Friday, February 28, 2014

Do You Have Goals? #writemotivation and Celebrate the Small Things! Whew.

Do You Have Goals? is a Big Dream blog hop hosted by Misha Gericke and Beth Fred. Writers are encouraged to dream up huge goals and then report their progress once a month.

My Big Dream goal is: to self-publish 2-3 books/novellas and some short works.

Progress so far: I self-pubbed a poetry book, Light Reflections, this month; Champion in Flight is on a slow but steady track for the final draft with outside proofreading help, and a hoped for release date in late April or early may. I also have several outlines in progress, and a couple of homeschool curriculum writing books underway. However, I didn't make as much progress as I would like to this month.

#writemotivation is a weekly check-in goal group, and although I'm struggling with posting weekly updates (I seem to have some really bad weeks), I am finding that helpful. These were my goals for the month.

1. Revise ten chapters of Champion in Flight. - Sort of reached this goal for the month. I went back over 6 chapters with proofreading, tweaked 7 more, and re-wrote one.

2. Finish critique of friend's novel. - Yes!!!

3. Bike 80 miles by the end of the month. - had a bad week in mid-month. Only clocked 63 miles.

4. Complete Write 1 Sub 1 challenge. - yes and no. I seem to sub every other week, but I did write 1 every week, and sub a total of 17 poems and two stories - poems are often subbed in groupings of three or more.

5. Drink 4+ glasses of water each day. - Yes, sometimes. And then, other days, I just drank way too much tea.

6. Jump in some puddles. - oops. I forgot the fun one. Does walking in slush in a ski parking lot count? Not quite.

7. Ski, laugh, and have fun with journal writing. - yes, yes, and yes. :)

Celebrate the Small Things: (An awesome weekly hop hosted by Viklit)
1. Everything in this post. Progress made. Goals written and actually checked, even if I couldn't cross them all off.

2. Ski day today!

3. My daughter's wrist is healing, although she doesn't get to try out for kayaking for two more weeks - doctor's orders.

What are you celebrating today? Have any Big Dream Goals?


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Inspiration Links and Comment Catch Up

So, today, I was just going to write after my quiet time.

Then, of course, I became distracted by the shiny, sparkling, internet . . .

And I found an article that had me thinking of world-building in a different, real world way.
Tiny Houses for the Homeless

And that led me to this site that made me wish I could serve food from a food truck like they have, or take part in building a community like this near where I live: - Community First Project

And then, somehow, I found this inspirational article by a Dad I happen to know:
A Father's Story
It's the best story I've read today, it's true, and it's a tear jerker, but totally worth it.

And then, I felt inspired by Nutschell's interview of Natalie Aguirre at Writer's Workspace.

And I thought I would share these links that inspired me with you:

However, as I came to blogger, I saw that I have a whole bunch of comments to catch up with . . . wow! Thank you all for stopping by! I will try to catch up today and tomorrow. :)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ubuntu Blog Hop, #Write Motivation, and Celebrate the Small Things

Michelle Wallace is celebrating her 3rd Blogaversy with the Ubuntu Bloghop!!!

What is ubuntu? "In Africa, there is a concept known as UBUNTU – the profound sense that we are human only through the humanity of others; that if we are to accomplish anything in this world, it will in equal measure be due to the work and achievement of others." – Nelson Mandela.

Michelle, in her wisdom and generosity, gave us a number of ways to take part in this wonderful blog hop.

Since I've been on "random" this year, I'm going to just put some random thoughts out there.

Have you ever noticed a boost in creativity when you are surrounded by other creative and busy people?

The blogsphere is filled with writers, teachers, filmmakers, indie and small press publishers, musicians, and all around creators. It's amazing. It's life-giving. It's inspiring.

I've noticed that when I give, I receive double-fold.
When I teach teens about writing, I gain new knowledge and perspective.
When I host a writer's workshop, my own writing is rejuvenated.
When I help my daughters with their dance, writing, and acting, I feel inspired.
When I help my husband with his video projects, I find myself amazed and thankful for this wonderful partner that God has given me.
When a friend asks me to proofread their novel, I become immersed in words in a new rhythm and a new way that helps me in the pacing of my own writing.
When I visit your blogs, I'm inspired, amazed, given new life and new knowledge.
When I read your books, I'm drawn into new worlds and inspired to create.
When I hear your music playlists, I'm inspired to dance, sing, daydream, and envision new places.

I just realized that all may sound "braggy," because there's a lot of "I" in there. However, what I'm trying to say is that "I" am only at my best when I'm in the midst of others who create, and live life fully.

Thank you for being a part of my community, my Ubuntu.

And please visit Michelle and celebrate her blogaversary with her in Ubuntu!

#writemotivation and Celebrate the Small Things together (trying to post slightly shorter here)
I'm not going to list out my #writemotivation goals unless they fit in the Celebration this week. Next week, I'll give a full rundown.
1. Ubuntu!
2. A mention at Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog for my poetry book, Light Reflections, on Monday.
3. An interview with Nutschell at Wednesday Writer's Workspace!
4. A letter to the editor published in my local paper: World Needs a Variety of Grain Options
5. Two tiny stories written and submitted to Nail Polish stories.
6. 4 miles walking, 6 miles biking, yoga, lots of lunges, push-ups, sit-ups, etc.
7. Lots of snow in the mountains! (Unfortunately, my youngest severely sprained her wrist earlier this week so she and I stayed home from skiing).
8. Both of my daughters acted as "extras with lines" on a local web show set last weekend. The acting dream is still alive. :)
9. My oldest daughter choreographed a flash mob dance for a birthday party, and my husband produced the teaching video. (I am in the "second wave" back up dancers, and it made my dieting/health goals take on new purpose - nothing like seeing myself jiggling around on screen to do that - agh.)
10. Lots of great proofreading and content editing help came in and I revised chapters 1-14 of Champion in Flight again (mostly small things, with a half chapter change for chapter 1), and wrote a completely new chapter 14. Chapters 15-24 will hopefully not have as many problems.
11. Lots of prayers have been answered lately.
12. Meeting with my cover artist today! Looking forward to seeing the cover art for Champion in Flight.

Many thanks to all of you who are a part of my Ubuntu! And many thanks to Michelle and Viklit for hosting these wonderful hops!

Friday, February 14, 2014

#writemotivation goals and Celebrate the Small Things

#writemotivation goals check-in:

1. Revise ten chapters of Champion in Flight. - Went back to the first chapter and fixed a huge problem that slowed me down in the revision of the last half of the book . . . chuckling with glee now. :)

2. Finish critique of friend's novel. - so close, but not yet. Finished the critique of a student's novella.

3. Bike 80 miles by the end of the month. - um, no progress. Sick with sinus/ear yuck, finally better.

4. Complete Write 1 Sub 1 challenge. - um, yikes! haven't subbed. However, I did get another big writing project done.

5. Drink 4+ glasses of water each day. - On the sick days, I went over this, but yesterday . . . no.

6. Jump in some puddles. - had the opportunity two days ago, but didn't take it. :(

7. Ski, laugh, and have fun with journal writing. - yes (today not last Friday), laugh (every day), and journaling (off and on)

Celebrate the Small Things with Viklit:
1. New snow in the mountains, Valentine's Day ski date (with family, snowboard and ski students, and lots of snow enthusiasts - but we can share the love, right?)
2. One chapter progress on writing book, huge problem solved in Champion in Flight revision, choice of title for third Champion book. (tbr another day)
3. And this . . .

Light Reflections is a collage of everyday poetry, reflecting on life moments. Light-hearted poems on the taste of pulpy lemonade and the pleasures of reading a library book mix with more serious subjects including faith, loss, and compost. These poems walk through the seasons of the year, reflecting light off clouds, snow, rain, and water. as well as the inner spaces of thought. Previously published titles include: "March Snow Hare," "My Mother's Compost," "As the Leaves Fall," and "Breaking the Stillness."

Light Reflections at Lulu

Now, let's go blitz Viklit!!!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

1 Word Interview Challenge with Jamie Ayres

The 1 Word Interview Challenge is back for 2014 with Jamie Ayres, author of 18 Truths and 18 Things!

Welcome, Jamie!!!

1. What's your current favorite word?


 2. In one word, what inspires you?


3. What's one word that describes your writing habits?


4. What's one word that you wish you could get rid of in your writing?


5. What's one word that describes your writing desk?


6. Share the best writing advice/tool/quote that helps you. (please limit to one sentence)

 “It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you are not.” –Denis Waitley

7. What's your current project? (this is the one where you can write a bit more)

 One sentence blurb for 18 Truths: With the lessons the 18 Things life list taught her engraved on her heart, Olga embarks on a new adventure as a spirit guide, but nothing prepares her for the chilling truths she’s learning along the way.

8. Just for Jamie - What's one truth you would like to share?
We are not forgotten. God collects our tears in a bottle, and going through hell is worth it if it leads us to the place God has. I hope my trilogy will not only entertain, but serve as a reminder of these timeless truths during this generation’s teen years—and throughout life (my oldest reader is 96).

Thank you for having me, Tyrean! 

Thank you for joining me, Jamie!!! Love your truth. I know God has plans for each of us . . . all the way through the painful, icky stuff and into the amazing wonder of his love!

What's your truth today?
Olga Gay Worontzoff ended her senior year as an eighteen-year-old girl totally in love with Nate, enjoying their new romance and about to attend the university of her dreams. Now she’s spending her summer in the weird subculture of the Underworld, with charmingly witty and powerful angels, and problematic demons, trying to rescue Connor, the best friend and secret crush she was unable to save during a freak accident.

But Nate has other things on his mind, mainly Grace. She’s their first assignment as joint spirit guides, and Olga’s feeling hurt and jealous. His mysterious behavior has Olga questioning everything she believed about him and now she must decide whether to stick to their plan, or follow her heart. Unfortunately, a series of mistakes threatens everyone around her and plants Olga in the center of cosmic events much larger than she ever imagined.

Only one thing is certain: the chilling truths uncovered during her journey will leave no one untouched.

Amazon Goodreads

Jamie Ayres writes young adult paranormal love stories by night and teaches young adults as a Language Arts middle school teacher by day. When not at home on her laptop or at school, she can often be found at a local book store grabbing random children and reading to them. So far, she has not been arrested for this. Although she spent her youthful summers around Lake Michigan, she now lives in Florida with her prince charming, two children (sometimes three based on how Mr. Ayres is acting), and a basset hound. She really does have grandmothers named Olga and Gay but unlike her heroine, she’s thankfully not named after either one of them. She loves lazy pajama days, the first page of a good book, stupid funny movies, and sharing stories with fantastic people like you. Her books include the first two installments of her trilogy, 18 Things and 18 Truths. She’s currently working on 18 Thoughts. Visit her online via Twitter, Facebook, or at

Jamie Rocks!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


I don't know how it happened, but my bookaversary just snuck up on me. I realized just this morning that a year ago today, I took the plunge into indie publishing and became a published novelist! Wow!

I don't have a plan for celebration.

But I do some exciting news, and the day ahead of me to dance and celebrate!

Although I hoped to have my second novel, Champion in Flight, out by now, I do have something fun to celebrate my one year bookaversary and one year indie-aversary. A new book.

On Friday, when I felt too sick to go skiing, I decided to finally publish a book that's been on my hard drive for a few years now. With a last bit of extra tweaking, and some formatting with help from my superman husband, my poetry book, Light Reflections, is out on Lulu. I'll be working on getting it into ebook format this week.

It's like somewhere in the back of my sinus-fogged brain, I knew my indie-versary, and bookaversary were coming.

So, please help me celebrate by tweeting or sharing my news!

Light Reflections is a collage of everyday poetry, reflecting on life moments. Light-hearted poems on the taste of pulpy lemonade and the pleasures of reading a library book mix with more serious subjects including faith, loss, and compost. These poems walk through the seasons of the year, reflecting light off clouds, snow, rain, and water. as well as the inner spaces of thought. Previously published titles include: "March Snow Hare," "My Mother's Compost," "As the Leaves Fall," and "Breaking the Stillness."

Light Reflections at Lulu

Life, faith, and compost? Light Reflections #poetry Light Reflections. #poetry Pulpy Lemonade, Library Books and Leaves.

Thanks bunches!!!!

Also, if you would like to do a shout out/tweet out for Champion in the Darkness, that would be great too!!!

Tweets for Champion in the Darkness:
Champion in the Darkness - Faith, Swords, & Sorcery! Champion in the Darkness - Strong Heroines, Faith, Sword-fighting, Griffins, and Sorcery








Monday, February 10, 2014

Moonless Book Release Blogfest

Crystal Collier cid:image001.jpg@01CF094E.83FDC860 ❀Unleashing the dream world, one book at a time ❀ Blog | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Website LINKY LIST CODE: RAFFLECOPTER CODE: a Rafflecopter giveaway RAFFLECOPTER WEB LINK: POST IN HTML:

In the English society of 1768 where women are bred to marry, unattractive Alexia, just sixteen, believes she will end up alone. But on the county doorstep of a neighbor’s estate, she meets a man straight out of her nightmares, one whose blue eyes threaten to consume her whole world—especially when she discovers him standing over her murdered host in the middle of the night.

Her nightmares become reality: a dead baron, red-eyed wraiths, and forbidden love with a man hunted by these creatures. After an attack close to home, Alexia realizes she cannot keep one foot in her old life and one in this new world. To protect her family she must either be sold into a loveless marriage, or escape with her beloved and risk becoming one of the Soulless.

So here's the question: If you lived in a society where arranged marriages were a la mode, who would you beg your parents to set you up with? Why? (Literary characters and celebrities welcomed.) 

My Husband, John. Why? Because he's the best guy for me, the one and only guy for me. And although our parents didn't know each other way back when, they get along great, so I could see them arranging a marriage between us.
John, on his snowboard, on a black diamond run in Whistler, B.C. in 2010.

Find the rest of the hop below!

And while you're at it, enter to win one of these great prizes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, February 7, 2014

#writemotivation, Write 1 Sub 1, and Celebrate the Small Things

Keeping it short today, hope that's ok.

#writemotivation goals for the month and check-in:

1. Revise ten chapters of Champion in Flight. - um, I've only worked on about 1,000 words this week. Somehow I got caught up in another project.

2. Finish critique of friend's novel. - not yet.

3. Bike 80 miles by the end of the month. - Biked 30 miles last Saturday. Hugely painful but rewarding.

4. Complete Write 1 Sub 1 challenge. - I have the poem I want to submit, but I'm not sure where to submit it yet.

5. Drink 4+ glasses of water each day. - Yikes - only a few glasses each day.

6. Jump in some puddles. - it's seriously dry for Washington state.

7. Ski, laugh, and have fun with journal writing. -  laugh - yes, fun with journaling - some, ski - planned, but not sure I'm going since I woke up with a sinus cold/headache/earache.
Celebrate the Small Things:
1. Unexpectedly, I found myself immersed in my non-fiction project - currently named Dynamic Writing 1 (with 2 and 3 coming next) and wrote 27 pages in one afternoon. These will be writing curriculum guides for homeschool MG and HS students.

I started on this project because I've never been satisfied with the curriculum I've found for my own kids, I have training in writing curriculum as a teacher, and I thought, why not write some books that I might actually use? I've already written some of the pieces of them anyway to use at home and in my co-op classes.

2. Despite being totally distracted by the non-fiction project and grading papers, I did manage to get some work done for Champion in Flight.

3. No plans for Saturday - so my hubs and I might go on another 30 mile bike ride.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

IWSG: Goal Keepers and Upcoming IndieRecon

I struggle to keep goals and stick to them. I want to create healthy habits, and healthy writing habits, but I find myself floundering from time to time (or is that most of the time? eek).

So, this year, I decided to find as many goal keepers and encouragers as I could and join in the fun.

Goal keepers helps us keep track of our goals, they motivate us in the midst of our trip-ups, and celebrate with us when we make our achievements.

Encouragers are encouraging . . . sounds simple, but these amazing individuals share, and encourage us to find, hidden depths of strength.

The best goal keepers and encouragers I know of on the web are:

IWSG: Insecure Writer's Support Group. Yes, you, the Positively Rockin' Ninja Army of IWSG! If you aren't member, you need to join. Alex J. Cavanaugh started this group, and now it's a movement, a place of safety and encouragement. It all started at Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog, but now it has a website and a facebook page.

Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly group that celebrates the small stuff - the accomplishments that help us through our days - getting a load of laundry done, writing a line or two, and even, taking time to rest. These are all worthy of celebrations. Viklit started this group a year ago, and it's still going strong! Again, I highly recommend it!

Write 1 Sub 1 is a challenge group. The challenge is: to write 1 and submit 1 poem a week, or to write 1 and submit 1 story a month. It's tough, but it's been good for me as a writer, and has stretched my sense of what's possible to get done in a week. They have a blog and a facebook page.

#writemotivaton is a group that I just joined, and they are awesome at encouragement and goal keeping. They have a site and are active on twitter. The sign up is monthly, so you don't necessarily have to join for the year, but you can join for a month and try it out. However, as I belatedly realized after January, the posts are weekly . . . I'll have to do a bit better on that this month. 

And I just joined, Misha Gericke's Do You Have Goals? which is a group dedicated to creating and keeping some huge yearly goals. There's a monthly update post on the last Friday of every month.

In addition to all these awesome groups, there's a great event coming up on the 25th for Indie authors: Indie Recon. Check out there site for details on this awesome online three day conference.

So, are you able to stick to your goals? Do you have goal keepers that help you? Know motivators and encouragers that cheer you on and celebrate all the small things with you? If not, I highly encourage you to join some or all of these groups.

Happy IWSG!!!