Thursday, January 28

Pass the Tissues . . .

The tragedy in Haiti and a nasty cold virus made the last two weeks a total nightmare. I know I'm really sick when I have no desire to write or even look at the computer. Thankfully, I'm feeling a little better . . . just in time to meet a February 1st submission call deadline.

While being ill, I was still very conscious of the fact that I had a warm bed, medicine and my husband around to fill in the gaps for me with the kids. I could not help but think about the people of Haiti suffering far more ailments with little or no medicine and probably no peace of mind concerning many loved ones.

I'm glad I can at least breathe out of one nostril and I continue pray for those still waiting for help in Haiti. It almost seems cruel to escape into literary fantasies where love always wins in the end. If only real life could have the guaranteed happy endings we all love to read in our favorite romance books.
(photo courtesy of roym)

Thursday, January 14

A Prayer for Haiti

It's hard to comprehend news of a horrible tragedy befalling another group of people miles and miles away. Many feel compelled to watch the devastation unfold and others can't bear to look at each horrible detail. I fall into both groups. I watch for awhile horrified, wondering how some of us on this planet are hit with the worse possible circumstances and others coast by seemingly without ever having to face such pain and loss.

Now, I know everyone has problems and we all face tough times but most of us haven't had to face such enormous challenges or heartbreak. It all seems so unfair sometimes. And yes, I know the ole' adage, "Life isn't fair," and "Everything happens for a reason," but these trite clichés don't give me any peace.

Tonight, as I lay in my warm bed, I will think and pray about my brothers and sisters in Haiti still searching for loved ones, still waiting for medical care, food and water. Tonight, I will pray for Haiti and for others around the globe fighting to survive, fighting just for their right to thrive.


Ways to help:

Wednesday, January 6

The Princess and the Frog Review

I love fairytales and as a child I was fascinated with the magical happily ever after tales with beautiful fair princesses. I wanted to be swept away with a magical story with Disney's new fairytale, The Princess and the Frog. From the moment the movie started I waited for the magic and wonder of the story and the characters to pull me in.

Tiana becomes the ninth Disney princess, joining Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, and Mulan. Her story is based in New Orleans in the 1920's, during the Jazz age. She grows up in a working class family, her mother is a talented seamstress and her father pulls double shifts to support them. This is a family that loves and supports one another, Tiana's admiration for her mother and father clearly evident.

Although, Tiana is not rich, she isn't jealous or bitter of her self- absorbed white friend, Charlotte who has more of everything. These are components of the story that I like. I just wish Disney could have been more imaginative and produced a fairytale not based within a time period we know. I would have enjoyed a more magical storyline that would have given the entire fairytale more wonder and freedom.

Naveen, the “prince” from Maldonia is not white or black. Pocahontas was the only princess to fall in love with someone of a different race and that was because the story was based on real life. Was Disney worried a black prince would alienate white audiences? Thank goodness her dad is portrayed as a loving, dedicated father because he is the only positive representation of a black man.

The villain, a voodoo doctor is out to destroy Naveen for nothing more than cash. I wanted a deeper reason. I found the black images of the voodoo spirits racing along the bayou bigger than life on screen disturbing and harmful for young viewers.

Charlotte was the Mardi Gras princess who could break the spell cast on Naveen. She has to be the one to kiss Naveen in order for Tiana to be with her prince and this was another facet of the story that bothered me. I understand the reason but I felt like this was another magical moment missed by Disney. Why couldn't Tiana become the princess somehow?

Am I happy there is now an African-American princess? Of course. She's beautiful, kind and dedicated to making her own dreams come true, a great role model for all young girls. But I didn't walk out of the theatre talking about the heartwarming, spellbinding story. The characters of this movie didn't touch my heart like Pocahontas, Belle or even the animal characters of The Lion King. Even Tinkerbell a made for T.V. movie touched my heart more, the magical world of fairies brought to life in a very imaginative way.

Something was missing from this movie and even though I glad my daughter has a princess representing her own color, I can't shake the feeling Disney didn't dig deep enough to create real magic with this one.


Sunday, January 3

Author Victoria Roder!

AN: Happy New Year! I'm pleased to welcome my first guest author of 2010, Victoria Roder! Did you make any resolution's pertaining to your writing?

VR: I’m glad you specified resolutions that pertain to my writing or I would be forced to go on and on. I would call them New Year’s goals. I always make writing goals to continue forward momentum in my career. The main goal is to edit and submit The Haunting of Ingersull Penitentiary, and then begin my next work. I also have a goal of being on a guest blog post, interview, and book signing per month.

AN: Editing and more promo ops are great goals for all writers! Have you always wanted to be an author?

VR: My mom always said I should write, but it didn’t enter my mind until I wrote a short article about our Husky Rocky that we rescued after he was hit by a vehicle and left to die. My original goal was to write children’s books. My sister told me to write down a recurring dream I was having and one thing led to another and, The Dream House Visions And Nightmares was created.

AN: How long did it take you to become published?

VR: Although I work full-time the book poured out of me within a year. It felt like forever when it took a year to find a publisher, and an even longer year to reach print.

AN: What genre do you write and why?

VR: I have always thrived on scary books and movies. The Dream House Visions And Nightmares is a Paranormal Romance, Bolt Action due out April 2010 is an Action Thriller, and The Haunting of Ingersull Penitentiary is Paranormal Horror.

AN: Let's talk about your latest release The Dream House Visions and Nightmares. What's it all about?

VR: Visions…nightmares…, and murder. The Dream House Visions And Nightmares is a murder mystery wrapped in a paranormal ghost story. Apparitions and vivid dreams reveal sins of the past and foretell of danger in the present. Hope Graham travels home to stop the agony of her sleep deprivation from horrifying visions of a house she lived in as a child. The romance comes in the form of a very sexy bakery owner named Brock Cooper that offers Hope all the things her ex-husband didn't, friendship, support, encouragement, romance, understanding and love. Can that love survive the danger Hope will face?

AN: Wow, what an interesting premise! What was the inspiration behind this paranormal romance?

VR: Since I was a child I have experienced recurring dreams about a house that my family lived in. I talked to my sister about it and she suggested I write the dream down and then perhaps it wouldn’t bother me anymore. Instead of not bothering me, it consumed me. I wrote the dream down and then mixed with my imagination it became the premise of The Dream House Visions And Nightmares.

AN: How many books have you written, Victoria?

VR: I have written three novels and two children’s mystery books still pending a publishing house. My favorite is The Dream House Visions And Nightmares not only because it is my first novel, but because I think it identifies a group of adults that suffered in silence at the devastating effects of domestic violence during a time when people didn’t have anywhere to turn or anyone to talk to. My hope is that generation that suffered in silence is able to forgive their perpetrators and live fulfilled lives. Letting go of the pain leads to recovery and strength.

AN: The power of words has always amazed me and I think it's terrific you've written a book dealing with these issues. Ok, switching gears! Is there a fave food or ritual you must have or do to get into the writing zone?

VR: I must have that warm cup of coffee. My husband designed a beautiful open porch and gazebo for me and I love to sit with my coffee, laptop, and dogs and write in the early morning during the spring, summer, and fall.

AN: Now, that sounds very relaxing and muse inspiring! Any advice you'd share with aspiring authors?

VR: How about the old High School cheer─Never give up, never give in! Work hard, be determined and take rejection with an open mind. It takes time to find the right publisher for your work.

AN: Do you have a favorite author?

VR: Favorite author is tough because there are so many, but I do have a few questions for Stephen King. I want to know if he sleeps peacefully at night and I want to know if he has any phobias or fears.

AN: Tell me one thing your readers would be surprised to know about you!

VR: Touching cotton balls gives me the heebie-jeebies.

AN: LOL . . . now that is surprising! Victoria, thank you for stopping by Poetry, Prose and Print today! I wish you continued success in the New Year!

Enjoy an Excerpt from The Dream House Visions and Nightmares:

I opened my eyes and inhaled a deep breath as if I had sucked all the air out of a Macy’s Parade balloon. Once again the house watched me, yearned for me. Motionless, I stood in the middle of the uninhabited street. The eerie quietness made me feel as if I had been swimming and my ears were plugged with water. I felt the dampness on my nightgown, but I couldn’t look down; I knew it would be blood.
Against all my strength─mental and physical─I was helpless in resisting the house’s tremendous pull. As I drew closer, I walked over decomposed human remains, grinding bones into dust beneath my feet. I couldn’t stop myself…I looked down. An ear-piercing scream split my lips as I helplessly watched my blood drain from my body onto the remains below.

The Dream House Vision and Nightmares is available now with
Asylett Press, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Learn more about Victoria Roder at: