Sunday, March 20, 2011

"Show Me The Voice" Critique Blogfest

Thank you so much to Brenda Drake over at Brenda Drake Writes for hosting this Critique Blogfest. And also big thanks to Agent Natalie Fischer for judging the entries. Make sure you click through the link above to see the rest of the entries.

We were charged with posting our first 250 words to be critiqued and judged. So I am opening the door again to my Caenus MS.. actually, now named "Banished." Following are the revamped first 250 words.

Prince Caenus deflected a thrust from his friend’s sword. Dodging his friend’s advance, Caenus darted between fluted columns near the edge of the otherwise sparse palace courtyard. He sidestepped another advance while retreating several steps, but his friend’s sword point bit into Caenus’ ribcage.  Again.
No matter what he did, Caenus could neither escape his friend’s sword nor his father’s gaze, which needled his skin. During a lull in sparring action, the prince shot a brief sidelong glance toward where his father brooded. Disappointment bent the lines on his father’s forehead.
 “I need a strong son to reign when Hades darkens my doorstep!” The king barked. “You can’t beat your friend in a swordfight. You can barely ride a horse. When will you be strong enough to command the military?”
A shaft of sunlight streamed through thickening clouds and onto the royal palace. Caenus’ best friend, Galen cut off the prince’s evasive maneuvers. And again, wood beat against wood. Thrust. Swipe. Swing. Block. Dust rose from the ground in random clouds, kicked up by the swiftly moving feet of the two young men. Their sparring swords danced against one another as familiar foes.
 “Is that your best, Caenus?” Galen said, ducking a half-hearted swing of his friend’s sword. “Is there no more fight in you than this peasant’s display of swordsmanship?” 
Galen knocked the sword from Caenus’ grasp and, with the flick of his wrist, guided the tip of his own sword to Caenus’ throat.
“King Me!” Galen beamed.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Agent Pitch Contest

The YAtopia Blog and Super agent Ammi-Joan Paquette have so kindly offered to host a pitch contest. And seeing as she's currently closed to submissions, this is an opportunity you simply CANNOT miss out on.
It's really quite simple what you have to do. Ready?

Go straight to the YAtopia blog *right now* and enter.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Just ran 4.5 miles in my new Air Hermes winged clouds. RunWin

The Art of Running... Artful Thursday

In light of my recent entry into My Very first 5k Race, I have decided to dedicate this Artful Thursday to Ancient Greek Runners. The Greeks prided themselves on physical fitness. And not simply weightlifting, or muscle building. A disproportionate, bulging, swollen appearance was definitely not the goal. But rather overall proportionate perfection. *That* was the goal.

In that spirit, they created any number of competitive physical contests and in some cases organized them into Games. The breadth and depth of ancient Greek athletics is fodder for another post. Here, let us honor some famous ancient Greek runners from mortals to Gods. These people elevated running to an art form.

First I'll list a few famous mortal runners.

Orsippos of Megara
He won the foot race in 720 BC, and distinguished himself as the first Greek to run naked in Olympia.

Ladas of Argos

He won the Dolichos race at 460 BC. He was famous for his light running. It was said, that his feet did not leave tracks on the ground.

The Death Of Ladas, The Greek Runner, Who Died When Receiving The Crown Of Victory In The Temple Of Olympia
George Murray (1899-1904)

Lasthenes of Thebes
He won the Dolichos at 404 BC. He also won a contest between him and a racehorse, who ran from Koroneia to Thebes.

Aegeus of Argos
Another famous long distance runner from Argos was Aegeus, who won at Olympia in 328 BC. He ran to Argos to bring the good news without making any stops.  

Leonidas of Rhodes
He was the only ancient Greek athlete to accomplish the impossible, winning four consecutive Olympiads.

Next we have the famous Pheidippedes who ran the legendary 26 miles from Marathon to Athens to announce the Greek victory.

Finally a few deities who were known for their running:

Atalanta (deity status disputed)

and lastly...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Delusional Doom Ides Of March Blogfest

Thank you to the illustrious Hart Johnson over at Confessions of a Watery Tart for hosting this Delusional Doom --- Ides of March Blogfest. Make sure you visit the other ill-fated stories of death-becomes-them. I just love the buttons for this blogfest. But of course I would. See above and below.

To set this scene up, in the second book of my Caenus trilogy, Caenus marries Kalliste and they've just returned home from the wedding. Kranos is announcing the news, but someone in the royal court has other plans.

            Long rectangular wooden tables dissected the cavernous reception hall built for small intimate gatherings of fifty people or less.  Silver wine goblets sat innocently at the top edges of the plates on the exquisitely set tables.  Invited guests slowly strolled into the room and mingled with one another while picking from the grape and fig platters that had been placed in random intervals along the length of the table.
           General Nikios paced in a corner, silently wondering about his own destiny.  He had hoped that Kranos would name him king for now, knowing that when Caenus was old enough, Caenus would assume rule. If I were king, he schemed, perhaps I could have the prince exiled and rule with absolute power. Perhaps send him on a modern wild fleece quest.
            Nautical mastermind, Akaikos, certainly desired the royal scepter and crown, however he knew that being the youngest of the generals, his chances would never look as good as they did right now. He had absolutely no desire to go to Samos, but how could he stage a coup… and whom would he recruit to support him?
            Diokles’s mind wandered, as he mingled through the crowd, thinking of what life would be like were he king. To be sure, Nikios topped the queue. How, then could he possibly create the necessary vacancy to take a more advantageous position in this royal race?

            Kranos and Alexis welcomed all guests into the hall.  Golan, finally feeling like his old self again after the long trip, had finally arrived. He approached and embraced first Caenus then Kalliste before turning the corner to enter the hall and embrace Alexis and Kranos. 
            A buzz permeated the hall. The air, filled with the scintillating aroma of roasted lamb and wine, crackled with such a high level of excitement and energy that no one saw the hand that grabbed Kranos’ wine goblet and slipped a poisonous concoction into it.
            Guests continued to enter the hall and locate their seating assignments. Once everyone was seated and ready for the reception to begin, Kranos stood from his throne of a seat at the middle of the table, directly beside Alexis. All chatter fell to the ground as the still muscular king stood.
            “Tonight we honor two great young men,” Kranos echoed through the silence.
            From his position toward the middle of the table, Golan turned and shot a look of pride toward Caenus who was sitting at one long end of the table.  The generals, seated together at the other end, each looked nervously at one another, trying to figure out who the second guest of honor would be.
            “These two men have shown both courage and valor in trying times, and have proven loyalty and allegiance to the kingdom of Iolkos,” Kranos continued.
            Golan next looked sidelong at each of the generals, who sat with their wives. He felt that surely the good king had something of import to say of one of the generals. He never suspected that the second guest of honor was in fact himself.  Caenus looked with dreamy admiration at his own beautiful new wife, who beamed with radiance.
            “To Iolkos!” Kranos said, lifting his goblet toward the rafters.
            “To Iolkos!” the guests roared back, echoing off the stone walls.
            “Take now your goblets in hand.  If they are not already filled with fine Samian wine, a gift from the esteemed royal family of Samos, let them now be filled.  For tonight, shall we first honor my son, Caenus…”
            Caenus stood as applause rang out, filling the hall to the rafters.
            “… And, to his wonderful new wife, Kalliste, the Princess of the Kingdom of Samos…”
            Applause continued to roar as she then rose to her feet, waving to all. 
            “…A marriage of empires, no doubt, but a marriage of hearts, first and foremost. Raise your goblets now until their bases are high in the air,” Kranos bellowed proudly, lifting his goblet and consuming the whole of its contents.
            When the roar subsided, Kranos continued, “Now… for the other great man I wish to honor this night.  Remember, I said that I wished to honor two great young men…”
            Caenus and Kalliste both replaced their seats, clasping one another’s hands tightly. The generals looked at one another with sidelong glances. Akaikos then shifted his gaze to Golan, still unsure of the direction Kranos would take.  Caenus also looked at Golan with a supportive smile then up at the generals, for he was not quite certain of whom his father would speak next.  Caenus wondered whether his father would speak of Golan’s bravery on the Aegean, or name a general to succeed as king.
            “I have taken on anotherrrr…” Kranos spoke slowly, slurring a bit, and taking a deep breath. “I have takennn…” Clearing his throat, he paused and then tried to continue. Kranos began feeling queasy and weak. Then his stomach felt as if it was being eaten out from the inside. Kranos clutched his stomach and, again tried to continue through the pain.
            “I have taken onnn anotherrr s-s-s…” That was all Kranos managed to get out before he crumpled to the floor, his crown clanking as it tumbled from his head.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spring: Rebirth and Renewal... Demeter's Artful Thursday

So, last week I did a post on lovely and serene Demeter. And any discussion of Demeter, gently moves toward Persephone. And any engagement of the two of them can hardly be divorced from the subject of seasonal change. Depending on where you live, arguably, the two most dynamic season changes are summer to fall and winter to spring. In certain areas, fall foliage can be breathtaking, to be sure. But Spring... is not only beautiful in it's own right, but holds the promise of something more precious: Rebirth and Renewal. So, it is in the spirit of Rebirth and Renewal that I bring you this collection: Spring In Greece... or Greece- In Spring.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spreading The Word...

I am pleased to announce that my blogger friend, Roland D. Yeomans, has released his novel- "The Bear With Two Shadows." As you will come to appreciate, Roland is a superbly talented writer.

Here's Roland's Blog. Hop on over there and say hello and follow his blog tour.

Check out "The Bear With Two Shadows" on Amazon.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Woo Hoo! Two Awards!

Instead of our regularly scheduled programming (Tuesday Tidbits), I bring to you this special service announcement. I am completely honored and flattered to have received the following two awards.

It seems I have again won the Stylish Blogger Award. It's almost like winning my second Oscar. Such awesomesauce!! Thank you so much to Rebecca Enzor over at Sticky Note Stories (she can write 335 words on a single sticky note). As part of the award, the recipient is supposed to reveal seven things about themselves. I will simply re-post what I posted last time since I have a couple new followers since the last time.

Receiving this award requires me to adhere to a few rules:
1: Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award.
2: Share seven things about yourself.
3: Award ten recently discovered great bloggers.
4: Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

So here are Seven things about me:
  • I played bass drum in college. Proud brother of "Sticky Situation"- Hampton University *Buda, Buda*
  • I taught middle school for 2 years and high school for 4 years
  • I coached high school football- last post: Special Teams Coordinator
  • I'd love to travel the world and blog about the places I go
  • I have a fear of heights but I desperately want to go skydiving
  • I don't have arachnophobia per se, but I do have a standing "Kill On Sight" mantra for *all* spiders
  • I play fantasy sports like it's a profession.
Here are the Bloggers I am passing this Award on to:
Tracy Walshaw
Cambria Dillon
Diana Paz
Stephanie Thornton
Shelley Watters
Dominic De Mattos

M. Pax
Eleni Alaxandraki
Natalie Whipple
Michael Di Gesu

I also received another award... Woot! Woo Hoo!
Thank you so much to Morgan Lee over at Fantasy Fairy for this wonderfully decadent Blog Award.

And here’s how the award goes:
1. Thank and link back to the person that gave this award.
2. Share 4 guilty pleasures that you have.
3. Pass the award along to 6 other sweet blogs

So here are my Guilty Pleasures
  • Chocolate and Caramel
  • Cap'n Crunch w/ Crunch Berries
  • Tacos Al Pastor
  • Breyer's Vanilla Bean Vanilla Ice Cream
 Thank you again for thinking of me. Here are the Bloggers I am passing this award to:

Erica and Christy
Mara Nash
Sheri Larsen

    Thursday, March 3, 2011

    Demeter- A Mother's Love... Artful Thursday

    Spring is peeking it's head up from a long hibernation. Green grass appears where frost had turned it into winter wheat. Buds are forming anew on trees who'd wept their weight in lost leaves. Yes, in many areas in the northern hemisphere, Spring is just around the corner. As I look around my own city of Wilmington, NC, I see the ugly reminders of winter... bare trees, brown grass, et al... but I know that the annual Azalea Festival is in one month. And if you've never been or never seen, it's a sight to behold because azaleas are in full bloom and full regalia. More on that later.

    But, it is the coming of spring that influences this Artful Thursday post on Demeter, Greek Goddess of Bountiful Harvest. Of course many of my readers are familiar with the myth in which Hades abducted Persephone, Demeter's daughter, and tricked her into staying in the Underworld for six months. And while she was down there, Demeter was so distraught that she neglected her duties to bring fertility to the Earth and nothing grew. That, my friends is how we have our seasons. Stay tuned for a more in depth post on young Persephone later.

    So, without further ado... Demeter.