Monday, January 26, 2015

Share Your Thoughts Blogfest and Woven by Jensen & King

Jamie Ayers is hosting this blogfest:

To celebrate the release of 18 Thoughts, the third installment in my My So-Called Afterlife trilogy, I’m hosting a bloghop! On top of that, you have the chance to win one of 18 wonderful prizes donated by some terrific people just for playing!
Now, here are the dets for the bloghop! Each person participating will post a thought (belief) that has defined their life, their way of thinking.

The first one has been my personal slogan for over ten years:

With a positive attitude, any goal can be achieved!

The second one was a former business partner’s catchphrase:

When the dream’s big enough, the facts don’t count.

Beyond that, I’m just going to give a visual that defines the way I live my life:

Hammy the Squirrel!

I want my cookie!

I also want to mention that Susanne Drazic gave me the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. I’ve received it before, but I appreciate getting it again.

Available Tuesday, January 27th -

WOVEN by Michael Jensen and David Powers King, published by Scholastic

Two unlikely allies must journey across a kingdom in the hopes of thwarting death itself.
All his life, Nels has wanted to be a knight of the kingdom of Avërand. Tall and strong, and with a knack for helping those in need, the people of his sleepy little village have even taken to calling him the Knight of Cobblestown.
But that was before Nels died, murdered outside his home by a mysterious figure.
Now the young hero has awoken as a ghost, invisible to all around him save one person—his only hope for understanding what happened to him—the kingdom’s heir, Princess Tyra. At first the spoiled royal wants nothing to do with Nels, but as the mystery of his death unravels, the two find themselves linked by a secret, and an enemy who could be hiding behind any face.
Nels and Tyra have no choice but to abscond from the castle, charting a hidden world of tangled magic and forlorn phantoms. They must seek out an ancient needle with the power to mend what has been torn, and they have to move fast. Because soon Nels will disappear forever.

Available now wherever books are sold:
IndieBound / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / BAM / iTunes

Monday, January 19, 2015

Ethical Book Reviews, Stock Photos, and What Are the Kargrandes?

I’m over at the The Insecure Writer’s Support Group site today talking about Ethical Reviewing for Authors.

Several of you asked about stock photos - I sell some of my pictures as stock on my Spunk On A Stick website.

Alex J. Cavanaugh asks the question - What Are the Kargrandes? There is a new clue every Monday. Hashtag #whatarethekargrandes.

As an author, do you review books? What do you consider ethical reviewing?

Did anyone else have to referee a little sibling rivalry at Christmastime?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Black and White Photography

Thank you for the overwhelming amount of comments last Wednesday on my IWSG introduction post.

Elizabeth S. Craig pointed out that I'd failed to mention my roller coaster addiction. How could I forget?

Several commented on my photography, in particular the black & white. I started taking photos when I was 12 and learned to do B&W photography in high school through classes and the yearbook staff. I loved working in the darkroom and trying new tricks.

I acquired a Nikon 8008 in 1990 and purchased a friend's old B&W enlarger. I started selling stock photos the following year to places such as Cat Fancy and Homes Illustrated. I then moved into wedding and on-site portrait photography.

These days, I just shoot for fun. But my passion is still B&W, as I tend to see the world in shapes and textures over colors. I thought I would share some of those images with you.

A few are from my print days and were scanned into the computer:

(A hand-held, 15 second exposure taken from the top of the rotating Space Needle)

The rest were all taken digitally, including a couple with just a point and shoot:

And where did my love of photography and B&W come from? My father. He could take amazing photos and just by guesstimating the exposure. (He had no light meter.) He took hundreds of shots when he went hiking in the Rockies, including this one:

Did someone inspire one of your hobbies or passions?

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group and Introducing Spunk On A Stick

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

The writing has been slow the past few months. However, I did take on a special project that turned out a hundred times better than I thought it would. So much more, I’m in the process of packaging this option and offering it to many others. If this new business direction takes off, it could be a grand new adventure in my career. I’ll still keep writing, but this could be something fun that would benefit others.

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group admins also decided it would be a good day for members to introduce themselves.

I’m known as “Spunk On A Stick” and I’m a member of the National Speakers Association. I conduct seminars on book publishing, promoting & marketing, websites & blogs, leadership, and goal-setting, and I offer book formatting and author consultation. I’m the author of seven books, including the non-fiction How to Publish & Promote Your Book Now and Overcoming Obstacles with SPUNK, plus the YA/NA series, The Circle of Friends.

In addition to my blog, you can find me here:
The Circle of Friends

I'm also a professional photographer by trade and love B&W photography. I have a thing for cats, Despicable Me minions, and Hammy the Squirrel!

I want my cookie!

Monday, January 05, 2015

Refreshed for 2015

I took most of December off. With so much leading up to Christmas and then time off during the holidays, I felt it was just best to take a break. I popped in here a couple times and was able to post several times on Facebook. (Something I tend to forget.) During that time I worked on several projects and played with some new toys, including a digital turntable that records directly onto the computer. Now I can finally get rid of hundreds of vinyl albums and 45’s.

I also had a very Minion Christmas!

Wednesday is The Insecure Writer’s Support Group post day. We are encouraging all members to post a short (100 words max) personal introduction so we can get to know everyone better. You can post it on your blog or at the Facebook group.

See you Wednesday!

What fun things did you get for Christmas?