Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Book Titles

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I've been in bed for three days now and starting my fourth.  Apparently I have some sort of bug that I can't quite kick.  I'm hoping this will be my last day!

You'd think lounging in bed would be fun, but it's not.  The first day wasn't so bad because I slept all but two hours of the day.  The other days have been spent with sleep and then a couple hours of channel surfing and then more sleep.  I'm freezing, I'm hot.  Yadda, yadda, yadda.

Last night while in and out of sleep I happened to hear part of an Alan Alda biography that was on the television.  They were talking about books he had written.  I don't remember the first, but the second one I heard was titled Things I Overheard While Talking To Myself.  I giggled a little and then went back to sleep.  I thought it was a really humorous and clever book title.

So, I've been up for about 2 hours now, it's time for a nap.  My question for you today is simply what clever book titles have you come across, if any?

Have a glorious day!

SIS Bren

Monday, June 28, 2010


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The time is almost upon us. I can already smell the heat in the air and the brats on the grill. I can hear the pop, the sizzle and the sound of a marching band as their boots (well, tennis shoes) hit the pavement in time. This is my favorite time of year. Some call it The 4th of July, I call it Independence Day. I think we can sometimes forget the meaning behind the holiday, but every parade I attend--and I attend many--reminds me never to forget.

I try to hold it in, but the tears stream down my face as the Navy band marches by, the veterans march with their canes and the firefighters drive by in their shiny trucks. I cry even more as the Dancin' Grannies groove by with dazzling smiles that light up their faces. The music skips and then stops completely, but they are not deterred...1,2,3,4 their arms are up, their arms are down, turn to the left, I turn to the right and tell my husband that that'll be me in 20-30 years. He says, "Get real."

I'm a fireworks fanatic. I love them. All of them. Whether it be the puny little ones we set off at home, or the Big Bang at the Milwaukee lakefront. I love the ooo's and ahhh's of the crowd and the barking of the dogs and the amazed look in the children's eyes. I love lying in bed and hearing the thunderous sounds of the finale on the nights I can't attend. I love Independence Day and everything that comes with it.

So how about you? What do you like about this holiday? Any dislikes?

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Saturday, June 26, 2010


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My wife Wendy had a milestone birthday Thursday (I won't say which one out of self-preservation) and she wanted to do something special to celebrate it. One thing she has always wanted to do since moving here was to stay at the Don Cesar Hotel, which is a 4-star resort on St Petersburg Beach. And it's pink. I hadn't stayed there either so we took the plunge.

It was an interesting mix, as far as I am concerned. There was the usual rich polished wood and shiny brass accents, crystal chandeliers and expensive statues and paintings on every floor. The staff were top notch as well. There were also reminders that the building itself was rather old: cracked plaster here and there that had been filled in and painted over and dusty, dingy air conditioning vents in the ceiling.

That didn't keep us from having a wonderful time, however. The suite that we stayed in was well appointed and clean, with a private balcony, separate bedroom and living room and even a television in the bathroom! We received a free selection of cheeses and breads shortly after we arrived in the room as well. That night we had a wonderful meal at the Maritana, a 4-star restaurant on site. The decor, food and service were wonderful and my wife even got a special birthday dessert.

Next was after dinner drinks at the piano bar. The pianist was nice enough to play a few of my favorite songs without being asked, but my wife was skunked. Ah well, she can't have all the fun now can she? After drinks we walked outside to the private beach to catch the sunset, which was absolutely beautiful. At midnight we had champagne, petit fours and chocolate covered strawberries to bring in her birthday in style.

Our stay concluded the next day with breakfast in bed, followed by a dip in the pool and some seashell hunting on the beach, which was thankfully devoid of any hint of oil. Before checking out we stopped in the ice cream parlor for ice cream and so Wendy could play Ms. Pac Man, her favorite retro video game. All in all it was a wonderful experience, one that I'm sure we'll both never forget.

My question is this: If you could have the most wonderful experience of your life but afterward would remember nothing about it, would you still want to do it? Are the memories of an experience more important than the experience itself?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Seeing is Believing

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Imagery is a powerful thing. Even though I pour my passion into spinning words, my stories play out in my head like movies. I see scenes as I write them. As added inspiration, I surf the net looking for actors or models who resemble my lead characters. I print out those pictures (adding my character's name) and tack those to my bulletin board. I glance up at them when I'm writing dialogue, imagine those words tripping off their tongue. or not. I refer to them when I need to write physical descriptions. 

Meet the heroine of my WIP, Zoe Albright (telepathic Enabler) and the hero, Gabriel Bennett (Character Assassin)

As I scanned a stock photo site, all I knew is that I'd know Zoe and Gabriel when I saw them.  It didn't take long and I didn't even second guess myself.

The thing that's slightly different about this story is that most of the locations are . . . let us say . . . otherwordly and atmospheric. For the first time ever, I needed a visual for a place. My husband had a calendar featuring photography of Simon Marsden. The topic? Haunted Realms. I saw several photographs that captured my eye and imagination.

Unfortunately I can't find a jpeg of the photo that inspired my 'enchanted' mansion, but here's a photo of what made me think of a portal to another dimension...
And this is a photo that resembles one that I chose as inspiration for Blackmoor Manor.

Treat yourself and visit Mr. Marsden's website. The photography is mesmerizing!

What about you? Are you inspired by imagery? 

SIS Beth               

Thursday, June 24, 2010


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"Puff, The Magic Dragon, lived by the sea, and frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honalee."

I dare you to read that line without singing it. I couldn't do it when my daughter picked this book out for her free book for joining the summer reading program at our local library. Like me, she has a love for dragons. We have the movie on VHS. Of course we no longer have a VCR to watch it. The book she brought home is by Peter Yarrow and Lenny Lipton. It is beautifully illustrated by Eric Puybaret. When I tried to read the book to my daughter, I couldn't help it, I had to sing it. It was nice to see her see smiling instead of covering her ears.

I love Peter, Paul and Mary. I used to have their greatest hits on CD. After reading the book and watching some of their videos on-line, I have to go out and buy it again. I have such a good time singing along to the songs. Leaving On A Jet Plane, If I Had A Hammer, Lemon Tree and of course Puff are some of my favorites.

What is your favorite Peter, Paul and Mary song? If you don't have one, what is one of your favorite songs to sing along to?

SIS BJ aka Aleena Ravenwood

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


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I recently read a book from Mary Higgins Clark and really enjoyed it.  In her acknowledgments she said one of the questions she gets asked most frequently is "Where do you get your ideas?". She said that she reads articles in the newspaper or magazines and that for some reason they stick in her mind.  Then she starts thinking "suppose this" and "what if" that, and all the ideas come together and soon she has a novel in the making.  I thought that was a pretty interesting approach.

I've been working on something new for a short while now.  I just finished the first chapter two nights ago and I'm pretty pleased.  I have a long way to go, but I'm really excited about this book.  I have quite a lot of ideas for this book.  I just need to get plenty of sleep to finish it.

A lot of my ideas come to me in my dreams.  I have wild, crazy, vivid dreams most nights.  They really don't make sense in our "normal" world  but I've found a home for them in my WIP.  I can't wait to go to sleep every night and see what new idea will come my way.

My question to you today is where do you get your ideas?  Do they come to you out of nowhere or do you have a process for thinking things out?

SIS Bren

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Real Life Brady Bunch

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For those of you who don't know, I have my own Brady Bunch. I have my three beautiful girls and Omar has three fabulous boys.  Just like the show!!

Most of the time we are not all together, but when we do all meet up we have some very interesting moments.  This last week we took the girls down to Texas... so the Brady Bunch was reunited!  There, of course, isn't  a dull moment (or a quiet one) to be found.

Most of the bunch is pretty close in age.  We have two 14 year olds , one 12 year old, two that are 10, and the littlest brings up the rear at 4.  The older they get, the more expensive it is to have them together.  Just trying to feed them will break the bank!!  The two oldest boys ( especially the oldest) could eat a whole cow for dinner.  No joke - they are bottomless pits.  My girls aren't much better. 

We've been pretty thrifty with the activities for the group.  Been doing lots of swimming and watching movies at the house.  I think all the kids are having fun since we haven't heard any complaining.

Everyone in the bunch has been getting along great.  Gone are the days of the power struggle between the oldest boy and oldest girl!  It is nice to see them being good to each other.  They all spoil the youngest... she must be in heaven.  And the 10 years olds love to explore together.

Having everyone together is very tiring and hectic for Omar and I, but we definitely are not complaining.  It is nice to be able to have the families together.  It gives  the illusion that we have normal lives - even if its only for a week or two at a time.

We should have our own show on TV.  The modern day Brady Bunch.  We could put a great spin on the original.

Is your life like any TV show?  If you and your family had their own show what would it be called?

SIS Brandy

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Recommendation

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Last night I watched the pilot of "The Gates".  I was hoping I'd enjoy it as I do love my vampires. I'm happy to say that I really liked it. I like their spin on vamps and weres. Very interesting. I think the cast is pretty but not too, if you know what I mean. I like the shy awkwardness of some of the teenagers and the issues within the adult relationships. 

I hope this show continues. There is a lot they could do within "The Gates". 

Did anyone else watch? What were your thoughts? What else is everyone watching this summer?

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Animal Magnetism

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All our lives, my wife and I have been animal lovers. I remember watching 'Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom' and the National Geographic specials about wild animals. I have amassed quite a collection of useless facts about animals, and I still watch wildlife documentaries whenever possible. Although my wife and I both have many animals that we have soft spots for, we each have one animal in particular that is our absolute favorite.

For my wife it's horses. She likes the fact that they are powerful animals but can also be gentle. They are loyal and seem to have a knack for understanding people. They can be tamed but still retain their wild spirit, which can manifest itself at any moment. I came up with a perfect example of the dual nature of horses and it is this: Picture a herd of horses running full speed across a grassy plain, muscles straining and manes flowing as they kick up a cloud of dust while thundering past you. Now picture a single horse, patiently walking around a corral carrying a handicapped child that has never known what it's like to walk. That's quite a contrast.

We recently saw a show called 'Cavalia', which was put together by the creator of Cirque du Soleil and was all about horses. It was spectacular, and really showcased what horses are all about and the special bond that can develop between people and horses. There was also quite a variety of sizes and colors of horses in the show as well.

My favorite has always been wolves. I think it has to do with the fact that they are the epitome of Nature: They can be fierce predators, stealthy and always alert, but are also devoted to their pack and cubs. They are very intelligent and cunning, and also very misunderstood by the general public. And there's just something about their gaze that gives me chills. I remember going to a zoo several years ago that had wolves. It was the only zoo I have ever been to that had them, and as I approached the fence overlooking the enclosure one of the wolves lifted it's head and howled. I was literally moved to tears.

Do you have a favorite animal? What is it about them that you like?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Define Sexy

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Last week my husband and I went out to dinner to celebrate his birthday. In conversation he told me that he had a movie picked out to watch when we got home. He thought I would really like it.

“It stars your dreamboat,” he said.

I smiled. “George Clooney?”


“Daniel Craig?”


“Gerard Butler?”

“No.” He raises a brow. “Your other dreamboat. Irish.”

“Liam Neeson?”

He sighs. “Think badboy.”

“Oh! Colin Farrell!”

“Yes.” He shook his head. “You sure do have a lot of dreamboats.”

“No, I don’t.”

“Yes, you do.”

I thought about it minute. I guess I sort of do. Because I could also add Brad Pitt, Jason Stathem, Johhny Depp, Colin Firth, and a few others. But then I thought about how very different they all look—not all what I would classify as classically handsome. But all possess qualities that are attractive to me. Which brings about my question of the day.

What qualities or traits do you find attractive or sexy in the opposite sex?

I’ll go first.

1) A kind and generous heart

2) A sense of humor

3) Intelligence

4) Tolerance

(My husband, by the way, possesses all of those)

SIS Beth

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Celebrating Sia and Blogosphere

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Yesterday, fellow blogger and all around great gal, Sia McKye, received an award for her fantastic blog -- Thoughts Over Coffee. Much deserved recognition for someone who features some of the blogosphere's most entertaining amd educational posts on writers and writing. Congratulations, Sia! If you haven't checked out Sia's blog, please do!

In yesterday's happy dancing post, Sia mention a few of her fave blogs and Sisters in Sync was one of them! Woo-hoo! A true rush for all of us here. Touching people in a positive way is a wondrous thing. Join us in our own happy dance and please spread the love.

What's one of your favorite blogs or websites and why?     

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


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I wish that somebody could find a way to put a little more time in some days and a little less in others. Why is it that some days seem to drag and others fly by so fast they’re just a blur?

Well, yesterday and today are those blurry days, so I just have a couple quick questions for you. They’re not original, but I like these kinds of questions so here goes.

If you had to be stranded somewhere remote for the rest of your life, where would it be? (i.e. an island, a mountainside, the arctic…)

If you could only have one person with you, who would it be?

If you could only have one modern convenience, what would it be? (be specific, a refrigerator, a stove, a radio, a blow dyrer...)

And if you could have just one of your favorite things with you, what would it be?

Thanks for playing! I know it’s sort of lame, but I’m excited to hear your answers.

Have an incredible day!

SIS Bren

Monday, June 14, 2010

Pushing Through

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I'm sure we all go through times where we become a little lax, a little stagnant. During those times it seems to become harder and harder to get motivated, to push though. It's not as if things are going poorly. It's just that life may be a little smooth and when that happens, we'd be crazy to rock the boat. Right?

Wrong! I think that it's during those smooth times, when the water is crystal clear without a ripple on its surface, that we must push ourselves further, beyond our comfort zone.

My water is so smooth right now, it looks a little like ice. I think if I tried to skip a pebble across it, it would bounce back and hit me in the head. That would be the pebbles way of telling me to WAKE THE HECK UP!

I'm writing, I'm reading (something I've allowed myself to do to fill the creative well), I'm spending time with family,  but what I'm not doing is pushing myself past a comfortable limit. I know I have a lot more in me. I can I can do more, be more, be better. And because I know this, I want it.

My fantastic CP, Alyson Reuben, has set a deadline for my Paranormal. I have to have it completed by the end of July. It doesn't have to be prefect, but it has to have an ending. I'm nervous. Really nervous. I won't disappoint her or myself. I will have it done. I must have it done. But what happens after that? Many things, that's what!

Speaking of Alyson Reuben...I'm guest blogging at Silk and Shadows today and I'd love if you could stop by.

I've also redesigned my website. Stop by. Let me know what you think.

And now for today's question...Are you awake? Are you pushing through? Are you jogging through life or doing everything you can to win the race?

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Saturday, June 12, 2010

In the Good Old Summertime

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Now that summer is pretty much here, I find myself reminiscing about the summers I spent as a kid and the things I used to do. One of my favorite things to do was blackberry picking. There were some woods not far from my house and every summer they would be overrun with blackberry vines covered in juicy, ripe blackberries. The trick was getting enough to make the trip worthwhile while at the same time avoiding as many spiky vines as possible. Sometimes the basket of blackberries I had picked never made it back to the house.

Catching fireflies was another fun activity. Fun for me, not for the fireflies. I remember being transfixed by a jar full of them, their lights going on and off in random patterns. The beach was another mainstay of my youth. There's nothing like the smell of the beach on a hot summer afternoon. I used to put on a swim mask and spend as much time in the underwater world as my lungs would allow. If I could have stayed down there forever I probably would have. I also managed to get quite a collection of sand dollars and seashells. And sunburn. Ahh, good times.

Summer nights were the time for two of my most favorite activities: backyard campfires and watching meteor showers. The county I live in wasn't so developed back then so light pollution wasn't as much of an issue. It was also a challenge to see how late I could stay awake and how many shooting stars I could count. I used to know the names of the individual showers and how many meteors per hour were to be expected. Most of the time I was not disappointed, and I still catch myself looking up whenever I'm outside at night.

I would have a campfire in my backyard as often as possible, and luckily my Dad was the local Fire Chief back then, so it wasn't a problem doing it. Of course there were the obligatory s'mores, roasted marshmallows, hot dogs and ghost stories. There was something very primal about the whole thing, as long as you could forget that all the modern conveniences were just a few feet away.

What did you used to do as a kid during summertime? Do you still do any of them, either by yourself or with your own kids?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Letting Go, Paying Forward

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There’s something to be said for letting go of worries and self-doubt. For letting loose and pouring your heart into a project even though you have no guarantee it will be financially fruitful. For giving yourself permission not to work on said project but instead to fill the creative well. To immerse yourself in . . . life.

Last week I was a bit overwhelmed, perhaps overly concerned with the future of my writing career. Second guessing my choices and talent. Luckily, I have dear friends who gave me a cyber smack, advising me to relax and trust my gut . . . and talent.

So I did.

This past weekend was a three-day weekend for me. I ignored the urge to explore new writing projects and pushed ahead on the project that’s currently sitting with several publishers. I had a blast doing so! I also cleaned my house and shopped for flowers to plant in my backyard. I wanted create a reading garden and I did.

I read . . . a lot. I played with my dogs. I did domestic stuff. I watched movies and spent quality time with my husband.

I lived.

Over the past two days, out of the blue, I received an awesome opportunity to promote my most current release OUT OF EDEN. And the next day, an amazing offer to promote my September release INTO THE WILD. And then, only a few hours after, an invitattion to participate in a wondrous possible project spearheaded by a dear friend. The project isn't definite, so I can't speak about it yet. Still, to be considered is a thrill. I feel . . . blessed.  And grateful.

More than ever I'm contemplating the phrase—pay it forward.

Has anyone gone above and beyond on your behalf lately? Have you considering ‘paying it forward’? If so, how?

SIS Beth

Thursday, June 10, 2010

What Are You Reading?

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I am currently reading two books. One fiction, the other non-fiction. I find myself reading more non-fiction lately. I guess I'm like my 6 year old, I like learning from books. That is what she said to me when I took her to the library the other day. She is reading five books about science and space.

Back to the books I am reading. The fiction one is People of the Raven by Kathleen O'neal Gear and W. Michael Gear. They are a wife and husband team that write stories based on Native American history. They are both archaeologists and she is a historian. People of the Raven is loosely based on the Kennewick Man; a Caucasoid male mummy that was discovered along the banks of the Columbia River in 1996. The mummy is thought to be more than 9,000 years old.

The non-fiction book I am reading is Women Who Run With Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes,Ph.D. She is a Jungian analyst and cantadora storyteller. A cantadora is a keeper of old stories. From the jacket:

Within every woman there is a wild and natural creature, a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. Her name is Wild Woman, but she is an endangered species. Though the gifts of wildish nature come to us at birth, society's attempt to "civilize" us into rigid roles has plundered this treasure, and muffled the deep, life-giving messages of our own souls. Without Wild Woman, we become over-domesticated, fearful, uncreative,trapped.

I hope I can find my Wild Woman while reading this book full of mythical stories about women.

What book or books are you currently reading?

SIS BJ aka Aleena Ravenwood

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Bubble

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My eyes are open, but I don't see. I can hear, but I don't always listen. Everything is distorted in here. Everything is routine. Sometimes it's ordinary. Sometimes it's amazing. It's pretty small. I try to make room for others to join me, but I don't seem to be able to shrink small enough. It's just me. I'm alone.

This is my world from inside the bubble.

Unfortunately, the view is not quite this nice, but I do have my bubble decorated nicely. It's a little rustic and a lot cozy. It surrounds me as I go about my day to day routines. Somehow it doesn't burst as I take my morning shower, make my coffee, get the kids ready, head to school to drop them off, then it's off to work for me. Still, I'm in that bubble. The radio is on and I may hum along to a song, but ask me what song I was listening to after it's over and I probably can't tell you. It's the bubble. It distorts.

Current events? What's that? The news may be on. I see images. I see pain, suffering, sorrow, pointing fingers, back stabbing, stealing, murdering...But don't ask me who, what, when, where or why. I'm in the bubble and that kind of stuff doesn't happen in here. Ever.

Unless...I write it and it exists in the fictional world I've created. A fictional world that is also full of love and laughter, mystery and intrigue, danger and adventure. A fictional world that always, always ends with a Happily Ever After. After all, it is my bubble and I can do what I want in here.

Do you have a bubble? What's yours like?

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

On the Run

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I didn't forget my blog... I swear!  I have just been running around like a chicken with my head cut off for the last week.  Today is no different. 

I am in Washington right now.  In a beautiful small town in the cascade mountains.  Everywhere I look, all I see is mountains and trees.  It is very calming.  I definitely am needing some calmness.

In the past week, I have been all over the place.  Oklahoma, Texas... back to Oklahoma... back to Texas... home to Indiana... and now Washington.  I am so worn out.  I feel like I haven't stopped for even one second. 

At home, I had a very jam packed weekend.  It started off with a nephews birthday party as soon as I landed.  Then, there was the preparations for my ex's wedding and a whole day of festivities for that.

 After the partying, the girls and I went down to visit Bobby for a little while.  It's scary to have him in the hospital but at the same time, it was great to see the way he looked.  He was so much more rested and and looked really good!!

Sunday, we had my niece's graduation party to go to.  Then there was the packing for my work trip.  And getting everything arranged for the girls for the week. Then the flight here - I got here at 7 last night.  AAHHH!!  Such a crazy life!!!

So now here I sit.  Looking at the beautiful scenery...trying to take it all in and calm my senses.  I better enjoy it while it lasts.  Work will keep me running for the next week.  Then its back home to start the running all over again! 

Have you been real busy lately?  Do you need some calmness in your life?

SIS Bandy

Monday, June 7, 2010

Because God told me to...

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Yesterday morning started out like a normal Sunday morning. I woke up early and brought my pillow and blanket to my chaise lounge and prepared myself for my morning nap. After all, it took a lot of energy to get out of bed and walk to the living room so I was exhausted!

I flipped the television on and began scanning through the guide, trying to find the best program to help me sleep. It just so happened that Joel Osteen was on the channel that came on when I turned the TV on. I’ve heard his name before. In fact I’ve seen it on books at the book store, but I didn’t realize he was a pastor. Not that that matters, I just didn’t know. I always thought he was a self-help guru of some sort.

Anyway, while I was scrolling through the guide, I was half-listening to a story he was telling about a woman who had always promised her mother that she would go to college and at the age of 80 something, she finally made good on her promise. His message was to get out there and do the things you keep saying you’re going to do. I listened as he said, “God wants you to get out there and write that book, blah blah blah,…..”. I didn’t hear anything past “write that book”.

Was this a sign? It wasn’t so much that he said God wanted me to, it was just that the first example out of his mouth was “write that book”. How odd. Could he be speaking to me? I’m sure he wasn’t, but his words did speak to me. I’ve had two WIPs just sitting around for months now. I think the last time I wrote was in November. What the heck?

I remembered the passion I had when I first started writing my book and wandered where that had gone and why I had allowed life to get in the way of that passion. I know this is something we’ve talked about in the past, that we should write every day, no matter what. But I haven’t, and I’m not saying that I will from now on.

I’m just saying that sometimes, it’s the little things that kick you in the butt and get you going. Sometimes, all it takes is a few simple words from a stranger to make you realize you need to get back to your passions. I had neglected mine long enough.

So, I skipped my morning nap, got out my laptop and spent pretty much the entire day writing and researching. I didn’t get much further in my story, but I did improve upon it quite a bit and also got some really great ideas for future chapters. Yea me! It felt great.

Thank you Joel Osteen. And thank You, God, for wanting me to write this book. I hope You’ll enjoy it.

Have you ever been inspired or encouraged by something small someone has said to you or something you heard in passing?

SIS Bren

P.S. Please scroll down and read Krys’ post from Saturday if you haven’t already. He has started a story and invites us all to join in. I like where it’s going so far and hope you’ll add in your two cents…

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Build-A-Story Workshop

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I've only seen this done a couple of times, but both times it seemed like a neat idea and it will allow everyone to participate, so here goes: I'm going to start a story, and the next person that posts will add whatever they want to what I wrote, and so on with each new post. Lets see what kind of story we can come up with!

It was a dark and stormy night. Flashes of lightning briefly lit up the darkness like electric spider webs, quickly followed by deafening claps of thunder. Wind-driven rain assaulted the massive Antebellum mansion that loomed atop a low hill overlooking an expansive bayou. Inside the mansion.....

Friday, June 4, 2010

My Public Face

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I consider myself pretty savvy concerning public relations. That's not to say I excel at it, but I do have a pretty firm grasp on how it works. A really good PR person or firm can spin an unknown into stardom, stardom that is not always deserved because sometimes the spin is based more on bullhoey than substance. Regardless, a star is born. Whether it shines or burns out often depends n the true talent of the artist.

I don't have a publicist, so I have to rely on my own creativity and derring-do to create and promote 'my public face'. I've been doing this for years via my website, blogs, interviews, articles (on-line and in print). I always try to be upbeat and professional.

"Regardless of how you feel inside, always try to look like a winner. Even if you are behind, a sustained look of control and confidence can give you a mental edge that results in victory." --Arthur Ashe

I also strive to be honest about my personal and professional life... but without giving up too much information. I deeply believe that some things should be kept private. Plus, I think there's something to be said for modesty and discretion.

"If you live your life without secrets, the wind will become bored of you and even the trees will stop listening."--Laura Moncur

Although my public face is that of a published author, in the past, I've always freely talked about my day jobs. At first that entailed my life as a professional performer. Now it's my role as a fulltime Senior Library Assistant. My reason for sharing that side of myself is twofold. It's part of what influences my writing. And... I think it's important for all struggling artists to know that not all 'successful' artists are able to make a living fully from their 'art'. I, by the way, do not equate success with income.

However, lately I've been wondering if my 'public face' would benefit more greatly if I simply focused on my life as a writer... period. No mention of a dayjob. I wonder if the general public perceives an artist as less succssful, less talented if they have to supplememt their artistic income? Would I inspire more of a following, more sales if the world saw me solely as a 'published author'? 

"To establish ourselves in the world, we have to do all we can to appear established. To succeed in the world, we do everything we can to appear successful."-Francois la Rochefoucauld

I am at a crossroads in my career. I have an opportunity to reinvent myself and therefore I'm reevaluating how I represent/promote myself and by extension, my work. 
What are your thoughts on an artist's public persona? Are you more intrigued by an artist who shares 'everything'? Someone who social networks daily and even hourly via Twitter, FaceBook, and the likes? Or are you equally intrigued by someone who only 'socializes' now and then? 
Think hard and be honest, do you consider an artist less successful, less of a sensation, if you know they cannot fully support themselves via their craft? Even on an subconscious level?             

SIS Beth 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Awards Day

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Tuesday was awards day at my oldest daughter's school. I was surprised that there wasn't very many parents there for the fourth grade students. There should have been, because almost half of the kids made the A/B Honor Roll for the whole year. I thought that was very good. My daughter received 7 awards that day including the Honor Roll award. I am very proud of her for all the hard work she did throughout the year. You would think the Honor Roll award would be her favorite. Nope. It was the Spirit and Spunk award for "bringing joy and laughter to her class" that was her fave. I think she will always remember this award. I'll probably have to frame it for her.

My youngest daughter did good as well. She didn't lose a behavior stick all year. That is pretty good for kindergartner. She also was in a small reading group of children that were reading above grade level. They got to pick their own chapter books to read. I am very proud of her.

When I was in elementary school I received an award for Honesty. My teacher made the award just for me because I let her know that one of my answers on a paper was wrong. I had received an A+ that I didn't deserve. I will never forget that award, or the fact that the teacher made the award just for me. It made me feel very special.

Do you have any childhood awards that you will always remember?

SIS BJ aka Aleena Ravenwood

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


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I’ve said before that I’m really not all that interested in the private lives of celebrities. Apparently I am. I’ve watched a few episodes of the show “Biography” on A & E and I find these programs quite fascinating. I guess I find these interesting because they are not meant to be “gossipy” and not meant to hurt the person who is being featured. They just focus on the facts.

Yesterday, I was thrilled to tune in and see that this “Biography” was about one of my favorite movie stars of all time, Doris Day. Unfortunately, it was two hours long and I couldn’t take my eyes off of it, but it was two hours well spent.

I was intrigued by her story and kept reflecting on it all day long. I never would have thought that her life was as tumultuous as it was. To see all of her movies, her TV show, and photos of her, one would think her life was filled with happiness. She really had quite a ride!

Later in the show, they mentioned that she had written a book. I was surprised to find that I am really interested in reading this book. I realized that I don’t think I’ve read many, if any, biographies or auto-biographies. Her book, Doris Day: Her Own Story, an "as-told-to" work with A. E. Hotchner is definitely on my TBR list. I can’t wait to buy it and start reading.

What about you? Do you read biographies and do you have a story to recommend?

SIS Bren