30 November 2012

Buy Coffee and Support a Good Cause

Like I’ve said, sometimes what gets me up in the morning and keeps me going in the evening to do my writing is coffee (yes I drink coffee after 5 o’clock at night!).
I recently had the opportunity to review Boca Java coffee, in three different roasts. I was so excited about this!
But first a little bit about Boca Java. It was founded in 2001 and is one of the major online retailers for coffee and tea products. Not only are they a family owned business, but I personally love their motto:
If you are going to pay for gourmet coffee, every cup should be Fresh & Phenomenal! Stop drinking stale coffee, you deserve better.
Isn’t that the truth? No longer will you drink stale coffee if you switch to Boca Java blends.
And in case you are curious, they also provide detailed information about the coffee making process itself and I have to tell you, it’s so fascinating. Read about it here.
But not only are they making sure to sell us fresh coffee, from a family owned business, they also sell “Coffee for a Cause.” By making a purchase of these charity coffees, a portion of the proceeds go directly to the cause it supports. Find out how to send coffee to the troopssupport medical and humanitarian relief to Nicaragua, and support a charity that helps those with autism.
More than I love coffee, I love a company that supports a good cause!
Now, back to what I received. I received three different coffee flavors.



Personally, I am a huge fan of dark roasts as they provide a lot of the flavor I enjoy in coffee. I really loved each of these roasts as well. The Boca Villa blendSouth Beach Rhythm, and Sumatran Sunset all added that extra special something to my mornings. Boca Java is not kidding when they say they deliver quality.
Of the blends I tried, I thoroughly enjoyed Sumatran Sunset the most, even though it was a medium roast. This says a lot about Boca Java’s quality of coffee, because most medium roasts tend to lack something to me.

So, make sure you check out this awesome coffee company, and visit their website for purchasing information! You can currently receive free shipping for all orders over $50.00, so get shopping!

Disclaimer: I received three complimentary coffee samples in exchange for my honest review.

29 November 2012

From the Palate of a Non Wine Connoisseur: Fratelli Barba Wine

We’re back again with my latest series on wine reviews!

A couple of weeks ago, I had the chance to review the amazing Fratelli Barba red wine. Before I get into what I thought of the wine, here’s a little background of the brand and their makers. The winery was founded by three brothers - Vincenzo, Giovanni, and Domenico Barba. Vincenzo Barba serves as the CEO (don’t you love when wine runs in a family?).

The winery itself is at the foot of the Colle Morino hills in Italy. According to their website, the winery brings out the best of the harvest with the wine recently renovating the “entry line for the grapes” in 2005. 




The particular wine I tried is the Fratelli Barba Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (which is a red wine, my favorite). What I love about this particular wine maker are the details that go with each and every bottle. On their website, you can find information on the winemaking process, and for those of you who do consider yourself a “connoisseur,” you will also learn about “vineyard characteristics,” as well. Here’s a little bit about the winemaking process for this bottle -

Harvest of grapes in small cases.Fermentation with controlled temperature in conical base vats with post-fermentation maceration till 18 days from fermentation start.Malolactic fermentation with wine refining on its fine dregs for a minimum of 60 days

Now, what did I think about this wine?

First of all, it smelled very sweet, sort of like a grape vine and I love when a wine smells like that, because I suddenly feel like I’m right there at the vineyard. This wine also doesn’t have a very bitter taste, but it isn’t very sweet either. I appreciated this a lot, because a sweet wine can just be overwhelming with flavor and I don’t always like this in wine. It has a deep berry flavor and has a slight currant flavor to it.

So, what should you do if you want to try a bottle yourself?

You can currently purchase this wine online, if it’s distributed in your state of course. Or, if you live in the states - NY, NJ, CT, RI, MA, MD, DC - make sure you look for it in stores. It costs about $10.99 a bottle.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary bottle of wine in exchange for an honest review.

28 November 2012

Weekly Writing Prompt - Back Again

Today, Carrie has the posting reigns!

I hope you had a lovely week off from the blog hop. Now we're up and back at it again.

First, take a look at the stories from our Veteran's Day prompt:

Fulfilling A Promise by Leanne Sype

Daddy's Little Girl by Heather

Through A Child's Eyes by Scott Taylor

Angel Kisses by Tena Carr

Thank you to everyone who has participated. If you're interested in submitting some artwork or photography for the prompts, check out the information here.

As for this week's Snapshot Prompt, let's get going. First, 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.





This week's photo:

















This week's words:





iron





moon





university





bee





bench







Okay, so have at it. And a quick reminder to get your stories in by 8pm EST Tuesday night to qualify for this month's ad contest. :D







- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

27 November 2012

I Know Why Pee Wee Herman Danced About [Partida] Tequila




One of my favorite movies in the whole world, of course, is Pee Wee Herman’s Big Adventure and one of the classic scenes that I can watch over and over again is his dance in the biker bar to the song, “Tequila.”




Let’s have a tequila moment with Pee Wee for a second









Anyways...


So, when I was asked to sample Partida Tequila...you know that I jumped at the chance (in honor of Pee Wee Herman of course).
















Before I talk about the tequila itself, here is a background about the company. Partida Tequila was founded by J. Gary Shansby. It’s based out of (my favorite city in the world) San Francisco, California. Gary is the creator of the Tequila brand and has made a success out of developing brands for consumer goods (not to mention he is a huge fan of the Mexican culture, history, and Tequila lifestyle).

Now this particular tequila is a little special because it’s created with blue agave, which gives it a unique taste that sets it apart from other brands of tequila. And I have to share the uniquemythical story behind the agave nectar with Tequila. Just read this:



The Legend of the Spirit Bird




The legends say that long ago a woman came upon the Spirit Bird as it faced a challenge. Again and again, it tried to perch upon the Blue Agave but could not keep its balance on the spiny leaves. Then the woman saw the Spirit Bird drink from a tiny hole in the Blue Agave and she understood. And when she tasted the precious golden drops they say it was the birth of Tequila. Today the Spirit Bird still sits on every bottle of Tequila Partida.













So, last week I received this particular tequila to sample and let me say...my oh my! This is by far the best tequila I’ve ever tasted. I just added a little splash of lime juice and added ice and the little sample I had made me feel like I was escaping to a deserted island. It has such a sweet flavor, which is a nice change from the usual harsh taste of other brands of tequila.

I highly recommend giving this a try and adding this to your celebration. Excellence does come at a price though. According to DrinkUpny.com, the price of a bottle of Partida Tequila Anejo is $56.00. Trust me, though, if you have been meaning to indulge, this is the tequila to put your money towards. And if you do happen to purchase some Partida Tequila, here is a recipe you can try, courtesy of PartidaTequila.com:




1 ½ oz Partida Blanco Tequila


1 oz Fresh squeezed lime juice


¾ oz Agave Nectar


¾ oz Water



Shake all ingredients with ice in a shaker. Strain over fresh ice into a Margarita glass or


Old-Fashioned glass.



Taste for Balance.



Note: This is the Margarita recipe made World famous by Julio Bermejo at Tommy’s


Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco.



And as Pee Wee Herman says, “Tequila!!”


Disclaimer: I received samples of the tequila in exchange for this review.


From the Palate of a Non-Wine Connoisseur (Part Two) - TastingRoom.com

Remember my little post about my wine enthusiasm?

Well, we are back again! And this time I have another little company to share with you - TastingRoom.com.

Much like choosing which genre you want to write in (I'm still struggling with this to be honest), choosing a particular wine to buy can be a challenge. This is why places like TastingRoom.com exist.

This company was created as a way for wineries to give the customer a flavor for the wine before buying a full bottle. From the tasty little sip to the enjoyment of a full glass, TastingRoom.com offers a variety of samplers and wines by the glass so you can make sure you are buying the right bottle for you.

I received a Robust Red Wine sampler and I had so much fun sharing these adorable little bottles with my family. Take a look at this box:




These six little bottles gave us just enough of a taste of the wine to see if we wanted to purchase a whole bottle (my personal favorite of the set is the 6th Sense red wine).

I highly recommend TastingRoom.com if you are figuring out a gift to buy from someone, wanting to try out new wines, or just want the taste of something new. Cheers!

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary wine sampler in exchange for my honest review.

25 November 2012

How Do You Figure Out Your Inciting Incident?





So, I'm back again with the same story that caused my NaNoWriMo demise in 2011 and again in 2012. I'm also back at the same plot line I used in 2011 (I've ditched this year's approach).

Well, without going into too many details, I am caught at the same plot point as I was in 2011 - the inciting incident. The point at which everything starts.

And I have no idea what that is for this story, just like I felt last year. Which means I am extremely frustrated.

I knew the inciting incident for my fantasy story! It was when my main character came face to face with her enemy. She knew it was time to run and when she ran, it caused a domino effect. The whole "story" thing started to happen.

Now, I know what is going to happen, with who, and where, but I just don't know how to get started. It's kind of like trying to find directions using GoogleMaps and you aren't sure whether you want to bus, drive, or walk.

While researching inciting incident, I came across an article that basically broke it down in four possible options:

1) it's something that is impossible for the main character to avoid,

2) it hits a vulnerable point,

3) it causes conflict for all characters involved,

4) or it's the type of event that would capture anyone's attention.

The last time I approached this story, the inciting incident I used before took the story in a direction I didn't like. So, I don't want to use it again. But now I'm still left stymied over how I want all of this to kick off.

What is your novel's inciting incident? What is an inciting incident you remember from your favorite book or movie?

24 November 2012

The Real Writer's Muse: Coffee (Brought to You by Ponderosa Coffee)

Let's be honest here. If writer's wait for the muse to strike to actually sit down and write, none of us would write another word.

So, what is the real muse?

Coffee, of course.

Coffee gets me up in the morning, keeps me going in the afternoon, and gives me energy for the night. Along with my inner discipline, which is as strong as ever of course, coffee is my life blood. And I know I'm not alone with that one!

So, the latest cup of coffee I drank, I sipped along with my latest work in progress (my NaNoWriMo failed novel last year; yes I'm giving it another try).

First, let me give a background of this new amazing coffee I've tried. Ponderosa coffee was started by Cheryl, after already creating her own coffee roasting machine company with her husband. She enjoyed the creativity of roasting coffee beans so much that she decided to turn her passion into Ponderosa Coffee Company.




I received Italian Roast to try and you know what? Ponderosa Coffee has a new fan!

What I don't like about some of the stronger roasts is how they can taste bitter and burnt. But this coffee was none of that. It was rich tasting with a deep, full flavor. It smelled fantastic while it was brewing, too! The entire bag of coffee was delicious and I was sad to see it end. I will definitely be buying more.

Prices are very reasonable. For the bag of coffee I received, you would only have to pay about $8.00 plus shipping. If you want a larger supply, a 1 pound container costs about $14.00 dollars.

I love buying coffee from a coffee roaster I feel like I can get to know. Cheryl also writes her own blog filled with coffee adventures and the latest events, roasts and good causes going on at Ponderosa Coffee. There are a ton of ways you can support a good cause when buying coffee with them and for this I am definitely going to become a returning customer.

And I am proud to announce that I get to giveaway one pound of coffee! Courtesy of Ponderosa Coffee.

Here's what you do (for each one you do, make sure to leave a new comment! If you just leave one saying you've done them all, you will only get credit for one. So, leave a comment for each one)

1) Visit PonderosaRoasting.com and let me know which coffee you would like to try in the comment section.

2) Like Ponderosa Coffee's Facebook page

3) Follow Ponderosa Coffee on Twitter

4) Follow me via GFC

5) Subscribe by email

6) Like me on Facebook

Six chances! Contest ends on December 10th.

**UPDATE: CONTEST ENDED - COMMENT # 42 - Abeer Chodri - WON **

Pour yourself a cup and happy writing everyone!

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary bag of coffee in exchange for my review

23 November 2012

For When You Are Burning the Midnight Oil

Writing by candle light may be a reason why I have seriously awful vision, and I really don't recommend making it a regular habit, but writing by candlelight feels very...Edgar Allan Poe to me and I just can't resist the urge to light the nearest candle, shut out most of the lights and just let the words flow.

So, when I spotted the incredible flavors and scents of Sharon's Candle shop, I couldn't resist. Not only are her candle's made from all natural vegetable waxes, she has a ton of different scents and styles, while also giving you the chance to customize your own!

Isn't that awesome?

I received the Apple Pie flavored (okay, scented, but it smelled so good I had to fight the urge to lick the candle) to try out and here's what it looked like when I lit the candle (please remember to cut down the wick of the candle...made a cool photo though, right)?





And here is the candle when it is not lit





This candle smelled fantastic. I can't think of what else to say. It is just room filling and I love that about a candle. This made me want to write a storybook about a character making apple pies and lived in a cozy little cabin in the forest. It gave me such good feelings when I was around it.

These candles are a perfect addition to a Christmas table decoration, a wonderful gift, and it adds an ambience perfect to write to (or not, if you want to save your vision).

And you know what? I am giving away a $25.00 Gift Certificate to Sharon's Candle Shop (shipping not included) to one of my lucky readers. Follow the steps below and leave a comment for each one you do (not just one comment saying you've done them all...otherwise you only get credit for one).

1) Go to Sharon's Candle Shop and let me know which candle is your favorite.

2) Like The World of My Imagination on Facebook

3) Follow me on Pinterest

4) Follow Sharon's Candle Shop on Twitter

Contest ends December 7th.

***CONTEST WINNER ANNOUNCED - TRUE ENTRANT # 50 - CAITLIN TATE***

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary candle in exchange for my honest review.

22 November 2012

A Day to Give Thanks






While the real history of Thanksgiving be a little sketchy, it still represents a time to give thanks and spend time with loved ones. And while this has been a roller coaster of a year for me, I have a lot to be thankful for:

1) A loving, supportive family

2) Good health

3) A full time job

4) To live in a safe neighborhood

5) For writing, books, stories, coffee, wine, and chocolate.

6) Sunshine after the rain

7) My blog readers (you didn't think I would forget about you??)

8) My writing and blog partners

9) My creative spirit

10) ...and all the small little things that can make my day and just give me joy, learning experiences, and growth.

What are you thankful for?
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

21 November 2012

Tasty, Thoughtful, and Easy Gift - Gift Baskets Plus

So, as a writer, too often all of us are way too busy to even think about gifts. I mean, that novel ain't gonna write itself is it? While we are perusing the stores and spending way too much time figuring out which sales are the best and which gifts would make someone happiest, there is a store somewhere that eases the pressure off all of us (that way we can all get back to writing the next great novel).

I introduce to you -

Gift Baskets Plus!





I am in love with their gift baskets, especially the movie buff gift baskets. Not to mention the incredible Christmas and Hanukkah baskets.




And for you healthy types...





My personal favorite...





Why deny it?! I am a chocolate fanatic and have no shame in being really giddy over these divine creations.

I know you are trying to find out the best gift for family, friends and coworkers. I recommend you start here. And guess what? I have a coupon for you guys! Just use 15OFF with your next purchase!

Now, go make that purchase, so you get the holiday burden off your shoulders and you can get back to writing.

Disclaimer: I will receive compensation in the form of a gift basket for this post.

Weekly Writing Prompt Off This Week!






Considering all of the vacation plans going around, the hosts of the Writing Wednesday Weekly Writing Prompt have decided to take a break! We will return next week!

Have a great holiday everyone!

20 November 2012

From the Palate of a Non-Wine Connoisseur (Part One) - Rosso Piceno, Italian Wine

While this may not be the best thing to confess to, often times when I’m writing a first draft, I can only seem to get relaxed and write without constrictions and self doubt after I have had a glass of wine. Often times this means I write after 9:30 or 10 o’clock at night. Luckily, I have naturally neat handwriting, so my need for self interpretation is significantly lower than most. So, when I had the chance to review a few select wines, I jumped my internal muse jumped at the chance.

And while I’m definitely not a wine connoisseur, and I can’t tell you what type of wood or cheese I think the wine has aged in, I can tell you what I’ve liked (or not liked) about the wine and whether I would buy it again.




The first bottle I am introducing to you is Rosso Piceno, an Italian wine made by Saladine Pilastri. They are located in the town of Spinetoli, which is in the Central Italian Region of Le Marche. I love a wine with a history, because somehow it enhances the romance behind each bottle, so I wanted to share with you the background and history I received about this particular winemaker:

The history of the Count Saladini Pilastri family dates back to the year 1000. A noble family from Ascoli Piceno, the family boasts a rich and fascinating past with ancestors including clergy and political leaders. The agricultural activities at Count Saladini Pilastri's farm began three centuries ago. Located on a gently rolling hill that slopes down to the Adriatic Sea, the Pilastri farm has always produced wine. The area around the Pilastri estate is blessed with several natural factors that provide the optimal growing conditions for vines and olive groves. The rolling limestone hills of Spinetoli and the sunny hills of Monte Prandone and Porto d'Ascoli - where Saladini Pilastri’s 320 hectares extend to - combine to produce very high quality grapes, which equate to high quality wine.


And just in case organic wine is of high importance to you, the winemaker Saladine Pilastri continues to abide by the rules of organic farming and complies with the international control system by the IMC (Mediterranean Institute of Certificate), which issues organic farming certificates to Europe, United States, Japan and Canada.

So, let’s crack open this bottle, shall we? (And of course, I shared this bottle with my mom and brother, so they gave me their opinions as well).



What I love the most about certain wines, is the first sip. When you take the first sip of some of the stronger flavored wines you get that burst right around your jaw line (I’m sure that’s called something), that tells you, yes, this is quality, flavorful wine. This is the reaction I received when I started to enjoy my glass.

The details of the wine are described as having a “berry scented bouquet with hints of almond extract, mint, and earth” with a “fresh and fruity palate.” Not only can you expect this berry and fruitful flavor, but I didn’t find the wine to be very dry and neither did my mom. We appreciated this factor very much.

Overall, I would buy this wine again. Wine Advocate gave this wine 88 points in 2008 and 2009, as well as 87 points in 2010. This high rank is well deserved in my opinion. The cost of the wine usually runs about $10.99, which in my opinion, is a little higher than what I usually spend, but it’s worth the few extra dollars.

And in case you are interested in trying out the other wine varieties of this Vineyard, please go to their website. While your local grocery store may not carry this particular wine (it seems it might only be purchasable in the store at NY, NJ, CT, RI, MA, MD, DC), please check out www.totalwine.com to find out whether you can purchase a bottle of your own online.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary bottle of this wine in exchange for this honest review.

18 November 2012

Get Away to an Exotic Greek Island with This New Book

Most of the time, I don't pay too close attention to promotional stuff coming through my feed on Google Plus. But something about a character unemployed and suddenly single, caught me immediately. I went over to Amazon, bought the book and then invited the author to my blog.




Here's the blurb that caught my eye (personally written by the writer) -

Anna Cox thought she knew exactly where her life was heading. She was wrong. The same week she turns thirty, she suddenly finds herself unemployed and single.

After ten years of steadily climbing her way up the stressful corporate ladder at Milton International, her dream of one day occupying her boss’ corner office with the enormous windows has been ripped from her thanks to a round of brutal downsizing. Her slightly boring but reliable boyfriend of five years has dumped her because he didn’t think she shared his vision of their “ideal future” together. And in addition to losing her job and boyfriend, she comes to the conclusion she might be losing her mind too.

A sane person wouldn’t follow a perfect stranger they meet on a plane to a tiny village no one has heard of on a Greek island, would they? The stranger in question is an irresistibly charming and handsome Englishman with a sympathetic ear. But that’s no excuse to follow him to the place he calls his home and practically move in with him, is it?

Having left everything she knows behind, Anna begins to discover she’s not the person she thought she was. Neither is her mother - a woman Anna barely knows - who shows up in Anna’s new home unexpectedly. Even more unexpected is the arrival of a mysterious relative Anna didn’t know she had. Who knew getting dumped and downsized and momentarily losing one’s sanity could have so many surprising side effects?


Doesn't that sound awesome??

And I was so excited to interview the writer and find out so much more about the book, her writing process and what it's like for her to live near the very place she set the book.

I was immediately drawn when I read the book's description and I can't wait to read it! What inspired this book?

My move from Singapore to Crete almost four years ago is what inspired me to write “Change of Pace”. Not only did I find myself adjusting to living in a different country, I was inundated by an entirely different culture, too. After nearly two decades of being an expatriate in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, Europe was utterly alien and downright esoteric to me.

I had visited the Greek islands as a tourist before I impulsively packed up my life in Singapore and headed to Crete, which is the largest of the Greek islands. Like most tourists, I took the romanticized and perfectly idyllic version of the Mediterranean home with me in my mind when my vacation ended. The reality of life on a Greek island came as a huge culture shock. Singapore and Crete are both islands but that is where their similarities begin and end. One is a bustling metropolis of the highest modern mode. The other often operates on medieval morals… Crete has one foot firmly and proudly planted in its illustrious past and history while the other foot very tentatively treads on present ground.

Your answer may have already answered this next question, but did this reflect your own life in anyway?

My book’s central character, Anna Cox, loses a job she loves, gets dumped by her boyfriend of five years, and turns thirty in the space of one unfortunate week. While I’m still twenty-nine for another couple of months, haven’t had the misfortune of being fired, and never been in a romantic relationship that has even come close to lasting five years, my book does reflect my own life in many ways. Change is the theme of my existence. I permanently left the country of my birth before my ninth birthday and I’ve been on the move ever since.

I was recently asked if my book is a thinly veiled autobiography. The truth is some parts of it are more thinly veiled than others. Change of Pace is not exactly autobiographical but events from my own life wound up bleeding into the story of Anna Cox.

Am I right when I say that you actually live in the city of Greece, where you have set this book? Did you describe real places within the book?

If you come to Crete, you can visit all the places I describe in my book. I live in a town called Chania, which is located on Crete’s west coast. Crete does belong to Greece but it also has a very strong sense of identity separate from the mainland. People who are born on this island are Cretan first and Greek second.

Describe your writing process.
I have a vivid imagination. Often, I find myself floating off into a world of my own making inside my head, which may or may not have something to do with my being a Pisces. In any case, in this private world of mine, people come to life and I observe them. It’s not unlike watching a movie. When the credits roll and I snap back to reality at last, all I have to do is try to remember the plot and type it up in a word document. I usually do this in the evenings but I’m not rigid about adhering to a schedule. I don’t have a set word count I must reach every day. In a word, I suppose you could call my writing process fluid.

What was the biggest challenge you faced while writing this book? How did you conquer it?
My Yorkshire Terrier! He doesn’t approve of me spending extended periods of time chained to my laptop. Honestly, I was lucky in the sense that writing the book was an enjoyable experience for me.

Yes, writing the book was fun and relatively painless. I wasn’t struck by any “artistic pain and suffering” until after my manuscript was accepted for publication, which is when the editing process began.

I was shocked to the point of stupefaction when I opened the word document containing the edited version of my manuscript because it was suddenly blue. The changes the editor had made to my manuscript were in blue text. It looked like it had been attacked by a herd of Smurfs.

Shaking my head, I promptly closed the word document. I hadn’t been sleeping much. Sleep deprivation does strange things to the mind. I convinced myself the blueness of my manuscript was a hallucination. But after my best friend had taken a look at my manuscript, and confirmed it was indeed blue, I felt as though I’d been stabbed in the gut. The story I had created was my baby. As silly as it sounds, it hurt that someone wanted to change it.

When the hurt ebbed, anger flooded my being. Oh yes, I got mad. How dare someone attack the story I had poured my soul into? What gave them the right to sick a bunch of rowdy Smurfs on it? It would not be an understatement to say I did some serious fuming over my “Smurfed” manuscript. I finally conquered my fuming by taking some very long walks with Taxi Driver, my aforementioned impossibly cute Yorkshire Terrier.


What part do you like the most in your book?
Despite the fact Anna Cox gets off to a very rocky start in the first chapter of Change of Pace, I have to say it’s my favorite part of the book. The same is true for any book I read. First chapters are full of the promise of experiences to be gained through the lives of a book’s characters. I tend to read first chapters slowly, savoring each word as though it’s a spoonful of some sinfully calorific chocolate concoction.

What do you feel you did right with this book?
My goal was to entertain people with the story and give them a break from their own lives. Hopefully, I got that right.

What are you working on next?
I’m working on a story about three women at three very different ages and stages in their lives. They become unlikely friends through unexpected circumstances. Basically, it’s about how even the best laid plans can become derailed at any given moment. Yes, more change and shock, and pivotal life-altering decisions.

And my final "non writing related" question - what is your favorite amusement park ride?

I’m old-fashioned at heart. I love a classic carousel with horses.

Make sure you take a look at Sofia Essen's blog, Facebook page, and Twitter account. Most of all, check out Amazon to buy your copy!



Sofia Essen spent twenty years as an expatriate in Southeast Asia and the Middle East before moving to the island of Crete in Greece. Living in Crete is what made Sofia pick up a pen and start writing. She was sitting in a cafĂ© in a small Cretan village one afternoon, watching a couple of tourists desperately trying and failing miserably to order a cup of coffee, and said to herself, “This place would be a great setting for a book.”

16 November 2012

Perfect Snack for those Midnight Writing Sessions

I know who you are. You're one of those writer's that stay up until 1 or 2 am trying to get your word count in for the day. You figure as long as you haven't fallen asleep, it isn't tomorrow yet. That's you, isn't it?

Because I can understand. Hey, when the muse bites, you can't deny the beast, right?

Well, here's what happens in those midnight writing sessions...

You get hungry.

And you can't ignore it, can you? That tormenting feeling pulling at your stomach and you just can't get another word in until you have just a little something to tide you over. The lasagna from the other night would be too much. Crackers would crunch too loud. And those boring cheese sticks leave way too much to be desired.

How about a snack that has natural ingredients, is vegan, contains raw oils, and has just enough sweet to it to satisfy that urge?

Today, I bring to you the Hail Merry Macaroons! (Didn't expect that coming did you?)

I received three flavors I want to introduce to you - the Strawberry Almond, Caramel Sea Salt Macaroons, and Blonde Macaroons.





First, the Strawberry Almond. This is a perfect flavor for those novels or stories or poems that are light and sweet themselves.





We all know those stories and just connect with them in a way that isn't quite so intense as the mysteries or horrors or fantasies. The small soft little cookie has a pink tinge, and just the lightest sweet flavor. Unlike most sweet treats, you aren't whopped over the head with the fact that you are having a sugary snack. This carries with it the idea that you are indulging in the most graceful way, much like what your character's strive for (but then, characters aren't always graceful, are they?).





The Caramel Sea Salt Macaroons cry for adventure. They are for the swashbuckling pirate stories, the take me away fantasies, and the lurking around the corner mysteries. This has a stronger sweet flavor, but it's quickly balanced out with the undertone of saltiness (kind of like when you drop peanuts into a coke bottle). This is perfect with coffee as you urge out those last few words before sleep takes over and it's even better when you are wide awake and can actually remember what you are eating (and writing).





Finally, the Blonde Macaroons. The Blonde Macaroons are perfect for your freewriting sessions. They allow you to get lost in your mindset with their light texture, and gentle flavor. With these sweet treats, you can let the creativity flow and satisfy those hunger pangs, without having to conquer external distractions.

Of all the ones I tried, the Strawberry Almond were my personal favorite. If you ever need a snack stash for your writing corner, or just a gift idea (it is that time of year, isn't it?), you will want to give the Hail Merry Macaroons a try. Click this link for information on where you can purchase these in your area, or click this link to purchase a gift for the writer (or sweet toothed person) in your family. Or for yourself. Go on, you know you want to.

Disclaimer: I received samples of these three flavored macaroons mentioned above in exchange for my honest review.

15 November 2012

Saying Goodbye to Writer's Digest Community Groups




I received some disappointing news last week that Writer's Digest will be closing down their community. Although they still have a separate active forum, I find myself a little bit sad.

Here's an excerpt from the email I received (you can also read this on the main page of the community site)

Hey WD Community Members, It's with a heavy heart that I announce that the WD Community site on the Ning network (this site) is coming to an end on November 30. (NOTE: This does NOT impact WritersDigest.com or WritersMarket.com). We're glad this site was able to help so many writers connect with each other.

Be sure to copy any of the content you placed on this site
that you want to keep because on November 30 the site will be shut down and all content
will be gone. Thanks again for making the WD Community site on the Ning network such a fun and inspiring place. We hope to carry on the writing conversations over at WritersDigest.com and on the Writer's Digest Forum.

Take care of yourself and your writing,
Brian

Online Editor


I'm very sad to see the community go. I met so many writers on that site that I now consider friends. I also learned about the writing process and had so many fun opportunities to flex my creative muscle. It's difficult and takes time to develop a connection to a community, even an online one. And for this online venue, I felt that connection. Yet, so often it's me that leaves it behind, but now I am feeling even more sad, because instead, it's the platform itself going away.

It reminds me of when I was in high school and I hung out with the same crowd until my senior year. We also hung out at the same table, too. But that was until my last year of high school when the school took the table away and we had to eat somewhere else. Although we were all the same people, it just didn't feel the same. Some left to find other people to hang out with, some didn't come around as much. It just wasn't the same.

So, goodbye dear Community. And while I am certain I will see most of my Writer's Digest friends elsewhere, I am sad to see the venue will have to change and I'm afraid it just won't feel the same anymore.

But of course, with any ending, is a new beginning. And for that, I am hopeful.

14 November 2012

Writing Prompt of the Week!

I'm late! But today Tena has the post!

writing, writers, blogs

With Veterans Day being just behind us I have a very special picture I want to use. Don't know where it originated from, but I found it on the Soldiers Angels website (or maybe it was their facebook page) not too long ago.


Before I go any further October's (I believe I have the right month) WWBH Monthly Ad Contest winner is: Writer's Space



Writer’s Space

And of course we have last weeks WWBH entries:






















1.Carrie @ Chasing Revery3.Melissa @ My Unpublished Life
2.Leanne4.The Courage Of The Queen by Scott Taylor

Okay so now that I've kept you in suspense - The Five Words are:




  1. Peaked

  2. Geothermal

  3. Livestock

  4. Mutual

  5. Hydroelectric


And Of course I can't forget 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 next Wednesday to create your post.

4) Link your story below and let your blog host know in the comments that you have done so! (This helps make sure we don't lose your link.)

And Most Importantly

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.

Ohhh yeah and don't forget to link up Below:





12 November 2012

Like Eating the Edge of a Candy Mountain

If you love toffee, you will love my review (and giveaway...yay!!) of Enstrom's Candies.

According to their website, Enstrom's Candies has been in business for over 50 years and is still a family run business.

Take a look at the box of Almond Toffee I received -





And just wait until you see what it looks like on the inside...





Oh boy, this is the good stuff people. This is the type of candy you will want to eat until its all gone.

I shared it with my family and the way my mom described it was perfect -

"It's crumbly, it's dusty, it's sweet...it's like eating the edge of a candy mountain!"

If you are planning to either buy goodies for your coworkers, relatives, or friends for the holidays. Or if you just want a treat to share with family, this is the candy you will want to buy. Enstrom Candies is famous for their toffee, and now I understand why!

And guess what? I am proud to say that I will be giving away a box of this toffee to one of my awesome readers!

I will be taking things a little easier this time and I won't be using rafflecopter.

Here is how you can enter -

1) Like Enstrom Candies' Facebook page.

2) Like World of My Imagination's Facebook page.

3) Subscribe to my blog by email

4) Subscribe to my blog via Google Friend Connect

And here is the important part -

Leave a comment for each entry method you do and tell me which name you used.

Contest ends November 30th.

**** Contest is closed. Using Random.org, valid entrant #5, Peggy Strack won!***+

And if you just can't wait until the contest ends to buy your holiday treat, visit Enstrom's website at www.enstrom.com.


07 November 2012

Weekly Writing Prompt - Join In!

Today's post is led by Carrie!

Hey, November! I love this time of year - well, I hate the weather, but I love the holiday season. I'm one of those strange people who would put up my Christmas Tree  RIGHT NOW  if my husband would let me get away with it.



Since I can't, on to the next best thing. I get to announce the winner of the Monthly Ad Contest.






Thank you to everyone who participated, and good luck to everyone this next go around. I will post the new button up on my side bar next week.



Last weeks story submissions included:



Fragile Winnings by L.T. Dalin

The Ranch House by Scott Taylor

Eyes of the Beholder by Carrie Sorensen



On to this week's prompt. Remember:



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 next Wednesday to create your post.



4) Link your story below and let your blog host know in the comments that you have done so! (This helps make sure we don't lose your link.)



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.




Your Photo:













Your Words:





tar



lollipop



courage



figure



parasite















And please don't forget to grab a button to pretty up your page and share the Blog Hop Love. :)



writing, writers, blogs




Click and copy this code








02 November 2012

Squeaky Clean Soaps - Good Clean Fun (Yes, Pun Intended)

Who knew washing your hands could be so much fun?

Well, when I received soaps from the creator of Squeaky Clean Soaps, I couldn't believe how creative soap could be.

Just take a look at the batch I received:




 
Aren't these adorable? I couldn't believe my eyes! Plus, they smell fantastic too. Whether you have kids, want to find a great gift, or just love yourself some adorable soaps, you will want to buy these. However, I would take caution with younger children, as many of these soaps look like candy or something else that can possibly be put into the mouth to gnaw on (like toys, for example!).
 
And this is just the beginning, if you checked out the Squeaky Clean Soap's Etsy Shop page, you will find that she has soaps for all types occasions - Gingerbread Man Soap, Olive Soap (think cocktail party!), Popsicle Soap, and so much more. You can just tell the time and consideration that goes into each and every creation.
 
I am happy to announce that I will be giving away a $15.00 Gift Certificate to Squeaky Clean Soaps! Contest ends 11/23. 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
 
Disclaimer: I received a variety box of soaps in exchange for my honest review.
 
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