Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Writing Journey Part I

I’ve wanted to tell my story for a while. The story of how I fell into writing and ended up where I am today—including connecting with angels and my dear agent and everything in between. But I can’t do it justice in one post, because really, I feel like my whole journey has been SO guided and inspired. So I’ve decided to tell it in parts.

So here we go. Part I:

Growing up, I hated reading. Loathed it. Which is crazy, because my parents were pretty much the perfect parents—read to us every night, the whole thing. But I wanted to live my experiences rather than read about them. I was always in my own little world—I totally had secret passageways to other worlds and had invisible people who lived in my backyard. This worked as a ballerina—because being a dancer gave me a reason to pretend and act out these stories on stage. Long story short, I didn’t think I’d EVER be a writer.

Fast forward fall 2007. I was 26. My mother in law gave me the first Twilight book and said, “You’ve got to read this.” I’m pretty sure I patted her on the hand and said, “Sure, thanks.”

I didn’t touch it.

A few weeks went by and I gave her the book back. Told her it wasn’t my thing. She wouldn’t have it. She had me sit down on her bed and she read out loud. Read the first 14 pages. I still wasn’t interested. But she MADE me take the book home again and told me to give it another try. (Little did I know this move alone would be a life-changing act!)

It collected dust for another couple weeks. I was 9 months pregnant with our 3rd baby, and went into the hospital to be induced. Hubby brought the book because he thought it’d be funny if I were reading a vampire book in front of phlebotomists. Funny enough, each of the phlebotomists commented on the book and told me I had to read it.

So I did.

Heh, what else was I going to do stuck in a hospital bed? And funny enough, I have a picture. This was taken a few hours before I had the baby. Twilight in hand---->

I loved it. I fell in love with the magic of the story like so many millions of other people. And something happened. I liked reading. For the first time in my life, I actually liked reading. And then I couldn’t stop. I devoured every book my mother in law threw at me. Romances, paranormals, contemporaries, the works. It was fun to escape into another world for a while. Fun to feel magic and experience life through another person. I finally understood what the big hoopla was.

I read everything I could get my hands on for the next YEAR. Of course, at the time, I had no idea I was unconsciously learning the craft, analyzing plot structure, beautiful phrases, and how to put words on paper.

Fall 2008 came. Our second child was diagnosed with Leukemia. This story is a whirlwind of it’s own--and not one I’m going into--but worth mentioning because it was this experience that took away the magic of reading for me because I couldn’t ever get rid of the fear of having such a sick child. Reading wasn’t enough anymore. Which is what spirals us into the day I wrote my first sentence. And why I started writing.

Which will be told in the next segment! Which can be found here: Part II.  Part III.  Part IV. 

Red. Head. Out. ;D 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Writer Weekend Fun!

This weekend Tiana Smith and I hosted a dinner for writers here in Utah.


There's nothing better than meeting up with your own breed of people.

Soooooo fun.

And there are so many of us here! Someone needs to do a study and figure out why there are so many Utah writer/bloggers.

DPK's wife, DPK, Me, Julia, and Shelly--------->

<------We had awesome food with a sneak peek shot of DPK in the background...

Cute pic of the fabulous Donna K. Weaver, Laura, and Julia King------->

<-----DPK and his wife, and "You wouldn't believe she's had 5 kids" Shelly Brown...

Me and Tiana.--------> Not sure what kind of look I'm sporting with my orphan-messy hair... but heh, it was a busy day, alright?

<----More of the same with Caryolyn Vawdrey

<-----And the life/celebrities of the party. Shelly and Chad Morris.

Coolest. People. Ever.

We made Chad tell us his publishing adventures and forced him to give us free swag about his upcoming book 'The Inventor's Secret' out in March by Shadow Mountain Publishing.

Cue Cover Plug:

Do you guys have writers near you? If you do, I highly encourage you to reach out and connect. It's amazing how much inspiration and support can come from just getting together and talking the talk. It's so easy to sometimes feel so alone on this journey, and just knowing that we're not can make the biggest difference.

Red. Head. Out. :D

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cavanaugh BlogFest Reveal!


It's time...

If the title doesn't give it away...

I told you it was going to be epic...

Poor Alex is going to be embarrassed for weeks...

This BlogFest has the BEST PRIZE EVER...

Something that's never been done...

It's time to give back...

And now the big reveal...

Ever attended a Christmas party where you bump into the person who was always there for you during the last year? You'd thank them for being such a RockStar, right?

If there's one person in the Blogisfear who you want to say cheers to, who would it be?

For us, it was a no-brainer. Alex "no hyperlink needed" Cavanaugh.

Alex is an awesome blogger who's helped hundreds of us via book releases, guest posts, guest interviews and always positive comments. While we can't have a live part-ay for the Ninja Captain, we can host a BlogFest:

Welcome to the "Cheers, Cavanaugh BlogFest." 

Hosted by Mark Koopmans, Morgan Shamy, David Powers King, and Stephen Tremp, the BlogFest runs from December 10-12.

While Alex is an awesome blogger, he's also an enigma.

So, here's the four questions:
  • In +/- 20 words, what does Alex look like?

  • In +/- 20 words, who could play Alex in a documentary? (Living or dead.)

  • In +/- 20 words, who does Alex remind you of?

  • In +/- 100 words, (excluding the title) write flash fiction using all these prompts:

  • Cavanaugh
  • Ninja
  • IWSG
  • Cosbolt
  • Guitar

For Bonus Points:

  • In +/- 40 words, leave a comment for Mrs. Cavanaugh - thanking her for sharing 
  • Join the Linky List
  • Be a follower.
  • Post your 200 (total) word contribution Monday, Dec. 10.
  • Have Fun!


Two winners – chosen by Alex – will each win one prize:

FIRST PLACE: A signed copy of CassaStar.

GRAND PRIZE*: A picture of Alex and a download of him playing the guitar.

(*One caveat: Alex asks the picture or download NOT be shared online.)

The Linky is open until Dec. 12, 2012.

AMAZING, right? I'm freaking out about the Grand Prize. Who doesn't want to see what the ninja captain looks like??? And hear him play??? 

Seriously. I'm so excited for this BlogFest. Alex has done SO MUCH for this community and I'm so grateful for the chance to help give back. 

Excited? Shocked? Imagine how Alex is feeling! Sign up for the Linky List below:

Red. Head. Out. :D 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Oh, How I Miss You... and Other News!

First off, thank you, Alex, Andrew, and Matthew for hosting this fabulous fest.

A year ago I first connected with Sarah Belliston. She invited me to be part of her Twelve Days of Christmas bloghop. It was my first hop/giveaway I co-hosted and the opportunity connected me with some of my favorite bloggers today. (Thank you, Sarah!)

She's been off the blog circuit for a while and I miss her! I hope she comes back to the blogging world again. She always had entertaining posts and was always so welcoming. I hope she's doing well.

Next, like all of you, it's near impossible to choose one blogger we would miss if they suddenly vanished. And the blogs on my sidebar are ones that I have to visit frequently. But if I had to choose one blogger who I would really miss, it would be Mark Koopmans.

Mark's posts have two sides. One, they're either mind-blowing HILARIOUS they have you cracking up because there's too many details that are so clever--or two, they're so heartfelt and REAL that you walk away a better person. Whenever I see Mark has a new post up, I can't wait to see what he has to say. So don't vanish, Mark!

Which leads us to...

A quick reminder to stop by on Monday to either mine, Mark, Stephen, DPK, or Alex's (Heh, he's a ninja: he knows everything) blogs, because the secret to the MYSTERY blogfest will be revealed. Trust me, it's awesome.

And last, Emily R. King  and Tammy Theriault are holding the "And You Are...?" hop on Dec 3rd:

Ms. Claus is giving away presents to three lucky people, but they must answer interview questions with David Spade first. Click here to sign up for the "And You Are..?" Blog Hop. Hurry, before all the good seats are taken!

These girls are awesome. And it's great so much is going on we can take part of! Makes me wonder the last time I posted something that didn't involve a fest or hop... ;-)

Red. Head. Out. :D

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It Works.

I’m a true believer.

I honestly believe that when you have an overwhelming desire to accomplish something, it can happen. I sound like one of those cheesy motivational speakers, but it’s true.

We each have that “something.” That nagging desire/dream/goal that won’t go away. That burn in your chest that is sometimes so overwhelming you have to stop and force yourself to breathe.

With most of you, like me, it’s the desire to create. And not only create, but to create something wonderful. Something magical. Something that can stand the test of time. Or maybe it’s just to create something that uplifts and inspires someone. Or even just to provide an escape for awhile.

It’s crazy how LONG you can be struggling and striving and working toward something, and not know if it’s even going to amount to anything… Day after day of facing doubt, seeing others succeed, and not knowing if you’re “meant” to do something, or if you’re “good” enough.

But I believe you have to trust in that inner desire. That inner spark—or gut feeling that’s drawing you forward. You’ve got to act on those feelings, because they can lead to great things.

It’s amazing what can happen when you seize that feeling and just… go for it. And sometimes, that desire/feeling is the only thing we have to go on. And sometimes, it doesn’t seem to be enough.

But I know. I know that amazing things come to people who persevere. People who take the steps forward even when everything/everyone around them says it’s crazy.

It isn’t crazy.

You will/can do it. And to me, it almost seems like a part of us already knows we’ll succeed. Isn’t that our gut? Like we’ve already lived it, and now just have to act. 

I know this IWSG post is a bit different, but these are my feelings on the topic today! Thanks, Alex, for being so awesome. 

Red. Head. Out. :D 

Monday, November 5, 2012


First off, I've done something amazing.

I survived a BRUTAL interview from Tammy Theriault. I even got a cool badge for it --------------->

If Tammy asks you do to an interview, BEWARE! I barely made it out alive. But I wanted to take Tammy up on her challenge because I'd heard she gave a mean interview and I wanted to prove I was up for the challenge! If you want to check it out, click here.


I’m thankful for people who really take the time to help…

There are certain people who care more about giving than their own personal gain…

And I know that everything I’ve learned about writing and this business has come from someone who took the time to STOP, care, and lend an offering hand. (Not just try to sell me their book *snicker*) These are the people I want to surround myself with and these are the people I’m thankful for…

I love it when we can lift each other up, support each other, and not view each other as competition. It’s about creating magic… creating something that can transport the reader and immerse them in something that can uplift, inspire, or ease the burden of real life. And that can’t happen without people who take the time to STOP, care, and lend an offering hand.

Great blogfest, Tara and Vikki! Thanks so much for this… 

And last, if you haven't checked out the mysterious blogfest yet, you can do so here. November 19 can't come soon enough! 

What are you thankful for this week? 

Red. Head. Out. 

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