Tag Archives: books

Dwelling In Heaven and Earth Cover Reveal

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It is an exciting day! Today I get to share the first glimpse into the second book in the Heaven and Earth series. GK Sihat was kind enough to host the cover reveal for Dwelling in Heaven and Earth, due for release in July, 2017. Head on over to her website and check it out!2010-01-ce_dragon-860x487

It’s Live!

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I’m super excited to announce that the pre-sale link to the e-version of my first book is now live.

Be one of the first to ORDER More Things In Heaven and Earth.

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“The veil is coming down. What will be revealed about you?”

Simone Fitzgerald battles for a normal life against voices no one else hears. She seems to be succeeding, until an angel appears, asking her to embrace the voices as a gift and stand as The Prophet.

When demons mobilize the beings of legend against mankind, Divine Wrath burns hot against creation. Simone must find the strength to embrace The Light and bring peace to the universe, but she may be crushed under the weight of the burden she’s been asked to bear.

Follow an epic journey that takes the earth you know through a time when fairy tale creatures rule and into realms undreamed of.

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow LazyHippieMama onTwitter or Facebook to get all the updates.

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!

Want to REALLY know what my busy typing fingers have been working on lately? Visit my author page for oodles of short stories and all the latest info on the Heaven And Earth Series!

The World Needs Your Novel – Tips To Survive NaNoWriMo 2015

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Yes, there is Thanksgiving and my birthday (feel free to send cash and gifts), but November has become my most dreaded favorite frightening exhilarating exhausting longed-for month of the year for a whole other reason. November is National Novel Writing Month, affectionately referred to by lunatics everywhere as NaNoWriMo, or simply Nano.

If you truly commit to it, Nano will change you. It will show you that you are capable of more than you ever dreamed. It will stretch your imagination and test your limits. It will lead you into fabulous uncharted waters of creativity and it will wrap you in community.

It is hard.

It is wonderful.

If you even think you might have a story that needs to be told (and, trust me, you do) you need to participate in Nano.

Here’s the gist: You have the month of November to write a novel of 50,000+ words. If you hit 50k, you win. 

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There are prizes – mostly in the form of discounts and assistance for moving forward in editing and publishing what you wrote.

Really, it’s not about that.

You have a story (or several) in you that no one else in the history of the human race can tell. It might be a fable or a romance or an epic space opera. It’s your story. If you don’t tell it, it will die with you and be lost forever.

This year will be my third year with Nano. My first and second projects got merged in editing and that book will be released by Nuff Said Publishing in September, 2016. This year I’m planning to write the sequel. There will be kissing and brown eyed vampires. I’m pretty excited about it.  I’ll share my Nano info in a bit so we can travel this road together but, for now, I’d like to share a few things I’ve learned in the past couple of years.

Take my advice with a grain of salt. My best friend is on the verge of publishing her third book (Click here to learn about all three. They are awesome). She doesn’t really follow any of my “rules.” Writing is a creative process. No two people do it exactly the same. Stephen King and Dean Koontz are both wildly successful authors. They’ve both offered advice to writers. Their advice conflicts at pretty much every point.

That said, I hope this helps you on your journey:

#1 – First and foremost: The Most Important Rule. The mother of them all. The Big Daddy…

Don’t edit.

Start writing and run for the end. If you change character names in the middle, or your world starts as an ice world and then you decide it’s a jungle, if you spell every word wrong, or never use quotation marks, don’t worry about it. Just get the story out. Word vomit. It’s OK. You can clean it up later.

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If you write one page and then you go back and edit it, you will keep editing it until you die. You will never write the second page. Your story will never be perfect. NEVER. You will NEVER be done editing. You will reach a place where you are reasonably confident in what you have but there is always some little detail that needs just one more moment of attention. Deal with that later.

You have thirty days to get your story on paper (or flash drive). It doesn’t have to be ready for publication in thirty days. It just needs to get out of your brain.

#2 – Don’t be afraid to skip around.

So your supernaturally clever purple octopus is swimming in the Atlantic ocean looking for a mate when, all of a sudden you have THE BEST IDEA EVER about how his great grandchild will figure out that he’s able to walk on land.

Write that.

Come back to the purple octopus later. He’ll still be there, waiting for you.

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#3 – Know the end.

This one is controversial.

nanowrimo1For years I wrote as a “pantser.” I had a concept or a character I loved and I would put it on paper and see where it would lead me. A lot of writers work that way and do it well. For the most part, it led me around in circles.

Nano 2013 was the first time I wrote with an outline. My outline is the only reason I finished. It gave me freedom to move about within the context of the plan.

See “purple octopus,” above.

If you know the end of the story you may take all sorts of crazy detours but you’ll never be utterly lost. You’ve always got a true north to head toward. It will save you when you get stuck.

#4 – Don’t be afraid of really lame sentences.

Every book has transitions. Your character has been in a castle for the first three chapters and now she needs to go out into the forest.

Perhaps you know what life is like in the castle and you know what is happening in the forest but you’re not really sure how or why she leaves one place and goes to the other.

Don’t worry about it.

Write, “She left the castle and went to the forest.” Then tell about the forest. You can fill in the details later. Or not. Figure it out next month. Remember, right now your whole goal is to get to those magical words:

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#5 – Participate in the write-ins. 

The Nano hosts will have live and virtual write-ins. They are exactly what they sound like – a bunch of people sitting around writing. Sometimes there are prompts. The prompts are weird. For example, “Tell what happens to your character when they suddenly find a red bicycle.”

Go with it. Thinking about the way your character would react to that situation will give you amazing insight into who they are and why they do what they do. You may never use the few hundred words you write during the write in, but the experience will improve your story more than you can imagine.

#6 – Keep easy to eat, low-calorie food in the house.

I’m not even kidding about how important that is. If you have a bunch of chips and cookies lying around and you sit at a desk and write for thirty days you’ll gain a pound a day. I strongly suggest lots of gum and carrot sticks.

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#7 – Do not prematurely publish.

So, it’s November 25 and you are at 50,005 words. You did it! You won! You got your story out!

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You’re book is not done.

Trust me. It’s not. There is NO WAY.

Put it in a drawer. Pop open a bottle of champagne. Spend the weekend giving thanks and eating turkey. Be proud of what you’ve accomplished! Brag at the dinner table. You’ve earned that right.

DO NOT LET ANYONE READ YOUR BOOK.

Sometime later – maybe in December, maybe not until the new year – go back to your baby. Give it several months of loving attention and adoration. Then let some people read it and, when you have their advice in hand, write it again. And maybe one more time after that, just for good measure.

My book is on it’s fifth incarnation right now. I’m fairly confident that my editor is going to demand one more before it goes off to the printer. It’s still the same story I started with, but so, so, so much better. You may not need that many tries to get your story right, but you will need more than one month.

#8 – Find joy in it.

Joy is not always happiness.

writingishardThere is one scene I wrote that left me literally sobbing at my dining room table. I actually felt like vomiting because it was so hard to think about. It is still hard for me to read that chapter. For me, writing that scene was facing my single greatest fear in the whole entire universe.

It was not fun to write that, but there was immense joy in the feeling of overcoming. If I can face that, I can face anything.

Sometimes my joy came in being incredibly silly. In one chapter I made an Archangel wash dishes just because the idea amused me.

If you find joy in sharing your story, your readers will find joy in discovering it.

I sincerely hope that you will join me on this journey. I would love to read your story! Please find me at Nanowrimo.org under “Lazy Hippie Mama.” Let’s create together.

Have you participated in Nano before? Do you have tips I didn’t mention? Share them in the comments.

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Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow LazyHippieMama on Twitter or Facebook to get all the updates.

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!

Visit my author page for all the latest info on the Heaven And Earth Series!

 

I Am An Author

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downloadI am an author! A real, honest-to-goodness author of an actual novel. It’s nearly 100,000 words long and I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of anything I’ve ever done (you know… vocationally. Kids, etc don’t count).

It’s not actually a PUBLISHED novel. Yet.

I’ve spent 2 1/2 years of my life crafting this work and, one way or another, I am determined to see that bad boy in print! I would absolutely LOVE for you to come over to my new author page and say hello. Sign up for email updates and you’ll know all the details about how to get your hands on what could, potentially, someday, be a VERY valuable first edition copy of my book.

In other news…

I know I’ve been totally absent from the blog lately. There’s a number of reasons but, really, I think it just boiled down to me trying to figure out what my priorities are and what I wanted to write and why and how often.

I didn’t actually get all the answers to those questions, but I figured a few things out. Pretty much, that’s been the story of the past three years or so of my life. “I didn’t get all the answers, but I figured a few things out.”

If success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal I’m doing all right.

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow LazyHippieMama on Twitter or Facebook to get all the updates.

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!

Visit my author page for all the latest info on the Heaven And Earth Series!

 

Stolen Woman – A Book Review

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Stolen Woman by Kimberly RaeWhat would you risk? That’s the question posed on the cover of Kimberly Rae’s book, Lost Woman.

If you met a 16 year old girl who was being sold by human traffickers and she was begging for your help, what would you be willing to do to save her?

Ms. Rae sent me a copy of her book for review and I am so happy for the opportunity to share it with you. You should read this! If you are part of a women’s book club they should read it, too – and discuss it at great length. If you have a teenage daughter she really needs to read it.

In many ways I very strongly related to the main character, Asha. She is a young woman who has lived in America for as long as she can remember. One year over summer break from college she has the opportunity to travel to India as a short-term missionary. It is there that she learns a horrifying reality that too much of the world remains silent about. Millions of people, primarily women and children, are stolen from their lives and sold as slaves every year.

When Asha gets to know one of these women she learns some of the horror of what the girls face as well as how difficult and dangerous it is to try to help them escape from the life they’ve been forced in to.

This issue is one that is dear to my heart and one I’ve written about on this blog before (here) so, of course I was thrilled to learn that a talented author had written such a captivating story that helps to raise awareness. This extraordinarily serious problem will never be solved if no one is willing to talk about it!

In addition, though, I found Asha so very relatable! Like her, I grew up in a Christian home, surrounded by Christian people and attended a Christian college. As a young person I had not had a great deal of exposure to cultures or belief systems beyond my own and when I first went into the wider world and saw what was outside my previous little bubble of existence I, like Asha, had something of a crisis of faith. Why would God allow something like this to happen? How can people who call themselves Christian turn a blind eye? What can one young woman do to make things right?

I so hope that you will find time to read this book and buy a second copy to share! It would make a great Christmas present for an avid reader. I’m certain that you will enjoy it and be challenged by it as much as I was!

Stolen Woman is available on Amazon. This is not an affiliate link, I just wanted to give you an easy way to get a copy for yourself. Happy reading!

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Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow LazyHippieMama on WordPress, by email or Facebook to get all the updates.

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!

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10 Awkward Moments in Homeschooling & A New Give-Away!

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10 Awkward Moments in HomeschoolingAccording to the most recent census about 3% of American children are homeschooled. It’s a growing movement, to be certain, but still far from “the norm.”  Many, if not most, people in this country live their whole lives without even ever meeting a homeschool family. Therefore their perceptions are based on those folks “on the fringe” who end up on the evening news or Dr. Phil talking about how they are proud that their 15 year old has never read any book other than the Bible and they don’t believe in girls learning math.

The reality is that homeschooling families are pretty much everyone else. There are good days and bad. There are success stories and failures. There are some people who are just fabulously cool and some who are truly odd.

Still, when you are approaching such a major part of life in a way that is different than the way 97% of those around you are doing it, there are bound to be some awkward moments.

10 Awkward Moments in Homeschooling

1. The moment when someone knocks on the door, unexpectedly, at 1pm and you realize no one can answer it because the entire family is still in their PJs and/or underwear.

We’ve been learning, I swear! In fact, we were so busy learning we forgot to put on pants.

10 Awkward Moments in Homeschooling | LazyHippieMama.com

2. The moment when your child is asked where they go to school and they just stand there, staring at the person like a deer caught in the headlights.

I’m never sure why they don’t just say, “I’m homeschooled.” This, of course, does little to dispel the “weird unsocialized homeschooler” myth.

3. The moment when you’re asked what grade your child is in and you can picture all of their books and lists – 3rd grade math, 9th grade reading, 5th grade science, and a coloring book from 2009 they just won’t give up on until every corner is fabulous – and you realize you have no idea what grade they’re actually in without consulting your records.

This is the parent version of #2.

Come to think of it, maybe that’s why the kids can’t answer that question. Maybe they’re thinking, “I go to school in the dining room, the car, my mom’s office at work, the park, the local grange building…”

4. The moment when someone asks your child, “How long did you do school this morning?”

SHHHH! I’m trying to be sneaky over here! We ARE doing school! We’re grocery shopping and she’s keeping track of how much we’re spending. This is math class. She HATES math and doesn’t realize she’s studying right now so please don’t judge me when she tells you, “we didn’t do any school today.”

5. The moment you overhear your child say to a public school student, “What do you mean you’ve never had a single lesson on the science of Star Wars? Isn’t that a required subject?”

We’re nerds and we’re proud.

10 Awkward Moments in Homeschooling | LazyHippieMama.com

6. The moment when someone at the grocery store sees you and your two children and says, “Oh, you homeschool? That’s nice. Are the rest of the children at home then?”

OK, first of all – making assumptions about the number of children any family has is always a fast train to Awkwardland. Just don’t go there.  If you are close enough to me to ask about my choices regarding child-bearing you already know how many kids I have and why. If you don’t already know, you really have no business inquiring about anything having to do with my uterus and/or sexual choices.

Second, contrary to what some people think, there are actually families that homeschool who have only one child. And some that have 3. And some that have 7. If you ask around at public school you’ll find a similar situation.

7. The moment when a public school child says, “This week we studied the feudal system.” And your child responds with, “We just watched movies this week.

They weren’t movies. They were DOCUMENTARIES. Totally different thing.

8. The moment when a friend who is a public school teacher says, “What textbook are you using?” And your child responds with, “We don’t use textbooks. We just look stuff up on the internet.”

We do a lot of learning online. I often direct my child to very reputable sites – everyone from NASA to PBS offers amazing free resources. We’re not just doing random Google searches, I swear. Er… well… not when it comes to the really important stuff anyway. But does my child say, “I’m learning science from NASA right now,”?  Of course not. She just implies that her main source of information is YouTube.

9. The moment when you are trying to assure your family that, as homeschoolers, your children are still getting plenty of opportunity to develop great social skills and you child enters the room walking backwards with a bag over their head loudly singing Elvis’ Greatest Hits.

What can I say? They come from a long line of strange people and big Elvis fans. They get plenty of interaction with other children and adults as well but, really, the poor kids never stood a chance.

10 Awkward Moments in Homeschooling | LazyHippieMama.com

10. The moment you look out the window and see a group of kids all wrapped up in their winter gear, waiting in the dark to get on the bus and go to school for the day, while you are lying on the sofa under a pile of giggling kids and fuzzy, tail-wagging dogs as the 3rd episode in a row of The Magic School Bus begins.

Oh, wait. Wrong list. That one goes on 1,001 reasons why I love being one of the 3%.

Share your awkward story in the comments. Life’s too short for us not to laugh together!

But before you go, don’t miss out on this great give-a-way!

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to share a truly amazing book with you.

Tom Rogers’, “Eleven” is a wonderful story about a little boy who turns 11 on 9/11/2001. The book is totally age-appropriate for an older elementary student and engaging enough for any adult.

As the anniversary of that world-changing event approaches, I am having my 5th grader read “Eleven” in the hopes that she will come to understand that people just like her had their lives directly, irrevocably changed in a moment.  If you’d like to read the review, you can do so by clicking here or you can visit www.ElevenTheBook.com.

I’m so excited that Tom Rogers has agreed to give a copy of his book to one lucky reader! It’s a read you don’t want to miss.

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Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow LazyHippieMama on WordPress, by email or Facebook to get all the updates.

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!  

What Do You Think Wednesday – What Book Should Every Person Read?

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This isn't entirely true. I want my handsome prince on the other end of the sofa, reading with me. And he often is, so my wish came true!

This isn’t entirely true. I want my handsome prince on the other end of the sofa, reading with me. And he often is, so my wish came true!

I’m always a little baffled when people ask me, “What do you like to read?”

“Uhm…. words?”

I will read fiction, non-fiction, my Bible, newspapers, magazines, cereal boxes, instruction manuals….

There really isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t spend at least a little time reading something and my tastes vary fairly widely, though if I think about my all-time favorites, they are all fiction and they all definitely have challenged my beliefs and pushed me to grow in my personal faith in some way.

Some of my favorites (in no particular order) include:

One Door Away From Heaven by Dean Koontz

The Taking by Dean Koontz

Christ the Lord by Anne Rice

Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins

The Clan of the Cave Bear Series by Jean Auel

The Mittford Series by Jan Karon

Thinking about all this made me wonder – is there a single book that stood out, head and shoulders above the rest?  Is there one book I’ve read that shaped my life and made me a better person in profoundly powerful ways?

My first inclination was to say, The Bible. I do believe that everyone should read The Bible and, certainly, it has changed my life but, in this context, I was thinking more of the kinds of books that a person might casually pick up at a thrift store and say, “Hey! This story looks interesting.”

If I had to pick just one perspective, one story, one writer through whose eyes I think everyone should view the world, even if just for a moment or two, I think I would have to pick Gandhi’s autobiography.  I can’t imagine anyone reading it and not coming away a little more compassionate, a little more caring, a little more conscious of their place in the great inter-connected web of life.

What do you think?  What book should every person read? 

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Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

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If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!