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I'm Deborah. I'm a writer, currently seeking representation/publication for my YA Fantasy Fractured Princess

I love to play Final Fantasy games and Shattered Pixel Dungeon. I also enjoy the many ins and outs of music (I'm a chorus geek).

Friday, January 30, 2015

Fast Five Friday: Authors

Welcome back to another installment of Fast Five Friday! This bloghop is brought to us by the Express Yourself gals, Dani and Jackie via Click the link to visit their Fast Five today and to join!

Today, they ask us to name our five favorite authors.

Mine tend to change depending on whom I discover, but a few have stuck around in my heart to be able for me to declare them favorites! In no particular order, here are my Fast Five Faves.

1. Robert Olen Butler

2. Octavia Butler (m.s.r.i.p.)

3. N.K. Jemisin

4. George R.R. Martin

5. Terri Bruce

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Express Yourself: Writerly Tips

Happy Express Yourself Day!

This meme is brought to us by Dani @ Entertaining Interests and Jackie @ Bouquet of Books.
This week they ask: What are some writerly tips you've found helpful?

The best one I've seen is to walk away from your writing when you're done, then come back some time later so you have a fresh eye.

I don't have the best luck with getting beta readers or CP's, and I have a love for editing/proofreading, so I'm often my own fresh eyes. lol I don't look at my projects for weeks (sometimes months) once I'm done, and then I see all manner of mistakes when I come back. Geez, I saw the BIGGEST continuity errors in my last revision.

On that same note, some other good advice was to find objective strangers to look at your work. Family sometimes gets tired of looking at it.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Freeday: Fast Five Friday: TV Character Crushes

Happy Friday!

Welcome back to another installment of Fast Five Friday! This new bloghop is brought to us by the Express Yourself gals, Dani and Jackie via

This week, they ask us to name 5 TV character crushes.

1. Robb Stark (*bawls*) from Game of Thrones

2. young Ron Johnson from A Different World

3. Zack from The Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers

4. Jake Ballard from Scandal

5. Dr. Owen Hunt from Grey's Anatomy

These are a mix of old and new crushes, hehe.  How about you? I'd love to see the guys' answers. lol

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Look for Me in Cactus Heart Press! (w/gifs)

I was trying to hold this news in until Friday for Freeday, but forget it!

My short story "Origin" will be published in the Speculative Fiction issue of Cactus Heart Press this March!

So, how it happened. As you may have seen, I did a live write-up of "Origin" here 2-1/2 years ago (really? It was that long ago?!) based on the song "Origin of Love" from Hedwig and the Angry Inch (which I finally sat down and watched last week and LOVED).

Late December, Kate Sheeran Swed e-mailed me. She will be the guest editor for Cactus Heart's Speculative Fiction issue, and she had read "Origin" and invited me to submit to the publication. I immediately turned into

then asked if I could submit "Origin." She spoke with the main Cactus Heart team, and as long as I removed the story from here, I could submit. No problem there! So last week, I received the confirmation that they accepted my little short story.

(I can't even pretend like these aren't my actual victory dances.)

This is big for me, as it would be for any writer, so I'm extremely excited, and having bought Cactus Heart Press's last issue and seeing what they are about, I know it's a perfect fit. I'm playing it cool, but:

About Cactus Heart Press:

"Cactus Heart is, of course, a metaphor for how we believe literature and art should be. It should shock and wound and delight us; it should fill us with delight and terror and mystery. It should survive.

We are devoted to spiny writing & art—sharp, relentless, coursing with energy and able to thrive in the harshest of places, all while maintaining a vulnerable, succulent interior."

About Kate Sheeran Swed:

Kate Sheeran Swed loves hot chocolate, plastic dinosaurs, and airplane tickets. She has trekked along the Inca Trail to Macchu Picchu, hiked on the Mýrdalsjökull glacier in Iceland, and climbed the ruins of Masada to watch the sunrise over the Dead Sea. Following an idyllic childhood in New Hampshire, she completed degrees in music at the University of Maine and Ithaca College, then moved to New York City. Her stories have appeared in Writing Tomorrow,Verdad, HOOT Review, and Words and Images. She recently completed an MFA in Creative Writing at Pacific University.

You can find her on:
Twitter @katesheeranswed

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wednesday Words: The Beautiful Ashes

Good morning, and welcome back to Wednesday Words, where I use to help me show you a little bit of what I'm currently reading!

I received Jeaniene Frost's The Beautiful Ashes with two other books I bought. I don't know if it was on purpose or accident, and I probably should've checked, but I didn't. It sounds like an interesting read, so let's see what I'm in for.

There are 304 pages in the paperback edition, so has given 202.

This has never happened before. lol That's the end of the chapter, and there are actually only 2 lines on this page. Here's a hanger for you!

"Let's get the bondage lizard party started, then," I finally said, opening my eyes.
Like it or not, this was my life, so I had to make the best of it.

Hey, what are YOU currently reading right now?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Express Yourself Weekly: Movies of 2014

I am so not awake, but good morning.

Welcome back to Express Yourself! This bloghop was created by Dani @ Entertaining Interests and Jackie @ Bouquet of Books to help us all get to know each other a little more.

This week's question is: What is your favorite movie you saw in 2014?

We (my sister, cousin and friends) sat down and watched The Hunger Games: Catching Fire finally, and oh my God, was it everything! I can't believe they made them go back into that place. Peeta was a lot more attractive in this one, too, but Gale...Ahhh, those Hemsworth boys! The moment Katniss woke up, and he said, "Hey, Catnip," I swooned.

Anyway, I hope to see Mockingjay Pt. 1 before the 2nd part comes out. I hope it's in Redbox finally. Maybe we can watch it this weekend.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Freeday: The Feels

Happy Friday!

So, I've read a lot of books in my day (who of us hasn't?), and every now and then, there is a book that just sticks into my spirit and sews itself into my soul. That's really dramatic, but that's the best way to explain it.

The first book that ever did that to me was The Outsiders back in the 7th grade, and I spent a whole half of a class period bawling my eyes out as quietly as possible when Johnny died. Then, I spent a year or two trying to write a book like it because I wanted to see more like it.

Thinking of all of the books I read between 1998 (sheesh) and now, another book didn't really touch me like that until Octavia Butler's Fledgling. Shori's hardship bled through the pages, and I was an emotional wreck through most of the story. That it was Octavia's last book before she died also left such a huge mark. I call her my spirit mother and wrote a novella that may never see daylight but continues the story with Shori's daughter Ruby. I wanted to expand on the world of which she only got to give us a smidgen, and I hope one day someone will see it and say I did well.

The next books that touched me that hard was the Enduring Flame Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory. This was the first solid fantasy book I picked up from the library, and what struck me most was how different it was from the general medieval fantasy that dominates the genre. The language was genuine and modern, and the main characters, even though they were boys, were just like me in a sense. I related to them and went through their trials with them on a deep, personal level. These novels inspired me because they helped me know there is a place for my book out there, and it doesn't have to be the traditional fantasy to make it.

If you follow me on Twitter and don't have a non-stop feed (I do) so that you've seen my tweets, you know I just finished N.K. Jemisin's Inheritance Trilogy and will not be reading again for another couple of days to recover. She doesn't know it yet, but she is now my spirit sister. The emotions and struggles tied into these three books definitely left their mark on me. The stories were rich and different, and complete. (PAUSE. What is The Awakened Kingdom? Oh, my God, it's a fourth book. I'm dying right now. I am now writing you all from the grave.) I've read other authors in binge-mode when I discover them, but I feel like Ms. Jemisin will be on the same level for me as Octavia Butler, a new look at writing that I understand on new levels that I didn't ever expect to reach. I'm very excited about her and reading more (Oh my God oh my God, I can't wait for payday) of her brilliant works.

Do you have any books or authors that touched you in a special way?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wednesday Words: The Kingdom of Gods

Good Humpday to y'all!

Every 2nd-5th Wednesday, if I am reading a book at a good enough pace, I use to share with you a few lines of what I'm reading. I began reading the third book in N.K. Jemisin's Inheritance Trilogy, The Kingdom of Gods after reading The Broken Kingdoms in about 3 days. Even though I'm a few years late, what a great debut for Ms. Jemisin! I'm a big fan now.

The Kingdom of Gods is a much bigger project than the other two, coming in at 613 words, and we're looking through the eyes of the Trickster Sieh in this one, so whether or not he's reliable is on a very thin balancing beam.

Alrighty, so in the way of pages, has 454.

There are 28 lines on that page, so from 1-28, Random has given me...................line 6.

I'm going to jump up to 4 so you all have a little bit of context.

The continent that had been destroyed by the Arameri when they'd been foolish enough to try and use Nahadoth as their weapon. He'd done what they wanted, and then some.

There's always a valuable lesson in being careful what you wish for.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Express Yourself Weekly: Broadway Edition

Welcome back to Express Yourself Weekly, created by Dani @ Entertaining Interests and Jackie @ Bouquet of Books to get to know us all better.

This week, they ask us what musical or play have we viewed.

Just one? lol I'm a chorus geek, so I myself have been in "The Fiddler on the Roof" in Jr. High and seen it by our rival high school (who did it better, but we had a better choir, so eh lol). I've also seen them do "Carousel."

On tv/vhs/dvd, I've seen the London Stage Revival of "Oklahoma!" with Hugh Jackman, Roger & Hammerstein's "Cinderella" (original and new (the original is better)), my sister's high school rendition of "Sweet Charity." The list could really keep going, but I won't bore y'all. lol

Friday, January 9, 2015

Friday Freeday: I want to do an Award Bloghop

Stir Friday!

Archer reference.

So, when I decided to change my blog name and add some little mages here and there, I thought to myself, I'll want to make this an award to give out one day.

I actually made a white mage (like the little one to the right), black mage, and red mage, too. (If you know Final Fantasy, you know there are also blue mages and a number of non-color specific mages, but I'm at work!) So I'm trying to work the ideas out in my head. So far my goal is:

  • For the award to be given every 3 months.
  • To give out an award to 1 other person, and they in turn give it to 1 person (Do you know how hard it is to find like 5 or 10 people who DON'T have the award already, and who will follow up and pass it on? I want this one to be an easy one for people).
  • To come up with magical type and writerly questions for the people to answer.
  • To start in March.

Sounds easy enough, I think.

What do y'all think?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

IWSG Part 2: Introductions!

So I wrote my first post yesterday, and today I learn we're to introduce ourselves to the IWSG community. Sheesh. All the links and stuff I usually post are in the other post I posted. lol I'll make this brief.

HELLO! My name is Deborah, and I'm a writer from Delaware. My pen name is Debra McKellan. You can call me Deb. I've been writing since I was 7 years old, and my current focus is YA fantasy. I'm a Final Fantasy addict, hence the blog name and mage over that way ---->.

I'm also a Zumba instructor, singer/songwriter, and churchgoer. lol You may follow me on Twitter at @DebraMcKellan for writer stuff, and @QueenBDeb for non-writer stuff, though every now and then I retweet myself or talk about what I'm reading there.


IWSG: This Is My Year

Happy New Year!

Every first Wednesday of the month, hundreds of writers get together and post their insecurities for the world to see! It's a non-judgement zone and a great way to vent, celebrate, and support! It was dubbed the Insecure Writers Support Group and birthed by the great sensei Alex J. Cavanaugh! It also has 2 (?) Facebook pages (right? One is a crit page?) and its own Website! You may join if you haven't done so already. Someone will always stop by to support you. :)

As for me, I think this is The Year. I don't know when, and I don't know from where, but I feel like this is going to be the year things start falling into place for me as a writer. It's been a pretty hard, emotional few years since I first put that figurative pen down, with a lot of frustration and tons of doubt and self-disapproval, and so much internal blood, sweat, and tears that sometimes I didn't even get on my laptop at all. But even if it's not until December, I feel like this will be the year, my year!

I had a whole other post planned out, but my mind said, "No, talk about this." lol So there you have it. :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Express Yourself: New Years Resolutions!

Feliz año nuevo! It's snowing! :D

hehe Welcome to the first Express Yourself post of the new year! This bloghop is brought to us by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests, without whom I'd have had nothing to talk to y'all about for about 2 years now!

This week, they ask if we have any resolutions.

I really just have wishes this time around. I started heavily on my weight loss goals in December, first upping my exercise, and now incorporating better foods into my diet, so that's good. I definitely have to focus more on my duties at church, but I don't want to resolve to do that, I just want to do it.

I also didn't want to resolve to be published, because unless I was planning on self-publishing, the odds are 50/50. But I do hope this year I nab an agent. I think I've done an even bigger overhaul of my WIP than I ever have. I resolved sometime last year to give Ghuli more personality, and I really feel like I made her a believable person this time around. I really want to poke a company I submitted to a couple of years ago who really took the time to mull over my work and then let me know why they ultimately couldn't say yes. I feel like it might be time now to try again. :)

Friday, January 2, 2015

The First Fast Five Friday!


Welcome to the first Fast Five Friday (I just wrote Fast Frive hahaha) of 2015! This bloghop was created by the Cover Girls (Dani & Jackie), and here is the link to their first Fast Five post.

This week, we are to pick our 5 favorite novels we read in 2014!

Crap, I thought this was going to be easy until I looked at the books I read! Geez. I can't even put them in a particular order because they were all so good and so different from one another! Oh well. lol Chronological order it is.

And my Fast Five Favorite Novels from 2014 are...

And I must do an honorable mention for Blindsided, also by Natalie Whipple. I didn't want to cheat and put a series, but I really loved both of these books and am still hoping she somehow thinks of a third plot. lol

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