What Inspires You?

My husband’s arm is healing well, we found when he went to his first follow-up with the surgeon this week. He obviously still can’t use his arm, but can move it, and doesn’t have much pain unless he’s doing that a lot. So that’s good news! We also got to see for the first time what all the surgeon put in there. 😯

Broken arm

A bendable, stainless steel plate, and ten pins, in case you’re curious.

Otherwise, not much going on this week until yesterday, one of my writing friends came over for some lessons in formatting ebooks. Or rather, her husband got the formatting walkthrough, while Stacy and I got some writing talk in. Then we went to dinner afterwards, with my husband. Always fun, and I always like helping other writers.

Smiths-Monthly-Cover-6-web-coverWhat I read this week: I finished Indentured Hearts on Sunday, and wow, what a finish! A truly villainous antagonist, a life-or-death situation, and an ending that lived up to the can’t-put-it down beginning and rest of the book. Then I started Smith’s Monthly #6, and read the short stories and serial segments. This is Dean Wesley Smith’s monthly magazine that contains around 80,000 words of fiction every month, including a new novel that he typically writes in about three weeks. One of the stories was written in another writer’s established world (with permission) that I wasn’t familiar with, so I didn’t get into that story. And another one seemed more like a sociological essay on something that might be possible, and while interesting, didn’t come across as much of a story to me. But there was also a new Poker Boy story, plus a Seeder’s Universe story, and those are always fun and entertaining. And in any case, it’s always interesting to read Dean’s work after reading his Writing in Public blogs where he discussed the writing of them.

ROW80Logo175ROW80/Writing Update: ROW80 Round 3 officially ended this past Thursday. Did I meet my quarterly goals? Nope, not even close. I wanted to have the current WIP finished, but it wasn’t having that, ending up being much longer and more complex than I’d planned (and grew like this several times from the short story it was supposed to be at the beginning). Also, life stuff. Still, I’m not disappointed–the book is shaping up nicely, and is still moving forward, despite the life stuff. This past week was another one where I felt like I got almost nothing done at all, but upon checking, I got 1500 words in, so yay! There are some more life things (fortunately, good ones) planned this week, so I don’t know how much I’ll get done. If I get another 1500 words in, I’ll be happy with that. Although more would be better. ROW80 starts up again next Monday (Oct. 6), so if you’re a writer and would like a nice accountability challenge that fits in with whatever goals you set (and you can change them), consider joining us!

Finally, What Inspires You? Karen McFarland asked this question on her blog a couple weeks ago, and tagged me as one of the folks to answer. Thanks, Karen! To answer that question, a lot of things inspire me. History, for sure, especially some of the amazing people from right here in my own backyard, like Orville and Wilbur Wright, Charles Kettering, and John H. Patterson. Beautiful places, especially the surprising ones that aren’t that far away, like Cumberland Gap National Park. And of course, the wonderful fiction I read. Like Karen, I find a lot of inspiration in music. And for me, the most inspiring, best writing music comes from Canadian electronic industrial band Front Line Assembly.

Most of their music has a very cyberpunk, post-apocalyptic feel, yet it somehow goes as well with my historic time travel books as it did with Hangar 18: Legacy. But even within that, their music is widely varied from album to album. Lately, my favorite, favorite is the instrumental Airmech soundtrack album. Yes, Airmech is a video game–but those who aren’t into gaming, don’t be fooled–this is not the game music of old. This is more like epic, symphonic movie music. The complexity and multi-layeredness of the title track is just stunning. Even my mom might like it! This video is really fantastic too, and captures that post-apocalyptic feel found in much of their music:

Another of my favorites, and probably more “typical” FLA (if there is such a thing) is “The Storm,” from their Artificial Soldier album. I love the retro movie and TV footage in this one!


Of course, my puppy Isis inspires me too! Yes, she’s close to 70 pounds now, and still a puppy at seven months old! She just discovered Goldfish TV this week:

Fishy TV

And how she can sleep in this position, I don’t know, but how can anyone resist?

Isis weird sleeping

So tell me, what inspires you? I’m not going to tag anyone, but would love to see from my other blog friends who haven’t already been tagged. If you participated in ROW80 this round, how did you do? Even if you didn’t do ROW80, or aren’t even a writer, how did you do on whatever goals you might have? How was your week? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

The Stylish Blogger Award: Favorite Things

Last month, blogging friend Debra Kristi honored me by awarding me the Stylish Blogger Award. Thank you, Debra! She actually posted this on Nov. 5th, but I had other posts booked already, and Stacy McKitrick had awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award just a few weeks earlier, so didn’t want to post something similar so soon.

The Stylish Blogger Award works in much the same way: post seven random things about yourself, then name four or five blogging friends you’d like to pass the honor on to. I’m posting seven of my Favorite things:

Favorite drink: Mountain Dew. I love this stuff. I could drink it all day, but in the interest of health (and my waistline), I limit myself to one per day. Among the many cool things we saw when I went to China a couple years ago with my daughter’s choir, was finding Mountain Dew at the Terra Cotta Warriors museum in Xian. Being made with cane sugar, it tasted like our Throwback Mountain Dew, which is the best!

I will use this photo on my blog whenever possible, because it’s that awesome

Favorite car: Camaro – especially the new ones, but I like them all. This probably started with my earliest memory: going to get my dad’s new car when I was two and a half. It was a red, ’69 Camaro with black stripes, and my brother still owns it.

Favorite children’s book: Black and Blue Magic, by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. I was probably twelve when I read it for the first time, and I still remember it. It’s the story of a lonely, geeky boy who lived in a boarding house in the 1930’s (I think), where a boarder gave him a special, magic ointment that would make him grow wings for the night. You can imagine the trouble this kid got into! It’s gone through several different covers since, and when I searched, none looked familiar until I found this on a book collector site. The book was first published the year I was born, and this was the original cover. It gets a lot of blame for the book’s initially low sales.

Favorite band: Rush. Actually, I’d be hard-pressed to choose between them, Front Line Assembly, KMFDM, and Emerson Lake and Palmer right now, but Rush has been a favorite longer than any of the others. Please don’t ask me to pick a favorite album or song! I got my first Rush album, Exit Stage Left, when I was in ninth grade. What’s funny is my teen daughter is into vinyl records, and has been listening to all of my old Rush albums! I now have them all on MP3s.

Favorite movie: Beavis and Butthead Do America. I really can’t explain why, but almost all of my favorite movies are comedies. Maybe it’s because I can’t write funny to save myself. So imagine how excited I am that MTV brought them back last month, and I can now watch every Thursday night at ten PM. Only now, instead of making fun of music videos, they make fun of other MTV shows, like Teen Mom and Jersey Shore. Suddenly two shows I can’t stand are funny!

Favorite place to shop: Amazon. That goes double during the holiday season, because I HATE crowds. Amazon has just about everything I want or need, and I can get free shipping on orders over $25, which isn’t hard to do.

Favorite holiday show: The Grinch who Stole Christmas. Yes, I can be one, and once I actually was one, in a play. It was a choral reading rendition, and all the actors were girls. I got to play the Grinch, because I was the only one who had a suitably dark voice. My favorite scene in the original TV special is where the Grinch is slithering beneath the Christmas tree like a snake, collecting stuff. This is also my family’s favorite.


And now for the Stylish Bloggers to whom I’m passing the award! To accept, all you need to do is save the award image to your computer, then include it on your blog (or a post) where you list seven random things about YOU, and then pass it on to four or five other fantastic bloggers!

Samantha Warren: The author of fantasy novels like Blood of the Dragon and the Vampire Assassin series shows that generosity is never out of style. Samantha’s 30th birthday is this weekend, and to celebrate, she’s giving away free books every day this week, and a Kindle as a grand prize! Be sure to stop by and check out her Blog Scavenger Hunt for details on how you can search, answer, and win!

Karen McFarland: Karen blogs about odd yet uplifting things in the news, and hosts a bunch of cool guest bloggers. Whatever the topic, it’s about people – the fascinating, the positive, and sometimes just strange, but always a fun read.

Deborah Dale: Deborah’s Making the Most of a New York Minute blog touches on a variety of topics that include a four-part series on her and her family’s brush with the supernatural during their visit to Gettysburg.

Michele Stegman‘s Thoughts from a Writers’ Block covers all things writing, with an emphasis on things readers who also aren’t writers can find of interest too.


So check out those blogs, and in the meantime, pop in and share – what are some of your favorite things? Do you have a favorite scene in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas?