It’s Monday … Again. Better Make it a Good One.

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Good morning, everyone, and happy Monday (if such a thing exists). For the record, I had a long weekend full of family crisis and whatnot, so I’m not really in a blogging mood. To be honest, I’m not really in a productive mood at all. I would have rather entered myself into the Hunger Games than entered the office this morning.

But cry me a river, build me a bridge, and make lemonade or whatever it is that people say. Here’s some more inspirational quotes about Mondays to get us all out of the funk and into a more productive mood.

It’s Monday. Don’t forget to be awesome! -Author Unknown

One small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day. -Author Unknown

Oh, come on. It’s Monday, not doomsday. So make it a good one. -Some Random Cow

Monday is a fresh start. It’s never too late to dig in and begin a new journey of success. -Author Unknown

It’s Monday. Time to take over the world. -Random Minion

It’s Monday but it’s okay. – Author Unknown

Well, that was … inspiring. If nothing else, it was fun. And what better way to start Monday than with a little fun?

Have a great week!

 

 

 

My Favorite Writerly Things

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Fingers on keyboard and judgement from kittens
Bright neon notebooks where words will be written
Brown cups of coffee turned lighter with cream
These are a few of my favorite writerly things

And here are a few more:

Writerly Weather

I’ve seen a lot of writers comment that rainy days are ideal for them to write. Not for me. Rainy days are lazy days. The most I can hope to accomplish (besides staying awake) is reading a chapter or two from my favorite book. For me, sunny days are the best days for writing. The sun lights my writing space and keeps me in a positive, productive mood.

Novelty Pens

The pen is mightier than the sword, especially when it has a bobble on top. Whether it’s neon colored, topped with a feather, or odd-shaped, a novelty pen inspires me to write. My favorite pens right now are my Inside Out pens which allow me to write in colors that express my current mood. (Current mood is yellow).

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee!

Or just caffeine in general. Though, in all honesty, my favorite caffeinated drink is coffee. My favorite roast is the House Blend Roast from Starbucks. I just grounded a fresh batch so we’re all set for the weekend. Star Wars coffee creamers make it even better.

Cats

Where would a writer be without their feline companion. Critic more like. Cats have a tendency to sit near the computer screen, narrow their eyes at the screen, and cast judgement. I know my cats do. They also like to sit on the keyboard, inserting strange gibberish into my writing. But I don’t know where I’d be without them.

My Computer

I used to draft all of my novels on notebooks, but my hand started cramping too much. Plus, my desire to go back and scratch out everything I just wrote became too great. Now I do all of my work on the computer. It’s my notebook, my radio, and my social outlet. If it died today my world would just end.

Notebooks

Even though I do all of my writing on the computer, I still like to complete my outlines in notebooks, especially cute ones with pictures of cats or Disney characters on the front. Neon ones are also fun. There’s something about that binder in hand and the immediate connection between the mind and the paper that makes thoughts come easier. Don’t you think?

Movie Soundtracks

Most of the time I write in silence . . . unless my nephew is up and about. LOL. In that case, I try to drown out the sound of Legos crashing and action figures smashing with music. Movie soundtracks are my favorite, especially instrumental numbers. Hans Zimmer, Howard Shore, and Yo Yo Ma are some of my favorite composers.

Books

For good measure, I like to keep a pile of books nearby . . . for no apparent reason other than looking like an author. LOL. Actually, I like to keep references near at hand just in case. I hate getting up out of my seat.

Useless Geegaw

I like to keep my desk cluttered with useless geegaw. Whether it’s a Funko Pop Vinyl figure or a Lucky Cat figurine, if it’s in my way it’s making my day!

Motivational Quotes

I have a tack-board just above my desk covered in photos, business cards, and motivational quotes to keep me inspired.

Well, that’s about it for me. What are your favorite writerly things? Feel free to share in the comments below. And as always have a wonderful weekend!

You Know What Day It Is? Hump Day!

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Uh oh, guess what day it is! Guess. What. Day. It. Is. Aww, come on, I know you can hear me. C’mon … say it … say it!

It’s Hump Day! Whoot Whoot! Hump Daaaay!

As you can tell, I’m thoroughly excited we’ve made it to the middle of the week. Please let the downhill slope be relatively painless as we head into the ever-anticipated weekend!

Happy Hump Day, everyone!

How Star Wars The Force Awakens Should Have Ended

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It’s Monday, and thus begins another painful, life-sucking, and emotionally crippling week of work, work, and more work, To alleviate the pain, if only for a little bit, here’s a video to kick-start your week! How Star Wars The Force Awakens Should Have Ended:

Now get up, get out there, and kick ass! And if all else fails, use the force!

Happy Monday! (If such a thing exists).

 

Hold Onto Your Butts: The Wizard’s Gambit Kindle Countdown Deal Begins!

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It’s Monday morning, everyone! And what better way to start the week than with a new book? How about a comedy by yours truly?

The Wizards Gambit ebook coverThe Wizard’s Gambit is a hilarious tale of magic, mayhem, and misadventure that turns the classic fantasy universe on its head. A must-read for anyone who enjoys comedic fantasy. The story centers around a ginger-haired outcast named Mongrel who dreams of uniting the warring kingdoms. He gets his chance when Wizard White Beard hosts a high stakes scavenger hunt to determine the fate of all. The rules are clear: no weapons and no bloodshed. Just clean, honest competition. Simple enough, if only the contestants would follow them. With the fate of the world at stake, it’s up to Mongrel, an orphan with an unconventional upbringing, to intercede. Joined by a hodgepodge group of misfits, including a gentle giant, a magically challenged elf, a feisty female dwarf, and a reluctant wizard’s apprentice, Mongrel just might stand a chance of winning—if he can survive! Think Middle Earth meets Rudolph’s The Island of Misfit Toys.

So far, the novel’s received only 4 and 5 star ratings and some rather flattering reviews:

“Kylie Betzner effortlessly combines elements of Terry Pratchett, The Princess Bride, and a Mel Brooks movie into the beautifully funny story that is The Wizard’s Gambit. I cannot express to you how hilarious it is. It’s filled with magic, mystery, death, and extreme animosity between the characters. I mean, talk about one hell of a party. The characters are so well drawn out that I could picture every single one of them perfectly in my mind’s eye. And the main character, Mongrel, is one of the best protagonist I have seen in a long time.”

With The Wizard’s Gambit we are treated to a comedic fantasy writer at the very top of her game. With shades of Pratchett and Gaiman in the humour there is much to savour. If the rest of the books in this series are half as good, we are in for a treat.”

“I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys comedic fantasy. I’m definitely looking forward to more adventures in the Six-Er-Seven Kingdoms.”

“The Wizards Gambit by Kylie Betzner is a whimsical light foray into the world of dwarves, elves and men — with a few other odds and ends thrown in for good measure.”

“The author’s light bouncy style imbues the book with a cosy warmth. There is humour running throughout, with tongue in cheek modern-day references aplenty.”

“Three words… A-Maz-Ing!”

. . . and my personal favorite: 

“The most disappointing thing about this book was that it ended.”

For those of you who haven’t gotten your hot little hands on a copy of book one of the Six—Er—Seven Kingdoms series, now’s your chance to get the eBook at a discount. From February 22nd to February 25th you can get a copy of the Kindle edition for 0.99! From then until February 27th the book will be available for $1.99! After that, it goes back up to $2.99, which is still less than the price of a small coffee at Starbucks.

Follow the link here to the Amazon.com sales page or the link here to the Amazon.co.uk sales page to get your copy today! Hold onto your butts; you’re in for a wild ride!

Random Confessions of a Modern Reader

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Happy Presidents’ Day and/or belated Valentine’s Day, whatever floats your boat. Personally, neither holiday inspired me to blog so, instead, I’m going to share with you some random confessions of mine as a reader.

Forgive me followers for I have sinned . . .

Confession #1: I’ve read Secret Sacrament by Sherryl Jordan at least 10 times

Secret Sacrament is a fantasy novel that centers around Gabriel, a boy with a haunting past who wants to become a healer. His adventures–or misadventures more appropriately–lead him to the wild Shinali people on the outskirts of the city-state. As sinister forces take control of the empire and threaten the peaceful Shinali, Gabriel’s destiny is revealed. From the synopsis, it sounds like a typical YA fantasy read, but it’s anything but. The main character is vulnerable and intelligent. He’s relatable to me on so many levels. Not only does he have a close relationship with his brother (like I do with my sister) but he also has a tender heart. The way he emotionally invests in every patient he heals reminds me of the way I am with my clients. Not only that, but he’s a coward. I too struggle with my own cowardice. Fear is a huge barrier for me. Reading Gabriel’s story and seeing him overcome his past, his fears, and his circumstances, inspired me to do the same. I think it’s a book I’ll be revisiting soon.

Confession #2: I like to read in my underwear

I’m not trying to be shocking or scandalous; I seriously think it’s really enjoyable to read a book in nothing but my Fruit of the Looms. (I’m actually more of a Haynes Her Way kind of girl). Sitting on the couch or sprawled in bed with a good book is an intimate experience. Why ruin it with clothes?

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Everything is better without pants

Confession #3: I prefer to read paperbacks over hardcover copies or ebooks

As an Indie author, the majority of my sales are ebooks unless I’m at an event, then the paperback copies move like hot cakes. And I do buy a lot of books for my Kindle device because they’re affordable, but I prefer a physical book in hand, more specifically a paperback one. I don’t like the weight of hardcover books. Paperbacks bend easy and fit just right between the palms of my hands. And the pages smell good. Nothing beats a paperback book.

Confession #4: I’ve never read Harry Potter . . . and don’t plan to

Hear me out before you burn me as a heretic. The books came out when I was entering high school, and personally I thought the story sounded juvenile. At the time, I was exploring the adult fantasy section of my local bookstore because my school library couldn’t carry books containing adult content. I was mature for my age and curious about the darker elements of life, which those books were not shy to share. Young Harry’s adventures at Hogwarts just didn’t interest me. If homicidal maniacs weren’t sleeping with their sisters and destroying entire cities I didn’t care to read it.

As an adult, the YA genre certainly appeals to me more, though I am still hesitant to pick up that series. Why? Mainly because of the villain. I can’t stomach dark lords, and I don’t care what people say, dark lords don’t make a series dark. Wizard schools are neat and magic is always fun, but dark lords are dreadfully tired. And before you even call me out, I know the LOTR series features a dark lord. He’s not my favorite villain either and the only reason I forgive it is because of when the novel was written. Post WWI and WWII, stories often featured villainous villains and centered around a battle of good versus evil. War inspires such things. But modern storytelling cannot rely on tired tropes and lazy writing.

While some of the major supporting characters tempt me to pick the series up, I’m still doubtful I will ever dive into the realm of Harry Potter.

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Dark lord, eh? No thanks

Confession #5: I prefer The Lord of the Rings film adaptations to the books

I know. Burn me at the stake. I deserve it. But as much as I enjoy Tolkien’s unique author’s voice and his beautiful descriptions of landscapes, I actually prefer Peter Jackson’s film adaptations of the original trilogy. Why? Because of the characters. Peter Jackson focuses on the characters in the films, blowing up their personalities and making them absoltly lovable. Look at Gollum! Peter Jackson was so distant from them and focused on where and what they were doing, that I never got a good sense about who they were and what they were feeling, which is very important for me. I’m not saying the films are better; I’m just sharing my personal preference.

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You shall not pass judgment!

Confession #6: I only read for one hour a day

I like to think of myself as an avid reader since I read every day, but with mom’s illness, taking care of my nephew, working out,and writing my own novel, I don’t have more than one hour–if that–to devote to reading a day. When I was in high school it was nothing for me to read 5 or 6 hours straight, but now that I’m an adult with a full-time job and lots of responsibilities reading is just not something I can binge on anymore. Though that one hour or so I have to read is perhaps one of the best hours of my day.

Confession #7: I prefer traditionally published authors over indie authors . . . for the moment

I know as an indie author I should be ashamed, but so far I’ve been more satisfied by the traditional authors that I follow. Not to say there aren’t several indie authors I follow with excited anticipation, but they were hard-found in all the self-published sludge. Don’t get me wrong, I support indie authors–I am one–but I am constantly dissatisfied with the quality of their writing, writing that I know would excel that of the traditional authors if only they’d taken the proper steps in editing their works. With beta readers, content editors, and copy editors online, there’s no excuse for a poorly written story with redundant scenes and inconsistent characters. It’s the lack of serious editing that holds indie authors back.

Confession #8: I’d rather write than read

Don’t get me wrong; I love to read, but when I’m reading, I often become frustrated when the story doesn’t go my way. I’m not saying I could have written it better, but it’s nice to write the story you’d love to read and know it’s going to turn out just the way you wanted it to.

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I’d rather be writing

Confession #9: I only review a book when I hate it or love it

I’m like most readers; I only write a review when I’m inspired, or asked nicely to. It takes energy to construct a thorough review, and nothing inspires the words to flow like love or rage. When I love a book, I have to share it with the world! And when I hate a book, I feel compelled to warn others. Sometimes I don’t like books based on taste. This does not warrant a bad review. Only when I feel like the author didn’t try to put forth the proper effort do I dare a negative review. If there was any love or effort detected in the writing, I won’t write a flame review. I rarely write bad reviews. I have to really really hate a book to do that. Most of the time I write rave reviews, not to boost an author’s stats, but their self-esteem and encourage them to keep at it.

Confession #10: I never download free books, EVER!

As an indie author, I can’t support the giving away of free books when an author can profit on their hard work. I know I spend countless hours each week writing and editing my work. Not to mention the countless dollars I’ve spent for professional cover design and editing services. I loathe to imagine myself paying these off for years to come, so I make a point to purchase books at full price. Helping authors is what authors do best.

And those are my confessions. Boy, do I feel a heavy burden removed from my chest. Hopefully, I didn’t hurt anyone’s feelings, but I just wanted to be perfectly honest. The blogosphere is like a confession box, but for readers, so hopefully you can forgive me for my reader sins. For fun, share with me some of your reading sins.

Have a good Monday, everyone, celebrating whatever holiday you prefer!

I Aten’t Dead. I’m Mostly Dead. Mostly Dead is Still Alive. And I Will Survive!

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Granny Weatherwax isn’t known as a spelling bee champion. Not at all. But her spelling abilities were enough to keep herself from being buried alive while she traveled outside her body. “I Aten’t Dead” pretty much says it all.

While I would love to say my absence on social media has been due to my time spent trapped inside the mind of a flying eagle, the fact is, that’s not the case. Magical interference has not kept me away from my computer, nor has an army of blood thirsty elves. My only excuse–er–excuses are work, family obligations, car issues, and my new workout regimen, which combined, have kept me extremely busy . . . unfortunately, too busy to pen interesting blog posts.

But now I’m back from outer space. I just walked in to find you here with that sad look upon your face . . . I will survive! And hopefully, get back on my blogging schedule. See you all on Monday! Have a great weekend!