Hump Day Kick Start – Throwing Knives Edition

August 24, 2016

Hump Day Kick Start – for your muse, a writing picture prompt, or just a visual treat.

throwing knives

Let’s slice up another prompt, shall we?

Who is today’s subject and what is she about to do? Assassin arming herself before she seduces her next hit? Carnie practicing for tonight’s show? Surgeon by day, pyscho by night terrorizing her victim? Could she be flashing her new boyfriend who happens to be a blade enthusiast? Maybe she’s a manicurist with a hangnail and wicked arsenal of unorthodox tools.

Love to hear your take or just caption the pic.


Link Of The Week- Pronoun

August 23, 2016

I discovered this company at the annual conference of RWA in San Diego. They offer many services and looks like it may be a great place to do further investigation.

https://pronoun.com/download

 

Pronoun is a publishing platform created expressly to empower authors.

  • Create gorgeous ebooks and sell on Amazon, iBooks, B&N, Kobo, and Google
  • Take the mystery out of metadata and optimize your keywords, price, and more
  • Always know how your book is doing with daily sales and performance updates
  • Get a custom marketing page to promote your book and connect with readers

 

All for free.


Friday Fun Facts-Wicca

August 19, 2016

Our typical idea of a witch is someone with a broom, pointy hat and shoes, gnarly teeth hanging out with a bubbling cauldron. Wow- is that image off base.

  1. Contrary to popular opinion, anyone can write and cast a spell. The trick is to know the key elements. Things such as intention, elements, and knowing how to put it into practice make an effective spell caster. Practice makes perfect!
  2. A practitioner of Wicca is called a witch.
  3. They can choose to join a coven or can practice on their own- whatever best suits their spiritual journey.
  4. The main laws of Wicca come from a poem called The Wiccan Rede. It has only been recently published but many claim that its been handed down for generations and it ancient in origin.Wicca-The-Wiccan-Rede
  5. Those who practice will often have a “Book of Shadows”. It’s sometimes referred to as their Bible but that is not quite right. It’s more like a diary of their own spiritual journey. Today many even keep a digital form and not an actual physical book.
  6. Wiccans are of an Earth religion. They believe in a God and Goddess and many have multiple gods- whatever represents aspects of Earth. Seasons, fertility, trees etc. all have importance.
  7. Many believe in reincarnation. They believe that when they die they go to Summerland where they can stay until they are ready to continue their journey and return. They will be sad at the passing of a loved one but also believe, as in nature, the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.
  8. Many people believe that the things going into their potions and sachets were horrid, scary items. Not true. Healers use herbs to perform naturalistic healing. For instance, wild vanilla was sometimes called deer’s tongue, and dandelions were called lion’s tooth. They were persecuted for this practice. However, except for liability issues, it continues today.2ad7c77d939959abbf61711b3557077c
  9. Many people think Wiccans use black magic or evil sorcery. This is far from the truth. It is a neo-pagan religion at its base, most of which died out when Christianity came in existence. Their black magic is sometimes called negative magic where someone casts a spell to hurt another person or to help a person against their will. Most practitioners are strongly against this because one of the tenets in the poem is to do no harm against anyone.4-burningatthestake
  10. Some don’t even practice any kind of magic at all.
  11. Can you call a male witch a warlock? Not if you don’t want to offend him. It has negative connotations because the old Celtic word for warlock meant oath-breaker. They were considered to have broken their oath to God. No one wants to be known as an oath breaker. The word witch is gender neutral.
  12. The pentacle is not to summon demons. It has nothing to do with satanic worship. The 5 points represent the 5 elements of Wicca-air, fire, water, spirit, and earth. They are usually drawn from densest to least dense with the soul being at the top. A circle is drawn around it for protection.4bzkIHP
  13. Some of their rituals are done in skyclad. That means complete nudity. Sexual practices are not part of it. This is not a new, there are records that even early forms of Christianity and other religions practiced this.bcfaa7fc476dd80c294daf936ef4a997

Roller Coasters and Crabs

August 18, 2016

On this roller coaster of publication, writers expect to be faced with a certain amount of, let’s say, excitement. We hear the unmistakable clackety-clack-clack on the way up the ride of publishing a book. Feel the adrenaline build as we teeter on the top of the first dive. Throwing our arms high or hanging onto the bar, we plummet down, down, down picking up speed. Hairpin curves with sales, rankings, good reviews, harsh criticism, and how we will be received by our peers.  It’s all part of the fun, right? Right?cc - rf - TexasCycloneSunset640

This summer, the roller coaster took me by surprise by blasting me through a barrel roll. First, I received scores from a prestigious contest I did not final in. Oh, you know how this story goes. The book is either incredibly awesome or the reader would rather drink antifreeze before turning one more page. I’m usually good with that. It means that my writing has produced extreme emotional reactions. But when one of the judges not only claims the book had no satisfying ending but that it wasn’t even a love story, well, that floored me. Most of you know that I write historical romance, paranormal romance, and some erotic romance. Romance is always a central theme in my books, no matter the genre. I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around how a judge felt that the book failed to meet the requirement of a happily ever after love story. Where did I go wrong? Did I go wrong? Maybe not. I try to remember that this is just an opinion of one person and that’s okay.

But wait.  Three different reviewers have given three of my books high accolades in recent days, including the one mentioned above. For them, my tales are a real pleasure to read. I should be overjoyed, busting at the seams. And I am, truly and humbly. While poking around Amazon, I stumbled across another review written several months ago that basically states  my characters suck, my writing sucks, I suck. This was not a malicious attack, but rather someone who simply hated my book. Regardless, it still stings. And this is why I don’t make it a habit of reading my reviews. Then there is the personal message a reader sent to me via social media and another who emailed me just this week. Both ladies took the time to reach out to me, to say they really love my books and want more.

Round and round my emotions go. Yep – I’m a little green in the gills. I know I’m not the only one. Fellow MuseTracker Stacey has experienced the same thrills and chills. And I’m quite certain that most of our writer friends and acquaintances have, too. The stomach-dropping dips are simply part of the ride.

Stacey, a pillar in my support system, probably won’t remember this, but she once said, “You’re a creative crab.”

Huh?

Imagine if you will a basket of crabs. There’s always one who tries to escape but the other crabs in the basket will keep pulling it back down to certain doom. The would-be escapee crab is the creative crab and the other crabs are critics. All this is true whether you are a newbie author or a seasoned pro. The unsavory opinion of one or two really poisons the pot. It is always that bad review or awful contest score that sticks with us, almost negating all the praise. Almost.

We shouldn’t let the critic crabs keep us down. We can climb out of their basket, yes we can. We must remember all the acclaims, successes, happy readers, and, most of all, stay true to ourselves. Dismiss the negativity, honest or otherwise, grab ahold of the rim, and pull yourself up.

Ours is a path that will surely have its ups and down, topsy-turvy flips, and bone-jerking turns. So buckle and enjoy the ride.

Anyone care for melted butter with their crab legs?

 


Hump Day Kick Start – Romantic Suspense Edition

August 17, 2016

Hump Day Kick Start – for your muse, a writing picture prompt, or just a visual treat.

gun

Need a little power of persuasion?

What’s going on in today’s prompt? Who are these two? Criminals who get off on the rush of being on the run? Is she his hostage? Or is she seducing him, distracting him? Maybe one of them is undercover. What if she were trying to convince him, a broken man, of her love? What if he is a veteran struggling with himself and she is his angel who will save him?

What’s your take? Tell me a story or caption the pic.


Link of the Week – Facebook Changes

August 16, 2016

CC - facebook- pixbaySocial media is always changing. Sometimes for the better, sometimes not so much. This week’s link is to an article on Facebook changes we all need to know about. Check out the informative piece written by Chris Syme at Digital Book World.

3 Facebook Changes You Need to Know About


Friday Fun Facts-Buddhism

August 12, 2016

The next couple of Fridays I’d like to present basic ideas of some of the major world religions. This is not an evangelical exercise, it is merely to educate all of us to the building blocks of these different viewpoints. May we all learn something-BUDDHA

  1. Buddhism does not fit neatly into the religion category although it has been elevated as such. Buddha taught about the “things that are” and never said it should be approached with faith but followers were to examine it for themselves to see if it was true or not.
  2. There are the 4 Noble Truths- 1) Existence is suffering 2) The cause of suffering is attachment and craving 3) Suffering ceases at some point and turns to Nirvana or total bliss and 4) There is a path to Nirvana which is made up of 8 steps called the Eightfold Path.
  3. Buddhism was founded in the north eastern region of India.
  4. Buddha was born as Siddhartha Gautama into a royal family. He lived a privileged life until he realized there were things like old age, sickness, and death.
  5. Eventually he felt compelled to leave his wealthy life and follow the traditional path of the wandering holy man, a seeker of truth.
  6. The Gautama Buddha is considered the birth of Buddhism although he acknowledged there were many enlightened ones in the past and will be many more in the future.
  7. The Fig tree is considered sacred because Buddha became enlightened while he sat under the Fig.Monks
  8. Buddha teaches that the purpose of life is to escape the cycle of birth and death which is the cause of suffering.
  9. Viharas are the sacred places where Buddhists got to worship, read scriptures, and meditate.
  10. Three basic tenets that Buddha taught his followers were to not hate others, not to get angry, and to not be ignorant.
  11. Practicing Buddhists view Buddha as a teacher, not a god or an avatar.
  12. Buddha taught and traveled until his death at age 80. His last words were “All things in the world are changeable. They are not lasting. Work hard to gain your own salvation.”
  13. They do not believe in a supreme being or creator god.
  14. Traditionalist believe in reincarnation and rebirth. Modern believers say one can disregard that aspect and not lose the core values.roseylightbuda

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