Thursday, January 29, 2015

18 Thoughts, Did You Know, Fun Facts, and the Weekend Follies

18 Things: (I know, I'm late) Hosted by Jamie Ayres to celebrate the release of 18 Thoughts the third installment in the My So-Called Afterlife trilogy. Each person participating will post a thought (belief) that has defined their life, their way of thinking. Post up to 18 if you’re feeling adventurous and post any time between Jan. 21 and Jan. 28. I’ll pick 2-3 winners each day. 

My thought is to follow your passion. For me it’s writing. Writing is far more than just a hobby. I go into this as if each book could become a movie or Netflix series. That’s how serious I take writing and why I have an editor. I could not imagine lying on my death bed and wondering, “what if.” Regardless of what happens, if anything, follow your passion and at least once in your life give it your best shot. 

See the little satellite above Asteroid 2004 BL46?
Did You Know: Asteroid 2004 BL46 that passed by Earth about January 6th has a moon? That’s right, asteroids can have moons! It’s not uncommon for an asteroid to trap a satellite and bring it along for the ride. In 1993 asteroid Ida, almost twenty miles across, had a moon (Dactyl) about a mile wide orbiting it. About two dozen asteroids have been identified with their moons. 

Fun Fact: Asteroid 2004 BL46 is a Near-Earth Object (NEO), NEOs comets and asteroids that have been nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits that allow them to enter the Earth's neighborhood. Usually they're just passing through. 

But once in a while they hit us head on. Just look at the moon, unhindered by wind and erosion, as an example of all the activity buzzing around us.

Composed mostly of water ice with embedded dust particles, comets originally formed in the cold outer planetary system while most of the rocky asteroids formed in the warmer inner solar system between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The scientific interest in comets and asteroids is due largely to their status as the relatively unchanged remnant debris from the solar system formation process some 4.6 billion years ago. NASA Reference 

Weekend Follies: Okay, time for a quick clip from the movie spoof Superhero Movie. Enjoy the laugh and have a great weekend!


Monday, January 26, 2015

2015 A to Z Challenge Announcement, Near Earth Orbit Asteroid Today, Murcat Manor's New Name

The Bed and Breakfast Murcat Manor
New Name for Murcat Manor: Thanks everyone for your suggestions and feedback regarding a new name for my book. There were so many great ones. And the winner is Salem’s Daughters

I really needed to get the word ‘Salem’ in the title, and since the thirteen antagonists are the daughters of the women hung at the Salem Witch trials, the title seemed obvious. Thanks again for your help! 

When I Grow Up I Want to be a Cat from Salem's Daughters
Looking For A Few Good Cats: I’m developing three cover designs for Murc .... errrr, Salem’s Daughters. And I need thirteen images of domestic cats, preferably short hairs I can use for the cover. 

So I’m asking you, if you have a cat and you feel so inspired, email me photo of your cat standing, sitting, or laying and staring directly into the camera at I will then Photoshop the felines into the main picture for the cover art for the book. 

If I use your pic, I’ll give the kitty and you credit in the beginning of the book. I have a few examples so you will know the pose I’m looking for. 

Cats from Salem's Daughters Wear Collars Like This (BTW, We Want To Kill You)

I'm Posing But Not Liking It

Can I Leave Now?

Asteroid Alert: Look out for that asteroid! Okay, so you probably heard there is another large asteroid making a near Earth orbit visit Monday. Lots to say about it, but not to worry. It won’t smash into Earth. This time. 

But Asteroid 2004 BL86 will be back in about a thousand years and could pose a serious threat as different planetary alignments such as Jupiter or an object we are not aware of could slightly alter its orbit a lot closer to us next time around. But let’s let an expert explain (no, not the CNN reporter):


2015 A to Z Challenge Announcement 

Please read and follow the sign-up instructions outlined below so you sign onto the list correctly!

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 3 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends. For more details and its history, go HERE

We recommend short posts, turn off Word Verification, and visit five blogs (or more) a day beginning with the one after yours on the list.

Blogs must be on an open platform – no Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. – and comments enabled.

To streamline legitimate blogs from advertisement blogs, the Co-Hosts will be visiting each blog on this list throughout the Challenge. Blogs on the list showing no activity once the Challenge starts or miss five days in a row will be removed.

Please note your blog name and number in all correspondences. Remember that as blogs are removed, your number will change.

There are categories for those looking for like-minded blogs. Select ONE category code and enter it after your blog’s title/name. The code applies to your blog, not your theme for the Challenge and is purely optional. See the first few blogs on the list for examples. However, if your blog has adult content, you MUST mark it (AC) or it will be removed from the list. Codes are as follows:


Be sure to grab the badge and display it in your sidebar so we know you are participating and link to the A to Z Challenge Blog.

For more information we recommend you follow the A to Z Challenge Blog and the hosts:

Arlee Bird @ Tossing it Out
Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh
Jeremy @ Hollywood Nuts
Nicole Ayers @ The Madlab Post
Stephen Tremp @ Breakthrough Blogs
Heather M. Gardner
AJ @ Naturally Sweet
Pam @ An Unconventional Librarian
Matthew MacNish @ The QQQE
Zalka Csenge VirĂ¡g @ The Multicolored Diary
S. L. Hennessy @ Pensuasion
C. Lee McKenzie @ The Write Game
Joy Campbell @ The Character Depot
Susan Gourley @ Susan Says
John Holton @The Sound of One Hand Typing
Lisa Buie-Collard, Author

We also have a Facebook Page
Email address is
Twitter hashtag is #AtoZChallenge and Twitter id is @AprilA2Z

Sign up below and join us for a month of alphabet fun!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

New Horizons, Dawn, and the Super Bowl

Spacecraft New Horizons and Pluto
The New Horizons Spacecraft: launched by NASA in January 2006, is approaching the dwarf planet Pluto. Last month, the probe woke up from a very long nap designed to save reduce wear and tear and lower operational costs along the nearly 3 billion mile journey. 

The probe sent a weekly signal back to Earth, and is woken up every six to 10 months to assure that it is still operational. New Horizons will also visit Pluto’s largest moon Charon and a few other objects in the Kuiper Belt. The closest approach will take place in July. 

Spacecraft Dawn and Dwarf Planet Ceres
Four other space probes have traveled as far out into the solar system as New Horizons, including Voyager I and Voyager II. It will be the first space probe to make a close approach of Pluto, coming within 7,767 miles of the surface. 

New horizons will continue on past Pluto and into the Kuiper Belt which is an unexplored asteroid-rich region of our solar system that might have thousands of small, icy, rocky planets similar to Pluto. Studying the Kuiper Belt could offer scientific insight into how our solar system formed. 

2015 is shaping up to be a spectacular year for astronomy. In march the spacecraft Dawn will approach the dwarf planet Ceres

Super Bowl: New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks. I’ll go with the Patriots because Tom Brady went to the University of Michigan. It’ll be interesting to see the Vegas odds and the over under. 

Finally: I posted a Robin Williams video on the previous post. If you need a good laugh, take a couple minutes to view it.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

We're Baaaaaaack: The Weekend Follies

The Late Great Robin Williams
Weekend Follies: Hey everyone, as always thanks for stopping by. It’s been a long while since I’ve posted the Weekend Follies and it’s time to restart the madness. 

I wanted to post this video of robin Williams last fall during the Survive and Thrive Blogfest which was not long after one of my favorite comedian’s passing. 

There is a connection with this stand up bit and my post, and of course there is a lot of humor attached. There’s no other way than to look at having a colonoscopy than through the eyes of Robin Williams. 

I also have a quick post over at the 2015 Blogging A to Z Challenge site with a couple tips to get you prepared for the annual event. So have a few laughs with Robin Williams, then pop over to the A to Z site. And thanks again for stopping by!


Okay, grab your splitting sides and now its off to the A to Z site you go: CLICK HERE

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Thriller vs. Suspense vs. Mystery vs. Paranormal vs. Supernatural

Genres: When it comes to genres, I first write my stories, then worry about what particular genre(s) it falls into only after I’m finished. I then call in and line up the usual suspects: 

  • Mystery 
  • Suspense 
  • Thriller 
  • Paranormal 
  • Supernatural 
  • Sci-fi 

After serious questioning and interrogation, it became clear the genre of Murcat Manor (soon to be renamed) is Supernatural Thriller, although like most stories today there are overlaps and blurrings of other genres present. 

A Supernatural Plot introduces something unknown to the otherwise normal setting. Other-worldly elements exist beyond the realm of our commonly accepted five senses. The supernatural can have a spiritual tone and was once a part of our world and had a place in it. 

But it has transformed itself and returned to defy it. There is a fear brought on by something like a housing development built on an ancient Indian cemetery (Poltergeist) or someone sees dead people (The Sixth Sense) or something traumatic has happened like a murder of an innocent person with more murders on tap (Ghost). 

The supernatural often has the element of horror. Behavior and events have been influenced by the intervention of supernatural beings with secret powers that influence earthy affairs. 

But the emphasis is mainly on suspense rather than horror, although there is certainly horror in the story. A paranormal setting is usually less violent and often has a romantic theme. 

A Cat From Murcat Manor
In a supernatural setting, the protagonists are isolated against their will in a battle against a sinister force that builds to a climax. During that time, there are several rounds or battles with the protagonists (often everyday people) on the defensive and even injured. But as the story unfolds, they begin to figure things out and take the offensive. 

That being said, there is so much blending of genres and blurring their boundaries that I know I have elements of paranormal, suspense, and mystery in the plot. But in an overall sense, Murcat Manor (soon to be renamed) is very much a clear cut Supernatural Thriller. 

Thanks Everyone for helping with a new title for Murcat Manor. There were close to twenty names suggested and I’ve narrowed it down to four: 
  • Nine Lives to Murder 
  • A Manor of Murder 
  • Bed Breakfast and Death
  • Dead and Breakfast 

Honorable Mentions: it did seem like a good idea to try and get the name Salem in the title: 
  • Salem’s Legacy 
  • Salem 13 
  • Salem’s Daughters 

Finally: When writing, do you first pick a genre then write the story? Or do you write first and then figure out the genre?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

IWSG, A New Title, and Cute Fuzzy Meerkats

IWSG: Hi everyone, my name is Stephen Tremp and this is my post for the monthly IWSG hosted by Alex Cavanaugh

I’ve been blogging for about five years. I am a self professed writer with my fourth book in the final editing stage and two more on the drawing board. I embrace science and the supernatural and believe that together they explain the universe and our place in it. I also use this premise to write one of a kind thrillers. I live in Orange County, CA with my wife, kids, dog, parrot, and hamster. 

Warm and Fuzzy Meerkats of Meerkat Manor
My concern this month is the title of my book Murcat Manor. I chose the word Murcat because it’s a combination of “murder” and “cat.” It is also the name of the bed and breakfast where everything takes place.

But I surveyed a group of people who felt the name needed to be changed as most thought of those cute and cuddly Meerkats from the hit TV show Meerkat Manor. So I’m hoping to get some ideas here for a new title. 

Below are two quick blurbs of the book. A full synopsis is on the Murcat Manor Tab above if you want to take a look. 

A four hundred year old evil is unleashed when disembodied souls of the daughters of those killed during the Salem Witch Trials find a new generation of people to murder at a popular bed and breakfast owned by a young unsuspecting couple. 

Murcat Manor
Spend a summer at a present day bed and breakfast called Murcat Manor, and you too could become a victim of thirteen gifted and malicious killers from late seventeenth century New England. 

The name of the bed and breakfast will remain Murcat Manor. But I do need to find a new title for the book. My editor suggested these titles: 

* A Manor of Murder 
* Nine Lives to Murder 
* Some Witches Never Die 
* The Cats 
* Bed, Breakfast and Death 
* Your Cats Want to Kill You 

If you feel so inspired, please leave a title in the comments. 

Finally: Once again I've put together a Celestial Calendar and made it into a monthly newsletter. 2015 promises to be an exciting one for astronomy buffs. 

Many rare and notable heavenly events will occur in our night sky that can be seen right from your back yard. So take a moment to see what's on tap as this year will be full of awe and wonder as we explore our solar system and continue to unlock the secrets of our universe. 

Simply click the 2015 Celestial Calendar Tab above or CLICK HERE.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Welcome Back, 2015 Celestial Newsletter, Galavant, and More

Welcome Back! Hope everyone had a fun and safe holiday season with family and friends. Wishing peace, health, and prosperity to you and yours for 2015! We get to start anew with a clean slate in many areas. 

New Year’s Resolution: One of my resolutions is to read current books. I’m usually a few years behind. Case in point: I’m currently reading the first Game of Thrones Book twelve years after the fact. Still, a great read though. 

In 2014 there were about 35 movies released based on books. I’ve seen Unbroken, Mockingjay, The Imitation Game, Maze Runner, Gone Girl, and Hundred Foot Journey among others. 

2015 promises more of the same. So I’m going to read a few of the books before the movie is released. I’m starting with The Martian by Andy Weir then moving to Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith. 

A Cat From Murcat Manor
Murcat Manor: Still in the editing stage. I’m looking for a new title for the book as the initial feedback for Murcat Manor was not very good. More on this on Wednesday’s IWSG post. 

I’ll start the querying process this week and send out about a hundred to a list of various agents and publishers. We’ll see what happens. Oh, and I need to finish the cover art.

In the meantime I’m cleaning up my blog beginning with the Tab Pages. I took a look at them and realized how sloppy they look. But I think I’ve got them looking pretty good. Now to work on the side columns. 

2015 Celestial Newsletter: Last year I made a celestial Calendar for one of my Tab Pages. This year I’ve expanded it to a once a month newsletter that contains lots of cool and rare astronomical events you can see from your back yard along with other cool tidbits. I encourage you to at least check it out. 

So take a moment to check out the 2015 Celestial Calendar TAB at the top for more info, or simply fill out the form below. I only ask for your first name an email address that I’ll never compromise to anyone. Ever. Unsubscribe at any time. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did. 

Galavant: I’m looking forward to the four week run of Galavant on Sunday nights on ABC. It's billed as a Medieval Geek Smorgasbord similar to Monty Python and mel Brooks films. Combine this with slap stick humor and Weird Al Yankovic and I’ll give it a try.

Finally: Have any books you've lined up to read for 2015? Ready for the first IWSG of 2015? Watching Galavant? And don't forget to sign up for the 2015 Celestial calendar. Give it a try and check out what's on tap for this month. You'll be truly amazed at our amazing universe.

Thank you for subscribing to my 2015 Celestial Calendar.
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