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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, February 27, 2015

Fast Five Friday: TV Shows

Happy Friday! It's time for another Fast Five, created by the Cover Girls, Dani and Jackie!

This week, we are listing our Top 5 Favorite TV Shows.

I don't know if they have to be on right now or not, so here are 5!


Grey's Anatomy


Family Guy


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wednesday Words: A Handful of Dust

Good morning!

Welcome back to Wednesday Words, where I use to share with you a piece of what I am currently reading!

Sometime today I will be starting Mindy McGinnis's A Handful of Dust, the sequel to Not A Drop to Drink, which was a very exciting thriller of a book, so I can't wait to dive into the next part (though I'm at work, so I have to).

There are 374 pages in my Kindle edition somehow (this must be because I have an old Kindle. It said there were 10 less pages in the last book I read), so Random has 142.

Oh great, I don't have to calculate that as a location! Thanks, Mindy! lol

There are approximately 20 lines on page 142, so Random has chosen........................line 3.

The steady clip-clop of their hooves hypnotized Lucy in the heat of the afternoons, causing her thoughts to stray.

I personally love that sound.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Express Yourself Weekly: Characters who should Stand Alone

Welcome back to Express Yourself! This bloghop was created by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests to get to know us all a little better.

This week they would like us to name a secondary character who you think deserves their own series/stand-alone (now you see what I did up there).

Everyone loves a good trickster. Neil Gaiman gave Anansi's son(s) a stand-alone novel after American Gods, and it was quite a treat. If I remember correctly, Hermes was a bit of a trickster, stealing Apollo's sheep just after birth (edit: It was Eros. Thanks, Dolorah!).

This season I finished N.K. Jemisin's Inheritance Trilogy, which basically changed my life. She actually allowed her trickster, Sieh, to have his own book in this trilogy, rounding out the series. I won't give away the ending, but it was everything, and fairly trickster-like.

Jemisin, however, also created a novella: The Awakened Kingdom, which continues the trilogy. The main character Shill and her friend Eino. It was just a novella, but I want a series, darn it! Shill was just so cute, being the first godling born in thousands of years. The heart of a child and power of a god...Can you imagine! 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday Freeday: Men vs. Women Infographic by Grammarly

Happy Friday!

It's cold as boots out today. It is 5 degrees with a RealFeel of -20 degrees. I am at work with my space heater blaring and a blanket around me, and I am still fairly cold.

But enough about that. I'm here with another post on behalf of the folks at Grammarly ( You can visit their site to check out how well you're doing in the grammar department!

The Grammarly team polled more than 3,000 men and women on which gender produces better writers. Here are the findings:

Having read both (of course lol) I do agree with the infographic. I will also say that men writers, for me, have provided a better shock value and moments that have me talking for days. Women writers, however, have given me moments where my soul just crumbled into little pieces and that I can't stop thinking about.

So basically, for me, they're doing the same thing but triggering different parts of my psyche to do it.

What do you think of the findings?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wednesday Words: Bloodchild and Other Stories

Good morning!

I got snowed in yesterday (FINALLY!) and as it was Fat Tuesday, I'm kinda not alive yet sitting at my desk at work. But that doesn't mean you all miss out!

Welcome back to Wednesday Words, where I share with you all a piece of what I'm reading using to pick a page and some lines for me to read. Last week, most of the books I'd put on hold in the library (like 4 of 8, I think) came in, so I have begun Octavia Butler's Bloodchild and Other Stories, 2nd ed.

And even though Goodreads says there are 224 pages in this edition, there are actually 214. I wonder how they messed that up.

So, there are 214 pages in Bloodchild and other Stories, and Random has 12, a page from the title story, "Bloodchild"!

There are about 28 lines on this particular page, and Random has chosen......................line 9.

Now the pipe could be turned so that one half slid around the the other and a rifle could be stored inside. This wasn't our only gun, but it was our most easily accessible one.

"Bloodchild" was a pretty weird story that Octavia Butler wrote to overcome her fear of those flies in South American that lay eggs in your wounds. I liked the second story, "The Evening and The Morning and The Night," better.

What are you reading this week?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Express Yourself: Apocalypse Now?

Happy Tuesday!

Welcome back to Express Yourself, a bloghop created by Dani @ Entertaining Interests and Jackie @ Bouquet of Books to share things about ourselves with each other. You can join the fun at either of their pages.

This week, they ask us: What is your favorite kind of apocalyptic scenario (natural disaster, zombie, alien invasion, etc.)?

This is an interesting question for me. Back before I turned 18 (had I known about the show I'm about to mention), I would have said the one where kids were left to rule the world. Being an adult now, that means I, too, would have died, soooo. The Tribe is no longer an ideal apocalyptic scenario for me.

I don't do anybody's zombie, so I suppose natural disaster would be the next best bet for me. I could survive at least a flood, I'd like to think.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Fast Five Friday: Romantic Films

Good morning.

I'm not particularly awake yet, but I have to work. Today, however, is Friday, and that means another installment of Fast Five! This bloghop was created by the Cover Girls, and you can visit their page for their favorite movies and the list to join if you like. You don't even have to post every week!

As Valentine's Day is tomorrow (sigh), they asked us to list our favorite romantic films. So away we go!

I plan on watching 3 of these tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Wednesday Words: The Awakened Kingdom

Happy Hump Day. :)

Welcome back to Wednesday Words, where I use to show you all a piece the book I am currently reading.

At the end of last year, N.K. Jemisin published The Awakened Kingdom, an e-sequel to the awesome Inheritance Trilogy that became my life a few months back. This book follows a brand new godling named Shill who gets herself tangled up with mortals while trying to find out what her nature is. She's a very interesting godling, being less than 6 months old, only 1 month when the story starts. She has a thought process of someone with no attention span, which is always a hoot to read. :)

I'm about 3/5 of the way through, so let's see where takes us today.

From 1-100%, Random has chosen for me to go back to the 36% mark. (I just learned how to get to a location in an e-book! Multiply the number of locations by the percentage where you want to go.)

Counting these lines aren't as easy as I thought. I'm going to veto Random and myself and give you a few lines from the 36% mark.

His eyes narrowed. "You'd do my bidding? In exchange for...what, exactly?"

Oh, this! I inhaled. "Let me follow you around and do stuff like you do and talk to you and watch how you do things and maybe be your friend!"

The innocence of children. :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Express Yourself: Book Pairs

Happy Tuesday! Time for another question for the Express Yourself bloghop created by Dani @ Entertaining Interests and Jackie @ Bouquet of Books! You can join the weekly fun at either of their blogs.

This week, they ask us about some of our favorite book pairs, romantic, bffs, nemeses, etc.! That's not hard at all (sarcasm). lol

The first that comes to mind is Irene and Jonah from Terri Bruce's Hereafter and Thereafter.

Then, there is Victoria and Grant in Vanessa Diffenbaugh's The Language of Flowers.

Jake and Talulla in The Last Werewolf. (I would fan myself if it weren't so cold.)

Ed and Winry in The Fullmetal Alchemist series! They might be my favorite.

I could go on forever, so I won't. lol

Friday, February 6, 2015

Friday Freeday: When Writing What You Don't Know

Good morning!

As I'm moving into my next writing project, a contemporary YA fiction, I've come to a point in my knowledge bank where I can work a little more of the things I've learned the past few years into my story.

A quick history of this project:

As I mentioned a post or two ago, I am revamping a set of short stories I began writing in high school. The first short story focused on the narrator's sorta-boyfriend, Jonny, and his mother. They both had a non-descript mental illness that made them closed off, impulsive and also manic-depressive (MDD). I always played with the idea of them having Schizo-Affective Disorder, but it's a fairly complicated illness, and being a teenager when I began writing that story, all I had to go on was the internet. I'm still not sure if they were true to the typical symptoms of that disorder.

Fast forward to today, or two or three days ago rather, I started writing the beginnings of this revamp (no plotting like I said might happen lol I'm a pantser, can't help it) with a new idea. First, as I'd actually focused on Jonny's parents in an early draft, I started with them again. This time, however, I got to use some more information. I was a secretary-type person at the Division of Developmental Disabilities services for 2-3 years before I got my current job. One of the duties they assigned me was taking notes, minutes, and copying off reports for a committee who documented the disabled clients that had behavioral disorders. So I spent months typing up and reading these reports, hearing about instances from their case managers and analysts where their behaviors spiked, and understanding the differences between the common developmental disabilities, like Downs Syndrome and Autism. I also learned of behavioral disorders like Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED), Impulse Control Disorder (ICD); I even got to study documentation of a few clients with Schizo-Affective Disorder. (I probably should've gone into psychology, but I didn't realize how deep my passion was for knowing about these disorders until I was on that committee, and I don't particularly want to go back to college.)

So, I was given a foundation. I also knew by the time I put pencil to paper this week that the issue my Jonny and his mother would be dealing with was Asperger's with ICD, Anxiety, and Depression axes (did not know the plural for axis a minute ago) for Jonny's mother. I'm still on the fence about using IED, probably won't, but certainly either Asperger's with an ADHD or MDD axis for Jonny.

And something awesomely cool about the advancement of the internet: I found a blog by a mother with Asperger's (she didn't know she had it until her child was an adult). So, I can get experiences straight from a source to understand what a parent with Asperger's goes through. Just reading the first two posts in her series, I can see how frustrating and scary it must've been to know you're different but not why. We know so much more about Asperger's now than before (I only heard about it through Grey's Anatomy some years ago, and Asperger discovered it in the 40s).

I am on this diatribe to say that it's okay to write what you don't know if you take the time to research it, speak to people who've experienced it, and/or find blogs by people who've experienced it. Work to make it as real and plausible as possible. If this story sees the light of day, I hope someone will be able to relate to it, see themselves in it, and say that I did a good job portraying it.

Is there something you've wanted to write or something that has interested you that you yourself haven't experienced?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

IWSG: Next Project

Seriously? It's February already? Time is FLYING.

Oh well, it's the first Wednesday of the month, so you know what that means: IWSG! If you are a writer, the chances you have some doubts is very high, and that's why Alex J. Cavanaugh created this hop, so we can all support one another. The thing is so big now, it even has its own website and Facebook page! There is also a critique group now on Facebook, so if someone can comment that so peeps can see it. :) (Update: posted, hyperlinked. Thanks, Alex!)

This week, I opened up three short stories I began writing in high school. It focuses on these 4 best friends and the ups and downs they go through. I've wanted to expand their stories for quite some time and had even started a short story in the future that focuses on some of their children, but I didn't finish it.

I really want to do this story; the characters are dear to me. I just want it also to be relevant and realistic (the stories were so melodramatic and WORDY lol), so I might have to *gasp* plot.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Express Yourself Weekly: How to Say Thanks!

Welcome back to Express Yourself! This bloghop was created by Dani @ Entertaining Interests and Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and is filled with interesting questions each week that we can all answer. You can find this month's questions on Dani's page: aquí.

This week's question was submitted by J. Lenni Dorner, and she asked: What's the most creative way you can come up with to send a Thank You note?

As Dani said, it depends on the person. Most of my thank you's are done by reciprocating whatever the person did for me in some way. I think if I knew the person had a favorite radio station, I would try to send them one that way, so the world could hear their name. hehe