June Lit Blitz


I am not guaranteeing that I am going to do this every Wednesday, but a few authors have agreed to participate.

I have some of my past guests as well as new ones.  I’ve sent each one their interview questions and hopefully they will get back quickly. Last year I tried to do something like this, but then I got a contract with Eclectic Bard Books and worked fast and furious on my own manuscript.

I think that you’ll like the variety of reading choices. It will give options to choose from for your summer reading pleasure! I’m making a point to read  the books of my guest so that I can leave a review and of course so that I can read enjoyable books. I’ve gotten way behind on my reading. Maybe if I fit chapters of that nonfiction Boundaries book in between theses books . . . . hmmm. I might actually get to mark that off of my list!

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For me, it’s always interesting to talk shop with other authors and see how they do it.  I just finished  rereading a book that I had purchased the e-book version a while back and  recently purchased the signed print copy from the author. This book and the sequel which I am currently reading are  special to me. The author used me as her inspiration for her evil queen. I am thrilled! Even more thrilled after reading the entire story. Evil queen Ellie –  who falls for a shrimp  – an actual prawn, not a short guy –  before burning him to death.

If you’re looking for a quick read that is lighthearted humor, you should check out Veneri Verebum by Zanzibar Schwarznegger.

One of my favorite lines from this book is in the first chapter:

“Your writing is several layers of crap, topped with a drizzle of pretentiousness.” – Veneri Veribum by Zanzibar.

Totally made my day. I’d forgotten how gloriously sarcastic her humor is!

Come on, you know you need a good laugh.  Don’t take life so seriously.

Write on my friends, write on!

Til next time,

Ellie

 

 

3 Days, 3 Quotes – 3


This was almost too easy.  I feel like maybe I should do a different challenge, one that is  more of a challenge.

sailor

What’s not to love about this quote? I think this one has been quoted so many times that people aren’t aware that it is actually Shakespeare.

Like I said,  that was almost too easy considering that mot of my posts range between 500 and 1000 words,  this was short and sweet. So what now?

I have a few ideas, directions that I am considering going in the coming year. Here’s your chance to give me feedback on why you  come here. What posts do you enjoy the most?

I would appreciate any feedback you care to give.  Because if you don’t,  then  I will be left to my own means and who knows what may appear here. That’s why my original category was random madness.

I am considering a couple blog challenges for 2016, also considering joining a tour company to help promote authors, and  contemplating doing some video logs. OK, well I think about that and then I see myself on camera and cringe and think ” The world isn’t ready for that yet.”

I have a few things up my sleeve that I will leave here  over the next few weeks as we near the holiday. Cant share yet because . . . that would be telling.

I wanted to say a huge

THANK YOU!

to all of my followers! You guys totally rock!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been down and considered quitting writing all together, but  then I get an email notification that I got a like or a a new follower and I am on cloud 9!!

On December 19th and 20th, Eclectic Bard Books is hosting an online anniversary party on Facebook. I wil be giving away several prizes including a signed print copy of Red Wine & Roses.

If I can get

10 comments

on Quotidiandose I will give away a prize package to include my book.

This will be for my December 16th post and I will share a picture of the prize package.  That date is my daughter’s birthday and she will be drawing the prize from an oversized glass.  I couldn’t find a wine glass but this martini glass will have to suffice.

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Anyone interested in a giveaway? Anyone? Beuller?

Write on my friends, write on!

Till next time,

~~~~~

Ellie

A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Office . . .


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You may remember that I work from home. My office is a shared space in my daughter’s room where I have my desk set up.  When she’s home from college, the kitchen table becomes my desk. It’s not ideal by any means but you do what you gotta do!

The countdown has begun for the big move when the semester ends. My mental list is like the stack of continuous feed paper from a track fed dot matrix printer. Anyone remember those? They had the perforated feed strips on either side and connected end to end. You tore the strips off the sides and separated your papers. (Yes, I’m showing my age!)

Track feed paper

Track feed paper

We have definite dates approaching for Prom, baccalaureate, graduation, finals week, and graduation party. One dilemma was solved when we found out that the older daughter will be home for her younger sister’s high school graduation. This was a major relief as I was calculating in my head how I was going to drive the 2 hours to pick her up for the graduation and then get her back down there so she didn’t miss her finals.

 

{[X(C8H10N4O2)]/6Z}4 /[G(m1m2/r2)]∑

The amount of caffeine necessary divided by the hours of sleep I would have to miss to the 4th power, the sum divided by the gravitational pull and tidal state and the sigma of the effects of the moon phase. Or something like that. Ever notice how most of what we worry about and try to figure out in our heads is rarely a real issue?  

Yes, I obsess over little details like that.

I’m a mom – it’s what I do.

Anyway, after checking the calendar (DUH!) my worries were for naught as the timetable works out. I have the party to plan, car maintenance to schedule, home repairs to be completed before the big party date!

planner

I would be lost without my planner. Back in the day, I was never without my Dayrunner. Things are a little less hectic now but the planner is still an essential tool for me. Mine is a compact size that goes everywhere with me. Oh, I have apps on my phone but it’s not the same as my planner.

I get the dates marked on the planner with appropriate color coded highlighter and realize I need to schedule time between now and then to work on some things like party planning and home repairs. (It’s not any major repairs, mostly fresh paint and replace the flooring in our kitchen before we have guests over. Frankly, I’d be embarrassed to have guests over right now with broken tiles on the floor.)

As I look at the planner, I start getting that anxious feeling. The one that says “ you don’t have any time to write”. A few months ago I would have gone into a tailspin, had a cry-fest, wallowed in my excuses of why I couldn’t write – but not today. Today my voice of reason says “schedule time”. I’ll skip the rest of the self talk that went from whining, to the drill Sergeant barking, to the pouting, then finally the calm counselor asking why I never allow my own dreams to have any priority? (Thanks to Aedan, that voice has gotten louder.) The obvious solution then was to schedule the time right? I have my planer out, I’m already blocking off time to get things done why not allow myself a chance?

I’ve been quietly (mostly quietly, I have piped up a few times when I had a really good day here and there.) plugging away on a contemporary romance. My minimal daily word count is only 500. I changed that from a much higher count to cut myself some slack and not beat myself up for failing to meet the higher count. Too many times in the past I spent more time beating myself up for failing to meet my goal for the day and not enough time actually writing. Of course after berating myself I was in no mental state to write. Visious cycle – that!  I figure that if I schedule an hour, even if I stare at a blinking cursor part of that time I can still manage 500 words. At least it’s something.

Each day I made a note on the scene I would be working on based on my outline. Bear in mind, I’ve already deviated from my original outline but based on the planned storyline, I only have fifteen (15!) more days of writing until I type “The End”.

That’s roughly 7500 to 10,000 words. Can I let you in on a secret?

Lean in close!

I already have the bulk of six chapters written I just need to tweak them a bit based on my earlier deviations So I could be typing “The End” even sooner.

On my time line, the fifteen days coincide with the day my eldest will return from college and I have to make the big move to the kitchen table. I’m going to go get a refill on my coffee to let that sink in for a bit.

The reality hit me square in the face . . .

I could be done with this book in 3 weeks! I can be finished with Red Wine & Roses before I have to relocate to the kitchen table as my desk! Do you realize how BIG that is?

While I’m feeling the stress of a hectic schedule with the multiple responsibilities of mother, wife, employee, writer, homemaker I just got a HUGE jolt of excitement that is both intoxicating and exhilarating.

It’s a similar feeling to running the last leg of the mile run.  Rounding the third corner of lap four, on the backside of the track, lungs burning, legs feeling like lead,  and  the runners begin to pass as my energy wanes.

Not this time!

I can almost hear my Chatty Chicks Morning Sprinters encouraging me.

“You can do it!  You’re almost there! Don’t give up now! You got this!”

It’s just the boost I need for that last jolt of adrenaline to kick in and quicken my pace to the finish line.  Finishing has been the hardest part for me. The momentum is there if I can keep up the pace.

Isn’t it odd how  when you focus on something else and stop stressing over a thing,  that is when you often get answers and solutions to the thing you were stressing over? Have you ever gotten weary and felt like you would neer cross the  finish line?  Have you quit running and are walking the back stretch?

It’s funny how things work out. Sometimes we just need to step back and let them work themselves out.

 

Write on my friends, write on!

 

Twain, The Muse, and Hannibal


twain

It had been a difficult week, and lining up to be a difficult month.  I didn’t want it to continue to a year.  Rejection is part of a writer’s career, but six rejections in one day were too much.  The strain of rejection flowed into the strained relationship with my muse.  No matter how I begged and pleaded, she remained silently aloof, watching me flounder.

            After several days of writing and rewriting the same chapter to the same book I’d been working on for over a year, I reached an epiphany.  Maybe I wasn’t cut out for this writing thing after all and my delusions of grandeur were as much fantasy as those published writings I’d been reading.

            Mom was right after all.  I was just wasting time daydreaming and avoiding responsibility.  My muse must have had her ears attuned to the despair and negative vibes that surrounded me.  The fickle minx chose that as a cue for her departure.

            I knew the moment she had abandoned me, it was for someone whose talent was providing them with a generous income; an income that would keep the traitorous muse in chocolate, silk, and pearls.  I could see her in my mind’s eye lounging on a chase in a tropical location inspiring one of my favorite authors.  She stared back at me in a familiar smugness, lowered her sunglasses and smirked.  She lifted her glass of champagne to me as a sun-bronzed server named Javier brought her a sumptuous platter of crab legs and assorted tropical fruits.  I stared at the tuna salad sandwich on my plate and lost my appetite.

            Feeling like a miserable failure, I’d lost my appetite for just about everything in my life.  Not being prone to depression, my mental state obviously showed.  My husband decided we needed a change of scenery for the weekend.  Money is tight as always but sanity is worth the investment.

            We found ourselves in Hannibal, Missouri.  The term quaint was coined for this small town that is approximately one hundred miles north of St. Louis.  I wanted to be on a beach somewhere tropical–sticking my tongue out at Ms. Fickle Muse – not on the banks of the muddy Mississippi River.  I could hear her riotous laughter at my expense. Inwardly I pouted at the unfairness of the whole situation.

            Best known as the birth place of Mark Twain, this riverfront town has definitely retained the charm of history.  There is a nearly palpable sense of the slower, peaceful pace that is so foreign in our high tech instant world today.  A welcomed sense of lazy summer days offered retreat to the stressful state of mind I had been caught up in.

            A dinner cruise on the Mark Twain riverboat eased us into the relaxed atmosphere of Hannibal.  The soothing rumble of the engine as the boat chugged slowly over the water worked like a massage for our minds.  The spectacular sunset viewed from the top deck with a gentle breeze coming off the water offered the perfect sigh of relaxation to end the day.

Mark Twain riverboat            Back at our hotel, the hot tub offered further relaxation and real conversation, something we hadn’t actually engaged in for some time.  We discussed our job frustrations, family troubles, our growing teenagers, and our future.  It had been so long since we had considered, much less actually talk about our dreams for the future, it seemed strained at first.  It didn’t take long for us to look past the current circumstances to find hope again.

            As I reconnected with my soul-mate, it occurred to me that I hadn’t realized how disconnected we had become.  The busy state in which we lived, the stress we accepted as part of everyday life, and the pressure we were both feeling had been robbing us of enjoying life.  How did we get so caught up in the mess that we forgot to live?

            The next day we visited the Mark Twain museum, Samuel Clemens boyhood home, and Mark Twain Cave.  There was a walking tour of numerous Victorian homes which cost nothing, except a bucket of sweat from the sweltering July temperatures. Ironically the walking tour was far more satisfying than the other tours.

            Over cold drinks and hot pizza, we talked about Twain. I was reminded in the museum that Twain’s Adventures of Tom Sawyer was the first book  I had read voluntarily.  I became fascinated by the adventure of the book.  A whole new world was opened to me through literature.  That book sparked a life long passion of reading, which led to a passion for writing.

            I contemplated this on a deep intimate level, suddenly aware that Ms. Fickle Muse was nowhere to be found when inspiration struck in my childhood.  Multiple notebooks filled with the tales of dragons, knights, monsters, and ordinary people that turned out to be heroes and heroines popped into my mind.  There was certainly not a lack of imagination on my part, so when did she (the muse) show up?

            We discussed the difficulties of Twain’s life.  The adversity that Mark Twain went through in his life could have easily been overwhelming to most people.  Yet, through all of it he managed a certain sagacious wit that is distinctly Twain.

All copyrights to this photo belong to Rockcliff Mansion management.

All copyrights to this photo belong to Rockcliff Mansion management.

            The final day we visited a turn of the century manor called Rockcliffe Mansion. Although renovations were going on in parts of the manor, the tour was well worth it.  It was full of lavish furnishings that were original to the home.  There were crystal chandeliers in numerous rooms.  A very large stained glass window on the landing of the stairwell was designed by Tiffany.  The servants’ quarters were more spacious than the master bedroom of our modest home.  Rockcliffe is a 13,500 square foot American Castle built to showcase Mr. John J. Cruikshank’s wealth.

All rights reserved to management of Rockcliffe mansion.

All rights reserved to management of Rockcliffe mansion.

            The millionaire lumber baron and his wife had four daughters that they raised in this mansion.  There were handles on the fireplace for the girls to hold while their corsets were being tightened by their attendants.  It was a lavish contrast to the austere home that Samuel Clemens lived in as a boy and not five miles separated the two homes.

            Twain came from very humble beginnings and a life of tragedy yet he became one of America’s most loved and recognized authors.  Very few people remember the millionaire lumber baron Cruikshank.

            I’ve heard it said that tough circumstances don’t last, but tough people do.  I’ve also heard the saying “It’s not how you start, but how you finish.”  Winston Churchill stated “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”     These are statements made by men who have succeeded in their lives.  These were men who overcame adversity in their own life by applying diligence and following their moral convictions to achieve success.

            It struck me like a wrecking ball upside my head that success is achieved, achieved being an action word.  It seemed so simple, so obvious, that I began to laugh.  The tension began to uncoil as I laughed at my own foolish behavior, my own deceptions and frustrations.  It was at that moment my husband chose to return.  The timing was so imperfect, I laughed harder, realizing he must think I’m as crazy as a loon.

            Such is my life. A series of unfortunate and inconvenient incidences, the worst timing, and a knack for outbursts of laughter at the wrong moment that could either cause constant embarrassment or the source of great writing material.  Who needed a muse when I was comedy central-live, twenty four/ seven? What I needed was to slow down and relax.

            I had a goldmine inside me!  I already had the mining tools and the raw material.  I just needed to start the mining process.  Being abandoned by my muse turned out to be one of the best things that could have happened.  When left to my own devices I was faced with the reality that finding out whether I am made of the right stuff is totally up to me and no one else.

            This modest weekend getaway wasn’t at a tropical resort, or even anywhere I would have chosen.  It was in fact exactly where I needed to be to get myself straightened out mentally and emotionally.  After reading about the adversities that Twain overcame in his own life, I felt embarrassed with myself for the pity party I had been indulging in.

            I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel and quit, and I had yet to begin  singing.  The secret to Twain’s success was an old tried and true method.  He didn’t wait for a muse to inspire him. Twain worked many varied jobs.  He worked and he kept at it, never giving up.  He wrote at every opportunity provided and created a few for himself.  “Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.” (Winston Churchill)

            Zig Ziglar, a well known motivational speaker, states that success is made of the following characteristics:  conviction, commitment, hard work, love for what you do, integrity, character, consistency, persistence, discipline, heredity, environment, humor, luck, faith, passion, and connections.

            Mark Twain had commitment; he kept at it when people told him he couldn’t or that he was a hack.  Yes, even Mark Twain had to deal with rejection.  Twain has been quoted as saying: “There are basically two types of people; people who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things.  The first group is less crowded.”

            As I went through the list checking all the facets that Mark Twain had, I realized that not one of them was having a muse.  Luck didn’t count in his life, unless you counted bad luck. Overcoming adversity provides confidence that the next adversity may be conquered as well.

            That fact had me wondering how my husband and I lined up against the list.  We had lengthy discussions.  We evaluated our strengths, our weaknesses, areas that we needed to improve, and realized there were things we had no control over.  We also realized that there were many more things we could do to achieve our own goals.

            “Do the thing you fear the most and the death of fear is certain.” This quote by Mark Twain is one of my favorites.  It now held new meaning for me.

            Our circumstances do not define who we are.  What we do with those circumstances determines where we end up.  Armed with that bit of information, I made a new plan.  The drive home was enjoyable with real conversation, laughter, smiles (something neither of us had done in a while) and the sense that we were going to get through this mess that we called our lives.  We decided we need to laugh more often and seek the brighter side.  After all, sometimes it comes down to whether you laugh or cry and laughing is much more enjoyable.  The choice is ours.

            That is the whole key.  It is our choice how we handle adversity. Even though Mom always said I was a dreamer, she also took every opportunity to remind me I came from strong stock.  We are stronger than we think we are and able to do much more than we think we can.  It was time to revisit my dreams, and apply myself to achieving them.  Those dreams became a vision.  The vision became a plan to which I added the determination and perseverance.  I made up my mind to pursue those dreams, and not let anything stop me.

           I posted the words of Winston Churchill next to my desk: “Never, never, never give up.” 

            Less than a week later that fickle muse returned in her lazy manner.  She made a grand entrance.  The large brimmed white sun hat tossed on the sofa, she sank into the easy chair with a resolved sigh.  I ignored her.  She brushed an imaginary piece of fuzz from her gloriously tanned arm, then smoothed her designer dress over her flawless figure.  I continued to work.  There was a great deal of gesticulations and posturing before the slightest whisper of exhaled breath as she stated “Well, I’m here.  I guess we can get started now.”

            I mentally told her to go back to where she’d been.  I politely stated there were other writer’s who were waiting for her and she was wasting her time with me.  That mischievous smirk of hers appeared.  She was rather dense and didn’t catch on for a few minutes.  Never looking away from my screen as my fingers flew fast and furious trying to keep up with my brain, I reassured her she could go.

            Several minutes later she sidled up beside me to critique whatever tripe I had been working on while she’d been away.  That was when I had to be blunt.  “This just isn’t working out.  It’s me, not you. You’re fired.  You can let yourself out.”

            As I continued working on the scene that played out on the screen before me, a sense of achievement and a new-found freedom settled in.  Even if I fail, I’ll give it my best efforts.  It won’t be for lack of trying, or from fear of failure.  My conviction is that I will succeed; it’s only a matter of time.

            “History is” as Churchill stated, “written by the victors”.

Write on my friends – I know I will!

What would you do if. . . ?


I’ve been tagged !  I don’t even remember who tagged me in this –  better late than never.

Your 11 Question’s to the theme, what would you do if… ?

Your house were on fire what would you grab 1st to rescue?    

After shoving my kids out the door or window, I would save my laptop as it contains my life.  All my pictures, my writing, basically –  my life.

You could vacation anywhere, money no object, where would you go?

Well it’s a good thing I was tagged twice so I can split this up between the two.  I would spend at least a year in the UK – including Ireland.  (Disregard political boundaries, because it’s all included on my big tour.)  Touring every castle and ruin that dots the countryside,  touring every standing monolithic site, every historical site, visiting my friends that live there. This would be a working vacation as I would be photographing and documenting everything for ideas for future writing.  There are several touristy places I’ll skip thank you as I think they are just that – tourist traps.    I have a list of about 20 must sees.  I think a year might just be enough time to fit them all in. My second destination would be somewhere tropical in the Caribbean.

Your book became #1 New York Times best seller, who would you tell 1st?

Probably my girls so we could squeal together properly!

If you could go back in time, would you change anything in your life?

Oh so many things I’d change!  I’d change my name,  I’d change the activities I was involved with.  I’d have majored in creative writing not geography /cartography.  I would have studied more and skipped class less.  I would have invested more funds, and been less frivolous.  I would have never stopped being active, or gain all the weight I did.  I would have seized more opportunities, taken more chances, taken more dares, dreamed more and never shelved any of them.   And I would deposit a huge amount of money into my bank account from an anonymous donor.

But then again, if I were to go back and change any of those things I may not be who I am today, I might not have my girls, and wouldn’t have learned the life lessons that I inherently have to learn the hard way.  I would in fact by going back in time disrupt the space/time continuum and alter my current plane of existence in ways that I can not imagine.  One little pebble causes ripples that travel a great distance, and what if one of those ripples changed the existence of my children?  Children change you.  They make you think beyond yourself, cause you to  mature in ways you  couldn’t imagine until you have them.

You won a large lottery what would be the 1st thing you would do? Book my dream vacation and consider taking someone with me.  Not a guarantee, but I am willing to consider.

You could travel in space. Would you? I don’t think I would.  There are too many places on earth I haven’t seen yet.

You could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

My body.

And for fun

  1. What’s your favorite flavor ice cream?      Bordeaux cherry chocolate – yummm.
  2. Who is your favorite musician?     Just one?  You expect me to choose just one?? Are you crazy? Ummm, currently I’d have to say  Gavin Degraw.
  3. Who is your favorite movie star?   Sean Connery
    What’s your favorite all time movie?  Excalibur
  4. What is your favorite candy? SKOR!

Now I get to tag a couple people for this fun post.

Hmmm, who shall I select?

Macie Snow

Eleasha Chidley

Dex Fernandez

Two Guys Walk Into An Apocalypse


Today I have with me some very special guests. It’s been a while since I’ve done an interview, and this one is going to be a bit different.

* I give a tentative glance to Vicki’s friends, unable to hide my disgust at the goo and smells that are emanating from the two men behind her. *

I um, guess I should have expected this from zombie slayers.

* The blue eyed blond picks what appears to be an eyeball off his shoulder.*

Just a second. *I pull Vicki aside and briefly discuss with her*

Alright folks, Vicki is going to take it from here. Normally I would be running the interview but , well I’m not used to disemboweled bits of zombie – Oh God, did he just pull a finger out of his hair?

Right! Vicki is taking over. Nice to meet you gentlemen, now I have to get over to the other set for Storytime. It seems someone left one of the subs on the St. Andrews Cross.

*shaking Vicki’s hand, eyeing the two men nodding to them then rushing out the backstage door before my stomach empties from the smell, shouting over my shoulder*

“Sorry Vicki, we’ll catch up an other time. There’s refreshments on the table there and the staff can get you whatever you need.”

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Before we get busy chatting and I forget, I`d like to thank Ellie for having us here today. I`d give her a hug but we had to battle zombies to get here and I`m rather funky and definitely not sunshine fresh! It`s a pleasure to meet you. My name is V.L. Locey and I`m an author of romantic comedies for all, which means I pen the love and laughter for both readers of M/F and/or M/M tales.

In case you`re wondering who the two fine looking men behind me are, let me introduce the stars of my newest release Two Guys Walk into an Apocalypse 2: It Came From Birmingham. The blond with the devil in his blue eyes is Paul Cooke, and the tall, dark, and handsome man at his side is his partner Gordon Moretti. Just ignore the speckles of undead stuff on their clothes.

Two Guys Walk Into An Apocalypse Part 2: It Came From Birmingham

Paul-“See this is why I hate zombies! Look at this. What the hell is this? Smell this and tell me if this is brain goo or something from a bowel.”

 Gordon draws back from the icky finger under his wrinkled nose. “Forget it, I`m not smelling your finger. God knows where it`s been last.”

Paul” Don`t play coy-boy, we both know where it was.”

 With a wink Paul drops into a chair, leaving his love to mumble under his breath before taking his seat.

 V.L. –“Oh-kay, moving on. Can you guys believe that you`re getting your own books? Are you as excited as I am?!”

 Paul arches an eyebrow at his creator bouncing in her seat like a weasel on crack. “I`m happy yes, but not quite to the frenetic ferret stage,” he smiles, leaning back and resting a shotgun over his thighs.

 Gordon-“I`m actually pretty tickled. I never thought when we first ran into Zendra and their miserable strain of terroristic super rabies, that we would ever be getting our own books. It`s rather humbling.” He too relaxes back, a deer rifle coming to rest on his powerful legs.

 Paul-“It is humbling. Who knew the world was hungry for two gay men, a cat, a senile military man, and a world filled with undead. I personally think it was my killer wit, lovely blue eyes, and the way I turn a phrase. Plus, my knowledge of pop culture is without equal.”

 Gordon-“Without equal now that probably ninety-eight percent of the pop culture mavens on the planet are either deceased or extra`s for Brad Pitt`s upcoming summer blockbuster?”

 Paul-“Are they re-releasing Fight Club again?”

 V.L.-“Before we slip any further into a lovers war of words, why don`t you guys tell me about Two Guys 2 as its affectionately being called!”

 Gordon pushes some a damp strand of dark hair from his face. “Well, Two Guys 2 picks up where we left things in the novella that appeared in the He Loves Me For My Brainsss anthology. Paul and I are about to head west to try to find a cure in the Zendra Laboratories plant in California. It`s me, Paul, our neighbor Colonel Richards, and our cat, Tallahassee. And yes, before anyone asks, she is named after the iconic character played so brilliantly by Woody Harrelson in Zombieland.  Trust me, if we had known we`d be living the same nightmare they did in the movie, we`d have named her something else.”

Paul-“We just adore Woody. Oh, sorry, did I interrupt? Pray continue sugar bumps.” Getting a long and quite tired look from his beloved, Paul pretends to zip his lips. Those of us who know him are aware this lip zippering will last less than two minutes tops.

 Gordon-“Aside from Paul`s lust for Woody, Two Guys 2 takes the four of us – we count the cat as an us and not an it – and finds us on the road to the west coast. Things don`t go exactly as we plan though, and we soon find ourselves sucked into a face-off with Zendra and the US military.”

 Paul-“We also pick up some new friends along the way,” he says before pulling a moue, “Well, some are friends. There is a particular newcomer to the story that is the human equivalent of a malignant hemorrhoid, if you catch my drift?”

 V.L.-“Yep, your drift is caught Mr. Cooke. So I take it there`s lots of action and zombie slaying gory goodness in this book, as well as a touch of acerbic humor?”

 Gordon-“Yeah, just a touch of the acerbic.” He smiles and shows me about a millimeter of space between his thumb and forefinger. “I live with Mr. Mordant if you recall? And wasn`t your mouth supposed to be zipped?”

 Paul rolls his light blue eyes dramatically and clamps his mouth closed, leg crossed over knee, foot now bouncing rapidly.

 Gordon-“There`s also romance, you know that goes without saying. And sex.”

 Paul-“Hot monkey sex, but that may change in the next book if someone who`s name rhymes with Pordon doesn`t stop reminding me to zip my lip. Just saying honey,” the blond zombie slayer waves a hand in the air before returning to bouncing his foot once more.

 Gordon shakes his head slowly. “So yeah, that`s pretty much the set-up for the book. Zombies, humor, action, gore, road trips, sex, and crude jokes.”

 Paul-“I don`t make crude jokes, I`m too much a lady for that. It`s that thing that came north from Birmingham that`s so crass.”

 V.L.-“On that note, we`ll call this interview done. Paul, Gordon, thanks so much for agreeing to meet with me to tell folks about your new book coming from Torquere Press. I can`t wait to meet you here when Two Guys 3 is released!”

 Paul-“Oh it was our pleasure, pumpkin. Where are we exactly? I love the décor!”

 Gordon-“It`s better than that gas station we met you in last time. This place doesn`t have dead zombies lying over the counter. Is dead zombie an oxymoron?”

 “No, that would be living dead, babe.”

 Gordon- “Ah, well, at least someone is retaining the important things about society.” Both men slowly push up from their seats.

 Paul-“Someone has to be in charge of keeping an eye on the idioms of the world.”

______________________________________________________________________________________________

 Thanks so very much for stopping in to get to know me and of course my stars Paul and Gordon. If you`re hankering to read a sexy M/M zom-rom-com, head on over to Torquere Press to grab your copy. You can find it right here-

 Two Guys Walk Into An Apocalypse

If you`d like to read the novella that started it all, you can find Two Guys Walk Into An Apocalypse in the anthology He Loves Me For My Brainsss by clicking on this link-http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=76&products_id=3774

 I love to meet and chat with new fans! You can find me at Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and here at my blog –http://thoughtsfromayodelinggoatherder.blogspot.com/

Yours in laughter and love-

 V.L. Locey

______________________________________________________________________________________________

*peaks head in backdoor*  Hello?   Is anyone here?  Anyone?  Bueller?

* walks into studio, seeing the mess all over the chairs*

Here’s a tip:  if you are going to schedule an interview for zombie slayers, cover the furniture with plastic.  Oh well, I wanted to replace these old chairs anyway.

Write on my friends, write on!

Mountain Climbing


Perseverance is  a good quality to have.  Determination is also a quality that will help you achieve your goals.  When perseverance is combined with determination it’s an almost unbeatable formula.  Unless it is applied to the wrong things.

In “hunker down” mode, head down determined to achieve the end, it’s not till you reach the top of the mountain that you realize you’ve been on the wrong mountain all along.   I can do this!  Pushing through the pain, setting small goals, and passing the milestones while failing to read the signs along the trail that read ‘Mt. Trouble’ instead of ‘Mt. Accomplishment’  is an unsatisfying victory.  Egg-faced and exhausted, Mt. Accomplishment still remains to be tackled.

Is it a complete loss?  Not necessarily.  Did you learn anything from the experience?  Like maybe read the signs along the way and look up once in a while?  SIGH!  The right turn at the giant sycamore led to a harrowing,  dangerous path, perhaps you learned from that little side trip. Sometimes even though we are sincerely trying, we are sincerely wrong.  I wont say it was wasted effort because there’s always something that can be learned.

We either learn not to do that again, do it in a different way, or in this case I know the steps that need to be taken to reach the top of the right mountain.  I’ll just chalk it up to experience, and practice.  Yeah, that’s my story and that’s what I’m sticking to.

It’s sort of like I got a chance to preview the terrain, a sneak peek at the course.  There may be deviations along the way because there are always subtle differences.  However, the larger scheme map is basically the same.  If you can climb one mountain, you can certainly climb another.

It doesn’t matter how high the mountain, it can be conquered.  My own personal K 2  may seem like a foothill to others, but that’s ok.  We each have our own strengths and weaknesses.  Where I’m strong, some one else may be weak.  Where they are strong is very possibly my own weakness.  When we work together we can accomplish more.  There are benefits to bringing someone else along on your mountain journey.  First of all you have a witness!  OK, when you’ve climbed the wrong mountain that may backfire but you have someone to laugh with.

Sharing our successes is even sweeter when our companion has shared in our defeats.  A true friend will rejoice with you, knowing that you’ve tried, knowing when you’ve been defeated and encouraged you along the way.  For every three mockers that said you couldn’t do it there’s at least one person that wants you to succeed.   Listen to the one that believes in you.

They are gracious enough to not beat you up when you hit the peak of Mt. Trouble.  Mine was as encouraging as possible, congratulating me on the success while subtly pointing out that the distant mountain “over yonder” was in fact the one I needed to climb, while taking a few moments to point out that I’m stronger now from my practice run.

Yeah, practice run.  I am stronger now, more knowledgeable and better able to tackle the right mountain. I’ve learned along the way and figured out how to lighten my pack from some unnecessary items.  You can guarantee that this friend is going to go with me up the mountain.  Besides, it’s never a good thing to start out alone.  Trail blazing is one thing, but when you have a course, bring along a friend.  Having someone to talk to along the way makes the trip more fun as well.

What about you?  Ever climb the wrong mountain?  Ever sincerely pursue an endeavor to find out that you were a little off course?

There’s always another mountain to climb, whether you tackle it or the practice hill, there’s always another.

Write on my friends write on!

 

 

 

Interview With Author Joseph Eastwood


You may have noticed I haven’t posted for a few days?  Anyone????  Computers are finicky things.  Temperamental beasts on their best day.  Hopefully now, we hae all previous issues resolved and  I think (fingers crossed here) we are back up and fully operational!

Today I have a special guest.  His just released book , hot off the press is flying off the shelves!   Joseph Eastwood shared a bit earlier on my blog about his work, check it out  HERE!

Let’s get right to it then.

Hey Joseph!  Glad you could make it.  Thank you for taking the time to let me interview you.

What’s your choice of beverage? That doesn’t count as a question, just making you comfy.

JE:  COFFEE! I love coffee!

Hernando and  Javier bring coffee and refreshments, setting a plate of light pastries, fresh fruit, and cheese in front of us.  My stomach growls, having not eaten yet.   Javier stands to the side, flexing his shirtless form for Josephs’s benefit.  I pour my cup, Javier has already poured Josephs. Hmmm, I can’t seem to get him motivated.

Welcome to Quotidiandose!  A place where you just never know what might happen.  Just when you think I’ve settled into a groove, ha fooled you!  LOL

Ready????

 You’re the eldest child of five.  Ironically, I’m the youngest of five.  Do you think there’s anything to that personality/birth order connection?

Definitely, as the eldest I’ve always been the first to do everything, high school, moving out, university etc. but as the eldest you also feel like you’re the guinea pig as parents might be seeing what kind of parent they are, or god forbid reading parenting books. Parents mollycoddle their youngest, and if there are middle children, then they are the ones to usually rebel. (That’s my theory anyway.)

Hmmm, I’d have to disagree.  As the youngest, my folks were done with any ‘mollycoddling ‘- never heard that term before.  I’m the rebel of the bunch.  

 I see you’re a student at UNI, what do you plan to do with your degree when you graduate?

I don’t want to do anything with it, maybe perhaps do my masters. But getting a degree in Eng and creative writing is what I do part time, it’s not all of my focus, my writing and self-publishing career is my real focus and my real goal in life.

  What do you do when you’re not writing or going to UNI?

I watch a lot of TV! Like, I am an actually a TV whore, but only the good stuff like Grimm, True Blood, Vampire Diaries, The Good Wife, Cupcake Wars, and some reality TV that I won’t mention as it’s embarrassing to speak about in public.

Javier refills Joseph’s cup.  He’s very attentive today.

 I had some really aggravating assignments when I was in college.  What was your worst writing assignment?  

The one I didn’t hand in I guess, but it the most simple of assignments I’ve ever had, all I had to do was write a 1,000 word essay and then annotate a poem and also write 500 words about that, but I didn’t hand it in. Eeek. 

You’ve said that you’re a TRUE BLOOD fan.  Who’s your favorite character and why? 

Jessica! She really doesn’t get enough attention. She was turned into a vampire after being taken from her strict Christian (don’t know which religion) family, and then she became some AH-MAZING vampire lady. I think she’s the only character that I actually like anymore. Oh, and Pam! Everyone else is just super weird, and Bill cannot act.

Pfft! Bill!  *rolls eyes* Give me Erik or Alcide anyday!!

 Have you read the Charlaine Harris books that are the inspiration for True Blood?

I haven’t, although I do have the first few books on my shelf… which I will one day get around to reading.

Are you a pantser or a plotter?

A plotter. I’m a major plotter! I absolutely love plotting and I’ve actually plotted all of the books in my three series, which is around 11 novels and 2 novellas… and I’m writing them all… so my life is revolving around getting these stories out.

You’ve stated that you like to put your characters through hoops.  What is the most bizarre “hoop” you’ve made them (one?) jump through – without giving away your story?

Well, why don’t you read Lumen and see what hoops I’ve created for Daniel to jump through, or the characters that I’ve created to get in Daniel’s way.

 What qualifies a “writing session” for you?  Do you set a word count, a timer, or write until a scene is complete?  Describe.

To me, a writing session is when I hit the 500 mark and can’t stop writing, but a writing session becomes fulfilling when I hit 2,500 words. My sessions can go from 1,000 to 5,000 words, and it all depends on what I’m doing that day, or if I’ve planned the session or not.

What’s the most you’ve ever written in one sitting before?
Over 10,000 words.  It was the day the internet was down!
LOL

I wrote my first ever flash fiction for your blog.  It was surprisingly fun.  If I gave you a story prompt, how long would it take you to write a flash piece, a short story, or a scene?  Which would you choose and why?

I’d choose a piece of flash fiction as it only takes me around 30 minutes to go from plotting what’s going to happen in the 500+/- words to writing it.

Are you a neat freak, a scrunge, or somewhere in the middle of the road?  How about your writing area?  Does it tend to the sanitized surface, or a cluttered heap?

I think I’m in the middle of the road. I’m certainly not a neat freak though. I usually write in bed with laptop on my knees and a bunch of paper around me, so you could say that my writing area is just a cluttered mess.

Are there any characters that have given you complete fits?  Been difficult to work with, or refused to cooperate? 

Oh god no, if I can’t work with my characters I kick them out, they either work with me, or they hitch onto someone else’s imagination. I also love building huge character profiles up for my main characters so that I can get a feel for them and know how to work them with my writing.

Laughing here, because mine can be quite the divas at times.  I’ve had them show up, want their story told then play coy in how they want it told.  Trust me, dragons can be such divas!

When Lumen hits phenomenal status, and is contracted for a movie, what actor and actresses would you like to see play your characters?

Oh, if only this would happen to Lumen, although all the way through writing it, and then after so many rereads I always imagined it being played on the big screen inside my head. I’m not someone to go through a list of celebrities and pick out who I’d want to play it if I was turned into a film. But if I saw someone, I’d say. Nobody really stands out when I think about it being a film. I’d probably have some newbie actors with fresh faces.

One of the things I enjoy is playing video games.  My favorite is Tombraider, and Skyrim is becoming a huge favorite as well.  Do you play and what games do you enjoy?

SIMS! I absolutely love The Sims! That counts as a video game, right? Other than that I don’t really play anything else. I would probably play Skyrim if I had a PS3 or something, but I don’t.

LOL!  My kids love SIMS!

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Self-publish my book. It was crazy. I didn’t know what to do once I’d clicked the upload button. So, the craziest thing I’ve ever done is self-publishing… whoa, my life is boring.

My kids and I have this weird little thing we do, memorizing lines from movies then reciting full scenes with each other.  Do you ever memorize lines from movies, and “reenact them with your friends or siblings”?

HAHA! Awh, that sounds so cute! I wish I could see that. No, I don’t do anything like that. We sometimes quote films, like Mean Girls etc. but not full scenes, although that would be fun.

The Olympics were just in London.  Did you go?  Did you watch?  What was your favorite event?  How do you feel about the US smokin’ everyone on the medals?

Hehe, I know I live in the UK, but at the opposite end from London… like, the north. Ha! I watched a couple of events, and my fav would have to be the mens gymnastics… who wouldn’t like to watch muscly men in lycra and spandex doing flips around a room.

Javier moves closer, then gets an odd expression staring at Joseph.

Thank you so much for visitng me here in the midwest.  I know it’s a far cry from the UK.  We’ve had a drought recently,  it’s usually at least a little nicer here.  *clears throat, turns pale*

How do you feel about spiders?

NO. NEVER. GO AWAY! I’ll start crying. I mean it.

Hernando steps in and knocks spider off Joseph’s shoulder.  I’m sorry.  With all this dry heat, they’ve become a real problem. 

Javier escorts Joseph quickly  out the door while Hernando cleans up the spider guts.

Speaking of unexpected, take a look at Joseph’s book for his unexpected twist with Daniel.

About Joseph

Joseph Eastwood is the eldest of five siblings, and he lives and grew up in Lancaster, England.

He has always had a giant creative connection in his life, from drawing and writing to having an eclectic taste in music and reading a wide range of books, which he hopes reflects in his own writing. He also loves watching sci-fi, supernatural and fantasy based TV shows and films. Among some of his favourites are Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries and True Blood. As well as those he loves dramas, like The Good Wife and Desperate Housewives.

Joseph is either busy doing edits and writing, that, or he’s on his Facebook page being a professional procrastinator. He lives for creativity, striving to be different and thinking up new hoops for his characters to jump through.

Links

http://www.josepheastwood.com/ – Blog

https://www.facebook.com/josephswriting – Facebook page

https://twitter.com/#!/Joe_Eastwood – Twitter

Got any questions for Joseph?  Leave him a comment adn show your love!!

Write on my friends, write on!

Breaking the Language Barrier


Scientists have deciphered the language from the Rosetta stone and determined how to read hieroglyphics.

They used cryptology to crack enemy messages during WWII.  Yet, the language barrier between the sexes remains. What we really need is an Ap for our phones that will decipher the language differences of the sexes.  This would be the hottest selling gadget ever produced! I can see it now – millions of dollars rolling in from sales.

A typical exchange of  “What do you want to do tonight?” can result in a huge fight.

When a guy says “What do you want to do?”  What he’s really saying is: I don’t really care what we do, as long as we spend time together. I just want to be with you.”

When a woman says “What do you want to do?” What she’s really saying is: “I want you to decide, and take me somewhere exciting. I ‘m waiting for you to be romantic and know that I want to be treated special and besides you should know by now what I like to do.  HMMMMMPH!”

The outcome often ends up “Fine, we’ll just stay home.”  “Fine”

When a guy says “What’s for supper?”  What he’s really saying is “ I’m hungry.”

When a woman hears “What’s for supper?”  It’s Russian roulette.  It could mean “That smells good, what is it? I’m hungry!”  It could mean “Why haven’t you started supper yet?”  It could mean “Do you really expect me to eat that?”  Or it could be an opportunity if she hasn’t started supper to be treated to dinner out.  Round and round the chamber goes, where it stops only the hormones know.

*Caution to all men, one or more of the chambers are loaded.*

   How do you know when it’s safe?  It’s not.

When a guy says “ I don’t have anything to wear.”  This means he has no clean clothes, or no appropriate clothes.  This could lead to an argument either way, so men never voice this.  Instead, they put on the clothes they wore yesterday and avoid confrontation.  The topic of laundry has proven to be  a minefield.  Yesterday’s shirt is less dangerous, even if it does stink.

When a woman says “I don’t have anything to wear.”  What this really means is there is nothing new in her closet.  She’s tired of the same clothes.  She wants something new, something fresh.  In other words, “I’m going shopping honey, and I’m getting new clothes.  I want you to come and tell me what looks pretty on me and what doesn‘t make my butt look big.”

A 12-volume compendium could be zipped into one handy-dandy little ap with a pink icon for cell phones.  Instant interpretation would let the man know if his best bet is to lay down and play dead, or present arms filled with roses.

I would be richer than Oprah! Possibly even richer than Bill Gates!  It would be the sensation of the century, and I would have millions of fans!

However, there’s a kink in the basic algorithm.  The trouble is, it also depends on the particular woman.  I’m working on it.

Write on my friends, write on!

Rowling, really?


Yesterday was a bust!  I was about halfway into writing my blog when the power went out.  It was off most of the day – oh joy.  They are building a new firehouse just up the road and for the past two weeks, you can count on the power going out for a while.  AFter the one yesterday however, there were many sirens.  Not sure what happened, but then family life and “mom” responsibilities, well it was time for my webinar, and then before you know it, it was ten p.m. and I was tired.

So this morning I’m playing catch up, in addition to the catching up from the weekend,  in addition to a half-dozen other things.

I finished three informative articles about the Civil War, the Underground Railroad, and the Emancipation Proclamation. Writing nonfiction is definitely a different animal than fiction writing.  One of my writing friend’s suggested a site called I Write Like. Ever the curious one, I had to submit my samples to see who I write like.

I don’t know about y’all but I think this is totally weird.  For my informative essays and articles – I ran three of them – it says I write like H.P. Lovecraft.  When I was in college, I read everything that Lovecraft ever wrote. I also read everything Poe wrote, and the same for Stephen King as a couple of classes were about Horror and Science fiction. Of course I read a lot about mythology as well.

For my humor pieces, it said I write like Cory Doctorow.  I had to look who that was up on Wikipedia.  Interesting, if not a bit quirky. Well, I suppose that does make sense now that I think about it.

Ah, but for my passion, my fiction writing it varied depending on the scene, and which WIP I submitted from.  The comparisons I got were Anne Rice; Isaac Asimov, and I find this one to be the most interesting J.K. Rowling.  Now, if you’ve paid any attention to the last few bogs, you’ll understand my observation.  I have never read anything by Rowling although I do respect her as a writer.  I won’t go into the whole Potter thing again, it’s just too tiring.  I will have to say, I am very intrigued by her new release.

I’ve read Anne Rice, and Asimov, but hadn’t read any of Rowling’s work.  I was intrigued as I don’t have a single vampire in my story, no one named Lestat, and no child vampires.  I didn’t see any similarities in fantastic worlds that I’d read by Asimov, or the deep mega-mind introspection I admired in his work.

To me, those three authors are distinctly different.  So of course being the “curious kitten” as my dad always called me, I made a trip to the library and checked me out some books.  There are surprising similarities, and yes, technically you can say I caved in and I am reading Harry Potter.  I’m only a short way into it, but since I started it I feel compelled to complete it.  I’m a little weird that way.

As interesting as this information gathering is however it does nothing to advance my writing.  I can’t blame it on writer’s block because honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced that – not that I want to!  I am contemplating a series of blogs about procrastination and avoidance techniques. 1001 ways to Avoid Writing!  Of course I could probably make it 10,000 ways.  Why is it that I do these things to avoid doing the very thing I want to do?

For further delay I ran across a couple of blog posts that addressed the same issue of distractions.

I’ll let Michael Mayerhofer in “Advice to Writers: Stay Home” conclude:

So, again, here’s my not-so-humble advice: stay home. Don’t call anyone. Don’t text. Don’t update your Facebook status to say what you’re reading, or how many thousands of words you’re going to write today. Just leave your ego in a shoe box, sit down, and read. And write. And if you look down at your first draft and think it’s golden—well, you’re wrong.

Can’t argue with that!  So, I close out my pages, and shut the computer off. this computer that is, the one that has internet access.  I open my laptop and bring up my WIP, Kiss of the Dragon.  It’s almost like a rendezvous in private as I slip away without the distractions of the internet, the phone is on silent, the answering machine is on, and I’m not answering the door.  I need a big sign to post somewhere “The writer is IN!”

It’s good when the muse shows up anxious to play with my pet dragons.  Write on!