Saturday, July 13, 2013

Leaving Social Media

It's time to de-tech and get back into the real world. This morning I have deactivated my Facebook and Twitter accounts. However, my Zazzle store will remain open. I will also continue to share Zazzle items on Pinterest as something new is created.

Mike is very busy with school and has no time for blogging. I will occasionally stop and share something here.

Be well. Go outside and do something healthy!




Because we each have to find our own way...
The Wayward Gifted: Broken Point

A coming of age story loaded with angst & adventure For adolescents through adults. Thanks for joining us. We're glad you're here. Donna and Mike
The Wayward Gifted - Broken Point

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Birthday Dotsie Caples

Happy Birthday Dear Dotsie!
Dotsie Caples
July 4, 1920 - August 1976

Gone but not forgotten.






Because we each have to find our own way... 
The Wayward Gifted: Broken Point

A coming of age story loaded with angst & adventure
For adolescents through adults. 

Thanks for joining us. 
We're glad you're here. 
Donna and Mike
The Wayward Gifted - Broken Point

Monday, July 1, 2013

My Computer is a Roast Beef Sandwich


Life was perfect as a student at Auburn University. I lived in a studio apartment that faced directly across the street from a fast food restaurant. Nutrition? What was that? I ate one meal a day that consisted of a roast beef sandwich, a soft drink, and sometimes an apple pie. I had a great pair of thin, flat Bandalino sandals that everyone liked. I attended amazing art classes, drew though the night and shared refreshments from bottles in brown paper bags. I crawled through windows, climbed up a utility ladder and watched the sun rise from the roof over Toomer's Corner with my friends. I dated a romantic guy who lifted weights and liked to sing to me. Time was passing. I didn't notice.  Break came. Break went.

Things changed. A new quarter began. Math and science requirements made me tired. I felt hot asphalt burning the bottoms of my feet through holes in both of my sandals. A friend informed me that my boyfriend was engaged to a girl in Columbus, Georgia, and had been for over a year. I walked into the fast food restaurant, stood at the counter and felt my stomach turn a flip. I made eye contact with the counter clerk, stepped out of the line, walked home, and threw up. More than twenty years passed before I was able to look at another roast beef sandwich.

At the age of thirty-seven I got my first computer, a gift from my husband, an engineer, who encouraged me to explore. "There's nothing you can hurt that I can't repair," he told me from his contract job in Virginia. After coming home and reinstalling my hard drive twice he amended his statement. "The word delete means do not touch."

I drove about sixty miles to my friend Ann's house so that she could give me a lesson on how to use the Internet. It seems funny now, but I was afraid to touch the mouse. Of course, that didn't last. Neither did my almost twenty-year marriage. Aside from an amazing yellow and white, 21-speed Specialized bicycle with rock shocks and a gel seat, the computer became my closest and dearest friend. It was there for me.

In these past years I've learned a lot about computers. I've learned about social media too.  In the beginning I learned about online dating in a thirty-something chat room from an instant message that said, "I'm a shy physician. Would you like to talk?" It should have also said "Do you understand how these things work?" That was after I wandered into a room named "Bears 4 Bears" and was told "You've probably visited the wrong place."

I've learned about creating art online, and I've learned about creating websites and writing blogs. I've learned about marketing. I've learned how to buy cars, and buy foreign currency from my office. I've spent hours finding ancestors and meeting cousins I didn't know I had. I've learned how to find old friends, and wonderful recipes. I've also learned that it's often easier to make dinner reservations over the phone.

I found tremendous comfort and help through an unlikely group of collage blogger friends during the time that my dear mother was dying. I've been hacked more than a few times, had an embarrassing accidental twitter conversation with a well known comedian, and booked a multitude of hotel and air reservations through Hotwire and Orbitz. I've even reinstalled my hard-drive without help from anyone. I've moved from a PC to a Mac.  I participated in my first solo art show thanks to a UMSL gallery curator who saw my collages online. I learned how to date online and how to do a thorough background check. Best of all, thirteen years ago, I met my wonderful husband through the internet. I'm not sure I'd have the nerve to do that today.

Time continues to move. Over the past five years I've co-written a novel with my son. We learned about using google docs and drop box. After the book was edited I learned about formatting and online publishing. Three months ago I began spending an average of sixteen hours each day learning about marketing books through social media.  Then a friend visited from Mobile for a week. I took a break and we took the train to Chicago. She returned to the south and I returned to my long days as if I'd never left home. Weeks later, my sister came up from Florida. I took more time off. We shopped, played and talked non-stop. We relaxed. We talked about finding balance. She flew home with a promise to come back soon.

Then I walked into my office and realized my computer is a roast beef sandwich.






Because we each have to find our own way...
The Wayward Gifted: Broken Point

A coming of age story loaded with angst & adventure
For adolescents through adults.

Thanks for joining us.
We're glad you're here.

Donna and Mike
The Wayward Gifted - Broken Point

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Today Counts






Because we each have to find our own way...
The Wayward Gifted: Broken Point

A coming of age story loaded with angst & adventure
For adolescents through adults. Thanks for joining us.

We're glad you're here.
Donna and Mike
The Wayward Gifted - Broken Point

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Blog Tour - Ignite By Erica Crouch



The Wayward Gifted is thrilled to host
Ignite by Erica Crouch.



WHY I WENT INDIE
Erica Crouch

I wrote my first story when I was in preschool. And by wrote, I mean dictated and illustrated. It involved a monkey, which was a little wide around the middle, and his residence on my top bunk. It was ten pages long and, in true Dr. Seuss-inspired fashion, every line rhymed. My preschool teacher tried to talk me out of making up words to stay within my rhyming scheme, saying using "real words" would make it more "enjoyable." but I ignored her. I was very proud of the final product -- excited to see my work presented in the way I wanted it to be, regardless of what I was told about how it would be perceived. And guess what? The class loved it. So take that Ms. Emily!

Fast forward to fifth grade. Ten-year-old Erica was assigned to write a fairy tale retelling. Ten pages tops. But wait... I wrote ten pages in preschool! So, word count be damned, I wrote a little over twenty pages, each slipped into a glossy page-protector and clipped in a three-ring binder. I even drew a cover to tape on the front. Now, Sleeping Beauty took place under the sea, a-la The Little Mermaid, but with turtles and fish. (Hm... I'm sensing an animal theme with my past writing.) Not only did I get an A on the project, but I received extra credit and was asked to submit my short story to the school's literary competition.

Last year, I began writing Ignite. I wrote through the middle of the night until the words blurred together and the characters seemed more real than fictional. I wrote until -- for the first time -- I had a finished product that I thought was worthy of publishing. Like, adult publishing, not preschool or fifth grade publishing.

At the time of it's completion, I was still a newbie in the field of publishing. Sure, I had taken a few college courses about the industry; I knew the big names in publishing, all of the cogs in the machine. Literary agents, publicists, copy editors, cover designers, book binders, book sellers, etc. I assumed traditional publishing would be the best way to go because, well, I knew very little about the alternative. So into the abyss I leapt.

Query after query letter was sent, followed quickly by rejection after rejection. "The writing is great, but not right for my list." "I already have a similar title. Sorry, wishing you the best!" And, my personal favorite, "The paranormal market is over0saturated at the moment. It's a no for now." A no for now. So... should I wait?

I'm a very impatient person, and also a bit of a control freak. And there are a lot of paranormal books out there? Yes. But you could say the same for almost every genre. The thing about traditional publishing is that you have to be on the cusp of a trend to get traction. No one wants to take a financial risk on a genre readers may be tiring of. But for every reader tired of genre X, Y or Z, there's another reader searching for the next great book in X, Y, or Z. (As the brilliant child in the AT&T commercial says, "Like, if we really like it, we want more, we want more!") In steps the small presses and self-pubbers, filling the void traditional publishers shy away from.

Another great thing about independent publishing is the control you maintain. Not only controlling the rights to your work, but keeping the creative control. I (with the help of my awesome writing partner Kellie Sheridan) found the image for my cover. I edited it. I formatted the inside, page by page, paragraph by paragraph, sentence by sentence. I bled into that book, and I stand by every single aspect of my book because I made that decision.

And I think, at the heart of it, that's what is so great about indie publishers. Is it more work? Yes. But that work pays off because every decision that went into that book was made by the author. It's true to their vision, and in a way, more pure. An indie book is the exact story (formatting and content) that the author wants to tell -- even if the words are made up and it's two times the assigned word count.


SYNOPSIS

Penemuel (Pen) fell from grace over a millennium ago, yet there are still times she questions her decision to follow her twin brother, Azael, to Hell. Now that the archangel Michael has returned, threatening Lucifer’s vie for the throne, she begins questioning everything she has always believed. 

As Hell prepares for war - spreading a demonic virus and pilfering innocent souls to build an army - the lines separating the worlds blur. Fates erase and the future is left unwritten. Azael is determined that he and his sister will continue to serve as demons together, but for the first time in her life, Pen is not ruled by destiny. She has the freedom of choice. With choice comes sacrifice, and Pen must decide which side she’s willing to risk everything fighting for: the light, or the dark.


You can find more information about Ignite and Erica Crouch at these sites:





The Wayward Gifted

Thanks for joining us. 
We're glad you're here. 
Donna and Mike
The Wayward Gifted - Broken Point

The Wayward Gifted GoodReads Giveaway Announces Winners

Congratulations to our GoodReads Giveaway Winners!
Your copy of The Wayward Gifted is on the way.  According to Amazon.com you should receive your book Friday, June 14.

Thank you for entering. We hope you enjoy The Wayward Gifted.

Patrick Milam - Mobile, AL
Loren Palmer - Winter Haven, FL
Brenda Meany - Frisco, TX
Heather Stratton - Inglewood, CA
Savannah Adkins - Las Vegas, NV
Carla Grace Fajardo - San Francisco, CA
Elaine Pranski - Baltimore, MD
Julie Trumbo - Algonquin, IL
Kathaleen E. Gloner - Minden, NV
Erika Thomas - Navarre, FL
Tina Wilford - Oskaloosa, IA
Heather Kennedy - Yelm, WA
Jo Hyatt - Rock Hill, SC
David Sparks - Rutledge, TN
Amanda Carter - Ocean Springs, MS
Marcy O'Dell - Muray, KY
Kelly Bailey - Rochester, NY
Shar Tigner - Pittsboro, NC
Dede Joseph - St. Peters, MO
Matts S - Centerville, UT






Because we each have to find our own way...
The Wayward Gifted: Broken Point

A coming of age story loaded with angst & adventure
For adolescents through adults.

Thanks for joining us.
We're glad you're here.
Donna and Mike
The Wayward Gifted - Broken Point

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Goodreads Book Giveaway ends soon.

This giveaway ends soon.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Wayward Gifted - Broken Point by Donna K. Childree

The Wayward Gifted - Broken Point

by Donna K. Childree

Giveaway ends June 12, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win



Because we each have to find our own way...
The Wayward Gifted: Broken Point

A coming of age story loaded with angst & adventure
For adolescents through adults.

Thanks for joining us.
We're glad you're here.
Donna and Mike
The Wayward Gifted - Broken Point

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sunday Author Interview with Brandy Miller





We are thrilled to have Brandy Miller with us today for our Sunday Author Interview.

Donna: Welcome Brandy. We are thrilled to have you with us today for our Sunday Author Interview. 
Brandy: It's a pleasure to be here.

Donna: Let's jump right in. How did you come up with the idea for your book, The Write Time?
Brandy: My inspiration for The Write Time actually came from starting a writer’s group. 

Donna: How did that inspire you?
Brandy: One of the things I did with the group was to create a membership registration form and ask them their biggest obstacle to writing.  90% of them told me it was finding the time to write.  As I began to join online writer’s groups, I heard the same thing over and over again.  People have stories to tell, they have things they want to share with others, but they just don’t know how to work it in to their increasingly busy schedules.  That’s when I knew I had something worth offering.  I knew I could help them find the time to write.

Donna: I love the book. I found it a quick read, filled with great advice. I'm using it to help with my scheduling. Do you have difficult finding time for your writing? I have a feeling you wear a lot of hats.
Brandy: I’m a wife, a mother, a business owner, and I volunteer quite a bit in my community and my church.  In the last six months, I’ve managed to publish three books, I have a fourth one that is in the process of being edited, I have two more that need rewriting, and I have several lined up and in various stages of being finished. I really do know what it’s like to be so busy you just don’t think you have time for one more thing.  However, what I figured out six months ago is that it doesn’t take a lot of time to write a book.  What it takes is discipline and figuring out what your goals are so that you know how much time you need to make those happen.

Donna: It looks like you practice what you preach.
Brandy: I know that a mother of a newborn who is a full time employee isn’t likely to be able to find more than 10 minutes of free time in a given day, but that doesn’t mean she can’t write a book.  It just means that she needs to be very organized in her approach to writing.  She needs to make sure that she keeps all of her backstory information, her world information, her research, and her previous day’s writing in a binder or a folder and keep that in a bag with every other tool she uses for her writing.  That way, when she can find those 10 spare minutes - and believe me, I know it’s a challenge - she can swing right back into writing mode and make the most of those precious minutes. You aren’t going to write a book in 40 days with only 10 minutes a day unless you’re a much faster typist than I am, but you can certainly get it done in three years at that pace. 

Donna: I understand.
Brandy: I also want to emphasize that the point of this book isn’t to get you to add one more thing to your to-do list.  The point of it is to help you take a step back and look at your life and your schedule objectively.  Where are you spending your time, and are you really working toward the things that matter most to you? If you aren’t, then ask yourself why you’re doing those things in the first place and whether or not you can either reduce the amount of time you spend on those things or eliminate them from your schedule altogether to make room in your life for the things that really do matter.

Donna: I think you are on to something big. 
Brandy: It’s easy to let writing, or work, or our hobbies take over our lives but that’s no recipe for happiness in the long run.  Make sure that you give yourself time for spending with your faith, your family, and your friends, so that at the end of your life you have made more than just books - you’ve made a difference in the world in a positive way.  Character development, something I have also written about, flows out of the relationships you have with the people in your life and so if you are cutting yourself off from relationships you are really cutting into your ability to develop characters that people can relate to easily. 

Donna: Where can our readers find your book?
Brandy: The Write Time is available on Amazon in either print format or eBook format.  The print book is nearly identical to the ebook version, but the main difference is that the print book is actually designed as a workbook with plenty of space to record your responses to the exercises in the book.  There is a workbook you can purchase to accompany the ebook for the same effect.  I also have created a time journal for use with The Write Time that includes inspirational quotes to help you get more out of your time. 

Donna: This is a book that I am recommending to everyone I know who is interested in writing. Thanks for taking the time to visit with us today and talk about your new book. 
Brandy: Thank you.  

Links to Brandy Miller and The Write Time

Brandy Miller 40DayWriter.com
The Write Time (print)            http://www.amazon.com/The-Write-Time-write-book/dp/0615790879
The Write Time Journal           http://www.amazon.com/Write-Time-Journal-track-where/dp/148485246X







Because we each have to find our own way...
The Wayward Gifted: Broken Point

A coming of age story loaded with angst & adventure
For adolescents through adults.


Thanks for joining us.
We're glad you're here.
Donna and Mike
The Wayward Gifted - Broken Point

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Company is Coming


Company is coming so I'm going to be MIA for the next week. While I'm away please take time to stop by and visit with these bloggers who are scheduled to host our September Blog Tour.

If you are interested in participating in our September Blog Tour please look at the side bar and the dates that are available. Contact us with the date that you would like to participate.

See in about nine days!

Because we each have to find our own way...
The Wayward Gifted: Broken Point

A coming of age story loaded with angst & adventure
For adolescents through adults.

Thanks for joining us.
We're glad you're here. Donna and Mike
The Wayward Gifted - Broken Point


Monday, June 3, 2013

Brandy Miller - Creating a Character Backstory


What a perfect host for our character interview with Steuart James DuBoise!
Talented author, Brandy Miller is scheduled to host our upcoming September, Fall in Love with The Wayward Gifted Blog Tour on Monday, September 2, 2013. She will share a character interview with Steuart James DuBoise and his imaginary friend, Leighton Jefferson Allnight O'Dowd (aka Sparky). 
Brandy is author of How to Create a Character Backstory.  We will share character sheets for Steuart and Sparky.

ALSO: We will be interviewing Brandy this coming Sunday, June 9 for our Sunday Author Interview. Be sure to join us.

Because we each have to find our own way...
The Wayward Gifted: Broken Point

A coming of age story loaded with angst & adventure
For adolescents through adults.

Thanks for joining us.
We're glad you're here.
Donna and Mike
The Wayward Gifted - Broken Point