• 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!

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.

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….

Wicked

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?”
“Umm..sure…why?”

“I need to look up a word.”

“What word?”

“Fart.”

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.”

“Why?”

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!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

What would Smokey do if…

Dwarves Interview

1. When did the writing bug first bite you?

                1959

2. Friends and family aside, what are the five things you cannot live without?

                Coffee, tobacco, books, the internet, the first Saturday of each month.

3. Every Dwarf has a special name. What is the story behind yours?

                It may have something to do with my cigars and pipes, but who knows?

4. What movie can you watch 1,000 times and never get sick of? Why?

                None, but Christmas Story comes the closest.

5. What’s your favorite thing about writing?

                Starting with nothing and discovering a story.

6. If you could be any character in fiction, whom would you be?

                Merlin

7. If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?

                The ability to drink gallons of coffee without having to pee.

8. What is your favorite color?

                Thalo green.

9. What is your favorite drink?

                Coffee

10. Why are manhole covers round?

                So they can’t fall into the hole.

Meet the Dwarves – Smokey

Ah, Saturdays. How I love them. And to top it off, the first (usually) Saturday of every month, our gang heads over to Smokey’s for an afternoon of great company and delicious food. As Smokey says, he is our cook.

And man, can the man cook.

Introducing Smokey Dwarf, best darn cook in the west.

J.R. Williams is somewhat older than Gandor, but taller than Frodo and has decided to partially come back from the dark-side. 

In prior lives, he has been an intelligence analyst and software engineer but now focuses on corrupting the youth of the world through young adult fantasy.  He hones his techniques daily on his mostly-willing five grandkids.  They almost believe his tales of sailing the seven seas, fighting pirates, and slaying vampires and other beasts.

He is known by his fellow seven dwarves as a pipe smoking, fact checking, grammar and word Grinch.  He is also the group cook.

Find Me:

Blog: http://campchef.wordpress.com/

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