Friday, May 20, 2016

52 Short Stories in 52 Weeks - BONUS GIVEAWAY!

Dear Readers,

As some of you may or may not know I adore Ray Bradbury. His book 'Zen and the Art of Writing' is one of my favorite tomes on writing to date. It's a tiny thing but so beautiful and packed full of wisdom from such a wonderful mind. So this post today is for two reasons.

1. I'm going to give you a copy of 'Zen and the Art of Writing' because if you haven't read it that needed to happen yesterday and if you have read it and don't own a copy that also needs to happen.

2. There is a quote by Ray Bradbury:

This quote resonates with me because of Ray Bradbury and because I often have doubts about
my work. Is it good enough? Will I ever be good enough? I can't help these thoughts...I'm human.

So I'm taking Mr. Bradbury's advice and I am going to pen 52 short stories. One a week until this time next year. My requirements: 3000-5000 words each. I'm also going to use this as an opportunity to try out new genres and play with new writing styles and ideas. I'll post every single one here for you to read.

So...that's it. Next Friday you will have the first of 52 stories to read. Now sent me booze because I'm going to need it.


P.S. Leave a comment with your email if you want that copy of Zen...I'll draw next Friday!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Win a Book About Shakespeare

This is not my book but an awesome looking book I was offered to giveaway. The winner must be located in the United States and it will be shipped directly from the publisher. To enter the giveaway leave a comment and tell me what your favorite Shakespeare piece is (also include your email so I can notify you)! I will draw a winner Friday 30 April at 12PM EST.

Do you like Shakespeare? DO you like traveling? This might be a book for you!

There are 83 copies of the First Folio in a vault beneath Capitol Hill, the world's largest collection. Well over 150 Indian movies are based on Shakespeare's plays - more than in any other nation. If current trends continue, there will soon be more high-school students reading The Merchant of Venice in Mandarin Chinese than in early-modern English. Why did this happen - and how? Ranging ambitiously across four continents and 400 years, Worlds Elsewhere is an eye-opening account of how Shakespeare went global. Seizing inspiration from the playwright's own fascination with travel, foreignness and distant worlds, Dickson takes us on an extraordinary journey - from Hamlet performed by English actors tramping through Poland in the early 1600s to twenty-first-century Shanghai, where Shashibiya survived Mao's Cultural Revolution to become an honored Chinese author.

En route we visit Nazi Germany, where Shakespeare became an unlikely favorite, and delve into the history of Bollywood, where Shakespearian stories helped give birth to Indian cinema. In Johannesburg, we discover how Shakespeare was enlisted into the fight to end apartheid. In California, we encounter him as the most popular playwright of the American frontier.

Both a cultural history and a literary travelogue, the first of its kind, Worlds Elsewhereexplores how Shakespeare became the world's writer, and how his works have changed beyond all recognition during the journey.

About Andrew Dickson
© Sarah Lee
Andrew Dickson was raised in Yorkshire, and studied at Cambridge. He is currently an honorary fellow at Birkbeck, University of London, a former visiting fellow at the University of Warwick, and has contributed to The New Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare. Formerly an arts editor at the Guardian in London, he continues to write regularly for the paper and has also written for The New Yorker online and The New Statesman. He makes regular appearances on BBC radio and TV as a presenter and reviewer.

Visit Andrew's website

Friday, April 1, 2016

Woah Two Posts in Two Weeks

Hello Lovelies,

I know you have to be posts in two weeks. I know...I told you I'm trying to make some consistency here. As promised this week I'm going to talk to you about the typewriter it took me years to find. In reality I didn't find this one...a friend found it and and then sent it to me because he knew I wanted one and i'd been hunting it.

To those who collect and search for typewriters we call it hunting...when we are searching for a specific machine or just wandering a crowded antique mall trying to spot the shiny keys stuffed under tables or above book cases. That's the secret you see...people either put them on the floor or way up high on a solid piece of furniture.

Anyway...the holy grail of typewriters here. A ROYAL (that's the brand for those who aren't up on their typewriter game) model P. This particular model was made in the early 30's. Mine is read with some wear around the edges that looks a little black from the paint peeling away.

She types perfectly but the cherry on the cake is her Art Deco typeface. Now this is a more rare typeface known as VOGUE.

This old girl just needed a bit of a clean and now she works perfectly. I love that typeface so much! This model comes in a plethora of colors and even many shades of two-tone variety as evidence by this screen grab of Google Images search:

I discovered typewriters some time ago when I was living in Harrisburg and fighting the worst case of writer's block I could ever experience. Someone told me to try something new...and so I found an old beat up Underwood on Craigslist, cleaned her up, and I sat down and wrote 15,000 words in a few days straight.

Like pencils typewriters allow you a physical connection to your work. My friend made the hashtag #writingisacontactsport for when he got his typewriter and that is SO accurate. There is life in the pages you type away. You can tell when you were feeling particularly emotional or when you hit your flow by how heavy or light the indentations on the page is.

I love my typewriters and if you need a little whimsy in your life I highly suggest you find one. There are probably many at your local antique mall but you can also find them at local thrift stores, eBay, and Craigslist (but be safe if you go this route).

Sorry so short this week...headed on a long road trip back to Harrisburg tomorrow. Do you have a typewriter? If so...share it!


P.S. Preorder links are up for On a White Horse...grab them while I still have limited edition swag to go with them.


Want to stalk me elsewhere? 

Thursday, March 31, 2016

On a White Horse Pre-Order

Hello Lovelies,

Today is the day! You can now pre-order your very own PRINT copy of On a White Horse! All orders shipping the week of April 16th.

Victor Brandt has a secret. As a new resident to New York, he goes out in search of diversion, and he finds it behind a red door. The Underworld embraces him, and soon he realizes he's going back night after night just to see Mistress Lethe: a Dominatrix so demanding she will satisfy her submissive into forgetting their own name before stealing her pleasure. But soon Mistress Lethe draws Victor into her world, and he realizes it's a lot larger than he thought.

Bianca's coffee business is booming, but her love life is lacking. With each step her friends—the other three Horsemen of the Apocalypse—take toward happiness, she holds herself back. As visions of the future threaten everything the horsemen have built, Bianca finds a man who sees all of her: the light and the dark, and for a little while she becomes Mistress Lethe, a simple woman and the embodiment of Conquest. But fate plays cruel jokes, and after only a short time with Victor she is confronted with a decision that can save the world but cost her the first man that’s ever made her want to be human.

When a mysterious stranger arrives bearing ill omens Bianca wonders if she can keep together her motley crew in order to save the world. Or will the threesome’s tangled emotions usher in the apocalypse? Come and see.


You can also get a combo pack if you need to pick up On a Red Horse as well! You can buy BOTH print books at a special discounted rate! CLICK BELOW.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Fly Me To the Moon...

Hello Loves,

It's time I get my blogging life in order. For those who have been long time followers you'll probably cheer...or maybe all the new content headed your way.

Readers and writers are very similar creatures. When a writer is tired of writing they need to go back to their basic functioning which is to write. It sounds simple on paper but in reality a burnt out writer is going to be hard pressed to type anything longer than a paragraph without the heavy application of caffeine. When a reader gets burnt out they go back to their favorite books. The safe ones they already know they adore. Writers can accomplish that same feat by making a connection to their tools and constructs.

Ask any writer alive about their writing rituals and every person with have at least one…most will have more than one and a few will have a long litany of ritual they need to accomplish their tasks. This can range from lighting a candle with a specific scent, turning on music or a specific playlist, all the way to utilizing specific programs, tools, or brands of products.

Creators entangle themselves with their tools and form connections. Some have a fierce loyalty to them. When a writer needs to get that spark back they usually have a go to method, and as I mentioned above mine is getting back to the basics.

There are many ways to write: a computer, pen, pencil, paper, typewriters, mud, chalk, paint, ink, word processors. Every writer uses some combination of these. For myself it goes down to specific brands.

This week I am going to talk about something many of you may not be intimately familiar with: pencils. A lot of people walk around their lives perfectly content in their lack of luxury pencil knowledge or anything outside the standard Ticonderoga they used in grade school or high school standardized testing.

There is a world you know not of...and I am here to set you straight. (I apologize in advance to your wallet). May I present...THE PALOMINO BLACKWING...*queue music*

You may be looking at that picture saying to yourself..."come on lady it's just a pencil" which I shall reply...let me tell you about it...rather let me share what someone more articulate says about it:

Legendary Grammy, Emmy, Pulitzer and Academy Award winners have created with the Blackwing 602 pencil. The list of known users includes John Steinbeck, Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein and Chuck Jones who proudly used Blackwings to create Bugs Bunny and many other Looney Tunes characters.

Blackwing’s roots go back to the 1930’s when the 602 model was first introduced by Eberhard Faber. In 1998, after several corporate acquisitions, it was discontinued, but not forgotten. In fact, fans began paying as much as $40 on eBay for a single Blackwing pencil

Artists soon noticed that Palomino’s range of premium pencils compared favorably to the Blackwing 602. They began asking Palomino to consider reviving the Blackwing brand and unique ferrule design. Palomino founder Charles Berolzheimer, whose family’s roots in the pencil industry date back to the mid 19th century, used the company’s unique supply relationships to re-introduce Blackwing pencils in 2010 featuring California genuine incense-cedar and premium Japanese graphite. The pencils has drawn rave reviews from users and national media attention

In the last few years, Blackwing has grown from a single pencil into a culture. It’s a culture that encourages and empowers creativity in all forms, especially in our nation’s schools. In fact, a percentage of every Blackwing product sold benefits music and arts education at the K-12 level.

Taken directly from the Blackwing website you can see how this pencil might have a cult following...maybe not as large of Firefly but that's a conversation for another day. Now let me share with you my own observations.

There are a number of Blackwing models available at the moment. The standard line consists of The Blackwing Pearl (the white pictured above), the Blackwing 602 (the gray pictured above), and the Blackwing MMX (the black and gold pictured above). Blackwing also offers a quarterly limited release called Volumes that are only on sale for a limited time. The Black on black shown above is the Volume homage to John Steinbeck a user of the Palomino Blackwings in their original form. The bottom pencil shown is the 1138 dubbed the sci-fi pencil. There were two more releases: the 211 and the 725 which are not seen above.

Each pencil has a different feel. Some graphite is more firm or more dark. And the finish on the pencil impacts the way it feels in your hand. I am so in love with these pencil I use them to hold up my hair for quick and easy carrying while protecting the point.

I'm not an expert but I can tell you writing with a pencil takes you somewhere new. Somewhere a little softer, a little slower, that allows you to take the time to articulate your thoughts and set them to paper at a more reasonable rate than out fast-paced digital world sometimes allows. Writing with pencil has helped me form a more deeper tactile connection with my writing and I've only delved the surface of the pencil market.

If you'd like to give these a try you can find the original line on Amazon or your can purchase them at retailers like Jet Pens or The volumes can be purchased at those locations as well or you can buy a subscription for a quarterly shipment and never miss a set!

Next week I shall enumerate on the typewriter it took me years to find!

Until next time!


Want to stalk me elsewhere? 

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Ghost is Live

Hello Lovelies,

A short story I had in an anthology came back to me recently and now I am passing it on to you. This is a little holiday short about a girl and a ghost.

You can find it now on Goodreads.

If Reece knew dying would improve Christmas he might have tried it sooner.

If Bridget knew her holiday would be interrupted by one overbearing ghost she would have stayed at work.

Can the pair get over their animosity, or attraction, long enough to ensure Reece is laid to rest?


Only .99 where ever your favorite books are sold!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Add On a White Horse to your Goodreads

It's official.

I've gotten edits back for Bianca's story and I am hard at work. You can add her to your Goodreads in anticipation RIGHT NOW!