Tag Archives: blogging

Blog Tour for Charles French 

​I am very happy and honored to introduce to you my dear blogging friend, Charles French. As a professor of literature, Mr. French is well versed in the world of reading and writing, and passes on this knowledge with his fellow readers in his daily posts.

In preparation for the release of his new book, Maledicus: Investigative Paranormal Society Book 1, I am pleased to be the host on day 6 of his book’s blogging tour. On today’s leg, Mr. French  offers a glimpse into the very real struggle of titling a literary work. It is both a delightful read and encouraging one.  So without further delay, I present:

The Evolution of the Title in my Novel: Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I
When I first began drafting my novel about 5 years ago, I was not sure about what title to use.  Since I am a lover of Shakespeare, like many writers before me, I went to him for my original title. I decided on Evil Lives After, which is a paraphrase from Julius Caesar “The evil that men do lives after them/The good is oft interred with their bones” (Act 3, Scene 2, Lines 77-78).  I was happy with the title because it reflected one of the major themes in the novel: the consequences of evil during and after life and its continued existence.

I continued using this title through many drafts of the book. (As an aside, the final draft is number 13, but do not worry. Unless you are a Knights Templar in the year 1307, and King 
Philip of France covets your money and gold, you have nothing to worry about from the number 13. But that is a tale for another day!) 

As the book moved along, I had the good fortune to have several very skilled beta readers read and examine the novel. One consistent complaint was that the title seemed tame or stale. At first, I disagreed, because I liked the title and had grown attached to it. Upon serious reflection, however, I came to agree with my beta readers. 

It was time for a title change.

I considered that including the name of the protagonist in the title might work. After all, 
Roosevelt Theodore Franklin is the main character. And the book, in many ways, is about war. Several of the characters are veterans of combat in Vietnam and Iraq, and the Investigative Paranormal Society goes to war against a terrible demon that threatens a child. I created, therefore, the title Roosevelt’s War. This seemed to work—the title was crisp and should capture attention.

But. . . 

As a friend pointed out to me, this title suggested an historical nonfiction book about either President Theodore Roosevelt or President Franklin D. Roosevelt. My friend was completely correct. If I kept this one, it would suggest a completely different kind of book. Roosevelt’s War had to go.

I still needed a title.

Inspiration came to me while teaching a class “Gothic and Horror in Our Culture” at Muhlenberg College. I use Dracula by Bram Stoker in that class. In that classic novel, Dracula is the title character, but not the main character, and the antagonist, not the protagonist. I had my answer to the title dilemma. Like Bram Stoker did, I would make the villain the title character, but I would add to the basic title and include a reference to the group of people who would oppose him. Since this is the first book in a series, I also decided to indicate that situation in the title; therefore, I arrived at Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I. 


Addiction – It’s a Part Time Job

My dad likes to give me a hard time about how much I use my phone. He’s even gone as far as saying I have an addiction. Of course, I defend myself and insist this is not the case (probably with my phone in my hand).

But then I read a guest post on David Snape’s blog about a man who ditched his smart phone for a hundred days… And survived. After reading it, I thought “how nice!” But immediately decided, IMPOSSIBLE! He lived. I’d die. However, I did decide to download the app BreakFree to track phone usage. Curiosity, really. Or denial.

This is hard to admit. But then again, I guess any problem is. And apparently, I have a phone addiction! Here goes:

I average four hours of use per day. Not on phone calls, but just apps or messaging. FOUR HOURS A DAY. Simple math brings that to TWENTY HOURS a week (not including weekends). That’s a part time job!!!!

It’s not like I have nothing to do. I have seven kids. I homeschool them. Laundry is an everyday ordeal, not to mention homemade meals three times a day and cleaning. But somehow, between my claims of having no time, I find four hours each day to play on my phone.

Now, because I use my smart phone as a computer, I don’t get on the actual computer unless I have to print something for school. I also use it as a camera. I blog from it. I don’t use Facebook, but apparently other things can suck the time out of your day just as easily!

So what’s to be done? I can’t just give it up. I mean, I need my phone… what about GPS??

The app has many tools for limiting phone use, including turning off message and other notifications during select do-not- disturb hours set up by the user, disabling the internet, having auto messages sent to callers during DND hours, etc.

My main issue is I actually believe I don’t have enough time in the day to do x, y and z. Obviously because of my denial of where my time does go. So it’s finding a balance between use and life   and learning that pesky little thing called time management.

So we’ll see how it goes. Admitting the problem is the first step to recovery, right?


Blogger Recognition Award

blogrecaward

Thank you, Simon, for this awesome award!  I am happy to know that you enjoy my blog as much as I always enjoy yours!  We have, what my dad would call, a mutual admiration society 🙂

There are rules for this award and they go a little something like this:

  1. Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to.
  2. You cannot nominate yourself or the person who has nominated you.
  3. Write a post to show your award.
  4. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  5. Give a piece of advice or two to new bloggers.
  6. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  7. Attach the award badge to the post (right click and save, then upload.)
  8. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them.
  9. Provide a link to the original post.

I first began this blog to accomplish two things:  First, I have always loved writing.  I used to write little books before I could spell, then try to sell them in garage sales or door to door.  I thank my mother for her undying patience as she helped me spell every.single.word.  My love for writing grew to poetry and short stories.  But after mommyhood, I found little time to write.  And I really couldn’t think of what I wanted to write!  Short poems came to me here and there, and I would jot them down.  But I wanted something more…  It was a blogging friend of mine who pointed out that I had plenty of material just in my daily life.  As it turns out, there are a few people who seem to enjoy reading my crazy snip-its! 

Secondly, my blog (which has now expanded to poetry, homeschooling, and religion) served as stress relief.  What happened in the day that may have actually been very upsetting, I learned to look at it from another angle.  I blogged about it and realized that kids are kids and they keep us young.  Sanity, however, is debatable 😉

I don’t usually consider myself as anyone worthy of giving advice.  My writing is unpolished.  I’m not a professional, by any means!  I simply enjoy doing it.  For those who love to write, write.  Don’t find reasons why you can’t.  The reasons and the muse will always be there!

My nominees are:

Nicky

Charles

Aaron

Rachel

Universe of Possibilities

Carisa

No I’m Not Okay

Beyond the Books Homeschooling

Katie

A World of Horror


Blogger Recognition Award

bloggerrecognitionaward

Thank you, Charles French, for nominating me for this award.  I look forward to your posts on reading, writing, and film insight.  There is so much about blogging that I enjoy – the creative outlet it provides; the chance to meet others and share, discuss, and sometimes collaborate with; and ultimately, to better myself through this expression and learning from others.

Rules of the Blogger Recognition Award:

• Post an image of the award.
• Thank the person who nominated you and their blog, and link back to that blog.
• Explain briefly how you started your blog.
• Give a piece of advice to fellow bloggers.
• Nominate other bloggers for the award–as many as you wish, and notify them of their nomination.

About five years ago, I told a friend that I would like to start a blog, but that I didn’t know what I would base it on.  She is an amazing raw food, ex-pat mommy blogger.  She said, “You have four children!  You could write about that!”  I still didn’t think that blogging about my kids was material enough, so more time went on.  But still, I missed writing!  And in the meantime, I found myself constantly entertained, or going crazy, over the things my kids did.  And thus began my first blog: Today’s Dose of Sanity.  It was more or less an outlet for me.  After awhile, I started up a few more blogs: one mainly dedicated to poetry, one for homeschooling, one about raw food and healthy eating, and one about my Orthodox Christian faith.

I don’t really have advice for anyone looking to start a blog or to improve upon one already in existence other than BEGIN!  Write often!  You will find your voice; you will find your audience; and you will find your passion.  But first you must begin!

My nominees are :

Phil Brewer – he is an entrepreneur, writer, pilot, adventurer, and everything else a boy wishes they could be.

Aaron – a writer who didn’t know he was one.  An avid reader.  An intellectual.  My best friend and critic.

Rachel – I just stumbled upon your blog of hilarious sarcasm and I can’t get enough!

All Things Chronic – What doesn’t this blog cover?  I look forward to each piece, be it news or personal accounts.

My Two Sentences – The most beautiful stories  written in only two sentences.  I aspire to be half as good as you someday!

The Lightning and the Fire  -I love your beautiful, passionate poetry!

Simon – From daily quotes, comic strips, personal accounts, to sci-fi story shorts, is there anything he can’t blog about??


Sunshine Blogger Award

sunshine-blogger-award-300x300

Thank you, Threehandsoneheart, for nominating me for this award! I have enjoyed following your blog and learning from you.  Your dedication to your son and your quest to discover as much as possible about autism, its treatments and help for those who care for these special children, is nothing short of amazing and inspirational.  I look forward to reading your posts. Thank you!

The Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Answer the questions from the person who has nominated you.
  • Nominate some other bloggers for this award.
  • Write the same amount of questions for the bloggers you have nominated.
  • Notify the bloggers you have nominated.

The Response:

Do you keep a diary or journal?
I used to keep journals.  Actually, I love buying journals and have quite a collection of beautiful journals waiting to be filled!  Now I blog, so that’s kind of like my journal 🙂
What is one of your guilty pleasures?
One guilty pleasure??  I was going to say sodas every once in awhile (I try to eat as clean as possible most of the time).  But it’s a toss up between that and eye shadows!
Do you have any pets?
At the moment, no.  We had a dog and hope to get a new one very soon.  We had a cat.  We had a saltwater aquarium, but those don’t move well so we had to sell the fish.  My oldest son has a few small fish in his room, and my second son is saving his money for a turtle.
Tell us about one thing that really gets your goat…
Most of the things my kids do.  Maybe not at the moment… but after I have survived the day, then I can laugh about it.
Who would you invite to a celebrity dinner party. List 5, alive or not…
Norah Jones to serenade us at the party.   Stan Getz to play along beside her.  Robin Williams, Edgar Allen Poe, Mozart or Beethoven.
Brain dump… what is on your mind right now?
Getting my kids to the Fourth of July celebration!
What is your most annoying bad habit?
Oh man… right now there are lots of them filling my head!  Probably smacking while eating gets to me most frequently. And messes all over the house.  Oh, and toilet seats left up 🙂
Nominees:

According to Katie

Phil Brewer

Orthodoxy in America

Fighter Faith

Kindcotton

A Homeschool Mom

How to $tuff your Pig

Charles French

Nicky’s Day with Autism

Learntolovefood

My Questions to my Nominees:

Why did you first begin blogging?

What is your greatest inspiration for writing?

What hobby, skill or talent do you wish you had or could do?

What do you feel is the greatest dilemma facing kids today?

If you could go back and study one subject, what would it be?

What is your ideal vacation?


I Forgot Some!

Hopefully I did not forget anyone else.  If I did, I will add you, too!  My only excuse is it can be challenging to type with a bunch of kids hanging on my arms 🙂

I am always amazed by other moms and how they manage their days.  I feel like we are flying by the seat of our pants most of the time, so for those who have so much more on their plates, WOW!  One such mom/blog is Raising 5 Kids with Disabilities.

My uncle, Phil Brewer, is another amazing person.  He has now authored three books!  When I was a kid, I send letters out to all my extended family in hopes of getting a bunch of letters back.  He was the one who always faithfully wrote back with a beautiful postcard.  I still have all of them today and they are a treasure!


Most Versatile Blogger Award

versatilebloggeraward

Yay!!  I’ve been nominated!  Thank you so much to The Disscocial Mom for nominating me for this award.  Since this is my first time doing this, I am going to copy and paste the award rules and go from there 🙂

Rules for the Versatile Blogger
1.Display the award logo on your blog.
2. Thank and link back to the person who nominated you.
3. State 7 things about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award.
5. Notify these bloggers of the nominations by linking back to one of their specific blog posts so they get notified back.

I started blogging about a year ago as sort of a way to relieve stress (not that moms have any, of course), and also as a way to start writing again.  I have always loved writing, be it poetry, short stories, and now about my kids!  I am a proud mommy to five kids: four boys and a girl.  I am a wife to a very patient man who has been putting up with me for almost 13 years now.  We homeschool our kids.  Things don’t always go smoothly, but then again, what does??  I get asked a lot if we are going to have more kids:  I hate that question!  I also get asked if we plan to homeschool “forever:”  Yes, unless for some unforeseen reason I am unable to continue doing so.  Things I love besides my family: art, playing piano, music in general, watching movies with the hubby, eating food, taking walks, and my faith.

I follow many blogs, but here are just a few.  First, the Peckish Kiwi always has the most amazing food and drink posts.  And as I said, I love food!!  His reviews are witty, well-worded, and complete with mouth-watering pictures.  Secondly, The Robertsons of Mumbai, Currently Living in Thailand, is an all-around neat blog.  Jennifer is a raw food chef and holds raw food classes in Bangkok, Thailand.  I would be at every class… if I lived in Thailand :).  Her blog has a little of everything for everyone on it.  Mister G Kids is a teacher’s blog/comic strip about funny things kids say and do.  He has great talent and a sense of humor!  A dear friend of mine from middle and high school is now a great mommy to two little boys.  She is a photographer and poet and I always enjoy looking through her pictures and writings: Phero Photos.

Thanks again!!