Tag: Blog

Author Interviewed: It’s ME!

I hope you’ll click through and check out the interview author Mercedes Fox did with me. She ran it on her blog on Thursday, February 18.

Why do I write in the genres I do? When did I start writing? What sort of things inspire me?

Click here to read all these answers and more!

AND…there’s a preview of the novel I’ve been slaving over for the last few months. This is the novel I wrote for National Novel Writing Month at the request of my publisher, Month9Books. Read that story here.

Check out the interview on Ms. Fox’s site to read an excerpt of this never before seen snippet from that young adult dystopian novel. Go ahead. Click the blue here. Do it. You know you want to.

Did you learn anything new about me from the interview?

Dinosaurs: A CIA Fabrication

Before anyone has a complete conniption fit, this post is a fiction submission to the entertaining series promoted on Don Charisma’s blog. It’s an exercise in writing improvisation. I was given a topic and had to create a post.

My topic “Dinosaurs were invented by the CIA to discourage time travel.” I formulated the following press release after doing some research on the founding of the CIA and notable discoveries of dinosaurs in the United States.

New Biography Discloses truth behind Birth of CIA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (January 2014) – In her grandfather’s biography, historian Jenny Ontspot reveals the truth behind the creation of the Central intelligence Agency: time travel. The book, Cradle of the CIA, is based on the life of her grandfather John O. Eastwood, Deputy Director to Roscoe Hillenkoetter, the first Director of Central Intelligence (DCI). Ontspot formulates her conclusions and findings on documents (2,641 pages) recently discovered at Eastwood’s estate.

In the chapter entitled: “Dinosaurs: the CIA’s biggest secret,” Ontspot explains and supports these allegations. While supposed bones of dinosaurs had been discovered as early as the 1850s in the United States, the true craze erupted after Edwin H. Colbert made his New Mexican find in 1947. According to Eastwood, Colbert was an early CIA operative, and the artifacts he discovered were clever creations manufactured by scientists, employees of the government. This claim has caused quite an uproar in the scientific community, with renowned paleontologists landing on both sides of the fence. Were dinosaurs an elaborate ruse buried in rock by the CIA?

Ontspot answers the inevitable query of why such an auspicious agency would go to such lengths. Time travel. History reports that the DCI informed Congress the USSR was close to duplicating the atomic bomb. The real intelligence was the discovery of a working time machine. “If the Russians are allowed to travel through time and alter history, all will be lost,” says a report by Agent X.

When the device was secreted out of the USSR, it was taken to a testing site in the US. Scientists experimented and collected data, much of which is shared in the book. “On multiple occasions, scientists transported objects and animals ten minutes into the future,” reported Agent Y. As exciting as this was, a clear and present danger presented itself with successful travel into the past.

After an extensive search (sixteen pages in triplicate), a volunteer was appropriated. He allowed the scientists to send him 50 years into the past. His instructions: find a dated artifact to verify your arrival, secure it, and return. On March 5, 1947, the time traveler arrived with a front page from an 1897 copy of the San Francisco Alta California.

Perplexed and horrified, a study team spent ten days discussing ways to prohibit time travel. Some of their ideas have been employed in more recent years, as discussed in other chapters of Ontspot’s book. The diversionary tactic they determined to pursue in March 1947: create a beast so terrifying that mankind would fear encountering it, and thus abandon all attempts at time travel.

A stamp featuring Colbert and a dinosaur

The first step in their convoluted scheme involved fabricating a radical find of multiple complete dinosaur skeletons in New Mexico. These were found 351 miles from the secret Area 51 by Agent Colbert. After all, Area 51 was designed by Eastwood’s boss, Director Hillenkoetter, who made well-documented assertions that UFOs existed.

Proof of the existence of the time machine remains unconfirmed. However, a report in the substantial file Ontspot used to guide her research addresses this missing link. “To protect mankind from his meddlesome nature, the device has been relocated to an inaccessible storage facility,” stated Agent Z. As always, the time machine is never referred to as other than “the device.”

Other documents reveal this same Agent Z verified the security of said site on several occasions. Ontspot speculates it could be within Area 51 or more likely buried under nuclear test sites with the radioactive byproducts of those warheads.

To get the full scoop, pick up your copy of this newly released certain to be bestseller. Cradle of the CIA is available at your local retailer or online at Amazon.com.



Some of this article is based in fact. Colbert did discover a collection of dinosaurs in the summer of 1947 near Albuquerque, NM. Hillenkoetter was the first Director of Central Intelligence and did argue to Congress that the USSR was close to making an atomic bomb. He is also on record for supporting the existence of UFOs. The 1897 newspaper company did, in fact, exist.

All other names, titles and assertions are creative property of the incredible imagination of Sharon Hughson.

Stir the Pot to Gain Comments

I confess that I follow at least two blogs that are known to tackle controversial topics on a regular basis. I enjoy listening to those writers build their case and I’m intrigued by some of the intelligent responses they garner.

I don’t share these posts. Most of the time, I don’t even press the “Like” button. Even if I like them.

According to social media Jedi Master Kristen Lamb, tackling controversy is a sure way to ruin your platform.  Unless you write controversial non-fiction. When you’re trying to convince mothers everywhere that they should buy your young adult fantasy book for their teenagers and their nieces and nephews? Best to avoid the debatable topics.

Unfortunately, I can’t seem to bring people to my blog. If they visit, they rarely comment. How can I increase participation without resorting to the platform-destroying tactic of blogging about hot news items and inciting an argument?

I’ve done my best to avoid filling this blog with samples of my fiction writing. I try to honestly share things – from my family, my insights and my heart – with my readers.

Sometimes, I can even pull off humor. Mostly, it’s just sarcasm, but people who know me well say most of my posts sound like me. My authentic voice is coming through. Shouldn’t that draw people in?

This is the part where I open it up to those of you who took the time to visit my blog. Please help me out. I sincerely desire your input to make my blog more entertaining and interactive. Choose one or more of these questions to respond to in the comments section:

How can I increase participation on my blog?
Does my voice seem authentic to you?
What sort of topics would you be interested in reading about here?

Reaching a Goal

Image courtesy of depositphotos.com

On Thursday, June 6th, I received a notification from WordPress that I had my 100th follower. It surprised me that I didn’t do a bigger happy dance.

Since reading Kristen Lamb’s book Are you there Blog? It’s me, Writer in August 2012, I had set some goals for my blog. One goal was to have 100 followers by my one year anniversary – February 2013.

I missed that target by nearly four months.

Of course, I’m not out and about spreading the love to other bloggers the way Kristen encourages new bloggers to do. Who has the time? I was pleased when I managed to get the two blog posts I had committed to up every week.

I still don’t get regular comments on my posts, which was one of my goals.

How do I encourage comments?

I noticed that when I did the Round of Words in 80 Days challenge, I scored quite a few more comments. Part of the requirements for the challenge is to visit five different blogs each time we post our updates. I believe I will participate in this challenge again…whenever it starts next.

Of course, I’m reaching my overarching goal of graduating from college. Once I’m finished with that, I can’t take a break. I need to start toward my next goal right away.

Here are the goals I expect to accomplish in the next six months:

  • Complete A Round of Words in 80 Days challenge with higher word count goals than last time
  • Bump blog posts up to three days per week.
  •             I’m considering making a page just for samples of my writing. Do any of my readers have any thoughts or experiences with that?
  • Finish my WIP by the end of October
  • Send out one article/story for publication
  • Visit more blogs on a regular basis and leave comments
  • Start a Facebook page

What is your secret to setting goals that you can complete?

I Won The Liebster Award

liebster-awardThis award was a happy Monday morning for me last week. I know it seems like maybe I wasn’t that excited since I waited to post this huge and hearty “THANK YOU” to Zehira-blog until  now. Once you see all the requirements, perhaps you’ll forgive me.

The following portion are the guidelines for accepting the award, as presented in my nominator’s blog:

The Liebster Award is very unique in the fact it brings recognition to the smaller blogs of the ‘verse.  With that in mind, all of the nominated blogs will have less than 200 followers.

The rules:

1. Thank the Liebster Blog presenter who nominated you and link back to their blog.

2. Post 11 facts about yourself, answer the 11 questions you were asked and create 11 questions for your nominees.

3. Nominate 11 blogs who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen.

4. Display the Liebster Award logo.

5.  No tag back thingys.

Here are the eleven facts about me that you never knew (and were probably glad you didn’t):

I dream I live in an isolated cabin on Mt. Hood with a horse and a bobcat. Spiders make me scream. Fruit pie and ice cream is my idea of a decadent breakfast. I’m a closet “cat lady.” I wanted to be an FBI agent when I was 12. I think exercise is the best drug in the world. My favorite place to be is at home. I could totally win Survivor, but I’d rather be on The Amazing Race. I am two inches shorter now than I was at 18. I despise wearing shoes. My hands and feet are perennially icy.

These were the questions that were posed to me and my witty responses:

(1) Which famous people living or dead would you invite to your fantasy dinner party? Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, C.S. Lewis, Rick Riordan and Kristen Lamb would be present at the phenomenal dinner party and I would happily hang on every word they said.
(2) What is your favorite topic to Blog about? I really enjoy blogging about my family, writing and the struggles I have balancing work, school, family and writing.
(3) Do you have any guilty pleasures? The only one I can mention to all of cyber space is dark chocolate truffles.
(4) What three words would you use to describe yourself? Forthright, industrious, positive
(5) Who would play you in a movie version of your life?
Duh – Jennifer Aniston. Apparently, I have her eyebrows (says an esthetician who shaped them for me).
(6) If you were to write collaboratively with any author, who would it be and why? This is extremely difficult. I adore Rick Riordan’s writing voice and since he writes YA fantasy, he could really help me. Since C.S. Lewis is unavailable, I’m going with Mr. Riordan.
(7) Is the glass half empty or half full? Half-empty when it’s that thick fiber drink, but half-full the rest of the time.
(8) What is your greatest ever achievement?
Maintaining a 4.0 in college
(9) If you had your own theme tune what would it be? “Soak up the Sun”
(10) What is your favorite film?
This one always gets me because it really depends on my mood. One that I could watch over and over is “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.”
(11) If you could be an animal for a day, what animal would you be? I would be a black panther. I would sleep in the sun and then climb high in a tree and sleep there. Sleeping in the sun is my favorite pastime.

Now all of you nominees of mine, these are the questions you will answer when you “pay it forward” and award some other little-known blogs.

  1. If you were a book, what genre would you be?
  2. If you were a book, who is your author?
  3. Where in the world would you travel if time and money were unlimited?
  4. Your favorite food in the world is…
  5. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream (please don’t say vanilla!)?
  6. What’s your favorite season and why?
  7. Name the teacher that most deeply affected your life.
  8. The most important quality in a friend is…
  9. Describe your comfy clothes.
  10. Do you prefer it warm or cool in the room when you sleep?
  11. What would the title of your autobiography be?

And my nominees for this distinguished Liebster Award: