Sample Saturday: Lion’s Blood

lions blood
Lion’s Blood by Steven Barnes

Lion’s Blood(Insh’Allah Book 1)

Author: Steven Barnes

Published by Spectrum Literary Agency, Inc.(2011)

With all of the racial and national tension going up, I think I needed to sample a book that was fantasy but gave some historical “meat” at the same time. Who better than Steven Barnes? I am already a fan of his wife’s work.

Lion’s Blood is about an alternate history: where whites are the slaves and blacks are the cruel slave masters. It appears to be a series and already just from reading a few pages, I know I will be a fan of Steven Barnes’ imaginative work. I love when books are bold!

Why Did I Sample This Book?

  1. I heard of Lion’s Blood before through visiting a local library years ago.
  2. His wife, Tananarive Due, writes amazing fantasy/horror books.
  3. This book has received so many high praises already, maybe because it is bold, daring and definitely on time.

Let me know, does this seem like something you would read?

Comment below!

Sample Saturday(The Lonely Planet Travel Anthology)

lonely planet

The Lonely Planet Travel Anthology

Publisher: The Lonely Planet(Nov. 1, 2016)

Edited by Don George

Various Authors

Format: Kindle*

I have never just picked up a travel guide and read it. I get that there are travel writers out there, but as a fiction/memoir kind of chick, I thought it would be out of my league…

Why Did I Sample this Book?

  1. Contrary to my own belief, we can all learn from travel guides. Particularly how to describe people and places well.
  2. In this particular anthology, I learned about “brilliant suns” of Australia, the urge of happiness when a cabbie in Bangkok actually shows up to give you a lift and the powerful, yet silent friendship on a train that leads to a bedroom where even more silence happens.
  3. A travel essay/guide is essentially a brief memoir.
  4. Lastly, you feel as if you’ve traveled to the place yourself.

I read more than a few stories in here and hope to find more travel writing I enjoy.

Have an amazing and Blessed Resurrection Sunday/Easter!  🙂

*This anthology can be downloaded for free for two weeks from Freading.com!

Sample Saturday (Sycorax’s Daughters)

Sycorax27s-Daughters-200x300
Sycorax’s Daughters

 

Sycorax’s Daughters by Kinitra Brooks, PhD.

Publication Date: Cedar Grove Publishing(February 21, 2017)

Print and Kindle Editions Available

If you’re like me, you download free samples of interesting books on Kindle(app) to see if they are worth your dollars.

Every Saturday I’d like to feature up and coming books I’d like to read and share. We will see how this goes!

Why did I sample it?

  1. The first story begins with a woman named Thistle and a dude named Wilder going through a dark forest just to meet her mom…like who would do this? Spooky!
  2. I am just so tickled that this is a collection of 28 horror stories and 14 horror poems.
  3. The meaning behind Sycorax’s Daughter(Sycorax was the deceased sorceress in Shakespeare’s Tempest(1611)

If you have read the book already, let me know. I am actually thinking of ordering the print version when I can(hopefully soon!)

Until then I will put it on my Goodreads shelf.

Happy Reading!

🙂

Five Fiction Books That Changed My World

woman reading

Without further ado, here is the list!

  • 19 Minutes by Jodi Picoult, is hailed as a “raw and important work” about school violence. A teen is picked on mercilessly and eventually becomes something to be very afraid of. This book opened my eyes up to the seriousness of bullying.

We all know it is serious business, but Picoult wrote the story from an angle that felt as if many voices were speaking at once. I learned that writing with care and the art of research is important in any story.

This particular series follows a five thousand year old blonde vampire named Sita who we are supposed to hate, but I couldn’t help but relate. She is depicted as fully human with her own struggles and enemies.

I am not ashamed to say I cried a little. Perhaps because of the series ending and not necessarily what happens in the end..? Bottomline: If a vampire story can make me cry, then it was a good darn book. Also, if I can empathize with a wicked vampire, I can empathize with anyone, right?

  • Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews– need I say more? With Lifetime cranking out the books to television and Andrews’ books continue to pop up at Walmart, Bookstores and online in an unending ghost written foray, these books remain popular.

This book was probably one of the first books to keep me up at night.

There I was, 12-13 years old reading a gothic fiction about children being left in an attic so long that confusion, incest and other problems arose. That book made me understand that sometimes family is just in blood only. Anyone can hurt you.

Flowers in the Attic is one of those richly dark travesties of literary treasure and genius.

  • Seed to Harvest Series by Octavia E. Butler was a masterpiece. Still is. I bought the thick tome off of Amazon one year, maybe 2011, and dived right into it.

Patternmaster/Seed to Harvest, dates back to pre-slavery Africa where Anyanwu is gifted with shape shifting abilities, while Doro can literally jump his spirit self into other bodies. It awakened my own need to write sci/fi this good. It reminds me of the “Black” version of X-Men, but so deliciously written.

  • The Station Series* by Trish Marie Dawson gave me chills and sweet thrills. This book showed me that writing about a sensitive topic such as suicide can be dealt with using fantasy, research and great insight(and an amazing author!). In the series, Piper Willow dies and wakes up at The Station, where suicides go and become mentors and volunteers to people on earth who are considering suicide. The goal is to prevent people from committing suicide in the first place. Romance was high in this series too.

It gave me a new perspective on death in general.

It is not the end but a new station in existence. No one has the concrete answers but fiction allows us to play with what the answers could be.

Those are the five books which have changed my life in some way.

*The link will take you to a free Kindle copy of Dying to Forget, Book 1 in the station series.

**Affiliate links are sprinkled through this post. This simply means the link will take you to a site where you can learn more about the product and if you purchase anything I will receive coins for it. I appreciate you!

Please post your comments here and like or subscribe if you like the content. Thanks again to all of you reading and clicking around on my blog.Without

These posts are for you, the ultimate bookworm or writerworm 🙂

Heaven or Nah?(the conclusion )

Taking my hand, this man who felt new and old to me, I let him lead me through the beautiful, forest. The sun, about three suns shone brightly. There was no darkness, no shadows.

Wanna know the super cool, mysterious inspiration for this story? Click to skip to it!

Then roughly, I am pulled tight up against him. Our naked bodies- whatever they were made of, felt a thousand times more sensitive than on earth. Many tingles rippled throughout my body, causing me to moan.

Suddenly it all came to me.

Tipping my head up with a finger, the handsome being drags his lips across mine like twin feathers rubbing against each other. His arms wrapped about my waist and then our lips pressed harder.

His mouth was a like a vacuum sucking me up into the feeling, into his lips and his touch.

Teeth, tongue, mouths wet clashed and clanged against each other full of unnatural want and need.

My heart, wherever that was, beat loud in my ears. My spirit was incendiary and instead of seeing colors. I FELT them.

“Who are you?” I asked after we pulled away. I had to gasp for breath. I couldn’t help but stare at and through this magnificent man. “I think I know you.”

The right side of his mouth curled into a smile. A wicked, sexy one. “You know me, Nanine. I am yours back there.”

My skin prickled in confusion and excitement. Both his large hands rubbed down the length of my arms. I made the mistake of looking into his eyes. Which suddenly looked like small, twin planets. In them and through them, I saw what looked like stars, bursts of light and a shadow of doubt and of love.

Beautiful.

“Adin. My name is Adin.” He said wearily.

“Adin! The love of my life!??” My brain snapped back to the past. The white hospital room, the alcohol scent, sick smells, the wailing of my family. My boyfriend, Adin.

The cancer that ate my life.

I am dead. But what am I now?

“You are one of us.”

“Wait. One of you?” I pull back farther. I am happy to see Adin, but what was he doing here?

Once again, he heard my silent question.

“I am with everyone in their final hour, Nanine.” His brows furrowed. “I have always been with you. Exclusively in your last hours though.”

“No. We. We dated. We were planning to get married. Remember?” Sunlight began drift from over his face, slowly and his skin began to lose its glow., a beautiful shade of navy and purple midnight crossed his handsome features.

“We have been together some time, Nanine. I, particularly like you, but I am not what you’ve been thinking. You already know my name, don’t be afraid to say it.”

The words bubbled in my subconscious. His name floated on every wind trail, every cell of my body. It was in every kiss. Every whispered conversation.

Every look.

The name that was ancient and forever. An ancient forever name, an event no one can escape.

“The cold one. The one that should not have been. A perfect, exact non-discriminatory design.”

His eyebrow raised. His full lips twitched.

Death.” I said as the suns dipped lower and we were finally cloaked in darkness. I heard the humming of women and children. A gentle tune of sorrow and loss. But saw no one. It was just us.

He nods solemnly, his long brown hair and brawny body, lithe and muscular, shimmers and shifts to a more pale color, a design slowly crawls over his left torso, down his left rib cage. Ink. Ebony ink, in the shape of a huge, black scorpion.

Gone were the rainbows, the squirrels- life. We both stood in a dark forest. I did not hurt. There was no devil chasing me.

“You can move around however you wish here. There is a boundary you can not go beyond though.” He points behind me and up into the sky where I see a silver lining arc across the night sky.

“So this isn’t, heaven? Is there a heaven?”

“Heaven….” He comes over to me and take my hand. His feels like a solid block of ice. “Heaven is in your mind.”

“Then the churches and the bible was wrong.”

He did not flinch when I said bible. Wasn’t he bad or something? Evil? Did he believe in God’s word? Funny I should be this judgmental in the afterlife.

“Actually, darlin’ the bible is a snippet of stories woven together to tell truths based off of personal experiences. I can not say it is completely wrong, but your finite minds cannot grasp the whole truth.” He lands another soft kiss on my lips, surprising me by how soft and cold his kiss is. “But you accepted me and kept your mind open. Which is why you’re here.”

Adin went on to explain that others before me, made it here, but are in another location. Others who pass on, stay in darkness forever, their minds shut down. He called it ultimate hell.

With a thought, I wished it light again. I wished for the silver blue oasis of water and the birds and squirrels and it made my Adin happy. When I opened my eyes again…all had come true.

Unfortunately he told me there are men, women, and children whom he granted the Kiss of Death to and I felt a familiar pang in my chest. Could be jealousy, not sure. But I watch his naked back as it turns away and walks into the clearing of the forest, the ground lighting up as he walks his path and into some void I can not see. A path where he will collect more of the dying.

I wonder if I will be alone here forever…

*****************

©Copyright 2017 Ericajean

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed the conclusion to my Flash Walk story.

***BONUS: What inspired me to write this story?***

A few years back, I had a dream that I was “trapped” in this wooden gazebo thingee. It was big enough all around but I could touch the smooth glass and peek through it looking at life all around me. Somehow, without anyone telling me, I knew I was dead.

The gazebo kept me encased where “the dead belong” but I was floating and there were others around me in these small gazebos.

Inside me a voice said, I can move about but not past the gazebo, because then my spirit would fall.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this. Stay tuned for more blog posts and stories this month!

 

Should You Use Apps to Write Your Resume?(Part 4)

Using Apps
Design by Ericajean using Canva

 

It should come as no surprise that Microsoft Word has the templates for everything from planners and calendars to resumes.*I’m a bit biased, I am a Windows/Microsoft user. Always have been.

*My favorite website, Skillcrush, just published a blog post on how to create the perfect resume and includes a FREE 30+ page eBook for you. I am reading it now! Grab it up here!

 

Want more amazing resources? Skip below to find out so much more on creating a dynamic resume.

Now, the fun part is finding out which apps are better to use and then I will give my own tips and reasons why they should be used in conjunction with real resume writing!

Want to skip the juicy tidbits and find out if using an app is good? Go ahead and skip(but at least read the post later…make me happy)

*VisualCV at www.visualcv.com

Imagine having an app- right on your phone, that allows you to simply input your information into fields and then spit out a neatly organized, decorated resume you can download to your mobile device and share?

Yep, that’s Visual CV for you.

I downloaded the app last month to my android, and had a ball with it! You can even sign in with your LinkediIn account.

You can use the app on your PC as well.

The really cool feature of VisualCV is the Share feature. You can literally click on the link and save as PDF to share or print, or share online(remember to exercise caution with this).

The downside to this app is that I am still getting used to all the “bells and whistles” of it. On the mobile app some features could be made more clear. I had to figure it out on my own. Outside of that, I will use it again.

 *11 Tried and True Resume Creators

This post would be very long if I listed every single resume creator out there and to tell the truth, I’ve only used Visual CV and the next one below. But click here for the top listings of FREE resume creator apps. I enjoyed reading this list.

*Good Ol’ Microsoft Word

Now, one app that is a classic and involves a little more “elbow grease”, is the Microsoft Method(I lovingly call it).

Click here to pick out a template that suits you and follow the online instructions.

Most people would rather skip this part because it requires your to actually write. Don’t be scared. We all need to do this.

 *When all else fails…

Create your own resume from scratch in your own word processing program.

Years ago I did this. I was not sure about margins, centering and what to bold and underline, but it felt good to write my own resume and you should feel good writing your own.

So, what’s the verdict? Is it good to use an app or not?
Sure it is good, you just have to plan it all out first, then use their forms.

Oh Gee! We’re at the End  😦

Well, we’ve come to the end of the resume writing adventure. I sincerely hope that the resources and blog posts helped you at least a little on your journey to finding that good job.

Remember to share this post on your social networks and comment below if you have questions or tips. Sharing is caring!

It is a brand new year and definitely a new you in the making.

The focus of this blog series was on resume writing only, however if you want to find places to submit your resume, learn how to write cover letters and other information, please seek the resources listed below.

Sincerely,

Copyright©2017 Ericajean for The Write Web

*******************
Resources:
www.indeed.com- also can be downloaded as an app to your mobile device. Find jobs tailored to your search and submit applications/resumes instantly!

Your local unemployment office Onlinedon’t sleep on this! Your local unemployment office is a Google away. Google your state(+) unemployment commission and find jobs that could be lurking around under your radar.

www.monster.com- just like Indeed and other job banks, you can submit your resume here and use it to apply to any job you see(you may have to upload a different resume for each job you wish to apply for).

Knock ‘em Dead Resumes by Martin Yate(November 2016)- I’m telling you. This book is gold!

Professional Writing at Work by Philip C. Kolin(2009)- without this book, I would have been without the knowledge I have now. It inspired me to write this series, actually! Check it out!

Disclaimer: There are affiliate links sprinkled all through this post. This simply means that if you decide to purchase any of these products, I could get a couple of pennies off of it. Literally. Pennies.

How to Create a Cyber Cute Resume(Part 3)

cyber-cute-resume
Photo found on pexels.com/Designed by Ericajean using Canva

Gone are the days of just typing up your resume and printing them out to send to prospective employers.

Welcome to creating an online resume. An online friendly version of your resume that WILL capture the employer’s attention!

Keywords and SEO  matter in resumes.

After you’ve completed parts 1 and 2 in the Write Resumes 2017 series, we can now create the cyber cute resume!

Skip to a sample of an online resume!

Step 1: Create and Make it Plain

Just like a plain bagel with strawberry cream cheese on top, your online resume should be sweet and to the point.. So the first step is to create your resume in your favorite word processing program or in HTML.

Step 2: Don’t be too Fancy!

No bold, no underline, no borders, no cute drawings, no photos- nothing goes into an online resume . We are trying to get your resume easily scanned by the database “crawlers and bots”

Step 3: Keywords

Now look at your employer’s ad. What keywords are they using in the ad? You would want this first and foremost in your resume. Trust me. You could get a phone call if this is all done right.

Skip to a sample of an online resume!

Remember to use relevant keywords pertaining to your strengths and job ad, throughout the resume. Important!

Step 4: Edit your resume then send it online.

Remember, save as an ASCII plain text file!

Where should you send it?

To your employer’s site, or visit wonderful sites like monster.com, indeed.com, or hotjobs.com. I like them all.

Important Cyber Resume Info and Tips!

Why is the cyber resume so darn important?

It is important because more and more employers are doing less reading and more “scanning” of resumes, typically spending just 30 seconds or less on a resume.

If the first part of your resume does not catch their eye or offer the keywords they are looking for, your resume will be obliterated to internet hell.

The cyber resume is saved as a plain text and require less fancy “schmancy” stuff because it can come up confusing and crazy on databases. You want your resume clearly read and ACCEPTED.

Now, keywords.

Why do I keep emphasizing that, even in the earlier posts?

Because keywords matter. Just like metadata and keywords matter in a blogpost and website, so too for an online resume- because it is an ONLINE resume.

See Illustration of all these steps below! Notes in red. This resume has been fictionalized a tiny bit LOL

______________

Ericajean
Rain200(at)msn(dot)com  *Here, I am keeping the CONTACT info simple. You do not want to send too much information online.
________________________________________________________________
OBJECTIVE
Full time or part time opportunity as a bank teller.*Make sure this part is as clear as possible. What position are you applying for exactly?

CAREER KEYWORDS
Accounting, Administrative duties, clerical, Microsoft Office Suite, communications, office technology, organized, team player *These keywords were pulled from my own actual experience and the job ad. Honesty is key here.

EDUCATION *Notice how all major headings are in all caps? This is perfect. Just don’t bold!
College, A.S. degree awarded in May 2006
Sociology/Business, major
GPA 4.0 *Update: This part can be done away with now. Employers don’t care too much about your GPA.

CLERICAL SKILLS*Now we are using terminology and headings found in the job ad. Again, keep it honest.
Excellent working knowledge of Microsoft Office Word and Excel, as well as Power Point and Access.
Typing speed estimated round 45 wpm.

CASH HANDLING SKILLS
Efficient and accurate when handling money. *This is exactly what the job ad was looking for.
Deliver amazing customer service in all situations.

COMMUNICATION SKILLS
*Adapt quickly to most environments.    *For each skill, I used an *(asterisk) and nothing more. This is ok.
*Great speaking tone.
*Experience in customer service sector.
*Work well with any staff.

EXPERIENCE *Now here, I can admit that I have zero actual banking experience and in some cases you will still get a phone call if you used proper keywords and emphasize your strengths.
+Dispatcher answering multiple phone lines, organizing incoming and outgoing files while also preparing payroll part time, Thomas Nelson CC Campus Police Hampton, Va
+Cashier; complete transactions using POS system, set customer service goals, solve customer problems with efficiency and compassion, Food Lion, Newport News, Va

_____________

See you in the next and final Resume 2017 post this week!

Resources:

Information was gleaned from Philip C. Kolin’s “Professional Writing at Work“(2009)