Thursday, December 26, 2013

Boxing Day is an Appropriate Name.

Photo by:
If you're reading this post, you're mostly likely doing the same thing I am. I don't know about you, but I'd rather sit in my brand new pajamas in front of the computer or TV hanging out than brave sweltering crowds inside the malls. It's a great excuse to be lazy and hang out with company you rarely see.

I just don't see the sense in battling for more 'stuff', you know? I got plenty of cool things for Christmas. I think you understand, because you're here, reading this, not there.

This isn't exact history...I learned it from my mother. When I asked my mother why they called the day after Christmas 'Boxing Day' she told me this:

Boxing Day refers to the unofficial ritual we all have of putting away decorations, getting rid of cardboard, wrapping paper and bows, taking out the garbage...Plus boxing up and returning OR re-gifting the things you didn't want.

I told her I thought it was rude to return or re-gift something someone gave you. (I was five.) But I've done it too, damn it :(

Still, I can wait until the next day, or the day after that to scrounge through leftover bows and ribbons to find a few bargains--That's the best time to find discount wrapping paper. (And one year, an artificial Christmas tree with lights for $50!)

But honestly? When I think about 'Boxing day' now that I'm older, I picture something like  this...

Photo by:

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Merry Christmas...or whatever. :)

Illustration by: suphakit73@FreeDigitalPhotos. net
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays, Felice Navidad or however you prefer to express your year end celebrations. I don't care how you say it, but I wish you all warm hugs, happiness and the company of those you love this season.

Our Christmas will be quiet, but extended. Christmas Eve and Christmas day will mean only myself, my husband, my sister and the cats. And that's just fine.

But this Saturday, we cross the street to our friends, the Raju's. They do sweet things for us all the using their Bobcat to plow our driveway. And Tara makes the very BEST rice pudding...just for me. They have nooooo idea how much we appreciate them. And they have no idea that we bought small thank you gifts...NOT Christmas presents, right?

Uncle Arnie will show up for a Christmas drink...We don't know when, but it won't be on Tuesday or Wednesday because as much as he loves us, he hates Christmas fanfare more.

Our best friend Darci is going home for the first time in years, so our dinner and gift exchange will have to wait.

We're expecting friends travelling from British Columbia and The North West Territories, but again, we don't know when. It's a LONG drive for Colleen from the island and a LONG flight from up north for Doug.

This just in...Roxy is coming over Christmas Eve! Yaaaay!

Christmases around here have long become less about the actual day with the gifts and food and more about the time spent with those we care about.

I'm pretty excited. And I hope you are too. I'm hoping your holidays are filled with happiness and love.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Insomniac and the City

I'm late again. Whoops. And I don't have a very good excuse. Just like I didn't have a blog prepared. You'd think with all the hours I spent tossing and turning and grumbling in the dark this week I would have had time to come up with something. So here it is.

Insomnia sucks.
How did get in my room to draw Freya and me?

No shit, right? True, it's common for writers to have sleep issues. Our characters won't stop shouting to be written and the plot bunnies run races in our heads. But this is ridiculous! I have slowly turned vampire--Apparently I only sleep when the sun comes up.

This is the reason I need to live in the city, folks. It revolves around my nocturnal needs. Run out of smokes, need a snack, something to read? 7-11 is two blocks away through a nice quiet neighborhood free of wolves and bears. Want fast food? MacDonald's and Wendy's can oblige you. Let's not forget those hearty Denny's breakfasts. For live entertainment, show up just after the bars close. Oh yeah...there's bars to hang out in. And coffee shops. (Tim Horton's anyone?) You can catch up on your laundry if you've got quarters.
I should go get one right now.

And only a few years ago, someone invented a reason to never need to go out in daylight. Twenty-four hour Walmarts! One huge store full of all the things and it's open 24-7. Bliss. Yes, I know Walmart sucks. But this is the city where competition between stores thrives. How long until we have 24 hour Targets and Costcos?

Heeeeey! You know what we need now? All-night libraries and bookstores! What do you think? Is that a good idea? Or is that just 3 hours of sleep talking?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Christmas 'Gifts'...

You know when you're a kid? And a cool Christmas seems to hinge on that one great gift that you've always wanted?

I begged, I PLEADED  for three years. There was nothing I wanted more than a Fisher-Price Castle. I whined and yowled. I was sick of getting homemade mittens and wind-up bath toys from 'Robinson's' for Christmas. The good stuff came from a favorite uncle, who often bought us dolls and craft kits. Knowing what I know now, I'm sure my parents couldn't afford it. Looking back, I still cringe and feel like a spoiled brat for being ungrateful for mitten and scarf sets.

When I finally got the much desired castle for Christmas, I promised myself I would never EVER let it go. Here it is...And it isn't leaving my home until someone peels it from my cold, dead digits. I got it when I was 8 years old...I'm almost 42 years old now.
I still have the people and furniture tucked away in a box

I had intended to write this blog about toys, and all the joy they bring. But sometimes 'joyful' isn't the word some people use to describe the holidays. I know people who aren't going to get much of anything this Christmas. Some are just trying to survive. No turkey, no chocolate, no toys. Sometimes no family.

Remember those less fortunate this season. There's Santa's Anonymous, Food Banks, and the Christmas Bureau. I've just learned about 'Tender Hearts' in Stony Plain, Alberta. Perhaps there are other legitimate organizations in your local area.  Please give if you are able. No one should suffer a crappy Christmas. No child should endure empty stomachs. Their parents should not feel shame. No one should be all alone.

Besides, it feels good to do it. Who knows? Maybe you will be able to help provide a decent dinner for a family. Maybe you'll reaffirm to a child that they were good and that Santa found them after all. Perhaps you'll bring happiness where there wasn't any. Believe me, it's the best Christmas rush you'll get this year.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Almost Finished!

I made this ornament with my husband and best friend yesterday.
I LOVE Christmas. I do as much of it as humanly possible, except for all the cookies. I don't bake and I don't need any help getting fatter. And I don't sing Christmas carols. I do Ashley Simpson lipsynching if required to participate. Nyah :P

It is November 28th, and almost all my shopping is done. I need a few stocking stuffers and another elusively cool gift for my beloved troll that has no true hobbies other than video games. (No. I do NOT buy his video games. I never get it right.) Feel free to hate me now.

I decorated my house on the 19th of November and found that I was actually LATE in certain circles. I normally send out my Christmas cards (I know what a dying tradition that truly is.) on December 1st. I've already started sending a bunch out, but since half my card-worthy friends are either American or Overseas, I've had to hustle my tuckus on that too!

No matter how far ahead I think I am, the farther behind I get! It certainly doesn't help to do the annual Santa's Anonymous shop, but we aren't dropping that from our schedule. It's too much clean fun, too important a cause.

This year we are doing our Sort-of Annual Christmas party. I mean Sort-of-Annual, because although we've done others, this will be two years in a row. And that's two days from now. I'm using recipes from Pinterest and Company's Coming books. This should be FUN! And wipe-out scary! I hope our guests don't mind being Guinea Pigs for us...

Don't worry, I get it. It's not about the food, or booze or gifts. It IS, however, about all the good smooshy feelings you get in the dead of winter. I LIKE eating and drinking with good friends. I LOVE finding the perfect gift. I like making my home look like the Christmas tree barfed all over the house...including the kitchen and bathroom. I like the special dinners and the treats. I love to wrap presents, even when Freya decides she has to kill the wrapping paper.

I like the spirit, the generosity that happens when those who have enough give to those who don't. It isn't all about the materialism. It's about JOY whatever that means to you.

Any traditions you'd like to share?

Friday, November 22, 2013

My Last Contest Winners for 2013.

Here they last contest winners of 2013. Thank you everyone who participated. I appreciate you very much <3

1) Kj Partridge
2) Roxanne Lebeau
3) Tina (last name held by request)

Congratulations all of you! I'll be contacting you shortly to let you know about your prizes.

I also want to send a shout out to my sister, Jody Lean. Happy Birthday, Sweetie! I'm coming by later to give you presents!

I'll see the rest of you next week :)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

One Week...

Just a little reminder....This is my last contest of the year, and you have one week to enter. 

The prizes are 1) One personally autographed copy of 'Aphrodite's War', an 'Aphrodite's War' Notebook, and a magnetic calendar.
Prize #2 One personally autographed copy of 'Aphrodite's War', a keychain and a magnetic calendar
Prize #3 One personally autographed copy of 'Aphrodite's War' and a magnetic calendar.

The rules are simple. Simply spread the news about 'Aphrodite's War' on as many social media sites as you can Facebook, Twitter etc. (every post counts as an entry) and tag me so I can see you. Or you can 'send your friends to 'like' my author page. Tell them to tell me who sent them. This contest is in no way sponsored by Facebook, Twitter or any other social entity. 

Contest closes at midnight Mountain time on November 21st. Thanks everybody! <3

Thursday, November 7, 2013

An Early Contest

Cover by Terra Weston-Koster
I almost got caught with my pants down. You'll notice my last two posts were interviews? Jay Mims and Loush O'Raven were so awesome that I almost didn't have to do any work!

So this week I had nothing prepared, nothing interesting to say. I forgot I had to do anything. Whoops! But wait...

I checked my calendar and sure enough, I found an escape route.


I was planning one anyway. I got a few printed copies and a tiny bit of swag left. They'll make some pretty decent prizes.

Too early you say? I disagree. Is there someone on your list who might like a personally autographed copy of Aphrodite's War? If you win, there's still plenty of time for me to send it to you before the Christmas rush. (And I don't trust the Canadian Postal Service to bring it in time otherwise.) Or if you're keeping it for yourself, is there anything better than curling up with a good book in the stolen moments when family isn't making you crazy?

Here are the prizes:

Prize #1...Personally autographed copy of Aphrodite's War, a notebook featuring the cover for Aphrodite's War and a magnetic calendar.

Prize#2...Personally autographed copy of Aphrodite's war, an Aphrodite's War keychain, and magnetic calendar.

Prize #3...Personally autographed copy of Aphrodite's war and a magnetic calendar.

As always, promotion is the name of the game, and every post counts as an entry. I want to see Twitter and Facebook and Goodreads ALIVE with mentions of Aphrodite's War with my name tagged on. But there's new ways to enter.You can join my new Street Team "Milward's Minions". Or send your friends to my "Donna Milward, Author" page. Make sure your friends tell me who sent them ;)

I'll announce the winners on November 21st. Have fun with it, and I'll be looking for you all. <3 Thank you very much.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

a Halloween Treat

Loush is a cutie, but for some reason, I can't get his pictures to work. :( Sorry!
Happy Halloween! I've got a little treat for you. As you know, writers befriend many people from all over the world. This man is one of the most interesting and unique of them. As I get to know him, I learn all kinds of fascinating things about him. And he's agreed to be interviewed about Samhain, Cel Di, and other cool things. I give you Loush O' Raven. 

1) When did you first realize you were different?

lol I suppose you mean when did I realize that I could see things that other people couldn’t see. Well I was always aware that most people couldn’t seem to see the spiritual beings I saw (Angels, Demons, Totem Animals, Fairies, Spirit-guides, Ancestors, Ghosts, Etc…). I was kept by my Grand-Mother often and she has gifts. The gifts of Seership run in her blood-line. I don’t know why I got them being a male child because usually it was the females who got it. I have always thought it was because there was no right female person for it to pass to in my family at that time. I have also thought it might have to do with my sexual orientation….I am a proud Queer (and or fairy)! lol.

Beyond this... it took me years to realize that other people didn’t see Auras, I just thought it was they way everyone saw things. I didn’t know that is what they were called when I was a child. I just saw Rainbow lights around everyone and everything. I could tell when some people were sick, closed off, or less spiritual…. because their rainbows were dimmer or damaged looking in some way. I used to draw these rainbows around everything I drew.... and a teacher who was disturbed by it commented to my mother about it. I was scolded for it, but unlike most people who undergo that…I didn’t stop seeing or experiencing things. I just learned to stop talking about it to people who didn’t know anything.

2) What was it like growing up?

Well my childhood had a few fleeting moments of happiness, almost never with my parents however. My household was as abusive as can be growing up. My father abused us in almost every way, including physically. My mother…her abuse was more mental, emotional, and spiritual. I ran away from home at the age of 12 one day and called my Beloved Gran-Ma, and told her that she had two choices…..she could let me come live with her or I could kill myself... and at that point I was fine with either choice. She sent someone to get me where I was hiding. I moved in with her and my Gran-Da, and my Nan (Great-Grand-Mother). Nan was getting on in years. I became her caretaker so that my Grand Parents could go out and work. Nan had Alzheimers and Dementia so that was an interesting time of life experience. Also for a long time I went to my Gran-Da’s church. They are in the ministry you see. Our family has been in The Ministry on and off for four-hundred years we can trace. Though I know that some of my ancestors were Drui ( Druids - Ancient Celtic Priesthood). When I was around 9, I think it was... my family underwent a major shift. My uncle went to seminary and when he came back ...literally over night everything I was always taught to believe was ripped away from us; they changed the doctrine of the church that fast. It was a huge spiritual betrayal that left me hallow and un-trusting to a large degree. I went on a spiritual journey to try on all the different cultures and religions I had studied about growing up. Mother always insisted on us reading which is the one great thing I can say about her parent skills lol. I met some people around the age of 16 and stopped going to the family church and started going to visit other churches and faiths...which till this day is an issue lol. Eventually I found Christian Mysticism…specifically for me, wrapped up with the Celtic side of my Heritage which is the prevailing culture in our family. I found an ancient sect of Christians called Celi De. Though as a Celi De there isn’t really organized anything. We are scattered and varied in our beliefs. We are Christians (or Followers of The Way as the early Christians called themselves), but we have a distinctly Celtic and even Druidic style to the ways in which we express our Worship.

I went to private religious school where I was bullied for not being of their religious persuasion and having at the time seemingly un-heard of learning disabilities. I left and went into the public school system in the 5th grade and the bullying, torment, and torture increased a thousand fold. I had no idea anyone besides my father (or as I call him my sperm-donor) could be that cruel and evil. I won’t bother telling you everything I went through. It would be hard for most to read and most people wouldn’t believe the things I went though at the hands of the public school system anyway. Though I will say Knives, Guns; Death threats and attempts, as well as… regular beatings, and never ending verbal bashing played a part in the abuse at school; and that was just the kids....never mind what the staff did to me. People don’t want to hear that their children are monsters or that the school faculty is almost as bad.

 I stopped being suicidal half way through the 9th grade and found my true path which has never wavered since then and never will; I found my true spiritual home tradition. The only thing I ever really learned in school was how to survive torture. I left in 10th grade at the encouragement of one of my teachers. She said one day to me after we had become friends, “I have never said this to anyone before in my 30 plus years of teaching in Europe and America, but for your own sake leave this place….it is going to destroy your soul…leave and don’t even look back”! I listened to her words….I will never forget them. Thanks Nancy! I will always believe that leaving that place was one the best things I ever did in my life. I went to vocational school after that. I eventually met the woman who would again change my life forever. My Reiki Master Laura. My spiritual education continued and still continues. Once you really start it never really stops lol! I will tell you a truth….forgiveness is one of the hardest and most necessary things to learn. In the end forgiveness is not about letting the other person off the hook, but about being willing to let go of the burden of carrying around the fatal poison of anger. It is not about forgetting… because we can not learn by forgetting. It is about coming to a place of true peace within yourself and putting a stop to other people having control over your life and reality. It is about taking back your Power! It is one of the most freeing things in all of life! One of the other most freeing experiences is truly and totally submitting to the awesome Love of Divine Will! If people could only realize the vast depths of how much they are utterly loved, all fear and all other negative things would start to disappear from their lives; and be replaced by all that is good….by Spirit!  

3) Do you have a favorite subject or area of expertise in the paranormal?

Well yes…a few really. Theology, Ritualism, and Healing. So I guess I would personally lump all of that under two categories; Religion and Shamanism. The words I tend to use are Minister and Facilitator. By facilitator… what I mean, is that I create sacred space for someone to heal; and or learn, grow, and evolve. I then facilitate rituals and or various medicine modalities for them to create a change in the quality of their health. This is my Ministry and Vocation!  Having said that…I also have the scholarly type of work I do. I would probably characterize myself as an unofficial Mythologian and Symbologist. I have made a life long study of world mythology and the language of symbols and Archetypes. In fact if I am being totally honest I would have to say that symbols and the language of symbols is what my utmost expertise is in; it plays a part in all I am, do, and think. Symbols have a powerful effect on our lives and beings. I have been in my life very inspired by the works of C.G. Jung, and Joseph Campbell. Having said that…my work is not just academic or out of books…. in a very even physical sense….what I know, teach, and practice comes from real world and real life experience! I am not impressed with degrees or pieces of paper. I have met truly intelligent people with and without degrees. Likewise I have met people with a host of official letters after their names who were some of the most stupid and often fake people I have ever encountered…whose arrogance and ego seemed to know no bounds lol. I am impressed when people really know or seek to know Spirit, and when they are truly Authentic. I love all sorts of diverse and interesting people. Variety is the spice of life after all. 

If I could share something with you…my two favorite words to study are Inspiration and Grace. In Celtia we have a concept called The Awen…the Divine flowing Spirit of Inspiration which nourishes all Life! It my be well worth people looking up the term and various symbols having to do with The Awen; which is a force that can be invited into ones life and being…. to serve one and to help one to serve. Grace as well is a powerful word that more people should devote time to studying and understanding. My relationship with God goes beyond Faith…I have a Knowing beyond faith. I have a deep vital loving relationship with God that I do my best to cultivate every day....this is part of Grace. Some days are better than others lol. It isn’t about being perfect….it is about the striving for perfection and wholeness! I want to encourage everyone to do the same thing. Find Spirit in what way you can and do your utmost to cultivate a relationship with it!

4) What does it mean to be Céli Dé?

 Well as I said before… there are no set dogma’s for everyone who claims that title. Each group may have a set of teachings and core beliefs but they are varied from group to group... or from person to person. Céli Dé literally; Spouses of God or Servants of God,  is a sect of Celtic Christian Mystics who have a focus on inner spiritual life, development, and evolution.
Here is a link to a Post I wrote about it on one of my Blogs;
 We Celi De all seem to have, or try to foster… an intense relationship with both nature and the spiritual realms or “The Otherworld” as we often call it in Celtia. We follow a path close to that of the early Christians. At some point in the history of Indo-Europe we existed before the time of St Patrickus. Christianity was already in Ireland long before Patrick got there. What he did was bring the Roman church and Roman Catholicism into Ireland. He despised the druids and also the early Céli Dé who lived in harmony and peace with the Druids; and tried his best to eradicate them. Some druids became monks to hide or survive. Many of the Céli Dé, were absorbed into the Roman church during that time period and their true essence was largely lost sadly. I feel like… we… who claim the title today, are reclaiming the sect… and that this honors our early spiritual ancestors and predecessors. The first Céli Dé were druids or druid followers who converted to Christianity but kept their style of worship as it were. They just stopped worshiping the old pagan gods and started worshiping The Holy Trinity. Many think they just changed the old gods into saints, but this is not really the case. Most of the Celtic saints were very real people who did extraordinary things for their people during their lives; and these so called saints were often named after the old gods; which was more than common… it was standard practice at the time. That is not to say however that certain traits from the old pagan gods weren't grafted onto the saints.  I do not claim to be exactly like the early Christians or exactly like the early Céli Dé ….these are inspirations for how we are evolving our faith path traditions now.

Here is a link to a group I think has several great points about this path (Not that I agree with everything they say mind you lol);

Also I have always considered myself part of The Grail Quest. For those that aren’t familiar with that term it has a lot to do with spiritual interpretation of the Arthurian Legends and how we can apply the lessons found within those stories to our lives. It is the search for The Holy Grail or more correctly… it is a spiritual tradition who has as its major objective to Become The Holy Grail… that servant vessel of God. Finding The Grail within ones own self and unifying with that truth. 

I believe that Spirit is not just for Sundays. Spirit is supposed to be part of our every breath. Everyday spirituality is the only way for me to truly live fulfilled and be authentic and true to myself! Finding the sacred within the mundane and profane is paramount to my way of life! This also applies unlike in mainstream so called Christianity to the issue of sexuality! I view sexuality as fluid, natural, beautiful, and Sacred!!! I am as God made me! 

5) Do Céli Dé celebrate Halloween/Samhain? If so, how?

As I said before... we are all varied. Yes, many of us do however celebrate the old Celtic holidays in our different ways….I know I do. Personally it is one of the most sacred days of the entire year to me. I don my ritual robes and regalia… and my clan colors; and I hold ritual for three days or more. After all of my spiritual workings are finished for each day I might go out and do something frivolous to have fun with friends….in elaborate costumes lol. I have always loved making costumes my entire life. I guess even as a child I was writing characters and becoming them to experience the world from a different point of view and just never knew it…not in those terms at least! lol

Samhain pronounced Sow-in,  is the Celtic new year, and it is also The Day of the Ancestors where we honor those that came before. The Hallowed Eve is followed by New Years day, All Saints day, and All Souls night. It is common in most traditions to light candles and honor God and The Saints as well as all our spiritual aids which in my tradition we call The Brehon. It is also common to pray for the souls of the dead at this time. 

6) Why the name Loush O’Raven? What does it mean to you?

It is a business name. A reflection of the name I changed to. My birth name never suited me. Name changes are a common spiritual practice around the world. God in the bible often changed peoples names to reflect their new paths. In the ancient Celtic tradition a boy at age thirteen, and a girl at the time of first moon blood tide... would choose a new name to enter into full adulthood. I decided that I wanted a new name that would reflect my new life and my new path. I tried on several different names over the years until I found the one that suited me. My real name is Lucien O’Corvi. My business name Loush is a phonetic pronunciation or transliteration of Luis; the second letter in the old Celtic Ogham alphabet. It has ties to the Rowan tree which is my Celtic zodiac tree (I am an Aquarius, or Rowan-Moon). So really I have many names. My Ritual name which I only use for ritual or teaching, My business name, and my real name. I also have three pen-names for my writing work. Names are powerful and important and carry strong spiritual energy and significance. I used to as a youth adopt a new temporary name for myself whenever studying a new culture as a way to embrace that culture during my study of it. My real name Lucien O’Corvi …well I have always been drawn to the name Lucien meaning among other things Light or Bringer of Light / Illumination.  I also wanted to change my last name….not to dishonor my ancestors but to illustrate that I was on a very different path than before. I wanted to honor my Raven-Crow which is my main Totem animal guide; and I wanted something to reflect the Irish part of my heritage hence the ‘O’ in front of the Corvi. O in Irish meaning basically Grandson of... is sort of like Mc in the Scottish culture. I chose the Surname O’Corvi which means Grand-son of The Raven. If there are any people out there who have always felt their names don’t suit them…go find your real name and change your name. Don’t go through life as someone else….live fully and authentically. In the end all we really have that is our own.... to truly leave behind and also take with us into the otherworld, is Our Name....what we made of ourselves....what we did with our name and with who we are and that is all!  Blessed Be Most Excellent! 

 I want to thank you so much for this most interesting experience Donna! It has not only been fun but it has helped me re-frame some of my perceptions about my own life! Thank you so much for the honor of having me on your lovely Blog! 

Thank YOU, my friend :) --DM

Links to my various Blogs;

WARNING!!! Two of my three Blogs are so not kid or work friendly! The A.G.M.S. Blogsite is kid and work friendly. The other two however contain very explicit graphic sexual images in many of the posts. You have been warned lol!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Days Gone By When Time Flies

Image courtesy of: farconville/
Sorry guys...I had a Halloween post planned for today. But then I realized Halloween isn't until NEXT Thursday. Apologies to my Halloween guest Loush O'Raven, for I told him his interview was THIS week...Halloween. Oops. (Not to worry. He'll be here next week, on the REAL Halloween.)

This kind of thing happens to me a lot these days. The months pass by so fast, I can't believe it's less than nine weeks to Christmas. I thought it was September until halfway through October. I feel like a dog chasing her tail.

I know it's not just me. But is it my age? My lifestyle? I've been having a familiar text conversation with my friend Melaida for several weeks. It starts like:

     "Hey. We still on for dinner on Friday?"
     "I thought that was next week?"
     "You're right. My bad."

Or there's something like this:

     "Sorry, Mel. I forgot I have company coming tomorrow."
     "No problem. One of my friends decided to get married this weekend. I can use the extra time."
     "Cool. I was feeling bad about having to cancel again."


     "Just checking if we're still on 4 this Fri."
     "Yep! After work, right?"

We're constantly trying to solidify plans and make sure we have the correct date.In fact, the only reason I realized that this wasn't a Halloween week is because we're doing dinner tomorrow...the 25th. We haven't decided where we're going to eat yet. We're mostly concerned about our next meet-up to be done before Christmas to exchange gifts. I have no doubt either one of us will forget, or some other obligation will get in our way.

How did we get so busy? Where has this year gone? Are we the only ones who lose track of time like it's draining through a sieve? Why does time fly so fast these days?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Introducing...JAY MIMS!!

Jay Mims
Behold! The Incredible Mimsey!
I have this theory about writers. If you like the books they write, you will most likely like them. And vice versa. If you like the author, you will like their work.

Authors, by their very nature are cool. We have to be, because despite the fact that our work is fiction, there is still an essence of ourselves in play. Much of our personality creeps into the words.

So when one comes across a novel that captures the imagination and lifts the heart with constant snickers, one knows she would TOTALLY bond with that writer. 

I read "Cult of Koo Kway" by Jay Mims and it completely validated my theory. I don't think I've read a book where I grinned through the entire thing. I just connected with it. It was a peek inside Mimsey's warped mind and I instantly wanted to hang out and read comics with him while wolfing down Pixie Sticks. Maybe in a treehouse. I think we would have been infamous ten year olds had we known each other back then. 

And his new one, "The Gray Ghost Inn" JUST came out! Actually, he let me read it and I loved it. In fact, I'm going to buy it so I can read it again. I'm proud of him, and I can't wait for you to meet him because he's a lot of fun. You'll see. Read on...

1)      When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
You know, when I was in first grade, my teacher, Mrs. Rita, would start to scold me for reading in class and then realized I was just bored. Even then it was hard to stay mad at the Mims. It was while being a book nerd (not to be confused with THE BOOKNERD) that I realized I wanted to write something, anything. Besides my parents, I don’t think I could have found a bigger supporter then in Mrs. Rita. Which is why The Five Santas has on its dedication page “This book is dedicated to Mrs. Rita Sanders who in elementary school made me promise that I would dedicate my first book to her. Thank you Mrs. Rita.”
2)      Knowing your love of comics, Doctor Who and all things cartooned and cool, why aren’t you writing for Marvel? I mean, why mystery novels exactly?
Oh, dear sweet Lord would I love to write for Marvel! Or DC.  Who am I kidding? If Archie Comics called up and said “Hey pal! How’d you like to write Josie and the Pussycats” my head would explode. What’s really crazy is, there’s a comic book reference in Cult of Koo Kway that will come up again in book 4, Racing the Storm, that I still don’t think anyone has caught. I’m kind of hoping it is one of those magical gems that years from now someone will catch and go WHOA!
I write mystery novels because I was always a fan of TV, and when I grew up shows like Magnum, P.I., Murder, She Wrote, Moonlighting, and Remington Steele were incredibly popular and very influential on the Mimsey brain. Seriously, if “Snowed in at a bed and breakfast with a murderer” wasn’t a Jessica Fletcher plot, then I need to hop in the TARDIS and rectify the situation immediately. And if it was, I’ll give a signed copy The Gray Ghost Inn to the first commenter to name the episode.  (Yeah, you heard him! any guesses?--DM)
3)      Who or what inspired Dan Landis?
That’s a great question. I actually have an MFA in moviemaking, so I was required to do a portfolio film. The first serious project I ever did was a weird series of shorts about a girl and her imaginary friend. So, when it came time to do a portfolio, I just shamelessly ripped myself off. I re-named the character from Captain Marcus Habbakuk (I was young and quirky) to Dan Landis, and changed the girl from college student to successful author. Dan was her adventuring character.
People who saw the film really loved the book titles (in some cases a lot more than they liked the film…this may be why I’m now writing books instead of making movies) and when I graduated I decided to throw caution to the wind and actually write a Dan Landis novel. I built the character of Dan from a number of wonderful people in my life, including assorted friends, family and my personal heroes. I also shamelessly stole (i.e. HOMAGED) TV detectives like Remington Steele, Thomas Magnum and David Addison. What I always tell writers, because I am always glad to give unsolicited advice, is to find strong characters and the story will grow from there.
However, I really have to tell this story: About a month or so ago I was contacted by real-life private investigator Dan Landis, who lives in Idaho. Like, how does that happen? I’m pretty sure J.K. Rowling doesn’t get calls from a wizard named Harry Potter, Janet Evanovich doesn’t go out for drinks with bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, and Stephenie Meyer’s never gotten letters from a cardboard cut-out named Bella Swan. Only Mimsey, folks. Only Mimsey.
4)      I’ve always loved your sense of humor and quick wit. Where did that come from? Why are you so weird?
That’s a good question. I think the quick wit and wry sense of humor probably comes from years of honing and experience. The weirdness comes from my parents, who are both lovable and quirky as the day is long. However, I always hate to tell people, but I’m really far funnier when I’ve had time to come up with a joke then when I have to think of something on the fly. It’s one of the joys of being a writer.
5)      In your bio, you mention cats with clever names like Eartha Kitty and Meowthezar and a lizard named Bob. Can you tell us about them?
Yeah, I sort of inadvertently adopted a couple of cats. The first, Eartha Kitty, I tell more about here. It was the neighbor’s cat that I started feeding, thinking it was a stray. Oddly enough, Meowthezar was a stray kitten I found, who I ended up giving to my neighbor’s. Bob the Lizard is this giant lizard that I found in my house one time, and while I relocated him to the woods, I still like to imagine he’s having wacky adventures. Basically it gives people the impression I am a friend to all animals, instead of the weirdo who has his Christmas tree up year round. 
6)      What is next for you and Dan Landis, if you don’t mind telling us?
Don’t mind a bit! Dan and company will continue their adventures from The Gray Ghost Inn with book 4, the final book in the Oncoming Storm quartet. Which I realize sounds a bit more like a weather-themed music group then a book series. This book, Racing the Storm, will be out 2014 and will address the big mystery that’s been hanging over Dan’s life since The Five Santas. Namely: What’s his sister, Julianne, up to and why does she need a gunslinger cowboy named Tex?
7)      If Dan Landis had his own theme song, what would it be?
If I ever get some money together, I want to do a live action teaser for the books that’s all the characters holding various impliments of murder, set to the chorus of Alex Clare’s Too Close
If you asked Dan himself, he’d probably say Cage The Elephant’s Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked
But I think we all know, when Dan’s rolling out in his best duds the song in his head is Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now
Getting to know Jay Mims...
Favorite book of all time?
To Kill A Mockingbird. That book has shaped more of my life philosophy then I’d care to admit. Closely tied to that is Lord of the Rings (trilogy) by J.R.R. Tolkien and THUD! by Terry Pratchett.
Favorite snack or drink while writing?
I’m chronically addicted to Dr. Pepper, but I often find I’m better drinking water while writing. Writing with a sugar buzz is fun, writing when you’ve crashed is less fun. I usually am chewing on something, so either fruit or crackers. I’m just ADD enough to always be needing to do something.
Favorite character you’ve written?
Hah, you know that’s a tough choice. I think Dan’s the most personal for me, just because there’s so much of myself in him, but also because he’s so wonderfully complex and simple at the same time. I’ll tell you right now, don’t write super-smart characters who are experts in something you’re not an expert in. I’ve got a super-cop, an ace attorney, a doctoral student in Art History, an M.D. and an Anthropologist. Google is my friend. Trust me, it’s a lot easier to make a Doctor Who joke then to have an in-depth discussion of Dadaism.
Favorite Cartoon/Comicbook/Muppet character?
Batman: The Animated Series/Pretty much anything with the X-Men (Beast and Gambit are my faves, if you’re wondering)/And the older I get, the more I realize I am in fact Fozzie Bear. Still, Gonzo is my favorite weirdo ever.
Favorite Doctor Who companion?
Donna Noble, full-stop. Which is weird, because I based the character of Bernie on Martha Jones (as discussed here). I do love Rose, she was my first companion, and I have a framed photo of David Teninch and Sarah Jane on my wall. Amy was wonderful, and Rory is the most unflappable character in the history of ever. I’m also excited to see what they do with Clara, because she’s absolutely brilliant. But, Donna will always be my favorite.
Favorite all time villain?
Long-time readers will know I love talking about villains. I’d say my favorite villain of all time is probably a tie. AN EVIL TIE! They both are Disney villains, with Hades just being incredibly enjoyable in both the TV show and film. But the all-time best villain has to be Maleficient. You want to talk about evil? This lady curses a baby (a newborn mind you) because she didn’t get an invite to the party, keeps a castle full of monsters purely for kicks and giggles, and then captures Prince Charming so that he can only wake up Sleeping Beauty when he’s too old and busted to do anything. That, my friends, is serious evil. Also, she turns into a dragon, but I’m kind of more intimidated by her as a woman then as a dragon. At least a dragon will only burn you, that lady is going to tear you down first. Then probably burn you.

Jay Mims can do a dead on impersonation of Shaggy from “Scooby-Doo”, and has seen every episode of “Small Wonder”. He lives with a passive-aggressive Dalek named Steve, a lizard named Bob, feeds a cat he calls Eartha Kitty and recently rescued a kitten named Meowleficient. He writes books and is far funnier on Facebook then in real life. He is terrible at Twitter. His latest book "The Gray Ghost Inn" is available now. Feel free to email him here.

THANKS FOR A GREAT INTERVIEW MIMSEY!!   You are the absolute best!