Write to Lose

oatmeal with strawberries, sugar-free chocolat...

oatmeal with strawberries, sugar-free chocolate syrup, & sugar-free chocolate chips (Photo credit: Newbirth35)

Karina Fabian has organize twelve of us who are committed to losing weight and blogging about it. We’re committed to six weeks to start with and to sharing our progress. I’ll be blogging about this once a week, and I may share something about the others from time to time. So here it is, the nitty-gritty, the current state of my weight and my plan:


NAME: Margaret Fieland




and the much-neglected http://relocated.margaretfieland.com/

WEIGHT LOSS GOAL: Lose five pounds.

FITNESS/APPEARANCE GOAL: Exercise (walk) at least five days out of the week

WHAT’S YOUR INITIAL GAME PLAN? Plan? What’s that? Um, not much. Cut back on cheese. Continue to stay away from wheat, which aggravates my arthritis. Cut down on my night eating.

ANY INSIGHT TO SHARE? Not much. I’ve been making slow progress. Over the past year, I’ve taken off ten pounds.


Here is a poem I wrote about this:


Sugar addiction
is a brain
It changes

A skilled counselor
can motivate
a sugar junkie
toward recovery
by providing
“You ate
the whole

Professional treatment
can help
as can

Many sugar junkies
go days
without a hit.
They are employed
and appear
to function
except when they
ingest sugar
they crawl
up the wall
and swing
from the chandelier.

Sugar junkies
are unpredictable.
one day
a piece of chocolate,
the next
the whole bar.

Recognize that
may not be
no matter
how many
you eat
there is always

  • 3 worst things to NEVER do while dieting If You Want to Lose Weight
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  • How to Lose Weight in 2 Weeks and Eliminate 20 Pounds
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A Dog Tale


A Silly Story

I got this idea from Maggie Lyons’ blog:

which, by the way, I highly recommend. I wrote the first sentence and now I’m gonna run with it:

Klaus, the Australian Shepherd, hung out in the kitchen, lurking beneath Peg’s feet, hoping she would, as usual, drop a few tasty tid-bits onto the floor, as, careless, she swung the machete she was using to chop the chicken and peppers with wild abandon, leaving a few pieces on the counter and the rest scattered around the room. He swung his large head from side to side. Which tasty morsel to gulp first? Nose to the floor, he started around the room clockwise. A glance told him Peg had started around the other way. She was terribly slow. He managed to swallow most of the chicken before she picked up the first piece, a slice of wing.

“Damn,” Peg murmured. “Maybe that machete was the wrong knife. Now I’ll have to go wring another chicken’s neck.” She stomped out, slamming the door behind her.

Klaus trotted over to the garbage can and leaped on it, upsetting the contents onto the floor. He should be able to get through the better part of the trash before Peg managed to catch up with another of the cluckers out in the yard.


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Relocated and Sand in the Desert make “Best of 2012″


ReLocated and Sand in the Desert make “Favorites of 2012″ for Unorthodox Mama:



Another review for Relocated:


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Synopsis Time


I’m working on finishing up two successor novels set in the Aleyne universe and am working on the synopses for both, bringing home to me the delicate balance between telling enough to make the plot and character motivations clear and including too much information. I’ll be submitting to MuseItUp Publishing, publishers of “Relocated,” and they request a brief synopsis. One of the novels is another tween/YA, first person, single POV. The second is third person, adult novel, with five POV characters. After several revisions, I’ve got it down to a manageable size and reasonable amount of detail. I’ve had to ruthlessly cut subplots from the synopsis as well as plot details. Soon it’s going to be time to let my babies go and submit the novels to the publisher. I’m eager to get this done, as I’ve started plotting out what I hope will be novel number four. Happy Holidays to one and all.

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Sand in the Desert gets Five out of Five review, Relocated holiday special


Check out this great review:


And also the review of Relocated:


Holiday special: Relocated 40% off:



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How to Conduct On-Page SEO for your Blog by Kim Willington


How to Conduct On-Page SEO for Your Blog

Search-engine optimization is an important way to help your blog get traffic. It encourages Google to push your site higher in search results when visitors are looking for content that’s related to your blog. Taking advantage of every opportunity to optimize your blog “on page” — or on the site — can maximize your  ability to rank well and get  more visitors to your site.

Here are some basic steps for conducting on-page SEO for your blog:

Title Tags

The title tag on your page is what search engines will pull and display in search results. Title tags are pulled for each page on your site, and each title tag should be unique for each page. Duplicate title tags can hurt your SEO efforts as much as missing title tags. Keep your title tags short and to the point, using your primary and secondary keywords.

Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions show up under title tags in search results. If you don’t write them yourself, the search engines will automatically populate it for you, usually with the first line or two from the page. By writing your own descriptions, not only will you help search engines rank your site better for the keywords you want, but you’ll also have compelling copy that will entice readers to click through to your site.

Alt Tags

Photos are an important part of your SEO strategy, as well, and they help your site rank for keywords overall and in image searches. You can optimize your photos by naming them with keywords and using alt tags, text that appears over the photo when you hover the cursor over it. Alt tags also tell search engines about the content of your photos — important since there is no other text there to provide the information.


Headers — using H1, H2, and H3 tags (and so on) — help to divide your page into readable sections, and they also tell search engines about the content of your page. Use your keywords in your headers for maximum SEO value. Using headers is akin to bolding your words — it tells readers and search engines what is important on the page.

Keyword Density

Finally, using keywords in the body of your copy is very important, and the number of times you use those keywords can have a significant impact on page rank. Keyword density refers to the number of times you use your keywords compared to the number of words in your content. There is no magic formula for keyword density, but a good rule of thumb is to use your keyword (s) once every 100 words in your content. It is important not to overuse your keywords, as this can negatively impact your SEO.

On-page SEO is critical to helping your blog rank higher in search results and get more  traffic. These  on-page SEO basics can help your site start generating traffic from day one, encouraging rapid growth. Of course, on-page SEO is only one part of your overall SEO strategy, so these tips should only be seen as first steps for marketing your site.

What else do you include in your on-page SEO? Share your tips in the comments!

Kim Willington is a freelance writer and researcher for Helpdesksoftware.org, where she has recently been researching methods of live customer support. In her spare time, she enjoys antiquing and taking long walks with her retriever, Spencer.

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Guest post by Paty Jager: Letters from Maya


Letters From the Maya

Margaret, Thank you for having me here today!

This post is part of a two week blog tour. I will be giving away a $5 egift card to a commenter at each blog stop and will give a bag full of goodies to the person who follows me to the most blogs and a gift to the host who gets the most commenters. You can find the blog tour hosts at my blog: http://www.patyjager.blogspot.com or my website: http://www.patyjager.net

The Maya were a people with as great a civilization as Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and China. They started as villagers, learned to be agriculturists, and eventually became a great civilization. What helped propel them to this greatness was the ability to record their history and decipher the world and heavens around them.

They believed highly in the past and religion. These were depicted in their writings both on stone and on tablets. All great events in the lives of their rulers were recorded on public monuments. Almost like the insatiable voyeurism of today where we flock to read papers about entertainers and high profile people, the Maya seemed just as interested in rulers’ wives and courtiers.

This interest and skilled craftsmen are the reason we now know so much about the Maya people. Since uncovering the temples and shrines of the Maya, we have spent decades deciphering and understanding their symbols so the world can better understand them and learn of a past that they proudly displayed for all to see.

It is this fascination with the Maya hieroglyphs that I gave my heroine, Doctor Isabella Mumphrey in my book Secrets of a Mayan Moon.  Her insatiable desire to learn all she can about the people of North, Central, and South America and her near photographic memory makes her a specialist in the Maya symbols and statues. Making her the perfect patsy for two greedy men to prey on.


Child prodigy and now Doctor of Anthropology, Isabella Mumphrey, is about to lose her job at the university. In the world of publish or perish, her mentor’s request for her assistance on a dig is just the opportunity she’s been seeking. If she can decipher an ancient stone table—and she can—she’ll keep her department. She heads to Guatemala, but drug trafficking bad guys, artifact thieves, and her infatuation for her handsome guide wreak havoc on her scholarly intentions.

DEA agent Tino Kosta, is out to avenge the deaths of his family. He’s deep undercover as a jaguar tracker and sometimes jungle guide, but the appearance of a beautiful, brainy anthropologist heats his Latin blood taking him on a dangerous detour that could leave them both casualties of the jungle.



There they were. The symbols she’d tried to figure out the other day. They represented the name of a woman. She stared across the compound, unseeing. The woman who was sacrificed. Isabella’s stomach churned. The sacrifice of the virgin made the moon god cry. What about this particular woman left sorrow rather than hope? For the sacrifices were gifts to the gods to bring good weather and crops.

Sadness for this woman wrapped around her heart. Clutching the book to her chest, Isabella returned to her tent and lay down. She needed to sleep. That had to be why this information caused her so much grief. She was tired.

But sleep eluded her. Her mind spun with the drawings, the sadness, and restlessness. Finally, unable to shake the images and unease, Isabella rose, crossed the compound, and entered the dig site. Something compelled her to read the glyphs and look at the carvings in the altar chamber once more.

The workers glanced up as she entered. Virgil eyed her and then the book clutched in her arms.

“What are you doing?” he asked, stepping forward.

“I need to see the carvings on the wall in the other chamber.” Without missing a step, she continued into the chamber. Virgil’s footsteps echoed behind her. Isabella placed the book, open to the pages she had read, on the sacrificial altar. She stepped to her left and studied the drawings on the wall with more interest than on the day before.

The story made more sense after connecting the urn, the glyphs she didn’t know, and then this artwork. It played out in her head as if she stood watching the event.

“What are you finding?” Virgil stood next to her.

Her skin grew cold and her heart raced with fear. He means you harm. He brings evil. A voice in her head warned. The voice and her reactions to Virgil were illogical, but her intelligence knew there were some things that couldn’t be explained. Like her drive to learn all she could about the native people of the Americas.

The urgent voice felt more a friend than Virgil at this moment. She shook her head. “Nothing. I thought I’d found something that connected, made sense of the stone and glyphs. I-I was wrong.”

His eyebrows rose and he stared at her. Doubt shimmered in his eyes. He didn’t believe her. And why should he? She walked in here—the dampness of her clothes registered as her mind divorced itself from the story. She’d walked into the dig wet from rain pouring outside. Rain she hadn’t even noticed until now. She’d been in a trance, induced by her knowledge that the pieces put together would give her answers.

A worker stuck his head into the chamber. “Señor, we leave for dinner.”old chilled her back. Her mind numbed as fear and regret entered her chest.

What did it feel like to be placed upon this stone and know that you would never see another day or embrace love?

Virgil waved him away and took another step toward her. Instinct moved her feet back. His eyes widened then cloaked.

“Are you coming to dinner?” The tone wasn’t an invitation but more an accusation.

“No, I had a late lunch and want to remain here a while longer to see if I didn’t overlook something.” She didn’t really want to stay here alone, but she also didn’t want to be with Virgil. The whole trance-like episode, the voice, and her unease with a family friend left her unsure of anything at the moment. Least of all acting normal.

“If you tell me what you’re looking for, I could help. We are in this together.”

“That’s the crux. I don’t know what I’m looking for, but I’ll know it when I see it.” She offered a weak smile. “I think?”

Virgil studied her a moment longer then pivoted on his heel and left the chamber.

His departure lessened the tension in her shoulders and lightened the air. She walked over to the altar and ran her hands over the polished stone. C

Secrets of a Mayan Moon is available at Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords


Wife, mother, grandmother, and the one who cleans pens and delivers the hay; award winning author Paty Jager and her husband currently ranch 350 acres when not dashing around visiting their children and grandchildren. She not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.

Her contemporary Western, Perfectly Good Nanny won the 2008 Eppie for Best Contemporary Romance, Spirit of the Mountain, a historical paranormal set among the Nez Perce, garnered 1st place in the paranormal category of the Lories Best Published Book Contest, and Spirit of the Lake, the second book of the spirit trilogy, was a finalist in the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence.

You can learn more about Paty at her blog; www.patyjager.blogspot.com her website; http://www.patyjager.net or on Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/#!/paty.jager and twitter;  @patyjag.


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Flash Fiction Anthology, Possibilities, Goes Live!




Last February I participated in a seven week online event honoring the state of Black science fiction 2012. In my original post, which you can find here I complained about the disparity between the number of Black poetry anthologies (I searched on “African American Poetry Anthologies) versus the number of Black science fiction anthologies (I searched on “African American science fiction anthologies”). The number was  1244  to 144.

I searched again just now. The new numbers are {drum roll, please}:1391 to 168. We still have a lot of work to do.

And now for the good news. Possibilities, a state of Black SF Flash Fiction Anthology, is live!

State of Black SF authors have created a flash fiction anthology that opens imagination to the idea of what Black speculative fiction can become…  What’s the flash fiction prompt? A mystical bracelet. Specially created Black SF images along with the 500-word super short stories are morsels of raw potential.    Join artist Winston Blakely and authors LM Davis, Milton Davis, Margaret Fieland, Edward Austin Hall, Valjeanne Jeffers, Alan Jones, Alicia McCalla, Balogun Ojetade, Rasheedah Phillips, Wendy Raven McNair, and Nicole Sconiers as they endeavor to explore the possibilities of Black SF in the broad ranges of Science Fiction from Paranormal to Steampunk. Readers will see the immense possibilities of Black SF.
Here’s the link to download your FREE copy:
Please, if you enjoy our work, leave a review! And check out the other work by all of the artists in this fine anthology.

L. M. Davis, Author–began her love affair with fantasy in the second grade.  Her first novel, Interlopers: A Shifters Novel, was released in 2010, and the follow-up Posers:  A Shifters Novel will be released this spring.  For more information visit her blog http://shiftersseries.wordpress.com/ or her website www.shiftersnovelseries.com.

Milton Davis, Author– Milton Davis is owner/publisher of MVmedia, LLC . As an author he specializes in science fiction and fantasy and is the author of Meji Book One, Meji Book Two and Changa’s Safari. Visit him: http://www.mvmediaatl.com/Wagadu/  and www.wagadu.ning.com.

Margaret Fieland, Author– lives  and writes in the suburbs west of Boston, MA with her partner and five dogs. She is one of the Poetic Muselings. Their poetry anthology, Lifelines http://tinyurl.com/LifelinesPoetry/ is available from Amazon.com  Her book, “Relocated,” will be available from MuseItUp Publishing in July, 2012. The Angry Little Boy,” will be published by 4RV publishing in early 2013.  You may visit her website, https://margaretfieland.com.

Valjeanne Jeffers, Author — is an editor and the author of the SF/fantasy novels: Immortal, Immortal II: The Time of Legend and Immortal III: Stealer of Souls. Her fourth and fifth novels: Immortal IV: Collision of Worlds and The Switch: Clockwork will be released this spring. Visit her at: http://valjeanne.wordpress.com and http://qandvaffordableediting.blogspot.com/

Alicia McCalla, Author- writes for both young adults and adults with her brand of multicultural science fiction, urban fantasy, and futurism. Her debut novel, Breaking Free will be available February 1, 2012.  The Breaking Free theme song created by Asante McCalla is available for immediate download on itunes and Amazon. Visit her at: http://www.aliciamccalla.com

Carole McDonnell, Author–She writes Christian, speculative fiction, and multicultural stories. Her first novel is Wind Follower. Her short fiction has appeared in many anthologies and have been collected in an ebook, Spirit Fruit: Collected Speculative Fiction. Visit Carole: http://carolemcdonnell.blogspot.com/ or http://writersofcolorblogtour.blogspot.com

Rasheedah Phillips,Author–is the creator of The AfroFuturist Affair in Philly. She plans to debut her first spec/sci-fic novel Recurrence Plot in Spring 2012. You may catch her ruminating from time to time on her blog, AstroMythoLosophy.com.

Nicole Sconiers, Author-is also a screenwriter living in the sunny jungle of L.A. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, and she recently published Escape from Beckyville: Tales of Race, Hair and Rage.  Visit her: http://nicolesconiers.com/index.html

Balogun is author of the steamfunk novel Moses: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman and the fantasy novel Once Upon a Time in Afrika. He is screenwriter and director of the action film A Single Link and the steamfunk film Rite of Passage: Initiation. On his website,ChroniclesOfHarriet.com, he discusses steampunk and steamfunk.

Wendy Raven McNair is the author of Asleep, Awake, and Ascend (WIP), a young adult fantasy trilogy about teen super-beings. Her stories celebrate African American teen girls. McNair has a B.A. in English from the University of Texas and is certified in Graphic Design (WendyRavenMcNair.com).
Edward Austin Hall writes journalism, poetry, and fiction. He serves as host of Eyedrum’s monthly literary forum, Writers Exchange, and as an organizer of Eyedrum’s annual eXperimental Writer Asylum (a part of the Decatur Book Festival). His writings about comics and comics creators have appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Code Z: Black Visual Culture Now, and the Dictionary of Literary Biography. His forthcoming first novel is titledChimera Island. See more at EdwardAustinHall.com.

Alan Jones is a native Atlantan, a former columnist for the Atlanta Tribune, and a Wall Street consultant. His brand of science fiction blends fanciful characters and scenarios with generous doses of philosophy and social commentary. His book, To Wrestle with Darkness, is available at most major retailers.

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MuseItUp will donate to Red Cross


MuseItUp Publishing may be a Canadian house but our authors come from all over the world, especially the United States where Sandy has caused horrific damage to our neighbours.

For the entire month of November, with any purchase made from our MuseItUp Bookstore, we will donate 10% of the purchase price to the Red Cross toward the devastation caused by Sandy. On behalf of all of us at MuseItUp Publishing we’d like to thank you for your support.


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Site Redesign!


I’m in  the process of redesigning my website with  real home page and a link to my blog.

More work remains to be done, but take a look and let me know what you think.

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