Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Time to pull out another hobby

With Fall upon us I usually start making warm things.  Every year I try to make hats and mittens for the family, friends and to donate to a charity at my daughter's school.  It is one thing that I can do to help people.  It is especially easy because thanks to my MIL's legacy I have boxes and boxes of yarn to use up.

But this year instead of starting with things like these

I have decided to start with a new afghan.  Ever since I broke my wrist days after moving to Canada I have been using crocheting as a strengthening exercise for my wrist.  The twisting you do while crocheting is actually a better exercise than what the therapists give you.  Now I have made quite a few simple afghans since I started.  As I don't use a pattern I get some odd projects.

Now all of these images but one show the completed afghans.  The multi colored green one is much larger in its finished form.  It stretches across our full side bed.  The fourth picture is an afghan i finished for my brother in law for him to take home with him to Australia.  I am hoping he got to enjoy it before he passed away a few months later.  It was from pieces made by his mother before her passing and his grandmother.  You can't see the different textures they put into those squares but I am enjoying the last one that is currently on my couch. 

Afghans are great for those times when you are sitting on the couch and are just a touch chilly.  Later September in Canada can be brisk at times.  My online friends from the deep south might complain that the temps have dipped into the 60s but really that is just a comfy level for me.  This morning we were below 40 (or 2 C for those of you outside the US)  I find being curled up with an afghan as I work on squares for a new one is a great thing.  Just add in a good movie and a warm cup of chai and you have a really relaxing day.  I will post up the the mixed up afghan that my daughter has requested once I get more squares done.

It will be a simple single crochet afghan done in varied yarn.  Her idea of color mixing is interesting and it should be done by the end of the week if i am not interrupted too often.  It doesn't take long to do an afghan but I am not one of those who can spend all day doing the same thing.  I take long breaks to do stuff like blog, read, write, edit and of course take care of the house and family.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Jade Kerrion's newest release!

Perfection Challenged, the thrilling conclusion to Jade Kerrion's multiple award-winning, bestselling DOUBLE HELIX series, will be released on September 17th and will be available in paperback and all electronic formats. Beta readers have declared Perfection Challenged "the best of the four books...the perfect ending to an amazing series."

If you've never picked up the DOUBLE HELIX series, keep on reading for a special offer on Perfection Unleashed, the book that launched the DOUBLE HELIX series.


An alpha empath, Danyael Sabre has survived abominations and super soldiers, terrorists and assassins, but he cannot survive his failing body. He wants only to live out his final days in peace, but life and the woman he loves, the assassin Zara Itani, have other plans for him.

Galahad, the perfect human being created by Pioneer Labs, is branded an international threat, and Danyael is appointed his jury, judge, and executioner. Danyael alone believes that Galahad can be the salvation that the world needs, but is the empath blinded by the fact that Galahad shares his genes, and the hope that there is something of him in Galahad?

In a desperate race against time and his own dying body, Danyael struggles to find fragments of good in the perfect human being, and comes to the wrenching realization that his greatest battle will be a battle for the heart of the man who hates him.

Recipient of six literary awards, including first place in Science Fiction, Reader Views Literary Awards 2012 and Gold medal winner in Science Fiction, Readers Favorites 2013.</em>

"Higher octane than Heroes. More heart than X-Men."

Danyael Sabre spent sixteen years clawing out of the ruins of his childhood and finally has everything he wanted-a career, a home, and a trusted friend. To hold on to them, he keeps his head down and plays by the rules. An alpha empath, he is powerful in a world transformed by the Genetic Revolution, yet his experience has taught him to avoid attention.

When the perfect human being, Galahad, escapes from Pioneer Laboratories, the illusory peace between humans and their derivatives-the in vitros, clones, and mutants-collapses into social upheaval. The abominations, deformed and distorted mirrors of humanity, created unintentionally in Pioneer Lab's search for perfection, descend upon Washington D.C. The first era of the Genetic Revolution was peaceful. The second is headed for open war.

Although the genetic future of the human race pivots on Galahad, Danyael does not feel compelled to get involved and risk his cover of anonymity, until he finds out that the perfect human being looks <em>just like him</em>.

FOR A LIMITED TIME, E-BOOKS AVAILABLE FOR JUST $0.99 (Discounted from $2.99)

Fictional Witches and being a real Wiccan

With the season quickly moving toward Halloween there are a lot of Witches showing up on television, in movies and in books.  Some are good, some are bad and some drive me nuts.

As a writer I find myself reading as much as I can and while I know that the average reader doesn't know the reality of Wicca it annoys me to see so many evil witches out there.

Okay before I go on about how we are typecast as green nosed evil wielders of wands, riding brooms and casting spells that hurt people let me give you my own take on Wicca and witchcraft.

Right around the time i turned 18 I was introduced to Wicca by a good friend.  The religious aspect of Wicca is a belief in the magic of life, the duality of the divine and the one law.  That law is as so:  An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will.

A lot of people look at that and say either, see they will do anything with no restriction (wrong) or see they stole that from Us..the so called golden rule of the Christian mythos. 

What the law means is that we will not judge you but you must not harm anyone, including yourself.  There is one of the big differences from what people think of us.  We don't want to harm anyone.  We want to help.

Now that I have that off my chest lets go to fictional witches.  In the past they were always the villain in one way or another. It was a cop out in my opinion.  While I have written female magic using villains I don't call them witches.  Like the male versions, mages, sorcerers and necromancers, the female versions can be as good or evil as we want them to be.

After watching an episode of Being Human (the US version) I found myself once more having that low level grumble.  They have introduced a Bruha, a sorceress who brings the ghost back to life with a lot of restrictions.  The first was they needed to get the heart of a man that they had killed.  This was easier than you would expect as our favorite werewolf had killed off his maker at the end of the last season.  They dug him up and got what they needed and brought her back.

Now the second part was that the recovered ghost can not be in contact with people from her past.  They were told just that with no explanation.  We find out that if she interacts with people from her past (not the vampire or werewolf of the show) they will die.  At the end of the episode we find out why the witch didn't tell them.  Because the ghost of who ever dies this way, when they go through their door to the after life ends up in her soup kitchen.  And then she destroys them and eats them, gaining their life and aging in reverse.  Yet again the so called witch is an evil being who uses others pain to transform herself into a young, sexy being. 

I have tried in my own stories to portray a more positive version of witches.  Lady Katherine in the Guardians of the Gate is a wise woman who helps my hero with protective devices and a bit of non traditional healing techniques. 

Moira is another witch that I have in a tale that will be released in the next few months.  .In this story I work with how even in today's world people still chant "Do not suffer a witch to live."  As this little bit goes:

Moira was a quiet and shy woman.  Living on the top of a lonely mountain, she rarely had visitors, even more rarely wanted them.  Secrets gathered about her, both from without and within.  She hid when the women came looking for another for the church social.  She hid her hair and eyes when she had to go to town.  The men and reacted too strongly. She lived a quiet, lonely life but it was hers.  When the big stranger showed up in her shed during the blizzard, she took him in, tended his injuries and fed him.  And like any injured creature at first he was skittish, lashing out .  Luckily for her he was too injured to actually land a blow to her petite frame.

Witches are  people like any other.  There are good and bad but most of them should be portrayed as what they are.  People who believe in the sacredness of life, all life.  We may not be vegetarians (some are) but we do honor the creatures that give us life.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Book trailers, why make them?

Back when I first took the challenge of publishing my work one of the things that scared me the most was marketing my work.  Having no money and little idea of what to do I turned my attention to what I found on social media.

Some of the biggest named authors (at least that I read) started to do book trailers.  Like a movie trailer it is a teaser to get people interested in reading your work. 

For a while I went nuts on these.  I found that making these is a lot of fun.  The optimal length for me is 30 seconds.   I have made most of them on line with an online program called one true media.  They let you do all kinds of things but if you want to do them for free you are a bit limited on actions.

The nice part about this is that you can directly upload them to YouTube and facebook with just a click of your button.  That certainly makes getting them out there easy.

Because I have been so very busy writing and releasing stories by themselves and as part of collections and anthologies I have gotten behind on doing these.

If you would like to see some of my trailers you can find them on YouTube

There are book trailers, poem videos, nature photography videos and even my fun nerf videos

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Twelve years

Today a lot of people are remembering what happened twelve years ago.  Remembering where they were, who they knew and what happened.  And they should.  In today's world where people contemplate making religious/political statements with violence, we should remember those who are the victims of that violence.

That horrible day I was working at a hospital.  Not in NYC, no I was working back in NH.  There are a few memories that stuck with me from that day.  The first was trying to explain to a homeless woman that I was helping in my office why everyone was so upset.  You see a lot of us forget that there are people who aren't up to the minute on the news or trends or whatever is on the tv/radio.  This woman, who was desperately trying to find a place to live, food to eat and a way to pay for the hospital bill that living on the streets with no medical care gave her.  She wasn't asking for much.  Just a roof, a full belly and a chance to pull herself out of the hole that life dumped her in.  Gently explaining to that all ready overwhelmed woman was a test of my understanding and kindness.  I hope I passed that one.

The next memory was of the hospital's clergy woman.  She was going from person to person who worked at the hospital, asking carefully what their beliefs were.  The carefully I am sure you understand, in these days of political correctness asking someone what religion they are is a no no. But you see she was doing her job, coming up with some way to help those in her care to deal with what many felt as an attack on their beliefs.  Being the only Wiccan on staff at the time she had some interesting questions for me on how to help those not of the Judeo-christian belief systems.

The most sad memory for me comes from a older volunteer who was working in my office, helping me with the filing that constantly backed up in a charity office.  A very sweet and friendly woman who was very good at helping in an office, she fell apart.  At first we had no idea why she just up and left the office and did not return.  It was days later that we found out that she had a son working in the World Trade Center.  I never found out what happened but for a long time I wish I had time to comfort her before she disappeared from our office.

Today we have learned a whole new lexicon.  We expect delays for security at airports, have shows about Homeland security and open debates about guns and fanatics.  But what I wonder as I sit here in my home in another country is did we learn anything?  Do we understand those of other religions any better?  Have we learned that western civilization has some things wrong and some things right?  Have we learned that we can't keep doing things the old ways?  While our world is smaller than ever, it just might be best to pull back and deal with the problems inside our own countries.  The US especially has become a demon in many places for trying to lend what is thought of as aid by some and interference by others.

There are so many places in the world that need help but it needs to be done minus the political agenda and with open minds and open hearts. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Trying to catch the moon on film

Just the other night the moon was a thin little sliver in the sky.  As my hubby and I looked out our kitchen window we saw a perfect image.  The fingernail moon with Venus a bright light to the right of it, all framed nicely by the trees across the way.  This was an image I could see painted in dark blues, black and glow in the dark paints.  Why glow in the dark?  Because it would glow in the dim lighting like the moon does.  It is something I would love to try and paint in the future but for now I tried to catch it on memory card with my camera.

As you can see the images came out a bit fuzzy.  I could not get them to come clear with my camera but I thought i would share them with you all.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sending out work for reviews

One of the best things about social media is finding people who are willing to read your work and give you HONEST feedback about them.  While I look about the various places that people can comment on my work I have found a lot of interesting comments.  Yes I have received two star reviews and while it is a hit to the ego it is also a learning experience.  If and this is the important part, if the reviewer actually gives you the reason they gave your tale two stars.

On Goodreads you don't have to leave an actual review when you star a story.  I have a few low stars there that I really wish the reviewers had put down why they didn't like my tale.  One thing I strive to do in my work is to get better. 

Now a lot of people think that reviews that are given from free copies of a book or story is wrong but are they?  Even if a story is gifted to a reviewer if the person is honest in what they liked and didn't like what is wrong?  I have over the years reviewed a number of books that I have picked up during free offers on Amazon, Smashwords and other etailers. 

Also I have offered a number of my works for free, either for a short period of time or in the case of my fan fiction, always.  Reviews are one of the ways for a writer to learn what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong.  The good ones learn from these comments.

Now yes reviews can hurt.  Some people seem to believe that they need to tear down writers the same way they tear down artists, singers and actors.  The amount of bullying on the web is sad in my opinion.  We need to find ways to uplift and not drag down.

But back to the post heading.  I have a number of people who have graciously offered to give me honest reviews on both my work in progress and on the pieces I have up for sale.  The WIP pre readers make my life so much easier and they will be thanked in as many places as I can get away with.  Those who are reading my published work I can't thank on the reviews but I can here.

It is considered wrong to respond to a review.  The rules of receiving reviews are complicated and different from place to place.  With all the social media accounts out there just finding those reviews can be almost impossible.  One thing I have done and plan on continuing to do is placing those reviews I give and those I receive up on my own website. 

This can be tricky though.  One Amazon alone I have 71 reviews.  Not all of them are for my stand alone work.  The anthologies i have contributed to have reviews and for the most part those are positive.

So the thing about this blog is that reviews are necessary for growth and that authors need to search out people to review them.  You shouldn't expect your reviews to be all glowing and five star.  You should take all comments and learn from them but most importantly don't take them too much to heart.  Keep being creative and learn but don't let the trolls drag you down.  Remember that the things you write, like the art or song from other creative people, is a part of you.  How the reviewer sees your work is only a part of what you gave it.  The rest is from them.  If they are hurt, angry or just plain mean inside then they will say things that are the same.  Keep writing things that lift your heart and soul and hopefully others.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Stop saying "In my day"

there is an odd thing going on in my day.  It seems like I am the pivot in a teeter totter of opinions.  Thanks to the wonders of the internet I talk with people of all ages, races, sexes, income levels, political types, music taste or other things and one that that really bugs me is this things were better, are better attitudes that are out there.

The current discussion I am having is with people who are arguing that kids spend all their time texting, playing videos games, etc and don't go out to play.  They make the argument that kids don't play outside.  Heck you are seeing it everywhere but the thing is I don't see it.

Having a ten year old living at home and owning an xbox, DS and computers I have an idea how much time a kid will spend doing things.  Yes, I admit there are days she will sit and watch cat videos on Youtube but most days we have to remind her to come in for dinner and bedtime.  She rides her bike, builds tree branch forts, hunts frogs, catches fish with her hands, picks flowers, playing silly games on the playground equipment and just do all the things we used to do as kids.

Is it that she is so different than other kids?  I don't think so.  I think it is because interacting is fun for her.  We allow her to play, don't EXPECT her to.  Modern society is constantly scheduling kids to do things and then complaining that they aren't being kids.  Yes sports can be good for some kids but we don't need every kid to become sports stars.

Again I seem to be switching themes but it is true.  North America, and yes I mean the US and Canada seems to have this thing where if you aren't a TEAM PLAYER then there is something wrong with you.  What happened to doing your own personal best? 

But back to the original argument.  Parents of my age back when they were kids had the early computers and video games.  The didn't have cellphones but they spent hours on the phone talking to their friends to the annoyance of their parents.  They listened to music on boom boxes instead of IPods but playing them so loud that they couldn't hear their parents anymore than the kids do now.

Yes people don't talk to the strangers next to them on the bus or subway but they are still connected and talking.  With texting and twitter they are talking to people from all over the world.  And yes they need to learn filtering because now when you say or do something pretty stupid the whole world can know about it unlike the old days when you made pretty much the same mistakes but only your town knew about it. 

Yes we have kids sexting and doing selfies that show way too much of themselves but guess what?  We had plenty of naked pictures and phone sex in our day.  Instead of complaining about our kids, why not go spend time with them, talk to them, teach them and not expect them to know everything at such young ages.  And talk to them not at them.  Really if you can find something in common with the kids you will both grow.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

An interesting idea

Amazon has started a new program that might or might not be a boon for writers.  The idea is that you buy an author's book in paper format and you can get the digital format for $2.99, 99 cents or even free, depending on its original price. 

Now it is a boon because it should help sell those paperbacks that authors have and give the reader a digital format to take with them on trips.  The catch being I am not sure if this will be changing the ebook version's price all the time.  I don't have an issue if someone who purchases say Endings in paperback for $5.99 gets the digital copy for free.  This would bee a good thing for me but if they put the digital copy for free for everyone then I am screwed.

I am going to have to wait and see.  If it messes up I will update you and change my listings.  For now Endings, Revenge, Fall Into Nightmares and Love, Loss and Loneliness have been enrolled.  As I don't plan on doing the rest of my books outside of the way I have them all ready this won't kill me.

With the change of the season it looks like people are buying.  Okay one sale on Amazon and three on Barnes and Noble but I take them where I can get them of course.  It helps me to feel that producing my words is reaching people.