Best maniacal meme ever…

My super awesome author/blogger/twitter/Neil Gaiman lovin’ (I swear she’s my twin) pal, Anita Grace Howard (from A Still And Quiet Madness) tagged me in a really fun Meme. Her awesome blogging pal Miss Jenny Phresh (of The Party Pony) made up these silly questions and they’re crazy fun. I’ve tagged some new and old blogging friends at the bottom…enjoy! <3333

Are you a rutabaga?

Nope. I’m just a tumblin’ little twinkie.

When was the last time you ate lion meat?

Hmm, hard to say. I did drink some tiger blood with Sheen a few months back…

Upload a heartwarming picture of something that makes you smile.

My kids

Behold the power of kitty cuteness!

If you could go back in time and kick the crap out of someone, who would it be?

The Easter Bunny of 88’ for being downright creeptastic.

Name one habit that makes other people plot your demise.

My weekly singing of the Newsies “King of New York” at a decibel only furry woodland creatures can hear. You only think I’m kidding…

What song would you like to be playing while you are kicking the crap out of someone?

R.E.M – Shiny Happy People. It’d mess with their minds.

Where da muffin top at?

Rumor has it, that it’s near Antarctica on holiday. But that’s supposed to be a secret.

How many goats, stacked atop one another like Yertle’s Turtles, would it take to reach the moon?

That’s super easy: 3,647,193. Duh. The real question is how many aardvark’s (carrying two goats on its back) does it take to cross the United States three times…only moving in a westerly direction?

Describe yourself using obscure Latin words.

Deus ex machina only because I bought a shirt, or dress that was called deus ex machina a few weeks ago. *Shakes fist at ModCloth*

Why does evil exist?

Because we killed all the friggen unicorns back in the day.

What the chiz are you thinking right now?

How come more people don’t talk about rutabaga’s…they’re interesting enough. Right?

As the rules state, I can tag as many or few peeps as I want. I’m tagging five of my cool blogger pals, in hopes they’ll play along and pass on the lunacy. Let’s make this puppy go viral!

  1.  Alexis
  2.  2blu2btru
  3. Coco Cappuccina
  4. Ruth A Casie
  5.  L.M. Stull

Pick a funny nickname for number 1. 

Bunny Ears and Bat Wings (It’s the super awesome name of her blog!!)

Make up a rhyme about number 2.

Roses are red

Violets are blue

Sugar is sweet

And so is 2blu2btru!

Where would number 3 hide in the event of the apocalypse?

Somewhere near lots-o-coffee or tea! 🙂

Where does number 4 purchase her pants?

At the awesomesauce pant’s store.

What would number 5’s favorite dance move be?

The Running Man!

Have a wonderful day! <333333333

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Blog that sparks MY soul!

Holy Helvetica, I’m so darn honored you guys! The wonderful (and super talented author pal of mine) Anita Grace Howard, has bestowed my humble site with the ‘Blog That Sparks the Soul Award.’ Here’s what she said on her blog last week that warmed my heart:

Also, I’d like to thank Kerri Maniscalco for her blog of many hats: Write. Eat. Repeat. — a place of peace, inspiration, and witticisms. Kerri not only writes novels, but is a Folk Arts Columnist and always has beautiful and inspirational quotes on her twitter feed that warm my heart throughout the day. So to show my gratitude, I’m bestowing her this:”

Thanks so much for saying all those wonderful things Anita! If you all haven’t followed her yet on twitter, do so now! Her handle is @aghowardwrites. Not only does Anita run a mighty fine blog herself, if you’re a writer, she’s probably cheered you on in the query trenches on querytracker.net. If you’re a part of that community, then you already know her as, raven1.

Stop by her blog A Still and Quiet Madness. She’s always got something wonderful going on there. You won’t be disappointed!

Happy #WW (Writers Wednesday) to her and all of YOU out there. For good measure, here’s a quote:

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.  It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.  We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” ~Albert Schweitzer

PS One of these days soon I’m going to figure out some fun awards and pass them along too! <33333333333333

Rules are for Pansies: by Guest Blogger Eileen Andrews

 

Photo provided by Eileen Andrews

 

Rules are for Pansies

Life is a series of uncertainties. We grasp in all directions for a guarantee of success to abate the panic. Religion. Horoscopes. Anything to tell us we’re making the right choice; that everything will be ok.

Writer’s are no exception. We scour the internet looking for rules or formulas that’ll guarantee our success. ‘Stephen King did XYZ; if I do the same, I’m guaranteed to get picked up.’

There’s nothing wrong with observing the success of others. But attempting to adopt their methods can have unforeseen consequences. One of these is a diminishing voice.

Let’s say for example Jane wants to write mystery novels. In her eagerness to guarantee success she looks at what her favorite author, Jack Doe, recommends.

“Start every book with a dead body,” Her buddy Jack advises.

Ok, so she decides she needs a dead body.

“Kill your babies,” Jack says.

Aha! The body is that of a dead baby!

Ok, that last one was a joke. But I think you see what I mean.

When Jane starts her book with a dead body suddenly the beginning of her plot is partially derived. She doesn’t know who her antagonist and protagonist are, yet she’s determined there’s going to be a dead body.

The main problem with adopting Jack’s advice is the reasoning behind Jane’s decision. Jane wants to be a successful novelist and see her creations reach the New York Time’s Bestseller’s list. Because Jack is on that list she assumes if she models his method, she’ll get there too.

The mistake isn’t in starting her book with a dead body. It’s in blindly following the methodology of another artist. When we don’t know why we do the things we do, it ceases to be art. Instead it’s simply imitation. The author’s voice has nothing to do with rules and everything to do with choices. What choices does an author make and why?

Let’s imagine your novel as a house. A beautiful Victorian mansion with fifty rooms. In this fantasy you’re rich. Enjoy it while you can.

Your novel is like a house. Potentially you can be in whichever part you choose. When you adopt someone else’s rules a room suddenly gets shut to you. Stephen King comes in and says ‘I never use basements.’ Ok, you figure you don’t need the basement. But then Jack Kerouac comes in and says he never uses the bathroom. Shit! You need a bathroom. But it’s Jack Kerouac so you’ll hold it. Eventually, in your search for guaranteed success, you realize every single room is discouraged by the advice you’re receiving.

Suddenly you need an exorcism to reclaim your house! In this case, reclaim your artistic voice.

Some of the best novels break the rules. Yet we cling to them in hopes that if we follow them exactly, we’ll slip through the walls and our novel will hit the publishing floor.

What makes us do this?

Fear.

Fear of rejection. Fear of mediocrity. Fear of failure.

I’m not saying forgo rules of all kinds. We all need periods and commas—ok, periods more than commas. The nature of putting words together to form sentences is similar to the nature of building a house. We all have the same materials, yes. But how we put them together is up to us. The decisions we make affect how it will look. This is what makes us artists and not simply carpenters.

Now if you want a carbon copy of your neighbor’s house, then follow the rules used by the builder. Go ahead; you’ll get exactly what you’re looking for. But your distinct voice will be lost.

The only rule an artist should adopt is this: We make the rules. This frees us to choose what we like and obligates us to toss out what isn’t working. For example Jane starts thinking about her characters and realizes a kidnapping would serve better, she is obligated to go where her muse takes her. If she insists on following Jack’s rule about a dead body she’s giving up her artistic freedom to choose.

Jane may soon find out kidnapping is her thang (gratuitous triple snap). She could develop her own rule: start by stealing the kid. Suddenly she’s found her artistic niche and people will notice this. She’ll stand out.

However, making your own rules doesn’t exclude learning from other writers. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel to maintain artistic integrity. The key is to knowing why a rule works for you. Knowing why the rule works and applying it in a unique fashion will put your stamp on it.

In romance there’s a rule where the hero and heroine must meet within the first few pages. Talk about limiting. Yikes! This rule was developed to keep a story moving and skirt loquacious writers around our tendency to expand on back story before getting to the action. It’s also useful when writing category romance; when there’s little space and so much to tell. There are dozens more whys this rule has been lobbed around as a rule of thumb.

Knowing why a rule works for some writers gives us the tools to make an educated choice. Will it work for our story? If your instinct says no, ditch it.

Be a rebel! Stand out! Don’t let your fear over what lies ahead paralyze you so much you cling to what others say ‘works’ for them. Remember, it’s about the process, not the product. If we can embrace the journey the destination will take care of itself.

Want to know more about Eileen Andrews?

Eileen’s been reading romance since the ripe age of 12 when her parents decided it wasn’t so bad as long as she was reading something. Hence began a misbegotten youth of skipping school, staying home all day in bed to read, then sneaking out and walking back in like she’d been in school all day. Of course, she’s now relieved her juvenile delinquency can now be attributed to market research.

Having spent time as a journalist, social scientist, and retail manager, Eileen is eager to create her own worlds and promises they’ll be much more fun than reality!

Be sure to keep up with Eileen on Twitter @EileenAndrews and check out her fantastic blog HERE! Thanks so much for a wonderful post Eileen, it’s a great message for writer’s to stay true to their voice.

How do you maintain your writing voice? Let me know in the comment section or on Twitter.

Guest post by fellow foodie & blogger: blackcatsunday!

Today’s post has been contributed by a fellow foodie and photography buff, Kristine. You can find more tasty treats over on her blog blackcatsunday by simply clicking on the link here.

Besides working on obtaining two PhD’s (in English and Psychology), Kristine is also hard at work on two screenplays and is beginning to put together a cook book.  Some how she’s found the time to share her latest experiment with us. (Thanks Kristine!) Be sure to watch her blog for daily musings and recipes.

Without further ado, here’s Kristine’s delicious Banana Chocolate Muffin recipe.

This is my most recent experiment (just made last night) and something a little out of the ordinary. Cooking seems to have turned into a passion, hence all the recipes and cooking posts.  I enjoy cooking for others and the creativity involved in making something unexpected.  Between the cooking and my writing, it keeps my brain constantly moving.  This also helps with school, since I am taking 15-week courses compressed into 5 week increments.  It’s like brain overload!

I have a habit of refusing to waste food. I ventured into the kitchen yesterday and spotted bananas crying for attention.  I figured they had a day or two left before they had to be thrown out.  So before that happened, I scoured the pantry to see what use I could make of them.  Banana bread is overdone; I wanted something fun and unique.  I spied Bisquick mix and came up with a plan: Banana Chocolate Muffins.  Sure, it sounds a little weird and not an everyday item, but the worst that could happen is that it would end up in the trash.  That is where the bananas were headed anyway.

2 1/2 cups Bisquick mix

3/4 cup milk

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/4 cup chocolate morsels

3 overripe bananas, mashed

Crushed almonds (about 1/2 cup)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 

Photo credit blackcatsunday.wordpress.com

 

 

In a saucepan, simmer the bananas, butter, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and brown sugar for 10 minutes on medium to medium low heat.

Mix Bisquick mix and milk to form dough, set aside.

Remove from heat and stir in chocolate morsels (they will melt in quite easily).

Combine ingredients from saucepan with dough, mix well.

 

Photo credit blackcatsunday.wordpress.com

 

 

 

Fill greased muffin cups about half full and sprinkle crushed almonds on top.  Bake for 15 minutes

 

Photo credit blackcatsunday.wordpress.com

 

 

This came out surprisingly good.  The top had a souffle’ -like texture and it tasted amazing swirled in chocolate sauce.

12 muffins of pure delight, 3 bananas saved.

Take that banana bread.

If you or someone you know is interested in being a guest blogger on Scribe Quotes, let me know in the comment section or on Twitter.

Keep your eyes peeled for our next special blog by Eileen Andrews, a super talented scribe.

Thanks for your wonderful post Kristine, I know I’m excited to make it tonight!

So what do YOU think of the recipe?! I’d love to hear feedback in the comment section below.

WANTED: Guest Bloggers

Photo credit members.memlane.com

As you may know from my previous tweet, I’m on the hunt for some guest bloggers. I’ve gotten some great feedback from it so far, and I’m almost through all the DM’s. (Thank you all, BTW for being as excited as I am about this.)

I have gotten a few questions about exactly what I’m looking for, so I hope this post helps to answer all of your guest blogging worries.

Basically I’m looking for anything having to do with writing. If you’ve come across a quote or poem that has inspired you that works too. If you’ve been published and want to share your story, if you’ve just gotten your 1,000,000th form rejection (okay maybe not a million) and you want to share how you keep yourself optimistic then that’s what I want to hear.

If it has to do with the road to publication, how you juggle life and writing, your writing journey, (writing journey can be getting an agent, revisions, rewrites, etc.) then it’ll be perfect. Heck if you’ve got a kick-ass recipe you’d like to share with some pictures of your finished cooking adventure, then I’d LOVE it! (Aside from writing, I’m a huge foodie. But you probably already knew that.)

If you’ve carved the Martha Stewart of all pumpkins (jack-o-lanterns) and you want to share the picture, then… you guessed it, that works too.

The sky is the limit. However, I’d like to keep it positive. So if you’ve received your ba-jillionth rejection and you are fed up with the world of publishing and you’re looking for a place to bash it, then this probably won’t be the best platform.

I’ve already selected one guest blogger, @EileenAndrews, so be sure to check out her website and follow her on Twitter! Oh and lastly, if you are interested in being a guest blogger, you can leave a comment here, DM me on Twitter or @reply me and I’ll be in touch. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!