My poor girl

We have those weeks that we are always happy to leave behind us. This has been one of those weeks and we have a couple days to go. I broke a tooth and have to wait to get that taken care of, and worse than that, my Bella baby broke her nose.

The last 2 days for me have been slow and painful. I broke a tooth and it has kicked my butt. For a while though I didn’t feel anything. Adrenaline does that, especially when it comes to your kids.

When my son got home from school he asked if he and Bella could play with the neighbor kid. Sure, no problem. He knows he has to watch his sister, and I check up on them regularly. We live in a safe neighborhood and we can let kids play. It’s awesome.

The kids had been outside playing for maybe 15 minutes when Ricky comes in without Bella. Naturally I got ready to fuss at him for leaving you sister outside, like kids do. Then he tells me Bella fell and had a bloody nose.

I run outside and see Bella covered in blood. I grab her and the handkerchief in my pocket, sit down in the snow and start taking care of it. Within seconds I start going through all the questions in my mind, do we go to the ER, maybe I should take her to the clinic, crap if I do that I have to call my wife and tell her. Maybe I should just take her inside and stop the bleeding, if I do that, what if it don’t stop. It’s possible I was panicking.

Ricky stayed right by my side ready to help Bella. She is 3 and he is 6 and the greatest thing in her world. She’s sure of it, and he didn’t leave her side. I was proud of him.

After a blood soaked handkerchief, some toilet paper a wet wash cloth and a heart attack, we got her cleaned up. We had to wash her coat, gloves and shirt to get the blood out. The poor girl had a rough few minutes.

Now I could ask what in the world happened. Ricky told me they had been running to the neighbors house and she fell on the ice. Nothing horrible or mean, she just fell. Luckily she was okay.

I wish I could say this was our first broken nose. Unfortunately, I cannot. My wife has broken her nose 8 times. Three of those have been since we got married, and of those 3, two were caused by Ricky. One was playing, one was the result to too much sugar with a severe sugar sensitivity.

Once we got Bella checked all was well, just a broken nose. She has such a cute little nose too. Once the swelling and bruising goes down I am sure she will be fine. But, man, what a day.

Advertisements

Author Interview with Shannon Stewart

I had the opportunity to work with Author Shannon Stewart for a promo piece for her book Grief. Luckily I was able to do an interview with her. Check her out, her book has a lot to offer. So, let’s get started with Shannon Stewart.

Name:  Shannon Stewart aka Daredevil Bama Gurl aka WHITE COAT WOMAN

1.What is your earliest memory of writing?

A:  I’ve always written poetry.  I kept a book of them all the way into adulthood and may one day publish them.

2. How did you get started in your writing career?

A:  I have so many stories floating around in my head and I’ve started and stopped over a dozen.  I just never had the desire to just completely finish one until I saw my husband doing the same thing but finishing.  He starts and stops stories all the time but he does it when he gets a block and he just moves to where his creativity takes him.  That method works for me as well so now it’s like an assembly line. Expect to see a lot of productivity from me in writing now.

3. Do you write in multiple genres? If so, which? Is it hard to transition between children’s book author and your other styles?

A:  I’ve never really just settled on a genre.  Like I said, I have many stories floating around in my head and I’m pretty sure there are multiple genre involved.  So, my plan is to go wherever my creative juices take me.

4.What comes to you first: title, character or setting?

A: I generally think of multiple interesting scenes.  They don’t always fit so I save them for when the rest of the story pops into my head.  As it develops, I start formulating the plot around those ideas.

5.How many books have you written?

A:  I’ve written 3 full books so far, but I’m only about to release my first short story.

6.We know writing isn’t always the most lucrative business. Are you a full time author, or do you do other work as well?

A:  I’m now a Family Nurse Practitioner and I’ve been a critical care Registered Nurse for the last 18 years.  I’m also an co-executive for my own indie record label and publishing company.

january 2018 - critical care registered nurse shoot

 

7.. Do you have a certain way to set your writing mood? If so, what does it involve?

 

A:  I don’t set a mood.  I write in my spare time.

8. What is your latest book about? (book summary/sales description)

A:  Grief is a short story I have on pre-order on Amazon. I write a different take on the 5 stages of grief that we typically go through multiple times in life.  I sensationalize each stage a bit to make it entertaining to keep people’s attention in today’s world but at the end of each of the 5 chapters I add some White Coat Woman education. I also have a very sensational 1 minute book trailer to peak the curiosity of people who watch it.

9. Where can people find you and all of your amazing projects? (website, social media links and any upcoming events you’d like to share)

A:  http://www.whitecoatwoman.com/

whitecoatwoman@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/daredevilbamagurl/

https://www.instagram.com/daredevilbamagurl/

https://twitter.com/nurzshannie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83FrnZXbW7U

10. What is one obscure, non-writing related fact about you? (something fun, interesting, or a little quirk)

A:  I’m a social media micro-influencer and I have a branded name of Daredevil Bama Gurl.  It’s a name my husband gave me because I like rock climbing and parasailing and different stuff like that.

10142017 willie stewart shoot4084_pp

11.What goals have you set for yourself in your writing career?

A:  I have just one goal for my writing career and that’s to have fun while doing it.
12.You just sold your one millionth copy, how do you celebrate? (Dream big, right?)

A:  I would want to throw a huge party for everybody in my hometown of Ozark, Alabama.  That’s not too big right? I would plan on much bigger things but I would want to start there so people back home could see that being from a small town doesn’t mean great things can’t happen.

13. How many books do you hope to release?

A:  I don’t have a set number.  I just want to continue to write as long as I’m having fun doing it.

This is where my book can be found:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07LDLGPNF

grief 3d product cover

 

Abandoned Indiana Farmhouse

Hello everyone.

I just got back from a Christmas trip to Indiana. I grew up there and left about 9 years ago. We did go back for a year but it wasn’t home. It’s fine to visit though.

As we made the plans for our trip a friend of mine asked if we could go to an old cemetery she likes. The week I left, back in 2010, we decided to have a picnic there. Over the years she has come across some new cemeteries to check out.

There is a large Amish population in the area, and one of the places she wanted to show me was an old Amish cemetery set behind an abandoned house. Naturally, I had to see the house.

When we walked in, we entered the kitchen, and the first thing I noticed was a creepy looking stuffed baby doll on the floor. That was off-putting.

As we went through the house it got more interesting. The floors were covered with more than 20 years of trash and old clothes. The floors were carpeted with every article of clothing the family had to own at that point.

We found a notebook when we went upstairs. It had a note dated 1993. I was 8 at that time, so that was cool. I was apprehensive to go upstairs due to the roof and windows being gone, so I was concerned about safety.

Anyway, the upstairs had what was probably 3 bedrooms. One room was filled with old mattresses. One had the typical creepy chair sitting in the middle of the room. The other was inaccessible, the floor wasn’t sturdy enough for us to get to close.

The rest of the downstairs showed typical signs of being a home. There was a trophy on a dresser and another thrown and broken on the floor. Someone had to be proud of that at some point. Now it just wastes away. That bummed me out.

The living room was hard to get through. The walls were pretty torn up and trash was everywhere. There was what appeared to be a kids room off to the right that had a small chest with pandas on it. That was neat, especially since my friend calls her son her little panda.

The rest was just trashed. I didn’t go into the basement. It wasn’t worth the risk. The bathroom was well worn out, but it had all the fixtures. I was surprised. For being empty for 25 years and having no windows, it was still solid.

This wasn’t the coolest abandoned place I ever explored, but it was good. It’s been a long time since I really had the chance to do that. I encourage you to get out and explore some areas. It’s fun, it’s interesting and it’s exercise. Just don’t get in trouble for trespassing.

Overcoming the block

A while back I talked about the lack of creativity I have been dealing with. I figured out what it was. I had been to busy with home projects to focus on much else.

It’s a pretty lame reason to not be able to write, but it makes sense. Have you ever been there? You know, the point where anything else on your plate just kinda shuts you down? These are normal times.

Life happens. For me it was a mess of a house that needed a ton of work before we could move in. Then we had a bunch of projects after we moved jn. I would be up until 3 am working some nights.

When you mix in 3 kids and a wife with her hands full at school, and just needing some extra stress relief, it gets busy. Don’t let life make you feel like you’ve lost your edge.

Just a few months ago I was buried in writing work. The last 2 months, not a thing. I am trying to pick up more things here and there. I know it will come. Sometimes, you just need to empty off your plate.

Now for some updates, Morgan Goes Fishing is getting a new series behind it. It will be a sight words based series based on Morgan. I am writing them to be progressive stories. Each one more difficult than the last. Morgan Goes Fishing will be a more difficult book.

Good Knight Ricky and the Bad Joke Dragon, is being shortened. Write for the age, not the reading level if you are writing a story based on someone you love. Ricky is 6 and reads on a 4th grade level. You can’t combine those. Write for the age. They will enjoy it more. It will be out next year.

Bella and Betty Bear’s Big Fight will be out next year. This will complete the stories written for my kids. Illustration on Ricky and Bella will be my hold ups as I secure the funding.

I am moving forward with an eBay based book store. I have mostly history books listed now, but stop in and check it out. It’s at Little Books and Hobbies on ebay.

So, I can get moving again. When you come to these times, don’t force it. They happen. Writing will never stop. The creativity will slow down here and there, or your ideas will be crap. Don’t get discouraged. When the ideas hit, run with them. Even if they take some time to come to you.

Author Interview with Claressa Swensen

I finally got the opportunity to do another Author Interview. I have worked with Claressa Swensen in the past, and really enjoyed it. She reached out to me a few days ago to see if I did any author interviews. Knowing her work, I couldn’t pass it up. I hope you guys enjoy it. I will be including links and pictures along the way, so you can find her work.

So, let me introduce you to, Miss Claressa Swensen.

Q: How many books have you written?
A: I have published four books, however I have written many more than that. I frequently come up with story ideas that either get started and never finished, or I finish them but never pursue publishing.

Q: We know writing isn’t always the most lucrative business. Are you a full time author, or do you do other work as well?
A: I am a stay at home mommy, my daughter keeps me on my toes so I don’t always find time in the day to write like I should.

image2
Find it here: http://a.co/d/4wFlBtl

Q: What goals have you set for yourself in your writing career?
A: I think it would be fun to write a series. I hope to build up enough confidence to do a school assembly. And hey, who says I can’t win a literary award?

Q: What are some of your favorite events to sell your books at?
A: I find library and bookstore readings a lot of fun, because I really get to interact 1-on-1 with the kids who read my stories. I also love events where I get to network with other authors. It’s fun to meet other people in the same profession as you.

image3
Find it here: http://a.co/d/8XWW8B1

Q: Think of your first book, are you happy with the end results? If not, what would you change?
A: Although I definitely see my writing get better with every book, I wouldn’t change a thing about the first. It’s all part of the writing process, I get to watch myself grow as an author.

Q: Is there a part of the process, after writing, that you enjoy most?
A: Yes, I love being able to collaborate with the artist on how we want the illustrations to turn out. Also, there is no better feeling than the one you get holding that very first physical copy of a book you created. I would compare it to the first time you hold your own child, not quite the same, but so close!

image4
http://a.co/d/7LqZzNZ

Q: What award do you think would be the most exciting to win?
A: I don’t know; Caldecott, Newbery, Moonbeam. An award is an award, and it would be amazing to have my work appreciated that much.

Q: What is your favorite book you wrote? Why?
A: With every book, my favorite turns into the latest release I have. I get passionate about new projects and suddenly my focus is all on that book.

image5
http://a.co/d/6h2uAPC

Q: How many books do you hope to release?
A: As many as I possibly can. It’s so much fun, I just don’t see why I would ever stop.

Q: Where can people find you and all of your amazing books?
A: My website is http://www.ClaressaSwensen.com. My books can also be found under my name on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. And don’t forget to follow me on Facebook at Facbook.com/ClaressaSwensenOfficial!

image1
http://www.ClaressaSwensen.com

Claressa is awesome. Her books are adorable and you can tell she is proud. Go show her a little support at any of her links. You can follow any of the links in the pictures above to get right to the one you want. All are available in e-book format as well. Be looking forward to more interviews and book promotions coming soon.

I Broke My Writing

It has been about 3 months since I have really been able to do any writing. Nothing clicks, nothing is interesting and I don’t really want to. This is a major problem.

I spent six years of my life with my health spiralling down, and watching my strength and skills waste away. This is when I started getting more creative. The depression that came with my health issues gave me some creativity.

Now, I have none. I have come to a standstill with my writing. My books are just sitting there unwritten. Just a thought on a paper. I still want to write them, there’s just nothing there.

I have however been more active than I have been in years. See, just a couple years ago I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I spent two years getting worse and weaker.

One day after I read about a magnesium deficiency, I tried a supplement out. Since then, I am off all of my Parkinson’s meds, and I have the energy I did when I was 25. All because of this supplement.

Nature Made High Potency Magnesium Softgels, 60 count https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002RS6PN4/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_Gpj-BbWC3A1S1

This is a miracle in my eyes. It’s been an awesome restart to my life. I can play with my kids, work on my cars, and perform home repairs with no issue. It’s the life I had watched fade away, but it has come with the cost of my writing.

I’m not depressed like I was. I am not afraid to go off on my own to do things. It’s been an amazing few months, but I don’t know what I need to do to start writing again.

What are some tips you have for getting back into it. I may need to start hiking again. It always inspired me, and after gaining 60 pounds, it can’t hurt.

After seeing my shakes, weakness, fatigue, irritability, and anxiety drop, I have to say, i wish I had found that article 6 years earlier. If you experience any of the symptoms above, or just can’t figure out what’s wrong, look into magnesium and calcium supplements. Of course, talk to your doctor.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got today. More of a vent session and a bit of a thing to be grateful for.

I Hate Rejecting Reviews

Hello everyone. In one of my last post I mentioned an upcoming book review. I was really looking forward to doing another one. I have missed it over the last couple of months. However, if something falls short, I won’t review it.

Unfortunately, it isn’t going to happen. Not for this story. When I read the story I noticed too many editing issues. I’m not an editor, as I have stressed before. I am thinking that nobody else is either, which I know is wrong and I speak strictly in sarcasm.  Seriously though, why isn’t this taken seriously.

I know when I write something I really put thought into it. I am a picky person, but since I don’t do well with my own punctuation, I try not to judge others. If I do find something, I mention it. When it comes to the flow of a story, that is something that kills me to see.

I have every reason to believe that authors aren’t out to just knock out as many titles as possible. I know we want to put out a quality piece. Nobody has ever set out with the idea that they wanted to write garbage and leave it. I know I haven’t anyway.

Now, this story I read was not garbage, and I don’t want anyone to think that is what I felt about it. There were however issues. Let’s look over some of the things to consider when writing something. I  won’t go too deep into this.

First, make your story clear. When introducing a character, please introduce them in a way that makes sense. Don’t just throw it in. Make it feel like it belongs. Try not to throw in a top hat wearing penguin into a story set in the desert. It doesn’t make sense.

Second, if an editor makes a recommendation, use it. They mean well. If you aren’t sure of the flow, by all means, get a serious second opinion. Don’t be upset if someone says, dude, this is bad. It’s criticism, we all get it.

Finally, make it flow. Nobody wants to read a book that makes no sense. When it is a kid’s book, make it so they can follow it. I read every book I review to my kids. At ages 6,4 and 3, I get a great feel for what kids will like. If a story doesn’t interest them, it likely won’t interest most kids. So please, don’t be offended if someone says that it doesn’t make sense.

I have read books that I have removed from our collection. It’s not an easy thing to do. I love books, and so do my children. We are a book family. After reading literally thousands of stories, I have a bit of an idea of what works. I try to use that in my reviews.

I want to give a good review. That is why I am here. It is never my goal to rip someone apart and destroy their dreams. I just know what a quality story is. That being said, I am a little disappointed in Morgan Goes Fishing. I know I formatted it wrong. I will eventually reformat it and get it a new chance at life. I love the story, but I fell short.

I know the disappointment of falling short. That is why I want to make the books I review the best chance I can. If you have a story to review, please feel free to submit it to my email. I am always willing to take on another story. You know I will be honest, and I won’t share any personal details with a story I reject.

I am done with my rant for the day. Just a quick reminder, a critic won’t kill you. Ya’ll have a great day.

Dan

 

A Problem With Editors

Editors are an essential part of the writing world. They give insight we need. I desperately need all the input i can get, especially for punctuation. I welcome the critiques.

So where is the issue? Simple, a lack of professional response.

I had Good Knight Ricky and the Bad Joke Dragon sent to an editor. I know perfectly well it’s not perfect. She was eager, so I gave her a sneak peak. I didn’t expect a great review since it was it wasn’t finished.

What I got back was a less formal response than I have gotten from my chosen at random critique group. Some tips were well warranted. Others, well, I wondered if she even read the story.

As an editor you should have a clear and professional response. I expect a well and properly written response. Capitalize your sentences, punctuate. If I can criticize punctuation there is a problem.

A three paragraph run-on sentence is not the sign of a quality editor. No remarks on your horrible punctuation is also an issue. If you submit to an editor, expect them to respond as an editor.

Our stories are our passion. We want them to be the best they can be. When you reach the point of editing, be prepared to be crushed in many cases. Expect to be nitpicked.

If you get a response that isn’t professional, move on. The work you receive from them should have the same passion and thought as what you put in yourself. If they can’t structure a sentence, for the sake if your story, find someone else.

Just a little tip this week from a recent experience that really frustrated me. Being new to the business is no excuse for settling.

Let’s Promote Children’s Reading

Hello again. On an finally done with my month of insanity. There is still plenty to be done, but I can slow down. At least for now.

This means one really exciting thing, I can promote stuff again. I have some book reviews coming up that always prove to be popular. It’s coming this weekend.

As an author, I also get to push my own books again. Good Knight Ricky and the Bad Joke Dragon is well under way. For this month, and through my page only, Morgan Goes Fishing will be dropped to $5.99. Amazon is $7.99.

Education is important to my family. My wife is a teacher and I write children’s books. It works. So we are running a promo through the month of November.

Illustrations are in the planning stages for Good Knight Ricky and the Bad Joke Dragon. I added to it, and it has taken shape as either a short story or a small chapter book. Updates will be made on progress as we go along.

That’s all I have for today. Keep an eye out for the upcoming book reviews. If you have something you would like reviewed, please email me. It’s free and we can have some fun.

Also, grab your little reader a copy of Morgan Goes Fishing all month. Find it under my Welcome page. We can always use a like and a share, so go ahead, like it, share it. I promise, I don’t mind.

 

Why I disappeared

We all have times in our lives when we just kind of disappear. This last month has been one of those times. I have kind of just shut down and avoided all of social media and sites. Probably not the best business move., but here is why it happened: We bought a house.

We live in a small town. Not the place we will stay, but it works for now. The opportunity to buy this house came along and we couldn’t really pass it up. Then we walked in to the place. I had to question my judgement.

We bought a house from hoarders. I mean, really, really bad hoarders. I am a minimalist and the overwhelming garbage in the house shut me down. It took us nearly two full weeks to clean out just the garbage. We filled a 12 yard dumpster in trash just from 3 rooms.

I then found out they were holding stuff for other people in the house, and didn’t bother mention it. So, we had people digging through the dumpster to get the stuff out that belonged to them. That’s fine I suppose.

When we were finally able to see the floors, I decided the carpet had to go. Luckily we found some pretty decent hard wood floors under it. If not for this scraper we would have never gotten to it. http://a.co/d/cKg0IfG

It is an ugly job, but it made it a lot easier. It helps to break the glue and under layers to remove the carpet. Finding the floors in the condition they were in made my day. Down the road we will rent a sander and refinish them. The house was built in 1920, so they need a little love. We have a lot of work to do, but it will be well worth it.

My next job is tearing out some plaster on a couple walls and hanging drywall over the lath. The shared wall between the living room and kitchen had a leak by the chimney and it messed up the plaster, so it has to go. That will have to wait until summer.

We are finishing up the bedroom paint and then we can finish moving in. It has been a long month, but the end is in sight. I am quick to get overwhelmed and shut down while I remedy a situation.

I have been doing some work on Good Knight Ricky and the Bad Joke Dragon. This is my latest short story that I am writing for my son. It has been a fun one too. I also have books for sale through my Biblio.com page, https://www.biblio.com/bookseller_info.php?d=2916574

I am also on Instagram and Pinterest both @danlittle104. Follow me there and feel free to check out Biblio. Give me a like and a share. If you comment, I will do my best to respond. I am really trying to start a harder push here. Things are leveling out on this end.