Showing posts with label Novels. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Novels. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Author Presentation Pays Off Big

 In my last post, I told you that I had been invited to do a presentation as an author to Pine Grove School.  My biggest message that I wanted to get across to these kids was't that they should buy my books, or be impressed with me, or even that they should want to be a writer.  I told them that they should look at me, someone who has dreamed of being a writer since I was their age, and know that if I could make that happen, that they could make their own dreams come true as well.  I admitted that following those dreams might need to be supplemented by something that gives them an income, but that, the thing that makes them most fully them, like writing does for me - should never be abandoned just because it is hard work for little financial gain.

 And after I talked to three groups of students, and ate at their wonderful banquet, I left and went back to work as a substitute teacher at another school.  But unknown to me, the kids were paying me for the message I had given them, and on the last day of school, I found my mailbox stuffed with the reward.
 Here are the Oohrah at the village off Oohline from my novels
 Dear Mrs. Goode, Thank you for teaching us about authoring and writing."

"Thank you for telling us to fallow our dremes"

"I'm writing my own book called, "The Mystery on Ridge Street", I'm on chapter 5, The Mist."

 "I want to be an author too.

""I imagine it was hard making  book with waht evar you named yer book.

"My favorite book was your second book that you made for us to read."
 "Thank you for coming to Spring Arts Day. We learned a lot about writing a book. We would all love to buy your book."

"I think that you taught us a lot of tuff about how to make books. I have one of your books that you made."

"Thank you for telling my class and I about your books. In fact, one of my class mates bought your book."

"It is cool how you made your books and I would really want to read your books."

"I make better illustrations because I listened to you."

 "I think you did a good job on the book you read to us. It's so cool that I can know someone that wires books. It is just amazing how long they take to make."

"I really enjoy your novels, I am going to save up my alowance so I can buy your novels. The idea of a flying tiger is so creative. When I grow up maybe I can make a movie about your book if that's ok with you."

 "Thank you for telling us about your book you made. It also impressed my friend Kaleb. You told about some of it to us. I decided to buy one. I bought number one and two. They are really good so far. I enjoyed it when you were telling us part of it.  I told my little brother about yo and he wants to write books too."

"I would love to read your books and I want to be a singer."

 "Dear Mrs. Goode,
  Thank you for coming to Spring Arts Day.  I allways whonted to be an illustrator and now I know how hard it is to be a illustrator. "

 "Dear Mrs. Goode,

I think your the best substitute teacher in the world.! I mean, we're both writers so I love hearing about your books and reading them! Oh, and I have great news for you!  remember, "Duffy Barkley is not a Dog"?  Well, I'm writing a story with the same Oz/Narnia concept.  It's called "the Adventures of Nina and Lilly 1# Portal in the Mountain side"  It's basically about talking mountain lion named Nina, and her hymn best friendLilly going on all these adventures but something always goes wrong. Happy Book Making!"

and the one last, but not least from a student who made me smile

"Dear Mrs. Goode,

I had a majestic time with you. I've never herd any stories like yours'.  You're Oregon Trail Story is like fiction in descise, (disguise) You have a really good amagination.'

Sunday, May 4, 2014

My Writing Process Blog Tour

Last week blogger and writer of great stories for all ages, Rebecca Douglass, tagged me in the "My Writing Process" blog tour. My mission: to answer three questions about my writing process, and to tag three other writers. Life was going a bit insane at that point, actually doing a lot of joy and grief combined.

On April 27th, one of the Grand Dame's of my family died at the age of 91.  Aunt Sally was actually my Grandmother's first cousin and someone who had always been an important part of my life, even though she lived in Illinois while I was growing up in Wyoming, we visited and wrote and stayed in touch.
Sarah Manning

Then on Monday, April 28th I took my students to sea on a tall ship sail on the Lady Washington, a ship used in the Pirates of the Caribbean and in Star Trek. There were 32 students and 11 of them, and some crew members were puking seasick as the boat rolled and heaved and my phone buzzed.  My daughter-in-love texted the words which always stand out in the movies as the beginning of great drama, "My water broke."  So within 24 hours I lost my Grandma figure and became a Grandma!

So I haven't written on here recently and yet I am going to Pine Grove School on Tuesday as a guest author for Fine and Performing arts day, and I welcome the excuse to remember that among all the other title's people call me, Writer is one I struggled to earn for myself.

So Thank You Rebecca, and here is my post

BTW. Check out Rebecca's at 

First the questions:

1.  What am I working on?
Well, honestly working on any writing has been set aside briefly but will resume soon. The Grandma thing is my delighted focus but the stories are still there and insisting on being told.  I have two going now.  Double time: About to Erupt uses the same time twisted writing desk to share glimpses of journals and other objects as was there in my Double Time: On the Oregon Trail but it connects two boys, one living in Pompeii prior to Mt. Vesuvius erupting and one in Portland, Oregon 1901 years later.

The other book I am working on is the third book in the Tales of Uhrlin series about Duffy Barkley and his discovery of the strength's hidden within his own handicapped self. In this third book he has grown from 9 to 13 and has returned to Uhrlin after his sister and Aunt disappeared back in our world.
2.  Why do I write what I do?
I started writing what I do because I had two boys who shared their playtime and active imaginations with me, and when they were tucked in at night my imagination reuse to turn off. And I kept going because it was fun both to write it and to see the wonderful reactions of others as they discover my stories. I thought that I was writing just for me, but when I finished the first book and read it to my boys it amazed me that it sounded like a real book, and now I have people in other lands who have read it and tell me they love it, Like India and England.  I have students who study my books and teachers who share them at book clubs and people asking for sequels and it is just simply fun.  I haven't made much money so I still have to juggle bills and work in the real world - but being a writer just fits me, and I feel more complete than I do when I am not telling stories.

3.  How does my writing process work?
Does it work?  Well sometimes.  I start a novel in a mad rush of getting words on paper like I learned at NANOWRIMO. I do the quick and dirty first draft and if I can't get a new thought then I go back and reread until I find something I can say more about.  I read it over and over as I go and I leapfrog around in everything from the end to the middle to the beginning until all those bits connect and the story is complete.  Then I start rereading and asking others to read it, and I put it aside and start a new novel, or start reminding people to buy the ones that I have out there already.  Marketing is a never ending process because every time I stop, sales stop.

Now for the three writers I want to tag, to post about their own writing processes in the next week or two or so 

So I will get to the other authors now.
A book I really enjoyed is The Dominion Of Light by Nicole Murphy. She has a facebook Author's page at

An Author and wonderful woman whom I admire a lot is Betty Dravis

Check out Pure Control by Clint Brill If you like Science Fiction. I don't think he has a blog up and running yet but he is working on it, and his book is one I read recently with a lot of pleasure

Sunday, February 2, 2014

When ideas are offered as gifts

I don't know why I didn't think of asking you this before. It's a question that has really bothered me but . . . sometimes the brain overlooks the obvious.  It is a question that has to do with talking about your writing as it is a work in progress, and having other people, either in person or on line, offer you suggestions and ideas which feel perfect.

Then when you use the idea and flesh it out in your story, do you really own it?

Anyway, while my two boys were in grade school, playing youth sport soccer we'd spend a lot of time at the park and to pass the time with the one who wasn't practicing at that time, I'd tell stories and they'd add challenging ideas and a few years later they had developed into my first NaNoWriMo Novel which I published through createspace and kindle. 

But in one of those soccer side, story sessions one of their friends was there listening, and got really into it, and told me to use a character he made up. She was perfect and fit so well and I drilled him on wether he had seen her in a game or book or movie and he swore he made her up just then. Well it was five years later when I took his basic framework and used her as a minor character, but her name was perfect and she seemed so well imagined, I was always afraid he'd stollen her from somewhere. So has anyone heard of

Miskva, Guardian of the singing trees of belle island, who is a seer of prophecy and riddles in a giant but broken pyramid that came into the world as it was being created.

Any manga creation or TV show come to mind, a game or movie or comic book? I'm pretty sure it's a case of can't be too similar the way I created her story from the bare outline above but still I'm curious.  I even had people run her through plagiarism testers and they came back clean, that it hadn't been used in any book - which of course shows how many people have read Duffy Barkley is Not a Dog, because she was used in both my Duffy Books and they are out there.

 I'm remembering this kid was into Star Wars but wasn't allowed to read Tolkien due to parent's religion and ideas about wizards being evil. He loved some card collecting game but it wasn't Pokemon because that also was taboo. He was home schooled so the kids only knew him through soccer and we've lost touch or I'd ask him again

You know I sometimes feel a twinge of guilt using ideas from the NaNoWriMo Website challenge thread too, like it is somehow wrong even though those challenges are put up with the intent that people would use them, but I've incorporated a baby dragon who gets sick in water and loves baths and is named Fred. That was on the nano site forums dare thread, telling anyone who thought they could, to incorporate him into the story, but I don't even know who suggested it, to thank them in my notes. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A NaNo-ing We Go

 I used to hate the fact that National Novel Writing Month, AKA NaNoWriMo happens in a Month theat is busy with holidays and travel. But now the fact that it has Thanksgiving in the same month seems very appropriate, as there are few on-line places which i am as Thankful for as NaNo

Shows the fruition of the books which had sent down roots in my mind for years but may never have pushed through the darkness into the sun without the daily deadlines and encouragement of NaNo and the forums there 

 i also find the change in seasons here to be conducive to writing. The storm and bluster adds to my imagined drama as it also keeps me indoors and with less distracting me from the goal.

 Just like the giving tree that never stops having the right gift, November's NaNoWriMo never stops giving me affirmation of one of my favorite parts of myself.  I am a good storyteller and now I can say I am a writer too.
 If you are going to join the exhausted writers this month, stop by and become one of my writing buddies. I'm echopandora there.  I am writing about two boys helping each other escape giant volcanic eruptions 1901 years apart. Tell me about your story too.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Only So Much Imagination

 Lately I have been wondering why the very idea of writing, which I love, makes me feel blank and stalled and like weeping.  I stare out the window and finally jump up and grab a mop or my camera or my car keys and head anyplace but the keyboard.
 Looking at my life at the moment however, reveals a simple answer and gives me permission to tell myself that this is temporary and I can relax about it.
 I usually substitute teach, and yet I have been subbing full time for the last quarter of this school year, in a very difficult class with 8 students and 7 assistants to deal with.  I love the kids, but they kick, pinch, bite and spit on me.  I love the assistants but they need directing, and have schedules to balance and inter-relationships that work or not as the situations come up.
 I have been struggling to create situations at school where everyone gets along without feeling stressed to the point of exploding and honestly, that requires a lot of imagination. And I have been creating art projects to teach them and doing my own 365Project photography, and dealing with a very broke time of our life. Money and old everything, house, cars, clothing add stress and require more creative solutions.

My husband and I just had our 29th anniversary and our hundredth battle over my own agoraphobic tendencies.  I love that guy and his patience with me, but his patience tends to evaporate just when wqe are most overwhelmed and my courage is at its lowest, of course.

 Then I have aging Mom and aging friends and suddenly everyone I care about seems to have health issues to deal with, and my kids are young, just post high school adults who need support as the parents also need it, and that requires more imagination and a lot of love and patience, and exhaustion.

Yeah, I know, It is not called the sandwich generation without cause. I just wish my sandwich had less jam right now.
Some days I don't even consider writing, or promoting the three books that are out there neglected, on the shelf.  Then I feel guilty. Everything makes me feel guilty lately.  Then I get a exhausting day, and I'm walking out to my car and a teacher tells me, "Hey, our bookclub wants to pick your book to read. The Oregon Trail one?  Would you be up for coming to talk to us, Say in October?"

I smile, and laugh and say, "I'd be honored."

and realize once again, that everything that exhausts me, also recharges me in a wonderful cycle.

Life IS Good.

Friday, February 15, 2013

I Won Diary of a Penguin-Napper by Sally Harris

 I had read this wonderful novel about a mysterious and unusual librarian in a town with a grudge against Librarians and loved it, and likened it to a wild west Mary Poppins or Nanny McPhee.  So when I heard that the author, Rebecca M. Douglass had been included in an anthology of middle grade novels, I uploaded the kindle ebook and entered the drawing to win a kindle fire or a copy of one of the 14 books included in excerpt in the anthology.  I didn't win the kindle fire, which is fine, but I did get introduced to many interesting titles which I think my students might enjoy.

And I was lucky enough to win the ebook copy of the first story in the anthology, one excerpt which had me laughing as soon as I started reading.  

The following is the blurb about the book from Goodreads

3 weeks ...
2 boys ...
1 little penguin ...

What could possibly go wrong?

When 11 (and a half) year old Marty is partnered up with Jessica on the overnight science trip, he thinks all of this dreams are about to come true. It's his big chance to impress the most beautiful girl in Year 7 (and probably the world) and he wouldn't miss it for anything.

Only problem is: Marty can't afford to go on the overnight trip. 


Inspired by the urban myth that it is possible to steal a penguin from the zoo on a school visit, Diary of a Penguin-napper is a hilarious tale of growing up, bending the rules and how one big fuss can be caused by stealing just one little penguin.

So thank you to Sally Harris, and the other authors, and best of luck getting your wonderful books out into the hands, and ebooks of people who will love them.

And because every chance to remind you about my books is a chance I am not going to pass up, here are the links to a couple of my own Novels for middle school on up.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

NaNoWriMo and NeWo

 My rubber duckies say I love you in sign language and I love November for the crazy, insane attempt to write 50,000 words along with the 300,000 people world wide who have given themselves permission to think that the world needs their story, and to write a quick and dirty first draft in 30 days.

I know there is insanity here, and November is by far one of the busiest months of my year, but there is vale in the fact that I can feel free to put down all the thought in my head and see where they go.

When I am writing this quickly, I enter a state that is very near sleep.  My brain slows down and drifts randomly as my fingers try to capture the images before they vanish, like those great ideas you only get just as you are starting to drift off to sleep.
 My oldest son is out on a crab boat working and has been gone for weeks while his blind dog lives with me. Ford is charming and barely past a year old, and likes to run everywhere, so crashes headfirst into chairs that are not pushed back under the table or the knees of people standing quietly.  He loves the she;; of my cat, and tries to find it, but the closer he gets, the more the smell fills the places where the cat has recently been and confuses him. Rocky has learned to sit motionless and soon Ford is down, bounding around to check other spots near-by.  "Where's the Cat?"  If he does get close enough that they bump, they both startle and then the cat aims a quick blow to the dog's nose.

My stories work like that. I know what I am chasing, and I think I know where it is, but then a strongly enticing smell lures me to another path, and sometimes it is clear and I follow it, and sometimes it leaves me with my head aching and my nose stinging from where I ran into a wall.
 I look for inspiration all around when I am trying to hit 50,000 words, and this old picture of my Mom and her cousins has served as the launching pad for many memories which have become slightly altered and find their way into the novel more as sensory details of the places and times than as the actual events of the story.
 Fall is here and glorious outdoors calls to me even as the calendar reminds me that the word count must be reached or else
 but reaching the word count of 50,000 gets harder on the old bones the closer I get to 50 myself.  Sitting at the computer too long in a story induced trance, I feel great.  Then I wake up, push back the chair and find that I have been crippled.  My hips and wrist and spine resist straightening. My hands are freezing cold and my feet don't really want to bear my weight as I hobble to the coffee pot.

That is when I feel the most gratitude for Jonathan Roche and his NeWo Program.
 No Excuses Workouts

 had helped me drop 40 pounds and gives e the necessary tools to know what I need to do every day to maintain my strength and increase my health.  I have learned his 15 secrets by heart, including get enough water and sleep and fit in movement every day even if it is only walking to the mailbox or stretching for six minutes.  He has made me celebrate the random acts of fitness like jogging in place while washing dishes or brushing my teeth, and parking far from the store so I get a brisk walk several times a day without ever thinking of it as a workout.  Hobbling is good for my novel, since Duffy Barkley is stiff and crippled by Cerebral Palsy, but Newo is good for me.