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Posts tagged “young adult

Fluffy’s Fateful Faux Pas

fluffy-harry-potter-3-three-headed-dog-historys-famous-dog-ark-animal-centre

fluffy-harry-potter-3-three-headed-dog-historys-famous-dog-ark-animal-centreWelcome to day four of BLOGSHORTS: a ten day, ten story, 110 word writing extravaganza.

Each participating blogger chooses a pooch a day from a list of dogs, thunk-up by our fearless leader BLOGDRAMEDY, and then writes a short story featuring their dog of choice.

Each story is 110 words in length and can feature as much or as little of our canine friend as we like.

Today we travel beyond the land of Muggles to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to meet with our favorite three-headed dog, FLUFFY!

FLUFFY’S FATEFUL FAUX PAS

Fluffy tucked El Guapo’s speakers into his ears and for one blessed moment let the smooth, mellow sounds of Coltrane drown out the incessant bickering between his two ex-wives.

Fluffy often used his stolen quiet time to reflect on the course his life had taken. He dissected every decision and evaluated every consequence. He ran scenarios over and over again in his mind, asking himself what he might have done differently to have avoided the fate that had so tragically befallen him.

But no matter how many times he replayed that fateful day, Fluffy always came to the one sad, inevitable conclusion:

He should have never called He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, “Lord Moldywart.”

Revisit these soon to be canine classics:

BLOGSHORTS DAY ONE: Tea Cup Cujo

BLOGSHORTS DAY TWO: Toto’s Ruby Red Booty

BLOGSHORTS DAY THREE: Lassie Learns the Truth

TAKE YOUR BLOG FOR A WALK AND THROW THESE GUYS A BONE:

Blogdramedy

1pointperspective

SteveBetz 

Joe’s Musings

Jtailele’s Blog

MC’s Whispers

Shouts from the Abyss

Lenore Diane

Fix it or Deal

RETURN TOMORROW FOR A VISIT FROM EVERYONE’S FAVORITE PROPER POOCH, EDDIE!


F*CKED UP FAIRY TALES Update!

Fairy Tales

For a larger image – click at your own risk

Hellis here, taking a quick break from the grind to remind you it’s almost time for the release of the Blogger Compilation Project, F*CKED UP FAIRY TALES! If you’ve signed on to contribute please submit your story as soon as possible. The moment I have all contributions in I’ll release your book! All contributions should be sent to heellisgoa (at) gmail (dot) com

Our two newest contributions are offered by the sweet but sassy Sandylikeabeach as well as the never bland VanillaMom. Check these two ladies out for some inspiration for your own Fairy Tale!

For more of the Blogger Compilation Project read the novella,

ICONIC INTERVIEWS

- The world’s most beloved holiday icons presented in a collection of irreverent interviews that take on the backstory of their imagined existences.

 


Somebody Shoot Me – An Ode To My Mother

A Conversation with my mother the day I told her I finished my novel.

ME: “Well Mom, it’s done. I finally finished it.”

MOM: “Finished what?”

ME: “Uh…my novel. The one I’ve been working on for the past year. Yeah, it’s done.”

MOM: “I had no idea you were writing a book! What is it about?”

ME: (sighs) “It’s a young adult novel about a teenager named Sawyer Hayden who–“

MOM: “Sawyer? Oh I don’t like that name.”

ME: ”Well it’s too late to change it now. ANYWAY…he wants a basketball scholarship so he–“

MOM: “Basketball? But you don’t play basketball! And why are you writing about boys anyway? You’re a woman who lives in New Hampshire! I know what you should do. Join a writing group and try to make friends with that woman writer there…

ME:  Please don’t say Jodi Picoult.

MOM: …the one who writes all those nice cancer books. You know who I mean.”

ME: (sigh 2x) “Her name’s Jodi Picoult, mom.”

MOM: “No, that’s not it. Well, whoever she is I hear her books are very popular.”

ME: “FINE! WHATEVER! JUST LISTEN!” (deep breath) “In my book Sawyer asks his brother River to help–“

MOM: “RIVER? Oh I don’t like that name either. Why did you pick such ugly American names? With so many nice names in our family to choose from you–“

ME: “HOW ABOUT RAPHAEL? THAT’S WHAT I NAMED THE DAD SO HOW ABOUT THAT?”

MOM: “Finally a name I like! It’s about time you remembered you’re Italian.”

ME: “Ok…but just so you know, I made the dad Spanish.”

MOM: (appalled) “NOW WHY DID YOU DO THAT?! WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST MAKE HIM ITALIAN? HOW AM I GOING TO TELL THE FAMILY IN ITALY THAT MY DAUGHTER WROTE A BOOK ABOUT SPANIARDS AND NOT ITALIANS?!”

ME: “I’M IRISH TOO, MOM! WHY DON’T I JUST MAKE HIM IRISH LIKE MY DAD, HUH? HOW’S THAT SOUND?”

MOM: “Spanish is fine.”

ME: “CAN WE FOCUS NOW? PLEASE?!”

MOM: “Yes, yes. Continue.”

ME: (sighs, molto frustrato) “So SAWYER leaves his father and moves to Nebraska–“

MOM: Bites lip.

ME: “NOW what’s wrong?”

MOM: “Well…why does he have to live in Nebraska? It’s a land locked state.”

ME: (rubbing temples) “What does Nebraska being a land locked state have to do with anything?”

MOM: “I don’t trust the seafood in land locked states. It’s too expensive. What you’re really paying for is the truck to have it delivered. They don’t fool me.”

ME: “Fine. You know what? I’ll change it to a coastal state–“

MOM: “OOH! You should make it Hawaii! I’ve always wanted to go there. You know they filmed that show LOST in Hawaii. But then you couldn’t use the name Sawyer. Hey! Now you can change that too! I always liked that doctor Jack–“

ME: “MOM! It can’t be Hawaii because Raphael is a long haul truck driver and that’s how Sawyer gets to Nebraska to live with his grandfather so he can get a basketball scholarship.”

MOM: “Well why does he even need a scholarship? With the price of seafood nowadays the father should have no problem paying for–“

ME: “You know what? Forget it. I didn’t write a book. I made a quilt.”

MOM: “Oh don’t be so sensitive. Tell me what the grandfather’s name is. Something good I hope.”

ME: “GUS.”

MOM: (flinches, thinks and then says) “So SAYWER leaves a man named RAPHAEL to live with a man named GUS?”

ME: “Yes but mom, Gus is awesome. He’s a biker and a southern rock roadie with…bad…ass…tattoos…”

MOM: (near tears) “What happened to my dainty daughter who used to love to read books and write stories and listen to music?!”

ME: “She changed her name to Sawyer.”

 

FOR MORE MIND-NUMBING MATERNAL MASOCHISM VISIT:

CONVERSATIONS WITH MY MOTHER


Jazz, Jesus and the 1 Star Review

jazz

jazzEvery so often there comes a moment when we see ourselves through another person’s eyes. Determining whether that’s good or bad depends entirely on what we see. Most of my epiphanies are delivered in the form of my sister telling me my ass looks fat in my jeans, whether I ask for her opinion or not.

Commentary on my fat ass or bad breath I can handle, but what I wasn’t prepared for was the reality of personal feedback in the form of reviews for my novella, Reapers With Issues.

Before I begin I’d like to state that every reader who reviewed my work negatively did not condemn me personally for what I’d written, despite not particularly enjoying the book. I’ve read reviews of other books where the reviewer took the author to task, and I am happy to say I’ve been blessed with a classy group of readers who didn’t feel the need to blast me.

I guess what confounds me most is that I expected there to be more blow back for subject matter. Portraying Jesus as a closet homosexual and writing a scene where Genghis Khan violates a shi-tzu wasn’t going to win me an audience with the Pope, and I knew that going in. I also prepared myself for a critique of the quality of the writing itself, which as it turns out I didn’t receive much of. What I did get was essentially the same question, asked in so many words, of what kind of person could conceive of the Reapers idea at all. Again, good or bad depends entirely on what we see.

[enter the dreaded introspection process]

The first thing I did was try to answer the question of what kind of person I am. Despite an obscene amount of navel-gazing I am no closer to that answer now than I was when I began. My motivation to write Reapers With Issues was just as strong and the subject matter just as easy to conceptualize as Gods of Asphalt’s was, so identifying a specific default in thinking didn’t pan out. The truth is that I’ve got a hundred different stories buzzing around in my head; everything from harmless children’s stories to British comedies to even more Reapers sequels (oddly there’s nothing milling around in there that remotely smacks of Erotica, but that’s a post for another day after an hour on a couch).

So after an even more shameless bought of self-contemplation I began to ask myself a different question, “Why do any of us write what we write?”

Do we choose our genre or subject matter because of who we are, or because of what we make of the world around us? I imagine it’s no coincidence that Reapers With Issues was written during the darkest hours of a friend’s battle with cancer, or that Gods of Asphalt was written while stuck in bed, listening to my two teenaged sons bicker amongst themselves and argue with their father.

It is also not lost on me that I wrote Reapers With Issues from a third-person point-of-view, allowing me to observe at a distance the story of a Reaper whose best efforts to gather souls are thwarted by a Savior, or that the overall theme of Gods of Asphalt is how brothers cope when their mother isn’t around.

I suppose in the end what we choose to write comes from the harmony of both who we are and what we see. I’ve learned that whether my writing is received as harmony or dischord depends entirely on who’s doing the reading, and no amount of alteration of my “music” will accommodate everyone.

For the record, I’m fine with that. I am a Jazz fan, after all.


Happy Normal Birthday!

Cocktails-2It’s time once again to celebrate our favorite Brit’s birthday, Megan from VeryNormal!

I’ll admit to having a heck of a time trying to figure out how to top last year’s send off, but this year I think I’ve got it covered. When I imagined what I’d likely be doing if I were in England right now,  the answer became instantly clear. Why I’d be drinking, of course. So this year I’ve decided to create a drink specifically for our Megan, and name it accordingly. Ladies and Gentlemen I give you:

The Induced American

Named because you will likely be driving on the wrong side of the road after you knock one of these babies back. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients (sorry they aren’t metric)

1 very thin sliver habanero pepper (because she is so spicy!)

2 slices fresh ginger root (because I like her with red hair best)

1 1/2 fluid ounces gin (because gin is British)

3/4 fluid ounce lime juice (because…well, because I like lime juice)

1/2 fluid ounce simple syrup (because she is so sweet!)

1 cup ice cubes (just because)

Directions

Muddle habanero pepper slice and 2 slices fresh ginger together in a cocktail shaker until pulverized, about 20 seconds. Add gin, lime juice, simple syrup, and ice. Cover and shake until well chilled. Strain with a fine mesh strainer into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a thin slice of ginger on a toothpick. Drink a toast to Megan and the Queen!

Happy Birthday, Megan! Have a drink for me!

TO WISH MEGAN A HAPPY BIRTHDAY VISIT:

VeryNormal

FOR THE FULL COCKTAIL LIST VISIT:

Archon’s Den

El Guapo

HR Nightmare

Sandylikeabeach


NaNoWriMo Versus The Queen Of Self-Distraction

nanowrimo-yooooo-285x200

This time last year I put up a post entitled Why No NaNoWriMo which chronicled my need for self-distraction whenever I sit down to write. How I accomplish writing a blog at all I’ll never know. Needless to say, this year has been no different and I’ve yet to finish the second novella in my REAPERS WITH ISSUES series. What’s got me blocked this year is:

The Oakland Raiders – Walking Dead – Firefly’s 10th anniversary re-release – Coconut Rum – my promotion – Tom Elias – raising a daughter as stubborn as me – learning to love Scifi – wristsaroundtheworld – Junior’s shenanigans – Frank Stallone’s faulty brakes – Prince Charming’s charm – and this little ditty right here:


F*ck Me – It’s NaNoWriMo Time Again

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I know I’m four days behind in this post, but better late than never as someone much more clever than I once said.

For those of you who may not know, NaNoWriMo stands for NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH which basically describes an online community of writers gathered together to practice their craft. You can create a page similar in style to Facebook where you connect with others and draw support from the world of writers.

Anyway, it’s NaNoWriMo time again, and I of course have signed up to fail. The good news here is that I have my second novella, REAPERS WITH FANGS to finish, so I am determined to be successful this year. Who wants to be my buddy and crash and burn succeed with me? I promise it will be a glorious disaster success!

H.E. ELLIS @ NaNoWriMo

If you’ve already joined up, leave a link to your NaNoWriMo page in the comments. For blog posts penned by folks far more dedicated to their craft than I, please visit:

TOM ELIAS

JOE HINOSA

VERY NORMAL

JENNIFER VAUGHN

SIPS OF JEN AND TONIC

OUT WHERE THE BUSES DON’T RUN


The Early Bird Catches The SPaM

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Even though I’ve been taking a break from SPaM in order to write the REAPERS WITH ISSUES series, I had to come back today in order to introduce to you all someone truly special. For those of you out there who may not know, there is a rockin’ chick among us who is somewhat new to blogworld. I’ll let her About Me page speak for itself:

Essa Alroc is an Orlando, Florida based freelance writer who published works include “The Blurb About Freshness on the Back of Your Deodorant” and “Understanding Your Utah 529 Plan”. When she’s not at work, fantasizing about setting her cubicle on fire, she is working on her first full length novel.  It is not about deodorant or financial aid plans.

With blog posts entitled TEN WAYS TO GET FIRED or HOW NOT TO KILL YOUR HUSBAND one can’t help but wonder what goes on in the mind of Essa Alroc.

1. Your writing style is edgy, to say the least. What influences do you attribute to forming your particular writing style?

I was born and raised on heavy sarcasm and using humor in the place of emotions. My life’s motto is if your going to bitch about something, at least make it funny. That way people will actually listen.  When I was growing up, I was an overweight kid with bad teeth, who wore my brothers hand me downs. If it wasn’t for my incredible ability to hurt someone’s feelings, I would have made one hell of a target. Luckily for me, the weight came off, the teeth got fixed with braces, but I never lost the ability to come up with some seriously scathing commentary.  I also still wear my brothers hand me downs.

2. You live and write in Florida. How does living in the south influence what you write?

Florida both fascinates and horrifies me. I have a theory that something to do with the heat makes the people here crazy and violent. What I like about this state is that things that would be ridiculous anywhere else seem normal in Florida. I draw on a lot of my experiences here for both my fiction and non fiction work and I never seem to run out of things I write about it. What I dislike about Florida is all the rapes and murders…and lack of Jack in the Boxes. I miss their curly fries.

3. Your page MAKE ME YOUR BITCH speaks to your ability to write for hire. How does writing for someone else’s project differ from writing your own, and what can someone expect in the way of services?

My first love is humor writing, but in today’s market, it’s not a viable career option. Luckily, thanks to the plethora of jobs I’ve had, I’m able to write about a large range of subjects and still make them readable (and g-rated). My goal when I’m writing someone’s page is to get them SEO hits and at the same time, give value to the reader who was searching for their page in the first place. When someone types a query into a search engine, they’re not looking to get sold something. They’re looking for an answer to their question. My goal is to answer that question and still make my clients page come out on top. At the same time, I have to keep it free of my personal opinion and four letter words. Sometimes it’s easy, like when I’m writing an article about medical marijuana. Sometimes, it’s impossible, like when I’m trying to come up with 10 things I like about Mitt Romney. Number 1 was his hair.

4. Tell us about STRANGELY SOBER.

Strangely Sober was a novel born of frustration. Frankly, I was tired of reading about unworldly heroines who need the hero to show them how things are done. I’m not like that, and I don’t think most women are like that. Having a vagina doesn’t make me a bumbling, clumsy, insecure mess who can’t handle life on her own.  I’ve lived a full life and I think a lot of people have. I created my protagonist, Angelica Salvatori, AKA Sal, because of that. She drinks too much. She smokes too much. She lives everyday like zombie apocalypse is right around the corner.  She adapts and re adjusts as necessary. Personally, I think that’s what life is all about.

5. Tell us about ASYMMETRIC ANGELS.

I wrote Asymmetric because I didn’t feel ready to let go of Sal. There were some loose ends to tie up from the first novel and I didn’t think her story was over yet.  Asymmetric has been a challenge to write, because it’s got some strong religions undertones in it, despite the fact that I am not remotely religious. It’s a sequel to my first novel and its where my heroine, Sal, tries to create a shaky opinion on faith and at the same time, tries to adapt to a world that is constantly changing for her. Asymmetric is a novel about getting to know yourself. It also has explosions, a high body count and a recurring Gary Busey hallucination. Can’t disappoint my readers while I’m trying to be artsy.

6. How does blogging effect writing, if at all?

Blogging is a release for me. Its entertainment writing in its highest form. I don’t use my webpage in my portfolio, because it’s my hobby. I don’t allow marketing on it, and even my own marketing blurb for my business is kind of a joke. I don’t want my readers distracted by ads. I want them to laugh. I don’t censor myself and I don’t want to do that for a sponsor. All my blogs are born out of an everyday experience that can be made ridiculous using the right words. The world is a ridiculous place, and the ability to laugh at that ridiculousness makes us powerful.  I laugh at the Westborough Baptist Church, the economic crisis and child prostitution because I understand the power of humor. I go by the lessons I’ve learned from George Carlin and Richard Prior. ANY topic can be made funny when given the right delivery. That approach makes me fearless in my writing.

7. What have you learned most from writing your novel?

Be prepared for change. When I originally wrote ‘Strangely’, it was called ‘Unforgettable’ and it was written about a schoolteacher with eidetic memory. Two days before I released it, NBC released a show called “Unforgettable”, about a cop with eidetic memory. Instead of releasing it anyway, or trashing the whole series, I adapted it, changed it, until it was a completely different novel. Now, I’m glad that happened, because ‘Strangely” is about 10000 times better than what it was originally.

8. What advice would you give other would-be novelists?

Put your novel away for 6 weeks after you finish it and then read it again. It’s like being a first time reader. Maybe you realize your novel is, in fact, genius. Maybe you realize its crap. Maybe NBC puts out yet another shitty crime drama show and you have to start all over. Either way, you’ll be glad you did it.

9. Who are your favorite authors?

I love Jacqueline Susann, because she made trash literary genius. Read “Valley of the Dolls” closely and you realize that Neely O’Hara is Scarlett O’Hara. I love Piers Anthony because he makes sci-fi/fantasy a commentary on politics that hasn’t been met since Orwell’s “1984”. Finally, I love Tim Dorsey because he writes about Florida with tongue in cheek humor that delivers both admiration and disdain for this wild and crazy state. If Serge Storms were real, I would totally be stalking him.

10. Where do you see your next project taking you?

Well, the final book in the bar series, Gio’s Gift, is already breaking my heart because I’m murdering off a character I’ve grown very attached too. After I’ve uncurled myself from my sobbing emo ball, I’ll be working on something I’m calling the Dark/Light series, which I’m hoping comes to par with some of Anthony’s more political novels. It will be my first foray into science fiction and is loosely based on Nietzsche assertion that God is dead. Personally, I don’t think God is dead. I think he’s a sandwich artist at Subway…at least, he will be in my book. I hope eventually to make enough from my humor and fiction projects to focus on them full time. I think as long as I keep typing away and putting my best literary foot forward, it will happen.

Or I’ll wind up a sandwich artist at Subway.

 GET A FREE DIGITAL COPY OF STRANGELY SOBER TODAY ONLY BY CLICKING BELOW:


The Publishing Process In GIF Form

THIS IS A GREAT BLOG POST FROM FORMER UBER AGENT NATHAN BRANSFORD- AN AUTHOR WHOSE BLOG IS A WEALTH OF INFORMATION IN REGARDS TO AGENTING, EDITING AND PUBLISHING. SO WITHOUT FURTHER ADO I GIVE YOU THIS EPIC REPOSTING OF HIS TAKE ON THE PUBLISHING PROCESS IN GIF FORM!

At first you’re thinking of writing a novel and you’re all…

But then you have an idea!

And you go…

But then you hit page 50 and you’re all….

And then you hit page 75 and you’re all…

But you power through!!

And then you’re finished!!! You have finished a novel!!

Only then find out you have to start querying agents.

So you write your query letter…

You obsess over it…

And then you send it out to agents and you’re all…

Then a couple of days go by and you’re all…

And…

And…

But then you hear from your first agent!! And you’re all…

And…

And it’s a rejection. But it’s just your first one so you’re all…

Then you get a few more and it’s more like…

But then! An agent calls! And they love your work! They want to represent you! And inside you’re like…

But you don’t want your agent to think you’re crazy so instead you’re like…

And you love your agent! When you say “yes” you want to…

 

But instead you go…

And then it’s time to submit to publishers. You are back on submission, and you’re like…

Then the editors start saying….

And…

And your inbox starts looking like…


And you’re all…

And…

And…

But then your phone says your agent is calling. And you want to be like…

But instead it’s more like…

And it’s an offer! You have an offer! And you feel like…

And…

And…

And…

And then you go celebrate with your friends and they’re all…

And on the car ride home you’re still like…

But it’s time for revisions. And you pretend you know what you’re doing…

And it’s back to…

But then you’re done! You’re really really done! Only your book doesn’t come out for another year. And so you’re like…

And…

You get your cover and you’re all…

But then publication day approaches! And your reviews start coming out and it kind of feels like…

But some of them are good! And you’re like…

And then your book is out there! People are reading your book!

And it feels pretty good!

And there’s only one thing to do. Start the whole thing over again.


Dear Hellis – A Letter To My Fifteen Year-Old Self

1987

I got this idea from fellow rockin’ chick Darlene at THE DAILY WOMAN. Make sure you check out her post which is witty and insightful as opposed to mine which is…well, you’ll see.

Dear Hellis,

You know how you are absolutely certain that you are going to take off to New York and become a dancer/artist/photographer after high school? Or how you are NEVER going to get married or have children, ever? Well here’s some advice I’d like to give you from the future to make your impending reality bearable.

1. Get off your high horse and date a nerd. Trust me on this.

2. Start studying for the S.A.T.s NOW.

3. Yeah, don’t get attached to all the awesome. Or to your ass, because in twenty years it is going to expand into epic proportions.

4. Your English Lit teacher is NOT correct. What you write will not forever be considered, “the sub-moronic ramblings of a semi-functioning illiterate.”

5. Teenaged boys lie. Even the nice ones.

6. Don’t listen to your father.

7. No, your hair does NOT look cool like that.

8. George Michael is gay. Don’t waste your time.

9. What makes you popular at fifteen doesn’t mean shit when you’re forty. Grow a personality now.

10. DO NOT MARRY THE HOT ROMANIAN GUY BECAUSE HE LOOKS LIKE ONE OF THE LOST BOYS!!!!!

For more “Dear Me” letters visit CHATTING AT THE SKY.


Happy Blogiversary To Me!

COVER

TODAY IS THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF MY BLOG! TO COMMEMORATE THIS AUSPICIOUS OCCASION I HAVE DECIDED TO RERUN MY VERY FIRST BLOG POST.

PLEASE TO ENJOY…

So yeah, I wrote a book.

I must have been high when I wrote it because there’s no other explanation I can give for my 120,000 word upper YA novel where the only noun I used more than “boner” was “blood.” It goes without saying that I’m self-published. I didn’t even try to submit it traditionally. Can you just imagine the poor agent who gets my query letter?

“My novel, THE GODS OF ASPHALT is complete at 120,000 words and is the first in a series of five books that for some reason I’ve decided to write out-of-order. Each one is told from the point of view of a teenage male protagonist who has exactly zero supernatural powers (unless you consider perpetual erections a superpower). Oh, and it also has Spanish subtitles.”

Yeah.

On the good side, if you’re like me and are just a little too into music, motorcycles and all around badassery this is the book for you. If you’re not, I’m sure Jodi Picoult’s got a blog somewhere. You can find the opening to chapter one at the top of the page under the tab GOA REVIEWS and you can find my book on line at:

SMASHWORDS

AMAZON


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