Monday, December 19, 2011

The Ninja is Having a Giveaway!

Head over to enter. it is awesome, I tell ya. And you know I only speak the truth. The Ninja is giving away stuff. You heard that right! Here's the linkage: Alex J. Cavanaugh  And if you haven't joined the army, join up! :-)

I am going to take a break. (I will be lurking about, though) Homeschool has gotten the better of me this semester and I have lots of writing time to catch up on. Plus family stuff. Please have a beautiful Christmas everyone.
Remember the reason. Smooches!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Welcome Jenna Gustafson!!!!!!!!

             Please join me in welcoming Jenna. She is here to talk about her book, Saving Fort  Smoky. It's lovely to have you here Jenna.

           What is it like being a 15-year-old author?

Jump into your hot-tub time machine and fly back to your years of high school.  Ah, yes.  I’m sure you remember those days of hardwood desks, the smell of notebook paper, the wacky, weird, and wonderful teachers, the hours spent up to your eyeballs in homework every night.  Don’t forget the sports (that’s not sweat, it’s your fat cells crying!), all the daily encounters with peers whom you’ve known since kindergarten.  Maybe you even remember the books you read, your best friends, and your rivals.
            In the midst of it all, you are managing to sell and promote your book, Saving Fort Smoky, throughout your community and the web.
            That is what it is like being a 15-year-old author.  No, I probably don’t spend as long as I should on it, and no, I’m not the next Christopher Paolini.  However, this challenging experiment of mine has been exciting, and has taught me a lot about being an entrepreneur.  Luckily, working hard has been burned into my brain by my parents.  The work doesn’t bother me, and in fact, I enjoy it.  Finding the work is the challenge.

            Tell us about your book:

My book, Saving Fort  Smoky, began as a seventh grade English assignment.  We were to write children’s books, and our teacher showed us one a girl had gotten published.  That sparked an idea, a challenge to myself.
“Well,” I thought. “If she can do it, I can do it better!”
I wrote my book quickly in three weeks, working on it night and day.  My story was spun partly through a haze of Louis L'Amour westerns, and partly my wild imagination.  The story just seemed to flow out of me.  The story line is quite simple, really, but I think it is one that kids will enjoy.  This is what the final product is about:
“After a devastating fire ravages the homes of Fort Smoky, it’s up to young Ben Clearwater and his sister and friends to help the residents and get to Fort Futureland to save the people before the harsh, cold winter sets in.  To get there, they will have to trek through unknown mountains, relying on Running Wind’s compass and Big Jim’s maps of the land while struggling against the harsh forces of Mother Nature.
Fort Futureland is a place of new and interesting contraptions, like cars and computers, the four children have never seen, and they are captivated.  But the children soon uncover a sinister plot to destroy their beloved Fort Smoky.  Will they be able to stop the evil leaders of Fort Futureland?  Will they ever make it home?  Will they be heroes for Saving Fort Smoky?”
Though I look back on my writing now and see how it could be so much better, I think that saving Fort Smoky is a good start to my writing career.

           What would you tell other kids who are trying to write?

Dear Other Kids of the Universe:  My love for writing came through journaling.  My journals are where my thoughts can flow freely and expressively, where it doesn’t matter what other people think or how they react.  In writing, it is important to find that place.  Dip your pen in the passion of your heart and write purely, wildly, in a way that only you can.  Don’t worry about punctuation and grammar.  A person’s writing is often not defined by their perfect English, but by the feeling of soul in the piece.  Later you can refine it into a masterpiece.  Once you are satisfied with your work and many people have had proof read it, rejoice, for your finished product should make you proud!
I highly encourage that you then look for places to publish your work.  Be brave, be creative.  Publish your work in the newspaper, Teen Ink or other magazines, enter contests, or even find a publisher like Tate Publishing and sell your work.  This will not only make you a better writer, but you could earn some cash!
Lastly, never give up.  Don’t let anyone tell you you aren’t good enough.  All success takes is determination and a big heart.

Did any adults help you along the way?

Many! Sheryl Stansbury, the librarian at my middle school whom I was an aid for, helped me proof read my story, gave me heart, helped me dream big, and never deplentished my supply of good books.
Mrs.  Knudson, my English teacher who was the the first to spark my inspiration.  Her humor was always a highlight to my day.
My parents, especially my mom, who spent hours with a dictionary and forty or more pages of manuscript to edit.
Of course, the mighty staff at Tate Publishing who coached me and treated me like an adult through each production phase, which I appreciated.
Recently, Shannon O’Donnell, a blogger who graciously extended her hand and helped me explore the wonders of web marketing.
All of you, readers and bloggers, who are supporting me.  Thank you.

Do you have any hobbies?
I like to do things in my spare time like reading sci-fi/adventure books, journaling, dancing (ballet, tap, jazz), drawing/illustrating, galloping across the countryside with my best friend and her horse, Dakota, running cross country, hiking, and creating challenges for myself.

1 thing I want people to understand about my book and I through this interview:
People, please realize that anything is possible through God and perseverance.
Also, QUIT DREAMING and make your dreams something real!
Go ahead, dive off the high board, ride with the top down, and write with a voice all your own. :) 

Thank you for joining us Jenna. I can tell you will go far in this world.  It is a privilege to cyber know you.

Peeps, please go buy the book. Support this lovely young author. 


            Barnes and Noble:

 Visit Jenna here:


           My website:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Julie Hedlund's story and contest

Please click over here and vote for Julie's story, A Troop is a Group of Monkeys. Her story is excellent and she can win the chance to be published. So let's all gather round and support this beautiful lady. Then enter her awesome contest right here and have a chance to win some mighty lovely prizes. The grand prize being mine. *ahem* Providing my name gets chosen. *snort*

Have an beautiful day, folks.  :-)

Monday, December 5, 2011

This Is For You Em! :-)

My pal Emily Ann Benedict, mystery writer extraordinaire, is giving away, yes, I said giving away a story she wrote called, The Father Christmas Confessions. This story is awesome! I don't want to give away any of Megan's story, you'll have to trust me. This is excellent! And it's free. Just because she is who she is! A super woman! So follow the link and get your copy today. Right now. This minute. The Father Christmas Confessions You'll be so glad you did. And while you're at it, buy Emily's book, Only Angels Are Bulletproof. Get it here: Amazon

Click here to visit Emily's place  And here to visit her blog: Emily's blog

Friday, December 2, 2011

Ideas and More Ideas Actually, Fifty-Five of Those Suckers!

PiBoIdMo sent my brain, sight, ears, tongue, touch, and of course my nose into a flurry of activity. Ideas popped up everywhere. Ideas from pictures, from fellow writers blog posts,  from my kids, from my hubby, ideas from signs on the road, a sign in a yard, colors, textures, my horses and assorted farm buddies. Little pieces of paper in a basket. Little pieces of paper that will be become stories this coming year. I even have a couple non-fiction ideas. Now there were many more than fifty-five. But alas, these were not scribbled down fast enough and something took my mind off the thought and it vanished. *boohoo*

I have some exciting, fresh, promising, lovely, ideas that I plan on turning into exciting, fresh, promising, lovely picture books. How about you?

Did you see with all your senses in November? Did a certain food you tasted give you an idea? A smell? A picture? An unusual bug? Ideas are all around us. We as writers have to 'see' with our whole body, not just our eyes. Smell with our entire being, not just our noses. Btw, do you realize how crazy toes look? I was staring at my families toes and had a perfect idea for a funny picture book. It involves noses too. But it has a different take on the subject. I'm raring to go. As a matter of fact, now comes the organization. Which one do I tackle first?

So right now, I'm kicking back and resting. Then next week I start planning, structuring, seeing these books in my minds eye. I will scribble more notes about them. Hear the stories they want to give me. I have joined Julie Hedlund's 12 x 12 in 2012. Go here.

If you haven't heard about this Cow Poke, I invite you to mount your bronc and take this ride with me. (Cowboy talk. Another idea.) I've been walking around the house talking like this for a week. People around here are getting a little tired of it too. I say it's research family! Sheesh!

Let the stories begin!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fantastic Giveaway, Peeps!

Click over to Stuff & Nonsense and check out the book giveaways. And do a little following while you're there. I personally know Anne. She is an awesome homeschooling mom. *waving*