Booktubing, a Whole New World!

Welcome to Booktubing, a world totally new to me, where people discuss and review books on Youtube!  Despite my lack of a beautiful bookshelf, (I mostly read on Kindle) and a small room as a backdrop, I still flaunt my dog and my James Dean poster in an attempt to promote my two published e-books in a whole new way!

*The aforementioned dog, Bixby, was totally willing by the way…He always supports my writing and book promotion, by waiting for me, napping at my side to keep me company, and being ever eager to take a walk when I need some air!

*Disclaimer: I will not claim that this is the best booktube video, or even a really good one.  However, it perfectly represents my fumbling-in-the-dark approach to charting the new territory of self-publishing.  Because if I just over analyze, nothing gets done….

If you’re interesting in being a part of this or joining the Facebook group that Jay, our fellow blogger at http://ireadencyclopedias.wordpress.com/ started, where you can observe and ask questions before jumping in, go here: http://www.facebook.com/groups/906169289505790/

 

Time Travel, Mom Style #throwback, 2014

 

 

HandMold2IMG_0003   Written June, 2014.  Ready to share~

To my left is a wax mold of my son’s hand, done on his birthday when he was just turning 8, ten years ago.  I touch it, and hold it in my hand.  It is not his hand, yet, exactly the mold of his eight-year-old hand, and it sure takes  me back.  Some souvenirs and items saved are simply an open door to the past, to some wonderful memories a parent would love to revisit.  Are they worth remembering?  You bet!

In ode to all the current movies focused on time travel, such as the latest X-men movie and the latest Tom Cruise movie (I didn’t even remember the name of it, just knew it as the latest Tom Cruise movie with a heavy sci-fi influence and part of his huge pattern, in which he, of course, wins the audience over despite his usual cockiness), which I found out is called “Edge of Tomorrow” when I bought the ticket.  Sorry for the run-on…..it’s just coincidental  that there are so many excellent time travel movies right now, when my son’s high school years have ended and that long-awaited graduation has occurred, and he is spending a summer growing as a human being far away from me.  The passage of time has confounded me.  All of which has prompted me to think back, think forward, just think, of my son and the years that have flown past us.

He is away right now, for the summer or longer, and so,  I have time to do this and do it fondly.  There are no teenage mood swings in the house at the moment.  I have had time to do things I wanted to do for a while but had put off due to concern about getting him places or keeping him fed.  Things like trying hot yoga, doing regular volunteering, and getting out late for dancing one night.

But I still miss him,  I miss the boy he was, the moody teen he has been, and the man he is becoming.  Kids don’t get why we like to keep all these souvenirs of their baby days, their toddler years, their youth.  I think I have learned that we do this because it all flies by so quickly.  So I hold this wax hand replica and trace the details.  The chubby fingers, bigger than mine but shorter, the meaty hand that reminds one of the paws of a puppy that just hasn’t grown into them yet, but is destined to grow much bigger and taller, leaving its puppyhood behind.  I recall those years so well.  He was getting taller, but not really tall for his age, just average.  Yet he’d had a growth spurt and was all legs and skinny arms.  Not much fat on him at all, yet he still had those adorable chubby cheeks.  Some may call that an awkward stage, as it was, but it was so adorable to me!

Funny enough, one of his favorite movies that he loved to watch and rewatch, sometimes countless times in a week or even a day, was Back to the Future, from age 7 to 10.  He loved the concept of time travel and really had an imagination for the same kinds of movies that sparked my interest!  This brings me to my next open door item, found while cleaning up his room to find old un-needed items for a yard sale.  Boy, this takes me back, to a different kid, when we lived in a different house.  I was even a different person then.  It is a once blank journal, which he undertook to fill with chapters and chapters of an amazing, you guessed it, time travel book!  Being a teacher of English whose hobby is writing, you can imagine how this pleased me!  It is titled “The Book’s Been Under the Chair for a Long Time!”  It stars Tom and Huck, who happen to find a time machine and go back to World War II (one of Austen’s favorite eras) and forward to 2007.  He wrote a start date of 2003, going up to 3003.  He even used dialogue, and he gave every chapter a name.  Extra points!  In the front, he wrote:  “Who does this book belong to?”  and wrote my name.  Did he perhaps know I would always want to keep it?  He got up to Chapter 21 (short chapters) and, wouldn’t you know it, the book has now been under something or stashed away in the back of his closet “for a very long time!”  My guess is at age 10 or 11, when puberty started setting in.  And isn’t that how it goes?  We start to consider old hobbies or goals to be childish and no longer useful to us.    We hide them away, in exchange for video games (most boys I know), facebook (these days) , or trips to the mall (that was the young me)….

I don’t know if he would understand how much it meant to me to find this.  I am so proud of him for so many things.  He has quite an interest in conspiracy theories and could write on that topic.  He  excelled in Senior English and probably wrote great things I won’t see.  I am proud of his word skill and where it may take him.  I look back, and I am proud to say it was always there.  I  hope that, upon his return home, whether it be for a temporary or extended amount of time, that he will think back on the memory of this undertaking fondly, and understand how it warms my spirit to look through the pages.   Perhaps it will take him back as well, warming his spirit with glimpses of a child with confidence and hope.  I plan to encourage him to continue the story!

Shared today at “Meet and Greet,” http://dreambigdreamoften.co

Shared on 6/20 at http://acookingpotandtwistedtales.com/2016/06/17/featured-posts-78-share-your-post-links/

Meet and Greet @ Dream Big: 6/18/16

Dream Big, Dream Often

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It’s the Meet and Greet weekend at Dream Big!!

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags.
  4. Feel free to leave your link multiple times!  It is okay to update your link for more exposure every day if you want.  It is up to you!

  5. Share this post on social media.  Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new blogs to follow.

Now that all the rules have been clearly explained get out there and Meet n Greet your tails off!

See ya on Monday!!

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Sunrise On My Street #echoesofmyneighborhood

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Here is the sun, coming up behind the trees on one of my morning walks. I adore that tall palm tree.  My neighbor had it put in, and has since moved away, but I shared the photo on Facebook and thanked her for having planted it.  Imagine the scene without it.  Not at all the same.  Think about that one tree that just illuminates your street.  This one is it.  Without it, you might not know I live in Florida.  Our duplex houses all look similar on my street, with just a little variation.  Our neighborhood is plain, but the greenery and trees make it so rich.  This tree adds personality and character.  It frames the rising sun so splendidly, don’t you think?

This post is in response to Jacqueline Obyikocha’s  Thursday challenge over at  http://acookingpotandtwistedtales.com/   Don’t you just love her name?  I do!  Head over and check out her blog!  I suggest you follow her blog, if you are not already.  I also suggest you take a sunrise walk, if you’re not already doing that.  Of course, it being the height of summer, one has to get up really early to catch it.  I am planning to do this a few times this summer, as it is so renewing and inspirational.  Between my dog’s needs and my son’s early work hours, it should not be too difficult for me!  A glimpse of that sun creeping up into view, whether it be the rays springing forth, or as in this photo, the gradual changing and lightening of the sky’s color, and I am again reminded, Life is good.

Summer Time Promises

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I woke up before 7 this morning.  The trouble is, I was up until 12:00 last night and I was tired.  The bright sunlight was hitting my sensitive eyes, and even though I still saw faces of my dream people from last night, my brain was telling me, “You can’t sleep much longer.”  It’s just as well.  Those dream faces were spooky.  So maybe I don’t need to get thicker drapes after all!  I certainly need to re-adjust my sleep habits.  Lack of sleep can make a person anxious.  I’d much rather wake up calm, feeling well-rested.  As an educator, I get the summer off (Or, I work a fun job for the summer, but not this year).  This leads into my first promise to myself.  I am creating a list of promises that I must keep this summer, since they are all related to my mental and physical health.  Putting them in writing is the first step to making them a reality.  So, here they are:

  1.  Start going to bed earlier.  My son will be getting up early for work anyway, so I might as well.  Plus, if I get up earlier, I can get in on the beauty of morning sunlight!
  2. Witness at least one sunrise this summer.  It could be on a walk with my dog, or an early trip to the beach, very early, that is.
  3. Since I am bothered by the morning light in my eyes, having a bedroom that gets light from the east in the a.m., I won’t write (or edit) as much at that time; I think I’ll get myself on a schedule, and these morning hours would be great for, an outdoor walk with the dog!  Reading on the treadmill at the gym! Reading on the couch! Maybe I’ll watch my X-files reruns or Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix in the other room.  That’s just a few.
  4. Cleaning and organizing around the house.  Because of writing my latest ebook and setting a goal that my pride wouldn’t let me forget, I kind of let a few things go.  It’s time to sweep up again, to say the least!
  5. Yoga, twice a week, or more
  6. Work on the 200 page manuscript I hope to publish in a year
  7. Blog more regularly.  I’d like to contribute to Jacqueline’s Thursday “Around the Neighborhood” photo posts! (She is the blogger behind acookingpotandtwistedtales.com)
  8. Send a short story to a paying publication
  9. Get a little sun, without getting sunburned
  10. Fun!  Hear an awesome live band
  11. That spa day I have been putting off
  12.  Spend social time with some friends I haven’t spent time with in a while
  13. Dance.  Even if just once!

14. Number 14 is pretty ambitious and I may have to let it go if it doesn’t work out.  My 20 year old son does not converse with me much anymore.  I would like to get him to read one of my stories, and/or, get him to perhaps write a story of his own.  He has a way with words, and the imagination, but it has been seriously blocked for a few years.  The other option is to have him help contribute to my manuscript, because I am writing an explosion scene and really want to get it right!  He has read all sorts of military dramas and told me he’d be able to explain it.

15. Let’s not forget:  reading!  I am part of a book club.  I love to read.  Summer is the best time to do this!

16. This follows on the tail of #15, because reading is just about the only thing I do without trying to multi-task.  I want to spend more time giving all of my attention to doing one thing, and doing it well.  Be it writing, promoting my writing, cooking dinner, and talking on the phone (I have to get better about that)!  I will be so much more relaxed if I can follow through on this goal, even if just for the summer.

17.  Get a passport to replace the one that expired years ago.  This is important to my mental health, because it is part of a dream.  I want to travel abroad.  Maybe this one little step will motivate me to work and save for it.  It most certainly is a practice in optimism!

Is that all?  Well, I am sure something else will be added, but I have to make sure I meet all of these first!

The Book Trailer Journey! #selfpublishing #newrelease

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“Seeing Through Sampson’s Eyes,” sci-fi

My second Kindle ebook is now live for download at Amazon! http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GNNCHHQ  Downloadable for 2.99, or free in Kindle Unlimited!  I feel like it is more action-packed and suspenseful than the first.  This is less romance, and more coming of age, sci-fi, in a technologically advanced future, though it is somewhat of a sequel to my first book.   A twenty year old searches for her identity.  And flirts with danger.  (Didn’t we all)?  Here, I am documenting my humorous, albeit frustrating journey to get a book trailer out on social media beforehand to promote it….

6/06: 7:48 a.m. Facebook post:  Finished a cool book trailer video for my sequel, and my laptop ate it….or maybe The Cloud ate it? It’s gone. Next time, I’ll feed it cookies first. ‪#‎backtostepone‬ ‪#‎learnbytrialanderror‬

Evening of 6/06, Inner monologue:  Okay, I have the bare bones outline still saved from 5 days ago.  I’ll just add to that.  Have to change Dr. Parington’s photo.  Add my book cover at the start and end of the video.  Edit captions, make font bigger.  Add music.  Slow down 3rd and 5th frames.  Add Amazon link (Now live) for the Kindle book.  Save.  Double check saving. (Can’t lose again, please, not again.)  This music is perfect.  Now, upload to Youtube.  Why is the little red-haired girl the main visual (thumbnail, that’s what they call it)? She’s too cute.  This video conveys suspense.  Oh, I can change the thumbnail.  (Sees only two other options, neither are any more representative of the tone I want to communicate.  Uggg!)  Okay, I’ll abandon the idea of changing the thumbnail.  Maybe I’ll figure that out someday.

*Saves again.  Crashes, way past bedtime.*

6/07: 8:01 a.m. So, I need to use some wording that conveys that this is not a cutesie little story,  despite the thumbnail, but rather, that it is more suspenseful and intense.  Got it.

Facebook post:  “Book trailer finished! The cute redhead will now lead you through the rabbit hole: ‪#‎KindleEbooks‬ ‪#‎Newrelease‬ ‪#‎indiewriter‬ ‪#‎scifi‬ https://youtu.be/PQuKD6LUZGY  This is a sequel, but could be read alone.  Thank you for watching!”   *I think I better hurry and log off so I can get to work!*

After all that trouble,  I’ve had many compliments on my book trailer!  All because I did not give up.  And I won’t.  Ever.

It was referred to as “intense” and “the best I’ve seen.”  Now it has been viewed 43 times.  This is one way to spread the word about my book!  Now, please, go watch the trailer! http://youtu.be/PQuKD6LUZGY     And maybe, just maybe, download and read the book!

*Photo courtesy of canva.comUntitled design(16)

The Smell of Summer, a.k.a, Hanging with Mom

Inspired by writerswrite.com prompt, “Write about the smell of summer.”

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1989.  In Vicky and Luverne’s tree, MN.

I’ve been wanting to write about my mom lately, anyway; she’s been having a reawakening of sorts, so this prompt fits right in!  My answer to the smell of summer would be, sunscreen.  The smell has always made me feel beautiful and relaxed, maybe because it signifies a relaxing day at the beach and the slight sunny glow that results (no burn, please).  Well, lately, my mom has smelled of sunscreen quite often!  This in itself makes her seem 20 years younger.  She used to wear perfume a lot, and being allergic, I always asked her to tone it down.  I do not associate the smell of perfume with youth; scented lotion is much better.  But now, she more often smells of sunscreen than not.  It is all part of her new goal of being active and getting OUT.

My 75 year old mother should give lessons on how to stay young.  Besides working part-time in a grocery store, she has been going to a Senior Center for a couple years now, and made several friends.  She usually goes to their exercise classes.  I’ve accompanied her once or twice, and I would say, they are really exercising, and it’s sort of fun.  They go to coffee afterwards, and they are a delightful bunch.  One of them is writing a book, like I am, and another loves to read everything, even Fifty Shades of Gray. (She’s 80, by the way).  I believe this group of friends is part of what keeps my mom young and active.  But that’s not all…

She started chatting with our neighbor, longer than necessary.  Yep, I’m sure other neighbors are looking and thinking, something’s going on there.  Well, he’s not yet 60, somewhere in his 50s.  But who cares, it’s just talking, right?  Well, it is, isn’t it?  I told her not to get drunk around him; I think she has already broken that rule.  Well, yeah, she drinks socially now, more than before, but I’m not here to judge.  In fact, she had two-for- one margaritas when we went out for Mexican the other night, and got really silly.  Heaven forbid I tell her what to do, but I did suggest she slow down and drink more water. (She didn’t).  My son spoke up and said he’d drive her car home.  Bless his soul.  I got past the urge to set limits for her, when I came home one day and they were outside the garage, standing there, chatting, shooting the breeze.  I should explain, I live with her; we bought a house 8 yrs. ago, and my now 20 year old son lives there, too.  So, on this particular day, I drove into the driveway, and said, “Hey, kids!”  Well, that’s just what they looked like!  As if they sneaked out to see other, young love in the works.  They both laughed and Mom loved the role reversal.  So I’ve decided to let her have her moments.  If this makes her feel good, it is not my place to limit what she is doing or judge it.

He bikes a lot, and eventually they went biking together, for a 6 mile ride.  She has since become quite regular with it, and if he’s working or busy, she goes by herself, for 6 to 9 miles.  So evidently, the new habit is sticking, and she won’t be relying on him to go bike riding with her.  She seems determined to seek out her own happiness and not depend on any man for it.  I say, Go Girl!  Last week, she bought a new bike.  I don’t think she needed it, but it sure is a sweet ride and seems very comfortable.  Sometimes she is up before me in the morning, and gets out riding her bike before I have even showered.  With the advent of summer and the heat, she started wearing sunscreen.  One night I noticed the sunscreen smell and realized it was her. The scent of the beach came to mind, relaxation, sunshine, and lazy waves.  But most of all, a feeling of youth.

The photo above is of me and my mother, in 1989.  We’d climbed a tree on my Aunt and Uncle’s farm in Minnesota.  She said she did it just to prove she could.  What a happy memory.  She and I laughed about it the other day, because she couldn’t get back down!  (I think someone had to help her).  But this is one thing that keeps my mother young, and I hope it has rubbed off on me.  She doesn’t exclude herself from anything because of her age.  Sure, we had a good laugh about the tree, but she did prove that she could get up there, so who cares about getting down!  She still has a youthful attitude towards throwing caution to the wind.  And a somewhat innocent belief that things will turn out just fine.  That was a wonderful summer memory.  I don’t see it as the past, either, it is just another example of how my mother has lived, and still does, live her life with an attitude that keeps her young.  So the smell of sunscreen is still something I associate with beauty, relaxation, and youth.  And now I often detect it on my mother:  the smell of summer.