The Dirty Dozen, featuring Dr Meg Sorick

Welcome to the third edition of The Dirty Dozen!

I love reading blogger/author interviews on others’ blogs, and want to put my own spin on that. Not all of these questions are easy, but hopefully they will give you an insight into the person on the other side of the screen. Ultimately, blogging is all about making connections. Show your humanity, show your love, and support each other. Because really, what else is there?

This week, I’m incredibly privileged to be hosting Dr Meg Sorick in the Dirty Dozen “hotseat”.

Meg is the author of the Bucks County series of novels, and is a committed, engaged, and engaging blogger who can turn her hand to a range of writing styles (I particularly love her limericks, but check out her short stories too).

You can find her books here http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015L7763A and her blog is at: https://drmegsorick.com/about/

1 – How in all the gin joints in all the world did you come across my blog?

I think I found your blog through Elizabeth? But I’m not entirely sure! I stuck around because I like your writing and everyone needs a zombie apocalypse haiku! Besides that, you are friendly, you respond to comments and you visit and comment on my nonsense, too.

(Your type of nonsense is right up my street… what that says about both of us is for others to decide!)

2 – You, in three words?

Funny. Distracted. Inquisitive.

3 – The last book/ film/ or album that you wish you’d made.

I would have loved to write The Hunger Games series, because I’d be laughing all the way to the bank. Plus the books are good.

4 – Where are you now on your writer’s / blogger’s journey ?

I’ve written and published three books in a series set in the area where I live. The Bucks County Novels are romantic suspense novels/chick lit stories that center around a group of friends and their adventures. The fourth book in the series diverges from the original central characters but stays close. It is at the editing stage, but hopefully will be ready for publication by summertime. My blog has been a great way to explore other types of writing – poetry, short stories, non-fiction and I’m happy to have met a bunch of really great people through that medium.

5 – A lot of writers and bloggers enjoy taking part in quote challenges, and sharing inspiring nuggets to help their fellow bloggers along. Can you tell us though one piece of life / writing advice, or quote about life / writing, that you are absolutely sick of hearing, that really doesn’t do it for you?

I hate ALL the positive thinking platitudes that people throw around. And believe me, I’m usually very upbeat and positive. But sometimes, sometimes, you just need to wallow in misery even if it’s only for a day. And I’ll be damned if those negative emotions don’t turn into some of the best writing we do.

So let me be angry or sad or frustrated or in pain. I need that stuff sometimes. The storm will pass and the happy Meg will return, probably with some great new ideas to pen!

6 – Two true facts about you, and one lie…. Don’t tell us which is which.

– I believe in Bigfoot.
– I have been in 17 car accidents, 4 of them total losses.
– I have a near genius level IQ.

7 – The zombies rise and take over the world. You have five minutes to pack a bag and hit the road… You’ve got the essentials – water, tent, sleeping bag, vitamins, toothpaste, signed One Direction photos… What else do you grab?

Passport (just in case civilization doesn’t completely crumble), notebook, pens, iPhone (for my music collection), solar charger to keep the iPhone working, copy of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, towel.

(So Meg will spend her apocalypse planning her next holiday in the sun… or thumbing a lift on a passing Vogon spaceship. Whatever happens, don’t let them read their poetry to you. It’s even worse than my zombie stuff, but in a language you don’t understand, blasted straight through your eyeballs and into the pain centre of your brain. For some, this may actually be pretty similar to their enjoyment of my zombie haiku… only a week to go 😉 )

8 – I’m often mistaken for John Cusack… But who would play you in the movie of your life?

Tina Fey because she’s my hero and my life has been pretty humorous (at least that’s the way I choose to see it). Directed by Ron Howard, because why not? I would write my own screen play because I’m a writer, damn it! The soundtrack of my life sounds like a compilation of Social Distortion songs.

9 – Doc Brown pulls up outside your house in the DeLorean… He’s got a few hours to spare, and fuel for one return trip… Where/when are you heading?

The future! There is no time in the past where women have fared well in the equality department. Hopefully the future for women and women’s rights continues to improve in time. Besides I want to see the development of warp drive! Beam me up!

(Let’s hope the future is more Star Trek than Hunger Games…)

10 – Your beloved partner (real or imagined) is out for the evening, and your celebrity “pass” is popping round. (You know, the one celebrity who your partner would allow you to spend a night with, without it being considered cheating… that’s a thing, right?) Who knocks on your door?

AIDAN TURNER!!!! Really? I have to feed him? We can’t just… you know? Sigh. Well, I make I pretty amazing lasagne. And so I guess we’d have red wine. Bryan Ferry on the stereo. Dude, I’m totally not going to make it through dinner. But supposing I did, I would end with something like, “I hope you saved room for dessert.” While I dove across the table at him. Oh god, that’s cheesy.

(Aidan Turner’s people have been notified…)

11 – You manage, fortuitously but entirely accidentally in a bizarre toaster incident to rid the world of its most dangerous inhabitant… Who do you call to help destroy the evidence, and burn that hairpiece?

Easy, peasy. My friend Fictional Kevin. He’s probably got the plan in place to hide a body already. Granted it’s probably my body that he plans on hiding/destroying. But yeah, him.

(Part of me hopes that Fictional Kevin will one day turn evil, and persuade you to participate in his deeds… when police question you about why you cut the heads off all the parking meters in town, you can say “Fictional Kevin told me to do it”…)

12 – Another apocalyptic scenario, only now the pet food is running out… You have a dog, a cat, and a rabbit, but only food supplies for two of them… Which one misses out?

Rabbit and now I have extended my food supply for the other two. Boom.

(I don’t think the rabbits will fare well in the apocalypse. Poor bunnykins.)

13 – In a line, any regrets??

A plethora!

So, a huge thank you to Dr Meg Sorick for sharing herself with us, and wearing her nerdiness as a badge of pride (I say this with love as a fellow nerd!). Don’t offer her any platitudes if she’s having a bad day, don’t accept a ride home from her on a good day, and NEVER get between her and Aidan Turner…

Now, go and check out her blog, buy her books, share the love 🙂

Join us same time next week for another Dirty Dozen, featuring the wonderful Judy from Edwina’s Episodes!

Do you fancy a turn in the hotseat, with a new batch of questions? Leave your email in the comments and I’ll be in touch 🙂

The Dirty Dozen

The Dirty Dozen, featuring D. Wallace Peach

Welcome to the second episode in a new series, the Dirty Dozen!

I read, and enjoy, a lot of blog posts with blogger/author interviews, and wanted to put my own spin on that. This will hopefully create something entertaining and informative for you, the reader, while sharing what platform I have with the amazing and talented people who have bravely volunteered to take part. Not all of these questions are easy, but hopefully they will give you an insight into the person on the other side of the screen. Ultimately, blogging is all about making connections. Show your humanity, show your love, and support each other. Because really, what else is there?

This week, I’m incredibly privileged to be hosting D. Wallace Peach in the Dirty Dozen “hotseat”. Diana is the author of numerous fantasy books, both traditionally published and latterly self-published, and is also a friendly and supportive voice in the blogging world. Recently she has also tried her hand at poetry… she claims with mixed results, while others (myself included) are more positive about it!

Check out her books on http://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8 and her blog at: https://mythsofthemirror.com/

1 – How in all the gin joints in all the world did you come across my blog?
 – I have no idea, Al. I don’t pay much attention to those things. However, I do remember one of the first posts I read was zombie poetry. I got such a chuckle out of it; I was totally hooked.

(I can sense my wife groaning and saying “don’t encourage him” in the background!)

2 – You, in three words?
 – Clueless, kind, lazy

3 – The last book/ film/ or album that you wish you’d made
 – Hmm. This is a hard one. I’m going to go with a fantasy book: Talion: Revenant by Michael Stackpole. It was written in 1997, but I just read it. A great thing about most fantasy is it ages well.

4 – Where are you now on your writer’s / blogger’s journey?
 – Oh, writing… I’m at my laptop about 12 hours a day. This creative journey didn’t start until I was 50, so I’m making up for lost time. The fantasy genre is as broad as the imagination, and I’m still exploring, pushing my limits, learning from mistakes, and trying new ideas.

I’ve got 8 fantasy novels out as well as a story in an anthology. My work in progress is a 4-book serial that I’ve put on hold in order to reclaim and reissue my traditionally published books – 6 of them. That will be done in August, a huge project accomplished. Then I’ll start on the serial again. Phew. I’m tuckered out just writing about all the writing. Honestly, it’s a joy.

And blogging? I blog between 20-30 hours a week, and after four years, I feel that I’m finally finding my comfort zone. My posts are writing related, not too long, and appear twice a week. I spend lots of time visiting other blogs and love the community out here on WordPress. Hugs to you all!

(Anyone wondering about how many hours a “serious” writer/ blogger needs to put in should read this… I, for one, am incredibly grateful that Diana puts in this time to share herself with us)

5 – A lot of writers and bloggers enjoy taking part in quote challenges, and sharing inspiring nuggets to help their fellow bloggers along. Can you tell us though one piece of life / writing advice, or quote about life / writing, that you are absolutely sick of hearing, that really doesn’t do it for you?
 – Um… well, I don’t necessarily agree with the “write what you know” advice. Of course, it doesn’t make sense to write a book about fixing cars if you’ve never fixed a car, but if I wrote about what I know, I’d write the dullest book in the world. “Here’s a woman typing in her recliner. The End.”

I believe that the human experience is in many ways universal, and the characters’ emotional depth is vital for a good book. We all have that resource within us. For the rest, research can be a blast. I went sailing on a tall ship, and we shot off the cannons. I was the nerd walking around with a notebook asking thousands of questions and wanting to try everything myself. I had a sword-fighting lesson and couldn’t stop laughing. Then there’s the time the end of my javelin flew off and skewered a fencepost, it quivered like a cartoon – do not try these things with people around…

6 – Two true facts about you, and one lie…. Don’t tell us which is which.
 – I used to rock climb some seriously high cliffs.
– As a kid, I had a rabbit living in my bookcase.
– I had a surprise encounter with a bear in Wyoming.

7 – The zombies rise and take over the world. You have five minutes to pack a bag and hit the road… You’ve got the essentials – water, tent, sleeping bag, vitamins, toothpaste, signed One Direction photos… What else do you grab?
 – A sword, of course. One has to have a sword. Laptop, backup laptop, and coffee beans.

(On reading, “one has to have a sword”, I have to admit to falling a little in love!)

8 – I’m often mistaken for John Cusack (sadly only in my head… the reality is more a fat, jovial John Malkovich/Patrick Stewart)). But who would play you in the movie of your life?
 – Oh, Diane Keaton would probably play me – kind of unassuming, clueless, and goofy. No Woody Allen in the picture, thank you.

(To re-iterate, this is a Woody Allen-free blog.)

9 – Doc Brown pulls up outside your house in the DeLorean… He’s got a few hours to spare, and fuel for one return trip… Where/when are you heading?
 – A DeLorean? No, no, no, Al. He’s in a Jeep and we’re off to Glacier National Park in Montana to backpack for a summer and live off the land.

(An interesting take on “no time like the present”!)

10 – Your beloved partner (real or imagined) is out for the evening, and your celebrity “pass” is popping round. (You know, the one celebrity who your partner would allow you to spend a night with, without it being considered cheating… that’s a thing, right?) Who knocks on your door?
 – Oh yeah. The hubby will definitely go for that…yep. Well, assuming a little fantasy here, it would be Aragorn from Lord of the Rings. I can’t cook so he’d have to bring the ingredients and cook for moi. I’ll eat just about anything. I’ll have one glass of whiskey and be completely looped. Music is crickets and frogs, great horned owls and coyotes. The line signaling the end of dinner? Oh, I can’t go there (blushing).

11 – You manage, fortuitously but entirely accidentally in a bizarre toaster incident to rid the world of its most dangerous inhabitant… Who do you call to help destroy the evidence, and burn that hairpiece?
 – Someone I know well (I probably shouldn’t say who) hasn’t actually disposed of bodies, but he’s collected them from remote wilderness places – usually in garbage bags that he then keeps in his garage for a few days until the authorities can take them away. He probably knows some great places to stash a corpse. Bwahahaha.

(What a great person for a writer to know!)

12 – Another apocalyptic scenario, only now the pet food is running out… You have a dog, a cat, and a rabbit, but only food supplies for two of them… Which one misses out?
 – What a terrible question. I refuse to answer. Ha ha.

(You’re right. This is a terrible question. Full marks for refusing it outright!)

13 – In a line, any regrets??
 – I can’t time travel.

Aragorn’s come knocking, so we’ll leave it there! So, that’s Diana in 12 or so questions, revealing her affinity for swords, Diane Keaton, and living off the land in Glacier National Park… not to mention the commitment needed (the butt-in-chair time) to engage with a blogging community and keep on writing those amazing novels.

Now, go and check out her blog, buy her books, share the love 🙂

 

Join us same time next week for another Dirty Dozen, featuring the wonderful… sorry, you’ll have to wait and see!

Do you fancy a turn in the hotseat, with a new batch of questions? Leave your email in the comments and I’ll be in touch 🙂

 

The Dirty Dozen

A to Z Challenge – Halfway!

So, we’ve reached the halfway mark of the A to Z Challenge, and already there have been a lot of tips and advice on my chosen theme of surviving the zombie apocalypse… Here’s a quick recap! (I’ve been posting these on my blog directly, rather than on here – follow the link in the top-right of your screen if you’re at a laptop 🙂 )

Apocalypse comes: a zombie flavour.
Achieve survival – life’s to savour!

Pack a bag, be ready to go,
Life is beautiful, don’t you know.

No more commuting, that’s all out,
No chance of a cure, I have no doubt.

Build up defences, walls and bricks,
Death isn’t life, but still plays tricks.

Beware the evil that men do;
Don’t slip on entrails ‘neath your shoe.

Fish for food and find some friends.
Don’t know first aid? Make amends.

Growing food; guns and more.
Playing golf… guts and gore.

Knowing when to hide, or seek.
The humour skills you need to tweak.

Imitation, insects, immortality.
Imagine no Internet! Insanity!

Joggers’ justice in the park
Jam and jelly after dark.

Killing zombies, armoured knights,
Kayak, knife and knitting fights.

Living, loving on the land,
Laugh at lawyers getting canned.

Making music, marry right,
Military lost the fight.

So much advice, so many more…
Who knows what other tips in store?

What’s been your favourite tip so far? Any topics that you’re dying to hear covered? Let me know in the comments!

https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/04/01/a-is-for-apocalypse/

https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/04/02/b-is-for/

https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/04/04/c-is-for/

https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/04/05/d-is-for/

https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/04/06/e-is-for/

https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/04/07/f-is-for/

https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/g-is-for/

https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/04/09/h-is-for/

https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/04/11/i-is-for-part-1-of-2/

https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/04/11/i-is-for-imagine-pt-2-of-2/

https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/j-is-for/

https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/04/13/k-is-for/

https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/04/14/l-is-for-1-of-2/

https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/04/14/l-is-for-2-of-2/

https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/04/15/m-is-for/

A (1)

The Dirty Dozen, featuring Annette Rochelle Aben

Welcome to the first in a new series, which I’m (slightly mischievously, and completely inaccurately) calling the Dirty Dozen!

I read, and enjoy, a lot of blog posts with blogger/author interviews, and wanted to put my own spin on that. This will hopefully create something entertaining and informative for you, the reader, while sharing what platform I have with the amazing and talented people who have bravely volunteered to take part. Not all of these questions are easy, but hopefully they will give you an insight into the person on the other side of the screen. Ultimately, blogging is all about making connections. Show your humanity, show your love, and support each other. Because really, what else is there?

First to step up to the plate, as happens so often on my blog, is the amazing, inspirational Annette Rochelle Aben, of https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/

1 – Hi, Annette, thanks for volunteering to be the canary down the mine for this new series… And because I’m not entirely comfortable giving up all of the limelight straight away, tell me – how in all the gin joints in all the world did you come across my blog?

Divine Intervention! I am convinced that it was the impossibly bright light pouring in from the East that I had to follow to its source which lead me to you. I stay because I love being swaddled in poetic language artistry!

(It’s a good job that Annette started following me before the month of zombie haiku…)

2 – How would you describe yourself, in just three words?

Caffeinated for protection

3 – What was the last book/ film/ or album that you wish you’d made?

I wish I would have made Dark Shadows. Not saying I could have made it better but I couldn’t have done any worse.

4 – Where are you now on your writer’s / blogger’s journey ?

I am happily filling every available space on my Amazon Author’s Page with new titles, even as we speak. http://www.amazon.com/author/annetterochelleaben has a variety of pretty covers wrapped around words of pure, spun gold! The six titles that I have published solo are: Choose, the 2-step plan, Perspective, it’s all about replacing one thought with another, A Haiku Perspective 2015, PhoKu, visual perspective haiku, Angel Messages, a wing and a prayer and A Haiku Perspective 2016. There are also some books to which I have contributed chapters to and one of those became an International Best Seller! (go me) There are more books in the works, so please check back frequently, load up your Kindle, or fill your hands with paperback pleasure! Thank you.

5 – A lot of writers and bloggers enjoy taking part in quote challenges, and sharing inspiring nuggets to help their fellow bloggers along. Can you tell us though one piece of life / writing advice, or quote about life / writing, that you are absolutely sick of hearing, that really doesn’t do it for you?

If I’ve heard, “Don’t eat your soup with a fork” once, I’ve heard it a hundred times. Please, I am old enough to decide whether or not I care to fork!

(One amusing variation I’ve heard on this was a description of the “uncomplicated” Liam Gallagher, of Oasis, as given by his brother, Noel: “He’s like a man with a fork in a world of soup.” )

6 – Two true facts about you, and one lie…. Don’t tell us which is which.

I am a multiple personality. I have no right elbow. I love roller coasters.

All I’m saying about this one, is that I guessed which was the lie, and got it wrong 🙂

7 – The zombies rise and take over the world. You have five minutes to pack a bag and hit the road… You’ve got the essentials – water, tent, sleeping bag, vitamins, toothpaste, signed One Direction photos… What else do you grab?

Holy Crow! I grabbed my crayons, coloring books and the last jar of peanut butter in the cupboard! I mean, really, a girl’s got to eat.

8 – I’m often mistaken for John Cusack (sadly only in my head… the reality is more a fat, jovial John Malkovich/Patrick Stewart)). But who would play you in the movie of your life?

I would have Sally Field portray me (I like her, I really like her). Let’s get Nora Ephron to pen that screen play (is she even still alive? No matter, she’d do a good job regardless) Since I was always an Andy Griffith fan, let’s have Ron Howard direct and last but not least, I want Sir Paul McCartney to score the film (why not, eh?).

Sadly, Nora Ephron, the writer of When Harry Met Sally and writer/director of Sleepless in Seattle, died in 2012, but an impressive choice nonetheless.

9 – Doc Brown pulls up outside your house in the DeLorean… He’s got a few hours to spare, and fuel for one return trip… Where/when are you heading?

Okay! Let’s fire up that time machine and head for Atlantis! Just want to see how long I can hold my breath under water.

10 – Your beloved partner (real or imagined) is out for the evening, and your celebrity “pass” is popping round. (You know, the one celebrity who your partner would allow you to spend a night with, without it being considered cheating… that’s a thing, right?) Who knocks on your door? What happens next?

Oh man, Alton Brown! We’d dine on mac and cheese (only so I could prove that mine is better than his) of course we’d have to have beer for him and coffee for me and that music in the background, I’d say Tom Waits because he’s like listening to a poetry slam in your living room. The need to catch something on The Food Network would signal the end of dinner… (yeah, I’m a die-hard romantic – NOT)

11 – You manage, fortuitously but entirely accidentally in a bizarre toaster incident to rid the world of its most dangerous inhabitant… Who do you call to help destroy the evidence, and burn that hairpiece?

I got in touch with every cat in the neighborhood to help me make the evidence disappear! They’re little masters at making off with something just moments before I need it.

12 – Another apocalyptic scenario, only now the pet food is running out… You have a dog, a cat, and a rabbit, but only food supplies for two of them… Which one misses out?

The rabbit, I hear their feet are good! LUCK! I hear they are good luck…

13 – In a line, any regrets??

Of course, I regret that I which I did out of fear, that which I refused to do out of spite and that which I rejected out of ignorance. Other than that, I’m good!

A fantastic piece of wisdom to end on. So, that’s Annette in 12 or so questions, revealing her mastery over cats, love for Alton Brown, and a practical approach to surviving zombie days… probably best not to ask her to pet-sit your rabbit though. Just in case. And definitely don’t tell her not to fork!

Now, go and check out her blog, buy her books, share the love 🙂

Join us same time next week for another Dirty Dozen, featuring the wonderful… sorry, you’ll have to wait and see!

Do you fancy a turn in the hotseat? Leave your email in the comments and I’ll be in touch 🙂

The Dirty Dozen