Friday, August 25, 2017

Super Short Goals Update

August Goals
1. Finish Eclipse or get within 10% of finish line. - Nope.

2. Cheer daughters and their team at Nationals in Clermont, Florida. YES!

3. Marketing via hootsuite. Not much.

4. Scrapbook project. 40%

5. Encourage others. Um, maybe?

6. Practice Storytelling. Nope. 

7. Prep for school year. Not as much as needed.

8. Get outside, walk, bike, kayak. (Fewer carbs, again) - again, not as much as needed.

9. Continue Bible study and reading Cling to God. - most days.

10. House and yard - as much as I'm able to do so. Umm, I think the grass is brown, but the blackberries are ripe and plentiful. 

11. Try not to bawl my eyes out for the entire return trip after helping my oldest daughter move in at Montana State University. - Driving home today. Probably crying. It was a tough move-in for all of us.

September Goals
Repeat #1,3-10 with greater success. Make SMART goals within each category. 
Send encouraging notes, texts, and phone calls to my college daughter.
Cheer on my youngest at Olympic Hopes Regatta 2017 in Racice, Czechia. 


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Best. Night. Ever. Blog Tour

(BTW - this cover is huge because I love it! Just saying)


Best. Night. Ever
By Rachele Alpine, Ronni Arno, Alison Cherry, Stephanie Faris, Jen Malone, Gail Nall, and Dee Romito

Press Kit


Blurb:

Love Actually meets Adventures in Babysitting in this hilarious novel written by seven authors about seven classmates who are preparing for a crazy night at their middle school dance.

Lynnfield Middle School is prepped and ready for a dance to remember, including an awesome performance from Heart Grenade, the all-girl band who recently won a Battle of the Bands contest. Seven classmates—Carmen, Genevieve, Tess, Ryan, Ellie, Ashlyn, and Jade—intend to make the most of the night…or at least the five of them who are able to attend do. The other two would sacrifice almost anything to be there.

One thing’s for sure—this entire crew is in for one epic night! Gail Nall, Dee Romito, Rachele Alpine, Ronni Arno, Alison Cherry, Stephanie Faris, and Jen Malone have created a charming, hilarious, and relatable novel that’s perfect for anyone who can’t wait to dance the night away.

Buy Links:


Bio:

One of Rachele Alpine’s first jobs was at a library, but it didn’t last long, because all she did was hide in the third-floor stacks and read. Now she’s a little more careful about when and where she indulges her reading habit. Rachele is a high school English teacher by day, a wife and mother by night, and a writer during any time she can find in between.  She lives in Cleveland, Ohio where she writes middle grade and young adult novels. Visit her at RacheleAlpine.com.

Ronni Arno Blaisdell is the author of Ruby Reinvented. She has written for several magazines, blogs, and websites. In a previous life she worked as a publicist in Hollywood, and eventually built a home in Maine. She is a keen SCBWI member and contributor to the KidLiterati.com blog. Visit her online at
ronniarno.com.

Alison Cherry is the author of the YA novels RedFor Real and Look Both Ways, and the middle grade novels Willows vs. Wolverines and The Classy Crooks Club. She is a professional photographer and spent many years working as a lighting designer for theater, dance, and opera productions. This whole “writing books” thing is just a cover for the international crime ring she runs out of her Brooklyn apartment. (Shhh, don’t tell.) Visit her online at
AlisonCherryBooks.com.

Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing. When she isn’t crafting fiction, Stephanie is indulging her gadget geek side by writing for online technology sites. Her work is regularly featured on the small business blogs for Intuit and Go Payment and she is a featured columnist for SmallBizTechnology.com. She lives in Nashville with her husband. Visit her online at
StephanieFaris.com.

Jen Malone is a former Hollywood publicist who once spent a year traveling the world solo, met her husband on the highway (literally), and went into labor with her identical twins while on a rock star’s tour bus. These days she saves the drama for her books. Jen is also the author of the middle grade novels At Your Service and The Art of the Swap, coauthor of the You’re Invited series, and wrote the YA novels Map to the Stars and Wanderlost. You can visit her online at
JenMaloneWrites.com.

Gail Nall lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with her family and more cats than necessary. She once drove a Zamboni, has camped in the snow in June, and almost got trampled in Paris. Gail is the author of the middle grade novel Breaking the Ice, the coauthor of You’re Invited and You’re Invited Too, and the author of the young adult novel Exit Stage Left. You can find her online at GailNall.com and on Twitter as @GaileCN. Visit her online at
GailNall.com.

Dee Romito lives in her hometown of Buffalo, New York, where she and her family are steadily checking items off their own bucket list of adventures. You’re likely to find her at the local ice cream shop, writing at a cafĂ©, or curled up on the couch with her cats. And while she does her best to be a grown-up most of the time, giggling with her BFFs is still one of her all-time favorite things. To join the fun and create your own bucket list, visit
TheBFFBucketList.com.

The Rafflecopter giveaway is for a free hardback copy of Best. Night. Ever. (signed by Stephanie Faris). The HTML code below can be entered into the HTML code on your blog. Scroll down if you’d just like to link to it.


a Rafflecopter giveaway




Wednesday, August 16, 2017

There and Back Again

This particular hobbit has been on a long road trip, has returned, and plans to go on another short road trip next week.

This means that I am:

blogging rarely,

in between multiple projects,

and a bit behind on comments.

My sincere apologies to all party guests who feel that they have been turned from the door despite having party business.

And yes, I am trying to be funny and reference The Hobbit. Key word: trying.


Quick images to share where/what has been going on:

Our canoe and kayak team took 28 athletes to USACK Flat-Water Sprint Nationals in Clermont, Florida. We weathered humidity and storms (the races were cancelled for two afternoons of a four day regatta due to weather) and our team took second place in the nation (breaking our five year winning streak). My oldest came home with two medals (silver and bronze) and my youngest came home with one medal (a gold).


My youngest daughter (in the green dress, fourth girl from the left) was named as one of the 30 athletes who made it onto Team USA for the Olympic Hopes Regatta in the Czech Republic this September.



My husband and I volunteered to drive home 15 gently used (via a rental company) kayaks for our team (one is for our youngest daughter who has already grown out of her first kayak).  If you've never driven to Florida from the Washington peninsula and back, I recommend taking more time than we did and seeing some sights. We drove up to 14 hours a day with only 5-20 minute breaks every time we needed gas or a pit stop. Between my hubs, my daughters, and I we read at least eight books - some out loud and some shared.
My husband and I celebrated our 21st anniversary with a shared head cold and the last day of our drive - but I'm sure we'll make up for that soon.

Next week, we get to go again and come back. 
We are dropping off our oldest daughter at Montana State University.
Cue: Random weepy-ness in odd places like Target. (Really, it hit me there.)

Writing much? Well ... I'll report on that with the goals post in a few weeks.
Until then, I have a book shout-out coming out next week and I wanted to share this quote with you from one of my daughter's books for her first semester at MSU:

"Stories are for joining the past to the future. Stories are for those late hours in the night when you can't remember how you got from where you were to where you are. Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story."
from The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien


Hope everyone is having a great August!




Friday, August 11, 2017

#writingprompt

With the summer sun just peeking over the horizon, the swing set was empty. She sat down uncomfortably on the narrow seat that wrapped around her thighs and pushed off. She didn't want to go too high, but she wanted a chance to feel what the other kids seemed to feel, flying above the ground with their hair streaming out behind them. During the day, she didn't go to the park because ...

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

#writingprompt

Road trips always sound like fun in the planning state, but what can you expect when you stuff two adults, three sweaty teenage boys, a dog in need of a bath, and me in a car? It wasn't a pretty vacation, that's for sure, even though I tried to keep my hair decent when I found out that my brothers invited my crush along for the trip. The possibilities for disasters were endless and we didn't even make it out of the driveway when the trouble started. We ....

Monday, August 7, 2017

#writingprompt

Around the campfire, we roasted marshmallows and waited for the stories to start. Who would tell the best story this year? Could it top Grandpa's rooster story? The story told by my Aunt Bee surprised us all.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

#IWSG August 2017

HAPPY IWSG DAY!
I love this awesome team!

But, this month I'm on the road in Florida to watch my daughters compete at the Flat-water Sprint Canoe and Kayak Nationals Regatta so I may/may not be by to comment.

Please consider this a super-short post simply saying:

WRITE ON!

And, if that doesn't encourage you - check out these quotes:

If you have other things in your life—family, friends, good productive day work—these can interact with your writing and the sum will be all the richer.
– David Brin

First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him!
– Ray Bradbury

People on the outside think there’s something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn’t like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that’s all there is to it.
– Harlan Ellison

The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story.
– Ursula K. Le Guin

Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.
– Jane Yolen

If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.
– Edgar Rice Burroughs

Bonus (because I'm not sure I agree, but it made me laugh): 
Science fiction writers, I am sorry to say, really do not know anything.

– Philip K. Dick (Do Robots Dream of Electric Sheep? AKA Bladerunner)

What do you think? Do any of these quotes work for you this month?



A small report back on last month: I lost my own pictures (this takes some special user error ability after eight years of blogging) and I have changed passwords at 99% of the sites I use - some of them twice. I haven't had any more odd login attempts and the extreme interest that seemed to show up from a particular follower has finally slowed after some minor changes. However ... facebook is not a primary place for social media for me anymore. I recognize that I have family and friends there, but I'm beginning to hesitate about sharing there except in private groups. I experimented more last week, so ... it's on trial. 

All my goals and such were updated in last week's goals post.