for you?

I have started book five of the demon hunter series, Demon Hunting with a Sexy Ex. I’m less than one hundred pages in, and I’m still trying to feel my way through the story, but I think it’s going to be fun. This is the story of Duncan, a demon hunter, and Cassandra, a demonoid “witch.” Duncan and Cassie go way back, and their relationship is rocky. They reunite and sparks fly, but Cassie is gun shy, because Duncan broke her heart once before. They get embroiled in a werewolf war, and get close again, but Cassie’s mistrust lies between them. But, don’t worry. It’s a romance. They’ll work it out. I’m all about the happy endings.

10. Where can people find more information on you and your projects?

You can find me on my website: www.lexigeorge.com Drop me an email. I love to hear from readers!

Demon Hunting CoverDemon Hunting with a Dixie Deb

Demon Hunting Series

Book Four

Lexi George

Genre: paranormal romance

Publisher: Kensington

Date of Publication: May 24, 2016

ISBN: 9781601831774

ASIN: B014NWMH0G

Number of pages: 452

Word Count: 105,000

Cover Artist: Lyrical Press

Book Description:

Deep South legends. Deep fried curses. Deep dish revenge . . .

This Debutante Is Having A Ball!

Way down south in the land of cotton, one belle’s plans are soon forgotten–when Sassy Peterson drives her Maserati off the road to avoid a deer and lands smack-dab in the proverbial creek without a paddle. The Alabama heiress should have known something weird was going on when she saw the deer’s ginormous fangs. Hello, Predator Bambi!

But nothing can prepare her for the leather-clad, muscle-bound, golden-eyed sex god who rescues her. Who wears leather in May? That’s just the first of many questions Sassy has when her savior reveals he’s a demon hunter named Grim. Also: Why would a troop of fairies want to give her magical powers and rainbow hair? Why would a style-challenged beast called the Howling Hag want to hunt her down?

Most importantly, what’s a nice debutante like Sassy doing in a place like this anyway? Besides feeling Grim . . .

Excerpt:

Sugar,” Sassy murmured. She laid her head on Grim’s shoulder. “Fairies.”

With a drowsy sigh, she relaxed against him and went to sleep.

Grim stilled. A surge of lust hit him, hard and fierce. Sassy smelled delightful, a dizzying combination of summer roses and female. Curling tendrils of her hair lifted to caress his jaw, like flowers reaching for the sun.

I am her sword and shield. The vow rose unbidden in his mind. Here and now I vow to protect her, from anyone or anything that threatens her.

An admirable sentiment, I am sure, the Provider said, but hardly necessary. She leaves tomorrow, and you return to the hunt. That is good, is it not?

Yes, of course.

Then why the hollow ache in his chest?

Lex GeorgeAbout the Author:

Lexi George writes snarky, Southern-fried paranormal romance for Kensington. Her debut novel, Demon Hunting in Dixie, was released in 2011, and a novella and two more demon hunter books followed. Demon Hunting in a Dive Bar, the third book in the series, was nominated for a RITA in 2014. The fourth book, Demon Hunting with a Dixie Deb, is due to be released May 24, 2016. Lexi enjoys reading and writing romance, but her first love is fantasy. A Meddle of Wizards is the story of Raine Stewart, a sheltered, sickly young woman who comes into her own when she’s transported to a magical world, discovers her burgeoning powers as an adept, and faces the evil wizard who killed her parents. Lexi’s day job as an appellate attorney requires reading transcripts filled with murder, mayhem, and worse. Perhaps this is why she enjoys stories filled with humor, action, adventure, and magical creatures. She has a violent aversion to sad movies, having been scarred by Old Yeller at the age of nine. She drinks tea, not coffee, and has never seen The Exorcist, because she is a world-class chicken. She is the third of four children, with all the attendant neuroses.

Website: www.lexigeorge.co

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lexigeorge12

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Lexi-George-145551795493851/

Tour giveaway

$50 Amazon gift card

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Going to the Dog

This morning, I answer a knock on the door and here’s this guy with a dog. He says the dog wants to blog. I thought it was an amusing rhyme, but I had to refuse. I mean, let’s be serious here, dogs don’t blog. Fetch balls, roll in the mud, retrieve pheasants, but not blog.

However, the pooch started to stare at me…and, you know, it’s a dog and I like dogs…and after awhile, I-well, let’s just say that I wouldn’t let my cat blog…he wouldn’t in the first place, but a dog?


AndrewMy name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. Stephen has been kind enough to allow me a little space on his blog to promote my new novel RESOLUTION: Huck Finn’s Greatest Adventure. I think it’s a good book, but what do I know? Anyway, I’m kinda shy about tooting my own horn. So I think I’ll turn things over to my dog Danny—Danny the Dog. He writes articles for various publications and those articles seem to be rather popular. But he’s been offline for a spell and . . . well . . . I’ll just let him tell you about it. So without further ado, here’s Danny.

Andrew took me away from watching reruns of Lassie to help him out here. For a person who works with words for a living, he has very little to say in real life. He wants me to tout his book for him, but I don’t think I will. Instead, I think I’ll address my fans.

Danny EscapesOkay, I know you’ve missed me and I have missed you. But please—stop sending me letters, emails and videos begging me to write some more of my adventures.

Wait; let me back up for a minute. For the few humans on the planet who don’t know who I am, allow me to introduce myself by paraphrasing Mick Jagger. I’m a dog of wealth and taste, pleased to meet you. Danny the Dog is my name—a heartbreaker to all females, human and canine alike.

Now back to business. You people are in luck; I do have a new adventure for you.

My latest exploits started on a dark and stormy night. (Not really.) Andrew was at the computer, pulling his hair out because he had been editing his latest book. That’s the reason I haven’t been writing lately. He was hogging the computer, so I was going to bite him. Then I remembered that he’s my sole source of food. (Andrew and I live together on a boat and we share a computer.)

Anyway, after a year of research and writing, and three months of working with his editors, ol’ Andrew was coming apart at the seams. It wasn’t all the work that was getting him down—although he lacks verve and is very indolent—it was the fact that he thought no one would ever read his genius work. His word, not mine.

So just before he fell apart completely, I gave him my patented one-bark command and took him for a walk to calm his nerves. When we returned to the boat, I hopped up on the bench in front of the computer and wouldn’t make room for him.

I barked at him, telling him to go to bed, and like a good boy, he obeyed. Then I stayed up throughout the night fixing his mess. And I must say that I’m hell-on-wheels when it comes to writing.

When I had finished saving his career (career?), I emailed the now genius work to his agent.

If he had sent the book off as written before I got to it, you would never have heard from Andrew Joyce again. But with my paw prints all over the novel, look for it on the New York Times bestseller list any day now. And when they make it into a movie, I’m going to play the lead! I wrote in a part of a hero dog just to give his story some credibility.

Well folks, that’s it for this go-round. Now that I have more access to the computer, look for my next modest adventure: Danny the Dog Saves the World! As are all my adventures, it is 100% true.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot—go out and buy Andrew’s new book and make the old guy happy.

This is Andrew again. On behalf of Danny and myself, I would like to thank Stephen for having us over. It’s been a real pleasure.


Resolution-800 Cover reveal and Promotional

Resolution

It is 1896 in the Yukon Territory, Canada. The largest gold strike in the annals of human history has just been made; however, word of the discovery will not reach the outside world for another year.

By happenstance, a fifty-nine-year-old Huck Finn and his lady friend, Molly Lee, are on hand, but they are not interested in gold. They have come to that neck of the woods seeking adventure.

Someone should have warned them, “Be careful what you wish for.”

When disaster strikes, they volunteer to save the day by making an arduous six hundred mile journey by dog sled in the depths of a Yukon winter. They race against time, nature, and man. With the temperature hovering around seventy degrees below zero, they must fight every day if they are to live to see the next.

On the frozen trail, they are put upon by murderers, hungry wolves, and hostile Indians, but those adversaries have nothing over the weather. At seventy below, your spit freezes a foot from your face. Your cheeks burn—your skin turns purple and black as it dies from the cold. You are in constant danger of losing fingers and toes to frostbite.

It is into this world that Huck and Molly race.

They cannot stop. They cannot turn back. They can only go on. Lives hang in the balance—including theirs.

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Princesses In Space

Starr Valentine Banner 851 x 315

This week, I turn over the blog to an author who likes sci-fi and royalty and..well, I guess I’ll let her explain:

I’ve loved sci-fi since the moment I opened Madeleine L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time” and was forever hooked. Because of that book, I wanted to be a physicist some day (until I discovered there was math involved) and I also wanted to meet a boy just like Calvin O’Keefe. I wasn’t keen on the red hair, but adored everything else about him. He was my first book boyfriend.

A Wrinkle in Time

Fast forward to the present time. I’m a sci-fi geek and a trekkie, but my unhealthy obsession extends far past pondering which captain I love more – James Tiberius Kirk or Jean Luke Picard (don’t even get me started on Kathryn Janeway – she was okay, but I never really connected).

(insert Captain Janeway GIPH – http://pin.it/Cdc-Usk )

I’ll admit my deep, dark secret now. I like the new Star Trek movies too. I think Chris Pine makes a fine Captain Kirk, and, truth be told, I almost fainted when Benedict Cumberbatch said his name was Khan.

khan

I didn’t faint, though. I didn’t even drop my popcorn. Instead I just let out an unholy scream and scared the lady sitting one row in front of me in the theater.

Now some people say I’m not a purist since I like those movies, but I think it just proves the purity of my emotions. I adore everything Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Gallactica, Firefly, Stargate, The Fifth Element, The Last Starfighter – all of it. I even liked Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, and Lost in Space (both the series and the movie), and I loved (gulp – don’t judge me) Jupiter Ascending. Unlike most people, I honestly thought it was fabulous. I was never big on astronaut flicks or monster alien movies, but anything else with a journey, a voyage to the stars, and maybe just a touch of romance, and I was in.

space-the-sky-the-galaxy-stars-Favim.com-481975

When I became a writer, I didn’t start out writing sci-fi. Of course I read a steady diet of it, everything from Asimov to Zelazny (with a heavy dose of Bradbury). But I wrote young adult and romance. Lots of romance. It wasn’t until I saw an advertisement for a sci-fi short story contest, that I even considered trying it. I gave it a shot, and Starr Valentine was born.

Starr is the story of a beautiful, popular cheerleader who finds out her parents are aliens and she has to return to her home planet, Vega. When she gets there, she realizes the standard of beauty is different and she isn’t pretty anymore. On Vega everyone fawns over her dorky older sister Astra, ignoring her completely, and Starr has to figure out who she is if she isn’t beautiful

Ugly duckling teaser

I’ll be the first to admit it – my book is not hard-core sci-fi. If Asimov’s work is a Red Bull, then mine is a caffeine-free diet Coke. But it’s the book I wish I’d been able to read when I was an awkward teenager dreaming about faraway planets and mysterious aliens. It’s light hearted, but conveys a powerful message. And it involves a princess – even if the fairy tale is told in reverse.

And I do love princesses.

disney princess


STarr Valentine coverStarr Valentine

Wende Dikec

Genre: Young Adult/Sci-Fi

Publisher: Inkspell Publishing

Date of Publication: March 10, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-939590-76-3

ASIN: B01AO8XJRI

Number of pages: 176

Word Count: 64,000

Cover Artist: Najla Qamber

Book Description:

What happens when the beautiful swan becomes the ugly duckling?

Starr Valentine has a perfect life in Middleton, Ohio. She was named captain of the cheer squad, her mother finally allowed her to get highlights, and the cutest boy in school asked her to homecoming. But everything comes crashing down when she finds out her parents are actually monarchs in exile from a mysterious planet called Vega. Starr doesn’t want to leave, but loves the idea of being a princess, and decides moving to an alien world might not be so bad. When she gets there, however, she discovers that something is terribly wrong.

Starr has always been the winner of the family, but now everyone is fawning over her chubby older sister, Astra. And everyone, even a handsome and annoying young duke named Julian, seems to hate her. That is when she realizes the awful truth. Astra is now the pretty one. Astra has all the friends. Astra gets all of the attention. And Starr Valentine, voted Miss Perfect, is now the ugly duckling. Her biggest fear is…will she be able to turn back into a swan, or is she doomed to be a loser forever?

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Excerpt:

We all met in the captain’s lounge just after the transport ship had safely landed. My father wore some sort of military uniform, and he was completely dashing, as always.

Girls, you both look lovely.”

I smiled up at him. “So do you, Daddy,” I said, and he patted my cheek.

My mom fluttered up to us in a cacophony of lime green lace and feathers. A large gold medallion was pinned to her breast and she had on the crown she’d worn for the nightly news. She reached for our hands, tears swimming in her eyes.

I have something for you,” she said, her voice trembling. Captain Augustus stood behind her, looking just as handsome as my father. He held open a wooden box. Inside were two small, yet perfect, tiaras.

I gasped. “Diamonds.”

These are not your true crowns,” my mother explained. “Those went missing during the confusion when we were trying to escape. These are just a substitute until we can find something better.”

I couldn’t imagine something better. The tiaras seemed perfect. I leaned over slightly so my mom could slip it onto my head, glad I’d decided to wear my hair up in a French twist. The tiara was beautiful. I admired myself for a few minutes in the mirror before looking at Astra. She and my mother stood side by side, their hair a riot of dark curls, their dresses positively painful to the eyes, and I sighed. I really hoped they didn’t humiliate themselves too much at the ceremony. They looked like clowns from a circus performance.

My father, of course, didn’t seem to notice. He bowed and kissed my mother’s hand gallantly before linking it through his arm and leading her out the door. I could tell it was a very emotional moment for both of them. They were returning to the home they loved after being exiled for so many years. Even I could feel my throat tightening up.

Astra walked up and took my arm. “Are you ready?” she asked, and I nodded. It was time to face the music, or the Vegonians, as the case may be.

We stepped out into a warm, sultry evening on Vega. Lights had been set up all around the landing bay, and we followed my parents to an elevated platform near the ship. People waited as far as the eye could see, and as soon as my parents stepped up to the podium, the crowd roared.

I stood arm in arm with Astra, taking in the moment. The city of Celesta glittered in the light of the fading sun, just beyond the crowd of people assembled before us. It sparkled like it was made of glass. I could see what must have been the royal palace on one side of the city on top of a small hill, and it made me think of Aladdin’s castle, all gilt and white marble. I decided I could definitely get used to living there.

As I stared at the people in front of me, I started to notice something odd. The women here were not at all what I’d expected. Supposedly the most beautiful women in the universe, they all looked a lot like my mother and sister, with short, oddly shaped bodies and large behinds. They also dressed just like my mother and sister, in a riot of colors and patterns.

A quick assessment told me that I was the only pretty girl around, other than Maya, and definitely the best dressed. Maya had been forced by her parents to wear some sort of Vegonian monstrosity made out of a hot pink iridescent fabric. Torture. I, on the other hand, felt like an elegant swan dumped into the middle of a bunch of plump, gaudy, peacocks.

I heaved a sigh of relief. I’d been a little teeny tiny bit worried when I’d heard about how beautiful Vegonian women were. It was good to realize those rumors had been pure exaggeration. No one in this crowd could hold a candle to me.

Another quick look around told me that there wasn’t a single bad looking guy here. I was completely devoted to Adrian, of course, but I couldn’t help but admire and appreciate male beauty when I saw it. The boys were all works of art. It was as if I’d been dropped into a huge candy shop full of the most delicious boys I’d ever seen, and knew I could have my pick. Of course I would never cheat on Adrian, but it felt like a candy shop here, nonetheless.

My joy proved short-lived. None of the boys even looked at me. At first I thought that several of them stared at me, which made me happy, but soon realized it wasn’t me they stared at. They had their eyes locked on Astra with the same sort of enraptured expressions boys usually reserved for me.

A cold wave of shock crawled over my entire body. Boys never looked at Astra like that, especially when I stood right next to her. Something was very wrong here.

I smoothed my hair, which was perfect and didn’t need smoothing. I stuck out my chest and turned my body so they could see my best angle, but none of them even noticed me. Astra had suddenly become the center of attention.

My mother gave a very lovely and heartfelt speech, which I barely paid attention to. The crowd roared and screamed her name, but I hardly even heard it. People waved and cheered with tears streaming down their faces, but I felt numb to everything.

When we were introduced to various dignitaries, everyone said “lovely,” and “a vision,” when they met Astra. When they saw me, they looked a bit confused and then mumbled something boring like “nice to meet you.” Something very strange was going on, and I had to figure it out.

I searched the crowd for Adrian, but he was nowhere to be seen. One sexy, appreciative look from him might have been enough to restore some semblance of balance and order to my universe. But he wasn’t around and I’d been cast adrift in a sea of beautiful boys to whom I was invisible.

Art thou okay, Princess Starr?” asked Captain Augustus. “Thou art pale.”

I blinked as I digested his words. The Vegonians spoke English, but a weird form of archaic Elizabethan English mixed with modern slang. The only people who had spoken like that on the transport ship were the captain and the crew. All of the Vegonians who been on Earth for the last fifteen years spoke standard, modern English, although I’d heard a few “thou’s” and “thee’s” begin to slip into the language of the older passengers, including my own parents.

I’m fine. Thank you.”

As the captain bowed and turned away, I realized I wasn’t fine at all. I stared around at the sea of happy, glowing, faces, including those of my parents and my sister, and understood that suddenly, and without any explanation, I had become the outsider.

Thou art in hell, Starr Valentine,” I murmured to myself.

About the Author:

Wende Dikec has spent her life traveling the world, and collecting stories wherever she visited. She writes in several romance genres, and her books are quirky, light, and fun. Fluent in several languages and married to a man from Istanbul, Wende is a trekkie, a book hoarder, master of the Nespresso machine, and mother of three boys. A puppy named Capone is the most recent addition to her family, and she blogs about him as a way of maintaining what little sanity she has left.

http://www.wendedikec.com

https://www.facebook.com/wendedikecwriter

https://twitter.com/WendeDikec

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14735786.Wende_Dikec

https://www.pinterest.com/wendedikec/

http://wendewrites.tumblr.com

https://www.instagram.com/wendedikec/

Tour giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card to a Newsletter Subscriber,

to be awarded June 1, 2016.

Subscribe to Wende’s Newsletter Here: http://madmimi.com/signups/177092/join

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Overexposed

Exposing too much of minor charactersThis picture was taken at the 2015 Wizard Convention. Most of the pictures I took with my camera were actually pretty dim, as if each had a veil over the lens. It was, of course, the lighting of the room. This one, however was a bit over-exposed and I couldn’t tell you why.

Anyway, it brought to mind an interesting aspect of some of the books I have read for review. Often times I will know who the protagonist is, but not have a mental picture of him/her. If the book is part of a long running series, then I could understand why the author doesn’t put in a physical description of the main character, but if it the first in a series or a stand-alone book, why no description? The author doesn’t need to go into great detail, but just bits here and there.

Often times, too, in the same book where there is minimal description of the main character, there will be more details about one or more of the minor characters. The main character may be described as: a lawyer, wavy hair, medium build. Okay, that’s pretty good, I still don’t have a clear mental image. However, one of the witnesses he interviews will be: 6′, blue eyes, thinning hair, mole on his left cheek, walks with a cane, and wears glasses. His speech is breathy. That’s a wonderful description, but it’s almost wasted if that character has only one scene. Meanwhile the vague hero wanders around the entire book with nary anything known about his looks.

Why over-expose minor characters? In many books this doesn’t work for me. However, there is one series where the minor characters are essential and their descriptions and personalities are important to know.

In the Stephanie Plum series, Plum herself is, let’s be honest, a bit boring. Hold on, don’t write me emails, let me explain. I love the series but Plum has a hamster and is pretty. Other than that, what is she? A skip tracer who can’t seem to get a decent, easy case. She keeps running into weirdos. (Actually, my Mallory Petersen shares a bit of that life.) But for most of the stories, again, I don’t get a clear mental image of her.

But the supporting characters make the stories. Grandma Mazer, Ranger, Lula, Connie, Vinnie. I exclude Morelli because to me he’s just the part-time boyfriend and doesn’t get as involved in the action as much as the others.

Remove these supporting characters and you have an average series. But all of them are intertwined at points and all add comedic value. And all of them have enough description that I can see them.

I guess in one way, they are not ‘minor’ characters in the sense that they are here and gone. No, they’re not the main star, but all have their side stories and sub-plots.

So, in this series, over exposure of the supporting characters works, but only because they don’t disappear after one or two chapters. In other books, this over exposure doesn’t work because an interesting minor character may never be seen again after his/her part.

It’s a fine line sometimes.

Your opinion?

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Chapters – VIII

C08No-one told us there would be fish in the water. The children were scared.”

Unless there were piranhas in the pool, where do you live where no fish are in the water? Sheesh!

***

At the time of this writing, I’m one week removed from an accident that shook me up worse than I thought one would.

Now, I’ve had a few accidents in my years. I rear-ended a car while delivering pizza which screwed up my car’s steering and lost me my job. I also regretted that accident, not because of the ticket or the lost job, but because I really liked my first car. A 1975 Fiat Box (no, that wasn’t the actually model name, but it was basically a boxy car). The car used to cool itself by turning on the fan when I shut off the engine. Confounded a few people.

I’ve backed into a fire hydrant. I hit a deer when I owned my Daytona. That time wasn’t too bad. I tell people my psychic powers came into play because just after I thought the stretch of road I was on would be bad for meeting a deer, the animal came out of the ditch. Damaged my right headlight, but not much else.

I’ve pulled out from a parking place and hit a van. Minor damage was done to my car and nothing to his.

This latest deer accident was the worst in which I’ve been involved. I looked to my right and when I looked back a young doe was already in front of the car. There was no chance of slowing or avoiding it. No, the animal didn’t survive and I think that’s what shocked me the most. Not that I damaged my car or that I might have to call for assistance to get home, but that I’d killed a deer.

I’ve run over a fox, one or two squirrels and a family of raccoons and each of those affected me. I know mankind has intruded upon where animals have reigned and it’s inevitable that we’re going to encounter them with our autos. Sue me, I’m sensitive. I don’t have to like it.

So I pulled over and yes, I’ll admit it, I cried for a bit. Then I assessed the damage to the car, retrieved pieces of the car from the road and checked on the curled up corpse of the deer in the ditch. I told it I was sorry and drove home.

The next evening my friend wondered if I was feeling okay to drive to writers group. I was. I was fine the previous evening. I’d been fine to drive after my other accidents. I try to stay more focused but that’s natural.

Fears. I’ve had some close encounters at times. One evening I drove to announce a basketball game and the roads were slick with ice. I rounded a corner and the front wheel drive of the company car started to pull me off. Mere feet before I would have gone over an embankment into a creek, I recovered. My stomach didn’t return to it’s normal anatomical position for awhile. But driving home, I was okay.

I’ve flown a few times in my life and I’m fine with flying. However, there is one moment when the heart speeds up for a moment or two. I’m always leery of when the plane lands. Part of my mind doesn’t think it’ll be smooth. So much weight coming down on those tires and how much stress and pressure must the landing gear endure.

Fears. We all have them. Share some of yours.

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Reading List

summerreadinglist_istock_34481384_hires_983pxOne of the cool things about blogs is to ask a question at the end to entice comments. Well, I want to ask one at the beginning.

What are you reading right now?

Okay, don’t be literal and say, “Dude, I’m reading your blog.”

I mean your reading list of books.

Are you like me and have several going at once?

Currently, I am reading:

– A book I’m recording for a friend. I read a chapter or two when I get the chance. I use Audacity to make the recordings. Check it out, it’s a pretty neat piece of software and I’m not using even a small fraction of it functions.

– A book on my Nook.

– An audio book in my car. I’m also using Audacity to cut up unabridged audio books into hour long chunks so that I can burn them onto rewritable CDs.

– A comic book in the bathroom. You know, for those times when I’m sitting in the bathroom.

In addition, I may be reading a Nook book that someone has sent me for review. Currently, I’m working on my own stuff, but for most of February and March, I was reading other books for review.

Before I started on the reviewing, I used to read two books at once. At a former motel job, I had a lot of time to write and read. So I would read one chapter of one story, then switch to another book for a chapter. I don’t do that anymore and wouldn’t want to go back to it.

I’m also one of those who can pick up a book that I haven’t looked at for months and go right back into the story.

So, now that you’ve had time to think about the above question, I invite your answer.

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Student Attitude – Part III

attitudeThis week, I finish up the essays my students submitted regarding Attitude. I’ve enjoyed reading and sharing them. March’s theme has been Courtesy and I look forward to reading the essays regarding that subject.

ELIJAH

My paper is on attitude. Attitudes can be good and some can be bad. If you look it up in the dictionary, you will find that attitude means “ a feeling or disposition regarding one’s feeling.”

Attitude is very important. It shows what kind of person you are. Would you rather spend time among a bunch of ungrateful people that make you grumpy or with a group of cheerful people that make you cheery? (I would go with the second, but that’s just me.) Sometimes your attitude depends on your maturity.

Whenever I have a really bad day, I can notice others, and, if they are cheery, I can take after their examples. The same thing happens vice-versa. Your attitude can very well affect others. Just try to keep that in mind and be the best example you can be, especially to little ones.

So let’s review. Attitude is important, and it can affect others. It shows what kind of person you are as well. Let your attitude show that you are a good person.

NOELLE

The definition of attitude is “a feeling or disposition with regard to a thing or person, usually with the mind.”  I define attitude as the way you feel or think about someone or something. Attitude is important because it can shape the way you rule your day. It can completely change how you do something, good or bad.

A poor attitude is not good for your soul. It can ruin your day with just a single thought. If someone was running down the halls at school and they turned around to see the new kid walking toward them, they could choose to see what the person was like, which would be good attitude. Or they could just judge them for what they’ve heard about them. They’ve been having a bad day, so they choose to bear a poor attitude. They judge the new person rudely and storm off. That kind of stuff ruins your day and you can rarely recover from choosing a poor attitude.

Choosing a good attitude, however, can brighten your day. If you were strolling outside because it was a beautiful, warm day and storm clouds begin to form, choosing to the enjoy the walk you took and not being upset that you couldn’t walk longer makes you feel a whole lot better about it. It makes you want to enjoy the rest of your day, and it makes you want to have others feel the way you do.

To me, attitude is very important. I try to choose a good attitude, but a lot of times I fail. That’s okay, though, because with a good attitude, anything can happen! With a good attitude, it’s possible to keep myself and my emotions in control, keep myself always happy, and, even better, it’s possible to give others the gift of true happiness. Attitude is a key to joy – and you can share that with others, too.

Attitude is very important to me, and it should be important to you too. If I have a good attitude, I just know that God is with me wherever I go. I try to use my attitude to enlighten other people’s days. That is a good way to use your attitude. Any type of attitude can make an impact on your life – either good or bad. Which will you choose?

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