Blog Archives

Blogging Ain’t for Sissies #blogging #writing #atozchallenge

Blogging is one of those subjects you hear a lot of chatter about in the writing community. You should do it, you shouldn’t. You have to post every day, once a week is fine… there are as many schools of thought as there are blogs, I think.

In my experience, I find that most authors either love it or absolutely hate it. It is one of those tasks that requires a healthy dose of dedication, and an even larger amount of organization. Time management skills help as well. (especially when you’re challenging yourself to 26 posts in a month)

When I first decided to create a blog–the first big step to creating the all important online presence and “brand”, I admit I was quite a bit intimidated. What would I say? Could I possibly say anything at all someone besides me would care to read, or dare I say, find interesting? What if nobody visited or commented. I would be left with a daily reminder of what an unpopular loser I was. Just what every confidence lacking aspiring author needs, right?

If I wanted to take my writing serious, build myself a platform to grow from, I needed to start blogging — so I took the leap. And, guess what? I didn’t fall on my face at all. My blog has a fair following, and I get to enjoy comments from friends and visitors on a regular basis. It has done wonders for that ailing confidence issue, and I find it also helps exercise the writing muscles (even if it isn’t my first true love — FICTION)

It has been two years now, and I am still blogging strong, and have even added a second blog for my erotica alter ego and for concentrating on Book Reviews and promoting my fellow authors.

The point to all this rambling nonsense? *crooks a finger, urging you closer*

You never know until you try. You just may find you are tougher than you thought, or better yet, that you were born to be a blogger.

Your comments and questions are always welcome 🙂

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Alphabet Soup: The A to Z Blogging Challenge #Blogging #Writing #atozchallenge

So, it turns out I may just be crazy after all. At the prodding (okay maybe that part is just in my head) of fellow author, Kelly Said, I decided to attempt to participate and complete the April A to Z Blogging Challenge.

The basic premise here is to write a blog post every day – one for each letter of the alphabet, starting today, April 1st. For the rest of the month (minus the rest of the Sundays since there are only 26 letters in the alphabet) I will be posting something new, and hopefully interesting here on the blog.

*cracks knuckles* No, this is not an April Fools Joke.

Today’s letter is A, hence the Alphabet Soup title… getting it now?

ANYWAY (hehe, another A – I am on a roll, baby), stay tuned all this month for a mixed bag of fantastic posts. Everything from Book or Movie Reviews to my own brand of silly rants. I may even toss in a flash fiction shorts if I get inspired.

Thanks so much for stopping in to follow the progress towards madness.

Let the games begin!!

I’ve Been Tagged: Lucky Seven #blogging #writers

So today I arrived home to learn I have been tagged by a fellow author. There have been a few of these tagging blog posts going about. This one looked like fun, so what the heck — I’m game for a little fun.

The rules for this one are quite simple (hooray!)

  1. Go to page 77 of your current ms.
  2. Go to line 7.
  3. Copy down the next 7 lines/sentences, and post them as they’re written. No cheating.
  4. Tag 7 other victims, …er, authors.

I have a few current WIPs, so I picked the one I worked on most recently with more than the requisite 77 pages. These are the seven lines from THE MACHENWOOD CHRONICLES (I got lucky on the content, I think)

Ric knelt down, met her eyes. His face so close, a breath away, glowing warm in the lantern light; his eyes sparkled like a star laden sky.

 Her breath caught. She searched his face.

 With mesmerizing slowness and eyes locked with hers, Ric reached up, pushed a blonde lock from her face, and tucked it behind her ear. Knuckles brushed against her neck, a chill radiated from the point of contact. He devoured her with his gaze.

Not bad, right? A little steamy, but innocent at the same time. I can live with it 🙂

Since the rules stated I couldn’t make any changes to the text, I didn’t name the “Her” in the story, but for those who are morbidly curious, her name is Ana.

Now… *rubs chin* to select seven other luck writers…

Okay, here they are. You have been tagged, my darlings!

Stephanie Lawton
Jocelyn Adams
Kelly Said
Julie Reece
Amaleen Ison
Julie Belfield
Candice Bundy

The Clan Takes Boston (Part Deux)… Still just kinda :P #beantown #travel

I promised you all last week when I started to give you a peek at my family trip to Boston in late February that I would return to post the rest of the excellent family adventure.

Welp, here I am. (You were waiting with baited breath, weren’t you?)

Best bet is to start where I finished off on the last posting, right? Right.

The Salty Dog… where anything can happen…

We had a nice lunch there and then the family decided to head out for a bit more exploration. We also wanted to be sure the restaurant we had prebooked a reservation at (Union Street Oyster House) was really within walking distance. As soon as we got outside, my youngest daughter, Shelby noticed a vendor selling silly balloon hats outside at Quincy Market. She, of course, HAD TO HAVE ONE!!

Okay, how much are they? She tells me, four dollars. Welp, I have no cash, so I truck over to an ATM and pull a bit out and tell her, “Sure, you can have one, but you have to wear it.”

So, Shelby sits herself down with the vendor and he makes her a wonderful “Very Shelby” hat.

As you can see in the photos, it was a rather blustery afternoon and Shelby, besides being cold, is trying like heck to ensure her cool new hat is not going to fly off her little head at any moment.

She even managed to gather herself a little crowd of curious passersby (Shelby is quite good at that).

Here you see the glorious finished product, the Most Fantastical Silly Hat of All Time!

Tada!!

Once Shelby was properly attired in her fancy new hat, it was time to continue our walk to the restaurant. This went without a hitch as the place was indeed just a short walk from the hotel on the other side of Quincy Market.

Once we’d assured ourselves of this fact, we decided to head back to the Market area and take a walk down the second row of shops. As we traversed, it became clear that there were far too many cool places to poke in for a drink (more a draw for Pete and I than the girls, but still). Not to mention shops full of interesting souvenirs and knick knacks.

My eldest daughter, Casey decided she needed the lobster beanie… (yes, she is 17 and yes, it looked silly — absolutely I made her wear it all the way back to our hotel. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a pic of this fancy lobster hat, but trust me, it is exactly as you would picture it might look. While I was there I also grabbed a T-shirt for my son (who didn’t take the trip with us). Purchases made, we decided to head back to the hotel to relax for a bit before our dinner reservation.

On the way back to the hotel, we came across one of those board things with head cut outs and I had to make the girls poke their little faces in it so I could get their picture.

Well worth it, right? Sometimes my daughters are just too cute and accommodating.

So back to the hotel we go. I spend the next hour or so taking pictures out the window at the view from our room, while Pete relaxes and the girls head up a few floors to check out the hotel’s “arcade” and “family activity center”.

I don’t have a heights thing, so when I had booked the room, I asked for a high floor.

Definitely worth asking. I had not expected the amazing views we got from our bedroom window.

See? Unbeatable. It looked even more amazing at night, to be frank, but I am not capable of taking night pics without blurring them beyond hope, so you will not be getting to see that view. I guess you will just have to go to Boston for that one 😛

So evening comes and it’s time for dinner. So the gang heads back out into the Boston evening. We make the short walk to Union Street Oyster House, which Pete has been excited about since we left New York. And dinner is on him, what could be sweeter? Not much, I can tell ya.

The dinner… didn’t quite live up to the lofty expectations on any front. The food was fine, but super expensive for what you got from a portion and taste standpoint. The tables were small and you sorta felt packed in. I can’t remember what Pete ordered, but I had the American Bouillabaisse, Casey ordered a steak and fries, and Shelby had Butterfly Shrimp. My meal looked GORGEOUS!!
The taste was pretty good too, frankly. I was a bit disappointed in the amount of lobster contained in the meal, being it cost $36.00 for the bowl and only had half a lobster in it. But, overall, tasty vittles.

Here are my attempts to take a lovely picture of Shelby (reminding you she refuses to take “normal” pictures). Yes, she is a trip… (to where, I’m not quite sure)

After dinner, we walked back to the hotel for the evening. The girls headed back up to the arcade with a pocket full of quarters and Pete and I relaxed in the room.

This is when I started talking pics of the room and Pete decided to don the “Fabulous Silly Hat” and prance about the room in his tightie whities and toast me in each and every pic. Here’s an example of what my room pics all look like. (Some areas blocked out to keep things G-rated – but you get the idea).

Is it any wonder I am as strange as I appear sometimes? I mean, look at what I put up with 😛 Love that man of mine… really!

So, after some fun with wine and silly hats, we retired for the evening. The plan: get an early start, grab something for breakfast and be at the gates of the Aquarium at 9am opening time. Why so early?

The penguin feeding at 9:15am. Gotta be there for that! Plans made. The evening was a bit rough for me. Not sure if it was the wine or that gorgeous bowl of boulliabaise, but I had to get up about an hour after going to bed to empty my stomach into the fancy toilet. Wee… there goes that $35 dollar meal… Once I was on empty, my tummy felt great. A quick teeth brushing later, I was back in bed and feeling sooooo much better. Fell right to sleep, and had a quiet rest of the night.

We managed to get up on time, but Pete was having some muscle issues, so I took the girls across the street to Dunkin Donuts to grab a quick breakfast before we went and dragged Pete out of bed.

We managed to do that, but also managed to miss the penguin feeding.

Oh well, stuff happens. We got to the Aquarium at about 10am and got our tickets.

Right behind the ticket booth is the tank where they have the harbor seals, so we beelined there to see them swimming back and forth (upside down – though I have no idea why).

Shelby LOVED these guys. If she could have, I have no doubt she would have climbed right into the big tank area with them if the wall surrounding them wasn’t so high. The tank was neat because you could see them above and below the surface swimming.

We managed to drag Shelby from the tank to actually go INSIDE the Aquarium, but didn’t make it more than a few steps before we found a penguin statue where we had to take another picture of the girls. In this particular picture, we find Casey giving us her best “ghetto pose”. She looks so intimidating, doesn’t she?

Yeah… I know. She tries, really, but I don’t think Casey could be “bad” even if she had a lifetime to practice. Pete calls her “a saint” for a reason.

After the photo op, we finally made it into the actual Aquarium. I took oodles of pictures while we were there, but I will spare you the loin’s share of them, because, well, some of them are only exciting to me.

Instead, I will just share with you a few of my absolute favorites. You can thank me for that later. 😀

When you first enter the Aquarium, you are greeted by a massive tank of penguins… like the entire bottom floor of the place surrounds the massive penguin tank.  Let me tell you, I could have spent the ENTIRE day right there. That is how much I love watching the little suckers. Here are just a few of the snaps I grabbed of the little cuties:

It wasn’t until I started going through these pics that I actually realized how many I took of penguins. Probably about a third of all my pics… oops 😛

Once I managed to drag myself away — or rather the family managed to drag me away from the penguins, we explored the rest of the three floors of aquatic exhibits. We saw everything from Atlantic Salmon to … I can’t think of an aquatic exhibit that ends in Z… but you get the idea.

Shelby was a bit disappointed they didnt have a manatee or any dolphins, but she adored hanging in the back pool with the seals and sealions. And I did manage to grab a few cool pics of the little cuties.

This little fuzzy guy was probably my favorite. He just seemed so laid back and unimpressed with everything going on around him. Shelby’s favorite was the sealion she said was named Zoey. I am taking her word on that one, since she was glued to the presenter doing the talking during the presentation, so she would know. I gotta admit, she was a cutie too.

The family and I spent the next four or so hours wandering around in the Aquarium and then we found the Giant Ocean Tank…

Let me tell you, a person could spend the entire day staring into that thing and would probably never get bored. Between the giant sea turtle, the massive sharks, and the stingray… not to mention the parrot fish, groupers, angelfish… well, you name it and it was probably in that tank someplace. I took another million pictures of the tank, though some came out, and others didn’t. It is hard to take a picture through glass with no flash and actually get it to come out. But, in this effort, I got some amazing pics of my girls in the glass reflections.

Check these out. (pay close attention to the expressions on their faces).

This one is Shelby checking out the giant octopus (in the top corner of the tank, stuck to the glass). She is just enthralled but the big guy.

In this one of Casey, I don’t even know what it was she was looking at, but I just love how I captured her complete amazement at whatever it was she was looking at in the Giant Tank.

The last is Shelby again, this time she is checking out the massive shark, also in the Giant Ocean tank.

I just love seeing my girls so engrossed in something that is also so educational.

So, as you can see, the gang had quite an excellent time in Boston and especially at the New England Aquarium.

If you are from the Northeast, and have never been there, I would highly recommend it. It is the perfect day trip for anyone who has kids that love ocean creatures as much as my girls seem to.

Thanks for stopping by. I would love to know what you think about the trip or any of the pictures posted in either this or last weeks Part 1 of “The Clan Takes Boston”.

Happy Friday, everyone!

The A to Z of Me (Rebecca Hart): What Makes Me Tick? #writing #author

So, I saw this little list of A to Z’s on fellow Inkspell author, Stephanie Lawton’s blog today and it looked like fun, so I stole it (thanks, Steph!) from her (and she apparently hijacked it from another Inkspell author, Brooke Moss).

Maybe this will give you all a little insight into my personal sanity issues 😀

Here we go…

A. Age: I’m one of the oldies, I guess, though I never much considered myself as being old. I am a very young, and somewhat immature 42.

B. Bed size: KING — I have to have room to poke at least one foot out from beneath the covers to be able to sleep properly. Not to mention, I snore when on my back, so my boyfriend, Pete needs some extra space for when he has to push me over on my side to keep me from sawing wood so loud he can’t sleep. Sexy, right?

C. Chore that you hate: Laundry. The pile never seems to get any smaller no matter how many loads I do. In addition, my “High Efficiency” washer eats one article of clothing per load. (Yes, it is as inefficient as it sounds)

D. Dogs: Gotta have em. We have always been a dog family – since I was a child, so when I grew up and had my own place, one of the first things I did was get a dog. I’ve had a few over the years, but our current dog is a very adorable beagle named Digger.

E. Essential start to your day: Coffee — and usually more coffee.

F. Favorite color: Green — of any type. Just love the cool, natural feel to the green hues. That and what self respecting irish lass doesn’t love green?

G. Gold or Silver: I’m not one of those ladies that loves jewelry (or chocolate for that matter). I have always been a bit of a tom boy. But, I guess I would pick gold, since my boyfriend’s favorite hobby is gold prospecting. (Yes, people still actually do that)

H. Height: 5’10” – A tall drink of water, as my pop would say. I take after the Brennan side of the family on that one. It didn’t serve well at HS proms and dances, as I would always have to take off my shoes so I wasnt taller than my dates, but it was great for playing volleyball in HS and later, in college.

I. Instruments you play: Absolutely none. My sister, Chris and I made up names for bands with a friend growing up, even though none of us played any instruments or could really sing. Does that still count?

J. Job title: Impatient, soon to be published novelist. In the real world, I am a full time IT geek for a state agency.

K. Kids: I’ve got three. My son, Steven is out on his own at age 21, but my two daughters, Casey (17) and Shelby(11) still live with me at home… and usually find a way to make me giggle every day.

L. Live: I was born and raised in Upstate NY, and currently live in a small (rural) town named, Cambridge. You know, where it takes a ten minute drive to buy a gallon of milk and the air smells a bit like cows when the wind is just right.  Ahhh, country living…

M. Mother’s name: Catherine (everyone calls her Cathy). My mother rules… that is all 😀

N. Nicknames: I have had a few over the years, some good, some not so much. Most of my friends call me Becca and the ones that don’t call me Bex

O. Overnight hospital stays: My appendix burst when I was a senior in HS, so I spent about a week in the hospital then. I also don’t dilate, so I had overnight stays for C-sections for all three of my children. Yay me 😛

P. Pet peeves: Mean people, anyone driving less than 5 MPH under the speed limit when I am on my daily commute.  Oh, alright, I’ll be honest — anyone who drives 5 MPH under the speed limit if they are in front of me, period.

Q. Quote from a movie: Gotta go with one from my all time favorite movie. “Stay alive no matter what occurs. I will find you.”  Should I make you guess the movie?

R. Right or left handed: Right-handed, thought two of my three children are left handed.

S. Siblings: I’m the oldest of four children. I have a sister a year younger than myself, followed by a set of twins (a brother and sister).

T. Time you wake up: As late as possible. (About 7am on weekdays after 30 mins of snooze button abuse)

U. Underwear:This goes back to that whole tomboy thing.  I prefer wearing men’s boxers or none at all. (God, I hope my mother isn’t reading this)

V. Vegetable you hate: Brussel Sprouts and cooked cauliflower (love the stuff raw, though)

W. What makes you run late: My snooze bar, and the fact that sleeping rules.

X. X-Rays you’ve had: Hrmm… some broken bones during the sports years. No major physical issues *knock on wood*

Y. Yummy food that you make: Pete tells me I am an expert cook as long as it comes out of a box. I would disagree. I don’t cook because, well, he is home (retired) and does, so I don’t have to. I am quite talented with homemade soups, and potato and macaroni salads.

(I have no idea what the hell happened to Z. I’ll make one up.)ME EITHER SINCE I STOLE THIS FROM YOU, STEPH 😛

Z. Zamboni-related story: Holy cow, really?  ermmm… ZERO 😛 (hey, it starts with a Z, anyway)  I’ve seen one at a hockey game before. How’s that for a story? Oh, wait… happy ending… And my team won! 😀

There ya have it. 🙂 Anything revealed that you find shocking? Or spurred a follow-up question?  Feel free to toss it below and I promise I will answer them.

Happy Tuesday!