Tag Archives: Writer

Guest Interview with Lisa Burton, Personal Assistant to Author C.S. Boyack, on Quantum Wanderlust

“Hi everyone. I’ve got radio personality and interviewer, Lisa Burton here with us today. Let’s give her a warm welcome.”

“Hi, Lisa and welcome. I’m super excited to have you stop by today.”

“Hi, Michele, so glad to finally meet you. I’m here today to talk about Quantum Wanderlust. This is a collection of short stories by thirteen awesome authors, and all of them deal with time travel.”

“Tell me, Lisa, what made Egypt, Tutankhamun’ s tomb, the place you decided to time travel to? I mean, there are so many places and times that could have been chosen.”

“Oh, it wasn’t me, it was Craig’s character. He’s the author here. It involves a kind of secret society that invented the time machine on the down-low. They wanted to place satellites in orbit around the ancient world so they could watch things as they happened. We’re not just talking about the building of the pyramids either. They could observe extinction events, erosion of fertile areas, and a lot more.

“Now to accomplish this, they needed funding, and they wanted to keep it all quiet for now. They chose Tut’s tomb, because it’s spectacular. It would draw attention and maybe the wealthy folks would pony up when they get an idea of what could be possible. It’s not too sexy to talk about erosion of the Nile Delta, or what Haley’s Comet looked like a thousand years ago.”

“Did you have to do a lot of research for this project?”

“There was a ton of research. Dates, names, actual hotels, tomb contents, train schedules. And you’re right to ask it this way. As Craig’s major domo, I wound up doing the bulk of it.”

“So how did you guys come up with the premise for this one?”

“Without giving spoilers, Craig started with a twist ending he wanted to use. I don’t want to give anything away, but it’s a real world concern that might resonate with readers. Then he had to back it into the story in a way that also included time travel.

“Before I forget, we have posters made for all of Craig’s stories. We only made one for Quantum Wanderlust, because Swift Wings is the only story Craig has in the collection. I think it’s a fun one though, and here is your print.”

“Thanks, Lisa. You look stunning as usual. And this poster hints at Craig’s Story, Swift Wings. I understand that Craig gave permission for anyone to download and use this photo. So go feel free to use as a backdrop, screensaver, or however you like. Thanks, Craig.”

“So, Michele, I snuck ahead in the book and Fabric of Time is a cool concept. What brought you to use a baby blanket to symbolize this fabric?”

“Well, Lisa, both of my children were given homemade blankets from their granny and I thought it would be a great way to use something that anyone could relate to.

“The name Aisling is pretty unique. How did you find it and why did it appeal to you?”

“I always choose a nationality that I wish to feature in my work. I usually go Italian, because that’s what I’m most familiar with, but I wanted to highlight another of my nationalities, and chose Irish. I wanted a name that would go with that theme. But I wanted something unusual. I went to my favorite search engine and searched for Irish names. I came upon Aisling, which means dream or vision. I knew that was the name for my story.

“Rory appealed to me for another time traveler named Rory. He appeared on several years of Dr. Who. Did you base Rory on him somehow?”

“Actually, Lisa, I have never watched an episode of Dr. Who. Rory is the name I came up with while helping a friend choose a name for her cat.”

“I like the idea that this fabric needs to be constantly tended and mended to protect others from altering the timeline. It takes people of pretty stern construction to handle that kind of job. Those kind of characters make for great stories.”

“Thanks, Lisa. You know, Swift Wings had me intrigued from the start. Egyptian history is a favorite of mine, and many people are fascinated by it. I enjoyed going back in time with Dr. Preston and seeing King Tut’s tomb from his perspective.”

Don’t forget to pick up your free copy of Quantum Wanderlust at all the major sites. These thirteen authors will take you on some interesting time travel adventures. Oh, and if you don’t mind, please leave a review.

“Well, Lisa, I know you must run. So glad we finally connected. Tell Craig we said hi.”

If you’d like to connect with Craig (or Lisa) use the links below:

Blog | Published Works | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Pinterest

When we talk about the passage of time, it’s usually in short bursts (seconds, minutes, hours) or slightly longer chunks (weeks, months, years).

What if it was limitless? What if you could go forward or back? Decades, centuries, eons? Would you go back and change your life? Go forward and see your future?

Quantum Wanderlust is a time travel short story anthology. Characters travel forward and back—how far they go and how they get there make fascinating tales. Do they observe or interact? Is the outcome better or worse than the original timeline?

The scope is virtually limitless, definitely timeless.

Download your free copy today from most major eBook retailers by clicking here.

 

 

Macabre Sanctuary―Thrills, Chills, and Spine Tingling Tales

Ancient Egypt has its secrets―and Zet holds the key to one of them.
As pharaoh, the whole kingdom would be his—the money, the power. The women.
Do you want to know how Zet became pharaoh?

Download Macabre Sanctuary to find out. “Ascent” will give you all the evil details.

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Macabre Sanctuary – by Joan Hall, Mae Clair, Jan Morrill, Staci Troilo, Pamela Foster, Stacy Claflin, Michele Jones, K. E. Lane, Harmony Kent, and C. S. Boyack.

Thrills. Chills. Shadows and superstitions. Things that go bump in the night. Macabre Sanctuary boasts suspenseful fiction designed to elicit goosebumps and raise heart rates.

Learn the lore of a haunted island.
Grapple with the undead while robbing graves Halloween night.
Endure a hazing ritual unlike any other.
Deal with a demon at an All Souls’ Day celebration.
See what happens when you court death in the wild.
Battle zombies and cannibals in a quest to stay alive.
Travel back in time to witness the birth of true evil.
Fear prophetic nightmares made manifest.
Come to terms with new ethereal realities.
Befriend a feline to extend earthly life.

This collection from ten talented authors offers ghosts and demons, spirits and zombies, cannibals and killers… even a ferocious animal. Historical and contemporary tales of violence and fright keep readers on the edges of their seats. There’s something for everyone who loves spine-tingling, bone-chilling, blood-curdling stories.

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Download Macabre Sanctuary to read “Ascent” and nine other thrillers.

Sit down, relax—if you can, and enjoy Macabre Sanctuary.

Join me, won’t you?

What’s your haunted tale?

And get your thrills on.

New Release—Romance Under Wraps

I’m very pleased to announce my first full length novel release.
A paranormal romance, Romance Under Wraps.

Romance Under Wraps Final 4.14.16Set in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Dene has come alive to try and break the curse. For the first time in over four-thousand years, he finds someone that opens his heart. But will it be enough to free him from the curse?

They come alive once a century.

An advisor, friend, and lover cursed because of his evil pharaoh. Deprived from entering the afterlife because of an indiscretion and ties to his pharaoh and his queen, Dene is tasked by the gods to help them all move on to the afterlife. It’s his curse. Teach his pharaoh to pass the judgments in the book of the dead and pass the weighing of the heart or find the reincarnated queen and have her fall in love with him or his pharaoh to gain his freedom.

Dene tries to teach the pharaoh, but he’s more interested in tricking the gods than learning his lessons. Fearing failure, Dene pins all his hopes on winning the love of his lost queen. But someone is trying to scare her away by falsifying a ‘mummy’s curse.’ With three souls in jeopardy, Dene must solve the mystery and protect her life before his time in this century runs out.

Here’s a sneak peek inside:

Dene walked outside and stared out into the city. No sand, no grass, no trees—just concrete. Buildings taller than the pyramids, stacked too close to each other. Streets filled with cars going nowhere. The people flowed like the Nile, continually moving, swirling around obstacles in their path. He wrinkled his nose at the smell of coffee mixed with gas, cigarettes and cigars, combined with bread, sulfur, and cinnamon. He missed the smell of home, and the peace of his simpler life.
He left early, allowing himself time to walk. Dene clutched the coin in his pocket. He hated the big cities. After a deep breath, he merged into the pedestrian flow and made his way to the museum.

I never thought that my first full length novel would be a romance. Ever in my wildest dreams. It was a challenge for me. This book is part of a paranormal anthology to be released later this year, but I couldn’t wait to share it with you.

Finishing this book was bitter sweet. While thrilled to complete my first novel, actually miss my characters. They have become a part of my life for months. Between the research, the writing, the edits, and yes, there were many edits, my knowledge regarding ancient Egypt has grown.

To all of you out there that think you can’t do it, I am proof that you can.

Romance Under Wraps is available now: Amazon | Kobo | Inktera | iBooks | B&N
Is coming soon: 24 Symbols | Tolino | Scribd | Paperback

Baklava for the Newlyweds

Krista and AaronMy daughter got married last weekend. Months of planning culminated in the perfect
celebration. And my family got an amazing new son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin, and friend.

I am part of a large Italian family, and at our wedding celebrations we have a cookie table. Our cookie table always has several Italian cookies, but the newlyweds also like
non-Italian cookies. Who knew?

Cookies

One of our family favorite non-Italian cookies is baklava. The crisp phyllo dough and nuts blended with honey and sugar make for a deliciously sweet pasty that melts in your mouth.

Baklava Click here for recipe

Since I have never made baklava before, I searched the Internet for the recipe. Michael
Symon’s recipe looked best, but like any Italian, I adapted it. Before the big day, I made several practice pans and shared them with family and friends. I received great feedback and suggestions to make the recipe even better.

Most people think that baklava is difficult to make, but in truth, it is just a labor of love. And the more that you make it, the easier it becomes. Take the time and make a batch, your family will love it. And it freezes exceptionally well. And the syrup that you pour over top can be adapted to add your favorite flavors.

Baklava
Pastry
1 pound melted butter
1 cup pistachios, ground
1 cup walnuts, ground
1 cup graham crackers, ground
1 teaspoon cinnamon (or to taste)
1 pound phyllo dough

Syrup
3 cups sugar
6 to 8 ounces honey
1-1/2 cups water
1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions
Pastry
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a rimmed 9″x13″ baking dish with melted butter.

Combine the nuts, graham crackers and cinnamon in food processor. Pulse until finely ground. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and set aside.

Place one sheet of phyllo dough onto the greased baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, coat the top with melted butter. Repeat process with 7 more sheets of phyllo dough. Spread an even layer of 1/6 of the nut mixture on top of the buttered phyllo layers. Layer and butter 4 sheets of phyllo and top with 1/6 of the nut mixture. Repeat 4 times. Use the last 1/6 of the nut mixture and top with 8 layers of buttered phyllo dough sheets. Finish the top layer with plenty melted butter.

Before baking, cut pastry in a diamond pattern. Bake 1 hour on the lower rack, or until golden brown.

Syrup
In a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar, honey and
water. Stir constantly, bring to a boil and let cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Add the lemon juice and boil for a few more minutes. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool slightly.

Allow Baklava to cool slightly. Pour the warm Syrup over the warm Baklava. Allow Baklava to soak for at least 6 hours or overnight.

New Pittsburgh Novel Bleeding Heart

Staci Head ShotToday’s post is a bit different. I am interviewing fellow author, blogger and my sister, Staci Troilo. I’ve been following Staci’s writing journey since she started.

I’m excited to have my sister as my guest today sharing her journey as an author, and information about her upcoming book, Bleeding Heart, being released on August 11.  You can pre-order at Amazon or iBooks. Please welcome Staci Troilo!

Welcome Staci
I’m so happy to be here today to talk to your friends, Michele. Thanks for inviting me.

bleeding heartWhat gave you the idea for Bleeding Heart?
This story holds a special place in my heart because the initial seeds of it are rooted in my ancestry. No, I’m not a descendant of the Medici. However, my grandfather always told us the story of his father’s birth—he was the illegitimate son of a duke. That got me thinking about the famous royal lines of Italy, and what would happen if an heir appeared. A discussion with my children—who were learning weapons in their TKD black belt classes at the time—soon had me incorporating a supernatural warrior element into the mix. Now, every time I think about the roots of this saga, I think of both my grandfather and my children. I love that those two generations came together to help me make this work, particularly given my kids never had the pleasure of meeting my grandfather.

What is your favorite part of this story?
Ooh, that’s difficult to answer. I think I’ll tell you who my favorite character is, instead. The grandmother of the heroine is my favorite. In some respects, I modeled her after my own grandmother. Not only is this character an amazing woman, the person who inspired her is amazing, too. Beta readers have asked for even more of her, so I guess my nonna—whether fictionalized or in person—is someone everyone loves. I know I simply adore her.

I understand this story takes place in Pittsburgh, near your hometown. What makes this setting so special? I haven’t been blessed to live in Western Pennsylvania since January 2000. But I take it with me, everywhere I go. I decided that it was time I write a story that paid homage to my roots. While I made up many of the businesses and locations, I stayed true to the city, its suburbs, and the character of the area. Hopefully people reading this will come to love the area as much as I do.

If you could be any character in Bleeding Heart, which one would you be, and why?
I think it’s too easy to pick a lead character—we’re supposed to adore them. (At least, by the end we should.) And I already sent some love to the grandmother in this piece. So I’m going to choose Mike. He has a wealth of knowledge and power, and he’s harboring a secret. Many secrets, actually. I think it would be fascinating to be him. At least for a day or two. I’m not sure I’d want all the burdens he carries! But experiencing that power… that would be kind of cool.

What has been the most challenging part of this publishing process?
Every phase of writing and publishing has its pros and cons. Most recently, I’d have to say just being patient and waiting for the book to go live. But even since the inception of the series, there have been hurdles. Writing isn’t for impatient people, and it isn’t for sensitive people. (Sadly, I’m a bit on the impatient side. But I have learned not to take critiques personally, so that’s a plus.) You need a thick skin and the ability to wait without going crazy.

I heard that you are working on a couple of sequels. Would you tell us about them? Bleeding Heart Kiss Properly Teaser
The Medici Protectorate Series will be a four volume set, with the possibility of a few additional pieces. I’ve already completed the first draft of Mind Control, book 2 of the series. The other two novels, Body Armor and Tortured Soul, are outlined. These novels follow the other sisters and warriors, and while each is a standalone novel, the overall saga storyline will conclude at the end of book four. (There may be a short story or a novella or two, focusing on some of the secondary characters, and my publisher wants me to do a corresponding cookbook, but I haven’t done any work on these pieces yet.) I’m also writing the sequels to Type and Cross, the first book of the Cathedral Lake Series. The second installment, Out and About, is roughly half done, and the third book of the series, Pride and Fall, has already been outlined. So I have a lot to keep me busy.

How did you get into writing?
It’s so cliché, but I’ve been writing since I could actually form letters on the page. And before that, I just told stories to anyone who would listen (which was usually my mother or my toys). When I went to college, I tried a few different majors, because everyone said I couldn’t make a living writing. But I finally switched my major to writing. And guess what? You can make a living writing. I have. I’ve worked in advertising, development, corporate communications, technical writing departments, and marketing, and I’ve taught writing in college. Most recently, I’ve been writing and editing fiction. There are plenty of jobs out there for writers. You just need a passion for the vocation.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Write. I know, that isn’t very helpful. But it’s the best I can tell you. Write anything and everything you want, and write often. Consistently. Frequently. Practice makes perfect, so practice. Hone your skills until they are violently sharp. Solicit feedback, listen to the comments, and revise. Then write some more. People will tell you to build your platform and work on your marketing, and it’s true—fiction writers have to do those things. But your best sales tool is a big backlist—a big well-written backlist—and you won’t get one if you don’t write.

Bio:
Staci Troilo grew up knowing family is paramount. She spent time with extended family daily, not just on holidays or weekends. Because of those close knit familial bonds, every day was full of love and laughter, food and fun. Life has taken her one thousand miles away from that extended family, but those ties remain. And so do the traditions, which she now shares with her husband, son, and daughter… even her two dogs. And through her fiction, she shares the importance of relationships with you. Mystery or suspense, romance or mainstream—in her stories, family is paramount.

You can connect with Staci by clicking the links below

Blog: http://stacitroilo.com
Facebook: http:/www.facebook.com/authorstacitroilo
Twitter: https://twitter.com/stacitroilo
Staci Troilo’s Novel Idea: https://www.facebook.com/groups/stacitroilosnovelidea/

 

Shopping Online

Shopping SignRecently, I went to a large retail bookstore looking for a popular book. I couldn’t find it and asked the clerk for help. She said they didn’t stock the book, but she could order it and it would be in the store for pickup in two days, or for a small fee, I could have it delivered to my house. I thanked her for her assistance, but declined to order the book through the store. Rather, I chose to order the book online and have it sent to my house, using a popular retailer program that offers free ground delivery.

The entire reason that I went to the store was to have the book in my possession that day. The store isn’t close to my house, but I was doing some other shopping in the area, and I figured I would just stop in and pick up the book.

I was shocked that they didn’t carry the book, it is a book store. The associate said they didn’t have room for every book on their shelves. Perhaps if they didn’t sell music, candy, calendars, and have a small eatery inside they would have had the room for the book.Online Shopping

Lately, I have been doing more shopping online. And for good reason. Most stores have reduced their inventory, except for the most popular items. Like everyone, my days are busy with work, cooking, cleaning, gym, and miscellaneous errands that need to be done. I hate to waste what little free time I have running to a store looking for something they just don’t have.

I would rather take a few minutes, check out the popular shopping sites, and Googling to find what I need, and most times, I can find what I am looking for cheaper on line.

Food is probably the one thing that I don’t shop for online. I prefer to do that in person. I like to check the meat and produce first hand. I look for bruises on my fruit, and make sure my meat isn’t all bone or fat.$$$$$$

Another reason to shop online: No lines, no waiting. I know what I want, do a little research and click buy now. The items I purchased are sent directly to my house and I have saved time and money not going from store to store searching.

There are drawbacks to shopping online. You can’t try on the clothes to see how they fit, or if the color works with your skin tone. If you decide you don’t like it on, or the color doesn’t work for you, or if there is a defect in the item, you need to send it back. You have to package it up, take it somewhere to be shipped back and wait for the exchanged item to arrive or four to six weeks for your account to be credited.

It’s amazing they can charge your credit card as soon as you order the item, but the credit takes weeks to process. A slight flaw in the system if you ask me.
Packages and Globe (2)Sometimes you receive damaged products or products that are missing parts. A call to the service center and they acknowledge what’s missing and send the missing items, but you still have to wait, or they send you an exchange label, but you don’t receive the undamaged item until you return the damaged one. You lose that instant gratification. And we have become a society that desires instant gratification.

When shopping online you need to be careful. Make sure you only use reputable sites, and make sure that you only give credit card information on a secure site. I have my favorite sites, and before I buy from any site, I always do some background checking.

As a writer, do you have a character that uses the Internet for shopping? Perhaps she’s a recluse. Or maybe he’s a shopaholic. How can you use online shopping in your latest work? Share with us, we’d love to hear about it.

Will I continue to shop online? Absolutely. What about you? Do you shop online? If not, would you consider it? Let us know. We’d love to hear your opinion.

Mom, What’s for Dinner?

Mom Whats for Dinner

I heard that question a lot when my kids were younger. I still hear it, but not as often.

 

With the hectic schedules we keep, after school activities, sports, job, shopping, household chores, we don’t have time to prepare a seven course meal. But we don’t want to go out to eat every night either. I have the solution.

Pizza Burgers Coming Out of Oven 2
Click Here for Pizza Burger Recipe

Pizza burgers. They’re one of my go to favorites. This recipe nails it, and you probably have all the ingredients in your fridge and pantry. They are a hearty, budget friendly meal that can be made in less than an hour. And your family will love them.

Pizza burgers combine two of my family’s favorite meals, pizza and hamburgers. And they always have seconds. This recipe can be altered to fit your family’s taste. Do you like it spicy hot? Add cayenne pepper flakes. Make it Mexican by changing the spices and substituting salsa for the sauce. If you prefer Asian, no problem. Swap out the bun and use egg roll wrappers, eliminate the sauce and use hoisin, or General Tso. Don’t have buns, use bread. I have even used bagels and English muffins.

When my family comes through the door, they know immediately that we are having pizza burgers for dinner. The aroma of cheese, spicy hamburger, tangy pepperoni, sauce and the crust permeates the house and has them running to the table.

Pizza Burgers Ingredients

The table is set with their favorite pizza burger toppings, hot sauce, red pepper flakes and extra cheese, both grated Parmesan and the cheddar blend. Everyone loves extra cheese, except me. I’m Picky, Picky, Picky. I don’t eat cheese, so I make mine without, but I add extra to theirs.

When you sink your teeth into the pizza burger, you come away with cheesy, gooey, delicious, comfort food. The sauce gushes from the burger down your hand, and drips from your mouth, making you happily lick your lips. As you continue, the doughy perfection and spicy sauce have you going in for seconds.

Next time your family wants to know what’s for dinner, tell them Pizza Burgers.

Independence Day

This week we celebrate the birthday of the greatest nation in the world, The United States. For many it’s a day off work, family picnics, parades, fairs, concerts, and fireworks. For others it’s a reminder of what we sacrificed to create this great independent nation.

Freedom isn’t free. Remember to thank our military, both active and retired. I am giving a special shout out to those in my family who have served, are serving, and who will be serving:Flag Military Logos

  • Bob (my dad)
  • The late Dave (my husband’s father)
  • Bill (my husband’s step-father)
  • Krista (my daughter)
  • Aaron (my son-in-law)
  • The late Anthony (my godfather)
  • Michael (my cousin)

Did you know?Declaration of Independence

  • Three of the first five presidents died on the Fourth of July: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe
  • August 2, 1776 is the day most signers of the Declaration of Independence actually signed the Declaration
  • Only two people actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July Fourth: John Hancock and Charles Thompson
  • Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president, was born on July 4, 1872
  • The Fourth of July become a legal federal holiday in 1938
  • There is something written on the back of the Declaration of Independence. No, it’s not a treasure map, rather a message is written upside down at the bottom of the signed document: “Original Declaration of Independence dated 4th July 1776.” It’s not known who wrote it or when. Since parchment was usually rolled up during the Revolutionary War years, it’s thought this memo served as a label.
  • The Fourth of July was originally celebrated with a lot of greenery instead of red, white and blue
  • The modern flag was designed by high school student Robert G. Heft of Lancaster, Ohio as part of a class project
  • The Declaration of Independence was penned by Thomas Jefferson and signed by 56 men representing 13 colonies, and 1 out of 8 signers were educated at Harvard (7 total)Flag Fireworks
  • 87.5% ($2.8 million) of imported U.S. flags are from China.
  • 97% ($190.7 million) of imported fireworks are from China.
  • An estimated 150 million hot dogs will be consumed on July 4th.
  • The White House held its first 4th of July party in 1801
  • The tune of the National Anthem was originally used by an English drinking song called To Anacreon in Heaven.
  • The Pennsylvania Evening Post was the first newspaper to print the Declaration of Independence
  • Americans began observing the Fourth of July as early as 1777, when the first-ever major celebration in Philadelphia included a parade and a thirteen-shot cannon salute and fireworks.
  • To avoid cracking it, the Liberty Bell has not been rung since 1846. To mark the quintessential day, every Fourth of July it is symbolically tapped 13 times.
  • John Adams and Thomas Jefferson are responsible for the bald eagle as the national bird; Benjamin Franklin wanted it to be the turkey.
  • The American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) estimates that more than 14,000 professional firework displays light up the skies in the United States each 4th of July.
    Two of our nation’s great national symbols were made overseas. The Liberty Bell was cast in England, and the Statue of Liberty in France.

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!

Fourth of July

Here Comes the Mother of the Bride

I’m the mother of the bride. That means I need to dress the part. No t-shirt, no blue jeans, no flip flops or Docksides. That even means no nice pants suit or casual skirt. Formal wear is what’s required. 20150620_104852

After speaking with my daughter’s mother-in-law and exchanging ideas, I decided the time had come to go shopping. And since my mother needed a grandmother of the bride dress, we decided to shop together.

As happy as we are to be shopping for our dresses, we missed having my daughter there to shop with us.20150620_105431

We are extremely fortunate to have a local bridal shop, Babe’s Broadway Bridal. After a quick trip to pick up my mother, together we headed to purchase our formal wear.

20150620_105204Shopping for something this special is different than picking out a t-shirt. I didn’t want to get the same color as the bridal party, black is out, nothing white or ivory, and I wanted a fall color, nothing pastel. And since I’m not a size zero, I thought my chances of finding the perfect dress would be difficult at best.

We walked into the bridal shop and were quickly put at ease. The staff came to our rescue. Th ey showed us several formal dresses, and helped us with zippers, buttons, and fittings. Color and style wasn’t an issue, they have something for everyone’s individual style.

 

I went first. After trying on several dresses, I selected the first one that I tried on.
Isn’t that usually the way? The same for my mother, she only took one dress, and that was the one.20150620_105243

We had a fantastic time shopping for our perfect dress, and even though my daughter couldn’t be there to shop with us, we sent her pictures.

Both of us found that perfect dress, and have one wedding to do crossed off our list.

And if you want to see the dresses, pictures will be posted after the wedding.

20150620_105431Do you have a special occasion this year? Will there be shopping involved? Share with us, we’d love to hear about it.

As writers, do you include special events in your WIPs? Maybe to advance your plot, or to introduce a new character? Inquiring minds want to know, share with us.

Photos courtesy of Babe’s Broadway Bridal

You Are a Writer ~ Pick Yourself

Guest post by Lorna Faith

Today’s post is a bit different. I am turning over my blog to fellow author, blogger and friend, Lorna Faith.

I’m excited to have Lorna Faith as my guest today sharing her journey as a writer, and sharing information about an upcoming opportunity for writers. Please welcome Lorna Faith!

Lorna FaithWriting is a Gift, Not a Curse
by Lorna Faith

Writing is a gift so mysterious and wonderful, that it baffles us in its simplicity. It creates longings so deep that inspires and stirs our soul. It gives us clarity about who we are and how we fit into a much bigger story. It pulls at us, compelling us to tell our own stories as we connect with others.

I’ve been teased by writing’s crooked finger ever since I was a little girl. Writing told me come here there’s so much more I need to tell you. I willingly followed that sultry voice that drew me deeper into the secret imaginings of yet another story.

I first knew the secret delights of hearing a story, when my mom would pull up a chair at night and sit on a creaky wooden chair in the hallway between the two room where us four kids slept. She would read and I would listen intently and tried so hard to stay awake until the words ‘the end’ were spoken, but often falling asleep before.

I began to tell stories by speaking them. When I went with our dog Barney to chase the cows home for milking time, I would tell the cows stories as I walked back to the barn. I was happy to learn to read and write because it meant I could read and imagine more stories.

Crushed Dreams
However, something stopped my excitement for stories. Words spoken to me caused me to see writing as a curse, rather than a gift I’d been given.

When my grade four teacher said my handwriting was awful and sent me home everyday after school to learn to write better, I began to believe that I wasn’t good at writing.

I started to think of stories as something that I could only tell my animal friends, but I couldn’t write down stories because I wasn’t good at writing. Didn’t I have someone in authority who confirmed that?

Looking back, I realize how silly that was. But the fear of not being good enough to write combined with someone who confirming those thoughts, was very real. It caused me to NOT pick myself.

I began to believe that for me, writing was not a gift. It was a curse. In fact, it was something that I loved, but could only ever be teased with, because storytelling was something that I couldn’t do.

So I shut that part of myself off. I gave up on the dream of writing. It wasn’t until I was in my mid-thirties, when I was homeschooling our four munchkins, that the dream returned.

Dreaming Once Again
However the dream didn’t come back to me alone. Standing right beside my dream… was fear. I went round and round in my mind, toying with my old dream. It was like holding forget-me-not flowers in my hands, pulling off each petal saying she loves writing; she loves it not.

After weeks of mentally pulling off a flower petal for each day, I ended up with ‘she loves writing.’ But a part of me held back, saying we’ll see. I guess you can try. I ended up writing part of a story.

For the next few years I dabbled here and there, the dream growing subtly stronger every year. However, fear of going all in, still held me back.

It wasn’t until eight years later, after getting to know some mentors online, bloggers, podcasters and other writers, that I had a revelation.

I realized for the first time since I was a little girl, that writing was a gift. I saw the lie I believed for so many years and chose to reject that untruth and believe the truth instead.

Writing and storytelling wasn’t a curse, but a blessing.

As I went to the page, everyday a little fearful, writing soon got a little easier. Telling a story became something delicious and satisfying once more.

I began to experience firsthand the magic of an early morning spent with my fingers flying across the keyboard while the rest of the world lay sleeping.

I learned about undiscovered territory and mysteries as my imagination worked overtime, spoon-feeding me new plot lines and mysterious characters.

For me this was like opening a beautiful new world. I was hooked.

Give Your Writing Dreams Another Chance
Maybe you had a bad beginning where something someone said spoke death to your dreams and it stopped you from writing. Maybe like me, you began to see writing as a curse and not a gift. Maybe you’ve lived in fear of really going!  all in.!

If that’s you, I want to encourage you today. Give your writing dreams another chance. Open your mind and heart to it’s possibilities.

Yes, there will be resistance that tries it’s hardest to stop you from creating anything. Suddenly you’ll be at the blank page and you’ll feel like you need to clean the house, fix tea or do anything else but write. I’ve experienced that a lot.

However, you’ll soon begin to realize the rewards writing creates, in return for your loyalty.

You’ll get a deeper sense that writing is your gateway to an unexplored land.

There is space. Space to breathe. Space to create. Space to try new things. There is room to explore the inner workings of your heart and mind before the wolves of the day appear, snarling and starved.

Early mornings is your secret cave. Writing is what holds the key to it’s mysteries.

The gifts writing offers are many:

  • It gives you clarity on your vision and dreams.
  • A new realization of how creativity fills your soul and adds to your life.
  • Understanding your authentic voice and the fuller picture of who you are.
  • !The beauty of inspiring others through your words.

I hope you will give yourself a chance to unwrap this gift. That you’ll see it through fresh eyes and allow yourself to dream again of new horizons and possibilities.

If you are someone whose dreams of writing have been crushed, I would love to help inspire you to dream again. I know much of the fear, doubt and insecurity you’re feeling. I’ve been there.

I would love to show you how you can unlock your authentic writing voice, write and publish your book in my upcoming Webinar. If you can’t make it to the Webinar, you could always add your name to get FREE updates and receive a discount for the online course I’m creating on how to Write and Publish Your First Book.

Scribbling words onto the page is a gift. It’s a present you get to unwrap every morning before the sun comes up and in the quiet hours of a late evening. A gift to be shared with the world.

Make the choice today to take that first step. Choose to believe in you and the gift of writing you’ve been given.

Lorna loves to write romance mixed with adventure and suspense. In between teaching music during the day and listening to other people’s stories on her podcast and blogging, she scribbles on her next fiction book. Helping writers to step past resistance to get their stories into the world, is one of her big passions. She is inspired everyday to keep writing by her husband who loves all art forms, and her fun-loving teenagers from whom she gets many ideas. you can connect with Lorna on Facebook, Twitter, and her website.