Mailing List —>

If you follow the arrow up there and look to the right of the page, you’ll see my mailing list sign up. (It’s through MailChimp.)  For future release information, and to possibly see some cool things like alternate cover art sketches, book previews, and short stories and articles, just click the picture or the link and follow the directions from there.

loop mail checkin

 

And book three of The Last Dragon Charmer is titled….

REALM BREAKER (The Last Dragon Charmer #3)!!!  The title still could change but I don’t *think* it will. I’m revising REALM BREAKER now. I got a great editorial letter from my editor and good input from my agent, so my brain is full of ideas. IDEAS! Lots of then. Thanks to Jocelyn and David for those. I feel a bit overwhelmed, too, but mostly feel sparkly and amazed that I’m working on book three! Honestly, I don’t know how I managed to write three books.

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I have lots of work ahead of me. I have to edit and think and make the draft better. There is so much work to do. So much work to do.  That’s how I feel at the beginning of a revision, or a draft, or a story. Writing is hard! And fun…definitely fun, too.  But also HARD…

Lisa Simpson Writing

Looks like my main character

When I was searching for gifs, I stumbled upon an anime character (looks-wise) that reminds me a lot of my mc in VILLAIN KEEPER and QUEST MAKER – Caden, eighth-born prince of Razzon in the Winterlands of the Greater Realm and currently of Asheville, NC.

First, Caden has an enchanted blue coat with gold and silver embroidery. On the book cover it has white trim…

looks like Caden

Second, if he had to dump water over his head, I believe he’d do it with a similar dignity.

Now, I need to find the rest of my character anime/manga lookalikes. It’s like a quest.

(And I just need to track down this anime and watch it! Although, then the character may look less like Caden, but that’s okay.)

Rearranging things.

I’m considering rearranging my website/blog a bit. Now that I’ve been posting fairly regularly, I feel like things could be divided and organized better. However. If I do that, I may have to add more categories across the top of the page, and that might look jumbled. Mainly, it sounds like it might be a lot of work. Ah well. Decisions, decisions. I’ll do it. Soon. I think. Maybe. I just need to sit at my desk and NOT take a nap on the floor…

Falling over

The Contents and Acknowledments Dragon is Getting Angry

Content Dragon 2Above is the new art for the Contents and Acknowledgements pages in QUEST MAKER: The Last Dragon Charmer #2 and the dragon is getting a bit riled up!  It looks like it’s ready to eat someone. ROAR!  It’s standing up, wings spread, and reading to attack!Dragon Picture

This is the dragon as it is hanging out in VILLAIN KEEPER: The Last Dragon Charmer #1.  It’s still a bit ornery, but hasn’t spread its wings or turned to hiss at the reader yet. Those contents and acknowledgments pages must make it hungry. And in book two, it must be ravenous.

My Best Procrastination Tips.

Currently, I need to finish my first draft of my book three (title to be announced). But there are other things I need to do first, both important and not-so-important. And since I like lists – and, really, who doesn’t like lists – I’m posting this as a list of the top ten things that help me procrastinate.

TOP TEN BEST PROCRASTINATION TIPS with estimated time used.

Daria

10. Vacuum the house. Clean the bathroom. Wash the dog. It’s hard to get work done when the floor is dirty, the bathroom isn’t spotless, and the dog smells bad. These are also great things to do because they’re the things I put off when I don’t have something more important to finish. (Procrastination time: 1-2 hours)

9. I really need to read a book, some fanfiction, or maybe watch some anime. (Procrastination time: 2-4 hours)

8. Netflix just released a new series so I’m going to watch the entire first season before I get to work. My concentration will be ten times better afterwards. Wait. You’ll see. (Procrastination time: ~14 hours)

Netflix

7. There is this other book idea I have. I feel totally inspired to write about it.  Like I need to write the whole book right now Maybe I’ll make a playlist to listen to while writing it. I’m so ready to write this book that isn’t due at all. (Procrastination time: 3 hours – the amount of time I can write anything before needing a break to vacuum.)

6. You know what really inspires me – The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. Although my work is due in mere days, it only makes sense to spend one of those watching Legolas shoot orcs. It’s important. (Procrastination time: ~10 hours)

Legolas

5. Search for gifs that I can use on my blog. My blog doesn’t have enough. It needs more and it needs them now. (Procrastination time: 30-45 min)  NOTE: GIFS ADDED TO POST AT THIS POINT.

4. Think. Stare. Think. Thinking and staring and thinking take time and energy.  (Procrastination time: 3-5 hours)

3. Call my brother to chat. For me, this option is only available after midnight. He stalks the night, never in sunlight is he seen. (Procrastination time: 1 hour)

2. Take a nap.  (Procrastination time: 1.5 hours)cat nap

1. INTERNET. (Procrastination time: Unlimited until food or sleep are necessary)

cat internet

 

After all that, it’s time to get to work.

Bookish Serendipity :)

I wrote a guest blog post for Jessica at the wonderful Bookish Serendipity. I always start with these ideas I think are great for guest blogs. This time I wrote about my nerves when I meet or approach a bookseller or blogger (or other author, actually) for the first time. Of course, now that I wrote the post,  I have fret a bit.  Check it out and check out her wonderful blog here. (As it’s 100 degrees here in NC, I’m also including a bookish fountain to cool everyone down!)

book fountain

Trips Past, Times Present

When I was in middle school, my English teacher organized a class trip to Disney World. And if I remember correctly, she was (not surprisingly) a big fan of all things Disney, too. As such, I’m including some dancing Aristocats in her honor.

Aristocrats dancing

Tom – the male cat – was voiced by Phil Harris. He also was the voice of Baloo the bear in the Jungle Book and Little John in the best Robin Hood movie ever. (You know, the one where Robin is a fox and John is a bear.)

Phil Harris was a bandleader, radio personality, and voice actor. Also, he was my dad’s favorite singer.

My dad had his record. Then eight-track. Then cassette. Then my brother burned the songs onto a CD for him. Then we downloaded mp3s for him. Oh how times have changed. It seems I’ve gotten gotten off topic.

Back to Disney and middle school! On that trip we spent three days, I believe, in Disney and Epcot. I have a great picture of middle school me wearing a straw hat by the mirrored exterior of one of the Epcot Center buildings. I think the building was Journey into Imagination. FYI – my favorites among of the Epcot attractions were Journey into Imagination, The Seas, and The Land. And now I write fantasy and teach biology. Hmm.

Fast forward twenty plus years and I was so excited to get an email from that same teacher. I haven’t seen her since I was in eighth grade!  She and her kids and husband are all doing great which is wonderful to hear.  As a teacher, it’s also nice to connect with a former teacher of mine. Doubly cool, she contacted me because she’d seen my name and book in The Mini Page.

The Mini Page started in North Carolina. It’s a weekly newspaper insert that has articles, activities, and games for kids, teachers, and parents. The June issue often includes great books for summer. I have to say, I was pretty excited to see VILLAIN KEEPER listed. Now, I just need to get the next issue of the News and Observer, find The Mini Page, and ogle it. (Picture to come)