Sayonara Summer

Tags

, ,

Summer is on the verge of sizzling out and I’m waiting impatiently for the cinnamon-y goodness of Fall to sweep in.

Like most homeschool families on the Gulf Coast, we hit the books hard during the flaming months of public school’s summer vacation. Too hot to play outside, we hide indoors during the hottest hours and hit the pool in the afternoons and evenings for PE.

Now that summer is on it’s way out, we’ve upped the grade levels and my daughter has officially entered high school. Though it’s terrifying, I’ve really been having fun sorting through curricula and discovering just how many choices kids are offered these days for their classes. Growing up, Marine Biology wasn’t even option where we lived. Now, my children can choose Marine Biology, Environmental Science, Astronomy, and even Botony!

We already have so many field trips planned this year, and places like botanical gardens and science centers offer resources for all three of my kiddos.

Now, we just have to wait for the weather to cool off enough to hit our desti20160731_143004nations. Until then, we’ll hug our fans, blast our air conditioners, and dunk ourselves in the pool while we wave goodbye to summer.

Thought for the day: Ice cream anyone?

 

Corroded Kicks Butt!!

Tags

, , , ,

Hello readers!

Today I get to talk about two things I’m super passionate about: autism and great books.

One of my FAVORITE authors, Carrie Dalby, just released a new book called Corroded. Here’s the blurb:

Corroded-1800W x 2400H (1).pngFifteen year-old Mary Lou Weber is suffocating in her sister’s shadow. Though she struggles to break into the light and claim her own identity—and the attention of the cutest guy in school—something always seems to pull her right back down into the role of Barbara’s little sister.

Down the street lives seventeen year-old Ben Thomas, a lonely introvert who is captive to a sensory condition that makes it nearly impossible for him to stand in sunlight, much less talk to people whom he thinks could never understand his difficulties.

A new year kindles the friendship between a guy who pushes away a world and the girl who’s striving to find her place in it. Can the relationship help Mary and Ben find balance in a world that frequently seems too much to handle?

One of my absolute favorite things about this book is that we get a real insight into an autistic character. Having chapters totally dedicated to this person allowed me to go through his day and understand a little bit more about how he processes the world around him.CarrieDalby

When I found out that Carrie Dalby was open to interviews for her new piece, I JUMPED at the chance to be chosen for one of the free spots, and…I GOT IT! Well, now I get to
share it with you
guys, so here goes:

Me: Corroded is your second book to be published this year and is vastly different from your first book, Fortitude. Did you find it difficult to write in a completely different genre?

Carrie: Not at all. My reading interests are all over the place (so are my musical preferences.) It’s comfortable for me to write a variety of styles because I’m inspired by a variety or books, music, and art. Corroded was written first, but took much longer to mold it into something publishable.

Me: Ben, one of your main characters is autistic. What kind of research did you have to do to understand his behavior and write him realistically?

Carrie: My son was diagnosed on the spectrum in 2001 so I’ve been researching and living it every day. I’ve read dozens of books and blogs by people on the spectrum – they’re much more informative than what you can learn from professionals. Along this journey, I’ve come to realize I’m most likely an Aspie myself. Mary’s story took the most editing to get correct. Ben’ was easy.

Me: Your main female character Mary and her sister are named after famous songs. What inspired that?

Carrie: Music! My writing is fueled by music. I had this image of mid-century style, like The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet so that brought Rick Nelson on board – and Mary Lou. Location wise (California Coast) Beach Boys was the perfect fit, which gave Barbara Ann her name.

Me: What was the hardest part of this book for you to write?

Carrie: Getting the first draft done. I think it took about four years, maybe more. Rewriting is easier for me, and that was a blessing with this book because I took close to fifty revisions to get to what you can read today. From start to publication, it was a decade in the making.

Me: I don’t want to give any spoilers, so I’ll phrase this gently: There are some truly inspirational moments in the story, was there a part where you were surprised and felt “enlightened” by an event?

Carrie: I was surprised with how brave Ben became. He does something truly out of his comfort zone in one of the last scenes of the book and it just broke my heart to let him go there.

Me: (Had to wait for my heart to stop fluttering. I’m a total Ben fan!!!) If you could spend a day with any of the characters in the story, who would it be?

Carrie: My first reaction is Ben – we could hang around without having to worry about small talk.
But if I was still a teen, I’d pick Josh.
Where I’m at in life now, I’m more interested in getting style tips from Mrs. Weber. I admire women who can pull off Rockabilly chic.

Me: When the book ends, the reader feels so close to the characters and there is so much more room for growth and a future, can we expect a sequel?

Carrie: There’s nothing in the works, so I suppose it would be more of a “reader demands” type of thing. I won’t be against it.

Me: (After silently chanting “I demand it!”) Last question: This is your second book to be released. What’s next for Carrie Dalby?

Carrie: I’m currently working the first draft of a historical southern gothic horror, but I also have a contemporary middle grade project that needs revisiting. For now, I’m all in with the gothic while I enjoy the “everything-is-fun-and-great” stage with writing because I never know how long that phase will last.

 

EEEP!!! Gothic horror??? She really can swap genres. Well, I actually was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at the work in progress and…dude, I can’t wait to write you guys about it as soon as it’s available. Who knows, maybe I’ll get lucky enough to spill some beans before the release date!!!

Okay, that’s it for me this time, peoples. It’s 3:16AM and I’m really hoping to pass out soon. Grab Corroded here and chat with me about how you enjoy it. Also, I’d love to hear your thoughts or experiences with autism. This month is autism awareness, so help spread the knowledge and understanding.

If you want to read more interviews with Carrie Dalby about her new book Corroded, check out this link for more stops on her blog tour!

autism corroded

 

Thought for the day: Try taking at least 15 minutes a day to really study the world around you from a different point of view. The more we practice, the more we can understand others around us.

(Picture taken by my good friend Candice Conner, and a special thanks to her beautiful table which makes its appearance as “The Background”.)

The Painful Birth of a Character

Tags

, , , , , , ,

In case you didn’t know, I’m a writer. My focus is Middle Grade Fiction, more closely related to Magical Realism and sometimes straight Fantasy. I dabble with YA and Adult and poems and songs and pretty much anything that allows me to explore different mediums for my craft. I love trying new things.

Right now, my baby is a MG Magical Realism and I’m on book 2. Book two introduces a new character from Germany. I had lunch in a Japanese Hibachi place and the cook and I spoke while he dazzled us with his flashy knife skills. He moved around a lot and told me that he was once in Germany and stayed with a group of German Gypsies. My mind stopped and I didn’t hear anything he said for at least five minutes. That was going to be my character. I didn’t even know German Gypsies existed!!! I had to have a piece of that!!! It was perfect!

A month later, and I finally get to start on my book again after being bombarded with birthdays and club meetings and banquets and holidays. My baby was calling and I had to come back to my alternate world. My character, Nik, needed a background. So, I started researching…and my heart broke.

The German Gypsies, also known as Sinti, are seriously suffering from racism. The level of prejudice is insane! There are so many misconceptions about this race, and the whole are judged by the actions of the few who take to the streets with ill intentions.

I noticed I was getting infuriated by the stuff I was reading. On one side, everyone who learns of this horrible situation should be upset, but on the other, I was fricking FUMING!!!! It took me a while to realize (Okay, Hubby actually helped me realize it) I was so upset because I felt like they were attacking my baby. Nik is a German Gypsy, a Sinti, and what was his life like over there? A friend of mine, Carrie Dalby, told me to write my tears, and she was right. I began to form Nik’s backstory, writing as him telling a narrative of his life. I began to cry. I typed through the waves of tears and came out with not just an instant character in a book, but an individual with a past, a present, and hopes for the future.

As writers, we love our creations. We feel their pain and their joy. But most of all, what I am thankful for, is how much we learn from them. Nik has taught me so much and he’s barely begun the creation process. What more lies in store? What can I do to help the Sinti in this world? Will my creation of Nik have any bearing on how people see the Sinti?

What power will my words have?

Thought for the day: No character worth writing is born in the present unless they’re a baby. Everyone you create has had a previous existence. Dig for it.

Some Days, You’re Just Not Meant to Win

Tags

, , ,

“Have you ever had one of those days?” That’s a question almost everyone has heard in their lifetime. Why? Because we’ve all had bad days. But calling “one of those days” a “bad day” isn’t quite accurate.

You didn’t just stub your toe on the stairs or get stressed out by a child with a common cold. NO. Those are bad days. Or maybe even just bad events that can occasionally make you feel that you had a bad day.

So, what can make a bad day into “one of those days?” It’s different for everyone, but I’ll share my most recent experience. Well, experiences. Because, yes, these days like to travel in packs. I’m currently on Day 2 and praying it stops here.

I don’t want this to go into a huge pity party, but there must be some example here to show you what I’m talking about. And, honestly, by the end of the last two nights, I was so done with my day that all I can do is laugh.

SO… Yesterday, Day 1: Family stress too personal to mention kept me on the phone from 8 am to 12 pm trying to solve financial and emotional concerns regarding someone I care about very much. Then, around 2, I had to follow up the phone conversation with the person I was talking about and lay down some really hard facts and consequences. That conversation lasted around an hour. The stress and tension set off a fibromyalgia flare that left me rubbing my joints and relying on my pain meds to find relief. My wonderful, amazing husband, trying to help, decided to take me out that night for a break. After we left, we stopped by the thrift store to look for bar stools, failed and decided to go to dinner. Just before we get to the restaurant, he looks at me and states that he’s about to throw up. At this point, I just start laughing, because some days, you’re just not meant to win.

BUT, tomorrow’s a new day.

Enter Day 2: Though I’m still kinda worn from the pain and stress of day one, I can’t really chill at home, because of all the days to have an insanely busy schedule, it would have to be today. Between the hours of 7 and 3, I managed to spend a whopping 3 hours at home in between running errands and going to doctor appointments. By 4:30, I had to pick up two extra kids from a friend’s house to take them to a club meeting. My friend is taking care of her husband who is having some medical problems, so we also bring them dinner. We’re running late, but that’s not a big deal—it’s kinda what my family does. We’re always late. Club starts at 5 and we’re there around 5:30-5:45. After spending the next three hours chatting with my friends and being completely exhausted from my day, hubby and I gather the kids together and head to take the two extra kids back home…when our tire pressure light comes on. Now, one of the errands I had run was to the oil place where I had the pressure checked. My tires were fine! Not any more. We pull over at a local business (which was closed at 9:45 at night) and could already hear the air hissing from the tire. Yes, it was that bad. You could see the tire shrinking onto the street like the kiss of death between asphalt and rubber. I call my niece to come pick up the two extra boys, one of which is completely freaked out by the situation, so she can get them home before it got any later. Hubby calls another friend to come help us out with the spare because, apparently half of our jack is now missing after cleaning out the van!!! My niece arrives and drives off with the boys and two of my own kids. Hubby’s friend arrives to help out. Right about the time that we find out that hubby’s friend’s tools won’t fit our van, I also receive a text from my niece saying that she has gotten pulled over for a blown headlight. Once again, at this point, I begin to crack up because it hits me again…some days, you’re just not meant to win.

This post ended up being a bit longer than I intended, but it’s 11:30 at night, I have two pulled muscles from over-doing it today, my hubby is out in the rain trying to fix a flat tire, and going over on my word count is just the perfect ending to “one of those days”. But you know what? Some days, you’re just not meant to win.

Thought for the day…even though there’s only 30 minutes left in it: Today and yesterday may have been “one of those days” but I still have an amazing family that can laugh with me at the absurdities of life. I have friends who understand that these days are going to happen and refuse to disown me because their kids got caught up in it. And, of course, there’s always tomorrow.

Jaded Love Blog Tour!

Tags

, , , , , , ,

JadedLove_Holford-Miller_KINDLE-NOOK.jpgLast month, after the awesome interview with Carrie Dalby, I was asked to host an author TEAM for their new book release. Thrilled by the honor, I asked for a copy of the book (free books are my drug of choice) and dove straight in. I don’t have many romance books on my shelves, but the occasional love story does appear here and there. Jaded Love would be a nice addition.

Jaded Love, written by Kara Leigh Miller and Jody Holford, is more than just a cozy romance. This story is complemented on all sides by the darkness found in the world outside and the glowing support friends can offer. It’s not just about two people falling for each other, but two people finding their way back from truly damaging circumstances.

Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to get my fingers into the brain of these two authors. Let’s see what happened, shall we?

1.Jaded Love was a collaborative effort. Is this the first thing you guys wrote together?

Jody & Kara:We actually wrote Dangerous Love first- that came out last March and focuses on Josh and Alessa- who are supporting characters in JL.

2. Oh, I loved those characters! I was unaware that this was a sequel. I’ll definitely have to check out the first book. What gave you two the idea to work as a team rather than independently?

Jody: Kara 🙂 Anaiah Press held a contest looking for a co author. I entered and won.

Kara: Yes, because I’m full of myself like that. lol. I mean, c’mon, doesn’t everyone want to write a book with me?? 😉 Ha!

3. (At this point, my multiple personalities raised their hands. LOL) What was your process as partners?

Jody: A lot of Facebook messages to start. Even now, we talk almost every day. We’d throw ideas back and forth and then when we felt good about them, we’d put them in a shared google docs file. We’d take turns writing- reading what the other had written to catch up. We’d talk about events and big ideas that we thought should happen and how to weave the themes of faith, love, forgiveness, and trust throughout. If there was something one of us didn’t like or wanted to change- we talked about it. Kara is pretty easy going but she’s also got a strong ability to keep her eye on the big picture.

Kara: Jody’s pretty easy going, too, and man, can she write fast! lol. I thought I was prolific, but she puts me to shame. I often felt like I was a wicked slacker, but I think everything worked out well because Jody easily compensated for my weaknesses and I for hers. And, of course, we compliment each others strengths.

4. Aww. You guys seem great together. What drew you both to focus on this genre? From the story, it really shows that you both have a passion for it.

Jody: Thank you. It’s actually not a genre I would have thought of diving into but the contest happened and I wanted the opportunity to improve, work with Kara and have a story published. It’s interesting because the Christian aspect of it forces you to really convey the character connection without the physicality. So I think its strengthened my skills.

Kara: Yeah, honestly, this wasn’t a genre I ever thought I’d write, either, but as the Editorial Director for Anaiah Press (the publisher of Dangerous Love and Jaded Love), I was quickly falling in love with this genre and thought it would be fun to try my hand at writing it. And from that, the contest that brought us together was born.

5. Do you two have any plans to work together again in the future?

Jody: We chat back and forth all the time about ideas and have some on paper but we spend a lot of our time now supporting each other in our independent projects- bouncing ideas off of each other, working through plots- that kind of thing. I wouldn’t rule it out because when you’re both writers and you know your styles mesh and you’re constantly tossing ideas around- things come up.

Kara: Yeah, what Jody said! lol. We’ve started working on a fun new project together, but we both have so much else going on right now, so it’s not a priority, but I hope someday we’ll finish it and put it out there for the world.

6. Do you have any independent works available?

Jody: YES! Falling for Home just released through Penner Publishing and my second book through them will be out this month- Damaged. I also have some Christmas books available- Forever Christmas and Always Time for Christmas. Hopefully this is just the beginning.

Kara: Absolutely! I have a lot of secular titles available, most not suitable for Christian readers, but I have a young adult series releasing in May 2016. I’m super excited about that!

Thank you guys so much for an awesome interview. It was great getting to know you better and hearing all about what went into Jaded Love. Now that I know there was a prequel, I’ll be hunting that down!

Thanks to all of my great readers for stopping by again. Jaded Love is available now for purchase. I’ll be back soon with a new post! Later Readers!

Thought for the day: Man, I’m tired. It’s time to chill.

I Love…Gamers and Geeks

Basement Boarders. Home Hermits. Antisocial Weirdos. People like my family get called a lot of things. D&D’ers, MTG’ers, Pokemon Players and Video Game Gurus tend to get a pretty negative rep when it comes to getting out in the world and dealing with…the scariest word in our language…people. Yes. People can be scary. You don’t always know what to say, and really, we’re not sure how another parent is going to react when we bust out our Yoda voice or pretend to use the force to turn the TV on when the remote is hidden under our shirt.

Trust me I'm a unicorn

But, just as a tornado can hop and skip over houses or towns, some cities are blessed with a magic genie that grants every geek’s wish…a haven for people like ourselves. A place to make friends and whip out our hidden hobbies for the world (well, store) to see.

Our town was lucky enough to have one of these places pop up. Gamers and Geeks offers people like me and my Mel Brooks obsessed family a home away IMG_20160204_201352from home. These guys not only opened up a store, but take everyone in like family. My eight year old slams down some competition for people three and four times his age. My oldest son challenges adults who have a bounty on their head, with a prize going to anyone who can beat them at Dice Masters. A group of homeschooled kids meet regularly to cast some Magic the Gathering spells and kill some monsters. This place is a geek’s oasis.

Now, they’ve even expanded and merged with the book store 99 Comics, so I can educate my kids on some seriously important literature.

IMG_20160204_201318.jpg

See, geeks aren’t antisocial. We just need the right crew to get us. And when we find that crew…well…We love them.

Thought for the day: Everyone is a puzzle piece. Sometimes we don’t fit in, but at some point in our lives, we will find our place and make an awesome picture.

A Truly (Unexpected) Geeky Light Show

This year, my family and I went to Bellingrath Gardens in Mobile, Alabama to witness their famous Christmas lights. Now, this isn’t a small deal. USA Today  declared Bellingrath’s Light display to be number 6 in the country. People come from all over to see this place. It really is awesome. But this year, it was even more awesome than ever thanks to my kids and their geeky upbringing and their ability to see something totally…unexpected.

So, we’re walking along, marveling at the lights, when my middle child busts out with, “It’s the T.A.R.D.I.S.!!! We all look around for the blue lights and realize that he’s pointing at this:

IMG_20151216_180643

We died.

When his brain kicked in and overran his ten year old imagination that has the ability to masterfully distort reality, he was thoroughly embarrassed. BUT, the damage was done and he will NEVER live this one down. This goes in the family bank for his wife, kids and probably everyone at his wedding.

Okay, we calm down and get back into the twinkling Christmas magic. Then, my youngest, who never disappoints, busts out with, “Oh. My. Gosh. (Yes, he really talks like that.) It’s…a Nuka Cola.

IMG_20151216_182943

This one, I kinda have to admit, I’m proud of. It totally looks like the Nuka Cola Quantum from Fallout 4.

My daughter and niece were there as well, but they were old enough to understand what everything was. However, they kept us entertained with smart comments and punny jokes throughout the evening as well. Yep. Hubby and I are never bored with our family. We have proudly raised our kids to be geeks and see the world from a unique…and sometimes unsettling…angle.

IMG_20151216_182740

By the way. Happy New Years, readers. I hope your 2015 was great, and I hope your 2016 will be even better.

Thought for the day: Though it may be best to see things for what they are, never be afraid to imagine what they could be.

I Interviewed Carrie Dalby!!!!

Normally I’m a full-on sci-fi/fantasy reader, but there’s a book that kind of opened up a new category for me—historical fiction. What book could pull me out of my literary comfort zone? That would be this book here:

fortitude 1600x2400.png

 

 

Fortitude by Carrie Dalby.

Why did I like it so well? Sassy MC who rebels against the system in a time where doing so could actually be worse than death, plus a completely realistic feel! Yes, I will be reading more of these.

 

 

Recently, I was given an invitation to interview Carrie, and of course I jumped on it! A new book that I loved AND I get to interview the author! Awesome opportunity. Before I go straight into the interview, here’s a bit of info on Carrie Dalby: 

CarrieDalby

Born and raised in California, but a resident of Mobile, Alabama since 1996, Carrie Dalby is a homeschooling mom with a love of literature for young adults and children. Some of Carrie’s favorite volunteer hours are with Mobile Writers Guild, SCBWI, and Metro Mobile Reading Council’s Young Author workshops.

And, for a look into the gem that sparked my new interest in historical fiction? Here’s a little bit about Carrie’s book, Fortitude:

Growing up with a Creole best friend, sixteen-year-old Claire O’Farrell held little regard for the Jim Crow laws and the consequences of befriending those of a different color. But once she leaves the haven of her home on Dauphin Island, the reality of racial intolerance can no longer be ignored. Though she’s underage, Claire makes the bold decision to serve alongside Loretta, her best friend, in the “colored cafortitude 200x200mp” hospital tents during the Spanish-American War, but her idealistic attitude and choice of working location immediately puts her in danger. Claire gives her heart to a soldier in the camp, only to find herself caught in the racial violence besieging the area. When the intolerant attitudes and stigma follow her home, she clings to her faith to navigate through her social isolation and find the path she was meant to travel.

Well, I guess I should stop making you guys wait. Here’s what the lovely author had to say for herself:

MeLeesa: I understand that Fortitude is in the genre of historical fiction. What kinds of research did you have to do?

Carrie: I researched off and on for five years before the first draft was complete. I read non-fiction and fiction books, browsed Spanish-American War essay collections, searched the 1898 newspapers on microfilm at the local history library, and sorted through hundreds of photographs from the era to find visuals for my characters and settings. Even after it was accepted for publication I had to go back and find a few more details during the editing process to get all the facts accurate to try to please my editor. Not until line edits were in did I truly feel done. But now that I’m having to talk about the story, I feel the need to brush up on the facts, once again. It’s a vicious cycle.

Wow! That’s a lot of work. Do enjoy history?

Carrie: Not originally, but I’ve developed a fondness for it.

MeLeesa: [laughs] After all of those hours, I’m sure that’s a good thing. Can you give us a preview of some of the characters we’ll meet in the story?

Carrie: To help simplify, I’ll focus on the main Camp players:

Claire has a pure heart, naïve attitude, and a temper. Loretta is sophisticated, a romantic, and stubborn. Auntie is smart, joyful, and opinionatedly sassy. Samson, while noble and chivalrous, can be too single-minded when it comes to matters of the heart. Abe is knowledgeable, gentle, and has impeccable integrity. Dr. Christiansen is honest, protective, and permissive.
Nurse Hodges… well, I’ll just let you see her for yourself.

You can look at inspirations for characters and places on my Fortitude Pintest board: https://www.pinterest.com/wonderwegian/fortitude/

MeLeesa: Is there one character that you consider your baby, or favorite? Is there one you hate?

Carrie: My baby would have to be Kevin, Claire’s little brother. He was originally “Kevan” but his traditional Irish spelling was updated during developmental edits. He was the first character I focused on when writing the short story “Of Goats and Gators” that Fortitude spun out from. There’s an old picture of a goat in a tree on Dauphin Island and he was the keeper of that goat. (See my Pinterest board to catch a peek.)

One I hate? Oh, there are a few stories there. I’d say Nurse Hodges, but she’d do something sinister. Or I would say a certain guy that I had distaste for in the first draft—and plotted him into nothingness in my outline—but he won the hearts of my critique group and eventually showed me his worthy side during the first draft. No spoilers!

MeLeesa: Okay, no major spoilers. But I have a feeling I know who you’re talking about. [I whisper in her ear my suspicion.]

-At this, all I could get was a sideways glance and raised eyebrows. All writers have their secrets!

MeLeesa: When you were writing, was there a point where you were surprised by something that happened?

Carrie: Yes, many times! The dude mentioned above (he-who-shall-not-be-named) as well as someone else’s destiny, which indirectly affects the first, so I can’t name that person either. One ended with laughs and the other tears. I shouted “He has to—”

Are you trying to trip me up?
Do you want spoilers?
Those stains are difficult to remove from your blog, you know.

MeLeesa: [Laughs maniacally] I want all the juiciness! Okay, okay. What’s next for Carrie Dalby, author? Can we look forward to any more upcoming releases? Are you working on anything new?

Carrie: My second novel, Corroded, is a young adult contemporary scheduled to release April 12, 2016. I was blessed to work with the same editor, Sean Connell, on that book as well. He bristles at my improper use of commas and hacks away my adverbs. But since he tolerates my sarcastic remarks I like working with him. Sean talked me into trying gothic horror, so I’m currently working on a first draft in that genre. I also have three drafts of a contemporary middle grade novel shelved, for now.

MeLeesa: I thoroughly loved Fortitude, but I don’t have a lot of experience in choosing historical fiction pieces. What would you suggest for my next read?

Carrie: Teen or Middle Grade?

MeLeesa: Let’s be adventurous. Give me one of each. (Little secret here, MG is my genre of choice.)

Carrie: Copper Sun by Sharon M. Draper (teen) is an incredibly moving story.
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi (MG) is my second favorite novel of all time, to date.

MeLeesa: Awesome! Well, now I have to stop by the library and pick up my next tale to devour. Thanks so much for giving me the chance to meet with you and to do the interview. I had a great time. Is there anything you would like to say to my readers before we’re done?

Carrie: Don’t be afraid to read outside of your typical genres. There’s good stuff out there–try it. [laughs]

Ouch. Schooled by the interviewee. I guess even I still have a few lessons to learn. Ha ha ha. So, readers, hope you enjoyed the interview. If any of you have the chance, pick up a copy of Fortitude by Carrie Dalby and let me know how you liked it! If you’d rather download her book, just click here to purchase it on Amazon.

I would have a thought for the day, but I’m going to let Carrie’s final comment speak for me. Goodness knows it was a great lesson for me!

For more stops on Carrie Dalby’s tour, click here: https://anaiahpress.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/follow-the-blog-tour-for-fortitude-by-carrie-dalby

UPDATE: If you want to check out one of Carrie Dalby’s book recommendations, check out this link to win a copy of Avi’s The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle! Talk about awesome timing!!

Back in Action

Hey guys! Sorry I’ve been out for so long. Health issues kind of suck that way. But don’t worry, it’s nothing dangerous or deadly. And, I’m doing MUCH better now. I even got a new set of wheels out of it!

IMG_20151207_145944

I only have to use it every once in a while, but it helps when I need it. I’ve got plans for this thing though. I’m wanting to deck out the wheels with the flash symbol and have a nice, yellow bat on the back. Not sure what else I want, but I HAVE to make this thing more me. Any ideas? Superheroes, Anime Faves, and all things Geek are welcome.

The best thing about being back in action (other than spending more quality time with the family) is that I can finally get back to writing again. Too much reality for a writer can be a total downer. I need my fantasy time. Mythical creatures, epic battles, and smart-mouthed comedians…wait, I think my kids cover that last part. Anyways, it’s nice to get back to my worlds.

As for the incomplete contest. I have a winner…a few months late. (Seriously sorry about that, dude.) Chris Conrey, you are my Marvel vs. DC winner. If you can send me a message at meleesaswann@gmail.com, I can get your info and get your prize in the mail to you.

Well readers, expect to see some Christmas pics soon. DON’T expect snow…we don’t really have that here on the Gulf Coast. But, we’re going to go see some awesome Christmas lights soon, so I’ll definitely share some of those. Until then, Merry Christmas!

Thought for the Day: Kittens and Christmas trees are a dangerous mix…I speak from experience.

The Piano Guys Hugged Me!

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

Okay, so a few weeks ago, I finally got to cash in on my Christmas present from last year. My bestie and I rented a car, loaded up, and headed to North Carolina to see my favorite group, The Piano Guys, do their thang in Raleigh.

100_7975
It. Was. Amazing!!!!!
The night was misty, and we did have to bring out our ponchos, but at least the heat wasn’t smothering. The evening began and the music was perfect…until the train came and totally threw Steven off his game. LOL! Click here to see that video.

100_7989
After watching John play with his feet, Steven thread his cello bow through piano wires, and Al and Paul join in for a few numbers, the performance was over. On to the meet and greet!

100_8012
Bestie and I made sure we were the last ones in line. I get kind of nervous and feel rushed when I’m in a group of people like that, so hanging at the end with open space was worth the time it took to meet the guys. When we finally had our chance to meet them, the coolest thing happened. They ALL hugged me!!!!

20390284545_02ccb634d6_c

No, it’s not a crush thing or something like that. I honestly feel that hugs best display the amount of appreciation I have for people, and The Piano Guys have provided me with so much inspiration and joy, that I wanted to show them how grateful I am and how much I respect them.
It really was an amazing night. If you don’t know who The Piano Guys are, click here and check out some of their videos. This one is my favorite!

Thought for the day: Play a beat. Hum a tune. Air guitar every day.

Contest Announcement: I was still unable to get in touch with the winner from the last contest, so a new winner has been chosen and they will receive an email within the next 24 hours to alert them. Thanks for participating!

Don’t forget to go to this post and leave a comment to enter a chance to win our current contest.