Tuesday, December 29, 2009
I always make a "New Year's Resolution" list and although I don't accomplish everything, I manage to get a lot of it done. I even break it down into categories. I have my "physical" list, that's what I want to do to get into shape. I have my "emotional" list, the things I want to work on to feel better about myself. I have my "financial" list, my "make life better for others" list, my "family" list, and I always have a "travel" list, stating the places I want to go. Some of these lists overlap. Before I start to make my new list I take my resolutions from the year before and look at the things I've accomplished and the things I have not. Then I take the things from the year before that are still important to me and put those down first, usually with some revisions, making them more realistic or giving them a higher priority.
This year one of my goals is to speak to as many groups, in as many states, as I can about child abuse. Another is to take those extra pounds off I just put on for the holidays. My novels are a big part of this year's resolutions. I have sales numbers set for The Advocate. I have editing and publication goals for my second novel (which still needs a name). And I plan to complete the third novel in the series.
Okay, so maybe I'm a little anal about this resolution thing, but however you do it, it's time to zero in and get started! Do you have a resolution you are particularly determined to accomplish this year?
Happy New Year!
Monday, December 28, 2009
My oldest brother, Don, told us how daddy would stay up at night and stir the fire in the wood stove on many long, cold winter nights. Don told us that with the first four or five siblings he didn’t know our mother was pregnant because no one talked about it. He knew she was “sick” and there would be a lot of commotion for a few days and suddenly he had a new brother or sister. Our mother was a little round and he never noticed any difference.
We not only got to hear stories about their adventures but also stories that had been passed down from our parents and grandparents. If you ever get a chance to meet with elder family members and hear stories of yesteryear, take advantage of it. What a wonderful thing to hear the tales that have been passed on from one generation to another. Do you have a family tale to tell? Please share.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
The “mas” part came from the Latin-derived Old English word for “mass,” and the “X” came from the Greek letter “Chi” which is the first letter for Christ in Greek. But no matter how you slice it, it is not a move by a “modern” generation. In fact, the word “Christ” and “Christmas,” have been abbreviated in English for the past 1,000 years. There are references as far back as 1021 AD. It was used in a letter in the UK in 1753, Lord Byron used it in 1811, Samuel Coleridge in 1801, Lewis Carroll in 1864, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. in 1923.
For me, it’s a great way to use the 24th letter of the alphabet in my blog. So Merry Xmas, or Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays! Just have a wonderful time, enjoy your family and friends, and celebrate how your heart dictates.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Many people write in journals, or write poems, or just doodle words on scratch paper. Journal writing helps us relive the fun times and release the bad times. Each person who experienced that day with you would write a different story. Each brings their own past to help them interpret the day. And each of us writes into the telling what our mind will let us or what we want it to be at the moment. Some people write poems and they do the same thing. You may be writing about a tree, but it’s still about you, your feelings, your perspective. And doodling…how many young men and women have written their sweetheart’s name on their notebooks? How many young women have written, “Mrs. Blah Blah,” trying on a new name, so they can be who they want.
Me, I write novels because I can create whole characters and watch them grow. In my novel “The Advocate,” my main character, Sabre, is a juvenile court attorney, just like me. But it isn’t me. Yes, I certainly have projected many of my thoughts and behaviors onto Sabre. And, yes, sometimes what she says and does is what I would do, but it isn’t me. Sabre is younger, prettier, thinner, smarter, and richer than I am. Remember, “to write is to be whatever you want.”
If you don’t write, then read…it works there too. I remember being Nancy Drew when I was ten and Scarlett O’Hara when I was sixteen.” What have you written or read that has allowed you to be someone or somewhere else?
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
The second amazing thing about these conferences is that you get to meet like minded people. Sure, no one was writing a Steampunk book, but no one discriminates on what you write. In fact every one of these I’ve been to, everyone has been quite amazing. The Southern California Writers Conference was where I met your favorite blog hostess Ms. Burrell. It’s also where I met my publisher Karen Syed. I had the first ten pages of my manuscript of Thomas Riley critiqued by Karen because her bio looked interesting. That’s all. One little bio changed my life in the click of a mouse. I’m being honest here. Her bio said something about doing something with the publisher TOR and I said, "Hey that looks interesting." And I picked her and her alone to critique a relatively unknown genre. After our first meeting, we realized that we had a lot of things in common and from there the rest is history.
Karen introduced me to your hostess with the mostest and here I am guest blogging on her blog today. It’s absolutely amazing how things work out. So while this isn’t all about Steampunk, it is about writing, meeting great people and taking the initiative to achieve your goals. My goal, however remote it may have seemed was to get my manuscript published and I did it. Of course the real credit goes to those that believe in you.
If you would like to see what my dream of Thomas Riley is all about here’s a short blurb about it.
If you enjoyed that, please feel free to visit:
You can purchase signed copies directly through me at:
Monday, November 2, 2009
I’m not going to go all political on you now, but I might get a little maudlin. I’m going to talk about Iraq, more specifically about Operation Desert Swap. Because regardless of your views on Iraq, I would venture to guess you still feel it’s important to support our soldiers. I know I do. I have had the good fortune to do my small part through Operation Desert Swap.
Operation Desert Swap is a program started by a mother whose son was recently sent to Iraq. She put together a group of authors and other patriotic people dedicated to actively showing their support for the troops. The program is set up so that each author/person “adopts” a soldier, sending them a copy of their book along with an initial Operation Desert Swap letter. At least once a month we send “our” soldier a letter to help keep their morale up, and we send “our” soldier at least one care package during their deployment, plus a Christmas card. The only thing the soldier is asked to do is to swap their book with another soldier when they finish reading it, and then that soldier swaps it off with another and so on. Currently we are supporting C company 3/25 Aviation Regiment, a medevac unit also known as “Dust off.”
If any of you are interested in participating or getting the project going for another unit, go to the website http://operationdesertswap.webs.com/ for information. You do not need to be an author to participate or start a program. Uncle Sam would be proud.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
I was born Teresa, and other than a few childhood nicknames (Sweet Pea, Trazer, Honey Girl, Tree, and #9), stayed that way throughout grade school and high school. In college I somehow became Teri. That stuck for about ten years and then faded. People that knew me back then still call me Teri. The only recent friend I have who calls me Teri is Jeff Sherratt, my mentor and author of "The Brimstone Murders" & "Guilty or Else," and he’s such a fabulous guy he can call me whatever he wants.
When I taught school some student started calling me “Mrs. Charmin” from the toilet paper commercial…I was squeezably soft, I guess. That one stuck for a few years with the students. But mostly I was called “Coach” because I had a winning softball team for so many years.
When I practiced law, my friend Bob started calling me Teebs. It caught on with a small group of very close friends...that's where I got the idea for "Sobs" in my novel, The Advocate.
When my nieces and nephews were little they called me Auntie T or TT. That eventually evolved into Tee or just T, which most of my family and adult friends now call me. But my all time favorite, which I mostly see written on emails, cards, and gifts, is FAT (Favorite Aunt Tee). The older I get the more I fit that one...the favorite part, of course.
Aren’t names fun? I don’t really care what my family or friends call me, as long as they do. But I don’t like to see my name misspelled, so remember I’m Teresa, no “h” or Tee (Please no "h" in that either). What interesting nicknames have you had along your path in life?
Thursday, October 1, 2009
What you might not know about Sabre is some of her background. She was raised Catholic, has only one sibling, Ron, who has been missing for five years, a deceased father, and some serious trust issues. She has strong beliefs in the legal system but seems to have that belief tested on a regular basis. Although she appears at ease in her expensive suits and shoes and speaking in the courtroom, she would much rather be wearing jeans and a t-shirt, and walking barefoot on the beach in the rain.
Sabre’s second adventure is in the making in another SOB Legal Suspense novel, and great surprises await her.
The name for the character Sabre came from a little girl who I met some thirteen years ago. She had so much love to give and at the time no one to give it to. She came into my heart where she will forever remain.
How has a child changed your life?
Writers, where do you get the names for your characters?
Friday, September 11, 2009
There’s all the standard stuff, like take a bubble bath, a walk on the beach, listen to soft music, do yoga, take deep breaths, get a massage, take a long shower, read a good book…these are all good things. But relaxing isn’t necessarily about being quiet and still. Try dancing. I don’t mean the slow, just swaying your body kind. Put on some Credence Clearwater Revival and rock! Let your body go, be goofy, and don’t think about anything else. You can’t relax if, while taking your bath or your walk on the beach, you’re still thinking about what you have to get done.
There are also some basic techniques that help with relaxing and reducing stress, such as getting plenty of sleep, and good nutrition. And don't miss the chance to laugh. Laughter is so important. Find something to laugh about, read some funny jokes, watch a sitcom, or dig out old photos from high school. I’ll bet they’ll make you laugh.
If all that fails, you can do what I do when I really need a break. I drive to the movie theater, buy the largest popcorn and a box of chocolate covered raisons, shut off my cell phone, and watch a no-brainer movie.
What's your favorite way to relax?
Saturday, July 18, 2009
This is written for my good friend, Roberto, Quinones, who I affectionately call "Q." He was a dear friend and colleague who recently passed away at the young age of fifty-two from prostate cancer. I can’t say the letter “q” without thinking about him, so I had to write this in his memory. Below is a picture of Q playing Santa Claus at Clinica del Ninos in Rosarito, Mexico where we go each year to provide a Christmas party for the children. Although a new Santa will fill his spot, no one will really take his place.
Q was a very special person in my life and in every life he encountered. I first met him when he started work at juvenile court with the Alternate Public Defender’s office. He was basically there to take my job away. So you see, it would have been very easy to not like him. But the fact that we all did was an indication of what kind a man he was. He was honest, a straight-shooter, cared deeply about his clients, and believed strongly in the system. Not exactly how most people would describe an attorney. In addition, he was a wonderful father, had a great sense of humor, loved life, and always put everyone else’s needs in front of his own. I know people tend to say nice things about people after they have passed away, but Q was the kind of guy who people said nice things about when he was alive.
So once again “Q” came through for me…providing me with a word for the hardest letter in the alphabet. Thank you.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
The okapi is a beautiful animal. You really have to see one live to appreciate it. There are approximately 10 to 20 thousand left in the wild and only about 40 zoos or institutions house them in captivity. They're not listed as endangered, but are threatened by pouching and habitat destruction.
Okapis are essentially solitary, coming together only to breed. Hey, I've been accused of that...well, not the breeding part, just the solitary part. No wonder I'm fascinated with these animals. Anyway, they're not social animals preferring to live in large, secluded areas (probably so they can write their novels.)
This is not an animal I was aware of growing up. It was, in fact, unknown to the western world until the 20th century, but has been depicted in carvings for almost 2,500 years in old Persia. Ancient carved images of the okapi have also been discovered in Egypt establishing the okapi was known to the ancient Egyptians. It was known for years as the "African unicorn."
How many of you have seen an okapi? What's your favorite zoo animal?
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
But there were a couple of exceptional purchases. The first was my three-year-old great-great niece, Meredith, who convinced her grandmother to buy her a book. When asked what she wanted the message to read. She said, “To Baby Amelia & Meredith” (Baby Amelia is her little sister. What a sweet, thoughtful, little girl.)
Thank you all for making my launch party an experience I’ll never forget.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
When I started to write this blog I thought about how the "M" states had played an integral part in my life. In addition to Michigan I have a connection to most of the “M” states. Growing up in Minnesota I remember jumping rope to the Mississippi diddy: M-I-crooked letter, crooked letter-I-crooked letter, crooked letter-I-hump back, hump back-I. A good part of my family lives in Montana, so many that we chose to have our “Family Onion” there last year. My very dear friends live in Maine and I have the good fortune to visit there quite often (going again the end of next month). We had our last sister trip with all five sisters in Missouri (memories that will forever be dear to me). My publisher, Echelon Press, is located in Maryland. So that only leaves Massachusetts. Although I’ve been there several times, have some nice memories of Boston, but it’s the remaining state to develop a real connection. Any suggestions? Any of you connected to the “M” states?
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Do you remember the limbo? Are you too young? I remember being the limbo champ once in school. In all fairness, I think I had an advantage. Since I was only about four and a half feet tall, I was much closer to the ground than my fully grown friends.
For those of you who are not familiar with the dance, the dancer leans backward and moves to a Caribbean rhythm as he dances his way under a horizontal stick without touching it. If he touches it or falls backwards, he’s out. During a competition the dancers follow in a single line with the stick being gradually lowered each time through until only one dancer remains.
People often associate the dance with Hawaii, but it originated on the island of Trinidad. The name comes from the Trinidad/English dialect, “limba” meaning “to bend,” from the English “limber.”
Research indicates that in certain African beliefs the dance reflects the whole cycle of life. The dancers are moving under a pole and emerging on the other side representing the triumph of life over death.
And I bet you thought the limbo was just another dance. But then you probably received most of your limbo knowledge, like I did, from Chubby Checker and his "Limbo Rock."
Do you have a limbo story? Please share.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
She opened the office door. A familiar odor caught her attention–faint, but recognizable. Her brother's favorite cologne, Kantor. It had been years since she had experienced the smell of his cologne, unsure if they even still made it. She would check with the other attorneys on Monday to see who in the building wore the cologne. She started to dismiss it when she noticed that her brother's photo, on the credenza behind her desk, was facing the wall. She knew she hadn't moved the photo.No point in trying to find the cologne, it doesn’t exist except in The Advocate, again on page 181:
I guess you’ll have to read the book to see where the smell of Kantor is coming from. If you haven’t done it already, you can click here to enter the drawing to win a free, autographed copy of The Advocate.
As she approached the spot where the stranger had been sitting, she smelled the familiar odor of Kantor cologne. Once again her heart skipped a beat. It was the only cologne Ron ever wore. The smell grew stronger the closer she came to where the man had been seated. She peered around, but he seemed to be gone. She watched as she walked to her car, but no further evidence of him, nor the smell, presented itself. More paranoia?
Friday, May 15, 2009
On the other hand, like the rest of you, I’ve been juggling things all my life. In college, I juggled schoolwork, a job, the party scene, and managed to get through it without destroying my grade point average. I juggled bills, spending money, and rides for lack of parking. I even went through a period in my life where I was pretty adept at juggling men.
And then there’s the jugular vein (which has nothing to do with the word I started with, but sounds close enough and it does start with “j”). When I was teaching sixth grade, I had a student (yes, a sixth grader—and that wasn’t half as bad as the one with the gun a couple of years later.) come at my jugular vein with a knife. I guess you don’t need to ask why I changed from teaching to law.
So, I’ve juggled many things, survived an attack to the jugular, and even dated a juggler for a few years. Most of my friends probably couldn’t tell you his name. He was simply “The Juggler.” The relationship was an adventure. You can’t imagine the places a juggler can get you into. We stayed in Elvis Presley’s Palm Springs home (long after Elvis was gone), had a shot of Louis the XIII Cognac with some producer in Hollywood (at $100 a shot—totally lost on me), and hung out with Robin Williams at the Comedy Club for hours after it had closed. The juggler, nine years younger than me, had a maturity level at least ten years less than that. But then, what did I expect? After all, I was dating a man who played with his balls for a living.
What do you have the most trouble juggling? Or the most fun?
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
We’ve all heard of the athlete with a handicap who does the “impossible.” Just about everyone knows about 5’ 7” Rudy Ruettiger who played football for Notre Dame. Or Wilma Rudolph, who became known as “The Black Gazelle.” She overcame polio, scarlet fever, and double pneumonia only to go on to set running records and win Olympic gold medals.
But it’s the little things you do everyday that lead to mastery and eventually overcomes the impossible. Writing that extra paragraph, doing that extra set of exercises, making one more phone call, working that extra hour, saving that extra dollar, stuffing one more envelope…it doesn’t matter what goal you’re trying to reach, it’s the little “impossibilities” that ultimately make you a winner.
So, I think I’ll go eat that extra piece of chocolate and try out for American Idol. Ok, so there are limits, but most of them are in your mind.
I’m a little “Fertile” girl who went on to write a novel, The Advocate, and actually got it published. Who’d ever thought that was possible?
What “impossible” thing have you achieved?
Monday, May 4, 2009
In those days, they didn’t have our fast food restaurants and it was impossible to find a good hamburger. We were very young and although we liked most of the food, we didn’t appreciate it as we may have had we been a little older. We were starved for good old American food. We finally found an import store. We sat outside on the steps for almost two hours until it opened. Once inside, we paid about five times the amount we would have at home for a jar of peanut butter. We thought we had died and gone to heaven. We would buy fresh loaves of bread in the bakeries and fruit from the stands on the streets and ate fruit and peanut butter sandwiches for about a week…until our peanut butter was gone.
Hitchhiking was the best way to travel back then. I was a college student at the time, and a bit of a hippie…not the real thing…I had too much “Catholic guilt” to get into the free love thing and the drug scene didn’t appeal to me. So, with my hair in braids and my loose outfits, I was sort of a hippie wannabe. I did hippie things, like: travel with just a single bag pack all summer, wash my clothes by hand in cold water and hang them out to dry, took cold showers (ok, so I had no other options), go barefoot or wear sandals, and of course, hitchhike.
We hitchhiked from city to city and then took the bus system around to see the sites, except in Italy. There we even hitchhiked in the city because the Italian men were so eager to give us rides. And yes, they do (or did then) pinch your bottom when you walked down the streets, just like in the old movies.
Hitchhike, a word my mother never quite forgave me for. She didn’t know until I got home what my mode of travel had been. She would have been so worried, and rightly so, but I know she also admired my sense of adventure. Now, I’m older and much wiser and will no longer even take a ride on a roller coaster, much less with a stranger. So now when I get the urge to put on jeans and a sweatshirt and hitchhike down the highway, I know I'm only dreaming of a time gone by.
Have you ever hitchhiked? Or picked up a hitchhiker? Please share your story.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I returned to Fertile, MN and discovered a graveyard from the 1800’s that belonged entirely to our clan except for about six graves that were from one other family. The graveyard was off the beaten path in the woods hidden from the public. It contained the graves of my great grandparents, and my great, great grandparents and gaggles of great aunts and uncles. All those original “Fertile families” were “gi-normous.” My great-grandfather was one of eighteen. His folks came from Canada to the valley along with three other families nearly as large. They arrived there too late to get their homes built before winter settled in, so that first winter they had to dig holes in the hills and live underground until the snows passed. They initially called the area Godfrey Township. It was sometime later when my brilliant ancestors changed the name to Fertile.
I also discovered other interesting things, like the first cousins that married each other, making some parts of my family tree a “pole” instead of a tree.
Have you researched your genealogy? Any interesting stories you’d care to share?
Friday, April 24, 2009
When my family celebrates, we feast, the Easter function at my sister’s house this year had over one hundred folks there. I counted one-hundred-four family members and friends and tables full of food.
When there’s an illness, not just the hearts reach out, but the bodies too. When my eldest sister was on her deathbed, every one of my brothers and sisters came to support one another. They came from Montana, Idaho, and different parts of California. We all huddled together in the hospital waiting room for five days. And when Sissy passed away we were all together circled around her bedside fingers entwined.
When there’s work to be done, they all pitch in. When someone has a dream they all encourage it. When someone gets married, graduates, is released from jail (I never claimed perfection), signs a book contract like “The Advocate,” or gets a job, no matter how big or small the event, this family cares and supports. That’s not to say we don’t fuss at one another. We have our share of feuds and fights, but eventually the love always overcomes.
We are one big, and I do mean big (at last count, I had one-hundred-fourteen nieces and nephews, that includes great-nieces and nephews), happy (most of the time) family—now that’s a Fertile family!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
1. While you’re brushing your teeth, do a few squats…slowly, so the toothpaste isn't splattered everywhere.
2. While sitting at the table eating breakfast clench those buttocks together, hold it for about two seconds, and then release. Keep doing it throughout breakfast (lunch or dinner) and it won’t be long before you’ll have a firmer butt. If breakfast and butt doesn’t sound that appealing to you, then do it while you’re sitting at your desk. Your rear end doesn’t have to get enormous just because you’re sitting on it all day.
3. You all know to take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator, or at the very least walk up and down that escalator. And pick up your speed when you do need to walk somewhere. You’ll get it done earlier and burn a calorie or two.
4. There are lots of things you can do while sitting at your desk. Extend your legs out in front of you and stretch those calves. It’s good to stretch those muscles and helps prevent blood clots as well.
5. You can do leg lifts from your desk, too. Start with one leg, then the other, then both. Start slow and add a few each week. This can be an effective abdominal exercise.
6. Stretch (not roll) your neck from side to side and forward and backward. Also, look right, and left.
7. If you expend a lot of time typing, roll your wrists. This can help prevent carpal tunnel. Roll your ankles as well. This can help with circulation.
8. Suck in your stomach, hold for a few seconds, then release. Repeat this as often as you can think to do it. After a while it will become a habit and you will have firmer stomach muscles.
9. Open your arms straight out, pull your shoulders back, and rotate your wrists (thumbs going up and back). Good stretch.
10. Keep a hand gripper around your house. Pick it up when you walk by and use it. It works your hands as well as your forearms.
11. After work, and you’ve eaten your dinner (sucking in those buttocks while you ate), and it’s time to relax in front of the television, get a large size stability ball and sit on it with back and abs held firm. Sit, bounce, and do basic exercise on it while you watch the "boob tube."
Now this isn’t meant to replace regular exercise, but those of us who can’t seem to make it to the gym at all, or on those days when we can't take those long walks, this is way better than nothing.
Friday, April 17, 2009
My favorite Garth Brooks song is “The Dance.” You’ve got to love the line—“I could have missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss, the dance.” It’s really all about the dance of life. It’s the work. It’s the fun. It’s the accomplishments, the sweat, the deadlines, the creativity, and the laughs and smiles along the way. That’s what makes life so incredibly wonderful. They’re all part of the dance.
When I was about five years old I can remember going to town on a Saturday night with my parents. We would go to a bar called “The Sister’s Café” where mom would work and dad would drink. My sister and I would hang out. The old drunks would put money in the jukebox and then give us dimes if we danced. Looking back on it, I’m sure some of them were trying to help entertain us, others I’ve got to wonder. Anyway, as soon as we had enough dimes, we would go to the movies. Strange as it may seem, that dancing left me both feeling sentimental and scarred. But I still like to dance.
And what lyrics are better than Lee ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance.”
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
Dance....I hope you dance.
I have few regrets with my choices in life, but those I do have are not because I chose to dance but rather because I sit one out. Just dance.
And best of all, my favorite quote. (I don’t know who to attribute it to but I’ve had it on my wall for years.) “The reason the rain dance works is because they don’t stop dancing until it rains.” This reminder has kept me going many times when I wanted to give up.
What's your favorite dance story? Did you dance or sit it out?
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
When people would ask me why I didn't have any children, I would jokingly reply, “I hate kids.” The truth is, I’ve spent my entire life working with those little “curtain climbers." I’ve taught, represented, tutored, counseled, and coached them. I even helped raise one son who I inherited from a relationship. He’s wonderful, but I have to give his father the credit for doing such a fabulous job. He was consistent, caring, and conscious of what was going on in his child’s world. And as a result, Bobby grew up to be a well functioning member of society. In fact he’s now an attorney—ok, so he's not perfect (and that's the part he got from me.)
Our children are our most cherished commodity. They need our protection, our love, and our direction in this crazy cosmos. I’ve seen so much heartache and pain among those little ones with my stint at juvenile court. That’s part of the reason I wrote my novel, The Advocate. It deals with a fictional juvenile court case while it delves into some of the realities of child abuse.
Life is all about the children and the joy they bring into our lives. What have you done lately to make a child’s day special? Or what has a child done that made you smile?
Friday, April 10, 2009
Unfortunately, I was not there to see it for myself, but Jo told me the energy was “electric” and the kids were phenomenal…beholding to each and every person for their donation of bucks and bristle (money and hair.)
Within the last week I lost a niece, Sheila, to breast cancer and a dear friend, Roberto, to prostate cancer. Both of them suffered for a long time and both left this world way too young. I want to give a special thanks to all of you who contribute to this research so other families don’t have to suffer with this agonizing death.
Here are the photos of Jo before and after her selfless act:
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Aspirations: I’ve always had countless aspirations. Many people I know don’t seem to aspire to much of anything, or maybe they had aspirations, life got in the way, and they lost them. I remember as a small child playing in the snow banks of Minnesota and dreaming of a better life to come. Of course, back then I thought I wanted to be an anchorite, a nun to be exact. I sure missed that one by a country mile. I loved the nuns’ apparel and I longed to take a lap around those huge beads that hung from their habits. But most of all the nuns would give me bananas when I was good (and back then I was always good.) My sister wasn’t too crazy about the nuns and usually got in trouble—and to this day she abhors bananas. I think there’s a correlation there.
Accomplishments: So much left to do in my lifetime. I have accomplished quite a bit since I left the algid winters of Minnesota. I managed to get through law school, become an attorney, and have lots of adventures along the way. I traveled to every state in the United States, except Alaska (had to cancel that trip when my brother-in-law got sick—but still planning to get there.) I’ve been to the Americas (north, central, and south), to Amsterdam, Athens, Austria, Asia, Acapulco, and other places from A to Z. (I know you writers and editors are going crazy because I’m mixing cities and countries, but it’s not easy getting all these A’s in.) Now I’ve written a novel, The Advocate. But there is so much left to accomplish, and oh, so many places left to see. There’s that “A-list” to get on (the bestseller list,) The Advocate #2 to finish, the novel after that; there’s Alaska, Africa, Australia, and Aruba. I think I’ll wait on Afghanistan. And there’s learning to play Bridge. I know it doesn’t start with an “A”, but I’ve always wanted to learn so I threw it in anyway.
Author/advocate: So, I went from attorney to author and as a result, I wrote The Advocate. Although it is fiction, it was inspired by an actual case. I have been an advocate for children most of my life, through my teaching, my law practicing, for my amazing de facto son, and my awesome nieces and nephews.
Everything I’ve done in life I've done because I didn’t know I couldn’t. What do you still aspire to? What is that one thing you really want to do in life that you haven’t done—yet?
Sunday, March 15, 2009
I'm sharing this because I'm so impressed when people give this much of themselves. Although I'm not quite ready to have my head shaved, I was not at all surprised to hear Jo was going that extra mile. So instead, I'm helping to support her in this quest. (When I finally decide to cut my hair, I will donate it to the cause.)
How many of us are willing to do what Jo is doing? Not everyone has to go that far, but if you want to get involved, please go to http://www.stbaldricks.org/ and click on the “Find A Participant” tab. Then type her name (Jo Jensen) in the name field and make an online donation to this important cause! She'll be posting an “AFTER” photo for you to see that she kept her promise of shaving her head just to raise money for pediatric cancer research.
Yes, bald is beautiful, Jo. And so are you for helpling our "little people."
Thursday, March 12, 2009
There is nothing quite as rewarding as seeing a smile appear on a child’s face for something you have done for them. If you haven’t done anything lately to make a better life for a child, start today. You’ll be glad you did.
My novel, The Advocate, (Echelon Press, publisher) gives you a glimpse of what goes on in the juvenile court system. I’m hoping it will help to educate the masses a little on what the process is like and how much some of these children suffer. I’m in the process of setting up speaking events at non-profit functions where I can dedicate the proceeds from the novel to support organizations dedicated to child advocacy. It’s a small way to do my part.
Please add your thanks to these special people with your comments on this blog.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
And if you do hire a publicist, how do you chose one? Of course, referral by someone you trust is probably the best way to go, but when you're new to the industry you may not know anyone who can make that referral. And then there's their area of expertise. Do you hire someone who is an expert in internet marketing or brick and mortar? Both would, of course, be ideal if you can find it. But if they do both, do they know both? Or are they spreading themselves too thin and not giving anything?
I have spoken to several authors who have had bad experiences with publicists, mostly the same complaint, "It was a waste of money." I'm not suggesting this is a fact. I'm sure there are plenty of authors, novice and experienced, who have had success with their publicist. So, what does the new novelist do? Does one do his or her own promoting? I'm sure you're all familiar with the saying, "An attorney who represents himself has a fool for a client." That is certainly true in the legal field, but does it apply here? I'm just askin'. www.teresaburrell.com
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
So, I wrote the book, The Advocate. Then I rewrote the book. Then I rewrote the book again…and again…and again. I finally found a publisher willing to take a chance on me and guess what? She had me rewrite it again. But I’ve got to tell you, this process is great fun, every step more exciting than the one before. Look at that book cover….It’s gorgeous! And here is a description about the story. I’ll give you a minute to read it….
...See, isn't that just the coolest? Makes you want to read the whole thing, right?
My head is spinning with news from my publisher. Right now, I’m thinking the only thing better than writing books is marketing books. We’re planning all these exciting things: speaking engagements, charity events, races, book launches, press releases, and other promotional activities that are brand new to me. I have no clue what I’m doing half of the time. I’m blogging, and twittering, and facebooking, and linking in, and linking on, and learning, learning, learning. Sheer excitement is carrying me through the process and I’m smiling like a Cheshire cat all the way.
The Advocate will be released in August 2009. Yes, I said August 2009! That’s just around the corner. So, you might want to get in line now at your local bookstore to make sure you get a copy.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Since I now have a book contract for The Advocate, I was told I should start blogging. So this is my first attempt at this incredible new communication system. This stuff still boggles, or should I say "bloggles," my mind. But then I'm still amazed every time I fly, that those gigantic metal birds can stay up in the sky. I'm also impressed with robotic vacuum cleaners, cars that park themselves, and microwave ovens. So, you see, it doesn't take much to impress me or "bloggle" my mind.
Once I get through this initial stage of figuring out how this all works, learn the mechanics, and get comfortable with the process, hopefully, I will come up with something intelligent or at least interesting to blog about. Meanwhile, if you want more information about my exciting new novel, The Advocate, (I keep saying the title because I just like seeing it in print.) please check out my website at http://www.teresaburrell.com.