Tag Archives: life

DP: Menagerie


Today’s Daily Prompt, Menagerie, is all about pets. Do you have them and if not, why?

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I’m about 4 years old in this picture, holding our dog named Buffy.

I remember having pets growing up, mostly dogs. It was just a part of life to have one, if not two dogs or cats in the household.

When I got out of the Navy, I decided civilian life was dull, that it was missing something. I went to the local animal shelter, asked to see the ones they were about to put down, and adopted myself a cat. Actually, she adopted me.

I must have held fifteen of them, all adults, both male and female. All of them were cute and cuddly, making my choice to pick just one very hard. Then I held an adult female Maine Coon. She didn’t mew or purr, even after I talked calmly to her for a few minutes. I scratched her head for a few seconds longer and she leaned up and licked me twice on my chin. It was in that moment I decided she was coming home with me.

She was in such a sad state that I had no choice but to have her shaved. Her coat was just mangled in knots that I was afraid brushing her would be painful, not for me, but for her. When I brought her home, she hid under the bed or on top of the fridge. I sat out cans of tuna, which won her trust. She lived almost six years after I adopted her before she passed away from old age. She became my lap cat, purring endlessly and always gave me kitty kisses on my hand or arm, whichever was closest to her. Such an amazing, lovable furbaby.

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Miss Kitty (on the left) and Lucky Boy (on the right).

I did adopt one more cat a year after I got her. He was a stray kitten, running around the streets, barely a few months old. Sadly, one day, after he was over a year old, he got out of the house when I wasn’t home and I was never able to find him after that.

I miss both of my cats and having owned pets of my own, can attest on how they become your children. You tend to them; feed them, groom them, bath them, give them attention, love them. Animals are a part of your family. Mine had their own Christmas stockings and their own wrapped presents. They were my babies and when they were gone, I mourned them.

I currently don’t own any pets due to my living situation, but in the next few years, I’m hoping to change that.

Life Choices


Hello, Friday, I’ve missed you!

Oddly, I thought it was May 17th, instead of April 17th. I must be mentally wishing this semester to be over with already and so I can start enjoying this gorgeous weather and outdoor activities with mini me. She’s only a child once and I’m missing out on taking her to the park in the afternoon, or playing with sidewalk chalk and bubbles, all because I’m constantly stuck indoors, on the computer, working on homework every day.

There’s been a couple of times where I’ve skipped doing homework, just so I can play with my daughter; though I got a little behind, I feel it was worth putting it off. I don’t want my daughter growing up feeling that I never spent time with her and constantly pushed her aside in order to keep my nose stuck in the books or to constantly cit in front of the computer, typing up essay after essay.

Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy going to class, I just wish to be done with it already and be out there doing what I’ve been going to school for. Three more semesters to go… Graduation date, Dec 2016!

Today’s Daily Prompt asked,

What’s the one piece of advice you wish someone had given you a year (or five, or ten…) ago?

I wish that someone had pointed out to me, that going to college for Aviation maintenance was a bad choice. I had problems while I was in school just from being a female. The constant sexual harassment I had to deal with from the male student population and also from a couple of instructors. I tried to turn them in, but the dean didn’t wish to hear it; I was a minority, there were five females in the entire school, versus a 98% male student population. Plus, there weren’t any female teachers. The owner of the college began firing most of his female office staff. His goal, to make the college an ‘all male’ school. That just made it more uncomfortable being there. Alas, I cut my education short and graduated early, though I did manage to get my Associates Degree in Aviation Airframe.

Then, the recession hit and not only did I have trouble finding a job because I lacked experience, but I couldn’t find a job because the aviation business declined immensely and no one was hiring. I had to work for free to get my experience and didn’t enjoy it. The guy I worked for complained majority of the time about having to work and fussed at me constantly about the need for perfection. I finally quit working for him and started working somewhere that paid; I had a student loan to pay off and was falling into debt.

I fell out of love with aviation, it was more of a childhood dream and all those around me crushed that dream. I didn’t want to be around airplanes anymore.

Six years later, I decided to go back to school, but for something else, something that I will have no problems finding a job doing. There’s a huge market for anthropology, as there are many fields and sub-fields.

I continue to volunteer my time doing many different things as an anthropologist. I don’t even have my degree…yet and I’m enjoying myself. My current favorite, volunteering at the zoo with the large primates.

There will always be a list of shoulda, coulda, wouldas, so change that by finding something you enjoy doing. Live out your dreams. Follow through with your goals. Be happy with your choices.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Book Reviews on Amazon Actually Help


It’s a hard life/job being a small time published author, especially when you first start out. You continue to market yourself time and time again, in hopes of getting your work out there. My first year as a published author went really well. I had quite a few book signing events, which led to being invited to other events where I was able to set up a table for more book signings. I’ve sold quite a few books by myself alone; through social media, emails, word of mouth, leaving postcards here and there. But that’s just small marketing. it takes a lot more effort, time, and money to really get noticed.

Recently, I’ve been doing some research on how to boost sales, broaden my marketing area, and strengthen my marketing skills. A very good friend of mine can tell you straight away, that I’m not very good with computers, yet I try and I am a quick learner.

Social media alone is the largest self-marketing tool that I know of, but word of mouth from readers can be a much bigger step in having your work noticed.

According to Brooke Warner in her Huffington Post blog post, “book reviews on Amazon are what carries it’s weight in getting more attention with Amazon.”

“After you hit 50 (ratings), you get more visibility on Amazon.”

In this line of work, I believe reviews from readers are extremely important. It helps me, the author, know that my work is being purchased, that my work is being seen by others. It also lets me know what people actually think of what I have written. It also lets me know that my work is getting out there.

It takes a lot of time and and a lot effort to put a book together and get it out on the market, yet it takes little effort to write up a review.

If you read a book and truly love it, be sure to let the author know. There’s many webpages out there where their work is being sold. Be kind and leave a quick review. I’m a big Goodreads user and love to rate author’s books. I also click which ones I’ve read, want to read, and have purchased. I then write up a short review on what I thought of each book I’ve read. And if I loved a particular book, I let them know.

I’ve even written reviews on books and posted them here on my blog, tagging their name and a link to where you can purchase that book or see other works by that author. This all helps us authors in many ways. It gets our name out there. Word of mouth goes a long way, it is a small part of marketing, and it does help the author. You never know when someone is actually reading that review; it helps make that decision for them to purchase that book.

According to a blog entry by Mike Briggs, on author Patricia Briggs’ writing, “…that pure, dumb luck plays a major role in this phase of the game.”

He’s right. Just by posting on my blog here, I’ve been able to bring attention to my work and what I do. I’ve had guess blog spots where I talked about what I do and how I got started and why. Other author’s, whom I have reviewed and shared their work here on my blog, have seen my posts and have thanked me.

Small steps can lead to big adventures, yet you have to take those small steps.

With all that said, if you have purchased my book and would like to leave a review, click here and it will take you to Amazon. Also, feel free to purchase a copy if you haven’t already. If you would like a personal signed copy made out to someone, click here. To rate my book on Goodreads, click here.

I will be finishing up my last round of edits on my last chapter of my young adult novel and will be sending it to my editor very, very soon. After the last draft is finalized, I will be sending it off to the publisher. As always, I’ll keep everyone posted.

Cheers!

Awards, awards, awards…


It’s been a crazy, hectic, busy past few weeks. And in those past few weeks I’ve received quite a few awards. Now, that I have a few minutes to myself, I am going to try and catch up with these awards and post them all at once.

Blog of the Year 2012 Award:

I have three nominations for ‘Blog of the Year 2012’. My thanks go out to http://wintericemagic.wordpress.com/ , http://angiesgrapevine.wordpress.com , http://utesmile.wordpress.com , http://seriouslyrebecca.wordpress.com

Thanks to you four ladies I now have all 6 stars!

The rules for accepting this award are as follows:

  • Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award
  • Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.
  • Please include a link back to this page, including the rules in your post
  • Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them
  • You can now also join the Facebook group – click ‘like’ on the page of ‘blog of the year 2012’ award facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience
  • As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudl display the award on your blog sidebar…and start collecting stars…

For this award I choose:

  1. http://writingstraight.com
  2. http://cindyknoke.com
  3. http://anita-skocz.com/
  4. http://cultofotis.wordpress.com
  5. http://catfromhell.wordpress.com
  6. http://waji203.wordpress.com

Versatile Blogger Award:

This is the first time I’ve received this award. Thank you http://lasesana.wordpress.com for this award! I know that she has been cliff diving and is Greek.

The rules for accepting this award are as follows:

  • Display the award on your website
  • Announce your win with a post and include a link to whoever presented you with your award.
  • Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers.
  • Create a post linking to them and drop them a comment to tip them off.
  • Post 7 interesting facts about yourself.

The hardest part is picking 15 blogs to award as there are many great blogs out there.

  1. http://laurelrainsnow.wordpress.com
  2. http://thedarkglobe.wordpress.com
  3. http://shesamaineiac.com
  4. http://mothstoaflame.net
  5. http://clotildajamcracker.wordpress.com
  6. http://weinstein365.wordpress.com
  7. http://cosytravels.wordpress.com
  8. http://booksmakemehappyreviews.com
  9. http://aworkingmum.wordpress.com
  10. http://baileyboatcat.com
  11. http://viewsfrommyhammock.wordpress.com
  12. http://momopolize.com
  13. http://ackans.com/
  14. http://jobryantnz.wordpress.com/
  15. http://sherrylcook.wordpress.com/

Very Inspiring Blogger Award:

Thank you, http://utesmile.wordpress.com for this award! I truly enjoy reading her post about life, love, music, and some of the little pictures she has on her blog makes me smile.

The rules for accepting this award are as follows:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Then post the award logo on your blog
  • Write a post on the nomination and nominate 15 other very inspiring bloggers
  • Notify them
  • Then tell 7 things about yourself
  1. http://dragoneystory.wordpress.com
  2. http://anita-skocz.com/
  3. http://paulaacton.wordpress.com
  4. http://theothersideofugly.com
  5. http://makingthetrek.wordpress.com
  6. http://terry1954.wordpress.com
  7. http://hisbelovedsubmissive.wordpress.com
  8. http://ayearofreadingtheworld.com
  9. http://cancerinmythirties.wordpress.com
  10. http://marriedwithtwins.org
  11. http://orbsdelight.wordpress.com
  12. http://littlemisswordy.wordpress.com
  13. http://luggagelady.net/
  14. http://mowryjournal.com
  15. http://groovylove.wordpress.com

Now for seven things about myself.

  1. I’m not much of a cake person, but I am a pie person; I love pie!
  2. I’m ambidextrous. I can write with both hands…legibly. I do a lot of things left handed and vice versa.
  3. I love video games….bought my daughter and I a new Xbox 360 Kinect. I have an Xbox and a PS2, but am using the new Xbox a lot now.
  4. Even though I was born in Arkansas, I’m not a true southerner…I don’t like cole slaw and catfish. I don’t hunt. I don’t have a thick southern accent. I don’t say ya’ll and fixin’. I think this has a lot to do with me being a military brat and growing up all over the states.
  5. I can actually work on my car…change the oil, spark plugs, brake pads, tires. My step-dad worked on cars a lot when I was growing up, so I learned quite a lot about cars.
  6. I hate coconut! Just can’t stand the taste and how it sticks to my teeth.
  7. I have a new craze for steampunk and am working on assembling my next Halloween costume for 2013.