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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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Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Freeday: Time Keeps on Slipping

Welcome back to Friday Freeday, where I do pretty much what I want to do, because it's Friday.

Since this was a short work week and a week where I had a meeting and to put together the minutes for said meeting (I love it), it seemed like the days flew right on by. Tuesday was magically short! I dreaded coming to this office, but the day was over before it began.

So, to commemorate, I thought I'd promote two great TV episodes that dealt with the slippage of time. Oddly enough, I also saw these episodes back-to-back, so it creeped me out.

Futurama S3, E4After being challenged to a game of basketball by the planet of the Globetrotters, Prof. Farnsworth creates a team of mutant, atomic supermen, but the side effects of their rapid growth endangers the universe.

Have I mentioned I'm a huge Futurama fan? After the movies, I sort of wish that they even stopped making episodes because the new ones just don't have the same great feel as the old ones. For example, "Time Keeps on Slipping." This was one of the moments that tied up a storyline from a previous episode, where Prof. Farnsworth discussed his idea of a race of super atomic monsters. Having created them, he needed subatomic particles (or something) to make them grow faster. Unfortunately, plucking those particles from space caused the universe to skip forward through time at random intervals. So jokes are delivered here through seeing the outcomes of what happened to the crew without seeing how they got there in the first place. Frye and Leela even got married, and we don't get to see why until the end! *cue Bender Harlem Globetrotter whistle*

Star Trek: The Next Generation S5, E18 The Enterprise gets caught in a time loop which always has one result: total destruction of the ship, itself.

I'm also a Trekkie. lol But I did have to Google to figure out exactly which time disruption episode of Star Trek I was looking for. I needed the one where every 15 minutes the ship exploded, "Cause and Effect". It isn't until the crew starts having moments of deja vu that they realize they're living the same day over and over, and Dr. Crusher puts a secret message in Data to help them not explode. It's a great episode.

If anyone else has a favorite episode revolving around time (Supernatural had a great one, *hint-hint*), leave a comment and tell me about it. :-D

Thursday, May 30, 2013


So I've started revising my fantasy WIP Save the Queen again, which feels as taxing as it is adventurous. At this point, I feel I should be able to do it in my sleep, but I also know I need to dig up my query and work on it, too.

I think I posted one here and don't remember how good (or bad) it is. I don't even want to go looking for it. I want a fresh start on this (evil device of Satan) thing. For some reason, I want to try out writing it from the antagonist's perspective...? I'm not sure why, but it's just floating in my head. Another idea I'm thinking on, and it's really more of a point than an idea, is showing some of the cards. I wanted to keep a little of the mystery to myself, but it's ultimately the agent who needs to see it, so I can show them a few a-ha's, right? I know it will at least give the hook a punch, and the agent something to look forward to in regards to see how things got to "that point."

I'm talking very cryptically, but that's what's on my mind at the moment. What say you?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Express Yourself: What he said.

Good morning, and Happy (belated) Memorial Day! I hope everyone stopped for a moment to reflect on the men and women who lose their lives for us.

This week's Express Yourself asks what our favorite author quotes are, and mine is actually the signature on my Agent Query profile. It is from Robert Olen Butler, and he says it as an introduction to a video series he did as he wrote one of the short stories for his collection: Had A Good Time. Unfortunately, I don't think I know the whole thing off the top of my head and can't look it up because my job blocks videos, but I'll try to remember.

"Art doesn't come from the mind. Art comes from the place where you dream. So in a sense, I am welcoming you into my dream."
He also has a book on writing based on this theory, and I, being someone who does pull ideas from dreams I've had, totally understand it.

Visit and for the other participants of this weekly bloghop.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Freeday: 3 Hours to Go!

Welcome back to Friday, everyone!

I had been thinking about taking off the Friday before Memorial Day probably since February, but since money is tight, I decided not to. Then Monday came around and literally drove me to drink. Tuesday did the exact same thing. Rumchata has a formula I didn't perfect Monday night but did better Tuesday night. My throat was aflame Wednesday morning, though.

I work at a job that I've realized this week I don't want to be in. I only look forward to the last two Wednesdays of the month, where I get out of the office to go to another office for peer reviews of behavioral intervention strategies. I really like that circle of people, and Wednesday made my week WONDERFUL. And that was when I decided I'm taking half of today off, so my 3-day weekend starts in 3 hours. \o/

I'm almost 29, and I've managed to skirt and nomad my way through these clerical-type positions since I graduated college, but I'm at that point now where I want to not do it anymore. I don't have much choice right now, but I really need to buckle down and figure out what I want to do with my editing business (will be broadcasting my website to the state soon). I also need to/will jump back into another editing phase on my fantasy WIP because I have so many more ideas to flesh out the story, and I'm getting anxious to do them!

So after I critique the shorts in my inbox for and finish with my beta, I will be striving to do what I want to do with my life.

Have a happy Memorial Day everyone! And if you're in the Tri-state Area (PA/NJ/DE), 102.9 WMGK's Top 500 Classic Rock songs starts at 3pm! Knowing the #1 song will get you a chance to win a trip to MGK's Beach House!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Fitzgiven

Welcome to another most likely sporadic day-specific post. lol

Throwback Thursday is a hashtag on Twitter where people post old pics of themselves. There are rules about this, such as: you can't post a pic that you took about a month ago. It has to be at least a year. It also has to be posted on Thursday. But since this is a blog about writing (mostly), I decided to post pieces of the first story I wrote during my first writer's convention when I was 9 years old. It's going to literally be pieces, more like what I see in my head from the meat of the story because that was almost 20 years ago. I do, however, still remember my mom expressing the hesitation of the teacher who was reading the story out loud. lol

Sara Conrad was 13 years old when she became an orphan. She was coming home from school that day. Her bus let her off at the long, winding dirt road that led her to the log cabin where she lived with her parents and two sisters. Her older sister was away at college, fortunately. Sara smelled the smoke before she saw it. She ran down the rest of the road and came to a halt in front of her home engulfed in flames. Her heart raced. Her parents and kid sister would have been home by then. Without another thought, she ran inside and looked around, screaming for her family. She couldn't go too far inside, for the flames had swallowed almost everything, but she got far enough inside to see the three skeletons hanging from the ceiling of the living room. Written in blood on the wall behind them was one name: Fitzgiven. Sara hurried back out of the house before the smoke could suffocate her, and she knew she had to avenge her family.

I imagine she cried in the original, but I don't remember all that. I also am aware that unless her family was flayed first, they wouldn't be burned down to just their skeletons so quickly, but I was 9.

Sara was one of the recurring mutants in my [insert bad adjective] Hearts series I wrote for 7 years. She had the plasma ability like Jubilee. She was blonde with blue eyes and allergic to cherries (for some reason). Her family was locked in a violent feud with the Fitzgiven family, who had the ability to create and manipulate fire. I never tapped into WHY they were fighting. If I go on to revamp these stories like I said before, I will definitely work on making this whole piece make sense.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Express Yourself: Whatcha reading?

Welcome back to Express Yourself hosted by Jackie at Bouquet of Books and Dani at Entertaining Interests! This week's question is: What are you reading?

I am currently in the home stretch of my favorite author Robert Olen Butler's The Hot Country. It is his first thriller as well as the first in his new Christopher Marlowe Cobb series, and it is set in pre-WWI Mexico, during its revolution. It's very intriguing, and Kitt Cobb is a complex journalist who reveals a big story that could also change the history of the United States!

I am also beta reading an interesting vampire fiction. I like when people have different takes on the vampire mythos (I've been using this word a lot. Am I using it right?), and this writer does a very good job of painting a picture of this supernatural world a poor supposed-to-be-in-college kid is sucked (no pun intended) into.

Stop by Jackie & Dani's pages to get the other participants, or to join this weekly bloghop! :)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Freeday: The Best & Worst Movie Remakes!

This Friday Freeday is a BLOGFEST!

I didn't have time to watch all of the originals or remakes of the movies I've seen (I've seen so many movies), so I will have to go with the movies for which I have seen both the original and the remake. That narrows it down to like 5 movies.

Best Movie Remake: Beauty and the Beast
Weren't expecting that, were you? I was 7 or 8 when Disney put out this tale as old as time. From the opening tale of the mean prince turning away a fairy queen disguised as an ugly, haggard woman and being cursed until someone could love him for his inner beauty (or something, it's been a while), to the spectacular fight scene and the revelation of the hot prince Beast was (yes, even for a cartoon, the Prince was sexy), this movie captivated me and became my favorite Disney movie. Now, what made it better than the 1946 Jean Cocteau French film? What the heck didn't? I saw the original in my History of Film class, and my teacher for some reason hated the Disney remake. Admittedly, the set was beautiful (there were people in the furniture if I remember, so the candles were moving around, etc.), but the movie was boring. Even worse, the Beast was so not scary. When he first appeared, my classmates and I laughed. He looked like a regal Zoobilee-Zoo character. There was also some elaborate story about a rose garden (is this in the original story?) and when Avenant (Gaston in the cartoon) goes after Belle (I'm not sure he was rescuing her at this point; it's been 9 years), the garden turns him into the Beast, who gets Avenant's handsome features, at which Belle wasn't all that happy. At least in the cartoon, Belle is happy to get the Beast she fell in love with and his true hot self. lol

Worst Movie Remake: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
I had originally chosen The Wiz, but then I remembered this tragedy (You get to live another day, The Wiz). I actually wrote a review about this on; that's how much I hated this movie. I find Tim Burton highly overrated anyway, and this might have been the first time I thought, "You know what? Johnny Depp is, too!" Apparently, Roald Dahl didn't like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and neither did Burton, but the original is a classic, and I love Gene Wilder. I've only seen him in two movies, and I absolutely love him. Johnny Depp's Wonka was (as I described it) Stepford Wives meets (as others described it) Michael Jackson. The rush to get to Wonkaland and the lack of mystery sucked all of the magic from the movie, and the Oompa Loompa pop songs ruined the rest for me.

BONUS: The Best & Worst Song Remakes
Being a big music lover, this one was a little harder, because I've heard A LOT of remakes (sometimes haven't even heard the original first), so I had to go with what popped into my head first, because your first instinct is usually the strongest thought.

BEST: (I Believe I Can)/Fly by Glee (orginally by R. Kelly/Nicki Minaj)
Buy it on iTunes, look it up on Youtube, SOMETHING! DO it! Glee's really cheesy (it's like FOX's version of Kids Incorporated), especially when a student breaks out in song, and the others jump in as back-up like they knew the arrangement already (c'mon man). But sometimes, the remakes they come up with melt my heart! The one above was a mash-up of R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly" and Nicki Minaj's "Fly" in a way that when it started with "Fly," I didn't expect "I Believe..." to come in, and when it did, I almost went into worship. It's beautiful.

WORST: Papa Don't Preach by Kelly Osbourne (originally by Madonna)
I think everyone scoffed when Kelly decided to do this. First, the child can't sing all that well. Second, I haven't heard it in years, but I remember being SO bored, and her staccato "Ooh-ooh" is now playing in my head over and over. This was a big moral-of-the-story moment that screamed "just because Daddy could, doesn't mean you should."

Thanks, as always, to the great Ninja Alex-Sensei and his co-hosts, Stephen Temp, Livia Peterson, and Father Dragon Al, for doing this blogfest. <3 Stop by their pages to find the other contestants, as well as their Best & Worst Remakes!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

This is Fitness Week?

I pay no attention.

A blogger mentioned "we" were talking about fitness this week, and I think I remember someone saying that about the whole month, so I can go ahead a talk about it a little bit. ;)

I became a Zumba instructor March of last year. Here's my official web page: And yes, that is what I really look like. I've always had an issue with sticking to one exercise regimen, but exercise has been on my life as early as 5. Did anyone else wake up early in the morning to do Mickey's Mousercise? How about getting your calves in shape with Tony Little? I have legs like a horse because of genetics and Tony Little. What 7-year-old did this?! lol

There was also Aerobics with Soul, featuring a little Tanzanian woman, Jane Fonda's Aerobics, Step Aerobics, then later in my teen years, Belly dancing with Neena & Veena, and my very short-lived stint with Yoga (HATE IT). So when I learned about Zumba, dancing and exercising to Latin rhythms, as a lover of many things Latino, this one stuck. Also NYC Ballet's Exercise, which is MY yoga, but I love teaching dance fitness. It's fun, and when you get tired, you can do whatever you want. lol

This week, I've pushed myself to exercise every day (except today and Sunday), and I have a 2-hour Zumbathon tomorrow before I hit up a party (for maybe an hour because I'm highly anxious around crowds).

Does anyone else have a fitness regimen?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Express Yourself: Celebrities!

So I told myself I would do this post before I did any work, and then nearly 2 hours later, I had to first find what and where it was through the May Monster stuff. lol

Which Celebrity do you want to meet & what would you do?

So I don't know if I've expressed yet my love for the WWE. I grew up watching it, and aside from missing most of the Attitude Era (because things got really stupid around that time), I still try to catch as many shows as I can, which is hard when they have FOUR a week now! Sheesh.

But I am in love with Sheamus, the first Irish-born WWE Champion. He's pale, he's ginger, he's silly, and he's gorgeous. So I would love to meet him and hopefully marry him and have slightly pale red-headed babies (did I mention I love red-heads?). I call him Husband #1. Though, he lives in Florida, maybe I can convince him to move to Delaware. No? He'd have less worries about sunburn...? Okay. I fold.

Husband #2 is the recently divorced John Cena. This poor guy is hated by half the country probably because of when he first came to the WWE (I missed that time), but he's such a good guy. He does Make-A-Wish, loves the troops, is HILARIOUS, and can rap! I imagine he sounds like he's from the South because of wherever he trained, but he's definitely from West Newbury, Massachusetts, so...Yeah. I would love to just sit and talk with him. He seems like a genuinely nice guy.

If not them, I definitely would love to meet Hugh Jackman and pick his multi-talented brain. He can play so many different characters! (Fresh, creamery butter. lol) Nothing like a manly Broadway star! Sexy!

Thanks to and for this bloghop!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Freeday: Writing!

This has been a good week in writing for me.

I had been trying to break the slump I fell into during the Fall, and with Spring came some newness. I don't know if it's psychosomatic, but it's like my gears are turning again. Last week, I decided to send a short story out to a contest. I hadn't done that in so long, and it felt good to get back in the writing trenches.

This week, I started TWO WIPs that had been in the back of my mind for some time.

The first was a story I started years ago and gave up on because I had no idea where the story was going. I have a better grasp this time, and I hope it pans out the way I want it. This is actually the third time I'm starting this one again. The first was as a Backstreet Boys fanfiction (don't judge). It circles around this divorced couple and their son (in the first two tries, they had twins, but there's no need for twins). The couple is still very much in love, but an affair in the past permanently damaged their relationship. There are twists, turns, and the like that I plan to work on this time around and see this to the end.

The other project came to me while playing my favorite hopeless computer game, Rogue on I believe this was the first dungeon RPG, and if not, one of the first. I play for hours, often getting killed by hobgoblins, centaurs, or emu, or dying of hypothermia when an ice monster freezes me. I want to one day beat one of the Major Honors, who have millions of gold. Not sure it will happen, but anyway, I digress. I thought it would be cool to see players thrown into this textilated (I made it up) world, figure out what happens when they do die or fall into a darn trapdoor in the floor. The audience may only be nerds like me who love dungeon games, but we'll see how far this one goes, too.

I also had the chance to do some consultation on a book of poems two weeks ago, and this week, my one client (I think I only have two at the moment) sent me some editing work to do. She was supposed to send me the other half yesterday, so I hope she's okay.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Express Yourself: Best of A-to-Z

Hurray! Express Yourself is back!

This week's question is: "What was the best thing about the A-to-Z challenge, or what was the best thing about April?"

I'm probably paraphrasing. My first reaction is a sarcastic one, because by now most of you know the best thing for me for both answer should be the day after April 30th.

BUT, the best thing about A-to-Z was going around and seeing the creative themes people came up with. Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh probably had the most involved theme: a movie character matched up with a blogger matched up with a song? What? Proof that man cares about his fellow bloggers!

There was also Dani at Entertaining Interests who put up her favorite book covers, and they were very nice. My favorite was the one with the red-haired girl in the purple dress that looks like a plume of smoke, and she's going upwards to somewhere. As my sister sometimes says, "Gorge!"

And the one I followed most closely was Cassie Mae's dates, which were tragic and/or hilarious! She hadn't dated a lot of people, but she'd been on a ton of dates. lol (I had to look that up to make sure I said it correctly.) My favorite was the one with her son. So sweet.

This is a bloghop, so you can actually stop by Dani's blog to get the other participants. The other host is Jackie at Bouquet of Books. Welcome back, ladies!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Best Week Ever

It's Saturday, and that means it's time for BEST WEEK EVER!! (Please don't sue me, VH1.) With each Saturday, you will get to see whether the title is ecstatic, sarcastic, or a little bit of both.

For my first BWE post, it's a little bit of both.

I almost don't remember Sunday. I had to stop for a second to remember what I did. I woke up about 15 minutes later than I usually do for church on 4th Sunday. The choir I'm in sings at our 8am service, but my sister usually gets up at the time I got up. It only comes around once a month, so I forgot, and we were slightly late to meet everyone. But it was a good service. Then, we went to Kirby & Holloway's, a mom & pop restaurant here that has good food but terrible service, which we got. Sunday, I also decided to schedule my Y and Z posts so I wouldn't have to look at A-to-Z again, so I was free!

Work. Ugh. A very long week. By Wednesday, I felt like it should have been Friday. When I graduated college in 2008, I had only had one interview for an internship which I didn't get, so I came home to data entry. After 2 years of that, then a bad 6 months of online customer service at the same job, I quit and applied at a temp agency. I've been at my current assignment for a year now, and they really like me and give me a lot more work than what I'm contracted for (telephone operator,which takes up probably 30mins of my day). Instead of placing me in a permanent position, however, they tell me to "apply for the jobs on the state site." Now, a job had opened up in one of the buildings where I attend bi-monthly meetings, manage all the paperwork, and also handle dental liaison things. They expected that I would get on the list for an interview, and I'm not sure why, because the hiring manager (who I know now, because I've been there for a year) doesn't choose the interviewees, the state does. So, when I didn't make the list, everyone told me to "just keep applying."

Needless to say, I did two things. 1) When the temp agency asked if everything was okay, I explained the above in a much less bitter way and told her that if they can't create a job out of all of the non-telephone-operator work they have given me to do, then I will need to find another job, since I'm on telephone-operator pay. 2) I renewed my business license! I started an editing business in 2010 (I can't believe that was 3 years ago), but I'm not good at marketing, so I only had one steady customer, and she usually only needs work in the Summer. I'm going to do my best to put in the marketing time because I love to edit, and I want to do a job I love to do. My mom also told my sister and I about friends of friends who started their own business and are now millionaires, and while I don't expect millions, if I can make money doing what I love, I need to try it.

Secondly, I submitted to my first contest in at least a year. is a great source for submissions to websites and magazines for writers. One of the sites, Hazardous Press, have a topic that I had been working on for a roleplay, and I was able to flesh out a character for it. The publication is for charity, but I also think they pay whoever makes the cut, so wish me luck! It would be my first real published story.

Finally, my mom has gotten me sick. Again. I don't feel as badly as I did two weeks ago because I took 3 packets of Emergen-C (which altogether contains 3000mg of Vitamin C, 30mg of B-6 and 75mg of B-12, well over the daily value), so I'm going to try not to be too mad at this lady who doesn't quarantine herself. I have a Mother's Day photo to take with my sisters and cousins and a concert at a sister church today, so I'm going to keep sucking down Emergen-C and take an anti-histamine.

This is a much longer post that I expected. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Friday Freeday: Reflections (A-to-Z)

Every time I think of the word, I hear the Mariah Carey song from Glitter. I loved that movie. Don't judge me. Some of you loved Twilight. :-P

(How are these cold openings working for you? How many know what a cold opening is? lol)

Anyway, FIRST OFF, I had 7 followers for this thing! You guys were great support. I didn't expect any because I never have time to really look at other blogs past the ones I follow, so that 7 people found their way to my page, thanks!

Secondly, I've already picked up the posts and put them into my new April blog, This is for when April rolls back around. You will find last year's Poetry-A-Day there, too.

So, for those who have read the A to Z posts and the few I put up here while April was happening, you know already that I could not WAIT for this thing to END. I couldn't just quit, so I fought my way to the finish. I think I actually only forgot to post one day, surprisingly.

So why did I start in the first place if I didn't like it? Because I wouldn't be me if I weren't impulsive. I decided on April 1, approximately 9am that I was going to do this. I didn't think for a second about doing it any day prior, and thinking my April wouldn't be as busy as it was, I thought I'd want to do it. By, like, G, I was wondering how long April would be. I hate when I half-ass posts because people actually come to see what you're saying. I'm also a rambler, so showing the world that, bluh.

But at least I finished. That's what I have to focus on. My goal was to get through it, and I did. I will most likely do poetry again next year, or if I change my mind (which I'm wont to do), I'll actually brainstorm a month in advance! So many people had great themes! We'll see what happens in 2014. ;)

Click HERE for the other participants in the A-to-Z Reflections.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Waxing Poetic Wednesday

These will be sparse because I only write poems when they come to me. AND this came to me yesterday on my lunch break when I saw this guy at the lake that made me wonder if I knew him way back when.

Bearded Stranger

Hello, bearded stranger
I don't come here often
But when I used to,
It was with someone
Who looked like you
That is, if he happened to grow
A beard
I imagined you might be him
And won't apologize for staring
Eyes as light
And fishing by the lake
He tried to teach me once
Did you try to teach me once?
Nah, you probably aren't him
But what would have happened
If I had called out
His name?

IWSG: Back in the game!

Yes, I'm free! I'm never doing A to Z again.

Now that May is here, may I get back into writing! This month, I am going to do a few things:

1) Jump back into submitting to contests on It's a great source. I have 4 days to write a short story about shapeshifters...Let's hope I get on that.

2) Work on my stories!

3) Work on the ideas for stories that are in my head! Some are stories that I've already done but want to revamp into something more tangible and, well, readable.

4) Have some darn ME TIME! I have set aside May 18th for Jack. My mom asked me yesterday who Jack is. lol Jack is NADA! May 18th I'm doing JACK! NOTHING! I'm not leaving my house, and I will play computer games and video games, watch a movie or two, and RELAX. I haven't had a Saturday to myself in about 2 months. I'm wiped out.

5) Find betas/CPs. Unfortunately, schedules and time constraints didn't make the one I had the best fit. I still have another helping me, but I would like more than 2 eyes on my work. Hopefully I can jump deep into this month.

I hope everyone had a good April, and I hope your May brings you writing, and if you've been writing, MORE writing! And maybe when June comes around, I'll be able to tell you I started working on my query again (eep).

Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh-sensei and his co-hosts for keeping this group up! (Click this. I always forget to post it. The list of participants!)