About Me

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I am a children's writer from the Virgin Islands. Growing up there was like living inside a history book; an imagination stimulator. Consequently I've been writing for just about forever. I am a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature and a member of SCBWI.

Blog Schedule

I post on Monday and Thursday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Monday, January 26, 2015

52 Likes by Medeia Sharif and An Award!


You still have a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card and a free Kindle copy of 52 LIKES. Click on the Rafflecopter link below to sign up!

52 LIKES, Evernight Teen, 2015
Purchase from Amazon, Evernight Teen (vendor links will be updated on the author's site)

After a brutal rape and near-murder, Valerie wants to get past feelings of victimhood from both the assault and her history of being bullied. She’s plagued by not knowing the identity of her rapist and by the nasty rumors in school about that night. Valerie follows clues from ghostly entities, past victims of the rapist-murderer, contacting her through a social media site—why do all of their eerie photos have 52 likes under them? Their messages are leading her to the mystery man, although he’ll put up a fight to remain hidden.

Find Medeia – YA and MG Author

Blog   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads   |   Instagram   |   Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Very Inspiring Blogger Award
It's been ages, an aeon! since someone has given me an award. Thank you Susan Drazic! What a treat.

The rules for accepting this award are as follows:

1. Thank the person who nominated you, and link to their blog.
2. Display the award logo. 
3. Nominate at least 15 other blogs (more or less) and provide 
a link where they may be found.
4. Then, go to their blog, leave a comment to let them know they have been nominated, and where to find the information they need to accept (rules).
5. Mention three things that inspired you the most during the past few weeks.


My 15 nominations are, in no particular order...

Robyn Campbell for her ever enthusiastic support
C. Lee McKenzie for helping me believe in my abilities
Alex Cavenaugh for being the Ninja, of course
Anne Gallegher for answering every question I can think up
DLHammons for helping lots of people feel good
Liza Salerno for her beautiful words and photos
Manzanita because she's an inspiration to us youngins
Angela Ackerman for being an incredible teacher
Joy Campbell for seeming to be everywhere and sharing what she's learned/learning
Marcia Hoehne for turning me on to kid books I haven't read
Vijaya Bodach for being my first virtual friend and mentor
Medeia Sharif for showing the rest of us how much we can get done in a day/week/month/year
Susan Kane for her wonderful vignettes on life.
Jessica Height for her whimsical riddles. I get the feeling we're kindred spirits
Carol Kilgore for being a supportive near neighbor whom I hope to meet SOON

Okay 3 things that have inspired me in the past few weeks.

1. My husband, for researching alternatives to the medication my doctor wants to put me on.

2. Life... it's everywhere and just doesn't seem to give up.

3. All of you wonderful bloggers!

***

Only 6 days left to win a copy of one of my books! Stop by Carol Kilgore's web page. 2 people will win!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Alternatives - Thankful Thursday


Alternatives is a recurring post in which I give synonyms for an over used word. Click on the "Over Used Words" tab above for a "complete" list of words.

Today's word is: Eager/Eagerly


ImageChef.com - Get codes for Facebook, Hi5, MySpace and moreDepending on how you use it, this list may come in handy for finding another way to say the same thing.

accordant, acquiescent, acquisitive, affirmative, agape, agog, agreeable/agreeing,alacritous, ambitious, amenable, animated, anticipating/anticipatory, antsy, antsy-pants, anxious, appetent, approving, ardent, assenting, athirst, avid, awaiting

born-again, breathless, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, bursting to

certain, chafing, champing/chomping at the bit, compliable, compliant, confident, consentient, consenting, content, cooperative, covetous, craving, crazy

delighted, desiderative, desireful/desiring/desirous, disposed, docile, dying to

earnest, edgy, endorsing, energetic/energized, engaged, enthused/enthusiastic, excited, expectant/expecting

fain, favorable, favorably disposed/inclined, fervent, fervid, forearmed, forestalling, forewarned, forward, fretful, fretting, full of life

game, gaping, geeked, glad, great, greedy, gung ho

hankering, happy, hasty, heated, hepped up, honing, hooked, hopped-up, hoping/hopeful, hormic, hot, hot to trot, hungry, hung up

impatient, impetuous, in a lather/stew/sweat, in anticipation, in the mind, in the mood, inclined, inspirited, intent, interested, itchy

juiced

keen, keen as mustard

lascivious, libidinal/libidinous, lickerish, lively, longing, looking for, looking forward to, lustful

mad about/for, minded, motivated

needing, not surprised, nothing loath, nuts for

obliging, obsessed, on edge, only too please to…, optative, optimistic

panting, passionate, permissive, pining, pleased, pliant, predisposed, prompt, prone, pumped

quick

raring/raring to go, ratifying, ready, ready and willing, receptive, responsive, restive, restless

sanctioning, sanguine, self-starting, solicitous, spirited, squirming/squirmy, stimulated, stoked, submissive, sure

tempted, thirsty, tractable

uneasy, ungrudging, unloath, unpatient, unquiet, unrefusing, unreluctant, unsurprised

vehement, vital/vitalized, vivacious, vivid, voracious

waiting/waiting for, warm/hot blooded, wanting, watching for, well-disposed, well-inclinded, wild, willed/willing, willinghearted, wishful/wishing, wholehearted

yearning, yielding

zealous, zestful
***

I'm just a bit nervous today as I'm to be interviewed for a local weekly paper. I've doing plenty of interviewing in my day, but have never been an interviewee. I'll let you know how it goes.

***

ImageChef.com
Every Thursday, from now until I don't know when, I'm going to express my thankfulness, for at least ONE something.

I've chosen a picture of the Deep Field to remind me, and perhaps others, of how precious this is tiny ball of dirt we call Earth. It is unique and rare. Let us be kind to Earth and each other. Let us be THANKFUL for what we have.

Today I'm thankful for FOOD.

Even though there are many things I can't and/or shouldn't eat any more, like nuts, beans, whole corn, peas, wheat bread, raw fruits and vegetables, I'm thankful to still have an abundance of food available to me.


Unlike others. This picture was taken in 2011.
Haitian Dirt Biscuits

In the markets in Haiti, women sell dirt biscuits. Made with dirt, water and a bit of
 oil, salt, or butter (if they have it), Haitian dirt biscuits are a common way for
 mother's to stop the groaning in their children's bellies.

No one should ever have to choose this option

It's seems a crime when we (I'm talking the U. S. here) as a nation throw so much food away, that people all over the world are going hungry, are starving.

Today I'm thankful for food.

***

What are you thankful for?  Do you think you'd eat a dirt biscuit if you were hungry/starving? Is there anything, that's edible, that you just couldn't put into your mouth? Do you know what you would eat if it was your last meal? Got a favorite alternative for eager?

The month of January I am the Author of the Month on Carol Kilgore's web page. I'll be giving away books. Come check it out!

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Shape of Muses to Come


Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

I was inspired by C. Lee McKenzie when she posted last week on my blog about her Crazy Monkey Muse who happens to be male.
Baby ginger monkey
It got me to wondering what shape my Muse takes. I've never really thought about it.

Is it male or female?

Is it animal, vegetable, or mineral?

Is it old or young? Handsome/beautiful or homely/ugly?


It finally dawned on me (I can be soooooooo sllloooooooow) that my Muse seems to take on/become the character of whatever story I'm working on.


So for Anansi and Company, Anansi was my Muse. For A Lizard's Tail, I channeled Marvin.

I realized this is true for every story I've ever written.






My Muse isn't some  lounging Greek satyr.
THAM Derveni crater satyr.jpg
 "THAM Derveni crater satyr".
Licensed under 
CC BY-SA 3.0
via 
Wikimedia Commons.

My Muse is jumping up and down on the side-lines yelling and cheering and making lots of noise and demanding a lot of attention. (Hmmmmm, maybe not so much.)
Cheddar Cheerleader

The problem (if it is one) is that my Muse will disappear, particularly when I've finished something. I suppose my Muse must be exhausted after directing my latest block-buster hit and thinks it deserves a vacation on a beach somewhere.

I wouldn't mind being here either.

The result is, I never know what shape my Muse will take, when it will arrive, or how long it will stay.

What about you? What shape does your Muse take? Is he/she/it always available or do you have to run it down and, when you find it, chain it to your desk with the promise of freedom and chocolate if only it will inspire?

 The month of January I am the Author of the Month on Carol Kilgore's web page. I'll be giving away books. Come check it out!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Alternatives and Thankful Thursday

Alternatives is a recurring post in which I give synonyms for an over used word. Click on the tab above for a "complete" list of over used words.



Today's word is:


ImageChef.com - Get codes for Facebook, Hi5, MySpace and more
I have this strange feeling definitely has already done, but I can't find it... Parts of the list are familiar, other parts not so much. I know too, this is a long list of those dreaded "ly" words, but sometimes, when you definitely want something different, at least now you have a choice. Yes, indubitably, you have a choice.

Depending on how you use it, this list may come in handy for finding another way to say the same thing.

absolutely, about it, accurately,affirmatively, all right/alright, apparently, reprehensibly, articulately, assertively, assuredly, at all events, at any rate, authentic, axiomatically,

beneficially, beyond any doubt, by all means

categorically, certain/certainly, clearly, coherently, come hell or high water, completely, comprehensibly, conclusively, concretely, conspicuously, constructively, consummately, correctly

dead, decidedly, decisively, declaratively, denominationally, directly, discernibly, distinctly, doubtless/doubtlessly

easily, especially, even, evidently, exactly, explicitly, expressly

factual, faithfully, far and away, finally, firm, flatly, for certain, for a fact, for sure, forsooth

glaringly,

hands down, honestly

in all respects, inarguably, incontestably, incontrovertibly, in detail, indisputably, indubitably, in every respect, in particular, in plain English, in plain terms, in plain words, in truth, indeed, indeedy, indubitably, intelligibly, ipsissimis verbis, irrefragably, irrefutably, item by item

just

limpidly, literally, literatim, lucidly

manifestly, markedly, meticulously, minutely, most assuredly, most certainly

needless to say, no ifs ands or buts, no mistake (about it), nothing else but, noticeably,

objective, observably, obviously, of course, optimistically

particularly, patently, pellucidly, perceivably, perceptibly, perspicuously, precisely, perfectly, plainly, plumb, point-blank, positively, precisely, prominently, pronouncedly,
properly

realistically, really, recognizably, right/rightly, rigidly, rigorously,

seeably, separately, simply, singly, so, specially, specifically, square/squarely, staringly, starkly, straight, steadfastly, strictly, supremely, sure/surely

to a certainty, to be specific, to be sure, to the letter, true/truly, trustingly

unambiguously, unarguably, unconcealedly, unconditionally, undeniably, understandably, undoubtedly, undeviatingly, undisguisedly, undoubtedly, unequivocally, unerringly, unmistakably, unqualifiedly, unquestionably, unrestrictedly, utterly

verbally, verbatim, verbatim et litteratim, veritably visibly,

with clarity, without doubt, without fail, without question, word by word, word for word

This is definitely not my room...


Do you have a preferred alternative?

***

ImageChef.com
Every Thursday, from now until I don't know when, I'm going to express my thankfulness, for at least ONE something.

I've chosen a picture of the Deep Field to remind me, and perhaps others, of how precious this tiny ball of dirt is, the one we call Earth. It is unique and rare and the chances of us finding something like it is rarer still. Even if we do find something like it, we are totally incapable to reaching it.

This is it. Let us be kind to Earth and each other. Let us be THANKFUL for what we have.



Today I'm thankful for Monarch butterflies.
Randy Son Of Robert - She Was Completely Transparent With Me (by)

These lovely creatures, eye candy for us lousy humans, are in serious decline. They could soon be going on the endangered species list.  This is something I never thought I'd see in my life-time, actually in just the past few years. It's horrifying.

Pesticides and habitat destruction are the main enemies along with drought and cold. (Hmmm climate change?)
Monarch D70 Test (1316433) Monarch Butterfly Danaus plexippus Purple Coneflower 3008

Butterflies UFmuseum
Today I'm thankful for Monarchs.
What are you thankful for?
***


The month of January I am the Author of the Month on Carol Kilgore's web page. I'll be giving away books. Come check it out!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Sudden Secrets by Lee McKenzie and A Moment With Her Muse

Today, visiting my humble blog, is the lovely, vivacious, and entertaining 
C. Lee McKenzie! Take it away, Lee!

It was a dark and stormy night.

Once upon a time.

She woke from the dream. . .

I stared at my reflection in the mirror. . .

They climbed into the car and began the journey to their new home.

No! No! No!

Thats my Muse. He does that a lot while Im trying to start a new story. You cant see it, but hes also stomping around the room with his arm flung across his eyes. So dramatic.

Muse again: Stop it already!

Author: I was just kidding. Its fun to watch you go all Crazy Monkey on me.

He slumps into his easy chair and waves a limp hand my direction. Write or something.

So easy for him to say, but hes already dozing, so Ive got no one to bounce ideas off of. No one to read my brilliant first lines.

Author leans in and whispers: How about you? Will you read some? Please?

Readers agree with hearty nods:

Author: So heres the young adult story Im working on. What I need to know is which beginning gets your thumbs up and which ones lame. Remember DRAFT when you comment. Remember author sensitivity issues.

Author glances at Muse, then hooks her thumb his direction:Dont be like him.

1)      The sound annoyed her. It was a rasp that pulsed in time to her heart, but it was outside of her and lurked somewhere nearby, somewhere she couldnt see. She sniffed the air, and it had a bitter tang, like medicine.

2)    The smallest sound came from her lips. It wasnt a sigh. It wasnt a gasp. It was only a whispered, Oh.And why it came she didnt understand. Oh should bring with it an understanding, a sudden realization, but she had neither. All she had was this darkness and a huge lump of fear lodged in her throat. Shed never felt so alone or so disoriented in her life.
Katie Starrett, she said to herself, open your stupid eyes and find out where you are.

So thems the choices so far. And before that Muse wakes up for his coffee break, I hope youll let me know which you prefer or if I should just dump them and start again.


Thanks for letting me visit. Lovely place youve got here, Bish.

Thanks, Lee! I like the first one. Which opening do you like? While you're here, take a look at Lee latest.
KINDLE PRINT EVERNIGHT TEEN

one Secret
Cleo has struggled to heal after her baby sister’s death, but the flashbacks to the accident won’t go away. With the move, she vows to keep her tragedy a secret and avoid pitying looks.

one Mystery
Something’s strange about the abandoned house across the street—flashes of light late at night and small flickers of movement that only someone looking for them would see. 
Everyone says the house is deserted, but Cleo is sure it isn’t, and she’s sure whoever is inside is watching her.

another Secret
In one night, Belleza’s life changes forever. So famous, her only choice is to hide her secret from the world so she can silence small town bigotry. 

Then Cleo happens.

YOU CAN FIND C. LEE ON TWITTER AND FACEBOOK OR VISIT HER WEBSITE. SHE BLOGS AT THE WRITE GAME. See all of her book titles HERE.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Thankful Thursday

ImageChef.com
Every Thursday, from now until I don't know when, I'm going to express my thankfulness, for at least ONE something.

I've chosen a picture of the Deep Field to remind me, and perhaps others, of how precious this tiny ball of dirt is, the one we call Earth. It is unique and rare and the chances of us finding something like it is rarer still. Even if we do find something like it, we are totally incapable to reaching it.

This is it. Let us be kind to Earth and each other. Let us be THANKFUL for what we have.

Today I'm thankful for a warm bed in winter.

We had a bit of cold snap.

But I'm one of the lucky ones.
Pittsburgh Homeless (4047892941)
Homeless in Pittsburgh. 

Homeless Man
Homeless in Boston.

Homeless and cold
Homeless in New York City.


Today I'm thankful for a warm bed in winter.

What are you thankful for?
***


The month of January I am the Author of the Month on Carol Kilgore's web page. I'll be giving away books. Come check it out!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Insecure Writer's Support Group

Posting first Wednesday of every month YOU can sign up HERE to find out more about the purpose of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh.

Our fearless leaders have asked that we share a little bit about ourselves. Well, if you really want to know, you can click on About Me to discover the secrets of my fascinating life.

In an effort to keep these posts short and sweet in the coming year, I'll be sharing an appropriate quote. 



***

El6bw
E. L. Doctorow

Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.


My whole writing life has been a process of learning as I go. Sure, I've taking plenty of writing classes and courses which have taught me many wonderful things. But still,  I'm never quite sure how a story is going to proceed, or how I'm going to tell it, or how the characters are going to evolve. What works for one person, may not work for me. What works for me, may not work for you. So... the actual process of writing remains a mystery.

This post is a perfect example. I had no idea what I was going to say...

And this, I believe, is what makes writing, for me, so wonderful and terrifying at the same time.

What about you? Do you pretty much know what you're going to say/write when you sit down? Or do things just sort of flow out of you unbidden?


***

The month of January I am the Author of the Month on Carol Kilgore's web page. I'll be giving away books. Come check it out!