Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Cover Reveal Time!

So... Remember a few months ago when I said that I was switching gears from Little Red Wolf to a new project? Well, that new project is coming along nicely and it is officially time to show you all something kind of amazing.


Here we go!

Ta-da! Isn't that awesome?!

Here's a bit about the book:

According to Merriam-Webster, “ecotone” is defined as: a transition area between two adjacent ecological communities. Etymology: ec- + Greek tonos meaning tension.
Also from Merriam-Webster: “Scientists refer to the area of overlapping landscapes where the “foreign” species encounter each other and blend together as ecotones, an apparent allusion to the tension created when competing species come together.”

This book is an anthropomorphic take on climate change. Many of the characters are natural phenomena we are well acquainted with. Readers from my neck of the woods will recognize Mount Rainier, Mount Saint Helens, and the Puget Sound. Readers everywhere will know Dover (yes, those white cliffs), Mount Everest, and Mount Fuji. Also making appearances are the River Kama in Russia, the north wind, the great redwood forest of Northern California and Southern Oregon, and a few lost civilizations whose mysterious demises are explained. Readers will learn the natural politics behind Super Storm Sandy, and why Hillary Step on Mount Everest actually fell away.
Packed with science, fantasy, and a touch of humor, this book follows the career of Doctor Ferma, a climate scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. With a knack for finding connections where others see only jumbled data, and the ability to see through the veil of magic splitting two distinct, but inseparable, worlds, she is tasked with negotiating peace. One side is oblivious to the war they are entrenched in. The other is fractured into opposing factions. Neither is willing to concede a point. And the fragile balance between magical world and human world is ever tipping toward the total destruction of both. Will humanity learn to see before it is too late? Will Mother Earth finally reveal herself? Will all the spirits of the world find a common ground?

I am currently in deep edits on this novel and am anticipating a Fall release. Keep your eyes peeled for updates and excerpts as the edits come to a close.

Also, a quick reminder that my books are no longer available in paperback. If you would like to purchase any of my novels, please save a tree by heading over to Amazon or Smashwords and downloading a digital copy. A portion of the royalties from each book sale goes toward the National Parks Foundation.

Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Here's The Deal...

Alright. Here’s the deal, I don’t like blogging. I really don’t. It always seems to me a waste of time. Here I am with limited hours of writing time and multiple projects I am working on, and I need to take an hour out of that precious slice of the clock to prattle on about something inconsequential. Yeah, not so high on my priority list.

That being said, blogs are a valuable means of communication. And I do like to communicate. So here is my proposed compromise. How does everyone feel about Tuesday? I know it isn’t exactly Friday, but it is cool enough to have a few businesses claim it for promotions and brands. I can commit to one brief post every Tuesday. With a few awesome tidbits thrown in randomly because who doesn’t like spontaneity?

Tuesday will be a jumble of whatever I feel like expounding on that time. It could be a cover reveal (maybe next Tuesday? Maybe not?). It could be an excerpt from a current project. It could be a random funny conversation I had or overheard. Whatever it is, it will be consistent. 9am every Tuesday.

Sounds pretty good right? Yeah, I thought so too. So, I hope you are all having an awesome week. See you next Tuesday! Or sooner, depends on what’s going on.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Fitness Friday: Mental Health Days

There has been a lot of talk since I was a kid about the pace of life and how strenuous it is. I remember being in first grade and wishing for the weekend. From the time we start perceiving time, we realize that most of our time is spent on “responsibilities”. We feel indignant at the knowledge that most of our time isn’t actually ours. We have to get ready for school, go to school, get home from school, do our homework, do our chores, THEN we get to have a little time for ourselves until we have to get ready for, and then go to, bed. Our whole day is taken before we wake.

When we get older we get a little break from that pace, sort of. I wouldn’t really call college a break from anything except sanity. Whether you are a party animal or a dedicated student, your time evaporates quickly. Classes, studying, partying, sleeping (a little), and trying every hangover remedy in the book, fills every second of every day. Not exactly “free” time.

Then we enter the workforce. 40 hours a week we go to a job. Those 40 hours means we can pay our bills, eat, and provide for ourselves the basic necessities of life. Usually that means a commute of roughly an hour each way. Now we are up to 50 hours a week. If you are a well-adjusted, responsible adult (you can stop laughing now) you get a full 8 hours of sleep every night (okay, go ahead a laugh a little more). Pretending that we actually sleep as much as we’re supposed to, that is 56 hours of sleep a week. Which puts us at 106 hours of spoken for time each week. But now we’re adults and we have to do adult things like cook our own meals, go to the store for ourselves, do our own laundry, mop the floor, vacuum, dust, etc… And suddenly the 168 hours in a week are completely gone. Spoken for in the same ways for the rest of our careers. And we still don’t have “free time”.

I won’t complicate this timeline by adding kids and their various activities throughout their childhood to the mix. I think we all get the picture by now. But, they do have a habit of claiming the last few seconds of the day.

There are numerous websites that warn about the dangers of not sleeping enough. It is an epidemic in our country. And yet, if we want any time to ourselves, we have to sacrifice sleep in order to get it. We are good at this too. Seriously good at it. I know people who have trained themselves to operate on 5 hours of sleep a night. Those people have 3 extra hours every day. What?!

I’ve heard of a few employers who have “Mental Health Days”. These are magic sick days you can use at anytime for any reason. You only get 2 or 3 of them a year, but you can call in to work and say you won’t be there. Kablammo! You have 24 hours to yourself. Pretty cool idea, but there’s a catch.

Here’s the problem with that solution. Most of us would sit on our butts, eat junk food, and watch the TV until our eyes blurred. As lazy as that day sounds, it actually doesn’t help much of anything. You are still sitting which is hard on your body. Consuming too many calories, which is also stressful to your system. And getting artificial stimulus that tires your brain into a waking coma.

Instead of sitting on our butts all day, a better thing to do is cross something off our “if only I had the time” list. Everyone has one of these. It’s a list of projects, aspirations, old dreams that never quite died, etc. Things that a lot of retirees look at and lament never doing while they were younger. Things that take free time and enthusiasm. Things that “I always wished I could do”.

My question to you is: why wait? True, that garage isn’t going to clean itself. True, the laundry and dishes aren’t going to get done without intervention. But is it really necessary to fill your day so full that you run everywhere but go nowhere? Is it really better to buy that new extra toy that is parked on your front lawn because your garage is so full of stuff, there’s no space for living? Is it really better to spend all that money on a new shiny thing instead of that trip of a lifetime that you always wanted to take?

I think everyone deserves mental health days. I think everyone deserves the chance to complete their “if I only had time” lists. I think everyone wants to. We’ve just all forgotten over the years how to play and have fun and be a little selfish. Children have that down. We just forgot we can do anything we want if we want it enough and work for it.

So, what are you going to cross off your list this weekend? Personally, I’m going to go zip lining. It's something I've always wanted to do and I have the opportunity, so I'm doing it!