Monday, March 31, 2014

#AtoZchallenge starts tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the big day! 26 flash fiction stories for you to savor and enjoy. I hope I can do as well with these as I did in 2012. I've even tweaked my theme a bit and I'm going back to the 10x10 theme. It makes it more challenging for me to write! A maximum of ten sentences, a minimum of 100 words.

Remember, I have chosen a Spanish word, one where the English translation also starts with the same letter, and a photograph for each letter. The stories are inspired by the word and/or the picture and may or may not actually use the word/image in the story.

There are over 1800 participants in this year's A to Z Challenge, something for everyone. I'm #518 on the list and I thought I was late in signing up. Wow!! There are eleven co-hosts who will do their best to monitor, visit, read and comments on all the blogs. Talk about a monumental undertaking.

I hope you will come back daily for your dose of flash fiction as well as visiting some of the other wonderful participants. You might find a few new great blogs to follow!



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Friday, March 28, 2014

#AtoZchallenge: Almost time!

Just a couple more days till the April A to Z Blog Challenge kicks off. I have my words and I have my photographs. Now all I have to do is write!

But doing words in Spanish using the English alphabet has been interesting. We moved to Ecuador in mid-December of last year and are struggling with learning a new language (NOTE: Learn a second language while you are young, it's much easier).

Doing a little research I soon discovered a few interesting things about the Spanish alphabet. First, it currently has 27 letters. I say currently because it has changed over time with the most recent changes being enacted in 2010.


Prior to 2010 the alphabet officially included CH and LL as official letters. They still retain their own unique sound as does SH is English.

In addition the letters X and W are exist  primarily for foreign words in common use. This made things more interesting when choosing words for the challenge.

While researching, I kept trying to find a good page to hear the pronunciations of the alphabet in Spanish, knowing this was something I needed to practice. The best page I found was at SpanishSpanish.com, a great flash card site, and is called Alfabeto. Give it a try, it's fun!

Well, enough blathering...it's time to get serious about writing my flash fiction for the challenge. See you on Tuesday, April 1st, bright and early!!

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

NOW FREE: A to Z in 10 by 10!!

Curious about flash fiction? Get a glimpse of what it's like and prepare for reading my upcoming 2014 A to Z blog posts. The compilation of my 26 stories from the 2012 A-Z in 10x10 is now FREE at Amazon!


26 letters in the alphabet provide the start of 26 flash fiction stories. Each story was written based upon a word and a photo used for inspiration. That's the A to Z.

The 10 by 10 refers to the story length. Each story was written in no more than ten sentences but with a minimum of 100 words (10x10=100).

Some tell a sweet tale, some have unexpected twists, some leaving you wanting more and some, well that's up to you!

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My A to Z Word Picks for the letters V-Z

Welcome back! Today I'll reveal the word choices for the final set of five letters along with the photos I have chosen to help inspire my stories. I'd love to have you cast your vote for the word and/or photo YOU want me to use!

I've included a link to the photos I chose as well, feel free to view them before making your choice. Thank you!

V
violar / to violate
Photo #1

valle / valley
Photo #1  ~  Photo #2

vario / varied
Photo #1  ~  Photo #2

W
winche / winch   (W is not a letter in the Spanish alphabet, thus only found in foreign words)
Photo #1

X
xeno / xenon
Photo #1  ~  Photo #2

Y
yema or yugo / yolk  
Photo #1  ~  Photo #2  ~  Photo #3  ~  Photo #4

yate / yacht
Photo #1  ~  Photo #2  ~  Photo #3

Z
zeta / zed or Z 
Photo #1  ~  Photo #2

zigzag / zigzag
Photo #1  ~  Photo #2

Buy my 2012 A-Z Story Book

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Monday, March 24, 2014

My A to Z Word Picks for the letters Q-U

Welcome back! Today I'll reveal the word choices for the third set of letters (five this time) along with the photos I have chosen to help inspire my stories. I'd love to have you cast your vote for the word and/or photo YOU want me to use!

I've included a link to the photos I chose as well, feel free to view them before making your choice. Thank you!

Q
quieto / quiet
Photo #1  ~  Photo #2

R
rojo / red
Photo #1  ~  Photo #2

reata / rope
Photo #1  ~  Photo #2

rizo / ringlet
Photo #1  ~  Photo #2  ~  Photo #3

romper / rip or rend
Photo #1  ~  Photo #2

S
salvo / safe  
Photo #1
  Opening sentence possibility: She wondered if she would ever feel safe again.

susto / scare
Photo #1

T
telefono / telephone
Photo #1  ~  Photo #2  (my photo)

tiento / touch
Photo #1


tronada / thunderstorm
Photo #1  ~  Photo #2  ~  Photo #3

U
unir / unite
Photo #1  ~  Photo #2

util / useful
Photo #1  ~  Photo #2

Buy my 2012 A-Z Story Book

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

My A to Z Word Picks for the letters I-P

Welcome back! Today I'll reveal the word choices for the second set of eight letters along with the photos I have chosen to help inspire my stories. I'd love to have you cast your vote for the word and/or photo YOU want me to use!

I've included a link to the photos I chose as well, feel free to view them before making your choice. Thank you!

I
impudico / immodest 
Photo #1

insulso / insipid or tasteless
Photo #1

J
jarro / jug 
Photo #1  ~  Photo #2  ~  Photo #3

jornada / journey  
Photo #1  ~  Photo #2  ~  Photo #3  ~  Photo #4

justo / just
Photo #1

K
kerosina / kerosene
Photo #1  ~  Photo #2  ~  Photo #3

L
lampara / lamp
Photo #1

luna / moon 
Photo #1 (my photo)

llano / level
Photo #1 (a favorite from a good friend)

Photo #2
Photo #3

M
manana / morrow or morning
Photo #1
Photo #2

medio / middle
Photo #1
Photo #2
Photo #3

muneco / manikin 
Photo #1 (my photo)

N
noche / night  
Photo #1  ~  Photo #2  ~  Photo #3

nulo / null or nothing
Photo #1
Photo #2 

O
ojear / ogle
Photo #1

onza / ounce 
Photo #1

P
paloma / pigeon
Photo #1

parque / park
Photo #1  ~  Photo #2  ~  Photo #3

pena / penalty 
Photo #1

picar / prick or puncture
Photo #1

Buy my 2012 A-Z Story Book

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

My A to Z Word Picks for the letters A-H

Welcome back! Today I'll reveal the word choices for the first eight letters along with the photos I have chosen to help inspire my stories. I'd love to have you cast your vote for the word and/or photo YOU want me to use!

I've included a link to the photos I chose as well, feel free to view them before making your choice. Thank you!

A
arriba / above or up
Photo #1

B
borbor / bubbling
Photo #1  ~  Photo #2  ~  Photo #3

C
cuervo / crow or raven
Photo #1 (my photo)

D
daga / dagger
Photo #1   ~  Photo #2

difunto / defunct or dead
Photo #1  ~  Photo #2  ~  Photo #3

E
esquivar / to elude  or  evasion / escape (same photos apply to both)
Photo #1   ~  Photo #2  ~  Photo #3

F
fiasco / fiasco
Photo #1   ~  Photo #2  ~  Photo #3   ~  Photo #4

fuego / fire
Photo #1 (my photo - Ecuadorian kids on New Year's Eve burning an effigy)

G
gris / gray
Photo #1  ~  Photo #2  ~  Photo #3  ~  Photo #4Photo #5 (turn to B&W)

H
huello / hollar
Photo #1

Buy my 2012 A-Z Story Book

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Friday, March 21, 2014

My A-Z Challenge Theme Reveal

It's here! The GREAT & POWERFUL THEME REVEAL for the 2014 A to Z Challenge. Because I've been so busy with personal life and trying to finish up my first paranormal short story (to be contributed to an anthology that will benefit a fellow author suffering from cancer), I haven't spent enough time getting started on my A-Z stories. But here is what I have...LOL!

1) I chose 26 words but they are Spanish words.
2) Each of the 26 words has an English translation that starts with the same letter.
3) I searched for free-to-use-commerically photos for inspiration.

Sounds good, right? Well, I hit a few stumbling blocks. First, there is no letter W in the Spanish alphabet. Okay, I can get around that because they do use a few words that begin with W, but they are foreign words.

Next, some letters I ended up with multiple words to chose from and planned to use the photo inspirations to guide me. I made a good start using my standard photo sites, Morguefile.com and Pixabay.com. But I couldn't find something for every letter.

That was where LIFE hit me in the face...and nothing more has been done. Since then I have found a couple of other good sites to use for photo searches and next week will make my final choices. I also may use MORE than one word in each story.

UPDATE: Thanks to unsplash.com/ and gratisography.com I have all my photos. If you need good photo resource sites, check out THIS ARTICLE.

So the theme is FLASH FICTION inspired by a word and photograph, story written in 300 words or less (no minimum). Keeping my fingers crossed!!!

Click image to see other Theme Reveals
Tomorrow I will start to post my word choices and take reader input on those with multiple words/photos to chose from.

Hope you'll stop by and cast your vote!

Buy my 2012 A-Z Story Book

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Adapting my work space...more A to Z prep!

We finally have good Internet at our apartment here in Cuenca, Ecuador. Good means I now have access in the small guest bedroom that we have turned into an office and can work from there (in addition to the dining room table which was all I had before). My desk looks out a window into the hallway, hopefully someday there will be something on that wall besides white paint.

My desk isn't large, it doesn't need to be. But sometimes you need a little more space to spread something out. Initially I used my portable lapdesk inside the drawer but that meant I had to pull it out any time I wanted to use it (like now, when I'm sitting on my bed, typing).

Last week we visited a local art/office supply store, Juan Marcet, and I found exactly what I needed. There were several sizes of fiberboard and one looked like it would fit. It was really inexpensive (under $5) so I got it. Brought it home and it fit perfectly! Now when I open the drawer I have added desk space! Love it...


I'm still backlogged with writing projects - my short story for my author friend, Brandon Hale, and my A to Z flash fiction stories are all first on the list. April will be here before I know it...EEEK!

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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Is it finally time to buy that Kindle reader or Fire you've thought about?

If you've ever considered buying a Kindle Reader or Kindle Fire but were worried about paying the full price in one payment, now might be the time to re-consider. Amazon has started a payment plan that removes some of the pain. Of course, this could be the perfect time to upgrade as well!

The plan is simple - Make your first payment of 20% at checkout. Pay the remaining balance in four equal monthly installments.
  • No interest
  • No finance charges
  • No hidden fees
  • No credit check or application required
One caveat: This offer is limited to one Kindle e-reader or Kindle Fire tablet per customer.

So what do you need to do? Simple!

First step - pick your Kindle by reading the specs for each.
Final step - go to THIS PAGE to start the purchase process. Of course if you already know which model you want, go directly to THIS PAGE to start the purchase process. Enjoy!

And of course, if you need some books on your new Kindle, I hope you will consider some of mine as well as friends Nick Russell, Brandon Hale, Russell Blake, as well as your current favorite authors!

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

#IWSG for March - Cancer, Friends and Helping Hands

This is a tough month for me. I've had friends fighting cancer for a while now. At least two have had to delay plans to move to Ecuador due to this horrible disease. I lost my husband to it in 2004. I lost my son-in-law to it in 2009.

Now a good author friend, Brandon Hale author of the popular Day Soldier series, has been diagnosed with colon cancer. He is a young man and only recently made the leap to full-time writer. Like all self-employed folks, he is responsible for his own paycheck and his own insurance.

He is a very positive person and you can read his initial post on his blog. To find out more about Brandon’s situation, here are two blogs that best summarize it: One on what getting this sort of devastating diagnosis has taught him, and the other on gratitude, and what will be required moving forward.

One of his author friends has started a fund for donations to help him and his family through this tough time. If you feel you can help, you can click here to donate as I and several other authors have done. You could also buy one or more of his books. Spread the word about this fine gentleman. Otherwise, please just post a positive comment on his blog. I know his positive attitude will take him a long way in this battle!

Thank you!

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Saturday, March 1, 2014

So you want to publish your own book...

One of the question I hear the most is "How do I publish my own book?" There are a lot of answers to that, chief being SURE you've done your edits, gone through multiple proofreads and gotten feed back from your critique partners and beta readers.

Then what? Rather than try to reinvent the wheel, here are two links that will help you. The first is a recent blog post from my #1 Indie Author site - Indies Unlimited. The post is titled " I've Written a Book, How Do I Publish It?".

The other is a book, print or electronic, that was co-written by a very good friend of mine, Nick Russell. I highly recommend you purchase the book, "The Step-by-Step Guide to Self-Publishing for Profit! Start Your Own Home-Based Publishing Company and Publish Your Non-Fiction Book with CreateSpace and Amazon".



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