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Friday, August 30, 2013 26 comments

New: "Wilder Mage" by CD Coffelt (& *Big Dreams* Update)

Aloha,

It's an absolute pleasure to congratulate CD Coffelt (aka Huntress :) with the release of her new book, WILDER MAGE.


Blurb:

The earthquake wasn’t his fault. Not this time.

Justus Aubre is a wilder. A mage unbound to the Imperium, and therefore a dangerous wild card in their eyes. The Imperium wants him, wants his power, but Justus has hidden for many years and now has some semblance of a normal life. All that’s about to change when Sable Rounds walks through the door of his antique shop, looking for work. Justus instantly knows what Sable is, he just doesn’t know the danger he’s in.
Alone, also on the run from the Imperium, Sable longs for a normal life. For somewhere to belong. She finds this when Justus hires her, but she knows it’s temporary and fragile, an illusion. Though she hates to think about it, she knows that one day she will have to move on.
The Imperium is always behind her, waiting. When they finally find Sable, they find Justus. And all hell’s about to break loose.





Bio:
Carol Coffelt lives outside Maryville, Missouri with a bemused husband and way too many cats. She adores all things fantasy with a special love for urban and epic.

With a passion for good writing and Doritos as companions, locating Middle-Earth on a dusty road in rural Missouri wasn’t difficult. All it took was a little Magic, hours of reading, and an overactive imagination.
You can visit her blog at www.spiritcalled.blogspot.com.


For more info:
Musa Publishing

Blog

GoodReads

Manic Reader

Book Trailer

#########

Congrats, Huntress, and may all your dreams come true... and speaking of dreams (as he drives a huge battery-powered Segway through this paragraph:), I'm participating in the Big Dreams Blog Hop, hosted by Mishe Gericke and Beth Fred.

The idea is to update your stated Goal on the last Friday of the month. My current goal is to finish a 75,000 word first draft by Halloween. I started three weeks ago, and have 13,000 words in the bank.

While short of my projected mark, I am indeed 13k richer in words than the beginning of August, so that's a score:)

You can join in this monthly Blog Hop here.



Wednesday, August 28, 2013 20 comments

Save the Date: "Follow Fest" (powered by Melissa Maygrove:)

Aloha,


One of my good buddy blogger mates, Melissa Maygrove, has come up with a fantastic idea to spread positive blog luv around the Blogisfear.












It's called Follow Fest and here's some basic info, taken from Melissa's recent post.


Purpose: Follow Fest is a platform building opportunity for writers of all kinds. 
(Think, ‘cyber meet-and-greet with social media links for business cards.’)

When: September 23rd thru 27th.

How: Create a blog post using the guide provided and sign up on the Linky list for the day you plan to post. There will be a separate Linky list for each day. 

During the week of Follow Fest, visit other blogs and connect with as many writers as you wish. Enter to win prizes, too.
 
 


(For full details on Follow Fest, plus an extensive Q&A, click here.)
 

So, please make sure to save the date, I have a feeling even Oul' Gary will want to meet and get to know some new peeps :)



Friday, August 23, 2013 37 comments

You Know You're A Parent When it's 'Gradulation' Time 2 :)

Aloha,

With a sad "aaahhh," I have to report that my mates, Mark and Dave, didn't win through to the Finals of the Irish TV show, The Hit, but they *did* write the song that cracked the Top Twenty in the Irish pop charts today, so that's something well-worth celebrating :)

I thought I'd finish the week with a quick episode of my on-going series, "You Know You're A Parent When..."


You know you're a parent when... it's time to go on a diet.
While I was changing his brother, No. 1 Son looked at me this morning and asked, "Papa, do you have a baby in your tummy?"
Courtesy: newdadtobe.com

(With an "eek," I sucked in my gut, nearly tearing several stomach muscles in the process...)

"No son," I said in a squeaky voice, before remembering to exhale. "Papas can't have babies - only Mamas can have babies."

"Papa, how do you make babies?"

 As I mentally lamented how my former six-pack was now a keg, Papa Silence filled the bedroom and beads of sweat broke out on my bald pate while I contemplated *the* question...

I looked at the clock. It was only 6:46 a.m. and my eyes were still half sleep-glued together.

I decided there was only one way to respond to my eldest, who had asked such a thought-provoking and interesting question:

"Right son, what do you want for breakfast? Waffles or Pancakes?"

 ###

You realize you're a parent when... you're forced to introduce new things in their life - like school.

This is No. 1 Son, moments before I woke him up his first day at school...


TWO days later, he came out with one of the funniest things he's ever said.

I had just woken him up again and he rolled, burrowed and eventually looked at me: "Papa... Is it the weekend yet?"


###


You know you're a parent when *this* is the look you get.

Recently, No.2 and No. 3 Sons wouldn't share the tablet, so in frustration I said, "If you boys don't share, I will send you back to Amazon."
 
And, yes, they were much happier playing *with* the box, than the toys that came *in* the box!

####

And finally, you know you're a parent when.... No. 2 Son officially graduates from Potty Training!!!

Sure, it happens the day after you buy another box of Pull-ups, but you can save those for No. 3 Son.

Happiness is wearing Angry Birds undies :)

 
Have a great weekend, everyone :)


Monday, August 19, 2013 26 comments

My Childhood Mates "Thinking of You" & I Need Your Help

Aloha,

Right then, how's the craic?

Yez'll all have to bear with me if me Dublin accent kicks back in, loike, because I am absolutely chuffed to bits for two old mates of mine - and current songwriters - who need *your* help!


Dave Spiro (L) and Mark Keogh (Courtesy: The Hit)

We're talking about forty years ago since I first met Mark Keogh and Dave Spiro.

In our "gang" of seven lads, we had Dave, one Liam, a Paul and FOUR Marks, so *he* became Keoghie and I was "Koopo." The other two Marks became Fareller and Wildey. (We kids were deep thinkers :)

Growing up in the South Side of Dublin in the 1970s was tough in many ways. Much of the city was in general decline and joyriding was a national pastime to where our asphalt playgrounds were often warmed in winters (and summers!!) by stolen and burnt-out cars. But, we lived there and knew no different. We went with the flow - for the most part.
Indeed, the Rialto version of public transportation to and from school meant "scutting" on the back of Guinness lorries, because the famous Guinness Brewery, and our old secondary school, share at least one wall. (To this day, the smell of burnt toast still reminds me of the hops and yeast cooking - or whatever it was doing :)

However, from the ashes of a Vauxhall Astra came the 21st century and 2007, which is when Dave and the Mark formerly known as Keoghie met again in Rialto after years travelling their own paths. Their foundation of friendship grew and was soon forged into today's current partnership as singer/songwriters.

Republic of Loose (Courtesy: Republic of Loose)



This past Friday, Mark and Dave made it to the live show edition of The Hit, a new show on Irish television station, RTE 1.



The lads then won a spot in the upcoming finals when Irish group, Republic of Loose, choose Mark and Dave's song, Thinking of You to be the band's newest single.








Mark and Dave are up against the songwriter of Samantha Mumba's song, Somebody Like Me.
Whomever gets the higher chart position *this* Friday wins through to the upcoming finals.

So, IF you can, here are some ways to help me mates in their efforts:

In Ireland, you can buy the new Republic of Loose single Thinking of You by texting Song1 to 57082 to buy the song on your phone.

Internationally, you can show the lads some support by:

Downloading the song via iTunes here

Liking the song on FB here

Tweeting it using the link here

As mentioned, Mark and Dave's song, as performed by Republic of Loose, is available anywhere, including iTunes here, although the show does only takes into account the Irish chart position.

I'll leave you with a positive quote from Mark, on a recent Facebook post Sunday, "Its gona be tough! Thanks for the support."

Here's the YouTube link to Thinking of You


PS: Cheers and ta very much :)

PPS: GOOD LUCK, Mark and Dave. You're a gas bunch, but we're rooting for yez here in Hawaii :)


Friday, August 16, 2013 29 comments

On a Good Day...

Aloha,

Have you noticed there’s a lot of bad stuff going on – or going wrong – with the world?

This week alone, a nationally known politician was sentenced to 2.5 years for skimming campaign funds.

Overseas, Egypt is going to hell in a hand basket, and who knows what’s going to happen there?

And, in general, I don’t know my neighbors the way I knew my neighbors as a kid.

Why is that?
I don’t have any answers, except to suggest we should all consider paying it forward instead of looking back.
At least we'd be heading in the right direction…

But, let me tell you three good things that happened to me this week. (As I wrote this post, a fourth happened, but that's for Monday:)

Sat in a McDonald’s the other day, struggling with a certain scene, I looked up from my laptop in real frustration. In my direct line of sight was a father and his son (?) doing a Bible study.
In a McDonald’s. At 9 a.m. On a Wednesday.
It was awesome to witness and it absolutely gave me a shot of positive thinking to where I figured how to get my annoying MC to the end of the chapter. (She won’t listen to me…it's so bothersome...)

###

My wife, a U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. is in Rhode Island for three weeks, so SuperGrandma is in town to keep me sane, (which is in itself a good thing.) Hearing that my wife reconnected with a friend at the course is awesome news. Knowing the two women can socialize and share their downtime is a big relief - now that I know she's not "alone."

###
And, finally, I didn’t officially misplace my son...
No. 3 Son, nineteen months old, thinks he is six (or at least three) and wants to do everything like his two older brothers.

This past Sunday, he finally conquered the kid’s playground at the Honolulu Zoo.

I was delighted for him, especially when I saw him come off the slide, waddle around to the steps, climb, slide again (and again... repeat to infinity and beyond.)

So, I took a picture and sent it to my wife via smart phone. This is the picture:

It took about 45-60 seconds to upload and send with a quick note. When I looked up, I expected No. 3 Son to be back on the slide.
No Son. Empty slide.

I leaned to the left.

No Son on steps.

Okkkk…

I circled the (very) small play area.

No Son…

My inner Freakoutometer automatically kicked in as my writer’s imagination sent various scenarios to the front lines.

I walked to the busy main playground (100 feet away). SuperGrandma had No. 2 Son, and No. 1 Son was busy with his new friends.
No waddling little boy in lime green Hawaiian shirt/shorts combo…

The Freakoutometer moved to DEFCON-2…
After the third complete revolution around the playground, I noticed several parents sat up to watch me - my facial expression would have worried me, too.

The Freakoutometer clicked to DEFCON-3…
And, then from over my left shoulder I felt something. I whipped around, and about 100 yards away was afore-mentioned No. 3 Son (now since grounded until he’s, mwahhh, say 35.)

Comfortable in the arms of a young man (late teens), the mini-Houdini waved as if to say, “Boy, did I have an adventure, Papa”

Meanwhile, the Freakoutometer switched over to BlabberMode in preparation of its non-essential shutdown.
I thanked the young man and his friend – a lot – and they explained how they found Little Ninja wandering around the corner.
I shook their hands, thanked them – again – and mentioned that they have done me a great service on a good day.

###

But what's this got to do with writing, Uncle Mark?

Well, the next time I'm doing a horror or terror scene, I'll be able to pull from personal experience :)

One final thought: Smart phones may be smart, but I’m not sure about the people (ME) using them.

Remember, kids: Parents don’t let parents email cute pictures – until later :)
###
PS... This is "On a Good Day" by Above & Beyond.
The English dance music group held a 2009 competition for fans to see who could create the best music video for their next OceanLab single.
The winning video by Ashley Tritton is amazing, and if the homeless are in any way important in your life, you'll appreciate this anytime, but definitely on a good day :)

 



 
Monday, August 12, 2013 52 comments

"GaryFest" & HAPPY 802nd BIRTHDAY, Father Dragon :)

Aloha,



Alongside my co-hosts, I am so happy to help kickoff the Anti-Blogfest that will forever live on as "GaryFest."
 
Using several tongues in cheeks, we've designed this event as a blog hop to honor Mr. anti-blog hop himself, our Gary at Klahanie.
 
"GaryFest" is hosted by:
 
 
The one rule was *very* simple:
 
1. Create the titles of three PG-13 rated blogfests you would never join - and then add a descriptive sentence or two.
 
For example, would you sign up for the Blocked up Toilet Blogfest - "where crap happens" ???

So, without further use of the loo...

(Rips open cheesy, oversized looking envelope with some nasty blue wax on one end...)
 
...Here then are my three offerings to Blog Hops I would never join.

Evah.



The Open Wound Blog Fest (where scabs tweet their followers to, "Pick me, pick me.")

The He-Ain't-Heavy, He's my Shoplifting-Brother Blog Hop (where Toys 'R' Theirs - until they get busted in the parking lot.)

The Pithy Party Blog Fest (where everyone sits around, all subdued and depressed because no one can think to say anything with substance and point.)


I am soooo looking forward to reading your entries, so THANKS for participating :)


#########


On a different note, I wanted to (in case you hadn't heard) remind folks and offer a belated Happy 802nd Birthday to our friend, Father Dragon.

Al was kind enough to include me as a "special guest" and I wanted to share his artist's rendition of me on an Oirish dance floor:)


Cheers, Al and all I can say is: "Mi amigo, usted es una estrella de rock" :)



Wednesday, August 7, 2013 36 comments

"GaryFest" is *THIS* Monday & I see you, IWSG post

Aloha,

Before I begin with the insecurity of my writerly lack of security and posit on my latest WIP deposit, I wanted to remind you, dear friends, the Anti-Bloghop that is “GaryFest” kicks off this coming Monday.



Full details are totally here, like.

The last I looked, we were only nine hundred and fifty-one away from 1,000 who have signed up via the Linky List - so come on down and join the fun :)

In other awesome sauce news…

It’s time to once again think before you write the acronym for Insecure Writers Support Group.

In case you don't know, IWSG was founded by a non-mandolin-playing dude called Alex (and funded, in 400 parts by his new start-up, “Clones ‘R’ Us”)

IWSG is a place where discovering a writer friend in the fetal position next to a overflowing trashcan of crumpled white printer paper is considered OK, and where weeping of grown men with shiny bald heads is encouraged.
All this happens only because of the wonder that is the Fellowship of IWSG.
 

 
You don’t need a precious ring or even remove a huge, old sword from an older rock to participate, but when you do, you *will* leave stronger than before you posted.

Of that I promise you :)
(Now, where's the darn box of Kleenex...)

###

This month, as I bury myself in WIP#2, I’m going with a simple insecurity:

I rarely ask questions at the bottom of my posts.

Is that bad?

I understand asking a question is a way to entice commenters to bite at your hook, but I grew up* (subject to change at author-reader discussion and discretion) as a beat reporter who was supposed to WOW! the reader and leave ‘em with a zinger of a thought.

And, if I got "THE QUOTE" to end the article, that was like finding two jars of Trader Joe's Cookie Butter on the shelf :)

So, what do you think?

Do you ask questions at the bottom of the post – or leave ‘em with a zinger of a thought/quote?


Friday, August 2, 2013 24 comments

"QueryCon" is back - Three week "seminar" runs Sept. 9 - 27

Aloha,



Hosted by Charity Bradford and the other wonderful writers behind Unicorn Bell, (motto: "To support the writing community by giving constructive tips and criticism through submissions,") I'm delighted to help promote this upcoming query-palooza because:

A. QueryCon is a fabulous idea - and I had so much fun participating last year.

B. QueryCon 2012 helped me "lose" one hundred words on my query (It's like Weightwatchers for a query letter - dare I nickname it Wordwatchers :)

C. QueryCon helped one of our blogging friends find a home for her book... see below :)

Direct from Unicorn Bell, here is the latest:

###

If one of your goals in life is to get published, we want to help all we can.

Here's HOW.

Do you remember our awesome query extravaganza from last year? You know, that three week event where we had classes on drafting and polishing the perfect query followed by a workshop week where you got to do just that? And the culmination of all that learning and hard work was a week of final queries being judged by our amazing guest judges.

You know that thing that helped match up
Tara Tyler and Pop Travel with a publishing contract?

It's coming again this fall.


So finish up those edits and get ready.

More information to come, but here are a few quick reminders:

  • Everyone is invited to participate in the classes and workshop
  • Only finished and revised novels qualify for 3rd week final exam by our guest judges (to be announced soon as well)
###

How awesome sauce is that!

(I have to say I'm as excited as Alex when he gets a new shipment of Comment Borgs to help with his increased load :)

QueryCon 2013 is going to rock, and I hope you can check it out - and join the fun :)




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