Calm.com - Zen-like music with timer
I found this site a few years ago. I love it for writing. Simply, pick a calming, new age-y tune, leave the browser tab open while you write on your device. If you are dealing with writer's block or have a small window to write, set the timer. Really this site is made for meditation or yoga but I find it ideal for drowning out those pesky distractions like the calls of the child ("Mom!") or TV.
The Guardian Angel
This week's prompt comes fromJ.J. Devine- A Flash Fiction scene of 500 words that contain the words happiness, egg, and purple. If you're coming over from Beth Carter's blog, welcome! If you missed her, head on back to check out her inspiration!
“Hey, Grace, come here a minute, will you?”
Damn, all she wanted right now was a long hot shower followed by some quiet time with her son. With a long-suffering sigh, she slipped her aching feet into her Birkenstocks. Hippy shoes her boss called them. Her uncle was a crotchety old bastard, but he was the only father she’d ever known.
Fighting the frigid wind that stung her cheeks and brought tears to her eyes, she made her way up the hill from the boathouse where she’d been stowing the kayaks and gear. She scrambled through the cabin door, slamming it and the impending storm behind her.
Two men sat at the table, each with a beer.
Suspicion crawled up her spine. Uncle Ben didn’t have visitors inside the house. At the river, yes. An owner had to run his business and show proper hospitality. But since she’d returned home he’d respected her need to privacy for her safety and her son’s. This particular visitor could have walked right out of the pages of GQ. Impeccably cut suit, crisp white shirt and shoes with a shine that would put the Queen’s Guard to shame. And his face, an odd combination of the haughty class of Pierce Brosnan and the rugged suave charm of Tom Selleck, was handsome enough to make most women swoon.
She wasn’t most women.
Uncle Ben rose, moved to the fridge, a little stiffly but clearly disguising the pronounced limp he’d picked up in a military training accident. Or at least that was the story he’d told her. He was certainly trying to impress this stranger. Stupid male pride.
He handed her an ice cold long neck and caressed her forehead. “How did you get this goose egg on your head?”
“Oh, has it turned black and blue already?”
He smiled. “More purple.” Easing into the chair across from the stranger, Ben pressed, “So, run into a tree?”
“One of the teenagers today wasn’t looking…”
Grace shrugged, dropped into a chair at the table, focusing on her uncle while her mind ran scenarios about the sexy businessman. Oh God, Uncle Ben couldn’t sell their river guide business. Could he?
She had to admit, maybe he was ready to retire. He deserved happiness. Who knew, maybe Miami or Arizona beckoned. If only she had the cash to buy him out…
“Well, it seems you need someone to watch your back. Or rather, your head,” he added with a gruff chuckle. “Meet your guardian angel, Brock Harrington.”
Guardian angel? “Like a bodyguard? I don’t need one and certainly don’t want one.” After a long draw on the bottle, she scoffed. “Besides, this city boy doesn’t know a thing about survival in the woods.”
For the first time he spoke in a slow, sexy Texas drawl. “Darling, don’t let these fancy duds fool you. Years in Uncle Sam’s finest teams have over-prepared me for protecting you. I reckon I can figure out how to run a kayak down class four rapids.”
Head over to A. S. Fenichel's blog for her submission!
Self-Pubbing or Traditional Publication? We got it!
Take a short trip, designate the time as yours on March 14, 2015. Chesapeake Romance Writers is hosting a writers conference in lovely Williamsburg, VA.
Just a few minutes' walk from Duke of Gloucester Street, the main street of Colonial Williamsburg, speakers will guide you in improving your manuscript and self-pub best practices.
Editors will take your pitches. We will make valuable connections with other authors. All for $40 (PayPal button below registration form). For more info, click here.
Please join us!
Fast Friday Tech Bytes- 2/20/2014
PhotoPin- Free Creative Commons images for bloggers
When I write a blog post, I love to include a fabulous photo or image to drive home my point. Who doesn't? But I do not have the mad skills that painters, designers, and photographers have. I use PhotoPin frequently. Easy to search, you can choose the size image you want and you just have to credit the artist. As a writer, I want others to credit me if they use my work. PhotoPin makes it super simple with an HTML file to load at the bottom of your blog post. Try it!
I wanna go where it's warm!
Our challenge this week comes from A.S. Fenichel - "It's cold in most places. What's your favorite vacation spot? This can be someplace you've been or someplace you dream of going. If you have a book with a terrific vacation spot, work it in, too. :)"
Welcome to visitors from Jamie Denise's blog. She is awesome and I am sure you enjoyed her answers. If you missed her, hop back!
I'm sitting here, next to a crackling fire, making contingency plans for power outages, and thanking the good Lord that the girls' school division had the unusual good sense to call off school for tomorrow. I am more than happy to share with you my top five vacation spots.
!. Australia- This is such a fabulous country. First, Australians are wonderful, friendly, hospitable people. Accommodations on the Gold Coast are amazing and a great launching point for a trip to dive the Great Barrier Reef. A must visit is Uluru (or Ayer's Rock). The last time I visited I only got three days. Not nearly long enough as it was so spiritually uplifting.
2. The OuterBanks of North Carolina- Mid-summer, October or winter, I adore this oversized sandbar. It is easily accessible from where I live and I used to rent a colleague's beach cottage on the off-season. Rain, sleet or balmy weather, life is truly better on the beach!
3. I saved the best for last. If I won several million dollars, I would high-tail it to the Florida Keys. No matter which key is this long archipelago you choose, you'll find an eclectic collection of folks who have escaped the lunacy of the world to reside in paradise. Others might prefer the culture and glitz of Miami (which is great to visit) but give me tank tops and flip flops any day.
Coincidentally, I have a story set in Marathon but it's not complete. More women's fiction as it's a group of four women who find way more than they expected during their summer break.
So which are your favorite vacation spots? Tell me, I'm dying to add to my to-visit list! After you share, head over to Victoria Barbour's blog to discover her favorite escape!
Beef Stew and fresh bread
The beauty of beef stew is that you can clean out your fridge or pantry and still come up with fabulous comfort food.
It's frigid today and my 10-year-old was up last night feeling nauseous. And I, like most mothers, don't sleep well when my kid's sick. Therefore, we needed comfort food.
This is what I threw together with few ingredients, intending to add barley. Ended up, I added so many potatoes that I didn't need more starch in the stew.
About two years ago I bought Dragon Dictation. Spent roughly an hour to an hour and a half setting it up. It was pretty accurate after the time spent training. I was not thrilled that I had to speak punctuation. And then it was, well, bitchy, when it need the latest update, etc. And it was not inexpensive, to say the least.
With the growth of the Chrome Store and the Apple App Store, other apps, free and way less expensive are available. I like the Chrome apps because they make all files available through my gmail account. And for recording scenes quickly while making dinner or folding laundry (as I sadly have to do these jobs in my home for the mini humans who live with me), a free app that does a great job is perfect.
Try VoiceNote II for full editing options within the app. You can choose your language and even dialect of that language. Add to the dictionary to teach the app words it doesn't accurately recognize, that you regularly use. And it can run offline, too!
For simple and fast voice notes, use Dictation io app from the Chrome store. Not fancy, not difficult. Just a voice note to save those brilliant flashes of creativity that we all get at the least convenient moments!
Try one or both!
This week we're taking the question from Brenda Margriet - How do you choose the setting for your book? Does where you live inspire you? this can apply even to books set in paranormal worlds - what do you use from "real life"? If you've popped over from the amazingly talented Ronnie Allen, welcome! If you missed her, head on back to read all about how she picks her stories' locations.
The setting is integral to the plot, to the conflict. It sets the context of the story, it anchors the backstories.
My first novella Guarding His Heart and upcoming second novella Sorcerer's Legacy in the Wiccan Haus series takes place on a mystical island off the coast of Maine where shifters, vampires, mermaids come to heal their souls and bodies alongside humans. I pitched a different manuscript and she told me about the shared world series. I was intrigued, read the novellas and immediately was inspired to write a story with a unique shifter.
And my Back in the Boondocks trilogy (beginning with a to-be-named ghost story) is set in a Virginia County where families can trace their roots back to the original settlers. Those who can't are "come heres." The county, Yates County, is a compilation of the county I grew up in and those adjacent to it. I love places like that, where the roads are long, curvy, and narrow. Where people smile and speak to strangers, all the while hiding family secrets as old as the colonial churches and Revolution War earthworks.
Now it's time to check out what simmers in Sarah Hegger's lush creative mind when it comes to her settings!
Shifters & Spice (e-book 99 cents!)
Romance writer. Paranormal and contemporary. Mother of two and wife of perfect husband. Love the environment, travel and reading.
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