Wednesday, May 11, 2016

There Was A Party At My House!

All last month, there was a party at my house. I'm speaking figuratively, of course. My House was really my blog. The Party, was the A to Z challenge. The Invitees, were you, the readers. If you have ever thrown a party, you will most likely understand why I relate the challenge to a party.

1.) THE DELIVERY
Like a person having a party, there is a lot of prep work that takes place. You have to provide entertainment and/or refreshments for all your guests. From the comments I received, I think everyone had a good time last month. My theme, (retro TV and vintage commercials) sparked interesting conversations, much nostalgia and some great fun.

2.) THE HOSPITALITY
When one throws a party, you must be a gracious host. This means, making sure everyone, (to the best of your ability), are enjoying themselves and no one has any questions or comments that need addressing. In the blogging sphere, we do this by checking out the comments left by other people. If an invited guest in your house has a question, would you ignore them? If they commend you on the party or admire your Van Gogh print, would you respond? Unfortunately, not every host of a party does this. It's understandable if you have a large party, you might not be able to get to all of the guests every day. But we should make an attempt. I made it my goal to make sure everyone felt appreciated for whatever comment they left me.

3.) LEAVE THE PLUNGER OUT
There is no worse feeling in the world than using a toilet and watching the water rise UP. But when that happens, you know what you need to do. Grab the plunger and get rid of the crap ASAP. But what if you can't find the plunger? Ever visit a blogger where the comments are abusive or spammy? Fortunately, I did not have a problem with that, but I hear some did. For whatever reason, the host of the party failed to get rid of whatever crap was on the blog. No one wants to visit a party if they are going to be abused, accused or made fun of. About the only cleaning I really had to do was deleting double postings.

4.) SEND OUT THANK YOU'S
Any time a person visits my blog, I consider it a treasure, a gift. Depending on the type of party we host at home, people may bring you a gift or present. How can we in the blogging world show we appreciate a visitor? Well, if we receive a party invitation form them, wouldn't it be a nice thing to do to visit them as well? Sure, their 'entertainment' might not be to our liking, but wouldn't it be nice to at least let them know you stopped by? You would be surprised how appreciative that would be. I made it my goal before I returned any comments on my blog, to make sure I visited their blog and see what kind of party they were throwing.

5.) THE AFTERMATH
After any party, no matter how successful or not, you feel a little relieved. Party's can be stressful for the host. It's a time to clean up and catch your breath. At times, you think to yourself, "This was fun, but I am never doing this again", only to find out you are suddenly planning the next party. Which is kind of what I am doing. I was stressed out this year because I had a lot going on. A few days in New York mid-month meant I started to fall behind. By the end of the party (challenge), I was exhausted. And yet, I've got a few ideas for what I want to do next year.

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS
Did you enjoy my party?
Did you have a favourite day?
Which of the following ideas for next year appeals to you most?

1.) Introduction to Milwaukee
2.) Board Gaming (I literally own this many board/card games.
3.) Introductions to my unpublished 'Writer's Block YA series (characters and locations)
4.) What's in my CD library? I own over 500 CD's.
5.) What am I watching? I also own a large DVD collection of TV show and films. 
6.) Group Participation Flash Fiction (I write a short story flash fiction. One short paragraph a day. At the end of the paragraph, everyone votes on how the story should proceed.
I.E. Should Ray call his shy friend 'B'etty, or his wild and crazy friend 'B'randon?
7.) PS - I'm not hard wired into any of these ideas 100% So if you have a suggestion, I'd love to hear it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Battle of the Bands Results - Talking In Your Sleep

Want to know how tired I was after the whole A to Z challenge? I was so tired, I picked two songs for the Battle of the Bands which where obviously mismatched.

Once again there were four rounds to this contest. Contest? Could I even call it that? The first round, all six vote went to Dimension X and Fotiadis.
Stopping by to vote, Arlee, Shady, Stephen, Dixie, John and Michele.

The second round the first (and only) major push for the rival Bucks Fizz. After the first two votes, they fizzled and Dimension X covered more ground.
Bucks Fizz; Birgit & Cherdo
Dimension X; Robin, Chrys & Mary

The third round was another six votes, and another spanking for Bucks Fizz
Bucks Fizz; Stephanie
Dimension X; CyborgMom, diedre, Cathy, ReinVintagedGoods & Mike

Even if the fourth and final round were to go all in favour of Bucks Fizz, they were not going to be able to pull ahead. But they might have a respectable finish. Well, they didn't. One more vote trickled in and their hopes of winning fizzled.
Bucks Fizz; FAE
Dimension X; Janie, Shelly, Pat & Debbie


Winners Circle
With a final score of 18-4

Congratulations to Dimension X / Tasos Fotiadis

Finding a decent second video from the winner was a challenge.
So here are the Romantics with another of their hits.
PS - Everyone who stopped by and left a vote, "That's What I Like About You!"

Time to get up and DANCE!!!!



Top Comments
Arlee Bird - Both of these versions stay pretty true to the original, but I think Tasos Fasiados do more with it adding a very touch of their own.

Stephen T. McCarthy - As you know, this isn't normally my kind of music, but surprisingly I kind of liked the version by Tasos Fotiadis. I felt it went on a bit too long, and I cut it off just after the 3-minute mark. But it wasn't too bad - had some oomph to it, which I can't say for the second version.

John Holton - Both of these are close to the original by The Romantics, but I liked Tasos Fotiadis's better. I think it sounded better, and while it was faithful to the original there was enough originality to it to keep it interesting.

Cherdo - You're the man, Jeffrey: hot off the A-to-Z and bam! Right back on the Battle of the Bands! Me, too, brother!
Tasos and Buck Fizz both have distinct sounds, but I'm leaning towards BUCK FIZZ for my vote. BTW, I was unfamiliar with either group, so cool!

Chrys Fey - I'm voting for Tasos. The beat was a lot of fun and I enjoyed the sound more than the other version, which was too old school for me and even a bit dull.

Mary Burris - Loved the sound of Dimension X. I recall the Romantics version, and I've always liked that one as well.

diedre Knight - And here, I thought you would mention Crystal Gale - ha! I do like the Romantics, but WOW, I really enjoyed Dimension X!

Stephanie Faris - The first video is creeping me out a little! It's hard to like anyone but The Romantics on that song, but I'll go with Bucks Fizz. Who are they anyway? They come up on SongPop and I always think they're Abba! They don't sound at all like Abba there, though.

Cathy Kennedy - Jeffrey, Great song to battle! I didn't watch the videos. The first version I thought at first I didn't like so much until after it played nearly half way through and it grew on me. Not bad at all. The second cover, the lead singer's voice didn't do too much for me and when the whole group chimed it then they reminded me a bit of Cheap Trick making their song nothing special. I flipped back to contender #1 to listen more and decided Dimension X / Tasos Fotiadis gets my vote! Cool battle!

ReInVintagedGoods - While I didn't let the visual aspects of the videos influence my vote, I fear the sound quality of the first one being better than the second may have. I prefer the Tasos version. It sounded clearer, cleaner, and better executed.

Janie Junebug - I find it difficult to ignore the videos, but I did my best. It was hard to understand Bucks Fizz, so I prefer Tasos Fasiados. They have a different touch. I know it can be difficult to find the videos you want.

Please note: I will be skipping the May 15th Battle of the Bands. I have much needed writing I need to get back to. I shall be back in June.

Once again, thanks to everyone who stopped by and placed a vote.
Come back again for a new battle June 1st
Who will you vote for?
What song will I choose?
Which artists will battle it out?
Stay tuned.


Don't forget to visit the other participants in the Battle of the Band to see who won their battles.

FAR AWAY SERIES
STMcC PRESENTS 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS'
TOSSING IT OUT
JANIE JUNEBUG RIGHTING AND EDITING
YOUR DAILY DOSE
MIKE'S RAMBLINGS
CURIOUS AS A CATHY
DCRELIEF - BATTLE OF THE BANDS
THE DOGLADY'S DEN
CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE
ANGELS BARK
QUIET LAUGHTER
BE_REINVINTAGED
THE SOUND OF ONE HAND TYPING
JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE
eViL pOp TaRt
HOLLI'S HOOTS AND HOLLERS


Are you currently in the BOTB and don't see your name in the list above? Let me know in comments and I'll include it.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Seismic Crimes - (Special Guest Blogger; Chrys Fey)

Disaster Love

With a Disaster Crimes Series, it should be no surprise
that I have a fascination with disasters. Last year for the April Blogging from
A to Z Challenge, my theme was all about disasters from avalanches to the
zombie apocalypse. A fellow blogger, Sage from Uncovered Hills, even gave me
the nickname Disaster Chrys. I was touched, because it meant I was doing
something right; branding myself with disasters.

My love for disasters only extends to fiction (movies and
books). Disasters in real-life are heartbreaking and devastating. I don’t want
disasters to happen anywhere in the world. In fiction, they can be just as
heartbreaking and devastating but also exciting.

Beth and Donovan met during a hurricane (Hurricane Crimes)
and fall deeply in love during an earthquake (Seismic Crimes). Passion and
danger go hand-in-hand with the disasters in my stories.

When disasters strike, everyone’s main concern is their
loved ones’ safety, especially if they’re separated. Reconnecting with loved
ones after a disaster can be bittersweet, lovely and even passionate.

In Seismic Crimes, Beth is desperate to free Donovan from
rubble, and Donovan wants to find Beth when she goes off alone to get him help.
What people do and how they react during a disaster reveals a lot about their
character.

I also show the impact these disasters have on nature and
the cities my stories take place. You can’t write about a disaster without
these details. Considering what the aftermath would be like is a lot of fun for
me. Nothing is unbreakable. Nothing is inconceivable when it comes to Mother
Nature’s destruction. It’s that unlimited range of possibilities that is
intriguing and fun to tackle.

So much can happen during and after a disaster, which is
where danger comes into play. One disaster can lead to another. With
earthquakes, there’s the threat of fires, sinkholes, landslides, tsunamis,
falling buildings/bridges, looting and death. Each of these adds excitement to
an already thrilling plot.

When I read and write, I love action. Action and romance, and disasters are the
perfect source for both. No wonder why I like using them in my
romantic-suspense!




Title: Seismic Crimes
Author: Chrys Fey
Series: Disaster Crimes Series (Book Two)
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Format: Digital and Print
Page Count: 282


DIGITAL LINKS:

PRINT LINKS:

BLURB:

An Internal Affairs Investigator was murdered and his brother, Donovan Goldwyn, was framed. Now Donovan is desperate to prove his innocence. And the one person who can do that is the woman who saved him from a deadly hurricane—Beth Kennedy. From the moment their fates intertwined, passion consumed him. He wants her in his arms. More, he wants her by his side in his darkest moments.

Beth Kennedy may not know everything about Donovan, but she can’t deny what she feels for him. It’s her love for him that pushes her to do whatever she has to do to help him get justice, including putting herself in a criminal’s crosshairs.

When a tip reveals the killer's location, they travel to California, but then an earthquake of catastrophic proportions separates them. As aftershocks roll the land, Beth and Donovan have to endure dangerous conditions while trying to find their way back to one another. Will they reunite and find the killer, or will they lose everything?


HURRICANE CRIMES 99¢ SALE!


DIGITAL LINKS:
Amazon CA / NOOK / KOBO 



a Rafflecopter giveaway




BIO:
Chrys Fey is the author of Hurricane Crimes, Book One in the Disaster Crimes series, as well as these releases from The Wild Rose Press: 30 Seconds, Ghost of Death, and Witch of Death. She is an administrator for the Insecure Writer's Support Group and has participated in the Blogging from April A to Z Challenge.
When Fey was six years old, she realized she wanted to be a writer by watching her mother pursue publication. At the age of twelve, she started writing her first novel, which flourished into a series she later rewrote at seventeen.
Fey lives in Florida and is always on the lookout for hurricanes. She has four adopted cats who keep her entertained with their antics, and three nephews who keep her entertained with their antics. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and through her blog, Write with Fey. She loves to get to know her readers!

AUTHOR LINKS:


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

I.W.S.G. (9) - Back to the Writing

I'm frazzled. It was a hectic April. There was so much going on because of the A to Z challenge, there was absolutely no way I was going to get any writing done. But I planned on that. In fact, I declared this month I was going to go blogger lite. Which means, I should probably post less this month, and write more. But I'm starting to feel burnt out. So much so, I even forgot today was IWSG day. So I apologize for my late posting.

So this month, I aim to blog less, and work more on my writing. This week was still pencilled in for catching up, but starting next week, I want to make a goal of writing something every day. I've heard different different suggestions. Write one paragraph a day, write for thirty minutes a day, write for an hour, finish one chapter. I'm considering all of these. Considering what I want to work on is rewriting an older manuscript I wrote in the late 80's and updating it, most of the work has been done. In fact, so have the next four or five stories. So that's where I am. I have a 'somewhat' plan and I need to figure out what my exact strategy will be. By the end of the month, I would LOVE to finally have this third episode complete and ready for editing.

PS - To all of you who participated in the AtoZ challenge, I hope it went well for you. (I will be doing a reflection post next week)



Goals and such:

Old Goals:
Find test readers for my story.
Something I have put off till third episode is complete.


New Goal:
Go blogger lite
This is going to be a challenge for me because I love blogging so much. And I love to visit my blogger buddies. But I may end up feeling bad I'm neglecting others, even though my ambition is something I really need to work on.


My Encouragement:
Be positive about what you can do.  
"If you want to play the Minuet in G, think the Minuet in G." - Harold Hill


Questions to ponder:
Were you engaged in the A to Z challenge?
If not, did you get some writing done? What did you work on?
If you did do AtoZ, how did you do?
What was your theme? My theme was classic TV theme songs and vintage commercials. You can find the 'A' posting HERE to give you a sample of what I offered all month.
How would you advise for someone to go blogger-lite?


* * * * * * * * * *

The Insecure Writer's Support Group posts the first Wednesday of every month. Please follow along as my fellow writers and I relate why we feel insecure, or read as we help encourage others suffering from insecurity.

Are you an insecure writer? Why not join the group? Find out more information via the group HERE.

The site is founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh - Thanks for all the support!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Battle of the Bands - Talking In Your Sleep

Well, the A to Z blogging has been completed for April 2016. Were you involved? Were you able to complete the challenge? The big joke going around, now that it is over, is we can all start getting more sleep. I don't know about anyone else, but I woke myself up two or three hours early every day to check out the blogs I was following. Every evening I tried (usually in vain) to catch up on my emails, and reply to comments left on my postings. Now that we have another year under our belt, I know I will bet getting some much needed sleep. After this week, I may even go blog-lite for the month of May.

But for now, it's time for the battle of the bands. And what better song to focus on this week than the Romantics, Talking In Your Sleep.

For reference only: Romantics - Talking In Your Sleep


BATTLE OF THE BANDS
The two musical contenders for this Battle of the Bands are below.
Please listen to both and tell me who you like best.

Dimension X / Tasos Fotiadis


Bucks Fizz


Those are the two contenders. Ignoring the actual videos, who do you think performs the song best? I collected the two bands to battle it out, now it's your job to vote on your favourite. Please list your preferred song choice in the comments. Additionally, let me know why you feel the way you do. Voting ends on the 15th when I'll cast my vote (if needed) and announce the winner in a separate posting.

Additional Questions:
Were you part of the A to Z month? How did you do?
Do you personally, or do you know anyone who talks in their sleep?
 Are you a fan of the romantics? Or are you a romantic at heart?

For anyone who missed the results of my last battle - New York State of Mind
You can find the results posted: HERE

If you enjoyed this Battle of the Bands feature, don't forget to visit the other participants in the Battle of the Band to see what sort of music they are featuring. You will certainly be entertained, so click on their links below.

FAR AWAY SERIES
STMcC PRESENTS 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS'
TOSSING IT OUT
JANIE JUNEBUG RIGHTING AND EDITING
YOUR DAILY DOSE
MIKE'S RAMBLINGS
CURIOUS AS A CATHY
DCRELIEF - BATTLE OF THE BANDS
THE DOGLADY'S DEN
CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE
ANGELS BARK
QUIET LAUGHTER
BE_REINVINTAGED
THE SOUND OF ONE HAND TYPING
JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE
eViL pOp TaRt
HOLLI'S HOOTS AND HOLLERS

Are you currently in the BOTB and don't see your name in the list above? Let me know in comments and I'll include it.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Nostalgia TV - Z

Welcome to my A-Z list of 2016.
This year, I'll be recalling some of my favourite programs from television, via A-Z, of course.
How many of these do you remember?
Were these before your time?

This blog post has been written in front of a live studio audience.



1957-1959 / Zorro featuring: Guy Williams, Gene Sheldon, Henry Calvin & George J. Lewis
Much before my time. This is the first of three TV shows presented here today, I never really cared for. I'd almost watch nothing at all than these shows. Because I hadn't been born at the hight of the popularity of Zorro, I never saw it on TV, much less 'got into it'.



1972 - 1978 / Zoom featuring: rotating cast
Even as a youth, I considered this a second-rate show. For whatever reason, there was no interest for me. Which is odd because I thoroughly enjoyed the Electric Company and 3-2-1 Contact. No matter, it's still fun to remember all those PBS education shows I grew up with.




1986 - 1987 / Zoobilee Zoo featuring: Ben Vereen
This one outright creeped me out, and never remember willingly watching. Though for whatever reason, a few scenes have been etched into my head. Perhaps I was bored or was to lazy to get up and change the channel. Or perhaps one of my younger siblings was watching.





This A-Z list has been brought to you today, by....
1970s - Zest



1994 - Zima



2006 - Zune

Friday, April 29, 2016

Nostalgia TV - Y

Welcome to my A-Z list of 2016.
This year, I'll be recalling some of my favourite programs from television, via A-Z, of course.
How many of these do you remember?
Were these before your time?

This blog post has been written in front of a live studio audience.


1950 - 1961 / You Bet Your Life featuring Groucho Marx
I was not familiar with this show, but I was familiar with Groucho Marx and the Marx Brothers. For me, they were rivals of the Three Stooges. Once in my teen years, I decided to host a Doctor Who themed party but most of us ended up looking like the Marx Brothers for whatever reason.




1958 / Yogi Bear featuring: Daws Butler, Greg Burson, Jeff Bergman
I was never much of a Yogi Bear fan, but if it was one when I was a child, I would watch it. Because, a cartoon is much better than morning news. Well, for a six year old child anyway. He would later be on one of my favourite cartoons, the Laff-O-Lympics.



1979-1990 / You Can't Do That On Television featuring: Les Lye, Abby Hagyard,
How many times have I actually seen this one? I don't know. But I never really saw it till cable became a big thing. For one of my classmates, I think this was his favourite show because he was always quoting from it. Eventually, he went on to be an inspiration for one of the characters in my Writer's Block series.




This A-Z list has been brought to you today, by....
1950s - Yo-Yo Life-Saver



1970s - York Peppermint Pattie



1987 - Yummy Mummy Cereal