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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I'm Going Naked!

Does anyone ever wonder why prices are going up everywhere around us except for our salaries? How can one afford to buy or pay for anything when we don't get raises, and in many cases, our pay is cut or we lose our jobs?

The state of the economy sucks these days. Each year, college tuition rises. Gas prices fluctuate on a daily basis (today, I saw a station that had gas for $3.19). Supplies go up all the time, especially the supplies I need for work. Even fast food restaurants have changed some of their prices.

I already owe a small fortune in debt. Like most Americans, I have a handful of credit cards. Each of those has a high balance on them, but since I was one of the unlucky ones to have my hours cut down at work and my pay when the economy took a nose dive, it's getting harder to get by without using a charge card. I just don't have the cash on hand anymore.

Lay offs and cut backs seem to be the norm these days, so I ask you, how come grocery stories, colleges, gas stations, restaurants, department stores, etc., aren't doing their part to help us poor losers who can't afford the rise in prices?

Businesses may be suffering -- boohoo, excuse me while I get out my handkerchief and wipe the tears away. The answer to their problems is to take all of our hard-earned money away and force us out of our homes. Well, I say RISE UP, good folks! Don't sit there and feel sorry for yourself. Let's do something about this economy and the rising of prices. If we don't, it could mean the end of all we know. Now that's something worth shedding a few tears for.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time ...

Just when I thought my Christmas was ruined and it was going to be a miserable time, a minute thing happened that made it all worth it. My niece and I had decided weeks ago to stop at IHOP after work on Christmas morning. It wasn't until a couple of days before Christmas that I decided even though my Christmas was going to suck, why not make someone else's day more pleasant? So we decided to leave our waitress with a hefty tip.

Unfortunately, things started off rough. We finished work around 5:30 am, but IHOP didn't open up until 6 am on Christmas morning. I still had one more present to get for Christmas. It was from my mom for my dog :-) However, 99% of the stores were closed in our area. We were heading back to IHOP and I came up with a brilliant idea. I wanted to try the Walgreens down the street. They are usually open 24 hours and have pet supplies. I hoped they would be open on Christmas morning.

To my surprise, they were open and what's even better was Channel 7 News was there reporting on last minute shoppers at one of the few stores open on that morning. The reporter asked to follow us around and then he interviewed us. We appeared on the news at 8 am that morning. Wow! That just about made my day.

But it wasn't the end to my newfound cheery disposition. We went to IHOP and did our thing. When we finished, we handed our waitress a $50 tip. There was one other waitress there. She had always waited on us before so we gave her a $30 tip. Both of them were genuinely surprised and gave us hugs. So we decided to leave $20 with the cook.

It was one of the greatest feelings in the world to bring joy to another human being and see the smiles upon their face. I guess it really is better to give than to receive.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Legend of the Christmas Spider

If you’ve ever gazed at the beautiful tinsel sparkling on your Christmas Tree and wondered who came up with idea of decorating the tree in this way, wonder no longer. According to German legend, it signifies a Christmas miracle from many years ago.

The day before Christmas, as the small house in Germany underwent its Christmas Eve cleaning, the resident spiders, not wanting to be swept up with the broom, hid in the attic. When nightfall came and all were settled into bed, the spiders crept downstairs. To their amazement, in the middle of the living room was a beautifully decorated Christmas Tree. They were so excited that they ran all over the tree. They scurried up the trunk and leapt from branch to branch. Unfortunately they had left their mark. A gray spider web now covered the whole tree.

When Weihnachtsmann, also known as Father Christmas, arrived he was amused to see the tree covered in spider webs. Now he faced a dilemma. The family would be disappointed to see their beautiful tree all wrapped in the webs, but the spiders were so pleased with their handiwork that he did not have the heart to take it down. What could he do?

He thought and thought and came up with a wonderful solution. He turned all the webs into beautiful shimmering silver strands. When the family awoke on Christmas Morning they ran to the living room and saw their tree sparking and glittering in the morning sun. Their delight was unsurpassed. They had never seen such a beautiful tree. Only the mother knew that a true Christmas miracle had occurred overnight.

From that day on tinsel became a treasured ornament for trees all over the world. Those who know the legend make sure that they give thanks to the industrious spiders by hanging a beautiful silver or gold spider ornament in a prominent location on their tree.

http://www.essortment.com/all/christmaslegend_rvao.htm

Books Now Available at Other Bookstores

Well, it finally happened. I just went to bn.com, booksamillion.com, and betterworldbooks.com, typed in Shelby Patrick, and both my books (When Angels Sing and The Fear Within) came up as available to purchase. How cool is that?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

when-angels-sing

Book Launch Successes and Failures

http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2010/12/guest-post-my-book-launch/

Hmm, kind of sounds similar to what I had to go through -- expecting help but soon realizing I had to do most of it myself, running around like crazy the week of the book launch, and having to pay all the bills. I'm glad it worked out for him; unfortunately, I only had six people show up and I sold six books. Not much and definitely not much profit to cover my expenses, plus I had intended to donate a portion of sales to the Michigan Animal Rescue League. I wish I had had a larger turnout, but oh well...

Terry Cordingley: What It Means to Be a Professional Author

Terry Cordingley: What It Means to Be a Professional Author

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's Cold Outside!

Teachers, kids, and schools sure have it easy these days. When I was a kid (wow I'm old re-telling stories like my dad always did), we rarely ever got off from school. The only time our school was closed was if the power had gone out or we got snowed in. But that's it. Our schools never closed for cold weather. Everbody else has to deal with the cold -- people go to work, go shopping, go out to eat, etc. The reasoning behind school closings around here when the wind chill hits zero or below is that they don't want kids standing outside freezing to death while waiting for the bus. Okay, I can understand that, I suppose. Have they ever heard of winter clothes?

Why is it when it's cold out, kids can't wait for the bus, but they can play outside? How come the mail carrier has to endure the cold to deliver mail door-to-door? Why does the newspaper carrier have to go to work just so you can get the all-important local news? But kids and teachers can't go to school because it's cold outside? We live in a cold weather state, so deal with it.

I remember last year, during the winter months, tons of schools in the area were closed a lot. I don't know how the kids finished learning when their schools were off so much. But apparently that's okay. An education isn't as important as getting the day off -- because it's cold outside.

I hate the cold and I can't stand winter. I don't like driving in the ice and snow and I can't stand going out into the cold and shivering. If I could hibernate the entire winter, I would, but that's just silly. We can't do that. We just have to learn to live with the cold, as much as we might hate it.

I wish I could stay home from work when it's cold outside, but I can't do that either. I have a job and responsibilities. Just think about those poor emergency workers or auto insurance companies who have to deal with the many accidents that occur in the wintry cold months. They don't get off because it's cold.

Are adults expendable that they have to risk their lives and endure the cold while the youth of today get to snuggle up inside a cozy, warm house? Hmmm....

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Invisibility Bug

Can you see me? Does my voice carry? Am I really here?

The world is my playground. I get dizzy from swinging so high some times and my emotions play out like a teeter totter. The monkey bars are calling, waiting for me to get tangled up in my next life problem. Sometimes I go downhill down the slide but I get right back up and climb those stairs to rise above it all. And sometimes I just need to sit things out and watch the world fly by from my parkside bench. It's a never ending cycle.

But I begin to wonder, at times, whether or not I really exist. It seems more often than not that I'm just invisible to the naked eye. I'm the person that sits in the corner, hiding in the shadows, and no one even knows my name. I'm not really here at all. Maybe I'm just a figment of one's imagination. Could it truly be?

I have friends on Facebook, most of them authors, editors, or publishers. I requested to be friends with a few, but most requested it of me. But yet, out of those tons of friends, only one or two ever notice when I post anything. However, when anyone else posts, they receive tons of comments or promises of a sale. None of my buddies even know, or acknowledge, that I published a book myself. I'm here, friends. I'm alive. I'm not invisible. Can't you see me?

My book launch planning isn't going so well. I put out a notice to over 800 people but only a couple ever took note and responded. My customers, my friends, my neighbors -- you're all invited to a night of mystery as I celebrate the launch of my supernatural thriller, When Angels Sing. I'm here, you know. I'm a person with big dreams and bigger hopes for a brighter future. Unfortunately, those hopes are most always dashed. Can you see me dancing up and down, waving my arms? It's me.

Even when I visit the car dealership quite often, no one remembers me. Everyone remembers my niece, though. She has that memorable face. As for me, I have no face. No one recalls even meeting me, at first. I'm the shadow that swoops into your life and then disappears just as quickly. I'm a real girl, believe it or not. I can't be invisible, and maybe I'm not.

People do stand up and take notice of me, but only when I don't do something or do something that trips the "ticked off and mad alarm". I'm the person people see only when I do something wrong. I'm the scapegoat. Do you want someone to blame for your mistakes? Give me a call. Are you afraid to face someone because of something you did? Just tell them I did it. It was me. You see, I'm not so invisible now, am I?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Recipe For Disaster

Ingredients Needed:

1 Part Family
1 Part Writing
1 Part Facebook
1 Part YouTube

Directions to stir the pot and cause friction:

  1. Write a cool movie script
  2. Ask your family to help you film it
  3. Get your nieces and nephews to star in it
  4. Spend a good deal of time filming and editing the movie
  5. Finish the product and share it with others (YouTube, Facebook, etc.)
  6. Years later, publish a book
  7. Ask family to help promote the book
  8. Bring on the curse that causes a falling out with certain family members
  9. Apologize in a public venue (Facebook)
  10. Believe everything to be okay, but in reality, it's worse than ever
  11. Get labeled a cad, a liar, and a selfish S.O.B. when sharing the truth via blog
  12. Be accused of starting it all and endure glared daggers
  13. Try to get along at the next holiday gathering
  14. Just when you thought things were okay again, another wave of Hell opens up
  15. Family orders you to remove YouTube videos because they never gave you permission and the actors are under age (are you acccused of exploiting your nieces and nephews now?)
  16. Tons of photos of said under age actors are posted all over Facebook under several different profiles, but apparently that's okay. You, however, shouldn't be associated with them in any way, shape, or form
  17. Watch your life and writing career be shredded to pieces

Makes: Tons of depression, anxiety, and shame

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Talking To Martha Swirzinski

Hi, everyone! Please welcome Martha Swirzinski, children's author, speaker, and teacher.

Martha lives in Virginia, loves to work with young children because they hug and compliment you and "always say the damnedest things", and published her first book in 2008. She also enjoys mystery, nonfiction based on childhood development, and historical fiction. For more information on her books, please visit her sites at http://www.wholechildpublishing.com/ and http://www.movementplus.com/ .

Her Movement and More Series of books offers more than just rhymes and pictures. They also engage the children with moving, interacting, thinking, and socializing. Currently, there are three books in this series: Leap...Laugh...Plop, Guess...Giggle...Wiggle, and Kick...Catch...Buzzz.

Martha has written a very enlightening article that I would like to share here:

Brrrr….it’s cold outside!
But that’s no excuse for your children to be sedentary or inactive. I know it’s hard in the winter to keep your children active: it’s cold, it gets dark earlier and, of course, there’s homework for older children and a long list of things that simply must get accomplished. However, we need to remember that our heart is a muscle and needs daily exercise to stay healthy and strong. Children as young as 3 or 4 years old may show early signs of changes to their arteries that could cause eventual heart attacks. Surprisingly, signs of heart disease can appear as early as ten years old, making regular exercise and health nutrition critical.
So what can a parent do?
Limit Television and computer time.
If you do let them have screen time, mix it up with some kind of movement. For instance, if they are watching a show, have them run in place during the commercials. For every ten minutes on the computer, they owe you five minutes of dancing to music or running around the yard.
Park farther from store entrances and walk, run, hop, or skip into the store.
Take the stairs and count the number of stairs. Turn exercise into a learning experience.
Read a book and have them act it out.
Play games that encourage movement, like charades or follow the leader.
Hide items around the house and have your children go find them. For each item, have them move a different way to go find it. For example, you need to hop like a bunny to find the plastic egg or walk on your tiptoes to find your stuffed animal. This is also a great way to encourage them to pick up their rooms.
Get creative, have fun, and most of all, make sure you participate with them. A good role model is very important and will make a lasting impression. I know it can be hard, but in the long run it will create a lifetime of health and happiness for you and your child.

Martha Swirzinski, M.A.

Thank you, Martha, for sharing this wonderful information with us. Please visit Mayra Calvani's blog at http://thedarkphantom.wordpress.com/ tomorrow, for an interview with Heather Paye.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Welcome!

Hi and welcome to my new blog. Sorry about switching here but unfortunately, I had to due to certain people using my blog and personal journey notes to make trouble for me. My old blog at http://writershideaway.blogspot.com/ has been changed to restrict readership. From now on, all new posts will be listed here.

Happy reading!

Shelby

FBI News

Real Serial Killer?

A Serial Killer on the Loose in L.A.

Christine Pelisek Christine Pelisek
Fri Nov 12, 2:29 am ET

.NEW YORK – The murders were committed years and miles apart. But in exclusive interviews with The Daily Beast's Christine Pelisek, investigators reveal that the crime wave may be the work of the same killer.

The first body was found in a patch of weeds in L.A.'s industrial wastelands. The victim, a woman, was naked; her feet and wrists had been bound.

The second body was discovered in a vacant field near a school sixty miles east of the city. The woman, also naked, lay facedown, in a semi-fetal position.

The third body was found, partially clothed, in a dirt gulley of a desolate area miles away in the county of Riverside. She, like the others, had been strangled.

The murders were 20 years apart yet police believe they were committed by the same person—a serial killer still on the loose.

"This could be the only three, or there are more out there and they are undiscovered and the police haven't done a good job with it," says Sgt Scott Brown of the Riverside County Sheriff's department. "I have to stay open to all of the possibilities."

Investigators have kept quiet about the cases but confirm in exclusive interviews with The Daily Beast that the killings of the women are linked, and that detectives are reviewing other cold cases for DNA evidence to see if the unknown killer may have killed others.

"We got one DNA sample off of Fields, and one on Pomona, and a partial sample in Los Angeles," says Brown.

According to authorities, all three women had histories of prostitution. The victims otherwise seemed to have little in common.

Sonia Smith, the first victim who was found in 1980, was a 25-year-old, black woman from South Los Angeles. The second victim, Vanessa Williams, found in 2000, was also black but, at 45, significantly older. She lived in Pomona, a city 60 miles east of L.A. Christy Fields, also found in 2000, was 27-year-old, and white. Like Williams, she lived in Pomona but her body was discovered in Riverside County.

"Someone may definitely still be out there."

"It looks like [Fields] was killed somewhere else and left on the side of the road," says Brown, who is in charge of his department's cold case unit, which is currently investigating 82 unsolved cold case murder cases in the county. "There wasn't a lot of evidence at the scene. There were no signs of a struggle. It had all the earmarks of a body dump."

By digging through old records and looking at forensic evidence and DNA, investigators discovered that the three victims were linked to the same murderer. What they haven't found yet, though, is a suspect to match that DNA. Or a motive.

"Some of these serial killers will kill because they are disgusted by the women and others because it is an opportunity," says Brown.

One puzzling question to investigators is the large gap in time between the murders. Smith was killed in 1980, the two others in 2000.

"Why the 20 year gap?" asks Cliff Shepard, a veteran homicide LAPD detective who has worked on numerous serial killer cases, including Rodney Alcala, Michael Hughes and Chester Turner. "We are back to the questions: Are we missing other murder victims? Was he locked up? Did he take a break for a while? We don't know."

"Who knows why he has laid low?" adds LAPD's Lou Rivera, who is handling the Smith investigation. "We won't know until we catch up with the dude and say 'where have you been?'…He could have been locked up, or found Jesus."

The original investigation into the Smith killing was kept alive by investigators such as Shepard, who during the 1980s worked the patrol beat but, many years and murders later, still remembered her, and other forgotten victims.

"This was the beginning of rock cocaine," says Shepard of 1980s L.A., a time when murders in the city topped more than 1,000 every year. "The crack epidemic raging, gangs were shooting people in the streets, and the unemployment rate was skyrocketing…Some of the victims became entangled in drugs and may have been exchanging sex for the drugs and going into areas where there was a lot of criminal activity. The murder rate was going up. People were afraid to go out at night. It was really insane."

Initially, homicide investigators believed that Smith had been killed by the Southside Slayer, a mythical serial killer who police thought responsible for the murders of at least 50 women in South L.A. during the 1980s. But through improved forensic technology—and dogged detective work—detectives discovered that wasn't the case. Instead, many of the killings attributed to the Southside Slayer were actually the grim work of several killers stalking the same area during the same period.

And, eventually, detectives began cracking the cases.

One of their biggest arrests was that of 31-year-old Louis Craine, an unemployed construction worker from Watts with an IQ of 69. Craine was convicted of the strangulation murders of four prostitutes between 1984 and 1987, including two attributed to the Southside Slayer cases. Craine was picked up by police in the late 80's.

Over the years, with advances in DNA technology and deeper databases of suspects and cases, investigators solved a number of other high profile cases.

In 2003, cold case investigators caught up with Chester Turner, who is considered to be one of the city's most prolific serial killers. Turner, a former pizza deliveryman and crack dealer, strangled 10 women with his bare hands in South Los Angeles and Downtown Los Angeles between 1987 and 1998. He received the death penalty in 2007. He is currently sitting on San Quentin's death row.

In 2008, Michael Hughes, who was already in prison for the sexual assault and strangling deaths of four women between 1992 and 1993, was linked through DNA evidence to four other slayings in Los Angeles going as far back as 1986.

And this summer, Grim Sleeper suspect Lonnie Franklin was charged with the murders of 10 women and the attempted murder of another after a reign of terror that began in 1985. Most of his victims were shot or strangled. The 57-year-old mechanic with a history of car theft was nabbed through "familial" DNA testing after his son was arrested in the summer of 2009 and had to give up a DNA swab. His last known victim was 25-year-old Janecia Peters. Her body was found in a Dumpster by a homeless man looking for cans on January 1, 2007.

Like the current killer, the Grim Sleeper appeared to stop killing for an extended period of time—his last known victim was a woman killed in 1988—until he resumed his murderous business again in 2001.

Laverne Peters, whose daughter was allegedly killed by the Grim Sleeper says she is not surprised to hear that another serial killer may be at large. Neither is Margaret Prescod, a local radio host, who, as part of a civic coalition, kept vigil outside the downtown police headquarters during the 1980s to demand that more be done by the police.

"If there are three [victims in this case], there very well may be more," she says. "Someone may definitely still be out there."

Christine Pelisek is staff reporter for The Daily Beast, covering crime. She previously was a reporter at the LA Weekly, where she covered crime for the last five years. In 2008, she won three Los Angeles Press Club awards, one for her investigative story on the Grim Sleeper.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Interview with Heidi M. Thomas

Nettie Moser’s dreams are coming true. She’s married to her cowboy, Jake, they have plans for a busy rodeo season, and she has a once in a lifetime opportunity to rodeo in London with the Tex Austin Wild West Troupe.


But life during the Great Depression brings unrelenting hardships and unexpected family responsibilities. Nettie must overcome challenges to her lifelong rodeo dreams, cope with personal tragedy, survive drought, and help Jake keep their horse herd from disaster.

Will these challenges break this strong woman?

This sequel to Cowgirl Dreams is based on the life of the author’s grandmother, a real Montana cowgirl.

--------------------


1. How long have you been writing?

Ever since I could form letters, words and sentences! I loved writing stories in elementary and high school, then I received my degree in journalism in college and pursued that field for many years, before returning to my first love—fiction.


2. Who/what motivates you to write?

I started out wanting to tell stories from my family history. I’ve learned so much, and continue to learn as I write. Now I want to tell stories that not onlyl preserve a historical, western way of life, but also engage and entertain the reader.

3. Follow the Dream is the second in your “Dare to Dream” series. What can you tell us about this book and the overall series?

The series is based on strong, independent Montana women who dare to strive for a dream not readily available to them in the era, social or family norms. Follow the Dream is the continuation of Nettie’s pursuit of her rodeo dream.

4. What/who is the inspiration for this book?

My grandmother was the basis for both Cowgirl Dreams and Follow the Dream. She was an avid rancher and horsewoman and rode bucking stock in Montana rodeos during the 1920s and ‘30s.

5. When did Follow the Dream come out? Who published it?

It was released Oct. 1 by Treble Heart Books. http://www.trebleheartbooks.com/

6. What was the thinking behind the design of the book’s cover? How do these horses capture the essence of the book?

During the 1930s drought my grandparents were forced to trail their herd of horses 400 miles from northern Montana to Salmon, Idaho to find grass. This scene depicts the adventurous trail ride over a steep mountain pass.
7. What audience are you targeting with this book/series?

My books are written for adults, but are also suitable for young adult readers.

8. Who is your favorite character, and why?

Well, Nettie, of course! So far, I’ve written only from her point of view. I do like all of my characters—I’ve come to know them probably better than I actually knew my grandparents.

9. Tell us one thing about yourself that people would be surprised to learn.

I once sang with a Sweet Adeline group at Carnegie Hall.

10. Are there any writers (living or dead) that are influencing you now?

Everything I read influences me to one degree or another. My current favorites are Ivan Doig, a fellow Montana author, and Jane Kirkpatrick, who writes historical fiction.

11. What message would you like to leave to the reader?

It’s never too late to pursue your dream, and don’t be afraid to change the dream if necessary.

12. Where can people go to learn more about your work, or to perhaps sample, checkout, or purchase your book(s)?

Autographed copies can be ordered on website http://www.heidimthomas.com/ Books also can be ordered from my publisher http://www.trebleheartbooks.com/SDHeidiThomas.html and Follow the Dream is available on Kindle at Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Follow+the+Dream+Heidi+M.+Thomas&x=0&y=0

-----------------

Thank you, Heidi, for a wonderful interview. Good luck with your book(s).

Please visit  http://thedarkphantom.wordpress.com/ on October 26th to read my interview with Mayra Calvani.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Book Launch Party

Update: I've reserved a room for the party, but space is limited (30 - 40 people). It's by invitation only and prospective guests must RSVP before they will receive an actual invite.

Zombie Apocalypse

5 Scientific Reasons a Zombie Apocalypse Could Actually Happen:
http://www.cracked.com/article_15643_5-scientific-reasons-zombie-apocalypse-could-actually-happen.html

Could you Survive a Zombie Apocalypse (Quiz)?:
http://www.oneplusyou.com/bb/zombie

How To Survive a Zombie Apocalypse:
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2008/04/how-to-battle-z/

Hosting Tours

On Monday, October 25th, I will be hosting a great writer on this blog. Since I'm kind of forgetful (have a lot of things on my mind these days), chances are I'll be posting her interview a day early...unless I forget :-) Come back to check her out tomorrow or Monday.

This will be my first hosted interview so I hope I do her justice.

Halloween is Near!

In 8 days, it will be Halloween.  I haven't even gotten my pumpkin yet! No costumes this year either. Wow, I'm really slacking off for the holiday. What do you do to celebrate Halloween?

Can you believe another year is almost gone already?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Upcoming Book Launch Party

My first novel will be coming out soon. It's a supernatural thriller called When Angels Sing. Check out this blurb:

Blaze was the perfect man: sweet, charming, and 100% gentleman. There was only one catch. Jenna Michaels had never met him face to face. He was her Internet chat buddy. So when he invites her out to visit him, she jumps at the chance.

But he’s not anything like she expected, and even worse, he has no recollection of ever talking to her. She soon realizes she should have turned tail and ran home because her two weeks in Montana are about to be turned into a cat and mouse game as she is stalked through the streets of Stevensville by a psychotic killer.
I will be having a book launch murder/msytery party on Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. at a local restaurant. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Question of the Day

If you had one chance to go back in time and change something in your own life, what would it be and why? Do you think this would have a ripple effect and your life would be completely different today?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Interview with Blaze Kerrigan, the Hero of When Angels Sing

We're here today with Blaze Kerrigan, our dashing knight who lives out west in the supernatural thriller novel, When Angels Sings. Enjoy!

  1. Tell us more about Blaze Kerrigan.

    Well, first off, Blaze isn’t my birth name. I was born Dane Andrew Kerrigan. Blaze was a nickname I picked up in college because I was hot with the ladies, if you know what I mean. I have a younger brother named Dylan. I’m a huge karate practitioner and have written books/articles on it. In my spare time, I also like to write poetry. I spent a great deal of my youth bartending just to make ends meet. Then I met my fiancée. Things changed after that and I…”
  2. I’m sorry to hear about your fiancée – Melanie, right?

    Yeah, it’s been a few years but it’s still hard to talk about. She was murdered in our apartment. My brother and I were suspects for awhile but all charges were dropped. I fell apart; my brother was institutionalized; and my best friend, Greg, was left to take care of us.
  3. That must have been a very horrible time in your life. How are you dealing with it now?

    Greg took a job in Montana. He’s the sheriff over in Stevensville. He asked us to come out there, so my brother and I are living there now. I don’t do so much writing, although I have this fascination with serial killers.
  4. Why serial killers?

    Melanie was the first victim of a sadistic serial killer. Ever since then, I’ve had these visions and it’s like I’m attuned to the guy who murdered her. It’s hard to explain. I think he’s following me to Montana because the visions are getting stronger. I get these fierce headaches and then I see him, stalking his prey. It’s driving me insane and sometimes I wonder if I’m the real killer.
  5. Why not go to the police?

    I tried that. They thought I was just crazy. There was nothing physical to tie any of the murders together, but I know better. Greg believes me.
  6. That’s a very dangerous attitude. What if the killer comes after you?

    He won’t. He likes torturing me. But there’s someone else I care about a great deal who is in trouble. Her name is Jenna Michaels. I think the killer lured her here and intends on making her his next sacrifice. I couldn’t save my precious Melanie, but I’ll be damned if anything happens to Jenna.
  7. Do you have any other family that might be in danger?

    No, it’s just my brother and me. Our parents died a long time ago. I was left to raise him and I’m afraid I haven’t been doing too good of a job. Dylan isn’t a well man. He sometimes has these blackouts. Things get crazy then. And he speaks of angels as if he really communes with them. It terrifies me.
  8. Wow! You said he was institutionalized before. Has he gotten better since moving to Montana?

    Yes and no. The doc cleared him for the move, but Jenna has brought back some old feelings in both of us. She so reminds me of Melanie, it’s uncanny. I think that’s why the killer wants her.
  9. How do you plan to stop him?

    I don’t know. Maybe with this interview and if enough people know about him, it will be enough. He’ll stop torturing me.
  10. Tell us about Jenna Michaels.

    She blew in here under false pretenses. I was ready to run her out of town, but she kind of grows on you. Now, I get my kicks out of verbally sparring with her, but deep down inside, I’m becoming quite fond of her. Shhh, don’t let her know that. Women can sometimes be fickle when it comes to matters of the heart. I don’t need any clinging females to smother me, although it would be nice to wake up to a smiling face every morning and to have someone waiting for me when I get home from work.
  11. What kind of work do you do?

    Lately, just trying to stay sane. I help Greg, the sheriff, out a lot and I still attempt to do some writing. I also teach karate to the young boys in town. Dylan and I opened up a small gym and turned it into our dojo. It keeps the young ‘uns off the streets and out of trouble.
  12. You must like kids. Do you have any of your own or do you have plans to have any?

    I adore kids, but I don’t know if I could be the fatherly type. I spend a lot of time just taking care of Dylan and he’s a real handful. But, if the right woman came along…
  13. Such as Jenna Michaels?

    Hmm, you never know.
  14. Do you have any final words to say to our readers?

    Yeah, I protect my family and friends, so don’t even think of bothering us. To quote a semi-famous line from my favorite super hero, “You wouldn’t like me when I’m mad.” Go green!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Book Review: Secret Thirst by Evangeline Anderson

Secret Thirst
by Evangeline Anderson
Published at Elora's Cave
Review by Shelby Patrick

Modern day vampires have been romanticized in film and books. Instead of the blood-sucking fiends known throughout mythology, the media portrays them as lost souls looking for a little love. They are described as hot, sexy creatures with a longing for someone to fill their passionate needs. Evangeline Anderson, in the vein of today's True Blood, takes them to a whole new level in her book, Secret Thirst.

Dr. Lauren Wright is an average girl and slightly overweight. We aren't bombarded by a sexy lady with a size 4 body, which television seems to dictate as being the normal for anything remotely sensual or attractive. Lauren just happens to be a size 14 and the main female lead in a romantic liaison with a mysterious vampire.

Dr. Wright is a research scientist and when she completes her formula for NuBlood, an artificial blood substitute that is identical to donor blood, she attracts the attention of a vampire organization that has dreams of "coming out" to the world. They can only reveal their true selves if they can prove they aren't the blood-sucking demons people think they are. NuBlood will help them become registered citizens.

Unfortunately, things never go as planned. Nicolas Kris, a member of this secret vampire society, attempts to steal Lauren's work, but he gets more than he bargained for when he realizes he has stolen her most private and intimate fantasies. He promises to deliver on those fantasies if she will give him the formula.

This society that Kris belongs to is only a small portion of the vampire society. The rest think it's a futile attempt to once again be human, so they conspire against Kris by attacking Lauren. Kris has no choice but to spirit her away to one of their medical facilities, which happens to be in one of the most notorious bondage/Domination clubs in Houston.

The club is run by a vampire named Simon, who will do anything if the price is right. In order for Kris and Lauren to survive inside the club, they must perform Lauren's most erotic fantasies with Kris being her Master.

It's hard to pass through any chapter without an erotic scene displaying itself. Evangeline writes them well, but there's a fine distinction between erotica and pornography. Erotic should be defined as more of a softer, sensual side. It's not laced with technical terms for body parts or vulgar language, which Evangeline seems to get off on using quite a bit. Some readers may enjoy this but be warned, it's not for the faint of heart. It could contain some offensive material.

This was the first full-length erotic novel I have ever read and it was hard to put it down, not only for the erotic imagery but for the storyline as well. The book has a lot going for it, such as action, adventure, and a lot of danger. What's more exciting than entering the dark world of the vampire, where every bite could either mean pleasure or death?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

September 2010 Assignment

It's September now, just a few more days until Labor Day. I haven't posted any assignments for awhile so thought I would start up again. Good luck!

---- SEPTEMBER EXERCISE ----

You wake up one day and find that you aren't in your own bed or even in your own house. You don't recognize the place and can't remember how you got there. When you leave the building, you find youself in an unfamiliar place. Perhaps you went through a time warp and ended up in a different time or you were abducted and taken far away from your native land. Tell us your story.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Little Bit More About Shelby Patrick -- FREE Book Drawing!

Welcome friends and fans of horror! I’m Shelby Patrick, author of several self-published books. This is my sixth interview/FAQ session. I hope you enjoy it and I really hope you will take a chance and buy one of my books, which can be purchased online at amazon.com or via my website at http://www.shelbypatrick.com/ .

 
Anyone visiting one of the sites on my virtual tour this week will be entered into a random drawing for a FREE signed copy of The Fear Within. I will pick one winner from each site. Visitors have a chance to enter once at each blog. Winners will be chosen on Friday. If you are lucky enough to win a copy, please be nice enough to put up a review of the book either at your own site/blog or on the book’s amazon.com page. Thank you!

 
Now on to my FAQ’s:
  1. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

    I wanted to own a ranch and breed horses. I would still love to do this, but in high school, my tastes changed to wanting to be a writer. My dream was to get a place out in the country, near a small lake, the nearest neighbor miles away, where I could spend my days writing.
  2. What’s the latest news in the Shelby Patrick world?

    Well, I delved into the self-publishing world, after getting three moronic offers from traditional publishers. I started off with self-publishing two creative writing books, Dark Recesses of the Mind and Forbidden Knowledge. Then I decided to try my hand at self-publishing fiction so I put out my short story collection, The Fear Within, which is a collection of 25 dark tales of horror and science fiction. My next published piece will be a supernatural thriller called When Angels Sing. I’d like to have at least one book picked up by a traditional publisher, but if I can’t, then I’ll self-publish this one too. I already did a photo shoot for the cover, which was loads of fun.
  3. Where do you hope to take your writing in the future?

    I want to make a living as a writer, preferably a fiction author. It’s my goal to walk into a Barnes & Noble some day and see my book on the shelves; to do book signings; to attend conventions where I can hawk my books; to be able to look people in the eye when they ask what I do and say I’m an author.
  4. How do you deal with rejection letters?

    I don’t think of them as rejections, but bumps in the road. They slow me down a little but I’m quickly over them and I can move on to smoother waters.
  5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, how do you overcome it?

    Yes, every writer has a block at least once in their writing career. It’s a pain too. I’ve had months where I just couldn’t think of a single thing to write and then I get someone asking me when my next piece will be done or wanting to know what’s next and I realize I can’t disappoint my readers. That’s why we write – to be read. It excites me again and I can sit down and pen the next scene. My readers are my inspiration.
  6. Do you have suggestions to help others become better writers?

    Read and study the craft of writing. Buy any books you can on the writing arts and know how to pen a good sentence/paragraph. A good grasp of grammar and sentence structure is a must. If you can’t do that, then finding a really good editor to clean up your prose should be on your to-do list.
  7. You write mostly horror/thrillers now. What draws you to that genre?

    I love being scared, as long as the scenes and characters can’t hurt me. I love sitting on the edge of my seat and being thrown into a world of action and suspense. It keeps the heart racing and the palms feeling sweaty. It makes me feel alive.
  8. Where do you, as the author, draw a line on gory descriptions and/or erotic content?

    I absolutely hate a lot of blood and guts, but I know horror can’t be horror without some brief flash of the stuff we hate. Unless I’m writing a story where torture is part of the game, I try to keep my “bloody” scenes to a minimum. The only real reason to go into a lot of gory description is for shock value. Most of the time it’s unnecessary and I feel that real horror is more horrifying when less is shown.

    As for erotic content, my novels delve into a few brief scenes that could be construed as semi-erotic. However, I try to keep them brief and avoid using technical terms for body parts. Now, I’m in the middle of writing a full-blown erotic horror novel and it’s been a challenge for me. The story has to center around sex so there will be long scenes, sometimes whole chapters, devoted to erotic images. And yet, I still try to avoid the hard-core terms, which makes my job a bit more difficult. I just hope the readers enjoy it and it turns them on. My newest erotic novel is definitely the most fun to write. I want it to be the WOW book of all my writings so far. I want people to pick it up and say, “Oh my God!” and not be able to put it down until they are done and left breathless, hyped up to read the next. Hmm, that gives me an idea. Perhaps I’ll add a short excerpt from it to my website.
  9. People think horror writers have to be messed up to write what they do. What do you think?

    I think people shouldn’t stereotype. I can’t explain all horror writers, but for me, I’m just an average girl with a big dream. I’m a devout Christian, born and raised Catholic, and never swear, drink, or smoke. I write under a pen name because my writing is the total opposite of me. I think it’s due to my good girl upbringing that has brought me the fascination with evil and the dark side. It comes out in my writing, or it could be that most of my life has been boring and depressing. I’m a loner and have a self-esteem problem. I lack a lot of confidence, but that’s due to my family treating me like a loser for thirty years. I’m just a red-blooded all-american girl, as long as no one crosses me.
  10. Can you leave us with a sample of your writing?

    Sure. Here’s a brief sample from When Angels Sing, my upcoming supernatural thriller:

    His head started to ache and he felt a bit nauseous. He reached up to rub the spot between his eyes.


    “You okay, hon?” asked Marissa.


    She had a worried frown on her face. He tried to nod but the pain intensified. “I’ll be fine,” he said in a low voice. “Just got a little headache.” He hadn’t had such a bad one since they came to Stevensville. The fresh Montana air had done him some good. He didn’t like getting these migraines – when he did, he usually ended up passed out somewhere. That would be embarrassing to faint in front of Marissa.


    “Let me get you some aspirin,” she said, leaving him alone for a minute.


    Aspirin wouldn’t work, he knew that. His doc back home had given him some pills for his headaches, but he hadn’t needed them for some time now. The pills were in a cabinet out at Blaze’s house. He started to think he should have stayed there this morning.


    He should call Blaze, but he didn’t really want to. His big brother would get all concerned again and treat him like he was sick. He would probably confine him to the house for a few days, just to make sure he was okay. Dylan didn’t like people to worry over him, especially his brother. Last time that happened, Dylan had found himself in the hospital. They wouldn’t let him leave for months because they claimed he was a danger to himself and others. He didn’t know what they meant by that, but they wanted to observe him. He had thought it was just because his brother didn’t want to take care of him anymore. His doctor had seemed more caring than his own brother had.


    His vision blurred. He squeezed his eyes shut and leaned against the counter. Someone else was in the room with him. He opened his eyes, expecting to see Marissa, but she wasn’t there. He slowly moved his head around and thought he saw someone, a girl, standing behind him. He blinked and when he looked again, she was gone.


    “Who’s there?” he whispered.


    Laughter came to his side and he spun around, a little too quickly. His head felt like it might explode now. There was no one by his side.


    “Enough games. Show yourself.”


    He picked up a knife off the counter.


    “Lordie, what are you doing with that?”


    He jumped when he heard her come up behind him. The pain was excruciating now and her voice made it worse. His grip on the knife tightened when he started to turn around.




     

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Daily Puppy

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My First Interview - Local Newspaper

Madison-Park News (MI)

Aspiring author takes a stab at horror
Local hopes short story collection will lead to writing career

ANDY KOZLOWSKI C & G Staff Writer
Published: August 18, 2010

MADISON HEIGHTS - Mermaids and mutants. Vengeful spirits and the walking dead. A possessed car that eats souls. A murderous reflection in the mirror. All these and more populate the pages of "The Fear Within," a collection of 25 short stories - mostly horror, with sci-fi thrown in for good measure - written by a lifelong Madison Heights resident and Lamphere High '87 grad by the penname of Shelby Patrick.

Still, she's not so buddy-buddy with the creatures that go bump in the night.

"People swear my house is haunted," Patrick said. "I'm not sure if I believe them, but I did see something once that I'll never forget. I was home alone that night and someone was in my hallway. It was a woman - she ran down the hall and disappeared.

I'll never forget that moment.

I'm 40 years old now and won't survive sitting in my house at night alone without every single light on." Patrick, who is self-employed part-time delivering newspapers in Royal Oak, Troy and Clawson, has had aspirations of becoming a fulltime author since high school.

" (My family) never really thought I'd amount to much, so I started writing to prove I could do something productive with my life," she said.

Since then, she's penned many a short story, novel and article, even an e-book on Web design. Several short stories were successfully published, and subsequently revised and added to "The Fear Within." An article on karate also saw print.

Of special note, though, are two self-published creative writing exercise books, "Dark Recesses of the Mind," which doles out assignments on a monthly basis, and "Forbidden Knowledge," which mines the Ten Commandments and Seven Deadly Sins for inspiration.
"I had heard about lulu.com and decided to try my hand at selfpublishing," Patrick said. "It was very easy to do and free of charge.

You basically upload files to their server and they publish the book for you. The only bad thing was the price for proofs and the retail price of the book would be a bit high." Her good experience with the two creative writing books encouraged her to keep at it.

"My editor recommended Createspace for my short story collection," Patrick said. "It was a little cheaper, but just as easy to do." For her next novel, "When Angels Sing" - a thriller previewed in "The Fear Within" - Patrick plans to self-publish if a publisher cannot be found.

But the first step is writing, and before one can write, one must read.

Patrick counts among her influences such masters of horror as Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, Stephen King and Dean Koontz, but these days it's all about thriller/ suspense authors such as Kay Hooper, Heather Graham and Tami Hoag.

"Every story should have good characterization, a strong plot and well-written descriptions, but what sets the horror/ thriller story apart from the rest is the element of suspense," Patrick said. "It needs to keep the reader guessing and on the edge of their seats. It should open with a strong beginning and close with a believable ending. Don't disappoint the readers, or they might not come back.

"I prefer to write psychological horror, the kind that can get under your skin and hold you hostage until it's ready to let you go," she added.

"My stories rely on the fear that we all hold inside and must face sooner or later, whether it's the dark, losing a loved one, or the spider crawling up your arm. Sometimes it can even be a race for survival that gives us strength to see it through." Patrick's approach to writing can be as unpredictable as her characters'adventures.

"I don't outline before I write a story. It comes to me as I write," she said. "I think of it as a movie I'm seeing for the first time. Even I don't know how my stories will end until I'm ready to write the ending." As for what those stories are, the subject matter varies widely in "The Fear Within." Phone calls from the dead; a cell phone virus that turns infected people into homicidal maniacs; an old western town teeming with the undead; a mutated dog wreaking havoc on a space station; a supercomputer gone on a killing spree. The list goes on and on.

"It is great fun to read her stories because she does a good job of making sure that the reader doesn't have time to slow down and that the pages keep turning," said Rich Buchko, the book's editor. "She obviously has this dark side to her and it comes out in her writing, and of course she has a great imagination, which she uses to bring fresh angles to her stories." Though she's a self-proclaimed "scaredy-cat," dreading everything from spiders and water to heights and hospitals, the force powering Patrick's work is an appreciation for the value of fear.

"It makes us feel alive," Patrick said. "People who say they fear nothing are lying to themselves. Everyone needs to have some kind of fear, whether it's a small one or much larger. Our fears protect us and sometimes stop us from doing crazy things. Without fear, we might as well be mindless zombies wandering the Earth." To sample Shelby Patrick's work for yourself, visit her website at http://%20www.shelbypatrick.com/.

You can reach Staff Writer Andy Kozlowski at akozlowski@candgnews.com or at (586) 279-1104.


Copyright, 2010, Madison-Park News (MI), All Rights Reserved.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Feature Story

So I contacted C&G Newspapers, a local community newspaper in my area. Someone at the paper had said news of my book would make for a good feature story. The reporter in my area responded and said he was interested. He emailed me 22 questions and needs the answers back by Saturday afternoon at noon. This is exciting! My first interview/story in the paper.

Thank you, C&G Newspapers.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Fear Within

As of today, I've sold 21 copies of my book, The Fear Within, which is a collection of 25 dark stories. Stories included:

  • Consumed -- A little girl must survive one night with her psychotic father.
  • Witches Bane -- While doing research, a young woman becomes possessed by the evil spirit of a centuries-old witch.
  • Eternity -- One person's journey into what he imagines Hell is like.
  • The Marina -- You never know what lies underneath the water at the marina.
  • 'Dem Bones -- A fun-filled trip to a cottage in the woods turns deadly as something stalks the inhabitants inside.
  • Lady Luck -- Gamblers pray to her all the time, but what happens when She demands something in return?
  • Bentley -- A young man has a love affair with his Bentley, to the point of madness.
  • Alien on Board -- Something has gotten on board the space station and it's up to Lt. Zach Shepherd to neutralize it before it turns the station into a smorgasbord.
  • Hell is Now Open -- Never stop at an out of the way diner in the middle of nowhere late at night.
  • Under a Watchful Eye -- A prison with no bars, no walls, and no way to escape.
  • The E-fection -- A virus infects the cell phone network, turning ordinary people into homicial maniacs. One man and woman are among the few uninfected and must play the game of survival.
  • Soul Catcher -- What happens to our souls between life and death? One woman must find out when it becomes her duty to protect lost souls from eternal damnation.
  • Route 270 -- One night, one cop, and certain disaster up ahead.
  • Dead Lines -- Don't answer that phone or you might be surprised who will be on the other end.
  • Dark Enclosure -- Being trapped in an elevator in the dark is the least of Derrick's worries.
  • Tunnel Creature -- An alien crash lands on Earth, but it's not peaceful and it's not here to exchange pleasantries.
  • Second Time Around -- Losing a loved one is hard, but for Keith, it's impossible. He'd do anything to have his new bride back -- anything at all!
  • Cursed in Camelot -- King Arthur is on the verge of insanity and in peril of losing his entire kingdom.
  • Remembrance -- Sometimes it's not so good to remember who we are or what we did.
  • Killer Reflection -- Carnivals can be fun, except when people go missing.
  • Behind Closed Doors -- Don't open that door in the basement or your life will never be the same.
  • After Hours -- Working late can mean certain death.
  • A Summons From Beyond -- A good old-fashioned western tale with plenty of zombies and tentacled creatures running around.
  • Lover's Retreat -- A romantic getaway that they can never get away from.
  • Program Stalker -- Computers that think on their own were just fantasies in the 1990's, but in 2025, they were reality.
You also get a bonus 100-word story entitled The Ghostly Stalker and an excerpt from my upcoming thriller novel, When Angels Sing.

The Fear Within can be purchased at amazon.com, your local bookstore, or at https://www.createspace.com/3447686

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Pet Peeves

One of my biggest pet peeves is living in a high-technological society with idiots who don't take advantage of that. For instance, why do businesses bother having a website with no way to conduct business via that website? I like to check out businesses first online before I have to call them (I hate talking on the phone).

Insurance companies and other service type companies should have prices listed or a way to get a free quote online. I don't want to call and be asked a myriad of questions on the phone just to get their rate. That's just silly. Anything that can be asked over the phone can be dealt with via email or a secure form.

And what's the point of having an email address to contact them with? A lot of times I don't get responses back or when I do, I get the favorite line, "in order to better serve you, please call our 1-800 number". They can't even answer a simple question online? Instead, I have to waste time dialing a phone, trying to figure out which number to push to get the right department, then I'll have to be put on hold any number of times during the call. Why? Don't those businesses realize people are in a hurry these days and don't have time to play their silly games?

Get a website and use it to its full advantage. I applaud those businesses that keep up with the times. Way to go!

So what are your pet peeves?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Writing Rant

Writing is a long and arduous process. You might sit at your computer for hours on end composing your next masterpiece or it's possible you just sat there staring at a blank screen. Some days the words come easier; other days, nothing. You're determined to make it in the writing world, though, so you condition yourself to be at your desk during your peak writing hours. It's hard when the phone keeps ringing, the dog wants to go out, the kids are fighting, the laundry needs to be done, your spouse is waiting for dinner, friends show up and want to hang out, and your favorite television show just started its new season.

Despite all the distractions in your life, you manage to knock out a great manuscript. It only took months out of your life. Those words on the page beg to be read. They are your lifeblood, springing from your sordid imagination. You swear they came directly from your soul.

So it's time to send it out into the world. Let your readers hear your words; see into your worlds; and live in your mind. Welcome them into your bosom. Treat them as royalty.

Unfortunately, the world won't be as kind. Your words will come back to you as rejections, one after another most likely. You just spent a good part of your life crafting a great piece. It came from deep inside you, but the publishing industry doesn't care. They took your words and stomped on them, cleaned the dirt off their shoes, and then dipped them in the toilet. It meant nothing to them.

This is the life of the writer. We spend our lives crafting words with meaning, but the competition is so fierce that only a small handful of brilliance ever gets through. It's a lonely life we weave.

Online Grammar Quiz

Wow, guess my grammar isn't as good as I thought it would be:

http://www.grammarbook.com/grammar_quiz/punctuation_mastery.asp

Friday, July 16, 2010

Where to Walk, OMG!

It seems to me that every day I see more and more people walking and running in the street instead of the sidewalk. Is there something wrong with the sidewalk? I always thought streets were for motor vehicles. It's annoying when a car has to drive around a jogger because they felt the sidewalk wasn't good enough for them.

Anyway, your goal for today, should you decide to do it, is to craft a well-written short story about a world that has no sidewalks. People walking their dogs, taking their kids out for a stroll, riding bikes, and jogging all need to share the road with cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Will this lead to more accidents or will the characters in your world learn to be more careful?

Have fun!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I Write in the Laundromat

I saw this poem by Marcy Sheiner and wanted to share it.

I write in the Laundromat.
I am a woman
and between wash & dry cycles
I write.

I write while the beans soak
and with children's voices in my ear.
I spell out words for scrabble
while I am writing.

I write as I drive to the office
where I type a man's letters
and when he goes to lunch
I write.

When the kids go out the door
On Saturday I write
and while the frozen dinners thaw
I write.

I write on the toilet
and in the bathtub
and when I appear to be talking
I am often writing.

I write in the Laundromat
while the kids soak
with scrabbled ears
and beans in the office
and frozen toilets
and in the car
between wash and dry.

And your words
and my words
and her words
and their words
and I am a woman
and I write in the Laundromat.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Creative Writing Games

This morning, I was doing what I do best -- that is, surfing the Internet for fun and games :-) Anyway, I came across this website called Votepages. Votepages is a creative writing game where one person starts writing something and then passes it off for others to contribute. Those contributions are put to a vote to decide what comes next.

If you have the time, check it out.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day in the States

Today is July 4th, the day when America celebrates its independence. But are we still free after all these years? It seems to me like the United States is losing some of that independence every year. We're starting to be treated like kids and told what to do.

We can't smoke here (not that I smoke and I'm one for the new no-smoking law), we have to be a certain age to do this, we have to wear seat belts, we can't jay walk, we have to have a passport to travel, there are stricter flying regulations, obesity is a problem so the government feels like it has to step in (to save our lives), the government is now running our banks, redoing credit cards, and is now offering a mandatory health care for all U.S. citizens for a price.

So what happened to the independence we earned a couple hundred years ago? It's quickly going out the door. Yes, it's true that our country isn't half as bad as some (yet) and I suppose we are still more free than others, but how much longer before that ends?

I guess we have to make the best of what we have and celebrate Independence Day as if it might be our last. However, can someone please explain the joy of shooting off firecrackers? All they do is make a loud bang. How can anyone enjoy that? Fireworks maybe, but big bangs? It's very annoying.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Fear Within

The Rude Syndrome

What is wrong with people these days?

I was driving around at work this morning and I saw two houses that were tp'ed. Why do losers do this? It isn't funny. It's just immature and rude. What gives them the right to deface someone else's property? And don't give me any crap about toilet paper being biodegradable. People who do this sort of thing should be in prison.

Then several days in a row I saw fast food wrappers in the streets. Are people really that lazy they can't make it to a garbage can and think it's okay to just toss their wrappers out the window?

So then I go to a ballgame tonight. Two ladies with two small children sat next to us. The older kid was standing up and blocking the people behind him, so those people kept asking him to sit down. The mother seemed to get upset at this, so she switches seats with him. He sits down but now she stands up in front of the people. Talk about being rude and inconsiderate. What's her problem?

Idiots. The world is full of idiots. Everyone thinks they can just do whatever they darn well please and screw any consequences. No one seems to care about the other person at all anymore. What's this world coming to?

I get to see my niece once a month. She comes to my house the second Thursday of every month, September through June. She couldn't come over last month though because she was sick. I was all excited for her to come over this month. I went out and bought food for dinner and waited for her to show up. I waited and waited. She never showed up. I thought we had an understanding. She always called me when she wasn't going to come over, so why hadn't she called me this time? I just asked her last week if she was coming. She couldn't pick up a phone and let me know she couldn't make it? Now that's just plain rude. I guess we can't really count on anyone.

What is wrong with people these days?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Little Story

The dark side calls to me, beckons me with open arms. It's the inner demon of my brain, where it sinks its claws into my mind and pokes holes in the imagination so that my creativity seeps out onto the written page. I have known this beast has existed for some time. Every once in awhile, I let it loose to wreak havoc with my characters. It has become a separate entity, taking on a life of its own. I can control it, for the most part, but it's always there, tormenting me and pushing me to be the best.

I have struggled with this darkness most of my life. There is a never-ending struggle between the good christian I was raised and the blackness within. I am fascinated by evil, although nothing evil has ever physically touched me or my family. We are church-going folks, who pray to God and believe in miracles, but that doesn't stop me from observing the evil that men (and women) do. It's amazing to what lengths people will go to just to get what they want.

As for me, I lead a very sheltered life. I'm a loner and that's okay. Evil can't have me, no matter what the world has in store for me. Oh, don't get me wrong. It has tried on many occasions, but I guess I'm doing something right in my life.

My only problem is I enjoy solitude. I view the world around me as if I just stepped off the boat into Hell. People lie, steal, kill, cheat, and just plain have no manners. I suppose everyone has some good in them, though. Unfortunately, their demons seem to be more prominent. It's sad really. I'm no different. I pride myself on being honest and loyal, but in the end, I'm just a basket case for the darkness.