Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Epic Post: Do You Have Goals, Celebrate the Small Things, and Sunshine Blogger Award

Although micro-blogging is the rage, this is an epic length last post for the month of July. Hit the bold print for highlights.

Celebrate the Small Things - a wonderful blog hop hosted by Viklit! I'm a few days early, but it's my best day to post.

An epic family road trip to Gainesville, Georgia commences tomorrow. We are driving a trailer with some of the Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak boats to the Junior Flat-water Sprint Nationals at Lake Lanier. It will be the longest driving trip that any of us has ever taken at 2,672 miles.

At the same time, it's a 13th birthday present for our youngest daughter who went from novice kayaker to bantam racing competitor in the last five months. She told us that she would rather go to Nationals than have a birthday party or get a birthday present. (Her birthday will be one of our drive days and we are bringing a few presents from Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and us.) She loves the sport more than anything else she's ever done, and she's practiced hours and hours, fallen in over and over again, and improved her race times by several seconds for every distance. She's come home exhausted, cold, and hungry, and then gotten up the next morning ready to go again.

So, we are driving 2,672 miles to honor her awe-inspiring passion, for her birthday, and for our family summer trip.

Do You Have Goals? - hosted by the super-encouraging Misha and Beth!

This month - I planned to participate in Camp NaNo but I didn't take into account some of our family activities and so . . . I don't know that I'll reach the goal.
I'm posting early, so maybe I'll get some massive writing done on the road trip when my husband is driving.
So, this month felt like a big fat "zero" but then I realized I completed 14,000 words total between two projects. That's not "zero."

The delightful Sarah Scheele at Stardust and Gravel gave me this award last month! Thank you, Sarah!

Each blogger who receives this award must give 11 random facts, answer 11 questions, and pass it on to 11 bloggers.


11 Random Facts:
1. I love sunflowers!!!
2. I'm allergic to sunflower seeds. I plant them anyway and don't eat them.
3. I love the sun!
4. I love all kinds of rain - the mist, the trickle, the steady, the drumbeat, and the massive downpour - but I have limits on how long I like the rain - two days is enough in a week or two.
5. I even like overcast skies with no rain - as long as they don't last for more than a day.
6. I love vanilla chai tea with honey and coconut milk.
7. I love roses with thorns. The thorn-less ones are just wrong.
8. I love dandelions and the bunnies that come to eat them.
9. I love blackberries.
10. We allow deer to eat the apples from our ancient apple trees, but we don't like them in our fenced vegetable garden.
11. I love journals and buy them too often. Some women have a closet full of shoes. I have desk drawers full of journals.

11 Questions with Answers
1. What’s the last sentence you wrote in a story?Clara and her group were only eleven strong, but that was the perfect number for a scout force into the Dark Sisterhood’s stronghold.
 2. What was the last movie you watched?The Avengers (fourth time)
 3. Do you have a favorite quote?Too many. "Writing is a dance of language." - Ivan Doig.
 4. Favorite food?           Vanilla Chai Tea
5. Have you ever seen a shooting star?               Yes
6. If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have three books, which would you bring?               The Bible, The Hobbit, and a journal
7. In real life, which appeals to you more: futuristic, modern, or old-fashioned?            Modern
8. In fiction, which appeals to you more: futuristic, modern, or old-fashioned? (Other worlds count.)Futuristic and old-fashioned :)
9. What’s the strangest thing hanging on your wall in your room?
             Origami cranes from birthday wrapping paper
10. What’s your favorite bird?    Eagle Owl
11.  Robin Hood or King Arthur?
Robin Hood

Now, I'm supposed to choose 11 bloggers to receive this award . . . and there are many more that deserve it . . . so, if you haven't received this award before, consider it yours!

What are you celebrating? What are your goals? And, Remember Please take a Sunflower Award!!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

News, Call for Submissions, Reading and Writing

Awesome news abounds these days for writers! I keep reading/hearing about new books published, contracts, and new cover art! If I've missed/misplaced your news, please send me an e-mail (found on my about me page). I would love to share it! (Please note that I will be blogging irregularly until late August but I will do my best.)

Just in . . . but hopefully not too late: C. Lee Mckenzie has her new cover art up for Double Negative and it's fabulous!

Crystal Collier has a cool cover for Soulless:

Rachna Chhabria has a new book out:

Milo James Fowler always has new stories to read, and his cover art for Captain Quasar is out:

Elizabeth Seckman is hosting a blog challenge from July 15-31:
Write something readers want to read. No word limit, no guidelines. Your only prompt is: The year was 1865....

The Broken Branch Blog Tour stopped here last week and you can scroll down and read all about Tara Tyler!

Call for Submissions for Corvidae and Scarecrow anthologies by World Weaver Press, submission dates: July 1st - October 31st, fantasy and non-gory horror stories up to 7,500 words. The two anthologies are supposed to be "in conversation" with each other and WWP is hoping for some authors who will have stories in both. More details found via the links.

Plus, Kyra Lennon is putting together a charity cat anthology - deadline September 5th. See her site for details.

Recommended Posts/Links/Etc.

Anne R. Allen's Incredibly Informative Post on Publishing. Finally, a post that gets into Indie, Small/Medium Press and the Big 5 without purposely making strident statements and enemies to get comments. 

And today, I'm guest posting on the partnership of Reading and Writing at Misha Gericke's blog, Five Year Project. Please come by and join the conversation!!!

And for the Sunshine Award . . . I hope to have that out this Wednesday.

Have any news to share? Ready to submit some stories? Remember to come join me for a conversation about Reading and Writing!

And, if you haven't picked up your copy yet of Champion in Flight, they are always available at Smashwords and Amazon. Plus, for the rest of July, Champion in the Darkness (book 1) is half price at Smashwords.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Broken Branch Falls Tour Interview with Tara!

Tyrean is the kind of friend who would climb mountains for you - or just sit on a log and chat with you in the hundred acre wood. Thanks, Tyrean, for hosting this inspiring interview today!

Aww, thanks!!!

Combination Four Question/One Word Interview:

1. Who/what influenced/inspired your writing life?
Mark Twain through my senior AP English teacher - I wrote a story using Twain's style and it was the only A I remember from that class. Later, it was my crazy, wonderful friends - our hilarious adventures were worth writing down.

Sounds like fun!

2. What inspired you and carried you through your current project?
For Broken Branch Falls, I was inspired by my sons' football practices and substituting. I imagined what fantasy creatures would be like in high school... Wanting to give my son and other boys who don't like to read, something they might enjoy carried me through.

A great inspiration!

3. What's your next project?
I can't work on just one thing, but the next goal is to finish editing and submit SIMULATION – next volume of the Cooper Chronicles (after POP TRAVEL) Clone androids are illegal for a reason. Then get going on CRADLE ROCK – next adventure in Beast World (after BBF) Do humans still exist? and my favorite, which motivates me to finish those two things, is JOLISSA – my anti-princess story. I'm very excited about it!

4. Speed Round! (One word answers)

  • What's your favorite ice cream flavor? cheesecake
  • What's your current favorite word? flippin'
  • What inspires you, in one word? Life
  • What's one word that describes your writing habits? squeezed-in
  • What's one word that you wish you could get rid of in your writing? BUT
  • What's one word that describes your writing desk? maximized
Okay, I held back from elaborating on those one word answers... but it was hard! (see? BUT!)

Thanks again, Tyrean, my sweet friend! I love a quick interview =)
Thank you, Tara!!!
(And don't forget to enter the giveaway below!)

by Tara Tyler
Release Date: June 24, 2014 (NOW!)
Publisher: Curiosity Quills

Gabe is an average fifteen-year-old goblin. He’s in the marching band, breezes through calculus, and gets picked on daily by the other kids at school, especially the ogres. But Gabe wants to break out of his nerdy stereotype and try other things. He has his eye on the new ogress at school. Though it’s against all beastly rules, there’s just something about her.

Gabe starts a fad of mingling with other species, forcing the High Council to step in and ruin things by threatening to destroy the school and split up Broken Branch Falls. With help from other outcast friends, Gabe sets out on a quest to save his town. They'll show 'em what different friends can do together!

Available at
B&N ~~~ Amazon
Add it to your GOODREADS list!

Tara Tyler has had a hand at everything from waitressing to rocket engineering. After living up and down the Eastern US, she now writes and teaches math in Ohio with her three active boys and Coach Husband. Currently, she has two series, The Cooper Chronicles (techno-thriller detective capers) and Beast World (MG fantasy) She's an adventure writer who believes every good story should have action, a moral, and a few laughs!

Also by Tara Tyler, techno-thriller detective series,
The Cooper Chronicles, Book One: POP TRAVEL
on sale this month for 99 cents!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Book Signing Ups and Downs

I did a book signing last month!!! It was scary, awesome, exciting, exhausting, tough, and taught me a few lessons on preparedness.
What scared me: I forgot to rehearse my answer to "What is your book about?" The first person to ask me that question received a blank stare and a hasty half-answer. Thankfully, she asked lots of questions after that.  
The awesome, exciting part: Friends and family came. One of my students from my homeschool co-operative came with his mom, sister, baby brother, and grandma. Strangers I never met before came and bought my book. A pre-teen girl asked her mom to get both my books for her brother and then told me she planned to read them too.  It wasn't a big crowd, but it was good. :)
The exhausting part: I wasn't feeling well, but since the bookstore owner and I had both advertised with flyers, posts, and with the local newspaper, I went. It was a struggle to maintain a happy, friendly "ok" presence when I really wanted to go back home and sleep. The bookstore owner provided a nice chair.
The tough part: A couple came into the bookstore expressly to meet the "local author" as advertised by the big sign outside the store on the sidewalk. They didn't like fantasy. They didn't understand why I would write fantasy. I struggled to answer the "why," and the bookstore owner leapt to my defense.

An interesting question that I could have answered if I wasn't so tongue-tied: A representative from the local newspaper came and asked me just one simple question, and I was so nervous I blanked it completely. The question: "What books have you read on writing?" My answer . . . "Um." Sad, but true. Thankfully, as a writer of novels himself, he jumped in with his favorite writing books and we had a conversation.

Afterwards, I took the time to start compiling the list of books I've written. Some of them can be found on my page Books on Writing.
The lesson I took away from the whole experience: I couldn't have foreseen that I would get ill, but I could be more prepared. I've written out the questions I was asked and I've written up answers. I'm going to rehearse.
And, the local bookstore owner is a gem - she offered to have me any time for another signing. :)
Have you ever had a book signing? If so, what was it like? If not, what do you dream it will be like? Do you find it easy or hard to talk about your writing?

And, have you picked up a copy of Champion in Flight yet?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

IWSG: Wishing You a Blue Sky Day!

Many thanks to Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh and his cohosts:
And the IWSG Website!
This month, we are trying to get on the Writer's Digest Best 101 Websites List: 
 Please email them at, subject line 101 Websites, and suggest the IWSG -

The Pacific Northwest, specifically near (within a mile of) the Puget Sound where I live, has two main types of weather - cloudy or sunny. The clouds sometimes mix with fog and rain, and sometimes they stretch from horizon to horizon with no sky in sight for days.

And then, there are days like today - blue sky days - full of sunshine, green grass, blues everywhere - sparkling blue water (usually it looks dark green-blue), blue sky, and blue horizons (not dull gray, praise God).

Ironically, sometimes visitors call the days I call blue-sky days "cloudy" because there's a puff of white in the sky. To me, those aren't real clouds. Those are cotton candy puffs floating in the blue.

What does this have to do with writing? Or IWSG? or anything?

Well, on blue sky days, possibilities seem endless . . .

for writing, for rest, for rejuvenation, for adventure . . .

for flight!

So, today I'm wishing you a blue sky day - the kind of day where your writing and your life are filled with endless possibilities.

Happy Blue Sky Day!

And for everyone in the U.S.A. - Happy Independence Day!!!

What's your favorite weather? For writing? For reading? For life? For daydreaming?

If you haven't taken an imaginary flight on a griffin yet, you could always check out Champion in Flight, the second book in The Champion Trilogy. :)

And, if you like reading #free flash fiction, check out Brilliant Flash fiction's current edition. My story, "Seedling," and Christine Rains' story, "Soulless," are both there and ready to read. :)

Next week, I'll be doing a super short rundown of my book signing event, and the week after that, I plan on giving out a Sunshine blogger award!