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Showing posts from 2016

Candlesticks & Daggers Interview Series

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Are you curious about what it is like to put together an anthology, or self publish? Want to know how other writers started writing, or how they've cracked certain markets? 

Please join me for the first in a series of interviews on Candlesticks & Daggers anthology contributors at publisher Kelly Ann Jacobson's blog:

http://www.kellyannjacobson.com/candlesticks-and-daggers-interview-series/candlesticks-and-daggers-interview-editor-kelly-ann-jacobson.html#sthash.ZrL8csMz.6l8f9gw8.dpbs

After the Happily Ever After Anthology Available!

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I've got a story in the After the Happily Ever After anthology by Transmundane Press:
The paperback version:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0998498300
And, until the end of the year, a Kindle version is available for $6.99. Great value for a 536 page book! 
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MRYLKIE/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1482174275&sr=1-2-fkmr0&keywords=After+happily+ever+after+anthology+%2419.99

Candlesticks and Daggers Anthology Available Now!

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I'm delighted to announce that I have a new story, "Soon Night Will Press Upon You," being published in the Candlesticks and Daggers anthology which just became available on Amazon.

Lots of great stories to curl up with over the holidays!

Here is the blurb from the back of the book:


Candlesticks and Daggers is an anthology of short stories, poems, and personal essays that mix mystery stories with elements of other genres, including romance, science fiction, horror, fantasy, and more. Mystery solvers from Sherlock Holmes to the local cat lady must figure out not only whodunit, but cross time, space, and even reality in order to do so.


You can find the anthology here:

https://www.amazon.com/Candlesticks-Daggers-Anthology-Mixed-Genre-Mysteries/dp/1540414558/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481298934&sr=8-1&keywords=candlesticks+and+daggers

On Conquering Our Dragons

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My guest post is up at the Transmundane Press blog. If you like fractured fairy tales, come check us out!

https://transmundanepressblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/01/conquering-our-dragons-by-sati-benes-chock/

Fractured Fairy Tales

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I'm thrilled to announce that a story of mine, "The Eye of the Beholder," was recently accepted into an anthology of fractured fairy tales entitled After the Happily Ever After.

But what the heck is a fractured fairy tale, you might ask?

Fractured fairy tales take traditional tales and either turn them upside down or change some of the elements significantly, so that you get an entirely different story. Humor is often an important part of the retelling. For example, The Three Little Pigs could be about greedy capitalist bankers confronting the Wolf of Wall Street, or Cinderella might become a man-- Cinderfellais a classic example of this. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves could be a woman who does animal rescue and is, herself, rescued by a litter of 7 puppies, or a sci fi tale about life on other planets (Well, ok, on second thought, either of those might be really weird. But you get the idea).


More info about fractured fairy tales:
Marilyn Kinsella's Fractured Thoug…

Summer Thoughts

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VACATIONINSPIRATION

I just returned from an annual trip to the East Coast to visit family. If you live far from home, and only go once a year, you know how these "vacations" are, right? You wait all year to see loved ones, and yet, after a week, everyone is bickering and you desperately need a vacation from your vacation. The worst part is returning exhausted & stressed out, with your next "vacation" looming 365 days away.

This time though, part way through the trip, we went to NYC, one of my happy places. I hadn't been in years, and although there were changes, what struck me the most was how much the Big Apple remains the same--vibrant and invigorating. I usually stay in the Upper West Side, a residential area with nearly everything you might need to feel at home. Yoga studio? Check. Good restaurants? Check. Excellent supermarkets? Everywhere. Need a culture fix? Museums galore. The Met or the Natural History Museum are only a few minutes walk. Got kids? Th…

A-Z Challenge Reflections

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“There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it's like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.” ― Ernest Hemingway

Writing a daily blog is both incredibly easy and unbelievably difficult.

Easy, because it is fun. Way more fun than expected. Because when you have the right topic, the sentences just flow. 

But when you don't, they are a bit more like glue. And by glue, I mean paste. 

I'm a perfectionist. I had to learn to let go. I joined days before the challenge began, so didn't have time to learn about the mechanics of creating a better-looking blog. Things like mysterious extra spaces & colors showing up, when they weren't in the original or the font size only showing as HUGE or miniscule. My instinct was to tweak all of these until I got them right, including what I wrote, but I had to learn to post even when it wasn't perfect. Because the point of the challenge was to get something, anything, up every da…

What Next?

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It was only yesterday that I was saying how relieved I was to be done blogging every day for the yearly A-Z April challenge.  Lots of people asked if I'd keep the blog going. 
My standard response was. "Hmm. I need to think about that. For about a year."

It was an awful lot of work. And yet, here I am again. I must be a glutton for punishment.

Right?

But I had such a great weekend, and it revolved around books and writing, so....

Hawaii's Book and Music Festival



This weekend was Honolulu's 11th annual Book & Music Festival. You can always count on this festival for great music & books--new and used (bring your own 5 books to the bookswap to get 5 others), inspiring panels, and live author readings.

Luckily it was only a 10 minute drive away, and always has free admission & parking, because I had to dash to the festival between multiple family activities. Over the course of the weekend, I only made it to two panels, a few of the kiosks, and the bookswap. 

But …

Z is for Zen

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ZEN




“And what, you ask, does writing teach us? First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right.”
― Ray BradburyZen in the Art of Writing
To be "zen" in your writing practice means to be in the moment. To be grateful and spontaneous, yet disciplined. It requires nothing and everything. It means that just showing up is half the battle. Imperfection is ok.

 It means that some days, no matter how hard you try, things get in your way, and that's life. Just find a path around them. There is always a path. There is always another way. 

Just ask Ray.


The Zen of Ray
When you put the words Zen and writing together, the first thing many people think of is Ray Bradbury's famed 1990s essay collection, Zen and the Art of Writing.

There's a good reason for that. Bradbury's enthusiasm is contagious, and his love of writing shines as he dispenses enough pearls of wisdom to string necklaces for a small country. 

Here's a samp…

Y is for Yoga

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YOGA 
Among all the forms of exercise, yoga is one of the best for releasing creativity.
Why?
When you practice yoga, you not only restore balance within your own body, but you may also be tapping into shakti, aprimordial cosmic energy. As the personification of divine female power, shakti is believed to be responsible for creation and change. In yoga, shakti is associated with the sun salutations (surya namastar) and focuses on flow, transitions, mantras, and mindfulness. Sun salutations include standing, forward/back bends, and upward/downward facing dog, all of which stretch your spine, where primal kundalini energy is believed to reside, dormant, until it is awakened.  Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; for it becomes your destiny. -Upanishads
But you needn't restrict yourself to sun salutations or kundalini if you are looking to expand…

X is for Xanadu

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XANADU
definitions: 

1. An idyllic, exotic, or luxurious place. (Merriam Webster) 2. A particularly bad Olivia Newton-John romantic musical fantasy film (1980). 3. An ancient Chinese capital during the Yuan dynasty, ruled by Kublai Khan (grandson of Genghis). Visited by Marco Polo in 1275; world heritage site, only ruins exist today. Also known as Shangdu. 4. The inspiration for Samuel Coleridge's famous poem Kubla Khan. 5. A metaphor for a safe place for creative wanderlust and inspiration. (definition mine) In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree:  Where Alph, the sacred river, ran  Through caverns measureless to man  Down to a sunless sea.  So twice five miles of fertile ground  With walls and towers were girdled round;  And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,  Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;  And here were forests ancient as the hills,  Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.                           --Samuel Coleridge Taylour Kubla Khan
I admit it, I dug t…

W is for Write

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WHY I WRITE
“I write to make peace with the things I cannot control. 
I write to create red in a world that often appears black and white. 
I write to discover. I write to uncover. I write to meet my ghosts." -Terry Tempest Williams
I write because I cannot not write. These words have been said many times before, and will be said many times again, but that does not make them untrue. But actually, that’s a lie. There are weeks of my life—and in the darkest moments, months—during which I do not write. During which I cannot write. I do not write, and I suffer. I suffer, and all would be better if I wrote, and yet I do not.
But when I write, I write because, next to reading, it is one of my favorite things in the world.

I write to make peace with the past. I write to exorcise my demons.
I write because it makes time blur. I write because it makes time freeze still. I write because it makes time disappear. I write because it returns me to times, places, and people that no longer exist…