Thursday, July 23, 2015

On the Road (and a super fast "Do You Have Goals?" update)

A picture shot with a simple camera through the windshield of our car last summer.

Both metaphorically and literally, I'll be on the road over the next month.

On some days, I'll be right here in my house on a revision journey of epic proportions with breaks for walks, bike rides, and family. For a sneak peek at what's ahead:

This cover is for the first semester e-book and I might be tweaking it.

The Third Book in the Trilogy

On other days, I'll literally be on the road to the Junior Nationals for Flat-Water Sprint Kayaking and Canoeing near San Diego, CA. My daughters will be competing and hope to make finals and maybe even earn medals.
We'll do some touring around on the way there and back. In fact, we'll be stopping for the 7th Annual NW Book Fair in Portland, OR on July 25th, so if you live near there - come visit. :) I'll be there with my books.

During this road trip (both literal and literary), I might or might not post some pictures via instagram, facebook, or twitter, or I might just sink into a no-internet zone completely.

In any case, I won't be blog-posting for a whole four to five weeks. It's kind of scary but necessary. I don't like posting when I can't return visitor comments, and since I won't be online long enough to return comments, then I just won't post.

But, I'll be back. :)

For a quick look at Flat-water Spring Kayaking and Canoeing, I recommend this short video that was recently taken at a race in Seattle, WA. (Yes, I've shared this one before in a previous post.)

ADDED LATE - Super fast "Do You Have Goals" Update:
1. Writing and revision work is happening, slowly.
2. Short story writing submissions, and rejection/acceptance is going good. I completed my Write 1 Sub 1 goals and I've had a few acceptances for hint fiction stories. Check out: "Extra Long Cape" and "Watch Out!" - my two tiny hint fiction stories at 7x20 (twitter fiction publisher). More are coming out today and tomorrow with 7X20.
3. Life is pretty good. Exercises goals about halfway to where I want them to be: 35 miles of biking and 20 miles of walking.
4. There's more goal stuff, but not enough time to report. I'll do a "end of summer" show down at the end of August.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Interview with Misha Gerrick

Please give a warm welcome to my guest, Misha Gerrick!

First Line Quote Trivia

My favorite quote: “He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.”

From: Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini


1. What movies/shows/books have influenced your writing or writing ideas? How/why?

This is hard and easy at the same time. I’ve read so many books in my lifetime, and I’d like to think every one of them had some sort of impact on me as a person. Even if I did not agree, the knowledge that I disagreed with something in a book taught me something about myself.

(Tyrean's inserted comment): I know how you feel. I've read plenty of writing books and even the ones I didn't like helped me in some way.

That said, there are five books that proved instrumental in me writing the book that would become The Vanished Knight and The Heir’s Choice. (And they might surprise the people who’ve read one or both of them.)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was my first ever fantasy book, (unless you count Le Morte d’Arthur by Thomas Malory, which did, in some form, find its somewhat subtle way into my The War of Six Crowns’s world.)

Then I went on to Chronicles of Narnia just as The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe came out. And it was re-reading Prince Caspian that Darrion appeared in my head to distract me, with his tale of another world where people can in fact travel both ways.

Except he snorted a bit at Narnia in Prince Caspian and said: “Those kids would never have made it if they ended up here.”

Needless to say, I was hooked.

The problem was that I was ill-prepared for the huge scope of my series. The Right to Write by Julia Cameron was what got me to 1) Blog (for accountability) and 2) Finish my book.

Finishing is so important! 

2. How do goals help you see projects through to the finish?

My goals, and specifically blogging about them, keep me accountable to my writing. I sometimes don’t finish the concepts I work on, but instead, I set them aside for later so I can incubate them a bit more.

Furthermore, I’m also not all that strict about my draft deadlines. I set goals, and aim for the general vicinity of those deadlines, but the point really isn’t to finish on time. It’s just to finish. And having something to aim for helps me do that.

As do goals like “write something every weekday.”

One of my favorite parts of your blog is reading your writing goals, Misha - they inspire me!

What's your favorite part of writing?

When I’m rough drafting, I love that beginning excitement when I start out. I also love picking the beautiful notebook I’m going to draft in.

Rewrites are awesome because it’s like a rough draft, but I’m typing out a better version of it with much less of a struggle.

I possibly love edits the most because as I work, I see something resembling the book I had in my head all along come out. Drafting just can’t do that.

Yes, the first draft, although fun for me, never matches the image in my head. And notebook choice, ah yes, I love beautiful notebooks. :)

Thanks so much for having me over!

Thank you for visiting, Misha!

The Vanished Knight

The entity living inside Callan’s soul orphaned her at age eleven. By the time she’s sixteen, it’s ensured her being shunted from one foster family to another.

Her thirteenth foster assignment should be routine. Except... it's not. A psycho in medieval armor kidnaps her and she ends up in a magical world. There, she accidentally discovers a secret her parents had kept until the day they died.

Both actually came from this magical world, but left before Callan was born. To cover their tracks, they’d lied about everything. Even who they really were.

Driven to find out where she comes from, Callan’s trapped in a race for life and death. Walking away isn’t an option, but if she stays too long, the entity will find its next victim.

In this world where secrets are sacrosanct and grudges are remembered, finding the truth will be near impossible. Especially when Callan has her own homicidal little secret to deal with.

One with a taste for destroying her life.

The Heir’s Choice

After discovering her parents had kept a whole world secret, Callan races to discover her past. Not easy to do with an increasingly agitated entity living in her soul.

Going to her long-lost elvish roots should answer all her questions. Instead, she ends up in the middle of a nightmare.

The elves are on the verge of an apocalyptic war. Their enemy, King Aurek of Icaimerith, will only be appeased if Callan marries his heir. It’s either her life getting messed up, or an entire country’s lives lost. Simple enough, right?


Because when the entity wants the elves blotted out of existence, saving them gets taken to a whole new level of complicated.


Misha Gerrick has been creating stories long before she could write and is currently going after her dream of making a living as a writer.

If you’d like to see how that’s going, you can visit her on her blog (, where she also discusses all things related to writing and publishing.

Or, if you’d just like to know what she’s reading and get updates on what she’ll be publishing next (Sorry, no newsletter just yet.):

You can follow her Tumblr (
You can follow her on Twitter: @MGerrick1
And you can circle her on Google Plus: +MGerrick

Friday, July 17, 2015

Happy Dance - Unexpected Post

So, I wasn't going to post again until the 22nd with a guest post,
but I had this Happy Dance kind of excitement and just had to share:

Coming in the Fall!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Guest Post Tara Tyler Talks Signage! And a few Celebrations

When I picture Tyrean, I see a strong woman knight standing at the top of a mountain with her sword raised and her hair blowing in the wind. (Similar to the main character, Clara in her Champion Series) She's a saint! Thanks for hosting me, girl!
Wow! You are so sweet, Tara! I love hosting you! (Tyrean)

Before I get to the reveal, I'd like to talk about quotes and signage. I love quotes and when I say something witty I like to write it down (ha, don't all writers do that??) Here's my latest:

"My writing is only limited by time (and my other job, gotta pay the bills)"

Another thing writers work on is their signage - what we write when signing books - it's not as easy as you think. Not spur of the moment witticisms, it takes work to come up with a good signing phrase! I usually stick with one standby and change it out for each new release, but I have backups in my notebook too. Here are a few...

Never stop having adventures!

Go beyond expectations!

Make the most of your journey!

Stand up for yourself!

Trust your gut!

Be a problem solver!

I'm coming up with new ones for SIMULATION right now. And I'd love to hear any you have.

Tyrean: Love your signage, Tara! Mine are somewhat book specific:
Shine your light!
Spread your wings and fly!
Write on!

Thanks again, Tyrean for giving me room at your place to share the new POP TRAVEL cover - it's eye-conic! And the re-release has a sneak peek at the first chapter of SIMULATION which comes out Sept 14th!

by Tara Tyler
Re-released July 1, 2015

In 2080, technology has gone too far for private detective J. L. Cooper. He thinks he can avoid pop travel teleportation, until he stumbles onto a video of a pop traveler who turns to dust.

Sparking a series of murders, attempts on his life, and threats to his brother, Cooper wants to pass off the evidence but knows he’s being watched and can’t trust anyone. And who would believe him?

With help from the neurotic genius “Creator” of pop travel and a beautiful Southern charmer, Cooper must expose the deadly glitch and shut it down or die trying. No problem.

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 a moral, and a few laughs!

Also by Tara Tyler, MG/YA Fantasy series, Beast World,

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Love that new cover, Tara!!! And thank you for this wonderful guest post! 

Celebrate the Small Things, Mini

1. Step by step writing progress.
2. Turning over my blog to guests primarily for July. (Only one more "full" post from me this month.)
3. The wonderful bloggers who are part of Celebrate the Small Things.
4. Realms Faire!  - Sign-ups are open for the November online Faire! :) I'm hosting The House of The Hero's Dilemma. See sidebar and page for more details.
5. Annalisa Crawford and Lori L. Machlaughlan gave me awards! I'm excited, but I'll be formally sending them on in September. 

With sadness, I will be taking a break from Celebrate the Small Things for a few months, with hopes of returning in September. 

More Guest Posts are coming this month!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

IWSG July: Is Taking Time Off Scary?

"Morgarath, Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, former Baron of Gorlan in the Kingdom of Araluen, looked out over his bleak, rainswept domain and, for perhaps the thousandth time, cursed."
Where is this quote from?
The answer is at the bottom of this post.

An awesome group of writers who worry together and encourage one another. Check out the list. 
Alex J. Cavanaugh is our founder and Ninja Captain Encourager!

Taking time off of blogging is scary. Here are just a few scary questions that have popped up for me this summer:

What if all my blog buddies lose interest and run away?
(Will my bloggy domain become bleak like Morgarath's?)

What if my books stop selling because I'm not a "social media presence?"
(Uh oh, will I fade into the outskirts like the villain Morgarath - forgotten and disdained?)

Wait . . .

I actually have answers.

I still love bloggers who take vacations, and I still buy books by authors who have little social media presence.
(And, I am not the villain. Or, at least I don't think I am. Does Morgarath know he's the villain?)

Maybe taking a vacation or a series of short vacations is good. Maybe I'll create better content. Maybe . . . I'll get more book projects finished. Maybe I'll have energy for that book blog tour I hope to do in October. Hint: I'm looking for tour spots tentatively between October 2nd and October 16th- anyone interested? It's for Champion's Destiny. Please, pretty please, send me an e-mail ( or write interest in such things in the comments below.

But, here's the super scary part: I won't be able to post for IWSG in August. I'm not sure I can survive without my monthly IWSG fix.

Have you ever taken significant time off from your blog? More than once? In chunks of time? Over most of the summer? If so, how did it affect you?

I really need your insights. 

I'll be back for guest posts with Tara Tyler on Friday, LG Keltner on the 10th, and Misha Gericke on the 22nd!!! Don't miss out on these awesome authors!!!

And, did you know that you can get an IWSG T-Shirt? Check it out here.

And, I'm donating my author proceeds from Summer Vacation Devotions to Peace Rehabilitation Center of Nepal to fight human trafficking; fun, family devotions for a fight against some of the real evil in our world.

Finally . . . I'm excited to be a part of Realms Faire, coming in November! Sign up for events now!

I'll be hosting The Hero's Dilemma this year - each day, I'll post a 100 word cliff-hanger. Contestants will enter to win prizes by finishing the story in three sentences or less. Answers in poetic form grants the contestants an extra entry!

The quote is from The Ruins of Gorlan, Ranger's Apprentice Series Book 1 by John Flanagan and it's in the villain's perspective.
BTW, the Ranger's Apprentice series is a family favorite series - everyone reads these books as soon as they get in the house - my husband (who doesn't read often), my daughters, my parents (they live next door), and me. If you like MG and YA fantasy with more of an action-adventure focus, this is a series you will love.