MEET AUTHOR LINDA RUE QUINN

In this giant blogosphere, new kinds of relationships are being formed & tested as Artists from all over the world, chat and share ideas, art, common interests and become closer than relationships we make in reality. It’s strange to be sure yet even we, Inion N. Mathair, have made some of the strongest friendships we’ve encountered throughout our lives from our laptops.

So when we’re able to host an Author who is not only a connection from our networking sites, but is a close & personal friend that we work with locally in our beautiful town of Franklin, North Carolina…..well it just makes us downright giddy!

Today, Inion & I would like to introduce you our Blogging friends to another Author from the Smoky Mountains, Mrs. Linda Rue Quinn.

This lady is not only an extraordinary woman and brilliant writer. She is also a champion advocate for all things art and spends most of her personal time giving back to the artistic community by supporting other writer’s careers. She is married to an incredible man with a great sense of humor & has two beautiful children and three adorable grandchildren. Her book, THE APPLE FELL A Mystery/Thriller just so happens to be sitting on our bookshelf & is next in line as we are eagerly waiting to read this book.

Please say hi, to Author Linda Rue Quinn.

(INM) Hi Linda & welcome to Two Voices….One Thought!

(LRQ) Thank you so much for having me. I’m thrilled to be talking to you!

(INM) So tell us a little bit about your main character Heather Grace, from your book, THE APPLE FELL. (Without giving away any spoilers!)

(LRQ) You know the saying, “Write what you know.” Well in this book, I bled a little. I was Heather Grace to a certain extent. I was the young abused wife who had to “Do it scared” and leave my abuser and look over my shoulder while trying to come to grips with how my God could let this happen. Heather grew stronger one step at a time, as we all do. She loved, she made mistakes, and didn’t think she could be forgiven.

(INM) THE APPLE FELL…. How did you come up with that title?

(LRQ) There is a main character in the book who was the apple that fell far from the tree, as evil as his father was good.

(INM) The cover is striking and really catches your eye. We especially love the look of the metallic plate that appears molten & magical. Who did your book cover art?

(LRQ) I like to maintain as much control as I can, so I do my own cover art. I went to Barber Orchard in Waynesville and took about a hundred pictures of apples and apple trees, then played with the pictures in a photo program to show an apple falling in a different way, kind of like in a vacuum or black hole (or being flushed down a toilet). My second love is photography.

(INM) How long have you been writing, Linda?

(LRQ) All my life, but I put it aside to foster, adopt and then homeschool my children for half their school age years. They had some difficulties so I concentrated on them and my career. When I was forty, I looked back at my life and asked myself if I would have any regrets if I died that night. I had never seriously tried to publish beyond my local newspaper, and I “picked up the pen” again at forty.

(INM) Knowing you personally Linda & working with you on many projects within the Artistic Community of Franklin, we know that one of your passions just so happens to be ours as well; Poetry! It wasn’t the first time we met you, but the first time we met you as peers. Will you be coming out with Poetry in the near future?

(LRQ) I have some poetry in a journal but I have not done a lot of research into the craft. I don’t like restrictions or to follow a pattern. We’ll have to see about that one!

(INM) You truly are an Artistic soul with a deep love for books & respect for the craft of writing. What influences do you attribute to adding to your craft?

(LRQ) My parents were both teachers for a time–Dad full time and Mom substituted. They both encouraged us to read and learn all the time. I am also a research junkie. I read everything I could get my hands on to learn how to write better and attended conferences, workshops, and so on to improve. A critique group in Rock Hill, SC helped a lot. Those authors, including Gwen Hunter and Dawn Cook (Kim Harrison) helped me tremendously with their honest critiques of my work.

(INM) Who’s your all-time favorite Author, Linda; And what’s your all-time favorite book?

(LRQ) Author would be Frank Peretti for fiction and Ann Rule for true crime. My all time favorite book is Jane Eyre, from the time I was very young.

(INM) How long did it take you from beginning to end, to publish THE APPLE FELL?

(LRQ) About a year and a half.

(INM) Without giving away any spoilers, what chapter of your book was your favorite to write & why?

(LRQ) The first one, to grab my reader and hold onto them until they can’t help but to read more.

(INM) Do you have any more published works?

(LRQ) The Cyrano Game was published in 2012, another mystery/thriller novel. I also published several short stories, including “Mom, Everything’s Okay But…” in the anthology “I Wanna Be Sedated:30 Writers on Parenting Teenagers” (Other contributors were Barbara Kingsolver and Dave Barry–to name-drop); “A Pack of Gum”, a non-fictional inspirational story that won a nationwide contest on Fieldreport.com (no longer running); “Death is Too Hard” in the SCWW anthology Catfish Stew II; “Plagiarize This” in the aforementioned anthology; “Telemarketer Tag” in Catfish Stew IV.

(INM) So what’s next for Author Linda Rue Quinn?

(LRQ) I am working on putting together my short story collection while writing a sequel to The Apple Fell. The working title is “The Sharp Knife” and it will be thought-provoking and controversial; the hardest book so far.

(INM) Is there a genre that you’ve never written but that you would love to take a stab at it?

(LRQ) Humor in a book form. I have written in a short story form, but I’m thinking Erma Bombeck style and length.

(INM) This might sound silly but it’s a favorite of ours to ask. Who’s your all-time favorite Villain?

(LRQ) Gru in Despicable Me. Yes, I have grandchildren!

(INM) Linda, like us you chose to self-pub. Tell us why you chose that avenue and briefly what you feel about the new world of publishing that’s opened up a flood gate of Authors & changed the structure of the literary world.

(LRQ) It’s a crowded market! I self-published because I was tired of hearing, “We like your writing but it doesn’t fit our list” or “It isn’t what we’re looking for right now”, etc. Plus I can’t meet a deadline dealing with Fibromyalgia. I have to write when I feel good, and publish it when I am ready to let it go. I also like being able to have complete control. I can change the cover if I want to, as I did with both novels after initial publishing.

(INM) So what’s next for Author Linda Rue Quinn?

(LRQ) I am working on putting together my short story collection while writing a sequel to The Apple Fell. The working title is “The Sharp Knife” and it will be thought-provoking and controversial; the hardest book so far.

(INM) Is there any other hat’s Linda Rue Quinn wears? Perhaps, painter, singer, musician….

(LRQ) My family was very musical (my father was a band director and my mother was a soloist), and I followed suit. I played clarinet for 12 years. I love to sing in choirs and have done my fair share of solos (scared half to death) in church. I played piano but not very well! I’d love to stay I could draw something more than stick figures, but that would be a lie. I love photographing God’s creation in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

We can’t tell you how happy we are to have you here on Two Voices….One Thought! And we know we speak for all our friends that, THE APPLE FELL, sounds like an incredible read! We look forward to seeing more of your work in the future & wish you the very best with your books! For those of you interested in picking up your copy of, THE APPLE FELL, we will be leaving links as to where you can purchase your copy. We will also include Linda’s blog & any other sites that promotes Linda’s work. (We will also be offering a free copy of Linda’s book to a random Commenter, so be sure to vent!)

  1. http://www.amazon.com/The-Apple-Fell-LindaQuinnebook/dp/B00GFGE7JS/
  2. http://www.amazon.com/The-Cyrano-Game-Linda-Quinn/dp/1478381604
  3. http://authorlindaruequinn.com/ WRITING IS CHEAPER THAN THERAPY
  4. http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6510004.Linda_Rue_Quinn
  5. http://www.pinterest.com/lindaruequinn/
  6. http://www.linkedin.com/pub/linda-rue-quinn/20/3b4/2a4
  7. http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2qYGgQ5FZZ_bOhDTPsTYAQ YOUTUBE BOOK TRAILERS

The Versatile Blogger X 2 = One Great Friend!

A little over a month ago, we received a message from a dear friend of ours, that she nominated us for the VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD!

This brilliant & beautiful writer is none other than….

Victoria Dougherty

Victoria Dougherty of (Blog) Cold: The way revenge is best served; the way a war was fought; the way a story should be told.

A phenomenal blog that we’ve been following for quite some time. If you haven’t been to Victoria’s blog, then stop what your doing & pop on over to read some of her brilliant posts.   http://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/

Of course when we received this lovely award, we we’re a little twisted about accepting it.

After all…we had already been nominated for THE VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD by another friend and didn’t want to overkill the award, bring shame to the title or have false award claims filed against us!

Blogging Judge

We also didn’t want to ignore the honor bestowed upon us by a fellow writer we respect so much.  So, we gave the idea some serious thought with days of sweating bullets & nights of restless sleep.

With nothing to do but think of the award! Well, that’ not exactly true. We did allow our mind to wonder a bit….

call of duty

(as they start on their eighteenth hour of killing Zombies in Call of Duty)

Tuned in for the next round of: The Voice

Then got into a philosophical debate on the theory of the Alpha Male as taken from an intelligent website:

http://www.islandmix.com/backchat/f6/alpha-male-theory-206115/

The idea being: “One of the tenets of evolutionary psychology is that women are programmed to test men for strength and leadership. Constantly.” Now where were we? Hm…..Oh yes, Alpha Males! Which ended up in an age old debate of Vampires vs. Werewolves (True Blood for those who aren’t fans) Inion loving Alexander Skarsgard & myself being a Joe Manganiello fan.

Then when we’d had enough of the mental torture. What we figured it all boiled down to was this. When a friend gives you a gift…you don’t turn it down or say, “Thanks but my other friend gave me one already!” No, you feel utterly honored and completely humbled because they took the time to say, your blog means something to them as does your friendship!

And so, we’d like to thank Victoria Dougherty for this unbelievable award she’s given to us. And we’d like to ask all of you, who didn’t follow the link up above

to go ahead & visit Victoria’s blog right now & check her out.

Well…not that kind of checking her out!!

We won’t follow the rules to the Award as we’ve already done this before, so we are merely going to accept graciously and leave it at that.

But we will tell you all, that it’s been an unbelievable journey we’ve had so far & the best part of the journey was meeting all of you, our blogging buddies who have become close & beloved friends, sisters/brothers & who are held close to our hearts! Now catch this great, big, giant, kiss from Inion N. Mathair Mwa (they make smoocy sounds XXXXXX)

Now we shall head back to the writing room & editing once I get Inion off this image!

adam levine

I’m Just An Old Chunk of Coal

Well we’ve headed back to our writing room, put up the sign & warned all our networking friends & family that we’ll be out of commission for a while.

Although we’ve had a few disturbances…mainly Nana’s dog Peppy whose disguised himself and infiltrating our workroom.

That one didn’t work, Peppy!

That one either!

What can we say. The dog has issues! ;)

We we’re finally able to clear the room and begin working on our book. We we’re doing pretty good too. Although Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & our blog we’re calling to us. And even though our email was piling up. We we’re good girls and stayed off line concentrating on our novel.

We had a good pace and we’re hopeful that we could get through this process with little to no bickering…disagreements…& mud slinging!

Coarse, it got rough there for a while!

We we’re at the end of our ropes!

Then our Bus.Manager/Nana came in to lend a hand.

First she recommended that we visit a few blogs we love to read to unwind & get our mind off the story. That’s easy enough!

Beth Teliho

We had some hysterical laughs at: Writer B Is Me, thanks to our Bethie! Thx

We had some phenomenal advice from another friend who gave us some incredible ideas for…..guess what? Of all things, how to fill the time between editing so you don’t go crazy. Thanks Coleen!!

 

Coleen Patrick

 

We looked at some beautiful pictures, thanks to the incredible photography of: Cindy Knoke.

I Blog Therefore I Am

I Blog Therefore I Am

Then we held a Facebook “Hemsworth Contest” asking all our Facebook friends to vote on which Hemsworth brother was their favorite.

Hemsworth's

We even made up fake prizes promising  a hot date with Chris or Liam for the 2 randomly chosen winners. (We did this to get votes for our favs, (Mathair’s) being a Liam fan & (Inion) being a Chris fan! Sorry for the fake date guys! In order to make restitution we’ve set up a real one with our neighbor/brothers- Enos & Lawtry Humplefrumpf!

Enos & Lawtry

But now we’re back on track & ready to work. We will be taking a break from posting for a while. Well…kind of! We’ll have a phenomenal interview with Author J.C. McKenzie about her book due to launch March 27th. SHIFT HAPPENS. So excited for that one!!

jc mckenzie

But other than that & a few silly’s we will be quiet and will have long times between those. Imagine that! I’m sure when we’re done, we’ll be dead tired & ready to throw our laptops out!

But with a little luck & lotta hard work we’ll have finished New Salem Chronicles: The 13 Reapers & will have turned an old chunk of cole into a diamond. ;)

We love all of you our Blogging Buddies who have been there from the start and offered a hand in friendship, listening to our rants, giving advice when needed & making us laugh & cry! And so we’ll leave you with the man in black to finish this blog post:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uo77IeKBRs4

 

 

 

Interview with Writer, Rachel Harrell

As you all know, Inion & I have been busy these past few months promoting our books. Part of this process included traveling to schools in three different states and speaking to some amazing young people, who like us have chosen the field of writing for better or worse. But of all the students we’ve talked too one stood out among the sea of young artists. A young girl whose passion for the craft and love for books was more than admirable. It was downright inspirational.

To give you a little background, Rachel Harrell is a fourteen year old student at Enka Middle School in Asheville. A picturesque city nestled in the Smoky Mountains in the state of North Carolina…our neck of the woods.

photo

What makes Rachel very special other than the fact that she has a heart of gold, is that she has written her first book and is readying it for publication. Incredible as it may seem, Rachel will soon be a published Author and she’s only 14.

Rachel was seven years old when she realized she wanted to be a writer. Of course it helped that her foundation was solid. She found her strongest support from her parents and grandmother, who were always encouraging her to read books and write. It’s the perfect ground for the seed of a young artist to flourish and a supportive home is something Inion and I accredit as the building blocks for our own careers.

We’ve been dying to host Rachel on Two Voices One Thought   and introduce her to all of you, our closest friends and allow you to get to know this extraordinary young writer. So, without further ado…we would like to introduce, Rachel Harrell.

(INM) Hi Rachel. Thank you for allowing us to host you here at, Two Voices One Thought.

(RH) Well thank you for having me on here and doing an interview on me. It really means a lot.

(INM) We know you have a deeply rooted love for books in general, but what is your favorite genre to read from?

(RH) Fiction; I love fiction, any fiction but especially dystopian books. I love reading just to see what writers can create and what could come to the future ahead of us.

(INM) Great choice! That’s a favorite of ours as well and a great time for that particular genre. You told us you were seven years old when you began writing stories.

(RH) That’s when I was able to come up with stories of my own and write them down.

(INM) Was there a book that inspired you or helped to influence your decision to become a writer? And if it was more than one, please list them all.

(RH)  No, there wasn’t a book that influenced me to be a writer, but many books have helped improve the way I write. Books like: “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins and “Divergent” by Veronica Roth.

(INM) Those are some pretty amazing titles Rachel & incredible Authors. Let’s talk a little bit about your book you’re working on right now. What’s the title of the book and tell us a little bit about it.

(RH)  The name of my book is, “The Dagger”   here is a synopsis.

The world has been taken over by shape shifters, creatures that can take the form of any other creature’s soul. The only way to save the world is to find the cyrosphere; a blue-sphere that will release all of the taken souls back to their owners and kill all of the shape shifters. But when Ally Forges, 17, and her brother Thomas Forges, 10, find the cyrosphere, it breaks and Ally is taken captive while Thomas escapes. Ally is taken to the Mississippi Laboratory and all her possessions are taken,  including her father’s dagger. When she escapes with the help of Liam Rhiders (18) and Christina Rhiders (15) they take her back to their tree house where she is reunited with her brother Thomas. After being in the safety of the Rhiders, Ally starts having strange dreams involving her father’s dagger. In these dreams she learns that there is a second cyrosphere and the map that will lead her to it is engraved on the handle of her father’s dagger. At first she just thinks that she’s going crazy but then she has to consider that there may be another cyrosphere?

(INM) Wow, that sounds amazing, Rachel! We can’t wait to pick up our copy. How long have you been working on “The Dagger” and what gave you the idea for the story?

(RH)  I have been working on “The Dagger” for about a year now and what inspired me to write it was dystopian books.

(INM) Again, can’t wait to read your book as I’m sure all our visitors feel the same. So tell us, is this your first book you’ve completed or the first one you’ve decided to publish? Are there any more books on the back-burner awaiting publication?

(RH)  I don’t have any books on the back burner but I do have many ideas for possible future books.

(INM) Sounds like you’ve got a busy future ahead of you with a lot of great books still to come! So, do you dabble in any other form of writing or want to try your hand at something else; possibly Poetry, school newspaper, Short Stories or another genre?

(RH)  I’ve done illustrations before writing. At one point I loved drawing and painting so much that I wanted to be an artist.

 (INM) Ah yes, your illustrations. That’s something Inion’s been dying to take a peek at! Will there be any of your illustrations in “The Dagger” or are you saving those for another book? Perhaps a picture book?

(RH) There will be no illustrations in “The Dagger” since it is a chapter book, but I do want the cover of my book to be one of my drawings. A picture book I can see myself doing in the future maybe… but for now, I’m just concentrating on writing short stories and chapter books.

(INM) We’d love to have you return to Two Voices One Thought and allow us to display some of your illustrations. So Rachel, you’ve told us your favorite Genre and the books that helped influence your writing. But can you recommend what books you’ve read more recently that we’re page turners?

(RH) The books that I highly recommend or have stayed up until the break of dawn reading are:

- “The Fault In Our Stars” by John Green

- “The Selection” by Kiera Cass

- “The Host” by Stephanie Meyer.

- “Divergent” by Veronica Roth

- “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins

 (INM) We’ve read The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins and just to let you all know a few months ago Rachel recommended Divergent by Veronica Roth to Inion, who bought it the same day and finished it the same day. So if you haven’t read it yet, most definitely check this one out.  ;)

Speaking of great stories, let’s get back to “The Dagger”  Without giving away any spoilers, Rachel, can you please tell us a little bit about your main character, Ally Forges and her journey.

(RH) Ally Forges is a 17 year old girl who has lived through the invasion for 2 years with the job of taking care of her 10 year old brother Thomas. She is out going, brave, and strong willed throughout the story; which is told through her point of view giving the readers an inside look into her thoughts and memories of her past as she takes the readers with her on her journey.

(INM) A strong teenage protagonist with some flavor to her…sounds to me like Ally’s journey is going to be a great read; can’t wait Rachel! Now onto a question Inion’s been dying to ask you.

(Inion) Rachel, like you I knew I wanted to be a writer at an early age. But it took years of working in different aspects of the field as well as dabbling in different types of writing before I knew how my gift would evolve. Still, I love to look at where my dream started to where it winded up bringing me. Can you tell us what your plans for the future are? Where do you see yourself in ten years?

(RH) In the future I want to go to college in the United Kingdom and become a writer and publisher. I hope to be living in London in ten years.

(INM) Now that’s a dream worth dreaming and a dream worth pursuing! This next question can be challenging for some writers to figure out while others say it comes easy and is their favorite part. Have you thought about the cover for “The Dagger” And if you’ve already decided on it, would you mind sharing it with our friends?

(RH) I do have a cover! At least what I want for a cover. ( I hope) it is going to be a dagger with the blade pointing up and a ring of fire surrounding it. I have the drawing in my writer’s notebook (a notebook I keep with me to write all of my ideas for new books and pictures in).

(INM) That sounds incredible and will most definitely catch the eye of potential readers! Can’t wait to see it Rachel. Our next question is rather mature but most definitely important; important in the sense that we need to hear from young writers like yourself, how you feel about it.

Our economy is clearly having problems and like most, the literary world is feeling the impact; not only the literary world but the Art world in general. Whether it’s photography, singing (chorus), musician (band), journalism (school paper) creative writing, poetry, drama (acting) or painting/sketching every day more and more programs/classes are being cut out of the curriculum or suffering from a lack of funds.

When we visited Enka Middle School, we learned that many of the classes that make up the Art Department are suffering due to budget cuts, lack of funds and like many of the schools across this great nation causing a decrease in the amount of time and money that can be afforded these projects and classes. It’s not just your school, Rachel. Our local school Franklin High, Home of the Panthers has recently made some pretty serious cut-backs to several of their art classes and even had to cut one completely out of the curriculum. The school in Florida we visited said the teacher was all but donating her time to the class and it’s the same with the one in New York. How do you feel about this Rachel and how does this impact you as an artist?

(RH)  I think the art world is what makes teenagers like me, creative. I also think that no matter what happens, you have to continue working on what you love doing. I do think that it is bad that money is being taken away from the art programs and some even being cut is…just terrible. The art world is what I am involved with in a lot of things. I write, play guitar and draw and all of those are in the art world and those kind of programs are disappearing because they don’t have enough money to continue. And that hits home for me. And to hear about teachers dedicating their time to keep these programs running, I find amazing and am very thankful. My creative writing class after school, the teacher who does it volunteers their time to work the club. But I truly do think that no matter what happens, you have got to continue working on what you love.

(INM) Thank you Rachel that was beautifully said and you’ve brought out a very important point. No matter what an artist goes through or what road blocks they meet, they must always find a way to continue to pursue their dreams and practice their craft. Let’s hope that very soon some of these courses can be restored and we can work together to keep these programs alive and available for young artists like yourself.

As you know Rachel, most of our blogging friends are writers like yourself. With marketing in the forefront and “platform” being the word of the day, every day, what selection process determines your choice of book/author? How do you find the books you & your friends are reading. (T.V., bookstores, library, internet, word of mouth, what movies are hot at the theater?)

(RH) A catchy title or interesting summary. My friends and I- usually the books we love come from recommendations or for me also I go online and look up the top 100 Young Adult. I don’t think television really has a big factor in it because the books advertised on T.V. are usually books that I have already read or are about to become books. I always love to take recommendations for books and like Inion, I am usually in the library every morning reading or looking for a new book. Or if I am at the mall I always have to go into the book store and look in the Young Adult section. After I am done in the bookstore I usually come out with at least one book or more. But your book doesn’t have to be in a bookstore, you just have to get it out there and tell people about it and it will spread like wild fire.

Thank you for your honest answers. I don’t know about all of you but we can’t wait to read Rachel’s Book:  “The Dagger”.

Rachel, it’s been fun having you here on Two Voices One Thought and we’re quite sure that we speak for all our friends & blogging community when we say how proud we are of you for being able to finish your book. An accomplishment that’s amazing at any age but more so incredible at yours.

We’re quite certain that we will be hearing great things from this young lady in the future & look forward to the day, when she’ll be signing her books for all of us.

Below this post you’ll find an excerpt from Rachel’s book “The Dagger” This is the rough-draft and is about to go to editing. I’m sure Rachel would appreciate any comments, advice or questions you might have for her.

Excerpt from “THE DAGGER”

I was in our old house, sitting at the small square table. My father sat in front of me reading the newspaper while mother sat to my left, drinking a steaming cup of coffee. A biscuit was placed on a plate in front of me with a cup and what smelled like green tea. I could hear my younger brother, Thomas playing with his action figures making explosion sounds as he clanked them together. This was our routine before the invasion, but something in my gut told me this whole situation was wrong.

Without thinking, I grabbed the biscuit but before I could bring it to my mouth, Father’s hand slammed down on mine, causing a surge of pain to run up my arm. He looked up from the newspaper and straight into my eyes.

“Find it, Ally. Find the dagger now!” He said forcefully, then his arm started to fade and the pressure of his hand on mine felt as though the weight had been lifted.

Soon, he was gone. I looked to my mother but she was no longer there either and the voice I had recognized as Thomas’ had stopped. As if by magic, I was in a white room still at our square wooden table, but the biscuit and cup of tea were no longer in front of me.

It was replaced with my father’s dagger that the shape shifters had taken from me. I gently lifted it close enough to my eyes so that I could inspect the handle. On it was a detailed map. Little triangles along the carven path; the path starts at what looks like a building that ends at an ‘X’. I finally realized that this was the map that my father had told me about in my last dream. But just as it was there, it was gone.

I woke with a startle, sweat dripped down my face, my breath came fast, heart pounding. I took a minute to calm down and slow my heart beat while Liam lay peacefully beside me; his mind still filled with dreams no doubt. Only his breathing was steady compared to mine. My body urged for more sleep but after that dream I wouldn’t be able to get a minutes rest. So instead, I looked to the forest around me in hopes that it would ease my tension.

The chirping of the birds echoed through the forest and filled the morning air as they chatted from tree to tree. Laying down and looking up at the sky I could watch as the sun replaced the night sky, bringing back the colors it had taken with it last night.

Purple, pink and orange ran through the sky like children in a playground. For a moment, the image made me forget what kind of world we lived in now, compared to what it was only a few years back.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?”

I jumped at the sudden break in silence. “You scared me,” I exclaimed .

Liam chuckled. His arms were folded across his knees and pulled up close to his chest.  He did this only when relaxed which wasn’t often.

“Sorry, but everything seems so peaceful.” He breathed out.

He was right. It seemed as if nothing had happened, like we could just go home and enjoy our family; a family that neither of us had anymore, apart from our siblings.

“Yeah, it does.” I agreed.  “It makes me feel like the invasion never happened, as if there’s just peace.” I sighed.

We sat in silence, watching what was left of the sunrise.

“We better get going, so we can get more food for Christina and Thomas.” I said. I slung my backpack on as did Liam and soon we were on our way to the next warehouse we would raid.

The Artistic Well

What is an Artist?  “An artist is a person engaged in one or more of any of a broad spectrum of activities related to creating art, practicing the arts, and/or demonstrating an art.

To be artistic is to be open to all that is around you. To see things that others cannot and help them to see it through your eyes.

We recently read a brilliant post by Amy Sundberg which we will be leaving the link to and recommend you read her view-point of what it means to be an Artist.

For us, it’s been a way of life passed down from one generation to the next. We seem to have a plethora of artists on both sides of my family. And although the art has varied in degree’s, changed a bit in styles and ventured to new avenues, most all our family have had their hand in the artistic well in one form or another and drank from it freely.

We have/had writers, journalists, painters, seamstresses (quilting, crocheting), photographers, sketch artists and MUSICIANS; a slew of musicians. When my mother and father married they united two families of musicians giving us abundance. And not just musicians who play for the love of playing; more than five of them made a living out of it my father included.

ARTISTC EVOLUTION:

evolution

Of course new generations bring with them new ideas and passion for what their art would and could be. Coming from the Dirty South, the elders (my great grandparents: Kenny and Jackie) of our family had a deep love for Blue grass and country. So there was never a shortage of this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7I6F4Hnt9k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-wJNpWgss8

But then my grandparents (Poppa and Nana) who grew up in the 1950′s loved their era of music so we loved rockin’ around the clock as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9r2pEdc1_lI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gj0Rz-uP4Mk

The younger family members were introduced to another style and with it my Uncles’ love for Southern Rock, then enters my mother’s preferred music, the Blues. Of course around the 1990′s, Mathair heard a musical group and fell in love with their sound and style and thus was born her love for Grunge. That one she never shook!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTWKbfoikeg

Then came the new generation: me with my preferred style of Classical.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHzfD6XLK7Q

Should we go further, we’d find my sixteen year old brother….. Okay, so we stopped evolving and crept back up the ladder to the grunge rung. Shoot! I wanted to persuade him to listen to classical and win another for my team but it just wouldn’t take!!! Damn that Mathair!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxKWTzr-k6s

A family of stringed persuasion with a family of percussionists, we had musicians stacked to the ceiling. Nine guitarist, two drummers and now my brothers playing so make that 3.  One banjo player, one bassist, Grandpa played the mandolin and my Uncle played the harmonica. Ahem…I took piano for a year. Okay, back to the musicians. Our family used to get together every Sunday after church and eat a sinfully delicious meal of Soul Food then play together for three to four hours or what they would call their jam. I remember those Sundays and loved them so much that they still make me smile and fill my heart with a longing for the old days before we lost so many of our family members.  And those memories trigger my senses to the sounds of music, laughter and the smell and tastes of great food.

My great grandmother Jackie singing “Mule Skinner Blues” or “Crazy by Patsy Cline”; my Uncle Barry and Mama playing guitars while my dad played drums with my Poppa picking his leads while Uncle Robert thumped his bass. And the food, Good Lord! The smell of collard greens/ham hock simmering in the pot-liquor fills the air and makes my mouth water; the beautiful glazed ham baking in the oven; Nana making homemade macaroni and cheese. No box crap here, this is the South! And yes my friends, it’s not an urban legend or a great movie, fried green tomatoes with the best batter the South has to offer. (Sorry I can’t give away, it’s a family recipe!)  And what good Southern meal doesn’t come with cornbread and red-eyed gravy. I can feel my hips expanding as I think back.

After the pants were unbuttoned and we couldn’t eat another bite of food it was time to take a walk to the music room where a circle of guitars awaited their musicians and a drum set sat in the corner. Microphones scattered about, amps turned up.

Although we are Southern and kept with those Bluegrass roots and country, the younger family members went their own way so, our dinners were introduced to Uncle Barry’s passion: Lynard Skynard, 38 Special, ZZ Top, The Eagles just to name a few.

Then there was mama, who at that time (the eighties pre-grunge) just couldn’t get enough of the blues, loving and learning the greats such as: Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, Stevie Ray Vaughan and the names go on and on.

I’ll never forget the day mama started a playing a tune on her electric guitar and the smiles broke out on everyone’s face as they joined in. Right before they were done, my Poppa’s voice rose above the music. “That’s tasty little girl, what’s the name of it?” Mama nodded then broke into the lyrics of Cocaine by Eric Clapton. Poor Poppa’s smile fell and he looked shocked, but joined in and played the hell out of a song called Cocaine. (Hold while I laugh. As you all know my Poppa was a minister. Thank God he had a great sense of humor and believed in his children’s right to choose their own artistic avenues.) Once an artist, always an artist, yet how can art bloom unless it’s given the freedom to move? Never confine art!

Good food, good family, good music and art evolving and becoming something wholly different from its root but Art nevertheless. To say life couldn’t get any better, would be putting it mildly. Of course like any dream, it did come to an end. Five of those people from those memories are gone now, gone home to be with the Lord. But I can at least say, that I tasted from the artistic well and one day, will see them again, where we’ll meet for good food, good music and good family or as my poppa like to call it, a ho-down!!

I guess artistic souls will always be evolving and find their avenues of creation. Most of the Artists we’ve met have more than one passion: novelists who also write poetry, Journalists who paint; Photographers who also play guitar in a band on the weekend, Fiction Authors who quilt. So tell us…what are you our dear friends waiting to surprise us with? What other waters do you pull from the well? We’d love to hear what your artistic gifts are. We know your writers, but what else turns you on? What’s your other gift that you love to practice? Whether it keeps you busy, allows you to vent, maybe it’s passed down from your family or perhaps you went off on your own and created something new. Whatever your passion may be, we are Artists and the well runs deep!

AMY SUNDBERG’S BLOG:  THE PRACTICAL FREE SPIRIT:  http://practicalfreespirit.com/2012/02/21/what-does-it-mean-to-be-an-artist/

What do our Top Ten Books tell you about us?


We’ve recently been selected by our good friend & fellow blogger J.C. Wolfe of “The Wolfe’s Den” http://jaycwolfe.com/ to partake in a literary challenge, where the recipient chooses 10 books, their all-time favorites.
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Sounds easy enough… fun even right? But what a daunting task to select only ten. After all, these books to a writer/reader are sacred.
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In some cases, the stories can be the readers first love, first friendship, first scare. First time they were introduced to an idea that ended up being the basis for a strong belief. Ideas that shaped who they are & influence the way they write.
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When writers are asked what their favorite books are, do they approach that process differently than readers? And what does it tell you about them? Does it ever influence your opinion? Do we find people with similar interests? Or do we like to network with those who are different, adding variety to our friendship like our books. Perhaps you’re a choosey reader, “A one-genre only kinda gal/guy. Maybe you prefer Nonfiction over Fiction, keeping both feet in the real world rather than letting your heart be led astray by fantasy.

When Inion & I meet a new blogger/friend on line. We will always look at their book history. Their list of fav’s, must-reads or take a look at their reviews, as if it will reveal some secret about the person as to who they are. Pleasant introductions and a trail that leads directly to them while filling in the blanks. No different than dating, after all these books take up space in our mind, occupy our hearts & can cleanse & even darken our souls. They add to our personalities can make us change our way of thinking. Can be a long-lasting relationship or perhaps just a fling, here today gone tomorrow; but great while it lasted.
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When you think about it, a person’s book preference allows us an intimate look into their soul. Just a peek… but a peek never the less. There are so many reasons why a writer/reader needs more than ten books to hold as treasures and favorites. But when we’re forced to narrow them down, it allows us to reflect on the ones that truly made the difference in our lives & craft. These are but a few of the reasons we used on our checklist.

 Those magical places that are fantastical enough to allow us to escape but real enough to keep our feet on the ground.
 Those unique male protagonists that open our heart; catch our breath; make us feel young again. Our literary significant-other.
 Those female protagonists that we put on a pedestal. Amazing ladies from the in-between that stay with us & act as our conscience, reflections of our own souls, or our idols.
 The villains that flavor our naughty side. The characters we just love to hate. What would any story be without the antagonist? The evil mastermind who spends his/her entire existence ruthlessly plotting the takedown of our beloved MC’s. How many of us find our literary soul mate in the same place we find the villain? You good-girls love those bad-boys! And these my friends are the real-deal-bad-boys!!
 How ‘bout that perfect, best friend. Whether it’s the boy next door, an imaginary creature, the Kooky but wise old man or woman, the eccentric teacher, the loner teen whose completely misunderstood by everyone but the MC.
 The Plots that have us second guessing. Those twists & turns that we don’t see coming.
 Charming Romances popping up, surprising us at every corner & finding us in places & faces we didn’t expect. Spooky urban legends lived out in tales of horror. Unique curses that haunt families & unsuspecting victims. Romantic formulas tested & tried in the literary fires to come out clean on the other side.

What are some of the guidelines that make up YOUR check list in search for your top ten? How do you determine one book holds more importance than another?

Our List of Top (10) Books:
Inion’s (5) Picks:

• The Witching Hour by Anne Rice: This is probably my favorite book of all time and one I commit to read annually. Rooted in the Celtic culture and showcasing my all-time fave paranormal characters: witches, I first read this book at the ripe ole age of thirteen and have loved it ever since. It’s such an intricate novel, but the layers aren’t random and disconnected. They merge beautifully into one solid story. Everything about The Witching Hour intrigued me. From the seductive setting of New Orleans to the strong family aspect, but most of all that along with these powers came a heavy burden. With every action comes a reaction and it’s nice to see that worldly law abided by otherworldly creatures. It makes them seem all the more real/human to us, which also makes them much more relatable.
• C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe:(Mutual I & M) It was the first time I’d seen fiction so interwoven with reality and that mash up has been a signature that Inion N. Mathair’s adopted as their own style since our conception. Not to mention, it opened my eyes to see that even the innocent (children) are susceptible to the world’s evils or rather the immorality of men. It showed that sometimes people underestimate the strength in children and the lengths at which they’re willing to go to protect themselves, those they love, and/or do what is right. It was also the first book Mathair ever gave me, (which I still have in my collection).
• The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice: (in my opinion) Is the greatest fictional character of all time, Lestat has always been a great inspiration for me. The perfect villain/hero with beautiful flaws (i.e. arrogant, broken, cynical, seductive, vain) horrifying characteristics and a soft vulnerability that’s captured millions of readers.
• The Dark Phoenix Saga by Chris Claremont (artwork by Dave Cockrum and John Byrne): This was the first time that I realized that not all characters are safe and not all endings are happy. I also love an ensemble cast of characters that are vibrant and could very well be leads on their own. For those of you that haven’t read the brilliance known as The Dark Phoenix Saga, I suggest you take a peek at a story that is wonderfully balanced with suspense, drama and heart along with the brilliant illustrations to go along with them.
• The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien: I’d never delved into a world the way I did with this one. Middle Earth became like a second home to me while reading Tolkien’s works. A place where magic is completely viable and danger is ever present, lurking around every glen or mountain. While the entirety of the saga is heavily doused in the fantastical realm, its conflicts and obstacles are very much a reality. It also had these beautiful poignant moments of vulnerability and random bouts of humor that alleviated the tension that seemed constantly suspended within the story.
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Mathair’s (5) Picks:

 On The Banks of Plum Creek / 4th Book in the: Little House Series By Laura Ingalls Wilder I first read this book, when I was in the 6th Grade. From the time I started until I closed the book, I fell in love with the story of a close family whose journey thru this life was anything but simple or trivial. What I find amazing is the idea of something as simple and relatable as this that could be loved by so many. A perfect example of the rule: Writers write what you know. Little House Series proved a reader didn’t need paranormal creatures leaping off every page. Magical doors or holes to escape. Yet each & every page seemed to hold another adventure keeping my attention.
 Nancy Drew The Secret of the Old Clock By Carolyn Keene (pseudonym) Mildred Wirt Benson. It’s funny when I look back I remember it adorning my dresser, collecting dust, as it added to the décor of my room. I finally read it & asked my mother to buy me the next book in the series as I couldn’t wait for the bus. The first copy I had checked out from a traveling book bus that came to our rural town once every three months. I thought for sure I would hate it. I didn’t like child-like mysteries that we’re easy to solve & lacked in horror offering me no kind of a challenge. Yet this writer found ways to make PG thrills, completely bad ass & spun mysteries worthy of any detective worth their salt. I read the books like any die-hard fan, until I was too embarrassed to carry them to High School for fear of being made fun of. Don’t get me wrong, I still luv me some Stephen King every once in a while. But books should be like that. Diverse for every need & time in your life. The Nancy Drew series was the series that did just that. Filled a perfect gap in my life between important ages & changes.
 A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (Mutual) This classic piece of literature needs no sell as it is still beloved and read by millions at Christmas. I know we still read this at our home & never get tired of the story that has magically morphed into something other worldly. Charles Dickens was a man before his time. Writing tales that we’re not only entertaining. But which also challenged us as human beings & gave us morally grounded questions to ask ourselves. He set the bar for many & showed the penalty for neglecting others. Perfect holiday lesson for all of us to learn & be reminded of every year.
 Little Women By: Louisa May Alcott Oh how I could go on forever about this one. I was thirteen years old when my mother passed this book to me & told me to read about the March women. I gave that same copy to my daughter at the same age. Funny enough, neither of us ever had the luxury of a sister but the book doesn’t isolate it’s readers that way. It’s one of those tales that finds a way to speak to you, no matter your age, race, gender or siblings & is completely relatable as long as your capable of love. I’ve seen every movie, the play (a couple of times) & even had the privilege of watching a “Little House On The Prairie” Episode that was dedicated to the story. But I have yet to see anything on the big screen or the stage, that could match the brilliance found on those pages.
 The Haunting of Hill House By: Shirley Jackson This book, was the first book I ever had restrictions with. Cut me a little slack…..other than a few of Poe’s works, I had yet to be introduced to the Horror-King. The Haunting of Hill House was my daylight read as my house seemed to come alive at night & toy with me while I was trying to read. I should’ve known then that my overworked imagination was finding it’s footing in the world of writing. It seemed to me that the story was manifesting itself; intruding on my world. But you can better believe that I didn’t put it down until I finished it.
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And there they are! Inion N. Mathair’s top ten picks. A big thank you to J.C. Wolfe for giving us this challenge. For inspiring us to curl up with some classic favorites while adding a few new ones from her list, to our must-read!

And now, we would like to pass this challenge off to, three of our blogging- buds to continue the chain. We had a few ladies in mind but our female bloggers we feel as though we know pretty well. So, in order to make this a real challenge & get to know some of our other buds we thought we’d share this challenge with a few of our male friends and pick their brains & see what books they come up with. So the challenge goes to:

1st Mike Vogler / Past My Curfew Musings From A Night Owl http://pastmycurfew.com/
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2nd Phil Gayle / For Singles & Couples http://forsinglesandcouples.wordpress.com/about/
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3rd Coach Daddy / It’s All About Fatherhood, Futbol & Food http://coachdaddyblog.wordpress.com/
Congrats gentlemen we look forward to your Top 10!!
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Congrats Gentlemen!!

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The Sunshine Award

a>a>href=”http://inionnmathair.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/sunshineblogaward.png”&gt;The Sunshine Blog Award

Lo & behold an angel of light appeared in the form of an award from a feisty, blonde with a hearty-helping of sunshine to brighten our dreary, wintry days.

sunshine breaking thru on winter

It would seem, Inion N. Mathair has been nominated for an award. The Sunshine Award. Coarse we should’ve known that it would be the bubbly, energetic & hysterical Texan, Beth Teliho (our Bethie) that would douse our dark-duo with some much needed sunshine. And what a perfect time to receive the rays, with the thermometer reading 2 degrees in the Smoky Mountains.

2 Degrees Yikes!

So first off, let us give thanks to Beth Teliho for always being such a great friend & wonderful blog sister whose always thinking of others. Thx Bethie!!! xoxo
Beth Teliho

If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting this Beautiful & Brilliant, Southern firecracker, please take the time to head on over to her blog {Writer B Is Me} & read some of her posts & southern anecdotes that will have you laughing til ya cry!
writer B is me

Next, we’re going to fulfill the stipulations which we absolutely love by the way and answer seven (7) Unknown Facts about Inion N. Mathair, then give seven (7) Quirky Facts about us as a duo. Once we’re done with that, we’ll be passing this award onto eleven (11) others, spreading the sunshine, in some other chilly places across this great, big blogosphere & hopefully brightening another bloggers day as Bethie did ours!
rules, rules, rules....351″ />

So, let’s get started…

7 Unknown Facts</

F:1) If you could go back in time ten years and tell yourself one thing what would it be?
I-A) Not to eat that second bowl of Butter Pecan Icecream. It all went downhill after that.
M-A) Not to sweat the little things.

F:2) What's your favorite ice cream flavor?
I-A) I thought I already answered that? lol
M-A) Only one?! Cookies-n-Cream

F:3) If you were to take me on a date, where would we go and why?
I-A) Well, first to a bookstore I haven't been too, maybe in Highlands or Asheville. Then, somewhere quiet with a breathtaking view (which our area has plenty of) & Read…read…read! When are stomachs begin to rumble, a quiet restaurant that has phenomenal vegetarian dishes & lastly a quaint coffee shop.
M-A) A Poetry Reading first. Then, a tasty Southern dinner, at a downhome, barbecue joint "Fat Buddies" would do! Lastly, if your starting off quiet & calm finish the night with a bang. A concert, perhaps Clapton, Pearl Jam, Harry Connick Jr., Foo Fighters.

F:4) Above all else, what are you afraid of?
I-A) Failing which in my book is anything other than the Best. I'm a perfectionist thanks to my competitive mother who has high expectations & whose driven me my entire life to be the best. I can't stand to be second at anything.
M-A) Too many things to count, which would make me a coward (lol). But, if I had to pin one thing. I guess I'd go with my biggest which seems to be snakes.

F:5) What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?
I-A) Be the first of my family to leave the South. Although I love my Dear Dixieland, I'd Move to Washington & set down roots, then write, write, write some more!!
M-A) Oh the possibilities… Okay, I guess I'd throw on an evening gown, grab a mic & sing Whitney Houston songs for millions. Lord help us!!

F:6) What has been your favorite age and why?
I-A) I like the age I'm at right now. My career, relationships, achievements, goals, my health. My late twenties have been good. I feel as though I've come into my own & know myself better than I ever have. I'm really happy.
M-A) Much like Inion, 28. Although I can't put my finger on it, as it was a number of things, I loved my late twenties.

F:7) Coffee or tea?
I-A) Without a doubt, Coffee.
M-A) I'd have to agree with Inion. I love me some coffee whether it's first thing in the morning, late at night while we're working or on a cold winter night it always hits the spot.

Quirky Facts</

Seven quirky facts:

1. We can’t write unless the television’s on, much like teenagers can’t do homework without tunes blasting in their ears. Of course now that I think of it, mom throws her Nirvana DVD's on which would count as music. But we also have, horror fest's, our nods to the 80's Molly Ringwald as well as Director John Hughes. Tim Burtonthons & what would a writing room be without the 2 muses who grace our space. Mine: Emma Thompson… Moms: Meryl Streep.

2. We’re tomboys at heart. I am a comic book junkie and Sci-Fi geek and secretly wish I was Indiana Jones. Mathair has the mindset & mouth of a teenage boy. Those of you that read our novel The Perfect 7 should know this due to the fact that she and Kevin Yager are one in the same. She is also a hardcore horror fanatic with a heavy emphasis on serial killers and sociopaths.

3. Our characters NEVER leave us. Much like a schizophrenic, our MC’s are constantly kicking around our heads, telling us their stories, speaking to us randomly throughout the day, giving their input on a situation & often times demanding our full attention. It can be a bit jarring. Thank God there are two of us or we’d never get anything done.

4. We’re southern girls at heart. Born and bred Floridians 7 generations, the two of us have yet to venture beyond the Mason Dixon line and have a special place in our heart for the Dirty South. We love Southern food, Southern traditions, Southern people & have a nasty twang that gets much thicker when intoxicated or angry. And of course there's the hottie perk. Southern-fried-gentlemen too hot for words… (Matthew McConaughey, Channing Tatum, Chace Crawford, & of course Kentucky born but Florida Raised: Johnny Depp.

5. We’re addicted to soaps. Though Mathair and I swore we’d never fall prey to the inevitable cliffhangers of an episodic saga, it only took two words to change all that: True Blood. It started a chain reaction, or rather a domino effect, branching out to Game of Thrones, Shameless, Dracula, Vikings, Marvel’s Agents of Shield, American Horror Story, American Horror Story: Coven, and so on and so forth. After the end of every season & last episode, I get a nasty look from Mathair, who informs me that it’s my fault she’s addicted.

6. We both suffered from night terrors as children. Mathair had a reoccurring dream about an old woman with a beehive hairdo, in a white nightgown named Meg, that haunted her childhood home and my bouts with Freddy Krueger are legendary in my family. Our dreams are so bad, we've even been known to walk, talk and fight off invisible boogeymen/women in our sleep.

7. Much like Kevin Yager, we’ve followed Mathair’s Celtic sixth sense or "gut" and have based many if not all of our business decisions on this instinct.

And the Nominees are....a>

Nominate eleven (11) Bloggers:

1.) Coleen Patrick http://coleenpatrick.com/
2.) Marcia Richards Blog http://marciaarichards.com/blog
3.) Lafemmeroar http://lafemmeroar.wordpress.com/
4.) The Regular Guy NYC (Phil) http://blog.theregularguynyc.com/
5.) Lizzie R Considerings http://www.summat2thinkon.blogspot.com/
6.) Aussa Lorens Hacker.Ninja.Hooker.Spy http://aussalorens.com/
7.) Phil Gayle For Singles & Couples http://forsinglesandcouples.wordpress.com/
8.) Menopausalmother http://www.menopausalmom.com/
9.) Mike Vogler Past My Curfew http://pastmycurfew.com/
10.) J. Cornell Michel/Jordon’s Brains http://jordansbrains.com/category/blog/
11.) Anita Noted in Nashville http://notedinnashville.com/

Thank you once again to our Sister from another Mister~Beth Teliho for giving us this incredible award! To those of you we’ve nominated, congrats!!

congrats!!!

Now, on another note. We would like to mention something completely off the wall & separate from the post. Below, we will be leaving a link to the School: Enka Middle School Teacher: Beth Lane. She is trying to raise money for the North Carolina Writing Programs for youth. Please do not feel pressured in any way, as we are not asking for donations but simply leaving the link for those who feel they want more information; while trying to bring about awareness for programs such as this one, that work diligently with young, apsiring writers.
young writers

http://www.donorschoose.org/blane

Thanks,
Beth Lane

beth.lane@bcsemail.org
8th Grade Language Arts
Enka Middle School

***Disney will match any donations up to $100 per donor between now and January 10th if donors use the promo code DISNEY during checkout.

Disney Will Match

Perks of Writing

There are a few perks that come with being an Author. The work itself is the most rewarding as those of us who’ve chosen this field are well aware there is nothing like bringing a story to life or as Inion & I like to call it the “Inbetween”. Those magical places that fill the pages set between the covers of a book. Or the rush that comes from writing/typing the last two words…The End.
Then there’s the readers who find their way to your books & connect with the characters, immerse themselves in the story. Is there anything that can match the feeling when you hear your characters being talked about, by your readers as they breathe life into them, making them all the more real? Seeing them not only in the light you intended but finding their own take on them as well.
Of course, we’d be lying if we didn’t include one of our favorite perks. That of having access to some incredible books written by the talented fellow authors that we probably would’ve never known about in the sea of millions had we not met them on this journey. Inion & I had never tried reading medical mysteries, suspense or thrillers, until we picked up a copy of Carrie Rubins, THE SENECA SCOURGE.

Carrie Rubin

Carrie Rubin

If you haven’t read the book, run, don’t walk and treat yourself to an early Christmas Gift. It is the perfect read between wrapping presents & trimming the tree. Her story has made fans in us of the genre. Thank you Carrie Rubin for expanding our minds & for a phenomenal story!!

Or the Zombie book we found by way of recommendation from FB friend Johney Brown, who encouraged us to pick up a copy of, J. Cornell Michel’s, JORDON’S BRAINS. Which by the way, I’ve still yet to have my turn as Inion is on her read of the book savoring every page.

J. Cornell Michel

J. Cornell Michel

Or my next book scheduled to read & review by the wonderful Coleen Patrick. COME BACK TO ME (Can’t wait for this one!)

Coleen Patrick

Coleen Patrick

So many wonderful artists whose stories will make for a long-lasting impression & forever kept in your heart.
Yet we still have another perk we would like to mention. And that is, finding the readers who are not just readers but who are aspiring writers. Dedicated teenagers who devour every book they can get their hands on while writing stories that show wisdom beyond their years and invoke passion into their characters & stories. Such is the case for Inion & I this Friday the 13th, when we arrived at Enca Middle School for a speaking engagement, after being invited by Ms. Beth Lane the Language Arts Teacher, to speak to all of her classes.
One hundred and fifteen, absolutely brilliant & passionate young writers who are committed to honing their crafts.

The last event Inion & I attended was so small & informal compared to this one, that it felt much like a slumber party at a friends house. (Which is nice.) But we we’re truly worried that the ole nerves would get the better of us. Instead, we’ve never felt more at home & more impressed by a teachers passion to teach & mold young writers & by the students committed to finding their voice in the literary world.
Of course, we must & will now thank, Rachel Harrell for making all of this possible. A beautiful & brilliant 14 year old Writer who loved our book & main character Renni Trenton from Nightwalkers: The Secret of Jessup & who made all of this possible, reaching out by way of her mother (Leslie Harrell, thank you Leslie) As she talked about the book in her class, her teacher overheard & bam! We have an invitation. So, thank you Rachel for being such an incredible supporter of our book. But more than that, for opening your heart to us and letting us speak with you about your writing & your dreams.
Ms. Lane of course was kind enough to send us a website link weeks before we arrived so we could read the children’s stories. This website displaying oodles of vastly original memoirs written by her students. All of them amazing & uniquely told in their own way. These are but a few: A Haunted Farm Visit, by: Cianna Rector. A camping trip that went coyote ugly, by: Wyatt Carter, Coyote Attack. The Night I Saw Her, is a touching tale of a little girls love for her dog & the guardian angel Shasha became watching over her loving master, by Christina Hampton. A young man’s recollection of an injury that read like the perfect horror story “Blood Bath” Nathan Brown. A young girls story as seen thru her eyes of a horrifying night when she endured a seizure. “Could be a Seizure” by: Sarah Lassiter. Or a trip to the hospital that was a long-lasting impression of a night never forgotten. The Seizure by: Samantha Griffin. A Hayride gone terribly wrong & leaving a young boy injured but a survivor none the less. The Time I Got Into An Accident By: Nathaniel Jon Zorawicki.
Lastly, a young girls story of becoming a big sister to a new baby-girl who was waiting to see her big sister & hear her lullaby sung just for her. By: Rachel Harrell. These are just a few.
We told Ms. Lane, from the get-go, that we didn’t want this to feel formal or stuffy. That we wanted to keep it a writers group where writers could just pick each others brains. And so she granted us our wish. As the kids sat on the floor in front of us, filling the library up, we sat at a table with our books displayed and a banter behind us made by the children to welcome us to their school. (We pause for an “awe to cute” moment). Soon, the teacher called out their adorable “get quiet call” Alligator she said. “Chomp, Chomp” they repeated as the room fell silent. For the first thirty minutes we discussed everything from what inpires us, our writing process, the Digital age of publishing. Traditional publishing, query letters. Platform. But then we tried to keep the focus on hooking readers early on, dialogue & editing, editing, editing as the teacher said she’d been trying to focus on these points since the beginning of school.
We shared who we we’re currently reading. The three names above coming up immediately. (Carrie Rubin, J. Cornell Michel & Coleen Patrick) as well as a museum we just visited with our poetry group that honors a local writer close to us in Georgia who was nominated for the Pulitzer, by the name of Byron Herbert Reece, telling them how important it is to know the local artists who contributed to the arts and area. And they told us who they we’re reading. The titles, perfect choices for young writers to pull from. We heard names such as, J.K. Rowling, Edgar Allan Poe, Kristen & PC Cast, Suzanne Collins & the Divergent trilogy, Veronica Roth.
We talked to them about their stories that we had read. Which ones hooked us early on. Which ones stood out in detail. And as we talked, we noticed more than a dozen taking notes. Such hungry artists eager for instruction & more than comfortable in their own skin to take constructive criticism. It was amazing. We gave them blog sites that we feel are a pool of knowledge for young writers & established writers alike: Jane Friedmans/ Writing, Reading & Publishing in the Digital Age, Kristen Lambs/ We Are Not Alone, Roz Morris/ Nail Your Novel, Patrick Ross/The Artists Road & Ollin Morales/Courage 2 Create.
We did a name drawing and gave away books to those who we’re fortunate enough to have their name pulled out of the basket and are only sorry we couldn’t afford to give each one a book.
We complimented the teacher on allowing the students to express themselves freely, using writing as a venting tool to get thru tough times in their lives or to express what it’s like to be 13 in today’s society and a writer.
To say that we left them with a good message, would only be a half truth. For we learned more than we taught. We took more than we gave & we left filled with a new hope for the future and the thousands of books waiting to be filled by a truly magnificent lot of artists.
We’re sorry to say that we did more talking than snapping away but will tell you that pictures wouldn’t have done the event justice. (least not ours! Boy we needed you Cindy Knoke!) But during Rachel’s interview we will be posting some of these pictures. And we would like all of you to take the time to swing by the website and meet this amazing teacher Beth Lane whose dedicated her life to molding writers. While there, please treat yourselves and read some of these incredible stories told by our future writers.
We would also like to inform you, that Rachel Harrell, the young lady who made all this possible, will be a guest of ours on Two Voices One Thought, after the New Year when we will be discussing her book she’s almost finished with. Yep!! You heard us. She’s almost done with her first book at the age of 14. Some of you have already heard us mention Rachel on Facebook and what an amazing young artist she truly is. We’ve already been bragging on all of you, our networking community and dear friends, and how we know you guys will welcome these young artists with open arms.
As for us, we’ve been given a new outlook on life. To see such passion in ones so young; such a love for the craft of writing….well, it leaves one optimistic for the future & what the future holds for us as readers!!

Thank you Ms. Lane for letting us speak to your students & thank you Rachel for believing in a dream of ours and for sharing yours!!
Thanks to: Enca Middle School
Librarian: Terri Crawford
Website: http://mrslaneslangartsclass.weebly.com/
Hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

OUR NEXT BLOG SHARE IS: I BLOG THEREFORE I AM/CINDY KNOKE

Two voices one thought, is a firm believer in spreading the love around. And as artists we should always respect, support & take the time to enjoy other forms of art. One of our earliest blogging friends came by way of the Photography field. Her art a sheer thing of beauty, we instantly fell in love with her acute eye for the most spectacular of life’s majesties. We’d love to put one post up but what a crime that would be to all of you. All we can ask is that you take the time to look through Cindy’s posts & the different months while treating yourself to the wondrous delight, that is Cindy Knoke’s Photography! We will leave some of our favorite links below & would love to hear from you in the comments, which of Cindy’s posts caught your eye. Without further ado, we introduce: Cindy Knoke and her blog: I Blog Therefore I Am:

I Blog Therefore I Am

I Blog Therefore I Am

Our Favorite Posts
WALKING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND http://cindyknoke.com/2013/09/29/walking-in-a-winter-wonderland/
BEAUTY IS TRUTH & TRUTH IS BANFF: http://cindyknoke.com/2013/09/21/beauty-is-truth-truth-banff/
REFLECTIONS OF BEAUTY: http://cindyknoke.com/2013/09/19/reflections-of-beauty/
& THE AUTUMN LEAVES ARE TURNING GOLD AT LAKE LOUISE IN BANFF NATIONAL PARK. http://cindyknoke.com/2013/09/17/the-autumn-leaves-are-turning-gold-at-lake-louise-in-banff-national-park/

Cindy’s latest WordPress Post has been pressed onto our Blog Below this one. Hope you all enjoyed yourselves! :)

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