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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Taking on the Fear

Last November I participated in #NANOWRIMO, the month-long challenge to write a 50,000 word novel by the end of November. I came nowhere near that goal as I was not ready. It was something I joined almost last minute. All was not wasted though. I ended with a good start. I had the first few chapters written and had lots of notes together.  As the months passed by, I eyed my notes folder and considered opening my files on my laptop.

Something's been stopping me though. After all this time, I think I'm letting my fear of taking on something new block my writing. I found myself frozen, afraid to take any steps. However, simple words from a great writing friend was enough to encourage me to keep going. The words? "You can do it."

Yes, we say that to anyone trying to accomplish a goal whether it's scoring that first goal or conquering an exercise routine. However, those simple words mean so much more than encouragement. Writers often support each other and demonstrate faith in each other. That is just the thing we need when our self doubt wants to take over. That paralyzing self doubt.

I saw a meme the other day that pointed out many successful people (such as Disney, JK Rowling and Hershey) that have failed and if they stopped the world would be missing Disney stories, Harry  Potter and Hershey's Candies.

After reflecting on these things, I feel ready to take on this new adventure of finishing that novel of mine. The hardest part is those first few minutes when I'm convinced I have nothing to go on, however when I push through it, I'm always glad I did. Sometimes I accomplish chapters at a time. Other times I only accomplish a few notes, blogging and marketing. What I do know is that I feel I'm past that paralyzing fear. I have learned a few things during this time. The most important lesson is that even if I doubt myself, even if what I wrote is terrible, it's important to keep going. There's time for editing later.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

What's in your Bookshelf?

Summer. It's a time to unwind and relax a little - whether you're just out of school for 2 months or are looking forward to a few days away from work. My summer days gave me time to catch up on things that I let slide during the busy year such as reading and writing.

I've been reading many things so far this summer, but for this post I narrowed it down to three: 10 Steps to Girlfriend Status by Cynthia Toney, Emerge, by Heather Sunseri and A Faerie's Secret by Rachel Morgan. Yes, there is quite a variety in themes for these books, but I do that on purpose. I like to mix things up when I read and explore different worlds. 

10 Steps by Cynthia Toney is a coming of age YA novel. While the title makes you wonder if the main character is superficial, you'll soon see that is not the case. This is the second book in the Birdface series where we follow Wendy through achieving her goals, uncovering a conspiracy, and helping others. Her helpfulness may come at a cost to the people already in her life. I recommend
giving this book a try. No worries if you didn't read book one. While 10 Steps continues where book one left off, it certainly can stand alone. 

Emerge, by Heather Sunseri is a compelling mysterious drama mixed with medical conspiracies. When a deadly virus destroys 90% of the country, the airtight city of New Caelum was born to protect the people from the disease. Christina, the only person to contract the virus and survive, flees New Caelum leaving behind West, her first love and best friend. When it becomes clear the virus is returning and West's sister contracts the virus, he sets out to find Christina. What follows is a race against time to defeat a deadly virus
and revive a city destroyed by corruption. If you're looking for something different, give this book a try.

A Faerie's Secret by Rachel Morgan is the fourth book from the Creepy Hollow series. This is the first of  three detailing Calla's story. The Creepy Hollow books are set in a magical fantasy world filled with Faeries and other magical beings. Calla wants nothing more than to become a heroic guardian like her brother Ryn ( who we meet in books 1-3). However, her overprotective mother and her unique magical ability(classified by the makes Calla's goal of becoming a Guardian even more difficult. I enjoyed all the surprises and twists and turns in this book as Calla learns that not everything is as it seems and there is more than one way to be a hero.

So as you see, all three I found intriguing and engaging, yet they all have very different premises. Up next for me are:

Uprising by Heather Sunseri
A Faerie's Curse by Rachel Morgan
Nyssa Glass and the House of Mirrors by H.L Burke

Now it's your turn. What's in your bookshelf this summer?

Friday, May 6, 2016

Author News

I have some news to share! 

First, my new picture book, Caitie the Caterpillar was just released from Guardian Angel Publishing. This is my fourth picture book with GAP and I can't wait to share it with all of you. 

Here's a little more about the book:

Caitie the Caterpillar
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
ISBN: 9781616337513 1616337516 

Purchase Links: 

Blurb: It is a beautiful day for milkweed, until Caitie the Caterpillar runs into Swift Sparrow. Soon, Caitie and her new friend Alexander Ant, must find a way to escape the hungry bird. As Caitie faces Swift Sparrow and her own fears, she begins the process of a beautiful transformation.

My second piece of news is my recent visit to Ringing Rocks Elementary School. It was a beautiful school with enthusiastic first graders. 

We read Teresa's Shadow and discussed the writing process. I asked the question, "How long do you think it took me to write Teresa's Shadow?" My favorite answer was, "10 minutes!" 

After we read Teresa's Shadow we also talked about how shadows are made and even created some of our own shadows with our hands. 

It was a fun day and everyone was extremely welcoming at the school. As an added treat,I did a book reveal of Caitie the Caterpillar since it was just released. They were so excited to be the first group of children to see the new book. 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Z is for ZERO #AtoZBlogging Challenge

Today I do a happy dance as I focus on the word ZERO for the letter Z. That's right! There are zero posts left in this April blogging challenge! 

To be quite honest, I'm pretty surprised I completed it. There were a few days when I thought I was going to slip and either miss or fall behind. However, I pulled through no matter how difficult it became. I'm excited that this challenge was a success. I think it accomplished the purpose of the event, which was to get everyone blogging and writing more. 

While I feel I developed a better blogging habit, I have several more things I'd like to get back to focusing on. I hope to continue a regular blogging schedule, but it may be reduced to once a week or something similar.

Why do that when I have a good routine going? Well for starters, I have a brand new picture book out that was released April 20, 1026 title Caitie the Caterpillar. So that will need some well deserved attention. In addition, I'm working on a fantasy novel ( a brand new task for me). And, as I've stated earlier this month, one of my goals was to write more and keep up with my projects. Now that I've tackled this goal, it is onward to the next! 

It was fun blogging with all my new A to Z friends. I  discovered many new and interesting blogs which I plan to continue following. 

Zippity-Do-Dah! A to Z Blogging Challenge 2016 is complete and a success. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Y is for Yippee #AtoZBlogging Challenge

With only two posts left, including this one, I tackle"Yippee" for the letter Y. 

The end is in sight and our blogging goal is almost met. Anyone who has been going through it with me knows the strength and dedication it is taking to complete the challenge.  

When I felt "Weary" like I did a few posts ago, I mustered up the strength to not only carry on with my posting, but I even planned out around my other obligations.  When I wanted to read an extra chapter instead of blogging, I mustered up the strength to put the book down until I met my daily goal.

This all certainly calls for a celebratory "Yippee" from all the bloggers participating in the challenge. I'm not sure if I will throw myself a reading party, bog down with more writing time, or take a mini writing vacation. 
How will you celebrate your victory?  Don't be shy! You earned it!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

X is for eXtremely Difficult #AtoZBlogging Challenge

I tried not to do it. I scoured the Internet and even my printed dictionaries for an X word that had SOMETHING to do with writing. I tried not to include words with "ex", but that was extremely difficult. I would have ended up blogging unsuccessfully about a word that I just learned the meaning of. 

So in keeping with my theme, I will point out that letter X was an extremely difficult letter to tackle. Since I had the blogging energy a few days ago, I seized the opportunity and pre-planned this post. I could not be sure I'd be able to attempt it if I weren't fully up to the "challenge".

So, when tackling a writing project, what do you do when you run into and extremely difficult situation? Our initial response, as it should be, is to tackle it head on and push through. With every problem, there is a solution, correct?

While that is true, there are many difficult problems where the solution is not always obvious. In extreme situations like that, we need to look outside the box. We need to get creative. In my case, I had to search other ways to satisfy the "X" requirement of this challenge. 

Another thing I did was go back to visiting other blogs. What did they come up with for x? Did they choose only "X" words? Some did, while others went for "Ex". What I discovered was that everyone had their own unique way of tacking this post. Which got me to wondering, what did you do to tackle this extremely difficult letter? Did you use "X" or "EX"? Leave me a link to your post in the comments. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

W is for Weary # A to Z Blogging Challenge

You knew I'd pick this word, didn't you? After all, we're on the letter W for the A to Z Blogging challenge and the word Weary is just too perfect for my theme.

By now, after blogging for 27 days straight (except Sundays), you can bet this blogger is growing weary. The thing keeping me going is knowing that the finish line to this marathon is now in sight. And while it has certainly helped me gain a better blogging routine, I feel that blogging weekly might be a better fit for my personal and other writing schedule.

I'm pretty sure getting "weary" in the blogging process happens to most of us. I find that a change of scenery helps when the computer screen is just a dull, blank, uninspirational sheet staring back at me. If it's a nice day, I might take a nice walk. It's interesting what ideas and thoughts occur to you as you walk. 

Another thing I do is if I know I'm going to be busy one week, then I plan out my posts. For example this weekend that passed, all three of my children were in a play that had 3 show times throughout the weekend. That was just the show. That didn't include preparing and feeding everyone. So I planned for that. Had I tried to squeeze it in, I'm sure I would have felt overwhelmed. 

One final thought about defeating the blogging weariness, is to find something that energizes you. It could be a break with a good book. It could be mental break of a day out with a friend. Or it could mean a nice cup of caffeine. Whatever it is, recharge. 

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