[clickbait poetry] Order a coffee and we'll tell you about your soulmate

In which I take a clickbait headline and write a poem in response. I can't promise it will be any good. This is a creativity exercise. Poetry uncensored. Feel free to add your own Clickbait Poetry in the comments. The Quest for Homemade Pumpkin Spice Coffee - part 1How do I compare thee to a cup of coffee? Thou art warm and sweet on a sleepy Sunday, but come Monday morn, thou art bitter and strong.

How do I love thee compared to a cup of coffee? Thou brings a new day, fresh with possibility, but come evening, your energy does not belong.

How do I find a soulmate in a cup of coffee? Thou art mellow and bold, yes, smooth as black velvet, true, but to say I need you says more about me than you.

This headline is from Buzzed: https://www.buzzfeed.com/alexisnedd/order-a-coffee-and-well-tell-you-about-your-soul-mate

[clickbait poetry] How to become a morning person

In which I take a clickbait headline and write a poem in response. I can't promise it will be any good. This is a creativity exercise. Poetry uncensored. Feel free to add your own Clickbait Poetry in the comments. morning lemon teaRise. Rise and live for the day. Rise that you may be heard. Cast off the dread of night, Be not pulled into its slumber. Rise and seek yourself. Rise and shine.

Set your clock for gentle waking. Open your drapes to the sun. Breathe deep the unspoilt morning air. Bend and stretch. The dawn is breaking.

Darken your room before you slumber. Cool the temp. Change the sheets. Surrender your worries, doubts and fears. Prepare yourself for the new day's wonders.

And when the sky brightens to blue. And when the birds herald the dawn. Rise. Rise and live for the day. Rise that the world may hear you. Rise that the world may know you.

This headline is from Buzzfeed: https://www.buzzfeed.com/schickhydrocanada/how-to-become-a-morning-person

I made another book

I made another book, but I'm sorry. It's not the book you thought you were getting. In fact, I've kept the entire project separate.

I noticed genre fiction writers in my area were really, really talented, but there were no opportunities for their work to get noticed.

So I decided to put together an anthology.

I put out a call for submissions, chose the stories, and paid the writers.

I'm very happy with the results.

You might enjoy it. But please know the stories are all set in the City of Kawartha Lakes and written by authors living in Kawartha Lakes.

But they're all very, very good.

Kawartha

It's currently only available in print because I'm selling them at local events.

If there's enough interest, I might make it an ebook.

Oh, and I do have a story in it!

For more information, visit Kawartha Lakes Writers.

And now I have to get back to editing Melantha Caldwell book 2, Hunting A Demon.

It's My Birthday - annual book giveaway

It's my birthday on Saturday. Every year I like to celebrate by giving away books. This year, I'm giving up two signed copies of Adrenaline Rush over on Goodreads. Here's where you can enter:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Adrenaline Rush by Sara C. Walker

Adrenaline Rush

by Sara C. Walker

Giveaway ends April 23, 2016.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/widget/178751

On the doorstep of April

IMG_0771The daffodils are struggling but coming up weeks earlier than usual. I've nearly wrapped up the first draft of the next Melantha novel. The plan is to finish it this week and send it off to my development editor next week. I'm hoping to release it while it's still Spring. (That gives me right up until June 22, right? ;) ) If you're interested in being an early reader and posting a review, send me an email (sara dot walker dot author at gmail dot com)

I put my book up for a Goodreads giveaway. The giveaway ends on April 23-- that's Canada Book Day and my birthday (and St. George's day and Shakespeare's birthday), so I'm keeping with my tradition of giving away books on my birthday. You can enter the giveaway here: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/178751-adrenaline-rush

I released a novella this month for newsletter subscribers, and I'm already working on the next story for newsletter subscribers. Click the "Add Me" button on my homepage to get on the list.

What's next? Remember that time I submitted a novel to the Harper Voyager digital submissions and I made it to the top double digits out of thousands? I'm going to revise it and self-publish it, along with its sequels. I'd like to put them all out close together so it might be a while before they're released, but I'll keep you posted. I'm also working on a few other ideas in the meantime.

The surface may look calm, but there's plenty of activity in the depths below.

 

Brownies, Compiling and What's Next

IMG_0417 Today I made brownies. They turned out okay. Thanks to my auto-immune disease, I had to skip out on the eggs and flour, so I basically melted (soy-free) chocolate with butter, added vanilla, (organic raw) sugar, almond flour, coconut flour, tapioca flour, cashew butter and a mashed banana. The brownie texture is perfect. The taste is a little too nutty and not enough chocolatey. If you're looking for a better brownie recipe than mine, I suggest this one: http://thefoodieteen.com/toasted-coconut-caramel-samoa-brownies/

I also spent today learning how to use Scrivener's compile feature to make my book ready for Createspace. (In case you're looking to try this yourself, I followed this brilliant tutorial: http://edditto.com/how-to-publish-a-manuscript-from-scrivener-to-createspace/) I did have to tweak many settings not mentioned in the tutorial, but I finally put together a publish-worthy document and uploaded it today. Fingers crossed the Createspace-powers approve. In a wise moment, I saved the settings I used, so hopefully the process won't be as long or painful next time.

The next book I publish will most likely* be the next Melantha Caldwell book, Catching A Demon. It was the one talking the loudest to me in January when I was ready to work on something else. I've got the first draft to the point where it's mostly put together, but with missing scenes, a few things to move around, and a character to add. So, it's coming along. I've got my eye on a cover, but I need to finish the book and write the back cover copy before I proceed with the cover.

*The reason Melantha is "most likely" next is because I do have another book finished but waiting for edits. I've already got the cover, but it's waiting to be finalized once I get through the edits, settle on a title and write the back cover copy. So much to do, so little time.

Oh, and Adrenaline Rush got a new cover. I'd love to hear your opinion of it.

ADRENALINE RUSH eBook Cover FINAL Get the book

Authors who have liked Adrenaline Rush

I'm so grateful and completely blown away by the generosity of these authors who not only took the time read Adrenaline Rush but to also write something positive about it. [Spoiler alert] They liked it! "Fasten your seat belts--Adrenaline Rush is a wild ride! Jaw-clenching races, heart-pounding romance, and page-turning tension make for one addictive read."

-- Linda Grimes, author of the Ciel Halligan (light) urban fantasy series from Tor.

*

"A sexy smart adrenaline rush from start to finish. I loved this book. Sara Walker is an author to watch!"

-- Eve Silver, national best-selling and award-winning author of The Game trilogy from Katherine Tegen Books.

 

My 2015 in Books

Goodreads tells me I read 72 books in 2015. Some of these books changed my life. Some of these books I didn't care for and I didn't finish reading them. (The act of not finishing a book is new to me. Although it was a struggle at first, I quite like it now.) Here's a look at the books that changed my life:

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I finally got around to reading The Princess Bride after owning it for years. Despite all the rave recommendations, I avoided reading it because I enjoyed the movie so much. The book really was as good as the movie; it was just a different experience. Both the book and the movie were enriched by reading Cary Elwes's memoir of the making of the movie. The memoir was an homage to the movie, which was an homage to the book. Which was exactly right.

The Story of Owen is worth mentioning here not because it changed my life, but because I think it's going to. The Story of Owen is Canadian fantasy for teens (and adults) -- a genre and category that are not taken seriously in Canada. I'm very supportive of E.K. Johnston for burning down barriers across genres and categories with all the fiery breath of one of her dragons. If this is a glimpse at how good Canadian genre fiction can be, sign me up.

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The Girl on the Train was a fun, thrilling read. Like Gone Girl, I read this one with my writer's eyes wide open. While reading it, I was looking for all the reasons it was so popular, so talked about. I was looking for the strings to this puppet show. I learned a lot about revealing and hiding information from the reader.

While Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys was only ho-hum for me (I enjoyed the world she'd built and found some of the characters interesting, I just found it overall missing urgency), I loved The Dream Thieves. Although the stakes in the story became huge, I believe something about Stiefvater's voice changed for The Dream Thieves. It was that change I connected with. I suddenly had a need to read Blue Lily, Lily Blue and consume everything about the Raven boys series and that world.

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At some point in my writing journey, I realized Campbell's mono-myth wasn't working for me. I proposed the problem was that I was writing from a woman's point of view, as I always do, while Campbell's mono-myth applied to male heroes. I set out to learn if a heroine's journey even existed. I found Buffy and the Heroine's Journey, and it changed my life. Reading this lead me to more of Frankel's work, in which I discovered my hypothesis was correct: I was struggling to write heroine's stories because the hero's journey does not apply. I needed to apply the story models for heroine's.  The information in From Girl to Goddess was so valuable, it earned a place on my writing reference shelf.

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For anyone who has ever struggled with creativity, I have to suggest reading Scott McCloud's The Sculptor. I think I would like to read this again someday. There were a few times I found myself reading along, and then bam! McCloud changed everything with one panel.

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Wild Women: Painters of the Wilderness is an interesting look at three painters who pack up supplies and go paint in the wilds of Ontario. This is fantastic, totally something I want to do some day.

Vicki Pettersson's The Given is the end piece to a trilogy. I put off reading it for the longest time-- as I always do with the stories I love, believing that as long as I don't finish them, then they don't end.  I'm still bummed this series has ended.

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Susan Adrian's Tunnel Vision was inspired by the TV series Chuck. After reading and enjoying Tunnel Vision, I started to watch Chuck. I don't think I've ever enjoyed a TV series more. It was entertaining-- the whole package: action, romance, comedy, drama. Tunnel Vision, although aimed at teens, is an excellent homage to the show.

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Creativity, Inc. is an incredible look behind the scenes of the magic at Pixar. This is how they make their wonderful movies. This is how they keep the magic-- creativity-- alive. It is a little dry and memoir-ish, but it's also one that's going into my arsenal of how-to books because I know I'll keep referring back to it.

I was lead to Creativity, Inc. by two other books. Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic, which I picked up because I adore Gilbert's constant championing of creativity and expression. In it, and in her podcasts, she references Brene Brown's work. So I picked up Daring Greatly, which gave me lessons I needed, and Rising Strong, which gave me lessons I needed more, and which referenced Creativity, Inc. All of these books ended up on my writing reference shelf.

Pre-Order the E-Book

ADRENALINE RUSH is now live at Amazon and available for pre-order.

Pre-order at Amazon

Release date: January 3

The advantage of pre-ordering is that at midnight on the day of the book's release, Amazon will automatically send the book to the reading device of your choice.

I've decided to go with Amazon exclusively for all my books-- for simplicity's sake. Having to learn all the processes for making my book available in all the virtual stores was just about driving me crazy-- not to mention a full-time job--and I realized there's no need. The Kindle reader app is available for any computer, tablet and smartphone-- and because of Kindle's synching feature, you can switch between devices and never lose your place.

The physical, trade paperback copy will be available sometime in the next couple of months.

Have a Merry Star Wars Christmas!