No, You’re Not Seeing Double… LOL Monday Double Feature Video

April 2nd, 2012

DH and I were in a friendly competition last night as I scrolled through YouTube videos trying to find a funny one for today. I thought I had him with the Star Wars Injured Stormtrooper Parody, but I have to admit his Quadruplets video had me laughing so hard I was afraid I would wake The Blonde Blur.

Just because these are both too funny to miss, here’s our double feature LOL Monday videos:

Injured Stormtrooper-Star Wars parody

Quadruplets

Thanking My Cheerleader… The Star Wars Way

March 19th, 2012

If you’re new to this blog, you may not know my husband is a Star Wars geek.

Oh yeah.

We’ve got every movie, including the latest Clone Wars, in more than one format and a house full of action figures — and that doesn’t include the comic books and paperback novels. Thankfully he’s not as into this cult phenomena as some, but I know more about Star Wars than I ever thought possible.

DH is also my biggest cheerleader. He may not always understand why I write, nor why I chose a cat as the protagonist for my first work of fiction, but he supports my dreams. For that I’m willing to watch as many SW videos as he wants and listen to hours of discussion on the history of the minor characters from story lines I didn’t know existed.

So when I find a funny video that combines kittens with Star Wars, you know I just have to share it. Enjoy!

Who is your cheerleader? What would you be willing to do to say thanks to that person?

***

Simply Prayer is getting a new ebook cover. If you haven’t done so already, cast your vote and tell me which one is your favorite before April 1.

Star Wars Goes To The Dogs

January 30th, 2012

In our household, Star Wars is considered sacred. DH’s office is littered with 3/4″ plastic body parts just waiting to be reassembled into new Jedi. Every other Wednesday night is dedicated to the newest SW comic, which, of course, must be read in the only place of privacy a man has — the bathroom. If there’s a cool new video game trailer, as a dutiful wife, I must watch with enthusiasm regardless of the time of night it happens to be.

It’s a good thing I like Star Wars, too, or the men in white coats might have to come cart me away. Anyway, when DH showed me this video I knew I just had to share it on LOL Monday. See how many SW characters you can recognize and if you recognize the “song” the dogs are “singing.”

May the Force be with you.

***

Catch up on the adventure with other books in the Malkin series.

Apprentice Cat CoverApprentice Cat available in paperback and for KindleNookKoboScribd and iTunes.

Buy the .pdf now 

Also available as an audiobook on AudibleAmazon and iTunes.

 

 

Journeyman-Cat15percentJourneyman Cat available in paperback and KindleNookScribdiTunes and Kobo.

Buy the .pdf now 

Also available as an audiobook on Audible, Amazon and iTunes.

 

 

Secrets-of-the-Malkin-sidebar-newsletterSecrets of the Malkin ebook version available for KindleNookiTunes and Kobo.

Buy the .pdf now 

 

 

 

Huntress of the MalkinHuntress of the Malkin ebook version available for KindleNookKobo and iTunes.

Buy the .pdf now 

Critters Makes for Better Writing

September 24th, 2011

Welcome to Toolbox Saturday where you’ll find tools for various things from writing to whatever.


My husband is a big Star Wars fan.  He watches all six movies often, though there’s a couple he watches more often than the rest.  He collects the action figures (never call them toys to a “true” collector).  He rushes to the video store that sells the comic books the same day they call him to let him know his comic is in.  And everytime a new SW novel appears in print he combs the bookstores (ranting about it being released in hard back first and having to wait a year or more for its release in paper back, but that’s another story for another blog).  All of this means that when he found his favorite SW author’s web site he, of course, emailed a link to the site to me.

Usually I look at these “helpful” links others send me with half-hearted attention, but the fact that he raves about this author’s writing made me curious.  My initial reaction to Karen Traviss web site was, if possible, even more curiousity because the first page link she has is to something called Critters.  (My husband, being the wonderfully oblivious man he is, assumed the author was talking about her pets or some such thing.)  After looking at her other page links, which all had to do with how to be a better writer, I figured it had to have something to do with writing.

I haven’t been so surprised at being right in a long time.  It turns out that Critters is a group of writers from novice to pro who critique each others’ work.  (Hence the clever name.)  It’s a great idea.  The only catch is that all members are required to submit a minimum of one critique per week.  The good news is that there are ways to get ahead in critiquing and ways to catch up.  The benefits of having your work honestly, and tactfully, critiqued before it hits the publishers desk or you’ve already submitted it to a POD (print-on-demand) company far outweigh the commitment in time and energy spent doing a critique a week.

The best part is that you can have your complete novel critiqued as well as smaller works.  There are special provisions for entire novels and a way to get your work bumped up to the top for critique if you just don’t have the time to wait an entire month.

While it would be nice to be able to write the perfect story from the first word, a good writer knows that editing and rewriting are a must in the craft.  Having your work critiqued by others who have no reason to stroke your ego, as family and friends do, makes the process that much better (though no less painful).  Thanks to authors like Karen Traviss, who are willing to give new and emerging writers advice, and to fellow writers like those on Critters, every would-be author has a better chance at success.

***

Catch up on the adventure with other books in the Malkin series.

Apprentice Cat CoverApprentice Cat available in paperback and for KindleNookKoboScribd and iTunes.

Buy the .pdf now 

Also available as an audiobook on AudibleAmazon and iTunes.

 

 

Journeyman-Cat15percentJourneyman Cat available in paperback and KindleNookScribdiTunes and Kobo.

Buy the .pdf now 

Audiobook coming soon.

 

 

Secrets-of-the-Malkin-sidebar-newsletterSecrets of the Malkin ebook version available for KindleNookiTunes and Kobo.

Buy the .pdf now 

 

 

 

Huntress of the MalkinHuntress of the Malkin ebook version available for KindleNookKobo and iTunes.

Buy the .pdf now 

Cats and Lightsabers: The Best of Both Worlds

September 5th, 2011

Welcome to Laugh Out Loud Monday (aka LOL Monday): because, like my favorite fat cat, I hate Mondays, I thought, “What better way to start the week than with a laugh?”

My husband is a Star Wars nut. He’s been a collector since childhood. I’ve always enjoyed watching sci-fi, but that’s about it. Now, thanks to my Dear Husband, I own my own toy Darth Maul lightsaber (yes, we had to duel after we put them together) and my own set of Darth Maul lightsaber chopsticks, which have a cool magnet setup so you can connect the handles.

Of course, I also love cats, which is a big reason why in my current WIP, Apprentice Cat, the protagonist is a magical tom cat. Toby befriends a reckless adolescent male witch in order track down the Master Cat responsible for the tom’s father’s disappearance before the Master Cat can take over the human-run government. (I’m still working on my one-sentence description. 🙂 )

So what do cats have to do with Star Wars?

Nothing, unless you’re a Jedi Kitten. Take a look:

What opposites have you balanced in your life? How have significant others influenced your hobbies?

Discovering Passion And Purpose In Writing

August 13th, 2011

fountain pen photoWelcome to Toolbox Saturday where you’ll find tools for various things from writing to whatever.

I’ve often heard it said that everyone dreams of writing the next great novel. That may be, but few get beyond “trunk writing” and fewer still actually publish something of quality. Why is that? Perhaps it’s because, while people may dream of being a “writer,” only those with a true passion for writing can find the energy to do it.

As I continue work on Apprentice Cat, I am amazed at how much passion it takes to keep plugging along at something I often feel unqualified to write.  I sometimes ponder what exactly is my purpose, not just in writing this book about prayer, but also about my purpose in life in general. It’s given me yet another subject for research and I would like to share what I’ve found.

First, there is the need for passion. If you’re like me, determining your passion can be difficult. I’ve always thought of it as something you eat-sleep-breath (much like my husband’s obsession with Star Wars action figures). That may not be the case for you, as it hasn’t been for me. A passion can be something that you naturally gravitate to, but don’t necessarily obsess over.

In her article Determine Your Passion, Amber Keinath poses several questions such as the obvious “What are you good at?” to the less obvious “What were you doing the last time you really had a lot of fun and found the time flying?” that can guide each of us to determining our own passion. For a writer, those questions can lead to a long list of possible books, essays, posts and even workshop notes on a particular topic.

After passion comes purpose. That is possibly the most difficult question to answer: What is my purpose in life? Some people, called nihilists (see #6 on Dictionary.com), believe we have no purpose. Others, like myself, want to believe we have a purpose (or more than one), but just don’t know how to discover it.

Many a book has been written on the subject of discovering one’s purpose in life and some have become very popular for whatever reason, like Purpose Driven Life. Unlike Rick Warren, however, I like to think that each of us has our own purpose separate from each other. As Albert from UrbanMonk.net said in a guest post to ZenHabits:

Are Your Goals Yours? This statement is everywhere, and yet it is ignored so often that it bears repeating: Your purpose is your own. No one can cramp themselves into another person’s definition of happiness and success and, well, expect to be happy and successful.

That was why I particularly enjoyed Steve Pavlina’s article “How to Discover Your Life Purpose in About 20 Minutes.” Steve’s solution is simple: title your blank page with “What is my true purpose in life?”, then write down any answer that pops into your head. According to Steve, the answer that makes you cry is your life’s purpose. Again, as an Independent Author, I can see where finding this purpose can lead to so many new avenues of income from book sales to speaking events.

It’s not always about making money. The money, in my opinion, is a byproduct of doing what we’re meant to do. For this Independent Author, discovering a passion and a life purpose is just part of the journey.

What defines passion and purpose in your life?

Photo by ChrisL_AK