Monthly Archives: March 2014

Is there bull urine in my energy drink?


Is there bull urine in my energy drink?.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life


I went through my US Navy (2002) deployment (USS George Washington CVN73) pictures and found a few photos to post in this weeks photo challenge. Enjoy!

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Vendors in Crete

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Souda Bay, Crete

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Lisbon, Portugal

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Coliseum actors – Rome, Italy

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Venice, Italy

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Venice shops – Venice, Italy

Blogging from A to Z Challenge – Accepted


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Image found on Google images

Yesterday, I signed up for a blogging challenge. I love challenges, as they motivate me to accomplish something. I especially like being told ‘you can’t do that’, actually I don’t like being told that, but it makes me say, ‘Watch me!’ and I actually do whatever it is that I was told that I couldn’t do. Actually, that’s only true if it doesn’t involve doing anything stupid. It’s more along the lines of doing something mentally or physically.

I’m always running out of ideas to write about for my blog and often find myself search the net for ideas. Usually I don’t follow through with some of those ideas I find. This time I found a website that challenges everyone to blog every day during the month of April, except for Sundays. Each blog will start with a letter from the alphabet – that makes it even more challenging. So, the first day of April starts on a Tuesday, blog about something starting with the letter A. The following day, blog about something that starts with the letter B, and so on.

Now, to come up with a list of things to write about. If you’re interested in learning more about the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, check out their website and sign yourself up.

One Word Photo Challenge: Black


I thought this one was going to be hard as we have so many colorful things here at home and I usually snap pictures of things with color, but I did find some pictures with black items in them. For more information on this photo challenge, please check out Jennifer Nichole Wells blog.

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Flightless bald eagle, Little Rock zoo.

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Chimpanzee at the Little Rock zoo.

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A black leopard…yes, it’s a leopard and not a panther (which everyone confuses the two. You just can’t see his spots really well). Little Rock zoo.

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Leopards at the Little Rock zoo.

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His name is actually Black Cat and he’s the sweetest kitty.

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One of my favorite shows Supernatural has this very awesome car, 1967 Chevy Impala.

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Antique sewing machine from 1917-1920

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My daughter in a canoe at the Memphis zoo

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Taken at the Memphis zoo

Fairy Tales Are Still Popular


As I’m browsing the internet and books for certain literary agents to send a query letter to, I’ve come to notice, fairy tales are still popular, though only those with a new spin to them. Some literary agents are looking for newer versions of fairy tales, called fairy tale re-tellings. Imagine telling the story of Cinderella, though in a different way. The book I’m currently reading is called Cinder, by Marissa Meyer. It’s a Cinderella story, but it is so completely different that it actually captivates you into reading it. It has even made the New York Times Bestseller list.

Cinder is a sixteen year old mechanic and a cyborg. Yes, a cyborg Cinderella. At first, I thought, nah, I highly doubt I’ll be interested in reading it, but I was wrong. I decided to buy it the other day and am glad I did, it’s a great page turner. The first line even caught my attention: “The screw through Cinder’s ankle had rusted, the engraved cross marks worn to a mangled circle.” It’s hard to find books with an awesome opening line like that. It makes you want to keep reading. I’m sure it’s a book of what our near future may look like – androids and humans living together.

I have read, Mr. Darcy, Vampire. Though it isn’t a fairy tale, it is a re-telling of the Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen’s novel, Pride and Prejudice. I’m not too big on vampire books. They have to be different than everyone’s stereotypical image and I’ve only found very few that break that image so far. Mr. Darcy, Vampire is actually very different than some of the stereotypes some often have of vampires. It was a good read, if you haven’t read it. I think I’ve even heard of Alice in Zombieland, a re-telling of Alice in Wonderland. A different perspective for all of those who are familiar with the original version of Alice in Wonderland. I haven’t read it, but if you have, indulge me. Is it a good read? Or not worth buying? What other fairy tale re-tellings have you found or heard of? Click here for a list of what other fairy tale re-telling books are out already.

North and South – The Novel


A few weeks ago, I had started reading a book by Elizabeth Gaskell, called North and South. I had seen the movie first, then later I learned it was adapted from a book. I loved the movie so much, that I had to find the book; I purchased it off of Amazon.

This Monday began my Spring Break, to which I desperately looked forward to. Those of you who are currently in college, or have been to college, know that your mind requires rest from your studies. This gave me the opportunity to spend more time with my daughter and more time reading for leisure, instead of reading for this class and that class.

Just last night I had finally finished reading Gaskell’s book, North and South. Usually movies adapted from books aren’t all that great. They don’t follow along with the book, or they miss so much important information, that either you don’t feel like reading the book ever again or the movie, sometimes both. However, the movie followed right along with the book. Plus, I could not help but see Richard Armitage each time I was reading about John Thornton; Armitage played Thornton in the movie and very well I might add! (Yes, I’m a huge fan of Armitage’s work!)

I fell even more in love with the characters, the time period, and the book, that I have added it to the pile of books that I’ll definitely read again; along that pile is the Hobbit, Jane Eyre, some Austen, and several Karen Marie Moning’s books.

North and South was published in 1855, so I would put this right along with other classical writers, such as Bronte, Austen, and M. Shelly (I’m a fan of that era of female authors); also, Gaskell was a close friend of Charlotte Bronte. If you haven’t read it, you should pick it up today. It’s one of those ‘hard to put down’ novels. And if you haven’t seen the movie, you can find that on amazon as well – it’s the BBC version.

The Query Letter


You spend months…years, writing your manuscript (novel). Then you spend weeks…months, editing, editing, and editing some more, until it is finally perfect. Now comes the hard part, yes, the hard part. All that time spent writing a book was the hard part, so you thought. To me it was hard finding the time to write. And though it took me four years to complete just one manuscript, I have finally, successfully finished it, edited, and polished it, so that it is ready to be published. And that hard part you ask, that’s called the query letter.

I don’t know why, but I had a hard time coming up with the words to put into a query letter. I think it’s because it’s a formal letter that goes out to someone who has the power to either reject your manuscript or accept it. You spend all that time writing one manuscript for someone to just say, “We’re not accepting that genre as it isn’t what’s trending right now.” But how did you get their attention to begin with?

You need to know who you’re sending your query letter out to for starts. Most agencies have a webpage you can go to and they have a list of agents and their bios, which will tell you what they’re looking for. That’s the crucial part of the query letter. You don’t want to send out a query letter about your fiction novel to an agent that only accepts non-fiction. It’ll just end up in the trash and no one will see it.

You start your query letter addressing that agent. Then you tell them what genre your novel is, as well as the word count. Then you write a synopsis (a short description of your book; what you would normally find on the back cover of a book). Then you end your letter with sincerity. Some agencies want you to paste the first chapter, or the first ten pages into the email, right after your query letter. If you went to their website, each agency will have a tab called ‘submission’ to which will instruct you on what they want you to send them and who to address it to. Following directions is very important.