Mama Diaries

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

IWSG Post and Puppy Mischief


The IWSG question of the month is, "Have readers ever responded to your work in ways you didn't expect?"  I had to think about this a bit. Adult readers of my Bubba and Squirt books have responded that way. Mostly that they found the stories entertaining and learned something about the countries they didn't know before. I expected that from kids, but not so much from adults, so it was a pleasant surprise.  

If you're a writer, have you been surprised by a reader's response to your work?

Now, for the Klaus story.  Klaus is our new German Shepherd puppy. He's growing by leaps and bounds. And he's in his teething stage. Anything in his path he chews. Including the wall. This is what we recently found:

And this is the culprit:

Sitting in the doggy jail with evidence on his nose!

Monday, April 5, 2021

IWSG Post and Cat Caper


This month's Insecure Writer's Support Group question is, "Do you take risks when writing?"

Nope. I write for kids, so the last thing I want to do is offend them or their parents. In fact, while writing the Bubba and Squirt books, I do a lot of research on culture. I take special care to write in such a way as to be respectful of the culture. I hear about it if I don't succeed. (And yes, I actually did offend someone with one of Bubba's comments in my first book. Most kids would have found it funny, and  a good way to remember what something was called, but this particular person didn't.)  

What about you? Are you a risk-taker when it comes to writing? Have you ever offended someone with what you've written?

And now for the story:  We haven't heard much about Bootsy lately, but I assure you, he is alive and well. The other day, my ex went outside to put something in the garbage. When he opened the lid, who do you think he found?  Yep. Bootsy! The sneaky cat was feasting on leftover fried chicken. Do you think Bootsy was at all concerned about being discovered? No! He licked his paws, jumped down, and casually sauntered off. (I don't know if you remember a previous story where he teamed up with Schultz and raided the garbage. Guess he's still up to his old tricks!)  In case you are wondering, Bootsy doesn't much care for the new puppy, Klaus. He barks too much. I think he still misses his buddy, Schultz. 

Finally, for your entertainment, I collaborated virtually with my friend, a cellist, to play some more music. if you'd like to listen, you can go here.

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


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


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


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: