Pimp A Friend Friday: Lillian Rose and Meriweather Asterios

You guys! YOU GUYS. Lillian Rose Asterios and her husband Merris do some of the most gorgeous artistic work that you’re going to find. I can’t tell you how breathless I am to see what they create and sell. Things like this:

Image may contain: shoes and outdoorDo you see those stunning earrings? They’re made from ethically collected butterflies who have already passed. I swoon. I mean, seriously. In fact, I just placed an order for a pair.

She also created this gorgeous coloriong book, available on Amazon.

Merris painted these:

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And this!

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Please take a minute to scour their Facebook pages and see what you’d like to purchase. Their work is wonderful! You can find Lillian’s work on her page, as well as Meriweather’s work on his.

I hope you find something that fills your soul while supporting artists. ❤

 

 

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Look Inside My Head 2014: Day 8

1) Post ten of any pictures currently on your hard drive that you think are self-expressive.
2) NO CAPTIONS!!! It must be like we’re speaking with images and we have to interpret your visual language just like we have to interpret your words.
3) They must ALREADY be on your hard drive – no googling or flickr! They have to have been saved to your folders sometime in the past. They must be something you’ve saved there because it resonated with you for some reason.
4) You do NOT have to answer any questions about any of your pictures if you don’t want to. You can make them as mysterious as you like. Or you can explain them away as much as you like.

butterflycharts

Monarchs and the Mississippi

Mississippi

We flew out at 6 am today, which means that we were driving to the airport at 4:30. The phrase “Don’t talk to me until Texas” was thrown around a couple of times. Neither Mason, Matt, nor I are fabulous morning people.

I bought at Diet Coke for $3.50 in the Houston airport. I nearly wept.

The house in New Orleans is beautiful. Most of the group is staying at the Monteleone hotel in the French quarter, which is gorgeous. It’s also $150 a night. We rented a charming house a mile away for much, much less. Wood floors. Writing nooks. AIR CONDITIONING. I’m working the registration table twice tomorrow, as well as going to a KaffeeKlatsch with Bruce Boston. I’m excited to do that, but I’d also love to curl up and sleep the day away, waking up to write. Sometimes I love noise and people. It distracts me. But sometimes I need to hide. Right now a little hiding would be ideal.

The best part of today? We walked through the French Quarter, right up to the Mississippi river. Near the banks, I saw a Monarch Butterfly. Perhaps you know of my fondness for them. They’re very important to me. They remind me of childhood and hope and struggle. Few things are as significant.

It’s the first Monarch I’ve seen of the season. Big and bright and beautiful. I actually cried, “A Monarch!” and ran after it, like I was a little girl. Then my friends and I went and put our feet in the water of the Mississippi. We watched the boats go by until the sun went down. I didn’t want to move. It was peace.

I saw a few friendly faces and will see more tomorrow. My mind is close to home, tonight. I talked to my son on the phone and he’s excited for me to come home. My daughter told me the bunny was in the back yard today, even though I wasn’t there. I told her that animals come to play with her, too.

Stop 5: C.Michelle Jefferies

My darling Michelle!

 

It’s a humdinger, today, folks! That’s because my darling friend C. Michelle Jefferies and I are interviewing each other!  She’s in the midst of her blog tour while I’m in the midst of mine.  Stop by her site to see my take on stilettos and writing advice, and read on to hear more about her!

 
Here’s a bit of trivia. We were Facebook friends and had been talking for a while, when she suddenly mentioned a tiny little town out in the boondocks.  MY town. She had moved in about a mile and a half away from the house I grew up in. Talk about serendipity!

 

 

MMY: Michelle, you ended up moving to my hometown! How is it for you? What’s your favorite thing about it?

 
CMJ: I keep joking with my hubby that every time we move we go to a smaller town. I’m not moving again! (Castle Dale is a tiny berg of about 1,800 people and about 2 miles square.) My hubby moved us out here and my first thought was “patch of green in the middle of the desert”. I honestly feel a little isolated. The shopping isn’t the greatest but I like the slower atmosphere. My favorite thing about it is my kids love it here and they are thriving. I can’t argue with it.

 
MMY:Your first book is coming out, but I know you have several more in the works. Share what information you can, will you?

 
CMJ:My first published novel EMERGENCE will be out in the next couple of weeks. That book is my passion and many years of effort. I do however have my hands in more than one thing at a time. (Kind of ADD that way.) I have a short story in a Christmas Compilation book called SING WE NOW OF CHRISTMAS, Compiled by Michael Young. And I have a middle grade book about manners taught by fairies tentatively called ENCHANTED ETIQUETTE. Both EMERGENCE and ENCHANTED ETIQUETTE will be through Walnut Springs Press.

 
MMY: What drew you to your particular genre?

CMJ: I’ve always liked the “special team” or “average guy with technology” TV shows, (think A-team, Battle of the Planets, Knight Rider) and would create stories in my head after watching them. I like a good suspense but want a little romance in it. I also like science fiction so my books are a mish mash of these styles. I have also found a new passion (for me) which is Burn Notice. Love ( times ten) that show.

 
MMY: When you and I met, we hit it off immediately. Why do you think that is?

 
CMJ: I think we have so much in common, kids, kids with special needs, love the odd and un-normal, and love to write. I do think there’s more to the connection than that though. I believe that souls are bound together in ways not seen. Threads that indicate to me that there was something there from before we existed in physical form.

 
MMY: I’m amazed by your productivity, especially with children running around the house. How do you do it?

 
CMJ: I covet naptime. It is one of the few times I can get anything done. I really hate TV and I hate using it as a babysitter but sometimes (like now) I use it when in a pinch. My family is really understanding of the “I have to finish this proof before tomorrow” thing and I get all sorts of cooperation from them if they are available to help. Otherwise my house falls apart and I occasionally stop the madness and we just clean house for a few hours so we can resume the wild ride that is my home.

 
MMY: Butterflies. I know you’re into butterflies. Share.

 
CMJ: Butterflies represent change, or metamorphosis. Changing from one level of consciousness to another. Butterflies to me are like my characters, an atheist assassin becoming a prophet, a former DEA agent left for dead who lets thoughts of revenge go in order to serve the more noble path. I like to think of my story characters being “bad boys going good”.

 
MMY: What are you currently working on?

 
CMJ: I’m working on a few amazing projects. One is a young adult scifi/steampunk/urban fantasy about a boy who is given a medallion for his birthday and runs away from home when he realizes that monsters are looking for and willing to kill for this tarnished medallion. The second project, and I say “project” lightly is a number of books that all tie into the Emergence story in some way. They’re called parallel books. Same themes. characters, and settings but different stories. I am also toying with a field guide for these parallel novels. That would be a blast to write.

 
MMY: You and I are doing a joint book signing in Price and Castle Dale on Friday, November 2, 2012. Say that somebody comes up to you at the signing and starts a conversation. What would you LOVE to talk about?

 
CMJ: I love to talk writing, I love to talk to aspiring writers and tell them the methods I have found that work for me. (My husband would say I just love to talk period. ) Don’t even get me started on Story Structure and Master Chapter Outlines.

 

MMY: Then I’ll definitely get you started on Story Structure and Master Chapter Outlines!  Thanks so much for dropping by, Michelle. Catch you in town next month!

The Bear In A Muddy Tutu by Cole Alpaugh. And a Contest!

 

You can’t read the first sentence in this book and not know that you’re in for a trip.  The opening character, Billy Wayne Hooduk, leaves his morbidly obese mother and his timid life behind as he sets out to be God and start a happy cult of his own.  After a traveling circus act goes horrifyingly wrong, Billy Wayne shoots a dangerous tiger, declares that he is God, and takes charge of the circus.  If this doesn’t give you a taste of the delight in store, nothing else will.

I was enchanted by the sometimes distasteful but always likeable characters that populate this book. We spend time with cult-leader wannabe Billy Wayne, a broken journalist who is searching for his missing daughter, a gentle dancing bear who delights in delicious smells, and the traveling pesticide guy who unknowingly played an important role in Billy Wayne’s life.  Each character manages to have their own unique voice without losing the continuity of the narration.  The chapters are creative, interesting reads and I didn’t find my attention flagging.  That’s always a good sign. 

The writing itself was a joy.  The winding narrative was sometimes a little difficult to wrap my eyes around, and at other times it was almost painfully beautiful. Either way that it ran, it was interesting and full of quirky whimsy.  In fact, that’s how I would sum up this entire book.  Quirky whimsy.  Joyful heartbreak.  A story of broken people who find a way to hold themselves and each other together.

I’d recommend it if you want a charming, bizarre tale with a satisfying, fate-driven ending.  It reads a little like Christopher Moore but with more heart.  If you are annoyed by flights of fancy, then you’ll want to stay away from The Bear In A Muddy Tutu.  It’s fanciful, beautiful, and escapist to the core.

Want to win your own copy, plus some other fun, fantastic stuff?  Regan Leigh is running a contest, and YOU SHOULD TOTALLY ENTER IT!  The super easy guidelines are here.  Also, leave a comment below to win more points!