Friday, September 19, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things

Many thanks to Viklit and her awesome team of celebrators!

This week, I'm celebrating:

1. Two projects 99% complete and in use. My books of notes and assignments, although not as polished as I would like them to be, are done and are in use for two of my co-op classes this year.

In response, one young man said, "You wrote this! You wrote all of this, this summer . . . for fun?!"  Then, he turned bright red, as if he realized he had insulted my idea of "fun."
(The reality is that I have some serious control freak issues in the area of teen writing curriculum . . . either that, or incredible arrogance.)

2. All the awesome votes I received for Champion in Flight for the categories of "Best Kickbutt Main Character" and "Most Evil Villain" at Indie Recon Live! Voting is closed, but I feel seriously loved. Thanks!!!

3. I jumped off a cliff jump-started a project I've had in the works since early spring - an experimental micro-fiction serial entitled Ashes Burn. The first season Ashes Burn: Away is pre-loaded and will start "airing" on October 6th, with three "episodes" a week. (It's super experimental and super short so it's super scary, but I really want to get it out there anyway.)

4. How I Found the Write Path is out and is FREE in e-book format everywhere!!! The amazing Carrie Butler put this project together with some help from PK Hrezo. It's a huge honor to be on the list of sixty authors in this book.

Here’s the lowdown on this project: To celebrate Carrie's third blogoversary, she decided to pay it forward by inviting the writing/blogging community to help those just starting on their publishing journey. Why? Because it’s one of the most crucial periods in a writer’s life—full of nerves and hope we refuse to acknowledge. We’ve all been there.

That’s why over sixty of us have written letters to our past selves, candidly sharing things we don’t always discuss in public. The hope is that those of you who haven’t published will learn from our experiences. And those of you who have published? Well, you just might realize you’re not alone.
 
 
Links for free download:



Have you picked up your free copy of How I Found the Write Path? Ever had anyone be surprised by your writing habits/idea of fun? Ever heard of micro-fiction? And, what are you celebrating this week?

And for those who think I have a cheerleader life and a naturally sunny disposition, please note that I spent Wednesday this week feeling super grumpy, in pain, and finally, I went to bed with a book and some ibuprofen (and I don't like taking any meds unless they're absolutely necessary) and I made my family fend for themselves for dinner. We all have days like that.
I'm thankful for the stuff we get to celebrate and for Viklit who reminds us to celebrate!

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Big "C" Hop

Michael De Gesu is hosting this hop as a benefit for Melissa Bradley to help her with her huge medical costs as she battles cancer. Michael and Melissa are putting together these posts into an anthology. (And yes, they have permission to use this post)

For this anthology post on Sept 15 a story about cancer. We are trying for comical, uplifting, inspirational... Let's give cancer a big kick in the pants!

This post is dedicated to Mary, and for all those who fight the good fight for life.

Living Life Fully

Twenty years ago, I sat at a round, brown table in a kitchen filled with sunshine. My boyfriend’s mother, Mary, had a tea kettle coming to a boil on the stove. She had her back to me while she prepared two steaming mugs. I was rattling on about my day at work, waiting for my boyfriend to go out with me, and then, I asked her how her day had been.

“I’m dying. How do you think it’s been?” she snapped, as she turned to me with two tea mugs. Her jaw was tight, her eyes glistening.

I felt my stomach drop to the floor. I wanted to get up and hug her, but I couldn’t seem to move.

Mary sat across from me. “It isn’t just breast cancer again after years of remission. I had that second mastectomy, but it didn’t stop the cancer. It’s lymphoma. And they say they can’t treat it. I might only have a year to live.”

“I’m sorry,” I said, and the words felt too empty, too missing of any depth or comfort.

She pulled the tea bag out of her cup so she could use it for a second serving, setting it onto a small tea bag holder. “I haven’t told anyone yet. You can’t tell my children. They all have too much stress already.”

“But . . .” I couldn’t imagine why she had told me. Why was I the confidant in the matter of her possible death?

I think it may have been just that I was there at that moment when she couldn’t hold onto it any longer. We argued about the "secret," and she won . . . mostly.

A few weeks later, I told my boyfriend because I couldn’t hide it from him. It hurt too much.

Eventually, Mary told each of her children separately, and the burning pressure of that secret was gone.
 
 

Mary lived each day and each week like it might be her last. She took all of her children, including her son’s fiancé (me) to Broadway musicals in Seattle; she played tennis , basketball and golf, she went running and skiing; she watched as many tennis tournaments as she could find on various sports channels; and she re-read her favorite books.

One summer afternoon, another bright day filled with sunshine, we went to the nearest basketball court. My fiancé’s mom and dad, my fiancé’s niece, my fiancé, and I played three-on-three.
 
Mid-dash down the court, Mary paused and scooped up something from the ground, stuffed it into her bra, took the ball from her husband who was as surprised as the rest of us, and made a perfect bank shot. She looked around and laughed. “No reason to stop playing just because my falsies fall out,” she told us brightly, while patting her chest.
 
We all chuckled, slightly embarrassed, and kept playing.



Fifteen years later, our niece told that story at my in-law’s 50th wedding anniversary. She talked about how cool her grandma is, and how it is good to know that someone could have such an awesome attitude after two full mastectomies, chemotherapy, radiation, and several hospital stays.

Just a week ago, I called my mother-in-law on her 80th birthday. She told me, “I’ve had the best birthday: breakfast in bed, family members calling me all day, a good book, and a tennis tournament to watch with new blood in the finals.”

It turned out that the doctors had misdiagnosed her lymphoma. It was the treatable kind. Between these little scenes, Mary had some tough days and hospital stays, times of great doubt and great faith, and she continues to show us how to fight any illness and how to live life fully.

-Tyrean Martinson
 
 





Friday, September 12, 2014

Celebrate, Shelfies, and Literacy

Just taking a moment to celebrate today. Many thanks to Viklit and her team of celebration experts - who remind us each week to celebrate all the small things. :)

I'm celebrating:

1. The satisfaction of finishing a few projects. :)
2. The last bit of summer sunshine into fall. (We don't have the cloud brow overhead yet)
3. Good, quiet time in the mornings before the bustle of activities every day.
4. Reader and writer friends who are just awesome! :)
5. C. Lee Mckenzie's literacy awareness campaign.

Here's my shelfie for the shelfie hop:

Another writer kindly put my book up front, so I thought it would be fun to do the same!

Rules for the shelfie hop:

 Show us your SHELFIE! Grab your phone and snap a selfie with your book, or in front of a bookshelf, or take a pic of a bookshelf... anything to do with books! Brought to you by Tara Tyler!

And, as part of literacy awareness month, I know there was a "take a picture with books" day earlier this week that I missed . . . so I'm considering this my super late entry for that too.

Some other thoughts:
Autumn activities have arrived, and I will do my best to visit everyone who visits here. However, I may just head directly to your blog without making a "reply" comment here, and it may take me a few days. (It's just the way life is at the moment.)

I'll be back on Monday with a post for the Big "C" hop. It made me cry to write it, and I think it isn't my best writing, but I hope that it fits under the "inspiring" part of the hop. And, if you haven't joined in for that, see Michael Di Gesu's blog for more details.

What are you celebrating today?
Have you taken a shelfie?
Are you writing a post for the Big "C" Hop?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunflowers for Tina #lifeisgood

(photo courtesy of Heathir McKee, photographer)
My friend had this awesome photo, and I knew I couldn't find a brighter sunflower for Tina.
 
 
Tina Downey always made time to write encouraging comments and give extra attention to details. She was forthright, honest, and real, and yet she always looked for and at the brighter side.
 
Although I didn't know her as well as many others in the blogging community, I will miss her bright sunflower attitude and her posts that made me feel as if I were home.
 
 
 
In memory of Tina Downey, the A to Z Team is hosting a sunflower tribute on September 8, 2014 – Remembering Tina Downey.
 
 Prior to that date, purchase or plant a sunflower in her honor. (If you have to resort to plastic, that’s cool.) Take a photo of your sunflower and post in in her memory on Monday, September 8.
 
Tina loved her sunflowers, and we want to splash the blogging world with sunflowers that day and honor a truly amazing woman who was friend and family to so many.
 
 You can sign up now or add your link when you post your sunflower. Please help us spread the word! Add Tina's motto #LifeisGood as hashtag and share about this blogfest on all social media platforms.
 
Let’s brighten the Internet with sunflowers the way Tina brightened the lives of so many.  

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

IWSG: Making up my Mind



Many thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and his awesome team who keep IWSG running each month, for the hop, at the website, and on facebook! You rock!

Insecurity this month: Making up my mind.

Seriously, I have written three four IWSG posts in the last week. And then, erased them and started over again.

I can't seem to make up my mind about blog posts these days.

It seems like there's a trend (or at least I've been reading the posts within this trend) of questioning/analyzing blog post content and making some changes.

I think that taking stock and making changes when they are needed is good.

I just can't seem to make up my mind about which changes need to happen, and how I'm going to put them into action.

However, there is a call to action that has stirred up a fire in me recently.

C. Lee Mckenzie of The Write Game brought attention to a literacy campaign that she started on twitter, and then this forced me to take a good look at illiteracy statistics in the United States.

32 million adults in the USA can't read?! Whoa. How did I miss that? What can I/we do about it?

I haven't made up my mind on every action idea swirling around in my very small brain (feeling like Winnie the Pooh in a muddle), but I can advocate literacy as a start.

Would you be willing to do that too?

It doesn't take much, just a tweet, a post, a shout out/comment.

C. Lee even provided some easy copy and paste tweets:

30 min of reading to a child each week=literacy & love of reading @WeWrite4U_Lit

Don’t give kids a sucker. Give them a book. Make reading valuable @WeWrite4U_Lit

Learn to read. Read to learn. @WeWrite4U_Lit

Get books into homes. Create readers. @WeWrite4U_Lit

Children who can’t read can’t contribute to society. @WeWrite4U_Lit

Read aloud to your kids. Make it dramatic. Make it fun. Create readers. @WeWrite4U_Lit
32 million adults in the U.S. couldn’t read  2013 @WeWrite4U_Lit (FYI citation:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/06/illiteracy-rate_n_3880355.html)
academic failure and delinquency, violence, and crime is welded to reading failure@WeWrite4U_Lit (FYI citation:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/06/illiteracy-rate_n_3880355.html)
$225 billion or more each year in non-productivity in the workforce@WeWrite4U_Lit (FYI citation: http://www.literacypartners.org/literacy-in-america/impact-of-illiteracy)


What's your insecurity this month?

Would you be willing to join C. Lee, myself, and others in advocacy for literacy?


And . . . if you are interested, I'm having a Goodreads Giveaway for Champion in Flight!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Champion in Flight by Tyrean Martinson

Champion in Flight

by Tyrean Martinson

Giveaway ends September 26, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win


Plus, Champion in Flight is in the running for "Best Kickbutt Main Character" and "Most Evil Villian" at Indie Recon Live! If you could stop by and vote, that would be awesome! (You can vote once every 24 hours . . . and yes, that is what is called an utterly shameless plug.)

Best Kickbutt Main Character

Most Evil Villain