29 August 2012

Writing Prompt - Share Your Story!

I swear one of these days I will get to this on time enough to continue/finish my own blog story!

Anyways!

We are back again with our photo weekly writing prompt! You have done amazing work, and I'm so sorry how absent I've been on commenting.

Here are the awesome stories from last week:

Pac Man Fever by Scott Taylor

This is it???? No way!!! Well, a special thank you to Scott showing up and submitting this week when the rest of us didn't!

Remember, every submission to the prompt is a chance to win a month of advertising! Read the details here. And if you want to submit a photo, read how by clicking this link!

Make sure to grab a button if you are a fan!






writing, writers, blogs




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Now for 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.

And now for the grand reveal! The photo!

Highway 1

And the five words:

Zoo

Necklace

Tonic

Shelf

Turtle

And when you are done, post it below!











27 August 2012

What To Tell Yourself When You Get a Bad Review



So, about 12 hours after I self published my short story, I received an extremely negative review. It was a review I was very glad to be at work reading (I'd rather not explain tears to my coworkers).

And while I was coaching myself to not cry, I kept telling myself one thing that I wanted to share with my fellow writers.

26 August 2012

So, I did it. I self published my short story.

After going back and forth on it for quite some time, I finally did it. My short story, "Underneath My Clothes, I Am Naked Too," is now for sale on Amazon.

This story is about a mentally ill man searching for love. And it was inspired by my own brother, who suffers with a mental illness.

Just as a warning, it's a little dark at times. But to me, of course, I think it's worth reading!

Here is the cover I put together:





I am selling it for $1.99...hopefully that isn't too expensive. And here is the link, in case you are curious enough to buy:

Underneath My Clothes, I Am Naked Too

Obviously, no pressure, but you would make me very happy if you bought it! :)

22 August 2012

Weekly Writing Prompt - Back Again!

Carrie came through this week to prepare the weekly prompt!! I'm so sorry I have been more absent than usual. I am sort of getting used to my new schedule and I am still out of a computer. So, I am hoping by this weekend I'll get myself all straightened out somehow.

But we still have the prompt going on! So here it goes!!

~
Welcome to this week's Snapshot Prompt. Apparently the linky was broken on my site and I didn't realize until today. :( Thankfully, it worked over at The World of My Imagination, so I'm happy to share last week's talent with you and get a chance to see it myself.
Sour Morning @ Writings and Ruminations
Like Mother, Like Daughter @ Reading, Writing and Everything In Between
The Pillar @ Scotty Watty Doodle All the Day
The Fallen @ Storytime Corner
A Son's Honor @ Pen 1; Sword 0
Field Trip @ Chasing Revery
All the lovely writers above (minus me) now have an entry in our monthly contest. The details can be found on this post.
We have something similar for photographers / artisits on this post over here.
If you are a fan of the weekly writing prompt and the writers who participate, grab a button!

writing, writers, blogs


Click and copy this code




Last but not least, a reminder of 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.


And here is the photo!



light graffiti


With these five words:


Tea Bag


Planet


Waiter


Mime


Lawyer



Let's try this Linky again. Make sure to link your story once you have it done.






17 August 2012

How to Rule The World - A Book Review






If you know me well enough, you will know how perfect it is that I am reading this book. And I was pleasantly surprised by the insight this book provides on how possible this really is (cool huh?). How to Rule The World, by Jade Heasley, takes you on the journey of one summer that should have been like any other.

But normal doesn't exist in the world of fiction, does it?

We meet Wendy Sloane, a bright and ambitious young college student, who comes home for the summer expecting to simply work in her mother and grandfather's bookstore without much else going on. Instead, when aliens leave a mysterious message in a nearby farmlands, the wheels begin to turn in Wendy's mind. She wonders how she could possibly get the power to rule the world.

Well with a bucket of paint, her mother's approval, and pure unbridled inspiration, with a dash of small town gossip, Wendy figures out just the right concoction on how to rule the world.

A lesson for us all, How to Rule the World by Jade Heasley gives us an incredible story on how one person really can have the power to rule the world. I enjoyed this thoroughly and would suggest this in your stack of beach reads, because although the message itself could have been pretty heavy duty, Heasley knows how to write an easy breezy novel laced with humor and insight on the world around us.

Click this link to purchase How to Rule the World on Amazon.com.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I included Amazon affiliate links in this review.

15 August 2012

Writer Wednesday - Writing Prompt (Action Packed!)

We're back again! Sorry for not commenting on everyone's stories. I did, however, figure out the best time to get writing and blog stuff done during my work week...during my 90 bus ride home in the afternoon! Yay! I knew I would figure out a way to fit stuff in. Heh heh...

So we had some amazing stories last week and I am happy to share those with you:
Back Flip Bounce by Scott Taylor
Climb for Victory by Sarah Musk

Touch Me Not by Carrie K. Sorensen
Untitled by My Unpublished Life

Don't forget! Every weekly submission is a chance to win our monthly ad contest. Read here for the details!

And if you want a photograph featured, read this to find out more details!

If you are a fan of the weekly writing prompt and the writers who participate, grab a button!

writing, writers, blogs

Click and copy this code




We're almost to this week's prompt. Here's a reminder of 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.

And here is the photo!

Spiritual Wheel

With these five words:

Creation
Mime
Balcony
Kidnap
Loaf

Ohhh I am so expecting good ones for next week!! (as usual, of course!)

Enter when you are ready!




12 August 2012

Why I'm Not Reading Your Blog (And Some Good News!)

Alright, so it's been a while since I've done a regular post and I wanted to update everyone! It's also becoming more apparent (or at least some of you may or may not have noticed) I'm not commenting as much as I used to.

So this post is for you to know why!

1) My Computer...Passed Away

I finally accepted my computer passed away. And that also mean did every document I had on there. And no, I didn't have a formal backup system. And yes, I have learned my lesson and that will not be that way in the future.

So, I do have my trusty iPhone, but it isn't so easy or intuitive to read and comment as much as I used to.

2) I Finally Have a Job!!

I start my new job Monday and this means I am even less likely to read and comment. I can't wait because this will be a great career track for me and I am so excited!

3) My To Do List...Is Way Long

I have two (no wait, three...) books waiting to review. And a couple of blog oriented things I need to do. I also want to play catch up with my fantasy novel (my laptop ate four and five). And I am doing all of this on my cell phone, so it makes it that much more difficult.

So please don't take my absence personally. I am trying to cut down on the projects I take on and catch up with what I have left. And this means less blog reading time!

I am also pretty absent on Twitter and GooglePlus too, so if you want to get a hold of me, send me an email or leave a comment on a blog post (I always read those!).

I hope all is well with everyone and I hope you stick with me! I am hoping a normal routine will return soon!



10 August 2012

A Book to Read If You Love a Good Ghost Story






I must confess - I love ghost stories. I remember in grade school I loved Halloween and would encourage my friends during our recess and lunch to exchange ghost stories with each other. This usually meant ME telling the story, but hey, who's complaining? So when I was on Reddit.com a month ago, someone was asking the writing community on the site to review their book, which just so happened to be a GHOST story, and I jumped at the chance.

In the book, Nearly Departed, author Max Patrick Schlienger first introduces you to Dr. September, a supernatural consultant of sorts, whose clients mostly consist of lonely women with overactive imaginations. But the facade soon melts away, and instead of finding the good doctor, you find a writer by the name of Dennis, whose consultant work is more of a con in order to make a few extra bucks and get inspiration for his next novel.

But don't turn your nose up on this character just yet, Schlienger creates an engaging and enjoyable character and I almost appreciate Dennis' idea on getting inspired again.

But something else begins to happen. Dennis gets a call from another potential client and this one seems different. For one thing, the woman on the phone sounds completely clear headed and not quite as loopy as the others. Plus, once he agrees to meet with her, Dennis (or Dr. September), just can't shake the feeling he is being watched.
Ignoring that haunting suspicion, Dennis (as Dr. September) arrives at his first meeting with his client only to find a haunted chair and a completely sane elderly woman who claims that it's her sister in that chair. And that creepy feeling of being watched? Well, it hasn't gone away and it's not coming from the ghost that Dennis just discovered.

All of this just scratches the surface on this awesome ghost busting adventure. Schlienger writes with humor while still maintaining the spooky mystery that ghost fanatics, like me, expect. You come across so many wonderful factors in this book, from Dennis' disapproving, but lovable wife, the oddball shop owner that provides Dennis his supplies for each con, the desperate friend, to my most favorite element of them all - its setting in San Francisco. A native himself, Schleinger takes you right into the city itself and I felt like I was there so much so that I longed to go back to my home town roots (I was born in the Bay Area).

If you like a good ghost story, wonderful character development, and a setting so rich you feel like you could step inside, you will want to read Nearly Departed by Max Patrick Schlienger.

Oh, and don't let the first line fool you. It may start with the notorious "It was a dark and stormy night," the novel more than makes up for its quirky beginning. And in reality, considering the characters and personalities in the book, it truly fits.

And I am happy to announce that at this time, Nearly Departed is free on the novel's website (which I also loved the design for, by the way). It's free for all formats, as well, so I encourage all of my readers to download a copy.
A special thank you to Max Patrick Schlienger for providing his novel for free and for introducing me to his writing. I also hope to see Dr. September once again (maybe in a sequel? Hint, hint).

08 August 2012

The Weekly Blog Prompt

And we're back! Carrie has the reins for this week's prompt (which I am very grateful for because my computer officially died). She also did an amazing job on the button for our winner! But I'll let her tell you about it!

Here we go!

~

We have a new prompt for you this week, but first, we have a winner!











has won our first monthly blog hop contest. For the next month, he will get free advertisement in the form of a button over here at Chasing Revery as well as at Nicole's blog, The World of My Imagination. Congratulations, Randy!



Do you want to win? It's easy (well, easy-ish). Every week you write, you get another entry into the contest. For complete details, check out this post on Nicole's blog.



If you're more into visual art, we can offer you the same prize for your images. I have the details for you over here.



Now, on to the submissions from last week's prompt. It was a lovely picture that, as usual, inspired all our different views.



Daydream at Dusk by Scott Taylor

Tracks of Love by Randy Lindsay

Missed Rush by Leanne Sype

Runaway by Carrie K Sorensen





If you are a fan of the weekly writing prompt and the writers who participate, grab a button!






writing, writers, blogs




Click and copy this code







We're almost to this week's prompt. Here's a reminder of 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 is this week's photo, taken by Kristoffer Sorensen.







  





And here are the five words generated here:





Skyscraper





Bet





Reform





Balcony





Surface





There we go! It's all about inspiration with these prompts, so let us know what you come up with in the linky below.




- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

03 August 2012

Interview with Charmaine Hammond, Author of "On Toby's Terms"





If you caught my post yesterday, you will know how much I adored Charmaine Hammond's book "On Toby's Terms." I am so excited to share my interview with her! Make sure to stop by yesterday's post as well if you want a chance to win a copy of her book!


What inspired you to write the book about Toby?

His volunteer work as an Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) dog inspired me to write a short story for Chicken Soup for the Soul- What I Learned From the Dog, which was published Sept 2009. We arranged some book signings at local bookstores and from the first time I saw Toby the dog PAWdograph the book, I knew I would write more. Toby somehow inspired me to write, and he gave me lots (almost too much) content to write about. I then wrote On Toby’s Terms (Bettie Youngs Book Publishers, Sept 2010) which became a best seller and award winning book. Because we (Toby the dog and I) were presenting regularly at schools, events, conferences and at book signings, it became obvious we needed a children’s book. I wrote Toby the Pet Therapy Dog & His Hospital Friends (Bettie Youngs Book Publishers, Aug 2011) which is beautifully illustrate by my best friend Rose Anne Prevec, we have been friends since we were young children. Toby’s story is a good one. He is a rescue dog who had a tough start to life, we adopted him at age 5 and it didn’t take us long to learn that he had “issues”. From breaking toilet tank lids, to rearranging furniture, emptying closets and sitting in sinks, we knew we needed help. A behaviorist discovered that Toby was a dog who needed a job. And when we got him his job at the hospital as a therapy dog, something magical happened.



What process did you go through to write this book?

I had to learn how to write a book. It was of course much different than writing a short story. Setting aside time to write was important. I had a tight timeline for the publisher and a successful business to run, so a writing routine became important. Part way through the writing, I discovered that when I talked by book (using Dragonspeak Software), my stories were more emotive, and more closely modeled the “show don’t tell” approach, so, I talked a great deal of my book.


How did it feel to relive so many of these experiences you wrote about?

That is a great question. Reliving and writing them for the world to see made me feel vulnerable in many ways, however, at the same time I felt very grounded knowing that these stories could inspire some and allow me to connect with others. There are several parts of On Toby’s Terms that were emotional, and still are, to relive through writing or speaking. The sailboat accident, Toby’s injury, and the touching impact that Toby the dog had on patients were the most emotional for me to write and share.


What was the most difficult part of writing this book?

For me the process of “showing and not telling” was a challenge, however when I learned to talk my book, this was no longer problematic. The other challenge for me was transitioning between the chapters. A great team of editors helped me with this.

What is your favorite part of the book?


Oh, I have so many favorite parts, but if I have to pick one, I love the ending, it has deep meaning for me



What do you feel you did right with this book?


There are a few that pop out for me, the first is using Toby’s face on the cover. The second, is that I described the powerful lessons that we learned from this dog. We discovered that many people can relate to their pet being a teacher for them. Also, that we did not minimize our frustration with Toby’s behavior. Many pet owners have felt similar frustration and feeling helpless to get their dog’s challenging behavior under control. One reader said the book encouraged them to get help for their dog.



I hear there is a movie coming out about Toby! Tell me about it. Were you (and Toby) involved in the making of the film?


There is! This is extremely exciting. Impact Motion Pictures signed the book to become a movie before the book hit the bookstore shelves. The screen play is done, and they are moving forward with the next phases of pre-development. We have had the opportunity to work closely with the producers, they had the chance to meet Toby, and we are excited about the next phases and learning about the film industry and watching this all unfold.

Why do you think so many people are drawn to Toby and his story?


Animals connect people. We can all relate to either having a pet, liking a friends’ pet, or wishing we had a pet. Many people can relate to wonderful memories of a pet, and to the lessons that animals can teach us. As well, the fact that Toby was not a perfect dog, had challenges, then became a therapy dog impacting many lives, in many ways parallels the lives of humans. We have all likely overcome a big challenge in life, or have had to turn a trauma into a triumph, or an obstacle into an opportunity. And Toby’s story is like this as well. Finally, I think many people simply fall in love with this goofy dog who lived life big, and on his own terms. He seemed to have that effect on people…he sure did on us.

What are you working on next?

Well, Toby’s legacy will live on. Sadly we lost our precious friend and family member in late 2011, he passed away peacefully. He was 10 ½ years old and like everything with Toby, he left us on his terms. He continues to inspire me to write, and our life with Toby provided me so much content. I have just finished his next book in the children’s series called Toby Says Be a Buddy, Not a Bully, and another titled Toby and His Forever Family. In honour of this incredible dog, and the thousands of lives he touched through his speaking (well I spoke, he barked) and book signing tours, we have launched A Million Acts of Kindness – Toby’s Global Mission to keep the kindness mission that Toby created a living legacy.


Now for my "unrelated to writing question - what is your favorite amusement park ride?

I really like the Tea Cup ride and a Merry Go Round.

Find out more about Charmaine Hammond and Toby by going to her website here. A special thank you to Charmaine for this interview!

02 August 2012

A Book to Read if You Are Dog Person


I think it's time I face the signs - I need to get a pet dog. This is the second book I've read so far this year about an inspiring pet that I have wished was my own.


Anyways, while I decide about that, I want to tell you about two charming books I read about Toby, a Chesapeake Bay retriever adopted by Charmaine Hammond and her husband Christopher. Everything started out charming enough when they first meet Toby and bring him into their family. But one thing leads to another and one day Charmaine comes home to bloody doggy prints and a house that looks wrecked by a hurricane.
Of course this moment didn't just happen. There was other evidence of Toby's destructive behavior, but this time it was the last straw. Toby needed a new home.
...or so they thought.
Instead, Charmaine brings in Maggie, a dog psychiatrist, who helps them see Toby's ways and learn to live as the book is so poignantly titled,  On Toby's Terms. Maggie suggests that Toby's energy and over abundance in love would be best suitable for a pet therapy job.
Well, at first doubtful, Charmaine and her husband take Toby through the necessary obedience classes and training. Toby blossoms, although the destruction doesn't seem to come to it's much needed end.
This only scratches the surface on this touching book. Both Charmaine and her husband learn valuable life lessons on overcoming difficulties, acceptance, and most of all, love. I adored this book and feel like I know Toby myself. For anyone who owns a dog, wants a dog, likes dogs, or can just understand the love and impact that a pet can have on your life, you will want to read On Toby's Terms by Charmaine Hammond.


Not to mention, the adorable follow up of the children's book, Toby and His Hospital Friends by Charmaine Hammond. The story engages children to understand the purpose of a pet therapy dog and how much one furry friend can impact the lives of so many.
I am also glad to announce that the author Charmaine Hammond is letting me giveaway a copy of both books to one of my blog readers! Just leave a comment with your name and email to enter!/b>
Make sure to check out Charmaine's website to find out additional details on her book! Also, come by tomorrow for my interview with Charmaine, where you will also find out info on the movie coming out!
Disclaimer: A special thank you to Charmaine Hammond for giving me a complimentary copy of both books in exchange for an honest review.


**Update: I am proud to announce that Shelly is the winner!! **

01 August 2012

Weekly Photo Writing Prompt

Welcome back to our weekly photo writing prompt! I'm getting a hang of this blog post via cell phone thing. Now if I can get used to typing up my novel rewrite via cell, I'd be set.

A special shout out to the hosts, Me, of course, Carrie, and Tena!

Last week went really well and here are the participants:
Phone Call In the Suburbs by Scott Taylor
Bravado by Carrie K. Sorensen
Refuge by Randy Lindsay
What Are You Doing Outside by Me

Such good work this week!

And if you are new to the weekly prompt, or if you are uncertain about whether to join in, check out our incentives to submit your writing. Or if you are photographer, make sure to check out this post on how to submit your photographs.

If you are a fan of the weekly writing prompt, grab a button!
writing, writers, blogs
Click and copy this code




And just as a reminder, 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.

And now for the grand reveal! Here is this week's photo, taken from this link.
Tracking Trains

And here are the five words:

Wallet

Circus

Kid

Cruise Ship

Slide

And that's it! Make sure to enter the link to your story below when you're ready!




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