Thursday, December 29, 2011

Circling Around to a Dream by Kiki Howell


When I was a little girl, I used to write stories in my head as I fell asleep. As I grew, I started composing children’s stories, envisioning the illustrations and everything. I also wanted to draw as well as write. Growing up in the 80’s, I was raised on After School Specials, and soon the stories I dreamed up were like those, longer, but still with a point, a lesson to teach. Eventually, I went to college as planned to become an English teacher, thinking it an wonderful job for a reader like me that would leave me time to write.

But, life had other plans for me in the years to come. And soon I found myself a wife and mother who had not written a word in over a decade. Don’t get me wrong, these were dreams as well, they just came with snags, and life changed course for me. I did however get to live that dream of being a stay-at-home mom thanks to those snags.

As you would assume, eventually, my boys started to grow up, and there became a space in my life again to write again, well at least to realize that I missed it. When I did get back to writing, you know after I exhausted all the fears and excuses, life had tossed me into a very different type of writing than I had imagined when I was little. Then, three years into being a published author writing paranormal adult romances, I found a children’s story writing itself in my head. Having been a kid - and still an adult - with many fears, of course that was to point of the story, to help children overcome their fears.

In keeping with life, the story took many twists and turns before it became a reality. In fact, in the original story, the main character was a cute little monster, furry, pink, horned, adorable. She came close to reality, but again, well life! LOL The story got set to the side a few times. But, it persisted in coming to my mind often. Then one day close to Halloween, we were laughing about how our nearly 100 lb dog was afraid of children in costumes – and, thus the whole story changed once again. I decided to go with photo realism, using my own dogs as characters as well once the story started to change, and did illustrate it myself. The way it fell together really proved to me that this was the way the story was meant to be. Life, with all of its snags really did know best leading me into this new direction.

But, once the publisher, Dancing With Bear, accepted the story, pics and all, I saw my dream of writing a children’s book finally come true. More importantly, it had a very important message to convey to parents and children alike, one about how to overcome one’s fears with games and laughter. I’m just thrilled today to be on tour with my picture book, What Are You Afraid Of?
 

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Making Dreams come true in 2012 with Kelly Waterhouse

About the Author (Kelly Girl Waterhouse) and her husband (Kelly Waterhouse):

Kelly Girl Waterhouse grew up in Minnesota, practically in the middle of a corn field next to one of the 10,000 lakes within the state. Not afraid to get her toes wet, she relocated to Seattle, Washington shortly after graduating from college in the early 90’s. It was there she met a man named Kelly, who became her husband and taught her how to sail in the briny waters of the Puget Sound. That is when their vision to cruise the world began.

During their journey, Kelly Girl kept journals and wrote travel logs that covered over 30 countries. Her website kept land based fans posted with stories and photos of the trip which tracked their locations around the globe. The author’s narratives of the voyage have been published in Latitudes and Attitudes and Latitude 38 sailing magazines and travel blogs.

Kelly & Kelly Girl are accomplished world circumnavigators, sailing to 30 countries covering over 35,000 nautical miles. They shared a journey that many people can’t imagine or even know where to begin in order to live it themselves. To put it in perspective the feat they accomplished is to compare it to this, less than one percent of the population in the United States has completed a running marathon, consider what the statistics are for circumnavigating the world.

Sailing The Waterhouse: Swapping Turf for Surf, reveals the couple’s challenges of transitioning from a land-based life to living on a vessel and their first ocean sailing experience.

Interview Questions & Answers for Sailing The Waterhouse: Swapping Turf for Surf -Vol.1 Before the Boat


INTERVIEW QUESTIONS:

Q. You had a normal middle class life, living the American dream. Why did you decided to leave it?

It was a gradual decision for both of us. It seemed we were working to pay for our high mortgage payments and other items we purchased on credit. One day my husband and I asked the question what were we working for. That is when we decided to work towards our dream of sailing the world. Plus we knew we have a limited shelf-life on this earth and wanted a challenge.

Q. Sailing the world is a big dream. Others want to run their own business or travel to Europe. How did you two pick circumnavigating the world as your dream?

That is a good question and I don’t think I would have picked this dream. It was my husband, Kelly’s dream. He grew up sailing with his grandparents in San Francisco Bay. That is where his love of sailing began. He would read novels by solo circumnavigators like Joshua Slocum and Bernard Moitessier. Like many of us, as we grow up we lose sight of our childhood fantasies. Just after our honeymoon, Kelly bought an old 22 foot Catalina sailboat and taught me how to sail on it. Sailing around the Puget Sound sparked his dream and to his surprise, I wanted to share in it.

Q. So how did you get this dream started?

We scaled down our lifestyle to reduce our credit card debt. No more fancy dinners out, we canceled our expensive cable package and sold our cars and purchased old vehicles to get rid of a car payment. Once our credit card debt was gone we sold the house. All the equity we had in that was put toward are $40,000 boat.
Then we moved onto the boat. In the marina our slip fee was a fraction of our mortgage so we were able to save money for outfitting the boat for offshore passages and cruising money.
Living on a 35 Foot Boat

Q. What is it like to live on a small boat?

Well imagine living in a large walk-in closet. Its small and you can only put things in it that matter.
You would think that living in small quarters would be difficult, but we adapted to it. We were more organized and thought about the things we brought into our environment. I didn’t have room for knick-knacks or a large wardrobe. We weren’t going to Costco for the 24 packs of paper towels or toilet paper.
We also spent more time talking and reading since cable TV didn’t exist on the docks. This was a wonderful part of living on a boat, our time was our own without distractions.

Q. What is it like living on a boat in a Marina in the Northwest (Everett, WA)?

Cold! Well, at least 10 months out of the year.
Actually it is a simpler life than living on land. There is no garden or lawn to maintain, you don’t have to worry about getting the trash out on garbage day and cleaning the boat takes less time than cleaning a house.
But a simple life does not mean easier. Our car was parked in the parking lot which meant long walks to the boat and it was exposed to potential thieves. We didn’t have a washer or dryer on the boat, (most don’t) so there were long walks on the dock to the laundry facilities. That goes for showering too. We didn’t shower on the boat, so we would walk in the cold weather with wet heads from the showers. You learn to toughen up on a boat. Nothing comes easy.

Q. You said living on the docks was cold. What did you mean by that? Didn’t you have heaters on the boat?

During the winter we used a couple of space heaters on the boat, but wouldn’t leave them on while we were away at work. When got home, the boat would be just above freezing and getting the boat warmed up to 60 took hours. We would go to bed in sweat pants, hats even gloves.

Q. Would you live in a marina again?

Yes, but I would pick a warmer location or a boat with a big heater.
Preparing for your first ocean voyage

Q. Your husband grew up sailing and then taught you how to sail but neither of you had sailed in the open ocean. How do prepare for that and weren’t you afraid?

To be honest, yes, there was some fear of sailing offshore with no land in sight; especially when my husband would have us watch movies like White Squall and Perfect Storm. But we prepared ourselves by reading about how to handle our vessel in heavy weather and learned what was needed in order to ready our boat for high winds and rough seas. Just stowing items that could fly around in the cabin and reducing the amount of sail are just two key factors in surviving foul weather.

Q. You did experience heavy weather off the Coast of Washington and Oregon. What was that like?

At first we had light wind for 24 hours then it gradually started to build within 24 hours to 35 knots with gusts over 40 knots. This was our first experience of heavy seas that would knock our boat around. We would come up on a crest and surf a bit down it, and then a side wave would smack our rear causing our vessel start sliding sideways. Then our boat would correct itself by straightening out, but within a few minutes the same motion would occur. This was unnerving. The wind howled, the boat creaked and groaned, sleep was impossible. I just remember fear and exhaustion, but as we lived through it and got used to the intensity, the fear gave way. I realized the boat was keeping us afloat and we just have to ride through it.

Q. How long was your first passage?

It took us nine days to get from Washington to San Francisco Bay. We didn’t break any records, but gained a lot of confidence in our sailing skills.
About the Book

Q. The title of your book is, Sailing The Waterhouse: Swapping Turf for Surf. Who would want to read this book?

When Kelly and I first started to fantasize about sailing the world, we devoured as many travel and sailing books we could get our hands on. Reading about other people breaking away from the constraints in their lives to do something out of the ordinary was empowering.
I feel my book can be that inspiration for others to do their thing. Whether it’s tacking a year off to backpack in Europe or driving an RV south of the border, whatever dream you have, there are people out in the world doing exactly what you are dreaming about. You just need to find how you are going to do it.

Q. Sailing The Waterhouse takes the reader from leaving your home to living in a marina to California. Do you have another book covering the rest of your voyage?

Eventually Sailing The Waterhouse will be a series of four books which will cover different regions and major ocean passages in each. So if there is a part of the world a reader is interested in, they could read that book or read the whole series. The next book should be out by early Spring.
Living Your Dream

Q. So many people have dreams, but few really get the chance to experience them. You and your husband lived your dream, what is it like?

I will say that planning the dream was the most thrilling part of it. We could let our imaginations soar with our ideals of anchoring off a small Polynesian island with warm crystal blue water to swim in. That part of leaving the dream did meet our expectations. Traveling to exotic countries and soaking up the culture is was thrilling. But in your dreams, there still is reality. Dealing with corrupt foreign officials or a pushy vendor is highly irritating. Things would break on our boat that needed fixing or experiencing bad weather on a passage is not comfortable.

Yet overall, the small hardships we faced were fleeting. We lived our dream for a brief period and I wouldn’t hesitate to say we will live it again. The second time around, we will be more prepared.

LISTEN TO THE RECORDED AUTHOR INTERVIEW ON KWOD RADIO.

 
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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Following your dreams for 2012 with Elle Seon


AUTHOR INTERVIEW with ELLE SEON --
Born to humble beginnings in the beautiful twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago Elle Seon, whose full name is Michelle Seon, migrated to the mosaic that is Toronto at the tender age of three.
Elle started writing at a very young age using poetry as a way to reveal the mask of feelings that she wore. Soon enough though poetry was not enough and she tried her hand at short stories. Eventually, the short stories soon began to lengthen and the transition from short stories to full novels was seamless.
She recently published her first book of poetry entitled Elleoquently Yours Volume I: Life & Love and plans to release her first full-length novel in January.
She seemingly has an endless amount of roles that she plays and hats that she wears. Author, motivational speaker, and activist, but when asked about which of her roles brings her the most joy the answer is almost immediate – motherhood. Elle is a proud mother to two beautiful little girls, who she praises for giving her constant inspiration and motivation.

 
: What compelled you to write your first book?

My first book was written because I had gotten a lot of great feedback on my poetry. Many people said they could relate and wanted to read more or have it in book form. Hence Elleoquently Yours was born.

: Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I actually used to want to be a marine biologist but I have always had a knack for writing and I loved the creative freedom that it allowed me to have. I have always written but finally decided to pursue it professionally a few years ago.

: Tell us a little bit about your book/s. What are their titles; which is your favorite if you have more than one, and briefly let us know what they are about. Pay particular attention to your most recent book and/or your first book:

My book is called Elleoquently Yours Volume I: Life and Love. It is a poetry book separated into two sections. The first section called Life focuses on many topics like growing up. It covers many social issues also features some inspirational pieces. The second section called Love focuses on the many phases that one must go through when in love from break ups to make ups and everything in between.
 
: Are you currently working on any writing projects our readers should watch for release soon?

I am putting the final changes on A Path for Lilly, which is expected to be out in mid to late January. It is my first full-length novel being released. I am also planning to release my first young adult novel which I have already started later in the year. Both are projects I am super excited about.

: How did you feel the day you held the copy of your first book in your hands?

Holding my book for the first time felt like it did when I held my daughters for the first time. It is a lot of yourself that goes into creating a book and especially poetry, which is very personal so it really is a labour of love. It was a remarkable feeling to hold my book for the first time and it made me feel so proud and motivated to see my name on more covers.

: What type of music, if any, do you listen to while you write?
That really depends on what I am writing. I find if I am writing poetry love songs tend to inspire me or classical music from artists like Kenny G or Yanni.
: What inspires you and motivates you to write the very most?

Social issues inspire me to write novels and my family has a lot of rich history so I tap into that for motivation. As for poetry it is definitely love that motivates me. I do not necessarily mean romantic love but I enjoy exploring different types of love.

: What one thing are you the most proud of in your life?

I have been through a lot in my 25 years, so I am very proud of where I am today. I am most proud though of launching my newest initiative called The Power of One, which is a campaign aimed at building our community by combating issues such as abuse, bullying and mental illness.

: What about your family? Do you have children, married, siblings, parents? Has your family been supportive of your writing?

I have two amazing daughters who are seven and 15 months as well as a very special man in my life. My family actually did not know that I was pursuing writing on a professional level until I started taking college courses for it. They are supportive of my writing and very proud of my first book.

: The main characters of your stories - do you find that you put a little of yourself into each of them or do you create them to be completely different from you?

I try not to give too much of myself into my characters or even give them too many characteristics of someone I know. I find when you do that you lose the character and they become that person they are based on. I will select little things like an eye color or one personality trait, or maybe a saying. That is about the extent of it though; I love to be able to have my imagination run wild when creating a new character.

: Is there an established writer you admire and emulate in your own writing? Do you have a writing mentor?

I do not have a writing mentor; I would have to say that you Patti have been such a remarkable mentor for me throughout this whole process. It is difficult in Canada to find help when you are not an established writer.

: When growing up, did you have a favorite author, book series, or book?

Growing up I loved Isabelle Allande. I read The House of the Spirits repeatedly. I started reading at a very early age and by middle school, I was reading adult novels. I absolutely love Harry Potter, the whole series is brilliantly written even as an adult now I enjoy the books.

: What about now: who is your favorite author and what is your favorite genre to read?

As an avid reader, I wish I could say that I have one favorite author, but I do not. I do love Maya Angelou and Omar Tyree as well as some classics like Shakespeare.

: Bring us into your home and set the scene for us when you are writing. What does it look like? On the couch, laptop, desk? Music? Lighting, handwriting?

Ironically enough I cannot write in my home. There are far too many distractions for me at home with two young kids so I tend to go to local coffee shops late at night or on weekends to do my writing.
 
: Do you watch television? If so, what are your favorite shows? Does television influence of inspire your writing?

I am not a big TV person but I am a huge fan of Tyler Perry and his movies. His story is so inspirational!

: Now that you are a published author, does it feel differently than you had imagined?  

Being able to put the word published in front of author feels even better than I imagined. It is something that I have always wanted but never imagined that it could happen. To be completely honest it still has not quite sunk in, I still pick up my copy and look at it quite often. 

Would like to thank Elle Seon for answering our questions. To listen to Elle LIVE on my Blog Talk Radio program this next Tuesday, December 27th, at 5:30pm Arizona, USA time. 4:30 PT; 6:30 CT; 7:30 ET. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Room with a View: with David Knight


ROOM WITH A VIEW
Hi everyone, I wanted to share part of the introduction to I am I: The In-Dweller of your Hearts with you. This particular message occurred during a group meditation many years ago now. Although there were only about 8 people in the room at the time, it actually felt as if we were joined my many souls to listen, learn and grow with these words that flowed through my speaking heart. Enjoy! Take care, David.
     
JESUS - The Lord Our Teacher

With Guidance and Love to you all.


Welcome dear ‘children’ of love and light, that’s it, sit down. All are received here for truth, love and liberty. 

Know that our hearts are like the many rooms of an immeasurable house, my Father’s House. If you can imagine a very large mansion, you may think that you would forget some of these rooms wouldn’t you? But he doesn’t, for he knows where each of his children resides, each and every minute of the day.

You might get lost or confused inside such a large place with all these different rooms, levels and floors of experience. You learn and you yearn both for knowledge and wisdom yet these must come from your own experiences. Patience little ones, for as some of you know, you cannot learn any more than the level that you have reached.

Trust in love and love the trust that my Father has instilled in each and every one of you. Open your eyes, your physical eyes, and those of your mind, Soul and heart too. Then and only then, your true vision will be seen. Yes, seen more clearly, felt more dearly and understood with true love. No guilt, no pretence and no sitting on the proverbial fence.

You gather here because of love and the sharing of such far beyond these four walls. No box can contain or hide what is meant to be opened and free to flow to where it is meant to go. Hearts are entwined like the ivy that wraps around the tree. The ivy clings to the tree and wants to climb to the top, to reach the light. Likewise you also wish to climb and also reach out, for the ‘tree of life’ that is around and yet also within you too.

The bark of the tree enables you to grip and stay in place, so the light can reflect and radiate from within and from your face. A smile, (yes that’s right), so be happy for you are all from the seed and this can be revealed by an eternal ‘trace’.

Time can be so important yet it can mean nothing at all. Thousands of tomorrows, no need to beg, steal or borrow. You are all given what you need and required to experience physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally. Some things are of course your own tests; while others are for what you can do for your fellow ‘hearts’ along the way. Balance is the key and your love is the door, to be opened and enable you to search no more.

Where each of you come from do not worry or concern yourselves, for no matter how different you all appear to be, you are the same, yes all the  same to your ‘Father’ and to me. Precious, like flowers and the drops of the rain, which bring sustenance and nourishment but is it not in vain? You’ll glow, radiate and spiral around, for love, true love, knows no bounds. 

You’ll also reach out and search both far and wide, over seas and the land and you’ll look to the sky. Sometimes there’ll be pain and sometimes there’ll be joy and the gift of a new born child is indeed not a toy. With a chance to fulfil and to also instil, find the love from above, taking flight like a dove.

Angels and Archangels in Heaven and on Earth, both look and assist the meek and the mirth. Some are below and some are above, all with their ‘work’ from the Lord and our God. To aid and assist you in all that you do, be glad, be safe, for He and I are in you. Go north, south, east and west, just try to do all, with love and your best.

And so……

Different rooms of the house, but hearts are all safe,
For God has enveloped and surrounded you with a ‘fate’.
For you are all ‘from’ and return unto Him,
So rejoice and all sing just like love within a hymn.

You will all grow as I have just said,
Just try to believe and rise up from your bed.
Whether morning or noon or evening or night,
The days that you walk will remain always bright.

The golden ‘Son’ forever glows, deep within all your hearts,
And can never be extinguished or be divided into parts.
For each segment, each band, and vibration or sound,
Is eternal and as stated, true love knows no bounds.

Each day is a link and the chain keeps you all,
No ‘separation and division’, or an ‘unearthly’ fall.
So even if your life then hits a new low,
Call unto your ‘Father’, for he already knows.

Of what you require and of what you would all like,
To happen and ‘emerge’, yes from ‘within’ and out life.
Just ‘be’ and to ask with all of your heart,
For the Lord knows too, of what’s right from the start.

The teacher is no man or with a false text,
It is the light and the love that is ‘within’ that’s the test.
So justify the why and then hear the call,
To know then dear ‘children’, you can never, ever fall.

Just be ‘still’; be still… for you are the ‘Divine’,
And you are all ‘one’… and each are all mine.
Not a possession cast aside or washed up by the tide,
For the crown of my heart I give freely, openly and will never, ever hide. 

LOVE ALL…..ALL LOVE.

AMEN

Author: David Knight
Copyright:  11/23/11 by David Knight
Genre: Inspirational/Religion


Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/AscensionForYou-Spiritual-Guidance-and Education/147338671945241

Bio:
DAVID KNIGHT was born into his current physical embodiment in 1964. He is married to Caroline and they live with their adopted cats Toby, Treacle, Spiky and Missy in the UK. In growing up he describes himself as a Mr. Average or like a 'Joe Bloggs'. Whilst earning a living in various types of work, (this ranged from HM Forces, Financial Services, a Care Assistant and also self-employment) his search for fulfillment changed from the exterior and without to the interior and within.

Spiritual education gained a greater momentum and at the age of 21 a more urgent sense of dedication as well as a new realization had set in. New evidence of and from God, were soon revealed through his life experiences. With the aid of Spirit guides and beings from the ethereal planes, the foundations were laid for all who wished to develop and experience their Hearts flame of love and light and to embark upon a unique opportunity for all soul's in this lifetime.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

How to deal with Stupid Clowns with John Garrett





 
I can remember when I got my first comic book. It was actually a batch of six comics my mom bought for me from a garage sale. Two Spider-Womans, two Avengers, a Spider-Man and a Fantastic Four comic.

They were all beat up and worn, but still the colors popped off the page and the artist drew the figures with such a sense of motion -I was hooked!

Man, I slept with those things! I even learned much of my early vocabulary from comics. Many times my parents would be stumped when I would come in ask what a certain word or term was.

That Fantastic Four was a killer! Centrifugal force, momentum, cosmic rays, electromagnetic spectrum and a whole bunch of other questions came from those pages.

I spent my whole life trying to draw the characters from those pages. Usually my drawing was what took precedence, but the writing kind of just naturally snuck up on me.

I couldn't just draw a figure, I had to make up a story for him as well. What was he doing? Why was he in this pose? Why was his costume damaged? What happened??

Comics grew into a love of Sci-Fi and Fantasy books, but I never strayed too far away.
Eventually I decided to take a stab at melding the two. I wanted to have the humor of Scott Adams Dilbert, with some of the humorous writings I'd become known for in my own blog. Hey, why not?

Thus was born my e-book "How to Deal with Stupid Clowns who DonÕt know what the Hell theyÕre talking about!"

The topic came up because I'd been dealing with some really difficult and annoying people of late, and I wanted to strike back...only in comic form.

Once I came up with the clown motif, the whole thing just took off. I would write a chapter, then try to think of a comic that would capture the essence of the writing as an intro to the writing.

Here's a look at the book trailer:


Doing this ebook has been such a journey of toil and yet such personal satisfaction. I get such a kick out of people telling me they thought it was funny or they loved the art or the story.
Er, but the money is also good. Yes, indeed.

Anyway, doing "Stupid Clowns" is kind of a showpiece for me. Even though it won't make me a million dollars, here's something I can point to and say "this is what I can do." I can combine the best of both worlds and really show off my talents.

Although, one hurdle I did discover was that combining comics and writing as I've done makes it hard to categorize and sell your book -especially when it comes to getting your book onto the iBookstore or Kindles out there.

I wasn't expecting that, so I think for my next outing I may just go either or. A big treasury book of comics or either a novel or satire piece. That makes it a bit easier on the backend when you're trying to market your grand creation.

So all in all I had a great time putting this together and I hope others can get some enjoyment out of this. Make sure to leave any comments or questions you may have in the comments area and I'll be sure to answer them. Thanks for reading and all the best success!

 John Garrett is an artist, writer, web designer and all around capital fellow who prefers his food in sandwich form. Comics, Sci-fi, Fantasy and tech stuff are what hold his interest and
also get him in trouble on a daily basis!