Obligatory New Years Post


I know we’re already six days into 2015, but meh. No one said keeping track of time was my strong suit.

So far 2015 has been pretty good. Nothing stellar happening, but nothing really terrible going on either. My birthday’s coming up in a few days and I’m pretty excited for that. It’s not a big birthday, but I still plan on spending some time with family and friends.It should be a good day.

As far as plans for the coming the year, the goal is to get Bully published. As I mentioned in previous posts, I want it to be out by summer. It’s a somewhat ambitious goal considering I haven’t even begun to edit it yet, but with the right beta readers and work ethic I can get it done.

I haven’t started working on polishing Bully yet because I’m still working on my third novel. I was hoping to have finished writing it by New Years Eve, but that didn’t happen. It was mostly my fault. I lost motivation and didn’t work on it for a couple weeks. I’ve been working on it pretty consistently so I should finish it up this month. At least I hope so. Right now I’ve hit a wall with progressing the plot. I’m about half way through and all the dominoes are lined up, but I’m just having trouble knocking them down. I know where I want things to go, but I’m stuck finding the best way to get there.

When some writers get to this point, they like to write the rest of the scenes and then go back in fill it the missing pieces. I don’t. I feel like that can cause chaos and headaches later on. Even if I’m thinking out scenes in my head, I won’t write them down out of order. It messes things up for me. So to avoid the potential headache I just don’t bother until I know what I’m doing. Right now I don’t have a fucking clue. Hopefully a little time and reflection will help me figure out how to tie what I have together with the brilliance in my head.

Well, that’s enough writer’s feels for one day. Thanks for allowing me to vent to you guys. Although I’m a bit behind schedule, I assure you Bully will be out this year. If I manage to get it together, the WIP will be ready by the end of the year too!

 

What Your Favorite Christmas Movie Says About You


You can tell a lot about a person by their favorite Christmas special. Here’s a list of common favorites and what they say about you.

A Year Without a Santa Claus

A Year Without a Santa Claus: You shy away from tradition. You have a good heart, but sometimes you can be disillusioned by Christmas or the world around you. Just when you think the world is full of horrible unworthy people, something happens to renew your faith in humanity.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town: You’re a person of myth and legend. You have a good heart and try your best to make other people happy.

A Charlie Brown Christmas: You’re very traditional. Sometimes you feel like the soul has been sucked out of Christmas (or life) but your friends and family remind you about what the real meaning of life and Christmas is.

Frosty The Snowman: You’re full of fun and whimsy. You believe in magic, love and having fun.

It’s a Wonderful Life

It’s a Wonderful Life: Much like George Bailey, life constantly shits on you. Despite that, you’re a big softy. You’re good natured, loving, and sentimental and willing to sacrifice your own happiness and health for others. Your friends and family mean a lot to you. Luckily, they love to you to death and would do anything for you as well.

Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer: You’re a lovable misfit. Although you want to fit into the crowd, there’s no need. The special people in your life love you and appreciate you for who you are.

The Little Drummer Boy: One of your favorite things to say during the holiday season is “Jesus is the reason for the season.” You’re pretty old school and traditional.

Bruce Willis took too much Viagra and died hard. YEEEEAAH!

Die Hard: Get out of here. Die Hard isn’t real Christmas movie.

A Christmas Carol: You’re old school and traditional. You believe that anyone can change and be a good person.

Miracle on 34th Street: You’re still a child at heart. You believe in magic, whimsy and still leave cookies out for Santa every year (despite not having any children).

How The Grinch Stole Christmas: Sometimes you can be a grouch, but deep down you’re a kind and caring person. All you need is a little love and understanding.

The Nightmare Before Christmas: Fuck tradition. You’re a bit unconventional and weird, but lovable and fun.

Jack Frost: We’re not talking about the loving father who got reincarnated as a snowman to build a better relationship with his son. We’re talking about the killer snowman. You’re far from traditional and a little twisted.

Do any of these descriptions match you? If not, let me know what’s your favorite Christmas movie! It may show up next year!

 

6 Books To Buy This Christmas


Hello all! There’s approximately 6 shopping days left this Christmas and if you haven’t gotten all your gifts yet, you may be feeling the pressure. Not to fear! Tinika Claus is here with some awesome books you can get for the book lover in your life.

Manifestation: Arcana Revived Volume One by Jason Cantrell: This is the first book in Jason’s Arcana Revived series. 

Here’s a little taste of what it’s about (taken from Jason’s blog and Amazon book description): Gabby Palladino believes in magic. Her parents always tell her that magic is nothing more than foolish superstition. But she grew up reading ancient fairy tales known as the Fables of Arcana, which filled her mind with wonder and mystery. When those myths and legends start to come true, Gabby learns that real magic is far more dangerous than the bedtime stories she always believed in. When people begin manifesting the powers of arcana, Gabby finds herself surrounded by dangers on all sides. She encounters people who can melt steel with their minds, create earthquakes, and summon flames from their bare hands. She must struggle to survive in a city gripped by chaos and destruction, while trying to discover why people are manifesting abilities that have been lost since ancient times. What she learns will make her question everything she believes in, about the world, her family, and even her own self.

Manifestation is available on Amazon and CreateSpace in paperback. Ebook versions are available through Amazon and B&N Nook!

SuperHERO Tales: A Collection of Female Superhero Stories: The world needed more female superheros, so a great group of authors joined forces to help provide them. In this collection you will find 27 short stories about several kick ass lady superheroes. A portion of the proceeds are donated to the Because I am a Girl charity. Great for kids!

Get it on Amazon!

Darkness Concealed by D. Emery Bunn: This book is the first in the Darkness trilogy. 

Here’s what you need to know. 50 years ago, the dawn did not come. Again. Everyone in Telthan knew it would happen. Monsters roamed the land, killing virtually everyone in their path, laying waste to anything in their way. Only a precious few survived to rebuild the wreckage of civilization, just like last time. No one questions the Darkening. Not even the children.

That is, until four strangers set off in search of answers, braving a forbidden city, a forgotten library, and foreboding mountains for the truth that has to exist. But the past does not give up its secrets easily, and the truth is far darker than the blackest night.

You can get it on Amazon, Kobo or read it for free.

25874-ghostlyechoescover2Ghostly Echoes: Spooky Tales From Around the World: Everyone likes a good scare. The 23 short stories in this anthology are sure to send a couple of shivers up your spine. Safe for kids to read!

Get it from Amazon!

Madness by Tinika Ross: Breaking away from the fantasy motif for a moment, is my debut novel Madness! madness front cover

Here’s what you need to know about it: Langston Wellman lives a carefree existence as a waitress. This changes one night when Langston’s car stalls. A stranger offers her a ride, but instead of taking her to a tow shop, he takes her into the woods and sexually assaults her. The same day in Iraq, Tripp Price celebrates his birthday with his best friend, Jimmy Baker. The celebration is cut short when their unit is assigned to a mission. While fulfilling their mission, the unit gets ambushed. As a result, Tripp suffers a traumatic brain injury. Jimmy isn’t so lucky. He is in a coma and had to have his legs amputated. Due to these unfortunate events, Langston and Tripp leave their old homes and move to the same town in New Jersey. Through a few chance meetings, they become close friends and help each other overcome the traumatic events that happened to them.

Get it from Amazon!

 FlashDogs: A great group of Flash Fiction authors got together and put their works into this anthology. There are a variety of stories and authors to choose from. You’re sure to find something you like. The best part is all proceeds go to the global charity IBBY which promotes the ideal that all children have the right to read.

Get it on Amazon!

There you have it folks! Please support these great authors and their projects!

Awards, Fails, and Tales


Hey all! This post was supposed to go up Tuesday, but I never got around to it. It’s been a few months since I did a personal and professional update on here so here we go! 2014-winner300dpi

The first thing I want to tell you guys is that I’ve been named one of the 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading for 2014! I’m really happy and humbled that you guys voted. Although no one’s left a review up on Amazon or anything for Madness, I’m really happy with the positive buzz it’s been getting. PTSD and sexual assault are very important issues in today’s world and shouldn’t be swept under the rug. It feels great to help raise awareness and get people to come to a place of understanding and acceptance. Hopefully winning this award will be a stepping stone to keep spreading awareness.

On the writing front, I finished Bully mid October. It wasn’t as hard to finish as I thought it would be, but it was definitely a challenge. It’s going to need a lot of editing and possibly a couple rewrites, but I’m pretty happy with the final result. Editing should begin around January/February 2015. If all things go according to plan, it should be available summer 2015.

After I finished Bully, I started a new novel in November for NaNoWriMo. I didn’t finish it last month due to other obligations, but I got off to a decent start. I hope to have it finished by the end of next month. If all things go according to plan, it will ready around winter 2015.

As I mentioned before, the new WIP is going to be a lot different from Madness and Bully. Instead of being completely grounded in reality, there’s a strong sci fi/paranormal element. It’s new territory for me, but so far it’s been a fun ride. It definitely is going to need some editing, rewrites, and a lot of care, but it’s been fun and pushing me to grow as writer. I hope it won’t isolate any readers since this book is so different, but I think you guys will like it once I start showing you snippets and talking about it more.

Other than that, things have been decent. Christmas is fast approaching and I finished all my shopping. I don’t know about you guys but the closer it gets to Christmas, the less spirited about it I become. Maybe it’s because Christmas comes entirely too early or maybe it’s because the closer it gets the less good will people have towards their fellow man. Either way, I get over the whole thing real fast.

There are a couple things I’m DYING to talk about, but I don’t know how comfortable I am emotionally vomiting all over the internet. Yeah it’s fine when you’re like 13 and your spilling your guts to your xanga or live journal (God, I’m dating myself here) but now that I’m approaching my mid twenties, I’m realizing there’s a line between being open and honest and being fucking dumb. It’s one thing to just talk about yourself, but when it comes to other people in your life you have to be careful. Hell, you have to be careful for your own rep. Not that I really give a shit about my rep. I am who I am and I do what I do. But I still don’t want to be that girl who goes running to the internet for validation and virtual hugs when things get a little emotionally overwhelming. Guess I really am growing up. Kinda. Gross.

Anyway loves, this is getting pretty long. I just wanted to let you guys know what was going on and how I was doing! Sorry if you hate these posts. I will probably put up something more festive tomorrow. Thanks again for all the love and support.

 

How to Deal With Rude Relatives During the Holiday Season Part 2


In part one, I gave some general tips on how to deal with rude relatives during the holidays. This post is going to expand on one of the tips which was to counter with a snarky comment. Here are some common areas people like to strike at (especially if they know these areas aren’t going well in your life). 

Just as a fair warning, shit may go down when being snarky/ a smartass so be prepared. Be sure that the person is REALLY being rude/mean before going in for the kill. You wouldn’t want to burn any bridges with someone who is genuinely interested. If you don’t like confrontation, it’s probably not a good idea to counter with a snarky comment. With that out the way, let’s dive into it.

RELATIONSHIPS

  • Why aren’t you married yet: The same reason this relative isn’t divorced or married yet. Because you’re happy with your current situation. Or it hasn’t been legalized yet. Either way, marriage isn’t the equivalent to happiness. Hence why half end up in divorce.
  • When are you going to settle down: Whenever your ready and not a second before. Again, you don’t need to be with someone to be happy with your life. People in relationships and marriages can be miserable. Why be with someone who makes you crazy and miserable when you can be alone and happy (or miserable, your choice).
  • Aren’t you afraid of your eggs drying up: They’re inside your body, so they’re probably well lubricated. That’s also not really how it works either.
  • Whatever happened to _________:  You have a couple of options here. You can make up some really outlandish story, tell them that your ex is at his or her house, or that you don’t really know or care.
  • Have you tried online dating: Telling people you’ve tried online dating can be weird, but it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Still, it isn’t anyone’s business so you can respond as such. As an alternative you can say “yes/no, and/but I’ve tried fight clubs, hanging out at sporting events, malls, and seedy bars and begging strangers to go out with me.”
  • What do you see in *insert the name of person you’re seeing*: If you’re going for shock value you can say they’re good in bed. Or you can just say how awesome your partner is at something you to are passionate about and have fun doing. For example, you can say they’re a good cook or always deliver an ass whooping in Call of Duty.
  • You’re too good for him/her: He or she deserved an upgrade.
  • She/He’s too good for you: YOU deserved an upgrade.

SCHOOL/WORK

  • When are you going back to school: Would you care to help pay for my tuition? Nah, okay then shut up.
  • _________ don’t make a lot of money, do they?: Having money is important, but so is doing something you love. Money can’t buy true friends or good manners and tact.
  • __________ is a _________. Maybe you should look into doing that.: Maybe you should since you find it so awesome.

YOUR BODY

  • You’ve gained weight: The body is a temple. Nothing wrong with building a couple extra rooms to support the parishioners.
  • You’re too skinny: As long as you don’t disappear when you turn sideways or fall through cracks in the floor, you’re good.
  • Maybe you should gain/lose weight. Men/women would find you much more attractive: The right person will think you’re attractive no matter how you look. You can say you did a poll and 9 out of 10 men/women were blinded by your beauty. The one didn’t go blind because they were wearing sunglasses.
  • Anything about your clothes: If someone asks why you dress a certain way you can always tell them it isn’t socially acceptable to walk around naked in most places.
  • Anything about your hair: Long hair, short hair, shaved head, multi colored hair. Everyone’s a critic. If anyone says anything negative about it, tell them that fortunately they don’t have to wear it.

There you have it folks. Just keep in mind saying these things can get you into trouble. If you don’t want to deal with trouble, then simply follow the other tips in part one.

What snarky shit do you say to shut strangers or relatives down when they’re being judgmental and rude? Let me know in the comments!

How to Deal with Rude Relatives during the Holiday Season


Spending time with your family can be an important and fun part of the holiday season. However, being around some relatives can suck. There’s always at least one that knows how to make you feel like shit and ruin everyone’s good time. If you have one (or several) of these assholes you have to deal with this holiday season, here are some  ways you get through it. 

Kill them with kindness: Most likely this relative just wants to get a reaction out of you. Don’t give them the satisfaction. Don’t let them have that power over you. Just be polite and kind it will piss them off.

Counter with a snarky comment: Although it’s best to be kind and courteous as to not burn any bridges or cause a shit storm during the holiday, you don’t have to take anyone’s shit. If someone is being a jerk to you, feel free to hit them with a zinger or two. The right amount of snark and tact will be enough to disarm the bitchiest of relatives.

Smile: Smiling has the same effect as killing people with kindness. It confuses them and takes away their power.

Leave: Some people aren’t built for confrontation. If you feel threatened or like you’re going to have an outburst, leave. You don’t have to stay somewhere you don’t feel welcome.

Hang out with other relatives that make you feel good: Focus on relatives that make you feel loved and happy. You’ll have a better than time.

Bring a friend: Having a friend around can help defuse any tensions between you and hostile relatives and gives you an excuse not to hang around them. No one’s going to get pissy if you’re busy entertaining a friend.

Put in minimal time: Be polite, say hello for a minute, and walk away. No harm, no foul.

Change the subject: You have the right to privacy. If you don’t want to talk about something, you don’t have to. Change the subject to something you would rather talk about, or make the topic about the hostile relative.

What do you do when you have to deal with rude relatives? Let me know in the comments!

What Grinds My Gears Part 2


Back in January I wrote this post about some things that grind my gears as Peter Griffin would say. It’s been awhile since then and I figured it would be a fun way to blow off some steam. So without further ado, here are a couple more things that grind my gears. 

You know what really grinds my gears?

When people try to minimize and devalue the outrage/feelings of others: With no justice being served for Mike Brown or Eric Garner, a lot of people have been expressing outrage and disgust among other things. And of course there are people who don’t get it. People who don’t understand why folks are so up in arms about these miscarriages of justice and are doing and saying anything to devalue and discredit these feelings and opinions. Well, for those people guess what? Anyone who is outraged, disgusted, and angered about it has every right to be! To me, it’s more troubling if you aren’t outraged. Let people feel and react how they want to. Don’t try to devalue anyone’s feelings because they aren’t the same as yours.

When people talk to you when you have your headphones on: Having headphones on is the universal sign for don’t talk to me. Yet some people still feel the need to talk to you anyway. Stahp it. You’re breaking the rules.

Misleading titles: Misleading blog/article/video titles drive me nuts. I don’t want to click on something entitled “Cute Puppies” and get barraged by boobs aka sweater puppies. (Get it? I’ll see myself out.) Properly title your stuff, folks!

When people pay more attention to their phones then you when hanging out: Why are we even hanging out? If I’d known all you wanted to do was play candy crush and text, we could have in the comforts of our own homes.

Public bathrooms: Public bathrooms are the worst. They’re hardly ever clean. And if it is clean, there’s only a matter of time before some nasty individual comes and messes it up.

When people talk to you in the public bathroom: We’re both trying to pee right now. This is weird.

Writer’s block: I just want to write all the words. Why must my thoughts not sound good on paper?

When people tell you your opinion is wrong: I like what I like and I feel what I feel. Don’t agree? Too bad. I’m entitled to my views and they won’t change just because you don’t agree.

Being considered a “hater” when you don’t like someone: I’m not sure when having a negative opinion about someone or something became “hating”, but it needs to stop. You’re not going to like everyone or everything you encounter and that’s fine. Stop trying to make it seem like others are “jealous” or being unreasonable.

Math: As far as I’m concerned, 2 + 2 is chair. Please don’t make me do it.

 

Passive Aggressive Christmas Gifts


The holidays are a time of love, joy, and giving. Giving presents, that is. There’s nothing more wonderful than seeing the people you love light up with joy when they get the gifts you get them. However, occasionally you may forced into giving someone you don’t like or have issues with a present. Instead of confronting them like an adult this holiday season, get them something that subtly shows your disdain instead. Without further ado, here are some passive aggressive gifts to get you through the holidays! Enjoy!

Scented deodorants/shower gels/perfumes: Perfect for saying, “you stink!” figuratively and literally.

Self help books: Self help books are good way to tell that one coworker/friend/family member/neighbor that they need to get their shit together.

A cookbook: Know someone who can’t even boil water without setting the kitchen on fire? How about someone that considers heating something in the microwave “cooking”? A cookbook is the perfect remedy.

Makeup: Buying makeup for someone who likes to wear it is one thing, but if you buy it for someone who doesn’t really wear it, is completely another. It’s kind of like telling them they’re ugly, but the fixable kind.

A reference book set: Preferably one that includes a dictionary. According to their Facebook posts and emails, they wouldn’t pass a second grade English class.

A gift certificate for a makeover: The perfect way to say you’re ugly and need the help of a professional miracle worker.

A gym membership or weight loss DVDs: Just because you’re body is a temple, doesn’t mean you have to add on extra rooms.

A gift certificate: Gift certificates aren’t always passive aggressive, but they do indicate that the buyer didn’t want to spend a lot of time or thought with it.

Candles: Your house or room smells like a zoo and it’s surprising no wildlife has come to roost yet.

Delicious treats: Know someone on a diet? Get them sweets to help expand their waistline!

The loudest, most annoying toy you can find: This is exclusively for friends/family members with really horrible kids. Get them a really loud and annoying toy to drive their mom and dad nuts.

The Laughing Princes (A Short Story)


Here’s another flash fiction piece I wrote for The Angry Hourglass!

The Laughing Princes

Long ago there was an ancient temple run by three princes. The first prince, Gustafo, was an arrogant womanizer. He prided himself on his looks and the looks of others. The second prince, Guerro, was a trickster. He loved to play practical jokes and tease people, even if it was at their expense. The third prince, Geo, was different from his brothers. He was kindhearted and noble, always looking out for his fellow man.

One day a strange woman came into the temple to see the princes. Gustafo took one look at the woman’s matted black hair, hunched figure, and tattered clothing and refused to speak to her. He referred her to Guerro. At first, Guerro seemed gracious. He led her outside to hold an audience with him. Unfortunately he led her to where the livestock was kept and told her that was the only place she belonged within the temple. A couple minutes later, Geo came for the woman, took her to the garden, and had a real audience with her.

To Geo’s surprise, the woman had many interesting things to say that could improve the temple. Despite her looks, she was charming, funny, and intelligent. Geo requested that she come back in the next to speak to his others brothers. She warned him that they wouldn’t listen, but agreed to come back.

Just as directed the woman returned to speak with the princes. Although Gustafo and Guerro swore they would listen, they made a mockery of her presentation. Gustafo flirted with the servants while Guerro made paper statues. The woman yelled at the princes.

“You are not noble men! You are worms. For your disrespect you will be cursed!”

The princes laughed as the woman waved her hands in the air and transformed into a beautiful maiden. Thinking it was a trick, Gustafo and Guerro kept laughing. With another wave of her hand, the two princes turned to stone and vanished. Geo shut down the temple and ordered a search for her but she was nowhere to be found. The laughing princes would remain stone for eternity.

If you like this story and any of the other ones I’ve done, please support me (Tinika) in the 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading Contest! You have until December 1st to vote! Thanks and enjoy!