A close up at the best bookstore…ever

A long time ago I wrote a post called Beautiful Bookstores. In that post you got a glimps of The Barns and Nobles located in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. 

Last week I decided it has been too long since my visit to this amazing book store! This time I went prepared to take pictures and share them with you!

   
     

  

  

  

  

  

  

 I know some of the pictures are blurry  but I think you can still see the awesomeness! 

If you ever visit Baltimore you’ve got to check out this bookstore!  

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My Writing Tools

MY WRITING TOOLS

Every writer has their own sacred tools. Tools to create, to bring those words rolling around in our heads together, and to bring a story to life. I have seen a few other bloggers do a post similar to this, and I have loved each one. Here are my writing tools!

The Lucky Writing Sweater- I can’t decide if it screams hipster or just plain ugly! Ha-ha!

The Lucky Writing Sweater

Either way, this sweater has magical powers. I am not sure why, but it seems like when I am wearing this sweater the words flow and I can write and write and write. Also I finished my first manuscript wearing this sweater!

The Laptop- This is my enormous (annoyingly enormous) laptop that has been with meDSC_0085 through thick and thin. That keyboard has written hundreds of thousands of words.  Recently, my poor lap top it has been debating retirement (an early retirement). I’m  afraid if I don’t retire it soon it will throw in the towel. RIP laptop. Without you, I could never have gone as far I have.

The Cup of Coffee (or Tea in this picture)

This is my official writing cup. DSC_0077When I bought it, it was a real battle. The Make It Happen motivational mug or Wonder Woman mug? I’m not sure why I decided on just one. Why couldn’t I get both of them? (* sigh…life’s regrets)  I even went back to the store the next day and the Wonder Woman mug was gone. Tear, Tear. Anyway I do love the “MAKE IT HAPPEN” motivational reminder as I drink and write.

The Writing Journal

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Inspiration doesn’t always come when you are on your laptop. Inspiration hits me throughout the day, anytime-anyplace.I like to keep a journal handy to write down any thoughts, ideas or inspiration. The random papers underneath, and inside are when I didn’t have the journal on me and just wrote thoughts down on whatever I could get my hands on.

All About that Grammar- There are about a million rules in the English Language…and I have a lot of questions! Keeping a Grammar and Usage books around has been handy. Also, to be a good writer, you must be a good reader. I always keep a good book nearby for needed inspiration.

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 And this is just a cute picture I had to add! This is Branson, my sister’s dog I love to pieces!

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What are your writing tools? I would love to hear about them!

 

Writing Update

Writing update! 

Last week ended on a high note with lots of writing and editing done. For several weeks I was frozen at this one spot in my second book, but finally the words started to flow. The inspiration flow all started with research on the meaning of flowers. Haha..yes, flowers. The two books I am working on are right now are set in the 1920’s, and the second one involves a serial killer who leaves a certain flower by each victim. For the longest time I really wasn’t sure which flower to use, so I got to work looking up the meaning of flowers.

During the Victorian Era people spoke through flowers, which I find fascinating (but I’m so glad it doesn’t really work that way today!). Flowers, colors of flowers, leaves off or on…it all meant something. A red rose meant I love you…but a deep red rose meant “bashful” or “shame”. A thornless rose meant “love at first sight” and you better hope no one gives you an orange lily…it means they pretty much hate you. (How sad! What if orange lilies were your favorite flower?). Some other interesting meanings I found: one of the meanings of the herb Dill is lust. Hmm.. just doesn’t scream lust to me! And Bachelor Button, as the name suggests, means “celibacy”, “single blessedness.” Pretty interesting stuff. Kind of strange that it got the writing juices flowing for me, but there you have it!

Other Updates: 

I am getting a new computer. At the beginning of February I did my taxes. I bought a certain tax system, downloaded it onto my lap top. Apparently it was too much (too depressing?) for my lap top and right after I pressed send (thank goodness!) the screen turned into a mess of black, blue, orange, green, pink, etc. lines. Then it went black. =( My poor laptop. The good news is after letting it sit for a day I figured I would go ahead and try to turn the thing on…and it actually still worked! The bad news is I could no longer get on the internet. BIG SIGH. It has been interesting using my phone as my main source for access to the internet; I only attempted to write one or two blog posts through my phone (haha…that was fun!)…so thankful for friends and family who let me borrow their laptops for blog writing. To make a long story short, I should have a new computer by the end of the week. Yay!!

Hiking Season is here! YES! Went to Rocks’ State Park in Maryland, which if you are ever in Maryland you should check out. My favorite part is a group of rocks called the “King and Queen’s Seat”; Indians used to hold meetings here years and years ago. By the way…I love hiking, so any trail recommendations, if I am ever in your part of the world?

What I’m reading: The final books of the Sebastian St. Cyr series. I held out until my birthday and got them as a gift. Speaking of this series, I got my little sister reading them! WIN.

I hope everyone is having an awesome Wednesday! =)

A few paragraphs from Book II!

A few paragraphs from my second book! This has a small glimpse of one of my favorite characters: Miss Sadie Bee.

Mercedes shook her head. If she thought about Kale Desmin one more time today she may as well start a fan club for him, complete with jackets and autograph signings. He was such a mystery and one she wouldn’t mind solving…at least in her wildest dreams.

She looked back at Sadie Bee’s dark, probing eyes, wondering if she should confess everything to the cook. It was after all, just the two of them in the kitchen, as it usually was every morning. It was a tradition, almost; Mercedes and Miss Bee would come down earlier than the rest of the staff, drink coffee and talk about whatever random subject was running through Miss Bee’s mind. This morning had Miss Bee sharing how she was certain mice were intelligent creatures. She said, “They got to be sorta smart if theys can manage to get cheese outta a mouse trap and not set the darn thing off.” She glared at the scrawny tabby cat lounging in the corner in a patch of sunlight. “You useless, you knows that?” Shaking her head she took a sip of her black coffee. “Sometimes I sees this one mouse, he be the leader I think, he just look at me…like he’s challenging me. It ain’t natural, that’s for sures.”

Mercedes hesitated. How she wanted to let out her secret. It was like steam trapped in a tea kettle. Sadie Bee could be trusted, but the problem was the entire house (other than Pearl and Mrs. Tyson, of course) hated Kale. Mercedes would have to bring him up in a roundabout way. “I was just…thinking…about Ka–Mr. Desmin,” she let the name hang in the air.

Miss Bee’s face scrunched, the same way it had when she found mouse droppings in the cupboard. “Why would you be thinking on him?”

“No particular reason…” Mercedes started. She drummed her fingers on the table. “But I wonder what his fiancé was like; I wonder if he loved her; I wonder why he left her.” She looked off again, reimagining the pain in Kale’s golden eyes as he spoke of the girl.

Miss Bee grunted. “Child, that man didn’t love her. No man that loves a girl would just leave her stand’n there to be publicly humiliated.”

“But–I wonder about the facts…” -Pg. 27 (Book II)

Hope Everyone is having a great weekend!

First page of my book!

The first page of my book!!!

Just A Dream, pg. 1

by Autumn Komzik

Charleston, SC 1925

   He had always hated hospitals. The blindingly white wall, the burning smell of sterilization, the strange silver instruments, the soft whispery voices of the nurses—it was all a cover for the death and disease which seemed to ooze out of every crack and crevice. Hospitals were a place where the haunted memories of his Mother’s life slipping away from the Spanish Influenza filled his mind. They were a place where nightmares came true and where people discovered their mortality.

Kale Desmin sat in a flimsy metal chair feeling exhaustion start to set in. His honey colored hair, which was normally held neatly back with promenade, was ruffled and his eyes burned. He had been awake all night. But no matter how badly he longed to leave, he wouldn’t–he couldn’t.

His gaze fixed on the girl that lay in the bed directly in front of him, a girl that had been so full of life only hours ago. Purple bruises and scrapes speckled across the left side of her face, her blond hair was matted with blood, and her skin was pasty white. Other than the sound of her slow, methodical breaths, the hospital was quiet and strangely peaceful.

Kale hesitantly touched her limp hand and whispered the words he never could say when she was awake, “I love you, you have to wake up. Please, Angel, I need you.”

The quiet of the morning in was broken by desperate wails echoing down the hallway. Kale snapped his head up and stared at the closed door to the room. The wails became louder and louder. He could hear heavy footsteps pounding against the floor coming closer and closer, making the metal rails of the bed tremble and squeak. He realized it was a name that was being called; the wailing was the constant agonized repeat of a name. His heart felt a sudden swell of sorrow for the person, the owner of the name. It was clear the news they were about to receive would alter their life in some painful and dreadful way.

Kale felt his stomach fill with a hollow pit; his breath caught in his throat. The name that was being called was his.

*

Perfect days come around like the Halley’s Comet. You might have one truly perfect day in your life and once it’s gone, you never see it again. At least that’s what Mammy Potts always told me.

I could at least boast this day was close to perfect. My hair had not yet succumbed to the humidity– the waves which had taken an hour to put in were smooth and sleek; I managed to pluck the sweetest peach in existence from one of our trees; and I was about to spend the entire evening with him. As I walked towards the docks to meet him, my pace picking up with every step, my palms began to sweat. The one way to make this day absolutely Halley’s Comet kind of perfect, would be a kiss.

How many books did you read in 2014

Before I get into this post I have to put it out there…I know it is already less than 10 days until the end of January. Now that is out of the way I had been going over 2014 accomplishments. One of my goals was to read…read…read and read some more. I truly believe that the more you read the better writer you will become. At the end of the year I counted all of the books I read and my count was 72! I know there are people to who would laugh at reading only 72 books in a year, but for me…72 is AWESOME!

What was your 2014 books read count? Do you have a reading goal set for 2015? What are your 2015 goals? Do you think reading has helped improve your writing?

My 2015 goals:

To have my book Published! (every year’s goal until it happens! NEVER give up!)

To read more books than I did in 2014…so 73? ha ha..

To finish my second book

Go to Charleston, SC (setting for my books) and excited to say I am going in the first week of March!

Be a better, more faithful blog writer… LOL I started off semi-strong at the beginning of 2014 but sort of deflated there towards the end

Brushing up on all those fun rules of proper grammar and composition (kinda important for us writers!)

“Theif of Glory”, raw and real, a book review

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Blogging for Books

theif of glory

Book Review: Thief of Glory
Author: Sigmund Brouwer

I received this book, Thief of Glory, from the Blogging For Books program, in exchange for this review.
Favorite line from Thief of Glory: “A banyan tree begins when its seeds germinate in the crevices of a host tree. It sends to the ground tendrils that become prop roots with enough room for children to crawl beneath, prop roots that grown into thick, woody trunks and make it look like the tree is standing above the ground. The roots, given time, look no different than the tree it has begun to strangle. Eventually, when the original support tree dies and rots, the banyan develops a hollow central core.” –Thief of Glory, pg. 1

The Thief of Glory takes us to the Dutch East Indies in 1942 and into the home and lives of a wealthy Dutch family, the Prins. The story’s hero, the 10 year old marble enthusiast and closet romantic, Jeremiah, finds his world stolen from him as the Japanese invade the East Indies and separate his family. Jeremiah, his Mother, younger brother and twin sisters are thrown into a concentration camp where Jeremiah’s goal, and promise he made to his father, is to take care of his family…and survive. In the book, we see Jeremiah as he is forced into adulthood, falls in love, and sees the darkest sides of the human heart.  Will Jeremiah and his family survive? And if he does, at the end of it all, who will he be?

Thief of Glory was not a book written for the feint of heart. It wasn’t fields of flowers and sunshine. It was written realistically with characters that were real and flawed, like us all.  Ultimately, Thief of Glory is about the choices we must make in life- to do good or evil; to take revenge or to forgive; how far we would go to survive. This book was deep, making its reader think.

A truly good book is about its characters. When you feel what the character feels, when your heart breaks when something bad happens to them, or when you feel happy when the character gets the girl,  the writer has accomplished his goal. When Jeremiah first enters the book, I didn’t like him. I was like, this kid is a total brat! And…a little on the violent side, in a scary way. As I kept reading, the author started to reveal more and more of who Jeremiah was and what his family was like. As I read, I felt like I knew Jeremiah, I felt like he was a real person. He seemed like he was someone I played with in the dirt when I was a little kid. As Jeremiah is forced into an unimaginable and horrible situation,  I saw Jeremiah as a fighter, someone who had courage, someone who would do anything for his family, and someone who was thrust into becoming a parent when all he really wants is for his parent (his Mother) to take action and be the parent, and someone who struggles (like us all) against the darkness lurking in his own heart. I commend Sigmund Brouwer on his characters! At one point in the book I paused and wondered, “Is this a TRUE story?” I swore I had found it in the fiction section! I even had to double check the back of the book to find that little word “Fiction”. By the final chapters of the book I was completely involved in the characters, my heart filling with pain as Jeremiah endured one horror after the next, begging him, “don’t do it! Pleasssseee don’t do it!” As I read those final chapters, I felt almost depressed. When things started looking up, those last few pages, I read in horror. I don’t want to give too much away, but the end I read over twice, just to make sure I read it right. I was shocked and horrified by the ending. For hours after finishing the book, I couldn’t sleep…and I shed a few tears.   I literally felt like shouting, “Jeremiah, NOOOOO!!”. The book was so real, so raw.Yet, for being shocking and horrifying, the Thief of Glory ended in hope, because with God, there is always hope.

Final thoughts: This book was very realistic and very well written, totally making me become involved emotionally. I was glad a book that was filled with so much darkness, offered a rays of sunshine, throughout it. There were moments of true courage and motivating compassion and kindness. And in the end,  it offered hope. I don’t really have any bad comments about Thief of Glory, the writing was superb, the research fantastic, the story moving and tragic all at once. Be warned: this book is hard to read, knowing that this story was inspired from true events, that many things Jeremiah went through actually happened to people. But, I would call it a good read, with a good message.