Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Top Ten Excuses-- Helen Dening

I'm excited to have my friend, Helen here today. Helen attends our weekly writer's group at the Sinclairville Free Library. Helen is a yet to be published children's book author, I say 'yet to be published' because it will be! Her stories are amazing! I can't wait to say, "I knew her when..." This is her top 10 list of excuses that made me laugh out loud. I hope you love it as much as I did. 

10 Reasons Why I Couldn’t (Can’t, Don’t, Didn’t) Write

  1. I was traumatized by watching our new neighbors dance- our two neighbors, each weighing at least 350 lb, were dancing naked in the rain.

  1. My brother asked me to watch his pet while he went on vacation. I didn’t hear the “s” on pets. As a pet rescuer, he currently has 2 beavers, 3 raccoons, 1 tiger, 7 flamingos, a potbelly pig, and grandma who showed up unexpectantly. 

  1. I had no tea in the house. You need a good cup of sipping tea to calm and focus the savage thoughts.

  1. I was participating in a clinical study conducted by the Harvard University psych dept. on the physiological and psychological ramifications of watching rain dancers.

  1. I ran out of acetone… I needed to move the bookcase out of my son’s room and into the attic. While moving it, my cup of pencils and pens crashed to the floor, cracking the cup. I glued the crack with superglue and some dribbled on my fingers. I didn’t have acetone. I can’t write with stuck-up fingers.

  1. I had to buy a blue horse, but books were blocking my way…
Two-yr. old granddaughter Meghan wants a blue horse for Christmas and the best place to look is either Clayton’s toy store or Puddle Duck, but I didn’t have gas in my car and I had no idea how to get to either toy store, so I had to wait for Niles to take me, except he was burning a bag of old papers and receipts saved since 1983 that was taking up too much space in the attic  and we no longer needed to keep. The attic needed to be turned back into bedroom space for family descending upon us for Thanksgiving. But Niles could only burn a few handfuls of paper at a time without smothering the fire so while I waited for him, I decided to finish moving the bookshelf to the attic, but the shelves was filled with books. When I emptied the shelves, books blocked the doorway and I needed to buy a blue horse. I just couldn’t write.
  1. I couldn’t find the bag of potting soil. Before Niles could repair the leak in the shed’s roof, he had to move things so he’d have space to reach the rafters and I wasn’t sure where the potting soil was moved to and I needed to repot our indoor-outdoor plants that recently migrated back to the basement, but they couldn’t stay in the basement because 5 grandkids need the space for their Thanksgiving sleepover and everyone knows large plants, small children, and a sleepover are not a good combination. Although, Ali does call the plants her jungle and loves hiding amongst them. Still, the plants needed to be repotted and relocated out of the basement, but not to the dining room- no room there- so perhaps the attic- near the bookshelf, but first I needed to find the potting soil. I couldn’t write.

  1. I was overcome with a deep sense of loss and sadness. Amanda came to claim and carry off my collection of classroom wall decorations. She was exuberantly ecstatic over Winnie-the Pooh characters, Mother Goose, Mercer Mayer’s Little Critters, Dalmatians, and more, while I was fought back symptoms of empty-nestitis. My 3 ft. paper creation of a smiling Pooh opened a floodgate of emotions and I recalled 4-yr olds hiding behind trees, pretending they were searching 100-acre wood for Pooh Bear’s honey pots.  I wondered if the trees I made were still in the attic. I hadn’t seen them when I hauled everything to the living room. Sadly, it all had to go. I needed space. A bed, bookshelf, and plants were destined to the attic. Family’s coming. For years, Winnie-the-Pooh had found a home on my walls and family in our world of pretend and imagination. Realities change. Yet, I didn’t want to loose this one. I couldn’t write.

  1. Squirrels and superglue. Squirrels moved into the attic, chewed through the wires- no power for my computer. I couldn’t write longhand as all my pencils and pens were stuck in the super glued cup.

  1. I couldn’t write, it was raining, time for dancing.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Blog Tour-- Elizabeth Seckman

Please welcome back, Elizabeth Seckman. She's on a blog tour for her awesome new book, Healing Summer. As part of the tour, I was asked to give her a question to answer here on my blog. I asked if she'd be willing to tell a few of her family traditions, you know, coming off the holiday and all. So, here's Elizabeth to tell us about birthdays with four boys. 

As I pack away the final boxes of the holiday season, I reflect on a year of family traditions  that I hope give my kids the roots they need for their wings to be strong.
Each new year begins with the cycle of birthdays. My husband and I started the tradition of the “Star Studded Birthday Weekend” when our boys were young.  We have four of them spaced closely together in age. As of right now, we have an eighteen, a sixteen, a fifteen, and a twelve-year-old.
We have an active, busy house most every day of the year, and we look for opportunities to slow down any chance we can. We also look for ways to separate the boys from the pack, to make them feel special. That’s important in a house where on most days, the boys are cared for in an assembly line from breakfast, to bath, to bedtime.
So, on the weekend closest to the birthday boy’s special day that guy rules the roost. He gets first dibs on the seat choice in the car, game or activity selection (and everyone has to play!), and of course the menu is all his too. We have some fun memories. The boys could get really creative in their planning. We’ve had whole weekends of video games like Halo, or back in the good old days, Gauntlet Dark Legacy challenges…and every now and then they unplug for a game of Monopoly or Pictionary.
In a house where our kids have been forced to share everything but underwear and toothbrushes, this is simply a nice way to celebrate and let a guy feel like a king!

Maybe Love, Not Time, Heals All Wounds
Ditched at the altar…biopsied for cancer…Mollie Hinkle is having a bona fide bitch of a summer. When life sucks so hard it takes your breath away, what's a girl to do? Pack a bag, grab a few friends, and leave the past and the worry in the rear view mirror. What wounds can’t be healed by a drive across the Heartland, where quarter flips at cross roads determine the route and the future? All roads lead to Craig, the second son and bad boy of the haughty Coulter line. Has fate brought her to the miniscule Montana town to find happily ever after or will it just break her heart?
“Healing Summer” is the second book in the Coulter Men Series.

Don't forget to check out the posts throughout the month and vote on your favorite by commenting on the page. http://eseckman.blogspot.com/p/healing-summer-blog-tour.html

Follow Elizabeth on Facebook,
and find all her books on Amazon.

Oh, and don't forget to try to win the $100 she's giving away. 

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Author Tracy Krauss--Top Ten excuses

Please welcome author, Tracy Krauss and her excuses for not writing. 

This is downright embarrassing. I’m about to reveal the number one reason I don’t always get around to writing.  I can sum it up in two letters. TV.

Okay, there I’ve said it. When Jessie put out the call for authors to write a post on why they DON’T write, I had a few other thoughts pop into my mind. Things that would sound a whole lot more legit.

For instance, I spend a lot of time marketing and promoting my work. Although I am trying to become more efficient, it isn’t uncommon for me to spend three hours in an evening online. I’ve even set aside entire days on the weekend or during the summer to ‘catch up’ on all the online promoting that seems to be part of the ‘new era’ in publishing.

I also blog. While I could lump this into the above ‘marketing’ category, blogging for me has become something more than that. I love journaling and from way back I have been filling journals with my thoughts, frustrations, dreams, and prayers. Since I started blogging over three years ago, I find that I write many of these things on my blog instead.  While I still keep a personal journal, many of the things that aren’t too personal have found their way onto my blog. It takes time to blog consistently and to keep coming up with new content. As part of a few writing groups, I also post on a couple of group blogs. While it is still ‘writing’, it’s not the same as writing creatively, a.k.a. writing fiction, which is what I’m lamenting here.

Oh, I could mention that I work full time as a high school teacher; that I direct an amateur theatre group which rehearses an average of four hours a week plus puts on two productions a year; that I coordinate the worship at my church and most Sundays lead as well; that I am on the executive of the local Arts Council; that I have a husband and home to look after not to mention four grown children, family and friends…
All of this stuff – LIFE – takes time.

However, when I stopped to examine why I am not writing as much as I want to each day, I had to admit that all of the above are not the things that are interfering with my word count. Watching TV is the number one reason I don’t write as much as I’d like to. This isn’t really a revelation. I decided I needed to address my ‘addiction’ a few months ago. However, it is something that kind of snuck up on me unawares.
For most of my adult life I have not had much interest in TV. After thirty years of marriage we only just got satellite TV four years ago. We were satisfied with one channel (CBC - The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) My daughters’ idol growing up was Peter Mansbridge – the long time anchor of ‘The National’ (CBC news), and other than ‘George Stroumboulopoulos’ or ‘Hockey Night In Canada’, we were satisfied with renting videos once in awhile to satisfy our TV urges. 

To appease our then teenaged son when we moved in 2008, we promised that we would get satellite TV so that he could watch TSN and all the sports he wanted.  He has since flown the coop, but guess what? Mom and Dad are the ones who got addicted to TV.  HGTV is my main culprit, while my husband favours all those crime scene investigation shows. Part of the problem is our open concept living space. In our previous homes, the TV was in a separate room. Watching TV was an intentional activity. Not so now! It seems to be on all the time. Sometimes I turn it on and tell myself I’ll just watch a tiny bit while I make dinner, but inevitably I end up watching the entire episode. When my husband comes home in the evening he likes to spend time with me.  If one of his shows in on, I try to work on my laptop at the same time, but it’s hard to concentrate on your own plot when another murder has just taken place right in front of you…

My daughters have advised that we cancel our satellite subscription. (All three of them are very sensible.) They love to point out that they never had the luxury of so much TV while growing up and add that my husband and I have become worse than the average teenager. I argue that I need it for research. All that TV watching is helping me stay in touch with current cultural trends. Plus, now that CBC no longer broadcasts my football team’s games, I couldn’t possibly go without it. They just shake their collective heads. We could be investing all that money in our retirement fund, they say.  *Sigh*

Never fear. A plan is in the works. We are currently renovating a new house and when we move in we are most definitely, absolutely, without question, going to cancel our satellite subscription. With that in mind I need to go watch another decorating show. I need some new ideas for my new kitchen. *Smile*

It was great to have you with us today, Tracy. I learned a lot about you. Be sure to check out Tracy's book, Wind over Marshdale. Click on the book cover to purchase the book. 

About the Author
Tracy Krauss is a high school teacher by profession, and a prolific author, artist, playwright and director by choice. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Saskatchewan and has gone on to teach Art, Drama and English – all the things she is passionate about. After raising four children, she and her husband now reside in beautiful Tumbler Ridge, BC where she continues to pursue all of her creative interests. She has several romantic suspense novels and stage plays in print. For more information visit her website at http://www.tracykrauss.com

Monday, January 7, 2013

Top Ten Excuses--Kelly Martin

Kelly Martin, author of Crossing the Deep  is with us today with her tongue-in-cheek top ten reasons why she doesn't write. 

Ten Reasons Why I Don’t Write
By: Kelly Martin
Author of Crossing the Deep (out now)
Saint Sloan (coming Feb. 28th, 2013)

10. I don’t write… to change the world because that would be silly. I write to make money and live the ‘good life’. (AH hahahahahah!!! That's funny, Kelly.)

9. I don’t write… to take forever on a book. Seriously, I can put out a finished, edited, polished book in two weeks easily.

8. I don’t write… to meet other writers because we all really are against each other. No friends in business.

7. I don’t write… for my fans/readers. I never take what they have to say into consideration and would never name characters after them.

6. I don’t write… to get better at it. Honestly, I was at the top of my game in high school. Why would I need to improve? (Amazing!!! Me too.)

5. I don’t write… to tell stories that are laid on my heart. I use what’s ‘popular’ and go from there.

4. I don’t write… to make my kids proud of me. They are the last thing on my mind.

3. I don’t write… to have to participate in blog hop. I get so tired of them.

2. I don’t write… Young Adult because it’s what I feel God has laid on my heart. It’s for the money… because all the money is in YA. (My sides hurt from laughing.)

1.                I don’t write… extremely sarcastic blog posts in the hopes of making you laugh, giggle, snicker, nod, and/or guffaw… oh wait…. I guess I do ;)

I want to thank Jessie for having me on her blog today. Honestly, I love my readers, write YA because it’s what I feel God wants me to write, love blog hops, want my kids to be proud, to get better at it, to take my time and write a good story, and maybe… maybe change someone’s life or (even) the world. (Kelly, sounds like we need to get to know each other better. We have a lot in common.)

Buy Links:

ASTRAEA PRESS-- http://www.astraeapress.com/#!/~/product/id=15502342