Uncategorized, WRITE, writing

Puzzle Potion Chapter 2

A Nightmare Come True

 

Orange Juice for Mom.jpg

 

     It was night. No, it was darker than any night had ever been. Darkness surrounded him, swallowed him. Lan started to panic. He tried to call out to Galen. His lips wouldn’t move. Only a strangled sound, half yell, half gurgle came out. He tried to force the darkness away with everything he had. He could now see a slit of light. It gave him hope. Harder and harder he tried. With a great cracking sound, his eyes opened fully. That was all he needed. Lan forced his lips, arms, and legs to move. Gray dust flaked off with each movement.
“Galen! Galen!” No one answered him. There was no blue sky. No green grass. No treehouse. The world was empty around him except for the rope ladder, all gray. A kick proved the ladder was made out of stone, like he thought. The ladder wasn’t coiled. It wasn’t all tangled up. The ladder was now a long stone line stretching into the distance. Lan followed the stone rope and limped as he did so. He sure wished he hadn’t kicked it so hard. On and on the rope went, forever and ever. Every little while he would call out Galen’s name, even though he no longer thought he’d answer. When he thought that, he’d start to tremble. No. He couldn’t think about it. He had to…

 

There was something in the distance. Finally, there was something besides the endless rope in the blank world. What at first looked like one blocky shape soon became two, then more. They were statures. Statues of his mom, Sarah, Galen’s parents; they were all there. Only Galen was missing. Lan had never cried. Not the type of cry that made you leak tears and snot at the same time. But when he put a hand on his mom’s frozen arm his knees felt watery, his eyes felt watery. He wanted to sink into a blubbering pool of sadness. The sound of footsteps made Lan look away, and there was Galen in the flesh.  At least he hadn’t been turned to stone.

 

Illustration by Emily St. Marie

 

SELF PUBLISHING, Uncategorized, writing

PUZZLE POTION BLURB

PUZZLE POTION is finished.

 
I figured I would post the opening paragraph for each chapter (or key paragraph) along with the chapter title and illustration for that chapter every Saturday at 3:30pm Eastern Standard Time. My hopes are that it will generate interest in the book. PUZZLE POTION is a childrens middle grade book, following is a blurb.

 

Potion Puzzle is an action-packed, 24,000-word, life-or-death scavenger hunt with more ups and downs than an enormous, bucking prairie dog.

 
With grudging help from a witch, Lan and Galen zoom around on a four-wheeler to find outrageous ingredients for a potion that will turn their families from stone back into pancake-making loved ones. Eight ingredients shouldn’t be too hard to find, except how do you convince a garage-sale-loving troll to give up his horn, or a woman-sized catfish to give you an egg? This will be more difficult and dangerous than they ever thought. But there’s no time to think, or even stop for a breath, because if the sun sets before the potion is ready, all will be lost.

publishing, SELF PUBLISHING, Uncategorized, WRITE, writing

Learning Spike

benescenoreds

So…I’ve decided to self-publish. I throw myself into things with a passion (I guess, or at least hope, that’s what helps me be a writer). There was no learning curve where I could just slowly take one thing at a time. Nope, not for me.

Instead, I had a learning spike. I went from zero to sixty like the best Ferrari! Hello to Facebook Account posts multiple times a day in various groups I’m part of, prior, my wife had a family page and I would only get on it on occasion. Hello Twitter Account  with my couple of tweets a day (incidentally during a recent twitter pitch I set up Hootsuite to handle it and found out that Twitter won’t let you repeat the same messages). Hello WordPress where I try to blog at least a couple of times a week (and I’m still not sure how to gain blog followers, maybe be more interesting I don’t know).  In fact, I just learned how to add links in this post.  Hello critique group Inked Voices  where I’m part of a critique group and average 3 critiques a week.

I’ve also taken a crash course in illustration. How else would I know if what I was getting, even though I liked it, would work for the market? Yep, I have better understanding of genre styles, age group preferences, interior art vs. cover art, figure placement, oh and the psychology of color.

I’ve also had to learn about the big one…SELF-PUBLISHING. Things like: finding editors, finding illustrators, which self-publishing company to use, how to build an author’s platform, various marketing and promotion strategies, and on and on.

The learning spike began 1 month ago!

publishing, SELF PUBLISHING, Uncategorized, WRITE, writing

Pepperoni Before the Storm

Pizza in the Treehouse.jpg

 

I just got some of the interior illustrations for POTION PUZZLE. This is for the first chapter, before the petrification curse, the confrontation with a witch, and a mad-dash adventure to find ingredients for a potion to save their families; so, a typical summer day! Thank you Emily St. Marie!

 

 

publishing, SELF PUBLISHING, Uncategorized, writing

Art Isn’t Macho!?!?

So, once upon time (yes I choose to live in a fairytale come to life as I most definitely plan on having a happy ending!), about 2 weeks ago a friend of mine who was helping with the interior illustrations for my childrens book POTION PUZZLE had to stop helping me. This caught me completely offguard.

 

Apparently, his wife told him to stop doing art for kids and be a real man and focus on being an auto mechanic. Why? Because being an auto mechanic is manly. Art is not. And she married a man. That was her thinking.  A quick digression. While I am writing a childrens book, this book has four-wheelers, trolls, and pizza, so it’s not too young if you know what I mean. Sadly, this is the type of thing I run into out here in the cornfields quite a bit.

 

Luckily, I sent out a plea on facebook and someone I admire as an artist and person, responded to my plea. Emily St. Marie ( https://emilystmarieart.weebly.com ) has come to my rescue and will be starting the sketches tomorrow. I really look forward to seeing what she has to add.

 

Oddly enough, I guess in some twisted way this cornfield wife was right in the particular case of my book. The artist isn’t macho. Lol