Saturday, May 31, 2014
Friday, May 30, 2014
1. Active happiness! Bike-riding makes me happy. Church softball makes my husband happy. Dance makes my oldest daughter happy. Kayaking makes my youngest daughter happy. And then, I'm quadruple happy that we can all be active and happy.
2. The amazing encouragement I've received for the release of Champion in Flight! Thank you! It's just a few days away!!! Squeal! Dance!
3. Having goals - see below.
4. My "No Tracks" hint fiction story made it into the top 20 at Robert Swartwood's Hint Fiction contest - and any votes that can push it into the top ten would be appreciated! Out of the top ten, three prize winners will be chosen. Vote here!
4. Finalized formatting for Champion in Flight, and pre-orders through Smashwords this week!
My crazy big dream goal for this year was to publish 2-3 book titles for this year, plus find publication for some short fiction and poetry.
Progress: Light Reflections poetry collection book at Lulu (planning to get the ebook uploaded someday), Champion in Flight out in ebook this coming Sunday/Monday (Smashwords Sunday, with Kindle showing up Sunday/Monday)! Plus, two poems and one hint fiction story published! And, another hint fiction story up for voting at Robert Swartwood's Hint Fiction Contest. Votes for "No Tracks" are appreciated, and voting closes tomorrow.
Moving forward: Flight Fest Week next week, Champion's Destiny rough draft (already in outline form), and three writing books for homeschool co-op/curriculum. The reason behind these last three books is that I write up and print out over a hundred pages of lessons every year for each of my students so I actually think that writing books or booklets would be less expensive for printing costs . . . crazy, huh? And, who knows, maybe someone else would be interested in purchasing and using some of my teaching materials?
Come back tomorrow for a big cover reveal from Miss Jack Lewis Baillot and her newest book!
Do you have crazy big dream goals? What are you celebrating this week? Are you interested in joining Flight Fest? And do you know Miss Jack Lewis Baillot?
BTW, Flight Fest had a linky, but at this point, anyone can join in - just shoot me an e-mail or leave a comment next week.
Flight Fest Questions (answers in 100 words or less): What's your favorite way to fly and why? Griffin? Millennium Falcon? E.T. with bicycle? Cessna? Ercoupe? Glider? Dragon? Giant Eagle? Space Shuttle? The Enterprise?
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
This is the last time in 2014 that Champion in the Darkness will be free.
After this, I'm going to take it off Kindle Select and put it back up at other vendors like Smashwords and Nook.
Next week, Champion in Flight will officially be released! I'm hoping that a few readers will pick up Champion in the Darkness, and look for the next book right away.
Champion in Flight is completely formatted and available for pre-sale orders at Smashwords.
Release date: June 2nd!!!
Until then, the first book in The Champion Trilogy, Champion in the Darkness is free from May 27th through May 31st!
Book 1: Champion in the Darkness
To help promote on twitter:
#freekindlebooks "Fast-paced fantasy with a message!" Champion in the Darkness http://amzn.to/TTwptM
Release Date: June 2nd! Available for pre-order at Smashwords!
And, if you are interested, I would love to have help with promoting Champion in Flight with Flight Fest, or any release month buzz. Please either comment below or e-mail me if you are interested in helping out.
And for those of you who are interested in the homeschool post I hinted at last week, I apologize, but I will be postponing it until mid-June. Until then, look for Flight Fest, Celebrate, the Goals post, some news about Miss Jack Lewis Baillot's latest book, and IWSG. (And The Sunflower Blogger)
What's on your plate for the end of May and beginning of June? Are you ready for a goals update? Have a post already written for IWSG? Know Jack? Ready for Champion in Flight?
Friday, May 23, 2014
This week, I'm celebrating:
1. Sunshine and blue skies. We've only had a sprinkle or two of rain here in Washington in the last two weeks, and I am soaking up the sun, and loving the blueness of the sky. :) (Of course, as Friday morning dawns, down comes the rain . . . oh well, it will keep the grass green!)
2. My family. They are just wonderful!
3. Slowly but steadily, turning my lumpy hobbit-ish body into a bike-riding machine. It's exercise I can do without fracturing a foot or injuring myself. (So far: \no weight loss, but muscle gained)
4. Finishing all the grading for my co-op classes!
5.My daughters only have three subjects left to finish out for the year. (Oldest: math, history-literature combo, and French) (Youngest: math, history-literature combo, and writing) At this point, we are definitely into the end sprint for finishing our curriculum, although my youngest has been shuffling through The Odyssey, and may end up finishing her history-lit combo sometime in July at this pace. (She started this curriculum late because she was jealous of her older sister doing the "challenging" stuff and didn't want to be held back with easy literature so we went with the hardest possible curriculum - crazy=us.) Next week, I'll be posting about homeschooling because it's a bit on my mind at this point in the year.
6. My oldest daughter had a great time at her formal dance! (Pic may be coming next week)
7. The "How I Found the Write Path" blogfest (letter found in post below this one) I think my letter to my younger author self may have been on the self-catharsis side of things, but I learned a few things in the process of writing it. I gained insight and encouragement from all the other participants too. I hope the result of all of our letters will be an encouragement and a help to all writers.
What are you celebrating this week? Has the summer season come to your area yet? And, if you could write a letter to your younger self, what would you say?
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Dear young writer self,
I spent days thinking over this letter. I wrote one for my twelve year old self, and then I started thinking of my eighteen year old self, my twenty-one year old self, my thirty year old self, and finally, my thirty-seven year old self. At each of those moments, I stood at a crossroads with my writing path. At each of those moments I wrestled with hopes and fears, big dreams and big doubts.
At twelve, for the first time, a teacher will tell you that you could be an author. When this happens, I hope you listen to her fully. She will tell you that you have potential and talent. She will encourage you to dream. The storytelling dream in you will fill notebooks with stories. That burst of creativity and hard work will last until you face a crisis of faith that will hit you to the marrow of your belief in God. I wish I could spare you, but this will make you a stronger person. The whole world and your writing will seem pointless. But you will keep writing.
At eighteen, dear young writer, you will struggle against the doubts of others. Your parents will caution you to choose something practical, something that will get you a job. You will listen to them, and find out that you love to teach. And, you can keep on writing, filling notebooks and napkins, and receipts. You will write poems in the margins of your lecture notes and your classmates will encourage you to keep writing. Remember, even when you honor the advice of well-meaning parents who want you to "be practical," you can still keep writing.
At twenty-one, young writer, you will find unexpected success in three poems published by your college newspaper. You won't even know those poems were accepted until after you've worked a morning shift in the cafeteria and one of your co-workers gives you a glowing review and a hug. Then, you'll walk in a daze back to your dorm and then classes, during which time, at least ten people will tell you that they hate your poetry and they never want to speak to you again. And, they actually mean it and actually stop speaking to you. Thankfully, your real friends are going to encourage you. However, you're still going to feel like hell about it. And then, you'll keep writing. Your teachers will expect more of your essay writing, and they will even pull you aside and tell you that if you want an A, you're going to have to strip all the adverbs and trite sentence variations out of your writing because they expect more from you since you are a writer. Your classmates won't be held to the same expectations. Don't be discouraged. Take this as a compliment, and keep writing.
At thirty, semi-young writer, you will have two children, be faced with a life-changing health problem, and have a complete novel that seems to resist any attempts to revise it. You'll have been a part of an amazing writer's group, and then have been stuck with several terrible ones that will leave you with the desire to be a writing hermit. You will write during nap times, and in the mornings, and you'll discovery that poetry and short story starts keep your writing alive in the midst of days chasing your children around the house. You will keep writing, and you will have doubts of ever having anything published other than something for a Commercial Fiction class that you know was just a part of the class so it doesn't feel like it counts. Remember, it does count. And, keep writing.
At thirty-seven, middlish-young writer self, you will see the big FORTY looming on the horizon, and you will decide that you are going to be published no matter what life throws into your path. You will submit short stories and poetry like never before, and you will get published. You will even get paid a little. You will write another novel. You will decide to self-publish (not yet, but soon after the 40), and you will keep writing. You will start a blog, and you will meet encouraging blog buddies who have big dreams like you. And, you will keep writing.
So, the most important advice I can give you, young writer, at any age is threefold:
1. Keep Writing!
2. Believe in the gifts that God has given you. (And, by the way, believe in Him too - it will save your life)
3. Trust the words of encouraging friends.
Tyrean Martinson, the elder (the really old, the past 40, the determined writer; poet; author of The Champion Trilogy; blogger at Tyrean's Writing Spot)
(and for Carrie - yes, you can use this letter in the free ebook!)
If you could write a letter to your younger writer self, what would you say?
Friday, May 16, 2014
This blog hop is very easy - just post a celebration, however small or big, in your blog. Visit the original host, Viklit, and sign up on the linky to join in the fun!
Yikes, my post turned out long, so skip along the bold print if you are in a hurry!
1. Viklit has four new co-hosts to help with Celebrate the Small Things:
LG Keltner @ Writing Off the Edge
Cyborg Mom (Katie)
CaffeMaggieato @ mscoffeehouse
Thank you, ladies!!!
2. I broke through a mental and physical barrier last week and rode 47 miles (75.6K) last Saturday at the Lewis County Historical Ride! I had a asthma/breathing problem at mile 45, walked a mile, rode really slow for another mile, and sent my husband ahead for the car since the course was actually 49 miles. However, I rode a farther distance than I had ever ridden before, and I think I learned some of the wisdom of "butt in seat" for long distances. In other words, it doesn't matter how fast you ride, but how long you can keep your butt on the bike seat. (sound familiar to novel writing? it did to me.) It was glorious and agonizing, and afterwards I felt both triumph and defeat (Yay - I biked really far!, Boo - I didn't quite make the course. My husband drove me to the finish line, just so I could get there.)
3. Because I broke through that barrier, I found I could ride a base 20 mile ride in the mornings. By base, I mean that this is my new standard ride.
4. New handlebars are being put on my bike because I'm being held back from long rides by pain in my hands, arms, and shoulders. I get my bike back from the bike shop this morning!
5. Homeschool Co-operative classes are done for the year! Woohoo!!! (For those that don't know, a homeschool co-operative meets one day a week, and while there are several types of co-ops, usually parents combined talents to teach each other's kids different courses. I teach writing and literature. Other parents teach science, performing arts, math, etc. With just one day of teaching, we assign the students homework for the other four days and each parent supervises their own kid's homework. My kids don't do all their classes at co-op, so they each have some homeschool work to do before we take a "full" summer holiday. At this point, with the sunshine blazing this week, we are schooling half-time hours - which is all we really need to do to be done by mid-June).
6. The Homeschool Formal is this weekend and my oldest is super excited to go again this year with a group of friends. (Yes, homeschoolers have dances too. We don't all live like the characters depicted in Footloose - which sadly means, there is no Kevin Bacon dancing around - although maybe my kids are thankful for that.)
7. Had a great Writer's Workshop group this week. At the same time, I'm kind of sad because one of our group is going to move away. She's a super talented writer. You can read her work at figment. I keep after her to submit her work, or publish it, so if you can, please encourage her.
8. My cover reveal went well last week! and I am super thankful for all those who helped with posts, tweets, and facebook shout outs! Thank you!
9. Yesterday, I purchased Reborn by Cherie Reich and read it last night, it is so good. I didn't sleep as many hours as usual, but that's ok. Full review coming at Goodreads and Amazon later this weekend. I'm giving it five stars! So, I am super happy to Celebrate and Present:
What are you celebrating this week?
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
1. What's your current favorite word?
2. In one word, what inspires you?
3. What's one word that describes your writing habits?
4. What's one word that you wish you could get rid of in your writing?
5. What's one word that describes your writing desk?
6. Share the best writing advice/tool/quote that helps you. (please limit to one sentence)
7. What's your current project? (this is the one where you can write a bit more)
Friday, May 9, 2014
What do you think of the cover and what kinds of covers do you like? Colorful, muted, detailed, simple? What kinds of covers do you think work best?
Champion in Flight is coming out on June 2nd for e-book (and paperback will come either then or after)! And I'll be hosting Flight Fest to celebrate. The rules of Flight Fest: 1. Post during the week of June 2nd. 2. Answer the following questions: What is your favorite why to fly and why? Millennium Falcon? Griffin? Dragon? 3. Visit Flight Fest participants.
Now, onto Celebrate the Small Things!
I haven't celebrated in a whole month . . . and it feels like too long. I'm not sure where to start.
1. In April, my youngest took 3rd at Paddler's Cup for her age group in kayaking. My oldest got her driver's permit (for learners), we skied at Whistler, B.C. and one of our niece's had a beautiful wedding. (and I survived A to Z) (Oh, and my youngest had a few quotes about kayaking in the local newspaper - link here)
2. Cover Reveal!
3. I made extremely slow, but determined progress on Champion in Flight, and I'm just in the last stages of copy-editing and formatting now. June 2nd is release day!!!
4. My house is cleaner than it has been in a month because we had our church cell/small group over on Wednesday for a mini-worship and Bible study.
5. Super Encouraging Friends and Family! (despite my IWSG encouragement post, I had a rough day on Wednesday due to an "oops" moment with my thyroid medication but the continual encouragement made my day!)
Oh . . . and a fun cover reveal from Tara Tyler for her new, MG Fantasy, Broken Branch Falls!
When a prank goes wrong, Gabe is forced to join the football team as punishment – but finds a way to make it work. Soon the whole school is getting in on the rule-breaking fad of mingling with other species. Too bad the adults have to step in and ruin things by threatening to destroy the school and split up Broken Branch Falls. And Gabe is their scapegoat. With help from friends, old and new, Gabe sets out on a quest for a relic of their mysterious past, which hopefully holds the key to saving Broken Branch Falls. After all that trouble, it better work.
If you would like to join this awesome group of Celebrators who Celebrate the Small Things, check out Scribblings of An Aspiring Author to get started!
And to find out more about Champion in Flight, check out the new Champion in Flight tab.
What are you celebrating today? Matched socks? Good weather? A fun weekend ahead?
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
This post was going to be terrible, until a friend of mine came up to me and said, "hey, I'm looking forward to your Celebrate the Small Things posts that I hope you'll be doing that again after A to Z."
Wow. Really? That made my day . . . especially considering that I didn't know that this "real world" friend of mine reads my blog, and she looks forward to some of my posts. Whoa. And she shares them with her young daughters who write . . . whoa. I know I sound like Bill and Ted in that old excellent adventure, but it's exciting and wonderful, and a little big, if that makes sense at all.
Before she came up to me, and before I had received some sweet feedback from some of my bloggy buddies (YOU), I was feeling down in the dumps about my blog and ready to go hide my head under a rock . . . or maybe up in a tree. I thought I needed to take up some old tree climbing habits to gain perspective since I used to have a favorite tree for that as a kid and teen. Instead, I received a super boost from my friends, stuck my head out of the gray clouds and witness blue sky horizons and sunniness.
Thank you, friends, for your encouragement and support. It means a lot to me.
So, now, I'm ready to celebrate the small things (and the big things too). I'm prepping a cover reveal for Champion in Flight for this Friday!!!! I'm also ready to host a wonderful lady writer named Jack this month, and try a video for her contest before May 14th (only 7 more days), and participate in both Unicorn Bell's Fairy Tale Genre Wars on the 12th and for the week of the 19th, Carrie Butler's How I Found the Write Path. And, on June 2nd, I'll be releasing Champion in Flight and hosting a Flight Fest! Info about Flight Fest will be forthcoming on Friday.
Encouragement really matters. Who have you encouraged today?
I'm headed out into the blogsphere and the real world today with that question in mind - who can I encourage? how can I encourage?