Ex-pat living: Things I Miss #2

Oh no, I think I’ve opened a can of something.

Today’s missing item is a selection of radio stations. In Qatar, there is one dedicated English radio channel. It is terrible. How terrible? I’m not sure what is more irritating, the lack of any sort of regular playlist or the college level DJs whose banter and conversation is so bad it’s funny.

Ex-pat living: Things I Miss #1

Oh look – a non-writing related post. Didn’t I say that I was going to do that eventually?

In my 6th year as an ex-pat, it occurs to me that I miss a great many things about home (‘home’ in this case being either Atlanta or Los Angeles in the good ole’ US of A). For the most part, the advantages of living abroad far outweigh the negatives. Still, now and then I do get a bit melancholy for certain things from home.


I read a lot of free books on Kindle (we’ve established this previously).

While I won’t mention the name of the book, I find it nearly to impossible a person would be seriously bullied because they had red hair (unless of course, they are Dr. Reid from Scrubs) and ‘sparkling blue eyes.’ This same protagonist, because of the ‘bullying’ ‘has’ to leave her home town and ‘get away.’

Listening to Shame. Vulnerability. Weakness.

If you listen to this first, this blog post will make a lot more sense.
So, as I have a solid 35 minutes each way to where I work, I have plenty of time to listen. This is made especially frustrating because where I live (Doha) has only one radio station. It’s not good. It’s…literally unlistenable. Seriously, there is only so long you can listen to unprofessional DJs and playlists that don’t make sense. It’s so bad, I actually look forward to the call to prayer.

In which I am probably influenced by things I hear.

So, the heroine of the first Fates project is a woman.  She’s been alive for a very long time.  She’s well traveled.  Right now, she’s pretty Anglo-centric.

Now, I’m not sure about you, but I have a decent little commute to and from work every day.  With thirty minutes each way (and only one highly terrible English radio station to tune into), I like mixing up a variety of podcasts and, needing a bit of culture and interesting subjects, recently started listening to TEDTalks (well worth the download!).  On my drive home tonight while I ducked in and out of the chaos on the roads that is rush hour in Qatar, my iPod randomly selected a discussion where the speaker brought up the concept of Ubuntu.

Book Review: The Fate of Destiny

I’m seeming to shake off whatever funk I’ve been in recently, and, especially with Hubs out of the country, have been reading a lot more! As I’m always interested in topics that I’m writing about (the Fates and hotels especially), I like to read other authors’ takes on my favorite subjects. With Danielle Bourdon’s The Fate of Destiny (clunky title, that), mythological elements are sort of seamlessly woven into this paranormal YA book. I had posted earlier in the week that for the majority of the book, I couldn’t really get past the characters names (and even neglected to mention an additional two randomly named characters, Driscoll and Rowley) and that feeling didn’t let up. Even though I love the topic of Fate, I never bought into Farris’s story.

I don’t want to write, I have to write.

I love social media.  I love connecting with people all over the world about topics that mean a lot to me.  I love having virtual friends and getting opinions from people I’ve never met.  I love that it brings pictures like the one above into my life.

Unique names – memorable or annoying?

Let me first say that I don’t want to come off as a hypocrite – many of my characters have strange unique names, however, I do strive mostly for balance in my fictional naming conventions.  At the moment, I think the appropriateness level of dynamic names is directly proportional to the genre.

Here’s hoping

Trying to figure out what to work on next. While I will be devoting quite a bit of time to marketing Major Pain (just waiting on the final cover image – all set with book trailer and final manuscript!), I’ll definitely have time to write or edit.

Under Pressure

I’ve had this post in my head for awhile. It’s hard to communicate because it’s announcing I feel like a failure, which isn’t necessarily part of the ‘branding’ I’d like to associate with my name. Once upon a time, circa 2005-2010, I was a writing machine. Seriously. I was not only churning out original work, but a fairly high level of fanfiction as well.