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#AtoZBlogChallenge 2017

AtoZ Blog Challenge 2017

Today starts the April 2017 AtoZ Blog Challenge

What is the AtoZ Blog Challenge?

The challenge is where bloggers from around the world post a topic each day during the month of April, except on Sundays, related to a particular letter of the Alphabet. Basically, a blogger would post an article on April 1st with a topic related to the letter A and continue through the alphabet until April 30 with a topic related to the letter Z. To help visualize this, below is a schedule for the 2017 AtoZ blog Challenge:

AtoZ Blog Challenge schedule of Letters for April 2017

AtoZ Blog Challenge schedule of Letters for April 2017

You can participate by reading the articles that are posted each day. What good is an article posted that is never read? 

Those bloggers participating in this Challenge will be posting links to their articles via the official A to Z Challenge blog, the AtoZ Challenge Simulcast Blog (for WordPress bloggers), or the AtoZ Blog Challenge Facebook. Bloggers can also use Twitter and Instagram to post links with the hashtag #AtoZBlogChallenge. There are also some blogs that do a good job of consolidating the links that are shared via Twitter for example, The #AtoZChallange Daily.  

I participated in this Challange for several years and it helped me when I first started blogging. This Challenge is an excellent and exciting way to gather new readers, focus writing and showcase or expand the talent of writers and bloggers. If you have not read these previous AtoZ Challenge Blog posts you can find them here

Although I am not participating in this year’s Challenge, I still want to support those that are. Therefore, good luck to those that are participating and I look forward to reading and sharing those that peek my interest.
So are you participating in the Challenge? 

Carrie Fisher Has Left Us, but will not be forgotten 

I am very sad to hear that Carrie Fisher has passed away.  There are no words for how I feel that expresses my thanks to this wonderful person.  However, I will do my best.


‪Carrie was a wonderful role model for many, especially this Fangirl by showing that there are self rescuing princesses.  As I grew up, she also showed me that you can overcome many life struggles with humor.  ‬Her problems with her Mother and family really echoed some of the relationship problems I have faced in my life.  Her dedication to her writing, showed me that a beautiful women can be many things in her life.  Her wit and humor showed me to laugh even when things looked bad.  Her love of the fans is one of the things I really liked about her.  


Carrie took the time to interact with everyone she met.  By spreading glitter on her fans at the conventions or even briefly talking to people, like my husband, as he was standing in line to get a diet pop at Star Wars Celebration VI in Orlando. 


My heart goes out to her family, friends, her dog Gary and the millions of fans who knew her as Princess or General Leia Organa.

You will be missed Carrie. 

May The Force Be With You, Always…

Carrie Fisher in Hospital after a Mid-Air Heart Attack

Carrie Fisher with her Dog Gary at Star Wars Celebration Europe in July 2016

Carrie Fisher with her Dog Gary at Star Wars Celebration Europe in July 2016

This afternoon via TMZ and updates via other outlets, I heard the news that one of my role models, Carrie Fisher, is in a LA Hospital after an heart attack, while on a plane flying home from her book tour.

Hope profile pic from Full of Sith Podcast listener via Facebook

Hope profile pic from Full of Sith Podcast listener via Facebook


My heart is with her and her family during this time.  I am praying for Carrie and hope that she will be ok.

Sailor Moon R The Movie in Select Theaters Starting 1/19/17

Sailor Moon R The Movie in Select Theaters Starting 1/19/17

VIZ Media announced some of the U.S. theaters that will be showing the Sailor Moon R The Movie with an all new uncut English Dub just after the Los Angeles Premiere on January 13, 2017.

Sailor Moon R Movie Logo

Sailor Moon comes to the big screen in her first dazzling movie! Uncut and for the first time in theaters. Join Sailor Moon on an adventure to save not only the world, but also her true love! This limited engagement also includes the North American debut of the original theatrical short, Make Up! Sailor Guardians and exclusive extras. A special bonus gift will be given to ticket holders while supplies last.

Looking at the list of theaters, this Fangirl is disappointed that only one theater, The Maple Theater in Bloomfield Township, MI, will be showing this in my area. However, the good news is that there will be two showings, one of 1/19/17 and the other on 1/23/17, both at 7PM. Tickets are not available to buy for these showings yet. Hopefully, I will be able to buy tickets to one of these. Otherwise, I will have to wait until this is available on BluRay or via streaming.

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You can find more details on other locations in the U.S. and to buy tickets here.

Interview with Author Mary Brock Jones

It is a pleasure to welcome author Mary Brock Jones, author of Torn.


Welcome Mary to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know you and your story better.

What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

The title is “Torn” because so much is being torn asunder in this book, or threatened to be. The environment of the planet Arcadia, the living, breathing heart of the world that gives life to the human inhabitants, is near to being physically torn apart thanks to the settlers’ actions. If nothing is done, and very soon, there will be cascade of environmental catastrophes putting at risk the continued existence of humans on Arcadia.

“Storms, floods, drought. Don’t bother taking your pick, says the planet, you’re going to get the lot.”

The hero and heroine are torn between multiple loyalties. To save their world from environmental collapse, they must betray the families they love. There is something between them, something they cannot deny, but they come from very different parts of the planet and each has a love for their unique but quite opposite homelands that is an intrinsic part of who they are. Can they resist this growing attraction between them, one that must result in exile for one or both? Further, do they really trust the organisation they work for, the government department bent on saving their world, and for which they have put at risk their families and agreed to change those very lands they love.

Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you?

The actual names are not significant, but the two main characters use different language roots. The hero, Caleb’s, family names are all very short, very old English type names, whereas for Fee, the heroine, her name is broadly based on a kind of Scottish Celtic – very broadly, that is, with a huge amount of leeway for which I hope I am forgiven. I do have Scottish ancestry and last year visited the area of Scotland my grandparents came from, which is part of why I picked it. Also the fluidity of the sounds seemed to match the nature of Fee’s relatives.

If so, give a few examples…

The hero’s name is Caleb Winter – short and brief, a reflection of the man and the society he comes from.

The heroine’s full name on the other hand is: Fioruisghe ingh Bram an Scathach den Coille. Fioruisghe, daughter of Bram and Scathach of the family Coille, a reflection of the importance of family ties and formality of address among her people. She is more commonly known as Fee when working away from home, but her family and people never use the shortened form.

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

I’ve always loved romance and science fiction, so the combination suits all parts of me. I get to write about relationships and indulge in world building – bliss! I grew up on Anne McCaffrey, and love the works of Lois McMaster Bujold, Catherine Asaro and the Liaden series of books by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. But I would have to say it was Catherine Asaro’s Skolian series that inspired me to write this book. The idea for it actually came up in a workshop she gave some years ago at an SFF conference in NZ and I just love the characters and relationships in her books, along with the serious understanding of physics that underlies them. As for the ecological aspects of this one, that probably harks way back to the sense of excitement I felt when I first discovered Frank Herbert’s “Dune”.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?

Oh dear – not sure that being a writer and remaining sane go together! I do admit that all of my characters are reflections of the various parts of me, which probably means that I’m mixed-up crazy deep inside. I know I have to write regularly; it’s almost a physical need, otherwise I become decidedly twitchy.

What kind of research did you have to do for the novel, series or set of stories that was different from others?

My background is in the biological sciences, so the ecological parts of this book were just an extension of that, but I had to also find out about meteorology and the geotechnical aspects, which were decidedly challenging. I think there is always something unique to be researched for any book—it’s a big part of the fun of world building. My previous books had me delving into NZ history, coming up with a plausible futuristic legal system, and figuring out possible methods of increasing the efficiency of energy transmission.

What makes you laugh?

Human foibles, the quirky things that happen, irony and double meanings. I’m useless at telling jokes though.

What makes you cry?

Anything to do with the loss of a child – I can’t imagine ever being able to put that in a book. A sad but beautiful movie, weddings, whenever any of my sons do something amazing. I’m that blubbery mother at graduations, weddings, grandparent christenings, you name it. Events that take me back to childhood – a Scottish pipe band marching in a parade gets me every time.

What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing?

Science fiction, romance and history, hence why I write romantic scifi and historical romance. I loved the ‘Firefly’ series, and books such as Catherine Asaro’s Skolian series, Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan series, all of Anne McCaffrey’s works (not just the Pern ones), Robert Silverberg’s stories for their characters and the way he created new societies. I love music of many types, but particularly folk and the new rock folk, country, classical, and any dance music. I also love any kind of dancing, (still do, but only in very private places!), and always wanted to learn ballet as a child. We had a big family and lived in the country so it wasn’t possible, but dreams are still free. I think that love of dance comes through in the physicality of my characters. How they carry themselves is always important to me. Caleb is very upright, with a slow, easy way of walking. He’s a kind of cowboy character, so that suits him. Whereas Fee is a person in constant motion, happiest in her tree tops when she can become one with the swaying of the branches.

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Again, thank you Mary for answering these questions and helping us to become better acquainted with you and your story, Torn.
More about Mary…


Mary Brock Jones lives in New Zealand, but loves nothing more than to escape into the other worlds in her head, to write science fiction and historical romances. Sedate office worker by day; frantic scribbler by night.

Her parents introduced her to libraries and gave her a farm to play on, where trees became rocket ships and rocky outcrops were ancient fortresses. She grew up writing, filling pages of notebooks and filling her head with stories, but took a number of detours on the pathway to her dream job. Four grown sons, more than one house renovated and various jobs later, her wish came true. She is published in both romantic science fiction and historical romance, and her books have been nominated as finalists in the RWNZ Clendon awards, the Koru awards, and the RWAus RUBY awards.

You can find Mary here:

Also By Mary Brock Jones:

Mary Jones writing as Mary Brock Jones

Torn

  • Torn – romantic SciFi with a dash of suspense. Release date: 3rd September, 2016

Author of the romantic Scifi Hathe series:

#AtoZChallenge2016: Reflections

#AtoZChallenge2016 Reflections


Hurray! I survived the 2016 AtoZChallenge!

This challenge started out strong with posts being completed and scheduled ahead time.  Unfortunately, as the month progressed, due to family medical issues, my posts were harder to create, let alone schedule ahead of time.
However, thanks to the encouragement of my readers, over 100 of you, I completed this year’s challenge!

AtoZ reader stats for 2016 Challenge

AtoZ reader stats for 2016 Challenge

Now that this goal has been achieved, I can proudly display the 2016 A to Z Challenge banner image on the About page of this blog!

Thanks so much for going on this journey with me.  Everyone who visited the blog and read some or all of the posts during this challenge are precious to me. I really hope you were entertained by the theme, the topics and content generated by this challenge. In addition, I hope that many of you will come back and visit my blog again soon.

Why is grammar so hard?

Public secret blog tour banner

Why grammar programs aren’t ready to go on their own yet.

One would think that teaching a computer to learn would be harder than teaching it to write correctly, but learning how to build a car, or hack into the Federal Bank might actually be easier than writing a novel with proper grammar, dialect, and regional expressions.

Cars are made in a precise order, with precise actions.

The bank has a specific code, and possibly an eye scan you need to acquire to enter its vault.

To properly write a person speaking, the program needs to know the grammar used in that region, and also the standard grammar which should be used in the non-dialogue parts of the story. Only problem is, there isn’t one standard. In the USA, there are three main manuals: The Chicago Manual of Style, The Associated Press Stylebook, and The Elements of Style, and rest assured, they do not agree with one another on all points. But in specific categories there are even more style manuals, the total exceeding thirty different manuals depending upon the field you work in.

And even if a program coded every rule and could figure out which manual to use for the purpose at hand, it would still get into trouble as the examples provided by my grammar program shows.

Our language is messy, creative, whimsical, and ever-changing. Then to make matters worse, we make up expressions that make no sense to anyone not from the region. Australia is notorious for their strange expressions like ‘flat out like a lizard drinking’.  Is that lizard thirsty or tired? Are we even talking about a lizard at all?

England’s no different. It’s gone completely pear-shaped with sayings.

And the U.S.? We have our own weird sayings like “Going postal” which I could not get my Australian friends to believe was a real saying. Worst yet: we still use illogical punctuation rules created due to our crappy printing presses back in the 17th century.

But how does a computer deal with these illogical phrases and multiple rules on punctuation? This is far trickier than duplicating an eye scan and hacking a code.

In fact, it might even be harder than comprehending emotions…

No…I think emotions will still be harder. We cry when we are happy and sad. We laugh through pain and in joy. We sulk prettily when we want something, and truly sulk when we don’t get it. We connive, we plot, we manipulate, sometimes to make something better, and sometimes for revenge. Honestly, we have got to be the most inconsistent and confusing creatures on Earth.

Hacking into the Fed Reserve would be child’s play in comparison to understanding and successfully emulating a human.

Yet by working with Carla as her ‘grammar program’ for years, her program can clean up not just the grammar issues, but the factual issues as well, while she “becomes the character” and teaches it about emotions in all their messy splendor. Her program has managed to categorize all the nuances of emotions, facial tics, etc, and in book 2, he develops into a human, superior in all ways.

My program has no such aspirations.

Here’s a few of the funny changes my program wished to make to my novel Public Secrets:

 

What I wrote: What my program thinks I should say
“You can get away after the book.”

—Editor wanting her to finish writing the book before Carla takes a vacation…

“You can get away from the book.”

 —Sure you can. Just run! Books are really slow!

“I can see why,” she murmured.

 

“I can see why” she murmured.

—For some reason, the program wished to remove the comma. Evidently ‘murmured’ is not considered a replacement for ‘said’ in its data bank.

He remembered the deference she’d been shown by both the attendant and the captain. He remembered the difference she’d been shown by both the attendant and the captain.

—Liza loses all respect for the program…

His ill-tempered assistant reamed a porter for bumping the luggage against the frame of the elevator door.

 

His ill-tempered assistant dreamed a porter for bumping the luggage against the frame of the elevator door.

—Liza bangs her head against the door.

Shouldn’t an ill-tempered assistant at least dream of killing the porter?

How the hell had she gotten herself into this situation?

 

How had the hell she gotten herself into this situation?

—Who let Yoda in?

Steadied by these positive thoughts, she decided she didn’t want to be killed while cowering in the ceiling. Steadied by these positive thoughts, she decided she didn’t want to be killed while covering in the ceiling.

That makes so much more sense!

 

Pub sec 2 road 400x640

 

Public Secrets

Book 1 of the AI Sci-Rom Series

By

Liza O’Connor

 

Blurb

Carla Simon is a best-selling novelist besieged by death threats and lawsuits because her stories keep turning out to be true. She is considered an extraordinary researcher, uncovering facts unknown by field experts.

The truth is far simpler and more disturbing. Carla has a software program that “fixes” her mistakes and rewrites her novels so they are error-proof both in presentation and in content. The result is beautifully written and completely accurate stories about real people and events.

Some of those people want her silenced forever. When a woman, mistaken for Carla, turns up dead in New Zealand, she must face the hard truth about her program. But first she has to survive the assassin who has never failed to deliver on a contract.

 

BUY LINK

AMAZON

Free with Kindle Unlimited

 

Coming Very Soon

Birth of Adam

 

The Birth of Adam 400 x 640

 

About Liza

Liza O’Connor was raised badly by feral cats, left the South/Midwest and wandered off to find nicer people on the east coast. There she worked for the meanest man on Wall Street, while her psychotic husband tried to kill her three times. (So much for finding nicer people.) Then one day she declared enough, got a better job, divorced her husband, and fell in love with her new life where people behaved nicely. But all those bad behaviors have given her lots of fodder for her books. Please buy these books, because otherwise, she’ll become grumpy and write troubled novels instead. They will likely traumatize you.

You have been warned.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT

LIZA O’CONNOR

Investigate these sites:

The Multiverses of Liza O’Connor

Liza’s Blog and Website   Facebook   Twitter

AI Series

Interview with an Author: Carysa Locke

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It is a pleasure to welcome Science Fiction author of The Telepathic Space Pirate series, Carysa Locke.

  
Welcome Carysa to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know you and your story better.

What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

I wanted something that would tie all of the books together, and make it clear these were space opera/science fiction romance books about pirates. The entire series will share the naming convention: Pirate Bound, Pirate Nemesis, Pirate Rival, and so on.

Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you?
If so, give a few examples…

In this book, yes! My grandmother’s name was Sanna. I always loved it and thought it was so unique. She passed away in the year before I originally wrote this novella, so I decided to honor her by using her name for a character, but when I was writing, it was too painful to see it on the screen. I changed the spelling slightly, and that made it work. Hence, the heroine’s name in this prequel is Sanah.

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

I have always been a huge science fiction fangirl. I cried in the theater when Spock died in Wrath of Khan, sure my favorite character was never coming back (I was eight.) I used to beg my parents to rent the Star Wars movies from the video store. When we finally had our own VCR and owned the trilogy, my sister and I watched them so many times we had all of the dialogue memorized. Fastforward years later, and I had spent a lot of time writing fantasy books, but never dipped my toe into science fiction. I realized I was intimidated – you had to explain your world building with science! And I was an English major with no real skill in that area. However, eventually I realized that plenty of space opera functions on the same basic “rules” for things like space travel and colonization. These rules are so prevalent that the audience accepts them without having to explain exactly how they work. It’s how shows like Firefly and Battlstar Galactica have come after Star Trek and Star Wars in the mythology. Sure, you need to explain how that stuff functions in your individual world, but I had been hung up on explaining how it was possible at all, and that just wasn’t necessary. Once I figured that out, writing science fiction became possible.

Around the same time, my best friend and co-author for this series was running a roleplay world she created – this world. Since then, we’ve developed it a lot more fully than it needed to be as a roleplay game, but she is responsible for creating the pirates and much of their culture, as well as several of the characters. This is why she is my co-author. She creates the bare bones, then we flesh it out together and take storylines we might have role-played and change or expand them for books. Without her, this series wouldn’t exist.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?

This is a great question. I rely on my morning coffee a lot more than I probably should, and sometimes it’s a struggle for me as a writer to remember that not everyone likes it! Some of my characters love coffee, but not all of them. I also think it is really important for writers to take time to read, watch movies or TV, play video games – basically, to recharge the creative juices by inhaling entertainment from other sources.

What makes you laugh?

You mean beyond funny pet videos on Facebook? I love character humor, where the characters create the moment by being who they are and saying the things they do to each other. Some writers really have a great grasp of this, and it can be a really good moment of levity in the midst of a serious book. Nora Roberts does this really well in her J.D. Robb books, where Roarke and Eve will have some great conversations that make me laugh as a reader.

What makes you cry?

I am a fairly emotional person. I definitely cry sometimes when I read or watch movies. When I connect with a character, I’m very empathic to their struggles. If someone is facing something that really hurt them, often it makes me cry.

What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing?

I’m a huge fan of writers like Ilona Andrews and Jim Butcher, as well as shows like The Walking Dead, and as I mentioned above, movies like Star Wars. I have no doubt all of these things are reflected in my writing. Early on, my writing was influenced heavily by writers like Anne McCaffrey, Nora Roberts, Neil Gaiman, David Gemmell…these were the writers I was reading throughout my childhood and young adult-hood. I not only read them, but studied how they wrote characters, how they plotted their stories. I took notes and tried to emulate what they were really good at. I don’t take notes anymore, but I have no doubt the things I love to watch or read influence how I write. I still notice something an author does really, really well – like exposition, for example – and then try to figure out how to incorporate that into my own writing to make it better.


  
A desperate gamble…  

Sanah would do anything to protect her little sister, even if it means taking refuge with ruthless pirates. But the psychically Talented pirates terrorizing Commonwealth space are not quite the monsters she has been led to believe. When Sanah’s empathic gift shows her the truth behind the stories, she is no longer certain who the villains are in her world.  

A race on the verge of extinction…  

Dem’s only goal is to protect his people, especially since a deadly bio-weapon decimated their population. Only a handful of women survived, and every day is a fight to rebuild. With Sanah’s empathy and her sister’s rare ability to heal, they could be the salvation Dem and his people have been looking for.   

A dangerous secret that could destroy everything…  

But how can Sanah trust Dem with her life? Especially when he’d kill her if he knew the truth.

Pirate Bound is a short prequel novel to the Telepathic Space Pirates series.  It is a standalone story within the series.  

Pirate Bound is available for pre-order at Amazon, Barnes & NobleiTunes or Kobo

You can find out more about Carysa Locke on her website, www.carysalocke.com

Everyday Fangirl Blog Third Anniversary

The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl is celebrating it’s third anniversary today!
  

I cannot believe that it has been three years since this blog started. In that time, this blog has posted over 400 separate posts. I want to thank all of those that take the time to read and contribute to this blog! I hope that The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl continues to entertain and inform. 

If you have any suggestions for future posts, please do not hesitate to make them in the comments below!
Thanks again,

PattyBones, the Everyday Fangirl

International Women’s Day 2016

 
 
You can celebrate International Women’s Day today and everyday by…  

Watching this cool video from Google 

  
 

Participating in discussions with Fangirls on Twitter and Facebook about Women Who Inspire you in the Star Wars Community via Fangirl’s Going Rogue.

  

Read articles that will inspire and motivate you… 

  • How text books are sexist (via the Washington Post).
  • 17 women who changed the face of Physics including Actress Hedy Lemarr (via io9).
  • Top lessons from their favorite female Disney characters (via Disney Style)
  • 5 Ways To Motivate Girls into STEM (via edutopia)
  • We Must Inspire Women to Design Their Own Path (via Forbes)

Finally, you can nominate your favorite Fangirl for the Her Universe Fangirl of the Day because it is still The Year of The Fangirl! 

  

 

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