Friday, April 29, 2011

Z is for Zodiac

THE END OF THE A-Z CHALLENGE AND I  DID IT!!!! It has been so much fun getting to know new bloggers! Now how often will I post? I don't know- but this was fun!

Z.  So, I don't put a lot of stock in it and I don't read my horoscope but I have been noticing patterns in the people I know and their signs. I almost always know another Sag when I meet one. I click with certain "compatible" signs more. I see shared traits popping up in people of the same signs. It's weird.



I got this off of a website--some of the wording is awkward... but my friends would say it describes me pretty well.


"THE Zodiacal Sign of Sagittarius commences on November 21st-December 20th.
The symbols for Sagittarius are the hunter and the centaur, a mythical half-man, half-horse. This sign symbolizes the search for wisdom; this is the sign of the philosopher and the explorer. They have an appetite for learning and travel.

Such people prefer to be footloose and fancy free, however should they become involved in a relationship they make it as enjoyable and as much fun as possible. Normally they are very gregarious, but they will be glad to find the time for that special relationship.
They are often the great workers; such people never seem to tire until they drop with fatigue. They would rather learn on their own, through travel and experience, than endure structured classroom environments and routine work assignments.

To have an open minded and intellectual curiosity means that these people are willing to learn about other people in an effort to understand them, while being trusting and open. High spirited and congenial, they are a gifted conversationalist, a wonderful storyteller, and a born entertainer.
Nearly all of them are devoted to music. They often make brilliant musicians. They are often successful in business such as writing, publishing, TV, communications and enterprises where there are many representatives of this sign.

One of their great difficulties lies within relationships. They are completely able to be faithful to two people at once. The women born in this Sign are, as a rule, the nobler of the two; they love to make their husbands successful and will sacrifice everything to that end. They are usually great church-goers. On the other hand both men and women when they settle down they usually treat themselves strictly. They refuse to let the relationship get stale and always look for ways to bring excitement into the union.

 Frank Sagittarius does not hesitate to give an honest opinion, which can seem tactless.

They venerate law and order and make the best of mothers. People born in this period, even when successful, should never cease to be actively employed inactivity for them would mean despondency and an early decay.

In the Sagittarius' character there are combined such qualities as reliance, affability and courtesy. The Sagittarius usually loves sports, nature, traveling , to learn and to win . The Sagittarius likes all doing in the company surrounded by close people. His mind and body are both requiring constant intellectual, emotional and physical loading. (what the? loading?)
They are the nicest friends in the zodiac. These people are not a meet-for-coffee friend. They are doers and they make the best travel companions."

Have you ever read about your sign? Does is seem to describe you?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Y is for Yankovic

Confessions of a closet NERD. (= Guilty pleasure...Wierd Al. (= Have loved his goofy parodies since I was a kid. Even saw him in concert once. Yep. Teehee.


Enjoy...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

X is for XENA


I loved the Warrior Princess back in the late 1990s.  I always like strong, empowered lead females in shows or in books. Xena rocked. She paved the way for heroines like *Buffy Summers* of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and *Sydney Bristow* of Alias, etc. Maybe they are why I decided to take up kick boxing and then Taekwondo. (=

Don't. Mess. With. Me. (I'd prefer hugs to slugs but don't push your luck!)

So for Halloween one year, I told my husband to make me a Xena costume. He seriously made it like it was no big deal-- because he is awesome. (I wasn't really this washed out... flash + scan-of-old-pic = GHOST)
 LALALALALALALA!!!

Do strong women inspire you or intimidate you?

Monday, April 25, 2011

V is for...

 Silent movie hunk. (= Watch one of his movies--he still smolders.

 I like Venice--despite the decaying, leaning buildings and smelly tide. It's lovely and novel.
 Awesome, cheesy 1980s TV show...loved it as a kid. Aliens we can fall in love with.

 An actual Vampire...(a psycho sexy one)

Versatile me! (= Given to me by Shannon Lawrence.

Passing this award on to these five bloggers:

Check these blogs out! (=

And let's finish "V" with VINDICATED by Dashboard Confessional.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

U is for UPDATE

So, I said I would let ya'll know how the Boot Camp went. Success! It was so fun! We had 130  or so teens sign up --(with this being our first one and Easter and several school proms on the same day we are so pleased with the number of attendees).
The authors all gave fantastic classes and the kids were enthusiastic and already so excited for next year!

                    Me and  author--blogtastic Elana Johnson-- she's awesome. (and a fellow Sagitarian!)

          Me and author, Kiersten White-- she's a terrific speaker for teens! (She's fabulous and adorably tiny!)

Me and author, J. Scott Savage-- the character bible genius.

                            Me and author, Kristen Chandler my radio interview buddy.

                                           Just some of our recruits.

My wonderful Writers Cubed "Cubies" and our fabulous guest authors! If you haven't read their books-- look them up and get them now! (= These giving and gifted writers have some serious good karma coming their way!

A shout out of thank you to all of our wonderful authors. I enjoyed getting to know you and we "Cubies" are so grateful for your time and talent.

We got really positive feedback from our attendees. It felt good to be a part of something that has inspired and excited so many young aspiring writers.
After we recover from this year... we will think about next year. Whew!

To see more pictures from TABC go on Facebook to our Writers Cubed Club! Please "like" us and become a follower on our blog!

Friday, April 22, 2011

T is for TEEN AUTHOR BOOT CAMP

After all the WORK ... it's finally here. Saturday, April 23rd. The day that my writing group (Writers Cubed) and I are putting on a writing conference for teens at the local university.
We have around 125 teens registered! And an amazing line up of authors coming to mingle with and teach the kids how to be awesome writers!

KierstenWhite, author of best seller PARANORMALCY is our keynote speaker-- and other great break-out sessions taught by:
Elana Johnson, Kristen ChandlerFrank Cole , Matthew Kirby,
 Sydney Salter  ,J. Scott Savage  and Emily Wing Smith 

We will be teaching a class and running games as a group too-- it should be great! I'm going to have so much fun with the kids-- (seeing myself in them years ago) and hanging out with our wonderful authors.
Stay tuned for pictures and a fun report.
It's going to be a long day tomorrow-- I better get some sleep! (=

Thursday, April 21, 2011

S is for St. Paul's and Statue


While living in London I fell in love with St. Paul's cathedral.
Some facts about the building:

"St Paul's Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral dedicated to Paul the Apostle. It sits at the top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London, and is the seat of the Bishop of London. The present building dates from the 17th century and was designed by Sir Christopher Wren. It is generally reckoned to be London's fifth St Paul's Cathedral, all having been built on the same site since AD 604. The cathedral is one of London's most famous and most recognisable sights. At 365 feet (111m) high, it was the tallest building in London from 1710 to 1962, and its dome is also among the highest in the world. In terms of area, St Paul's is the second largest church building in the United Kingdom after Liverpool Cathedral."


All of this is super fascinating, but what really grabbed me was being inside, looking up at the beautiful, soaring ceiling as the sounds of the men and boys' choir echoed and reverberated all around me--tangible, clear, angelic. Goose bumpy. Whatever you believe in-- it is amazing in person, and as a poet/writer it filled my young, student head with fabulous things. Centuries of human souls captured in sound.

I had a similar reaction when I was in Italy, walked in and saw this STATUE.
 I literally got tears in my eyes--and NO--not because of that, pervs.
It's difficult to describe. It just blew me away. Majestic, powerful an incredible work of art that overwhelms you in person--pictures don't really convey that. How can stone look so life like and evoke emotions?

Ever have breathtaking moments like these?

R is for Redbox and Randall

Redbox. The last man standing. Blockbuster and Hollywood video are gone. In my lifetime I saw the rise and fall of video rental stores. I remember when my family would rent the video player, in a metal cage, and a few precious movies for the weekend. It was a big deal because we could watch movies that we otherwise would have to wait to see when it was a Special Feature on TV.
Redbox came-- no employess, no big facility overhead, (no selection)... and that was that. The last remnants of a dying technology that will give way to Netflicks and all things digital soon enough.

AND... R is for Randall from Monsters Inc. He's on my mind because my youngest son is obsessed with him right now. Jack runs around insisting that he is Randall. I'm pretty sure it's because Randall is the creepy , bad monster in the movie and the best way to not fear him is to be him.


It's a study in psychology, really. Do we sometimes become our worst fears--or make our worst fears come true with negative thoughts--so that they won't take us by surprise or destroy us if they do happen? Because if you "knew it" or "meant to do that" then it isn't scary and we have control of it. Right?
If you can't beat it--join it?
Hmmm...
Are the things that scare you reoccurring themes in your life? If so-- maybe you are inviting them.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Q is for Queen

QUEEN ROCKS! As a teen of the 1990s, it was Wayne's World that put Queen on my radar. I know, I know--pathetic. But any way is better than no way. (= I still love to blare this song and head bang to it with my kids and friends. (=
Enjoy it the way I heard it first.


Monday, April 18, 2011

P is for PRIZES!

PRIZES!!! Winners of my 300 FOLLOWER GIVEAWAY!
Winner of the $20 Amazon card -- Theresa Milstein

                                            
Winner of $10 iTunes card-- Anash



Winner of this cool book-- Candyland

Congrats to the winners!

 My next giveaway...

For your chance to win the face plate from the Iron Man 2 mask blog about my husband's Kickstarter project!

O is for Orpheus

Orpheus's story is romantic and tragic. Blessed by the God's with a lyre and a beautiful singing voice, Orpheus charmed the nymph Eurydice. They fell in love and married. But the gods were jealous. Eurydice was bitten by a poisonous snake and sent to the Underworld.
Orpheus charged into the Underworld to retrieve his beloved. The sound of his lovelorn songs touched Hades who made him a strange deal.
“Orpheus, take your Eurydice and bring her to the world of the living. But you must walk ahead and leave her to follow you without you looking back even for a second, your beloved will be lost here again and forever”.

Happily the two lovers fled hell, Orpheus in the lead. But the way was dark and rocky. Just as sunlight streamed ahead of them Eurydice stumbled and cried out in pain. Orpheus turned to help her and she was dragged away from him forever into the darkness of the Underworld.

My favorite modern adaptation of this story is Moulin Rouge. Great stories never die-- they just change clothes. (=

Thursday, April 14, 2011

M is for Movies

I love movies. I like them action packed, chick flicks, comedies, classics, documentaries, indies, martial arts, thought provoking--you name it. I like the theater experience--in the darkness, big screen and popcorn--or at home in a cozy blanket. I like watching movies with friends or alone. Heck--whenevah!

Like books, we share a human experience through film. We learn something from every movie--it's a communication and an art. Discovery, exploration, expression and sometimes catharsis!
I don't have a "favorite" list-- that's too hard. But I will list some movies that I really enjoyed a lot --for various reasons.

1. Moulin Rouge-- the music!
2. The Mission-- epic, and heart wrenching
3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind-- quirky, thought provoking
4. About a Boy-- made me smile, made me think
5. Jane Eyre (2011)-- good adaption of a great book
6. Star Wars--because it is awesome
7. War of the Buttons--fun and adorable
8. Most BBC adaptaions of novels (=
9. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon-- freaking awesome and beautiful
10.The Gods Must Be Crazy--Funny!
11. Chariots Of Fire--Inspiring
12. What the BLEEP Do We Know--fascinating
13. Dead Poets Society--Wow.
14. Clueless-- teehee!
15. Juno--spot on
16. Silverado--yeeehaw!
17. Enchanted April--yes, please!
18. Nacho Libre--quotable--and I "know" the director. (=
19. Rear Window--gasp!
20. The Thin Man series-- so suave, so witty
21. Strictly Ballroom--HAHAHA!
22. Indiana Jones--it rocks
23. So I Married An Axe Murderer--the only time Mike Myers didn't bug me (other than the first Wayne's World) and it was shot in the Bay Area--yay!
24. Bourne Identity--YES!
25. Singin' In the Rain--all smiles and happiness

I could seriously go on and on! And these are only the tip of the iceberg!
What are your fave flicks and why??

If you want to get involved in movie making yourself-- click here! My husband's movie will be so fun! And there are prizes!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

L is for LOOK

There are so many things that take our attention-- that sometimes we forget to REALLY look. I'm so busy that I almost forgot that we have beautiful mountain views--I don't always see them.

Today we spent the day with our kids looking... at the Zoo. We watched animals and how they behaved-- noticing details because that's what we were there to do.

It was today I noticed that my oldest son's hands are bigger than mine. When did that happen?

The sun makes my middle son's eyes shine the exact color of the sky.

My youngest loves elephants and his smile reminds me of my husband.


What did you look at today?

While you're at it--look at my last post (below) to learn about an exciting film project and the Iron Man mask giveaway!

K is for Kickstarter!

As most of you know, my husband is in the film industry. We spent years in Hollywood working on blockbuster films and then he struck out on his own-- lone wolf style and has continued to work freelance on various movies, TV shows and commercials. Some of you will recall the  local media attention he got after working on Iron Man 2 last year (CLICK). Since then he has worked with director Danny Boyle on 127 Hours, starring James Franco and a few Disney projects.

Now Clark is finally taking his skills and passion to the next level--making his own film!
Please watch this video for opportunities to be involved and for amazing film project related prizes! (WAIT UNTILYOU SEE THE LEGIT COLLECTIBLE FROM STAR WARS: NEW HOPE HE'S GIVING AWAY!!!)

Here is his Kickstarter video about the project:

Any of my Followers who would be willing to blog about Clark's Kickstarter project will have their name put into a drawing to win a face plate of the Iron Man mask made by Clark for the Iron Man 2 movie.


After blogging it--if you also Tweet, Facebook or get it out there any other way your name will go in again for each way you passed on the word. If you're really ambitious you can blog it up to three times over the next  three months--more chances to win!

 Keep me informed via comments or write me at jo at writerscubed dot com.
The drawing will not take place until the Kickstarter 90 days has passed. Please help us spread the word!
Get involved in the movie biz and make my man's dream come true!

Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

J is for Jack's Journey

Jack came into this world with big challenges. But he has beaten the odds again and again.

From breech birth--taken by C-section... to surgery, after surgery, after surgery.

                         This one made his head swell to epic proportions. He was our little alien! (=

After this painful surgery they sewed a string through his tongue and taped it to his cheek to keep him from choking on his tongue. By this time he was an old pro-- having already undergone 4 other surgeries--and there were more to come.

Maybe he won't ever walk...

video


Well at two and 1/2 years old he showed them otherwise.
Now he walks without a walker--no problem! Jumps on the trampoline and dances!



Maybe he won't ever talk ... well after this surgery he showed us he could.






He uses less sign language now-- and can be a real chatter box.
Now he is testing well enough at school to go into a transitional kidergarten-- he knows his numbers and letters!  He is such a happy boy and we love him so much. I feel honored to be a part of his journey.

What else will Jack do?

I know exactly what he will do. Surprise us. (=

Monday, April 11, 2011

I is for INTERVIEW with author H.P. Mallory

Today I'm interviewing H.P. Mallory. An author I've recently discovered online. I downloaded and read five of her books in quick succession. Her characters are likeable and interesting, the plots are fun and creative and her writing is descriptive and humorous with a dash of sexy. Page turners-- definitely worth reading!



Jo: Tell us a little about yourself.
Mallory: Well, I've always wanted to be an author ever since I was young. I was an English major at UCLA and during my college years, didn't really do much writing. I started up again 5 years ago and wrote my first book, Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble. Then I managed to get an agent and she sent it to a bunch of publishers and no one was interested. LOL So, after that went nowhere, I sat on the book for 5 years and then uploaded it to Kindle as well as another book I'd written, To Kill A Warlock. I started contacting book bloggers, asking if they'd like to read and review the books and little by little, word began to spread. Now I'm happy to say I am a full time author, quit my job last Feb and I have a 3 book deal with Random House for books 3,4 and 5 of my Jolie Wilkins series.

Jo: That's so awesome that you didn't give up on your stories. What made you decide to epublish and what if any concerns did you have about publishing online?
Mallory: I decided to epublish after reading an article about self published sensation, Karen McQuestion. I figured I had nothing to lose. I didn't really have any concerns because I'd already accepted the fact that a writing career didn't seem to be in the cards for me. LOL

Jo: What have you learned from online publishing and do you have other plans in the future?
Mallory: I love self publishing. It changed my life literally. I will always self publish some of my works. I also like having my foot in the traditional market as well because I feel like it's a very balanced career approach that way.

Jo: So, you were able to quit your day job and now you write "full time"?
Mallory: Yep, quit my job as Director of Online Marketing in Feb. Now I'm a full time author and loving it.

Jo: What do you write about?
Mallory: I write paranormal romance and urban fantasy. One of my series is about a witch, Jolie Wilkins, and my second series is about Dulcie O'Neil, a fairy in law enforcement.



Jo: What inspired you to write in the Paranormal Romance genre?

Mallory: I just love reading paranormal books and always have. So, I think it was a natural progression that I'd want to write paranormal themes as well.

Jo: Who has been your most enjoyable character to write?
Mallory: I love writing Sinjin Sinclair. He's just so easy.

Jo: Sinjin is devilish and likeable. Are any of your characters based on yourself or someone you know?

Mallory: No, not really. I think I can't help but be in my characters since they are coming from my head. If any of them are most like me, it would be Jolie. My husband recently started reading Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble (yes, he was late to the party) and said it was like being inside my head. LOL He thinks Jolie is me but I still think we are pretty different.

Jo: If you could date one of your characters who would you pick? (I think Rand and Knight rock but I admit that Sinjin would be fun to tame.)

Mallory: LOL I wonder if Sinjin is tamable? Um, I do love Rand because he is so honorable. But, I have to admit that Knight is really growing on me because he's so honest in his intentions.

Jo: If you had a supernatural power what would it be?
Mallory: Read people's minds

Jo: That would be handy! (And embarrassing!) Who are your favorite authors? Are you a fan of any writers of your genre?
Mallory: I love Karen Marie Moning, Charlaine Harris, Laurell K. Hamilton

Jo: Where can people get your books?

Mallory: My books are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Thanks for blogging with me, H.P.. It's been great getting to know you better. I admire your pluck-- in diving into the epub world and finding success in doing so. Your books are so entertaining and fun to read. I hope to see many more of your stories in the future. (=
Check her out for yourself!
H.P. Mallory
Author, Urban Fantasy & Paranormal Romance
http://www.hpmallory.com/
http://www.urbanfantasyauthor.blogspot.com/
http://twitter.com/hpmallory
http://www.facebook.com/people/Hp-Mallory/10000124964376


Still time to enter my 300 Follower giveaway!


Saturday, April 9, 2011

H is for Harrison


Harrison Ford is one of my favorite actors of all time. Rugged, manly, cocky, earnest--the every man and the hero. Here are three roles he played that top my fave characters EVAH!



He was awesome as the scoundrel Han Solo, like an Old West hero in space.



Nobody could resist the charming, adventurous Indiana Jones. I swear those movies had a major influence on me as a kid. (I majored in Archaeology before English.)



As Dr. Richard Kimble he kept us on the edge of our seats--on his side all the way.

So no matter how bizarre the concept-- you can believe I'm going to go see his latest movie.


Do you have a favorite Harrison Ford movie?

Don't forget to enter my 300 Follower Giveaway!