What’s Next for Ouji?

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The reviews are trickling in, and everyone seems to be enjoying my story, much to my delight. I haven’t quite reached my goal of thirty reviews, but I appreciate all the feedback I’ve been given so far. Granted, most of it comes from my friends and family, but I can tell by the way they enthusiastically talk about it that they enjoyed it. As for what’s next, I honestly had no intentions of continuing the story. Ouji the Curious Cat, was to be a one-shot, as I have tons of ideas brewing in my mind. However, I can’t seem to stop my mind from drifting to my favorite long haired black cat. I created this universe, and now it begs for attention, a continuation, and I kind of want it to happen too.

If you’re not aware, in the writing world, series make much more money. Readers desire more, and the market seems to tilt towards series rather than stand alones. I wouldn’t write another book as a cash grab, but it’s one plus to writing a possible part two. My primary motivation, however, is the desire to see more of Ouji and his friends. I think about him from time to time, and I want to bring more of him to life. My mind is warming up to the idea, despite my protest. So perhaps in the future, there may be a few more books about Ouji.

One thing for sure, if I do plan on writing any type of continuation, I’ll be making drastic formatting changes, meaning I’ll actually hire a formatter to format the book. I want to make shorter children’s books, with more pictures, as I love pictures. It’ll still be a chapter book, but with more pictures integrated into it. The idea of adding more imagery makes the prospect of writing more about Ouji all the more enticing, but it’s still in the very early planning stages. Currently, there is some pretty stiff competition for projects, but stay tuned I have many many ideas up my sleeve.

If you haven’t gotten the chance to pick up my book, it’s on Amazon for $7.99 and Kindle for only 99 cents. As I mentioned earlier, I’m very interested in feedback, good or bad. So if you have the time leave a review. Author’s love reviews.

From the Mind: Poetry and Prose

Taking a Break Behind the Building of My Photo Ops

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It’s cold, he shivers, struggling to find warmth in the February air.
Huddled in the corner he looks over his shoulder,
eyes darting around the leaf covered patio.
He knows better, he has an image to maintain
but the weight of performance leaves him numb,
and this is his only escape.

He digs into his pocket and grabs his pack, about half are left.
His friends don’t know, they think he quit,
but it’s the only thing that makes him him.

He tabs the tobacco on his hand, lights, and hits,
letting the smoke fill his lungs.
He exhales, eyes closed,
meditating on the idea of a well-deserved nap.
When he comes down, he inhales again,
chasing after the feeling that is long lost.

It’s passed and the ashes are shaken away,
leaving him unsatisfied.
Gripping, clinging, lips pressed against the filter again,
he inhales until the colors of his mind change from black to blue,
and the waves subside and the chatter quits.
Trapped, forced into the most perfect moment.

“I need to stop this.” He exhales, shaking the ash from his bud.

“Clint, they’re done.” The tech hand shouts, from behind the cover of the cracked door.

“Okay.” Rushed, he kills the light, tucking it back into his pocket. Thirty minutes until show time, six hours until the flight lands, one-hundred and sixty-one hours of filming, endless weekends of tours, forty-three months left on the contract. “I’m finished,” he whispers, but there is no one around to hear him.

 

Pet Your Cat Like Today is Their Last Day

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A cat died today, and it was not her death that was profound to me, but the fact that I had petted her only a few hours before. Just this morning I was walking by and saying hi, checking to see if she pooped out of the litter box. I fretted, and problem solved and decided a plan. I placed it into action and reset and moved on. I wonder though if she knew. If she knew that today was her last day what would she do? What would you do? What would I do? I wondered if I could go back in time with the knowledge that I know now would I try to stop them from taking her. Would I have pet her more, told her I loved her? There was no last meal, no goodbye, just a message from my boss and she was gone. Never to be heard, purred, cuddled again. So young. I wonder if her owners knew perhaps maybe they’d let her stay or perhaps there was nothing stopping this fate and today was her day. Her last day on Earth and I wonder if there was anything I could have done to make it better.

I’m Back!

Now that the dust has settled, I can sit back and reflect on the success of my book release party. By success I mean everything went as smoothly as I had hoped. I fretted and planned and stressed for months, but I’m happy that I was able to give Ouji the kick off he deserved. I would like to send a special thanks to all my family and friends who helped make my big day possible, without their support the party would have never kicked up off the ground. For those who could not attend here’s a little rundown of how the day went.

Of course, workaholic me worked a quick morning shift before running around and getting last-minute things for the party. I couldn’t believe I was shopping on the day of my party, but that’s me for ya. I’m a last minute kind of girl. A piece of advice, though, get your outfit together BEFORE your big day! It saves a lot of stress. After a stressful day of running around shopping, printing, and getting money together, my friends began to arrive at my house. They pulled up just as I got home only two hours before the party, I was cutting it close, but luckily over the past couple of months, I’d been gathering and packing things for the party. That way everything would be in one place on the day of the party, which helped a lot.

I had my book launch party at my local library. I was fortunate enough to live near a library that did author showcases for local authors. Lucky me, but usually libraries allow small non-rowdy gatherings, so if you’re thinking about a place to have a book launch party check them out. When my party arrived, I checked in, and everyone made quick work of helping me get the room set up. My dad was there moving tables, and my friends were setting up chairs. It also helped that weeks before the event, I assigned task to different people, so no table went un-maned. The room was set up with four tables, one for food, one for guest to sign their names in the guest book, one for children’s arts and craft, and one for book signing. All the tables were set up close to the walls so that guest could mix and mingle without crawling all over themselves.

The event kicked off with a raffle, which I held at the beginning of the event to make sure the winners didn’t accidentally buy an extra copy. After the raffle, I spoke. I tried to talk a little about my book and what inspired me to write it, but mostly I rambled because I had nothing prepared. I had had writer’s block all week trying to think of something meaning to say, but in the end, something came to me. My message was from the heart. Keep pushing forward. Don’t give up on your dreams, after all, I wrote OTCC in one month, but it took almost three years to publish it. That’s a heck of a long time, so no your crazy dream is not impossible, work on it, one step at a time.

After that, I started signing books, and as much as I wished my signature had gotten better, it had not, but no one seemed to care. They were all happy for me and just wanted a little part of my success. They cared enough to show up and show their support, and I really appreciated that because Lord knows I was nervous. I kept asking people to ignore the errors while trying to downplay my success, as I always do. I like to live modestly, but they were having none of it. They were proud of me, and that made me feel so overwhelmingly happy. It all worked out in the end, and everyone was smiling and enjoying themselves, and that’s all I ever wanted.

As for copies sold, I walked away pretty good, selling 43 copies of my book. The guest said the food was amazing, and people were plenty entertained at the crafting table and mixing and mingling with new and old friends. I could spend hours telling you about all the tiny details that went into this, but I’ll spare you and leave you with this. If you’re thinking about publishing a book, do yourself the honor and welcome your creation into the world surrounded by smiling supportive faces. You deserve it, your story deserves it.

Special thanks to my friend Carolyn for all the wonderful pictures.

Updates: Short and Sweet

This week I’m keeping my blog post short, so I can focus on planning, studying, and more.

Ouji the Curious Cat debuts this Thursday, February the 9th!

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Pre-order your E-book copy here

Print copies will be available Feb. 9th!

 

 

I’m really excited. This has been a long and challenging journey, but I’m ready to step forward into this new chapter with Ouji by my side, and I hope you enjoy his story as much as I do.

By the way, I’m running a Giveaway on Goodreads. Enter before February 16th for your chance to win one of three signed copies of my book.

Click here to enter!

What is Love: Writing About Your Muse

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It was only recently that I found my love for cats, growing up without a warm snuggly mammal by my side left my heart immune to their soft resonating purrs. It wasn’t until I took a job at an animal shelter did my love for them grow. I’ve always loved animals, but there’s a big difference between loving them from afar and being in contact with them day to day. Yes, I’ve gotten used to soft bits and scratchy tongues, sharp nails, and unexpected head butts. It comes with the package when you accept a cat into your life and with it comes a special love, one that is earned.

I think what I love most about my job is watching them transform from terrified, frightened little creatures into cuddly little love bugs. It’s very rewarding and it shows in my writing. I would have never expected my first book to be about cats, but here I am on the heel of publishing my first book about them.

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It’s exciting, but back to talking about cats, I’ve worked with hundreds of them. From kittens to granny aged adults each and every one with their own story and unique personality. They come and go leaving a lasting impression on my soul, well maybe not each and every cat, but I do walk away learning something new every day. These lessons I can apply to my own life. Be patient; don’t cut the flower that has yet to bloom. A little respect goes a long way and free food is the foundation of a good friendship. Yup, little lessons like that. Also, I would like to flat out say, your new best friend is waiting for you at your local shelter. Rescue a life and watch them save yours in return.

Another thing I like about working with cats is all the wacky things they do. Some cats love to climb, whether that be cage bars or you, never underestimate a determined cat. Cats drool! Yes in fact dogs rule and cats drool. They drool when they’re happy. It’s so weird but cool. Something you would never expect and some cats like belly rubs and I’m sure you’re raising an eyebrow right now, but the is fact what cats love is as diverse as the colors and sizes they come in.

orange-catSo please treat yourself, volunteer, or pet your cat a little longer today. Don’t be afraid to embrace your cuddly side.

Count Down to Launch Day!

We’re live! Well, sort of, I recently added my book to Goodreads, just in time for folks to add it to their Goodreads 2017 Readings Challenge. While the book doesn’t come out until February 9th, you can still add it to your reading list. Now I’ve been a little buttoned up about the details, but now that I’ve got everything straightening out I can chat away.

Ouji the Curious Cat is an exciting tale about a house cat who escapes into the wild with the help of his new friend Adrian, a little deer mouse. The pair meet new friends along the way but soon find themselves at the foot of a grand adventure. Will the journey be too much for the house cat from the burbs or will he re-discovery what it means to be a wildcat? Find out February 9th!

 

You can now pre-order the Kindle edition on Amazon.com!

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Pre-Order Today Here

 

 

 

Print copies will be available on February 9th.