Sunday, August 26, 2012

How Hiking is Like Writing

I've been doing a lot of hiking this summer, usually with my family and our boxer, Maya. On this trek through the Sandias, I started thinking about how much hiking is like writing.

1. I always start out strong.
2. About halfway through I discover the path isn't as clear as I thought.
3. I often forget it's all about the journey.

1. I always start out strong. I have my trusty Sandia Mountain Hiking Guide, my good shoes, my camelback filled with water and my trail mix, but somewhere along the way, I realize I left the trail guide in the car, the frozen water in my camelback didn't thaw as fast as I drank it which has left me sucking ice, and I've eaten all my trail mix (or else the chocolate pieces have started to melt). I always start out strong with stories too. The ideas feel fresh (like the trail mix), and I feel well equipped for the task. It's important to remember that initial enthusiasm as my motivation begins to fade. 

2. About halfway through I discover the path isn't as clear as I thought. Sometimes it's hard to know which direction to take. Either there seem to be too many choices, or else the path comes to a dead end and I have to back track. Sometimes I just need to sit quietly until I can get my head together.

3. It's all about the journey. When I'm in the middle of writing a story, or hiking a trail, it's easy to think about reaching my desination, but in the case of hiking, I always wind up at the exact same place where I started... my car...hopefully. When I'm writing a story I always wind up at the same place too... The End. Then I begin the process all over again. In both cases I need to focus more on relishing the experience than simply completing the task.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


A few weeks ago I attended a home jewelry party put on by a collaboration of women who call themselves FOUR FRIENDS. We got to talking and they are now in the process of making some very exciting giveaways for my October book launch. Pictures will be revealed soon, but in the meantime, look at some of their wonderful pieces.

I was immediately drawn to Sherri's display. Sherri, top left, is a physical therapist who works with my friend Desiree who hosted the party. I had been looking all around town for flowered beads because I wanted to make forget-me-not bracelets as giveaways for my book launch and blog tour. Then I found the lovely pewter necklace at the right.

I was so excited. I love pewter and Sherri's work was so earthy. We spent half an hour collaborating on a bracelet design and she agreed to make bracelets for my book launch. Then I thought about how fun it would be to have all of the FOUR FRIENDS at my book release party at Alamosa  Books on October 31. Forget Me Not comes out in October and ghosts figure prominently.

Sherri said I had to talk to Day of the Debi. That's their nickname for Debi (seated in the photo next to Sherri). Debi specializes in Hauntwear featuring skeletons from The Day of the Dead, but she also has some wonderful steam punk pieces. Debi and I got to talking and she's going to make some cool necklaces and maybe even something with a picture of Shakespeare, who so strongly influences one of the major characters in the story that he spends several weeks speaking in iambic pentameter.

That all lead to a conversation with Kristen who makes amazing sterling silver necklaces and earrings and is also a painter. She agreed to make hand painted journals for the blog tour giveaway. Next stop was Shauna, seated to the far right, whose work is very gothic. She's going to do something fun with raven feathers and bookmarks.

So, if you happen to be in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Halloween, stop by Alamosa Books for books and baubles and beads, Oh my!

Alamosa  Books
October 27, 2012
6:00 p.m.
8810 Holly Avenue NE
Albuquerque, NM

Sunday, August 12, 2012

FORGET ME NOT Book Trailer - Cast and Crew

I am VERY excited to announce the release of the book trailer for FORGET ME NOT. I'm trying to get 2,000 YouTube views before the book is released on October, 2, so if you like the trailer please pass on the link via Twitter or Facebook or email or whatever.
Go here now to see the FORGET ME NOT BOOK TRAILER

I was lucky to have a very talented group of young people working on this project. Most of them are recent University of New Mexico Graduates. Josh Stuyvesant, second from the left, who just completed his degree in Media Arts, created the script and storyboard and basically put the whole video together. Check him out at his blog. His very talented friend, Kyle Ruggles, created the musical score, Jessica Garrett did makeup, and Jesus Ordóñez was in charge of photography.

Josh also played the part of Elijah, the boy you see running down the street and holding the forget-me-not bracelet. Haleigh Chwirka, who went to school with my oldest daughter through sixth grade, played the part of Ally. I didn't even know that Josh knew Haleigh until I arrived at the cast party at La Cumbre. Haleigh just finished her teaching degree and will be leaving soon to teach English in Thailand.

Jeremy Kinter played the Hangman, the creepy guy in the hall, and also served as production assistant. He's actually a very nice guy in spite of his role in this video. When Josh and I got together for the final stages of production, we met at one of my favorite coffee shops, the Satellite, where Jeremy happens to work as a barista.

Nate Steinberg played Davis, the football stud. He also helped with set up. He is sort of semi-famous, having played an extra in "The Social Network." His father is David Steinberg, book reviewer for the Albuquerque Journal.

These kids all did an amazing job, so if you like what you see, pass it on. BOOK TRAILER LINK

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Preparing for a Book Launch: Searching for Flowers

I can't believe it's a mere 8 weeks until the release of FORGET ME NOT.

While looking for flowers to use in the book trailer, I called the local florist to see if they had forget-me-nots. They did not, nor could they order any. I went to the craft store to see if they had plastic versions of the tiny blue plastic flower. They didn't. I finally went to Jackalope, a local nursery based on the fictitious animal that is supposedly a cross between an antelope and a jack rabbit. To my dismay I discovered that forget-me-nots were NOT in season. 

They suggested growing them from seeds. I told the helpful plant lady that I doubted my publisher would delay the release of my book to allow me time to grow flowers.
Trying to be helpful, the plant lady showed me white barcopa. It also has five petals, but it's white, not blue. I seriously considered painting the flowers, but since I've never been artistic, I put this thought aside. Just as I feared all hope was lost, I found this pretty little blue flower whose name I can't remember. It's not forget-me-nots but as long as we don't do any close up shots, I think we'll be okay.

I now have complete sympathy for those movie people who have to go around town searching for props and sets and drug stores with jukeboxes and flowers that aren't in season and whatever else the crazy author decided to put in the story.

I now also know that flowers can have stunt doubles.
There's a lot more to being an author than I ever imagined.