Chit Chat Chicks

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Hello lovely ones. Greetings from the land of confusion. I have a favor to ask. As some of you know, I host a podcast with my beautiful friend Jane called Chit Chat Chicks. We bring you the latest in entertainment and good old fashion snark. Some of our past guests have included Norman Reedus from The Walking Dead, Allison Burnett, known for movies like Fame, Autumn in New York and Gone, and Ericka Eleniak from Baywatch

We have started a blog for the podcast. If you are so inclined we would love for you to follow us. I’m not sure where we will lead you, but I can promise it will be a fun trip. We will also follow you anywhere, but if you could direct us to a chocolate store, that would be great. As always, thanks for the support. The WordPress community is one of the nicest. Really happy to have connected with most of you. Ha! Happy Thursday.

You can find us here: Chick Chat Chicks Blog

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Guest Blog Post by Stephanae McCoy.

 

 

I asked the lovely and inspirational Stephanae McCoy if she would be so gracious as to write a guest blog post She said yes almost immediately, because she’s lovely like that :). For those of you who don’t know this dynamic lady ” (Steph) McCoy is a successful businesswoman, style setter, blogger and abilities crusader who breaks the myth that “blind people can’t be fashionable.” As a blind woman who happens to love fashion and style, Ms. McCoy founded boldblindbeauty.com, a successful website that brings women together to share in the beauty of fashion and style, provides a community that encourages empowerment and camaraderie, and makes a connection between the sighted and non-sighted worlds eradicating misconceptions and long-held stereotypes about people with vision lost”. You can find out more here. Be sure to follow.She’s one of my heroes.

About Steph

And do check out the amazing things she’s doing through her on-line store Abigail Style.

From the site:

Breaking down barriers, and giving back are the most important messages of Abigail Style. Empowering blind women to love themselves through the promotion of self-confidence enables them to walk through life on their own terms.

Independent living is achieved through focusing on individual talents and abilities. By supporting Abigail Style’s mission of improving the world, you are also aiding the Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh (BVRS) as 10% of all profits are given to the Employment Services Division of the agency. BVRS, known for its outstanding programs, has served people from around the US.

Abigail Style

And now Stephanae’s inspiring piece.

“Shame was the reason I decided to describe myself as ‘blind’ versus ‘visually impaired’ because it was important for me to accept the word ‘blind’. Once I did this I was able to get a grip on my fear and move forward.”

I’m not sure why I felt shame when I lost my eyesight but I think it was closely tied to my personal biases and lack of understanding where blindness was concerned. In walking through the process of sight loss and facing my shame/fear head-on I was able to move forward.
Do you Face Everything And Run? Or Face Everything And Rise? Fear can motivate or repress and your response is a matter of choice.

Choosing To Rise:
The first step is doing an honest self-assessment. Like following a map, unless you know yourself, you will get lost.
The next step is to set short and long-term goals. Goals should always be written, periodically reviewed, revised and once they are met, new ones should be set.
The third and final step is to stay the course. When you get derailed, get back on track and keep pursuing your dreams. Do not let anyone, tell you that you cannot succeed.

When it gets down to it the choice is up to you. You decide how to navigate your path to success.

La Literati

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Hello, lovely ones. Yesterday, I posted a poem a day early to make room for today’s post. As some of you know, I host a literary podcast with my friend, Niles, called La Literati. We feature established authors, as well as up and coming writers.

Tomorrow, at 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, we will be celebrating the work of three talented WordPress bloggers. Information is below.

We plan to make this a regular part of our show. If you are interested in participating in the future, please get in touch via my contact information listed on this site. We would love to hear from you.

About the writers:

Geetha-
Geetha Balvannanathan Prodhom is an Indian writer born within a multicultural family and raised between India, Tunisia, Europe and the Middle East. She writes poetry in English, French and Arabic and has published a collection of French poems in 2011 with another collection of poetry in English to be published in 2016. A fervent admirer of the Japanese art of Tanka and Haiku since 2010 and writing her own Haikus in English, French and Italian since 2014, she also writes short novels in English and in French on the themes of human feelings and interaction. She is currently working on a manuscript in English depicting the varied life she has led. Her blog is:

https://geethaprodhom.wordpress.com/

Deb-
Debra (D.S.) Levy is a writer of short stories, flash fiction, and essays. She’s had work published in the Alaska Quarterly Review, Columbia, Little Fiction, The Pinch, and others. Although she’s never considered herself a “poet,” she believes that whatever she’s writing has always begun with a poet’s concerns — concision, compression, sound, and the desire to capture moments of being. Since blogging at C-Dog & Company, she has begun (shyly) to share some of her free verse. You can find her
blog here:

http://cdogco.com/

Christian-
Christian Marc is a writer and blogger born in New Jersey, who lived in L.A., but is currently moving to Seattle. He is a two time recipient of the Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence. He blogs at:
http:complainingisanartform.com/

You can also find my friend and cohort’s blog here:

Niles-
http://jamesdennard.com/

Link to tomorrow’s show:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/laliteraticarpelibrum/2016/01/20/la-literati-welcomes-three-talented-writers-and-friends-to-our-show

On an entirely different note. Rest in peace, Glenn Frey.

Is This Going Somewhere?

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Discovering his cruelty was akin
to standing on the backyard deck
ready to jump into spring grass,
soft with newness and finding instead,
coiled, the venomous blunt head of a rattle snake,
lying in wait, ready to strike out
at whatever comes within its range
of pride or insanity. She couldn’t help
notice his appeal though.
The diamond back so lush against the green. His beauty beyond report.

The snake would say she is
getting the narrative all wrong.
He may slither, but she’s the
one with the come hither,
charming him right out of his basket
with her deceptively sweet song of the sea. The snake hisses. He knows
she’s rose petals on top of bees.
She only knows how to sting.

The truth shaking its virtuous head,
give its point of view. Scolding them both.
We pick up the story from here.
Truth let’s us know that these two
are a perfect storm of toxic.
Their common language, madness.
Individually, they are both soft spoken
and kind. Subdued and well liked.
On paper, a good idea. Together, the paper turns
to a dartboard
both aimlessly trying to
out dart the other.
Years of grievances flying through
the air.

She might have been the
mouse chewed up and devoured
by his devilish mouth, or
perhaps he was the
victim of a demented siren song.

It all depends on point of view.

Gorgeous stars or bastard moon?
The truth is the light in their room.
It never changes.
Yet, they both sleep with blindfolds on
and what they don’t want to look at blurs,
in the descent of memories.
Memories best left discarded.
The bridge burnt. Falling into water
spilled with oil.
The snake and siren drown.
The undertow winks at truth.

Truth tired of the story
and with no magic potion.
Delivers an elegy to two
sweet tooth addicted to madness-
Relieved to be done
with these loons. Truth ends
the narrative here.

Epilogue

The ghost of the snake chimes in
with but…but..but..
The phantom siren sings…..
and …and…and..

-Tosha Michelle

Twenty Random Questions with Peter Hammarberg (Author of Antillia)

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I’ve known my guest today since the days of MySpace. Back when the site was cool and Tom had perfected the selfie game. A time when John Mayer was waiting on the world to change, and Donald Trump was just a blowhard with a TV show. Times have changed, but the man of the blog hour has stayed the same. He’s still the same affable, charming guy of yesteryear. I’m thrilled to introduce you to him.

Peter Hammarberg is a man’s man. He reminds me a bit of Hemingway with his rugged good looks and aptitude for the English language- Peter is a word herder dwelling in the northern wilds of New England. He’s been called a “Magnificent Bastard” and “The Patron Saint of Bourbon and Hearty Laughter” by genuine Cony Island sideshow performers. In addition, he has a tache that even Tom” Selleck would envy.

You can find his debut novel Antillia. at Amazon. A must read for Sci-Fi enthusiasts and anyone who enjoys well written fiction.

http://www.amazon.com/Antillia-Order-Lucifuge-Book-Volume/dp/0990839702

You can keep up with Peter and his shenanigans at:

Twitter @p_hammarberg
IInstagram: @h_mt

You can also follow him on WordPresss at hammermountainarts.com (Do it!)

My thanks to Peter for taking the time to engage in some tomfoolery,

Twenty Random Questions

1. If you were Alice, would you rather stay in Wonderland on the other side of the mirror, or come back to the real world to share your story?

Wonderland is a terrifying place. If I wasn’t killed by some whimsical psychopath and managed to make it home, I doubt I’d share the story– That’s a sure-fire recipe for padded rooms and colorful pills in wee paper cups.

2. If you were going to write an article about yourself, what would the headline be?

“Who Moved My Bourbon?”

3. If you were a drink, what would you be? Why?

I already have a drink named after me: The Hammer’dberg. It’s real simple to make. Take a pint glass, pour two-to-three fingers of bourbon (depending on your day) into it, then a dark beer. Best paired with either a cigar, bon fire, or a couch.

4. What childhood fear do you still have as an adult?

When I was a pup, I was afraid of ghosts. It took me a while to realize that they’d follow me wherever I was. I was the one haunted., not necessarily the places. I’ve come to terms with that. I don’t fear it anymore. I never poop alone, thanks to them.

5. If you could choose just one thing to change about the world, what would it be?

I’d like humans to get over themselves. We take ourselves too seriously.

6. What’s your favorite poem?

“Dinosauria We,” by Charles Bukowski. It’s the closest thing he’s written to a prophecy poem, and it’s chilling. He talks about the things to come, and you think, ‘Yep…’ To me, it’s the written equivalent to Grieg’s In The Hall of the Mountain King. The tone has a building, subtle frenzy until it explodes.

7. Does darkness soothe you or frighten you?

Give me darkness, and put a sock in it. I’m trying to sleep. My brain is like a stone-struck hornets nest when there’s light.

8. If you ruled your own country, who would you get to write your national anthem?

Dom Kreep from the band Kreeps. He’d make the song fun and spooky, which I’m sure is what living in my country would be like.
I’d say Wesley Willis, if he wasn’t dead, but… he’s dead.

9. What makes you nostalgic?

Songs. Scents. Comic books I haven’t read in a while. They bring me back instantly for better or worse. I think, ‘Cripes, that was another life. I’ve gotten fat,’ Then I partake in question 3 and forget where I put my pants.

10. Clowns. Creepy or cool?

I don’t have a fear of clowns, but I respect their creep factor. Unless you’re talking about a sad clown flipping pancakes in a foreign flick, I’d say creepy. Pogo, Pennywise, and Ronald are a few of the scariest.

11. Do you remember your dreams?

All the time. I’m sure psychiatrists would have a field day with me.

12. What’s your favorite song?

To me there is no such thing as a favorite song. There are far too many amazing tunes out there to pick one. It also depends on the mood.
Fight song? Twilight of the Thunder God, by Amon Amarth.
Romance someone’s face song? Love you to Death, by Type O Negative.
Life is a strange place song? Saltair by Kreeps.
Inspirational song? Do It, by Wesley Willis.
The list goes on…

13. What’s your favorite season?

Autumn. Crisp air. Trees aflame. Halloween. The world feels more vibrant during that time. Pour yourself a Hammer’dberg and sit outside for a spell.

14. Does pressure motivate you?

Pressure can suck it. I’m constantly under it. Even when there isn’t any external nonsense happening, my favorite pastime is tormenting myself with incessant “what if?s”.
It’s a real problem. I need Vanilla Ice to solve it.

15. To what extent do you shape your own destiny, and how much is down to fate?

This is a tricky one. I’m not a fan of “there’s a plan,” because then free will is an illusion. But I do like the theory of shaping the universe to your will. Put the thought out there and allow it to move you. Then again, they say ‘You can’t win the lotto without buying a ticket,’ so I have no idea. I guess whatever works for you is the answer.
And that’s what they call a “cop-out answer,” kids.

16. What published book do you secretly wish you had written?

None. The way I see it, if I wrote the books I loved, they probably wouldn’t be that lovable. That’s not to say I wouldn’t do a good job, but there are reasons certain books are amazeballs.

17. Are you the paranoid type or calm, cool and collected?

Paranoid. I don’t think the toaster is a government spy, mind you, but I definitely have moments where I’m too high strung for my own good.

18. What would qualify as the afternoon of your dreams?

Walking through Portsmouth New Hampshire with my wife, as we drink coffee and scheme diabolically.

19. Are you more like fire or the earth?

I’m too lazy to be fire. I’d say I’m more like an old, haunted forest.

20. Do you hear voices?

All the time. Especially when I’m trying to sleep, I hear all the worries and doubts. It’s sad, really. When I tell them to shut up, it’ll change to theme songs of shows I can’t stand.
I’m really my own worst enemy.

Bonus question:
What are you currently working on?

I’m putting the finishing touches on a bizarro/horror novella called Gravenfrost. I’ve gone the path of Lovecraft, and created my own New England town to fill with creeps and spooky shenanigans. The story is focused on an FBI agent named Doyle and his investigation into a ghost hunting tv show host losing his mind and murdering his cast and crew during a “hunt” in a place nicknamed The Devil’s Domicile.

I’ve had a few beta testers read it, and I’m getting a lot of positive feedback. One even told me she was doing laundry in the basement when the book popped into her mind. She was so creeped out, she hurried like mad in order to get back upstairs. That makes me smile. If all goes according to plan, it should be available this October from Hammer Mountain Arts.

Sylvain Reynard and The Snarky Narrator -A Tale of Doughnuts, Angels, and Egos.

NY Times best selling author and international man of mystery Sylvain Reynard dropped by the blog to answer reader’s questions.  Never one to stand on the sidelines and idly twiddle his thumbs, the Snarky Narrator, affectionately known as SN from the Gabreil’s Inferno Trilogy, made a surprise appearance. Prepare to swoon to the tune of two of the most fascinating men on the planet (at least according to SR’s angels). Enjoy.

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Questions for SR and SN

Submitted by Misty.

1. Snarky, is it true that in #the raven that William’s description was based on SR?
SN: This is the kind of propaganda SR is known for. In reality, William is much better looking.

2. SR, is it true you look like William in real life? 🙂 I remember an interview a long time ago where you said you wanted to write about vampires, is this book fulfilling that desire?

SR: Yes, The Florentine Series has been my chance to write about vampyres and I’ve really enjoyed writing them.

3. A lot of us love Raven Wood she is real and has a big heart, do you base your characters on people in your life or are they completely imagined?

SR: They’re imagined but I suppose in my imagination, they’re real.

Submitted by Ellie Totten

4. I have never heard of Selinsgrove, Pa. before and wondered the reason you chose this setting as the hometown of Gabriel and Julianne.

If you research apple production in the USA, you’ll discover Pennsylvania has many orchards and produces a lot of apples. So the choice began with the orchard ….

5. In Gabriel’s Redemption I enjoyed the part where Gabriel met his biological sister, Kelly. I loved her warm personality. Will you consider writing more about his new relationship with his biological family now that he and Julianne have Claire?

It’s possible …

6. I’m a Professor Picton fan and since you’ve stated she is in fact a real person, can you share any information about her?

I can’t say too much but in one of my forthcoming novels, we’ll see more of her. Stay tuned …

This is for The SN.

7. Are you a bit put out that SR has ignored your charming personality in his new Florentine trilogy? In addition, would SR ever wear sneakers with his sexy argyle socks? Oh, and does SR have blue eyes like David Gandy? 😉

SN: I really don’t understand why everyone is so fascinated with SR and not with me. I’m far more attractive.

Submitted by Samia

8. Since a person can control many feelings, why do you think we can’t choose who we love?

Some elements of love can’t be controlled. That said, one could habituate oneself to loving a particular person through an act of will. But I suppose the better question is if we’re talking about romantic love, why would one want to?

9. If you had one wish, whatever you wanted, what would you wish for?

World peace. And more doughnuts.

Submitted by BAE


10. Hi, SR. Always good to see you. I’ve always wondered if you have ever been in a situation where people around you are commenting about your books next to you without knowing you’re the author. And for some reason, I could see you sneaking into a book store into the romance novels section out of curiosity (well, I would do it … 😉 Has it happened to you? If so, how was it? Do you mind to share?

Truthfully, I haven’t been in a situation where I’ve heard others discussing my books. But yes, when I’m in a bookstore I browse around looking to see where my books are shelved …

11. You’re well known for pleasing your readers. We all adore you. Your positivity influences our daily lives and give hope in moments when any of us might feel completely hopeless. What lessons or words of wisdom have you learned from your readers that have had a positive impact in your life?

I’m not sure I could identify just one but I can say that I enjoy hearing from readers through email and social media and there are many inspiring messages that they’ve shared with me.

For Snarky:

12. My dear & sexy SN… Where have you been? When will we have the pleasure to have another chat with you? We had to start a pacific protest in Twitter to have the opportunity to chat with you today. Is SR treating you well? I miss you. xo

SN: Thank you. I’ve decided I need to take control and narrate my own life…

Submitted by Renata

13. Your books contain great content about works of art of all kinds and shapes. For you, what is the beauty?! The concept of beauty evolves as man evolves?!

I think beauty is an aspect of goodness that incites a reaction in the observer.

14. The language of art and music seem to be universal. Your books bring music and characters who learn to speak foreign languages. Do you think that learning foreign languages ​​is a way to promote a sense of unity in humanity?

Absolutely.

15. For SN I would like you to know that you have many fans in Brazil, for its charm and wonderful sense of humor, including me. And after that, I wonder: “You do not feel trapped, confined between the “parentheses” of SR books?!”

SN: Yes, as I said in a previous answer, I need to take control and narrate my own life. I think I could do so very well in Brazil …

Submitted by Andarta

16. Hi SR, I’m not sure if you are familiar with The Time Traveler’s Wife movie (or book), the male character, as the title says, can travel through time and interact with himself in different periods of his life. If you could do the same thing, which advice you would give for a younger and older self of yours 🙂

That’s a good question. I don’t know the film or the book but I understand what you’re saying. For the younger: Be bold. For the older: Be patient.

17. Hi Snarky, always good to see you and read your comments in SR’s new paranormal series books 🙂 I’m not sure if SR told you, but we are discussing with Brazilian readers The Prince & The Raven. And, I’m afraid they don’t know you very well. If SR allows you to visit Brazil one day what do you want see or visit? Any message you to send to them? 🙂 P.S. Brazilian readers loved your “filisteu” comment in chapter 1 #ThePrince 😉

SN: Please thank all the Brazilian readers and say “Bom Dia” from me. I’d like to move to Brazil and get to know the readers personally …

Submitted by Alexandra

18. Will we ever see a picture of you?

SN: Absolutely. When I move to Brazil, I hope to have my picture taken with readers while on the beach …

Word association for SR from Kez

* icecream – chocolate
* (sugarfree) gummybears – pain
* Dr Seuss – Green Eggs and Ham

All the best, and happy reading!
-SR

Find more on this dynamic snarky duo at:
http://sylvainreynard.com/