Friday, November 22, 2013

1 Word Interview with Alex J. Cavanaugh and Celebrate the Small Things

Welcome back to the 1 Word Interview. Today, please welcome author, guitarist and super blogger Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh.  Let's see how he does at the one word challenge:
1. What's your current favorite word?
Diametrically opposed (Sorry, that’s two!)
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?
Felt! (And not the Muppet kind.)
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)
Two words – critique partners!
7. What's your current project?
If I continue writing, I have an outline for a new space opera.
8. What's your favorite part of your latest book, CassaStorm?
There is a scene in the final third of the book involving Byron’s son, Bassan, and someone he encounters in the desert, and I really liked their exchange.
By Alex J Cavanaugh
From the Amazon Best Selling Series!
A storm gathers across the galaxy…
Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.
After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.
Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could return. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…
“Cavanaugh creates such an unforgettable world, and these characters will stay with you long after their story is over.” - Cassie Mae, author of Friday Night Alibi and How to Date a Nerd

"Cavanaugh makes world building on the galactic scale look easy. The stakes affect the entire known universe and yet Cavanaugh makes it intensely personal for our hero. The final installment of this series will break your heart and put it back together." - Charity Bradford, science fantasy author of The Magic Wakes
“With a talent for worldbuilding and a compelling cast of characters, Alex J. Cavanaugh combines high powered space battles and the challenges of family dynamics to provide readers a space opera with heart.”  - Elizabeth S. Craig, author of the Southern Quilting and Myrtle Clover mysteries
$16.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 268 pages, Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
Science fiction/adventure and science fiction/space opera
Print ISBN 9781939844002 eBook ISBN 9781939844019
$4.99 EBook available in all formats
Find CassaStorm:
Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He is experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The author of the Amazon bestsellers, CassaStar and CassaFire, he lives in the Carolinas with his wife.
Goodreads -

Thanks for joining me for the 1 Word Interview Challenge, Alex! I know what you mean about that awful word "felt" - however, it is slightly better than "was." Love your advice for critique partners - they are invaluable.

I'm loving this weekly hop hosted by Viklit, and I encourage everyone to join in and celebrate the small things - like getting a few sentences in every day, or getting a bit of that laundry pile folded. :)
This week, I'm celebrating:
1. Bike riding in November. I've only been out once or twice a week, but I'm still riding.
2. Thanksgiving is next week!!! I'm compiling a big thankfulness list!
3. Next week, I'm taking the week off blogging - mini-Thanksgiving vacation!
4. IWSG is right around the corner, and I know what I'm posting about. Wait, is that a good thing?
5. Misha's tenacity guest post on Wednesday is awesome! and I'm glad to have Alex here today!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Guest post on Tenacity in Writing by Misha Gericke

Tenacity in Writing by Misha Gericke

Most non-writers, when they think of writing stories, imagine the process to be this intensely inspiring thing, where the muse gives you one whiff of air and it sustains you to the end, which is more or less three weeks from now.

I blame the media for this. Movies etc. dealing with writers as characters often show them as starving. But never because they’re stuck without having a word to write. Oh no, despite the fact that they are living through intense dramas, often without food, their creativity keeps flowing strong.

Reality deviates from this image quite a lot. I can’t really say much for other writers, but my own experience taught me that writing, while inspiring, isn’t just a matter of dumping a few words on the page.

Well… actually it is, but to sit down every single day (or most days) to dump those pages on the page isn’t easy. Because once the first inspiration fades away, you’re left with nothing but an idea that the story’s good. The only way to get it written is to commit to writing it and to get it done.

You can’t imagine how angry I’ve made people with those words, but it’s true. There’s no glamorous way to be inspired every day. In fact, inspiration, while important in the beginning, is pretty over rater. It’s not inspiration that’ll see you through to the end.

It’s sheer bloody-mindedness.

It’s sitting down even when you’re not feeling particularly inspired, so that you can write a scene that you know needs to be written. And if you’re not sure whether or not it should be in the book, it’s about sitting down and writing that scene anyway.

It’s about forgetting what people think writers should be like and focusing on writing. Don’t get trapped in the image. Create your method. Find what works for you best (because nothing ever works perfectly) and do that until your story’s done.

Tenacity is 90% of a book’s creation. 10% is inspiration.

Once you realize this, you’re in the right mind space to finish that book. Good luck, and keep writing!

Thanks Misha!


Since the death of her parents, Callan Blair has been shunted from one foster family to another, her dangerous secret forcing the move each time. Her latest foster family quickly ships her off to an exclusive boarding school in the Cumbrian countryside. While her foster-brother James makes it his mission to get Callan expelled, a nearby ancient castle holds the secret doorway to another land...

When Callan is forced through the doorway, she finds herself in the magical continent of Tardith, where she’s shocked to learn her schoolmates Gawain and Darrion are respected soldiers in service to the king of Nordaine, one of Tardith's realms. More than that, the two are potential heirs to the Black Knight—Nordaine's crown prince.

But when the Black Knight fails to return from a mysterious trip, the realm teeters on the brink of war. Darrion and Gawain set out to find him, while Callan discovers there is more to her family history than she thought. The elves are claiming she is their princess.

Now with Darrion growing ever more antagonistic and her friendship with Gawain blossoming, Callan must decide whether to stay in Nordaine—where her secret grows ever more threatening—or go to the elves and uncover the truth about her family before war sets the realms afire.


M. Gerrick (AKA Misha Gericke) has basically created stories since before she could write. Many of those stories grew up with her and can be seen in her current projects.

She lives close to Cape Town, with a view over False Bay and Table Mountain.

If you’d like to contact her, feel free to mail her at warofsixcrowns(AT)gmail(DOT)com, Circle her on Google Plus or follow her on Twitter. If you'd like to see her writer-side (beware, it's pretty insane), please feel free to check out her blogYou can also add The Vanished Knight on Goodreads.



Friday, November 15, 2013

99 Red Balloons, Karen Lange with Homeschool Co-Ops 101, and Celebrate!

In memory of Andrew, and with prayers for Nick Wilford and all of Andrew's family.

And now, onto Karen Lange's Homeschool Co-Ops 101. (If you want to see the Celebrate post, scroll down to the bottom. :)
homeschool co-ops 101
Essential co-op tools, tips, and options for today’s homeschool families. Thinking about joining or starting a homeschool co-op? Not sure if a co-op is a good fit? Homeschool Co-ops 101 weighs the pros, cons, and creative options available for today’s homeschool family.
  • Section 1 includes essential, digestible info on co-op ingredients such as planning and organization, schedules, teaching, finances, and addressing conflict and burnout.
  • Section 2 shares a sampling of co-op games and activities, and
  • Section 3 contains five hands-on unit studies. These ready to use studies include lessons on Leonardo da Vinci, Birds of Prey, Public Speaking, Tall Tales, and Creative Writing, and are suitable for co-op or home use. This section also includes unit study guidelines that are easily customized to suit any topic.
  • Section 4 offers suggested books, curriculum, and other resources.
Karen Lange has gathered insight from years of co-oping and now shares her own and others’ experiences in this valuable and encouraging handbook.
Homeschool Co-ops 101 is available at:
karen langeAbout the Author Karen Lange, her husband, and three children were active in co-ops during their sixteen-year homeschool journey. Her experience includes serving as a local homeschool support group coordinator and consultant for a state homeschool network in New Jersey. Karen’s children have since graduated, and she is now a freelance writer and online writing instructor for homeschooled teens. You can connect with Karen at her Blog, on Twitter, and Facebook. homeschool co-ops 101 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Giveaway Open to US addresses only. One person will receive a $25 Amazon GC and a copy of Homeschool Co-ops 101. Please use the Rafflecopter below to be entered: a Rafflecopter giveaway The winner will be chosen from those entries and announced December 5, 2013. Good luck!
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as e-mailed, and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Diane at That’s What I’m Here For… and sponsored by the author, Karen Lange. The author provided me with a free copy of Homeschool Co-ops 101 to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a giveaway in return for the free book.VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
Some Questions and Answers from Karen Lange:

What prompted you to write this book?


Thanks so much for inviting me over to your blog! I’m looking forward to visiting with you and your followers.


About ten years ago, I was encouraged by a good friend in the homeschool community to write a booklet about co-ops. She was the director of a statewide homeschool support network, and she knew people often asked me about how a co-op works. The booklet seemed like a good way to share the info, so I self published it.  In May of 2013, Helping Hands Press offered me a contract to expand it, so here we are! 


What can readers expect to find in the book?


The book offers info on how to start a co-op and weighs the pros, cons, and creative options available for homeschool families. One thing I emphasize is that parents have options when it comes to co-oping. Co-ops come in all sizes and sometimes an existing one is not a good fit for a family. Parents shouldn’t feel bad or be intimidated if this is the case; they need to know that it’s okay to either not participate and even start their own co-op if they wish.


Another thing to note is that HC 101's usefulness is not limited to just homeschoolers. The how to section offers helpful setup and structure tips for other K-12 student groups. The activity segment has lessons, games, and hands on projects that suit these groups as well.                            


Here is a breakdown of each section of the book:


Section 1 includes info on co-op ingredients such as planning and organization, schedules, teaching, finances, and addressing conflict and burnout.  Section 2 has a sampling of co-op games and activities, and Section 3 contains five hands-on unit studies. The topics include lessons on Leonardo da Vinci, Birds of Prey, Public Speaking, Tall Tales, and Creative Writing, and are suitable for co-op or individual home use. Section 3 also includes unit study guidelines that are easily customized to suit any topic. Section 4 offers suggested books, curriculum, and other resources.


Tell us a little about your homeschool experience.


My husband and I homeschooled our three children (two sons and a daughter) in grades K-12. We chose to homeschool because, among other things, we wanted to personalize our children’s education and felt home was the best place to do that. During this time, we were active with our local homeschool support group’s events such as field trips and science and art fairs.  Co-ops played an important role too. These activities helped supplement our studies, provided balanced socialization, fellowship, and fun. They also offered a broader worldview as our children interacted with not just homeschool families, but the surrounding community.


If you happen to be interested in more info about the ups and downs of homeschooling, socialization, higher education, and other related topics, visit this link:


What would you like readers to take away from the book?


No one plan fits everyone, so I encourage families, whether they decide to co-op or not, to find the right balance and fit for them. My hope is that they would find ideas and encouragement for their children’s educational journey. 

Thanks again for sharing your space with me today. It’s been a pleasure!

You're welcome, Karen!

Celebrate the Small Things:

1. I biked two days this week.
2. I re-wrote three chapters of Champion in Flight.
3. Friends are having us over for dinner tonight.
4. My homeschool co-op rocks!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Indie Life: Thanksgiving

Today, I'm giving thanks for all the encouragement I've found as in Indie author on the web and in the brick and mortar world.

So many awesome blog buddies have encouraged me in my publishing pursuits, and I am thankful for each and all of you!

Today, Natalie Aguirre is doing a big Indie Giveaway at Literary Rambles as a way of supporting her Indie blog friends. I'm super excited to give away an e-copy of Champion in the Darkness there. Natalie is a great blog buddy!

In the brick and mortar world, I've found encouragement at Indie bookstores. It makes sense that Indie bookstore owners and Indie authors work together. I am thankful for those bookstore owners who have supported my writing endeavors.

I want to encourage every Indie author I know to go out and meet an Indie bookstore owner - they may not have the huge reach of the big 'zon, but they can give tangible support to Indie authors.

Check out my book stores page. Thanks to these stores, I have had the "wow, my book is on bookstore shelf!" moments. I admit I haven't experienced a ton of sales in these places, but my book is getting some shelf space, and some small recognition in my community because of them.

What are you giving thanks for today? Where have you found encouragement for your writing dreams? And have you approached an Indie bookstore owner with your book?

Friday, November 8, 2013

1 Word Intervew: Nutschell

It's my delight and privilege to continue my 1 Word Interviews this week with Nutschell  Anne Windsor from The Writing Nut, the host of many Writer's Workspace Wednesday posts. She recently celebrated the release of Story Sprouts: CBW-LA Writing Day Exercises and Anthology 2013 and is a MG and YA writer with many interests, including martial arts, photography, drums, and travel.

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)
“Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.”
—Ray Bradbury, WD

7. What's your current project?
Currently revising a middle grade fantasy novel.

And an 8th question for November: What are you thankful for this year?
The gift of supportive family and friends!

Thank you for visiting, Nutschell! And although my writing desk isn't tidy or organized at the moment, I love your words, and your quote!
Remember to visit Nutschell at The Writing Nut, and get to know her more!
Plus, remember to check out her release at Amazon!

Celebrate the Small Things:
1. It's been a "normal" week, which feels odd, but restful.
2. Daylight Savings Time made it possible for me to get out and bicycle with my husband this week. I'm a wimp when it comes to bicycling in the dark.
3. Revision writing is going well. I'm a bit behind on my daily goals because I worked on something else one day. (oops, sort of)
4. I've outlined an unexpected non-fiction project. After copying out far too many pages for my homeschool co-operative classes before every Monday, buying new ink cartridges and a giant amount of paper, I decided to write out all my class notes and materials for one of the classes I plan to teach next year in a book format, tentatively titled:
The Art of Essay Writing: Essential and Advanced Practices for Essay Writers
(It totally sounds pretentious, so I may have to change that)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

IWSG: I Can't Do It ALL . . . and that's ok.

Many thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh who started this amazing blog hop, which also now has it's own website and facebook page! And many thanks to all those writers who make IWSG an encouraging and inspiring place to be with their raw and honest look at their insecurities and their encouraging words.

I can't do it ALL. And saying that stresses me out, but also offers me some relief. I can't do it ALL - the big capital ALL: all the stuff I want to do, or mistakenly think that I can do all at once. Originally, with this post, I had a list here, call it a whine list, brag list, whatever, of all the stuff I try to do every day, every week, and every month, and then I thought . . . wait, everyone has a list like that. Everyone I know has a tendency to make "to-do" lists that could take up a piece of butcher paper that stretches across a room.

Maybe I just know crazy people like me . . . who dream big, and then scramble to put foundations under those dreams. And maybe that's ok.

Really, it's ok to dream big. It's ok to fill up massive to-do lists. It's ok, even when I can't get it ALL done ALL at the same time. I can begin, and begin again, and get one thing done at a time.

So, if you are like me, and you like to create gigantic to-do lists for your huge dreams and plans, I encourage you to just take it one bit at time, begin and begin again, if needed and just keep building that foundation, brick by brick, under your dreams.

We can do it, one bit at a time.

And when we struggle, we can pray. I invite you all to participate in Mark Koopmans awesome 50 States of Pray on December 24th!

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Few Thoughts on the Realism in Ender's Game, Bullying, and Forgiveness

Back in 1989, when I first read Ender's Game, I read it in five hours, totally wrapped up in Ender's character and the story. I've discovered since then that many people just don't get this book. They dislike the characters, or don't understand them. They feel that the situations are unrealistic, especially the bullying, vulgarity, and manipulation that takes place. Or they think that since the characters are young, that nothing heavy or painful will, or should, happen to them.

Be aware that this post is going to get painful and real, and I'm going to tell you a bit more about my life than I usually do. It's a bit long, but if you want to know why I think the kids in Ender's Game are portrayed realistically, read on.

When I read Ender's Game the first time, I was 17 and had just graduated from a public school system where I had been bullied on a nearly daily basis from first grade through graduation.

Why did I put up with it?

Because back in elementary school, when I complained, the teachers thought I was a tattle-tale, that none of it was that bad, or that I didn't understand being teased because I was an only child and wasn't used to normal kid-to-kid interactions. For some reason having friends didn't count.

I told my parents about what was happening. They came to the school. Teachers and administrators seemed somewhat concerned. My parents went home, and it turned out that I was in trouble for "tattling" again. At this point I wasn't complaining about being called names (daily), I was complaining about being pushed, shoved, pinched, held down and groped. I was in second grade. I decided that I had to handle it on my own. And crying in a corner wasn't an option, because that just made me a bigger target.

Another girl at my school told me that her dad was a martial arts teacher and that she could show me some basic self-defense moves. By the end of second grade, I was leaving my bullies behind with bruises.

Unfortunately, there were other not-so-great things going in my life at that point. A friend of mine who had three older siblings was violently raped by her oldest brother. Her two middle siblings were also raped. They all tried to swear me to silence with threats. I decided that for once, I would be a tattletale again. An investigation took place, and I lost my best friend . . . who went and told the entire school that I was a liar.

I felt guilty for telling, and yet ashamed of how long it had taken me to tell. I didn't want to talk about any of it with anyone for a long, long time. I started avoiding contact with other kids by spending all my recess time in the school library. A few years went by with few friends and few incidents of bullying other than the mild name-calling that I was getting used to at that point.

During this time, I learned the Lord's prayer and started struggling with that phrase, "Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us." That was really a tough phrase for me, and I started praying about it. I think, now, that praying for help with forgiveness kept me healthier than I could have been at that point.

In junior high (that's middle school in modern terms), things heated up again. I had decided to be more social: I gained friends who seemed blind to anything bad that happened, and more enemies again. The bullying grew physical once more, and included things thrown at me, tobacco chew spit at me and on my locker, and the inevitable attempted groping. I fought back, usually with just a few kicks or hits and then a swift run that took me away from the bully/bullies. I started taking creative routes from class to class, sometimes going outside in the rain to avoid certain hallways.

One day, I decided to walk inside. A boy jumped on me from behind and started groping me while saying nasty things. In a split second, I lost my temper in the worst way imaginable. I felt like the only thing I wanted in that moment was to hurt him as badly as I had ever been hurt, to hurt him so much that he would never hurt me again. I don't really know how long the fight lasted, because red rage was pretty much my world during that time. I didn't start to come out of that until a couple of other kids shouted at me to stop. I had been kicking him repeatedly while he was on the ground. He needed help to get up and couldn't stand on his own. I found out later that he went to the hospital and had bruised ribs. I was so shaken and frightened of what I had done that I promised myself that I would learn to handle my anger, and that I would never hurt anyone like that again. The kids at school started to stay outside of arm's reach. The tobacco chew spit, name-calling, and thrown objects still kept coming, but no one touched me. I was thankful for it, and yet ashamed of my temper.

Does anyone see yet why I felt like Orson Scott Card had taken notes from my life for Ender's Game? I understood Ender's dilemma in a gut level way.

In addition to the bullying, I had been separated out by teachers who told my honor class friends and I that we were special, smarter, etc (baloney, baloney), and for a while I believed them even though I had friends who weren't honor students who I knew were just as smart as I was. (Again, see any Ender's Game similarities here?)

The only incident I had with my temper in high school came when a friend of mine was picked up by two guys in varsity jackets, thrown into a bay of lockers and punched in the stomach. Angry that no one else did or said anything to stop them, I cursed them, threatened them, and went into attack mode. They ran. I looked around, and I didn't have any back up. My friend told me she had never see anyone as scary as I was when I lost my temper. I felt that strange mix of horror, shame, and yet thankfulness again.

I prayed daily for God to heal me of my anger and bitterness, for help forgiving others, and for help staying calm and positive.

After a spectacularly disastrous decision on my part to run for class office (during the class assembly before the vote I was booed by at least 100 of my 300 classmates), my opponent (who was far more popular) told me he would try to make sure that I was never harassed again. He had actually witnessed some of the name-calling, etc. in the hallways and it bothered him. The harassment lessened.

During my senior year, one of my friends witnessed tobacco chew being spit on my locker. When he found out that it happened at least weekly, he helped me take revenge. Yes, revenge. I wasn't losing my temper with angry words or fists at that point, but I wasn't very mature. We broke into the tobacco chewer's locker, threw out all his tobacco cans, drew on his posters, and moved his books around. Then we waited across the hall and watched him find his locker in disarray. He was horrified. My friend, to my terror, made sure the guy knew we had done it. Thankfully, my friend happened to be a black belt fighter, and the son of one of the football coaches. The harassment went down to name-calling, and usually happened quietly.

Unfortunately, I wasn't the only kid harassed or bullied at my school. One of my friends was surrounded by a bunch of guys and beat until he was hospitalized with broken bones. The bullies never got in trouble. Another friend was knocked down by two football players in front of the vice-principal, who, instead of helping my friend, merely told the two players he'd be rooting for them at the game that night. When my friend stood up and started verbally protesting, the vice-principal threatened to suspend him for threatening our school's prize players and our team's chances of going to state. I could go on with more stories, but I think you get the picture here: school administrators only protected varsity players and the popular, rich kids.

The kind of bullying portrayed in Ender's Game is realistic. The feelings of Ender for his enemies ring true for me, even the loving part. The guy who I hurt back in junior high, came up to me a while later at a Young Life meeting and apologized to me with the help of one of the leaders. We had a long talk, and I apologized for hurting him. We prayed, and we forgave each other, and it was real forgiveness - a miraculous healing of the heart that I know only Jesus can give. Another guy who had verbally harassed me for years apologized at a senior party and I forgave him. Since then, at every high school reunion I've attended, I've made peace with one or more of my old enemies. My friend who had called me a liar after I told the school counselor about her family actually thanked me ten years later.

So, for me, oddly enough, the reason I love Ender's Game has less to the book itself than it has to do with my own experiences. A story may start in the heart and mind of a writer, but it finds completion in the heart and mind of the reader.

When you meet someone who loves Ender's Game, ask them why . . . and you might hear a story like mine.

Friday, November 1, 2013

1 Word Interviews with C. Lee Mckenzie and Mark Means

Please give a warm welcome to C. Lee Mckenzie and Mark Means, my guests today for 1 Word Interviews!

C. Lee is a writer with an upbeat attitude. Her YA book, Princess of Las Pulgas, was one of my favorite reads this year. She's also written Sliding on the Edge, and Alligators Overhead.

Mark Means loves superheroes, comics, and genre mash-ups, and is a writer whose work I look forward to reading soon. He hangs out at Google+ and his blog Left and Write.

1. What's your current favorite word?

C. Lee: Overwhelmed (but you knew that already) :-)

  Mark: "Imagine"
2. In one word, what inspires you?

C. Lee: A friend. A day with people I love. A beach or a mountain. A foggy morning. Food with the "Ahhh!" factor.

 Mark: Creativity
3. What's one word that describes your writing habits?

 C. Lee: Erratic and tucked in among other things in my life.

Mark: Procrastinizational. (Is that a word??)
4. What's one word that you wish you could get rid of in your writing?

C. Lee:  Erratic. I'd love to get back to a schedule. I used to have one of those, but it was lost in the shuffle.

 Mark: "Actually"
5. What's one word that describes your writing desk?

C. Lee: Big-messy-thing. Okay I cheated, but I used hyphens. Can I cheat?

 Mark: Organized
6. Share the best writing advice/tool/quote that helps you. (please limit to one sentence)

C. Lee: The only way you can guarantee failure is to give up.

 Mark: "Write something....anything....every day."
7. What's your current project?

C. Lee: I've just started the sequel to my middle grade book, Alligators Overhead. I'm at 14,000 words and holding.

 Mark: "Last Chance"

Procrastinizational is definitely a word! Big-messy-thing works!

And overwhelmed . . . I totally get that, because as you probably noticed today, I had an unexpected mash-up of two writers who I love, and I hope that they are ok with sharing the day. Now, go, give them big virtual hugs!

Celebrate the Small Things:

I almost forgot, but then I remembered to Celebrate!!!

1. My niece's wedding was absolutely wonderful. I know that God guided my words. The bride and groom seemed to love it, and my sister-in-law's husband (father of the bride) had tears in his eyes when he gave me a hug later. I felt blessed and privileged to be a part of the celebration. 

2. I'm taking on my own Revision Challenge for the month of November. By month's end, I will have Champion in Flight ready for proofreading. I'll be posting my progress weekly. Any takers for proofreaders or beta readers?

3. My oldest daughter ran a 1 mile, end-of-the-year race for cross country to see how much she has improved. She started the year running 1 mile in about 10 minutes, and at this last race she ran 1 mile in 7 minutes and 19 seconds!

4. Our dear friends, whose daughter Jessica has had so many painful surgeries, are off to Disneyworld soon on a Make a Wish trip for Jessica. She's been a whole year without any surgeries, and has had a huge improvement in her health.

BTW - yes, I married our niece Jessica and her husband Jason, and we have friends whose sweet daughter is named Jessica - just to clear up any confusion.

Best wishes to all who are starting NaNoWriMo today! I'm cheering for you!

Now, please, go hang out with C. Lee at The Write Game and  Mark at Left and Write!