• Who We Are

  • Schedule

    Mondays ~
    Tuesdays ~ Snarky
    Wednesdays ~ Dreamer
    Thursdays ~ Naughty
    Fridays ~ Dreary
    Saturdays ~
    Sundays ~

    Whenever ~ Smokey, Mighty, Eerie and Wicked

  • Snarky’s Tweets

  • Kinetic’s Tweets

  • Dreamer’s Tweets

  • Wicked’s Tweets

  • Eerie’s Tweets

  • Mighty’s Tweets

Hellos and Goodbyes…

It’s been awhile since we’ve visited the Swamp and her inhabitants. Today I thought you might like to take a peek into our little farewell get together for Mighty, who shall remain with us via the technology gods until her return, and meet our newest member…

Wicked: *shoving Might’s duffle on to the back of the lopsided jackass*  Why the hell are you going to the Windy City? Between the Werewolf Monks and Eerie’s Free Range Zombies, I would’ve thought we had enough drama for you.

Mighty:*stashing her Staff of Bull Shark Repellent*  You know how it is, money’s a little tight and those Bull Sharks aren’t going to leave the lake any time soon. I’m just going to make sure they don’t pass beyond where they’re allowed.

Snarky: *lazily curling and uncurling her whip*  I can whip them into shape.

Mighty: *look of indulgent disdain*  Your whip is not going to reach.

*Overhead Mischievous calls out*:  Hey Mighty, you ready to lose a few fingers and toes?  The temps over there will keep you in deep freeze.  *He cackles at his lame attempt at humor*

Mighty: *rolling her eyes across the road. Picks them up and puts them back in*:  That bird would be great fried.

Wicked: *grinning in agreement, even as the Prankster Duo comment on Mighty’s gory trick*  Yeah, but I think Eerie might take exception to our meal plans.

Eerie: *taking his Free Range Zombies for a walk with chains and a pointy stick*  What meal plans? The Werewolf Monks have been promising me a new vintage, I could pester them for it.

*A cloud of smoke drifts over* Smokey: “Just took down a mastodon over by Swamp Thing’s place. It’s been smoking nicely for the last few days. I’ll have my Spicy Bit bring it over. We don’t want you heading off without a full belly, Mighty.

Quirky: *practicing knots with some newly purchased ropes*  The Muses headed out a few hours ago, so we could probably hang over at Filet Your Own Deli without worrying about another knock down drag out argument over the use of details or lack thereof.

Dreamer *arms full of colorful blooms and Angel Boy fluttering around her ankles*  What about your cabin, Mighty? Do you need someone to pop in and keep an eye on things for you?

Mighty: *the smirk we all know and love but have learned to be wary of appears* Nah, I forgot to mention I found someone to cabin sit while I’m gone.  That way it’ll still be standing, Zombie Free, when I get back.

Dreamer *beatific smile appears* It’s so nice to have new blood in the community.  So much to play with…*a small blush*  I mean, perhaps they’ll have new playmates for Angel Boy.  *Turns to Wicked and Snarky*  No offense girls, but I believe your progeny may be perhaps a bit too adventurous for mine right now.

Wicked & Snarky exchange high fives.  

Wicked: None taken…

Snarky:  So this new peep.  What’s the deal? Who are they? Where are they from? Most importantly, can they pass the Swamp Entry Exam?

*A loud pop and a blue telephone booth appears and settles in the road. Red Dwarf steps out

Red: Good eve, all, I thought I’d pop in before tea to bid Mighty adieu.  

*A small blond races from behind Red and joins forces with the Prankster Duo, where upon a discussion of how Yoda took down Darth in this year’s Star Wars March Madness*

Red: Did I hear something about an entrance exam? I thought we’d straightened that out months ago.  Besides, I don’t see any dead bodies lying around. Everyone’s here–Snarky, Wicked, Smokey, Quirky, Eerie, Dreamer, Mighty, myself…doesn’t that put us one over?

Eerie *capturing a wondering single hand and wrestling it back in line*  Even though you’re over the Pond and Mighty will soon be in the Land of Winds and You-betchas, we’ve decided to allow one more individual into the group.

Quirky:  We did? When?

Wicked: It was during the brawl over at the Kilted Ferret pub when we had to hold off that damn Molly and her two henchboys from Eerie’s Three Misfiteers.  

Quirky: *flying fingers and rope pause before continuing their dizzy dance*  Oh yeah.  So, who is the new person?

Mighty: *tossing another package on top of the lopsided jackass* I’d introduce you all, but she’s been here the whole time, so I ‘ll let her do the honors.

*All seven dwarves start checking out their surroundings*

Eerie: Short? Tall? Gnome? Troll? What exactly are we looking for here? And a name would be good.

*Mighty smiles and continues to finish her packing*

*From behind him a shadow separates and forms into a petite, lithe form*  Names are not to be given lightly, small man.

Eerie: *huffs up to his full three foot one inch height* Who you calling small?

Wicked: *arms folded so knives are in easy reach* Nice move there, I need to introduce you to Raine.

Snarky: *lets her whip snap, crackle and pop*  And you would be…

*Shadow girl drops a very elegant bow* I am called Ninja Dwarf.

Quirky: *looking intrigues*  Wow! Totally cool, we get our very own ninja!

Today’s SwampGuest…Adriana Ryan!

Welcome back everyone! Nice to see you all here. Today’s guest is the fabulous Adriana Ryan, so stop snickering and singing over there, Muses and focus. Put those damn flowers down, you all are embarrassing me.

Swamp Thing stop handing out those stupid plants! Mischievous, go drag Eerie away from that Venus Flytrap, it’s not his friend. Prankster Duo, release the Piranha Hummingbird and sit!

Adriana traveled all this way, you motley crew, so the least you can do is give her your attention.

*chaos drops to muted rumblings*

Thank you. Now, without further ado I give you Adriana Ryan, the most awesome author of Enlightened Book 1 of The Awakened Series and Her Heart’s Desire.

Pinterest for Spooky Inspiration!

By Adriana Ryan

Unless you’ve been trapped in a wormhole (or are a writer on deadline), you’ve heard of the internet sensation that is Pinterest. Pinterest is a great tool for filmmakers, photographers and others in the visual arts, of course, because it lets you advertise your wares. However, it can also be a great visual dose of inspiration for those of us who pen fiction.

The creepy pictures you see in this post are all courtesy of Pinterest. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a board full of spooky pictures? Imagine all the monstrous tales you could create!

I’m currently working on book two of my Awakened series. I can’t go into details because I don’t want to list any spoilers, but I needed to look up female demons for inspiration for one of my scenes. I just scrolled through Pinterest one evening, and within five minutes, I had scads of material to base my scenes on (and also for nightmares to last me through the century).

Another great use for Pinterest? A visual story prompt. Scroll through the front page until you find an eye-catching picture. Then, using a thousand words or less, challenge yourself to create a story worthy of it. What is happening in the picture? To whom? Why?

Now, the only caveat is: Pinterest in addictive! Use at your own risk. 😉

Adriana Ryan writes spunky supernatural fiction in beautiful Charleston, SC. She is currently at work on an urban fantasy series. A huge fan of spooky stuff and shoes, she enjoys alternately hitting up the outlet malls and historic graveyards.

         You can find her at: http://adrianaryan.com                                                     

On Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAdrianaRyan

On Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/adrianaryansc

On Pinterest at: http://pinterest.com/adrianaryansc/

Give a Great Swamp Welcome to Alison Stone…

Okay everyone, settle down and take a seat. 

Eerie, one of your Zombie’s is munching on the Hellhound’s tail.  Mischevious and Adile, if you two don’t knock it off, I’m tying a boulder to your tails and dropping you in Dreamer’s moat.  Smokey, you’re creating a haze even Snarky can’t cut through.  Quirky, could you open that window behind my Knight? Let’s get some Swamp Gas in here.  Prankster Duo, for the love of Pete would you please stop trying to get Angel Boy to launch from the ceiling beams!

Finally! Are you all ready?

Great, so be good and give it up for our guest-the most awesome Alison Stone!  Her debut novel, Random Acts, is now available so afterwards, we’re doing a trip to the bookstore!

  Listen up and find out how she got sucked into the crazy world of writing…

Why do I write?

I ask myself this question every so often. Like when I’m stuck on a plot point or when I’d rather be reading or watching TV or cleaning the toilet… Yes, some days it seems like I’d rather be doing anything other than writing. So, why do I do it?

Is it for the money? (Okay, you over there, stop laughing.) Even if they don’t admit it, I think most writers hope their book will be the next big thing. But who can actually predict these things?  I’d settle for a nice income, never mind a seven-figure income. Yet, if it’s income I’m truly after, why write? I could go back to my former career as an engineer and make far more money than I do as a writer. However, an office job wouldn’t give me the flexibility I have as a writer. Don’t get me wrong, I work long hours crafting my stories, but I’m home if my kids need me for something—like a ride or dinner. J

But why write? Is it because I have the burning desire to tell a story? I can’t say I have one particular story that needs to be told. Rather I have a lot of ideas bouncing around my head. Once the idea to try writing took hold, I couldn’t let go. There is something about the challenge of writing and fitting all the pieces of the story puzzle together (I write romantic suspense) that intrigues me. It occupies my mind.

The other night my husband and I went out for dinner and we discussed my new career. My debut novel, Random Acts, had just been released. I told him how I really hoped this new career would provide income to help send our children to college. Then, like usual, I started to doubt myself. Wouldn’t my time be better spent working at a job that paid me an hourly rate or one that paid a salary? My awesome husband equated my budding writing career to starting a business. My husband, an engineer, told me one of his co-workers quit to start a machine shop. He has the expense of a new building, machines and salaries. My writing career is also a new venture, but my overhead is low. I have the expense of my laptop and my time. I love the analogy. I have worked hard over the years to build a solid foundation. From here, I need to continue to produce quality books and build my readership. I am excited my second book, Too Close to Home, is coming out on August 7th. I also have other books in the works. From here, I will grow my business.

Writing is one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. A few years ago, shortly after I signed with my wonderful agent, I received a crushing rejection from a New York publishing house.  This was not the first time my work had been passed up to the senior editor for possible acquisition only to be rejected, albeit with a “good rejection.”

The editor raved about my “clean writing style” and she was “eager to get Alison under contract and happy to read anything she submits.”  But this was the third time I had come so close, but yet so far. I was ready to throw in the towel, when my wonderful friend and critique partner—who always gave it to me straight— sent me his e-mail:

If an editor said “I’m eager to get her under contract” I would have swooned. Do people still swoon? You’ve got it, kid. Don’t give up. At the very least, what a model for your kids on what it takes to succeed. Am I blowing smoke up your derriere? Nope. Close only counts when people use it as an excuse to bow out. Look at the many writers who struggled. I’m talking good writers who managed to believe in themselves no matter what. There are too many fools out there who make it because they are blind to their own BS. You just need to find your own unique voice, blend it to the “smooth, clean writing style.”

This e-mail is over three years old, but it still sits in my inbox. I write because I enjoy it. I write because I hope to have a solid career. I continue to write even when the mountain seem insurmountable because I want to show my kids that sometimes you have to work hard—very hard—to achieve your dreams.

Much thanks to Alison for braving our Swamp and visiting with us!

Alison Stone graduated with a degree in industrial engineering from Georgia Tech. After working in Corporate America for a number of years, she retired to raise her young family. Soon the writing bug bit. After years of conferences, critique groups and writing, Alison sold two manuscripts that will be released in 2012. She claims it was easier to earn her engineering degree. Random Acts is her debut novel. To learn more about Alison Stone please visit www.AlisonStone.com.

Check out Random Acts

Second chances can have a terrible sense of timing.

As a child, watching her mother always pick the wrong man left Danielle Carson wary of opening her heart to anyone—except Patrick Kingsley. But circumstances came between them and left Danielle with a broken heart. Now she buries the pain of what might have been by channeling all her energy into her career. When a family crisis brings her back to her hometown, she is forced to face the past—and the disturbing fact that her sister’s car accident was staged to mask a brutal beating.

A police officer and widower, Patrick guards his heart as fiercely as he guards his beloved daughter. Seeing Danielle again unexpectedly reignites their old flame, but no way will he introduce a woman into his daughter’s life. Certainly not one whose values on faith and family are so different from his own.

Despite their best intentions, they are drawn together—until Danielle learns Patrick had a hand in putting her sister in harm’s way. Her fragile trust is crushed, but Patrick is the only man who can help her stop the villain before everything they both love is destroyed. Faith, family…and their second chance at forever.

Run, don’t walk, and get your copy now!  Available at:

Samhain Publishing: http://store.samhainpublishing.com/alison-stone-pa-1705.html

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Random-Acts-ebook/dp/B00795G1X4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334076604&sr=8-1

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/random-acts-alison-stone/1108890294?ean=9781609288242&itm=1&usri=alison+stone

Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Random-Acts/book-OSXUgDoMQ0aVm-JoFxmVXg/page1.html?s=QoeSfSCRk0m4in6w2_-prQ&r=1

Also available at Sony and iTunes.

Prepping for Guests…

Okay all, time to drag out the straw broom and tie it to the hellhound’s tail so we can clear off the dust and spiders from the front porch.  I’d ask the Prankster Duo to do it, but that would result in legendary whining.  Besides, they’d probably do the same thing, make the hellhound do it.  In the meantime, I’ll see if I can get Knight in Slightly Muddy Armor to polish himself off (*snort* just realized how that sounded!) and add a little shine to his outfit.  Maybe I can swing by Swamp Thing’s place and see if she has something that will cover up the stink from Eerie’s Zombie horde.  If not, I’ll snag a few of Dreamer’s pretty flowers.  Don’t tell her though–it might upset her if she finds patches gone from her garden. She does such an amazing job with those leafy things, I’m seriously impressed.  Most of mind tend toward brown and flaky. No worries, we can blame Mischevious or the small gypsy tribe of brownies trying to pretend they’re not hiding in the Trecherous Forest.

Are you wondering at the burst of Spring Cleaning I’m embarking on? It’s because next week I’M HAVING A VISITOR.  Yes, indeedy, instead of trotting over and posting on someone else’s blog as I’ve been wont to do for the past month and half, this time around, she’s coming to me.  So who is it?  It’s Alison Stone.  She’ll keep you on the edge of your seat with her thrilling suspense novels with just a touch of heartfelt romance.  I thought it was time we brought a little love and light into the Swamp–it’ll help make Dreamer feel more at home.  Besides, Alison is an awesome writer–so I had to share.

So you must come back next week when she’s here.  Bring your witty charm and fabulous humor and show her we’re not too backwoodsy here in the Swamp.  Share the love and make her feel at home.  I promise we’ll keep the Zombies penned up and Mischevious occupied with something shiny–that why she might come back.

Plus, if this all goes well, I’m thinking of inviting a few other friends to pop in every month.  Especially since I really, really need to buckle down on Shadow’s Moon now that we have our release date for Shadow’s Soul (Book 2) on 6/23/12!

Just an update–I got three chapters in, had to start over, pulled teeth out of a snail, and now I think I finally know where Xander’s going to take us.  You’d think by the third book the story should just merrily stroll along.  Oh no!  No, instead it decides to play hide-n-seek in the middle of a black hole.  Never fear, I’ll take it down–one way or the other.

So until next week…

Be good but not too good!


Case of the missing Snark…

At the latest gathering of the Evil 7 it came to our attention that our bold whipmistress and supreme ass kicker Snarky Dwarf has suddenly *gasp* lost her snark.  The Swamp is in an uproar.  I’m not sure how we missed such a momentous disaster, but trying to retrieve that mangy feather fiend, Mischeivous from the Three Misfiteers, resisting the urge to show that pompous C. Rock Adile how lovely he’d look in boot form, and making sure to keep those damn Storm Troopers from finding Jedi Dwarf, we seemed to have lost her snark.

Although we’ve bid adieu to Jedi, we have been able to help Dreamer Dwarf get settled. I’ve managed to wrangle the Prankster Duo into keeping Eerie’s zombies occupied so Dreamer doesn’t catch on that the shuffling noises she’s been hearing aren’t the three lost pigs from the other side of the Swamp.  We all pitched in with her beautiful moat and boy is C. Rock going to be pissed when he finds out we bribed his cousins into taking up residence.  I think if we corner a few unicorns for Dreamer, she’ll be okay.  As long as we keep the zombies, the Prankster Duo, the hellhound, Eerie and the Swamp Thing away from her yard.  Maybe her white picket fence and beautifully boxed flower things will keep everyone back.  If not, that’s why we have the moat!

I was going to make my Muse and that drunken fool she’s been hanging out with over at Swamp Shack help me earlier this month, but she’s taken a beating from all the guest posts I had to throw together.  Who knew that trying to come with entertaining blog posts was almost as hard as…writing? Not me, that’s for sure.  However, I’m sure she’s back in fighting form so I sent Mischevious over to Eerie’s so we can figure out what happened to Snarky’s snark.  Between the two of us I’m sure we’ll hunt it down.

Since my Muse was able to help me carve out a good 12 pages today, I figured we’d stick with what works do a little revamping of the Swamp.  Maybe it’s the massive amount of HGTV (Hag and Gnome channel) I’ve been forced to watch late at night while the hellhound has been chasing the Zombies and Knight in slightly muddy armor has been out “raiding” with his friends until the wee hours, but it was time for a change.  Cool uh?

My To-Do list is growing:

1.  Round up Eerie and the Muses and find Snarky’s snark

2.  Do weekly rounds of guest posts at following sites (and it’s a busy week):

  • 4/17   Michelle Miles’s Ye Olde Inkwell where I keep with my HGTV motif and discuss A Writer’s Dream
  • 4/19  Stacey Donaldson is hosting me at The Write to Make A Living as we take a peek into the Chaotic World fo a Writer’s Mind
  • 4/20  The lovely Bri Clark graciously rescheduled me over at The Belle of Boise to chat about Plot and Soap Opras
  • 4/21  BK Walker has welcomed me to her Immortyl Cafe to explore how to Forge a Character

3.  Help plan the yearly trip to Troll Mountain.  I so can’t wait for this one!

4.  Keep the Prankster Duo focused for their annual Testing Games–only a few make it through with their brains intact.  Here’s hoping we’ve prepared them enough for the onslaught of data!

I think that’s it so far…more than enough to keep me busy.

Until next week…


Pesky Internal Voices

Here’s the deal with diving into your next work in progress after spending an incredible amount of time editing your last piece–your inner critic refuses to shut the hell up!

We’ll refer to mine as VON (voice of my nightmares).

Von showed no fear when I threaten to take her out and dump her in the hole I dug out back in the swamp just last week for such an occassion.  Oh no, she kept right on.  “Don’t tell me, show me!” 

Show her?  Ohhh, I could show her all sorts of cutting repartees that will leave lasting impressions.  Instead, I gritted my teeth and tried to drown her under the pounding melodies of Seether and Nickleback.  When that didn’t work, I brought out the big guns–Korn and the greatest of them all…Trent Reznor.  But still, Von’s venemous whispers wafting through my mind.

I was in the midst of getting Xander back to her partner and a dead body in book 3, when Von broke through.

“That is not going to work. Who told them about the body? Who found it? How come the Pack knows, but no human is involved? And where’s Warrick?”

Really? I refrained from slamming my head into the wooden surface of the table next to my laptop by the barest fraction.  Wouldn’t do to upset my baristas, besides I might spill my drink.  Gritting my teeth, I went back an re-read what I had written.  Damn it…Von’s right…so I went back and rewrote. 

For awhile Von was placated with frappacinnos and coffee cake, while Xander and I worked through a few challenges.  Yes, some of them involving the alpha of the Northwest Pack, but still, we were getting there.  Then Von butted in…


Stumped by the strange question that contained no extranous commentary, I sat there blinking.  “Huh?”

“Why? Why kill this one?  What does his death do to the pack?”

Umm, okay, because…and I explained to her-again-why we were doing this.  She hummed under breathe and sipped her frappacinno.  “Okay, that should work, but we’ll have to see..”

Here’s the thing with Von. As exhausting as she is to work with when I’m writing, she’s an even bigger pest as I’ve been trying to figure out the cover of Shadow’s Soul.  Last week, I asked for feedback on Shadow’s Edge cover over at Cover Art Review blog and got exactly what I asked for.  Don’t mistake me, I’m actually really happy with what I got back.  There were no rave reviews, but the actual feedback was helpful.  However, it did give Von some serious ammunition as she peeked in on what I was considering for Shadow’s Soul.  I have a feeling that until I hit the big leagues or discover some unknown artistic genius residing deep inside me, I’m going to have to make what I have access to for cover art–work.

As for Von–I’ve tried luring her over to Eerie and Mischevious’s neck of the woods, but short of tranqualizing, blindfolding, and trucking her out that way, she seems determined to stick around and torment me.  Even making her play darts with the Muses doesn’t seem to do anything except make her more crabby!  Maybe if I turn up my music, she’ll get bored and go pester Snarky!  With my luck she’ll have a twin or hell, be part of triplets, and then all three of them can torment the rest of the Evil 7 and drive us all insane!


And to think you were done…

I promised to drag you along this journey of crafting a novel from beginning to end, but I have found that my OCD tendencies have put a kibosh to multi-tasking in this one aspect of my life.  I may be able to juggle the Prankster Duo, the hellhound, the knight in slightly muddy armor, the job that pays the bills, life in the Swamp, and various other aspects commonly referred to as LIFE, but when it comes to writing, I can only do one thing at a time.

So now that Shadow’s Soul is off my desk and on my editor’s, I thought I was good to go for book 3.  Until I realized I’m not finished with Shadow’s Soul just yet.  Nope, now I need a tag line, a synopsis, and a cover.  Great.  I’m so thrilled (and yes, that is sarcasm in my voice!).

Although the opening scene of book 3 is floating around in my head along with Eerie’s voice screeching “Just write it, damn it!” while Snarky’s whip is whispering along my prickling skin, I can’t do it.  Not yet.  Not until the tag line and synopsis is done.

I enjoy writing, because let’s face it, if I didn’t, I’d have to be a masochist to put my self through all this crap for some words on paper. Yet I have to say that trying to pare down 387 pages into two catchy paragraphs is like trying to get my hellhound into the backseat of my car for a vet’s visit.  It’s not pleasant and suddenly there seems to be a long list of things I just HAVE TO DO RIGHT NOW.  It stinks but it’s something that has to be done.

Plus I’ve found that my working line of logic to tie up the project known as Shadow’s Soul is somewhere along the lines of:  DO SYNOPSIS, CREATE TAG LINE, and then, go forth and try to piece together your cover so it matches what the book’s really about.  I have started but I just keep stalling out.

As soon as this post is done, I think I’ve run out of THINGS I MUST DO RIGHT NOW and will be forced to finish my dreaded synopsis and tag, then submit it to the other Evil 7 for dissemination.

Procrastination is now heading for the door and wiggling bony fingers in a very snerky way leaving me chained to my desk with a keyboard super glued to my fingers and a mental countdown clock is slowly driving me mad.

I will get this done, really…

Oh look, a text message from my BFF… movie at 5 tonight?  I think I can work that in…

Life Interruptus…

I managed to drag and beat into a readable pulp a whole whopping SEVENpages of book 3.  I spent backbreaking hours sucking back frappacinnos as I hunched over my most precious Macbook Air with my ears plugged into my current playlist to bring those pages into the world kicking and screaming.  Exhausted I went home, corralled the Prankster Duo and knight in slightly muddy armor from the hypnotic trance of the latest video craze of SWTOR and we were sitting around the table to enjoy the wonderful world of Pizza Hut, when an almight noise emerged from the night.

Knight and I jumped up, grabbed our sharp pointy and edgy things, set the hellhound to watch the Duo and emerged onto the porch.  The unholy wails were coming from Eerie’s side of our little enclave.  For a moment I was worried his undead pets had slipped their leashes, but it was much, much worse than that.

Eerie’s got a steady head on his shoulders…most times, so this very explosively loud outburst was not normal.  In our Swamp not normal generally means mud is about to hit the fan.  I left Knight to stand guard and slid into the early evening to find out what the hell was going on.  It wasn’t long before Snarky and her whip were imitating a shadow to my left and Quirky and his quarterstaff took his spot on my left.  That pompous soon-to-be-new-pair-of-boots, aka Mr. C. Dial was lounging in his front yard, tsking about how he had been told this was such a nice neighborhood, such a pity. 

Ignoring him, our little trio made it to Eerie’s place to find Smokey trying to force a bowl of…well…something into Eerie’s shaking hands. The poor guy looked like a magnitude 10.0 was happening under his hairy feet.  A whisper of sound announced Jedi’s arrival and down the trodden path a pair of headlights bounced our way.  Great, the Muses were heading in.  Good grief, it was a frickin’ party!

It took a bit, but we finally got Eerie to tell us what was up. 

Mischevious was gone…flown the coop…flocked away!

His collection of shiny bits was still scattered around his perch, and we couldn’t finop…flocked away.

d any sign of forcible abuduction, but Eerie’s convinced he’s been raven-napped.  He’s even posted a rewarde for info.

Suspects are not exactly littering the ground, but personally, after seeing the little tete-a-tee between our Raven and Pompous Ass, it wouldn’t surprise me if that walking luggage set had something to do with it.  I told the old man with the tool belt to take a break on the flask thing and sent my muse with him to go listen to the talk down at the Swamp Shack.  Maybe we’d get lucky and the two of them will hear something.

In the meantime, I’m keeping my eye on that yes-man down the road, just in case. 

If you have any info on Mischevious, do me a favor and let Eerie know? He’s at 777-7777.

As for the writing thing, as I trudged home it hit me, those seven pages…yeah, they weren’t going to work.  During the walk home, I steamed and stewed but at least I know where I’m going to actually start now. Problem is, Shadow’s Soul needs to make it’s way to my editor.  I haven’t been very good at multi-tasking with this third book, so as frustrating as it is, it’s going to the back burner while I stop procrastinating and buckle down for editing hell.  A few more tweaks and it should be a done deal.  Then on to book 3….


Happy Thanksgiving…7ED Style

It’s the time of year when everyone does the Why I am Thankful blogs, so I thought I’d join along in my own unique way.

Here in the Swamp there are many things to be thankful for this year.  Let’s begin, shall we?

I am thankful for…

…the Prankster Duo.  Who else in my life would make me consider the deep, dark mysteries of the world  with  such scintillating conversation gambits such as:

                “Mom, can I borrow Siri for a second?”

“I need to look up a word.”

“What word?”


Startled silence… “Why?”

“My friend said he did and it was ‘an explosive sensation from between his legs’.”

I try really hard not to hit my brakes and cause a five car pile-up as I try to find air to drag into my lungs.  My precious 9 year old…oh dear…. “Um, honey, perhaps you should think of another definition.”


Right, how to answer this one without him thinking his mother is a pervert…oh wait…. “Okay, because that definition could be interpreted in a way you would find really gross.  How about  ‘explosive flatulence’?

“Hmm…okay…should I ask why it would gross me out?”

“It has to do with boys and girls…”
“Okay enough said, I’ll stick with ‘explosive flatulence’.”

…my knight-in-slightly-muddy-armor who has stayed beside me while Eerie’s Zombie’s have trashed our yard and the hellhound has seeded the same yard with many landmines.  Not only has he braved that terror, but he has successfully save many an electronic devices from being tested for aerodynamic properties when they refuse to cooperate with me.  Considering how often that temptation occurs, he’s my hero, because recovering drafts from broken pieces of plastic and wires is really hard!

…my hellhound, without whom my floors would not hold themselves down, but float away into oblivion.  Only he could figure out the strategic points that will keep them grounded and still manage to be where ever I have to walk.

…Starbucks and the lovely baristas, because they have saved many an unsuspecting person from violent death while supplying me with my needed caffeine fix that makes sure all my edged accessories stay sheathed!

…Snarky and her bloody whip.  Let’s be honest, without the combo of the two there’s no way I would have dredged up enough courage and armor to brave the pit of submission hell and finally, FINALLY got a contract!

…Eerie, Mischievous Raven and the herd of corpses that tend to trample my lawn.  Not only has he obtained some seriously good wine from the Werewolf monks, but he shines forth humor in the darkest moments and that is truly priceless.

…Quirky for reminding me why cynicism is not always the best thing to use for protection.  His ability to strip down situations to bare bones makes him invaluable to the Evil 7.  Beside it’s fun to watch him squirm!

…Smokey and his fabulous recipes.  However, I’m still not to sure about the octopus and whatever that was that one time in the Swamp where he and Eerie got together.  Strange, but if you don’t tell me what it is, I won’t think about it! It’s nice to know that even if you can’t pronounce character names, you can cook!

…Jedi and her bravery.  I mean, really, think about it.  How brave would you be to walk into a steamy Swamp filled with gods-only-know-who, talk to the short. stumpy guy with the beady eyed raven trying to pry a zombie arm from the Swamp Thing while the Prankster Duo goes screaming by with some weird contraption spitting flame, while Snarky tries to hold back the horde parked outside her porch with a 12 foot whip?  Really, our neighborhood doesn’t need a watch, more like napalm.  We’re glad you survived the welcoming committee and decided to stay!

…BFF, Ang, because who else would dare take me to a move about a sparkling vampire who hatches kids from eggs and an alpha wolf that doesn’t kill for leadership and can’t pronounce his someday mate’s name, and then let me go Science Mystery Theater on it for two hours.  She even held back the prepubescent horde armed with lip-gloss and sparkle and their mothers from trampling me under their keds.  Only a BFF like that can be trusted at your back.

…to all of you for taking the time to follow along, even when the insanity that lives inside me spews outward!


The Greatest Holiday Ever….

Halloween is around the corner and this month zipped by in spectacularly fast fashion.  With little time to spare, I wrangled the Prankster Duo, via a Venus Fly Trap snare, made them leave the head of one of Eerie’s zombies at home, and off we went to shop for costumes.   As we emerged from the Swamp, the youngest pointed out the new signs wallpapering the Impenetrable Forest.  Seems they’re in the midst of working on another deadly…I mean lovely, maze for this year’s celebration.

So we’re at the Aberzombie & Witch when my oldest informs me in funeral tones that this will be his last year of trick-or-treating.

Shocked, all I could manage was a garbled, “Uh?”

Ignoring my eloquence, he continued, “My friends and I discussed this, and this is it for us.”

“You make it sound like your impending demise looms upon the horizon, child. It’s Halloween!”

I never thought I’d get such a look from the fruit of my loins. (Loins, Eerie, not Looms!)  From the Whipmistress?  Hell yeah.  Him? Not so much.  “I don’t want to embarrass myself.”

Really? Okay, Mr. Daddy Long Legs…let’s think about this for a second.  You’re a boy, a sweet one occasionally, but a pre-teen boy.  Embarrassment is soon to be a way of life for you.  My poor baby.

He added, “Besides, we’ll be in Junior High.”

Ahhh! I get it.  As we leave the familiar halls of elementary school behind and begin to prepare for the hallowed journey to middle school, suddenly “coolness” factors into every decision.  Then it’s on to those oh-so-torturous years of high school.

“Okay then.  But you do realize that mom had no problem donning a wig, goth make-up and heeled boots for her writer’s conference a couple years back.  Remember that?”

He does a damn good eye roll, “Yeah, mom, but you’re…a writer, you’re suppose to be crazy.”

See! My son is brilliant! As I glide through the pride of my son’s keen intellect, my youngest cuts in.  “Mom, they don’t have any Minecraft pig costumes.”

Looking over the selection, I notice he’s absolutely correct.  Nary a piece of bacon in sight.  Unless you count the strangely compelling anatomically correct adult version hanging in the corner.  I gently steer his young, impressionable mind elsewhere.  “Okay, then, what’s your back-up plan?”

“Hmmm….” he studies the offerings with the seriousness of a heart surgeon.  A few minutes later and a decision is made.  I head to the counter, lay out the cash and we’re homeward bound.

Later that night as my knight-in-slightly-muddy armor starts to work on his daily shine-fest, the Duo drag out their costumes.

“Look, Dad? Like the whip?”  For a kid who doesn’t want to trick-or-treat, my oldest hides his excitement fairly well.

“Nice, son,” my  knight checks the workmanship.  “So, Indiana Jones, uh?”

“Yeah, no mask required.”

They’re interrupted as my youngest taps my knight on his shoulder.  “Check it out, Dad!”  The voice is a little muffled behind the mask, but it gets a smile from my knight.

“Niccceeee…I see we stuck with our old stand-by, Star Wars!”

“Yeah, no Minecraft pigs.” Disappointment has our ARF Stormtrooper’s shoulder sagging. But only for a moment.  “But it’s okay, this one has wickedly cool camo!”

As the Duo dart off to harangue the hell-hound, my knight turns to me.  “Does he realize the camo is for snow covered landscapes?”

“Yep, but it’s camo and you know as well as I do, any camo is good camo, as far as he’s concerned.”  From outside our well barricaded cabin, we hear another zombie cage-fight match start up.  I sure wish the Swamp Thing would leave them alone. I double check the locks on the door and make sure the flamethrowers are set.  “Besides, does it matter? It’s Halloween, and isn’t one of the best parts being able to dress up however we want?”


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