Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

First of all I hope all my East coast buddies are safe from Sandy's wrath.

On a happier note....I passed my skating test!!!  I was exhausted after my third element but somehow I was able to pull off the last 3!  Thanks to everyone who encouraged me to go for it (especially my wonderful kids and husband!)  I have just one more to go now.  :)


Now on to the Scare Fest, hosted by Budd at Sci-Fi Media.  I saw this last minute over at Ninja Captain Alex's blog and thought I would join in on the spooky fun.  The object is to talk about a scary book, scary movie, scary story or make up your own scary story in honor of Halloween.

Watching a scary movie is never my desire, I've only watched them because someone else really wanted me to see them.  The images they create stick with me and creep me out for weeks!  That being said I have seen  a number of spooky films.  I think the one that stuck with me the longest was The Shining.  Creepy images continued to flash before my closed eyes for a long time after seeing that one!

In books Edgar Allan Poe stories always creeped me out.  I still remember one where a guy had put someone in a brick wall.

In real life, one night my mom and I were driving back home really late from a skating practice.  A fog blanketed the road.  All of a sudden a patch of the fog swirled up and took on the form of a person.  It seemed to pass our car and look at us.  It was there only for a second, but my mom and I both looked at each other, like "did you see that?"  I think she sped home the rest of the way.          

Yikes now that I've thoroughly freaked myself out in my dark house by thinking of all this Halloween spookiness I better stop and turn on some happy show tunes or something!

Have a Happy Halloween!

I also wanted to congratulate the lovely Talli Roland who was interviewed on British TV Tuesday.  Yay Talli!  Hope it airs soon.  Stop by her blog and give her some love.

Kathy :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Book Review and More

Book Review

Game On by Kyra Lennon

I just finished reading Kyra's charming story about feisty Leah Walker who moves from England to America where she works with a top U.S. soccer team.  Her life seems to be going well until Radleigh McCoy, a hunky womanizing player who thinks he's the greatest thing on the planet, takes notice of her.  His unwanted attentions not only irritate Leah but could also cost her her job.  Has she met her match?

This was a really a fun read.  I loved the antics between Leah and Radleigh and I couldn't wait to see which one of them would come out on top.  Right from the beginning this was a tough book to put down.

It's available on Amazon in paperback or ebook.    



Only 3 days until November, which means NaNoWriMo is right around the corner.  I had a lot of fun last year participating and I did get quite a lot of my MS written.  I thought about doing it again and starting a new story, but I'm not ready to leave my now completed first draft behind.  I feel like I need to complete the edits before I can start on a new project.

So instead of doing NaNo, I've decided I'm going to do NaNoEditMo (that's what I'm calling it anyway.)  Since my first draft is about 80,000 words, my goal for November is to edit just over 2600 words, or about 8-9 pages each day.  That would get me close to finishing the second draft.  So if you have been debating NaNoWriMo, and you have a MS you need to edit feel free to join me.


Testing Day

I've mentioned a couple of times here that I'm working toward taking my last couple figure skating tests.  I've been practicing a couple times a week to try to get ready for my next one.

And today is the day!  Yikes!  I hope I'm ready.  There are 5 sets of different sequences that I have to skate in front of the judges.  It only takes about 12 minutes, but I'm always exhausted by the time I do them all.  I just hope I can keep my nerves from getting the better of me.  But it will be fun because Jess and Alyssa are going to be taking a couple of other skating tests as well.  So we'll all be cheering for each other.

Have a great week!
Kathy :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

If I Let You Go Blogfest

Yay!!  I won a book this week.
I was so excited the other day to find out that I had won Kyra Lennon's book, Game On, from Nick Wilford's anniversary blogfest.  Needless to say, I got right to reading it and I don't want to put it down!

And to celebrate the release of Kyra's novella, If I Let You Go, she's having a blogfest that I decided to join last minute.

Here are the rules in Kyra's words:

Was there a time when you had to let go of someone or something? How did it make you feel? How did you handle it? Or if that's too personal - which I completely understand - how about writing a piece of flash fiction?
The only rules are - obviously - it has to be related to letting go, and please keep it to a maximum of 500 words.
When the day arrives, I will hop around to all the entries, along with my independent judge (otherwise known as "Mum" LOL), and the story that touches us the most will win a $10 Amazon gift card!

Here is my entry, a flash fiction piece at 500 words exactly:

I’m lost in a sea of smiling faces.  Everywhere I turn dads are playing catch with their kids and couples are snuggled together on blankets.  The autumn sky is a bright blue and there’s not a cloud to be seen.  On a normal day I might be happy too.  But this is not a normal day.  I can feel it. 

I wander through the park not heading anywhere.  Just wandering.  Killing time.  Time until my world falls apart.  
My phone buzzes.  It startles me, I forgot it was in my pocket.  It’s from him.

“Need to talk. Coffee. 15 min.”

My heart hammers in my chest. I knew this was coming.  He had acted strange and distant for a couple months now.  I thought we could work through it, but he had hardly been home.  His business trips were more frequent and he spent most nights working late.

My pace quickens as I head for the coffee shop.  The one where we first met.

He’s already there, sitting at our usual table.  Sunlight streams through the window making his dark hair gleam. He still makes my legs weak.

“Hey Jen, have a seat.” His deep brown eyes glance at me with a casualness that makes me shiver.  He looks back at his cellphone.   After 5 years of marriage, he has no more emotion than if he was in a business meeting.  

I sit down and tears well up in my eyes.  I bite my lip to stay composed.

He sets his phone down and finally looks at me.  “I’m sorry Jen, but it’s not working anymore.”

He expects me to say something, but no words form in my mouth.  Even if I knew what to say, the rock sized lump in my throat wouldn’t allow me to speak.  So I sit there.  Hoping I’ll wake up from this nightmare.  

He swirls his coffee in his cup and takes a long sip.  “What we had before was good, but...well  you have to see it, right?”  

“See what?” I choke out.  Heat radiates from my neck and my shirt collar suddenly seems too tight.  

“We’ve changed.  We have to move on.”  He pats my hand as if that’s going to make me feel better.  God he’s clueless!

“I still love you.”  My voice is barely a whisper.  I can hardly breathe.  “Can’t we start again?” I plead. The tears won’t be held back any longer.  They flood my face.  Did he ever love me?  My heart feels like he's cleaved it in two.

“Look Jen, what I’m trying to say is,” he pauses and leans in, “I’ve already moved on.  I’ll come by tomorrow and pick up all my stuff.  You need to move on too.”  

He stands up leaving me alone at the table. I wish the sky would darken, open up and pour out rain.  But it remains blue, refusing to mimic my world.  
“Move on.” I repeat his words in my head, but my hollow soul doesn’t understand.  

Stop by Kyra's blog to visit all the other entries.

Kathy :-)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Knights of MicroFiction #8-Goddess of Thunder

The prompt was:  in 300 words or less create a superhero-like character and tell us how he/she uses his powers for good.

Ok I'm a little late in posting this, but here it is (it is 300 words exactly):

Goddess of Thunder

I sat with my cup.  Inhaling the earthiness of the roasted rice green tea.  Swirls of steam caressed my face and I looked down over the expanse of blue before me.  I wondered what was on the schedule today.  
“Hey Kami,” Asako said walking over with her silver touchscreen.  Her white robes flowed about her, but there was something different today.  She seemed hesitant.  
I looked up. “Good morning.”
She gazed down at her screen and slid her finger across the tablet.
“What is it?” I asked, impatience creeping into my voice.   
“I’m sorry.”  She faked a smile. “But the people of Earth are not behaving themselves.  You’re going to have a busy day.”
“Do they ever?” I sighed.
“This time is different,” she pressed her touchscreen again, accessing more detailed information.  She turned the screen to me.  
It was a file on Erlich Zane, the crazy physicist trying to create a weapon of mass destruction using dark matter.  He had stumbled upon some new data; now he had a missile and was forming an army.  
My job, of course, would be to stop him.  I wasn’t happy the Earth was in trouble again, but maybe this was my chance to prove that I, Kaminari Arashina, Goddess of Thunder and protector of Earth was more powerful than that other god of thunder.      
I jumped up, thanked Asako for the news and suited up. I strapped on my tight black armor and  black hood.  I grabbed a few shurikens and tied my sword belt around my waist.  I would rely on my speed and stealth to win this war.    
I raised my arms to the heavens, mumbled an ancient Shinto prayer, and summoned a bolt of lightning to transport me to Zane’s high-tech lab in Mumbai.  This would be my day.  

Hope you enjoyed it!
Kathy :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Did I Notice Your Book?

Post about a book you’ve noticed. You can choose a book that you’ve read, something you saw on a blog or social media site, Goodreads, or a sales website. Anything that caught your eye because of a great cover, blurb or reviews, but DON’T tell the author that their book has been noticed. Instead, shout out on social media sites, and encourage others to do the same, until the author finds his/her book. 

Leave a blog comment at Ninja Captain Alex’s BLOG or Ciara Knight’sBLOG when the author finds their book. 

Only two rules: 
1) You can’t post about your own book. 
2) The book shouldn’t be on the New York Times or USA Today bestseller list. 
This is your chance to shout out about a book that might not have been noticed by others. 

Head on over to Alex's or Ciara's to check out all the other participants.

This book came up as one people bought along with some of my other favorites on Amazon.  It really caught my attention with its description.

The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

She does not know what awaits her at the enemy's gate.

Elisa is a hero. She led her people to victory over a terrifying, sorcerous army. Her place as the country's ruler should be secure. But it isn't.

Her enemies come at her like ghosts in a dream, from both foreign realms and within her own court. And her destiny as the chosen one has not yet been fulfilled.

To conquer the power she bears once and for all, Elisa must follow the trail of long-forgotten--and forbidden--clues from the deep, undiscovered catacombs of her own city to the treacherous seas. With her goes a one-eyed spy, a traitor, and the man who--despite everything--she is falling in love with.

If she's lucky, she will return from this journey. But there will be a cost.


It gets good ratings on both Amazon and Goodreads.  I think it is the second book in a series, so I guess I'll have to read the first one too. :)

Kathy :)

p.s. I'll be posting my Knights of MicroFiction entry later today. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Knights of MicroFiction

Well it's the 15th of October which means Halloween is fast approaching and it's time for the Knights of MicroFiction hosted by me and Jess (unfortunately, an error message is coming up on her blog and she can't get in to it, hopefully it will be fixed soon.)  We usually post the prompt on the 13th but because this month it was a Saturday, we will post the prompt today and give you until the end of the 17th (11:59 pm) to post your entry.

This month is all about superheros.  Here is the prompt:

In 300 words or less create a superhero-like character and describe how he/she became a superhero. Include his/her special powers and how he/she uses them for good.    

Just sign up on the linky list below and post your entry by the end of the 17th, then go around and check out all the other great entries.

Jess and I will choose two winners to be featured on our blogs.  Hope you have fun with this one.  We can't wait to read what you come up with.

Kathy :)

And don't forget the DID I NOTICE YOUR BOOK BLOGFEST hosted by Alex Cavanaugh and Ciara Knight coming up on Wednesday.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Putting Yourself Out There


Alyssa stood alone at center ice.  The pounding of her heart was all she heard in the silence before her music started.  Hundreds of eyes looked down on her, watching her every move.  She wondered if she really belonged here competing against all these more experienced girls.

Reminding herself that this was a great experience, she took a deep breathe and pushed the negative thought aside.  Her music started and she glided across the glassy surface.

Two and a half minutes later, she smiled, bowed to the crowd and skated off the ice.  She had just skated her personal best and nothing could make her happier.


 That's how I would describe our trip to the Regional Skating Championships last weekend.  Alyssa had a great skate and it was a fantastic experience.  She ended up 12th out of 18 girls but she was happy because most of them had quite a bit more experience at that level than she did.  She proved to herself that she did belong there.  

I was proud of her for even having the guts to be out there.  It takes a lot to stand in front of your peers and elders and be openly judged.  But if you don't, you never know where you stand.

Then I thought how similar writing is.  If you never put yourself out there and have other people read your writing you'll never know if you're improving.

So get out there and let others see your writing!  I'm trying to find as many opportunities as possible, that's why I entered WRITE CLuB.  It's been great fun so far.

Healthy Writer's Club

Started by Shallee McArthur as a way to inspire us to get out of our chairs!  This is what she says about it:

As writers, we hear a lot about the "butt in chair" tactic, which is great for our manuscripts, but not so great for the actual butt in the chair. Every Friday, I'll be posting about how healthy I've been that week and how it connects to writing. If you're game to join the fun, you can run, walk, bike, make a healthy dinner, play tag with your kids, etc. Then, you post about it on Friday (or whenever you want)

This is what I did this week:

Mon: 1 hour skating; practicing for my test (I might be almost ready to take it!)
Wed: 1/2 hour of light aerobic workout
Thur:  I was supposed to run stairs with the girls, but we were all too tired, maybe today!

Check out what everyone else did here.

Have a great weekend, get some exercise and let someone read what you've written!
Oh and don't forget the next Knights of MicroFiction is coming up soon so be ready!

Kathy :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Check Out Write Club!

Here's just a quick reminder that WRiTE CLUB is still going on and we still need people to vote on the entries. We want all the entries to be seen by as many people as possible.  So if you signed up for it keep checking out the entries and if you haven't, you can still sign up on the linky list to vote for entries.   Check out all the details at DL Hammons.

This weekend I'm coaching at the Regional Championships for figure skating.  So wish Alyssa luck!

Have a great weekend.

Kathy :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

IWSG -Swamped

It's October already!  Where has this year gone?

It's also the first Wednesday of the month which means its time for Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group.
Come join us.  We post the first Wednesday of the month.  The purpose is to let out our fears and frustrations without feeling silly.  And of course to help others through their insecurities.  Here's what Alex says about it:

To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Lately I've been feeling swamped, buried beneath a pile so big I have to claw my way out for air.  I know this topic comes up a lot, but is it possible to ever stop feeling overwhelmed by all the things we need to do?

At least this year I've made specific times for writing.  Early in the morning is my only chance.  I have to wake up before 6:00.  If I can roll out of bed by 5:30, then I get about an hour and a half to write before getting everyone ready.

The rest of my day is filled with homeschooling, going to work and feeding my family.  (I actually enjoy all of these things too.)

I'm not trying to complain but...
Will I ever finish the first round of edits for my novel?

I just wish I could enter a time warp and have like 3 more hours a day of uninterrupted time to write.

Has anyone figured it out?  Please share your secrets.  And don't forget to go read all the other posts here.

Kathy :)