To you readers who prefer to read on your tablet, e-reader, or phone: the ebook version of Full Moon, Half a Heart is up on Amazon and ready for download.
Yay! It's happening!
Full Moon, Half a Heart, the second book about spunky schoolgirl Celeste, is available on Amazon. Yes, you can find it right here.
I have a few details to work out--the book description looks a bit wonky, and I haven't set up the "look inside" feature yet--but the main deed has been done.
Double back flip! Triple cartwheel!
This book has been ages in coming.
Full Moon, Half a Heart started out approximately eight years ago as a mostly true account of my childhood. It has morphed into an almost completely fictionalized story about a Mennonite schoolgirl who faces big life changes and learns much needed lessons.
Of course I care about Growing Toward the Sun, but Full Moon, Half a Heart is my firstborn. It takes me back to a time when I thought math homework was tough stuff, a time when I thought life sounded like the recess bell and tasted like cherry chapstick.
When I read it, I feel about twenty-seven years younger and a lot more than twenty-seven pounds lighter. I ordered a proof copy to check for typos, and it's like having the ghost of my childhood, all my opinions and beliefs and fears and joys, lying on the nightstand.
So yes, I'm excited for kids to read it.
Watch this space for upcoming giveaways, the ebook publication, and other news about Full Moon, Half a Heart.
My local writers' guild met Tuesday, after what seemed like a long time and a lot of cancelled meetings. When we parted ways, we all pledged to write every day for the next two weeks, be it ever so little.
Since February, I've also been part of a writers' accountability group via email. Making monthly goals and knowing I'll have to report back on how well (or poorly!) I met them has been surprisingly effective. It also helps if I make my writing goals specific. (And realistic!)
As I announced last month, tomorrow I'll be manning a table at the local authors' expo at the Livingston County Library, hiding behind a stack of copies of Growing Toward the Sun. My friend Betty Mooney Plymell, author of Dreaming of Missouri, will attend as well. If you're in the area, stop by to say hi. (And to make me feel less awkward!)
I had hoped to have Full Moon, Half a Heart available for the expo, but it's not going to happen. My copy editor did send the final edits, I made revisions and ordered a proof, and several long-suffering people read it for typos. As soon as my cover artist sends me the completed paperback cover, book two will be available for purchase. Of course, I will update you here.
A couple of years ago, my niece and I visited the first local authors' expo at nearby Livingston County Library. Over a dozen authors took part, and I ended up purchasing several children's books that day, including Mary Rose and the Secret Horses by Connie Dow and Not Now, Razzle by Shelly Long.
My niece enjoyed her new books and I loved meeting the various authors. One kind gentleman even donated a copy of his book, North Missouri Mountain Biking, Hiking, and GPS Trail Guide, for my school's library.
Now the library is planning their second local authors' event, and my local writers' guild has been invited to participate.
I'm excited (and terrified!) to announce that I've registered to take my own book (books?) this year. Each author will have a table in the second-floor courtroom where they will have the opportunity to display and sell their books.
(I've never done anything like this. Hopefully a couple of people from my writers' guild will join me, or maybe I'll take a niece or two along for support!)
The event is scheduled for Saturday, April 27, from 10am to 12 pm at Livingston County Library. It is free and open to the public. See you there!
The theme of the January edition of Purpose magazine
is very fitting for New Years:
Whether it's a new diet, a new work routine, or a
new walk with God, we all have a chance for a new
beginning in 2019.
My article in the latest issue of Purpose is titled
"How I Ended up Near Siberia," and it covers the be-
inning of our seven years in Romania. Finding out we
were being sent to Eastern Europe - right next to Siberia, in my mind - was a bit of a blow, but it turned out to be the beginning of an amazing life experience.
Speaking of beginnings (or rather, not beginnings) my New Year's resolution for 2019 is simple: finish more, start less.
I have no trouble with starting. It's the finishing that's a problem, so there are countless half-done projects - both tangible and intangible - floating around my life.
I happened upon this article about taking action in the new year. Hopefully, 2019 is a year of action. The year of the finish. The year of tying things up with bows.
The beginning of happy endings, I guess you could say.
Fellow procrastinators and perfectionists, let's finish what we've started in 2019! And to the rest of you, go out and start something new.
First, Merry Christmas to all of you!
No, it's not too late to say that. In Romania, where we lived for seven years, the holiday lasts from Christmas Eve through the 26th, which is called "the second day of Christmas." I've heard some Romanians talk about "the third day of Christmas" as well, so in Romania at least, it ain't over till it's over. The extra day(s) is a chance to spread out the holiday in a more leisurely manner after the frenzied shopping and cooking days are over. (It also gives you an excellent excuse to do nothing and eat lots for longer!)
Speaking of Christmas...Several of you asked if Full Moon, Half a Heart would be available for Christmas gifts. That was my original plan, and my home page announced it as "Coming in 2018!"
Sadly, that didn't quite happen.
Full Moon, Half a Heart is with my editor, receiving its final round of copy edits before publishing. My home page now says "Coming Soon!" and I mean it. Watch this spot for updates.
Merry Second Day of Christmas, people! Go have another eggnog.
I'd can't resist sharing this lovely
review of Growing Toward the Sun,
written by Gina over at Home Joys blog.
Though Gina blogs about a variety of
topics, her book reviews are hands
down my favorite.
So of course I was super excited to see my own book featured on her blog yesterday. It especially pleases me to know her nine-year-old daughter read and enjoyed the book as well. After all, I wrote Growing Toward the Sun for the kid I used to be.
Check out Gina's book page for excellent reading suggestions for both adults and kids. Check out her Mennonites page for articles about her branch of Mennonites. And read her review of Growing Toward the Sun here.
Tomorrow is a first for me. I'm doing a book signing of Growing Toward the Sun with Betty and Vanessa, two author friends from my local writers' group.
Vanessa is providing the location: her family-friendly pool hall in Gallatin, Missouri. The town of Gallatin is holding their annual Christmas on the Square this weekend, so hopefully town will be buzzing with Christmas cheer.
Vanessa is the author of The Case of the Missing Crown, among other books. Betty's book Dreaming of Missouri follows the lives of her ancestors.
Stop by if you're in the area! (Betty's making cookies. And there's snow in the forecast.)
One of the best things about having kids--or in my case, students--is introducing them to your old favorite books. This school term I again shared my dear Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh with an appreciative juvenile audience.
The story starts out with good conflict: Mrs. Frisby's son is sick but her cozy mouse house is in the way of the spring plowing. She goes to The Rats for help.
Things get a bit annoying when the story goes into flashback mode for a good share of the book. (The rats' backstory is fascinating and could easily have been the focus of the book, in my opinion.) However, it's a good opportunity to talk about flashbacks and story frames. There are a lot of fun "ah-ha moments" for the kids, and the rats' advanced civilization amazes me every time.
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh won the Newberry Award in 1972. What a wonderful, timeless read by Robert C. O'Brien!
Now, for the first time, we as a class are following the Rats of Nimh further. I wish the kid me had known there were more books in the series, but at least I get to enjoy them now.
The last two books--Racso and the Rats of Nimh and R-T, Margaret, and the Rats of Nimh--are written by O'Brien's daughter. The writing style is a bit different--lots of short scenes hodgepodged together--but my audience's enthusiasm hasn't waned. As long as they're gasping, cheering, and chuckling, I'll keep reading.
Check here for news and updates on Vila's books and publications.