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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, December 24, 2013

50 Days of Pray: Delaware

Welcome to the 50 Days of Pray! I am representing the Small Wonder: Delaware!

Thanks so much to Mark Koopmans for this idea! It's really cool how many people signed up from around the country, and even some from around the world!

This has been a weird year for me with many ups and downs, so I want to end the year on a happy note and express the things I am happy for (for which I am happy lol).

I am thankful for my family, crazy though they may be.

I am thankful for my best friends and our friends with whom we've been hanging with for what feels like 30 days straight. The bond we have is strong, and it's good to know there are people you can be yourself around completely.

I'm thankful for health. This time last year I had laryngobronchitis and couldn't speak for about 10 days. That was emotionally painful. This year, I still have a bronchitis flare up, but I can talk! Don't know what you go til it's gone.

And I'm very grateful to the reason for this season, Jesus, who came down to Earth so that we all could live again. When things aren't exactly going how I would like them to, I try to remember to be grateful for at least that, because He didn't have to do it, but that's how much He loves us.

I hope everyone has a great Christmas and New Year, and I will see you guys in 2014. :)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Express Yourself: Books!

Good morrow!

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

As you can see, I'm doing this on a Monday, and that's because tomorrow is 50 Days of Pray! I'm one of those people who skips through blog posts when I'm looking for the bloghop theme of the day (sorry), so I didn't want to put the two together.

The question this week is: What books did you want to read this year but didn't get around to?

Well, I was supposed to read 20 books this year, and if I read through The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, I will have "read" 19, but in actuality have had only finished 17. If a book doesn't engage me enough but I want to see how it ends, it will take me FOREVER to finish it. If it's a slow read and/or just a book I don't like, I won't finish it. But then there are the books I really really wanted to read but didn't have the time or money, so hopefully that will change in 2014. Those books are:

Mindy McGinnis Not A Drop to Drink The sample I read provided a lot of suspense, and I still can't wait to read it!

More Neil Gaiman! I read Anansi Boys this year, and it was my first Gaiman read. I've been missing out! So I hope to read more of his work in the new year, too.

What about you guys?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Express Yourself: Gourmet Edition

It's time to express ourselves again! Thanks to Dani and Jackie for a great year of international convo!

This week's question revolves around what we bring to the table, literally!

So for a moment I thought I wouldn't have anything to say about this, because I don't ever bring the food to the holiday parties in my family. lol BUT, I have dreams.

This year, I would like to host a small Christmas brunch and cook the dish I wanted to last year, but my mom ignored me when I was talking and made a stratta (moms). I'll unfortunately have to look through my tweets from 2012 to remember what it was, though! It was an egg omelette, but there was havarti cheese and some kind of herb involved. So hopefully that still happens. :)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday Freeday: Blah blah blah

Good morning, world, and all who inhabit it!

I've decided to stop complaining so much about my life and thanking God for it and seeing the brighter side of life, which helps a lot. It at least makes everyone around me seem less annoying.

Our church's first Christmas Party is this Saturday, and I saved $66 by remembering my sister was throwing out a homecoming dress she was never going to wear again. I will look so Oscar worthy, Oscar himself will lean over on his pedestal.

I'm going through another hair transition. Right now, it is braided up with someone else's hair glued to a cap on my head. I hurt. My Transformation Tuesday would look like a Brady Bunch cover.

I suck at my query. No matter what I do with it, no one connects to it. Whose idea were these?

One more week until our annual Christmas Cantata. I'm so done with singing. Cantata time is never fun. I'm gonna look fly with all this big hair on my head, though. lol

Scandal has one more time to make me want to throw up. Then, I'm doing nothing about it but complaining and possibly actually throwing up.

I'm hoping and praying for an awesome 2014. I'll say it again next week, but I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and all the other things. :D

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Express Yourself: Events

Good morrow!

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

This week, they ask what events we look forward to this holiday season.

I actually don't look forward to much in this stage of my life. When I was a kid, of course it was getting up Christmas morning, me in my pajamas, my little sister getting dressed and making us all look like hobos, to open our presents. But since I don't have kids yet and don't have much money, I can probably stay in bed for a little longer and open my presents whenever my sister wakes up. lol

As mentioned in the last EYM, I love the Christmas movies and shows.

OOH! But I do look forward to egg nog! I almost forgot. I LOVE egg nog, and I don't even need any alcohol in it (though it's nice sometimes lol). Just like pumpkin, which I don't particularly care about, egg nog only comes around in the fall season down here. I remember seeing it in the Spring somewhere else, but I can't remember where.

And cranberry sauce. I love cranberry sauce. Canned or fresh. Plain, good ol' cranberry sauce. :D hehe

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Express Yourself: Christmas Movies!

Welcome to a special Saturday edition of Express Yourself! This is a meme hosted by the dynamic duo Dani @ Entertaining Interests and Jackie @ Bouquet of Books.

This week they ask what Christmas films we plan on watching this year.

I plan to watch The Snowman, a classic for me that used to feel like a feature-length film but is only about 30 minutes long. I also plan on finding what channel is showing How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the cartoon version. And, the biggest tradition and chore will be searching out one of the old A Christmas Carol movies. I don't want to see Vanessa Williams's version, and I will always settle for Patrick Stewart's, BUT I want to see one of the black & whites!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday Freeday: Dream Destination Bloghop

Happy Friday!

Today is something fun, a Dream Destination Bloghop hosted by Lexa Cain and Julie Flanders.

If I could go anywhere in the world, honestly, I'd go back to Cayman Islands! It's a child-like love of mine, but they have this Turtle farm that I really liked, and I just want to spend a day picking up turtles, even though they hate it lol.

This is supposed to be cropped, terrible pic of me, but the turtle is flapping angrily.

I also would love to see Ireland. My sister's pictures from when she went make me want to go even more sometimes. I love the accents, too. >.<

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Day Late! (IWSG)

I haven't forgotten a Wednesday in a long time. *eek* Hopefully this still counts.

I usually post these at work, but I had a busy day, so I didn't get around to it. Monday, I joined the Pitch Wars trenches at the last (almost literally) minute, and now I'm biting my nails hoping and praying I get picked. I'm not stalking my own e-mail, because it's linked to my phone, so I know when I get a message. Contests make me nervous.

Showing my work to people in general makes me nervous. I might think it's genius, but it could be the opposite. And I'm one of those people who has poor luck with beta readers, so I'm going off of two (one great, one obvoiusly inattentive) critiques. But through it all, I actually shaved my manuscript down to 98k words, which I didn't think possible. I think I've said that already, but it bears repeating, since my first draft was about 125k. *30-second dance break*

What worries most is my query. I've had so many drafts of that little bastard, I don't know which one I'm on now. I'd like to think it's good enough to spark interest now, and at least people tend to ask for a few pages with the query so they can gauge better. So, wishing, hoping, praying, etc.

I'm going to go look at some on time IWSG posts, and you can, too, if you follow me to Ninja Alex-Sensei's Blog. :)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Pitch Wars Mentee Bio

Good evening!

It's 10:34 as I start this, and it might have been 24 hours ago where I learned there was a contest preparing to open up for application! This is what I get for walking too far away from that rock I live under for too long. I almost missed it!

Pitch Wars (which I remember seeing last year) might be one of the biggest agent contests for burgeoning published authors. At midnight this morning, the Mentor Round began, where writers got to choose up to 4 mentors seeking their genre to help them polish their manuscript. Each mentor posted bios which included what they were looking for in a manuscript. Hence, the mentees decided to do the same thing (and I like the word mentee lol).

Also, a big thank you to Brenda Drake for hosting Pitch Wars!

So a little about me, shall we?

I'm a middle child of 3 girls, am a textbook Cancerian, and am a lefty.

I started writing when I was 7 and wanted to write stories like the "superhero action drama" X-men on TV.

I actually wanted to write horror stories but ran out of ideas early. Now, I try to stick closer to fantasy and superhero action dramas. lol (If you're wondering why I say superhero action drama, it's how the TV Rating system explained why they rated X-men. I don't even remember the rating anymore, just the reasoning.)

I love turtles. Ninja or normal.

I love babies but have very little tolerance for children...try to figure that out.

I love Final Fantasy games. I've played FFX three times.

I transferred colleges twice: University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Florida State, and Temple University. I have a BA in English.

I try not to use prepositions at the end of sentences (like I did way up at the top), but I don't like to sound too formal all the time. lol

I go to bed early according to my sister & cousin. I'm going to bed now. lol It's 10:54.