Wednesday, September 5, 2018

One FIRM Truth about Sending Your Babies into the World & IWSG

My writerly friends think I'm talking about books.

I'm not.

Have you ever taken a jump that scared you to death?


Just watching that makes me shudder, but I think this next one is a hundred times worse:


It's so much easier to take a terrifying jump than watch a loved one do the same thing. (And yes, your projects, hopes, and dreams can be the things falling into the world.)

This is pretty much what I'm experiencing right now. In just a few months, my first baby is leaving to fulfill a church mission. I've prepared him well and taught him the best I know how, but that doesn't bring much comfort when facing this big...jump.

I know, I know, I should stop dreading it. He's leaving for a good reason, and his service will bless so many others. To borrow a line from Kiren (my Maiden of Time Series), "My head understands. My heart will not."

But here's the deal, I know this is just the beginning of the end. After this, he's gone. Life will happen, he'll strike out on his own. I'll still feel every blow along with him, every sadness, every hope, every joy, but from here on out, it will be entirely up to him how and if he succeeds. I don't fear he'll fail. He's a smart, kind, hard working young man, but after this, he's no longer just mine.

I think we all feel that way about anything close to our hearts that we choose to share. And it doesn't matter HOW we choose to share them, there is just as much anxiety, hope, joy, etc. involved in the process. It's just important that we do take the jump--terrifying as it may be. Otherwise our loves atrophy in obscurity.

My son will do amazing things and I look forward to seeing them happen. I'm so grateful for him. Life is fuller (fulfilling) because of him.

This has been an installation of the IWSG blog hop:

Huge thanks for hosting
Alex Cavanaugh
Toi Thomas, T. Powell Coltrin, 
M.J. Fifield, and Tara Tyler!

Last month Tanya Miranda shared THE ONYX RING along with two truths and one lie. Anyone who guessed was entered to win TWO eBooks.

The game:

1. I drink white vinegar straight from the bottle. 
2. I have dozens of analog clocks around my house. 
3. I could never build anything "cool" with LEGOs.

The lie: #3. From Tanya: Actually, I can build elaborate cars, planes, buildings, and other structures with layers and layers of details. I become a bit zombie-like when I get in front of a bucket of LEGOs. I get so absorbed, hours pass by without notice. During gatherings with friends and family, my husband knows he has lost me as soon as the kids bring out the LEGOs. 

And the winner is:

...DRUM ROLL...

Congrats, Juneta!

And speaking of adventures, how about an adventure story? Check it out:

Squirt doesn't believe Bubba can dig a hole to China. But when the hole swallows them, the kids find themselves in Xi'an, China, surrounded by Terracotta Warriors.

It gets worse when the ghost of the first emperor of China appears. He tells them they can't go home until they find his missing pi. The kids don't know where to begin until they meet a girl and her grandmother who promise to help find the pendant. 

Soon they realize they are being followed. And they are no closer to finding the missing pi. Will Bubba and Squirt ever make it back home?

Buy your copy now on Amazon.

Ready to meet the author?

Sherry Ellis is an award-winning author and professional musician who plays and teaches the violin, viola, and piano. When she is not writing or engaged in musical activities, she can be found doing household chores, hiking, or exploring the world. Ellis, her husband, and their two children live in Atlanta, Georgia.

www.sherryellis.org

You might run across Sherry nibbling at French Gruyere on a water biscuit. Does this make her a cheese snob? (No, it just makes her epic.)

Sherry gave me two truths and one lie to test your "lie detector" skills. If you guess the lie, right or wrong, you will be entered to win a SIGNED PRINT copy of the BUBBA AND SQUIRT'S BIG DIG TO CHINA(Open internationally.) DON'T HAVE A BLOGGER ACCOUNT OR AN EMAIL ON YOUR PROFILE? No problem. EMAIL crystal@crystal-collier.com to enter.

You have until Tuesday, October 2 at 2 p.m. EDT to guess. Be sure to come back for the answer on October 3rd, 8 a.m. EDT.
TRUTH OR LIE

1. Sherry once played her viola at night in the middle of the Black Forest in hopes of scaring away the wild boars. 
2. Sherry enjoys parasailing and hopes to do it in Australia some day.
3.Sherry once crawled through a window of a locked hotel in Europe to get inside because she was out past curfew.

So sleuths, which is the lie? What important lessons have you learned in your journey for success? Have you met Sherry? Do you read love foreign adventure stories?

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

8 Questions You Should Ask Before Making Magic & IWSG

Do you ever wish you could snap your fingers and something awesome would happen?


Me too, but that's not how life works. For every action there is a reaction. I think often we just want things to work out, because we wish them to--not because we put in the work necessary to see success. Magic is like that. We want something for nothing.

But there are always consequences--both bad and good, so before you jump into anything, ask these 9, not 8, careful questions:


1. Have I made a good plan of execution? 
(It's best to think around our efforts before jumping in full storm.)


2, Have I examined my surroundings and prepared for...possible disaster?
(You can plan all you like, but no man is an island. Your choices will affect those around you.)


3. Have I asked for outside help/feedback to avoid frustration over stupid/obvious mistakes?
(Nose against the wallpaper syndrome. We all experience it.)


4. Am I prepared to try again if I utterly fail?
(Failure is the best teacher.)


5. Am I ready for the backlash (feedback) that is guaranteed to blow me over (good or bad)?
(No part of life happens in a vacuum. We have to realize that when we make a choice, we make ourselves vulnerable to the response. We can't let that part taint or damage us. It goes with the territory.)


6. Am I prepared to repurpose my efforts if necessary? 
(We may find what we want isn't really what we want, but leads us to something unexpected and wonderful. Or it may just teach us a lesson we needed to learn.)


7. Are there influences outside my power that I've not accounted for?
(Stuff happens. When failure occurs, because it always does on the path to success, don't let it break you.)


8. Am I documenting the steps leading to success?
(If you want to recreate an amazing cake, you keep the recipe. Recording how you come to your successes is often as important as the successes themselves.)


9. Am I willing to abandon ship if it doesn't work out?
(There is a point at which the cost of an adventure is too much--emotionally, physically, financially. Do you have a hard walk-away trigger?)

This has been an answer to the IWSG question for the month: What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?

Huge thanks for hosting
Alex Cavanaugh
Erika Beebe, Sandra Hoover, 
Susan Gourley, and Lee Lowery!

Last month Ellen Jacobson shared MURDER AT THE MARINA along with two truths and one lie. Anyone who guessed was entered to win an eBook.

The game:

1. I once dressed up as Lt. Uhura from Star Trek for a scifi/fantasy convention.
2. I refuse to eat anything that has a wooden stick in the middle, like popsicles.  
3. I'm allergic to tetanus shots and try to avoid stepping on rusty nails at all costs. 

The lie: #1. From Ellen: I've never been to a scifi/fantasy convention. If I had, I don't think I'd look good in one of those short skirts that the women in the original Star Trek series wore, so I probably would have dressed up as a tribble instead. For some reason, the thought of putting a wooden stick in my mouth freaks me out. Bad childhood experience with a tongue depressor, maybe? If I do have a Popsicle, I eat all around the edges and throw the middle part away. I had a bad reaction to a tetanus shot as a child and haven't had one since.

And the winner is:

...DRUM ROLL...

Congrats, Cathrina!

And speaking of magic, how about a magical story? Check it out:


Jasmyn blames herself for her baby sister's death, and she's confident her family blames her too. Instead of returning home, Jasmyn joins her coven to focus on developing her grandmother's magic. Her parents' grief is too much to bear, as is a home without Katarina. 

Logan understands Jasmyn's pain and respects her desire to live apart, but when he finds a way to undo Katarina’s death, he goes in search of his estranged sister. But his mission is interrupted -- an enemy clan of sorcerers claims Logan as one of their own, and a mysterious bond of an ancient brotherhood takes hold of him. 

When an ancient rivalry reawakens between Logan's clan and Jasmyn’s coven, the violence it unearths threatens all they hold dear. And when opposing magical forces pull at the strands holding them together, even the tightest family bonds can break. 

Buy your copy now on Amazon.

Ready to meet the author?

Tanya is a dreamer, writer, intergalactic superhero, and a mother of two little aliens posing as human children. Whenever she's not attending a piano lesson, softball game, soccer match, or jiu-jitsu event, she writes novels and short stories. You might find her running a 5K in the morning, drinking a Java Chip Frap in the middle of the day, or taking long walks in North Bergen in search of freshly baked bread and café con leche. You can find her other work at www.tanyamiranda.com

You might run across Tanya anywhere enjoying an excellent Asiago sliced thin with fig spread on a ritz cracker.

Tanya gave me two truths and one lie to test your "lie detector" skills. If you guess the lie, right or wrong, you will be entered to win the 2 eBooks of the THE FAMILY RELICS series(Open internationally.) DON'T HAVE A BLOGGER ACCOUNT OR AN EMAIL ON YOUR PROFILE? No problem. EMAIL crystal@crystal-collier.com to enter.

You have until Tuesday, September 4 at 2 p.m. EDT to guess. Be sure to come back for the answer on September 5th, 8 a.m. EDT.
TRUTH OR LIE

1. I drink white vinegar straight from the bottle. 
2. I have dozens of analog clocks around my house. 
3. I could never build anything "cool" with LEGOs.

So sleuths, which is the lie? What important lessons have you learned in your journey for success? Have you met Tanya? Do you read paranormal or fantasy?