Sunday, September 27, 2009

Random Acts of Kindness

The sweetest thing happened to me at the performance last night. A young man, about 10 years old was waiting for me with a handmade card and a bar of chocolate. He had overheard me (jokingly) tell someone that noone ever buys me a good luck card or present before the show. I was only joking, but he took it to heart and wanted to make sure that I knew someone cared.

I had a lump in my throat from that act of kindness from someone so young, who I hardly knew. His father later told me that his son was determined to buy me the biggest bar of chocolate he could find and he paid for it with his own savings.

I would like to say a big thank you, little man. You will probably never know how much you touched my heart that night.

Then this afternoon a couple of us were out horse riding and we rode past a tiny church in the middle of nowhere. There were a few people outside and they were having a bbq picnic. We waved as we went by and told them it smelled lovely. They immediately invited us over to join them. We hesitated for a moment, we didn't know these people and they had just openly invited us to join them for lunch.

We decided to accept and had lunch in the with this handful of strangers. They weren't strangers for long. It was a beautiful day and we made some new friends.

Life is just full of these little random acts of kindness that can totally put your faith back in humanity.

Friday, September 25, 2009

"Break a Leg"

Last night was our opening night of the production "Annie". Much to everyone's relief the show went without a hitch and we all had a lot of fun. The audience seemed to enjoy themselves, too, which is always a bonus :-)

Now for those of you that don't know this, for some unknown reason, it is bad luck to say good luck to an actor. So we say "Break a Leg." It obviously works because I have never broken anything on stage and I have been on stage a lot.

I only get involved in amateur dramatics but I love it. The cast and crew become like family in the 3 months of rehearsing you do before the show and we all become very close. Although the last perfomance is somewhat of a relief because you get your life back after several months, there is also a little piece of your heart that is sad. I miss the people I have become friends with backstage. They are all ages and from all walks of life. It would be impossible to keep up with them all after the show has ended. Hopefully most of them will be back the following year for the next annual production.

Also being around so many different people is like rocket fuel for my imagination and inspiration, and many of them may end up (unwittingly) in my next novel. To all my fellow cast & crew members, my hat comes off to you!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Show Must Go On

I haven't been able to write in this blog very much over the past few weeks and I have a good reason for that. I am in a play and our opening night is tomorrow. Funnily enough that is also the title of the signature song in the musical.

Our little town is putting on the production of Annie. It has been a lot of fun but it takes a huge chunk of time also. Hence why I have been sporadic with my blog. Things will improve in a couple of weeks when the show is over, and myself and the rest of the cast and crew get out lives back :-)

I also received my books for the upcoming booksignings. I was so excited. I didn't think they were going to make it in time but they did. Being in the cast of Annie I have lots of young girls and few guys wanting a copy of my book. It fills me with a huge sense of pride and accomplishment when I see young people (and adults alike) get excited about wanting to read a book. That is exactly what I want to inspire people to do and if they can get enjoyment from reading a story I wrote, well that just makes me feel all gooey inside.

To all my fellow cast members "Break a leg" for tomorrow night and the rest of our performances.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Amulet is Available

I am so excited. I got my final proof, was pleased with it, so I approved it for publishing.

As of this posting the printed version was only available on Createspace, but it should only take about 5 business days before it is available on Amazon.

The e-book is available on Kindle, Smashwords and Lulu. Links to all of these sites are to the right of this blog.

I checked my Smashwords site today and nearly fell over. I have had 13 downloads already and I only uploaded the book on Sunday.

I also put in an order for 60 books and I am keeping fingers and toes crossed that they are delivered at the very latest by Oct 2nd. I am doing some booksignings at the local festival in town. I hope they come next week because the board at the theatre (where I am playing in Annie for 2 weekends) said that I can sell my books there before the show.

This has been a very good week so far. Hopefully my book will be like a giant snowball that starts off as a little pebble.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Character's Names

Someone asked me, where do I come up with my character's names? Well I cheated big time on The Amulet. Nearly every character in it has a name that belongs to either family, friends or kids of friends.

For instance, my protag's father and uncle got their names from a close friend's two sons. Her two best friends in the book are courtesy of another close freind's two daughters. My two sister's are in there, too. In fact, the only character in the book whose name is a complete figment of my imagination is Faen and that just popped into my head out of nowhere.

I knew the two main character's names were going to begin with FAE, as the book is about the fae. Another of my friends has a daughter named Phaedra, so I took that and adjusted it to Faedra. And Voila, a whole bunch of character's names.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Why Do I Write YA?

You know, that is a question that I often wonder about myself. I will let you into a little secret. I am a complete romance junkie, especially paranormal romance. But when it comes to writing I feel drawn to write for the younger market. Don’t get me wrong I read YA, too. I have enjoyed the Harry Potter series, the Twilight saga, and Maximum Ride to name but a few.

I have written a romance, it was my first book and I am in the process of re-writing it. I am going through an intense learning experience with my writing and I now know that the first book needs a lot of work. I will publish it again one day when it is ready.

But so far as writing for the YA market, I just think that you can get away with a lot more, fictionally speaking, than you can with the adult market. I have such a vivid imagination that I feel like I’m still a kid. A bit like Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up. On the outside I have responsibilities, bills to pay, a business to run. But on the inside, I’m still just a kid desperate to explore other realms and go on exciting adventures, fight monsters and befriend otherworldly creatures. I just don’t think that is going to go away any time soon. I hope not anyway, I’m only a quarter of the way through the second book in my Custodian trilogy.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Proof Copy #3

I received my 2nd proof yesterday and it's just amazing the tiny things you miss. So I yet again made revisions and uploaded the files. I have just ordered my 3rd, and hopefully final, proof copy of my book.

My aim is to have it ready for sale on Monday Sept 14th. The e-book is already available on, follow the link on the left and it will take you straight there.

After I have the paper version of The Amulet all 'done and dusted' I will make a more conserted effort with the kindle version.

I was most annoyed when after uploading it, they sent me an e-mail telling me that they don't publish Public Domain Titles. So now I have to go through a set of procedures to prove it is my own work etc etc. They said to e-mail them if they were incorrect, which I did, TWICE. So far, more than a week later, I have not heard back from them. I hope I can get this cleared up quickly because I believe having it on kindle will increase the readers I get.

I am a kindle owner myself and I absolutely love it. Not only is it a wonderous thing for the environment, I just prefer it to paper books, it is so much more convenient.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Just Another Day in the Country

Today was Labor Day and I spent most of it moving hay. (Very poetic) However, bouncing around on a tractor for 5 hours is not:-)

I'm not complaining. It was a beautiful day, and with the leaves already starting to turn it was a sharp reminder that there is still lots to do to prepare for winter, especially when you have animals, like I do.

My friend Andi, who I might add is the friend who designed my book cover, kindly loaned me her tractor so that I could move 6 big round bales of hay from her property to mine, in readiness for the winter months when I will bring my horses back from being on pasture at her ranch.

I live in the trees, so my horses get to "vacation" all summer long with her horses on 40 acres of lush green grass. Then they come home for the winter where I can keep an eye on them and feed them up on grain and alfalfa. No, I don't baby my horses in any way, shape or form :-)

I absolutely love this time of year, the bugs start to disappear, it gets cool enough to ride comfortably. The colors of fall are just awesome, and a great source of inspiration for me. If you read my book you'll understand why.

It's hard to believe it is the end of summer, it only seems five minutes since it was Memorial Day and everyone was looking forward to long summer days. Now winter is just around the corner and that's just fine by me. I do most of my writing in the winter. The cold dark nights are just perfect for it. Cozied up under a warm fleece blanket, laptop on lap, letting the words flow. I should have the 2nd book in my planned "Custodian" triolgy finished by the end of the year.

Happy fall to everyone, hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Clown and a Mustang

I had a somewhat unusal day today. I got to chauffeur a clown around in a brand new Mustang convertible. Not your average Wednesday Morning.

I know this really doesn't have anything to do with my book or publishing, or anything else to do with this blog. But I just had to share it with you all.

We have a circus coming to town in a couple of weeks and I volunteered to drive Skeeter the clown to various places to promote it. Our local Ford dealership donated the use of the Mustang.

We went to a school, a couple of nursing homes and a day care center. The biggest most profound thing that I noticed today was that it had no bearing on the age of the person, they all reacted the same way to Skeeter. When she entered the room, their faces lit up, and an ambience of joy could be felt around the room. So much so that it was almost tangible.

When we walked into the dining room of one of the nursing homes I was almost moved to tears by the reaction of the residents. They were eating their breakfast in relevant silence, most everyone's faces were expressionless, until Skeeter walked in. It was a sight to behold seeing all the elderly faces light up with smiles and sparkles in their eyes.

The children's expressions were priceless, too. Their uninhibited giggles were infectious.

Now, I'm usually a happy person anyway, but this morning I had a grin planted firmly from ear to ear. I'm sorry to all of you who have a phobia towards clowns. After meeting a real one, I'm here to tell you that they are just ordinary people who give a little extraordinary joy to those who can see them for who they really are.