Do You Beleive in Ghosts or Spirits?

cemetry-1021577-mWhat I’m about to tell you is not a fiction story–it’s a true story. It’s not really that exciting or anything, so don’t expect it to be this amazing ghost story or anything like that. It’s just a little something that happened to me last month that made me think about some things and I was wondering what you guys thought. I also was wondering what you guys think about what happened, maybe you can give ma a plausible and earthly answer for what caused the phenomenon I experienced.

So… for Valentine’s Day, I was fortunate enough to be treated to a weekend in a high-rise hotel on Clear Lake, just about a half hour from where I live. I love this part of Texas, with its oceans, lakes, greenery, flowers and birds. It is one of the best places in the US to bird watch–with so many varieties of birds and colors and sounds. I love birds. Anyway, we spent the weekend at the hotel on the water, I watched the boats and birds and ducks on the water and I watched the cars drive by on the freeway (I love to watch people–I’m definitely a people watcher).

Anyway, the hotel was lovely and the food was amazing...

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The Gift is in the Giving

Tonight (well, at the time I’m writing this, it would technically be last night–but I haven’t gone to sleep yet, even though it’s 4:50 in the morning–I really need to stop doing that, but the writer in me, she… argh!) Okay, let’s start this over.

Last night, I was lucky enough to get to go to The Melting Pot with my mom, her husband and my family. It was wonderful! For those who don’t know the concept, The Melting Pot is a fondue restaurant, with a cheese course and dippers, then a meat course in a seasoned broth fondue, and then a dessert course of warmed chocolate with dessert dippers. It’s awesome yummy, but it’s loads of fun. You all get colored skewers and everyone gets to put their meats and stuff in the pot, and you remember your color for your plate. The food is yummy, and it’s a fun time.

On the way home, it started sleet raining...

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Is Money Really Necessary?

396185_money_money_moneyI was talking to the good doctor the other day about fantasy worlds, because I have this one novel I’ve been working on for about five or six years now that I’m writing just for him, because he wants me to. He loves the idea, the concept, the universe, everything I’ve shared with him about it, including the first seven chapters, which I have completed. This is a fantasy novel. It’s not my genre. I don’t read fantasy usually. I have never written fantasy. For the most part, I don’t watch fantasy. I do, however, dream and fantasize fantasy frequently and have all my life. He says that is what stands to make this the best sci-fi/fantasy novel ever: because I won’t be rewriting the same old storyline that has been told in different ways hundreds or thousands of times. I won’t be using the stereotypes just because someone else did it well, or won’t be derivative of someone else’s universe, etc.

But we all know there’s nothing new under the sun, no matter which universe, solar system or galaxy we are in. Even the fiction ones. But how we tell a story, how we bring the characters alive, that makes all the difference.

But at the same time, we have to be believable...

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Just WHO is the Pervert Anyway?

The other day, I was reading a blog post about someone who put up a gay pride flag on their flagpole of their house. The homeowner’s association was contacted by several other residents, who were complaining about the flag and wanting the homeowner to take it down. The homeowner’s association couldn’t do anything about it, because there was nothing in the HOA bylaws that made it against the rules to fly that flag–or really, any flag–on their own property.

One of the residents wrote to the HOA, and here is what he or she had to say:

[They]…have had their ‘gay pr...

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Fast Food Baby

A lot of folks don’t know this, but a few of you do: I grew up in the back rooms of restaurants my parents owned over the years. I literally grew up in the back room of fast-food restaurants. My first job for pay was for my parents, until I was old enough to get a job working for someone else. Our lives revolved around these businesses, from how we ate to how we slept and everything in between. “Don’t bother us during lunch of dinner rush.” “Can’t come to your band concert, ’cause it’s at the dinner rush hour and we’re shorthanded–I know you have a solo.” But I can also say, we never went without food or money. There were tradeoffs, but it was an interesting upbringing.

SUPERBURGER

The first one they owned, I was three years old when they opened it...

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The Best Margarita(s) I Ever Had

Like many people, this time of year always makes me nostalgic. I think about the past, the present, the future, people I have loved, still love and who I might love some day. I think about love lost and friends gone and love gained and friends who are here. Life is about change, constantly, moving, in flux, and that’s not a bad thing. Memories keep me warm and make me laugh and better than that, they make great writing fodder. My best friend is getting on a plane today to fly to Denver to be with her parents for Thanksgiving holidays. As she was going out the door, she was stressed about making sure she had all her stuff, making sure she got to the airport on time, making sure she had her boarding pass printed, etc. I told her when she got on the plane, have a couple of margaritas. She laughed.airbus-a320-interior-1432337-m

But it reminded me of a trip I took several years ago. We were flying from podunk West Texas to Anchorage, Alaska, and we had to change planes from Midland/Odessa in Houston, and then again in Seattle, Washington. But along the route in Houston, something happened and our plane took off before the other plane even got there. So we were bumped to another flight, and were worried we’d end up missing the next flight in Seattle out to Alaska too, ’cause now we were going to get into Seattle around ten, their time–we needn’t worry, but more on that later.

Plane Entertainment

We flew C...

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Uhm, You’re the Writer

Today, I was doing a read-through of a book today. I sometimes get ‘dislodged’ from the universe of a book and have to go back and re-read it to get into it. This book, I was reading along, two characters were in the midst of a conversation. I love these characters. Their interplay with one another is good. They are best friends, attorneys who have a practice together. Their conversation had me wondering what was going on with something in the book… I was really into it, and then suddenly, the words stop.

I was pushing the down arrow, and there were no more words. I looked at the page numbers and there were no more pages.

I said, “But… who...

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Famous Books Written by Ghostwriters

There are many famous books or book series out there with an author’s name on the cover that differs from who really wrote the book.

How would you feel if you discovered Rowling didn’t really write Harry Potter, but instead, some ghostwriter was hired to write the book, paid a flat sum, and then Rowling was used as a frontman? After all, she has a near rags to riches story, is a mother of children and that’s the target audience for the book, so perhaps she was a good choice to use for the image of Harry Potter.

Would it change how you feel about that book series?

Well, never fear, since it seems Rowling is indeed the author of the Harry Potter series. However, what is not common knowledge is that many of the popular and well-known book series were indeed written by ghostwriters.

Nancy Drew Myster...

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Writing Legalities: Things Indie Authors Don’t Always Think About

Did you know that fonts are copyrighted and that you can’t just use any font you want on the cover or interior of your book without licensing it or getting permission? You either have to choose one in the public domain (and be certain it really is in the public domain), or you have to pay to license the use of the font, create your own font, or else get written permission to use a font for your book, especially if you plan to sell it anywhere.

Did you know that the images you find online through Google Images or other online searches are not free to use just because someone posted them online and that they too are copyrighted to the photographer who took the photo? You, again, have to get written permission to use them.

Did you know that going to the free stock photo sites online and choosing pictures there for your book cover might not work, because each image uploaded by the photographer might have different licenses attached to them, and you might not be able to use them, even though they say they are free to use, if you plan to sell your book commercially to more than a certain number of people or to reproduce a certain number of books, or else you have to make a derivative work of or change the image in a tangible way to use it and on and on and on.

The p...

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Meanwhile, On My Other Blog

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Starting October 1 (today! ack!), I will take a month-long food stamp (SNAP) challenge. For those who don’t know what this is: For one month, I will attempt to feed myself and my family on the basic amount of money allotted to a food stamp recipient for the State of Texas (where I live) and to do so in a nutritionally balanced way that is healthy and hopefully enough calories to sustain life. I will blog each day (I hope), include information about meals, time spent planning and preparing to shop and cook. At the end of the challenge, I’ll share recipes, budgets, shopping lists, information, and a memoir-style book I’ve been working on for a while now that deals with food insecurity, includes all the recipes I’ve been sharing, and much more.

In doing this challenge, there have to be some rules, to make this as realistic as possible. I posted those on the other blog today. Please take a look at them! Doing the food stamp challenge for just a week is easy (it’s not, but stick with me! I say it’s easy, because most people doing it for a week know that at any time they can break their challenge. They know they can buy whatever they want and stop any time. Anyone can do almost anything for a week. Hell, people fast for religious, spiritual, and medical purposes all the time, sometimes more than a week! A week without eating ‘well’ is not going to show the impact.

Plus, it’s easy enough to pretend to have to li...

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