Friday, December 9, 2011

Adult Bullying And Cyber Bullying

I know it's the holiday season, and you probably don't wish to read about negative things like bullying. But, it needs to be addressed. Everyday I read about things that have happened to the recipients of a bully. People, just know this--bullies have no holidays. They act regardless of what day, hour, month or holiday it is. I've been on the receiving side of a bully a few times. Luckily the first two times I walked away. The third time put me in the hospital. I was a adult, and the bullying came from an ex-fiance. I can only imagine how it affects the 92% of younger kids, and teens who are affected by it, besides the other adults and older teens. Not a pretty picture.If you know someone who is being bullied, copy this information and pass it on. Thank you.

You know what? All the Lady Gaga's in the world can go to Washington (and it's good she did)  to protest about bullying, but it's really up to us as individuals to do something about it. And another thing, it's not just little kids, but adults and older teens who are bullied and harassed. Here's some facts about the different kinds of bullying that goes on, and a little information on what do do about it and where to go. I hope this helps a little in the fight to stop this horrible act of violence. People are killing, and maiming themselves because of it (yes, even adults and older teens often become cutters, harming themselves because they blame themselves for the bullying against them by others.)

Often people have the idea that "bullying" is something which only occurs among children until eventually they grow out of the behavior. Unfortunately, this isn't always true. Adults can be just as capable of employing bullying tactics as any young child or teenager. If you suspect either yourself, or anyone else you know is on the receiving end of bullying from an adult, here are some suggestions on how to respond to them.

1. Remember this is not your fault. If you've been on the receiving End of bullying treatment from an adult, or another teen for some time it's possible you may be blaming yourself for how this person has reacted to you. However, this is not true. Everyone is responsible for how they choose to treat others. This can be a lot easier said than done. Particularly if the bully has aroused strong feelings of anger in you. However, a reaction such as anger will only prove to the bully that he/she has succeeded in getting to you - which is what they want. Bullies feed off negative emotions, because deep down in some way they feel inferior or insecure about themselves too, and it's only by making others feel bad that they can raise their self esteem. So remember, don't get angry. Reacting to a bully in anger is likely to only further encourage and possibly worsen their unwanted behavior towards you. The adult and older teen bully is a nothing more than a coward.

2. See if killing them with kindness helps. This doesn't always work. But, in circumstances when you haven't known the bully very long (for example, you've just been introduced to them at work, or school/college)it might. Often what inspires a bully to be nasty towards others is an assumption that their target is a threat towards them in some way, as well as an experience of a lack of kindness from others throughout their lives. By demonstrating that you don't intend harm towards them, and are willing to be friendly, this can encourage more positive responses from them. You might express anything from a friendly good morning 'hello' to an offer of help them with something. However, if after trying this 2-3 times they still continue with their negative behavior just stop this approach. It won't work on every bully, and being nice to them every time they choose to bully you is likely to send the message you are rewarding their behavior and finding it acceptable.

3. Try assertive responses against the bully. Examples of this could include assertive body language (looking the bully firmly in the eye while standing straight), an assertive tone of voice (clear and firm without sounding threatening). Try using an assertive choice of words such as "I've recently noticed signs that you're are trying to bully me, and want this behavior to stop." That said, choosing an appropriate assertive behavior will - to a certain extent - be dependent on the specific bullying situation. What might be effective in a work bullying situation might not work so well in a family or cyber bullying situation though.

4. If all else fails, then you must enlist somebody's help. This
might be a trusted colleague or supervisor (if it's a work
bullying situation) or a family relative or friend (if it's a
family bullying situation. If it's a high school or college
situation you should go straight to the principal or the dean of
the college to address the bullying. Finally, speaking to your
doctor is also an option, if you feel the situation is heavily
impacting your physical and/or mental health.

5. If you are being bullied regularly in a physical way. There is no option. Call the police. Make a report and don't hesitate to do this. If you must bring charges the do so. If it's a spouse,
boyfriend/girlfriend, acquaintance, worker at your job, or just
someone you know--and they get physical. Don't hesitate. It's your life the bully is playing with.


Before attempting these steps do some research on bullying. It's not always easy to tell the difference between what is bullying, and what might just be the result of somebody's temporary bad mood. This will also help give you valuable insight into reasons adult bullies decide to behave in this manner and various ways of handling them. Bully articles online and Wikipedia to begin with. These are good places.

Confide in someone you are close to. Whether it be a family member, partner, or close friend; don't be ashamed to tell them about what's going on. After all, close friends, family members and partners are there to support one another through tough times.

Consider counseling. Chances are you are experiencing strong negative feelings such as shame, anger, anxiety and depression as a result of the bullying. Counseling can be invaluable in helping to deal with these feelings

Try out some relaxation techniques. You might find this helps for managing stressful feelings throughout this time. Check out the related wikiHow category online.


Assertive behavior on your part can be very effective if used in the early stages of bullying. However, if the bullying has already been going on for a long time, it might not have the desired effects.
Sometimes the only thing to do in a bullying situation is to walk away.

A bullies range from someone you can easily avoid, to an organized criminal, or someone with a great deal of political power, or anyone who thinks they have it in for you for some reason. You may not be able to walk away, and may be forced to make an attempt to protect yourself from the person. Always ask yourself if there is a way to outflank the bully; that is, without confronting them head-on. Is there a way you can force them to back off by applying pressure elsewhere? Keep in mind possible adverse consequences down the road. For example, you may use alternative methods to get your adversary to back off, But, the consequence is that you have now made a permanent enemy out of a simple bully, with the possibility that they will up the ante when it comes time to serve out a cold dish of revenge. When dealing with such a person, who has some power over you, caution is the key. Sometimes you may have no choice but to appear to go along with their demands, as you build strength, connections, power, etc. in anticipation of being able to turn the tables on them. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.


1. If you started out as friends, read through all the messages you
have sent them to see how it turned mean between you. Maybe you
have become unfriendly to them without knowing it. There may still
be a chance to sort it out. Reply to ask them if they still want
to be friends, and ask them to talk it out with you.

2. If they are not your friend, do not reply! Don't give them
attention for being ugly. Just ignore them

3. If they still continue, tell one of your friends, or even a
trusted fellow co-worker. If you're in college tell the dean or
the head of the computer department. This will give you an outside
perspective to support you.

4. If you can block the bully, then do it fast.

5. Don't delete the messages. Because if this continues, you will
need proof to prove you are being cyber bullied. If they keep
sending you messages, check whether they are using the same
internet company. Phone the company up asking if they could give
them a warning.

6. If all that fails, change your email address and/or cell phone

7. Tell the cops. Or if you're an older teen, tell a parent.

8. Report the bully to their website.


Don't give them a reaction. That will only add fuel to a fire.

Don't reply to any emails/instant messenger or chat room conversations from a bully/harasser.

Be very careful of who you post your pictures, files, messages and Attachments to. Anyone can see them and you never know where they can land, and fall into the wrong hands (At work, your boss and IT staff can monitor and see everything.)

Don't assume a picture of someone is real. Remember that some pictures can be FAKE. For example: A picture of a pretty blonde 17 year old girl could really be a man in his 40s, 50s, 60s, etc.

Remember that some people do lie - for example: someone telling you that he/she is your friend, or potential boyfriend/girlfriend could really be a pervert or abuser. Be very careful who you trust, you never know these days who is honest and who is a liar. So be on your GUARD.

If you get any emails/instant messenger or chat room conversations from a bully/harasser, save them and print them off which can be used as evidence, and show these to your parents (if you are an older teen)and to the police.

Remember that bullying and harassment in this way IS A CRIME! You can always copy and paste an email/instant messenger or chat room conversation from a bully/harasser
onto a Word Document. If you can't do this on the chat room you're visiting, don't go there again.

Always tell someone trustworthy. They can guide and support you. If you have doubts about what they tell you, try someone else. Make sure you have tried everything you can before changing your email. Be very careful who you give your email address,
personal/private information to. NEVER give out personal/private information like your home address, telephone number, date of birth, name of school/work/ college/university, anything about family business and any sensitive/confidential information or/and any information that can trace you and your family to anyone without permission from your parents/guardians/teacher/boss/person in charge if you are an older teen. Always think how something might be used against you before
you talk to anyone you don't know.

If a bully/harasser bothers you on social networking sites, be it MSN, Instant Messenger, Bebo, Facebook, don't reply and go offline (if they persist, block them).

Remember that YOU are in control, don't let them win. Report them to the site administrator, copy and print their h
arassment and block them.

With all that said. How do you think bullying can be stopped or at least handled? It needs to stop.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

How Big Are Angel Wings and How Deep Is My Love? ♥

I'm not trying to lecture y'all on love buuuuut...LOL! Here goes.

Sifting through the devils lies, and what the good book says, I wonder just how big are angel wings? I ask myself this sometimes, when I look up toward Heaven and see the cerulean and azure hues behind the luminous orb of the sun. I watch and wonder as soft, billowy clouds float softly in the light of day gently taking on the appearance of those celestial wings on occasion. I wonder if I could reach for those wings, even though I'm only five foot four inches?

Taking care of my wonderful mother, who has been sick for some time, and is bound to a wheel chair now has caused me to realize that my being here eases her suffering. And hey, I can handle that! Because Love comes first. It hurts when some people I've met, friends, or even family become so snarky about my mother being in that wheel chair. And that hurts me more then anything. In my opinion, if someone can’t handle another person’s most deepest trials and tribulations, then that is not a friend, and most certainly not a loved one. I know, I know, you are probably wondering what do I mean by love… well… here I will break it down for you. I’m happy to do so! It’s my pleasure!

There's a miracle called friendship that dwells in the heart, you don't know how it happens, or when it gets started, but you know the special lift it always brings when you see those you call friends. And maybe you realize that friendship is one of the most precious gift’s life gives us. As for myself, the only way to be a friend is just to be one. There is no such thing as try, there is only do. You wouldn’t try and pick up a pencil would you? No, you would just do it.

Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. My Grandfather, Robert, when he was still alive, taught me that there are only three kinds of people in our lives. 1.) The every day people. You know, like the people you buy your gas for your car from, or your groceries, they are the ones who are randomly in and out of your life. 2.) The Poison People, these are people who are vultures and empty saviors. And whether you see it or not, eventually they wear you down by constant negative actions etc. etc. 3.) These are the most important of all. People who nurture you. Usually you can only count on one hand all the people who truly nurture you. I know I don't have more than a hand full. These are the people that make you smile, and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts to you. To me, that is the essence of Love.

There is a book I recommend to everyone I meet. It’s called 'The Path To Love', by Deepak Chopra. This book saved me time after time. Deepak Chopra taught me how to love myself, and love others again. And if I have to preach Love and Peace until I’m blue in the face to help this world and other people like Deepak Chopra, The Dali Lama, and so many others who are preaching love in an attempt bring this world together, or even save one life, I will. Why? Because Love comes first. See it’s all very simple, some people want to make Love out to be something it isn’t. They use the word in a dirty way like it's a common trash bag. lol.

I agree and respect that everyone has different definitions of love, sacrifice, etc. But, I feel like a lot of people spend too much time defining and talking about what these definitions are, instead of just grasping the concept love itself and just showing love and giving it from our hearts. So what if we have expectations and "conditions"? We are all humans, we're not perfect, it's only in an ideal world that we have "unconditional" love. In the strictest sense of the word, even parental love is conditional. But is such love a "lesser" kind of love? Is doing 100 loving and giving acts that are "conditional" less than 1 act of "unconditional" love? Just because someone doesn't love you the way you have defined love, doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have. Will you reject love (from others or even yourself) if it doesn't match up to your definition? Or will you just accept love for what it is, simple and from the heart. Not something pondered or for what ever your perception of the emotion means. And yes, love is an emotion.

"When I was a little girl, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage, and extremely burned toast in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his toast, smile at my mom, and ask me how my day was at school. I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that toast and eat every bite! When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad for burning the toast. And I'll never forget what he said to my mom: "Baby, I love burned toast." Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his toast burned.
He wrapped me in his arms and said, "Maria, your Momma put in a hard day at work today and she's real tired. And besides-a little burnt toast never hurt anyone!"

You know, life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people. Heh, Lord knows I'm not the best housekeeper, and I've been known to burn toast too! What I've learned over the years is that learning to accept each others faults -and choosing to celebrate each others differences are two of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship, with others.

All be it with friendship, family, co workers, neighbors, etcetera,
I've had to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of my life and lay them at the feet of my maker. Because, in my opinion,in the end, the supreme being is the only one who will be able to give you a relationship where burnt toast isn't a deal-breaker!

Understanding is the base of any relationship, like I said be it a husband-wife or parent-child or friendship!! I had to go half way around the block and back in life to learn a very important lesson.
"Don't put the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket, but into your own." My parents taught me about what real love is. They also taught me about Unconditional Love and True Love.

Unconditional Love~

Giving unconditional love requires you to love without any expectations. It seems difficult to only love and not demand anything in return in today’s world where so many are selfish and egotistic. But even in this world we see many examples of unconditional love, for example the love a mother gives to her child, the love between two life partners, and the love bestowed upon siblings. Even love given to the fallen stranger by lending a helping hand. To love unconditionally you will have to learn to sacrifice your self, your desires, and most importantly your ego. Let’s find out how to love unconditionally and give happiness to a person without demanding anything in return.

First of all you have to remember that you are not supposed to expect anything from the person you love. It’s true that love makes its way itself. When you love somebody with so much passion and ardor, it’s sure to come round in one way or another. But if somehow you don’t get as much as you give, don’t complain or argue. Always keep in mind that loving others and giving them everything you have will make you satisfied and happy with yourself.

You need to develop a strong will power to be able to love unconditionally. At some point in our lives we all demand some kind of love and want to express our own love for someone. Believe in the principle of giving more and demanding less. When someone asks you for a favor always be ready to give it. Never complain that you don’t have enough or you have other tasks to do. Set your priorities in such a way that everyone else comes first and your own demands come last.

When you love somebody unconditionally you want the best for that person. Think positively about them even if they make mistakes or do not return your feelings. Give them sincere advice about their future and other decisions. Always look around for the betterment of your loved ones without any envy on your part. If you have to sacrifice something of your own for them, don’t hesitate to do so. Only then you will truly be able to love unconditionally.
Remember that unconditional love is given without any expectations or limitations. You don’t define any scope of your love or that how long will you love a person. This is an eternal feeling which should be kept alive in all circumstances and all situations. Never lose hope and keep on loving people who are dear and close to you, only then you will be able to live a completely satisfied and emotionally balanced life.

True Love~

Ask and Love Will Be Given To You. So many times in our lives we ask someone for something. Ever since we were small children we had to ask to get want we thought we wanted, and once we received it (sometimes after considerable begging) we found relief for a few short moments, maybe somewhat longer if we were lucky.

Now, as adults we still ask for what we believe we need and sometimes we get it, and sometimes we do not; reacting according to what we believe a good outcome is for us. We have just found more tactful ways of asking and developed more complex coping strategies for handling the tough times when nothing we ask for seems to come to fruition.

A powerful antidote to this wanting, asking and reacting (all acts of the Ego) is to ask only for what we truly need. Well you say, "I already do that"; well you’re partially correct. The trouble is that you don't know what you really "need" if you did you would only ask for love as a result of your asking or actions. Can you really see the big picture? Love is Peace, And Peace is the result of turning the outcome of events over to the Spirits will. This is the only way to truly receive that which is real and is best for you in the short and long term.

Try the next time you let your mind/ego jump the gun to wanting a certain outcome because it is perceived as good, subjugate that belief and as for peace no matter what the outcome, than you ensure success.

True Love is Your Essence~

A common thing that you will hear people say is that they are looking for love. They do not realize it has already found them. In fact they were never without. Love is the manifestation of the eternal and the infinite. It is waiting to be discovered in each of us. We have in fact been building up heavy layers of ego related energy to cover it up from our experiencing it.

Our collective ego (culture) has created time and time has covered up our true nature. When I refer to time, there is practical time and psychological time. Practical time is used for meeting other people, scheduling appointments, attending shows etc.... Psychological time is when we think about past or future events and experience emotions around those events. This is a very common way that we punish ourselves about what could, would, or should have been or when we will find salvation. This salvation always comes in the form of thoughts about the future and how it will be better than what we are experiencing in the present.

Let me ask you a question. Have you ever ever experienced anything outside the Now? Will you in the future? Time is an illusion. The sooner you are able to free yourself from psychological time, the sooner you will be able to experience your true essence, love. At your core, you are true love. You were born into this world out of "no thing" and you will leave this world back to the same "no thing".

This is the truth, the way.

Watch your mind, stay attentive to your thoughts. See what they are saying but do judge or believe what they are saying. This is your ego, and it will rob you of the only moment you have had or will ever have. This Now moment is the eternal consciousness. It is who you truly are.

Experience True Love By Accessing the Now~

I have recently become quite inspired by the teachings of Deepak Chopra. As he would however quickly point out that the teaching and the taught are actually one, together becoming the teaching.
All you ever have is the now, there has never been nor will ever be an experience of life outside the eternal now. This is where you find Love. In present day society we are consumed by time, rarely if ever experience the present moment free from thinking. The irony is that time is an illusion (the past nor the future only exist in memory traces pointing to a past event or anticipating a future that will only be experienced in the now). Your egotistic mind creates your present "now" by either "comparing" it to the past or anticipating the future. Your present emotions are dictated by the interpretation of those either being "bad or good". This is madness, even though everyone accepts this way of being as "normal".

To experience true love, the key is to drop out of time and focus on the only true point the ever present "now". Your ego/thinking mind will fight you on this, it's survival is dependent on keeping you out of the "now".

There are many techniques such as meditation, yoga, sports, chanting etc.. Mine is prayer) that people utilize to become present but often once they move away from these activities the mind takes over again.
Love is inside you, it is limitless and eternal, it is God. Love and God are synonymous and can only be experienced in the now. The ego and love are opposed to one another, you are either serving love or ego, never both at the same time.

This is a radical shift, especially in western culture. It sounds simple but the actual practice is quite hard but the rewards of eternity and infinity (i.e. a return to God) make the practice worthwhile. God is here, NOW, our ego blinds us to his/here presence inside each of us.

If you are interested in exploring this philosophy further, once again I recommend you read 'The Path To Love' by Deepak Chopra as an introduction. 7 Karmic Laws is also a very inspiring book!

Hahaha Ok I think I’ve said enough for one night, just had to get this off my heart. If you are wondering where this is coming from, let’s just say a very special angel, she told me to write this. Thank you for taking the time to read this, it means so much. By the way, I hope I earn those wings someday!

Please feel free to comment, I will comment back! And remember

With all my Love and Supernatural. (Yes I believe in the supernatural, but that's another story for another time.)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Ghosts or My Imagination? My Creepy, Halloween Weekend Jog

It's Fall, the trees are slathered with shades of reds, oranges and golden yellow. I was taking my usual jog down Bulloch Blvd. past Sallie's Mimosa Hall home and onto the property of the haunted Bulloch Hall. Bulloch Hall was the home of President Theodore Roosevelt's mother, Mittie. It's said in the back of the house is a well that is haunted by a young girl who fell in, and one can hear her voice now and then. I know I have. Creepy as it sounds it was sort of a pathetic, whispered “Heeelp meeee,” then nothing more. I've always wondered if it was merely the breeze whispering through the trees back there, but I don't think so. I've also seen the black rocking chair on the great front porch begin to rock back and forth as I passed. No, I don't run fast enough to cause a strong breeze to move it. Besides, it sits up from the circular driveway where I jog. At night, in the summer time I've seen the porch light go off and on, with the claims that there is not a timer set to do that. I don't know but that's a little creepy too.

This weekend I jogged on my usual route, past Mimosa Hall and The Dolvin House, also known as Jimmy Carter's summer home. Emily Dolvin was president Carter's aunt. The two houses sit across from one another. At the end of the street I jogged onto the Bulloch property, then around the circular driveway and around Bulloch Hall. But, on my way back I glanced over at The Dolvin House, and saw a movement at the top window. This house is empty, and has been empty for a few years. I do know at night they keep a light on in the back of the house, but there is no caretaker living there. The house is for sale. I stopped jogging, and stood there watching. What ever it was, was still there and seemed to be watching me. I went closer and took out my cell phone. I snapped two pictures and when I looked, the first picture shows what appears to be someone sitting in the window. The second picture it appears there are two--what ever they are--sitting there. Ghosts? I think so. Roswell is known for it's ghosts and spirits in these pre-Civil War Antebellum homes. I've included the pictures below.

      First picture with apparition in the left window - one only

     Second picture with two apparitions in the left window

So I waved and they didn't wave back; I jogged onward. As I jogged down the street I turned around and did another jog by. They were gone. Whoever or what ever was there had left and the windows were clear and empty. Ooookay.

Another place I jog is by what is known by the town as The Creepy House. Supposedly the town Hangman who did the hangings over at the big, old oak tree in the town square lived there. After each hanging he and his buddies would go back to the house to get drunk and celebrate. It's said there was a young girl buried under the house after she was murdered, though no one has ever been able to find the evidence historically of this, and no one has dared go into the basement and dig around. Though, she's been seen standing by the open door leading under the house, crying. It's said once in a while an old, stern looking woman or an angry looking old man stand at the window and threaten anyone who makes a move to go inside. The place has been for rent for a long time. Previous business owners have had their items strewn around when they open the next morning, even after picking up things, and straitening them out the evening before. The last business renter had a beauty shop. She left screaming out the door when she opened up one morning, and something threw brushes, combs and a hot iron at her. It's been closed since then. I guess rumors abound. I took this picture last Saturday on my jog by the house. The old woman was standing in front of the window. I snapped the picture with my cell phone, she showed me some teeth and lifted her hand in a threatening way. The tree in front of the house is said to contain a spirit that watches over the house and its ghosts. It's said to be an evil tree. I don't know about that, but when I looked at the picture I saw the tree DID have a face. I don't remember seeing that face when I was there. One other thing, as I was ready to leave something pulled my hair. Not hard, but enough to make me jerk my head back a little. When I do jog back by that little house, I'm going to look at that tree again, but I won't stop, I'll just go on by.

     First picture of The Creepy House - apparition of an old woman in top window shaking her fist at me. Mom said it might be the sun's reflection, but trust me it's not.

Second picture of The Creepy House from the front and the evil tree - there's a face on it - apparition is still there but not real noticeable in this picture.
 So go figure. Ghosts, or just reflections in these pictures? There was nothing around to reflect these apparitions in the windows. Make your own deductions. I know I've made mine. Happy Halloween.   

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Few Young Adult Novel Guidelines

Tips For Writing for the YA/Teen Market

I recently went to a seminar on writing YA novels and thought I would share the information I gathered there with you. If you aspire to be a YA writer or have just delved into this popular genre of literature perhaps these few tips will be helpful. Over the next month I'll be sharing a few things I learned here on The Story Tree for you. Oh by the way, Mr. Story Tree is in his full Fall regalia right now and a new group of readers have gathered around him or climbed his branches to enjoy their novels.

Is the novel you're writing now or planning to write targeted for the middle-grade or young adults? Do you ever wonder what themes are appropriate? Can you use cuss words? What about sexual situations and how far can you go in writing these scenes?Here are some tips I learned to write for this age group.

Think about the Harry Potter series. These novels are about adventure, romance and mystery all taking place in a magical environment. On the other hand the Twilight series novels, just as popular, was also set in the same environment but geared for the older young adult. Even though both series are Young Adult novels with the same type of story lines, they are each as broad as a category can get with regard to maturity, sexual content, and violence. Here are some general guidelines I have been given for the YA ages, and I'll pass them on. Hopefully some of your questions will be answered.

Middle Grade Novels

  •  Written for ages 8-12. 
  •  Approximately 20,000-40,000 words, depending on publisher if you decide to go with one. 
  •  Any genre (mystery, adventure, humor, historical, contemporary, fantasy, etc.). 
  •  Most plot lines, characters, and settings are acceptable, but are geared to 10-12 year olds. Intense subjects     need to be handled skillfully, and may get bumped to an older category. 

Upper Middle Grade Novels
  • An emerging age category, picking up more serious middle grade books that aren’t quite YA. 
  • Written for ages 10-14. 
  •  Length can lean toward either Middle Grade or Young Adult word counts. 

Young Adult Novels
  •  Written for ages 12 and up. 
  •  Approximately 40,000 to 80,000 words, although there are exceptions on both ends. 
  •  Any genre (mystery, adventure, humor, historical, contemporary, fantasy, etc.). 
  •  Any subject matter, from light romance to high fantasy. 
  •  “Edgy YA” includes often taboo subjects such as sexuality, abuse, mental illness, etc. Some publishers actively look for these, some prohibit them. Indie writers can usually gage their own stories and release them at will. 
So as you can see, Young Adult reader ages are varied, but as time has gone by it seems the genre is enjoyed by those readers up to the age of 65 and above because the maturity level of writing in these books has changed. We must remember though as writers we are still setting the scenes primarily for the young adults. The younger portion of this age group, 8-12, often read novels that their parents will remember as teenage novels. But by the middle of the adolescent years, 12-14 and sometimes earlier, most teens are reading adult novels. They get pulled back to YA novels with stories that relate directly to their own concerns by stories that help them figure out their place in the world in a sensitive way, regardless of the environments within the novel itself, there are happenings that the younger age group can somehow relate to.

Young Adult Genres and Subjects 

 As a group, YA readers will devour any genre: adventure, romance, humor, mystery, historical, contemporary, fantasy, sci-fi, etc. These varied topics allow teens to explore unfamiliar aspects of their world and other cultures, bring bits of history to life, and allow them to experience things that they normally couldn’t. The underlying themes, regardless of genre or topic, allow teens to examine deeper issues in a safe way: for instance what their role in life is, the difference one person can make upon their life, the importance of relationships, coping with tragedies of any sort, etc. The younger set of YA readers can cope with scary subjects, but usually only at a distance—such as, the main character’s friend is doing drugs or has gotten pregnant, but not the main character. Thus allowing the younger teen to see how the main character handles their friends situation. For instance, I always looked at the novel White Oleander as a YA novel, but I don't believe a younger reader on the lower range of YA age scale can read it and relate to its story line. Whereas stories like Harry Potter and Twilight, because of their paranormal, magical content are realistically less confrontational to a young adult.

Edgy YA

 When formerly taboo subjects are handled with an intense perspective, it is considered Edgy YA. There are no forbidden subjects here, but they are written with sensitivity and care, not gratuitously. These novels are aimed at older teens. Instead of a friend or acquaintance having issues, the main character is the one being abused, cutting, considering suicide, etc., or it’s a family member or best friend of the main character. The viewpoint is very close, the bond and introspection and questioning are strong. Overall, teens can identify keenly with the character’s feelings, if not the situation.


The exact age of a YA character isn’t as important as the need for the age to fit the character. High school freshmen will act, think, and relate much differently than seniors. The most important requirement for your characters is that they are real. Their language, relationships, worries, hobbies, etc., must be exactly right for the person you have created. The second most important thing is that your story is written about the character and his or her experience and growth, not about the theme you have chosen. Just remember this, if you write the story well, the theme will come through.

Length and Style

YA novels generally run 40,000-85,000 words, but you’ll find novels on either side of that. Write the story in the length it takes to tell it, and then check submission guidelines if you are submitting the novel to a publisher. If you are an indie author it's up to you. Just remember the attention span of most young adults ends around 70,000 to 75,000 words. Thus the YA novel series has become popular. A little here, more there and voila you have a series whereby the young adult can follow at their leisure.

There are a few vocabulary restrictions for this age group but don't get too carried away. Keep the words fairly simple. The youth of today don't want to be running to the computer to look up a word or five every chapter. Watch out for stereotypes in your descriptive and narrative words. The acceptability of profanities and obscenities is determined by the age level and topic, whether it is necessary for the character to use them, and by the editor’s/publisher’s preference. One thing I can advise stay away from the 'F' word and a few other sexually offensive words that describe body parts. Those words are not necessary. Unfortunately the YA groups hear them in real life environments. If your novel is about a real life experience just use/find another term. Okay enough of the 'bad word' lecture.

YA stories are usually written in first or third person (I said or he said), but there are some successful novels written in second person present (you say). Again, it will depend on your style and the voice of your character.

This brings us to sexual content. Kissing is good, cuddling is good. Doing the actual deed (as kids now days call it) is not recommended. Once can allude to it, but never use graphic words to describe sexual scenes, and if possible stay away from the actual act itself if you can. The youth of today get enough exposure to sex on television, in movies and listening to everyday talk among some of their peers. Lovey dovey is good, Pokemon in the bed is not...


Before you begin writing a YA novel read a large number and wide variety of YA novels and analyze them. Second, write the best novel you can. Third, study publishers’ guidelines and novel catalogs, and submit to houses whose needs match your particular story. Also, look at the Kindle ratings on and read about the novel description. Many of the Indie Author novels range from $.99-2.99 in price and can give you a good idea or what YA novels are selling within the top 100 range.

So good luck on wiritng your YA novel and I hope this has answered a few questions for you. I'll be posting a few other things regarding the YA genre in the future. Right now I'm writing a YA series myself and I know the seminar and this information was helpful to me. Now go forth and Write ON!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Stress ~ A Humorous View ~

Recently I went to dinner with some friends.  One of them is a motivational speaker and as we were sitting at the table discussing stress, setting and reaching goals, and how to deal with life in general, she smiled and held up a glass of water.  The water line was at the middle of the glass and of course we just knew she was going to ask us the classic question "Is this glass half full or half empty?"  But, she fooled us when she merely asked, "How heavy do you think this glass of water is?"

We all looked at one another with an expression of humor, a bit baffled, I may add.  Our answers were anywhere from 6oz. to 20oz.

She waited patiently for us to answer then replied. "Actually, the exact weight doesn't matter. It really depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, then no problem, right? If I hold it for an hour, I'm likely to have a muscle ache in my left arm.  If I hold it for a day, I'll probably end up in the Emergency Room of the nearest hospital. But, to make my point, regardless of how long I hold it, it's the same weight, only the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes." She smiled at us then nodded and continued, "And that's how it is with stress.  Think of stress as a heavy burden. If  we carry our burden around all the time, no matter how small, or big for that matter, sooner or later our burden becomes increasingly heavy, and we won't be able to carry on."    

She stopped speaking for a moment to let us all digest what she had just told us before continuing.

A burden is like this glass of water, we have to put it down for a while, and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden - holding stress longer and better each time we practice this.  So, in the early evening we really should practice to put all of our burdens down. We need to lean to not carry them through the evening and into the night, but rather to pick them up again tomorrow.

She finally put the glass of water down then reiterated, "Whatever burdens you're carrying now, let them down for a moment. Relax, pick them up later after you've rested. Life is short. Enjoy it and the now 'supposed' stress that you've carried around is conquered!"

We were quiet for a while, I suppose taking in what she said, and I guess looking rather befuddled.  This caused her to laugh and she left it with this. "Here are twenty things about life that are basically true. I'll email them to you so the next time you're stressing out about not meeting a goal, a deadline or just life in general pull it up and read.  Trust me, something in that list will make you chuckle and lighten your load. I hope!" She grinned the proceeded with the following list:

1.)  Accept the fact that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue!

2.)  Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

3.)  Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

4.)  Drive carefully.  It's not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.

5.)  If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

6.) If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

7.) It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

8.) Never buy a car you can't push.

9.) Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.

10.) Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

11.) Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.

12.) The second mouse gets the cheese.

13.) When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

14.) Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

15.) You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

16.) Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.

17.) We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have  weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.

18.) A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

19.) Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you today.

20.) It was I, your friend!

I printed these out and keep them close to my desk so I can look at them now and then.  Thank you Caroline for sharing this with us at dinner the other night, and allowing me to share it with my friends out there in blog land.

Go forth and have a beautiful and productive day and know I Love Y'all.  Hope I helped, and made you smile.!!

8-) ♥  

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sample Sunday - Another branch on The Story Tree!

One of the many branches of The Story Tree belongs to my dear friend and author, M.d. Christie. Today she is revealing her book cover and a small blurb about her new book The Sight.  This book is the first release in the series called The Glamour Series, and will be revealed on November 1, 2011 by 4 Corers Press.  Please check it out, and stop by to say hello to M.d.!

Ever since the night of her Parents Disappearance eight years ago; 17 year old Ella St. John has known she was different.

The CREATURE… did he take her parents that night, or was it a delusion?

FLASHBACKS… Keep her from living her life.

AUNT SAGE… Keeps secrets, does she know more than she lets on?

The sudden feeling of BEING WATCHED…. What does it all mean?

When Ella St.John Heads home from her shift at the Pink Java Cafe, she hardly expects to be attacked. Much less by the same creature responsible for her parents mysterious disappearance eight years earlier. This is Ella's first encounter with a dark creature of Murumendi; but it certainly won't be her last. Within moments Ella's life as she knows it is ripped away, forcing her to discover who and what she really is. Will she be able to handle the truth?
The Sight Book One of The Glamour Series will take you on a Fantastical Journey of Love, Loss, and the Battle between Good vs. Evil.


 Coming Midnight November 1, 2011 during the Witching Hour of Samhain 

Want more? Click HERE to read the Prologue!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sugar and Spitfire!

When I blog, I like to think I'm blogging for everyone ~ readers, other writers, other bloggers and the public in general because that often affects what kind of blog I write.

I really don't like to be told what to write. I think of myself as a free spirit so it's hard for me to do a hop-a-long-blog thing where I answer someone elses questions, or support someone elses books or review because someone asked me to. I would rather do that of my own volition! That's not saying I don't go to blogs where others have reviewed books or go read said questions etc. But it's just me and how I am. If I'm asked a question I answer to the best of my ability and also with regard to how much information on said question I wish to reveal, especially if it's a personal question. Does all that make sense? And is it so “politically wrong” to feel this way? In oher words I'm not a follow the leader type person. I'm a dance to my own tune kind of girl.

I used to be the type of girl who had free reign to be inappropriate and silly and sometimes to vent and complain about anything I want because who cares? But not anymore. I don't like to hurt peoples feelings nor be thought of as a negative, bitchy type person. But then again because I am my own spirit some may look at me that way.

It seems now I have so much to think about and say. I want to talk about my path goals as a writer. I want to talk about how grateful I am for my readers and some of the really inspirational things they say to me in messages on Facebook or on Twitter. I don't get a lot of fanmail yet but maybe someday I will.

I really wish I could talk about my books and the things I have coming up but for some reason I dont feel I can because in this day and age it seems there is always someone who takes the idea and runs with it. Then there are times when I just want to talk about the latest movie I've seen or the latest book I've read but then do people really care about that? Is it appropriate to talk about those things in my blog? Well I think so because truly this blog is about me and about what I do which is write books and also some music AND watch movies and read. But on this blog, The Story Tree I'll just be talking mainly about books and things that have to do with them. WHICH by the way have you read Water for Elephants written by Sara Gruen ? I can't wait to see the movie which is coming out today!! Now right there is an example where I can talk about books and movies!! YAY!!

To define myself I write books, music and lyrics. I'm so greatful for all the ability to connect with others in this  personal way. I've read more books than I can probably ever write and not written as many songs as I would like to. I know people want to see characters and read stories that they've never heard before and I'm going to atempt to achieve this. I'm very humbled and thankful to those who have benefited from the words I write and the music I have created. I want to thank you all.

Of course being a writer is not all I am. I'm a daughter, a sister a great grand daughter a friend and am partial to cats. I still live at home. I take care of my disabled mother who can't walk and isn't eligible for disability because she quit her wonderful job with the government to take care of me and not because I HAVE to but because I WANT to. She has given so much to me and it is the least I can do for her. Soon my father is to have more surgery. Five years ago he had open heart surgery, a quadruple bipass and we all lived through that. Now he has to have more surgery in May so I'm going to be on double duty. I do have a sister here to help out sometimes but not always. So this all may drag me down time wise with my writing but family to me comes first and always will. It bothers me to read or hear about others complaining about their families. If you don't like it then either deal or get out. I guess that sounds rude and cruel but good grief are we not the true benefactors of our own destiny? I just tell others to first look at the good. If the good outweighs the bad then stick with it. Don't over vent if you do then seek counseling. Oh well that's just me.

When I'm not doing things around the house I live on the computer. I'm always writing and editing, trying to answer emails or keep up with Facebook and Twitter. So far so good but maybe not as much as I would like. I am so, so grateful for life but I'm truly overwhelmed sometimes. I still haven't figured out how to manage my time which is ridiculous. But I'm getting there.

I can't do and be everything everybody wants me to do all the time. I can't have it all I realize that, but if I can make a decent living by my books and music then that would be good. I'm going to give it a try and see where it takes me. I'm not a fame or attention whore or a me me me look what I did bragadocia kind of person I can't be everything to everyone. I can only be me, and I will always try to do the best I can and do right by everybody I come across and treat people with respect.

Right now I'm working on trailers for my books using Maya. I've just learned how to use Maya which a dear friend gave to me a while back. I'm pretty proficent at photoshop though not as good as Phatpuppy who rocks. So I'm messing with book covers. I don't think I did such a bad job on the book cover for my book For The Love Of Cyprus. But then tha'ts just me. I can do better.

So I just wanted to say all of this so you can get to know me, Khole and a few things that make me click. I will be writing things of interest to some in this blog now and then but not rambling or answering questions that don't interest me nor I think will interest others. Does that sound bad?

I hope to be able to relate helpful things and items of interest in these pages for you, the reader's, enjoyment. Now you have a little more insight to me. So have a great day and enjoy what ever it is you're doing or working on. If you get frustrated take a break and count your blessings then go back to what you're doing. Remember, love one another.

Much Love ~ Khloe <3

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday Blog Hop #2 - Favorite Place To Write

Welcome to the Writer’s Follow Friday Blog Hop! Not sure if you qualify? If you have a blog to add, guess what, you’re a writer! So check out the rules, grab the link and join the hop! We’re small for now, but we hope to continue to grow.

Please join in in welcoming Liz Schulte from Bat Country with this week’s featured question.

Some people like to do it in the office. Others prefer it in bed. Some people like it on the dining room table. Get your mind out of the gutter, I'm asking where you like to write!
I have a window I look out upon when I write that has a wonderful view and I never know what each day will bring.  That window looks out upon a rugged back yard filled with nature and the scene of a mountain.  Once in a while I look up and can see the chipmunks scampering around or the cardinals in the tall bush aside of a lattice fence in their nest, feeding their babies.  Sometimes I just look out at the small mountain known around here as Sweat Mountain and daydream about ideas for my books. This is a picture of Sweat Mountain, my view from the window.

In the evening the possums and raccoons come by but I don't feed the raccoons because it's not a good idea.  I do feed some of the baby possums though and if there's food left over then the raccoons eat it up.  Look here isn't this cute? Baby Possum lol!

Now one day I was writing and it was sort of misty out as it had been raining.  I was really into what I was writing and I felt something staring at me.  I looked up and almost jumped out of my skin.  There staring at me was a deer family! I was shocked and mesmerized at the same time. People, I've never really seen a wild deer that close before except in a wild life zoo out in Stone Mountain. There was even a cute little baby deer.  

Recently I've been working on the first book of a paranormal trilogy and it's been raining for what seems like days.  So much that if Noah's Ark floated by I'd think nothing of it ( because I know Sweat Mountain would stop that ol' Ark right in it's path lol ) So this is the view I've been given many a day and to me it looks like I'm up in the sky writing with nothing but trees and my house.

Spooky but beautiful huh? Well it's not always all misty like that but when it is then we just say we're up in the clouds for a while.  At night when the full moon comes around this is the view from that same window so serene and quiet. I see the moon and the moon sees me. :-) The picture below was the Super Moon in March.

So yes, this is my favorite place to write is in front of the back window where nature comes to me and gives me the best it can for where I live here in the state of Georgia. Soon the hummingbirds will come around and as always I'll keep on writing and watching while they fight over the sugar water I give them in the feeder.

Y'all have a beautiful day where ever you write but most of all remember to Write ON!! Much love xo 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Follow Friday For Writers

Elizabeth Sharp has started a new way for all of us to connect and network. If you have a blog then you are a writer and are welcome to join the fun. The rules are simple.

1) (Required) You must follow my blog
2) (Required) You must follow the guest poster featured in the blog hop post.
3) You must add you name to the link bar.
4) You must copy these rules, the hop link and the featured question with your answer on your own blog. This blog serves as a place for new followers to say hi.
5) Follow, follow, follow. This is about networking, people, making connections with people in your community. So talk to us. We don't bite!
6) If someone stops by, says hi and follows you, the polite thing to do is follow back.
7) Comment here and introduce yourself and you just might find a new follower or two.

So the question for the day is this:

What inspired you to start writing?

I've written since I was a little girl I think or at least learned my ABC's and how to project them into words.  I started out with a book called  "A Child's Dream" which I think was probably 42 pages long.  It was complete with pictures and about all the dreams of children for the big 'when they grow up' question.  I think because people used to ask me that question and I heard the 'already grown ups' ask that question I decided to write about it. Oh yes and I even interviewed other children at my daycare, the park and the neighborhood crew.  I still have that book and a few others but it was finding that book after years of it being packed away that really peaked my interest in novel writing.  It wasn't bad for a 2nd grader.

As time evolved when I was younger I always wrote poetry and small diddies as I call them about life, love, and anything I could think of then at 8 years old I learned to play the guitar.  Well really it was a violin but my brother caught me playing it in my bedroom several times like a guitar and so my parents bought me CBAG. What is CBAG ?  Well it's what I fondly now refer to as Crappy Black Acoustic Guitar because you see I really really really wanted a black guitar with a butterfly on it.  Well at least it was black and now its scratched and a bit worn from use but still playable.  So again I was writing song lyrics and ideas for songs along with the teenage angst of living life, love and the pursuit of who knows what. So I began my first book "The World Of ATortured Rock Star".  I know I was a teenager but that book is now on my computer and someday just someday it may come to complete fruition.

The inspiration for my first completed and self-published novel came from my parents and some of their life incidents and experiences especially with reference to the Island of Cyprus.  I'm a Greek Cypriot and in 1974 way before my time there was an invasion of the island of Cyprus or some call it a war.  During that time people were separated, some in terrible ways, from one another. That's what I wrote about death, love and honor are what my protagonist Zoe learns about and experiences in this book.  And, that death is not always the winner or is it?  So yes that inspired me to write this particular book and though I don't say too much about it here I enjoyed writing the book and yes when I read it, it still makes me laugh and cry. And no I don't look at my books as my babies but a work of joy and more joy when they are completed. By the way the incident with Cyprus has never seen resolved and the Turkish still occupy 40 percent of the island to this day displacing and taking homes from those lands. Just saying.

So those are the things that drove me to write in answer to today's question.  I hope it will suffice and you don't find it too boring.

Have a beautiful day and Write ON!! *big smile*

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Better Safe Than Sorry Royalty Free Pictures and Videos For Book Covers & Trailers

Recently a lot of people have been making their own book covers and I must say doing a bang up job! There was recently an issue regarding the use of a copyrighted picture by one author.  For one thing you can go look up a legally filed copyright here    if you know the name of the artist.  Second of all, look for a copyright by the artist on their work as many inscribe their own copyright on the site you are looking at. Here's another site with information about Copyright and Fair Use Information .  Then, here is a site Understanding Copyright Free and Stock Photography at which may be helpful.
Oh, and here is another helpful site to check out :

Here are some Free Stock Photo sites to check out but it is clearly written - Some of the free stock photo sites offer copyright free stock photos for any use but please always check the image licence as you may have to provide a credit or link back to the photographer should you choose to download the free stock photos for your own use. 

Check out these sites perhaps they will help with not only book covers but trailers which I will talk about briefly in a minute:  

This is one of my favorite and many times you can write the artist and tell them what you would like to use their art for ex: book cover or trailer and tell them you will credit their art if they wish and many times they will let you use it.  So good luck  

In Renderosity you must join as with some of the sites above but it is free on this site and on most of the sites above I believe. It is full of many kinds of pictures and art genres under Galleries then click what ever kind of genre such as Fantasy, Horror, Portrait or just type what you're looking for in search.  I usually choose Poser in the select a gallery on the left.  There are various ways to search once you get used to it or just look at the galleries. It's an awesome place.

So good luck on making your book cover or finding the right art or having one of your friends or associates make it for you just make sure and give them the credit. :-)


I've found out that book trailers are important too though I didn't know that a while back.  So there are also royalty free videos out there and on You Tube also. Just search in your browser and read up on them before you attempt to use any for your trailer.  Here is also a good site I found that teaches you how to make a book trailer at least it looks knowledgeable and I will probably use it:    

There are plenty of other sites on this if you just type <How to make a video book trailer> in your browser.

Also there is a really awesome company out there that makes book trailers for Authors with publishing deals and though they are expensive $250.00 -  2,500.00 (yikes) they offer a good set of trailers they have done recently and in the past.  They are known as Circle Of Seven Productions and they do everything from soup to nuts meaning simple trailers to Marketing and distribution of said trailer. Their site can be found here:  

Now they also have a page of videos they have made by Genre, Publishers and Genres. I'll list the page for Genres here and you can choose as you wish.  

Well I hope this helps with a few things. I know there is a lot of information here but take your time and come back to check.  This blog isn't going anywhere. I wish you all good luck in your writing, publishing, book covers and book trailers. And as a final question from me how many of you have made book trailers yet or are going to? :-)

Now Write ON!!