Almost three weeks after Swimming Through Clouds hit Ebook-Shelves at Amazon and Smashwords, the first reviews are beginning to roll in. And it’s been a thrill to hear back from readers their thoughts and reactions to my heart’s first adventure, fictionally speaking. In addition to the thoughtful and encouraging reviews, friends have left me FB messages, Tweets, and occasionally texted me in the middle of the night [when you’re my age, 1:00AM-ish is the middle of the night!] but I’m always honestly giddy and tickled by their words. The one consensus that seems to arise time and time again regards the ending. And if you haven’t read Swimming Through Clouds [STC] yet, I’d encourage you to pick it up and give it a whirl before reading on. Because I might not detail the ending in this blog and I will avoid spoilers as best as I can, but in order to address some of the questions and concerns that have been brought to my attention, I might have to mention a thing or two, and I for one, don’t want to spoil it for you. Continue reading
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,
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.
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!
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
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?
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:
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!
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!
Shakespeare addressed this ageless question in the infamous play, Romeo and Juliet. He answered with, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” But come on, with names like Romeo and Juliet, they were destined for a million versions of their story told and retold for centuries to come. The names bleed romance and unrequited love. Wouldn’t you say?
So, yes, a name is just a name, but when writers rack their brains for perfect names for their characters, it’s not too different from the grueling task of naming one’s children. Seriously. I often thought to myself, if I choose the wrong name, this character will be stuck with the destiny of waking up with bad name day—a much worse condition that bad hair. Continue reading
Awards for Swimming Through Clouds
“A work of art…”
-USA Today, Happy Ever After writer Serena Chase
“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
“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
Standing in line to enter Theater number 3 about a half an hour before showtime, I notice the guy standing in front of us. He’s got a goatee and hairstyle almost identical to Robert Downey, Jr. I seriously had to do a double take.
“You didn’t grow out the goat just for the movie, did you?” Yes, I went there…asking a complete stranger, an adult no less, if he’s trying to look like Ironman.
He laughed, took one look at Hubby, and said, “He’s got one too.” Good point. Continue reading
What did you learn growing up about Eye Contact?
Were you in the hard knocks school of “Look me in the eye, Son!” or did you hear “Never look a person in the eye” from your social mentors?
And when you fell in love. The first time. Was it in her eyes that you found yourself? And could he see right into your heart when he gazed into your baby blues? Or in my case, the brown-eyed girl?
Attended a marriage seminar several years back called PAIRS where the first lesson shared the importance of body language, encouraging couples to establish a focused position before talking. Knee to knee. Eye to eye.
But not everyone does the eye contact thing naturally. Personally, I get a tad distracted if I’m concentrating too hard when I look into someone’s eyes. My mind begins this peripheral dialogue that sends me into a zone all by itself.
“He’s looking into my eyes. I’m looking into his. He’s holding his stare. Holy cow, he hasn’t blinked. In a really long time. Wait! Which eye am I looking in? Left? Right? Both? Yikes! Who will look away first? [I do… then return, and…] He’s still looking. Right into my eyes. Wow. What was I saying? What were we talking about?” Continue reading
So a couple of weeks ago, hubby says, “Either you make an appointment with a psychologist or…”
I pick up my phone and call the hospital. “Can I please have the number to Dr. P’s office. Yes. The dermatologist.”
You see, the situation with the tiny mole behind me has come to a head. My fingers have spent so many minutes acting like a heat-seeking missile that my arms actually ache from loss of blood flow. Okay, not really, but it’s been bad. So bad that my five-year old says to me: “Mom, I give up. I don’t want the job anymore.”
“What job?” I ask, two fingers ceaselessly caressing the back of my head.
“Your mole!” She exclaims. “I’m tired of telling you to stop touching your head. I quit.”
And just like that, she turns and leaves the kitchen. Hmm? I think this moment calls for a two second scratching of my head. Staring at my hands like I have Desdemona’s blood on them, I can deny it no longer: this is out of control. Continue reading