Friday, September 15, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things


This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain,  and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .


1) A visit to my daughter! Now, that she's had time to settle into her dorm, I decided it was time to pay her a visit and check things out. So, I drove the whole hour and a half (not too far but just far enough) and enjoyed the afternoon with her. All was well. Nothing surprising. . .dorm rooms really haven't changed much in the last 20-30 years. And I got a pumpkin-spice latte at Starbucks on top of everything. 

2) Firewood! Yep, it's that time of year again and my pile is growing fast. Since my big wood helper is sitting on the sidelines this year thanks to his hip fracture, I've convinced my brother to come on up and help out. That is definitely the next thing to celebrate--siblings. The world is so much brighter with them.

3) Cool nights! Even when the days still push the upper 80's at times, the lower 50's at night are heavenly. I love leaving the bedroom window open, cuddling in the blankets and letting the cold air sweep in. Finally.


What about you? What put a smile on your face this last week? Catch a pretty sunrise or sunset? Talk to someone you haven't spoken with in years? Find a book you've been dying to read on sale?
What are you celebrating this week?








Friday, September 8, 2017

Celebrate Those Small Things!


This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain,  and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .


I'm back! I only meant to take one week off, but things went crazy and before I knew it, two weeks slid by.

1) My son is back from Boot Camp and Training! Yay! or yay? This one is bittersweet, and one reason I skipped two weeks. Two days before his graduation, his hip gave out during an easy run, and after an xray, turned out to be a complete hip fracture. He was immediately moved into surgery and received two screws. The good thing: this happened after the official training was over so he doesn't have to repeat anything but was allowed to graduate. The bad thing: Well...broken hip, of course, and six months before he'll be back to form. But at least, he can heal at home and continue all of his college courses online.

2) Health and the ability to eat everything again! Last week, the stomach bug decided to slam through our family. It was quick, so that was good. (And another reason I missed last week).

3) Noticing that my kids are turning out just fine as they grow up. Any mom understands this one. Last week, my two children lost a friend to a car accident. I was impressed how they handled it and gave comfort to their friends, never showing the slightest hesitation in their beliefs and using it as a support for themselves and others.

4) Watermelon! My hubs decided to try to grown some in our wasteland. . .*cough*. . .what was once a vegetable garden. (Nothing ever grows there, so I moved the garden to another spot, one that actually grows vegetables). Low and behold, watermelon grew! We have 5 or 6 juicy, sweet melons and my hubs is all smiles.


What about you? What have you been up to which put a smile on your face? See a flock of birds fly by? Catch a helping hand in a time of need? Did you get the chance to help someone else? What are you celebrating this week?


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

IWSG and Winter's Siren


It's time for another meeting of THE INSECURE WRITER'S SUPPORT GROUP . . .Better known as IWSG because otherwise, it is a mouthful.

For those who don't know (And you don't???), this is an awesome group of writers, started by the just as awesome Alex J. Cavanaugh, with the purpose to support, help, assist, offer advice, offer a shoulder, cheer on, and about anything else you can think of along these lines. Writing is a roller coaster ride, and writers need all the support they can get.

If you want to join in, head over to the main site and sign up.

A special thanks to this month's cohosts:  Tyrean Martinson,Tara Tyler, Raimey Gallant, and Beverly Stowe McClure


This month, I'm just going to stick to the question;

Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? For example, by trying a new genre you didn't think you'd be comfortable in?

Yes, my writing has surprised me. The first time this happened was with a YA Steampunk short story I wrote for an anthology. It was 'romance' and totally out of my comfort zone. It ended up not being horribly romantic but more the kind of over-the-top romance which to this day has me giggling and rolling my eyes when I read it. (Oh, and I've heard that this is exactly the same response other readers have gotten). It's not what I was aiming for, but I still enjoy reading it.

Otherwise, genre hopping seems to have become a specialty of mine. I claim to be a MG/YA writer, but everything I've published up until now rakes across a huge genre and audience range.  Who knows where writing will take me next. Maybe that's part of the fun.


And what about you? How has your writing surprised you?

******

Today, I'm excited to help a wonderful writer buddy of mine reveal the cover to her upcoming book!

Ready?


For the last five years, Fawn has been the star soprano of a secluded opera house, forced to sing for her kidnapper.

His daughter, Devi, waits patiently in the shadows, hiding a face so horrible that no one who’s seen it will look at it again.

As Fawn plots her escape, whispers spread through the shaded corridors of dark sorcery, warning her that she must flee by the next opening night.

But when Fawn draws close to the exit, it’s Devi who’s standing in her way, leading Fawn to suspect that Devi has something to gain if she fails.


COMING. . .
NOVEMBER 1st, 2017!!!

Cover Designer Attribution: http://www.najlaqamberdesigns.com/


I had the chance to beta this one and love how dark and creepy and twisted it is, while still being sweet with a lovely touch of longing.

In other words, friends of dark fiction and retellings are going to love this one.




Go ahead and take a sneak peek at Chapter One over on Krystal's website here

Friday, August 18, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things


This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain,  and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.

This week, I'm celebrating. . .



1) Kids off to school and college! I'm not celebrating this because it's quiet in the house. Nope. I'm celebrating this because it always feels like a monumental act to get everything and everyone organized to get out the door and start the new routine. But we accomplished it, and out they are!

2) Family! My washing machine decided to give out (Right in the middle of the last-minute mounds of laundry my daughter discovered in her room...and, of course, wanted done that evening before she left) Luckily, my parents had an extra machine in their barn from their move a couple of years ago. So they made sure it was still running, brought it over, installed it for me and even helped take care of the old one. You can imagine my smiles.

3) A night out! I'm not a very social person (Shock! I know :) ). My daughter loves to complain that I have no life. Well, strange things happen, and I actually had a birthday party to attend for one of the Friends of the Library members. It was a lot of fun, and we planned our upcoming book sale at the same time (It was fun. Honestly). When my daughter found out I'd be gone until late that evening, she was upset...because she wanted me to do something for her. Made me giggle despite her pout.

And the biggest celebration. . .

My son comes home from boot camp and training next week!!! Which means I'll be taking a break next week and weekend (since I'm going to be taking a few day trip to attend the graduation ceremony and pick him up). Until then!!!



What about you? What put a smile on your face? Excited about the eclipse? Are you reading an amazing book? Stumble across an interesting insect? Find a quarter in your pocket? What are you celebrating?



Friday, August 11, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things


This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain,  and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.


(As most of you know, Lexa has been missing due to health issues. Unfortunately, I have not heard anything from her, and hope/pray she is doing fine as well.)

This week, I'm celebrating. . .

1) Bats! We have tree bats, barn bats, cave bats. Bats...bats...bats. Usually, I don't pay much attention to them because they have little to do with our 'daily' lives. But the other evening, I was sitting on the deck and noticed them flying around and decided just to watch them for awhile. I think I have a new, nightly hobby. . .of course, doing this with a glass of my hubs' plum wine.

2) Kayaking! My oldest gave me a kajak as a Mom's day present late Spring, but he did it right before the kids got out of school. So I haven't been able to head out with my future kajaking partner (my brother), since I don't really have a baby-sitter. This last weekend marked the first big kajaking trip (4 hours). We borrowed a canoe for my husband and the two younger kids, while I headed out on my kajak to lake Bull Shoals. It was not only great to paddle around, but the kids found some fun swimming areas (great rocks to jump off of too!). We rounded it off with a nice dinner at a nearby restaurant and called it a vacation day.

What about you? What put a smile on your face this last week? Catch a raindrop on your tongue? Find a quiet corner at the library? Enjoy a couple minutes of quiet time, which you didn't think you'd get?

What are you celebrating this week?


Friday, August 4, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things


This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain,  and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.


This week, I'm celebrating. . .

1) Cooler temperatures! I'm a not a 'heat' girl, so I'm more than happy to see those 100+ temperatures glide away. The last couple of days were still upper 80s but upper 70s is in the forecast for the entire coming week. I'm kicking back on my patio and enjoying the fresh breeze.

2) Fun with the kids! That back-to-school clock is ticking, so we're trying to make the last days as pleasant as possible. Can you believe I'm losing most of my kids on the same day? Two start school again in two weeks, and on the same day, my daughter moves off to college. It's going to be so quiet, so suddenly. So until then, we went bowling, swimming and boating this week and have more activities coming our way. 

3) Butterflies! There were so many flying around our yard this week. I enjoy standing there and watching them move from one bush to the next.

4) A new job! It's nothing special...just temporary and for a couple hours each week...but it will bring in some extra cash and appears to fit into my mom/farm/writing/reviewing schedule. 


What put a smile on your face this last week? Did you find a cute kitty? See a great movie? Buy a new pair of shoes? Help someone in need?

What are you celebrating this week?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

IWSG


It's time for another meeting of THE INSECURE WRITER'S SUPPORT GROUP . . .Better known as IWSG because otherwise, it is a mouthful.

For those who don't know (And you don't???), this is an awesome group of writers, started by the just as awesome Alex J. Cavanaugh, with the purpose to support, help, assist, offer advice, offer a shoulder, cheer on, and about anything else you can think of along these lines. Writing is a roller coaster ride, and writers need all the support they can get.

If you want to join in, head over to the main site and sign up.

This month, special thanks goes to  Christine Rains, Dolarah @ Book Lover, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Yvonne Ventresca, and LG Keltner  Thanks for all that you do!


I've spent most of this summer in writing limbo: collecting plot ideas, sorting some story issues out on two WIPs and just organizing/reorganizing my thoughts so I can become a typing monster when the kids get back in school. In other words, I've been gearing up to go on a writing frenzy (only 3 more weeks, btw).


So when the awesome #IWSGpit rolled around last week, (Thanks guys for that! It was amazing!!!) I wasn't really planning on jumping in since my latest stories are still in the creator's oven. But I have one story which has been sitting on the shelves for awhile...years. It's done and been through a lot - several rewrites, dozens of CPs, tons of betas, and even seen the glimpses of an editor or two during various versions. But...oh, I don't know. . .I've let it stick its toes into the query trenches once or twice but never pursued it too much. So my younger son told me to tweet it and see what happens. (He loves the story...has for years)
I was like:



via GIPHY

And tweeted just once.
My reaction quickly changed to. . .


via GIPHY

My tweet received likes. . .more than I ever expected.
So, I dusted off that query and reworded a few things (the never ending work of the inner editor)
and off it goes!

If nothing else, it was tons of fun to see some agent/publisher 'love', and it definitely raised my excitement level to get back and finish up those other stories.

Now, if I could just hurry those kids back to school! (Just kidding. They can enjoy the rest of their break first)


Did you make a plunge into #IWSGpit? Did you see all of those amazing tweets? (It's fun just to read through everyone's pitches). Are you flexing those writing fingers or already typing away? Or maybe you're sitting in a type of writer limbo too?

How's the writing world treating you?