Tuesday, December 29, 2009

HALLOWED CIRCLE & CONTEST

So...it's that day. Release day. I'm so excited!!!!

There's no big party planned, but I feel good about it. Hallowed Circle was just so much fun to write. That doesn't mean it wasn't work, writing is always work, just sometimes doing the work is really enjoyable. Or maybe, as one of the panel titles/suggestions going around for MARCON indicates, All Writers are Sadomasochists. :-)


I dedicated HALLOWED CIRCLE to my son, Logan. He just got his driver's license. I think, in spite of the snow, I'll let him drive me out to some lunch to celebrate. (The plows have cleared the roads.)

AND

How about, since I'm feeling celebratory, let's see if anyone out there reads this little ol' blog of mine. Let's have a contest. (Feel free to let others know via FB/twitter, etc.)

One condition: You have a shipping address in the USA.
One three-part rule: Leave me a reply, tell me who your favorite VICIOUS CIRCLE character was and why.

I'll give it a week--until noon EST on Tuesday January 5th. I'll take all the entries and copy the names, pull one at random, and post it by 2 or 3 pm. Then, you'll have to check back and see if you've won. (You'll have to email me your address.) If the winner doesn't respond within 48 hours, I'll pick a new random winner who'll have the same 48 hours, etc. If those terms sound good to you, please enter!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Big Furry Balls or The Hazards of Holiday Pre-shopping

There I was, minding my own business, walking around a Shall-Remain-Nameless store with my writing pal, enjoying the conversation far more than the red-and-green visual overload, when what to my wandering eyes should appear...but items that sent my overactive imagination into fits of laughter and wicked delight, only to find my mind had gone sprawling down the path of goofiness. Oh wait, that path is well worn. Yup, my mind goes there and back again so much the grass won't grow.

Check this out: Big Furry Balls.


















Available in two sizes, no less. My plaid flannel fashion aside...I can't decide. Do these things need some googly eyes hot-glued on? Or do you think these furballs need to stay on the store shelf in case the werewolves they were snipped from come looking for them?

Friday, November 20, 2009

SQUEE! Good news!

Happy Friday everyone!

I’m so excited—I’ve got TWO big news-bits to tell—and I have to share NOW so I can get back to my “happy dancing” so I can settle in for the java and get to work .

First, I just signed the contract for the fourth installment of Persephone Alcmedi’s story! It will be called Arcane Circle. WOO-HOO!

Second, somehow my publisher Simon & Schuster/Pocket/Juno has acted in that vast labyrinth known as Publishing-Things-that-Happen-though-I-Don’t-Understand-How and sold foreign rights of the first three Persephone books to a German publisher. How do you say “Groovy!” in German?

C’mon, Happy Dance with me! And have a FANTASTIC weekend!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

COOKIES!

BoldI received the most adorable invitation in the mail and it is mega-cool in 3 ways--a feat that your average piece of mail simply cannot compete with.

First, this thing was hand made. HAND MADE. Read that again. HAND MADE. Someone, in this busy world of ours, someone with small children, took the time to MAKE this adorable invitation.

Second, this is well done. Did you notice the little cookies? The detail on the gingerbread man? Maybe you can't see it in this picture, but OMG, is he cute! Being totally artsy myself, this is one of those things I can point to and say, "That is awesome," with a certainty that you should all simply accept. :-) For clarity, I have sons, not daughters, so 'scrapbooking' and this kind of craftiness is...well it's not going to happen in my world. So, when I see this, it's special. It's not just a paper card or invitation. It's a show of talent that speaks of time-taking and care. It's technically still just paper and ink, but somehow it's...warmer.

And third, I've been invited to a cookie exchange. I've never been invited to a cookie exchange. I love to bake. Cookies, brownies, cakes, cookies, and oh, did I mention cookies? (Notice pies are not in that list...) I make oatmeal scotchies with chocolate chips and pecans that my kids swear should be sold in stores. And that is high praise coming from the Oreo fiends I'm raising.

But back to the cookie exchange. This is such a no-brainer idea--whoever you are, wherever you are, get your friends together and do this! (That's an order.) You won't have to get the various supplies to make a bunch of different kinds of cookies, and you won't have to go through and clean the mixer and the beaters a dozen times. Once. Once. And then: you get to have a party and see all those friends before the busy-ness of the season sets in, yet you have your snack stash ready whenever anyone comes calling! (Perhaps freeze a variety of cookies is separate baggies and pull out a baggie to thaw when you know someone's coming!) This is one of the most brilliant things ever and I am delighted to have been invited. (Thank you, S!)

Imagine how YOUR friends would feel if you spear-headed such brilliance as this in your circle and invited them? Even if they're not bakers per se, they can do the cookie dough roll from the store and add little candies to the top or something, right? Cookies can be as easy or as involved as you want them to be. You choose. And since the holidays are about spending time with the people who matter to you, combine them.

There you have it, my nudge towards peace and goodwill in the name of cookies.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What I've been working on...

The leaves are raked. Let me say I love my boys, they are typically wonderful helpers. The youngest, we'll call him Future Stunt Man, was up this morning, breakfasted, and ready to rake WAY before I was. But I consented, only half way through my peppermint-choco-java fix . We raked. He's a dandy little fella. Other than taking advantage of this fabulous weather to do the outside work today, I've been deciding on a con schedule for next year, and updating the website for a big reveal late next month to celebrate the coming release of Hallowed Circle. Yes, we're almost there! (It's available for pre-order...as is Fatal Circle, the third installment for the Circle Series.) I'm working on book four...we'll keep the title a secret for now... HA HA! And also doing a little work on a side project-mwahahaha! Yeah, I'm chugging that much coffee.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My Doctor's Excuse...

Word of the Day: remissness. "Negligence in the performance of work or duty." I, people, have been remiss with my duty to this blog. I can't believe it's been over 3 weeks since I posted something. YIKES. Here's my Official Doctor's excuse:


So. Deadlines are met, for now. Book four is being plotted, titles bandied about, and --doctor's orders-- I purchased a new pouch of Millstone or Mills Brothers or whatever coffee Kroger carries. Chocolate Velvet. Mmmm. Ever have a piece of Red Velvet Cake? YUM! My ma makes the BEST. I make 'em quite good myself. But this java, with my usual additions, OMG! Tasty.

Speaking of coffee...I have a funny story to share:

Long ago, when I attended OSU Mansfield, my afternoon classes were in--gasp--English. Specifically creative writing. (Another gasp, huh?) And though I enjoyed the classes, I also enjoyed good java. So I always brought my own cup from home. Now, granted, I'm a mom of four and not your 'traditional' student at this time. Meaning I'm not a twenty-something. One day, as one of these nice young girls held her paper coffee-machine cup in her hand, she asked me, "Why do you bring coffee from home? I mean, there's a coffee machine downstairs in the cafeteria. It's hot and it's cheap. Doesn't that get cold?"

My answer: "Yeah, but honey the coffee machine downstairs doesn't add a splash of Kahlua." I take a drink and 'ahhh' appropriately.

That's me being a Rock & Roll Bad Influence. In my own little way.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I'm Bad. Again.

I should be posting more. I know. I should finish up th Tarot thing I started. I know. But I have really good excuses. Not only did I have to recoup from Dragon Con, I was hit with an allergy attack, and I have a major deadline. But this past weekend rocked, got over 6,000 words written and am ready to wrap up book three, FATAL CIRCLE and have time to tidy it up nicely so the wonderful editor won't knock me over the head for using certain words too many times. :-) And stuff like that.

I'll be back to the Tarot as a Story Prompt thing soon!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Things I Heard at Dragon Con...

Finally recouping from the event, I am able to blog about it and I must say...I had an absolute BLAST (no Star Wars/Star Trek pun intended) at my first ever Dragon Con. As the picture below may show, my grin couldn't be stopped. That's my writing-group pal Laura Bickle in the white wig--her fabulous book EMBERS will be out next spring. Conan the Barbarian didn't know how close to doom he truly was with a giddy writer on each arm.















This is a list of phrases I randomly heard in wandering amid the 20,000+ folks at Dragon Con:


"Respect the Codpiece." (Okay, so this one wasn't actually random. Gary of the Ambiguously Gay Duo --SNL-- said this to me.)

"You sooo wouldn't look gay in that shirt."

"I love seeing celebrities. It makes me feel like I'm somewhere important."

"I found Jesus. Twice! And he's a mean drunk."

"Was it good for you, or not?"

"F**k Delta Airlines."

"If you cut the zombie penguins, I quit."

"These panels always make me feel dumb and inobservant."

"I haven't been dumpster diving since college."

"Let me exterminate you with my love."

"No matter what it looks like, it's not a hangover. It's con fatigue."

**Mumbled by man taking photo of man in Alien costume: "I bet his nuts are sweatier than mine."



This was Dracula, a dream come true meeting (please just ignore the mood-killing restroom sign over our heads). Allow me to clarify, that is not camera shake creating that blurriness. There was something mystical and dreamy about the experience. I felt blurry in Vlad's presence and it had nothing to do with the margarita.






And here is the Holy Grail of Pirates...Captain Hook.

And last but not least, Davy Jones, who--as fate would have it, shares his name with one of the Monkees. He is, if you recall the movie, a musician as well. Not recognizing my groupie attitude, he politely reminded me that he could move each of his tentacles individually, as if I didn't know he's wicked awesome on the pipe organ. (That was not intended as a smutty reference but as I type it, yeah, I find myself venturing there...).

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

TAROT as STORY PROMPTS part 4

Today, in this sporadic little blog series, (apologies...tis the season of Backtoschool, and during Backtoschool, there volcano Kidsindenial always erupts) I'm going to take the cards so far and develop a storyline. A decidedly NOT urban fantasy one but I think you'll see how it can work. And, today's card is the 4 of cups.
Recap:

6 of Cups : past dreams tested
TOWER : breakdown of structure
10 of Swords : difficulty at an end
3 of Wands/FOOL : new journey with potential and a risk
4 of Cups : dissatisfaction
Ooooo. Dissatisfaction. Sing with me, the old Rolling Stone's...Can't get no...dissatisfaction.
Yeah, silly. I know. But in a story, there has to be some bumps. If it's all happy-happy its probably a false--I mean embellished--autobiography. Conflict is interesting and character building because we see how the character deals with it. Stir things up!
Let's build this thing. (Build yours any way you want. Mine below are examples. Use your imagination!!!) First, I say I have a female protagonist. We'll call her Jane.
6 of Cups: Past dreams tested...let's give her a past that's decidedly NOT happy happy, but could have been. HER PAST: Jane was a dancer. She had great dreams, but she fell and badly broke her leg missing her Big Opportunity, and in the recovery months, she let it go due to depression, false friends, and parents who wanted her to be a nurse. She met a guy, Adam, we'll say a man with a high-stress job and a penchant for drinking too much. He's abusive.
TOWER: breakdown of structure Here, she sees an opportunity. The dance studio in town is hiring, or is for sale, for the owner sees her and, remembering how she used to dance, offers to let her take over, with the promise of selling it to her as this person is looking to retire... Jane tells Adam. He laughs at her. Tells her she's stupid for even thinking she'd know how to teach anyone to dance. (Maybe she still walks with a limp and a cane...) She hates him, but he is her only means of support because she never finished nursing school. She sees that she's stuck and prays for way out. A week later, he gets drunk and beats her up, bad. He says terrible things to her, demeaning things. He goes to get more liquor; is killed drunk driving.
10 of Swords: difficulty at an end Abusive Adam is dead. But she grieves him. And there was no insurance, no savings, no means to pay the mortgage. She considers the dance thing again. In the past weeks, the dance studio owner has suffered a heart attack. Is hospitalized, and not expected to recover. The studio is closed. Jane wants to re-open it, start her own cash-flow, but now there's no one to teach her the ropes and gradually let her take over. She wants to take action, to do something, but the evidence of Adam's abuse rises in her self-doubts as her own thoughts take on his voice "You're too stupid to make it work." etc.
3 of Wands/FOOL : new journey with potential and a risk Jane sees the means to make her future work in this dance studio. But she has no business sense, hasn't danced in years, and uses a cane now...how to instruct when she can't display the moves herself? She goes to the bank and works out the details of a loan to re-open the dance studio and use the house as collateral. The bank's loan officer takes the paperwork submitted and says they'll consider the loan, etc. She could lose her house if they accept and the studio doesn't work out.
4 of Cups : dissatisfaction Now, as this card is about emotional dissatisfaction, let's give her alot. Mwahahhahahahaaha! Another local person with serious clout, is revealed as wanting the dance studio space for his own, and he intends to make it a bar, or a strip club, or some other kind of establishment that is anti-kid, or un kid-friendly. This gives Jane another reason to fight, for the benefit of the kids at the studio, but this guy's clout makes him seem an obvious better choice by the bank. AND, let's say the bank's loan officer is an old flame of hers, who she is not interested in. He's married, has kids--daughters who used to be students atthe dance hall--and during the time filling out papers, he was making advances on her. She needs him to say yes to her loan...whatever will she do?
Heh heh heh heh. Ain't this fun?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

TAROT as STORY PROMPTS part 3

Okay, so I didn't call it Tarot as Story Prompts before, but dang it, I didn't plan this. It's just kinda happening so I'm rollin' with it. Hope it triggers some creativity in somebody out there!

So, if you haven't read the previous posts, go back and read them.Yes, in honor of back-to-school season, this is your homework. Go on. I'll be here when you get done. I'll play a game of 4 card Spider Solitare while I wait....

Oh, you're back. Good. You know the character you've started has had a rough patch. So what's next? Here's what we have today.




Three of wands.




and the Fool.

Why two? Because that's what I wanted. I drew one, then to clarify, drew another and combined them. When using the Tarot as prompts, as often in life, you do what works.


Let's say the 3 of Wands tells us that there is hard work ahead, that the foundation for this work is already complete, and some early success indicates this project has real potential. YAY! Happy things for this character. Then add in he Fool, which represents a new phase of life(works with the 3 of Wands), but the clarifying element here is this: this new phase of life is one that comes with a risk. It means your character has to jump into the journey whole-heartedly...yet this character can see how she (your character may be a he, but I'll use she pronouns here) is either going to land wonderfully, or trip over her own feet and look foolish.

The point is this: Regardless of the landing, she's jumped. The journey has begun.

Easy enough, right? Character has bad things happen, she deserves an upturn. But it's not all cake. Here's an opportunity to reinforce that character, to define her...after disclosing the pain of that falling Tower card, the character's risk here should hearken back to that time and bear a resemblance to it. Even better is if this moment can call her to prove that the lesson was learned, or show that it wasn't.

C'mon now, the creative wheels are turning. Get out your paper or a new document and start writing down some notes. Go back to the other posts and start building a character and her story. You might be surprised what you get.

I'm going to use an example in my next post, so stay tuned.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ten of Swords + STORY PROMPT


The Ten of Swords is the card that indicated the end of some difficult situation is at an its ending point. The pain suffered through that ending is acknowledge here, but implies that the road before you--if you've learned what you were supposed to learn--can be travelled with less conflict.

Think about the previous post's card...the Tower. Did it inspire some character for you? What happens when that positive turn toward the goal is the painful falling of the Tower? Now...what happens when the smoke clears? What goal is left for that character? Get them started forward. And make us wonder if they've learned that lesson...

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Tower + STORY PROMPT

Recently, I posted on the Six of Cups. I said it was nostalgic, that sixes are about balance, and blah, blah blah. You should go re-read it because I am going to contrast it with today's card, the TOWER for a cool story prompt. I love doing this, and I thought it might be nice to share.

The Six of Cups "refers explicitly to the past, and of memories and good times experienced there." (I'm quoting the post because you likely didn't go and re-read it.)

Now, take todays card The Tower...





The handbook for the Mythic Tarot says, "...the Tower will fall anyway, whether we are willing or unwilling, not because some malicious external fate decrees it, but because something within the individual has reached boiling point and can no longer live within such confines."

The Six of Cups expresses a positive turn toward the goal... can that turn BE the falling of the Tower? What kind of story would that be and what kind of character would make that story interesting adn compelling?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

CONTEST!

Go check out a post on Divination and a blurb at author Linda Hilburn's blog:

http://paranormalityuniverse.blogspot.com

Leave a comment and you'll be in the drawing for a free signed book! Of course you'll have to check back Tuesday evening to see if you've won...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Six of Cups

Sometimes a card comes up that just makes me go, "Huh." I guess I have been thinking about people, places, and experiences from my past, but I didn't think I was doing so with enough weight for it to influence the drawing of a card. At first glance, the 6 of Cups is nostalgic, and sixes are about balance, and good will.

But ata-tarot.com says more, and makes a LOT of sense to me now. Have to share.

"This card is the only one in the Tarot that refers explicitly to the past, and of memories and good times experienced there. After losses such as those on the Five [of Cups] we sometimes have to take a time out to heal, to look back on the past and all the good that lies there. And during such times it's never the right thing to focus on the negative, and that's why this card is so positive and full of light. The fallen cups are now full and upright again, but with blooming flowers that cannot be spilled or washed away. Now that you have looked back, maybe now the way will be clear to look forward." and "The Six of Cups almost radiates an aura of joy, because it represents the past with all its memories, the present with all its gifts, and the future with all its wondrous opportunities. It has ties to all kinds of pleasure, particularly sexual pleasure, but it can also refer to smaller, everyday pleasures. Simple gestures of affection, such as the gift of a cup pictured on the Rider-Waite version of this card, are still meaningful despite our modern world and its frantic pace. The Six of Cups can thus signal a gift given or received, or some other similar gesture."

Sometimes, the little things aren't so little.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Knight of Wands

I love this card. I just do. It's movement to me and if you know me, and read the ata-tarot meaning, you'll understand perfectly:

http://www.ata-tarot.com/ says: "There is no card in the Tarot that portrays such daring and enthusiasm as the Knight of Wands. His energy and courage are boundless, and he has no fear of anything; while this sometimes serves to get him into trouble, these are also the means by which he can free himself from any detrimental situation. There are few times when he does not move with the speed of a flash of lightning. When he rides into the area he always kicks up dust behind him..."

http://www.salemtarot.com/ says: "The energy of this card is that of action and movement. Harness this energy, but remember to “ground” yourself. You must think clearly to accomplish your goals. Don't get caught up in the situation: take time to think things through before you act."
I've recently harnessed the energy of the Knight for certain. Yesterday I cleaned up a storm, and didn't write one single word on the book. And it was nice. It felt good. (weird, huh?) I have to admit, my mind wanders as I'm running that vaccum, as I'm wiping down the microwave, changing bed sheets. What if Menessos did this? What if Johnny does that? And then the kids give me the "she's lost it" look when I chuckle to myself.
Sometimes, the best ideas blossom when your hands aren't poised over the keys, when you're not sedentary staring at the screen with just your mind racing. Sometimes, it's in the moving itself, like the mind has to move forward because the body is moving. It's not always about sitting in front of the computer.

Monday, August 3, 2009

I have been accused of...

...spoiling my kids. What do you think? Is turning their fenced play area into a mini-military base complete with Special Forces flag atop the command center and helmet-topped fence posts and camouflage flags the stuff of spoiling? We have signs to declare it Alpha Base but haven't yet put those up.

If those kids hadn't helped stir up the Quikrete for those fence posts (okay using the hose was the fun part of this) and hold the fencing while it was being nailed in, if they hadn't helped me shovel all the mulch (4 yards of it) into the wheel barrow to fill this area, if they weren't helping with the signs, if they hadn't held the nails and screws and stuff while I put up the flag holders and helmets (okay, so I think power tools are fun), then yeah, maybe they'd be spoiled. But they helped. And I learned I have some good workers.

It's worth it seeing them stalking around the yard with their nerf guns and light sabers (one or the other usually tucked down the the back of the their shirt-necks as if holstered or sheathed) fighting off some imagined beast with the other neighborhood boys and then suddenly everyone's swinging and sliding. Yeah. I have plenty of popsicles. :-)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The MOON

Oooo...the moon! (She'll be full in about 6 days!)

This is a card a writer can work with. Check it out:

In her book Solitary Witch, Silver Ravenwolf says this is a card of "Intuition; deception; night work; instinct; struggle for sanity; change; possible confusion; magick; gossip; stuck between a rock and a hard place; self-esteem issues; empathic."
And http://www.salemtarot.com/ says: "When the Moon appears in your present, things are not as they seem. Deception of one’s self, or from another, is strongly indicated. Extreme caution when dealing with others is advised. New information comes to you, possibly in dreams or through a vision. In any case, when the truth is exposed, it must be dealt with. Accepting the darker, wilder side can bring peace; denial only brings chaos."

Presently, I have some characters dealing with a bit of this....mwahahahahaha!

The WORLD

Okay, so I've been gone and neglected my tarot of the day for a few days. I've been busy. I need more hours in the day. Like 12 more. Would we all really have mental breakdowns if we had more time in each day? (K says so in MIB.) I mean don't egg farmers control chicken's day/night environments so they lay more eggs? Wouldn't we be more productive too? Just think, 36 hour days, and you still work only 8? That's 10 to sleep, and you still have half of the day left for all your chores, helping the kids with homework, and just relaxing. Wouldn't we all be happier?

Anyway. So, on with the card.

http://www.salemtarot.com/tarotcard_The_World.html says, "The World is the twenty-second card in the Major Arcana, and is given the number 21 to indicate the subconscious mind of the High Priestess (2) uniting completely with the conscious mind of the Magician (1)."

Now there's something that hadn't occurred to me before. And how the central figure in this card is often considered a Hermaphrodite, that blending of female subconscious and male conscious is made a bit more interesting.

Salem Tarot also says, "A figure dances in the center of a giant victory wreath. The creatures that symbolize the four elements have materialized, taking on more realistic forms." and "The dancer passes through the wreath, entering a new phase of development, holding two wands. These wands channel the energy outward and inward, in an endless flow. The Wheel has come full circle, and the Dance of Life begins again, coiling ever upward toward divinity."

A fascinating card, to be sure. But there's more!

"The World is a card of unlimited potential put into experienced hands: the opportunity of a lifetime. Its image literally states “the sky’s the limit”. If you have been waiting for your chance, this is IT. You have the tools to accomplish your goal, and the door is open. The World is a card of action. Of all the Major Arcana, only the first (The Fool) and the last (The World) show movement. While The Fool is like the dawn of creation and its promise, the World is like the hallmark of self-actualization. The benefits indicated by this card are truly as limitless as the cosmos it represents."

And who doesn't want to hear that the door is open?

Friday, July 24, 2009

WANNA WIN SOME BOOKS?

All you have to do is write some haiku! Go check it out at http://chickwriter.livejournal.com/287279.html

teaser detail:

write a Haiku with the theme of any of the following (choose one or more):
-- vampires -- Texas -- werewolves
-- shapeshifters -- summer


For ALL the details follow the above link! You could win Maria's books and mine! So put your little thinking caps on--yes, even the one's with the propellers on top--and write a Haiku!!!




These are Maria's books...what great covers!
And GREAT stories too!!!






------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kiera Kelly is a a Texas heroine born not only of shapeshifters, but of fey...


YOU WANT TO WIN THESE BOOKS!

YOU WANT TO WIN THESE BOOKS!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Fool. Again.

We've seen this one before...and recently. Hmmm.

I gave your the definition from The Mystic Eye last time we saw this card, so this time I offer the definition from a website I'm rather fond of. (Italics are my doing, not the websites.) http://www.spiritualguidancetarot.com/judgment1.html "When the fool card is drawn you are about to embark on an adventure or you are in the midst of a course of action that has some degree of newness and excitement to it. A great deal of potential lies ahead. It is important at this time to maintain balance. In this card the young man dances along happily. He is fully in the present moment and enjoying himself very much. He isn't caught up in the past and he isn't worried over the future... he is fully present and aware. This allows him to make the most of the potential of any given moment. At this time you benefit by pouring all your energy into the task at hand - if you get too caught up in wonder/worry over the future or spend too much time looking back you stop moving. You can only discover how much you are capable of if you are willing to make the most of the circumstances you find yourself in presently and learn from them as you go. This is a card of fresh starts/new beginnings.

So, with edits about done, I'm going to pour all my focus into that, then move back to BOOK THREE and "make the most of the circumstances" the characters have found themselves in...mwahahahaha.

So...what do YOU take from this card?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Star

FROM: http://www.ata-tarot.com "...the Star will light your way. Its light is not a blinding flash like the lightning bolt of the Tower, but a soft radiating glow that warms and comforts..." and "When you cannot help yourself, the Star tells you to look to the heavens for guidance. Or, more appropriately, look to the spark of divinity that lies within yourself that you could not see or acknowledge before. Each of us has a little piece of the Star deep inside, waiting to cast its light into the world to light the way." Also, "The Star is a card of faith, both in your own power, and in powers greater than your own. ... What exactly is faith? It could be said that faith is a conscious belief in an unconscious experience, of which we may not be directly aware, but of which we can still feel the effects. This definition fits both belief in a deity and belief in your own abilities. Having faith in any power will allow that power to manifest in your life. Believing that something will happen is as sure a way as any to make it happen."
See the above website for more, as their explanation of the card is long and detailed. It's a great site, very insightful, referencing other cards in their explanations to make a full understanding of the Tarot, not just this single card.
I've been drawing many Major Arcana cards. I wonder what that's all about???

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Judgment...

Again with this site: http://www.spiritualguidancetarot.com/judgment1.html
I just really like this one!

The Judgement card (misspelled the correct spelling is Judgment...just a bit of trivia thrown in there ;) ) represents fairness, discipline, control. It is a merciful card not harsh and it calls us to be more disciplined and fair with ourselves. Don't settle for less than you deserve whether that is at the hands of others or by your own hands. When this card comes up you are asked to look at yourself and your situation with a high degree of honesty. Are you truly doing what is in your best interests? or merely what you "think" you want? In this card the Angel Gabriel sounds the trumpet - it is a wakeup call to look for your higher purpose at this time and live up to those higher standards. Accept and honor yourself enough to do the right thing even if it isn't necessarily the easiest thing.
Whoa. Heavy....

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Magician & my weekend...

http://www.spiritualguidancetarot.com/magician1.html says the Magician is "...the ultimate card of manifesting. In this card he points his hand to the sky and looks at all the elements on the altar before him. When this card comes up your thoughts/beliefs are about to take shape - this can mean an enourmous surge of determination and creative energy or it can indicate challenges due to negativity. When you catch yourself saying "I can't" what you believe will manifest, but fortunately the opposite is also true, when you believe in yourself and are determined positive goals will manifest for you as well. Take your energy and consciously direct it towards positive thoughts and actions at this time and you will get a lot accomplished!"

No more negative self-talk! Not for me or for you out there!!
I met this weekend with someone who influenced me in the past, through simple honest encouragement. We talked about many things Friday, but the most important thing, the thing I want to share with everyone is this: the seed you plant, an idea, a pat-on-the-back, an encouraging word --or the negative flip-sides of those-- has the potential to grow in those you plant them with. People can, through their self-talk, nurture those seeds, for good or for ill, and that may be what flourishes in their life. Granted this is up to them, what they do with what they are told, but if there are people in your life whom you care about, take the time to be honest and be encouraging. You never know what may happen in twenty years that they might thank you for. (That's how it worked in my case, anyway....)
With that said, I'm off to write, write , write and manifest those words onto the page!!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Made the PNR List!

SQUEE! Follow the link below to see the complete list!



I am certainly delighted to be included. Thanks to Missy and the PNR staff!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Botanical Gardens of Cleveland



It was an evening of research. Warm but breezy, and despite the free concert nearby, it was quiet. The sounds trickled in like the ghost of a concert. Few people were around and I preferred it this way, being a Mojito-virgin & a Cleveland-Botanical-Gardens-virgin before this camera-in-hand stroll. The refreshing Mojito kept me from becoming parched. I only had to adjust one pic for "leaning."
No Tarot today. The world feels like all is right.





Wednesday, July 15, 2009

3 of Pentacles

Today its a quickie post...

A cool Tarot site to visit: http://www.ifate.com/cardoftheday.html


Today their card is the Three of Pentacles. Meaning: "Work: An emphasis on the fundamentals of hard work and the fulfillment of seeing a job done well. Advancement and new opportunities come through diligence and perseverance."


Let's hope so. Now, I'm off to do research at the Botanical Gardens tonight.

Monday, July 13, 2009

3 Card Spread; NRRRadio

http://www.llewellyn.com/free/tarot has options of the spread you randomly draw as a reading, not just a single card spread. I went for the smaller three-card spread and selected the Shapeshifter Deck, a deck that I am unfamiliar with. I got:
*) Transcendencein the Past position. A card in the left position indicates what has happened to affect your question in the past.The seeker has progressed to a time of renewal in a new cycle of life. The opportunity to be reborn is at hand, but the seeker must make the decision to make positive changes.
*) Seeker of Earth: Tarvos in the Present position. A card in the middle position indicates what is affecting your question at this time. Like the bright light of the sun, you are unstoppable. No one can deter your forward progress.
*) The Journey in the Future position. A card in the right position indicates your questions future. A time of revelation and understanding are at hand. Doorways and opportunities open unexpectedly, their importance depending on the foundations you have laid in the past.

I cannot show the card pictures this time--trust me, they are lovely. Or don't trust me and hit the link above and see what you get!

Also, I went and hung out at NRRRadio (www.nrrradio.com) last night and ended up being interviewed rather impromptu...or at least I was surprised. I'm naive. :-) A bunch of wild guys with their own station. Can you say dangerous? They are outrageous, and get to say whatever's on their mind. It was a blast to hang out and see behind the scenes. Stay posted as there will be a book giveaway in the future. I will give a heads' up!

Friday, July 10, 2009

KNIGHT of CUPS & the weekend off...


http://www.salemtarot.com/tarotcard_Knight_of_Cups.html says: "The Knight of Cups, dressed in blue to denote his sensitivity and emotional nature, signifies a dreamy, caring, loving individual from your present. This Knight pursues his thoughts and fantasies, and intuitively attunes to the needs of others. He may signify a lover who does not wish to commit, who is attractive, but passive. He does what he believes in, and is considered a charmer...someone you know, or is this you?"

To me this is a card indicative of the true romantic, or the spirit of romance. So I guess I'll be working on that romantic element in the WIP. And since I intend to use this weekend to get a lot of work done, I'll post more Tarot on Monday!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

ACE of CUPS



Whoa. I got an Ace for yesterday's Tarot of the Day too! Hmmm...


http://www.learntarot.com/sa.htm says of these Ace pairs... "An Ace-Ace pair shows that a new spirit is entering your life." It draws the energy of the Ace of Swords "intelligence, reason, justice, truth, clarity, perseverance" and adds "the Ace of Cup's deep feelings, intimacy, attunement, compassion, love."


For the Ace of Cups specificially it also says: "Using emotional force: getting in touch with your feelings, letting your heart lead the way, empathizing with others, expressing deep feelings, responding viscerally. Developing intuition: trusting your inner voice, responding to messages from within, experiencing direct knowing, enhancing your psychic awareness, getting in tune with yourself, going with your gut reaction. "


I think the card is attuned to my WIP. Hee hee.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

ACE of SWORDS



The suit of Swords deals with the mind and intellect, and here with the Ace, as with all Aces of the suits, you see that raw energy is available.


In Silver Ravenwolf's book Solitary Witch, she sites the Ace of Swords as, "A striking new idea, using your intelligence to attack a problem in a new way, a personal victory."


My own interpretation is more along the lines of "adversity will teach you to see things in a new, creative, and beneficial way."


Well, on Monday, I had the Two of Wands indicating that I'd solve some of my "writing time" issues, and I'll take this as "problem solved..."

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

QUEEN of CUPS



The Queen of Cups is a dreamy, secretive, creative woman. Hmmm...could this be me?


http://www.sacred-texts.com/tarot/gbt/gbt70.htm says: "The personification of the soul on the house of Capricorn, the Tenth, manifesting into the world that which it carries. As such this queen is to us the image of the married woman and the mother and of all that which woman can give to man and mankind, by her virtue both of soul and body. So the card must also mean the realisation of hopes and wishes, consequently success, etc. The 'wisdom' is here more of the practical blend, usefulness, knowing how to act with care and prudence."


Wow. Would be nice to be such a fabulous sounding person, huh?

Monday, July 6, 2009

TWO of WANDS


The Two of Wands, in my interpretation is indicative of a new partnership, the forming of a new goal--especially a creative project, success, and overcoming obstacles and hardships by using your own initiative. It's a goal card that says you've got an idea that has potential...now get to work and make it manifest!
The suit of Wands typically deal with Communicating, as a writer...hmmm, communicating is kind of a thing for me. In novel form. So, I of course like this suit.
http://supertarot.co.uk/minor-wands/two.htm says: "...the Two of Wands means taking control of the territory around the action" (indicated by the ace of wands) and, "Making something one's own. Making a statement of ownership."
I've discovered that having the kids home from school is as much of a writing distraction as I feared it would be...and overcoming this obstacle, is only done when I buckle down and make it so. I have to make writing time my own. When I don't "take control of the territory around the action" (i.e. my writing room...) I don't get much done.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

THE FOOL

THE FOOL

http://www.themysticeye.com/info/tarotcardm.htm defines the meaning of this card as: New beginnings, new adventures, new opportunities, unlimited possibilities, pleasure, passion, thoughtlessness, rashness.

Since I am embarking on a Fourth of July camping excursion, I'll take this as the new adventure. *And I may not blog tomorrow...*

I hope you all are doing something fun with people you care about this weekend!

Friday, July 3, 2009

THE HANGED MAN

www.ata-tarot.com/resource/cards says: "As the card of the paradox, the Hanged Man also urges you to look at things in a new and different way. If your mind is yelling at you to do something, then doing nothing could be the best thing to do... don't try to force anything to happen while the Hanged Man is about. By trying to force changes, you ensure that they never happen. Relax and let things happen instead of trying to interfere. Instead of fighting against the current, let it take you wherever it is flowing."

My experience with this card concurs. My take is: What you're trying to do now won't work that way, change your approach. So, for that scene giving me trouble, today I'm going to work differently. I may even skip ahead to another scene altogether and come back to this one later. But I'm in a different room (bedroom, not office), different chair (okay, so it's not technically a chair...I'm stretched out on the bed with my feet up), and even a different computer (laptop instead of desktop). C'mon progress....

Thursday, July 2, 2009

High Priestess

http://www.ata-tarot.com/resource/cards/ defines the High Priestess this way: "...arguably the most difficult of the Major Arcana to qualify with words alone, because so much of her power and ability is veiled in mystery..." and, "She is, above all else, the base of potential that is the source of the power wielded by the Magician. She is the unlimited potential that allows him to transform and create whatever his Will desires. Understanding this type of balance, as found between potential and creation, masculine and feminine, is the key to unlocking some of the mysteries of the High Priestess. We see the clear progression of the theme of balance; instead of integrating opposites, the Priestess keeps them separate and keeps them in balance nonetheles. She herself is the scales; this symbolism is found in many Tarot decks. Without this balance there can be no power."

Here's a link to a free one-card reading site: http://www.spiritualguidancetarot.com/freetarotreading.html Their interpretation of the card says: "Take time for meditation and reflection. In the stillness our answers often make their way to us. If your mind is too busy with its chatter you cannot hear this silent wisdom. Be still and listen to your intuition/higher power at this time. "

So, for me, today I'm analyzing the work I've done so far on the WIP (Work in Progress) and make sure I'm accomplishing what I'm aiming for.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

TAROT of the DAY, relaunch

I know, I've done the Tarot of the Day thing before and kind of drifted out the habit.... Deadlines can do that if you're not vigilant. So, yeah, I'm going to try to be more vigilant. And, if I forget, you can always follow this link (you'll need to put it in your fav's list so you don't have to come back and find this post...) But this is a pretty cool link and it gives you a choice of decks, and spreads.

http://www.llewellyn.com/free/tarot.php

So, without further adieu, the Tarot of the Day is: Ace of Pentacles.



MEANING: A prosperous cycle is now beginning. Material success is now within your grasp. With a little effort, this time could be the beginning of a profitable career.



Wow. Isn't that cool? I swear I didn't load the reading. Totally random.

Friday, June 26, 2009

CONTEST @ the League!!!

Please go over to The League of Reluctant Adults blogsite @: http://reluctantadults.blogspot.com/

Not only are there a bunch of very talented and entertaining writers over there who you should be reading...but Kelly Meding, whose debut book comes out this fall, has been kind enough to do an interview with me, and have a contest in honor of my soon-to-be-out book, VICIOUS CIRCLE! (Scroll down...there it is!) In the interview I reveal some electrifying events from my rock-n-roll past, heh heh, and you can be entered into a drawing to win a signed copy of VICIOUS CIRCLE by leaving a comment or asking me a question in the comments section. The contest is open all weekend, so--in a moment between the awesome things you're all surely doing this weekend-- stop in and say hi or ask me a question and get yourself in the running for that free copy! Kelly will conduct a random drawing, and I'll mail the book out!

And, when you're done with that, zip over t Kelly's site http://www.kellymeding.com/ and read about THREE DAYS TO DEAD, her novel coming this fall. SOUNDS AWESOME! You'll want to add it to your to-be-read list!

Monday, June 22, 2009

New Moon, as in the actual moon... & SQUEE!

(this post has nothing to do with the upcoming movie that has everyone all gaga)

The Moon is New. So what does that mean?

The moon cycles through two phases, waxing and waning. Waxing means the moon is going from dark to full. Waning means the moon is going from full to dark. Simple, right? Waxing, that dark orb filling up, growing bigger and brighter every day. Use this time to draw the good things to you, making your life better and brighter, too. Examples are, good new habits, like studying, exercising, making time to write. You get it. And, of course, flip it for the second phase. Waning means the moon is emptying out. During that time you want to sweep away the bad things like negativity, doubt, heartache, bad habits (you know your vices & you which should go & why). With a little creativity, you can apply this simple pattern in a variety of helpful ways.

Try this:
Decide what you want more of, what positive qualities do want to bring into your life?

Success? Happiness? Love? Decide, then spend the next two weeks building up a daily affirmation. Make it a simple phrase that you say with some task you repeat every morning. I say mine while stirring the chocolate into my coffee. You're laying the groundwork for a better regime of self-talk, and you should feel a positive vibe, a good change. To keep it going, as the moon shifts to waning, change your affirmation to a simple phrase the releases something negative that is in the way of that goal.

You can do it! You own your mind, and only you can make your self-talk positive. Be your own cheerleader, just don't carry around the pom-poms, okay? No negative inner-monologues!

And as for my SQUEE!!!! I received a package in the mail today...two copies of VICIOUS CIRCLE, hot off the press! WOO-HOO! I actually got to hold in my hands my first published book! What an amazing feeling! And what a great day for it to arrive. :-)

8 days 'til VICIOUS CIRCLE hits the stores....

Friday, June 19, 2009

LITHA/MIDSUMMER/JUNE 21


Both are other names for the Summer Solstice, and yeah for those non-magical folk out there, this means the Druids are partying up at Stonehenge again. Jealous? I am. Well sort of. I'm not feeling up to traveling like that right now.
That said, the Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year, and is marked by a celebration of the sun because, obviously, it’s at peak power. So go get your stones, rings, necklaces, earrings, whatever, and set them on a sunny windowsill or porch rail to charge. As long as you trust your pet not to knock them off, or your neighbors not to swipe them, that is.

But let us not forget the fairies, for Litha is also the Feast of the Fairies. It is said that, at twilight, the portals between the worlds is open…think Hallowe’en, when the veil between this world and the next is thin, only this portal is to the fairy world. It is said if you welcome them, you'll be rewarded. However, try to avoid stepping into the middle of any mushroom rings... if you do happen to fall through, try not to eat their food. Not even Emeril Lagasse will be able to satisfy your palate if you return. (Emphasis on the if right there.) The Bard used this celebration as the backdrop of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and chocked the cast full of fairies.

Of course, if you’re of a more Druidic tradition, you’re gonna wait three more days and celebrate Alban Hefin on Wednesday. Druids follow a half-year cycle where the Holly King and Oak King take turns ruling as the consort of the Goddess. That changing of the guard occurs on the solstices, and Summer Solstice (not to be confused with the cool chick-sportster by Pontiac…) the Holly King takes over until Yule. Christians use this time to celebrate the Feast of John the Baptist, following the Druid timeline because…well, they ripped off a lot of holidays and renamed and reshaped and them. (They weren't the first to engage in such maneuvers. Nor were they the last. American's have allowed their holidays to be taken over and the true meanings diminished in light of retail bottom lines somehow. Wake up people. Shopping is not a religion. Coupons are not tickets to salvation. Receipts are not proof of tithing.) (Sorry. The unwarranted rant is over.)

Midsummer rituals include personal purifications and healing work, as well as charging gems and/or ritual objects with the sun's power. For some, it is the time to make of mead (honey wine, mmmm). So, on Sunday (or Wednesday, if you prefer), if you're doing anything else, take a moment to soak in a few rays and have a warm thought. Consider how your life has grown this year. What have you planted? The harvest is coming. When the day is done, look up at the night, you may see the is moon a slight, slight cresent...waning and soon to be dark, or new. Check back then. I'll have something to say about New Moons as well.

this pic is available as a background at http://www.knowth.com/stonehenge.htm

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

No Stirring Cocks & More "Geeks"














First, for my writing pals, check this out:

Interesting tidbits and ideas about writing and web-book promotion here:

http://www.mywritingblog.com/writer/2009/06/guest-post-seven-ways-to-use-one.html

What do you think? I think I'm too lazy--um, I mean busy, yeah--I'm too busy writing to do all that stuff, but there's some interesting ideas there. Maybe I could incorporate some of it.

And don't forget, it's Wednesday. THE GEEKS COME OUT AT NIGHT is on! Tonight is part 2 of the radio broadcast the OHIO WRITERS NETWORK did with SYRINX at http://www.nrrradio.com/ at 8 PM EST. BE THERE. It's, like, an order, dude.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

BLACKNESS TOWER

BLACKNESS TOWER by Lillian Stewart Carl
www.lillianstewartcarl.com

Okay, so I had a bit of the outpatient surgery and have been rather unmotivated about moving around. So, of course that meant I had to curl up with a book from the ever-growing to be read pile.

This one, for some reason, was near the bottom of said pile, but it had been high in my mind as one to read soon. I'm bad, I know. It takes me a month or so to read a book because, well...I have a bunch of boys and a couple of dogs. They need me (to feed them and clean up after them, anyway).

This book, a Gothic romance of past and present, had mystery, Scotland and magic! It held my attention until I'd finished...a mere 4 days later. (A miracle for me!!!) Lillian's words are mysterious and evocative, lush and--at times--eerie. The characters are very well drawn, and the tale, I found, was very intriguing and delightful.

I'm not one to review books, or read reviews of books. (I read the cover and decide from there if the book is for me.) However, Lillian's writing skills shine in Blackness Tower. Her words were so haunting and moving, they just SOOO created the imagery for that little cinema in my head. I had to share.


FIND IT ON AMAZON HERE: http://www.amazon.com/Blackness-Tower-Lillian-Stewart-Carl/dp/0809572028/omnivoracious-20

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Geeks Come Out at Night


That's the title of a radio program, a web-based radio program that is, and it's based in Cleveland Ohio! I'm not tech-savvy, but Nyte's Realm Radio sounds like a cutting-edge idea, one that will perhaps make traditional stations re-think how things are done!

A brief history (lifted right off their website): NRR was started in 2008 by DJ Nyte for the sole purpose to provide entertainment for the internet user. NRR began as a simple project by DJ Nyte with web creation, broadcasting, programming, and show entertainment governed by DJ Nyte. NRR has now grown into a complete interactive station on the internet with a staff providing the tools to help the listener to listen to current dance music along with entertainment provided by internet jocks.

So why am I telling you this?

Because at MARCON my writing friends and I met up with Syrinx and Co. and recorded an interview that will be aired tomorrow evening!

Geeks Come Out at Night(Syrinx) June 10th 8-9pm est A show based on you and your fandoms! http://www.nrrradio.com/ Of course, our "fandom" is about books!

NRR provide a 24/7 continuous stream that is easily accessed from any computer connected to the internet. I hope you'll tune in and check 'em out!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Totally Lame Post

This is my puppy-girl. Her name is Bela. Can you see, she's smiling for her picture?
Just had to share. I warned you it was a lame post.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Post-MARCON Post

Was that title redundant?

Well...there we were. What fun we had! Despite it being not-so-heavy into books, I met many folks who were delightful, entertaining, friendly, chatty and fun. I love that the people who go to such efforts on their costumes (and OMG, do they make astounding efforts!!!) are "in character." Klingons roam around and act like it degrades them to ride elevators with human scum, then you see 'em playing poker with a table full of regulars and it cracks you up. From Ghostbusters to Jenga Fett (whom I mistakenly called Boba Fett...my mistake, and I realized it after you'd gone), Dr. Who-ligans (get it...hooligans???, hey Brig, I made a funny!) to Stargate crews, from the Joker to Tia Dalma, MARCON is sooo much fun.

Here's some pic's I snapped, but I did not take as many as I should have.





















Thursday, May 21, 2009

Going to MARCON

Tomorrow I will be heading out with writing group friends (ever good company to be in!!!) and visiting Columbus for the Multiple Alternate Realities Convention, or MARCon. Always fun, good panels, costuming, and a little Rocky Horror for good measure. Will take pictures and, hopefully, provide a report on the quality of local margaritas or, perhaps, the availability (or lack thereof...) of decent Stouts. Of course, I will post pictures and some general bookishness comments. (I'll give highlights of panels I get to see, and mention any awesome authors I get to meet...) My writing group, well it's not MINE but I'm a part of it, the OHIO WRITERS NETWORK has a table there somewhere and we'll be promoting our books--I'll have an excerpt available and Laura Bickle has EMBERS coming out next year. She's doing a gift card giveaway (5 gift cards worth 10 each, so sign up! you have 5 chances to win!), we'll have CANDY (yes candy!!!), and there's talk of a room party Friday but my details aren't clear yet, so stop by the table and say hi! (Don't be shy. And did I mention there's candy?) We'll fill you in on the scoop.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Totally Geekin' Out


In spite of having a crappy couple of days, last night brought my grin back in force. The honey and my 2nd eldest went with me to see STAR TREK. Now, the honey said he's seen maybe one episode of Star Trek. "The one with, um...tribbles?" he said. Totally non-geek. The boy had probably better Trek knowledge than the honey, but then he's my boy.

And, in preparation for leaving, I frowned and said, "Wait...I don't have anything Trekkie to wear." Jim promptly replied, "If you do, I'm not going with you." He proceeded to mumble something about weirdo's decked out as Klingons. I told him, "You would make a GREAT Klingon, with your long curly hair and goatee and stern eyes." All he needs is a ridged forehead piece and armor and those groovy boots with the sharp horn coming off the toe like a Velociraptor claw. He could even wear the boots on stage when he plays. (Very heavy, prog metal.)

As it turned out there were seven people in the 8:30 showing. We accounted for three of them. Concerned about this, I expressed my fear that perhaps I couldn't live here...there aren't enough Trekkies. I'm almost a lone geek in this town. (I don't think most folks here realized we had a sneak peek or that it opened on a Thursday.)

Regardless, I completely enjoyed this movie. I won't spoil anything for anyone out there, but THIS MOVIE IS AWESOME. Go see it! Plot is great, acting is great (they pegged the original cast down to mannerisms and everything!), CGI is perfect. Tension, action, explosions. What more could a girl want in a movie?


Admittedly, I shed a tear at the start...I mean the opening credits, not any kind of action scene. I did this because...well...my dad would have been there with me and, in spirit, he was. As a kid he always took me to see these movies, since I had enjoyed the syndicated episodes (followed by Kung Fu). One of my clearest memories is from the summer when the Wrath of Khan came out. My mom was babysitting another girl my age and he took us both to see it. (Khan was sooo scary!) I remember it being hot outside, but the theater was cool, almost cold. And I remember those Ceti Eels Khan puts in the ears of Chekov and Terrell. (See? I am a total geek. I know these crazy things.) That scene made me pull my feet up into the chair with me, as if Ceti Eels were slithering all around the floor of the theater eating dropped popcorn. That scene still squiggs me out.

Sigh...there's just something about seeing the USS Enterprise NCC 1701 swing by, see the nacelles flash and zip into warp that makes a girl (well this girl anyway) smile.