Remembering Calix Now Available for Kindle!

If you preordered Remembering Calix, it should now be available on your Kindle device! Didn’t preorder? That’s okay, because now you can just go buy it! This is a little sci-fi space opera that just wouldn’t leave me alone, and I had to write it. I hope you enjoy!

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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keepingand The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

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Tarot Tuesday!

Let’s see what the week has in store for us! This single-card spread is from Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine’s Animal Tarot set. These cards are full of gorgeous and fun animals, and I have such a good time working with it!

This card is not only about making detailed plans for future endeavors, but also acting on them immediately when you do! The coins falling suggest the success that will come to you when you follow this advice.

You can see we’re looking at a male seahorse here, which isn’t just for making a pretty card. Male seahorses are the ones who gestate and give birth, so the Prince of Autumn also suggests a person who is dedicated and trustworthy.

For me personally, I find this card especially interesting because I was just discussing future plans for a book series I have in the works. I’ve already dedicated an entire new notebook to it, where I’ve been organizing my ideas. I’d say the universe is telling me to go for it! 😀 There’s also the fact that we just finished up Father’s Day!

What does the Prince of Autumn mean to you?

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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keepingand The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

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Hobbies for Your Characters – Writers’ Resources

Just as a quirk can make your character more interesting, so can their hobbies! Having a hobby gives your character something to do, whether they stumble into the craft shop and discover a murderer or build model planes while discussing their crumbing marriage. What hobbies would you add?

  • fishkeeping/aquarist
  • cross-stitching
  • knitting
  • crocheting
  • painting (oil, acrylic, watercolor)
  • spelunking
  • reading
  • playing a musical instrument
  • cryptozoology (Big Foot, anyone?)
  • history buff
  • volunteering (there are more ideas on this here)
  • hiking
  • kayaking
  • swimming
  • fishing
  • hunting
  • poetry
  • diving
  • sailing
  • sci-fi conventions
  • historical reenactment
  • crystals (either as a rock collector or in a New Age sense)
  • antiquing
  • tarot cards
  • bicycling
  • cooking or baking
  • scrapbooking
  • gardening
  • making fishing lures
  • writing
  • traveling (by boat, plane, bicycle, motorcycle, etc)
  • martial arts
  • running
  • crafts
  • playing billiards/pool
  • watching football
  • collecting (stamps, figurines, spoons, shot glasses, etc.)
  • surfing
  • sailing
  • photography
  • horseback riding
  • parasailing
  • skydiving
  • origami
  • mountain climbing
  • golf
  • gambling
  • skateboarding
  • chess
  • yoga
  • blogging

I’ll continue to add to this least, so feel free to check back! Also take a peek at the other information on my Writers’ Resources page!

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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keepingand The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

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Cover Reveal and Pre-Order Available!

I’m happy to say that Remembering Calix is now officially available for pre-order! It will download automatically to your Kindle reader on July 1st! To celebrate, I’m sharing the full cover with you. Enjoy!

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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keepingand The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

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Cover Tease for Remembering Calix

My newest novella, Remembering Calix, is currently available for pre-order! Check out a partial cover reveal below, and keep your eyes open for the full, official cover!

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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keepingand The Graveside Detective.  Her short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

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Tarot Tuesday!

Let’s see what the week has in store for us! This single-card spread is from Diana Cooper’s Dragon Oracle Cards set, which is just so gorgeous. And of course I love dragons!

This card, as you can see is all about love in a universal love. Oftentimes this is beyond our understanding, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t powerful! This is a love energy that reverberates deep inside us all, and we can spread it to others with very little effort.

Surely, in these strange and sometimes scary times we’re living in, we can all use a little extra love.

For me personally, I find this card especially interesting because you can see the music notes coming from the cricket, and my husband and I were just discussing guitars! 😀

What does the Dusky Pink Dragon mean to you?

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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keepingand The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

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Book Review: The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

Wow. Whew. Whoa.

I finished reading this book almost a week ago and I’m still not sure what I want to say about it. I suppose that’s saying something in itself though, right?

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires was the first pick of a virtual book club I joined. I didn’t really join for the book itself, but just for the chance to discuss reading with other adults. I suppose, mostly based on the title and a quick skim of the blurb, that I was just expecting a housewife who finds her inner badass and slays a vamp or two.

What I didn’t expect was to find horrific scenes written in such vivid detail that made me want to stop reading and continue reading at the same time.

The old woman hauled herself up Patricia’s body, mouth open, slaver swinging from it in glistening ribbons, eyes wide and mindless like a bird’s. One of her filthy hands, tacky and rough with raccoon gore, burrowed past Patricia’s collar and clutched the side of her neck, and then she dragged her body, warm and soft like a slug’s, completely over Patricia’s front.

How’s that for a lighthearted tale? This scene (which that excerpt is only a small part of) has really stuck with me. There are plenty of others like it in the book, too. The problem is that while it’s disturbing, frustrating, and just gross, it’s also really well written.

There’s excellent character development, with Patricia and each of her book club friends having a distinct personality. Hendrix does an excellent job of transporting the reader to an upper-middle class neighborhood in 1990s Charleston. The plot is rich as Patricia deals not only with her vampire problem but also the typical issues of husband, children, and home.

I was actually kind of mad at how well it was written, because if it was crap I could just not read it and not have all those haunting scenes in my head. It wasn’t, so I didn’t. Instead, I had to plow on through and find out just what happens.

Typically, I’m not a huge fan of vampire books. All that blood talk grosses me out. This was…not typical. I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but just know that this book is so much more than blood.

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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keepingand The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

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The Lost Manuscript Publishing Company

Someday, I’ll share with you the story of how this publishing company came to be. For now, since it’s late and I’m sure I should be in bed, just do me a favor and visit The Lost Manuscript Publishing Company. It’s still under contruction, but check back for more info!

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Starlog 11: Mission Complete and Promotion to Captain

I can proudly say I’ve earned the rank of Star Fleet Captain. Seriously. I mean, I took a class and everything!

If you haven’t already read about it, I took an online course through edx.org called Star Trek: Inspiring Culture and Technology. I love to learn, and I just couldn’t pass up the chance at something so wonderfully geeky. The course is free, but if you’re a true Trekkie you can pay a little bit extra to get a certificate. (Yes, I did. And it has the Starfleet logo and everything!)

This course is different from other online classes I’ve taken before. Each module has a video, some suggested episodes to watch, and a writing prompt. That, in itself, isn’t all that unusual. But they actually want you to write your answers as public blog instead of just submitting something within the EdX platform.

Personally, this was just a great excuse to learn, to further explore a show I already love, and to make sure I’ve got some content going on my blog. Not a problem for me! But a few other folks I saw in the discussion board didn’t really feel comfortable with the blog aspect of the class.

The one downfall I saw was that the given material wasn’t always enough to really answer the question. What’s your favorite character? is simple enough, but other ones that talk about character development or the specific applications of technology are a little harder to just rattle off.

That being said, there are short but entertaining videos that share a lot of information about Star Trek history, and I loved it. There are actually two more classes in the series. I’m not sure that I’ll pay the extra money for the certificates (well, maybe…) but I’ll at least sign up to look through the course material!

Have you taken any online courses lately? I’d love to know!

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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keepingand The Graveside Detective.  Her short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

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Starlog 10: The U.S.S. Enterprise as a Character

Check out this post if you haven’t read about the Star Trek course I’m taking yet!

In what ways does the U.S.S. Enterprise function as a character, not just a vehicle in Star Trek? Does “she” have a personality? Do the other ships in the Star Trek universe have the same level of character development?

I think the Enterprise is absolutely a character in the Star Trek franchise, and one of my favorites! The human and alien characters interact with it as a tool, not only to carry them around but also to help them meet the challenges of exploring new worlds and going where no one has gone before. The show simply wouldn’t be the same without it.

The scene that really makes this hit home for me is when the saucer section crash lands in Generations. It’s an absolutely cringe-worthy scene for anyone who loves Trek.

I think this can also be seen in episodes revolving around the holodeck, which sometimes seems to have a life of its own.

I don’t think the other ships have quite the level of character development that the Enterprise does. There’s a history behind her, showing that ships have carried that name for centuries and that they will continue to do so. She was specifically developed to be something different than the typical rocket ship that was usually seen in sci-fi, a ship that wasn’t even meant to land.

While giving her Majel Barrett’s voice doesn’t inherently give her a personality, I have to think about Alexa. She sits in my kitchen, answering questions and setting timers. She doesn’t have a personality the same way another human would, but I do think having a voice makes Alexa seem more realistic and connectable than, say, a Google search bar.

In a discussion group, someone expressed their thought that ships being given a female “character” only served misogynistic ideals for men like Kirk, who would have a wicked woman to blame. I don’t agree, but let’s say for a moment that it’s true. With the progress made with feminism, would this still hold true? Or would a ship having a female character encourage its captain and crew to build more of a connection and a sense of responsibility?

What’s your favorite Star Trek ship? I’d love to know!

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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keepingand The Graveside Detective.  Her short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

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