Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Whisper So Loud

In honor of Earth Day, I wrote this poem. With the photographs and nature sounds, the impact is much more poignant. I delayed launching the video because EVERY day should be Earth Day.





Sounds provided by http://naturesoundsfor.me
THE best place to find nature sounds to soothe the soul. There is an equalizer where you can switch sounds and music around to customize it so that you can listen to it while getting your Zen on. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Rendezvous



© Brianna Lee McKenzie 2014


She held me today. She caressed my back as she opened me up and unveiled my innermost thoughts. Her eyes filled with passion as they danced adoringly over me, drinking in the very essence of my soul.

She gave me her full attention. Not like normal, when she concentrates on her husband, or her kids or that dog.  

No, today was different with her. She laid on the sofa with me, a crackling fire kept time with the soft music while a soothing glass of wine relaxed her tense muscles.  As the gentle melody surrounded us, we journeyed to where she had never been before. Exhilaration was the catalyst for an inspiring experience that she would never forget.

It had been a long time since we’d been together and it was just like the first time. As the evening progressed, we explored emotions and sensations that we had never felt before. To my utter satisfaction, she was mesmerized by the intensity of our encounter.  The excitement of our journey was like an ascent into the rapture of ardent pleasure, which propelled us higher and higher until our ultimate reward was realized.

Suddenly, a tear made a shallow river down her flushed cheek and she pulled away, but only for a moment.  Then, a languid sigh escaped her pouting lips and she stared at me with more love than I had ever known.  Finally, a satisfied smile crept across her face and she held me lovingly to her breast.  She murmured the words that I had wanted to hear with every fiber of my soul.

“That was the best,” she whispered through tears of elation. “That was the best book I’ve read in years!”  




Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Do Not Feed the Trolls!



Pardon me while a wee bit of me Irish comes out.  I found this petition through Ann Rice’s Facebook Fan Page and will definitely sign it. I encourage you to do the same, in support of authors who have been bullied by trolls who have nothing better to do than to downgrade the work of an author who had spent countless hours writing, re-writing,  and editing a book that they had the insurmountable courage to upload to Amazon. 

To be an author, one places a part of his/her soul onto a virtual carousel for all to enjoy.  But, for some, it becomes a chopping block where pieces of their book are ripped and torn, nit-picked and spewed upon by the vicious opinions of those who dare not reveal their true identities.  Although I have received such one-star blotches, I have not been stalked (yet) by these despicable monsters as some in this article have.

This hatred has to stop!  Click HERE to join the thousands of others who have signed the petition to end this type of cyber bullying.  

As my Irish ire grew while penning this post, I found myself writing a poem that sums up my perception of why these people are compelled to review with anonymous animosity.  While the poem is somewhat funny, it in no way diminishes the severity of the anguish that trolls inflict on others. If anything, it brings those evildoers down to size.

To truly feel the essence of the limerick, you must recite it in your best Irish accent.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Pinch Me! Please!



Someone pinch me, I think I’m dreaming. If I’m not, then I have wonderful news!  My short screenplay has been optioned by a production company. If all goes well, filming will begin soon and “Emoticon” will be presented in several film festivals.

I can’t tell you how excited I am about this new development in my career as a writer.  I have come so far from author wannabe to screenwriter.  After so many rejection letters, agent turn-downs and broken promises, my work will now be visualized by the masses.

I suppose that I should retrace my steps for readers who don’t know about the path that brought me to this point and fill in some blanks for those of you who have followed my journey. In 2011, I announced that my novel “Enchanted Heart” had been picked up by a small publisher.  That was a very exciting moment for me. I even wrote about it here. Unfortunately, the publisher had some technical difficulties, which I will not go into because I refuse to create negativity for anyone. Karma, I hear, is like a fire-breathing dragon and I won’t burn bridges or my backside by recanting a story that is better left untold.  All I will say is that the company has gone out of business and the print version of the book is no longer available except as print-on-demand and left-over stock. Sad, I know. I get teary-eyed whenever I think of it.

But, I've moved on. And so has my career.  I would never have imagined that I would write a screenplay until I wrote “L’Inked”, an adaptation of my thriller/romance novel.  My friends who had read the novel commented that it would make a great movie. But I chuckled and said that I had no clue how to present the idea to a screenwriter.  Then one day I was perusing Facebook for interesting subjects and I came across a conversation between two fiction authors who had stepped over the line from novelist to screenwriter. I was intrigued. I asked questions. I got answers, answers that led me to obsessively research the process.  I spent days searching the Internet for insight, guidance and reassurance. I went to the library and checked out books on the subject, made notes, made promises to myself…and then I made excuses as to why I was not qualified to write screenplays.

But Pamala Hall, one of my friends on Facebook who is not only a screenwriter and producer who owns LionHawk Productions, but is also, a very prolific woman whose inspiring words motivated me to take that first step.  Seeing her posts every day gave me the courage to not only dream but to, in her most encouraging words, “Soar!”

So, I downloaded a free screenwriting program and off I went, climbing higher and higher on that caffeine-induced endeavor that we authors call writing. The first draft was finished after three days and, I have to tell you that mixed with the excitement of the accomplishment was a myriad of emotions.  Relief, exhaustion and utter disbelief that I had actually written a script were among them.  But most of all, I felt lost.  I was overwhelmed by the need to continue that addictive activity. I was having withdrawals!  It was as if my mind was craving that creativity, that focus, that feeling of flying high above a world that I alone could construct!

The urge to practice this newfound art spurred me to write my short screenplay “Emoticon”.  This five-page family drama took only a few hours to write and I immediately sent it to another producer friend of mine who said she liked it, which gave me the courage to list it on InkTip.com where screenwriters pitch their wares.  I couldn’t afford to list my feature screenplay “L’Inked” but it was free to list short scripts, so I entered the pitch into their database in September.  In December, I got the email that a producer was interested in filming it!  On Christmas Day, I signed the release for Trifecta Motion Pictures to option the script for six months.

Now, let me explain.  An option means that the film company has exclusive rights to film the screenplay. It doesn’t mean that the film is guaranteed to actually be produced.  I know, I know.  I tell myself every day not to get excited until the big screen blares my name in the credits.  But, I am proud of myself for getting this far this fast!  Let me bask in the fantasy for a while (or at least for six months). Update: I got an email from Dwayne and shooting will begin in a few weeks!

Meanwhile, I also wrote a feature film screenplay that I titled “Last Chance”.  This one took a little longer because of research and character development.  But I finished it and then put it aside while I dabbled in another thriller, which is still in the outline stage.  Then, I revised, rewrote and edited until I thought that “Last Chance” had a chance in a contest.  So, with high hopes, I entered it.  But it did not make the semi-finals. So, it is back up for grabs! Read the log line here

The good news is, eyes will be seeing my work and my talent will be noticed by producers and management agencies.  Hopefully, some day, mine will be a household name.  If not, at least I can say that I took that step into a new realm of creativity.  For now, I’m just going to SOAR!        

Thursday, November 7, 2013

With Love to Our Veterans and Loved Ones Lost




On this Veteran's Day, I would like to say a huge "Thank You" to those who sacrificed unconditionally so that I can write from my heart freely, I mean, literally...FREELY. Without you and other precious lives like you, I would not be able to express myself in words that flow like a river of emotions from deep within my soul.  With the gift of "Freedom of Speech", I scribe these words:

Because of you, I can dance until morning, wear a miniskirt or lipstick, look beautiful and feel beautiful, without fear of reprisal. I can dream of being famous and make that dream come true or I can languish in the comfort of anonymity because your name will be forever etched in History. I can educate myself until I can't contain any more knowledge, useful or otherwise, because you defended my right to do so. I can choose a church or I can choose no church at all, because of your service to a country that was formed with God as her guardian, yet one that offers freedom of religion. I can praise my government or complain about it without fear of retribution because of amendments to the Constitution, written laws that confirm that America is continually evolving, and does so in order to serve each and every one of its citizens. And to those citizens who leave their beloved country to fight for freedom of all who deserve it, I honor you, today and for the rest of my life!

In 1998, I wrote a poem and put it on the Internet without my name attached because I feared that I didn't have the talent to write anything worth reading. But it seems that several websites have included it in their tribute to our veterans and to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. I am honored and flattered, but now, I am claiming my poem, with flaws and all, so that those who served my country, OUR country, will know how much I appreciate every step that you took on foreign soil and every moment that you spend on American soil poised to protect that which I have sometimes taken for granted but will forever be grateful.

In Your Honor
By Brianna Lee McKenzie © 1998

Unselfishly, you left your fathers and your mothers, 
You left behind your sisters and your brothers. 
Leaving your beloved children and wives, 
You put on hold, your dreams your lives.

On foreign soil, you found yourself planted 
To fight for those whose freedom you granted. 
Without your sacrifice, their cause would be lost 
But you carried onward, no matter the cost.

Many horrors you had endured and seen. 
Many faces had haunted your dreams. 
You cheered as your enemies littered the ground; 
You cried as your brothers fell all around.

When it was over, you all came back home, 
Some were left with memories to face all alone; 
Some found themselves in the company of friends 
As their crosses cast shadows across the land.

Those who survived were forever scarred 
Emotionally, physically, permanently marred.
Those who did not now sleep eternally 
Neath the ground they had given their lives to keep free.

With a hand upon my heart, I feel 
The pride and respect; my reverence is revealed 
In the tears that now stream down my upturned face 
As our flag waves above you, in her glory and grace.

Freedom was the gift that you unselfishly gave 
Pain and death was the price that you ultimately paid. 
Every day, I give my utmost admiration 
To those who had fought to defend our nation.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Cliffhanger



Before I wrote L’Inked, I had always composed sweet romantic stories where I would take the reader up to the point of virtual bliss and then I transitioned to the next scene with prolific prose. To me, it was not unlike a portrait of a beautiful woman who was dressed in clothes that hid the most intimate parts and it was up to the readers, or the admirers of the portrait, to peel back the layers in their imaginative minds. And that was risqué enough for me.

But after seeing the attention that Fifty Shades of Grey received, my son asked me why I didn’t write a book like that. I told him that I would never write about BDSM but I that could attempt to write an erotic novel. I toyed with the idea, hovering for some time on that diving-board of doubt, before I finally made myself vault right into the deep end.

All I had to do was to take that proverbial step over the precipice of rising literary ecstasy and describe the scenes in full, provocative detail in which the characters triumphed in a wide range of exotic, erotic experiences. For me, it was simply one more summit to surpass.  But, it wasn’t as difficult as I’d thought it would be.

I wrote the book, complementing  it with as many carnal components as I could without compromising the plot, and I dedicated it to my son. If he had not encouraged me to write such an exhilarating example of the sensual relationship between a man and a woman, I may never have stepped over that cliff.

And after I finished the novel, I began to receive compliments about it. My readers said that they were “sucked into the story” and that the sex scenes only brought the characters closer together, binding them both physically and emotionally. You, too, will be ecstatically amazed that Marc and Cassie balance their challenging struggle to remove the curse that the Voodoo Queen placed on them with exciting love-making that will “blow your mind”.

Many of its readers also commented that the book would make a great movie. So, after lots of research (and plenty of procrastination), I adapted it into a screenplay. This was another new adventure that I postponed because of my lack of confidence in my ability. But this time, after revving myself up with reassurances, I hit the air running and had the first draft finished in a mere three days. Again, it was not as hard as I had thought it would be.

My next giant jump will be to pitch the screenplay to potential producers, directors and investors. Hopefully, I’ll have an agent to assist me. But first, I’ll have to pitch it to an agent. (Oh my!) I’ve put this off for months, still held back by both the fear of failure and the anxiety of success. I have stretched my leg out a few times, but have quickly retracted it. Now, I must take a deep breath and soar off that cliff, knowing that, whether it’s a crash dive or a smooth touchdown, landing is inevitable. And, I know that bolting forward is imperative because the bluff of uncertainty is even more terrifying than the leap of faith.

Read an exhilarating expert from L’Inked here 

Buy L’Inked here


Monday, March 11, 2013

Write Me a Miracle



 I’ve written a short story about miracles and things that only God has the power over. And yet, as an author, I have a power that few mortals possess. In my imaginary world, I can create characters, make them fall in love, fall out of love, come to some disastrous end or I can bless them with a miracle that will change their fictional lives.
 In my latest short story, I have created a child that possesses the power to perform miracles. It is a controversial concept, I know, but it is one that, in my humble opinion, needs to be written, to be read and to be believed.
 Why can’t mortals make miracles happen, I ask myself? And then, I look at my children and I realize that I was a part of their creation, the miracle of their births, the miracle of their lives and the miracle of their legacies. I am Mother, Healer of booboos and broken hearts, Mind reader and Finder of all things lost. I, a lesser being, a mere mortal, am a miracle worker. I had the power to mold my children into decent adults, a feat that most parents endeavor to accomplish.
 So, why can’t a child, one of God’s blessed babies, be a conduit to His great works? This is the theme to my short story, which I have named “Grace of God”. Why can’t Grace be a miracle worker at the tender age of five? She won’t understand her power and yet, deep in her tiny heart, she knows that she is connected with a higher being, an entity that controls her life and those around her. How will Grace confront, or accept, her newly found ability? How will she, at that young age, realize that she has the power to heal, to change lives, to transform the world? These are questions that I had to ask myself and then answer with a riveting, heart-warming story that will transform my readers’ lives. I have the power to create a world that not only affects my fictional characters, but one that will essentially affect those who step into the realm of my creation. I invite you to enter into a world that I have manifested, the world of my progeny, “Grace of God”. Her world will be transformed…and, I promise you, so will yours. Read the short story HERE for US or Here for UK FREE May 23!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Happy Valentines Day! Enter to win my contest!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It is almost Valentine’s Day.  I hope that you have a sweetheart to share the love with.  If not, curl up with a romantic book and find love in the words of a Romance Novel.  There is nothing as heartwarming as a book filled with the romantic gestures of a strong yet sensitive male character.  Might I suggest Enchanted Heart or Catch a Shooting Star?  Both are Historical Romance novels with a western flair.  If you are in to Contemporary Romance and action/adventure, you might like Ripple Effect or L'Inked.  All of my books are filled with romance in every sense of the word. (links on this page!)

I love to get into the mind of each male character and explore the different expectations, reactions and ultimately, their romantic gestures that turn the scene around.  When you think there can be no good outcome from an argument, somehow, he wins her heart.  And with the female characters, I love to give them the strength that no one expects, a tenacity that is astonishing to the male characters. Sometimes, it is respected by them and sometimes displeasing to them, which makes the story more delectable.

Romance is not as easy to write as one might think.  You have to know the character that you are developing, both male and female.  In your mind, you have to live their emotions, their trials and tribulations, and their joyous interaction when they finally realize that love conquers every adversity.

All the while, there must be supporting characters and situations that either help or hinder the love that is truly meant to be.  It is an ongoing adventure just to find out whether or not they will end up together.  With twists and turns and seemingly unresolvable circumstances, Romance Novels keep the pages turning, while filling the heart with the hope that every love story will have a happy ending.

This is why I love to write about Romance.  I love to create situations where the characters must realize that they were meant to be together, but only after they struggle with many reasons why they were not. 

Give love a try.  Find it in the heart of your significant other or find it in a book where romance is the catalyst of true bliss.

I wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day!