Archive | December 2012

#26 Random Acts of Kindness

266Like many of you, the horror of what happened in Connecticut stunned me. There were moments I was literally speechless as I tried to process it. I spent days and days afterwards reading all the stories, watching reports, just crying at my desk at work and at home. One day my husband came up to me and said, “Why do you keep reading about the victims? It just makes you upset.” I said, “Because I don’t want any one of them to ever be forgotten. I want their lives to have meant something and I want to know about them so they don’t just disappear.”

I spent a lot of time thinking about what I could possibly do for the people in Newtown. I have a girlfriend who lives in Sandy Hook and simply reached out to be an “ear” for her. I can’t imagine what it is like for her and her children (who are blissfully safe). To walk around their town and know the families that have been affected. To watch the news and see their neighbors on air, struggling to come to terms.  Her town is so quaint and beautiful and it’s been marred terribly. I hope in my heart they can heal. That the parents can heal. As a mom of 11 year old twins, I can not imagine going through this. You send your children to school and they should be able to come home. Safely.

So, I decided to do the one thing I could do, which is jump on board the “random acts of kindness” brigade. I’ve enlisted my children, who think it’s fun and quaint, but don’t quite understand the magnitude of why I am doing this. I want them to know there are good people in the world and that kindess isn’t something you have to do, but should do for others. That you don’t have to get any sort of recognition or acknowledgement, either. Just be kind and do good things and maybe it will make someone’s day happier.

So far we’ve done quite a few things. We’ve given out Duncan Donut’s gift cards to a passing sanitation worker, a policeman on the street, a guy behind us in line. The kids used their quarters and filled up the $0.25 gumball machines at the supermarket so it would be a big surprise for the kids who came there next. I tipped our waitress at lunch yesterday 60%, just to be nice. She actually came back up to us as we were leaving to say thank you. Today we purchased crayons, markers and coloring books from the art store and tomorrow we’re going to donate them to the pediatrics unit at the local hospital. I wrote a YA book called FLYING TO THE LIGHT and there are a bunch of copies in my car that I’m going to donate to the local libraries that don’t already have it.

I can’t bring back those children or the adults who tried to save them. But maybe I can do something in this world to help someone else and just maybe I can impart this concept to my children. I hope so and hope one day they’ll just do things to be nice and hopefully help this world to become a better place.

My new book launch THE WORLD OF KAROV

the world of karov AaI’ve been writing for twenty years now. I’ve got seven books under my belt and at least fifty short stories and for the past twelve years I’ve been actively trying to sell all of them. I’ve been fortunate to have my short stories published in various magazines, online sites and anthologies and I was super fortunate to have my young adult novel, FLYING TO THE LIGHT, picked up by Cool Well Press in November, 2011.

But what I really want is my other books to see the light of day and that keeps eluding me.  You see, the very first book I wrote was called THE RUBY AMULET and I created this entire fantasy world rife with rules, different realms and a huge back story. Very epic of me. I tried to get it agented and not a one would take a peek at it. (of course, it was my very first book, terribly written and that probably was the real reason.) So, I hooked myself up with the amazing Denise Vitola – an editor/teacher who helped me become the writer I am today and we cleaned up that book and she taught me how to write. Over the years I’ve tried to get it agented and looked at again, with no luck, so, I decided to write another book in that series and THE WORLD OF KAROV was born. I tried to get THAT agented and read, and again, no takers. So I wrote more books and sent them out, too.

Rejection letters are frustrating, aggravating and defeating. But, it’s the letters and inquiries you send out that get NO reply that are even worse… did they get it? Is it just sitting there? How long do I wait? So, with self publishing being so accessible to authors, I thought I’d give it a try with THE WORLD OF KAROV and see how it goes. I figured at the very least, I’d immerse myself in the indie commuty, learn the social media ropes, and make some great friends. And I’ve achieved all that so far. I’m pretty up to speed on FB, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and a bunch of other sites. I know how to upload books to Amazon, I’m learning how to format to print. I’ve worked with editors, illustrators, beta readers and other authors and it’s just been an incredible learning experience. So what is next? Learning to put my heart on the line, apparently.

THE WORLD OF KAROV is a dark fantasy novel. “Haunting and sad,” has been floated around. My beta readers liked the book, but are conflicted on the ending. Will people like it? I don’t know. I hope so. But what I do know is that I wanted to get this story out so I can continue with the sequel and wherever else I’d like this to go. Taking the plunge is hard, leaving yourself esposed to criticism even harder, but I’m at a point in my life where I don’t want to NOT do something because I’m scared or self conscious. So, my fellow readers, I’ve decided to jump in, feet first. Here’s a teaser and blurb from the book:

An ancient race of children hidden away, a set of identical twins who can speak to animals, and a ruby amulet with the power to rule the worlds…
Adam and Alec look like identical twins, but their personalities are as different as possible. Adam is gentle and kind, whereas Alec is the essence of nightmares. Always jealous of his twin, Alec does everything he can to destroy his brother’s happiness, including kidnapping Adam’s fiancée on their wedding day and disappearing with her deep into the Canadian mountains. Adam searches for them for months, but he never finds them. Just when Adam is at his most grief-stricken point, a stranger appears and offers him a chance for a new life in a land filled with magic, gems, and powers unimaginable; a world mysteriously led by a special tribe of children who have hidden themselves away from a great evil that is seeking to destroy them. Adam takes the chance and goes with the stranger, but his past is never far from his mind. Eventually, reality comes back to haunt Adam, resulting in a final showdown with his brother…. and this time, only one will win.

If anyone would like to read some sample chapters of the novel or purchase it on your e-reader (until I figure out how to format to print) here is the link. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and have a wonderful New Year!