Tag Archives: Phoenix Child

Trust

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I don’t trust a lot of people, or well, I don’t trust them with my safety or the safety of my children.

It’s not so much that I distrust them but that I trust they will be selfish, or self-absorbed, or just not caring much. That sounds really bad doesn’t it? Sorry, but I trust people’s actions not their words. I trust their deeds not their intentions.

Watching this video made me think of the few people I trust and know I can count on. The ones I support as much as they support me.

But it also made me think about how fearful I am. About how untrusting I am of people, of myself, of my strength, my ability to handle things. Because that’s what it comes down to isn’t it, not our fear that someone will hurt or betray us but that we won’t be able to handle what they do, that we won’t survive or recover.

So maybe if I could learn to trust myself, to trust my strength, intelligence, creativity, and value then I could be more trusting of others, of life, of opportunities, of adventures.

Are you a trusting person or do you hold yourself back too?

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The Intouchables

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Alica Mckenna Johnson, Intouchables, French Movies

Yes, another French movie. My son wants to go to France, ASAP, and is continuing to study French during the summer. Anyway, this is a wonderful movie. The character growth of both the main actors is extraordinary. The basic plot: a wealthy paraplegic white man doesn’t want to be treated with pity so he hires a young Senegalese man from the ghetto of Paris as his full-time caregiver.

Compassion, friendship, humor, and adventures tie these two men together in a beauty of a movie based on a true story.

Okay, watching the trailer again made me tear up, this is such a beautiful movie.

Lots of Places Have a North

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Bienvenue Chez Les Ch’sit
Apparently France is not all coveted beauty, they have a NORTH. A place where bad employees are transferred to, a place with weird accents, unrecognizable slang words, and cold. And fortunately for us, it is a place of fun characters, beauty, and drunken bicycling. A very enjoyable movie, but you need to be a good subtitle reader because they write in the odd accent to show you what is happening and why things are funny.

Very Annie Mary

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Alica Mckenna Johnson, Very Annie Mary, movies
This is a British movie about an awkward girl in a small village named Annie Mary (Rachel Griffiths). Her asshole father (Johnathan Pryce) made me want to kick him. As with most small town British movies and shows the town is filled with quirky characters. One of my favorites is played by Ioan Gruffud. And to top it all off, it’s a musical (kind of). At times the silly/embarrassing things that Annie Mary gets herself into made me hide behind my hands, but all in all I really liked watching her find her way.

What Your Personal Trainer is Really Thinking About You

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Alica Mckenna Johnson, Kristen Lamb, 40 yard line

Poor personal trainers, this is what they have to deal with.
Photo by Kristen Lamb

A while back some website did a post on The 10 Things Your Personal Trainer is Thinking About You. I went expecting to find something funny, but no they were serious, BOO!

So as someone who has inflicted themselves on a personal trainer, these are the 10 things I think personal trainers are REALLY thinking about you.

1. Do you realize how see through that garment is? Personal trainers have to watch you exercise, frequently in odd contorted positions, while you’re sweating. Make sure your clothes don’t turn embarrassingly see through.

2. If you can still whine, you are not working hard enough. Really, your time with a personal trainer should feel like hell, so if you can still whine, then you can probably work harder.

3. No, I am not feeding off your pain. I once told my personal trainer that I thought he was a half-demon and fed off my pain. Thankfully, he was also a film maker and thought it was funny. (No stealing this idea—I plan to write a book at some point)

4. No, I’m not delusional. Personal trainers have training, they watch you carefully and pick exercises that push you but that you can do, even when you think you can’t.

5. Why do I have to listen to this? Some clients whine a lot. I was shocked when I found out I was on the low end of the whining scale. Don’t make these poor people listen to you bitch and whine, unless you are actually doing the exercises while you complain.

6. Do I really have to yell at you? This goes back to the whining. Apparently some people actually need, or maybe like, to be yelled at and forced/shamed into doing the exercises.

7. Dear god, the smell. Either you haven’t put on enough deodorant, shame on you, or you have overdone the crappy cheap body spray. Either way personal trainers have to stand near you. Try to not make it completely unpleasant.

8. Don’t lie to me, you go home and eat crap. Your personal trainer can tell if you are sticking to your diet or stopping by the store to stock up on ice cream and chips on the way home from the gym. Don’t insult their intelligence, tell the truth.

docguy, weight loss , ice cream

Photo by docguy

9. Drink water! At the end of every session with my personal trainer he would remind me to drink a lot of water the rest of the day. Now I love water so I listened, but obviously other people don’t. They don’t get paid by the word. If your personal trainer says it, it must be important.

10. Yes, I’m going to win this month. After a year of personal training I discovered a dark secret. Every week a weird, twisted, embarrassing exercise is posted on the personal trainer’s Facebook group and the goal is to see how many innocent clients they can get to do the exercise. My personal trainer denied this, but I think he was lying. Some of those exercises were just too weird.

So what do you think personal trainers are really thinking?

Now We Are Forty

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birthday, forty, Alica Mckenna Johnson

Photo by PublicDomainPictures


So as I turned forty last week, there was a real chance that I was going to spend the day eating ice cream while hiding under the covers. However, my daughter had other plans. It turned out that I had a good day and didn’t fall into a massive depression. YAY! Go me.

I’m not where I was hoping to be, or the size I was hoping to be, or as self-actualized as I was hoping to be by forty.

I have a good job, three novels in various stages of editing, a hubby who puts up with me, two great happy kids, and friends who let me talk about characters as if they’re real people. So all in all everything thing is really good

Phoenix Child, Alica McKenna-Johnson

My New Book Cover!!!! See I have things happening 🙂

But I also feel that this is a turning point, not that my life is going downhill or winding down. I’ve been told by older friends that life begins at forty, so yay!!! But the things I have been unhappy about in my life haven’t changed in five years. Somehow I feel different about these situations, able to see things in a new way and I feel a bit stronger and more capable My bullshit tolerance level has dropped, and I’m less likely to put up with anything.

But I’m also feeling the pressure of should weighing upon me.

Should I wear more conservative ‘grown-up’ clothes now that I’m forty?

Should I only think nasty dirty thoughts about guys who are over thirty, now that I’m forty?

Should I magically have more will power and self-control, now that I’m forty?

Should I stop buying pop-culture tee shirts, now that I’m forty?

I did this same kind of thing when I got pregnant. I gave away my purple Doc Martins, black leather motorcycle jacket, and all my heavy metal CDs because ‘good moms shouldn’t have those things’. I was nineteen and stupid, but as you can see at forty those same limiting thoughts are creeping into my head. At least this time they aren’t winning.

I’m excited to see what the next third of my life holds. Yes, I plan to live until one hundred and twenty. I’m excited to see where my low tolerance for bullshit, self-confidence, and strength take me.
Was forty a difficult birthday for you? Does life really begin after forty?

Curbing My Voyeuristic Tendencies

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Book cover PC1 005
My name is Alica and I am a back story whore, there I said it! Wow it feels good to finally confess that. I love back story, all of my characters have rich full back stories and my critique partners carry dull, rusty, blood soaked knives with them when we get together in order to get rid of it.

I have gotten better as we have grown into a strong trusted group, but sometimes I still dig my heels into and refuse to give up my little darlings. Which according to Kristen Lamb I need to recognize and kill.

So why am I confessing this to all you fine upstanding people? Because I have taken Phoenix Child down to do some major editing and revising. When I got the proof copy for the paper version of Phoenix Child I found some mistakes I wanted to fix, I swear I find new mistakes ever time I look at my work in a different format.

Anyway, it suddenly dawned on me that in my first book was Star Wars Episode One, not the same plot or anything but so much back story and bringing in characters that don’t move the whole story forward, that I really needed to do something.

My critique partners had told me before I published that I had two books and should separate the group home story from the magical phoenix story. I pouted, cried, and choose not to. Well now I am doing it. I will write the group home story eventually, but for now I’m going to focus on the magical phoenix story as I have book 2 Legacy of the Feathered Serpent already written and book 3 outlined.

I am choosing to separate the two stories because while writing book 3 I realized that the strong group home relationships really didn’t have a place in what was currently happening. Not everyone is voyeuristic enough to want to read about characters checking their facebook pages for updates on previous characters.

I am speaking at a writing convention in March so I am hoping to have the book revised and all the blood mopped up by then. I will make sure Kindle readers get notified of the update, which you can download for free. If you bought it on Smashwords keep an eye on my blog I’ll announce the re-release and offer a coupon code for a free copy 🙂

I hope for those of you who enjoyed Phoenix Child in all it’s back story glory will also enjoy the newer faster paced version. And for those who found my book’s pace too slow or there was too much going on perhaps you’ll give it another try.

Either way thanks to all of you for your support. I have learned so much and while of course I wish I could write and instantly publish a perfect book, I am not ashamed to say I am learning more all the time and doing my best to constantly improve myself and my work.

My new motto for my critique group: I may pout but I may not doubt.

Your opinion is wanted – really I mean it.

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Spurred on by Myndi Shafer’s post on log lines I have decided to beg, plead, and give puppy eyes to get you’re most valuable and knowledgeable opinion.

I have three blurbs for you to vote on- you can even tweak them or create a new one if you feel that inspired. People I like and respect have all chosen one of these three as their favorites- of course they didn’t pick the same blurb, that would make my life too easy!
So please help out a new freaking out author and vote!

1-Sara had given up on the group home fairy tale of being rescued from the system by family. All she wanted was a quiet simple life. On the morning of her fourteenth birthday that dream shattered.
Scrubbing and praying don’t undo the unwelcome changes to her life, and fate isn’t done with her yet. Feeling other people’s emotions is overwhelming and disturbing, worse is catching on fire.
Family she never knew she had, is now invading her life. They call it a gift, but gifts don’t come with evil maniacs wanting to drain your power and your life.

2- Sara‘s dreams didn’t involve finding family, changing her name, discovering magical creatures are real, or catching on fire.
Orphaned at five Sara had given up on the dream of a family. At fourteen an ancient family inheritance, a gift, or curse changed her appearance, and her life. With new supernatural powers she is welcomed into the family of the Phoenix.
Sara must decide if she will hide or embrace being a Child of Fire and accept a dangerous destiny as a descendant of an ancient Phoenix King and Queen and the enemy of the evil that stalked and killed her parents.

3-Sara had dreams for her life and they didn’t involve finding family, changing her name, discovering fairy tale creatures are real, or catching on fire.
The most exciting thing Sara had planned for winter break was starting circus camp. Fate had other ideas. Orphaned at five, Sara didn’t know if her family always woke up on their fourteenth birthday to find their life and appearance changed.
With a dangerous destiny laid before her Sara must decide if she will hide from all that is being offered her, or will embrace being a Child of Fire.

Also I have decided I’m ready or crazy enough and want to add some interviews of my fellow authors to my blog posts. I’m thinking about doing 2-3 a month. So if you’re interested just let me know. You can email me at alicamj@gmail.com or just leave a note in the comments. I’ll wait a week before posting this on facebook and twitter as I’d like to support all of you lovely people who support me.
Thanks, Alica