Meeting with my Muse at the coffee shop

Good Morning! Here is the Monday Morning blog.

Big weekend in the writing house. I was able to finish up my second editing read through of The Bully’s Way. I have one more read through to go before I hand it over to my book club for an alpha read next month.

Through the business building class I have been taking this month, Author to Authorpreneuer, I brain stormed an idea for the blog. It would be a series of posts on meeting with my muse. Here is my first post.

What is a muse? According to the dictionary on Google, a muse is a person or personified force who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist. Feels a little strange to talk about my muse as if she was a person, but according to the definition, she is a personified force. One to be reckoned with some days! I imagine my muse as young girl, kind of like the one pictured above.

Today, my muse and I had a meeting at West Side Perk , a local area coffee shop. Being over lunch, we had a sandwich with our coffee.

A couple of years ago, I wrote a series of posts called The Secret Pond which my muse was an inspiration for. It was another attempt at writing a series of a story on my blog. Here is a link to the first segment The Secret Pond – Chapter 1 – Abigail.

It is a story about Abigail and Sally. Sally created her own world and wanted to share it with Abigail, her tutor. She takes her on adventures to visit a pond where her friend Lila and a magical unicorn live. Lila is Sally’s muse and imaginary friend she writes about in her notebook. It was a fun series for me to write. It was a way for me to touch my inner child and follow my muse in a direction not on my normal writing path.

The novels in The Way Series are from the boy perspective. With two teenage boys living in my house, a lot of the information I am gathering is from their perspective. Also, I was a more of a tomboy growing up, so I didn’t do a lot of the things that would be considered really girly. You tend to write what you know, right? I think my muse was helping me to write something a young girl could relate to.

My business building class has been helping me jump start my business by giving me different tools and things to think about. You may notice some changes I’m making to grow the business. One change is I created an author profile Facebook page. I will keep my business page up and running for now, but I am planning to move all of the news and posts to my author profile page. I will be working on some other things with the business like bringing the branding for the series and my author side together.

I will also offering The Hard Way e-book for free later this month! Stay tuned for details coming in the next couple of days.

Have a great week!

Inspirational Children’s Books for me

Good Morning! Here is the Monday Morning Blog!

Last week I started a business building class called From Author to Authorpreneuer. I’m looking to revamp things with my business to get the name out there and sell more books. As part of the class, we are creating a morning routine to get into a writing groove for the day. It includes 15 minutes of journalling.

One morning while doing my journal, a couple of books came to mind which discribe my writing journey. One is Oh the Places You Will Go and Harold and the Purple Crayon.

Oh the places you wil go

According to Wikipedia, Oh the Places You will Go, was published in 1990 and was the last book Seuss ever published. It is a story where an unnamed character (could be you) leaves town and gets to the “waiting place”, where people go to wait for the next thing to happen. Dr. Seuss leaves us there to go on our own adventure to see all of the places we will go. This book is a favorite to give when someone in your life is embarking on a new adventure like graduation or a new job. I have been to many places, fictional and real, in my writing. Just never know where the next place I will go will be.

Harold and the Purple Crayon was published in 1955 by Crockett Johnson, a pen name for

Harold and the Purple Crayon

a popular cartoonist and children’s book illustrator David Johnson Leisk. Crockett was childhood nickname for Leisk.

Harold is a four year old who creates his world by drawing it, with his purple crayon. Who wouldn’t want to be able to do that? The book is about going on an amazing adventure of imagination which authors and artists do when they create their works.

We are all inspired by different things, whether it is an event, person speaking, or something we read. Whether it is achieving a goal or helping us get by a challenge, what inspires us ultimately helps us make things happen.

One of the reasons I write for the teen and young adult audience is I want to mentor them through my writing. I hope someday someone will read one of my books and be inspired to do something that may be hard for them to do without some support. Like saying no to peer pressure or reporting the bully to a teacher.

I have been inspired by many others in my life and on my writing journey. That inspiration has helped me work through some challenges get to where I am today. Have you been inspired by someone or something to meet a challenge or achieve a goal in your life? Let me know in the comments below.

Check out my first book – The Hard Way – a free preview

Good Morning! Welcome to Monday after a long holiday weekend. Hope you enjoyed some time with family and friends. I was able to enjoy some very valuable family time at our cabin and finish my first full read through of the manuscript of The Bully’s Way, book #2 in the Way Series. I am excited about how the story is coming together.

Have you been wondering what The Hard Way is about? Well, here is your chance to get a free preview of chapter one! All you have to do is subscribe to my email list and you will be emailed a link to the free preview.

Continue reading “Check out my first book – The Hard Way – a free preview”

Small Business Ideas – What is a fan club?

Good Morning! Here is the Monday Morning Blog!

In follow up to last week’s post, I have another interesting fact to share. Here is a link to last week’s post in case you missed it. A fun neighborhood theater experience

The Heights Theater gets involved with the community. From the movies they pick to hosting many local group events. The idea for the Laurel and Hardy Comedy Festival was brought to them by one of the local chapters of the Sons of the Desert, the International Laurel and Hardy appreciation society.

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Members of this organization don’t refer to themselves as fan clubs, but as appreciation societies. It is unclear where the word fan originated, but if it comes from being a fanatic about something, maybe appreciating someone is more respectful. This organization was named for the lodge Laurel and Hardy belonged to in a full length film called Sons of the Desert released in 1933.

Each chapter of the organization is called a tent, keeping with the desert theme. The local tent who helped bring the comedy festival to The Heights is Block Heads Oasis #3, which is the third oldest tent in the entire organization.

There is probably a fan club or appreciation society for just about anything. I thought about it in the context of followers of my blog and fans of my book. Are you my fan club? In a way, I guess you are. Yeah!

How do fan clubs grow? How do they become more popular? How do more people learn about and grow to appreciate the object of the fan club? Maybe how they do it can help me find more fans.

Small Business Ideas

Love where the flow of writing can take you. I started talking abut Fan Clubs and ended up talking about how to increase blog and brand followers. This flow prompted me to add a Small Business Ideas section to my from the Writing House posts. Not only to give me a place to brainstorm ideas for my business, but maybe it can help you with yours.

I found an interesting article online. According to Eventbrite, there are five ways they suggest for increasing fan base. Here is a link to the article. Eventbrite – Using Data to Increase Fan Engagement

Here are their five ways. They based the article on promoting a sports team, so I added some notes on how I might be able to do it for my business.

1. Ask them what they want to see or receive from you. For me, this could be sending a survey to my email list and ask about what activities they would like to see on my blog or website. Maybe posing some questions on the blog too.

2. Listen to their social media activity. Find out where my fans are hanging out. Be sure to place my posts there. Interact with those platforms more.

3. Gather relevant data through interactions with fans. Open up a way for my fans to interact more with me. Is it a live post on Facebook? Is it a survey on my site? Maybe gathering with other YA book bloggers and interact with our similar fan bases?

4. Analyze the data and use the facts found right. Any comment is data gathered. Be sure to listen to what the facts are saying and implement changes if needed for the fans to stay true to my blog and brand.

5. Get fans involved and help them feel a part of the community. Have a contest. Let them have input on what they see on the site. Host a local event to meet the fans in person and do a reading. When we were at the Laurel and Hardy Comedy Festival, about 20 to 30 members of the local appreciation societies were at the showing. What a great event for group engagement and possibly finding new members.

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Since I decided to self publish my book last year, marketing is one of the many tasks I have to do on the business side of my writing. Since I am an author and not a promotional guru, I am doing a lot of learning as I go. Some days I need to do brainstorming sessions like this to come up with creative ideas to get my book out there. I hope you are able to find something in this post that may help you.

What things have helped you to promote your business or group you may be involved in? Please share those ideas in the comments below.

Be sure to check out the books tab on my site for information on how to get your very own copy of The Hard Way! A great teen read!

A fun neighborhood theater experience

Good Morning! Here is the Monday Morning blog!

It has been quite a busy month for me since I last posted. My day job continues to be busy in transition and the main project in the writing house these days is editing The Bully’s Way. I am about half way through the first in depth read through. There has been a lot of work done so far and I am excited about how the story is coming together.

Laurel and Hardy - Hog Wild

With all that has been happening in our world, Jim and I made the time to do something fun. Jim’s mom is a big Laurel and Hardy fan, so we took her to The Heights Theater in Columbia Heights, Minnesota to see the Laurel and Hardy Comedy Festival. They featured five short films from the 1930s. Hog Wild was one of the five we saw and I enjoyed the most.

According to their website, The Heights Theater is the Twin Cities classic theater experience. From the old fashioned decor to an organ player who plays before the show. We really had fun watching the movies in an old fashioned theater environment eating popcorn together. The way things were before dolby sound, 3D picture viewing and the plush recliner seating found in today’s theaters.

heights organ player
Photo by Jim Ham

A little history, it was constructed in 1926 by Gluek Brewery heir, Arthur Gluek as a prohibition real estate venture. It was originally just a neighborhood theater featuring local area actors and “high class vaudville acts” but became a place for upscale first run movies and old time favorites.

The Heights Theatre

Jim and I were introduced to the venue this year by close friends of ours who we went to see the movie Harold and Maude with in April. For those of you who don’t know, Harold and Maude is a cult classic released in 1971. It is a dark comedy where Harold, one of the main characters, is obsessed with death and falls in love with a much older woman who teaches him about living life to the fullest and that life and not death is the most precious gift of all. The current owner of The Heights Theater used to work at another local theater, the now closed Edina Westgate Theater. Harold and Maude had been shown there for quite a long time. From 1972 to 1974, it ran for 115 weeks and 1956 showings.

For more information about The Heights Theater and what their upcoming shows are, here is a link to their site The Heights Theater. I really recommend checking it out. And if you find a movie you would like to see, be sure to buy your tickets online ahead of time. When we arrived at the theater yesterday, both sessions of Laurel and Hardy had been sold out. Good thing we shopped early for our tickets.
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Have you been wondering what my young adult book, The Hard Way is about? Well, here is your chance to get a free preview of chapter one! All you have to do is subscribe to my email list and you will be emailed a link to the free preview.
What does subscribing to my email list get for you? A quarterly newsletter highlighting a few of my book reviews and other news from my writing house.
So, if you have been curious about what my book is about, why not check it out!
Please note, for all of you who have gmail, after you confirm your subscription to my email list, your email for the free preview link will probably wind up in your promotions inbox. That is what happened to me when I tested it.
Have a great week!

Update from The Writing House

Happy Spring! Here is the Monday Morning Blog!

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Spring has finally arrived in Minnesota. We had a cold start to April, but at least the snow had started melting. That is until the weekend of April 13-15 when we had a good ole fashioned blizzard. The kind where it snows, snows and snows. Just when you think it was going to stop, it started up again. It didn’t stop until late Sunday night. We wound up with about 16 inches of snow at our house.

Then jump to the following weekend. We had 50 degree weather and the grass was turning green. We have a north facing deck at our condo, so things don’t melt as fast as we would like them to in front of our place. Here is my view last Monday, after our first spring like weather weekend. Looks like winter on our side and spring across the lot!

April was a busy reading and marketing month for me in the writing house. Here’s what happened

  • Happy 1st Birthday to The Hard Way. Can’t believe I published it a year ago this month. I ran a $.99 sale on Amazon.com for the e-book from April 11-15 to celebrate.
  • I attended an editing seminar which will help me with my upcoming editing project.
  • Beta read a novel for another Minnesota author, Christopher D. Schmitz, called Through the Darque Gates of Goth. It is the second book in Wolves of Tesseract series. Look for it to be published soon! Here is a link to Chris’ author website Christopher D. Schmitz for information about him and his books.
  • Monthly book club read, Beartown by Fredrik Backman. Great read about hockey and loyality to small town team and community. Our club had a great discussion about it over coffee.

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I also did some fun reading including Patty Jane’s House of Curl by Lorna Landvik and A River in Darkness: One Man’s Escape from North Korea by Masaji Ishikawa. It is always nice to just relax on the couch with a good book. An escape from the stresses of life, at least for a little while.

In May, I will be starting the next round of edits for The Bully’s Way to have it ready for an alpha read this fall. Looking forward to see where this editing journey takes me. Be sure to get your copy of The Hard Way so you can have it read before The Bully’s Way is published. My anticipated publishing date is October 2019. Here is my promo for it!

Looking for a good teen read? Be sure to pick up a copy of The Hard Way! It is available in e-book format on Amazon.com and paperback on both Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

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Here is the Amazon.com link! The Hard Way – Amazon.com

And the Barnes and Noble link! The Hard Way – Barnes and Noble

Have a great week!

Note: The view from the Writing House window is a photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. from Pexels

Happy 1st Birthday – The Hard Way

Good Morning! It is a big day of celebration in the Writing House today…

Happy Birthday to you

Happy Birthday to you

Happy Birthday to The Hard Way

Happy Bithday to you…

A year ago, on April 12, 2017, I pushed the publish now button and became a published author. To celebrate, I am offering the e-book version of The Hard Way for $.99 through Amazon.com from today through Sunday, April 15th. Please check out the books tab on my website for a link to it.

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Featured Image by Aubrey Fernandez on Unsplash