25 April 2012

The Third Fate Blog Tour!

Happy Wednesday, fellow ROW80 friends!  It's mid-week check-in...

Exciting news!  At least for this author :}  The Third Fate's book tour!

NADJA NOTARIANI: Author of The Third Fate,
Tour April 29th through May 12th

~ 'One Fate be granted mortal man, used for evil or good as the inner voice directs. Alas, the divine spark draws the eyes of the Fates, the Second Fate sparingly gifted by their hands. Be warned offspring of the gods; guard your gifting well. For if the Third Fate be unleashed, the soul lays bare before one so touched by the gods.' ~

Cautious and quiet by nature, Paige Kinnell watches life unfold from the sidelines, maintaining her simple existence as a shield to hide behind. But underneath her shy, careful ways, Paige senses a disconnect with the world around her, indulging instead her ever curious interest in the legend and lore of time nearly forgotten.

One chance encounter with an ancient of the undead begins an unraveling of reality as Paige knows it, leaving her to sort through dreams and enchantments, discovering along the way that one's Fate can be mere illusion, and that the consequences of opening her heart to another may cost dearly.

Cael Maccinnis, the handsome Highlander she's met, seems the answer to every unspoken longing of her heart, even as he awakens dark, secret desires buried within her soul. As strange and unnerving changes begin occurring in her mind and body, Paige has no choice but to face her life's unnatural turn and confront the frightening implications. For within Paige's past a secret lay dormant, hidden even from her. This truth, guarded well and wielded by the Fates themselves, becomes the catalyst invoking the power of The Third Fate.

I'm bubbling over!  There will be chances to win a copy of The Third Fate, so stop by and visit at one or more of my stops.  I'd love to see you there. 

On the Writing Front...

Things are swimming along, with nearly a chapter completed in my newest baby!  This story is shaping up to be great fun to write, and my fingers are crossed it remains so...really.  Ha!  The hero and heroine I've created using this wonderful character profile packet (find it here ) promise to spark tension galore as they assess one another and attempt to figure out who they are in relation to one another.  It may seem a bit much the first time you complete it, but I've found it adds so much depth to my characters as I write.  I love it.

My goal, tentatively, is a chapter a week now that the writing is underway.  A great deal of story is crammed into these chapters, so I'll evaluate after the first two chapters for length issues.  I've outlined sixteen chapters, I believe, so this puts me on track to finish in roughly four and a half months (I'm also allowing for a two week summer vacation).  Late September.  Allowing a month for edits and beta reads, the end of October is the publishing goal I'm aiming for. 

Well....Make Hay While The Sun Shines, they always say.  I'm off to make some right now.  Happy writing!

 ~ Nadja

22 April 2012

Lighten Your Heart...Have A Laugh

Sunday is upon us again, fellow ROW80 writers.  Measure up your progress and check in.  Are you claiming, 'Nailed it!', or 'Aww, Nuts!'?  Either way, take a few minutes to laugh and learn.  Lighten your heart - it'll make the upcoming week look even brighter!

To kick-up that sparkle of mirth in your eye, stop by Jenny Hansen's Cowbell and giggle your way through her A-Z Challenge entry, 'Q Is For A Quick Giggle ~ A Visit With Sister Myotis (of Christian Panties Fame).  What a hoot.

Since we're on the subject of nuns, I had to share 'Late Night Catechism' with Sister Maripat Donovon.  Hysterical. (And there's a bit about thongs in it, too!)  Sister Myotis and Maripat are kindred spirits.


Here's Sister Maripat now...Enjoy!

The lovely Em ~ Loves To Read, Wants To Write tagged me with Seven Facts Award.  Below I attempt to reveal seven things about myself that won't bore you to tears. 

1)  I'm a Virgo.  I'm not sure what that means...but I am one.  Ha!

2)  Cooking brings me joy.  I'm seriously addicted to Food Network.  My favorite chefs are Melissa D'Arabian, Giada, Rachael Ray, and Ann Burrell.  I watch constantly and try at least two recipes a week.  Because of my well known love for cooking, my dad had a new butcher block cutting board custom made for me - it's 18" x 20" approx in size!  This thing is huge...and I ♥ it. 

3)  For all that love of cooking, I'm the worst pastry chef alive.  Pie crust and I don't get along.  

4)  An unreasonable fear of doctors holds me in its terrible grip.  I absolutely will not go to one unless something very, very serious is wrong with me...and even then, I attempt to 'cure-myself' first.  My husband is a nurse, so this irritates him to no end!  I even cauterized my own mole rather than to let a doctor loose on my person.  My hubby nearly had apoplexy.  He threatened me with infection and all sorts of dire predictions of treating myself in such a fashion.  But...all was well, re-enforcing my awful behavior and attitude.  If you ever hear a strange account on the morning news show about a woman treating herself that ends in a bad way...it's sure to be me.  My son, laughing, says it reminds him of this clip... Jeepers! 

5)  I hardly ever answer my phone to the chagrin of my friends and family.  I don't carry it around with me and rarely hear it when it rings.  This is another of my habits that drives my hubby crazy.

6)  My favorite workout is the 'Death By _______' (add your exercise - say squats, sit-ups, push-ups, tuck jumps, overhead presses...whatever) workout.  Why?  Because it pushes me to my boundaries in 20 minutes or less.  Usually less...lol.  Here's how for any interested.  Have a clock nearby that you can easily see.  Each minute is a round.  Minute one - do one of your chosen exercise.  Rest for the remainder of the minute. 
Minute two - do two of your chosen exercise.  Rest for the remainder of the minute. 
Continue anew each minute, adding one more to your goal each round. 
Earlier this week, I completed 13 rounds (minutes) for a total of 91 push-ups.  Awesome.  :)

7)  I don't like to wear shoes; and if I could get away with it, I'd go barefoot all the time.  During summer months, I have sandals that I wear when I must leave the house...and no full shoes cover my toes until it gets too cold for me to stand it.  Shoes are not allowed in my house....at all!  I become VERY upset when my boys tramp inside with their sneakers.  'I forgot....', they attempt to appease me.  No dice. 

As for writing.....

I will begin writing today or tomorrow. (I'm having company for dinner today and don't know how exhausted I'll be later...ha!)  Character profiles are complete.  Chapters are outlined.  Notebook is numbered.  I'm ready.  :}

Have a great week, everyone!        

18 April 2012

A Difference Of Gender

It's all about the differences between men and women today...  Thanks to ROW80 author, Raelyn! 

Man Up: Writing The Male POV, a great post by Roni Loren, romance author, had me laughing out loud.  Truth can be funnier than fiction, and Roni pegs the male psyche with hilarious accuracy. 

Writers In The Storm featured Rob Preece's insights in, Women Are From Venus - Men Are Annoying.  This is a good post to read if gearing up to write your hero's perspective as well as how to create conflict between your hero and heroine.  Preece's thoughts and discussion prompted me to write down a few of his keen observations to utilize in my next story.  What a great find!

Now, for a look at female characters....

Marcy Kennedy defines  What Do We Mean By Strong Female Characters in this first post in her series.  She goes on later to talk about How To Keep Strong Female Characters Likable and concludes with What About Characters Who Don't Match Stereotypical Male And Female Qualities.  I enjoyed this series quite a bit.  I'm passing it on ...

On The Writing Front...

Both my hero and heroine's character profile packets are completed!  I'm profiling my supporting characters (albeit on a smaller scale than my hero and heroine), shaping up my outline, and organizing my chapters.  That should fill up the rest of this week - then, the writing can commence!

        I'm sort of channeling a Matthew Goode vibe for my hero.  He's got that little hint of 'devil-in-his-eye' that my hero must possess.  It's working for me at this point.  Ha!

My heroine...well, I can't say I have anyone in mind just yet that reminds me of the woman I'm creating. 

Update on the wrestling front...

Here's some of the swag given out at the banquet!  That monstrosity my son is holding is his Four-Year-Iron-Man!  I thought he was getting his two year Iron Man, but they count Jr. High in the mix, enabling wrestlers to earn a six year Iron Man - which is called the Ted Prisco Award.  My son is the only sophomore still in the running.  There is one junior who received his five year Iron Man at the banquet, so he will be eligible next year for that rarely given award.  Awesome! 

I was impressed with the young men at the banquet.  Four wrestlers on the team had a 4.0 GPA!  That's amazing.  Our school is sending seven wrestlers to the All-Academic-District, All-Academic-Region teams.  It's a large percentage based on the fact that there are over 20 teams in our district alone.  I thought that even my friends in the writing community would appreciate these numbers.  It heartens me to see student athletes achieving in the classroom as well as in the gym. Anyway...another year down!  While I'm super proud, I am not sorry for the break :}  Wrestling season is exhilarating, exciting, nerve-wracking, and intense.  It's also exhausting.  I'll be ready for next season, as will my son.  For now...he's eating until his little heart is content, camping, fishing, going to the movies, and prestige-ing on his game....you know...all the things that he has no time for during wrestling season. 

 ~ Nadja

15 April 2012

The 'Sting' of Inspriation...

Hi, all!  It's time for another ROW80 check-in.  It's been a great week for me.  Busily working away on my next storyline and history lessons, I was stopped in my tracks.  An entire story took shape in the passing of a few minutes and some lovely lyrics.  Below I explain...

Here are a few neat sites to satisfy all the Hunger Games fans.  I sure enjoyed...
Saturday Night Live's Version of a Hunger Games Report is hysterical! 

What's your Hunger Games name?  Find out Here!  Mine is Orchid Redpath!  Ha! 

I've been busily plotting and planning away on Shiny, New Idea.  It's a historical, but not the original story I had mentioned. (That project is roughed out and characters defined.  Nothing further.)  Listening to music while driving along, I envisioned a love story, the music and lyrics working together to imprint it's feeling upon me!  I'm running with it.  Here's the song that inspired the entire story....it's an old favorite by Sting and The Police re-discovered when I changed the Cd's in my jeep.  Lovely...

My storyline is detailed in a three page summary and my hero and heroine's character profile packets are flowing out wonderfully. Funny when and where inspiration will strike...
I hope to be writing the story in less than two weeks.  Thanks, Sting!   

What has inspired you this week?  A song?  A story?  A scene you watched unfold?

Fellow ROW80 writer, Juliana Haygert is talking about the same question at her blog this week, too! 

Later today, I'll be celebrating my son's wrestling season achievements during his annual banquet.  He had quite a sophomore year!  He tied for first place in most technical falls (winning a match by 15 points) and came in 5th for most team points scored for the season.  He placed in the top five for every category rated, including most reversals, most escapes, most falls (wins by pin), most take downs, ...and so on.  Most impressive, he earned his second year Iron-Man Award as he missed no practices or matches for his second year in a row.  He also qualified for the District II Academic All-Star Team!  With a win stat over .500 and a 3rd quarter GPA of 3.87, who can complain?  Well....I admit...sometimes I still do when the laundry piles up in his room over the entire floor! So ...we're congratulating him today.  :}

 ~ Nadja

11 April 2012

I've Been Tagged!

Welcome to another check-in for ROW80! 

The lovely Komal Lewis tagged me awhile back, and I'm just getting around to joining in the fun. 

Your Questions:
1. Who is your favourite fictional couple?

Darcy and Elizabeth.  Hands down. 

2. Chocolate, vanilla or strawberry?


3. If you could be in any book or film, what would it be?

Book or film?  Hmmm.  I've got to think carefully here.  So many choices!
For a book, I think I'd have to choose a great Highlander romance - but one in a bit more modern setting.  (I like my indoor plumbing in real life.  But that accent...well, it gives me the tingly shivers!)
As for a movie...take me to Persia and give me a sexy magi...oh, say Oded Fehr from The Mummy.  Those facial tattoos...gah!  Plus, sexy accent,  danger and excitement, history, and ahem...Oded Fehr. 

4. What are you allergic to?

Cats.  Terribly allergic.  Landed me in the Emergency Room on Christmas Eve and had to be given lots of drugs allergic. I had never had a reaction before - we'd owned a cat for years!  But never again....

5. Complete this sentence: I am the best at ____________!

I am the best at... making people laugh, organization, and learning.  Those are my areas to 'shine'.  Ha! 

6. What is your pet peeve?

Meanness, bitterness, jealousy, negativity. (Can I lump them all together...I find they go hand in hand)  It's so unattractive and it drags those around it down, too.  Also, it wastes so much time/energy.  
7. What is one type of food that you could eat forever and not get sick of?

Soup.  So many varieties....so little time.

8. Rollerblading or rollerskating?

Rollerskating.  Easier on the ankles :)

9. Imagine you got a brand new dog. Would it be a boy or a girl and what would you name him/her?

Since I love my one-year-old German Shepherd to pieces...I have to say
A) Male
B) German Shepherd
C) Zutchka ( I named him from War & Peace - it was the name of the Shepherd who followed the Russian troops and guarded camp at night.  He was described as a 'faithful dog'...I was hooked.)

10. What's your ultimate overseas destination?

I have to choose only one?  Well, this week...(The wind may take me another direction next...) I'd choose Southern Italy.  Such a beautiful area. 

11. Was it Colonel Mustard in the Study with the Wrench?

Unquestionably.  At least once.

I don't really tag!  Anyone who likes should copy and paste these questions and answer away.


Here's a neat find from Vive Le Nerd this week...Just in time for Campaign 2012!

I was also tagged by Matt Hofferth at On The Job Writing with 'It's Louder Than 10 Questions'...which makes me laugh already.  Here goes.

1. You must post the rules.
1.5 You don't talk about fight club.
2. Answer the questions on your blog. Create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
3. Tag eleven people and link to them.
4. Let them know you’ve tagged them.
(Matt added rule 1.5 and I've decided to keep it...as I like it.  Immensely.)

Again, I don't tag...but I invite any and all interested to jump in, both feet!

Anyway, here we go:
  • More like mom or dad? Is this good or bad? (Be Honest!!)
    • Dad.  My mom always used to tease him, claiming that the reason he butted heads with my sister and myself so often was because we were actually just like him.  Ha!  He used to say we were 'bull-headed', 'stubborn as mules' and 'too smart for our own britches'.  We've been accused (No, you gasp!) of being 'bossy' and 'boldies'.  But...we've also been accused of being honest, a good friend, loyal to a fault, and always ready to find fault in ourselves before accusing another.  Now he laughs and says he's proud of us.  See...all along, the joke was on us. 
  • You have unlimited funds and architects are designing a new home for you. You have total say in one room of the house. It will be exactly as you dream it. Describe your dream room.
    • Oh!  Bright and sunny with lots of windows.  Cream colored walls and flooring with a brightly colored area carpet.  Sturdy wicker fiurniutre with plush cushions and an ottoman (my fav pieces of furniture).  Throw pillows and a chenille blanket for when chilly.  Books lining the walls, table lamps beside every seat....Sigh.  Practically perfect in every way. 
  • City or country? What’s the draw?
    • Country that's close by the city.  I like peace and quiet.  I like the sounds of nature without the sounds of the city (where I currently live).  I like a big garden, keeping chickens, having lots of room for my dog to run, and room to spread out.  I don't want to look at neighbors anymore (even though I am fortunate to have very good neighbors)...it could be worse.  Much worse.  Ha! 
  • What is your favorite time of year?
    • Summer. Bright skies and heat.  Need I say more?  Although I am very partial to fall.  I love the time of year when during the day you are very warm and the water is still warm, but at night...you need that sweater.  I like sweaters :)
  • You have won a two week vacation for two to any place in the world. Everything is paid, travel expenses, hotel and you have an open ended line of credit that will be paid by your benefactor. Where do you go, see, do?
    • Europe, to see ALL THE THINGS. I cannot add to Matt's answer here.  I'd do the same.
  • Your hero is coming to dinner. What’s on the menu?
    • Will it be a candlelit dinner for two - or more of a family affair?  That makes a difference you know! 
  • What works best to shake off your blues? A good book? A favorite movie? Visiting with friends? Comfort food? Shopping therapy?
    • I either laugh away my troubles with my sister...who is always ready to turn any calamity into an uproarious episode of belly shaking laughter - or a good book.  I do love to get lost in a story.
  • What is your favorite board game?
    • My favorite board game ....  I always like games that are about words.  Scrabble, Trivial pursuit, Apples to Apples, Pictionary, Scattergories...I like them all.  Although I have to mention (Matt's answer was Risk...) that we used to play Risk all the time when I was in college and right after.  I also had a word domination complex.  It wore thin once I had children.  Now..I dominate and rule in my own home.  It was enough to satisify...who knew? 
  • The best lesson you learned from your grandparents?
    • My grandmother said many things that have stayed with me...but these two come to mind.  A)  "Don't ever forget; you've got Sauder Spunk" (Her family name...and she did have spunk, indeed.)   B) "If it's to be, it's up to me."  Both have held true over the years. 
  • What is your biggest pet peeve?
    • See above post.  I pretty much covered it there.
  • What are the best qualities in your best friend?
    • She makes me laugh - even when I don't feel like it.  There's nothing I cannot tell her.  There's nothing she cannot tell me.  She loves me unconditionally.  She's trustworthy.  She understands.  She pokes fun at every and anything unabashedly and with great passion.  She's my sister. 
Sure hope you are all having a great week. 
 ~ Nadja

08 April 2012

Finds And Features For ROW80

Finds And Features...

Matt Hofferth from On The Job Writing posted some flash fiction just for me! (Read it HERE ) You see, I harbor a lusty obsession cute infatuation with one of his vampire characters from The Binder's Daughter, Matthias. 

Matthias is a German hunk of an ancient vampire with a hint of nerd tossed in.  (That dash of nerd just added ...something special.  But..I digress)  I've demanded requested that Matt write Matthias his own story and I guess this flash fiction is his way of appeasing me until he has the time to pen that masterpiece.  Ha! 

Thanks, Matt.  It tickled my little German/Lebanese heart.  Hope you all get a kick out of my 'nerd-love' finds on Google.  I just love the sexy stormtrooper below...'Email Me'...Ha!  It's too rich *snort*.  Oops!  Ahem...well, moving right along.... 

Check out some research for my next historical novel/novella.  Pretty fun work!  Alla Kushnir is renowned for her talent and beauty in the art of bellydance.  My sisters and I have all taken bellydance, but an Alla - we are not!  Ha!  It's such a sensual expression/celebration of women, of femininity, and curves.  Just wearing the bellydance costume makes you feel sexy!  After watching, you may just sign up for that bellydancing class you've always wanted to take.  (Oh!  And BTW...it's a great workout, too!)  Enjoy...

What have you found 'around-the-blogs' this week?

 ~ Nadja

07 April 2012

It's Time To Celebrate - Passover and Easter

 The Lamb was sacrificed; its blood covers, making peace on your behalf so that you may be 'Passed-Over'. 

It's time to celebrate Passover, and for many of you, this weekend marks your celebration of Easter.  In truth, these holidays are a time for remembering the same thing.  The Biblical account of the first Passover in Egypt is a foreshadow of the Lamb, the Messiah, who makes it possible for death to Pass-Over us once and for all! 

Remember as you celebrate this weekend.  For me, the holiday will be easy!  My family is celebrating at a Seder organized by Jews For Jesus.  It's one dish cooking for me - and no dishes to wash!  Does it get better than that?  I plan to enjoy.

Just as kids go on Easter egg hunts, kids find the hidden Afikoman during Passover.  There are so many great ideas to get kids involved in the holidays, aren't there?  Here are two I happened across while planning our celebration!  What special things do you do to celebrate, whether it be Easter or Passover?  How do you get kids involved and connected with the traditions of your religion? 

Getting my kids to embrace unleavened bread has been a challenge all by itself!  When I saw this, I had to share.  My boys make something to symbolize the ten plagues every year and then we have a day for each one as we read the account in Exodus.  Their favorite in years past has been the frogs and locusts.  They made tons of frogs and hid them everywhere around the house!  It made us think about how awful it would be to be overrun with frogs or locusts.  Yuck!  The activity for darkness was also a real learning experience.  Each of us spent two hours blindfolded.  Believe me when I tell you, participating sure made me appreciate my eyesight! 

Hope you all enjoy a wonderful holiday!  
 ~ Nadja

06 April 2012

Points of Interest And Places To Visit

What's Interesting Around The Blogs...

J.R. Pearse Nelson has graciously invited me to her blog today for an interview and the scoop on my newest novel, The Third Fate!  J.R. added some great humor into the interview process by asking me some truly outlandish questions.  Stop by for a laugh!

PhotobucketI made introduction to Innovative Online Book Tours  recently, through a fun book review site, Bodice Rippers, Femme Fatale Fantasy.  I've even booked a tour for my newest release, The Third Fate.  Take a minute and stop by.  They feature an impressive list of book blogs signed up to host authors, and they're Indie-friendly! I really liked that they have their Tour-Packages listed - with prices!  Very helpful for us authors on a budget.

Anyone else adore Jimmy Thomas as much as myself and fellow writer Lauralynn Elliot?  Well you can stop by his new site, Romance Novel Center , and set up an account!  The new site is great, featuring friends, an email center, and of course, Jimmy's images.  The site is set up to grow along with Jimmy's business, and I see a great deal of potential.  It's a great way to feature your books if you're an author - and your cover art if you're a designer.  Click Here to visit my homepage and have a look around. 

Happy Visiting....

 ~ Nadja

04 April 2012

Welcome Christopher McQueeney - Wander

Get To Know The Writer....

Christopher McQueeney from Wander Without Being Lost
I met Christopher when he stopped by and left a comment awhile back.  Thankfully, I visit back!  Christopher's writing is moving and powerful.  I invited him over to share a couple of his pieces and a little about himself.  Please welcome, Wander!

When did you know you wanted to pursue writing seriously?

After reading Chapterhouse Dune for about the fifth time I knew I wanted to be an author. The way Herbert spun words into worlds and spun worlds into a tapestry of intrigue and challenge got my mind spinning, although I didn’t start seriously writing until less than a year ago.

What project(s) are you working on now?

I have an auto-biography tentatively titled Halflife, and what is turning out to be a novella, This thing I became after, a drama about a man and his struggles upon finding that he has a very short time to live…

What factors most influence your writing, and do they change over time?

You know I have seen that question posed to other authors over the years, and in my mind I played out what I would say, never actually thinking that I would really get that opportunity. For now my writing is strongly influenced by my adventures into adulthood. I sure hope that changes over time, grows broader.

Suburban man or nomad?

Trust a romance writer to ask this in such a way…Both I would say. Ten of the last eighteen years I didn’t live in one place for more than six months.

You write a wide variance of emotion into your pieces. As a romance writer I appreciate this skill, for evoking an emotional response from readers is my goal. Does this come naturally to you, or is it something you have to work at?

When I read, after the first line or two the words disappear and I see the story play out in my mind…the same is true with my writing. I am feeling all those emotions while I write. Sometimes that is a hard thing; let’s say I am writing a sad scene, or an angry one, I am being brutalized by those words while they are coming out. On the flip side of that coin I get to laugh while writing the fun ones or have the full body giddy down to the toes flush from the sexy ones.

There are four basic personality types, lion (leader, aggressive), beaver (industrious, precise), otter (playful, relaxed), and golden retriever (faithful, sensitive). There are also introverts and extroverts. How do you see yourself? For example, I'm a lion/beaver mix with otter tendencies (I love a laugh) and an extrovert.

I would have to say I have all of those tendencies at times but for the most part I am a lion/golden retriever and an extrovert.

Success...What does it look like to you?

Food in the cupboard, gas in the car, a good book to read, and a life being well lived. Those may not sound like big things to some, but coming from where I have come from they are huge. If those happen I will be content, although I wouldn’t turn down a good book deal and a new car!

Tell us something you've always wanted to do but haven't had the opportunity.

I want to go opal mining in Australia, zip line in the rain forests of Brazil, surf in South Africa, and go cliff diving in Mexico.

Nadja, here are pieces of mine - pick which you would like to use.  And I want to say thank you for this!

The energy of the universe
© Christopher  McQueeney

I’m not sure what year it was that this happened, but happen it did.

Walking out of the local Albertsons a couple months ago a man asked me for thirty three cents. His clothes were filthy and stank slightly. His hair was hand combed and dirty. My first reaction was a slight sense of revulsion; I say slight and I mean that. I’ll explain, and with a hope this never has to happen to me again, at several points in time in my life I have been homeless. So when I say I was slightly revolted it was because of where I have been; not because the state he was in. To be asking for that specific amount of money meant only one thing. He needed a drink.

I was about to tell him that there was a better way to live when I recognized him. We used to party together. Now don’t get me wrong he wasn’t a close friend of mine, more like a friend of a friend. But I think I drank and did drugs with him a couple dozen times. I remember thinking that dude can put the drink and drugs away just like me. And like me he would burn hot than disappear for a while…normal behavior for people like us (the kind of person I used to be).

I have to tell you something about him, and this was the only reason I gave him the thirty three cents, also the reason I didn’t try to talk to him. He wouldn’t remember me, probably barely remembered his own name. About fourteen years ago some extremely strong drugs hit the streets, first meth, and then LSD. Being in the same circles we had access to the same supplier. Almost like mirrors we both got spun out, for about a month, and then the LSD showed up.

This shit was strong, the body high was amazing, and the visuals were fucking unbelievable. After about a week solid of tripping I was still in pretty good shape. Ok I got to say that I thought I was doing pretty well; I weighed about one hundred and fifty pounds, and at six foot four I looked like the walking dead. So thinking I was the fucking LSD master with a mind like a steel trap I decided to take about four times what I had been taking, and to wait about a half hour and take as much again. That is the problem with drug addicts, insane shit makes perfect sense.

So I drop all of this acid and proceed about my day, and I remember almost none of it except for the culmination. My memory kicks in I was sitting in a Lazy boy chair talking with a couple of friends, Will and Ben. Will was tweaking (on a large amount of meth) and Ben was tripping balls on shrooms. We were in the middle of a conversation about the different levels of consciousness brought about by different kinds of drugs. It is amazing looking back how deep some of the conversations on drugs are capable of being. Now I could go into the spiritual or metaphysical aspects of this but I won’t. One minute I am hip deep in intellect and the next I wasn’t even able to form a coherent thought! I could see the energy that was flowing between everything, in colorful particle streams…and I could feel the colors!

Even trying as hard as I can I can’t remember much more about that night, or much over the next three weeks. One thing I do remember was sitting on my front step and watching the grass grow and the street lamps drip light. This may sound strange but I think that the only thing that brought me back from the brink of permanent insanity was telling myself almost constantly that IT’S ONLY THE DRUGS! Will came over every day to check on me. “Dude, are you still tripping man” he would ask, and I would say yes “but it’s only the drugs”. Than he would ask if I had taken anything else and I would say no, and we would smoke some pot and he would leave. He wanted to know if I was still taking more LSD. I wasn’t, it just wouldn’t wear off!!

Of course eventually it wore off or I would be a drooling idiot with filthy hair, and dirty clothes, sitting outside of the local Albertsons begging for thirty three cents for just one more beer. That would be all I was capable of. Yeah I knew that man, I gave him the money, and I didn’t try to talk to him. I was lucky enough to come back, he wasn’t. Fourteen years later and he is still out there on the edge of reality where you can see the powers of the universe flow…a place where the human mind is too small to handle safely.

Chris McQueeney 1/18/12 12:39 PM

Just a little bit further
© Christopher McQueeney

“Just a little bit farther,” she said to me “it’s just ahead.”

We had been walking for about fifteen minutes. I had no problem with that, but she seemed to feel the need to reassure me. It was cute in a way, but completely unnecessary. The truck was about a mile and a half back, parked at the edge of the Thompson’s field.

This has always been one of my favorite areas to explore, and she knew it. I love the way the fields and the woods interact. The small fuzzy margins where it isn’t field and not quite woods just felt right to me.

I hadn’t seen Kristi for months. Then she shows up on my step this morning looking nervous, excited, and very beautiful. “Hi Cal, I know it’s early, and we haven’t talked in months, but I need some help and you are the only person I can trust” I have always had a soft spot for a damsel in distress, and it didn’t hurt that she was just about a ten in my book, petite, slim, blond pixy cut hair, and a face that was angular without being severe. And her voice, sexy and sweet at the same time…God she does it for me!

Before she started talking I knew I would do whatever she asked of me, I always had. And I don’t regret it! I have had people ask me before why I let her do what she does to me, and my answer has always been “it was worth it”.

“I’ve missed you, and I…” she starts to say then stops herself abruptly. “There isn’t much time, will you help me?” she asks after a heavy pause.

“Of course, I’ll help you Kristi. You know that I will always be here for you”

“I found something at the Johnson’s place that I need to show you”

“Ok, let’s go. What did you find?” I shot over my shoulder as I went to the kitchen to get the keys to the truck.

“You will have to trust me; I don’t have the words to describe it.” As I came back into the room she smiled nervously and continued, “You’ll see when we get there”. With that she put her arms around me and laid her head on my chest. “I knew I could count on you Cal, only you.”

Those words felt so good. I had been waiting months for them. She broke the embrace and walked to the truck and got in. That was how things went with us, always straight to it.

“Just ahead” she says her voice strained as she climbs over a fallen tree. “Do you see how it looks like the trees form a cave?” just ahead it did look sort of like a wooded cave, the trees and grass formed a cavity about ten feet across that narrowed the further back it went.

“Yeah I see”

“That is where it is, towards the back. Go see and tell me what you think” she sounded very excited, but her face looked worried.

So I walked forward, down the small incline. At first the branches were well above my head but about twenty feet into the trees they started to get uncomfortably close. A few feet further the strangest feeling overcame me. It felt like I was walking through vertigo filled glue. I tried to turn around and cry for help when the world fell out from beneath me.

The last thing I remember is seeing Kristi through the field grass that was somehow growing up around my head. She was smiling, and it was the coldest thing I have ever seen.

“I knew I could count on you Cal, she said as the world went dark, “I knew”….

Chris McQueeney 3/11/12 9:07 PM

The above story is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual people or places is purely coincidental.

Chris, I want to thank you for coming by today and sharing your work with us.  I look forward to reading more from you in the future.  Visit Chris and see more of his work!
Wander Without Being Lost

02 April 2012

The Third Fate ~ Confetti Pop!

Won't you all help me celebrate the release of my newest novel?  The Third Fate is available at Amazon!
Buy At Amazon!
Blurb ~ The Third Fate

~ 'One Fate be granted mortal man, used for evil or good as the inner voice directs. Alas, the divine spark draws the eyes of the Fates, the Second Fate sparingly gifted by their hands. Be warned offspring of the gods, guard your gifting well. For if the Third Fate be unleashed, the soul lays bare before one so touched by the gods.' ~

Cautious and quiet by nature, Paige Kinnell watches life unfold from the sidelines, maintaining her simple existence as a shield to hide behind. But underneath her shy, careful ways, Paige senses a disconnect with the world around her, indulging instead her ever curious interest in the legend and lore of time nearly forgotten.

One chance encounter with an ancient of the undead begins an unraveling of reality as Paige knows it, leaving her to sort through dreams and enchantments, discovering along the way that one's Fate can be mere illusion, and that the consequences of opening her heart to another may cost dearly.

Cael Maccinnis, the handsome Highlander she's met, seems the answer to every unspoken longing of her heart, even as he awakens dark, secret desires buried within her soul. As strange and unnerving changes begin occurring in her mind and body, Paige has no choice but to face her life's unnatural turn and confront the frightening implications. For within Paige's past a secret lay dormant, hidden even from her. This truth, guarded well and wielded by the Fates themselves, becomes the catalyst invoking the power of The Third Fate.

Woo-Hoo!  It's an awesome day! 

Where can I begin in thanking everyone who helped and encouraged, who visited and commented, who made me laugh and gave me added insight?  It's impossible to name you all here - I'm too afraid I'd fail to mention everyone ;}

What I can say is this.  ROW80 (and of course all my non-ROW80 friends!) writers are some of the most giving and generous people I've met.  You've invited me to your blogs, emailed me your encouragement, shared your knowledge, and welcomed me as a friend.  THANK YOU.  From the bottom of my heart... ~ Nadja

A New Round's Goals

It's The Start Of A New Round...What Will You Accomplish?

Hi, all!  Today marks the start of a new 'Round Of Words In 80 Days'.  This is where and when I reveal my new list of goals for the upcoming 80 day challenge.  Oy!  Do I have a list of goals!  Having just published my newest novel, The Third Fate, I'll take the first two weeks off for some much needed rest and relaxation.  I'm hoping to feature some interesting/inspirational finds from 'Around The Blogs' and catch up on some delicious reading for enjoyment!  After that...it's back to work. 

Here's what I'll strive toward during the next round!

*  Research new historical novella.  Reading.
I'll allow two weeks tops to complete this phase.

*  Draft a rough outline of my storyline.
Two weeks - although this will be an ongoing process as I develop my characters.

*  Complete character profile packets on my two main characters and on my protagonist.
One week for each character - to run concurrently with my outlining work.

*  Begin writing no later than seven (7) weeks into the round (two weeks vacation, two weeks research, three weeks character profile packets - which includes two weeks on outlining = a total of seven weeks spent)

*  Complete roughly a chapter a week once the writing begins.

*  Complete some form of outdoor activity/exercise three times weekly.  Raking, weeding, planting, sweeping, painting, demolition (yes...it's almost time for my re-do to begin!), clean-up, whatevs...  Just as long as I'm active and working on my around-the-house projects.

*  Visit five (5) fellow bloggers daily during Monday - Friday, encouraging fellow ROW80 members and searching out interesting items/persons to feature in the upcoming week.

*  Celebrate Sabbath.  Get 'off the grid' and truly rest and enjoy my family.

And...We're Off!  See You All Soon :}

 ~ Nadja