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Friday, April 24, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things

Yay to Friday! We've survived another week and get to march into a bright and sunny weekend (Actually, I haven't checked the weather forecast yet, so maybe not). But the wonderful Lexa Cain sponsors this weekly hop to help us remember all those happy, little, small things that happened during the week - all those things which put a smile on our faces.

Thanks also goes to her super co-hosts:
L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge
Katie @ TheCyborgMom

The last two weeks, I've missed this, and I was going to add gorgeous pictures this week but can't find my camera. Ugh! So next week will have to do.

This week (without pictures), I'm celebrating. . .

1) My oldest's 18th birthday! *sigh* Amazing how fast they grow up.

2) My other son got a medal at school for getting a top score on one of those standardized tests. He was very proud. . .no, I'm not giving my opinion on the tests just relishing in the memory of his excitement and smile.

3) My chicks came! Last year, we had chicks delivered, but from 17 there were only 5 hens. The rest were roosters. Since we need more egg layers for those yummy breakfasts, I ordered another batch (this time 25). They're chirping away under the heat lamp. So cute!

4) My 'new for me' dryer came. The other one died a few weeks ago. The timer went out, and since the spare part cost $150 (yeah, I was shocked), it was time for a different dryer. I found a used appliance store in a town over an hour away, and they delivered it yesterday. So I'm happy, especially since it's been raining a lot, which makes line drying a bit difficult.

5) Oh, and before I forget, my daughter got her driver's license! I'll admit, I wasn't sure how that test would go since they actually do parallel parking and she hadn't tried it even once. But by some miracle, she pulled a perfect park.

And what about you? What wonderful things happened to you this week? Get any writing done? See a pretty sunset? Drink a tasty tea? What are you celebrating???

Monday, April 20, 2015

Interview with authors from Beware the LIttle White Rabbit Anthology

Today, two of the thirteen wonderful authors of the new anthology from Leap Books, BEWARE THE LITTLE WHITE RABBIT, have been kind enough to stop by for an interview! This is a delightful anthology in celebration of the 150 anniversary of Alice in Wonderland - and after reading through this in one sitting (yep, it's one I couldn't put down), I can only recommend all those of you who've wanted to slide down the rabbit hole yourself. (You can see my review over on Bookworm for Kids).

But before I dive into the questions, here's a glimpse at the book (and a fun short trailer is at the end too)

Curiosity often leads to trouble...

Thirteen powerful voices in young adult fiction invite you to journey into startling new Wonderlands in this nod to the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s timeless character, ALICE. 

Mystery. Madness. Mayhem. Each story in this collection will intrigue, bewitch, and enchant. Through rich historicals, castles and keeps, wild wormholes, secret workshops, deadly plagues, and gritty urban explorations, we present new tales of Alice and her white rabbit. 

Whether an intrepid reporter, a would-be car thief, or the last human in a world ruled by machines, at the heart of each story Alice is a girl discovering who she really is in worlds that never fail to surprise.

What wonders await, oh curious reader? Leap down the rabbit hole and discover the truth...

Available at:    ITunes / AMAZON / Smashwords

And here are two of the fantastic authors. C. Lee McKenzie and Jackie Horsfall!

First, I have to tell both of you how much I loved reading your stories! Although they share the same Alice, rabbit and hole, they are so different. Can you tell us a little about your story in Beware the Little White Rabbit?

McKenzie - I knew the Chinese myth about the rabbit and the goddess on the moon, and I put that together with a modern story of an adopted Chinese girl longing for her home. I guess this is an example of how my travel influences my writing. When I was in China I met several couples who were there to adopt orphaned girls, and this must have stuck with me. When I was invited to submit to Leap Books anthology, these two elements fused, and I wrote They Call Me Alice

Horsfall -  My story “Rabbit Fever” is set during the Great Plague of London (1665), the last major outbreak of plague in England. In a fever dream, the Queen and White Rabbit teach Alice how plague is transmitted, and Alice brings this information back to the world of the living. It’s a classic near-death experience and “hero’s journey.”

What did you think of Alice in Wonderland the first time you read it?

McKenzie - I loved it! I must have been seven. And since that first reading, I think Ive read it a dozen times because whenever one of the kids in my family asked me read to them, I pulled out my copy of Alice. In fact, I was thrilled when I found a 1941 edition of both Alice In Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass with some lovely black and white illustrations by John Tennile. Ive posted some of those on my Pinterest page in the Pin Beware the Little White Rabbit.

Horsfall - When I first read AIW, I loved how sassy and bold she was, always speaking her mind. I’ve incorporated that sassiness into my story.

What advice would you give to young adults that want to be a writer when they grow up?

McKenzie - I just visited a high school this month and was asked this same question. I suggested they read tons of what they enjoyed most, then write a journal of their life experiencessome said they already did. I left them with the same advice Ive heard forever, Just write.

And now for my personal favorite questions - the quick fire! Ready, set, go!

Favorite classic book - Horsfall - The Three Musketeers!

Favorite authors - McKenzie - Ill restrict my choices to YA and say Rosoff and Stiefvater. . .

What you dream of writing - Horsfall - a rock opera

Favorite Easter candy - McKenzie - Peeps. I know, theyre the worst possible things to put into your stomach, but I allow myself this indulgence once a year. Do you know they dance if you put them in microwave?

No, I didn't know this tidbit about Peeps. . .and I bet the bunny shaped ones do something similar. Guess what I'm going to be doing tonight!

Thanks for stopping by!

And here's that fantastic trailer I spoke of earlier. . .

Monday, April 13, 2015

Main Character Bonding Time

This year, I've joined the YA Buccaneer Spring Writing Bootcamp for the second time. Why? Because I honestly need an extra kick in the backside to get some revisions done . . .and this makes it more fun!

Each week, we're given a little assignment, and this week's is one I really needed: list 10 - 20 facts about your main character.

Easy, right?

Ha! Not always for me. Often, I start writing a story with this exciting plot in mind and forget to flesh out the characters in my mind first. Oh, I know their general personalities, but when it comes to looks or hobbies or interests...uh... is all of that stuff necessary?

Yes, it is. A couple chapters in, this becomes painfully obvious. The action runs along and the plot thickens, but the main character remains flat and unexciting. That's when I realize I've forgotten the other side of the story - the emotional plot. A story isn't all about action - bummer, but true. There needs to be depth and emotional drive. The characters need to become real, someone to be remembered. And the only way to do that is to dig into their personalities and get to know them better than a best friend.

I call it character bonding time.  (*shiver* I'm not the bonding type.)

So, let's go at it! Here are several facts about my main character:
Daniel Bim. . .

1) loves to do cannonballs and swim.

2) is a bit of a home-body, not the adventurous type.

3) hates prejudices

4) a little clumsy

5) likes pepperoni pizza

6) feels out of place except on his uncle's farm.

7) would run around in swim trunks all day if he could

8) great at fixing fences and chicken coops

9) at home in nature

10) ready to try new foods

11) wishes to be accepted and have more friends

And what about you? Have you sat down and gotten to know your main character? What are they like?

Friday, April 3, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things

Yay, it's Friday...and I SO need this weekend! But before I go lounging off into relaxation (yeah right!), it's time for another Celebrate the Small Things!
This is a weekly hop sponsored by the awesome Lexa Cain. The purpose is simply to remind us that even the smallest things are worth celebrating. If you'd like to join in, head on over to her blog, sign up on the linky and enjoy everyone's celebrations. . .reading them alone will puts a smile on the face.

Thanks also to Lexa's wonderful co-hosts:
L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge
Katie @ TheCyborgMom

This week, I'm celebrating. . .

1) IWSG! I had the honor to co-host this month, and I'm always amazed at the amount of support and enthusiasm of other writers. This group is worth celebrating

2) My parents came by unexpectedly. I mentioned last week that they've finally sold their farm and are currently seeking new property here in our part of the world. The visit was very spontaneous, totally unexpected and had me running around with them for two hard, quick days. Did it do any good??? Stay tuned to find out!

3) I won a Christine Rains dice! There's a nifty story cube game too, which the kids dove on and have been playing most of this morning. Thanks, Christine!

4) I started working on my flower/herb garden. It's in the making, but I've already sat on the patio and enjoyed a cup of ice tea while staring at a couple of flowers. *sigh*

And what about you? What wonderful things happened to you this week? Ready for Easter? See any bunnies hopping around? Feel a fresh breeze or a warm ray of sun?  What are you celebrating???

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Ready. . .Set. . .IWSG!

It’s time for IWSG - Insecure Writer’s Support Group! This is the brain child of the amazing Alex J. Cavanaugh, and is the time for us writers to seek or offer encouragement to each other as we journey our way down the writing road. And yes, writers need this! To join us, click above and sign up. You won't regret it.

The co-hosts today are Suzanne Furness,  Toi Thomas,Rachna Chhabria, Donna Hole

and Me!

This month, one folk tale pops into my head whenever I think about writing (which is a lot).

The Tortoise and the Hare!  

No, not because it's Easter. And no, not because turtles are constantly crossing the roads here (seriously, it's like that old computer game Leap Frog when going to town. . .well, between turtles and squirrels that is. Where are they all going, I wonder?)

Anyway, this month has reminded me that writing/publishing is not a race. I don't have to write super fast like the hare. I don't have to stress myself out. Writing and the road to publishing is more of a test of endurance, persistence and simply sticking to it. The finish line is there, but there's no reason to dash for it like a lunatic...that only results in bad manuscripts and high-blood pressure (no, I didn't have this.)

So, take a sip of that lemonade, grab your pens and let the words flow as they will. Stories need their own time. Writing needs its own time (I'm ignoring deadlines imposed by editors and Co. here. . .)

Be persistent. Don't give up, and don't let those super-sonic-speed hares get to you.

Just write.

And what about you? What feelings does writing give you this month? Pulling out your hair? Celebrating anything?

What insecurity do you have???