Goals Accomplished

I suppose when I started writing all I wanted was to finish I book. √

Then I wanted to have other people read it and say it didn’t suck. √

Then I wanted to it grow a grass roots following.

(crickets)

Then I heard from a number of people that I needed more books.

Write a second book, finish it, have it not suck. √√√

Get more readers than the first book. √

Grass roots?

(Crickets)

Write the first book in a series. √

Write the second book in a series.

Write the third book in the series.

Publish them within a month of each other to capitalize on Amazons algorithms.

(crickets)

You could say I’m falling down on the job because I am no longer doing what I can.

Along the way I learned way more than I ever wanted about marketing. Is that an accomplishment? Maybe, but it was never a goal. LOL

#AuthorLifeMonth

My Biggest Fan

Laughing, seriously? There is no safe way to answer this without pissing someone off. I’ll make my apologies now.

I could say my hubs, but realistically he is my biggest fan in life. And the one most likely to tell me I’ve bitten off more than I chew, yet again. And that’s a good partnership, plain and simple.

I could list various friends, but what makes one more fan-ish that another. They love my books because they love me. They love the crud I crochet because they love me.

Family? ROFL. Don’t kid yourself, most of them have not read a word I’ve written. Although props to my cuz, Lance, who works his social media like a fiend every time I am up for an award and need votes or release a new book. That is some serious love.

So I think I’ll talk instead about a mom at co-op. I would not have said we were friends. We were acquaintances. I taught/teach her children. Her children like me. She heard I wrote and got my books. She read them. She then sought me out as a human because she liked my books. That’s a good definition of a fan, if you ask me.

#AuthorLifeMonth

Writing Music

I don’t like to listen to music when I write. I find it creeps into my work. The tone of the music seeps into what I am writing.

I remember one Nano, at write in at a local cafe where they really support local artists, they were playing a CD that was super repetitive. And when we all broke after a word war and looked at our materials, almost everyone realized they had written lyrics into the story from the repetitive music.

It’s not always that dramatic but…if I’m listening to something slow and melodic, I find it hard to give my conflict umph. Contrarily, if the music is pumping, I write fast, but everyone is pissed at everyone else.

No music for me.

Although, I don’t like silence either. Must be a hold over from my early days writing while my kiddo was at co-op and parkour. Noise is good.

#AuthorLifeMonth

Prized Bookish Possession

I used to have a first edition of an Agatha Christie. I found it in a second hand shop. It was fairly beat up. It wasn’t one of my favorite books.

But it was a first edition!

We moved 6 months ago from a 3000 square foot monstrosity in the middle of nowhere to a 1200 square foot townhouse in the heart of the city. Better commute for everyone.

I have always been a declutterer. I don’t like too much stuff about. So when you go from 3000 sf to 1200, a lot needs to go.

I decided to let go of all my “prized possessions” that didn’t actually improve my life. Including my first edition.

#AuthorLifeMonth

Biggest Distraction

#AuthorLifeMonth continues with distractions.

I gotta be honest, the kiddo is a huge distraction but not one I choose to do rather than write. He’s my child, he is a priority. When I think writing distractions I think things I like as much as writing and therefore have to pick which one will get my small amount of available time.

So here, is the biggest competition for my time….

Image result for picture of zoo animals

My zoo, which is how I lovingly refer to the teenagers I teach on Mondays. There’s more than 20 of them now, spread over two classes, history and writing. I love teaching them. They are hysterically funny and smart and difficult, all at the same time. They get the best of what’s left over in my time right now.

 

Book Review: The Radical Element

Still on the hunt for short stories for my creative writing kids, I have breezed through a lot of anthologies lately. The Radical Element, edited by Jessica Spotswood is the only one in the first batch of 8, I actually finished.

Basic Summary (courtesy of Amazon):

In an anthology of revolution and resistance, a sisterhood of YA writers shines a light on a century and a half of heroines on the margins and in the intersections.

To respect yourself, to love yourself, should not have to be a radical decision. And yet it remains as challenging for an American girl to make today as it was in 1927 on the steps of the Supreme Court. It’s a decision that must be faced when you’re balancing on the tightrope of neurodivergence, finding your way as a second-generation immigrant, or facing down American racism even while loving America. And it’s the only decision when you’ve weighed society’s expectations and found them wanting. In The Radical Element, twelve of the most talented writers working in young adult literature today tell the stories of girls of all colors and creeds standing up for themselves and their beliefs — whether that means secretly learning Hebrew in early Savannah, using the family magic to pass as white in 1920s Hollywood, or singing in a feminist punk band in 1980s Boston. And they’re asking you to join them.

My thoughts:

I liked this anthology tremendously.  From the very first story I knew I would be reading it from cover to cover rather than scanning for something that didn’t make me want to poke my eye out.

Again I don’t want to give away too much. But who hasn’t thought about running away with the circus?

I did use one of the shorts for my class, in our segment on comedy. I wanted to show them that comedic writing didn’t have to be just fart jokes. That you could wrap something ugly and complicated like racism in comedy and make your point.  Stacey Lee did so quite well in the Land of the Sweet, Home of the Brave.

 

Reader/Fan Love

I thought for this, I might share my favorite reader comments and why I love them.

“Henry combines excellent research and writing talent as she builds a story that includes lots of action, adventure, and intrigue along with bits of romance and the inner workings of bureaucracies.”  – I pride myself on my research.

Suspenseful, exciting, well-written, this book will keep you in the edge of your seat. I couldn’t out it down and found myself reading well into the wee hours. It is full of interesting tidbits of history, along with spy adventures and romance. Would make an excellent film.– how cool would that be?

I loved this book! The time period isn’t usually my favorite, but as an ex-Army nurse myself, that aspect pulled at me. I was immediately impressed by the creative way the author added in the war snippets.– research again! Different book.

Yes, it’s historical fiction, but don’t let that stop you. You’ll likely enjoy it even if history was that mid-day class you used to catch up on Spanish homework and naps.– laughing, I think this reader used her crystal ball to spy on me in high school…LOL…and yes I later majored in history. All it takes is one good teacher.

I think my all time favorite is this one, full disclosure, it’s from my nephew, age 13(when he wrote this)…

“I just wanted to let you know that I got a kindle for my graduation this year, and I hooked it up to my family account.  I was scrolling through the my books section and I found your book, scripting the truth.  This was yesterday.  As of this morning at 6, I haven’t been able to put my kindle down.  I’m on chapter 36, 73% through the book.  It is truly a work of art, and I’m sad not a lot of people know about it. ”

Makes me cry every time I read it.