Podcasts Illuminations Equals Change

Tonight I listened to The Creative Penn Podcast “My 2017 Goals. Plus Visualization and Positive Thinking for Authors with Nina Amir” I must say, it was very inspiring. If you are a professional writer, or like me, a struggling writer, … Continue reading

inspiresI wasn’t feeling well at all yesterday, and while that is not too great of an excuse not to write, I still didn’t. So today I must do two. (I’ll do them separately, however.)

WHO INSPIRES YOU THE MOST?

Gosh…I really sometimes just do not like this question. I mean, in what atmosphere are we talking about inspiration? I have different means of being/getting inspired.

When it comes to my family, my mother-in-law inspires me. I was around her the most when I was newly married. We actually lived with my in-laws so it was hard not to be around them. Sharon (rest in peace) had the most beautiful spirit. She never had an unkind word on her tongue. She was almost always in control of her emotions. She led her family with a servant’s heart. She rose early in the morning and prepared food for everyone. She tended to her home without complaint. And she never, ever missed her hour of prayer with the Lord. (It was always at 5pm, right after her favorite soap opera. LOL) Why did, does she inspire me? She taught me by showing and by leading and by guiding me. She helped me to be the right kind of woman, a Godly wife and mother. It was in everything she did and said that I learned how I should present myself to my family, to others, and to the Lord. I was so very blessed to have her in my life. Continue reading

Creative Writing Challenge: Day 4

inspiresI wasn’t feeling well at all yesterday, and while that is not too great of an excuse not to write, I still didn’t. So today I must do two. (I’ll do them separately, however.)

WHO INSPIRES YOU THE MOST?

Gosh…I really sometimes just do not like this question. I mean, in what atmosphere are we talking about inspiration? I have different means of being/getting inspired.

When it comes to my family, my mother-in-law inspires me. I was around her the most when I was newly married. We actually lived with my in-laws so it was hard not to be around them. Sharon (rest in peace) had the most beautiful spirit. She never had an unkind word on her tongue. She was almost always in control of her emotions. She led her family with a servant’s heart. She rose early in the morning and prepared food for everyone. She tended to her home without complaint. And she never, ever missed her hour of prayer with the Lord. (It was always at 5pm, right after her favorite soap opera. LOL) Why did, does she inspire me? She taught me by showing and by leading and by guiding me. She helped me to be the right kind of woman, a Godly wife and mother. It was in everything she did and said that I learned how I should present myself to my family, to others, and to the Lord. I was so very blessed to have her in my life. Continue reading

Review: Mockingbird

Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig

“This might be the last chance to get off the ride. The Miriam Black Experience is about to depart the gate, and you’re either strapped in or left behind. Time to commit, Miss Wiz. The lady or the tiger.”

In Chuck Wendig’s second installment Mockinbirds, Miriam is definitely in a pissy mood. She is totally exhausted of trying to live the normal life that Louis is hoping they can live together. In fact, this ‘living the rat-wheel life’ of working at a shitty store dealing with tourists day in and day out is pushing her over the edge.

The book opens up, introducing the readers to Miriam. A stand-alone novel, the average reader does not have to know the Miriam we loved in Blackbird. This Miriam is wearing black gloves; stifling the visions but is living a numbness sort of life that she hates. She is trying to be normal but Miriam isn’t normal. And having a job and a home address does not a normal person make. And she is tired of faking it.

So when she gets fired she decides to get a quick fix; just a quick looksee at how her boss gets to the grave. And how alive she feels when she pulls those black gloves off makes it totally worth it. Only Miriam isn’t prepared for what she sees and immediately goes into full action mode which entails going face to face with a lunatic.

For those who read book one the rules of the game changed for Miriam. In this book, whether you knew the rules changed or not, the reader learns the cold hard truth. The only way to prevent one death is to offer up another to death’s hands. Eye for an eye kind of thing, if you will only it is a life for a life this time.

Fate is a hard ass stickler when it comes to the rules of death. It’s hungry and it MUST eat. So Miriam gives it what it must have- a soul. When she does she is called into the darkness where she is greeted by…well, she doesn’t exactly know. She once thought it a figment of her imagination but she isn’t sure anymore. For the sake of it all, she calls him the Trespasser.

When she returns to the land of the living, she decides to call it all quits. No more job. No more shitty trailer where she lives alone because Louis is of driving his truck. No more Rat-wheel living for her. She finds the traveler inside her is coming alive and she hits the road. Only Louis shows up on the same road.

Louis tells her about a job; a psychic job. A teacher at a boarding school for girls is certain she is dying and is offering to pay Miriam to learn how she is going to die. After some reluctance, Miriam agrees to take the job. Only the job turns out to be so much more and now she is caught in the clutches of finding a serial killer before they find her.

Though the beginning had me, there were times where I found myself wanting to skim through and past some of the scenes. I can’t say this book held me captive as much as the first in the series but I will say it is definitely a book worth picking up. Wendig is up to his antics again in Mockingbird. Gore, death, and the usual relentless and foul-mouthed female holds up in this second installment. Another book that is not for the easily ‘creeped out by the bumps in the night’ reader, this is another unique read. Tightly woven into a book that will turn your stomach and at the same time have you turning the page to see what happens next, this is another must read.

Verdict: 8.5/10

Continue reading

Somtimes it does begin with a bang.

nephewsWhen I was three or four my Granny O. had these three small, fat books. They were my favorites and I learned to read using those books. I’ll admit today when I go visit her I always fondly recall those books. Even though she doesn’t live in the same home as when I stayed with her I still go to her house and can’t help but look around the place and I am swept back into time. A time where she would give me flashcards with letters and I would have to put them together to form words. A time where a myriad of Disney Comic books and others drew me into a world of make-believe where princesses could slay the dragons, youth had power and could save the world by believing, and magic closets and lions were something to seek and fall in love with.

She instilled in me a passion for reading and writing. She introduced me to many fantastic voyages. She proved to me that while television and movies were fun diving into a book created many more opportunities and there was no limit to where I could go, who I could meet, and what I could do. While my mother would show me books like Good Night Moon and I loved those special moments of her reading to me, it was my Granny O. who gave me the book Fievel, An American Tale. I loved that movie but seeing the story in words, along with the pictures, it was amazing. I learned that those movies I loved were only a bunch of words and some colorful pictures. fievel

It may sound silly to you, the reader, but for me, that was a pivotal moment of change for me. I was forever altered, never to be the same girl. From that moment I was a writer. I wrote stories. I was only six and seven so my experiences weren’t wide and far but I still ‘wrote what I knew’. I merged characters like Curious George and Shirley Temple and gave them adventures. In fifth and sixth grade I was fascinated with the emergence of AIDS. TV commercials offered advice and info (just call this 800 number!) and learned as much as I could by getting brochures and pamphlets. In sixth grade I wrote a novella (though I would hear that term for years to come) and I won a Young Author’s Award for my story about a young girl whose brother had contacted AIDS and if she didn’t change her life she would likely end up the same. Continue reading

Confession, Promise, and Goals

200

A great number to begin with!

Hi. My name is Michala and I’m a writer. WTH!!!! How the heck can I call myself a writer if I’m NOT writing?

I see that it has been an entire month since I last posted. That is just no good. I came back from my writing Conference with some great goals and boy did I fall flat on my ass!

I think I’ll wait until January 1st to make new goals and begin anew. NOPE…just kidding. It is always a good time to begin. Even to begin AGAIN. Yet, that is where I am at.

So here’s the scoop on the last month:

I quit my job at the hotel because I got offered a job as a full time counselor where I was interning. That means I am no longer working 7 days a week! How Cow, does that feel great! I love it. That means I can have more energy to write, yes? Continue reading

Mick Jagger Sang It Best!

When I went to Pikes Peak Writers Conference I had the highest hopes of attaining inspiration to write. I had, to be quite honest, the feeling of that cold dark notion of ‘writer’s block’ over me. I wasn’t producing anything and I just knew the conference would help me come out of this rut but I came home not really feeling all that excited to write. I’m not saying I wasn’t excited. Oh I was indeed in seventh heaven for so many reasons. However I wasn’t really feeling that ‘carpal tunnel syndrome’ feeling if you get my drift. LOL

chuck

Chuck Wendig and Me!!!

I had met some fantastic people. OMG. I met my most favorite writer, Chuck Wendig of Terribleminds. I tried my absolute best not to walk that ‘stalker’ line. I got to get my books autographed. He even predicted my ‘demise’ Hehe! I got to sit at his table during one of the banquets. He even stopped and talked to me in the hall on various occasions. I felt honored! You must understand! This man is someone I’ve been following, learning the writing craft from, and studying. I consider him a mentor. I am not just a fan but a student. So to get to meet him meant the world to me. And to be treated like an equal was…well, as I said, an honor, and I am humbled. Listening to his keynote speech was inspiring in itself. Not to go out and write, but to persevere. Thanks to him, I came home understanding it wasn’t writer’s block. Thank you Chuck. 🙂

hank

Hank Phillippi Ryan

I got to meet Hank Phillippi Ryan. That remarkable woman’s very presence just made my mouth drop! The experience made me nearly faint! Watching her during the read and critique was fascinating. Watching her in action, listening to her speak….let’s just say…when I grow up, I want to be just like her! Wowza!!! She is so poised, professional, and just super stardom. I mean, there are just no words to express what is was like being around her. At one point, I was walking and I had asked the person beside me where the book signing was being held *with her book in my hand* and I unknowingly asked HER and she smiled and stated that it was the highest praise for that to happen in such a way, unknowingly for the two of us to run into each other like that.

jim hines

JIm C. Hines

I also had the honor of sitting down a number of times and speaking with Jim C. Hines. This man is so creative. I tell you what, if I was a brain surgeon, that is one head I would LOVE to crack open and take a look at because there is some wicked cool stuff happening inside it. He is a fantastic man, and this is coming from just having sat down for a just a little while with. I’m sure if I had more time….well, you might just hear on the news that of a case of body snatching (blame it on aliens because there is some intelligent life going on inside that man). He is certainly a couple generations ahead of the times.

gail

Gail Carriger

Gail Carriger is a beautiful soul. She had me in tears through her keynote speech. And I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sit down with her the next day and have a gut level conversation with her. Life resonates within her, showing her passion and sincerity. It is no wonder creativity resonates through her veins and she continues to write best sellers. I pray that she continues to have success and she finds answers she seeks, and that beauty comes to her through characters, through love, and through life forever.

There were so many names, so many people that I can’t list them all. YOU ALL KNOW WHO YOU ARE. I consider them all friends now.  I went into this conference hoping for the inspiration to go home to write. To want to write rigorously. That wasn’t so. Instead, I took home with me the experience of a lifetime. Education and knowledge from professionals. My eyes were opened in ways I’d not expected to happen. I see my writing the way agents and editors look at it. I also have a lot of new friendships.

And I reached a new milestone in my life. I pitched one of my novels. I pitched my fantasy novel series to Del Ray Spectra and they requested to del raysee more! What a huge success that was!!! My first ever pitch and they want to see more. WOW! I am a realist but also an optimist. I may not make it all the way through the publishing process. They may look at the book and opt to not take it. However, to even be considered it a HUGE success, an honor that I take and in such an early stage in my writing career, I can say I am just truly, truly grateful to even be considered. I am humbled and in awe. Many many thanks for just reaching this point in my life.

I walked into that pitch workshop, completely overwhelmed and walked out totally numbed and truly disheartened and certain of failure. But I took what information I was given, studied, practiced, and worked like crazy. And two days later gave my pitch. And had success! 🙂

Cheers!

Michala

 

Book Review: Blackbirds

Blackbirds By Chuck WendigBlackbirds By Chuck Wendig

Wendig writes Blackbirds in such a manner that you just want to sink you teeth into it, let it clog the arteries, and die a peaceful death with a big grin of satiation on the face.

 When Miriam Black touches you skin-to-skin she instantly is privy to very personal information about you. She knows how you die. She lives the event within her mind. Now whether she tells you or not, that’s a whole ‘nother ballpark. If she does decide to tell you, you’ll likely either not believe her or if you do, it’s already too late. This is the case as you turn that first page and enter into Miriam’s life. You are immediately thrust into her world. And after the show is over, Miriam sits back, lights herself a cigarette, and writes. Dear Diary: I did it again.

She is a traveler. She is a ‘give-me-a-ride‘ thumb-pushing, truck stop visiting, cheap motel hopping, and cheapest bar-booze drinking traveler with no place to call home. She doesn’t keep friends. How can one have friends when all she sees is their ultimate and final departure? And then she meets Louis. Continue reading