Thursday, August 30, 2012


Like many writers, I’ve typically have music playing in the background while I write.

Even when I taught writing in high school and junior high, I would have music going on in the background. Even now, I put music on while students are working on projects, writing speeches, or reading. Yes, there are cd’s specifically for reading—soft instrumental music.

I’ve now started creating play lists for my books.

For BOOK 2 of the Children of Atlantis series (sorry, not revealing the title yet), I’ve started a list of music that fits the characters and theme. 

This is not a complete list and I’m constantly adding and dropping songs.

Playlist for Book 2

ABBA: The Winner Takes It All, S.O.S.
Adele: Rolling in the Deep, Rumor Has It
Alicia Bridges: I Love the Nightlife
Andy Gibb: Shadow Dancing

Animotion: Obsession

B52s: Roam
Beatles: Yesterday, Come Together, Let It Be, Get Back, Eleanor Rigby, I Feel Fine

Billy Idol: Dancing with Myself, Rebel Yell, Eyes Without a Face
Bon Jovi: Wanted Dead or Alive
Cher: Believe, If I Could Turn Back Time, Dark Lady, Half-Breed
Culture Club: Do You Really Want to Hurt Me, Time (Clock of the Heart)

Duran Duran: Save a Prayer, Is There Something I Should Know, Notorious, Ordinary World,

Eurythmics: Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), Here Comes the Rain Again, Love is a Stranger

Gloria Gaynor: I Will Survive
Golden Earring: Twilight Zone
Gorillaz: Feel Good Inc.
Gotye: Somebody I Used to Know

Jessie J: Domino
Johnny Cash: Hurt
Kelly Clarkson: Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)
Kenny Logins: Danger Zone

Lady Gaga: Bad Romance, Poker Face, Paparazzi, Just Dance
Lemonade Mouth: Determinate
Lipps, Inc.: Funky Town
Midnight Oil: Beds are Burning

Murray Head: One Night in Bangkok
Patti LaBelle: New Attitude
Phil Colins: Another Day in Paradise

Pink: So What, Please Don’t Leave Me
Re-Flex: The Politics of Dancing
Stevie Nicks: Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around

3 Doors Down: When I’m Gone, Let Me Go, Kryptonite, Here Without You
Tina Turner: We Don’t Need Another Hero, What’s Love Got to Do With It
Verve: Bitter Sweet Symphony
Walter Murphy: A Fifth of Beethoven

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Cats Don't Like Change

There are a couple of vet clinics I drive by on a regular basis. One of them always has a cute saying on their marquee.

This week it's :

Cats don't like change without their consent.

And so true it is!

The saying really struck home this week. Because after being home all summer, I went back to work--teacher staff development and workdays to get ready for the new school year which starts Monday.

And I've got not one, but two very spoiled cats--Smokie, a gray tabby striped female, and Bear, a red and white tabby stripped male.

Bear is definitely a people kitty. He thinks anyone who comes into the house should love him and rub his belly. Smokie, on the other hand, is very much a mama's girl. When people come into the house, she runs and hides until they're gone. She's not a people kitty. In fact, she just tolerates my husband and son, though she is letting them pet her a little more. But with me, she follows me around the house.

Smokie's also my little thief.

The change from my summer routine back to work has been a little difficult for her. She's become extremely vocal in the mornings and this week has stolen my emery board (found it in the kitchen half-way under the stove), purposely knocked my nail polish off the table (luckily it was closed) and has stolen several pens from my desk (the ones I was using). And this is just the stuff I know about so far.

Smokie's "stealing" is not a new thing. I've lost more pens, paperclips, and whole pads of sticky notes to her. One morning she took off with my flashdrive. Luckily, I caught her before she hid it. And she absolutely loves hair bands. She thinks they all belong to her.

The change in routine is definitely without her consent, and she is making it known.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Reflection of Summer

I can’t believe it!

It’s here.

The last Friday of summer, for me at least.

Monday I have to go back to work—to my day job—after having the whole summer to myself...well, almost to myself. 

What’s my day job? I’m a public school teacher. I teach 8th grade Communication Applications—you know…the SPEECH class that everyone dreads taking.

I won’t actually see the kids for another week. Next week is teacher in-service and work days. This means I will attend a variety of mandatory meetings, work in my classroom to get it ready for the school year, put together lesson plans, and other stuff. We also have a Meet the Teacher Night, so I will see the majority of the kids I’ll teach when they stop by my classroom.

Are the kids ready to go back to school? Okay, I know…a lot of groans and moans. Some are ready to go back, but most aren’t. I know a lot of parents who are ready for the kids to go back to school. :)

Am I ready to go back to school? Honestly? No. I want to stay home and write like I did this summer. I’m a bit of a night owl. I like to sit up late and write—always have. During the school year, I can’t exactly sit up as late as I normally do.

Thinking about going back to work and my writing, I started thinking or reflecting back on the summer. It went by really fast. I did attend several school-related workshops over the summer, but I got a lot of things accomplished this year.

Here’s my summer reflection:

  1. I sent out more queries to agents and received a lot of rejections. (This was just a continuation of what's been going for a long time.)
  2. I read lots of blogs about writing. Then I found several about self-publishing and the shift in the industry toward ebooks and Indie Authors. Joe Konrath’s blog, A Newbie’s Guide toPublishing, was my favorites.
  3. I made the decision to become an Indie Author. I jumped in and self-published Guardian of Atlantis through Amazon. A lot of editing took place for that, and learning about formatting manuscripts, book covers, blurbs for the back cover…the list goes on.
  4. I went on to publish a second book, No Rest for the Spirit and Other Ghostly Tales, which is a collection of twelve short ghost stories. It’s currently available at Amazon as an ebook for the Kindle. In a few days, you’ll be able to buy the paperback edition from them too. And it will be at Barnes and Noble in ebook for the Nook.
  5. I designed the book cover for No Rest for the Spirit and Other Ghostly Tales with the help of my son. I’m very proud of it. The cover for Guardian of Atlantis was done using a pre-designed template, so there wasn’t a lot of room for me to be creative, but it was a learning process. (I'm proud of this cover too. It is my first book after all!) I did discover that I enjoy the creative process of designing the cover. I’ve got a lot to learn, but it’s fun.
  6. I started a blog, a website, and learned to twitter this summer. (Links are on the side bar.)
  7. I’ve learned and am still learning about promoting my books.  I’m working on a couple of author interviews and trying to set up some guest blogs and reviews for my books.  (You know, you can write a book review on Amazon. HINT! HINT!)
  8. I created several outlines for books.
a.   I completed the outline for a zombie book for the kids/tween group. (It may have a second book. The spark of an idea is there.)
b.   I completed the outline for the second book in The Children of Atlantis series, and I’ve started writing it.
c.   I’ve got an idea for the third book. I need to get the “bones” down then put some “flesh” on them.
d.   I’m working on the outline for a trilogy called Fire and Ice. I’ve got the first book outlined. It just needs some tweaking. And the ideas for the other two books are going around and around in my head.
e.   And I’ve got ideas for several other books, including another possible series. More and more ideas are popping into my head. I’ve got to start a new ideas notebook and somehow get it organized.

With all the ideas and characters in my head, it’s a pretty crowded place!

As you can see, I’ve had a pretty busy summer, and a lot of things still to do. I’ve got to figure out a new writing schedule for the school year, and continue to work on promoting my book. I also have to prepare for the classes I'll teach and the other things that go on during the school year.

Enjoy your last few days of summer vacation!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Beware of Ghosts!!! They're everywhere!

It's finally out!

No Rest for the Spirit and Other Ghostly Tales is out.

The ebook edition is now available at Amazon for $0.99.
The paperback edition will be out in a few days. It will be available at Amazon for $5.99.

In this collection of twelve chilling tales, ghosts rule.
From ghosts haunting a school, to a phantom trucker who gives hitchhikers rides, and windows which refuse to stay closed, to a vengeful spirit who plans to get her husband back, no one is safe.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Aquarium

One of the really cool things I saw at Cabela's Sunday was the aquarium they have in the store. It's HUGE.
And the Fish?
Some of them are Really HUGE!!!

It would be fun catching them, well not the turtle.

A turtle on the bottom. There were actually several turtles swimming in the tank.
Albino catfish
Wouldn't it be fun catching this guy?

I enjoy fishing. I don't get to go as often as I like, but when I do, I have a lot of fun--even if we just catch and release. I've been deep sea fishing twice. If you want to know what happened to me on my second deep sea fishing trip, you'll have tell me.
Leave a comment.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday Road Trip

I made an unexpected road trip with my husband this morning. We ended up in Buda, Texas, so we stopped at Cabela's. For those of you who haven't been there, it's on of the biggest stores to buy fishing, hunting, camping and other outdoor stuff. But what's really cool is the exhibits they've set up throughout the store.

Here's one of the exhibits I saw.

Cool seeing a waterfall in the middle of a store.
Love the fall colors

I've got pictures of the African exhibit and the Aquarium, but you'll have to wait to see those.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Teaser ALERT!

My ghost story collection is almost ready. I'm just tweaking a few of the ghosts.

Here's an excerpt from one of the stories:

The Satchel

The rain had been falling since the early morning hours. Night was finally there but the rain continued falling harder and harder. In the distance thunder rumbled. Lightening flickered and stretched out its spidery fingers in an answer to the deep roar.

Richard Harris looked up at the sky. He knew he had to hurry if he wanted to get across the bridge before the waters of the growing river covered it. He clasped the well-worn satchel to his chest and hurried along.

“Who do they think they are?” He questioned the wind whipping around him. “Do they really think they will get my gold? It’s mine! Mine! Mine!” he screamed at the top of his lungs.

Several times Richard stumbled and fell. Each time he got up a little slower. Fatigue plagued him.

“Harris! Harris, where are you?” The wind carried the faint voice through the trees.

Richard Harris grabbed at the limb in front of him. Staggering slightly, he ran blindly through the forest toward the river.

“Where can that old man be?” asked the voice. No one answered it.  “Harris!” it called again.

It was getting harder and harder for Richard to breathe. The pain in his chest surged through his body with each step he took. Still he clutched the satchel as if it meant more to him than life itself.

“You can’t have it!” he again screamed. The rain lashed at him. “It’s mine! All mine!” He challenged the elements that mocked him.

Richard Harris gasped for breath. The pain in his chest was unbearable, but the river was near, and he had to get across.

He took a couple of unsteady steps forward and suddenly slumped against an old mesquite tree. He could no longer ignore the pain. It was too great. Clutching his chest and gasping for breath, Richard tried to crawl toward the river, but never reached his destination. Under the old mesquite tree in the dark of night, Richard Harris died, still clutching the worn leather satchel to his chest.

Just before dawn the storm broke. The first rays of sunshine filtered through the treetops, casting a golden glow over everything they touched. The swollen river gurgled and churned over its banks. It completely covered the lower section of the bridge. Only the top railings poked out of the wildly churning waters.

“I wonder how much of the bank washed away from the bridge?” asked a deep and gruff voice.

“Doubt we’ll see very much,” said a second voice that was just a little higher pitched.

“Hey, Jimmy, don’t get too close to that there water,” warned the deep, gruff voice.

“I know what I’m doing,” replied Jimmy.

“That bank’s awfully soggy. The ground’s likely to give way and take you with it.”

“Frank, you’re an old fool,” commented Jimmy as he took a couple of steps backward.

“Not much to see out here.” Frank scratched his head. He scanned the area, taking note of the destruction caused by the rains and the flood waters.

“We had better be getting back. Can’t do much here until the waters go down.” Jimmy turned to go back the way they had come.

“Yeah, you’re right,” mumbled Frank. “It’s just that I—” He abruptly stopped talking.

Jimmy turned back to his companion. “What’s wrong?” he asked.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Just a few more days!!!

Guardian of Atlantis will be on sale for just a few more days. 
Hurry and get your copy before the sale ends.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

It's a BOOK!!!

No Rest for the Spirit and Other Ghostly Tales will be on sale at Amazon in a few days.

E-Book SALE!!!

If you haven't bought a copy of Guardian of Atlantis, you need to hurry over to Amazon. 

The e-book is on sale for $0.99.