31 May 2012

Kindle Fire Giveaway!

I am so excited to bring you another giveaway! This time it's for a Kindle Fire! (You know you want one of these!)



I've partnered up with Maple Casino in Canada to help promote their giveaway.  Note: This is contest for USA and Canada residents.

Make sure you check out their Facebook Page, Twitter account, and YouTube videos to check out what Maple Casino is all about!

You can enter in the giveaway using the "rafflecopter" widget below!


30 May 2012

Writing Prompt Wednesday - Writer Wednesday Blog Hop

This week my co-host Carrie chooses this week's photo! I'm so excited to see what she came up with! 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 


This week it's my turn to get those creative fires burning. I've spent hours deliberating over which photo to choose. After page after page of duds, I begged my husband for one of his. And how do you choose just five words? (Random word generator.)


So, after all the effort I've put into this, how could you not participate?


See? That's settled. ;-)


Let's look at the submissions from last week, first. As usual, they're pretty amazing and definitely worth the time to read.


Murder at the Amusement Park (3) from Jottings and Writings of Tena Carr
Deal with the Devil by Chessny Silth
In a Room by Sydney Aaliyah
Payback's A...by World of My Imagination
And you can read mine here: Lake House Rendezvous


29 May 2012

Payback's A.... - A Bit of Short Fiction

Seven hours on the road, four arguments, and three bathroom breaks later, we arrived at the cabin. By the time we dragged in all of our bags, argument number eight begun. Myself, my best friend Tori, her boyfriend Lance, and my roommate Brittney all chipped in for a week in a mountain cabin and I was beginning to think this was a mistake.

I busied myself with claiming one of the beds while argument eight finished. Meanwhile, Brittney cried out over a broken nail and I sat down on the lumpy mattress and took a long breath. Soon the arguments would die down and all of us would be laughing over a glass of wine. Or two.

Behind my closed eyes, I heard the sounds of footsteps. The steps paused. And then I heard a scream.

"Becky, the window!"

My eyes flew open and at the window was a man. The clouds and snow building up outside gave his face a ghoulish look. In the distance, I saw another. He wore a heavy cloak and white mask as he stood facing the cabin.



"Lance!” I yelled out. Brittney and I watched as the strange man headed in the direction of the front door.

"Tori shut the front door!" Brittney yelled.  Lance stepped into the bedroom and lurched backwards as Brittney and I raced for the door's exit.

"What the--?"

I raced passed Tori who stood frozen in place. I made it to the front door just as the door knob turned. I barreled my body against the door and pushed against it.

"What is your problem?" Lance heavy footsteps thudded as he headed for the front door. He used his weight to push against it.

"Someone was outside looking in the window!" Brittney said, her hands covering her face.

The door creaked open an inch and Brittney screeched as a hand reached around the opening. I heard someone grunt.

"The stars at night..." The voice whispered.

"Are big and bright..." Lance grunted. It was then I knew something was off. I stood back and watched as Lance pulled the front door open. The man who stood at the window, his cloaked friend and Lance stuck out their chests and sang in unison.

"Deep in the heart of Texas!" They shouted.

"You assholes!" Brittney shouted.

The guy at the window doubled over with laughter. "God you are so easy. I wanted to wave but I figured that would have killed it."

The cloaked guy pulled off the white mask and gave me a huge foolish looking grin. "We found out about your vacation through an envelope Lance left behind and Lawrence and I thought..." He motioned to the guy who had stood at the window. "This is better than Texas.  It’s hot as a desert there anyway. We'll just join you in here."

While the three buffoons continued laughing about their ultimate prank. Brittney and I exchanged glances that said one thing - it was payback time.

This is my entry to last week's writing prompt! Make sure to tune in tomorrow for this week's prompt! All the required words are in bold.

This is part of an ongoing blog story, and I invite you to click this link to read the entries that completes this story!

28 May 2012

Blog Button Ad Contest (And My Pinterest Challenge Update!) [SOLVED]



So, as you know from my post a couple of weeks ago, I decided to take part in a Pinterest Challenge. For me, on Pinterest I regularly collect story ideas from pictures. Not the usual recipes and "stuff to do" photos other people collect.

My part in the Pinterest Challenge was to write a story based on a photo I have "pinned" for the challenge!
And I finally finished one not too long ago!

And here's a photo of the pin:








Isn't it great? It was inspired by an abandoned house that lives across the street from me and after I saw this photo, I knew I had to write a story about it. In case you were curious, here's a photo of the completed story!









The Blog Button Ad Contest

I'm onto my next one and if you are following me on Twitter it's a bit of a stumper on how to set it up.  In fact, here's the tweet to prove

So, here's where the "Blogger Ad Contest" comes in. For the past several years, I have had a true news story in my head. I know that this actually happened.  And I'm dying to see the story and read about it again. But for the life of me, I can't find it.

What happened is a few teenagers (or a group in their twenties) were making a horror movie. The subject of the movie reported the incident and she said that she never know it was fake. A huge deal was made of it and even clips of the horror flick were featured in the news broadcast. The "filmmakers" claimed that she did know it was fake and she is just freaking out for no reason. I have no idea the outcome of the case, but I'm dying to know what happened.  See why this would make a fantastic story?


I want to know where the case ended up and what happened to all the people involved! It is a US-based story and it happened between 5-7 and maybe even 10 years ago. I have never been able to find this.

The first person who answers this question will get their blog button on my blog for the whole month of June (or July, depending on how long it takes for someone to come up with the answer)
. Or if you don't have a blog button, and you know the answer anyway, I will create a "make shift" button for you. Or if you want a book you wrote or something else you would like advertised on my blog, I can do that as well.

So, if you know the story, post a link to a news article or something in the comments below!

By the way, here's the pin that I will be working on next that inspired this contest and my next story for the challenge!














Spread the word about it! Can you figure out what this news story is for me? I will give you until June 30th to come up with the answer! 


UPDATE: 


I am proud to say that this case of the unknown crime has been solved! Wow! I have never been able to find this and I have looked and looked. Robin over at the blog Crime and Literature (how perfect is that by the way?) found the case for me and I am so excited! I am happy to make a blog button for her (although do note I am not a web designer. But I will do my best!)

If you want to know more about the case, here is a link. Apparently, the kids accused got four to eight months in jail. And their makeshift film got a rating of R+, according to the judge.

If you are totally bummed about not getting here in time, that's okay, because I do have another blog ad contest in mine for the month of July! It's a movie I've been trying to think of, so I'll be excited to see if you can help me figure this one out too.

Thank you again to Robin and everyone else who took part (or wanted to take part!). 





25 May 2012

Summer Time Fun! - Bowling at AMF


If you are like me, or if you have kids like me, summers probably aren't your favorite time of year. Why? Those epic three months where you can't ever figure out what to do during the day (that was how it was when I was growing up. I hated that type of free time. Now I would give anything to have those burdenless three months back). That's why I was excited to bring to you a great deal going on at AMF throughout the whole summer! 

AMF's Summer Unplugged is an awesome bowling deal for kids and the "Summer Pass" gives adults a chance to have an awesome time for cheap. 

The What (Summer Unplugged Details) 

Zero cost for Kids 15 and under! At select AMF Centers, two free games of bowling per day for kids 15 and under; shoe rental not included. And only $3.29 for kids meals.

The Time: 

Free bowling until 8:00 PM, 7 days a week

The When:

Monday, May 14 through Monday, September 3 (Labor Day).

The How:

Go to this link to find a participating location and complete a registration form to get weekly game coupons. It's as easy as that!

...and for the grownups?




The "Summer Pass" offers two free games per day for up to four people ages 16 and up (shoe rental not included). One $29.95 Summer Pass is good for two games per day for up to four people all summer long (same dates and times as above). Click this link here for purchasing details. 

Okay, so I think that sounds like a lot of fun and if you are struggling with what to do during the summer for cheap this is a wonderful deal you should take advantage of.

So, tell me, what is your favorite summer time activity? What was your favorite summer time activity growing up as a kid (or what activity do your kids like to do during the summer)? 

I participated in this campaign as a member of One2OneNetwork and am eligible for a prize drawing. All opinions stated in the post are my own.





23 May 2012

Photo Writing Prompt - Writer Wednesday Blog Hop

Okay, third times a charm. I've tried writing this post twice and my laptop keeps freaking out on me...so here we go!


We had an awesome turn out last week! I'm so proud to share the posts we received -

Enchanted by Chessney Smith
At the Top of the Stairs by Syndey Aaliyah
Alicia's Soul by Chasing Revery
Dogwood Days by Jade (this is from a prompt a few weeks ago)

By the way, if you ever see a writing prompt from previous weeks ago that you would like to respond to, go ahead! I will still promote it with next week's post!

Here are the rules:


1) There will be one photo, and five words - both of those elements must be a feature in the brief story you create.
2) There is also a 500 word maximum.
3) You have until the next Wednesday to create your post.
4) When you have finished your post, come back here and link up below and let me (or whoever your blog host is) know in the comments that you have done so!
5) We were going to tell you to not take this too seriously, but reconsidered it because we know full well that asking writers to write something means that they will take it seriously. So, take it seriously, but don't fret/panic/pass out/hyperventilate/lose sleep/run in fear over it.


Here's the photo (taken from this link)


Existing Behind Us

Here are the five words (taken from this link)
Stars

Envelope

Wave

Nail

Desert

Once you have your story ready, post it below! 






22 May 2012

Cool Things Always Happen in Old Houses - A Bit of Short Fiction


"Honey, I'm gonna go clean up the attic!" Brenda called out to her husband who was setting up the computer in their downstairs den. Moving into their new home proved to be an uphill battle. Their "fixer upper" had more than its share of issues, but the smell of dust and mold finally grew on Brenda.

She pulled the cord that dropped the stairs to the attic. She waited a beat as the stairs conked against the wooden floor and then started her climb. At the top of the stairs, Brenda paused and surveyed the damage.  The attic contained typical attic faire - boxes, old doll houses, covered up furniture, and moth-eaten clothes. She stood up and pulled her work gloves over her hands.

"Let's see what we have here." Brenda started for her first box. She pulled back the ancient masking tape and pealed back the box flap. A folded up blanket was at the top. It was imprinted with yellow ducks. A baby blanket, she realized. She noticed a faint pink smudge on the corner of the blanket.

"Lipstick." Brenda whispered.

She lifted the blanket out of the box and shook it out. Clouds of dust puffed from the blanket.

"No spiders. Thank God." Brenda said. She figured a good wash and repairing the holes would make the blanket suitable for a garage sale. She placed the blanket at the top of the stairs for her keep pile.
She reached for the next item in the box. It was a stuffed toy chameleon that changed color under the dim sunlight from the attic window. As she examined its potential, she heard a creaking sound behind her. Brenda turned to see the attic stairs shutting. She dropped the toy and raced to the closed exit.

"Shit." Brenda said. She pressed her foot against the stairs, expecting them to drop but they didn't budge.

"Shit," she said again. A soft knocking distracted her from the closed exit. Forgetting the stairs for the moment, Brenda crept closer to the mysterious noise. It came from a pile of boxes in the back corner of the attic.

"Hello?" She called out. Sudden images of victims trapped in the walls of the house and the killer coming back for them flashed in her brain. She shuddered. "No more Stephen King books for me."

As Brenda got closer, the knocking grew louder. She noticed a light behind the boxes, one she hadn't noticed before. She pushed against the wall of boxes. The knocking stopped as Brenda continued and inch by inch the light grew bigger. When the boxes were shoved over, she saw a stairway leading upwards to somewhere.



"What the hell?" Brenda asked. The stairway was carved and made of stone. The walls clean and smooth. A painted design decorated each step.

"Follow me."  A voice called out.

"Hello?" Brenda took one step inside and looked up. She couldn't see anything without getting closer and took one step at a time up the stairwell.

This was my entry to last weeks blog hop writing prompt! The required words are in bold. Make sure you come back tomorrow morning for this weeks writing prompt!

Also, this is part of an ongoing blog story, so click this link to find out what happen's next!

Mayan Calendar Update! The World is Not Coming to An End.

The Sun's take on the News Of The World being closed: World's End


Recent news has erupted that the world may not come to an end this year. While some of you people out there may still continue building your underground panic room or continue plotting how to storm the space ship that will send out all the smart people to the secret safety planet, the rest of us can breathe a sigh of relief.

Scientists have discovered a Mayan workshop that calculates that our world probably continue on for another 6,000 years. An expert on Mayan astrology, Anthony Aveni of  Colgate University stated, "Why would they go into those numbers if the world is coming to an end this year?"

I don't know about you, but I am still a little wary that this holiday season may be a touch more chaotic than normal this year. So, in celebration of the world not coming to an end, I've made a list of the top ten hopeful songs to celebrate 2013! I was going to put together apocalyptic movie clips, but I figured something a little more positive would do the trick.


16 May 2012

An Award, Publication,and Interview!

So, I have some fun news! Two good things happened for me recently. First good thing was a poem I wrote got published by Front Row Literary Magazine! How exciting!

You can check it out by clicking this link. I'd love for you to come by and check it out.

I also got interviewed over at Arianna's "Random" Thoughts blog where she does great interviews and did one with me lately called, "Be Your Own Best Friend." So please go by and check out my interview (and her great blog!)

And not only that I received an award from LJ Kentowski over at the blog LJ Writes and I got the award from Diane Carlisle over at Are We There Yet and both are great blogging friends!


So, as with any award, there are rules. First rule is I am supposed to share 7 things about myself. Okay, in reality, I feel like I don't know what to say about myself that I haven't shared already! But...let's see if I can come up with some cool things:

1) In general, I'm not a big fan of holidays. I'm also concerned this holiday season will be even more chaotic considering the world is coming to an end.
2) I love the spring best, especially in Oregon because the trees are so bright, green and pretty looking.
3) I like finding cool songs for the gym by listening to the music they play during commercials. 
4) I have had my iPhone for almost a year and a half and I am just getting used to the idea of reading books on it.
5) I like French music. Like this song:



6) I'm not on Facebook like I used to be (except for my blog's Facebook page.) Blogger, Twitter, and Google Plus are my new favs.
7) I like remembering lines from Seinfeld and seeing if I can use them in conversation without another person knowing.

And Diane had a list of questions to answer so here are those:

What is your favorite song? Someone Like You by Adele
What is your favorite dessert? Peanut Butter and Chocolate anything
What ticks you off? Being talked down to
What do you do when you are upset? Talk really high, talk really fast.
What is/was your favorite pet? My mom's boss trains guide dogs and the current dog is my favorite pet. Her name is Ruffle.
What do you prefer, black or white? Black Spandex for the gym, white pants during the summer.
What is your biggest fear? Spiders and falling.
What is your attitude mostly? Positive.
What is perfection?  All in your head.
What is your guilty pleasure? The Sims 3

Okay, that's enough about me! Now to the winning bloggers!

1) Desirae Rasmussen over at Not So Ugly Ducklings (she is the one who designed my blog for me! She did an amazing job and I am so grateful for the time she put into it!) Also, if you want to check out some of her other designs, check out her business site by clicking here.
2) Carrie at Chasing Revery (she's been my awesome co-host each week for my blog hop!)
3) Jane Bussey over at A Writer's Muses (also my second awesome co-host!)
4) Tena Carr over at Jottings and Writings (I am ashamed to say that this is the first WordPress blogger that I have passed along an award to! I can't believe I haven't done this before! But she is also another awesome blogger you should check out!)
5) Ashley Chappell at Notes from the Canvas (a great blogger friend who recently got published! Yay!)
6) DB Stevens over at Kicking Corners (an awesome blogger who is currently on a vacation from her blog, so if you happen to see her, let her know she's got an award! Hehe...)
7) Kristen Lamb over at Warrior Writers  (my second ever WordPress awarded blog! She had an awesome post recently on the solution to the whole "bookstore" in trouble thing, so make sure you go by and check out that post!)

Okay, so I made sure to pass along the award to bloggers I haven't awarded before! So make sure you go by their blog and say hi for me!

Have a great week everyone!


Writing Prompt Wednesday - Writer Wednesday Blog Hop

Wow! There was an amazing turn out last week! I am so impressed by all the creativity out there! Last week's photo really got everyone going and I am proud to present last week's amazing submissions to our weekly writing prompt:

Cow Whisperers by Randy Lindsay
A Thousands Words by Chasing Revery
Horoscope by Chessney Silth
A Day in the Park by Anne
A Post by Syndney Aaliyah
Conversations with an Ex by Me

I am so proud of this turn out! I hope more and more people join in!

So, here's the rules as usual just as a fresh reminder:


1) There will be one photo, and five words - both of those elements must be a feature in the brief story you create.
2) There is also a 500 word maximum.
3) You have until the next Wednesday to create your post.
4) When you have finished your post, come back here and link up below and let me (or whoever your blog host is) know in the comments that you have done so!
5) We were going to tell you to not take this too seriously, but reconsidered it because we know full well that asking writers to write something means that they will take it seriously. So, take it seriously, but don't fret/panic/pass out/hyperventilate/lose sleep/run in fear over it.

Here is the photo (from this link)


Enchanted Staircase

And here are the five words (from this link)

Masking Tape

Chameleon

Hand

Computer

Lipstick

And when you have completed your story, post the link to it below!




Spread the word about the hop and let us know what you come up with!


15 May 2012

Conversations With An Ex is Bad For You - A Bit of Short Fiction



I knew it was him the second he sat down beside me. I smelled his cologne. I took a peak from my paper and there he was. His newspaper was pulled close to his face since he had poor vision and hated wearing glasses. A lot of our lazy Sundays were spent with me reading the smaller print and teasing him about what it would be like when we got old. I pulled the paper closer to my face as tears welled in my eyes.

"Tara?" He noticed me.

I pulled my sunglasses over my eyes, put my paper down and plastered on a phony smile. This moment would definitely go in my diary.  "Roger! Good to see you!"

He covered up his left hand. He got married three weeks ago and he didn't think I knew. Thanks to Facebook it took me less than a week to discover his brand new wife and both of them posing for the camera. That was supposed to be my life.

"How are you doing?" He asked with a whisper like I was dying.

"Good, good. I hear you got married." I decided not to make this a comfortable moment. He ducked his head and rubbed the back of his neck as if I was accusing him of stealing cookies.

"I did, I did. I can't believe it either." He chuckled like I told him a joke. Why can't the bus come? "How's work?"

Idle conversation with an ex can kill you. Did you know that? "It's fine. Journalism is always the same. Always trying to find the next lead."

There was an awkward pause as he tried to find something else to ask me. I looked down the road for my escape.  With no bus in sight, I decided to ask him what I really wanted to know. "Where did you guys meet?"

His eyes narrowed and he pressed his lips together to form a straight line. "Tara..."

"No, I want to know." I was sincere too. I wanted to know where he could have met someone to marry when I couldn't stand the idea of moving on.

"Office Depot. I was shopping for a printer."  He checked his watch. I wondered if he sat down just because he saw me here.

I laughed but it was more of a gasp and a cry. The sound of rumbling caught my attention and I noticed my bus headed my way. I stood. He did too. He reached to hug me but I stepped away.  The bus paused in front of the stop and the doors breathed open. I took a step towards it and didn’t look back when he called my name.  I flashed the driver my pass and headed to a seat in the back next to a man doing a crossword puzzle. For the moment, I was glad for the sunny day so I could keep my sunglasses on. 

This was my entry into the Writer Wednesday Blog Hop that I host each week that gives you a 500 word limit, one photo and five words to include. Make sure to check back tomorrow for the new writing prompt! The required words for last week are in bold.


Potential Disasters for the Self-Driving Car

I was excited to hear about the latest gadget coming from Google called the "Self-Driving Car." Isn't that cool? Do you know how many bad drivers that would help? How many accidents that could prevent?

According to an article with the Washington Post, the technology in the car allows the vehicle to drive itself, including make turns, stops and recognize the existence of fellow cars and pedestrians. Drivers still have the ability to take control of the car, if they so please. It's still in testing mode with Nevada being one of the first test states (you lucky drivers, you) and the timeline suggests that Kindergarten age kids could learn to drive in a self-driving car. A recognizable sigh of relief could be heard from parents of young children everywhere.

But then, just yesterday, when I was walking to meet someone for lunch, I overheard this lady on her cell phone. She said to the person on the other line, "Have you heard about the new self driving car?"

Followed by saying, "You know that would freak me out. You know what that reminds me of? The movie I-Robot!"

And I thought...you know what? She's right. We are getting closer and closer to this idea of technology getting revenge on human beings as shown over and over again in books and literature. I even remember discussing this in some of my communication courses in college. How can we forget all that pop culture has taught us?

So, with that said, here are the top five reasons why the self-driving car could be a bad idea --


14 May 2012

Warning: This Post Is Very Immature (Also Titled: Top Five Fart Videos)

no farts

I knew one day the subject of farting would come up on my blog (or "poomping" as my southern relatives would call it), I just didn't know when or how. But the news came out recently that dinosaur farts warmed up the planet. Apparently, their...um...gaseous (snicker) emissions may have something to do with the greenhouse gas that heated up the Earth. There is a ton of detailed scientific sounding description and explanation that kills the humour in all of this, so if you would like to read the article that I discovered, click here.

Now, while we aren't nearly as large as the dinosaurs, I'm certain we have all warmed the planet in one way or another with our own gaseous emissions. And there are also those Earth warming moments that have been recorded and posted to YouTube for all of to us to enjoy.

I present to you the top five earth-warming fart moments on YouTube.


12 May 2012

What The Starbuck's "Pick of the Week" Says About Books


Take a look at the picture right there.

Within the last few weeks, I have noticed a growing trend with Starbucks. For quite a long time, Starbucks have had a "pick of the week." It used to just be songs, but for the past year or so, I have noticed that they have begun to use apps and specifically related to this post, they have used books.

Books. Books given away as if they are prizes.

It's hard to explain, but I felt...hopeful after seeing things. I may be the only one, but I thought this to mean so much more to me than what many might think.


11 May 2012

Hillary Clinton Without Makeup? News at 11!

So another lame, not a big deal moment has hit the air waves again. Guess what everyone? Hillary Clinton went without makeup one day. *GASP* I don't see what the big deal is. Considering I'm in a hurry in the morning, I leave without makeup on all the time. I usually put it on later, of course, but really people? National news?

Granted, Hillary Clinton is a public figure, but you know what? I am amazed anyone really noticed. I think she looked pretty good without any make up on. Here's the photo of her below sans make up:



According to the NY Daily News, all she had was some lipstick on and she has laughed off the criticism received by many of the critics. She states, "If I want to wear my glasses I'm wearing my glasses. If I want to wear my hair back I'm pulling my hair back ... At some point it's just not something that deserves a whole lot of time and attention." Cheers, Hillary!

10 May 2012

What Women Want Giveaway! (Also Titled, Win Something Awesome!)

I am so excited to take part in this awesome giveaway, especially considering...well, I just love giveaways for one. And not only does this giveaway involve the most organized purse in the world (which I need, and I know you need), but it also includes some great goodies and a little bit of green in your pocket. Yes, moolah people. Isn't it wonderful?

Butler Bag, Karren's Avon (creator/writer for Oh! My Heartsie) and Mom to Bed by 8 (the Iowa-Mom)want to offer one lucky reader a prize package that is sure to tickle your fancy and bring joy to your wardrobe and skin all at the same time.


Fate Calls - Riley's Story - A Blog Story Hop

I am proud to take part in another story blog hop. I took part in one about a month or so ago and it was such a wonderful experience. So, I'm taking part again with Carrie at Chasing Revery and Leonard at Confessions of a Pixie and Ink Stained Wretch.


Make sure to read part one before you read mine! 



Old Marine Office Building - Old Nordburg Grounds - 2nd Floor

I went to my bike parked behind the bushes in front of Caleb's house and nudged the kick stand. I balanced the bike with my thigh and checked the missed call. The number on the recent calls just said, "0." I didn't need to know the number, though, I knew where to go. I pushed my bike to the sidewalk and looked around the empty neighborhood. The late Thursday afternoon seemed uneventful for the most part. On the outside, it could have been a normal day. I squinted into the sky as the clouds took control of the weather and threatened rain. I knew I better hurry.

09 May 2012

Photo Writing Prompt - Writer Wednesday Blog Hop

Happy Wednesday Everyone! Remember, you've made it this far in the week, you can make it to Saturday! Last week we have had some awesome posts from the blog hop that I would love to share:

Road Trip by Chasing Revery Blog
Writer's Retreat by World of My Imagination

Murder at the Amusement Park an amazing new series by the blog Jottings and Writings

And if you responded to the blog hop writing prompt and didn't get the chance to share it with everyone, let me know in the comments and I'll add your post!


08 May 2012

Writer's Retreat - A Bit of Short Fiction


Lisa opened the front door with the keys the manager gave her. The ancient key, the type used to open old dungeons, stuck in the lock. Lisa shoved the door with her shoulder and wrenched the key to the left. The door gave from underneath her weight and she staggered into the cabin. She went back to the door and yanked back the key.

"Wow, time to update the locks." Lisa said under her breath. She brought her bags in from outside and shut the front door behind her. Based on the dust clouds and the covered furniture, she could tell nobody used this cabin. Lisa coughed as dust rested in her throat. She understood why.

[Guest Post] Finding Your Wellsprings by Mari L. McCarthy


Today I am proud to present to you a blog post, brought to you by Mari L. McCarthy, creator of the online challenge "Start Journaling and Change Your Life in 7 Days.






What do you do to rest and re-charge? Not only do all human beings have to take time out every day to revitalize – even if only by sleeping – but many people devote large chunks of time to re-charging activities, believing that by doing so, they'll better serve themselves and others.

Sleep, of course, is the great rejuvenator, and the king of inspiration. To be well-rested is to be healthy; and whether or not you remember dreams, they are essential to keeping you balanced mentally and emotionally so that you can be open to creativity and new ideas.


07 May 2012

Why The Tan Lady Proves There Can be Too Much of a Good Thing

So, I know that blog title was epic long, but I couldn't think of any other title. And you know that I couldn't resist blogging about this once I saw this on the news. This woman tanned so much that she was actually banned from the tanning salon and employees have been instructed to ask her to leave if she shows up. Can you imagine tanning that much that you are banned? 


Patricia Krentcil (now given the pet name of "Tanning Lady") gained national attention after she was reported bringing her own daughter into the tanning salon. Her child developed a rash.  The school nurse noticed it and the little girl explained the rash came from tanning with her mom. The nurse promptly reported the incident to the authorities.

This story continues to receive attention, including that of celebrities such as Kim Kardashian who put her hat in the ring for the "Tanning Lady" title. Check out a photo of her here.

All of this leaves me wondering though...can there be too much of a good thing? And I think that the tanning lady proves to all of us that there can always be way too much of a good thing. Always.



And she isn't the only situation that proves this either. Just take a look at our popular culture! The books, movies and music that we pay attention to. I gathered up a few examples for your enjoyment. Take a look!


05 May 2012

What a Woman Wants Giveaway Sign Up!

If you're thinking of that Mel Gibson movie, you're wrong.  Although, let's have a quick Gibson moment:



But, if you are a fellow blogger, you'll want to sign up for this, especially since Mother's Day is just around the corner and this will be awesome giveaway for your readers if they are a mom, have a mom or know a mom (and hey, isn't that mostly all of us?)


And I'm proud to present the giveaway through the blog community World Blogger's Community! 

Butler BagMom to Bed by 8Iowa-Mom and Oh! My Heartsie is excited to present the What A Woman Wants Event from May 11th to May 25th.




This is a free blogger event and accepting signups now.

Join the What A Woman Wants Giveaway event today, grow your readership and offer one amazing prize package including a Butler Bag (RV$215), $50 Cash, Jewelry, Skincare, Bath products and more!


So, if you want to check out the giveaway and sign up to give your reader's a chance to win some stuff, just click on this link to find out more information!

The sign up is no longer active, but did you want to win some of these amazing prizes? Check out the giveaway post here! 

(Oh, side note, make sure you mention yours truly if you sign up!)

04 May 2012

A New Writing Goal and Deadline

Alarm Clock 3

Alright, everybody! It's been over a month since I have completed my first draft of my fantasy novel. And I'm still so proud of myself.

But here's the thing, I have begun to realize that I enjoy working under a deadline. I really do. I gave myself a deadline last time and at first, I didn't want to do this with my rewrite. I thought maybe I would enjoy pacing myself in the way that I wanted. But, a few weeks into my rewrite and chapter one and two behind me (sort of on chapter two, I have to look over that again), I have realized that...


02 May 2012

Photo Writing Prompt - Writer Wednesday Blog Hop

Welcome back everyone! This has been an amazing week and there has been so much creativity that resulted from last week's prompt. You guys are awesome! So, make sure to check out last week's prompt and the great posts that resulted:

Beach of Peace  over at Lando-Loo, Where Are You?
Back to the Beach  over at The Why, The how, and the What If
Rough Tides, at Chasing Revery (my co-host!)
A New Beginning (done by me!)

And today we have another prompt ready to go for everyone! But first, a quick shout out to my awesome co-hosters - Chasing Revery and A Writer's Muses. Make sure you check out their blogs!

As usual, here are the rules:

1) There will be one photo, and five words - both of those elements must be a feature in the brief story you create.
2) There is also a 500 word maximum.
3) You have until the next Wednesday to create your post.
4) When you have finished your post, come back here and link up below and let me (or whoever your blog host is) know in the comments that you have done so!
5) We were going to tell you to not take this too seriously, but reconsidered it because we know full well that asking writers to write something means that they will take it seriously. So, take it seriously, but don't fret/panic/pass out/hyperventalate/lose sleep/run in fear over it.

Here's this week's picture (taken from this link)


springtime

And here's this week's five words from this link:

decoy

sign

pin

pillow

dinosaur

Oh this should be fun, I just know it. 

*NOTE* I had to delete a couple of people who just submitted links to their blog without responding to the story prompt. Please only link up when you have responded to the story prompt! 

So, when you have your story completed, post your link below:




01 May 2012

A New Beginning (My Wednesday Creative Prompt Submission)


I rolled down the window to my old station wagon, letting the wind whip in my face. The long drive to the beach had put Mika and Michelle asleep in the back, with their little faces pressed against their seat belts. I was sure to find deep indentations on their cheeks when I woke them up later.

I gripped the steering wheel tighter. Long drives like this always make me want to fall asleep, too. I turned up the radio, letting the voice of an old favorite sing to me as I drove along the empty road. I knew this road well. Except this time it wouldn't be just a stopover. This time I was changing for good. It had taken me five years, millions of tears, a failed marriage, and one giant leap off the diving board of life, but I had done it. In a few months, I would be opening up my own store. A bookstore. In the heart of a beach town.

I skipped past the next song on the CD. Before I could begin singing the song that began to play, I noticed the sign I needed - Exit 65. This would be the exit that would take me to my new life. Our new life. Something we desperately needed. I turned on my signal and changed lanes. I slowed the car down, memories of the sharp corner rolling in my mind. I usually hated to drive like this.  Tim always did. Every trip, he would be the driver. This time I was. The driver and the navigator.

This part of the road was covered with trees. Majestic green pines reaching to the sky, nearly covering the bit of sunlight above me. In a few miles, we would arrive at our new apartment - a two bedroom deal that was only two blocks away from the ocean. I still couldn't believe I had done this.  The movers had two days ahead of me, and I had given them permission to unpack the truck and put the furniture inside.

The worn sign announcing "Blue Rock Apartments" could be seen from a distance. I pulled into the driveway and found a spot near the new apartment. I turned off the car and sat in silence for a moment, taking in the new sense of peace I felt. Peace. Of course, the morning would bring new excitement. Mika had insisted on buying a video camera, taking on his new role of documentary film maker. I also needed to prepare the both of them for their new school. I had arranged a tour with their teachers. Not to mention there was still work to be done with the new store. But this would finally be a new beginning.

This was my entry to the Wednesday Photo Prompt from last week! There is still time to enter yours, so make sure you check out the post! And make sure to come by tomorrow to check out the prompt! 

What the "Hot Problems" Video Can Teach Us About Success





In case you haven't heard, this video right there is considered one of the worst songs ever. Sure, fine.  I've heard some bad singing on YouTube before. It isn't that big of a deal.

This video got over 8 million hits.


When have we gotten to the point that really awful is really good? Any old-time American Idol fans thinking of William Hung, too?

So what is it about these people? I've certainly posted stuff on my blog, and on YouTube that isn't necessarily great and wonderful and I don't have anywhere near this amount of popularity. Is there something we can learn from these people?

Of course there is. Somewhere in here is a key to success. These girls have found it. William Hung found it. Fifty Shades of Grey certainly found it, too.  No, these people may not be as popular 20 or even 1 year from now. But they experienced the type of success that most of us may never experience.

These people, and all the others like them, have something in common. What is it?

First, confidence is everything. Whether or not you have a basis for that confidence is an entirely different beast all together.

Just look at the videos of these two girls and of William Hung. And even read the interviews with E.L. James  (who professes she is not even that good of a writer). Despite what these people may proclaim, the confidence is there. Some have it spilling over so much its making the rest of us sick, some are a little more modest.

What matters most is how you see yourself. Of course, these two girls take it to a completely different level.

But in reality, if you see yourself a certain way, your behavior will exhibit that. These girls thought of themselves to be hot. So they made a video about it. Self-image is everything. If you proclaim yourself to be crap, that is what you will portray.

Have fun. 


So, no matter what you feel about these "instant" success people, you have to admit they obviously had fun doing whatever it was they were doing.  It may enrage you to think that their success was so quick and easy while the rest of us struggle each day. But, really, just try not to focus on that so much.

You never know what will "get" people.


Maybe it was the uber confidence spewed by these two girls in this video. Maybe it was the foolishness that is William Hung. And maybe it was the unabashed desire and "seven-deadly-sin"-ish quality of E.L. James. But something about them just "got" people.

They just got to us. And you never know what will do that and when. It's completely indefinable. Even if what gets to us is how much we hate it.

They never gave up.


I doubt these girls will have a lucrative singing career (God, help me, please let them not have a lucrative singing career). Obviously, William Hung is off doing something...um...else.  And it seems like E.L. James may have a successful erotic writing career ahead of her. But one thing these people had in common is that they kept trying. Even if it was bad. They didn't give up.

So today, take a lesson from the girls in the "Hot Problems" video and just remember...

Hot girls we have problems too. We're just like you. Except we're hot.

Kidding. Totally just kidding.


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