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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

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.

Best Literary Protagonist

Part 2- Killer Character Blogfest.

Today we name our favorite literary protagonist or one who  has haunted our dreams.

My choice could easily be labeled a villian, but I am listing him as the choice for protagonist. In keeping with the Killer Character theme, I have contemplated not just evil characters, but malevolent characters who can masquerade as normal.

My choice: Tom Ripley from Patricia Highsmith's THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY and sequals.

What makes Tom Ripley haunt me at night is ability to blend in with everyone and his matter-of-fact attituded toward murder and mayhem. At times he is able to evoke sympathy. He suffers momentary pangs of remorse or disquieting thoughs on occasion, but in general he "slips down the bloody trial he walks with a certain ease." And those around him, even if they know about his crimes do not seem very bothered by them. It is as if the world he inhabits is strangely immune from guilt. (more so in her later books).

Tom wants to be loved, he wants to fit in. If you refuse to give him what he wants then he will kill you just as easily as he will befriend you.

Patricia Highsmith has created a multi-facit villian in Ripley. I can only hope to ever achieve this type of success.

To read other choices, check out E.R. King's blog.

Killer Fiction Characters- Best Literary Supporting Character

Killer Fiction Characters

Today is the first in a three part blogfest, hosted by E.R. King and Deana Barnhart.

Today we are to name a supporting character for the Killer Fiction Blogfest . October 26, list your favorite literary protagonist and the final entry on October 28, your favorite literary antagonist. There you have it, the rules. So get busy writing

My entry is on the verge of being late. I am just getting some relief from a migraine headache that I has been pretty "killer" itself. The good news is that it is going away & it is the first I have suffered in over two months ( a record for me).  Is is a coincidence that it follows a slumber party weekend (not just one night) for my ten year old son's birthday?  Twelve (12) ten year old boys together for an entire weekend,  never a good idea.

My selection for the supporting character could just as easily be labeled the antagonist, but technically she is a supporting character so I am going with her.

She is not scary in the Halloween or Friday the 13th kind of way, but this is who first came to my mind when I first blogged about this blogfest, 

Nurse Mildred Ratched:

Nurse Ratched is as horrifying to me today as she was in 1984, when I first read Ken Kessey's 1962 novel, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. The Novel's characters were based on real life individuals whom Kesey, met while working at the V.A.

Even her name Ratched, sounding like Wretched is symbolic. She enters the novel and the psychiatric hospital ward, “with gust of cold". Nurse Ratched is in complete control over every aspect of the ward, but not as much over her own emotions. In the first few pages we see her show her hideous self to Bromden and the aides, only to quickly regain her, “doll like composure” before any patient catches a glimpse.

Nurse Mildred Ratched uses the same flat and emotionless voice to order patients to take the meds or turn off the world series as she does to order a lobotomy for McMurphy.

What makes Nurse Ratched truly frightening is her ability to use her false self to gain control over the weak. Without ever being aware of the oppression, the quiet & docile slowly become weakened & gradually are subsumed. Nurse Wratched represents to me the ability, through dishonesty to suck the life out of of another.

Looking forward to reading everyones entries. Mine will be spookier as the challenge continues...

Blogging 101. Your Readers Cannot Find You

Who am I to offer blogging tips?

I am just a newbie blogger and the last person you would expect to offer blogging advice. When I am not searching the internet for writing tips I am looking for advice on how to be a better blogger.

I feel like I am going crazy. I am excited to have  new followers & friends. I visited as many new blogs as I could during the pay it forward blogfest & in return many bloggers visited me. With the adrenaline pumping through my veins each time I gained a new follower or when someone new left a comment on my blog, I vowed to be a good blogger buddy and return the kindness. I was on a mission to reply to comments, visit the blogs of my new friends, read their content & leave a comment.

It started out okay. I knew that I could not possibly visit all 75 of my new friends in one day, but I would eventually visit each and every one. Then I clicked on the name of a commenter or the photo of a follower which lead me to their profile page and that is where the story ends.

 Not really, but I landed on a profile page without a link to a blog. Okay, no biggie, perhaps this new follower doesn't have a blog. I am on to the next. When the next three out of five attempts ended the same way I assumed I must be doing something wrong. 

So I backtracked to the bloggers I always follow to make sure I wasn't missing anything. There it was front and center on their profile page, a link to their blog. I began again. After I visited two more blogs I stumbled upon the mystery profile page again. I am pulling my hair and banging my hands on the already warped keys of my computer.

I would not be writing this if it happened only a few times, but I am so frustrated. I want to be a good and loyal blogger friend. I want to read your blog. If you visited me and befriended me and or left a comment for me, I want to read your blog. Maybe you don't want me to, but I sort of thought the idea was quid pro quo. Even if not quid pro quo, I want to at least have the option of viewing your blog. 

Hey, if you have all the friends & followers that you need and you are not concerned with whether or not someone can locate you, then this does not apply. If you are like me & you welcome new friends and there is even a remote chance that your blog is not easily accessible then I hope you will take steps to make it easier to follow. 

I keep worrying that many of the people who were kind enough to pay a visit to my blog are thinking, "hmm what a blogger bratty bitch she is" she didn't even bother to check out my blog."

I even googled some of you, others I just could not find. I want to find you. Please make it easier. Please link your blog to your blogger profile.

I am not the one to give advice, but I was going to try. I am truly saying this because I want to help, (and I am a little frustrated) but mostly because I think you want to know if your blog is hard to find and I bet you want to know how to fix that. Someone left a comment for me not long ago that pointed out I had more than one blog listed and that they had to search to find the correct blog. Was I embarrassed? A little, but I was even more grateful and I immediately deleted the other test blogs.

Since I am not the best person to give blogging advice, I searched until I found someone who could explain it in easy to understand terms.

Laura Barnes is a marketing consultant who critiques blogs & offers her professional advice on how to make your blog the best it can be for your intended purpose. She has an entire page devoted to blogging advice and if you are unsure about any blogging topic, she can offer useful and supportive information.

 Laura B Writer has an entire section of her blog FAMP, (from a marketing perspective) that will answer any questions you may have.

Please visit her FAMP (From a Marketing Perspective) post on linking up. Laura provides easy to follow steps to ensure that your blog is linked to your blogger profile.

Because , I really do want to visit your blog, but if I cannot find it then we both lose. 

Best Time To Read While You Write

When Do You Write? Do you Read & Write?

I have Questions. Do you have answers?     

Whoa! Is it Wednesday already? Before I say anything else, I want to welcome all my new friends & followers. I had an amazing time hopping from blog to blog last Friday and Saturday and Sunday... In fact I am still meeting new people. So a great big thank you to Matthew & Alex. Your pay it forward blogfest was a huge  success.

I tried to meet as many new people as possible while also checking out the content of their blogs so I did not have a chance to meet everyone. I am going to continue going through the list but not at marathon speed. While reading such a variety of post from so many bloggers I found myself jotting down ideas and tips and also questions that I wanted to follow up on. This leads me to today's post. I have questions for other bloggers, questions that pop in and out of my mind at random times. I decided to toss out a handful of them hoping that with so many new friends I will get many new or different solutions to old questions.

  1. Do you get up early to write or do you write late at night or somewhere in between? I am nocturnal. My husband has been calling me a vampire since way before vampires were cool. I cannot explain it and it has nothing to do with what time I get up. I just seem to get more creative as the day or night goes on. This was great while I was working during the day. I have taken time off from work to edit my manuscript and begin the query process. This should be mean more time to write and edit and revise, right? Well it is not working out that way. I can do everything else I need to do during the day like grocery shopping, banking, housekeeping, organizing & cooking etc.etc.etc.
          But... When it comes to writing, my creative juices seem to be on tranquilizers until after dark. Why? I don't get it.  

Do you write better a certain part of the day or night?

     2.  Do you read while you are writing? Of course we all read something everyday. The newspaper, work related material and the other necessities. I mean do you prefer to read the work of other authors in your genre while you are in the writing stage of your NIP?

         There are two vastly different views on this issue. I love to read and not a day goes by that I don't read. Some days I find time to get engrossed in a novel and other days I am lucky to sneak a chapter or two in while I lock myself in the bathroom pretending to have, um, let's call it a stomach ache. Hey, guys do it all the time-besides it is the only real privacy in our home filled with kids.

        I find that reading others authors work while I am writing keeps me revved up and inspired to continue. It also helps me recognize what I like and dislike as a reader so that I can transfer that to my writing. I read a combination of best selling authors who I admire and debut authors. Reading debut authors helps me keep in mind what publishers are looking for.

       Those who oppose reading while writing have valid points as well. There is the argument that it can stifle your creativity or inadvertently lead to plagiarism.  It goes without saying that reading or any activity or hobby will cut into your writing time.

 What is your take on this topic? Do you enjoy reading similar material while writing your first draft or do you limit your material?

I was going to ask another question, but it is NaNoWrimo related & would make this post entirely too lengthy and I really want you to read the question(s) and provide your input. So now I have the title of tomorrows post.

So in a nutshell, when do you write and do you read & write?

The Plot Whisperer -Author Interview

The Plot Whisperer  By Martha Alderson 

Do you remember me raving about this book? The day it arrived? You can read my short snippet here.

The Plot Whisperer-The Secrets to Story Structure any Writer Can Master, by Martha Alderson is by far they most helpful writing book I have read. She is THE BOMB, as my kids would say.

I have been meaning to write a complete review of this book ( and I still intend to), but I have been having so much fun meeting new bloggers through the pay it forward blogfest that I haven't done so. Tonight I was checking out even more blogs that I discovered through PIF and I was super excited to discover that a fellow blogger is not only planning to review this "must have-go to" book for writers, she is actually interviewing Martha Alderson. I mean, I suddenly feel like I have backstage passes to the Beatles. Okay for all you younger bloggers, let me change that, I have a date with Justin Bieber. That is how excited I am.

For those of you who do not know Charissa Weaks, she is the author of the awesome blog, A Day in the life of an Aspiring Author. Charissa is a writer who blogs about her journey to publication. She is hosting an interview and give-a-way, that every writer should visit and will benefit from.

On October 26th Charissa will post her review of Martha Alderson's writing tool found in her book, THE PLOT WHISPERER. But that's not all! OMG, did I just sound like one of those late night infomercials? That's okay. If you cannot tell, I am in absolute utter awe of this writer & I kid you not, in the short amount of time that I have owned this book I have seen my writing improve. I see the big PLOT picture in a way that has never been this clear to me. So, yes there is more.

In addition to Charissa's review of the Plot Whisperer, she will also also host a question and answer interview with author, Martha Alderson. 

But wait, that's not all.....

Charissa Weaks will also give a free copy of THE PLOT WHISPERER and a $15 gift certificate to Amazon (that never expires) to one lucky winner. Believe me, you want to add this book to your bookshelf.

Charissa wants her questions to Martha to come from us, the readers. So she is asking that you leave your question in the comment section of her blog post. This will automatically enter you into the drawing. There are ways to add to your number of entries. You get more entries by tweeting about this event and putting it on FB and blogging and more. To get all of the details you need to visit her blog, and don't forget to leave your question for Martha Alderson in the comments section.

Take a sneak peak at THE PLOT WHISPERER
And while you are at it, visit Martha Alderson's blog to see exactly what this woman can show you.

Please Pass this on to every writer you know!!!

Empty White Pages: Musical Stories 15: Chick Lit

Empty White Pages: Musical Stories 15: Chick Lit

Listen to these three songs with powerful messages.

Pay It Forwad

The much anticipated "pay it forward" blogfest is officially here.

This blogfest is brought to you by the amazing Matthew MacNish over at QQQE and the other amazing Alex Cavanaugh

What is really amazing is that I have been so engrossed in reading all the entries that I almost forgot to include my own.

As you know we have been asked to name, describe & link to three blogs that we like. The intent is for all of us to get to know everyone. In an effort to discover more blogger friends , the fabulous and awesome blogfest bros suggested that we name blogs that others might not be aware of because they fly under the radar, (or any blog you like so long as it is really awesome). Being a relatively new blogger who hopes to meet new friends with this blogfest & knowing that we probably  all  know the totally awesome blogs already, I am promoting blogs who could really benefit from more exposure.

Get on with it already, you say? Okay then I will. Here are the three blogs I like that are currently flying under the radar. I would appreciate you visiting them.

     1.  Miss Steps and Milestones, Judie's blog is about writing, reading and random  observations on life. She is a fantasy writer and a  huge fan of NaNoWrimo. You will like her blog.

     2.  Daily Drama of an Aspiring Writer is a cleverly written blog, by Murees Dupe'. She is a romance author and blogs about the ups and downs of writing and everything in between. I love how she words that. Please visit Murees's blog Daily Drama of An Aspiring Writer

     3. Clueless Eve is a "total newbie" to the blogging world and she is such a sweet person. She is trying really hard to get her blog up and running, but she is having a difficult time. Eve was ready to throw in the towel a week ago and quit blogging, but she has decided to hang in there thanks to the kind words and advice from fellow bloggers. Eve is a writer and she is currently enrolled in a writing course & trying to navigate the sometimes tricky waters of blogging. It would be great if you could stop by her blog & lend her a hand. I know she signed  up to participate in this blogfest, but she doesn't really understand how a blogfest works or what she should be doing. Eve is determined to get the hang of it. Please try to remember getting started and how frustrating it can be to figure out even the simple blogging rules and techniques. PLEASE, fellow bloggers, help her out.

There are many more I would like to mention, but the rule is 3 and I am already cutting it close to get this post in before midnight. Well I am on Central time so I am two hours away.

I do have to mention one other blogger. She has many followers and an informative and entertaining blog. I don't think of her as "under the radar" at all. I want to give an Honorary Mention however to her because I believe she truly honored the spirit of this blogfest by bringing you 3 great blogs to visit, that are either brand new or truly going unseen. They are blogs that should be flying high.

So a very big thank you & honorary mention to Laura, author of the fun blog that is jammed packed with useful and practical writing information, Daily Dodo

So happy blogging. I hope you all find many new friends, bloggers and followers. Please remember to thank Alex & Matthew.


Darkspell Book Launch Spookfesta

Author Elizabeth Mueller, is hosting a Spookfesta to christen the October 31st release of her new book,  YA Paranormal Romance, DARKSPELL

I just love blogfest & contest hosted by bloggers. Don't you? It seems that there are so many cool ones going on and more to come this month.

Halloween has always been my second favorite holiday. I still dress in costume, decorate my home & I go nuts with the spooky outdoor decorations. It might have something to do with so many of my kids having October birthdays or maybe I just never quite grew out of Halloween. Do we ever get too old to celebrate Halloween?

Well without further ado.... A Halloween SPOOKFESTA!

Author, Elizabeth Mueller, has quite a lot to celebrate this Halloween.  October 31, 2011, is the official launch date for her new book, DARKSPELL.  Now is that spooky cool or what?

Can't wait to get your hands on DARKSPELL, well how about a Teaser?

Now you really want to read it , don't you. Click here to pre-order your signed, numbered copy .

This is what she has to say about her Spookfesta:

I'd love to christen Darkspell by brewing up an online "If I had all the magic in the world, I'd ..." spookfesta. On Halloween day and just for fun, post a photograph of *what you'd do with your magic, and share with me what you'd do if you discovered that you had all the magic in the world at your fingertips. Create world peace? Turn the ocean into ice cream? Fly to the moon? The universe is the limit--oops, actually, there are no limits.

This is going to be wacky fun! Can you imagine having all the magic in the world? What would you do? Yikes, does our answer have to be legal? I am really psyched about this. It will be fun finding the perfect photograph to depict what I will do with "all the magic in the world.

What is your magic power?????

Killer Character Blogfest

E.R. King & Deana Barnhart are hosting a spOOktacular  blogfest. 

The Killer Characters Blogest, Here is what the theme is:

The theme is, you guessed it, Killer Characters! Is there a hero who's haunted your dreams? How about a lower-than-dirt bad guy who's made your skin crawl? Or a spunky sidekick who's stolen your heart? Tell us about them!

There are three (3) Challenges for this blogfest:

Join us in three challenges:
1) Oct 24 post about your favorite literary supporting character
2) Oct 26 post about your favorite literary protagonist
3) Oct 28 post about your favorite literary antagonist
All entires should be 250 words maximum, but you may use all the pictures you'd like. 

Sign up for this. I for one am looking forward to reading all of the interesting & diverse entries. I am also looking forward to meeting more bloggers. These blogfest have been an excellent opportunity for me as a new(er) blogger to meet friends & to reconnect with old friends. 

A Big thank you to E.R. King & Deana Barnhart for this SpOoky fun KiLieR ChAraCtErS bLoGfEsT.

Deana Barnhart, was the host of last summer's "Gearing up to get an Agent" blogfest.

Sign up Here. Then remember to leave your email address in the comment section of the post. You must be a follower of both E.R. King's Get Busy Writing blog and of Deana Barnhart's Blog to enter.

Read their blogs for more information.  Trick or Treat! Yes, there will be treats! Prizes anyway for 1st, 2nd & 3rd place, including a chance to win a copy of Elana Johnson's new book, POSSESSION  and one of two manuscript edits by Elana, herself 
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