29 January 2014

Writer Wednesday Blog Hop




It's Wednesday again! We're that much closer to Friday. It's exciting around these blog hop parts because we will be having an announcement coming up for everyone who has participated at all this year. Make sure to stay tuned!






Here's the stories we got from last week. Make sure to go by and read the creative work everyone has done! -

With Time to Spare by CR Fowler

A Chat at Sunseta by Scott Taylor

Nachos, A Glass of Wine, and a Memory by Tena Carr

Leaving by HJ Musk






1) Write a story using both photos.






2) Keep your word count to 500 words or less.






3) Submit your completed story to your blog hostess (Nicole, Carrie, Tena or Leanne) via the inLinkz linky below. (If you need a bit of help with this step, just leave a comment and well get you linked up!)






4) You have the next week to post.





5) Have fun, dont stress, let those creative juices flow!



Here are your photo -





Scary (2752359285)









Scary






And here's the link up when you're ready!

22 January 2014

Flash Fiction Photo Prompt - Get Inspired!


Who let it be Wednesday without telling me? Totally thought it was Tuesday. Leanne has the reigns this week!

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Well in that case, we should be quite excited about today. It's Wednesday-- Writer Wednesday!

The best day of year and the highlight of this week. I have the pleasure of hosting our Blog Hop Photo Reveal today. :D

 Before we get to that, here are the stories that sprung from last week's photo prompt. Be sure to give them a read and send the author an encouraging comment. Writers need encouragement! :)

Me and the Countess on a Sunday Night by Scott Taylor
  Missing by Heather Musk
  Companion by Tena Carr

 Everyone is invited to participate in the Blog Hop Photo Prompt! Don't be shy. Here are the instructions of how it works:

 1) Write a story using both photos.

 2) Keep your word count to 500 words or less.

 3) Submit your completed story to your blog hostess (Nicole, Carrie, Tena or Leanne) via the inLinkz linky below. (If you need a bit of help with this step, just leave a comment and we’ll get you linked up!)
4) You have until next Tuesday post.
5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow!

 Here are your photos for this week:

  Chicago

20130803_203658

 Have fun!

Use CampusBookRentals.com This Term (Save Money, Earn Money, Do Good Things!)


I'm a little late in the term for textbook shopping season, but I really don't think it's too late for you to turn things around and save money on your textbooks this season. I'm out of the college game right now, but I know how expensive textbooks can be in addition to everything else you have to pay for!

First of all you get 40-90% off what is in the bookstore. Can you imagine all the coffee you can buy with all the money you saved? And you get free shipping. And no damage control concerns - highlight all you ned to. Plus, CampusBookRentals.com donates to Operation Smile with each text book you rent.

Not only that, CampusBookRentals.com has a new program called RentBack (rentback.com) that allows you to rent out the books you already own to other students. This is fantastic especially if you've already purchased the books and you want to make more money off of it (than the crap $5 bucks that your college bookstore usually offers at the end of the term - yup, I remember those days).

Want more info? Just watch this video!



Special thank you to CampusBookRentals.com for sponsoring this post.

19 January 2014

Personalized Rejections vs. Form Letter Rejections

This morning I woke up to a rejection letter.

It started out like this -

"Dear NP,

I hope you won't mind if I give you a pointer or two in rejecting your poem. My aim is to help."

The letter goes on to say I need to show, not tell. To read more. To get critiqued. To send more than just a single poem to an editor.

I read somewhere once that personalized rejections can be a good thing.

Somehow I'm not sure.

Personalized rejections are cruel. Form letter rejections don't examine you so closely.

This hurt me more because of how much I pored over this single 18 line poem. Perfecting it. Giving the right imagery. Like sculpting or painting. Except with words.

It just didn't seem right to receive something that shredded me to pieces like this rejection did. So knowing I had two copies of the same poem (one, a first draft; the other, many drafts later), I decided to take a look at what I sent...

I sent him a first draft.

After spending hours and hours pouring over this poem, only to send off my first draft.

I was relieved at first. I told myself this rejection wasn't for me. It was for a draft I never would've sent in the first place.

Initially, the wound from rejection faded. A few hours later though, I am troubled by it.

Not sure why. I did learn a few things -

1) Send several poems to a literal magazine instead of one (somehow I didn't think this was that important at first).

2) Always delete your first draft.

3) Double check every attachment you send out.

4) Rejection sucks. And to me, it's the hardest part of being a writer. And remember, it happens to all of us.

Oh well, time to pick myself up, brush myself off, and write again. It's what we always do, isn't it?









15 January 2014

Flash Fiction Photo Prompt

Tena has the reigns this week!

Hey, Guess What???? I'm back at the wheel.... The WWBH wheel that is. Haven't done this hosting thing in so long..... Gee, I hope I remember everything correctly.

First off, our winner for this month: Scott Taylor Go on, take a moment to check out his blog, but don't forget to come right back over here for a view of last week's stories and for this weekswednesdayhopbutton



Back???? Good!!!!


Here are the awesome stories (as inspired by last week's prompt:




    • Buttons' Box...A Short Story by Scott Taylor

    • Jezabell’s Rescue by Leanne Sype

    • Scared by Tena Carr

    • And a late entry...
      Family Time by HJ Musk

      Now for this week's 2 photos:




      20140114-165233.jpg



      20140114-165409.jpg

      Remember the 2 photos must connect in your story and the story must be limited to 500 words (don't worry we're not gonna count so if you go a bit over = DON'T SWEAT IT.... Most IMPORTANT Rule!!!! HAVE FUN!!! {and link in with the froggy at the bottom}


      For those of you like a little music to write to:


      Kenny Loggins – Footloose


      [spotify id="spotify:track:4FA8jE1vcop4S3XqUWdSnP" width="300" height="380" /]









13 January 2014

Is the Age of National Chain Bookstores Coming to an End?




I read an article recently on the Gothamist that a well known New York Barnes and Noble location is shutting down. This article followed up on the tale end of a blog post I read on one of my fellow blogger's site RD Meyer's Writes.

Is it just me or is this a little disconcerting?

By 2011, all Border's bookstores had shutdown and as a result, left a very vacant building in an outdoor mall where I live and in many other cities. For me, Borders was the only bookstore in the little mall and I noticed an immediate drop in mall traffic. A beautiful Friday night felt more like a Wednesday morning. But luckily, a Barnes and Noble took it's place and it revived the mall traffic.

But I wonder now how long this will last and how many more Barnes and Nobles will have to close before it meets the fate of Borders? The national chain bookstores are no longer a staple
in our society and while it may seem like the independents have finally won, I'm not so sure anymore.

What's taking it's place is the rise in ebook sales. Just think of Amazon's Kindle (which so far, Barnes and Noble has failed to compete with) that has risen in sales (up 8 percent from last year according to CNET).

So far I haven't adapted to ereading. I still love the smell and feel of a real book and I'm not sure that will ever change (even when my future grandkids say to me, "Grandma, what's those blocks with paper in them?"). But I haven't been giving my money to Barnes and Noble either (or really, any store). I'm a library kind of girl and even the libraries are beginning to catch on the e-trend.

What does this mean for the bookstore era? Will we soon be downloading ebooks at redbox locations?

More than what this means for ebooks and books in general, as I'm sure books will change with the times like music had to change. But is there a need for bookstores anymore or are old
fashion book readers like me just hanging onto an era?

08 January 2014

Flash Fiction Photo Prompt

It is viciously cold here in Michigan. We're 'feeling like' -40's at night and not climbing out of the negatives during the day, even in actual temperatures. It's so very beautiful and so very dangerous. In this cold, it's warned you can get frostbite within 10 minutes.

So, we're staying warm and inside, and cooking up a bit of a writing prompt for you!

I hope you had a great holiday season. We decided to delay the prompts until this week to give everyone a chance to fully enjoy it. That still gives us 3 weeks of submissions to chose the blogger we'll feature for the next month.




Scott Taylor


The winner!





Make sure to check his blog out, along with our other bloggers every week. They come up with some amazing stuff.



Our last prompt was posted on December 18, and here are the stories inspired by it.



Remembering by Scott Taylor

Chocolate Milk and Hope by Leanne Sype






Now for your 2 photos:








Photos by Carrie Sorensen










Happy New Year!












07 January 2014

For the Demon Slayer in all of Us (Old Beginnings: Forgotten Slayer Series [Book Review])





Walking home one day, someone approaches you. They hand you a dagger. It's a gift. Since it's your birthday, you accept. But then, you find out, it's your birthright and when you accept it, they demand you take the oath.

And your whole world changes.

That's how the story begins for Flynn, a thirteen year old kid who gets invited to Demon Slayer Academy. A dream come true? Maybe. But when reality shifts and Flynn finds out the creatures he's training to battle against, he begins to wonder if this demon slayer thing was something he wanted. But then again, now he doesn't have a choice.

Before I begin my review of this incredible adventure, here is the book's synopsis:

The first book in Flynn Heath’s magical world of amazing powers, dark demons, a perfectly mundane family at home and extraordinary friends at his new school, which happens to be a Demon Slayer Academy.
Flynn Heath is just an ordinary boy, living a very ordinary life in the perfectly pleasant village of Little Rislin. Until, one day, he mistakenly pledges his blood, honour and soul to a mysterious stranger and before he knows it, he’s enrolled into the finest (and only) demon slayer academy in the country. But there’s a dark force swimming through the demon-infested undertow of the ordinary world, a king demon shaking loose the shackles that have him bound in Hades. Maybe Flynn’s pledge wasn’t some random mistake after all.

Sometimes, there’s a very good reason for a slayer to stay forgotten.


My Review

I immediately liked the character Flynn and the book does not delay in starting out the thrill and adventure in the book. The strong character development among Flynn and his friends Ice and Jack in the Demon Slayer Academy make the story rich. Oddly enough, I didn't find as much "demon interaction" as I initially expected.

What intrigued me the most was the mystery surrounding Flynn's oath and past. Unlike most of the "demon slayers in training," Flynn isn't sure where is demon slayer blood line came from. His parents are ordinary, good people and he doesn't know where this came from. I loved that angle of the book and I can't wait to read the rest of the series to find out more.

A lot of the book reminded me a bit of Harry Potter in terms of there being certain "houses" that the students are assigned to as well as the conflict between Flynn and one of other students. There are certain themes in books though that are gauranteed enjoyment for me, though, and any time you have any type of academy or classroom setting in a book, I'm practically salivating as I read. I love that type of setting!

Overall, this book will definitely draw you in and I am sure you will want to continue the series and see what happens next. It's a young adult fiction novel, but I know all you grownups out there love them as much as your youngster counterparts.

Author Bio:

Currently residing in Berkshire, England, Alix Marsh has lived in many places between South Africa and England, including a village very much like Little Rislin. No demon sightings yet, although Alix is always vigilant and prepared. Old Beginnings launches the first book in the magical, urban paranormal series of The Forgotten Slayer.

Make sure you like this author's facebook page and most of all, buy this book on amazon if you are in need of an adventure!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

03 January 2014

Perfect Book for Anyone who Fears They Haven't Lived Up to Someone's Expectations

I can't wait to share this book release announcement with you - it's Little Failure by Gary Shteyngart.


Famous memoir author, Gary Shteyngart writers about his experiences being an immigrant in America and a funny, humorous outlook on his fear of failing at life and not meeting his parent's expectations of becoming a lawyer (or a Wall Street something or other). (He became a writer instead. Oh, what a shame, right?)

I am so excited about this book and I think every writer should read this. In fact, I think everyone who has felt for one second they haven't lived up to someone's expectations - whether it's family or someone else in your life. I love the story behind the title too - it's from an English/Russion mashup word that his mother made up - Failurchka (or "Little Failure").

And if you are still torn about whether or not this book might be for you, check out this trailer -




Doesn't it look awesome???

The book is set to release on January 7th, so make sure you visit Gary Shteyngart's website to find out where you can get your copy.

A special thank you to 20 Something Bloggers Community and Random House for sponsoring this post. 


01 January 2014

A Beautiful Video Poem Dedicated to Dreamers Everywhere

Recently, my mom gave me the honor of creating a video poem out of a poem she wrote. I was so excited for the chance and I love the message of the poem she wrote. I think this is meant for dreamers everywhere.

So, please enjoy the poem written by my mom +Jackie Pontzious!


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