Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Wish you lots of love, good health, success and happiness!

May all your dreams come true!


Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Girl With a Power Drill

“I can do it! I can do it!” I muttered under my breath, clasping the handle of a borrowed power drill. “Find the stud! Do not forget to find a stud”, my hubby was shouting over the phone a hundred miles away.
Holding my breath, praying that a drillbit is safely secured in its nest, I pressed the trigger and moved my hand between a heavy plush top queen bed and a wall connecting our bedroom to the walk-in closet. (Yes, I did google “how to put a drillbit into a power drill”, and ehow. com had an answer) I need to insert at least two metal rings into these damn walls. Got your attention?
Here is the scoop: When we moved back to SF Bay Area, we’ve found an apartment online. It was in the South Bay, where we’ve lived before and absolutely loved it, it was a dog-friendly place AND it had its own washer and dryer. To find such a gem for a more or less reasonable price was very lucky, indeed (those of you who have dogs and live in the area know what I mean). The gem came with a walk-in closet and... no other storage whatsoever, besides kitchen cabinets. Nothing. Zilch. We were moving from a two-bedroom condo from Midwest into a one-bedroom in the Bay Area. There was no need to rent a storage space, just because of the stupid second bed that I refused to sell, because it was almost brand new and super comfy. My hubby quietly suggested putting our guest queen bed into the closet. Re-a-lly? Into the walk-in closet with the built-in shelves for my shoe collection? Really?
So we ended up using the second bed as a headboard. It looks slightly weird but cute with all the draperies covering it, ala rococo/ gothic style, and it serves as a soundproof thingie. The bed spring and the mattress fit horizontally across the wall. The movers asked if we wanted to keep the protective plastic on the mattress but I refused, because I didn’t want to breathe in the crap from the plastic. So, of course, the mattress started to sag and move down, pressing on our bed, side tables and lamps.
My goal today was to fix the Pisa’s headboard by screwing hooks into the walls and pulling a heavy duty rope across it.
“I see the goal. I have a power tool. I am going to make a hole in this wall.” Have I mentioned that this was my second time using the power drill in my entire life? I didn’t break the drillbit! It all worked out great, if we don’t take into consideration my knuckles. They looked like I’d spent the Thanksgiving weekend fist-fighting. I sort of was... With the damn walls! Even my tiny wrist couldn’t squeeze comfortably enough to screw the damn ring with the stupid hooky thingie on it into the wall.
Then the fun began.
First of all, the super durable rope wouldn’t fit into the damn tiny ring. I was lucky I had another string, significantly narrower but strong enough. I’ve managed to get it through the three hooks and they all held up!!! I did it! I did it!!!
The moment of truth came to my very first ring/hook. You see, I didn’t have a chance to look for studs in the last three places, because of the position of the mattresses, but somehow it all worked. The first hook placement I’d found scientifically -- knocking on the wall, listening for a dull sound somewhere in the region of the corner. I found it, and I made a hole. The first attempt to tie a rope into that hook (I still can’t feel my thumb today after all the screwing ;-)) was in vain. The screw came out of the wall after multiple attempts of tying the knot on it. Silently cursing I knocked along the wall again, squeezing my bruised hand into the tight space. “Sounds dull to me, just a bit to the right, towards the corner, and the wooden stud will be there.” This time the screw went into the wall with a little bit of more force required. I got it! I blindly tied the rope on a hook, pressing my cheek against the mattress, pulled it a bit to secure it and... it freaking fell out! What am I? A super strong woman from a circus? It’s the corner! The sound is dull! There had to be a freaking stud there! Who builds like that?!!! Screw this screw!!!!
I pulled out my power tool yet again (at this point I’ve already put and cleaned the drillbits twice, being sure that I did OK?) and drilled a hole in the connecting wall of the walk in closet, no science, no knocking, just where I felt like. “Ha-ha-ha” I laughed with a mad half-smile, dancing on my face. “Ha-ha-ha . And I drill. And I drrr-r-ill A-and I drill. And I dri-i-i-i-llllll!!!!”
To my ultimate surprise, somehow it worked. (I am still not sure if I’ve found the stud. We’ll live and see...) The rope was secure. The mattress stopped falling over the floor lamp. The draperies were put on top of the extra bed aka headboard, creating the ambience I wanted. I stared at the fruit of my labor in silence, feeling very proud of myself.
My eyes drifted to the window with the boring blinds. Hmm, I do have a sewing machine... I used it once before...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

R.I.P. Steve Jobs -- 1955-2011

I am staring at my inspiration board with my favorite quote pinned to the middle of it: “May You Be Inspired Today... May you be encouraged to travel your path with sure feet, confident in your direction. May you be spurred on to explore, to face the challenge, to go to the next level. May you experience many moments when you want to stand up and shout, “Hazzah! How grand life is and I want more of it!” May you fall asleep exhausted but giddy with anticipation for what is to come, as thoygh you cannot wait until the morning to continue the adventure, to see what glorious miracles are going to occur. And finally, may you realize your power to create such a day and such a life for yourself for you truly do possess it. Have An Exciting Day! ” Steve Jobs.
What a loss!

My first computer was Mac Powerbook 170, the heavy laptop with a black-n-white monitor (that still works but sits in the storage now as a technological antiquity). I’ve learnt “all things computer” on it. I wrote my thesis, got obsessed with Mahjong game and fell in love with Corel Draw. When I got to Bay Area, Steven Jobs became the face of Silicon Valley for me, of realization that everything was doable and possible in this magical crazy technological heaven. Later, when I lived near Apple’s HQs in Cupertino, I learnt how to distinguish Apple employees from HP employees in the streets. (No, it was not because of the paranoid look in the eyes of Apple’s folks, trying to protect the company’s secrets ;-)) The iPod made the gym experience much more tolerable. The iTunes helped me find a song for every nuance of my mood and also listen to exciting podcasts of some of the best lecturers in the world.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

It’s sad that Steve Jobs is gone. But what a life it was! I wish that all of us will have the opportunity to see our dreams and ideas come to life before it’s our time to go!

“Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything -- all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. ... Stay hungry. Stay foolish."

Enjoy his speech.

Rest in Peace, Sir and Thank You!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday’s Mythological Creature of the Day-- Hotei (the Laughing Buddha)

I’ve seen the Laughing Buddha figurines so many times at the Asian restaurants, in new age stores, on people’s bookshelves. The little bold happy guy with a wide smile and a big belly. I’m sure lots of you came across him one time or another. I’ve never known who he was, but figured he was a symbol for good luck and prosperity. Buddha in a happy state of mind, laughing and giggling... A happy Deity, who’ve just returned from nirvana and having a blast, observing the crazy world around him. Well, truth to be told, I’ve also found the figurine to be slightly creepy. Is he laughing with us or at us?

To my surprise, I’ve opened my big Mythological Encyclopedia on an article about Hotei today. Sounded familiar... Oh, I knew it from the name of a very good Japanese restaurant in San Francisco, owned by the same gentleman as Ebisu (one of the most famous Japanese restaurants in the City)...

So, it’s turned out that Hotei (also known as Budai in Chinese folklore, also known as the Laughing Buddha) is one of the Seven Gods of Fortune in Japanese mythology. His name means a cloth sack. He is the god of plenty, and also a representation of communication and joy. The prototype of Hotei is a Chinese Buddhist monk in the 9th-10th century, who’d got famous for his interpretation of some happy signs from "above". He looked unusual for a typical monk (very short, and one couldn’t miss that big belly) and had a distinctive behavioral quirk -- walking around half-naked with a cloth sack on his back. He was attracting so much attention that people started to talk about and draw him, and through these drawings he became a legend. In the 15th century he was included into the league of the Seven Gods of Fortune by the name of Hotei.

I’d love to learn more about this guy!

Check these sites:

This is not truly related but funny!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday’s Mythological Creature of the Day -- Bacabs ( Bakabs ), Mayan Myths

Bacabs were four brothers, who were sky-bearers, standing at the four corners of the Universe: Hobnil -- the Guard of the East, his assigned color is red and the Kan years, Cantzicnal -- the Guard of the North, his assigned color is white and the Muluc years, Saccimi -- the Guard of the West, his assigned color is black and the Ix years, and Hosanek -- the Guard of the South, his assigned color is yellow and the Cauac years.

Bacabs are anthropomorphic creatures, but it is believed that the earlier years of the Mayan civilization associated them with the four animals (iguana, opossum, turtle, and snail) or some insects (i.e. spiders and honey bees). Hobnil was portrayed as the protector of the beekeepers in some documents.

Since they were Year Bearer patrons, the Bacabs were important in divination ceremonies. They were approached with questions about crops, weather, or the health of bees, and often invoked in curing rituals.
By the 15th century the four Bacabs got interconnected with the four Chaaks ( the 4 rain deities, associated with the four primary compass directions) and Pauahtuns (the 4 wind deities). Interestingly, there have been mentions of the Underworld Bacabs who were supporting the skies of the Underworld as well.

In Classic Maya iconography, the Bacab occurs in various stereotypical situations:
• Fourfold, the Bacabs are repeatedly shown carrying the slab of a throne or the roof of a building.
• Bacab inhabiting the Earth Turtle is part of the scenes with the resurrection of the Maya maize god.
• Still unexplained is a recurring scene in which the Bacab, half-hidden in his conch, is held by his wrist, about to be sacrificed with a knife.
If you want to know more, please check the following sites (including Wikipedia -- great reference section, BTW).




Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Creative People and Organizing Skills: Time Management

Today was the day when I reached the tipping point in my clutter/creative disorder situation by posting a desperate scream on Twitter “Why am I so disorganized?!” It made me think about all these successful women who juggle career/family & friends/hobbies without a glitch and still find the time for themselves. Is it a myth or reality?

How can I bring structure into my chaotic life? What if I do it but won’t like it? ;-) What if I start planning, and then my life will turn into boring routine, too predictable & controlled? Do I really need more structure?

Well... YES, I DO!!!

I have been crawling to the acknowledgement of this regretful fact for the last couple of weeks now. It started with trying to find an app for my smart phone vs. regular Outlook Calendar that I religiously use for my normal business life. I tried a few apps but none of them necessarily caught my fancy.

While surfing Russian sites last night, I came across a mention of a planner by Yana Frank “365 Days in the Life of a Creative Person” (per her publisher, it’s been translated into English -- please hurry! ;-)), a sort-of a workbook/daily planner that goes together with her bestseller “The Muse and The Beast”. The publisher’s website generously shared a few of the worksheets that she had created & used herself -- I felt they were doable and easy to implement.

So, after a series of incidents today, I caved in and proclaimed to my very patient husband that I was going to Barnes and Noble to buy “a magic book” -- A DAILY PLANNER. The last time I used one was back in 1997...

The variety of products available to the aspiring organizing gurus was overwhelming. After a thorough search I picked a 2012 Weekly Professional Planner (Don’t be fooled by its name, it actually starts from July 2011 and goes to June 2013!). I liked it because it looked non-scary, had a half-hour appointment scheduling (will change it to 45/15 & explain why later), huge section of notes, a monthly & weekly format. The perfect solution to all my problems!!!

Upon my return, I waved it in front of my husband with apparent triumph, pushing it back and forth into his face, saying “Stop hitting yourself! Stop hitting yourself! Looky! Looky”. The next 15 minutes were spent discussing the thoughtfulness and craftsmanship put in the planner, then I had to find an appropriate time-management quote to be calligraphically inscribed on the inner left cover with a new pen (to be used for this book only) that took about half-an-hour, while I was chasing my hubby around the house with the laptop, reading him aloud the possible variants, and the grand finale -- I had to find/put stickers from my old scrapbooking project to decorate a few pages of the notes portion.

An hour of super-productive preparation... Beware efficient creative living -- here I come!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Friday’s Mythological Creature of the Day -- Manannán mac Lir (Celtic Mythology)

Is it Friday already? What a busy week it’s been... that would be my lame explanation for the lack of posts ;-))).

Last weekend we took a drive along the scenic coast of California via Highway 1 (I vote it for the most beautiful highway in the country!)

I opened my favorite mythological encyclopedia right in the middle today and, ironically, it was the Manannán’s entry that first caught my eye.

Manannán mac Lir comes from the Celtic myths. Not only he is a sea/ocean deity, but also connected to the Underworld of the Dead and often portrayed as a psychopomp. He is described riding a horse, named Enbarr, among the waves or traveling through the ocean on his chariot. Manannan’s land ownership has been often connected to the Isle of Man in Great Britain, where he has been worshipped at least till the end on the 19th century. He is usually associated with the Goddess Tuatha Dé Danann or Dana, (who I’d love to research more!) but a lot of scholars consider Manannán even older than her.

After the battle by the tribes of Dana (aka fairies) versus the Mil’s sons or Fomorians, (close to the Greek Titans), the fairies retreated and hid in the magic hills or sidhens. It was Manannán who gave the lost tribes the three gifts: invisibility magic, eternal youth and his pigs, that would always be there, in spite of the fact how many of them had been eaten.

Here are a couple of fun resources to check out:


""> -- a beautiful poem by Faoiltiarna-Wolf">


Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday’s Mythological Creature of the Day -- Amazon

I thought it would be appropriate if today I will describe Amazon, the real/mythological woman -worrier of Ancient Greece. The main reason for my choice is -- my novel 2.18 went live on Amazon Kindle on August 31st!!!

You can’t imagine how excited I am. And to share my joy and happiness I lowered the price to .99 for the next two weeks. This is my way to show my deep appreciation to all the people I’ve met through Twitter, GoodReads and blogs. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This is the beginning of the road, and I wouldn’t wish for a better company -- you know, who you are!

But back to the Amazons -- in my Mythological Encyclopedia, it’s mentioned that, allegedly, the Amazons were born through the union of Ares and his daughter, Harmony. They lived in Minor Asia, or near Azov Sea or Libya. They would consent to sex with men only for the procreation. If a girl was born -- she would be raised within the tribe. If a boy was born -- he would be sent to his father or killed.

Amazons were supposed to have excellent archery skills and were equally skilled with battle axes and light shields. Allegedly, the name of the tribe came from a ritual of cutting of or burning their left breast for a more convenient way of handling the weapons. Though, through the historical artifacts, we’ve learnt that both breasts were intact, but they would ride into the battle with one breast exposed to distract the male armies.

It’s also hard to say if they were of myth or actual tribes. Among others, there are extensive mentions by Pluto that Alexander the Great visited the warrior women clans...

Here are a couple of links for you to check out. Please let me know what you think. Myth or Truth?

And why was called Amazon? Here is the answer from

“Jeff Bezos founded, Inc. in 1994 and the site went online in 1995. The company was originally named Cadabra, Inc., but the name was changed when it was discovered that people sometimes heard the name as "Cadaver". The name was chosen because the Amazon River is one of the largest rivers in the world and so the name suggests large size, and also in part because it starts with "A" and therefore would show up near the beginning of alphabetical lists.”

So it doesn’t deal with Amazons at all! Though judging by its warrior style, I would say that there might be some relationship!

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

#100BlogFest -- Cheers to Martin King, “100 Blogs as a Child Tour”

Today I am welcoming a guest blogger, Martin King, who is on a wild adventure to write 100 different blogs at 100 different websites in August. The topic -- stories from his childhood. Please enjoy and don’t forget to visit him on his blog as well!!!

Here is his story "Cars":

“If you think your childhood was traumatic, then please consider mine. From the age of seven when my parents acquired our first vehicle, I was doomed to public mockings!

Our first mode of transport was a motorbike and sidecar. Yes, you heard me right. That little beauty lasted us for a good few years. Eventually when there was my parents and four kids crammed into the sidecar and another on the way, they decided it was time to go large. Read on because you are never going to believe this...

We moved up market, but not in wheels. That is because they invested in a plastic rocket more commonly called a Reliant Robin (a car with three wheels). Imagine how embarrassing it was being dropped off at school at the age of thirteen in a plastic pig? But not only that but the rare mornings when my step dad would decide to take us to school, he insisted on picking up any of our friends he drove past. I’m not lying when I tell you that there would be as many as eight kids crammed into the back of the three wheeler!

But then we went up market again due us five kids continually growing we got an ice-cream van. I know you are most possibly in complete shock at this point, but it’s all true. Check out blog # 11 for more on this.
Finally we got a Landrover. A pretty normal vehicle you may think. But Landrovers weren’t all hi-tech like they are nowadays. But anyway my story continues with us travelling down a country lane one day when the back door suddenly swung open for no apparent reason. As my sister was sat next to it and in them days most cars didn’t have seat belts...whoosh and out she fell. Thankfully she wasn’t badly hurt.

But the vehicle kept breaking down all the time. Finally my step dad said “Eeee, for two pins I’d get rid of this thing.” That was a bit of a Lancashire saying back then. To which I replied, “I’ll give you two pins for it.” Let’s just say it didn’t go down very well.
These blogs are all about fun and sharing. Thank you for reading a ‘#100blogfest’ blog. Please follow this link to find the next blog in the series:

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday’s Mythological Creature of the Day -- Kim Qui, The Golden Turtle God

Kim Qui (The Golden Turtle) comes from the Vietnamese culture.

There are quite a few interesting stories about Kim Qui.
One of them is associated with the construction of defenses for the ancient capital of Co Loa. Evil spirits were causing a lot of nuisance during its construction. Kim Qui appeared before King An Dương Vương (257-207 BC) and gifted him its nail to use as a trigger, for a magical cross-bow, that massively rained arrows upon the invaders in only a single shot.

Another one talks about a giant turtle that taught people how to build houses on stilts.

My favorite legend is about a magic sword. A peasant named Lê Lợi obtained a magical sword named Heaven's Will that a fisherman had pulled out of the lake. Lê Lợi used this sword to lead a rebellion against the Chinese armies that were in occupation of Vietnam in 15th century. After overthrowing the Chinese rule and establishing Lê Dynasty, the now emperor Lê Lợi returned to the lake and Kim Qui emerged then asked Lê Lợi to return the sword. The King drew the sword and hurled it toward Kim Qui. Kim Qui quickly caught the sword by his teeth then submerged. Lê Lợi afterwards named the lake 'Lake of Returning Sword', or Hoan Kiem. Reminds me of the King Author’s legend...

And I came across a very interesting article that claims that“the legendary turtle in Vietnam may prove to be true!" Check it out!

Monday, August 22, 2011

When in doubt, close your eyes & jump! -- Adventures in Self-Publishing

Nine Days till the self-imposed deadline for publishing 2.18 on Amazon... (“Self-imposed” is the operative word). As I’ve learnt in the past, deadlines are the only solution to beat my procrastination. And my mind works the best in the stressful situations with seemingly impossible deadlines. (Not completely impossible, just slightly non-realistic ;-)).

That’s what I’ve been thinking, pacing back and forth in the living room for the last half an hour.

Publishing is business, after all. One shouldn’t decide on a whim to publish a book (even if it’s a really really good one, like mine) without a marketing strategy.

Granted, that I had to start from scratch and create this blog (thank you dear followers), a Twitter account (love you fellow twi-people!!!), GoodReads account (thoroughly enjoy your friendships), a Facebook profile (still don’t know what I’m doing with it). Quite an accomplishment, at least in my mind... There are three tiny issues though...

1) I love reading twits of other people & enjoy discovering new blogs
2) I love GoodReads for the great group of readers, discussions, reviews, finding new books and having fun.
3) And last, but not least: giving 30 days to do all that AND create a promotional campaign? Really?

This is a great escapism book. I know you’ll love the characters, with all their quirks: Tessa, a lot of young professional women can relate to her, Camille -- her Guardian Angel, the voice of reason, and, of course, Val -- her Guardian Demon, the tempter and seducer. They deserve to share their story with the readers.

Well, but it does take a village... Doesn’t it? ;-))

Free advanced copies of 2.18 to the book bloggers. If you, girls and guys, are interested in fantasy/PR novels, and demons and angels are your thing-- email, comment or DM me on Twitter and I’ll send you an advanced copy of the e-book.

Thank you LindyLouMac and Lisa on taking a chance on me! I hope you’ll enjoy it!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday's Mythological Creature of the Day -- Baba Yaga

In Slavic mythology, Baba Yaga is a witch and a hag that lives in a forest and devours people. In most Russian folktales, she resides in a log cabin that stands on chicken legs (!). The hut is surrounded by a palisade made out of human bones with a skull on each pole. The keyhole to her front door is a mouth filled with sharp teeth.

She is old, one of her legs can be an artificial one, she is blind (or losing her eyesight) and has huge breasts. (I feel sorry for her!)

She flies through the air in a mortar, using the pestle as a rudder and sweeping away the tracks behind her with a broom made of silver birch. She kidnaps kids and tries to fry them for dinner in her large clay oven.

Baba Yaga is usually portrayed as an antagonist, i.e. when an unfortunate hero drops by and Baba Yaga finds him in her cabin, snooping around, she cuts out skin from his back to make herself a belt (sounds like she had a quirky sense of fashion). Sometimes she is portrayed as a Mother of all Snakes (who are typically the main foes of the hero). But in some tales she supplies the hero (sometimes unwillingly) with something necessary for the further quest.

She is one of the most popular characters in Russian fairy-tales. She has also made an appearance in Shrek Forever After.

If you want to read more here is a link to a Wikipedia article: And here is my favorite song by a band of Baba Yagas in a famous Russian cartoon “A Flying Ship”.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

How was the novel 2.18 conceived?

Sometimes I feel slightly envious of the authors who can answer the question “How did you come up with an idea for your book?” in a fun exciting manner. I wish I could do the same, but it wouldn’t be true.

It all started because I was bored to death on one fine November evening in an empty apartment. We moved to another state on a whim, and all the furniture and books were still in some container in route to our new home. All we had was an air-mattress, a small table lamp, clothes, travel necessities and “The Good Omens” book that I got fond of and had finished earlier than I hoped.

It was after midnight, my husband was asleep, and I was staring at the ceiling. So, I grabbed a notebook, where we were noting our travel schedules and to-do lists and started to write down a novel for myself. This is the exact moment the first pages of 2.18 were born.

Afterwards, the scenes and chapters were created and written in the weirdest places – on a desolated highway from Colorado to Wyoming under B-Tribe tune, during a tedious meeting at work, deep down in the catacombs of Kiev Pechersk Lavra in Ukraine, dancing in the darkness under Afro-Celt Sound System band, hiking with my dog in a National Forest. .. It has been a wild journey.

I am thrilled, scared and excited to share 2.18 with all of you. I know you will enjoy it!

Thanks for stopping by, come back and spread the word!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sam’s Castle in Pacifica, CA – New Bizarre Ghost-Filled Attraction

I am excited to share the news that the infamous Sam’s castle is being ready to open its doors for visitors!

The 103-year-old dwelling has been used as an abortion clinic, a speakeasy, a brothel, a home residence, etc. Throughout the years ghostly encounters have been reported by multiple witnesses.

The last owner Sam Mazza filled this place with the eclectic collection suits of armor, statues, swords, busts of Greek gods, organs, coats of arms and a throne. From the sound of it he was an eccentric collector of oddities and curiosities.

Will it become as popular as the Hearst Castle in San Simeon, CA? I certainly hope so! The Bay Area is full of strange, mysterious places. I believe this one is great, yet undiscovered addition.

Read more:

There are only TWO tours available to public right now through Pacifica Historical Society – this Friday August 19, 2011 and Saturday August 20, 2011. Adult tickets: $25.00. Children under the age of 12 – $10.00

So, if you want to explore this weird collection, please purchase the tickets on the site:

Pacifica is a quaint coastal city, located between San Francisco and Half Moon Bay. It’s a popular surfing and hiking spot!

Oh, and if ghost hunting is your thing, I’d strongly recommend to drive to Moss Beach Distillery in the nearby Half Moon Bay for a delicious dinner, ocean view and a possible meeting of the Blue Lady (the story was recreated on a popular NBC TV Unsolved Mysteries). By the way, the restaurant is dog-friendly!


Sunday, August 14, 2011

What's Cooking? -- Sunday's Yummy Pig-out Breakfast!

I lo-o-o-ve good food! Healthy Food! Veggies and Fruits! But from time to time it feels good to be bad ;-) Like today.
So, here is the Sunday's Yummy Pig-out Breakfast:

Ingredients (makes 2 servings, with a bunch of left-over biscuits for any future use):

1 can of Jumbo Flaky Biscuits (the ones that have tiny pieces of butter in the dough ;-))
2 slices of Canadian bacon
2 eggs (fried to your liking, with smoked paprika, pepper and other favorite spices)
2 slices of Swiss cheese
Pomegranate jelly
Green onions and a bite-size piece of watermelon (the addition of these ingredients made me feel less guilty, because I had my “fruits and veggies” ;-))) R-right…


1) Bake the biscuits per the package instructions
2) Fry the bacon on a medium-high heat until slightly browned and slap a piece of cheese on top of it. After the cheese has melted a bit, take the bacon off the heat and set aside
3) Get the biscuits out. Grab one, open it in the middle and put the pomegranate jelly on both sides ( generously )
4) Put cheese, bacon, fried egg on the bottom part of the biscuit. Sprinkle the eggs with green onions.
5) Take the top part of the biscuit and … You guessed it… Put it on top!
6) Garnish with green onions and the watermelon pieces
7) Enjoy and then proceed to the gym! ;-)))

Thanks for stopping by! Come back & bring your friends!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday's Mythological Creature of the Day -- Mardagayl

I have this wonderful Mythological Encyclopedia in Russian from 1991. I like to open it at a random page, select an article and discover/reintroduce a creature/place/etc.


1) I like to learn things 2) It helps in writing 3) I’ve always suspected that there is a reason why certain creatures/monsters/beliefs are common across the globe. Just haven’t figured it out yet ;-)) So, I thought, I’d share with you what I can find from my Encyclopedia and a 30-minute search on Internet during lunch break. If you come across a related article, fun fact, please share!!!

Drum roll please! I am thrilled to introduce a Mardagayl --an Armenian werewolf with a twist.

a) Typically, it’s a woman.

b) It is believed that if God decides to punish a woman, he makes her to eat the food intended for a Mardagayl (the food usually falls from the sky, like hail). After a woman snacks on these kibbles, a wolf skin falls upon a woman and turns the unfortunate foodie into a Mardagayl. At night she hunts with a wolf’s pack, devours corpses, kidnaps children and tears them apart. (Huh? Fascinating…)

c) During the day, the Mardagayl takes the wolf skin off, hides it in a secret place and goes along with her life until nightfall! (I found this part slightly disturbing. So does she actually enjoy the transformation??? I mean, all that devouring and killing the innocent kiddies! Otherwise, why would she go through the trouble of hiding the skin? If she can take it off, why put it on again, voluntarily… And then like a typical sociopath she happily trots through her daily routine, like she did nothing wrong. )

d) The punishment typically lasts seven years, then the wolf skin returns to the sky, and the Mardagayl becomes a regular woman again. (After seven years of nightly gore and pillage how can she go back to being normal???)

e) The creation of the Milky Way is associated with Mardagayl. When a Mardagayl was trying to snack on a visitor, the visitor cut the monster’s breast with a knife, & the milk from her breast spilled over the sky.

I also found a few cool sites for those of you who enjoy the werewolves’ legends. -- this one has a list of various names the werewolves are known in different cultures -- a bunch of interesting articles


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The First Look at the Book Cover for my novel 2.18

Hello everybody,

Just wanted to share with you the official Book Cover for my upcoming fantasy novel 2.18. I've been jumping around, clapping my hands, giggling and squealing like a little piggy when I first saw it! ;-))) The cover is created by a super talented artist Bradley Cassani.

What do you think?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

So, what is my novel 2.18 all about?

Hi everybody,

Between final edits of the 2.18, writing a new chapter for the second book, learning Twitter, Facebook and creating this blog in the rare waking moments left between my regular job, family, friends and my dog, I feel overwhelmed but thrilled at the same time. Even yoga doesn't help to relax any more. I used to love to meditate, but I've forgot how to do it now! How does everybody relax? Any favorite tips? What works?

In the meantime, just wanted to share a rough annotation to my novel 2.18 that I hope to make available on Amazon (Kindle edition) on August 31st.

"An ordinary, twenty-three years old, MarCom manager in Denver finds herself falling in love with her seemingly ever-present Guardian... Demon. “Seemingly” is the key word here, because by a bureaucratic mistake, at the time of Tessa’s birth, she was not assigned a Guardian Angel or a Guardian Demon, until just now. And the reason they appear in the middle of an ordinary summer night in her bedroom is a simple one. By another mistake made by somebody in the Archives of the Powers, she wasn’t given a purpose in life.

Tessa Vetrov is offered a new mission -- to hunt down an insane Russian scientist in Geodar, a neighboring realm of Earth under the supervision of her newly-appointed Guardians. She reluctantly accepts the offer, which is guaranteed to take only one minute of her life here on Earth, and the successful completion of which will bring her a hefty reward.

Unfortunately, it turns out that Tessa is just a pawn in a high-stake game of the Higher Powers, and not all of their promises will be kept..."

How does it sound?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hello World!

This is my first blog! And the first post! Hello! Privet! Guten Tag! Bon Jour! Konnichiwa!

The reason behind its creation is a simple one -- shameless self-promotion ;-). I wrote a book and really wanted it published. I've tried to go the traditional route and find a literary agent. That didn't work out too well. And the book is good!!! I know it. The people who've read it agree.

So, I thought about publishing it through Amazon as an e-book. And that's what I am planning to do. On August 31st, 2011. Less than a month... Maybe I am slightly insane to do it in such a short timeframe, but maybe I am not... The name of my masterpiece is 2.18. It is a paranormal romance/ adventure for young adults and not so young adults.

After deciding to give it a try, I realized that in order for my audience to find my book in the myriad of other good books, I need to announce its arrival. It is an e-book, so I need to reach the e-readers. Where do you find them? On the Web. Logical.

There is one tiny problem though. I am not on the Web! (except for a great site where I've been publishing the abbreviated version of 2.18, while I was writing it, in Russian -- if my Russian readers have found this blog -- THANK YOU SO MUCH for all your kicks, reviews and feedback).

Being a an avid reader myself, I've solved the issue by buying a book by Susan Gunelis and started to take baby steps into the Web community. I've set up my first Twitter, Facebook, GoodReads accounts and this blog.

Now I have to figure out how to manage all that. All the suggestions are welcome! Please leave comments. Thanks for stoping by. Come back soon and spread the word!

Oh, and a special hi to Vlado, who've created the illustration that I am using for the avatar.