Is Change a Loss of Control or an Opportunity to Take Control?

I don’t drink… much. I’ve only been ‘tipsy’ once in my life (yes it was underage drinking – I thought I was invincible at 17). I hated roller coasters (and still can’t handle the ones that go backwards) until I learned to understand force vs. momentum and the effects of gravitational pull… among other things. I’m also a terrible ‘back seat driver’ when it comes to being in a vehicle with someone (my husband for one) who is a more ‘aggressive’ driver than I am… the fast stops, the impatient lane changes, the waiting to see if that other idiot is actually going to see you before pulling out into the intersection before bothering to slow down only to hit the horn and curse at what you clearly saw coming… you get the idea.

If you hadn’t guessed, I’m a bit of a control freak – always have been.

Needless to say there have been times in my life (mostly as a child or young girl) when I felt severely out of control and lived with a nagging sense of dread that some people might even label as childhood depression. Now, I was not sexually or physically abused (though the psychological damage from playground bullying and my father’s lack of faith in me as a teen was difficult enough) but there was very little stability in my life growing up.

You see, my mother was a bit of a gypsy.

We rarely stayed in one home for more than a couple of years and she’s had her fair share of boyfriends (and side lovers) since she was still quite young herself as she raised me. At that time in my life my school, and by default my grandmother’s house, was my rock – my foundation. It never changed. I had my friends and my extended family (several of my cousins went to the same school though they were in different years) – I had a source of stability.

All that changed when an anomalous ‘boyfriend’ of my mother’s convinced her to stop driving me to my grandmother’s house on her way to work every day and sent me instead to ‘a perfectly good school across the street’ from where we were living at the time.

For an 11 year old, this shattered my world.

Now, my ‘home’ school (the one I’d attended since the age of 4) became a pillar or beacon in my life. I always felt that if I could just get back there again, I would feel whole. So every chance I got (Professional Development Days & the last day of school) I went back. I even went to my old class’ Confirmation at the local Church for goodness sake… but things were never the same.

Earlier that day, when I visited my old school, the boy who had been my absolute best friend – the one who played Thunder Cats (as an improvised drama game based on the cartoon) with me at recess – asked one of the guys, who I always knew but never hung out with, who I was…

I mean, how could he not know me?

And that’s when the bubble broke. I realized that I’d been holding on so tight to the past that my past had moved on without me even knowing.

Years later I learned from my grandmother that they tore my school down (they being the city planners). There was nothing particularly wrong with the building. It was perhaps a bit small but the biggest down point is that it was a Catholic School. The cultural and religious makeup of the area favoured the new immigrants who followed different faiths.

My school became obsolete and the last vestiges of the foundation I’d built myself upon crumbled away.

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This is what my character Taya goes through in Cadence of Consequences, Book 2 of The Chronicles of Xannia series.

Her foundation is severely rocked and even begins to crumble in Book 1, but in book 2 this headstrong, self-confident and exceptional young woman no longer feels in control of her life. Hidden away from the world for ‘her own safety’ she becomes dependent on pills to cover up the fact that she’s falling apart on the inside – she’s too afraid to see the opportunities before her as she dwells on the life she wants back but can no longer have.

This is a particularly difficult journey toward self-realization for her, just as it was for me. It doesn’t matter that she is of an alien race living on another planet. Her humanity crosses boundaries and barriers as she finally learns who she is and what she’s capable of.

To this day I struggle with viewing change as an opportunity and not as a blow to my understanding of self. Hindsight is 20/20 but those rose-coloured glasses are hard to give up. In fact, I particularly dread the day my grandmother passes away (luckily she’s still quite robust @ 91) and the family sells her home… I just know that some small piece of me still clings to that false sense of security.

I hope you will join Taya, her absentee lover and the best friend who betrayed her as they find a way to heal themselves and their fracturing world.

Cadence of Consequences comes out later this Summer (2015).

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Book 1 – Time’s Tempest please send me a message as the 1st Edition is currently unavailable online. As of July 1st the 2nd Edition will be published with my new publisher and be available again through the regular channels.

All the best,

M.J.

Interview with Author MJ Moores

Sacha Black

MJ Moores

Please welcome MJ Moores to this weeks author interview. If you would like to find out more about her, you can visit here:

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Science Fiction vs. Fantasy

Hi everyone!

I’m really excited about the publication of my next full-length article: Science Fiction vs. Fantasy where I take a close look at the long-time debate and touch on what it is like being a crossover writer of these two genres.

I was approached by Kathryn Jenkins of DKC (Dragon Knight Chronicles Publishing House) to help with the inaugural launch of their magazine Ind’spiration Digest on June 30th.

Check out the awesome cover –

Cover June 2015The first issue will be free for anyone to check out and consider a subscription to.

They focus on author interviews, spotlights, book reviews, & industry-related articles that not only serve as a platform for Indy Author awareness but great information about writing, publishing, and marketing your wares.

Give the cover a click and head on over to the Ind’spiration Digest Facebook page to learn more 😉

I’ll be sure to post a link for you when the magazine goes live.

Happy reading!

Nominated for the 2015 RONE Award

Hi everyone,

I have some great news! InD’Tale Magazine has nominated my book Time’s Tempest for a 2015 RONE Award 😀

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this award, RONE stands for Reward of Novel Excellence in the Indie Book Publishing Industry.

The first round of nominations happen when InD’Tale Magazine reviews an author’s book and gives it a rating of 4 stars or higher (Time’s Tempest received 4.5 stars).

The second round of nominations is based on the book’s fans – anyone who has read the book is invited to subscribe to the magazine for FREE and then place a vote during the week that particular genre is being reviewed.

RONE
Last year’s badge given out after the final judging.

My week for Fantasy/Sci-Fi is May 11th – 15th, 2015.

The third and final round take the top books from the fan round in each category and brings them to a group of independent judges for ranking of the top 3.

Please stop by to vote and pass this link along 😀

http://indtale.com/2015-rone-awards-week-five

Thanks so much for your support! ❤ ❤

Epiphanies and Creativity

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jorbe42.deviantart.com

Epiphanies are those rare “lightbulb” moments we humans have when things suddenly click in our mind and either what we’ve been stressing over or an understanding that’s been eluding us becomes wonderfully and incredibly clear.

These moments are rare for me as I’m stubborn and pig-headed by nature and tend to wrestle with ideas and concepts until I’ve wrangled them into submission. I’m also a fairly well-read and generally knowledgeable when it comes to a wide variety of topics and find interest in anything from a great joke to a good recipe to astronomy to ancient history and beyond.

I’m not a genius – far from it. In fact, I’d more likely label myself blissfully ignorant (though I’m well-aware of the horrors in this world I try not to hold onto the world’s pain and suffering as if it were my own).

All of these things combine make it rare for me to have epiphanic (not that’s not a real derivative of that word but it’s doing what I want it to) moments.

Which made yesterday such a wonderful day for me –

I had an epiphany!

For months now I’ve been working on plotting book 3 for the Chronicles series and trying to figure out how to wrap everything up in book 4 for the grand finale. I’ve always known in the back of my mind a very general concept for what had to be done and who would be part of it (character-wise that is). But I could never quite get a handle on exactly what was going to happen and why.

Then, I took three days off to spend Easter with my family. I did not write or edit or do anything work-related (even though weekends are usually my most productive time)… and the biggest thing I did was not worry about not working!

Now, when I sat down yesterday to dig into some larger edits required for book 2 I paused between chapters to simply take a breath and find a more comfortable position to sit in when it happened…

Suddenly my brain kicked into overdrive and I understood not only why book 3 had to take place in the past but how everything came together in book 4 – including the conclusion to Taya’s (my protagonist’s) character arc!

And I got excited – so much so that my heart raced and I felt as if I had to shout out my good fortune to the world. Of course, no one was around at the time and I had to keep going on the edit but that excitement kept me in high-gear for the rest of the day – giddy, positive and yet focused.

So why is it that today I’m in such a pissy/grumpy mood?

My epiphany is still magnificent – it clarifies where I’m going with this series and still has me doing mini-happy dances whenever I think about it. But I’ve been snappy and impatient all morning. Part of me desperately wants to take a nap and let my brain relax since my morning dream was one of those you just don’t want to wake up from, but it didn’t exactly let me rest either – and I’m always a bear when I don’t get enough sleep… but somehow it feels like more than that is going on.

Has this ever happened to you?

I’m Getting into the Workshop Game

Hi everyone!

I’ll be running a practical workshop on Self-Publishing next month at the Newmarket Library.

If you live nearby and are interested in getting a jump start on being an Indie Author this is a must take workshop!

Spread the news 🙂

Self-Publishing by Yourself - Poster

 

 

Questions of Consistency Within a Series

As you may or may not know, I run writers blog with new or shared content most days of the week. Today I look at what’s plaguing me the most with plotting for book 3 in The Chronicles of Xannia. I’m effectively at a crossroads and I’m questioning all my choices…

blurred characters All Those Blurred People… Stig Nygaard – Flickr – Creative Commons License

You might think that this quote is stating the obvious,

especially when you look at the consistency of character

in one book.

But what about a series?

Characters are supposed to change:

grow

regress

evolve

devolve

but gradually (most of the time).

But what about when you suddenly take your series back to a time

before your main characters were born?

What if you’re choosing to look at their ancestors

and a terrible societal event

that become the catalyst for the first two books in your series?

When the characters are suddenly different

how are you supposed to stay true to them?

Does TRUTH then move

from the character to the world in which they live? thrive? die?

What if this world is days away from

the New Renaissance that happens and these new characters

are trapped in…

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Nominated for the Liebster Award

liebster-award-logoThis week I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award. It’s a writing and content award for bloggers by bloggers who acknowledge great content and good writers who are just beginning their blogging career.

I’d like to thank Renee Scattergood for the nomination and I graciously accept this award. In doing so, it is now my obligation to answer 11 question, state 11 random facts, nominate 11 more wonderful new bloggers and ask them 11 questions of my own.

You may be wondering, “Why 11?” – So did I 😉

Symbolic Meaning of the Number Eleven

The spiritual meaning of number eleven is quite diverse. The number eleven is thought of as a “master” number in numerology because it is a double digit of the same number. When this occurs – the vibrational frequency of the prime number doubles in power. Meaning, the attributes of the Number One are doubled.

Therefore, the very basic and primary understanding of the Number One is that of new beginnings and purity. When we see this digit doubled as with the eleven – then these attributes double in strength.

~ from http://knowyoursign.com

Renee’s Liebster Award questions for me:

How many books (on average) do you read each year?

I read approximately 12-16 fiction books of my own choosing, 4-6 fiction books for virtual book tours visiting my editing site Infinite Pathways Press, 4-6 non-fiction books related to the writing/publishing industry & 5-8 manuscripts for my editing clients (which, technically, are books!)… and that brings me to a total of 25-36 books a year!

What’s your zodiac sign?

I’m a Virgo with Leo tendencies since my birthday falls within the first week of the transition between Leo and Virgo – and it’s all true!

What would you consider to be your greatest achievement in life?

Wow, that’s a hard one… the mom in me want’s to say, “My son, of course.” But I don’t think that’s fair. I’d have to say it’s getting married less than a month after my 21st birthday and being committed to making it work for the last 15 years… you see, I’m not an easy person to live with – I’m terribly stubborn!

If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be?

The British Isles… On my mother’s side my Grandmother’s family was from Ireland and my Grandfather’s family from England; on my father’s side my Grandmother was from Malta and my Grandfather from England. While I’d like to visit Malta some day, it’s not on my ‘bucket list’ like the Isles. That and I’m a sucker for castles!

What do you enjoy more, watching TV, watching movies or reading? Why?

Reading. I can get the same experiences of TV and movies that I can get with a book. I’m lucky enough to have the kind of imagination where I no longer see the words on the page but become one with the story; and there’s so much more you can get from that then just sitting like a lump on a log watching what someone else’s imagination wants you to see – but don’t get me wrong, I quite enjoy watching TV and going to the movies 😀

Have you ever won anything? If so, what was it and how did you win it?

I’ve won dance competitions, track & field races, writing competitions, basket ball games (with my team), books from giveaways, awards of excellence in school, door prizes, karaoke nights… I am most proud of winning my racing medals though – I used to have that “running” dream as a pre-teen/teen where you’re never quite sure if you’ll be fast enough to get away… the awards helped me through that period in my life.

What is the scariest thing that has ever happened to you?

I’ve been in car crashes as a child, fallen out of trees, been in close proximity to huge spiders (and I’m not exaggerating here) and even ridden an old wooden roller coaster I was sure was going to launch me out of my seat. But of everything, I’d say the scariest was watching my mother in a bad relationship when I was a child.

Would you want to be famous? Why or why not?

I think I could handle fame as an author but maybe not as a Hollywood celebrity – I’m very “in your face” and I have a tendency to do things I’m told are impossible to be done… just to prove it can be done. So, take from that what you will.

Have you ever read a book that once you were done you had to read it again right away? What was it? What made it so great for you that you had to read it a second (third, fourth…) time?

I have two of these books – LOL! The first is Green Rider by Kristen Britain and the second is Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder. The magic in these new lands and the strong female characters make my heart sing, swoon and shatter. I can only hope that my own writing affects someone in this way 😀

What is your favorite beverage?

Icy chocolate milk. I’m a choco-holic and I drink hot chocolate the way most people drink coffee or tea (the herbal stuff is okay but too mild for me on average). I stopped liking the flavour of white milk in my mid-teens and instead latched onto chocolate milk… the colder and icier the better.

Do you prefer hot or cold weather? Why?

Neither. I’m not a fan of summer or winter. My favourite temperature is warm and I relish in the break that spring brings from the frigid and that autumn brings from the heat! I’d be most content living in New Zealand for the rest of my life as long as I could bring my entire extended family with me!

11 Random Facts about M.J. Moores

1) I tried out for the first ever Canadian Idol, made it through 3 rounds of judging with the TV producers then got rejected before I could sing for the stars. I now no longer watch any of the Idols.

2) It was (and still is) a huge dream of mine to sing for an animated Disney movie.

3) My two eye-teeth are crooked. In elementary/public school my mother asked me if I wanted braces and I said, “No. I don’t want to be like everyone else.”

4) You will not win an argument against me if I think I’m right (LOL!)

5) I love to eat. I have one of those pallets that allows me to savour good food and now I’m battling with my weight because my metabolism is no longer what it was when I was younger!

6) I hate the colour yellow in decor but find it truly inspiring out in nature.

7) My favourite colour is blue… electric blue.

8) I love to laugh but I’m not a ‘funny’ person 😉

9) I will go stir-crazy if I do not get to read on a regular basis.

10) I did acrobatic/dance and jazz as a pre-teen and then took it up again in my late 20s and early 30s until I pulled a groin muscle and felt like a fork with no tines.

11) I love, love, love music from the late 80s & early 90s – Rock On my friends!

My Nominees for the Liebster Award

Andrea N. Carr

Patricia Miller

Kat Ryder

R. Clint Peters

Alexandru Constantin

Alex Lound

Rob Rinne

Brittany Zedalis

bhalsop

Matt of Suffolk – shadowmatty

Kelly Anne Rist

Questions for my Nominees

Who or what inspires you as a writer and as a human being?

What motivates you to get out of bed every morning?

If you could change one thing in your past, what would it be and why?

If you were a superhero, what would be your power(s) and why?

What’s a moment in your past you are now able to laugh at but couldn’t at the time?

If you could live anywhere on Earth, where would you choose and why?

What’s your biggest worry right now?

What is your best physical attribute?

What is your best characteristic?

What is your worst characteristic?

Do you remember your dreams? How does that affect you (or not)?

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