Friday, February 23, 2018

Weekend Writing Warriors #amwriting #amediting #amjoy

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write!  Sign up on the website:Wewriwa.com and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday.


No one likes it when their family life changes.  This is particularly hard for the Radtke's.  A troublesome girl named Tracey enters their lives and the children are an endless journey to make sure this girl doesn't get into any further trouble or cause their parents to lose their fostering license.  These are snippets from my second novella in the series, "Oh Tracey."
Last week

There she is,” I pointed to Tracey leaving the restaurant and going into the mall.

Zion emptied a mint into his mouth before he followed me out of the restaurant. Coin slotted rocking horses and carousels chimed as tykes begged their mothers for quarters.Tracey walked past a Claire’s boutique and a nail shop.

“We’re going to have to walk a little faster,” I said to Zion.

Tracey’s amazonian legs made a speed walker look dangerous.


I broke my strides into two and Zion did the same.  There were a lot of shoppers in the mall. A group of elderly mall walkers passed us with sweat bands and shirts that said. ‘And you thought your Grandma was slow?'

This week

My jacket grazed a few of the oldies but goodies and their heads didn’t even turn. Zion stopped to juke to the sound of the carousel.
“Let’s go, we don’t have time for that,” I said.
He stopped dancing and we gave chase once more.Tracey was a ways ahead of us heading towards the back of the mall, when she reached the end she pushed open an exit door. By the time we got to the door it had closed. I pushed on its steel lever but it was locked. “Shit Zion,” I said.

Readers, please comment below.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

#Actor Mohammed Hajji Ahmed @HistoryTheatre #amjoy

Actor, Mohammed Hajji Ahmed is with me today to discuss his role in 'A Crack In the Sky' a new play based on Ahmed Ismail Yusuf''s life story and
 his 2013 book, “Somalis in Minnesota,  Yusuf tells the story of a young shepherd boy’s journey from Mogadishu to Minneapolis.
Mohammed Hajji Ahmed (pictured above)

Mohammed, did you find any similarities between your struggles and the character’s?
I’m an immigrant since 2015. I’ve been in the United States for three years, and I’ve worked for six months now, acting,publishing and getting my academics together. I could understand the struggle of juggling many things. (Like the character, Ahmed, from Somalia who sought refuge in Minneapolis).

How long did you practice? About a month.  The lines were never finalized until the first night of the play.  


What makes the character you played so special?
99% of us (Somalis) are nomads.  He (Ahmed) was the only Somali on campus.  For me, he had courage and will.  The people who helped him were human beings so they didn’t look at skin color or religion. He came from Somalia to America and became successful, I don’t even know how describe that.  That made it beautiful.


Will you be in any future performances?  
You know Somalis are great at oral poetry, we’ve entertained hundreds back home without microphones and without technology. I have plans to do some short films and would like to use social media to publicize those.

Last question Mohammed, being that you were so fearless and articulate on stage, what were you like in high school?  I’ve always been outgoing, engaged with people, regardless of race or religion.  Back home I made friends, with D.J’s, sheiks (religious leaders and even the homeless.

Thanks for joining me, Mohammed.

Thanks for having me.

Readers, please comment below.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Hawaiian writer, Dustin Stevens @dstevens5408 #amreading #amjoy

Dustin Stevens (pictured above)
Dustin Stevens is with me today to discuss his current writing.  Dustin is the author of more than 20 novels, 15 of them having become #1 Amazon bestsellers, including the Hawk Tate and Zoo Crew series. The Boat Man, the first release in the best-selling Reed & Billie series, was recently named the 2016 Indie Award winner for E-Book fiction and the 3rd Grand Prize Winner for all books – hard cover, paperback and ebook.



He is an award-winning screenwriter in the prestigious Harvardwood and Emerging Screenwriters competitions, as well as the Nashville International Film Festival and the Honolulu Film Awards. In addition, he is the only multi-time finalist at the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival.

A member of the Mystery Writers of America and Thriller Writers International, he resides in Honolulu, Hawaii.




What have you written?

To date, I have written nearly novels. The vast majority of these are suspense/thriller/mystery novels, and are split between my own name, Dustin Stevens, and my pen name, T.R. Kohler.

They include the 2016 Indie Ebook of the Year The Boat Man, the 2017 Independent Author Network Action/Adventure Novel of the Year Finalist The Debt, the Reed & Billie series, the Hawk Tate series, and the Zoo Crew series.

In the coming months, I am also branching into children’s books with my Danny the Daydreamer series, as well as my first graphic novel.

Tell us about your writing process and the way you brainstorm story ideas?  

As I always like to joke with people…ideas are never the problem.




 It’s having the time to get them all down. I can point to particular books and without fail tell you where the original seed sprang from, whether it be something I read, a show I watched, or even a dream of a particular character/scene I had.

From there, I usually take anywhere from a day to a year to let it come together in my mind. Rarely do I sit down to work on something unless I have a pretty clear framework already in place. Once I do, though, I go really fast, as most of my novels take about two weeks to complete. It’s an all-out sprint to get everything down.

What is your favorite motivational phrase?  



I’m not sure if Jodi Picoult originally said it or was just repeating it, but it was, “It’s so much easier to edit a bad page than a blank one. There’s just no way to get around the BIC as a writer. Butt In Chair.”

Most writers now there are definitely days when we don’t feel like doing this. Staring at a screen or trying to work out a plot kink can be tough. But I always come back to this with the general mindset of just keep pushing and something will break loose.

What writer pushed you to think differently about your life?

There’s no way she could possibly know this, but it would definitely be Lisa Gardner. I read an interview she gave once talking about how in the beginning she was slogging through the daily grind of an office job she despised while staying up far too late each night trying to get out that story she had in mind.

Luckily for her (and those of us that love her work), it worked out. Luckily for me, I read that interview at a time when I was going through the same exact thing and it helped me to push through.

I even once sent her an email saying as much, and she was so kind in responding and wishing me well.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Simply put…I want to! I am so fortunate to live in a place like Hawaii and to get to write full time for a living, that I don’t even mind that there is so much to get done each done. I am excited for it, and wake up by 5:30 everyday just to get started.
(It goes without saying that my wonderful friends, family, and critters help tremendously too.)

Last question Jusin, what do your fans mean to you?  

So much more than they could realize. I know sometimes I fall a bit behind on responding to emails and such, but that is merely because I am deep in whatever manuscript I’m working on the time.

I absolutely love the fan interaction aspect of my job and can happily say I have made friends from all over the world doing this. A few years back, readers from Australia were vacationing and asked for travel tips in Hawaii. Each winter, a book blogger in Belgium and I exchange Christmas cards. It has been great fun, and is so, so appreciated.

Thanks for stopping by Dustin.

Thanks for having me

More about Dustin Stevens:

Readers, please comment below.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Weekend Writing Warriors #amwriting #amediting #amjoy

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write!  Sign up on the website:Wewriwa.com and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Shayne Renaud

I'm so excited to have my first guest athlete on my blog today.  Hockey player, Shayne Renaud is here with me to talk about his career and Red Bull Crashed Ice.



Writer, Kitty Honeycutt #amreading #amjoy

Kitty Honeycutt is with me today to talk about her current novel, "Where This World Ends." Kitty is a publisher for over 100 authors, a writer, an entrepreneur, a singer and an animal and human rights activist.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Weekend Writing Warriors #amwriting #amediting #amjoy

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write!  Sign up on the website:Wewriwa.com and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Weekend Writing Warriors #amwriting #amediting

  Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write!  Sign up on the website:Wewriwa.com and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Writer, Jacqueline Levering Sullivan #amreading #amjoy

Writer, Jacqueline Levering Sullivan is with me today to discuss her writing.  Jacqueline was born in Tacoma, Washington.  She is the author of Annie’s War and A Less Than Perfect Peace. Annie’s War won the Kentucky Bluegrass Master List award, was granted the International Reading Association’s Children’s Book award, and was chosen as a finalist for the Children’s Crown Award. A Less Than Perfect Peace was awarded a Best Children’s Book by Bank Street College. Jacqueline is also a retired professor of Writing who founded the Writing Center at Pitzer College and lives in California.



Q:  Jacqueline, tell us about your writing process and the way you brainstorm story ideas?

A: My books start with an image and then a theme suggested by that image. I take time to brainstorm from there and keep a notebook full of notes that include memories, observations, anecdotes etc. The more I write, the more ideas come up that lead me to what is central to the story. I usually know how I want the story to end, but sometimes my characters convince me to change my mind. I also do historical and cultural research to verify such things as major events of the time, fashion, politics, music and even the weather. For example, it was important for A Less Than Perfect Peace to get the actual details of the Tacoma blizzard that opens the novel.    

Q:  What is your favorite motivational phrase?

A: I set my books in an historical context because I want young people to "understand the strong shoulders they stand on."

Q:  What writer pushed you to think differently about your life?

A: Different authors at different times in my life have influenced how I think about my life. The following are four of those authors: Claude Brown, John Gardner, Joan Didion, and the poet, Doug Anderson.

Q:  What inspires you to get out of bed each day?

A: I often have scenes or characters pop into my head just as I am falling to sleep or waking up and used to keep a notebook by the bed. So I need to get up and get everything down before I lose the thread.

Q:  What do your fans mean to you?

A: I am probably more excited than the young people who come to book events. At an event for Annie's War, a line of little girls were waiting for me at the bookstore when I arrived. I was delighted. A schoolgirl in Montana even made that book into a movie as a class project. How great is that? And at a book launch for A Less Than Perfect Peace, a whole girl scout troop showed up. I also hear from parents occasionally. And best of all, some of my former students have found me through my books. 

More about Jacqueline

Book info: ★Amazon Buy Link: Lovesick Author Info: ★ Author’s contact info: contact@bamliterature.com ★ Author’s website: http://www.jleveringsullivan.com/ ★ Author’s social media links: Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Jacqueline-LeveringSullivan/e/B001JRXVDGGoodreads:



Readers, please comment below.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Weekend Writing Warriors #amwriting #amediting

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write!  Sign up on the website:Wewriwa.com and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Weekend Writing Warriors #amwriting #amjoy

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write!  Sign up on the website:Wewriwa.com and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday.

No one likes it when their family life changes.  This is particularly hard for the Radtke's.  A troublesome girl named Tracey enters their lives and the children are an endless journey to make sure this girl doesn't get into any further trouble or cause their parents to lose their fostering license.  These are snippets from my second novella in the series, "Oh Tracey."

Last week
“Keep calm,” I whispered aloud to myself. “This doesn’t sound right.”
Zion heard me and said, “You know why it doesn’t sound right? Cuz it ain’t right. “We’ve been hiding behind this here dumpster in front of this here mall for an hour and I ain’t seen shit.”
There was no one coming out of the shop and no one on the street except for a few cabbies waiting patiently for customers to come out.
“Wait for it," I said.
All of a sudden, Tracey walked out of a store in a bright green sweater and red shiny shoes not so dissimilar to the ones Dorothy often wore. She looked over her shoulder several times.
‘Give it a break no one's following ya’ I wanted to say to her except for us that is.

This week

She pulled out a cigarette from her zebra skin purse.
“Told ya she smoked.”
“Shut up,” I said to Zion.
He threw up his hands.

Tracey stepped down from a curb onto the street and shielded her eyes. No one was coming at first and then a red Buick bull dozed its way towards us in the opposite direction. It was 1998, Jay-Z was streaming out the window. Tracey jumped back onto the curb. “Gosh dang it, Rishi,” she yelled. She tapped on the hood and then opened the back door and got into the backseat.
Readers, feel free to leave a comment below.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Writer, Ellis Shuman #amreading #amjoy

Ellis Shuman is here with me to discuss his writing and his newest work, The Burgas Affair. Originally from Sioux City, Iowa, Ellis has been living in Israel since the age of fifteen. He served in the Israeli army, was the founding member of a kibbutz, and currently reside on a moshav outside Jerusalem. He lived and worked in Bulgaria during the years 2009 - 2010. 
The Burgas Affair is a fictional account of the aftermath of a very real terrorist attack. On July 18, 2012, a deadly explosive rocked a tourist bus at Burgas Airport, killing five Israelis and their Bulgarian bus driver. The terrorists responsible for this murderous attack have never been brought to justice.
Ellis, what else have you written?
I am always writing something. I have written book reviews for The Times of Israel, travel articles for The Huffington Post, and articles and essays for The Oslo Times and The Jerusalem Post. I have also self-published three books. Virtual Kibbutz (2003) is a collection of short stories based on my life on a kibbutz in Israel’s southern desert. The Burgas Affair (2013) is a suspense novel set in Bulgaria. The Burgas Affair (2017) is a crime fiction thriller based on a real terrorist attack. It is set in both Bulgaria and Israel.


What do your fans mean to you?
I write the kind of books that I like to read. That said, I also write as a way of communicating with my readers. My book reviews serve as recommendations to readers and my travel reports help tourists plan their holiday trips. Much of my writing introduces readers to Bulgaria and Israel. I have lived in Israel since I was a teenager. I served in the Israeli army, was a founding member of a kibbutz, and now work in online marketing. My home is in a small community near Jerusalem.
For two years my job was relocated to Sofia. I had never previously been to Bulgaria and my life there was quite an adventure. I fell in love with the natural beauty of the country, the picturesque villages, the rich culture and the history. My wife and I travelled extensively around Bulgaria. Coming home to Israel, I had a desire to share my experiences in Bulgaria with people who probably couldn’t place the country on a map.

Can you talk a little about your earlier Internet writing?
I have been writing on the Internet ever since I first got a computer. Well almost anyway. I have enjoyed blogging about my life and my family. When we lived in Bulgaria, my wife and I blogged together. Our blog, “Ellis and Jodie’s Bulgarian Adventure”, was a way to share our life in Sofia with family and friends. Upon our return to Israel, I began blogging on “Ellis Shuman Writes”.
My very first post on The Huffington Post was entitled “10 Amazing Things You Didn’t Know About Bulgaria”. The article went viral and was translated, without my permission, into Bulgarian twice. As a result of my growing popularity in Bulgaria, I was able to get a book deal with a major Bulgarian publisher. My novel The Burgas Affair was initially published in Bulgarian in 2016.


What is the easiest thing about writing?  
When I start writing a novel, the first thing that pops into my mind is the very last sentence of the book. Well, maybe not exactly the very last sentence. I do envision how the novel will end. That is probably the easiest part of writing the book. But then I have to figure out how the plot and the characters get from the beginning of the story to that conclusion. This can be quite a challenge!
How do you juggle your work along with your writing?
The hardest part of my writing has always been finding the time to do it! I commute to work each day and by the time I get home in the evenings, I am too tired to be creative. Weekends I devote to my family. Still, I have a constant desire to write. Luckily, I was able to find a solution. I sit down in a coffee shop very early in the morning and spend an hour writing while drinking a cup of cappuccino before starting my work day. I get quite a bit of writing done this way.


What do you think of “trailers” for books, and do you have a trailer/will you create one for your own work?
I created a trailer for Valley of Thracians using a free video program, and it took me just an hour to do it. I was quite impressed with the results but I’m not exactly sure that it has helped sell books. I am still considering creating a trailer for The Burgas Affair.


One last question, what motivated you to stick with writing?  
The desire to express myself creatively through my writing has been with me all my life. I best express my ideas, thoughts, and even feelings when I write. I am pleased with my efforts, especially because I have fulfilled my dream of becoming a published author. There are still great things ahead in my writing career, and that belief will keep me writing going forward.


Thanks for your time, Ellis

Thank you for having me.

More on Ellis:

The Burgas Affair is available on Amazon: http://getBook.at/BurgasAffair
Ellis Shuman is an American-born, Israeli author, travel writer, and book reviewer. He served in the Israeli army; was a founding member of a kibbutz; and has worked in the hotel industry and online marketing. His writing has appeared in The Times of Israel, The Huffington Post, The Jerusalem Post, The Oslo Times, and Israel Insider. He is the author of The Virtual Kibbutz and Valley of Thracians. Shuman lived for two years in Sofia, Bulgaria, and today resides with his wife, children, and grandchildren on Moshav Neve Ilan, outside Jerusalem.

Contact Ellis




Ellis Shuman on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ellisshuman

Ellis Shuman on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1529444.Ellis_Shuman

Readers, Please Comment below.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

#Sundaypost @caffeinatedbookreviewer.com



The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted  @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things  received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

JANUARY

Another great week.  Had dinner at Noodles and Company. Korean Spicy Noodles seem to me my new favorite.  
I'm going on week two without any Mountain Dew and only binged on caffeine slightly with a shot of espresso at the Black Dog Cafe. 
Which reminds me.  We've got a few more writers joining us for Green Line meetup in St. Paul.  This week was a  retired micro biology professor who amazed us with his nonfiction.
I got one step closer in figuring out my paperwork for the IRS, due to an error which may leade me to fill out an amended return for 2015. darn!

CURRENTLY

Reading: My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout, The Lying Game by Ruth Ware



Watching: Incidious 2, a movie.

  


ON THE BLOG

What Happened:

  Posted a snippet from my novella for Weekend Warriors.  



Up Coming:
Sunday:Weekend Warriors (a blog hop that showcases your writing in progress)
I'm also hopping to attend Red Bull Crashed Ice On January 18th:Ice skaters compete in a Downhill World Championship competition.(it's going to be cold outside!!!!!!!!!)


Readers if you want to comment, please do so below.

#Wewriwa #amwriting #amediting

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write!  Sign up on the website:Wewriwa.com and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday.

No one likes it when their family life changes.  This is particularly hard for the Radtke's.  A troublesome girl named Tracey enters their lives and the children are an endless journey to make sure this girl doesn't get into any further trouble or cause their parents to lose their fostering license.  These are snippets from my second novella in the series, "Oh Tracey."

Last week's
I looked at the card again. It read:
540 Broadway, Minneapolis.
The store was on the other side of the city. “We’ll do,” I said. Knowing full well we’d never swing by. Mom didn’t even like to bring us to Kmart to buy our school supplies. How was she going to bring us to Ms. Patty’s shop?
Patty turned to leave.  I shut the door and turned to Zion who was extending my detective’s coat out to me on an outstretched arm. “No detective work today Zion, but what do we really know about Tracey?  

This week

“Keep calm,” I whispered aloud to myself. “This doesn’t sound right.”
Zion heard me and said, “You know why it doesn’t sound right? Cuz it ain’t right. “We’ve been hiding behind this here dumpster in front of this here mall for an hour and I ain’t seen shit.”
There was no one coming out of the shop and no one on the street except for a few cabbies waiting patiently for customers to come out.
“Wait for it," I said.
All of a sudden, Tracey walked out of a store in a bright green sweater and red shiny shoes not so dissimilar to the ones Dorothy often wore. She looked over her shoulder several times.
‘Give it a break no one's following ya’ I wanted to say to her except for us that is.
Readers, feel free to leave a comment below.

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