For a Friend

Another lifetime ago, I was a Marine.  I know they say once a Marine, always a Marine but as the years increase between my time in and now it becomes harder to still feel like one.  The one thing that hasn’t changed is that I still talk to may of the people I served with.

Yesterday I got a message from one of my friends from my last duty station.  She has been a long time supporter of my writing career and a constant cheerleader and critic.  Like so many veterans, she suffers from PTSD.  She deals with it by helping other service members work through theirs.  This girl is amazing and is a source of inspiration.

Any who, she asked me to ghost write her story for her.  And I instantly said yes.  I mean how could I say no.  I’m a little nervous because I’ve never done anything like this before but she has the utmost faith and all I can do is try.  She said I was her first choice when the idea came to her.

Now I can help the person who has helped so many learn to live with or defeat their demons.  Let’s go Team Liz!!!!

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My Center

If you haven’t seen Rise of the Guardians, you should.  Not only is it a cute animated movie about childhood, it has some pretty good messages.  One of the themes revolves around Jack Frost as he tries to figure out what his center is, the reason why the moon choose him to become a Guardian.  Most people spend their entire lives looking for the one thing that makes them who they are.  There are a lot of things that make up a person but their center is what pulls all others towards it.

For me, I believe it’s writing.  When I’m in front of my computer or scrawling ideas down in my ratty notebook, I feel the surest in my skin.  Writing is creating.  Writing is teaching.  Writing is giving comfort to those who need it.  I can’t imagine not doing it and I can’t live without it.

Bookaholic

Hello, my name is Kristen and I am addicted to books and I don’t want any help.  Honestly, I don’t know where I would be without books.  They have been the one constant in my life for as long as I can remember.  I don’t even remember learning how to read.  One of my first memories is me picking up a book and reading it.  I can’t tell you what it was about, but I remember reading it.  I have swam with dolphins and walked the ancient streets of Egypt.  I have learned magic and fought against monsters.  I earned a knighthood and found love.  I learned new words and learned to see the world with new eyes.  I love books more than I can possibly say, that’s probably why I became an author.  I want to be part of that wonderful world.  So here’s to you all my fellow bibliophiles!  My our to read piles never be complete!

What May Come

As an author, there’s nothing I love more than to create new, fantastic worlds from nothing.  Well, almost nothing, most of stories in the world came from a tiny seed of thought.  Whether it’s a scene playing out like a movie in your head (me) or just something that comes pouring out of you while your doing something else (also me), these ideas implant themselves into your mind and with careful nurturing, become the stories that we all know and love.

But that’s only one way.

The other way is not as pleasant.  Some seeds implant but never sprout for one reason or another.  Sometimes the only way to get them to do anything is through a complete and vicious destruction of everything around it.  Now I know some people may balk at this idea but it’s the truth.  Take was the ever talented Ms. Rowling said in her video here.

So plant your seeds whenever you can, in the best conditions and in the worst.  You never know just what will become of them.

Silver Lining

As an aspiring author, especially a self published one, finding the way to get our book(s) in to the hands of readers is a challenge.  I look at New York Times best sellers and #1 indie author’s and wonder just how in the world they manage to pull it off.  I mean which god did they sacrifice to in order to get their books into enough people’s hands that they climbed to the top of one of the hardest ladders to climb?

There is a point to this rant I promise.

As I near completion of my third book Time of Prophecy which is also the last book in the Lost Guardian series, I’m wracking my brain over how to generate more interest in my novels.  Well I delved into the trusty internet in search of an answer.  Now, I’ve always wanted to be a brick and mortar author not really a digital author, like I am now.  So I found a sweet local book store that prided themselves on supporting indie authors.  If I lived in a cartoon world, my eyes would have turned into hearts.  Sadly, it was not to be.  But hey, rejection is an unfortunate aspect of this industry.

I went home and cried for a bit.  I’m not going to lie.  However, I refuse to give in.  Plus it wasn’t like they didn’t want to help.  They just didn’t like the venue that I use to publish my books.  They can’t make money off it, I get it, they have to run a business too.  They told me about some other companies I could use and they said that if I choose to use them then they would love to carry my novels.

Silver lining people.  Perhaps it’s time to change up game and follow the advice of Miss Talyor Swift and shake it off!  Later people!

Where’s My Magic Carpet?

For as long as I can remember, there has been this thirst in me to see the world and all its wonders.  I’m not just talking about the ancient structures or the typical tourist things (not that there’s anything wrong with them) but the colorful tapestry that is mankind.  I love experiencing different cultures and learning how they see the world and their place in the universe.  And honestly, I think that’s where we are failing.  I see it on the news and hear it in passing conversations.  There’s too much talk about “them” and not enough about “us”.  No matter where or how you grew up our drives are all the same.  We want a good like for our family and our people.  Ok time for me to get off my soap box.

The main reason why I wanted to post today was because the travel bug has attacked me with a vengeance.  Just recently, my husband’s babushka came to visit all the way from Uzbekistan.  Now for those of you who do not know, Uzbek used to be part of Soviet Russia, so his grandma considers herself Russian.

Any who.

I felt bad not being able to talk to her because I don’t speak Russian and she doesn’t speak English.  Thank goodness for Google Translate.  It may not be 100% correct, but we were able to carry on a small conversation.  By the end of the visit my husband once again broached the subject of getting our passports.  We always talk about getting them but never do anything further (a bad habit of ours) but now, I think, we might finally do it.  There are too many places that I want to see in this world.  Too many things that I want to do and too many new flavors I want to savor.  It’s time and past for me to get a passport, pack my bags, and live like the gypsy that I was always meant to be.

Here’s where I want to go:

Drink a pint in Ireland.

Ride a horse through the Scottish highlands

Marvel at the ruins of Ancient Rome

Sail along the Mediterranean Sea

Be in the Red Square while it snows

Visiting the temples in China

See Mt Everest (I’m not crazy enough to climb it)

Walk where the Pharaohs once walked

Dine on top of the Eiffel Tower

See Stonehenge

That’s not everything but just a small list of the places I want to go to some day.

Until next time my people!