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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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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Follow the Portal

I have a domain now! I decided the price was too good to pass up, so follow the portal (well, the link below it anyway) to my new blog page! Nothing is there yet, but there will be in November! :)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday Freeday: 400!

I can't believe this is my 400th post!

Thank you to my 100 readers, also. You make me want to keep writing SOMETHING. lol

That said, I think I know where I'm going next in blogging, and I'm kind of excited about it.

I'd mentioned flash fiction posts, and while I was kind of leery about it, I wondered how I could tie them into my WIP The Crystal Bearer. A tidbit about my story, my main character loves to read. So, why not do flash fictions based on tales that would be written in the world my story? I'm already writing a story based on one of the series she's reading, so why not take it a step further, you know? I think it would help keep my mind fresh.

They'll most likely be on Tuesdays, so I can call it Tuesday Tales. I'm obsessed with alliteration, I know. That said, I'd also like to sometimes do a Final Fantasy Friday (and bring back Wednesday Words). That's why I call myself the Write Mage, and the games are a big influence in my life as well as in The Crystal Bearer, after all. While I'm more knowledgeable about the mid-to-later games in the franchise, they are something I'd love to share with you all, too.

So, I believe that is where I'll be headed in November.  Heads up: these 400 posts may be under a new blog link and title then, so I can shift the focus.

Thank you again for being here to read the craziness that comes out of my head. :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

#amreading: Dragon of the Stars

Finally back with a new book to share with you all!

So our resident Ninja, Alex J. Cavanaugh, writes as well as that's not right...Ninjiates? Sure, why not.

I read Cassafire a little while back, the second book in his Cassa series (because I'm a rebel), and had tweeted often in my excitement about his newer book, Dragon of the Stars, which had a website attached to help us try to figure out what the Kargrandes are. I'm reading it fairly slowly, having burned through my Goodreads book challenge and working on revising and being a CP, but I still need to know what exactly the Kargrandes are, and I've come to realize I think I thouroughly enjoy military science fiction, if not, then Alex's books.

So, let me share with you some of this book using There are 240 pages in the Kindle edition, and Random has chosen for me page..................................114, which is almost halfway through the book.

He hesitated, but no one else held the proper qualifications. "You have the bridge until I return. Make sure everyone knows their duties."

Her eyes grew wide, but she nodded. "Yes, sir."

Aden sprung to his feet, determined to locate his missing lieutenant.

I can't imagine what's happened between where I am and this point, and I can't wait to get there, either!

What's everyone reading this week?

Friday, October 16, 2015


Forgive the language...or blame Dani and Jackie. haha Today, they would like to know those 5 things that drive you up a wall. You can visit them over at Cover Girls and comment with a link to your own post.

1. People talking loudly or listening to something loudly when you're trying to listen to something.
2. People who use curse words ALL THE TIME.
3. People who think they can sing but can't. As a musician, that offends me greatly.
4. When black people stare at other black people like they haven't seen black people before (sorry, got really specific with that one).
5. Guys who honk at you when you're walking down the street.

Have a great weekend! Share your 5 or anything that drives you crazy.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Mmmeh Blogging and Names

I preface this by saying I have to remember that Fall is my favorite season because of the beauty of the trees changing, the cool walking weather, and the smell of burning firewood, and that it's not about the utter destruction it causes to my health. I've been coughing for about 24 hours, and I want to lie down until I stop.

So, I remembered today is Tuesday, and I thought, "I really don't want to blog a ever again." This is, first off, typical of me. I start something with gusto and eventually get tired of it. It's most likely my topics. I realize I almost don't even talk about writing, so maybe I should work on that, because, you know, WRITE Mage. Maybe I need to shift my blog focus. Is it LG Keltner who does flash fiction posts? Maybe I can start that, get my head back in the game. So if I disappear in November/December (except on 1st Wednesdays), that is most likely what I'm doing. Also, be prepared if my posts become sporadic for the rest of the month.

This next piece is sponsored by the latest controversy of verbal diarrhea from Raven-Symoné and "ghetto names." While even as a black girl born in the mid 80s, I cringe at some of the names I hear around me and have often called them made up. Someone on Youtube once said to me, "All names are made up," and I didn't have a valid argument for that, so I didn't respond. My and many parents born in the 50s/60s (and were given "normal" names) also groan when they see the names parents born in the 70s/80s have named their children. And while some names are just plain unforgivable (did you ever hear of the mom complaining that the teachers couldn't pronounce her daughter's name La-a, pronounced LaDASHa? *scowl*), I understand that some people are trying to either be unique or reach back to an Africa they never had the chance to experience. For instance, my classmate Nyeisha, who has always hated her name, learned that Nye is Swedish for "truly golden" (and one of her middle names actually IS Golden), and Isha is Hebrew for "woman" and Indian for "protector/lord". Even if her mom didn't mean to do that, I think that's pretty powerful.

Nyeisha also shared this poem by a young woman whose name I imagine is spelled Shakandria (shu KAHN dree uh). If you have a Facebook, search Cassandra Whitlock McClary, who posted the poem. It even made me think twice about cringing at some names. Also, there's a writing project in the back of my head featuring warrior sisters, and maybe, just maybe, to help empower little girls out there whose names don't sound like my Hebrew first name, French middle name, British last name, that they can be great with something as simple as having MCs with names like theirs.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Friday Freeday

I don't know why I bother trying to keep a schedule. Express Yourself was supposed to be today, but I'm used to doing them on Tuesdays. SMH!

Oh well. I really don't have much to say. Allegra & company are helping with my allergies, but I need to pair it with something to open up my sinuses. Feels like inhaler time, too, so I should probably get my prescription renewed, though the health site I just read said expired inhalers won't kill you.

I had an interesting dream that I might want to flesh out into a story. We'll see. I've had a couple prospective ideas floating around my noggin. I'm once again pausing on querying while my new CP looks at The Crystal Bearer. Phew. One day, it's going to be published, by God.

NaNoWriMo is next month. I have some time to decide if I want to do it, but if so, I need to start *gasp* plotting something. I tried pantsing it once or twice and failed miserably. Plotting is definitely the way to go if I want to get 1000 words a day out. Maybe I'll write by hand for this.

Does anyone have any big plans for the weekend? Any new projects? I'd love to hear about them. :)

Thursday, October 8, 2015

IWSG: A Day Late!

I went home allergy-sick yesterday, so I forgot to post! So Happy Over-the-Hump Day! It's time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group post. This group was created by the ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh, and it's gotten so big that it has its own website, book, and upcoming anthology! We post (normally) every 1st Wednesday of the month, and you can sign up to join us any time!

This is mostly a post about being grateful for another group I joined last month. It's the Pitch Warriors, people who didn't make the cut during Pitch Wars. We mostly talk on Facebook, but it's such a helpful and encouraging group, and I even received a CP who I hope will be with me for the long term (she's also got a GREAT story I can't wait to see published). I'm a super introvert, so I rarely do any of these contests or groups to make new friends and what-not, but this time it's really nice to be around people who were on the same boat.

That's all. :-D

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Express Yourself: Scary Places (Wooooooo)

Happy Tuesday. :) The Cover Girls, aka Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests provide these fun questions for us to get to know their readers a little better and vice versa. Feel free to join in and comment their posts with the link to yours.

This week, they ask: Where would be the scariest place to spend Halloween?

Anyone else live in a town or state that has an old, prominent family in it? Ours are the DuPonts, and my cousin got married in their Bellevue House (which was turned into a park by the DuPont children), which is a replica of James Madison's Montpelier. My sister saw a crawlspace in the women's bathroom. We saw a hidden door in the room where the ceremony was, and I was able to pull a piece of the fireplace's broken brick out to peek inside. I'm sure had I moved the rubble, there would've been a secret switch or something. We even took my mom up to the DuPont estate Wintherthur for her birthday last year (it's so big, it has its own zip code).

Old, scary houses, especially mansions, always bring old ghosts to mind (like the awesomely bad movie The Haunting). One day, I'm going to start writing a ghosts-in-the-mansion story, but it would need to be really original. lol


Where do YOU think the scariest place to spend Halloween would be?

Friday, October 2, 2015

A Very Rainy Friday (Here Be Blog Memes)

Well, thank you, those two of you who took pity on me Wednesday! lol I now have...

Just kidding. I now have 100 Followers! I wish I had stuff to giveaway or something, but I'm a part-time casual/seasonal administrative assistant, so I don't. BUT I'm declaring that that will change soon, as one of the other admins just picked up another job! This department tends to keep its people, so the chances that I will be full time soon are HIGH!

And now for Fast Five Friday! This is created by the Cover Girls, Dani and Jax, who also do the Express Yourself Weekly meme, which is also below. You can visit their blog and participate by posting your own Fast Five answers and then commenting with the link to your post.

Today, they want us to rattle off 5 favorite classic literature novels that we adore. Some of mine are plays. I hope that's okay.

1. Death of a Salesman
2. The Glass Menagerie
3. Taming of the Shrew
4. A Christmas Carol
5. The Great Gatsby

For Express Yourself, they would also like to know what our favorite cookie/cake is.

I LOVE oatmeal raisin cookies. They're not only tasty, but you can eat them guilt-free any time of the day! Chocolate chip comes in a close second, but it has to be a really good chocolate chip cookie. I also love mousse cake and a Boston creme-style cake (though it doesn't have to have the chocolate frosting. I just love the pudding).

What are your favorite classic novels? Or cookies? Or cakes? lol

Have a great weekend!