I am so enjoying all my travels this season. Last week I visited with numerous educators at Region III's Author Round-Up, and also some awesome students at Hallettsville Middle School. This weekend I am headed down to the valley for some more bookfest fun. Looking forward to meeting the students of Morris MIddle School. I'll be a featured author at the McAllen Library's Book festival on Saturday.
Meanwhile, I am finishing up the final touches on Only the Guilty Sleep.
The Garcia Sisters have added my cover reveal to their website. On it, a short summary of of my newest novel. Check it out, as well as the other books they have reviewed in their website:
Good Morning Road Crew and fellow readers,
Last week I took two of my crew to Peter Piper Pizza for the afternoon. Now, I am not a big fan of that pizza, but the kids like it. They always seem to come back stained up from using their shirts as napkins, and pizza grease is hard to wash out. But despite my complaints, they like going there. They spend stupid amounts of my pay check on the games in record time. When they get within twenty feet of our booth I grab them and force them to eat the exorbitant cardboard pizza. It's either that, or the wander back sad-faced when they're out of tokens.
Now I am on a new low-carb craze, hoping I can jumpstart my weight loss, and pizza is NOT on the menu. So I opted for hot wings. I go and grab a seat by myself with my magazine, drink, and cell in hand, trying to enjoy the little bit of alone time amidst the blinking lights and constant threat that one of my children might be abducted at any moment. The magazine is a must for any mom to carry. A book can be too engaging, and a magazine allows one to glance up when needed. It's hard to get too lost in a magazine article on recovering an old sofa.
Once the food arrived I decide to eat all by my lonesome and let the molten pizza cool off some. It didn't take me long to realize that hot wings wasn't the most glamorous thing to eat, and should probably not be eaten by yourself if you are the self-conscious sort. With every digit covered in spicy sauce, I waved to a friend of mine who walked through the door- a classy moment for sure. It was only after she and her family walked by that I noticed the large drip mark on my white shirt. I rubbed good and hard, but it only got worse as I was using a dirty napkin covered in my own hot wing goo. I totally deserved my seven-year-old's censure when he ran over to the table. His look was one of disgust as he handed me a napkin saying, "You need this more than I do."
I nixed the rest of my errands, and it was a good thing too. Liam completely forgot to mention I still had hot wing sauce on my face. Thanks, dude. I wouldn't have left him like that. But that's what happens when you hang out with little kids. You end up wearing food.
So what did I learn: First of all, no eating hot wings unless I have a drop cloth. Secondly, wearing white when doing so is never a good combination for one so messy. Most importantly, kids will always point out the irony of a situation, but they won't always tell you when you are wearing your lunch like clown make-up.
Every summer I spend an exorbitant amount of time by myself. Sounds sad, I know. I a time when I should be spending with my family, is actually spent in reflection or solitude surrounded people. You may or may not know what I mean. You ever fine yourself feeling alone wen you're surrounded by people? Feel as if everyone is on break and your work in never done? Talking to people who don't ever seem to hear you.
I finally got a release date for Black Bayou Road- August 28th!!
This book has been over three years in the making. From the first day the idea took shape until now it has been a complicated work in progress. I'm very excited for all of you to finally be able to read it. Stay tuned for a cover reveal later this summer.
I am looking for about 50 good readers, students, bloggers, friends, or frenemies that are interested in being part of the Black Bayou Road Crew.
Writing can be a lonely adventure. Occasionally I look up from my lighted screen and wish there was someone else who would fangirl over my story with me as it rolls out of my own head. And if not fangirl, maybe they would at least give me their honest opinion about the story line. There's only so much I cask ask of my six-year-old son or elusive black cat.
I decided to follow suit of some of my fellow InstaAuthors and make a group with just such a purpose.
Being a "Roadie" would entitle you to read the story first! Also, you will be able to give me your input on a few plot twists and book designs. You would also get an advanced copy of the eBook before it is available online or in any stores. You can follow @blackbayouroad for updates or watch for email updates from me about important Road Crew events.
Be the first to meet Finola Sparks.
Be the first to decide if Black Bayou Road is really haunted.
Be the first to find out which one of Black Bayou's rules Finola will break first.
BE A BLACK BAYOU ROADIE!!!
Help make this author's incessant dark dreams a reality.
It's NaNoWriMo time again, and I'm exhausted at the thought. 50,000 words in one month is a daunting task. Last year was the closest I have ever come to making that goal. I reached 28,000 words between two different projects. I know, I know- that was dumb. I have a hard time picking something and seeing it though til the end. To top it all off, I lost all but 6,ooo words on the manuscripts when my zip drive broke. I had been so wrapped up in writing, when I really should have been wrapped up in SAVING!!
Surprisingly, I wasn't too upset at the loss of so much work. I don't think it was really great stuff. I have been working on Black Bayou Road for so long now, and have changed to story so much, it will probably amount to something vastly different than I had planned. I didn't like the direction I forced myself to go and am starting (almost) fresh. I have done this with the book twice now. It's gotta be a sign. Either this book will flop like my sad Sunday pancakes or soar like I wish it would.
Whatever the outcome I have decided to think of NaNoWriMo like a moderately loud peanut gallery, occasionally throwing popcorn or raucously clapping when I decide to forego The Voice for the evening and write. I don't think I will make my 50,000-word goal, but you never know. It is November 5th, I have 8,000 words. I have 25 more days to possibly surprise myself.
I am starting on another project now that I'm done telling Layla's story. Usually after finishing a book I take a while off, but I can't seem to do that. I'm ready for more!! I want to give it time, make those important stops in the bookstores, but my mind is already in creation mode. And the one thing that has me.most excited?!? MY NEW WRITING SUPPLIES!!!
As you well know I am an English teacher, which may explain why I love love LOVE schoo supplies. I bought myself some new grading pens (I do not grade in red- think it's rude), and I decided to get some new pens and paper to begin the prewriting and research stage for my next book. I found myself sitting in the middle of the aisle at Wal-Mart, mixing and matching colored pens, post-its and spirals! It was so much fun, I completely forgot my original purpose of getting groceries for the fam.
So now I have to convince myself my silly thoughts are worth jotting down, that one day that single line I posted on Instagram will give birth to an entire book. Beginning a book is very daunting- every. single. time! The process doesn't get easier. I think the hope is the process gets better.
This next journey is a personal one, even more so than the last. I only know this book will be a stand alone and I will pursue traditional publication as usual. I dirtied up those new pages tonight. I'm nervous about the introspection and excited about the possibilities.
And before I say goodnight, I will be headed to a number of schools this fall, as well as Kingsville, Dallas, San Antonio, Corpus, and some new Texas spots this fall. I also have plans to visit some other larger cities up the East Coast. Look for the tour schedule coming soon to my website!
Thanks for reading and please I'd love to hear feedback from y'all regarding The Lariat.