Monday, October 21, 2013

Music Monday! Paramore - Still in to you

I'm taking the teenager to her first official concert. She was amazed that I actually like this group. I had to ask if she thought the music fairy automatically delivered it to her I-Pod. :)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The trouble with raising a teenage girl!

Now that she's 14. 
It has hit me.
HARD
I have to teach her about dating.
No
She's not dating, yet.
But I have to be prepared.
AND
I haven't dated in years.
Guess what?
After a ton of research, most of it is the same.
Thank God!
But, the methods have changed. 
for example: How long should you wait to return a text?
and
When should you answer?
All the game playing that I never had time for.
and 
I do have to take into account her personality versus mine. 
Please Lord can I have until she's 18?

updated 9/25/13 12:56pm

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

All things in one!

With everything that happened on Monday I decided to maintain Radio silence on the blog. It's short and sweet today. I said this to someone this morning. I think everyone needs to hear it for a variety of reasons:


"Stop beating up on yourself. To many other People are doing that to you already. Time to stand up for yourself. If you don't do it who will?"

And now a little something from Grace Potter and the Nocturnals:

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My Never Ending Quest.

I have very few photos of the man and I together, even fewer that I can actually show other people, because he's a ham. I'm not joking.


 Our youngest comes by it naturally I tell ya.



Now do you see what I'm talking about?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Guest Blog- Shelley Overton, Artist.





In the many years since I have been an artist, my number one comment is “I can’t draw a stick figure”. This inspired me to create a painting based on that idea. My first memory of art was coloring and drawing at age 7. Over my elementary and middle school education, I always took art. I couldn’t get enough of it, but alas, my mother was not as big a fan of my creativity. She was, and is, a bit of a clean freak, and was always concerned about the mess. So growing up as a repressed artist, when it came time for me to decide on my life’s path, or at least education, I chose to attend a trade school, and earned an AS in Commercial Art.

This was a wonderful experience, since I not only was around my own kind, I was learning art every day, and learning something that could earn me a living. After I graduated, I hesitate to tell you how long ago, but suffice it to say Madonna was breaking in on the scene, my family moved to Denver, close to where I was born and I began to freelance in graphic art. Fortunately, I met a designer friend who was ultimately moving away, and agreed to give me some of her clients if I got a computer (read Mac) and Pagemaker, the state-of-the-art desktop publishing program at the time. My Mac had a screen about 10” across, and was in black and white. I started picking up menu jobs, and logo jobs, my favorite.

As far as fine art went, I would paint in my parent’s basement. I created a poster scene of downtown Denver which I later printed and sold in stores. During the next years, I joined a group in Denver called the Open Press. It was amazing, since I could use their monotype printing machines and produce art prints myself. I, again, met my peeps. I made some nice friends and joined their art exhibits.

As a professional graphic designer, I had hit a wall. Ultimately, I wanted more education and went back to college and got my BA in Communications and Oral Theatre at the University of Colorado at Denver. Later, I went to work for Twins Magazine as a marketing coordinator, and the Denver Rocky Mountain News as a graphic designer. I worked with Celestial Seasonings on their packaging design and even Ernst & Young LLP in marketing. All the while, I would continue to paint.

My painting career ran parallel to my “real job” career. I would use any opportunity to show my work, having a solo exhibit in restaurants, and even the exhibit cases at the newspaper building. I would design products, and tested a couple, selling a good amount of “Caroma” car potpourri at convenience stores. The entrepreneurial spirit was gaining a foothold.

In 1995 I met my future husband, and got married. We had a son, and my creative side became geared more towards crayons, until we had our daughter in 2001. We moved from Denver to Knoxville, Tennessee and I experimented with a mural in my bedroom.   and onto the ceiling, and birdies flying in the dining room. It was amazing, and FUN. But my wandering ways were to take us to Orlando, and closer to my newly retired parents. Once settled in our new home, though, murals were good pay, interesting, and a way for me to stay at home. I, also, started entering area shows and festivals. I’ve shown at the Lake Eola Festival, Artistree Co-op Show and  the Earth Day celebration. I had my bio written up in the local East Orlando paper, and got my art published in a tabletop book called Contemporary Artists. (Click here for link).
The colors were garish, even by my standards, but a neighbor thought I could enhance her home and asked me to do murals, not just one, but the whole downstairs. I painted archway veggie sprays and faux fireplace moulding, a tree which wrapped around a wall

Two thousand eight hit everyone hard, and I was no exception. I divorced, but stayed in close proximity to my ex-spouse, for the kids. My interests in the spiritual side of life expanded, and in an effort to add to my income, I took a job at Sea World doing pastel portraits. This was an amazing job. I loved going in and connecting to tourists from all over the world. I had actually gotten the job by running into a co-worker from the Rocky Mountain News whom I’d worked with in Denver.enjoyed the moments. Not that I hadn’t before, but this was just for me, for play, no bettering my art, just going back to the basics.
Kismet was on my side. permission to play. Until then, 2009, I was pretty focused on getting to be a better traditional artist. I always stood close to fine art at galleries and museums, picking apart technique, and observing methods. Now, I actually drew cartoony characters and doodles. I
I created a new, youthful, group of artist friends who opened up my art world in Orlando. After the portrait job ran its course, I went over to Café Tutu Tango on International Drive, where they have live painters and artists creating every day in 3 shifts. I was able to do any art I liked, and ended up developing my Birdys series. This led to me giving myself

A funny thing happened in those years, I linked into my inner child like I never had before, and out came fun, fantastical, whimsical art that everyone loved. My mother had always told me, “everyone has their own tastes”. But I don’t remember the last time someone said anything negative about my art. During this same time, I got involved in a popular pastime which took off, beading. I would sit in my driveway watching my kids playing, and bead earrings. I was having so much fun and joy creating bright, whimsical, childlike art and crafts, I just kept moving forward.

In 2012, I combined my spiritual side, astrology, Reiki and feng shui interests with art and started Artful Energies. Soon enough, it was apparent that I needed separate the two for effectiveness. This year, in July, CharmHollow.com was born. Charm Hollow is my web site which effectively combines my fine art, serious side, and my irreverent, cartoony side. It allows me to present the plethora of art and items I have to sell, (just ask anyone who has been to my home/gallery!) with the child-loving side of my personality. Charm is a sweet little bunny I drew one day in 2012. She has called to me, inspired me to create this site, and move forward with my dreams. I am, and will be, creating friends for Charm. They will be making appearances in the Hollow, and eventually a book.

In the meantime, I am SO excited to give Charm and Charm Hollow to the world. She keeps me focused and motivated. So, today, I am neck deep in online promotion in a new world of search engine optimizations and social media marketing. Learning as I go, the Mac is still my friend, along with artists, birds and bunnies.  I hope you will take a look at my labor of love.

Shelley Overton

You can contact Shelley via email at: biz@artfulenergies.com or at 321-285-2335

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

August Update

I came back from RWA13 raring and ready to go. 
My very lovely friend Jodi Vaughn and I at one of the many book signings

Alas I was laid low by the dentist. So when all looked like it was full speed ahead. Yes I tried writing while on painkillers. It honestly it looked like this:

Couldn't find the artist name to credit this back to. Though I've used this before.
During the course writing this and whining about the dentist I came upon this post from September, 2012. It serves as a reminder to keep and eye on my prize. And to take things one day at a time. Which means unfortunately I'll be Self publishing my book in early September versus late August.



My next stop will be Norcross, Georgia. This time I'll be presenting my Goal Setting Workshop at Moonlight & Magnolias. I'm supper excited and nervous. Which reminds me I have to see if I'm allowed to sign at the Book signing. Life is going by fast. Just when I thought I was used to having a 13 year old, she'll be turning 14 and the little one will be 8. Birthday cake time again.



Hope you're having a wonderful day, month, year, life!



Monday, July 29, 2013

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Guest Post- Latessa Montgomery



 Everybody please help me welcome my friend and author Latessa Montgomery to the blog. I first met Latessa at the Georgia Romance Writers, Moonlight and Magnolia's Conference and we've been friends ever since. One of the benefits of being a part of RWA is the life long friendships that occur. And after RWA I feel like we need to carry on the inspiration and Latessa is just the person to do it. 


My road to publication

When I decided to try my hand at writing a novel back in 2008, my Grand Master Publication Plan (GMPP) included the following:
1.    Write the next biggest thing to hit the literary airwaves since Harry Potter within 5 sessions at the keyboard.
2.    Send said literary masterpiece to the Big 6 and instantly start a 6 way bidding war.
3.    Receive my fantabulous book with a hot cover full of awesomesauce.
4.    NY Best Seller status within one week of release.
5.    Book tours and television appearances (Hi Oprah and Dave Letterman).

In that order and within four months.

Did I mention, I was slightly delusional in 2008? J

In reality, my road to publication wasn’t nearly so short, succinct, or roadblock free. During my initial delusion, erm… I planning, I failed to take into account the abject lack of knowledge I had about crafting and selling commercial fiction.  I failed to account for how my OCD and Anal Retentive tendencies would impact my creative and productive process (**cough** spent six months writing a seven page prologue **cough**). And I failed to account for just how tough it can be to write with 3 little ones run around, and demanding things like being fed, bathed, and otherwise cared for.

I took a couple of years and soaked up as much as I could.  I took online workshops, joined several author groups and writing organizations, and attended conferences.  During this time, I learned the craft of writing and the importance of being disciplined.  Then over the next few years ,I continued to write my manuscripts (crappy drafts, storylines, and all), met a hosts of talented writers of all walks, and most importantly I learned to respect my process and gained confidence in my writing.

Five years later, after the utter failure of my GMPP, I’d still not sold any full length novels, inspired no bidding wars, and still not heard from Oprah or Dave.  But,  what I did have was exposure to the ever-evolving publishing industry.  And through this exposure, an editor of an independent press saw a few pieces on my website and invited to be a part of a short story anthology.  I jumped at the opportunity and now I stand before you (in the virtual sense) as a published author.

No, I didn’t arrive at this destination in the way I’d planned, grand delusions and all, but I am here. La-Tessa Montgomery, author, workshop facilitator, and 2013 Debut Author of the Year nominee.  The moral of this story is:
A plan is necessary if you wish to attain a goal.  However, said plan should actually be obtainable and contain the least amount of delusion possible J

My debut release, “Found Rhythm”, is now available in the short story collection Seven Dress Sizes.  This collection takes you into the lives of seven different modern women.  All struggling, in a full scope of shapes and sizes, to find the key to unlocking self worth, acceptance of their personal beauty, and natural confidence.
My story features Isa Taylor, a size 7 chef who struggles with societal expectations that she’s the perfect size and shape, and her cultural expectations that say she’s not.  Here’s a snippet:

Justin turned Isa so that she faced the mirrors. “I’m a man, and let me just say… You are indeed sexy.”  He wiped the tears she didn’t even know were streaming down her cheeks.  “What’s not to find sexy?  You’re a successful chef with her own restaurant.  You put yourself through culinary school, studied your ass off, and rose to the top of your class.  You won Rising Star Chef of the Year honors from the James Beard Foundation.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know… But that’s just it, I know I’m good at what I do, but that doesn’t make me sexy.  So what, I’m accomplished.  The only thing that attracts is other cooks and people after my money. I’m made up like a boy, I don’t have the all the curves and junk in the trunk men like.”
“Sexy is in the eye of the beholder, Isa.  There is nothing you, or anyone, can do to change that.  If I say you’re sexy, and all the woman any man needs, then who are you tell me I’m wrong.  And until you realize that, Isa, you’ll never get beyond the doubts and insecurities that stifle you.”
            He ran the back of his finger down her cheek, drawing her attention back to her reflection. “Look, a flawless complexion.  You’ve got skin like silk,  perfect white teeth, and a smile that can make a man feel like you’re his only reason for being… for breathing.  And look at your body.”
He hands drew attention to her hips and thighs. She fidgeted, not comfortable with this self-appraisal, especially with Justin being the one leading the perusal.  Fire spread from where he touched her, going straight to her groin. “You have all the curves a man will ever need.  And if anyone says otherwise, they’re crazy and not worth your time.” 
His last words were whispered in her ear.  She turned, searched his eyes for the truth.  It wasn’t long before his full, soft lips claimed hers, silencing all thoughts but those of the carnal nature. When he released her, they both pulled in a lungful of much needed air. 
“Damn,” she whispered.
“Damn is right,” he agreed.


If you’d like to learn a bit more about La-Tessa, she can be found around the internet at the following:
Twitter: LaTessa25


Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday, July 8, 2013

Music Monday! Carnival Monday

My cousins have been posting photos from Vincy Mas 2013 for those of you who don't know it's Carnival. So I'm feeling the need to be in a costume, jumping in a band, with a drink in my hand surrounded by my party animal relatives and friends. So I give you a taste of Soca for this Monday:

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Guest Blog- Anjali Enjeti- Ask Me About My Writing



In October of last year I attended Moonlight and Magnolias in Atlanta. Every year the Georgia Romance Writers put on the biggest little writing conference in the  south (my words not theirs) and every year I come away having learned something and having met someone or several someones who make an impression on me. 

As fate would have it, I once again met an interesting individual. She immediately came to mind when I began looking around for one of the twelve guest to feature on my blog.  Funny enough after I received her blog post I had to laugh out loud because everything that she describes below I have experienced in some way shape or form. Please join me in welcoming Anjali Enjeti to the blog:

Ask Me About My Writing

I’ve been writing for eleven years now. And while I’ve had some success, it’s safe to say that 99% of what I’ve written hasn’t gotten published. OK, maybe 99% is a little high. Let’s settle on 95%.

My fifth book and first novel has been on submission for six months. (My first book was a memoir, the second an anthology, the third and fourth were picture books.) Going on submission is a scary process, made only scarier by the fact that one of my books, which I would have bet my life would sell-- didn’t sell. 

It’s a lot of hard work—not getting published. And when you’re buried in rejection letters, there’s the added stress of wondering whether you’ll ever succeed-- whether your blood, sweat and tears will ever amount to anything.

I know many published writers whose books take up an entire shelf at the local bookstore. At books signings and speaking engagements, they complain about upcoming deadlines from their editors, their worldly travels to promote their published books, their rapidly declining advances. They bemoan their lack of sleep, interrupted and shortened because of their busy writing careers.

Successfully published writers seem to forget that we, unpublished authors, are also exhausted and overworked with our writing. No, we don’t have the advance or marked-up editorial letter to show for it. Hell, we still can’t find an agent. But we, too, make enormous sacrifices in order to write. Because we, unpublished authors, are working just as hard to get published as published writers.

We also struggle with self-esteem, depression, and anxiety. We have to wait until the kids are asleep before we can get a significant amount of writing done. We come home cranky and spent (from our other jobs, which actually pay the bills), and somehow must muster whatever creativity reserves we have left to write engaging prose and scintillating poetry.

Recently, I went out to lunch with a wildly successful, best-selling author. Over grilled cheese and lemonade, she peppered me with questions about my own writing, my agent search, and my publishing history. She nodded when I confessed that I didn’t know whether it was worth it anymore—this writing life.

Here she was, living the dream: a big-time author, traveling the country to speak to reading and writing groups, researching her next novel in Europe, and selling foreign rights to countries I’ve never even heard of—and she couldn’t have acted more interested in my own, humble, and fledgling publishing career.

I left the lunch feeling validated. Reborn. For she had taken the time to listen not only to my (numerous) tales of woe, but also to reveal her own, very discouraging start in publishing. And by doing so, she pulled me from the pit of rejection-despair, and restored the fire in my belly for writing and submitting that had nearly gone out.


So if you are a published author, and you find me standing in line, waiting for you to sign my copy of your book, do me a favor: Remember what it was like to be on this side of the process. Take a moment to look me in my weary eyes.

And ask me about my writing.




Anjali Enjeti, a graduate of Duke University and Washington University School of Law, is currently an MFA candidate in Creative Writing (Fiction) at Queens University in Charlotte. She writes for ArtsATL, the premiere arts criticism website for the Atlanta area. A Hambidge Center fellow, she serves as Co-Vice President of Programming for the Atlanta Writers Club, a 100 year-old organization with over seven hundred members. She is also a member of the Georgia Romance Writers. Her essays, articles and fiction can be found on her website, anjalienjeti.com.