Monday, April 30, 2012

A Writing Journey

“Writing, like life itself, is a voyage of discovery.” – Henry Miller

First Lines
A Writing Discovery Exercise:
Use one of these as your first line and continue to write where it leaves off. Try to write continuously, without stopping or editing. See where it takes you. Enjoy!
  • She was right.
  • It was the end of Spring when it happened.
  • He couldn't take it anymore.
  • I had a bad feeling about today.
  • It was the night of...
  • I could see them.
  • Dating can be hard for a...
  • Tomorrow I'm going to..
  • It began years ago. 
  • He was afraid.
  • It was a dark and stormy night. 
  • She never expected it.
  • Its strange to be here.
  • Above all else, this is what I wanted.
  • Once upon a time
  • It all started with the cat.
Can you think of some more first lines to add to the list?

Liza from Middle Passages started with "I could see them." Check out what she wrote here.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Oh, My Hero! Blog Hop - Hot Hunks Tell All Interviews Arman

  As shirtless muscle-bound men glide across the television screen a deep voice introduces the show, “You’re watching Hot Hunks Tell All with your host, Debonetta Obannon.” The camera zooms in on the hostess as the audience cheers. Petite with curly blonde hair, she is sitting in a chair wearing a hot-pink dress and orange stilettos. Debonetta pushes her cat’s-eye glasses against her nose as the dimmed lights turn brighter.
A gorgeous man sits across from her wearing a black suit that perfectly fits his toned body. His skin is the color of rich latte and dark chocolate hair sweeps over his broad shoulders. The man flashes her a shining smile, framed by a well-trimmed mustache and goatee.
Debonetta turns to the camera, pale curls bounce against her cheeks.
“Hello Hunk Junkies!” The live audience screams with glee. “Were here tonight with a very special guest, Arman from Iran.” She crosses her legs. “Arman, thank you for joining us tonight.”
“You’re welcome.” He bows slightly, and leans back against his chair. Cat calls and whistles sound from the crowd.
“Can you give us your full name?”
“Certainly. I am Arman Payam Sharifi El Sarakh Prince of Khar Turan, Last of the Sarakh, and Lord of the Lost Ones.” His voice is dark and seductive with an accent that calls to mind desert sands and exotic spices.
“Is that really your name?”
He laughs.“Afraid so.” Arman’s strong hands curl in his lap. “My father was the last lord of Khar Turan, and I am the last of his line. I lead the Lost Ones, those who side with the light to protect the great ones of prophecy. But you may call me Arman if you wish.”
“Thank you. So, what’s it like being able to shift into a falcon?”
“Its incredible.”
“I can imagine.” She seductively flutters her lashes. “Would you describe it for us?”
“When you will the falcon to come forth a force surges inside of you. The energy builds and builds until it bursts and the change begins.” He stands up from his chair, and stretches out his arms. “Wings sprout, talons grow, a beak forms, chest muscles stretch. You become a falcon.” His stature is aristocratic; power radiates from him as the air surges with energy and crackles with lightning. In the blink of an eye a falcon is hovering in the air where Arman stood.
 He takes off with scree, flapping his wings, and glides in a circle above the astonished crowd. A wide-eyed Debonetta jumps back in her chair as he returns. He lands on the chair across from her and shifts back to his human form. Smiling to the crowd Arman hops off the chair, sits back down and adjusts his jacket. The audience goes wild.
“Oh. My. God,” she manages to say over the clapping and shouts of enthusiasm.
Arman runs a hand through his dark hair and laughs.
 “Is it painful, I mean to shift?”
“Yes, but it doesn’t matter. When I am a falcon I feel powerful. I become one with the sky. To fly across the winds, the mountains, the sea…nothing feels more free than that, nothing more exhilarating.”
She smiles, “So, are you a morning or a night person?”
“At night things get a little feathery,” his sea-green eyes twinkle with hidden thoughts.
“Ahh,” she places a finger against her lower lip and leans forward. “So tell me, how would you describe your perfect heroine?”
“There is only one woman for me. She is my namisad, my soul-mate. There are stories told among my people that if one does not meet their soul-mate in this life, they would wait for them on the other side and return to guide them to the celestial realm. When my people find their soul-mate, their souls merge and they are bound together.”
“For life?”
 “A little birdie told me that you are still looking for this special woman?”
“Maybe.” He flashed a mischievous grin. “Maybe, I already found her.”
“Oooh, that’s juicy.” She clears her throat. “Unfortunately our time is up.”
 Debonetta turns to the camera and waves. Thank you for your time Arman, and thanks for Watching Hot Hunks Tell All.  See you next time Hunk Junkies!

To read more hunky interviews go to Oh, My Hero! Blog Hop, by clicking on the this or go to the link at the bottom of the blog. This hop was hosted by Jaycee and Victoria, thanks ladies! You can also read more about Arman in my current WiP, The Falcon Prince which will be revealed in more detail in the near future. This was a lot of fun, thanks everyone for reading!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Hi Folks,

Blogspiration is a new weekly meme hosted by both GrowingUp YA and Saz101. The meme was created to help spark inspiration among bloggers, readers and writers alike. An inspirational quote/picture/video is posted weekly so that it may inspire creativity, conversation and just a little SOMETHING.

For more info on Blogspiration:

The rules from our hosts are:
  • Blogspiration posts will go live on Sunday. Go to their sites to post a link to your blogspiration. While you don’t have to post on Sunday, you have one week to drop by and share your links.
  • Go check out the participating blogs! Feel free to comment/follow
  • Most importantly, HAVE FUN with it!!
Ok, here we go. Since this whole blog is focused on inspiration I wasn't sure what to post, but I wanted to give you something to nibble on to get the writer mojo flowing. A quote, a photo, something...

It's funny, but true! Reality isn't as exciting as getting lost in a fantasy world of a good story. Over the years we tend to lose our ability to dream, to live in fantasy worlds, to play. I think its time we allowed ourselves to dream and create worlds of our own, because lets face it, most of the time reality kinda sucks! :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Determination, Discipline, Dedication

At age 74, Ernestine Shepherd is the oldest female bodybuilder in the Guinness Book of World Records. When she started working out at age of 56, she had never exercised before. Now she runs 80 miles a week, and bench presses 150 pounds.

Every day Ernestine wakes up at 3 a.m. to meditate, run, lifts weights, and teach fitness classes to other senior citizens. She is a great inspiration to many, setting the example that if you want something bad enough you can overcome the obstacles to achieve it.

How does she do it? Her motto is, “determination, discipline, dedication.” Three ugly words, right? But I have been thinking about Ernestine lately, and wondering what it would be like if I followed her motto. What do those words mean to me? Here is what I've come up with.

No matter what, keep moving forward
Have the attitude to succeed
Stay resolved to finish your goals

"The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person's determination."
-Tommy Lasorda

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Crossing the Veil with Laura Whitcomb

Laura Whitcomb will enchant you with her beautiful prose and imaginative spirit realms. Her paranormal romances are refreshingly compelling. If you are thinking of reading (or writing) a ghost love story, these books are worth checking out.

A Certain Slant of Light

"In the class of the high school English teacher she has been haunting, Helen feels them: For the first time in 130 years, human eyes are looking at her. They belong to a boy, a boy who has not seemed remarkable until now. And Helen--terrified, but intrigued--is drawn to him. The fact that he is in a body and she is not presents this unlikely couple with their first challenge. But as the lovers struggle to find a way to be together, they begin to discover the secrets of their former lives and of the young people they come to possess." 

When I mention this book to people they usually say, "Nice title." It comes from a poem of the same title by Emily Dickinson, which you can read here. This was the first book I read from Laura Whitcomb, and it sucked me in. I really loved her evocative prose, especially when she is describing the experiences Helen goes through as a ghost. The spirit world feels very real, and the romance is beautifully star-crossed. The characters go through so much! It was one of those books that I could not put down. Don't you love it when that happens?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

You Might Be A Blogger If...

1.      In conversations with your friends you think, “That would make a great post.”

2.      You start taking pictures specifically for your blog.

3.      Your blog has become your home page.

4.      You use blog-speak regularly.

5.      You look at the clock and realize you have been in the blogosphere for 2 hours without realizing it.

6.      You come home from work looking forward to a relaxing evening of blogging.

7.      Getting a comment on a post is like getting a birthday present.

8.      You are always trying to get others to blog too.

9.      You have turned down another activity in order to blog.

10.  You wake up and the first thing you think about is your blog.

Is there any more I could add to this list? :)

You Know Your a Blogger If..

Monday, April 16, 2012

Writing with Music: Invoking the Muse

Do you like to write with music?

There are two groups of thought when it comes to writing and music. Some find music to be distracting and prefer quiet. I have to agree that sometimes silence is golden. There are times when the only sound I want to hear is the drum beat of my fingers on the keyboard. Usually, though, music is my best friend. It helps to create a writing mood and open the creative unconscious.

Many people find orchestrated film music to be helpful when they write. The music is composed to heighten the emotions, plus it doesn’t have any lyrics that might take you out of the writing zone.

Try various types of music and see how you feel. Different genres might have different effects. The harmonies of Loreena McKennitt or Azam Ali always seem to get my writing juices flowing.  Plus, it keeps background noises from bothering me so I can focus. Love songs help me with romance, and heavier music like Metal is great when I'm writing a fight scene.

Why not create a playlist of music that fits the mood of the story or scene you're working on? Story soundtracks can be very helpful in getting you in the right state of mind. The music can inspire and ignite new ideas for your work in progress. I have even created CDs of some of my story soundtracks to listen to in the car. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Versatile Blogger Award

Laura has given me the honor of The Versatile Blogger Award. How cool is that?! Be sure to check out her awesome blog, Stranger Than Writing. Thanks!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Go On a Writer’s Walk

I love to go for writer walks in the morning; there is something magical about it. The sun’s warm rays paint the flowers and trees. The air is cool and fresh. There is a newness about the world that invigorates and inspires me.

Walking gets the blood flowing and the muscles moving. There is physicality to it. You can feel the rhythm in your feet, in your breath. When I am facing a problem I find that walking helps me process and work it out. It taps me into my inner wisdom. 

Walking is great for finding inspiration too. The word inspiration comes from the Latin, inspirare – to breathe into. Going for walks helps us to “breathe in" the world around us. We can listen to the cars whirring down the road, the birds singing, the whispering of leaves on the trees. Feel the breeze caress your skin. Stop and smell the roses, or honeysuckle, or peonies. We can watch life in action, and connect with it.  It fills our well. It renews us. It inspires.

Allow life to nourish your writing and writing to nourish your life.

Feel free to share your writer's walk and I will post it here.
Stranger Than Fiction: Writer's Walk

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Write what you love

Write what interests you,
and it will interest others.

Write what excites you
and it will excite others.

Write what you love,
and others will love it too.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Take a Writer’s Trip for Inspiration

I took a writer’s trip on Saturday. This was the 3rd or 4th time I’ve gone on a writer’s trip with my friends, A + J and this time we were joined by my hubby, Ter Bear. We had a blast!

Basically, what we do is tour places in or around the city that inspire the current books A and I are working on. If there is a graveyard in the book, we go to a graveyard. If there is a certain coffee place we have in mind in a certain scene, we go there. For my current story, the characters go on an impromptu date at Lulu’s restaurant. So we went there for lunch. For A’s story, she had two characters meet at a particular coffee shop, so we went there also. it was fun to explore new places, and familiar places in a writerly light.

Dreams of Becoming a Full Time Writer

I dream about becoming a full-time writer. I would write, write, write and work a part-time job for income. I want to publish, I want to make writing my life's work. I would love to teach writing workshops.
If someone wants to go into computer science, or become a doctor we don’t question if they are going to make it in their field. We question the people that go into the arts. The ones that want to be a painter, a dancer, a writer. We ask them, what are the odds you are going to make it? How are you going to make any money?
I’ve been reading this wonderful book called, The Right to Write by Julia Cameron. She believes that if you really want something and you are willing to do the work then the odds are in your favor, not against you. If you write often, and continue to hone your craft, then you will get published. For that matter, why not self-publish? Julia self-published The Artists Way and that made it big.
She suggested writing two letters. One letter is from your inner writer to your practical self, the other letter is from your practical self to your inner writer. I highly recommend this exercise if you are like me, struggling with the desire to become a full-time writer.  This could be great to do anytime you are struggling between different options in your life. You will be surprised what comes out of you, and the clarity you can find if you just write it out.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Sun-light, moonlight,
Twilight, starlight-
Gloaming at the close of day,
And an owl calling,
Cool dews falling
In a wood of oak and may.

Lantern-light, taper-light,
Torchlight, no-light:
Darkness at the shut of day,
And lions roaring,
Their wrath pouring
In wild waste places far way.

Elf-light, bat-light,
Touchwood-light and toad-light,
And the sea a shimmering gloom of grey,
And a small face smiling
In a dream's beguiling
In a world of wonders far away.

-Walter De La Mare

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Refill Your Creative Well

We expect ourselves to be go, go, go all of the time. We want to produce, we want to finish what we started. We don’t want to slow down. But, if we are constantly working our inner well begins to dry up and we feel worn out.

There is a natural rhythm to life. If we allow a little Winter’s rest into our soul, a new bounty of growth can come forth. Sometimes we need to take take a break from writing and have a day of renewal. A day to refill the well.

Does your well need refilling?
You feel exhausted
No words want to come out of you
You have lost steam
Its hard to think

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Write Away From Home

How come being at home makes it harder to write? For me, its usually because I think of all the other things I could do. There are so many distractions.

It’s time to write! Oh wait, I need a glass a water.
It’s time to write! I need to feed the cat
It’s time to write! I have to do some laundry
Its time to write! Im too tired, I want to nap
It’s time to write! Look! Shiny!

Reasons Why Writing at Home is Difficult
  • Too many distractions
  • Hard to make the work/home separation
  • Home can get lonely
  • Sometimes you just need to be in a different environment
Stepping away from all of the distractions of home can help you to focus. There are many places that  provide enough background white-noise to occupy that piece of your brain that craves distraction. Or provide perfect quiet to write in peace. It is important to find a place that suits you the best, and encourages writing.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Writer's Cup

He’s hot, dark, rich, and nothing lures The Muse quite like him. I’m talking about Joe.
Cuppa Joe, that is.

I adore weekend mornings when I get to drink home brewed coffee. It is my first thought when I wake up. Coffay. I pad downstairs in my robe and pjs, and start the coffee maker. Soon the air is filled with the percolating sounds, and rich aroma of the nectar of life. That first cup is always the best. I like to put a ton of milk, and creamer in mine. Stir it slowly and watch the clouds swirl in a dark liquid dream. A sprinkle of cinnamon on top and I'm in Java Heaven.

I wrap my hands around the warm cup, and breathe in. Ahhhh bliss. Creamy, sweet, dark, hot-what a way to start the day. It energizes my derp-tarded brain, making me feel more awake. Coffee (or its lesser, tea) is the perfect companion to writing! A coffee ritual energizes and relaxes at the same time, getting you in the perfect mindset to write.

Some writers’ like my friend, even have a special cup that they only drink from when they write. What a great idea. Why not choose a special cup for your writing practice? :)

Sweet coffee, warm coffee
Tasty in my tum
Creamy coffee, happy coffee
Yum, yum, yum

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Power of Writing

We live our everyday lives as the spouse, co-worker, friend, etc. But there is also our secret life as a writer. A place where we can escape into a magical dream world. We can say anything, create whatever we want, and make anything happen.

There is great power in that.

Whatever stage of the writing process we are in, let’s not forget it.

- Andrea

The Writer's Muscle

The more you write, the more you can write, and the more you want to write. 

- Andrea

Writing is a Joy

As a  teenager I started writing in diaries. While life spun around me like a whirlwind, writing was my calm center. I also wrote poems to express my feelings. It was fun to discover words that described my heart, and shape them on the page.

Writing, in and of itself was a joy.

So… when did it become such an agony?

For me, it was in my late twenties when I decided to write novels. When I wanted to become published. Still do!

The self-critic got to me. I became discouraged by my sloppy amateurish work. I would write a rough draft and determine it wasn’t good enough for any eyes to look upon, lest they go blind. I still enjoyed writing, creating my own dream-worlds, but editing scared me to death. The fear of failure overwhelmed me. So, I would just write another story – hoping my rough drafts would magically become better.

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