Monday, November 28, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Thanksgiving is upon us! The turkey is dressed, the pies are baked, and families are flocking together to spend the day eating and shopping. But through all the full stomachs and "Black Friday" deals, it's good to pause and remember why we have this holiday in the first place.
To give thanks.
Sounds simple, right? But can you remember the last time you stopped and took the time to really count your blessings? Our lives are so busy these days, with day jobs, kids, spouses. We've become masters at multitasking in order to get everything done we need to. Conference calls at home while making dinner. Cramming in writing time while sitting in the doctor's office. Every single second of every day gets counted and used to its fullest extent.
So I know how difficult it can be to take a moment and just feel gratitude for everything you and your family have. Difficult because it forces you to think about what your life would be without these blessings. And that can be overwhelming to think about. But even the little things deserve recognition. The smile of a stranger when you need it. The words of a friend when you're down. The bad - yet funny - joke from a co-worker. These little things deserve gratitude just as much as the big ones, for they make each day different from the rest.
And it's so easy to get caught up in things this time of year, the whirlwind of the holidays. Through the gift giving and the big meals, we tend to forget the little things and breeze through the days until each one blends into the next. And before you know it,another year has passed.
So I ask that you always take a moment to give thanks, not just for the holiday, but every day. For every single day holds a blessing. All you have to do is stop and recognize it.
Have a Blessed and Wonderful Thanksgiving!
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
We're the adults. We need to be part of the solution.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
I’m going to back up just a touch. A year or so before this birthday (I remember the birthday vividly but I don’t actually remember how old I was) my dad discovered I’d never seen Star Wars. He was surprised and a little appalled… He promptly rented all three of them. That was back in the days of VHS and before the remastered versions came out. Then we set up the “movie” experience in my living room. That basically meant I got to eat dinner in the lazy chair that we pulled up in front of the TV. I proceeded to watch all three movies. I can’t remember if I watched them all at once or got through two of them and had to take a break, it was a while ago. Maybe even close to twenty years. I was hooked.
Now back to this birthday, and those books… Dad didn’t wrap my presents, he just put them in a bag. No big deal for me though. So they handed me my first gift, which was the VHS trilogy of the remastered Star Wars movies. I was thrilled. Then they handed me three books. I studied them, as I’m wont to do with books, noted the Star Wars big across the top of all of them, and was super excited. Those books were Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command. (Looking at the dates of publication, it must have been 1994 or so. I was probably 13 or 14.)
I still have those books. I love those books. They are still some of my favorite. Many of my favorite fictional characters stemmed from those books and Timothy Zahn is still my favorite author. I’ve read a ton of books since then, including a bazillion Star Wars books – but they still hold up as some of the best.
When I was in the bookstore the other day (Incidentally just a couple of days after my most recent birthday earlier this month) my boyfriend, the Irish Sailor, pointed out a hardback Star Wars book with a nice shiny silver cover and the words Heir to the Empire on it. I grabbed it of course and my hands almost started shaking – for several reasons. It was the 20th anniversary edition of a book that had literally changed my life, and I couldn’t believe it had been 20 years since it was published. That last bit kind of hurt my brain.
All else forgotten I sat down on the floor of the bookstore and started to read through the special introductions, the new novella, and the really interesting author/publisher notes in the margins of the book. I had to have it.
My copy arrived yesterday and I carried it around for a while, much like a kid does with a blanket, then I put it on my desk and gazed at it with tears in my eyes, then I carried it around a little more. I read the novella last night.
I’m a nerd, I know, but still… Books have the power to change lives… My first attempt at a real novel was set in the Star Wars universe. I had my own characters, but I used that huge setting. One of my all time favorite characters of my own (she’s making me say she is my favorite character ever, it’s true, I won’t deny it) started as a Star Wars character. I managed a few hyperspace accidents and brought her back to earth so I could actually write some of her stories too. I’m not sure I’d be on the writing path that I’m on without Star Wars and the ideas it has inspired.
So Happy Anniversary Heir to the Empire. Mr. Zahn, thank you for writing such an amazing book and propelling the Star Wars Universe into the written word.
Monday, November 14, 2011
I'm the queen of procrastination. For those of you who models of self discipline and are unfamiliar with procrastination here's the definition ~ to put off intentionally and habitually. When I'm not growling like a polar bear because it's cold and snowy my favorite place to hide is the beach but currently the temperature is 30 degrees so that isn't working out. So as the queen I've come up with many clever inside ways to avoid the dreaded task whatever it may be so I thought I would share a few of my favorites:
(1) Looking for fun entertainment to make you smile before tackling whatever you're avoiding. Games – on facebook – the bubble witch saga. Hidden object games (HOGS for short) there are so many of these but Sherlock Holmes is by the far the best one out there.
(2) Want something a little more constructive to build the concentration before leaping into the work at hand? Since I'm a writer here's one that is fun and useful - http://seventhsanctum.com/index-char.php I can almost say this isn't a form of procrastination because, well, I need characters – right? Anyway, it makes a jumping off point especially for secondary characters. Here is one I generated for a creepy bus rider - This confident gentleman has slitted brown eyes that are like two tiger-eye gems. His fine, wavy, soot-black hair is long and is worn in a dignified, uncomplicated style. He is tall and has a graceful build. His skin is dark. He has prominent ears and thin eyebrows. His wardrobe is complicated and classy, with a lot of brown.
(3) Another 'useful' website that I send a lot time at for characters and also just to see what people do with their time - http://www.notsoboringlife.com/. It has over 200 hobbies listed with details. The hobbies include everything from cigar smoking to collecting James Bond toys to belly dancing.
Anyway, these are my top three ways of avoiding laundry, edits, or taking my dog for a walk. What are some of your favorite? Or maybe I should ask what are some of the ways you remain on track?
Saturday, November 12, 2011
I remember going on a romantic stroll with my husband once. A story popped into my head and I had to jot it down. So, I whipped the tiny notebook out of my purse and discovered, to my horror, that my pen was missing! I just about lost my mind! My poor husband didn't have one. I was like a junkie or something. "We gotta stop in there and ask if I can borrow a pen now! Now!" We couldn't snag a pen anywhere and it was a half hour before we could get home and find one there. What a nightmare.
Actually, it's pathetic, I guess.
But, that's one way to know.
What other ways are there?
Friday, November 11, 2011
Jen Gave It Four Stars
She said, "We also meet Victoria, The girl's Grandmother - who is also Empathy. And she is the Funniest - most awesome grandmother i have ever met :) Loved her! She's also set out to teach the girls everything she knows in order to survive their upcoming 18th birthday - it's the only way to get their lives back." You don't have to be young to kick butt!
Nayu Gave It a 10/10
She said, "I think it shows Kimber An's growth as a writer, because I couldn't find anything I wasn't keen on." This is a fab compliment because I've known Nayu a long time and she's read all my published stuff. We reviewed together at Enduring Romance and I learned from the author/mentors that all the best storytellers never stop trying to learn.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
My treat is a free short story (Pdf format)called SATANSTORM
The members of the metal band Satanstorm have been trying to put their days as child singing sensations “Band of brothers” behind them. They hope their next video will propel them to the top. All they need is the right spooky place to film it…
If you'd like a copy Click Here to pop on over to the handy dandy form on my site and drop me a line.