books, Fantasy, Fiction

#amwriting

Mischief in the Mushroom Patch

#amwriting. It’s a hashtag writers/author use all the time when they’re working on new pieces. I haven’t honestly been able to use or say that for a long time! However, after drastically changing my life, business, and personal, I’ve taken steps to take back a real writing schedule. Sure, I’ve talked about it in the past, what writer/author hasn’t? Keeping a writing schedule is essential for any author; daily writing is a task that should be a part of our regular day. Unfortunately, my days had drifted from that, writing daily, which is something that brings me such joy.

It is incredible how rejuvenated one feels when they fall in love again with their first passion—writing. Reintroducing myself with the characters that I created initially is entertaining, even for me, and I know everything about them. Rereading past works, ensuring I have names correct, places, scenes, is inspiring. New ideas rush through my mind, and I can’t wait to write them down.  I ask myself, “Where have you been, this side of you? You’ve been gone too long.” And, “Welcome back.” My mind is at peace as it drifts continually in search of how my characters will do it, why they do it, and what they will do next—scenes playing out in my head that must be believable to my audience/readers. Of course, fairies have a secret quarry deep in the forest where they mine for unique rocks, produce fairy dust in a dust factory, and have a master elder add the magic once the dust has been milled perfectly. Where on earth do you think fairies get their fairy dust? How fun it is to create adventures for children to read!

I’m certain this must happen all the time to other writers because it happens to me daily. My family will look across the room and state they

A Fairy Match in the Mushroom Patch – Book 2

see my mind at work. “Your wheels are turning,” they say. “What are you thinking about?” Or, “Did you even hear me?” I can always recite back every word they’ve said, but yes, my mind was at work on something else. It’s Lilly, Boris, and Jack, and the mischief they tend to drum up, accidentally, of course (The Mischief Series). I wish I could explain how exhilarating it is, creating an adventure that children love, so exciting. Currently, I’m writing the fourth book of The Mischief Series.

I believe it’s safe to say that I think about this book morning, noon, and night. My characters— love them, where they live—setting, my story—plot, the conflict that the story is built around, the climax, and of course, how will I wrap up the story—resolution, and leave the door open for the next one? After that, what will my next book be?

Spider Web Scramble – Book 3

 

Joy. I feel complete joy and satisfaction again. If you’re a writer/author who no longer writes as you know you should, do something drastic and change your life. I did. I took back writing time and have no regrets. Danger in the Mushroom Patch, book four of The Mischief Series, will be my next release. Stay tuned as they say; the adventure continues. 😊 Copyright © 2020 Amanda M. Thrasher 

AmandaMThrasher.com

 

Uncategorized

Working From Home

Early Morning Run

Like most people, I’ve been tuning in a lot more lately to the local news. Sometimes it can be quite depressing, but I watch it faithfully anyway. They’ve recently discussed employees that were forced to work from home during COVID, returning to work. Fortunately, most new to staying at home workers were pleasantly surprised, finding their temporary arrangement suited them just fine. In fact, they stated their productivity wasn’t affected at all; in some cases, it actually increased due to fewer distractions.

Now that the employees are starting to return to their regular places of employment, after the freedom of working from home, many are stating that they’d like to work from home permanently. Some employers even agree that the employees performed just as well, if not better, working from home and could save the companies thousands upon thousands of dollars in lease space and overhead if they changed their policies and permanently allowed their employees to work from home.

Home Office

I’ve worked from home for so long that I’ve taken this freedom for granted. Listening to others talk about how they wished they could continue to work from home reminds me of how grateful I am. Having the freedom to start my day with a leisurely run, shower, dress, sip my coffee, and not rush out the door, feels like a gift. Am I busy? Yes. But it’s a different ‘feel’ when everything I need is at my fingertips or in the vicinity of where I’m located.

I still prepare as if I was leaving, even though I answer to myself because it helps keep my mind focused. Admittedly, I’m guilty of multitasking throughout the day. Stop. Throw in a load of laundry. Stop. Start the dishwasher. Stop. Visit with my dad, who lives with us. Stop. Play with the dogs…I know, tooooo fun! That said, everything on my daily list does get accomplished by days end.

I hope that we adapt to this new normal, whatever that is, and if that means that businesses start to allow their employees to work from home without penalty, then I hope employees will enjoy the experience as much as I do. Granted, some people can not work from home; they need the activity, love to socialize, and can’t stand the distractions of household tasks. There’s nothing wrong with that; everyone is different, and that’s a good thing.

Puppy Break

But we all know how quickly life passes us by, and working from home allows us to enjoy the little things. I might be working, but I can always stop and visit with my grandkids if they drop by. I might be working, but if dad wants to chat (he’s 85), I can stop. I understand that not everyone can work from home, but if given the opportunity, I’d highly recommend it. #littlethings #writingfromhome #authorlife

Copyright © 2020 Amanda M. Thrasher

Author Website

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A Selfless Act

Lauren Thrasher
2020 Graduate

There is no question that this virus, COVID19, has affected everyone. Excluding those that have lost a loved one, our 2020 graduates were hit hard—robbed of their regular celebratory prom and graduation events.

Many schools are putting together outside graduation commences so their seniors can walk in their cap and gowns and receive their diplomas. Rules are stringent, as one would expect, but seniors at least will have somewhat of an unusual, at best, graduation experience to remember. My daughter’s school is holding their ceremony outside in the football stadium. Lauren, my daughter, has decided not to walk.

I was worried that Lauren would regret this decision and talked to her extensively, as did her dad, sister, brother, and all of her friends. For a second, I thought she might change her mind, but she held firm and has decided not to attend the ceremony and walk. Her reasons are admirable, honorable, and as her mom, make me so proud.

Lauren: “Why would I do that and put him at risk?”

Who is she putting at risk? Well, my dad, her granddad. He is eighty-five years old, suffers from COPD (has never been a smoker), and over the past five months, Lauren has witnessed his multiple hospitalizations. By the way, he lives with us, and I’m 100% convinced this played into her decision making despite our objections to her missing her own graduation.

Lauren’s prom dress.

“We’ll wear masks and use GermX,” I explained, but it didn’t matter. “Granddad won’t go, he’ll stay here, and we’ll film it for him,” but she didn’t waver.
“It’s not worth it,” she said. “With over two thousand people if most show up, masks off for photos, he’s at risk.”

My dad, her grandad.

She’s right. Texas had over 1,800 new cases Saturday and 33 deaths. Healthy people would likely be fine, but he would not; he’s at high risk for sure and certainly would not survive exposure.

Lauren has always been one of a kind and walks to the beat of her own drum, but I can’t begin to tell you how proud of her I am for this selfless act. An eighteen-year-old young lady who loves and respects her granddad and puts his health before herself, that to me, seems wise beyond her years. Proud momma moment.

Website: Amanda M. Thrasher

Copyright © 2020 Amanda M. Thrasher

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Unpredictable Times

Grandkids

I think it’s safe to say everyone’s life as changed since COVID19. From family gatherings, shopping for the household, attending work or school, to a regular doctor’s visit, they’re now unrecognizable. Empty shelves, masks, no family gatherings, everyone’s lives have been turned upside down. It’s hard to imagine that in our lifetime, we’d be experiencing a Clorox wipe shortage or paper-good rationing, and yet, here we are.

Easter Sunday was a challenge for most people, I’m sure. It was the first time in thirty-one years I was unable to spend it with my son, and also now his kids, my grandkids. Though the reason we celebrate was the same, the festivities looked nothing like our typical gatherings would have been; that said, we were grateful that we are all able to celebrate at all.

This terrible disease continues to cause pain and havoc in so many people’s lives, and my heart aches for those families who have lost loved ones. It was so unexpected, and the damage it is causing across the globe seems so needless. Daily updates inform the world what to expect next. It feels, to me, as if we’re watching a sci-fi movie in slow motion, and my children’s concern only makes it worse. Like every single parent I know, I want to comfort them and tell them unequivocally that they’ll be spared, but I have no idea how to protect them. Keep them at home. Yes. Make them wash their hands. Yes. Remind them never to touch their face. Yes. But even those things do not protect them.

My kids

We still have to replenish our regular supplies, food, and other goods. Visitors, such as nurses for my dad, who now lives with us, visit our home, and deliveries are still made. The kids themselves even make food runs when they’re burned out on home-cooking, and every time someone enters the house, we leave, or they leave, puts them at risk.

One thing we’ve all learned is that the virus is unpredictable and doesn’t care who it infects, causing beautiful prom dresses to hang in closets unworn, graduations to be rescheduled, and weddings postponed.

Despite all of that, communities have come together in the most amazing way. Rallying around our healthcare workers and first responders, heroes of today, showing how much they appreciate the work that they are doing as they continually put others before themselves to serve our families, friends, and loved ones. My son is in this field, and I worry about him daily.

My son.

During our stay at home isolation, I’ve learned to appreciate my family; dogs included in our family. I am spending time talking with them, watching movies, and sharing meals. Grateful, my dad’s health is stabilizing, and though he’s in a highrisk category, we’re hopeful we can keep him safe and out of harm’s way. It has been touch and go for months now, complete with a recent emergency room visit, but he seems to be doing well with his new treatments. Fingers crossed.

My daughter’s prom dress.

I wish everyone nothing but good things during this stressful time, and hopefully, we can all resume our regular activities and lives sooner rather than later. #Besafe #Stayhome Wishing you all well!

Copyright © 2020 Amanda M. Thrasher

Amanda M. Thrasher

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Writing Dilemmas!

Amanda M. Thrasher

As most authors know, if we’re not sitting down and writing, our minds continually race with changes that need to be made to current projects or ideas for possible new work(s) that turn into potential books. I am no exception to this restless train of thought process that consumes writers. As usual, continually fighting with time to write, I find myself chomping at the bit to get back to my office to create, in silence, where I can think about the storyline I intend to forge and the characters that I desire to develop.

I was all set to start a sequel to my last novel when out of the blue an unexpected event involving my oldest daughter led me to an idea that could potentially include an entire series. The thought of writing a series and being invested in my characters for more than one book brought me so much joy that I abandoned my previous sequel idea. Before long, I had fleshed out my main character, mapped out the storyline, which included an intricate plot, and created most of my supporting characters. I’d even invented an unexpected twist that should leave readers surprised and wanting to read more, should, being the keyword. Isn’t this what every author hopes for, right, their readers sitting on the edge of their seats wanting to turn that next page desperately? Trust me, we all want that!

I’d been thinking about this potential new series so much I even had my cover picked out, the plot for the second book, and had developed the storyline for book number two. When I say I was thrilled beyond words to have a series on my hands, that wasn’t an understatement, and at over ten-thousand-words-in and continuously surrounded by content, I’m off to a pretty decent start! So then what happened, you might ask, well, the worst possible thing ever. I woke up!

I’d had the most amazing, frightening, unusual dream. Concerning, because the dream its self was incredibly thought-provoking, and the more I thought about it, well, the more interesting the concept of the dream became. Visual beyond words, continually scrolling through my head like an old fashioned movie reel scene-by-scene, this dream now consumed my mind twenty-four-seven. Intensified by on-going worldwide bizarre events only added to possible material that could be pulled and used. Now, forced to decide which work to do? Proceed with the series that I had my heart set on writing, write the unexpected project in a genre that I hadn’t yet tackled nor had the desire to enter until an unusual dream took over my mind, or write more than one book at a time. Writing multiple projects, which many authors do successfully pull off, isn’t something that I can usually do. Why? Simple, time, it’s NEVER on my side. Now what?

Readers’ Favorite International Gold Medal Award
Mom’s Choice Awards®
Readers’ Favorite Five-Star Review
New Apple Literary Award

This dilemma is something that authors/writers often find themselves in. What to do when one finds themselves in this type of situation can become a problem, an exciting challenge, a fun journey, or all of the above; I guess it’s how we look at it. Honestly, I haven’t quite decided what I’m going to do. My gut instinct is telling me, and I often follow my gut, to start with the dream. It is nagging at me as if I’m supposed to write it, and I have no idea why. The visual in my mind is taunting me, and that inevitably means something, right? Maybe not. Either way, one thing is for sure, writing projects, I’m not going to run out of ideas any time soon, and I am, most definitely, ready to get started!

Copyright © 2020 Amanda M. Thrasher

Author Website Amanda M. Thrasher

Cereal Authors, Life, loss, Uncategorized, writer's life

Lessons By Lilly

⚠️ If you’re like me – you may need a tissue ⚠️

Lilly

I can’t remember a time in my life where a dog, if not two, weren’t part of our family. Between dogs of my own, dogs bought for the kids, dogs the kids brought home, I’ve owned lap dogs, large dogs, purebreds, mutts, lost dogs, abandoned dogs, and of course, adopted shelter dogs. I’ve never given what type of dog owner that I was much thought, after all, I always do what every responsible pet owner should do. First and foremost, provide shelter, food, and water, the proper emergency vet care when necessary, and all vet maintenance to ensure our pet’s well being on a regular basis. In addition to those things, daily walks, toys, and treats are the norm. That all changed, my unconscious attitude toward my beloved dogs, the day we unexpectedly lost our precious Lilly. I call it my unconscious attitude because I think until that day, losing her so tragically, I took my dogs for granted because they are always here with us…until the day Lilly wasn’t.

Lilly defined the word joy; she couldn’t help it. She was the last puppy from her litter to be adopted, and we don’t know what would have happened if my animal lover, Lauren, hadn’t brought her home. She had the biggest, floppiest ears we’d ever seen, a long body, short legs, and nothing about her seemed in proportion. Her eyes were huge and so dark they almost looked black. Shaking in the back of the cage, she looked at Lauren with her eyes, likely the same way she looked at me the day before she died. Her eyes literally begged Lauren to stop, reach into the cage, and touch her for a minute. Lauren asked if she could hold the puppy, and though her grandad was looking for a dog, Lauren came home with one.

She changed as soon as Lauren brought her home. Inquisitive. Eating. She was drinking her water, and even doing the normal puppy activities such as playing with toys. Within three days, she was ill. A trip to our vet, antibiotics, drip for rehydration, and we got her back on her feet. She never looked back. Tail always wagging, eyes ever bright, she’d greet everyone that walked past the yard. Every night she’d snuggle and sleep with my youngest daughter Lauren, and every morning she’d go from room to room and greet every person in the house with kisses.

Lilly never walked on her walks; she jogged. She loved to go around the neighborhood and check everything out. Everyone that met her friends, neighbors, our vet, and guests all said the same thing, “that dog just looks happy,” and she did. Lilly loved life.

Aside from when we first brought her home, Lilly had never been sick a day in her life. At four years old, she was full of life, vibrant, energetic, loving, and everything you would want in a family dog. With three other dogs in our home, Lilly was often forced out of the way as the other dogs rushed toward the door to greet us when we came home. Never pushing her way in between the others, she would wait patiently to finally be greeted herself by whomever it was that had walked through the door. To say that her absence is noticeable in our home is an understatement; that said, I never dreamed in a million years that such a beautiful little misfit could teach me so much when she left us.

I will not share the horrific details of Lilly’s passing, it is too sad, but I will say that had I known that day was going to be the last day that I was going to see her, I would have never left. My oldest daughter plays college soccer, and she had a game. We try very hard to make all of her games, and that day was no exception. We were to be gone one evening and back the next day. Before we left, Lilly was acting as if she’d eaten something that hadn’t agreed with her. She threw up once, had no fever, and put herself in a quiet spot. I told my youngest daughter, Lauren, and my dad to keep an eye on her, let her rest, and if she weren’t back to her usual self by the time I got home, we’d call our vet. I bent down and looked Lilly in her eyes. “What’s wrong, Lilly?” I asked as if she’d answer. I swear her dark eyes looked at me that day in a way that I will never forget — almost straining to communicate, to tell me something, likely that she was in pain. I must have missed it then, but looking back, I will never forget the look on her beautiful face that dreadful day.

We’d been on the road for less than ten minutes when my dad called and said Lilly was up and moving. I felt so relieved. I called once I had arrived at my daughter’s game, and dad told me that Lilly had jumped up to her regular spot on the couch, and again, all was well.

Unfortunately, by six o’clock that evening, everything had changed — my youngest daughter’s voice, hysterical on the other end of the phone — Lilly had collapsed. Frantically, from out of town, I called our vet. Our vet notified the emergency room that my daughter and dad were bringing Lilly in. At first, the doctors thought Lilly would be home by Sunday, two days later, but tragically she passed before I made it home the next day.

The grief that our family felt, indescribable pain, was indeed that of losing one of our family members. We were/are devastated. We’ve lost dogs before, old age/natural causes, but Lilly was so young, full of life, and truly special. To lose Lilly unexpectedly changed me. It gave me a new appreciation for our loyal four-legged companions.

Losing Lilly taught me to stop, slow down, and to take real-time to be with our fur-babies. I thought I was doing that already, but losing her made me wish I’d spent more time with her. It was a terrible reminder to pay attention to how genuinely our fur-kids do miss us when we’re not around, and how much they enjoy the times we include them in our daily lives – simple things such as a conversation, they love it when we talk to them. A walk or a snuggle on the couch. I used to take it for granted that my fur-babies would be around and live long, healthy lives; I don’t think like that anymore. You just never know what can happen or why.

Though Lilly is not present to hear my words, I still tell her good morning every day. I find myself looking for her in what used to be her favorite spots; Lauren’s bed, her favorite chair, and where she’d sun herself by the pool. Thanks to my girls, we once again have four dogs in our home. Bringing home another shelter baby, hoping it would help ease my grief, I now have a baby named Cash.

I didn’t think for one second I’d be ready for another dog; I was wrong. Cash, well, he’s not Lilly like at all. He’s onery – total handful, but I think Lilly would have gotten a kick out of him. He was supposed to be small, but he’s going to be huge, just like his personality. Since he keeps me on my toes, he has helped me tremendously with the healing process. Reminders of Lilly are still all over our home, and she will always be a part of our family. I don’t know why Lilly passed like that, but I am so glad that we had her for the short time that we did. I think she would have approved of Cash, and I’d like to think that she knows how much she is still loved and missed. Cherish those fur-babies – they’re special.

Copyright © 2020 Amanda M. Thrasher

Authors Website Amanda M. Thrasher

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Interview with the multi-talented Dellani Oakes

Dellani Oakes, a multi-talented woman, is the author of over a dozen award-winning novels. In addition to writing, she’s the host of a successful talk show, Books and Entertainment, where she often interviews authors, screenplay writers, and musicians. She is an author with Tirgearr Publishing company, and in addition to all of that, she’s a substitute teacher, all while managing to take care of her family. How she manages to keep up and handle it all is truly beyond me, but I couldn’t wait to find out more about her work.

Dellani started writing early in life, first pursuing poetry, but soon added song parodies, short stories, and humorous essays to her writing world. By 2002 Dellani started writing full time. In addition to multiple standalone novels, she has also contributed to several anthologies. I’m fortunate to call Dellani a friend, but everyone that knows her will tell you that she is one of the most helpful and approachable authors that you will ever meet. I can’t wait to share my interview with you, and when you read her books, I promise you will not be disappointed.

Interview Questions

  1. What is the first book that made you cry and did you write it?

That’s a hard one! I think that would have to be Little Women. My mother read to us a lot when we were younger, and that was a favorite. When Amy died, I cried like crazy. I think I was 6 or 7 at the time.

  1. Do you write what you want to write, (content-wise) or do you deliver what the market demands as in what we call marketable writing?

I always write what I love, what moves me. I’ve never been able to write toward market likes. At one time, I swore I’d never write a vampire story, but I did. However, it’s not your typical teen vampire romance (yuck). I also swore I’d never write about zombies, but I did that too. However, my zombies aren’t run of the mill zombies, either. While I might dip my toes into one genre or the other, you can expect the unexpected.

  1. What is the best investment you’ve ever made as a writer?

Crazy as it sounds, my best investment has been twofold: First, I decided to download Open Office (a free word processing program) I like it better than Word, and don’t argue with it nearly as much. Since I’m independent, and I also work for an author promotional service, I purchased Pizap to make covers and banners. It’s inexpensive and has paid for itself many times over.

  1. Which book did you write, the first experience, where a reader reached out (email, message, or other) and specifically told you that your words/work had touched or affected them in some way? … The power of your words.

I think that would be The Ninja Tattoo, a romantic suspense published with Tirgearr Publishing. One of my readers absolutely fell in love with Teague, the hero of the piece. She begged me to write a sequel and put her in it, so that’s how Conduct Unbecoming was born.

  1. How many times, if ever, have you started a project only to completely scrap it? If you’ve done this, why?

I’ve got many unfinished books, but it’s rare that I completely scrap something. I think that has happened once. I decided it really wasn’t what I wanted at all, so I deleted it. It wasn’t an easy decision, but after reading it, I realized I wasn’t ever going to finish it, and let it go.

  1. Do you ever doubt your ability as a writer?

I don’t know an author who doesn’t have moments of doubt! We spend so much time with a book, pour ourselves into it, heart and soul, finally finish it, get it published and it sits there – zero copies sold. That’s discouraging and disheartening. The only thing we can do is move on to something else, and fall in love with our work again. That’s not always easy, but if we want to continue expressing ourselves through words, we have to get over it and move on. (Not as easy as I make it sound, for sure!)

  1. Do you have a favorite character?

I have several. I adore Wil VanLipsig from my Lone Wolf Series. I also love Teague McMurtry and Jasper Waters from the Florida Families Series. My absolute favorite character would have to be Cullen Fellowes, from my Love in the City Romance Series. I haven’t published those books yet, but he’s in a bunch of them – so many, I lost track. I’m finally working on a book where he finds love. He’s an adorable guy, but he’s spent a long time looking for the One. He finally finds her.

  1. Have you ever been forced to give up on a character, hated to do it, but the storyline demand it; if so, what caused the scenario?

Yes. In fact, I had to kill off a favorite character. I cried like a baby. I was writing Wall of Time, a prequel to the Lone Wolf books (not yet published) and came up with this wonderful guy named Murdock Pickford. He’s just found out that his fiancée is going to have a baby, and he’s so excited about being a father. Then in a plot twist, which caught me completely unawares, he was horribly killed. It took me a while to get over that. I know that seems rather silly to some, but the fact is, these characters become our friends, and we’re very attached to them. To have one die so horribly, was sad. I truly didn’t want to kill Murdock, but for the story to progress, I had to.

  1. Which character have you developed caused you the most grief and why?

I think I have to go back to Wil VanLipsig to answer this. The Lone Wolf books begin in the year 3032. Wil is a Galactic Marine who was put through a series of medical experiments, which have made him virtually immortal. He’s lived 86 years, and doesn’t look a day over 30. With such a long and checkered past, he’s got a lot of baggage. It comes out at inconvenient times, causing him to overreact or go off the rails. More than once, I’ve been shocked at his actions. Then I have to realize that he’s acting well within his characteristics, and don’t reign him in. He knows what he’s doing (mostly) and his motives may not appeal to me, but they are legitimate. I feel if a character doesn’t go off the chain once in a while, I haven’t done a good job at creating him or her.

  1. I am by nature such a slow writer. How long does it take you to write a book?

With Indian Summer, my historical romance set in St. Augustine, Florida in 1739 – it took me nearly 10 years to finish. Partly due to a lack of time, partly because of all the research. However, I have written novels in as little as 4 days. It depends on how loud and persistent the voices in my head are. If they’re cooperating, it then depends on how fast I can type, and how much sleep I get.

  1. Has there ever been a time in your life you doubted your path as a writer/author?

So many times! I think it was worst when I was sending out query letters and getting rejections day after day. That is truly depressing. Also, when I see how poorly a book is selling, or I get a royalty statement for .27 cents – bring on the doubt!

  1. Do you have a go-to author for inspiration?

I really don’t. I try not to write like other authors, though it’s often inevitable. I find more inspiration in music and movies than in reading. I have many whose work I read over and over, but not so much for inspiration, as for fun.

  1. I know you love music and listen to music when you write. Does the music affect your scenes?

I am always listening to music. I don’t do well in silence. A lot of the time, I don’t really listen to it carefully, but rather have it in the background. There are times, though, if I’m writing an action scene, I will put on fast-paced, instrumental music. I find that guitarists like Joe Satriani are good for this. I’ve written a lot of my sci-fi battle scenes with him in the background. The opening scene for Lone Wolf was written while listening to Jeff Beck’s Blow by Blow album. I can still hear it in my head when I read it.

  1. Do you have any writing quirks?

If you mean like I must have certain snacks, beverage or music – no. If you mean plot elements that carry over from book to book, yes. My characters spend a lot of time in hospitals. Grant you, some of them are doctors or hospital administrators. Others have accidents, are attacked, or are clumsy. Some movies, TV shows, and books ignore injuries. Their characters come through unscathed, ready to go. The reality is, if a character gets in a knife fight, he’s more than likely going to get cut. If a woman is running down the street, and the heel comes off her shoe, she’s going to break a leg. I could go on and on, but won’t. Since my characters get into a lot of trouble, they spend a fair amount of time recovering from their injuries.

  1. What advice do you have for aspiring writers in today’s market?

Nothing beats a great editor! We may think we’ve got the best book in the world, but if it’s full of grammatical errors and typos, it’s clearly not. Whatever an author might think about keeping their work pure and unadulterated, readers want to be able to read it easily. Nothing kicks me out of a story more than errors in the text.
Also, don’t let the How-To books, articles, websites scare you. Tell the story your way. Don’t listen when someone says you can’t write in the first person, or in present tense. Tell the story the way it wants to be told. Get it finished, then go back and fix it. Any issues it has can be mended in editing. Let me reiterate my first bit of advice, find a good editor. If you can’t afford one, find a friend who is good with grammar, and ask for a favor. Many other authors will trade like for like, if you read mine, I’ll read yours. It’s helpful to have other opinions.

Finally, don’t let it get you down. You’re not going to make instant money. You’re not going to be the next Fifty Shades or Twilight—well, you might, but those are rare. Write what moves you, do your best, and keep going. Writing is an extension of yourself, do what makes you happy, and don’t worry about anything else.

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Amanda Thrasher, Article, author, books, Cereal Authors, Life, parents

Raising Grateful Kids

I’m not a parenting specialist or a doctor, but I am a mom of three beautiful kids, and three grandkids. Teaching children to be kind, generous, grateful, and thankful during the holidays is often a lesson that is taught throughout their entire lives. I’m certain that every single parent already knows these tips. However, given the fact that it is the holiday season, I write kids and Ya books, I thought I’d share some of the things that help teach kids to be thankful year-round.

Like any skill or habit, helping our children develop a sense of gratitude in life takes practice. The more our children develop a habit of being kind, polite and thankful, the more it’ll become ingrained into their character. Helping them become aware of how blessed they are in their lives won’t come overnight. They need to see, understand, and take in everything happening around them to develop a sense of gratitude and act accordingly.

If you are a parent, here are a few tips that help to teach kids how to be thankful and appreciate their surroundings:

Lead by Example

Like it or not, as parents, we’re in the spotlight 24/7.  Our kids look up to us, learn from us, and pick up our gestures, opinions, mannerisms, etc. We hope that they’ll forgive us and bypass some of our worst characteristics (if we yell, use inappropriate language, and whatnot). Their learned behavior, mental and emotional development, development of their central attitudes, and core values, are our primary responsibility as parents. It is why one of the most important things that we can do is to help them grow into sensible, sensitive, kind, and aware individuals- lead by example. It seems so simple, but often we forget that little eyes and ears are watching and listening to us.

Expose them to Reality

Helping our kids understand how things are outside of their world can assist with a healthy attitude towards exposing them to reality. Working in shelters in your community, soup kitchens, and local churches, and taking your children with you, teaches them that others may not be as fortunate as them. Educate them by talking and reading to them and introducing them to real life. Those not as fortunate as others, have stories, lives, and are just as important as the next person. Being down on your luck does not mean that you are less of a person in anyone else’s eyes.

Moderation is Key

Earning the things that kids want or like, teaches them the value of money, and to make choices about the material goods that they choose to spend their own money to purchase the item. Constantly purchasing kids what they want, never saying no, does not help them understand the value of working toward something you want – by teaching them to earn the funds for their own items, they learn to become grateful and appreciate how hard they worked to purchase said item. Often they value the item more than if we as parents had just bought it for them direct.

Teach them to Be Generous and Share

Sharing is caring as they’d say. Real generosity often means empathizing with other people’s situations, understanding them, and giving everything in your power to help those less fortunate. Kindness and generosity towards others is a massive step towards sharing gratitude.

When you start teaching your children real values early on, you are giving them the opportunity to recognize the opportunity to be grateful throughout life. Educate them early on in this area, and you’ll see beautiful individuals develop right before your eyes. Sometimes it is a constant lesson, but it is always worth it.

Happy Holiday Season.

Amanda M. Thrasher

Amanda Thrasher, Article, author, Book Marketing, books, Cereal Authors, chapter books,, childrens stories, Fantasy, Fiction, GENRES, Life, writer's life, Writing Process, YA

When Inspiration Strikes You WRITE Back!

Like most authors, before one project heads to layout, the next novel I’m going to tackle is already being planned in my head. Sometimes it’s even wholly mapped out, storyline, characters, and plot twist, the works; while others are merely ideas written down. Either way, the next project or two are well defined. Most writers pride themselves in knowing what they’re next WIP is going to be (work in progress). But what happens when a new WIP sits before you, outlined, the characters all named and in place, timeline set, the first couple of chapters started, and all of a sudden another idea consumes your thoughts? Well, when inspiration strikes, you have no choice but to write. The question is, how? Many writers, when faced with such a situation, do one of two things: 1) abandon their first novel and set it aside for a later date. 2) write two pieces at the same time.

Now, I’m not opposed to writing two books at once, but I have to be conscious of my time and mindset. Time is limited, and one’s mindset, while you write, is an important factor or at least it is to me. Writing two different genres can be an issue. For me, do I lose myself in a fantasy piece, which is absolutely a wonderful thing to do, and still have enough time to pull my mind back into the throes of an emotional reality piece?

Who doesn’t love to escape, if only in their minds, to a timeless world hidden deep in Lafayette forest, explicitly created for Lilly, Boris, and Jack, and all of their friends? The colony, filled with beautiful fairies, who continually watch over each other all the while having exciting adventures. Sound sweet and fun? It’s designed to be that way – The Mischief series. A fantasy series developed for young chapter book readers.

The Mischief Series

While the fantasy world is quite delightful, often a fast and fun ‘write,’ it is the other novel that I believe would present a problem for me. It’s an NA (New Adult 18-30 +) bracket; the storyline emotional. With time continually an issue, pulling myself from a fantasy world mindest into a dramatic/emotional state of mind to write the scenes, dialog, and narration, that the characters and stories would demand can often take me a little while to transition. I find it necessary to dive into my head and become a part of the story to visualize what I’m about to write down to ‘see’ the emotion that my characters need. From fairies to where I’m going, serious NA, it could take more than a minute to get there. Do I have that kind of time to prepare my mind?

I know some authors do this all the time, write multiple novels at once, without any issues. I’d love to be one of those talented authors. But I know my limitations regarding time, and what it takes for me to prepare my mind to write the way that I do. Add the research required for the project that is currently consuming my mind, and trust me, I’m not sure I could pull off my best work. Again, due to busy work and life schedule, time is not on my side. Every author wants to produce quality work. To me, the quality of my work will always be more important than the quantity or amount of books I produce at one time. It’s only natural that writers evolve and the work improves with each novel, and I get that, but I do not want to sacrifice quality for speed of content.

Amanda M. Thrasher
signing – TLA

So what will I do? Believe it or not, chatting about it here with you has really helped. I can’t get the current storyline out of my head for the NA, and the only way to alieve that issue is to start writing it. I do have more than one project outlined, and even have one started, but like most writers, I love them all. Will the other projects get written? The answer is yes! What will the timeline be on those? The answer is when they’re completed. One WIP is not more important than the other; it just happens that one is nagging to be written more so than the other in this particular moment.

As much as I would love to whip out novels as fast as other writers, I know that I can’t. Family and work are real factors that take up the vast majority of my time. My writing schedule is vital to me, and I continue to write and share what I do, but my family will always come first. My books will get written. They’ll still be available, and maybe I will challenge myself to write both pieces this go-round. For now, it looks like the NA will come first, but perhaps I’ll dabble with both projects and try for the fun of it to write them both. The key is to write them well! The greatest thing about being an author – doing what you want in regards to the work that you produce, and that is always fun! Thanks for reading this if you do, and allowing me to chat this over with you. Keep writing your way, and everything else will eventually come to fruition.

Feel free to visit my website and check out my work: Amanda M. Thrasher 

Copyright © 2019 Amanda M. Thrasher

Amanda Thrasher, Article, author, books, Cereal Authors, parents, Ramblings, Sharing, Uncategorized

Making Reading Fun

I think it’s safe to say we all want our kids to read more than they probably do – to love reading, well that would be a bonus. Teaching your child to pick up a book over their devices may sound like a stretch these days, but encouraging children to read can be fun. Creating a space where kids can enjoy their favorite books, it doesn’t have to take up a lot of room, is a great place to start. A small corner in your child’s room will do, turned into an inviting area that becomes a place to escape where they can curl up with their favorite books, kind of like their own mini-library.

When you set up a reading space, especially one of their own, you send a message that reading is an integral part of their lives and isn’t reserved exclusively for schools and libraries. All you need is a designated small space, a mini bookcase, books, and a hint of creativity.

Choose the Right Spot

A place in your child’s room or in a part of the house that has easy access to curl up or sit down and read a book. Make it inviting, cozy even, a space that makes reading a relaxing activity. Soft pillows work just as well as stools or chairs. If possible, add a small lamp. You can even build a tent. My kids had a reading corner with a bookshelf, and a princess bed complete with a pink tent. We used both places to read.

Books

Your child’s favorite books; let them help pick them out to place in the new space. Put shelves at their height, not yours. If your child is a climber, do not stack the shelves too high, if at all. Crates work really well for storage to prevent stacking and climbing issues.

Add new books to your child’s collection.

Put new books in full view to encourage your child to visit their space. Instead of candy or toy treats, purchase a new book instead. Favorite books are great, but there’s nothing wrong with adding to a collection.

Find books with topics about things your child likes

Fill your child’s space with books that cover topics that interest your child. If they like animals, animal books, sports, their favorite teams. These books will help hold the child’s interest while they read. They may even want to tell you all about what they’ve read before you even ask them to tell you all about it.

Ask your child what they read

Ask your child to discuss the books they’ve read each day. Maybe have them draw a picture. Showing interest, plus having them retell the stories, teaches them to retain the information that they’ve read. It also has the added wonderful bonus of spending precious time, which is often so limited these days, with your child.

As parents, time never seems to be on our side. I read with my kids in their reading corner, miss it so much, but I’m now doing it with my grandkids. Maybe a mini library in the corner of your kids’ room will be something your kids can enjoy as well. It’s the little things that seemed to help the most.

Author Amanda M Thrasher

Copyright © 2019 Amanda M. Thrasher