Tag: author

The Pilgrimage

I stood quietly in the middle of the dojo floor and listened respectfully while Sensei yelled at me.  He had progressed from yelling to screaming, and by now he had been screaming non-stop for thirty minutes. I was keeping track of the time by sneaking peeks at the clock on the wall at the end of the dojo. It was quite impressive to witness Sensei’s ability to find new things to yell about, as well as his stamina for screaming. He certainly was a creative screamer, and apparently, I was giving him plenty of reasons to scream at me. I didn’t know where he was getting his energy from, but at least one of us had some staying power. Personally, I was exhausted, but knew better than to admit it. Over the past half hour, we had established a predictable rhythm. My partner would attack me, I would...

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The Reluctant Ninja

I am beyond excited to announce that the manuscript for my next book, The Reluctant Ninja, has just been turned over to my fantastic editor, Donna Mazzittelli of Merry Dissonance Press. Here is a sneak peek. PREFACE I unlocked the door to the dojo[1]and stepped across the threshold. I removed my shoes, respectfully bowed to the Kamidana[2] and walked across the mat toward the dressing rooms. My stocking feet whispered softly across the padded floor, barely making a sound as I crossed the length of the mat. At the end of the mat, I turned, bowed again, and made my way to the ladies dressing room. My gi[3] was hanging neatly on the hanger with my belt draped across its shoulders, exactly where I left it one year earlier. The only change was the thick layer of dojo dust that covered my uniform....

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Patience, Perseverance, and Number #1 Best Seller

Patience and perseverance are two valuable principles I learned in my martial arts training. It means that our focus is on the journey, rather than the end result. And it explains why the students that come to our dojo with their primary goal of becoming a black belt are usually gone in just a few months. Because everything takes time and effort. The same applies to every aspect of life. Focus on the journey, put in the time, the effort, and see what unfolds. That’s exactly what happened when I published my first book. I just focused on the journey, even though it was incredibly labor intensive. When I heard that the “real work” in writing a book begins after it’s published, I found it hard to believe. After all, it took me two and a half years to write it. In reality,...

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Writer’s Block

Writer’s block. Two words that can strike fear in the heart of every writer. And, like every writer, I have experienced it before, but nothing like I did over the past few months. It was so bad that I couldn’t write anything, not even my grocery list. I would sit at my kitchen table, pen and paper in hand (yes, I am that old-fashioned), and stare off into space. I even tried to get some inspiration by flipping through a few of my favorite cookbooks. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. The blank paper seemed to mock me as I tapped the pen to my head trying to get some creative synapses firing. And still, I had nothing. Great. My Red Booth Writer’s Group was getting ready to rally and come up with another four new articles to submit to The Pueblo Chieftain, and I couldn’t even come...

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Episode #48: A Texas Tragedy

When Dr. Elva Edwards was only nineteen months old, her entire world changed forever on a moonlight spring night when a car ran a stop sign and collided with her family car. Five adults were killed in the horrific accident, including both her parents and her beloved grandmother. By some miracle, Elva and her three year old sister survived. Elva shares her story with grace and dignity, explaining the pain and confusion that she experienced growing up without her mother and father. Although her paternal grandparents gave them a loving home and a good life, something was always missing. Download this episode to hear Elva’s story of living with loss, surviving trauma, and how she became a voice for the voiceless as she fought to discover the truth about what happened on that fateful n...

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Episode #47: Spinning, Writing, and Lifelong Learning

Award winning author Bonnie McCune shares her passion for writing, devotion to community involvement, dedication to life-long learning, and commitment to exercise. Especially spinning. She believes that mental activity is the result of physical activity, and that regular exercise helps the creative process. Bonnie also shares her sharp wit, remarkable sense of humor, and her outlook on life. Visit her at www.BonnieMcCune.com, where you also can read her blog “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives.”

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Episode #37: Life Is Stranger Than Fiction

Life really can be stranger than fiction. It can also provide you with remarkable opportunities, if you know how to look for them. In this episode, award winning author Helen Starbuck describes how she has done exactly that to create her award winning mystery series, “The Annie Collins Mysteries.” Helen also shares her many “secret weapons” she uses in developing her characters and making them come to life, as well as how she decides when and how to kill them off, so to speak. After all, it IS a mystery series! She intertwines her professional experiences an operating room RN with her personal experiences to come up with unique story ideas, and reflects on how her career as a medical professional influences her stories. She talks about why it’s so important to step out of your comfort zone,...

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Episode #27: Self-Publishing 101

If you’ve ever thought about writing a book (and who hasn’t?), this episode is for you!  Award winning author and founder of My Word Publishing, Polly Letofsky returns to the FemiNinja Project and shares the skinny on self-publishing. After writing her memoir about her walk around the world, her own disastrous experience with a predatory publisher fired up a passion and desire to learn everything there is to know about the constantly changing industry of self-publishing. Polly walks us through the entire process from start to finish, highlighting what to do, what not to do, and what to not even think about doing. As usual, Polly delivers her message with her remarkable wit and incredible sense of humor.

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