Something Witchy This Way Comes by Veronica Blade

A friend of mine recommended this YA novel. I checked it out from the kindle library but was mowing through another series and didn’t get to it before it expired. This past weekend I finished another series and was reminded of it so I picked it up.

Loved it.

If you enjoy reading YA, read it. I’ll write more about it later but I’m on my kindle at the moment and it’s a pain in the arse to write anything lengthy.

Cheers!

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Self-Published aka Indie Writers

There seems to be a lot of debate as to whether or not self-publishing is a good thing or not. I attended the Writer’s Digest Conference in January and heard info on it. I’ve read some blogs, some tweets, and reviews. I am certainly not an expert in publishing but I am a constant reader.

I got a little beefed, honestly, at one agents stab at self-publishers who call themselves “Indie” authors. Read: Independent Author. It means they took on the writing, the editing, the publishing, the marketing all on their lonesome.  That is not only hard work but a lot of it. The time that goes into creating, editing and getting the end result of a complete novel is amazing on its own. Now add the rest; the book cover, the social media, the meetings with book stores, working your ass off trying to get it known, not to mention the money spent on it. And I read a few people nitpicking about the content.

Okay,  now I do agree that before you throw your book up on Amazon or wherever, kindly have someone proof it. Even then there may still be things missed. I’ve had several people read my book and everyone found issues but not all the same ones! In a book that I find enjoyable, I can handle a few typos here and there and it really doesn’t phase me. Am I concerned about the comma or apostrophe being in the right place? Not particularly. The things that throw me off are the inconsistencies. For example, found an INDIE author I liked. Read his 3 book series. In book two his war horse dies. In book three he is riding that same war horse.  Kinda bummed me out that he missed that fine detail but I still enjoyed the book.

Are there books out there that I think suck? Hells yea. But there may be ten thousand or a million people out there who love it. It maybe just like it okay. Or maybe only 100 people like it. That’s that many people who feel richer for having read it. And at least they’re reading and not spending fucking insane amounts of hours in front a box that sucks the life and imagination out of you.

Differences: That’s one of the things that makes us wonderful and intriguing. We all have opinions and they’re not the same. What a relief too, otherwise this would be one boring planet.

Wow, I am sure getting a ramble on here. Like I said, I got a bit beefed. I support self-published authors. I may be one someday. I haven’t decided which way I want to go yet honestly. I am sending out query letters now. If I don’t get a bite before, say, 50-100 rejections come my way than maybe I will self-publish. Either way, I will be published and that is happy making.

** CORRECTION: I’d like to think that when I hear a word, I know what it means. But that isn’t always the case. I’ve come to the realization, with a bit more research, that there is more to this word “Indie” than one might think at an initial glance. I get the idea, though it’s no where near confirmed, that Indie also refers to a type of publisher. From what I’ve seen so far, they are not looked upon with great joy in the writer’s world. However, that also is not confirmed. This whole business is one heck of a learning process. After more research and clarification in this matter, I will issue another post soon letting you know what I find.  Cheers until then!

Christopher Farnsworth – Nathanial Cade series

I’m on a roll today. Making up for not blogging last month!

I found a series I am really enjoying. I’m on book 3 and already know I will buy Book 4 when it comes out. The Nathaniel Cade series by Chris Farnsworth.

The Nathaniel Cade series features a vampire who is blood oathed to the President of the US and has been pledged to every President for the last 140 years.

The US has been plagued by supernatural elements, not nice ones. Alone, the government cannot protect the citizens and keep the evil bay. So when they discover a newly turned vampire in 1700 something or other, the President was able to get the vampire, Nathaniel Cade’s agreement to blood oath his life to the protection of the President from whatever bad guys start to come out of the woodwork.

Cade is not your fluffy, shiny, womanizing vampire. He’s a cold-hearted killer who happens to be on the good side. He has a new handler, Zach, who is the go between for Cade and the President. Zach starts off a wuss (he was a politician after all) and grows into his position as the series progresses. The first book through me off slightly as it started in military style but after I got through the first chapter, I was hooked. I read the first chapter to my husband (story time) and He Who Dislikes Fantasy even thought it was awesome.

I read some of the not-so-nice reviews on Amazon before buying the book (the good reviews too). I thought it mildly funny and definitely ridiculous that someone would read a fantasy book and then say it was too unreal. Seriously? Isn’t that the point of reading fantasy? To bring out our imagination and enjoy other peoples self-created worlds?

I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books (even stayed up past midnight a couple of nights reading which is highly unusual) and continue to enjoy book 3. Cheers Chris!

Hope you all enjoy it too!

A First

I did something last week that I have never done before. I wasn’t drunk. I wasn’t strapped down on a table screaming. I went on my own volition with a smile tucked away for when I was done.

I got my first tattoo.

There are those out there, like me, who have wanted one for a long time but couldn’t or wouldn’t justify the expense. Or perhaps you’re one of those who have ten tattoos already and are eagerly planning out the next one. And then there are those who look disdainfully at such frivolous spending or maybe consider it a debasement of personal property. I believe it’s a personal thing. As I sit here, my mouth curls at the sides and there’s a happy place in me that is satisfied for having finally done it.

My husband and son gave me the tattoo cash for my birthday knowing that I wouldn’t set aside the money myself (I run the finances in the household and there is always something more important or needed!). My husband told me sternly that it was for my tattoo and asked if he needed to hold the cash for me so that I wouldn’t spend it on something sensible, like groceries. I declined, confident that I could hold onto it as though it was a coupon or gift card.

So  I went in search of the person who would lay ink into me, to my standards, and create the friend who would accompany me through life. I already knew what I wanted, had for years. So the first step was done. I started with referrals. Meeting the artist, showing them what I wanted and seeing what they said.

There were quite a few, here’s a highlight:

Tattoo Artist 1: Liked him immediately. Huge guy, reminded me of a teddy bear, beard and all. Looked through his portfolio. Liked his word but found it ‘soft’. Not very many hard edges though a good artist. He wanted $50 to draw what I wanted which would be part of the fee when done. He wouldn’t quote an actual price until he had a drawing. Left thinking he was a possibility but wasn’t thrilled.

Tattoo Artist 2: Referred by a good friend. He was young, was cocky right off the bat. He said the tattoo couldn’t be smaller than ten inches high due to the detail. Quoted $300. Scoffed at a fee to draw it out. He had all of three pictures of each work in a portfolio. Gave me a website to check out. I left feeling slimed. Went to the website when I got home. Page not found. Checked back a few times. No site. Yeah, big fat no.

After other dissatisfying looks around, I did an online search of local tattoo parlors and checked the reviews. I found Lou’s Tattoo’s which I’ve driven by about a million times. They are the first tattoo shop in Florida. I checked out the online portfolios, all were good. But it was Mike’s that caught my eye. The detail, strong lines, clever shading got my attention. I popped down to meet him and liked him right away. Super mellow, happy to chat and loves tattooing more than anything. It’s something he would do do for free if he didn’t have to eat.

I showed him what I wanted and he quoted me $150, no charge for the drawing. He took no notes and told me he’d have a draft in a week and would give me a call. I left knowing he was the one. True to his word, he called six days later. I went to see the drawing. <Smiling sigh> Two tiny changes and it was perfection. I scheduled on the spot.

The tattoo process
I have a high pain tolerance. I was more worried about the placement than any pain that would be experienced. He prepped my skin up with whatever gobbly gook he uses and placed the stencil. After three tries, we had it. My wonderful husband helped me since, the tattoo being on my back, it was rather hard to see. I was getting excited.

It took roughly two hours. Did getting a tattoo hurt? Hells yes. Was it horrible? Did I have to chew up a chunk of wood to keep from screaming? No. You have to think with the fact that someone is dragging a needle through your skin. For anyone who has sewed, you may recall the feeling of stabbing yourself or accidentally gouging out flesh. That gives you an idea. After a bit, you kind of get used to it as weird as that may sound. I’d say there were 4-5 times when I was saying ‘owwww’ in my head. Otherwise it was tolerable. Mike and I chatted through the whole thing mostly about books and movies. He likes fantasy and sci-fi which is right up my alley, he gave me some book recommendations. I took notes on my phone while he happily stabbed me repeatedly.

A friend at work, who has a few tattoos, told me that it would feel like a bad sunburn for a few days than itch like crazy.  A week later, I absolutely agree that it felt like a bad sunburn for a while.  The day after it felt like road rash. The first two nights my sleep was a bit broken as I woke periodically to tenderly turned over. Then I went through a couple of days where when I put lotion on it, small chunks of skin come off and freaked me out. I found out that’s normal, the scab in the healing process. And now, it doesn’t just itch. It itches like fuck. I am smearing lotion on this thing constantly in a steadfast vow not to scratch.

So in a nutshell, the week after, the care and discipline is more challenging than the process itself. Despite all that, I don’t mind. I am thrilled with my new friend:

Gargoyle Tattoo