You are My Sunshine

Happy Friday everyone. Don’t forget to visit me at the Scribes today for Join the Tribe (where I talk about Triberr).

Just when I was desperate, thinking I would never come up with a blog topic this week,  my favorite pirate wench and honey badger lover, Meggan Connors, came to my rescue.  Meggan has nominated me for the Sunshine Blog Award. And double bonus, the fabulous, beard loving Jamie Brazil also nominated me.  Thank you, sistas!

Of course, nothing in life is free. And I have homework. And so do you, if I picked your name!

Here are da’ Rules:

1. Include the award logos in your post or in your blog

2. Answer 10 questions about yourself. I’m taking a page out of Meggan’s book and doing what I want. I recently shared 7 facts for an earlier blog award so I won’t repeat myself here.

3. Nominate 10-12 other wonderful bloggers

4. Let the other nominees know they are nominated and include links to their blog

5. Link the person who nominated you

So let’s get started with my questions.

What is your weapon of choice during a zombie apocalypse?

My running shoes. I have no plans to stick around and fight the undead.  I put the question to my younger son, and household weapons master. His choice – magnum 357. “Do you feel lucky, undead punk. Well do ya?” I think he was messing with me. Everyone knows that the gun only hold six shots. And it’s noisy. Maybe he wants me to get eaten?

Wait. He’s given me another weapon. A Scar-H. No relation to my hubby, Scar.


Forget it. I’d shoot my own foot off. Then where would I be? In a zombie’s stomach. That’s where!

Do you have a favorite comic strip? And what is it?

I love Lio by Mark Tatulli. I think he may have a spy camera installed in my house because Lio seems to have a similar fetish for creepy off the wall stuff. For you zombie/giant squid/ninja kitty lovers, this is the comic strip for you. Seriously, check it out. Demand your local newspaper carry it.


What is this obsession with zombies?

It all started when my Sci-Fi book club read World War Z by Max Brooks. After that, we started discussing and studying all things zombie. Plus, I’ve logged many hours watching younger son kill zombies in Call of Duty and Left for Dead.

Most interesting Chocolate-related quote you’ve ever read?

This is from my chocolate-a-day calendar – “I think chocolate tastes great in any form that you put it in, but a bunny rabbit is not a bad way to go.” Tom Ward, co-owner of Russell Stover Candies 


What food would you never say no to?

Any form of chocolate cake or cupcake. Basically anything chocolate.

Who is your favorite skeleton?

Duh! Jack Skellington, of course.

What is your new guilty pleasure television show?

Right now, I’m enjoying Lost Girl on Syfy. I love Kenzie. She could have her own show. And I’m really looking forward to the new season of Sherlock Holmes (May 6th on PBS!) and the final season of Eureka (not happy that Syfy is cancelling it though).

Who has the most divine abs in existence?

Joe Manganiello. No contest. The man must never have his shirt on. Heather Peters posts a zillion pictures a week of the man on Facebook. Not that I’m complaining. No siree.

If you had to choose between receiving a gift or going somewhere fun, what would you chose?

I’m all for going places and sharing experiences with my family and friends. I’d much rather take a day trip for my birthday then receive a bunch of gifts. My favorite places to visit include, Old Sturbridge Village, Yankee Candle Company Store (Deerfield, MA), and Mystic CT (of course!).

What is your favorite zombie movie?

Hands down – Shaun of the Dead. I can watch the movie without running from the room. I also enjoyed Hot Fuzz and Paul, but Shaun is still my favorite.

Enough about me already. Here are my nominees for the Sunshine Blog Award:

1. Julia Rachel Barrett – ’cause she is awesome and unafraid of zombies! I heart Julia!

2. Food and Tools – awesome recipes, great photos, and a joy to read. I’m sending you directly to her rocky road chocolate cakes. I dare you not to drool. Thank you Moya!

3. Leia Shaw – kick-ass writer, generous, and a great motivator.

4. A.C. Cockerill – a never ending wealth of information and fun facts.

5. Lisa Kessler – the busiest woman on the planet and a super sweetie!

6. Sharon Buchbinder – kindred spirit.

7. Mare’s Place – wonderful friend to all writers.

8.  Penelope’s Romance Review – sorry honey, but you got picked twice (by Jamie Brazil and me.) That’s the price you have to pay for awesomeness.

9.  Tam Linsey – my friend in all things Sci-Fi. I know for a fact she’d survive the zombie apacolypse.

10. Rose Vanden Eynden – my twin sister separated at birth.

My fellow nominees, go forth and torment, I mean honor your friends too!

Tell Me a Good Story

Happy Friday everyone! Don’t forget to visit me at the Scribes today –  Lasting Impression.

I recently began writing MYSTIC STORM, Zephyr’s story, and it got me thinking about storytelling and two television programs – Downton Abbey and The Walking Dead.

What does a British period piece and a post apocalyptic survival story have in common?

On the surface they seem to have zero in common. But in reality they have many similarities. They are both about a group of people trying to cope with social change brought on by a world cataclysm (World War I, The Spanish Flu, a zombie outbreak). They both feature a compelling cast of characters that are easy to root for (or in the case of Thomas and Mrs. O’Brien – despise!). And both programs are stellar examples of great storytelling. The kind that sucks you and doesn’t let you go. (Even if I do rush out of the room when zombies appear during The Walking Dead).

As a writer, these are the comments you want to hear from readers:

“I couldn’t put your book down!”

“The story pulled me in.”

“You kept me up all night.”

“I can’t wait for your next book.”

Music to a writer’s ears. Praise of the highest order.

As a reader I want to read (or watch) a great story. I’m not impressed by flowery prose, laundry list descriptions of a character’s outfit or paragraphs describing a room’s furnishings. In my mind, writing and storytelling are two different things.

A storyteller takes you on a journey, weaves a tale, and connects you to the characters. Writing is the vehicle that brings the story to life, but should be more the like the soundtrack (in the background creating a mood, not bowling you over with bombast).

So tell me, what’s your preference? Do you get caught up in the words themselves? Or do you go for pacing and action? Or maybe a combination of both?

Hits and Misses

Happy Black Friday everyone! Please be sure to stop by the Scribes and check out – You’ve Got a Friend in Me.

I mentioned a few weeks back that I’m participating in NaNo. I hit the 50,000 word goal on Day 20. I plan on finishing the novel by 11/30. That will make two completed novels in 2011 – The Undead Space Initiative and Redemption (book 2 of my Aethera series).

Sadly, I did not get to finish plotting The Devil’s Advocate or Mystic Storm (sequel to Mystic Ink). But, hey, there are so many hours in a day. And I’ve learned a lot about my writer self this year.

  • I’m not Nora Roberts or Dean Wesley Smith, capable of pumping out high volume, superior quality manuscripts nearly out of the gate. Plotting and characterization takes time (for me anyway). I have to be totally on-board with the characters and plot, otherwise, I can’t finish the book.
  • I can write a novel in a month. I did it twice. See above – I have to know what is going to happen in my books. I don’t need to know the how or even the why. Those details can come out when I write. I don’t have my million words in yet. But I’m working on it.
  • If there is a zombie apocalypse, I won’t survive long-term. I like modern conveniences way too much.
  • I love Twitter. A lot.  See my post here – Twitterpated.
  • Oh, and the big one, I can sell a book!

    A new day is dawning

I won’t be kicking back anytime soon.  I have a busy 2012 coming up, including promo at other blogs, working on edits for Redemption, writing other books, and I’ll be CT RWA’s new Media Director.  Busy, busy.

How’s your 2011 going? What are you looking forward to in 2012?