Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Shapeshifter's Secret Interview and Giveaway

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer has posted an interview and Giveaway for The Shapeshifter's Secret!  The giveaway is for a paperback copy and an Ebook copy, so make sure you enter. Here is a portion of the interview. Click the link below to see the full interview and to enter the giveaway.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Every time I receive a letter from a reader saying that they enjoyed The Shapeshifter’s Secret, I am overjoyed and humbled. I don’t know why, but it always brings me to tears. I suppose it’s because getting published is a long, tough journey, and receiving those letters reminds me that it’s definitely worth all the hard work!  

What is your favorite Quote?
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— 
I took the one less traveled by, 
And that has made all the difference.” 
--Robert Frost

What is your guilty pleasure?
Chocolate. Chocolate. Chocolate.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Shapeshifter's Secret Art by Anastasia

I got this picture in a message from Anastasia, who drew this sketch of the main characters after reading The Shapeshifter's Secret. This is so amazing, and it reminded me once again why I write. I love Julia's shirt, the werecat, the magical tablet letter, and all the details put into each character. Thank you Anastasia for sharing this incredible picture, you are so talented! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Strong Current

This week just hasn't been my week. I'm not one to wallow in self-pity, but I just feel like things are working against me. Sometimes I feel like I'm swimming really hard against a current. Today a particularly strong wave knocked me backward, and I just gave in. I stopped struggling against the current and let the water flush me away.

I try really hard to not make my blog turn into a journal. I have plenty of notebooks to fill up with my emotions and feelings. However, I realize that as long as I stay on topic of writing, then I'm okay.

I know that life is supposed to have its ups and downs. It's what makes us appreciate the wonderful, blissful, amazing things in life. When I write my characters, I have absolutely no problem making them go through trials and hardships. They endure battles, evil villains, and brutal love triangles. There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with making them go through difficult tasks, because we know that they are learning something. Each battle makes them stronger. Every time they fight the villain, they learn more and become smarter.

Of course the character doesn't want any conflicts. Frodo does't want to go to Mordor. Harry doesn't want to meet Voldemort over and over again. Katniss doesn't want to go to the Hunger Games. But that's their story, and that's what they must endure. It's what makes us care about them. They had conflicts, but because of the hardships they figured out who they were and what they stood for.

I wish that I didn't get so down every time I face something hard. I wish that I could remember that it's all a part of the hero's journey, that my story would be boring if there wasn't conflict. I know that even though right now I'm hitting a low, everything could change tomorrow. Perhaps it will be great with little resistance. Whatever does happen, I must remember to learn, grow, and become a better person because of the conflict. The current is strong, but if I use the resistance to become stronger, then I can handle it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Never, never, never give up.

I'm seeing a theme running through my day, and I think it's an important topic (plus I'm a rather superstitious person), so I'll go ahead and talk about it.

Today I got my "daily kick in the pants" from David Farland on the subject, here are some of his thoughts: 

"Most of the time, when we talk about giving up, it is because we feel depressed or overwhelmed. But we can get over it. Winston Churchill went through some hard times in his life. He fell a distance of thirty feet as a teen, ruptured a kidney, and spent days in a coma. He failed in business over and over again. He lost his position and became so depressed that he could not speak for days afterward.

And he led England through World War II, against incredible odds. One of his oft-quoted sayings is “Never, never, never give up.” He has a lesser-known quote that I like: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

One can think long and hard and not find any value in giving up. It’s certainly not for me." 

See the rest of the kick here:

David, thank you for so much for all your great writing advice! It has helped me so much over the years. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Shapeshifter's Secret in Hawaii

I've always wanted to visit Hawaii, and last week I finally got the opportunity. So I'm going to be LAME and show you a slideshow of my pictures. How can I make it more interesting you ask? How about by starting out with a picture like this!

Hawaii. Barnes and Noble. The Shapeshifter's Secret. Yes, I was freaking out. This was such an amazing moment, and I could have stayed in that bookstore all day. People were looking at me, probably wondering why I kept posing in the teen fantasy section of Barnes and  Noble. I didn't care, I was way way way too happy. 

And this is what we did the rest of the time...

The beautiful, incredible, and educational Polynesian Culture Center.

 The delightfully, delicious, Dole plantation.

Pearl Harbor.

"Dear lord / Lest I continue / My complacent way / Help me to remember / Somehow out there / A man died for me today. / As long as there be war / I then must / Ask and answer / Am I worth dying for?" -- The inscription said Eleanor Roosevelt carried it in her wallet during WWII.

The beautiful Laie Hawaii temple.

And every other awesome thing: 

Amazing Sea Turtles (which I had to keep reminding people, we only LOOK, no touching them). This guy's name was Tripod. 

That little black dot on the island is my brother. I dared him to swim out there and sing songs from the little mermaid. And he did it! 

Waterfalls, even though they are freezing, they are worth hiking to. 

My cheesy, look-we're-on-the-beach pose.

 Conquering my fear of heights at Waimea Bay.

And you can't visit Hawaii without getting some Matsumoto Shaved Ice.

This wahine thanks you for checking out my post. Hang loose and Aloha! 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Nope. They don't.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

An evening of Disney

Every year for my mom’s birthday we put on a celebration show for her. We’ve done a variety of themed shows that include High School Musical, 80’s night, talent show night, and a “So you think you can dance" show. 

Even though it’s just my siblings and I, we always go ALL OUT. This year was our biggest, craziest, most musical show yet featuring all things DISNEY. We put on a full Disney production that started out with Fantasmic, moved on to each character’s individual scene, and then ended with an Electrical Light Parade finale.

We put more planning into this birthday show than any other. It was a little nuts, but (get ready for the cheesy part) I loved  how magical it was. When the fantasmic music started, everyone got jittery and excited. My sister said, “I feel like we’re in Disneyland!”

My husband and I dressed up as Jasmine and Aladdin. Little side note: I made his costume, and it looked great--before he jumped into the water (he performed the scene from Aladdin where the soldiers chase him. In part of the song it says: "I'll I gotta do is--JUMP!" He, of course, jumped into the water for his dramatic exit). 

My Cute sister Holly and her Fiance as Snow White and Prince Charming.

I also dressed up as Rapunzel from Tangled and got to lip-sync "When will my life begin." Which was awesome. I LOVE Tangled. Okay, just had to say it. 

 My Brother Nate as Captain Hook and brother-in-law as Peter Pan. 

My adorable nephew made a very convincing lost boy. 

 On our magic carpet singing "A whole New World." Don't mind Snow White and King Triton in the background! 

 All of my beautiful sisters in the roles of Cinderella, Snow White, and Belle. 

It really was an amazing night. I’ve always loved Disney, Fairy tales, anything princess, and happy endings. I'll admit that it was hard to convince all the boys in the family to dress up, but in the end everyone had a great time, and my mom was absolutely thrilled with her birthday show. 

A little background music.