Friday, March 29, 2013

A-to-Z Theme & Stephen Tremp News

Hi guys! Just a brief post today with a couple items.

First, A-to-Z co-host Stephen Tremp's blog was shut down by Blogger/Google, and his access to Blogger was taken, which means he can't even post on the A-to-Z blog. He was told this was due to spamming. This isn't the first time I've heard of this happening. He's set up a temporary Word Press blog until he can work this out. Even then, he will be setting up long-term elsewhere. In the meantime, you can find him at Please take a moment to go follow his new blog and drop him a note.

Second, the A-to-Z Challenge starts next week!

I've decided to go with a theme this month, though I will also attempt to do posts as normal on Mondays and Wednesdays for those not interested in the A-to-Z. I do hope, though, that you can enjoy my A-to-Z posts, even if you aren't participating.

My theme will be: History's Mysteries

Some you'll have heard of, and some you hopefully won't have. I've tried to seek out possible answers to give an idea of what might have happened when I can. I'm also working on keeping the posts short, but you guys know me by now, so you can't expect them to be one paragraph! Right?

See you next week!

May you find your Muse.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

[Mostly] Wordless Wednesday - A Glance at Pompeii & Links

For today's [Mostly] Wordless Wednesday, I figured I'd pass along a few photos of my visit to the Pompeii exhibit at the museum up in Denver. This was the last stop for it in the United States.

Bread that was preserved by the ash.

I love how intricate their decorations were.

My favorite part? The thumb at the top where you would place your thumb when pouring water.

32 skeletons of those in Herculaneum who had tried to take shelter in a boat house.
I don't know about you, but Pompeii has always fascinated me. Just the fact that the elements worked together in such a way as to preserve so much of this ancient town after it was seemingly wiped from the face of the Earth.

Now for some links:

Disclaimer: I do not sponsor these links and have no affiliation with them or the companies/publications/blogs involved. I merely pass along information I happen across while online. Please always check out any publication before submitting or becoming involved with them.

Accepting Submissions:

Tour Magazine is now taking submissions for their July issue. This is a LGBTQ publication, and the theme is Secrets. Deadline is May 1. Essays, poetry, short stories, and visual arts. Payment unknown.

A-Minor Press is looking for poetry collections or flash fiction and short story collections. One manuscript submission at a time. Simultaneous submissions accepted.

Escape Pod is looking for speculative/sci-fi short stories to be published online and to be presented via podcast by an actor. Paying market.

Riptide Publishing has three open calls for collections. This is typically an invitation-only submission company, but if you get in on the open submission call and are chosen for one of their anthologies, you are free to submit manuscripts to them in the future. The three themes open right now are Regency Romance (April 1), Laying Down (With) the Law (May 1), and College Discovery (June 1). Payment unknown.

Anassa Publications is putting together their first charity anthology. Non-fiction or fictionalized non-fiction. Open until filled. All profits go to charity. Stories of animal relationships, rescues, and/or survival against all odds.


Imaginative Fiction Writers Association has a short story contest going, the Robyn Herrington Memorial In Places Between 2013 contest. Speculative fiction. $125 first prize. No entry fee.

The International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change is holding a writing contest on sustainable development goals. First prize is $500. April 15 deadline.


The wonderful Barbara Samuel (who also writes as Barbara O'Neal) is offering a six-week intensive voice workshop for writers. Unsure of location, but you can email with questions. April 30th to June 4th or July 30th to September 3rd. $225. Scholarships available.

Blog Notes:

Michael Di Gesu is looking for authors who'd like their books featured in his A-to-Z posts. He'll write an intro and get your cover and book information out there. It doesn't have to be a new release.

Misha Gericke has announced this month's Paying it Forward award categories. Stop by to find out what they are and to nominate/vote!

Are you fascinated by Pompeii? Ever been there or seen the museum display on it? Any of these links interest you? Anything to share?

May you find your Muse.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Journaling for Writers & This Colorado Life

Today is the final post for the Colorado Book Month meme, This Colorado Life. We're asked to talk about our favorite (or least favorite) thing about living here.

I'm going to keep this brief, because I think my favorite things are pretty well known. I love the beauty and the outdoors. I grew up in places that were lush and green, and those are two things Colorado isn't. Sometimes I miss that, but the rugged beauty of Colorado is what truly calls to me  now. Maybe it's not the greenest place, but it is beautiful in its own way. It's wild, it's free, it's vibrant. It's the west in its purest form. We have yucca, tumbleweed, cacti, aspens, pine trees, mountain lakes, the mountains. We have wildlife in our front yards. Not just rabbits and birds and squirrels, but deer, elk, coyotes, bears, foxes, mountain lions, bobcats. For a girl who covets the wilderness and the wild, this is the best home I could possibly find.

Now, let's talk about journals for writers!

I've heard repeatedly that authors should keep journals, but I've always seen it explained in the sense that writing in a journal can trigger writing something else or warm up the writing muscle. Recently, I was reminded of another reason for a writer to journal.

Everything in our lives is fodder for our writing, but details get fuzzy after awhile. For instance, I may or may not have mentioned before that my son was conceived via in-vitro fertilization after 5 years of infertility and various medical treatments. I've long regretted that I didn't journal the entire process--the infertility, the surgeries, the hormone treatments, the in-vitro process, and the aftermath. My story is one my doctor tells all of her patients dealing with infertility, because after all of that I was able to conceive my daughter naturally (one scant month before we were due to begin the IVF process again, after a year of trying). Yet I'm not sure I could accurately tell the story anymore. Yes, I was there and I remember it well (it's not an overly pleasant experience, nor were the treatments I was undergoing, and much of it will be stuck in my mind forever), but I don't have the exact time frames, the minor details, the names of each medication or the dosages I had to take. I didn't document the emotional ups and downs. I remember the day I found out I had a zero percent chance of natural conception, our first meeting with the fertility specialist, the hope. I remember the fear, the panic, the depression. I remember the moment I got that phone call telling me I was pregnant, the sound of the doctor's voice, the tears. But how many injections did I have to give myself the first two weeks? The last two weeks? Exactly how long did I have to wait for the results? How often did I have to go in throughout the process (it was A LOT, but exactly how much?)

Not only that, but I imagine journaling would have helped my mental well-being through it all. It's hard to believe your body is failing you, to feel like a failure in something that comes so naturally to others. You feel like less of a woman when you can't get pregnant, like there is something terribly wrong with you. I wish I'd thought to keep a journal. I'd love to be able to read back through it, to experience it again, but this time from a distance.

I'm entering a new battle now, not me personally, but a loved one, and I was reminded during a conversation with another writer that this is something I might want to journal. Just as with writing, and what I learn as I go, I have a desire to share the things I've learned with others who might come after me. I'd like to write about IVF for those about to go through it, because I could hardly find any information on it that wasn't utterly terrifying, and all that I did find was somewhat vague. Given, it's been about a decade now, and there's a lot of information out there about everything, information that wasn't available then. But I'd like to share my story, and hopefully help someone else. The same is true for the current battle, and I'm glad I was reminded of it in time to try to get down the last few months in a journal. Still, that is time that won't be fresh, where important details may be lost, all because I didn't think to journal it in the beginning.

We writers were born to share. To share stories, whether they belong to us or to someone else. To share lives, experiences, lessons. So why not record the things that happen to us so we can do so with accuracy, with the heart of the original situation?

Do you journal? Have you ever? Are there things you regret not having recorded or journaled?

May you find your Muse.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

[Mostly] Wordless Wednesday - Sunday Snaps! & Links

For [Mostly] Wordless Wednesday, I thought I'd post the cover to the anthology I have a flash fiction piece in, as we have a release date of April 15! Yay!

I'm excited to have a publication date after a few delays! My piece is entitled "The Family Ruins."

Now for links.

Disclaimer: I do not sponsor these links, nor am I affiliated in any way with any of them (unless I mention the affiliation). I merely pass along information I've discovered. Please always check out any publication before submitting to them or becoming involved with them.

Accepting Submissions:

Chicken Soup for the Soul is accepting submissions for a multitude of possible titles. They pay $200 for your story or poem. Ongoing/no deadline.

Port Cities Review is seeking submissions for feature articles about great port cities of the world. Pays $50 per article. Ongoing/no deadline.

Dark Futures Fiction if looking for poetry and prose that fits the theme of dark futures. Pays a small amount based on length. Ongoing/no deadline.

The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, via Matter Press, is looking for compressed fiction, non-fiction, poetry, mixed media and visual arts. Pays $50. Will close for submissions April 15.


Cardinal Sins Journal has opened their annual flash fiction contest. The theme is "trespassing." No entry fee. First prize is $150 and publication.

Blog Hops:

DL Hammons has created the Blog Blitz. Sign up on the list and you'll participate in, and ultimately be blitzed by, your fellow Blitzers. A better explanation can be found at Cruising Altitude 2.0.

Free Books!

j.a. kazimer's Shank: A Wilde Crime, will be free March 22 to midnight March 24.

Bryan Pedas and Brandon Meyers have their co-written novels free on Kindle right now:
     The Sensationally Absurd Life and Times of Slim Dyson
     Dead and Moaning in Las Vegas
     The Missing Link

Part 17 in Andrew Leon's Shadow Spinner serial is free right now. Part 17: The Tree of Light.

Anything you might think of entering above? Anything you're excited about? How something to share?

May you Find your Muse.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Top Ten Movie Countdown Blogfest

Today is Alex J. Cavanaugh's Top Ten Movie Countdown Blogfest, where we tell you our favorite movies in top ten format.

I'm struggling a bit, as I'm a movie-lover, so let's see what pops up. I imagine it would be entirely different tomorrow. I'm going to define my favorites as being those I can watch over and over, in order to simplify this for me, so these aren't necessarily the movies that made me think the most, for instance, or that had the best writing or literary qualities to them. No, these are the movies I go to when I need something to play to make me happy. And I'm not positive they're in the right order, but I had to suck it up and pick an order, so here you have it.

#10 - Tootsie

Tootsie was a 1982 film starring Dustin Hoffman as a struggling actor who finally takes on the ultimate part, dressing as a woman in order to land a role on a soap opera and get a paying gig. He finds himself falling for a fellow actress, all while forming a deep friendship with her as Tootsie. He acts himself into a corner and must figure out what to do to make everything right.

#9 - Footloose

I figure most people must know about this film, while Tootsie has probably been overlooked by many (though it may be the only movie on this list that is on AFI's Top 100, not sure). And, of course, I'm talking about the 1984 version starring Kevin Bacon, who I've loved ever since. A hurting town makes an unrealistic set of laws in the face of a desperate situation, and it takes an outsider to show them they can celebrate life, rather than grieving the loss of it. A message that holds through the ages. And the soundtrack bloody well rocked! I still keep the CD in my car for when I'm on a longer trek, stuck in traffic, or frustrated (I admit it, I'm a road rager). The title song gets my whole body moving, and instantly lifts my spirits. Bring it, crappy drivers!

#8 - Pretty Woman

I don't think I've ever adored either Richard Gere (oh crap, I just thought of another movie I should have on here...honorable mentions...) or Julia Roberts as much as I do in this movie. He may be a cold-hearted business man, but he's endearing in his own way. And she has a smile and upbeat attitude that can cheer up even the worst of days. Plus, I love her hair. Curly, red and unruly. What could be better? I wish her hair always looked like that. Also, I'd kill to wear that red dress to just one event. This movie shows that even when you're at your most down and out, good things can happen. Plus, it's quite a statement on humanity, and the good therein, despite the fact that we're seeing a teeny bit of the underbelly (though maybe an underplayed, glamorous version thereof). The hotel manager melts my heart, as does every person who chooses to be nice to Vivian instead of just judging her. And, of course, it's that princess being rescued by the prince romance that we've grown up on, and though I fight against that stereotype, I feel like Vivian would have made something of herself no matter what, and that she's saved him much more than he's saved her.

#7 - Dirty Dancing

Another movie where the soundtrack's as good as the film, itself. I seem to recall buying part I and II of the soundtrack as my Columbia House purchase back in the day...the know what I'm talking about? My other purchases included Debbie Gibson, Tiffany, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, oh yeah. Moving on. Dirty Dancing is the flipside of Pretty Woman. Here, we have the privileged young woman and the poor young man who's basically prostituting himself out on the side just to make ends meet and to make the patrons happy. We see that there are levels of "good" in people. A father can teach his daughter to think of others and to love everyone, but when put to the test, he struggles with his daughter consorting with someone he's not okay with. Johnny's below Baby, and he's trouble, or that's what it looks like when one doesn't look too deep. But she can learn valuable lessons from a guy like him, as her sister learns tough lessons from the pure boy next door that their father respects, despite the fact that he's a piddly little scumbag. Team Johnny all the way, baby.

#6 - Ladyhawk

I admit it, many of these movies are 80's movies, and Ladyhawk is no different. I discovered Matthew Broderick in this film, not in Ferris Beuller's Day Off. He'll forever be a combination of Ferris and Mouse, the tiny thief who breaks out of the filthy prison, speaking to God the entire time, begging forgiveness and asking for help, even as he does wrong. Along comes Captain Navarre, sweeping the little Mouse into a dark situation, tainted by magic and religion. A curse, shape shifting, treachery, magic, and tortured romance make this a movie for many. My brothers love this movie as much as my sister and I do. There are battle scenes and close calls, and absolutely the most beautiful hawk and wolf. Evil can never win against true love.

#5 - Aliens/Tremors

Aliens is a fantastic movie. One of those that is better than the original. Alien, itself, was not a bad movie, but the horror ante was upped considerably, and we were rooting for Ripley even more in this follow-up. Newt is a kick of a kid, stronger than many of the adults ("Game over, man!"), and I so badly wanted Ripley and Hicks to get to hook-up in the third (no comment on the third). Heart-pounding action, freaky-gross aliens, tension, and they're in space! Isolation is always a kick-up for a horror film, and back in the day, it was even more so. Aliens broke into new frontiers and scared the living crap out of people.

But if you want a horror movie that's just a kick, Tremors is a great choice. Val and Earl are so fun, and the people of this tiny isolated town are a bunch of characters. Despite the fact that I don't think Reba McEntire can act, she's just as likable as Val and Earl. You've got the greedy shop keeper, the whiny prankster kid, the haggard mom, the geeky seismologist, the town handymen, the gun-wielding survivalist couple, and a few scattered others. Throw in a few giant subterranean worms, and you've got a fun night of movie watching! It's like Jaws in dirt.

# 4 - The Goonies/The Last Unicorn

I figured I'd clump two of the kids movies together. I think this is the last double shot I'll do. I can't promise anything, though. Who doesn't love The Goonies? It's the movie that taught us school wasn't the only place with cliques and separations, and that you could overcome the odds with a healthy sense of adventure and the determination to get it done. Plus, pirates! Who of us hasn't wished we'd find a treasure map that would take us to a wealth of gold and jewels (and, more importantly, adventure)? Some laughs, some scares, some thrills, some romance. And some young stars that went on to bigger and better things (Sean Astin, Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin, etc.).

The Last Unicorn was the second movie I owned for myself (Ladyhawk was the first). I adored Mia Farrow's soft voice and Schmendrick. It's such a tale of olden times, inherent magics and mythologies, and acceptance of what is, not just what we believe to be. It's the non-Santa version of Santa Claus, like Tinkerbell. Believe, and you make it so. I always long for a different ending, but it ends the way it should. ~watery sigh~

#3 - The Crow

Brandon Lee broke my heart when he died just shy of April Fool's. To the point that I was convinced it was some nasty April Fool's joke by the media. This film was darkly lush, sarcastic, and oddly optimistic, despite being about the dregs of humanity, and a town riddled with its own filth and violence. To have the opportunity to come back from the dead to see that your death is avenged, and that the evil are cast out. A savior in burial garb. A mystical crow, the harbinger of life and death. Something in this film has always appealed to me, some dark place inside of me, perhaps. Or it could be some light and hopeful place? Who can say?

#2 - Labyrinth

Labyrinth. What can I say about it? Another movie that proves magic exists, but we refuse to see it. A movie that shows us fairies are nasty little pests, that tests our wits, and shows us a different way to think about everything. The Goblin King was a cool fellow (maybe a little too cool, there, David), young Sarah so intent, and Hoggle so torn. She couldn't have asked for a better, more loyal group of friends, and that's something every girl certainly needs. I may have killed this movie for my kids, though, as when I put it on, my son says, "Oh, we're going to watch Labyrinth again." Some day they'll love it like I do. SOME DAY!

#1 - Breakfast Club

You'd think I would have outgrown this film, and all of those other teeny-bopper movies from the 80's (Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Weird Science, Pretty in Pink, so on and so forth), but I haven't. Sure, it probably doesn't have the same impact on me that it used to, but it is still the movie I put on when I need something to watch. I was watching this movie while in labor with my daughter (the labor went so quickly right after we started it that I had my hubby stop it and start it over when my daughter was here and everything had calmed). Yet another great soundtrack, though Simple Minds has the song I can listen to over and over, and that always uplifts me in a certain way. The truth in high school as seen through a microscope. It examined why kids act the way they do, and it made sure each of these kids told their story, their background, in order to show us that every one of them was 1. just another person with their own struggles, and 2. just a kid doing the best they could with what their parents, other kids, and life were handing them. I can't wait to share this film (and all the others) with my kids, though they're young yet. I can only hope they'll see in it what the rest of us did, and that it will still carry the same sort of message for them that it did for so many in decades past. It reminds me to this day to try to remember that everyone around me is facing their own struggles, and their outward behavior may be a reflection of that. Does the movie simplify and stereotype? Yeah. But as teenagers, doesn't the world come across that way, anyway?

I forgot Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Beetlejuice, An Officer and a Gentleman, The Princess Bride, A Knight's Tale, Never Ending Story, The Replacements, Speed, Pirates of the Caribbean, Iron Man, The Avengers, Three Musketeers, Young Guns, and so many more! ACK! I could go on forever and ever and ever, but I won't. Can't wait to see everyone else's favorites!

What are your favorite movies? What's your number 1?

May you find your Muse.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Boomtown Craze Release & Links

Today, I'm delighted to announce the release of M. Pax's Boomtown Craze, part 3 in her Backworlds series.

A Grand New Age of Boom or Dust?

Boomtown Craze, Book 3 in the Backworlds series is here!

In the far future, humanity settles the stars, bioengineering its descendants to survive in a harsh universe.

To secure his future, Craze must propel his world into a more prosperous era. Only days away from the grand opening of his new and improved tavern, he is confronted by a loony Backworlder intent on mucking up his plans. Gaunt and trembling, she claims her spaceship is possessed. She also has a connection to the underworld that shakes loose the dark past of one of Craze’s closest friends. It all threatens to end Craze’s prosperity before it begins.

Meanwhile off world, Captain Talos works desperately to outwit the mercenary Jixes and lure them away from his and Craze’s budding prospects. The mind-control weapon Talos uses against them is wearing thin, and his next move may be his last.

Will Craze and Talos’s efforts bring about a grand new age of boom or damn them to forever struggle in the dust?

Available in ebook at:

Other Outlets can be found at

It will also be available in paperback from Amazon shortly.

M. Pax and a telescope
M. Pax is a Browncoat and SG fan, she’s also slightly obsessed with Jane Austen. In the summers she docents as a star guide at Pine Mountain Observatory where the other astronomers now believe she has the most extensive collection of moon photos in existence. No fear, there will be more next summer. She lives in stunning Central Oregon with the Husband Unit and two lovely, spoiled cats.

You can also find M. Pax on LinkedIN, Pinterest, YouTube, and Wattpad

You'll find two Rafflecopter giveaways at the end of this post, one for a set of signed Backworlds paperbacks (US only), and one for a free e-book (all countries).

But first, some links!

Disclaimer: I do not sponsor these links and have no affiliation with them or the companies/publications/blogs involved. I merely pass along information I happen across while online. Please always check out any publication before submitting or becoming involved with them.

Open for Submissions:

Deadwood Publishing is accepting submissions for three different anthologies - Ruined Cities, The Death God's Chosen, and The Ways of Magic. Open until filled. Pays $.01/word. 5,000 to 20,000 words in length.

Bartleby Snopes would like to start releasing flash novels, books that feel like a full novel, but are only 3,000 to 10,000 words in length. No deadlines, but they hope to publish their first this summer. Pays 60% royalties. They will do editing and cover art.


Monster Corral has the image up for their monthly Flash Fiction Contest. 1000 words tops. Deadline March 31. First prize is $50, plus publication (chance for publication at usual pay for all entrants). No fee to enter. Any genre as long as a monster is featured.

The Binnacle is sponsoring their Annual Ultra-Short Competition, which ends this Friday, March 15. Prose or poetry. Prize will be between $50 and $300. No fee to enter.

Kazka Press has their monthly 713 Flash Contest going on. The March theme is Changing Seasons. Submission deadline is March 20. Must be more than 713 words, less than 1001. Pays $10 flat fee for accepted stories. No fee to enter.  

The Waterman Fund is holding their 2013 Alpine Essay Contest on technology in the woods. Essays due April 15. $1500 first prize and publication in Appalachia Journal. No fee.

Blog Hops/Fests:

Mina Lobo and her pal David Macaulay are hosting a blog hop where people reveal their themes for the A-to-Z Challenge. This is their blog hop, not one officially put on by the A-to-Z team, but it sure sounds like fun! The Big Reveal Blog Hop will take place on March 21.

And here are the giveaways!

From March 4 to March 22, you can enter to win:

One set of signed Backworlds paperbacks, including The Backworlds, Stopover at the Backworlds’ Edge, and Boomtown Craze. Will only ship to US residents. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

One of five free e-books. All countries eligible.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Any of these links you're interested in? Have you read anything by M. Pax yet? Did you enter the giveaway? What do you think of her cover? Anything to pass along?

May you find your Muse.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Where I Go to Think, #COBookMonth

This post is tied in with today's This Colorado Life theme for #COBookMonth:

March 11 - What’s your favorite athletic activity to do? Hiking, biking, boarding? Or are you more a sports follower, chilling out on Sundays with the Broncos?

I like to hike. As I said in the brief blogger spotlight over at LiteraryCO, I live in an area conducive to doing so. It's about a three to five minute drive for me to get to Garden of the Gods:

And a three minute walk for me to get to Ute Valley Park, which is a protected natural area here in town that includes areas for minor rock climbing, meadow walking, and hiking of varying degrees of difficulty. At the beginning of the school year, exhilarated at having two kiddos in school all day for the first time, I went on a spontaneous hike into Ute Valley Park. No water, no cell phone, no weapon. Not smart, necessarily, but I hadn't planned it. I was just going for a quick walk around the park by my house, but Ute Valley called to me, and I hiked up the steep rocky hill that leads me to the park. At the top of the hill I could look down upon my house, and out across the burn area from Waldo Canyon Fire. The view was stunning. Behind it all stood her majesty, Pikes Peak:

Into the park, I went, and I was promptly lost in my thoughts. Given, I stayed aware of my surroundings. After all, we have mountain lions, bears, rattle snakes, etc., so it's wise to keep an eye out and to make some noise so they hear you coming. That really wasn't a problem after scaling the mondo hill at the beginning of the hike. I'm sure they could hear my ragged breathing from three miles off.

Ute Valley Park is surrounded by residential areas and small roads, but inside the park you'd never know it except for the occasional home sightings when on certain paths. After scaling that first hill, each path led me downwards in one direction or another. I chose the one that would take me deepest into the park, to the ooey gooey center. Okay, it's not ooey gooey, seeing as this is Colorado and it's rather dry. But I was heading to the center.

A red-tailed hawk soared above me, possibly seeking prey, or perhaps just enjoying the mild breeze and the feel of gliding with little effort. A speckled brown mountain cottontail rabbit shot off into the brush, white tail flashing as it disappeared.

Peace. Perfection.

This is what I love. This is where I can free my mind, where creative thoughts can flow, where I can work through issues, figure out where to go with a story line, work on a character. This is where I go to think.

Where do you go to think? What helps you free your mind? Do you like to hike, or do you prefer some other form of athletic activity (or none at all)?

May you find your Muse.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Interview Spotlight With Me at LiteraryCO for #COBookMonth

Hi All! I was interviewed over at LiteraryCO for Colorado Book Month (#COBookMonth on Twitter). Please stop by and say hi, and you may meet some other great Colorado authors and bloggers, as well. Lots of fun stuff going on! If you're a Colorado author and/or blogger, you can still sign up to participate.

I've got some exciting news coming up soon. An official release date for an anthology I have a piece in! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

IWSG & Links

First, I've gotten behind on responding to comments and visiting, but I will be catching up, hopefully today! Sorry, but life has dealt me one swift kick to the booty after another! I intend to start kicking it back.

It's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, wherein we writers share our insecurities with the group.

This one's going to be brief for me, but it's something weighing heavily on my mind. Right now, my fear/insecurity is that I will not find any measure of success with my writing in time for my parents to see it. I want to be able to show them that their support since I was a kid talking about growing up to be a writer meant something, that it helped me reach this point, that it's come to fruition. But it all seems so far away that I worry it won't happen in time. While I realize they're my parents and have faith in me, I don't want them to HAVE to have faith that it will happen; I want them to get to see it with their own eyes.

Now for a few links!

Accepting Submissions:

Running Out of Ink is accepting submissions of short fiction, any genre. Not a paying market.

Sword and Laser is accepting submissions for an anthology. Sci-fi and Fantasy themed. Deadline May 15. Pays $200.


Potomac Review is hosting a flash fiction contest. Theme: Brackish. Deadline April 5. $1000 first prize, plus publication in the Potomac Review, and a one-year subscription to the Potomac Review. $20 entry fee.

Wild Thoughts is hosting The Best of Times Short Story Competition for humorous short stories. Deadline is May 31. First prize is $200. Entry fee is $6.

Blog Hops/Memes:

LiteraryCO (Colorado) is hosting Colorado Book Month, which includes a weekly themed meme in the month of March, as well as guest posts with Colorado authors and bloggers (yours truly, included), and lots of other fun stuff. You don't have to be a Coloradan to participate.

Just for Fun:

Emily Temple shared 25 Fascinating Photos of Famous Writers at Home on Flavorwire.

Anything interesting to share? Anything you're interested in above? What are your writing insecurities?

May you find your Muse.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Warrior's Minions & Colorado Book Month

Hi Gang!

It's time to announce my A-to-Z Minions (or Warriors, we're still deciding)!

The following lovely ladies have taken on the daunting task of being my Minions/Warriors:

Dani of Entertaining Interests shares a lot of similar interests with me. You have only to look at her profile to see that she's into writing and photography, tattoos, movies, books, horror, etc., etc., etc. She co-hosts the weekly "Express Yourself" meme with Jackie (Bouquet of Books). Who isn't into horror and tats!? (Don't answer that, people!) We tattooed horror freaks need to stick together!

Julie has been a friend since she helped with the very first A-to-Z Road Trip, the post-challenge to the A-to-Z. On her author blog, Julie Flanders (previously called What Else is Possible?) you can find information about her debut novel, Polar Night. Julie is passionate about helping animals, and writes non-fiction for various publications. If you're lucky, you'll get to "meet" Clancy when you stop by.

Jeanette blogs at her self-named blog, Jeanette S. Andersen, where you can find examples of poetry and updates on the editing process of her book. As of Monday, you can find a snippet of her book there, so check it out! Jeanette is always friendly and has something positive to say, which is nice in an online world where we're assaulted by so much negative some days.

Terri blogs at Scribbler's Sojourn. She's had two stories, a romance and a paranormal romance, published in the anthologies Christmas Magic and Make Believe. As of January, she's announced a standalone novella, set to be published in June. You can find more news on her website. Oh, and she's a stay-at-home mom like me. I need to get my butt in gear!

I look forward to working with these ladies! Thank you to each of you for volunteering. I'm open for one more volunteer if there's anyone out there who's interested, so just drop me a note in the comments or email via my profile.

Now that you've met my wonderful minions (and please do head over to their blogs to meet them and welcome them), it's time for a new meme, but one that will only be during the month of March. You see, March has been declared Colorado Book Month (you can find the badge in my right sidebar), and I'm participating (thanks to Stacy S. Jensen, who sent me the link). Each Monday there is a bit of a meme, a different Colorado-related topic, entitled This Colorado Life.

You guys know from my [Mostly] Wordless Wednesday posts how much I love the state of Colorado, especially the outdoors elements. Today's topic is to share some of our favorite elevated spots in Colorado.

Pikes Peak is one of my favorite elevated spots. Did you know Kathy Lee Bates wrote "America the Beautiful" in 1893, here in Colorado Springs, inspired by Pikes Peak? Pikes Peak is "purple mountain majesties." In fact, she originally wrote it as a poem entitled "Pikes Peak." She re-titled it "America" for publication. It didn't become "America the Beautiful" until 1910 when it was put to music.

Though we've got more than our fair share of fourteeners (mountains over 14,000 feet in elevation), Pikes Peak will always be my favorite, the most gorgeous mountain I've seen to date (and I grew up near two different mountain ranges: the Cascades--also magnificent--and the Appalachians). She looms over the city of Colorado, our protector. And protect us she does, as Colorado Springs has temperate seasons and limited snowfall due to our positioning. I always know I'm home when I see Pikes Peak, in all of her majestic glory.

As far as mountain cities, I love Estes Park. It's a little town near Rocky Mountain National Park, which also happens to have The Stanley Hotel, the hotel Stephen King wrote The Shining in. It's a gorgeous old hotel, with that haunting element to put it as over the top cool.  In the summer, we go rent a boat to take out on Lake Estes, which the kids love.

If you're interested in Colorado Book Month, head over to LiteracyCO. At the very least, there's a great list of Colorado authors you won't want to miss.

What's your favorite spot in your state? Been to Colorado? What's your favorite thing about the part of Colorado you visited?

Don't forget to show my minions some love! They'll be investing a lot of hard work into the challenge in April.

May you find your Muse.