Friday, July 25, 2014

Thankful


I'm feeling extremely thankful today.

Life is pretty darn good.  But the best part of all is the 11 years I've been married to Brian.

I'm thankful for when I get home late and he makes me supper.

For making special time just for me every Saturday and Sunday morning.

For accomodating me and all my weird idiosyncrasies.

For helping me when I have too much on my plate.

For supporting me and all the crazy things I take on.

For being my biggest fan.

For holding me when I need held, and giving me my distance when I need to be alone.

For kissing me every night before bed.

For every single time he tells me he loves me.

For doing little things to show that he thinks of me even when we're apart.

For planning all possible future scenarios, good and bad.

For his dedication and loyalty.

For imagining how we would be in a different universe, where we made very different choices, but are still together.

Because we're meant to be.

For being the best part of my life.

Because he's meant to be.

Happy anniversary Baby.  Thank you.  I love you!



Saturday, July 12, 2014

Zombies and Vampires, oh my!

In April I started a vampire story, which I will probably finish in November.  I also recently went to see Only Lovers Left Alive (and now it's my new favorite movie).  I've been asked this question multiple times lately:

I thought you liked zombies?

First I have to note that liking zombies and vampires is not mutually exclusive.

Secondly, the zombie thing is relatively new to me.

Yes, I've written two inspirational zombie books and support the Zombie Rights Campaign.  As much sympathy as I have for zombies, that doesn't mean I would want to be one.  The genre is different too, most zombie related movies are about survival one way or another.  Also, totally off the record, I find zombies to be funny.

I think I was 11 or 12 years old when I first read Interview with a Vampire.  I loved it immediately.  One of my favorite books of all time is The Vampire Lestat.  When I think of vampires, it's Anne Rice's portrayal that I immediately associate with them.  Ever since then, I've been a fan of vampires.

Vampires are romantic and tragic.  In many stories, vampires don't have to take human lives, but they do for many other reasons.  I love the juxtaposition of love and lust, of vitality and death, of sophistication and savageness, that's present in many vampire stories.

Becoming a vampire is both a blessing and a curse.  That being said, I would probably give in and want to become a vampire.

Basically, I want immortality.  Don't get me wrong, I don't fear death.  But life is too short to do everything I want to do.  It would be hard, seeing loved ones die.  Restraint to let them die instead of making them all into vampires with me would be a constant battle.  I would also miss the sun very very much.  But to be able to write all the books I want, learn all the things I want, see all the new innovations we come up with, all the things left to discover, it might just be worth it.

A note on Twilight:
I feel like if I'm talking about modern vampires, I have to address Twilight.  I read the books, and even enjoyed the first couple as light reading.  I did not like Stephenie Meyer's version of vampires though.  The sparkling bugged me.  Not because it's pretty, but because by making vampires merely sparkle in the sunlight, she removed their greatest weakness.  Sure, it's a problem, but compared to death, it's slight.  Especially in the second book, when the whole point was for Edward to be his own undoing, threatening to kill himself would've been a lot more tragic than threatening to out himself.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Kind of a Princess

Or, another unexpected benefit of belly dancing.

My life is one big ball of graphic design, writing, and belly dancing, and I love it!
DDBD at Spencer Pride

I love the practice, I love learning new things, and of course, I love the dancing.  I was worried that I'd be nervous on stage.  Sure, I'm nervous beforehand, and oddly enough, the biggest butterflies come right after a performance.  But once I step out on that stage, once I start dancing, there's nothing but joy and dance.  Sure, I may screw up a move here or there, but dancing makes me happy.  I look out into that crowd, and I see happy faces.  Belly dancing encourages a rowdy crowd who claps and yells and cheers, and I love it.

While I wasn't sure if I would be okay with that, it doesn't surprise me too much that I am.  Margaret told me that random people would come up to me to talk about belly dancing, so I'm not surprised when they do.  And I can talk about dancing as easily as I can talk about writing, so some of that social anxiety dissipates.

But there's one thing happening that I didn't expect.

I should also mention that I'm not a big kid person.  I don't want any of my own.  While I adore my nieces and nephews and friends' kids, I'm not the type to engage random kids.  I just don't know what to say or do.  I guess, just like adults, I need to know the kids a little bit first.

We danced at a wedding a couple weekends ago.  A few kids came up and danced with us afterwards.  I love it when the kids dance.  They aren't bound by social constraints, being embarrassed, or how they should dance.  They just get up there and feel the joy of the song.  Kids are natural dancers.

One little girl came up to me and asked, "Are you a princess?"
It melted my heart.  There was no way I could tell this kid no.  So I said, "Yeah, kinda."
And in that moment, I did feel like a princess.

Last weekend, we danced at the Arts Fair on the Square.  Again, when we invited everyone up at the end to dance, some kids came up too.  And they danced their little butts off.  Afterwards, one girl came up and gave me a huge hug.  Of course, I hugged her back.  Then a minute later, she gave me a gift of a rock.  It was the same rock that I had taken off of our bit of grass that we had used as a stage, but still, I almost kept it.  I almost wish I had.

I won't ever forget these two girls.  And the next time I dance, I'll dance like a princess that earns all the rocks in the world.

DDBD at Arts Fair on the Square

Monday, June 02, 2014

Upcoming Appearance: Spencer Pride

I'll be with Different Drummer Belly Dancers at Spencer Pride again this year, but this time, I'm dancing with them!!!

Spencer Pride takes place on Saturday, June 7th from 10 AM until 5 PM on the Owen County Courthouse Square in downtown Spencer. Admission & Parking are FREE.

Shop, Learn, & Eat at the HUGE Spencer Pride Marketplace.  Buy my books, Helpless, and Brains for the Zombie Soul with its fancy new cover.  Also, Liquid Braino Creations will be selling jewelry, including a new range of belly dance inspired items.

All-day live & local entertainment, including Different Drummer Belly Dancers!!!

There will also be Zumba, a bounce house for kids, Petting Zoo, Animated Films at the Tivoli Theatre, Slip ‘n’ Slide (all ages), and Giveaways, all for FREE!



Sunday, June 01, 2014

The Cool Hot Muggy Air

It's a melancholy sort of night.  I don't know why.

Perhaps it's the weather.  Early June in Indiana is a surreal weather time.  It's a time of surprisingly cool days, unanticipated hot days, thunderstorms, and even some expectedly beautiful days.  Brian and I try to wait as long as possible to turn the A/C on.  There's something so... natural?... about experiencing the weather as is without trying to hide from it.  Nevertheless, it's raining right now, and bringing the humidity in, and eventually we'll close the windows.  It'll make me sad and the cats will hate it.

As of right now though, the skin on my bare arms and bare legs is cold to the touch.  The sun's gone down, and the heat is disappating from the house.  Brian's upstairs taking a bath, so I'm alone downstairs.  I was looking forward to a bit of alone time, but once I had it, I didn't know what to do with myself.

This weekend has been good.  Yesterday, I swam as laundry was washing and drying, savoring the time in the sun.  Today, I listened to a reading of The Tempest while sipping coffee at Rachael's Cafe.  I didn't get to hear the end, because I had to go off to dance practice.

After dance, I was sweaty and hungry and perhaps a bit high.  When I saw my sister dance at a school recital, after it was over, most of the kids were tired.  Not my sister.  She was wired and bouncy.  At the time, I couldn't comprehend it.  Now I do.  Runners get a runner's high, so surely dancers can get a dancer's high, right?

Life seems good at the moment.  Yet, there's an underlying sadness to everything.  I hope I never get all of the things that I want, but still, sometimes that lust for more in life is overwhelming.  I'm not complaining, I really shouldn't wish for anything more.  If I ran out of things to fantasize about, what would there be left?  Yet sometimes, like on humid nights like this, my fantasizes overcome me like an obsession.

For example, I recently entered a contest to go to London.  Many of us enter contests all the time.  I buy the occasional raffle or lottery ticket.  I enter my stories into writing contests (more on that to come).  But this time, I can't get this particular contest off of my mind.  It feels like destiny, although I know the chance of winning is slim.  When I don't win it, I certainly won't be surprised, but I suspect I'll feel hollow somehow.  Perhaps in parallel universe, I do win, and a small part of this me knows it.

And I'll do what I always do, focus on the good things in life.  Tomorrow night is dance class and martinis with friends.  What could be better than that?  This weekend, we perform at Spencer Pride, and I'm looking forward to it.  I'm surrounded by people who love me.  I'm surrounded by people I love.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Brains for the Zombie Soul - new cover

Brains for the Zombie Soul, my book of heartwarming and inspirational stories about the differently animated, has a pretty new cover!

Here's the updated ordering information:

Printed copies:

Signed copy direct from me, $16.28, includes shipping via Priority Mail to the USA. When you order, let me know if you would like the book personalized.

Brains for the Zombie Soul on Amazon

Brains for the Zombie Soul on Barnes & Noble

Brains for the Zombie Soul from Createspace


Ebooks:

Brains for the Zombie Soul for Kindle

Brains for the Zombie Soul for Nook

Brains for the Zombie Soul on iPod, iPhone, or iPad from iTunes

Brains for the Zombie Soul on Smashwords


Or, pick up a copy at one of my upcoming appearances.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Super Cool Announcement!!!!

I'll let you in on a secret.  I keep going to DDBD.org to check to see if my name and picture are really there.  In fact, I just checked again.  Yep, still there.  It's real.  It's really real.

I'm a member of Different Drummer Belly Dancers!!!!!



See?  There on the end, in the green skirt, under the last D?  That's me!!!!!

Margaret, Angela, Liby, and Laura are fabulous dancers, and awesome people!  I keep saying that I am so honored to join them, but I feel like honored isn't a strong enough word.  I'm going to have to work super hard, because I don't feel like I'm anywhere close to the same league as them.  I can't wait to be the Dancer that they are!

But don't worry, I'm still writing.

The Three Zombies and Other Undead Fairytales is still under construction.  It's written, edited, and recorded.  The cover is designed.  Now I'm working on editing the recordings.  Producing an audiobook is new to me, so it's going slow.  I'm learning a lot through trial and error.

April is Camp NaNoWriMo.  Unlike NaNoWriMo, where the goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, Camp NaNo is a bit more unstructured.  You can choose what you write and your own goal.  This time, I'm writing 25,000 words of short stories.

Finally, I was also selected as a mentor for The Choir Million Skills Project.  My interview is at the end of this month.  Afterwards, the team will take my interview and make it available for users as a series of instructional videos to learn how I go about writing a book in 30 days.  I hope people like it and can learn something from me.

Life is pretty awesome.

Until next time, let's dance!