Happy 4th!

Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License from original artist Tambja,

First of all, Happy 4th of July to all my fellow Americans!  Today will be a busy day, you will get two posts from me today.  The first post is this update from my Helium works.  This article is regarding the hunting habits of the thresher shark.  I wrote this article as part of a competition, at the time it was purchased for an incentive payment and then promptly got voted down to 2 out of 2.  Frustrating, but all part of the world of Helium since for 3 days it sat at number 1.  But things can always change and I am hoping this makes it way back to the top soon. Regardless, hopefully you can take a few seconds to give it a click and let me know if you found it interesting and informative.


Same old, same old…

It’s been quite awhile since I actually had the time or inclination to post on here.  It’s strange but I seem to completely forget I have this place until I look at my history and think, oh yeah I do have that blog I should really update it.  I have basically been working myself into oblivion lately.  The day job has been pushing me ever further into a nervous breakdown with constant overtime and hundreds of new expectations every day.  But until the writing can pay the bills, we have to do what we have to do right?

I have been considering something as far as my novels go, publishing it myself as an ebook.  Ebooks are exploding in popularity as the paper book market continues to shrink by the month.  But publishing yourself as an ebook takes out the publishing game that is almost impossible to win and gains you an audience without investing thousands of dollars like typical self-publishing schemes.  I have not decided on this yet, but just know that it is in my mind and being considered.  If that would be something you’d be interested in me doing, let me know cause I want to know if there’s an interest out there for me to go that route. 

I also have decided to invest more time in my freelance writing on Helium.  So I will post some updated links here, please give them a click cause it helps me make money and you may just discover something interesting too.

Ever wonder what the most common STDs are in women?  Find out here.

Learn the best ways to grow oregano, dill, and peas for all levels of gardening skill.

Should Happy Meals be blamed for rising obesity levels in children?  Find out what I think, with just a little bit of added sarcasm.

And the newest edition, discover some of the most rare breeds of cat in the world!

I hope you enjoy the latest batch of my freelance work, and I promise to update these links more often now that I am writing more.

What’s in the Works

Somehow every time I decide to pay more attention to this blog, I seem to forget that it exists for a few months.  But what a few months it has been, both work related and personally.  I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas/Yule/Hanukkah/etc and that the gift fairies were very good to you.  Before I wander completely off track into a deep discussion of my recent months and all that stuff that I am sure no one needs to hear, on to what I am posting for.  I just wanted to keep everyone up to date on what I am doing in the writing world.  Of course I mean besides Helium and my freelance work.

Schooling of a Monster – Yes, old news I know.  But I am currently working on a complete rewrite and edit of it that I think will make it a lot better.  The old version is still on Authonomy  and I urge you to check it out there and put it on your bookshelf if you have an account there.  I highly recommend it, the books are a lot of fun and I need to focus on that site a lot more.  I will be updating that version as soon as I get the individual chapters rewritten so keep an eye on it even if you have already read it.

Crimson Scream – I still haven’t finished this one, even though it was my Nano novel 2 years ago.  I got stuck on a bunch of plot points at the end and pushed it aside.  But I am still working on it and will be finishing it soon.  Then it can be edited and probably posted on Authonomy as well.

Last Days of a Saint – I finished the Nano part of it in time, but it was a close call.  Halfway through November I decided that I didn’t like who these characters were becoming so I started over and am much happier with it.  It’s nowhere near done and for now has been placed on hold while I work on other projects.

Humanity – I may have mentioned this as a short story that I did, but that is not what I’m referring to now.  This is a brand new novel that I started based on that short story.  I am very excited about it and will share more details with you along the road.  This is in the very early stages right now but it is getting a lot of my attention.  Let’s just say…it’s vampires like you’ve never read them before.

Those are all my official projects right now, but I have so many more ideas that I could just burst.  If you want an update on anything specific feel free to leave a comment and I’ll address it as soon as I can.  Blessed Be my good people!   ~Stef

“What we do is our character.”

I seem to have forgotten about this place it seems.  Little bit of an update,  Nano was successful again for me this year.  I am struggling to finish this novel with everything else I have going on.  I have started a part-time job shadow writing for a few websites.  It’s fun but not what I really am focused on doing.  I have a ton of new articles on Helium, so I will post those links too.  Be sure to read and get me those clicks! 

I am also going to make a renewed effort at getting my first Nano novel published.  But I seem to have hit a huge Catch-22.  Publishers won’t publish you without an agent.  And agents won’t take you without being published.  How in the world is anyone supposed to get anywhere?  So I have decided to look into ebook publishing and try that.  I’ll keep you all up to date on that and provide links to my book if it works out. 

New Helium Links

Reflections: People We Miss

Can Christians ever reclaim Christmas as Holy Day?

How different are Witches and Satanists?

How to survive a long distance relationship

How to successfully use a matchmaker

How low self-esteem affects a relationship

Moving on from a bad breakup

Writing an online dating profile

Whale Parasites

Humpback Whale Songs

Laws Protecting Whales

Is the Megalodon extinct?

What is cryptozoology?

The world’s most dangerous sharks

Personal life:  I am getting ready to go to England and spend two weeks with my amazing boyfriend.  I am so excited.  And I’ll be coming back with a new piece of jewelry (hint hint, wink wink)



“Your universe is full, but in my world there is only you” by Bo Bice

Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde

Once again it’s been much too long since I’ve posted here.  But, no more!  Its almost November…meaning its almost Nano time and I will try to post something everyday through the month.  I am mentoring some new participants this year, and that will be very fun.  I have 3 mentorees so far, I can probably take 1-2 more if they come along.  I have been working hard on getting all my tips and advice in order for them.  That is almost out of the way and on to novel prep we go.  I am planning to do character profiles tonight, and basic plot points tomorrow.  I thought of writing the sequel to last year’s Nano novel, but decided against it when I got an idea that I just couldn’t pass up.

I won’t reveal too much of the plot.  But basically it is about a despondent woman who finds herself in the sights of a completely maniacal stalker.  It should be very fun, I am excited to get started.  And in true Nano fashion, from the second I settled on an idea I’ve been coming up with 10-15 new ones daily.  I am writing them all down to examine later.

I am busy on the front of trying to get published as well, so my work on Helium has suffered greatly.  I am working on a query letter for a publisher that I plan on sending next week.  I also am putting my novel up on a site run by Harper Collins.  You can post your work, and other members read it and rank it.  The top 5 ranked submissions every month get sent to the Harper Collins editing desk for an opinion.  Its a pretty huge opportunity if anyone ever gets picked from that pool for publication.  I am working on getting “Schooling of a Monster” on the site, and I will post the link when I do.  Until then, I should get back to the desk job.  ~Stef

If I rewrote this, it just might sound the same…

Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde

Has it really been 16 days since I’ve been here last?  It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long, but I suppose it has.  It’s been a very long couple of weeks.  It was a few weeks where real life intruded on writing life.  Things still are not that great, but are good enough that I can get a bit done.  I have been thinking of stepping down as writer for the e-fed I write for lately.  Its a lot of work, and I’m fast running out of inspiration.  Not to mention with all the drama I have going on I’m just too exhausted to keep writing it for long.  And it seems like no one much cares anymore anyway, the fed has basically been abandoned.  The only reason I am still writing is because the fed is run by my boyfriend, Steve.  But I just can’t keep doing it, its too tiring and I’ve lost my enthusiasm for it. 

On another note, I haven’t had a lot of time to write for Helium lately.  Which has been disappointing, but I’m working on it now.  I wrote two articles that are very important to me this week, and are written from personal experience.  I was hesitant to write them at first, its not an experience I share with many, but ultimately I think it will be a good thing.  And with that said, I should get back to the day job.  Until next time, keep reading and take care.  ~Stef

Why people cut themselves: http://www.helium.com/items/1184504-why-people-cut-themselves

How to stop cutting yourself: http://www.helium.com/items/1183241-how-to-stop-cutting-yourself

If I had a license to kill, all of your would be in trouble

Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde

That quote is one of my own.  I thought it added a nice ring to the day.  It has been a long week.  I prefer not going into details, but let’s just say my entire life went to hell and still has not fully come back.  And unfortunately all this drama and chaos has caused my writing to come to a screeching halt.  But hopefully things are settling down slightly now, they are by no means solved, but I can get back to doing something besides trying not to have a nervous breakdown. 

Oh, I did go to tour a winery this weekend.  That was enormous fun.  I am ashamed to admit that while I live a mere 10 miles from Napa, California, I have never been to a winery.  This one is called Castillo Di Amorosa.  Or in english, the Castle of Love.  It is modeled after a 14th-15th century castle.  It was truly amazing, I was stunned by the whole place.  They had a replica dungeon, complete with authentic implements of torture.  And you all know my slightly twisted side loved that.  I even got a fantastic story idea while touring the place.  They looked at me like I was insane when I demanded a napkin so I could write it down and not forget.  I don’t want to give away too much, but I think this will be my novel for Nano this year.

So, onto links.  Unfortunately I only have two to give you today.  They are the articles I wrote for the Marketplace that unfortunately didn’t get published.  But they are still on Helium, so all is well that ends well.  And I don’t want any comments on the first one, its embarassing just to post the link lol.

How dirty talk improved my relationship: http://www.helium.com/items/1150233-dirty-talk-improving-relationships

One-night stand etiquette: http://www.helium.com/items/1150326-one-night-stand-one-night-stand-advice

And for the record, the second is not exactly something I have experience with.  But I did have fun writing it anyway.  ~Stef

I tried to be good, but I got bored.

Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde

What a week!  It has seemed to be a flurry of writing, and rating on Helium.  I wrote 2 articles for their Marketplace.  This is where publishers make requests for certain pieces and allow submissions from the site’s writers.  Because the publishers haven’t made a decision on which articles to publish, I cannot provide links at this time.  If mine are chosen and published, I will do so.  And if they are not, they’ll be transferred to Helium and I can link you then as well.  I am also planning a few more articles for the Marketplace this week as well.  They are supposed to be a guide to the most interesting and haunted locations in San Diego, California and Charleston, South Carolina.  It should be interesting and I am working on my research for those now.

I finally managed to complete all the requirements for the Reward-a-Thon and have been writing up a storm for that.  I did 3 articles just under those categories today, and plan on doing more tomorrow.  I have a little over a month to get as many of those titles done as I can.  It will be a long month, but hopefully it will be rewarding in the end.  They promise rewards, so I will work like hell to get them.  I cannot wait to keep writing for the reward-a-thon, so many of the titles are right up my alley.  They have about 8 titles on sharks, which as many of you know I am a complete shark fanatic.  I can easily name a hundred topics that I can write on, if only I can find the time.

Also, if any of your know of somewhere that is looking for a part-time proofreader or copywriter, please let me know.  I could always use more opportunity to ply my trade, and this would be a great opportunity.  And a little extra spending cash can’t possibly hurt either.  The two stipulations I have for this are that i must be able to work from home, and it cannot take up more than about 20 hours a week.  Other than that, send me the info, I am always interested in new opportunities.  So, now for the shameless self-promotion that I seem to be getting so good at…my newest articles:

Physical Attributes of the Goblin Shark: http://www.helium.com/items/1155456-goblin-shark-appearance-of-goblin-shark-biology-of-the-goblin-shark

Eating habits of the Great White Shark: http://www.helium.com/items/1155844-great-white-shark-feeding-habits-great-white-shark-prey

Physical characteristics of the Hammerhead Shark: http://www.helium.com/items/1155844-great-white-shark-feeding-habits-great-white-shark-prey

And again, I will get you a link to those other two pieces as soon as I can.  I think you would like them, the topics are:  How dirty talking improved your relationship and the etiquette of a one night stand.  The first I have personal experience with, the second not so much.  But regardless, both articles were very fun and I am hoping that they get picked for publication.  Keep your fingers crossed for me, I will know by Friday.  ~Stef

Resisting temptation is fun, but giving in is better.

Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
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Sweet, sweet victory!  I have finally accomplished the writing portion of the Helium Reward-A-Thon requirement.  I have that writing star.  Ironically enough I earned the star when I published a poem that I wrote for my boyfriend a few months ago.  I figured that I was proud enough of it to publish it and dedicate it to him that way.  I could not be more excited, I am still a bit below the requirement for rating but that will be solved in another day or two.  Then I need to start writing on those eligible topics like mad for the next month and a half to earn the bonuses.  I am very excited as I have never been eligible for something like this on the site before. 

I also have been working on my assignment for my class.  And once again this priority has put my novel editing on the back burner.  I’ve gotten a bit more editing done, but not much.  My assignment and the added distraction of Pogo (yes I am a long time Pogo addict) have been keeping the novel far away from my grasp.  But I am hoping to remedy that this weekend hopefully.  I really want to get it done before November when Nano starts up again.  And I know that I will probably procrastinate it until the middle of October, then freak out and edit like mad until November 1st.  It is my pattern and I am used to it by now.

Now, on to links.  I have written a few more articles in the last handful of days, and I’d love to have you read them and let me know what you think. 

Temperament of the Blacktip Shark: http://www.helium.com/items/1142182-temperament-of-the-blacktip-shark

Poem titled Invisibility: http://www.helium.com/items/1144652-invisible-poetry-pain-loss

Poem titled Words: http://www.helium.com/items/1146125-love-poetry-i-love-you (this is the one written for my boyfriend, love you babe)

Well, i think that’s about it for now.  I better wrap this up as I can’t justify procrastinating my day job much more today to write this.  ~Stef

Love doesn’t make the world go ’round, love is what makes the ride worthwhile

Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde

It has been an interesting week to be sure, and I am ashamed to say that I have not gotten a lot done.  Once again personal life interfered with my creative life, and one or the other had to suffer for a few days.  I have not done much on Helium except rate like crazy.  I am still a bit below the minimum mark for my own articles to qualify for their contest, which is disappointing.  I am thinking of publishing a few of my poems on there to try and boost my score a bit.  I only need 5 more percent, that shouldn’t be too hard.

Also once again, editing my novel has not gotten done.  I am going to work on that this evening though.  I hope to get at least 2 more chapters done.  Just last night I got an idea for a whole segment I want to write in the middle of it….so the editing just got a bit more complicated.  But it will be absolutely awesome if I can pull it off right, so I have to give it a try.

I did start writing my short story for my writing class.  It is going to amazing.  It starts with a woman on her wedding day…..always a good place to start.  It will definately be a thriller/suspense and I can’t wait to finish it.  The idea hit me in the middle of the night last night, and I couldn’t not start writing immediately.  After I turn it in to my instructor I will probably publish it on Helium, so be on the lookout for a link.

Well, its that time again.  Time for me to stop ignoring my job and get back to work.  Feel free to comment…unless its spam, then I just delete it.  And yes, “Are you single” is considered spam…and to answer the question, no I am not.  ~Stef