Excerpt from Rekindled Prophecy

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Early on in Rekindled Prophecy, Greylyn saunters into a country western bar in West Memphis, Arkansas. A young co-ed, Jenna, with self-esteem problems has invited danger into her life in the form of sexy soul-stealer, Devon. While Greylyn searches for the missing Jenna, she encounters another young woman who will deeply impact her life a few years later when the guardian angel is pulled to a quaint Irish inn in the Shenandoah Valley.

Music plays a huge role in my writing as a soundtrack plays in the background of my head and the story unfolds. For this scene, I needed upbeat country western music. Who better to listen to than…Kenny Chesney.

Now for a taste of Rekindled Prophecy…

Shivers spread up her spine. Her charge was in danger.

Damn it! Where the hell is she?

Greylyn climbed up on the edge of the stage for a better view. She spotted one of Jenna’s friends, a strawberry blonde in leather pants and a V-neck top that plunged too far down when she bent over. The woman was sitting on the lap of a young cowboy with his hand sliding up and down her legs. Greylyn pushed past the throngs of dancers. Without waiting to introduce herself, she yanked the woman off her paramour.

“Where did Jenna go?” Starry, vacant jade eyes stared back at her. The girl was blitzed! With the gray tinge around her aura, Greylyn suspected she was quite literally drowning her sorrows. Placing the pads of her thumbs on the woman’s eyelids, she whispered a quick spell in Latin – Ostendo mihi Jenna. The last image of her friend played back in Greylyn’s mind – Jenna holding hands with Devon as he led her down a long, dim corridor towards the back bar area.

“Thanks.” She released the girl, but something stopped her from running out the back. A vision blinded her to all else.  The thumping of the music stilled. All else around her ceased to exist.

The same woman, except dressed in ivory chiffon, stared out a high window. Although slightly obscured by a drizzling mist, she saw terror radiating from the woman’s wide green eyes. A single tear slid down her pale, freckled cheek. Fear seized Greylyn’s own heart and squeezed to near bursting. Then…

The rowdy bar came back into full focus. Shaking off the vision, Greylyn placed a reassuring hand on the woman’s shoulders. “I believe I’ll be seeing you again sooner or later.” Glossy eyes stared blankly back.

 

A Little Slice of Heaven

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Usually an author introduces her/his readers to the main character first, but after some particularly interesting responses to my Facebook posting of a supporting character, I thought I’d break the mold and introduce the incredibly sexy guardian angel, Jasper, first.

Jasper — oh, he’s a hottie! A perfect spoil to the dark guardian, Kael (who we will discuss in much greater detail later).

Jasper is a guardian angel. He has been roaming the Earth helping humans battle their own inner demons and the more nefarious real ones for centuries. We know Jasper has been a guardian for much longer than our heroine, Greylyn (approximately 450 years for her).

He’s French royalty. He and Greylyn even visit revolutionary France to stop Robespierre from slaughtering innocents by the infamous guillotine, discovering too late that the dark guardian, Kael, is pulling the French leader’s strings.

But who really is Jasper Moreau? Although working on the side of good, he gives off a distinct bad boy aura. He’s a stylish dresser, with a flare for black boots and even a leather jacket if the situation calls for it. He will ride in to the rescue in a rented luxury sports car or straddling a Harley Davidson motorcycle. He drinks champagne as if it were water, but never overindulges because he wants…needs to remain in control.

His temper is ferocious and quick to flare. Just ask Kael who has been on the receiving end of his anger too many times to count. But Jasper’s heart is huge, but he keeps it guarded for reasons he does not confide even to his best friend for centuries, Greylyn.

Below is an excerpt from the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series, shown as a flashback of when Greylyn first met Jasper. Enjoy!

Hunched over, her body shuddering in the final throes of dry-heaving, a faint chuckle broke through the silent night.

She turned her face towards the sound. Everything was a blur. Blinking, grains of dirt caked onto her lashes fell away. More blinking, her eyes brought into focus the gloom of an icy moonless and starless night. Then finally she was able to make out the silhouette of a tall figure lounging against the side of a large oak tree.

“Well, it’s about time you made it out. I’ve been waiting all night. A few more moments and I would have left without you,” the shadowed man said in a foreign accent she didn’t recognize. With a subtle bow, he added, “Jasper Moreau at your service, Milady.” He separated from the tree and strolled leisurely over to where she lay on the damp ground. His boots shone with garish gold buckles, as if he were walking into a palace, not standing in the middle of a dirt field.

Get up and run!

The energy that had propelled her from the grave had vanished. She could barely lift her head to gaze up at him. The muscles in her neck twitched with the effort. Her mind ordered her legs to jump up and run, but nothing happened. A new wave of panic rocked her body.

She pushed herself up on trembling arms. “If you knew I was trapped under the ground, why did you not help me?”

“Sorry, Milady,” he said with a slight touch of sarcasm. “I could not assist you. There are no headstones or markers in this quaint little boneyard and there appear to be several fresh grave sites. I simply could not find you in time. I do hope you will accept my sincerest apology.” Something in the smoothness of his voice or his nonthreatening stance gave her a sense of calmness – that she had no need to fear this man. Still, how could she be certain? 

A tingling sensation washed over her body, as energy flooded back into her limbs. First, she wiggled her toes, then shook out her legs that moments earlier had refused to move. Pulling her legs towards her body, she took a long look around. She sat on the edge of a small graveyard between a sheep pasture and a thick forest. In the distance, silhouettes of buildings stood out, with one taller than the rest with a pointed steeple. Even the cloud-filled night sky seemed bright and welcoming.

A sliver of moonlight peeked out between the dense cloud cover for just a moment, offering enough illumination that she could make out the visage of the stranger. Her vision wavered in and out until finally coming to a crystal clear focus.

Strikingly tall with broad shoulders, his clothing was fancy. Frilly white shirt with a dark velvet overcoat. Long jet-black hair pulled into a ponytail with a satin ribbon. Every detail screamed he didn’t belong here.

When he reached over to help her up from the ground, a sweet musky scent infiltrated her senses producing a vision of a deep evergreen forest. Most notable were his startling blue eyes set against deep olive skin. They glowed in the darkness with such intensity as if he peered into her soul. She found herself on her feet without any recollection of standing. When she looked down at his hand on her arm, he released her. The tranquility abruptly ended.

“Madam, I realize you may be distressed about your predicament. Allow me to reassure you that you are now indeed safe. You will never need to fear the grave again.”

How dare he act so nonchalant about this situation? And say such nonsensical things! She rounded on him, her voice rising. “How is that precisely? Someone buried me alive! You did nothing about it. How can you stand there and smugly say that you could not help me?”

His eyes narrowed and a nerve ticked just under his left eye. The look, more than the silence, unnerved her.

This couldn’t possibly get worse.

“Milady, you were not buried alive,” he said. “You were very much dead.”

 

1st book in the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series

Rekindled Prophecy – First book in the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series to be released November 2019

Woo Hoo! I’m happy dancing now!

I am so excited to announce that Zimbell House Publishing has picked up Rekindled Prophecy, the first installment of the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series.

We are set to release close to the holiday 2019 so please be on the lookout for updates by following this page, or my Facebook page KCFreemanAuthor (https://www.facebook.com/KCFreemanAuthor/) or KC Freeman (https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100015282787131).

I’ll be posting more soon about the upcoming release, as well as snippets of the first book (and perhaps some teasers for the followup books).

However, while preparing to publish I will also continue my editing duties. If anyone needs an editor, please send me a private message via Facebook or leave a comment here and I will contact you.

For those interested in what Rekindled Prophecy is all about…here’s a teaser —

Rekindled Prophecy is a paranormal/urban fantasy romance novel with strong undertones of sex appeal. It is the first in a three-part series titled Greylyn the Guardian Angel Series and follows Greylyn on a worldwide quest with the enigmatic Kael by her side.

Calling All Authors in Need of Agents/Publishers…

Yes, you! The writer with the finished manuscript(s) that you keep revising while avoiding the hardest part of getting published if you fear the self-publishing road as I do…finding an agent or a publisher. Now, pay attention because there are a couple events coming up tailored for you.

Sorry for the late notice on this one, but there is a pitch party coming up on Twitter this Thursday, June 7 from 8 AM to 8 PM (EDT). It’s…

#PitMad from Pitch Wars!!!!

You can find everything you need to know right here at http://pitchwars.org/pitmad/

Essentially, it’s a pitch party on Twitter where you can tweet a 280-character pitch for your completed but unpublished manuscript. Literary agents and publishers will check in throughout the day to review tweets and will favorite a tweet if they are interested in receiving additional materials from the author(s).

Every unagented writer is invited to pitch. All genres are also accepted for tweets.

Now, there are some rules, which you can read on the link above to #PitMad. So I will trust all my wonderful author friends will check out the link and will ready your pitches.

One special rule of importance…do not favorite other authors’ tweets/pitches. This is just to be done by agents/publishers as their way of letting authors know they are interested in their manuscript(s).

But that’s not all…

Yes, there is much more…

Savvy Authors runs a quarterly pitchfest and there just so happens to be one coming up June 13-16, 2018. It’s called the 2018 Hot Summer Pitchfest and information can be found here https://savvyauthors.com/blog/2018-hot-summers-pitchfest-index/

There’s a few more rules to follow on this one, but they are easy to follow. Leave a 3-line pitch as a comment on their blog. No registration or membership or subscription required.

Main requirement is that your manuscript is 100% finished. No works in progress (WIPs).

There will be a lineup of literary agents and publishers participating in the PitchFest event. Check out the link above to research the ones best suited for your manuscript as well as the full list of rules.

Good luck, my lovely author friends and please keep me posted on your pitch results!

 

New Career Starts in 3…2…1

Yes, friends! You read that correctly. New career. As if I didn’t have enough going on in my life!

Leaving the professional world far behind a few years ago to move south and raise a family was the best decision for me, my five kids, my husband, and my elderly mom. They needed me. I needed them. The kids weren’t getting younger and neither was my mom.

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However, if I claimed the domestic life was pure bliss…well, you would all know I was lying. Seriously, I don’t like cleaning, cooking, gardening, and do not get me started about my feelings on mountains of laundry. I am NOT a domestic diva by any stretch of the imagination. I tried and it just didn’t take. Not saying my house is a pig sty or my children are running around in stinky clothes. They most certainly are not. All that stuff gets done, but for me at least it does not make for a full, satisfying life. I needed more.

Tried the school volunteering thing. I swear that I will be happy if I never step foot in another pumpkin patch again. Once the kids hit middle school, I vowed those days were over. Ha! Got suckered into the 7th grade field trip to a college three hours away just after I wrote that line. (UPDATE: Field trip reaffirmed that decision that “Just Say No” was the correct one.)

Did the sports’ team mom thing, too. With five kids, that became darn near impossible. Pee wee football team mom (okay, assistant team mom) was quite enough. Became the First Aid mom for the year-round travel baseball team up until that son finally said he was ready to try football. Oh no! Here we go again! Even when the hubby took on coaching responsibilities for the middle school wrestling team, I held up my hand and said “Absolutely NOT! Find another mom! I will NOT be the team mom!” Thankfully another wonderful lady stepped in, but being the coach’s wife comes with its own headaches.

All that kept me super busy, but still didn’t fit the bill. I needed something more. So what did I do? Went back to my first love of writing “in my spare time.” Started out ghostwriting.

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Worked my way up from marketing blurbs and website articles to cozy mystery and romance novels. Wonderful learning experience, but the need to see my own name on a manuscript took hold of my heart.

So I turned on my PC and typed out the first book in what I dreamed would be an urban fantasy series. That was the first in a zillion versions of that book. Seriously, the revisions were so numerous that I had to finally delete some versions to make room in my PC’s storage. Finally, I sent it to a professional editor who chopped it up some more (breaking my heart) and then commenced another series of revisions.

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Thought I was good to go, so I decided to get others’ opinions by subscribing to a fantastic website of authors helping authors. Scribophile. If you’re an author, or want to be one, do yourself a favor and get on this website NOW. If I’d joined earlier, perhaps I could’ve avoided about 50 revisions before sending to the professional editor.

Several years after starting the process, my first book is set to be published (no date yet as I am finalizing the book cover and some other odds and ends). Every author has their own style, their own pace. With me, my time is limited so years was what worked for me. However, I don’t recommend it. That story banged against my noggin all that time, day in and day out, every day.

My lessons learned?

  1. Scribophile would’ve sped up the process as I wouldn’t have wasted so much time revising on my own without opinions from others in the business.
  2. A professional editor is a must-have.

As for #2 above, I fancied myself a fantastic editor. After all, I can catch spelling and grammar errors better than a DNA test can answer “Who’s your daddy?” Seriously. Spelling and grammar drive me crazy because I constantly find mistakes in everything I read. I send marked up emails back to the principal and teachers of the schools here when I find mistakes (which is in everything they send out – DO NOT get me started on how that makes me crazy). I corrected the high school yearbook last year because it was just awful. I correct newspaper articles. I once sent back legal documents with corrections marked up in bright red ink.

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What does that tell me? I’m a born editor. With all the critiques given and received on Scribophile, I am much better at catching other writing issues now.

Too bad, I couldn’t see the flaws in my own 77K word manuscript. It needed another pair of eyes on it. It’s occupational hazard for writers. Our eyes naturally skip over what can be simply typos because our brain fills in what we know should be there.

Now why am I telling you all of this? Because I found my calling…editing. I will still write when time permits. But I am a kick ass editor naturally. In addition, I beefed up my editing skills by obtaining a certification in editing from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

Whereas, I may still need someone else to proof my own writing before clicking the “publish” button on Amazon, I can be that set of eyes for you.

Please feel free to contact me regarding any editing services you may need.

I can be found on Facebook at KC Freeman https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100015282787131

OR

Twitter @KCFreeman5 (https://twitter.com/KCFreeman5)

WhatEditorsDo

 

 

Sometimes One Must Say Good-Bye… for Now

It’s quite one thing to put aside writing for awhile due to writer’s block. Sometimes an author must close the laptop and disconnect from the story just to gain perspective. However, it’s especially painful when one must set his/her writing aside for other priorities or simply because one can no longer make writing a priority.

As writers we think of our stories as our children. We tend to them, nurture them, and pray they grow and reach their full potential. But unlike real children, stories can be put upon the shelf and taken down again when the timing is more convenient.

Over the last few months I found myself pulled in what felt like a million directions. Tried giving 100% to all and ended up giving each area of my life less than a fraction instead. Instead of succeeding in all aspects, I failed…miserably.

What suffered? Everything. Everyone, including myself.

Since October of last year, I had one chapter left to write in my trilogy. ONE. But with all the craziness of life, my creativity went out the window and all inspiration for that last chapter evaporated.

Finally tapped out the last chapter just recently. Brief moment of joy…very brief.

During the non-writing time, I devoted myself to reviewing and critiquing other writers’ works on an online community of writers who work solely to help each other make their writing better. For awhile, this was enough for me. Had to be. There was no time for any real writing. If I were someone who could write a bit here and a bit there, but that’s not the style I work well with. So reviewing others’ works was my new go-to for the creative need in my life. Eventually, it became a chore, a job, and something else I had to stress over. For awhile, I didn’t mind. I loved helping, until I realized that my stress levels were rising and even though I may have had good intentions, I was no longer helping anyone anymore.

Spreading oneself thin is something we do everyday. Life is a crazy circus and we all have our balls up in the air, juggling them desperately to avoid dropping one. But what happens when one ball does drop? The rhythm is thrown off and ALL the balls fall leaving the juggler with nothing but empty air.

So what does one do?

Something has to give.

And something finally gave out.

To backtrack just a minute, let me explain something about me as a person. I get pushed and pushed a lot. And generally, I take it until…something small makes me snap. Seriously, I can put up with all sorts of b.s. and high levels of stress for months and then the littlest thing will set me off and I will shut it all down.

Sadly, that moment happened last night. Something small. Should’ve had thicker skin for sure, but every ounce of stress and aggravation from all corners of my life rushed in at that exact second and I shut it all down.

Now there are things I can’t shut down, like my family (wouldn’t want to), caring for my elderly mom, planning my oldest kid’s graduation and college prep, etc., etc., etc., so it all came down to eliminating one thing – my writing, more specifically, my writing community.

Hopefully, this is momentary and one day I can resume writing my own works, but I can no longer keep up with my obligations to my writer friends. For that I am deeply sorry, but to tell the truth…I’m also a bit relieved. What had once been enjoyable had become stressful and a chore because I had too many balls in the air. Nothing to do with the group. They were wonderful. Just they had to fall last on my list of priorities.

My writer friends were not getting my best (who am I kidding, no one was getting my best), and I had long since stopped even posting new material for them to critique. I hadn’t written anything new in ages. Writing was no longer my “job.” It had dropped to something I’d like to do, but didn’t have time for.

That’s not being a writer.

One day I will write again…I hope. There are still tons of story ideas in my head, but until I can dedicate myself to writing, without my brain consumed with my zillion To Do lists, really…what’s the point?

So sadly, this is farewell for now, hopefully not forever.

God bless. and thank you for following me for this short time.

 

 

Inspiration

Inspiration. Where does it come from? Every writer, actually every person, has their own answer to that question. Some seek new avenues of inspiration when their usual wells run dry. As an author, I am asked all the time, what inspires my writing? What is my muse?

Well, that answer is more complicated than you’d imagine.

For example, the story of Greylyn came about years ago when I was a teenager. Not to date myself, but this was pre-Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Although I describe my main character from my urban fantasy series as a cross between Buffy, Highlander, and Highway to Heaven, the character and the story predates most of them.

Sometimes simply daydreaming sparks my muse and a story jumps into my head and doesn’t let go. This started the saga of Greylyn the Guardian Angel, but it doesn’t end there. Many hiccups and bumps and expressways were built between the light bulb idea 

and the finished product.

Sometimes dreams are the genesis for a new story, or aspect of a story that needed fluffing out. I’ll admit, I’ve had some crazy dreams, woke up with a clear idea for a fantastic new story, and then it vanishes in a poof. 

Sooooooooooo frustrating!

When I’m lucky, a thread remains wedged in my brain and eventually worms its way out so at least I have a morsel to build upon. There’s a shadow creature in Greylyn the Guardian Angel Book 1. That monster was indeed conjured up by a nightmare so vivid the image survived to be forever embedded onto paper.

People, places, things, and events serve as inspiration more often than not. For example, I was married at a beautiful Irish bed & breakfast in rural Virginia which now serves as the setting for my first urban fantasy book. Every detail from the koi pond to the gazebo to the tiny Irish pub…all real. Names and other aspects have been changed though. I tried to track down the owner to request permission to use the real name of the inn, etc. Alas, the property went under foreclosure and a seller has yet to purchase it, so there’s no one to ask so…you can guess, but for fictional purposes, the book is set at Tipperary.

A funny side note: If you’ve read The Bowman’s Inn Autumn/Winter 2017 anthology, and the first story in the book by “yours truly”, there’s a cute meet where the female main character (FMC) stabs the male main character (MMC) in the hand with darts. Unintentionally, of course. The MMC later jokingly accuses the FMC of poisoning him with a love potion with the darts.  TRUE STORY! Yes, I accidentally stabbed my now husband in the hand with darts when we first met – just not at the Bowman’s Inn. To this day, he accuses me of poisoning the darts. (Right hand raised to Heaven…I did not.)

In another short story to be included in a different anthology, coming out the end of April 2018, includes another nugget of authenticity. The bar where the FMC meets the MMC in Old Town Alexandria is real. Not where I met my husband (see above), but as a young 20-something professional in the DC metro area, I spent my fair share of time in bars in Old Town, and lots of other bars/pubs/taverns/dance clubs in the DC area. More time than I care to admit. There are other nuggets of reality in the story, but let’s leave something for you to guess what is real and what is fiction. I’ll post here when that anthology is close to being released, so PLEASE check it out.

Originally, my main character, Greylyn, had long, flowing auburn hair. However, I felt an overwhelming urge to change her appearance after going to see a classic movie at the theater. Happens to be one of my favorite movies, my favorite actress of all time, and my favorite fictional character of all time. May seem a bit controversial in this day and time, but Scarlett O’Hara is a kick-ass heroine. She’s tiny though. Petite in frame with delicate features, but fierce green eyes which captivate the audience and showcase every single emotion the character is feeling even when she’s saying the exact opposite. Now Greylyn isn’t completely based on Scarlett. For one, Greylyn would never fall for the “Ashley” type. She’s an unapologetic “Rhett” girl all the way. Also, Greylyn uses much more than her feminine wiles to get what she wants. And what she wants is usually for someone else’s benefit, not her own. But for purposes of physical characteristics…jet black raven hair and emerald eyes, petite, and stubborn to a fault…all attributes from Scarlett. (For those that are nitpicky…Vivien Leigh had blue eyes, but the Scarlett from the book had green eyes.)

Of course, sadly Vivien Leigh isn’t around anymore to play Greylyn in the movie adaptation of my book (okay, an author can dream of her book being made into a movie right? even if the chance is less than 1%). However, lately I came across a lovely young actress who I think would be perfect.

Victoria Konefal. If my dream of bringing Greylyn to the small screen or silver screen ever comes to fruition, this young woman is my pick for Greylyn.

But where was I? Of yes, inspiration.

Other sources of inspiration…music! Absolutely my favorite source of inspiration. Actually, music is exactly what inspired me to write this article.

I should’ve grown up to be a video producer because just about any song I hear, my head imagines a mini-movie telling a story…not the flashy-flashy image blips of most music videos, but real stories. Alas, I am not a music video producer.

At least once a year, my husband takes me to a concert. One year it was the Motley Crue reunion tour, but that doesn’t count for purposes of this discussion. This year, actually this past Sunday, we went to see Celtic Woman.

Sadly, I didn’t get a trip to Ireland for this concert, but I certainly felt like I was there. But that’s not where the initial inspiration started for Greylyn’s background and for location settings for the story. That was years before when I fell in love with Celtic music after listening to a Loreena McKennitt as it played in some store I no longer remember the name of.

The music speaks to me so strongly. I’ve tried explaining this phenomenon to my husband. A deep ache, like homesickness comes over me. Unbidden tears spring to my eyes and I am transported to a place I have never been, but to which I am connected. There is no logical reason for the emotions elicited by the music. It just IS.

***Upon checking a family tree for my paternal grandmother (don’t have family trees so thoroughly completed for the rest of my family), I discovered the lines traced back to a relative in 1566 (that was the absolute earliest found) in…Ireland. Finding this information, I changed the initial prologue for Book 1 of Greylyn the Guardian Angel to start the saga in 1566 in the county noted for my ancestor.***

Back to the music… The concert Sunday evoked images in my head of where my heroine grew up, the exact spot of her resurrection from her human death, the place where she met/fell in love with (he who shall remain nameless so NO SPOILERS), and where she will eventually return in the third installment of the series. As Celtic Woman sings, my mind’s eye envisions the setting, the scenery, the chill from the breeze coming off the lough, all of it. And the concert recalled for me that I had my best scene writings while listening to this music, or shortly after. Celtic music was my inspiration! The entire soundtrack for the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series could be Celtic music.

This is just one song selection that speaks “Greylyn” to me.

 

There’s a scene in Book 3 (no spoilers, I promise) that was written completely in synch with Loreena McKennitt’s “The Highwayman”.

Except…there’s always an exception, right? For fight scenes, songs such as Motley Crue’s “Primal Scream” are much more fitting. When I write battle scenes, gotta have the heavy metal on full blast.

After all that Celtic music blathering on above, I bet you weren’t expecting that one.

Regardless, inspiration can come from anywhere. If you’re a writer and having a writer’s block or just can’t quite get a hold on a story nudging around in your brain…try music. That’s my #1 go-to for story inspiration. However, also, just look around you. People you pass in the street can serve as a minor character. That cranky lady at the pharmacy can be the crotchety old lady giving your protagonist grief over something simple, but she’s also a helpmate in disguise but the hero/heroine doesn’t figure that out until it’s too late. And my best advice, place a journal and pen on your nightstand.

9 times out of 10 when you have a crazy dream that the instant you wake you know it’d make a great story…it vanishes never to be seen again after more than a couple minutes of being awake.

The world is a big, bright, beautiful place full of inspiration for those eager enough to seek it out.

Go forth, my readers! Dream. Dream Big! And WRITE ABOUT IT! Experience life and WRITE ABOUT IT!

Or…Do both!

Go be your own inspiration.

Ciao til next time!