Saturday, August 30, 2008

Critique Partners/Groups?

As a new author, I am learning something new all the time. In fact, in life the minute you stop learning is the minute you stop growing (my opinion). I have tried to read as much as I can about the market and when that doesn't work, I try to ask the authors who have been in the business a lot longer.

I am a very private person. And I think I have mentioned a time or two before that no one ever read any of my works until I started submitting my books to publishers. So having someone I know critique my work is very difficult for me, I haven't quite mastered that thick skin yet.

So anyway, I've been wondering: If we are our own worst critics, why bother with crit groups and/or partners? Are they truly necessary to become the best writer one can be? Is that the only way to be truly successful as an author?

Banner AnH

Friday, August 29, 2008

Why Worry . . .

Unfortunately, my family and I had to make a visit to the Halfway Tree Police Station in Kingston, Jamaica this past Monday (8/25/2008) to report an incident. Other than the actual reason for us being there, the visit was quite interesting.

First, the police officer taking our statements mentioned he had
something very important he wanted to discuss with us. He then spent three-quarters of our time with him asking of the merits of moving to the United States. We were kind of shocked with the questions, although since our experience visiting this time was less than stellar, we understood. How weird! I think he had already made up his mind but we gave him our opinions anyway.

Second, this was found on one of the walls in the office of the same police station. Click the image to enlarge and read, it is very funny, well if you have my kind of humor.

I intend to have a wonderful weekend, and you should all try and do the same. :-)

Banner AnH

Thursday, August 28, 2008

None But Ourselves Can Free Our Minds . . .

This sculpture can be seen in the heart of Kingston in a place called Emancipation Park. The sculpture is depicting former slaves looking to the sky for "liberation and celestial reverence in an independent Jamaica" and the words "None but ourselves can free our minds" from Marcus Garvey and Bob Marley are written along the foundation.
The sculptor (Laura Facey Cooper) is quick to inform others that she did not embellish the female and male parts of the models she used. The people are real, she says, and they were already well-endowed.

I must say I'm surprised to see it because I never thought Jamaicans would be accepting enough for that. However, since there is a lot of public outcry against the sculpture I guess I am right. Some Jamaicans say the European features of the female is inappropriate, others say these two figures are an accurate depiction of the former slaves of Jamaica.

So tell me what you think about the sculpture?
Is this totally inappropriate for Public Art?

Banner AnH

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Now Available: Reclaiming Nicola

Nicola Bourdeaux is Victor’s ultimate woman. She’s smart, beautiful, and the sweetest person he’s ever met. But when a rival firm gets a hold of confidential information and Victor loses a major lawsuit, he accuses Nicola of betraying him. His mistake leads to a major blow-up and break-up.

Victor Weise is Nicola’s ultimate man. He’s intelligent, handsome, and the most arrogant man she’s ever met. But when Victor accuses her of betrayal, Nicola is determined to a make a fresh start. She accepts an offer for a teaching position out of state, convinced she needed to get as far away as quickly as possible.

But before she leaves, she gets a request to visit the Weise residence. Hoping to gain some closure, Nicola accepts. But Victor has some tricks up his sleeve.

Will one afternoon be enough for Victor to reclaim Nicola?

To read an excerpt and pick up your very own copy, click Reclaiming Nicola.

Banner AnH

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Returning Home . . .

Hi all. I'm back from Jamaica and it's good to be home. We left Jamaica just in time to miss the new Tropical Storm. Gustav was on its way there, and it might also be headed to South Florida, no telling yet though. According to the forecasters, this storm will strengthen to a Category 3 Hurricane by the end of the week.

Everything went as best as could be expected with the funeral and all my family members have made it home in one piece. There were a few ups and downs along the way, but life isn't perfect and the unexpected always happens. It was good seeing everyone and sad that this was the occasion to bring everyone together.

Anyway, that is all for now. I'm going to go get some sleep.

Banner AnH

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Storm has passed . . .

Tropical Storm Fay came, dumped tons of water, brought some tornadoes, shut off the light for over 5,000 residents, downed some trees, shut off some traffic lights, and moved on. The county is still under a flood watch, although the tornado watch should have been lifted at 4 pm. We have been having sporadic rainfall and a lot of wind.

I haven't heard of any injuries and deaths related to the storm. So as far as I'm concerned, she really didn't cause a lot of damage to Broward County. It is still wreaking havoc in other parts of the state, however, and forecasters are saying the storm is strengthening.

All Broward County operations will resume tomorrow, Wednesday in the morning. Businesses were in operation today though as no one really toke the storm seriously.

The airports
didn't close either, but certain flights were delayed. My parents landed safely in Jamaica this morning and will begin the first part of the preparations today. My brother and I will be leaving in the morning at 8 am and various other family members will be arriving in Jamaica over the next few days for the service on Saturday.

I will be returning to South Florida on August 26, the
day before the release of Reclaiming Nicola.

Banner AnH

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Tropical Storm Fay

Broward County Libraries Division, my employer, has decided to close tomorrow (Monday, August 18, 2008) to the public because of the tropical storm threat. As an employee of the Library, I will be going to work for half the day to tie up loose ends and cover all the library equipment to protect against potential water intrusion, etc.

Earlier today, my brother and I went to Walmart to get some last minute things for our trip to Jamaica this coming Wednesday. The store was extremely packed because people were stocking up on supplies to weather the upcoming storm. It took over an hour just to check out about ten items.

I remember living in Jamaica during the threats of a storm and also experiencing the hurricane there. The interesting thing for me there was supermarket shelves being completely bare because people literally bought everything. If you were a late starter with hurricane preparedness, you wouldn't find a thing to purchase for consumption or light (candles). Luckily, there are a lot more choices and places to purchase supplies in South Florida, and the US, which eliminates that worry.

I also remember placing two strips of tape across a glass window in the shape of an X. At the time, I thought that was to protect the window and prevent any problems with the hurricane. I later realized it was to ensure that if the window gets knocked out and smashed into a million pieces they would be all together.

One more thing, I was in Jamaica during Hurricane Gilbert which was in 1988. It was terrible, our neighbours roofs blew off and some other's homes got flooded. Everyone was okay and everyone helped everyone else. But since I was a child at the time, the worst thing for me was the corned beef sandwiches we ate all the time. Since the electricity didn't work, we were unable to cook. Plus, we didn't have any perishables either. Even now I can't eat one of those sandwiches without having bad hurricane flashbacks.

Anyway, that's all for now. I'll keep you all updated.

Banner AnH

Saturday, August 16, 2008

SRR reviews Good for Something

Anika Hamilton’s novella Good for Something had you hanging on for the happy ending with baited breath . . . Good for Something shows the reader how love can conquer all despite the odds. Ms. Hamilton successfully weaves a story that has you wanting to know that all things turn out for the good.

Banner AnH

Monday, August 11, 2008

Saying Goodbye . . .

I wanted to let you all know that my grandfather passed away on Friday, August 8, 2008. He was 87 years old, and he lived here in Florida with my parents. His passing was a shock even with his advanced age because he was such a stubborn old man.

are making arrangements to have the funeral service in Jamaica on the 23rd of August. I will be in Jamaica for about a week during that time. He will be buried next to my grandmother who died about three years ago.

That's all for now . . .

Banner AnH

Friday, August 1, 2008

The 100 Days Challenge . . .

One of my publishers is conducting a 500 words per day, 100 days challenge. The challenge began today and should end sometime in November. I'm going to do my best to stick to this challenge and not let writer's block or stress stop me. Especially since this is in line with the personal goal I have set for myself. You know write every day, so my goal per day is going to 500 words.

The interesting thing about this challenge is the competitive nature of the other authors. Some of them are already very proficient in writing epics, of which I'm not ready to attempt right now, probably never will be. Anyway, it will be interesting to track the progress of everyone.

So what's my point? I actually don't have one. I just find it exceedingly interesting to see people competing so viciously for some visible or invisible goal. Are you a very competitive person? Why?

Anyway, I'm going to try this thing, so wish me luck.

P.S. and one more thing: today is the implementation day for the hard work I put in for the library. Shorter hours, scared and pissed-off employees, angry customers, grandstanding commissioners, let the (not-so-fun) games begin.

Banner AnH