DeJa Vu Blogfest

           DeJaVu- December 16th
         The Day of The Do Over.
If you have not already heard about this awesome blogfest then I will tell you a little bit about it, but you really must pop over to D.L. Hammond's blog to get the full details and to sign up.


D.L was talking about how if you have to miss a week of blogging you can really miss some important post from your fellow bloggers. I agree. Another interesting point that he made was about one of his favorite blog post on his blog. It just so happens that he only had about a dozen or so followers when he posted it.

I have a post or two that I wrote when I had only a handful of followers so I am certain that not many people read my entry. D.L came up with this brilliant idea for us to gather our favorite post and join this blogfest.

On December 16, we will all post (re-post) our favorite blog post or one that we believe did not receive the recognition it should have. This is an excellent opportunity for everyone to read " The best of the best."


D.L has actually been promoting this idea for a while. You can read an earlier post of his about re-posting some of our better blog post. You can read his post blog recycle station to get an idea of just how great of an idea this is.

This blogfest is also being hosted by Katie Mills, The Creepy Query Girl, Lydia Kang, over at The World is My Oyster and Nicole Ducleroir, at One Significant Moment at a Time.

So here is what you need to do and it couldn't be easier- No Writing Involved

     1. Go to any of the above four sites and sign up with Mr. Linky

     2. Shout out to all your friends

     3. Grab a DeJa Vu Badge and post it anywhere and everywhere-think blogging
        graffiti gone wild

     4. Dig through your archives and find one of your post that deserves a
        second chance or a do-over

     5. On December 16th hop from blog to blog and read the "best of the best"

Happy Thanksgiving to all and Happy Blogging

My NaNoRoomo. I Live in the Bathroom

I have officially kicked my husband out of the bathroom.








We have six kids and four bedrooms. The Only place I get any privacy is the master bathroom. For some reason, my kids, husband and even our two dogs leave me alone when I am in the bathroom. Imagine that.

My  entire family is wondering why mom has so many stomach aches lately. You should hear the hushed comments at dinner  "pss. man, mom sure does go to the bathroom a lot now, what's she been eating?" "I don't know dude, but did you see her carrying those books in there? Gross, she is turning in to dad. She must be reading on the toilet like dad does with the sport's section." Ha Ha tee hee. and they laugh.

But, I have the last laugh. They don't have a clue.
               I suppose I feel sorry for my husband, he has to use one of the kid's bathrooms, but I am getting pretty cozy in mine.        I cannot believe that this was the answer all a long.
                         Who knew? I can actually get work done? I can write. I can chart. I can make really big  plotlines and plot charts & character boards and nobody bothers them or tells me to move them.
and I can read! Undisturbed. I know what you are thinking, "I sound disturbed." I have moved into the bathroom for the month of November.


Don't worry, there is a bathtub & a shower (so the tub is a little hard to use at the moment) & I won't show you the toilet or my husband really would kill me.

I have everything I need. I even took all of the towels out of the armoire and I am using it for , you guessed it, books.


and... just tonight, I moved another table and my desktop in to my bathroom.


Now if I could get a bed in to my bathroom, I would not have to leave until December 1st. I may play this mommy has a tummy ache game even after NaNo ends.


So how about you? Do you have a special place to write? Have any of you had to create  make-shift writing spaces? I would love to hear your creative ideas? A closet? A bathroom?





NaNo-Napped & Big News. Big Prizes

I have Been NaNo Napped


My fingers and hands ache and I am eating far too much processed food, but I am on a roll.


I feel terrible that I have not posted or visited any blogs in over a week. I decided at the very last minute to participate this year and without any prep work I have needed every free minute to write.

I know that I missed out on some cool contest & blogfest that I was intending to join, but I plan to make it up to everyone.

My writing is progressing better than expected. I am using Scrivener and it so rocks. I cannot believe I waited this long to try this awesome software/word processor for writers. It has an easy learning curve and offers more than enough features.  Take a look at these screenshots.

 I have really missed everyone that I have met through blogging. I feel disconnected. I didn't expect this.

I am taking a much needed break from writing tomorrow because I have a scheduled plot consultation with Martha Alderson  and I am so psyched.
Martha is the author of several books, her most recent, THE PLOT WHISPERER is amazing. After reading it twice I decided that the fee for her consultation is more like an investment in my writing career.


And now for my big news....


I was planning to host some sort of contest or blogfest when I reached 100 followers. I have now reached 150 and I want to celebrate and show my appreciation to all of you.


Please keep in mind that I am new to this and I have no idea how to host a contest or a blogfest. (note to self-call Alex)


But, I will figure it out.  The contest is not as important as the reason behind it & the really, really awesome prizes I have selected.


I have given this a great deal of thought and I want to show everyone how much I appreciate you reading my blog and offering such helpful advice and ideas whenever I have questions, Yes I know I have a lot.


The contest or blogfest itself will be very easy to enter and I will post the complete details when I can think of them hint* I welcome your ideas and suggestions on a specific type of contest or blogfest that you like to participate in.


and now for my list of prizes...


(1) one winner will receive a 2 hour plot consultation with Martha Alderson- valued at $280
(1) one winner will receive a Kindle e-reader (value &79+)
(3) winners will receive a copy of Martha Alderson's new book, The Plot Whisperer -value $9.00


Who knows, I may even have more prizes. It depends on how many people sign up. This will not involve any skill or talent. It is basically my way of sharing my appreciation and hopefully a way to allow more bloggers to get to know each other and connect with bloggers they do not already know.

So if you read all the way to here. Please pass the word. The contest or blogfest will not begin until after NaNo ends. I am thinking of starting it in early December and ending in time for winners to receive their prizes before Christmas.


Bye~for now!
Happy Writing!

Insecure Writer's Support Group.

Literary Classics I Hated, But We Are Expected To Love  




This is the first Wednesday of the month of November so it is that time again. For those of you not familiar with Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group, please visit his blog and check it out.


I almost forgot that today was the day because I have been frantically busy with NaNo as I decided to participate at the very last minute. So my IWSG post will be short, but nonetheless it is something I am afraid to share with all of you. I am even worried that I will catch a lot of backlash after this post.


My Insecurity today is more about my insecurity as a reader than a writer, but it all ties together.  Okay, here goes.


It seems to me that all good writers are also lovers of the literature classics. I am not and I fear that this will make me look like a less talented writer in your eyes. I do not dislike all of the classics , in fact I have enjoyed reading a great many of them. However, there are a great number of titles that I have read (mostly because they were assigned reading material at some point in my life.


Here is a list of some of the classics of literature that I  struggled to finish, that failed to capture my attention or dazzle me. I have never shared this with anyone. Having been an honor student in college and law school it would have been a disgrace for me to tell anyone that these books not only did not due it for me, but actually finishing each of them was worse than a triple root canal- without the gas.


They are in no particular order of bad to worse.




  •      Great Expectations (without a doubt the most miserable reading experience I've have).
  •      War and Peace
  •      Moby Dick
  •      Foucauit's Pendulum
  •      The Waste Land (and other T.S. Elliot poems.
  •      Naked Lunch
  •      The Illad and Odyssey of Homer
  •      Walden
  •      The Old Man and the Sea
  •      Wuthering Heights
  •      The Sound and the Fury (and I graduated from Ole Miss-How can I not like this book)
I am not completely void of a love for the classics. There are quite a few that I actually loved.

  1. The Great Gatsby
  2. Slaughterhouse-five
  3. Catcher in the Rye
  4. Lord of the Flies
  5. Deliverance
  6. Gone With the Wind
  7. Uncle Tom's Cabin
  8. To Kill a Mockingbird
I am sure there are more that I love and more that I did not love, but the ones listed are those that came to my mind rather easily.

Perhaps I was too young when I read those that I struggled to finish...No. I just did not like them.

So I am insecure about my lack or literary sophistication.













If I Had All The Magic Powers in The World

Happy Halloween! Are you ready for Elizabeth Mueller's Spookfesta?


Elizabeth is an amazing author and today is the day her novel, DARKSPELL launches. In honor of her book's premier she is hosting this spookfesta. You will want to visit her blog soon and check out her awesome book and her fascinating illustrations that she created for the book.  You can order your signed copy of  DARKSPELL on her blog or on her author's website.


Elizabeth spent over 150 hours illustrating for her spectacular debut novel.


Blurb: Winter Sky believes she is everything ordinary . . .until she is kissed by Alex Stormhold.

As seer of Stormhold Coven, Alex is sworn to be Winter’s protector against the darkness that hunts her. Violently thrust into a magical realm she always thought impossible, she stumbles upon a disturbing secret of her own.  Will love prove thicker than magic?  










I have suddenly been graced with all the magic power in the world. What magic powers will I choose and how will I use them? Will I use my powers for good? I think it is a given that I will use my magic power to write the most fascinating story that will intrigue readers all over the globe.
 Of course since I have magic powers, I will be able to produce this masterpiece by merely twitching my nose. And because I can create such wonderful works of fiction with rapid speed; my novels will magically appear on the the N.Y. Times best seller list.







I will also experience the freedom of a shape shifter. I will be able to shift into animal form and this will be helpful as I am always getting myself in trouble. Now, I can just shift & flee.
   .


     Speaking of freedom - I cannot pass up the opportunity to fly. I have vivid dreams in which I fly and it is so exhilarating. I don't want to wake up. I want to fly...


and I will have the power of teleportation, like the kid in Steven Gould's novel JUMPER, who teleports to escape his abusive father.
I will be invisible (when it suits me). Oh, just think of all the times we have said how much we would love to be a fly on the wall...well being invisible is so much better. Not only can I observe whatever I want, I sort of like the idea of messing with peoples heads. You know like moving an object or knocking a painting off the wall. This could definitely get me into some big trouble.





I will be able to eat whatever I 
want& I will never gain weight.







  • Ability to freeze people & objects
  • Ability to heal people
  • Ability to bring back life to those who have died
  • Ability to predict & see the future *yes, I am gonna get in trouble with this one. I can suddenly see my power going to my head will I be a superhero or a mega villain?

  • Ability to travel back and forth through time
But if I can only chose one magical power, I will have to choose the magical ability to read peoples minds and thoughts, much like the telepathic Sookie Stackhouse.

Thanks for reading. Now head on over to Elizabeth Mueller's blog and order a signed copy of her debut novel, DARKSPELL, a YA paranormal romance that promises mystery, suspense and mesmerizing characters. 

You can also purchase DARKSPELL in paperback or the kindle version at Amazon

Question & Answer Time- What's Your Comment Policy

I have Questions. I hope you have Answers.

What is your commenting policy?
I have been trying really hard to show my appreciation to the wonderful blogging friends that I have made, but I feel like I am failing miserably.


I have been blessed with a lot of new followers and my goal has been to follow their blogs as well. I try to read their post and leave comments. I posted about this before and talked about how frustrating it is to click on the photo of a follower and land on their profile page only to discover that I cannot find a link to their blog.

I received some helpful comments from all of you to this frustrating situation. Most of you have experienced this and stated that you try to locate the blog, but with your limited amount of time if you cannot find it you have to just move on. One reader even mentioned that perhaps my new reader (follower)-I hate using that word, it makes me feel so snobby -I prefer to refer to my followers as my readers, anyway I was told that maybe my reader just doesn't want to share their blog with me. That is okay. I totally understand that. I realize also that not every reader-follower has a blog. I get that as well.

My concern is that I am missing a whole lot of followers, that do in fact have blogs that they do want me to read and that they do have linked to their blog.

I am new at this and I know I am going to make rookie mistakes, but I am really missing something big here. I am missing something Important. I need your help.

Okay...I hope I can write this in a way that it makes sense. When I click on the photo of a follower, most of the time it takes me to a google or blogger profile page that list the person's about me information, a list of blogs that they follow and a link to their blog. It usually reads, my blog.


Now I hope these three photos or screen shots are visible to you. The first one shows you what I see when I click on my followers. The second one shows you what I see most of the time, when I click on the name of one of my followers( I just picked a random name) of someone whose blogger profile links to their blog.

The third screen shot shows what I see the other 25% of the time, when I click on the name or photo of a follower. It takes me to their profile, but I cannot see their link to their blog.


For the longest time I just assumed it was because they do not have their blog connected by link to their profile page. I started doubting this reasoning when I discovered that about half the time this is what is occuring.

My suspiscions were confirmed when I was fortunate enough to come across the bloggers name as they commented on another blog I follow. When I click on the link inside a comment on another blog, I am able to see the link to the blog that is missing when I do this from my own blog

The reason I chose Nisa for the third screenshot is not random like the first two. I chose Nisa because she was my 100th follower and I have been eager to thank her in a blog post and to read her blog, follow it and comment on her content, and I am becoming extremely frustrated that I cannot link to her.

The only explanation that I have been able to come up with is this...A week or so ago in an effort to better reply to the comments that you are so gracious to leave on my blog post, I installed a third party comment gadget that many successful bloggers rave about. Please view my DISQUS DASHBOARD

Up until now, I thought DISQUS was like the cat's meow. It allows a blogger to reply or respond to a commenter, directly inside the original comment. It is not just for the blog owner (so we don't have to create a separate and new comment each time we reply to a comment) but it also allows other commenters to reply to anyone's comment. It allows two or more bloggers to carry on a conversation, all within the original comment. There are many other cool features. I am afraid that this new comment service is preventing me from clicking on the name of a person leaving a comment unless that person also subscribes to DISQUS, hence the reason only a handful of commenters are listed in pink with a hover over link (or whatever it is called when you can click on the text & be directed to a link)

I am having another problem with DISQUS, it is connecting me to a different google profile page than my blogger profile, but that is the topic for a separate post on something else I do not fully comprehend-linking your blogger profile to your google followers to your google friends. Sigh! It is exhausting just thinking about all the stuff I must learn to be a better blogger


So...
Please let me know. Is it more difficult for you to leave comments on my blog now that I am using, DISQUS? 
If any of you currently use DISQUS, do you have any advice or tips for me?

Because I really do want to make it easier for you to leave comments on my blog. More importantly, I have to find out what I am doing wrong so that I do not miss out on the opportunity to follow the blogs of those following me.

What is the secret code? Tell me please. How do I make sure I can link to the bloggers profiles who signed on to be my friend and who I think would like me to follow them as well.
Anyone use a third party html gadget for comments other than DISQUS that you like? Do tell.

Thank you for following my blog and leaving comments. I genuinely appreciate the time and effort it takes. I want to be able to do the same. This is such a helpful group of people. Thank you to all of you and I will be so grateful for any comments, suggestions, 
critisims & tips.

Happy Commenting


Blog Awards

I Received Two (sort of like three) Blog Awards.


It is quite an honor to receive a blog award. I feel validated.  I hope that I have not offended any of the gracious bloggers who bestowed these awards upon me by taking longer than I anticipated to accept them and pass them forward.


My First Award  "One Lovely Blog" 
Was actually given to me by two very kind bloggers. I will thank them in the order I received it. I almost called this award the "Don't Hate me because I am beautiful award" 


Why? Because the first person who gave me this award, Colin D. Smith, titled his blog post, "Don't Hate  Me Because I am Beautiful". He is a talented writer and creative blogger. He is also a theologian and you should definitely check out his blog and read some of his flash fiction.  It is my understanding (please forgive me if I leave anything out) that I am to thank the person who gave me this blog and then pass it on to fifteen (15) other deserving lovely  bloggers. So a great big thank you, to Colin Smith for thinking of my blog and of me. 

But wait... I have more good news. Another super great blogger friend also considered me worthy of this cool and lovely award. This next person is someone I really admire. Eve.E, is certainly not clueless, but that is the name of her cute and quirky blog, Clueless Eve. Eve has only been blogging since August of this year and she already has a large and loyal following. The very first time that I stumbled upon Eve's blog was a day that she was considering throwing in the towel and giving up on her desire to blog. Like all new bloggers ( don't I know it) Eve was frustrated and confused. She did not know what to blog about and she worried that we were not interested in reading her blog. Fortunately, Eve is a survivor and she stuck with it (with a little help from her friends-and a lot of help from Alex Cavanaugh and Matt MacNish over at QQQE)

Thank You, Eve for selecting me as a recipient of this most treasured and lovely blog award. And thank you Eve, for demonstrating courage and resiliance and continuing to delight us with your very lovely blog. It is indeed  lovely.   Eve's blog design is cute, quirky and colorful. I always smile when I land on her blog. Her design is full of perky purple and cool doodling. Eve uses the best pictures and cartoons in her post. If you are feelling gloomy and want to perk up, hop on over to Eve's for entertainment.

Before I announce the next 15 lucky recipients of the One Lovely Blog Award, I want to thank all of you, my blogger friends for being the best group of people I have had the opportunity to know. If someone would have told me how friendly, warm and supportive all of you would be I would not have believed it. It is probably difficult for non-bloggers to understand, but I have felt an almost instant kinship with the group of bloggers (especially writer-bloggers) that I have met. I am proud to call you my friends. I want to thank you for reading my blog, for commenting, for joining as a friend or follower and for just being such awesome and sincere people.

Okay, On with it you say. (I know-long blog post are taboo)

One more thing. I am only selecting fifteen (15) not thirty (30) -two awarders-one award. Remember? If you have already received this award, my apologies. Please just accept it and of course you do not have to award it to others, again.

  1. Krista at I Take The Pen
  2. Melissa Ann Goodwin
  3. Laura Josephsen
  4. Laura at Daily Dodo
  5. Jamie Burch
  6. Ryshia Kennie at Once Upon a Time
  7. Jennifer Shirk at Me My Muse and I
  8. WilyBCool at To Move Forward and Live
  9. Mommy Bags
  10. Judie at Miss Steps and Milestones
  11. Katie Mills at Creepy Query Girl
  12. Stephen Tremp
  13. Nick Hight at Writing Fire
  14. I'm Erin
  15. The East Coaster
There you have it. Fifteen awesome, cool, and superb blogs . Please check them out. I tried very hard to pick really good blogs and I searched the sites to make sure they were not already winners of this award. If I selected duplicates, my apologies.

and...because this post is already too long, I will make a new post for my new award. 


                 

Warm Fuzzies Blogfest

 When You Tell People You Are A Writer


Juliana Brandt is hosting a blogfest.
I just love
the name of it.
Don't you?
I am rather late joining this awesome blogfest, but I did sign up in time (barely). Our first post is due today. I am running late as today concluded another KILLER blogfest that I participated in.

When I read the prizes for this blogfest, I knew that I could not pass up an opportunity to win a 30 page manuscript edit by the wonderful editor, Susan Buie.

This blogfest will take place over the next four weeks. According to our fabulous host, Juliana Brandt, we will celebrate being writers and revel in the amazing community surrounding us. You have to admit that the writer-blogging friends that we have made are a pretty cool and unique bunch.

To begin the fest we are going to tackle the issue of those who aren't in our community.

Today's Topic: How do you broach the subject of writing with other people who are not authors?


I talked about this very issue during my last post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, IWSG.

Most of the time I don't broach the subject with non writers. Why not? I have a variety of reasons. The primary reason is one that I have only recently admitted to myself. Is it the need for validation? Partly. Up until a few years ago, I referred to my writing as merely a hobby. I suppose I did so because I was afraid of the reaction I would get. This confirms my self doubt.

Why don't I announce to others with pride that I am a writer? I have no problem telling others that I am an attorney or speaking of my day in court with confidence. I feel certain that once I become a published author (notice I do not say-if I become a published author) I will no longer feel insecure about declaring myself an author or a writer.

I know that this makes me seem shallow. Why should I care so much about what others think? Why do I need publication to validate my skills and talent as a writer? I don't know. I think we all want that validation.

On the rare occasion that I do talk about being a writer with other non writers, I usually walk away feeling frustrated. It goes something like this:

     " Hi, how have you been, Melissa? You still prosecuting?"
     " Actually, I'm in private practice now. It gives me more time to spend with my kids and on my writing."
     " Really. You're not still trying to be a writer are you? "

Or here is another one:

     "This is my wife, Melissa."
     "Nice to meet you, you're a lawyer right?"

hubbie interrupts,     " She is and she is a writer, tell 'em honey, about the book you are writing."
I blush                      " It's a legal thriller about-"

I'm interrupted again  "That's cool, I've been toying with the idea of writing a book myself. Yea, I don't have far to go. As soon as I can get a week off I'm gonna finally sit down and put it on paper. So how long have you been working on your book, Melissa?"

     "Uh well I finished the first few drafts and I am editing now, so a little over a year."


     "You're joking. She's a funny one. Well take some advice from me, you need to really focus. Get away one weekend, head up to a secluded cabin and hammer that thing out. A year, sheeeitt, I could have written six books if I had a year to do nothing else."

And My Favorite:


     "So you write? It is so easy to get published these days, I heard anyone can do it."

And I cannot leave out the remark my ex-husband made recently at a state bar function (we are still friendly). We were introduced to an aspiring young author from New Orleans (who by the way has since become a well recognized published author) he was attending the function with his wife an attorney. After he walked away, my ex- leaned over to my husband and me and said " At least you're a woman and you have a career, Melissa. How would you like to be that loser? When people ask him what he does for a living all he could say was that he writes. How humiliating. Poor dude, thinks he's gonna be the next Grisham. He needs to find a career first."

I was horrified. The joke was on my ex as that writer is very well known today.


But can you see why I hate to even mention that I am a writer? I am ashamed that I feel like I have to be published to be worthy of the title, writer- but public opinion of non or pre-published authors can be brutal.


Want to read more entries? Click here

Want to learn more about the talented editor who is offering A 30 page manuscript critique as a prize. You can view Susan Buie's blog here and her website here. This is an amazing prize valued at $300-400 bucks.

There are other prizes as well. Juliane is offering one of her handmade journals and Saba is donating this book.


It is a "do it yourself autobiography". Visit her blog for additional prizes.
So, do you tell other non writers that you are a writer? Do you have any funny, sad or inspirational stories to share?

Killer Antagonist

Killer Antagonist- Anton Chigurh


Part 3 -Killer Characters Blogfest


Today is the last day of the Killer Character Blogfest hosted by E.R. King and Deana Barnhart. Today we name the antagonist that haunts our dreams. I had a hard time with this one because my original choice, while technically a bad guy, is someone I actually find myself rooting for. Yikes, I root for a serial killer. Well you can probably guess who I am not choosing (DEXTER).

In keeping with the Killer Characters theme, I am going with a really evil antagonist. This character kills for no reason. I am talking about Anton Chigurh, the indescribable monster-villain created by Cormac McCarthy in his novel NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN.

Javier Bardem does an outstanding job playing the character that won him a much deserved Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.










"You cannot really understand him completely," Bardem said of his character. "The good thing about Anton Chigurh is that he can't be described. He's not even described in the book by Cormac McCarthy. He doesn't need to be explained."



If you have not read No Country for Old Men, better yet, if you have not seen this film then you have not come face to face with pure evil. You don't understand his violence. You cannot pinpoint it. There is no reason behind it. You cannot escape it.


He's "the devil incarnate," "No Country" co-star Josh Brolin said in a press interview released by Miramax.
"You don't understand [his violence], you can't pigeonhole it. You can't categorize it," Brolin said. "He's very malleable, but not malleable on your terms, malleable on his own terms."

BTW- (I have a huge crush on Josh Brolin-so I had to add his photo)
Watch this clip from NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN and judge for yourself. If there is a scarier dude out there; I have not read about him.






My favorite scene has to be the coin toss scene as it demonstrates Anton Chigurh's indiscriminate, unfathomable lack of conscience. His fascination with coin flips show us that his threats are never spelled out, his motivations never known. That's his power. It's his choice whether you live or die and he leaves it up to the random toss of a coin. Your life doesn't matter. It is his game.



And because Javier Bardem is so convincing as Anton Chigurh, here is a short clip of Javier talking about the movie. Take a look at how completely different Javier is than his character Anton Chigurh.

Happy Halloween Everyone. I want to thank you for visiting my blog and reading my choices for the Killer Character Blogfest.

Take a look at the rest of the entries. Visit E.R. King's blog, Get Busy Writing

Take a look at who I picked as my favorite literary protagonist and my choice for best supporting literary character.



















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