Friday, January 20, 2017

I Survived Blogfest and Celebrate the Small Things



"This is Chrys Fey reporting for Disaster 5 News. I am in Miami where a tsunami hit yesterday morning. I have Clyde Beauregard with me, a survivor of the tsunami. Clyde, can you tell our viewers what happened, and how you survived?"

"Well, that depends. Can I have your number maybe?"

"No, sir. Just tell us your story."

"Oh fine. Let's see now. I was just strolling on the beach yesterday, looking at gir--I mean shells and whatnot, when the water just up and left."

"Do you mean the waves receded?"

"That's what I said!"

"Sorry, sir. Please continue."

"Well, I had my coon dog, Booger, with me and he just went nuts. There were crabs an' some fish an' all sorts of stuff for him to sniff and roll in. Not as bad as cow poop, I guess, but fish do stink--"

"How did other people react?"

"Most were confused or just taking pictures, you know? Nobody was panicky or anything. Not then."

"Then what happened?"

"Well, you could see something on the horizon. This white foam. The closer it got to the beach, the bigger it got. People got excited 'cause after a while, lookin' at the sand got kind of boring."

"What happened next, Mr. Beauregard?"

"Half the folks started going toward the water to get a better look, and the other half started backing up."

"And which half were you in, Mr. Beauregard?"

"Well, Booger spotted something and started diggin' like nobody's business, so I took after him. Big mistake. The wave hit and knocked me an' Booger ass for teakettle. And did we move? Boy howdy! That water spun us round and round, worse than a washing machine on heavy duty. Stuff knocked into you and you didn't what it was. Car? Garbage can? Lounge chair? No idea. But you want to know the worst part?"

"Yes."

"At one point? Water ripped off my shorts! I kid you not. I would've been jay-bird naked if it didn't wrap me in a sequined lady's sarong from one of those fancy-pants boutiques."

"That sounds terrifying!"

"You're telling me! Neon green looks terrible with my skin color."

"Um. Yes. Where did you end up?"

"Well, you probably won't believe it, but I came to somewhere in Jungle Island with a parrot sticking its tongue in my ear and a huge cat lying in the mud not five feet from me. Poor thing. I swear it looked like the wave ripped off the stripes from a tiger and slapped them on a lion."

"You mean you woke up next to a liger?"

"A what now?"

"Never mind. What happened to your dog, um, Booger?"

"Oh, him? Well, he was hiding under a bridge between a llama and a pot-bellied pig. I thought I had it bad with the dress, but poor Booger had him on a pair of Ray-Bans, a Marlin's baseball cap, and a diamond studded bikini top wrapped around his middle. Dang! I haven't seen him look that embarrassed since he met the wrong end of a skunk. Let me tell you--"

"Thank you, Mr. Beauregard. That's all we need."

"Fine. You sure I can't have your number?"

"Security!"


Image: hansol


Hello, folks. The above silliness featuring my muse, Clyde Beauregard, is part of Chrys Fey's I Survived Blogfest in honor of her new book, Tsunami Crimes, third in her disaster crimes series. Actual tsunamis are horrifying. You need only see movies like The Impossible or check out the footage of the 2004 tsunami in Thailand or the 2011 tsunami in Japan on YouTube to get an idea of their destructive power. If you are ever on a beach and the waves recede to a great degree, do run quickly and find higher ground. 






Title: Tsunami Crimes
Series: Disaster Crimes #3
Author: Chrys Fey
Genre: Romantic-Suspense
Page Count: 272

BLURB: Beth and Donovan have come a long way from Hurricane Sabrina and the San Francisco earthquake. Now they are approaching their wedding day and anxiously waiting to promise each other a lifetime of love. The journey down the aisle isn’t smooth, though, as they receive threats from the followers of the notorious criminal, Jackson Storm. They think they’ll be safe in Hawaii, but distance can’t stop these killers. Not even a tsunami can.

This monstrous wave is the most devastating disaster Beth has ever faced. It leaves her beaten, frightened. Is she a widow on her honeymoon? As she struggles to hold herself together and find Donovan, she’s kidnapped by Jackson's men.

Fearing her dead, Donovan searches the rubble and shelters with no luck. The thought of her being swept out to sea is almost too much for him to bear, but the reality is much worse. She’s being used as bait to get him to fall into a deadly trap.

If they live through this disaster, they may never be the same again. 

DIGITAL LINKS:

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99 CENTS: Amazon
And everywhere ebooks are sold. 


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_________




Are you ready to celebrate or are you stocking your basement with tuna and bottled water? Yep, we are getting a new president today in the US. Hopefully he will be too busy with all the inaugural balls to instigate any international incidents. (Sigh) I need a happy place. How about you? Here's some pictures of the grand trees along my new favorite walking spot in Durand Park.


Genuine U-shaped tree



Love the contrasting colors of this bark



Good place for a fairy tale


Thanks to our host, Lexa Cain, and cohosts:  L.G. Keltner and Tonya Drecker. How are you celebrating/surviving inauguration day? Seen The Impossible? Ready to dive into a romance/suspense novel?

Want to read more crazy tsunami tales? Here's your opportunity:


Friday, January 13, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things



Another, easier week. The cold went away (not before nabbing my youngest--sorry kid). The husband came home from a long business trip. Do you have things to celebrate? If so, hop on over to see Lexa Cain and join us. Be sure to visit the wonderful cohosts:  L.G. Keltner and Tonya Drecker.

1. Work

Image: LauraLA2008


Got back to tinkering with my historical novel this week. Made some firm decisions on how to (hopefully) finish this sucker. Of course, if I'm not careful, it will be completed and then I'll have to face, dun, dun, dunnnn--querying.

2. A Walk in the Woods



Temperatures shot up to the 50s yesterday. Took the hubby out to Lake Durand and walked the roads. There wasn't a trace of snow, but the frozen lakes looked like someone had filled them with milk. The peaceful morning stroll was interrupted by a guy driving an industrial strength leaf-blower. I understand the need to clear the road, but dude. He passed us three times. Enough already! 




3. Three day weekend

Image: Svedek


Usually, this would be something to dread as my kids make it impossible to work when they are home. But, man, I am so looking forward to sleeping late. 

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and Friday the 13th brings you only good luck.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things



Cough, COUGH, COUGH! Aaaah-chooo! AAAAAAh-CHOOO! I hab a code. It took this long (10:15 a.m.) for me to become functional enough to type. Better late than never. So let's get this party started with our fantastic host, Lexa Cain, and her co-hosts, L.G. Keltner and Tonya Drecker.

This week, I would like to celebrate the following:

1. Lotion-infused facial tissues. (See above)

2. Memory loss. 



Now that I've reached a certain age, my short-term memory is kaput. It's frustrating to ask a child what they want for dinner, walk into the kitchen, and have no idea what their answer was. However, when it comes to reading, having no memory is great. I just reread The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman, and loved it, again. Such an incredible book. It might even make my top ten list of books, if I could ever remember to construct one. So good. 

3. Wildlife.

Christmas turkeys.
(They wouldn't be hanging out so close to the house if they knew what was for dinner!)

We spent several days at my parent's house in Asheville, NC over Christmas break and were entertained by a horde of (eleven) wild turkeys. They'd strut around the yard, the boys puffing out their chests and expanding their tail feathers like peacocks. Maybe the warm weather made them think it was spring. The males butted feathery chests, chased each other, and even pecked at their reflections in the windows.


Male turkeys comparing tail feathers. Who's the greatest?

These birds are big. They could easily peck you in the belly button without straining their necks. 

The Turkey Parade

When the sun went down, other critters came out. My mom is like me--unable to resist anything with fur. One evening, not one, not two, but three raccoons stopped by to chow down on leftovers. The trio was joined by a possum, but they didn't want to share. Unfortunately, the pictures we have are too dark. So I'll share this one from Flickr.


Image: yeimaya


Hope you all are having a happy and healthy New Year!


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

IWSG, January 2017



Ah, another year, another twelve months of insecurity. Some things never go away. But today, there should be at least ten writers that have something to cheer. So a big congratulations to those selected for the IWSG fantasy anthology! Big huzzahs also to our host, Alex J. Cavanaugh and co-hosts toiling along with him: Eva @ Lillicasplace, Crystal Collier, Sheena-kay Graham, Chemist Ken, LG Keltner, and Heather Gardner!

This month we have a jolly good question to ponder: What writing rule do you wish you'd never heard? Oh, buddy, I can not pick just one. Here's a countdown of my top three:

3. Dialogue tags. The rule is to use "he said", "she said", and maybe, in a pinch, "asked". Your characters may not hiss, growl, yelp, murmur, or vomit--at least, not in the dialogue tag. And for great goodness sake, do not sneak in any adverbs. We don't need to know that your character moaned incessantly.

"I follow this rule under great duress!" shouted the frustrated author. 


Image: Szoki Adams


2. Prologues. These are usually great, stinking dung heaps of info very bad things authors should avoid like the plague just as no decent author would ever, EVER use the word "very" (or any other crassly-placed adverb).

My current novel has a prologue and I love it. So there.


Image: pockafwye


1. Word counts. I can not express how much I hate those two words when put together. They are a corset squeezing the life out of my rotund, verbose literary universes. 




I once read that a debut author really has no chance of publishing anything 100K or over. That is clearly false, because we all know the reality. A debut author really has no chance of publishing. 


Now I must inquire, are there any writing rules that you like?


Monday, January 2, 2017

Question of the Month with Michael G. D'Agostino


... And I'm back after a nice (almost) month-long blogging break in which little work got done, but good holiday times were had. More on that when I rejoin Celebrate the Small Things this Friday. 

Today, Michael poses a rather serious question to kick off 2017: What was your "growing up" moment? For example, his moment was dealing with the aftermath of his parent's divorce. 


Image: Ashraf Selah


Instead of a moment, I'm going with a "growing up" year: my junior year of high school. There was no tragedy, no death, no first boyfriend break-up. Instead, I made a goal: a straight A report card. Why? First, my older sister was perfect (in my eyes) so I thought I should follow suit. Also, this was the year colleges would consider heavily. Since I was hopeless with any coarse that involved physical movement beyond opening books and writing, i.e. gym, typing, or computer science, I chose the following schedule:

AP History
AP Biology
German II
Chemistry II
Advanced English
Trigonometry/Pre-Calculus

Sounds like a hoot, doesn't it? These courses quickly became the homework-generating equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest. I'd come home and jump right in, take a break for dinner and washing dishes, followed by more studying until around ten or eleven at night. Similarly long sessions were needed every Saturday and Sunday. Total weekly homework time: six hours every day except Fridays. Six. Sadly, this is not an exaggeration. But, it was my choice. I picked the schedule. I wanted the As. 




The school year lasted 180 days, spanning late August to early June. When it was done, I had that straight A report card in my hand, but all I could think of was all the things that hadn't happened during that tortuous year. No movies seen with friends. No dates. No social activities of any kind. 

I remember sitting on our couch, peeling the paint off a pencil with my fingernails, relishing the fact that I was not studying anything for the moment. Movers were working around me, packing up the house as we were about to leave my home of eleven years for a new town. One mover winked at me and said, "I bet you're going to miss all your boyfriends, huh?" Considering the reality of my school experience, I just glared at him.

The upside? It was an endurance test and I passed. When big goals came up in the future, I would think back to this pivotal year and realize, that yes, I can do this: graduate college, get a job, go back to school for a Ph.D. in math, get another job, have a baby, raise this baby while pregnant and my husband is diagnosed with a brain tumor, and write a book.


Image: SBT4NOW

So, while I would not recommend this academic ironman experience, it has served me well. Click here to read about other's "growing" moments.


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Insecure Writer's Support Group and Blogging Hiatus



NOTE: After this week's IWSG entry, I will take a break from blogging until January's IWSG in order to finish some writer's chores and handle all the Christmas logistics of presents, travel, and keeping the neighborhood squirrels well-fed. So Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all, and to all, a good write!


Image: Yooperann


Okay, now let's turn our attention to another month of things that make writers go WAH or maybe WA-HOO, depending on your mood. Thank you to our supportive host, the amazing Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, and his hard-reading co-hosts this month:  Jennifer Hawes, Jen Chandler, Nick Wilford,Juneta Key, JH Moncrieff, Diane Burton, and MJ Fifield!

December's scintillating question:  In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there? 

Seriously? What is this? A job interview? Gah. Okay, I'll bite.

Where do I see myself five years from now?

(a) enjoying fame and fortune as my novel rockets to the top of the New York Times Best Seller's List

(b) whining that if I could only break my Netflix habit, then I could be awake enough in the morning to put a coherent sentence together

(c) realizing my potential by appropriately iterating cross-unit niches and energetically promoting wireless testing procedures which will dramatically engage quality partnerships and uniquely pontificate multimedia based users

(d) successfully petitioning for my release from the mental health facility my family will have put me in by then

And the ever-popular follow-up: What's you plan to get there?

(a) drop into a coma in which my every dream comes true

(b) inhale, exhale, repeat

(c) Credibly foster flexible scenarios (sounds like writing to me), proactively synergize technically sound deliverables (audio books anyone?), and most importantly, dramatically plagiarize enterprise-wide resources (by legally changing my name to Steven King). 

(d) Write petition now before I completely lose it.

Which of the above choices sums up your expectations for the next five year? Want to grab some of those awesome (c) phrases? Go here.

Whatever your path for the next five years, I hope it's a beautiful one. Peace.

Image: Torley


Friday, December 2, 2016

Celebrate the Small Things



Whoops! I totally skipped last week in the midst of Thanksgiving stoof. Stuff. Too much stuffing. Hopefully you had a wonderful Thanksgiving (if you celebrate it). I'm thankful for our wonderful host, Lexa Cain, and her co-hosts, L.G. Keltner and Tonya Drecker.

 So here's what's new:


Image: scrapkat1 (Not our village, but you get the idea.)


1. We got our Christmas tree up and the other holiday decorations out. Many years ago we started a collection of little houses (you stick a light bulb in the back to illuminate them). Now we have so many, getting them out of the basement, up the stairs, and out of their styrofoam boxes is a huge pain in the gluteal region. But the kids like them. And if I stare at them long enough, I get the strange urge to write a story set in our "village". Some day.




2. Last CTST, I mentioned our new stray kitty. Last night Mr. M and Pretty Kitty got into a huge brawl on our back deck. In the pitch, black dark. Sounded like the image above. Benches knocked over. Green tomatoes everywhere. Mr. M's ears are torn up, but I'm hoping that's the only thing wrong. I have no idea how Pretty Kitty is doing. Why in the world am I celebrating this? Okay, I'm not. But speaking of my last CTST, my daughter did make it into Mary Poppins (ensemble), so yay!


Image: benyclark


3. After years of using a 2G flip phone, the AT&T takeover has forced me and my husband to update our cell phones. Now I've got a . . . 3G flip phone! Bah-dum-dump. Okay, stop laughing. It takes pictures. Really. 

Do you go all out decorating for the holidays? Are you and your smart phone permanently attached?