Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Use Your Downtime To Imagine Characters

Another holiday has come upon us, and we share our family traditions with others around us, or relax and enjoy the quiet time away from the hassle of work.  Either way, it is a great day to give the writer in you fuel for more writing.

Watch the people around you, the crazy relatives, the busy neighbor, or the noisy children playing with their new video games.

If you spent the day in solace, it is still a great time to think of new ideas for your stories.
Either way, use your time while you unwind to be creative with your imaginary characters... tomorrow we will all be writing again.

Watch for funny quirks, facial movements, reactions, strange clothes, weirdo hairstyles, nervous twitches or bizarre ramblings....  they just may make a great attribute for one of your characters.

Keep reading - Keep writing!

Happy holidays

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Countdown To Holiday Season - Think Minimize!

Store front covered in lights
Now that the official Thanksgiving holiday is over, and we had black Friday shopping days (which turned into weeks this year), now we are all bombarded with the annual store count downs...

The leading department stores  need our sales to meet all the sales' projections they reported.  So they throw ads at us - coming from every direction - and we are led to buy things we didn't even know we wanted!  We are sheep being led to the cash registers.

I am pleading to all who read my posts - this year think about what is really important to YOU.  Minimize the list.  Don't just buy something because it's on sale, or because you think you have to give a gift, or feel guilty for cutting back...

I am proposing that we all cut back, and buy only what is truly needed to give as gifts, only purchase thoughtful gifts instead of expensive, and remember we cannot buy love or affection.


New idea - Book Christmas tree
One more idea - if you do want to give someone a thoughtful and loving gift, then please purchase a book!  It is a gift that opens minds and keeps giving, over and over again.

With this minimal approach
 we will gain much -  
  • peace of mind  
  • more time to talk with our neighbors, and loved ones
  • more time to write and read.   To me - that is a holiday gift in itself!

Keep reading - Keep writing!



Thursday, November 28, 2013

I Am Thankful

This past year so many things have been learned and shared, and I can only be thankful for the loving people around me, and those I connect with on-line as well.  Thank You!  It was a year filled with learning new skills, writing new stories and creating.

There are always challenges but to overcome them and move forward, that is truly a blessing.  To be alive and have a chance to create each day is a joy, a privilege, and something I am truly thankful for - happy thanksgiving to all.

Enjoy your freedom, your life and the people around you, no matter where you are.  May you be blessed, and a special thank you to our troops.  Thank you for keeping us all safer in this world.

Happy thanksgiving all.
Keep reading -Keep writing!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

SMILE - Do YOU Need Something To READ During Thanksgiving Holiday? - FREE eBook for YOU


 These are trying times,
 lots of problems all around us, but this time of year helps us to remember and understand the important things in our lives -  our consciousness of those around us, our reaching out to loved ones - and strangers too.  Just to add a smile to someone's day is a giving thing... 

 

So I hope you are smiling now.



In the spirit of the upcoming holiday the eBook 

 Breaking Cursed Bonds will be  FREE from Thursday November 21st through November 23rd.



Get a copy now if you were thinking of reading a new book during your travels to visit family and friends for holiday, or if you just want to sit alone in a cozy chair, and enjoy a good family drama, filled with ancient curses, and spiritual ceremonies that leap into other realms of the supernatural.


 
If you like reading paperbacks -
the book is $12.99 in the Create Space shopping page, but I just noticed it listed at a reduced price on Amazon for $10.51 - so grab it now!

I was not planning on doing 'free days' with KDP since Prime Members can borrow in the KDP Library any day for free, however it is the last chance to run a promotion during the initial 90 days - So I am offering the eBook - hoping you will enjoy the opportunity.  If you have already purchased a copy, THANK YOU!  Please use this opportunity to send a free copy to a friend who might enjoy the story too.
 
It is all about the story!  Again this year I participated in NaNoWriMo and just finished logging in my final word count for this year, and I am wishing  to everyone who joined the ranks and wrote their hearts out this month  'Good luck!'  During the promotion for the free eBook Breaking Cursed Bonds,  I will be traveling to New England to visit family for the Thanksgiving holiday.  I truly hope that all of you in the United States have a good holiday and are counting your blessings.

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Please enjoy the free story. 

Keep reading - Keep writing!
 


Photography by George Hodan

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Surviving NaNoWriMo


In today’s Nanowrimo pep talk from author Jeff VanderMeer,  he mentions various steps.

After Don’t Panic, he lists Capture inspiration as it comes to you.

As I write my paranormal story, I find inspiration by listening to H.I.M.

 
 
 
Where do you get your creative drive?

Keep reading - Keep writing!

 
 
 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It's NANOWRIMO Again & I'm Writing

November is a busy month - NaNoWriMo is upon us again.  This is added to the already full month filled with the extra shopping and planning for the holidays.  Like most modern families, mine is very dispersed, so travel falls into play also.  So why add the added pressure of writing 50,000 words in a month?  Some days I ask myself  "Are you  crazy!?"


No matter how much time is crunched this month, I think I will manage and owe that to the community of writers.  The Nano program offers group support to keep the incentive going.  Having others participate, and cheer you on too, is propelling. 

Some don't like Nano with claims that good writing can't be rushed.  That may be true, but getting a rough draft down and letting the creative YOU write without interruption, and eliminating the internal editor that tries to block the randomness, this is very useful and constructive to get the draft done.

We all need to go back and rewrite, that is a given.  No serious writer would ever pass off a first draft as finished.  It does however give incentives to put yourself in the chair and WRITE.


http://cfiles.nanowrimo.org/nano-2013/files/2013/09/NaNoWriMo-General-Flyer.pdf

Good luck to all. 

Keep reading - Keep writing!

Monday, October 28, 2013

"Murder In The Bloody Pit" short story is free again this year for Halloween (Learn more about the haunted Hoosac Tunnel - reposting original Oct 13 2012)


The retelling of a Hoosac Tunnel ghost story:  A tale of murder and hauntings in 1866

After years of being envisioned, work on the Hoosac Tunnel finally began in 1852.  By 1873 with 193 deaths tallied, the tunnel was realized.  This was a major accomplishment of the times and was the longest tunnel of the day at 4 ¾ miles long.  Many attribute the success of this great engineering venture to three factors:  the diligent work of the W & F Shanly & Company contractors who revived the project in 1868, the use of pneumatic drills (Burleigh Drill), and a safer nitroglycerin along with electric blasting caps (new explosive Tri-Nitro-Glycerin invented by George M. Mowbray).   The project was sought after by Industrialists of the day, Alvah Crocker a paper manufacturer in Fitchburg, being the most ardent proponent.  There was a long list of Engineers tasked with the design, many experiencing failure before the final success was achieved. 
Many of the deaths were the result of cave-ins experienced, air shafts accidents, explosions and more.  The most devastating was the collapse after an explosion in the center shaft on October 17, 1867.  The frame work above the center air shaft caught fire and collapsed into the shaft, causing an explosion from the built up fumes, and filling the shaft with water.  Thirteen workers were trapped and drowned, if not already killed from the fire.  Their bodies were not fully recovered until a year later.  This brought much speculation about the ‘Bloody Pit’ and slowed the progress of the project. 
Among the long list of victims claimed by the ‘Bloody Pit’ were three men who worked together as a team using nitro to blast the monstrous black rock.  The name Ringo Kelly was never mentioned in the official recorded history of the Hoosac Tunnel.  But in 1865 a blast happened and two of the team ended up buried in rock.  The local gossip claimed Ringo Kelly ignited the blast early, before the others could reach the safety barrier.  Ringo Kelly went missing for a year and a half.  Then he was found murdered in the tunnel.  Now he is mentioned in bizarre folklore surrounding his murder.  Riddled by rumors only, he supposedly was haunted in 1866 by his two friends, his victims, and killed in vengeance
 The official cause of death for Ringo was strangulation.  Still rumors claimed he was chased down by the vengeful ghosts.  He was found dead in almost the same spot his two coworkers were killed.  What really happened to Ringo Kelly? 
Now 146 years later no one knows the real story.  Did he 'accidentally on purpose' kill his friends Ned Brinkman and Billy Nash?  The rumors claim he intentionally set the charge early.  What was the motivation for Ringo to end his friend’s lives? There is no explanation offered.   We do know that it was the first time nitro was being used on a major project of this scope. Nitro is very unstable, and most likely the entire episode was a mere accident.
Unfortunately for Ringo Kelly, the ghosts of Ned and Billy didn't understand.  A year later they found poor Ringo Kelly dead.  What is the real story?  Does anyone really know what happened?   
Here is one theory about this unfortunate happening.  Could this be the real story and reason behind it all….   

MURDER-THE-BLOODY-PIT-ebook - Kindle

Now FREE at Amazon 


and other stores


If you are interested in more information about the Hoosac Tunnel, its history and folklore of hauntings, please go to these sites attached to this post, and/or watch the film documentaries on the Hoosac Tunnel.
Have a ghostly good time.









LINKS to more information:


More videos:







Hoosac Tunnel - Engineering Program Audio     This is a great audio
















 







 













Thursday, October 24, 2013

Monsters Are Real - We Fool Ourselves


Human Monsters

The late morning sun was warm on my face, with closed eyes I drifted into rest,
Neighborhood dogs were barking, one trying to outdo the other, sounds growing louder.
The caws of birds and some squeaks in flight, then the buzz, of bees
Working diligently, going from one flower to the next,
Gathering the last of the blossom pollen to make their nectar.
We humans are part of this nature –
 
We too gather and toil away by shear instinct, when we allow.
Often we manifest ourselves with our intellect instead,
That part of us, We think, that ranks us above the rest of nature.
We use it to reason, to excuse and create, but sometimes it is the birthplace for the unthinkable.
It is a ruse, a screen, and a place to hide the hideous things we reason inside.
Our darkest thoughts are raised by it, turned into monsters and then we do the unnatural –
 
We hurt, war, kill and maim in the name of humanity.
We bring our rank down below the natural world; we turn ourselves into the devil.
Can we turn our dark to light, and bring thoughts forward to uplift?
Politicians are not the only users of the screen – we all use the words to hide.
So each day you choose your road – intellect or nature…. Do what is natural,
Be part of the earth, uplift each other and keep the monsters in the closets of the other’s mind.
 
Like an animal, watchful of danger, stay away from the human monsters.
Be an example of the goodness that comes when we follow our nature,
True human nature, which thrives on community and the spirit of friendship,
Creation for its own sake, for beauty to be shared,
And where monsters are make-believe, and
Not dreamt up to explain the horrors done, from man onto man.
 
 
 
 
Photography & Poem Created by Elisabeth Zguta ©
 

Keep reading - Keep writing!



Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Great Scary Story (audio) & thoughts on Audio books

It's getting closer to Halloween! 

My favorite time of year because it's acceptable to wear dark clothing, and it's the seasonal d├ęcor to have cobwebs in your house.

No one thinks badly of you for liking horror stories this time of year.  So on with the dark tales.  I was surfing the net and found this wonderful tale.  I wanted to share it - for anyone else out there who appreciates a good tale.

So turn up the volume and listen to this story -   I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

 

Scary Stories : Don't Look Out The Window


Published on Jun 8, 2012    Scary stories to chill your bones. If you wish to see more of these tales in the future than please comment, rate, and subscribe. Illustrations are by Silvina Rinaldi and it is narrated by Kellie Fitzgerald. Stories are written by yours truly (Legends of Fear).

 

 

After hearing this recorded story it made me think more seriously about researching Audio books.

 
 I began my search with LibriVox (public domain audio books) and  audiobooks.org - both sites offer free books, a good place to begin the journey of getting to know the sound of a good story teller.  Then I went to Amazon's acx platform which offers a way for any publisher to offer their book as audio.  They have some good acx help posts for the newbie (like me).  I think the key to a great audio book would be hiring a great storyteller. 
 
Readers audition  for the part in your book.  They get paid by the job, or sometimes they can be offered a slice of your earnings (of course this works better for more seasoned writers with previous sales to back their offers).  This got me to wonder how these readers are trained, so then I surfed the web again and this  'How to become an Audiobook reader' post from eHow was helpful. (more posts on the side tab too)  As usual too many ideas!
 
It is another avenue to use to help create more markets for your book.  There are so many new roads to wander off from this self-publishing path.  As always, do the research, find what works for you, and make a plan.  It's okay for the plan to change, as long as you still keep on your own path towards your own target.
 
I find myself wandering off sometimes and get discouraged, then I remind myself of what my goals are.  Things take time - most writers are not over night success stories.  Remember the important things.


Keep reading - Keep writing!


Friday, October 4, 2013

From Magazine Print To Device - Post Better Pictures with Actable 2.7

New technology - Enhanced interactive print.

I like to follow the businesses where I used to work, just to see what they are up to....
Quad/Graphics is getting into the technology ring - moving forward with new apps to make your print experience something you can now share digitally with more clarity than before...





Check out our recent break-through developments with interactive print! We’ve worked to make interactive print more natural and engaging. New enhancements to the Actable app allow readers to launch an interactive experience on-page, then sit back and relax while the mobile experience continues seamlessly off the page.
   Actable Version 2.7 adds new features and functionality to a powerful app that makes printed pages come to life when viewed through Actable-enabled smartphones and tablets.  Check it out-

I just had to share this when I saw the video posted - Some things just keep getting better.

Keep reading - Keep writing!

Available at Amazon.com
 
 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Marketing Can Be Fun - As Long As You Remember....

You read it right - Marketing can be fun.  It allows you to try new ideas, dream up something stirring, playful, insightful, but remember these wise words...

"Perfection is the opposite of good" 

I am quoting a VP boss I used to have a few years back when I worked as a buyer for a major manufacturer.  It was an artsy place with a culture all its own, and it was a great place to learn with so many great mentors who made themselves accessible.

The moral behind his words is -

If you try to be perfect, you will never get anything finished... 

Nothing is ever perfect.
 
 
So any Independent thinker should take heed - try your best effort.  By all means do the best work you can, but then let go.  Don't be afraid of imperfection to a fault.  Learn from your mistakes so your next work will be even better, but don't put road blocks in front of your path.  Strip your ego, just a bit.

We do not live in a perfect world, we cannot control everything, and not everyone will be enjoy your work.  Once you realize this, you can move forward and allow yourself the right to do your art, write your words and make something today.


Here is my first trailer video for my newly released novel BREAKING CURSED BONDS 


It is available as eBook at Amazon.com
(Paperback coming soon.) 

I hope you enjoy it.

Keep reading - Keep writing!


Friday, September 13, 2013

Lucky Friday the 13th! Don't Become A Monster

While this is a day of gloom for many superstitious people out there - Friday 13th has always been a very lucky day for me in life.  It was on a Friday the 13th that I was proposed to, and have been living happily ever after.  My husband is still my best friend, now many years later.  It was on a Friday the 13th that I had landed one of my favorite jobs, which was short lived, but I was okay with that too.
 

The point is someone's un-luck is someone else's good luck. 

 
Picture by David Wagner
Same goes for anything in life.  We all beat to different tunes.  Sure we have the same wiring, the same basic DNA makeup and sequence which make us human (except any aliens out there) but something inside us makes us run in unique patterns, like a drip of water down a glass always seeking out its own individual path. 
It is not just our fingerprint that is unique, but also what we grasp and how we react.
 

My next novel which I am currently editing, Exposing Secret Sins, touches on this idea of unique paths chosen.  We can face the same impasse, but we often have a unique interpretation and go down our journey's path alone. 
 
Some paths are just, other roads lead down to dark and sinister places
We sometimes end up losing our soul, our individual voice inside, and become a slave to the pull of evil.  Sometimes we become a monster.
 
I hope you all have a good journey, keep your soul wholesome, and that something good happens to you today on Friday the 13th.
 

 Keep reading - Keep writing!



Enjoy this free eBook  The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Curses - Haunted By Them - Or Thrilled?

Labor Day is over, school is back in session, and another autumn is upon us.  The cooler fall evenings get me in the mood to cuddle up with a good horror book, or watch one of the old detective or monster films.

That's right - I am that person.  I love the autumn, love Halloween, and love a good scary story.


That's the reason my first novel BREAKING CURSED BONDS was released for this fall.  Usually it is better to wait until January and avoid being plunged in with the fall glutton of new books on the market, but I really think my story belongs in the darker days of autumn.

The main story begins with an ancient book that tells the tale of how an ancient curse befell the De Gourgues family - back in 1565!  A spiritual ceremony went wrong when an evil element was added to the mix.   A curse was created - causing a history of deadly consequences.

If you like the subject of curses and the spiritual realm, then you may like an interesting website  The Mystica   I discovered.  There is a post explaining curses which listed some of the history about how possession, voodoo mystical spells and the paranormal magic and how
they were used in different cultures.  Of course there is a lot more out there for those who dare dabble with the supernatural.

Soon Halloween will be upon us, and we will watch our thrillers and read about witches and spells - but be warned, there are many out there who believe in supernatural with all the revelry.  So be careful and always keep an open mind.


Keep reading - Keep writing!


TOP TEN HORROR FILM TRAILERS FOR 2013 - Which is your favorite?



Some Classic Reads -


  
                                                                Calamity-Town-Ellery Queen eBook

 
And here is my new book -



Friday, August 23, 2013

Bravo Writing Community - Thank you! For your Enthusiasm & Guidance

Yes the end of the road is near...

Soon the eBook version of BREAKING CURSED BONDS will be released, and...

I would love to take a breather, but where one road ends - another begins!

Once the eBook is available September 1st, then promotion will be needed, as well as finishing up on the paperback formatting which will be released in November 2013.  I am a new author and self-publisher, and all this work to get the story finished has been a new experience with a wide learning curve.  Anyone who has a story to share can do it, and if your tool belt is rusty just ask for help.
 
My previous lines of work did not involve the same tools needed to write and publish.  I had a lot to learn.

I turned to fellow authors in the writing community, many who were happy to share their experiences and knowledge.

While every journey is unique, I was thankful for all the marvelous people who call themselves writers and authors.
 
In many business formats, competition rules, often cut throat competition.  One thing I have noticed in the modern world of independent publishing is that while there is still competition - it is more of a community of sharing, and collaborating.  We sponsor each other with blog hops, we promote each other's books, platforms, blogs, websites, and anything else we create.  It is a wonderful thing to be involved in a community so sharing and open.
 
There are now groups that help self-publishers like AiA (Assoc. of Independent Authors) and ALLi (the Alliance of Independent Authors).  Of course not everything is always rosy, there have been a few who chose to write bad reviews to stack the deck, but it is at a minimum.  They get called out by the community protests with their Facebook posts, tweets and blog posts.  As a writing community they will not let abuse go on without the outcry for moral and civilized actions.  The individual is still respected as an individual with a unique right to freedom of speech, we are all encouraged to act responsibly and with care.

This profession of writing is evolving to face the new challenges in the free world.

Since the wide world web has given access to so much, we are experiencing new trends.  So if anyone can give real sound advice to a newbie like me it has to be something like this -
 "Keep your eyes open, watch and learn, because it changes fast, and we need to swim with the tide." 
The bottom line is to keep writing, tell your story, share with the community and be true to yourself.

Keep reading! - Keep writing!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Connectivity - A Relative Concept - Is Speed the Most Important Aspect? or Freedom

 

Are We Really All Connected?

Another Friday - another week gone by, and still we are all probably working on our same projects.  Sometimes it feels like we are not moving fast enough, especially in this culture of quick impulses and fast connections.  I was astounded when I read a report that the US has very slow internet connectivity speeds. Check it out here at govtech.com .   Hong Kong was the leader for speed.  It's so funny, because not matter how fast the speed gets I still want it faster - how about you?
There are of course other factors to consider.  We may not have the fasted connectivity but we are the biggest users.  Find out more if your interested - Global Internet Users has been changing.
 
I personally hope as we think about our connectivity to others, our access and speed, that we also think about our freedoms and responsibilities.  We cannot take things for granted anymore.  Everyday we are reminded about the shadow of 'Big Brother' watching (and listening & gathering data)  I don't want to live my life monitoring every word out of my mouth afraid of censorship or worse - but at the same time I do realize I need to be responsible and send out inoffensive content because I don't want to be a negative influencer, but a positive part of the society as a hole.  So we all need to KEEP our FREEDOM in mind, and make sure we never lose our most precise asset of the internet connectivity.
 
 
I will be going on a short vacation next week, to see some of my family, and I will not be as active online.  My travels will lead me into the rolling Berkshire Hills where there is often a spot without any connectivity to be had :(  but the scenery is worth it!  Some may not check FB or tweet at all when on vacation, but I am not so sure I can manage that for ten days.  Still there will be days my hand is forced because there will be no internet access, so it will be an experiment as I walk along and say 'Can YOU hear me now' - here is a short clip about someone's plan to leave - although he intends to never come back!  I will return :)
 
Keep reading - Keep writing!
 
 
See you in the Shire :)