Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Teaser Tuesday

Rumspringa Teaser #3 - Sarah

"Alright, I'm off then. Class starts in twenty minutes,” Rebecca told me. Taking her things from behind the counter she added, "I forgot to tell you, my brother says the Schrock's are having a rumspringa back-acres party Memorial Day weekend. I want you to come with me."
"You're not going to the sing-a-long on Sunday?” I asked, following her into the women's restroom where she could change.
She gave me a pointed look. "No," she said, handing me her apron. "And neither are you." Rebecca rapidly changed into her English clothes for school in one of the stalls. She doesn't like to stand out at Westview High School and her parents think it is for the best. She stepped out wearing tight fitting jeans and a pink Aeropostale T-shirt. Not exactly the Amish style of long dresses and prayer caps. Her hair was left up even though it was not covered. To wear hair exposed was considered dishonorable. 
Rebecca sighed heavily. "Sarah, you promised me that during your rumspringa you'd branch out a little bit. After all, it's what we're meant to do, to run around and be free of our usual constraints."
I did not add that the real purpose of rumspringa was to find an Amish mate, but I was tired of sounding like a sour grape.
Apparently I hesitated too long because next thing I knew she grabbed me by both of my shoulders, giving them a gentle shake. "Now is the time," she insisted.
          "Okay," I agreed. It probably would not hurt for once, just to be with the girls. And she was right, now was the time. "I will give it a go, I guess."

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Here's to you, Peter Wilson

I have been meaning to do this for some time. This morning while the house was quiet, I found a couple of moments to transpose my son's writing essay about someone he admires. It's not about the president. It's not about Martin Luther King, Jr. It's about a fisherman. It's totally cute and please don't judge - he takes after his mother's lack of spelling (Willson is really Wilson) and grammar skills (you might find a few missing commas).

I admire Peter Willson. Peter Willson is my dads friend. I admire him because he is a good fisherman.
       One time me my dad and Peter Willson went camping at a lake. He cot* about fifteen fish no joke. He can catch fish in lakes and rivers.
       Peter Willson cot fish in different condishoins. Like when we went camping he cot fish in the cold and in the warm. He can catch fish high up in the mountins and low.
       Peter Willson catchs different kinds of fish. Peter Willson has cot trout. Also a fish called carp. He has cot steelhead samon and king samon.
       So that’s why I admire Peter Willson hes a great fisherman and all those reasons.

Simple, direct and right on point. What's not to love about this AMAZING essay?

*My son would like you to know that he knows how to spell cot now. I mean caught.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Fun

Here is another teaser from Rumspringa my new young adult contemporary romance novel out on submission. Enjoy!

Rumspringa Teaser #2 - Liam
She was staring at me again. The pretty one.
When she was preoccupied with taking a customer’s order, her back was towards me and I could study the way the early morning sunlight streamed through the windows catching each individual flyaway hair, turning it into a shimmery golden wisp around the crown of her head.  The effect was like a halo about her prayer cap which was always perfectly in place and the pleats of her dress pressed without a wrinkle.
I admired the Amish - from a distance - their faith, their commitment to family, their community, the steadfastness of it. I was not religious, but I did think everything had a soul, just in a non-practicing, non-dogma sort of way.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tantalizing Wednesday

Because Wednesday is only at it's beginning, I have decided to lighten the mood by offering a teaser from Rumspringa my new young adult contemporary romance novel. Enjoy!

Rumspringa Teaser #1 - Sarah

At work, I often caught myself watching Liam. I wondered what a contemporary city boy was doing in the middle of Indiana Amish country. I knew that he had come suddenly to live with his uncle, but I did not know any of the specifics. I also knew that Liam was not attending Westpoint High school with Rebecca because she would have told me so.
Regardless of how dangerous and out of place he looked, I could see him staring thoughtfully at the flour and salt as he began each shift, quietly. He seemed very adept at the process of turning stock ingredients into something delicious. He started by sprinkling a little flour onto the board and on his rolling pin to keep it from sticking. Next, he patiently rolled the dough out into a perfect rectangle then switched to using his hands and gently tugged on all sides to stretch the dough, careful to straighten out the wrinkles, like a delicate piece of cloth. His skilled fingers artfully folded the cinnamon filling into the pastry, tucking the sugared apple pieces in just so. Afterwards, he generously brushed melted butter over the exposed layers for good measure.
There was a lot of gossip about him flying around our close-knit community. That he was a trouble maker. A delinquent from Chicago. Recovering drug addict. Lazy. Watch out. Idle hands are the devil's tools.
There was nothing idle about those hands.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Declaration of Love for My Knight and Shining Armor

In the spirit of St. Valentine and at the risk of exposure by sharing too much personal information (what else is new?) here are two journal entries I recently discovered from 20 years ago, copied verbatim and made into a Valentine for MKISA today.

May 23, 1993

It’s the little things that make me happy. Like when Keith did the dishes or when he made dinner that one night or when he thanks the waiter or waitress and moves off of the hiking path so people can walk by first. The little things, that really is what counts the most for me. Plus he’s a bit of a romantic. I’m a little frightened because I know I want a husband and children and I do not want to rush anything because I know I want these things. In other words, how long do I wait? And how much do I compromise? What’s really important? Keith really is so nice in these little things. What the hell is in his head about the big picture? What does he think about me? Does he even think about me? The other day when he asked me if there was anything I wanted to do (because he was thinking about rock climbing with this girl) and I said, “Whatever you want.” And he replied, “That’s not what I asked.” And I wanted to marry him right there.

November 11, 1995

Well some years later here and I need to come back and finish this journal. Now Keith and I are engaged and I am happy.

Wedding Day  

*No, that is not a mole or bug on MKISA's neck but residue on the computer scanner and I don't have time to fix

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Business of Writing

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the business of writing (no news on the submission front for those of you asking, believe me you’ll read about it here). At some point authors have to shift from the “dream” of writing to the “business” of writing. 

You may or may not know that at a publishing house editors have an acquisitions meeting every week or two. This is where editors come to the table to sell your book to their colleagues (the publisher, marketing, sales and the like). I imagine it goes something like this:

Editor #1: You guys, I’ve got this family drama about two football coaches who are brothers always trying to best the other and eventually go head-to-head in the competition of their lives during the Super Bowl XLVII championship.

Editor #3: That is so yesterday.

Editor #2: I’ve got this one book about vampires and werewolves.

Editor #1: *yawns*

Editor #3: No dude, you’ve got to read this new tell all book from @JocelynnBieber who apparently says behind closed doors Justin Bieber really did grope her boob in that pic that went viral.

Everyone all together: *eyebrows raise* Ohhhhh!

Assistant to Editor #1, Editor #2, and Editor #3: Who wants Starbucks?

This is why it’s super important to have a good pitch ready for your novel. You need to help your editor and agent sell your book to their business associates because it takes a village, people. You might even want to consider this before you spend a year writing your next bestseller.