Welcome Fellow Campaigners!!

I'm participating in the Platform Building Campaign. If you're a fellow campaigner stopping by, make sure to leave me a comment if you follow me so that I can find you. Sometimes there's not a link in your profile on the GFC so I don't have a way to figure out where you came from. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone and to reading your posts!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Go Daddy's Gator

When I decided to purchase my dot com for Indie Designz, I didn't put a whole lot of thought into where I'd get my web hosting from. Now a few months later I wish I'd known then what I know now. It's important to know what your specific needs are when choosing a web host. It's also important to know they'll throw a bunch of flashy things in front of you that you don't really need. Fortunately I had a friend help guide me when I purchased so I was able to purchase a plan specific to what I needed and didn't end up purchasing a bunch of things that really are more flash than necessity. Considering my limited budget it's important all of my purchases are absolute necessary.

There are many choices out there and the absolute best is to have your own dedicated server hosting. However that's also the most expensive and not really something many can afford to do. So whether you're needing an e-commerce site or simply wanting to promote your latest kitty,you have to make sure your site is Google friendly. While those free flash sites may look pretty, Google hates them and refuses to play with them. So make sure you choose a site and hosting that Google likes. Also make sure to bring cookies and chocolate to bribe with in case it becomes necessary.

*sponsored post

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Bets Please

I know I shouldn't be surprised with all there is to do online these days, but still whenever I come across something new I can't help but "gasp" and think "really they can do that online?!" So why I was surprised when I realized there were actual to goodness online casinos I'll never know, but apparently gambling online has become very popular and easy to do. Which means it's becoming ever easier for people to gamble away their life savings before they finish their cup of tea. 

I'm not really sure how I feel about all of these online advances. While I love being able to email my friends across the globe and no longer have to wait for snail mail, there is something about sitting in the actual place and experiencing the sights, sounds, and smells that can't really be duplicated when it's done completely online in your pj's while DH is sound asleep upstairs and the kiddos are tucked in bed just down the hall. I mean seriously who is going to shout TWENTY-ONE or WINNER when you hit the jackpot while playing online blackjack or roulette or whichever it is you get 21 at.

I know businesses are in it for the bottom line, but businesses can only go as far as we the consumers allow them to go so while it's easy to shift the blame on some faceless corporation, the true responsibility lies with us, the consumers. So if you don't like it, then don't buy/play/use online, actually go into the store and make an honest to goodness purchase from some pimply faced teenager who's too busy to help you find the item because they're updating their Facebook status about the dork customer who just walked in. 

*sponsored post

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Monetizing Your Blog

For the majority of bloggers, blogging is just about sharing the daily exploits of their little ones so that family and friends who live far away can keep up with first steps, lost teeth, and when the dog hides the remote. Every person who blogs does so for their own personal reasons and there really is no right or wrong reason. Even if you started blogging so Grammy and Gramps can view pics of little Bo-bo, you soon start to realize you can actually make money from blogging. There are a variety of different ways to do this. Some people use top affiliate networks to post links through out their blog. Then when someone clicks the link and purchases something they get a few pennies, and usually it is just a few pennies.

There are lots of affiliates out there who will allow you to put use their links such as Amazon, Blue Global Media, and if you google I'm sure you can find an endless number of sources that will allow you to use their link on your blog and pay you when someone uses that link to purchase something on their site. Basically the affiliate program works much like a referral system.

Within each affiliate program, there are a also a variety of subprograms for you to choose from such as Payday affiliate program, cash advance affiliate program, product linking program, etc. Each program has its own set of rules regarding how the links can be used and how you are paid when a person happens upon your blog and clicks the link. There are lots of other ways to monetize your blog, but affiliate links seems to be the most popular along with selling of ad space. But that is another blog post. If you're looking to monetize your blog, these are just a few of the ways you can. There are countless others but these are some of the easiest and simplest which would work well for the majority of bloggers.

*sponsored post

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Spicing Things Up

I love to cook. Growing up I very rarely if ever saw anyone cook that much except on the holidays. When I moved out on my own, I taught myself to cook and then got some help from a neighbor friend who was Arab. Thus my love of spices was born and when my ex and I bought our own house the first thing I did to the kitchen was install a spice rack. One of the things I love about living overseas is the wide variety of spices you can find. There are spices available here that I never existed and  they mostly are sold in bulk. So when you go to the store you get all of these little bags of spices. 

This led to my dilemma of what to do with the spices once I got home. I am an utter clutz so keeping them in the bags wasn't an option. I was constantly spilling things and finding jars small enough or similar enough that my OCD didn't freak out because the cinnamom jar was totally different to the turmeric jar. 

This would be why my husband built me a wall spice rack. Our kitchen is small and no cabinets so the majority of pots and pans are not in the kitchen so having a kitchen spice rack makes my life so much easier. Before he built it, I was running back and forth and now I just grab and throw something in the pot. He even said the food tastes better. That would be because sometimes I'd be a bit lazy and not want to go to the other room and get the spices. Now everything tastes like it's suppose to.

*sponsored post

Friday, November 11, 2011

That Time of Year

It seems the stores start putting out Christmas gifts and decor earlier every year. While I don't celebrate Christmas I can't help but laugh at some of the novelty gifts they seem to come out with each year, like the cure for farting in bed. Really?! People buy stuff like that? I would kill someone if they bought me that. When I was little I remember one year as a joke my mom put one sock in  a barbie dream car box. I had been waiting and waiting MONTHS for that car. I was so not laughing when they let me in on the "joke". But I got my barbie convertible so I didn't stay mad for long.

I'd start celebrating if someone bought me this pampered massage gift. Oh that would be awesome. Now that is the kind of gift I'd love to receive, but most likely I'll get the other sock.

Soon I think shops will just have Christmas gifts out all year round. Considering they already start in July in some shops and keep them out til January already I don't see why they even bother to put them away. There really is no point. Just leave them out and then maybe it'll be less of a shock to see santa sitting beside the skeleton on Halloween.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Online Courses

The last few months I've been pondering with the idea of possibly studying online. I'd love to finish off my degree, but attending uni doesn't fit into my schedule. It definitely doesn't fit into my wallet so I've been searching for some inexpensive online courses I could take. I truly had no idea there was so much available to study online. I wish these options had been available when I started my degree years ago. Most likely I would have done it all online and would have completed it by now. Instead I'm still working jobs I don't necessarily like because I don't have the time or money to complete my degree.

Some of the courses I found most surprising online were for the gp exam. I never would have imagined you could find anything in the medical field online, but they have numerous courses and training available from the gp application all the way up to gpst stage 3 interview training. Even though I'm not going into the medical field. I still find it amazing that you can study and get your degree online. It makes me wonder what advances will be made ten years from now. Soon I'm certain all of the studying will be done via online classes. Wouldn't that be great? You could have homeroom in your PJ's.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Providing Translation Services

I don’t talk about it too often, but besides our graphic design business, my husband and I offer translations services to a local independent book publisher. We’ve been doing this for about two years now and I must say I’ve learned a tremendous amount in that time. Not only about translating, but about book publishing as well.  One way I learn is by visiting sites of those who offer professional translation companies. 

One site I recently found was for a London translation agency. They offered a vast array of services and products at affordable prices. My husband and I have discussed expanding our small business to a larger one, but there really isn’t that much of a market here where we are for translation service This is the main reason we stay with the book publisher.  It provides us with a steady stream of income while having a low overhead.
Most o f the online translation agencies I found offer various forms of certification that he and I aren’t able to provide. This is another reason why we don’t expand the translation side of our business and instead focus more on the graphic design side. Even though I prefer the translation work, at the moment, we have to focus our energies on the side of things that is providing the most work, and that is the graphic design. 

I hope that one day we could provide the services like other translation agencies do but for now we are limited to our small book publisher. 

*Disclaimer this is a sponsored post

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Officially Moved

Ok so technically it's been awhile but I keep forgetting to do this post. I'm now officially at my new place so if you want to check me out I'll be over there.

There's book features, blogger/wordpress how to's, contests, and lots of free stuff so make sure to come see me at my new blog

Indie Designz

updated to add: Thanks to the wonderful Alex I've added a GFC follower button unfortunately you all will have to refollow me there. So if anyone wants to take pity on me and be a follower I would so appreciate it.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Guest Post and Giveaway

This will be my last official post here. I feel like I'm leaving a childhood friend. While it's great to be building something, this was my first bloggy home. When I started blogging I never imagined I would end up meeting such wonderful people and doing so many amazing things.

I got a new friend, fellow campaigner and NaNoWriMo participant visiting today at my new diggs so make sure to check it out and give her some love. She's also having a giveaway so make sure to enter. Who doesn't love free stuff!!

Check it out here!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Get a Free Custom Blogger Template

I know I said I would start this a few weeks ago, but you know how life is. Always interrupting and getting in the way. Stupid life. But before we get to the bloggery stuff I have to tell you a secret. I'm not really here. I have actually moved. Yep. I'm on wordpress now. I moved my blog to the new domain and have spent the last two weeks sacrificing to the wordpress gods in order to figure it out and I finally did. Sorta. So to celebrate my move and new blog, I'm uploading a series of blogger tutorials on how you can customize your blog template FREE. 

But you have to go to the new digs to find out!! Cruel I know. I'll be posting updates here for the next week so that anyone who wants to go with me to the new pad can. I hope you to see you all there.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Cries in the Night

Her cries pierce the darkness. Through the blackened halls, she wanders and calls their names, but only the silence replies to her. Confused, she searches their hiding places. Calling them as she travels from room to room. The panic in her voice growing as she finds nothing but emptiness in their usual hiding places. She cannot understand why they do not come to her. So on through the blackened halls she wanders. Searching for that which she has lost. 

In helplessness I sit and watch. The pain in her voice unmistakable. She doesn't know what I know. She doesn't know of the cruelty that snuck in while she was out. She doesn't know that which she searches for is lost forever. Never to return to her. How I wish I could remove her sorrow. Could return to her that which she searches for, but it is beyond me. All I can do is offer her a kind word as she passes me in the night.


Every year we have a mother cat who has a liter of kittens on our roof. A couple months ago, she had her annual litter. The kittens are big enough now that they are starting to eat solid food, but not so big that they are weaned. There were four of them. Every day they would come downstairs into our room and eat dinner with us. During the night they would chase each other, play hide and seek, and enjoy the tiny bit of freedom they were denied during the day. Then when the mother cat returned from being out in search of food, she would call them and they would run from their hiding places. She'd bathe them and up the stairs they would go until the next night. Until three days ago. 

Three days ago, they didn't come down for dinner. I thought it odd, but didn't think more about it until the mother cat returned and began to call the kittens who didn't appear from their hiding places. When she realised they were not there, her cries became panicked. A terror filled her voice and she has spent the last three nights crying. I'd never heard a cat mourn before. I didn't even know cats mourned, but the pain in her voice is clear. Her kittens were stolen. Taken from her while she was out in search of food for them. Now she sits and cries. It's heartbreaking. 

I'm not a cat person. I don't like cats, but that doesn't mean I would harm innocent kittens either. I'm certain the kittens will have died unless someone takes them in. They aren't weaned yet. They aren't big enough to fend for themselves. But the way this mother cat grieves for her lost babies is just beyond words. As humans we tend to look at other creatures and see them as unfeeling objects. I'm no PETA follower, I eat meat, I've worn leather and even fur, but I don't abuse animals either. I think there is a fine line in this world and somehow I think the balance is starting to tip. Sooner rather than later.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Oh Lawdy Look What I've Gone and Done

So I can't believe I actually went and did this but I am known for my impulsive decisions. I signed up for NaNoWriMo (is that how you write it if not you know what I mean). I've been working on my memoir/biography/I need to get this out of me so I can write about other things book. The problem is I get about 6 chapters in and think "Oh if I changed the POV to this it would be AWESOME!!". So I scrap my whole thing and start over to get about 6 1/2 chapters in and think "Oh Oh if I change this to that then it'll be even AWESOMER" and I scrap it and start over. I have issues with short attention span if you've never noticed. 

During the first Insecure Writer's Group post, I got a lot of very helpful feedback. One of the comments that really appealed to my need for constant change was NaNoWriMo. The only thing that can override my need to constantly change things is my need to meet a deadline. If I know I need to bang out 50,000 words to get some shiny pretty to hang on my blog, then I'll bang out  50,001 words just to be on the safe side. I do not miss deadlines. This is perfect for me. Although I'm not going to focus so much on word count as I am just finishing the first draft. If it meets the word count great and if not I still consider it a success. In my head I know what I want to write, it's just getting my fingers to cooperate. 

So during November I may be a little absent if I am you'll know why. Think about me and if you're in my neck of the woods I like my hot chocolate with marshmallows. Thank YOU!!  

Is anyone else participating?? I hate walking into new places alone.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Popcorn, Skittles, and Starburst Oh My

For once I'm not late in a blog fest, but that is only because I originally thought it was on Monday Sept 5th instead of Monday Sept 19th. No idea why I thought it was the 5th but if I signed up for or promised to do something for you on the 5th and didn't, this would be the reason why. I apparently have lost the ability to tell time and/or what day/month/year it is. 

So now onto the Worst Movies EVER blogfest which btw is hosted by the total awesomesauceness himself, Alex. Here's my list. It's suppose to be 10, but I'm not that big of a movie/tv watcher person so I have 5. Ok here goes. In no particular order:

5. Shadow Man - When ruthless enemy agents kidnap his young daughter, an ex-C.I.A. oeprative goes on a deadly rampage to find her in this explosive, action-packed thriller starring martial arts legend Steven Seagal.

Steven Seagal- enough said about why this movie is on my list. 

4. The Accidental Spy - A thrilling adventure directed by Teddy Chan and starring Jackie Chan, THE ACCIDENTAL SPY follows Buck (Chan), a man whose dull day job as a fitness equipment salesman makes him yearn for a greater purpose. When he accidentally witnesses a jewelry store robbery, he finds himself teaming up with a fast-moving private investigator on the trail of an international crime network. An added dimension is the threat of deadly lung cancer virus that could cause massive death if it is released before Buck can find and contain it.  

Jackie Chan - again enough said about why this movie is on my list. 

3.  Our Lips are Sealed- The twins we all know and love visit the Land Down Under and wreak their own brand of cute havoc on the Aussies. Kangaroos, koalas, and overall crazy fun abound.

Somehow I allowed my children to talk me into this one. Oh I remember now it was free. That is why we rented it and why I had to take two tylenol 15 mins after it started because the sound of their little voices was like nails on a chalkboard. 

2. Balto 2- A sequel to 1995's "Balto," the story of a half wolf, half dog who leads a sled full of antitoxins through the Alaskan winter to a town suffering from diphtheria, "Balto II" picks up where the first ended. After settling down with Jenna and having 6 pups, it soon becomes time for Balto to give his children up for adoption to human families. However, no one wants Aleu, his daughter, because she looks so much like a wolf. When Aleu figures this out, she runs away, forcing Balto to go after her and sending her on a journey that reveals quite a bit about herself.

I told you I didn't watch movies much and those I did watch were due to my children who I allowed to rent a movie on Saturday from Blockbuster because it was free. Therefore I have seen way too many movies that no adult should ever have to watch. 

1. Tease - Jurgen Prochnow, Mandy Schaffer, Rosanna Arquette, Thomas Kretschmann - Director: Dennis Berry. If looks could kill, they'd look like Traci; young, innocent, appealing, deadly. Traci clings like ivy to her devoted mother and strikes with a vengeance at any man who intrudes on their relationship. Now Traci, using her budding sexuality, will do anything...seduce anyone...murder everyone who threatens to come between them.

After this one, I think I should have stayed with the kiddie movies.  

So that's my list little as it may be. I look forward to reading everyone's posts. At least I'll know which movies to avoid whenever I decide to watch something.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Halfway to World Domination

Thanks to Claire H. I have now reached the 200 followers mark. That just seems unreal to me. 200 people for whatever reason felt inspired enough to click "follow" because of some word they read here. That is freaking amazing. Especially those who have become new followers over the last 2-3 months. My blogging has been sub par to say the least but yet you still felt compelled to click the button. You guys rock!!!

I know I promised you blogger how to's and you'll get them just a little later than planned. This thing called life keeps interfering with my blogging and it's starting to tick me off. If only there was a pause button.

However just to tease you a little bit. I recently helped Jenn redo her blog. So my how to's are going to be how to take blogger's totally free templates and turn them into this. All for FREE!! Trust me it's easy once you learn how to make blogger behave. I find bribes and yelling do the trick most of the time.

That Easy

I've been toying with the idea of taking courses online so I've been doing some research into my desired field of choice. Seeing what's available what the best alternatives are etc. However during my research I've stumbled on quite a few jobs that I had no idea you could study online. Jobs that I would have thought it impossible to do online.Like an ea ethics course. I don't know what  that is but I would think that if you're studying ethics then there should be some sort of check and balance. Online people can be whoever or however they want to be so being actually in a "classroom" would seem of some benefit for that.

In the ea continuing education course they even have practice exams for you to take. Not that I have any real interest in this field, but it just fascinated me how much they provide. I think back to when I was in school and I don't remember getting all of these study guides and practice exams and cheat sheets. At least not from the teacher anyways. We got them, but they were "unofficial" study exams that we passed beneath the table to each other. Now the teachers are handing out cheat sheets. How times have changed!! Then there was this one, ea cpe. I had no idea what that was or how one became letters of the alphabet, but they have courses for it and you'll get a degree at the end to do whatever it is ea cpe's do.

Finishing my degree is proving a bit more difficult than I thought it would but it's good to know there are alternatives. I'm finding a lot of job choices I never considered before, but now am thinking "hmmm if it's that easy I just might give it a whirl".

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Stained Nails

I remember how the juice stained my fingers and turned my lips purple as it trickled down my chin. I remember how the thorns stuck in my jeans and tugged at my hair as I pushed my way through. If I close my eyes, I can hear her voice. Humming Amazing Grace softly to herself. Hours were spent the briar patch, picking blackberries. I ate as many as I put in my bucket. Every Saturday was spent there. 

On Monday when I went back to school the other kids talked about their weekend adventures. Movies and the mall were what they chattered about. While I had lots to tell I just smiled and nodded. When asked what I did, "oh nothing" was my reply. There was something magical about that briar patch. It was all mine. I didn't want to share it with anyone. Except her. 

We'd talk about life and I'd tell her all the things I never could find the words for in front of others. Yet when it was just me and her, the words seemed to take on a life of their own. They streamed forth from me. Insisting to be brought into existence. A never ending supply of words and syllables combined together into thoughts and emotions. Secret treasures hidden from all but her.

They use to ask me about my stained fingernails. I would just shrug. Never offering an explanation. Most likely they thought me to be trailer trash with dirty nails, but I knew better. So did she.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pickin' Scabs

Time heals all wounds or so they say. Mine seem to just fester and then erupt in a pus filled lava flow. When they scab over I pick them till they bleed again. There are times when I wish my scars were visible. Times like today when I wish my outside looked as beat up and scarred as my insides do. Yet wishes are just figments of the imagination. Kinda like fairies, except no amount of clapping makes wishes come true. I know I've been clapping for many years now. Maybe it's not wishes that aren't real. Maybe it's time itself and that is why I seem to be stuck in an endless spinning circle that goes no where and has no end. Turning endless in one spot. Revolving on itself. Spinning. I breathe and close my eyes. Exhale.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Seven Not So Deadly Sins

Ok so the post title is a little misleading. My brain hurts from overusage it was all I could think of. Because I've been super scatterbrained busy I haven't been able to post about this so I thought now was as good a time as any. Awhile ago as in I think it may have been longer than a week or so I was given some awards, but I haven't had time to show them off. 

Siv @ Been there, Done that and ib @ Habitual Hobbit both awarded me with this little lovely.

As with all snazzy doohickeys there are rules and this one is no exception. You're suppose to choose seven links from your past posts. Things like most favoritest, or most saddest or something, but we all know I rarely do what I'm suppose to do. Instead I shall share with you seven people from my nonfiction group because I've been a horrible campaigner this week and didn't have time to visit anyone so I'll see if I can make up for it with pimpism. Visit them and show some love.

Kate McClare @ Language Matters

Friday, September 9, 2011

Narrowing the Focus

These last few weeks have just been HECTIC. I've had a million and twelve things to do and don't feel like I've actually done any of them properly. I really gained so much from the IWS posts this week. I only wish I could have visited more people than I did. This weekend I've got to sit down and work out some sort of schedule. Working from home I tend to work  ALL. THE. TIME.  I don't have any set working hours so when I wake up I start working and work until I am falling asleep at my keyboard. Then I go to sleep. I've just had so much to do these last few weeks I barely have had time to think let alone organize. 

I really want to start working on my writing, but in order to do that I need to establish some guidelines for myself. I tend to be my own worst enemy at times. So I'll leave you with this video. It's one of my favorite instrumentals. I close my eyes and just let it sweep me away. Right now I definitely need to be swept away somewhere.

Exchanging Beans for Dollars

It's always fun whenever I talk to my friends back in the USA regarding the foreign currency exchange. The average salary overseas is approximately $150 a month. Every time we purchase something here I do the conversions in my head and at times I'm amazed by how much different the costs are. For example, I have an unlimited wifi internet connection with very good speed. Per month it only costs me about $5-6. When I lived in the US, my slow dial up connection cost me $50 per month and that was nearly ten years ago. I can only imagine what it costs now. 

A friend of mine is a currency broker and whenever I talk to him he is always asking me about the cost of things here. He was thinking of starting a business here just because it's so cheap and easy here. I know lots of people who do that. They either start a business or purchase a house and rent it out. It's a great way to make extra money with almost no upfront costs.

Since I started my graphic design business, I've had to figure out how to handle international money transfers. It's always a shock to me when I do the conversions and figure out what I made that month. Whenever I look in my online accounts it doesn't seem like much, but then when we convert it to our currency it almost triples. It's amazing to me how so little in one place can be so much to another. This is one reason I doubt I'll ever go back to the US. It's very difficult to make a good living there. Things are so expensive and salaries are low, but here my salary is high just because I deal mostly in US currency and convert it. I don't know what we'll do in the future but for now it seems to be working. No since in trying to fix something if it's not broken.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Insecure almost Writer Support Group

Today is the first meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. If you're not signed up then head on over to Alex's, he's the ringmaster, and join in the insanity fun. I guess I'll go ahead and get the hard part out of the way.

Hi. My name is Dafeenah and I'm an insecure (almost) writer. 

My topic for this week is self doubt. I have not really talked about it on my blog, but I actually am working on my memoir. I've been working on it for some time now, but I never felt confident enough to talk about it. I don't consider myself to on the level as all of the other amazingly talented people I've met in the blogsphere. I worry I'll never finish my WIP simply because I tend to be so critical of myself. I go over and over and over what I've written. Trying to make it "better" or "good enough", but it's never better and it's never good enough. At least not to me. I worry over word choice. I feel because I don't have a good educational background that I am unable to express myself the way others are. Mostly because I don't have the vocabulary that others do and I don't know how to best use the words that I stumble across so that my point is made clear. 

A part of me knows I have some raw talent and if I could just shake off the self doubt and allow my writing to just flow, then I'd be a much better writer. However, that's easier said than done. So for now I'm just trying to get the words on the paper or in my case the MS word page. In my head I know exactly what I want to say, but when I go to type suddenly it all gets jumbled together. 

So enough of my whining. That's my confession for the week and here's a little writerly surprise for all of you:

On Monday I had the pleasure of having 16 yr old up and coming writer Jake on my blog. You can read the full post here. I asked him if he wanted a career in writing and this was his response: 

I wouldn't mind making my writing a career but I don't think I'm that talented. I'd love to but right now I'd just rather keep it a hobby. 

If you can, stop by and let him know he is talented enough.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Voices Within

Indie Ink writing challenge time again.  My challenge this week came from Barb and I challenged Kelly. Prompt will be at the end.


Hey, honey, I'm home. Yum, something smells good. Whatcha cooking up in there?

Not a damn thing for you. I invited some people over. This is for them.

Oh, hi Rea. I didn't realize it was you.

That's why you should learn not to speak. It makes you look even more stupid than you are.

I'll be in the study when Leeza comes.

Leeza's not coming. I told you I invited people over. They'll be here soon.

Honey! Honey! Are you ok? What happened? There was a loud noise. Oh god, are you ok? How did you cut yourself?

I-I-I-I w-w-was c-c-cutting the the the p-p-p-uh-tah-toes and and and I-I-I c-c-c-cut my-my-myself.

Oh Jilly! You know you're not allowed to use the knife. Why were you using the knife? You know you're suppose to come and ask me when you need something.

I-I-I d-d-didn't wa-wa-want to b-b-bother you.

Jilly, you know you're no bother. Here we'll finish dinner together. I'll cut the potatoes and you get the salad made. Dinner smells lovely, Jilly. You did an excellent job.

Th-th-thank you. I-I-I tr-tr-tried.

I know you did and it smells delicious. Jilly, can you do me a favor? Can you get Leeza for me please?

K-k-kay. I-I-I'll tr-try.

Honey? Leeza? I need to speak to you. It's important.

Oh, Brian! When did you get home? I was. I was. I don't know.

It's ok, sweetheart. Dinner's started. Do you want to help me finish it?

Did I do this?

Rea was here when I got home. Then Jilly came and I asked her to get you.

I wanted to make you a nice dinner. I wanted to surprise you when you got home. I thought. I thought we could  have a nice dinner. Just the two of us. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.

Don't cry, sweetheart. It's ok. We can still have a nice dinner. It smells delicious whatever it is. I think it's ready. You just sit there and let me get it out of the oven.Wow. This roast looks delicious.

Roast! Yes I put a roast in the oven. A few hours ago to cook. I was. I was going to make mashed potatoes. With the cheese and garlic and and that's all I remember.

It's ok. There's plenty of roast and salad. We'll have that and some of these leftover rolls from last night.

It's not the dinner I had planned.

It's ok, love. Life would be boring without a few surprises.

prompt: ignore the elephant in the room. write a piece about two people discussing everything but the real issue, but make the real issue obvious to the reader.

Monday, September 5, 2011

16 Year Old Spawns of My Imagination

This week's writer's spotlight is  a bit different. I happened upon this very talented young writer by chance during an Indie Ink writing challenge a couple weeks ago. His mother, Deus Ex Machina, forced allowed him to do her writing challenge for that week and I was blown away. It was the first time I had seen his writing and it was amazing. If she had not said that he wrote, then you would have had no idea. It was that freaking good! So I thought I would have Jake on here and introduce him to you. I think it's important we encourage young people especially those who are as talented as Jake is. There are so many young kids today that have no passion, no desire, and  no drive to be anything more than someone who says "Do you want fries with that?".

I did a little interview with Jake and was able to squeeze a few words from his 16 yr old boy body which is no small task. So without further adieu, here's Jake in the words of his very proud mamma:

Jake is one-half of an ongoing social experiment my husband and I call "raising children."  It started 16 years ago, on July 8, 1995.  On that day, Jake burst through my uterus and forced himself upon the world 5 weeks early, all 2 pounds 13 ounces of him.  He was indeed a wicked tornado from day one.   An old soul.  The kind of kid you just know has walked this Earth before.  Part of our little social experiment has included forgoing formal education in lieu of a more relaxed and natural approach to life learning.  It's a fancy way of saying we homeschool.  More to the point, we unschool.  That's fancy homeschooling insider lingo for "we learn shit without books and junk."  And you want to know what's weird?  It actually works.  I know, I know.  It blows my mind, too.  Jake is a writer.  He is a musician, a self-taught guitarist.  He is a 16-year-old boy with an amazing imagination, a brilliant conversationalist, and an utterly filthy mind.  The apple doth fall not far from its mother tree, methinks.  I love him and I am proud of him and I will show him off to the world with the last breath in my lungs. 

My Q & A with Jake:

1.  Where do your inspirations/ideas for your stories come from?

I get most of my inspiration from my life, music, and the author Jeff Lindsay.

2. Do you plan on making some sort of career from writing or is it more of a hobby?

I wouldn't mind making my writing a career but I don't think I'm that talented. I'd love to but right now I'd just rather keep it a hobby.

3. Do people ever say that your writing is inappropriate for someone your age? How do you respond to that?

I've gotten a lot of horrible feedback for the content of my writing. Many people have told me that I'm going to hell, or that I should never be able to write again, a few people have told me that if they were my parents they would've raised me right. Which I find funny because that would SUCK for them. And I say the same thing to all to those people. "Go complain about it on FaceBook you sensitive Martha Stewart fangirl fuck face."

4. Does your family read your stories? What is their response?

Well, my mom reads my stories. My dad's not much of a reader and my brother...I wont get into much detail with him. But my mom seems to like them; she gives me helpful tips along the way.

5. Who are your favorite authors and what is your favorite book?

My favorite author, by far, hands down, no questions asked is Jeff Lindsay. He wrote the Dexter novels which is about a blood spatter analysis who has an urge to kill the ones who deserve it. It's written in first person which inspired my first person style of writing.
Places you can connect with Jake and read more of his writing at:

What you'll find when you visit Jake:

Deadly Night 
He was walking on the dark and rocky sidewalk in the middle of the night (12:32 AM to be exact). He was coming from his twelve hour shift at McDonald's. His job was shit, his one bedroom apartment was shit, his pay was shit, he looked and felt like shit. His shitty name was Rich...Rich Crews. Rich is not a very lucky person when it comes to his job. He got punched by a customer because he accidentally gave him the wrong change back....even though it was only thirty-eight cents. The cool winds of the night made it all worth it though. Stuck in that god awful smelling building all day long isn't good for a man.

As the last bit of greasy french fry sweat dripped off his slowly cooling white face he heard a high pitched scream coming from the woods to the left. Rich couldn't see anything of course, it's too dark. He stopped for a second to see if he can look through the trees, but gave up and kept walking. Not even five minutes he was walking until that fearful scream can back, words followed it, words that echoed through the air and into Rich's ears. “Help me! Someone help! He's going to kill me!” the female voice screamed. Rich's curiosity took over and pushed through the bushes. As the screams got louder Rich grabbed his knife from his black pants and flipped the blade out.

What he saw made his eyes bulge, his face pale and his lip quiver in fear. He dropped his knife and started sweating again. His veins instantaneously filled with fear and fright. He stared at what was happening right in front of him: a beautiful blond woman was lying on her hands and knees completely nude. Struggling and squirming to get away from the large hairy claws holding her waist. The arms following the claws were just as hairy. It's chest was thick, and just as hairy as its arms. The beast had large pointy ears sticking out of its mane-like fur, reddish, brownish fangs stuck out of its snout slowly dripping a combination of blood and drool onto her arched back. It's eyes were red, bright red, bright blood red. read the rest of the story here

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Winners and Free Blogger How Tos

I would like to thank everyone who entered my giveaway, followed, tweeted, and posted about it. But there can only be one winner. I entered everyone's name in an Excel sheet once per entry and then using random.org picked a random number 

Then I went to my Excel sheet and found the name with that number and it was 


Haven blogs at Asylum Within. She is an amazingly talented person. She posts awesome recipes like gorgonzola potato soup. She taught herself how to paint and does fantabulous paintings like this:

copyright 2011 Haven

She had never painted and then one day decided she wanted to  and bought some brushes and the rest is history. Is it not fabulous? So please visit her, she's a fabulous person, and amazing blogger. So congratulations Haven, I'll be getting with you about sending your signed paperback copy of  Kiera's Moon.

I'm going to be starting a series next week on blogger how to's. I know a lot of people want personalized templates, but don't necessarily want to pay for their blog especially if it's more of a hobby or for fun instead of for business or promotion. There are a few tweaks you can do to the blogger template to make it a bit more personalized without having to buy a full template. I've been getting emails from people and have been helping a few people so I thought I would make up some how to guides and post them here. I'm also participating in the Platform Building Campaign so anyone who is in the groups I'm in (memoir, short story, nonfiction) and would like to do a guest post, just email me. I'll be posting guest posts from the people in my groups through out the campaign so if you're interested drop me a note or email or anything as long as there isn't a worm attached to it.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Final Day of Giveaway Enter Now

There's still a few hours left to enter the giveaway if you haven't done so already. Since I'm about 10-12 hrs ahead of most people I decided to go by US time instead of my time in ending the giveaway. I'm so grateful to those who have participated. I had a great turn out and am truly happy with it. Although I know it's due more to Lizzy's addictive writing than anything else. If you haven't entered yet, visit my giveaway post for details on how to enter. The prize is a signed paperback copy of Kiera's Moon by Lizzy Ford. 

If you've already entered and need something to read while you're waiting to find out if you're the big winner or not, then check out Lizzy's latest novel, Katie's Hope. She just released it today and I must say it is her best work to date. I realize I might seem a bit biased towards Lizzy's work, but if you read just one of her books, you'll see why. She is an amazingly talented writer. She creates characters that are flawed but so real you can't help but fall in love with them, and the story is indescribable. It twists and turns and jumps out from behind closed doors at you. Her books are so addicting once you pick one up you cannot put it down, and the best part is she gives them all away for FREE. To get your free copy of Katie's Hope, click HERE.

Three weeks after leaving Rhyn, Katie learns the Immortals have no intention of letting her go despite her deal with their leader. Rhyn discovers he can only protect her if he accepts his place among the Immortals. However, doing so may cost him the only thing that matters. Meanwhile, demons are closing in, and Death orders Katie killed. Death’s assassin and the demons pursue them, and Katie will have to choose between Death or Hell to save Rhyn from both.

The second book in the Rhyn trilogy also includes exclusive excerpt from rising indie star Shéa MacLeod’s debut novel, Kiss of Darkness.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Celebrating Eid Non Traditionally

Today is Eid for us. My MIL has been cooking since early morning. I've been  hiding out. I never was much for holidays so I try to be as invisible as possible. It helps that I work nights and sleep during the day so for the most part I can get away with not making an appearance. 

My husband and I don't partake in any of the celebrations. We prefer the less commercialized non traditional way of doing things, but he and I are a minority of two. While his family doesn't do as much as others, they still have their own traditions of food, gift giving (eidi), and visiting each other. However since my husband is the head of the household, we do give gifts to my two sister in laws and provide the food for the day as it is traditionally the head of household's responsibility, but he and I try to be as scarce as possible for the actual festivities.

In the bigger cities, they have major celebrations with lots of sweets, fireworks, camel and horse rides for kids, kite flying, and music. We don't attend those, but for the majority it is the way they celebrate Eid. New clothes, shoes, and jewelry are bought. They were showing how busy the markets were last night on the news and all I could do was shake my head and be thankful I was not amongst them. 

Almost all of the women have mehndi/henna applied to their hands and arms. They are usually done by professionals who apply intricate designs and details. My SIL's both apply mehndi but they do it themselves instead of going to have it professionally done. The first two years I was here they tried and tried to get me to wear it, but I don't wear mehndi. Never. I didn't even wear it for my wedding which is like UNHEARD of. Now though they have pretty much given up trying to get me to put it on. Although every now and then my oldest SIL still asks me to and I still say no. 

The only thing I think I truly enjoy about today is a guilt free reason to eat biscuits (aka cookies) lol

Sab ko Eid Mubarak ho!! (Happy Eid to all)

Two days left to enter my giveaway! Enter now!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Time for Indie Ink writing challenge again. This week I was challenged by Diane and I have to admit when I first read her challenge I drew a total blank. It was way outside my writing style and I had no clue what to do with it so hopefully I did a little justice to it. I challenged Tara. You'll be able to read her reply on her blog. Prompt will be at the end.

talking to one's self:

Oh God, she's singing. AGAIN! Doesn't she ever get tired of hearing her voice? I know I do. I just want to sleep and she insists upon screeching. I can't wait to get out of here. Just a few more days, and I'm free. I have no idea what's going to happen when I finally leave this dark, damp, musty ol' rat hole, but I don't really care as long as it means I'm far away from that incessant screeching of hers. 

Chinese takeout again? That's the third night this week she's had Chinese takeout. It wouldn't be so bad if she got it from that place down the block, but noooo she has to be all snooty and order in from that place on the other side of town. Just because she likes their fortune cookies better. How did I end up with these people? 

It has to get better though, right? What the?! Will you please stop poking me? Every time I get comfortable HE has to come along and start poking. One of these days he's gonna poke me and I'm gonna poke back so hard he'll never poke anyone again. Please someone make them shut up. 

Oh! What's that? That's new. I have never seen that before. I wonder what it is. Whoa! Why do I suddenly feel all floaty? What the hell did you people do to me? I have to get out of here before they kill me. I'm certain they're trying to kill me. Wha-? What was that? I thought I saw something down there. What's that noise? 

Who? Who are all of you people? Where did you come from? Hey hey put me down! Who the hell are you? Let go of me. Stop it. Don't do that. I don't want to. Please let me go. Please. I'll do whatever you want. Just please don't stick me with that thing again. Please. Ok. Ok. I'll be quiet now. I promise I'll be quiet just please don't stick that thing in me again. Where are you taking me? What's happening? Will someone please tell me what is going on? Please?


"What is it?", I heard him say. The nurse smiled as she laid the tightly wrapped bundle on her chest. 

"It's a boy". 

Prompt: Pickles and Ice cream?! Also don't forget to check out my giveaway. There's still time to enter!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Big News Reveal & Giveaway

I know this past week must have been torture for you. Having to wait, wondering what the news was. I'm sure it was all you could think about. Well I FINALLY got things sorted and am so excited to announce that what started out as a little side endeavor is officially a DOT COM. 

That's right Indie Designz (http://www.indiedesignz.com/), my cover design business has become official with its own little home on the web. Have a look. Let me know what you think. I'm an avid lover of constructive feedback. I've been doing my happy idiot dance all week. I can't believe I actually kept this a secret all this time.

So in order to celebrate the launching of Indie Designz, Lizzy Ford has been kind enough to allow me to GIVEAWAY an autographed paperback copy of her latest release, Kiera's Moon. It's very easy to enter and there are multiple chances to win. You can do as many as you wish. All you have to do is:

1. Follow my blog (1 entry)

2. Like Indie Designz on facebook (1 entry)

3. Like Lizzy Ford Books on facebook (1 entry)

4. Follow @DafeenaJameel on twitter (1 entry)

5. Follow @LizzyFord2010 on twitter (1 entry)

(If you are already a friend or follower, then leave me a comment on my blog letting me know you want to be entered. If you don't let me know, then you'll not be automatically entered)

Winner will be chosen by random.org. Giveaway will remain open until next Friday (Sept 2nd). Make sure you message me or leave me a comment here on my blog letting me know which of the above you have done. If you don't message/comment letting me know, then it won't be counted as an official entry. It's my first ever giveaway so I just want to be sure I don't miss anyone. Giveaway is open to US residents only. Good luck!!

 Fantasy romance novel Kiera’s Moon is available for free ebook download.

When starving artist Kiera wakes up on board a spaceship, she panics. Her best friend has dragged her across the universe to help her find a man and a life, only the man she ends up unwittingly hooking up with is a battle-hardened warrior prince living in exile.

Calculating, cautious A’Ran wants nothing more than to reclaim his planet. He needs Kiera as his lifemate to heal his planet and his war weary people. He’s not prepared to be a lifemate himself, and discovers almost too late what he risks losing if he can’t learn to be more than a warrior.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...