Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday is Thanksgiving. It's also Make Your Own Head Day. Feel free to combine those two holidays any way you see fit, and if you're feeling particularly artistic, by all means take photos and send them to me.

Right now, I'm neck deep in the first draft of my new novel, Halcyon Dream, and frantically trying to get to 50,000 words or more by midnight on Saturday. I'm fairly confident I'll make it to the finish line this year. When the first draft is complete, I'll print the whole mess out and then put it away until January. When I look at it with fresh eyes, I'm sure I'll shake my head quite often, wondering what the heck I was thinking when I wrote it. For now, I just want to get done so that I can enjoy the Christmas season. By enjoy, I mean pulling my hair out every time I think of all the things I need to do. In any case, I'm not there yet.

I've been thinking about what's in store for this blog in 2014. As soon as I figure it all out, I'll let you all know.

The Four for Friday feature was fun, but I'd like to do something new next year.
The Fun Facts feature needs a new theme for 2014. I think I have an idea, but we'll see.

Coming up with fun and interesting posts can be difficult during the best of times, but I find I sometimes devote more time to the research for a post than I do to my manuscripts. The most writing I accomplished in 2013 was my 50,000 NaNoWriMo words. I've noticed a number of blogger/writers with the same concern. I may cut down on the frequency of my posts so that I can be more productive with my writing in 2014.

I'm interested in how you all cope with blogging and writing, especially if you work a full-time job.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know that I'm thankful for each and every one of you, and to wish you all a safe and happy Thanksgiving Day.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Four For Friday--Sheila Deeth

Four For Friday is a weekly feature where guest authors choose one of their own characters to complete four sentences. 

Don't forget: you need to click on the Rafflecopter tabs or else your entries won't count! 

This week's post is by Sheila Deeth from her novel, Bethlehem's Baby

I’m called David, which is pretty cool ‘cause there was a great king called David once, not like that Herod the Great guy my granddad keeps complaining about. King David, he was the sort of king that knew stuff and did stuff and won great battles and all that, and people wrote about him and still sing songs. And he was a shepherd, just like me. So I’m proud to be a David, and one day I think I might grow up to be a king.

  1. The thing I’m most thankful for is my dad, ‘cause lots of my friends haven’t got dads. The Roman soldiers killed ‘em when that evil King Herod told them to, just ‘cause they didn’t think he should be king. And he shouldn’t really be king ‘cause he’s not even one of us. He’s a… Idu… Idiot… I dunno; my granddad could tell you though. He knows that sort of thing.
  2. The best part of a Chanukah meal is remembering how we kicked out the Greeks. Granddad says it was our finest hour. He says we’re going to kick out the Romans one day too and that’ll be our even finester hour. Me, I’m going to be a famous warrior and help and then they’ll let me into the Temple so they can crown me king.
  3. I wish the people in my family were more like kings and royalty though. I know it’s cool to be a shepherd like King David, but King David wasn’t just a shepherd was he? He got to live in a palace and all I get is a tent full of brothers and sisters and my granddad bossing us about.
  4. Temperatures are getting cooler; that means we have to keep the fires burning at night. And Granddad, he just complains and complains and complains. He says his cloak’s not warm enough and the fire makes too much noise and we kids keep disturbing him. But honestly, it’s Granddad keeps disturbing us, except… That’s not Granddad. The whole sky looks like it’s on fire and it sounds like somebody’s singing. I got to go and see!

You can find more of the Five-Minute Bible StoryTM Series on the publisher’s website:

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Fun Facts about Make Your Own Head Day

This year, Thanksgiving falls on November 28th. Everyone else's blog is talking about turkeys, pumpkin pie, pilgrims and tryptophan-induced naps. 

That's all fine and good, but another holiday falls on the same day. Have you ever heard of Make Your Own Head Day? Neither had I, but you, my dear friends, will be glad I've done some research and enlightened you about this fun holiday. 

Now, you can amaze your friends and family at the dinner table with your vast knowledge!

Who created Make Your Own Head Day? I'm not really sure.

It could have been in 2007 when this Minnesota State graduate, who was immortalized in 50 pounds of butter, had her 15 minutes of fame on David Letterman. You can read about it here

In any case, Make your own head day is a day to make a likeness of your own head in any creative medium you choose. 

You could draw your head with crayons, markers, pencils, or paint. 

You could sculpt your head using clay, Play-doh, tin foil, Rice Krispies, Legos, styrofoam, or even plant matter. Let your imagination fly!

Or since this year, the holiday falls on Thanksgiving, you could be more traditional and use butter. 

Display your head on your dining room table and have your guests use the butter on their biscuits. You may want to take a photo of your buttery creation before everyone digs in, though.

Come to think of it, feel free to send me photos of your work. No matter what medium you use. If I get enough entries, I will run a contest. The photos will be posted in December, and you can all vote on your favorite. The winner will receive a $10 Amazon gift card! You can use it to buy books, art supplies, and believe it or not, BUTTER! 

Send your entries to my e-mail: dee stan 62 @ g mail dot com 

(It's written that way to confuse the bots. Leave out the spaces and replace the word 'dot' with a dot.)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Four For Friday--Kim Curley

Four For Friday is a weekly feature where guest authors choose one of their own characters to complete four sentences. 

Don't forget: you need to click on the Rafflecopter tabs or else your entries won't count! 

This week's post is by Kim Curley

Her character, Erin is from "Faith" a short story that appears in Earth's End

Erin grew up near Charlottesville, Virginia. A homeschooled child, Erin excelled in all of her classes and tested highly in sciences. While her father, Glen Hunter, spent his waking hours at the Leander McCormick Observatory studying astronomy, Erin focused on genetics and the study of DNA. Although she never officially obtained a degree, Erin is a geneticist. Since the upheaval of the earth, Erin has diligently shared her science skills with the remaining survivors, called Lemurians to insure a healthy, and safe, future for mankind.

1. The thing I’m most thankful for is my new, extended family! They have been a joy and inspiration to me through the most difficult time in my life. Besides losing both parents, and the near destruction of the earth, we had many dark days. But, the Lemurian’s gave me focus in what I need to do today, and they reminded me to keep faith and hope alive for a better tomorrow.

2. The best part about the Thanksgiving meal is the harvest, which is year ‘round now! My favorite food is the strawberries. They’re as big as your hands and oh, so, sweet!

3. I wish the people in my family were more… I don’t wish for my family to be anything more than what and who they are. I love them dearly! They’ve given me courage through diversity, and unconditional love at all times.

4. Temperatures are getting a bit cooler, that means harvesting and gathering seeds from plants to continue propagation. Although it sounds like all we do is work, this is down time for us. This is an opportunity to relax a bit in the evenings, visiting with family and friends, both near and far. 

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My NaNoWriMo Word Count May Not Increase Tonight.

Seventeen years ago on 11/12, at 1:00pm, on an island in the Caribbean, with 30 mph winds, during a storm that lasted 10 days, I married my best friend. 

He's the man of my dreams, who supports me in everything I do, (especially when I'm glued to my keyboard, writing and blogging) and I don't know what I would do without him. 

We've weathered some storms through the years, much like on our wedding day, but through it all, we knew we were right for each other.

Isn't it wonderful when you know you've found your soul mate?

Happy Anniversary to us. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Four For Friday--Alice Ayden

Four For Friday is a weekly feature where guest authors choose one of their own characters to complete four sentences. 

Don't forget: you need to click on the Rafflecopter tabs or else your entries won't count! 

This week's post is by Alice Ayden from her Ausmor Plantation Series

The winner will get their choice of a Kindle copy of BEAUTIFUL WHISPERS or MISSING 6.

I’m Jane Austen. No, not that Jane, but I am a huge fan! My last name just happens to be Austen, and my mom named me Jane after her favorite aunt. I live with my family on a working Virginia Plantation that’s been in my family since before the Revolutionary War. There are plenty of secrets at the Plantation: spirits roam the halls, there’s a hidden cellar, a killer might be lurking, one of my aunts hates me, my cousin is a twirloholic, and I can’t seem to remember the handsome handyman that’s just come back – that’s because I tripped on the stairs (I think) and lost the last 6 months of my memory.

1. The thing I’m most thankful for is...

Definitely my family. They put up with all my craziness (and I have a lot of it with the pesky amnesia, I’m convinced someone’s following me, and I keep having flashbacks to a cellar). I’m always grateful to my cousins (Evan and Lillia) who have my back, my cat, Fanny Dingo, who watches over me, and for being able to live in such an amazing house.

2. The best part about the Thanksgiving meal is...

That my aunt, Bitty, didn’t cook any of it. She thinks she’s a cook, but I don’t consider chocolate covered cauliflower a delicacy. Luckily, Mrs. Hodghes is the best cook, and she likes me so we always have amazing food. Plus tourists like to visit to see how the family celebrated back in the day.

3. I wish the people in my family were more...

I wrote many versions for this answer, but ended up chucking them all. For all the bugaboos, I wouldn’t really change any of my family. My cousin, Lillia, twirls, my other cousin, Evan, is the smartest person I know, Mrs. Kiness protects, Grand Maeve has never met a man she couldn’t tempt, Uncle V is obsessed with Canada, Aunt Bitty tries to poison everyone every year, but I wouldn’t be who I am without any of them.

4. Temperatures are getting cooler, that means...

Fires in the fireplaces which only scares Mrs. Kiness more because she thinks every pop is one of the spirits haunting her. It also means hot cocoa with lots of marshmallows, fudge, brownies, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate covered... Wait, I’m suspecting a theme here.


Please leave a comment and tell us which book you would like if you are the winner!

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Day 5--NaNoWriMo and I are still in the dating phase.

Today is Day 5. As of twelve hours ago, my word count is 5455. Hopefully after finishing this blog post, the count is up to 8000. We'll see.

In 2009, I signed up and finished a really horrible first draft.

In 2010, I was so excited about starting again. It turned out not to be so wonderful the second time around. With only one day to go, I gave up.

In 2011, I didn't participate, but wished others well and even shared my own Recipe for Nano Success

In 2012, I didn't even think about it.

This year, I was reluctant to sign up for NaNoWriMo. Ok, honestly? I forgot all about it. Then, I read somebody's Facebook status about doing the challenge. I logged onto the site and told myself that if I can't remember my ID and password, I wouldn't be upset about it. BUT I did remember. AND I got it right on the first try. It was a sign. So I signed up.

 Being a typical pantster, I never outline. I usually just go with the flow. When I do NaNo, I start out like gangbusters and then trudge through the middle. This is the time when I either give up, or write a whole lot of junk.

This year, I worked a little smarter. I signed up at and entered all my characters and scenes. Now, every night, I know exactly which scene I'm working on. So far, it's working. I haven't stared down a blank screen or blinking cursor yet.

This year, NaNo and I are very compatible. We really like each other. Everything is going smoothly. I'm polite and dainty and on my best behavior. NaNo is a real gentlemen. The conversation is flowing, and we're getting to know each other. So far...

Are you doing the NaNo challenge? Would you like another buddy? Let's face it, we all need buddies who are understanding when the relationship starts getting rocky. Add me to your list--Denise0616.

Don't know how to add a buddy? Leave your screen name in the comments and I'll find you.

Wish us luck!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Four For Friday--Jennifer Chow

Four For Friday is a weekly feature where guest authors choose one of their own characters to complete four sentences. 

Don't forget: you need to click on the Rafflecopter tabs or else your entries won't count! 

This week's post is by the beautiful, Jennifer Chow from her novel, The 228 Legacy.

My name is Silk Lu, and I’m 55 years old. I’m from Taiwan (raised in Taipei, but then I moved to Kaohsiung). Now, I live in this town called Fairview, near Los Angeles. I have one daughter, Lisa, who is too Americanized. I also have one granddaughter Abbey, the pride and joy of my existence.

1. The thing I’m most thankful for 

is freedom. I escaped Taiwan during the crazy time when we transitioned from Japanese to Chinese Kuomintang rule. I love how the United States gave me a fresh start. Nobody knew my background, and I could deny it myself. I could start fresh, without my past haunting me…or so I thought.

2. The best part about the Thanksgiving meal is

—actually I don’t like the traditional American meal. What is the big fuss over a huge, bland bird baked in the oven and smothered with butter? Personally, I’d prefer a nice dish of steamed fish, served with a soy sauce concoction and garnished with ginger and scallions. There is nothing that compares with fresh seafood, and I should know—I used to live near a port in Taiwan.

3. I wish the people in my family were more

appreciative of the Taiwanese culture. I’m doing the best that I can, trying to teach them the language and customs. My daughter never seemed to catch on, but at least my granddaughter is making an effort, and I can see a lot of potential in her.

4. Temperatures are getting cooler, that means that it’s time for 

the fall foliage to come in. Fairview has real maple trees in this nice neighborhood in town. I’ve always wanted to take a little break from my vineyard work to marvel at the beautiful colors on the trees.


Jennifer J. Chow, an Asian-American writer, holds a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a Master’s in Social Welfare from UCLA. Her geriatric work experience has informed her stories.  She lives near Los Angeles, California. To learn more about Jennifer and her novel, please visit her website.

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