Free downloads: Narnia quotes

narnia-centaurs

Something about breakfasts…

I’ve been reading the Lord of the Rings and the Narnia books to my kids over the last year or so, and I’ve noticed a theme.

First of all, I’m a big fan of the hobbit idea of “second breakfast”.

And then for some reason, the two Narnia memes I’ve made center around breakfast.

Coincidence? Or conspiracy? You decide.

narnia-the-horse-and-his-boy-quote

And meanwhile, if you’re a fan of the books, enjoy the quotes and share them with your friends!

(And go make that omelette you’re suddenly craving!)

Answering the question “What is speculative fiction?”

whatisspecfic.com

New website launched

Hey, friends! My latest finished project is a simple website designed to answer the question, “What is speculative fiction?” 

Whenever I talk about the movies I like or the stories I write, I use this term “speculative fiction” and many people give me a blank look.

Has this ever happened to you?

If it has, you know what comes next.

Next we have to explain that it’s an umbrella term for all the genres of fiction that include fantastical, supernatural or futuristic elements — genres like science fiction, fantasy, dystopian and post-apocalyptic, steampunk and cyberpunk, paranormal and urban fantasy and more.

My goal is to raise awareness for this umbrella genre term and bring it more into the mainstream vocabulary. This site is very basic: it provides the definition of “speculative fiction”, it contains a few links to examples and resources, and above all, it offers a few shareable graphics that people can use to join the spec fic awareness movement.

What you can do to help:

Go to whatisspecfic.com and download a free badge (if you are a spec fic author, reader or fan, there’s a badge for you!) and post it on your blog. Share the “What is speculative fiction?” graphics on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media sites.

Got a better idea?

If there’s something you think I could do better, or if you have an idea for a shareable graphic to spread the word, drop a comment below. The more, the merrier!

Procrastination meme

How noble and necessary distractions appear when you're procrastinating. Don't be fooled.

I’ve started creating shareable graphic memes when I have the time. Feel free to share on your favorite social media and help knock some sense into fellow procrastinators. (Kidding. No knocking. Have mercy, friends.)

Dogfights Outside My Window

Hummingbird flying up to feeder

Hummingbird at feeder Hummingbird lookout Hummingbird feeding

There were dogfights in the air outside my window this morning.

Apparently, hanging out a hummingbird feeder is the catalyst for war. Hummingbird war.

#bestintentions #unintendedconsequences

Your Turn

Have you ever done something nice that caused a stir? Chime in below!

The Liebster Award

Liebster award

Fellow blogger and writer Bethany Jennings tagged me for this fun “award”. Thanks for thinking of me, Bethany. She has some fascinating book concepts — you can check out the blurbs about her works in progress on her website.

Bethany shared this about the Liebster Award:

“A Liebster is a ‘pay it forward’ sort of blogging chain mail. Liebster is German for some lovely traits such as endearing, welcoming, and valued. Those are kind compliments to pay via this nomination! It is also to encourage readers to discover new blogs.”

Here are the rules I need to share:

– Answer the 11 interview questions
– In that post, link back to the person who awarded you.
– Choose 11 other bloggers to award, focusing on those with 200 followers or below.
– Link to those bloggers in your post, then go and leave them comments to share the good news!
– Be sure to ask them 11 original questions.

So, here are the 11 questions Bethany asked me and her other nominees!  At the bottom I’ll tag some bloggers and ask them 11 questions of my own.

The Questions

What is your favorite blog post you’ve ever written?

I don’t have a favorite. I do enjoy going back to see samples of my photo-editing work. Even though I was the one doing it, it still looks like magic to me.

photo-editing-gia-facebook

What makes your heart sing about your current WIP or creative endeavor?

It’s a story that never gets old for me, how a divine prince finds his true love in a young woman who committed murder and is being shipped out of the kingdom, banished for life. He leaves behind his status, his superpowers, and his kingdom to go after her. Along the way he finds a young man from her village who loves her so much that he also is leaving the safety of the kingdom for her sake. What will happen to these three — the broken girl, the devoted would-be boyfriend and the prince who gave up everything?

Stories of love and loyalty in the face of hardship always get me.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

The answer to this question hasn’t changed since I came up with it as a kid. The ability to change my size — as giant as I like or as tiny as a microscopic cell. This power would translate into so many things: strength, speed (if you’re big enough, you can take one long step over the Atlantic, right?), invisibility (get small enough and no one can see you), etc.

Where’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to, and why?

Hard to choose. I like so many places. The Northern California coast is probably my favorite, though. And let’s say Prairie Creek Redwoods specifically. Fern Canyon is amazing.

Fern Canyon, California

Speaking of travel, what’s your favorite mode of transportation?

Walking. It’s so relaxing and you have time to take everything in and people-watch. But driving is nice, too, because long road trips lend themselves to either great conversation or great brainstorming of stories.

What is your ideal dinner/supper?

Tacos!

What was the first story you ever wrote?

I don’t remember. I started pretty young. There was one called “The Cygnet” about a baby swan. I’m especially fond of my early attempt at crossover fan fiction in 6th grade: “Indiana Jones in Narnia”.

indiana-jones-meets-aslan-narnia

Do you like poetry? If so, what kind?

All kinds. Free verse can be great, but I like forms, too. Sonnets and haiku and all that. I don’t often go out of my way for it these days, but I like it.

Tell me about a treasured childhood memory.

Summers at a ranch in Napa. The orchards had so many kinds of fruit: cherries, tangerines, oranges, pears, blackberries. There were lizards to catch and long grass to hide in. A creek with clay in the banks so you could line the sand and make water channels and pools that didn’t sink into the sand and disappear. There was a circular driveway, so I would get a bag of cherries and ride my bike around that circle with no hands (because my hands were busy with the cherries). I was about 10-11 years old and it was wonderful!

Now tell me about a moment in your life that changed you forever.

I have these moments daily. I am changing continually (hopefully for the better), and although there might be some moments that make bigger shifts than others, I value the many, many little moments where my choices are taking me where I want to go. Yes, the moment I met my husband was a forever-change, but so was choosing to marry him. So was choosing to stay with him when other options presented themselves. So was having my first child. And my second. So was recognizing God was really interested in me, personally, and choosing to give Him my allegiance.

Every day I believe we make choices that affect our eternity. (The song below reminds me that no matter where I’m at, I can make a turn and go in a different direction. All it takes is one choice in one moment. And course corrections can happen as often as needed. Plus, it’s fun to dance to.)

If you could become an expert in anything overnight, what would you choose?

That’s a tough one, too. Either playing the piano–no, the guitar (because it’s more portable)–or speaking another language. But I don’t know which language.

So let’s stick with the guitar. Here’s a picture of me not knowing how to play the guitar:

teddi-with-guitar

The 11 Nominees & My 11 Questions

Joseph Brassey
Grace Bridges
Kat Heckenbach
Rachael K. Jones (I’m a new fan of her short fiction!)
Rob Kroese
Stant Litore
Mirtika
Melissa F. Olson
Lori Stanley Roeleveld
Kory M. Shrum
Andrew Winch

If you’ve been tagged above, here are the 11 all new, original questions I have for you to answer if you choose to participate in this Liebster Award posting party.

When did you know that you were really a writer?

What would it take for you to quit writing?

Favorite music for writing? 

Favorite music for working out or waking up or partying (whichever of those three you do the most)?

What things in life make you feel most alive?

What is the deepest relationship you’ve had with a fictional character (yours or another author’s)?

Whose fiction did you enjoy the most growing up?

What new author (first published in the past 5 years) do you admire the most, and why?

If you could gather a dream team for life or business, what kind of people would you surround yourself with?

What do you secretly wish would happen to you someday?

Tell us about a tender moment with a family member.

Thanks again, Bethany, for tagging me. And thanks to everyone I am tagging for being who you are and enriching my life with your fiction and/or your presence. Let’s continue to make the world a better place — together!

Story Release: The Author Collector

tac-cover_800h

I suppose most people would announce the release of an ebook on the day it actually came out, but I’ve never been one for following the crowd. Given that my marketing plan as an indie author involves writing a lot more before I focus on promoting my work, the release of my first story was really rather anti-climactic, anyway. More of a fun project for kicks than a serious attempt at world domination. Like sticking my toe into the giant pool of publishing.

That said, I felt like talking about my story today, so here I am.

So is it a book or what?

You may notice that I’ve been saying “story” and not “book” or “novel”. That’s because the story clocks in at about 17,000 words — just short of novella length and nowhere near the length of a full novel.

The Author Collector was a fun story to write. This story is more along the lines of Ray Bradbury’s or Arthur C. Clarke’s collections of shorter works. It’s long for a “short story” but just about right to read in one sitting if you have a couple of hours. It is only available in ebook format at the moment. It’s free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

The story blurb (“back cover copy”, as it were)

Over 100 years in the future, authors still face the same struggles. Two years after his son is born, Andy Kingston gives up his writing dream and takes drastic action to support his family: he lies to his wife and arranges an interview for a government job. When he is kidnapped and then held in a baffling prison environment, he’ll do anything and everything to escape and return home. But Andy will face choices no man — and no author — should ever have to make.
A psychological thriller set in a dystopian future, this story is for readers and authors alike. If you have ever loved books, loved writing or loved your family, it will prompt the question: What would you do if the Author Collector took you?

More to come…

I’ve got some fun background info to share about the birth of the idea, the writing of the story, the development of the cover and the process of putting it out with Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) program. There may even be some hints about a sequel or longer version of the story, since there are some things that happen to Andy after the story ends that I’d love to explore some day. That will be coming up in future posts!