31 December 2012

What Is Your Biggest Tearjerker - Movie or Book?





So last night my mom and I watched the movie Bridges of Madison County. And boy oh boy did we cry! And ironically enough, this was right after I had asked on my blog's Facebook page what everyone's cry baby movie was. Which was also after my mom and I watched clips from Brian's Song...as well as that St. Jude's Children's Hospital Commercial.

It's been one hell of a day...

So, I thought I would throw the question out to you guys...what is your biggest cry baby movie or book?

Book? I would say as of late is the Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I read this in one day and cried very very hard at the end.

Movie-wise? Steel Magnolias will always win. Also, Neverwas makes me cry every time (I think every writer should watch this movie).

What are your cry baby movie or books?

Saying Goodbye to 2012 - A Look Back






Let's be honest, I'm happy to see 2012 end. This hasn't been an easy year, to say the least. Between losing my job in February, my laptop crashing in August, and lots of family issues, this has been an extremely challenging year.

Anyways...I'm going to let my cynical self die down for a few minutes and focus on the positives.

1) I finished my fantasy novel!!!

My biggest accomplishment this year I must say! I am so proud. No, I didn't get the chance to edit like I wanted (see note above about losing my laptop), but with my latest equipment intact, I am hoping I can change that next year.

2) Got a new job in August!

I started working again in August and I am really learning a lot in a field I enjoy. It isn't an easy economy out there and I know I am very lucky.

3) New laptop for my birthday in December!

Downside is that I lost my free wifi. So this means I have to cough up the cash to actually buy a plan somewhere. We'll see how that goes. But other than that, I am very happy with my Windows 8 laptop.

4) Finding new companies and tasty foods!

So far I have learned about so many new companies, tasty foods and drinks. I really enjoy this and I hope you guys do to. This has also been a wonderful way to share some goodies with my family and get their feedback, too.

5) New projects to explore for next year.

I have new writing goals for myself next year. From finishing my fantasy novel rewrite to putting on my big girl writing pants and submitting freelance articles to magazines (even guest blogging more!), not to mention a new novel idea that I am exploring. So I plan on being very busy next year (what else is new?).

I hope 2013 brings you wonderful good luck, new experiences, and if you cry any tears next year, let them be tears of joy. I wish all of my blog readers (both new, old, and gone away) a fabulous new year.

26 December 2012

Writing Prompt (Deadline Extension)

I don't know about you, but I am immersed in the hullabaloo of the holidays, which makes it hard to squeeze in the writing time! It looks like we could all use some extra time to get our submissions in, so we are extending last week's photo reveal a for another week. I've reposted the entry below and reopened the submission link. Have fun and Happy New Year!!

*********************


Hello, friends! It's time for another dose of weekly inspiration with our Writer Wednesday Blog Hop photo reveal! My co-hostesses Nicole Pyles, Carrie Sorensen, and Tena Carr have done the most wonderful job in giving us some great prompts over the last several months! This week, they are handing me the reins for hosting! Thanks, ladies!

Here are the creations from last week's prompt. Be sure to check them out and give some love to the authors through comments!

The Photo Finals Project, by Scott Taylor

I Have A Bad Feeling About This, by Nicole Pyles

The Only Way Out, by Leanne Sype (hey, that's me!)

Now, drumroll please: badabadabadabada..........

This week's photo

BlogHopInspiration

Mandatory words:


lobster


remote control


luggage


ears


exam


Here is how this all works:


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.



Have fun!!

Oh and if you are loving the Writer Wednesday blog hop, display this button on your site:

wednesdayhopbutton

22 December 2012

If You Can Read This, It Means the Mayans Were Wrong




I'm actually posting this in advance (pre-apocalypse). I figure now is a good of time as any, right?

Well if you can read this...it means we survived!!!

In that case, in honor of the world not coming to an end, I thought I would share my resolutions for 2013.

1) Finish "A Light Burns at Midnight."

I haven't yet finished the typed version yet and I anticipate that I will be complete by June of 2013 (a typed version at least).

2) Get rough draft of new novel halfway done.

I have a brand new novel idea that I am pursuing and I would love a rough draft (or half of one) by the end of 2013.

...okay, I won't add lose weight to the list. That is an obvious one and mostly I just want to eat healthy.

I managed to get my resolution for 2012 (finish my first draft of my fantasy novel) and I think that I can repeat my success.

Remember, if you are making resolutions, here's a few tips to keep in mind -

1) Start small.

The smaller the goal, the more likely you'll achieve it.

2) Share it with family, friends, and blog readers.

The more people who know your goal, the most likely you are to not want to fail their expectations.

3) Be specific and devise a plan.

Don't just say you want to lose weight. What work out plan do you have in place? What specifically do you want to publish and how will you get ready?

What are your resolutions? What are your tips for New Years Resolutions? Did the world end in your area and what was it like?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

21 December 2012

How Did The World End For You?

It's almost 11 o'clock at night and I thought I would follow this prompt I found about how I think the world will end!

Well, I have an hour before it's officially not ending and I thought I would share my insight on how it would end...

Oh, and in case you are still up to...here's the button for the fun blog hop!



I thought about the various ways the world might come to an end. Zombies, a religious themed ending, Aliens, Robots...I even made sure to slap a note on my untyped fantasy novel that said, "IF WORLD ENDS AND ALIENS ARE READING THIS, PLEASE PUBLISH THIS NOVEL."

Heh heh, you never know, right?

And then I couldn't help but wonder why the Mayan's stopped at December 21, 2012.

Seriously, why was that an end? Why did we think that the world would end?

Obviously, the wine is seeping in, because none of this makes sense to me.

Instead of taking this doomsday approach, I decided to choose a different "world ending" plot (which may or may not be a cop out...which also may or may not be inspired by someone else's post about this that I read, I can't really remember).

But I think the Mayan's were telling us this - that today is the day to change things. Today is not the day to remain status quo. To sit back and watch time go by. Nor is this the time to bemoan what we've lost, missed out on, or forgotten about.

Let this day be a day of change. To embrace our new selves. Maybe the Mayan's saw us gaining a new enlightenment.

Dust off that novel and start typing away. Take out that lengthy classic you've been meaning to finish. Tighten up your laces and start walking and get healthy. Get out the trash bags and get organized. Toss your cigarettes and slap on a patch, it's time to quit smoking. Start calling long lost friends and family members.

Don't let another year go by where you regret what you haven't done.

Maybe the Mayan's knew of our tendency for people to not really listen until it's an exaggeration. Maybe they chuckled to themselves as they put that final date, or maybe they thought, "See? at some point, we will ignite change into our future."

Or hell, maybe aliens will land after all.



20 December 2012

The Funniest Reaction To A Speeding Ticket. Ever.


Rainy Mid-Night Snack

 I don't really drive. I'm usually the passenger in the car, but I don't care if you are the passenger or the driver, it's intimidating as all get out to get pulled over. And every time it happens, you have to resist the whole "fight speeding ticket" reaction you get when you do get one.

Recently, when I was with this friend of mine, we were driving down hill on this long slope-y, no lights, little traffic road and she happened to be going over the speed limit that day. Oblivious, at first, especially considering the guy behind us was going just as fast.

Aaand of course there was a police officer waiting in the wings watching for this very behavior (conveniently, the car behind us slowed down really quick once he spotted the apparent cop car...why we didn't notice this too, I'll never know).

While this wasn't a big huge deal type of moment, she charmed the heck out of this police officer. I was so proud of her. It happened pretty easily too, because when she rolled down the window, and he came to the window, she confessed that she knew the very reason she was being pulled over and even admitted this was a fun road to speed on. 

If I remember correctly her words were, "Alright, I know. I'm speeding. But you have to admit, this road is really fun to speed on!"

If you can believe it, the police officer laughed. Now, how many people can say that? Well, okay, he laughed about as much as you would expect a police officer to laugh in a situation like this (he mostly smiled. He was also cute.). Unfortunately, my friend got a speeding ticket anyway, it wasn't nearly as high as it might have been. Apparently he lowered the speeding ticket to as low as it could be for a speeding ticket. 

But still, it was the first time I had seen anything like it (and yes, I took notes for my own "next time").

Tell me - what was the funniest/weirdest/most memorable reaction you've seen recently to a ticket? 

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for which I will receive compensation. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

19 December 2012

Writer Wednesday Writing Prompt

Leanne's hosting today! Let's see what we got!

Hello, friends! It's time for another dose of weekly inspiration with our Writer Wednesday Blog Hop photo reveal! My co-hostesses Nicole Pyles, Carrie Sorensen, and Tena Carr have done the most wonderful job in giving us some great prompts over the last several months! This week, they are handing me the reins for hosting! Thanks, ladies!

Here are the creations from last week's prompt. Be sure to check them out and give some love to the authors through comments!

The Photo Finals Project, by Scott Taylor

I Have A Bad Feeling About This, by Nicole Pyles

The Only Way Out, by Leanne Sype (hey, that's me!)

Now, drumroll please: badabadabadabada..........

This week's photo

BlogHopInspiration

Mandatory words:


lobster


remote control


luggage


ears


exam


Here is how this all works:


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.



Have fun!!

Oh and if you are loving the Writer Wednesday blog hop, display this button on your site:

wednesdayhopbutton

17 December 2012

I Have a Bad Feeling About This - A Bit of Short Fiction

In case you haven't met my newest character's Marco and Figaro, read my previous ongoing blog story entitled, "The Curse."


"I have a bad feeling about this," Marco knew these were famous last words. His goofy, and seriously off the chart, magician friend Figaro brought them to the college campus and Marco stood behind a large oak tree, waiting for the next disaster his friend would think up next.




Figaro set up the door prop on the grass and opened it up.

"Oh ye of little faith..." Figaro said, leaving the door slightly ajar.

Marco suppressed a heavy sigh. "How about the time we ended up taking two strangers back in time?"

"Ssh," Figaro join Marco behind the tree and giggled to himself. "Wait, how much did you fill the parking meter?"

Marco rolled his eyes at the question, until he realized its implication. "Why? How long are we gonna be here?"

"Ssh, ssh, look."

Marco followed Figaro's eyes to a cluster of students on what seemed like a campus tour. The crowd of parents and hopeful teenagers watched the oblivious tour guide at the front of the crowd.

"Here we have our campus park, where you can hang out with friends, try our tasty olive pizza at the food truck or...or...see a piece of..." The tour guide's right arm remained frozen in the air and directed at the mysteriously placed doorway in the middle of the open space.

Figaro snickered. "Here it comes."

Marco felt his stomach twist at Figaro's comment. He watched as the tour guide stepped closer and closer to the curious object.

"Wait! Wait!" Marco shouted. He ignored the harsh whispers from the oak tree that called out his name and smiled at the crowd. "Ha ha, sorry. I left my...my...latest project here." He took the arm of the tour guide and awkwardly shook it. "Thank you sir for monitoring my latest piece. It's about to be featured in...in...You Design Magazine, you know!"

He shut the open door and lifted the doorway off the grass as the tour guide began to explain the school's elaborate modern art program.

"Darn you, Marco!" Figaro shouted. One thing that Figaro hated the most was having his schemes interrupted. He burst out behind the tree and ran for the doorway in Marco's arms. Figaro jumped on top. Marco collapsed to the ground with the extra weight. Enraged, he shoved off the door and pushed Figaro who returned the favor.

"We can't have this type of activity happening in front of prospective students and their families!" The tour guide shouted. He joined in the scuffle and attempted to pull the two apart.

Without either of them paying attention, the doorway collapsed to the ground with the door wide open. As Marco pulled Figaro away from the tour guide who pulled at Marco, Figaro tripped - either accidental or on purpose - in the direction of the open door.

"Bibbity - bobbity- boo!" Figaro shouted. Like a flash of a camera, all three of them disappeared into the doorway, leaving a lone door prop lying flat in the middle of the park.

....to be continued with next week's writing prompt!

Want to join in? Find out about our weekly writing prompt and how you can win a month of ad's space if you join us!

15 December 2012

Do You Lose Stuff All The Time? Well, Try FoundIt!

There is a place for people like me. The type of person who loses their stuff all the time. In fact, I'm on my third (and maybe fourth) cell phone charger. I have probably lost almost all of my gloves and hats for the winter and I have stopped by buying watches because of how often they come off of my wrist (and never come back).

If you are like me, you will want to know about FoundIt!


I learned about FoundIt! and at first, I just didn't get it. And that is the main reason I wanted to review it.

And then I received the info on how exactly to sign up and what to do, and boy oh boy was this ever a service meant for people like me.

Basically how this works, is that you sign up at FoundIt.com and you purchase a $19.99 or a $24.99 membership (the main difference is how many stickers you get). After you sign up, you get stickers and tags in the mail, that you stick on various items.

Like this -




This is just the beginning by the way (and yes, I placed a sticker on my hair brush; although that sticker didn't last long, ha ha). I have it now on my laptop, cell phone, the little wallet thing that has my credit cards, my make up bag, my sunglasses and glasses case. I am terrible at losing things and this is a service I need (like how two weeks ago I lost another cell phone charger...my third one (and I NEVER got back...see? This service would have helped me if I had placed my FoundIt sticker on that charger!)).

What you see on the sticker is a little code that you activate once you get your membership activated.

So, what happens is if someone finds your stuff, they text that number, or they go online to FoundIt and report that they found your item.

The only hiccup here is that it requires the honesty out of our fellow man (and you cynics in the back can just quiet down). So, I like to think that if someone found one of these items I've slapped these stickers on, will report in and find a way to contact me.

I love the idea behind this service, I really do. And this is a service perfect me, because I lose stuff constantly.

What I plan to do, is if I do lose something, and someone reaches out to me via FoundIt, I will post and let you guys know...immediately. For now, I wait and cross my fingers that this service brings out the good in all of us.

Try this out - and in fact, if you have someone in your life that loses stuff like me, you can even gift this service. 

And I'm so proud to announce that I will be giving away a "Bomb Diggity Membership" which values at $19.99 and includes the following -

- Your own unique FoundIt! ID

- 38 FoundIt! Stickers, including 4 glasses stickers
- 4 durable plastic tags (keychain, bag tags and luggage tag)
- Machine washable and dishwasher safe
- One year Membership to FoundIt! Network
Great for active individuals and couples!

Enter using the following activities below, and make sure to leave a comment for each entry method you do and do NOT just leave one comment saying you've done them all (otherwise you only get credit for one entry!) -

REQUIRED: 

1) Leave a comment by telling me about an item you've recently lost and whether or not you found it!

ADDITIONAL ENTRIES:

1) Like FoundIt! on Facebook

2) Follow FoundIt! on Twitter 

3) Follow FoundIt! on Pinterest

4) Like World of My Imagination on Facebook

5) Subscribe to my blog via email

6) Subscribe to my blog via GFC.

And at the end of the contest, I will have the chance to give a 15% discount to all of my readers. So stay tuned! If you enter, whether or not you win, I will be sure to email you directly about that discount code. 

Contest ends 12/26.

****CONTEST ENDED - VALID ENTRANT #4 -  COURTNEY PIES IS THE WINNER***

Disclaimer: I received a free membership to FoundIt! in exchange for my honest review.

12 December 2012

Weekly Writing Photo Prompt - Will You Join In?

This time I get to post the weekly prompt (and soon, I will get used to having a laptop enough to join in...I promise).  A special thank you for my co-hosts, Carrie K Sorensen, Tena Carr and Leanne Sype for having so much patience during my time of laptop-lessness.

And here's the awesome writers from last week's writing prompt! Make sure to go by and read their amazing pieces!

Snow by Randy Lindsay
The Call by Stella
John Buck Thompson by Scott Taylor

Even though rules were meant to be broken, you must follow ours (especially to be considered for our monthly contest) -


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 make sure to grab a blog hop button if you're loving the prompts!

writing, writers, blogs
Click and copy this code


Now, for this week's photo:


Ajar by Gavin Turk


The Five Words:

Parking Meter

Stomach

Magazine

Chart

Olive

Oh boy, I have a good feeling about this one. 

When you have you're post ready, get yourself linked up below! Get those creative engines going!

Woooo!


11 December 2012

A Scene That Won't Leave You Alone - The Birth of a Novel

Have you ever wondered how a novel came to be?

Well...

It starts with a writer and an idea that love each other very much.

Ha ha...alright, I'm kidding. And you should be glad I ended there, I almost wrote the whole post based on that little metaphor.

Anyways. For me to continue with a story idea, especially anything of a novel length, I have to feel connected to the story and idea. But more than just creating an outline, character history, and setting layout, I need to really see the story.

I need the first scene to come to me first. Is that strange?

I had that happen with my current fantasy story. I suddenly got this scene of a character running into a thick forest and that is the scene that begins Chapter Two. When I got the scene, I had something to work with.Why was she in the forest? What was she running from? Who is she? Where is everyone else? All of this came to me and eventually connected to other scenes that eventually created this novel.

And I've been toying with a novel for the last several months (and longer, in fact; this is just the first time I've started paying attention) and today I got that moment. I got the scene. It's a small scene, too. Very small in fact. But it's enough and it's real enough for me to continue from there. I have something to work with and a story I've connected to.

When do you finally embrace your next novel or writing piece? Do you plunge right in with the start of an idea? Or is there a certain thing you wait on, like I do? 


05 December 2012

Writer Wednesday Writing Prompt

Ladies and Gentleman, this is my first post using my new laptop! Yay!!!! I'm so excited! Finally, I don't have to type on my cell phone...which is really good because I severely damaged the screen. Ha....anyways. Today, Carrie has the posting reigns!


Who won this week?

I'm going to save that for later this time. ;)

First, let's take a look at last week's story submissions.

Hard to Let Go by Heather
Home-made Business by Tena Carr
Lady by Scott Taylor
Mama's Songs by Leanne Sype

I have to say, the thought of my son and dog inspiring those stories .... haha. :) It was lovely. And I have more for you this week.

Keep an eye on 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.

The photo for this week.


animals,business,hats,cowboys,fashions,horses,men,occupations,people,ranchers,ropes,seasons,snows,western wear,winter
Microsoft Office Images


The words for this week.

Needle
Wisdom
Planet
Beach
Scandal


We haven't offered our button in a while. Feel free to grab one to share the love. :)

writing, writers, blogs

Click and copy this code


And, finally, the answer you've scrolled all the way down to see. This month's ad winner is:


Congratulations! We will display your button for the next month. If you have a button already, please send it my way. If you have a photo you would like me to use to make your button, let me know that by Friday. Otherwise I can work from scratch.

Everyone else (not to exclude Heather) get to writing. It may be your blog up to win next month's prize.

04 December 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

I am proud to announce that today is my birthday! I am 26 years old today! I didn't announce my birthday on my blog last year, but I decided to this time around, because...well, why not?

So, first, let's all have some virtual cake -

Cup Cake Stand

Aaaand a virtual martini -
Refreshing Sugar Sweet Red Strawberry Martini Drink And the virtual gift I'm sure you all chipped in to buy me -
American Muscle car

(Hey, a girl can dream can't she?)

I'm also proud to announce that I have a new laptop!! That means much more activity from me in the blogging world (I know you are all so happy about that!) This also means I can continue my rewrite of my fantasy novel. Yay! I'm not writing this post with that computer, so I'll make sure to announce when I'm actually using it.

Anyways, I hope you all have a great day, too!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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

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?

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

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!

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 café 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.”

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:





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








31 October 2012

Ladies, You'll Want to Lock Up Your Husbands After Reading This

I love a good horror story, and I was so excited to read the Widow's Walk League, by Nancy Lynn Jarvis.




The book starts out innocent enough - a Halloween celebration in on my favorite cities in California - Santa Cruz. Everything is going fine until someone dressed up as Death, hands out small cards to passerby's with a date on it. The date is of their death.

But, it's all fun and games, right?

A silly Halloween trick.

Until someone reads that their death is that night. And a few minutes later, they die from a stab wound.

Everyone saw Death that night, but no one can be certain of who the real killer is.

But when real estate agent, Regan McHenry, puts her nose into the middle of the investigation, things get a little more interesting. And suddenly, everyone starts to hold their husbands a little bit closer as many more die one by one.

Nancy's books gives me exactly what I want out of a mystery - a classic whodunit. While at times I had a little difficulty keeping track of character names, it didn't stop me from enjoying the exciting caper she wrote. I also really enjoyed the main character. I love anyone who can't help but put themselves in everyone else's business!


The Widow's Walk League is perfect for Halloween and will make you think twice about dressing up as the Grim Reaper this year.

You can purchase a copy of your book via Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Also, make sure to check out Nancy's website for further details on her publications. You can also read Chapters 1 and 2 for free, so click this link to find out how!

Weekly Writing Prompt - Get Inspired!

Our host, Tena Carr, has the blog reigns this week! And away we go!

YEAHH!!!! It's my turn to host:




First take a look at last weeks stories:

Story Time by Carrie Sorenson


The Neighbor and Secret Lives by Scotty Watty Doodle All the Day


Letting Go by LeAnn Sype


Next Time Let's Go to an Island by Nicole Pyles


Live My Dream by Tena Carr


Before we go any further, lets set some ground rules (for those of you new to the Blog Hop)...

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 Tuesday to create your post. (Actually, I extended the deadline to be Wednesday morning, but if you want to be eligible for the Monthly "Wednesday Writer Blog Hop Winner" drawing you'll need to submit your story by 8pm on Tuesday.)


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.


Ok so now that we got that out of the way...... Here is the photo you have to work with



And the Five Words are:

Hovel


Jackpot


School


Autonomic


Needlepoint


Be sure and link your stories by clicking on the inlinky below:






- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

30 October 2012

Next Time Let's Go to an Island - A Bit of Short Fiction

I am finally taking part in our weekly blog hop! This concludes the adventures of my ongoing blog story (although it may not be the end of Marco and Figaro)! Enjoy and make sure you tune in tomorrow for our weekly writing prompt!





The flash of light blinded Marco for a second, but when he came to, he sighed with relief at vision of their apartment complex.

"Ah, home sweet home."

"Dear Saviour, we're back!" Figaro exclaimed. Marco turned to see Figaro on his back, flailing about like an overturned turtle. Marco reached out his hand and pulled his companion to his feet.

"Think the girls made it back?" Marco asked. He had some concerns over his friend's ability to actually use magic properly.

"Hang on, I'll check Facebook."

Marco watched as Figuro pulled a smartphone from his pocket and tapped furiously into it. He decided not to ask where it came from.

"Ah! See? Becky's status says, 'It's good to be home.' and Brenda..."

Figuro jumped. "Whoops! She may not be in the right spot. She's talking about joining a bullfight later." His shoulder's sagged in disappointment. "Ah, wrong Brenda. Here she is...yup, back home too."

Marco breathed another sigh of relief. "Let's go home, Figaro."

He walked to the entrance of their first floor apartment. Their regular performances as a magician and assistant team afforded them a luxury two bedroom apartment. Yet, they never seemed to stay home long enough to really enjoy He picked up the stack of newspapers on the welcome mat and unlocked the front door.

"Ah, peace and quiet." Marco said as he stepped inside.

"Quiet? I can be as quiet as a mouse!" Figaro said, following closely behind Marco.

Marco rolled his eyes as he shut the front door. "You mean you don't want to sing another verse of that awful song?"

Figuro flopped on the couch and grinned at Marco "Hey, what say I take us to a beach island resort next time?"

And for once, Marco realized, his friend didn't have such a bad idea.

29 October 2012

I Was Expecting You - Bit of Collaboration Short Fiction

I am so excited to be part of another story challenge! This part four, so make sure you read part one, part two, and part three first!




Two hours later, Jack was still weaving in and out of the twisted pathways of the Black Hollow forest. By this time of day, the sun was in the center of the sky, but Jack didn't feel a single ray of that sunshine and neither did Morgan.

"I'm cold." Morgan whined for the hundredth time.

"I know," Jack replied. He had learned very quickly that if he didn't acknowledge Morgan's pain she would screech her complaint louder and louder. He only had to learn that lesson once.

"I'm hungry."

"Me too." Jack bit his tongue before the words "knock it off" escaped his lips.

A special crunch on the ground stopped him. He glanced down at the map while Morgan freely put her finger in her nose. The map explained a fork in the road and to take the hidden path down the center. According to the messy handwriting, the path could only be found by crushing it's spine. Jack looked down at his feet and the twigs crossed one on top of the other, forming a sort of vertebrae on the ground, we're now in disarray and many of those twigs were broken.

Jack looked up and as if by magic, and it probably was, the trees that blocked the center of the path fell away like the curtain of a stage. The warm sunlight shone through the forest and like a waterfall of light, enveloped the small cabin that rest up ahead.

"This is it, Morgan." He squeezed her hand and walked to the dilated house.

As they got closer, the door burst open. It was her. The old woman who helped Jack before and who he was certain helped Morgan. She would help them now, he hoped.

"Excuse me?" Jack called out, his voice shaking with nerves.

The old woman turned. Like the stereotype, she was dressed all in black. She had a beak looking nose with a wart on the crook. Her black hat was lopsided and she swept the front step with a broom that Jack assumed she also rode on at night.

"Oh hello! I was expecting the both of you!" She took off the hat and the nose and revealed a quaint older woman with bright eyes and probably belonged in a library reading books to children rather than keeping the Black Hollow forest safe.

"Ignore the silly costume! It's for Halloween!" She replied, reading Jack's mind.

"We have a -"

"Yes, yes." She squatted down to Morgan's level, who looked up at the old woman with eyes as round as the moon.

"You've caused some trouble young lady! Now...this won't do..." The woman grabbed something from her pocket and blew it in the face of Morgan.

"Hey-hey!" She shouted out, coughing all the while. But as she coughed, the dust swirled around her and with a blink of an eye, the beautiful girl he had fallen in love with stood before him once again.

"Wow, what happened?" Morgan said.

"Come in, my dears." The old woman said. She spun around to her cabin entrance and bolted through. "We have some business to tend to! It's finally time!"

Morgan and Jack exchanged glances.

"Time?" They said in unison.

The old woman appeared in the doorway again. "Yes, yes. You know. Destiny, fate, you two belonging together, ruling the magical Black Hollow forest together." She went back into the cabin. "Come in! I have scones!"

Tune in next week for the ending!

24 October 2012

Writing Prompt Wednesday - Will You Join In?

Okay, we are back, and I get to host the prompt this week! Yay! I'm so excited!

We had some awesome stories last week, and I'm so sorry I haven't been able to get to everyone's stories. Next week I will get better, I promise. And I know for sure once my birthday roles around and I get that laptop I've been hoping for, I will be especially better at reading and checking out everyone's blogs.

Anyways...back to business...check out these amazing stories -

Saskatchwean Flats by Scott Taylor
Big Bird Blues, Saskatchwean Flats Part 2 by Scott Taylor
Traveling Man by Carrie Sorensen
A Gift by Tena Carr

For everyone able to write, we are happy to enter you into our monthly ad contest. You can read about the rules on this page. If you're into creating visual art, you can click over there as well to see what we have going for you. You can help spread the love of our blog hop by grabbing the button below.
writing, writers, blogs

Click and copy this code

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:

hugo häring, siemensstadt housing, 1929

And here are the five words:

Bullfight

Island

Mouse

Verse

Saviour

Yay!! I'm so excited. So, use the link below to post your story when it's ready!

17 October 2012

Weekly Writing Prompt - Are You Writing Today?

Carrie has the reigns for this week's post!

Welcome Wednesday. Let's have a quick review of this past week's talent.



Looking Back by Leanne Sype

One Line Wonder by Carrie Sorensen



Thank you. :) I know we're getting to the busy part of the year and we're grateful to everyone able to participate, whether it's through writing or reading the prompted stories.



For everyone able to write, we are happy to enter you into our monthly ad contest. You can read about the rules on this page. If you're into creating visual art, you can click over there as well to see what we have going for you.



You can help spread the love of our blog hop by grabbing the button below.






writing, writers, blogs


Click and copy this code







The rules for the writing:




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.




The Photo:


















The Words:



bird



kid



loom



soldier



ostrich












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