Archive for the ‘Many Things’ Category

Life and Laughs of a “Facetious Little Squirt”

Thursday, July 23rd, 2020

 

 

My really fun Featured Author interview, Life and Laughs of a “Facetious Little Squirt”, with Coleen M. Story is up at her wonderful website WRITING AND WELLNESS

Life and Laughs of A “Facetious Little Squirt”

by Melinda Rucker Haynes

I love to laugh so I always open with—I learned to write fiction when I was a grant writer.

In that reality, we also used to joke that grant proposals were judged by the weight. Therefore, repetitive and wordy details, explanations, descriptions, and narratives (much like this sentence) were essential structure for a winning proposal.

Another happy thing about my grant writing was that all my education research grant proposals won funding. Ah, the stimulating life of living on soft money! So, my expectations were quite high when I escaped academe to live abroad and write novels.

Note: It was an envious Ph.D. pedant who snarked from his teetering, terminally unfunded ivory tower that I was a Facetious Little Squirt. And I’ve endeavored to happily embrace my squirtness since.  (Click Here for Full Article)

 

New Romantic Suspense–A BUSINESS AFFAIR

Wednesday, February 5th, 2020

Available in eBook and Paperback April 8, 2020 at all Online Booksellers.

 

Financier Alyn Templeman has two choices. She must bail out her stepbrother’s business or shut it down for good. She’s used to dealing with high-class clients, but the sexy and former Navy fighter pilot Matt Barrett, is a class of his own. He thinks she’s there to give him a loan, but his sweet-talking has her mind on other matters. Accidents at his company evolve into attempted murder and treachery. Matt, who is falling fast for Alyn, needs to keep her safe. Yet, neither one knows who to trust. When it comes down to business or love will they get a chance to make it work, or will betrayal bankrupt their relationship?

Mmmmm’s Note: A BUSINESS AFFAIR is set near my childhood home in northwestern Arizona in Bullhead City and Laughlin, NV on the Colorado River. It was really fun to make two great characters miserable on a dangerous float trip down the Colorado River, and maybe fall in love if they live long enough. The float trip in the story is one I actually went on with my brother and four others, none of whom have any resemblance AT ALL to the financier and hot pilot in the book. It’s all pure fiction–except the raft sinking out of the first set of rapids, being stranded on a boiling rocky slope for hours until my brother came up with a very clever repair on the raft and we headed downriver through the next sets of rapids and safely home–that really happened.

Personal Time Travel Workshop at Tucson RWA Monthly Meeting, Saturday October 26

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019

Find Your Story in the Past . . .

This story began in the past when I discovered the work of world renown psychiatrist Brian L. Weiss, M.D., who has been called the dean of past life regression therapy. Dr. Weiss has written several best-selling nonfiction books based upon his clinical practice. He has successfully treated thousands of clients with past life regression therapy, which he defines as the mental act of going back to an earlier time, whenever that time may be, in order to retrieve memories that may still be negatively influencing a patient’s present life and that are probably the source of the patient’s symptoms.

Regression hypnosis allows the mind to short-circuit conscious barriers to tap this information, including those barriers that prevent patients from consciously accessing their past lives.

Due to the proven efficacy and rising interest in past life regression therapy, Weiss reports that his appointment waiting list is limited to 5000 as he could never treat more than that in this lifetime. However, increasing numbers of people continue to contact his Miami-based Weiss Institute hopeful of scheduling private appointments for therapy and to explore their past lives. In order to serve those desiring consultations, Weiss instructs health care professionals in twice-yearly professional training courses at the Omega Institute in New York. After completing the training, one may qualify to join the Weiss Institute’s international referral network.

I was privileged to take the training from Dr. Weiss at the Omega Institute. It was an amazing experience to meet him and enjoy his delightful Woody Allenesque sense of humor. Nearly 80 health care professionals from all over the world absorbed Weiss’s scientific and theoretical lectures and watched him gently and compassionately demonstrate his techniques on volunteers. We then practiced on each other and learned hands-on how truly powerful, ecological and effective Weiss’s techniques are for healing and creating positive change. My own life changing experiences at the Weiss training reaffirmed my long-ago decision to study consciousness to help myself and others overcome negative emotions and limiting decisions that keep us from creating the lives we desire.

Access to the Higher Self, the Subconscious

After reading Dr. Weiss’s book Through Time into Healing, I was motivated to train as a certified hypnotherapist in1995. After that, I conducted past life regressions for writers and other creative people who wished to access their inner/higher selves, what I call their creative centres, which may also be thought of as the subconscious. Dr. Weiss explained (from Through Time into Healing) that the subconscious is:

  1. The part of our mind that lies beneath ordinary consciousness, beneath the constant bombardment of thoughts, feelings, outside stimuli, and other assaults on our awareness.
  2. The subconscious mind functions at a level deeper than our usual level of awareness. In the subconscious mind mental processes occur without our conscious perception of them. We experience moments of intuition, wisdom, and creativity when these subconscious processes flash into our conscious awareness.
  3. The subconscious is not limited by our imposed boundaries of logic, space, and time. It can remember everything from any time. It can transmit creative solutions to our problems. It can transcend the ordinary to touch upon wisdom far beyond our everyday capabilities.

Is It Real or Is It My Imagination?

Every writer, poet, artist or musician—anyone engaged in authentic creating—has experienced hypnosis or intense focus that is an altered state of consciousness from which their inspiration and creativity flows. Yet most people who haven’t been guided into hypnosis by a certified hypnotherapist or trained counselor don’t realize that in hypnosis, your mind is always aware and observing. Weiss explained that this is why people who may be deeply hypnotized and actively involved in a childhood or past life sequence of memories are able to answer the therapist’s questions, speak their current life language, know the geographical places they are seeing, and even know the year, which usually flashes before their inner eyes or just appears in their minds.

“The hypnotized or intensely focused mind, always retaining an awareness and a knowledge of the present, puts the childhood or past life memories in context. This is also the reason why a hypnotized patient, finding himself a peasant fighting in a medieval European war, for example, can recognize people from the past lifetime whom he knows in his current life. This is why he can speak modern English, compare the crude weapons of that time with those he might have seen or used in this lifetime, give dates and so on.” His present-day mind is aware, watching, commenting—is this real or is it my imagination?

A Good Reason for a Writer to Explore Past Life Regression

Relaxation + Refreshment = Creative Flow

“I love to be hypnotized! It feels soooo good,” says an author of paranormal and action/adventure romances. Since all hypnosis is self-hypnosis anyone can feel so good, feel relaxed and refreshed anytime they consciously choose to calm their chattering minds, focus on their deep breathing and imagine relaxation like a warm light sweeping over their bodies, releasing the tension. This does such great things for the body and for our peace of mind. It is from this feeling of focused relaxation that we can sense our subconscious, and if we allow ourselves to imagine/think from this creative centre or perspective, we can experience creative flow. We can also gain access to memories, emotions and resources that may help us understand and improve our present situations.

When writers experience past life regression, they can use their personal past life experience to help them create authentic characters with real emotional depth, accurate settings and unique plots in their books. Many writers whom I’ve guided into past lives have discovered unusual or previously unknown details of an era or location that some have later confirmed with research. Perhaps the most important benefit of regression is experiencing the genuine emotions in a past life memory that a writer may then convey with brilliant authority and impact that deeply affects any reader of her inspired work.

As to how I, a writer of paranormal romances and thrillers, use my own past life regression experiences? I’ve experienced past lives as a writer, cleric, warrior, ship-wrecked sailor, pioneer woman, medieval serf, general, French noblewoman, French nursing sister/nun and many others. The emotions, plots and people I’ve encountered in my past life regressions all serve as guides or lessons for my present understanding of myself and my mission in this life. Through my hypnotherapy practice, research and regression experiences, I’ve been absolutely blown away by the continuing confirmation that each and every one of us is a magnificent spiritual being having an earth adventure. It is from that perspective that I’m trying to create a life any incarnation of me can learn from, just as I’m learning from past life triumphs and mistakes. And even if I’m a slow learner and still making mistakes in this life, I endeavor to create characters in my novels who may go through hell but do learn and are transformed by the choice to love, which in turn affects the reader in some positive way.

Hypnosis and past life regressions are excellent ways of exploring one’s inner landscape and accessing the higher self. So are prayer, meditation, yoga and relaxed imagining. Find the right one for you and allow yourself to create an inspired life and work.

Melinda Rucker Haynes’s Personal Time Travel© creative development process is intended to inspire writers and creatives to discover their inner resources and eliminate blocks that keep them from expressing their authentic creative gifts. Her critically-acclaimed paranormal reincarnation romantic thriller, THE ETERNAL TRUST is available ebook, paperback and audiobook at all online booksellers. Sequels BREACH OF TRUST and DIMENSIONS OF TRUST are coming soon.

Publishers Weekly BookLife Review & Colorado Romance Writers Cover Contest

Monday, September 9th, 2019

 

The menopausal vampire loves getting a good review from Publishers Weekly, though she isn’t sure the reviewer actually knew the hormonal or behavioral differences between PMS and menopause, especially for this unusual vampire, who, though menopausal when BITTEN, still ain’t got no hormones–raging or otherwise. . .

 

 

THE MENOPAUSAL VAMPIRE

BITTEN: Confessions of a Menopausal Vampire Melinda Rucker Haynes’s “quirky paranormal novel introduces a snarky vampire…who never quite takes control of her life…witty as she laments her situation…Werewolves, ghosts, and riddles set up…an entertaining series.”                                Publishers Weekly BookLife/August 2019

 

If you want to have some BITTEN fun, click HERE to vote for the fantastic cover in the Colorado Romance Writers Cover Contest. Scroll down to PARANORMAL and click on BITTEN. Apparently, both Melinda K Haynes and Melinda Rucker Haynes wrote and submitted this women’s fantasy. . .

GHOSTLY ACTS–The Story Behind the Story

Thursday, July 25th, 2019

 

PROLOGUE    Long ago and far away at the Marriott Marquis hotel in New York City, I sat at a table up front with my pal Darcy Carson in a huge convention hall at the Romance Writers of America annual RITA awards. The ceremony to name the winners of the Golden Heart Contest for unpublished RWA members was about to begin. My first book, GHOSTLY ACTS, well, the first forty or so pages, was a finalist in the Young Adult category.

FLASHBACK   It had been a very busy few days in the Big Apple. Both of my critique groups were in attendance and we hung out in the halls between conference sessions, partied, sight-saw, and crashed publishers’ parties for their authors. Then wonder of wonders, an acquiring editor of the YA line from a very big house approached and invited me to dinner. She told me to also invite other YA finalists. I had met three and promptly invited them. We met the editor at a great Italian restaurant and had a wonderful time. The editor spent most of the evening to talking to me about YA, her line and my book. She whispered, “I liked yours best.” Sometimes I’m a little obtuse or miss the nuances. I should have paid attention and that would have saved me a disastrous Tarot reading that all but spelled the end of the world as we knew it and a very dejected afternoon.

THE MAIN EVENT   Press play on the video below and discover what happened at the ceremony . . .

EPILOGUE  My fifteen minutes of fame lasted somewhat longer, a bit of patchwork quilt situation. The editor who took me to dinner asked me to give her two and half months before she could acquire GHOSTLY ACTS for her line. Good thing too because I needed to finish that book. Three months came and went with her YA line closing. I didn’t sell that book until four years later but continued to do well in contests. After the book was published it won more awards. The Wild Rose Press published GHOSTLY ACTS in 2018 in eBook, paperback and audiobook.

Who knows what’s next for this wonderful story. I’m thinking movie and/or TV series . . .

Mmmmmmmmelinda

 

 

The Menopausal Vampire’s Breakfast Drink Recipe

Monday, July 15th, 2019

I’ve been getting lots of email with questions about Bitten: Confessions of a Menopausal Vampire. People want to know if I have personal experience with the “issues” of Kristen Ottiosman the Menopausal Vampire. Maybe. Here and there. Am I a blood sucker? Don’t think so. Kristen would say–“I don’t do that anymore!” I say–“I never have been a blood sucker, menopausal, yes, but not the other thing–I’d remember that.”

Many readers seem to think Kristen’s lifestyle choices are either too bizarre or too cool, the Menopausal Vampire’s dietary, make that drinking, habits landing in the cool column. They are particularly interested in her morning beverage of Dirty Shamus and have asked for the recipe. So here it is.

Menopausal Vampire’s Breakfast Drink

Dirty Shamus Breakfast Drink Recipe:

1 large bottle of Irish Crème Liquor

1 bottle Bailey’s Salted Caramel Liquor

Brewed Dark Roast Coffee

Directions: Pour both bottles of Irish Crème and Bailey’s Salted Caramel into a decanter to make Dirty Shamus. Fill a big coffee cup with Dirty Shamus and add coffee to taste.

Mmmmmmmmmmelinda

 

BITTEN: Confessions of a Menopausal Vampire Chosen for Publishers Weekly BookLife “Best First Line”

Wednesday, May 29th, 2019

From: May 27, 2019 Publishers Weekly BookLife

Section: First Lines–A monthly look at some of the best first lines by BookLife authors.

 

 

BITTEN: Confessions of a Menopausal Vampire

MELINDA RUCKER HAYNES

BookLife Best First Line from BITTEN:  “Waking up alone was no surprise.”

 

 

Undead in Seattle. Kristen’s fiancé Rick turns into Houdini and pulls a disappearing act. Now years later her husband deserts her for a younger woman. Disgusted with life itself, menopausal to boot, she doesn’t know what to do when Rick turns up—still young and handsome. Against her better judgment, but with her hormones going haywire, she accepts a date, and finds herself waking up in the morgue as an illegally made vampire.

Rick must hide his mistake or everyone dies. But Kristen refuses to go quietly undead into the dark, because her age, lack of estrogen and other physical and mental anomalies make her a very unusual powerful vampire with none of the limitations. And she has a bucket list a mile long of people who have done her wrong, and an eternity for payback.

Get BITTEN at Amazon.com and other online retailers.

Shocking Interview with the Menopausal Vampire

Thursday, March 28th, 2019

The Menopausal Vampire was interviewed on her birth/undeath day March 13, 2019 by the wonderful fantasy romance author Mary Morgan. I’ve taken the liberty of further interviewing the Menopausal Vampire, post book debut, for clarification. Her responses to my questions are in parentheses and are unedited, straight from the Menopausal Vampire’s smart mouth.

 

MaryM:     What is your full name?

Kristen: Kristen Nielsen Ottiosman. (I’d like to explain the odd last name as my creator, Melinda Rucker Haynes, not my Maker, couldn’t make up her mind about my ex-husband’s last name. To her mind, a character’s name is symbolic of the character’s inner landscape or soul. I don’t know about that, but what I really believe is that she’s inflicted me with men, or her words–composite character types, she’s known. So she made up the name from the word OTIOSE: futile, ineffectual, useless. Gotta say that word really describes Billy Ottiosman, my soon-to-be ex-husband.)

MaryM:   What is one word that best describes you?

Kristen: Undead/Menopausal (Pretty much the same thing, IMO.)

MaryM:      Do you think the author portrayed you accurately? If not, please explain why.

Kristen: She thinks so, and I find that hilarious. (I think she’s really writing about herself–HA!)

MaryM:      What makes you laugh out loud?

Kristen:  A certain former love-of-my-life, now international corporate vampire, who thinks he can fly back into my life, buy me dinner then suck me dry and dump my body at the morgue. He is so not enjoying what I’m becoming. Payback is a bitch for those on the receiving end. And getting payback is my reason for living, or un-living, these days.

MaryM:  What makes you angry?

Kristen: See Number Four above.

MaryM: What is your favorite drink?

Kristen: It’s sure not the Red Juicy anymore. In fact, I’ve gotten kind of phobic. My favorite drink lately is anything liquid alcoholic. Dirty Shamus Irish Cream in great coffee is more than just my breakfast drink—I am a Seattleite, after all. (Mmmmelinda says she’s going to do a video on how to make Dirty Shamus. Should be fun!)

MaryM: What is your greatest fear?

Kristen: I’ll have to think about that one. . .I’m afraid my vampire powers will disappear before I can really enjoy them. At the rate they’re changing, or growing, seems sardonic that they could just disappear one day like my former lover who now claims he’s my master.

MaryM: What do you wear when you go to sleep at night?

Kristen: My dancing-cat-patterned flannel pajamas. Old habits die hard, even in undeath.

MaryM: What is the perfect romantic date?

Kristen: My perfect romantic date is one that I actually have and after which I’m not left for dead at the morgue.

MaryM: When you look at your master Rick what catches your interest?

Kristen: He’s so beautiful, handsome, sexy and undead. Unfortunately, he wants me really dead. I don’t know that we can ever work that out.

MaryM: What is one word that best describes Master Rick?

Kristen: I cannot say that here.

MaryM: Is your book part of a series?

Kristen: Now that I’m undead the confessions will be ongoing if my lust for payback is any indication.

 

MMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmelinda: Check back for my how-to video on making Dirty Shamus Irish Crème and more inside info on the Menopausal Vampire’s latest atrocious frolics. Oh, she also tells me she wants to take questions from her readers and that she is willing to tell their fortunes. Groan. You may email Mmmmmmelinda with your questions for the Menopausal Vampire.

GHOSTLY ACTS Goes AUDIOBOOK

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

 

The GHOSTLY ACTS audiobook isn’t an ordinary narrator reading version, it’s EXTRAORDINARY! The multiple award-winning novel is narrated by Tweet Productions in the style of a radio play with music, sound effects and voicing each character differently.

 

The Tweet Productions narrator shares how he produced the GHOSTLY ACTS audiobook:

As for how I decided to produce this book as a play. First and foremost, Melinda, you wrote it like that. MOO — Ele’s mother — is so VERY melodramatic. I think I had the most fun with her lines. I really did. She was so over the top, and when I was narrating the book, I was actually using hand gestures when I got into her character. I would purposely narrate each of her lines two or three times — just to get it right. And then, in the post production process, I upped the tempo a bit plus gave her a treble boost. This is the reason she sounds so “crisp.” This was intentional on my part.

My production efforts spring from the words you wrote, Melinda. If there’s a knock at Ele’s door, you’re going to hear that knock. If Ele is creeping up some creaky stairs, you’re going to be there with her. If she’s dancing onstage to a waltz from an old hand-cranked Victrola, you’re going to hear that. In other words, Melinda, you’re the one that created those elements, not me. I just inserted them. You have a very visual writing style (you would have done well as a TV reporter!) that creates images. That’s what radio is all about and always has been. It’s Theater of the Mind. Ghostly Acts is one big theater act from start to finish. . .those last few chapters took an entire day — ten hours of work — to fully produce.

I can’t say enough about the musicians and composers who are throwing their work online for anyone and everyone to use. They are just amazing. It’s the same thing with people who create sound effects. Although I created many of the effects that are in the book, some were grabbed from one free source or another and modified to fit the novel. The scene where Club Foot, for example, drags his foot across the floor when he smashes through a wall? That’s actually a heart beat sound effect that I modified a great deal to sound like a Club Foot being dragged across the floor. You can create all kinds of magic with digital editing programs. The narration was recorded with a Yeti USB microphone — the first time I’ve used this. Some of the sound effects were also created with the Yeti. Some were created with just an iPhone, but then heavily modified (produced) through the Audacity audio editor.

I think I liked producing the chapter where Ele is dancing with Steven the most. It was so very visual. I even found the “tick-bump-tick” of an old Victrola online. Of course, I used it!

Bill Bird, Tweet Productions

 

Melinda’s Magical Time-In Her Playroom (not an office.)

Friday, September 28th, 2018

This is a picture of my playroom where I’m spending happy creative time since The Wild Rose Press contracted the outrageously fun first book of my Dark Inclinations series, BITTEN: Confessions of a Menopausal Vampire. The book’s due to my editor mid-October and will be a Wild Rose Press Black Rose line release in eBook, paperback and audio.

Speaking of audio, while I’m getting up to dark fun and games with my menopausal vampire in the Seattle underworld, both of my YA ghost stories are in audiobook production. The GHOSTLY ACTS audiobook will have exciting production effects and music that will make listening to the story a great immersive experience. THE HAUNTING OF JOSH WESTON’s narrator sounds just like the Josh of my imagination. How lucky is that!!

Heigh ho, heigh ho! Mmmmm’s off to play with the menopausal vampire!