Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pop Culture --SIS Style

Saturday, October 31, 2009 8

Welcome to Café Chaos. Grab a cup of coffee or tea (we prefer coffee) and join us for a chat. Every Saturday we celebrate Pop Culture. Movies, TV, books, music, games, trends in style... you get picture. Feel free to comment on our picks or to throw in a few of your own. We’re listening!

SIS Beth says:
This one's for Brenda (who, if memory serves was as intrigued by this show as me).

'Tis the season to read scary books and to watch scary movies. I don't like being scared. Don't see the attraction. At. All. That said, in the early 70's (I was in my early teens) I was inexplicably drawn to a TV series starring Darrin McGavin (of A Chistmas Story fame) in the role of TV investigative reporter, Carl Kolchak. Kolchak investigates murders committed by vampires... and other supernatural beings. I'm pretty sure it only ran one season (as most clever, innovative series do). All I know is that as much as it scared me, I was hooked. I don't know if this is avaible on DVD, but if so, snatch it up!

My Pick of the Week: The Night Stalker

SIS BJ says:
My girls and I enjoy the wonderful movies that come out at this time of year. There is one in particular that we make sure to watch every Halloween.

Hocus Pocus, staring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy.

In the 1600's the Sanderson Sisters were hung for stealing the souls of children so they could stay young forever. Before they died they cast a spell that would bring them back to life when a virgin lit a black candle.

300 years later a young boy lights the black candle and you guessed it, he was a virgin. Three kids and a talking black cat must outwit the Sanderson Sisters before they can steal the souls of more children.

Funny and witty, this movie is a joy to watch with children of all ages.

My Pick of the Week: Hocus Pocus



SIS Barb says:
Like Beth, I don't like being scared and I even though my husband would love it if I recommended the SAW movies, which I begrudgingly agreed to sit through, I can't. I only made it through the first two and can't say that I enjoyed them one bit especially since I had to watch from behind my hands! I did, however, enjoy a movie that Beth suggested. Practical Magic was fun and fun I can handle! It made me laugh, it almost made me cry (big surprise) but mostly it made me want to learn more about witches and witchcraft. Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman were believable and beautiful or should I say BOOtiful?

My Pick of the Week: Practical Magic

Friday, October 30, 2009

Scandalous Spirits

Friday, October 30, 2009 13


In honor of Halloween and inspired by BJ's (Aleena's) willingness to share one of her poems (see yesterday's post), I'm going to share an excerpt from an earlier work that I co-authored with a very good friend.

Shortly after I first started writing, my critique partner, Cynthia Valero, and I decided to collaborate on a project. Our styles were similar. Our strengths and weaknesses opposite. We thought it would be great fun as well as a way to grow. We wrote under the penname CB Scott and I'm proud to say we went on to sell three novels to ImaJinn Books, a small press print publisher. Our first novel--Scandalous Spirits--was also a finalist in RWA's Golden Heart contest. It's a paranormal romance that features three catankerous ghosts form the 192os, along with a fiesty heroine and stuffy, but hunky hero. Seven years later and I still adore this book. Talk about 'Day of the Dead'.... Enjoy!

by CB Scott

Prologue

"I’m dying of boredom."


"Keen trick, Izzy, considering you’ve been dead for the last seventy years."

Cigarette holder poised between two slender fingers, Isadora Van Buren-Valentine-Mueller-Tadmucker-Carr slicked her bobbed hair behind one diamond-studded ear, blew out a lazy stream of smoke, then snipped, "Go chase yourself, Jimmy."

"Vamp."

"Goof."

Jonas Van Buren shook his head as his cantankerous younger siblings launched into yet another verbal tussle. In confounding "hereafter limbo" since 1928 and they were still at it. Some things never changed. "Lay off, you two. Bickering won’t solve our plight. In fact, it’s what got us into this mess in the first place. Or have you forgotten?"

"If memory serves," Isadora drawled, flicking her ashes into an etched blue crystal bowl, "Jimmy’s lousy driving got us into this mess. He’s the one who steered the Pierce-Arrow off the bridge and into the drink."

"I was distracted," James snapped in self-defense, plunking down the deck of cards he’d been fanning and shuffling on the table before them. But when he palmed up the snap-brim of his brown felt fedora, guilt plagued his handsome, boyish features.

"I know you were, sweetie," Isadora quickly amended, her cupie-bowed lips drawing into a contrite frown. "I’m sorry." Suddenly morose, she added, "If anyone’s to blame, it’s me. I’m the one who talked you and Jonas into staying late at the speak-easy."

"You didn’t talk us into anything, angel," Jonas said, sorry he’d introduced the subject of their physical demise in the first place. "It was a collective decision, remember? All for one and one for all."

James’ mouth slid into a lopsided grin upon hearing their childhood oath. "You said it!"

"And how!" Isadora exclaimed, her ruby red lips curving back into a smile.

Grateful for their easily restored humor, Jonas smiled as well. Smoothing the shawl collar of his double-breasted vest, he returned then to his usual post: the arched glass window of the secluded west tower of Laguna Vista, the infamous Van Buren Estate. Or as they’d come to refer to it as of late, the Van Buren Prison.

He braced his palms on either side of the sash and looked out in disgust over the unkempt grounds. Gnarled brambles and rampant sea grass thrived in place of sculptured hedges and exotic roses. The once immaculate lawn of the Spanish-style mansion was no longer green but brown, and littered with rocks and empty liquor bottles. Or as Isadora so colorfully referred to them, dead soldiers.

The former summer home of their parents, the powerful and wealthy department store tycoon Jonathan Bernard Van Buren and his socialite wife Ella, Laguna Vista had been the high-society playground for some of America’s most popular celebrities, not to mention occasional politicians and assorted European dignitaries.

Up until 1928, anyhow.

That tragic year James accidentally drove the family’s luxury automobile off a bridge, ending his fast-lane life along with that of his sister’s and brother’s. Of course it had been foggy and he’d been speeding, but as Isadora had said, the fact that they ended up in the bottom of the bay swimming with the fishes wasn't entirely their little brother’s fault. They’d all been blotto, hopped up on hooch compliments of Isadora’s favorite gin mill. And they’d been bickering. Not that that was unusual. The Van Buren siblings were famous for their caustic, though mostly harmless, tiffs. They loved each other dearly. They just didn’t happen to agree on everything. Strike that, Jonas thought with an amused grunt, they didn’t agree on a lot of things. Like who were the cat’s pajamas? The Yanks or the Dodgers?

The details revolving around the fatal crash and the moments thereafter remained a mystery to the three siblings. One moment they’d been arguing over who would take the World Series in ‘29. The next they were free-floating twenty feet over the murky water, looking on as a fleet of gumshoes fished the dented Pierce-Arrow out of the bay. Seeing their lifeless bodies being pulled from the car was a bit of a shock, to say the least. How could they be dead when they felt so alive? And if they were dead, shouldn’t they be in heaven or hell or . . . something?

"Maybe we’re hallucinating," James had offered. "That’s what we get for drinking coffin varnish."

"Don’t be a sap," Isadora snapped, watching as two meds hoisted her limp, slender form onto a gurney. Pointing a translucent finger at her raccoon-ring-eyed, lipstick-smeared face a short distance beyond, she said, "I’ve been corked on bootleg whiskey more times than I can count, and I’ve never looked as bad as that."

To which Jonas replied, "Says you."

Then it occurred to them. They weren’t kickin’ in the physical sense, but spiritually . . .

Jonas recalled Isadora and James launching into a heated debate over the subtle differences between ghosts and spirits, then lapsing into a fit of snorting laughter while plotting the swell tricks they’d get over on their cousins. He even remembered tossing in a few choice pranks of his own. But his most vivid recollection was the heart-wrenching moment they’d sobered up, simultaneously realizing the impact their deaths would have on those they’d left behind. It crushed their fanciful mindset and landed them within the grieving walls of Laguna Vista in the blink of a snake’s eye.

And here they’d been stuck ever since. A problem Jonas had spent the last seventy years trying to rectify. Ghostly limbo wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Unlike Isadora and James, he’d never reveled in the novelty of being a disembodied spirit. He’d merely tolerated their fate, as he seemed to have no choice. He longed to cross over, to join friends and family members in heaven, or at least to graduate to a higher non-physical plane. However, for reasons that eluded him, the Powers-That-Be turned a consistently deaf ear to his simple request. It was as if he was being punished, but for what? What?

Isadora watched as Jonas’ shoulders sagged in familiar defeat. He was mulling over their fate again. She hated when he did that. It tended to depress him, and she hated anything sad. Sighing dramatically, since it was one of her better talents, she snuffed out her fag after one last drag then rose from the settee to join him. The high spiked heels of her patent leather pumps clicked on the polished marble floor, filling the same silence that had worked her into a lather moments before.

Izzy Van Buren-Valentine-Mueller-Tadmucker-Carr, scandalous heiress-cum-flapper extraordinaire, detested silence—oh, and anything sad.

"You know," she cooed, sidling in beside him, "haunting Laguna Vista was fun for the first sixty years or so, but these last ten years, well, sheesh. I had more fun at my own wake."

"I know you’re bored, angel," Jonas replied without cracking the smile she’d hoped for. "Believe me, if I could figure a way to spring us from this joint, I would."

His brows cut down into a stern vee, the reason as clear as moonshine to Izzy. It baffled him that they could permeate every wall within the seventeen-room mansion like kites through a cloud, but they couldn’t pass through the outer walls to gain freedom to the outside world. She grinned, recalling the time James had tried to escape by jumping out a window while she shimmed up the chimney. Of course, stick-in-the-mud Jonas had taken the mortal route by trying to walk out the front door. All three had hit invisible barriers.

"This is the longest Laguna Vista has remained vacant," she thought aloud. "And for the death of me, I don’t understand why."

"No doubt because of us," Jonas replied, distracted by a late-seventies vehicle rolling to a stop just inside the front gate of the mansion.

"Yeah, Izzy," James taunted, coming up behind them. "You scared everyone away."

"Did not!"

"Did so!"

"Dry up, you two." Jonas snapped his fingers to gain their attention then motioned them to peer out the window. "Looks like we didn’t scare everyone away." Gazing past the bug-splattered windshield of the four-wheeled junker, he pinpointed the willowy broad sitting in the driver’s seat. The one with the pert-nose, freckled face, and long blond hair swept up in a playful, bobby-soxer ponytail. He let loose a soft, appreciative whistle. "Lordy, that blonde’s a looker."

"She’s sweet and all," James agreed, leering from his third-story vantage point, "but fix your blinkers on the tomato sitting next to her. The one in the short skirt." He snapped his suspenders and hooted. "Now that’s a choice bit of calico!"

"She’s also a choice bit of jailbait," Izzy noted. "I’m with Jonas. The blonde is definitely more interesting. Look at how she’s giving this place the once over. She’s moving in. I can feel it! Oh, I do hope she turns Laguna Vista back into a disco. I so loved the music." She broke into the "Hustle" with an imaginary partner while belting out the chorus of "I Will Survive."

James rolled his eyes before training them on the blonde. "Nah, she looks more like the bed-and-breakfast type to me. What do you think, Jonas?"

Jonas peered closer, noticing for the first time the logo emblazoned across the long-dented door of the ancient hippie-mobile. Society of Parapsychological Sleuths. An uneasy feeling wound through his gut, the same daunting feeling that tied him in knots whenever he’d had dealings with the IRS. Rocking back on his oxfords, he palmed his hand over his slicked-back hair and sighed. "I think we’re in big trouble."

Thursday, October 29, 2009

SHADOWFEST

Thursday, October 29, 2009 21

SHADOWFEST
by Aleena Ravenwood

The night grows dark as the ancient ones roam
They come to visit their loved ones homes.
Light a candle, say a prayer
Let them know you hold them near.
Eat good food, drink warm cider
Share some stories by the fire.
Celebrate this Shadowfest
With love and laughter for your guests.
As the sun comes up and your loved ones leave
Wish them all a Bewitching Halloween!

* * *

All Hallows Eve, Hallowmas, Day of the Dead, Pooka Night, Shadowfest and Samhain(pronounced sow-en, meaning summers end). These are some of the names for Halloween. October 31 is not just a night to dress in costume and go trick or treating, it is a night to celebrate and honor your deceased loved ones, be they family, friends or pets. It is believed that the veil between the worlds is as its thinnest making it easier for spirits to roam the Earth.

There are many ways to celebrate the love you have for your lost loved ones on this night. One of them is by holding what is called a Dumb Supper. A Dumb Supper is a meal eaten in complete silence to which the spirits of your deceased loved ones are invited and served their favorite foods. I don't know about you, but my family can't eat a meal in silence. If it is the same with you, try talking about your loved ones and the silly things they used to do.

Another way to honor the spirit of your loved ones is to sit around a bonfire and instead of telling scary stories, share some of the times that your loved ones scared you. As an example( Barb and Brandy should remember this one), our Dad would gather us all up in his pick-up, drive us out to Okie Pinokie, drive down a long dark lane with the head lights off while telling us scary stories. He would stop in the middle of a circle drive surrounded by trees and scare the bejeebers out of us. Or the times that he would put a gorilla mask on and chase us around the house until we were ready to wet ourselves in fear.

In Mexico they have a day of great celebration called the Day of the Dead. With skulls and skeletons they parade around to honor their dead in a joyous fiesta. They even have cakes and cookies shaped in skull and skeleton motiffs. Sounds like fun to me.

Whether you hold a Dumb Supper, share stories around a bonfire or join in a parade of dancing skeletons, remember your deceased loved ones on this All Hallows Eve.

SIS BJ aka Aleena Ravenwood

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Masquerade

Wednesday, October 28, 2009 17


What is it about dressing up as someone or something else that appeals to people of all ages? From a very young age, most of us get dressed in costume, with the help of our parents, and stroll through the neighborhoods with treat bag in hand, knocking on doors, and collecting all the goodies we can fit into said bag. I still remember the excitement of sitting on the living room floor, dumping out the candy and sorting out my likes and dislikes and trading with my siblings.

I’m sure the prospect of candy-collecting is what fuels our desire to dress up when we are children. But why do grown adults continue to dress up year after year, long after they have outgrown their trick-or-treating days? For some it may be the chance of winning a prize in a costume contest. Some may be forced to participate because their work requires them to do so. But I think for most people, there is a different reason.

As children, we play pretend. We pretend through our Barbies, we pretend with tea sets, we pretend with sticks that we are Ninjas. We escape to another world where we can be anybody or anything we want. I think this carries on to our adulthood. I think people simply enjoy abandoning the mundane role of being themselves, and for one night, they can create an alter-ego that allows them to be anyone or anything!

For most people, Halloween is the only time of year that it is acceptable to play “dress up”. But for some, like actors, role-playing is almost an every day occurrence. Actors get to step into many different “costumes” through-out their careers. But it occurred to me that there is another lucky group, people who can be some one or something else any time they want.

Writers. As a writer, you can simply allow your mind to wander, and create worlds, people, events, creatures…the list goes on and on and the possibilities are endless. You can put yourself into the story and see through the eyes of your characters and imagine what it would be like to be them. You can dress in anything you like, make your hair any color you choose, and have any career you desire. You can take aspects of your own life, and change them if you like. And you can do that any day of the year!

As an adult, I’ve never really been a fan of dressing up in costume for Halloween. But I do love escaping from myself and stepping into another world. That’s why I’ve always loved reading and why I now aspire to be the best writer I can be…and hopefully a published one.

So my questions are, do you enjoy the physical act of masquerading? If you could be any character, what or who would you be? What types of characters do you enjoy writing or reading about?


A Wonderful Wednesday to everyone!

SIS Bren

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Breakdown

Tuesday, October 27, 2009 11


I officially lost it in public yesterday!! I am sure there were some people telling their loved ones how much of a spaz I am over dinner last night. Oh well. A girl should be entitled to the occasional freak-out, right?

It all started on Saturday night when the flight I wanted filled up as I was entering my info to purchase a ticket. You see, it was very important for me to get home as early as possible. Monday would be my baby's 4th birthday and I wanted to be with her the whole day.

I didn't get too upset about the ticket thing because I found a flight that would land just one hour later (11:30). I booked that flight, or so I thought. At work on Sunday, I decided to print out my confirmation. Somehow, I must have bought the wrong ticket!!!! Now I am scheduled to land at 12:33. Now I am starting to get upset!

My flight out of Richmond went very smoothly. My layover was in Newark. Next thing you know, my second leg gets delayed 30 minutes ... then an hour ... then an hour and 20 minutes. Now I am just plain ticked off!

Finally, I land at my destination. As soon as I get off the plane I call the rental car shuttle to pick me up. ( For some reason I made the crazy decision of having someone drop me off at the airport when I left town.) The rental guy tells me they'll be right there to pick me up. (Of course the best price had to be with a company not at the airport!) The shuttle gets there 45 minutes later!!! Now I am fighting off tears.

At the rental lot, things get very ugly!!! I am told that I can't get my rental car. The only card I had with me was what they consider a "preloaded debit card" that they won't accept. I lost my bank card 2 weeks ago, cancelled it, and couldn't get a new one from out of town. They wouldn't let Omar pay for it over the phone. And now I am bawling!!

I cried for the next hour begging them to please let me use my card (there was plenty of money on it). I begged them to let me pay cash. I repeatedly told them how I just HAD to get home to my birthday girl! Finally, they gave in! And there I went. Driving down the road (at 4:30) knowing that every person at the place thinks I am a nut job!!

How about you? Have you ever lost it in public?

SIS Brandy

Monday, October 26, 2009

Crossing Over To The Dark Side

Monday, October 26, 2009 20

I recently received the November edition of Romance Writers Report published by Romance Writers of America. This month it featured a very interesting article titled Writing on the Dark Side, written by Larissa Ione. That alone was enough to suck me in.

If you get a copy of Romance Writers Report, I highly suggest you read this particular article.

So, what's considered DARK? According to Larissa...Violence. Gore. Sex. Offensive Language. Have you ever been uncomfortable when reading certain parts of a book? Ever have to put the book down because you're uncomfortable only to find that you need to pick it up later to see what happens?

Well ladies and gentleman--you just crossed over to the dark side!

These types of reads are becoming more and more popular. They test the limits, cross the line and still we beg for more. I'm a confessed darkie. (I just made that term up. Kinda funny. I think I'll keep it.) Being a darkie doesn't just mean that one enjoys to read/write about vampires, demons, shape-shifters and wizards. Sometimes the dark side is just about real issues that really happen, murder, drug addiction, mental and physical scars, all things that make us uncomfortable because we hope, pray that none of those things ever happen to us. Yet, we're drawn in. Why? Cynthia Eden's theory is this: "I think readers enjoy the darker reads because they like the elements of risk and danger--but they like knowing they are in control. No matter what happens, a reader can shut the book, take a deep breath, and come back to the scene later. You can walk on the dark side without ever having to face any real danger. It's a dark thrill, but a safe ride."

Larissa Ione goes on to explain that as a writer, you're first page needs to show what type of read the reader will be getting. If it's dark, it better show dark and you might as well throw the f-word in there right away if you are going to use it freely because there are some readers that are turned off by that word and it's only fair to let them decide if this is the story for them.

Crossing over to the dark side as a writer was an easy transition for me. My writing always tended to steer me in that direction no matter how hard I fought it. Even the contemporary I'm working on has some darker elements. In the end I decided not to fight it. Fighting it only means holding back. And holding back sucks all the potential out of me and my story.

So, I'm a confessed darkie. How about you?

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Sunday, October 25, 2009

SIS Extras

Sunday, October 25, 2009 0
Barb added one of her awesome scenic photos to the SIS Scrapbook.

I added a video to Animal Tales (thanks to my cool new FLIP!)

Also in the soup, Barb (as Elle J Rossi) talks about one of her sacrifices in order to write: Reading! Join the discussion at Loud Whispers. Meanwhile, scroll down for our on-going chat on pop culture!

Happy Sunday!
SIS Beth

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pop Culture -- SIS Style

Saturday, October 24, 2009 11


SIS Beth says...
A few days ago, I picked up a book on a whim. A new-to-me-author although I know of him and have even seen a movie based on one of his books. That movie--TELL NO ONE--was brilliant. The book was probably even better. I just read his latest and... wow. I couldn't put it down. Clever, witty, emotional, romantic, intriguing, suspenseful, and bone chilling. In this one novel I read one of the most knee-melting descriptions of a kiss ever and soon after was blown away by a suspenseful scene that had me biting my nails. Finished the book in two days. The story has haunted me for a week.

My Pick of the Week: Long Lost
Author: Harlan Coben

SIS Bren says...
I'm sticking with my Halloween movie theme. Zombies, a scissor-handed boy, costumes...hmmm...what should be next? A monster! What would Halloween be without mnsters?

My Pick of the Week: Young Frankenstein (1974)
What a great movie. I watched it with my kids last year and even though I know they didn't understand half of the humor, they still loved it. Marty Feldman and those eyes. He was the perfect cast for Igor.

From IMDb: A young neurosurgeon (Gene Wilder) inherits the castle of his grandfather, the famous Dr. Victor von Frankenstein. In the castle he finds a funny hunchback called Igor, a pretty lab assistant named Inga and the old housekeeper, frau Blucher -iiiiihhh!-. Young Frankenstein believes that the work of his grandfather is only crap, but when he discovers the book where the mad doctor described his reanimation experiment, he suddenly changes his mind...

SIS BJ says....
Edgar Allan Poe. The great poet of the macabre. With such tales as The Tell-Tale Heart, The Raven and many others, Poe makes a fantastic read for this Halloween season. To read a few of his selected works go to the Edgar Allan Poe Museum on-line. Get ready for the mysterious and the spooky.

My Pick of the Week: Edgar Allan Poe
My Favorite: The Raven



SIS Barb says:
I'm in the beginning stages of thinking about adding on to my house. My hopes is that we can do this sometime in the next two years. We could just move but I like our area and I love the changes we've made thus far. Considering all this, I've been on a decor kick. I keep switching around my accessories trying to get them just right, or at least change them around enough to add interest. Why am I sharing this with you? Because my pick of the week is an interior decorating book. For anyone who has any interest in home decor, this is a must have.


My Pick of the Week: Candice Olson on design: Inspiration and Ideas For Your Home
She is absolutely amazing. If money were not an issue, I would hire her on the spot. I'm sure she has a waiting list but remember, in my scenario, money is NOT an issue. But since this is not the case, I will do my best to be imaginative and frugal when I try to replicate her ideas on my own.


Sis Brandy says...
Ok, I know this series of books is more geared towards young adults. I absolutely got hooked though. The storyline is wonderful and the characters are amazing. Each page draws you in more and more. By the end of the story, you will be wanting a vampire of your very own.


My Pick of the Week... The Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer
Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn

Friday, October 23, 2009

I'm Nooked!

Friday, October 23, 2009 12



Maybe you've heard of it already.

The Nook.

Barnes and Nobles's new eBook Reader. Their version of Amazon's popular 'Kindle'. The official announcement (available for pre-order) of this new nifty gadget was yesterday, I believe. At least that's when I learned about it.

I've always been intrigued by the Kindle and Sony eReader, but not enough to buy one. All it took was one 360 tour at BN.com and I was nooked, er hooked.

Click here for a pic and details on the Nook. Click here for more details via an article on Wired.

For anyone who doesn’t know, I'm a techno-goober. I don't do well with electronic gadgets. I don't even know how to text with my phone. Thus I usually steer clear of gadgets and gizmos... although I do love my new Flip (video cam). Also, I've never been a fan of ebooks or more specifically--a fan of reading a book on a screen. I'm an old-fashioned print book kind-of-gal. However, more and more over the last few months I've seen the ever-growing popularity of eBooks. Even the library I work at is now pushing eBooks and audio books with a vengeance. Let's face it. Day by day, more and more people spend the majority of their time on computers, iphones, blackberries, netbooks, PDAs and various other gadgets and gizmos. What do they DO all day on those things? Text? Email? Play video games? Watch movies and listen to music? If a nifty eReader will seduce people into reading more books, newspapers, and magazines, then I say, "Yeehaw!" If eReaders encourage and inspire literacy, "Woo-hoo!" Bring them on.

The Nook, like the Kindle, offers new hardcover releases at discount prices. These are hard times. A lot of people who used to spend $25-$30 for one hardcover can't afford to do so anymore. But 9.99? That's more doable. Another bonus with BN's Nook.... they're offering thousands of free eBooks. Who can say no to free? Plus, many of those books are classics. I, for one, am very interested in exploring Jane Austen and the likes.

As a published author, someone who makes her living (or at least a partial living) from the proceeds of book sales, it may seem odd that I'm supporting a device that's selling books at a discount in addition to giving books away. But like I said, times are tough. The way I look at it, any sale is better than no sale. And anything that gets people to READ is a good thing.

For the longest time, I equated success with selling to a print publisher. To seeing my stories in old fashioned print form on the shelves of old fashioned bookstores. But recently I dug deep and asked the question: Why do I write?

Answer: Because I want to entertain. Because I want to share my stories… with as many people as possible. Does it really matter how they enjoy them--print book, ebook, or audio book?

No.

What matters is that my stories are available in as many forms as possible thereby expanding my audience thereby spreading the joy to the max.

I started this post wanting to share my excitement about the Nook. Now I’m thinking it’s more about reconnecting with my driving force. My motivation.

Why am I compelled to write?

It’s also about not being adverse to change. About embracing the future.

Ebooks.

Digital publishing.

I’m not the only published ‘print’ author reexamining the playing field. Click here and read J.A Konrath’s last three boldly honest and reflective posts. Enlightening and thought provoking.

On a personal note… I was disappointed when I learned the first two books in the Chameleon Chronicles—ALL ABOUT EVIE and EVERYBODY LOVES EVIE were out of print. But as of today I’m choosing to think: Yay, me! I sold out! And though I’m not a big enough name to incite a reprint, I AM still out there… in digital form.
Got a computer? An iphone or some other eBook reader? Good news. You can own me… er… Evie.

Click here and download one or all three Evie books from eHarlequin. If you don't have a Ereader, no problem, you cna download a PDF version to your computer. All three Evie books are also avail in didital form at BN.com and there are Kindle versions at Amazon.com.

It's a new world. Are you up to dabbling in unknown or uncomfortable territories? What's your take on Ereaders? Do you own one? Are you tempted to buy one? If so, which one? Are you adjusting to the thoughts of a future where ebooks are as popular if not more than print?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Childhood Dreams

Thursday, October 22, 2009 25
As a child, I dreamed of being many things. The first was a Paleontologist. I wanted to dig around in the dirt and find fossils of dinosaurs and other prehistoric things. I thought it would be fun to find the leg bone of a T-Rex.

The next thing I wanted to be still involved digging around in dirt. But it wasn't fossils I wanted to find; it was treasure. I dreamed of being an Archeologist like Indiana Jones. I wished to travel all over the world in search of lost civilizations and ancient artifacts.

Though my childhood dreams never came true I enjoy watching shows and reading books about them. I am always excited when something new is discovered. When they dig up fossils of creatures they didn't know existed or when they unearth a new tomb in Egypt or a new site at Stonehenge.

My question to you is: What were your childhood dreams?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Creature Feature

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 16



I have recently started work on a new project, one that I am very excited about. I've always wanted to write a children's book and decided that there is no time like the present to get started. I know I already have a WIP and I'm not totally abandoning it. I just have these ideas that I need to get out before I lose them.

I'm hoping that my book will appeal to children from around the ages of 8-15. I remember being that age and being full of imagination. My book is full of imagination...well, so far. I have so many things to create and am thrilled about it.

Imagination is a wondrous thing. The possibilities are endless. I'll be able to take any object and transform it into something unique and then even get to name it. I also will be able to consult my two sons. They both ooze imagination.

Both of my children love to read. Happy (my little guy) is currently on the 4th Harry Potter. He polishes them off rather quickly. Grumpy (my teen-aged son) just finished a book from the Looking Glass Wars series. We bought the book early Thursday evening and he finished it Friday night. It's fun to listen to them as they describe what they have been reading.

I had what I thought was a great and original premise for my book. I was so excited to tell Grumpy about it. He stood there listening to me with a smile on his face the entire time. I thought, "Oh man! This must be a great idea!". When I finished, he said "Mom, you just described the characters of ____________". This was a very popular book, and one I haven't even read one page of, nor do I know anything about it.

Now I know a lot of books share the same ideas and the authors just change things up a bit. But I really was hoping for a unique idea. I guess I'll have to ponder a while longer. I won't let that slow me down though. I still have oodles of things to imagine.


Currently, I am creating creatures. Some of my creatures dwell in the heavily forested mountainsides while others inhabit a huge mysterious lake. Some of my creatures are cute and friendly, some are very dangerous, even deadly.

I've created one creature already. He is very cute, but deadly. I have challenged my niece, Drama, to design a creature. If she comes up with something I want to use, she'll win a prize of some kind. I'm not sure what yet. I'll give her credit in my book. Now that's being optimistic.

What about you? If you could imagine any creature at all, what would it be? What would you name it?


Hoping you have a very imaginative day!
SIS Bren

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My Not-So-Glamorous Life

Tuesday, October 20, 2009 16

So if you have read my bio, you already know that I travel all around the country for my job. To a lot of people, this might sound great. Growing up, I would imagine how cool it would be to travel like my big sisters. There's just one big difference... they were singing - I am freaking selling cars!!!!!!

Each week on the road is so hectic and stressful. I rush (sometimes missing flights) to the dealership to set up the sale on Monday. The rest of the week I work from about 8am to 9pm arguing with banks, talking to customers, and keeping our salesmen's heads straight. Staying in a hotel isn't as glamorous as it may sound either. Sometimes we don't get to stay in the nicest of places. Which brings me to one of my most unglamorous stories.....

A couple of weeks ago we were in Bloomington IN. We had a hard time finding a vacant hotel, so we settled with a pretty shady looking place. By about day three, I noticed that my beautiful french manicure was turning lavender. That night, after taking a bath I realized that my towels were also turning purple.

Omar and I googled it. One article popped up about meth - it leaves behind a purple residue when being "cooked." Some guys at the dealership then told us that the hotel had been a meeting place for big drug dealers and there had been some shootings there. Great!! I was bathing in meth! Like I said before... not a very glamorous life!

So, my question to you is : How glamorous or unglamorous is your job?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall in the Midwest

Monday, October 19, 2009 15
Today is a very special day! Everyone please join me in wishing SIS Brenda a
very happy birthday!

Happy Birthday Brenda! You are truly amazing and I/we hope you have an amazing day.

Today I've decided to share some pictures. Brenda lives in Florida and loves it there, but she's mentioned several times that she misses the fall season. So, in honor of her birthday, I whipped on my down filled winter coat, jumped in the car and set off to capture some images of Fall in the Midwest. Brenda, I hope you enjoy them!




A few miles from my home is an AMAZING horse farm. I think they've scaled back in recent years but I love to drive by and look at their property. It's completely fenced in with black fencing. Very striking. Today was pretty cold and I didn't see any of their stunning horses but it was still worth the drive.




Below is a picture that Brenda and all of us are very familiar with. It symbolizes the end of the farming season. Now that I'm thinking about it we should all ask Brenda to share some of her "tractor" stories with us!




Even though I'm not a fan, okay I abhor cold weather, I still enjoy the changing of the leaves. The transition takes place over a few weeks and that's what I enjoy. (from the inside of my truck with the heat cranked!) But when the trees are bare and I'll be sure to share some of those pictures in the VERY NEAR FUTURE, it's not pretty. It's desolate and depressing except when those same trees are covered with 12 inches of snow. What a beautiful sight. (from the inside of my house with the heat cranked and a mug of steaming coffee in my hand!!!)






I love the variations in the colors. Yellow, orange, many shades of green...



And my absolute favorite...all the shades of red.



This color especially stands out when the sky is blue and the sun is shining bright. Poor tree, it doesn't get to show off too much in this state. Please take notice of the cloudy skies. We get that most days of the week here. Maybe I'm exaggerating a little. Maybe.



So, Brenda and everyone who stopped by today, I hope you enjoyed the photos and my extremely positive attitude of the cold seasons. I know I'm an inspiration to all!

Happy Birthday Brenda
Love ya!

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!

Sunday, October 18, 2009 2
Quick Sunday post to announce some changes. Starting tommorow two more sisters are officially on board here at SIS. Welcome BJ and Brandy! Please check out their bios and pics on the SIS Scoop page.

Monday through Friday each SISter will have a feature post. You can see the schedule and our new nifty avatars down the right column. On Saturdays we'll all chime in with various pop culture reccomendations or observations. As always, we hope you'll join us often and comment when inspired. It's been a great ride so far. More thrills on the way!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cafe Chaos--Movies and TV

Saturday, October 17, 2009 9
Welcome to Café Chaos. Grab a cup of coffee or tea (we prefer coffee) and join us for a chat. Every Saturday we’ll offer recommendations for movie and TV lovers. Feel free to comment on our picks or to throw in a few of your own. We’re listening!

SIS Barb says...
Wow! What a great recommendation from Brenda. I love that movie and now I need to find it. My pick also consists of music, music, music. One of my all time favorites. In fact, you can see it in the SIS scroll about 1/2 way down the page.

My Pick of the Week: That Thing You Do
Love the story line. Love the characters. Love the music. One would think that if you had to listen to the same song about 30 times in the same movie, you'd get tired of hearing it. This is so not the case here. You want to hear it. You want to listen for the subtle changes and how the song and the character's grow throughout the movie. Tom Hanks is amazing as usual. If you haven't seen this movie and you could use a little lift, I highly recommend you check it out!

SIS Bren says...

This month I've picked a movie about zombies and a movie about a boy with scissors for hands. I'm not really into slasher movies (I used to kind of like them, but now I get way too scared when that music starts) so this week I'll go with a movie that has great costuming!


My Pick of the Week: Amadeus (1984)

I haven't seen it for years, but when I think of costumes, it's the first movie that comes to mind. I can't imagine that this is what these people wore every day! Not to mention the masks at the masquerade ball. And Tom Hulce's laugh gets me every time.


From IMDb: Antonio Salieri believes that Mozart's music is divine. He wishes he was himself as good a musician as Mozart so that he can praise the Lord through composing. But he can't understand why God favored Mozart, such a vulgar creature, to be his instrument. Salieri's envy has made him an enemy of God whose greatness was evident in Mozart. He is set to take revenge.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Shades of Me

Friday, October 16, 2009 12
As most of you know, yesterday was my birthday. The well wishes here at at Face Book really brightened my day. Thanks so much! One of my birthday wishes came true when I received a Flip video camera as a gift. It's this tiny camera, no bigger than my phone. You can plug it directly into your computer via USB and, by using it's software, make mini-movies (with background music and everything!) that you can either email to friends or upload to You Tube.

I was so worried the tech portion would be beyond this techno-goober. I mean Steve still has to help me upload songs and such to my MP3 player. I just don't get that stuff. I was beyond thrilled when I easily made a mini-movie with my Flip!! It's too silly to post here, but I promise you, I will be using it for some fun stuff here at SIS. Woo-hoo!

One thing I noticed in that mini-movie starring me and my furry-angels (aside from I'm beginning to look my age. Gak!) was that my hair color seemed a bit drab. Right now it's medium brown with very subtle blond highlights. I looked at myself thinking, you need to go either darker or lighter or have more contrast.

Anyone who knows me, knows I've changed my hair color drasticially on a whim over and over through the year. Call me fickle. Since I revved for a change... again.... I thought I'd get your two cents. Here are a few samples of various hair colors I've had. Which do you prefer?

A) Beth as Light Brown
(at RWA Conference with author/friend Julia Templeton)


B) Beth as Dark Brunette
(at HQN party with my editor Keyren Gerlach)


C) Beth with Black Hair
(at RT Conference with model/actors David Alan Johnson, Steve Sandalis, and author/friend Cynthia Valero)



D) Beth as Blond
(at surprise Book Launch party with Steve)

D) Beth as a Mahogany Redhead

(At NINC conference with Barbara Meyers, Lori Avacato and Mary Stella)



VOTE AWAY!!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Thursday, October 15, 2009 12
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BETH!
Brenda, Barb, B.J. and Brandy would all like to wish our big sister Beth an absolutely fabulous Happy Birthday! We hope your day is filled with sunshine and butterflies! We love you!


AND...


We here at SIS would also like to extend Happy Birthday wishes to Sia McKye! uh hem....

Happy Birthday to you...

Happy Birthday to you...

Happy Birthday dear Sia,

Happy Birthday to you!


We're great singers, aren't we? Have a great day, Sia!

Cafe Chaos -- Books

Welcome to Café Chaos. Grab a cup of coffee or tea (we prefer coffee) and join us for a chat. Every Thursday we’ll offer recommendations for book lovers. Feel free to comment on our picks or to throw in a few of your own. We’re listening!


SIS Barb says...
I think I've mentioned that the first hour of my mornings are spent catching up on emails and visiting my preferred blogs. Recently I stopped by one that posted an author interview. I'd never heard of the author but something about the book cover made me read more. When I was finished I immediately hopped over to amazon.com and purchased the first 2 books in this series. They arrived yesterday and I'm eager to get started. So my recommendation is at the top of my TBR pile. I think I'll start tonight.

My Picks: Tempt Me With Darkness and Seduce Me In Shadow both are Doomsday Brethren Novels
Spells, wizards, King Arthur's warriors, witches, ex-marines, tabloid reporters, passion, intrigue and magic. I mean, come on! What more could I possibly ask for. See why I'm so excited?

Author: Shayla Black

SIS Bren says...

I haven't had much time for reading lately which makes me very sad. I love getting caught up in a good book. But I have been neglecting making my book recommendations lately, so I thought I should look at my collection of books and see what jumped out at me. I was happy to see that a series of three books was calling to me.

My Pick of the Week: Jinxed, Charmed, and Seduced

It's been a few years since I read these mad cap books, but I remember how very much I enjoyed them. I'm sure most of our readers here have read these books already, but just in case you haven't, I thought I'd mention them. Jump into the adventures of Afia (Jinxed), Lulu (Charmed) and Sofia (Seduced) and the handsome men in their lives. You won't be disappointed!

Author: SIS Extraordinaire Beth Ciotta

SIS Beth says...
I was in a bit of a reading slump for over a week. Started and stopped four different fiction books. Nothing grabbed me. I’d been jonesing for an awesome paranormal or historical romance. On a whim I picked up a straight ahead contemporary romance, published by the same house I write for: HQN. Boy was I in for a treat!

My Pick of the Week: Accidentally Yours
A book that hooks me with the first two pages is the book for me. I loved the heroine. Her wit, her courage, her faith and vulnerability. And the hero was S-E-X-Y, even when he was a bastard. Of course, he had good reasons for being a bitter hard case and, of course, being a romance novel, he did rise above. But not without some obstacles along the way.

This story also features a kid with a fictional deadly disease. He was every bit as spunky as his mom. Accidentally Yours works on so many levels. Funny, heart wrenching, and extremely romantic, I devoured this delightful tale in two sittings. The pacing was fast and the dialogue kick-butt. I highly recommend this touching and entertaining read!

Author: Susan Mallery

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I'm Saying!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 19




The first thing I thought this morning was “This getting up at 5:30 is for the birds.” And then my quirky brain imagined a bunch of birds sitting around saying “Hey, Fred. It’s 5:30. We should be getting up about now.”

And then another saying popped into my head. “That really gets my goat”. I can just imagine some farmer sitting at a table with his prized goat sitting across from him and shaking its head and, having just heard something that infuriated the goat, the farmer says, “Yeah. That really gets my goat”.

Where do these sayings come from and why do they catch on? I can remember some things my grandmother used to say. Ask her the time and she would answer, “Half past the monkey’s ass and a quarter til his balls”. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? It used to crack me up every time she said it.

And my mother used to say she was “going to kick your ass up between your shoulder blades”. Now at the time, I didn’t even know what shoulder blades were, but it sounded pretty scary so I thought I’d straighten up and fly right before my ass was grass, or worse yet, in a sling.

What about this one? “Let’s party til the cows come home”. Where did the cows go? On vacation? I’m pretty sure they’re just out there in the pasture some where. And why do we have to stop partying when they come home? Are they going to be mad and ground us?

Well, I need to shake a leg and get my rear in gear and get my morning started so I’m going to make like a banana and split.

But please feel free to give me your two cents worth. I’d love to hear some of your favorite sayings.


See you later, alligator

SIS Bren


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cafe Chaos -- Music

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 8
Welcome to Café Chaos. Grab a cup of coffee or tea (we prefer coffee) and join us for a chat. Every Tuesday we’ll offer recommendations for music lovers. Feel free to comment on our picks or to throw in a few of your own. We’re listening


SIS Barb says...
I don't have a recommendation this week, but I do have an idea. I was on my way to work the other day when it popped into my head. I am a genius, I thought to myself. Absolutely brilliant.
I wish I could share it with you but then it might get out and I won't get credit for it.

Just kidding! Here it is...I would like the big names of country, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Vince Gill and others to collaborate on an album together. I want them to countrify Mozart, Beethovan, Bach, all the classical geniuses of yesteryear. I think it would be truly fantastic.

What do you think? What would you like to hear?

SIS Beth says…
Lots of writers listen to music while they work. They find it inspiring. I’m one of writers who works best in silence. Still, there are times when I choose to work downstairs… on the couch alongside my husband. As one who works night after night, locked away in my writing room alone, I sometimes find his presence a much needed comfort. Except, he’s always watching TV. I can’t write, I can’t create my own story when someone else’s dialogue is blaring in my ears. That’s when headphones (or in my case, ear buds) and music proves my salvation and, yes, my inspiration.

My pick of the week: Pandora

It’s not an artist or an album. It’s a place. A free internet radio site. A site where you can personalize the kind of music you want to hear. If I’m cleaning my writing room and just want happy, cool rock to spur me on, I listen to my Lisa Loeb channel. I typed in Loeb as a fave artist and Pandora searched and found, not only her songs, but songs and artists similar to her style.

When I write, I can’t compete with lyrics. Instrumentals only, please. I prefer movie soundtracks. Always emotional. Always inspiring. To me anyway. My picks? Composers John Williams and James Horner. MAGIC! Treat yourself now and join. http://www.pandora.com

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monkey Wrench

Monday, October 12, 2009 10

Happy Monday!
Or is it?

Monday's are typically my favorite day of the week. Monday's are my day off. My day to get things done. My day to work on my writing.

But not today. I've been called into work and that just put's a monkey wrench in my routine.
I'm flexible. Right? Then why haven't I made it out of bed yet? Could be because it's 30 degrees out and I'm afraid I'll freeze if I leave the comfort of my blankets.

So I'm wondering if my disturbing dreams last night have anything to do with the fact that I have to work today. Crazy dreams. My daughter and I and some strangers were minding our own business, riding in our pioneer style wagon trying to find a McDonald's when all of a sudden enormous Raven's started attacking us. I shoved "Drama" to the floor of the wagon and told her to cover her head and then I started throwing ice cubes at the birds.

Moving on to the next dream. I have no idea where I was but I was trying to type this post only the keys on the keyboard were in another language. Take into consideration that I'm not a great typer and you see the problem. Then the lady at the hotel was trying to be helpful but she kept calling me by my daughter's name and I never corrected her. The actress, Lucy Liu entered my dream and asked me if I was comfortable with my weight. According to her, everyone at work had been talking about me and noticing that I'd put on a few pounds. I stuffed a danish in my mouth and rinsed it down with McDonald's coffee and told Lucy to mind her own damn business.

So...Happy Monday!
Or is it?

How's your Monday?

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Cafe Chaos--Movies and TV

Saturday, October 10, 2009 20
Welcome to Café Chaos. Grab a cup of coffee or tea (we prefer coffee) and join us for a chat. Every Saturday we’ll offer recommendations for movie and TV lovers. Feel free to comment on our picks or to throw in a few of your own. We’re listening!

SIS Barb says:

I'm gonna change things up just a tad. Yesterday, for some unknown reason, I started to think of television commercials of the past. Several came to mind. I shared them with some friends and then they threw out a few blasts from the past as well. I'm gonna give you a couple of statements or songs from these commercials. Can you figure out what product they were advertising?


1) Barbara you up? Barbara you up?

2) Where's the beef?

3) "?" take me away.

4) I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. I'd like to buy the world a "?"...


OKay. I'll stop now. Have a great weekend!

SIS Bren says...

Okay, even though the temp outside has shot back up and it feels like the middle of August again, I'm still in the mood for Fall and it's festivities. Halloween is right around the corner! Last year I tried to think of some "scary" movies to rent to watch with the kids, but since I waited until the last minute they were all checked out. A couple of months ago, I came across this movie, and just knew that the boys would love it!


My Pick of the Week: Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Johnny Depp is GREAT in this movie. Okay, he's great in everything. I love the way the neighborhood houses are painted, the hair styles, the timeless feel of this movie. I love the fact that Johnny Depp barely speaks in this movie, yet you really feel how lonely and isolated he feels.

From IMDb: In a castle high on top of a hill lives an inventor's greatest creation - Edward, a near-complete person. The creator died before he could finish Edward's hands; instead, Edward is left with metal scissors for hands. Edward has always lived alone, until a kind lady called Peg discovers Edward and welcomes him into her home. At first, everyone welcomes Edward into the community, but soon things begin to take a change for the worse.




SIS Beth says…
This past week I had the flu. Not fun. The first day I was so down and out, I couldn’t get out of bed. My head hurt too bad to read OR write so I did something I never do… I watched TV, albeit on my computer.

My Pick of the Week: Castle
Synopsis from MSN TV: Bored with his own success, celebrated mystery novelist Richard Castle teams up with NYPD Detective Kate Beckett to solve the case of a copycat killer who starts recreating murder scenes from Rick's novels. Unfortunately, Rick and Kate clash so violently with each other that there may be another murder in the offing.

I LOVED this show. I mean it stars a guy who's a writer! And the guy who plays Castle is the same actor who played Cpt. Malcolm Reynolds in Firefly! I watched three episodes of Castle back to back. Witty, sexy, and compelling. Check it out while you can. Seems the shows I always love end up getting canceled (like Firefly)!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Growing Pains

Friday, October 9, 2009 7
Yesterday I posted a poll here at SIS. See it over there in the right column? Yup. The one asking your opinion on our Cafe Chaos days. The days specifically designated for our music, book, and movie recommendations. The days we hope you'll chime in with recs of your own.

It's not that we don't have time to write them or that we don't enjoy writing them. Nor has anyone written in to say complain about them. The thing is, we're going through growing pains. Literally. We're growing!

Bren, Barb, and I are thrilled to announce two more sisters (yes, we come from a BIG family) will be joining us full time contributors at Sisters in Sync. You've met them before. They've filled in for one or two of us when we were away and they often chime in. Starting soon... as soon as we can hash out a new schedule... B.J. and Brandy will be official SISters! Blood and Blog. The more the merrier. The family that plays together stays.... You get the point.

We're very excited about this expansion although it does mean some rearranging. 5 sisters, 3 Cafe Chaos day--uh--7 days in a week? You see the problem.

So, do we do away with Cafe Chaos rec days altogether? Combine them? Alternate them? Or do we alternate weeks for the solo sister feature posts? What to do? What to do?

Please vote in the poll and let us know how you feel about the Cafe Chaos days. Please only vote once please so we can get a fair idea. It's anonymous, so don't fret about hurting our feelings.

If you have any thoughts about our line up, any suggestions, we'd love to hear them. Fire away!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Special Announcement

Thursday, October 8, 2009 8
SIS is gearing up for a few changes. (Good ones. We promise!) You can help us by taking the 'poll' located in the right-hand column.

*Please be honest. The poll is anonymous.

Thanks so much!
Beth, Bren, & Barb

Cafe Chaos--Books

Welcome to Café Chaos. Grab a cup of coffee or tea (we prefer coffee) and join us for a chat. Every Thursday we’ll offer recommendations for book lovers. Feel free to comment on our picks or to throw in a few of your own. We’re listening.

SIS Barb says...
I'm in the midst of researching right now so I haven't had much time to read for pleasure. However, I just ordered 4 books from Amazon and I can't wait! Looking forward to some new material from new to me authors and some of my faves.

My Pick of the Week: The Mythical Creatures Bible
This book is great. The pictures are amazing and the descriptions and history have been incredibly helpful. I can already tell I'll be using this book for research for years to come.

Author: Brenda Rosen


SIS Beth says…
A couple of weeks ago, I went on a frenzy put several books on hold at the library. An assortment of Victorian romances and Vampire mysteries by authors I’d never read. I thought they’d trickle in. Thought I’d have time to squeeze them all in. Well, of course they all came at once and due to several factors I don’t have time to read even one! The nice thing about the library is that I can return them and check them out again later. Still, dang, I was so hungry for those reads. Instead, I’m reading a non-fiction book, much needed research for my WIP—Into the Wild.


My pick of the Week: Lost Treasure of the Inca
I was so thrilled to find this book. It covers the exact lost treasure that’s at the heart of Into the Wild. The Lost Treasure of Llanganatis or sometimes known as Atahualpa’s buried ransom.

From Barnes and Noble: For over 400 years, treasure seekers have hunted in vain for one of the biggest treasures in the world, the lost gold of the Incas, hidden from the Spanish conquistadors, in the mysterious, cloud-filled Llanganatis Mountains of Ecuador. This fascinating, photo-essay combines many color and black-and-white photos with a lively first person text, to recount the author's adventures as, with the help of three modern Inca guides, he travels through this difficult, dangerous terrain in search of treasure and history.

Here’s the kicker. This is classified as a juvenile book. Meaning it was written for kids! Call me young at heart, but I found this book fascinating. I remember attending a workshop once where the speaker mentioned never discounting the juvenile section of the library when doing research. Now I know why.

Author: Peter Lourie (I know what you’re thinking. No, not the famous actor. I checked, plus his name was spelled ‘Lorre’)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dream On

Wednesday, October 7, 2009 26





I'm in the high rise apartment building again. I must be on the 30th floor or so. I have an unobstructed 360 degree view of the city. There are no walls. Every outer wall is made of glass. It is a sunny day. No clouds, just bright blue skies for as far as I can see. And then suddenly, with absolutely no warning at all, the sky is filled with menacing cyclones, spiraling toward me at an alarming rate. Not just one or two, but at least 20 tornadoes fill the sky and all I can do is wait and watch in horror as their devastation becomes imminent. There are no rooms for me to hide in, no shelter in sight. Just me in this big empty room surrounded by glass walls. I know that this will surely be my end.

The dream is the same every time. I don't know how I get to this apartment. I don't know what I dream about before this one begins. I'm just suddenly there and I'm very afraid. And then as quickly as it started, it ends. The tornadoes never reach me. They come very close, and then somehow, I pull myself out of the dream. I have had this dream countless times over the past 20 years or so.

I've looked it up in a dream book before. The book said something like I feel that my life is out of control. When I have the dream, I don't feel like that at all. My 7 year old niece has the same dream. In her dream, she is also in a glass room and there are several tornadoes flying through the air. I don't think that a 7 year old really feels that their life is out of control, but who knows.

I have another recurring dream. In this one, I am in my Aunt Barbara's house, or rather it looks like that on the outside, but once I go in, it is different. It is an old house, probably built in the 1920's. As I enter the house, the stair way is in front of me, that remains the same as the real house. To the left is a large room that looks to be a ball room. It is long with a beautiful hard wood floor and grand windows along the outer walls. The room is empty except for a grandfather clock at the far corner of the room. I always go to this clock and open the bottom door where the pendulum would be. I bend down and look inside and know that I have found the secret door again. I crawl through and upward and find myself in a part of the house that very few others know about. I feel safe here, but I'm not really sure what it is. I don't do much once I'm there, I just kind of look around and feel excited that I have found the secret place.

Sometimes in the dream, instead of going to the ballroom, I climb the stairs. Where as my Aunt Barbara's house only had two floors, this one has several. But every time I try to go to the third floor or above, the floor changes and becomes very unsteady. I do make my way very carefully through some of the rooms though. They are beautiful, but empty, and I always wonder why someone doesn't fix the floors so these rooms can be enjoyed.

I have no idea what the dream is all about either. It is much more detailed than that at times, but those things remain a constant. When I visit Indiana, I am often tempted to go to my aunt's old house and knock on the door and see if the current owners would let me in so I could investigate. They wouldn't think I was too crazy, would they?

Do you have recurring dreams/nightmares. Have you looked them up? Do you make sense of them at all? Can you control your dreams? I'd like to know!


SIS Bren