Monthly Archives: June 2012

VBT: Expanding Horizons & Conspiracy Theories

VBT: Expanding Horizons & Conspiracy Theories

      Aloha, friends! Welcome to Week Five of the Tasha Turner Coaching/MasterKoda VBT!
      This week’s scheduled guest is the wonderful, funny, unflappable lady of DeAnnaTroupe.com… DeAnna Troupe! She’s here to share her current summer reading picks. Give it up for her! *wild applause*

————————


What I’m Reading Now

      I usually don’t read two books at a time.
      I’m really OCD that way. I usually like to finish one book before I move on to another book. I’m currently reading What She Knew, by our very own K.R. Hughes and T.L. Burns and Dawn by Octavia Butler.
      Why did I choose these titles? I love conspiracy theory type books. What bigger conspiracies exist than Marilyn Monroe and John F Kennedy? So quite naturally I was drawn to this book from the moment I heard about it. I also wanted to support a fellow Kodan. So that explains that title.
      Why did I pick the other one? Well I like to read sci-fi and I wanted to read something other than Star Trek. I wanted to expand on my knowledge of the sci-fi genre. Someone I met on the train suggested that I read Octavia Butler. She’s an African-American sci-fi author. So far I’m enjoying both titles!
      What are you reading?

————————
DeAnna Troupe is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, and a serial entrepreneur that has always loved helping others. Her very first job was as an algebra tutor at the tender age of 14. Since then she has amassed over 10 years of experience at all levels of business including running her own freelance secretarial business. She has been on the social media scene since before we even knew that’s what we were doing. She has a knack for coming up with creative ways to solve tough problems. She has published a book on Amazon called Tips For Sophisticated Marketers. She is an effective teacher that enjoys seeing her clients get to the next level with their business. When she’s not coaching clients on integrating video in their social media strategy, she enjoys spending time with her husband and step kids, reading, writing, crocheting, and singing.
————————

      So what ARE you reading? Contemporary or classic? Cozy or chock full o’ gory detail? Can you not choose just one? If not, why not? Comment below, people, and show DeAnna some love!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

[Editor's Note: My Guest Post for the week is up at WritersWriteDaily.com. "Not To Be Confused with Abe Lincoln vs. Zombies" by P.P..]

Tuesday’s Tunes: Free Write

Tuesday's Tunes: Free Write

      A disclaimer. Some of the songs posted will have naughty language. Some will be terrible in your opinion. Some will be terrible in my opinion. Watch the linked video(s) at your own risk.
      That said, if you have ever wondered what sort of songs are punctuating scenes in my head, come back every Tuesday to find out.

————————————-
      Today – rather than a post about the music I like or listen to while writing, I think I will issue you a challenge CHALLENGE CHALLENGE! How about that? Hah!
      You see, one of my favorite things to do when I’m just in between projects, or bored, or frustrated with a current piece, or feeling like I’m in a creative slump, or hungry, or whatever-else-I-might-be is to FreeWrite.
      My definition of free writing is quite possibly different from your own, or others you might find around the interwebs. To me, it is simply an opportunity to choose a topic, a sentence, a word, a phrase, an object, a character, a song, an anything and just… write. Write for 10 minutes straight or 2 minutes or an hour. Write until you’re done or your hand cramps. Just write.
      You’d think I didn’t like rules, with all these open-ended ‘guidelines’, but that isn’t true.
      Anyway – for today’s challenge (and to relate it back to music) I challenge you to pick a song randomly (or specifically) from your playlist and close your eyes. Listen to it once and really experience it – the lyrics, the melody, the highs and lows, the intricacies of the background instruments. And then play it again and just… write. See what comes out.
      Maybe you see an image or maybe its just a feeling, maybe you write about how much you hate this challenge or how you never noticed the tambourine in the ensemble before. Usually, I get end up with a phrase that sparks a short ‘flash fiction’ sort of thing and I’m off to the races.
      In fact, I think that’s exactly how I will spend my lunch hour today.
      If you take up my challenge – post a link to your free write in the comments below. I would LOVE to see what you all come up with!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

Snippet Sunday: World Premiere

Snippet Sunday: World Premiere

      What’s this? A snippet instead of a VBT post? Surprise! This week’s VBT post will be up later in the week and I think its going to be a great one. That leaves Sunday free for a return to Snippets.
      So, without further ado – today’s excerpt comes from my current WIP: WT: Inferno. It will be brief and painful because frankly – that’s how my first drafts roll. Still, check it out. The world premiere of Inferno.

- – – – – – – – – – -
      The afternoon was hot and dry but there was a thick, black thunderhead moving toward the Freehold. It promised to bring a spectacular lightshow and blessed relief. OLDLADYNAME had never expected to anticipate storms, to wait with an unexpelled breath to see if rain would fall all the while praying it would. In her century long lifespan on the coast, rain had been plentiful – too abundant at times. She could recall standing with a wicker pick-nic basket – red gingham table cloth and all – on the front porch begging Jesus to clear away the clouds. Now she sat, feeling half-naked in a gauzy chemise, rocking and fanning herself and begging God to send that big, beautiful, rain-pregnant storm their direction.
      October should not be so hot, she thought sipping suntea through a straw. It had been cool when Michael brought it out. She suspected he had iced it especially for her for beads of condensation had slid down the glass to pool on the flat, weathered arm of the old rocker. It had not lasted long, that icy coolness, but she had appreciated the small gesture of affection.
      “Gamma!”
      She lifted her gaze and felt a smile break instantly across her face. The boy was anathema to her dark mood – it was impossible to brood or worry or doubt when he cam running toward her with that grin. It was irresistable whether paired with a mud-smudged or freshly scrubbed cheeks. He refused to allow anyone to cut his hair and it grew like a weed; in just a few months it had already grown so long that it swung down into his eyes like that one skinny pop singer Hannah had adored when she was small – *what WAS his name?*, she wondered – and curled around his collar.
      “Gramma!” Clamoring up onto her lap, he soaked he thin shift with cool water from the creek. “Come s’im! Come s’im wif us!”
      Jeremy threw his arm around her neck and motioned back down the hill toward the water. Even from here it looked cool and shady, lovely and so very inviting. But there was a long, scorching journey across the parched yard and down the dusty hill between her and the creek. Hale as she was, OLDLADYNAME doubted she would ever make it, shuffling along in this heat.
      “Not today damorsi,” she said, and patted his hair. “Perhaps tomorrow?”
      Disappointment colored his dusky features for just a heartbeat or two, then, like the sun breaking through a squall, joy suffused his face and he nodded. “T’mawwo.”
      “Tomorrow,” she said, and squeezed him close. OLDLADYNAME expected him to dash away again, back to the creek where the other children were splashing and laughing. Instead, he seemed remarkably content on her lap. Jeremy lay his head against her chest, stole a sip of her tea, and closed his eyes. Despite her age, despite having raised eight children, plus helping to rear her grandchildren, great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchilren, OLDLADYNAME felt the same love for this one little boy as she had when her own Samuel had been the cuddly lump on her lap.
      She hoped God would grant her the years to see him grow and thrive.
      She prayed God would grant him the years to grow-up in.
      Whether or not He willed it, the dark days were coming and humanity’s survival was far from guaranteed.
- – – – – – – – – – -
      And that’s it for today’s snippet. What did you think? Boring, I suppose. But spoiler alert – but OLDLADYNAME and Jeremy survived the first novel. For now. Muahaha. Comments, questions, suggestions appreciated – let me hear about it below!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

Feng Shui

Feng Shui

      I’m considering doing a little redecorating here at PP.net.
      The lovely layout that is presently in use is just a common, non-customized theme from the WordPress defaults. Its pretty clean and whatnot, but it doesn’t really scream Penelope Price or Incandescence to me. Heck, it doesn’t even murmur “this is a writer’s blog” or the like. Its generic, and though it features a lovely dark rainbow background there is really nothing “me” about the layout.
      So I’m considering shaking things up.
      This provides a problem for several reasons.

  • No Money
  • Little Time
  • Vague Graphic Design Talent
  • Out-of-Date Coding Skills
  • Archaic Editing Suite
  • Pickiness that Precludes Working Well with Others

      I used to run a personal blog and I was always dressing up the domain with bits of code and artwork-tricks I had picked up around the interwebs. I changed the landing page less frequently (one-to-four times a year) and the blog itself every other month or so. I am afraid to start fiddling with the aesthetics of PP.net because – God knows – I will never be satisfied. I will start trolling the interwebs for artwork and photographs and then start burning the midnight hours trying to re-learn my former skills at Paint Shop Pro to make them look pretty and at HTML/CSS coding to get the layout just right. I will have to learn the coding behind Word Press so I can edit the layout to work with the Word Press engine. I will- oh my gosh, I’m giddy and terrified just THINKING of having a new task to take on.
      After all, I am still not done with Draft Two of Incandescence, nor am I done with Draft One of Inferno and I am already fighting off like, four new story ideas…
      Someone save me.
      Still, I think the layout does matter and I won’t be happy sticking with this generic one forever. If I don’t start now… I’ll have to start eventually… right?
      Right?

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

Changing the Conversation

Changing the Conversation

      Despite having a lot of opinions and a lot to say, I generally prefer to stay out of debates about politics. I vote, and not just because its my civic duty but because I feel that as both an American and a human being, it is the right thing to do. You probably will not find a great deal of political rhetoric on this blog, should I keep it alive for a matter of months or years (unless, God forbid, Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachmann are ever elected to the presidency), but today I saw a story that struck close to home. I simply had to share.
      It showed up in my Facebook feed (what doesn’t, these days?) from a wonderful, talented, extraordinary friend named Jaymes Cady and normally, I would not have clicked on it because it appeared to be one of those hyped-up, sensationalized political pieces that people frequently repost without watching. Thankfully, I know Jaymes well enough to know he is not the mindless ‘share this’/’repost that’ type and since the comments on his post were somewhat heated and sparking discussion on their own… I clicked.
      I’m glad I did.
      What followed was an inspired tale of how one group, outnumbered, out-funded and with their message being entirely drowned out by the opposition, got the community (and in truth, the country and the world!) talking again. They found a way to change the conversation.
      Its a talent that I think more of us need to embrace in our lives: finding a way to peacefully, intelligently switch ships mid-stream and focus on the core of issue. We tend to get bogged down by the peripheral details, things we have no control over and cannot change, rather than focus on the true matters of the day. In the case of this video, the community found itself being swarmed by gnats buzzing about taxes, taxes, taxes. The library found a way to get them to ignore the bugs and focus on the delightful smörgåsbord that had attracted all those insects.
      Anyway, if you have a couple of minutes, click below to watch the video. I promise, whether you agree with the tactic or think it heinous, whether you’d vote yes or no on the topic at hand, you’ll have to admit that it was a clever way of changing the conversation.
      Smörgåsbord.
      What a freakin’ great word. Thank you Sweden!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

Burn it down – kidz can learned stuff on there oan.

VBT: A Taste of ‘The Heir’

VBT: A Taste of 'The Heir'

      Salutations, friends! Welcome to Week Four of the Tasha Turner Coaching/MasterKoda VBT!
      This week’s scheduled guest is the lovely, talented, generous and outright amazeballs author of the “The Birth of an Empire” sci-fi series, Catrina Taylor! Without further ado or anymore blathering by yours truly, I give you… Ms. Taylor.

————————


Favorite Contemporary Author

      I am an avid reader. When I get my hands on a book, I consume it with hungry desire. My appetite leans toward the stories that tickle the mind, push the edge of reality and create a drive to turn the page. I know, sounds like something all authors strive for, and all readers enjoy. With my reading patterns, I find that I read a bit from many genre but most recently the genre I am reading from and loving is the Fantasy realm. This is primarily because of a talented author who reminded me why I love it so much. Her name is Sarah Barnard.
      She and I connected first as authors, then on a project to raise money for Doctors Without Borders, and then I was compelled to read her books. Noting it was a series I opted to read the first in the series. The next thing I know, I consumed all three books a short and the start of her new series. The Portal Series is incredible. She has created a world that exists separate from our own, but certain members of the nobility are able to travel between ours and theirs. These magic wielders are bound to the land they come from and responsible for helping it flourish, while caring for the people.
Each one of her characters are identifiable, understandable and relatable. Her main characters are women that you can look at and know are a lot like the friend, sister, or yourself. You can see why they make the choices they make. Without question you have to follow each page, each story and each person through until the book’s conclusion. As an author, I know that is a talent that takes refinement, and it is something Sarah Barnard has made an art of.
      With permission I’ve included an excerpt from her short story that is a prequel to the series I began reading. In this section, Heather and Lily come together at the birth of Lily’s eldest child. Lily has become mistress of their land, and her twin sister, Heather has been living among ours.

* * * *

The Heir



      Heather ran the damp cloth over the dusty shelf where she kept her favourite books. She hated to see the dark wood of the shelf obscured by the pale layer, and a damp cloth was the only thing that really got rid of the dust. She lifted the pile of books and rearranged them as she put them back, straightening the spines and making sure no pages were curled, or caught and folded. She paused to breathe the bound pages, so special, so distinctive, the smell of a loved paperback.
      Sometimes she thought books were the best part of this world. She loved curling up in the comfy armchair in front of the fire, and losing herself in the story contained within the pages.
Samuel wouldn’t be home until the weekend almost a week away now, and this was the life she’d chosen. To be with him, to walk away from her family and her home. She missed her old life, but was happy here all the same.
      Loud, urgent hammering on her door startled her from her thoughts.
      “Heather! Are you there? Heather, I need you!”
      Heather stopped, froze in position at the voice shouting from outside. A voice she’d not heard in years, but that was as familiar to her as her own.
      “Lilith,” she breathed softly, dropping the cloth to the shelf and racing to the door. She flung it open and there she stood, outside, out of breath and pale. With dark hair shot through with strands of shining copper, pale, ice blue eyes, Lilith was taller than Heather but not by much. Heather was older, only by a few minutes but it should have mattered. The oldest daughter should have inherited the title, the power and the magic. A few moments younger, and Lilith had shown the magic since she was a child where all Heather could do was heal. The rest was closed to her. Lilith glowed with the power and the range of what she could do outshone even their mother.
      “Come in.” Heather took a step away so Lilith could enter. She frowned. Her sister was unsteady, and clearly in some sort of trouble. Heather stared. Pregnant. Very pregnant, and her healer’s sight showed that the baby was close to coming, no more than a day at the most. A girl, and a strong one. “Whose?” she asked as she steered Lilith to a chair and made her sit.
      Lilith sat awkwardly and leaned forwards onto the kitchen table. “Not his.”
      Heather sat opposite, understanding the problem. “What can I do?” she offered.
      “The child must be born here, she must be kept safe from him.” Lilith’s eyes were hard, determined and that scared Heather more than she cared to admit. Heather let her healer’s instincts expand to see more.
      “What’s happened?”
      Lilith looked away. “He’s not the man I thought him to be.” Her hand shook. “He knows the child is not his and he wishes her gone. If he finds out who her father is, he’ll kill him too.”
      “And you?” Heather reached across the table to clasp Lilith’s hand.
      Lilith shook her head with a small smile. “He won’t hurt me.”
      Heather raised an eyebrow, unconvinced. A small expression that, for Lilith, was still like looking in a mirror. Lilith smiled, a small curl of her lips but it lit up her eyes.
      “Still so like each other,” she whispered. “I’ve missed you, Heather.”
      “I miss you every day”,” Heather smiled in reply. “Can he come here?” She gripped Lilith’s hand tighter.
      Lilith shook her head. “No. He doesn’t have the portal magic, I didn’t give him that. I’m the only one who can use it, and the only one who knows where you are.”
      Heather’s eyes widened as she took in the full impact of Lilith’s words. “Give him?” she repeated, hardly able to believe what she heard. “You gave him magic?”
      “Yes!” Lilith snapped, “and I was a fool to do it but it’s done now and I won’t undo it.” She pulled her hand free and wrapped her arms round herself, hands resting on the rounded swell of her pregnancy. “And I won’t give him my daughter.”
      Heather pushed back from the table, stunned at what she heard. She looked hard into Lilith’s face and saw pain, fear and regret edged in hard determination. “Your magic is weak.” It was barely spoken, barely heard but they both knew it to be true. Their mother had warned them both that pregnancy weakened them, lessened their power for a time, but that motherhood would strengthen. Heather had not yet had children of her own. Although she’d seen many births, none had been for women in her own family so she had no way of knowing if their mother’s warning had been based in truth. Until now. The proof sat across the table. Lilith’s magic was so thin that Heather wondered how she’d managed to focus the portal to reach her.
      “Are you hungry?” Heather asked, knowing that her own stomach was empty. “I was about to make some lunch.”
      Lilith chuckled. “These days I’m always hungry. This baby is very demanding.”
      “I wish Elder could be here.” Heather rose and pulled open her fridge to fetch bread, cheese and salad.
      “Me too.” Lilith came to stand beside her, buttering the bread as Heather sliced tomatoes. “I wish I could take you home and we could all be together for the birth. I wish he was the man I thought he was. I still wish you’d taken the title from Mother. But wishes won’t change this.”
Heather said nothing. She’d never liked Ametsam, always said there was a cruel side to him. But saying anything now would do no good. Her sister needed her and Heather would be there for Lilith. And then Lilith would leave her, again. Heather’s shoulders slumped. Accusations didn’t help, judgement did no good. Lilith would find her own way in her own time. Heather was as happy as she hoped for the most part, even if she missed parts of her old life.

* * * *

      As you can see, she is a very compelling author. All of her books yield the need to read more. I love them and I can’t get enough of them.

————————
Xarrok, by Catrina TaylorCatrina Taylor is a single mom of two, and a science fiction author. Her debut series is Birth of an Empire, a three part series that details how Xarrok came to be, and how the formation of an Empire based on a love brings an end to a war that has lasted more than a century. She released book one in December 2011 with two and three expected this summer and fall, respectively. She currently has two free books also available in the same universe.
Find her on Facebook, Xarrok on Facebook, at Xarrok.com or on Twitter: @theladywrites.
————————
      So who is your favorite author? Contemporary or classic? Can you not choose just one? If not, why not? My own post about the writer who influences me the most will be up soon and I’ll update the post with a link to it. Comment below, people, and show Catrina some love!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

[Editor's Note: My Guest Post is up at MasterKoda.com. Who Touched My Breast? by P.P..]

Stress, Strain, Straps & Sookie

Stress, Strain, Straps & Sookie

      Sookie may well be the worst name I have come across in television, movies or literature since… since… ever. Not the musical Japanese “Suki”. But Sookie. Like Book, or Look, or Cook. Cookie. But not Kooky.
      If it were a nickname, I might not object to its ugly sound and weird spelling as much. Or at all. But it is not (apparently, I make no claim to be an expert on the cannon). And the name bugs me.
      Why am I ranting about the name of a character whose author has made a helluva name for herself with a bunch of successful books and a super-popular premium cable TV series? No, its not because I’m a jealous b*tch.
      I mean, I sort of am. But that’s not why, not today.

Mmm.

Admit it, this is really all you’re looking at when he’s on screen…

      The subject of character names came up recently while I was having a discussion with a writer friend. I have another post in ‘draft’ status about that whole debate, but its not finished. Anyway, this topic came up and then *blink* Jack and I started watching True Blood. We are apparently very, very late to the party – I hear that season five (featuring Joe Manganiello’s abs) is returning or recently did return. I’m not sure which, I’m out of the loop.
      It was just fortuitous timing, I suppose. But I felt upon hearing “Bill” say her name, that I was totally justified in my insistence that names are powerful and important and can’t just be tossed around.
      Except for tertiary or throw-away characters. Or as part of some awesome promotional event. *wink*
      The name “Sookie” makes me crazy. I think I dislike the character even more than I would normally, were her name “Beth” or “Jenny” or “Amber” or “Quinivarisia”. She is supposed to be this beautiful (well, physically attractive enough to have three-to-five supernatural beings and any number or mortal men & women swooning after her) but quirky, creature of light. Yet the name is so heavy. So, hard. So grating. Sookie. Rhymes with Bookie. Why not Shelby Stackhouse, if alliteration was the goal? Shelby is a light name, isn’t it?
      Anyway. I promise to one day post my rant about names.
      Today, other than acting an excuse for posting Joe Manganiello’s abs for my lovely friend, Ellie Mack, the name Sookie is a catalyst for the real topic of today’s post.
      Stress (and strain, and feeling strapped).
      I am fortunate, as I mentioned previously, to work from home. And it is generally a blessing. But there are downsides. And one of those is that when I am stressed out, I don’t get to just close down the computer and leave the hellish workplace to retreat to the wonderful refuge of my home. My wonderful refuge is 6 inches from my hellish workplace! Its horrible. There is no commute home with the music blaring so I can head-bang and fist-pound all my frustrations out before I walk in the door. Instead, I’m already there.
      Poor Jack. He ends up having to take my daily trials and tribulations a lot more often than would be necessary if I left the house to work. Because he spends a lot of time at his computer, mere feet from where I am doing my day job, he is forced to endure hours of me making small talk with strangers while I fix their computers, repair documents, blah blah blah. And when something stressful happens (as has been the case every single freaking day this week), he is forced to listen to my (mute-button engaged, of course) tirades. My cursing. My wishes to quit this damn job and write full-time. And so on.
Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård)

Much, much more to my liking than “Vampire Bill”

      I didn’t realize how stressful my poor little day job really could be until I started working from home and no longer had my commute rituals to banish them. It puts a strain on our relationship, I think, and it makes me feel terrible. I would ADORE suggestions about how to diffuse the stress before ‘coming home’ to him. So if you have any ideas, please comment below.
      Worse still, my writing is suffering this week. I found myself slashing (BRUTALLY) some stuff that really just needed to be tweaked, not omitted. I know I was just letting my frustrations color my writing and that’s not good.
      Fortunately, I have found a temporary cure. The antidote to anger and helplessness and worry because you haven’t money to pay bills without the day job but you are pretty sure the day job is killing you… apparently, is True Blood (the show, not the uh ‘beverage’).
      Jack & I are both big horror fans. Vampire books & shows are generally our ‘genre’ – but we’re picky. We like old school (real) vampires. Not glittery emo romantic ones. Still, we’ve found plenty to enjoy about the show despite having many long discussions about all the things we would have done differently. And talking about writing with Jack made the day job stresses just fall away. I think there’s a vampire project in my future! Muahaha!
      But we’re already on Season 4, and gosh! Whatever will I do then? *sob*
      Well… I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

VBT: Don’t Be Like Yabba Dooba!

VBT: Don't Be Like Yabba Dooba!

      Aloha, friends! Welcome to Week Three of the Tasha Turner Coaching/MasterKoda VBT!
      This week’s scheduled guest is a fantastic, inspirational and frankly, totally bad-ass, writer whose book “Deaf Isn’t Dumb” is a memoir guaranteed to make you think twice about what it means to be different in a world that says one thing, but does another.
      Without further ado… Tara Chevrestt!

————————
Deaf Isn't Dumb, by Tara Chevrestt      For this post, I’m going to have myself a good rant…about bloggers. LOL. No, seriously. Before I became an author, I was a reviewer and a book blogger. When an author wanted to do an interview with me, I didn’t just throw a random questionnaire at them, but took the time to read their book and ask them questions based on it. I still do this.
      What majority of other bloggers do: throw a random questionnaire at me. And trust me, Mookie Dookie’s blog asks me the same questions as Yabba Dooba’s blog. I can just copy and paste my answers from one blog to the next. (And if anyone else asks me about my writing habits, I’m going to have a conniption.) When the time comes for me to post a link to the interview on Facebook, I wince. It’s no wonder people have quit reading my posts. It’s the same stuff over and over.
      I recently had an experience that made me just say, “No more blog interviews!” I gave my memoir, Deaf Isn’t Dumb, to a blogger in hopes they would ask me relevant questions. Take note of that title. Deaf Isn’t Dumb. I’m deaf.
      Guess what they asked me… Do you listen to music while you write?
      *head desk* You certainly read my book, didn’t you? LOL.
      And that ends my rant. Take care with your questionnaires. Authors like to feel that you are genuinely interested in them, and don’t “fake” reading books. But to answer the question I am sick to death of: No, I don’t listen to music while I write. Am I incapable? Not really. I can play music directly into my hearing aid, but trust me, it’s not easy; it takes all my concentration to hear and distinguish the few sounds (bass) that my eardrum can catch. Deaf isn’t dumb, but neither is Deaf jamming to tunes. LOL
      Find more about Deaf Isn’t Dumb here.
————————
Tara Chevrestt      Tara Chevrestt is a deaf woman, former aviation mechanic, writer, and an editor. She is most passionate about planes, motorcycles, dogs, and above all, reading. That led to her love of writing. Between her writing and her editing, which allows her to be home with her little canine kids, she believes she has the greatest job in the world. She is very happily married.
      Tara also writes as Sonia Hightower. Sonia writes the racy stuff and argues that she was here first. She just wasn’t allowed to be unleashed until the last year.
      While Tara and Sonia continue to fight over the laptop and debate who writes the next book, you can find buy links, blurbs, and other fun bits on their website or their Facebook page.

Inconceivable

Inconceivable

      To my darling H.P. …
——————
      Once upon a time, a quartet of children, bundled up in varying degrees of poofy winter gear, went out to play in the snow. They numbered four and were of mixed sexes; three little girls and one little boy. The rural countryside was still and white and crisp; their breath was wispy, dancing smoke in the air. Arms laden with toys, the children marched across the yard, the gravel road (which was grey and sludgey and not at all beautiful like the rest of the virgin winter wonderland), and up a short incline. There, they sat beside the railroad tracks and began to play.
      If I recall, Cynthia and Whitney had a fight with Ken and Cliff and Alyssa, but they all made up and danced in the snow together.
      The storyline wasn’t exactly memorable, but the experience was.
      Playing Barbies in the snow with my kid sister and two of our cousins is one of my most cherished memories of childhood. We played Barbies in the snow, in the sun, in the rain. They had carnivals in the attic and went on a roadtrip across the back porch in the big pink off-brand doll-sized van my sister got for her birthday one year. Telling stories, no matter how silly or inconsequential, was important to my cousin and I, even then.
      Yes, we played Barbies together, you and I. And that turned into inventing whole casts of characters to tell stories about as we grew. BHG forever. Pen pals through-out the tumultuous teenage years; your letters the bright spots in mostly mundane life. I still dream of that time you and I sat discussing your novel to the exquisite, tinkling Thousand Golden Bells. How excited I was to receive an extra-fat envelope with your loopy handwriting on it because that meant there was either a really long letter or printed-out pages of your story.
      A dark period came when we did not write or talk very much. You had graduated and were busy living life and discovering yourself; I was still in school and wrapped up in the characters that lived in my head. Getting them out and on paper was more pressing than writing letters, I suppose. I missed you then.
      Graduation came and through circumstances that at the time seemed like my world crumbling around me but which, in retrospect, were certainly Fate shining her lovely influence upon my path, I came to live with you. How did I phrase it? I have come to roost in this farmhouse; it is a shrine to my gay cousin’s bachelorhood. Something like that. All I recall is that at the time I thought was terribly poetic.
      I was afraid I could never fit in to your new, cosmopolitan (yes, even in [redacted] you seemed so sophisticated and worldly) life with your wild and exotic new friends.
      Maybe I never did fit in, exactly, but I treasure that time as some of the best in my life.
      We were roommates for awhile and we shared more stories in those months than I can count; Posie, Leah, Edea. And afterward, no matter where our paths lead us, we still had the interwebs to communicate and so we always had each other. I could not even begin to recount the memories we share, the collaborations we wrote, the laughs we laughed, the sugarlard we consumed.
      You are my bestie and my sistie. We’re connected despite the distance.
      More than roommates. More than cousins. More than friends.
      Soulmates.
      Platonic (mostly) soulmates.

You might think it strange, but I know that you can fly.
I know you don’t believe, but there’s Heaven in your eyes.
And when you think you’re not enough, just know that I do.
Even though its inconceivable to you.

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

Cousins by blood, friends by choice.

Cousins by blood, friends by choice.

P.S. Happy Birthday H.P. ~ I love you.

P.P.S. Lyrics by Leah Andreone. If you don’t know her – go out and listen to the two albums we loved and listened to: “Veiled” and “Alchemy”.

P.P.P.S. Image below by Alko from StockXchng. Quote by Darlene Shaw. Fonts are “Al Kisah”, “KG Love You Through It” and “Architect’s Daughter”.

The Top 12 Reasons for This Crappy Post’s Existence

The Top 12 Reasons for This Crappy Post's Existence

      Today has been one of those days.
      Its only noon-thirty.
      That does NOT bode well for the rest of the day. And yes, I did in fact just use the term ‘noon thirty’ with a straight face. I like it. Don’t judge me!
      So, without any further ado, I present unto you … a list.
      This may well be the first list on PP.net. Well, the first list-post, anyway. Maybe. I’d have to check. And since I don’t have time to shower, I certainly don’t have time for that kind of research. So.
      Here are the top twelve reasons why I do not have a new post today.

  1. Slept in until 6:07 a.m. Work starts at 7 a.m. You do the math.
  2. Editing Incandescence. Half-way done. Broke the mental block and am kicking its @$$.
  3. Writing posts for the VBT – just to keep up with the schedule.
  4. Work. Usually, the first hour is slow. Today, it was insanity.
  5. Doctor appointments. Jack and I are running medical errands all afternoon.
  6. Camp NaNoWriMo. I am 10k words behind already.
  7. PB: The Legend of Mim. I am 5 days overdue on Installment number two.
  8. Fizzy Water. I’m out of the caffeine-free, sugar-free, carbonated water that keeps me going.
  9. Jogging. Last night I jogged three short sections of our nightly circuit. I’m sore.
  10. Creativity. I don’t gots it.
  11. Proper Grammar. Apparently ^^^ I don’t HAVE it either.
  12. Jack. LoTRO. Facebook. Life. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.