Who Are You?

For the final assignment of my New Media: Writing/Publishing course I created a PowerPoint presentation to share a message about who I am as a writer. I’m including it here for all of you as well. I hope you enjoy it.



Props for Glenn Rolfe

Last year, I posted a Blog Hop interview (if you didn’t read it then, you can find it here), and toward the end of the interview it asked who I thought was an author to keep an eye on. I actually listed three authors, but today I want to talk about the amazing Glenn Rolfe.


Glenn writes horror like nobody’s business, and if you want creepy, freaky, scary, or just plain gross – then, I absolutely recommend reading his work. The good news is you can because he has several things available. Becoming, his serial novel, is available free online at jukepop.com. You can read along as the story unfolds, and I highly recommend it. A year ago, I mentioned his Haunted Halls series. These books are short enough to read in one sitting, and then read them again frequently. Which I’ve done. In fact, the series hasn’t left my Kindle since I got them. Glenn also has pieces in various magazines and anthologies, but I really wanted to pop on here today to tell you all to be on the lookout for his next novella, Abram’s Bridge, due out next year from Samhain Horror.


Congratulations Glenn!


You can read about the flurry of activity happening right now with all of Glenn’s works directly on his website. (go – go there right now!) It’s pretty exciting for me as a fan of his writing, so I can only imagine how mind-blowing it is for him. I suggest, if you enjoy horror stories as much as I do, that you follow this man’s career because it won’t be long before he’s a household name.

Originally posted on my IntroMuse Page on 08/24/2012


My name is Raven Hawk. I’m 35, and I live in Central Vermont with my four children. I have all boys (18, 15, 13, and 12), and they keep me very busy. I also have two cats (Mystickal and Shinx), but we’ve been discussing purchasing a new kitten because Mystickal is getting on in age. The cats are also boys, in case anyone was wondering about the testosterone levels in the house.


I have worked as many things in my short professional life, from a bartender to a paralegal. However, most recently I have been studying Psychology and Sociology while I work as a Mediator and Personal Advocate for low-income families. I have also taken classes focusing on Grant Writing, Community Organizing, and MNDR (Mediation, Negotiation, and Dispute Resolution). Overall, I generally enjoy working with the public and helping others. I particularly enjoy helping others overcome challenges and barriers in their personal lives, so they can successfully meet their own goals.


In October 2011, I transferred to SNHU (Southern New Hampshire University) to study English, Literature, and Creative Writing (with a specialization in Fiction Writing). I’ve been working on a fiction novel, geared toward 6-9th graders, for about a year now. My mother is actually the one who suggested I try writing as a profession. She says I’m a great storyteller, but I think writing a great fiction novel is a lot more difficult than telling a twenty-minute impromptu bedtime story to my children. I have to admit, I haven’t worked on it as much as I’d like since I started school and it’s sort of collecting dust right now.


I recently finished a class, Intro to Creative Writing, which changed my views on writing. The instructor stressed writing everyday – no matter what it is, just write something. I tried writing poetry again, which I haven’t done since I was in high school. I’ve also been trying to write in poetic styles and formats that I had never tried before, and some I hadn’t even heard of. I like writing poetry, but I think I’m more of a free verse, with unique rhyme schemes, kind of poet. I don’t like having to worry so much about the rules as I’m trying to get the words out. In fact, I find it frustrating to worry about a set number of syllables, and rhyme schemes on certain syllables within the lines, etc. It overwhelms me.


Something else that happened, within the flexible boundaries of that class, is that I began another book. One for adults this time. One of our writing prompts was to write about a marine that goes AWOL. The short story grew into something much larger and I intend to finish it. I already have about 6,000 words written, and when it is complete, I intend to work, very hard, on getting it published.


Anyway, I don’t expect writing to become a fulltime career for me, but I do enjoy it as a hobby and hope that my writing will encourage others to read more (chiefly my youngest son, Holden, who has severe dyslexia).


I would like to add that I have Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) from an auto accident that occurred in 1995. This isn’t something that is obvious from looking at or talking to me, but it is a fact of my daily life. Unfortunately, there are times when I struggle to communicate well, due to my injury. I would like to apologize to you all, in advance, if I frustrate you because I misunderstand something you’ve posted, or if something I’ve posted is difficult to follow. I work hard to be fluent in thought and speech (written language in this case), but sometimes it is still quite elusive for me. I can be a bit of a scatterbrain, but I mean very well.


I hope that my ability to push past my disability to achieve my goals and dreams will inspire others to do the same in their own lives.



November (in July)

It’s the middle of July now, and I admit I am one of those people that complain about the heat. I like BBQs and swimming, but there is not much else I like about summer – except maybe ice cream and the fact that I don’t have to put shoes on to go outside.

I’m a Northern girl, so I’m comfortable in the cold. That doesn’t mean I don’t complain in February when we have four feet of snow in the front yard and the temperature hasn’t been above zero for a week. However, I do prefer the milder seasons of spring and fall to the heat of summer and the frigid, bone chilling cold of deepest winter.

Therefore, in mid July, when I can’t tell the difference between the temperature outside and inside my house, all I’m longing for is a nice long cold snap. Sorry folks, but it’s true.

So, to get us in the mindset of cooler weather here is a little poem about November.



The air is cool,

and the sky is bright – at night.

The frequent rain is ice cold,

and mornings are dark and dreary,

It is hard to start the day

when it looks like it is time for bed.

I toss and turn, not finding sleep

when the sky is so bright at night.

What a topsy-turvy world

daylight savings time creates.

Frosted leaves crunch under our feet

with each and every step we take.

Windows full of steam and fog

turn into frosty paintings.

Occasionally, white flakes float around,

raining down on the earth

It is too soon for the snow to stay,

but not to foreshadow the blizzards of winter.

Henrik Moses

Hello everyone.

I just wanted to take a few minutes to share with you a beautiful drawing that I recently received. I intend to use the image in some of my publicity materials. So, let me know what you think.

by Henrik Moses

by Henrik Moses


The drawing was done by the very talented Henrik Moses

Pease take a few moments to visit his website here: www.artility.nl

Blog Hop

Those of you that follow my bog will know that I am a NaNo addict. I feel like the process of setting high goals and forcing myself to actually try to achieve them is good for my writing and creative soul. After all, some of my best ‘ideas’ have come from the feverish writing I do for NaNo – no outline, no planed scenes, themes, characters, etc. With that said, it should come as no surprise to anyone that I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo for the month of April.

I set a low goal, not knowing how much time I could reasonably commit this month. I met my goal of 10,000 words on the 17th. Since then, I have continued to write. I figure, I might as well get as many words in as possible, besides it goes toward the cabin’s overall word count. Since this is my first Camp NaNoWriMo experience, I want to ensure my cabin is successful.

In my cabin, I was fortunate enough to connect with the wonderful C. Bryan Brown. He ‘tagged’ me, along with a few others, for something called Blog Hop – sort of akin to a brief author interview. Check out my answers below:


Blog Hop: What are you working on right now?

RH:  I actually have three projects in the works at the moment. First, I’m finalizing the edits on my book Midnight Runaway. I signed off on the cover this week, and all that is left is to locate the perfect illustrator to do six – ten black and white drawings. I am also considering photographs instead of illustrations. Oh, the indecision! Second, I’m finishing a short story with a domestic violence focus. You should see that finalized and that posted on my blog within the next few weeks. Finally, I have a novel with two chapters completed – I’m still just in the research and development stages with that one though.


Blog Hop: How does it differ from other works in its genre?

RH:  Let’s talk specifically about my short story for this question. The piece in titled Weather Permitting, and is about an abused woman. It covers the 24-hour period surrounding her attempt to leave her abuser. It is about the realistic tension and fear, and the self-loathing and doubt of such situations. It is not a fairy tale whitewash of circumstances.


Blog Hop: What experiences have influenced you?

RH:  I wrote Weather Permitting specifically for a program that helps battered women. I wanted to write something that was sincere, and that honestly reflected what these women had been through and felt at the time. I wanted to give them something to help them remember they were never to blame for what happened to them in their abusive relationships. I am a survivor of domestic violence as well, and I wanted to use this piece to give back to those who help so many women get a new lease on life – independence.


Blog Hop: Why do you write what you do?

RH:  I write a variety of things, including poetry. I have not settled on one specific genre yet, and may never. I write about love, fear, sadness, and elation because they are basic human emotions, something we all have in common. I write about history and folklore because I believe it is important to remember where we have been before. I write about vampires and werewolves because even if we are unwilling to admit it, we have a human connection to these mythical creatures. The bottom line is, I write because I love it, and I write whatever comes to mind or strikes my fancy because I believe we are all more alike than we are willing to admit (regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, etc.).


Blog Hop: How does your writing process work?

RH:  Well, my process is not the same for everything I write, but I can tell you they all start with an idea. Sometimes those ideas develop short stories and sometimes they develop into entirely new worlds. Some things are written quickly, or methodically (a few hours, pages, or thousand words a day), and others are more chaotic and messy. For example, for my current novel (Midnight Runaway) I started with the idea, and then I wrote out a rough and vague outline. I researched some things, created a few character sketches, wrote a rough draft (maybe about 45,000 words or so), and then I cleaned up and detailed my outline more, researched more, and added another 50,000 words to the draft. Then the process of revision really begins (adding, changing, etc.). When I feel the piece is nearly complete, I will have a few ‘readers’ take a look at it and provide me their critiques. I review everything, decide what is and is not pertinent, and then I edit the piece another time or two. After that, I send it out for professional editing. Another example could be some of the poems I’ve written. Sometimes I will sit down with the determination to write a poem in a style or format I have never tried before. To do so, I will learn about the style, choose a topic, and then work at it for however long it takes to get it right.


Blog Hop: What is the hardest part about writing?

RH:  For me, the hardest part is forcing myself to actually sit down and write every day. It can be very easy to find other things that need my time (housework, children, school and work, etc.). I also have self-confidence issues sometimes; my inner editor can be very harsh with my ideas and first drafts.


Blog Hop: What would you like to try as a writer that you haven’t yet?

RH:  I’m not sure how to answer this. There is so much I haven’t written already, but not for lack of trying or interest. It simply comes down to trying things one at a time to see if I have a real knack for it or not. I guess what I would try absolutely last would be an autobiography, so let’s go with that.


Blog Hop: Who are the authors you most admire?

RH:  I have a great admiration for J.K. Rowling. She had a dream, and she took that dream and made it her reality with hard work, faith, and determination. She found herself in a terrible situation, and she fought her way into better circumstances. She did not let hard times bring her down. I love her determination. I love her dedication to her child and herself (her goals and dreams). I also look up to Stephen King – he has a gift for description, which I admire. Besides that, I admire anyone who has as much determination, regardless of what their dreams and goals are, to persevere.


Blog Hop: Who are new authors to watch out for?

RH:  I’ve had the recent pleasure to critique a book for Raj Davis. While he is still working on his skills, he has fantastic ideas. I would keep an eye out for him. I would also recommend Glenn Rolfe (He has two books out in his spine tingling Haunted Halls series) and David Rawding who is currently searching for a publisher. This list could be quite extensive since I’m taking college classes with a good number of talented writers, so I’m going to leave it at these three for now.


Blog Hop: What scares you?

RH: Do I dare admit – spiders. I have normal fears that other parents have regarding their children, etc., but for every day normal things, spiders are just about it.



So, that was all. I’m supposed to tag three people, but that really is not my style. If you want to do this Blog Hop thing, just give me a shout and I’ll come check yours out.


The following short story, which I wrote under the name Mandi Lessard, recently appeared on fiftywordstories.com

Writing in a manner utilizing so few words is an incredible challenge for me, so I wanted to share my joy and excitement with all of you – not only that my short story was chosen for the site, but also that it appears to be well received by those who have commented.


The butler beckoned me to follow. He reeked of evil intentions, but I reluctantly moved forward.

When the lights flickered out, I spun around wildly until a bone chilling scream froze me with fear.

Then, with my heart pounding, I whispered, “Albescu?”

He didn’t respond,

… but death eagerly welcomed me.