I thoroughly enjoyed Groovy Cool Writing Techniques. It felt unlike other books on writing: informative, fast-paced, even humorous. I primarily write poetry and the exercises helped inspire me as well. No matter what your medium of writing, I think everyone can benefit from reading through the author’s explanations. You will understand not only how to get through writers’ block, but why you have it in the first place. I found this particularly enlightening. My favorite part however was book itself: from the front cover on you realize it will be fun. I liked the light and friendly tone, that was never condescending or confusing. It was clear that the author cared and wants her readers to enjoy the writing process.
Author Jackie Smith has invited readers to discuss themselves with a questionnaire. At first I worried I wasn’t interesting enough to answer all of the questions. I’m a bit of a writer hermit with the complexion of Sméagol from Lord of the Rings. But I soon discovered I rock pretty hard, thanks to Jackie. You can find her original post here and my friend Cinta’s here. Be sure and tag all of us so we can keep the blog chain rolling.
1. What is your favorite book?
People will say it’s everyone’s favorite for sure, but Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is mine. I don’t think I’ve seen so much action and emotion packed into a novel. There’s the battle of the seven potters, Bill and Fleur’s wedding, even a bank heist. It really doesn’t get better.
2. What are your goals? For the year? For your life?
I would like to get a full-time teaching job and expand my local poetry group. Also, as far as my life goes, go on adventures and see the world. I also want to find the right person and fall in love someday, but I’m in no hurry. There’s a girl I like and she makes me happy. That’s enough for right now.
3. Are you a writer? If so, tell me about your work.
I’m a crazy writer who never really chose a genre. I write poetry, fan fiction, and the occasional short play. But poetry is what I write the most: I enjoy romantic and cosmic themes mainly because those are what I enjoy reading myself.
4. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Probably Germany or Dallas, Texas. I have many wonderful friends in Dallas. But I’d like to see Harry Potter World too. Or Hogwarts. Hogwarts is totally real.
5. What was the last movie you saw in the theater and was it worthwhile?
The last movie I saw in theaters was Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. It was worthwhile, but sad. I realize it may be the last film in which I see Robin Williams.
6. I’m curious, are there any books that you’ve tried to read and simply couldn’t finish? This is a no judgment zone.
Ender’s Game and A Tale of Two Cities. I’ve tried several times over the years and never managed it. But I will finish a Dickens book someday: I have faith.
7. Are you currently working on a new book/project right now? If it’s secret, you don’t have to tell me about it. If so, however, I hope it’s going well.
Of course, I’ll tell you. No secrets between us. I’m working on a sequel to a short story I wrote two years ago. It’s about three kids who change history in a magic zeppelin. This particular installment will deal with Harry Houdini and the First World War.
8. If you could live in any of your favorite books, which one would you choose?
I would choose Oz from the Wizard of Oz series. There are endless adventures and characters to visit. Also, if you’re a native you can’t die.
9. Are there any book-to-movie adaptations that you think are just incredible? That you absolutely hated?
I can’t think of any I hated. I often dislike them because their interpretation is vastly different from my own. Narnia and Harry Potter are good movies, but nothing like I saw the books. The books were another world to me: fantastic and daring escapes into magic. I think it’s hard to capture that same intensity on film. Jurassic Park on the other hand I actually liked better than the book. There’s just something more visually appealing about seeing dinosaurs.
10. What do you look for in a book that you want to read? What’s the first thing to capture your attention?
The cover or title will usually catch me. Then the description, reviews, and sample on Amazon. Most of time, I’m already interested because someone has recommended it.
11. If you’re an author, what do you do when you first get an idea for a book? I make a playlist and create a secret Pinterest board.
I just start writing. Some people do notes or brainstorming, but it helps most when I see words on the page. I have started using Pinterest however and it helps inspire me.
12. How do you feel about different genres? Romance? YA? Sci-Fi? Poetry? Do you have any favorites? Any least-favorites?
Poetry, fantasy, and sci-fi will always be my favorite. I’m not a big fan of paranormal fiction, but I loved Jacqueline E. Smith’s book Cemetery Tours. It felt different from everything else I’ve read. She has incredible talent and gift for writing characters.
13. If you could meet any writer in the world, dead or alive, who would it be?
JK Rowling is my hero. I would totally play Muggle quidditch with her.
14. Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?
Definitely fiction. I like to explore different worlds and hang out with dragons.
15. Are there any characters that everyone loves that you can’t stand? Or vice versa?
I dislike Edward and Bella from Twilight. I haven’t read the books, but I saw the first film. Neither one seems to have very much depth.
16. What do you like to do besides reading/writing?
My other great passion is education. It’s wonderful to help people discover learning and reach their potential.
17. If you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?
I’d like to be remembered as someone who made a difference: whether it is through writing or teaching.
18. What is your favorite guilty pleasure book? I love YA and Nicholas Sparks.
You should never feel guilty for enjoying a book. But I do like comic books, though I only own a couple. Also, books of comic strips like Dilbert or Garfield. People might say 27 year olds should feel guilty for liking them, but those people are boring.
19. Do you have a reading goal set for this year?
I’m not a big fan of reading goals. I just want to read whenever I’m in the mood for it.
20. Tell me anything about yourself that I haven’t asked. Random fact. Weird human trick. Whatever. Example: I can pop my shoulder out of its socket. It’s gross.
I can only snap my fingers on certain days. I usually exclaim during these that it’s a “snapping day,” and feel lucky. But it doesn’t last long. I usually can only snap three of four times.
Life can get difficult, but we always have the chance to change it. Jen decided she had enough and chose to do something to change her situation. Relationships can be hard to keep if you don’t take care of the other person. Never Again is a short story that explores the human mind and actions when we feel desperate, and the chilling consequences that some behaviours can provoke.
Rosa Storm is a Spanish writer who has loved the written word since she discovered she was able to read books at age 5. Since then, she has become a bookworm and reads around 100 books every year. She also writes, every day, compulsively, even in the middle of the night. You cannot control when inspiration hits you, can you? She writes in English because she is convinced that in a previous life she was British, so writing in English feels more natural to her than writing in her native language. Yes, she is crazy like that. She now spends her time with her amazing husband, author Mark Stone, between Spain and Phoenix, Arizona, which is great because the long flights let her catch up with her long list of books to read.
Rosa Storm is the author of “Never Again”, a chilling short story included in the anthology of scary tales titled “Satan’s Holiday”, and “Deadly Company”, a horrifying short story included in the anthology of urban legends “Don’t Look Back”. She also writes award-winning collections of short stories for children under her real name, Cinta Garcia de la Rosa.
Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting my friends in Dallas for a book signing. I hit the open road with a pocketful of dreams and enough Diet Coke to kill a rhinoceros. Stacey Roberts and I carpooled from Kentucky. We soon found ourselves in Memphis, Tennessee.
We followed the red brick road… which isn’t really brick.
Soon, our eyes beheld the Mighty Mississippi.
And I saw these restrooms in Texas.
Later that night we arrived in Dallas and met up at Cheddar’s.
The next day everyone signed books at Cafe Brazil and read from their respective works. This is Stacey Roberts reading from his book: Trailer Trash, With a Girl’s Name.
Jacqueline E. Smith had one of the coolest tables. The flowers were a nice touch.
Cinta Garcia had the coolest by far. I did some serious spellwork with her wands.
Authors Julie Frayn and Jacqueline E. Smith helped me hand extra balloons out to the local children. I imagine you might be confused, and that’s perfectly within your rights. Just know, that Jackie has mad skills convincing children to take balloons. I think it helps when you’re pretty.
From back left: Tracy James Jones, Julie Frayn, me, Scott Morgan, Stacey Roberts
Front left: Jacqueline E. Smith, Jeanne McDonald, Cinta Garcia, Amber Norrgard
After the signing, I went with Stacey, Cinta, and her husband Mark to see where Kennedy was shot. This is Stacey in the book depository building, now a museum.
The spot where the tragedy unfolded is marked with an X in the road.
On our way back I took one more photo of the Mississippi. I felt a lot like the Voyager 1 space probe.
It was an incredible time with even more incredible people. My deepest thanks to Amber Norrgard for all the hard work she did setting up the event.
You can find information on all the amazing authors in attendance here: