I was challenged on Facebook by a fellow author to do a 30 day writing challenge. I read through the challenge list and accepted it, but instead of doing 30 days of Facebook status updates, I am going to make 30 blog posts. If I do one a week, that will be 30 weeks of writing themed blog posts.
Here is the challenge list:
Day 1 is a one sentence summary of the first story you ever wrote.... Well, in this instance, it will have to be the first story I can remember writing. I wrote lots of stories as a kid, but I can't remember what they were all about.
So, here goes: a special girl, called Raina Morning Star, is rescued from drowning and taken in by a merchant family who live in a land where dinosaurs are a common everyday sight and form of transportation.
There you have it!
It was a pretty cool story idea, but the plot never took off in my head. I still love the ideas that I had for the dinosaurs, though. I'll put them into a story some day.
I didn't really know what to post about today, so I thought I would just post a few writing prompts.
What is a writing prompt? (Believe it or not, I have actually heard that question a few times.)
A writing prompt is an idea to get you started writing.
My favorite prompts are for books and stories, but you can find writing prompts for nearly anything. If you use them for writing stories, you can find them in just about every genre - fantasy, science fiction, romance, etc.
Today, I am going to share a few writing prompts that I made. You can find more of them on my website under WRITING PROMPTS.
As you will notice, my obsession with dragons carries on into my writing prompts (and everything else I do, to be honest).
What do you know about Service Dogs? How educated are you about them?
If you are like most people, when someone says "Service Dog", the image of a blind person with a dog probably pops into your head. However, Service Dogs are not just for the blind or those in wheelchairs. There are a wide variety of Service Dogs and they serve a wide variety of people in a number of different ways.
Service dogs vs. Emotional Support dogs vs. Therapy dogs:
Service Animals help with performing a function for a person that is limited by a disability. They are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which means that they can, by Federal Law, go anywhere and do anything in America with their handler, and no one can stop them. Literally. But it also means they have to be well trained and exceptionally well behaved.
Emotional Support Animals (ESA) help individuals with emotional problems by providing comfort and support.
They are protected by the Fair Housing Amendments Act and the Air Carrier Access Act, which means they can go onto air planes for free and are allowed in all housing, regardless of pet policies. They don't need any sort of special training, but they do have to be prescribed by a doctor or therapist of some sort.
Therapy Animals provide affection and comfort to individuals in hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities. These guys are protected by no law. They are usually well trained though and are very friendly and they are only allowed to go to hospitals, nursing homes, and some schools.
The different types of Service Dogs:
Not all disabilities are visible.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a little broad on the topic, but here are a few disabilities that qualify for the use of a service dog:
Where do you get a service dog?:
Anywhere dogs are sold. Seriously!
Depending on your disability and needs, you can take the 10 year old dog that's already in your back yard and turn it into a fantastic Service Dog.
If you need a dog with some advanced training, such as a seeing eye dog, then there are organizations that specifically breed, raise, or rescue dogs and train them for that purpose. The same goes for every other kind of Service Dog.
There are so many places you can get Service Dogs, I can't even list them all. You can find one - or several - in just about every state (except in Oklahoma, apparently *glares at Oklahoma*)
But, you can train your own Service Dog. I am currently training Pilot, my dog, to be a Hearing Alert dog! (Don't ask how that is going - don't even ask.)
You can find great books and DVDs all across the internet on how to train your own Service Dog. Here is a list of the Top 10 Best Service Dog Training Resources (my favorites, personally, are the Teamwork and Teamwork II books/DVDs).
What makes a service dog legitimate?:
Basically, if your dog can do the basic heel, sit, down, and stay, be controlled in public, and it can assist you in at least one major way, then it is a Service Dog. Plain and simple. You don't have to register it anywhere, it doesn't have to wear a vest, and it doesn't even need to be professionally trained. If you say it's a Service Dog, and can demonstrate a decent measure of control in public, then by law you have a legit Service Dog.
You can make it even more legit by getting a Service Dog vest, a collar and leash that say SERVICE DOG, and a fancy holographic Service Dog Tag. You can even pay a little money and have your Service Dog registered. All of that stuff makes traveling with a Service Dog easier, but it isn't required.
So, that is the very basic in-a-nutshell version of "All About Service Dogs". If you have any questions, or would like some more information, don't be afraid to ask in the comments below. I'll be happy to help you out!
Pilot enjoys me reading to him! He especially loves hearing me read my book aloud (wink, wink).
I want to hear the songs of the Wovlen.
Who are the Wovlen? They are a group of people I created. Keegan, the hero in my series (Tales of the Wovlen) is a Wovlen. If you would like to learn more about them, you can check out their page on my website: The Wovlen (it even has a pronunciation guide to help you, because I know you are trying to figure out how to say it right now...).
The Wovlen have a complicated history and culture. And, yes, they even have their own folk songs and lore. You can read some of their songs on my website: Legends and Lore from Tales of the Wovlen.
I would love nothing more than to hear the songs of the Wovlen playing on my computer. I want to actually hear someone put them to music and sing them.
The songs I have written are really only poems. Out of all of my poems, only four of them have a tune that I came up with to sing them to. And of those tunes.... well... dang-it Jim, I'm an author, not a musician! So they aren't very good.
One of my favorite YouTube artists is Karliene. She has a whole playlist to herself on my YouTube, which you can listen to HERE (and I do suggest you listen to at least a few of them).
I love her voice. It's haunting, but still human. The way she composes her music and sings her songs - her style - is exactly what I hear when the Wovlen people sing me a song in the dead of night. Their haunting melodies never stay with me (I forget them by morning), but they force me to wake up and write them down before I forget the words.
If I could choose anyone in the world to sing the songs of the Wovlen, I would choose Karliene... no offence to any of my musician friends. I love you and your music. Don't ever forget that. If you want to put my poems to music, go ahead! But, since none of you have done so yet......
I told my family about my fascination with Karliene's voice and that I feel her voice is perfect for the Wovlen songs.
They suggested I contact her about it.
They think it would be awesome if she made an entire album of Wovlen songs. They believe it would be a win/win for both Karliene and I - she would make money on the songs and album, and I would profit from the extra publicity.
I, on the other hand, have this thing about contacting people (celebrities...cough, cough). I don't feel like I should message or call them out of the blue and ask them for stuff. It makes me feel like a pest, or one of those creepy people that we have all been warned about...
Okay, no. That's not the real reason. I am afraid of being rejected. Plain and simple.
I would rather approach the gal with money and offer her a paying job. I feel that, if I had money to offer, she'd at least take me seriously... and I'd take myself more seriously too.
Alas, money and I are not on good terms. We remain distant acquaintances.
My family also feel that I do not need to offer money to have my "songs" sang, especially when both parties would profit from it in this situation. I'm inclined to agree with them, but I'm still way to nervous to just contact the gal and ask her if she'd put my songs to music and sing them.
After expressing my fears, my family took it a step further.
We are all big fans of Celtic Woman, and one of our favorite voices from Celtic Woman has been Orla Fallon. Her voice is haunting and beautiful. Here are two of my favorite songs she has sang: Siúil a Run (Walk My Love) and Newgrange.
Well, Orla has said that one of her dreams is to sing songs for a movie.
My family really thinks my book is worthy of a movie. Therefore, they think I should contact Orla and ask if she would like to sing my Wovlen songs, and also see if she knew anyone who was in the movie making business.
*Runs away... Hides under bed*
Okay, so contacting Orla is probably WAAAAAAAAAAAAY out of the question.
But is contacting Karliene, the YouTuber who has 50,000+ subscribers, out of the question? Would it be absolutely flagrant of me to send her a message and ask if she would be interested in working with me? Is it worth the risk?
I don't expect much of a response, but what do you, my readers, think of this situation? Do you think I should let it lie? Or should I give it a try?
To end this, I would like to leave you with one of my favorite songs by Karliene. She's a Game of Thrones fan. I'm not, but I love this song: You Win or You Die.
Coming up is an affiliate link. My integrity and your satisfaction are very important to me, so I only offer products that I believe would benefit you or that I would purchase myself. Please read my Disclosure Statement for more information.
Okay, I have no shame.
Does your dog like bully sticks? There is a huge sale going on at Value Pet Supplies right now! 65% off plus FREE shipping! I think that's a pretty awesome deal, so I'm just going to share my *cough* affiliate link *cough* right here for you to check out if you are interested: Bully Sticks 65% off + free shipping. (I told you: I have no shame. Can you blame me?)
Also, don't forget to check out the blogpaws Wordless Wednesday blog hop. They have a lot of great links from other pet parents and pet bloggers that are totally worth checking out.
So, this is my first ever video/YouTube book review, and I pretty much stumbled and staggered all the way through it. I got better toward the end, I think, but... yeah. I left out what Genre it is (Fantasy) and I didn't read the "blurp" on the back *Facepalm*.
Needless to say, if you have any tips on making a really good book review on YouTube, TELL ME! I will take any and all tips and suggestions (even if it's something along the lines of "shut yer pie hole and stick to writin' stuff... just be advised that I can throw pie as well as eat it).
Anyway, here is THE ARRIVAL (<--- Amazon Affiliate Link):
When a rash of mysterious and brutal attacks throughout the Hechani Sea shatters tenuous relations, the city-states erupt into a destructive war. Embroiled in the conflict, young Atian officer Kelvar Alexandros is determined to protect his men and his country in the looming trials, despite his growing concern that the enemy may not be as evil as he assumed.
Meanwhile, Mistress Telaine Le Fay, sorceress of Gothrond, is dispatched to investigate the hostilities. Her mission is to discover the roots of the conflict and negotiate a peace settlement. The situation proves unclear, however, and she finds herself inextricably tangled in a web of lies, desperately searching for an elusive truth.
Telaine’s past mentor, the excitable intellectual, Jax, has a problem of his own. His studies have led him to a discovery that could have dire consequences, and he is determined to discover if the threat he fears is indeed real.
In the desert sands of the Great Waste, an adventurous young man named Tor longs for something more than his mundane, everyday scramble for subsistence. Little does he know, Jarwulf, the infamous Blood Berserker from the north, and his mercenary band will soon arrive in his village – and sweep him off to a life he dared not even imagine.
Amidst the tide of darkness rising in Vrold, the only hope may be an unlikely alliance, but evil is rarely obvious. It is a subtle force hiding in plain sight, and the truth is hard to find when even heroes can fall prey to its malevolent will...
So, this video is pretty lengthy. I wanted to keep it as short as possible. But then I decided to hash out EVERYTHING about my hearing loss. I explain how I "lost" my hearing, what the doctors say about it, and I answer some of the common questions that people ask me about it.
If you have any more questions concerning my hearing loss, feel free to ask in the comments below (either here, on my blog, or on YouTube)!
I was really nervous making this video. I am really nervous to post and share it. I don't talk about my hearing loss very often, and very few people realize that I am hearing impaired. I like it that way. I like being "normal" (not that having hearing loss at 25ish years old makes a person abnormal, or anything), and I like people treating me like a normal person. But, when you are missing a significant amount of hearing, that makes it almost impossible, even dangerous, for people to treat you like a normal hearing person. And, no matter how much I pretend to be "normal", people eventually figure out the truth.
You never realize how much you depend on your hearing until you are missing it. Those with good hearing take their gift totally for granted. And people who are completely deaf have it SO much easier than a hard of hearing person. They live in a world of total silence. A hearing impaired person can hear fragments of things happening around them, and that makes the world a lot more unpredictable and scary.
Space ships, playing cards, keys, and dragons, OH MY!
Here is a little video I made just yesterday about my favorite things that I own and geek out over. If you watch closely and look behind me, you can even see some of my favorite books!
I am not a scheduled person. I barely have a routine. Honestly, the only routine I have revolves around my dog, and only because it is easier to follow his routine than it is to make my own.
Because of this lack of a schedule and routine, I tend to walk around all day long like a chicken with my head cut off. I have a ton of things to do, but I get distracted by a dozen other things that need done, and by the end of the day I can honestly say that I have been crazy busy doing absolutely nothing.
Thank goodness, I am getting better, and mostly because of this handy little game/app called HABITICA.
It used to be called HabitRPG, but that confused too many people, so they changed the name to Habitica.
On Habitica, you basically turn your life into a game that you can play on the computer or phone. Does that sound bad? Well, it's actually a pretty great idea.
When you join Habitica, you get a little avatar. This avatar has a life bar that will eventually run out unless the avatar gains experience and levels up.
On the main page, you input habits that you to wish to increase or decrease in your life, such as "Drink More Water", "Take The Stairs" or "Smoked the E Cigarette (instead of a real Cigarette)". You also type in daily items that you need to do every single day, such as "Walk The Dog", "Make The Bed", and "Watch An Episode Of Star Trek" (Yes, that is in my dailies. Judge not.). There is a To-do list where you put things that you need to do eventually, but aren't a habit you need to work on or a reoccurring daily item.
The plus sign on the Habits is for when you did good on that habit and you get points! The minus sign means you did bad and your avatar looses some life. DON'T touch the minus sign. Just don't.
The Dailies are to be clicked every day. When you click them, you get experience points! If you don't get around to doing something on the daily list, and that item goes unchecked, then you also loose a little bit of life. For each item unchecked, you loose a little more life.
The To-Dos don't do much except just sit around, waiting to be done. When you check one of them off though, you get LOTS of experience! Yay!
So I still don't have a schedule, but at least I know what I need to do, and I can use Habitica like a checklist and work my way through it each and everyday. It keeps me on track! Plus, it is a lot of fun.
There are chat rooms on Habitica, but they are totally optional for use. You don't have to even look at them, if you don't want to. Also, they are totally clean! The moderators work hard to make sure the chatrooms stay kid friendly. No foul language, no dirty topics. Very nice.
The main chat room is called the Tavern. You can go and talk to pretty much anyone there from any part of the world. Most of the time, it's full of newbs asking a bunch of dumb questions. So the moderators welcome fun and non-newb conversation.
There are also Guild Chats. You can join a guild (aka group) that focuses on something particular and chat with like minded people. There are guilds for Bible verse memorization, pet owners, financial discipline, wordsmiths, Star Trekkers, and so much more. Very often, these Guilds will also have challenges that you can join, which basically means that more habits, dailies, and to-does are added to your pile. These are good, though, because they are usually something you've been wanting to work on anyway.
I don't spend a lot of time chatting with anyone, but I do like stalking the Tavern. The conversations there can be enlightening, to say the least.
As your avatar gains experience and levels up, you will find that you can do more with it.
For one thing, you can choose what class you want your avatar to be: Mage, Healer, Rogue, or Warrior.
I'm a Mage.
Once you choose your class, your avatar gets a Mana bar, and you can use this Mana in different ways. As a Mage, I can "burn" some of my red tasks and get lots of experience. *smiles wickedly*
Once you reach a certain level, you also start "finding" goodies. Eggs, food, and potions start showing up in your inventory. But they aren't for you! You can pour the potions on the eggs and start collecting pets! Then you feed the food to your pets and they eventually grow into mounts, which your avatar can ride!
Yes. My avatar has a dragon. Lots of dragons, actually. It rides the gold one all the time. My avatar also looks like a fox... only because "dragon person" wasn't an option.
Now, which do I play the most: the phone app or the computer online version? I play both, but I like the one I can play from my computer best. It's just easier to use. But the app is nice for when I am gone from my computer and need to check on things.
So, yeah. Habitica is pretty awesome. I would recommend it to anyone who has trouble getting things done throughout the day or needs to build new habits and break old ones.
If you get on it, and would like some help or even just to chat, you can send me a Facebook message and we'll work it out! (Just follow the Facebook icon at the top of the page, or go to the "Follow Me!" button.
Author of the fantasy series, Tales of the Wovlen, Kathryn spends a great deal of time in the world of her imagination, having tea with fire breathing dragons, writing books on flying space ships, and practicing her mad scientist laugh with gusto. However, on occasion,she returns to this world just to play with her dog and blog about her fun.
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