Hump Day Kick Start – Writing Prompt #15

August 16, 2017

Writing prompts to kick start your muse.

Huh… Wonder why? Is the prison based on an island with man-eating giant gorillas or surrounded by mutant sharks? On another planet with vengeful alien beasts? Could the prison be run by a beautiful, deadly demon who takes horrifying pleasure in torturing her escapees? Maybe the prison is filled with detainees who have not yet been infected by the zombies roaming around on the outside.

Share your ideas and/or post your creations, even if it’s just a line or two. I’d love to hear them.


Link Of The Week- Self Publishing Authors Podcast

August 15, 2017

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They are called the SPA (Self Publishing Authors) Girls, and let me tell you, they know their stuff! The podcasts are free and informative with a ton of humor thrown in. This business can be overwhelming- they sift through the cacophony to find the true bits of guidance we all need. Enjoy listening and learning from interviews with Mark Dawson, Roxanne St. Claire, Brian Meeks and more!

http://www.selfpublishingauthorspodcast.com/

 

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They also have a book that is fantastic! Here’s the link for that as a bonus-

https://goo.gl/rB5ByH

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Friday Fun Facts- Route 66

August 11, 2017

By the time you get up and read this, I will be on the road somewhere between the mountains of New Mexico and the sheer vastness of the state of Texas. Part of the way will be on the historic Route 66. Bet you didn’t know some of these facts!download

  1. It is 2448 miles long and has been described as “The Mother of All Road Trips”. (8 states and 3 times zones)
  2. John Steinbeck used it as the inspiration of his novel The Grapes of Wrath. He left Chicago in 1937 heading west. He called it the great “concrete path” and in the book it was referred to as the “Mother Road”.download (3)
  3. The Great Depression paved Route 66. From 1933 to 1938 thousands of male youths looking for work became members of the “Road Gangs” and paved all the remaining dirt sections.
  4. Route 66 won’t be on any modern maps! It was decommissioned from the original 1926 grid. The route was considered irrelevant and was replaced by the interstate highway system.
  5. “Get Your Kicks on Route 66” was sung by Nat King Cole. It almost wasn’t to be because when the composer arrived in LA to pitch it, the song was only half completed. Mr. Cole helped finish it and then recorded the song.download (4)
  6. It is also nicknamed “Will Rogers Highway”. The beloved writer spent many years travelling the Route and writing about the people along the way. When he died in a plane crash, radio stations from coast to coast on the road went silent for 30 minutes in honor of the man who wrote about them.
  7. The Kansas section is the shortest- only measuring 13 miles!
  8. The highest point is on the Continental Divide in Gallup, New Mexico at 7245 ft. high!!
  9. One of the most famous motel chains along the Route was The Wigwam Motels. The rooms were designed to look like an Indian teepee. There are only 2 left located in San Bernadino and the other in Holbrook, AZ.
  10. Clark Gable and Carol Lombard spent their honeymoon in Oatman, AZ along the Route.
  11. Phillips Petroleum chose a spot on the Route as the location for their first gas station in 1927. It’s still standing in McLean, Texas!download (1)
  12. The first EVER McDonalds opened on Route 66 in California in 1948.download (2)
  13. A WWII prisoner of war camp was set up 2 miles east of 66 in McLean, Texas. It operated from 1943-1945 and housed up to 3000 German prisoners.images (1)

Hump Day Kick Start – Eat My Dust Edition

August 9, 2017

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

Today’s prompt is metal, leather, and dirt. Oh yeeaah…

So who is he and what’s going on? Is he a drifter in a post-apocalyptic world? A Lycan hunter with silver-tipped arrows? A time-jumping bounty hunter? Is he running from something? Searching for someone? Out for blood? Off to slay a beast terrorizing his town? Maybe he’s a road warrior going on a date with a sexy death dealer.

What’s your take? I’d love to hear it or just caption the pic.

 


Link of the Week – Kindle and Clickfarms, WTH?

August 8, 2017

Clickfarm employee

I have a love/hate relationship with Amazon. As a consumer, I love the ease of shopping with them. As an author, I am in no way happy with their changing book-selling landscape, their elusive algorithms, the near impossible discoverability on their search engines, and how difficult it is to make sure I’m getting paid correctly. I’m very much aware of pirate sites and scammers hanging around on Amazon and stealing MY money. And I am aware Kindle Unlimited is flawed. But I had no idea just HOW flawed. I have been apparently (and blissfully) clueless of scammers that are also authors. Clueless of clickfarms. Clueless of the unethical manipulations of popular Amazon lists—the coveted lists that also help spread author names and titles to more Amazon readers. This not only affects hard-working (starving) authors, it affects readers, too. So why isn’t Amazon doing anything about it?

Read more (in detail) here on this post by David Gaughran and what we can do to make changes (she says with only a shred of hope).

https://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2017/07/15/scammers-break-the-kindle-store/


Fun Friday Facts- Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n Roll

August 4, 2017

Hello!

This summer has passed in a whirlwind of activity. I can’t believe we are already in August and Back To School is right around the corner. I hope your summer was a ton of fun!

I love biographies and I read Eric Clapton’s. Whew- what a life. Look what I found out about other rockers-

  1. Prince and Sinead O”Connor got into a fight. He used his fists and she spit on him multiple times. He wrote her massive hit “Nothing Compares To You” but was upset when she decided to cover it because he wanted to give it to one of his female protege. Discussion turns into him berating her for cussing during interviews and she calmly told him to go f— himself. The fight was on.sinead-oconnor-1988-2
  2.  Legendary producer and songwriter Phil Spector is off his rocker. Crazy. He put a loaded gun to Leonard Cohen’s head. He fired a shot in the studio while working with John Lennon. He also held the Ramones at gunpoint. He held the band captive in a locked room and while he sat at the piano, he made the band listen to him sing “Baby, I Love You”. Multiple times. Until 4:30 in the morning.

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    I kid you not. This is him in court.

  3. Izzy Stradlin, guitarist for Guns N’ Roses, had to go pee on the plane. The bathrooms were occupied so he declared, “I’m not waiting any longer.” Sooooooo, he whipped it out and peed in the galley in front of stunned passengers and attendants. His attorney’s defense? He was expressing himself……Izzy-STRADLIN-portrait-1992-billboard-650
  4. Boy George behaved badly. Surprised? In 2007 a Norwegian escort arrived at Boy George’s house for a naked photo shoot. They had some cocaine and next thing you know, Boy George accuses him of hacking his computer, handcuffs him to the wall (Wait a minute, how do you do this unless you have rings screwed in the wall so you have something to handcuff it to?) Anyway, handcuffed him and pulled out chains and beat him! What?!?!Culture-Club-on-the-set-of-the-Karma-Chameleon-video-Surrey-Boy-George
  5. In 2000, Slim Shady(Eminem) was arrested for 2 separate gun-related incidents just hours apart. Hmmm, not too smart. Each time was with an unloaded gun.1377298872_Slim_shady
  6. Marilyn Manson. Sigh. He got in trouble because he thought rubbing his junk on the head of a security guard was a good idea. He said it wasn’t sexual misconduct. The lawsuit claims that Manson grabbed the guy from behind and improperly touched him. He tried to escape but Manson continued to gyrate his hips and pubic area against his head, neck, and face. Instead of being prosecuted as a sex offender, he got disorderly conduct. Manson’s response was, “It’s a victory for art.” Really?!?!?!?download
  7. Foxy Brown loses it over hair glue. Brown was already on probation for assaulting 2 manicurists when she bought a bottle of hair glue and headed to the bathroom. After 15 minutes the owner knocked and said they were closing. Brown said, I bought this glue and I’ll do what I wanna do.” Then the door was flung open and Brown tried to squirt the glue into the owner’s eyes and knocked over a shelf of bottles while using every cuss word known to man. The cop had to use a takedown maneuver. Talk about anger management!foxy-brown
  8. Britney Spears has a few moments too. Her first marriage to a childhood friend lasted 55 hours. She had her first baby and promptly started teaching it to drive. She stopped wearing shoes in public bathrooms then shaved her head to feel normal. Outrageous behavior or just sad?britney-spears-shave-f25e4a79-ba18-4744-8878-f4d854799f2a

 


2017 RWA Orlando in Pictures

August 2, 2017

Did you miss us? Sure you did!

The Romance Writers of America conference was held at Disney’s Mariott Swan and Dolphin last week. Naturally, it was an opportunity to take the kiddos on a magical vacation. So I came to town five days earlier, building memories. Nine to twelve hour days for three days at the Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and the Magic Kingdom. My feet were screaming for mercy before the conference even started. Still, the awe and wonderment in my youngest daughter’s eyes when she met her favorite Disney characters, the laughter and squeals of my oldest daughter as we rode coasters, and the speed at which my hubby whipped out his camera to take pictures of Storm Troopers marching through the park made it all well worth it. Most definitely a vacation to cherish.

After the fam returned home, I stayed behind for the second leg on my Florida stay. I can’t say I was disappointed. How could I be? Workshops, education, networking, inspirational keynote speakers, meeting new friends, hugging old friends, yummy cocktails, and dancing—it was all so wonderful! See for yourself.

Arriving gives me the giggles.

We start off the conference with Level Up workshops on Wednesday. Stacey and I took a Master Class and an Indie Track class, each lasting 2 hours and each chock full of great information.

Intensive Workshop with Mark Dawson.

Another great workshop with Roxanne St. Claire and Kristen Painter.

Thursday was filled with more workshops, book signings, the Golden Heart luncheon, and the Rita Awards. Avon Books sponsored a dance party following the Rita ceremony. Dancing, drinking, laughing, nonsense ensued. It’s not a party until you break your favorite pair of kitten heels.

The Golden Heart luncheon with our friends from our local chapter, Northwest Houston. Amazing ladies, they are.

Posing with our superstar sister and Rita finalist, Sarah Andre.

Dancing the night away!

Drinks while strutting to the music with Rita finalist and fellow Ruby sister, Vivi Andrews.

Fun with friends Chloe, Eliza, & Ruth. Pics were taken for prosperity, of course.

Friday ushered in tired feet, more workshops, the trade show, networking, an impromptu podcast, another luncheon, RWA’s AGM, and volunteering to set up the literacy signing event.

This was just the beginning of getting the massive event set up. Even better when you have friends like Becca St. John (who took this pic) toiling away with you.

Throughout the conference, there were so many opportunities to meet new friends, catch up with old pals, finally meet online buddies, and make connections, usually with a nice relaxing cocktail.

One of my newest friends, my kindred spirit and fellow pirate wench, Chloe Flowers.

Finally meeting in person after being friends for years, Pam Stack, executive producer of Author on the Air Global Radio Network.

Are we ever serious? No…not really.

Stacey chilled with a (literally) smoking drink.

Saturday brought in, you guessed it, more workshops, the leadership breakfast, posing for a new author photo, the literacy signing, and a special book launch for one of my all-time favorite authors, Sherrilyn Kenyon.

2017 Readers For Life Literacy Autographing!

Stacey and Jami, beautiful ladies with beautiful smiles, showing us how it is done!

Lark and I were ready to sell out!

Girl crushing on Sherrilyn Kenyon. What a great way to end the week!

Last night at the Dolphin. So pretty!

No conference trip is complete without the TSA rummaging through my (locked) suitcase. Again.

Musetracks had a great time in Florida. Next year…Denver, Colorado. I can’t wait to see what’s in store.