If you know anything about me, you know school has never been a priority in my life. Writing was always my passion, and that always took a higher priority in my book. This past January, after endless months of badgering me, my branch manager finally said the one thing to make me change my mind about pursuing my Bachelor's and Master's in Library Science. She said, "Do you know what would be a really good platform for a Young Adult Author? Being a Youth Services Librarian." And that was the moment everything changed for me. Now I'm pursuing my education with a vigor I have never encountered before. The only class in college in which I longed to go to was Novel Writing. While I really enjoyed classes, only Novel Writing gave me that super strong desire to do the absolute best in my class. I don't want to just pass my classes, but I want to do my absolute best in college now. I'm a junior at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, and I'm taking nine units while I'm working full time, and writing... Needless to say, I spend a lot of time at work and "in school" (sitting at the kitchen table which is set up as my desk with my laptop with my music blasting...) I almost want to laugh at my younger self, who would be so confused by my desire for school.
Tonight I logged onto my D2L (Desire to Learn) account and saw that two of my three classes were online and ready for me to begin. I eagerly clicked onto my Arthurian Legends and Intro to Librarianship courses to see what they had to offer. I printed my syllabus for each class, marked the reading I have to get done, and looked over my weekly assignments. Tomorrow I'm going to write down all of my due dates for my assignments, read what I need to, and access my final class. My school year officially begins, well technically today, but in several hours. I cannot wait to learn everything these classes have to offer, and eventually get my Bachelors and then Masters in Library Science! Here's to becoming a Youth Services Librarian and Young Adult Author!
From today until August 5, my first Mysterious Warriors book, Unity, is FREE on Kindle. If you don't have a Kindle, you can download the free app on your smartphone or computer!
Lunette, the People’s Warrior, has come to Whitehaven. Now she’s working with Bonfire, a hot-headed hero who’s more likely to hurt than help the people he’s protecting. Lunette and Bonfire along with Strike, a woman with powers and a mystery of her own, Cabaya, a strong archer, and Marryn, an axe-wielding woman in love, must learn to work together and trust one another to protect Whitehaven against the criminal organization of the Xanites.
Princess Rachel Colville of Zorba’s Reach is a prim and proper princess who follows orders, even if she’s being forced to marry Prince Gary Naxison of Ada’s Circle. Rachel, along with her sister and her maid, travels to Ada’s Circle to meet her betrothed. Now Rachel has two years to fall in love with Gary, the betrothed she has nothing in common with, but will Prince Rodger, the younger twin brother who seeks her affection, be the one to catch her heart?
Click on the cover below to get your FREE Kindle copy of Mysterious Warriors: Unity!
I'm speaking at the Alpine Library this Saturday about my Mysterious Warriors series and what life was like as a teen who wanted to be a published author!
A few months ago I made the decision to go back to college to pursue a bachelor's and get a master's in Library Science so I can become a Youth Services Librarian. I applied to Clarion University of Pennsylvania, where my Branch Manager went. I was accepted, and I will be getting a BS in Liberal Studies with a Concentration in Library Science and a Minor in Creative Writing. Then I'll get my MLS. I look forward to this incredible new journey, and I am so pleased to have this amazing opportunity! I will be working full-time as a Library Technician, writing part-time, and taking three online classes a semester. I have been rethinking some of my writing goals, since I don't want to fail my classes. I will still be releasing two books a year for the next two years (those four books will be written -at least first drafts- before I begin classes this August). We'll see how many I put out a year after 2016. My plan is two keep releasing two books a year until Mysterious Warriors Quartet is finished (Alone will be released November 2015, and Redemption will be released November 2016). I will finish the seven books of the Prophecy Series, and I may not begin the next quartet in the world of Erde until after the Prophecy Series is finished. We'll see what happens, but I may do that. I have several short stories planned for the Prophecy Series. Perhaps those will be released instead of more Erde books. (The next quartet is currently called Pirates and War).
Child of Prophecy, Third Edition, will be available January 17, 2015! Reserve your Kindle e-book now at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00S71WLO2!
Craig Kender: Family killed by Queen Filia Barnette
Lance Harland: Forced to abandon his daughter while on the run from Queen Filia Barnette
Frank Miller: Watched parents burned alive, beaten and left for dead, tortured by Queen Filia Barnette’s soldiers
Jack Brown: Wife gang-raped and killed, tortured by Queen Filia Barnette’s soldiers
Harold Firmin: Disowned by family because he spoke against Queen Filia Barnette
Nabil Coburn: Orphaned at age seven because of Queen Filia Barnette’s soldiers
Sara Harland: Watched her granddad died, abandoned by her mother because of Queen Filia Barnette’s soldiers
Ramon Dedrick: Founded Amber, a large cavern with a city hidden inside, and began a rebellion…
Queen Filia’s reign of terror has brought about the rebellion in Amber, and the rebels are tired of waiting for some prophecy to come to pass. They are ready to take the fight in their own hands.
Craig Kender has raised Sara Harland since her mother, Ana, abandoned her. Resentful and angry, Craig is taken off guard when he meets the beautiful woman who is Sara's secretive mother.
As Craig and Ana begin to fall in love, things get complicated when Craig is captured by Queen Filia's men and given to Princess Dianastace Barnette as a companion.
Today, Thanksgiving 2014, also marks my parents' 38th wedding anniversary. I am so thankful to have been born their daughter. I am so thankful they raised me in a true Christian household, and I am thankful I've known God my whole life. I'm thankful for my amazing job as a Library Technician at the Lemon Grove library. I'm so thankful for my best friend, Janelle, and her new family. I am thankful for my amazing sister, her husband, and my wonderful niece and nephew. I am thankful for my harsh and loving brother who is my editor. I am thankful God brought me into Lisa Shapiro's Novel Writing class for four semesters and the people I met through her. I am thankful God brought Adam Hanson into my life, and I am so thankful for all the people I've met because of my husband. I am thankful to be volunteering at Vista Grande Community Church, and I am thankful for my step-mother-in-law, Nancee Hanson, for continually telling me about the San Diego Christian Writers' Guild until I finally joined. I am thankful for all the experiences I've been through to bring me where I am today. I am thankful for being friends with Nathan Stone and all the fun, imaginative creations we made together. I am thankful for working at Costco and meeting such wonderful people as Juan Guiterrez, Megan Webster, Vance King, Sarah Brown, and so many others who have given me tons of support, ideas, creativity, and help. I am thankful for the beauty of the world that God has made for us. I am thankful for hope, freedom, and all of the opportunities I have as an American. I am thankful for every breath I have, and I am thankful for all the people in my life. I am thankful for God's timing, and I am thankful for everything He has provided me. Thank you to everyone in my life for being such a great part of it!
A few weeks ago I met a woman named Nancy Becker at a birthday party. She and her husband were two of the craziest, coolest Christians I've ever met, and she was super excited to hear about my God-given passion to write, and how I was nine when I first felt that passion. She invited me to speak to the students in her children's ministry, and today I got that privilege.
The children's room Nancy had step up for the kids was unlike any I've ever seen, with art on the walls, child-drawn angels on the ceiling, a cross for the kids to nail their troubles to, a tree of thanksgiving with leaves of what the kids were thankful for, mountains of places people grow up to join, and so much more.
I was nervous, and I'd been praying all morning. As Adam and I drove to their church, we listened to "Write Your Story" by Francesca Battistelli over and over again the entire ride there. I felt peace just being in that children's room, and I'd been asking God to give me wisdom and the right words to say.
The two most important, and God-given, points I spoke were about going through your passion, the gift God's given to you, through His path, not your own. I went on MY path for a long time, and it took a lot of guilt, sin, and depression to realize I wasn't on HIS path. Once my parents and I took the journey together, once we were all on God's path for my life, He totally blessed me.
The other point was that even if you know God's given you a gift, a passion, a purpose, you have to produce it through God's time, His will, and His path. If you use your purpose to justify your sinful actions, as I did, then there will be no fruit. God's incredible, but His work cannot come from sin. I remember justifying quitting school and lying to everyone because in the long run, I was doing it to glorify God through my writing. (Such an idiot!) How can something pure come from something dirty?
God is incredible, faithful, and He will use your experiences ultimately for Him.
Thank you God for providing me with incredible, forgiving, loving parents. Thank you for being faithful to the passion you've put in me, and thank you for providing me with purpose and means to bring that purpose to light. You've brought so many people into my life. I don't believe in coincidences, but I believe in God-things. Lord, you are awesome! Amen.
When I was in fourth grade, I went through one of the hardest years in my life. Almost all of my friends stopped being friends with me, and I was teased and made fun of. One of the few things I remember about that year (Thank God, I don't have many memories of fourth and fifth grade), is that when I was in reading group, I would struggle when I read aloud. This was something which would continually follow me through school. I could read just fine, and I read a lot. However, when I read out loud, I stumbled over and mispronounced tons of words. I came to hate reading aloud, and it was like torture. When I was in sixth grade, I helped in the school library with two of my friends. We had three tasks we would do when we helped: check books in/out, shelve, and read a story to the kids who came in with their class. There were three of us helping, and we would rotate the tasks each day. I hated reading to the kids, even if I was just reading picture books. So my friend Britney and I switched our tasks on the day I would read. She read twice, and I checked books in/out twice. It was a perfect arrangement, and I was thrilled that I didn't have to read out loud.
This fear stayed with me through high school (especially hated reading Shakespeare out loud in class!). I got reading glasses when I started college, and even though it was easier to read, the fear of reading out loud was already built up. I didn't want to tear that wall down because I was unsure what it would be like.
Now, many, many years since I was in fourth grade, I work as a full time Library Technician. I never thought I would do storytimes, and I had no real desire to. I've been working with teens and kids in an after school program since the middle of February, and at the beginning of June, our Youth Servies Librarian left our branch. I was assigned Bilingual Storytime, which was pretty funny because I don't speak/read Spanish. However, I took the challenge, and I planned out a Bilingual storytime in which I could incorporate Spanish and English. Now we sing songs in Spanish, say the alphabet and numbers 1-10 in English and Spanish, read books in English (and a little Spanish), and say our colors in English and Spanish.
Today was my first day doing another storytime: Family Storytime. I was so nervous, even though I've been doing Bilingual for about five weeks. I couldn't believe how much I enjoy doing storytimes. I get to dance around with kids (which I'm used to doing with my three-year-old niece), and now I'm reading stories to kids as well.
Something which I spent so much of my life afraid of, I am now doing twice a week. I've learned that even if I mess something up while reading out loud, I just need to keep going and not worry/obsess about it. That's a great thing about little kids: they don't judge you for saying the wrong word or a word wrong.
Last year I participated in Nanowrimo in November. Basically, November is National Novel Writing month, and Nanowrimo gives authors a goal to write 50,000 words in a month. There are many local and national events to help writers meet their goals. One of such events is the night of Writing Dangerously. It's a Write-A-Thon in San Francisco in the Julia Morgan Ballroom, which is beautiful, for about seven hours. Writers from all over come here to network, eat, and, of course, write. Last year my friend Marisa and I took a three-day trip to San Francisco and had an incredible time! We were both so inspired by the experience that we want this to be a yearly occurrence.
To participate in the Write-A-Thon, one must raise $275 before one can RSVP. I would love to raise more than the entrance amount since the money raised goes to help children and adults get the encouragement, structure, and inspiration they need to achieve their creative potential. Proceeds from the event will fund National Novel Writing Month's free creative writing programs in hundreds of schools and communities around the world.
As someone who's wanted to be an author since I was nine, and someone who never had much structure or teaching about writing until I was 22 and in Lisa Shapiro's Novel Writing class, this means a lot to me. I'm grateful to everyone in my life, and I want what I now have to be open to others in all walks of their life.
Thank you everyone for your support, love, encouragement, critique, questions, interest, and kindness.
This is my webpage where you can donate to help me in this Write-A-Thon: http://www.stayclassy.org/fundraise?fcid=328019
Thank you, and God bless!
Adventurer. Aunt. Born Again Christian. Daughter. Friend. Geek. Sister. Wife. Writer. Youth Leader.