Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Warning! LMAO Joke Ahead

A bit naughty but WTH

Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful Queen with large, voluptuous breasts. 

Nick the Dragon Slayer obsessed over the Queen for this reason.
He knew the penalty would be death should he try to touch them. But he had to try. 

One day Nick revealed his secret desire to his colleague, Horatio the Physician. Horatio said that he could arrange for Nick to satisfy his desire but it would cost him 1000 gold coins to arrange it.

Without pause, Nick agreed to the scheme.

The next day, Horatio made a batch of itching powder and poured a bit into the Queen's bra while she bathed. Soon after she dressed, the itching commenced and grew intense. The King summoned Horatio to the Royal Chambers to cure the Queen. 

He informed them that only special saliva applied for four hours would cure this type of itch. And among all of the citizens of the kingdom, only the saliva of Nick would work as the antidote to cure the itch. 

The King, eager to help his Queen, quickly summoned Nick to their chambers. Horatio then slipped Nick the antidote for the itching powder, which he put into his mouth, and for the next four hours, Nick worked passionately on the Queen's large and magnificent breasts.

The Queen's itching was eventually relieved, Nick left satisfied, and both the King and Queen hailed him as a hero.

Upon returning to his chamber, Nick found Horatio demanding his payment of 1000 gold coins. With his obsession now satisfied and knowing that Horatio would never report this matter to the King, Nick told him to get lost.

The next day, Horatio slipped a massive dose of the same itching powder into the King's underwear. The King immediately summoned Nick . . .

The moral of the story:

Pay your bills.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

KaPOW! CassaFire Explodes on the Blogosphere

Alex Cavanaugh's Catch Fire Blog Party starts today.

The A to Z Blog Challenge of 2011 introduced me to many writers who enriched my education and creativity. Alex is at the top of that list. Heck, he IS the list, what with his ninja, superhuman ways and blog.

Today is the Catch Fire Blog Party, celebrating the release of CassaFire by Alex J. Cavanaugh! 

The goal is to help CassaFire “catch fire” on the best seller charts and achieve the success of the first book, CassaStar. There’s also a special package of prizes being given away at the author’s blog (copies of CassaFire, CassaStar, tote bag, mug, and bookmarks) as well as book giveaways during his two-week blog tour. See Alex’s site for details:

by Alex J. Cavanaugh

CassaStar was just the beginning…

The Vindicarn War is a distant memory and Byron’s days of piloting Cosbolt fighters are over. He has kept the promise he made to his fallen mentor and friend - to probe space on an exploration vessel. Shuttle work is dull, but it’s a free and solitary existence. The senior officer is content with his life aboard the Rennather.

The detection of alien ruins sends the exploration ship to the distant planet of Tgren. If their scientists can decipher the language, they can unlock the secrets of this device. Is it a key to the Tgren’s civilization or a weapon of unimaginable power? Tensions mount as their new allies are suspicious of the Cassan’s technology and strange mental abilities.

To complicate matters, the Tgrens are showing signs of mental powers themselves; the strongest of which belongs to a pilot named Athee, a woman whose skills rival Byron’s unique abilities. Forced to train her mind and further develop her flying aptitude, he finds his patience strained. Add a reluctant friendship with a young scientist, and he feels invaded on every level. All Byron wanted was his privacy…

Available today!
Science fiction - space opera/adventure
Print ISBN 978-0-9827139-4-5, $15.95, 6x9 Trade paperback, 240 pages
EBook ISBN 978-0-9827139-6-9, $4.99, available in all formats
CassaFire is the sequel to Cavanaugh’s first book, CassaStar, an Amazon Top Ten Best Seller:
“…calls to mind the youthful focus of Robert Heinlein’s early military sf, as well as the excitement of space opera epitomized by the many Star Wars novels. Fast-paced military action and a youthful protagonist make this a good choice for both young adult and adult fans of space wars.” - Library Journal

You can visit the author’s site at
Book trailer available at

Monday, February 27, 2012

Unicorn Bell Blogfest

Charity is sponsoring a Blogfest at Unicorn Bell, a critique group we share with Marcy and Jeff.

Here's how it works:

  • Sign up at Unicorn Bell
  • Tell your friends about the party
  • Choose a picture from below to inspire your short story
  • On Monday-Wednesday, March 26-28, post your story and visit other participants.
  • The four of us at UB will do the same and pick four favorites. We will post these on Wednesday night.
  • On Thursday you get to vote for your favorite
  • Winner will be announced on Friday. They will have a choice between a first chapter critique from those of us at UB. Or a $20 gift card to Amazon.

Charity writes:
And now the pictures. They lean more toward the fantasy and sci-fi genres but that seems to be what most of our commentators write. Feel free to tweak it to your personal style. Most of all, have fun! I found the first half on Fantasy Art Design. The rest were on my computer in the sample pictures.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Tara's Hats

Tara wears many hats.

Writer. Book reviewer. 
Poet and Blogger Extraordinaire.

But the Bartholomew Cubbins* hat I value most is the one I call Friend.

She tagged me and gave me questions to answer.

What is the first movie you went to without a chaperone?
The Tramp in 1915 with Charlie Chaplin**

Where/Did you go to college?
My hometown, the excellent Northwest Missouri State University

What is your favorite spice?
For sweet, cinnamon. For beef, marjoram. Pork and chicken equals sage.

What is your favorite hair/eye color combination?
Auburn hair and jade green eyes.

Do your initials spell anything?
Nope but I’ve used the designation ‘CD’ since high school

What is your favorite animal? (be specific)
Horse. I’ve been horse-crazy since I was two years old and could say, ‘horey’.

What is the character trait you admire most in a person?
The reluctant hero.

What are you afraid of losing when you get older?
My judgment.

What is your favorite character's name that you chose?

Describe your favorite weather in a sentence - make us feel it!
On a spring day, with the sun kissing the horizon, the scent of new growth and cooling rocks.

Describe your favorite dessert - how does it taste?
Fresh strawberries just picked. Two-egg cake baked and cooled. A dollop of sweet whipped cream on top. It tastes of spring and the first days of summer. And I know watermelon cannot be far behind.

*Dr. Suess
**just kidding. I watched movies unchaperoned as a six year old while my mom got groceries. In those days of yesteryear, it was safe.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Favorite Films Friday

The movies that struck a chord in me are varied. Most were the shoot-em-up kind with special effects and CGI. But a few that I labeled On Golden Pond types is sprinkled throughout.

The Friday posts will reflect my choices. This is also a way to insert comments on politics, a bit of WTH kind of stuff/sh**.

When I think, “Best Movie of All Time”, Schindler’s List is the one and only.
"This list…is an absolute good. The list is life. All around its margins lies the gulf."

As director, Steven Spielberg gave the film a creative touch that is incomparable. It is a combination of subject matter, the acting by Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, and Ralph Fiennes. The cinematography. And who thinks music doesn’t play a huge part in a movie? I have the soundtrack by John Williams and Itzhak Perlman on my mp3 player.

Who can forget the girl with the red coat walking through the black and white scenes?

Now, a warning.
Politics follow.

WTH is up with Afghanistan. Is there no common ground? The Taliban can burn mosques and desecrate holy books but the burning of those same mutilated books is the cause for violence and slaughter?

It seems we are dealing with a people with a propensity for apeshit behavior.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A to Z Blogging Challenge

April is fast approaching when the monumental blogging challenge of all time begins.

This is the third anniversary of meetin' n' greetin' other bloggers, visiting sites, and making friends. Our hosts are hoping for a thousand participants to sign up before March.

Give it a shot. Accepting and participating in this challenge improves your blogging experience to the nth degree.

And its a blast.

Going Nuts Or...

...what happens when I lose internet capabilities.

*actually, I got a lot done yesterday without the internet. See previous post and substitute 'blogging' for solitaire *

Friday, February 17, 2012


Maybe bad weather keeps people indoors. Or crummy TV shows.

But it seems to me that Blogging is in season.

Are people just noticing this outstanding social venue or are we readying our sites for the A to Z Blogging Challenge in April.

At any rate, there is guidance for everyone. From the folks just starting out to those with more experience.

Check out these blogs:
  • Alex’s timely blog about followers, parts one, two, and three.
  • David posted today about owning your brand. Take that scary first step and make a name for yourself.
  • Mat asks the question, ‘what does it mean when I follow you’. Read this for a clear understanding of your responsibility as a blogger.
  • Do you want quick and simple tips for blog etiquette? Go to KarenG’s blog for these smooth ideas.

My personal peeves:
  • Ads. They don’t keep me away but they are aggravating.
  • Lose word verification if possible.
  • Do you want me to follow you back or check out your blog or website? Share your Profile via a public view. Otherwise, you are invisible to me.

For more ideas, go to the Best Blogs for Writers to Read in 2012.

Now, go forth and create.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Wall-to-Wall Celebrations

And Gifts.

Valentine’s Day equals candy and flowers.
President’s Day equals sales and no mail delivery.

My birth month *G* equals something made of amethyst.

February also marks my two-year blogging anniversary for Spirit Called. 

For my followers this equals gifts.
Comment, link to my blog, and choose one:
  • Query critique
  • 1000 word critique
  • Synopsis

Send requests to beccoff(at)nwmo(dot)net

The Confetti begins now.
Offer is open until Friday. 

Thanks to my followers and to those I follow. 
The riches of friendship that have no price.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Apathy's Hero, Critique Partner Blogfest

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy. The Adamant

Status: Completed. Polished. In the paranoid, neurotic stage of 'is this good enough'.

Feedback: I am looking for understandable prose, flow, and everything in between. Line editing would tickle me fine. Looking for help on my query, synop, and first chapter and willing to do the same.

Pitch: A sentient relic made from the horn of a unicorn believes Shamira Kelley is its willing acolyte but possession doesn't sit well and she fights the relic and those who would use it against mankind

First Two Pages:

His lazy strides across the mall caught my attention. Like he had time to kill and everyone else could wait at his leisure. Most galling was how people moved out of his way. No glares. No commotion.
He appeared to be about my age early twenties with black hair that curled just below the collar of his white shirt, height under six feet. With the body of a dancer, slender waist, and broad shoulders, his physique should have been drawing stares.  But that wasn’t what piqued my interest. What set me off was his arrogance. Not his looks. Totally secondary. I barely noticed. Really.
Glances from the people in the crowded mall slid off, went around him like light bending around the source.
“Will you look at that,” I said to Olive, my former guardian.
She turned away from matching towels, threw me a hard look, and shot a quick glance around us.
Olive has experience with my intricacies. Self-preservation is strong with her.
Slender, taller than me, with shoulder length honey-blonde hair, Olive looked younger than her forty-two years. But even with the body of a model, a fluff head she was not. 
 “What?” she said, her voice low.
I gestured. “That guy. The one walking like he thinks no one will touch him. He’s the picture of arrogance, isn’t he?”
Olive’s shapely brow gathered as she focused on the area where the black-haired man paced unimpeded. He moved like a king among his subjects.
I gaped at her. “Him. That man strutting across the mall.” I pointed.
Her gaze sharpened but then shifted to me again.
“I don’t see what you’re dithering about.” Olive shrugged. “You have the weirdest notions.” She huffed and went back to sorting through towels. “Which do you think? Peacock blue or this aqua?”
“That guy,” I said. For some reason it was important that she acknowledge me. “The one walking there. Those shoppers just moved out of his way.”
“So? A man is walking across the mall. Why is that arrogant?” She wasn’t paying attention, still measuring one color of blue against another.
A couple had paused with a stroller in the man’s path then casually shuffled out of his path like magnets of opposite polarity.
“You don’t see that?” My voice rose into a higher octave.
Olive made an exasperated sound. “I see shoppers. I see people,” she said shortly then gave me a hard look. “Why? What do you see?”
“A guy, white shirt, long sleeves, black jeans. Right there,” I said and gestured with one hand, “parting the masses like King Kong. Everyone just moves out of his way.”
The arrogant man had stopped to watch a bunch of teens that braided around him. He was smirking behind his hand. Kids towed their harried parents to one side making crow-like calls of excitement.
Olive’s attention was on the teens not the man. I had an inclination to stomp my foot.

I am willing to trade query, synop, first chapter with CPs and betas in my field of fantasy/sci-fi. YA is fine but I am not good with MG.
*Book Cover photo is with permission of my good and valiant friend Jenn at Into the Wild Blue Yonder.*

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Critique Partner Blogfest

Loralie at Apathy's Hero is conducting a blogfest, the Critique Partner bloghop.

In her words:

 "I'm hosting a blogfest from Feb 10-13. The basic premise is simple, if you're looking for critique partners or beta readers, even if you already have some, this is your chance to maybe find some more.

It works like this:
  • On Feb 10, post your information on your blog (I'll tell you what information below)
  • Between Feb 10-13, go visit all the other people's blogs, and read what they've got to offer.
  • If you're interested in reading and/or helping them out, let them know by replying to their post
  • If you love the idea, but just don't feel like you're the right person to provide feedback or don't have the time, let them know you loved their idea and why.

Don't feel compelled to offer to read for someone just because they offered to read for you. I mean certainly, talk and hit it off and see how it goes, but I'm just saying...

So, what's this vague information I'm mentioning? The things that your post should contain?
  • Genre, Age Group (YA or Adult), & Title of your story
  • Your current story status. Are you working on a first draft? Trying to wrap up a final draft for submission? Somewhere in between?
  • What kind of feedback are you looking for? A full-blown line-edit and critique? Overall thoughts? Input as you move through each chapter? Something else? How detailed or high-level do you want to go?
  • A pitch, blurb, or query about your book so we know what it's about. I'll leave it up to you to decide how you'd like to sell it, but try and keep it under 300 words.
  • The first 500 words of your story. This isn't an agent-judged contest or anything like that, it's a search for feedback, so give us what you've got.

This will all allow people to decide if you've got what they're looking for on several levels. There's one important thing to keep in mind, and I want to put this out there now because I suspect many of you have the same kind of writer's ego I do - a little fragile."

Go to Loralie's blog at Apathy's Hero and sign up. Cuz all of us need that 'fresh eye' to crit our work.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Back in the Saddle Again

Thanks to the courage my followers gave me, I sent my first query for Adamant today.

Now waiting for:

Monday, February 6, 2012

Diagnosing Terror

In December, I completed my Work In Progress. The *real* work started after that.

I read it, edited, re-read then edited again.

CPs read the MS and gave priceless advice. I edited, re-read, edited.

Rinse and repeat. Ad nauseam.

I perfected my query with my Betas’ help to the point of tripping their gag reflex.

The synopsis is in the can. The agents and agencies researched until I could tell you what toilet paper they prefer.

The manuscript is polished and shiny. It is ready.

That is when I hit a wall.

Once again, this is not my first rodeo. I have been down the road leading to Published Author before. It is a process, a journey and a valued education. But the ultimate destination has proved elusive so far.

So why can’t I take that first step down the road to Query and submit this MS to the agents?

Easy question, easily answered.


How do you handle this wretched fear?

Friday, February 3, 2012

This Stupid Pineapple Is

Briane Pagel is conducting a Stupid Pineapple blogfest at Thinking The Lions. A Force drew me to the site and entrapped me in its clutches. Pray for me.

This Stupid Pineapple is...a mental picture.

I like shed antlers. The hubby brings them to me from the field and I have a dozen plus of these things around the house. He even cut off the head of a 4-pointer that someone had shot and didn't retrieve last winter. I hung it in a tree hoping it would, uh, 'melt'.

It is still there. Un-melted.

One hot summer day, the hubby found a 10-point road kill. For a guy who can't watch House due to the fake blood, the next thing he did was incredible. He cut off the velvet antlers and the hide holding them together. URP. He said he had to leave the area once when the, ahem, odor got to him. He brought them home and stuck them in a the front yard.
Not a wise choice.

But, forget about that for now.

I hate moles but, lucky me, they like my yard.

I’ve tried everything to kill them and found that every remedy works. Once. After killing a mole, the method never works again.

Annihilation techniques include traps, spade (very cathartic), Mole Peanuts, Tom Cat poison, drowning (yes, I did).

And Juicy Fruit gum. That day, I poked holes into the runs and shoved the gum into the tunnels.

Well, how do you know if it works? If they eat it, they will die underground. Right? You won't know if they have died, right?

Now, picture obsession. Not the perfume. But a pissed off, wild woman fed up with the moles. I am walking around the yard, head down looking at the mounded dirt.

And I smell something. Something really, REALLY foul, like something is dead. I think, "Oh, Cool. I've killed one of those son of a guns and it is rotting underground.”

And I begin looking for it, thinking maybe that our dog had dug it up.

Picture this: I am looking down, searching the ground, walking in circles trying to find the dead mole.

The hubby is across the drive, working on some machinery, looking at me, puzzled, but not saying anything.

"Hey,” I said. “I think I got a mole using the Juicy Fruit gum.”

He hesitated. “Look up. Not down.”

I look up.

Two inches from my face is this rotting, maggot-infested hunk of deer antlers.

After my recovery, the hubby said, "I wondered what you were doing!"

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Blog On Fire Award

Hope at Writing With Hope (clever title) is the recipient of my own Blog On Fire.

Followers: if you want the best laugh of your life, go to her blog about Squirrel!!.

No obligations. Just take it and run.

It's a Blogfest

Critique my Blog.

Teralyn at A Writer's Journey is conducting a blog crit today. For the rules, go here.

Leave crit in the comments section.

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