Book Review and Exclusive Offer: Winter Woven

Written by Garrett Curry and illustrated by Kyle Ragsdale. Copyright Garrett Curry and Kyle Ragsdale, fine artist, children, adults, multigenerational, Winter Woven
Written by Garrett Curry and illustrated by Kyle Ragsdale. Copyright Garrett Curry and Kyle Ragsdale.

[Copyright Garrett Curry and Kyle Ragsdale and associates.]

The day after Christmas, a package arrives for Piper. She is not excited about it. Great Aunt Fran sends her something every year that contains an item that’s itchy and handmade, which she is then forced to wear. This year she gets a scarf. This year will be different from all the others.

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100 Blog Followers and Counting: Thank You Video and Reading

In the beginning of the week, I realized that I had 100 followers for my blog, A Vase of Wildflowers. I started the blog in mid-September and it had really taken off. I wouldn’t be here without you.

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Weekend Writing: The Apartment Home

By WTF Formwork (Wall-Ties and Forms, Inc.) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Concrete housing construction in Dominican Republic using aluminum concrete forms.
Source: Wall-Ties and Forms, Inc.
Author: WTF Formwork

Apartment complexes are rarely completely full. Landlords try to fill the empty apartments as quickly as possible to avoid losing money, but other tenants move out and that creates another vacancy. But what if you owned an apartment complex and couldn’t fill a single room? This week’s prompt focuses on that idea. Think you’re up for the challenge?

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The Prince of Loyalty: A Poem

L. N. Holmes, husband, poem, Prince of Loyalty
Copyright L. N. Holmes (LeeAnn Adams)

So I wrote a poem for my husband. I feel as if he is a rare gem, one that I stole from a haunted crypt before Indiana Jones could get his hands on it. He is a wonderful man, one that has always been loyal to me. So in appreciation for his admirable qualities — and because I love him — I wrote this for him. I hope you enjoy it.

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Literary Magazines Seeking Submissions

So there are many literary magazines out there that need your submissions and I am going to highlight two that have caught my attention on Twitter. Please do your own research before submitting to any literary magazine, including the ones below. Most magazines do not charge for submissions unless it is for a contest or they may have a small fee for technical maintenance costs. Be cautious and submit your writing to places that are legitimate.

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Book Review: Black Moon

Copyright L. N. Holmes (LeeAnn Adams)
Copyright L. N. Holmes (LeeAnn Adams)

No one can sleep. This is no ordinary case of insomnia in a few people across the globe. Millions — maybe billions — are dying of a disorder that has no name and no origin. It slowly became an epidemic, spreading to others without warning or cause. In this world where only a few can sleep, violence and madness are what is left for those still able to dream.

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Copyright L. N. Holmes (LeeAnn Adams)
The Big Bad Wolf Copyright L. N. Holmes (LeeAnn Adams)

The news industry is a fear-making machine. True, it also publishes some wonderful unicorn-n-rainbow stories that make us feel like fluffy clouds in a blue sky — but their specialty is Freddy Kruger horror stories of the nonfiction kind. While the cynical deem this another part of daily life, it is definitely hard to ignore.

Electric Literature came up with a fantastic Halloween writing prompt based off of news headlines. You won’t believe some of these. Check out the details here.

Weekend Writing: A Horrific Love Story

Copyright L. N. Holmes (LeeAnn Adams)
Copyright L. N. Holmes (LeeAnn Adams)

If you’re easily frightened like I am, then you can only tolerate so much horror. But even if you are a horror genre fan, finding new ways to entertain is important. So that’s why I am proposing a mash up of genres in celebration of Halloween. If you’re ready to take on the challenge, check out the details below. Continue reading

Back to the Daily Grind: Goals, Mail, Coffee (Not in that Order)

Copyright LeeAnn Adams (L. N. Holmes)
It's still a long road ahead. Copyright LeeAnn Adams (L. N. Holmes)

I would like to be a light to others in many ways. A light illuminates one’s surroundings, provides a bit of warmth, and can enable one to move forward with confidence. As I travel through the unknown territory of the literary world, I hope to create a small path for those behind me that will make their own journeys — if only for a moment — a bit easier.

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The Dreaded Submission Process

Literary magazines are like literature; they cause writers to be hopeful, perturbed, and humble. As I submit my work, I try not to think of the inevitable rejections that will come my way. I try to think of the one magazine that will say “yes, we want your story” and then it will be all worth it. I know rejection is needed, healthy, and even sometimes no fault of my own, but it never gets easier for me.

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Flash Fiction, Magical Realism, Sci-Fi, Lit Mags?

While researching literary magazines to submit my work to, I’ve run into a snag. As expected, most of these publications have different submission guidelines. What I didn’t expect was how few of these took anything outside of literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Some of my work does qualify for this — but not the majority.

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The Battle for ‘Chick Lit’: Jennifer Weiner and Exposure Equality

Photo taken by Rodrigo Fernández.

Jennifer Weiner at Miami Book Fair International.
Photo taken by Rodrigo Fernández.

A New York Times bestselling author, Jennifer Weiner has been battling big names for quite a while now. You may know her from her books Good in Bed and In Her Shoes — as well as from many other books, short stories, and articles. She is successful and knows the industry, which is why she is speaking out.

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Copyright LeeAnn (Holmes) Adams a. k. a. L. N. Holmes
Jeff Koterba Copyright LeeAnn (Holmes) Adams a. k. a. L. N. Holmes

I had the privilege to attend a reading by Jeff Koterba today. He is a political cartoonist and an independent. During the reading, he mentioned that he disliked the current squabbling in congress and carefully chose his political commentary on an issue-by-issue basis. Witty and humble, Koterba has been a political cartoonist at his local paper for the past 25 years. He dedicated his book Drawing You In to his mother because she has clipped and kept every single cartoon he has illustrated from the paper to date.

Copyright LeeAnn (Holmes) Adams a. k. a. L. N. Holmes

Jeff Koterba
Copyright LeeAnn (Holmes) Adams a. k. a. L. N. Holmes

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Notes for a Novel

Copyright L. N. Holmes a. k. a. LeeAnn (Holmes) Adams
Copyright L. N. Holmes a. k. a. LeeAnn (Holmes) Adams

So I discovered quite a bit when researching for my NaNoWriMo novel. I learned that chicken of the woods makes a good meat substitute, hence its name. I learned that Valerian root is rumored to help with insomnia among other things. Also, I reaffirmed the difference between a lamb and a sheep.

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Researching the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for a Setting

Photo taken by the U.S. National Park Service (National Park Service Digital Archives)

Photo taken by the U.S. National Park Service (National Park Service Digital Archives)

I am conducting research on the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Tennessee Wonderland for my novel. It’s been a bit depressing seeing all of the endangered or threatened animals within a protected park. Wolves and mountain lions no longer live there and, while that may or may not make hikers safer, it is bad for the environment for two major predators to completely disappear. There are also invasive species — such as rainbow trout (the native is the brook trout) — that threaten native species and/or the environment.

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NaNoWriMo Prep: Here We Go

Copyright LeeAnn (Holmes) Adams and L. N. Holmes
Copyright LeeAnn (Holmes) Adams and L. N. Holmes

For those who are unaware of one of the writing world’s greatest writing challenges, NaNoWriMo is the abbreviated nickname for National Novel Writing Month. The nonprofit started in 1999 and has been going strong ever since. NaNoWriMo is a challenge to the industry professional and the average Joe alike. For the entire month of November, the participant must write until they reach 50,000 words — roughly novel length. Those that reach this goal are “winners.”

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Flash Fiction Challenge #1: Death, Cake, and Teenagers

Copyright LeeAnn (Holmes) Adams a. k. a. L. N. Holmes
Copyright LeeAnn (Holmes) Adams a. k. a. L. N. Holmes

As most of you know, I am an avid follower of Chuck Wendig’s terribleminds blog. There was a flash fiction challenge posted recently where the participants first came up with a one sentence opening and then picked someone else’s opening line to create a story. I chose coolerbs sentence:

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Copyright LeeAnn (Holmes) Adams a. k. a. L. N. Holmes
Copyright LeeAnn (Holmes) Adams a. k. a. L. N. Holmes

It was my goal to write 60,000 words by the end of October. Instead, I met that goal yesterday. I am still trying to figure out how this happened. I took a picture of it to prove it to the world.

Yes, it happened.

Yes, it happened.

I also wrote a flash fiction story, a poem, conducted research on 30+ literary agencies, and have written at least one blog post every day since beginning A Vase of Wildflowers. I am going to wrap up my story within the next couple of days and then it is on to revisions. I am hoping prayer and hard work will be my ticket into the big leagues. Wish me a blessed journey.

You’re Not Awkward Enough: Losing the Awkward Author Photo Contest

Copyright LeeAnn (Holmes) Adams a. k. a. L. N. Holmes.
Copyright LeeAnn (Holmes) Adams a. k. a. L. N. Holmes.

So is it an insult or a compliment when someone votes that you’re not quite awkward enough? I had the privilege to be part of the Awkward Author Photo Contest on Chuck Wendig’s blog, terribleminds and ended up in fifth place out of the 63 participants. It was so fun, reading the comments left by the voters. I really appreciated the votes I received. The competition was fierce and downright hilarious!

I wanted to give a shout out to some of my personal favorites!

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Artist Interview: Taylor Hayes

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Taylor Hayes/Copyright Taylor Hayes Art


L. N. Holmes: “Where is your hometown?”
Taylor Hayes: “My hometown is Roanoke, Virginia. It is about 2 hours north of where I currently live, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It’s not too far, but just far enough.”


L. N. Holmes: “What is your chosen artistic profession?”
Taylor Hayes: “
As a visual artist (visit Taylor Hayes’s official site), I work in mixed media, which basically means whenever I create a piece I use multiple mediums in overlapping layers. Sometimes those mediums are acrylic paint, pencil, pen, marker, collage, screen printing, you name it. I stick to 2-dimensional art for the most part and sometimes I play around with design but my main focus is on printmaking and painting.

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The Horrific Family Fun that is Found at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch

Copyright LeeAnn (Holmes) Adams and L. N. Holmes
Copyright LeeAnn (Holmes) Adams and L. N. Holmes

[Warning! Some content unsuitable for children.]

Okay horror and suspense writers, here are some ideas for you.

Autumn is the time for the spooky and the scenic and I got a bit of both when I ventured into the mystical place that is Vala’s Pumpkin Patch. The tourist attraction reminded me of a mixture of Alice’s Adventures in WonderlandIt, and Escape from the Carnival of Horrors. To sum up my experience I would have to say it was fantastic.

Copyright LeeAnn (Holmes) Adams and L. N. Holmes

Copyright LeeAnn (Holmes) Adams and L. N. Holmes

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Book Review: California

Copyright LeeAnn (Holmes) Adams and L. N. Holmes

In the future, California has been decimated by extreme climate change. Parts of the United States are uninhabitable and resources are scarce. The government has slowly lost control, and people do whatever it takes to survive. Some cling to the old ways of life, trying to live in ransacked and looted cities, in denial of the dangers around them. Others, like Cal and Frieda, take their chances in the wilderness.

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Fantastic Flora: Ideas for Fantasy Writers

Copyright LeeAnn (Holmes) Adams and L. N. Holmes

My husband and I are opportunists. So when we got a member coupon for a plant at Mulhall’s, we decided to take a trip there and explore what was available. We were not disappointed. The magical selection of plants made me want to stroll along the aisles for hours.

I’ve decided to share the spoils with all writers — but especially fantasy writers — as a way to generate ideas.

I hope you enjoy them!

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