Media Milestone!

How exciting! I’ve been interviewed about my writing for newspapers, magazines, and once on the radio, but my first (cable) television interview airs this weekend on C-SPAN2. You can watch the clip April 19-20 on your cable station or on the Cites Tour Fort Myers page.

Interview in Fort Myers during the C-SPAN Cities Tour in March 2014

Interview in Fort Myers during the C-SPAN Cities Tour in March 2014

It’s been a month since BookTV’s Cities Tour Local Content Vehicles (LVC) visited the city of Fort Myers, Fla. and met with me at Books-A-Million to discuss my book, The Right to Counsel: From Gideon v. Wainwright to Gideon’s Trumpet (Enslow Publishers, 2009).

Clip from interview about THE RIGHT TO COUNSEL.

Clip from interview about THE RIGHT TO COUNSEL.

This weekend, April 19-20, the segment airs on C-SPAN2 (Saturday) and C-SPAN3 (Sunday). The crew of LVC did a fantastic job weaving my interview with still images and video clips from the 1980 Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, Gideon’s Trumpet,  starring Henry Fonda as Clarence Earl Gideon. Thank you C-SPAN Cities Tour for including me in your fantastic coverage of “The City of Palms”!

Clarence Earl Gideon shooting pool.

Clarence Earl Gideon shooting pool.

Henry Fonda as Clarence Earl Gideon studying law books at Raiford Prison in the Hallmark movie, Gideon's Trumpet.

Henry Fonda as Clarence Earl Gideon studying law books at Raiford Prison in the Hallmark movie, Gideon’s Trumpet.

 

 

Distracted by Mother Nature

Creek in the woods, northern Michigan (lower peninsula)

Creek in the woods, northern Michigan (lower peninsula)

Nature inspires me. It has since I was a child playing on dirt mounds surrounding the newly dug basements in my subdivision playground and exploring the fields and woods down the road. Last night I was inspired by the lunar eclipse.

They’re calling it the Blood Moon because this eclipse makes the moon appear reddish orange. (It’s also part of a tetrad–4 such events this year and next.) Reading about this phenomenon in the past few days has caused me to think about a YA fantasy WIP rather than complete revisions on an MG historical novel. (Again, Mother Nature distracting me.)

I’m glad I got to see this lunar eclipse though it wasn’t as “blood read” as I

Blood Moon April 15, 2014 via RT.com http://on.rt.com/el2l6s

Blood Moon April 15, 2014 via RT.com http://on.rt.com/el2l6s

expected. To me it looked more blush colored. But, I was fascinated by the up-wattage of the surrounding stars. I usually have a hard time seeing most of the constellations in the city, but not at 3:15 a.m. this morning. Good thing I got up to take a peek at Mother Nature’s nocturnal display.

That didn’t work out the way I’d planned, either. I originally set my alarm, based on a report I’d seen that this phenomena would be visible around 3:30 and 4:30 a.m. Then I fell asleep watching TV and woke around 3 a.m. Still half asleep, I noted that it seemed rather dark outside and that it was best to wait for the alarm to wake me — if I would even hear it. I powered off the TV and stumbled to bed but couldn’t settle. A nagging thought told me to get up and look out the picture window. I tried to ignore it, telling myself I still had 30 minutes to sleep.

I’m glad I listened. It was amazing and I fell asleep thinking, this is what Kaelyne sees one night on her quest — and this is how she knows she is close to a hidden magic only she can uncover.  I woke again around 4:20 a.m. and again that inner voice nagged at me until I got up to look again. The bright white moon was a crescent along the bottom of the eclipse but still the surrounding constellations where extra bright. They, along with the edge of visible moon, seemed to glow more intensely than ever.

This time I went back to bed thinking of a different project–Kaia on her SF world–and lapsed into vivid dreams about both settings. I’m glad I experienced this event, though it will frustrate my critique group. (They wish I’d stick to just one project at a time.) What can I say? “Please excuse the inconvenience. This round of revisions has been interrupted by a message from Mother Nature.” Based on what I’ve drafted, the distraction was worth it!

May you each find and draw inspiration from whatever source spurs on progress. Happy writing!

Time to Celebrate!

Whoa! I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for 3 years! Actually, I’ve only posted sporadically as I juggled teaching in several programs, publishing 3 books (one each autumn) with one publisher  and exploring ebook publishing on my own. But, sporadic was better than the 5-year hiatus I took (right after Hurricane Charley) before plugging back into blogging. So, I won’t get down on myself for the small number of postings considering it’s been 3 years.

I just reread my initial entry. I had become overwhelmed with all the stuff I had to do in my writing life that had nothing to do with putting words on paper. When I began clicking away at the keyboard again, I had found a way to balance to everything writing with everything else and so got “Plugged In Again.”

Celebrating 25 years publishing for children & teens

Celebrating 25 years publishing for children & teens

Touch magazine September 1989 issue

Touch magazine September 1989 issue

I’m glad. And I’m glad I discovered this anniversary. It’s not the only one. Today, April 4, I celebrate 25 years since my first sale to a children’s magazine (actually 2 items accepted at once). I found the letter just after New Years when I was clearing out file cabinets. These first 2 publication credits appeared in the September 1989 issue of Touch magazine (which I believe is now out of print). I received a whopping $25 for both items!

That acceptance was followed by a handful more from that magazine plus a smattering of others, so I didn’t care about the compensation. I was on my way! In fact, I’d been published for about a year in non-children’s magazines (mostly parenting and trade magazines) plus wrote for the local newspaper and did computer software reviews for Compute! and PCM. But my goal had always been to write for children–well, mostly for children. It was exciting news and managed to cover a (modest) celebratory dinner for myself and my boyfriend at the time.

Setting up for the interview.

Setting up for the interview.

The Right to Counsel (Enslow Publishers, 2009)

The Right to Counsel (Enslow Publishers, 2009)

As I plan a gathering to share this good news with friends and writers, I have something else worth celebrating. During March, in the aftermath of participating in an AuthorFest, I was contacted by C-SPAN for an interview. My book, A Right to Counsel: From Gideon v. Wainright to Gideon’s Trumpet,  was sought out by the Cities Tour program while they were in Fort Myers, Florida. The segment is to air Easter weekend (April 18-20) and I was one of 3 authors interviewed. While the crew was in Fort Myers they also taped coverage of the Edison Estate, the historic Burroughs Home, and Babcock Ranch.

With friend and author Susan Westley at Marco Island Writers AuthorFest 2014

With friend and author Susan Westley at Marco Island Writers AuthorFest 2014

Also a result of participating in the AuthorFest, I am now scheduled to present 4 library programs during Summer Reading in Collier County. I’ll share those dates and more info as soon as I have it. So, in all, March was an exciting month and it seems April is picking up the celebration. Cheers!