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Trivia Queen–#MFRWAuthor Blog Challenge

This week in the MFRW blog challenge we are talking about useless talents. It probably doesn’t get much more useless than trivia (which happens to be my superpower).

qimg_1535645907930That’s right. I am a trivia junkie. I am a multi-time champion of various trivia related events–think Geeks Who Drink and cruise trivia (I owned our Disney cruise this summer).

I’m not saying I know everything–that’s for dang sure. I’m weak on sports trivia and most political trivia (unless it’s the chronological order of presidents or British monarchy). I’m almost unbeatable at movies (especially classics) and (more…)

Collections of Collections | #MFRWAuthor Blog Challenge

Everyone should have at least one collection. There is nothing like that moment when you find a precious new piece to add to it. It also gives friends and family something–not only as a good gift, but as a reminder.

Every time I see Americana anything, I think of my mother, who taught American literature for most of her career and hosts a big 4th of July party every year. I think of Judy, my college boyfriend’s mom, every year I get out my “Santa’s Village” Christmas town (miniatures), because she gave me the first piece. My editor comes to mind when I see silly socks. I picture my dad when I see patches for various hikes in the Rocky Mountains (I got him started on those). I always loved the demitasse china cups my grandmother had. When she passed away, I received 4 and think of her every time I see them.

See what I mean? Memories.

Personally, I love collections. I’ve had several over the years–all of them more about the sentiment then the value. You could say I’m a collector of collections when you see the list…

  • Madame Alexander Dolls (as a child my mom got me started)
  • Christmas Decorations / Santa Clauses
  • Christmas Village (started by Judy)
  • Christmas Ornaments (started by my grandmother when I was a kid – 1 a year)
  • Halloween Decorations (because Halloween rocks)
  • My China Pattern (yeah, yeah, china is outdated. whatever. I love it.)
  • Elephant Figurines (trunks up of course)
  • Disney Movies (digital has made this so much easier)
  • Disney Kinkaide Paintings (I want all 15 of the small versions!)

I’m thinking of adding dragons to the list. What do you think? 🙂 What about you? Any cool collections?

 


I am participating in MFRW’s 52-week blog challenge, and it’s a blog hop! If you want to see how other authors approach this topic, stroll on over to the other authors participating and find out how they deal with character profiles. Each author does it differently.

Make Me Shudder #MFRWAuthor Blog Challenge

Irrational Fears… This topic feels timely because I just gave one of my heroes one of my irrational fears.
Honestly, I have several. I think most people do. The Indiana Jones movies tap into several. So do the Hobbit and LOTR movies. I bet you’re wondering what they are now.
Well, I’ll tell you…
Spiders
I can’t stand them. It’s something to do with a creature that tiny being able to kill a human. That and the pincers. *shudder* I can’t watch the Aragog scene in Harry Potter  or the Shelob scene in LOTR.
Heights
“But Abbie, weren’t you a skydiver?” you ask.
Yup. But please remember these are irrational fears. Planes don’t bother me. Edges of mountains, tall buildings, and the thought of plummeting to a gruesome death bothers me. A lot. And, yes, my favorite place is the Rocky Mountains.  What can I say. I’m an enigma.
Crowds
This is not so much a fear as an intense dislike. I am a natural introvert. Crowds of people stress me out. Interaction with groups of strangers is a struggle. I do much better in smaller group settings. I can do large groups and survive- even enjoy myself.  I just find it exhausting.
That’s about it. I don’t have issues with other things like the dark, flying, blood, snakes, rats, small spaces (okay elevators, but that’s more about dangling over a drop), germs, water, death, or other common fears.
How about you? What triggers your gut check reflex?
P.S. That hero is not a fan of snakes a la Indiana Jones. 🙂 But mostly because his brother got bit by a cottonmouth and almost died.

I am participating in MFRW’s 52-week blog challenge, and it’s a blog hop! If you want to see how other authors approach this topic, stroll on over to the other authors participating and find out how they deal with character profiles. Each author does it differently.

1st, 2nd, or 3rd – The Person Make a Big Difference #MFRWAuthor Blog Challenge

Before I get into my personal preference, let’s touch on the different “persons” you can write from and make sure we’re all on the same page.

1st Person

1st person stories are written from a single point of view–that of the protagonist. The reader gets to float around inside that persons head seeing all their thoughts and every experience from their lens. The easiest way to identify 1st person is by the pronouns. Everything is I, me, we.

2nd Person

2nd person tends to be reserved more for manuals than fiction, but on the rare occasion this point of view can be used. 2nd person is about making the reader the protagonist in their head. Identify 2nd person again by the pronouns. Everything is directed at “you.”

3rd Person

3rd person is all about the person being talked about in that scene. This allows the reader to experience scenes from a less person, more “fly on the wall” type of perspective but still through the lens of individual character or characters. The identifiable pronouns in 3rd person are he, she, it, they.

Okay, now that we have that down, I’ll share. While I’ve written all 3, I am definitely a 3rd Person fan as both an author and a reader. Here’s why…

Not a Manual

My degree was in Technical Writing–essentially writing instructions an manuals. After having written many, I don’t think I could ever write fiction from this POV. It would be too much like writing a manual.

Not Breaking the 3rd Wall

I actually LOVE when a character breaks the 3rd wall and talks directly to the audience in TV or movies (think Deadpool or House of Cards). However, it’s much easier to pull off in a visual medium. Readers do not like short, jerky POV switches, which makes this technique dang hard to pull off in written fiction. Not my cup of tea.

Heroine & Hero POV

I write romance. Therefore, I want, nay, I NEED to see both the hero and the heroine’s points of view. I love to see what they are both thinking and experiencing as they move through their character arcs. This can absolutely be done in 1st, but I find it more difficult.  Maybe if each chapter is dedicated, but I find it comes off feeling…odd. Much easier from 3rd.

Insight into Multiple Characters

Same as with the above, I actually love to get scenes in secondary character POVs. Doable in 1st, but better in 3rd.

Less Angsty Internal Thoughts

This might be the Gen-Xer in me, but I find most of the fiction written in 1st Person POV these days is just…self-centered and whiny. All we hear are the character’s internal angsty thoughts and it’s very, me, me, me just by nature. I find 3rd person allows the reader to distance themselves from an overabundance of internal dialogue.

Now don’t get me wrong. I read plenty of books in 1st person and love them. 3rd just happens to be my preference. And yes, it probably dates me, but I’m okay with that. Lol. What about you? What’s your preference?

 


I am participating in MFRW’s 52-week blog challenge, and it’s a blog hop! If you want to see how other authors approach this topic, stroll on over to the other authors participating and find out how they deal with character profiles. Each author does it differently.

When I’m Not Writing… #MFRWAuthor Blog Challenge

I would love to say that when I’m not writing I have a life. But that would be a lie.

Sort of. I have my wonderful family, so frequently any time not spent on writing/books in some form or fashion is spent with them. My kids are at that stage where it’s constant activities, homework, and friends. Less “Mom Time” these days, because–let’s face it–I’m not cool enough any more. We do try to force upon them things like family vacations and game nights, just to remind them we still exist. We also live close to both sides of our family, so we spend time with them as well, which is awesome. It’s why we moved back to Texas a few years ago.

“But Kadie, what about other hobbies?” you ask.

Oh, my friends. My other hobbies include book cover design and helping other authors in their self-publishing journeys. These are my brain breaks and, believe it or not, I love doing that. Especially the graphic design. I can get lost in the visuals when I really want to. However, I think most would agree that this hobby still lands in the “writing realm.”

“Okay, so you still have to do things like exercise. Right?” 

Ummm… So a while ago I bought a treadmill desk. This wonderful invention allows me to walk and write at the same time. I will take 20 minutes or so to add things like hand weights, sit ups, push ups, etc. I used to run a ton, and every once in a while I get the bug. I go on an easy short jog, and my aging body proceeds to laugh in my face and break in some way that means no running for weeks.

“Friends? Movies? Dinners out?”

You’re starting to sound a little desperate. I will say that I do all three of those. Well…I don’t “do” my friends, but I spend time with them. Hubby and I are also huge movie buffs. For Mother’s Day he got me Movie Pass, so I can go any time. We also have a theater in our house with a projector and full screen and everything. When I watch at home, guess what I’m doing? Yup writing. Or editing. Or reading. Or book cover design.

“Please tell me you have SOMETHING.”

I will say that my favorite non-book thing to do is travel. Hubs and I love to travel, both with and without the kids. We have our annual trip to Estes Park, but we love doing lots of other things. In 2018 we’ve done a Caribbean cruise, skiing in Colorado, and have plans for trips to Vegas and Orlando this fall. That said, our trip to Estes was piggy-backed onto a writing conference in Denver. Orlando is also a writing conference. I also usually still spend a lot of that time writing. At the very least I take notes of impressions of a place, in case I want to use it in a future book.

So. There you have it. I have no life outside my writing. But the thing is… I am as happy as a clam dug deep into warm, wet sand. Writing is my lifelong dream and I get to do it everyday. Doesn’t get better than that!


I am participating in MFRW’s 52-week blog challenge, and it’s a blog hop! If you want to see how other authors approach this topic, stroll on over to the other authors participating and find out how they deal with character profiles. Each author does it differently.

Stranded on a Desert Island – #MFRWAuthor Blog Challenge

You know the game… if you were stranded on a desert island, assuming things like food, water, shelter, and clothing (and for me air conditioning) were taken care of at the most basic level for survival, what item would you choose to bring with you. In other words, what item can you NOT live without.

This is probably going to shock you, but it would be my… COMPUTER!

Are you shocked? No? The various reason why might surprised you a bit, though. Even without internet, and assuming I’ll have a way to charge said computer (my island, my rules – HA!), there are so many facets of my computer that would help me on a desert island. I’ll start with the obvious…

Writing My Books

Having my computer means I could spend all that time with some manner of distraction writing my books. Not just because I need to write my books (which I do), but to also give me a purpose. I don’t sit idly well.

Kindle App w/ Books

I have a lot of books on that app which (I think) can be accessed without internet as long as they were downloaded first (which most are). Entertainment and friends come out of books for me. It’s the next best thing to real people. (Sometimes a good book is better than real people.)

Some Movies and Music

Seeing other faces and hearing voices (not in my head) would help with the whole sanity thing I think.

Journal My Experience

On the off chance I don’t survive, this would be a good way to let my family know what happened (assuming someone discovers the island). Plus, I’d sneak clues in there about my buried treasure.

Calendar

The calendar would help me keep track of the days and time.

Reflective Surface

To possible signal passing ships or planes with.

Pictures of My Family

This is the biggie. If they’re physically not with me, I’d want my computer with pictures of them. I couldn’t live without some access to my family. They would be my reason to keep going and survive.

 

What about you? What item could you not live without?

 


I am participating in MFRW’s 52-week blog challenge, and it’s a blog hop! If you want to see how other authors approach this topic, stroll on over to the other authors participating and find out how they deal with character profiles. Each author does it differently.

Best Gift Ever: Zombies & a Silver Bullet

I count myself lucky. I grew up in a family of gift givers and I married a very thoughtful giver. It’s made me appreciate putting thought into the gifts I give, tailoring a present to the person and their unique interests or something you share. We’ll get to gift giving next week. This week on the MFRW Blog Challenge, we’re talking about the best gift we’ve ever received.

I didn’t have to think hard about this one, because I know my favorite gift. You might think it would be my engagement ring (which I adore), or my first car (which was a surprise from my parents). Or perhaps a gift like the blanket with mine and my husband’s names embroidered on it that was a wedding gift, or the baby blankets a friend knitted my kids, or the wonderful memory book given to us by our bridesmaids and groomsmen at our wedding. While all of those are wonderful and mean so much to me, my favorite is a little…unusual.

 

To give a little context: My dad likes to give coins as special gifts now and then. He researches the artwork and history and quality and all the things you research about coins. He likes to give particularly beautiful coins. Usually.

Meanwhile, my dad loves to tease me about my slight obsession with planning for random catastrophic events. I plan for the strangest things. For example, when we were living in California, with all of our family still in Texas, I came up with a plan for “if the apocalypse happens how do we meet back up.” That’s right. Because I assumed things like phone lines and cell phones would be knocked out. A little bit nuts, I’m well aware. I also love all things zombie–The Walking Dead, Resident Evil, Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. Love them all.

For Christmas a few years ago, I received a gift from my dad. The card said “From Survivalist Santa” which cracked me up to begin with. Inside the bag I found a silver bullet (because werewolves), a regular coin, and a zombie version of that coin (the front on the left and the back is in the other picture).

To this day, this gift makes me smile because Dad both gets me and is teasing me at the same time. I should mention that I learned my paranoid planning from him. Lol.  I still have the bag and little note with all the items.

Thanks Dad! Love you. 🙂

What is your best gift ever?

 


I am participating in MFRW’s 52-week blog challenge, and it’s a blog hop! If you want to see how other authors approach this topic, stroll on over to the other authors participating and find out how they deal with character profiles. Each author does it differently.

My Favorite Social Media Platforms? – #MFRWAuthor Blog Challenge

Ummm…. Yeah. I can’t say that I have a favorite social media platform. It’s more like a tolerate/hate relationship with the ones I’m on, because I can’t say I love them, really. So instead of waxing poetic on one, I’ll give my Pros for each.

The Con on all of them is really the same–the potential time suck (if I let it be) and the politics. But let’s put that aside and look at the positives:

Facebook

This is where I get to see what’s gong on with all my friends. Not necessarily my all my readers, because, allegedly, Facebook is more for my generation so I may be missing the younger gen of readers. But I do love the chance to catch up with authors and readers alike. I work from home (so little to no human interaction) and I have family and friends spread all over the planet. This is a fantastic way to check in on them easily.

Twitter

I see the most interesting posts on Twitter, maybe because it’s less about the memes than Facebook? Also, maybe because I see all the accounts I care about (unlike Facebook that limits what I’m seeing). I’m a particular fan of Nerdist. In addition, I find my author friends who are more about Twitter have funny posts, and that keeps me entertained (Sarah M. Anderson, I’m looking at you).

Pinterest

Okay, now that I think about it this might be my favorite one, but not because I use it as a social thing. I use it as a research thing. I have boards for each series and pin all my research and images to those boards. Having those images is a huge help when I’m writing.

Blog

I actually do like blogging. Most of the time. It takes a lot of time, but I love that it’s a chronicle of sorts, keeping track of my writing life as it goes along. I also enjoy sharing knowledge with other writers.

 

Technically I’m on Instagram, but I can’t say I’ve gotten into the flow of using it. I should. I enjoy the images. I’m sure there are other forms of social media people will insist I should be using. But who has the time? I’m also trying to write a ton of books. I’ll wait until one of those gets to Facebook/Twitter level and then try it. I guess. I’m getting older, which means I’m less inclined to jump into change, so we’ll see. Lol.

What are your favorite social media outlets, and why?

 


I am participating in MFRW’s 52-week blog challenge, and it’s a blog hop! If you want to see how other authors approach this topic, stroll on over to the other authors participating and find out how they deal with character profiles. Each author does it differently.

Ummm… Isn’t It Supposed to Be “Happy” Mother’s Day?

It’s Mother’s Day today. Newsflash to everyone this snuck up on…better run to the grocery store for flowers and a card quick.

I’m a mom. Many of my readers and friends are mothers. So of course I planned to post just a quick, simple “Happy Mother’s Day” message on my social media. Usually this just involves a graphic and the words, but this year I thought I’d mix it up and include a fun or interesting article link. Right?

Wrong.

I did a search on Google for “Mother’s Day” and went to news, and what I found was not happy at all. Instead, I got a list of mostly depressing articles. On Mother’s Day. What does it say about our news outlets and our society in general that on a day that is supposed to be happy, these are the options about the topic in the news…

Don’t get me wrong. There are women who are hurting today who should absolutely be acknowledged and given love. And yes, this holiday comes around every single year (and okay, could be a boring one), so perhaps there’s not a ton to say about it that’s new. However, I honestly think this has more to do with our society and the bent toward negativity.

My mother was a high school English teacher. She talks about a writing exercise where she has her classes think of the best moments in their lives and the worst and write them out in a list. When writing their worst moments, the students could fill pages. When writing their best memories, they struggled to come up with even a handful. These news articles, I feel, are a reflection of that thing inside all of us that says why focus on the good when we could focus on the bad.

I’m not saying that there isn’t tragedy around days like today that needs to be included. It’s not that I want only positive stories, either. How about a good mix, though?

Out of the 15 articles on the first page of the search on a day which really should be about happy, 8 were depressing or negative in some way, 1 was about how Mom’s should celebrate like Dad’s instead (guess we were doing it wrong all this time), 2 were about the weather on Mother’s Day (because apparently there’s nothing else to say about today), 2 were about gifts, and 2 were actually positive (one of which was from Lancaster Farming rather than a national news outlet).

Only 13% positive news articles in my first page of search results (because I don’t count weather or advice on gifts as positive news). On Mother’s Day. Are you kidding me? I’m calling you out news media. Especially CNN, USA Today, and the Los Angeles Times (which had not 1 but 2 depressing articles up in the top 15 search results for the topic this morning).

I went to the home pages of those 3 publications, just HOPING something positive might show up about Mother’s Day. Here’s what I found.

CNN

Really? The best you could come up with was baby names? Do you have NOTHING positive to say about Mother’s Day?

USA Today

All you had on your home page was the below (uh, thanks?) and the article about someone spending the day away from his/her mother. (Which I did not read, sorry. Did it turn out to be positive?)

Los Angeles Times

Finally, one had something positive. Followed by the 2 negative-themed articles already mentioned. But still, some balance…

To say I’m disappointed is a gross understatement. I’m also less inclined to use those sources (especially CNN – jeez guys) for my news, because if you can’t find one good thing to say about today, of all days, I don’t need your negativity in my life.

And you made me rant…on Mother’s Day, only adding to the negativity. Dammit!

To bring some positivity to this, I was going to give a list of funny memes to all the moms out there. In an ironic twist, most of the memes in the lists I found are (gasp) sarcastic and not exactly positive.

Lol. I give up. Here are some of my favs (And no, I guess they’re not all hearts and flowers either. I’m only human after all.)…

 

Romance is Still Alive – #MFRWAuthor Blog Challenge

For all the romantic gestures I write into the world, romance to me sure as hell isn’t some prescribed holiday (ahem, Valentine’s Day). Or course, the best days ever are our wedding day and the days our children were born. But when I think of my most romantic memories, most of them are little things. A glance, a moment, being on the same page, doing things for each other.

So rather than touch on just one, I’ve made a top 10 List, counting down…

#10 – First Boyfriend

Ah, young love. My first official boyfriend (who lasted longer than a few days and went on actual dates) happened my freshman year of high school. That high of having the boy I was interest in be interested back only got better. We dressed up for the school Valentine’s dance. He gave me a silver bracelet (still have it) and my first kiss. I still smile when I pass by the spot where it happened. So sweet.

#9 – That Guy

My senior year of high school a boy I’d had a crush on years before (for a really, really, really long time), asked me out. We only dated a few months. But the romance of getting the ungettable get made me feel ah-maz-ing. He was a lot of fun, too.

#8 – Excited to See Me

I had a long term boyfriend in college (3 years – I think). There are lots of little moments in there, but the one that stands out the most is coming home from spring break in separate cars, he was a good 10 hours behind me. I went to bed thinking he wouldn’t get home until really late. I woke up to him running up the stairs to wake me up. He’d left early and hurried, just because he missed me for a few hours.

#7 – Flowers for My Table

Any time my husband does the grocery shopping, he buys flowers for our kitchen table. Just because he knows I like it.

 

 #6 – Stay

Shortly after my breakup with the college boyfriend, I dated a guy who went a long way toward making me feel human and desirable again. He was wonderful in so many ways. But my favorite was a night we were out with a bunch of mutual friends (including my ex). I was miserable and thinking of leaving when I get this text that says two words. “Don’t Go.”

#5 – Lots of Laughter

My husband and I make each other laugh. Admittedly, he’s better at it than I am because he’s funnier. But part of what I love about our romance is laughing with him. Every single day.

#4 – I Love You

My husband and I both broke up with each other once before finally figuring out we were meant to be (had a lot to do with timing). When he finally told me he loved me was the day he asked me back. He’d broken things off, and a month later asked me to meet him at Jason’s Deli. There he told me how much he missed me and that he’d fallen in love with me without even knowing. I knew that day that I’d marry that man.

#3 – Proposal

I thought he was going to break up with me. I had gone on vacation to Colorado with my family and we talked every night, but he kept having fewer and fewer things to say. He was picking me up at the airport and I thought, “He’s about to end it.” I turned the corner to find him standing there in a suit with a sign (like a limo driver) that said “Mrs. Owen?”. He proposed right there in the airport (and my man is not the public exhibition type).

#2 – To the Ends of the Earth

Of the two of us, I am the more prone to make snap decisions and do things like move. I had moved apartments something like 10 times in 5 years, during which time he’d bought and lived in the same house. People would tease me that I’d have to stay put now. Six months after we married, I got a job in another state. And that man not only supported me, he jumped on my crazy train. He did it again when I suddenly decided we needed to move home to Texas.

#1 – Pursuing a Dream

My husband is supporting this author dream of mine in every way he can. He could call it an unrealistic pursuit and (quite reasonably) request I go back to a steady job with a steady income. He could get frustrated with how my head is in the clouds 90% of the time. He could get irritated with how dishes take a back seat to getting the next scene on paper. But because he loves me, and believes in me, and supports my dreams, I get to pursue my dreams.

All my best romantic memories are thanks to my husband. Guess I’ll hang on to this one. Lol. And you’d better bet that some of these will (or already have) end up in my books. 🙂 What are in your top 10? I’d love to hear.

 


I am participating in MFRW’s 52-week blog challenge, and it’s a blog hop! If you want to see how other authors approach this topic, stroll on over to the other authors participating and find out how they deal with character profiles. Each author does it differently.