Friday, June 29, 2012

My Blogging Family

I have a blogging family. My mom blogs, my sister blogs, my aunt blogs, my cousin blogs ...
So I thought I'd share my family's blogs with you!

She gives homeschooling tips for a shoestring budget
A daily list of free Kindle books for kids!

V. Kathie's:
This one's sorta like mine, somewhat rambly, talking about whatever she happens to want to talk about. She doesn't update very often.

My aunt's:
For her doTerra essential oil business.

Cousin Tenya's:
Stuff about her books and some rambling.
Her poetry Blog.

Also ...
Cousin Tenya, my mom, and I share a blog!
We review self-published books and Indie authors!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Saffron's Big Plan is OUT

Saffron's Big Plan and Other Stories - Kindle.
                           Saffron's Big Plan and Other Stories - Paperback

You read that right! Saffron's Big Plan is finally out!

It is, as I've said before, a collection of four short stories, the first two being co-writes with my mother, whose pen name is Rachel Lamb. Paperback is $6.99 plus shipping and handling. It's 80 pages long. 

The Kindle version is currently $.99 until July 7th, when the price will go up to $2.99, so get it while it's cheep!

Also, for the next four days, Sew, It's a Quest will be free. This will be the last time I offer this for free for some time, so get it while you can!
Sew, It's a Quest (The Bookania Quests)

Oh, and a big thank-you to my Cousin Tenya, who designed my new cover.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tips From a Young Writer - Distractions

So you're writing along. You've got a good enough plot, your characters are being at least somewhat cooperative ... thing is ... you're starting to get a tad bit bored. Maybe you're at a slow spot, maybe you're just not quite sure how to get your hero out of the cage so that he can get the heroine off of the dangerous cliff. Whatever the case, suddenly your little brother or sister's Barney video is strangely interesting ...

Or ... wait, your room is messy, you'd better go clean it up. And - Oh! - it's such a beautiful day outside, you've just got to go for a nice walk in the woods. Or maybe, hmmmm..... hey, what's for lunch?

Anyways, you keep getting distracted. No matter how hard you try, or at least pretend to try to keep yourself interested in what you're writing, suddenly, you've got a whole plate of more important things to do.

Well, you're never going to get anything written if you keep letting yourself get distracted. So, how do you avoid distractions?

First, remove distractions before they can occur. If you can, hide in your bedroom where you can't see the TV playing Barney, which, if it isn't being interesting, it's being very annoying. Once in your room, make sure you keep it clean. If you're being distracted by fresh air, take your writing outside if possible. I do a lot of writing outside. And make sure you're not hungry while writing. Writing while hungry makes your characters hungry, and that makes you all grumpy and nothing productive can be written.

Second, try to rekindle your interest in your book. It's probable that your interest in everything else stems from your lack of interest in the story itself. Call up your characters on the phone, invite them to a sleepover and talk the book over with them. Evaluate where the book has been, and see if you can come up with where to take it. Don't force it. If an author forces a book, the readers will notice. They'll also notice a slow spot. You want things to be natural, true, but you also want things to happen.

If you're really distracted, you may want to talk your distraction with your family and friends, if they are the sort of family and friends that are interested in your writing. Perhaps they will have an idea or three to get it moving again. They will, at least, be able to tell you to get back to writing whenever they catch you watching Barney.

And that's all I have to say on that topic. If you have any opinions on it, feel free to comment. And if you have any requests for me to write on, feel free to leave a comment with them as well!

He is Lord

This is a poem/psalm I wrote in second or third grade.

He is Lord,
He is King
I do not get bord,
But when I am sleeping,
He cares for me.
So nextest time you sleep.
remember and sleep,
this what I told you.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Imaginary Friend by Kelly Hashway

The Imaginary Friend

I've had Imaginary Friends on my mind, so when this was offered for free by Pixel of Ink, I snatched it up.

It's a short story, only nine pages long, but it sticks in your heart, and may even bring tears to your eyes. The main character is a girl named Samantha, who has been friends with a girl named Tracy for as long as she could remember. In fact, her earliest memory is meeting a shy Tracy on the bus and saying hello.

However, lately, Tracy has been ignoring Samantha more and more and spending more and more time with new friends. Samantha is proud of Tracy for making new friends, but feels sad at being left out.

When a girl named Jessica announces to her that she is actually only Tracy's imaginary friend, she's doesn't know what to think. It seems so unbelievable .... yet so believable.

This story captures the power of friendship, and the innocence of an imaginary friend. The set up is amazing, the world Kelly Hashway creates is both fun and beautiful, and a bit sad. It has a lot for only nine pages. I wanted to read more, but the story was complete. I would love to see a few more books written in this world.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tips From a Young Writer - Conversation

If you write a work of fiction, it's very likely that you'll have conversation. Some stories use it more than others. It's important to do it right, or it may destroy the story.

First, you have to make sure that conversation sounds natural. It has to be written in such a way that, if read aloud, it sounds like people are actually talking. A good test for that is to actually read it aloud. Also, get someone else to read it aloud. You happen to know exactly how they were supposed to talk, a second reader doesn't.

Here are a few tips that I've found useful for making natural sounding conversation:

Use contractions. Most people like to talk fast. They do not like to slow down to say each word individually. Unless it is a quirk for a particular character to say every word distinctly, use contractions.

Elliptical sentences. When you talk, much is understood. People don't like to be repetitious when they talk. When asked, "Where's the gum?" they won't answer "The gum is on the dresser," but simply, "on the dresser."

Have a variety. No two people have the same style of talking. Some people enunciate every word carefully and oversay everything. Other peeps say things fast as can, leave words out and don't hesitate t'slam words t'gether. Many people have a catchphrase or, like, says a word, like, over and, like, over, you know? If your character has an accent, some words will be spelled differently, such as Mom would be Mum with a British accent, and German speakers pronounce 'w' as 'v'.

Second, don't be afraid of the word said. He said this and she said that and they said something else at the same time. It might get monotonous to write it over and over. It even gets monotonous to read over and over. You may find yourself wanting to use another word, such as 'asked' or 'answered,' or 'retorted' or 'demanded' or maybe even 'yelled.' Now, there are times when such words are good or even necessary, but often said is just the best word for it.

Also, you can add to the word said. Perhaps he said something quickly, or bashfully, or slowly, or maybe he looked at his hands while he said it. Adding action to speech is a great idea.

Sometimes you can leave a tag off altogether. However, be careful with this, because it can confuse your readers as to who's talking. You might even get confused, and a scene such as the following may result:

“Oh, right.”
“Um … which of us is saying what?”
“I think our author had better figure that out.”
“We have an author?”
“Let’s just end this scene before it gets any worse.”
“I agree.”

This is a real scene that I have written when I was tired, had writer's block, and had forgotten to use tags to indicate who was saying what. It comes from my book Infiltration. Please heed this as a warning, and, unless you want your characters finding out about you, use speech tags. Also, use them for your readers sake. The last thing you want is a reader who is confused as to who's speaking.

You can also simply put an action with the speech such as: Julia smiled. "That would be a great idea!" Just make sure that there is a period after the action and not a comma.

Of course, the best way to learn how real conversation works is to actually listen to it. I'm not asking you to eavesdrop, but pay attention to when you're talking to people and when people are talking to you.

Now, that's all I have to say on this topic. If you have any comments or tips on it, feel free to comment and give your tip. If you have a request for me to write on, feel free to ask me to write on it!


This is the second play I ever wrote. Umm ... I actually don't know what got into me when I wrote it. The first play I wrote was was much, much better. Unfortunately, the first play I ever wrote has gotten lost. I'm going to say that I was nine or ten when I wrote this. By the way, for clarification, Lee is a girl, and I'm pretty sure Jean is a girl. And no, I'm not sure where they were! And, yes, the emoticons were in the original writing.

Lee: I love the birds in the air and the fish in the sea. They all please me

Jean: Yea right

Sally: (in a stage whisper) You need to show respect

Jean: (in a stage whisper) Well, she is crasy.

Sammy: You know, they are pleasing

Lee: I'm glad someone agrees with me.

Sally: My favorit place is a acarium

Jean: I am going home

Jane: Oh, no you are not

Jenny: Yes, stay here

Lee: I'm glad you two thought of this.

Jane: Thank you :)

Jenny: It was Jane's idea

Sammy: I gave a little help, rember that!

Jane: Okay, but I was the main thinker-uper

Jean: Stop arrguing!

Sara: Hello, I am Sara, but most of my friends call me peasemaker.

Sally/Jenny/Lee: We could use one!

Sally: I'm not enough :(

Jenny: Not even with me

Lee: And me

Sara: Come with me and let's work out a plan

Sally: Sara ...

Sarah: Peasemaker

Sally: I hate nicknames

Sara: Okay, but it sounds so ordanary -

A few minute later ...

Sara: Let's play the nickname game! Saraly!

Sally: This is silly!

Jenny: Jennbe

Lee: Leah.

Sara: Okay, we will have to use those names all day, Silly

Sally: My name is Sally, not Silly

Sara: Nice name, Leah, oh, here we are. This is Sarade, Sarabe, and Sarakey

Sarade: Hey Peasemaker, why don't they call you Peacemaker?

Saraly: This is Leah, Silly and Jennbe

Silly: Sally!!!!!!!

Jennbe: What! You're introdusing us with our nicknames!

Leah: I've always liked that name.

Sarakey: Do you promise that you will follow all the rules?

Silly/Leah/Jennbe: Yes

Sarakey: (hands them each a sheet of paper) Cheak the rules you don't like

A little while later

Sarakey: You two didn't check any rules, but you checked my favorit one, Silly!

Silly: I don't like nicknames

Sarakey: These nicknames are secret. To tell the truth, I have a differant name that is my real name.

Silly: Oh, what is it?

Sarakey: Sarabe and Sarade also have the name ... Sara

Silly: Oh is that where you got the nickname rule?

Sarade: Of corse it is.

Sarabe: Everone calls us by our real names.

Silly: I'd like to change my nickname to Sandra.

All the Saras: O.k. Sandy it is!

Sandy: We have stayed here so long, I bet Jean has gone home and Sam and Jane at each others throats.

When they got back, Sam and Jane ar queraling and Jean is gone home

Jenny: Stop it

Jane: Why should I!

Sam: Ya!!!!

The whole club: Stop it for it will do you no good for your body or your mind

They stop fighting

Jane: Good-bye (walks away)

This is the end of what I wrote, but ... I think I wasn't done yet!!!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Unofficial NaBloPoMo - Sometimes, Life Happens.

Today was the day Saffron's Big Plan was supposed to be out. Unfortunately, however, I was not able to get it finished. There are several scenes that still need serious editing. I really did think that I could get it all done by today, however, life happened.

I will spare you all the details, but suffice to know that we had friends in the house from December to May while they moved their mobile home and had electrical and red clay issues. We've been under a lot of stress, especially my mom, and so mom and I have not had much time to sit down and edit.

We will try to get it edited and published by June 28th or July 7th, but I will still make no promises. My sister went to war with a vine last Thursday, and while she won the war, she sustained serious injury in the form of a pulled muscle in her stomach. So, for the next month or so, she's on restricted movement, and the rest of us will have to take care of her chores for her.

Now, while I haven't been working on Saffron's Big Plan, I haven't been idle. I've been working on school and some other stories, such as Do You Take This Quest, Water Princess, Fire Prince, a story that I've been working on since I was thirteen, and The Ankulen, a story that I got the idea for about the same time I got the idea for Sew, It's a Quest.

Speaking of Sew, It's a Quest, It's free today until midnight!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Unofficial NaBloPoMo - Jumping For Joy

June 11, 2012
What Makes You Jump for Joy?

What makes me jump for joy. What makes me jump for joy ...

Oh, anything as long as it's not sad.

Specific things, though are:

Knowing that Jesus Died for me and my Sins are Washed Away.
Purple, Blue and Fusia, my three favorite colors.
People buying my book or leaving reviews.
Playing in the dirt
Watching Miss Full of It's antics
Writing when my Muse is working.
Preforming plays I wrote.
Making Spaghetti
Climbing trees
Baking Cakes and decorating them.
Soft, fuzzy blankets
Mimosa Flowers.
Tiger lilies and Star lilies.
My Kindle. (Although I have to share it with V)
My Computer
Historical Fiction
Fairy Tales
Good Fairy Tale rewrites
Good Jokes
People getting my humor
Comments on my blog entries
Trees that look like the number 4.
Winning contests and Giveaways.
Good country music.
Working on stories with my mom and sister.
Granny Smith Apples
Apple Cake.
Pecan Pie.
Fun memories.
Funky clothes and jewelry.
Princess/Fairy clothing/jewelry.
Telling stories.
Going to the Moon
Funky words
Jump ropes

And so much more, but I can't think of it all here.

For more NaBloPoMo

Friday, June 8, 2012

Unofficial NaBloPoMo - New People?

Friday, June 8, 2012
How do you feel about new people jumping into your life?

I can't talk to strangers. I freeze up and no words will come out of my mouth.

However, once they start talking, they are no longer a stranger, I will talk their head off ....

I love people. When I was little, I did not know what a stranger was. However, as I've gotten older, my introvert mother and grammy managed to instill in me a proper fear of strangers. Don't talk to them. However, my extrovertness made the line between stranger and not stranger very thin, and you're more likely to fall into the not stranger.

I'm a future oriented person, and I spend much of my daydreaming time (when not working out scenes for my books) thinking about what I might do someday. I often get really nervous when I know that someone's going to be talking to me, and I worry that I'll say the right thing.

However, once they get there, I'm fine. And, if I do say something I shouldn't of, I won't worry about it. I *sigh* can't change the past.

But if someone wants to jump into my life without warning, hey, I'll go with it. It saves me worrying time! I much prefer them to not warn me.

For more NaBloPoMo

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Unofficial NaBloPoMo - Looking and Leaping

Thursday, June 7, 2012
Do you need to look before you leap?

I probably ought to, and sometimes I do ... usually if it involves money, but I'm a very sporadic person, and I love being random and trying new things. If it involves money, I'm more likely to look first, but only because money is very tight in my house, and what spending money I do have I've had to earn myself. I simply don't have the money to just spend on whatever I feel like.

But when it doesn't involve money, I rarely look! When I decided to learn how to knit, all I needed was some yarn, the DVD that came with one of my yarn balls, and a pair of skewers. I simply did not have the time to look for a pair of real needles.

I often sign up for contests and stuff without a second's glance at them ... all I needed to jump into doing NaBloPoMo was seeing that my mom was doing it! When I write, often I begin a story with barely an idea for it. I have no idea how many unfinished stories I have sitting around my computer and in my drawers. I could probably count them ... but I don't think that would be all of them!

And, actually, I have been burned before. I have started many projects that I will probably finish. I have lost some money. I have many stories in my drawers that I shake my head and say, "What got into you Kendra!" I probably ought to learn to look better before I leap.

But all too often, I don't.

Official NaBloPoMo

Unofficial NaBloPoMo: June 1 - 6: Theme: Jump

I'm doing this unofficially since I didn't discover this until Mom posted an entry this morning with her Unofficial NaBloPoMo entry. We both missed the cutoff date to do it officially.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012
What is something you'd like to jump into if you had more time/money?

I would probably put it into making my books better, maybe get a professional editor and maybe a professional artist for the cover art.

Or I would spring for a Compassion trip to Ethiopia to visit my Compassion "Sister" who left the program last year.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012
How do you feel about starting new projects?

Oh, I love it! I don't consider my day complete unless I've started something new! This means that today is already complete, as I've started this.

The only problem I have with starting something new is that I don't always finish. Sigh, I need to work on my sticktoitivness.

Monday, June 4, 2012
What is something you recently jumped into?

A swimming pool ...

Okay, seriously, um ... oh, I jump into so much, it's hard to sort it out. I would have to say that the project I most recently jumped into, other than this NaBloPoMo, is copying and editing a story my mom wrote at fourteen. She wrote it in cursive, and, (let me let you into a little secret) I don't read cursive very well.

Of course, there's tons of other things too ...

Friday, June 1, 2012
What is the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear the word jump?

Jump-roping on the moon.

Umm .... okay, maybe I need to eventually write up a blog post about my obsession with the moon and with jump ropes ... or maybe not.

But anyways, I love jumping, whether physically or metaphorically.

Especially jumping on the moon.

NaBloPoMo ... is sponsored by BlogHer.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

June 2 - Norman Juster

Today is the birthday of Norman Juster. I have only read one of his books, "The Phantom Tollbooth," but it is one of my favorites, and one of the few that I have come back to read over and over and over.

Here are his books, none of them are free, and only "The Phantom Tollbooth" is available on Kindle. Most of them are actually picture books from what I see and have heard.

June 2 - Thomas Hardy

Today is the birthday of Thomas Hardy, a British poet and novelist. He has quite a few free books on Amazon, which I have listed here. They are in no particular order.

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