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A Year of Life and Death


I would like to be able to say that I’ve been writing my butt off over the last year and a half I’ve been away from this blog. The truth, however, is far different.

It’s only been in the last couple months I’ve been able to write. In February 2012, my fourth child was born, granting me 2 girls and 2 boys. Shortly thereafter a touch of post partum depression reared its ugly head.

Then came the kicker.

My father died while taking a nap just down the hall from where I was working on something and my children were playing.

He came home from the grocery store, put away his goodies, and settled in his room to take a nap while watching his shows. All that was perfectly normal. My daughter and I brought the newborn in to see Grandpa for a few minutes, then said goodnight as we shut the door behind us.

A couple hours later, my 7 year old daughter (at the time) asked if she could go play with Grandpa. He was usually up at that time, and they had a closer relationship than I could ever adequately describe, so I told her okay.

She came running from his room screaming, “Grandpa won’t wake up, Grandpa’s dead,” while clutching a pillow to her chest and crying into it.

I became cold, lost my hearing, literally forgot how to breathe as I ran toward his bedroom door. I thought, Well, he can’t be dead. But what if he had a stroke and is unconscious?As I swung the door open, his color gave it all away. I leapt over to him anyway, to take a pulse. He was cold. He hadn’t moved from the restful position we had last seen him in – not a hair out of place. He must have passed only moments after we left the room a couple hours before.

Though I haven’t been able to think of anything but my daughter’s pain, the sheer amount of paperwork (we STILL haven’t completely finished with all that friggin’ paperwork), and my own grief for the past year, I have been able to find comfort in the fact that my father felt no pain, didn’t suffer the indignity of growing frail enough to need help to the bathroom (something he feared), and passed peacefully among family. In the last month or so, my daughter has also been able to see the blessing in so pain-free a death, though it has taken a long time to help her find that comforting. All she wanted for Christmas was her Grandpa back.

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Posted by on May 12, 2013 in All

 

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Jumping on the Bandwagon


I used to hate reading ebooks.  Staring at a computer screen for long enough to read even a short story was way too hard on my eyes (still is).  BUT, with the advances in technology now, I took a chance on the Kindle.

They’re not lying.  It really is like reading a paper book (at least, to the eyes).  It’ll take some getting used to, and I will never fall out of love with my solid, physical, tree-killing books.  But I’m kind of falling in love with my Kindle now too.

With the headaches I used to get, trying to read things like The Picture of Dorian Grey on my computer, I never thought I would join the ranks of ebook readers.  But, then, I thought, hey, I’m self-publishing (as soon as this WIP is whipped into shape).  Since I’ll be self-publishing in ebook form (solely, at least at first), I really should give ebooks another try.  A) I don’t want to be construed as hypocritical or anything.  B) I’d like to see how my own books look on the actual Kindle device.

It’s not a Kindle Fire.  I’m starting small, with the basic model.  I don’t handle change all that well (shh – don’t tell anyone) and technology isn’t my best friend.  So, I figured starting small was probably in my best interest (beyond being cheaper as well).

On the one hand, I kind of feel like I’m cheating on my bookcase full of actual paper books.  On the other hand, I’m far too young not to take advantage of new advances in technology (even if the techy stuff makes me want to psychotically throw microchips into a burning trash bin).  And…. I really do like this little thing.

 

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2011 in All, Reading

 

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Ever Sneeze So Hard You Pee Your Pants?


Okay, so, this is the fourth time I’ve been pregnant.  Now, they’ll tell you (and you’ve probably heard this, or experienced it, if you’ve ever been pregnant) that you may wet yourself, particularly in the last trimester, when you laugh, cough, sneeze, etc.

Thankfully, I had never actually experienced this phenomenon.  I understood the concept, and I felt sorry for the women who did have to experience this embarrassing moment, but it had never happened to me… until now…

I have a little cold.  Nothing major.  I’m just a bit more fatigued than usual, with a (rare) cough.

Last night, sitting in my horrible-for-my-butt computer chair, mucking about on Twitter — I sneezed.  This was no baby sneeze.  This wasn’t some ladylike achoo.  This was tornado force winds exiting my face!

Seriously – I was dizzy afterward.

In the same moment that my face exploded, a tell-tale gush informed me that, in no uncertain terms, I had wet myself.

Crap!  So, I got up from my computer chair and started waddling to the bathroom.

On the way to clean myself up, I ran in to my other half.

“What’s with you?” he asks.

“I just sneezed so hard, I peed my pants.”

He starts laughing hysterically at me.  Then, he looks down, his smile fades, the laughter stops.

“Hey!  Those are MY pants!”

“Okay, fine, so I just sneezed so hard I peed YOUR pants.”

Who’s laughing now?!

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2011 in All, For Fun/Just Because

 

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I Read Liebster, I See Lobster, Either Way – I’ve Been Nominated! :)


My Liebster Blog Award

The Liebster Blog Award is something that someone very mysterious (and fabulous) started who knows when.  I know – highly informative, huh?  Without being creepy or annoying or threatening something stupid, it’s a little like a chain-letter, in that it continues to circulate from nominee to nominee, granting exposure and love to a great many bloggers.  No one has any idea who started it.  Well, I’m sure SOMEONE does – but whoever they are, they ain’t talking.  Or, they’re not talking loud enough.  Anyway…

Wren Andre, whose blog is Writing in the Real World, has nominated this blog for the Liebster Blog Award.  🙂  *blush*  I will now take this opportunity to fulfill my first (and second actually) award-receiving obligation by saying – Thank you Wren Andre!!  Her blog is awesome, I hope you’ll check it out.  It’s always fun, updated on a fairly regular basis, and full of great “becoming an author” related news.

Upon receiving your Liebster award, you should:

1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.

2. Link back to the blogger who presented the award to you.

3. Copy and paste the blog award on your blog.

4. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 5 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed. (some say just 3 or more blogs of less than 200 followers each)

5. Let them know they have been chosen, by leaving a comment at their blog.

Without further ado, here are the 5 blogs I would like to nominate for a Liebster Blog Award:

1. Thea Atkinson’s Blog: http://theaatkinson.wordpress.com/

Thea is an indie author, who has published quite a few ebooks so far.  Her blog is well-organized, encouraging to writers and aspiring writers, and sprinkled with humor and fun stuff.

2. Speechless Chatter – Mygurlywayz Blog: http://mygurlywayz.wordpress.com/

This is a new blog – a baby blog – but don’t let that turn you off.  It’s looking really great.  Kelly is an open, authentic personality and a web design student who’s thinking of writing her own book, and talks about books written by others, reviews, etc.

3. Damyanti’s Daily (w)rite: http://damyantiwrites.wordpress.com/

Damyanti has some fantastic information on her blog, for (aspiring) writers. There are guest posts form authors, tips, stories revolving around writing, etc.  Never a dull read.

4. William Peeps Diaryhttp://williampeepsdiary.blogspot.com/

I like comedy, and this is a funny guy.  Who doesn’t need a laugh now and then?  It’s a bit wacky, kind of difficult to explain in such a short paragraph, but I think you’ll like it.  😉

5. Writer’s Block Partyhttp://writersparty.com/

To be honest, I’m not sure if Lisa Taylor has more than 200 followers or not.  But, since this is a brand spanking new blog, I’m thinking she may still be under the 200, and able to qualify for a Liebster.  There are author interviews here, contests, lots of fun stuff!  And, Lisa’s a published fantasy author.

It was REALLY hard to stick to ONLY 5 writer’s blogs.  In the end, many of the ones I follow had a total of more than 200, which made it a little easier.  I’d love to just give EVERY blogger a Liebster.  But, hey, I am but one person.  I still give you all luv though!! MUAH!

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2011 in All, Blogging/Awards

 

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Six Sentence Sunday


So, I’m on Twitter this morning and I keep seeing all these #sixsunday and “six sentence Sunday” tweets popping up on the screen.

I’ll never be able to keep up with all the trends and what-not.

BUT, assuming I understand the concept, it sounds like an interesting little thing to participate in (if only for this one Sunday).  With that in mind, I’ve decided to post six sentences from the rough draft I am currently working on.

It’s unrevised, unedited, quite raw — who knows what this little passage will look like in the final draft.  Still, whether it’s a good idea or a bad idea, here it goes…

“Leave now or die horribly,” said one of the vampires.

“Are you always this dramatic?” I rolled my eyes. “Back off and I won’t have to kill you.”

I was downwind. Their echoing laughter served as evidence they couldn’t tell yet what I was.The man who had been pinning the frightened girl against the brick wall let her go.

So, if you DO know what “six sentence Sunday” is, and you DO participate (semi) regularly… did I even do this right?

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2011 in All, Writing, Writing Samples - free

 

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A Letter to Santa…


Dear Santa,

I’ve been a good girl this year, so…

What?

Stop laughing!

Okay, fine, I’ll grant you that “good” is a highly subjective term.  But I haven’t strangled my hubby, I haven’t hung my children from the ceiling fan by their toes, and whatever the cats may have told you — I have not threatened to drop them off at a Vietnamese restaurant!  (Cats are crazy, you know that — don’t trust them!)

*ahem*

The point is, I haven’t done anything that should land me on the naughty list.  Surely you have bigger fish to fry there.  So, I shouldn’t have to settle for coal, or snowman poop, or whatever it is you’re giving out to the girls and boys on that list these days.

So… I have compiled a short, reasonable, eight-item list of presents I would like to see wrapped up under my tree this year.

1) A computer, impervious to viruses, that never crashes or inexplicably loses any of my hard work.

2) Dishes and clothes that wash themselves.

3) A magical elf who will finish my manuscript for me.

4) A microchip-implant that will enable my son to skip his “terrible twos”.

5) A gift certificate for one pain-free childbirth experience.

6) A one-year supply of chocolate (you could put this on a yearly subscription plan actually)

7) That Easy Bake oven that SOMEONE (I won’t say who) forgot to give me twenty-some-odd years ago.

8) Johnny Depp — wrapping not necessary.  (What?  I don’t want the guy to suffocate or anything!)

I’m sure there’s nothing on the list that’s too hard for Santa to make happen.  Miracle on 34th Street proved that you really can do anything.  And, it’s not like I’m asking you to walk on water or anything.  Although, if you DO decide to do that – have Mrs. Clause record that stunt, and shove the DVD in my stocking, would ya?

Pet the reindeer for me!

Thanks,

A. W. Omyn

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2011 in All, For Fun/Just Because

 

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Pen Names… For? Against? Don’t Care?


Yesterday, I stumbled across an interesting blog post/article, written by a thriller author, who chose to go with a pen name, at the behest of her publisher.

I can’t say I agree with all of her/their reasons, but hey – it was ultimately her choice, and she picked a name she felt she could live with.

The article itself wasn’t what inspired me to make a blog post of my own though.  It was the comments that got me thinking.  Some of them were really harsh.  Some berated her for not sticking it to her publisher and refusing to change her name.  Some mocked her pen name choice, or her reason.  At least one even flat-out refused to read anything by her, because she had “sold out” by choosing a pen name.

I had no idea it was such a big deal to some people, or that one could be viewed as potentially weak for choosing to write under a name they weren’t actually born with.

Writers have all different reasons for choosing a pen name: so they won’t be confused with other writers or popular characters, so they can fit their name to their audience, book shelf placement, because their birth name is ridiculously hard to pronounce, because they’re writing both romance and horror but don’t want the audience to be confused or turned off, etc.

In the case of the author who wrote the article I’m referencing here, they felt her name wasn’t suitable to the genre she was writing in.  Basically, the main concern was that no one would want to read a thriller with “Alison Potter” on the book cover.

Personally, I don’t care what an author’s name is.  I’ll admit that I, like most, may make a purchasing decision based on the cover (though, the blurb on the back or online description is what does or does not sell it for me).  But, the author’s name has honestly never made a difference to me.  I’ve never said to myself, “Well, no one named Wendy Harper is capable of writing a good horror novel, so there’s just no way I’m going to pick that book up!”  And, I’ve never known anyone else who cared about that either.  I don’t even care if it’s chick-lit written by Frederick Humperdink.  What’s the blurb say?  What impression does the cover give me?

As I’m sure you’ve guessed, A. W. Omyn isn’t the name on my birth certificate.  So, why did I choose it?  Well, honestly, because I’m a bit of a smartass.  I’d love to say there’s some better, more serious, ethical, career-deciding, etc. reason for it.  But, in the end, it just boils down to my being a smartass.

I know that there are female authors who choose to go with initials, rather than their full name (whether of their own accord, or due to the advice of an agent/publisher/marketing consultant), in order to essentially hide their gender from the audience (at least until after the reader has read the book, or the author has gained a certain level of notoriety).

So, I thought it was funny to make a name with initials that not only does not hide my gender, but blatantly tells you exactly what it is.

Why did I choose to go with a ‘y’ instead of an ‘a’?  Is it some grand-standing political statement against the word “man” being within the title of my gender association?  Am I trying to push for the word “woman” to be changed to “womyn”?  Nope.  I just have a thing for ‘y’s in female names.  I think they make the name a bit more feminine and unique, generally speaking.

Thoughts on pen names?  Is there a bad reason to choose a pen name?  Is there a good reason to choose one?  Are you upset by authors who choose to go with a pen name?  Would the name on a book cover influence your decision to purchase, or read, a particular book?

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2011 in All, Publishing, Writing

 

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