Category Archives: publishing

The Hawk, Part Thirteen

Usually when another piece of this saga has been published, an accompanying entry is brief; it’s up and you can find it here.  But while I plan to release this tale in a formal manner, more needs to be acknowledged.  Making the conclusion available closes a large circle that I couldn’t have dreamed when first starting this book over four years ago.

I wasn’t a grandmother then, my familial role that of supporting my parents while Dad battled cancer, occasionally helping out my offspring when the need arose.  This tale started humbly, but quickly I sensed a wider scope emerging.  At the same time, my father underwent chemotherapy while quilts knocked on my door.  Writing fell by the wayside; it was difficult concentrating and sewing required less brain power.  Then my youngest became pregnant, followed by her elder sister and….

Suddenly my existence as an author seemed to have vanished on a stiff wind.  Now I wonder if not for The Hawk, might I have eschewed writing altogether?  Yet there was a story to tell, at times bigger than I thought I could tackle.  In bits and chunks I wrote, then decided to simultaneously publish what had accumulated.  That too kept me writing, although the more I fashioned, the longer this tale grew.

In the interim, babies were born, my dad passed.  Eric, Lynne, and the rest became an extension of my own clan; when not writing, I wondered when I might return to their realm, and when I was working, I pondered how blessed was my life with The Burrito, Little Miss, and Miss Em.  My father would find their antics amusing, perhaps how he views my foray into fiction.  How I see my novelistic endeavors has altered, and this story stands like a demarcation; closing my eyes, I easily recall my previous life as an author, but in taking a good look, that woman appears half formed.

Maybe that is simply indicative of life’s changes, but how often do we get a guidebook or pamphlet in the middle of such transitions?  For me, that is what The Hawk has become, a Life Echo minus the sound.  Yet melodic memories waft right over my head, laying their healing beauty within my ears as I read Eric’s laments, Lynne’s dreams, Stanford’s hesitations, Laurie’s joy, Sam’s eagerness, Renee’s hopes, Marek’s wisdom, Seth’s fears, Klaudia’s wariness.  My goodness, that’s quite a collection, but The Hawk isn’t a small novel, lol.  It’s many love stories, a few tragedies.  It’s fact and fantasy set in the 1960s and thank the Lord it’s finally finished.  The entire collection is available on Smashwords, and will be released in full on various other online retailers soon.

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The Hawk, Part Twelve

While my clan awaits a new arrival, I’ve released another section of The HawkPart Twelve is available on Smashwords in a variety of formats, and I’m very pleased to have published one more piece of this large literary puzzle.  If you are searching for plenty to read over the upcoming holiday, The Hawk certainly fits the bill.  Check out the latest installment on Smashwords!

The Hawk, Part Eleven

At times over the last few months, I wondered when I would release Part Eleven; I still haven’t managed any writing, but I have read through this part, and today it’s out for all to view.  I’m pretty pleased with it, also surprised at how long it is, compared to the rest of what has been published in this series.  It’s nearly novel-length, but what remains is going to be even more involved.

What I like about this particular slice of the pie, ha ha, is that finally someone is where he belongs.  That’s all I will say, don’t want to spoil too much of the tale.  The Hawk: Part Eleven is available on all formats at Smashwords, hope you enjoy it!

The Todd Lambert Special

Four years ago I wrote a short story for Top Writers Block, that month’s theme being meringue.  The tale was an epilogue to my Alvin’s Farm series, although it could be read as a standalone yarn.  Having recently revisited that set of books, I decided to separately publish “The Todd Lambert Special”, adding it to the Alvin’s Farm series on Smashwords, although I have already released it as a part of my Chips Off the Block anthology.  Why now, you might ask?  Well, I’ve been taking a brief break from The Hawk, and having penned this little tale, it seemed silly to exclude it from the rest concerning the Cassel and Smith families.  I’m up to my eyeteeth with various life projects, but sometimes it’s good to sneak in a little literary fun.

Enjoy this story for either its brevity or if you’ve read the Alvin’s Farm books, a lovely way to wrap up Jenny, Sam, Tommie, and Rae’s exploits.  And the next time you eat a piece of pie, don’t discount how blessed it just might be, hehehe.

The Hawk, Part Ten

A quick break in the sabbatical to announce the latest segment within this series.  This installment is apt for the season, as it starts off right after Christmas.  But more appropriate is its theme, that of love, reconciliation, and forgiveness.  Part Ten is available in all formats exclusively on Smashwords.  Happy Christmas and Hanukkah to all!

So Much Beauty Along the Way

Five years ago this week I independently published The War On Emily Dickinson.  2011 seems a long ways in the past considering all that’s happened in my life since, but sometimes it feels like yesterday for how brief has been this foray into indie publishing.  I’ve been wanting to highlight that event, and not only in regards to my authorial existence.  By releasing books in this manner, I discovered many personal truths as well as realizing a long-held dream.

A selfie from our recent holiday; more vacation pics to come....

A selfie from our recent holiday; more vacation pics to come….

The family joke is that I’m not the ‘techie sort’.  However, ask any indie writer, and you’ll find our talents go beyond penning good stories.  There’s the formatting and uploading of manuscripts, which for me also includes slapping drafts onto various gadgets for editing purposes.  Cover design falls into this category, although a few of my covers have been produced by outside sources.  These are elements that traditionally authors have left to their publishing houses, but formatting a manuscript, either for an online distributor or one’s own smartphone, isn’t any more difficult than following a recipe.  Believe me, if I can do it, anybody can.

While the nuts and bolts are vital parts of the process, it’s the stories that matter most, not only the yarns spun, but the spinning.  Indie publishing brokered a new world for me; that I could release my novels spurred on more first drafts, most of which I’ll leave safely in flash drives.  Julie K. Rose, who has designed some of my covers, eloquently speaks about the democratization of art; what a blessing to have this outlet, not only for ourselves, but for how others are affected.

But first comes the storyteller; I can’t honestly say what I’d be writing now if not for taking the horse by the reins, yet the words have only increased since The War On Emily Dickinson was published.  I had lunch with Julie recently, and we celebrated how empowering were our decisions to go indie, even for all the work involved.  Our artistic souls aren’t bound by a marketer’s choice of genre, our methods aren’t scrutinized by anxious agents, our individual paths uncluttered by the fickle winds of finance.  To many writing is a business.  But it’s not that way for me.

Writing is liberation and creation.  It is messages of hope and love and joy amid drama and cliffhangers.  It’s reaching out far past where I can see as tales are extended to any and all.  Indie publishing has afforded me fantastic freedom, albeit with some rules to follow, also the pleasure of forging new vistas.  Five years along this road, I’m nearing the end of a most magnificent tale, releasing it in beta-form as I continue to write, what an adventure that has been.  What a gift to share all these stories, as well as realize a long-held dream.

Okay, one more shot, indicative to the nature of this post.

Okay, one more shot; the California coastline along Highway 1 just north of Fort Bragg.

I always wanted to be a writer; imagine how it feels to experience that goal on my own terms.  I am grateful beyond words, and there are many folks to thank; Julie Rose for inspiring and assisting, Mark Coker and Smashwords for facilitating, my family for putting up with this not-so-small obsession, readers for completing the circle.  Lastly my beloved husband for his endless support and patience, and my Savior for guidance in both the prose and purpose.  None of this has been by chance, much faith is involved.  But in any endeavor, conviction is essential.  Self-expression starts with courage, and bravery is independent publishing’s unspoken middle name.