Photo Friday again already?

So…how did that happen?  Wasn’t it just Monday yesterday?  Not that I’m complaining, mind you, it’s just that I’m now left wondering what in the world happened to the month of May.  It was just May Day last week, right?

Right?  No?  Okay, fine.

Well, today’s theme is movement.  If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I’ve been spending quite a bit of time out in my yard taking pictures of all the pretty things sprouting up from the ground.  We’ve had quite a lot of wind lately, too, so getting those great shots has been something of a challenge.

Yesterday, though, I headed out across the driveway and got down in the dirt to get a shot of the pretty green shoots coming up in the neighboring field.  I’ve been wanting to do this for a week or so, but I just haven’t made the time for it.  Until yesterday, that is, while the boys were occupied with the cat.

It’s the little things. 🙂

Of all the shots I took yesterday morning, this one is probably my favorite, and features tiny little corn stalks waving in the wind.

2014-05-29 11.38.49

Don’t forget to stop by Charnele’s blog – she’s got an amazing photo to share with you all today. 🙂  Happy Friday, everybody!  Have a fantastic weekend!

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.


Movie night!

MNO_OfficialPoster_HighThat’s right, last night I got to go to a movie.  With my husband!  A real, actual date!  It was awesome!

Our local theater does a membership drive each year, where for $30 you can buy a pass to see movies for free on Monday nights.  If you spend $60, you get to see them on Mondays or Tuesdays.  We opted for the two-night pass, and it’s been wonderful.  The movies at our local theater aren’t overly expensive anyway, but it’s still nice to support local business this way.  Anyway, we went to see Moms’ Night Out, and it was easily the funniest movie I’ve seen in ages.

From IMDb:

All Allyson and her friends want is a peaceful, grown-up evening of dinner and fun – a long-needed moms’ night out. But in order to enjoy high heels, adult conversation, and food not served in a bag, they need their husbands to watch the kids for a few hours … what could go wrong?

Dishwasher memories

wpid-rocky-and-bullwinkle.jpgOur new house is considerably smaller than our old house, especially the kitchen.  There’s no dishwasher and a lot less counter space, so I had to do dishes yesterday morning by hand; the lack of dish-stacking space required I do them in two batches.  The boys were watching The Little Mermaid in the living room and “Under the Sea” drifted into the kitchen, calling to mind the ants from Garfield and Friends (I know, my mind makes weird connections sometimes).  While I was drying the first half of the dishes and humming along, I got to thinking.

It’s a dangerous pastime.   I know. 😀

Things I love about life on the farm

farmboyI was initially a bit apprehensive about moving back to the country.  I loved visiting my grandparents’ farm when I was a kid, but when I lived in the country with my first husband, it just wasn’t what I expected.  I was happy to move back to town, where I lived but a few blocks from the major entertainments (library, theater, bowling alley).  I liked walking places and stopping to chat with people along the way.

But as time wore on, I did less and less of that.  So when Seymour pitched a move to the country after five years being miserable in town, I grudgingly decided to give it another shot.  He assured me many times over that this time would be different, and boy, has it!

While most of the negatives of late have been due to Mother Nature (thanks a lot for all the water you dumped in my basement), there have been some notable positives as well:

• The peace and quiet.
Let’s face it, life in the country is just more peaceful.  There are no neighbors out mowing their lawn at some ungodly hour of the morning or having parties in their driveways that last late into the night.  There are no kids tromping through the yard on their way home from school.  There are no yappy little neighbor dogs who start barking every time I open the fridge in my own kitchen.

At least, I hope there aren’t.

Photo Friday Blues

That’s right, today’s theme is blue:


Me: What shade of blue?
Seymour: You know, blue.
Me: Yes, but what shade – sky blue?  Baby blue?  Cerulean?  Aquamarine?
Seymour: Just blue!  Crayola blue!
(drive to Lowe’s)
Seymour: Yes, I’m looking for some blue paint.
Paint guy: Okay, what shade?  We have 887 different varieties of blue.

Sorry, every time I hear the word blue, I recall the time we painted Bubbles’ bedroom.  It just never gets old. 😀

But this picture is not of his room.  This is my steamy bathroom window one morning this past winter.  I just love this picture; it’s got so many shades of color, and the texture in it is just fantastic.  It reminds me a bit of all the ice in Frozen (great movie, by the way, and despite the fact that I’ve seen it a zillion times since Easter, I still haven’t tired of it yet).

Anyway, happy Friday!  Does anyone have any big plans for the long weekend?  Tell me all about them in the comments so I can live vicariously through you – we’re staying home this weekend.  And don’t forget to stop by Charnele’s blog and see what she’s got up for this week’s extra-blue Photo Friday!

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.

My writing process

Last week, my friend and fellow author Tricia Drammeh tagged me in the My Writing Process blog hop, so that’s what I’ll be talking about today.  I’ll try not to bore you all to tears, but no promises.

I kid.  I won’t bore you.  I hope. 😀

What are you currently working on?

Lipei Artwork by Hazel Butler

Artwork by Hazel Butler

I’m currently in the midst of rewriting The Lokana Chronicles.  I think this is Official Rewrite No. 3, but since I’ve been working on this series for the better part of a decade, it’s hard to tell – I’ve decided that keeping track of all the revisions this thing has undergone is impossible, and I gave up trying a long time ago.  Once I finish revising the first book, I’ll be heading back to the query trenches with it, and this time, I hope I’ll have better luck.  I feel like the story is much stronger now than it was the first time I queried, and I hope to find someone who agrees with me.

I also have a short story in the works called The Colony, which is about…


I rarely go anywhere without a camera these days, whether it’s my phone or my lovely Nikon D3200.  I’ve had a passion for photography ever since I was thirteen, when my grandparents gave me my very first camera for Christmas.  My grandpa always had his camera with him; so did my mom, and my aunt, and their cousin and her mother…Well, you get the idea.  Shutterbug-ism runs in my family.  I may not be able to draw to save my soul, but I’m not too shabby with a camera, if I do say so myself.


Photo Friday: Change is in the air!

Today’s Photo Friday theme is change.  What with moving and attempting to downsize, I’ve got plenty of change happening in my life at the moment, but I chose to ignore all of that today and instead focus on the changes happening around me.  In the space of a month, the life-giving rain has taken us from scenes of death and decay to the blossoms of youth, and it’s a change I relish every year.

Don’t forget to stop by Charnele Henry’s blog and check out her wonderful photo post!  Have a great weekend, everybody!

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.

Inquisitor is out!

That’s right, today is release day for Inquisitor, the latest offering from RJ Blain.  Read on to find out more about this exciting new fantasy novel!

About Inquisitor:

Inquisitor - RJ BlainWhen Allison is asked to play Cinderella-turned-Fiancee at a Halloween ball, the last thing she expected was to be accused of murder on the same night. She has to find the killer and quick, or she’ll be put to death for the crimes she didn’t commit. To make matters worse, the victims are all werewolves.

On the short list of potential victims, Allison has to act fast, or the killer will have one more body to add to his little black book of corpses.

There’s only one problem: One of the deaths has struck too close to home, and Allison’s desire for self-preservation may very well transform into a quest for vengeance…

Urban fantasy v. epic fantasy

Today I’m happy to have fantasy author RJ Blain here with a guest post on why she strayed from epic fantasy into the realm of urban fantasy for her newest novel, Inquisitor, and the differences between the two genres.  Inquisitor goes on sale Friday – be sure to stop back for an excerpt from the book, details about the author, and more.

Urban Fantasy vs Epic Fantasy

Profile Sketch - RJ BlainMy first two novels, Storm Without End and The Eye of God, fall under epic and traditional subgenres of fantasy, making them rather different than Inquisitor, my debut urban fantasy. This is something I get comments about fairly frequently, because most fantasy writers pick one or the other, rather than both.

I’ve even had people suggest the only reason I wrote urban fantasy was because it’s a popular genre. Sure, it’s popular—but so is Game of Thrones. That’s epic fantasy, with boobs and blood, but definitely epic fantasy.

For the record, I’m not much of a fan of Game of Thrones. So yes, I am an oddity.

So why write both? The answer is pretty simple: I like both. It’s natural for me to pursue my interests. That’s why I write; I find it engaging, interesting, fun—and best of all, other people seem to like my books.

I write epic fantasy because I have a story to tell. I write traditional fantasy because I have a story to tell. I write urban fantasy because I have a story to tell.

While my reason for writing these three subgenres is the same, how I write them is totally different.