Monthly Archives: August 2013

Mega Meme Monday! 08/26/2013

Not a lot of introduction this week as I am pressed for time now that school has started! This week’s winning Meme comes from a lass called Marie. She’s the lucky winner of a $5 gift certificate to Amazon and a copy of CAGED by Amber Lynn Natusch! Congrats, Marie! We’ll be in touch soon!

Next weeks Mega Meme will be based on the photo at the BOTTOM of this post and you can submit your stories via email to or use the form below! (further fine print can be found in the caption of said photo) Winner will receive a $5 gift card to Amazon!

Here’s her winning entry to last week’s nerdy Mega Meme!

This week's creative spurt was brought to you by this photo!

This week’s creative spurt was brought to you by this photo!

If there was one thing I learned from the six years of dressing in cosplay attire it was that some people believed that I may have had a mental disorder. When I first began my family kept my weekend entertainment all hush hush from the entire world. My father was thoroughly embarrassed and stopped talking to me five years ago. He demanded that I stop playing make-believe and search out honest work, but what he didn’t seem to understand was this wasn’t my job. It was my life. Cosplay is about expression of art, self and honoring those who blazed the path for fans such as myself. No matter what others believed I was proud that I belonged to such an open community that is costume play.

Today on my way to the Dragon con, I stopped off by the local bagel shop for my usual chicken salad on sesame seed wheat. I had on my Storm Troopers costume, a particular favorite of mine, and the lady behind the counter was a new hire. When I entered the store her face flushed and the almost immediately I watched as all the blood drained from it. I smirked, but with my helmet on there was no way for her to see it. I continued forward, sauntering my way toward the counter. Adjusting my fake gun on my shoulder, I discovered that it was hooked onto a piece of the costume that made it dig into my back and that was bothersome.

I snatched the gun once to free it, but it didn’t help. So I put all of my weight behind it in the second attempt. It worked however, when my finger slipped on the trigger the rapid fire sound of bullets sounded like an attack of galactic proportions.

The new clerk screamed, “Oh my god, please don’t kill me.”

She fell to the floor and scurried through the back storage door, shutting and locking it. I was thoroughly mortified. I stepped around the large glass deli counter and knocked on the door.

Her scream turned into a screech as I heard her yelling that she need the police and blurted out the address to the bagel shop. I assumed at this point she was on the phone with emergency dispatch alerting them to a robbery in progress.

“Shit!” I said under my breath and then through the bolted shut door I asked, “Miss, can you hear me?”

I realized after another screech from the almost neurotic woman locked in the small room beyond the doorway that I had my voice distorter engaged. The sound that came out was far from pleasant.

“The police are on their way. You stay the hell away from me!” She threatened.

Fear began to control every sane thought in my head. What was I supposed? If the police showed up they would believe that I was trying to rob her and arrest me. The local law enforcement in this neighborhood followed the beliefs of “Shoot first, ask questions later” so there was only once choice left for me.
I ran.
I turned around, retraced my path through the restaurant and the bolted out the front door.
Too late.
Apparently a patrol car was in the vicinity and responded quickly to the dispatched robbery in progress call.  They spotted me rushing out and yelled for me to stop. I couldn’t think straight and a voice inside my head urged me to get the hell out of there now.
I ran.
My adrenaline kicked in and I ran faster in that moment than I did back in high school when I was an all-star on the track team. Too bad I forgot they were in a patrol car. The policemen were upon me faster than I could believe.
The marked unit whipped around the intersection that lay before me, effectively cutting of my path. I sidestepped the front end of the vehicle and veered off down the adjacent alleyway.
“Stop you son of a bitch.” I heard a loud threatening male voice order, but I just could do as he instructed.
I continued down the dark alley that led straight through toward my freedom. I pushed myself harder and within ten feet of the opening I saw the flashing strobes of a second police unit.
“Dammit,” I mumbled through the heavy headgear.
“One more step and I will shoot your sorry ass.” The driver of the additional patrol car advised.
With no more options, there was nothing left for me to do except surrender. Like a small child asking the teacher for permission to use the restroom, I raised my hands high above my head.
“Follow my instructions carefully and you won’t get hurt.” The dominating male voice stated. Knowing that my voice distorter would only piss him off, I offered a slow nod acknowledging that I understood.

The officer continued, “Turn around, get on your knees and place both hands above your head.”
I obeyed and within a moment was forced down on the ground. Three large bodies immediately began pulling my arms behind my back, but the gear was too thick to get the handcuffs around my wrists. After cussing me for everything I was worth they ordered me to stand – slowly. After managing to hoist myself back up to a vertical position a second officer walked me toward the back of his patrol car.
“Place both hands on the back of the car and spread your feet.” He said and once again I nodded my response.
The first officer approached me and asked, “Why in the hell did you run?”
I shook my head knowing that he couldn’t understand me, but it only pissed him off. He repeated his question with a harsher tone. In order to keep from becoming a victim of police brutality I answered his question. The voice distorter did not provide him with the answer he wanted since it completely transformed my words into garbled noises.
Jerking me off the car, the officer shoved my shoulder, spinning me around and demanded that I answer him without the electronic voice. I nodded and pointed to the button at the side of the head gear.
He reached for it slowly and when it was disengaged he said, “Now, tell me what you thought you were doing back there.”
I said, “I was getting a bagel.”
His eyebrows lifted in shock and he crossed his large arms over his chest before he said, “Is that so. Then tell me this. If you were only getting a bagel,” He lifted his hands and air quoted with his fingers and sarcastically continued, “And you weren’t robbing the place then why in the hell did you run?”
I pondered the question and there really was only one explanation.
I said, “Because you were chasing me.”
I was spun around so quickly that I didn’t see the blow that knocked me out and subsequently kept me out for over an hour. Waking up in a general population jail cell with thirty other men staring at me was the low point of my life. I decided at that exact moment that the life I lived and loved was too dangerous and vowed instantly that it had no place in a world where “Pride in the Past. Progress in the future” did not include Storm Troopers.

Next week’s Mega Meme will be based on THIS photo! Submissions are due by 11:59:59 PM MST on September 1st. You can submit them using the form below or via email to

Next week’s Mega Meme will be based on THIS photo!
Submissions are due by 11:59:59 PM MST on September 1st.
You can submit them using the form below or via email to


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Posted by on August 26, 2013 in Mega Meme Monday


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Celebration – celebrazione – celebrare

Weekend Writer Reblog! This one struck us just right, so I thought I’d share!

valeriu dg barbu

Trilingual text


This quiet wellbeing is asking for
suspense, shivers, major events…
The joy and peace of mind are core and they scare me
like a sense of balance neighboring death,
I listen to romantic music,
I drink the best wine, I am loved, I have enough money..
even though my enthusiasm is burnt in the kiln of past errors,
I have a taste for extraordinary, this celebration depresses me
through its “too much” and it’s exactly this “too much” that I would like beyond superlative…
somehow the nowadays celebrations cannot reconcile among themselves,
the good one of the day with the bad one of the second in which the present is more alive
and it’s asking for its right to become a memory at any risk…
this quiet joy doesn’t ask anything of me, it’s like the air
and I got used to being asked to give something of…

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Posted by on August 23, 2013 in Weekend Writer Reblog


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Pay No Mind to the (wo)Man Behind the Curtain

Oh, Simone…

Where do I even begin to describe the strange relationship that has flourished between the two of us over the last few months?

Well, for the sake of not freaking out our audience, I’ll keep it simple:

We both have the same taste in books. We met via Facebook while commenting on the same post from an author we both enjoy. I don’t even remember what post it was or what drew us to each other, I just know it was one of those “Oh my god, I LOVE this girl!” moments for me. June 23rd we officially became friends and I think the longest gap in our communications with each other since then was a little over 24 hours—an impressive feat considering the awkward time differences between Salt Lake City and Melbourne! She helped come up with the Mega Meme Monday as you guys know it today and without her, I probably would have gone mad over it by now. I owe her many many thanks, and now I present her to you for your enjoyment! You can expect to start seeing more and more posts from her as time goes on!

Miss Simone Nicole

Miss Simone Nicole

David and I were talking about books and what kinds we read, which lead to this post.

What makes you read a book?

A reasonably easy question with a multitude of answers, you found the cover intriguing or in a lot of cases sexy, a blogger/friend recommended it or my favourite, it was free. The harder question to answer would be what made you keep reading? Everyone starts a book for different reasons but fundamentally kept reading or stopped reading for the same simple truth. It was or wasn’t good enough to keep you enthralled.

There is nothing better to me than a book/author that can captivate me from the very first page and better yet, keep me there. I have heard on more than one occasion that the first page is critical. It needs to make you want to turn to the next page and the next, until you run out of pages. Easier said than done as many authors will tell you, that first page can be the hardest. Not every story can grip you from the first few sentences and needs time to warm up but, what is too long? Where do you lose interest and cut your losses, moving on to one from the never ending TBR list.

For me, the first chapter needs to start intriguing me. I need to be able to at least start connecting with the characters and want to see where their story will lead. If I am still struggling to do this in chapter two, unless the book comes highly recommended, I’m going to skim or move on completely, I have too many books on my TBR to waste on a book I’m not enjoying. It is rare that I don’t finish a book and the few I haven’t, I found the writing style choppy, somewhat forced and not moving fast enough, making it hard to sink my teeth in. The final nail in the not-to-read coffin always comes down to the lead characters. I can overlook the writing style, slow plot and sometimes even predictable twists but if I’m not feeling the characters, well, what’s the point in reading their story if I couldn’t care less if they live or die.

In the last twelve months I have read more books than I can comprehend and with so many more to read. Why? To find those few precious gems that stay with you for life, the stories that touch you so deeply you can’t let go, the ones I find myself wanting to read again and again because I loved them that much, once will never be enough.

Everyone has different opinions on the same books, the writing styles, whether the characters were believable or relatable, even likeable and if you saw the plot twists coming. What we can all agree on is that feeling of finishing a book all too soon and left you wanting more but not needing more. If a book can make me ugly cry, laugh out loud, fall in love, heart pound out of my chest, forget to breathe, refuse to sleep and/or throw it across the room with frustration, which, I admit, I have done but only once, possibly twice, ok so I only stopped doing that seeing as I spend most of my time reading electronically.

To me that is the epitome of a good book and I will continue to spend the rest of my days reading as many as I can.

You can become a fan of her Facebook page here!


Posted by on August 21, 2013 in Guest Posts


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Mega Meme Monday! 8/19/2013

We’ve got a winner!!!

This week, we were giving away a $20 Kindle gift card to the best submission and, after hours of trans-continental debate between our top two, we finally settled on a winner! The little gem below came from a gal on the north west coast named Lisa.

For next week’s contest, we’ll start the pot back at $5 for the gift card AND, as a celebration of it’s recent climb up the Amazon Best Seller list, we’ll be throwing in a copy of Amber Lynne Natusch‘s Caged (book 1 of the Caged Series)!

All you have to do is write us a story about the circumstances surrounding the photo at the BOTTOM of this post. 100 to 1,500 words and you can submit it via email to or by using the form below!

Without further ado, here’s our winner!

This week's creative spurt was brought to you by this photo!

This week’s creative spurt was brought to you by this photo!

He stood at the front of a poorly lit room filled with about a dozen men, all wearing matching orange jump suits. This was the third day in county lock-up for Brian Weinrite, who only a few days ago had been known as The Muffin King of the Northwest. Now, he was just called Inmate.

“Hi, my name is Brian and I’m an alcoholic.”

“Hi Brian”. The tired response to Brian’s essentially court ordered statement, made him roll his eyes in disgust.

Unlike the gangbangers, druggies and general losers that filled the room, Brian didn’t belong here. He had built his muffin wholesaler business from nothing to the largest muffin supplier in the Northwest in only 12 years. He had gone from the fat geek in the freshman dorms that everybody ignored to a powerful and respected man. He had gotten it all; the beautiful home on Lake Union, a Bentley Mulsanne, and the customary trophy wife. The trophy wife, Marie, was the reason Brian now stood in this room under buzzing florescent lights and facing a cluster of neck-tattooed gangbangers who looked like they wanted to shank him in the shower. Marie’s death was all on her. If she hadn’t wrecked his Bentley and shown up at the airport in a rental, he would not have been upset. He would not have had to drive an unfamiliar car to the factory. He would not have driven the car into the business sign which shook the giant muffin loose.

A quiet voice in the back of the room said, “Hey I know this guy. He’s the Muffin King. He killed his wife.”

Brian was searching the room for the voice when another rang out, “What did you do dough boy – get drunk and pass out on top of her?”. The room erupted in laughter and Brian was suddenly hit in the face with something that dropped into his lap. At that moment, the in prison AA meeting was brought to a close. Brian looked at what had fallen into his lap and slipped it into his pocket.

After lights out Brian laid in his bunk listening to the quiet snoring and distant whispers echoing off the walls in the dormitory style room. He silently pulled the chocolate bar from his pocket and stared at it in the dim light. He thought of his wife, he thought of what had been his career. After a few moments, he quietly tore open the wrapper. Just as he put the sweet chocolate to his mouth, he felt a hand on his back and heard a low whisper against his ear, “Hi muffin.”

Next week’s Mega Meme will be based on THIS photo! Submissions are due by 11:59:59 PM MST on August 25th You can submit them using the form below or via email to

Next week’s Mega Meme will be based on THIS photo!
Submissions are due by 11:59:59 PM MST on August 25th
You can submit them using the form below or via email to

Congrats, Lisa!

As always, happy writing!


Posted by on August 19, 2013 in Mega Meme Monday


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Mega Meme Monday! 8/12/13

Well, we’re up to $20 this week!

That’s right! A $20 gift card to Amazon is up for grabs for as little as 100 words! All you have to do is write me a short story that tells us about the events that lead up to the photo at the BOTTOM of this post being taken. 100 words should take you 2 minutes, I think you can handle that! All I ask is that you keep the story under 1,500 words for the sake of those who will be reading it next week! Submission details can be found in the caption of the photo in question!

Without further ado, I bring you this week’s Mega Meme!

This week's creative spurt was brought to you by this photo!

This week’s creative spurt was brought to you by this photo!

“This one says it’s a very unique piece of lake front property and it’s within our price range, should we go look at it?”

He leaned over my shoulder and continued reading the listing.

“You know what ‘MUST SEE!’ means in Realtor language, right?”

I huffed out a breath of air in an attempt to show my frustration with his negative attitude. Every house we had looked at had been personally chosen by him and every one of them had something  wrong with it that just didn’t meet his standards. I was getting sick of it.

“Can we just go look at this one because I like it? Even if it’s one that you end up hating everything about, like all the others, I will at least be able to feel like I have a little bit of a say in this whole process.”

He nudged me with his elbow, “You know you have a say. This is our life now.”

“Do I?”

The skepticism must have come through in my voice because he reached around me and took control of the laptop. He shot an email off to the Realtor listed as the contact containing our phone number and a brief message expressing interest in a showing.

Before the kiss he planted (roughly, I might add) on top of my head had stopped hurting, his cell started to vibrate on the table.

He picked it up and answered with a simple, “Hello?”

The one sided conversation that ensued had me curious.



“Right now?”


“You’ve got to be kidding me!”


“Awesome. See you in twenty minutes.”

I looked up at him expectantly.

“Clearly, this agent is either really bored, or really wants to get this house sold. Get your stuff and let’s go to the lake!”

I jumped up, my excitement nearing the point of immature, and wrapped my arms around his neck.

“Thank you thank you thank you thank you!” I shouted as I dashed into the bedroom to grab my wallet and a pad of paper to take notes on.

I all but leaped out of the seat when we pulled up to the spot along the lake where the agent and told us to meet her. I spun around in a circle taking in all of the scenery and searching for the property we were about to view. The only thing I could see was a large house on what appeared to be an island about fifty yards into the lake.

A woman with gleaming white teeth approached us with her hand extended and greeted each of us by name.

“Now, you know what ‘must see’ means in Realtor talk, right?”

The love of my life cast a glance at me that all but screamed “I TOLD YOU SO!”, but I ignored it and said, “Well, if we must we must!”

The agent smiled and stepped to the side with a grandeur flourish of her arm and indicated we should get in the cute little boat she had pulled up on the shore.

Getting a little nervous, I let Mark climb in first.

Once we were settled, the agent gave the boat a little shove and hopped in at the back of the boat. The little outboard motor came to life and we began to move towards the island in the distance.

As it came into view, it was all I could do to keep myself from falling into the water as I leaned over the bow to get a closer look.

That was when I realized that the house wasn’t on an island at all.

It was built IN the water.

I just had to snap a photo as the agent maneuvered us through the water-level front door.

She docked the boat at the bottom of the huge spiral staircase and I jumped out and spun to beam a smile at Mark. I wasn’t the only one beaming.

After a quick tour, we had barely made it back into the boat before we both asked in tandem, “When can we make an offer?”

Next week’s Mega Meme will be based on THIS photo! Submissions are due by 11:59:59 PM MST on August 17th You can submit them using the form below or via email to

Next week’s Mega Meme will be based on THIS photo!
Submissions are due by 11:59:59 PM MST on August 17th
You can submit them using the form below or via email to


Posted by on August 12, 2013 in Mega Meme Monday


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Mega Meme Monday! 8/5/13

First off, sorry it’s so late coming out today! We had a little bit of a snafu with the blog that has since been worked out. We had another no entry week and I’m just beginning to think you guys are waiting for the dollar amount to reach astronomical amounts. Either that or your submissions are getting eaten by the Google Fairy. Drop me some comments this week and let me know if you’ve submitted something in past weeks or even some changes you’d like to see to this giveaway that would make you more likely to participate. We’re up to a $15 Amazon gift card this week, so the 5 minutes it would take you to write us a pretty story is definitely worth it. 100-1,500 words. Let’s get down to business! Here’s our story this week!

The inspiration for this week's Mega Meme!

The inspiration for this week’s Mega Meme!

The sound of my pounding heart hammered hard against my eardrums as the racing organ thumped out a spastic beat against my rib cage. The thought of my own heart breaking free from my chest to leave me empty and alone fought with the panic that was growing inside of me, leaving me temporarily frozen in place. Completely unable to control my muscles and force them to bend to my will, I held firmly to the only thing I seemed to be able to control. Aji’s face swam into my mind’s eye and I took a deep breath as I felt the tension ease from my body instantly.

Just keep calm and follow the plan, one step at a time.

I chanted this over and over in my head until my mother’s sharp voice shocked me back to reality and sent me scurrying for the ingredients to prepare breakfast. As I deftly made my way around the kitchen and prepared the same meal I had been cooking every morning since I was seven years old, my body took over and I was happy to let it. My mornings had become so routine that it was a matter of muscle memory.

Like a well trained servant, I laid the plates on the table in front of each one of my family members and removed myself to a corner until given further instructions. Normally, this was the part of my day where I fought an internal battle with my stomach as it tried to consume the surrounding organs. Not today though. Today, the thought of food was shoved out of my head by the anticipation of things to come.

The sharp snap of my father’s fingers had me moving to clear the scraps from the table. I piled the leftovers onto a small plate as usual and shuffled it into a rubbish bag. I muttered an excuse about putting out the rubbish and exited the room without acknowledgement.

I took careful note of the location of my rubbish bag and grappled with lame excuses for leaving the house for a longer period of time as I made my way pack into the house.

“We have no milk for father’s tea.” My father always drank an entire pot of tea after breakfast, so I knew that this would be a sure fire way to be sent away to the market.

As predicted, I received a customary tongue lashing before my mother dropped exact change into my open palm and ordered me to hurry or risk the wrath of my father when I returned.

I retrieved the rubbish bag and stuffed it in my baggy hoodie as I fought to control the excruciatingly slow steps that would assure my unnoticed departure. The pace had me winded by the time I reached the end of the street and broke into a sprint.

I had been awaiting this day for months and the realization that it had finally arrived, that the plan had gone so well, that I was almost free crashed through me like a tidal wave. The overwhelming sense of freedom brought a smile to my face that spread from ear to ear as my feet pounded in time with my soaring heart against the sidewalk.

Aji was waiting for me and I willed the several blocks remaining between us to close faster. Just like they had the day we met. The announcement of my betrothal was extremely sudden and completely unwelcome. I was distraught over being sold to the highest bidder and my father had beaten me when I expressed my discontent with the situation.

After finally regaining consciousness, my mother had immediately sent me to the river to clean myself up. As I scooped the dirty water in my hands and used it to gingerly wash the blood off of my arms and face, a voice came from behind me. His voice.

Even though he was a stranger, I couldn’t seem to stop the words that came pouring out of my mouth. As I broke down, he took over the job of cleaning me up and tenderly dabbed at the remaining spots of blood. He never let his anger manifest in a physical way, but I could see the fire in his eyes when I told him how my own father had done that to me.

It was that fire that made me agree to his plan.

My legs begged for mercy as I pushed them to eat up that last hundred yards between me and the life that Aji was about to give me.

I rounded the final bend and stopped dead in my tracks. An all too familiar voice was bellowing, unseen, from the center of a small crowd. My heart sank.

The crunch of boot against bone forced me into action. I dove into the swarm of people, pushing and shoving my way toward the thumps and muffled cries in the center.

I caught sight of him through a part in the crowd and every part of my being flung itself toward him.

I fell to the ground on top of him, ungraciously catching a large boot in my stomach in the process. The familiar whoosh of air leaving my lungs accompanied the sharp pain like a finely paired wine and I waited for the next blow to land.

“I’m so sorry… I’m so sorry… So sorry…” Aji kept muttering over and over again in my ear.

I clung to him with everything I had as strong hands started to pry us apart.

I heard a pop from somewhere inside his shoulder and winced as if it had been my own.

Huge fingers dug into my flesh and pulled in every direction, bruising me even further.

I felt nothing.

The only sensation that mattered to me was the sound of his voice.

“I’m so sorry…”

Next week's Mega Meme will be based on THIS photo! Submissions are due by 11:59:59 PM MST on Sunday, July 10th You can submit them using the form below or via email to

Next week’s Mega Meme will be based on THIS photo!
Submissions are due by 11:59:59 PM MST on July 10th
You can submit them using the form below or via email to

As always, happy writing!


Posted by on August 5, 2013 in Mega Meme Monday


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