Friday, July 19, 2013

Sultry Days of Summer

Trying to save on my electric bill, I open my windows early in the morning and turn on the small fan in my writing room. We are well into summer and this heat can be stiffening.  
Now that I’m old-er when the temperatures hit those triple digits I wish for the coolness of Fall. But when it’s cold out I wish for the warm breezy evenings of summer. Why can’t we be like the kids and just enjoy what is.  They know how to make the most of the season, and summer means, picnics, pools, parks and sometimes carnivals, or when I was little, it was the church Fiesta.
Here’s an excerpt of a summer story I wrote.

Lupita and the Big Fiesta

          Tia Mina’s jalopy sputtered into the driveway. Cousins Carlos, Jose, and Marissa waved from inside. Lupita, scrambled into the backseat and they were on their way.
        The church parking lot was alive with a flurry music, booths, and Fiesta goers. The savory smells of deep fried tacos and rich red chile sauce made Lupita’s mouth water; but she had only one goal in mind.
      Among the crowds clutching cotton candy and high flying balloons she spotted The Hammer, looming like an angry giant.
     “I’ve just got to be tall enough,” she whispered.
      Lupita grabbed Marissa’s arm and pulled her toward the ride. She pressed her back against the sign that said YOU MUST BE THIS TALL TO RIDE.  Reaching over her head, she held the spot with a pointed finger.
    “Woo-Hoo!” she cheered.
     The Hammer’s motor roared furiously. It flung its long arms like mad.
    Marissa shook her head. “I’m not riding on that.”
   “Pleeease,” Lupita begged. “You can pick all of the other rides today, if you’ll just promise to ride The Hammer with me.”

Do you have a favorite summer memory? Why don’t you write about it?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Release: The Ghost Catcher

Hi everybody,

Today, I am proud to introduce you to my friend Kathi Sprayberry.  Her new book Ghost Catcher is being released today. I got a sneak peak at Ghost Catcher in its early stages and I can’t wait to read the finished product.

A gift to know when people are in trouble of the ghostly type puts Hailey Hatmaker in the middle of a major problem – one that winds up getting her into more hot water than she can handle. In true Hailey Hatmaker fashion, she dives into what turns out to be a battle with Limbo, her number one nemesis.
Can Hailey rescue two friends before it's too late? Or ish forever condemned to losing to Limbo?

No adult in Landry, Georgia would ever admit a teen can do something right. Not a one, for then they would have to 'fess up to the teens being able to make their own decisions. The people in charge just plain ignored any good thing teens did.
Then I saw a problem, one I couldn't say a word about. All I could do is stand to one side and watch as disaster loomed.
I was the last person with Maren Dougless and Zac Morton Friday afternoon at the high school. What I saw of their auras – green with a black outer edge – scared me right down to my toes. As if that wasn't bad enough, since black represented death, and green meant vibrant life, in addition the center of those auras each had a reddish eye in the center with sickly yellow streaks arcing throughout it.
            That was more than enough to make any person run for the hills, but I'm Hailey Hatmaker, Ghost Catcher extraordinaire. After many, many years of catching ghosts, I didn't want two good friends to suffer that fate, but I had a big problem.

I am happily married to a man I met while in the Air Force. We will soon celebrate 20 years of marriage. Our teen, the youngest of 8, keeps us on our toes with his band activities. Writing is something I've done since I was very young. At first, it was in a diary and then I poured all my energies into English compositions, earning praise from my Advanced Composition teacher in high school for an extremely visual project. While in the Air Force, I placed second in the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge's annual contest and from then on, was hooked. However, the reality of a military career and raising children forced me to put off attempting publication until my husband and I moved to Georgia. It was after the birth of our now teen that I began taking courses through The Institute of Children's Literature, Long Ridge Writer's Group, and Writers Digest in an effort to make my life's dream come true.