Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Selfie: Mountains, Chemistry and Publishing

No I do not take selfies! I generally don’t like pictures of myself that others take so why would I take one of myself. But I have begun sharing on Sundays a piece of my life and thoughts, so instead of Jumping Back In (if you’ve followed those posts) I am re-titling these musings as Selfie Sunday.

I just finished watching Neil Gaiman’s 2012 Commencement Address at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. If you have never watched it… do it right after you finish reading this blog (link at the end). If you’ve watched it it again.   His advice about when life gets complicated at the end it funny and priceless.

He says in the beginning that he never had a career, just a ride. People with careers have a plan know the rules and therefore what is possible and impossible. If you are along for the ride, improvising you are less likely to be held back because some rule says it’s impossible. You have your mountain and you're going to climb it and do things that take you one step closer to the mountaintop. 

That resonates with me, I have had jobs but never a career in the sense that my parents’ generation and others since then have viewed it. But it is a ride. I have been on Wall Street, banking, a teacher, owned a gourmet shop, and unemployed. I have been a deal maker, an administrative assistant, and now a CEO (shhh secret project underway). Not a career but a journey, each step along the way has brought me to where I am now.

A journey like this is not understood by everyone, but it’s not supposed to be. They have their own journey or career, however they choose to view it.

Journeys are exciting and scary. They often take on the attributes of chemical or nuclear reactions. In some chemical reactions, titration is required because after 99 drops of a reagent the 100th drop, a mere drop, will trigger the ultimate reaction creating the end products. (For geeks like me, watch this video. You can fast forward to about the 2 minute mark). Chloride Titration

The difference between this chemical reaction and life is that the dramatic moment in the reaction is called an endpoint. In life I call that a beginning. In nuclear reactions there is critical mass, where once the right amount of a material is it goes from nothing to KABOOM and massive amounts of energy are created.

My dating journey is still early days. The last two week have been busy ones for Sean at work and more importantly with the final journey and passing of one of his sisters after a long battle. During these events, we have maintained contact even if it has been smiley faces and quick notes and hellos throughout the day and evening. Like titration, we are looking adding drop by drop to the process.

The momentum is building on the writing and publishing side, things are moving even faster than I could have imagined. One of my dreams from three years ago, is on the verge of exploding into reality. Watch for more news on this in the coming months. However if you are an editor, formatter, cover artist, copy editor or author get in touch and stay in touch.

Gaiman talks about the mountain. Publishing is that mountain for me. Not only to publish my own work, but that of others. If you know me, you know that I am a mentor and supporter at heart, particularly of the arts. I derive pleasure from the success of others especially if I think I played some small part in it.
And as he so wisely says enjoy the ride and make good art.

Oh and here's that link... Neil Gaiman Address 2012 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Review: The Ulfric's Mates by Leona Bushman

I had the pleasure of reading The Ulfric’s Mate by Leona Bushman and published by Breathless Press.
It is the classic conflict between warring factions, Hatfields and McCoys, the Montagues and the Capulets.  That is not to say it is not an original story.  Ms. Bushman takes the same universal themes that have been explored through the centuries and weaves them into a well-built world of werewolves and werecats that carries a very Native American (First Peoples) flavor.

Nolan Littlebull is the alpha of the Wahpawhat pack of Werewolves and the lead detective on a series of murders of pregnant women from his pack. Torn between human justice and were justice, he travels deep onto the Yakama Reservation tracking the ones responsible. He is attacked by one of the rival pack, only to be defended by another from the rival pack.

Alexandria George is the healer for the Lupins. She defends the mysterious wolf in their territory from her pack's bully and escapes with the stranger, only to find that they are bonded as a true mated pair.
This is a well written story with strong main characters. Both the fight and sex scenes are well done. The sexual tension between Nolan and Alex is palpable and the consummation is HOT.
Alex is particularly well conceived and I felt that, while this was written from multiple points of view, this was her story. She is emotionally scarred because, despite being her pack’s healer and a human doctor, she is an outsider in her pack. I won’t go into details as to why to avoid a spoiler.

There are the necessary battles for dominance at the end, but we are left with sufficient loose ends to want the next book in the series. And I can’t wait!

My only qualm is that I would like to see more texture to Nolan. I am a fan of the troubled hero and as of the first book, we get only vague references to any inner conflicts he may have.  They do not have the same depth as her exploration of Alex’s “issues” I hope that Ms. Bushman digs deeper into his psyche in future books. 

That said I anxiously await the next book in the series and highly recommend this paranormal romance.
I give Ulfric’s Mate 4.5 triskeles.


Leona Bushman lives in Central/Eastern Washington with her husband and children writing, painting, gardening, running, camping, or just reading or crafting. She also loves to swim but rarely gets a chance to as she's busy chasing after the three of five children still left at home.

Want to read, the PRINT edition will be available tomorrow.

Prefer eBook or need it NOW!  check these sites for this and more by Leona Bushman:

Sassy and saucy, she can be found writing about her trials and errors as a mom and writer at the following places:

And don't forget Facebook:

If you want more of her, she's found on twitter as often as not at @L_Bushman just follow and don't be a spammer. She follows back if you look like a real person. Besides werewolves, she also likes zombies, vampires, and fairies. Oh and don't forget the dragons. You're likely to catch her attention if you talk to her about any of the above. Or sports. She loves sports but rarely gets a chance to indulge that love. So speak up!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tuesday Tune: Ulfric's Mate's Song --- Carry On My Wayward Son by Kansas

I asked Leona Bushman, author of the Ulfric's Mate, to give me a song that she felt set the tone for that book. See the excerpt last week and watch for the review soon

She gave me :

Carry On My Wayward Son  by the 80's prog-rock band


For the Book and the Series.

Do songs remind you of books or characters in them?  My character sketches include the music on their mp3.