Lucky 7 Meme & Kreativ Blogger Award

Today is catch-up day or catch a ride on a dog day ala` Garfield! 🙂

I have been tagged 5 times in the last few months in a blog meme. My latest nomination was from my good friend, Patti Larsen. The other people who nominated me are: Melissa Pearl, Jonathan D. Allen, K.S.Bowers and Velvet Skies. Check out all their excerpts. (I may have been tagged by a couple of other bloggers but cannot find the links 😦 So apologies if you tagged me in The Lucky 7 Meme and I have not responded.)

The rules are that you must post an excerpt from one of your books and this excerpt has to be seven sentences, lines or paragraphs from page 7 or page 77, seven lines down.

So here is my excerpt…

“Eliza. Listen to me. It is imperative you heed Jal’s warnings. It is as I feared. I have prayed and pleaded and begged your escape. I have pleaded to take your place instead. This is not your curse. I have brought this upon your head. I am sick with fever from guilt and from fear. I fear for you Eliza. With everything that is within me, I fear for you.”

Mama’s words and her strong grasp scare me. My eyes widen at her fear, naked in her burning eyes. It is fear not strength that lights her beautiful eyes. My heart is all at once stuck in my throat. My hopes that Mama could help me are being scattered in a hurricane fueled by fear.

Curse? She brought a curse upon my head? Oh Charles, where are you? Take me away. Take me away.

My hands are trapped butterflies in hers. They feel cold and numb. I pull them back from her’s.

I lean back from her. I cannot look at her. But I have to know what curse she had brought? What did Jal mean? What did Mama know?

“Eliza, darling child. Gifted daughter of my love. Please look at me. Do not look away. I cannot bear your disdain. He was the same with me. Please, it will break me apart if you turn me aside. Let me explain. There is so much I have to tell you. I have kept this secret too long. I did not want to burden you with my secret. But now I see it was never my secret, it was always our secret. Jal’s and mine. Eliza, look at me. I beseech you as your mother. Eliza.”

Her voice is tinged purple with desperation. At the second mention of Jal in as many moments, I turn to her. I truly look at her. I look at her as a woman, a soul, with my second sight. I can see the purple air of desperation colouring her shadow. Her eyes are wide and bright with fear. Her brow is knotted with effort. She is my mama. She must protect me. I pull myself together with effort trying to ignore the childish hum in the background.

“Mama. You must tell me. What secret that belongs to you and Jal? What curse? Is it the girl? Is it the placings that Jal keeps on talking about? Mama, what have you done?”

My mother looks at me then. She looks at me not as her daughter, she sees me for the woman I am. I recognise my image reflected in her eyes. A strong woman caught in a secret not hers. I see a deep indigo bleed into the purple air surrounding her. It is the indigo of guilt. I know where I have seen that indigo before. It is often around Father. What had she done? What had they done? All I want at that moment is release. I want to run from that room and never return. But a force stronger than my fear holds me there. My anger holds me locked in place. I fear this new dangerous emotion more than any other. I have run too long from this emotion. I have run too long from myself. My anger holds me gripped in its black grasp. I am its prisoner as much as its gaoler. I wait for Mama to speak her piece. My thoughts have finally pulled together in one single heavy black strand.

Mama takes a deep breath and starts talking.

– Excerpt from Ring a Ring o’ Roses

– Book 1 of The Curse`d Trilogy © All Rights Reserved Kim Koning.

My last task in this is to tag seven other people to participate. I have tried to tag people who have not already been tagged in the Lucky 7 Meme. So here I’ve chosen:

Rebecca Berto blogs @ Novel Girl

Rachna Chhabria blogs @ Rachna’s Scriptorium

Simon C. Larter @ Write Drunk, Edit Sober

Nina D’Arcangela blogs @ Sotet Angyal

Trish Loye Elliot blogs @ Word Bitches and Trish Loye Flagging Down the Mother Ship

Leanne Shirtliffe blogs @ Word Bitches and Ironic Mom

Elene Aitken blogs @ Word Bitches and Don’t Forget to Breathe

I also received a Blogger Award this week: The Kreativ Blogger Award

The Rules

A: Thank my nominator and provide a link to their blog.

B: List seven things that readers might find interesting about me.

C: Nominate seven other bloggers.

  • A: My nominator is the lovely Kellie Larsen Murphy who blogs @ The Dog Ate My Novel – She nominates me here. Thank you Kellie! Check out her blog…she has some excellent posts and I absolutely love the title of her blog.
  • B: 7 Things that are interesting about me
  1. In High School I wanted to become a Pathologist.
  2. I am terrified of bats – I cannot even look at a picture of them.
  3. When I was a baby, I suffered from febrile seizures and medically “died” from my heart stopping.
  4. I hate swimming in a swimming pool by myself as I have a phobia of drowning in a swimming pool.
  5. My strangest and shortest day job was 4 hours in the butchery department of a grocery store – this put me off eating meat for about 6 weeks. 
  6. I have been trained to take down armed hijackers – from my days as an international flight attendant.
  7. I have the gift of being a horse-whisperer – an ability I inherited from my great-grandfather.
  • C: It was really difficult to pick bloggers to nominate here because every blogger I follow and all my blogging friends have awesome blogs all worthy of being awarded but I decided to nominate the following 7 Bloggers who I have not yet had a chance to nominate for any awards…So here my 7 nominations are:
  1. Mary Beth Coudal blogs @ My Rules
  2. Jaye Manus blogs @ J W Manus
  3. Aniko Carmean blogs @ The Happy Horror Writer
  4. Penelope Crowe blogs @ As The Crowe Flies
  5. Marie Loughin blogs @ Marie Loughin’s I WANNA BE…
  6. Paul D. Dail blogs @ A Horror Writer’s Not Necessarily Horrific Blog
  7. Jonathan D. Allen blogs @ Shaggin The Muse

Spinning my Web on Wednesday | Triberr-tastic | The Cool Kids Choose it

Well I am back from my blogging break. Was it worth it? Would I recommend taking a break? Yes and yes again. I feel refreshed and ready to dive back into the blogosphere. I also took the time off from blogging to take a moment to decide whether I was going to continue blogging on Dragonfly Scrolls and if I was; what direction did I want to go in. The good news is that I am going to continue with this blog. But I am going to be going in both a promotional and a brand-building direction: I will be interviewing and featuring authors and their new releases. I also want to expand on the marketing aspect of social networking so you will be seeing a lot more posts in that regard. For any and all purely writing-related posts please find me at my writing blog Wrestling the Muse.

But in this blog I am going to focus on new authors and new books with some great authors beings featured over the next couple of weeks. I am also going to be focusing on the business end of social networking. I am no expert in this realm but hopefully I can pull in some experts and they can chat to you. But as I learn new tools and discover new tips I will be sharing them with you.

I am an expert however in sales and marketing a product so I will be doing more posts in that vein. Every life experience and every job you have adds to your knowledge bank. I have been fortunate enough in being based mostly in sales and marketing over the last 10 years and it has definitely given me a helping hand when it comes to how I am going to approach my new writing career. After all, you as a writer and your book are both products after all. So what is the best way you can sell yourself, sell your brand and sell your product? That is what I am going to be focusing on over the next few months. So if you are interested in learning about becoming your own best salesman and marketer – then stick around and follow this blog.

WEDNESDAY on the WEB

But for today I am going to share a little nugget of gold that I found…

It is simply TRIBERR-tastic.

I had heard of this new social networking community called Triberr but had not really paid much attention. Until I got an invite to become a Tribe member of a friend’s tribe. So I signed up and joined. Then I left it for about a week not knowing what to do with this new tool or even whether it was a tool or just a waste of time. Then I looked at it closer again and I thought that I would give it the benefit of the doubt.

Why Triberr?

Triberr calls itself “The Reach Multiplier”. Triberr is simply put the tool for small-middle size blogs. Triberr is a tool that increases the reach of your own blog. This means more blog traffic, more blog comments, more followers and yes more REACH across the web from wherever you are.

Once set up, Triberr is relatively simple to use and pretty much does the work of pulling people to your blog feed without much added effort from your post. (Other than posting good content on your blogs.) But setting up Triberr is a pain if you are a newbie. I was in the process of pulling my hair out wondering how I would figure this out. But I have good news. You do not need a computer degree or even be able to converse in HTML. All you need is some kind social networking whiz to set you on the right path.

I found that social networking whiz. She blogs at just-ask-kim.

Here is her vlog (video blog) post on Triberr101: Getting started with Triberr.

So far I have been using Triberr for a week, in which I posted 3 blog posts on my writing blog.

Have I noticed a difference? 

YES

Before Triberr: Average blog views per day = 30 – 50 depending on whether I had posted a post that day or not.

After Triberr: Blog views over 3 days = 417 total which is an average of  139 posts per day.

Just from Triberr mentions alone = I had 86 visits over 3 days.

Before Triberr: My social reach = Twitter (1473) and Facebook friends & Facebook Page (728)  and WordPress followers (127) = 2328

After Triberr: My social reach = 16,157 (I only have 16 Tribemates.)

So my Reach has increased by just on 694%.

These are actual stats from my blog. 

I have also spent far less time tweeting my own posts which saves me time online to spend doing my writing and editing. So for those of you who feel they just can’t add one more social network to their web, think again. This one will not create more work for you. It will save you time, save you marketing/promoting and increase your blogging reach. For me that is a Win/Win/Win situation. 

I am impressed.
If Triberr can do this for me in just 3 posts than how can I not be a part of it?

How can any blogger ignore it?

I am a converted Triberr member now. 

So the only question I hear from you is: How do I get involved?

Well this is the tricky part, you need to be invited. When you get invited you are IN. 

If this sounds up your alley and you want to increase your blogging reach, feel free to comment under this post in the comments section. You can also include your twitter name and I can tweet out an invite to you if you are interested. 

What are you waiting for?

Next week Wednesday I will be talking a little more about Triberr so watch this space.

Also watch out on Fridays for a new Friday Featured Indie category: this is where I will be featuring some awesome Indie authors and their books. So come back here on Friday.

Back from the Wilds… with an Award

Image courtesy of puilee
Image courtesy of puilee

I am back from the Wilds of life with no blogging for a month. After blogging almost every day in December it felt very strange to go a month and a bit without blogging. But the rest was well needed. Life outside the world wide web was very busy with a house move, buying new battery for the Macbook and various other family emergencies, chores and errands. It has indeed been a busy start to 2012. But I am back. Well rested, ready, willing and able to get back to the business of blogging. This month I am going to give you more of a glimpse into my WIP with teasers of my cover, interview with my Amazing cover artist and background into the back story and inspiration of this trilogy. As I was without a computer due to my Macbook battery giving up its ghost, I got a lot of reading done so I will be sharing and linking to the reviews as well as featuring some exciting debut books coming out by my talented bevy of writing pals. So I am truly back in the business of online communication! Hello 2012 and Hello February.

But first…I am come back holding aloft my two-time nomination and win for The Versatile Blogger Award. My good friend and cp, Melissa Pearl nominated this blog and this blogger for The Versatile Blogger award a couple of weeks ago. I love receiving awards – who doesn’t? But I love it even more when the award comes from another writer I adore and respect. Which is the case in the case of Melissa Pearl – YA author and time travel specialist. Thank you Mel! 🙂

So I am supposed to list five things you didn’t know about me…Mmmh scratching head commences.

1) Everyone who knows me knows I am a confirmed gypsy at heart and love nothing more than a new stamp in my passport or at the very least the open road and a new road trip to Destination Anywhere….but what you maybe didn’t know is that I always travel alone. There are three main reasons why I travel alone.

i.) I am very independent and impulsive and all my trips whether just down the road or overseas are spur-of-the-moment whims. This tends to leave nobody else anytime to prepare to go with me. But then those that love me know that I am a free spirit when it comes to travel. Plans are just so mundane. Much better and more exciting to just up-and-go when the desire hits.

ii) I am a very independent and adventurous traveller. Again you would think this would make me a fun traveling companion and people would be queuing to sign up to travel with me. Think again. When I say adventurous, I mean adventurous. I don’t stick to a plan, I never go to the “tourist spots” and I love nothing more than hitting the unknown spots, leaving urban areas behind me and going out and exploring.

iii) The last reason why I am a solo traveller is probably the one I shouldn’t state here as it will definitely ensure my solo-travelling days. But in the interests of full disclosure…The third and final reason why I am a solo traveller is for the safety of any would be companions. You see, natural disasters tend to haunt all of my travels. I am not kidding here. Earthquake, cyclone, snowstorm, flood, 3 day hailstorm in a desert that usually only sees a couple of days of rain a year…these are just a few of actual natural disasters that have occurred when I decide on a whim to travel somewhere. So if you are a daredevil thrill-seeker, you may want to sign up to be my traveling companion. If you are an armchair traveller who loves nothing more than a relaxing holiday at the beach with a good book in hand – don’t pick me as your travel companion.

2) My favourite desert is cut up banana in custard. Oh I love chocolate cake, cheesecake, and other such scrumptiousness but my tried and true guilt-free pleasure is and will always be banana in custard. Guilt-free? Yes guilt-free because it is a healthy dessert. No, I swear it is. Think of it. Banana + Custard = Fruit + Dairy . So tell me how that is not healthy for you. Got you there. If you have not tried this dessert nor heard of this dessert, do yourself a favour and try it. You will not regret it. Mmmh think I am going to dish up a bowlful for myself after this blog is done.

3) My two guilty pleasure programs on television: All things Kardashian and Vampire Diaries. Yes I can see all the tsks tsks and head-shaking. But I don’t care. The Kardashian family is a family you can’t help but watch whether you want to or not. As for The Vampire Diaries…..I love the storyline, love the characters, love the back story and before you wonder whether I am Team Damian or Team Stefan I will tell you that I am both. Although to be fair in the current season I am little more slanted towards Team Damian. Who does not love a delicious bad boy vampire?

4) I am addicted to my collection of Archie comics….Not heard of them? I am shocked! Really shocked. I am talking about Archie, Bettie, Veronica, Reggie and Jughead and their adventures in the town of Riverdale. I still have 2 suitcases of these comics and digests and reread them any chance I get. They usually live in my bathroom so that I can take them out and read them while soaking in the tub. In fact I love a lot of comics or should I use the more pc term of Graphic Novels. They bring out the kid in me.

5) I am Carrie from Sex and the City when it comes to writing, dating and friends. Writing – like hers – is a passion of mine and many a time I have toyed with writing about the escapades of my dating life. As for dating, while that is an entirely other story but suffice to say I have had the disastrous dates with internet dates, millionaires, bad boys, weird guys. I have also had my Mr Big and my Aidan. But all of the dating and relationship woes and dramas have led me to rely on my friendships. Like Carrie I have AMAZING friends. They can be called upon in all times and like Carrie I have come to the conclusion that: “Maybe our girlfriends are our soul mates and guys are just people to have fun with.”

So ta-da there you have it…five things you may not have known about me.

Now to award fellow bloggers I find worthy of The Versatile Blogger Award…Drum roll please musicians…

Annetta Ribken’s Word Webbing

This lady is snarky, straight-talking, no BS, hilarious and as if that is not enough a very talented freelance editor and writer. Quite simply it is my diagnosis that you have to take a spoonful of Annetta’s word spinning on her blog at least once a week for good health and good humor.

Jessica McHugh’s No Vacation from Speculation

Those who know and love her simply call her The McHugh. She is a talented writer, poet, lover of speculative fiction and horror. She also has a wicked sense of humor and a wicked sense of the macabre. I love her because her blog never fails to entertain me. You will love her for the same reasons.

Eden Baylee’s Exciting, Exotic, Extremely Erotic

Eden is one of the kindest and most generous erotic writers you will ever meet. She is a very talented erotica author and a tireless blogger and social networker. Everyone that knows her loves her. What’s not to love? Like she says: Exciting, Exotic and Extremely Erotic. Follow her. Now.

Al Boudreau

This writer is a tireless Indie author promoter as well as a top thriller author as well. He is also my good friend and one of my favourite men in the writing world. His blog is a smart and intelligent take on the life of an indie author. You will want to read this Charming Gentleman’s blog immediately. Go now.

Paul D. Dail’s “A Horror Writer’s not necessarily Horrific Blog”

I got to know Paul through two blog hops we took part in 2011. The CoffinHop and Creepfest. Since then I have become not only friends with Paul but also a fan of both his blog and his writing. I enjoy each of his posts and love his style of writing. Follow his blog. You will not be sorry.

So there you have it folks….my first blogging back from the wilds….award in hand and passing it on to these five worthy bloggers, authors and friends. Follow them. That is my prognosis for a healthy day.

Watch this space tomorrow for the featured and much awaited interview with my AMAZING cover artist. I would love to keep her all to myself but she is just too amazing and talented a cover artist to not share with the world. And I am in a generous mood so tomorrow I will share her with you. So come back tomorrow for the featured interview. You will not want to miss that post.

Have a lovely weekend 🙂

Liebster Blog Award | All loved up

Feeling all Loved up today with “That loving feeling”…

It has been a miserable week this week as I have been bearing up through a 3day migraine attack…so it was a lovely and welcome surprise to be nominated for a blog award this morning. A message came through on my iPod touch from StrawberryIndigo (the nomination post) nominating me for a blog award. I will aspire to uphold this award as I continue “Wrestling the Muse”.

The award is given to blogs with followers of less than 200 who are deemed worthy of nomination because their blog has wowed the award nominator. Here is what StrawberryIndigo had to say about this blog:

Wrestling the muse

A well-written blog, professional looking and pleasing to the eye.

StrawberryIndigo is a blogger who believes in living Life in Colour, so much so that she has titled her blog with that beautiful sentiment. This is a sentiment that really rings true to me and one that every person should aspire to. We should be using all the colours of emotion to truly LIVE our life. If you have not checked out her blog yet, do yourself a favour and check it out. These are some of her posts that I found inspiring…
So these are the 5 bloggers I am going to pass on that Loving feeling to today…
StrawberryIndigo’s Pictures in living colour
This is a new photo blog but the colours of these images will fill you with joy…there is nothing more inspiring than nature and StrawberryIndigo has captured this inspiration beautifully.
Lisa Stull’s Lisa’s Liberation
Lisa has been blogging for a while but just recently she started this new blog where she journals her liberation in the journey to find her true self…this is one journey you will find inspiring and uplifting…her goal is to be “Awakened”…something that we can all aspire to.
Clicking on this link will take you to a world of free verse poetry…the words are simple and raw and will touch a chord in your spirit that will sing out in joy…this is a beautiful blog and one that is new to me but one that I will continue to visit.
Angela is a screenwriter and a filmmaker. Her blog is about her journey to learn to love life more wisely. She is also planning on this being a start of her novel on living life more wisely.
“Faith, Hope, Gratitude and the Creative Life” This is a blog that resounds with its catch-phrase. This blogger chooses to (in her words) “to have a positive outlook, to see the best in people, and to cultivate hope and optimism wherever possible.” This blog is all about her sharing her everyday miracles, facing life with optimism and tackling it with faith and gratitude. 
Follow these 5 bloggers I have mentioned and let their fresh and unique outlook touch a chord of inspiration in you. Your daily inbox reading will be uplifted by these bloggers.
A writer -- and, I believe, generally all persons -- must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art. -Jorge Luis Borges
It is important to recommend and appreciate people who live to fill their pages with inspiration, optimism and a search for a deeper truth and a more lasting beauty. This is what I believe The Liebster Award symbolizes. I am honoured to be a recipient and have thought carefully about which blogs uplift me with each post. For the bloggers who have been awarded this award – wear the award proudly because today you each uplift my spirits – even when my physical body is being assailed with an attack from migraine monsters.
Optimism is the foundation of courage. ~ Nicholas Murray Butler
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Blogging 101

Blogging 101

Blogging is the modern mode of connection. Some people love blogging, some people dread blogging and some people do not know how, what and why to blog. So what are your thoughts about blogging?

These are some pointers for successful Blogging:

  • Find a subject that you are knowledgeable on first.
  • Decide on the slant you want your blog to take.
  • Do you want to create conversation, debate or controversy?
  • Do you know what reader you are looking for?
  • Is your blogging interesting?
  • Do you have a regular blogging schedule that you stick to?
  • Does your blog have a unique selling point or unique theme?
  • Do you enable/encourage commenting on your blog posts?
  • Is your blog easy to navigate and clearly headed?
  • Do you have an “AboutMe” page and is it attention grabbing?
  • Are your blog titles eye-catching, topical or controversial?
  • Is the theme of your blog tied in to the subject of your blog?

Blogging, like twitter, is a two-way conversation. The conversation is between you, the blogger, and the readers, your potential followers. The easiest way to gain a readership and therefore gain a following besides following all the top tips above is to follow other bloggers and to comment on their posts. Successful blogging is all about common courtesy and respect. Unless your blog’s selling point is creating controversy or snarkiness – some bloggers excel at this unique selling point – it is important to be courteous and respectful at all times. If you start blogging with the idea that everyone is going to love you and agree with you, you will wake up with a rude surprise. There are going to be people who don’t like every one of your posts nor will they agree with you. This does not mean that you should delete their comments but rather use them to open up new discussions. You may find a new way to look at a subject. Remember everyone is entitled to an opinion. It also helps to acknowledge  the comments on your blog posts by replying individually to each one.

I mentioned “Unique Selling Point” earlier in the post. This is a sales term that is used in sales and marketing but can be used for anything wanting a following or a market. A “Unique Selling Point” or “USP” is something that makes a product more desirable than other products of the same calibre. Finding a “USP” will make your blog stand out from the crowd and will guarantee you some loyal followers.

Remember to also personalize your blog to reflect you and your personality. Blogging is about various topics and subjects but bloggers are people. People respond to people. Therefore readers will respond to a person who blogs. This does not mean you have to diarise or publicize your life. Instead throw in a few posts that are personal to you or relate the topic of a post back to your own life and your own experience. This will create more of a conversational environment on your blog.

So today’s exercise:

  • Give your blog a critical look-over and see whether it meets the top tips.
  • Is your blog fresh to the eyes or is it feeling a little stale? Perhaps it is time for a blog makeover…
  • Do you follow a regular blogging schedule? Maybe you should think of creating one if you don’t.
  • Ask your followers what else they would like you to post blogs on…they can be a wealth of ideas.

#CoffinHop | Something creeps across the floor boards….

the gory details:

1) HAVE A SPOOKY FUN TIME!
2) INVITE YOUR FRIENDS AND SPREAD THE WORD!
3) THIS TOUR STARTS: Monday, October 24, 2011 at Midnight (PST)
THIS TOUR ENDS: Monday, October 31, 2011 at Midnight (PST)
Winners will be drawn and posted November 1, 2011
4) MEET AND MINGLE WITH THE AUTHORS! EXPERIENCE A NEW DESTINATION AT EVERY STOP! PARTICIPATE IN EVERY SITE’S CONTEST AND BE ENTERED FOR CHANCES TO WIN MULTIPLE PRIZES! EVERY BLOG VISITED IS ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO WIN!
5) PARTICIPATION AT ALL SITES IS RECOMMENDED, BUT NOT REQUIRED. THE MORE SITES YOU HOP, THE BETTER YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING PRIZES.
6) DID I MENTION TO HAVE A SPOOKY FUN TIME?
***Authors have full discretion to choose an alternate winner in the event any winner fails to claim their prize(s) within 72 hours of their name being posted or after notification of win, whichever comes first. Anyone who participates in this tour is subject to these rules***
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My Contest – Prize Time

My next WIP is a psychological thriller and it involves psychological twists and a cold-blooded killer. This killer curdles my blood. Already the killer haunts my dreams. But the worst thing about this character is that I am struggling to name him. He does have a moniker that he will be known by in the story but he does need a name.

Let me tell you a little bit about him. He is a psychopath. He is exceptionally cruel and sadistic. He is also a perfectionist who never leaves any trace of himself at the crime scene. He is fastidiously clean, almost surgically I would say. He preys on people that he feels are “fallen”. He is incredibly alluring and seductive. He is hard to say “no” to. By the time his victims realise he is the final person they will see, it is too late and they are taken by surprise. This man could be anyone. He might be your friend, your brother, your father, your lover, your husband or your colleague. He stalks you like a silent lioness. Do you know his name?

So…this is where you blog-hoppers come in. I need you to put your creative hats on and spin me a first name and surname for my sadistic killer.

The best name will win three ebooks by three phenomenal authors. (I will be announcing the names of the authors and their books closer to Halloween but believe me you will want these ebooks.) 

The best name will also become the name of my sadistic killer.

You need to be subscribed to this blog to enter (so join up if you are not already) as well as leave your best answer (along with your email address for winner notification) in the comments on any of this week’s posts on this blog. You also need to have visited and commented on at least 5 of the CoffinHop bloggers.

The winner will be announced on this blog on 5th November. Multiple entries are welcome.

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Thursday = Terrifying Fears

Even the bravest of us have strong, irrational fears that are almost instinctive in nature. These are fears that literally petrify us to paralysis. They say facing you fears will conquer them but not these fears. These fears, however irrational, are the exception to that proverb. So I thought this hop was the perfect opportunity to explore those crazy phobias that paralyze us: Why are we scared of them? Is it a common fear? Where does the fear originate from in society? I am going to share my phobias with you – but only if you promise to not use them to paralyze me or cause me to have a heart attack. So this blog post is very much a trust issue. I trust you to go gently with my phobia and you trust me to not hit you with something if you do try to use these phobias against me. I am also going to share some common phobias and some very odd phobias. 

Firstly, here are a couple of my irrational fears:

My #1 Phobia = Scelerophibia

I battle this fear every night of my life. It is the fear of burglars or bad men.

This fear may be rational in some cases but in most cases it is irrational. But this fear can spin out not just from being scared at night but by being scared to be in a house by yourself during the day. I battle with both night and day.

My phobia stems from numerous brushes with armed house burglaries from the age of eight. I grew up in a country where burglary and armed break-ins are commonplace and barely feature as news. But that first attempted armed break-in when I was eight is the one that has stayed with me the longest. This phobia is so scary for me that I will not go into the details of the armed break-in. I am just thankful that nobody in my family was harmed in any of the armed break-ins we have endured. Now I live in a much safer country but I will still obsessively shut all windows and lock/double lock all doors. I will also check on those windows and doors at least three times in a short succession just to make absolutely sure they are locked. It has led me to years of insomnia. I am a very light sleeper and have a very acute sense of hearing so every noise at night makes me jump. I have called family members to drive in the middle of the night to my house because I heard what I thought was someone on the roof. This phobia is paralyzing and yes it is life altering. I never feel 100% safe in a house at night and never feel 100% in a house during the day if I am alone.

My #2 Phobia = Chiroptophobia

No, I am not afraid of Batman. I am terrified of Bats. That is why I put this image up. There are hundreds of images of bats to be found on google but I seriously want to throw up from fear if I see them. It was difficult enough to get this one. Luckily for me it was at the top of the gallery so I only caught glimpses of the horrid creatures….I actually just had all the hairs on the back of my neck raise at that.

The roots of this fear dates back centuries and they are fueled by the Dracula stories, Halloween and Hades. Which brings us of course to the legend of the Vampires. Undead men who are able to change into bats and feed on the blood of humans – usually beautiful young people.

As for my fear. It’s roots are from when I was six years old and my cousin and I were playing in our farm barn. She was a little older than me and a terrible tease. We were playing hide and seek amongst the hay bales. She was hiding and I was the seeker. I had been searching for her for close to half an hour – which for a little kid is like half a day – and was getting a little nervous as it was nearing dusk which made shadows creep across the floor and walls of the barn. I told her I had enough and was giving up. Still no answer. I was a little worried at this point. So I decided to leave the barn and walk back up to my house. As I left, I heard a sound that I could not quite place. Then just as I was hesitating on the threshold of the doorway, pebbles started flying in my direction. I thought it was my cousin until she came up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder. The pebbles now came at both of us. We were tripping over each other to get out of there and I fell. The next thing I knew I heard another sound, turned and it slammed into my face. A bat. It clung to my face. I was looking into its face and I thought it was looking into mine. I could not even scream. I was that petrified. I had never seen anything so horrendous in my worst imaginings at that point. (Nor since then, looking back in hindsight.) My cousin ran back and was screaming and trying to pull this bat off my face. It took her about ten minutes before the creature finally let go. Then she had to drag me up to the house as I was completely incapacitated from fear.

Ever since then I cannot even look at a picture of a bat. I hate going into caves and dark places where they may be resting. But now if I do come across a bat, I run like hell and do not look back until I am safe. That was actually horrible to write about. I can still see that bat. Now, I will probably have nightmares about bats tonight.

My #3 Phobia = Selachophobia

I am afraid of sharks in the dark patches of a swimming pool. This is one of the reasons I do not like aquariums. Strangely enough I am not afraid of sharks in the sea.

The roots of this phobia are psychological and are either linked to a fear of darkness or linked to a buried childhood trauma.

The roots of my fear is that a girl I knew drowned in a swimming pool when we were both three. For years I blocked all memory of her until years later when I was about sixteen I was talking to my parents about phobias. They had always known I was scared of swimming in a pool by myself. Although I loved swimming in the ocean I had never really enjoyed swimming in pools and would never swim by myself. I told them that for some reason my mind told me that sharks were in the dark patches in the pool and if I was swimming underwater, I would fear the same thing that there were sharks behind me just waiting to attack. Then they told me about my little friend and it all made sense where that fear came from.

So those are my top three phobias. I am sure if I went through a list of phobias I would find others but these are the three that I have had for most of my life stemming from roots in childhood.

So what petrifies you to a stand-still? What makes your hairs stand on end and your heart thunder in your chest? What is your irrational fear? What is your phobia and do you know the roots? 

Some fears seem funny to others and some seem downright strange but at the end of the day to the person who suffers from this phobia, there is nothing funny about it. As horror, thriller and suspense writers we often play on common phobias that are our own or those of people we know. But phobias are real fears. Who are we to judge a person’s bravery when we may suffer at least one phobia. Does that make a scared person a coward. To quote the great Mark Twain:

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.  Except a creature be part coward it is not a compliment to say it is brave.  ~ Mark Twain,Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar, 1894

Here is a list of well-known phobias:

Arachnophobia = The fear of spiders.

Achluophobia = Fear of darkness.

Acrophobia- Fear of heights.

Aichmophobia- Fear of needles or pointed objects.

Agoraphobia – Fear of open or crowded spaces and fear of leaving a safe place.

 Aquaphobia – Fear of water or drowning.

Astraphobia or Astrapophobia- Fear of thunder and lightning.(Ceraunophobia, Keraunophobia)

Aviophobia or Aviatophobia- Fear of flying.

Claustrophobia- Fear of confined spaces.

Coulrophobia- Fear of clowns.

Dentophobia- Fear of dentists.

Hemophobia or Hemaphobia or Hematophobia- Fear of blood.

Misophobia or Mysophobia- Fear of being contaminated with dirt or germs.

Ophidiophobia- Fear of snakes.

These are some fears that would make what we as writers do very difficult:

Allodoxaphobia- Fear of opinions.

Atychiphobia- Fear of failure.

Bibliophobia- Fear of books.

Doxophobia- Fear of expressing opinions or of receiving praise.

Epistemophobia- Fear of knowledge.

Graphophobia- Fear of writing or handwriting.

Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia- Fear of long words.

Ideophobia- Fear of ideas.

Logizomechanophobia- Fear of computers.

Logophobia- Fear of words.

Metrophobia- Fear or hatred of poetry.

Mythophobia- Fear of myths or stories or false statements.

Onomatophobia- Fear of hearing a certain word or of names.

Phronemophobia- Fear of thinking.

Verbophobia- Fear of words.

Lastly here are a few odd phobias:

Autodysomophobia- Fear of one that has a vile odor.

Basophobia or Basiphobia- Inability to stand. Fear of walking or falling.

Chromophobia or Chromatophobia- Fear of colors.

Ephebiphobia- Fear of teenagers.

Genuphobia- Fear of knees.

Koinoniphobia- Fear of rooms.

Lachanophobia- Fear of vegetables.

Linonophobia- Fear of string.

Octophobia – Fear of the figure 8.

Omphalophobia- Fear of belly buttons.

Panophobia or Pantophobia- Fear of everything.

For more on phobias, click on the Phobia List

Related posts in my hop

Why Blog?

Blogging Readiness

Image by cambodia4kidsorg via Flickr

I am often asked two questions:

  • Why do I blog?
  • How and where do I find the inspiration for my blog posts?

A year ago I would have answered that I blog because I want to build a network and get my name out there on the world wide web. It was a way to build a readership and to connect with potential readers. It seemed to be the thing to do as a new writer. It was what more experienced writers advised me to do.

Six months ago I would have answered that it was to connect with other writers and other bloggers. Share and learn in experiences.

Now my answer is still both of the above but I also blog for my own benefit now. Yes I blog to connect with readers. Yes I blog to connect with other writers and bloggers. But more than ever I find that I am blogging for myself.  As for the inspiration part of the question: I blog about the topics closest to my own writing, being either quandaries or difficulties I am facing and moments of epiphanies.

When I blog, it is like first having a conversation with myself trying to work things out and then I invite in others to the conversation and hear their points of view. I also blog to create inspiration for myself. We all have those moments and those days when for whatever reason, we battle to drag ourselves to the computer to finish that next scene or untangle a plot element. Sometimes we just need a break from the current WIP. That is when I blog. Blogging still means I am writing. It is a way of “getting back on that horse” inspirationally and creatively speaking. The most important part of committing to writing is doing the actual writing: inspiration can be a fickle mistress and can come and go as the wind direction changes. It is in these times of inspirational lows that I like to blog. It keeps the thoughts churning and strangely enough blogging usually unlocks a hidden kernel of inspiration which leads me hand in hand back to my WIP.

Of course it could be argued that there are other forms of writing like journalling. I still journal. I also write Morning Pages, inspired by Julia Cameron‘s The Artist’s Way. But because blogging is in a public arena, one si held to a higher standard of writing. So blogging can be a teacher for your other forms of writing.

Blogging is also a reward system in of itself. When you write a post that connects in some way with at least one person and they are kind enough to comment, there is an automatic uplifting encouragement for the Blogger. One favour: If you do read a blog post that you connect with, comment on it. Let the blogger in question know that their post made you think or feel or just made you smile. It is also a great way to build online friendships and connections with like-minded individuals.

Blogging can also be a challenge tool. You can challenge your own beliefs, practices or thoughts by posting about different topics. Don’t limit yourself to just one rule of topic. Expand your horizons. Do research by reading other blogs. You may be surprised by what you learn from other bloggers and what you may be able to share and thus teach someone else. I have found the most useful resources through reading someone else’s blog. Blogging can be great research.

Words are powerful tools. They can be wielded for both good and bad. When we publicise our thoughts and share our experiences we cannot but help to touch another person either through informing them, inspiring them or finding points of empathy. It is up to us how we choose to wield this powerful tool. These are the questions we should be asking ourselves before we voice our thoughts whether it be in blogging or whether be in our own works…

  • Will we turn it into a positive or a negative?
  • Will we use our words to inform or hide?
  • Will we use our words to entertain or insulate?
  • Will we use our words to inspire or alienate?
  • Will we use our words to create or destroy?

So why do you blog? If you don’t, why do you read/follow blogs?

Blog responsibly knowing that what you write will be read and remarked on by other writers and readers. Be honest but remember to stand by what you blog. Even if it feels like nobody is reading your posts, people are. It is in the eye of the public. Your posts will be judged. But learn from each post, each comment whether the commentator agrees or disagrees. Reply to your comments and do the courteous thing by linking back to others’ posts. In this way you become  part of building a community.

Now: I blog for myself as well as connecting with readers and writers. I blog to understand my own thought processes when they have entangled me in a web of chaos. I blog to create inspiration for myself when inspiration seems veiled in the fogs of moods and emotions. I blog to inform and entertain. I blog to learn and share about the craft of writing. I blog to share my epiphanies and my Eureka moments. There is one rule I follow through on every time and that is to be transparent in honesty and truth. For me, a writer without truth is a fraud and a con-artist. For me words are art. Art is about finding the truth in life. Art is about creating simplicity from the complexity that is Life. For me, to be  a writer is to be a seeker of truth.

What is writing for you? Why do you write at all?

The better question is: Why not?

Kim