Being out of town, and having our meetings with Elder Ballard this weekend, I have been swamped. So, I totally forgot to post a link to Karlene's (aka Inksplasher) review of The Road Show. Karlene had some interesting things to say, and I appreciate her insights. I'm especially grateful for her working me in since she's in the middle of a big Eclipse countdown! Thanks, Karlene. Go check her out here.
I posted this on YouTube a while ago but just figured out how to embed it here on the blog. Take a look--I hope you like it.
And, the beautiful song that Sherrie recorded and Veronica sang can be downloaded! Only .99! Click here.
NOTE: I'm on the road on a Church youth trip. So, my posting might be a bit sporadic. For example, I'm posting this on Wednesday night even though it's supposed to be Tuesday. Can you just pretend? Also, I won't be commenting on any blogs this week since my computer access is limited.
Jenna over at Cranberry Corner has a wide-ranging and interesting blog. You can read about her garden, which is beautiful enough to make me seriously envious, her busy life, or her growing family. You can read book reviews, lovingly-written travelogues, or narratives about wrenching, life changing personal episodes. It's an enjoyable eclectic blog and I'm always happy when I see a new post show up in Google reader.
I'm really happy that Jenna agreed to review my book. Go over and check her out.
If you live in the Nashville area and you are going to buy my book, would you mind ordering it through Davis-Kidd? They are taking a bit of a chance to carry my book since I'm new and unknown and I appreciate their kindness.
You can call to order it: (615) 385-2645 or order it online http://www.daviskidd.com/Products/39178-road-show-beauty-for-ashes.aspx
Several months ago--a year, I don't know when exactly, I got to know Serene. Her full name is Serene is my name not my life. We met through our mutual gig over at MMB. Serene has a quick wit and and an even quicker hand with photoshop. She used both of these to create a photo of me that my bishop pulls out every time he's having a hard day because it makes him laugh so hard. Serene is like that. She is extremely funny. Her blog is written in bursts of alternating bemusement/amusement as she mothers her young children. You know how your kids do things that are so funny but when you try to tell other people it doesn't seem funny? Well, Serene tells things in a way that actually makes it seem funny. All done with gently self-deprecating humor and a fundamental affection for her family. Serene blends the ability to be honest with being basically positive--something I aspire to emulate.
I really enjoy reading Serene's blog and you will, too. You really ought go check her out. You will enjoy it, I promise. While you are there, check out her art. She's a gifted artist, and some of her pictures of children were picked up by the Primary. I saw one of them on a bulletin board in a ward I was visiting a few weeks ago.
Serene was kind enough to read a draft for another book I'm writing. She was one of the first people outside of my family to do that, and her generous response really helped give me the confidence to keep pushing.
She then agreed to read The Road Show and write a review. I'm sensitive to the fact that this is kind of a big deal for a young mother, so I appreciate her being willing to do this--and I'm grateful for the nice things she said.
Sorry I'm late on this. Meredith threw her back out and so I took the day off work yesterday to help her and so I'm way behind.
When I started blogging, a friend of mine gave me a list of important bloggers I should get to know. One of these was Heidi Ashworth, the author of Miss Delacourt Speaks Her Mind which will soon be the Miss D. series! However, Heidi prefers the term bloggist as it is sounds more felicitous. So, in honor of Heidi, today that is the term the entire team here at bradenbell.com will be using.
Heid is the published author of one book with another forthcoming. As soon as I started leaving comments on Heidi's blog, she started emailing me with helpful hints--and that gave me courage to email her with questions, which she would also answer.
Her advice and thoughts were very helpful and she's given me courage and encouragement when I needed it.
Honestly, I was scared to ask her to review my book because she is a published author and has excellent taste. And she is very honest. She also has a very deep understanding of life and the gospel--and has paid her tuition in full for that understanding.
So, I was thrilled to read her very generous review. Go visit her blog--I promise you'll want to go back often.
P.S. If you haven't seen it, go check out the YouTube book trailer here.
I know, I've used a lot of exclamation marks this week. It's been kind of exciting--first reviews, Sherrie's song. And then today, I finally go the book trailer done. It's posted on YouTube. I'd love it if you'd stop by and take a peak. All marketing-schmoozing aside, I really do think that the song Sherrie wrote and Veronica sang is worth a few clicks over.
I'll embed it here at some point (meaning as soon as I figure out how!).
Thanks for stopping by!
If you haven't yet, go see the video! If you like it, tell your friends to go see it.
The song Sherrie wrote from my book is all done!
The lyrics are from the book--one of the characters writes a remarkable song that holds the play together. Sherrie did that in real life and I'm so excited.
When she released her cd, she had problems with people taking her work from her website, so we decided not to post the whole thing. Here's a clip, though. If you like it, you can download the whole thing at her website (you can even get sheet music).
You'll be able to hear more in the YouTube trailer--which I'm working on feverishly as you read this (What do you mean grades are due this afternoon? You're kidding, right? ).
Enjoy! And if you like it, go to her site to download it and hear more.
HUGE thanks to DeNae, for the violin arrangement and Veronica for the vocals.
This was kind of a busy weekend. Lots of drama. One of the most painful parts of my job, the thing about it that I hate, is casting the play. It is brutally hard for me to have to disappoint so many children, all of whom are anxiously harboring hopes that they will get "THE role."
It is hard to begin with and compounded by the fact that I have been an actor, so I know how much it hurts. I don't enjoy knowing I am hurting them.
Yes, it's a good life lesson, yes, it's something they need to learn, yes to all of those things. It's still hard. And I don't like it.
It was far more difficult than usual this time around. Call-backs for Fiddler on the Roof were Friday. Call-backs are sort of like the whole season of American Idol crammed into one long afternoon/evening. At the end, there are two or three finalists left. Then, I excuse them and go home and make my decisions.
I've done this for over 20 years, so the actual deciding is not usually that hard--it's generally very clear who is best suited for the roles.
This year the finalists for one of the leads were my daughter and one of her close friends.
I wanted my daughter to get the part. I hoped she would get the part. But she had to earn it on her own merits. I treated her fairly--she had no disadvantage or advantage. If she had been best for the role, I would have cast her and not blinked.
But she wasn't. She is good--very talented and promising. But she just didn't fit this particular role as well as her friend.
Saturday was a bit rough at our house. But good in the longish view. These kind of lessons are very important. I felt sorry and sad to see my daughter struggling--it hurt more than I can describe. But I knew it was necessary for her to have this kind of experience. I love her but allowed her to have a difficult, heart-wrenching experience. I think I learned a little more about the nature of God.
So that was my weekend. And Sunday was crazy busy as well.
The good news is that Sherrie recorded our song on Friday. So, that will be available soon. I'm so excited about that. She is very talented and you will definitely want to hear this song. There will be a short version on the book trailer and think I'll post a short clip here and then, if you are interested, you can download it or order a cd.
Sherrie was a hero because we found out at the last minute that we couldn't use elements of "I Know That My Redeemer Lives," which she had masterfully woven into the accompaniment. So, with 48 hours to record, she had to rewrite it. Thanks, Sherrie.
Well, for someone who aspires to be a writer, I don’t know what to say. My heart is very full. Friday afternoon, my editor sent me the PDF version of the proofs. My book is going to press on Monday!
I’ve spent the last 24 hours going over them looking for errors and making notes. At this point, the changes are limited only to correcting grammatical or punctuation errors, correcting any cut-and-paste mistakes and so on. The chances for revising and improving and tweaking are long gone. I’m having thoughts about the Final Judgment, which I will write about another time.
This is very a fraught moment for me. The first time I read a set of proofs a few weeks ago, I reacted a little like you do when you hear your voice recorded and you think, “Ugh—do I really sound like that?”
Having gone through it this last time, I find I like it much better. There are places I wish I could still tweak a bit, some possibly obnoxious use of adverbs, a more felicitious way to phrase something—but on the whole, I like this book.
Last time I read it, I was looking at it very clinically. This time I was drawn in again to the characters and their struggles and I remembered how much I love them. I know that sounds kind of silly, but I really do.
Now, it’s a lot of waiting. I’m told the cover will be finished soon and I am keenly and anxiously excited to see that. June 1st is seeming so far away.
Thanks to everyone for the support and encouragement. I have been so grateful for your comments and emails. And, not just the comments. All of you that come by to my blog each week, thank you! Simply seeing you show up in the traffic report makes me feel good.
Remember--Amazon is offering a 33% discount on the book right now.
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Thoughts about raising and teaching adolescents. You can read the complete series here. (What in the world are Middle School Mondays?) Click here.
Genre: MG Fantasy
Word Count: 67,000
Genre: YA Speculative
Word count: 52,000
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Please don't steal my words! Whatever I lack as a writer, it's still one of the few skills I have.
If you foolishly disregard this warning, I will send this guy after you. He's 6' 6".