Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I Ponder... Wednesdays: What Deflates Your Creative Balloon?

I cannot believe it's already Wednesday, and then again, I can't believe it's only Wednesday. This last week has been filled with so many ups and downs, I do not believe that even the most dangerous, terrifying, or insane roller coaster on the planet can even compete. All in all, we had some really bad news sucker punch our family in the gut on the very same day I found out that I had gotten published. It made Friday, March 23, 2012 feel like it was a two-month period in the mere 12 hours the sun was in the sky.

When I have a lot happen at once, I tend to stand firm. I stay strong for those around me who might otherwise not be able to continue to walk. It's my natural defense mechanism. My one of many, really. But while I stay strong on the outside, my insides are constantly trying to figure out my next move. Always the ponderer, I lay all my "what-ifs" on the table, and I solve them one by one with the most viable answer I can come up with. Survival instinct? Maybe. Crazy lady syndrome? Most assuredly! I can't even imagine the facial expressions people catch me with when I'm lost in thought!

I ponder... I calculate... I plan.

There's only one problem. There is ALWAYS someone lurking in a deep, dark corner looking to destroy your plans. And when it comes to creativity, that Defeat Monster is the worst. For me, what really gets me down is doubt. Anytime someone (or even my own self) doubts what it is that I am doing, I feel like, well... an idiot. I tend to assume that the whole wide world knows more about life than I do. Almost as though I am perpetually 10 years old. What's the sad truth? I feel that way even when it comes to my OWN ideas and creative juices! Like, the ones that need NO ONE else's opinion! Doubt... It's an awful, terrible enemy of Bethany's.

So, my question for this week:

What deflates YOUR creative balloon,
and what do you do to inflate it again?

I don't want this to get dark and depressing, so please share how you stay on track, too.

As for me? I simply turn off my computer, pray, and REALLY sit with my boys and play. I wrestle. I fight with the ever growing amount of lightsabers and wear the Star Wars costumes we now have in abundance. I bring back... Me.
And eventually, the Defeat Monster moves on. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

"Pre-Published" NO LONGER!

I got the news on Friday... It's now Sunday, and I have finally stopped shaking. And not shaking in the terrified, just-watched-horror-movie-all-alone-and-power-went-out type of way. More like, shaking because...


Whew! Feels good to get that out!! But, yes... The time has come, and I am thrilled. MeeGenius! decided that even though I didn't win the Author Challenge, they wanted to publish my book anyway. I am still dizzy from trying to figure out what all this means, but I know that, if nothing else, my self-esteem has changed forever!!

My eBook, Waiting for James in a Sea of Pink, illustrated by the AMAZING Tyler Parker , is now available! You can click on the link at the end of this post to check it out! MeeGenius is neat because they give you a couple-page preview of each of their books.

Big congratulations to ALL the winners, but most especially to my friend, Jennifer Young! Her book, POISON APPLE PIE , has been published as well. Thank you MeeGenius!!! What a fantastic opportunity; I cannot WAIT to share this book with the rest of the world!!

Without further adieu...

Click HERE  to check it out!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I Ponder... Wednesdays: What must it be like?

We've all read them... Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games...


(Okay- wait. HUGE confession, and PLEASE don't hate me, come knock down my door, and throw me into the firey pit of Mount Doom. I just never got around to Mr. Potter; plus, teenage vampires just really aren't my thing, and neither is the thought of a post apocalyptic world filled with teens killing one another.)
Bethany doesn't belong here!

ANYWAY, I've been thinking that these mega popular books-turned movies have all been written by women. As I am NOT a super feminist, I AM still proud of of my fellow ladies. What an accomplishment, no? I mean, Ms. Rowling has more money than the Queen of England, herself (or so I've heard)!!! I digress...

Though I've not read these books, and nor do I even write these kinds of books, I can't help but wonder what it must feel like to get the phone call that your book(s) has made the New York Times Best Seller List... and then one that asks permissions that your book(s) become a major motion picture... and then to see the merch, the billboards, and the thousands of people lined up to see that movie.

You see, I did not get involved in writing so that "one day" my book would be greater than... a BOOK. I wanted to write so that children could one day fall in love with reading because they happened to love what I'd written. However, I won't lie and say that the "Hollywood thought" hasn't crossed my mind! I mean, the what-if factor can get blown up to giant proportions, can't it? But, I think if you allow it, you'll lose sight of your original purpose. So, this week, I give this thought for you to ponder...

Do you allow yourself to fantasize (to have the "Hollywood Thought")?
 Does it help, or hinder your creativity?

I'm curious about this one. I once had someone tell me that they worried it would jinx what they were writing. I doubt that Ms. Rowling, Ms. Meyer, or Ms. Collins EVER thought that their ideas would take them to the heights they're soaring to. But then again, maybe they always knew.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Tag! Lucky Meme!!

Lucky, lucky me! I got tagged with...

 The Lucky 7 Meme!

My darling friend, Jennifer Young, tagged me with it! Now, I KNOW you've heard about her (since every award I get is either given BY or TO her!). But her blog over at Castles in the Sky. You must check her out! 

Alright, so here are the rules to the Lucky 7 MEME:

1. Go to page 77 of your current ms. (Since I typically write children's Picture Books, I shall skip to #2)

2. Go to line 7.

3. Copy down the next 7 lines/sentences, and post them as they're written. No cheating.

4. Tag 7 other authors!

Okay, so the ms I am working on is called,
A Girl in the Mountains, a Boy at Sea

Here we go with line #7:

She imagined the sea, and the sounds of the waves crashing on the distant caves. She could taste the salty air, and feel the warm sun on her skin.
Someday. She’d think to herself.
Miles and miles away, a boy collected sea shells… One white, one black, one chipped, one whole. He loved the shore. He swam in the ocean until his arms felt like noodles, exploring the reef and its colorful fish.


Okay, I did my part! Here are my Lucky 7 choices!
Melissa Khalinsky -          

Thanks again, Jennifer! Check these blogs out, guys. See you on Wednesday!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I Ponder... Wednesdays: Are your characters about YOU?

I was in the bookstore not too long ago, and while I was searching for God-knows-what, I found myself in the Biography section. I am not a person who is fascinated by Biographies, Auto or otherwise. I mean, yes, they are quite interesting! But, I get board pretty quickly. Anyway, as I looked around at the hundreds of titles, I started to wonder what I would say in my own, lengthy explanation of how I got to where I'll be when I'm 75 (which is the age I think one should be when writing such a book!). Then that made me wonder if anyone would dare write their bio in Picture Book format. How fun would that be?

Of course, THEN, my semi-ADD mind went into another direction. Out of the stories I have written, how many of the characters that I've created have actually been me in disguise? And the truth is, not a one. Sure, I have several stories based off other people and incidents in my life. But, none are about me. I began to wonder if there was a reason for that.

Now, don't underestimate me. I could be a fun, long-haired, super sleuth elephant, if I wanted to! But I've never felt that personifying something with characteristics that I carry, would benefit anyone.

 That got me pondering...

How many characters in the fiction stories  you write
(picture book, chapter book, etc.), are
 based off of... yourself?

It's a random, quirky, and probably silly question, right? But it's one to think about. Every story is inspired by some event, or someone that you've come across. Sit back in your thinking chair or quiet space, and if you don't have any stories based of YOU, I'd love to know, plus I'd love to know why! If you create characters based off of the things you've done or the way you, personally, feel about life, please share. It would baffle me to know that I am the only one who doesn't do this. But it would also encourage me to maybe think that the "real" Bethany has some good stuff to offer!

Happy writing, guys. Feel free to be YOU, today! As for me? I will spend my day being...

... her. :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Sunshine Award!

I don't think there could have been better timing... I got an award! It's not just your everyday award, either... It's the SUNSHINE Award!

What's that, you ask? Well, the Sunshine Award is given to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspire others in the blogosphere. The rules of acceptance are that you must answer the following 9 questions, and then pass the award love along to others…

To say that my friend, Amy, is a talented writer, would a gigantic understatement. She has her debut book release coming later this year (can't wait for Marathon Mouse!!!!), she has a wonderful blog (A Million Words), and something else keeping her busy... Hmmm... What was that, again? Oh yeah! FOUR KIDS!!! She's so gifted, and I am honored to accept this award from her. Thanks, friend!

Now, to the questions!

  1. Favorite Color: Red. But not like a Fire Engine. More like a deep, dark red. 
  2. Favorite Animal: We all know this already... Elephants! Though dogs and goats are high up on my list of favorites, too. ;)
  3. Favorite Number: 11
  4. Favorite Drink:  Any kind of tea. Mainly pomegranate.
  5. Facebook or Twitter:  I'd have to say Facebook. I'm active on Twitter, but I can never seem to understand the point. Plus, I always feel like I'm eavesdropping.
  6. Your Passion:  Sigh... There are so many answers to this question! I think I'll go with one that maybe none of you would guess. I have a heart for Special Needs kids. Before I had children of my own, I worked with several programs, and at one fantastic job, where I helped out these incredible children. I've gone to Special Olympics events, too. Just love it. I could go on and on...
  7. Giving or receiving presents: Giving. I couldn't care less about getting a single thing.
  8. Favorite Day:  Clearly, this is random. But I love Thursdays. I always have! Not sure why, though.
  9. Favorite Flower: Gerber Daisies. I loathe roses. At our wedding (7 years ago tomorrow!) we had red and white Gerber Daisies EVERYWHERE. They seem so simple and elegant.
Alright, here's the fun section! I would love to bestow this happy Sunshine Award toooooooo:

My Banana Peelin' friend, Elizabeth Stevens Omlor! Home of Banana Peelin' Thursdays (there's that random Thursday, again!) where she has published authors share their tales of slips and mishaps on the road to being published.

Jennifer Young!! Over at Castles in the Sky, she discusses all sorts of things! She does Author interviews, participates in Perfect Picture Book Fridays, and is even starting a Mixed Media Fan Club!

Eric VanRaepenbusch... Yeah, I know you've heard of him! He's the classy dad over at Happy Birthday Author!! I love Authors, I love this blog, and I love birthdays! Triple win for me!!

Donna Martin! This behind-kickin', black belt wearin', crazy awesome writer over at On the Write Track, has some great things to pass on. Plus, I'm scared she'll ninja attack me, so... Love you, Donna!!

Jarm Del Boccio at Making the Write Connections (another blog with the "Write" idea! haha). Man, this one is a neat blog! Jarm throws in her love of writing, history, and travel, all while showing some compassion to others. Fantastic!

My pal, Stacy S. Jensen does EVERYTHING on her blog! Seriously, this is her quote about her posting schedule:
"I post on Mondays about my writing journey.
On Thankful Thursdays,
I share helpful, writing resources.
I participate in Perfect Picture Books on Fridays.
Sometimes, life in general sneaks into a post."
Seriously?! :)

Alrighty, because I feel weird about odd numbers (another fact about me, for another time!), I'm giving you these six. PLEASE check them out! Follow them, learn from them, any by all means, do as the tell you!

Thanks again, Amy! I'm going to bask in the Sunshine!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I Ponder... Wednesdays: Would you write better without social media?

I have seen a lot of posts on various social media sites this week that have complained about how distracting social media sites are (yes, I see the dilemma there, too). It's a catch-22, really. We, as writers, need to write constantly. We also need to research, and that is where the Internet is wonderful. The whole world is at our fingertips!

Including... Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.

On these sites, we have an availability to "meet" other authors, interact with editors, publishing houses, and learn our craft from so many who have already walked the path we've just begun to walk. But, the downside is, I find myself getting caught up in it all and I often lose the time I'd saved to write.

That got me pondering...

If social media sites weren't available, would my writing be better or worse? Would you be less distracted? Would you have more time to write?

Seems like a simple answer could be given. But, give it some thought! I have found tons of confidence, stability, and ideas all through social media sites. I admit, I used to use my imagination more, when creating my stories. Now I notice that I am looking through popular trends to find what could be my next story. I don't think the quality of what I write has suffered, I just wonder how much more I could get done, if not for the constant posts and messages I just HAVE to read.

Who knows?? Double edged sword, maybe? Tell me your thoughts!