31 December 2013

How To Trick Yourself To Write

I will preface this post by saying that it was inspired by a Psychology Today article I read on how to trick yourself into getting your resolutions to stick. As I read on, I couldn't help but smile and think that the same concept may just work for writers. I don't know about you but when I'm stressed it's the process of sitting down and writing that's hard. Not the actual writing. But the "going to go write" process that's hard.

So, I've twisted the article and applied the methods to writers (read the original article here).

1) Tell yourself you aren't allowed to write.

The article says "make the desired behavior the forbidden fruit." This is easier than you might think to apply to writing. Almost every computer on the planet as a "notepad" program installed (or maybe some other variation if you are a Mac user). While at work, pop open the notepad section and continue your work in progress during bouts of downtime at work. This isn't always easy to do and I'm fairly certain I read somewhere that JK Rowling got fired or something because of doing similar behavior with Harry Potter. But maybe try to sneak in time during a 15 minute break or lunch and pretend you are doing it...on the sly.

If don't have the gumption to do this at work (and I don't blame you), try the same tactic by working on a brand new idea in the middle of your work in progress. If you aren't a novelist, work on an article. Tell yourself that you are sneaking behind your own back and working on something you shouldn't. Cheat on your novel for a little bit. (Just don't tell your muse)

2) Think about what your current writing habits will bring you in five (ten? fifteen?) years from now.

Next thing I read was to think about how your current behavior will affect your future. Like if I ate a piece of chocolate cake every day for five years, I'm sure that my weight in five years will be...extremely high. Or if I cut out that extra cup of coffee every day for five years that will probably help me a lot for long term benefits (I drink too much coffee; me cutting back is me drinking only three cups a day instead of five).

It doesn't have to be a huge write-a-novel-every-day type of habit, but if you dedicate yourself to writing 500 words every day, or completing one notebook every month, or submitting your story to a contest once a month that will add up in five years. Go even smaller too if you need. Not at 500 words a day yet? Sit with your notebook out and pen in hand while you watch television. You don't even have to say you will write anything down. But take on that habit. Once you get used to that, turn off the television.

3) Understand the benefits and consequences of writing (or not writing).

I have become more focused on writing the latter half of this year. Not as much as I'd like but as a result my focus has been redirected away from my blog. I have learned the consequence of writing is that my blog doesn't get near as much attention and I tend to reduce the number of blogs I read at all.
But what are the benefits of NOT writing? Come on, you know there are some. You can catch up on your favorite shows (and not so favorite shows), spend more time with family or friends, clean, read, paint your nails, write on your blog, read other blogs, social network, devote more hours at work, etc. These are good things! It's not like the alternative to writing is dealing drugs and robbing banks. There are wonderful and awesome things to do besides write. And there are benefits to these things too.

So, I'm not saying to completely give up your enjoyments, hobbies, pastimes and relationships on behalf of the printed word, but do know there will be a lot of days where you are not devoting as much time to the things you do enjoy. Writing does have consequences. So does not writing. I guess it all depends on your ability to balance everything and figuring out where you can start redirecting your time spent.

What are you tips for balancing your writing life with everything else? What tips can you share?

26 December 2013

Reading Outside My Comfort Zone (A Mini Book Review)

A couple of days ago I finished the book called, "The Cloud" by Ray Hammond. It's been a while since I read a true science fiction novel and I have to say I was greatly surprised!

A lot of the book went over my head with details of the science world that the author described, but what drew me on was the threat on Earth and the potential for total annihilation!

It drew me in also because the main character had an inner turmoil problem going on of being against the very technology that may just save the planet.

This may just create a new relationship with science fiction books! Although I may not become full trekki, I will seek outside my familiar genres more often.

And ironically enough, as I finished the book, there was a thick fog encircling my neighborhood. Very very eerie.

Have you read outside your comfort zone lately? What did you think of venturing into uncharted territory?

25 December 2013

Merry Christmas Everyone! (Our Wednesday Photo Prompt - Extension and My Fav Story This Year)

I want to be sure to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and wonderful holiday season. It's been a rough year for me - very stressful with a lot of challenges this year. I hope next year I can start devoting a bit more time to things I enjoy (like blogging, reading, and more time for writing). Seems impossible, but hey, you never know!

The ladies of the blog hop and I are taking a bit of a vacation this week and next due to holiday stuff, but we wanted to let you know that the prompt for last week is still live! So make sure to check it out and see what you might have to write for us!

Also, here's the stories we have so far this week from the writing prompt, so read the amazing pieces submitted so far and see if they inspire you!

Remembering by Scotty Taylor

Chocolate Milk and Hope by Leanne Sype

Now to share my favorite story so far this year...

This story is called, "This is Where the Nightmare Started" inspired by the photo above. It was written from a dream that my mom shared with me once and I decided to make a story out of it. I would love for you to stop by and see this piece! It's my favorite so far this year! 


18 December 2013

Wednesday Writing Prompt - Get Inspired!

Is everyone ready for the holidays? I don't make too big of a deal during this time of year, but it's going to be wonderful to have a few days off to spend with family. I notice the blog hop is slowing down a bit, but I think everyone is just busy getting prepared for the holidays.

Here's the two stories we got from last week -

Untitled Story by Tena Carr

Market Day by Sally

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 the next week to post.

5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow!

Here are your photo -

Christmas presents under the tree

Weir area 1

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

13 December 2013

I'm Late, But it's Here! - The Weekly Writing Prompt!

The chill of an icy morning is cozy from the inside, where sandalwood candles warm my space, and a cup of hot coffee warms my soul.

Winter has certainly blasted its way in hasn't it? Seems like everyday is a good day to curl up with a good book or settle into a cozy corner to write. Speaking of which, it is time for this week's blog hop photo reveal! First, our winner for this month's featured blog hop author is Tony Roberts! Here's his button for you to display on your site. (Remember, this is a great way to support and build community with one another!):
Roberts Button
We had two stories emerge from last week's prompt:

1) One Fine October Day by Tony Roberts
2) Hidden Treasures by Leanne Sype

And a brief word about how the blog hop 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 the next week to post.

5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow! Here are your photos!


Have fun!

11 December 2013

$50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway (Sponsored by the Author of The Forgotten Slayer Series)


03 December 2013

Flash Fiction Photo Prompt

What's your holiday this season? Do the lights and sparkles make you smile? They do for me, and we can definitely use more smiles.

I'm hoping this bit of news helps to bring on a few more.

Tony Roberts, you are our winner this month! I had thought you were a repeat winner and am surprised to find this is your first time. I (Carrie) would love to put a button together for you. Let me know if you have a photo or idea you would like to use by this weekend so I have time to work on it for next Wednesday. Oh, and congratulations!

Highlighting last week's submissions:

Don't Eat the Berries by Leanne Sype

Secrets by Scott Taylor

A Short Story by Sally Stackhouse

Be sure to check the rules as we've shifted the prompt a little and let us know if our inLink isn't working as it should.

Those rules are:

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 (NicoleCarrieTena 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 the next week to post.5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow! Remember: the blog hop is about creative writing and community, so feel free to invite a friend to join in!

The photos:

And your (hopefully) friendly inLinkz widget.

28 November 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just want to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving!
It's been a rough year for me, but I have lots to be grateful for.

By the way, we've extended last week's writing prompt and you still have the chance to submit your stories!

20 November 2013

Flash Fiction Photo Prompt - Take the Challenge!

Hello, friends! I had to check the calendar today to make sure it was indeed Wednesday because it feels like Monday. So strange!

Since it is Wednesday, that means we're on for the next round of the Writer Wednesday Blog Hop.

Last week's twist was a big hit; look at all the stories that birthed!

Read them all because they are simply awesome, and feel free to leave some comment love to the creative writer. :)

The Unknown that Lies Ahead by Scott Taylor
Jottings and Writings by Tena Carr
The Return by Sally Stackhouse
An Empty Street and an Open Drawer by Tony Roberts
Mistaken by Leanne Sype
Get a Better Hiding Place by Nicole Pyles

 Here's a quick reminder of how to do the blog hop:

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) Your deadline is Tuesday 9 p.m. Pacific Time. 
5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow!

Remember: the blog hop is about creative writing and community, so feel free to invite a friend to join in! Here are your photos for this week. Enjoy!
  Coffee tree with ripe berries on farm


19 November 2013

Get a Better Hiding Place - A Bit of Short Fiction

"$500 to rifle through someone's underwear drawer?"

They were standing outside of the warehouse having a smoke break. It was the night shift and Hagen had been propositioned to sneak into a house to find a book.

"It's in there - I know it. I need that book."

Hagen took a drag off a cigarette. "What's in the book?"

Trace, the nightly security guard, always came off a little creepy. Now, Hagen knew why.

"That-that is not your business..." Trace started to wring his hands and his face twisted into a sneer as he looked over his shoulder for anyone else nearby.

"It's my business if I'm breaking and entering!" Hagen's voice raised a bit, which caused panic to appear on Trace's face. He dropped his cigarette and rubbed out the last ember with his heel.

As Hagen opened the door of back exit to get back to work, Trace's words stopped him. "What's in that book will be worth both of our time."

Hagen stopped and turned. "Explain in to me."

Two Days Later

Terese woke up. It was five in the morning and the early morning sun was just peaking through her window. She had the strangest dream last night of someone being in the room with her, but...

From her bed she could see something was amiss. Across from where she lay at night, her antique dresser stood stoic by the bedroom door. The second drawer - the one where she kept it - was slightly open. Enough for her to realize, someone had been there. And she didn't even have to look to see that it would be gone.

She reached down and grabbed her purse beside her bed. Calmly, she dialed the number - the one to use only in emergencies.

"It's gone. The book is gone. Someone stole it." Her voice shook as she said the next line. "All the secrets...the codes...someone else has them."

The next night...

"I got your book." Hagen pulled the beaten up leather bound journal out of his coat. He handed it to the security guard who had waited for his smoke break to claim his prize.

"I still don't know how that book will make us rich." Hagen said, taking a drag.

Hagen eyeballed Trace as he examined the book like greedy animal and its prey.

"The secrets the worlds most hidden treasures are in this book." He shook the journal at Hagen. "Answers. They're all in-"

A large hooded figure jumped out from behind the large trash bin and hit Trace over the head. The blow sent him crumbling to the ground without a word. Hagen didn't flinch and pulled out his cell.

"I got it back. We need to figure out how he found it. And tell Terese to find a better hiding spot." After hanging up, Hagen handed $500 in cash to the figure and went back inside to finish his shift.

13 November 2013

What's Up Wednesday - A Writing Update Prompt

I found this really cool blog hop over at Jaime Morrow's blog (which I found through someone else's blog - can't recall who...and I thought this would be fun way to catch people up on how I'm doing and what I'm doing these days! Make sure to check out the link to her blog for details on how to do this with me!



I am reading book 3 of the Unwind series! This was actually the first book that I have pre-ordered on Amazon and I'm loving every second of it. Although I'm seriously reading it too fast, I need to savor this book.


This is more of a "for fun" piece I'm working on. It has a fairy tale theme, but I'm adding a lot of humor and fun into it. It definitely isn't serious and I haven't even outlined it. I'm letting the characters sort of "run amok" and it seems to be working, actually. (No NaNoWriMo for me this year though!)


I would say what inspires me right now is the idea of letting go of the pressure of producing something that needs to be published and successful. Approaching a story with -gasp- fun in mind is letitng me relax and approach it with a speed I'm comfortable with!


I think I'm beginning to find my blog/writing/work balance and it hasn't been easy to get it right. I'm still struggling with it, but I need to fit these loves of mine into my life otherwise I won't be happy. Also, I'm querying a children's book my mom and I wrote together and that is definitely a lesson in tenacity and discipline and fighting through the standard publishing cycle of no response/rejection.

I would love to know how you would respond to this prompt! Let me know in the comments if you've linked up!

Edit: I'm totally late to this and realized the link-up closed, but let me know how you are doing anyways! I want to know!

Flash Fiction Photo Prompt - A New Challenge!

And we're back! I don't know about you guys but it's getting colder around here lately! Although not nearly as wintery as I'd expect in Oregon, so I'm glad for that.

First things first, read the awesome stories from last week! I know the holidays has everyone bogged down a bit, so we are so grateful for everyone who has the chance to join in.

Grandma's Advice by Scott Taylor

The Bench by Beth Camp

Awesome stories!!!

So, we are going to change things up a bit with this prompt, so please read carefully!

We are going to give you two photos this week instead of one photo and five words. With those two photos, you must connect the two in some way. The other rules still apply - you have until next Tuesday night to submit your link and you have a 500 word limit!

So, here are the rules again -

1) Include both of the photos in your story in some way.

2) Keep your word count 500 words or less.

3) You have until next Tuesday to link up (leave a comment if you don't know how! We'll help you out!)

4) Link up with your blog hostess (Nicole, Carrie, Tena or Leanne) when you’re done via the inLinkz linky below.

5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow.

And here are the TWO photos you will be using this week -

Photo # 1 via Flickr

Self Shadow

Photo # 2 via Flickr

It's Nice [Explored]

Now, when you have your story ready to go, link it up below! 

12 November 2013

Notebook Hoarding (And the One I May Finish After All)

Meet my newest writing notebook.

The ironic thing about this notebook is that the more I use it, the more it seems to decompose (the irony here is that this is called a "decomposition notebook") (it's decomposition because it's made of recycling materials).

This is one of the first notebooks I will be finishing. I am halfway through it and aside from many of my cryptic, serial killer style handwritten scribbles of ideas, poems, half started stories, is a short-ish story that I am on my way to finishing. 

I feel like it's a sign of maturity (and also a sign of my dwindling bank account) that I am finishing this notebook. Most I get about 25% through my notebooks and think of a reason why I need a new one (this is my notebook hoarding self) (I have many unfinished notebooks I'd like to get through one day).

Yes, it's getting a little ratty looking and I'm looking more and more "bus person" like these days when I drag it out, but actually...I'm quite proud of myself. If I manage to finish this notebook AND this story that I am writing in it?

Well, that would be pretty cool. And then I would have earned my new notebook as a well-deserved reward (hey, we all need something to strive for, right?)

06 November 2013

Flash Fiction Photo Prompt - Get Inspired!

Miss Sally Stackhouse, you are our winner this month!!

Congratulations, and thank you so much for all your contributions. Thank everyone else, as well, for their contributions. It seems to have been a tough year for a lot of people and it means a lot that you still visit our writing prompt whenever you can.

Last week's prompt help produce these stories:

The Empty Bench by Scott Taylor

The Bench by Sally Stackhouse

The Language of Relationships by Tony Roberts

Till Death Do Us Part by Melissa Gardiner

Pop and Grams by Leanne Sype

And moving on to the November set of writing prompts, I've chosen a photo by an amazing photographer, Trey Ratcliff. If you haven't seen his work, you really should follow the link at the photo for his Google Plus profile, or you can find him on FaceBook as well. The picture I chose was taken at the Burning Man event and the album he's posted paints a picture of an amazing world full of stories, real and imagined.

Getting to the prompt, here is a quick review of the rules.

1) Use the photo and the 5 words provided in your story

2) Keep your word count 500 words or less.

3) You have until next Tuesday to link up your post.

4) Link up with your blog hostess (Nicole, Carrie, Tena or Leanne) when you’re done via the inLinkz linky below.

5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow.

The Photograph by Trey Ratcliff:

The Words:






31 October 2013

Happy Halloween and Happy NaNoWriMo Eve

Happy Halloween my friends!

I have to say this has been one of the more difficult years I've experienced in a long time and the holidays coming around means 2014 is closing in on us. I hope the problems of this year don't follow me into the next (and here's hoping it won't!).

And today is my favorite holiday too! I may have to use my Ouija board tonight, so we'll see how that goes.

On another note, NaNoWriMo is around the corner and I'm curious - how many are joining in?

I planned to earlier in the year but my idea didn't pan out. I do have a story I'm working on, but I seriously doubt it has the stamina to become a novel. But we'll see! I start out strong and putter out in NaNoWriMo but maybe if it's the other way around, I may just make it this year.

Either way, Happy Halloween and stay safe!

30 October 2013

Flash Fiction Writing Challenge - Get Inspired!

I haven't quite yet gotten myself back on track with blogging yet. I've had to prioritize something's and I'm focusing a lot on writing lately. I will definitely update more later, but for now. Leanne has the prompt!

Scary movies and candy galore, entice the imagination to explore. Take a picture and five simple terms, write a story of fiction to make readers squirm.

Haha! Happy Writer Wednesday and Happy Halloween, friends. It's time for another round of the blog hop photo stories. Here are the two stories we received from last week's prompt:

No Heroes Death by Tena Carr

Window Seat by Leanne Sype

Writers inspiring writers, spurring the growth of an imaginative writing community! This is what the blog hop is really all about, my friends. So we hope you'll join us this week, and be sure to invite a friend to join in too. All are welcome.

Here's a quick review of how the blog hop works:

1) Use the photo and the 5 words provided in your story
2) Keep your word count 500 words or less.
3) You have until next Tuesday to link up your post.
4) Link up with your blog hostess (Nicole, Carrie, Tena or Leanne) when you’re done via the inLinkz linky below.
5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow.

Here is this week's photograph (courtesy of Leanne Sype):


Your mandatory words:






- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

24 October 2013

Dream Chocolate Factory - Devine Decadence! Brought to you by RosieMade (Coupon Inside!)

It's chocolate time!!!! I can't believe my luck - I got to try the most amazing chocolate by Dream Chocolate Factory (supported by RosieMade!). Before I get into the best part (the chocolate), I want to tell you about this amazing company - RosieMade. They are a wonderful combination of striving to build up American made products while supporting women business owners all over the nation. (And in case you were wondering, yup, this was inspired by Rosie the Riveter!) I love supporting a business that supports what I believe in - and if you shop anywhere this holiday season, I highly HIGHLY recommend you buy from RosieMade and support the amazing work they do. You must also read about the Dream Chocolate Factory and how they make their goodies in this blog post!

And now, back to the chocolate.

I have to confess, I tore into the milk chocolate with coconut almond creme before I even had the chance to take a picture of the goodie - so if that bar photographed below looks a TAD deflated, you will know why! And obviously, that was my favorite of the two. It was so creamy and tasty and the coconut flavor just complimented the entire experience.

Next on the list is the dark chocolate - I'm a huge fan and word on the street is that having dark chocolate 70% cocao and above is excellent for your heart health. So trying the dark chocolate with almonds and sea salt and the hot habanero chocolate was an amazing experience. Both are very rich and the dark chocolate with sea salt isn't overly sweet. Now the hot habanero chocolate is a different experience entirely! It starts out normal tasting but there is a little extra something special at the end - a bit of hot spicy flavor that gives it a brand new chocolate experience.

I have no shame in admitting that I am a huge chocolate fiend so you can imagine I plan on buying more of these bars for the holiday season (Santa will be extra extra sweet to my friends and relatives this season!)

And now through October 31st, you can get 10% off your dreamy chocolate by using this code -RRC1013.

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


23 October 2013

Flash Fiction Photo Prompt - Back Again!

It's Wednesday! You know what that means... time for a fresh new blog hop photo prompt. Aw yeah!

Are you loving these? We hope you are feeling inspired and motivated every week, either to try something new in writing a flash fiction tale or to feel refreshed in your current writing endeavor. Speaking of which... here are the stories that were inspired by last week's prompt:

A Matter of Bullfight by Tena Carr
Coffee Money by Scott Taylor
Battle by Leanne Sype
Another Promise by Sally Stackhouse

Here's a quick rundown of how the blog hop works:

1) Use the photo and the 5 words provided in your story
2) Keep your word count 500 words or less.
3) You have until next Tuesday to link up your post.
4) Link up with your blog hostess (Nicole, Carrie, Tena or Leanne) when you’re done via the inLinkz linky below.
5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow.

Here is your photo for this week:

Your (randomly generated) mandatory words:







16 October 2013

Flash Fiction Photo Prompt - Back Again!

We're back again! As you probably noticed, we took last week off. But never fear, we aren't going away any time soon.

Anyone else loving this fall weather? So many colorful golden leaves here in Oregon and I'm happy to say the rain is not going to be here the rest of this week!

Now, down to business - here are the stories from the previous writing prompt that you must check out!

Turkey Talk by Randy Lindsay

Turkey in a Car by Leanne Sype

Turkey Time by Sally

Awesome stories!!! And now here is the best part of the whole week - the prompt!

Now, remember the rules:

1) Use the photo and the 5 words provided in your story

2) Keep your word count 500 words or less.

3) You have until next Tuesday to link up your post.

4) Link up with your blog hostess (Nicole, Carrie, Tena or Leanne) when you’re done via the inLinkz linky below.

5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow.

And here's the photo

: Untitled

Here's the five words:






Link up when you are ready!

15 October 2013

Write Through the Bad Days

It goes without saying that we all have bad days. The days where you feel weighed down by your own life, or picked on, or just things are going absolutely horrible.

This happened to me recently and like any other bad day I wanted to do one thing when I got home - nothing.

As I waited on my bus home to come by, I realized something, though.

The bad days can't be any reason to not write. If I want to publish, I have to fight the urge to go home and leave my notebook aside. Vedge out. Relax. Not use my brain for a while.

The thing is writing is one of those things that I do feel happier after I've started. It's almost instantaneous!

So if you happen to be reading this on a bad day, write anyway. Yes, it feels awful, but don't let that stop you. Write for a little bit. Use writing prompts. Free write.

How do you fight the bad days and write anyways?

08 October 2013

Writing Exercise - Using Your Five Senses


I've been workng a lot from this imaginative writing text book that I had from college and one of the lessons it's talking about describes using your five senses - sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch - within your writing.

One of the activities it talked about was this -
Use your five senses to describe a thrilling or anguishing moment from childhood. Use personification, metaphor or simile within your writing.

(Used from the textbook Imaginative Writing by Janet Burroway; pg 26).

I wrote mine about the jungle gym I used to play on when I was in Kindergarden. What did you write about?

Looking Forward - Blogging 2013 and On

So I've been thinking a lot lately where I want this blog to go - and how I want to continue on and what I foresee for myself. I'm still open to change for this blog, but in the meantime, I think I want to go back to square one.

I've been struggling a lot with what I want to write and I am realizing that I am struggling with "going back to the drawing board." When I put aside that fantasy novel, I knew I was not just letting go of the novel, but I was also letting go of this childish ideal that one day it will become a bestseller. Well, as long as you have a work in progress, you might have a bestseller, right? And when you have to start from scratch, well you don't have that anymore.

I am back to the drawing board and I no longer am going to pour over stories long past that I have started and haven't finished. I want something new.

What does this mean for blogging?

Well, I've been doing a lot of writing exercises lately from one of my old writing textbooks. I'm doing a lot of exercises and practices. It actually helps and more than just helping me find a story to stay connected to, it also helps to get me connected in writing itself. Which is what I need the most.

What I would like to begin to do is sharing these exercises with you as a way of keeping track of writing activities and prompts so I can look back later and see if I can get re-inspired. I can't promise I will post everything I've written, but maybe if I feel really good about something, I'll post it.

Overall, this is a good way of making me feel good and being creative all at the same time (my tag line should be - when I write, I'm happy).


03 October 2013

Flash Fiction Photo Prompt

I'm late! It's time though! :)

Happy October!! Are you excited for Halloween, or do you have Holiday Confusion Syndrome inspired by the plethora of holiday decor available in stores? ;-)

Good thing there's no confusion to be had here. This month's Ad Winner is --

Congratulations, Scott. :-) Thank you and everyone for being so loyal to our weekly hop and sharing all your fantastic stories. Here's to a lot more to come.

With that, let's move on to our new prompt with a review of the rules:

 1) Use the photo and the 5 words provided in your story

 2) Keep your word count 500 words or less. 3) You have until next Tuesday to link up your post. 4) Link up with your blog hostess (NicoleCarrie, Tena or Leanne) when you’re done via the inLinkz linky below. 5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow.

Photo courtesy of Flikr Commons:

5 Must-Use Words:






And where to link up:

25 September 2013

Flash Fiction Photo Prompt - Get Inspired!

It's raining, it's pouring... at least it is here in the NW! Has fall graced your doorsteps yet? Whether autumn is in the throes of change or still has an air of summer, it is Wednesday for the majority of us. Which means we have a fresh photo reveal for you this week!

Before we get to that, take a moment to read through the stories inspired from last weeks photograph (don't forget to leave some comment love to the authors ;))

Loaded Letter by Leanne Sype

Cap't Monkey and Toole Boy and the Big Decision by Scott Taylor

The Outing by Sally Stackhouse

If you are new to the blog hop, here is how it works:

1) Use the photo and the 5 words provided in your story
2) Keep your word count 500 words or less.
3) You have until next Tuesday to link up your post.
4) Link up with your blog hostess (Nicole, Carrie, Tena or Leanne) when you’re done via the inLinkz linky below.
5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow.

Ready for this week's photo?


Mandatory words:






- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

18 September 2013

Flash Fiction Photo Prompt - Are You In?

We're back again! Anyone else ready for Friday? I know I am! And a belated happy birthday to our host Carrie! :)

Here's the stories from last week -

This Ain't No Yellow Submarine by Randy Lindsey
The News by Sally
From the Depths
A Note from the Deep by Scott Taylor
You Get Today, I Get Tomorrow

Now for the rules, in case you are joining us for the first time -

1) Use the photo and the 5 words provided in your story
2) Keep your word count 500 words or less.
3) You have until next Tuesday to link up your post.
4) Link up with your blog hostess (Nicole, Carrie, </ a>Tena or Leanne) when you’re done via the inLinkz linky below.
5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow.

And now for the photo -
Santa Monica Pier amusements

And the five words -







13 September 2013

Beyond Belief - The Secret Lives of Women in Extreme Religions [Review + Giveaway!]

I'm always intrigued and drawn to books that take on the subject of religion. It isn't an easy to subject to address and even more difficult to get people to talk about it (without getting into any type of argument or getting anyone offended).

I had the wonderful opportunity to read the book Beyond Belief - The Secret Lives of Women In Extreme Religions an anthology by  Cami Ostman and Susan Tives.

First, before you read my review, here's a quick summary of the book:

Beyond Belief addresses what happens when women of extreme religions decide to walk away. Editors Susan Tive (a former Orthodox Jew) and Cami Ostman (a de-converted fundamentalist born-again Christian) have compiled a collection of powerful personal stories written by women of varying ages, races, and religious backgrounds who share one commonality: they’ve all experienced and rejected extreme religions.

Covering a wide range of religious communities—including Evangelical, Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, Muslim, Calvinist, Moonie, and Jehovah’s Witness—and containing contributions from authors like Julia Scheeres (Jesus Land), the stories in Beyond Belief reveal how these women became involved, what their lives were like, and why they came to the decision to eventually abandon their faiths. The authors shed a bright light on the rigid expectations and misogyny so often built into religious orthodoxy, yet they also explain the lure—why so many women are attracted to these lifestyles, what they find that’s beautiful about living a religious life, and why leaving can be not only very difficult but also bittersweet.

My Review:

Like I said, I was immediately drawn in with the book's subject. I'm a spiritual person myself and after having grown up with Christianity as my background (went to a Christian private school during elementary school), I couldn't wait to hear what other women had to say about their experiences. I found, most of all, a lot of reflection and questioning that happened for the women as they went through the practices of their religion. Some religious practices mentioned in the book didn't seem that extreme to me, but some of the others that were a bit more extreme did make me think about religion and what we tend to believe in and what it means in a different way. I wish I could have read a more complete look into some of these women's experiences as many of them referred to just a brief moment in their life rather than the whole picture. I also would have loved to see more stories about their leaving process, which didn't seem to happen as often as I would have hoped.

This book though is a wonderful book to inspire conversation and I would have loved to read this in a "book group" type of setting and debate back and forth about the experiences described. If you are a contemplative, spiritual, deep thinking, or religious person, you will want to read this book. It will inspire you to think in a very different way.

About the Authors:

Cami Ostman is an author, editor, life coach and a licensed marriage and family therapist with publications in her field. She blogs at 7marathons7continents.com and on the psychologytoday.com blogger team. She has appeared in several publications, including O, The Oprah Magazine, Fitness Magazine, Adventures Northwest, the Mudgee Guardian in Australia, and La Prensa in Chile. Cami is a runner and a dog lover who lives in Bellingham, Washington.

Susan: As a writer, editor and researcher Susan has worked on a variety of academic articles exploring psychology, feminism and religion. Susan’s interest in these subjects led her to become an editor for several non-fiction titles including Faith and Feminism and Rachel’s Bag. Her new anthology Beyond Belief: The Secret Lives of Women in Extreme Religions will be published in April 2013 by Seal Press.

Visit these writer's online at their Facebook page and visit Cami on Twitter.
I also get to giveaway a copy of this book to one of my readers! Just leave a comment below and you will be entered to win! Contest ends on September 20th.

***WINNER: Kylie Carlson! Thank you for entering everyone!***

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


11 September 2013

Flash Fiction Photo Prompt - Get Inspired!

We're at the peak of the week, friends! I hope the week has proven fruitful for you thus far. If it hasn't been a great week yet, then I hope something beautifully unexpected happens in the upcoming days that allows you to smile freely.

Okay, since it is Wednesday, it's time for the next round of our blog hop! By the way, did you catch the little creative addition to the blog hop? If not, click here to learn more.

First, here is the button for this month's blog hop ad winner, Ellen Peterson. Congrats, Ellen!


Here are the stories from last week's photo:

Lost Again by Leanne Sype
Writing Holiday by Sally Stackhouse
Ghosts of Memories Long Past are Haunting Me by Nicole Pyles
Bright Eyes by Heather Musk
How Long Had it Been by Tena Carr

Here are the rules of how this all works:
1) Use the photo and the 5 words provided in your story
2) Keep your word count 500 words or less.
3) You have until next Tuesday to link up your post.
4) Link up with your blog hostess (Nicole, Carrie, Tena or Leanne) when you’re done via the inLinkz linky below.
5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow.

Okay-- ready?

Your photo:

[caption id="attachment_2452" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Photo courtesy of me. Photo courtesy of me.[/caption]

Your words:






Ready? Go! Have a blast, friends!

09 September 2013

Ghosts of Memories Long Past are Haunting Me - A Bit of Short Fiction

This is my entry to our weekly writing prompt! There's still time to enter so make sure join in!



I grabbed the teddy bear lying on the beach chair. A child's friend left behind by a guest that had long since packed up and left for the summer. The few weeks before winter slammed into the coastal region seemed the most depressing for me. I found myself longing for the joyful summer days and the feeling of time being endless.

Soon, I would need to shut down the doors of the inn and prepare for the storms and the threat of floods. Winter seemed dramatic to me. I looked forward to the Christmas holidays when I visited my sister's children who pointed out falling stars as if they were Santa's reindeer streaking across the night sky. The battles would then ensue as to who would be visited by Santa first and like an officer of the court I would deem them both equally as likely as long as they went to bed on time. I chuckled a bit at the memory, but the joy was fleeting.

I turned around and looked behind me. I could have sworn I heard footsteps.A quiet chuckle. I shrugged it off and continued my walk around the deck.

Maybe it was the isolation I feared the most. My summer guests were my adobted summer family, unbeknownst to them. I hadn't always felt this way. Not since Leon left several years ago.

I stopped. There it was. That noise. Laughter again, the joyous type that can only be made by children. Yet, nothing was there. Not a single person around.

The ghosts of memories long past could be the only thing haunting me....

Lauren shuddered and rubbed her arms. "God, what was that?"

"What was what?" Her husband scrubbed the deck with a wet cloth. Cleaning the inn at summer's end was always a diffiult task for the both of them.

"I don't know, I could have sworn I heard someone or felt something. It got cold all of a sudden - kids! Stay inside - a storm's coming!" Lauren called out to her two young children. The sound of her voice only made them pause for a brief moment. Judging by the lack of true warning in her tone, their shrieks continued into the evening air as they continued their game of follow the leader.

"Who did you say owned this place before us?" Lauren asked. They had just purchased the beach side inn last spring awere able to open by the next summer. This past summer had been a hectic one for the family, but Lauren was excited for the new lifestyle.

"Some woman. Died during a storm, ran out into the ocean they said."

"Why would she do something like that?"

"No idea, but they say this place is haunted..." her husband chuckled, a sucker for a ghost story.

"Don't talk like that," Lauren scolded. She looked around the deck area. "I could have sworn I heard someone. I heard footsteps right near me."

08 September 2013

September Writing Challenge! Are you in?

The challenge is here!  And we are so excited to bring a new spin to our weekly writing prompt.

Now here is how it will work. Throughout the month of September, every Sunday, your writing prompt hosts will bring you the stories we shared with you from last Wednesday.

Then, you have the challenge part of it, and the challenge part of it is due the NEXT Sunday.

First, let's bring the stories we had from last week -

Memories of Granny by Tena Carr

The Journey by Sally Stackhouse

Cap't Monkey and and Tooele Boy and the Opulent Evening by Scott Taylor

Break a Leg by Debra Elliott

Now, here's what you have to do.

Take one of the above stories and do one of the following -

1) Continue the story from where it left off.
2) Write the story from someone else's point of view.
3) Write what happened before the story.
4) Turn one of the stories into one of the following genres - horror, western, romance, or mystery.
Now, after you've chosen one of the challenges, you have a maximum of 1,000 words this time.
We're so excited!
Like we said, you have until NEXT Sunday to take part in the challenge. And we will be giving you this challenge every week throughout September.
If you have any questions, leave a comment for your host and we will respond!
If you're ready to post your response, leave your link below -

04 September 2013

Flash Fiction Photo Prompt

Winner-winner, chicken dinner. Well, I won't make you dinner (believe me, you're better off), but I will make you a button ....

Congratulations!! Let me know if you have a photo you prefer to use, otherwise I'll study your blog for inspiration and your button will be proudly shown on the hostess's blogs. :-)

On to the submission list! Sally was a little late to be counted in last week's post for her response to the prompt 2 weeks ago. Her story can be found here:

The submissions for this past week's prompt are here.

Thank you everyone who has stuck with us, and to those just trying us out. We are thrilled with how the prompt posts have been going, and would like to offer up a little twist, an added bonus, something new to thrill you --- and you can come back on Saturday to find out just what we have in mind. Until then, here's this week's WWBH prompt post to chew over.

The Rules:

 1) Use the photo and the 5 words provided in your story
 2) Keep your word count 500 words or less.
 3) You have until next Tuesday to link up your post.
 4) Link up with your blog hostess (NicoleCarrie, Tena or Leanne) when you’re done via the inLinkz linky below.
 5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow.

The Photo by +Kristoffer Sorensen:

The Words:




Teddy Bear


Is your story peaceful? Twisted? Funny? Well, make sure to link it up right here by next Tuesday.

03 September 2013

My Official Unofficial Blog Break Announcement

So, I rolled this thought around in my head for a while before I realized that I needed to explain myself in some way. I care about my blog, my readers, and the time and love I have put into "The World of My Imagination."

My heart has not been in my blog lately. The energy just hasn't been there due to a lot of things going on in my personal life.

I don't want to make an official "blog break" announcement. I do want to leave room for the occasional post, but I do want to explain why I've been so absent and just not "present."

I will keep my weekly blog hop posts and like I said, I can't promise that you won't see more from me on occasion.

But until then, I am on an unofficial blog break.

Happy Writing Everyone!

02 September 2013

Spell Check, Comma Placement, and Other Editing Battles (And Software that Can Help)

Due to lack of proper payment for writing this post, I have removed the content until further notice. The website Grammarly did not follow through on promised payment and required a do-follow link after the payment was already up, which is against Google's Terms of Service.

28 August 2013

Flash Fiction Photo Prompt - Join in!

Tena has the reigns this week! 

Wow.... Is it Wednesday again already????

Time sure flies when you're having fun.... Or constantly hopping....

On to this weeks WWBH kick-off, but first last week stories: Looks like only one made it in (Do What!!!!):
Now for this weeks picture and 5 Random Words:

 Dogie (yes that is spelled right - NOT Doggy)

 (ooops almost added a 6th here ---- hmmmm time for more coffee??)

  Some Quick Reminders:

 1) Use the photo and the 5 words provided in your story
 2) Keep your word count 500 words or less.
 3) You have until next Tuesday to link up your post.
 4) Link up with your blog hostess (Nicole, Carrie, Tena or Leanne) when you’re done via the inLinkz linky below.
 5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow.

  And Remember: The more the merrier, so share with your fellow bloggers and invite them to join in the fun PLUG: Keep an eye out for a possible brand new challenge in the works.... Details in the works (That's all I'll say for now)

26 August 2013

The Pact Book Tour - Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

I'm so excited to take part in this awesome book tour! Not only can you win a copy of the book, the grand prize winner will win a $25 Amazon Gift Card. 


the_pact_coverThe Pact

Enter the world of Will Lesterall, a boy who’s grown up in the safety of his father’s castle.

Tales of the outside world ruled by warring kings and creatures of nightmare have never seemed a threat, yet on the night celebrating the two hundredth year of the sacred Pact that has kept Fort Lesterall safe, a secret intrigue ripens, and in the course of a few hours Will is confronted with a choice greater than he can comprehend.

Join an unlikely hero as destiny pulls him into the middle of an ancient conflict between fallen gods and ambitious women, one that demands blood, both holy and wicked, and the power of an ancient fire bound in steel. As swords clash below a watching wood, hope and betrayal war as fiercely as fear and valor.

 Whether he lives or dies, Will Lesterall will never be the same.

Buy Links: Kobo | Kindle | Other formats

Graeme_3 Author Bio:
  Graeme Brown is has been enchanted by the epic fantasy genre since he was a child, and consequently he started creating his own world with its stories at the age of thirteen. Influenced by writers like J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert Jordan, and George R. R. Martin, he has finally brought the first of those stories to life with his debut title, a short story called The Pact—48 pages that will whisk you away to a dark, medieval fantasy world with gritty realism. When he’s not writing, he can be found exploring number theory problems or writing computer programs, training for a marathon, or unwinding in a yoga hot room. He has also explored other facets of art, both as a hobby and a profession, including vector graphics, pen and ink, classical piano, and web design. Despite being a full time student and a junior editor for Champagne Books, he makes sure to do a little writing every day. He is presently busy with the first of many sequels to The Pact, A Thousand Roads.

 For more about Graeme, visit his website: http://www.graemebrownart.com/the_pact.html

Author Links:
 Website: http://www.graemebrownart.com/the_pact.html
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GraemeBrownWpg
Blog: http://www.fantasywritingjourney.wordpress.com


1st Prize $25 Amazon GC
Runners up: 10 x The Pact ebooks

Open internationally
 Ends 16th September
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

25 August 2013

Frank's Coffee - Review and Coffee Giveaway!

So, a couple of weeks ago I went out of town to visit a family member and I took with me a bag of Frank's Coffee (with my trusty coffee bean grinder, of course).

I did have a small disaster with the coffee maker in the hotel room. In case you were wondering, it's very important to have coffee filters that don't have rips in it otherwise you will break the coffee maker. Especially when you try twice. Ahem, anyways.

This coffee blend - the Guatemalan Coffee - is a medium-dark roast. What I love about this type of blend is that it allows you to really taste the coffee bean and it's flavor. I am usually an "extra dark" type of girl, but it was a nice change from what I usually buy at the store.

This coffee is described as having a "spicy" quality to it and I definitely tasted that. It added an extra flavor to the coffee, which made me want to add cinnamon to it for an enhanced experience.

A lot of medium type coffee beans leave me with a funky "finish" when I drink it - sort of like a slight bitterness - but this coffee didn't. I think that was when the "dark" feature of the coffee made its appearance.

Aside from the disaster associated with the coffeemaker (not the coffee's fault), this coffee was a wonderful experience and I would highly suggest to anyone looking for a new brand to try.

And I'm so excited to announce that I get to give away a bag of the Guatemlaan Coffee to one of my readers! Enter with the Rafflecopter below (ends on 9/13).

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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