Monthly Archives: January 2014

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A Virtual Honorable Mention

Snapshot_001I entered in a friendly poetry contest the other night and won honorable mention.  I’m thrilled – I don’t usually write poems but since I’ve gone to a poetry slam I’ve been playing with them more.

This poem was for a virtual venue called Writer’s Island owned by Arton Tripsa, and the theme was “birthdays.”

It’s That Day

It is the first day of something,

when dawn erupts over the horizon in a parade

of molten gold and rose

to announce that there has been

a beginning.

That moment of first creation,

the first moment of being,

is singular and magnificent whether it be

born of word or womb.

The moment when something that wasn’t

suddenly is,

when something new

begins a journey

to becoming something old,

is a moment to annually fete

forever after.

It is a day of hope,

a day of possibility.

It’s a birthday.

Join the Breakfast Club

009February is coming and with it comes spring, Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month. To celebrate, General Mills and Publix are offering up exclusive savings on heart smart cereals like Raisin Nut Bran, Oatmeal Crisp and Whole Grain Total.

I decided to try and incorporate better breakfast habits into my routine.  Usually my breakfast consists of running out the door with a granola bar.  I don’t have time for a real breakfast.  Then I had an idea.

Cereal Jar 1Over the last week I’ve been having cereal on the go in a wide mouth canning jar.  I put a scoop of powdered milk in the bottom of the jar, layer great cereals like Raisin Nut Bran, Oatmeal Crisp and Whole Grain Total and screw on the lid.  When I have a break, I just add water and shake.  Viola!  Thrifty, easy and healthy breakfast is served 🙂

Cereal Jar 2Even better, Publix is having a Breakfast Savings Event to help us save on the most important meal of the day.

  • 2/$5 on the following Big G cereals: Total® Raisin Bran 18.25oz, Whole Grain Total® 16oz, Basic 4® 16oz, Raisin Nut Bran 17.1oz, Oatmeal Crisp® Almond 17oz, Oatmeal Crisp® Raisin 18oz, Wheaties® 15.6oz. Offer available 1/23/14 – 1/30/14.
  • Save $1 off any 2 General Mills cereals everydaysaver.com/publix

Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op.

Iron Writer: Lake of Sherbet

The ElementsI need to write more Iron Writer micro fictions. They are quick and a great way to hone those skills into a precise edge that cuts through the fat and lays the meat of a tale out trimmed and ready to be devoured. Yum! Check out how to compete yourself 🙂

The last contest I entered, Challenge 46, yielded my favorite story so far.  I had to look up what a “haboob” was and the “Birmingham Jail” song had me looking up Gene Wilder videos on Youtube. I love the feeling this story gives me. I think it’s beautiful and nostalgic but I have been told it’s depressing. I’ll let you be the judge.

Lake of SherbetLake of Sherbet

By Angela Yuriko Smith

The horse and rider were not from the desert.  They protested it with blistered skin that cracked under the sun’s relentless onslaught.  They stood at a cliff’s edge, squinting against the horizon, looking for salvation in a glimmer of moisture.  There was none.  Hell was all around, a fiery furnace of sand and pain.

He squeezed his eyes closed to not lose one precious tear to the greedy dust.  As if his horse could read his thoughts, it dropped its head limply and stood, lightly swaying on shaking legs.  “I think this is it, girl.”  His words came out as a puff of moist thought, instantly evaporating against the fiery decent of the sun.  “Our last night…”

Thoughts convulsed in a whir of memory tinged with the unnatural brilliance of hallucination.  His wife waited in Paris for news, his small daughters giggling as they tried to stuff chocolates in his mouth at another sunset far away overlooking a house by a lake.  The rose and gold melted into the water.  They had laughed and said they lived on a lake of sherbet.  He would never again see his little angels dancing on the shore as he sang “Down in the Valley” to them.

Something against the horizon caught his eye.  A black smudge was growing across the horizon, blotting out the sun.  A haboob, he’d heard the tent dwellers call it.  A traveling wall of sand that scoured the desert clean of life, a haboob was something to outrun or hide from.  Neither he, nor his near dead horse, were capable.  He thought back to his last words and his lips cracked into a grim smile.  A last night would have been a luxury.  These were the last minutes.

He looked up in a plea for life, searching the sky for some divine hand that could deliver him.  The sky overhead was darkening as the sun slipped beneath the horizon, a deep and tender blue that beckoned to him with the first glimmer of stars.  How he wished then he could be there, a jetman sailing among the cool clouds, traveling back to his girls.  No more lust for adventure coursed through his blood – dehydration had seen to that.  If only…

His eyes traveled back to the storm, a terrifying behemoth that waited to engulf them.  “Not on your terms, but mine,” he thought, and he drove his heels into the horse’s panting flanks.  Surprised, it started forward, stepping off the cliff and into the air.  For a moment they were sailing the sky, finally free of the sand that had sapped their strength over the last two days.  His eyes turned towards heaven as he fell, his hands reaching out, as his horse used the last of its breath to scream.

“Angels in heaven know I love you…” he sang to the woman and two girls who were lost to him forever as he plummeted past red rock.  Below him, a lake of sherbet waited.

– See more at: http://theironwriter.com/challenge-46-3/#sthash.gljQrPbW.dpuf

My Weekend: From DeFuniak to Food Depot

Free Bonejangles & Joon Until Midnight

Free for Reviews 2I’m trying to focus on promoting my two latest books, Mr. Bonejangles and End of Joon. These books have been my poor neglected babies.

They came into the world at a time when I was too busy to do much more than give them a kiss on the head before they both went on the shelf to gather dust.

To rectify my neglect, I am offering both books free on Kindle until midnight tonight. Please grab them and give me an honest review on Amazon.

To everyone who has grabbed them already, thank you!  I just checked the status, and End of Joon was ranked #11,922 on Amazon and Mr. Bonejangles was #3,321 and broke onto the Top 100 list for Short Story Collections, single author, at #58.

Find them only on Amazon:

End of Joon

Mr. Bonejangles

Guest Post: What’s in a Novel Name?

The writing duo of B. I. Woolet (Benji and Ila Woolet) have graciously consented to writing today’s post, What’s in a Novel Name.  They are the authors of The Hunter, the Bear, and the Seventh Sister and will be our guests on tomorrow’s Journal Jabber (2 p.m. CST) to be interviewed by Amy Eye.  Thank you, Benji and Ila, for this great post!

— Angela

What’s in a Novel Name?

The Hunter the Bear BIWoolet ebooksmWhen we were eight months pregnant with our first child, the panic set in. We still didn’t have a name! Horror images of sitting in the hospital with this beautiful little human in our arms and no name flooded over us. It may seem silly, but a similar panic sets in while writing a story. The characters may be breathing on the page but without a worthy name, they feel lacking and lifeless.

There is something epic about naming another human being, fictional or real. A name is more than a unique sound coming from the mouth; it holds power. We want a main character’s name to be easy for readers to pronounce yet memorable. We want the name to set him or her apart from other characters in the written world. We want the name to encourage readers to deeply connect in the that-fictional-person-is-my-real-life-closest-friend sort of way. It’s much easier to cross off the names we don’t like.

  • Nope, I went to school with that one…not a nice kid!
  • Nope, they just used that name in a hit movie…too cliché!
  • Yes! What a pretty name!…Nope, it means “anguish and untimely death.”

It’s difficult enough naming one human baby or even a pet. So, to narrow down options for storytelling, we often look to myths, outside cultures, and even plants to find memorable names.

When my husband and I first started writing The Hunter, the Bear, and the Seventh Sister in the World of Arcas series, we were growing a strong interest in astronomy. The characters in our world naturally arrived one-by-one from the night sky onto the computer screen. We had a character theme to go with the basic plot, but we still needed to research, a lot. We looked up nebulas, deep sky objects, and even frozen lakes on one of Saturn’s moons.

OrionSome names were too familiar, so we chose to use less known star names. The constellation Orion represents the The Hunter in our story. But those who are close to him call him Rigel, which is the brightest star in Orion. Instead of using the dragon constellation Draco, we chose the star name Eltanin—also a sturdy sounding dragon name but not as famous or overused as Draco. Buckpasser, Hambletonian, Niatross, Whistlejacket, I think fate is leading us to be inspired by horse racing names next!

So, while you’re working hard to name your literary babies, go read The Hunter, the Bear, and the Seventh Sister. Have a bit of fun in our appendix seeing where these interesting names come from in the celestial night sky. Then, think of what things inspire you. Look up rocks formations or tree types or dog breeds or dance moves.

It takes a bit of research, but a simple theme search through the vastly connected cyber world can inspire and guide your character babies to fresh names and fresh life—though I cannot be held responsible if you use the same methods to name your real-life human babies.

B. I. Woolet (Benji & Ila Woolet)

B. I. Woolet (Benji & Ila Woolet)

About the authors:  B. I. Woolet (Benji & Ila Woolet) is the author of The Hunter, the Bear, and the Seventh Sister. They enjoy creating lyrical and literary arts, playing music together, and exploring nature.

They are happily married and live in Indiana in with their children. Benji manages a busy veterinary hospital, and Ila manages a busy home! This is the first book in the World of Arcas series.

The Scoop on Cascadian Farms (& coupons!)

Cascadian Farms granola?  Heaven!

Cascadian Farms granola? Heaven!

Who doesn’t love Cascadian Farms?

Their products are known for quality and being healthy.  We’ve preferred them for years, so I was thrilled to have a chance to try some new products and blog about them.

Usually we get the Cascadian Farms frozen vegetables.  My favorite of all time has been the frozen edamame, already shelled.

This was a good opportunity to try new products from an old favorite – I’d never had any of their grain products.  This fruit and nut granola was one of the better things I’ve had for breakfast lately.  Paired up with a banana and my coffee it was a perfect meal.

I felt satisfied and energetic all the way to lunch.  I tossed one of the granola bars in my bag for my mid-afternoon snack and I was set.  The best part is knowing that Cascadian Farms is such a high quality product.  I don’t worry about what junk has been hidden in the label – it’s only the best ingredients. I’m glad I was able to expand my Cascadian Farms favorites list!

Even more awesome, right now the Publix® Cascadian Farm Health & Wellness Event is going on – Save some money and eat well!

  • In-Store Savings: Save on Cascadian Farms cereals and bars, on sale 2 for $5. Save $1 off any 2 Cascadian Farms cereals, bars and frozen products. Look for coupon and details in the weekly booklet, offers available 1/16 – 1/30.
  • Digital Coupon: Save $0.75 off any Cascadian Farms bars, cereal or frozen products. Click here to access and print coupon: www.everydaysaver.com/publix. Quantities are limited.

*Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op.

Loving New Dark Chocolate Multigrain Cheerios!

New Dark Chocolate Multigrain Cheerios

New Dark Chocolate Multigrain Cheerios

I’m not a huge cereal eater and I am finicky about my chocolate so I wasn’t sure how I was going to like the new Dark Chocolate Multigrain Cheerios.  It took me about two bites to fall in love.

I expected sickly sweet but was surprised to find a rich, genuine chocolate taste with this cereal.  Crunchy to the last spoonful, or maybe I just gobbled them up too quick to get soggy, this cereal will definitely be one I’ll watch for.

It’s all the sweet yumminess of the cereal we liked as kids, but geared towards a more refined, adult palate. Too bad that didn’t stop my teenagers from inhaling the rest!

For more info visit the Cheerios® website and like them on Facebook!

*Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op.

 

Selling Books With The Fussy Librarian

Free for ReviewsI need to get back on the horse and start marketing my books.

Recently I’ve published End of Joon and Mr. Bonejangles & Other Tales of Dark Karma and I’ve barely squeaked a peep about either of them.  I promise it’s not because I’m ashamed of them or too humble.  Honestly, I’ve just been too busy.

I’m going to start experimenting with marketing again to kick myself in high gear with a goal of one new thing a week.  Then the next week I’ll try something new, and report on how the last one did.  Tonight, as my experiment, I signed one of my books, End of Mae, up on The Fussy Librarian.

I got the idea from Mark R. Hunter’s blog post on “Getting the (written) word out.”  He said he signed his book up on this suggested reading site and saw sales.  Not stellar sales, but as any author that’s been around long enough knows, sales are sales.  Last quarter all my books combined earned me enough to throw a pizza party.  I was ecstatic.

I immediately signed up End of Mae, the only book of mine that filled the 10 minimum review requirement.  We shall see what happens when it gets scheduled to be on a list.  In the meantime, that brings me to another good point.  I need more reviews on End of Joon (at two reviews) and Bonejangles (at five reviews) to apply them for the lists.

To remedy that, I’m offering both ebooks for free on Amazon from midnight tonight until midnight Saturday.  I don’t want your money, I want your honest reviews.  When I get to ten reviews on each I’ll try those out on the Fussy Librarian and let you know how they did.

Please, download, read and do a simple review on Amazon and I’ll let you know if The Fussy Librarian worked for me 🙂