The past two months have been filled with family, adventure, and writing. Lots and lots of writing! In June alone, I wrote fifty thousand words on my project, which is just over Corroded’s final published word count.
The first two weeks of July provided a road trip to the Poconos, where I was able to write almost daily for ten days (to the sound of water instead of music–a first), and brought home twenty-five thousand more words.
And thanks to my big sister, the neighbors, and the location, the kids were entertained, watched over, and all of us well feed.
Now I’m back and settled into the typical routines of life. Comfortable, with just the right amount of unexpected happenings to keep things from going stale. More soon, most likely via my newsletter, complete with tidbits on my writing project and what I’m reading. Sign-up now if you haven’t already.
Christmas cheer goes a long way, especially when unpacking from a trip the day before Christmas. While off on a magical vacation this past week I received equally exciting news: Fortitude is an official nominee for the Whitney Awards!
Finalists will be announced in February, so if there is any more Whitney Awards news to share, that’s the next time it will happen.
Keep in mind the paperback edition of Fortitude will be released in eleven days. I know some of you have been holding out for a print copy–thank you for your patience. Once you’ve read it (either digital or print), please leave a short review online where you purchased it or at a book review site. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads are the most viewed locations but any place is great. Reviews go a long way, and even just one sentence is wonderful. Word of mouth goes a long way, too. Please recommend it to your book-loving friends and family.
Happy Christmas to all!
P.S. In case you missed it, here’s a link to the complete listing of all the stops on Fortitude‘s blog tour over the past two weeks. Lots of insight and tidbit about the book and why/how I wrote it.
2015 has been an exciting year for me and it’s becoming more so by the week. First, after waiting over two decades, I experienced my favorite band in concert (front row, center!) in the spring.
Then I visited the largest home in America late summer. https://carriedalby.com/2015/09/01/adventure-ahead/
But the year isn’t done with me yet. 2015 will afford the experience of my third bucket list item: the publishing of my first book.
Yes, the release date for Fortitude (Surge imprint, Anaiah Press) has been moved from January 2016 to December 8, 2015. Thirty-four days to go! I’ll be posting more about this historical novel in the days ahead.
Also, last month Europe (favorite band, as linked above) announced the second half of their U.S.A. tour to promote their newest album “War of Kings” and they are coming to one of my favorite venues on the Gulf Coast. I bought my tickets and will be seeing them for the second time in less than a year in 93 days!
One of the best years ever! How are things looking from your perspective?
At the beginning of August, I took a trip with a comrade (both in homeschooling and writing) to North Carolina. Thanks to a visit from Santa in 2014, we had V.I.P. seats for The Piano Guys concert, and enjoyed two nights in downtown Raleigh.
As many concerts as I’ve attended over the years, this was my first V.I.P. experience. Great, third row seats, as well as a meet-and-greet afterwards. So much fun! Thanks, girlie!
Then, on the way back south (well, home to the DEEP south), we stopped in one of my bucket list locations—Biltmore Estate.
Yes, for those keeping track, this is my second “Bucket List” check-off this year, and both involved traveling.
As if that adventure wasn’t enough, I’m soon to be off on another. Information on that in the days ahead.
While visiting with family a few weeks ago, I was blessed to experience several days of spring in the Midwest. I’ve been to central Illinois in the summer and winter, but this was our first trip this time of year. Many of the trees that were in full-bloom in the deep-south over a month ago were in their glory up north.
Farmers and gardeners down south have their crops in the ground, but the Amish farmers were beginning to plow their fields—with horse power, of course.
Trees that are fully green at home are just coming into their foliage there.
Beauty can be found wherever you look.
And so can corrosion.
When possible, take time to visit new places. If that’s not an option, try viewing your regular piece of the world through new eyes. What details have you never noticed before?
My number one bucket list item is officially checked off: I attended my first Europe concert this past weekend. It only took twenty-five years and nearly a thousand miles of driving, but people have always told me I’m patient.
Photo by my husband.
Yes, Europe is in America, at least for a few more days. My family and I made a road trip to the in-laws in Illinois (post about that soon) and after a few days of visiting, my husband and I left the kids with the grandparents and drove two and a half hours over to Indianapolis to catch Europe’s show at The Vogue. The venue’s neighborhood is an awesome mix of restaurants, local shops, and good vibes along the river—a great place to walk around and people watch.
We got there early and I had fun talking (well, mostly listening) to the other diehard fans that were lined up. Listening to the stories of the blue collar Mid-west rock fans was great, and there was even a guy from down under in the group. The experience reminded me that I need to get out of my usual circle of book nerds, homeschooling moms, and church friends and expose myself to a wider variety of people more often. It’s good for the soul.
And so was the music!
Being third in line landed me a center stage spot when the doors opened. Before hand, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to be stage right, near John Norum and his guitar skills, or stage left, next to the bass (John Levén) and keys (Mic Michaeli), but since the stage was small, I opted for center. That put me first row, in front of Ian Haugland’s drum kit and Joey Tempest’s microphone, when he wasn’t moving around with it.
Plus, I was in the middle of the vertically challenged. But when you wait twenty-five years to see your favorite band in concert, you don’t feel bad about blocking people’s view. The show was fabulous! I’ve never gotten front row before, so that was a bonus, but I also got my first guitar pick—the leader singer/guitarist pressed into right into my hand. Thanks, Joey!
Seventeen song set list.
People need to put down their phones and watch concerts live, not through a screen. (I took less than two dozen pictures during the whole show–too busy enjoying the moment.)
Vacations are great. They’re so nice, sometimes I need a break from real life after a vacation—the old “I need a vacation to recuperate from my vacation” situation. That’s about what happened, but now I’m here, and this week marks my first full one back in the old routine.
Boring, you might think, but it’s not so. Structure is a good thing in my house, as highly sought after as a trip to “The most magical place on earth.” When living with autism, there needs to be a sense of balance in day-to-day life. My oldest son loves his wall calendar. He needs to know when to expect certain activities and send reinforcements if the month doesn’t have a “Play Date” listed at least once. Our schedule might not be as hectic as yours, but both he and I need to know where we’re going in the days ahead, even if it’s just a “work” and “play” day at home.
Where does all this talk lead me? To the realization that even though I didn’t finish the first draft of my current work-in-progress, THE UNRAVELING THREADS OF KYNDRA FIELDS, before leaving on vacation like I wanted to, I will finish by the end of this month. That might be a big leap for some, but hang in there. When (not if) I complete this draft, it will be my quickest completion to date. Granted it will also be my shortest manuscript, but taking a full story from idea to finished first draft in six months is amazing for this writer.
More on this forth coming miracle in the next two weeks, for now, let’s savor in the vacation memories.
Where have you gone lately?