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Showing posts from 2012

3 am thoughts on writing

Okay, so most of you know I absolutely suck at keeping up with a blog. It's been months since I posted last and I am really bloody awful at keeping people up to date on what I'm doing. Except on Facebook. I'm pretty well addicted to it. I even go to a support group that meets on Facebook Mon-Sun every two hours. ;-)

I adore being an Indie author. However, I suck badly at the marketing aspect of it. I'm not one who can run around screaming 'BUY MY BOOK!' Nor am I the sort who will put up a sexy picture of myself partially clothed to sell books. Pimpin' ain't really my thing.

I figure if you like my writing you'll buy my books. I don't ever want to surround myself with ass kissing sycophants the way I see some authors (both traditionally pubbed and Indies) do. When you start listening to the people who like you for your status and not the people you trust then you start churning out crap books.

Your writing suffers because nobody wants to tell you…

Leigh M Lane is an angel

As many of you know I am a huge fan of Ms. Lane's book 'Finding Poe'. So when she contacted me and said she read my book 'Shifters' and found some edits, I was grateful. I can edit for style and flow easily enough but I really need to go back to school and learn more about editing for punctuation (I am a comma junkie.) <--See like that; do I put the period on the inside of the parenthesis or the outside? I was so focused on being a zookeeper that I sort of ignored anything that wasn't about animals or organic chemistry.

She sent me what had to be hours of work on her part cleaning up my grammatical messes and punctuational problems. She did not ask for anything in return. I asked her if I could list her as editor and she thanked me. That's right, the woman who had spent hours polishing up my gem thanked me for crediting her for it.

This is the sort of camaraderie you find often in the Indie community. We help each other with cover art and with editing. W…

Cleveland Clinic

So here I am wired up and stuck in a bed for however many days it takes. It was supposed to be a week but hopefully I'll get out sooner. Did I mention I'm having a video EEG? Not only am I wired up for the week but they'll have video of it too. Yay.  I mean really, who doesn't want video of them looking perfectly horrid?

I feel rather sorry for the poor chap that has to stare at my mug for a week. I can tell you that the glue they use for the electrodes itches like crazy. I can also tell you nurses and PAs do not get enough money. The ones I've met here have been downright awesome.

For those who don't know my background here's a little summary:

Nine years ago I was a successful zoo keeper. I was working at the Detroit Zoo and was in bliss. I had the greatest managers, curators, and coworkers anyone could hope to have. One day I was scrubbing the Penguinarium and this pain shot down my left arm into my pinky finger. It brought me to my knees. Mind you, I…

Shifters

I just want to say thank you to everyone who downloaded a free copy of Shifters this weekend. It made my weekend to see that over 400 people snagged a copy and that the book made it to #27 in Amazon's Top 100 Free Horror. You guys are downright awesome!

Jeffrey Kosh's Prosperity Glades: DOORS by Jaime Johnesee

Jeffrey Kosh's Prosperity Glades: DOORS by Jaime Johnesee: OK, let's suppose you can't (or you won't) to chug out 1.99 bucks for a whole anthology. So, why don't get a single story from 'Oh, the Horr...

The Narrator

I love my characters, they come to me to tell their stories and once they've finished usually a bittersweet goodbye follows. There are those that stick around, the ones you just know will make a series and this blog entry is about one of those. He's a character I dearly hope makes it to another book. Right now I call him 'The Narrator'. He hasn't told me his name yet, and he is so interesting that it's hard for me to remember to ask for it.

He pops up at the oddest times and begs for me to write more. Yet, all I really know of him so far is what he's told me to help me twine together the tales I wrote for 'Oh, The Humanity'. He tells me of the creatures you'll meet in the book and how they came to find themselves in the positions they inevitably fall into. I could write him for hours and still enjoy his soothing voice.

He is simply the best, well... narrator, I could hope to have. He's made a haunting impact on me, I can't seem to resis…

The case of the nearly dead turtle.

This morning I came downstairs to find our buddy Turtle Tuck floating facedown in the aquarium. My two boys were standing around the fish tank wondering what happened to their beloved turtle. Quickly, instinct (and nearly a decade and a half of on the job training) took over and I pulled her out of the tank. She was stone cold. 'Aw, crap!' I thought to myself 'She's dead. What do I tell the kids?' Then she started opening her eyes. 'Hallelujah! She is still alive!'
I quickly ran the warm water and when I hit that perfect temprature I began running the water over the back of her shell, keeping her head out of the stream, so she could still breathe. She took a huge gulp of air and I knew she was going to be ok. I had to keep her warm, but she was still too cold to move, so I couldn't just leave her in the sink. Wrapping her in paper towels, I did what any animal person does when they need to care for a sick critter. I bit the bullet and stuffed the turtle…

Charlie's Angel

Gerry Kearns was a good woman. Her husband was the president of the chamber of commerce and his family was quite wealthy, so she didn't need to work. Instead, she spent twenty hours a week as a candy striper at the local hospital. She was on the board for the local no-kill shelter and always did her best to make sure the family donated whatever money and food items they could when the local food drives came up.

So when the man limped up to her in the parking garage, she didn't think twice about trying to help him get his unruly dog in the van. She only had to see the cast on his leg and that large heart of hers took over. She had spent the latter part of her life working hard to help people. That sort of training caused a type of forgetfulness when it came to personal safety.

As she maneuvered the Golden retriever into the white, windowless, heavy duty work van the man who had requested her aid grinned and pulled the trigger on his taser. Before she could process what was happ…

Uncle Ron

My husband's uncle passed last week after a year long battle with cancer. He was buried today instead of last week because he wouldn't have wanted to upset anyone's Easter plans. Yes, that is the amazing angel we were all blessed to know. He was a selfless and loving man and thankfully, he has passed these traits on to his children. I am forever blessed to be a part of the Johnesee, Kowalski, and Glitz family. They are the most loving and wonderful souls it has ever been my luck to encounter. With my health being all kinds of wonky I don't have many good days and have missed more family functions than I attended and regardless of how many I have missed they still greet me with open arms and hearts when I am able to attend. So in honor of Uncle Ron Kowalski I will be putting up a free short story on my website. A story that he helped inspire two years ago during an extended family vacation to Myrtle Beach. We had gone to dinner at a Brazillian steakhouse that both …

The worst people sometimes present the kindest faces.

Her life had stopped being her own when she had the kids. Marilyn didn't mind that. They were wonderful children and no mother could be prouder. What really bothered her was knowing that the Devil himself was going to come take them from her when they reached seventeen. He had told her so the night he had impregnated her. She sobbed into her duct taped hands and ignored the pain as he took her violently. Nine months later sweet little Sarah and lovely Anthony were born.  She'd had a difficult time carrying the twins and once had thought she had lost them. She had actually been ecstatic at the time. Of course she didn't realize just how much those kids would mean to her. As their fourth birthday appeared Marilyn decided to play things safe, if they looked different perhaps Satan would not recognize them and would leave them be. She had smiled as she carved into their faces ignoring their screams of pain and terror. She was doing this for them and that thought steeled her…

A short zombie tale from long ago for you I hope you enjoy

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It had all started when Mt St Helens erupted years ago. A parasite living deep in the fiery bowels of the volcano was expelled along with the magma and gasses. This parasite had been dormant since the time of the dinosaurs and no one knew of its existence until it started using humans as its host. It started its rein of terror by invading the bodies found dead along the side of the highway. It realized quickly that the cold lifeless corpses of animals made unfulfilling hosts. They wanted something more intelligent, something larger so that they could breed and transfer their young out into the world. They came across a pre-school.
The children were out playing during their recess when the parasites invaded the playground. The kids never even saw it coming. One second little Mary Sue Greene was playing hopscotch the next she was groaning and shrieking. The teacher on guard watching the kids immediately ran to her and called into his walkie-talkie for an ambulance. It would have been the…

Tiny bit of flash fiction for you guys

Crazy Smart

The stench of death rose up like a cloud around him and he grinned, inhaling with a joy he hadn't felt in years. There was nothing quite so delightfully aromatic as the delectable coppery scent of blood pooling and clotting.

He wasn't sure exactly when he'd felt so alive and it gave him a thrill to know that his joy came from their deaths. His eyes moved lovingly over the shattered corpses at his feet and he sighed "Oh, Tommy, look at what we've done now."

In his mind his best friend grinned up at him from the belly of the corpse nearest him, his enigmatic smile stained with the blood and effluence seeping from the body he had been gnawing on.

In reality, Frank Gomez was standing in his kitchen facing a corner caught completely  in his dreams, thoroughly believing he was standing atop the bodies of those who had taken his son.

Ten years earlier Frank had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. But rather than live a sort of half life (wher…

I HATE editing. Blah!

While I know editing is essential and even crucial to having a good finished product I absolutely loathe it. Aside from not having a ton of time with the two kids and old house that needs some love, there's the fact I am an unrelenting demon when I edit. I will scrutinize a page until it starts crying. But to me, the best way to have a good book is to make sure it's as close to flawless as you can get it.

I'm working on an anthology right now with a dozen or so short stories from my past and present. The ones from the past need some serious clean up because they were written when I had just begun down the road of writing. The newer ones also need a bit of love and care and I'm ok with giving it to them.

My problem is when I spend fifteen minutes wondering if I couldn't find a better synonym for this word, or if I ought to include this sentence here or there. A bit obsessive perhaps but I know in the end the story/novel/novella will be better off for it, but Jeesh, …

My Muse

Sometimes I wish my muse wouldn't get so distracted by....Oooooh shiny! Sorry, I mean to say that I really wish my muse would stay on tar.....hey check out that Facebook post! Again sorry. What I'm trying to say is I really wish my muse would stay on point. But as we all know, sometimes the internet can be an amazing distraction.

I know that for myself I would probably have finished at least one, if not two more novels in the time I waste having fun on the web. There are days I hop online to learn about some topic or get my facts straight and within moments I'm carried away to Memebase or Facebook and I have forgotten entirely what it was I jumped online to research.

Two hours later I shut down the internet and thwack myself on the forehead for not actually looking up the information I needed in the first place. Then I jump back online and whammo two more hours pass and I realize I have again lost sight of what I was doing.

Then there are the times my muse decides she need…

Being ill sucks, but I'm glad it happened.

So as many of you know I am suffering from an 'as yet undiagnosed' disease. It's been a long seven year battle and at times it feels like I am living in hell. There are days where it's an absolute miracle (I kid not) that I am able to get downstairs and get my boys breakfast and lunch and simply take care of them.

There are so many days where I have no clue how I was able to do it, and there have been many days that resulted in me collapsing and laying on the floor unresponsive for a little while.

It's getting worse and things are getting more and more difficult but one thing has remained constant; my husband. Without him I don't think I'd be alive today and honestly he is the only person in my life I can rely on completely. Hell, he is the only person that I have ever been able to rely on.

I try not to complain or whine too much about my problems. I am luckier than so many, but there are days where it hits me so hard I can't stand it. On those days (us…

Reading a ton of Indie Authors lately...

No not authors from Indiana (although there is one or two of those) I'm talking about authors who self-publish their books on Kindle and Nook. They're not backed by a giant publishing house and most of them have full time jobs and families and are no different from me in that they write for the sheer joy of writing (and because our heads will explode if we don't get the chance to write these stories down) and they publish their works themselves because it's less troublesome, faster to get published, and gives a much better (according to some I spoke with) payout in terms of royalties.

You'll find my book reviews posted on the right side of my home page and you can bet there will be a whole lot of independent authors on this list. I've really had a blast meeting with and reading several of these writers and I think it's safe to say a whole new world of literary possibilities has opened up to us and it is a fantastic time to be a reader or a writer.

As an ind…

Catch and Release

So at 1:30 this morning our cat hops up on the bed and proceeds to nudge my hand to wake me up. The next thing I know a live mouse is running all over the bed, including over my husband's face. Chris sits bolt upright in bed and I say, completely puzzled "There's a mouse in our bed." Needless to say the mouse got off the bed and hustled out of our room and into the hall.

The cat looked at us as if to say "Do you know how long it took to catch that mouse and you let him get away? Fine, I'll get it again." The he tore out of the room after Speedy Gonzalez and I turned to my lovely, handsomely bearded, incredibly groggy husband who simply shrugged and laid back down. He laid like that for a second and then said "You think he's trying to get back into our good graces?" Mostly because the cat had been a real jerk about Mr. B.

"I don't know." I said "Possible, or he could've just wanted to give us a gift." I love the …

Mr. B

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For those who I'm pals with on Facebook you already know about Mr. B. For those who don't let me tell you a story....

Two weeks ago my husband and I decided we wanted to get another dog. So we did our research and found a pup online at the Humane Society that we wanted to go see. We packed up the SUV and headed out when Chris got home from work. Excited and giddy we postulated and joked about how this dog would fit in our new house and large yard.

Reality was very different from fact. The dog was 9 weeks old and at first was a great little puppy. Then she started becoming vicious with me and my kids. She bit me several times and not only drew blood but has left scars. When our three year old became scared of her we decided immediately she was not the puppy for us and we put her back in her kennel.

My husband and I began looking at the other dogs in the shelter and I came across a beautiful St Bernard named Betsy (who oddly enough, could have been a double for Cujo) I adored Be…

Welcome to my Blog

So I've just started down this path called blogging and I thank you all for bearing with me while I learn the nuances of this medium that is entirely new to me. I never even kept a diary as a kid, so this is an adventure for all of us.