Thursday, June 19, 2008

I Have A Vision!

This post is going to be messy and most likely discombobulated. My life is crazy right now (I think I’ve said this before). We are moving! We have found a new house - not a castle, not yet, anyway - but a farm that even has a cemetery on the property. And we are also selling our old house (which, in this market, is amazing in itself). The problem is…the new buyers want our house by the end of July. We can’t move into our new house until late August. That means we are moving twice.

I’m feeling faint.

We will be living with my sister, her daughter, my mother, her little dog, their three cats, our three cats, my three boys, my husband and myself…during the lovely month of August. Pray for us.

To add to this rollercoaster ride that I’m on, I have changed to a new publisher, Variance (Breakneck Books is merging with it). I was a little worried that my book wouldn’t make it through the first round (a small release, which if it went well, would turn into a big release). Anaedor is not really the same kind of book as what the other authors do, so I thought I’d be the first to go. That was until I received an email a couple weeks ago from my publisher saying he wants to do a re-release of Anaedor. I think that means we’re skipping over the small release entirely. That’s what I’m hoping anyway!

Here’s the kicker…He’s going to have an artist draw little pictures above the chapter headings and do a new cover (although I love the old one - kudos to Breakneck on that one). He wanted to be sure to get my take on the whole process and see that the artist captures my vision. My first reaction was, "That is so awesome!" My second was, "I have a vision?" Later, I realized that I didn’t really believe this was happening - I’m still not sure that I do. Knowing that things can go wrong, I am being pessimistically optimistic about it all. If it actually goes through - hurray! If not, well, I was expecting it not to, anyway. Now I have all my bases covered.

The cool thing is that it’s typically nearly unheard of for a publishing company to get the author’s feedback on the process. I feel so blessed to be consulted! The artist called me a few days ago and she was so nice. I’m really looking forward to working with her and seeing her take on my ‘vision’! Plus, she liked my book, so she can’t do anything wrong in my eyes.

So a lot is going on in my life, but it’s all good. And as I’ve said before…It will get done; it always does. I’m just wondering who’s going to do it.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Magic Scales

You might remember me mentioning a while back about how I did some editing work for a new fantasy author, Scottish writer, Sam Wilding. His book is titled The Magic Scales and has just been released. I told him that when his book was published, I would do a review on it, so here it is…

I really liked it!

Yes, there’s more. Here’s what the book is about:

The Magic Scales takes place in Scotland (well, some of it). The main character is a 12-year-old asthmatic boy named James whose father has recently gone missing. After running off to an old stone circle up on the moors (think Stonehenge) to escape all the gossip surrounding his dad’s disappearance, James discovers a dead animal that had just been crushed by what looks like a giant foot. This gruesome finding is the first in a series of harrowing , life-threatening experiences that James goes through (including nearly being killed by a gargoyle). Not long after the squished animal finding, he meets a talking goldfish who is actually a wizard named Mendel (see if you can figure out how James manages to carry this fish around without it asphyxiating). Mendel is from another world - Denthan - whose twin suns are about to explode, destroying his world forever.

Well, as you might guess, it doesn’t take long before James is involved in Mendel’s quest to return to Denthan and save its citizens. Unfortunately for them, there’s a bad guy named Dendralon Pendragon who is controlling much of this world, who will do whatever it takes to stop them. Joining James is his friend, Craig, who has a wee bit of a problem with diplomacy, always putting his foot in his mouth and getting them into trouble. Along the way, you’ll meet a bunch of strange and mysterious creatures, including monstrous tree trolls, the fierce Osgrunfs (hairy creatures that look like overgrown sloths, but are faster), and the nasty Hedra (that are reptile-like creatures). Keep in mind that none of these fun guys seem to like humans. In a race against time, James tries to help Mendel save his world, but even more desperately, he needs to find his dad, who he believes is on Denthan, as well.

Remember, Denthan’s suns are about to blow up at any time.

The Magic Scales has a lot of action and adventure, fighting and swords, interesting characters and humor - all the elements I look for in a good book. One of my favorite characters is Craig, James’s friend. He’s such a big goof and is always saying, "Ye numpty!" I also like the character, Ephie Blake, a rather large, cantankerous woman who’s always eating fudge. There are tons of other neat characters and monsters to surprise you, as well. There are even human-eating moths.

Reading a book by a Scottish author was an interesting experience. The British spell things differently than us Americans, phrase things differently, or use words I’ve never even heard of. How cool is that?! Sam wrote The Magic Scales for his son who struggles with asthma. He helps the reader see what it’s like to have the added burden (because life is hard enough) of a chronic illness or disability to contend with.

You can find The Magic Scales at U.S. and U.K.

Happy Reading!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Life Is Crazy!

My life is feeling a little out of control right now. We have just found a house we want to buy, we have to sell the one we’re living in, we have travel plans this summer, the kids are sick and so am I, we’re in the middle of a heat wave, our second car (which my husband drives to work so that we can keep eating) is dying, and I am in the midst of doing some author visits at the middle school today and tomorrow, not to mention all the end of the school year activities that are going on.


But it’s a good kind of busy so I am trying to see things that way…to just enjoy the ride even though right now I feel like I’m melting.

I had my author visit at the BPLibrary last Monday and that went well. There was one young woman who volunteers at the library that attended and she is so full of energy and motivation and excitement about writing that she made the event well worth it (that, and the free brownies!). I also made new author connections with two neat authors, Susan Colebank and Phil McGrail - go look up their books - they’re good people with good books!

Thursday I hope to publish my review on The Magic Scales, a new book by Scottish author, Sam Wilding. If I forget, I will try again next week. Since I feel like my brain is leaking out of my ears, I might forget. But I’ll get to it eventually. I typically do. My new mantra has become, "It will get done. It always does." It’s true, so I need to start believing in it. Someday I will.

Anyway, stay cool, New Englanders, and stay tuned for my review!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Pedal Go-Karts: The New Cool

Well, we did it. We took our economic stimulus check and stimulated the economy. We bought go-karts! I’ve always wanted one and now, being the wacky adult that I am, I have gotten one - well, two. But we didn’t get the motorized kind, we got the pedal kind! They work really well for the kids - they can’t go too fast (but fast enough for the thrill), the boys get good exercise peddling those monsters up hills (as do my thighs), and there’s no gas to pollute the air or drain my wallet!

I love them!

But that’s no surprise…I’ve got the need for speed. Just coasting down my driveway to pick up the mail brings a smile to my face. Even my 3-year-old can ride them (we bought the ‘age 5 to adult’ sized ones). He must have a lot of determination because those things are kind of heavy.

The one down side to them: I made the mistake of putting a horn that my sister had given the kids for Christmas on one of the karts. It was the only one that still had the necessary hardware to attach it to the bike (my middle son decided to take the horns apart and lost the important pieces - I have yet to find them). Of course, he’s the one who has the most fun honking that thing every few seconds to let people know he’s coming, and it’s really LOUD. Thanks, sis.

Another cool thing about the karts is that they’re red (which means fast, you know)…with big tires. You can even put a flag on them. If you’re really feeling crazy, you could splurge for a wagon to hook up to the back so you can haul other kids, mulch, firewood, your boat, etc. You can actually buy these pedal ‘cars’ where you can seat four people and everyone pedals. They’re awesome. There’s no other word for it, except maybe fabulous.

I’m really glad we bought the go-karts. I couldn’t just sit back and watch our country spiral into a recession without doing something about it. After all, my motto is, "It’s all about others." Actually, it’s kind of neat how many of our neighbors see them and give us big smiles as they drive by or want to try them out themselves. We’re thinking of starting our own gang of go-karters. This could really bring our neighborhood together. We’d start having block parties and hanging out at the stop-sign. We could even have a bake sale!

We could change the world, my friends!

Or we could just enjoy zipping around, with the wind in our hair, on our new, super-cool go-karts.