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Delaware, United States
Deborah Hawkins, penned Debra Renée Byrd, began writing after a blank book project in elementary school and never stopped, fashioning stories based on her favorite TV shows and movies before creating more original works. She studied at the University of the Arts and Florida State University before settling down and graduating from Temple University. She now resides in her hometown of Dover, DE, where she spends most of her time at work or at church. She loves fantasies, superheroes, is a trekkie and a brown coat. She loves television and lives for Final Fantasy video games, having collected most of them. She has read a myriad of authors, and her favorite authors change whenever she finds a new book that changes her life... "When you can't run, you crawl. When you can't crawl...well, you know the rest." -Tracey, Firefly, "The Message"

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

And now, a brief Halloween story.

In the First Grade, I went to school dressed as Disney's Snow White, but despite having the exact costume from the movie, everyone thought I was Red Riding Hood...

Happy Halloween everyone.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Poetry-A-Day Blog Migration

I don't know why I feel the need to, but I'm moving my PAD entries into another page or blog. Clear some space. lol

This wasn't really a necessary entry, but...well it's my blog. XP

Deb McK's Poetry-A-Day!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

OHMYGOD I got a PERSONAL rejection!

So, you think I'd be sad, right?

Well, no because I honestly hadn't expected to hear back from this company, so when I did it was a pleasant surprise plus one!

First, there was an apology for taking so long to get back. The reason was because the two agents were juggling my manuscript back and forth between them trying to decide one way or the other. Second, when I thought for a moment, "Did they really read it?" (and actually, they also misprinted the title in the subject, so I wondered, lol), the agent told me what parts he wanted to know more about, what parts needed clarification, and how he felt I had a different take on fantasy and he wants a copy when I get published!

If I had been having a bad day, this e-mail would have brought me up so much. I feel really good that 1) I got a personal response and 2) that potential was seen in my little ol' story. I'm getting excited again just thinking about it.

I think the only downside is that I have to open this thing back up. haha I really need to search for some betas because he's the second person that told me--in a time where everyone's saying go under 100k--that they want me to expand on this story!

So for now, I think here's what I will do. I have to look at the points he gave me and apply especially the parts of clarification that are needed. I still want to submit to the New Visions Award, which is due by the 31st, so I will make the clarifications and submit. I will go from there on the idea of expansion.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Express Yourself: Language

Brought to you by Jackie at Bouquet of Books and Dani  at Entertaining Interests.

This is a blog hop and a weekly meme that the ladies above do. It gives me something to do today. hehe

I started learning Spanish in middle school, and I'm almost sure if you put me alone in a Spanish-speaking country, I could survive if they spoke slowly enough and I understood the regional dialect. So I'm okay with that.

I can honestly say there are so many languages I'd love to learn! I wish I had taken a linguistics course because all languages fascinate me. There's Latin, then the languages that sprung from it, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, etc. There's Japanese, Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Hawaiian! The many Native American languages! I'd like to have learned a little Nigerian, as my godparents are from there, but I never picked it up. I wish putting emphasis on learning other languages was still as important as it used to be. It still is for some countries. People learn 3 or more languages besides their own. How?! I think that's awesome.

As a fantasy writer and sometimes sci-fi, I also like using the languages I research or know to make up my own languages. My fantasy project is set in a world where almost each race has or had their own language, mainly based on the Romance languages. My sci-fi short story consists of people who used an abbreviated form of Spanish. I'm very loosely creating a language for the novel I'm working on as tribute to Octavia Butler's Fledgling. Everyone should try to make up their own language!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Lianne La Havas (brief album review)

In case you haven't realized from some of my other posts, I love and live for music. In fact, I'm going to turn some on now, since I pressed pause and forgot that I did, so my MP3 player turned off.

What was I listening to? Well, Lianne La Havas, says the title. I happened upon her music while watching a Youtube video of Birdy covering "A Team" (speaking of which, I should listen to more Ed Sheeran). The ad on the video was Lianne La Havas. So I clicked it to go to her page and watched "Lost & Found," a very sad but beautiful song about what I can only describe as an awful boyfriend.

Lianne is another British usurper, and takeover has never sounded so wonderful. Her music is soulful, quirky, and lulling. Her current album Is Your Love Big Enough? takes us through the roller coaster that was her last relationship, from the break-up, to dating an older man, to getting back with the first boyfriend (I think).

My favorite songs:

Lost & Found - very memorable piano and sad melody
You broke me and taught me
to truly hate myself
Unfold me and teach me
how to be like somebody else

Everything, Everything - haunting chorus
There's nothing to say
Your eyes said it all
I'm not looking away
Your eyes hold everything, everything

Tease Me - neo-soulful, mellow, and relatable lyrics for a 28-year-old maid like myself. *wink*
I hate the way you tease me
I am not lonely, I'm all right

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Insecure Writers Support Group

Created by Alex J. Cavanaugh

Hello, my name is Deb, and I'm an Insecure Writer with Overly-Confident Tendencies.

(Hi, Deb. lol)

I try to keep my arrogance-that-spirals-into-depressive-self-consciousness in my own crazy head, but since so many others do it, at least I know I'm not alone. I'm one of those nerds who has been writing since they could spell more than c-a-t (though, I could spell encyclopedia at 7, but that's beside the point), so I have always felt that it's not something I live to do but something I do to live. *cue violins*

I used to read a lot more than I do now, but I do read a lot more than I did during and just after college, because seriously, WHO wants to after so much reading?? Like most writers, I got inspiration from the books I read and tried to imitate until I came up with my own ideas. My friends knew me as the writer, and some couldn't wait to get their hands on the next installment of the mutant stories I wrote from the time I was 7 to the time I was 14 (I grew up on the X-men cartoons). So I felt like I could take my skills to the bank and that no one could tell me I wasn't good. Even when I got to college and had to sit through classes upon classes of workshops (Oh, God, I hated those) and had to listen to people tear apart my work with my tongue between my teeth, I knew without a doubt that they were wrong!

So needless to say some of them weren't, and whileI spent the past two years revising and editing my fantasy WIP that actually got me into college in the first place, I love it, and I live for it, but the fear is what if no one else does? Will people get it? Will an agent love my QUERY (God, a whole OTHER issue) enough to want to read my first 3 chapters, and will they love my first 3 chapters enough to want to read the others? Will they like how I introduced a new place, and will they like these characters I've worked on for almost *gasp* 10 years? AND if they all DO...can I come back and write something just as great? Or greater?! In less than 10 years (because seriously, that was too long)?

And no, I promise, I don't write my stories the way I just wrote all of that up there.

I want to be able to take my "This is the best thing since the last best thing" attitude and be able to back it up. I know the way to back it up is to do it well and believe that you did it well, but I'm human. I'm a panicky second-guessing human. AHHH!

Thanks for listening. @}-;--

I apparently belong in Slytherin

I like to take quizzes, so I took one despite it being a Harry Potter quiz, of which I've never read and only seen bits and pieces of two of the movies. I got the feeling, though, that when a raven popped up as my "Patronus" (whatever the heck that is) and it said I'd be in Slytherin, I knew enough to know that's where the annoying evil kids are from. Man. I don't think I'm THAT mean, but it did also say my loyalty makes me
unique, so I guess not all the Slytherins are bad.

Here's the link, but know that it's about 30 long questions. -_-

My extremely detailed results:

Congratulations, you've scored the raven!
The raven is a rare result... You would probably belong in slytherin, but your loyalty makes you unique.  Congratulations!

"Who provideth for the raven his food? When its young ones cry unto God, they wander for the lack of meat."

More calculating than impulsive: You usually consider all options before making a decision, thinking the consequences through before acting on your gut feeling.

More apathetic than compassionate: You feel that you get what you work for.  If you don’t work hard, you don’t see the rewards; and most of the people who are in bad situations didn’t work hard enough and it’s not your problem or responsibility to help them.

More loyal than self-serving: You honor your allegiances and friendships, even when the consequences for doing so may be difficult to face. You keep your word and stay true to your friendships, relationships, and yourself.

More ignorant than knowledge-seeking: You know what you need to know in life and aren’t going to go out of your way to learn anything else.  You work hard enough at work, you don’t want to have to work hard to learn something for a hobby.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Hookers & Hangers (W.I.P.)

So, I liked the idea of putting up the first (hooker) and last (hanger) lines of your work to see if they're memorable or can pull a reader into the work. I wanted to try it on my current W.I.P., a tribute sequel titled Ruby. It looks like it will only hit novella length, but that's okay.

Chapter 1 Hooker: We are Ina. I had heard those words so many times as I grew up that I didn’t know we were considered different until Momma told us her past.

Chapter 3 Hanger: Later that evening, the Vetrovs' jet crashed.

Chapter 4 Hanger: "Shower before your parents smell him on you."

Chapter 5 Hooker: Just as he said, they left soon after sunset.

Chapter 5 Hanger: “I didn’t want you to live in this kind of world…We’ll have justice. I swear it.”

Chapter 6 Hooker: “And just how do you presume to discover who the culprits are this time?” Joan Braithwaite asked Momma.

Chapter 6 Hanger: “Joel filled us in,” Poppa said. “We’re going to call a Council of the Goddess.”

Chapter 8 Hooker: We received clearance to travel up to New Brunswick on the fifth day of my restriction.

I'm currently working on Chapter 8, so that's all of the eventful ones, I think. :)

Quick Thanks


I actually just wanted to extend a thank you to my Agent Query Connect Blog readers. On my Google-Blogger side, I only seem to have 1 follower (thanks, Lisa!), but I know over at AQC I recieve a lot of hits that don't get recorded here. So, THANKS GUYS!