What a crazy couple of weeks it’s been! I got word from my publisher that the manuscript for my new novel “The Dark Side of the Woods” has been accepted! YAY! I am so excited to see that story come to life. Of course, with the excitement comes a bit of anxiety as well. This book falls into the young/ new adult genre and I’m curious how it will be received.
Just following that news was a trip to Charleston, SC with some of my best friends. When I say best friends I mean lifetime, could blackmail me for eternity kind of friends. We drank rum on the beach and laughed until we cried, we shopped and dressed up for a fancy dinner at Husk, one of Charleston’s top restaurants. It was perfect and we are already making plans to go back.
I’m not usually a beach person. It had been ten years since the last time I went. I don’t get a lot of inspiration from the ocean but it quiets my mind. Sometimes that’s needed too.
And then yesterday, I had to lay my sweet tortoise shell cat, Munchkin, to rest. I’m not sure what happened to her but after she didn’t come home for dinner or breakfast, I knew. A walk in the woods confirmed my fears and I carried her home through the thorns and leaves to bury her in a corner of the backyard. I’m going to fix a sweet little garden for to rest in with a headstone, maybe plant some catnip and hang a birdhouse in the tree above her. Twelve years is a decent life for a cat but it’s never long enough.
Even though my heart is broken I have wonderful things to look forward to in the coming months and five rambunctious foster kittens who know that I need extra love right now as much as they do.
The three of us crazy ladies outside of Husk. I’m the one in the middle.
My sweet Munchkin.
For those of you new to my blog or curious about my book this is a great opportunity! Three Witches in a Small Town is my first novel that won the Jan Carol Publishing Believe and Achieve Award and was published last June. I’m currently running a giveaway on Goodreads for a chance to win a signed copy! The contest winner will be announced on June 22nd.
Here is the description from the back: Three sisters are called home to their small town to learn the old ways of mountain healing and magic. Guided by their aging grandmother, the sisters embark on a path of self-discovery. Through good times and heartbreak, the sisters stick together and learn a new appreciation for their unique family heritage and one another. Witches, potions, romance, laughter . . . you will find them all in Three Witches in a Small Town.
I wrote the book in a very short amount of time and had all sorts of amusing (now) drama trying to get it submitted. That’s definitely a blog for another time! But I poured my heart and soul into it and couldn’t be more proud of it. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but one or two people saying they enjoy it means a great deal more to me than a person who didn’t. So please check it out, enter the giveaway or order a copy as a gift. And let me know what you think!
Order or read my reviews on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Three-Witches-Small-Willie-Dalton/dp/1939289653/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1462553344&sr=8-1&keywords=three+witches+in+a+small+town
Enter the giveaway: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/186592-three-witches-in-a-small-town
Like my Facebook page so you can keep up with my signings and giveaways! http://www.facebook.com/threewitchesinasmalltown
I’ve been busy lately. Busy writing, busy selling books (or trying to), busy planning for Christmas and as always busy looking for inspiration.
A few weeks ago I woke up in need of inspiration. I’ve learned I get my best ideas when I get away from the house and get outside. I checked my phone to see it was going to be a beautiful, warm day, a true rarity for southwest Virginia in December. My husband agreed to my spontaneous Sunday adventure so off we went to Cumberland Gap.
Cumberland Gap is only about an hour drive from our house and if I had it my way I’d live right downtown. The little town is simply adorable and incredibly rich with history. We did some hiking along my favorite trail and although I had forgotten how much of the walk was uphill, it was exactly what I needed to refresh my desire to write. In fact there is one particular spot along the trail that gave me the idea for the book I’m currently working on.
There must be something special about that one area to inspire an entire book. I told my husband as I stood there I wasn’t sure if the story was coming all from my imagination or if secrets of the land were revealing themselves to me. Either way it’s a pretty awesome feeling. Ever since our walk I’ve been writing like crazy.
We were very lucky that day. The weather was so lovely, some animals came out to enjoy the sunshine as well. We walked right by some deer that were eating among the leaves and made a path around a tiny little snake getting warm on a sunny rock. I always consider animal sightings to be a wonderful thing.
Along the trail there are many other incredibly beautiful places; a little wooden bridge where you can stand over the water flowing down from the mountainside, an old salt cave, and the hand built iron furnace.
Once hiking has made you good and hungry you can walk into town and eat at Angelo’s, a fabulous little Italian restaurant with a charming, cozy atmosphere. It’s one of my favorite places to eat, ever.
We have to take inspiration where we can get it. There are a few places where I always know I can find my muse hanging out. If you have a place that makes you feel that way, appreciate it and go there whenever you can.
It’s been a while since I’ve updated as usual. Things have gone really well since the release of my book and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the signings I’ve done so far. The feedback I’ve gotten on my book has just overwhelmed my heart and I’m so excited about upcoming events.
I have big plans for myself and I won’t allow myself to be disappointed. The things I can’t control might get me down sometimes but by hell I will make the best of everything within my power. God keeps showing me what he has in store for me and I’ve never known Him not to follow through. I just have to put in my part of the effort.
I attended a fabulous women’s conference today in Abingdon, Va. It was enlightening and entertaining and I made some great connections. Lulu Roman from Hee Haw was the guest speaker and she didn’t disappoint. She was hilarious and endearing sharing her life story with everyone. I even had my picture made with her. I tried to share it but my computer isn’t cooperating. It was good day. I needed a good day after a couple of days that weren’t so good.
I’m back in the swing of writing daily, if only I could be so diligent with exercise haha. Working on my new book is good for my soul and I’m starting to get to know my new characters which is always fun. It really is like making new friends. I can’t wait to see what all they have to tell me.
I’m not sure how I thought I’d feel at 29 or where I thought I’d be in life. Looking at the large stack of books on my dining room table, my books, half of which are already sold, I’m feeling pretty good about entering the last year of my twenties.
I’m excited about the weeks and months to come. I’ll be selling and signing books at the Highlands Festival in Abingdon, Va, then having a book party with my friends just to celebrate being published. My spur of the moment decision to write Three Witches in a Small Town has made a dream come true. It’s all still incredible to me.
My book is now available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble in print and ebook form. Or if you would like a signed copy send me an email and I’ll make it happen. firstname.lastname@example.org
So I’m terrible at updating apparently. But since I’m going on day 6 of being snowed in I figured I could manage to write an update of some kind.
We have at least 18 to 20 inches of snow that has fallen since last night. It’s absolutely beautiful to see it blanketing the ground and hanging from the trees; but I would have enjoyed it more if it had made its appearance in December. I like being home, but I also need the option to get out of the house and go somewhere if the mood strikes. Being stuck on top of this mountain with no hope of getting off until some of this melts has nearly made me claustrophobic. Ok it has definitely made me claustrophobic. I never thought being snowed in for several days would really bother me that much but scenes from The Shining have rolled through my head a few times. haha
On the bright side I have gotten a fair amount of writing done on my new novel. I’m very excited about the story even though the task of starting another book is daunting. I try to just take it a thousand words at a time. I don’t make an outline or plot, I just start writing and see where the characters take me. This one is quite different from the last and I can’t wait to see where it leads. Meanwhile my twelve year old Russian Blue climbs my head and lays across my computer any time he sees me working. Cats believe in making things challenging and encourage procrastination…unless it’s feeding time of course.
The card chosen for this week is “It is time for me to…”
It is time for me to work on my new book and not feel guilty about neglecting the house for an hour or even a day.
It is time for me to drink tea and plan my garden for spring.
It is time for me to get up early and practice yoga every day so I can honor a promise I made to myself.
It is time for me to learn to play the fiddle I’ve had for two years.
“Why not seize the pleasure at once? How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation?” Jane Austen
What is it time for you to do? Stop waiting and do it!
Since Alafair’s birthday was New Years Day and her party was on Saturday, yesterday was my first real day to reflect on what I hope the new year brings. I’m beyond excited about what lies ahead for me in my writing but I’m also looking forward to enjoying simple things. Spring will be here before we know it and I’m determined to have a small vegetable garden this year and get at least one more room in the house looking the way I would like. I can’t wait for hiking with Josh and trips to the park with Alafair and possibly our first trip to the beach in many years. I’m not a beachy person, I love looking at the ocean and looking for seashells but you can keep the crabs, jellyfish, sharks, blistering sun, seafood and rip tides. A trip every five or six years is sufficient for me, but it will be Alafair’s first trip and she is super excited. If she turns out to be a beach girl I’ll adjust.
I’m don’t usually make resolutions on the new year because I believe we should always be trying to better ourselves and setting a goal once a year seems to be a cop out for most people. If they don’t reach their goal they say “oh well I’ll try again next year” instead of “I’ll try again tomorrow”. However I did make a resolution this year, to finally be able to do scorpion pose (picture at the bottom). I’m closer than I was last year but still very far away. It is definitely attainable with daily practice, but I’ll get there before the year is out.
I find the new year to be an exciting time. A new year full of hopes and possibilities, challenges, joy and sometimes loss and sadness, all of it change and motion leading us ahead toward the direction of our choosing. I hope we all choose happiness and health and kindness. My wish for you is a year of plenty, plenty of food and warmth, plenty of new experiences and rest, plenty love and laughter and plenty to give to those who have less.
Carry peace with you throughout the year and don’t let the hard things of the world make you cold.