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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, June 28, 2013

Friday Freeday: Pinterest Love

Welcome back to Friday!

I couldn't think of much to say, so I thought I'd share some of my (possibly weird) interests via Pinterest. It started out as a place for me to make my dream wedding, and then I found cats...and redheads...and memes...and clothes...So I went crazy.

Everyone have a good weekend!

Visit my boards here.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Express Yourself: Your Soundtrack

I always tweak the title. lol I was having such a sucky day that I almost forgot one of the joys of Tuesday: Express Yourself! Thank you, Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests for this weekly bloghop.

Today is an easy one for me! What bands/singers would be the most used in the soundtrack to your WIP or your life?

Music has helped define who I am or express a certain point in my life. Instead of me explaining every single artist (as I was really about to do lol), here's the soundtrack that pretty much sums up my life from teen years to now.

1. Super Girl by Krystal Harris
2. Overprotected by Britney Spears
3. I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman by Britney Spears
4. Remember My Name by Yuna
5. I Was Here by Beyoncé

Now, oddly enough (or maybe not for writers), I also have a lot of my soundtrack planned for my fantasy WIP. As I one day hope for it to be a movie and am writing the book as an homage to the Final Fantasy series, I envisioned the music sounding like a Final Fantasy soundtrack. If I'm lucky, maybe Nobuo Uematsu can even oversee musical production! Aside from an original score I need to actually compose, I have a few pop tracks that I want to Finalize (giggle) for important scenes. They are:

1. Let the Flames Begin by Paramore (which I already know will come out sounding slightly like Jenova's Theme, but I also have a whole new arrangement I want to write)
2.Breathe Again by Sara Bareilles (I hear a harp and battle drums)
3. Smash into You by Beyoncé (maybe I can get her to sing it more softly lol)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday Freeday: It's early so I'm rambling.

Good morning,

I'm almost sure that the ever-growing mountain of clothes on my bed contributes to my lack of good sleep, so when my alarm goes off, I hit snooze.

Either way, hello!

Today, I have Employee Recognition, where we eat, have a training, then have games and a talent show. I'm doing a Zumba demo, yay. It took me until about 5:30 last night to figure out which song I was doing, then while in bed, I remembered I needed to find the CD first. Fortunately I found it.

I'm watching a Spongebob episode I always see the end of but never the beginning, so I'm not quite sure what's happening. Yes, I'm almost 29 years old and still watch Nickelodeon cartoons.

I am on page 55 of 372 of revising my WIP. I've actually added about 2,000 words and will keep an eye on the word count. It's fantasy, though, so I'm trying to make sure things are as established as possible while not adding unnecessary words.

The McDonald's commercial where the poor little girl gets rained on is so cute. And funny.

I repinned a picture that encourages using SALTS instead of LOL. SALTS stands for "smiled a little then stopped." I'd also encourage LOTI "laughed on the inside" because if you say lol but didn't really laugh it's because you thought it was funny enough TO laugh, but didn't, and FETLBD is a mouthful.

I've been watching the original Star Trek, and it's kind of bad. One episode about ESPers was really good though. I think it helped fill in a few holes in one of my story ideas. We'll see. I can't wait to start writing something else, but when I'm revising, I don't particularly want to.

I imagine my ride will be here within the half-hour, so I'm going to end now. Have a good weekend! I'll be in D.C. for my keyboardist's parents' church anniversary.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Waxing Poetic Wednesday

To Whoever You Are:

I've always felt withdrawn
Not so much shy as
closed off
A lot of people say I'm mean
But it's only because they never listen
But you do
I don't always make sense
And when I'm upset
I stutter
My mind closes against the words
But you feel what I need you to hear
And all of those times when no one else
cares to hear what I had to say
You already know and just
Wait for whatever
And I love you
Whoever you are
I will always love you

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Express Yourself: FAQ

This is going to be a fun one. lol

Welcome back to Express Yourself, a weekly bloghop hosted by and

This week's question is: What are some questions that you get asked time and time again?

1. Which one are you? (Most people think my younger sister and I are twins.)
2a. What did you study? [English] 2b. So, you want to be a teacher? [-__-]
3. I bet you can sing, can't you? (I come from a singing family.)
4. What? (lol Either because my sister wasn't listening or whatever I said made sense to only me.)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday Freeday with Falling for Fiction

As you can probably tell, I picked this one because of the alliteration. I also wanted to do a short post, but what better way to do that than to promote someone else's blog?

Falling for Fiction is a compilation blog with a great group of ladies who keep things fun and interesting. Visit this post in particular by Leigh Covington for a little end-of-the-week inspiration that happened in the middle of the week. ;)

Better Than Mediocre...Be AMAZING!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Looking at my 1st 300 on my 100th Post!

This is my 100th post! How do I have so much to talk about?! I owe many of my posts to Alex J. Cavanaugh-sensei, Jackie at Bouquet of Books, and Dani at Entertaining Interests. Otherwise, I'd probably just be doing this at random and probably forget about it after some time.

I wanted to celebrate by reflecting on my February 20th post about my first 300 words for my WIP.

Why am I reflecting? Because hardly 4 months later, I revised it! It's crazy what a difference a pair of eyes makes. I had picked up a crit partner and forced my sister to beta read. I have neither at this point (well I have my sister, but she doesn't like fantasy, so I told her she could stop after the Book One), but the insight they gave me was really helpful, and I've been inputting so much more into this story that I feel it is slowing it appropriately and rounding it out significantly.

I've even rearranged the opening to provide a little more voice and the thought process of the princess. My hooker, everyone (haha):

If things went how the Crystalline Princess desired, she would be swinging through the air in the next few minutes. Otherwise, she would have to explain to her watchmen why breaking her arms and legs was a good use of her time.

In my next 100 posts, I hope to be able to say I've written a successful query, at least to an agent who has expressed their love for it, and in the next 100, I hope to say I'm published. It can be done!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Express Yourself: Movies

This week, Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests asked a harder question than I thought. lol I had to look through the movies that were released this year to remember what I last saw in the theater. I haven't been to the theater this year!

The last movie I saw in theaters was in December: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Did I do a review of it? I feel like I did.)

The last movie I saw on DVD was last night: Identity Thief (Sweeter than I thought it would be.)

Thanks, for the question, ladies! Everyone, be sure to visit the other participants. :)

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday Freeday: Post-IWSG Encouragement

Hiya! Third post in a row this week! Ayeee!

Of course, the Insecure Writer's Support Group falls on the first Wednesday of the month, so I'd written mine before I did something big.

I wrote a letter to the directors of the division asking to create me a job! I'm contracted through a Temp agency, so I have no (good) benefits, no paid time-off, no ability to really do anything. Because I've done such a good job, 4 months into my assignment, they made me a secretary for a peer review team. This division works for people with developmental disabilities, and the peer review handles the approval of their medicinal and physical restrictions (I really love it). 3 months ago, they also made me dental liaison, and I get to approve scheduling and billing for dental appointments (I really hate it). I don't get paid to do either of these, mind you. I'm paid to answer the telephone.

SO, the letter I wrote asked them to hire me as the official secretary for the peer review team, who has lost a lot of people since I've been here (retirements, not deaths). I got the blessing from the team, who didn't know I was a temp, and am now waiting on permission from the director in my office to send the remaining copies to two of the other directors.

I say all of this to say, go for what you want to do. If you have a passion for something, don't sit around not doing it. The worst thing they can say to me is "no", and then I'll just have to find a permanent job. For the patriots: There's nothing to fear but fear itself! For the Christians: God has not given us a spirit of fear! So take a deep breath, and as Nike says, "Just do it." lol

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Heroes & Villains

Welcome the another bloghop! Yes, yes, two in one week! =D

Thanks again to Dani and Jackie for this bloghop. Visit their blogs to meet the other participants. This hop is an interesting one, choosing your favorite heroes and favorite villains. There are so many to choose from! I'll pick two of each.

Cloud Strife/Zack Fair from Final Fantasy VII, the game, the movie Advent Children, and the prequel Crisis Core: (I'm already cheating myself) I thought I'd do something different and have them explain.

Cloud: My name is Cloud Strife, and I'm a SOLDIER, First Class.

Zack: Wait, wait, wait, you're already messing it up, man. I'M the SOLDIER, First Class, you're just a Shinra ensign, or whatever.

Cloud: Well, you didn't live long enough to clarify that for me.

Zack: Well, I was riddled with bullets, and you were glitching from Mako poisoning. What's a guy to do?

Cloud: Live.

Zack: I told YOU to live for me!

Cloud: I thought I did.

Zack: Dude, you lived AS me. There's a huge difference, and you better not have kissed my girl. I'm gonna ask her. She's not a good liar.

Pause. When you get right down to it, it's one of the saddest stories ever. Soldiers are experimented on, a massacre and government conspiracy are covered up, and one of the soldiers dies trying to escape, leaving the other half-brain-damaged soldier to piece his life back together, and he kinda fails.

But since I have a love for people messed up from experiments, my other favorite hero is good ol' River Tam from Firefly/Serenity! I love Simon's speech when he explains who he and River are in the pilot episode. He was a child genius, the brightest in his class, etc., but his sister makes him look like an idiot child. That's serious. River was accidentally enrolled into a government lab masked as a school with a challenging program. Not only do they pretty much make her a schizoaffective human weapon, but she's psychic, so they accidentally reveal the biggest conspiracy to hit the 'verse, too. Overall, River is a sweet, funny girl who likes to play and loves to learn. I would love to see how she would've turned out, had, Fox, you know, not sucked.

Villains are harder, but I think I've narrowed it down to the villainesses of Batman and the Luthors of Smallville.

Catwoman and Poison Ivy, take them from whatever tv show, cartoon, or movie you like. lol They were strong, sexy, and ruthless. I remember when Batman (Adam Weeest) found out Catwoman was his girlfriend (Julie Newmar) when they were fighting on a boat. And then there was the cartoon when Batman & Robin realized Ivy's sons were actually girls, but they were plant people anyway. Creepy.

Smallville came out when I was in high school, and even though I didn't follow Superman that well, I knew Lex Luthor was Superman's arch nemesis. So it was interesting to see them as best friends for a few seasons, even though Lex spent a lot of time trying to figure out if Clark was an alien or not. Then, there was his father Lionel, a conniving, greedy, evil old man who was just so charming that you hated to hate him. Then again, he was evil. Eventually, the roles were reversed, where Lex finally became the villain and Lionel was helping Clark not die on a daily basis, but when they were bad, they were so good! How duplicitous (first time I'd heard that word was on Smallville)!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

IWSG: Your Plans

Welcome back to the Insecure Writer's Support Group!

As always, a big domo amarigato to Ninja Alex-Sensei for this group. Stop by his blog here to read his insecurities this month, as well as view the list of the other members.

So, plans. Last night, I planned to start this blog post early so I wouldn't have to do it today. HA!

But seriously, 10 years ago today, I graduated from Dover High School not having applied to any college because I had decided that I would make my way to Florida and become a big pop star. I wish I were joking. I wanted to be the black Britney Spears. I could at least sing better, but I'm an awkward dancer and really have 0 stage presence, but I didn't give up on that dream for about 6 months. I ended up staying home, unable to get a job, and playing Final Fantasy 9 and 10. My mom, feeling sorry for me, often paid me to do odd jobs around the house while I slowly came to my senses.

This year 10 years ago (somewhere) was also when I had the weird being-chased-by-black-robots-in-a-room-made-of-wicker dream that soon became my current fantasy WIP and got me into the Writing for Film/TV program at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Back then, I had planned to finish it, publish it, and be working on the screenplay around, well this time. Another HA!

I told one of my coworkers the other day (because his son also wants to be a writer and can't be told he isn't great) that the problem with us folks in small-cities Delaware is that we don't realize we're not the cream of the crop until we LEAVE Delaware. It took me the next 6 years to finish my WIP (I edit as I go, too, and studying did often come first), and even then I had to learn that what I'd finished was a first draft. I'd even printed my first draft AND my second, thinking I had arrived. Needless to say, as I'm revising again, I haven't arrived.

I say all of this to say don't plan too hard. haha Or if you do, know that you will need a Plan B through D (at least). I'd also planned to be married with one child by now, and well, that's an IWSG post I've already done.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Express Yourself: Everyday Foods

Happy Tuesday! Time for Express Yourself!

Thanks to Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests for this blog hop. Please stop by their blogs to meet them and the other participants.

I used to say that I could eat mashed sweet potatoes every day and not get sick of them. Then, I got my wisdom teeth removed and chose mashed sweet potatoes to eat...I got sick of them. Dreams were shattered that day.

I could probably eat hot dogs every day (if the weight went elsewhere) and not get sick of them. I love hot dogs, and there's so much you can do with toppings! Sonic's Chicago dog? Magical!

I could also eat homemade chocolate pudding all day and not get sick of it. I don't know what it is about instant pudding, but it's so much better than the packaged pudding. I love it.

Thanks for stopping by!