Mama Diaries

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

IWSG Question of the Month and Meet Klaus!

 


This month's question is:  Everyone has a favorite genre or genres to write. But what about your reading preferences? Do you read widely or only within the genre(s) you create stories for? What motivates your reading choice?

I write for children—picture books and younger middle-grade books. I used to read a lot of those genres, mostly because my kids were young, and I wanted to select books they'd enjoy. But I think my favorite genre to read is historical fiction—the adult variety. I enjoy the history aspect of them. If I read middle-grade books, I like ones that have fantasy/adventure elements. Those are more exciting to me than reading about middle-grade social issues and problems. 

What about you? What genres do you enjoy reading?


And now for a drumroll . . .

I would like to introduce you to our newest family member:  Klaus! He came home yesterday, and he's the sweetest little bundle of joy!



 



Wednesday, February 3, 2021

IWSG Question of the Month

 


I can't believe another month has just rolled around! January was insanely busy. Just finished another move. Hopefully, that will be it for a while. And Bubba just got a job as a chef at a restaurant. A big step up from McDonald's! You may remember from stories from a few years back how much he enjoyed creating interesting culinary concoctions. Let's hope he sticks with the book, or guests will get some interesting sensory experiences!

Today's IWSG question of the month is:  Blogging is often more than just sharing stories. It’s often the start of special friendships and relationships. Have you made any friends through the blogosphere?


Why, yes! I'm sure this answer is true for so many of you. I met my publisher through blogging. And both of my editors. Not to mention so many incredibly supportive friends!  Thanks to all of you for your friendship over the last 15 years. I've been through a lot in my personal life. Some of you know about it. But even the ones who don't know, you have been there through the years, and it's always been nice coming here to reconnect with you, even if at this point it's only once a month. You all rock!


Now for your entertainment:  I've been working on making a CD of violin/piano music. My accompanist and I videoed one of our rehearsals. If you'd like to hear a song, go here

 


 

Monday, January 4, 2021

IWSG Question of the Month

 



First of all, I'd like to wish you a very Happy New Year! I sure hope 2021 is a lot better than 2020!

It's time for the ISWG question of the month: 

Being a writer, when you're reading someone else's work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people's books?

Here's my top three things:  Boring, predictable plots. Spelling and grammar errors galore. Uninteresting characters.

What about you? What makes you put down a book?

Before I go, I'd like to let you know that  I am a guest on the Hands-on Book blog. You can stop by to read how to make marshmallow constellations and learn a little about my newest book, Bubba and Squirt's Mayan Adventure.




Friday, December 4, 2020

Guest Author, Tyrean Martinson

 



Today, I have author, Tyrean Martinson at my pad. She's here to tell us about her new book, Lift Off. 

Hi, Tyrean. Your book, Lift Off is such a fun sci-fi read. 

What gave you the idea to have a spaceship in disguise as a movie theater?

As a kid, there was something about the way the little lights on the aisles lit up that made

me think of space ships. As a teen, I saw a theater that reminded me of a spaceship from the

outside, and the idea stuck in my imagination but didn’t have an outlet for decades until I wrote

Liftoff.


You stated in the book that you hadn't planned on making a series, but that's where it's

heading. Do you have any idea of how many books will be in it?

I have five books generally outlined. The only problem is the outline for book five is

rather lengthy, and it may end up splitting into six books. My overall outline takes up over

twenty pages. Each book will be under 30,000 words because I want these to be fast-paced reads

for reluctant readers, and I am working within a length that seems to work for me.


This story was conceived in April during the pandemic. How long did it take to write?

I wrote the rough draft between the last days of March and the first three weeks of April,

so I guess it was actually started in March, but really took shape in April. I revised it, then sent it

to an editor. I was ready to say “done,” but during the revision process, I discovered more

questions I wanted to answer. In a way, the second, third, and fourth drafts really finished the

book, so it took around thirty days to get the basic book done, then another three months to finish

it during revisions and editing.


Who is your favorite character and why?

Out of all the stories I’ve written so far, Amaya is my favorite main character. She has

depth to her, and I want to make sure that comes across on the page in a way that works and

shows her character growth throughout the series. She’s fun to write because riding along with

her is like taking a walk in someone else’s shoes, even though she’s from my imagination.

My second favorite character is actually Tanwen, who we don’t meet until much later in

book one. She fascinates me with her other-worldliness. I really like my secondary characters so

I have to be careful not to go to far into Tanwen’s backstory in the rest of the series.

My third favorite character is Sol. At first, Sol was mainly a catalyst to Amaya’s journey,

and I didn’t have a good sense of what drove him as a character in the first draft. I did some side

scenes just for him to understand him more, and although those aren’t in the book, they informed

the way he acts in the book.


If you had a super-power, what would it be?

I used to always say flight or super speed, but right now, I really wish I had healing

powers, or the ability to build up healing powers in others so we could heal the hurts in the real

world.


What's next for you?

My main focus is The Rayatana Series, Books 2 and 3. In Books 2-5, Amaya discovers

more about her past to make decisions about her future and the future of the galaxy. Of course,

the galaxy isn’t static, and in Liftoff, she made ripples that will bounce back to her in

unexpected waves.


My Review:

When Amaya spends a little time in a theater, relaxing with her friends, she doesn't expect to be taken in a spaceship to a far-off galaxy to deal with tensions between alien races. But that's exactly what happens in this fun, fast-paced space adventure.

When she discovers who she really is, Amaya has to adapt quickly and be everything the prophecies foretold. Not an easy job!

With humor and likable, interesting characters, this is a fun, fast-paced novella that any sci-fi enthusiast would enjoy.  -5 Stars


About the Book: 

Title: Liftoff

Subtitle: The Rayatana Series, Book 1

A spaceship in disguise,

An Earth girl searching for a sense of home,

And a Thousand Years’ War between alien races,

All collide on a summer afternoon.

An old movie theater welcomes Amaya in and wraps her up in the smell of popcorn and

licorice. But one sunny afternoon during a matinee, the movie screen goes dark. The theater

rumbles.

Amaya gets trapped in the middle of an ancient alien conflict. Angry and frightened, Amaya

entangles herself in a life-changing cultural misunderstanding with Sol, a young alien who

keeps omitting key information, even while they’re on the run from his enemies.

What will it take to survive a battle between alien races involved in an ancient war?

Liftoff is a fast-paced read for fans of Code 8, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Cobra Kai.

Release Date: November 10, 2020

Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9889933-8-9

Ebook ISBN: 978-0-9889933-9-6

Copyright Tyrean Martinson November 2020

Publisher: Wings of Light Publishing, Gig Harbor, WA, USA

Professionally Edited by Chrys Fey

Cover Art and Interior Design by Carrie Butler

LINKS: AmazonUS Kobo Smashwords Barnes and Noble

Bookbub Goodreads



About the Author: Tyrean Martinson is an author and teacher from Washington State. As a

former fencer and kickboxer, she enjoys writing fight scenes in fast-paced novels and

novellas. As a teacher and writing tutor, she loves to get students writing and reading

comfortably by any means: talk-to-text, short writing assignments, short stories, novellas, and

adventures. She wrote her latest novella, Liftoff, for herself during COVID, but realized it

also fits a dream she’s had for a while: to create a short, fast-paced read for teen/YA readers

who love popcorn movies, adventure, and sweet romance.

Author Links: Blog Newsletter Instagram Twitter Facebook


Wednesday, December 2, 2020

IWSG Post of the Month


 Today's ISWG question is: Do you find that you are more productive in writing during certain times of the day, week, month, or year?  Nope. Everything depends on what kind of workload I have with my other jobs.  When I'm swamped, little or no writing gets done. I try to carve out time at least once a week, but honestly, sometimes I just don't have the time. Well, that's not entirely true. I guess if I didn't sleep, I'd have time. But I'd rather sleep.

What about you? Are you more productive during certain times?


And here's some news:  The ex is going to get another German Shepherd. If you recall, our dear Schultz died earlier this year. I guess the house was a bit too quiet without the patter of doggy feet. So, ladies and gentlemen, the new furry creature will be named Klaus. This is a picture of a puppy from his litter. It may or may not be him:



 


Saturday, November 21, 2020

Guest Author, Regan W. H. Macaulay: Christmas Reflections

Today I have children's author, Regan W. H. Macaulay as a guest on my blog. She's sharing some thoughts about the Christmas season.

Please welcome her.


 Christmas Reflections  by Regan W. H. Macaulay

I have a lot of warm and wonderful memories of Christmases gone by…I am incredibly grateful for those times and memories. Last year I wrote on my own blog a bit about how my father, who has now passed, used to read me The Night Before Christmas every Christmas Eve when I was a child. I also have great memories of opening gifts under the beautifully lit and decorated tree with my mom and step-father as well. I hope you all have similar memories of Christmas and other holidays.

This year, I got to thinking about how much less material things matter to me, especially considering how COVID-19 has really put things into perspective. But that also got me thinking about the toys that I received for Christmas, and how central they have been in the lives of all children who celebrate with their families. Oh, I know…stores are marketing these things months before Christmas arrives and it all feels very commercial. I don’t want to celebrate products so much, but I think about movies like Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer and how toys each had their own character, and such importance was placed on all children deserving a chance at a toy, like in the movie Santa Claus is Coming to Town, and I remember how much I loved certain toys when I was very young.

Let’s face it, when we grow up, Christmas changes for us, and the significance of receiving a physical gift diminishes, even if some of us still love our toys. As children, though, toys can be very special. They become a part of our lives in a different way. Toys can be like pets or even friends of a different sort. They take us on imaginative adventures. Some children love books because they tell stories. Others may love plush animals because they have an innate love of animals themselves. Bikes offer adventure in the form of independent transportation. Puzzles and games challenge the mind—an escape sometimes similar to that which books offer. Some children love model cars, or mini construction vehicles, or lego bricks which allow them to build. These toys not only help us develop into who we will become, but they also reveal a part of who we are.

I loved my dump truck, Raggedy Ann, and Drowsy dolls in equal measure when I was very, very young.  There was also a well-loved Fisher Price Farm set, and Santa also brought me my beloved Kermit doll. Boy, did I love The Muppet Show…and frogs. In later years, I came to identify with Kermit’s role as producer and theatrical director, believe it or not!  As Christmases went by, I also received Miss Piggy, Fozzie, and Rolph.

I also liked to pretend to be a veterinarian with my Fisher-Price Medical Kit. I would give check-ups to all my stuffed animals, including a beautiful stuffed Siamese cat I absolutely adored. I have not become a veterinarian, but I have become a Certified Canine and Feline Massage Therapist, and there have been several real Siamese cats in my life!

There was that pop-up Night Before Christmas book I mentioned. Strawberry Shortcake figures, Benji, Garfield, ET, Baby Brenda, a mini Galaxian arcade, Gremlins, Care Bears, Cabbage Patch dolls, Pound Puppies, My Little Ponies…they all seemed important at the time. And though in the big picture, I know that they’re not, maybe they were in their own way, in their own time. They each shared a little bit of my personality in a physical form, and they helped me negotiate my way through childhood to figure myself out. 

The vast majority of these toys are gone, but I still have a couple with me, to remind me…to keep me connected to my childhood, which is always helpful for a children’s book writer!

What toys do you remember? Which ones made a particular impact on you as a child?




Libby the Lobivia Jajoiana

Written by: Regan W. H. Macaulay and Kevin Risk

Illustrated by: Gordon Bagshaw

Libby is a lonely cactus plant who has trouble believing in herself. However, when lovely, confident Violet moves in next to her on the windowsill, Libby learns that the things that make her different also make her special.







Merry Myrrh, the Christmas Bat

Written by: Regan W. H. Macaulay

Illustrated by: Alex Zgud

Myrrh is a young and very merry brown bat named after one of the gifts of the Magi. He experiences the wonders of his first Christmas among the decorations of a farmhouse, as well as the kindness of the family that discovers him in their home!


Check out the book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgG9pKZW9ko




Regan W. H. Macaulay writes novels, short stories, children’s literature, and scripts. Writing is her passion, but she’s also a producer and director of theatre, film, and television. She is an animal enthusiast as well, which led her to become a Certified Canine and Feline Massage Therapist. Other picture storybooks include Sloth the Lazy Dragon, Tamara Turtle’s Life So Far, Mixter Twizzle’s Breakfast, Merry Myrrh the Christmas Bat, and Beverlee Beaz the Brown Burmese. She is also the author of The Trilogy of Horrifically Half-baked Ham, which includes Space Zombies! (based on her film, Space Zombies: 13 Months of Brain-Spinning Mayhem!—available on iTunes and on DVD), They Suck, and Horror at Terror Creek.

Friday, November 6, 2020

IWSG Post of the Month

 


So, in this completely upside-down messed up week, I totally forgot to post for IWSG. Better late than never.


Today's question is:  What was the strangest thing you've ever had to Google while doing research for writing a book?

I have done a lot of Googling, so it's kind of hard to remember everything, but one that sticks out is when I was Googling taser guns. I wanted to know how they could be tracked. Then I wanted to know the name and exact location of the taser retail store in Moscow, Russia.

Surprisingly, nobody from the KGB showed up at my doorstep to question me.

What about you? What's the strangest thing you've ever had to Google?


Now, to add to this completely messed up week, I just went to Ninja Captain's blog and found a totally different question: Why do you write what you write? Easy: I like kid books. :)


So, whatever. Two questions for the price of one.