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My Grandma in a Book Review

I should be visiting my grandparents today, but instead I am home, with my kids with a cold.  Instead, I am finishing a story about my grandma, well a grandma at least but she sure seems a lot like mine.  This story made me reminisce about the wonderful lady that she is.  It made me think of the life lessons that she has taught me.  It made me laugh, it made me cry, and mostly it made me wish that my grandmother was not starting to get tired.

Without further ado I introduce my grandma and the book: A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck.

I spent near as many dinners around her kitchen table as my own.  She was quite the cook. I asked her one day how she became such a good cook and she said, “I just wanted to really bad, so I worked at it.”  That’s how she lived life.  If she wanted something she worked for it herself.  She put in the time. Nothing was free and nothing was owed to her.  She cooked to feed her family (and the neighborhood kids, and the people from out-of-town) not for show.  I would put her pies, candy, bread or cakes up against anyone in town.  One of the only things I see differently than the grandma in this book from my own.  She would never cheat another.  It didn’t matter if he was a “no good rascal”.


Grandma made us work.  Sometimes we didn’t like it, but looking back now I am grateful for the time I spent with her.  I spent many afternoons helping her bag and deliver “Peggy’s Ice”.  I helped in the garden and in the yard.  I learned some basic cooking skills and learned that dishes get cleaned right after dinner, “they are harder to clean if you let them sit and people will hang around anyway so you can still talk after your done.”

Grandma said what she thought.  It took me a long time to learn that she didn’t mean to hurt others, she just didn’t like what they were doing.  The thing is, she was so respected and well liked that they valued her opinion.  Gossip didn’t often happen around her kitchen table, yet she knew everything about everything.  I guess those were just conversations in honesty.

I remember one time when I ran away from home. I have no idea why, but I headed up to Grandma’s house.  My mom quickly followed and I remember when my grandma opened the door she said, “She’s here, but I think she just needs a minute. I’ll bring her down the road in a few minutes.”  She didn’t say anything to me, just gave me a few minutes, then she patted my back and said it was time to go home, and I went. I knew I could always trust her, that I mattered, and she would do anything for me.

We spent many nights at Grandma’s too.  Sometimes it was planned but sometimes it was unexpected.  On those nights, Grandma would pick out each of us one of her silky shirts and put them on us to sleep in.  She called them “twirling shirts” and would have each of us a give her a good spin before she tucked us into bed.

I can talk to my grandma about anything.  One time after I was telling her about a particularly selfish person, she said, “You don’t need to make room in your life for people like that.  Really all that matters is family and love.”


She knows a lot about love my grandma.  She tells you she loves you, but she also shows you. Most often this comes in the form of food at her table, but she also would sew things, or ask you to help her grab something from the storage so she could just talk to you and tell you she loves you.  She always had ice cream and I can’t count the number of times she held my sprite while I took a sip through a straw when I was sick.  If you were leaving town, she expected a call to know you got home, if she didn’t get one, she’d call you and remind you that “I was in a dither because I didn’t know how you got on.  You make sure to call me okay.”

She also taught me about love in the way she loved my grandpa.  She was always there.  Always.  She supported him, in the best way she could and that was in taking care of him.  Grandpa said she didn’t like the tractor much, but that she liked to be with him, standing next to the fence watching him work the field.  She helped drive the truck to get the cows on or off the mountain and she always made sure his belly was full.  The ultimate care-taker.


Grandpa would do much of the fishing and hunting but I would not have put it past her to put on her overalls and take us illegal catfishing if it meant that we (or another) would have food on the table.  She would just chalk it up to taking care of her people.

She taught us the broom trick in her kitchen when we were young.  She did it then and showed us, not just told us.  A few months ago when showing our own kids the broom trick in that same kitchen, she said, “well I think I can still do it, maybe I ought to give it a try.”  We convinced her otherwise, but I wonder if probably she still could.


She loves animals, she hates them, she loves them.  She always complained, but she is the lady that feeds the neighborhood cats.  She still talks about Benji the weiner dog she had when we were young.  She always let her kids rescue animals even though she said she wouldn’t this included dogies, goats, chickens, cows etc. etc. etc.  She has a cow in her field that she can see out her back window that doesn’t have a hoof on one leg.  He is a resilient cow who is still doing just fine.  She tells me how sad it is to see that even in the world of cows, those that are different are left out.  This black cow waits to eat last, often lays alone and just goes through life trying to get by.  The cows in the field will one day be meat on the table, but grandma says, that one has to go to someone else because there is no way she can eat him.

I learned to play poker with buttons at her kitchen table.  Spoons too.  and hopscotch. She also showed me how to climb trees and what real sun tea tasted like. I learned to make candy in her kitchen.  She fired me once, but last time I made taffy with her she said, “I am done firing people,” but she reached her hand over and took the spoon from mine and said, “but maybe I better take this right here.”


She’s a tough old bird.  If I ever needed backup in a fight, Grandma would be the one to call.  She loves me fiercely and wouldn’t hesitate to “box their ears” if she thought they deserved it.  She’d pull out a paddle cutting board and pound it on her hand and say, “that’ll end that.” Sometimes I thought she was going to box my ears too.  I had a hard time seeing disappointment from my grandma.  I thought sometimes she was too hard on me.  I think she just really saw that I could do so much more and that I should.  She expected that of me, because I was hers, her genes made me after all. She didn’t want me hanging out with “rascals” and often asked “well why didn’t you do something else?”  The older I get the more I understand.  The more I love and respect her willingness to say the hard things.  I admire her strength, her courage and her toughness.  Too often I think I worry about how things will make people feel without realizing that the true honesty in life is just another form of love.


I love when she says, “Oh Hell.” Or when she says, “I love you.”  She has been known, with her hands aside my face, to say “You are special, a very special girl, a very good mom.”  She will say, “I am so proud of you, proud you are mine,” and most recently I even caught a “She can eat my shit” when someone made her feel sad.  Like I said, she always says what she feels.

So to my grandma-World’s Best-thank you for your wisdom, your wit, your all around funny, loving, kindhearted self.  I am so proud you are mine.


If you want to laugh at a grandma like mine, you really need to read this short, very quick read A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck available here.


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An Introduction to a Great New Friend: Dutch Hollow

Today I was brave.  I have been enjoying running-especially on trails and have been wanting to try my hand at Dutch Hollow.  I have seen so many incredible pictures and memories made, but I was always waiting for the right time, or the right invite at the right time.  That doesn’t often happen with my crazy scheduling. There is also something a little intimidating about running someplace like this without a whole crew.  A few weeks ago I joined a group of runners for a full moon run and had such a great time.  I had put off going for so long, worried that I would be the slowest one there, or that I wouldn’t be able to go the distance, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the group was full of runners of all levels.  It gave me great confidence in myself as a runner that no matter the level if you run, you too are a runner.

I decided to venture out and up, on my own today.  I can do this….  Although the distance isn’t long, It’s up.  I caught myself smiling. I arrived at my first peak.  The view was beautiful and my heart was filled with such joy.  I sat on the top of the hill for a minute and reminisced about the many trail runs I went on with my mother.  She was full of such badassery that if you looked up that word in my hypothetical dictionary, I am certain it would say next to it: “Lucy”.  I felt a little like her on the top of that peak.

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It wasn’t enough though, I decided to push on through the mud, ice, snow, dirt, slick rock and even grass to another peak, just so I could see the other side.  Whew….breathtaking.

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I love this.  I am looking forward to pushing myself to more distance and more challenge. I love the course and the active aspect of a trail run.  I love the climb.  This is my jam…..

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What a beautiful day.  My shoes were screaming “No More” but my heart was saying bring it on.  Loved this.  So blessed I live where I do.  image4 (1)Selfie overload…but hey.  Looking forward to many more runs in this beautiful place I call home.  Also to many more thoughts/runs with my mom.

On that note. image5 (1)Too soon?


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Publishing a First Work

I have some very exciting news.  I have story that will be published in the Secrets and Doors anthology set to be released very soon.  It has been quite a journey for me and I have learned a lot.  If you are currently writing, or hoping to write and someday be published, trust me when I say it isn’t quite the way you imagined it would be.


I always thought that the most difficult part was writing the book-all the way to the end.  When I finished my first book, I heard many times, “You wrote a book, how many people can say that they actually did that.”  The truth is, a lot.  There are so many stories out there just waiting to be published it is overwhelming.  The book market is incredibly competitive. I learned this very early on when I started to get serious about writing.

I have been writing for a few years now and finished my first full length novel in 2008.  I finished another novel a few years later and during that time, my family moved.  We moved to the back of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains.  I joined a writing group and met some wonderful people.  I have been very lucky because the authors in my group are more than just great writers, they are full of integrity.  As you begin writing you will find that trait is just as important as finding a mentor that can write a good book.  I look up to them and I am so lucky that I got to work on this project with them. Find them here: Lehua Parker, Christine Haggerty, and Angela Hartley.

I also learned that authors are their very own species.  Maybe it is artists in general, but surely authors.  Authors are creative minds with very sensitive souls.  When I first walked into the world I told myself that I wasn’t going to feel that way.  I was going to write because I loved it and not worry so much what others thought of me.  What I found, however, was that I am just another author.  As an author you are only as successful as the people who support you.

Thanks to the incredible group of people that I met, I learned so much and was able to submit my own story for the Secrets and Doors Anthology.  The process from there was a lot of work.  There is a lot of collaboration that goes into an anthology and I realized just how hard the leaders of our group work.  They spent hours marketing and selling, finding editors and options, while I, learning from the sidelines sent a few cheers while I worked over and over again with the editor, Callie Stoker, to make sure my story was just right.

I was on cloud nine.  Willing to put in the time and work hard.  Writing is hard work.  You need tough skin and a really big heart.  You also need a great support team.  I realized this when I received an email that asked to get a review of my story.

“No problem,” I thought.  “I have friends and family with blogs.  I know people.”  How disappointing it was for me to realize that when I posted and asked for a small amount of help, I was answered with crickets from all of my blogger friends.  Don’t feel bad for me, I did plenty of that for myself.  So much so, that my precious sidekicks, so in tune with feelings made me this incredible drawing of themselves “answering my blog.”

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I really do have a great support system, just most of them don’t blog or are already in the anthology so I strapped on my boots and did what I should have done to start with.  I asked a stranger.  Marketing 101 for a book, be brave, get out there, be willing to connect, and toot your own horn.  I did just that and found the wonderful Mandy Eve Barnett to read my story and write a review.  I will forever be grateful for her kindness and her ability to remind me that there really are great people in the world.  I sent my story off to her with my stomach full of nerves.

This is the moment I realized I was an author.  I had something special.  Something that mattered to me.  I shared my soul with the world. I was crushed when I felt a lack of support only to sit, waiting, stressed, scared to death and worried that I would get a bad review from someone who I never met.  Would my career as an author be over? Would my next book never see the light of day?

I took a breath.  I looked at my sidekicks and my husband with his thumbs up.  I called some family who said they had my back and I thought of my mom who would probably be more excited for me in this moment than I am for myself.  I moved on.  I read others blogs, supported some friends and family on other things and remembered that life goes on. I already have some pretty great things to look forward too.  Even if my reviewer hated the story, it was coming out anyway and this was a huge accomplishment.

I will let you see what Mandy thought of my story here:  http://mandyevebarnett.com/2015/02/05/meriann-boxall-short-story-anthology-review-5th-feb/ while you are there, follow her blog, send her a thank you, and vote her a 5 because she is an incredible person. She took a chance on me and will forever be in my circle of people who made a difference.  Additionally, this works out in my favor.  My story will be shared with many that it never would have been otherwise.  Had I have had a family member or friend help with my story, I would have reached the same crowd I would have anyway.  Things happen for a reason.

So as a first time author I would share that be prepared for a lot of hard work.  Know that just as any other job in the world, you are just one of many-learn to stand out.  Market yourself well with bravery.  Believe in your story and in yourself.  Learn from others, especially your mentors. They know what they are talking about and can help you along the way. Remember that your support may not be found in a blog post, but will be found in a letter from your sidekicks or those that took a chance on you to publish your book.

Don’t worry, I am over the disappointment I found early on. I am the lucky one to get to be one story of many that I share with some of the most incredible authors out there.  Make sure to grab our book.  The anthology proceeds will all be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  That is thanks to the great publisher Crimson Edge Publishing and all of the authors involved.  While you are at it, make sure to check out some of the other authors and buy their other books too.  They are good, honest, people and really great storytellers.

More about the Secrets and Doors:

Open the door and unlock the secrets in eleven short stories from The Secret Door Society, an organization of fantasy and science fiction authors dedicated to charitable work. All proceeds from this anthology benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in their quest to cure Type One Diabetes (T1D).

In these pages you’ll discover a modern woman trapped in an old fashioned dreamscape, a futuristic temp worker who fights against her programming, a beautiful vampire’s secret mission disrupted by betrayal, a sorcerer’s epic battle against a water dragon, the source of magical mirrors—and more. There are tales for every science fiction and fantasy taste, including new works from award-winning authors Johnny Worthen, Lehua Parker, Christine Haggerty, and Adrienne Monson.

Join us in the fight against T1D as you peek into a world of magical and mysterious doorways—if you dare.


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Secrets and Doors Cover

I am so excited about this book, what it supports, and how it came together. The stories are wonderful and the cover is so beautiful! You know you want to pick that right off of the shelf!


A closer look at the back cover:


Open the door and unlock the secrets in eleven short stories from The Secret Door Society, an organization of fantasy and science fiction authors dedicated to charitable work. All proceeds from this anthology benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in their quest to cure Type One Diabetes (T1D).

In these pages you’ll discover a modern woman trapped in an old-fashioned dreamscape, a futuristic temp worker who fights against her programming, a beautiful vampire’s secret mission disrupted by betrayal, a sorcerer’s epic battle against a water dragon, the source of magical mirrors—and more. There are tales for every science fiction and fantasy taste, including new works from award-winning authors Johnny Worthen, Lehua Parker, Christine Haggerty, and Adrienne Monson.

Join us in the fight against T1D as you peek into a world of magical and mysterious doorways—if you dare.

Make sure to order it today at Crimson Edge Publishing: http://crimsonedgepublishing.com/bookstore/


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A Few Steps in a Walk Across America

I have a few traits that seem to be pretty well-known by those in my closest circle.  Sometimes I am teased and bring people into things that they may or may not have wanted to do.  But sometimes…I become a part of something really, really cool.

Example A:  I would do almost anything for anyone, my husband would do anything for me, therefore, he gets roped into doing a lot of things for others, that probably wouldn’t be on the top of his list.  i.e.  taking boxes of food to a bunch of kids stuck in a home with drug addicted parents.  Not his idea-not safe for me on my own-so he does it for me.  Good man.  Not …fun…

Example B: My sister loves to chat.  She gets stories out of people and learns a lot about others.  Then she tells me stories and “opens the crazy,” as she says.  Ian and his walk across America fits here.  She met Ian and Jake as they came into her store to buy some shoes.  She told me their story and I then contacted them on Facebook and promised breakfast.  I woke my kids up at the crack of dawn (my niece and nephew too) so they too would get to be a part of this walk.  My sister, dad, and sweet cousin joined in the walk. Together we walked a few steps through town to support them on their way.  The mission is one I am very passionate about. I urge you to support their cause.  You can find Ian’s story here.  The blog is: www.ianwalksamerica.com and he’s almost to his destination.

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My mom was a therapist, my sister following in her tracks.  My mother was innovative and believed in the power to help make change.  She worked miracles.  I saw it because I worked alongside many of her clients.  She was passionate about suicide prevention and had a plan in the works just prior to her passing to offer her gift to those in need to help keep people like Ian from losing their loved ones.  I am proud of her and her work.  She would have taken a few steps with these men too, she probably did that day.  So not just for Ian but for my mom, for my sister, and all others working in Mental Health or in need of services-support this cause.  It matters.



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A Review: Beatrysel by Johnny Worthen

I don’t usually read horror or thriller type books, but because I know Johnny, I had to give it a try.  It took me a little while to get into it.  Probably because it isn’t usually my style, but once I did. I really enjoyed it.  It’s creepy, intense and full of twists and turns.


In Beatrysel, you will take a journey through the occult, magic, and the world of demons.  It is so full of horror that I didn’t want to read it, but I couldn’t put it down. I hated it, but I loved it.  I didn’t want to turn the page, but I had to.  It is a masterful work and I truly look forward to Johnny Worthen’s next book.  If I dare.  I think I do.

You can find Beatrysel by Johhny Worthen  on Amazon here.

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Social Media: Moments Lost? Or not… Pros and Cons Discussed

I have been learning so much about social media, and the many platforms.  In doing so I have also been reflecting on my personal life and the impact that social media has had on me.  I thought of some of my life’s biggest moments: wedding, birth of my children, loss of my mother;  and some small moments: birthdays, fun activities, and my writing career.

So many articles on this topic are extreme to one side or the other, either that social media makes you lose the human connection, or that it is necessary and is creating a more globalized social structure.  In my experience it’s both, a road right down the middle.


Here is my list of pros and cons, and what I have learned along the way.


  • I can catch up. I now have information about so many people from my life’s story.  I know where they are, what they are doing, and what is important in their life.  Many, I would not still be in contact with if it were not for the online presence.  It also makes it possible when I meet a new friend to see where they came from and what is important to them.
  • My Grandma thinks I am a great family member. What?!?  Yes, this is one of the pros.  My Grandmother is not online, but when she asks about one of my cousins, I can often tell her what they are up to, and even show her pictures.  Automatic good graces and status of quality family contributor.
  • Today may not be a holiday, but it’s reason to celebrate as it is most likely, someones birthday, somewhere. It’s like a built-in calendar for candles and song.
  • Business and Marketing.  One of my friends recently said, “I never used Facebook very much, until I started my own business.”  The reach is amazing, and if used correctly, can make a huge impact on business success.  It also has been such a huge learning tool for me in my new business.  Learning the in’s and out’s and connecting with people in the right places.
  • Distance is not a factor.    I can keep in touch with anyone, anywhere.  It doesn’t matter how far away they are, I can still view pictures and see just what they are seeing.  Refer to Grandma.  Those pictures of cousins in other states and even countries-can’t be beat!
  • Major high fives.  Likes, Loves, Comments… I can share news or exciting information with all of my “friends”.  Even if they are not someone I would likely still be in contact with today, they can like something and show support.  It’s so easy to click a button in support and feel like you were a good friend-because it does matter.  When a child comes into the world-huge kudos to show of that new little one-from everywhere and everyone.  Who can resist commenting on a picture of a new baby?  Not me.


  • It makes it easier to be absent. A like or a comment in a post along with others is no substitute for real connection.  I watch this more carefully than I have in the past.  I realized, when my mother passed away and the well wishes came flowing in under the comments of a picture,  that it was great to have all the extra support. Until one of my dearest friends also posted that way.  No phone call, no private message, no card, no email.  It was easy to check the box of support by a simple comment.  Clearly missing the mark.
  • Conclusions can be made, and Feelings can be hurt. It is so much easier to read words, or see pictures, and miss the actual meaning in an assumption.  I am the first to admit that I have read posts or  comments, some not even directed at me, and still felt offended and hurt.  Upon reflection, usually I can see that it was never meant the way it was taken, but it happens, all too often.
  • When it’s posted, it’s out there. Everything you post is public.  Even when you set it to private, things get out.  Whether later by word of mouth by one of your friends, a screen shot, or an issue with privacy settings.  What you post, can impact your future, or even your now.  It’s a record of you. Who you are inside and out.  People will judge, they will question, and they will talk.
  • It makes it easier to support. It’s hard sometimes to see what is really great and important, because it is so easy to click like, comment, or love.  I have noticed on some of my posts that the likes don’t always reflect the views on the article I shared.  This tells me that people are supporting me (thank you so much) but I’m not really sure if they even read it.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the support, but the clicks count too, so I am adjusting my own actions accordingly.
  • It’s your birthday?  I have not yet listed my birthday on any social media sites.  I am not sure why, but it’s a connection thing for me.  I guess I would feel a little silly if people were sending messages, and I know that the only reason they know this is through social media.  It feels a little distant I guess and just isn’t something I get.  Many say, “why not? The birthday wishes are fun”-so meh…that’s just me.

Looking at my list I realized that there are a few things I want to do differently.

  • I will be an active participant in the life’s of people who matter most.  Outside of social media, I will call when needed, send a card when possible, and try have the personal connection.
  • I will support my friends and their businesses because I see how important it is, and the impact it can have.  I will still click like. It’s easy to support.
  • I will take it one step farther when necessary with a personal comment or message to say, “this was great” or “how are you really”
  • I will filter my thoughts. Making sure to think before I post, hoping not to offend or upset another.  I want to make sure my actions will make me proud in the future.
  • I will keep making new friends, learning more about others and life, and sharing my experiences as I go along.  Social Media can be fun and I am really thankful for those I get to connect with. Even if it’s only online!

I am also learning more about the hierarchy of social support.  From basic to more advanced:

  1. A click: Like, Love, Favorite
  2. A public comment, Retweet
  3. A private/personal message
  4. An Email/public share
  5. A Phone Call
  6. A letter/Card
  7. Own post/topic in show of support
  8. A personal visit/hug/high-five

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I’m Art Inspired

This amazing art deserves a back story.  I once had a job that I loved (but I love what I’m doing more-trust me).  I worked with some of the very best people and I was able to help  kids.  For me, there really wasn’t anything better.  Limiting information, my dad provided a great opportunity for me to help one of these kids, by opening his home to him.  Pretty amazing right?

Last minute, I needed to take this student to his new home.  I wanted everything to be by the book and done right.  Two amazing men decided that they would be willing to volunteer their time and join me on my venture.  I was able to introduce them to my home town and the amazing Capital Reef National Park.

Ofa was one of those men.  He took pictures on our trip then, that my family still talks about.  He sees the world in his own way, and I like being able to view it through his lens.  He inspires me in so many ways-some of his pictures even giving me story ideas.  He took something that he loved and has worked at it until it has become something amazing.

A few of my favorites:











He probably will never push his own work.  He’s too humble for that, but I am so very impressed I will do it for him.  If you want to see some amazing pictures of Salt Lake City-He’s your man.  If you want to view some of the most beautiful shots of nature through a perfected eye-look no further.  He’s impressive. Maybe I am reaching here, but maybe he could even make a picture of me awesome (you know, letting the inside shine through)

Plus, he’s just starting out.  I would love nothing more than to buy so much of his art that I could pay him for every minute of his time that he gave to me, my family, and that kid, but alas, I can’t.  But maybe you can help me.  Check out his page and show him some support.  Good people like him need it!

Ofa’s Photo Page Find even more when you find him on instagram or twitter both @otfonua.

For my writer friends. I think he could do some pretty amazing graphics for an SFF or Steam Punk Novel cover-wouldn’t you say?

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Writing (Pitch) Contests From a New Twit

I recently discovered this medium called “Twitter”.  I know, I am way behind the times, but I always told myself a) I am not a Twit, and b) I don’t have that much to say. However, remember that writing conference that I recently attended?  In my moments of being brave and all that I could be I met one very kind person named Rae Chang.  She taught me a little something about Twitter in just one sitting.  See Twitter, isn’t always about what I have to say, but it’s about listening to what others have to say.  Listening-that’s my forte-I got this.


So I started Tweeting.  Where an author is concerned-it is a very, very useful tool.  Through Miss Rae I found a contest called “Pitch Madness.”  If writing contests were a dance, Ms. Brenda Drake, she would be the Belle of the Ball (along with her team-I am sure she would say.)

This contest included my submission of a 35 word pitch and the first 250 words of my manuscript.  I sent in my work and waited. Checking twitter every few hours, following new people in my same position, making connections and friends.  All was said and done, and I didn’t make the cut.  I had already learned so much though that it was okay.  It was worth it.  I received some feedback on my pitch and found that those involved remembered my story, and better yet-they liked it!  I even received a surprise email request from one of the agents in the contest.  I was elated.  This didn’t mean that I was going to get a deal, but it did mean that someone, outside of my family think my story just might be interesting.

Pitch contests may not be for everyone.  I like feedback. I know that failure is really just a setback on a long journey. A no-just makes me push harder.  These types of contests work for me, but I can see how they may not for others.

Pitch Madness was followed up with a Twitter Pitch Party where I constructed a number of 140 character pitches. I had, said pitches, scheduled to go twice per hour, only to learn that for three full hours, not a single pitch was sent (My lack of Twitter knowledge).  Ah shucks.  I had to revisit and send them manually-learning along the way.  The result-three requests and a slew of  new acquaintances. I may not get an agent from either of these contests, but for me HOPE is worth a lot.  I learned that my story does have a place and more than that-that I can be picky.  I can select only the right person or the right publisher for my book-someone that most likely participates on Twitter.  The reach is amazing.

In closing, Lessons Learned By This New Twit:


  1. Writing (Pitch) Contests can be fun, even when you fail.
  2. Getting out of your comfort zone and meeting new/nice people is really worth it.
  3. Being a Twit, isn’t quite so bad.
  4. Business and Marketing exist in Authorship and I got this.
  5. One day, my name will be on a published book! (How can it not with all that I am learning)
  6. Just because my story isn’t right for one person, doesn’t mean it won’t be for another.  (Keep that feedback coming)


Thank you so much Brenda Drake and the entire team at Pitch Madness.  What a wonderful learning experience for a new author like me.  A special thanks to Rae Chang for her kindness during a very scary experience-it may not have been much for you, but it changed my whole outlook on what being an author really means.  Your kind words led me to Twitter and Pitch Madness. Pitch Madness gave me hope.  You gave me hope! Thank you!

Oh, and Twitter, that’s my new medium. I am now an expert-I invented that place!  (okay not really-but one day)


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A Review: One Boy, No Water

One Boy, No Water is the first book in the Niuhi Shark Saga by Lehua Parker.

The only negative to reading One Boy, No Water was that I read it during the winter and it left me longing for warm sun, sandy beaches and shaved ice.  Zader is a young Hawaiian Boy that is allergic to water.  He works to find his place in the world on an island where the water is the source for so much life.  Zader, his brother, friends, and most important his Uncle, will draw you into the story and the way of life in Hawaii.  It was such fun, for a main-lander like myself, to learn through Zader’s eyes what the Hawaiian culture is really like.  I enjoyed learning of typical food, free time activities, and learning the words and dialect used in every day conversations.  Most importantly though, I love the characters, the stories, and the great adventures that take place.  I am hoping for an Uncle Kahuna of my own some day.  Parker has a way with humor that will keep you engaged and laughing while you dream of beach vacations.  I highly recommend this book not only to the young reader population that it was intended for, but also for those who enjoy feeling young and reading great tales.  I look forward to the next book in the series.

You can find One Boy, No Water at:  http://www.amazon.com/One-Water-Niuhi-Shark-Saga-ebook/dp/B00I2FWTZ4/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1394115230&sr=1-1&keywords=one+boy+no+water


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