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Mailbox Monday (November 1st)

Onward! I managed to slip some manuscript editing in between my obsessive reading of book three in Angie Fox’s Accidental Demon Slayer series. As every Monday, I am blogging about my reading mailbox in conjunction with tons of other awesome blogs, following the fabulous reading blogs The Story Siren & She Reads & Reads!

This week brings me to Ms. Fox’s A Tale of Two Demon Slayers. Here’s the blurb:

In the ultimate showdown for survival, may the best demon slayer win.

Last month, I was a single preschool teacher whose greatest thrill consisted of color-coding my lesson plans. That was before I learned I was a slayer. Now, it’s up to me to face curse-hurling imps, vengeful demons, and any other supernatural uglies that crop up. And, to top it off, a hunk of a shape-shifting griffin has invited me to Greece to meet his family.

But it’s not all sun, sand, and ouzo. Someone has created a dark-magic version of me with my powers and my knowledge—and it wants to kill me and everyone I know. Of course, this evil twin doesn’t have Grandma’s gang of biker witches, a talking Jack Russell terrier, or an eccentric necromancer on its side. In the ultimate showdown for survival, may the best demon slayer win.

Her dog is cracking me up and I am seriously considering a Jack Russell of my own. This series is too much fun not to share. You simply must read it if you haven’t. Put it on the TBR pile ASAP!

Anyone else LOVE this series? Comments? NO spoilers please!

Win! A Girl, A Guy & A Ghost by Patricia Mason!!!

Tonight’s the night! I’m giving away another book I won at the COFW conference! This week’s winner will receive a copy of A Girl, A Guy & A Ghost by Patricia Mason! Free books! SQUEE!!!

From Patricia’s website:

Curvy redhead Giselle Hunter, parapsychology reporter, has a crisis. Finding a ghost within three days is the only way to save her job. Not easy, especially with no psychic talent. A trip to Savannah Georgia—voted the most haunted city in America—seems ideal. But while Giselle encounters a discrimination-obsessed vampire, a nudist wizard, a not-so-psychic medium and a host of other kooks, there’s not a ghost in sight.

Then there’s scrumptiously sexy, private investigator Ry Leland. With his buff body and bitable lips, Ry ignites her passion. He’s an enormous distraction. Distracting her in a bed, in a closet, on the kitchen table, in a car… But despite the explosion of their mutual lust at first sight, Ry is unwilling to help with what he calls a cockamamie investigation. Unwilling, that is, until an attempt on her life makes it clear someone wants to stop Giselle from finding a ghost…and turn her into one.

I will have the random number machine select a number, then count off my followers from Google Friend Connect, Networked Blogs and FaceBook! If I land on you, you win! Easy as that! I’ll get your book in the mail next week :) So, if you’re in the market for a free book and feel like distributing a little writer luv, follow me here at Musings anyway you want and you could be my next winner!

Thanks!!!!!

Just Say “No” to Writer’s Block

I get a kick out of the way writers are portrayed on television.  We never fail to find them at a desk in a quiet office, probably part of a log cabin, looking longingly out of a bay window at a lake. No wonder those writers are always suffering from writer’s block!

There is nothing more fictional than that reality. Besides, life is jam packed with everything a writer needs, emotion, tragedy, comedy, love. I find all I need to write about by living my life. Too many people think life is overwhelming, but life is just life, and how much more can a writer ask for than “overwhelming?” I get excited just thinking about it.

Chaos Adds Zest to Writing.

I have three small children. It’s my life, my situation, and I use it to help me write. I’ve learned that taking them anywhere in public requires a certain amount of humility and insanity and it builds character. It also builds characters.

Do you know that when grown people go out in public, they rarely mingle? Kids on the other hand, always mingle.

Bringing children causes us to meet people we never would have.  Everyone talks to children.  Also, kids see things we don’t. They are shorter, for one thing, so they literally have a different view, plus they take great interest in things we don’t care about. They stare when we turn the other way, and as a writer, I can really miss some of the best fodder for my novels.

So, I will pass on the desk facing a quiet lake. I prefer the drama and break-neck-pace of my crazy life. I have my chaos to thank for some of my favorite arcs and characters.

Embrace what life throws at you. Don’t toss it aside without a little exploration.

If we’re still breathing, “writers block” shouldn’t be a word in our vocabulary.

Wow! Diana Raab and Going Pink!

It’s breast cancer awareness month and I would like to introduce you to, author Diana Raab. I encourage you to stop by her site and see what she’s up to, but I’ve brought some of her site to you:

“Diana M. Raab, MFA, RN was born in Brooklyn, New York and received her undergraduate degree in Health Administration and Journalism in 1976. A few years later she received her RN degree. After 25 years as a medical and self-help writer, she’s directed her creative energy towards nonfiction and memoir writing. In 2003 she earned her MFA in Writing from Spalding University’s low-residency program.

She is the author of eight books. Her most recent release, Healing With Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey (2010) is a memoir/self-help book which includes reflections, experiences, journal entries and poems all emphasizing the healing power of writing. In addition to extensive appendices, each chapter finishes with blank pages and journaling prompts for the reader to write about their own experiences.”

Breast Cancer is a very real and frightening reality for many women every year. Almost all of us have been touched by its effects in one way or another, and so I encourage you today, to take a minute and do your self breast exam when you shower, or talk to you best friend, daughter, sister or mom about the importance of mammograms and make a pact together. be accountable to remember these very important and very simple measures that could save your life.

My life’s worth a 60 second self exam, or an hour at the doctor’s office. Isn’t yours? Take a friend or loved one if you’re nervous. They’ll go if you ask. We women are like that. I took a bestie to have my wisdom tooth pulled once. I told the dentist I planned to hold her hand and he’d have to work around her. He did, and we had a wonderful bonding experience. Nothing’s that scary with a friend along. Promise.

I wrote today’s post as part of the WOW-Women on Writing Blanket Tour for Healing with Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey by Diana M. Raab, MFA, RN (www.dianaraab.com).  The book includes Diana’s experiences, reflections, poetry and journal entries, in addition to writing prompts for readers to express their own personal stories. A survivor of both breast cancer and multiple myeloma, Raab views journaling to be like a daily vitamin–in that it heals, detoxifies and is essential for optimal health.
Diana, the author of eight books, spent 25 years as a medical and self-help writer before turning to poetry and memoir. She teaches creative journaling and memoir in UCLA Extension Writers’ Program.


If you comment on today’s post you’ll be entered to win a copy of Healing with Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey. To read Diana’s post about breast cancer and a list of other blogs participating in Diana’s Blanket Tour visit

http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/2010/09/blanket-tour-for-diana-raab.html.


An Agent Slammed Me on Their Blog

OK, I think it’s been long enough. I’d like to tell you a story about a writer in need of advice. Me. And her sad sad story of finding the wrong medium for that advice.

I had a situation which I should’ve taken straight to my agent, but I was afraid. You know, these days, you sign contracts with people you’ve never met, and it’s a strange situation. You, well, I feel like one of thousands she could represent. Maybe she adores me, maybe not I don’t know, and insecurities can abound. I certainly couldn’t pick her out in a line up based on a profile pic, and I’ve never heard her voice, so how tight can we be, really? All I know is I’m new and I don’t want to mess things up. This is why I tend to ask my agent-go-to Agency Gatekeeper Blog all my desperate questions. She is quick, honest and intelligent on all things literary, and because she is not my agent, she is impartial.

For some unknown reason, I took my latest agent related question to someone else. I honestly have no explanation, maybe God was teaching me some lesson that I wasn’t nearly bright enough to get. Anyway, I asked and they answered.

They answered hardcore-shame-on-me-style. I had commenters defending me it was so bad. Yeah. I was accused of not being a person of moral fabric, un-Christian, a whole bunch of crazy stuff and I cried. Yeah. I was beside myself. I have not a malicious bone in my body, but something in my question hit this agent in a sore spot and she let me have it.

Sobbing and wiping tears, I contacted my actual agent to talk about my question. I am humbled as I tell you what she said. I’ll paraphrase. Basically, I laid it out there cringing after what I was expecting to come and I got a virtual shrug. Basically her response was “Whatevs.”

Hunh?

Right. I guess there are a couple of lessons. One is if I have a question about my agent, I shouldn’t be afraid to – you know – ask my agent.  Next, be careful where you seek advice and in what forum you request it. I was afraid to bother my agent or upset my agent or make waves with my agent, I don’t know, we tip toe around in circles trying everything short of magic, including desperate prayer to get an agent -no one wants to rock the boat.

Silly. I was stressed out for nothing. Frustrated and I probably black listed my name to that agent (if blacklisting is a real practice) and anyone that agent shared my identity with (not that they would share my name) for being such a jerkface. It was all for not because the agent whose opinion mattered, mine, didn’t feel remotely close to the way the other agent did . She thanked me for the information and went on to discuss my manuscript, like “no bigs.”

So, advice from a girl who got a sound online thumping – ask your agent, or editor if you have a question for them, or ask a friend unless you are willing to be caught as off guard and horrified as I was. Thank God above the blog kept my name anonymous or I’d be changing careers. Halloween came early for me this year.

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