All the October News! An update or two on what has been happening!

Last time I spent any time sharing what was happening in my life, I shared that I had been sick.  After 5 weeks of medication, meditation, prayers, positive affirmations, essential oils, and sleep, I can say I am better. I got up early yesterday morning for a very special event in South Africa, then I left the house and attended a book signing. My very first book signing.  I am thrilled with my day. But I will do this in chronological order so as to stay focused.

Book Release

October 10, 2017, was the launch for When a Pachyderm Comes to Visit. The Kindle version has bFronteen published and is now available on Amazon in KindleUnlimited or sale for only $.99 until November 7th.

The paperback is available at Lulu.com by clicking here. 

Signed copies can be purchased at a discount price by emailing a request. Include the name you want personalized and the number of copies.  The personalized books will be available for shipment on November 15th.

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This is book two in the Dolcey series and the story is one of magic, bullies, dreams, goals, and fears.  When Dolcey the Fairy comes to visit, she brings hope and a new perspective to Michael.  I hope you will embrace Dolcey and Michael.

Here is an excerpt:

Lying in the dark bedroom, Michael heard a noise, clunk, followed by a thud. Was that a Shuffle? Over by the window, he heard that sound, it wasn’t the usual wind on the window noise. Swish.

There he heard it again. He rolled over and looked at the long window with the streetlight shining through.

What’s that? What’s that shape? He pulled his covers over his head and lay very still. When he heard another odd clunk he peeked over the top of the blanket.

Squinting at the window he noticed what looked like a snake climbing into his room. Michael’s heart was pounding in his chest. He felt his knees begin to clack together.

It can’t be a snake, no one ever had a snake climb in their window. That window was shut, how could it get in here?

“Ga ga go away” the whisper was harsh and did not even sound like his voice. Clearing his throat he sat up straighter in his bed and said a little louder. “Go away!”

He heard a faint voice, “So, you’re awake then?” That was when he heard a giggle.

International Book Launch

Johannesburg, South Africa. Skoobs Theatre of Books allowed an indie author to ply her wares through Skype while sitting on their champagne bar.  There was no place I would rather be at 4 AM Eastern Standard Time, than on that champagne bar meeting children and adults via Skype.

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I wore my tiara and even brought my fox ears with me in case I had to do a quick change.  I was asked to read from a favorite book as a child so I chose The Gull That Lost the Sea.  A sweet story that I still love to this day.  Both Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas? and When a Pachyderm Comes to Visit were featured and are currently on sale at Skoobs in the paperback version.

While sharing this launch with children, parents and other authors in South Africa, we held a contest and Adiba was the winner.  She was able to choose the child’s name for my next book which is to be titled,  Is there an Owl in the house?

Karen’s Book Barn Trick or Treat Event

Saturday was my very first book signing. I was excited to be seated with Jen Selinsky at Karen’s Book Barn in La Grange, Kentucky during the La Grange Trick or Treat event.  La Grange is 80 miles from my home and after getting up at 1:30 to do the book launch, I might have started to get tired.  That exhaustion passed as quickly as it came when I arrived in La Grange. The entire town showed up dressed up and having a wonderful time. Many parents, grandparents, and children strolled into the bookstore and took a look four of my books. I was happy to have both of the Halloween anthologies, along with The Path of the Child and Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas? all available in paperback. I was thrilled with the turnout and with the response from the customers.  I happily signed for adults and children and a serious young reader that wanted them all. Don’t even get me started on the train that runs straight down Main Street.  What a treat that was!

Special Thanks

There you have it, my October in a nutshell. The main thing I want to convey is that I appreciate everyone for your lovely thoughts, prayers, love, and kindness.  I have the best people in my life, both online and off. I have chosen my friends and family well and have been blessed by those that have chosen to befriend me.  My heart is full.

November Thoughts

Bring on November and a valid attempt at NanoWriMo.  Today I decided to give it a go, win or lose, it is better than not trying at all.  If you have not decided to start, then think it over, what’s to lose?  If you are participating then let me know so we can be writing buddies.  November is going to be another great month.

 

 

 

Full Disclosure and Backstory of The Path of the Child

In some ways, it was the beginning of the end, in other ways it was simply a beginning. In 2010, I began to get ill.  Not the kind you pick up an antibiotic for, it was a dark and frightening illness that was once again rearing its ugly head.

While I was lost in my own world and listening to music on my headset I found a post about NanoWriMo and I was interested in this odd sounding event. I read more about the prospect of writing a book in 30 days. I signed up, I felt something for the first time in months, a bit of excitement, a little fire. It felt good. I wanted to feel more so I continued reading all the guidelines and the supporting articles.

On November 1, 2010, I sat down at the computer right about 4 am and began to write. The words flowed and suddenly I could see a story building. I saw the child, Melanie as she grew. I saw her in school caught in a web of neglect and loneliness that produced an intense shyness. I saw my girl. I told her story as she whispered to me well into the night. Melanie whispered day after day and her story unfolded beneath my fingertips. I was feeling alive and worthwhile. Her story had substance, her story needed to be told. It gave me a mission through that dark November.

As the days progressed another stronger voice began to share her side of Melanie’s story. Rachel came in like a hurricane. She put order and substance in place and took the story from sad to hopeful and gave wings to the future of Melanie.

Rob also came to life, he brought a gentlemanly order to the story. He was insightful and he handled Melanie in a way that comforted her and made her brave. With his gentle strength, she gained her own strength. He saw her stilted way of speaking as charming, he found her book references invigorating as he struggled to know from which book she was quoting.

The last few days of November, I spent polishing my ideas. Wondering how anyone other than me would feel about reading this skewed story about a girl and her mother. Would readers find the story as positive as I did? Would they get trapped in the sadness of the first chapter? I let my son-in-law read the book and tell me his honest opinion. He encouraged me to continue polishing it, edit it, and share it. It took a while, but I did it. I shared it in 2012. I was still sick, in fact, I was sicker than I had been in 2010.

Funny how not treating an illness makes it linger. I reached out for help in 2013 and I began my climb back to the light. It felt as if I had climbed into a bucket and was being drawn from a well. I could finally see the light coming closer and closer. This process of being lifted out of the deep well has taken almost four years. I reread the book in 2015 and made some changes. I added to the bones and finally, I was happy. I sent it to edit again and republished it in 2016.

 

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New cover designed by J. Schlenker

 

The Path of the Child was a labor of love. It was cathartic and it probably kept me going through a dark period where I had no desire to survive. I am a little connected to the book. No one knew this complete story. No one knows my history other than my family. But to see the story in its full disclosed history, was suddenly important to me today. Here in the Month of May during Mental Health Awareness Month.

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Why do I see it as a beginning? It was when I realized there was really something terribly wrong going on inside my head. It was when I uprooted an entire family because I wanted to move. It was the beginning of me being in an area where I could find the help I had needed all my life. It was the beginning of the new me; the improved me.

When you read of Melanie, and her struggles, I hope you realize that if she can move past her problems, then so can you. That is what I gained from it.  If you feel that, then Melanie and my efforts and disclosure are worthwhile.

The Path of the Child is listed as Young Adult because it is written with teenage characters and it has a message I believe teenagers will appreciate. The teens and adults that have read the book, for the most part, found it. They found the message inside, you can move past your own past. That is why I believe that The Path of the Child is a story that is appropriate for all ages.

So what do you do after you write an emotional book that has a message for everyone? You write another one, this time geared for children. Enter 2017 and Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas?

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Why? A Guest Post by Participating MTW Author, J. Schlenker

Once someone told me that could do an excellent impression of me. That took me by surprise. I don’t even think I could do an impression of me. I said, “Okay?”

He said, “Why, why, why?”

I guess he had me pegged. I do question everything. For me life is a mystery. I have so many questions, but I guess the big one is why am I here. But, then, a string of other questions arises from that one.

Continue reading “Why? A Guest Post by Participating MTW Author, J. Schlenker”

NaNoWriMo a Month in Review

Well here it is the last day of the month and I stopped writing the actual novel at 16,038. Not that I don’t accept that I didn’t win. I do. I have accepted it since November 10,2017. I realized that I had too many pressing things that needed to be done instead. With that in mind, I proceeded to write horizontally instead of vertically. I began to write letters,  welcome letters, recruiting letters, Thank you letters, and then my usual correspondence with my friends and family. Always tap tap tapping away at the keyboard. Creating, yes,  but not building a novel. Instead, I was deliriously happy creating  posts,creating  pages on a website, creating pages on a Mystery Thriller Week Facebook group pages aimages-2nd the Mystery Thiller Week Organizational page.

It was like the Frankenstein movie from the black and white days of the 30’s. I was hiding from the sunlight tapping on keys waiting on the lightning to provide the energy I needed to bring my pages to life.

I had all my inboxes organized and adjusted just waiting for the next day’s influx of authors, bloggers, vloggers, interviewers, curious bystanders and hesitant writers.  I never had to wait very long, in a litfilestle over 30 days we had collected a fine group of authors numbering over 100. A brave and daring 60 bloggers, book reviewers, and interviewers clamored to the site joining forces to bring this future event to be. Writing, planning, plotting, scheduling was consuming my every waking moment.  Always with the press of time against me. Why fret about a time crunch when the event is almost 80 days away?

I am going to be gone most of December with limited amounts of time on the computer. Why should I be on the computer when I am going to be spending time with my beautiful baby daughter and her four amazing precious children.  I have been offered the opportunity to ice fish. My laptop does not want to be that close to water, even frozen water.ice-fishing

I do not want to stop hugging and snuggling my four adorable Michigan grandchildren even for an hour. But I will. I am completely addicted to this computer after all. Some facts can’t be sugarcoated or whitewashed. My name is Vicki and I am addicted to my computer.  I have physical withdrawals when I can’t go online. I admit I have a problem but that issue is best left for another day.

With today, the last day to drag myself to the NaNoWriMo finish line, I must bow out and acknowledge, I did not cross the finish line, I will not cross the finish line, but I can admit I have had the most amazingly creative and productive November ever.  fall

I have made numerous new friends, starting with Benjamin and Sherrie, as well as about 100 authors, narrators, writing specialists and  50 or so bloggers that I am now following and reading and  several others that I never would have met had I held my nose to the NaNo grindstone and not looked around at this budding event we call Mystery Thriller Week.

I have a week until I leave for about 23 days. I will be posting along on the blog, but this is my Nano confession.  I did not come out a winner in the sprint, but I am definitely a winner in the long run.

When I get back, I will be once again sorting through my inbox organizing my little heart out. But know, I will have a smile on my face and lots of files and sticky notes to keep me busy.

Hello, December!  Happy birthday to Sarah the six-year-old who will after this post be known as Sarah the seven- year-old!  kitty

 

 

Ain’t Got Time For That!

November began on a positive note with NaNoWriMo going full swing.  Wrote every day and  maintained a nice little schedule. For those that would never believe it, I maxed out in my multitasking. I got involved with #MysteryThrillerWeek and between setting up the bones for the participating bloggers, authors, and specialists with Benjamin and Sherrie, and working on the Facebook page for the hourly hosting , I missed a day of writing. Do I pick up today and pretend it didn’t happen?  I am in a quandary.

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I am writing, letter, schedules, my three-month production plan, reviews, and more letters. I am having a blast. I am excited about the week. I am excited to be making new friends and finding new authors and their work.

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Locating book reviewers and requesting that they join in and sending those tweets to publicists, authors, bloggers and trying not to be annoying. It is a juggling act. Perfect for a multitasker like me.  Then I realized I had not written a word for NaNo yesterday. I was pretty aggravated with myself. I mean I am a queen at multitasking. How had that happened? So instead of racing over to Scrivener and whipping out a few words, I decided to write a blog post, a few more contact letter, Tweet out a few invitations, and hold a chat with Sian, Benjamin, and Sherrie. Oh yes, even I have multitasking limits. This was enlightening to me.  Today I grew in knowledge of myself. I have a limit and once I reach it, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

By the way, if you have not joined us for #MysteryThrillerWeek now is the time. We are getting some excellent authors willing to provide books for review, interviews and those much loved Character Q&A’s. Just think of it like this, if you sign up, you get to see one of those letters I have been writing.  That’s right! An official Welcome letter will wing its way to you compliments of the Events Team!

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Day Three of NaNoWriMo Ends

Three days of writing, thinking, planning, and adjusting preconceived notions, have provided me with 6425 words, loosely four chapters and a pretty good idea of where this story is heading.  The mystery is afoot, one clue is in hand. The key to the clue is missing. The meeting of minds is commencing. The inane doxology of ice cream has been spoken.

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Did you know that post it notes were invented in 1980? There was no valid use for the weak glue until four years later when the 3M inventor’s friend decided to use it to hold his pen in place on his choir book.  Yes, that’s the holy grail of this researcher’s treasure hunt.

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I have not quite gotten to the one little blurb I presented myself with last month for inclusion into the book.  Yet, it is only three days in. what did I expect?  After a flying start, an overwhelming night, and a night of sleep, things started to get on an even keel today. Since it was a day scheduled to spend some time with the editor on the Shepherds book, I didn’t even approach NaNoWriMo writing until 8:00 pm.

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Is that a real word or a southern phrase?

Still working on the plans for #MysteryThrillerWeek.  I am loving the ideas for the event, just need  more bloggers and authors involved.  Make this event helper happy, sign up and let us see that interest. You can find us at mysterythrillerweek.com, at Goodreads.com, and at Facebook.com . come join the fun. Get your name out in the public eye, have reviews provided, meet your fellow authors, meet publicists. This event is for and about you.

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Good Morning NaNoWriMo November!

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Woke up throughout the night with visions of manuscripts in my head. Finally decided enough was enough and hauled out of the warm comfy bed at 3:37. Here it is 6:35am  and I’m only 460 words away from the daily goal.

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I wanted Melanie to talk to me and so far she and Robert have been quite chatty.  I found them in the car during a little November Alabama rain storm, heading to the family home. Off to a stellar start on this early November 1st morning.  Keep talking to me, guys!  We have a long road ahead of us.

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I hope your NaNoing is going well and you are enjoying your coffee, tea or other morning ritual and are happily writing away.  1667 words a day, oh yeah! We’ve got this!