Saturday, June 30, 2012

How We Met Blog Hop

Today is the How We Met Blog Hop hosted by Melinda Dozier.  It's also her wedding anniversary so be sure to stop by and wish her a Happy Anniversary!

The rules are as follows:
1.      Sign up on the linky below.
2.      Share the story of how you met your significant other, be it your husband, boyfriend or partner, in 100 words or less.
3.      Post a picture that was taken around the time you met.
4.      Link back to my blog somewhere in your post. ( or add the blog button at the top.
5.      Please consider adding the blog hop button to your blog somewhere, so others can find it easily and join in too! Spread the word!
Visit at least three other links on the day of the hop and leave comments.

I had just gotten out of a relationship that was going nowhere and was ready to be single for a while.  I decided to spend my Saturday afternoon at the lake with the local kayaking group.   There, we were introduced and started talking.   I can’t remember what the conversation was about but I felt an instant connection. 

For the next few weeks we ran into each other a few times with mutual friends.  Then, he started calling every Saturday to go kayaking.  We moved in together a few months later and today, almost five years later, we are still together.

I'm cheating a little with the picture but I couldn't resist.  Soon after we got together, we went on a 5 day paddle down the Suwannee River.  This was taken on the trip.  Beautiful, isn't it? 
We didn't have any pictures taken together because we were pretty much alone on the river, unless you count the foxes that invaded us one night!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Stuck in the Middle

Are you ready for Challenge #39, Stuck in the Middle? This challenge is a little different, and may be slightly more challenging to write, because it does not focus on the Lovers. Or the romance itself. As we all know, relationships do not happen in a vacuum; others are affected either directly (children, in-laws) or indirectly (social groups, co-workers) by the success or failure of the relationship. We still want to see the romance aspect, but it will flow from a slightly different perspective.

This prompt is about the others in the romance couple’s lives DURING the break-up. Inlaws, best friends, co-workers siblings, the kids and other immediate family. Anyone who has connected with the couple and is expected to choose sides when the relationship ends. What we want to see (in 400 words or less) is how “the others” feel or is changed by the ending relationship, and what they see as the strengths/weaknesses of the couple. We want to live the romance through a second party. (This is not a love triangle.)

Jaeden couldn’t wait for Sandra to come home from college for the summer, mainly so that he could hang out with her boyfriend, Dylan.  Sandra had been dating Dylan since they were Juniors in high school, and Jaeden thought of him as a brother.

When Sandra drove up, he ran out to meet her.  She hesitated to go in and tell her family the news.  She grabbed her overnight bag and slowly walking to the door with her head down until Jaeden met her.   Even though she and Dylan broke up a couple weeks ago, she hadn’t wanted to deal with telling her family  while she was trying to study for exams. 

“Hey sis!  Welcome home”, he smiled as he grabbed her bag.

“Hey Jay”, she answered in a mumble.

“We planned a cookout tomorrow to welcome you and Dylan back.  Mom talked to Dylan’s mom already to invite him”, Jaeden informed her.

Had Dylan not told his parents either?  Surely if he had, Dylan’s mom would’ve told her that they broke up when she called to invite him. 

“What did Mrs. Saunders say when Mom invited him?” Sandra asked curiously.

“What do you mean?”, Jaeden asked. 

She looked at Jaeden trying to figure out break the news gently.  He was so excited about the cookout.

“Jay, Dylan and I broke up a couple weeks ago”, she blurted.  “He must not have told his mom either or she would have said something about him coming to the cookout”.  There was no subtle way to do this, for either of them.

“What?”, Jaeden’s face fell.  “But what about us hanging out?  You know how boring it is around here.  Dylan makes things a little more bearable, at least for the summer.”

Sandra felt bad for Jaeden.  She knew how much he looked forward to having Dylan around.

“I’m sorry Jay.  Maybe he will still come over to hang out with you.  You two have been friends for a long time.  I’m sure he won’t leave you hangin’”, Sandra said, hoping it was true.  “Besides, now you and I can hang out more too.  It’ll be fun”, she tried to convince him while convincing herself.

Jaeden was speechless.  His whole summer had just crashed before him, but he felt bad for Sandra too.

“Sure”, he said with as much enthusiasm as he could muster.  “Fun”

Word count 393/FCA

Monday, June 25, 2012

Day 15 - Serve

Today is the last day of Jeff Goins' Great Writers series.  I have thoroughly enjoyed this series.  What about you?

If anyone is still interested in downloading Jeff's book, it will be available through today FREE on Amazon.  If you don't have a kindle, you could download the Kindle for PC program and read it on your computer if you are still interested.  You can get it here

Today's topic is Serving Your Reader.

Jeff reminds us that a great writer is selfless. He doesn’t look to his own needs, but finds a way to serve others.
A great writer is a servant. If you’re going to take your writing to the next level — to be truly great — you’re going to have to learn to serve other people.

The big question
One of the biggest questions writers ask is, “What do I write about?”
Every writer needs to write first for herself; that’s where your writing begins. But it’s not where it ends.
As Stephen King says,
Write the first draft with the door closed and the second draft with the door open.

But how do you tackle that second draft? How do you do the work that other people will see?

Serve your audience
Here are three ways to serve your audience with writing:
Solve problems. Not just any problems. But the ones that people don’t know they have. If you have to ask, “What can I do for you?” you’re asking the wrong question. You need to know what your audience needs before they do — whether it means creating a new sub-genre, addressing issues
in a way nobody else has, or simply telling your story.
Answer questions. If you don’t know where to begin, look at the questions you want answered. Be observant. This applies to writing fiction and nonfiction alike. Put yourself in the seat of the reader, and guide them where they don’t know they need to go.
Help people. Do favors without being asked. Be generous (think over-the-top here). Do something remarkable, something truly outstanding that will get noticed. And do it for someone else.

Jeff's challenge - find a way to serve your audience
Do a giveaway of a product or service. Find authors or organizations wanting to partner with people like you, and ask them for donations. Do this to build trust with your readers, and make sure whatever you give away clearly adds value to their lives.
Conduct a survey. Find out what readers (or perfect strangers) want, what they struggle
with, and create something for them. This can be a blog series or an eBook or a whatever. Just make sure there’s a need for it before you make it.
Write something important and give it away. Publish an eBook to Amazon and distribute it through the KDP Select Program. Or offer it in exchange for people subscribing to your blog.
Answer all correspondence. Respond to every single email, phone call, tweet, etc. until you can’t possibly keep up. Be accessible

Why we do this
Because art, at its core, is about generosity. Not profits — passion. We serve our way into an audience’s affections, because this is the only way influence is earned: gradually, over time, little by little.
We don’t give because we get, but if we do this enough we’ll find that what goes around comes around. Which isn’t the point, but a nice byproduct.
Don’t begin with a “get” mentality; put the giving first. Because if you’re going to leave a legacy, your work will need to be more about others than yourself.
This, by the way, is where most people quit. They stop finding ways to address the needs of others, especially when it gets hard. They fail at realizing their potential: to push back despair and bring hope with words the world needs to hear.
They fail to be writers.

I'm so sad that this series is over but I have learned so much in these past few weeks.  The most important thing I have learned is that I have a lot of work to do, but at least now I feel like I have a direction to work in. 
Thank you to everyone who has been keeping up.  What did you think of the series?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Free book - Amazing Opportunity

Jeff Goins is giving away his ebook FREE today!  To get your copy, click here

This book correlates to his Great Writers series that I have been highlighting here which goes into the 15 Habits of Great Writers.  Tomorrow is the final day of the series but now you can have a copy to refer back to after the series is over.

I bought a copy of his book at the beginning of the series and have read it already, but I plan to refer back to it in the future.  This book contains valuable information, hints, and references that can be used at any time.

So, what are you waiting for?  Download your copy today.  It's free!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Fabulous Blog Ribbon

Andrea Teagan at The Enchanted Writer  presented me with this award earlier this week.  Thanks Andrea!

In order to accept you must:

1. Post the rules on your blog.

2. Name five of your most fabulous moments, either in real life or in the blogosphere.

3. Name five things you love.

4. Name five things you hate.

5. Pass the ribbon on to five other bloggers. (Leave them a comment to notify them of their win.)

Okay. Here we go!

5 Most Fabulous Moments

1.  My first car
2.  Going to St. Basils Cathedral in Moscow and other great travel experiences
3.  Owning my own home
4.  Seeing Poison after waiting for over 20 years
5.  A Superior rating on my 12th grade solo

5 Things I Love

1.  Sleeping in without the dog waking me up
2.  Uninterrupted time to read and write
3.  Mountains of North Carolina - Can you tell my vacation starts in less than 2 weeks?
4.  Animals - particularly whales, dolphins and dogs (weird combination, I know)
5.  Nature

5 Things I Hate

1. Ignorance
2. Being cold
3.  Mornings, alarm clocks
4.  Politics this time of year
5.  Traffic and crowds

Now to pass this award on...

1. Suzanne Furness at The Word is...
2.  Scribbles From Jenn
3. Mina Lobo at Some Dark Romantic
4.  Crystal at The Heart of a Writer
5.  Gossip_Grl at Whatever

Friday, June 22, 2012

Day 14 - Brand

It's Day 14 of Jeff Goins' Great Writers series.  I can't believe there is only one more day.  This challenge has been so helpful to me.  What about you?  If you have been following, I would recommend signing up for Jeff's mailing list or Join his community on Facebook.  Jeff offers ongoing advice and resources for writers.

Today is all about finding a Brand for yourself, a way to Market Yourself

Jeff says that the truth is you already have a brand; you just need to decide to do something with it.

Why everyone has a brand
He explains that a brand is exactly what it sounds like. It’s an impression you leave on the customer or reader’s mind, a mental imprint. And we all have them.
You’ve likely heard about the importance of first impressions; our culture is full of them. This is a form of branding — the belief that people get an idea in their minds of our personalities based on an experience.
A brand is the simplest, most memorable part of yourself you can give.

The challenge
Brand yourself. There are three elements of every brand that you need to pay attention to

Name. This is what you call yourself (e.g. Copyblogger or Anne Lamott). It may be your given name or a pseudonym or something else, but you need to be consistent. Make sure your website, business cards, and social media properties all say the same thing.

Image. This can be a logo or a headshot. It’s whatever you want to use to make people recognize you and your work. If it’s a photo of you, make sure people would recognize you in real life if they’re seeing it on the Internet. Also, make sure it’s on your blog, Twitter profile, etc. Don’t use different images; make them all the same.

Voice. This is how you sound. It’s your style and personal flair as a communicator. If you aren’t confident in your unique writing voice, go through these 10 steps to find it.

I have a lot to do in this area.  When I started my blog 6 months ago I had no idea what I was doing.  The name Random Interruptions was  a name that I thought sounded fun and sounded like my writing. 
As I have gone along, my writing has become a lot less random.  I am happy about that fact, but I thing I need to do some work on branding.  I have started to feel more comfortable in certain areas and I need to concentrate on being more consisent and a little less random.

What about you?

PhotoPrompt Monday

Photo submitted by Susan at thecontemplativecat

The boxes were unpacked and Amanda decided it was time to do some exploring.  Jordan had been quiet during the move and she knew he had a lot on his mind.  Some fresh air would be good for them both.

As they walked down the street of their new town, Jordan stopped on the bridge looking in the water. 
"What are those?", he asked, watching the fish splash below.  Jordan was fascinated by their bright orange, black and white colors.

"Those are Koi", she answered solemnly.  Koi were the symbol of love and prosperity.  After the divorce, she was left with a child and not enough money to care for him.  How were they going to make it?

"Can we go see them?", Jordan asked.

"Sure, honey", she said, trying to shake off her hopeless feeling.

As they walked down to the water, they saw a man about Andrea's age carrying a small child in one arm and a picnic basket in the other.

"Hi!", the man smiled as they got closer.  Andrea looked into his deep blue eyes and felt as if she could see the entire world.

"Hi", she answered shyly.

"I'm Sam and this is my daughter, Eva", he said bouncing his daughter in his arm.  "You must be new around here."

"Yes, I'm Andrea and this is my son Jordan", she said, looking down to avoid those eyes.  "We just moved here from the city.

"Well, Jordan", Sam leaned down.  "Would you like to feed the Koi?"

Jordan nodded his head slowly as Sam reached in his basket, pulling out a bag of bread.

"This is their favorite", Sam said as he held out the bag.  "Eva and I come here every afternoon to feed them.  It has been the only thing to keep her mind off of her mother moving away last year."

Andrea watched Sam interact so natually with Jordan, thinking to herself that maybe Koi do bring love and prosperity.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day 13 - Publish

Today is Day 13 of Jeff Goins' Great Writers series and today's topic seems to be the ultimate goal:  PUBLISH

Jeff reminds us that great writers are great not because of talent, but because they possess one crucial ingredient that the rest of us lack:

They know how to stick things through — to push hard and achieve a goal and move on to the next project.
Mostly, though, they understand that until they publish their work, until other eyeballs are on it, it might as well be invisible.

The amateur approach
The amateur doesn’t understand this. We struggle with this discipline of sharing our work. All because of the most potent enemy of art: fear

We’re afraid of many things: failure, success, responsibility, expectation, rejection, misunderstanding, and more. So we sabotage ourselves. Because hiding from the limelight is more comfortable than actually doing work that earns attention.

It’s time to stop that. Make no mistake: An artist doesn’t create for accolades. But if you’re going to do work that matters, at some point it’ll need to get noticed in order to have an impact.

Jeff wants us to Stretch ourself
He's not talking about another blog post or essay saved to your laptop (although, those are good places to start). It’s time to move onto the next risk.
He's talking about a feature article or book or something better. Something that stretches you, something you’ve been waiting for permission to release.
The best part? You get to pick the project. Just make it count. Chances are it’s whatever you’re most afraid of.

The challenge
Today he wants us to publish something. Anything, really.
Send off the manuscript in your dresser drawer, the article you've been thinking about writing for an A-list blog, or that eBook you've been stalling to finish.  Put it out there.
You’ve done great work; time to share it.

If I had something prepared to submit for publication I would do so today.  However, I don't.
Instead I am going to go through the local paper to look for a way to contribute.  I know there is SOMETHING I can write about that would hold people's interest so I am going to figure out what that is and write it.  It might not be today, but it will be soon.

What about you?  Do you have something ready to submit for publication?

My So-Called Teenage Life

Today is the My So-Called Teenage Life Blog Hop

June 21, 2012

Step One: Sign up on the linky below

Step Two: Dust off those old sappy journals or high school notebooks filled with bad poetry*

Step Three: Skim through them until you find something share-worthy

Step Four: On June 21 POST IT on your blog

Optional: We all love seeing old photos, so if you have one lying around of you as a teen, post that, too.

We'll all be hopping around peeking into each others private teenage lives on June 21. Can you imagine a better way to spend the first day of summer?

*Didn't write in a journal or compose poetry as a teenager? Have no fear! Counterfeit entries are welcome! Pretend you're a teenager and write whatever you feel. Just make sure you're using your teenage voice.

And if you're still a teenager, hey, you're going to basically rock this blog hop.

School was a buzz that morning and I felt as if all eyes were on me.  What was going on?
“Hey, I think Bill wants to ask you out”, Teri said.
“What?”, I asked dumbfounded.  Bill and I had been friends for the past couple years along with a few others in our immediate clique.  I had never even considered a romantic relationship with him, partly because of my age and partly because I was just a naïve tomboy.
As our friends started to gather, Bill came up to me more nervous than I had ever seen him.  His request was about as romantic as our relationship.  “Do you want to go out to a movie Saturday night?”, he swallowed hard as the words came out of his mouth.
“Uh, sure”, I answered not really knowing what I was saying.
For the rest of the day I tried to wrap my head around this thought.  I had no idea he considered me anything other than his tomboy friend.   This needed some consideration.  I don’t even know how to act!
As I approached my parents, they quickly shut down the potential.  “You know you can’t date until you’re 16”, they both said sternly, without any thought.  I was only 6 months away!  They never did like Bill.  They didn’t understand him.  They didn’t really know him.
“But why?”, I cried.

”Because we said so.  You’re not old enough”, they said as if there was some magic button that parents push to give you these lines?  It just came no naturally.
When Saturday night came around, instead of going on my date, my parents decided a nice family trip to the mall would make up for it.  UGH!  Another one of their rules during my childhood was that I couldn’t get my ears pierced until I was 16 either.  After showing them the racks and racks of pierced earrings compared to the little, teeny section of clip-ons they finally let me get my ears pierced that night. 
By the time I turned 16, Bill and I were still close friends.  We went out a few times but it never amounted to anything.  My ears, however, are still pierced.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Day 11 - Provoke

Today is Day 12 of Jeff Goins' Great Writers series and today's topic:  PROVOKE

Jeff reminds us that writing is an art and all good art pushes buttons. It pokes and prods, makes people uncomfortable. This is why writing makes a difference.

Stop playing it safe and provoke us, already.
Jeff says that if you’re going to be a great writer, you’re going to have to shake things up. Maybe even break a few rules.

He gives us a few ideas:
Tell the ugly truth.
Pick a fight with something that’s wrong with the world.
Call yourself out.
Make a giant confession.
Take a risk.
Write something dangerous (something you’ve never written before)

Write something that gets under our skin, that tests our nerves. Provoke us.

Why do we do this?
To get people out of their comfort zones so they can grow
To set others free.  To live freely and honestly
The challenge
Take a risk. Write something provocative and stand by it. 
Write something bold, something that moves us.

This is going to take some thinking on my part.  I have to admit it scares me a little to think of doing this on purpose.  I do have some controversial feelings about things but I don't usually write about them.  It takes guts!  So I am going to have to suck it up and just do it.

What about you? 

PhotoPromt Monday

Photo submitted by thefeatherednest

Joe sped home from work on the winding back roads when it dawned on was his anniversary!  How could he have forgotten?  He would be in the doghouse for sure!

As he rounded the next corner he came across a small stand of flowers for sale.  They were simple, not like the dozens of roses and baby's breath that he would normally buy, but maybe Shannon would realize it was the thought that counts.  He sure hoped so, even if it was a last minute thought!

Joe chose the prettiest batch available and headed out.  But wait...he didn't have a card.  He went digging through his car for anything that could be thrown together.  That's right!  The kids left their markers in here over the weekend.  Grabbing the red one he took out a pad that he left in the paper and wrote out silly coupons of chores and favors that he would do for her.  Starting with taking her to dinner tonight, the rest of the list included a few nights of babysitting, breakfast in bed, that vacation she had wanted to take, and a few other unmentionables.

When Joe walked in the door with the small flowers and handmade coupon book, Shannon wondered what was going on.  After a few passing seconds she realized Today was their anniversary!  She had completely forgotten with the kids being sick.  Now she will be spending the next year making up for it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Day 11 - Declutter

Today is Day 11 of Jeff Goins' Great Writers series and the word of the day is DECLUTTER

Jeff calls this cutting the crap.
Bottom line: There’s a lot of junk that gets in the way of good writing. And you have to kill it. Get rid of it. Totally annihilate it.

If you are going to write well, you must make your writing clean. You must get rid of the clutter.

The two most important ways to do this are:
Clean your workspace
Before you can get to work, you’ve got to get your tools in order.
Before you can do the work of creating anything, you’ve got to clear off the desk and get your stuff in order. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but your mess isn’t helping you. It’s not contributing to the creative. And you need to stop hiding behind it.

Get rid of non-essentials
Jeff is talking about the actual writing here. Erase all the lazy words and phrases, the pieces of prose that fluff up your writing but add nothing to the core content.

As Jeff (and Metallica) say Kill ‘em, kill ‘em all.

These fancy turns of phrase and flower pieces of prose distracting the reader from what you really want to say. And frankly, you don’t have time for them.

The challenge is to do two things:
Clean up your space. Spend some time (at least five minutes, but no more than 30) doing the following: clear off the desk, sharpen your pencils, put your files in order, take out the trash, wash the dishes, whatever. Do what you need to do to feel better about the place where you do your work.
Cut your writing down to its purest essence. Take away everything but exactly what you want to say. Then say what you have to say and be done with it.

I have been waiting in anticipation for this post because it is one of the most important to me.  I can't work if I look around me and see a mess.  It drives me crazy!  The entire time I am trying to concentrate on work I think, "I really need to vaccum", "I should put all those papers away", etc.
And I have seen during the flash fiction pieces I have written lately that I add a lot of unnecessary works.  I always try to go back and declutter there as well.

What about you?

7 x 7 Link Award

Yeah, I won!  First of all, a huge thanks to Michael Pierce for passing this award on to me.  If you are not already following Michael, you need to go check out his blog. 

There are two rules for accepting this award
RULE #1: Tell everyone something that no one else knows about you.
I'm a pretty open book so I don't think there is anything that at least someone doesn't know about me. If there is anything you would want to know, ask away. 

RULE #2: Link to one of the posts that I personally think best fits the following categories.

Most Beautiful - I posted this one day when I didn't have anything to talk about.  It's a picture of one of my favorite places on Earth, Looking Glass Falls.  I can't wait to go back and see it again next month.

Most Helpful & Most Popular - As you know, I am going through Jeff Goins' Great Writers challenge.  This has been an incredibly helpful and popular series.  Here is the link to all of the posts.

Most Controversial - I don't think I have blogged about anything controversial, so I can't think of a link to put here.

Most Surprisingly Successful - My A-Z posts were all about musical instruments.  One of the more popular posts was D is for Didgeridoo.

Most Underrated - Apparently the Oboe isn't a very popular instrument.  This post wasn't very popular during the A-Z challenge

Most Pride Worthy - I had only been blogging for a few months when the A-Z Challenge came around this year.  I ended up doing a guest post on their blog that wasn't very popular at the time but I am still proud to have had the opportunnity.  Here is it:

RULE #3: Pass this award on to 7 3 bloggers
(don't feel obligated to participate if you don't want to; it's just for fun!)
Here are the lucky recipients.  Go check them out!
Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe

By the way, this is my 100th post!  I made it!
Thank you again to all of you fellow bloggers who follow and visit me.  I truly appreciate the support!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Day 10 - Share

Today is Day 10 of Jeff Goins' Great Writers Series.  Click the link for more information from Jeff.  This series has been very helpful and informative so check out this link for additional links.

Day 10's challenge is to SHARE.

Jeff tells us that Great writers share. Not just their own knowledge, ideas, and expertise. They also share the work of others and credit them accordingly.

Ways to share

-Tell someone else’s story. Few things inspire like stories; find one that moves you and share it with the world. These can be great illustrations for your writing.

-Promote a friend’s work. Find someone’s blog, article, book, whatever, and promote it. Don’t ask permission (sidenote: you never have to give someone a gift).

-Make someone else the hero. Use your platform (however large or small it is) to promote someone else’s work. Dedicate an entire article or newsletter or speech to them.

Whatever you do, do it secretly and quietly. Try to not get noticed. Don’t let your right hand see what your left is doing. Freely share the work of those who deserve to be noticed.

The challenge
Find someone whose message we need to hear and share it on your blog or via Twitter or Facebook. Wherever people are listening to you (even just a few), use that opportunity to talk about someone else.

This is something we can all do, and many do!  The blogging community is a group of incredibly supportive and helpful people.  I see sharing all the time and vow to share myself.  This is not difficult. 
Book launches, promotions, events...  Whatever it is, keep sharing!

And spreaking of sharing, Did you know that today and tomorrow Stephen Tremp's book Breakthrough is free on Amazon today and tomorrow? 

Here's a description:
“In a world about to be radically changed by a scientific discovery that will trump for good or evil purposes, a power-play struggle unfolds with breakneck speed and riveting drama in Breakthrough. Filled with intrigue, romance, betrayal, action scenes that have you gripping, some spiritual contemplation and quandary, emotions that run deep and strong, and packed with a multi-faceted cast of varied and multi-dimensional characters, Breakthrough is a novel you will find next to impossible to put down once you start reading” - Marvin Wilson, author and editor.”

You can check out Stephen's blog here:  Stephen Tremp or to get the book
click here:  Breakthrough

Review of Construct a Couple

Last week was  Talli Roland's  launch of Construct a Couple, the sequel to Build a Man. 


Construct a Couple picks up where Build a Man left off, however it could be read alone also.

Serenity is spending more of her time with Jeremy, who has recovered from his stroke and has started a charity for other stroke victims.  As Jeremy puts all his time and energy into the charity, Serenity has  finally landed a job as a fact checker for Seven Days, more reputable than her previous tabloid job.  Although life seems to be coming together for the couple, they neglect to share intimate details of their work with potentially devastating results to them both.

Serenity dreams of becoming a successful reporter one day and is thrilled to be working with one of her idols, Helen Goodall.  As an attempt to break out of "Fact Check Row", she reveals a new angle on her first major story.  She is so excited to be taken seriously until she learns that the story could come at a major price.

What I thought:

Construct a Couple brings back our favorite couple of Jeremy and Serenity, as well as other colorful characters to keep things exciting.  Serenity and Jeremy both face conflicts throughout and struggle to do the right thing, often missing the obvious.  Construct a Couple shows how dedication in a relationship is sometimes not enough without trust and communication.

Taking on a new adventure in life is better done when shared.

You can check it out here:

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Day 9 - Connect

Sorry this is a couple days late.  I had a very busy day on Friday and I spent yesterday trying to recover, but I wanted to get this posted before tomorrow's continuation.

Day 9 is all about connecting

Jeff tells us that great writers connect with other writers. Because before they were great, they were mediocre. They had to meet someone who inspired them, someone they aspired to be.
True networking is simply connecting with people.

He goes on to tell us about three relationships you’ll need as writers:

To further detail each of these connections, Jeff goes on to explain:

Making friends
Find those who are pursuing your same craft, those of like mind, and get together with them. Buy a fellow writer coffee or lunch. Hang out, commiserate, enjoy each other’s company. These relationships should be mutually beneficial.

Finding fans
He tells us that in order to find friends, you help people. You take something that is obvious to you (but not to others) and you generously share it with the world.
Do this over and over again in different ways until you find one that resonates with people. If you haven’t already found it, knowing your voice is pretty important to this. Take some time to figure out why people would listen to you, then say what you have to say. Say it boldly, and the fans will come.

Earning patrons
This is the hardest part. It’s also the most important relationship you could make in your journey to becoming a great writer. These people — leaders and influencers in your industry — will help you grow your platform and get your message heard.

You have to earn it:
By demonstrating your competencies.
By serving someone else first.
By making a big ask.

The challenge
Find a potential fan, friend, and patron (one of each) and reach out to them. Today. Don’t ask for anything but this person’s time.

What’s an example of someone you’ve connected with? How did they help you?

I spend so much time with Blogger that I have neglected to get to know my local writing community.  I am planning to get more involved in the local libraries, sign up for classes, workshops, etc and meet others in my own community.  However, if anyone in the blogging community would like a critique partner I would be happy to volunteer.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Being the Perfect Ex

So they've moved on and found someone else. But if you really want them back you're going to have to work for it- even if that means a few changes. But do you really, really want someone back who didn't love you the way you were? Do you really want someone back who's already broken your heart? Aren't you sick of being a masochist? Maybe being the perfect ex means moving on. The perfect new love may be just waiting in the wings. Oops, is he/she being the perfect ex and just using you while trying to win the ex back? Your story/poem! You deal!

I rushed to the laptop first thing in the morning.  I had vegetables to harvest, goats and cows to milk, chickens to gather eggs from, pigs to gather truffles from.  I had to build another barn, a bigger barn.  I had to help my neighbors.
I quickly plant another crop, careful to plant something that I could harvest at lunch, or after grocery shopping.  I needed coins!  I needed neighbors!  I needed “gifts” to build more buildings. 
Bigger tractors, bigger chicken coops, more, more, more!
I rush into my office during lunch, quietly not to draw attention, and hover over my computer.  I MUST HARVEST! 
A meeting runs late.  NO!!!  My crops are all going to die.  All of my precious coins gone to waste.
Oh, and there’s the dog too.  I need to buy more treats so that he can do more tricks.
And tasks!  Will I finish in time for the free gift?
Staring at the screen…”ready to harvest in 2 minutes”, it says.  How taunting.  Slowly they grow from seedlings into a beautiful crop of flower or vegetables.
More land, more coins, more, more, more!
Then, I look out the window in my office and see the weeds growing in my own yard.  The leaves that need to be raked.  The empty space perfect for growing crops of my own.
What am I doing?  Consumed with a “farm” that doesn’t exist?
FARMVILLE, I’m sorry.  You were there when I needed you, but it’s over.  I have to break up with you.  My sanity is at stake.  I want more than you can give me.  Thank you for the great times, but…I need to write!

Deep down inside I know you will be there for me again if I need you, making you The Perfect Ex.

298 words/FCA