The Personal Touch

This is brilliant. For all writers (and others) please read, share and make it go viral.

And if you’re not following The Ravings of a Sick Mind you ought to be.

The Ravings of a Sick Mind

Nothing is more important to an author than maintaining good connection with their fanbase and readers. I’m going to give you a little peek at my Customize-able Fan Response Template (trademark pending), which I use to make sure that my readers and fans know that I care enough to go that extra mile for them.

Dear [name/email]
 Thank you so much for your [email/letter/death threat/attempt to collect a debt]! I am always happy to interact with my [fans/family/bill collectors/salespeople] and pride myself on making a personal connection with the “little people” as I like to call them. Although this is not to be confused with real Little People aka dwarfs, who I have the utmost respect for. Also, thank you so much for the thing you said about [Ancient Blood/Drawing Dead/Other], it’s always nice to know my work is appreciated.
 I hope…

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Farmer’s Market

Denio’s Farmers Market, Roseville, CA.

This was  a light Saturday at Denio’s. The highlight is the produce but in this multicultural and local favorite weekend spot you can get furniture, clothing, jewelry, pottery, antiques, fabric, painting, shoes, tattoo equipment, tools, toys, plants, sunglasses – you name it and you’ll find it. It is one big open air market and giant garage sale too. Check it out if you’re in the Roseville/Sacramento area. The Sunday after church crowd makes for some great people watching. Denio’s is open year around, rain or shine.


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Cloudy with a Chance of Tempestarii: Witches, Warlocks, and Weather Control

Add this to your “Getting Ready For Halloween” list. Heck, add it to your every single day list. All about witches and the weather.

And if you aren’t following EsoterX you ought to be. Wonderful well written smart blog and you’ll always learn something interesting and unusual there.


“Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it” – Charles Dudley Warner

Feels like rain. Feels like rain.

I’ve had it with weather, and I’m not going to take it anymore.  I’m sick of checking my Weather Channel app every morning to figure out how to dress and if I need an umbrella or a sweater.   When I design my own planet, there won’t be any weather.  Seventy degrees Fahrenheit and partly cloudy all the time, that’s what I say.  Partly cloudy, you ask?  I’m not greedy, that’s all, plus whenever I wear sunglasses I look like I’m trying to do some disturbing Top Gun parody.  I also hate talking about the weather, which is a fallback whenever you have nothing in common with the person you’re talking to.  It’s not that I’m against the polite fictions that lubricate the gears of the social contract; it’s just that, like Oscar…

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A Rave For Kids

So funny and oh so true!

This post gets 5 our of 5 stars from West Coast Review.

Living The American Scream

I attended a rave for kids over the weekend!

But, first let’s recount another epic restaurant failure.

We took the kids to Lee Roy Selmon’s for lunch.

Huck was asleep when we arrived. I wish he had stayed that way.

As soon as the food arrives, he wakes up pissed off and starts crying. My husband tells him to stop crying or he will get time out. So, he starts WAILING.

Then, my daughter starts crying because I told her she can’t have any birthday cake at my niece’s birthday party because she’s refusing to eat anything but Mac ‘N Cheese.

Can 3 year olds get scurvy? I bet mine can.


I have literally eaten a few bites of food before my husband is trying to hail down the waitress to get the check and I’m shuttling two screaming kids out of the restaurant.

Outside, in the blistering heat, I…

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In a Smile of Peculiar Meaning: Edgar Allan Poe’s “Berenice”

Poe, great illustrations and the blog “The Year of Halloween.” You can’t go wrong with that great combination. Check it out and enjoy the fun.

If you aren’t following “The Year of Halloween” do yourself a favor and FOLLOW. You’ll be glad you did.

The Year of Halloween

Detail, 1916 Illustration by Harry Clarke for Edgar Allan Poe’s Berenice, from Tales of Mystery and Imagination

In 1835, the Southern Literary Messenger published a short story so shocking, so graphic and ghastly, that outraged letters poured into the office of editor Thomas W. White. Written by a relatively unknown Edgar Allan Poe, the story, Berenice, tells of Egaeus, a young man of family and wealth who is stricken by an obsessive disorder known to 19th-century psychiatry as monomania, a pathological fixation on some specific item. In the case of Egaeus, this fixation centered horribly on the gleaming teeth of his cousin and fiancée, Berenice, a porcelain rictus staring out from an ill and wasted visage.

“God of heaven! — is it possible? Is it my brain that reels — or was it indeed the finger of the enshrouded dead that stirred in the white cerement that bound it? Frozen with unutterable awe I slowly raised my eyes to the countenance of the corpse. There had been a band around the jaws, but…

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Bullies are just a waste of human flesh

Vampire Maman

I talk about parenting and issues that kids go through. Bullies and being different are top topics here and on other blogs. My friend and neighbor Kelly shared a few experiences with me. 


When I was in 5th or 6th grade, in the early 70’s there was a class at the other end of the school we called the MR class. There was no such thing as sensitivity or political correctness back then. Today it would be some sort of special education class. The kids seemed weird and out of control. They didn’t socialize with us, even if they had siblings in the school. They were outcasts. The boys in my class would yell at them “MR”. Mentally retarded. I don’t know why the kids were in the class, but they were fair game to anyone who wanted to yell at them and pick on them. It was…

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Seeing Singapore in Three Days

A fun travel blog. Check it out

Wherever The Sun Is...

Technically I mean a half day, two full days and another half day… But three days total!

We decided on such a short stay in Singapore solely because of our budget. In Thailand you can live like a king and still have change from £20… In Singapore if you try to pay for breakfast with that, they will laugh at you. And no, for you sarcastic people, not because its british pounds but because even in their currency that’s not a lot considering the cost of living here! To put this into comparison to the rest of our trip so far, the price for a private room in a hostel for Cassie and I in Thailand, won’t get you a single bed in 16 people dorm room here!

Nonetheless we are determined to see Singapore on a budget but still see it!! We start by making sure the hostels that…

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Short Story Sunday: Slut

Vampire Maman

College is starting soon. One of the big things everyone is talking about is sexual assault on campus or in college towns. I’ve talked about it with my two kids who are in college. Everyone has, at least everyone who is a decent parent.

So I get this call from Hodge Williams. Yes, that Hodges Williams. Everyone remembers him.

“Bart, how are you?” As soon as he spoke I wondered what he wanted.

“Hodge. Fine. Great. Life is good. What’s up?”

“I’m writing a story on the history of sexual harassment and violence at universities in the US. I tried to contact your sister but she wouldn’t return my calls.”


“Yes, Beth. She kind of got around so I was thinking she might have experienced first hand, you know, she was at risk.”

“What do you mean by at risk?”

“Oh come on, your sister was a slut. Everyone…

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TED Talks on happiness

Read, listen. Repeat.

Great post and if you aren’t following The First Gates you should be.

The First Gates

Last Friday, August 15, the theme of National Public Radio’s “TED Radio Hour” was “Simply Happy,” and carried the message that “finding happiness may be simpler than you think.” Narrator Guy Raz reviewed the ideas of five speakers whose TED presentations focused on happiness as something that can be cultivated.

Matt Killingsworth, a researcher at UC San Francisco, gathered real-time input from 35,000 people via a simple smart phone app one can register for at Several times during the day, volunteers receive three questions on their phones:

1) How do you feel right now?  (on a scale from very good to very bad).
2) What are you doing? (check one of 22 choices).
3) Are you thinking about what you are doing? (as opposed to “mind wandering”).

Killingsworth discovered that 47% of the time, people are thinking of something other than what they are doing…

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Goin’ Extinct: Tales From the Edge of Oblivion

You must read this (because my stories are in it, because it is good, and because you’ll thank me later many times over.) And because proceeds go to MS Research and it is a damn good short story anthology featuring the works of many crazy talented authors.)

Vampire Maman

From my good friend The Masked Mujer:

Goin’ Extinct: Tales From the Edge of Oblivion

A group of writers, poets, and deviants joined together to bring to you some amazing post-apocalypse poetry and short stories. The stories are exciting, creative and imaginative. I’m very proud to be included with these great authors and creators of worlds. I write my short stories under my real name, Diana Garcia.

Enjoying reading about how the world ends. Here are some funny memes fellow author of, “Skeet Beechams’s Confessions from the End of the World,” (in anthology) and dear friend, J. Harrison Kemp, made which really cracked me up: As usual, this charity anthology benefits MS charities. Please help by buying these anthologies. Your support is greatly appreciated! ENJOY!Click Image below for Amazon Kindle LinkFor paperback:***


Originally posted on Mandy White:At long last, WPaD’s new anthology is live!We…

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Recurring Dreams and Nightmares

Some Vampire fun from the source…

Vampire Maman

Recurring Dreams and Nightmares

The other night my kids and I were talking about recurring dreams. Clara has dreams about having another family. The other mother looks just like her. The bother looks like me. The dad isn’t around much. She still has us, her real parents, but she has that other family too and they want her to move in. Garrett dreams he can fly like a bird only he has to wear blue velvet like the painting Blue Boy. I’m not sure if Blue Boy wears velvet or not but it isn’t his dream.

I have a recurring dream where my house has a secret house attached to it. The secret house is about 1,800 square feet. It is almost as real in my mind as my real house. In another recurring dream I live in an old house with an attic full of ghosts.

We asked Teddy…

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