Try Something New – A Guest Post by Author Laura L. Smith

 

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Ever feel that itch, that urge, that tug inside to change something? It could be your scenery, your haircut, maybe you crave a new identity, even a new phone cover would help at this point. Ever been bored, or exhausted or numb, from your current set of circumstances?

 

Maybe you just finished up your school year and you’re not sure what summer has in store for you. Or maybe your summer already seems to be dragging out like a long string of the same hot day over and over again, like in the movie Groundhog’s Day.

 

Well, you don’t need to be Jason Bourne and grab a different passport from your safety deposit box to jazz things up. But it is up to you to get out of your rut. Sitting around wishing things would change won’t do the trick.

 

Now some of you change your address or hair color as often as others of us change our socks. To you, there’s no need to make drastic changes, you already do that, daily. But for the rest of us there’s something refreshing, maybe even daring about trying something new. Summer can be a lazy time to fall into old routines, or a chance to change your perspective and relight your inner spark. It’s up to you. Which one is it going to be?

 

Here are a few ideas to get jump-started: Continue reading

I Might Not be Miss America, But…

 

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The Lovely Tosca Lee!

Almost a week ago, I nearly chip my bubblegum pink nail polish as I fiddle with my nails on the drive to the airport. Nothing like battling NYC traffic on the LIE while running late to a flight to get your fingers a’biting and knees a’shaking. Hug and two smooches later, Hubby drives off and I’m asking Airport security if I can be escorted to the front of the line. My plane takes off in half an hour.

“Do you have Special Business Class Priority Check-in Status?” The lady in uniform asks me something like that.

“Umm. No.”

“You have plenty of time,” she says. Meaning, get in line with the rest of the world and wait it out.

Flip-flops slipped on, jacket tucked under suitcase handle, laptop on my shoulder, I race down Terminal D to find the Delta flight to Indianapolis leaving in now fifteen minutes. Except that I read the screen wrong. Not arriving flights! Departing! Backtrack to the fork and now I’m jogging with luggage in tow down Terminal C. And it would have to be C29, the furthest possible gate from where I was on take one.

And then it happens. Continue reading

Got Post-its?

photo-34Got Post-its? Then, Stick someone with a note. And tell ‘em how much you *heart* them. Or just want to say, “Hi!” or that you Miss ‘em. Or want to say, “Thanks” for this or that. Or just want to tell them that you’re thinking about ‘em. Or other. The options, really are endless. Besides the small space confining you to a limited number of legible words on a little square sheet, you can tell someone just about anything. Really.

 

Six Easy Steps to #PostitLove Success:

Step One: Pull out your Post-it pad. Yellow, Blue, Pink or Purple. Think of someone you want to send out a surprise message to. It’s like sending a letter without the stamps, trip to the Post office or three-day wait time to see it got there.

 

Or Peach!!

Or Peach!!

Step Two: Find a writing device. Pen, pencil, marker. Crayon will do. I know, I know, with all the typing and tapping, sweeping and swiping, writing on paper is almost a lost art. But I know you have something to write with, somewhere under a pile of unchecked mail. Find it!

 

Step Three: Write a word or two. Doodle a drawing. Scribble and scribe. Keep it simple. Share a smile. Spread the love.

 

Step Four: Photograph your post-it. Nearly every digital device out there has your basic camera function, so snap a shot, and..

 

Step Five: You thought I was gonna say, “Share” didn’t you? But one Final detail: Tag the person you’re sending the note to [kind of like putting an address on it so the person finds out you wrote them a note. You do want them to know, don’t you?] and then:

 

Step Six: SHARE. Share. share.

 

This is a sort of selfish venture, since I’m “collecting” Post-it messages for a Tumbler project I’m working on that connects to my first Young Adult novel, Swimming Through Clouds, in which a Post-it sparks a sticky romance between two unlikely friends.

 

To say Thank You for jumping on my sticky note adventure with me, I have something for you, yes I do!

 

The first twenty-five, 25, yes, 25 people to post some Post-it love with Hashtags #PostitLove and #swimmingthroughclouds @rajdeeppaulus, either on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook get a book of POST-its in the mail! Snail-mail, stamps and all. :) **If you don’t @rajdeeppaulus, I won’t know and it will be really hard to find you.

 

And if you’re looking for that summer read that I think will Stick with you long after summer’s gone, hop over to Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Smashwords. Read a few chapters free online, peruse the reviews and then take a swim. Swimming Through Clouds, that is. :)

No substitutions. Restricted to U.S. residents.

No substitutions. Restricted to U.S. residents.

And if you want to know more about the crazy girl who wrote this cu-razy story, Melissa Tagg posted a fun interview with a FAB intro video! Commenters have a chance to enter for an E-copy GIVEAWAY of the book, too. And Playlist Fiction is also doing a super fun, SUMMER Gift Bag full of fun stuff GIVEAWAY all July with unlimited entries! So whatcha waitin for?!?

 

Starting a #SwimmingThroughClouds Post-it Drive to promote the idea that one small act, even in the form of a note, can make a BIG difference, even change someone’s world. Because, in the words of my Agent, Chip MacGregor, words have the power to move you, and leave you changed. Forever.

 

***

And you? Do you use sticky notes to remind you of things you have to do? Great ideas you don’t want to forget? Or to doodle to pass the time while on a long-winded conference call? Do you have a favorite Post-it color? Mine is lilac. Yep. Love me some Lilac-scented Post-its. What do you mean they don’t smell like Lilacs? Because they should. Just sayin.

Treats and Tweets make Summer Sweet!

No substitutions. Restricted to U.S. residents.

No substitutions. Restricted to U.S. residents.

Nope. Not changing from YAfiction to Poetry, so my rhyming skills will MOSTly stop at the title. BUT,

You must know,

If you go,

To PlaylistFiction dot com,

Su-weet stuff from TOM-

-my Hilfiger is waiting to be won!

And you don’t even have to run

a marathon or climb a wall

or dress up for a ball

or go to the mall.

AND

hashtag: #playlistfiction

hashtag: #playlistfiction

If you pop over to Twitter Thurs night,

With a post-it pad ready to write

a little note and tweet it too,

you could win some book swag, yes YOU!

AT least SIX giveaways, starting at 8

PM Eastern Standard Time, Don’t be late!

T-shirts, books, CD’s and more!

And get the inside scoop, while you score—

Treats and sweets and meets galore.

**
And here ends the worst poem ever written but I hope it works.
AND you pop by PlaylistFiction.com to enter (as many times as you like) to win our Summer Time Grab Bag!

AND mark your calendars – Thursday night! July 11th. 8:00pm EST! For the Twitter Event of the Summer! Holly Starr, KW Walton and Amy Parker will be stopping in to hang with us, so don’t miss out!

Hashtag #playlistfiction 

Meet, I mean, Tweet you there! :)

Don’t forget your Post-its! Your Wit! and your Cyber-Smile! :)

***

Ever been to a Twitter Party? And just watched from the sidelines? Any advice for this First-Timer?

 

 

 

 

Wow’d by Clouds

FBcoverFeetSoooooo…

If you’re wondering why I haven’t been blogging as much, the truth is, I have. Been blogging. Just not here at In Search of Waterfalls. These are the clouds I’ve been rolling by on as of late:

Chip MacGregor’s Blog with a fun little ditty on “A Newbie’s First Trip around the Marketing Block,”

Go Teen Writers with a colorful post on Diversity in YA Fiction with some kinda title like, “Bringing Rainbows to YALit,”

The Perfect Clouds Blog Tour which wraps up on June 27, which has two fun puzzle reveals and LOTS of fun Giveaways,

and

Reading Teen with a little fun facts’ reveal of my dating daze when the man I married did not pursue me with Post-its, but he did leave me a surprise card once. Find out all about it and the last three places actually give you a chance to win fun STC stuff or E-copies of Swimming Through Clouds.

Which brings up the reason why I’m not BLOGGING a whole lot, because I think it’s only fair to give readers a chance to read my book.

And let me just say, I don’t know what the process has been like for other first time authors, but I’ve been a bit over the top since June 1st. Because reviews, comments, FB messages and tweets have begun to come in and… they are so encouraging and affirming. I am beyond WOWed and humbled and very thankful for my first readers who are taking the time to give me their feedback. Even my parents jumped on and left me a short and sweet note! :)

So I just wanted to write this small note to say thanks for reading. Thanks for sharing. And most of all, thanks for SWIMMING. Through Clouds with me.

Blessed.

Loved.

Hope to keep the stories coming!

***

And you? Summer’s here! What do you have on your calendar for sunny days? Oh oh! Almost forgot. Have you heard of this girl on YouTube who is all about Post-its!?! She’s got the “nice” thing going on with a fun little use for sticky notes to brighten the day of strangers who will find them. If you know her, tell her I want to be her friend! :)

 

Perfect Clouds Blog Tour Giveaway Extravaganza!

PerfectClouds1Twenty-One Days!

10 Prizes!

Starting JUNE 1st!

Get your Summer YA Read ON!

You don’t want to miss this!

Follow the tour and you’ll uncover fun facts about the authors Laura Anderson Kurk, of the beautifully written Glass Girl and equally poignant sequel Perfect Glass, and Rajdeep Paulus, debut author of Swimming Through Clouds and their novels.

Each day, the amazing Blogger team will share fun facts, quote graphics and daily uncover pieces to two Story Puzzle Pictures that ultimately share lines from Lagan and Henry. Something the boys would want to someday tell Talia and Meg, respectively.

*JUST don’t forget to scroll down all the way so you DON’T MISS the Raffle!!  Continue reading

Swimming Through Clouds… The Road to June 1st

sun rises every day2June 1st.

Who would have thought that when I signed up for the Tough Mudder nine months ago, that this day would also mark the launch of my first book, Swimming Through Clouds.

So for the past months, I’ve been alternating, not always equally, push ups and pen marks. Rewrites and runs. Marketing and marathons. And just when I was supposed to run my first half, my calf gave way. And seconds after I turned in the manuscript for Swimming, I had a name crisis. And for the last two weeks, my neck and left shoulder have been all out of whack. Stress, perhaps? Anxiety over the book release? Definitely.

But the truth is, the day my first book appeared on Amazon, I was fine. No cartwheels or cork popping. Just another day really. Filled with two dozen roses from Mom and Dad and some extra huge smiles and hugs from girls and Hubby, but besides that, the day felt fairly normal.

I’m guessing it’s not too different from a grand opening to a store. Just because the doors swing wide, and several browsers mosey on in, doesn’t mean they’ll buy anything. Or like it enough to come back and tell you. Or even better, tell others to shop there.

So it’s a lot more like a waiting room experience, now that I think about it. But it’s not a bad place to be. Feel so aware that to arrive this far is a blessing beyond measure already. So aware.

Here are the five things I’ve learned about myself this past year and a half from when my dream to be a published author really started to roll out of my  dreams and into reality.

1.  When I think I’ll get more done by not working out and just writing with that time, my back and neck remind me that they will not continue to be nice to me unless I give them chances to stretch and loosen up. Always a fail.

2. Sometimes I enjoy hanging out with my make-believe friends more than real people. Not often. But occasionally :) !

3.  I’m a much better mom when my laptop battery runs out, and I can’t find my iPhone. Yep. It’s true.

4. When I do take time away from a story to play and live and date and play. Did I say that one already? I return to my story with fresh eyes, new experiences, and a refilled tank of energy and enthusiasm. Breaks are crucial!

5. I can lose sight of what’s important when I get caught up in the journey, and I don’t want to be that person. Hot air balloons look pretty in Oz, but don’t let me get carried away. And there’s only one thing. One person. That grounds me. God.

So on June 1st, when the sun rises and I’m tanking up on a high-protein breakfast of Hubby’s famous eggs. When I’m out on the course and swimming in mud up to my elbows, I’ll think of you. As you dive in and go Swimming Through Clouds. :)

***

Happy Birthday Book Baby #1! Sending you out into the world with kisses!

To find your place. And remember, you’ll always have a special spot on the bookshelf of my writer’s heart.

It’s your time. Make a splash! And swim on.

***

And you? What have you learned about yourself lately? Any life insights that have dawned on you as you take up life’s latest challenge? Are you a survivor and proud owner of an orange Tough Mudder headband? Any last second advice for this “Not feelin’ so Tough” soon to be Mudder?

 

Chatting with YA Author Laura Smith Today!

 

 

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Wanted to introduce you to another Playlist Fiction teammate of mine. The other Laura! :) Laura Smith is a natural-born leader. You can tell the moment you meet her that she loves life and she’s a take charge type of gal. We are both raising four kiddos. and we both love teen girls and long to tell them the truth—You’re beautiful. You’re loved. And You are so worth loving! 

 

In Laura Smith’s Status Update Series, she introduces readers to four college girls who are off to find their place in this world, define themselves, and navigate through life’s nitty and gritty. That space between teen and almost adult is a time when so many defining moments can and often happen in a girl’s life. Find out more about Laura and the heart behind her stories in this fun little interview below!!

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Raj: Laura Smith, when did you know you wanted to write for teen girls? Do you ever think, “I wish someone had told me this when I was teen” when you craft your stories?  Continue reading

Where I’ve Been Hanging Out!

Raj

So, in case you don’t have one foot in every Social Media door [yeah, some of us walk on all fours!] you might not know where I’ve been hanging.

 

Here are a few hot spots from the past few weeks in case you’re looking for that girl named, Rajdeep, call me “Raj,” Paulus.

For starters, had a little spotlight thanks to the sweet team over at:

WORDs to DREAMs

GoodREADS

PLAYLIST FICTION

 

and

LAURA KURK’s Su-weet Blog! where Glass Girl‘s author took the time to ask yours truly a bunch of questions, and this girl who wears her heart on her sleeve, put her sleeve out there. Enjoy!! And thanks so much Laura, for taking the time to give me such a gracious and firework intro!

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And you? What would be your dream job if there were no limits? Money, time, sky or otherwise? Have you ever won anything in an online GIVEaway?? Keep an on-line ear out cuz in a couple of weeks, Laura and I are kicking off a “Perfect Clouds YA Blog Tour,” to kick off the launch of the JUNE Playlist Fiction Releases, Swimming Through Clouds and Perfect Glass! Full of Blog hops and supa-fun book Swag GiveAways! You won’t want to miss it!

Dive into Masala-Marinated YA Fiction

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                                                  AVAILABLE NOW!!!    

 

 

                       Swimming Through Clouds Front Cover March24 2015SeeingThroughStones_Front_Cover_April2015

 

Awards for Swimming Through Clouds

B.R.A.G. Medallion for Young Adult Fiction

Finalist (2nd Place) NORWA (YA Fiction)

Finalist Women of Faith Full Manuscript
Finalist Wisconsin RWA Honorable Mention (YA Fiction)

“A work of art…”

-USA Today, Happy Ever After writer Serena Chase

 

“Tough and touching, resilient and raw…”
 -Tosca Lee, NY Times bestselling author of
HAVAH and The Books of Mortals series with Ted Dekker

 

 “A poignant but realistic tale ~Sheila Wray Gregoire, Syndicated Columnist, Canadian National Award-Winning Speaker, Blogger, and Author of  multiple books on Marriage and Intimacy

“…Characters who come to life in each page.Diana Mao, President of Nomi Network

“…Will leave you gasping for air, reaching for something  steady to lean on…”
~ Jennifer Murgia, author of the ANGEL STAR series & 
BETWEEN THESE LINES

 

“…Difficult to read but even more difficult to put down.”
~Brown Girl Magazine
GoodReads Book Review

 “Should be read by everyone … men and women, the young and the old.”~Masala Mommas Book Review by Angie Seth

“…This patient, subtle romance is intimate and enticing.”~Talking Cranes, Book Review by Viveka Kymal 

 “This is not a bubble-gum, high school sweetheart kind of story.” 
~Laura Anderson Kurk, author of
GLASS GIRL and PERFECT GLASS