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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, March 31, 2015

Express Yourself Weekly: Changes

Welcome back to Express Yourself Weekly, brought to us by Dani @ Entertaining Interests and Jackie @ Bouquet of Books to get to know us all a little better.

This week, they ask us: In the past year, what has been the biggest change for you?

Well, one year and two weeks ago, I finally escape temp work and was hired by the state for this casual/seasonal position. It was a big relief, as I was bored to death and barely making ends meet.

Unfortunately, I'm kind of in the same rut, but things are looking up. I need to be more positive and goal oriented in myself to get things going, and I think I can do it before next year hits.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Fast Five Friday: Movie Crushes

Alright, alright, alright (in my Matthew McConaughey voice), Happy Friday!! Welcome back to an installment of Fast Five Friday, brought to us by Dani and Jackie, the Cover Girls!

This week, we have shooting off our five favorite movie crushes! Let's see if I can stop at five. lol (After looking) Okay, FINDING five was actually hard. I was like, "What movies have I watched?"

Well, there's the Prince from Beauty & The Beast. lol Hey, even my mom was like, "Wow."

The sexy Michael Corvin from the Underworld series.

Capt. James T. Kirk time-warped world style from Star Trek. (Mainly because, well, Chris Pine.)

Louie from Interview with the Vampire. (Mainly because, I mean, BRAD!)

Jacob Palmer from Crazy, Stupid Love.

BONUS info: My cousin has a serious crush on Optimus Prime. hahahaha

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wednesday Words: A Victorian Flower Dictionary

Happy Wednesday!

Most Wednesday, I share with you what I am currently reading. While I'm still reading Octavia Butler's Seed to Harvest, that will be a while, but I have also started reading the companion to a book I read a few years ago, Language of Flowers.

A Victorian Flower Dictionary by Mandy Kirkby has everything you need to know about the most popular flowers. Each flower has a meaning: like an iris means "message." There's one flower that has like 5 meanings based on the color, but I can't remember which one. One color means "I love you," but a striped one means "I never want to see you again." lol

So, as I use to help me choose a page, let's see what it gives me out of the 192 pages in this 126.

That is the chapter about (Wicked Witch voice) the Poppy, which means "fantastic extravagance." There is a poem on page 126, so here it is for you: "Poppies" by the 19th century poet Frida Wolfe.

The poppies in the garden, they all wear frocks of silk,
Some are purple, some are pink, and others white as milk,
Light, light for dancing in, for dancing when the breeze
Play a little two-step for the blossoms and the bees.
Fine, fine, for dancing in, frilly at the hem,
Oh, when I watch the poppies dance I long to dance like them!

The poppies in the garden have let their silk frocks fall
All about the border paths, but where are they at all?
Here a frill and there a flounce – a rag of silky red,
But not a poppy-girl is left – I think they went to bed.
Gone to bed and gone to sleep; and weary they must be,
For each has left her box of dreams upon the stem for me.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Express Yourself Weekly: Life Advice

Welcome to Tuesday! Today is the day I answer the Express Yourself question given to us in the bloghop by Dani @ Entertaining Interests and Jackie @ Bouquet of Books. You can join anytime you like from either of their pages!

This week, they ask a very good question: If someone asked your for a piece of advice about life, what would you say?

I would simply say, "Follow your instincts and go for it."

There were so many times I look back on and think, "I should've done this." Obviously, it wasn't meant to be if it didn't happen, and I am one of those "What-if" people. If you feel in your heart you're supposed to be doing something, and it eats at you each day that you don't do it, DO IT. No one knows you better than you, so make it happen.

Monday, March 23, 2015

A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal

Happy Monday!

Last year, I decided that I was going to begin deciding May 2014 if I was going to participate in the A to Z Challenge in 2015. So, this February, I decided that yes, I would, and I was going to schedule my posts so that I wouldn't struggle the way I did in 2013. I will be posting this year in my April Dailies, and might even have a chance to still post on some of my normally scheduled days here, but I won't hold anyone to reading over here. Now I will have a chance to actually go around and read other people's posts and themes!

Speaking of themes, this is a BLOGFEST! Hence the logo sitting up there. I juggled a few in my head. Favorite songs, favorite books, favorite musical artists, but you know what, I'm going basic this year, and I'm providing a special list this year, a list that will get your creative juices flowing in the simplest way.

Wait for it.
















How do people do this? lol














Okay that's enough. My theme for the 2015 A to Z Challenge is

I know it's kind of weird, but it's something we as writers use often and without thinking about it until we want to say something other than "His eyes were blue" or "Her hair is bright red." So I'm providing some of my favorite color alternatives for you all!

Good luck this year. I can't wait to see what everyone else is doing.

(There's still time to do this, if you're mad! Here is the sign-up list for the A to Z Challenge:

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday Freeday: Insecurities

First day of Spring, and it's snowing in Delaware.

Good morning! This is actually a bit of an insecurity post, and I needed somewhere to vent, so what better place?

Since I graduated college and didn't get that dream job they kind of tell you're going to get by the end of the 4-or-so years, I've basically done dead-end jobs. Data entry, customer service, clerical stuff, and living in central Delaware, the pay is fairly bad. I thought by now things would get better, but 7 years later, and I'm still working check to check and skipping bills.

It gets kind of depressing, and I've realized I'm stuck in this rut where it's starting to affect my mindset even with my writing. What if I don't get published? What if I've always been living in a dream and am kidding myself? What if I don't have a best seller? Etc. etc.

Things spiral from there, so while I'm trying to make a living, I'd like at LEAST one year where I can just LIVE. It's definitely one of those days where I think on all the different paths I should've taken so that I'm not stuck in this funk, but...can't do that.

So pray for me.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wednesday Words: Seed to Harvest

Good morning!

Welcome to Wednesday Words, where I share with you all a piece of what I am reading this week using I've also decided to start adding the actual cover on this day. I think it helps with visuals. :)

Yesterday, I (sort of) began Octavia Butler's Wild Seed, the first novel in the collection Seed to Harvest. I'm only a couple of pages in, but it looks to be about two immortals. Immortals are always intriguing. :)

There are 253 pages in Wild Seed, so using Random to pick a page, it has 111.

There are about 29 lines on that page, so Random, do you stuff..................line 4. It's an answer to a question, so I'll add that, too.

"I will obey," she muttered, then faced him defiantly. "When will I have my own house? My own cooking fire?"

"When you've learned what to do with them."


What are you reading this week?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Express Yourself Weekly: "I'm an expert!"

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

But it's also Tuesday, so it's time for...

This hop was created by Dani @ Entertaining Interests and Jackie @ Bouquet of Books. You can join in on the weekly fun questions through their blogs.

This week they say: Everyone has at least one subject matter they are self-acclaimed experts in (Ex: pop culture, monsters, robots, etc). What is yours?

As most of you all know, I proclaim myself an expert of all things Final Fantasy! Unfortunately, I'm aware that that's not true, as I haven't been able to play all of the games yet. But I'm an expert at the ones that I say matter. lol FF6 through XIII, I am quite knowledgeable about, but I know the most about 7 through X-2.

My nephew-cousin (no hillbilly happenings; his mom is my cousin, and we are like sisters. lol) would have you believe I'm an expert in all things WWE, and I regret daily introducing him to it, because he's OBSESSED.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Fast Five Friday: Books!

Happy Friday! Ohhhh, Happy Friday! *blubbers, holds Friday like a lost puppy* We thought we'd never see you again!

That aside, welcome back to Fast Five Friday, given to us by the Cover Girls, Dani & Jax! It's a very lax meme in which you can participate whenever you feel.

This week, they would like us to recommend 5 Books!

Here are the 5 that have changed my life as a fantasy writer, and I strongly recommend them for other fantasy writers.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (and sequels) by N.K. Jemisin

The Phoenix Unchained (and sequels) by Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory
*This truly was the first that ultimately showed me the kind of writer I want to be.*

Transparent (and sequel lol) by Natalie Whipple

Hereafter (you know what goes here lol) by Terri Bruce

A Game of Thrones (et. al.) by George R.R. Martin

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wednesday Words: Flight Vol. 7

Happy Hump Day.

So about this Daylight Savings debacle...

Anyway, welcome back to Wednesday Words, where I typically use to help me pick a page and line from that page to share with you all what I'm currently reading. Every now and then, I switch it up, and today is one of those days.

I love graphic novels, and the series Flight is currently one of my favorites. It gathers multiple writers and artists together to create beautiful and whimsical pieces of fiction. I'm halfway through Volume 7 (Hopefully I'll get to read Volume 6, but my library didn't have it!), and instead of using Random today, I thought I'd share the opening of the next story I'm about to read, because it's funny.

S: I've decided to become a SKEPTIC!
O: WHAT?! I don't believe it!


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Express Yourself Weekly and News

Happy Tuesday! Welcome back to Express Yourself Weekly, brought to us by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests! Each week they have a question for us to answer, and this week's is:

If you could try out one occupation for a week, what would you choose?

I would love to be a WWE Diva for a week. It's always been a dream of mine to wrestle, but I think I'm even shorter than the average Diva and have no flexibility. I think I'd be a hard-hitter, though, and could do some good submissions.

In other news: TODAY IS THE DAY! Cactus Heart Press Issue #11, The Speculative Fiction Issue, is out today! My short story "Origin" is now a published piece of work! I'm so excited. This can only be the start of big things for me, so I can't wait to see what else happens. :-D

Friday, March 6, 2015

Friday Freeday


I don't really have anything to say. lol

The state had a 2-hour delay, so I've only been at work since 10am, and I definitely discussed with my aunt who drove me to work how work should always start at 10am. Apparently, we're only on 8 hour shifts because of farmers, so why don't they just give us a 6 hour shift and pay us a little more to balance out the 8 hours? Makes sense to me.

I want sushi. What kind is the question. I bought Chinese Wednesday night, and I strongly believe that as much business as Chinese restaurants get, they shouldn't be putting imitation crab in their food and calling it crab (imitation crab is often spelled krab). We're on the bay. Buy some real crab!

On March 10th, Cactus Heart Press's Speculative Fiction Edition comes out, and I'm so excited! My first real publication! I hope this is the start of "my year"!

Aaaand something bit me on my forehead. *sigh*

I hope everyone has a great weekend! Stay safe and warm. :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Insecure Writers Support Group

Good morning, all!

This is the Insecure Writer's Support Group, where like a thousand of us get together and talk about our insecurities or just what's on our mind on the first Wednesday of the month. There would be no IWSG without the great Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh and his team of super samurai (I know those don't go together, but why not), who can be found commenting on our blogs today. You can also visit the blog for the group by clicking THIS.

While I have a short story being published this month (eeee!) by Cactus Heart Press, I still have to build up the strength to work on a synopsis for my major project The Crystal Bearer. I have one or two companies in mind that I want to submit to this time around, and I want to make sure everything is in order. I haven't really worked on a synopsis in years, and whatever paper I started writing it on this year, I think I've lost. It was in one of my coat pockets. Maybe it's still there.

This project means everything to me, so I really want to get it out there. I don't want to downplay my early declarations, because I've already said 2015 is going to be my year. I just need to force myself to make it that way as well.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Express Yourself: Your Life's Narrator

Welcome back to Express Yourself! This meme was created by Dani @ Entertaining Interests and Jackie @ Bouquet of Books to get to know us all You can join us through either of their blogs.

Last year, Dani & Jackie opened the Express Yourself question query to us members of the hop, and as I was reading the guest questions so far this year, I thought, "Man, why didn't I ask a question?"

Apparently I did. haha It's the question this week, and it is: "Who would narrate your life in a movie?"

I feel like either Aubrey Plaza, who has that lazed, Delawarean disinterested voice I think I have in my head, or one of my icons, Zoe Saldana, who has that great husky, deep voice I think I have in real life but don't would be two great choices for my biopic.

What about you?