Read an Exchange with Author Bill Kirton (@carver22)

Bill Kirton and I met via RB Wood’s Word Count Podcast a few years ago.

How time flies. Bill is fun to know, and he’s a terrific writer and storyteller.

Please find out more about this talented man, and his wicked, dry sense of humour.

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Welcome Bill. It’s great to finally have you on my blog. In twenty words or less, tell us how your best friend would describe you.

He’d probably say I’m less selfish and less lazy than I really am, but what does he know?

Aww … he must like you. Are you a full time writer, or do you have a day job? 

I’m a full time writer, which means writing books (which is enjoyable) but also writing commercial scripts for DVDs, training courses, safety inductions and various other corporate things (which isn’t, but it pays the bills). So most of the time, I’m sitting at the computer. However, when I feel like it, I get up and ride my bike or drive up the road and climb a hill or do things in the garden or get on with my latest bit of wood carving or just go into town and look at people. And, of course, I waste time on Facebook.

Yes, I’ve seen you fooling around on Facebook now and again. ;) If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I thought I’d skip this one but started asking myself why. It comes down to something I repeat ad nauseam: Sartre’s line ‘Hell is other people’. So my answer is: there are plenty of things I’d like to change, not because I’m evil or uncaring or any of those things I deplore so much in others, but just to make my life easier. For example, I’d like to stop having to remind myself to network and plug my books. But whatever I do, however I am, I’ve absolutely no control over how others see me.

You’re reading this, I want you to like me or at least think I’m interesting but you may already have decided I’m a bore, or dull, or pretentious or God knows what else, so changing who I am would probably have no effect, so in keeping with my natural idleness, I’ll stay as I am. It won’t make any difference.

Good segue for this next question. What are some of your favourite curse words? (I get the feeling you want to say a few right now, heh).

I only ever use about 4 or 5 – the usual ones plus Merde. I don’t choose them for their meanings; they’re all just noises, vocal explosions usually to vent frustration or anger. I had a friend (sadly now deceased) whose only curse was ‘Rats’. When my young stepson asked him what he said when he was really angry, he said ‘Hamsters’.

That’s hilarious. How about what makes you laugh, and I mean, REALLY laugh?

I rarely take anything seriously so the answer is lots of things. I’m of the absurdist persuasion so anything that highlights life’s absurdities does it for me, especially when it undermines the pompous. I like intelligent, surprising wordplay (although that maybe brings a smile and a general feeling of well-being, rather than a boisterous guffaw), but also physical stuff of the sort Steve Martin used to do in his films or as encapsulated in Buster Keaton’s blank-faced response to outrageous circumstances.

In the end, it’s usually comedy of character that’s most effective. People can be ghastly, evil, nasty or compassionate, charitable, generous but the ones I prefer are those who, along with whatever else they are, are also funny. My most cherished response to everything – yes, everything – is laughter.

Unfortunately, so many things in our world make it impossible. (And this whole answer shows how precious and unfathomable laughter is. I’m writing about it in a serious way, which kills it stone dead.)

You make a good point. Life is too short, and laughter has a way of putting things in perspective.

Let’s talk a bit about your writing. What motivates you to do it?

This is going to be a glib, pretentious sort of answer but really the question is like asking what motivates me to breathe. (See? I told you so.) I’ve always written, from a really early age. I get lots of satisfaction using words, of having the time to shape sentences and paragraphs until they say exactly what I want to say, not only in terms of syntax and semantics, but also in their rhythms. (God, it’s getting worse.)

When I give workshops, especially to students about academic writing, I suggest to them that, until you’ve written a thought down, it’s not clear. You may believe you know the answer to a question but, in order to prove that you do (to yourself as well as to others), you need to give it a distinct shape – and you can only do that with words. Writing is thinking. (And that final sentence undermines everything I’ve just said because I began by saying writing was breathing, so I’m obviously talking self-contradictory rubbish.)

How do you market yourself?

With great reluctance and frustration that I’m having to do so. I really mean that but it’s not a helpful answer, so it’s just the usual online networking, trying to be funny, trying to make myself interesting. But it all feels so desperate, as if I’m needy, begging for attention. I think my books are good (it’d be weird if I didn’t), but I don’t want to force them on anyone. I’m also (and this is a recurrent theme in my blogs) lazy. If the choice is between networking and daydreaming, it’s no contest.

I prefer to think of daydreaming as ‘gathering ideas’ for a writer. ;)

What would be your favourite and least favourite parts of being a writer?

The previous answer covers the least favourite bit but there are so many favourite bits that they more than compensate for it. First, there’s the feeling of getting lost in the world you’re creating, being with and knowing the inner workings of the characters there, losing touch completely with the actual time and place of the real world, even losing touch with your self. When the need to eat or pee or answer the phone or whatever drags you away from it, you really feel you’re waking up and suddenly becoming aware of who and where you are. It’s as if you’re coming round after an anaesthetic.

Then there’s the strange intimacy of the contact with the reader. You only get glimpses of this in reviews and the occasional contact, but it’s like alchemy. Somewhere – maybe just down the street, or in London, or Canada, or Brazil, or anywhere – someone opens a book of yours (or, more often, clicks on a screen), and brings your characters to life. The reality you created is recreated (maybe with variations) in his/her mind, which brings the two of you – total strangers – together to share something unique.

And finally, it’s the fact that you’re in control. Life is absurd, accidental, chaotic, totally unpredictable but, in your stories, you can give it shape, meaning, even purpose if you want to. It’s illusory, of course, because it’s fiction, but writing lets you live the illusion for a while.

Do you outline, plot and structure, or do you just sit down and write?

I just sit down and write. I have no idea of the title or ending and both may change several times as I’m writing. Whether I’m writing crime, historical or even the children’s stories featuring my misanthropic fairy, Stanley Henderson, who lives under a dripping tap in my bedroom, I start with some undeveloped thoughts about the themes I’ll be following and what impact I’d like to have on the reader. It’s when the characters have begun to form and take over that the plot strands begin to appear. In a crime novel, for example, I may start by thinking that I know who the perpetrator and victim are but, as the interactions begin and personalities and motives reveal themselves, other, better candidates may emerge.

Once they’ve set their various courses, I usually stop and jot down some vague thoughts about major set pieces that may occur, a few narrative lines that parallel the main one (so that I can introduce the necessary red herrings), but even then, I may jettison the lot if better ideas occur. The actual, final plotting occurs when the first draft’s finished. By that I mean that the plot’s already there but, by tweaking some events, adding or deleting others, I can sharpen the focus and give it the sort of narrative necessity that wasn’t apparent as I and the characters were living our way through it.

Are you working on another book now? Tell us a bit about it.

I’m answering this because it’s the first time I’ve spent so long on a book and it’s making me think not only of how the characters and plot are going to progress but also of the external factors which affect how we write. It’s a sequel to my historical novel, The Figurehead.

The FigureheadThat featured a woodcarver and the daughter of a merchant for whom he was carving a figurehead for a new ship. As well as solving a crime (an obligatory theme for me because I’m labelled a crime writer), they were attracted to one another and that made it part romance as well as crime (their fault, not mine). That book ended on what I described as ‘a lovers’ kiss’. OK, fair enough. But the sequel’s set a year later, so what the hell have they been doing during that year? It’s 1841, so untrammelled sex is out. Neither seems particularly keen to get married and, anyway, there’s the social gulf between them to consider.

In other words, these characters have been leading a life in their limbo and now, here I am again, intruding on them and asking them insolent questions about what they’ve been up to. I’ve got a rough idea of what they’ll be doing next but, before they can do it, I need to know where they’re starting from. In other words, I need to read the novel of their intervening year. But it hasn’t been nor will it ever be written.

Hmm … we can hope, right? Tell us your best advice for new authors.

I always give the same answer and it’s threefold.

First, trust your own voice. Too many people think writing has to be ‘posh’ or use a special vocabulary or florid imagery or difficult metaphors or any number of other high-faluting ‘literary’ tricks. Well, yes, these things are all available, but when you write, don’t adopt a persona, be yourself, tell the story your way. Literature is so varied that there’s room for all styles, all registers.

Next, read your work aloud. That’ll not only help you to find typos (although some always seem to get through), mis-spellings, repetitions, grammatical errors and the like, it’ll also help you to get the feel of the all-important rhythms of your prose, whether there’s enough variety in the length of your sentences or the ways you’ve linked them. This never gets enough attention but it’s crucial.

And finally, separate the functions of writer and editor. When you write your first draft, don’t worry too much about the technicalities – spelling, grammar, etc. – tell the story, follow its pace, get it down on the page/screen. Then put it aside for as long as possible and return to it as an editor to tidy it up, eliminate the errors, polish it and get it ready for others to read.

What is the genre of your current book?

That’s a harder question than it appears. The book’s a novella called Alternative Dimension and, for a change, it’s not about crime.

Alternative DimensionIts subject is the online role-playing game of the title and it tracks the fate of the game’s inventor from when he first conceived it until the denouement, which comes about as a result of his experiences in both the real and the virtual worlds. So I suppose it’s a modern, or maybe slightly futuristic, satirical fantasy. But its main purpose was twofold – to make the reader laugh and think.

(By the way, I said earlier that writing is thinking but I believe laughing is thinking, too, but that’s another question. So certify me.)

Ha! Why should people read your book?

‘Should’ is a difficult word to justify. The only writers who might legitimately exercise that sort of compulsion would be those who ghost-wrote for gods and prophets. But it’s the sort of question we rarely ask ourselves so, from that perspective, it’s a challenge. The first answer is because I think (hope?) it’s funny and laughter never needs any justification. But the interplay between real and virtual is very much part of modern life and some people spend more time in the latter.

The virtual world is a wonderful escape from the tedium and stresses of day-to-day living, but it’s so enticing that distinctions between the two can begin to blur. If you have the choice between changing the sheets, washing the dishes and riding a unicorn into the Sistine chapel where you have no-holds-barred sex with a wolf, it can colour your perspectives and judgments and change who you are. So the book’s supposed to make you laugh but also remind you of which reality you inhabit and how it’s threatened by seemingly harmless games.

What inspired you to write Alternative Dimension?

As I said, it’s about an online role-playing game and it’s the result of me spending some time a while ago playing the game Second Life™. It’s an amazing creation and I originally joined to do some research for a short story. I found, however, that I was spending quite a lot of time there and enjoying myself a lot.

So much so that I realised it could become addictive. It was so different from the everyday and yet the person visiting this magical kingdom was still me, and I met lots of other, fascinating people who were effectively living other lives. But the writer in me kept stepping aside and writing stories, not about Second Life™, but about a hypothetical equivalent. It was only when I revisited these stories with a view to publishing them that I realised they had a common thread running through them and that, in fact, they belonged to the same sort of narrative.

So I grouped them into a progressive structure, rewrote them to link them more closely, then bound them together by introducing a single, central narrative featuring the game’s inventor who, himself, had two avatars who played the game. It’s the only time I’ve ever written a longer prose work in such an episodic way and I have to confess I was pleased with the result.

Please read the blurb for Alternative Dimension on Amazon US or Amazon UK, where you can also purchase the book.

 

How are you marketing your book?

Badly, i.e. not at all.

I hope this interview helps a little. ;) What would be the best way for someone to support your book, aside from buying it?

OK, let’s assume they’ve bought it and think it’s OK, or even good. The next step is to say so in a review which they post on Amazon UK and USA, Goodreads, and any other outlets they know. But, perhaps even more importantly, tell their friends, real and online, about it. If you don’t have a promotional/marketing budget of several thousands, word of mouth is the best form of advertising.

I agree. Let’s have a fun lightning round, Bill, go! 

Aside from people/pets, what is the ONE item you would save if your house was on fire? My iPad, which would have taped to it (in order to make it qualify as one item) a memory stick carrying all my books and notes.

Favorite place you’ve traveled to or would like to travel to? New England and Paris – can’t separate them.

Name a food you can eat everyday. Ice cream.

Salty or sweet? Sweet.

Cat/dog/other pet? Nope.

Favourite style of music? Nearly everything.

The best gift you’ve ever received? iPad. (Thanks, son.)

Your most guilty pleasure. The combined experience of watching Barcelona play football as I’m eating ice cream or chocolate or both, especially if Lionel Messi is playing and there’s a peanut butter flavour involved.

Favourite season. Nope. I like them all.

Name something you cannot go a day without. Nothing’s that important.

Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers? Well, if they’ve got this far, thanks for that, and thanks to you, Eden, for such a fascinating, challenging and highly enjoyable set of questions.

Thank you Bill, for taking the time to provide such thoughtful responses. ‘Twas a pleasure to learn more about you. 

Please find all of Bill’s books on:

Amazon US and Amazon UK

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Connect To Bill

Bill Kirton

Website and Blog | Facebook | Twitter @carver22

Goodreads Google + | Linkedin | Pinterest

Book Trailers for The Darkness and The Sparrow Conundrum 

The Darkness Sparrow

Bill Kirton was a lecturer in French at the University of Aberdeen before taking early retirement to become a full-time writer. He’s won two 2011 Forward National Literature Awards: The Sparrow Conundrum won gold for Humor and The Darkness silver for Mystery. The Sparrow Conundrum also won the Humor/Satire category in Big Al’s Books and Pals Readers’ Choice Awards in 2013 and his historical novel, The Figurehead, was long-listed for the International Rubery Award in 2012.

He’s written radio and stage plays and been the visiting artist in the Theater Department of the University of Rhode Island on four separate occasions. He’s also been a TV presenter, a voice-over artist and a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow in universities in Aberdeen, Dundee and St Andrews.

His novels are set in the north east of Scotland. Material Evidence, Rough Justice, The Darkness, Shadow Selves and Unsafe Acts all feature DCI Jack Carston. The Figurehead is set in Aberdeen in 1840 and The Sparrow Conundrum, is a spoof spy/crime novel which moves from Aberdeen to Inverness. The only book not set in Scotland is a futuristic satirical novella which explores the world of online role-playing games. It’s called Alternative Dimension.

He’s published a collection of short stories called Other People and other stories, three of which appeared in the Crime Writers’ Association annual anthology in 1999, 2005 and 2006. In 2010, another was chosen as one of the Best British Crime Stories, Vol. 7. It has also been optioned by a film company in Los Angeles.His non-fiction output includes Just Write, co-written with Kathleen McMillan, Brilliant Study Skills, Brilliant Essay, Brilliant Dissertation, Brilliant Workplace Skills and Brilliant Academic Writing.

He also writes books for children. The Loch Ewe Mystery is a stand-alone adventure and Rory the Dragon and Princess Daisy was specially produced for the charity.

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Music Monday takes poetic license with LAY DOWN SALLY

It’s National Poetry Month, so I’d like to talk about “poetic license” in songs.

A writer who takes poetic license deviates from the correct use of language to express himself/herself. Poets do this to achieve the effects of rhyme, meter, or some other desired outcome.

Did Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan, two iconic songwriters take poetic license when they misused the words LIE vs LAY in their songs? I’m not sure. These words are often confused with one another.

Clapton’s “Lay Down Sally” is grammatically incorrect. You lay down an object, but in the song, he’s talking to Sally and what he really wants is for her to lie down.

It’s the same with Dylan’s “Lay Lady Lay.” The correct title should be “Lie Lady Lie,” though Dylan’s version rolls off the tongue much more easily.

Bad grammar aside, these songs are forever etched in my brain as they were written. I’d feel pretty foolish to sing them any other way.

Please share any songs you know where the writer has taken poetic license with the title or lyrics.

In the meantime, enjoy “Lay Down Sally,” and I hope you have a great week.

~eden

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Read an Exchange with Author Fiona Quinn (@FionaQuinnBooks)

I am so excited to have author, Fiona Quinn, on my blog. I’m a huge fan of her and her writing.

When I set out to write a mystery, her wisdom and experience were invaluable to me. In this interview, you’ll find out how she shares her knowledge with authors.

Now, let’s learn more about this fascinating woman and her book, Virginia is for Mysteries.

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Welcome Fiona, thrilled to have you here. Let’s start with some personal questions. Tell me some of your favorite curse words.

Ha! This is the easiest question you asked. I drop the F bomb with regularity, though in a lady-like way. Actually, when I curse, it’s usually in French. Not many people speak French (at least the curse words) in my area, so I can let a stream of them fly without any repercussions. People have actually said to me, “What a beautiful language. What did you just say?” which makes my kids roll their eyes.

Even curses sound romantic in French! What is one thing you want to do before you die?

I would like to eat chocolate covered strawberries from a silver platter, whilst sitting in a hot tub in Iceland, under a spectacular Aurora Borealis with my husband.

Wow, I love that response! Do you have any extravagances?

Long scalding-hot baths when I can just lay there and let my mind play.

How about a profession other than your own you’d like to try?

I think I would like to be a spa critic. I would fly all over the world to the very best spas, indulge in their classes, events, and pampering specialties, and then tell people what I thought about them. Yes, yes indeed, I think that would be the perfect job for me.

Hmm … I’m sensing a water theme. ;) Let’s learn more about you as a writer. What projects do you have on the go at the moment? 

Right now, I am focused on growing my blog ThrillWriting. It is doing very well, and I just love the process of learning, helping other writers, and getting to know people all over the world.

I am developing a short story for a Guppy anthology contest. I am also working on a novel project with my writing partner John Dolan. The plot line runs from America to England and is so much fun – I have never laughed so hard.

You know I’m a huge fan of your ThrillWriting blog. For writers of crime, mystery, and thrillers, it’s an amazing resource, and I’ve learned so much from it. Hit the banner below and see some of Fiona’s fabulous articles.

As for your anthology with John Dolan, I can’t wait for it. I’m sure it will be wonderful.

thrill writing

Fiona’s terrific blog for writers

Do you outline, plot and structure, or do you just sit down and write?

With novels, I know the beginning middle and end in my head, and I move towards them. In short stories, I just let the plot surprise me. As I hear a character tell me something, I put it on tape or in notes and make sure it shows up in the story. Usually my characters know what happened, and they just tell me. It’s my job to explain it to the readers.

What part of writing a novel do you enjoy the most? The least?

I LOVE writing, editing, talking about writing, being critiqued, learning… I HATE querying and being rejected. But it goes with the territory, right?

It sure does. How do you market yourself?

I have tried various things, but I get most of my interaction through my blog. I use Facebook and Twitter – I’ve tried Pinterest but that feels like quicksand to me. If I started indulging, I don’t think I could rear my head to get anything else done.

I hear you, marketing can be exhausting. Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I always knew that I wanted to be a writer. I thought that I wanted to write tourist books and travel guides, and so I travelled all over the world to develop connections and learn languages (enough that I could get from point A to point B). But then there was marriage and children and divorce and new marriage and more children… life happened. I ended up un-schooling my kids. As the first set flew from the nest, I thought, Great! Now I have time to write. I sat down to write about un-schooling. Long story short, I started killing people on paper and it turned into a romantic suspense.

Funny how characters dictate a story sometimes. Tell readers about your current book.

I write romantic suspense with a psychic twist. Since my novels are hanging out in slush piles, I will tell you about the anthology that has two of my short stories, Virginia Is for Mysteries. My style changes based on the tone of voice of my protagonist – I let my characters decide what kind of book they want to be in. “Caged Bird,” is quiet and more poetic and cozy in nature. “Key to a Crime” is faster paced, frenetic, and much more suspenseful.

Virginia is for Mysteries cover-final

Buy from Amazon: ebook | Paperback

The book blurb

Yes, Virginia may be for lovers, but according to fifteen authors from the Old Dominion, Virginia is for Mysteries, too. This collection of sixteen modern-day stories takes readers on a wicked twist through the Old Dominion.

I just bought the book! What has the reception been to it so far?

Virginia Is for Mysteries is an anthology written by Sisters in Crime members from Virginia. Right from the beginning, our project was embraced. Virginia Tourism gave us permission to tap into the Virginia Is for Lovers logo and has been an ally. Virginia Library Systems has also been great advocates. They held our book launch at The Library of Virginia where we had a sellout crowd. They also ordered our book for Virginia libraries. Depending on the day, we hit Amazon top hundreds lists and have been on their top 10 list. Our publisher, Khoeler Books, is pleased enough with the sales that we are in negotiations for the sequel.

Fantastic. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from writing it?

Patience. Putting a book out is a lot of hurry up and wait. Things take so much longer than one would think.

I know the feeling well. What has surprised you the most about writing the book?

How many fun experiences and wonderful people I would enjoy.

Wonderful to hear. Let’s finish with a fun lightning round! 

Aside from people/pets, what is the ONE item you would save if your house was on fire? My computer.

Amazing how many writers say this.

Favorite place you’ve traveled to or would like to travel to? Turkey

Name a food you can eat every day. Chocolate

Salty or sweet? Yes.

Ha! 

Cat or dog? DOG!

Best gift? A GPS

Favorite season? Fall

Something you cannot go a day without. The love and support of my family.

Thanks Eden, that was loads of fun!

Thank you, Fiona for taking the time to share about your books and yourself, and for all you do for writers. I can’t wait to dive into Virginia Is for Mysteries. 

~ eden

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Connect To Fiona

fiona quinn

Website | Facebook | Twitter @FionaQuinnBooks

ThrillWriting Blog | Google +Pinterest

Canadian born, Fiona is now rooted in the Old Dominion outside of D.C. with her husband and four children. She homeschools, pops chocolates, devours books, and taps continuously on her laptop.

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The Locket ~ A story for @RBwood’s Word Count Podcast

You can also hear me read this story on: Episode #39 of R.B. Wood’s “The Word Count” podcast.

The prompt for this podcast is “I was walking on the white sands at Magens Bay in St Thomas when…”

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I was walking on the white sands at Magens Bay in St Thomas when an object about fifty feet away caught my eye. Reflecting the setting sun’s rays, the shiny surface of the mystery item lured me toward it. Looking to the ocean, I saw the next wave rolling in. I quickened my pace, then sprinted, dropping my flip-flops along the way, swishing up sand between my toes.

I snatched the object from the beach just as a wave rushed over my feet. Foamy salt water and seaweed swirled around my ankles. The crimson orb was dipping below the horizon. Soon night would drape over the Bay like a wizard’s cape.

I examined the silver locket while walking back to where I left my sandals. No bigger than the size of a quarter, it sat with the weight of a heavy stone in my palm. Fine swirls of engraving adorned the border of the heart-shaped pendant. The ornament’s front featured a single letter in cursive font—the initial “S.” I turned over the locket and brushed away sand residue, saw three rows of text. Some of the etching had faded, but it was still legible.

The lines read:

Forever near
Forever young
Forever in my heart

The deserted beach offered privacy as I walked back to my hotel with only my thoughts to keep me company. Somebody had lost a person precious to them. Now it seemed, this keepsake was lost as well.

The “S” probably stood for the name of the person who died. Was it a husband or a wife? A lover? A child?

I inserted my round fingertip into the indent of the locket, wished I had not clipped my fingernails this morning. I struggled to open it, even tried jamming the corner of my pinky into it. No luck. I would have to wait until I returned to my hotel room before I discovered what was inside.

The locket reminded me of my own tragedy. Steve and I were married here in St. Thomas a year ago. It was supposed to be the happiest day of our lives, and it was. With twenty of our closest friends and family, we celebrated until the morning hours. The weather could not have been more perfect.

Along with Steve’s best man and his wife, and my maid of honor and her boyfriend, we rented a three-bedroom villa. Our private bedroom was on the second floor with a huge wrap-around patio that overlooked the ocean. On our second night together, we watched the sunset on the deck. I was with the man of my dreams. We were the happiest couple in the world. Who could have predicted it would end only two hours later?

It was dinnertime. Steve was hamming it up. That was my husband. I married him because he taught me not to be so serious. He promised he would make me laugh everyday of our lives, and he would have. I know it. That’s why no one took particular notice when he fell off his chair and thrashed about on the floor.

Oh … that’s just Steve, we thought. He was joking again … but no.

A jagged chicken bone had lodged in his throat. Chaos ensued before the ambulance arrived, but in my heart, I already knew he was gone. The doctor later told me he died from a punctured esophagus. It was a horrible accident.

In two days, I had gone from being a happy bride to a distraught widow.

And so here I was, back in St. Thomas. I returned to try and recapture the joy Steve had taught me. He would have hated to know I had been grieving the past year, not even cracked a smile since he died.

Finding the locket did not help either. I had hoped instead for a happy sign.

Upon entering my room, I rummaged in my luggage for my multi-tool Swiss Army Knife, the one I always packed for emergencies, but never had to use.

Sitting cross-legged on the bed, I turned on the table lamp to its brightest setting. I retrieved the pendant from the side pocket of my beach bag. Holding the smooth red handle of my knife, I flipped out the small blade, inserted the tip into the space between the two halves of the locket. A gentle twist popped the hinge of the ornamental case.

I cracked open the locket and saw a man’s face staring back at me. He looked in his mid-thirties, kind eyes, a huge smile. He even reminded me of Steve, which only caused me greater sadness. Tears welled up behind my eyes.

What happened to this man? Had he died some tragic death like my husband? Was his young widow as unhappy as I was?

I ran the blade along the border of the picture to catch an edge. After several unsuccessful tries, I plucked out a small piece of the picture from under the ridge. I pressed the blade back into the handle and pried out the tweezers. Holding my breath, I gently pulled out the picture. The photograph lifted easily.

I turned it over to see if anything was written on the back, something sentimental, a date perhaps, any clue that could lead me to who this man was.

With my heart in my throat, I read the words, and then I burst out laughing.

Oh, Steve … you did send me sign after all.

The words read: Sample only. Not for resale.

Thank you for reading.

Feel free to leave a comment or question. Feedback, whether good or bad is always welcome.

You can find more stories in my book of flash fiction and poetry, Hot Flash. 

My mystery novel is due out Summer 2014, and I will announce all details leading up to it here.

To make sure you don’t miss the details, please subscribe to my blog (by email or via RSS feed).

Thank you. ;)

~eden

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Feminist Porn Awards 2014 – Photo Slideshow #FPA2014

What a night it was for the 9th Annual Feminist Porn Awards last Friday, April 4th. Outside it was pouring rain, but inside the Castlefield Event Theatre (formerly the Capitol Theatre), hot bodies pressed up against one another.

I was part of a small jury to judge the submissions, and had been diligently watching porn for the past couple of months. Tough job, but someone had to do it. ;)

You can find out more about my involvement here.

I had a wonderful time with friends in support of GOOD FOR HER, creator of the event.

Thanks to everyone who embraces sexual diversity and inclusiveness. Your acceptance made for a beautiful evening.

Congratulations to all the winners!

Hope you enjoy the slideshow.

eden

xox

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Approx. 20 photos by John B.

Photos from KristyBoyce.com used with permission (individually credited).

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Music Monday with Cannonball by @damienrice

It’s National Poetry Month, so I’m choosing songs I consider poetry set to music. “Cannonball” is haunting, atmospheric, and the lyrics are beautiful.

Enjoy Irish singer/songwriter Damien Rice and “Cannonball.”

~eden

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“Still a little bit of your taste in my mouth
Still a little bit of you laced with my doubt
Still a little hard to say what’s going on

Still a little bit of your ghost, your witness
Still a little bit of your face I haven’t kissed
You step a little closer each day
That I can’t say what’s going on

Stones taught me to fly
Love ‒ it taught me to lie
Life ‒ it taught me to die
So it’s not hard to fall
When you float like a cannonball …”

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New Release ~ The Dark Cave Between My Ribs by Poet @LorenKleinman

I’m thrilled to announce a new release from poet and friend, Loren Kleinman. Since April is National Poetry Month, this is a great opportunity to become familiar with Loren’s work if you are not already.

Please learn more about her latest book, The Dark Cave Between My Ribs.

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LorenKleinman_FlatforeBooks

Purchase from Amazon

After disaster, there is always the possibility to love again. Poet Loren Kleinman invites us to witness snapshots of a complex life-including accounts of abuse, grief, suicide, love, and loss-rendered poetic yet accessible. The Dark Cave Between My Ribs appeals to all who crave an authentic voice that is tangible, unique, and universal.

flourish

Read the Reviews

Loren Kleinman’s poetry is staring you dead in the face and daring you to blink. Not much so stark, has ever dared to be so cleanly beautiful – the lines crisp, the silences their own loud singing. Nothing lets you look away; lets you be left alone. Roger Bonair-Agard
, Cave Canem fellow
, Two-time National Poetry Slam Champion, 
author of Tarnish and Masquerade

***

Loren Kleinman’s poems in The Dark Cave Between My Ribs are explorations of love and loss, longing and passion. Kleinman peels away at the scrim we try to hide behind so we don’t see our own scars or the scars we have inflicted on the world. Her universe is filled with images of the terrible atrocities of concentration camps as well as the one-on-one betrayal of rape. The poet struggles are often rendered in nightmare landscapes, which she runs through in order to reach some semblance of safety and peace. This book is an amazing achievement. Maria Mazziotti Gillan
, Winner, American Book Award 
& Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers

***

In this beautiful collection, Loren Kleinman writes about longing and loving, touch and loss, truth, absence, and ultimately, the soul. The poems are moving, the sentiment naked, and the language irresistible. I’m grateful to have been invited to into this writer’s mind and heart and world. Beverly Donofrio, author Riding in Cars with Boys

***

Loren Kleinman’s The Dark Cave Between My Ribs is as much a keening behind the destructive nature of assault and addiction as it is an instruction for survival itself.  These poems build a raw and unflinching collection that travels across the individual lens to the unspeakable human wreckage of Nazi Death Squads in Lithuania.   The speaker in these poems refuses to dodge grief, to look away. Instead, she proclaims: “Somehow, I’ll know what to do. /touch the skin of this world. /Peel it back.” It is in this stark and brave examination of the physical world that Kleinman reveals a necessary truth for us all. Sean Nevin, author of Oblivio Gate

***

These poems are an intimate look into the heart written with such power.  The Dark Cave Between My Ribs is beautiful, sad, intense and will grab the reader and not let go. Loren Kleinman’s poems capture the dark side of things that happen in life but yet, show such courage in the writing. “I’m  broken winged, a fallen bird on the road” can sum up many of these poems, but that bird survives, rises up and flies. Gloria Mindock, Editor and Publisher, Červená Barva Press

***

Every now and then fate introduces me to a poet whose poetic work captures my attention. Such is the case with regard to poet Loren Kleinman and her new collection of poetry entitled The Dark Cave Between My Ribs. In a world where there is a plethora of published prose poetry, this collection stands out in my mind. I say so because beginning with the first poem, the collection gathers strength, as if a tea kettle filled with water gathering steam. Once the whistle blows, you know you have water ready for tea. I am confident readers of this work will walk away having been emotionally impacted by this collection. More importantly, it feels like it has award-winning quality. That is my hope for this powerful work of poetry by poet Loren Kleinman. Emmett Wheatfall, author of Bread Widow

***

About Loren Kleinman

loren kleinman

Connect to Loren

Website | Twitter @lorenkleinman | Facebook

Amazon | LinkedIn | Tumblr | Huffington Post | IndieReader

Loren Kleinman is an American-born poet with roots in New Jersey. Her poetry explores the results of love and loss, and how both themes affect Loren_NYC-11an individual’s internal and external voice. She has a B.A. in English Literature from Drew University and an M.A. in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Sussex (UK). Her poetry has appeared in literary journals such as Nimrod, Wilderness House Literary Review, Narrative Northeast, Writer’s Bloc, Journal of New Jersey Poets, Paterson Literary Review (PLR), Resurgence (UK), HerCircleEzine and Aesthetica Annual. She was the recipient of the Spire Press Poetry Prize (2003), was a 2000 and 2003 Pushcart Prize nominee, and was a 2004 Nimrod/Pablo Neruda Prize finalist for poetry.

In 2003, Spire Press (NYC) published her first collection of poetry Flamenco Sketches, which explored the relationship between love and jazz. Kleinman judged the literary entries for the book Alt-History: New Writing from Brighton published by QueenSpark Books (UK). She was also a contributing editor/writer for the Cancer Dancer by Patricia San Pedro. Kleinman is also a columnist for IndieReader.com (IR) where she interviews NYT bestselling indie authors. Many of those interviews in IR reappeared in USA Today and The Huffington Post.

Her second collection of poetry, The Dark Cave Between My Ribs released in 2014 (Winter Goose Publishing). She is the author of Indie Authors Naked (IndieReader Publishing, 2014), which was an Amazon Top 100 bestseller in Journalism in the UK and USA. She is also working on a literary romance novel, This Way to Forever.

Kleinman co-founded National Translation Month, a month long celebration on the craft of translation that publishes essays and poetry translations during February.

She has an author interview series on The Huffington Post Books community blogs section.

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New Release by @Maria_Savva ~ Far Away in Time

Friend and author, Maria Savva has a new collection of short stories, and you know I’m a huge fan of short stories!

I’m happy to highlight Maria’s latest release. Please learn more about her book, Far Away in Time, and watch the video too!

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Far Away In Time

Sold via Amazon Kindle

US | UK | FR | DE | IN | AU | BR | IT | ES | MX | JP | CA

Our lives are a series of stories, and we are the characters with the starring roles. The memories, regrets, secrets, and struggles that fill these pages are at once unique and relatable. These stories belong to us all.

Eight unforgettable tales reaching out to a place Far Away In Time…

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Connect to Maria

maria savva

Website | Twitter @maria_savva | Facebook

Maria Savva lives and works in London. She studied Law at Middlesex University and The College of Law. She is a lawyer, although not currently practising law. She writes novels and short stories in different genres, including drama, psychological thriller, and family saga.

Many of her books and stories are inspired by her years working as a lawyer, although she has not written a courtroom drama to date. She has published five novels, the most recent of which is Haunted, a crime fiction/psychological thriller.

Far Away In Time is her sixth collection of short stories. You can find out more about her work at her official website.

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Pride, Prejudice and Diana Ross ~ Read a guest blog by @dailygrime

I’m delighted to welcome English writer, Michael Grimes to my blog. I first started reading Mike’s writing about six months ago and found him to be humorous and witty.

His observations on politics, sex, music, world issues, and a host of other subjects are delivered with flair and intelligence. At times, his words are biting, but there is always that underlying truth. His honest writing is something I greatly admire.

I am happy to kick off April with his post. It’s one that fits well with my own sensibilities about tolerance and acceptance, especially where sexuality is concerned.

Please welcome Michael Grimes.

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Pride And Prejudice – How Diana Ross Helped Me Become Comfortable With Everyone’s Sexuality

~ by Michael Grimes

diana ross

The World’s Best Babysitter As Seen In His Bathroom Mirror In 1977

It is a truth universally acknowledged that all gay men, regardless of race colour or creed, wish they were Diana Ross. Actually, I have no idea how universal that truth is nowadays, but back in 1977, it was pretty much gospel. And it was in 1977 that I was first introduced to homosexuality by my deeply gay babysitter, Gary.

I can hear a little bit of clenching and tensing going on out there, but don’t worry. This isn’t the earnest beginning of my misery memoir. If the cry-ography is your chosen reading genre, I shouldn’t bother reading any further. This bit is an unalloyed tale of unspoilt childhood innocence I’m afraid.

Gary was the second brother of three brothers. Their dad was a close childhood friend of my dad. Their mum was my mum’s best mate. The oldest brother was a career criminal, as was the youngest. Gary was the gay one in the middle, which made parts of my young life a little like a Martin Scorsese movie. Later in life, Gary became a Catholic priest, which made it really like a Martin Scorsese movie. But back in 1977, he was just my babysitter.

I absolutely adored Gary. Gary babysitting me on a Friday night was the highlight of my week. We sat and made fun of television programs. We indulged in experimental cookery. (Our greatest triumph was something that Gary christened “Pecule”, because of how peculiar it looked. Neither of us plucked up the courage to actually taste it.) But above all, we played games.

Admittedly, most of these games involved Gary being Diana Ross and me being The Supremes. Gary always brought along his record collection. He had a lot of Motown. In fact, I don’t think Gary owned a single record that wasn’t Motown. Many gay men have an affinity for tragic female figures. I was almost certainly the only little boy in my school who knew all the words to the classic 1972 movie soundtrack album Lady Sings The Blues.

After all the fun and games, Gary would plonk us both on the sofa and I’d be allowed to watch whatever horror film was on until Mum and Dad came back from the pub. Bear in mind this was the 70s. Kids weren’t handled like the hothouse flowers they are regarded as today. It was perfectly acceptable for an eight year old to stay up watching an old Dracula movie as long as there was no school the following day.

I knew there was something different about Gary, but I had no idea what it was. What I did know was that whatever that difference was, it made him more fun than anyone else I had ever met.

As I grew up, I began to realise what was different about Gary, or at least what ballpark that difference was in. Human sexuality is a very, very complicated thing after all. Facebook has recently introduced 50 different gender options for its members, rather than the traditional binary “male or female”. There are those who feel this is modernistic noodling of the worst kind, but it isn’t really anything new. There are many older and wiser cultures which have recognised multiple shades of gender for millennia.

All of this deeply upsets the deeply religious Christians of course. (Not all Christians by any means though. Some of them ring it off the hook and actually follow the teachings of Jesus.) “God hates homosexuality” they say. By which they mean that they hate homosexuality. By which they mean they don’t understand homosexuality and are fucking terrified of it.

There are many things I don’t understand. I don’t understand why gay men go “cottaging” or why heterosexual couples go “dogging”. Then again I don’t understand why people spend their chilly British weekends going camping. Just because I personally don’t get a thing doesn’t make it automatically wrong or invalid. My understanding of French is ropey at best, but I wouldn’t advocate the eradication of the works of Voltaire or Balzac just because I can’t read them in their original intended form.

Leviticus tat

The sad fact is that many deeply Christian folk are also deeply hypocritical. When it comes to homosexuality, they love to quote Leviticus. They don’t adhere to many of the other pronouncements in Leviticus of course. They do not eschew “eating blood” or “eating fat” (Lev. 3:17). That would be black pudding and most of the American diet prohibited. They have a bit of a lapse of conscience when it comes to “finding lost property and lying about it” (Lev. 6:3), presumably because “finders keepers” trumps the Bible on that particular point. And “thou shalt not touch the carcass of an animal which does not both chew the cud and have a divided hoof” does kind of make it impossible to play American football, the ball itself being made of pigskin.

Some Christians seem to think that even talking about homosexuality is a danger to their children. There are many things which actually are a danger to their children of course (cars, guns, lack of affordable healthcare) but, strangely, they seldom raise much of a fuss about these issues.

The only danger to their children as regards talking about sexuality is that these children might learn to embrace what they are and there is a chance that what they are is gay. In which case these parents would have to disown their children because their own upbringing has covered them with so many layers of bigotry that they can’t move themselves to do what any thinking, feeling human being should do. Give their child a big hug and tell them how proud their very existence has made them since the moment they were born.

The fact is that, whatever the Bible says, we are all unique individuals, and really there are as many different genders and sexualities as there are human beings on the planet. The thing that made my babysitter such fun was not that he was gay, but that he was Gary and he was true to himself

Whenever a girl dresses as a boy or vice versa, or someone erases all clues via androgeny, they are not doing it to be outrageous or annoying. They are doing it to feel like who they are inside. For some people, walking around looking as society expects them to look makes them feel uncomfortable. In fact, it makes them feel as uncomfortable as I would feel walking down my High Street dressed in a frock. It’s a big wide world and there is room in it for every expression of sexuality. The sooner that becomes a truth universally accepted, the better.

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Connect to Michael 

michael grimes

Website | Twitter: @dailygrime

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Please show Michael some love. Read, comment, and share. If you’d like to be a guest blogger, connect with me and let’s talk. ~ eden

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Filed under Eden's Guest Bloggers

I Walked the @DaretoWearLove Runway to HAPPY by @Pharrell

dtwl 5The Dare to Wear Love Gala and fashion show took place at the Ritz Carlton Friday, Mar. 28th, and what a night it was!

Many thanks to Susan Dicks for her creation of my beautiful dress.

Deepest thanks to Jim Searle and Chris Tyrell of HOAX Couture, creators of Dare to Wear Love.

Here are 25 pictures from the evening’s show, but there are hundreds more! Find them on all the Dare to Wear Love sites.

Website | Facebook | Twitter @daretowearlove | Blog

The evening was beautiful, fun, filled with love, and most importantly, celebrated the talents and commitment to social justice of Canada’s fashion design community and artists.

By raising funds and awareness for the Stephen Lewis Foundation, we were all able to USE THE POWER OF FASHION FOR GOOD!

I had the pleasure of walking the catwalk to the song, “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. Hope you enjoy!

Learn more about:

 Dare to Wear Love | Stephen Lewis Foundation

 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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New Release by @TobyWNeal ~ Shattered Palms

I’m thrilled to highlight the latest release from author and friend, Toby Neal. She’s the only author I know who lives in Hawaii and greets me with “Aloha!”

You will learn more about her in a future author interview, but I wanted to draw attention to her new novel, Shattered Palms, the 6th book in her wildly popular LEI CRIME SERIES. It’s garnering excellent reviews and climbing the charts, so pick up your copy!

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SHATTERED PALMS COVER2

Sold via Amazon

Maui is lush mountains, cloud forest and exquisite birdsong—but for Detective Lei Texeira, arrows break that peace.

Someone is stalking poachers that are capturing Maui’s rarest birds, and Lei pursues the case with her usual leap-first, look-later style—but will she be able to catch a killer, save the birds, and still make it to her own wedding? Shattered Palms is a roller coaster ride from the top of Haleakala to the beach and back again, with extinction at stake.

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Connect to Toby

Toby Neal

WebsiteFacebook | Twitter @tobywneal

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Music Monday says You Can’t Always Get What You Want

I’ve been providing clues to my new book for weeks now, and guess what? This is the final clue.

You know what that means, right? I’ve finished writing the book! :D

I’m excited, SUPER excited! Next steps: The manuscript goes to my wonderful editor, Annetta Ribken, and the amazing JB Graphics will design the cover and create a new book website for me.

It’s been a long haul. There is still so much to do, but for now, I just want to breathe and thank everyone who has been so patient, loving, and supportive during my writing process. I am thrilled with the book, and I hope you will be too.

Look for more information about my book in future blogs, including book title, release date details, marketing, and more.

As for this song by the Rolling Stones … it’s one of my favorites, and a perfect final clue.

Big love 

~eden

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” … I saw her today at the reception
In her glass was a bleeding man
She was practised in the art of deception
I could tell by her blood-stained hands

Oh, you can’t always get what you want
Oh, you can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime
You just might find
You get what you need …”

Here were previous weeks’ song clues:

The Tide Is High | Crazy | Coconut | Mad World

Something | You’re So Vain | It’s Probably Me

Windmills of Your Mind | She’s Always a Woman

If you want to read other genres I write: erotica/romance, flash fiction, and short stories with a twist, check out the selection.

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20 Comments

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Read an Exchange with Author @RaymondBolton

Raymond, welcome to Eden’s Exchange, so thrilled to reconnect after writing with you as part of the collective Black Ink, White Paper. Recently, I had the pleasure of picking up your book, Awakening, The Ydron Saga.

Now we get to learn more about you and your writing.

Readers, please sit back and enjoy!

Continue reading

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Music Monday with She’s Always a Woman

There are a lot of women in my upcoming psychological mystery, and this song is one of my favorites about the diversity of a woman. Enjoy Billy Joel’s song as another clue to my book.

“… Oh … she takes care of herself
She can wait if she wants, she’s ahead of her time
Oh … and she never gives out
And she never gives in, she just changes her mind

And she’ll promise you more than the garden of Eden
Then she’ll carelessly cut you and laugh while you’re bleeding
But she’ll bring out the best and the worst you can be
Blame it all on yourself ’cause she’s always a woman to me …”

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To recap, the clues so far are:

The Tide Is High

Crazy

Coconut

Mad World

Something

You’re So Vain

It’s Probably Me

Windmills of Your Mind

If you want to read other genres I write in: erotica/romance, flash fiction, and short stories with a twist, check out the selection.

Have a wonderful week,

eden

13 Comments

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Read an Exchange with Author @DiBartoloJoseph

Serendipity played a role in my connection to Joseph DiBartolo, or Joey, as he has asked me to call him. I’m happy to share my space, so you can learn more about him.

Continue reading

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I’m Walking the Runway for @DaretoWearLove #fashion #aids #dtwl

Last month, I participated in the Dare to Wear Challenge to raise money for the Stephen Lewis Foundation. With your help, I raised over $1000! In total, the participants collected over $19,000 toward turning the tide of HIV & AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.

♥  Thank you so much for your generosity. 

The Dare to Wear Love event culminates in a gala evening with dinner and a fashion show March 28th. This year, I was chosen to walk the runway, along with three of my fellow Dare to Wear Challengers!

Give it up for:

Janet Solberg

Danielle Brown

Ilse Kloosterman

We will each be wearing original designs by the incredible Susan Dicks. She, along with other amazing Canadian designers are donating their talents for the show.

african cloth

Six yards of this African cloth will be used to create my outfit

Tickets are still available for March 28th evening. If you’d like to see an amazing video from last year’s show, hit the poster below and enjoy!

dtwl 5

My sincerest gratitude again for helping me spread the word for this wonderful cause.

~eden 

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

Learn more about:

 Dare to Wear Love and The Stephen Lewis Foundation

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Music Monday in the Windmills of Your Mind

There are a lot of mind games in my upcoming psychological mystery, and this song provides terrific metaphors for it. Enjoy the dreamy Dusty Springfield and another clue in my upcoming novel.

“… Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning
On an ever spinning reel
Like a snowball down a mountain
Or a carnival balloon
Like a carousel that’s turning
Running rings around the moon …”

To recap, the clues so far were:

The Tide Is High

Crazy

Coconut

Mad World

Something

You’re So Vain

It’s Probably Me

If you want to read other genres I write in: erotica/romance, flash fiction, and short stories with a twist, check out the selection.

Wishing you a wonderful week,

eden

12 Comments

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Roll-Her Dervish~A new film by the incredible @BethofBamNorth

Filmmaker Beth Mairs of BAM North Productions is a dear friend, and I’m thrilled to be involved with her newest project, a film called Roll-Her Dervish. She has an IndieGoGo campaign for it now after following around the subjects of the film for over a year.

A trailer and all the details can be found on the site. As part of International Woman’s Day, Indiegogo is generously contributing an extra dollar for every $25 raised by this campaign, so please give what you can. It’s a great opportunity to see your money work even harder for you.

Find out more about Roll-Her Dervish on the Indiegogo page.

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Connect to BAM North Productions

bam north productions

Website | Facebook | Twitter: @BethofBAMNorth

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3 Comments

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Music Monday says It’s Probably Me

Until my book is released, I’m featuring music to provide clues about its plot, characters, setting, mood, and more.

Sting and Eric Clapton in black and white, mysterious lyrics … all hard to beat.

“… When the world’s gone crazy and it makes no sense
There’s only one voice that comes to your defense
The jury’s out and your eyes search the room
And one friendly face is all you need to see
If there’s one guy, just one guy
Who’d lay down his life for you and die
It’s hard to say it
I hate to say it, but it’s probably me …”

To recap, the clues so far were:

The Tide Is High

Crazy

Coconut

Mad World

Something

You’re So Vain

If you want to read other genres I write in: erotica/romance, flash fiction, and short stories with a twist, check out the selection.

Have a lovely week,

eden

12 Comments

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You LIKE me! On winning the Versatile Blogger Award

Okay, so I stole Sally Field’s line, but I’m truly honored to receive the Versatile Blogger Award from author, Christoph Fisher, whom I had the pleasure of interviewing. If you missed it, you can still read it here.

For me, the most rewarding thing about blog awards is learning more about the person who nominated me. I rarely participate in these memes myself. If you want to know why, read my article from Nov. 2011, a year after I set up my blog.

In re-reading that post, I realized I had received this award before, so I thought I should finally participate. It’s great to be recognized by a peer, and versatility is something I value in blogs, but even more so in people.

Given that, don’t forget to find out why Christoph received his award.

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versatile blogger

As part of this award, I’m supposed to tell you seven things about myself, then nominate fifteen other bloggers whom I think deserve this award.

They in turn, will keep this meme going (if they so wish), and we all get to discover some wonderful and versatile bloggers. So, here goes, and hope you enjoy ;)

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1) I had my ears pierced at five by my aunt. She rubbed ginger root on my lobes and stuck a needle through them that had been heated over a burner. I don’t remember it hurting but I cried anyway. Here I am modeling my first pair of earrings. Please ignore the outfit.

me with earrings

 2) I do not own a cell phone and have no intention of getting one. I never want to be that accessible, nor do I want to look like this guy.

rude cell phone

3) My laptop is with me almost all the time, and I’m one of those obnoxious MAC users. You know who you are.

laptop

4) I’m an online Scrabble freak with about 20 games on the go at any given time. I play with friends, strangers, enemies. I’m also extremely competitive, so don’t expect to win.

scrabble

5) I’m a strong advocate for sexual diversity and since 2011, have been a judge for the Feminist Porn Awards. It’s an incredible event sponsored by Good for Her, which supports the LGBTQ community in Toronto.
good for her banner

6) I still have all 130 of my 45s in pristine condition (numbered and dated of course). If you’re too young to know what a 45 is, then you probably won’t know what this is either.

45 adapter

7) I took two years of classes for a Conservative Jewish conversion. At one time, I could read Hebrew and recite many of the prayers. In the end, I went through three rabbis who would not convert me … but that’s a story for another blog.

star of david

flourish

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for! Drum roll please …

I bequeath the honors to these fifteen bloggers, whom I have great respect for. It wasn’t easy to narrow down to only 15, but here goes …

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thedailygrime ~ Writer of funny, witty, and newsworthy posts

John Dolan ~ English author living in Thailand, polymath, smartypants

Nicole Chardenet ~ American author turned crazy Canuck author

Billy Ray Chitwood ~ Prolific author and poet who tells beautiful stories

Lisette Brodey ~ Author of multiple genres and terrific interviewer

Jamie White ~ Author, blogger, photo geek, editor

William Kendall ~ Writer, rogue, and scoundrel

Ned Hickson ~ Author and journalist of humor and writerly advice

Junying Kirk ~ Traveller, author, foodie, videographer

Sharkbait Writes ~ Author of multiple genres and gamer, Rob Pruneda

Justin Bog ~ Author, storyteller, pop culture connoisseur

ThrillWriting ~ Excellent resource for writers from author, Fiona Quinn

L.M. Stull ~ Poet, author, reader, runner, and so much more

Majk Ink ~ Author, school nerd and techno genius

Bloody Munchkin ~ Creative writer and advocate of worthy causes

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34 Comments

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