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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, November 29, 2013

Happy Black Friday (I hope)

Hello all!

Happy Friday! Since Thanksgiving was at my house, I've been in chill mode since the last family member left. My cousin and sister had to work overnight, so I was by myself sort of but not really watching the rest of the Ravens game while catching up on Supernatural (that helmet-to-helmet hit, ouch!). I did a little exercising, because we'll all need it after yesterday, then went shopping with my cousin. We're about to take naps now. Later, I'm going up to see my godparents who I haven't seen in a year or two.

So needless to say, I've had a good Thanksgiving and Black Friday. I hope you've all had the same! :-D

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Express Yourself: I Look Up To...


Welcome back to the Express Yourself Meme brought to us by Dani @ Entertaining Interests and Jackie @ Bouquet of Books! This week's question is: Who do we look up to?

I've answered this before, and I can't remember where. My cousin & bestie Candyce. She's two years younger than me, but as a single mom who is back in school for her nursing degree, I'm very proud of her, and she's a great mom to a psycho child. lol Boys are hard to raise! And now he wants to be a WWE Superstar (I created a monster).

But back to Candyce, she's a sweetheart and very silly, and I'd like to be her when I grow up. :-D She is a great worship leader, too, and I'm glad to have her as my Asst. Director of the Young Adult Ministry. She knows when to take charge and has big visions while we're stepping up in our church.

Alrighty, that's it. lol Have a great Thanksgiving and Chanukah!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday Freeday: Album Review: Ariana Grande "Yours Truly"

By the time last night rolled around, I still had no clue what I wanted to write about. I finished revising my WIP AGAIN, and I actually got it under 98k words, which I thought was impossible, but I let some scenes RIP and kept it moving *sigh*.

So then what? Well, as I sat at my desk and turned on my beloved mp3 player (see my purse from Tuesday lol), I turned on my currently first choice: Ariana Grande's "Yours Truly." So then I thought: ALBUM REVIEW!!!

Ariana (as many with kids know) is Cat from Victorious and Sam and Cat. I didn't realize she could sing until an episode of Victorious where she and Jade (Liz Gillies, also a very talented singer) did karaoke. I was shocked speechless (and it must suck to have been the star of the show and not been as good a singer as the other two girls, buuuuut...). Ariana has a gorgeous voice and is better (yes BETTER) than Mariah Carey. As long as she takes care of her voice and has good people behind her, she'll be around for a while.

So "Yours Truly" is a true R&B album with a great mix of modern hits (The Way, Right There, Lovin' It) and throwback tunes that harken back to 50s Doo-wop (Tattooed Heart (which she'll be singing at the AMAs Sunday), Daydreamin'). She's a true Soprano, which means she doesn't have a low register (or she never sings in one at any rate) and can belt high notes without screaming them. I posted her song with Nathan Sykes "Almost is Never Enough" a little while ago, and it is one of my favorite tracks. My very favorite is the first track on the album, "Honeymoon Avenue," about a failing relationship. It's a very strong opening for an album. "Piano" is also a favorite of mine, and I also use it as a squat track for my free Zumba class. lol

If you're a fan of R&B or Ariana Grande, I recommend this album. It gets a 5/5 stars from me (if you value my opinion)!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Express Yourself: What's In Your Purse?!

Welcome back to the Express Yourself Meme! Brought to us by Dani @ Entertaining Interests and Jackie @ Bouquet of Books.

This week is a fun question: What's in your purse? Pictures were requested. X)

First off, this is my purse:

It's almost the size of this picture. I get a new one every few months, and I decided to go for one that I couldn't stuff my life into. That are some of the more important contents.

The free food stuffs and empty hand sanitizer.

Ignore the Jack Daniels sauce on the Friday's coupon card. Also, my checkbook, my wallet a la Target that I got because I am a Cancerian, and it cost 99 cents. My label-free (they rubbed off or fell off) containers: little one is floss, blue one is some cube gum I hardly eat. And my MP3 player without which I would DIE at work.

I'd also have taken a picture of my phone, but I was taking the pictures with my phone. These are all stuffed into my tiny purse.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Grammarly, anyone?

I use Grammarly for online proofreading because sometimes I just don't feel like using my English degree.

I may have Tweeted this a while ago, but I was contacted by a gentleman in San Francisco (or San Fran as I like to say, or Frisco as others like to say) requesting sponsorship of one of my blog posts! While it made me feel very special, I had never heard of Grammarly because, well, I'm an English major. Being grammarly is what I do (see what I did there?).

It's a very cool site, though. I went to the site and entered one of my paragraphs. It told me I had 4 misspellings (which were character names, so I moved on), misused words, and wordiness (which made me laugh because I am the queen of run-on sentences and parenthetics). On the good side, my punctuation was on point, and I didn't plagiarize (I wish I WOULD enter one of my paragraphs and discover there's plagiarism!).

So, have any of you every used Grammarly, and what do you think about it? I might slip over there more often so my betas don't correct me on things I should already know. lol

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday Freeday: Word Count

Good afternoon!

This will be a short one, but since most people post an uplifting post on Fridays, I thought I'd share some good news, and that is that I have dropped my WIP's word count to 98k! I still have about 90 pages to review, so I might even see 97k. I didn't think it was possible, but I cut some scenes that weren't very important and cleaned up my characters' speech to make it more tailored to their individual personalities. I hope this also makes for a more concrete narrative. :D

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Two for Tuesday: Seven Deadly Sins

Hello! Bonus Post!

So, Dani over at Entertaining Interests tagged me in this little challenge, and I feel like it's going to be a big project for me to think about. lol So let's give this a try: The Seven Deadly Sins!

Seven great things in your life:
1. My Mom
2. My sisters
3. My cousin
4. My cousin's son
5. My music prowess *breathes on knuckles, rubs on shirt*
6. My sense of humor
7. My ability to cook eggs. I cook an awesome egg.

Seven things you lack and covet:
1. Money (Lord, forgive me.)
2. A husband (Jesus, please, work it out. lol)
3. Babies (I can't apologize for that one.)
4. My novel published. (I'm gonna go ahead and keep this one here, Dani.)
5. The ability to dance and look good doing it.
6. A CAR.
7. A job that doesn't feel like a job.

Seven things that make you angry:
1. Stupid people.
2. Ignorance.
3. Fake people.
4. Stupid questions.
5. Chit-chat/Small talk.
6. Morning people.
7. Repeating myself.

Seven things that you neglect to do:
1. Hang up my laundry. I'm sleeping on my clothes right now.
2. Respond to people if I have nothing significant to say.
3. Dishes.
4. ...Stay awake. lol
5. Finish number requirements.
6. ...
7. ...Seriously, I couldn't think of any more.

Seven worldly material desires:
1. A pop album
2. Clothes
3. My own island sounds nice. lol
4. To have no loans.
5. Channing Tatum >.>
6. A red-headed baby...judge me. I dare you.
7. 2013 Mustang GT

Seven guilty pleasures:
1. Food
2. Vodka (Seriously, sorry, Lord.)
3. Video games
4. Computer games
5. Internet
6. TV
7. Soda

Seven things you love about love:
1. That first date feeling (I actually wrote a song about that).
2. When you think about the person and your day is instantly better.
3. Feeling that comfortable with another human.
4. Little things you get to do for each other.
5. Having someone understand (or at least tolerate) every weird thing about you.
6. The reciprocation.
7. The product of working at something for something bigger than yourself.

Seven bloggers I'm dying to know their answers to the Seven Sins survey...

This is probably one of my sloths because it requires thinking and looking at blogs...and usually people who I'd tag have done it already...So, do it if you want, and just let me know you did it. lol

Express Yourself: Top 5 TV Shows

I think I've scheduled the last 4 posts, and it feels weird, but if I know what I want to say now, I might as well, right?

Welcome back to Express Yourself!
This meme is brought to you by Dani @ Entertaining Interests and Jackie @ Bouquet of Books.

This might be one of the easiest questions for me, because I'm a TV geek. What are my Top 5 TV Shows?

5. Supernatural - I love Sam & Dean and Castiel. I do wish they stopped at Season 5 like the creator wanted, but they're still doing well. Better than Smallville after Season 5. lol

4. Grey's Anatomy - What a roller coaster. Drama, comedy, romance. McDreamy, McSteamy (RIP), and Major Hottie, eek!

3. Parenthood - Just give in and cry. It's okay. A great show, and so relatable (<--is that really not a word?).

2. Once Upon A Time - Who doesn't love twists on fairytales? From Snow White to Peter Pan, everything is twisted and weaved so well. Just remember: all magic comes with a price, deary.

1. Scandal - Talk about a tangled web! And the chemistry between Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn. *faints*

How about you?

Friday, November 8, 2013

Friday Freeday: Oh, How I Miss You

Happy Friday! OH, HAPPY FRIDAY!

Today begins a special blogfest. Whose blogs would you miss if you were gone, and who used to blog that you miss? Name 1 to 3 of each.

I haven't been reading blogs that long, so I don't have anyone who I miss yet. So I might cheat a little bit.

I would definitely miss SC Author and his blue self. lol He talks about J.K. Rowling a lot, but that's the title of his blog. He has very inspirational and thought-provoking posts.

This is kind of a cheat, but these two ladies are two sides of the same coin, and they are my Express Yourself ladies, Dani & Jackie. They're best friends and bloggers, so they come up with fun things for us to do each week while sharing personal parts of their lives with us. My weeks would not be the same without them.

I feel like a lot of people will say Alex, lol, so I'm going to go with another great lady, and that's Cassie Mae! She's hilarious, and I love to see what she's up to. I would definitely miss her!

Thanks for stopping by, and a big thanks to our hosts for this blogfest! See you around the blogosphere. ;) Andrew Leon Alex J. Cavanaugh Matthew MacNish

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thank You Thursday: My Followers


SO I realized I have a lot of followers, but I never stop to see if any of you have a blog of your own. I want to take a moment to thank you for coming to read what I have or don't have to say every week (I know I ramble a lot), and if you have your own blog, please comment and let me know. I want to start coming around to see what you guys are up to each week. :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

IWSG: Sinking

Welcome to another Insecure Writers Support Group Meeting!

I'd apologize for bringing the mood down, but do I need to in this circle? Not sure. But anyway, I believe I'm starting to fall into depression, which 1) is hard to say and 2) I wouldn't tell my family, who think I'm a hypochondriac. Over the weekend (and another time last week) my sister told me that our niece and our cousin both said that I'm no fun. That really upset me (and confused me because it's not like both go out partying with my little sister or something).

On one end, I don't go out unless it's with my family or choir members, I don't do wild, spontaneous things like get pierced or dye my hair (in fact, the only thing I've really done with my hair is chop it off every few years, and that's not happening again), and I'm shy around guys, even though I'm almost 30. Something my sister also pointed out: I either act really old or really young and need to find my age.

But maybe they also see that I'm not happy. I'm not ANYwhere I thought I would be at 29, not with my career, personal life, living arrangement, NONE of them. I'm still living at home (even though it's with my sister and other cousin, but I've been there 14 years) with a terrible temp job with terrible benefits where I can't even afford medical, unable to get a real job because I'm over-qualified for most of the ones in town, and you have to be a fricking magician to get a state job, and still fricking revising this story I started ten years ago that I had hoped would be done and published by now.

I'm sleepy every day; even when I get to sleep at a decent hour, I wake up in the middle of the night. Loan companies are hounding my cell, e-mail, AND somehow got a hold of my job placement's number (not even my personal line or the temp agency's number). I don't want to be at this job anymore but really have no choice, and I just want to crawl back into bed and sleep away my life.

So, that's where I am at this moment.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Express Yourself: Favorite Subject

Welcome back to the Weekly Express Yourself Meme, brought to us by Dani @ Entertaining Interests and Jackie @ Bouquet of Books!

This week's question is: What was your favorite subject in High School and/or College?

The only reason I didn't drop out of school in High School was because of Chorus. I LOVED my chorus teacher. He was so scary when you were a Freshman, but by Senior year, he was your dad. Your crazy dad, but your dad. lol If it weren't for him, I wouldn't be as disciplined as I am now when it comes to music.

I didn't really have a favorite class in college. Maybe my History of Film class, since we really just watched movies all semester, but I fell asleep often. lol

Thanks for stopping by, and here is Dani's page to the Express Yourself Meme if you would like to join in!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Friday Freeday: 1 Week until the Oh, How I Miss You Blogfest!

Happy November! Today I thought I would promote a blogfest that begins NEXT Friday, and that is the 2nd Annual Oh, How I Miss You Blogfest.

This blogfest is hosted by Andrew Leon, Alex J. Cavanaugh, and Matthew MacNish. Here is the tagline: The bloggers we really miss…and the ones we would really miss! Do you have a couple blogger buddies who aren’t posting as often? Those who’ve pulled back and seem absent from the blogging world? Do you have blogger buddies you are grateful they are still around and would miss if they vanished? Now is your chance to show your appreciation and spotlight them! On November 8, list one to three bloggers you really miss and one to three bloggers you would miss if they stopped blogging. Then go leave a comment on those blogs.

Here is a link to where you can sign up.

Enjoy, and happy November!