Friday, January 6, 2017

Kicking off the 2017 Friday Celebrations!


It's the first Celebrate the Small Things hop of 2017! Happy Friday, everyone!

Even though this was a short work week because of the New Year's holiday, it somehow felt like the longest week in history. It's so hard to get back to normal after the holidays.

So I'm celebrating that it's the weekend, plus a few other things.

1. I finished writing my sequel to Baby Moo's Great Escape. I still have tons of revising and editing to do but at least I got the story down. I'm excited to be moving closer to getting Baby Moo and his friends back out into the world again for another adventure.

2. I also got my new All In For Animals site up and running and I'm really excited about it! Huge thanks to everyone who stopped by there after reading about it on this blog.

3. We got a little snow yesterday for the first time this winter. It wasn't enough to cause any problems, but it was more than enough to make my dog very happy. Clancy LOVES snow and he is ecstatic every year when the first snow comes around. He gets so excited when we go outside it's adorable. Seeing my dog so happy makes me happy, so I'm celebrating a happy pup!

The only time he wasn't happy was when I pestered him for a picture. :D 







The Celebrate the Small Things hop is hosted by Lexa Cain and co-hosted by L.G Keltner at Writing Off the Edge and Tonja Drecker at Kidbits. Visit Lexa's blog here to find out how join in the hop yourself and to see the list of participants.










I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend ahead. :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

IWSG & All In For Animals


Hello and Happy 2017!! It's the first Wednesday of the year, which means it's time for the January meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group.

2017 - wow! I started this blog back on December 31, 2010 but really started posting in January of 2011. I can't believe it's been 6 years. What a wonderful ride it's been, with membership in this group being one of the highlights.

The Insecure Writer's Support Group was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh in 2011 and has grown to include upwards of 200 members. If you'd like to join in, visit Alex's site here for a sign-up list and to see this month's co-hosts.

My main insecurity this month is about starting my new project at All In For Animals, which is my new blog dedicated to animal rescue and welfare issues. Getting started with Wordpress.org has been more complicated than I expected, but I think I've finally got it now and I've been able to get the site up and running. Now I just have to write for it! I do have my first post up, but I know I have tons of work to do to get my ducks in a row for future posts and topics.


Still, I'm more excited than I am nervous since I'm devoting time to two of the things I love the most - animals and writing. I hope I can make this venture work. I definitely don't plan on using this blog to advertise my new one, but I thought I'd share a link now since I'm just getting it off the ground. If you're interested in checking out my new space, find me at AllInForAnimals.com.

I hope everyone had a good holiday season and I wish you all a very Happy New Year! Here's to lots more writing adventures for all of us.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Celebrating the Holidays



I'm taking part in one last Celebrate the Small Things hop before wrapping things up for 2016. This week I'm celebrating the upcoming holidays and wishing you all a very happy and healthy holiday season. Thanks for being part of my life for another year, and for allowing me to be part of yours.


Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a very Happy New Year. 
See you in 2017!





The Celebrate the Small Things hop is hosted by Lexa Cain and co-hosted by L.G Keltner at Writing Off the Edge and Tonja Drecker at Kidbits. Visit Lexa's blog here to find out how join in the hop yourself and to see the list of participants.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Friday Celebrations & Revisiting the 80's with Tara Tyler

Source
Happy Friday! If it's Friday, that means it's time to Celebrate the Small Things. This week I'm celebrating that it was my birthday on Tuesday and I had a great birthday. I actually celebrated last weekend and had a great birthday cake, a birthday brownie, and lots of yummy food, all with wonderful people. Can't really ask for more than that.






The Celebrate the Small Things hop is hosted by Lexa Cain and co-hosted by L.G Keltner at Writing Off the Edge and Tonja Drecker at Kidbits. Visit Lexa's blog here to find out how join in the hop yourself and to see the list of participants.











And now I'm turning things over to Tara Tyler, an 80's girl like me, who is visiting as part of her Cradle Rock release tour. Welcome, Tara!

Teenagers, the 80s to Now!

That sounds like an adult hits radio station… I’m very proud to be a child of the eighties. They were such a bright, positive change from the harsh, psychedelic seventies. We had big bold hair, big bold colors, big bold music, and big bold dreams!

Here are a couple pictures from my teenage years in the 80s…



I can’t believe it’s been thirty years since I graduated from high school! The last twenty went the fastest and I blame my kids. All three boys in their teens - yes, I would like to tear my hair out some days...

Teens today are overloaded with technology, overloaded with activities, and overloaded with stress. With more information comes more responsibility, unfortunately, no one is holding anyone else accountable! I also think they should have time to be kids, too. Here’s my comparison: Teenagers - the 80s vs Now

TEENAGERS!

THE 80s
TODAY
In General...

Smaller world
The whole wide world!
Pay phones with cords
Cell phones and wireless
Bullies - physically and verbally abusive, seen, heard, known by all
Cyberbullies - mentally abusive, anonymous trolls who hide and lurk on the internet
Fashion...

Jeans - tight w/o stretch, tight-rolled, acid washed, name brands, high-waisted
Big belts, leg-warmers, fluorescents, off-the-shoulder, headbands, chunky jewelry, mini skirts
Eye shadow!
Big hair for all
Casual - jeans, sweatpants, spandex in everything, leggings (ugh)
Piercings and tattoos
Colorful gym shoes, name brands
Long hair, braids, colorful/dyed, top knots
Beards
Music...

Pop, punk, hard rock, rock ballads, funk, insinuated
Pop, retro!, alternative, songs with a message, rap, blatant, crossover
Movies & Books & more...

The Outsiders, Pretty in Pink, Back to the Future, War Games, The Breakfast Club
Hunger Games, Divergent, The Fault in Our Stars, Harry Potter, Netflix, Youtube!
Communication...

Passing notes, talking on the telephone with a cord attached and a time limit
Texting, snapchat, facetime, etc... limitless!
TIMELESS UNIVERSAL SIMILARITIES
Dealing with Relationships - friends, parents, figures of authority, young love
Growing up - taking on responsibilities, managing time, setting goals
Getting a job, driving, chores, homework
Figuring out what you want out of life

My take on Today’s Teens - Innocence seems lost more quickly these days, but maybe it’s because there’s less shame and more openness which can be good and bad… The internet has brought instant information, instant feedback, instant gratification, but also anonymous antagonism, and TMI self-expression.

Eventually, the cycle begins again with the next generation of teens coming up with new ways to revolt and test their parents’ and societies’ "prudish" ways… I wonder how they’ll turn out! They have to be better than the millenials, right? Ha!

What do you think? Did you love the 80s? What’s wrong/right with today’s teens? Are you ready for the next wave?

Thanks for having me, Julie. Love coming over, and hope to see you more often!

WELCOME BACK TO THE FOREST!


CRADLE ROCK, Beast World Book Two
by Tara Tyler

Gabe the goblin just saved his town Broken Branch Falls from splitting apart. He also revealed that humans--horrible creatures of myth and legend--may actually be part of their history! But seriously? Nah!

Now Ona, Gabe’s girlfriend, is headed thousands of miles away to Camp Cradle Rock for Spring Break seeking evidence of humans. Gabe knows better than to tell a stubborn ogress she’s crazy, so he’s letting her go and spending the break at the beach like a normal teenage beast. And he’s determined to have a good time without her, whether he likes it or not.

But when Gabe hears Ona went missing, he and his friends set out for the wilds of the west to find her, no matter what dangerous creatures get in his way. Not even humans.

Check out the Book Trailer!

Tara Tyler has had a hand in everything from waitressing to rocket engineering. After moving all over, she now writes and teaches math in Ohio with her three active boys and Coach Husband. Currently she has two series, Pop Travel (techno-thriller detective capers) and Broken Branch Falls (fantasy adventures). To squeeze in writing, she economizes her time aka the Lazy Housewife. Make every day an adventure!

Talk to me!
Author Blog ~~ @taratylertalks ~~ Facebook ~~ Housewives Blog


I'm also giving away signed copies of Broken Branch Falls and Cradle Rock, some Beast World swag, and a $20 GC!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

December IWSG & Looking into the Future


Happy IWSG day! The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of host Alex J. Cavanaugh and meets the first Wednesday of every month. To join the group, view the list of current members, and learn about Alex's co-hosts for the month, visit the IWSG page here. 

For the last several months the IWSG team has been providing us with a monthly question to answer as part of our post if we choose. This month's question is:

 "In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?"

This question resonated with me because it's something I've been thinking about quite a bit over the past year. And as 2016 ends, I've decided to change my focus and make some big changes in my writing goals and activities in 2017. 

As anyone who visits this blog regularly knows, I love animals and advocate for animal causes whenever I can. When I first started blogging six years ago, my plan was to blog about this interest and develop a freelance writing career around it. It's safe to say I got sidetracked, but in a great way because of my novels and stories. 

It's been a thrill and a dream to see my stories out in the world and I've loved every second of it. But for now I've decided to focus the majority of my writing time on writing non-fiction pieces about animals and advocacy. I also plan to continue writing children's books that allow me to showcase animal rescues as I did with Baby Moo's Great Escape


Within the next few weeks I'm going to set up a blog on Wordpress called All In For Animals. It's going to be about animal care, wildlife, environmental issues, and, of course, rescues and sanctuaries. I also plan to do book reviews, share cute animal pics or videos, and post other fun things as they arise. I'm taking a course right now on professional blogging and hope to apply what I'm learning to this new venture. 

I'm very excited about these plans and while I know the new site will be hard work, I don't think it will feel too much like it since I'll be doing something I'm passionate about. I'm not shutting this blog down though, and still plan to participate in this group and the weekly Celebrate hop. I'll also always be open to helping spread the word about new book releases from blogger friends. 

Since I skipped last month's IWSG due to NaNoWriMo I wanted to add a quick note to this about my NaNo experience. I was a total NaNo dropout! But I don't regret signing up, because doing so proved to me that the story I wanted to write was better suited to a short story or novella than to a novel. Trying to turn it into a novel made that crystal clear! 

Even though it didn't turn out the way I wanted, I'm still glad I signed up and gave it a try. I now have an idea for a short story collection and I plan to work on that in the year to come. I'm excited to have lots of varied ideas and projects and it feels great to be excited about writing again. 

Hope this month finds all of you well! 



Friday, December 2, 2016

Friday Celebrations & Cradle Rock by Tara Tyler

Hello, all!! Happy December!

I took November off from blogging but now I'm ready to jump back in to the fray with the Celebrate the Small Things hop. Although instead of celebrating the week that was, I thought I'd celebrate the month that was and share my celebrations from November.

In addition to a great Thanksgiving, I had two fun book events in November that I'm still celebrating.


One, I got to hang out with Mr. Cutie-Patootie, Baby Moo himself, at Sunrise Sanctuary's Thanksgiving for the Turkeys. As you can see from the picture, it was COLD and windy as can be, but it was still tons of fun. Sunrise is always a great place to spend time, and since I also sold some copies of Baby Moo's Great Escape it was a great day all around.

Two, I participated in the regional SCBWI's Indy and Small Press Book Festival at Cover to Cover Bookstore in Columbus, Ohio. While he wasn't there in the flesh, Baby Moo was still one of the stars of the occasion. It was a thrill to see him hanging out in the window display!






So that's what I'm celebrating this week. How about you?


The Celebrate the Small Things hop is hosted by Lexa Cain and co-hosted by L.G Keltner at Writing Off the Edge and Tonja Drecker at Kidbits. Visit Lexa's blog here to find out how join in the hop yourself and to see the list of participants.




I'm also thrilled to be helping to spread the word about another great release from my friend Tara Tyler. Here is all the info on her latest, Cradle Rock!

WELCOME BACK TO THE FOREST!


Gabe the goblin just saved his town Broken Branch Falls from splitting apart. He also revealed that humans--horrible creatures of myth and legend--may actually be part of their history! But seriously? Nah!

Now Ona, Gabe’s girlfriend, is headed thousands of miles away to Camp Cradle Rock for Spring Break seeking evidence of humans. Gabe knows better than to tell a stubborn ogress she’s crazy, so he’s letting her go and spending the break at the beach like a normal teenage beast. And he’s determined to have a good time without her, whether he likes it or not.

But when Gabe hears Ona went missing, he and his friends set out for the wilds of the west to find her, no matter what dangerous creatures get in his way. Not even humans.


Check out the Book Trailer!

(insert your comments here)

Here is the list of wonderful CRADLE ROCK RELEASE PARTY POST HOSTS:

12/5 Patricia Lynne Nerds Rule
12/5 Heather R. Holden Vampires
12/7 Juneta Key author spotlight interview
12/9 Julie Flanders Teenagers Now vs 80s
12/9 Elizabeth Seckman Beast-themed Recipe
12/12 Lori L. MacLaughlin Merfolk
12/14 Sharon Bayliss Ogres
12/14 Tyrean Martinson 5 Reasons to use Chapter Titles
12/16 Michael Di Gesu Craziest Spring Break Trip
12/17 Cathrina Constantine Teen Dating
12/19 Christine Rains Hiking Faux Pas
12/19 Alex J. Cavanaugh Beast vs Monster - terminology
12/21 Ann Noser CR Quotes
12/21 Heather M. Gardner Discrimination - joking vs hurting
1/4 Ken Rahmoeller Dragons
1/4 L. Diane Wolfe Marketing Tips - Live & Online
1/9 C Lee McKenzie Grownup Stereotypes
1/11 M. J. Fifield Crazy Road Trip
1/25 Crystal Collier Poetry & Songs in Stories - Writerly Wed

Tara is also giving away signed copies of Broken Branch Falls and Cradle Rock, some Beast World swag, and a $20 GC!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

IWSG and #NaNoWriMo


I'm taking a break from the IWSG and from blogging this month because I am participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time in several years and want to focus on writing as much as possible. I hope everyone is doing well and I wish you all a great November!


For my fellow NaNo participants, if we're not already buddies and you want to be I am JulieAF over there. I'd love to be buddies. Good luck and happy writing!!