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Rave Reviews Book Club

17 Jul

Hello, everyone!

To say it’s been a crazy week would be an understatement. So much has been happening around me, including renovations to the inside and outside of my house. It’s enough to make your head spin, believe me. 😮

Some of you know that I’m a member of an online book club called Rave Reviews Book Club. This is a wonderful organization for writers and readers established by author Nonnie Jules. This month has been hectic and a little rough but the one great thing that came out of it was that my novelette Memoir of a Mad Woman was selected “Book of the Month” by the RRBC. Not only is it an honor for your book to be chosen from thousands of fabulous books, it’s also a great opportunity for your book to be seen by a wider audience. You see, when your book is selected by the RRBC as a BOM all the members of the club are encouraged to buy, read, review, and share your book all over social media. That’s an amazing boost!

I am always thankful for the Rave Reviews Book Club. I’ve met and befriended so many kind, talented, and supportive people in the three years I’ve been a member. We’ve become one big happy online family.

This week I was supposed to take part in a book club discussion specifically for those whose books were selected BOM, but I wasn’t able to attend the zoom meeting because something happened to my WiFi Tuesday morning and it wasn’t working. I called Comcast several times. They gave my husband and me different instructions of what to do, but nothing worked. They finally sent a tech out to our house, and he discovered that the cable had been severed, no doubt by the men working in our side yard, where the cable was buried.

I was beyond upset to have missed the Book of the Month discussion because it would have been a great opportunity to discuss my book, give new insights, and answer questions about it. My iPhone has it’s own internet service from the provider, but I didn’t have the zoom app on it. I tried to get into the app store to download the zoom app to my iPhone, but I was given instructions to turn on the WiFi which of course I couldn’t. I also sent an emailed to RRBC to let someone know the situation and asked if there was a phone number I could call to join in the discussion. I received an email from someone letting me know that she was out to lunch when my email came in and it was too late by the time she read it. I’m truly sorry I couldn’t make it to the discussion. The circumstances were beyond my control. 😦

I was planning to make this a short post but I guess it’s too late for that. :/ The bottom line is that I’m happy to be a member of the Rave Reviews Book Club and highly recommend it. This is a wonderful organization for aspiring writers, experienced authors, and avid readers. There are so many great opportunities to grow your author platform and to gain sales and reviews for your books. There are also fascinating books to read and the members are amazing. If you’d like more information on how to join the club visit the RRBC website.

I hope everyone has had a better week than I did. I’m looking forward to a restful break this weekend. Happy Friday and weekend!

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I’m exhausted, so I’m going to escape into my fantasy world this weekend. See you soon!

GRINDERS ~ a new release by C. S. Boyack

9 Mar

Happy Monday, everyone! I am excited to welcome back an exceptional guest, Author, C. S. Boyack.

He’s got a brand new release and is here to talk about it. So, without further ado, let’s welcome him!

Thanks for having me over today, Vashti. You’re always welcome to stop at my place the next time you’re touring a project around.

My newest book is called Grinders, and it’s a bit of science fiction known as cyberpunk. I’ll let the blurb go into the details about the story. My topic on this leg of the tour is research.

I write speculative fiction, and that includes fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction. Many people think we have it easy, because we don’t have to do the deep research that other authors do. Nothing could be further from the truth. Oh, we don’t have it so bad, I think the murder procedural type authors might have it a bit worse, but there is research involved.

One my things is to tie as much as I can to something realistic whenever possible. That way when I ask for a leap of faith from readers they’ll be more likely to take one with me.

Grinders is set in San Francisco of the future. The California coastline is already eroding, and some cities currently have plans of relocating homeowners along crumbling cliffs and such. With global warming already upon us, and a melting ice pack in Antarctica, what might San Francisco look like 100 years from now? Turns out there are some projections available online.

I modified my version of San Francisco to destroy some coastal areas, and even moved the shoreline to some different streets. I even made a slight reference to Telegraph Island in the story which is known as Telegraph Hill on today’s map.

Then I made a small leap of faith, and included some underwater apartments. These are refurbished towers, that are now just offshore. We must have made some advances in a hundred years.

One cool bit of research I included involved scientists who’ve learned to grow electrical circuitry inside plants. These are more carbon based than copper wires you might be used to. I decided there was an electric forest just outside the city. Using the process of photosynthesis and some of these carbon connections, the city generated power from the forest.

In the world of Grinders, the electric forest is old technology. It’s currently being torn down and developed, because something better came along.

There is, or was, a group in my home state of Idaho who developed a different kind of solar power collection units. These involve pebbled glass hexagons that snap together like some kind of toys. The original thought was to use them as roofing material. Then they came up with the idea of replacing asphalt with them. There are thousands of miles of roads in this country, and if deployed, it could produce one hell of a lot of electricity without defacing anything that hasn’t already been defaced.

The electronic forest has been replaced by something called The Grid, based upon these solar panels. It’s science fiction, so I get to ramp things up. Power flows both ways from this grid, and it can light up for first responders, that kind of thing. It’s also hooked to a central database and all the cars are electric. It drives the cars with more efficiency than we are capable of. Just tell The Grid where you’re going and enjoy the ride.

This is just a small taste of what the grid is capable of, and it’s almost a character in its own right within the story.

One last one for this post. The main characters in the story are cops. They are assigned to the worst duty in the department, and I make references to more high profile duty as they go about their tasks. This brings me to opiate yeast.

A few years ago, a group in New Zealand decided they could take over the legal opium trade by replacing all the poppies with yeast. This involved some gene editing, and in their minds would be safer and more secure in a lab environment they could control. No more of those nasty gangs converting the crops for the illegal opium trade.

I thought it was a horrible idea at the time, and used that in Grinders. Yeast is microscopic. It’s in our homes, environment, and the air we breathe. I just don’t see it staying confined to a lab, and it’s going to run wild at some point. I keep a thirty year old sourdough starter at home, so I know a little about this.

Again, it’s a leap of faith, but in the world of Grinders, the opiate yeast has become the dominant organism. Home brewers and bakers are a real problem, and those cops get the better equipment and headlines. It also gave me a chance to bring up San Francisco sourdough and the difficulty of finding opiate free yeast. Basic bread and beer now come from laboratory controlled producers. It’s a fun way of turning things on their heads as part of the setting for my story.

These are just a few of the things that make up the environment of Grinders. The story is fun, the characters are great, but I wanted to focus on the setting for today’s post. I hope I intrigued you enough to check out the book.

Thanks again for lending me your space today, Vashti. It means a lot to me.

It’s a pleasure to have you here, my friend. Your world building skills are amazing. Research is a huge part of fiction writing, especially in Sc-Fi and Fantasy. Many readers are not aware of the extensive research that goes into these books. Thank you for demonstrating that today.

***

Blurb:

Jimi Cabot made one mistake as a starving college student. When she went to work for the San Francisco Police Department, it nearly cost her the job. The union stepped in and they had to reinstate her. They did so by assigning her to the duty nobody wants, Grinder Squad.

Grinders are people who use back room surgeries to enhance their bodies with computer chips, and various kinds of hardware. Jimi is sure that if she can just bust one grind shop, it will be her ticket back.

Paired with veteran cop, she soon learns that Grinder Squad is a cash-cow for the department. They are nothing more than glorified patrol cops, and generally get the worst assignments.

Matchless is the most wanted grinder of all time. He disappeared years ago, leaving only the evidence of those he enhanced during his career. With these pieces, Jimi picks up the cold trail to try working her way back to more respectable duty.

Grinders is a cyberpunk story set in a world where global warming has eroded coastlines, and society has solved many of our current problems by replacing them with new ones. There are cyber shut-ins, cyber-currency skimming schemes, and more in this futuristic tale.

This book also takes the opportunity to poke a stick at current issues that seem to have lasted into the future. Entitled people, helicopter moms, overzealous homeowner associations, and lack of decent jobs are all present. Never preachy, these issues make up the day to day work of a patrol officer.

I hope you enjoy Grinders as much as I enjoyed bringing it to you.

Purchase link: http://mybook.to/Grinders

You can contact Craig at the following locations:

Blog My Novels  Twitter Goodreads Facebook Pinterest BookBub

Poetry Friday ~ Random Acts Of Kindness

17 May

Hi, everyone! 

 

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This week has been “Random Acts of Kindness” week at the Rave Reviews Book Club and I must tell you it’s been an amazing week filled with love, generosity, and numerous selfless acts. I’ve never been happier or more proud to be a member of the RRBC because I’m surrounded by extremely talented, kind, and unselfish people. I’d like to thank Nonnie Jules, the founder of the club, her supporting staff, Tweet Support Team, sponsors, and all the members that participated in this event and have shown me love all year round. A sincere thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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T  Author D.L. Finn (Blog)

H Natalie Ducey & Designs (Blog)

A Suzanne Burke (Amazon Author Page)

N Join The Adventure! | Author, Karl J. Morgan (Blog)

K Fiction Favorites with Author, John Howell (Blog)

 

Y Scribblings of a Southern Belle | Marlena Smith (Blog)

O Gordon Bickerstaff (Amazon Author Page)

U Books and Music | Author, Jan Sikes (Blog)

 

V THE INDIE SPOT! | Author, Beem Weeks (Blog)

E Flossie Benton Rogers, Author | Conjuring the Magic (Blog)

R M. J. Mallon YA/Paranormal Author (Blog)

Y Wendy Scott Award-Winning Writer of Fantasy & Books for Children (Blog)

 

M Stephen Geez.com (Author Blog)

U My Independent Editor | Susan A. Hughes (Blog)

C Lizzie Chantree (Amazon Author Page)

H Emotional Shadows | Author, Balroop Singh (Blog)

 

M The Showers of Blessings | Author Miriam Hurdle (Blog)

Y Author, Forrest Robert Stepnowski (Amazon Author Page)

 

F Reflections by Gwen M. Plano (Author Blog)

R The Long and Short Stories of Life | Author, Linda Mims (Blog)

I Writing What I See | Author, Charles W. Jones (Blog)

E Author, Joy Nwosu LoBamijoko (Amazon Author Page)

N Outshine Ovarian Cancer | Author, Karen Ingalls (Blog)

D Rhani And Friends | Author, Rhani D’Chae (Podcast)

S Our Lady of Victory Remembered! | Shirley Harris-Slaughter (Blog)

! Yvette M. Calleiro’s Author Blog 

! Mary Adler Writes (Author Blog)

 ♥

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Grateful for good friends

Their kindness, it knows no end

I’ll pay it forward

So that all can comprehend

What it’s like to have good friends

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Thanks for the visit! Enjoy the rest of the day!

 

 

 

Poetry Friday ~ Slow & Work

1 Feb

Hello, everyone! Welcome.

 

I can’t believe it’s been nine weeks since my uterine cancer diagnosis and surgery ordeal. It’s almost like a distant memory, except I am dealing with some residual issues after the surgery/infection. Due to the infection introduced during my surgery I had to take two powerful antibiotics, one of them twice a day and the other three times a day. Taking antibiotics several times a day for so long has consequences. Of course, I had no choice, it was either take the antibiotics or die from septicemia (blood poisoning caused by bacteria).

I wanted to talk about this because many people don’t know that every time we take antibiotics we destroy many of the good bacteria in our bodies along with the bad ones, sometimes leaving ourselves vulnerable to other worse germs. Taking antibiotics several times a day for a month left me with very little good bacteria in my gut and that’s a big problem. Good bacteria are like little soldiers that fight off the bad bacteria and other bad things like fungi and keep them out of our bodies.

Both my primary physician (western medicine) and holistic doctor (natural medicine) agree that a lot of diseases stem from the gut because of all the bad bacteria that enter our system through our mouths. Replenishing the flora from my gut became a priority. Oil pulling is a great way to get rid of bad bacteria in your mouth before it enters your system, so I began doing that too.

If you haven’t tried oil pulling you should. One of the issues I had to face after a month of antibiotics was that my tongue turned white (Candida). I immediately began oil pulling with coconut oil every morning and my tongue is now rosy and normal again. Oil pulling is a great oral health routine.

Before eating or drinking anything, before brushing my teeth I put a heaping teaspoon of coconut oil in my mouth. I actually put it between the inside of my cheek and gum until it melts (it melts quickly) and then I swish it around in my mouth for about 15-30 minutes. I go about doing what I normally do, while swishing the oil in my mouth. Afterward, I go to my backyard and spit it out in a corner of the yard. Don’t spit it out in your sink because you’ll clog it after a while (it is oil). Then I floss and brush my teeth. Be sure to use 100% pure, organic, cold-pressed coconut oil.

There are so many benefits to oil pulling, especially with coconut oil. Oil pulling kills harmful bacteria in your mouth, gets rid of bad breath, reduces inflammation, and improves gum health. I also noticed after about a week that my teeth looked whiter and I had no morning breath.

So, if you’ve been sick and had to take antibiotics be sure to take probiotics afterward to help replenish the flora in your gut. Also, try oil pulling with coconut oil every morning before brushing your teeth. Doing these things have helped me significantly during my recovery, so I wanted to share it with you.

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Lovely to see you

Risen from the bed of fear

Making an effort

As you crawled toward wellness

Your pain taught us all to pray

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Slow and Work are this week’s prompt words chosen by Colleen Chesebro ~ The Fairy Whisperer.

*The catch is that we can only use the synonyms to these words in our poems.

Colleen hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called, Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge every Tuesday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your Haiku, Tanka, Haibun, Etheree or Cinquain poem. She is an author and poet, and also does book reviews and so much more on her blog. Be sure to check it out.

Thank you for the visit! 

There’s always a silver lining.

8 Dec

Hello, everyone. A very warm welcome to my blog.

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Maya Angelou is a poet I admire greatly. I love her quote:

 

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

 

That quote is one of my favorites because it’s so true. There are people I will always remember fondly. I may not remember every word uttered between us but I do remember the good feelings they brought out in me. Sometimes people underestimate the power of a kind word or gesture. But I know it could change someone’s life. I am so grateful for all the kindness shown to me during this difficult time.

I had a huge setback. I had a couple of days where I felt some improvement in my recovery after my hysterectomy surgery and then things began to go downhill. I’ve always recovered quickly from illnesses and past surgeries and I had no reason to believe that things would be different with this surgery. But around day 3 my pain level increased and I began getting fevers.

I couldn’t eat or sleep and became very lethargic. I called the surgeon’s office but they kept assuring me that everything I was going through was normal. I know my body and I knew I should have been seeing at least a little improvement everyday but instead, I was deteriorating quickly. Finally, after my husband placed a few more calls, because I was too weak to do it myself at this point, we were told to come to the office.

I went in to the office and when they saw the state I was in they sent me to the emergency room. After several tests in the ER a Cat-scan revealed that I had three abscesses growing in the area of the surgery and I was admitted to the hospital. The surgeon had found bowel adhesions attached to my pelvic cavity wall and repaired them, but in the process he accidentally introduced bacteria into my system. The abscesses were drained the following evening because my potassium was very low and they couldn’t sedate me until my potassium level was back to normal. The reason my potassium level was low in the first place was because I hadn’t been eating or drinking since the surgery. Between the pain, nausea and lethargy I couldn’t eat. After the abscesses were drained (a painful procedure) I felt some relief. I was discharged from the hospital yesterday and I feel that things are finally going in the right direction. I was discharged with the drain attached, so a nurse will come over to my house to help me with that.

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But it isn’t all gloom. The silver lining is that the surgeon told me that the pathology from the surgery showed that although the cancer was in the uterus the lymph nodes were not compromised, so by taking everything out I’m cleared of the cancer. Yay! I feel the worst is behind me and I’m looking forward to enjoying the holidays.

I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for all the prayers, good vibes, sweet comments and healing thoughts. This is the first day I’ve felt up to getting on the computer, I apologize for that, but my husband has been reading the comments to me and I couldn’t be more touched or more grateful. I appreciate each and every one of you. I will begin “Poetry Friday” again next Friday.

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Poetry Friday ~ Exemplary & Sadness

7 Sep

Hi, everyone!

 

I’m back from my two weeks in Japan and I must say I miss it already. The Japanese people are remarkable. From the moment we arrived at Narita International Airport we felt welcomed. The airport, train station, restaurant and hotel employees as well as passers by went out of there way to help us with any issue, sometimes before we even got the chance to ask for help.

 

Although the country is packed with people everything ran smoothly. The trains and buses were always on time, restaurants were never too full, the streets were clean although there were no garbage cans––anywhere. We learned to carry a plastic bag in our backpacks to store garbage while out and about. On escalators everyone stood on the left, so that if anyone wanted to walk up the steps they could come up the right side. People formed lines and walk down on the left side of a stairway and up on the right side, so that no one is ever in the way or in danger of colliding with someone else. People entered the trains in an orderly fashion and if the train was extra full the conductor would come over and assist by pushing the people in tight with his gloved hands, like you would push down the clothes in an overstuffed suitcase before just barely getting that zipper closed.

 

Cab, Uber and bus drivers thanked us for allowing them to drive us around. We never saw a fight or an argument anywhere. Although drinking alcohol is allowed at anytime we never saw a single drunk walking the streets. There was no yelling or cussing. Everyone seemed so kind and courteous to one another, it was surreal at times.

 

I fell in love with Japanese fashion. Well, the women’s fashion style. The men mostly wore black suits and white shirts. In the train station during the morning work rush you’d see a sea of white shirts and black pants. Even the school age boys wore black pants and white shirts. The women were another story. First, we had to ask ourselves if there were any ugly Japanese women? If there were, they must have stayed indoors the entire time we were there. The Japanese women we saw were beautiful and refined. Their style was feminine, colorful and elegant in an understated way. Honestly, I felt a bit self-conscious walking around in my jeans, T-shirt and sneakers. And why didn’t they sweat? Our first couple of days in Japan the temperature was in the upper nineties. My niece, who lives there, told us it was a record high. The moment I walked out of the airport beads of sweat began to form over my upper lip and it wasn’t long before we were all covered in perspiration. Yet, I never saw a Japanese woman dripping in sweat. They walked by in their regal way, looking immaculate in their perfect outfits without a hair out of place and dry as powder.

 

I don’t think the word “elderly” applies to the seventy and eighty-something year olds in Japan. Not when they zipped by you on their bicycles. When we visited the shrines in Kyoto we climbed 500+ steps up a mountain. As I struggled up the last twenty-something steps, a group of men and women clearly in their seventies or eighties zoomed right past me to the top. To say I was shocked is an understatement. Seeing the vitality of their older generation was a testament to their healthy lifestyle.

 

After a week of living among these people, my brother and I came up with a theory. They’re not from here. They’re an elite race of aliens from another planet or dimension chosen to live on Earth to show us mere humans how we should live. They are here to lead by example. How could these perfect beings be human? Human beings are not perfect. We make mistakes, we get angry and yell sometimes, we get tired and we sweat!

Torii Gates-Japan-Poetry_Friday-Tanka-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Japanese-Vashti Q

Torii Gates (Kyoto, Japan)

You may not believe

but they do walk among us

these perfect beings

from birth to birth they go with

no proper place for sorrow

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Check out my Instagram for more pictures. (Click on photo)

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Torii Gates (Kyoto, Japan)

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Exemplary and Sadness are this week’s prompt words chosen by Colleen Chesebro ~ The Fairy Whisperer. *The catch is that we can only use the synonyms to these words in our poems.

Colleen hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called, Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge every Tuesday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your Haiku, Tanka, Haibun or Cinquain poem. She is an author and poet, and also does book reviews and so much more on her blog. Be sure to check it out.

UPDATE: Hurricane Irma – 2017

8 Sep

UPDATE: I wanted to let everyone know that my family and I are safe. We went through a frightening experience and we have a lot of cleaning up, repairing and restoring to do, but that’s okay. Things could have been much worse. And the important thing is that we made it out safely.

Hurricane Irma’s eye was threatening to barrel across the center of  south Florida. That would have been catastrophic. Instead, as she neared us she veered toward the West, so we received horrible bands carrying 100+ miles per hour wind gusts, but not a direct hit. South Florida dodged another bullet. There are some structural damage, lots of trees pulled out of the ground, large tree branches that acted like missiles, the water in some areas will be tainted for a while, but so far I have not heard of any loss of life. We’ll have to wait and see what the news tells us in the next few days. 

I think Florida did a great job preparing for this storm. I believe at least 90% of Florida residents took hurricane Irma seriously. My family and I certainly did. We have some work ahead of us, but we all made it out safely and that’s what’s important.

I want to thank everyone for being so kind. Thanks for sending all the positive vibes, well wishes and prayers––they worked! I am touched by everyone’s concern for my family and my well-being.  Thank you, thank you, thank you! You guys are the best! I will end it here before I get too mushy.


Hello my friends! I’m sure many of you have already heard of Hurricane Irma. I live in south Florida (USA) and unfortunately we’re in the path of this powerful storm. My family and I are doing everything we can to prepare ourselves for the impact. We’re hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.

My number one priority right now is to protect my family and my home. There’s a lot to do. We began preparing the day before yesterday and we still have a lot to do.  I don’t know when I’ll be able to get back online between preparing, impact and aftermath of this significant storm.

I just wanted to inform you of what’s going on. I didn’t want to leave you hanging while I went MIA. Please keep Florida in your prayers and send good vibes our way. Thank you.

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Hurricane Irma is 350 miles wide. The Florida peninsula is about 100 miles wide.

hurricane Irma-storm-2017-Florida-winds-aftermath-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Quiroz Vega

 

Q & A Tag – The Writer Next Door

16 May

Hello everyone! Today I’d like to thank Marjorie Mallon from KYROSMAGICA for nominating me to take part in The Writer Q & A Tag. Marje is a writer, book reviewer, and all around great person. She has a fun and colorful blog that is all about the magic of writing, her love for books, crystals, laughter and much more, so be sure to check it out.

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What’s this tag about? Its a fun tag celebrating writers, bloggers, books, and writing. It is also a great way to discover or know more about our online friends in the writing and blogging communities.

Following are the questions that Marje Mellon prepared for me and my answers.

  1. If you met a sexy vampire what would you do? Hook up, get the garlic and crosses out or run a mile?

 

Hmm. I would interview him.

 

  1. What’s your favorite genre of book and why?

 

I love to read the same genres I write which are fantasy, horror and suspense/thriller. However, I do occasionally read romantic comedies, crime thrillers, and historical fantasies. If someone recommends a book in another genre I may read the first few chapters to see if I like it. I do like to give every book a fighting chance.

halloween-horror-clown-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door

  1. Who is/are your favorite author (s), poet (s)? What is it about them that inspired you?

 

Stephen King, C.S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Dan Brown, Anne Rice, Tom Clancy. I admire these authors’ imagination and ability to tell a good story in a way that I can play it out in my mind in living color.

 

Poets: Emily Dickinson, Maya Angelou, Edgar Allan Poe, and Anne Sexton

 

 

  1. If you had to control a classroom of year 6 kids would you bale, or enjoy the challenge? Would you be (a.) Too undisciplined to do so, you’d just join in the general mayhem, (b.) Enjoy bossy them around, or (c.) Pray in a corner for the bell to sound. Guess which one would be my reply, winners will be mentioned on my blog!

 

I would tell them a story. That has always worked for me with smaller cousins growing up and with my nieces, nephews and their friends when they were younger. I might join in a little bit of mayhem too––as I suspect you would, Marje. 😉

 

  1. What made you become a writer/blogger? Do your family support you or do they think you’re crazy, bored, attention seeking, or all of these? Tell us a bit about your current WIP and/or books…

 

Nothing made me become a writer. I was born and that’s what I am. My family is very supportive.

 

I’m working on a fantasy series about angels. The first book in the series is called The Fall of Lilith. I’m currently working on some structural issues. I’m also writing the second book in the series, Dracúl.

 

  1. What is the most awful job and/or experience you’ve ever done/had?

 

When my husband and I sold our previous home (it sold much faster than we had anticipated) we had to temporarily stay at someone else’s house until our new home was ready. I did not want to stay in this person’s house but my husband had good reasons to stay there, so we did. This was one of the worst experiences of my life. I felt like I’d experience hell. The aura in that house was so dark and negative. One of the people living in the house did everything humanly possible to make our stay as horrible as could be. I never felt so uncomfortable and sad in my life. Leaving there was like escaping from hades. However, this experience has made me appreciate my home and my family so much more, and for that I’m thankful. (I know how dramatic this reads)

 

  1. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Does this spill out onto other parts of your life? Are you generally organised/disorganised? Can you guess what I am?

 

I always start the process as a plotter. Somewhere along the line the pantser takes over. I use an outline, sketches, character diamonds . . . I like to begin the novel in an organized way. As I write things begin to change and I allow the story to unfold in a more organic way. I’m generally an organized person but I do have my messy moments. I would guess you’re a plotter, Marje.

 spiral-festisite-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-graphic-art

  1. Do you believe in Ghosts? Fate? Love at First Sight? Fairies? Psychic happenings? Numerology, Mermaids, The Loch Ness Monster, Demons . . . etc. . . . Make your own observations . . . and let me know.

 

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I believe in God and if there’s a God there are good and bad forces. I believe in Karma, mind-over-matter, visualization, meditation, perseverance, positive thinking . . . For the rest––if I could see it, hear it, and feel it, then it’s real.

scary-halloween-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door

 

  1. What is the worst haircut/clothes/hats you’ve ever had/worn? Photos please, or describe in vivid detail…

 

When I was a blonde I had my hair color done and it looked good at the beauty salon but when I got home I noticed there were a few areas where the toner didn’t take. Had it happen in areas that were not noticeable I would have left it alone but the brassy areas where very noticeable so I called the hairstylist and she told me to come back in. Instead of adding toner to the areas that needed it she put bleach over my entire head, including areas that were already bleached! I didn’t think that was right but I figured she knew what she was doing as the professional cosmetologist. Well, all my hair broke off leaving me with about an inch of hair all over my head and maybe an inch and half or two inches in the front. I was at the shampoo bowl when she said, ‘Oh no!’ I looked up at her and she showed me a handful of my hair.

Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-writer-blogger

  1. Please finish this sentence with more than three extra words: Life is one foot in and one foot out, you . . .

 

. . . never know when your time will come, so live life to the fullest and appreciate what you have and the good people in your life.

I nominate any writer, poet or blogger who’d like to participate in this tag. You can answer Marje’s questions or make up your own. Let me know when you publish your post. Have a great day everyone!

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Book Reading / Signing

7 Apr

Book-reading-signing-event

The 3 little actors that performed The Basement skit from the 'Weapons' Chapter.

The 3 little actors rehearsing for a play based on the ‘Weapons’ Chapter from The Basement.

 

My first Book Reading/Signing event took place on Friday at GMAA, a private school in Westchester, Florida.  I was very nervous (I always am before any event), but excited at the same time.  I was going to be reading to kids between the ages of eleven and sixteen. Tough crowd – or so I thought.  

 

The night before the reading, my little seventeen-year-old Pomeranian gave me a bad night.  He kept getting up and walking from one end of the bed to the other, over and over again, while making a noise I call a cough, but it’s more like loudly coughing, wheezing and clearing his throat at the same time.  I got up and took him to the kitchen to see if he wanted some water.  He drank, and I brought him back to bed.  He was quiet for a minute, and then began walking and coughing again. I got up for a second time and took him outside to see if he wanted to do something.  Nothing.  Well, this went on until one thirty in the morning, when he finally settled down and fell asleep.  This has happened before and I’ve told his vet about it on several occasions, but she explains there’s nothing that can be done about it.  He takes a bunch of pills for several things already (poor thing). He’s just very old.  After a sleepless night, he had some sort of episode in the morning that had me in tears. I almost cancelled the reading, but fortunately he seemed to get better.  

 

Rascal

Rascal

Right before leaving my house, I misplaced my keys and spent at least ten minutes looking for them. I always put my keys in the same place so that I always know where to find them, but of course this morning was not going as planned. When I finally found my keys, I stormed out the door (without breakfast) and ran into a terrible traffic jam.  It seemed like there were terrible forces conspiring against me. Everything that could go wrong was happening on this important day.

 Book Reading-signing-event-vashtiquirozvega

My fortunes changed once I finally arrived at the school. My sister Cleo greeted me very warmly. You see, Cleo is a music teacher at this prestigious school. Her children (Natasha, Vanessa and Joshua), were ages 17, 23 and 12 when they read my book and loved the story. Cleo read it and enjoyed it, as well. She introduced it to the school’s librarian, who didn’t have time to read it, so her assistant read it instead and also loved it. My sister asked for several copies of the book to give to the English and literature teachers at the school, and I gladly gave them to her. Well, this led to the book being incorporated into the school’s library and curriculum and to the Book Reading/Signing event.

Book Reading-Signing-Event-The Basement-Vashti Quiroz-Vega

 

Everyone at the school was friendly and kind, which made me feel at ease. I wanted my Book Reading/ Signing event to be different. I wanted the kids to be entertained, but I also wanted to instill in them a desire to read. I had adapted one of the chapters from my book into a skit for the kids to perform. My sister took the play to the 5th grade teacher, Miss Betchel. She chose three kids to play my characters: Robbie, Natasha and Cleo. I was very excited.

Kalvin Martinez, Ester Peiro and Janine Llaurado as Robbie, Cleo and Natasha

Kalvin Martinez, Ester Peiro and Janine Llaurado as Robbie, Cleo and Natasha

 

All the kids were taken to a small auditorium where they sat and waited for the Show Book Reading/Signing event to begin. They said a prayer and sang a hymn. I was introduced. I spoke a few words and then my book trailer was shown on a large screen. The kids clapped excitedly when the trailer was over.  

 

After I read a short chapter from the book, the kids performed the play. Janine Llaurado, Ester Peiro and Kalvin Martinez did a great job portraying the characters.  After that I spoke a few words about what inspired me to write The Basement, and gave aspiring writers in the group (which were many) a few tips on writing.  Afterwards, I took pictures of the actors in my play, teachers, librarian, my sister… I was having a great time and had forgotten all about the bad night and morning.

 

The Basement-book-signing-reading-Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog

Janine Llaurado as Natasha

I set up a table with my books in the library, and just when I thought the fun was over, hordes of kids came into the library in waves with their teachers.  They were so excited about the book.  They asked me a million questions, not just about The Basement, but also about my experience as a writer and the writing process!  Many of the kids told me about how much they loved to read. I think nothing warmed my heart more than that. These kids were excited about reading! I wanted to do flips and dance on the library tables (inappropriate, I know).

 The Basement-book signing-reading-preteens

I had an awesome time interacting with the children. Telling them what The Basement is about, what inspired me to write it and what they needed to do to prepare if they wanted to become writers: read, read, read and write, write, write.  Oh, yeah… I sold some books, too.

 

The Basement-Vashti Quiroz-Vega-book-reading-signing-author 

 

We shouldn’t teach great books; we should teach a love of reading.

Guest Author Vashti Quiroz-Vega

21 Mar

I’m a guest blogger at Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Authors Blog! Check it out and leave me some feedback. Thank you!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

970594_405793276204758_797328340_nMy name is Vashti Quiroz-Vega, and I’m a writer of Fantasy, Suspense, Thriller and Horror. My first novel,

The Basement

, was released in August 2013. It was one of the happiest and proudest moments of my life. It was not easy getting my book published. Once upon a time, I was very naive when it came to the publishing process. I thought all I had to do as a writer was to write the book. Soon, I had a rude awakening when I found out that my manuscript had to be edited. Then I found out I had to get an agent in order to interest a publisher, and I had to write a query letter in order to get an agent! Well, after many months of querying, I finally got my manuscript in the hands of a publisher… who wanted it edited some more. Phew! A year later…

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