Mama Diaries

Thursday, April 28, 2022

IWSG and Back in the Swing of Things


Okay. I know. I'm super-late with the April IWSG post. Fifty lashes with a wet noodle. But the good news is, I'm early for the May one. My three great excuses are spring break. work, and social life. I have so little time for hopping on to blog. 

So, the April question was, "Have any of your books been made into audiobooks?" No. I think it would be really cool if the Bubba and Squirt ones would be, but they haven't hit enough sales yet to become audiobooks.

May question:  What have been the highs and lows of writing? Highs:  Getting accepted by a publisher, seeing book sales, doing school visits, and getting good reviews. Lows:  Not selling as many copies as I'd hoped in spite of investing a lot of money into marketing. Currently, I'm struggling to find time to write and am losing some momentum. (The crazy thing is I'm so close to finishing. I probably have about 5 more chapters to write in the series. I wrote a grand total of 1 paragraph in the last two weeks.) I guess those are the only real lows. I've been fortunate not to have any scathing reviews of my books. Most people seem to like them.  

What are your highs and lows?

In other news, I'm happy that things are starting to pick up in the author world. Recently, I did a book signing at a local fair. It was great to meet so many people! And I'll be doing a school author visit in a few weeks. It's been several years since I've done one. So it's exciting and a little scary at the same time. Hoping I remember how to do them (and how to play the Chinese erhu!).

  And then there's Klaus. 

Always a bundle of trouble. But I think he's finally starting to settle down a bit. It's been a while since he's chewed a hole in the wall or eaten a piece of furniture.    

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

IWSG and New Book Trailer


Boy, that month sure went fast!  Seems like I just did this!  So, the question of the month is, "Have you ever been conflicted about writing a scene in your story? And how did you make the decision to write it or not?"

I had to think about this one. Usually what happens is, I write a scene, and then when I am doing revisions I decide if I keep it or not. The way I decide is I ask myself if it moves the story forward. If it does, great, it stays. If it doesn't, then it gets cut. I don't think I've ever sat down and asked myself if I should write it or not. What about you? Do you write and then cut, or decide first not to write it?

Wanted to share this with you—a new book trailer for my book, Bubba and Squirt's Big Dig to China. I thought the animator, Arjun Singh, did an amazing job with it! And the audio, done by John Israel, is quite impressive! What do you think? 


 And of course, I have to give you another picture of Klaus. He's being a very good boy here.

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

IWSG and Sleepy Puppy


Today's IWSG question is, is there someone who has supported you in your writing journey who is no longer around?  Yes. Not that this person is no longer on the planet, but she is no longer in the blogosphere. That person is Crystal Collier. She was always so supportive and upbeat no matter what was going on in her personal life. It impressed me and meant so much that she stuck around to help promote my book Bubba and Squirt's Big Dig to China. It was her last post. I truly felt honored that she did that.

So many people are like that here in the blogger community. Do you have anyone you miss who's no longer here?

And now for a Klaus story. Klaus doesn't like to be confined. When he gets crated, he restlessly paws at the bottom, trying to dig his way out. Well, he didn't get out, because there was a solid floor under his crate. But he did manage to dig a hole right through the plastic liner. Unbelievable!  All I have to say is those are some seriously sharp teeth and claws! 

Here's the little trouble maker, exhausted from his attempt at escaping:



Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Happy New Year and ISWG


Happy New Year!  I wish you all a very happy, healthy, and productive 2022!

So, let's see. This month's IWSG question is, "What's the one thing in your writing that you regret the most?" Well, that's a tough question to start the New Year with! I don't know that I actually have anything I regret. If I had to say something, it would be that I started my writing journey not knowing enough about the craft or the business. It was a spontaneous, unplanned thing. If you've read any of my interviews from some of the book tours I've done, you know that it was my 3-year-old daughter who encouraged me to get my stories published. Being in the sleep-deprived state I was in, I didn't do much in the way of research. If I had, I probably would have revised my work a little more and waited for a traditional publisher to publish my first book. It's been 17 years since That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN was published. I've learned a lot along the way and made some great connections. And yes, I did get traditionally published. So, in spite of my ignorance in getting started, it's turned out well. (Now, if I don't finish writing the last of my Bubba and Squirt books, I may have regrets. Two manuscripts are ready to go, but the last one is a little slow on getting out of my brain. Better get working on that!)


And here is big boy, Klaus. Today is his first birthday (January 5)! It's been a year of chaos and mayhem. But he sure is cute!

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

IWSG: Writing Stresses and Joys


Today's IWSG question is, "What stresses you out as a writer?  What brings you joy?"

Stresses:  Trying to complete a project when I either don't have time, or I have writer's block. Sometimes revisions stress me out, too, but mostly because of my time issues.

What brings joy:  Completing a project, knowing people like my work, and selling books—lots of them!

How about you? What things make you want to pull your hair out, and what makes you jump up and down?

Friday, November 5, 2021

IWSG and Another Klaus Story


Okay. So I'm a few days late on the IWSG post. Sorry. It's been busy in my world!  Better late than never. The question is, is it easier for me to come up with a title for my work or write a blurb?  Title. For sure! I have titles popping out of my head all over the place. Blurbs take way more effort. They have to be concise, convey the story, and interest the reader at the same time. Not an easy task!  What about you?  Which do you find easier?

And now for another Klaus story:  The feisty canine reached the point in his life all dogs dread. It was time to get neutered. On the day of the operation, he was up bright and early at 6 AM, jubilant and jumping with glee. He knew a car ride was in the picture. The excitement was too much. He arrived at the vet's office, still overjoyed., super-hyper, tugging at the leash, jumping, and greeting everyone who was there.

As you probably know, a dog undergoing the neutering process has to be sedated. Well, Klaus, being the extraordinarily hyper beast he is, wouldn't settle down. Extra tranquilizers were required. Then afterward, when it was time to put the "cone of shame" on him, he needed three people to hold him down to get it done. You'd think after having his privates altered, he'd be a little more subdued. But no. He still wanted to greet everyone. Bumping into them like a drunk person, he rammed them with his cone of shame.  

I'm sure there was a collective sigh of relief when he finally went out the door.

Klaus has fully recovered and is no longer wearing the cone of shame. And he is still as crazy as ever!

Have you ever known a dog (or cat) that required extra tranquilizers to have any kind of operation?

(Note: The story is a second-hand account. I did not take the dog to the vet. The ex did. This is what he says happened.) 


Tuesday, October 5, 2021

IWSG and Cat Dog


This month's Insecure Writer's Support Group question is:  Is there anything you wouldn't write in your books? (That's loosely paraphrased.) Well, yes. I don't write profanity or sexual scenes in my manuscripts. First of all, for children's books, it's not appropriate. Second, I just plain wouldn't feel comfortable doing that. I don't use profanity in my everyday vocabulary because I don't think it's very classy, so why would I write that way?  And I guess I really have never had any desire to write a steamy hot sex scene. What happens in the bedroom should stay private between lovers because more often than not, it ends up coming off less-than-romantic in the written word. It takes a really special talent to pull it off. 

Are there any things you would not think about writing in your manuscripts?   

About cat dog...I am speaking of the wild German Shepherd named Klaus. The other day, I went to the mansion (the ex's place) to pick up my son. When I got there, I found the giant, 80-pound dog standing on a table. What in the world...?  I thought. The ex quickly came and yelled at the beast to get down. 

So, ladies and gentlemen, Klaus does indeed have a new trick:  Jumping on any table he can.  He's like a Tigger (think Winnie the Pooh). Bouncing and jumping,  just like a cat.  Have you ever seen a German Shepherd standing on a kitchen table? If you have, I'd sure like to know about it!