Chatter

Authors Supporting Our Troops – Know A Soldier? #ASOT2014

This is a great cause. If you can help get the books in the hands of our troops, reach out to Armand.

ARMAND ROSAMILIA

ASOTpile3

As we near 1,000 books collected and at least 6 more weeks to get books in, I’ve come across a slight problem… and one I wasn’t expecting, but I’m quite happy for it: with so many books coming in each day, I might need a couple more contacts to send books to.

Now, upfront a few things you need to know:

1. I am not interested in just sending books overseas to a USO or to a random unit or person. My goal is to get in touch with an actual soldier OVERSEAS in Kuwait, Afghanistan, or somewhere else where they don’t have immediate access to things we take for granted like laptops, cell phones, electricity, etc. These books will go to the troops who could really use a good book to pass the time and are unable to get one easily. 

2. I will not be shipping books to…

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826 National

I wanted to share a quick note regarding the charity I selected to receive the profits from my soon to be released book, “Seasons of Sentiment, A Collection of Poetry and Prose”. 

Below is a brief write up for 826 National, the same write up that is found at the front of my book.  I selected this organization based on its mission and the fact that it has several locations throughout the country to reach people interested in improving their writing skills.

I hope you take a minute to read about the organization and click on the links to their website to see how your donations, and the profits from my book, can help their cause. 

Thank you in advance. 

All of the author’s profits from the sale of this collection will go to charity.  Sirrah has chosen 826 National for their noteworthy efforts to develop the writing skills of individuals throughout the United States. 

About 826 National

 “826 National is a network of tutoring, writing, and publishing centers for youth in eight cities around the country.

 “Since the birth of 826 National in 2002, our goal has been to assist students ages six through eighteen with their writing skills while helping teachers get their classes passionate about writing. We do this with a vast team of volunteers who donate their time so we can give as much one-on-one attention as possible to the students whose writing needs it.  Our mission is based on the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.

 “Through volunteer support, each of the eight 826 chapters-in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Ann Arbor, Chicago, Seattle, Boston, and Washington, DC-provides after-school tutoring, class field trips, writing workshops, and in-school programs, all free of charge, for students, classes, and schools.  826 centers are especially committed to supporting teachers, offering services and resources for English language learners, and publishing student work.  Each of the 826 chapters works to produce professional-quality publications written entirely by young people, to forge relationships with teachers in order to create innovative workshops and lesson plans, to inspire students to write and appreciate the written word, and to rally thousands of enthusiastic volunteers to make it all happen.  By offering all of our programming for free, we aim to serve families who cannot afford to pay for the level of personalized instruction their children receive through 826 chapters.”

www.826national.org

Twitter: @826national.org

Facebook: www.facebook.com/826National

 

Reflective Absence

I felt compelled after a visit to the rebuilding of the towers and the 9/11 memorial in New York City last year to write a poem.  The reflecting pools, as well as the rest of the memorial, are a profound landmark.  Here is a small writing, post visit.

Reflective Absence
By Sirrah Medeiros
 
Finality of cutting ties
Slices through a soul
Like a sharp blade
Along a tender reed
Such exquisite refinement
That sinks deeply – quickly
Before realization dawns
That the arteries bleed out
Leaving pools of memories
In an abyss of reflective absence
Of words, voices, touches,
Pictures, tender moments and
A profound caring
Silence wrapped in silence
Left remaining in a heavy fog
Lingering over a veiled surface
Waiting, waiting, and waiting still
To breathe in fresh air
From clear skies just out of reach
Hoping for a relief sign
Above the haze of this
Reflective absence
 
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Genre Identification

fiction-genre-cloud-600x312 I am going to tap a little on the glass here, so let us hope it does not crack and fall into a million pieces as we question the logic of literary labels.  Genre identification, or literary categories, can be a huge challenge to a writer.

Recently, a friend voiced concern with the acceptance, or lack thereof, of NA as a legitimate genre.  The comment started me thinking about genres in general.  Now, let me begin with throwing out to the reader that I do not pay much attention to genre labeling.  Even as a writer, I have spent very little time thinking about it.  Nor have I studied genres and their classifications in detail outside of a classroom.  Between you and me, that was a long time ago.  Furthermore, my list of published works is a bit short on the creative writing side of the house (just being honest), so I haven’t the need to classify my writing – yet. 

That being said, I did a little research to figure out what NA represents.  I did not want to appear as if I did not know what she was talking about, but of course, that was exactly the case.  NA is the New Adult genre classification for writing that targets the age and demographic of, you guessed it, new adults.  It is a relatively new literary category so do not be surprised if you have not heard of it. 

Now, my dilemma is that – let us say… about 10 years ago, I assumed the YA, or Young Adult, genre was geared toward young adults.  What did I know about writing fiction or genres?  I knew little and by that, I mean, very little.  As a mom, I was surprised to learn that the YA genre targets 12-17 year-old readers.  Why don’t the literary category authorities, the higher powers in publishing, just call it teen?  Hmm… maybe that would make too much sense.

Young adult equals teen, okay, got it.  

Therefore, as a mom, I bowed out graciously from the genre debate within our own household.  My children were avid readers, so I was happy in that aspect.  However, I cautiously looked over book jackets, summaries, and reviews of the titles my children wanted to read.  The Young Adult genre classification, to this woman, meant it was written for adults.  I thought it was self-explanatory.  Wrong!

Well, now we have the New Adult genre that actually captures what I assumed Young Adult was all along.  A genre geared toward the new adult with first loves, first jobs, first moves, independence, responsibilities, and first college experiences.  With a wealth of material for that age group, it is no surprise that it is a fast rising genre in the market.  I currently wait for two books to arrive that are, according to their writers, well within the boundaries of the NA genre.  I enthusiastically look forward to reading their work.

How difficult is it to select the correct genre label for your writing to hit that target audience?  Honestly, as a somewhat better-than-average educated woman, I do not pay that much attention to genre classification as a reader.  However, as a creative writer that is looking forward to sending out queries for my work, I find it a scary and daunting task to classify my work.  I hate labels of any kind so to label my writing mystery, thriller, or suspense or something else entirely, will be a time that will take much deliberation and study on my part. 

Some writings are easy to define such as horror, fantasy, and science fiction.  However, there are sub-categories to almost every genre and therein lies the rub for almost all writers – what to label the writing? What if the story crosses genres? Which is more prevalent, or which genre label will promote and highlight the writing more effectively?

All of these are legitimate questions. 

I suggest that if you have a hard time defining your work for publishers, agents, or the public, do some research.  Once you have done your homework, keep that genre list handy.  I bet you use it for more than your own writing, perhaps for making your reading selections as well.  You never know when your 11-year-old is going to hand you a book, or their tablet, wanting you to purchase the latest and greatest NA, YA, or romance book.  Be prepared!   I am sharing a few sites that may be useful, some are more current than others.  Delve deeper into this topic if it interests you, and by no means use my banter here as a basis for accurate analysis.  I am rambling after all.

http://www.ux1.eiu.edu/~cfder/GenreCharacteristicsChart.pdf

http://www.bookcountry.com/books/Map/Default.aspx

http://www.agentquery.com/genre_descriptions.aspx

http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/30-issue.html

http://www.writing-world.com/fiction/fiction08.shtml

http://howtowritebetter.net/how-to-write-fiction-without-the-fuss-a-good-look-at-genres/

Genre identification is a challenge within the industry.  Publishing is an ever-changing landscape that may also leave readers confused to a degree.  Take it in stride and keep writing. 

A well-written story will find its way into the readers’ hands one way or the other.  Be patient.

Write on, my friends, and thank you for reading me today.

What are You Doing to Make Your Dreams Come True?

Ocean Dreams

2013 – One month into it and I am wondering where my motivation is for everything I planned to accomplish. How are you doing on your New Year resolutions, writing goals, and personal goals? If you are making headway – send me a note and tell me your secret to success.

I am looking for motivation!

Resolutions – I didn’t set anything too drastic for a goal.  I’d like to finish a poetry collection that I have written, submitted for beta reading, tucked it away for months, pulled it back out, re-read everything, contacted the publishers multiple times to go with it, and then not to go with it. I am convinced they think I am truly nuts and are sitting back quietly waiting for the dust to settle in one direction or the other.  I then, tucked the poetry collection away only to pull it all out AGAIN to rework the entire collection.  I have edited and edited, pulled and tossed, shook my head over several writings, and tucked it all away – yes, again. I have written several new pieces. However, I have decided to keep it to myself until I have made a solid collection that is very different from the original overarching theme. Yes, it is going splendidly, can’t you tell? (heavily laden with sarcasm)

Personal goals – again send me your secrets to success. Specifically those ideas that have you barreling through your personal obstacles – be they physical, emotional, or mental barriers. If I cannot use your secrets to successful charging through to reach the goal, come hell or high water, there is definitely someone else out there that needs to push through something. Let us work together and lend them a hand toward success.

If you haven’t noticed, it is all about the writing on this site.  Therefore, we’re back to the writing goals that are not covered above. What are you doing to make your dreams come true?  Are you writing every day?

Well, I am not writing every day or every week for that matter, and that is my sticking point. The creativity is at an all-time low, and it’s been going on for well over a year. I’m looking to push through those personal barriers, mine being personal time to write and working through downright pure exhaustion.  By the time creativity strikes, it’s late on the weekend and well, there’s that workweek glaring us all in the face.

Where does your creativity come from? How much time do you set aside each day or each week to write your stories, poems, or novels?

So, we’re back to those annoying goals, dreams, and working toward publishing, or whatever your personal markers are for 2013.  I’m taking the year in small bits.  I made a commitment to send out five random acts of kindness this year, small gifts given to friends and acquaintances when the mood strikes me.  I hope they have forgotten and the gifts are wonderful surprises throughout the year.  

I decided to wrap some previously published horror short stories into my own collection.  I didn’t publish anything in 2012, except for a couple of poems.  Several people have asked where they can find my work.  Much of it is no longer in circulation, so publishing the horror short stories will help satisfy that craving from a few friends, family, and fans, without crunching too much time out of me.  Furthermore, I have that annoying (said with love) poetry collection lurking in my mind on a daily (yes, well some things never leave the mind) basis.   I do hope to finish restructuring and torturing that collection into submission worthy material in the next few months.  I say torture as it was a lovely grouping to begin with, and well, I tore it to pieces over several months.   Now is the time to meld the new work with the remaining old and create an interesting presentation of material!  Wish me luck.

The biggest writing challenge for me in 2013 is that I set a goal to finish a story I started a couple of years ago. A personal goal is to finish writing it. A professional writing goal is to edit and do any re-writing by the end of the year to prepare it for queries in early 2014, and finally publish by the end of 2014.  Again, wish me luck!

Whatever your dreams may be for 2013, just go for it.  Reach for the stars and plot a course toward success.  Just don’t follow my example thus far!

Many blessings to each of you, and may you have plenty of time to write!

 

Simple Joys

Jamie’s heart was full, bursting with love
As her little fingers slid into the glove.
The warmth was instant, inside and out –
Someone cared for her, there was no doubt.

Her year was hard, moving from a big house
To a tiny apartment, not fit for a mouse.
Mom and Dad, both lost their jobs –
Nights spent covering her ears, blocking out their sobs.

Watching her parents, pray for a blessing;
She heard as they asked, “Let our kids not be missing
The Grace of the season
Or the love from a neighbor, if for no other reason

Than to bring a small smile on little Jamie’s face
Opening a few presents wrapped in ribbon or lace.
Let this one day be brighter, than all the rest,
Sharing in God’s love, and dress in our Sunday best.”

Jamie was so thrilled to see a few presents under the tree,
She was surprised and overjoyed to witness and see
The love from neighbors, friends and family as they sat
Watching Jamie smile broadly with her new gloves and new hat.

Such simple generosity lifts the spirit so high
The New Year was a great beginning, they could not deny
Jamie’s parents found new jobs and their spirits soared
All due to faith, and love in the Lord.

Oh, the Halloween Horror!

Shakespeare, Macbeth
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

You know you want to be frightened, shivering in the corner, eyes glued to the page. Keep the flashlight handy and enjoy this fun compilation of short stories and poetry by The Writer’s Pad.  Delve into the wicked world of demons, vampires, and other unmentionables for FREE.

Available for download on various e-readers and computers. Click this link. Yes, this one… right here!

The Writer’s Pad e-zine

Project Excerpt from “Battering Storms”

This is a small excerpt from my current project.

“Addie, what in blue blazes are you doing here?” Kalyani yelled. A young man with a long braid down his back glared at Kalyani. “Mind your own business young buck. I will do as I please. Go back to your grandfather’s house and help him brace for the storm.” The boy backed away, clearly intimidated by the strong woman’s presence. Happy with herself, Kalyani turned her attention back to Adeline. Shrugging and pointing toward the young man walking away. “Kids today, that youngin’ doesn’t even remember me, and I used to change his diapers. So tell me now, what are you doing here, now of all times?”

Adeline smiled at her old friend. Giving her a strong hug Adeline answered, “I missed you so much I just couldn’t take it anymore.”

“Stop blowing smoke up my skirt, white girl.”

“What’s up with the white girl talk?” Laughing, Addie continued, “I thought we were sisters, you and I, blood sisters remember?” Kalyani nodded in agreement. She turned to walk with Addie as she searched her friend’s face for the real reason for her visit. Sensing the questioning glare, Addie looked away as they walked the small market together. “Fine…  I’m at the cabin cleaning it up.”

“Cleaning it up, but why now?”

“Selling it. The development is going to be starting next year adding all those cabins to the 60 acres Rick used to own. Once the developer starts advertising heavily, I’ll be stuck with the cabin for years. I might as well cut my ties now and be done with it.”

Kalyani felt Addie’s heartache. “I understand, I do. Now isn’t a good time with this storm coming in. You should leave and come back in the spring.”

“This is supposed to be spring Kal, it’s April. Besides, the realtor said if I can’t get it ready in a month to put on the market I need to find someone else.  He has too many clients already.  A friend of Jonah’s.  You know, doing him a favor but gritting his teeth the whole way because he’s dealing with me.”

“Why are you using this guy if he’s a friend of Jonah’s?”

“A deal. I guess he owes Jonah a huge favor, or money.” She raised her eyebrows to Kalyani. “He’s waiving all the fees – even paying whatever I would be required to cover at closing. I didn’t ask Jonah for anything in the divorce so, I guess he feels this is something he can do. I would never tell Jonah, but I could use the break financially.”

“I never understood why you didn’t bleed that man dry when you had the chance, the cheating sack of shit.”

“Kal please! Let’s just drop it okay. I had my reasons.”

“Fine, fine. Listen, before this storm kicks our asses, why don’t I come over in a bit with some venison stew. If I am snowed in with you, then all the better. Dinesh is hovering over me like a hound dog on a fox hole.”

“Why in the world is he doing that?”

Kal’s smile faded, “Hey, we’ll talk about that later too. Grab lots of gear for you and Rufus. This storm is going to be a trip. Some wine too, we have a lot to talk about tonight. Hey, does that truck out there have four-wheel drive?”

“No. You know I live in the city. I don’t need it there.”

“Dang, what am I going to do with you?  I’ll bring some chains for your tires too, just in case.”

Highlighting a Wonderful Cast of Writers for “I Believe in Werewolves”

This year is starting with a bang and wonderful writing news.

I must highlight the terrific cast of creative talent that came together to produce the anthology, I BELIEVE IN WEREWOLVES (IBIW). Recognized in the Critters Writers Workshop – Annual Predators & Editors Reader Poll, coming in at #3 for the 2011 anthology category (http://critters.org/predpoll/final_tally_antho.ht), it is a testament to the talent and efforts that came together to give readers a great product of horror tales.

This compilation is special to me, as many of the writers have been with me since I started writing fiction a few short years ago. We met in a writing group that fostered mentoring, friendship, challenging each other, working our abilities, and honing our craft. Out of that association, friendships continue, writing support continues, and we cheer each other on in our endeavors – be it horror, other genres, poetry, or slam performances.

IBIW anthology, offered by Netbound Publishing, has decades of writing experience within the book jacket. Although I do have one story in this book, and have been nominated into The Spirited Woman’s, New Year’s Top 12 Book List for my short story, I want to highlight the other talented writers within this book that have been inspiring to me, many I am thrilled to call friends.  Their stories and poems are richly woven together, to give the anthology a rare, exquisite tone of creative genius.

I present to you the wonderfully talented cast of I BELIEVE IN WEREWOLVES:

Jennifer Tucker
John Irvine
Jeremiah Coe
Elizabeth Kolodziej
Robert A. Read
Melissa Stevens
Rob M. Miller
Shawn Pfister
Lori R. Lopez
Scott M. Goriscak
Blaze McRob
Mary L. Underwood
Lee Pletzers
Jerry McKinney
Linda M. Lovecraft
Michael Bertolini
Mikel B. Classen

Pick up, or download, a copy of the anthology to read some of the best horror fiction available. Read the author biographies, get to know them, and find links to, and listings of, other published works. I BELIEVE IN WEREWOLVES is available in print and eBook form through the following locations:

Amazon (paperback) http://www.amazon.com/Believe-Werewolves-Anthology-Wolfen-Terror/dp/1463688741

Amazon (Kindle version) http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0059K2ASG

Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/i-believe-in-werewolves-night-terrors/1104561723?ean=2940011421198&itm=2&usri=i+beleive+in+werewolves

Apple (download for ITunes, IPod, IPad, etc.) http://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/i-believe-in-werewolves/id453385537?mt=11

Smashwords http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/70718

I cannot express enough the gratitude I feel to be in the company of such awesome talent. I haven’t been writing for very long, yet I have been blessed with unexpected success and opportunities beyond anything I could imagine.

Check out “I Believe in Werewolves” – maybe your inspiration to pick up pen and paper is within those horrifying pages. If you do write, we’re ready to “pay it forward” and help you join our ranks within whatever genre you choose.

Many blessings!

Is it the End of the World? 2012 … The Dilemma

Is not the world supposed to fall apart in 2012? I don’t pay much attention to that kind of talk so specifics elude me. I do recall a movie advertised (didn’t see it), and a warning here and there thrown on Facebook, Twitter, or a news program about catastrophes or religious calamities that are soon to befall us.

Approach the New Year with a bit of humor. Get your epitaph ready, write out that will, and ensure if you do want to live forever, that your family knows NOT to pull that plug in your living will! On the other hand, ensure the opposite, if that is your wish. Whatever the case, make sure the document is written so the intended reader fully comprehends the true meaning of your words. This is not a time for ill-chosen words, or an economy of words.

I would suggest a good writer or editor help in the process, but that is just my humble opinion as a wordsmith. Once all that awful paperwork is complete, signed, notarized, and legal, put it away and have the best year ever. If the world really is going to end in 2012, you might as well enjoy it! I don’t believe it, so I’ll be pressing ahead with vigor on some exciting new challenges and finishing projects from last year.

Have a wonderful New Year!

I am excited about a number of projects that are finally coming to fruition. This website will be updated a little more frequently bragging about friends, fellow writers, and their accomplishments – as well as updating you on my own creative works.

The year ahead is full of promise. You decide what to make of it.

Cheers! Image