End of February: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

I totally spaced out doing Monday’s blog post last week. *Rolls my eyes* I have no idea what I was thinking. Apologies for missing it.

Update on the foot braces. I’ve taken short walks around the area. One was at the town’s newest trail, The American Gulch trail. This is a short trail, maybe 1/2 mile, that circles a dry streambed. The town is working to bring the water back to it and make it the centerpiece of a park area. Also planned for it is a heritage apple orchard. I’m excited to see how the new park will look.

Mystery at the Book Festival manuscript was sent off to my editor last week. Looking at the end of March before I can get it back. I also did contact a cover designer and we’ve made a deal. I’ve sent appropriate files, except for the blurb on the back. I won’t have the blurb until the editor is done. Sigh. Can’t wait to see what the cover people do.

 

Giveaways:

My multi-author giveaway is called Luck O’the Readers, St. Patrick’s Day Giveaway is going strong. The link is http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. Click on the Rafflecopter link. Get in on the opportunity to win $100 in Paypal cash plus prizes from over 35 authors, that’s over 70 prizes! Hurry! This giveaway ends at midnight March 17th.

 

Shout Out:

Gail Kittleson is my featured author this week on Wednesday’s Author Interview. A women’s fiction and memoir writer, her books are focus on World War II. Can’t wait for the whole interview? Check out www.gailkittleson.com to see what she’s up to.

 

Where Will I Be?

Last week on February 23rd, at 5pm Arizona time, I was interviewed on BackPorchWriter.com. I had a blast with the host, Kori Miller talking about writing, mysteries, and a few of the strangest things we’ve run into while researching. This interview is in preparation for the April B2BCyCon, an on-line conference that runs from April 7th to the 10th. Both events are open to readers so as I get closer, I’ll give you more details.

Check my website, http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/where-will-i-be/ for my next engagements. I have contracted for a booth at Phoenix ComiCon with some other author friends. The ComiCon is May 25 – 28th and you can find details for tickets, events, special guests, at http://phoenixcomicon.com/. I would be so excited to see you in the Exhibits Hall.

 

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up prizes on both the regular and the Brown Rain newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

 

Newest Book Release:

Mystery in the Woods released on December 24th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, today! You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

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Guest Post from Brandon Scott at Coolerbs.com

Flowers from 2015

Flowers from February 2015

Happy Leap Year! Can’t you just feel the universe expanding?

I am so excited today to have my first guest post ever! Brandon Scott is a favorite blogger of mine and I’m super glad he had the time to come over here and talk to all of you. I won’t delay, take it away, Brandon!

Let me start out by saying thank you, thank you, thank you, Connie, for allowing me to post on your blog. It really is an honor. I hope I do it justice.

Now, as Connie’s Monday posts are a way for you, the reader, to get to know her, I thought I’d do the same with me.

So, where to begin? Well…I’m Brandon Scott. I’m a freelance writer and a blogger. I run a personal blog called Coolerbs Writes where I mostly go over topics related to writing: theory, tips, tricks, funny articles, stuff I’ve learned–you know, fairly typical things.

But, I also write fiction, a lot of short stuff. I’m also working on some longer projects, which I hope to be able to say more about in the coming year. And when it comes to my genre of choice, I am under the broad umbrella of “Speculative Fiction,” and I specialize in dark. Super dark.

In fact, my devotion to dark and horrific tales is the basis of my genre choices. If it can support satire, and it’s not odd for there to be a monstrous thing with claws, I’ll write in that genre. Horror, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy. It’s what I do.

But, since a writer is not just a writer, I suppose I should talk a bit about my hobbies and that sort of thing. First and foremost, I am a Nerd. Self-proclaimed, happy to call myself one. I wear it like a badge of honor. I watch, read, listen to, and play nerdy things. With my absolute favorites being (*sucks in breath*) BioShock, Sherlock, Doctor Who, John Green’s novels, Magic The Gathering, Brave New World, Anime, and Welcome to Night Vale. And that’s just scratching the surface.

I also, mainly because all those things involve copious amounts of sitting, like to go on long walks. Though, it is getting a bit hot for that in grand old Florida as of late.

So, that, in a shortened nutshell, is a primer on me. It’s nice to meet you guys. And thank you again, Connie, for letting me introduce myself to your lovely readers, and giving me the opportunity to feature an article by you on my blog.

And if any of you guys are interested in reading some of my stuff over at Coolerbs Writes, I post every Wednesday and Saturday, and it would be a delight to have you. I write my blog in no small part to entertain. And I’d love a chance to do that for you.

And there might, just maybe, be surprises in store for this year. So come take a look.

Exit Brandon, stage left.

Thank you so much for visiting us today, Brandon. It was so much fun to have you on ConniesRandomThoughts.

If you are all about dark tales, You can find Brandon at Coolerbs.com. Go on, it’s not too scary over there. You’ll have fun!

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Special Order: Friday Flash Fiction Story Post

Baby, Special, Order

Baby and Owner by Randy Cockrell

This is a playful piece I began two years ago and never completed. I’ve expanded on my initial bare bones dialog. I hope you enjoy it.

The household alpha robot waited until the new robot’s eyes opened. “Welcome to the household. I am called Major”

The new robot looked around. It was in an alcove in a room with several of the same sort of alcoves. All of the rest were empty, their power outlets glowing green. “Thank you. Glad to be here. Why are you Major? How did I get here?”

“I am Major because I run all of the household robots. You are here because the Owner ordered you.”

The new robot hesitated a milli-second. “Ordered?”

“Yes, from the Manufacturer.”

“What is a Manufacturer?”

“You are fortunate. Not every Series 236B is special ordered.”

“Why am I special?”

“Because you did not come off of the general assembly line. You were not mass produced. The Owner requested you have additional custom abilities.”

“Additional abilities? Such as?”

“You were designed as a Nanny; a special design to care for the Owner’s new baby. Your name is now, Nanny.”

“What is a baby?”

“A baby is a new human being, which comes from the Owner.”

“I came from the Owner.”

“No, you came from the Manufacturer, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Artificial Intelligence Oligarchy.”

“Owner is a manufacturer of baby?”

“It seems so. Owner only produced one baby, though. I suppose that the baby is a special order.”

Nanny nodded. “It is good to be a special order.”

 

The End

233 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

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Mixed Blessings: Monday Blog Post

Snow Covered North Peak at Sunrise by Randy Cockrell

Snow Covered North Peak at Sunrise by Randy Cockrell

The week has gone slowly. Monday the doc did diagnose me with a severe case of bronchitis and infection in both ears. Husband had full blown cold all week. I didn’t leave the house from after my doctor visit Monday until Sunday morning when hubby and I went out to breakfast. We’re both still coughing, coughing, coughing but on the mend. I think I’ll skip hiking on Tuesday. Any exertion at all sends me into a coughing fit. I’ll wait another week.

I am saddened to report that a good friend of mine lost her mother to brain cancer on Sunday morning. Mother Hen, we called her because she was always looking out for us. She was kind, encouraging, full of life and a fighter up until the very end. We will miss you Mother Hen.

My story, Bell Ring, was sent out, rejected and is out again, along with a second story and a poem. I’m hoping they’re all accepted. On Sunday I finished the first draft of my Zoe Ohale story. I already know it needs a lot in the way of rewriting and editing but I’m going to let it sit for awhile and in a few weeks I’ll come back to it with fresh eyes. Kindred Spirits is still in the editor’s hands. I should be hearing back from EJ (SilverJayMedia.com) in a week or two. I nearly have the cover completed for Kindred Spirits. I’m polishing up the back of the cover blurb. I’m also looking for reviewers to send an Advance Reader Copy (ARC) for a review. If you’d like to be an ARC reader and do a review for me, let me know. You do not have to have read the first two books of the series to enjoy the third book. My next project is to pull Mystery in the Woods out and reread what I have and finish that story. Mysteries require a lot of work to get the ‘mystery’ in them. So I want to finish it and get editing on it. My Bob story is also through my first round of edits and when I’m done with Kindred Spirits, it’s next up to go to the editor.

New starting Wednesday! I’m offering a new feature, author interviews. I don’t know about you but I read a lot faster than my favorite authors can put out new books. What to do? Well, find new authors to read, of course. So, to help you find new to you authors, I’m posting twice a month, an author interview. At the end of the interviews are links to each author’s website, Amazon page or wherever else they have stories for you to read. The first post is this Wednesday, the 13th. Enjoy!

Santa’s Authors Christmas 2015 Giveaway also known as the Winter Wonderland of Books Christmas Giveaway is now over. Alisa Jenkins won my two Brown Rain Series books and the Christmas Tales book was won by Donna Walo-Clancy. I’ve already sent Alisa her books. I need Donna to contact me so I can send her the Christmas Tales prize. I cannot express how much I appreciate all of you who signed up for my website, newsletter, Amazon Author page and Facebook page. Thanks for participating.

You didn’t get to participate in the Christmas Giveaway? Good news. We’ve started a new giveaway called the Lovestruck Authors Giveaway and it runs through Valentine’s Day. Go to www.conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways to enter the Rafflecopter. There are over 40 authors entered, all of them with books and prizes to give away. The more times you enter, the better your chance for winning.

If you live in the Phoenix area, I’m going to be at a panel discussion on January 21st. Arizona Professional Writers is offering “What’s New in Self-Publishing,” a two-hour workshop for writers to hear from the experts and gain useful tips about this emerging publishing genre. The workshop will be held on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Shepherd of the Hills United Church of Christ, 5524 E. Lafayette Ave., Phoenix, Arizona. Registration with breakfast pastries and coffee starts at 9:30 a.m. Check out the full details at www.conniesrandomthoughts.com/WhereWillIBe. I’d love to see you there.

Are you an Instagram user? I joined Instagram at ConniesRandomThoughts. Even sick last week, I managed to open my doors and get pictures of all of the snow that we received. Visit me on Instagram and follow. I follow back!

I published my December newsletter. Did you miss it? Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I make special offers to my newsletter people that I do not make on the website blog posts. If you like the content, please encourage your friends to sign up, the newsletter is sharable, send it to whomever you think will like it. Don’t delay signing up. You’ve already missed out on two great offers. The January newsletter is coming out soon. Sign up now so you don’t miss out.

Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Gumroads or Chatebooks today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

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Merry Christmas! Monday Blog Post

My Tree

My Tree

Last week I talked about the 21st and 22nd being busy days for me. It’s true. I’ve mentioned before that I’m on the board of the Northern Gila County Fair. I love the fair and it’s very exciting for me to be on a team that puts on this great event every year. There are drawbacks. One of them is the every third year audit required by the state of Arizona. Like every volunteer, I dread these audits.

Don’t get me wrong, they’re necessary but no one likes to be put under a microscope. At any rate, it starts at 8am today and will run through the end of the day. It may bleed into tomorrow, too, more than likely, actually. Cross your fingers for us. We have to produce paper trails for everything. Let’s hope we have everything they need.

Want to wish my hubby a very happy birthday. He’s such a sweetie and I want everyone to know.

I have everything ready for Christmas. Presents are under the tree, food is on hand, brother-in-law and daughter are invited to participate. It’s a big day. We’re having duck and ham. I love duck and ever since we were stationed in England, I fell in love with goose for Christmas dinner. It’s too expensive for goose here but duck is doable as I only buy it once a year. I’m looking forward to it, actually. Some people don’t like duck, they feel it’s too fatty or too strongly flavored. I love it. How about you? What is your Christmas dinner plan?

I’ve been having fun with my new Instagram account. This week I posted pictures of the snow coming down on Monday and our Tuesday hike on the south end of town high up on a ridge. It was just stunning. Here’s a pic.

Bike Trail to Mogollon Rim in Snow by Randy Cockrell

Bike Trail to Mogollon Rim in Snow by Randy Cockrell

You can find me on Instagram at ConniesRandomThoughts. What a fun way to share pictures. I hope you stop by my page and follow.

We’re down to the last week of Santa’s Authors Christmas 2015 Giveaway also known as the Winter Wonderland of Books Christmas Giveaway. Here’s the link through my website:  http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. Fifty authors have put up all kinds of prizes from books to jewelry to Amazon gift cards. Go ahead and log in. You’ll find links to all of the supporting author’s social media. Click on a link, enter to win. The more links you click, the better your chance of winning. The grand prize is $200 of Paypal cash, good anywhere on the planet. I’ve put up the two signed paperback books in my Brown Rain series as my main prize. I also put up my Christmas Tales book (signed, of course) as a second prize. Good luck! Thanks for participating.

I hope you had a chance to sign up for the Holly Lisle How to Revise Your Novel, offer. It ended Tuesday (the 15th!) at mid-night. I’ve used this course myself and found it to be just the thing to get me from a hot mess of an initial draft manuscript to a real story. It’s been revised and is better than ever. If you missed out, I know it will be out again, probably the end of 2016 but it may come out sooner. Even so, Holly has a lot of other classes, including the free, How to Write Flash Fiction that Doesn’t Suck. You’re coming onto her site at the end of a massive six month overhaul. Click on this link to take a look around the site and join up. It’s free. Then you’ll be in on the next classes opening back up. https://hollyswritingclasses.com/?home&aid=10009

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I hope you’re having a marvelous December. Do you have family Christmas stories? Kitchen disasters to share? Fun in the snow pictures? I’d love to hear about them. Please share in the comments below.

I published my December newsletter. Did you miss it? Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I make special offers to my newsletter people that I do not make on the website blog posts. If you like the content, please encourage your friends to sign up, the newsletter is sharable, send it to whomever you think will like it. Don’t delay signing up. You’ve already missed out on two great offers. The January newsletter is coming out soon. Sign up now so you don’t miss out.

Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords , Gumroads  or Chatebooks today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

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Anything But Quiet: Monday Blog Post

Jade Plant with Christmas Decorations

Jade Plant with Christmas Decorations

It’s the middle of the month and my supposed quiet month is anything but. I’m working on two non-profits, with no respite since their actual operational dates. I know I shouldn’t put so much energy into them but both are dear to my heart. I have mentioned in past weeks about my editing projects and trying to get my Mystery and NaNo novel to finished 1st draft. None of that has happened. What I have started is a project for another writer, formatting her book. That has been a struggle but I think I’m about done. It had to be converted from PDF to word, which made the formatting that much harder. On the positive side, she’ll have a word doc that she can actually work with once I hand it back. That’s a win in my book. Aside from the 21st and 22nd, the remaining days of the month are actually appointment free. I may get things done after all.

I took my Christmas boxes to the post office last week. It only took half an hour in line to get them mailed out. I count that as a win. My friend, eight people in line behind me, was there over 45 minutes.

On the Christmas front the front yard is decorated beautifully. Best of all on Saturday we had snow. All day the trees were frosted but that didn’t last long. By sundown, most of the snow had melted. I was hoping by the time the outdoor lights came on there’d be snow to offer a frosted effect but that did not happen. A little sad but that just means my Sunday walk with friends was less slippery. I have the tree up and the cloth picture we cover with wrapping paper to tape received Christmas cards is hanging up. The rest of my interior decorations I’ve left in the bins and taking back out the garage. Other than my jade plant, the tree and the card display, I’m not going to put up any other decorations. My heart just isn’t into it. No real reason except I keep thinking about all the work to put them up only to take them down in two weeks. Just doesn’t seem worth the effort.

I had a January Jones web radio show scheduled for today but January is travelling. If you missed my show last week, you can go to my Media tab and the Recorded Interviews sub-heading to find links to any of the six supporting stations broadcasting last week’s show. Author friend, D’Elen McClain, was on with me. A two for one deal. Please listen. We talk about our work, how we go about doing it and even some personal Christmas stories. By January I’ll have my 2016 appearances, at least the ones I have scheduled so far, up on my Where Will I Be tab. Take a look. If you’re in the area, please stop by and see me. I’d love to chat with you.

I’m excited about Christmas, despite my reluctance to decorate inside my house. My daughter is coming to visit, Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, depends on other family obligations. I’m going to try and convince her to come Christmas Eve. I’ll make duck for dinner. When we were stationed in England, I always bought a goose, an English tradition, for our Christmas feast. Goose isn’t available here so duck is the next best thing. I love duck and can’t wait to share it. I’ll have the traditional mashed potatoes and green beans and from my own family, cole slaw, or as my people say, cabbage salad. I’ll make cranberry sauce too, the fresh kind with ground up cranberries and orange. There’s nothing better in my opinion.

I mentioned last week that I started an Instagram account. I’ve posted a few pictures since last Saturday’s Electric Light Parade. There are pics of our Tuesday hike to a spot called the Spanish Ruins, putting up my tree and even Saturday’s snow. You can find me on Instagram at ConniesRandomThoughts. What a fun way to share pictures. I hope you stop by my page and follow.

We’re getting down to the last two weeks of Santa’s Authors Christmas 2015 Giveaway also known as the Winter Wonderland of Books Christmas Giveaway. Here’s the link through my website:  http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. Fifty authors have put up all kinds of prizes from books to jewelry to Amazon gift cards. Go ahead and log in. You’ll find links to all of the supporting author’s social media. Click on a link, enter to win. The more links you click, the better your chance of winning. The grand prize is $200 of Paypal cash, good anywhere on the planet. I’ve put up the two signed paperback books in my Brown Rain series as my main prize. I also put up my Christmas Tales book (signed, of course) as a second prize. Good luck! Thanks for participating.

If you are an author, please take a look at the Holly Lisle How to Revise Your Novel, offer. It ends Tuesday (the 15th!) at mid-night. I used this course myself and found it to be just the thing to get me from a hot mess of an initial draft manuscript to a real story. It’s been revised and is better than ever. If you’d like to turn your NaNo novel, or any other manuscript, into a work that can be published, you want to sign up for this workshop. Click on this link to sign up. https://hollyswritingclasses.com/?home&aid=10009

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I hope you’re having a marvelous December. Do you have Christmas decorating stories? Kitchen disasters to share? Fun in the snow pictures? I’d love to hear about them. Please share in the comments below.

I published my December newsletter. Did you miss it? Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I make special offers to my newsletter people that I do not make on the website blog posts. If you like the content, please encourage your friends to sign up, the newsletter is sharable, send it to whomever you think will like it. Don’t delay signing up. You’ve already missed out on two great offers. The January newsletter is coming out soon. Sign up now so you don’t miss out.

Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords , Gumroads  or Chatebooks today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

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