Thursday, March 31, 2011

Welcome to my A Fool For Books Giveaway! - Now Closed! Sorry.

Reading Hp Mallory's books have been a major turning point for me as an author. Her work inspired me to write Natural Selection, and she brought me together with the amazing writers I am proud to call my friends. So for my Fool for Books Giveaway, I will be giving the ebook version of her four full length novels!

The rules to enter are simple as can be.

You must be a follower of my blog
You must be 18 to enter.
You must own some form of ereader
You must leave a comment on this blog with your name, email address and which ereader you use.

The contest will be closed at Midnight on April 2nd, so get your entries in!

Write on Follow Friday!

Welcome to the Writer’s Follow Friday Blog Hop! Not sure if you qualify? If you have a blog to add, guess what, you’re a writer! So check out the rules, grab the link and join the hop! We’re small for now, but we hope to continue to grow.

Please join in in welcoming Liz Schulte from Bat Country with this week’s featured question. 

Some people like to do it in the office. Others prefer it in bed. Some people like it on the dining room table. Get your mind out of the gutter, I'm asking where you like to write!

“I can write anywhere. Sometimes it feels like my mind is constantly writing even if my hands aren’t. I plot scenes as I exercise, hanging out with friends, watching tv, shower, it doesn’t matter. Writing is always going on in my head. As for the room in my house I either write in my office or the family room. My favorite place that I have ever written was on the deck of a boat with the wind in my hair and the sun kissing my skin.

How do you join in the fun? So glad you asked. It’s really quite simple.

The rules
1)      Follow me, Elizabeth Sharp, the originator of this hop
2)      Follow the featured author of the week.
3)      Go to Sharp words and copy the image code found there and paste it in your blog. Add your name to the link at the bottom of the post while you are there.
4)      Copy and paste the rules in your blog, as well as this week’s question.
5)      Answer the question
6)      Follow, follow, follow. This is about networking, people, making connections with people in your community. So talk to us. We don't bite!
7)      If someone stops by, says hi and follows you, the polite thing to do is follow back.
8)      Comment here and introduce yourself and you just might find a new follower or two.

Breaking it down, here, in this box, is the code for the snazzy quill link to the hop. Copy it and paste it into your own blog.

Copy and paste these rules to your blog (they’re a little different than mine and designed to help your blog)
The rules
1)      Follow this blog.
2)      Follow Elizabeth Sharp, the originator of this hop
3)      Follow the featured author of the week.
4)      Go to Sharp words and copy the image code found there and paste it in your blog. Add your name to the link at the bottom of the post while you are there.
5)      Copy and paste the rules in your blog, as well as this week’s question.
6)      Answer the question
7)      Follow, follow, follow. This is about networking, people, making connections with people in your community. So talk to us. We don't bite!
8)      If someone stops by, says hi and follows you, the polite thing to do is follow back.
9)      Comment here and introduce yourself and you just might find a new follower or two.

Finally, click this link bar to add yourself to the list.

So is it just me....

I was running errands yesterday. I was on a two lane one way road at a stop light. There was a semi in front of me, beside me and one behind both of us. Suddenly a mental scenario played out in my head of something suddenly smashing into the side of the semi next to me, knocking it into my SUV. My SUV goes rolling down the steep embankment to land on it's roof, leaving me dangling from my seat belt, dazed and wondering what could have possibly smashed into the semi, since there was nothing but a steep hill and the interstate at the top. I then had flashes of being pulled out by rescue workers, strapped to a back board and rushed to the hospital. My husband would be called and rush to my side in a panic. Only after walking out of the hospital within hours of my accident with no major injury will it occur to me that I should question why I wasn't injured.

So does this happen to all writers, or am I just crazier than the rest?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Still playing catch up from yesterday, so bear with me folks. Had a blast with my Mom yesterday and Rum Tum Tugger gave me an idea for a character for Second Nature. I need to work on editing Natural Selection and finishing Performance Machine before I start any new projects. And I have several I want to do, but I'm making myself finish this trilogy because I hate when authors make me wait while they work on other projects. Not judging, just saying. ;)

I had a wonderful find last night after I got home that made me giggle with glee. I was trying to find an ancient story I wrote for the HPers and while going through the drawer I found some other stories I had forgotten about. One of them is a short story that might be predictable and was a glorified homage to two guys I had a crush on in high school. And for the record, I graduated in 1997, so this story predates Sixth Sense. Maybe it's why I saw the ending coming. :) I am planning on getting it typed and posting it her for Sample Sunday. 

The other thing I found was the book I was writing with my best friend Valerie back in high school. I always thought it was pretty horrible, but reading through it last night, it definitely has some good stuff in there. It says a lot about our differences. Before I can go into explaining that, here's the blurb.

In a world torn by war, a desperate and drastic plan is launched to end the violence. One citizen of each country is brought together with the others without knowing their grand purpose. They think they are merely going on a cruise, but in reality they are stranded on a deserted island specielly found and prepared for them. Now they have to learn to get along in order to survive. Can they learn to put the hatred that has been bred into them aside, or will old angers destroy the world's only hope.

Now how these eight people were supposed to make peace once they returned I don't know, nor do I know why they were selected. I think they were all somehow tied to the rulers of their countries or something like that. Don't get me wrong it's completely slavagable and worth a revisit someday. 

So finally back to what it say about our differences. All Valerie's characeers are jaded, fiery and aggressive, coming into the tale ready to fight. Mine are all troubled and abused yet still innocent, using the cruise to escape their troubles. This is a major testament to who we were/are. If you want to read more about our relationship and history together, check out my personal blog where I will write about her when I finish here. But this is about our story. I might go back and work on it because it has potential. I wonder if it can be revamped and made better. Maybe someday it will get published. I think on of the biggest things that needs to be changed is the way it was written. We each created four characters and when we wrote we wrote the scenes for our characters. I remember Val getting annoyed because of my habit of turning everything into a romance. I think I wrote on it more than her, but mostly because I had it most the time and she actually pretended to pay attention in class. ;) It was before the internet and neither of us had a typewriter, let alone a computer! I don't know if I had a point talking about it, so if I rambled it's ok cause it's my blog, not my book. ;)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Steam and Criticism, now there's a combination!

I had a lot of fun writing a steamy scene (and sharing some of it with my writer friends) yesterday. I haven't written very many sex scenes over the years and the one's I did write read like 70's and 80's romance novels. Probably because what I knew about sex mostly came from said novels. So it was all "throbbing manhoods" and  "inner folds" and other bad, bad things. And not in the good way. But this time, things are turning out good, or should i say hot. I'm having a blast turning up the thermostat, but it isn't hard when this is your incubus. 

I decided I'd like "Performance Machine" to be around 10,000 words, and it seems to be obliging. I'm not super concerned with length as it is a short story, it's done when the story is told. And I will warn you end-peekers out there that it does not have a happy ending, because it can't. But it is still fun and will have everything everyone wants: hot, steamy sex scene, intense action, some violence and many other thrills. 

Meanwhile, the edits on Nature Lovers is ongoing. Discovered AutoCrit, software that evaluates your writing for you. I don't agree with many of it's tags, but I can see it coming in handy. I fall in love with words and I use them. A lot. Definitely comical. And those are just a few that have been pointed out to me over the years! Some of the words I tended to overuse surprised me, but some of the words it said I over used I have no idea how to get around. "It" was overused 17 times, according to it (lol) and I haven't a clue how to word things different. 

Yesterday's spectacular implosion by Jacqueline Howett brought up the topic of how to deal with criticism. I've seen some of my friends from the writing group get upset by critiques in the past. I wonder if I'm luckier or worse off than them because that's not how I react to criticism. I'm prepared to take the ax to my own work. I'm proud of my writing, but completely prepared to chop it to smithereens if that's what's necessary. Perhaps when it's all said and done I will feel more of an attachment to my work, but my critique partner gave me an in-depth analysis of what was wrong with my manuscript which, when pasted into Microsoft, was two pages worth of problems to fix and it only covered the second half. And I thought "That's it?" Then I turned around and emailed her, telling this was exactly what I wanted and like little Oliver Twist asked for more. Am I a glutton for punishment or am I so insecure about my writing I expect problems? I don't know the answer to that. And perhaps it's not too bad an attitude to have if it prevents me from curling up in the fetal position nursing a bottle of Captain and telling anyone who might further my career to f*** off because of a bad review.

And now I will be an absentee author today because I'm going to go see Cats with my Mom. Don't worry, I won't go backstage. I've seen Team America... Oh and I have re-edited yesterdays post to include Michelle Ferguson's book cover for those interested.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Artistic Babble

Whether you're a new follower or have been here since day one, you have to know I am a very creative person simply because I am an author. But my creativity doesn't not stop at writing. I have discussed some of my other talents in a previous post, so I won't rehash it here. But today I wanted totalk about art.

It was 1999 and Peoria, IL had just been buried in a snow storm. I worked as a security guard during a strike, paid partly by the union and partly by the factory to keep the peace during a strike. I was sitting in my car a day or two after the storm, looking at nothing since the strikers hadn't come back and the factory was closed due to the weather. Who was I to argue if they wanted to pay me to sit and read in an empty parking lot? As I stared at a building buried in snow, I noticed the play of light and shadow and something in my head sort of clicked. I'd always loved to draw, but it was the first time my finished project didn't need an explanation. I drew the building and the snow and when I showed it to my releif he recognized it as the building. Sadly I no longer have the picture, just the story, and a new love of drawing.

My talent grew over the years. I watched a lot of "The Joy of Painting" with Bob Ross and learned to paint. Then with some books and an art class in college I learned to draw. That's when things really started to pick up for me. I learned about different mediums and styles. I experimented with color and perspective. I began to actually think of myself as an artist, and other people were agreeing with me. I was able to give art as gifts and people proudly put it on there wall.

When a friend discovered I struggled drawing people, she made me draw her repeatedly until i was able to accurately recreate her face. It only took me three nights before I had an image that was easily recognizable. I still think her ear is amazingly detailed. I still struggle drawing people, but I know if I work at it long enough, I will get it eventually.

There are many more examples that I won't weigh down this blog with, but if you want to check them out, I have a DeviantArt.

So when I discovered Photoshop, it came as no surprise that I loved it's potential, but I struggled with it. I excelled with tutorials, and could take the ideas and run with them. But I'm the kind of person who if you don't tell me something, I may never figure it out. And so after a few initial projects, I wandered away from computer graphics and went back to more traditional art.

A few years ago I decided to go to school to be a graphic design artist. I couldn't get enough grants and loans so I wound up going to cosmetology school instead, but the prep work I did got me interested in Photoshop again. I started to look things up, read tutorials and created some simple projects, slowly getting more and more complex. But I still wasn't doing anything big.

Then I started Natural Selection. It is probably the first novel I've written with the intent of seeing it published. Always before I just wanted to tell a story. I had a mental image of what I wanted for my cover, but the cheapest artist who could handle it was expensive. So I decided to try it myself and you can see the result in my side bar.

But that's not where it ends. A couple of the HPers liked my cover and when it came time for their covers to be designed they asked my help which I gladly gave. I will have links and blurbs at the end. This got me thinking about all the other authors that would like help. I don't feel right asking for money for what I do because I don't feel like a professional, but I want to help other writers with the same dilemma. So after much deliberation, I decided to offer to help fellow writers when I can, and added a Paypal donation link. And that's what it is, as in optional. If you would like my help, feel free to message me on Facebook or Twitter and we can see what we can do. And if you like what I come up with, pay what you can, if you can. I'm not soliciting or begging for money here, just want help other writers. Us self-publishers got to stick together.

The Sight by MD Christe
When Ella St.John Heads home from her shift at the Pink Java Cafe, she hardly expects to be attacked. Much less by the same creature responsible for her parents mysterious disappearance seven years earlier. This is Ella's first encounter with a dark creature of Murumendi; but it certainly won't be her last. Within moments Ella's life as she knows it is ripped away, forcing her to discover who and what she really is. Will she be able to handle the truth....

Legion of Bats by Michelle Ferguson
Forced to grow up in the normal world, Zoe Masterson doesn’t realize how special she is. After being taken into custody for arson and murder she discovers her life is deeply twined with a world she never knew existed.

Zoe will discover she’s adopted, psychokinetic, a Princess, part of a gifted race of people called The Endowed, and has been heavily guarded since birth.  She will fight for her life when she falls in love with her Guardian Icarus.

Filled with anger and vengeance the King, who ordered her parents death, will place a death order upon Zoe and Icarus to prevent interbreeding of races. Zoe responds by pulling off the ultimate coup d'├ętat on a corrupted system.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Follow Friday for writers

I wanted to try starting a blog hop for writer's since there are so many of us trying to network. If you have a blog then you are a writer and are welcome to join the fun. The rules are simple.

The blog hop link code
Just copy the code in this box to get the snazzy image/link above and join the hopping fun!

1) (Required) You must follow my blog
2) (Required) You must follow the guest poster featured in the blog hop post.
3) Go to Sharp words and copy the image code found there and paste it in your blog. Add your name to the link at the bottom of the post while you are there
4) Copy and paste the rules in your blog, as well as this week’s question.
5) Answer the question
6) You must copy these rules, the hop link and the featured question with your answer on your own blog. This blog serves as a place for new followers to say hi.
7) Follow, follow, follow. This is about networking, people, making connections with people in your community. So talk to us. We don't bite!
8) If someone stops by, says hi and follows you, the polite thing to do is follow back.
9) Comment here and introduce yourself and you just might find a new follower or two.

That's it. It's as simple as that. Give me time to make sure everything is working right but hopefully we can get this going....

This week's featured guest is... ME!! lol... I promise, I'll normally feature other writers but since this is a first for me, I want to mess up with a smaller audience. ;)

What inspired you to start writing?

I learned to read at the age of three but i started making up stories as soon as I could speak. Maybe it was because of all the books my parents and siblings read to me, but I have always been making up and telling stories, so it was only natural that i would write them down when I learned how. I'm not saying they were any good, but by the age of eight i thought of myself as a writer. But sadly, this was long before the days of Young Authors, so my stories were met with ridicule and now are lost in all but the cloudy memories.

Want to add the link to your blog? You don't have to, you can send em to me if all this coding is a bit much. But if you want the link, you can copy and paste this code in your blog in HTML mode...

Follow me, everything is alright...

It's Friday, so that must mean it's time for...

That's right, it's Follow Friday. The rules are pretty simple.
  1. (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host {} and any one else you want to follow on the list
  2. (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers -
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
  5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI"
  6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  7. If you're new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!
And for this weeks question is inspired by the inane Twitter trend of #100 Facts about me. List five silly book related facts about you.
  1. I am such a reader, if I don't have a book in front of me I'll read cereal boxes, medical posters, random brochures...
  2. I vowed I would never own an ereader because it just wouldn't be the same as a "real" book. Now I read ebooks almost exclusively.
  3. I dream of having a room on my house lined with books, all of which I've read. Which will be hard to do with only ebooks. ;)
  4. My first book obsession was with LJ Smith's Vampire Diaries. At the time I found there were only three.
  5. My favorite book, well series of books anyway, is The Wheel of Time books by Robert Jordan.

Happy Follow Friday, everybody!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Performance Machine

Since I'm currently in a rest period from writing i thought I'd share a short bit that has been rattling around in my head for a long time. At first I didn't know what it was and wrote it blind. Only since I wrote this did I realize what story I was telling.... The title came with the tidbit, for the record. This is my heroine (I added the scar).

I love a fast car. The speed, the exhilaration feeling all that power lurch to your command as you stomp down on the accelerator. I needed it after the night that I’d had, needed to escape. The white lines led into the distance, lined up like tiny soldiers for as far as my eye could see. The yellow line at the shoulder was my constant companion, urging me forward. They never judged me. They didn’t care if I’d put on my makeup, or done my hair just right. They were my friends, my companions, never judging, only accepting.

It had been several hours since I fled from my apartment in tears and now I was miles away with no clear idea where I was going. And so I found myself in a podunk town in nowhere Illinois, if you could even call it a town. The main drag consisted of three blocks of buildings. Two of the buildings were bars, and four of them were churches. The rest were probably antique malls, if I knew my small towns.

I decided to stop and have a beer. A cold one, that’s what I needed. I pulled into the gravel lot in a cloud of dust, then screeched to a halt grateful for the performance machine and its powerful brakes. I got out of the car, slamming the door just a little harder than necessary, easing some of my aggression. I walked into the bar, daring everyone with my eyes to comment on my scrubby old jeans and faded t-shirt. An old country song was playing on the juke box and there were a few little groups scattered about at the tables. Walking with a cocky swagger I didn’t really feel, I sat on a bar stool and caught the eye of the bartender. He was a looker, I had to give him that. He had eyes that made me melt, a gorgeous light brown, almost gold. His shaggy brown curls made me imagine burying my fingers in it, and I flushed as I almost raised my hand to try it. I ordered a Budweiser, but could not tear my eyes off his lips, full with a perfect Cupid’s bow that I seriously wanted to nibble on.

What was wrong with me? I’m not exactly a hormonal teenager. In factI hadn’t even been mistaken for one in about ten years. Yet as I watched his muscles ripple while he grabbed the bottle and opened it, I found myself considering leaping across the counter and tearing his clothes off. The man practically oozed sex appeal.

“You’re not from around here,” he said as he set the bottle in front of me. I almost fainted at the distinct European accent, though I couldn’t quite place it. Italian, maybe?

I laughed, hoping it didn’t sound hysterical. It had been so long since I felt I was from anywhere I couldn’t really remember what it felt like. I’d lived such a transient life for the last several years, terrified my ex-husband would find me. He’d been a cruel man who had dominated me with fear and pain for seven years. I finally had the courage to walk away, and I didn’t stop until I had put a few states between us. When he had found me in a dingy motel in rural Missouri after the divorce papers were served, he smacked me hard enough that I fell into a plate glass window. Police were called and restraining orders filed. I spent a few days in the hospital, followed by six weeks’ worth of follow-ups. I still wore the jagged scarfrom by brow to my jaw on my left side, but it was hardly noticeable thanks to a talented E.R. doctor. As soon as I no longer needed the doctors I ran, not trusting a simple piece of paper to keep me safe. My trail had led across seven states in the last five years, and wound up in a decent sized farm town in Illinois. But he’d tracked me down as he always did, pounding my door at two in the morning. I’d scrambled into my jeans and cringed in a corner, hoping he would go away, only to hear the glass of the bay window break. I crept down the hall to the table where my purse and keys sat, but he was there. He grabbed my shoulders so hard it hurt and shoved me into the wall. His breath smelled of rancid beer and my stomach flopped. He snarled at me, and I imagined all the awful things he wasgoing to me. Tears fell from my eyes, but I had spent a few years preparing for this day. I stomped on his toes as hard as I could in my bare feet, then head-butted him. Finally I introduced my knee to John and the boys as hard as I could. He collapsed on the floor and I ran. Grabbing my purse and keys off the table, I bolted out the door, leaving it open in my wake. I said a silent prayer when I saw he hadn’t hurt my Mustang, mashing my key into the ignition. I slammed it into reverse. I had no idea where I was going but I planned to drive until I stopped crying.

And so I found myself sitting at a bar in the middle of nowhere, nursing a beer. I was still barefoot in my sleep shirt and jeans, ogling the sexy bartender like a starving man with a piece of bread. Yup, my life was really coming up rosy. But all I said was, “No. Not quite.”

He watched me for a long moment in silence and I wondered what he was seeing. My blond hair was in a tangled ponytail, thanks to the scrunchy I’d had on the gear shift. I had on no makeup and there were probably circles beneath my vibrant blue eyes. I tried to tell myself I didn’t care, but I’ve never been a very good listener. Whatever he saw, he nodded approval and smiled.

“Passing through or new to town?” He asked, leaning against the shelf of liquor bottles behind him.

I scoffed. “You can call it a town?”

He smiled and my heart skipped a beat. The man had the most luxurious smile I’d ever seen. I could spend all night talking about his perfect lips and even white teeth. “The term is used loosely.”

I couldn’t help but laugh, genuinely this time.

I will continue it, now that I know where it is going. It is a short story and it is part of the story in Natural Selection. However I need to work on editing and the rest of the true series first. I already have three stories planned using some of the other characters...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It is official. Natural Selection is done. Let the editing process begin.

So I have been awarded The Memetastic Award by Rosa Lee Jude over at Twists of a Tale. She's a writer I have had the pleasure meeting in the online HP Wroter's Club. So what exactly do I win? Apparently not a whole heck of a lot. But I get this great icon and now you get to play a fun game! So here's the rules of this award....
  1. You must proudly display the absolutely disgusting graphic in a post
  2. You must list 5 things about yourself, and 4 of them must be bold-faced lies. Your readers are to guess which one is the truth by posting a comment on your blog.
  3. You must pass this awesomely, prestigious award on to 5 deserving bloggers.
So here ya go....

And the five lucky contestants I will tag are, in no particular order:

Feel free to ignore me. I'm used to it.... ;)

And lastly my five facts. Can YOU guess which one is true?

1) I have been to every continent except Africa.
2) I am a bit of a World of Warcraft geek and have three level 85's.
3) I worked as a security guard in San Diego for a year where i met Arsenio Hall, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Christopher Reeves and no less than four extras from the movie Titanic.
4) I once fancied myself a playwright and wrote countless plays, none of them very good.
5) I have several siblings, all of which i am very close to.

So which is true and which is not. I WILL answer when someone gets it right. ;)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I know it's late and there's still no update. What's with that? Well, that is what happens when you abruptly find yourself within a chapter of being completely done with the first draft. No, don't rub your eyes and read it again, you read it right the first time, Natural Selection is almost done. Don't point to that sidebar that shows how short of my word goal I am, I'll get it on the edit. I have almost officially finished a book. This will move my publishing date a couple of months so I should be able to get it published before the cruise. Yay, me!! And so begins the endless editing...

I promise to spend some true quality time yammering tomorrow, but for tonight, my muse sings on, and I dear reader, am but her slave...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Natural Selection Playlist

So today I'm joining with some of my writing friends to do a journey through music. All of us are posting our writing playlists, so feel free to follow the links at the end for some other blogs I"m sure you will enjoy. Now I usually am a silent writer, or possibly white noise (tv turned down most often) but this book my muse has demanded music and slave to her whims that I am, I pull up the playlist. I have several, depending on what is happening. So without further adiu, the music of Natural Selection.

General Music

Head Full of Doubt Road Full of Promises ~ Avett Brothers

I and Love and You ~ Avett Brothers

All We Are ~ Matt Nathanson

Let It Be Me ~ Ray LaMontagne,

Nothing Left to Lose ~ Mat Kearney

Rainiest Day of Summer ~ Elizabeth and the Catapult

Kiss Goodbye ~ Little Big Town

If I Die Young ~ The Band Perry

The Crow and the Butterfly ~ Shinedown

In My Arms ~ Plumb

In My Daughter's Eyes ~ Martina McBride

How Can I Help You Say Goodbye ~ Patty Loveless

Somebody's Hero ~ Jamie McNeal

All I Want ~ Stained

Cut ~ Plumb

Down ~ Jason Walker

Here We Go ~ Mat Kearney

I Don’t Care ~ Apocalytica

Night Train ~ Amos Lee

Jar of Hearts ~ Christina Perri

The next list of songs are Amelia's favorites, songs that the real "Amelia' likes. I use these when I'm stuck or not sure what is going on in Amelia's head.

All Around Me ~ Flyleaf

Always ~ Saliva

Bad Girlfriend ~ Theory of a Deadman

Bartender ~ Rehab

Bittersweet ~ Apocalyptca

Bottom of a Bottle ~ Smile Empty Soul

Breathe Today ~ Flyleaf

Do You Call My Name ~ Ra

Fake It ~ Seether

Flavor of the Week ~ American Hi-Fi

Girl All the Bad Guys Want ~ Bowling for Soup

Gives You Hell ~ All American Rejects

Had Enough ~ Breaking Benjamin

Headstrong ~ Trapt

If You Could Only See ~ Tonic

What’s it Like ~ Everlast

Why Don’t You Get a Job~ Offspring

Now I have some special songs for different types of scenes. When they characters are plotting, or anything not quite climax but still pretty intense, these are my go to songs.

Uprising ~ Muse

In the End ~ Linkin Park

This is Not the End ~ The Bravery

Palladio ~ Escala

When the battle is hitting hard, my music needs to as well. When I think of hard hiting music, I naturally think hard rock.

Inside the Fire ~ Disturbed

Indestructible ~ Disturbed

Blow Me Away ~ Breaking Benjamin

Bring Me to Life ~ Evanescence

Lastly, during a tragedy, to help me get into the moment, some very special mood music was necessary.

Sad Romance ~ Thao Nguyen Xanh

Sad Music ~ Chiyako Fukuda

You and I, Unfulfilled Feelings ~ Todokanu Omoi

And that brings me to the end of the playlist. Need more? You're in luck because i know just where you should look!

Playlist Pallet ~Bat Country

The Power of a Playlist ~ Writings of a Dreamer

The Playlist: More Than Just Music to You Ears ~ The Musings of M.D. Christie

Playlist Muses ~ Nichole Chase

I'm Catching Up, I Promise ~ Inside the Mind of Wenona

Spell Checked ~ CG Powell

Gift of Blood ~VK Tremain

Friday, March 18, 2011

Follow Friday Fun

Almost didn't make it, but it is still technically So for Kicks and gigles and some networking fun...

To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  • (Required) Follow Parajunkee and any one else you want to follow on the list
  • (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers -
  • Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
  • Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
  • Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI"
  • If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  • If you're new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!
This weeks question:
How did you come up with the name for your blog?
When I came time to name my blog, it wasn't a hard choice for me. I wanted my name in the title, but not just my name. As soon as I thought of phrases containing Sharp, Sharp Words was the first I thought of!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Natural Selection ~ Chapter One

As the sun sank lazily towards the horizon, I knew I was in trouble. My mother had always had a strict policy about being home before the street lights came on and I knew I wasn’t going to make it. I hitched the bag that held my soccer gear higher on my shoulder and poured my heart into sprinting down the street. If only we hadn’t lingered after the game, waiting until the guys’ varsity team called it quits and headed in so Evelyn could make goo-goo eyes at them. If only I hadn’t agreed to stay for one more round of milkshakes during our traditional post-win dinner at the local greasy spoon. If only I had accepted the ride Evelyn’s Mom had offered, but I knew her dad was strict and didn’t want her to get in trouble for being late. None of that was going to get me home before my curfew and I didn’t want to start high school grounded.

I’m what you might affectionately refer to as a goody two shoes. I always did what my parent’s told me, got straight A’s, and never met a rule I didn’t follow to the letter. I looked both ways before crossing the street, I didn’t run with scissors and I didn’t take candy from strangers. Or talk to them, either. At all. I might also be called painfully shy, with my insecurities bred into my bones. As the youngest in my family, I have some pretty big shoes to fill. My oldest brother Alexander was the handsome trouble maker, my older sister Sariah was the gorgeous social climber and I was the plain Jane bookworm that just wanted to fade into the wall. I was only in soccer because Evelyn insisted on it, and she did that because she had a crush on the coach’s 15-year-old son. This summer it was soccer. Last summer it was swimming lessons at the Y. It was always something with her. Evelyn had been my best friend for the past 12 years, which is a lot when you’re two weeks shy of 15.

The streetlights lit up with an ominous click and I stopped with a disgusted groan, my hands on my knees and my breath coming in painful gasps. I wasn’t going to make it, so there was no reason to kill myself over it. I dropped my bag on the ground and tried to suck in air that my body had been deprived of in my desperate cross-town dash. My copper-colored hair escaped its tiny ponytail and was clinging to my sweaty scalp. Illinois in August wasn’t exactly the best running weather.

Throwing my bag over my shoulder again, I leisurely strolled the rest the way to my house, dreading my mom’s reaction. Was she worried? How late did your teenage daughter have to be before you could call the cops on her? How much trouble was I going to be in? As our two story white house came into view, the porch light was on. Uh oh.

As soon as I opened the door and saw my mother, I knew I was in trouble. She stood in the hall in a red V-neck t-shirt and khaki shorts, her arms crossed beneath the generous bosom that had thus far seemed to have passed me by. I’m what you’d call a late bloomer, still not having had my first period. In fact, I was significantly behind my classmates in physical development in a lot of ways, but Mom assured me all the women in the family were. I hoped I’d look as hot as here after having three kids, but I wasn’t holding my breath on ever being as hot as her, period.

“You’re late,” she snapped, her eyes quickly scanning me head to toe, that instant assessment only Moms can do. I am always struck with how much I look like my Mom. Her copper hair was a little curlier than mine, and her features were a little less padded. But there was no denying that she was my mother.

“Sorry, Mom, the game ran late and Evelyn was flirting for like, forever, and then the waitress at the diner was really slow, and…” I trailed off, never one to make excuses and pass blame on to another. Growing up at the bottom of the pecking order, I’d learned to own up to my mistakes quickly so no one doubted a denial. “You’re right, I’m late. What do you think, one week grounded?”

My mother sighed in irritation, but the left corner of her mouth was twitching up into a barely repressed smile. “Sometimes I need to be the mother here, Amelia. It’d be nice if my fourteen-year-old would act like one once in a while.”

“If you’d prefer I could go out, maybe find somewhere to get stoned. Oooo, I could try to find some jock who hasn’t destroyed his gene pool with steroids and ask him to impregnate me,” I offered sarcastically, backing towards the kitchen. I turned around with a cocky grin, knowing I wasn’t going to be in any trouble. My mom aimed a half-hearted smack at the back of my head as I walked into the kitchen.

My sister was at the counter smearing jelly on a slice of bread and licking the excess off her fingers. She rolled her eyes at me, clearly realizing I was going to skate on the very offense that had cost her a good third of her summer freedom. She always seemed to take it personally that I was so compliant. That was fine by me, since I harbored resentments of my own. Sariah had thick white-blond hair to her butt in soft Victoria’s Secret curls and green eyes so dark they were almost black. I’m fairly certain it was her body the ancient sculptors kept striving to create. She was a fashion diva and a makeup guru who woke up first thing in the morning looking perfect. She had been the most popular girl at our high school since she was in seventh grade. I knew for a fact that she had lost her virginity at 13, while I, based on the amount of action I’d seen (insert cheesy cricket-filled silence here), was going to die a virgin. I’d never even had a boy outside my family ask me to dance!

Ignoring her I grabbed a bottle of water and jumped up to sit on the counter. After a long chug that drained almost half the bottle I gave her by best “nyah-nyah” look and stuck out my tongue. She opened her mouth to say something but was interrupted by our brother Alexander (though no one ever called him that, just Xander) entering the room. With mischief dancing in his bright blue eyes, he snatched the pb&j sandwich Sariah had just put together and jumped up on the counter kitty corner from me.

“Am I surrounded by heathens?” Sariah asked, her eyes narrowing. I could almost imagine her as a cat with her ears laid back and tail lashing. Xander shrugged and took a giant bite of the sandwich, about a quarter of it gone. I laughed as the ridiculously thick layer of peanut butter Sariah is fond of coated the roof of his mouth, causing him to make silly faces as he tried to get it off. Still giggling I hopped down and poured him a glass of milk. He downed it in one drink, then took another, slightly smaller bite.

“Pig!” Sariah positively hissed at him.

“Witch!” Xander mumbled around his full mouth.

“Alright, settle down, separate corners,” I yelled, the diplomat as usual. Wasn’t that supposed to be the job of the middle child?

Sariah shot Xander a hateful look as she pulled another slice of bread out of the loaf and started over. I took another long chug of my water then tossed the empty bottle into the recycling. I made a mad dash for the fresh sandwich, but Sariah snatched it away before I could nab it.

“You ready for your first day of high school, Lia?” Sariah asked as she took a bite of the freshly made peanut butter and jelly sandwich. She rolled her eyes in exaggerated enjoyment and took a delicate sip of milk.

“Sure. It’s just another school year. I can’t imagine the geography of it could make it that different,” I said with a shrug.

Xander gave me a crooked grin and Sariah’s eyes widened. Then they looked at each, their brows raised in very similar looks of surprise. Sariah shook her head, grabbed her sandwich and milk and walked out of the kitchen mumbling. Xander hopped down off the counter and started to head out too, but he stopped and turned at the door.

“Seriously Lia, things are going to be WAY different soon. You just have to be prepared for anything. And not just at school. Your whole life will change.”

Well that wasn’t ominous or anything, I thought as he left the kitchen. I dropped down off the counter and put away the sandwich makings Sariah had left on the counter. I then took a sponge and wiped up the jelly Xander had dripped on the counter, and took a couple quick swipes where my own hind end had been, just to be on the safe side. I’d always been a neat child, and in the last year it had gotten worse, almost to the point of obsession.

With the kitchen clean, I flicked off the light and headed to my room. It was a comfort to be surrounded by the familiar furniture. It had been the same since I decided I was too old for the fairy princess room when I was 8. I’d always found the familiar greens and browns comforting. The bed was set between two windows on the east wall so I woke to the early morning sun on my face every day. The green and brown comforter on it made me think of moss on an old oak tree. The green curtains were tied back to reveal ivory colored lace. The room hadn’t originally included a closet, so my dad had built one long ago, a walk in with bars for clothes and shelves for everything else on three sides. In the alcove that created I had a massive vanity, the old fashioned kind with a padded bench you could sit on while doing your hair. My dad had adapted it so it now had lights, beautifully incorporated to look like flowers blooming on the vines carved in the old wood.

I rummaged in my dresser for a couple moments and quickly found my pajamas. Grabbing my shower caddy from the table by the door, I headed to the bathroom. I turned on the water, waiting until it got the perfect temperature before adding Sweet Vanilla bubble bath. Climbing into the warm water, I opened my latest teen fiction novel I was reading. I like the kind that are actually rooted in reality and have nothing to do with sparkly vampires of questionable sexuality. This one was a series about teens living after all the adults had up and vanished (ok, maybe only LOOSELY rooted in reality) which was one of my favorites. After a couple chapters I climbed back out, my toes pleasantly pruney. I toweled off, applied my favorite almond scented body butter and dressed. As I walked down the hall with my hair still wrapped in a towel, I heard my parents’ quiet voices drifting up.

“I think we’re going to have to say something soon, Nancy.”

“It’s too soon. I haven’t even seen any signs that it’s starting yet. It will only freak her out if we tell her too soon.”

Interesting, which “she” were they referring to? Was it one of us or someone else? Maybe it was something else entirely. You can’t come into the middle of a conversation and expect to draw the proper conclusions. I started to head to my room again, but their continued voices made me pause.

“You know what can happen if we wait too long.” There was no mistaking the worry in my dad’s voice. I’d never known him to be overly emotional, and it made me take a quiet step towards the railing.

“I think we have time still, maybe even until next summer.” My mom sounded insistent, almost pleading him to agree with her.

“We have to get her out of sight for a while to keep people from asking too many questions,” my father said on a sigh. “Maybe we should send her to be with my mom for the school year.”

Who did they need to get out of sight? My mind went to a Lifetime movie about a girl that got pregnant and was sent away so no one would know. I couldn’t imagine that being the case, but why else would they need to hide someone away? And how was the solution to ship whoever it was off to spend a year with Grandma in Bloomington? Somehow I knew I was the topic of this conversation. I don’t know how I knew, but I did. Well, at least I’d be closer to Normal. Even in my head the local joke didn’t sound that funny. Besides, I didn’t want to go to Bloomington OR Normal.

“Frank, she doesn’t even know about this family, let alone that she isn’t human!” my mother hissed.

I couldn’t help myself, I gasped, my grey eyes getting bigger. I heard footsteps coming out of the living room, but I was gone before they could have seen me. I leaned against the door in my room a long moment with my eyes screwed shut tightly. I heard someone climb the bottom two steps, and stand there. Then, distant enough that I couldn’t make out the words, I could hear the quiet rumble of my father’s familiar baritone voice. I finally breathed as I heard the person at the bottom of the stairs, presumably my mother, walking away towards the kitchen. After a slow count to one hundred, I sighed and opened my eyes. Pulling out the bench to my vanity, I lowered myself onto it carefully; it wasn’t rickety or anything, but I figured a little caution might mean I could pass it on to my own granddaughter one day.

I quickly dried and combed my shoulder length hair straight back away from my face, then tossed the comb down and stared long and hard into the mirror. I focused on the chubby cheeks and the baby face, searching for some sign that I might actually be growing out of this runt-ness that seemed to have me in a stranglehold, keeping me looking like a perpetual ten year old.Deciding it was the same face that had been staring back for the last four years or so, I stood and grabbed my book from the end of the bed, flopped down on my stomach and started to read. I had a couple hours before I needed to get to bed and sitting worrying about things I couldn’t change weren’t going to help me sleep.