Invisible Illness Week (A snapshot of CVID)

Reblogging in honor of today, February 28th which is Rare Disease Awareness Day. Side note: Next person that tries to cure my kids with a bottle of herbal remedy is getting straight-up spanked in the face. I’m from Flint. I can harm you.

Organizing Chaos And Other Misadventures

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So we’ve seen the little meme’s floating around Facebook about “Invisible Illness Week”. Bloggers are blogging, Tweeters are tweeting. Shouters are shouting. Heralds are heralding.

I happen to be a blogger who lives with chronic illness, so guess what I’m going to do? Yep. I’m going to start shouting in 3, 2, 1….

Okay, I’m kidding. I’m not a shouter except when people recommend Echincacea to me as a cure for CVID. So here I am, far past my bedtime but the only time my house is quiet, blogging about something I never imagined I would have to learn to live with: Invisible Illness. I tend to think it’s an odd term, “Invisible Illness”. I mean, ANY illness is going to have symptoms, something about it that stands out, or makes life different for the person living it. Chronic illness isn’t really invisible. It’s just that people who don’t…

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You’re everything a Big, Bad Wolf could want.

One of my favorite ways to keep my brain occupied at night when the insomnia (insomnia, mania, what-have-you) is at its worst is drawing comparisons between written pieces. Can’t tell you why I enjoy this, but I do. Here, I’m comparing “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” (which, if you take the numbers written along the car and translate them into a Bible verse, you get a passage in Judges, “….whither goest thou? And whence comest thou?”, but that’s a comparison for another day), by Joyce Carol Oates and the song “Little Red Riding Hood” by Sam the Sham and Pharaohs. Coincidentally (perhaps), both were written in 1966.

Little Red blog post

Hey there Little Red Riding Hood, you sure are looking good. “You’re cute,” “…such a pretty girl,” “…what else is there for a girl like you but to be sweet and pretty…”

You’re everything that a Big Bad Wolf could want. “I want you,” “Seen you that night and thought, that’s the one, yes sir. I never needed to look anymore.”

Listen to me. “Now what you’re going to do is this: you’re going to come out this door…”, “Honey?…You still listening?”, “Be nice, honey. Listen,” “Listen, here’s how it is”, “You listening, honey?”

I don’t think little big girls should go walking in these spooky old woods alone. “…I know your parents and sister are gone somewheres.”

What big eyes you have. “My sweet little blue-eyed girl.”

I think you ought to walk with me and be safe. “…you’d come runnin’ out into my arms, right into my arms an’ safe at home.”

I’m gonna keep my sheep suit on. “His whole face was a mask,” “…as if he were indeed wearing a wig”, “…boots were stuffed with something so he could appear taller.”

I’d like to hold you if I could. “I’ll hold you so tight you won’t think you have to try to get away.”

What a big heart I have, the better to love you with. “Yes, I’m your lover. You don’t know what that is but you will.”

Even bad wolves can be good. “I’m the boy for you….give me your hand, and nobody else gets hurt.”

Maybe you’ll see things my way. “We’ll go out to a nice field, out in the country here where it smells so nice and it’s sunny”, “…so much land that Connie had never seen before and did not recognize except to know that she was going to it.”

And they lived happily ever after.

Can You Predict Your Outcome?

This month’s guest blog post is brought to you by a fantastic author, Sheri Fredricks. Please take a moment to read through what she has to say, and please check out her links and books. Thanks, Sheri!

Can you predict your outcome?
By Sheri Fredricks

Hi everyone!
Thank you to Valarie for hosting me today.

Not too long ago I read a blog that asked if you could predict your driving behavior.

The scenario:

The light turns green, but the car in front doesn’t move. Twelve seconds go by. Do you think you’d be more likely to honk if the car was an old junker…

Junker truck

© Flickr

or if it was a brand new Porsche?

SHERI'S PORSCHE

2014 Porsche Boxster

The surprising overall answer came back that the majority of people would honk at the sleek sports car over the junker.

Thinking about the study as it might apply to books, I began to wonder . . .

If a book were published by a traditional publisher (ie: Kensington, Avon, Harlequin, etc.), presented to the reader with an eye-catching cover, and written by a NYT bestselling author . . . .

Would that give a reader extra enthusiasm over another author who worked equally as hard, published by a relatively young ePublisher, had the sharp cover, but didn’t yet have the aforementioned exposure?

Weird guy pic

© Flickr

Let’s use JR Ward’s books as an example because I’m a huge fan of hers. Her book jackets are only a tease to what you’ll read between the front and back covers. And once you open the first page, you’re automatically transported to another realm — into a world where vampire warriors are huge, sexy, and love their mates.

The main character in Remedy Maker is enormous — larger than life. Rhycious is a centaur . . . and in human years, he’s old. I gave him a strong persona, some real major head-trips, and a sworn duty that must be performed.

REMEDY MAKER PIC

A part of his moral fiber is commitment to see things through to completion. When he agrees to help the heroine if she helps him in return, their story begins.

Here’s a quick excerpt:

Patience brought a slender foot to the blue rug. Each tiny provocative toe aroused his possessive Centaur half, demanding that he take what he wanted. He couldn’t pull his gaze away. Typical of the sex-starved dog he was, he followed the sensual assault.

“. . . so I’m good, thanks.”

His mouth closed with a distinctive click, and he snapped his gaze to her face. He caught himself leaning forward in his seat, his mug resting on the rocker’s arm. Rolling his shoulders and plastering a bored expression on his face, Rhycious made a show of slouching further back into the chair and rested his black boot over a knee.

“Good, that’s . . . good. I’m glad you’re much better.” Oh gods, he blabbered like an adolescent scenting his first spring heat.

Concentrate on your duty. He’d just come out and say it, get the damn ball to roll into her court.

“You want to find your sister. I’m in a position to help.”

Disbelief crossed her face, turning into surprise, and finally tears welled to overflow. They gushed from her eyes to stream down both peachy cheeks. Well, that certainly cooled his ardor. She hung her head and sniffed, wiping a finger under each eye.

“That’s so cool of you. I wasn’t sure what I would do.” Her watery smile wavered, lips trembling. “Don’t know how I can ever thank you.”

He caught himself before the lewd suggestion popped out of his dirty mouth and got him in trouble.

***

Lately, I’ve read many great books by brand-new authors. More times than not, I’ve come away from the story feeling like I’ve found the next NYT bestseller.

Recommendations and posted reviews are the best ways to show love to your favorite authors.

Do you give an equal chance to a writer who is new to you?

Here’s where you can find me on the internet:

Website: http://www.sherifredricks.com
Blogsite: http://www.sherifredricks.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SheriFredricks
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Sheri_Fredricks
I love to interact with readers, so look me up!

My modern mythic romance books are available at all the usual online outlets:
Remedy Maker (book 1 of The Centaurs)
Troll-y Yours (book 2 of The Centaurs)
Portals of Oz (a Wood Nymph novella)

Thank you for your hospitality, Valarie.
And don’t forget to leave your comments!

Valentine’s Day Blues

Digging around in an old box, I came across this story I wrote back in high school, approximately a couple-few hundred decades ago. Surprisingly enough, I was actually NOT on drugs in high school. Nope….this mess was written with a clear teenaged mind, though quite possibly somewhat addled by hormones and a not-so-slight caffeine addiction (yes….even then.) Of particular note, let’s examine the phrase “…I’m gonna kill you deader’n Elvis”. That my friends, THAT, well now, that’s just fine literature right there.

Broken Heart Wallpapers

There comes a moment in every woman’s life when she discovers the need for a male companion. Camille was no different. She was merely a vulnerable young elf on whom Fate played a cruel, detestable joke.

As Valentine’s Day approached in the land of Winken, young Camille began to feel depressed. Nearly all of her close friends were seeing life through rose-tinted glasses as a result of their blooming love-lives. Camille felt left out. And so each night when her head hit the pillow, silent tears dampened the sheets, as she cried to Cupid to send her that special Someone.

Now, as not all realize, Cupid is not happy with his job. No, if Cupid had had his own way, he would have been a Philadelphia lawyer. But Destiny won out, and consequently, Cupid is stuck with this lovey-dovey sickly-sweet matchmaking career, and he despises it. One afternoon, Cupid finally became fed up. That happened to be the afternoon when Camille was crying her hardest. A small, malicious grin spread slowly across Cupid’s face. Now, here was a desperate elf. “She wants a honey, I’ll give her a honey,” he thought sarcastically to himself. And at that moment, Cupid sealed his own fate.

Across from the land of Winken is the land of Blinken. In the tiny land of Blinken lived a troll by the name of Nod. Nod was just about as desperate as Camille when it came to this love business. Nod was nice-looking, as trolls go. He even had good hair. There was one drawback, however. Nod was mentally unstable.

Here, Cupid found the ideal opportunity to gain revenge on Fate. He sent Nod an arrow with Camille’s name, age, address, phone number and shoe size on a note attached to it. So it came to pass that Nod, smiling like a ninny (because, you know, that is how the mentally unstable smile) hopped into his rhinoceros-drawn carriage and headed for Winken. At the same time, Camille had received a similar note that demanded she meet the love of her life halfway between Winken and Blinken, underneath the old Georgia pine in the town square. This took place on the tenth of February.

By Valentine’s Day, everything was going well. In fact, there had been some talk of marriage (although, as we all know, when a troll and an elf interspecially marry, they are exiled to the land of Yonder) but nothing definite had come about. And Valentine’s Day went especially well for the lovebirds. But on the 17th of February, disaster struck. Nod’s mental illness went haywire. He was in the middle of basting a pelican for supper, when suddenly he felt something snap in his small brain. With his orange eyes growing wider and an evil grin spreading across his face, Nod raised the basting brush above his head and started running after Camille, shouting “I’m on a mission from my god Zoro – don’t be afraid, my darling, I merely want to baste you!” Camille sprinted to a neighbor’s cottage and phoned the Elf Patrol. “There’s a crazy troll after me!” she cried after dialing 911. “Keep running!” they advised her, “Once those unstable trolls get going, there’s no stopping them!” So Camille ran until she stumbled into the town of Hither and reached safety. There she cried herself to sleep under a rock.

After Nod was arrested, hog-tied, and dragged to a nearby loony pit, Camille began her search for Cupid. She found him in a small café, just outside of Yonder, smoking a cigar. He smiled when he saw her. “How’s it going, Cammy?”

“Why you facetious, obnoxious, odiferous maggot! You set me up with a troll who’s about five sandwiches short of a picnic basket! I’m gonna kill you – I’m gonna kill you deader’n Elvis!!!!”

With terror in his eyes, Cupid realized, too late, that his little joke had gone awry. “I’m sorry Camille, and I apologize if I caused you any pain.” He almost looked genuinely sorry, too. But Camille would have none of it. She slit his Achilles tendons so he couldn’t get away, then forcefully she tossed him into her pigmobile and drove faster than the wind to a steep ravine on the edge of Yonder. She tied him to a great big oak tree. There, using the excellent bomb-building techniques she had learned from watching “Macgyver”, she took a shiny black stone, hard boiled it, wrapped some sun-dried grass around it, dipped it in some leftover blinker fluid, set it under his feet and then, using a magnifying glass, Camille set the bomb aflame.

Hence, the end of Cupid.

Epilogue

Now, three hundred years later, Camille is happily married. She has an abnormally large family of munchkins and she and her husband Willy live in Oz. Nod died – he drowned in his own basting juice. What a sad end to a sorry life.

The moral of this story is to be content with what you have, don’t hurry love, and for Pete’s sake, if you truly want to be a Philadelphia lawyer, follow your dream and rebel against Destiny.

Have a fantastic Valentine’s Day.

The End.

Guest Blog with Kryssie Fortune, Author (Take a peek, exciting stuff!)

I’m Kryssie Fortune, author of TO WED A WEREWOLF and CURSE OF THE FAE KING. Since I’ve been let loose on this blog for the day, I thought I’d tell you more about my world of Fae, Lykae, and dragons.

KING LEONIDAS’S GUIDE TO DRAGONS
(A private document, for the eyes of Caleb the Cold, King of the Lykae and his wife, my beloved half sister, Sylvie only)

WYVERNS
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Wyverns are vicious little bugg creatures. At first glance, they’re all puppy dog eyes, wings, and tail. Sylvie thinks they’re cute, but she’s earth raised, only half Fae.
We keep a small pack of them at the Fae court. Legend has it—that just like the ravens in the mundane world’s Tower of London—if they ever leave, the kingdom will fall.
One on one, they’re harmless enough, but I suspect a pack of them could even take a full-grown Lykae down. After all the stunts your brother Giles pulled, he’d make an excellent test subject.
No?
Well, you can’t blame me for trying.

SALAMANDERS

salamander picture

Salamanders are an endangered species. I’ve recently forbidden my spell casters to brewing aphrodisiac brandy from their scales. They love heat and you can sometimes find one curled up in the embers of a campfire. Friendly to a fault, they are easy prey. They also make damn good eating.
If you find one—even if it’s been plucked bald—please protect it.

BLACK BEARDED DRAGON
black bearded dragon picture

This is another species best avoided. Black-scaled and vicious, they live among the man-eating mangroves, and move at lightning speed. Their prehensile tail is their fiercest weapon. It’s tipped with a poison that slows the reflexes and makes their victim easy prey for the mangrove plants. The plants reward them with lumps of flesh torn from their victims and
No one’s ever been foolhardy enough to eat one, but your brother Giles is welcome to try. In fact, for him, I’ll cook the damn thing for him myself.

WAR DRAGONS

war dragons picture

Fyrehell, my current mount, is starting to feel his age, but his mate has finally laid an egg. I’ll have a new, scarlet dragon come January, but it will take a while to train him.
I’m still considering names for my soon-to-be hatched dragonet. Dreadnought or Valiant are the current frontrunners, but every time I discuss it with my council, the seers laugh so hard they have to leave the room. I hope that doesn’t mean he’ll end up with a stupid name. I’ll thank you to keep Sylvie away from him until we’ve bonded, or she’ll christen him something ridiculous like Butterfly or Firelight.

A few centuries back, one of our war dragons wandered into the mundane world. He popped up in the north of England, and the locals christened him the Whitby Wyrm. Honestly, you’d think even humans could tell the difference between dragons and worms. The Wyrm—I really hate calling a decent dragon that—was brilliant scarlet. The scarlet ones are the biggest and brightest, so it’s no wonder my ancestors couldn’t catch him.

That only leaves the dragon shifters, but they live in their own kingdom—Taragonia, but they shun us. It’s not we still bathe in dragon’s blood to enhance our powers. I’ve even banned my courtiers from wearing dragon teeth as good luck charms. After all, what’s good luck for us is bad luck for the dragon.
Talking of Sylvie, please tell her to stop with the matchmaking. That last Lykae you sent to my court turned primal. Honestly, I struggled to stand my ground. I think, if I’d run, she’d have jumped me. Literally.
And as for the ogress she befriended… Just no. Never. When I marry, it will be to forge a political alliance.
Consider the formal felicitations made, and do pay a diplomatic visit soon.
Leonidas
King of the Fae.

PS Dragons are meant to be fierce not cute. When you visit, bring my half sister, but wait until my dragon’s hatched and we’ve bonded. Just don’t let any man hungry Lykae Ladies tag along.
****
Curious as to what Leonidas finally called his dragon? Find out in Curse of the Fae King.
Book Two of my Scattered Sibling’s Series.
Available on the Loose ID Website
Buy link
http://www.loose-id.com/curse-of-the-fae-king.html

curse of the fae king

Leonidas’s nightmare: when he inherited the Fae throne, he inherited the curse a witch cast on his bloodline. No wonder he hates witches. His dirty secret: if he doesn’t bed a different woman every month he’ll turn feral – and he’s bored to death with mindless sex.

When he hunts down his escaped war dragon, his enemies trap him on earth and strip his powers. His month’s almost up and if he doesn’t bed someone soon, his beast will rise.

Meena’s dream: to be good at something. Anything. Even sticking to a diet. Her secret: she’s a failed witch masquerading as human. She accidentally bonds with Leonidas’s escaped dragon. Sparks fly when he wants it back. Plunged into a world of stuck-up Fae, evil elves, and high-adventure they must solve a twenty-two year-old mystery. Along the way, they tumble into bed, and lust leads, unexpectedly, to love.

When Leonidas’s curse kicks in again, he’ll have to abandon Meena and bed another. Is their love strong enough to survive their secrets and break the ancient curse?

Follow me on Twitter @KryssieFortune
or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kryssie-Fortune/267100286738528

I have a brand new website http://kryssiefortune.wix.com/kryssie

I’d love to hear from you at Kryssie.Fortune@yahoo.com.

So, what stunts did Giles pull that made the Fae king want to feed him to his dragons?
Find out in Book One of the Scattered Siblings series. TO WED A WEREWOLF.

to wed a werewolf pic

Buy links
http://www.loose-id.com/to-wed-a-werewolf.