Monday, December 08, 2014

Trans Siberian Orchestra

This will be my last post until the January 7 posting for the Insecure Writer's Support Group.

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I'll leave you with some shots from our eighth Trans Siberian Orchestra concert. Yes, eighth! We go every year, and since we are in the fan club, we get really great seats. This year we were second row. It's a great way to kick off the holiday season. 

Monday, December 01, 2014

The Insecure Writer's Support Group Book is Available!

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.
And I’m posting early this week because we have a special announcement - after a lot of work and a big group effort, The Insecure Writer’s Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond is available!

Tapping into the expertise of over a hundred talented authors from around the globe, The IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond contains something for every writer. Whether you are starting out and need tips on the craft of writing, looking for encouragement as an already established author, taking the plunge into self-publishing, or seeking innovative ways to market and promote your work, this guide is a useful tool. Compiled into three key areas of writing, publishing, and marketing, this valuable resource offers inspirational articles, helpful anecdotes, and excellent advice on dos and don'ts that we all wish we knew when we first started out on this writing journey.

ISBN 9781939844088
235 pages, FREE

Available –
Amazon (still listed at .99 - tell them about a lower price)
Barnes & Noble

Don’t forget to visit the IWSG sites –

Monday, November 24, 2014

Oh How I Miss You Blogfest and Character Building at the IWSG

I’m over at The Insecure Writer’s Support Group site, outlining how to build a character through the handout I use for my characterization sessions.

Oh How I Miss You Blogfest

Hosted by Andrew Leon, Alex J. Cavanaugh, and Matthew MacNish.

The bloggers you miss and the ones you would miss.
List one to three bloggers you really miss.
List one to three bloggers you would really miss if they stopped blogging.
And then go let them know!

The three bloggers I really miss:

Julie Luek - she announced that she wouldn’t be blogging anymore at her main blog, A Thought Grows, but she hasn’t posted at her other BLOG since this past summer. She was a woman of faith and had such a great attitude. Miss you, Julie.

Ella - Her blog, Ella’s Edge, has been quiet this year, with only an occasional post. She’s recently posted a few poems, so I hope she is back. Ella is so creative and crafty. I love seeing what she’s created for us every time she posts. Miss you, Ella.

Gary - He blogs at Klahanie, but those posts have been few and far between lately. He recently moved and I’m sure he’s struggling with the changes. I miss seeing Penny, his cute little dog, every week. She is a Superstar, and so is Gary. Miss you, Gary -we are here for you.

The three I would miss:

Karen Walker - We met through a blogging class many years ago and connected right away. She moved to Albuquerque, NM just months before I moved away, so we just missed meeting in real life. She is a wonderful writer and her posts at Followign the Whispers are so honest and transparent. She recently had a medical procedure done and I hope it won’t interfere with her blogging, because I would miss her dearly.

Jo - She blogs at Jo on Food and Travels, and she’s someone I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in real life. She lived in N. Carolina for many years before moving to Canada, so we know a lot of the same locations. She always posts a recipe and I’m always trying to figure out a way to make it vegan. She’s posted daily for so long and it would be so empty if she quit.

Sheena-kay - Her blog is Queen Sheena, and when you visit, you’re always greeted by this wonderful smile. She lives in Jamaica, so it’s interesting to hear about the world through the eyes of someone living in another country. She’s also a writer and I look forward to her upcoming books. I’ve enjoyed getting to know her and hope Sheena-kay continues to blog for a long time.

Who would you name that you miss or would miss?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Doing a Characterization Session and Realms Faire Winner

Thanks to every one who participated in the Realms Faire and the Dragon Hunt last week. The winner of a $20 Amazon card and a copy of How to Promote and Publish Your Book Now is...

Dolorah at Book Lover


Thank you to all of the entrants and to the nine people who posted dragons for me - Christine Rains, Cherie Reich, Stephen Tremp, Susan Gourley, Melanie Schulz, Medeia Sharif, Alex J. Cavanaugh, Jo on Food and Travels, and Mish Writer in Transit.


Kathy McKendry’s daughter Jess was invited to speak at her brother’s elementary school about writing and her book, From the Ashes. Kathy asked for suggestions, and I mentioned the characterization sessions I do for schools.

Last week, Kathy posted:
“From your comments, we decided it was best to involve the kids as much as possible in the talk. Jess decided her main topic would be character development and she would walk the kids through creating their own characters. She made a worksheet for them where they could fill in character traits like hair color, skin color, birthplace, etc.”

She was happy to report that it was a big success!

I’ve always taught that characters are the heart of any good story. It’s the foundation. And doing those sessions in schools is a lot of fun. I cover four basic areas:

Background - race, upbringing, parents and siblings, and economic status

Personality - type, strengths, weaknesses, interests, and goals

Physical attributes - weight, height, hair color, etc.

Misc. - age, friends, children, and other important details

What other attributes are important to a good, solid character?

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Realms Faire - Dragon Hunt!!

The Realms Faire is here - hosted by M. Pax!

This week, I am hosting the Dragon Hunt. 

Thread is falling on Pern and we need dragonriders! Find the hidden dragon on each of the participating sites, note the name of the dragon, and then email me your answers. (wolferock AT earthlink DOT net) A name will be drawn from the correct entries and the winner receives a copy of How to Publish and Promote Your Book Now and a $20.00 Amazon gift card. (Email me by Saturday, Nov. 15 - winner announced Monday, Nov. 17.)

Find the dragons:

And there are many more games to be had this week:



Twitter Hashtag - #grogz


2014 Events:




The Joust, hosted by M. Pax


Cheer up to 3x daily for the knights. Win prizes daily.




Soak-a-bloke and Drench-a-wench, hosted by Christine Rains


The rules of this event are simple:

  1. The dunkee is chosen by committee.
  2. I post a link to the dunkee's blog and you click on it.
  3. You leave a comment, soaking the person in blog love.
  4. You're entered into a drawing for a chance to win ...


Stockade Brigade, hosted by Mary Waibel


Who is on trial for wizardry this year?


Dueling Bards, hosted by Cass Web


Wordsmiths battle it out in this fun and interactive game. Prizes awarded daily.


Riddle Me This, hosted by Cherie Reich

Riddle Me This badgeWEB

Description: Come one, come all! Guess the creature and win. Is it a dragon? A phoenix? Read the riddle and decide what creature I'm talking about. Every correct guess posted in the comments section of Cherie Reich's blog ( each day during Realms Faire will enter you in for a chance to win a prize pack.


Phasers, hosted by Untethered Realms


A simple word game on Untethered Realms. Ie, if the posted word of the day is Phasers, you might type in 'stun' in the comments. The next commenter then goes off 'stun', perhaps by typing 'gun', and so on. Prizes daily.


Dragon Hunt, hosted by L. Diane Wolfe

Dragon Hunt

Thread is falling on Pern and we need dragonriders! Find the hidden dragon on each of the participating sites.


Wisdom of the Creative Realms, hosted by Nicki Elson


Our 2013 Joust champion, Lady Elson, seeks wisdom from the creative realms to deepen the thoughts at her Not-so-deep Thoughts blog. Throughout the Faire, she asks subjects to share bit of wisdom they’ve gleaned from the creative arts. Each day features a different media---books, movies, music & Jester’s Choice. Beauteous prizes to be had.


Thank you!

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

The Insecure Writer's Support Group and Fat Gary

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.
Many are knee-deep in NaNoWriMo this month. Every year, I’ve thought about participating, and every year, I am way too busy in October to prepare. Even with my current writing project, I have not outlined the final story in enough depth to write it. It’s not like I couldn’t write 50,000 words in one month. I wrote 205,000 in less than 6 months once, so 50,000 in one month is something I could accomplish.

To encourage those of you who have taken the plunge, or maybe you’re just writing on your own, here are some writing quotes:

Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.
Mark Twain

The road to hell is paved with adverbs.
Stephen King

If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I would not brood, I would type a little faster.
Isaac Asimov

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.
Anton Chekhov

Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.
Louis L’Amour

You can make anything by writing.
C. S. Lewis

And one more Things That Scare Fat Gary photo...

The Loch Ness Monster!

Monday, November 03, 2014

Who’s Your Hero, Foodie Blog Hop, and the Realms Faire is Coming!

Who’s Your Hero Bloghop, hosted by J.L. Campbell

My hero is my husband.

He’s my safety net and reality check. (Because without him, I’d do some really stupid stuff.)

He’s my protector and Knight in Shining Armor.

He’s the man of my dreams and my greatest supporter.

He’s a true man of God and a constant in my life.

He loves me despite my weird obsessions, like roller coasters and Despicable Me minions. (And he paints a mean minion pumpkin.)

I love my hero!

Foodie Blog Hop, hosted by H. R. Sinclair

Zombie Vomit

Or as we call it in our house, Vombie Zomit. (Yes, I mixed up the words once. I’m good at that.)

It’s a Cool Whip recipe that we mutated:

The major difference is vanilla cookies instead of chocolate and vegan cream cheese. And of course, you can decorate any way you like!

Coming Next Week

Wednesday is The Insecure Writer’s Support Group post day.

Monday kicks off the Realms Faire, hosted by M. Pax. I am doing the Dragon Hunt this year - stop by to find out how you can win some cool prizes by finding the dragons.

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Lizard's Tail and Things That Scare Fat Gary, the Minion

I read Bish Denham's latest book and completely enjoyed it! A Lizard’s Tail is a charming story and told much like a fable. It reminded me of Watership Down and the stories the rabbits told of Prince El-ahrairah.

Marvin’s adventure changes him and introduces him to many new friends. The story is about cooperation and friendship. It’s also about preconceived notions, vanity, and expanding one’s knowledge.

The characters are charming. I loved both El Grekko and the Great Old Iguana.

This would be not only a wonderful book to read to your kids, but one you would enjoy reading, too!

From the moment he hatches, Marvin P. Tinkleberry knows he is destined for greatness. For one, he has a marvelous, well-groomed tail. For another he can puff out his throat pouch in the most spectacular way. Maybe the other lizards in his colony don't take him seriously, but he knows the truth. It lives in the marrow of his bones; he's going to be a hero.

When a feral cat threatens the lives of all who live at Stone Wall in the Garden by the Sea, Marvin knows it's HIS destiny to get rid of the fearsome beast. Travelling Over the Hill to find help should be as easy as snapping up a sleeping moth. But it doesn't take long for Marvin to see that the world beyond Stone Wall is not the same as his pampered life back at the garden. From the deadly Sucker Cactus Forest to deadly mongooses, danger lurks around every corner and Marvin will have to decide if he's willing to be the hero he's long bragged about being.

Buy it now on Amazon

Bish Denham was raised in the U. S. Virgin Islands. Her mother's side of the family has lived in the Caribbean for over one hundred years and she still has plenty of family there whom she visits regularly.

She says, "Growing up in the islands was like living inside a history book. Columbus named the islands, Sir Francis Drake sailed through the area, and Alexander Hamilton was raised on St. Croix. Then there were the pirates who plied the waters. Life for me was magical, and through my writing I hope to pass on some of that magic."

Bish has known many lizards in her life. Marvin and Leeza are based on two that lived in her bedroom.

She is the author of Anansi and Company: Retold Jamaican Folk Tales which you can find on

Find Bish: Blog / Facebook / Goodreads / Twitter

I started this series on Facebook - Things That Scare Fat Gary. My husband came up with the idea and we had fun taking the photos. I thought I would share one of them with you.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The ABC's of Beverages

I had the privilege of trying out some of the recipes in Holly’s cookbook, The ABC’s of Beverages. We had a fun time trying to decide which book I would feature since I’m both a vegan and I don’t eat chocolate. But this book had many drinks I could try and I have two to share today.

I love apple cider and including caramel complimented the flavor. What really made it was the vanilla - yum! And I really wanted the picture to capture the delicious curls of steam.

Hot Caramel Apple Cider

1 7 1/2 cups apple cider
1 & 1/2 TBS caramel syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla

Heat all the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until apple cider is hot. Serves 1.

We are always making smoothies in the blender. This one was a perfect fit and delicious.

I also picked this based on the name. When I was a teen, I was a bit of a wild child. To my credit, I got great grades and never got into trouble. However, the words “Jungle Juice” brings back memories of some of the parties we used to throw. Our Jungle Juice was a bottle of 7UP, orange juice (or whatever fruit juice we could find,) and a bottle of Seagram’s 7. (For the first batch. Subsequent batches could contain just about anything.)

I promise, this Jungle Juice will not give you a hangover!

Jungle Juice

1 banana, cut into chunks
2 cups orange juice
dash of ginger

Blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Serves 1.

One commenter on this post will win a free digital copy of this cookbook. To enter, just leave a comment. If you want to leave a comment but don't want to enter, add "I hate food" to your comment. The winner will be announced on October 31st on Holly's blog.

The ABC’s of Beverages
This book contains 78 of the best beverage recipes. Included are classics (like Hot Caramel Apple Cider), favorites (like Tiramisu), and my own creations (like Ultraviolet Smoothie).
Cost: $2.00 ebook
Where to get it:
Barnes & Noble

Holly Sinclair, who goes by Southpaw on the Interwebs, finds cooking cathartic. The recipes she's created and collected grew into cookbooks. Holly's trying her hand at fiction and food seems to creep into most of her books.
Holly Sinclair Cookbooks,the website.
HR Sinclair, the blog.

Join Holly on the rest of her Blog Tour, each stop features a different cookbook and a chance for a free ebook!

You can join in the fun by signing up for the End of Tour Foodie Blog Hop! Talk about a fond food memory, describe your disasters in the kitchen, post your favorite recipe or pictures of food, or do anything food related. Sign up here.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Survive and Thrive Bloghop and the Bucket List Blog Hop

Today I am co-hosting the Survive and Thrive Bloghop.

But I’m also participating in a second bloghop - the Bucket List Blog Hop, hosted by Sherry Ellis and Susanne Drazic

This won’t surprise those who know me, but roller coasters are high on my bucket list. I want to ride every steel coaster in the world. (Sorry, wood coasters are too rough for me now.) I want to ride the longest steel coaster, the 300 ft. tall Steel Dragon 2000 in Japan and the Anton Schwarzkopf designed Olympia Looping in Germany, the largest portable coaster in the world.

And ever since I saw a video of the ride, my dream coaster has been the Dragon Khan.

Located at Port Adventura in Spain, the Dragon Khan is a B&M (Bolliger & Mabillard) design. It’s not the fastest - only 65mph. It’s not the highest - only 148ft - or the longest - 4165ft. But it does have eight beautiful loops, which makes it the perfect design for an exhilarating and fun ride!

What’s on your bucket list?

Survive and Thrive Bloghop

Hosted by Stephen Tremp, Alex J Cavanaugh, Michael Di Gesu, and L Diane Wolfe.

The Survive and Thrive Bloghop is meant to bring awareness of disease prevention and early detection regarding medical conditions that may be averted or treated if caught in the early stages.

Our desire is to motivate people to go in for early screening, and if a condition is caught early and treated, then our world just became a little better place to live.

The topics are wide open. You can post about a particular cause you support. Or you can share a personal or family experience that is near to your heart. What’s great about this Blogfest is you can inspire people to take care of themselves and their loved ones early enough to make a difference in their lives.

The timing of this blogfest was fortuitous. Over the past 2 months, I’ve undergone all sorts of procedures and tests, with the threat of 2 different surgeries, one of which was even scheduled.

I am happy to say, not only did I avoid the surgeries, but there is no sign of cancer. God is good!

Women, get your yearly checkup and talk to your doctor. Be sure.

What are your suggestions to survive and thrive?

Monday, October 13, 2014

White Lady Giveaway, Vitamins and Death, and Recent Photos


To celebrate the release of Jessica Bell’s latest novel, WHITE LADY, she is giving away an e-copy (mobi, ePub, or PDF) to the first person to correctly guess the one true statement in the three statements below. To clarify, two statements are lies, and one is true:

Even though Jessica Bell’s passion is her writing, she ...
a. dabbles in French patisserie
b. she has a secret desire to be a famous rock star
c. is also really passionate about her day job

What do you think? Which one is true? Write your guess in the comments, along with your email address. Comments will close in 48 hours. If no-one guesses correctly within in 48 hours, comments will stay open until someone does.

Want more chances to win? You have until October 31 to visit all the blogs where Jessica will share a different set of true and false statements on each one. Remember, each blog is open to comments for 48 hours only from the time of posting.

If you win, you will be notified by email with instructions on how to download the book.

Click HERE to see the list of blogs.

*This novel contains coarse language, violence, and sexual themes.

​Sonia yearns for sharp objects and blood. But now that she’s rehabilitating herself as a “normal” mother and mathematics teacher, it’s time to stop dreaming about slicing people’s throats.

While being the wife of Melbourne’s leading drug lord and simultaneously dating his best mate is not ideal, she’s determined to make it work.

It does work. Until Mia, her lover’s daughter, starts exchanging saliva with her son, Mick. They plan to commit a crime behind Sonia’s back. It isn’t long before she finds out and gets involved to protect them.

But is protecting the kids really Sonia’s motive?

Click HERE to view the book trailer.
Click HERE for purchase links.

Jessica Bell, a thirty-something Australian-native contemporary fiction author, poet and singer/songwriter/guitarist, is the Publishing Editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal and the director of the Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop on the Greek island of Ithaca. She makes a living as a writer/editor for English Language Teaching Publishers worldwide, such as Pearson Education, HarperCollins, MacMillan Education, Education First and Cengage Learning.

Connect with Jessica online:


YA Contemporary, Prizm Books
Release Date December 10, 2014

Find Medeia


I also wanted to share with you some photos from our county fair: