S is For....Spunk On A Stick

Spunk On A Stick

L. Diane Wolfe over at Spunk On A Stick won an interview on my blog back during my 200 follower giveaway. Due to time and other stuff life throws at us we both thought posting her interview during the A-Z challenge would be perfect. Ms. Wolfe is a motivational speaker and author and I thoroughly enjoy both her blog and her website.

Known as “Spunk On A Stick,” Wolfe is a member of the National Speakers Association. “Overcoming Obstacles With SPUNK! The Keys to Leadership & Goal-Setting”, ties all of her goal-setting and leadership seminar’s information together into one complete, enthusiastic package. Her YA series, The Circle of Friends, features morally grounded, positive stories that appeal to both teens and concerned parents. Ten years associating with a motivation training system and experience as a foster parent gave her the in-depth knowledge of relationships, personality traits and success principles. Wolfe travels extensively for media interviews and speaking engagements, maintains a dozen websites & blogs, manages an online writer’s group, and contributes to several other sites and newsletters.

Check her full BIO for yourself. Please take the time to go visit. Here is her wonderful answers to my questions.

How does your role as a motivational speaker influence your novel writing?

I write for the same reason I speak - to inspire others to achieve their dreams.

I pour a lot of uplifting inspiration into my writing, including my YA series, The Circle of Friends. More than a positive attitude found its way into those books, too. When I finished the fifth in the series, I realized each book represented one of the Five Keys to success that I teach in my seminars. That was unintentional, but it reflects how strongly I feel about those five aspects.

Of course, my speaking spurred the creation of my non-fiction book, Overcoming Obstacles with SPUNK! With seven other authors contributing, it was a lot of fun to write.

Do you ever succumb to obstacles in your own writing life?

Yes! I recently went through a long writing lull. After completing my last book, I had every intention of writing a teen version of Overcoming Obstacles, but it just didn’t happen. Lost the urge to write for a while. I have a new project now and I’m happy to be writing again!

Do you feel pressure to finish a novel or overcome life's hiccups knowing you’re an accomplished self help author?

Oh, you bet! My life should be perfect, right? I struggle like everyone else. However, I feel I’m better equipped to handle the challenges.

What is your favorite role between professional speaker and novel author?

Speaker! I like the interaction and contact with others. Writing is lonely. Authors tend to be introverted, so it suits them, but I love getting out and meeting people. I feel I can a greater impact on people as a speaker than as a writer.

Do you have any advice for someone to sell themselves to an agent/publisher?

Glad you added publisher - so many writers limit their chances for success by pursuing only agents.

Be multi-facetted and develop a platform. Show that you’re more than just an inexperienced writer. Develop and highlight your skills, credentials, networks, accomplishments, and ability to promote.

Best piece of advice YOU have gotten?

LOL - besides ‘don’t quit?’

Be willing to do whatever it takes.

Best piece of advice you can GIVE?

Study the industry! No matter what publishing path you take, you have to understand the industry if you’re going to succeed. Do your research - read books on the subject, scour the Internet, talk to other writers and authors, get out to book festivals - know what you’re doing before you begin!

Please tell us about any upcoming novels/self help books you have coming out.

I just began working on a new book. I teach seminars on publishing and promoting, and I also offer private consultation. I’m always asked - do I have a book on the topic? So, it’s about time I did!

Thanks so much Diane!! Please drop by her blog and websites for more information and tips!! She is also working the A-Z challenge like crazy!!!!!

R is For...


I know a lot of you have already posted about rejection but I wanted to add my 2 cents worth. Although with the dollar falling it may be more like 1.7220 cents worth.

I must give a disclaimer that I have never had a rejection... YET. However I WANT one badly. A lot of writers feel very personal about rejections. They call them "heart-ripping-soul-sucking" letters of hate.

Do you really? I can understand if the agent/publisher is not professional and rips into you personally but I hope most will be interpreting my writing skills.

My thoughy on rejection is this:


If someone is sending me a rejection letter then I have finished my book. If someone is sending me a rejection letter then someone other than family and friends is actually reading my work. I can learn from someone NOT required to think about my feelings. A rejection letter will happen. I've heard of writers receiving hundreds of rejection letters but still crank out book after book.

It's just part of a writer's life. Wear them as badges of battle. For me a rejection letter solidifies my status as writer.

At least that's how I'll feel until I get my first one. Then I may be a crying heap of self loathing covered in shame.

How do you feel about rejection? Have you received many rejection letters?

Also please check back tomorrow for a really awesome interview with L. Diane Wolfe at Spunk on a Stick.

Q is For...

Questionable Moments

I've had many questionable moments in my life. The ones where you know your life is about to change. The only problem is you don't know which way. I'm forever an optimist so even in my worst questionable moments I've found some silver linings.

One of the first questionable moments came when I was 9-ish. I had seen an advertisement for some new bath gels and begged my parents to buy me some. Of course they declined my request and crushed my 9 year old heart. But you can't keep an optimist down. I looked under our bathroom sink and found an assortment of stuff to mix together. Gathering my supplies I scrabbled into my bath and began mixing. Some bubbling toilet cleaner for the bubbles. Some foot powder for the softness. Some fingernail polish for color and some finger nail polish remover in case it stuck to the tub. A few other ingredients went into my personal bath mixture but I can't remember their names only they've since been removed from shelves. Exactly 17 seconds after the final ingredient went in I had developed a mixture that was quite sticky. In fact NASA uses it today to plug holes in the spaceship.

It took the fire department and paramedics 4 hours to free my backside and legs from the tub. But that's ok because this questionable moment taught me the inner workings of the rescue community.

When I was 13-ish my best friend convinced me that if I put duck tape on my water bed mattress that I could poke stick pins in it and the water wouldn't leak out. Well she was right. Every place that duck tape IS ON would not leak. My 13 year old brain didn't think of the HOLE. A hole by definition is the absence of something. When you place a stick pin or 23 into the water bed bladder you create a hole or an absence. An absence of the duck tape, an absence of the water bed mattress which in turn creates an absence of water.

It took my parents 2 hours to shop vac all the water out of my floor. But that's ok because I learned a valuable physics lesson. The faster you run around your mom plus the gravitational pull of the moon divided by the arc of her swing WILL NOT lesson the impact of the leather belt on your bottom.

I've even had some questionable moments in my adult life. When the Prince of Nigeria emailed me asking for financial help I knew I couldn't turn him away. I mean come on, how many people could help a royal prince. Plus I knew it had to be real because all my friends and family got the same email so he must know me. Besides when I gave him my bank account number I asked him nicely to only take what he needed. I guess he was in more trouble than I though when my bank called to say my account had been emptied.

Months later I still haven't had a thank you from the Prince but that's ok because I know he has his freedom and is healthy.

Becoming a writer was a questionable moment also. However I know that no matter how it turns out I have made some awesome (real) friends and learned many valuable lessons(real ones). So I hope becoming a writer is a questionable moment for you but one that you choose to do whole heartily.

Happy Writing

P is For...

Pen in The Printer

I consider myself a very organized person. On top of things-nothing catches me by surprise-get it done kind of person. Except in my writing life. It's a mess. I'll blame my muse. Who, I've told you all before, is a drunk monkey stumbling around with a computer and a pen in her hairy hands.

Imagine my shock when I tried to print out some chapters for revision and nothing came out of the printer. Imagine more shock when I discovered I forgot to fill said printer with paper. Apparently this is an important step to follow when using a printer.

Enter the antagonist. I love pens. You know the really smooth flowing bright colored pens. Gel filled ones are the bestest ever!! Woo Hoo raise the roof..uh sorry. Ah yeah the Pen. I dropped my neon pink--I heart tadpoles pen straight down into the paper loader opening thingy. And it rolled and rolled and rolled all the way back into the paper feeder. I know it's called a paper feeder from the nice support technician who helped me but more on him/her later.

Searching my desk for something to pull the pen out only showed me how messy it was. Trying to fish out the pen with a pencil made me a bit nervous so I switched to a fork. Not happening. Next came a finger nail file, letter opener, magnet (I know I know), fishing hook and string, pipe cleaner stolen from kids project and finally I came up with a brilliant idea sure to work.

I put some tuna fish on a cotton ball and put it inside the printer and put the cat up there. He went CRAZY!! Digging and clawing and meowing and....shedding. If he could just knock the pen loose. His meowing went from "loud" to "OMG can't he shut up". I realized he had his paw stuck inside the printer wrapped around the cotton ball. He would NOT let go of the cotton ball. Slight panic set in when the cat stopped meowing and started hissing at me. He knew what I had done. Reaching out to soothe him showed me how dangerous a pissed off cat with three free legs can be. I don't think any of the scratches would require more than a few stitches.

Calling The Husband or any other family member would only add to my growing list of "Guess what Lisa did now" so I called customer support. At least I'm a faceless moron to them.

"Good Morning, Customer Support. This is Sydney, my badge number is......." the monotone voice went on forever. I couldn't tell if it was a he or a she. I hate when that happens. I always wind up saying mam to the sir and sir to the mam.

"Hey Sydney, I need help. My cat is stuck in my printer and I can't get his paw out." I yelled so the he/she could hear me over the cat's very angry growls of pure hate being flung in my direction.

"Um, sorry we don't do animal cases but I can help you change your ink cartridge. First..."

"No, I don't need the ink cartridge changed I need to get my cat out of the printer so I can get my pen out so I can print out my story for revision." I was totally in a freak out mode now.

"OK, calm down. I'm not supposed to do this but it's slow this morning so I'll help you. Is your printer the Ultra Deluxe 4000?" Sydney He/she said

"No, It's the Simple Cheap 127."

"That's too bad. I could help you if it was the Ultra. Do you want to upgrade now for a %40 discount?"

"NO I NEED MY C A T out of my printer."

"Whoa chill out Lady. I'm just here to help you and I can't help if your going to take that tone with me. Although it's kinda hot. Are you single? I see your address is 225.."

Hanging up and making a mental note to move I rack my brains to figure out how to solve this. The ten year old comes in to see what is making all the noise that is interfering with his Star Wars video game conference and takes one look at me holding my bleeding arms and the cat and the printer.

Rolling his eyes he goes into the kitchen and opens a can of cat food which promptly makes the cat let go of the cotton ball. Then he walks back and picks up my printer and gives it one shake and out falls my pen.

I grounded him for 17 years, not for being smarter than I am but for showing me he's smarter than I am.

Happy Writing.

L is For...




I was going to do a funny post about LDD in children (Leather Deficit Disorder, not to be confused with ADD a serious medical condition we know personally) but decided to make it short and sweet.


Live like you don't have tomorrow. Live like you didn't have yesterday. Live like there is only the now. Don't be afraid to try something new and exciting. Hell, try something new and boring. We are only here once (that I know of) and every second that ticks by is a second you can't get back. See ,there went one..... There's goes another. Live those seconds to the fullest. Even the sad ones. Fill your being with the essence of life and soak up the miracle of it.


Our house is full of laughter but it could always use more. We hold the secret of the universe inside ourselves and laughter is it's way of sneaking out. If you can't laugh then at least smile. Feel how it improves your mood instantly. Laugh until milk comes out your nose. You know you've done that. Or at least snorted like a rhino in mating season.


Ah, love. How can you live and have laughter if you do not have love. Love yourself for who you are, even all your flaws. Love your kids and pets and spouses (in whatever order you want). Love them like they will never hurt you. Love them like they have never been loved before. Love them when they least deserve it because that's when they need it most.

Happy Writing

K is For...

Kiki The Kleptomaniac

Once upon a time (yesterday) in a far away place (Philadelphia) there lived a little kleptomaniac named Kiki. Kiki wasn't a very good klepto. In fact she couldn't even steal the air she was breathing. Kiki would walk around town gulping in lungs full of oxygen like a fish out of water. Her eyes bulging from her head in an attempt to hoard all the atmosphere she could. But alas her lungs would not hold it all in and the air would escape. -She would sulk and cringe trying not to be seen. But the kindly King Kleptomaniac would spy her from his Kaleidoscope throne and call her out.

"Kiki, you klutzy klepto, haven't you learned how to steal yet?" said the King.

"No King Klepto, not yet." Kiki replied

Kiki had tried to steal everything to no avail. There was the time she tried to steal the kangaroos of karumbia only to have them bounce away. She tried for some knight's klinky armor but it fell on her and gave her a kink in the neck.. Kiki even tried to steal Kevin Kite's Kerchief but the wind blew her away.

Kleptomania seemed so hard for Kiki but she never gave up.

One day Kiki was walking in a field of Kiwis drinking her Kool-aid when she saw a figure walking towards her. Squinting her eyes she saw it was Harry the Hoarder. Harry wasn't a very good hoarder. He kept leaving things behind and his apartment was as empty as a politician's heart. Harry and Kiki often met in the field of kiwi's to talk and drink kool-aid.

"Kiki, I have to tell you something." ,Harry said, "You've stolen my heart, would you marry me?"

Kiki thrilled to finally have successfully stolen something, rushed to Harry 's side, where piles of junk had fallen from his pockets.

"Yes, I will." she said

Morale of this story?
"K" is a freaking hard letter to write about. Don't wait untill after your bedtime to put some words down.

Kleptomania is a serious mental condi
If you or a loved
has suffered
call 1-800 -4 -56.

WTF? Who stole part of my PSA?

Thought of the day:

Kinky is using a feather
Perverted is using the whole chicken

J is For.....

Jose Cuervo

You know I couldn't let the letter "J" go by and not talk about my fav ancestor. O.K. , so maybe he's not exactly my ancestor but I get teary-eyed when I think about him. For those of you underage I'm going to assume (wink wink) you don't know this is the man who invented Tequila. My absolute favorite drink. Rum is my second favorite and Captain Morgan and I go way back.

Disclaimer for any future agents patrolling these bloggy waters: I love Tequila! Oh um I mentioned that already didn't I? With all due respect though I couldn't tell you the last time I had a Tequila based beverage in my possession.

But when I do....

Anyway I though I'd pass along some interesting facts (to me anyway) about Jose and his concoctions.

Fact #1
Was there really a person named Jose Cuervo? Yes. Jose Antonio de Cuervo was the first Tequila producer, obtaining the land from the King of Spain in 1758, before Mexico became an independent republic. In 1795, Jose María Guadalupe de Cuervo made the very first Vino Mezcal de Tequila de Jose Cuervo when he received the first official permit from the King of Spain to produce Tequila commercially.

Fact #2
Who was the first producer of Tequila in the world? Jose Cuervo, of course, since 1795.

Fact #3
Where is Jose Cuervo Tequila really made? All Jose Cuervo Tequila is made in the central Mexican town of Tequila in the state of Jalisco. According to the DOT (Declaration for the Protection of the Denomination of Origin—this is the Mexican law that oversees the protection of Tequila), only alcoholic beverages made with Blue Agave or agave azul (Agave Tequilana Weber blue variety) grown in the states of Jalisco,Michoacan, Nayarit, Guanajuato and Tamaulipas can be labeled as Tequila. No agave grown outside this region, including other countries, can be used for any product labeled as “Tequila.”

Fact #4
What is Tequila made from? Real Tequila is made from a plant called Blue Agave. Only the Agave Azul Tequilana Weber variety (Blue Agave) can be used for Tequila. Classified by German botanist F. Weber in 1905, the Blue Agave is commonly mistaken for a cactus, but it is really a relative of the lily (amaryllis) family. Blue Agave is sometimes known as maguey, mexic, pita and teometl.

Fact #5
How long does it take for an agave plant to reach maturity? Blue agave can take anywhere from 6 to 12 years to mature. This is when the Agave reach their peak in sugars and will yield the most Tequila. The plant is used entirely once and then more agave must be planted to continue the production process.

Fact #6
Why is there a worm in my Tequila bottle? THERE ISN’T. What you have is not a bottle of Tequila. The worm is found only in certain bottles of mezcal. The worm is nothing but a marketing gimmick!

Now where did I put that bottle. Happy Writing!

Lucky MF'er taking out the heart of the Agave plant to make into Tequila.

I is For.......


In this day and age (I've always wanted to say that) we are inundated with information. Advertisements for material things. Directions on medicine bottles. Road signs, brochures, spam e-mail. Everyday there is someone else trying to tell us something new and amazing. It doesn't stop with the simplest things either. I understand directions on the airplane on how to put on your oxygen mask but do we really need a picture of someone washing their hands over a sink. Doesn't everyone over the age of 6 months KNOW you wash your hands in a sink? Then there is the problem of being misinformed on things. I know it's possible to have major confusion when something is being translated.

But when the information is given to you in your native language there really is no excuse. Now I wouldn't consider this information an out right lies but you be the judge.
Here's a bit of questionable information I have received over the years:

The Dr. explaining exactly how wide my unborn babies (yes, twins) heads were.

The estimate on your car repair will be your final bill.

No, this medicine doesn't cause nausea or diarrhea.

Waiting time from this point is 45 minutes.

Honest mom, I didn't......

Really honey those golf clubs ARE
my old ones.

Do you have any information you could have uses less/more of?

H is For...

Because I'm a slacker and the Heavens Luuuvvv to throw a monkey wrench into my best laid plans, this post will cover both the letters "G" and "H" as brought to you by Sesame...oh sorry. Um Oh yeah the letter "G"

Gangster Birds

My dad is a lover of nature, which I share but his current obsession is birds. Much to my mother's irritation. My dad knows all the types of locals birds and what they like to munch on and how best to put their birdhouses, feeding platforms, umbrellas in their little drinks and so on.

Sitting on their porch I listened to the call of the many winged creatures and made a decision (this is where you insert ominous music). I wanted more birds in my yard. The seemed so fun and happy and full of life.

"Dad, what kind of seed should I get to feed the birds." I asked

"It depends on what kind of bird you want to attract." said the expert

"The kind with feathers." I snickered

"For amateurs like you it would be best to get X brand" Dad said

Our conversation continued but it was boring so I won't go into detail. Except to say I went to the feed store and looked for brand X and it was freaking EXPENSIVE. I could not see paying that much for seeds to throw on the ground and hope a bird would come by and eat it before the rain washed it away. So I called up the ole' father figure.

"Hey Dad, Can I just get G brand seeds since their the cheapest?"

I had already paid for G brand but I wanted to make sure.

"NO. Do NOT get the cheapest feed. You don't want the wrong kind of birds knowing where you live." he said

"UM OK, whatever , ok Dad I'll get the X brand. Bye" I said

The thought occured to me Dad might be going crazy. Granted the seeds didn't look as pretty and clean as the other brand but come on these birds where eating them off the DIRT.

The first day went great. I threw some seeds out and sat back and watched a few brightly colored species come in and daintily scratch and eat the food I had lovingly provided.

The next day I tossed some more out and was amazed at the number that flew in. It was freaky. As if they had called their buddies up and told them where the food was. After all the seed was gone they did something strange. They didn't fly away. The birds just sat there, looking around. Some where looking at me. It creeped me out so I went inside.

As usual I was busy the next day and didn't through any seed out. I left to go to the store and it was eerily quiet outside. Walking to my car I noticed hundreds of birds sitting around. In the trees. On the porch. On the roof of my car. Running back inside the house I collapsed in a seat and tried to figure out what to do.

Hearing a tapping on the back door I peeked out the window and saw something I will never forget. A steel gray dove sat on my doorstep. He had no feathers on his wings and I could see him flexing his tiny wing muscles, making the naked bird lady tattooed on his arm dance. Around his neck hung a cat's paw on a necklace.


His beak hit the glass and sent chills down my spine. Looking more closely at the other petite avians, I noticed several of them had piercings in the most inappropriate places. I think one Blue Jay was packing but he kept his hood pulled low so I couldn't identify him.
Not knowing what to do I called my dad.

"I told you not to use the cheap bird seed. There's nothing you can do now. They know where you live." he said before hanging up.

Slowly as to not give them any reason to attack, I walked out and threw extra seed to them. The dove nodded at me and threw me a piece sign.

The morale of this story is don't be a cheap a$$ and buy crappy seed.


H is For......

Here is a fitting poem from Emily Dickinson about Hope.

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me

Happy Writing and I promise to get around to all of your blogs sometime this weekend.

F is For.....


Due to Mother Nature taking a pot shot at us with a few tornadoes, our electric and internet has been hazy. So I missed the "D" and "E" posts but I'm back now.

For "D" I wanted to do a lovely piece of my fav Musketeer, D'Artagnan and for "E" I had Epiphany. But that's life and I'm more miffed that I didn't get a chance to see all of your great post. I hope to catch up soon. Onward to "F".

Fabliau is something I knew about but had no idea what it was called.

Fabliaux (plural) are " A medieval tale in eight-syllable verse. Humorous, often bawdy, fabliaux frequently satirized women and the clergy."

HHMMM. Bawdy and humor. My kind of fun.

The fabliau was extremely popular in France during the Middle Ages. Examples of fabliaux can be found in pre-Christian Oriental literature, in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, and in Boccaccio's Decameron. When the fabliau gradually disappeared, around the turn of the 16th century, it was replaced by the short story.

I was going to put examples of them here but most where a little too raunchy for my PG-13 site so I'll just give you the titles of the lesser naughty ones.

"La vielle qui graissa la patte de chevalier" ("The old woman who paid the knight for favors.")

"Berangier au long Cul" ("Berenger of the long arse")

"Le Pauvre Clerc" ("The poor clerk")

"Le Couverture partagée" ("The shared covering")

"Le Pretre qui mangea les mûres" ("The priest who ate mulberries")

"La crotte" ("The turd")

"Le Chevalier qui fist parler les cons" ("The Knight who made c**ts speak")

C s For....


More specifically, book Curses.

Long, long ago before printing presses all manuscripts were hand written. Since a book was so rare it was highly susceptible to theft. Scribes would put book curses in the front off books to ward of thieves. It didn't work. According to many places I looked , libraries even went to far as to chain the books to the walls. I'd hate to see their late fees.

Here are some examples of book curses I found:

Thys boke is one And God's curse another;
They that take the one God geve them the other.
He who steals this book
may he die the death
may he be frizzled in a pan...

That one should have been in KFC's original recipe book.

This present book legible in scripture
Here in this place thus tacched with a cheyn
Purposed of entent for to endure
And here perpetuelli stylle to remeyne
Fro eyre to eyre wherfore appone peyn
Of cryst is curs of faders and of moderes
Non of hem hens atempt it to dereyne
Whille ani leef may goodeli hange with oder.

I don't know about you but I think this one should have used spellcheck

Steal not this Book my honest Friend
For fear the Galows should be your hend,
And when you die the Lord will say
And wares the Book you stole away?

A variation on the same theme...
Steal not this book,
my worthy friend
For fear the gallows will be your end;
Up the ladder, and down the rope,
There you'll hang until you choke;
Then I'll come along and say -
"Where's that book you stole away?"

No wonder people stayed illiterate. "Borrow" some knowledge, get your neck snapped in half.

For him that Stealeth a Book from this Library,
Let it change into a Serpent in his hand & rend him.
Let him be struck with Palsy, & all his Members blasted.
Let him languish in Pain crying aloud for Mercy,
Let there be no Surcease to his Agony till he sink to Dissolution.
Let Bookworms gnaw his Entrails in token of the Worm that dieth not,
When at last he goeth to his final Punishment,
Let the flames of hell consume him for ever & aye.

I think "bookworms gnawing his entrails", says it all.

Edited: The book picture is not where I found the curses. I just liked how it looked. These curses are found inside really old texts. I've never read the above pictured book but would like too.heheh

B Is For.....


According to my extensive research (five minutes browsing the web) the illustrious but often overlooked bookend was first used about 2500 years ago. Mostly made of wood or brass, they have stood the test of time.

These brave helpers of the literate have done their jobs without fail. Holding the knowledge of galaxies and unknown aliens. Never embarrassed over tawdry company or sweaty loin-clothed natives. Nor flinching from cuddly bears and twirling ballerinas.

So please take the time to thank your bookends today. They do you a honorable service that is not only over looked but very under appreciated.