Word of the Day: Hyperbole

“Mom, I went to the doctor this week.” I removed the blood work papers from my purse and held it out to her. “He said I’m diabetic.”

Mom peered at me through her glasses, readjusting her eyesight after staring at a thrilling game of solitaire for the past hour. “I think I’m pre-diabetic. The last time I went to the doctor she said to cut back on my sugars. I asked her if I could just take a pill.”

I sighed, still holding out the papers to my mother. Of course, she didn’t take them. Why would she? It didn’t involve her. Mom’s pill case stowed away in a high cabinet, away from my kids’ hands, contained a plethora of medications and supplements provided to her by exasperated doctors trying to satisfy my mother’s self-indulgent tendencies.

Stuffing the papers back in my purse, I stood up to fold the laundry on the couch. “It really couldn’t hurt you to cut back on sugars.”

“I know I should, but fruit just doesn’t taste as good without a little something extra.” Mom grinned at me. “And you know I need my nightly bowl of ice cream.”

“Anyway, the doctor said I need to start giving myself insulin shots once a day. I also need to check my blood sugar.” My hands shook as I folded my son’s t-shirt. Needles scared the crap out of me. Every time the doctor gave me a flu shot, I closed my eyes tight, clenching my fists. Giving myself a shot–it was just unimaginable.

“You’ll be fine, Sarah. Besides, it could be worse. You could have a heart murmur and arthritis.” She continued to stare at her screen, almost as if she didn’t hear me. Ever since Mom turned seventy, it was almost as if I didn’t exist.

“I guess your right, Mom. Your issues are always a hundred times worse than mine.” I threw a pair of socks down into the pile. “If I were you, I think I would just roll over and die.”

“You’re not angry, are you?” Mom glanced up for a moment.

“Yes, Mom. I am mad.” I flopped down on the couch and stared up at the ceiling. “I brought you over here today to talk to you about my diagnosis. The whole time you’ve been playing your game and basically ignoring me.”

“Oh, sweetie.” Mom leaned forward and touched my arm. “I didn’t mean to block you out. I was just trying to relate with you.”

“Well, it’s not working that well.” My heart beat rapidly in my chest. I drew in a deep breath, closed my eyes, and counted to ten before letting it out again.

“Where are the kids?” This was another feeble attempt to connect.

I rolled my eyes. “They’re at school. It’s Monday. Where else would they be?”

“You’re always so short with me, Sarah. I just want to be part of your life.”

I reached over and held her hand. One of us had to be the grown-up in this relationship. It was exhausting. “Joey made the basketball team this week.”

Mom let go of my hand, so I stood up and went back to my folding.

“When I was in eighth grade, I was on the basketball team. The coach named me the MVP and asked me to join a traveling team. If they had that woman’s professional league back then, I’m sure I would have been a shoe-in.”

Taking the laundry basket, I stormed out of the room. “Pack up, Mom. I’m taking you home.” I yelled it over my shoulder, but kept my back to her so she couldn’t see the tears streaming down my face.

I’ve thought it would be fun to take the word of the day from the Internet and write a short story based off the word. Trying to stretch my writing muscles. Hopefully, you enjoy it, too.

 

 

Stumbling Through Marketing

After winning the Dan Alatorre’s Word Weaver Contest this past July with a chapter from my book Ruby Slips and Poker Chips, I decided to take the plunge and publish the entire book. Crazy right? The book had been sitting on my computer for eight years because I didn’t know what to do.

I sent the first book I wrote into agents and sent Ruby Slips into a couple of agents, but was discouraged when it came to rejection letters. This summer, before leaving for Europe on vacation, I sent Ruby Slips into the contest, not knowing what to expect. I received and email from Dan when I was in Doolin, Ireland and to say that I was excited was an understatement.

Fast forward to December. I went through all the steps – critique from Dan Alatorre, beta readers, choosing a cover, writing a blurb, formatting by Moyhill publishing. Now the book was released and I have to say I have wonderful friends and family. I ordered 60 copies of the book through Amazon because that’s how many people wanted a signed copy.

This was fantastic. But I’m struggling through the process of getting my book out to people who don’t know me–people who enjoy the book because it is a good book. This is where marketing comes in.

And right now, I’m stumbling through it. I’ve had great people help me. Dan has advertised on his site, interviewed me, and continues to bring up my book. Sally Cronin has highlighted my book on several occasions. Rosie Amber posted an independent review and will be posting it on her website on January 30th. It’s important to have other authors and readers help you through this process. And like I said, it’s still a process. I hope to continue to keep you updated on how it’s going. I’m sure I’m not the only person in this lonely boat.

How have you marketed? What have been your struggles? Please leave your comments below.

Ruby Slips and Poker Chips Arrives Tomorrow with Great Reviews!

Ruby Slips and Poker Chips release day is tomorrow! Check it out either on Amazon or Smashwords.

The reviews are in and they are fantastic!

Cyndy T. says, “Dottie Gale is a snappy second grade teacher in a small town in Kansas who is about to get swept up into a whirlwind cross-country road trip on the way to a teacher conference. She makes some new quirky friends on her trip and finds herself in the most bizarre of situations by no fault of her own. Add to the mix a new principal with higher aspirations than staying at a small school in Kansas and an old cheating high school boyfriend and the adventure begins!

I found this to be a fun read with many chuckles throughout as Dottie was a wise-cracking main character that kept the pace moving quickly. I enjoyed the parallels between Dottie and Dorothy of The Wizard of Oz and found the author to give just the right balance between references to the old classic and this story. I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a not-so serious, yet very enjoyable, read curled up in front of a fireplace with a warm blanket and a mug of tea on a cozy evening.”

Anne Marie says, “Great voice, fast-paced plot, unique characters, heartwarming romance and a fresh, quirky spin on the classic Wizard of Oz! I flew through this book in one Saturday night and will be recommending it to my friends!”

Nancy C. says, “This was an enjoyable read. I sat down to start the book and ended up reading the whole thing. The story flows easily and you want to know what happens next.”

Lisa G. says, “I absolutely loved this book! It is a very easy read and I had a hard time putting it down! I am a teacher and could easily relate to the main character Dottie. The love triangle between Shay, Corbin and Dottie was great .I am also a big fan of the Wizard of Oz and enjoyed the references in the story. I would definitely recommend this book my family and friends.”

Get your copy tomorrow!!

 

Exciting News!

My debut book Ruby Slips and Poker Chips: The Modern Tale of Dorothy Gale is going to be released next Tuesday, December 5th. One thing I never could have imagined is the amazing community of writers who support you and cheer you on. Because I won a contest in July, I have met many wonderful people on-line. Three of the people who have been instrumental to making my dream a reality are Dan Alatorre and Sally and David Cronin. I am truly grateful to these new friends. Please check out my book on Amazon or Smashwords, and while your there purchase a copy.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore- New Author on the Shelves for Christmas – Ruby Slips and Poker Chips by Heather Kindt #WordWeaverContest winner

 

 

Do You Want to Give Up? Don’t!! (Part 3)

Here are the last two philosophies my friend shared from his climb to Everest base camp.
6) Be prepared for the unexpected and the unexpected won’t happen.
This one reminds me of our family trip to Europe this summer. We had a folder for each country and had almost every detail planned out. We knew how we were getting from the airports to our lodging and even used Google Earth to find the place we were staying or the bus station we were arriving in. Seeing a street view really helped. I know you won’t believe this, but NOTHING went wrong, and this included eight flights!
The same is true when you are publishing a book. Plan. Plan. Plan. Study. Learn. The more you know, the smoother is will go.

7) Nothing worthwhile in life is achieved without perserverance. Keep at it. Never, never give up!

In my classroom, I attempt to teach my students grit. This is the number one character trait that a student can have that is an indicator of future success. Not academic ability, but grit. This is why you hear of successful people who were high school dropouts. They don’t give up when things get hard.

When you have worked hard to achieve something, it means so much more when that achievement comes to fruition. So, follow my friend’s advice. Don’t give up on your writing or whatever your passion is because if you try you never know what could happen.

Do You Want to Give Up? Don’t! (Part 2)

In my post yesterday, I took three awesome philosophies from a friend of mine who just finished climbing to Everest base camp and applied them to writing. In reality, these philosophies could be applied to anything you do, but because this is a writing blog, I’m giving you my two cents on working with the pen, or in this case, the Macbook. The two things I’m going to talk about today have to do with teamwork and support. A difficult subject for my fellow introverts.

4) Take some friends with you. You will need to help and encourage each other. He continues by saying that this person needs to have the same goal and commitment as you. In writing, this means you might have to actively search for and find like-minded people. I have one friend who is a published writer. We met each other when we worked at the same school. She is someone who I can turn to for advice. She’s someone who has been there and done that. I have other friends who say they have written something, but I don’t see it being an active part of their life. They lack the commitment. I know what that looks like because I was one of those people.

I used to listen to a lot of Dave Ramsey and I also listen to the Model Health Show with Shawn Stevens. Ramsey will always tell you that you will be as rich as the ten people you hang out with the most. On the Model Health Show, one of the guests talked about how we assimilate the traits of the people we are closest to. If you hang out with a bunch of unhealthy people, you will take on those traits. If a lot of your closest friends are getting divorced, hang onto your spouse even tighter.

So how do you change this? Actively seek people who have the same goals and commitment as you. If you want to be rich, hang out and find mentors who have wealth. If you want to have a loving relationship with your spouse, hang out with couples who having loving and committed relationships and learn how to grow yours. If you want to be a better and more successful writer, learn from those who have been there and encourage each other along the way. Life is a process, not a destination. We all need help and encouragement.

5) It important to have a support network back home.

My husband has been invaluable to me along the way. I am reading the book Mindsets by Carol S. Dweck where she says that partners should help the other do the things they want and become the person they want to be. That is what Tom has been to me. When I first started writing, I just earned my masters degree in teaching reading. My kids were small at the time. Throughout that year and a half process, Tom would take the kids and entertain them every Saturday and Sunday so I could read and write a paper. After I finished my degree and started to write novels, he still entertained the kids on Saturday afternoons so I could spend some time in my book. But he knows that I would do the same for him.

Tom has been my greatest champion. When I won Dan Alatorre’s Word Weaver Writing contest, he and the kids decorated the dining room and had a party for me. It touched my heart. He wants me to succeed and this is the greatest gift of all. Who has been your champion along the way? Have you gone it alone?

Tomorrow I will wrap up this series. See you then.