First Friday Event @ Beyond Barcodes Bookstore


This evening, I’ll be hosting a booth at Beyond Barcodes Bookstore as part of First Friday’s in beautiful Downtown Kokomo. This will be my first local author event in like . . . six months. I’m waaaay overdue.

This month’s theme is local artists. Fitting, considering I’m a local author.

From roughly 6:30 pm to 9 pm, I’ll be meeting with potential new readers and selling copies of The Quest for the Holy Something or Other and The Wizard’s GambitI’ll also be sponsoring my local group, The Writer’s Cafe. In hopes of attracting new members, I’ll provide a notebook for a “shared write” activity. It should be a lot of fun.

If you’re in or around Downtown Kokomo tonight, come say hi. If not, chat with me on Twitter and/or Facebook.

Happy Friday!




“Shit happens” is a common phrase used to express the concept that unfortunate things in life are unavoidable. But rather than simply state, “life is full of unpredictable events,” it is more satisfying to utter this more vulgar phrase.

While I’m not clear on who coined the phrase, I do know it was first introduced to print by Connie Eble in 1983.

The 1994 movie Forrest Gump takes creative license in giving fictional character Forrest Gump all of the credit. In one scene, he runs into dog droppings while on a jog across country. When a man in the bumper sticker business points it out, Forrest replies, “It happens,” to which the man asks “What, shit?” and Forrest answers “Sometimes.” The very next shot shows a car slamming into another. And do you know what the bumper sticker says? “Shit Happens.”

Personally, I would never display such a vulgar phrase on my personal vehicle, but I would use it to summarize the theme of my birthday party weekend, which didn’t go according to plan.

For starters, when I walked into the gym on Thursday to go for a swim, staff informed me that the large pool was closed due to their being literal shit in the pool. Literally. Shit in the pool. Desperate for a workout, I lapped the kiddy pool about a hundred times. Needless to say, I did not get a good workout in before my party weekend.

Then on Friday, as my sister and I were packing for our 2-day mini-vacation, my dog has a seizure. After canceling our hotel reservations, we took the dog to the vet. She did not come home with us.

Not even an hour after I said goodbye to my dog, my nephew’s grandmother calls, saying he’s sick. Just in time for his birthday party.

Then the morning of, roughly an hour before Rylee’s big party, Walmart calls to inform us that they can’t make our cake because the image we requested infringes upon their “copyright policy.” Well, thanks for letting us know the day of, and heaven forbid he let one more cake slide. So we’re scrambling to get cupcakes before the party, because who the heck doesn’t offer cake at a party?

Let me remind you this little boy has had a hell of a year with his grandmother passing away and his many medical issues. All we wanted to do was throw him this awesome birthday party.

And did we accomplish it? Yes we did. Surprisingly enough.

For starters, we didn’t tell him the dog passed away. She’s “at the vets” until after school starts. We also distracted him with the decorations, which blew his mind, as well as a surprise visitor, a storm trooper from the emphasis 501st Legion. Needless to say he had a great time.

Oh, and by the way, the cupcakes were delicious.

Now that I’m thinking about it, the phrase “shit happens” doesn’t actually describe my weekend. I think the phrase “life happens” is more accurate. Don’t get me wrong, putting my dog down was total shit, but death and saying goodbye is just a part of life. Don’t I know it. Three months ago I said goodbye to my mom. And on Tuesday, my sister and I will say goodbye to our twenties and the remainder of our childhood.

Even though a lot of shit happened this week, my sister and I were still able to bring it together for Rylee. At least his birthday turned out to be a success. What else can you do when shit—life—happens?


The Art of Procrastination – A Writer’s Guide: A Guest Post by Rayne Hall


The weekend is almost here! Can’t wait! I’ve got plans to spend time with my best friend from college, catch up on my shows, clean the toilets, wash my dog, scratch my nose, stare at the ceiling–just about anything to put off editing my novel. Chores and errands are just a few of many ways to put off a writing/editing project. Today’s guest blogger, Rayne Hall, shares 20 more ways a writer can put off their writing. Enjoy!

  1. Read this blog before you start today’s writing session.
  1. Nobody can procrastinate all the time. Take a break now and then and write something. Then return to procrastination with renewed vigor.
  1. Don’t waste your procrastination on unimportant matters.
  1. Tidy your desk. You’ll write much better once the clutter has gone.
  1. Prepare your writing session so you won’t be distracted once you start. Have everything ready: glass of water, cup of coffee, cupcakes, carrots, the right music playing, comfortable themed clothing, to-do list, dictionary, thesaurus, different colored gel pens, how-to-write books, reference books, pictures for inspiration, incense, matches, good-luck charm, statue of writing deity or patron saint.
  1. Let out the cat, feed the baby, groom the dog and do whatever else needs doing to guarantee that your writing session will not be disrupted.
  1. Twitter is a useful procrastination tool. Have you checked your tweets yet today? It’ll only take a moment. Do it now, so you won’t need to interrupt your writing later.
  1. Don’t underestimate the value of other social media networks. Even if you don’t plan to use them, they’re worth checking out. Just take a quick look at Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Vimeo, Tumbler, StumbleUpon, FourSquare, Reddit, Wattpad, Flickr, DeviantArt, Delicious, Instagram, GoodReads and BookLikes. Create any accounts you don’t yet have.
  1. Time spent on social media is never wasted. You’re networking, which practically counts as writing.
  1. Your blog is overdue. Come on, it won’t take you long to dash off 300 words for your blog. Get it out of the way before you start working on your novel.
  1. Let sales statistics for your published books boost your writing motivation. Quickly check today’s sales on Amazon, Smashwords, Apple, Barnes&Noble and Draft2Digital, worry or rejoice as appropriate, and to get a true picture, ask other authors how their sales are doing.
  1. While you’re at it, see if your published books have entered any bestseller lists today. If yes, spread the word.
  1. Unless you check your email now, you won’t know if a publisher has accepted your novel.
  1. You’ve been sitting at your desk too long. Do some light aerobics to loosen up.
  1. Oh, rats. Your coffee has gone cold. Get a fresh cup.
  1. Comment on this article before you start writing. It’s only common courtesy.
  1. Read and reply to the comments other people have left. It’ll only take a second, honest, or maybe two if required to sign in or up.
  1. Share this with at least three people before you start writing. The convenient share buttons at the bottom of the page save you time.
  1. If you’ve read this far, you qualify for membership in the Procrastinating Writers Club. Tweet me @RayneHall and I’ll put you on the #shoutout list. Do it now, while you’re logged into Twitter.
  1. Make a firm resolution that tomorrow you will really write.

71V+XAmii0L__UX250_Rayne Hall has published more than fifty books in several languages under several pen names with several publishers in several genres, mostly fantasy, horror and non-fiction.  She is the author of the bestselling Writer’s Craft series and editor of the Ten Tales short story anthologies.

She is a trained publishing manager, holds a masters degree in Creative Writing, and has worked in the publishing industry for over thirty years.

Having lived in Germany, China, Mongolia and Nepal, she has now settled in a small dilapidated town of former Victorian grandeur on the south coast of England where she enjoys reading, gardening and long walks along the seashore. She shares her home with a black cat  adopted from the cat shelter. Sulu likes to lie on the desk and snuggle into Rayne’s arms when she’s writing.

You can follow here on Twitter where she posts advice for writers, funny cartoons and cute pictures of her cat.

HISHE: How Jurassic World Should Have Ended


After a painful, life-sucking, and emotionally crippling week of work, work, and more work, I’m pleased to remind you (or inform you) that today is Friday! Whoo-hoo! And just for fun, here’s a video to kick-start your weekend! Have a few laughs while learning how NOT to set up a dinosaur theme park.

Now get out there and build your dinosaur theme park! Or just have a good weekend!

Just for Fun: My Novel’s Playlist … According to my Editor


So, it’s Friday, and I’ve spent the entire day editing my WIP, albeit in a variety of locations, but editing all the same. So, one of my editors (also a close friend of mine) sent back one of my chapters filled with comments, some of which did not contain constructive feedback, but something waaaay more enjoyable.

Just for fun, here are a few of the songs she picked to describe the following scenes: 1. a pairing between two social outcasts. 2. an ogre’s obsession with birds, 3. a friend scene, and 4. don’t ask. Enjoy!

So … I imagine this tells you very little about my book … or it tells you a lot. Either way, I hope you enjoyed the videos! Stay tuned for more information about my WIP!

Have a safe and wonderful holiday weekend! (and for those of you who live outside the United States) just have a great weekend!

Reflections on Thursday’s Live Facebook Chat and Weekend Reading Recommendation: “The Eyes That Moved” By Rachelle M. N. Shaw


Friday is here at last! But before we head into the weekend, I want to take a step back to reflect on last night’s Live Facebook Chat – All About Self-Publishing hosted by Author Rachelle M. N. Shaw.

This was my first online author event (not including my online book release party) so I was surprised how much I actually enjoyed the format. Sure, it was a little confusing at first the way the posts got out of order when people would comment to them, but after a few minutes I got the hang of it.

Technical details aside, the event was worthwhile for me. Even though there weren’t a lot of participants–maybe 6 or 7 tops–the ones who did attend were actively engaged in the conversation. One even suggested she’d be purchasing a copy of my book soon, which made my evening. Mostly, it was just rewarding sharing my experience with other authors. That’s what being an indie published author is all about!

If you missed the event but would like to check out the questions/answers at your own time, click here. I’m not sure how long the event will be accessible so I wouldn’t put it off too long.


Author Rachelle M. N. Shaw

One more thing to mention before you solidify your weekend plans! Author Rachelle M. N. Shaw, host of the event, is offering her short story, “The Eyes That Moved” for FREE on Amazon right now! Sale ends today actually, so if you’re in the mood for some spine-tingling weekend reading, definitely get your copy today. After today, the book goes back up to its original price, which is only 99 cents.


For fans of horror/paranormal

Blurb: Kendra is a young girl who has a knack for spotting unusual trinkets and abandoned houses that hold treasures of their own. When she meets Adam, a fellow sleuth and collector, they decide to embark on their biggest adventure yet: the Whitson house. The house is a marvel, and its secrets are even juicier than Kendra had imagined. The third and final floor of the house holds something Kendra has been waiting a lifetime for. But she may have signed on for more than she bargained. There’s a darkness in the house that wasn’t there before, a pair of eyes in every corner, watching, waiting for her time to come. And Adam isn’t at all who he claimed to be.

Connect with Rachelle M. N. Shaw via her social media sites:


Have a great weekend, everyone!