Archive for the ‘cool people’ Category:

Jealous

I remember the day my friend, Tina Chen showed us the cover of her gorgeous new novel: a lush, moving story written by a generous soul. Her success (and the book was award-winning) was well-deserved. And I was JEALOUS.

Jealousy’s not a regular thing for me. Usually my friends’ successes give me hope. So this unwelcome green-eyed monster growled a question: Jealous of what? I knew I could publish. But I had given up on publishing a novel; I didn’t think I could finish. What Tina had that I believed I didn’t was follow-through. When she set a goal–even a complex one–she accomplished it.

Not long after, I DID finish my first novel. (Good thing I explored that jealousy.) And while I was learning promotion, I discovered former publishing CEO Michael Hyatt, who now trains leaders. I’ve been using his work ever since, and it has helped me immeasurably with organization, focus, goal-setting–all of that stuff I thought Tina could do, but I couldn’t. (Turns out I can!)

Now I get to be one of Michael’s affiliate partners. This is new for me, and I’m genuinely excited. (I mean really genuinely, not just ad-copy genuinely.) I want to share this FREEBIE with you, because 2017 is sneaking up on me, and maybe on you, too.

I love this (free!) PDF download. I was taking notes on it last night and sticking them in my calendar–until I realized I was basically copying the whole book:

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In it, 30+ well known influencers all share the most
important thing they do to launch a banner year.

It’s a who’s who of successful people — Tony Robbins,
John Maxwell, Dave Ramsey, Chalene Johnson, and Andy
Andrews, plus more than 20 leaders.

Check it out (at no cost) here:
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Katherine

P.S. This free PDF is a wealth of wisdom to kickstart 2017. If you’ve felt stuck for a while–or your successful friends are making you jealous–don’t miss it: http://bestyearever.me/a20843/2017ebook

 

Janet Lee Carey Interviewed by the Mad Queen

rsz_1in_the_time_of_dragon_moon_high_res_coverI loved IN THE TIME OF DRAGON MOON! And not just because I was around as it was being born. Reading the finished book (which I stayed up all night to do), was a completely different experience from hearing tantalizing bits of the manuscript during the three years Janet was writing. I loved living in the pages of this book with the spirited Uma, and Jackrun, the boy who breathes fire and has dragon in his blood.

 

 

 

 

 

We were able to catch a few minutes with Queen Adela, as she interviewed the “bard,” Janet Lee Carey.

 

About the Book:
Beware the dark moon time when love and murder intertwine
          All Uma wants is to become a healer like her father and be accepted by her tribe. But when the mad queen abducts her and takes her north, Uma’s told she must use her healing skills to cure the infertile queen by Dragon Moon, or be burned at the stake. Uma soon learns the queen isn’t the only danger she’s up against. A hidden killer out for royal blood slays the royal heir. The murder is made to look like an accident, but Uma, and the king’s nephew Jackrun, sense the darker truth. Together, they must use their combined powers to outwit a secret plot to overthrow the Pendragon throne. But are they strong enough to overcome a murderer aided by prophecy and cloaked in magic?

~In the Time of Dragon Moon is a story of courage and romance that readers will not soon forget.~ VOYA

WORLD-BUILDING WORKSHOP WITH JANET LEE CAREY “From Elves to Aliens”

Saturday, May 23, 1-3, University Bookstore, Bellevue

Do you write fantasy or sci-fi or create worlds for games? Create the natural setting from the ground up with believable ecosystems and interdependent life forms. Add societies with interesting political, religious, and economic systems. Make a world vivifies your unique story ideas. It’s a demanding process, but ask the right questions, and all the elements from natural setting to social structures combine to create the inevitable conflicts and tensions each story demands. Come ready to discuss ideas and do a fun interactive world-building activity.

Sign up at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1360728 Price includes workshop, refreshments, handouts and a signed copy of In the Time of the Dragon Moon or other works by Janet Lee Carey.

Book Trailer:

Janet Lee Carey grew up in the bay area under towering redwoods that whispered secrets in the wind. When she was a child she dreamed of becoming a mermaid (this never happened).She also dreamed of becoming a published writer (this did happen after many years of rejection). She is now an award-winning author of nine novels for children and teens. Her Wilde Island Chronicles are ALA Best Books for Young Adults. She won the 2005 Mark Twain Award and was finalist for the Washington State Book Award. Janet links each new book with a charitable organization empowering youth to read and reach out. She tours the U.S. and abroad presenting at schools, book festivals and conferences for writers, teachers, and librarians. Janet and her family live near Seattle by a lake where rising morning mist forms into the shape of dragons. She writes daily with her imperious cat, Uke, seated on her lap. Uke is jealous of the keyboard. If Janet truly understood her place in the world, she would reserve her fingers for the sole purpose of scratching behind Uke’s ear, but humans are very hard to train.

Visit her website here

Thanks again to Janet Lee Carey for appearing. For other stops on the Dragon Moon blog tour please click here.

An Interview with Author Lois Brandt + teen writing with Lois at Bellevue College

Lois Brandt, Writer, Seattle

Photo by Meryl Schenker

One of the cool things about taking teen writing at Bellevue College, is working with a published author. Lois Brandt (who is certifiably awesome) teaches Writing Short Stories in the Teenage Novelist program. Students rave about her classes, which have included the “Write a Novel in 30 Days” class she usually teaches in November (to go along with NaNoWriMo) and “Editing Your Manuscript.” Lois is a prolific author of short fiction, and her new book, Maddie’s Fridge is coming out in September!

Teenage Novelist: Writing Short Stories

7/21/2014 – 7/25/2014 OR 8/4/2014 – 8/8/2014

Every story has a beginning middle and end, but how do you write stories that make your readers lean forward to find out what happens next? In this short story class students learn characterization and plotting. We will create memorable characters and chase them through a 2000 – 7000 word story. Once our stories are drafted we learn to edit and polish. Each student will leave the class with at least one completed short story. All genres are welcome.

Interview with Lois Brandt

1.       What were you writing when you were a teenager?

When I was a teenager I was writing a novel set in the Civil War. I was particularly interested because my Mom and Dad’s families fought on separate sides, so I wrote about a family that split down the middle. Two brothers wanted to fight for the South and two brothers for the North. The viewpoint character just wanted the family back together.

2.       You have a book, Maddie’s Fridge, coming out in September. What did you say or do when you found out it was being published?

To be honest, I broke into tears. Maddi’s Fridge is a story that has been in my heart since I was about ten. Stories and events stick inside my head until I give them voice on paper. In this case, I couldn’t forget the day I found out my best friend had no food in her home. This wasn’t a temporary “Mom and Dad were too busy to shop.”  They had absolutely no food and were days away from their mom’s payday. A discovery like that changes your world. It did not make the news (“American family has no food”), but it changed forever the way I looked at people with less money or resources. These are our friends and neighbors who are struggling for food, housing, and jobs. What do you do when your best friend is in trouble? Maddi’s Fridge tells that story.

3.       What are some of your favorite things about working with teen writers?

Teen writers are brilliant. I say that in all humility. I am awed by the ideas that teens come up with and where they take the writing prompts and exercises I give them. They are also quick to learn and willing to try new things. Some write with brilliant voices, others have unique ideas and/or characters. All bring something interesting to the class.

4.       What advice do you have for teens who hope to be published?

The first is a caveat: Writers are about writing. Yes, we want to publish and yes, all of us are at this very moment trying to get paid for our work.  There is this whole business side that we really have to pay attention to.  But for now, write.  I have a game I play with myself. If someone asks what I do, and I’ve met my daily writing goal, then I allow myself to say I write. If I have not writtin, I say my other profession — teaching. If I’m extremely frustrated (missed a writing day), I list my profession as cat sitter. If you want to be published: write. The more you write, the better you’ll be. The better you are, the greater your chance of publication.

 

What Happens Next?

 Week 1, July 14-18

Teenage Novelist: The Novel in a Nutshell

Teen Poets: Dancing on the Razor’s Edge

Teenage Novelist: Talking To Your Characters

 Week 2, July 21-25

Creating Graphic Novels (Dana Sullivan. Waitlisted)

Young Writers’ Workshop (Waitlisted)

Teenage Novelist: Writing Short Stories (Lois Brandt)

Teenage Novelist: Scenes and Dreams

Geek Fiction Writing

Week 3, July 28-August 1

Teenage Novelist: Plotting and Scheming

Teenage Novelist: Revisioning the Novel

Teenage Novelist: Publishing

 Week 4, August 4-8

Teenage Novelist: Novel Intensive

Teenage Novelist: Writing Short Stories (Lois Brandt)

Teenage Novelist: Live-Action Writing

 

And don’t forget August 10-13

Summer EpicWrite Camp!!!  (not affiliated with BC)

REGISTER FOR EPICWRITE

A Word on Risk

 

“You built some dandy walls

That held back the fire

And the barbs

But also the heat

And the fruit

That make it worth the suffering

The wind will blow through the remains

Of your fortress

And that mournful noise

Will be all the eulogy you are entitled”

©2014 Shane Guthrie

(excerpt from a longer set, which I will post later.)

A Wizard, a Rock Star and an Alchemist Walk Into a Parallel Universe

Addison Alchemist

And here’s what to do if you find yourself in such a situation:

A) If you are the wizard

  1.  Realize that this is probably your fault.
  2.  However, if you are a somewhat unstable wizard, seek similarly unstable companion-wizards. A consortium of this kind tends to wake up sleeping orcs, which will alleviate boredom.
  3.  Once you’ve got a suitable wizarding cadre with the requisite number of wicked creatures in pursuit, go find a rock star.

B) If you are the rock star

  1. Sigh and say, “Oh, no, not again.”
  2. However, if you are a demon-slaying rock star you must act nonchalant, so that any demons you encounter can be lulled into unwariness. Tell the demons you are a country singer. Tell them you play the fiddle and just made a Faustian deal with their boss.
  3. Realize you want out of the deal. Start looking up alchemists in the Yellow Pages (since you are in a pre-technological era.)

C) If you are the alchemist

  1. Search your pockets for the Elixir of Life, which you realize with dismay was left in a previous parallel universe at exactly the moment you had located it.
  2. Begin your life’s work over again. Plunge into despair when you remember the long centuries searching for the Elixir. Question the purpose of your existence.
  3. Notice that you are being followed, nay energetically chased by a demon-slaying rock star, several demons, a conclave of eccentric wizards and at least twelve orcs. Begin to be vaguely happy, then solidly optimistic, then delirious with joy.

 

If this is not the way your weekends usually go, consider signing up for EpicWrite, taking place May 17 and 18 at Camp Huston.

 

 

5 Rights Teen Writers Deserve

…and teen non-writers deserve them, too.

hayden

Teens have taught me a bunch about writing over the last couple of decades–both the teens who have already written five novels and the ones who would rather scrub under the refrigerator than pick up a pen. For a lot of teens, writing was ruined for them by third grade. For others, dutifully writing their five-paragraph essays, their love affair with writing is made up of clandestine moments, stolen from their more “important” term papers and college applications.

The needs of these writers are simple, but those needs often can’t–or won’t–be accommodated in school. They come down to two basic principles: ownership and community. Here’s what I think most teens ask of their parents, mentors, friends and teachers when it comes to their writing.

1. I have a right to secret writing. I may keep a private journal. It may have poems or stories in it; it may have letters I never send; it may have just random thoughts. But it is not for public consumption; it is not for anyone who wants to check my spelling or penmanship; it is not even there so you can read my poetry, celebrate my talent and understand me better. When and if I want to share it with someone, I will. In the meantime, do not ask.

2. I have a right to choose what I write about. I know I’ll have assignments for school that I don’t choose; I get that. But I have a right to channel my creativity in a way that rocks my world–even if my song lyrics make no sense to you or my spokenword piece might shock Great Aunt Betty. I have a right to create my own body of work.

3. If I am part of a writing group or class, I have a right to either share my work or not share it. Sometimes sharing my work with a group is helpful and feels good. But sometimes the writing isn’t yet ready to share. And some writing will never be ready to share. I have a right to know I can write from a deep place inside of myself, or that I can experiment and the teacher will not demand to have the work read.

4. I have a right to accept or reject critique. If I choose to get feedback on my work (and I can choose not to), I am not obligated to change the work in the way the critiquer suggests. Even if the person giving the critique is my best friend. Even if it is my mom. Even if it is an award-winning author. I have a right to decide what is useful to the piece and what is not, and to base my revisions on the advice believe best serves the work.

5. I have a right to be listened to, encouraged, and respected. If I can find a group of people who feel like my “tribe,” because they are just as strange and quirky as I am, I may show them my secret writing–misspellings and all. I may share my spokenword piece with them and hear theirs. I may write weird, experimental collaborations with some of them. I may listen to their critique and weigh it carefully, because not only are we all becoming stronger writers, these people know me. And the real reason I write is to know and to be known.

 

If you know a teen still looking for a “tribe” of creatives, we’d love to have them at our TEENWrite EPIC overnight May 17-18 at Camp Huston. Our 10th anniversary Summer TEENWrite EPIC camp will be July 8-12 at Fort Casey.

 

Review of FLYAWAY by Helen Landalf

FlyawayFlyaway by Helen Landalf

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One of the things I loved about this book, besides the winsomeness of its protagonist, Stevie, was that it didn’t present easy answers. Stevie has grown up in an intolerable situation, but she loves her mother despite her mother’s flaws, and is determined to be loyal to her.

Even when I wanted to shake Stevie and say, “You’ve got to get out of there, girl!” I believed it entirely when she continued to cling to her mom’s empty promises.

It was exciting to see Stevie gradually begin to honor her own dreams and let go of blaming herself for her mom’s choices.

I also loved Alan–tough, cynical, wounded and full of possibility. I’d have liked to see Stevie challenge him even more than she did, but I have a feeling that as she gains confidence in herself she will be more and more honest.

This is a book whose characters continue to live and breathe, even after the last page.

View all my reviews

Check Out “I Like These Books” on The Summer of No Regrets Blog Tour

Britta at I Like These Books is a teenage blogger and one of the contributors to Spoiler Alert (The Book Recap). When she’s not reading or blogging, she spends her time baking and babysitting. It’s true, she’s way too domestic for a teenager. (She says.)

Britta also writes an excellent blog with a gazillion followers. I got to answer a few Brigitta questions on her blog today. http://www.ilikethesebooks.com/2012/04/this-or-that-with-brigitta-from-summer.html

Thanks, Reading Angel

Angela, at Reading Angel has officially launched the SUMMER OF NO REGRETS blog tour. These book bloggers completely amaze me. They blog on their own time out of a love for books. Many also have their own novels in progress or out for query. I think they are the life blood of publishing. Go check out Reading Angel’s blog for some great reads. Here’s what she says about herself:

I’m Angela. 26-year-old stay at home mom. I’ve been married for 8 years to a wonderful man. Reading is my passion. I love sharing thoughts and book ideas with others. I love to talk about books and blogging with anyone, so never feel shy about emailing me or chatting me up on twitter!!!  I try to post reviews for everything I read here, and I love getting comments!!

My reading passion is YA books, but I read a lot of paranormal, urban fantasy, and humorous romance.

I spend more money on books than I do on food, my favorite color is clear, and I trip over my own feet.
I will wear a hoodie all year, even when it’s freezing, (summer it just goes on in the evenings).
It has to be at least 4 sizes to large because I want it to swallow me.
So, that’s where you’ll find me today, with a book, swallowed by a hoodie ;)