Giveaway Alert! A Writer’s Guide to Medicine by Natalie Dale

Let’s kick the weekend off with a giveaway! I recently had the chance to interview Natalie Dale, author of newly released A Writer’s Guide to Medicine. She was generous enough to offer a free Kindle copy of her book to one lucky reader!

Entering is easy! Each action earns you an entry:

-leave a comment here on this post

-leave a comment on the giveaway post on my Facebook page

-share the giveaway post from my Facebook page

-join my mailing list

Not sure what to say? Any comment will do, or you can tell me what your favorite animal is!

The contest will stay open for one week! There will be another one coming soon, so be sure to check back!

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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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Author Interview: C.J. Hudson of the upcoming Fairhaven Series

C.J. Hudson is the author of the upcoming Fairhaven series, with the first book due out this year. I caught up with him for a few moments to discuss his writing life and his books.

What would you sacrifice for a chance to win back your first love?

Danielle and I were both ten when we fell in love as neighbors on Fairhaven Street. We spent three amazing years together. Despite my “ugly duckling” appearance, lack of confidence and a family with three generations of abuse, she loved me. Being with her exposed me to a life I never thought possible. All we wanted was to go on one date because we were not allowed to go on dates due to our age.

I was forced to move out of state to escape my father. On my last day with Danielle, I gave her a pendant necklace of half of a broken heart, and a promise that I would come back for her when I grew up. I kept the matching pendant.

For seven and a half years, until I was eighteen years old, I remained faithful to her. I never took my half of the pendant off, even after it rusted. All those years, she was the inspiration that guided me to become the man I am today. I broke the cycle of violence in my family so that she would never have to experience it. ​

All I ever wanted was that one date we were denied because of our age back then. Nearly eight years later, I was standing outside her front door, the promise kept. ​ For years I was told what I was doing was crazy, that there was no way she would remember me, let alone still love me after so long. The only question was, who would be right?

What inspired you to write Destiny Lives on Fairhaven Street?

The initial inspiration came back in 1996 and returned in 2017 when my children were born. Back then, I’d been wracking my brain trying to figure out a special way to tell my first love, Danielle, that I’d devoted the last eight years of my life to her, hoping for one more chance to see her again. It had to be something different, something unique. The tour guide on a class trip to Paris suggested I write a novel, that it serve as “the grand gesture.” I also wanted to leave behind my story for my boys. The story of how I became the man I am today, how I met their mom, and how they came to be.

Have you always been a writer?

Most definitely. I wrote my first book when I was seven. It was “published” with glue and staples.

How many books will be in the series?

I’m thinking of at least five, but the great thing about memoirs is that you get new material every day in your life. It only stops when I’m in the ground.

Since this is a novel based on real-life events, what challenges did you face in portraying people you know?

Recalling memories that were 30+ years old as accurately as possible. Keeping the story entertaining while being truthful. The fact is I was depressed and struggling through most of these events, but I didn’t want the writing to be depressing. I am trying to sell a book, after all.

Coffee or tea?

Neither. Keeps me up. I’m a water kind of guy.

What does your writing process look like?

The nice thing about a memoir is that the book practically writes itself. I’ve found over the years that my best work comes when I’m feeling the emotion in the chapter. It just flows out of me. That means re-living every single part over and over, both good and traumatic. My wife would come into the office and see me in tears sometimes because I was re-living the event I was writing about. If I try to just sit there and write, the quality is horrible.

If you could spend the day with any writer, who would it be?

J.K. Rowling. I’ve always enjoyed her writing style and ability to convey emotion.

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You can follow C.J.’s progress and get updates on his book by visiting his website.

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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! Pick Your Card from The Akashic Tarot

Needing a little guidance for the week? Then you’re in luck, because it’s Tarot Tuesday!

This week’s pull is from The Akashic Tarot by Sharon Anne Klingler and Sandra Anne Taylor. If you’re unfamiliar with them, the Akashic Records are fields of energy that contain all knowledge past and present. It’s a complex but fascinating idea. I recommend The Akashic Records Made Easy by Sandra Anne Taylor to explore it further.

If you’re interested in a reading of your own, please see the bottom of this post.

Study the photo below and see which card calls to you (1, 2, or 3). You may want to know what the week holds for you in general, or you may have a specific question in mind. Regardless of what you want to know, let your spirit guide you on your card. You’ll find the cards and their meanings below.

Are you ready? Scroll down to find your card!

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#1 – The Queen of Forces: The Queen of Forces holds all the powers of the moon and sun, balancing the darkness and the light and bringing dynamic creativity. This could represent you or another person in your life who lends powerful support to your endeavors. She could be someone new or someone you already know, but she’s happy to help guide you on your way.

#2 – 4 of Keys: Something is blocking your path. Fortunately, you have all the tools necessary to clear the way and move on! Work with determination and diligence, but make sure you completely deal with the obstacle so you don’t trip over it again.

#3 – 6 of Keys: This is a time of abundance for you. Even if it doesn’t feel like it right now, it’s coming. Your work is paying off, and your creativity and prestige are growing.

Which card did you pick? Did it mean anything for you? I’d love to know, so feel free to leave me a comment!

Interested in a reading of your own?

You’ll receive a photo of the actual cards drawn and a thorough explanation of their meaning. The readings are done through email, so please ensure a valid email address is included with your payment! This is for a generalized reading with a deck that calls to me. If you have a specific question or needs, please feel free to email me at ashley@ashleyomelia.com and we can get it arranged. Thank you!

$10.00

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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 Keeping and 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.

Please note that I’m a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Please considering doing your shopping using my links to help me earn money at no cost to you.

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Author Interview: Robert E. Christopher

It’s always fun to go “behind-the-scenes” and see what makes another author tick. I got to do just that with Robert E. Christopher, author of The Tower: Anya’s Story.

From your bio, I see that Dungeons and Dragons has inspired you to create deep characters.  Are there any other places you draw your inspiration from?

I read a lot of fantasy novels, and though I enjoy the themes of good versus overwhelming evil, I often feel let down by what I see as thin or clichéd characterization. What inspires me is when I discover a series like the Books of Babel by Josiah Bancroft, which feature flawed but very human characters doing their best in extremely difficult circumstances. This is what I set out to achieve when I wrote The Tower: Anya’s Story.

What inspired you to write The Tower?

The original idea for The Tower came from a very long running game of Dungeons and Dragons that I’ve been involved in for over thirty years. Over that time, the story has grown to include the fate of kingdoms, worlds and gods, with the consequences of character choices spilling out across the universe. The central concept of the arrival of a mysterious tower is one such consequence. I thought it would be fun to explore the possibilities such an event could have.

In addition, it was very important for me to make sure the central character, Anya, was as real as possible. My eldest daughter was twelve when I began writing, and I imagined all the discrimination and difficulties that she and other young women could still face in the twenty-first century and applied it to Anya.

This long-running game of Dungeons and Dragons game sounds intriguing. Can you tell me more about that?

Our Dungeon Master, Simon Williams, runs a unique game with enormous depth of history, characters and even physics. He has started a new branch of the story with us playing live on Twitch. It’s called The Ruined Keep and features a gang of thieves and smugglers reacting to an encroaching evil. You can catch up with us at 8pm GMT every Tuesday.

What’s your writing process like?  Do you outline or are you a pantser?

I definitely outline. With short stories, I may launch into them with nothing but a single idea, however, the idea of beginning a novel without the security of a framework fills me with dread. I like to consider what themes are important to the overall story, so they can be baked into each chapter, if possible. An outline may take a few months to get right, but it saves much more than that in editing. For me, an outline also gives me reassurance I already have a story to tell and there isn’t an endless blank void of empty pages challenging me to fill them.

Coffee or tea?

Neither. I’m a social pariah in England for not liking tea, but I was never brought up on it. As far as coffee is concerned, I’m honestly unsure why anyone would drink it.

Are you reading anything right now?

I’ve just started reading The Hunger Games. We watched the series of films together as a family, and I was so impressed with the themes and construction of the story, I borrowed my daughter’s books to see how Suzanne Collins does it.

Are there any other writers in your family?

My mother’s cousin has written a children’s book based on stories he told his own children, but I don’t know of anyone else.

What’s your favorite time of day?

I am certainly not a morning person. It’s a little ironic, because my writing routine for Anya’s Story was to get up whenever I woke and write, so I would often be up and typing at five thirty when the rest of the house was still asleep. I think I would have to say that the evening is my favourite time because that is when I can spend most time with my family.

Do you have any future books in the works?

Like many writers, I have several ideas rattling around in my head. My next project is another Tower story. I wouldn’t call a sequel, instead, it is a linked, almost concurrent tale set in the same part of the universe as Anya’s story. I hope to be able to explore different, real world issues in two more novels before bringing the different characters together for a climactic conclusion.

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You can find The Tower: Anya’s Story on Amazon on Robert E. Christopher at his website.

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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.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please consider using my links to do your shopping and help me out at no extra cost to you!

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Consider making a small donation to help keep this blog going! Even a small amount makes a big difference!

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Tarot Tuesday: Pick Your Card from the Animal Tarot!

Time to shake off that case of the Mondays and get ready for Tarot Tuesday! This week’s draw is from the Animal Tarot deck by Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine. I love all the beautiful animals in this deck and the way that everything is connected to nature. If you’re interested in a personal reading, please see the bottom of this post.

Study the picture below. If you have a question or situation you’re concerned about, hold that in the front of your mind as you choose your card. You can also simply pick the one that calls to you. When you’re ready, scroll down to find the meaning of your card.

Ready?

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#1 – Five of Summer: You may be experiencing some conflicts or unpleasant changes. It’s important to remember that life can’t always be perfect, and we have to do our best to learn how to deal with those conflicts and changes. Things will be all right if you make the choice to move forward.

#2 – Release: New beginnings are upon you! This may not always be an easy thing to deal with, especially since those new beginnings often come from the end of something else. Even if it’s difficult, try to focus on all the options that lay before you now. Perhaps the ending you experienced is something you really wanted, in which case it’s time to celebrate!

#3 – Prince of Autumn: Whatever your goals are, you need to make a detailed plan in order to get to them. Action without forethought won’t bring you the results you want. And if you do have a plan? Then it’s time to start taking action! This is the time to work as hard as you can toward that goal and achieve as much as possible.

Which card did you pick? What did it mean for you? I’d love to know, so feel free to leave a comment.

Interested in a tarot reading?

You’ll receive a photo of the actual cards drawn and a thorough explanation of their meaning. The readings are done through email, so please ensure a valid email address is included with your payment! This is for a generalized reading. If you have a specific question or needs, please feel free to email me at ashley@ashleyomelia.com or come visit me) and we can arrange it easily. Thank you!

$10.00

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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.

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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Author Interview: Natalie Dale, Author of The Writer’s Guide to Medicine

While there are many books written to help other writers, Natalie Dale’s A Writer’s Guide to Medicine definitely caught my eye! I had the chance to catch up with Natalie and talk about her inspiration, her pet peeves, and what she’s got coming in the future.

What inspired you to write A Writer’s Guide to Medicine?

 The Writer’s Guide to medicine was inspired by my fellow writer friends. My writer friends kept asking questions about medicine, until one day someone suggested I should write a book compiling the most commonly asked questions.

I started the project, but quickly realized that medicine is WAY too big a topic to cover in just one book. I played around with different structures, and finally came up with an idea for the series. Volume 1: Setting & Character, would cover medical settings, healthcare personnel, and the important medical basics that every writer should know. Volume 2: Injury & Illness, forthcoming 2022, will cover the specifics of particular ailments, ranging from chest pain to head injuries. Volume 3: Special Populations will cover issues specific to unique subsets of the population, such as children, women’s health, and the elderly.  

With your medical background, what kinds of things drive you nuts when you watch TV or read a book?

Ooh boy, it’s a long list. I’ll just give you my top three.

  • When a character is knocked out by a hit on the head, then wakes up hours later and is totally fine. Head injuries have consequences. If a character is knocked unconscious for even a few seconds, they are going to have a pretty nasty concussion. If they’re knocked out for more than a few minutes, it’s because they had a SIGNIFICANT brain injury. If they wake up at all, they’ll have severe and permanent brain damage.
  • When a character passes out from blood loss, then wakes up hours later is totally fine, even though they haven’t gotten any medical care. If your character is bleeding out fast enough to pass out, they’re bleeding out fast enough to die. People don’t just stop bleeding because they lost consciousness. People pass out after losing about 40% of their total blood volume (about 2L for an average sized man); after 50% blood loss (2.5L), they’re dead. So, the window between passing out and dying from blood loss is incredibly narrow. 
  • When a character receives CPR for 30 seconds, then wakes up and is totally fine. CPR is a last resort. All it does is manually squish the heart, forcing blood to flow through the body. CPR does not cause the heart to start beating again – for that you need a defibrillator and/or injected cardiac medications like epinephrine or amiodarone. To do CPR properly, your character needs to press really hard. The saying goes that if you aren’t breaking ribs, you aren’t doing it right. I understand that actors in movies have to bend their elbows while “performing CPR” on screen to avoid hurting the actor receiving CPR, but it’s given the wrong impression. Performing CPR is hard work and it mutilates the body of the person receiving it.   Finally, the success rate for CPR is dismal. Most people who receive CPR outside a hospital setting will die. Even if they’re able to get a heartbeat back for a little while, the vast majority will not survive to hospital discharge.  

Where’s your favorite place to write?

At my desk, with my cat on my lap. I love looking out over the field behind my backyard, watching the birds. I regularly see kestrels, a resident pair of red tail hawks, great blue herons, scrub jays, and flickers, along with the usual crowd of sparrows, juncos, and finches.

Are you reading anything good right now?

I just finished Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. What a powerful and poignant book!

What do you feel is the most important advice for someone who needs to incorporate medical information into their book?

Do your research and use reliable sources. Healthline, Mayo Clinic, and UpToDate are all excellent sources. Websites associated with universities – Johns Hopkins, Cleveland Clinic, etc. – are also good bets. If you’re going to write anything about mental illness, do yourself a favor and buy a copy of the DSM-5 – the Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It’s basically the psychiatrist’s bible.  And if you’re looking for information on what certain conditions feel like, look at support networks like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) or Cancer.org. 

Stay away from self-help websites and any site trying to sell you things. Also, avoid crowdsourcing your answers – just because one person had a particular experience, doesn’t mean that their experience is typical or realistic.

Coffee or tea?

Tea all the way. I love black teas (I have a particular soft spot for Masala Chai) with a dash of milk but I’m also a sucker for a good peppermint tea.  

Do you have another book in the works?

Always.

I’ve finished writing the second volume of the “Writer’s Guide to Medicine” series, Illness & Injury, so now I just need to go down the rabbit hole of editing. Hopefully that won’t take too long, as I’m planning to publish in spring 2022. 

But I can’t stop there.

 My first novel, Pathétique, is a women’s fiction novel about a professional violinist with bipolar disorder. I wrote it while dealing with my own diagnosis of bipolar. I currently have the manuscript out to several agent – fingers crossed it gets picked up!

I’m also working on the second draft of a YA fantasy novel that emerged from last year’s NaNoWriMo and have been outlining ideas for a potential historical fiction novel based loosely on my mother’s experience as the daughter of a diplomat escaping Indonesia during the failed 1965 coup. I also have several essays and short stories coming down the pipeline.

As you can tell, I’m totally incapable of sticking to a single genre, or even a single project. I love writing about a whole host of different topics; I can never pick just one!          

After struggling with bipolar disorder, Natalie Dale, MD, took a leap of faith and left her Neurology residency to focus on her life-long passion: writing. Since then, her short stories and essays have been published in Flash Fiction Magazine, Wyldblood, McCoy Monthly, the READ White and Blue Anthology, and the National Health and Mental Illness (NAMI) blog, among others. In her spare time, Natalie organizes an elementary school reading program, runs a writing critique group, and plays violin in a community orchestra. You can visit Natalie on her website, on Twitter @DaleNatalie, and on Instagram at natalierose6627.

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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.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please consider using my links to do your shopping and help me out at no extra cost to you!

Close up hot cappuccino white coffee cup with heart shape latte art on dark brown old wood table at cafe,food and drink concept.

Like what you’re reading?

Consider making a donation to help keep this blog going!

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Tarot Tuesday! Pick Your Card from The Sacred Traveler Oracle

We’ve made it through Monday, and now it’s time for Tarot Tuesday! What does the rest of the week hold for you?

This week’s pull is from The Sacred Traveler Oracle by Denise Linn. The bold, otherworldly images on these cards really called out to me, and there’s just so much energy in these cards.

If you’re interested in a reading of your own, please see the bottom of this post.

Study the photo below and see which card calls to you (1, 2, or 3). You may want to know what the week holds for you in general, or you may have a specific question in mind. Regardless of what you want to know, let your spirit guide you on your card. You’ll find the cards and their meanings below.

Are you ready? Scroll down to find your card!

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#1 – In the Flow: It’s time to relax and enjoy where life takes you. There’s so much we can’t control, but you don’t need to control it! Don’t urge the river of life to move faster, and don’t swim against it. Be grateful for what you have.

#2 – Grounding: Be present in the moment. This is something that many of us struggle with, but it’s important to remember what’s truly essential in your life and let the rest go. This card could also be telling you to stand your ground or stand up for someone else.

#3 – Faraway Places: New things are coming! You may be getting ready to travel and go to new places physically, or this could be a spiritual change within you. One could even inspire the other! It may be time to let go of old habits and routines to change up your day-to-day life, or this could be a sign to finally take the trip you always wanted.

Which card did you pick? Did it mean anything for you? I’d love to know, so feel free to leave me a comment!

Interested in a reading of your own?

You’ll receive a photo of the actual cards drawn and a thorough explanation of their meaning. The readings are done through email, so please ensure a valid email address is included with your payment! This is for a generalized reading with a deck that calls to me. If you have a specific question or needs, please feel free to email me at ashley@ashleyomelia.com and we can get it arranged. Thank you!

$10.00

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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 Keeping and 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.

Please note that I’m a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Leave a comment

Filed under Tarot and Oracle Cards

Merry Christmas, From One of the Oldest Christmas Gifts I Remember

Christmas is always a magical time of year, and even more so for children. In fact, that’s one of the things I miss about my kids being little. They still enjoy the season, but they don’t have the same kind of wonder they used to.

I’ve been spending the last couple of months rearranging my office, and I finally have a good place for an old friend of mine. Meet Fudge Bear.

Poor guy doesn’t have any of the fabric left on his nose, and there are some threads coming out of his paws, but he’s not in terrible shape after all these years!

I was in first grade when my parents and I were grocery shopping at our local membership warehouse. I spotted a huge cardboard box filled with the most adorable teddy bears. I was absolutely in love with the tweed bowties, noses, and paws! It broke my heart not to go home with one, but I made sure to talk to Santa about it.

To my delight, I got my very own bear on Christmas Day that year. I knew there had been a big bin of them at the store, but I was quite sure that mine was made by elves up in Santa’s workshop.

Over the years, and with several moves, a lot of my childhood possessions have been lost to time. Fudge, fortunately, isn’t one of them. He’s been on my bed, in the back of the closet, mixed in with my daughter’s stuffed animals, and seated on a random chair. Now he gets to stay in my office. Sometimes he’s in my desk chair, or in the reading chair, or on the blanket trunk, but he always has a place here.

Merry Christmas from Fudge Bear!

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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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Filed under Holidays

Is Die Hard a Christmas Movie? The Debate is Settled!

It’s that time of year again. Christmas trees are in every window, shoppers are getting their last-minute gifts, and children are all hoping for that one special toy. But the most die-hard fans of Christmas are…watching Die Hard, right?

I personally love it when the old Is-Die-Hard-a-Christmas-Movie debate comes up on social media. It seems that everyone is particularly adamant about their opinion, although I’ve noticed that neither side usually backs it up with any proof.

To settle the debate once and for all, let’s take a look at the elements of a Christmas movie and whether or not John McClane and crew bring it to the table.

It’s the Holiday Season: I think we can all agree that a Christmas movie has to take place at Christmas time, at least in part. McClane comes into town for Holly’s company Christmas party, so there’s really no doubt as to the time of year. There’s not a lot of holiday music, since we mostly hear typical action movie soundtrack, but there is a little bit. There’s also lots of seasonal decor, some of which even gets used to fight the bad guys. John could’ve chosen regular old packing tape that I’m sure would be in that building somewhere to strap a gun to his back, but did he? No. He went for the Season’s Greetings tape, like any good little elf would do.

Isn’t it Romantic?: Most holiday films seem to have at least some romantic element to them. There’s something about this time of year that makes us all want to have our loved ones with us. George Bailey falls back in love with his wife (and his life) in It’s a Wonderful Life, and even Rudolph finds Clarice.

Personally, there’s no doubt to me that Die Hard is romantic. I remember seeing John McClane walk barefoot across broken glass when I was about ten (don’t worry, it was on cable and edited), and I thought it was the most heroic, romantic thing I’d ever seen. In fact, everything he goes through to save his estranged wife and as many other people as he can is one hell of a romantic sacrifice. And of course, despite their differences, John and Holly are together at the end.

Miracles Do Happen, Don’t They?: You can’t have a Christmas movie without a Christmas miracle! Whether it’s snow on Christmas Eve, a gift that only the real Santa could bring, or a crabby old man having a change of heart, something amazing has to happen!

You could say that Die Hard is full of Christmas miracles, actually. Do you think he would’ve survived that fall down the elevator shaft at any other time of year? Or his dive off the top of the building with a fire hose around his waist? How about the massive amount of blood he must’ve lost throughout the length of the film? And all while barefoot! These definitely aren’t everyday occurrences.

If those aren’t good enough Christmas miracles for you, then consider Sergeant Al Powell’s final act of shooting the last terrorist. He’d been so traumatized by a past mistake he’d made that he never thought he’d be able to draw a weapon again, not even to protect someone he loved. But the close bond he and McClane have built over the walkie-talkies gives him the courage to save his friend.

A Quotable Christmas: Many of the great Christmas classics have a great quote that just about everyone can recite. There’s Tiny Tim’s “God bless us, every one!” We all know that every time a bell rings, and angel gets its wings. One of my personal favorites is from Home Alone: Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal! While “Yippee ki yay, m*****f*****” might not make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, it sure is catchy.

In conclusion, I contend that Die Hard is absolutely a Christmas movie, considering that it has all the required elements. Is it fair to exclude it from the holiday movie list simply because of the action sequences, dead bodies, blood, and f-bombs? Maybe we should think about those as added bonuses, something for the grownups to enjoy after the kids have gone to bed and we don’t have to keep it PG anymore. Besides, this is a holiday movie that I can watch with my husband without him making fun of it, so it’s definitely staying on my list!

Merry Christmas, readers!

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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.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please consider using my links to do your shopping and help me out at no extra cost to you!

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Filed under Holidays

Tarot Tuesday! Pick Your Card from Shadowscapes Tarot

It’s time once again for Tarot Tuesday! The energy of Monday is cleared away, and it’s time to look toward the rest of the week.

This week’s pull is from Shadowscapes Tarot by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and Barbara Moore. It’s a beautifully illustrated deck with a guidebook that reads like a fantasy novel.

If you’re interested in a reading of your own, please see the bottom of this post.

Study the photo below and see which card calls to you (1, 2, or 3). You may want to know what the week holds for you in general, or you may have a specific question in mind. Regardless of what you want to know, let your spirit guide you on your card. You’ll find the cards and their meanings below.

Are you ready? Scroll down to find your card!

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#1 – The Devil: Something is holding you back. You feel like you’re stuck, and probably not in a good place. However, just like the woman on the card, you actually have a way out if you will only look for it! Don’t let hindrances stop you from doing what you need to do.

#2 – Page of Swords: The page brings a message to you, and it is one of balance, clarity, and change. Keep your world balanced, but look at it with a youthful optimism. The page could also represent someone new coming into your life in a positive way.

#3 – The Chariot: You have a goal, and it’s time to set your plan forth in order to achieve it. Your drive and your stamina will get you most of the way there, but you need to forge your way forward on a determined path. This card also suggests balance, just as the Page of Swords did, so make sure you’re looking at everything around you and taking all into account before you charge forward.

Which card did you pick? Did it mean anything for you? I’d love to know, so feel free to leave me a comment!

Interested in a reading of your own?

You’ll receive a photo of the actual cards drawn and a thorough explanation of their meaning. The readings are done through email, so please ensure a valid email address is included with your payment! This is for a generalized reading with a deck that calls to me. If you have a specific question or needs, please feel free to email me at ashley@ashleyomelia.com or visit me on eBay (see link below) and we can get it arranged easily. Thank you!

$10.00

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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 Keeping and 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.

Please note that I’m a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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Filed under Tarot and Oracle Cards