Tuesday, June 10, 2014

HEY! It's ME!! Yeah, It's Been a Minute... Sorry About That

It's been over 18 MONTHS since I last wrote on this blog. I've been a tad busy. I know... I know. No excuses, right? Well, actually, having your little six year-old have 50% of his temporal lobe removed IS kind of a big deal. You can go here to go back and read all about it. But odds are, if you know me at all, you know alllll about the story.

Anyway, I've had an interesting ride, this last year and a half (in addition to the Epilepsy journey!). In fact it's been downright madness, I tell ya. I got an agent... And not just any agent. I got THE Danielle Smith from Red Fox Literary to believe I'm actually worth representing.* It's been an honor and a thrill. She lets me write what my heart wants to write, without thinking I'm some hippie-fied weirdo. THAT. ROCKS. We also share the same nerdy obsessions and that makes our relationship kind of awesome. For example, when she was sick, I may have sent her Sherlock memes to make her happy. It did the trick.

*Hypnotizing. It works like a charm.

So, my other new found love of my life friend asked me if I'd be willing to make a bloggity blog comeback with this fun interview thing. I thought it was actually perfect timing! So we all have Lauren Awesomesauce Eldridge to thank for this return. But if you're thinking that this is the worst idea ever, then we have her to blame. It's all in your hands.

On your marks? Ready... Set... GO!

What am I currently working on?

This is a question I can answer with one word...


I am writing and writing and writing (when you have the freedom to write what you want, you have a grander creativity resource available to you). At this exact moment, I am revising a story I've written that is unlike the others for the simple fact that it... rhymes. *Gasp!* I know. But hey, one must try, right? It's not at all easy, but that's how I like my challenges. Bring it, you rhymer, you!

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I'd personally like to think that my inability to have a niche in the picture book world has made me different. I often hear from my in-person critique group that I bring something different each time I show up. At first, I thought it was my biggest handicap. Now? I rather like that about me. I tend to be less conventional, though. Whatever that means.

Why do I write what I write?

I write what comes from my heart. It really must move me, before I put it to paper. I have to feel passionate about it. That might sound cliché, but it's the truth. I can't write a story about a cactus who wishes it were a banana. I can't pretend I'm funny because I'm really not. I write what makes me go, Oh wow... That's perfect. I also want to show the world that life isn't the same for everyone. That's the thought that actually DRIVES me. There are so many people on this planet; I want to write about and for all of them.

How does my individual writing/illustrating process work?

It starts with an idea. Just a word, even. Then I usually get out me old pen and paper and literally brainstorm on paper. Remember when you were in elementary school and your teacher made you write a word in a circle, and then draw lines that pointed to other circled words, and so on and so on? Remember how much you hated it? Yeah. NOT ME. I loved it then and I absolutely need it now. I can be super visual in my planning of a manuscript. After that, I just... write. I never, ever start writing on the computer though. I always begin with a handwritten draft. I will eventually switch to the computer with reluctance, and start my second, third, thousandth drafts.

Okay, sooooo...

Up Next on this lovely blog tour:

My wonderful friends Marcie Colleen and Tracey M. Cox. They really are two of my most favorite people on this planet (that I've NEVER met in person). I adore them, and you should too!

That's all for now... As awesome things happen, I'll be blogging about them. Don't you worry!!

Look for one last post from Perched in a Tree, coming SOON!! I will be moving my blogging adventures over to my website, and this one will go quiet... AGAIN.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Three Things November Means

I have so many things going on this month, it's INSANE! But three things, in particular, are so incredibly close to my heart, I thought I would share. And since writers share their hearts through writing, I guess that the sharing shall begin... Now.

First off, November has been declared Picture Book Month. Hoo-freaking-ray!!

What does that mean?

It means that Picture Books are not dead (were you unsure of this?). It means that children all around the world deserve to be read to, and have books written just for them! And because I happen to write picture books, this month is incredibly encouraging!! This month can be used to broaden your wildest dreams and share them onto paper, or read them to the most eager of audiences. You've got to love that!

That brings me to one of my favorite challenges that keeps me hanging on, all year long!

That's right, folks... It's Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo)!!!
What does that mean?
The almighty Tara Lazar has created a challenge: Write 30 picture book IDEAS in 30 days. Fabulous, no? I challenge you to do it... It's day 2, and I already have four ideas. It's not hard!!

Lastly (and dearest to my heart)...
What does that mean?
As many of you know, my son Renn, was diagnosed with Complex Partial Epilepsy, in March of this year. It has been a rough transition for him and for our family. We recently went eight weeks to the day without any seizures. However, he's had a few in the last two weeks, and they've been the worst we've seen. There are many trials and tribulations throughout this journey, and I'm grateful to have support groups and Facebook communities to turn to when we have questions. There are so many "Unknowns" about this condition, that is, unless you've been diagnosed or a loved one has. Renn has a form that is still not totally understood. Yes, it has a general name that covers the basis of what his seizures are like. However, the cause, the location, and the ultimate results on what his seizures are doing to his brain haven't been figured out, yet.
 I am hoping that many of you will spread the word about Epilepsy to at least one person, this month. Wear purple! Do some research, find someone who might be struggling with it, and buy them a milkshake. Learn, learn, learn!! The more we know, the more of an opportunity we have to love on and help others. It's important, as a society, that we care for ALL.
So, as you prepare for your Thanksgiving feast, or shake your head at how quickly Christmas decor came about in the stores, remember the FUN things and the important things that November has to offer.

Happy writing, God bless, and love on someone special, today. :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

We Have A Winner!

It was a close race, I tell ya! And what a marathon, it was! People were huffing and puffing as they crossed that finish line, but by golly, there always has to be ONE winner.

So, as you all gulp your Gatorade and catch your breath, I'm proud to announce our first place, (pretend) medal and signed copy of Marathon Mouse winning runner is...

LJ MOZ!!!!!!
WooHoo!! Congrats, LJ! Now, email me at bethany(dot)telles(at)ymail(dot)com and we'll get that book right to you!!
Amy, I hope this was proof enough that you matter, that you're important, and that we can't wait to parade Marathon Mouse all around town!! Here's to you, to Preston Mouse, and to all the insane success that you're sure to endure. We're so very proud of you!
Go Preston, GO!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Happy Book Birthday, Amy Dixon!!

There are moments in life that are pure coincidences, but then there are moments that are pure blessings. And I had a pure blessing moment, about thirteen months ago, when I joined my wonderful critique group...

I know, I know.
PLEASE, Bethany, not another braggy post about your dreamy critique group!!! We just can't take it!
Well, fine. BUT, one of my amazing critique group members is celebrating something spectacular, today, and I'm shouting it from the rooftops!

My pal, Amy Dixon, is finally watching her dreams come true... TODAY! Her cute, lovely, wonderful, and dare I say PERFECT Picture Book, Marathon Mouse, is officially out. It's about Preston Mouse, who has decided to enter the NYC Marathon! He's a brave little guy, I tell ya! Believe me, it's a MUST READ, and needs to go to the top of your To Be Read (TBR) pile!
I'm doing the biggest, snoopy-est, happy dance for her! So, to celebrate, I want to help you get a SIGNED copy of this mousealous book!
Here's what to do...
Share this post with everyone you know. I'm talking teachers, uncles, aunts, neighbors, neighbors' kids, neighbors' grandmothers, your mailman, and even the clerk at the grocery store! Or, maybe just do it all at once, and hit the good ol' "Share" button, and get it out to all your social media sites.
Then, I want you to flood Amy's Facebook page with "Likes" and Happy Book Birthday wishes! Make them fun! Take pictures of yourself wearing mouse ears, or something. I don't really care what they are, as long as she's OVERWHELMED with love and attention!
Once you've done that, I want you to inform me in the comments section, below.
You have until 11:59pm (Pacific) on Friday, October 19, 2012, to enter.
She deserves to be celebrated, BIG time, doesn't she??  Let's do it!!!
We are SOO proud of you, Amy! We can't wait to watch you soar, and to say that we knew you when. :) We lift you up, today!! Happy, happy Book Birthday!! Here's to many, MANY more!!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I Ponder Wednesdays: What Would You Say?

Yes, I know... I have been quite the terrible blogger, as of late. I wish I had a better excuse than the few I have (painting our house, catching up on a Summer's worth of laundry, preparing for/going to my first ever Children's Book Festival), but I don't.

Wait a second...

I haven't even discussed the totally awesome festival that I got to be a part of???

Oh my... Well, maybe that will be a good topic for today, seeing as I had a LOT of questions running through my mind when I was there. And the best one? It was actually given to me by an 8 year-old girl.

I was invited to present my book, Waiting for James in a Sea of Pink , at the ScholarShare Children's Book Festival, held at FairyTale Town in Sacramento, CA, and boy... was it ever FUN!

The day started with award-winning author and jazz genius, Matthew Gollub , introducing himself to me (after I almost fell over saying something dumb like, "I know you, I looked you up!!") saying, "I looked you up, too, and I'm really glad to finally meet you."

Um, I'm sorry, time out... WHAT?! This guy is an AWARD WINNER. I'm talkin', the kind of guy who is well known, and does NOT need to know or care who on earth I am!!

I digress. So, when he introduced me on stage, he had all the kids count the syllables in my name. Then they clapped together and shouted Be-tha-ny! Be-tha-ny!

Matthew Gollub! And blown away ME in the background.
Not going to lie, friends. There was no time or ability to be nervous. I had all the kiddos come on stage with me and that GIANT thrown (that I'm still mad at myself for not actually sitting in!). I did an activity with two volunteers and read my book... Wow.

It all went by so very, very fast!
If you look hard enough, you can see both my kiddos sitting up there, among the children. My author pals, Amy Dixon and Elizabeth Stevens Omlor's kiddos were up there, too!
After it was all done, I got to sign post cards (since my book is an eBook), give away bracelets and other goodies, and talk to kids and parents about what I do.
It's funny, when you finally become what you've wanted to become your whole life, you almost never remember what it took to get there. I had the fortunate chance to glance back at some of those very memories when a beautiful little girl said something to me that rocked me to my core:
"Um, I want to be a writer when I grow up. Do you have any advice for me?"
My mind went blank and flooded with so many ideas all at once! Luckily, after I picked my jaw off the grassy knoll I was seated on, I was able to give her probably more advice than she was looking for. And her mother? You could tell that she was one of those amazing moms who teaches their kids all the right stuff. I was so thrilled!!!
However, now I want your answers. I think it's important to keep up with what kids want to know, right? So...
If an 8 year-old child asked for advice...
Advice that would gear their lives
 to go in the same direction as yours has gone,
what would you say?
Answer away, friends! And, happy writing!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I Ponder Wednesdays: We Have A Winner!

Happy Birthday, to me... Happy birthday to me... Happy biiiirrrrthday to MEEEEE... Now who wins the prize?!

Okay, I am obviously not a songwriter (my brother got all the talent, there!), BUT, it's time to announce who won  Bethany's Birthday Bonanza contest!! WooHoo!

Let me say this much, I am so very, very glad that I chose to use Random.org. Why? Because the entries were SO darn fantastic. We even got some newbies to the blogging world! I hope everyone waves hello to Karen Moore and Kathy Gorman! *waves hi* Karen is a self-published PB author of a book that I'm eager to get my hands on, and Kathy is a retired teacher (from one of my old schools, no less) who loves to write for kiddos! Please embrace them and show them how wonderful our community is!

Anyway, the entries... wow. You guys had me laughing on the floor and begging for more! I loved the characters, each play on words (atta girl, Beth!), and all the love that was so obviously put into them. They made my birthday week very special!

So without further adieu, our winner is...

Her story about 6 year-old Humphrey, his stuffed Elephant, and the birthday wish of ALL birthday wishes coming true? AWESOME! I really, really hope that you finish this one, Abigail. I look forward to the ending, and would absolutely be honored to look at it once it's done!
Everyone congratulate Abigail! Hip, hip, HOORAY!
Thanks to all of you who entered. I so loved this last week! Thank you for all the sweet birthday wishes and words. I'll say it again, I love our community! See you next week!
*Abigail- email me (bethany.telles@ymail.com) and I'll get you your prize!!!*

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I Ponder Wednesdays: Happy Birthday to MEE! Oh, Do You Want A Contest?


In one, ONE WEEK it will be my birthday. And let me tell you, birthdays are great. But mine?

It's the BEST!!

I used to start counting down the days 'til my special day from July 19th. Oh, how much my childhood friends must have suffered. I would go as far as to tell janitors at my school just how many days/hours/minutes it was until I was to turn another year. I am not sure why, but I have always loved my birthday to an unhealthy point.

I have since calmed down a bit (in other words, I have taken my squeals of delight into rooms where no one can hear me, and have only done the July 19th countdown thingy in secret with my poor children).

However, it is now OFFICIALLY my birthday WEEK, and I would love it if you would help me celebrate. So...


You are hereby invited to
Bethany's Birthday Bonanza
WHEN: From today, 9/12/12, to Sunday, 9/16/12, 11:59 (PDT)
WHERE: Right here! On this blog!
You don't even have to get out of your seat!
WHAT: This is a contest!!
You are to write a 250-word story
that must contain the following items-
1. Your MC celebrating his/her birthday
2. An elephant (real, imaginary, or stuffed)
3. An odd question
RSVP: Please either subscribe to my blog or "Like" my FB page*,
then submit your story in the comment section below.
You must do BOTH (subscribe/Like AND submit story)
in order to be put in the running.
PRIZE: After the contest time is over, I will chose the winner using Random.org.
The winner will receive a $15 Amazon
Gift Card, for MY birthday!!
There you have it, ladies and gentlemen!
OH- the WINNER will be announced next week, ON my birthday!
We'll have a paaaaarrrtaaayyy!!!!
Good luck!! I greatly look forward to reading your entries...
*If you have already subscribed to this blog and/or have "Liked" my page, please let me know so that you can get an extra VIP point. :) Thanks!