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Rock Bottom

Rock Bottom

Every bad situation has a rock bottom. That place when you just can’t endure the sadness, frustration or pain any longer. For some it can sink deeper than others, we all have our limits. They’re determined by our experiences; all that baggage we carry with us, our struggles our travails. We all have them, we all dig deep as we endure and our brick walls or rock bottom are ours and ours alone.

My rock bottom isn’t one experience, it’s a period of time, that encompasses a whole lot situations. A job, a personal relationship, health issues, regardless of what comprises my rock bottom, I think I finally hit it. I think the climb out of mediocrity and moving slowly upwards, the lack of sleep, the lack of fun, the constant work, the job change, finding myself taking one step forward and moving two steps back, finally crashed down around me.

I feel as though I’m walking through a pile of rubble. All of my experiences broken pieces lying on the ground around me. All examples of my trudge through mediocrity and I’m tired. Sleepless nights tossing and turning, dreading the daylight because its ugly and it doesn’t lie. It shows everything for what it is, in all it’s brightness, exposing what I try so hard to hide.

Near tears all the time, because what I do while awake is for everyone else but for myself because when I try to do for myself, the rest of my life crashes in around me. Things don’t get done, kids get angry, guilt that I should be anywhere other than where I am chokes me. I clench my jaws as I keep the tears from falling.

I don’t believe in self-help books because I know what the issues are and I know what I need to do in order to release the stress, remove the sadness and let go. I know what I need to do. But will circumstances allow me to make the changes and do what I need to do to not feel like this anymore.

It’s the feeling of walking on a treadmill, the one in which I walk at a brisk and steady pace and yet I move nowhere. I think this is my rock bottom, my fork in the road. The time to make the decision on where I need to go. I just need to find my way out. It’s not a matter of picking the path less travelled. It’s about picking the path that will allow you peace and happiness. For some that’s through the untamed jungle and for others it’s the path that leads them to the dream.

I’ve given up the last year of my life for the dream. I’ve given up time with family and friends. I’ve given up time for myself, I given up hobbies and I’ve agreed to do things that I don’t wish to do, things that are good for others but not good for me. Because somewhere along the line someone wrote doormat on my forehead.

It’s my rock bottom. The place where I say Enough. Because I no longer want to settle for mediocrity. I no longer want to believe that someone else is thinking of me and this is good for me, especially when I know it’s not. It’s time to no longer let someone dictate what’s best for me. Only I can be the judge of that.

This is my rock bottom. My acknowledging that this is no longer acceptable. I have a dream and not honoring me, is no longer allowed.

Introvert to Sales Goddess – A Sneak Peak

Introvert to Sales Goddess – A Sneak Peak

comfort zoneIt’s funny that as an introverted writer, I find myself in a job that requires me to meet people and contact them on the phone call. As a result I worked on a short book of essays describing my fear, of phones, feeling like a fraud as I navigate outside my personal comfort zone.

I opened myself up completely. It’s the real me. I’ve come so far in such a short time that if my experience can help any either understand what it is to be an introvert or how to pull yourself out of the fear and anxiety that holds us back, than it was worth the trip down memory lane. Here’s the unedited excerpt of how far I’ve come and where I hope to be.

–Introvert to Sales Goddess

At my class reunion I met a former classmate who was also a published author. I was green with envy, the kind that made me regret everything that led me to that time in my life. When I couldn’t find a job, I remembered that feeling and decided it was time to do what I had always wanted to do when I was a kid, and that was to write for a living. I had started my career reaching for that goal, but kids and life got in the way and I put it aside. Again, I lacked the confidence to push forward and trust that I could write a book. But after my reunion, I had a goal. I would write that book. It was the best decision I ever made and for the first time in my life I gained real self-confidence. I was proud of myself and I woke a passion inside of me that I never had before.

When I finished the book and the edits and the attempts to find an agent, I self published. And while trying to sell my books amazing things began happening for me. First I went to my first Wizard World with my own booth and sold to strangers, meeting and talking to them. I met artists and writers, and had a community of people to discuss the ups and downs of this crazy venture. I attended my first book expo in New   York and met marketers and came up with a plan on how to reach more people.

With the new confidence, I found I was able to finally lose the baby weight; I bought more fun clothes and changed my outlook on myself and on my life. I straightened my hair, which I could write a whole other essay on because; man did that change everything for me. But I was finally off of that treadmill and really moving forward.

Confidence

Confidence

I don’t give myself enough credit. I dwell on the failures rather than the successes. When my books didn’t sell I assumed it was poorly written, maybe it wasn’t that bad, maybe it was as simple as my inability to market via social media. Or maybe it was a lack of confidence in myself and my work. Without thinking it was any good, was I really going to sell it or myself?

When you’re shy and an introvert, it’s hard to bring attention to yourself anyway, and if you lack confidence, it’s even that much harder. Do you really want the attention and what if the book really sucks, can you in good consciousness sell it?

When I finished my book the first time around, I really believed in it. And when the second book was published I was far more confident in that one having learned something about writing and editing. But I received three bad reviews in a row. They were so bad that I couldn’t speak for a week. Every time I did, I’d burst into tears. The honest truth is I was set to quit. Throw it all away. If it wasn’t for two people who encouraged me to continue because they believed I had something there, I would have.

The reviews for She Wulf nearly destroyed me and what little confidence I had in myself was gone. I tried to put it aside and work on the third book, move the stories forward and hope that those who were fans, would continue to like the series. I started three different books and couldn’t focus on which would be the next in the series. I took time off, I rethought what it was that I wanted to do. And when it came down to it, I knew I wanted to write. I still believed in the characters and I didn’t know what else I would do with myself.

I made changes. I completely re-wrote The Day of First Sun. I can’t wait to share it because out of all the versions, this is most definitely the book that I want to release and that I’m proud of and confident in. I restructured the series and I’m still having trouble with the second book because I want it to be fun and exciting and what I had written, was that. But it will be.

After changing my social media, I was discussing with my team my frustration at the entire process. I told her some of my future projects and we talked. And she said to me, “You have a lot to say and you should say it.”

As I work on the final edition of The Day of First Sun, as I write the first draft of Black Market, I’m working on my voice. Finding it and sharing it. And in the process of sharing my experience, my ups and downs, my lack of confidence, I learned a few things about myself. I’m capable of great things and I have a great support system around me who believe in me. When they tell me, so I realize that I have something valuable to say and to share and if it inspires others or helps them through something, than it is all worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Shy Salesperson – The Oxymoron

The Shy Salesperson – The Oxymoron

I claim to be a shy introvert. I hate being center of attention, I have a hard time coming up with things to say. But I’m really good at observing and I have an understanding of what people are thinking and what they’re going to do. I’m not weird, I can’t be fixed, I am who I am. So how did I end up with a job in which I have to sell? It’s one of those things that just sort of fall into your lap and you have to either continue moving forward or melt into a puddle of nerves.

Handling groups of people, speaking in front of even the smallest group sometimes leaves me anxious. It depends on the importance of what I have to say, the relevance to the conversation that determines how uncomfortable I’m going to be. The reason for me is, I have an inability to think quickly enough to move a conversation forward. That makes me a much more effective writer, because I can take my time to craft my message, think it through and re-edit until my fingers read. I’m a much better writer. Go figure. Which leads me to prefer sending emails to making phone calls. So why in the world would I accept a position that requires me to sell, to talk to strangers on the phone and ask them to join our newest program?

Because I realized that if I were to move forward as a writer, I needed to interact with people I don’t know. To learn to be comfortable in situations that leave me anxious, you need to throw yourself at them rather than run from them. For me that is all about making phone calls. I’m the type of person who feels like I should always have a reason to contact someone by phone. And if there’s no reason, I make no call. And yes that means I very rarely call someone just to chat. Though if they call me just to talk, I’m open and a little chatty. Approach me fine, but don’t make me approach you. Yeah, it might be the whole fear of reject or maybe it’s just the fear of I don’t know what to say. But whatever the reason, placing myself in uncomfortable situations is my way of becoming stronger. Getting familiar with something rather than run from it should then increase the size of my comfort zone.

That’s why I took a job that seems so out of my ability and skill level. You can’t change your basic personality, but you can learn to work around the traits that hinder your success, you can adapt and quite possibly grow out of some of the more difficult ones to live with. I may never dump the shyness, I may always be terrified by the sheer act of calling strangers to sell a product, but maybe not. Maybe with practice, I’ll get comfortable and my zone will be wider. And maybe then I can sell myself and my books and live the dream I keep dreaming.

 

The Comfort Zone

The Comfort Zone

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We all have them. The place we feel the most comfortable. We’re familiar with our environment, our friends and family. Even with all the problems they might possess, it’s the devil we know and regardless of what’s happening, we can maneuver and get through it. It’s when we’re faced head on with something new, well not even new rather an experience, a place, a person so unfamiliar that we clam up, hide in a ball or under a blanket and refuse to come out because doing that thing, meeting that person or going to that place is so overwhelming all we can do is shut down.

I have a feel experiences like that where I rearrange my schedule or find something else to do to avoid it, or pass on jobs that could potential be wonderful, all because the fear of the unknown is holding me back. I did it with a career in interior design, sometimes I do it if I’m driving to Chicago and once I lied and said  I’m no longer interested in that job.

It’s not taking advantage of all that life has to offer, not experiencing things that fall into your lap because you lack self-confidence. It’s being an introvert and knowing your limitations and not trying something so radical because you can’t see yourself doing that.

I took my job because it was sorta handed to me. I mean, I had to interview and I had a great interview. But I also had a really good temporary job experience that gave me confidence and I realized through that, that I can do pretty much whatever is put in front of me. I’m a pretty good employee and in the case of the temp job, I went above and beyond because I knew I needed a good recommendation when it was time to move on.

And being that it was I interviewed for a job in a field and a company type like no other I had worked for. (I’ve spent a lot of time in tech companies and in large banks). I’ve handled whatever was thrown my way and I’ve been successful. Though they were all merely a way to make money while I worked on what I really wanted to do, I always would do my best.

Knowing the temp job was ending, I interviewed for a job in the cosmetic industry at a trade association for small cosmetic manufacturers. I like makeup, clothes and shoes it seemed like a great opportunity. But as I learned about the job, part of my brain said, run, while the other part said, you need to learn to do more than write. Talking on the phone and meeting people, you could use that experience.

When I interviewed I made it known that selling, it’s not my strongest ability, it’s really not one at all. I also let my boss know that I’m confident that I can do whatever is thrown my way. I had a temp job to prove that. But in a way, I feel as though I’m a liar and a fraud, because, talking on the phone isn’t my strongest ability. I do it awkwardly because as a writer, what I can do, is craft a sentence. I can string two or more together to complete a thought. I can edit and I let what I say stew and churn in my brain until I say what I really want to. I’m a much better writer than I am a talker out loud.

I’ve been surveying members of this organization because part of my job is to update the database. It’s fairly straight forward but it’s tough because there are a lot of questions to go through. It’s stilted and awkward as I try to ask all of the questions. Now why didn’t I email these members first you ask? I did. These are the one’s who haven’t responded. And though I’ve made contact with a few, it’s hard to get in touch with people and many simply don’t call back.

It’s stressful for me to pick up the phone and ask company specific questions. I stall, I finish up other work, I check my email for the second, third and fourth time. I wring my hands until I finally make the call. In the end it feels foolish that the phone causes me so much stress. It’s really not as bad as I think it is when I finally check one off the list. I move on because the second part of my job is even more tricky. I get to call members and try to convince them to buy sponsorships with our company. But that’s for another day.

My point is I’m out of my comfort zone. A carefully crafted zone that I know, whether it’s good or bad, at least I know what to expect. Sometimes I wonder why I chose to say yes to a job whose skills I am simply uncomfortable doing and other times, I push the anxiety way down deep and realize at some point in time I have to act like a grown up, handle my discomfort and move on to something more. I mean after all, maybe I will get lucky and my book will sell and as a result I’ll be asked to do several interviews.

It’s all about communicating and finding the place best suited for you and sometimes it’s about letting go and finding your way to something better.

Inspirational Avenues – A guest post by CP Bialois

Inspirational Avenues – A guest post by CP Bialois

cp book cover

Hello everyone! I’d like to thank you and my wonderful host for allowing me to guest post here.

Let me start with introducing myself. I’m CP Bialois and I write in multiple genres from horror, thriller, epic fantasy, and now science fiction. I like a little of everything so I like to spread my wings and share my ideas with others. Besides, it’s much more fun to play without limitations, am I right?

Getting back to the topic at hand, I draw my inspiration from anywhere and everywhere. It’s cliché by now to hear that coming from a writer, but it’s true. The smallest things in life can often lead to the best stories. A perfect example of that is my newest book coming out January 15, 2014 called, The Last World.

Strangely enough, the idea for this came from watching a documentary about the making of the Universal classic The Creature from the Black Lagoon. As soon as they mentioned it was taking place in a lost world, the title and story came to me in a flash and it became my first ever NaNoWriMo project for 2011.

I find it funny in that my idea bears no resemblance to the classic movie, yet that’s where the inspiration came from. For all intents and purposes, I was in the right place at the right time. All I had to do was let the idea come and pay attention to it. Sometimes things just happen.

It was a great experience taking part in my first NaNo with this idea and seeing it grow into something I really enjoy sharing. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I did writing it and please feel free to share it if you wish.

Synopsis:

Franklin Bowen was an ordinary man with anger management issues until one day he finds himself drawn into something he never believed possible. Thinking he’s lost his mind, he resists the urging of a mysterious figure named Tanok who only appears to him in visions.

After seeing the desolation brought upon the immense interstellar human empire by a virus from a neighboring galaxy, Franklin is forced to reconsider his belief in what is real in order to help Tanok save mankind from extinction.

Will Franklin find the strength he needs to persevere, or will the Earth and its people follow what’s left of his sanity?

Any feedback is always appreciated. You can find me at any of the following:

Blog: http://cpbialois.wordpress.com/

Website: http://cpbialois.webs.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCPBialois

Twitter: @CPBialois

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5286504.C_P_Bialois

cp head shot

Ed White, AKA CP Bialois, is a former retail manager and jack of all trades turned author. One of the original members of the Writer’s Club, Ed currently has five books published and is part of an anthology under his pen name CP Bialois. His first novel, Call of Poseidon, is available in the Broward County Library system. Always willing to help, Ed offers his time to edit his fellow Writer’s Club members’ books as well as help his fellow authors in their endeavors. When not in the library writing, Ed can be found on twitter @cpbialois, Facebook CP Bialois, and his blog cpbialois.wordpress.com

The Quit Debate

The Quit Debate

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As I start this blog entry I’m really want you to know I’m not trying to whine or complain. I’m just taking stock of the last year and making decisions. This is really meant to be a look back and maybe someone, somewhere can benefit from my mistakes. Or maybe you can relate or maybe this will make you feel better because things aren’t as bad for you. Or maybe no one will read it. I can never be sure.

I’m seriously thinking of quitting. I’m not sure I have what it takes to be an independent author and maybe the last four years were simply the act of fooling myself into thinking I was actually a writer. Pros and cons cloud my mind as I contemplate giving it all up and I change my mind so fast that my head is ready to spin-off. I wish I had me to talk to when I started this process, when I decided to write my first book. This debate started when I released She Wulf and agonized over horrible reviews and it’s come to this because I haven’t sold a book in months. Granted I haven’t been pushing them, I’m just starting to think it’s not going to happen.

I know I’ve chosen a difficult path for myself and I know we all can’t be best-selling authors, but I was hoping for something a little more. I at least put myself out there and I tried, but honestly, bad and so so reviews make me believe that my work is just that, so so and bad. Either that or I’m failing miserably finding my core audience. Regardless, I’m finding it difficult to find the inspiration to keep at it. So if my legacy in the end becomes a cautionary tale for other writers so be it. I’ll just have to find that happiness somewhere else. In the meantime, I honestly feel like I have something useful to share. So here it is the many things I’ve learned about writing and publishing. I hope it inspires or helps, either way, it’s one perspective that not many chose to share.

1) Editing. Hire a good editor. My first go round I went through CreateSpace. I’m not saying their editors are bad, I’m just saying it wasn’t the perfect situation for me. I need someone who I could easily contact. Someone that I can throw ideas out to. Someone who intimately knows my book, story and characters. Before re-releasing The Day of First Sun, I had it re-edited. To this day I can still go to my editor, Ashley and ask her questions. She one of my biggest supporters and one of the reasons I’ve hung around this long.

2) Editing. Yeah. You really need to edit. Two drafts might be enough for some, but for me what I learned about editing is this, finishing one draft and starting the next one after only eight hours of sleep isn’t long enough to process your work, think about the direction or come up with new and unusual plot points or characters. I edited The Day of First Sun at least six times, one right after the other. When I decided to re-write it last year, I picked it up for the first time after a full year, and boy did I see it differently. So much so it became a complete rewrite. Though the story is the same, it’s really so different and I might say even better.

3) Editing. Again. See number one and two. Don’t be afraid to re-write, move, or edit out stuff. I tried so hard to create the world in the first book that I wanted to include everything, including flashbacks, spells, and creatures. Write them down and save them for the next book. As it turns out, I removed the memory modification scene from The Day of First Sun. I think I’m actually using that spell in my second book in the series.

4) Editing. And you thought it was something else. Make sure you trust and like your editor. This one is for Kira, who after I received horrible, mean and nit picky reviews for She Wulf , she kept me sane, was a great support and took time out from her busy life to teach me new ways to write and edit. I wrote Yeti with her help. She spent weeks coming up with lesson plans and going through the story re-teaching me how to write and edit my work. I can never thank her enough for doing this on her own time. Her support has been amazing. I wish I was a better student and had more to show for it, but because of her my rewrite of The Day of First Sun is far better than it originally was.

4) Write everyday. And you thought it was about editing again. Nope. I’m done with editing. I wanted to be a writer when I was seven years old. I did write a lot when I was a kid. I had my own detective series with a female detective named Jeffrie Marcus. (Thanks Nancy Drew.) When I got my first job out of college I knew it wasn’t going to be perfect and I knew I wouldn’t write a book at first, so I worked my way into a writing position so that I could do what I wanted and make money while I contemplated my first love. Eventually life got in the way of my dream. Kids, death, depression can muck up your life and they are things you can’t go back and change. It’s the one thing I truly regret is that I stopped writing. So if you want to be a writer, write even if that means you write a line a day.

5) Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, Tiberr, Instagram… Buffy had the Evil Trio as her arch nemesis. I have Twitter. You have to be social on social media if you are trying to sell your books. I have yet to master this which is part of my problem. Social media is not necessarily for introverts. I still have no idea how to make it work. I’ve hired help and she’s been fabulous increasing my twitter following and Facebook author page, but I’m still at a loss as to how to create these relationships the marketing experts always talk about. I’m trying to build a following but for me I think I just don’t know what to say. Find out who your audience is and what they are interested in and talk about that. If you figure it out please let me know.

6) The blog. Now here’s my problem with blogging. I don’t read blogs. I usually found the information very high level and not usually useful. Also, see number five. I just don’t know what to say. I’ve been reworking and rewriting trying to find that one thing that gets people interested and every once and awhile I hit on something that people want to read. But mostly it’s high level and quick because none of us has time to read lengthy material. What I do know is, talk about yourself and share. So here’s my sharing.

7) Don’t jump into self publishing unless you really know what it consists of. I jumped right away. I didn’t edit my work enough. I rushed without learning about professional editing, without talking to agents, or attending book fairs.  Talk to other authors, find out what’s out there. Find someone like me who’s willing to share the pitfalls. I’ve done this several times to other aspiring writers because I want them to go in knowing what they’re getting themselves into. I wish I knew.

8) You can’t please everyone. I have a writer friend who’s had the opportunity to talk to agents and others in the book industry. Each one of them has offered her suggestions on how to change her book. She’s made so many changes that the book is far from her original vision for it. I suggested she make changes that make sense and yet allow her to retain her vision. She’s rethinking her book because unless one of the agents is taking her as a client, she can’t try and please all of them.

9) You can’t please everyone but you can accept suggestions. As part of eight, here’s nine, similar and yet different. This friend once told me she really liked one of my characters, one that I had only written into the first half of the book. After discussing our books with each other, I realized she was right. I should include Jack Ramsey in the latter part of the book and planned how to do that. I figured an FBI agent whether he was in charge of the case or not would want to be there to see the case through and I had him conclude the investigation by being there to capture the murderer and arrest him. The second major change came after my editor pointed out that all of my relationships started before the book’s timeline and that maybe it would be more interesting if we saw the start of some of those relationships. I thought about it, agreed and changed one of the key relationships in the book. Jack and Annie no longer knew each other prior to the story. It changes how they interact and creates a little tension and confusion. Make the changes that make sense, because you can’t please everyone. Please yourself first.

10) Believe in your work. I love my characters. I love the story lines. I love my book series. I really believe I have a great idea for book series and a television show. If I don’t believe that I should stop writing.

11) Most importantly, believe in yourself. No one else will. You will find supportive and helpful friends but only you can write and edit and do the things you need to do in order to make your dreams happen and you have to believe that you can do it. If you don’t believe in yourself you won’t get very far. You are a writer, you deserve a chance to try to make it. We don’t always get what we want but if you have no faith in yourself, you will never achieve anything. And I discovered I believe that I can do this.

Am I bitter? Sometimes. Do I lack self-esteem? When it comes to my books, right now yes. But I’ve learned a lot in the last four years. And one of those things that I’ve learned is, I have a lot to offer. I’m a good writer with a good idea. It’s just going to take me a little longer than some. And in reality I was never really going to quit. I’m a writer after all and that’s what I was born to do.

Something to Do This Weekend – Bring the Tissue Please

Something to Do This Weekend – Bring the Tissue Please

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I just played this game on Facebook. Ten books that left a lasting impression on you. Don’t think, just type. I thought I’d share the fun. Some are heavy, some aren’t as much, but they are definitely a good read if you’re looking for something to do this week. Go for it. Have some fun. After all it’s Friday Fun!

1) Kiss the Girls by James Patterson. There’s a scene in there with milk and a snake and a girl locked in an underground hell. I read the book years ago. It still haunts me.

2) The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Written by a woman suffering from a form a mental illness in the early 1900s. Her husband sent her away to live in a summer home. She was tormented by the yellow wallpaper in her bedroom and swore she saw a woman trapped inside the hideous pattern. They both felt trapped and I felt trapped as I read the story.

3) The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I knew how the book was going to end, I knew it and yet I hoped they would kiss. I hoped he’d be okay. I cried when I finished the book.

4) Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume. It was the first time I was truly angry at a parent character in a book. It felt as though no one heard.

5) One Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hosseini I had to put the book down I was shaking so hard. I could barely finish it.

6) The Diary of Anne Frank Besides crying at the nature of the book, when she says “Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.” I marvel at her capcity for forgiveness.

7) Jepthe’s Daughter by Naomi Ragen. The father failed in his duties and left it up to his daughter to fix his mistakes and it almost cost her, her life. I seethed with anger for weeks.

8) The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides Abuse comes in all forms. This was horrible emotional abuse and even though you know the ending you still hope that they get there in time. It shook me up.

9) My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. I read it after my daughter died. And I wondered would I have another baby just to save her life if that were an option. I still wonder.

10) Any Nancy Drew book or most Stephen King books. Both had an incredible influence on me and how I think about stories.

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving used to be my favorite holiday. I have memories of both sides of my family coming to our house. I always have a sense of warmth. Even as I remember fighting my dad and brother for crispy turkey skin or making stuffing in my pajamas. I have to admit, I don’t enjoy the holiday as much now that I’m an adult. It’s a lot of work and it’s exhausting. But I do hope that when I host it at my house, my children will take away their own special memories of Thanksgiving to pass on to their own children.

I’ve seen people this year expressing gratitude on Facebook. I didn’t participate because some of my things I’m grateful for might not seem as normal as others. But we’re all different and we all have different experiences that make us happy and thankful.

I’m always grateful for my children. They are amazing kids, fairly well-behaved, good students and constant reminders that I should be present in my life, take a little time to stop and enjoy and spent some quality time with them. Sometimes it’s not always easy, sometimes I just have to turn off the computer. Annie and Cham will just have to wait.

I’m thankful for the people in my life. Some you get stuck with, some you let in because you like them. It’s not always easy but they and the experiences you have with them make you who you are whether you like it or not.

I’m thankful for two amazing editors, Kira and Ashley. Not because they edited my books, but because they offered me a level of support beyond what was required and it was that support which kept me writing. For whatever reason they chose to give more of themselves and for that I will always be grateful and thankful.

I may never meet the next in my list but they influenced me in ways that truly shaped me as a writer. I’m thankful all of the writers of Nancy Drew who wrote under the name Carolyn Keene. It was my first time reading mysteries. I loved them and have ever since. To Judy Blume I’m thankful for the lesson in writing about characters you care for. I might not always hit the mark, but it’s always in the back of my head as I try to draw a complete picture of who they are. To Stephen King, I’m thankful for the lesson in imagination, and thinking outside the box. I’m writing fantasy, anything can go, so let it flow. And lastly I’m thankful to JK Rowling for simply writing books that made me happy, but most importantly, reminded me that I wanted to be a writer. Without that little push, I might not have written my own books.

Lastly, I’m thankful for being me. For learning something from all of my setbacks and realizing that with a little belief in myself I might be able to get somewhere good.

It’s always nice around this time to remember what we’re thankful for. I can add so many other things and people and expand beyond my books or career but for now I’ll leave the list where it is. It’s a fluid and ever-changing thing as life moves about.

So what are you thankful for? Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Monday Monsters – Zombies and How to Date Them

Monday Monsters – Zombies and How to Date Them

I originally reviewed this book a few years ago and enjoyed it. I’m happy to reshare it with you now that the price has been reduced for your reading pleasure.

girls guide to dating zombiesPreviously Reviewed:

I expected chick lit. I expected a love story. The type of books I don’t reach for first. And then a pile a bricks fell on my head. Okay, I wasn’t that surprised, maybe one brick hit me in the face. But when I pulled it off and dusted myself off, I was very pleasantly surprised.

Hattie Cross writes for a tabloid in a world after the worse blight known to humankind. Most men in the world have been exposed to a virus that turned them into zombies. You could laugh here. Zombies unable to communicate beyond grunting, lack any hygiene and are only content when they watch the 24 hour football game. Call it kind of ironic and funny.

So what’s a modern girl in the year 2020 supposed to do? Who do we date when there are only 300,000 real human males alive on the planet? Well date a zombie of course. And Hattie is the expert having written the ultimate guide to dating them, where to meet them, how to care for them, feed them, medicate them.

And then Hattie has the opportunity to meet and interview her idol, Mathilda Stansfield. The brilliant woman who started the drug company which developed the drugs that allowed the zombies to live a “normal” life. You know, drugs to suspend the loss of body parts, the meds which keep zombies from eating human brains, and the fresheners that keep the decomp smell from overpowering the sensed making women pass out. Hattie jumps at the opportunity to meet the woman returned some normalcy back to the world.

This is where I had the most fun trying to beat Hattie to the conclusion. I tried to figure out the secret of the virus, of the drugs, of the woman behind them. I was half right and pleasantly surprised by the ending.

I’m not a fan of chick lit. Why should I spend my time reading about the life I’m already living? I want to read and be entertained which is one of the main reasons I like fantasy. And The Girl’s Guide To Dating Zombies, as awful as a virus that kills half of the world’s population would be, it seems funny in this setting, this particular virus. I couldn’t wait to find for the ending. I hoped Hattie would find what she was looking for and I cheered when she did.

The Girl’s Guide to Dating Zombies  $0.99 on Amazon today!

 

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