Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Light In Dark Places (Blog Tour) SPOTLIGHT

light in dark tour

light in dark
  A Light in Dark Places In December, 2009, Susan Cox Powell was reported missing from her home in West Valley City, Utah. As law enforcement tried to piece together what had happened to Susan, her husband, Josh Powell, became the only person of interest in the case. For Jennifer Graves, Josh’s sister, the nightmare started long before Susan’s disappearance. From her experiences growing up in the Powell family to the terrifying moment when she first started to believe her brother was a killer, she relied on her faith to stay strong. She devoted herself to the safety of Susan’s boys, Charlie and Braden, whom she hoped to be able to raise as her own. When the boys were murdered by their father in February, 2012, Jennifer was more than devastated, but she had to believe there was a reason for it all—including the deaths of her beloved nephews. In A Light In Dark Places, Jennifer shares her struggles and her triumphs. In coming to terms with such tragedy she finally was able to embrace the truth that we all have the power to choose our own path—and there is always hope, no matter how dark things may seem.


add to goodreads

JenandEmAuthorphoto1       Jennifer Graves is the mother of 5 beautiful children, 2 girls and 3 boys. She and her husband have been happily married for 19 years and together have been active in their community and church. Jennifer is the sister of Josh Powell who killed his 2 sons, Charlie and Braden, as well as himself in February of 2012, and is also believed to have killed his wife, Susan Cox Powell, in December of 2009. She is the recipient of the 2013 ChainBreaker of the year Award, given for breaking the chain of abuse and violence in her family. She enjoys homeschooling their children and mentoring in classes for the commonwealth school they attend. She also loves reading, playing card and board games, and learning new things. Most of all she loves to spend time with her husband and children. They currently reside in West Jordan, UT.

♦ ♦ ♦

Emily Clawson is an author, a mother and a mentor. She traditionally writes inspirational fiction. This book has been a life changing experience for her and she is grateful to have been a part of telling this story. She resides in Taylorsville with her husband and four children where they run their leadership mentoring programs for youth.

♦ ♦ ♦

  Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 11/21/13 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. 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 emailed 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 Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

THE EVE by Keary Taylor - RELEASE DAY

Keary Taylor has released yet another fantastic read.  And today, you can get your hands on it.

The Eve is the final installment to The Eden Trilogy.  Have you read these books?  If not, you need to get out and snag them.  I have followed Keary every step of the way with this trilogy...and I love it!  There is mystery.  There is adventure.  There is romance and friendship and betrayal.  There are zombie-like robots that only have one focus in their existence: Spread.

Have I mentioned that I love it?

Help Keary celebrate the release day of this amazing read by snagging a copy for yourself today.  Then make sure to read the rest of her books.  You will fall in love with this indie author lady for sure.

And just for some fun: Stop by her Goodreads, Blog, Twitter, Facebook and/or Tumblr and give the lady some love.  Do it.  Go.  Now.

Congrats Keary!


A plan was laid out as the Evolution crushed mankind, a plan that was right under Eden’s nose all along. And Eve is the key to everything. New Eden—mankind—they have a small chance at fixing their dismembered planet.

But it will be a reckless sprint against time and the coming Bane to retrieve the final piece to the plot. New Eden’s worst fears have become reality. The Bane are back in the city and they’re smarter and more aggressive than ever. They know where the humans are and they’re coming to finish what they’ve nearly completed.

Eve has been content with the family she’s found—Avian, West, Gabriel, Royce. But she’s about to discover she may have the one family Eve never thought she would: blood. With every odd stacked against her, all the lies and all the secrets of her origins will be exposed.

The past and the future are about to come full circle.
Paperback | Kindle | Nook | ibooks (Coming soon!)


--> AND DON'T FORGET:
Join Keary Taylor, DJ DeSmyter and myself tonight at 9pm EST/6pm PST for our live Twitter chat!  We will be celebrating Keary's newest release, talking about dystopians and all things YA Lit, and even have some giveaways up our sleeves.  Use the hashtag #EveChat and we will see you there!



Sunday, November 10, 2013

NaNoWriMo Update: Week One

Ah, the promised update post.
Ready for this?

I am loving my NaNovel.  I haven't been writing nearly as fast as I have in the past, but regardless, I love it.  Sure, I won NaNoWriMo 2010 with PN in about 12 days.  Sure, my tracking chart usually looks amazing and steep.  Sure, I am usually loud in the forums and FB pages, rooting others on and being a NaNo champ.  This year is indeed different.  But I love it none-the-less.

So how am I doing?
I am behind on word count.  It's true.  The needed amount for today to be on track to win is 16,666 words.  I am currently sitting at about 13,228.  That means I need to write at least 3,438 words just to catch up.  My wordage goal for today?  6k.

I can do it. 
I just need to start.

Have I mentioned how much I love this story?  Do you want to know more about it?  Let me know, and I just may make more of a teaser post just because I love you.

Aside from mommyhood, volunteering in my son's classroom, a mini social life, hacking away at my photo backlog, and attempting sleep, there is one other thing that threw me behind this bad.

Laziness.

There, I said it.  I am so out of shape with writing.  This last I spent mostly editing (or avoiding editing) that I forgot how to turn off my inner editor, resist procrastination devices, and just create.  It is coming back to me.  Slowly, but surely.

Here is my biggest tip to you NaNites out there who may be bogged down, who have hit that slow point, who don't know how to move on and feel like all is lost:

MOVE ON.

Simple solutions tend to be the best, right?  I had hit a point in my story where it just got horribly slow.  My pantsing approach to writing is thrilling and fun, but sometimes I can write myself into a corner.  That had happened.  I had hit a spot where I was spinning my wheels, and was spending too much time and energy trying to finish it before I could move on.

JUST MOVE ON.

I finally stopped my insanity.  I made a few notes of where I would like to see this section lead someday in the editing future.  Then I skipped ahead to the nearest section I could think of and started writing again.  It works!  At some point toward the end of the month, if I need more words to win, I can go back to that noted section and plug away.  And if not, the editing phase will save the day.

So if you are falling behind... Move on.
I will see you on the other side of 50k.
Happy Writing!



Friday, November 8, 2013

Love and Relativity TOUR: Interview with Rachael Wade


Hello!  As part of the LOVE AND RELATIVITY Blog Tour, I have been given the chance to interview the awesome Rachael Wade.  I had the chance to do a book signing with this lady in 2012, and boy was I excited for the chance to "talk" with her some more.  Ready to get to know this author lady?  Let's go!



Rachael Wade is the Amazon bestselling author of The Preservation Series, The Resistance Trilogy, and the upcoming sci-fi series, The Keepers Trilogy. When she’s not writing, she’s busy learning French, watching too many movies, and learning how to protect animals and the environment. Visit her at www.RachaelWade.com and www.LightsOnOutreach.com, or come chat with her on Twitter via @RachaelWade.


Author links:



Hello!  How are you today?

     Tired! Haha. I’m on tour for my new release right now. My schedule’s been crazy.


Tell my readers a little about yourself:

     Well, I live in sunny Orlando with my husband and a herd of fur babies—4 cats and a black lab retriever.


In one Tweet (140 characters) tell my readers what Love and Relativity is all about.

     L&R is a New Adult romantic drama about passion, forgiveness, and second chances.


What sparked the idea for Love and Relativity?

     My own personal grief, thoughts on redemption and starting over, and my love for New Adult romance. I wrote L&R in between writing the Preservation Series (L&R is a companion novel to that series) because I was antsy to write more in the genre.


Do you see yourself at all in Emma? What trait do you wish you could steal from her?

     For sure. It was cathartic to write her because I found closure in my own grief by writing about her journey. Hhmmm, I don’t know which trait I’d like to have. I already share her germaphobe ways LOL.


What has been one of the most rewarding experience from writing Love and Relativity?

     L&R was my first stand-alone novel, so it was a satisfying project. Like I mentioned above, writing Emma’s story was very cathartic for me. I think that was the most rewarding part.


What was the hardest thing about writing Love and Relativity?  The easiest?

     Because it was such a personal novel, it was hard to get in touch with some of those emotions and face some of the tough realities of life. But it was worth it in the end. The easiest was writing Jackson. I often relate to a guy’s POV much more than a female’s, so Jackson’s voice just came very naturally to me. He was really fun to write. I have a huge soft spot for him.


What is your writing process? Plotter… or pantser?

     I definitely fly by the seat of my pants. But I always start with a very loose outline. I basically jot down main plot points I know I need to cover and some character development notes before I begin. Then I just go with the flow and see where the story takes me. I almost always know the end of the story before I know anything else. So I work with that ending in mind.


Do you write full-time or part-time?

     Full time.


What do you have in store for us in the future? Any new stories on the horizon?

     I have an NA drama and the next book in my NA sci-fi series coming out in 2014.


Enough with the serious talk. Let’s do a fun question: Skittles or M&Ms?

     M&M’s all the way.


If you were a superhero, what power would you have?

     Telekinesis.


What takes over your life when not writing?

     Reading, movies, and concerts!


In one sentence, share one piece of advice you have for other writers:

     Be professional, be kind, be classy, believe in yourself, and work hard.

_______


Thank you Rachael!  Make sure to visit her on Facebook or Twitter.  She chats there often and would love to hear from every one of you.  

Don't forget to check out the other stops of this awesome tour.  And check out LOVE AND RELATIVITY while you are at it!  Thanks for stopping by.


Love, life, and happily ever after? It’s all relative.


Marine biology student Emma Pierce lives in paradise—geographically speaking, anyway. Stranded on Sanibel Island, Florida, she works at a nursing home by day and spends her nights dodging the island’s infamous bad boy, Jackson Taylor, at her favorite karaoke bar. Trying to heal from the loss of her sister and a failed relationship she rerouted her life for, she’s ready to graduate and finally leave Florida behind.


When a run-in with Jackson and his rowdy crew goes sour at the bar one night, sparks fly and irreversible damage is done. It’s no secret that Jackson loves to get underneath her skin, but this time he’s gone too far. Now all he wants is to earn her forgiveness before she’s gone for good, but their ideas of closure—and the future—are enough to keep them worlds apart.





Saturday, November 2, 2013

Twitter Chat on November 12th


What are you doing November 12th?
I know what I will be up to!

Come join Keary Taylor, DJ DeSmyter and myself for a live Twitter chat on NOVEMBER 12th at 9 PM EST/6 PM PST!  We will be celebrating Keary's newest release: THE EVE, the third and final installment to the Eden Trilogy.  Along with that, we will be discussing YA Dystopian lit, writing, and everything possibly in between.  There will also be a few giveaways throughout the chat.  Oh yes.  Goodies.

Bring your questions.  Comments.  And lots of chocolate (if only we could share that...)
Use the hashtag #EveChat to follow along, and we will see you there!


Friday, November 1, 2013

Let NaNoWriMo BEGIN

Guess what!
It's November 1st.

This can mean only one thing.  9 little letters.  30 days of typing frenzy.  50,000 words goal.
That's right.  IT'S NANOWRIMO!

I haven't written a word yet today.  But that will change shortly.  Once I drop my oldest off at school, tuck my youngest in for a needed nap, and gather some munchie-type supplies, the words will begin.  It has been too long since I got to just sit and create.  Boy, am I excited!  

My plans?  No idea.  I have my story idea.  A few thoughts for the plot.   But I am pantser, and this story will be just like all my others: Written by the seam of my pants.  Someday I should seriously consider this plotting thing we are taught about since Kindergarten.  But not now.  I just want to create.  And create, I shall!  NaNoWriMo, here I come.

I am writing.  Are you?


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013 Is Here


My, it has been a long time.  And I think now is as good as ever to change that.
Today's post is only about one thing: NaNoWriMo 2013

Oh man.
It's nearly here!

I am super excited for this year's NaNovel.  It has been brewing in my head for some time, ever since I was rambling away with my sister-in-law over a year ago and came up with the base idea in the spur of the moment.  I kept putting it aside, working on other pieces, letting it boil, wondering if I should even do it.  And then I finally decided:  It is NaNo.  It is time to throw caution to the wind and try this story on for size.

So first, a few quick updates with minimal detail on my other To-Do Lists:

  • I still have a photo backlog.  And am working my bum off on getting it done.  I was aiming to get it all done before November hit, but obviously that didn't happen.  So sadly, the beginning of NaNo craziness will still involve photo editing as well.  But I am aiming for that to not last long.
  • Lady Justice.  Oh, Lady Justice.  This needs a post all of its own.  Which is coming.  Soon.

Those two things aside (along with mommyhood as always), I am ready for NaNo!  This is seriously the highlight of my year.  The frenzy.  The headaches.  The creation and discovery and adventure.  Oh my.


Want to know a bit more about this years NaNovel?


1.  It has a tentative title: FATHOM
2.  It is YOUNG ADULT
3. It is a dark, different take on... The Little Mermaid.  That's right.  Mermaids.

That is about all I am going to tell you for now.  Secrets are awesome, aren't they?
I may post snippets.  Or hints.  Or thoughts.  I know I will post weekly over the month to update on how this challenge is going.  

So are you excited?  Do you want to know more?  Bigger than that:  Are YOU doing NaNoWriMo?





Saturday, October 5, 2013

Wordstock Weekend: Day 2

Hello all!
Day Two of my Wordstock adventure is over.  Literally.  It is nearly midnight here.  Why I am still up. I do not know.  Yet here I am.  Blogging away.

This won't be a long post, mostly do to the fact that I am indeed tired and VERY full of good food.  (If you have never been to Marrakesh, go.  Now.  I mean it.  What can be better that five courses of yummy food, sitting on pillows, eating with your fingers, and a belly dancer?  Exactly.)  Forgive me now of any future typos.


Today was the official start of the Wordstock Book Festival.  Oh, I love this place.  It mostly consists of a huge huge room filled with booths, all sporting info about editors, smaller printing presses, local writing groups, book sales, etc.  Then, on three huge stages in the room, and another collection of smaller rooms with smaller stages, you find authors.  Tons of authors.  Authors doing panels and readings and Q&As and handfuls of other awesome things.  It is a dream.

Maybe one of the funniest panels I have seen.  Ever.

Keary had her panel and reading today.  It was pretty awesome seeing her be all authorly and pro looking.  Go Keary!  I took lots of pics of her on my camera and will no doubt show them off at some point in the future.  If you didn't get the chance to see her today, sadness.  We will still be wandering tomorrow and you should definitely run into us.

The rest of the day consisted of listening to other panels, eating food, and wandering.  We found a booth selling books for $.75 each.  I of course snagged a stack.  Luckily, we had thought ahead and brought along a rolling suitcase for our finds and the books we had planned to have signed.  By the end of the day, the suitcase was quite packed.  It was a beautiful site.  

One of my favorite things today?  Listening to Gayle Forman as she sang some of "Jenny From the Block" to me.  Epic.  Okay, that and watching Dan Krokos draw a picture of Keary and himself in her copy of his book.  (He wrote a WoW reference in mine.)

Our amazing suitcase of books

After watching the last panel of the night, we zoned out in our hotel room for a bit.  Man, the book world can be exhausting!  Then I insisted we just had to go to Marrakesh.  Keary and her sister-in-law had never been, and I just had to show them what they were missing out on.  As I previously stated: It is amazing.

And I am full. Very, very full.

A very attractive photo of yours truly

Last but most definitely not least:
Keary and I have given each other a fun challenge.  We have dared each other to hide our bookmarks in random places for the rest of the weekend.  Her sister-in-law is documenting each stash, and boy, it is fun.  If you want to keep track of our ninja adventures, follow the Twitter hashtag #authoerninjas, check out my Tumblr, or look below now for my personal stashes of the evening.  Got a suggestion?  Let me know!  Oh...we do have fun.



That is it for now!  More tomorrow... hopefully before midnight strikes.  Bed is calling.  Now.



Friday, October 4, 2013

Wordstock Weekend: Day 1

Hello all!

I am currently writing to you from the lovely comfort of my hotel room in good old Portland.  This can only mean one thing.  And boy, do I love it.


It's Wordstock time!

I have decided that I will do quick little update blog posts this weekend as I enjoy everything bookish.  I am taking photos on my camera, but for the ease of this weekend I will only be adding my few Instagram pics to these posts and call it good.

Ready?

Last night I headed out on the ferry to meet up with the awesome Keary Taylor.  After enjoying some food in the car, we caught another ferry and hit the road to Oregon.  I brought my paper edit along and was supposed to work on that during the ride.  But truth be told, I didn't.  We talked.  The entire time.  Oh yes.

A little after one in the morning we rolled into our hotel room for the night.  After checking in, giggling at the squeakiness of Keary's bed, and of course brushing our teeth from the fine layer of soda pop we had downed, we passed out.

This morning we woke up mostly ready for the day.  I am not a morning person.  At all.  
After lugging our bags down the stairs (this hotel had no elevator, and I have a big bag of junk.  I always overpack for any trip.  I will not mention how many shirts I have packed...) we headed off to the first event of the day.

Powells.  Such a beautiful place.  Keary had never been, so I of course had to show her the wonders there.  We saw a book in the Rare Books Room worth $12,500.  Yes.  That much.  I can't remember its publishing date, but it was made roughly 80 years before Shakespeare was born, years before America was discovered, and sometime during the Spanish Inquisition.

Books do last forever.

Just two book obsessed ladies, loving Powells

Now then, I don't know if you have ever been to Powells in Portland.  But if you have, you know of their parking garage.  It is... scary.  Very long story short: Our car nearly got stuck as we tried to leave.  We almost died.  No kidding.  Okay, maybe a little kidding.  But still, it was epic and scary and I like to assume the universe's sign that we were never meant to leave Powells.

Onto the next event of the day.
Keary is one of the authors at Wordstock this year (Go Keary!) and she had the chance to talk at Ulysses Grant High School with six other awesome authors.  It was a hilarious visit, filled with random questions and even more random answers.  (Laser beams coming from the belly button, fluffy unicorns, killer unicorns, the parking lot at Powells, video gaming and crazy high school mascots...)  It was awesome.


After that, we headed to our hotel.  Now then.  This hotel.  Keary's sister-in-law and I have nicely nicknamed it Le Sketch.  The hallways are low.  I felt like a giant.  The door to our room.. it is hidden in the corner literally right next to another door.  We thought the hallway had ended, only to find our door literally hiding there.  We can hear the people next to us, the door doesn't fully meet the ground, the sliding glass door is fused shut, there was a half empty hotel shampoo bottle.  Half.  Empy.  Let's just say for the price we have paid, they have made bank.  Still, it is a room.  It is an adventure.  And yes, it is Le Sketch. 

The doors were hiding...

And that is where I am right now, sitting on the bed writing this post with Red Vines and my paper edit waiting its turn for my attention.  I will update more tomorrow night.  Make sure to check out my Twitter or Tumblr feed, where pics of my day will also be appearing.  

And if you are Wordstock, find me and say hi!  I have bookmarks. You want bookmarks.  We are a match made in heaven.


Now then, paper edit, here I come.



Friday, September 6, 2013

Lady Justice COVER REVEAL

Hello readers!  It is time!  Time to reveal the cover for Lady Justice (sequel to Prison Nation)
Are you excited?

I sure am excited.  And nervous.  But I love this cover.  I love how well it goes along with PN's cover, how it hints at what is to come.  I love the colors.  I really, really do love it.  And I hope you do too.

A BIG thank you to my gorgeous model (who happens to be the big sister of the model for the PN cover.  How awesome is that?)  And another BIG thank you to my sister-in-law, who helped make my photography all that more gorgeous with her crazy Photoshop skills.  You are amazing!

I won't delay any longer.  I can ramble more about my thoughts and feelings anytime I want.  You are all here for one thing: The Lady Justice cover.  And here.  It.  Is.


Gorgeous?  Love it?  I sure hope so!
Here are the two together.  What a pretty little duology!



Keep checking back for the coming synopsis, bookish updates, and more from yours truly!



Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Lady Justice Update... Finally

I figure it is about time to update all my lovely readers on how LJ is going.  Ready?

  • That paper edit is rolling along.

Life keeps getting in the way, and keeps pausing this edit round.  But I have been making headway on it!  Many pages are nice and red with my scribbled notes.  The beginning needs an overhaul.  Some moments are just too perfect to touch.  And I am finally seeing this for what it is: The sequel to my debut novel.

I will be honest.  Part of me dragging my feet so long on this book is because...well...it is a daunting task.  I love Millie.  And Reed.  And the world I created for them.  Continuing it onward, throwing things in their path and hoping it all will indeed work out in the end, it is scary.  PN is my first every published novel.  It was my debut.  Now, I have to go on.  And on.  And even though I grow with every word I write, I am still that nervous little lady afraid to let these words out into the world.

But they will be let out!

  • So when will this paper edit be over?

That is such a good question.  I wanted to be done with it some time ago.  But I am far from the best juggler on Earth, and I have too many things up in the air.  My kiddo starting school.  Two weddings I photographed and need to edit.  Friends visiting.  Sleeping.  I guess I can cut down on my sleep.  I do honestly need to set an end date for this paper edit.  Otherwise I will never move forward.  So, with all my other life activities in mind, I am aiming for September 21.  I know that is a ways off... but I have to balance.

It will happen.

  • When will you get to see the cover?

Soon!  Very very soon!  Again, I keep dragging my feet.  But I think it is gorgeous, and I need to just get it out there for all you to see.  I will reveal the LJ cover Friday, September 6.  Keep your eyes out!

  • Will this be a trilogy?

I have been asked that.  And I will finally answer it.  The answer is: No.  Prison Nation and Lady Justice will be it.  I know trilogies are the best, and I love trilogies.  But unless something changes in the future, this set will be a duology and nothing more.  I adore Millie and everything she has taught me.  Her story feels complete, to me.  And once I hit the publish button on LJ, I will move on to other worlds and characters, knowing Millie is good to go in her own duology.

  • And the biggest question: When will LJ publish?

That I cannot fully answer still.  I am still strongly aiming for a release in 2013.  Once any other updates happen, I will for sure hurry over here to post away.

I hate how much I have had to push this book back.  How wishy-washy I have seemed with it.  But I have been making adjustments in my life, and things will change.  I love to write.  I need to write.  And I hope to never have such a long drought of no words again.  Just you wait.


I really do want to thank all you amazing readers.  Your nonstop questions about the state of LJ are the main things that kept this fire under my bum.  I want to get this out there, for you.  And your patience as I keep pushing dates around, falling off the radar, then scrambling to get back to where I should be means the world.  I have the best readers ever!

That is it, for now.  Make sure to come back for that cover reveal in a week.  And as always...

Happy Writing!





Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Two Weeks Later...

Well.  Do I need to say anything?

I meant to write a new post as soon as I was home from the wedding.  Then I got busy with sorting photos.  Cleaning up the home (as always).  Spending time with friends.  Going to school nights for my soon-to-be Kindergartner.  And what happened?  I never posted.

Nearly two weeks later... I am back.  Hello.

Needless to say, my goal of a post a day this month screeched to a stop-and-go adventure.  But I am back, and that is what honestly matters.

First off:  I have to say a huge congrats to my sister-in-law and her NEW HUSBAND!  I love them both, to pieces.  And I love that I got to be there for their big day.  It was awesome.  It was totally them.  And boy, it was worth the trip.  Now I have their wedding on my "edit this NOW" list, and I love reliving the moments with every photo edit.


Aren't they gorgeous?

This weekend I am shooting another wedding, for a dear old friend of mine.  As much as I love weddings, I am looking forward to this being my last of the season.  I have been to four weddings this summer.  This will be the second one I am photographing.  After many awesome kisses, I do's, and dancing the night away, I am ready to settle back into my normal routine of editing, writing, and selected social interaction.

I think I am turning into a social recluse.  That isn't bad, right?

Second off:  It is my birthday this weekend.  Yay!  I am pretty excited to spend some much needed time with just the hubby.  I already have my paper edit of LJ set aside and ready to come along for the trip, before I dive into wedding photo mania the next day.

And lastly: I know all of you have been biting at the bit for a LJ update.  I promise that tomorrow there will be one.  So come back for that.

On this note, I am off to instigate tidy time (toys... everywhere...) and hope for a smidge of me-time tonight to watch good old Merlin before bedtime calls.  I am addicted to that show.



Happy Writing!



Thursday, August 15, 2013

Packing and Wedding Time

This will be a super duper short post today.  I am in the mad frenzy of packing and getting ready for this weekend.  Once my hubby is off work today, off we go to see see family, get purdy, and celebrate a wedding.  That's right!  My second to youngest sister-in-law is tying the knot.  I am so excited for her, and her soon to be husband!

Boy, this summer is the summer of weddings.

So at this moment I am taking a slight breather, then off I go to pack.  Clean.  Sort.  Go over everything I just packed in the hopes that I didn't forget anything.  Get the car in line for the ferry, and hope it isn't overloaded.  Go go go!

Thank goodness my kiddos are being snagged for a day at the fair.  (Yay!)

Want to know the item not being packed, not being left at home, but being set right on my seat for the trip?
My paper edit.

Oh yes.  What a better time to work on it than when on the road.  Here's to hoping I can get some good progress done!  I am aiming that in at least a week I will do the cover reveal.  It is about time!  And to top it all off: I get to go to Powells this weekend.  Yes, a bookstore.  But not just any bookstore.  I miss Powells...

Needless to say, my blog posts will most likely be nonexistent over the next few days.  I aimed for a post a day this month... sometimes that just doesn't happen.  If I get a chance I will steal away to say hello.  But if not, I will post away for you all next week!

Now then, time to get back to work!



Do you have any fun weekend plans?  Do share!

Happy Writing!






Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Anniversary


I meant to post yesterday.  It was my best intention to.  But it was a busy day, for good reason.  
Yesterday was our 8 year wedding anniversary.  I spent the day taking care of the kiddos, running errands (which included helping my kiddos enter art into the county fair for the first time!), cleaning home, then prepping for a date night with my hubby.

8 years.  Wow.

It can be amazing how fast time flies.  It feels like only yesterday I was falling in love with a spiky haired, crazy young man who managed to always make me smile.  Now time has flown.  We have two amazing kiddos.  We have moved around.  We have struggled.  We have watched each other succeed.  And 8 years later, here we are.  I couldn't imagine being anywhere else.

Happy Anniversary, my love.  (Posted a day late, but every day counts!)

On the note of time flying:
Have you ever noticed the speeding of time?  

How one minute your kiddo is a new born baby, and the next he is starting school.
How you sit down to read just for a minute and hours later you finally look up from the pages.
How you intend to just check the internet only to find you have burned your entire evening away.

Time is one of those fleeting things that we are always trying to control, yet can never even get close enough to touch.  Just when you think you have a slight grip on time, it speeds away.  We can't control it.  We can't be its master.  But we can for sure enjoy the ride.

And boy, is it worth it.




Sunday, August 11, 2013

Happy Birthday To The Hubby

Just stopping by real quick to say hello, reassure you all that I do still exist, and of course to wish a very very very very happy birthday to my best friend, the daddy of my kiddos, my dear hubby.  

Happy Birthday to YOU, hubby dear!

Last night we had a group of friends over for a game night.  We ate lots of food.  We laughed until our abs felt as if we had zapped with them with a zillion lightning bolts, and we gamed.  Oh, we gamed.  I love card and board games.  And more than that, I love great company.  We were celebrating my hubby's soon to be birthday.  But honestly, it was just the initial excuse to start a weekly game night of awesomeness.

As we were battling our way through Munchkin, my friends kept teasing me.  I hadn't realized it, but I kept muttering about how this would be an awesome story line.  How that would be a great moment, a funny twist, an epic battle.  They declared that I don't have an off switch for my creating.  And I have to agree.

I love creating too much.

Now today is nearly done.  My hubby has been stuffed with brownies.  We have battled each other on the Wii.  We have laughed, we have gamed.  He is a year older, more handsome and amazing than ever (and yes, I love to gush about this man of mine.)  So wish him a happy birthday.  He deserves it.

Now, time for me to giggle more at my Munchkin story lines before hitting the sack.
What a day!


Friday, August 9, 2013

Letting It Begin (A Lady Justice Update!)

“While writing is like a joyful release, editing is a prison where the bars are my former intentions and the abusive warden my own neuroticism.”  ― Tiffany Madison

I have been using a ton of things in my life as an excuse lately.  (My photo backlog.  The fact that we moved, then moved again.  The fact that my computer is dying.  My kids wanting summer fun.  Netflix...)  It was getting to the point that I was wondering if I would ever write again.  Would I ever allow the excuses to take a break so I could finish LJ?  So I could finally work on editing one of my other waiting manuscripts?  So I can just...write?

Amazing how excuses end up making your decisions.
But I have finally had enough of it.

LJ is already behind schedule.  I had hoped to have it out for all you waiting readers at the beginning of this summer.  Then we decided to move.  Things got bumped back.  And bumped again, and again.  I can honestly say that at this time, I don't have a set release date.  I am still aiming for 2013.  It can happen.  It WILL happen.  But first, I have to finish it.

And to finish it, I have to let it begin.
Go away excuses.  I am done with you.

Last night I met up with my awesome writing buddy Keary Taylor, via Skype, and we did an editing night.  She is currently working on editing The Eve, book three in The Eden Trilogy.  (Oh my, and can I say how excited I am for it to be done??)  As for me, I finally cracked open my LJ (Lady Justice, the sequel to Prison Nation) paper edit, blew the metaphorically dust off the pages, and dug right in.

That's right.  I am back to work on LJ.
*cheers to self*

My thoughts so far?  It still needs work.  Lots of it.  But that is the point of editing.  I read through about 20 pages of the book last night, and am aiming to work on it every night from now on.  Even if it is just one chapter.  I am not letting the excuses rule me anymore.  There is something here that I want to share with the world, something that holds promise and that people want.  And it will never get into all of your waiting hands if I keep finding reasons to stay away.

Honestly, why would I want to stay away?  I love this world too much.
(And by the way, I just love the quote I found for today's post.  How appropriate is that?  *wink*)

My coming goals:
* Finish this paper edit in a week.  It is possible.  I can do it.

My challenge to you:
* Find something you have been making excuses for, and let it begin.  The only way to move forward is to move forward.  You can do it.

The red has begun...




Thursday, August 8, 2013

Forgetful Me and Bookish Hints

I did it again.  Missed a post.  
I swear this isn't going to become the new "thing."

Yesterday was a crazy busy day for me.  A good one.  But still a busy one.  It was the final day of the Summer Reading Program for my kiddos, and we went to watch Roberto the Magnificent juggle and perform for us.  Then it was on to eating cupcakes.  After that, we went to the park for a few hours.  (Yes... hours...) then back home in time to make dinner.  As I was laying on the couch relaxing, ready for the day to wind down and bedtime to come, I realized I had fifteen minutes to get to my church for Mutual.  I was recently called as the 2nd Counselor for the Young Women, and every week we do Mutual (Youth Group) for the teens.  My bad... away I hurried.  Then after THAT, I stopped by my Dad's to day hi... and managed to leave there about 2 hours later.  Needless to say, by the time I came home I was more than ready for bed.  And I conked.

Phew!

It is amazing how busy a day can get, without you even planning for it to go that way.  I had intentions for the day.  I was going to fold my still waiting laundry.  I was going to work on the last photo session I have in my backlog (that is, until new ones come along...)  I was going to start reading a new book.  I was going to do many things.  But instead, I got to watch my kids laugh and run around and discover.  I think that was a very good game change.

Still, I learned something.  Don't let the busy get you down.  It is pretty easy that, when life does get crazy, for you to go a little crazy too.  Things aren't getting done.  Kids are running amok.  There are a million things to juggle and only one of you.  But there is always that moment of calm, that moment that let's you know: It is all good.  Your other projects can be done tomorrow.  It is all good.

Enjoy the crazy.  It could be gone before you know it.

On a total, unrelated note:  I was scrolling through Facebook, as I tend to always be doing.  A friend of mine posted a funny little picture quote.  It made me laugh.  It made me conspire.  It made me think about my coming NaNoWriMo 2013 project.  And boy did it make me bite at the bit.

I know all of you are still waiting for that update on LJ.  But for now, I am going to tease you with this picture quote, and this slight hint at my coming project.  Enjoy!



Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Making Mistakes

I woke up this morning and the first thing that hit me was: I didn't write a post yesterday.
Now, I could beat myself up about it.  I could overly apologize, write two posts to make up for my missing one, I could let it get me down and landslide me into not posting today.  Or tomorrow.  Or the rest of the month.  I could do a lot of things.

Want to know what I am doing?
I am writing today's post.

It really got me thinking about mistakes.  We makes mistakes every day.  As part of the human species, it is inevitable that we will indeed screw up.  And it is easy to do.  The hard thing?  Coming back from that mistake.  Too often we let one hiccup in our life, in our day, disrupt everything else coming our way.  I openly admit I am a huge culprit of that.

I didn't turn in my homework and got a fail.  I might as well not turn it in next time either.
I didn't wash the dishes before I went to bed.  I might as well let them sit tomorrow too.
I didn't call my friend back.  I might as well wait until they call me again.
I said something mean that really hurt someone.  I might as well avoid that person until it blows over.
I surfed Facebook instead of editing my book.  I might as well surf some more.
I didn't write my blog post for the day.  I might as well stop all together.

So so many things.

But is this really what our lives are meant to boil down to?  Making mistakes, and letting that mistake rule our next mistake?  It is a vicious circle.  And it can be very, very hard to break free from.  But it is possible.  It is always possible to rise above anything that has happened.  Anything.  To make the best of a situation, and move forward instead of spinning aimlessly.  

We are all meant for greatness.  It is a fact.
So let's move forward and achieve it.

How am I doing it today?
I am catching up on laundry even though I was supposed to do it yesterday.  I am texting back my friend even though I didn't yesterday.  I am smiling more.  I am moving more.  I am writing a post... even though I missed doing it yesterday.  

Don't let your mistakes make your decisions.  Let your mistakes drive your decisions.

And... go.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Only Writing For Myself

We all start writing because we love it.  Simple as that.  We love the feel of words spilling out of us.  We love the creation of worlds, of love stories, of wars and epic battles and comedic breaks.  We can't NOT write, because writing makes us happy.

Then we start to write more.

We start to look for feedback on our pieces.  We begin to tinker with that idea of "maybe this could be an actual book."  We gather feedback.  Criticism.  Advice and requests and praises.  And with all that, with all the newly molded dreams and goals in mind, we change.  We adjust why we write, without even realizing it.  We start to form phrases, paragraphs, chapters and books based on the feedback.  The readers' desire.  The demand.  We love writing.  Because it makes us happy.  And now, we strive to make others happy as well.

So where is the line drawn?
Where do you keep yourself writing just for yourself, while still writing for the readers who love you?
Do you let bad reviews get you down?  Do you let good reviews change the path of a story?  Do you write a piece you do not fully feel, just because someone begged it out of you?  Do you say yes, or no?

Or do you kindly with a world full of appreciation say Thank You then continue what you are doing, imperfect amazing you?  Because you are amazing.  Because you have something to share with the world, whether they realized it or not.  Because that, that writing thing alone, is what makes you happy?

I am writing for myself.  I keep all the words of others in mind.  I let them help me grow, become a better writer, fuel my revenge fire, keep me going on my lowest days.  I love the fact that the words I craft manage to bring joy to another's day.  Yet in the end, I am writing for one reason and one alone: It makes me happy.

And that is all the reason I need.


“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.”  ― Cyril Connolly




A Day for a White Wedding

“Trying to write about love is ultimately like trying to have a dictionary represent life. No matter how many words there are, there will never be enough.” 
― David Levithan, The Lover's Dictionary

What a day!
Technically it is the 4th of August.  But being as I am still awake, and my day then hasn't actually ended, I am counting this as my post for the 3rd.  As soon as I write this post I am going to hit the sack.  But I couldn't let myself go without rambling for a small bit.

Today I had the chance of attending the wedding of two amazing people.  I have known the groom since he was just a little tyke.  He is pretty much a little brother in my eyes, and seeing this big day come for him was such a joy.  And let me tell you:  His bride... she is a keeper.  More than a keeper.

I had the chance to do their engagement session last fall.  It was by far one of my favorite photo sessions I did all last year and the time I got to spend with them and my camera was a blast.  Still, I have to admit I was happy to be able to be just a guest at their wedding.  I had my boys there, and my hubby.  Friends.  Food.  Gorgeous weather.  While I did snap a few photos here and there, I was able to just enjoy the time.  Hours later, and we finally decided to go home after my kiddos had danced the night away.  It was great!

Weddings are an addicting thing.  They are so full of love.  So full of endless hope for the future, skies open to galaxies open to an eternity right before your eyes.  You watch as two people commit to one another.  Make promises to one another.  And by the end, a new family is created.  A new duo is released to the world.  Powerful.  Ready for the adventure.  And madly, madly in love.

I would love to write endless love stories.  I believe love is the one thing I could never tire of.  Maybe there is a love story up my sleeve.  One full of vows and white weddings and dreams more grand than the sun.  Or maybe that is just how my head is.  Loving life and all the kisses and hugs and sparks is hides away.  Weddings just pull it out of me more than ever.

They are the inspiration of all great love stories.
They are the end goal of all great dreamers.
They are the start with no end.

And I love it all.

Congratulations to Adam and Katie!  You two are a match made beyond heaven, and I cannot wait to see the stories you create together.




Friday, August 2, 2013

Have You Read With Your Kid Today?

I always looked forward to the day that I would get to pass on my bookish love to my own children.  I would hoard my old books, some of which were very much so falling apart, for the sole purpose of passing them on.  Stacks of Amelia Bedelia.  Scatterings of the Boxcar Children, American Girl.  Collections of poetry and fairy tales.  I kept it all.

Then I hit that point where I wondered: Will my kids even like to read?  This was an honest fear in my life.  The one thing, the one hobby that I love without a doubt is reading.  What if my kids hated it?  My husband isn't a reader.  I was used to that.  But how would I handle it if my children could care less about books?

Yes.  This was something I honestly stressed about.

But fear not.  My oldest son, who is now a little over 5-years-old and prepping to start Kindergarten in less than a month (Ah!) is exactly what I always hoped for.  He is a book fanatic.  He is already reading (quite well I must add), already writing, and already creating his own little stories.  He blows me away with his passion for the written word.  And his little brother, who is now 3, is quickly following suit.

I love this.
I adore this.

The public library here does a reading program for children called Dig Into Reading.  A few weeks ago I signed my oldest up, and he has ran with it.  He records his time spent with books (listening to books, reading books, looking through books...) and as he hits certain goals he gets little prizes.  After only three days in, he had already hit the 90 minutes goal and happily left the library with an arm full of goodies.  Today he hit the 180 goal and is nearly to the 270, along with finishing the special challenges list.  And he is still asking for more.

The best part?  He wakes me up nearly every morning with:
"Hey Mom!  Know what we should do today?  Read more books!"

How can I argue with that?

I love reading with my kids.  I love seeing their excitement as a story unfolds before their eyes.  I love relearning the joys of a book.  I love watching as they grow, as they learn, as they fall in love with books.  My fear was unfounded.  There was no way my babies could NOT love books.

So now I ask you:  Have you read with you kid today?

If you haven't, what is stopping you?  On average, it takes about 5 minutes to read a simple children's book.  Put down your work.  Step away from your computer.  Pause your movie.  And take 5 minutes to open a world up to your child.  It is a small amount of time, but boy does it make a monumental difference.  You don't have to be an amazing reader.  You just have to be an amazing parent.  The art and love of books is a dying thing.  We can't let this happen.  If you have't read with your kid yet today, do it.

And if you have... do it some more. 
That is what I am off to do!

This is what happens when I tell my 5-year-old "Pick whatever books you want."


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Hello Stranger

Hello there.  Jenni here.
Believe it!

My oh my, it has been a long time since I last sat down and blogged.  Saying life has been crazy is an understatement.  And a bit of an overstatement.  Needless to say: I have missed this blog.  So today, while I was wasting time on Facebook, waiting for a photo session to export from Lightroom, and feeling the urge to peruse Pinterest, I made a decision.  I decided to stumble over here instead.

Miss me?
I have missed you!

Today is the first day of a new month.  An amazing month.  I might be prejudiced to this month, but within August there is my birthday, my husband's birthday, our anniversary of when we started dating 9 years ago, our 8 year wedding anniversary... Not to mention lots of sunshine.  I do love the sunshine.  So, I figured that to celebrate this month, to kick myself back into the blogging world, and just to get back in touch with all you wonderful people, I will do a post a day.

That's right.  For the next 31 days, you will hear from me.  Daily.
I feel like I should post a disclaimer on the coming quality of posts...

I am not going to update you on the state of LJ today.  I am not going to mention that I haven't picked up my paper edit or finalized my cover.  I am not going to talk about it at all.  Right now.  *cries softly to self*
In my office.  Messy hair and bookish-like

Okay, in all honesty: What with the chaos of moving across a state, living in a Winnebago for a month and a half, moving into our apartment, trying to settle in...  Trying to help my boys have summer fun.  Trying to hack away at photo backlog so that it is gone before the weddings I am booked to do in a few weeks happen...  Trying to find a way to balance everything has toppled, badly.

Not to mention, I have gotten lazy.
Dang you Netflix with your infinite TV show selections (I am now, officially, a Whovian.  Oh Number 10...)  Dang you Pinterest and how you are a time consuming black hole of awesomeness.  Dang you sleep...

Things are changing though.  I can feel it.  It is an itch under my skin, to get back to what I know makes me happy.  And I am hoping that posting daily for the next month will be the first step in those changes.  I have already made the announcement about my photography break.  I am mostly moved into this home of mine.  I am wanting to write.  I am dying to write.  So here I am.  Writing.

Miss me?

How have you been?  What would you like to hear about from my neck of the woods?  Do share!

Happy Writing!



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