These Books were Made for Walking

Grand Canyon HikeMy books recently tagged along on a hiking adventure. They were excited to go and leave home the first time without me. It’s all they could talk about for weeks on end.

Actually they didn’t really have to do the walking; they hitchhiked along in my niece’s backpack. She was kind enough to take them when she and her father hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. As a favor to me, she took pictures of them along the trail. I’d love to hike it myself, but I don’t think I’d ever make it back out alive or with two good knees. It’s all uphill, I’m told.

On the trip she’d have to carry a backpack filled with 25 to 35 pounds of supplies which turned out to be more like 50. Two more pounds would be added because of the books, but she took them willingly.

Being a talented, creative girl I had no doubt she had big plans for the books. I decided they would provide entertainment for the travelers since there’d be others in the group. I was sure my niece would use any and all ideas…as long as one of them wasn’t to toss the books into the canyon. It turned out the couple that joined them on the trip were seasoned hikers and mountain bikers. They were very fit and forged ahead without the group at times. I’m sure they did want to throw the books into the canyon after all.

She chose a one-day down and two-day back up package. They camped overnight at the bottom of the canyon and then again halfway up Bright Angel Trail at Indian Gardens. It was a trip of a lifetime and one I’m she she’ll never forget.

I am going to end this post with a summary of her trip in her own words:

Holy crap, y’all. We made it. We freaking made it. This was hands down the hardest thing I have EVER done, ever. I literally sobbed when I got to the top.

If this is something you want to do, go for it- but do not underestimate the canyon or overestimate your ability. 

 

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Shameless Plug

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Call of the Canyon is now on Amazon with paperback still to follow. Second in my Young Adult series, Waiting for Dusk. There. I’m done advertising. Well, not really. I’ll give you a sneak peek of what’s to come.

Two Lives…
Two Worlds…
Heartbreak awaits.

Exciting, right? Well, you have to like young adult fiction and be into romance and fantasy and time travel. If not, that’s okay.

Writing comes easy. It’s the promotion that’s hard. Trust me, I know. I’m a reviewer, too, and I see all the emails that come into the website’s mailbox. I’ll share a few funny ones with you.

One person started his greeting with he’ll take any kind of review–good, bad or indifferent. What? Really? He’s been sitting in the queue for months; no one’s touching that one. Still there, as far as I know.  I wonder why? I want someone to wish with all their might for a good review. Be sure of themselves but just not over the top.

Another person almost made it to my review folder until I got to the bottom of the email and checked out his list of rules. Rules? You don’t give the reviewer rules! Sorry, back to the main list, let someone else deal with your rules if they want.

The “Hey, what’s happening? I have a good book for you to read” is also a turn-off. Remember when asking anyone to read your book, blog, news article, be respectful. The reviewer will appreciate it and give it proper consideration.

So I’m not going to ask you to read my book at all costs, even if it’s not your genre or interests you and may give it an indifferent review. I won’t give you rules or ask you what’s happening. I’ll just respectfully ask, if it interests you, please take a peek. And if you do, I say this with tongue-in-cheek humor; I may become your new favorite author.

Closing of the Pool

 

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An end of the summer chore—the closing of the pool. Always get a little tug of the heartstrings, a funny feeling in the pit of the stomach as I watch it happen. If you live wherever there are four seasons, you know what I mean.

People have their favorite seasons and I, like Kate in my series, like summer the best. Our reasons, though, are vastly different. Mine always signaled the end of a school year and some time to reflect before starting another. It was a gift I never took for granted. Hers indicated another year was to begin. Her life in 1927 was about to start again.

Funny how people look at the seasons differently. Some long for winter and the outdoor sports that come with it. Not me. Sledding was as far as I ever went that time of year. Fall is a favorite because of the beauty it represents. Some people drive miles to gaze at autumn foliage or plan vacations around it. Spring hints at new beginnings. The buds slowly appear on the branches and flowering trees burst on the scene.

When your favorite season ends, do you get that little tug? It’s over and you have to wait almost another year until it begins again. You have those three “other” seasons to get through.

This year I’ve made a pact with myself. Find something to love about each one. It’s not too hard with fall and spring given the reasons above. Those are my favorite parts. I don’t want to say the holidays for winter as I know many of you are thinking, because there’s a lot more days ahead after they end. I’m going to try hard to come up with something and when I do, I’ll let you know. It may not be until the dead of winter and I won’t be a happy camper.

For now, I’m going out on the deck and stare at the pool, covered over and waiting for winter. Probably dreading it just like I am.

 

 

 

Working Class Heroes

working_class_heroThis post is dedicated to my fellow writers…whether you write novels, short stories, screen plays, blog or secretly write for yourself…don’t give up. I recently read a sad entry. An author with my same publisher blogged she would no longer write anymore of her series. Her words were from the heart and as I read I felt the pain.

She said she wasn’t in it for the money, she just wanted some interest. I think all writers feel that same way. You want someone to notice your work.

Before I read that post, I had begun to analyze this new world of books. So much is out there…self-published books, books with small press publishers and books with the big guys. The last group gets the most attention and publicity. The little guys struggle to get noticed.

When I started feeling sorry for myself, I thought about the entertainment industry. If you think about it, movies have just a handful of stars. Some of them make two or three films a year. Only those chosen few get to make the big blockbusters. Same goes for music or any creative art. These people are stars because of talent, word of mouth, being in the right place at the right time or just plain luck.

I decided the rest of us are working class heroes. We may have to try harder even though our work is just as good or better.

Creativity is a very solitary thing. You have to look inward to find it but maybe it’s time to look around. Let’s open our eyes. Yeah, I’m guilty of reading the next best seller or watching that blockbuster movie just like the next person.

I recently read some self-published books when I became a reviewer. I never would have if it wasn’t part of the job. Some of those books were quite good, others not so much but that’s how it is for everything, right? I’m glad I was exposed to something I never would have explored on my own. It’s encouraged me to explore some more.

I try to read other author friends’ books and support them. If I feel someone would enjoy those books, I recommend them. Just a drop in the bucket, but any drop will do.

So get the word out. Tell people about new or up-and-coming authors, a blog you like or a small play you went to. Browse the internet for on-line publishers and see what books they offer. Read book reviews of other bloggers and follow through on their recommendations.

Let’s not let another author who is talented and has much to give the world, give up. I know there’s too much information out there these days. We’re in an information overload society and I think we let the media tell us what’s good because it’s easy. We’re forgetting to think for ourselves.

We are the working class heroes and guess what? It’s a very large group. We could make a difference.