Inkster Dispatch: A Blessful Book Release

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Every seat was packed. And I was so grateful to not only The Black Dog, but also Released From Quiet, the band that book-ended my reading and signing. Huzzah to all of you. (Photo by Alexa Lioncourt)

It’s taken me more than two days to process (and another two just to get this post up) what was the book launch for my debut novel, Wilderness Rim, Echo Falls, Book One. As far from where I sit, the launch went off without a hitch. I mean, there were small things I wasn’t prepared for because I’ve never done my own book launch before, like the fact that if you’re on a stage with real stage lights, it might be hard to actually do your reading because the lights can cast weird shadows on the text (oh, and maybe you need to see the eye doctor again). And that you better eat before the event because I couldn’t even settle down long enough to drink a glass of wine until it was all over. But, then the venue owners took pity on me and got me sustenance — great wine, even better food (I need that spinach enchilada recipe, stat!).

My scholar Athlete, Yours Truly, and My Viking. We couldn’t be happier with the night. (Photo by Lisa Holcomb)

One of the gingerbread Sasquatch cookies I made to share with all the folks who came out to the book launch. (Photo by Sheri J. Kennedy)

But the good things far outweighed the bad things, and there were mostly good things. Those good things include the fact that it was standing-room only in the venue, The Black Dog Arts Cafe. They were gracious and had wonderful food and drinks for everyone. I didn’t have to bring home too many of the Sasquatch cookies that we handed out.

Additionally, we sold out of the 30 books we brought with us to the launch event. I honestly had to tell people that they would have to get their books on Amazon and to look on my web site for my next reading event of Wilderness Rim to get it signed — or find me at The Black Dog on any given Friday. Yes, yes, it’s a great problem to have.

The crowd represented many aspects from my life — people who know me from my kids’ activities, other local writers — especially those who are involved with SnoValley Writes! (the writing group I formed in 2008, which is still going strong), the arts community at large, my farming friends, my activist friends, and of course, my family. I loved that I wasn’t the only one in Sasquatch Silliness Gear. Big kudos and thanks to fellow author, Rachel Barnard for being in the Bigfoot spirit.

Signing the last book sold for the night. The look on my face is utter happy shock. (Photo by Sheri J. Kennedy)

There were people who came from all over to be there — Buckley, West Seattle — and my soul sister, Lisa, traveled all the way from Portland, just to surprise me for the night, bringing a “pamper yourself” gift for her favorite author. ūüėČ She made me cry and I had to chastise her for ruining my make-up. What another great problem to have.

My cover artist, Leslie Moon, had art available at the event, too, and she even saw lots of love that night, people gobbled up her art as much as they gobbled up the cookies.

Sasquatch Silliness: Yours Truly and Bigfoot Rachel. (Photo by Sheri J. Kennedy)

One of the things I learned was that you’re going to forget something — even if you write it down. I had planned to reveal that there’s another fandom Easter Egg in Wilderness Rim, and that I would be running a contest here on my blog for the first fan to find it. I was going to give a hint at the launch about what fandom that is. But, I forgot. So now everyone gets an even chance and I’ll be hinting at that on the blog here in a couple of days. So, stay tuned.

The creativity was so thick in the air and we launched an “I <3 Stinky” campaign that soon will be launched right here, so stay tuned.

At the end of the night I was exhausted in one of the most pleasant ways anyone can — just overwhelmed with the love and support. It was a blissful, bless-full night.

One of the members of the bluegrass band that was playing right after my event ended up winning this prize basket. Hope they love Stinky as much as I do.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I’ll be saying Thank you I believe until the next book launch. For my inaugural novel event, you all made it so wonderful.

This is how I looked at the end of the night — kissed and blessed and a bit overstimulated. (Photo by Sheri J. Kennedy)

A lot of years, lots of tears, and much sweat equity went into making this event the success it was. I would be remiss if I didn’t say a special thank you to Colleen, who brought the delicious cupcakes to compliment the cookies; to Sue, who served the goodies; to Tonya, who was my prize basket drawing diva; and to Jess, Sheri, and Lisa who took photos. Also, to my son who provided grunt labor, and my spouse who was the money man that night: I love you both and your support Saturday was invaluable.

No project like this happens by the feat of one person. So, thank you. And a hat-tip and curtsy to Cris and Greg at The Black Dog for opening their wonderful cafe to our Sasquatch Silliness and Released From Quiet for playing us in and out of the night. Going to be hard to top this with the next book, Rattlesnake Ridge in late summer, but we’ll try.

Leslie Moon (L) and Yours Truly. I made her come up on stage to give her a little treat and let everyone know that she’s agreed to do cover art for the entire Echo Falls series. Woot!

 

 

Inkster Dispatch: Debut Novel Launching

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It’s finally here. My debut fiction novel, Wilderness Rim – Echo Falls Book One, will be available for order within about four days, maybe sooner. ¬†Stay tuned here and on my Twitter and Facebook for when it goes hot and you can speed order it from Amazon.

Here’s a little about the story:

If you’ve ever smelled a Sasquatch, you know it reeks. But what really reeks for C.J. Phillips is that he’s 15 and his mother has more of a life than he does and her life isn’t circling around C.J. anymore. She even missed his parent-teacher conference. He’d be fine with that, but no one in all of Echo Falls -including his mother- seems to appreciate what he does, let alone who he is. Until he takes off for a wilderness camping trip and runs smack dab into Stinky, a teenage Bigfoot, whose own family is suffering, because of some mysterious barrels being buried in the watershed by environmental pirates. Together C.J. and Stinky develop a bond and eventual friendship that helps bring down an illegal dumping operation that threatens everyone – human and Sasquatch alike.

We’ll be having a Sasquatch Debutante for this little creature on February 11 at The Black Dog Arts Cafe in historic downtown Snoqualmie. Everyone is invited — human and cryptid alike. I hope to see you there. Apparently there will be sugary snacks. And bookmarks. Also, the most excellent cover artist, Leslie Nan Moon, will be there with art work to view and procure. I’m trying to arrange a musical guest, too. More on that soon, hopefully. Oh, and copies of Wilderness Rim¬†for purchase and signing.

Please come and celebrate with me.

A Lifetime of Birthdays: November 9-10, 2016

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Somewhere outside of Zaku, Iraq. Can you find Casz?
Somewhere outside of Zaku, Iraq. Can you find Casz?

Well here we are. It’s¬†after the U.S. election for our 45th president. I’m devastated and am mourning the loss of my country as I hoped it could be. I’m not naive enough to think it was as wonderful as some think it was; but, it is the one I served many years in the military to defend its constitution and its citizens. To that end, I will continue to defend people’s right to vote in a moron and the other party’s right to pick the wrong woman at the wrong time.

The downer mood has made it more of a challenge to focus on the joy and good things in my life, but I still have managed to do it.

Here's another <$10 of wine. 19 Crimes' 2015 Red Wine. Australia. This is a solid B-. Would be a C if they had not included a real cork and the story of the name. Good enough for post election sorrow drowning.
Here’s another <$10 of wine. 19 Crimes’ 2015 Red Wine. Australia. This is a solid B-. Would be a C if they had not included a real cork and the story of the name. Good enough for post election sorrow drowning.

Yesterday I spent a good portion of the day writing (No. 6) . If I wasn’t writing, I was cleaning (No. 15). If I wasn’t cleaning I was walking the dogs (No. 3). Pretty much a normal day for me. It was #weighinwednesday and I was down another 1.25 pounds. Yay. That’s more than 40 pounds since I started this #nosugarlife. So that was good. I have more pounds to go, but it feels attainable with this eating plan. It helps that my best friend is doing it with me.

I made “kid food” for dinner last night, because normally Hubby spends his Wednesday evenings with his father helping him around his homestead. Hubby was home because of scheduling stuff, so yay (No. 1). So he got the fish and chips, too. The chips were sweet potato fries, so still allowed for the diet.

I paired the fish and chips with a bottle of wine for #winewednesday. So we got to add No. 31 to the list. It was a decent wine, and considering that many people don’t have access to cheap, decent wine, I am grateful.

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My son and I following the Veteran’s Day assembly at his school. I wasn’t going to go, but then that ol’ warrior spirit kicked in. It was a nice program and I’m grateful for the sentiment. And people like me need to stand up and keep standing up. So, I will. Met some good vets, too, as well as some gold-star families. May need to look at getting involved at one of the local vet orgs. My love and appreciation to all my fellow vets and those still serving. We got work to do.

This morning #LifewithAutism was kicked up a notch, but I handled it. He handled it. It’s being handled. But, it make me realize that my youngest son’s request that I attend the Veteran’s Day assembly at his school was pretty important. I realized that as a progressive vet, as a female vet, as a vet who pushed boundaries during her service, I needed to shieldmaiden up and go to the assembly. For my son. For my community. For myself. So, I did. I’m happy I did. It included many of my favorite things to include my kids (No. 2), my community (No. 24), and, yeah, that F-Bomb Honesty (No. 23) I have. I think I made a small impact on people, as they did on me. During the assembly there’s this great program I learned about all over again, by a local artist here in our community, called Fallen Heroes. We got to hear from the artist who “brings home” those servicemembers who paid the ultimate price to their families. So, hello there, No. 9, Art, made an unexpected appearance in my day. To that end, this project is hauntingly memorable and I dropped a small donation in the bucket on my way out. Maybe you might like to do one, too. Tell them Casz sent ya.

Then I met a small contingent of writers for a write-in (No. 6). Most were working on NaNoWriMo, but I am still polishing WILDERNESS RIM. Oh, my goodness, I’m so close to finishing that. But, I plod on.

Then I had to go by the pet store and buy dog food, then to the grocery store and pick up milk and sundries.

Now I’m getting ready to cook dinner (Pork Chops & AppleSauce)¬†(No. 10) and do some much deserved Couch Time (No. 27) with my beloved.

Over the course of these two days, I’ve left my fantasies about leaving the United States and resolved myself to keep fighting, like I always do. I gave up the best years of my life, my best healthy body, and a lot of heartache over the years that I served my country and its citizens. I’m not going to abandon them now. I have my family. I have my friends and fellow writers. I have my community. I’m sticking around. I’m fighting back. Because you deserve your favorite things, too.

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A Lifetime of Birthdays:  Nov. 8, 2016

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I’m watching in horror the U.S. election results, and its not putting a nice cherry on my birthday sundae of a day.

Good things that did happen:

  • I made further progress on the publishing of WILDERNESS RIM. (#6)
  • I planted new plants for the homestead given to me by a neighbor¬† (#16, #24)
  • My son got his driver’s license today (#2)14939632_10211191550326917_4734683051755667270_o
  • The weather was beautiful and I got to be outside in nature (#25)
  • I got to drink really great whiskey while watching the early election results (#11)

Now I’m going to go pretend to sleep so my children will. Tomorrow is a new day and although the election results don’t look good from this point. There’s always a waiver. There’s always a will.