Courtney S. Barr

Welcome to My Kingdom!
Join me, the Princess, on my Royal Adventures in the Land of Writing!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Monday Memos...

"The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage..."

I would like to say Thank You to troops of all branches of the US military that are currently fighting to keep us Free and to those who have fought, served our nation bravely who continue to inspire us to be courageous.

Courage is an interesting word. It is one that has many definitions by those who use it.
It can be applied in many ways...

To someone who stands up for their beliefs.
To someone who chooses life over death.
To someone who decides to follow their dreams no matter the risk.
To someone who creates a family.
To someone who lets go and accepts the unknown.
To someone who remembers their past yet rises above it.
To someone who takes their first step.
To someone who breathes their last breath.
To someone who knows when to speak and when to listen.
To someone who loves knowing that love can be fleeting & fickle.

How appropriate that the Latin origin of courage is "cor" = heart. For with hope, heart, and faith happiness can be acquired.

Have a Memorable Monday!

Oh yeah, did I have a few contests over the weekend?? I did!

Okay, okay here are the winners:

Memorial Day Weekend Word Challenge: WICKED

True Random Number Generator Min:1 Max:24 Result: 22


Please email me which prize package you would like to receive! ;o)

* I would like to give extra props to her for typing this on her iPhone. Seriously.

Her"wicked" story:

As we continued to fight our breath came more quickly and shallow. I don't know about his, but I do know that my body was spent. Every muscle fiber had been used and abused I was beginning to fade and fade fast. I felt the exhaustion as I continued to kick and swing at him with that was left iniside of me. He seemed to be faltering as well he moved a little slower and stumbled a few times. It won't be long now I said to myself. One of us will be victorious! In a flash, we became tangled leaning heavily on one another, I heard him whisper, "she will never fit with you, she doesn't fit into your world. If you really love her you will let her go."

For a fraction of a second, I paused in thought. Looked around the arena and focused on those crystal blue eyes. Hazel wisps of hair blew in her face our eyes locked and the love we share was clear in her smile. My love for her swelled and gave me a renewed strength. As I turned back to Alexander, I caught the wicked gleam in his eye as the pain seared up my right side fear overtook me. I reached down grabbing the blade from his hand and shoving it through his heart! I could not let her live with a wickedness like his. The rage over took me as I began to stab him repeatedly.

Exhausted, we fell together in a heap onto the sand floor. I rolled onto my back and looked to the sky my side ached painfully. As I closed my eyes, relief flowed through me with the knowledge seeping in that it was over. I was still alive for now. Warm lips touched mine with a sweetness that was all consuming, warmth and love radiated to my bones. Opening my eyes I gazed into the ocean of blue before me.

With a voice as beautiful as birdsong she whispered "Stay with me my love we are now free to be with each other. I love you with all of my heart. please dont leave me." I touched her porcelain skin and all went black.

Okay these entries were wonderful! I am so glad that everyone enjoyed taking on the challenge. Tuesday I will post the other entries so that everyone can enjoy the Wicked stories. ;o)

Now I also held another contest on Friday's entry the Winner would receive a copy of Catherine Fisher's INCARCERON! awesome book!

True Random Number Generator Min:1 Max:16 Result: 9



Please email me your information and I will get your book sent out to you!

I really enjoyed these contests & well to be honest there is a BIG one coming up... be sure to watch for June 14's Monday entry...

something special for my Royal Court... ;o)

Friday, May 28, 2010

WARNING LONG POST AHEAD: Flash'n Fanny-Awards-Tagged-Bonus

Don't forget my Memorial Day Word Challenge Contest!
Enter HERE
Whew! What a crazy week...for those of you who read of my sad little flashdrive Flora on Monday well, she is no longer with us. We were able to remove some files (thank you IT Guru) but not all of them. Some snippets for my WIP are gone - that made me cringe - and a few Critiques for my Crit Group - that also made me cringe - but overall the damage was minor. I did however bury Flora with sweet words before scooting over to the store and adopting our newest member. Meet:


Oh yeah, she's trouble with a capital "T" and boy is she here to party! She happily accepted a few files yesterday while also telling me she can hold plenty more...this girl might be a bit wild,but we love her already!

Now, Fanny is getting settled in quite nicely so we hope to have a long relationship - though she did make eyes at Gavin the Gateway Laptop* and Tabitha the Toshiba* netbook huffed a little, but ah, what's life without crazy women! (yes we have a serious mixture of techie gadgets - we are a fully diverse household)


Now, just the other day I received recognition from some AMAZING bloggie buddies.

Shannon O' Donnell from Book Dreaming ever so sweetly honored me with the Happiness 101 award! I love this award - not only is it pretty but it means that every now and then I make someone happy they stopped by my blog. That is awesome. Shannon should know that there isn't a single post of hers that does not make me grin. I want to pass this on to:

Jaydee Morgan - Her posts are always full of great information and she always makes me smile!

Lola over at Sharp Pen/Dull Sword - Not only is she my Wolfpack leader, but her posts ALWAYS make me smile!! I mean who doesn't love someone who starts their profile with My name is Lola. (I'm not a showgirl). ;o)

Talli Roland - Talli's blog is filled with wonderful posts on books, her writing, photos of England that will make you yearn to cross the pond, Banoffee Pie and a sense of humor that is refreshing!


Summer over at ...and this time concentrate got extremely mushy and passed out the following award:
I have to say I was beyond words when I saw my name listed. I am honored to have made this list. I only hope that as we move further towards our dreams that I can continue to be worthy of her list.

Now I get the lovely pleasure of passing this on as well. You all may know that I have been blogging for a while. Since '07 really, but '07 & '08 I was blogging in hiding... i.e. I only let family know that I had a site and the site was purely a journal. Then in 2009 I decided to step out. I noticed that some authors listed blogs on their book jackets and well I decided to google a few. Through this exercise I discovered Writing Blogs.

You all welcomed this Princess with open arms. I discovered that my email inbox was beginning to be filled with correspondence much like Pen Pals from my youth. I began to open up, share things that I never would have imagined. (Wednesday's Written Word hasn't always been around, ya know? ;o) ) You critique and teach me things I am unaware of, you make me remember that writing is something I can do anytime, anywhere and you make me realize that dreams are important in life.

(It goes without saying my hubby & family deserve this award a thousand times over!) So many of you, in fact my entire Royal Court deserves this award. I know that there will be people I have yet to meet that deserve this acknowledgement & that is so awesome!

Here is a snippet of those who have pushed me to go further & continue to do so:

Simon (this one is fairly unisex so no worries Simon)

Thank you all.
One of those wonderful names above *cough*DL*cough tagged me with the five question experience! Five questions - five answers for each question.

I am happy to oblige with my answers:
Question 1: Where were you five years ago?
1. At this very same desk - only 2 years into the job after college.
2. Planning my wedding for the following year.
3. Moving into my new house.
4. Discovering the ins and outs of really living with the man you are going to marry.
5. Loving life.
Question 2: Where would you like to be five years from now?
1. Loving life.
2. A published author (hopefully on book two or three or four)
3. Planning or preparing for a summer vacation
4. Possibly playing with my very own children...
5. Still enjoying the wonder that is blogging!
Question 3: What is (was) on your to do list today?
1. be sure to get everything before heading to visit the fam
4. Watch my twin nephews play baseball
5. charge my phone ;o)
Question 4: What five snacks do you enjoy?
1. Candy Apple (I mean the traditional apple dipped in red hard candy...yum)
2. Cotton Candy
3. Watermelon Jolly Ranchers
4. Chocolate coated sunflower seeds
5. Twizzlers
*its amazing that I have teeth*
Question 5: What would you do if you were a billionaire?
1. OMG! - TRAVEL with the entire FAM
2. Go to Orlando more than the traditional twice a year that I already go (worked for Disney years ago and still get a few perks ;o) )
3. Heck - have a house in Orlando
4. Secure the future of my children & family - most importantly
5. Use it to share books with those who don't have the means or libraries that need the funding - perhaps open some sort of Indie library/store concept...hmmmm.....

Okay so there you have it - an extremely long Friday post. If you hung in here through the whole thing - thank you ever so much! if you didn't well then you missed out on this:
One random commenter on THIS post will win a copy of:
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

Contest ends Sunday at midnight - announcement will be made on Monday along with the Word Challenge Winner!
Open internationally.
Must be a follower.
*None of the companies listed here paid me anything to list their brands - they should ;o) but they don't. The photo of Flash'n Fanny is from Office Depot. Yes we love our gadgets and yes I will shamelessly promote the affairs of my gadgets - their love life amuses me.

Have a Fantabulous Friday!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesdays Written Word: A CHALLENGE for YOU!!

This week is going to be a little different. Call it a Holiday twist for those celebrating Memorial Day...

Every Wednesday I write a story around a word. Sometimes they develop into ideas for future WIP, sometimes they are truly just wonderful distractions from my current work. Distractions can be good, it can allow you to return to your work fresh and open minded when you may have left it a bit bogged or confused.

Anyway, when I opened the slip of paper I saw: ASK ME

My husband sneakily did this so that he had a bonus entry of sorts. Well I waited for a moment, tapping my fingers on the keys, before he told me he had an idea. He knew the word he wanted me to use but he also had a twist.

Rather than write a normal entry he decided I should make it into a contest for you, my Royal Court. Next Wednesday I will write my own selection for the same word and post as usual. But on Monday, Memorial Day it is all about y'all...

So here is the word he has chosen for YOU!


In the comments write a quick scene, flash fiction, or dialogue inspired by the word.

The winner will be randomly selected by the Hat program (you all know I love it).

I will showcase a few of the entries here on the blog on Monday as well as the winner.

You must be a follower to enter!
Old & New Follower +2
Tweet +1
Blog +3
Please be sure to tally up your extra entries in the comments before or after your snippets!

You have until Midnight CST, Sunday, May 30 to enter.
I will announce the winner on Memorial Day, May 31st.

The winner will be able to choose from the following prize packs!


Bran Hambric by Kaleb Nation, Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble, Jonas - Beautiful Dead by Eden Maguire, Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris (A Sookie Stackhouse novel)


The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass, Hooked by Les Edgerton

Moleskin journal from Barnes & Noble in Red

This contest is open to US & Canada only
sorry international members...
(I promise I have one coming up for you guys)

Anyone who would like to explore previous Wednesday's Written Word entries please peruse the right sidebar menu or my Original Works page!

Oh btw The First Novels Club blog is holding a 573 followers could WIN FOUR SIGNED BOOKS!!! FROM NYT BESTSELLING AUTHORS!!
No more needs to be said. ;o)

Have a Wicked Wednesday!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday Memos & My Organization Flashdrive Failure....

"For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned."

I tell myself this often.
I believe it.
I work hard to live by it, but I often fail miserably.
I am the type of person that likes a very organized life - yet I am a dreamer, an idealist who sees life as one beautiful journey after another.

This weekend organization decided to play with my mind. I have a flash drive (I affectionately call it Flora), one that has held many WIPs over the past year. It has dutifully saved the documents while acting as a tiny suitcase when I needed to transfer them between computers, complete with adorable little compartments to distinguish between work to critique and my own WIPs. Yep. Such a nice little girly gadget.

Then Saturday night as I am preparing to upload my perfectly organized files of some critiques the drive refuses to open. It gives me an error message that has my eyes filling with tears and lower lip in a death grip between my teeth. All I can think is thank goodness I have a back up of the WIPs but other files on there are just there - my most recent changes needed to be transferred and will be lost if the little white stick refuses to wake up.

I don't know what I did to aggravate the thing. My husband says she is probably jealous that I spent the afternoon on a lake & by a pool while she sat unused at the house. He could be right. I use that thing every day and then on Saturday I abandon it for 95 degree heat and drinks with I just received a new netbook (named Tabitha by the way - yes I know lunacy but hey I name everything! I feel Tabitha will soon have a hot torrid affair with Gavin my traditional laptop...) and Flora might feel like it is some sort of replacement or something. We have not had the talk about how she is to be friends with Tabitha. That will come tonight.

I feel that my organizational techniques have earned me more than a few extra hours. So I cashed some in yesterday morning. Then again yesterday evening & well today I am lending them to my IT guy at the day job to see if he can make heads or tails of the thing.

Today my journey has decided to veer towards patience and hindsight. I should have saved another copy, I also must understand that my IT guru will probably be able to talk sweetly to her and make her feel loved again - it just may take a little while, she is female.

So while he works on Flora I will sketch out a way to double save all my docs, be a bit kinder to Flora, pray that y'all don't admit me to an asylum since I just shared a few too many idiosyncrasies in one post, and I will remember that the hours I saved from prior organization is the only reason I am not crying right now - I know that to be that upset would be pointless I must just be patient and see where today goes...

Any of you have any tips on extra organization when it comes to docs? What is your favorite way to insure your work stays safe?

(Oh and for any who missed last weeks' Madness post, well I just gave you a great example as to why writers are considered & proven to be a bit crazy - well if you don't see it just ask Flora, Tabitha or Gavin...they can explain ;o) )

So what is everyone else up to on this Monday morning?

Talli Roland begs the question how do you stay cool in the summer while writing??

CJ Redwine gives an adorable glimpse into her weekend/morning and also pencils in what date to have 'the talk' with her know the one...

Jill Kemerer poses the question of "WHY IS YOUR CHARACTER HERE?" Her thought provoking post should have you thinking about scenes and whether or not you are providing prudent information or filler words...

Okay seriously...Shannon has done it AGAIN! What a contest! Win a signed copy of ARCHVILLIAN by Barry Lyga + Swag!! She has 600 followers! 600! I am quite proud to see my little picture under her follow button and if you don't see yours...well then get on over there!

Have a Marvelous Monday!

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Thank you all for participating in my Surprise contest yesterday! I decided since it is now 12:23 p.m. CST I will go ahead and announce the winners!!

The answer was indeed SILENCE (though I did accept QUIET too ;o)

The first two to answer correctly:


& the Randomly selected winner is:


YAY!! I am so excited for each of you!
Please email me your Book choices from the Book Depository and your shipping details!
Again, I am so excited to have such wonderful members of the Royal Court - you are ALL amazing!
I have a few more contests coming up and another author Spotlight in the works so be sure to watch out for the Royal Proclamations!

Now on to an award.

I passed along a Sunshine award to someone yesterdaywho gets mentioned in many Blog Award listings. He definitely deserves every mention but it has come to our comical attention that most of the awards around here have pink, purple, flowers, birds and well...teddy bears.

Don't get me wrong this MANLY MAN appreciates those awards BUT I can understand how it is not so easy to hang these awards on his virtual wall while still keeping his vodka sipping, saw wielding, lightning conquering persona...
So for this wonderful gentleman I would like to present an award made in his honor:

The rules are simple:

Pass this on to at least one more blogger you would enjoy shooting the s**t with after work (forgive the phrase please, but it is appropriate here), engrossing in witty banter about the most basic of topics while also sharing an intense love of classic literature.

There may only be one person in the world that immediately comes to mind and that's okay. It just means Simon would be in a bar with 500 women vying for his attention. ;o)
Simon - this one is for you!

If you have not already heard


are in order for the amazing

From Publisher's Marketplace: Elana Johnson's CONTROL ISSUES, set in a brainwashed society where those gifted with mind control best join the powers that be, but one rebel girl tries to beat them at their own game, to Anica Rissi at Simon Pulse, by Michelle Andelman at Lynn Franklin Associates (NA).
(taken from Elana's blog)


Now go click on the link above and share the love - GO GO GO!!
Have a Super Saturday!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Pay It Forward, Sunshine & a SURPRISE Friday CONTEST!! Hurry it ends at NOON TOMORROW!!

Kind hearts are the gardens,
Kind thoughts are the roots,
Kind words are the flowers,
Kind deeds are the fruits.
Take care of your garden and keep out the weeds
Fill it with sunshine, kind words and kind deeds.

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

B. Miller is hosting quite a unique contest. B. Miller's Pay It Forward Giveaway is an opportunity to spread the word about your writing. I give you the prize:
If you are a writer with published work available for purchase, I will buy your novel/story collection/chapbook, etc., up to a value of $25. I will also read your work and give a review on your chosen website, as well as a review and a plug on my blog, Twitter, and Facebook fan page. I will go to my local library and booksellers and ask that your work be stocked on my local shelves in Greenville, South Carolina. And, if you're willing, I will do a guest feature on my blog for you, complete with interview and links to your media

Awesome! This community constantly amazes me. There are tons of details to this contest that you need to check out:Pay It Forward Contest ends May 31

So Raquel over at Raquel Byrne - Edge of Your Seat Romance honored me with the Pay It Forward post. In it she listed 3 blogs that she would love to hang out with in a non-virtual way. I am deeply honored and humbled by her mention of my blog. She is such a doll and I am so excited to have discovered her blog and formed a new friendship.
In the spirit of this award I want to pass this on to three other people who I would also love to spend non-virtual time with. (Please know that in my Royal Court there is not one person who I would pass on the opportunity to have a cup of tea, share a pizza or wander the shelves of a bookstore with)

Karen Amanda Hooper - I don't think there is a single time where I don't grin when over at her blog. She is not only funny and sweet, but a passionate person who stands up for her beliefs with honorable conviction. Plus MerPeople...I mean come on! Who wouldn't want to spend time with this girl!

Lola Sharp of Sharp Pen/Dull Sword - Oh my goodness this girl has heart! Not only is she the Alpha in my WolfPack ;o) but she also posted a video of the Gene Wilder Pure Imagination video...come on! If that doesn't get you over there this will - Lola is an amazing blogger and writer who will keep you interested, have you smiling, and make you remember how great it is to be a member of this community.

Janet Johnson Who else do you know that compares Chinese takeout and fear of disappointment? Or today has you recalling your Oops moments?? She is a Princess Mommy (so the royal connection had me at hello), a children's writer, a mother and a girl with great heart in every post!She also terrifies me because she is a Grammar Natzi -truly! You will laugh out loud at an entry about Less Calorie/Fewer Calorie Salad me on this.. ;o)

The ever wonderful Shannon from Book Dreaming awarded me the Sunshine Comment Award! I could not have been more ecstatic when she told me. I love how bright and cheerful this award is! I am honored that she thought of me when passing this along.

I would like to give this one to 3 writers:
Simon Larter - Simon I could not help it. The little yellow rainboots will look adorable with that frothy frozen cocktail and well let's just admit it: There has never been a comment from you that did NOT make me smile!!

Rebecca over at Sonshine Thoughts - (Sunshine is in the title;o) )Rebecca is always cheerful, whether it is a contest comment, blog comment or blog post! Plus her vacation photos had me pining for July when I will be hitting the beach, putt putt golf and taking my Peanut Butter puppy along for all the fun!

Indigo of Shattered Prose - her writing is beautiful and her sense of humor is wonderful! I always love to see her comments and her tagline of (Hugs)!!! I truly feel like a close friend stopped by every time I see her icon. There isn't a post that you won't love at her blog!

So scoot, go visit these amazing people! Make a new friend or reconnect with one you haven't seen this week.
Oh and just for fun, RIDDLE ME THIS:

What is so fragile that when you say its name you break it?

First TWO people to answer the riddle correctly in the comment section wins a book!
ONE random commenter who got the answer correctly will win as well!

$10 or less from the Book Depository!!

( Entries must be received no later than noon on Saturday 5-22-2010 - I will post the winners on Saturday Evening May 22, 2010 -US & CANADA ONLY - YOU MUST BE A FOLLOWER ;o))

Have a Fabulous Friday!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Man, I Love College Blogfest! + Wednesday's Written Word = Happenstance

The adorable and fun Katie over at &&Prophetic Pictures is hosting a Man! I Love College Blogfest! As stated on her blog: In the spirit of my nonfiction project, it's called the "Man, I Love College" blogfest. And, as you may have guessed, will involve either your favorite or craziest experience in college. Or it can be purely fictional. You know, whichever.
Well Wednesday is my normal day for Wednesday's Written Word and with the Blogfest I decided to just combine the two...I opted for the fictional route and well I was worried about a what word in the bowl would appear. To my consternation and happiness I give you:


Sunlight filtered through the wooden white blinds as I quietly slipped out of bed.

I could hear her breathing as I moved to find my clothes. Dark blue jeans lay across her computer desk. I found one shoe under the edge of the bed and another in the wastebasket. My t shirt was hanging from the ceiling fan, my blue button down was on the side table and my boxers were crumpled in the sheets. Carefully I collected each item and began to get dressed.

Her sandy blonde hair lay mussed against the pale blue pillow. Dark smudges lined her eyes from what I assumed was her makeup. The top sheet barely covered the clover tattoo on her shoulder.

Grinning I began to think of last night.

Spring semester had been long and arduous; a night out was what I needed and The Sidewinder was the best place in town to relax.

She had been sitting at the bar; strapless white top and black miniskirt. Her fingers tapping out the beat of a local band's first set. I watched her head sway to the music and could not help thinking how amazing she looked. The bright green clover tattoo against her tan skin had given me the confidence I needed to talk to her.

"Don't you feel lucky?" Leaning against the bar I pointed to her shoulder. She looked at me, hazel eyes twinkling and a smile spreading across dark red lips.

"Do you?" Her voice was low and husky slithering over me as I moved to the stool next to her. I could smell the tart scent of vodka and cranberry juice.


"Well, they say that a four leaf clover brings you good luck; but I make my own luck." She finished her drink and stood to leave.

"How about we go somewhere and discuss what type of luck I want to make tonight?" Her fingers slid across my shoulders as she stepped behind me and towards the door. Excitement coursed through my veins as I stood up to follow her out.

Forty five minutes later we were at her apartment deciding that luck was most definitely not a lady.

Buttoning my shirt I could not help but wonder what her name was. I had not even asked. There had been barely a moment for any words once we had reached her place.

In the light of day I was able to observe the room. A stark contrast to the woman I had slept with the night before. Neatly stacked papers sat on an organized computer desk. A dark brown leather satchel hung over the desk chair.

Glancing at the open closet displayed hints of two women. On one side pressed suit shirts, pants and skirts hung color coded on the other miniskirts and tank tops fell haphazardly to the floor. Sensible flat shoes arranged in perfect order sat below the suits and heels that would make any man melt were scattered below the rest. It was a confusing sight and I wondered if perhaps she did not have some sort of fashion affliction.

Normally I would just slip out without a word, but she intrigued me. I could not help it. Moving to the desk I pulled a pen from a simple white container and grabbed a monogrammed notepad.

The initials LCS were embossed in a dark blue old style font. I chuckled.

Well at least I know her initials! Now what do you say on a note after a night like that?

I opted for my name and number with the words I'd love to hear from you again and a weak attempt at drawing a three leaf clover. I placed it on her keyboard and slipped out of the apartment.

Two weeks passed and not a single word from her.

It was day two of summer session and I had began to think I'd dreamed that night. If it weren't for a lost button on my shirt I'd believe it.

I slid into a desk three rows from the white board in Philosophy 375. The room was filling up quickly and I noticed the large number of guys in the class. A few were even having heated discussions as to who got to sit in the front. A girl came in shaking her head at the guys in the front row and wandered up the steps toward my table.

"Glad to see you aren't one of the drooling idiots." She slung her backpack under her chair and pulled out a notebook.


She rolled her eyes at me and was about to speak when a woman entered the room. The guys down front became quiet and quickly filled the seats. A pale pink pressed shirt clung to soft curves as she walked with a swagger in a pencil straight khaki skirt. A familiar leather satchel was placed gently on her desk.

Turning to the white board she wrote her name: Professor Lillian Standifer.

My stomach rolled and my breathing caught as she faced the class. A familiar tug of excitement ran over me only this time it was being chased by shock.

"Life is about choices. But it is also a game of chance." She stated as her eyes roamed the room.

I sucked in as all too familiar hazel eyes found mine.

"Perhaps in this class you will discover how to make your own luck." Her lips twitched as she held my gaze. My breathing slowed and a grin slid across my face. I barely heard the girl next to me groan with disgust.

Abruptly Lillian shifted and pulled out a stack of syllabus.

"Now class lets see what this summer has in store for each of you..."

Have a Wonderful Wednesday!

As always you can read any past entries on my Original Works Page or via the Wednesday's Written Word right sidebar menu!