Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Facebook covers for writers

Here's another. The rules: Do not alter the image and you may use it, for free, as your Facebook cover.

If you wish to see more, click the label "facebook covers" below. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

"Future Past" Cover

Coming soon!

The Making of the "Future Past" Cover

Here we are making the cover for Future Past. It was hot out but we had a good time and got the job done.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Back pain update: Out with pain management, in with aquatic therapy

If you've been keeping up with my back issues through this blog, you've probably gotten the idea that I'd almost given up having any kind of relief whatsoever.

The last time I really updated was when I was going to a pain management clinic. I can say with certainty now that it was the wrong move for me. I had issues with the doctor, who would get irritated with me when I questioned having to drive over an hour every week to try expensive procedures that ultimately never worked. On top of that, after spending hundreds of dollars in that office, the office manager decided to penalize me for having a sick child and being unable to show up. When I canceled my appointment, I was trying to tell them that I would reschedule after my vacation and finals but no, they didn't want to hear it. Since I couldn't reschedule right then, they decided they were going to charge me an "inappropriate cancelation fee". I'd already been having doubts about continuing there, but for me, to be disregarded in such a manner, sealed the deal. I'm not sure that battle is over, as the office manager made it clear she would bill me that money regardless (if I ever get that bill, I will retaliate full force).

In any case, aside from my gripes about how I was treated as not only a patient but a paying customer, I knew it was the right time to really search for a new doctor; someone who specialized in the spine. I also knew that I'd exhausted just about every avenue I could. I was tired of being in pain and tired of being in tears every time I left the doctor, feeling like it was hopeless. I would continue to deteriorate, I would continue to deal with horrible pain every day.

My current doctor listened to my concerns and what I'd been through and said he needed to get me into a physical therapy regimen that I could handle. And that's exactly what I've been doing.

I've been doing aquatic therapy for the last few months and I've lost weight, I can feel that my muscles are getting stronger, and the best part? My pain has decreased.

I'm still in pain most of the time but I'm learning how to better manage it so I don't have as many bad days as I was having before. I'm learning how to listen to my body better and I continue to get stronger. I still struggle with many day to day things and I still can't run or jump but I feel like now I may actually get there in time. I don't feel hopeless anymore.

A few weeks ago, the doc tested me with some shots to see if the pain was coming from my facet joints or the discs and spine itself. It told him what I'd already known; it was from my discs. The doc and I have been discussing epidural shots but we'd both rather wait and see what improvements I can make with my therapy.

It's hard work and you really have to stay diligent with it. It's a hassle to go twice a week on top of work and school but it has definitely been worth it. Even if I have to end up getting the shot, I still know that the exercises are benefitting me in the long run.

I'll keep you updated. Thanks for reading.

Peace, love, and (finally) less pain,


More Freebies

In keeping with the countdown to Future Past (which I am proofing the print right now, yay!), two more titles are up for free grabs.

"The Hand" continues to be one of my favorites. Inspired by a dream of a disembodied hand grabbing at me, the story started to come to life. Thanks to one of my writer friends, Theresa Wiza, providing her first-hand (no pun intended) experience in her battle with breast cancer, the story formed itself into a contemporary science fiction piece, where the main character, Cicely, is winning her war against breast cancer while also battling to save her struggling marriage. Insert a mad scientist and there is the basis for "The Hand". You can download "The Hand" from Smashwords for FREE using coupon code MR95D. Smashwords has formats that fit many different ereading devices, including reading it right online.
The Influence, while admittedly not my favorite, is still my baby. This story began its first twinkle as I was talking to a coworker one night many years ago. She was telling me about her granddaughter's tendency to talk to a rock out in her yard. I'd always wanted to write a classic "good vs evil" tale and an idea about this special little girl sent to our world finally had her basis. Inspired by my own raising with my four sisters, this book took a turn of it's own. It isn't just a contemporary sci-fi read, it is a tale of two sisters learning the right, wrong, and grays of this world and holding together in spite of it.  You can download The Influence from Smashwords for FREE using coupon code LA67F. Smashwords has formats that fit many different ereading devices, including reading it right online.

These coupons expire July 26, 2013 so go download your copies!

Peace, love, and happy reading,


Thursday, July 4, 2013

FREE Downloads and reduced pricing

As the countdown to the release of Future Past begins, we went through my titles and reduced the prices on both "The Hand" and The Influence. "The Hand" is now 99 cents and the ebook version of The Influence, my debut novel, has been reduced to $1.99. *Please note that it will probably take a few hours to a few days for Amazon to reflect this price change.

In addition, now begins the free promo for two other titles.

"Into Pieces" began as a writing prompt flash contest on a writer's forum. The contest challenged writers to create another version of a well known fairy tale or nursery rhyme. I chose "Humpty Dumpty" and the story evolved from there. I won the contest but asked the moderators to remove the actual story from the board when I realized I was on to something. I rewrote the tale, submitted it to an anthology and it was accepted. A year later, when the anthology never came to fruition, I withdrew the story and published it myself.

You can download "Into Pieces" from Smashwords for FREE using coupon code BA24D. Smashwords has formats that fit many different ereading devices, including reading it right online.

"The Crazy Ole' Bird Lady" is one of those short stories that began as a dream. Though it is an unusual story, I can safely say it isn't of the "Kubla Khan" variety. (Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a writer of the Romantic period, wrote this odd poem after he woke from an opium induced slumber, having dreamed the imagery of the poem.) In any case, in my completely normal dream-state, I dreamed about being holed up with a bunch of other people as we hid from monstrous bird creatures. (I swear I wasn't tripping on anything!) I knew when I woke that it would make a great story and my editor called it, "Classic horror."

You can download "The Crazy Ole' Bird Lady" from Smashwords for FREE using coupon code QD74B. Smashwords has formats that fit many different ereading devices, including reading it right online.

These coupons expire on July 15, 2013 so go download your copy today!

Only a few more weeks until the release of Future Past! Oh crap, I got a lot to do!

Peace, love, and FREEBIES!


Being patriotic isn't what it used to be

There are many things wrong with this country. From the crookedness of many politicians, contributing to an overwhelming lack of faith in our government, to a broken system of welfare, immigration, and the like... it can be consuming if you think about it too hard. One thing I learned in my own little corner of politics is that many people will think one thing or at least tell you one thing to your face, but then bow to the pressure of those who have the most money and power. Politics, the heart of our government, is a delicate dance between doing what is right and caving to something that isn't, if only for the ease of another burden. It can easily lead to hard feelings and even in small towns, is very stressful for everyone involved.

For many voters, the stress of day to day life leaves little left to concern oneself with such things as politics, especially when it seems like there's nothing one can do to right seemingly obvious wrongs. It's easier to go on about life, I suppose, pushing on in blind hope that those in power really do have the best interests of the people at heart as opposed to only their own best interests.

Though my political involvement thus far has been a little sour (and I still cringe at the label of "politician" as people recall my failed run for office), I still have that desire in my heart to be a part of something bigger than myself and to assist with change that can help people. To me, that's what being patriotic is.

I'm patriotic in the sense that I am glad I live in a country where I can walk into a restaurant and pray and not worry about law enforcement coming to arrest me or lop my head off. Many countries' citizens can't say the same. I'm patriotic in the sense that I'm glad I can pursue a seat in my local government (or state or even national, not that my aspirations are as such, but I could if I wanted to!). I'm patriotic in the sense that I can recall my studies of history and be proud of the foundation this country was built on.

I don't have to like everything that politics and government stand for today, but I can hope for something better and that hope, to me, is the basis of patriotism.

Happy Independence Day, y'all. I'm going to leave you with a quote from one of my writer friends.

"Happy birthday to my country. It is not perfect, but it is still a land of opportunity and wonder, and a land that is slowly beginning to look towards the future instead of a mythic past. I am a raging liberal and patriotism is not always popular amongst my ilk, but I feel like if you don't love where you came from you can't love where you're going. I love all the people and places of America and all of our ideals, and yes, I am proud to be an American." - Nancy Knows

Peace, love, and hope,