Friday, February 27, 2015

Do You Have Goals Update and Celebrations!

 Many thanks to Lexa Cain, Katie, and LG Keltner for keeping this hop hopping, and many thanks to Viklit for starting it!

I'm celebrating everything below in this post, and for this hop, specifically:

1. Shelley Sly's sweet review and interview on Monday.
2. C. Lee Mckenzie's Opening Lines guest post here.
3. Getting done with a novella on Wednesday night at 11:24p.m.
4. Lexa Cain's shout-out for my "Seedling" story freebie. Thanks, Lexa!

 Write 1 Sub 1: I have today and tomorrow to make this happen. Agh. I'm working on a few hint fiction stories because that's the length my brain can handle outside my longer projects right now.
 This is my personal goals banner for the year. And, I've been working on those foundations every day!
Official Goals Update for Do You Have Goals, hosted by Misha and Beth:
1. Finished the novella project.
2. Received rejection letters (at least three, didn't want to count more), but that meant I submitted work, right?
3. Re-subbed a hint fiction story.
4. Re-entered my curriculum project - ultra copy edit time.
5. Really happy with publishing A Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts and it's sibling projects: A Pocket-Sized Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts, Jumble Journal 1, and Jumble Journal 2.
6. Relational: I have a few bloggers guesting here next month! But I haven't invited anyone for May yet. (Skipping April for A to Z) And, in the HD/real world, I need to get invitations going for March.
7. Exercise: minor floor exercises: leg lifts, sit ups, etc. No walking/biking allowed by docs yet. Next month.
8. Spiritual: Ash Wednesday talk at my church, Children's Message at a Sunday worship, daily time - most days with prayer as the focus and some Biblical study.
9. Marketing . . . some twittering and regular posting here. Using the free version of the Buffer app for pre-written twitter posts.

So, do you have goals? How do you put foundations under them? And, what are you celebrating this week/month?

If you are looking for a few writing prompts, A Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts is only 99 cents for e-readers at Kindle, B&N, and Smashwords.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Guest: C. Lee Mckenzie's Great Time Lock Disaster and Opening Lines

Today, I'm excited to hand my blog over to the talented and wonderful C. Lee Mckenzie!

There's nothing’s more dangerous than a wizard-in-training. And Pete Riley, has just proven it. He's worked a bad time spell--a very bad time spell.

No YouTube, no smoothies, no Manga. Not ever again. Not unless Pete figures out how to reverse his spell and free Weasel and him from Victorian England. 

He has until the next full moon. Only a few days.

Tick. Tock.

C. Lee On Opening Lines

Opening lines are the hardest for me to write. So much hinges on them. I’ve gone through books and read hundreds of first lines to find out successful writers’ secrets for getting me into a book. 

Then I started doing a bit of research. The best definition of a great opening came from Sol Stein in Stein on Writing. Here’s a short version of what he says: 

The first lines must: 

  • excite the reader’s curiosity, preferably about a character or a relationship.   Stein later refers to this as “quick characterization.”
  • introduce a setting.
  • make the story important enough for the reader to continue.

I’d add that the first lines must sweep me away from where I’m reading in my chair and plunk me dead center inside the world of the story.

Here are three of my favorites. 

1. Today I moved to a twelve-acre rock covered with cement, topped with bird turd and surrounded by water.  Alcatraz sits smack in the middle of the bay—so close to the city of San Francisco, I can hear them call the score on a baseball game on Marina Green. Okay, not that close. But still. Al Capone Does My Shirts, Choldenko

2. Tad was beginning to hate the spear. 
It was his first spear, and—when he had woken on the morning of his twelfth Naming Day—he had thought that it was the mist beautiful thing he had ever seen. His father had always pretended that Naming Day presents were brought each year by the Moon Elves, who traveled to Earth on moonbeams and brought gifts to well-behaved girls and boys. The Waterston, Rupp

3. “Where’s Papa going with that axe?" said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast. Charlotte’s Web, White

  • In each case, we immediately locate the character(s). 
  • We sense their emotions and know a bit about them: 1) a relocated, not too happy person  2) disappointed  12-year-old 3) kid who’s curious and a bit fearful 
  • We know which point of view these stories are going to be told in. 
  • We know a bit about the setting: 1) isolated place, unattractive, sense of coldness 2) a different way of life with Naming Days and kids with spears 3) morning, maybe on a farm

Now here’s my attempt from The Great Time Lock Disaster. I’m up against some stiff competition. 

One minute the clock was tick-tocking on the mantel and the next it was a smoldering mess.

“No,” Harriet shouted. Then she braced one hand on her desk and covered her eyes with the other. 

Pete froze, not blinking, not breathing, but waiting to see if Harriet would point one of her long, bony fingers at him and turn him into a turnip or something slimy. 

To celebrate the launch of The Great Time Lock Disaster I'm giving 20 eBooks away. Hope you'll jump in to the copter and go for a ride!

Usually, C. Lee takes on modern issues that today's teens face in their daily lives. Her first young adult novel, Sliding on the Edge, which dealt with cutting and suicide was published in 2009. Her second, titled The Princess of Las Pulgas, dealing with a family who loses everything and must rebuild their lives came out in 2010. Double Negative (2014) was her third young adult novel. Researching it turned her into a literacy advocate. Her fourth YA, Sudden Secrets came out in December 2014. 

When she really want to have FUN, she writes middle grade books. Alligators Overhead and The Great Time Lock Disaster are now available.

Monday, February 23, 2015


Just a tiny shout-out to Shelley Sly, MG Author for hosting me at her blog today. It's late, and after a long day of teaching and some extra long conversations with my daughters this afternoon about "yesterday, today, and future plans," I made dinner and remembered the interview and the sweet review that Shelley gave me for A Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Shelley!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things

Many thanks to Lexa Cain and her wonderful co-hosts, and to Viklit for starting this hop!

What I'm celebrating this week:

1. I've been banging my head against the keyboard over a particular plot point this last week, and finally, finally on Thursday evening I had an idea and wrote blissfully until my oldest daughter came in and told me she was HUNGRY - and somehow, even though it was nearly 8p.m., I didn't overcook the beef roast.

2. Um, despite said above project being due very shortly, I have just barely enough time to work on it. (I will try to visit around today, but my comments might be tiny short.)

3. I've had some amazing retweets this last week for A Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts, and I'll have an interview with Shelley Sly on Monday!

If you are looking for a freebie flash fiction story, check out "Seedling" for Amazon kindle - it's permafree these days.

What are you celebrating today?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ash Wednesday

What does this day mean to me?

It isn't just a tradition, for I didn't start celebrating Ash Wednesday until I became an adult.

It isn't just a day of ashes for me, because it is a day of hope, a day when I look beyond this mortality to the eternity beyond it.

It is a day when I celebrate the goodness of God who loves each of us (even me) despite all of our sins (even mine).

Tonight, I'll be speaking at an Ash Wednesday service. My pastor is out of town and he asked a group of us to speak and to lead worship. I've done it before, but it is still an honor and a blessing to get asked. Three of us are speaking.

I get to speak about dependence. Here's my rough draft:

Do you remember your birth?
Your first step?
The first time you dumped your food on the floor?
Or, when you and your sister made a mess in the kitchen for the first time?
I don’t either.
But, my children, although they are now teenagers, reminded me.
I helped them take their first stumbling steps,
carried them when they were tired,
cleaned up the mess in the kitchen,
and I loved them and love them, now.

And, I’m not as good as God.
In the midst of the blessings, I had moments of frustration. I hid my daughters' favorite stained shirts from them and made them wear the clothes I thought were good enough for worship. I slowed them down in their enthusiastic race to the cross because running isn’t okay in church. I lost my temper with their stumbling. I sinned, and only God could help me up as a parent, and as His child. 

We are all God’s children. We are still learning to walk, still helpless, still covered in jam and mud and flour. We still need God’s embrace, his love, his guidance.

Young children depend on their parents. They need our help and they aren’t too shy or prideful to ask for it when they are tired and down. They want to be picked up, helped through tricky places, and sung to sleep at night. They admit they have needs and they can’t make everything happen themselves. 

And, when they want to wear their favorite mustard-stained shirt that they feel is their best and run to Jesus with open arms covered in mud, flour, and sticky jam, we might want to follow their lead.

Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Mark 10:15

We need to let go of our pride, our “do it ourselves” independence and depend wholly on Jesus.

If we can do that, we can enter his embrace.

“And he (Jesus) took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.” – Mark 10:16

Sunday, February 15, 2015

New, Party Plans, and Did You See?

I'm trying a new banner and name. What do you think? Too serious? Anyone get the old Winnie-the-Pooh reference in the old name "Tyrean's Writing Spot?" Is "Everyday Writer" okay? 

Party Plans
My Blogaversary party plans for April 30th are slowly coming together in my head. Four things are for certain:
1. It will be April 30th.
2. Somehow, in some tiny way, it will tie into the end of A to Z.
3. Encouragement/Unexpected Blessings/Connections will be the theme. Wait, didn't I just name 3? Yes, still deliberating and trying to figure out how to put them all together.
4. Giveaways will happen: ebooks, and . . . well, I'm not sure what else. Virtual chocolate? Editorial help? Despite my rampant typos, I do teach writing classes and can spot grammar errors in other writers' work.

Did You See?
I had a guest post at M.J. Joachim's Writing Tips about being an Every Day Writer. It didn't get a lot of loving, so I would really appreciate a late stop-by, if you have time. :)

And Thank You for all the awesome bloggers and tweeters who gave my newest book, A Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts a shout-out! You rock!

So, what do you think about the New Look or the Party Plans? Any suggestions?

Oh, and I have a new "Guest Policy" page. If you would like to look that over and send me e-mail suggestions, that would be great, too. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Guest: Charity Bradford and Celebrate the Small Things

Today, I'm starting out with a celebration of a wonderful author and blogger, Charity Bradford!
Q's by me, A's by Charity.

1. What's your favorite scene or line from Fade Into Me?

As my daughter would say, “So many, so many!” Here are a couple of lines.

·      I closed my hand to stop her fingers from causing any more damage to my resolve. ~Caedan
·      My inner demons snarled and clawed until the butterflies had been shredded. ~Ryanne
·      Happiness is never a guarantee and it always requires effort. ~Caedan’s mom
·      The collective magical ignorance of the human race compelled the colors to remain motionless. Here (referring to his world) they played like joyful children. ~Caedan
·      All I could think about was following him down the street for a fist to face conversation. ~Caedan
·      In that one moment between blinks, the restlessness disappeared, and I was home. ~Ryanne
·      The entire last chapter. sigh

2. How did Fade Into Me take on a life of its own?

Wow, that’s a great question. I originally planned a sweet romance, that in all truth would have been blah. Then Ryanne took me on the first detour. I was typing and something about scars on her back appeared on the page.

What in the world?

Well, I let it percolate and things became much more complicated. There were so many questions to be explored. The answers brought a lot more depth to Ryanne’s character and helped me realize there was a message I wanted to share with the world.

Bad things happen. They might leave us broken and scarred, but that doesn’t mean we’re unworthy of a love that heals and lifts us to a better world.

3. What prompted you to write about the message of Fade Into Me?

This is a little harder to pin down. Perhaps its just life that led me to this point. I’ve suffered depression, watched my mom/sisters/myself struggle with co-dependent tendencies, spoken with friends who have had very traumatic events in their past, etc. Although our individual experiences were different, we shared many common emotions. “I’m not good enough.” “Why would he love me when he could have someone else?” “It’s my fault so this misery is justified.” “If only I had been better, prettier, something, things would have been different.”

Sadly these are VERY common thoughts in today’s world. And not just with women. In my life one thing has always helped me keep moving forward. Love. Love of family, my sweet husband, my friends. None of us is perfect. Love isn’t even perfect. But it’s worth fighting for and it can make us whole.

So true. Love is worth fighting for! (comment)

Bonus: What's one of your favorite scenes from one of your favorite books?

I have an entire bookshelf of “favorite books”. You know, the ones you can read over and over and never get tired of them? Well, today I’ll share a newer favorite. I think I read Louisiana Longshot by Jana Deleon three times last year. OMGosh this book makes me laugh out loud. I picked it up for free under the romantic suspense kindle section. This year I hope to make enough money selling my books to buy the rest of this series.

Anyway, I love the scene where CIA agent Fortune (whose hiding out from some really bad guys who want her dead in a little back water Louisiana town called Sinful) is trying to get to Gertie’s house (one of the geriatric mafia—seriously you just got to read this book). She’s also trying to avoid the only eligible bachelor in town, Deputy LeBlanc. It’s a really small town and she ends up in his back yard while he’s going in and out to grill out. She’s hiding in a bush trying very hard not to attract the attention of his dog. Well, she get’s Gertie to call him, he leaves and she has to dump the meat off the grill to distract the dog while she jumps the back fence. Unfortunately she leaves behind a few strands of her platinum blonde hair snagged in the bush. He has to wonder if she’s stalking him.

The whole book is filled with laugh out loud fun.

Author Bio:

Charity Bradford has been a voracious reader ever since her 5th grade teacher introduced her to the world of books with the WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS and SUMMER OF THE MONKEYS. She soon lost herself in the worlds created by Card, Bova, Asimov, Bradbury, Nagata and Niven. She lives in Northwest Arkansas with her hubby and four kids that keep her on her toes.

Caeden Frey doesn’t believe humans will evolve to see the magic, much less control it. Even so, he has two months to marry a human or face the wrath of the High Council. Bitter about a responsibility he thinks prevents him marrying for love, he figures any human girl will do. He’s ready to propose when his soul mate stumbles into—and right out of—his arms.

Human, Ryanne Killian might be Caedan’s one shot at happiness while still fulfilling his duty. Unfortunately, she guards a dark secret. She’s determined to push Caedan away to protect him from her past.

Caedan must convince her she’s worthy of his love before a rival family puts an end to his wedding plans. If she can see her own worth, she just might save herself and his people.

Buy it on Amazon
Watch the Trailer
Read the first 2 chapters

Find Charity at:

Charity is so right! Love is worth it! 

I just have a few other things to celebrate!

1. Two awesome awards - Liebster and Very Inspirational - received and given away earlier this week.

2.  A Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts is out! (off my desk after 4 years of prep)

3. I have a guest post at M.J. Joachim's Writing Tips blog! The Makings of an Every Day Writer!

4. And, I graduated from the "walking cast boot" aka "boot of evil with good intentions" into brand-new hiking boots. I can now drive our stick shift again, and take small strolls (inside the grocery store, etc). 

Hiking boot rules over "the" boot. 

What are you celebrating today? Do you think love is worth fighting for?  Please say hello to Charity and check out Fade into Me!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Jumble Party!

What started out as one project grew into four, with more to come! 
Welcome to my Jumble Party - a release day party for my Jumble Writing Prompt Books!
The first ten visitors (with comments) will receive a free copy of An E-book Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts via Smashwords, or a free pdf of A Pocket-Sized Jumble of Writing Prompts.
There's also a Goodreads Giveaway for three copies of the Pocket-Sized Jumble!

What are these books? They are an answer to the blank page.

The E-book and Pocket-sized Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts contain more than 500 simple writing prompts to help every day writers start their day writing. These prompts are designed to give the write just a jolt of an idea, from which the writer can create their own story, reflection, poem, collage, or drawing.

An E-Book Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts is available for only 99 cents for Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords readers!

If you need a tiny prompt or a jolt, these are the books for you.
If you need an entire scenario, these are not the books for you.
Written in the style of 642 Things to Write by the San Francisco Writer's Grotto, or the prompt style found in the pages of The Writer's Book of Days, these prompts gift the writer with creative freedom.

If you can, I would love a tweet or two to help spread the news!
Many thanks!

Are you ready to Jumble? An E-book Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts will jump-start your writing! @TyreanMartinson

Ready to #write? An E-book Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts will jump-start your day! @TyreanMartinson 

Have you ever started with a single project that grew into something bigger?

I started this project because of requests from parents at my home-school co-operative where I teach classes. Four years ago, it began as a list of a 100 prompts for summer writing, and then it grew each year in a messy jumble of prompts. I discovered I liked them out of order, not in line with a season or theme, because they prompted my studnets to think outside the box.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Pocket-Sized Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts by Tyrean Martinson

A Pocket-Sized Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts

by Tyrean Martinson

Giveaway ends March 03, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Monday, February 9, 2015

Wow! Very Inspiring Blogger Award, Liebster Award, and Party!

So, I was . . . blogging when I should have been grading papers, and I found out that I received two awards in one day. Whoa. Totally unexpected.

Thank you, Jeff and Hannah!

Jeff Chapman, who inspires me with his excellent writing and amazing tenacity in the realm of submissions and queries, nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. I'm very thankful for his blog posts and his friendship. Thank you, Jeff!

The rules for accepting this award are as follows:
1. Thank the person who nominated you, and link to their blog.
2. Display the award logo.
3. Nominate at least 15 other blogs (more or less) and provide a link where they may be found.
4. Then, go to their blog, leave a comment to let them know they have been nominated, and where to find the information they need to accept (rules).
5. Mention three things that inspired you the most during the past few weeks.

Three things that have inspired me recently:
1. My oldest daughter's ability to generously love and help her friends in times of trials and in good times, too.

2. My youngest daughter's determination and forthrightness. When she decides to charge towards a goal, there's no stopping her.

3. Rain. Yep, I complain about it sometimes, but I like it, too. It keeps everything green and growing.

I'm nominating:
Hannah Heath
Milo James Fowler
Elizabeth Seckman
M.J. Joachim
C. Lee Mckenzie
Natalie Aguirre
L. Diane Wolfe
Cherie Reich
Misha Gericke
Laurel Garver
Shannon Lawrence
Lexa Cain
Suzanne Gourley
Julie Flanders
S.K. Anthony

Wait, how did I get this award? See #4? I totally didn't expect it . . . but here is the sweet answer from Hannah Heath: "I’m tagging her anyway because I like her stuff." - Wowza! Thank you, Hannah!

Here are the 11 questions:

  • Have you ever been to California? Yes  - more than a dozen times and going this summer!
  • If you could get any famous writer/blogger to start following and commenting on your blog, who would it be? - R.J. Larson or John Flanagan. Or . . . C.S. Lewis (I know, but I'm imagining).
  • What kind of music do you listen to while writing? None, or instrumental/movie soundtracks.
  • What are your top three goals in life? Worship, Love, Live Life Fully!
  • What do you hope to gain through your blog? Connection with writers and readers.
  • Ebook, audiobook, or just a plain book? Book!
  • Is there a particular movie that you’re looking forward to seeing this year? The newest Avengers.
  • What is a pet hobby of yours (one that you don’t blog about)? walking, skiing, movie-going
  • If you had to dress up as any book character, who would it be? Velma from Scooby Doo, or Tigger from Winnie-the-Pooh. I know Scooby Doo is a show, but hey. 
  • What’s your favorite social media to use? Tough choice: Blog, then facebook, then twitter.
  • How many more followers will you need to gain in order to feel justified in throwing a huge party? Wow! Way past that point . . . hmm. I think I should throw a party. See idea below.

  • 11 Random Facts (Wait, didn't I just give some of those?):
    1. I drink tea and coffee with coconut milk and honey.
    2. I have more than twenty allergies and intolerances - some are the swell up and die kind and some are the rashy, nasty symptom kind.
    3. I'm a creative cook. (I have to be)
    4. I like movies - the blow things up, action adventure, superhero, fantasy and sci-fi kind.
    5. I may be a chick, but I don't like chick flicks unless it's a really good romantic comedy.
    6. I dig the Bard, especially the play that must not be named. :)
    7. I also like Calvin and Hobbes, Scooby Doo, and Winnie-the-Pooh.
    8. I've been in a dozen or so plays and skits and I like playing either the goofy sidekick or the villain.
    9. Many years ago, I played Mrs. Beaver in a musical version of Narnia - and I consider her a goofy sidekick in that production.
    10. My favorite solo I sang in high school: "Tom's Diner" by Suzanne Vega - the original, acapella version.
    11. My name is pronounced like Irene but with a T at the beginning. My parents wanted it that way and wanted it spelled without two "e" letters.

    Selecting 11 recipients for this award was hard for two reasons:
    1. I don't check numbers on other people's blogs. In fact, I rarely check that on mine. I was surprised to learn that these blogs didn't have more followers! Truly, they deserve more.
    2. I realized, with some regret, that I've been visiting bloggers that visit me, which means, I don't always visit new bloggers. So, I'm trying to branch out, now.
    Mackenzie Adix
    Jack Lewis Baillot
    Jeff Chapman 
    Madeline Mora-Summonte - she has just over 200, but she deserves more love!
    Haneen I. Adam - a new blogger I just met!
    Juneta Kay
    Sharon M. Himsl
    D.C. Relief
    Aunt Mary from the Easy Way Blog
    Toni Travis

    My questions for these Liebsters:
    1. Have you ever visited Washington State?
    2. Do you drink coffee or tea?
    3. Name your favorite Winnie-the Pooh character:
    4. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
    5. What's your favorite kind of movie?
    6. What song do you sing around the house/in the car?
    7. Have you ever seen a Giant Pacific Octopus in the wild or in an aquarium?
    8. What are your top three goals in life?
    9. What's your favorite writing utensil?
    10. Star Wars/Star Trek or both?
    11. Favorite movie soundtrack?

    Were these questions random enough, do you think? 

    And here's that song (it's a hummy kind of song, like Winnie-the-Pooh might sing if he were a grown up lady in a diner . . . umm, okay, maybe that doesn't make sense to anyone but me)

    Ooh, and I'm going to have a PARTY for all of my Awesome Followers! I really don't know how many there are with blogger and google+ combined, but I know I have a wonderful group of people who hang out with me. Party Details coming soon for my blogaversary on April 30th.

    Friday, February 6, 2015

    Celebrate the Small Things

    Celebrate the Small Things:

    1. Natalie Aguirre - for her mention of Ashes Burn Season 1: Ashes Away at her site this week! Thanks, Natalie!

    2. Finishing the "get-to-know-you" questions for a podcast interview with Speculative Fiction Cantina at WriteStream Radio! I'm excited for that and it's in April!

    3. I sent almost half of Eight if By Sea, the novelization of "Eight if By Sea" the script (with extra B plot material by me), to my editor, and she gave me both encouragement and helpful tips for giving that section polish and finishing the second half.

    4. Despite feeling swamped this week, I had a couple of much-needed sleep-in days.

    5. IWSG always rocks! I may not always know what to post, but I love the IWSG posts by other bloggers. :)

    6. I'm excited to be a part of the Muffin Commandos - an A to Z Team under the Head Muffin, C. Lee Mckenzie!

    7. I signed up for A to Z. :)

    Wednesday, February 4, 2015

    IWSG: Using Imagination to Tame Insecurities

    It's that time again: time to share our insecurities, our ways of beating back our fears, or some encouragement! Many thanks to Alex J. Cavnaugh and his awesome team of co-hosts for the IWSG blog hop and website!

    When my inner editor starts getting to me through painful insecurity, I start to imagine that she has taken on an appearance of monstrous proportions. When I put all those insecurities into an imaginary persona, I can tame them, lock them up if needed, and get back to writing.

    Here are three images I came up with for my inner editor last month:

    On a bad day, my inner editor took on the appearance of an eight foot monster with orange skin, three foot fangs, messy green hair, and breath that stank like rotten gym socks. She carried a large club to smash through my entire draft.

    On a horribly bad day, my inner editor took on an ultra-professional appearance with supermodel good looks, perfect hair and skin, and small fangs emerging over her blood-red lips. She stalked all over my laptop dressed in a red suit and three inch heels.

    On a good day, my inner editor looked like a friendly librarian, showing me the books I needed to make corrections, quietly pointing out my typos, and giving me a pat on the back when I noticed my mistakes before sending them into the world via e-mail, facebook post, or tweet.

    Have you ever used your imagination to tame your insecurities? What does your inner editor look like?