A Friend in Need

Social media can be a wonderful thing. It allows us to share ideas, promote our passions, and keep informed on all the happenings of the world. For me, the greatest gift of websites such as #Facebook and #Twitter are how they’ve allowed me to connect with people I otherwise never would have met.

I, along with many other authors, use Twitter to help spread the word about our books. We also retweet other Indie artists – and that is how I met Al Handa.

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Al (@alhanda) is one of the biggest supporters of #Indie artists. The man is a retweet machine who always has a kind word and encouraging spirit you can’t help but gravitate to. He was well-known for his Delta Snake Blues News magazine that later resulted in one of his earliest #blues websites. He’s been around the music scene for many years. As a musician, he’s played in bands that centered around San Francisco’s punk scene of #MabuhayGardens, including The Avengers, Negative Trend, and UXA.

Now, Al is part of the Handa-McGraw International music group with music available on YouTube, iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, and other sites. But he needs a little help …

Al and his adorable dog, Ivy, are homeless and living out of Al’s car. He has recently started a GoFundMe page to help raise a few dollars for expenses such as car upkeep, food, and gas. He has also converted his blog to document the trials and tribulations of homeless life. I suggest everyone read it. Al has a way of explaining the challenges he and Ivy face while still keeping the shining, positive attitude he’s known for.

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For those who don’t know, this is my final blog post. I’ve decided to use my newsletter and Facebook page to share information, and use the extra time to focus more on writing. I wanted to make this last post something special, something meaningful, and I didn’t want it to revolve around writing.
We all need a little help every once in a while. It doesn’t take much to make a huge difference in someone’s life – someone like Al Handa and little Ivy.

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If you have a few dollars to spare, please visit my friend’s #GoFundMe page and give Al a helping hand. You can find the link HERE. Also, if you’d subscribe to Al and Ivy’s blog, I know he’d be thrilled to have new friends. Check it out HERE.

Please, share this post. Retweet it, plaster it on your Facebook and social media pages. Let’s help a man who makes time to help so many others.

So I Pulled Up My Big-Girl Britches and Carried On

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No, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth. I’m still here, and I’m so sorry it’s been a few months since I’ve posted anything. I had high hopes for my #writing this summer … such positive expectations. I was giddy at the thought of two months with no car-rider lines, late night writing sessions to finish the 4th Grimsley Hollow book, BBQ’s in the back yard, and time off from stressful mornings of trying to get two kids to school on time. Ah, delusions of grandeur.

And then reality came crashing down, as it usually does.

Instead of peaceful mornings of sipping hot coffee while rocking on the front porch, I found myself knee-deep in college preparations for my son, which included summer orientation, preparing him to get his driver’s license (for those who don’t know, Gage has autism and Tourette’s, so learning to drive was a bit more complicated for him than most), and muddling my way through financial aid forms and scholarship info. Instead of spending time on inspirational writing sessions where I breezed through the first draft of my #WIP, I ended up spending more time at the hospital where my mother was admitted, twice. And, though I may not have been stuck in car-rider lines, the slow procession of my uncle’s funeral had been enough to make me wish I were.

I won’t bore you with all the details. Life has a tendency to fall apart, and the best we can do is pull on our big-girl (or big-boy) britches and carry on. Today is August 11. My daughter started 7th grade yesterday (though she had to come home two hours early because of a stomach virus – another bump in the road), my son got his driver’s license two days ago, all preparations for college are done (he starts on August 31st), and my mother’s health is holding its own, for now.

My daughter, Sydney, and my son, Gage.

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I’d hoped to have the first draft of Grimsley Hollow: The Longest Days of Night finished by now and simmering on the back burner while I began another book. Now, I’ll be lucky to get GH4 out before Christmas. It was also my intention to start the monthly #contests and #giveaways again. Maybe I’ll have time to cook up something for September. With things the way they are, I make no promises, but will try my best.

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In the meantime, I’m looking for some help. Because I’ve fallen so far behind with … everything … my book #marketing has suffered. Other than a few posts here and there on Facebook and Twitter, I’ve been too swamped to do anything else. I need someone good with #graphic #design skills to create a few pictures I can share on social media, and possibly a new banner or two. Because I’m not technically savvy, I have to use websites like Canva and PiZap, and my graphics are as simple as they come. I’d like to find someone who’s a bit more talented. If you’re interested or know someone who might be, please send me an email.

I promise to try to be more active on my blog, to drum up a contest or giveaway for you guys next month and, most importantly, to get back to work on my next #book. Thank you so much for your patience and understanding. Love you bunches!

 

A Generous Group of Indie Authors

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After it was decided that our #LIFT4Autism2016 group would hold an auction to raise funds to donate to Talk About Curing Autism’s (TACA) scholarship fund (for more information on that, click here), I sent out a request to my #IndieAuthor friends for help, and they didn’t disappoint.

I received a total of 27 #books from 16 extremely talented writers, and I’d like to thank them again for their generosity. Click on their names below to visit their Amazon page and show them some love!

Rich Meyer

Linda Lee Greene

Yvonne Hertzberger

Erin McGowan

L.B. Clark

D.J. Jameson Smith

Jim Devitt

K.S. Brooks

Jacinda Buchmann

Blaze McRob

Alexandra Butcher

Vanessa Kings

Melinda Clayton

S.A. Molteni

Greta Burroughs

A.C. Winfield

 

If you haven’t registered to bid on the auction, trust me, you don’t want to miss it! BOOKS GALORE, #SWAG, gift cards, even #marketing promo and graphic design packages! Oh, and did I mention the #AmazonFire tablets (yes, PLURAL!) and #VIP tickets to the Mile High author event in Denver???
What are you waiting for? The auction begins the last week of April.

I’m including all the important links below. Get to clicking!

Register to Bid in Auction

Authors Donate to Auction

Campaign Website

Join LIFT FB Group

Make a Tax-Deductible Donation to TACA