Thursday, August 30, 2012

Off to California

We spent all yesterday flying and driving but we finally made it to Monterey, California.

We have big plans to show the kids all around the area. Tomorrow we're driving down the coast to Carmel.

I won't be posting for a few days but I'll be jumping around to check out what you've been working on.

Have a great week! :)


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Finding Treasure

Something sparkled on the sidewalk.  The last rays of the evening sun flashed on the coppery surface.  Ryan saw it instantly.  He ran over to pick it up and could hardly believe his luck.  In that one instant the day's trials and tribulations vanished.  He had found a new treasure.  He held it up as if it was a bar of gold.  "It's only a penny," his sister said bored by his excitement.

"Yeah, but it's my penny."  His little hand pushed the warm copper coin into the depths of his pocket and he skipped along the sidewalk.

Kathy :)  


Monday, August 20, 2012

Interview with Roland D. Yeomans

Hope everyone had a relaxing weekend.
Today, as winner of the Knights of MicroFiction, Roland D. Yeomans is here to answer some questions on his life and writing.  I can't wait to learn a little more about him.

Thanks so much for joining us Roland.  Let's get started.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
     I was born in Detroit, but I left quite young so my only memories are of knee caps and hub caps!  My Lakota mother taught me that my mind was my best weapon against the dark, so I decided to become a teacher.  I saw so many students bruised by life that I decided to become a counselor.  When my mother contracted Cancer, I emptied my savings and started my own book store so that I could take time off to go with her for her treatments.
     When she died, the reason for my store died.  I made friends with the personnel at the local blood center, so I switched to being a rare blood courier.

I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. It's wonderful that you supported her and cared for her through her ordeal.  
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
     When as a child, I was quite ill in a basement apartment during an ice storm in Detroit, Mother made up tales of Hibbs the bear with 2 shadows and the cub with no clue to keep her and my mind from how close to death I was.  I could actually see the hulking form of Hibbs, the guardian of all hurting children, at the foot of the bed during that long night.  I grew to believe that my shivers were from The Turquoise Woman whose touch was cold but whose heart was warm.
     Mother's tales made me believe that magic was in my room.  Against all odds, I survived the double pneumonia.  I decided I, too, wanted to cast back the darkness with the weaving of magical words.  I later elaborated on Mother's tales in my THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS.

Sounds like your mother was a wonderful and unique woman, you were lucky to have each other. And now she lives on through your books.
Speaking of books, I see you have like 17 books out! WOW!  How did you manage that?
     I compose on the road, speak out dialogue, and write when I drag back in at night.  I thought how in World War II, there were many theaters of action and many heroes, civilian and military, who helped win that war.  I thought how much fun it might  be to write of a global supernatural world war with several heroes in different times and places all fighting the same villain.   
     So I created the immortal DayStar (a supernatural Hannibal Lector believing he is Lucifer) against whom my cast of heroes would fight.  END OF DAYS is my take on THE AVENGERS MOVIE in which most of my heroes fight against an array of enemies, all set to trigger the TWILIGHT OF THE GODS.  A major 
victory was won then at terrible cost but the war still goes on.

You must not sleep much. I love the concept of all your heroes coming together to fight off a super bad guy.
With all these great characters do you have a favorite that you've developed?
     Samuel McCord, the undead Texas Ranger, is the BATMAN of my linked universe of stories.  His personality (albeit he is much more heroic) is most like mine.  Hibbs, the bear with two shadows, from my mother's tales has a warm spot in my heart.  He appears both in THE BEAR WITH 2 SHADOWS and in END OF DAYS.  Victor Standish, the son of the angel of Death, makes me laugh.

I would say you're pretty heroic for all you did for your mom and what you continue to do for others. You're an inspiration. What inspires you to continue battling the darkness with your characters?
     The memory of Mother casting back the night, the fever, and my fears with her tales.  I want to do that for someone out there in the shadows, reading to force back the darkness threatening their peace of heart.

What a wonderful reason to write.  
What are you working on currently?  Can you tell us a little bit about it?
     I have just finished a collection of short stories, BRING ME THE HEAD OF McCORD! 
     Many people have emailed me with questions such as: Why does an undead TEXAS Ranger live in a jazz club in New Orleans?  How did Samuel lose his parents?  How did he get silver hair as a child?  Why does the vampire, Abigail Adams, hate him so?  When will you write another story of Hibbs, the cub with no clue?  What was Victor's and Alice's first Christmas after Katrina like?  What was Blake Adamson, my hero who is the clone of Jesus, like before his orphanage burned?
     I answered those questions and another fun one: What if our world was invaded by aliens and it was left to Evil to defend it?

That sounds like it was a lot of fun to write and I'm sure it will be a lot of fun to read as well.
What is the most challenging aspect of writing for you?
     Finding time for it all.  As a harried rare blood courier, I have so little free time.  I will be working 7 days straight now, half of that on first call all night after a long day at work.  Whew!  I need for my books to take off so I can rest!!

I hope the do take off for you!  Finding time is my biggest challenge as well.  There are never enough hours in the day.  
How long have you been blogging and what is the best part about it?
     I have been blogging for nearly 3 years.  And the best part about it is meeting nice folk like you and Jess!

*Blush*  Awh thanks, Roland.  That's my favorite part too.
Do you have any big goals for this year?
     I would like to finish the next Victor Standish YA urban fantasy, THREE SPIRIT KNIGHT.  But that will be a challenge!

Well good luck.  Victor sounds like a fun character.  
You must read a lot to get new ideas.  What books have influenced you the most?
     Roger Zelazny's LORD OF LIGHT.  Clifford Simak's TIME IS THE SIMPLEST THING.  Neil Gaiman's AMERICAN GODS.  Christopher Moore's LAMB.  Raymond Chandler's THE LONG GOODBYE.

I haven't heard of those, I'll have to check them out.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
     I love to read: fiction (S.F. Fantasy, mysteries, comedies - I love Thorne Smith's THE NIGHT LIFE OF THE GODS), essays (Mark Twain's and Gore Vidal's), psychology, and philosophy texts.

Oh I love Mark Twain.  
Is there anything else we should know about you?
    I am enriched with each friend that I have made in the cyberverse.  Friends are the only true wealth in this world and the only treasure we can hope to find in the next.

Thanks so much for being here Roland, it was great getting to know you a little better.

Head on over to Roland's blog and check out all the fabulous books he has to offer.

Hope everyone has a happy Monday.

Kathy :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Knights of MicroFiction Winners

Happy Friday everyone!  There is so much going on with all the blog fests, WRiTE CLUB, Write On Con, not to mention school starting up again soon.  I feel like I've been falling behind.  Hopefully next week I'll get it together!

Anyway, today Jess and I are announcing the winners of the 6th Knights of MicroFiction.  The lucky winners will be featured on our blogs sometime next week.  We had some really great entries and it was difficult to choose only two winners.

We would like to congratulate:

  Roland Yeomans  and Anstice Potts

Awesome job guys.  We will be emailing you two with more details.

Thanks so much to everyone who joined in.

Have a great weekend!

Kathy :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

KoMF #6-Trapped

Monday's prompt for the Knights of MicroFiction was:

Your character is trapped in a space (of your choice).  All they have with them is a broken coffee mug, an unlit candle and a cell phone with a dead battery.  What happens?

Your entry cannot be longer than 400 words.  We're still taking entries until 11:59 tonight EST.  So join in on the fun. 

Here's mine at 400 words, entitled:


“What is this place, Hem?” Cora asked keeping a close eye on the thick spider webs crisscrossing the ancient stone walls.  

“This tunnel is supposed to lead to the Temple.”

“It’s creepy.  Do you think we’ll find anything?”  

Hem ran his hand through his thick dark hair.  “I don’t know Cor, but we’re running out of options.  We have to find the ancient texts.”

“I know, but I have a bad feeling about this.”  Her stomach tumbled about like a washing machine.  

“Hey, what can go wrong, I’m here?”  Hem flashed his cocky smile that infuriated her and melted her simultaneously.  God, he was frustrating.  If only he weren’t right all the time.

A sparkle caught her eye.  “Hey look at this.”

“Don’t touch that!” Hem yelled, but it was too late.   A rumble thundered through the tunnel.  Hem grabbed her and started running.   She struggled to keep up with him.   “It’s a trap!”

The tunnel was crumbling.  “Why are we going in deeper?” Her voice rose in panic.

He didn’t answer.  They just kept running to a large chamber with a heavy wooden door. Everything collapsed behind them.

“You had to go pulling on that!”

“I didn’t know!  You should have told me it was booby trapped!  I knew we shouldn’t have come!”  She choked on sobs.  “We’re going to die!”

“We’re not going to die, look...” he searched the dust filled chamber and bent down, “some broken glass and a candle.”  He held it up in triumph.

“Great, how is that going to help us?”

“I don’t know.”  He slumped down and dropped his head to his hands.  

Cora felt bad for being so harsh on him.  She looked around.  
“Isn’t this a cellnet the ancients used?” She held up a small object.

“Cell phone, but it won't help, the battery must be dead.”

“Trust me.”  She dug a hole under the door with a glass shard, broke the candle in two and pulled out the wick.  She rewired the phone, secured one wire to the wick and placed it in the hole.  She closed her eyes, focused  her energy, and blew on the wick.  A small spark escaped her lips, the wick ignited sending flames and sparks to the wires.  

The cell phone exploded under the door and knocked it loose.  They were free.
“Whoa, how’d you do that?”  Hem asked as they stepped into the light.  


Well there you have it. It was really hard to fit it all into 400 words!

Hope you're having a great week

Kathy :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Knights of MicroFiction #6

We had a wonderful time on our trip to Wisconsin but it's great to be back!  And now it is already August 13th so that means it's time for another KoMF prompt.

The Knights of MicroFiction is a bloghop hosted by me and Jess on the 15th of every month (except April, becasue the A-Z Challenge makes things crazy!).  We came up with it as a way to meet new friends, help build the blogging community and (hopefully) spark your creativity! 

Here's the prompt:  Your character is trapped in a dark space of your choice and all they have with them is a broken coffee mug, an unlit candle, and a cellphone with a dead battery.  What happens?

Your entry cannot be longer than 400 words and we won't be taking entries after midnight on the 15th EST.

Sign up on the linky list below and Jess and I will each choose a winner by the 17th.  The lucky winners will be featured on our blogs.  

I can't wait to read what you come up with!

Kathy :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Awesome News and On the Road part III

Yesterday was a rainy day at our newest destination of Elkhart Lake, Wi.  So the kids and I spent the day reading and writing... and I finished my WIP!!!!! YIPEEE!  

When Jess, my daughter, convinced me to start this project I wasn't sure I could complete an entire fantasy novel.  But I stuck with it and I can't believe that I'm finished.  Currently called The Hidden Truth, it weighs in at 73,165 words. (I'm in WRiTE CLUB mode!)  I'm sure it will grow a bit during revisions because when I started, I hadn't figured out many of the nuances that my characters have now revealed to me.

So now the editing work begins but I'm excited to reread the world I created and continue to breathe life into my characters.

Thanks to all of you out there who have offered advice and encouragement!  You guys are awesome! :)

On the Road p. III

Today, after a week and a half exploring Wisconsin, we are hitting the road again to head home.  We've had a wonderful time here.

I've been pleasantly surprised by the food choices.  Of course there is plenty of the standard cheesy filled dishes like fried cheese curds, beer cheese soup, and cheeseburgers, but we were also able to find some great little places serving light pastas, exotic vegetarian dishes, and entrees using all locally grown ingredients.

We've had the opportunity to watch a Green Bay Packers practice, roam the capital city of Madison, and enjoy Wisconsin's natural beauty at the Green Bay Botanical Gardens.  We've explored the town of Lake Geneva and relaxed in the tiny town of Elkhart Lake (pop. 967).

All in all we've had a great trip and the best part is that instead of my husband coming out here all alone for business, we got to all be together.          

Alyssa's flower picture

Jess's picture of the capital building, Madison

Ryan's picture of Packers practice

Have a great weekend!

Kathy :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

On the Road part II Green Bay

My beauties in front of a bank of Rudebeckia

                  We are here in Green Bay, Wisconsin, home of the Green Bay Packers.  This town is crazy about football. But I wondered, what else there was to do other than tour their sacred Lambeau Field.

 The kids and I searched around and found the Green Bay Botanical Gardens.  It is 47 acres of lush gardens and wild pond and prairie environments.  I knew I would thoroughly enjoy the gardens but I wasn't too sure how long the kids would want to explore.  I didn't want them to wander aimlessly without purpose through the horticultural heaven so I told them we were going to have a contest, a photography contest.  They each had their cameras and they could take as many pictures as they wanted but they would be judged on the artistic quality and composition of their photos.

I was amazed at what I had unleashed.  All three of them, even Ryan, carefully selected shots.  They studied the plants and chose not just the gaudy flowers as subjects but also the delicate white flowers of the hostas and the luxurious greens of the ferns and bleeding hearts.
Ryan focused on getting the perfect shot

After almost 2 hours and over 300 pictures we were ready to leave and have lunch.  I'm not yet sure who won the contest, but I was blown away by some of the shots they took.  (I'll post the winning photos another day.)  
My attempt at an artsy shot of Rudebeckia
Ryan with a giant Agave plant
Hope you're all having a great week!

Kathy :)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

On the Road

In Lake Geneva, Wi 

We're on a road trip for a few days.  Not to some exotic location, we're just following my husband along on his business trip to Wisconsin.  While he's in meetings and conferences we explore our surroundings.  Even though I have a knack for getting lost, I plug in my GPS, grab a map from the hotel, and search for new people and places.

Yesterday we explored the little town of Lake Geneva.  Back in the late 1800s the town grew as a vacation spot for wealthy Chicagoans, where they could get away from the city to hunt and fish  Today it is a cute little lake front town with shops, restaurants, and a public beach.  We found two lovely little restaurants:  "Simple" which served delicious fresh sandwiches with local ingredients and "Sopra" a bistro serving a yummy assortment of pastas and seafood.

The crystal clear lake  is 7 miles long and 2 miles across and is dotted with mansions dating back to the early 1800s.  The Wrigleys and many other wealthy families still own properties there.  We took an hour boat tour of the lake which highlights some of the most spectacular homes.
One of the mansions on the lake, it is now used as 5 condominiums

If you ever find yourself in Wisconsin it is definitely a worthy place to stop.

On the boat tour.  (Luckily my husband got to join us.)
For the weekend we are exploring Madison, Wi.

Kathy :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


It's August 1st already and the first Wednesday of the month. So it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group started by Alex Cavanaugh.  It's a  place we can share our insecurities, fears, hopes and dreams.

This week a writer friend mentioned to me that she had gotten positive feedback from an agent.  The agent suggested some vague adjustments and then wanted to see the manuscript again.  My friend made some great changes, but mentioned that she was now scared to send it because she wasn't sure if it was what the agent wanted.

It made me think of all the young skaters I coach.  How they work so hard perfecting certain skating skills but when it comes time to perform in front of a judge, they tense up, over think, and become timid.  I understand why.  I remember how nerve racking it is to be the only one standing on that cold slippery surface with all eyes focused on me.  It's hard to pour your passion into something and open yourself up to criticism.

But performing is what the sport is all about.  Sometimes the judges won't like it.  That's ok because getting feedback is how students learn to make it even better.  Skaters can't let fear paralyze them.  And neither can writers.  It's scary to send out manuscripts that we've spent months polishing but if we don't we will surely fail.    

Kathy :)