I’ve Moved

Stalk Me

As some of you know, I recently upgraded to a self hosted site and I wasn’t sure if my post were being routed properly, so I did a test post of my “following” issue last night, trying to figure out who it reached and who it didn’t.  Thank you to those who let me know if it did or not.  Much as I suspected, my post weren’t being routed properly, but I think I have that little bug fixed.  However, I found out today my email subscriptions weren’t transferred over.  After researching this on WordPress, I found that they will gladly move them for me, but I must first notify you all of what I’m doing.  So, please take notice that I’ve moved and I’m moving you with me!  I hope you don’t mind 🙂  For those that don’t receive email notifications, my post will still flow through your reader, so you’re all good, but if you want to make sure you don’t miss anything, I’d love for you to check out the new site at www.dena-rogers.com and subscribe.  I’ve got some things coming up and I’d love to be able to share them with you.

And thank you to everyone who’s taken the time to read, comment or share a post.  You’re awesome!

WHERE AM I?

Stalk Me

Well, I’m not here.  Honestly I’m not sure where I am.  I’m still trying to figure out this whole .com and .org stuff out.  I can tell you my post are no longer feeding here, though.  I thought it was routed to my new site dena-rogers.com, but I’m not so sure that’s happening, although wordpress tells me it is.  I’m sort of lonely over there except for a few good friends.  Or maybe, it’s because I’ve really dropped the ball on blogging and no one comes by to say hello.  I know, bad, bad me.  Life has just been busy and hectic and well, quite honestly, I’ve tried to spend most of my spare time writing instead of everything else. I’m trying to be better about that- along with a million other things.  I do have some things coming up.  Some EXCITING things, so if you’d like to stay in touch and you’re not getting notifications of my post, I’d be humbled if you’d jump over and follow my new site.  There isn’t that nifty little follow button at top, but you can subscribe by email.  And if my post are getting to you, I’d love to know that, too.

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Give A Little

nepalPicture courtesy of Authors for Nepal Facebook Page

We’ve all heard about the earthquake that ravished Nepal, so there is no need to go into a lengthy post about the loss  and devastation there.  I’m fairly certain nothing I could say would ever properly describe the havoc those enduring this tragedy are currently faced with.  However, I can help.  A little.  And so can you.  A little. And maybe my little and your little will encourage the next person to donate a little, too.

I know we all have causes to support and many of us struggle just to pay the bills, but there are many ways, other than financially, that you can help.  How? Well,  couple of women came up with the idea to run an literary themed auction and have reached out through a Facebook page, Authors for Nepal, for donations.

Again, how can you help?  In all kinds of neat and creative ways.  Some have donated signed copies of their books, while others are offering up their services.  I even saw a chance to name a character in someone’s next book, which I think is a pretty awesome idea.  In the grand scheme of things, this might be small, but every little bit helps and hopefully all these small efforts pulled together will make a big difference.

If you’d like to learn more, please like and follow the Facebook page, as  information about the auction will appear there.  If you don’t have anything to donate, but would like to help anyway, check out the auction when it goes live.   I’ve seen the list of donations and I’m am sure there’s going to be lots of goodies to chose from.

Money raised goes toward rural early childhood and school centres affected by the Nepal 2015 earthquake.  Monetary donations can be made to Earthquake Relief for Nepal disaster page created by FIRST STEPS HIMALAYAa New Zealand based charity providing early years education for rural Nepali children.

For any questions regarding donations, please email Julia at jccmoffatt@btinternet.com

ACTS OF KINDNESS

IMG_0196[1]To the man, who without a second thought, picked up my son and put him on your shoulder so he could see the changing of the guard at Arlington National Cemetery last week, thank you!  You didn’t have to do what you did.  You could have stood there like everyone else and ignored my son’s words, “Momma, I can’t see,” but you didn’t. You didn’t know that my son had seen it before on another trip there or that we intended to stick around so we could all see it again, but that didn’t matter to you.  You didn’t know that my son is a huge military buff and no matter how many times he’s seen it or will see it again the future, it’s a big deal to him.  At the age of nine, he knows more about the military than most adults do.  He can spat off the name of most military vehicles and tanks just by looking at them, watches movies and reads books anything military related, almost to the point of obsession.  Being in the military is all he’s ever mentioned wanting to do.  As a parent, we never know what our children might grow up to be.  I have no clue what the future holds for my thirteen year old, but I’m fairly certain my youngest will join the military.  You also didn’t know that just minutes before a group of rowdy teenage boys cut in line and caused us to miss our shuttle, which was why we were late arriving at The Tomb of The Unknown Soldier and why we were stuck in the back where we couldn’t see.  I was pretty ticked off, not only because they jumped line, but because they were led by adults who encouraged their behavior and then condoned their unruly attitudes when roughly twenty plus people weren’t happy about what they had done.  No, you didn’t know that, but it didn’t matter.  You didn’t know how I might react when you tugged at his arm to get his attention and then pulled him over to you.  I must say for a moment I almost went into momma bear mode and was ready to attack, but then you knelt down and I realized what you were doing.  You saw a way to help someone and you stepped up.  I know I thanked you, but I didn’t get your name and while it may have been something you never thought more about after that moment, I did.  A week later, I’m still thinking about it.  Our day at Arlington wasn’t going so swell, but you made it a little bit better.  I hope you know I genuinely appreciated your kindness.  My son thought it was pretty cool that a stranger would do something so nice, which makes me think about how sad it is that my children are growing up in a world where kindness is virtually unknown.  So, maybe it wasn’t a big deal to you, but you made a little boy’s day and his momma’s, too!  Thank you!

WORLD POETRY DAY

FRIENDS

I woke up to the most flattering email.  A fellow blogger and writer wrote to me about one of my blog post that inspired them to do something.  My topic was truly nothing of merit and one that I did simply because I had nothing else to talk about at the time, but what Emilia Leigh took from it and did with it, is truly AMAZING. If you do not follow her along, please check out her blog post, Office in a Suitcase.  If her creativity in any way reflects in her writing,  I have no doubt she will definitely be one to watch.

Emilia’s thoughtful email got me to thinking about all the wonderful people I’ve met and come in contact with through cyber space.  I’ve said it before, but I’m going to say it again, there are some wonderful, amazing, supportive people in this world. Some, who if or when we meet, I have no doubt that we’d get along just fine.

So, in celebration of World Poetry Day, to all my unseen friends,

Unseen Friends

Although you are a friend of mine
And letters we exchange
I would not know you on the street
And doesn’t that seem strange?
You hold a place within my life
Unusual and unique
We share ideals and special dreams
And still we do not speak
I picture what I think you are
Perhaps you picture me?
An intriguing game for both of us
For someone we cannot see.
So for this friendship we possess
We owe this mail a debt
Perhaps the charm lies in the fact
That we have never met.

-Unknown

Screen Characters Blog Hop

I’ve been in a blogging slump lately.  I haven’t had anything interesting to talk about- or maybe I never do!  So, thank you  Paige Randall, Finding the write way, for including me on this Favorite Screen Characters Blog Hop.  I don’t do much TV, but I do have some favorites.   I’m mostly an oldies, but goodies kind of girl:) Rules of the game… name your ten favorite TV or Movie characters, then nominate ten friends to do the same- okay, I suck at this, so if you want to participate, join in and I’d be happy to link your post to mine.

“Ma, you been bad.”- Sloth, Goonies

thegooniessequel Who didn’t love this guy?  Who didn’t love this movie?  I wanted to be a Goonie, hell I still do!

“No panties! She’s not wearing any panties!” – Fred, Drop Dead Fred.

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Okay, so this one might be a little goofy, but my sister and I LOVE Drop Dead Fred.  He would have been the most awesome imaginary friend ever!

“Can you see her? Her raped, beaten, broken body soaked in their urine, soaked in their semen, soaked in her blood, left to die. Can you see her? I want you to picture that little girl. Now imagine she’s white.” – Jake Brigance, A Time To Kill

a-time-to-kill-180-031111 One of my all time favorite movies and not because Mr. McConoughey is smoking hot or because he’s  a fellow Texan, it’s just an awesome movie.

“Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.”- Willie Wonka, Willie Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

gene-wilder-as-willy-wonka-1335876825_b I’m still waiting for a golden ticket!  Clearly, I have a love for weird, silly movies.  I tried the newer version and just couldn’t get into it.

“All secrets are deep.  All secrets become dark.  That’s in the nature of secrets.”- Derek Morgan, Criminal Minds

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One of the few TV shows I love to watch.  Who doesn’t want to be called baby girl by this guy?

“People fall in love.  They fall right back out.  It Happens all the time.” – Birdie Pruitt, Hope Floats

hopefloats-1024x576Really this could be any Sandra Bullock movie, but Hope Floats has always been one of my favorites.

“Oh, you know what? Next week’s no good…the Jonas Brothers are in town. But any week after that, it’s totally fine.” -Zach Galifiankis, The Hangover

the_hangover15Oh my!  This movies makes me howl every time I watch it.

 “Multiply your anger by about a hundred, Kate, that’s how much he thinks he loves you. “- Alex Cross, Kiss The Girls1320-2Again, this could be any of Morgan Freeman movie.  He is by far one of my favorite actors.

“How many of them hormones you takin’, honey? “- Ninny Threadgoode, Fried Green Tomatoes

tandy

This woman was such a hoot!

“I’m pretty good at this lawyering stuff.” – Mater, Cars

MaterCarsI threw this one in just for fun.  One of my boys favorite movies.  I love it too.

Be sure to check out, E.L. Wicker’s favorites!

So, that’s some of my favorites.  I’d love to hear yours.

DRAWING FROM THE DARKNESS

Life can be so unfair at times …

I don’t typically write blog post during the week.  My schedule is just too chaotic to allow time for that, but today has been quite a little rollercoaster of emotions and I find that I need an outlet.  This might get a little gray, but hang with me, I promise I’m not just wallowing in hole.

I sat for eight hours by myself in my office today.  Yep, the whole place was empty aside from me.  Maybe I should add that there are just two of us that work there- small town remember?  Manning the place alone isn’t really all that uncommon since we both take vacations, sick days, etc.  We’re used to it and although it always creates a little bit more work, we manage.

Today, I was already in a funk by the time I got to work and yes, it was because my friend and co-worker wouldn’t be there, but it had nothing to do with anything extra that might come my way.  Over the weekend our little town was dealt some unsettling news.  A marine, who served in Iraq,  and who had recently returned home from the service, was killed in a car accident.  Although, I didn’t know him personally, it was easily seen from the mass of Facebook post in my feed, that he was loved by many.  He was my friend/co-worker’s nephew.  His grandmother taught both of my boys in preschool.  Both of these woman are dear to me.  So, yes, I sat there thinking of them today.  Their family has already suffered so much in the last few years.  The death of their father, then a husband who died suddenly, a son in-law who lost a battle to pancreatic cancer, their mother’s diagnosis of dementia, and now a young  boy who still had his whole life ahead of him.  How much can one family take?  I thought about his mother who, from my own experience of losing a child, I know will never be the same.  How will his sister, who isn’t much older than my eldest son, cope?  How will his father endure the death of his only son?

As if this wasn’t enough on my mind, I came across a few blog post that furthered my funky mood. Mary Rowen wrote a post about her struggle with Bulimia and how it changed her life.  And after reading her friend, Ami’s, story about depression, Kathy Palm was inspired to write about a time that was painfully difficult for her.  Each of these post, although sad and emotional, were also inspirational and left me in tears.

Life can be so unfair at times …

Yes I know this, but don’t we all?  We’ve all had some not so sunny times.  In 1998, I lost my first-born son and spent the next couple of years learning how to be me again while missing a piece of me. In May of 2011, my sister, after returning unharmed from a tour in Iraq, was given a death sentence when she was diagnosed with ALS.  Two months later I lost an aunt to colon cancer.  In October of that year, both of my grandparents died within two weeks of each other.  By November, my entire family was embattled in a nasty court battle for their estate.  An action that with missing trust paperwork and not one, but two disbarred attorney’s involved, turned so crazy it almost became comical.  Trust me, I couldn’t make this shit up if I had to!   19744406215b9eed6b5edec98a41ad00We all have dark times, but it’s what you do with those experiences that matter.  For me, I think in some aspects, dealing with so much in such a short span, made me stronger, but in some sense it also made me more vulnerable.  I’m okay with both.  And like most writers, I find writing to be therapeutic and healing, which made me question, as an author, how much of our darkness and life experiences do we throw into our writing?

The first question I usually get, when someone who knows my sister reads Drive Me Sane, is if Sera was based on her.  I’ve always answered no, because I never considered my sister inspiration when I was writing it.  If you’ve been reading my blog for long, you know my inspiration came from a Tyler Farr song.  But after thinking about this for quite some time now, I think I’m wrong.  Both female soldiers, who served overseas, my sister and Sera do share a lot of the same personality traits.  Feisty, outspoken and quick-tempered, I think I unknowingly cast my sister in my book 🙂 – to a degree. Because, although they have things in common, they are also very different (I’m pretty sure my sister would have run Tyler over with his own truck and there wouldn’t have been a happy ending there.)  And just in case you’re wondering, no my sister does not suffer from PTSD associated from her time in Iraq.

But with this realization, I began taking stock at some of my other writing to determine if I could personally associate with any of it and boy was I surprised.  I won’t make you suffer through the list of the dramatics of my life, because whether we want to admit it or not, we all have them, but yes, I do interject my own experiences into my writing.  A tad here or a bit there, I see myself, family and friends in pieces of my books.  Maybe that’s how I keep my sanity through all the craziness or maybe it’s just my way of sharing stories that I feel have merit.

So my question to my fellow authors is: How much of your own experiences do you draw from and use in your writing?

In closing, Mary, Kathy, and Ami- thanks for sharing your stories.  Although, it spun my day out of whack more than it already was, I think I needed to hear them today.  To the Brewer family, my thoughts are with you as Tyler is laid to rest and Apie- love ya!

And on a lighter note …

Congrats to my good friend, W.C. Cunningham, on the publication of his short story, The Right Words.  You can enjoy his humorous tale of a father talking to his kids about drugs, as well as, several other short stories for just 99¢! bill

And while I’m telling you about deals, E.L. Wicker’s debut novel, Fractured Immortal is FREE today.  That’s right, FREE!!!  Onlyfour hours left (US only) to get this amazing story!

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From Wildcats to Magic & Becoming a Published Author

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” (Little Gidding)” ― T.S. Eliot

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If you would have asked me a year ago today what I’d expect to be doing in a year, I can guarantee that my answer wouldn’t have been writing a blog post.  I probably would have answered that I’d be enjoying some time off from work with my family, reading or maybe working on some writing-not one of my work in progress, but writings.  Because a year ago, I never looked at my work as anything but something I enjoyed doing, nor did I consider myself an author.  But here I am!

I have a published book!   Some days I’m still awed by the fact.  A published book!  Yes, I did that!  I went out on a limb, took a chance and my dream came true.  Drive Me Sane was a story that simply flowed out of me. I immensely enjoyed writing it and my only hope was that a few others would like it just as much as I did.  Having 19 five-star reviews, 4 four-star reviews and 1 three-star review on Amazon, has by far surpassed my expectations and I cannot thank you all enough!

I have learned so much along the way.  A year ago, I didn’t have a blog.  My blog was essentially created so that I could write about my excitement and despair after Kentucky lost to UCONN in the NCAA championship game. Shortly afterwards, I got the news that Crimson Romance wanted to acquire Drive Me Sane and so, I took off trying to transverse the world of marketing (still trying, I’m terrible at it) and geared my post toward more writing/book related topics (I’m terrible at that too.)  I now have nearly every social media site available and although I’m better at keeping up with some more than others, I’m getting the hang of things.

It has been an incredible journey and I just wanted to say thank you to everyone.  For the friends I’ve made (Bill & E.L, you’re awesome), for those that follow along and listen to me ramble, for anyone who’s read my work or given advise when needed. I truly appreciate it.  I’m still learning, but I am moving into 2015 with another finished manuscript that I hope I can sprinkle some magic on and turn it into something that others will also enjoy.

Wishing you all a joy filled New Year! Never give up on your dreams!

P.S.  Big rivalry game today when the UK Wildcats take on Louisville Cardinals.  Two great teams but only one can win.  Go Big Blue!

Virtual eBook Fair & Author Bash

Tis the Season … Come join the fun!

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JINGLE BELLS, MISTLETOE & MAGIC !!

Virtual Ebook Fair – Author & Book Bash!!! 

DECEMBER 13TH-15TH

Hosted by Award winning author: Tammie Clark Gibbs &
Reader’s Rock Lifestyle Magazine for Booklovers. 

*Meet Authors and Ask them Questions

*Prizes & Giveaways

*Find Amazing New Books

I’ll be giving away a digital copy (or two) of Drive Me Sane.  Join the fun at Jingle Bells, Mistletoe & Magic or stop by the VIRTUAL EBOOK FAIR WEBSITE for more information.  Hope to see you there.