Don't know whether to forgo this blog altogether and only blog on the new one? Or to keep updating both?
Anyway, it occured to me on Monday, when my brother turned 20, that all three of us siblings are now enclosed in the age group that is THE 20s. hahaha. representing beginning, middle, and end. Kinda cool, now that I think of it. we almost span a whole decade.
So, what did i wish i knew when i was 20 years old? 1. that being too friendly to boys can be misleading. 2. that having a classmate to study with can save your GPA 3. that participating in extracurriculars seems like it takes away from study, but actually enhances your college experience. go on...take that choir class, music class, dance class, sports. 4. that turning 20 means that people EXPECT you to be more grown up and, therefore, more responsible. 5. that working hard is not a bad thing.
Been thinking about starting a new blog, just for Karen author stuff. Not sure if it'll be worthwhile, but maybe I could get a following that way?
I've lined up another author signing at Bookmans on Valentine's Day. Should be interesting.
And I wanted to post a pet peeve: "honeymoon" vs. "mini-moon" Since when did honeymoons become these gigantic, huge affairs that have to cost over X dollars? It annoys me that people are calling their honeymoons "mini-moons," which by definition ARE honeymoons. They just cost less. If you're going on a trip with your husband, right after your wedding, you are on a HONEYMOON. All this mini-moon crap pisses me off.
I remember when my parents went on their honeymoon...they took a road trip to one of the national parks and back. That was it. It wasn't over X dollars; but it was time alone together after their wedding. How come nowadays, that is called a mini-moon?
I also find myself very angry and opinionated these days. :)
Well, I kind of took a long, unexpected hiatus from the blogging world. Doesn't mean I wasn't still reading them (always the blog stalker), but I wasn't writing. SORRY! :)
Let's see, what has been happening since September...
One of the cards I made for a book release party raffle prize.
Paul started another school semester/quarter, which is actually ending next week. He was doing well at the beginning, but is now struggling a bit with his writing.
His teaching has picked up. His students have read A Wrinkle in Time and Tale of Desperaux and The Giver and MY BOOK!!!! That was pretty cool.
And my book inspired a lot of his students to write more, especially for National Novel Writing Month (November). I was writing about superheroes, so a lot of his students also wrote either fairy tales or superhero stories. Nice to know that I am making a positive influence with my writing, in some small way.
Basketball season has already begun and Paul is coaching the High School boys. So, if you're ever out and about and have nothing to do, give us a call and cheer on his students! They got really good last year and only lost 1 Senior. So, they have a really good chance to make it to the finals.
As for me, I always keep busy. (Paul says I give myself TOO many projects. Oh well.) :) I guess I should categorize my activities:
The book release party:
Me with Janet and book at the book release party.
After the book release party (pictures are up, by the way, at www.karenschow.com), I did one book signing at Borders, which was an interesting experience. (Did I say this before? I feel like I've typed this already.) People are pretty friendly, in general. And I sold 31 books! Cool beans. WAY overceeded my expectations of 10. I pretty much stopped with the marketing after that. I tried to get in a signing with a different Borders, but no dice. So, I gave up. ha.
I have been making do by word of mouth and through friends at church. I sell about 3 books a month, average. So far, I think there are a little over 200 books in circulation. :)
My books! (Since this is my blog...I still have copies, if you want one!)
Authors are supposed to write continuously, right? Yeah. :) After the book release party, I started writing the sequel to The Prophecy Box...tentatively titled The Magic Harp...and got to Chapter 7 and then hit a road block. I don't usually get writer's block, but I felt like the story needed more OOMPH, so I stopped writing and thought intensely about my villian (which every fairy tale needs) and my new main character (who is so sweet, I love her) and Paul said my story needed more action (which keeps things interesting).
Of course, by the time I realized that I needed more OOMPH to my sequel, NaNoWriMo hit and sucked up all my spare time. For my November novel this year, I chose to finish a story I had started writing two years ago about a girl in an alternate future in our world, where superheroes are real and are fighting a war with us. Her father was killed by a superhero and now she hates them. She goes to a summer camp that is themed for superheroes. They pretend to be them, they come with costumes and names. Fun stuff, really. Allusions all over the place. :)
I finished the word count (50,000) early on Nov. 28, but I'm not completely done with the book. Oh well...
My sister and brother came in from out of town this year for Thanksgiving, which was SO nice. Family is always family, you know? We celebrated turkey day on Thursday with them and then Friday night with the Hsus. Lots of food, lots of leftovers. Is it weird that I still feel over-full these days? I can't seem to eat very much anymore. I think I stuffed myself.
On Saturday, Paul and I took out my mom, brother, and sister to afternoon tea for my mom's birthday. SO FUN! I really like tea, and I forgot about that. My brother needs to learn proper etiquette. A really fun experience for an old-fashioned meal.
Christmas events and stuff:
I'm still involved with the bell choir and we're playing before the Christmas concerts at church on Dec. 11, 12, 13. (I have created a Facebook event, if you're interested in coming.) I also decided NOT to play the cello in the Christmas orchestra and am, instead, playing mallet parts in the percussion section: xylophone, bells, chimes. (In high school, I was in the pit. So, this is not completely left field for me, in case you're wondering.)
It has been a nice change from frustration and stress in the string section to relaxation, cool-dude-attitude in the percussion section. Seriously, there is something about percussion that is so different from the rest of the orchestra/band. Less cattiness? Less pressure? Can't put my finger on it.
Cards I helped Christine make for her birthday...not Christmas, but still winter-themed.
Anyway, last month, I began making Christmas cards (and have finished) and will now fire up the newsletter neurons in my brain, realizing that my biggest accomplishment this past year was not having a baby but writing a book. LOL! Same difference? You decide!
I've also begun the process of handmaking Christmas presents, since people seem to appreciate them more. :) Last year, I made scarves. This year, I'm returning to my ol' tried and true...cards...
Here's hoping my desk doesn't end up looking like this again.
We didn't end up buying a new TV during Black Friday, but shopped a little for Christmas presents and scored a great deal on photo printing paper (50 sheets for $1!!!).
I am trying to figure out the electrical situation on the house's outside plugs that don't work, so that I can hang up lights.
Is that enough of a brain dump for you? hahahaha. Here's hoping you had a happy Thanksgiving. And if I don't blog again for another 3 months, Happy Christmas and Merry New Year!
Many of you know that I am an avid blog reader...but what I've realized in the past year or so is that I am truly a blog stalker. I never comment. Okay, so not never, but very rarely. I hate coming out of the internet shadows to identify myself. Maybe that makes me some sort of Sherlock Holmes villian (I just watched that last night)...or maybe it makes me a ghost...or like Batman, who also lurks in the darkness of night. :) I should change my title to just "stalker." haha.
Anyway, I wrote about a character awhile ago who was afraid of becoming invisible at her high school. She wanted to be noticed, she wanted the attention. She wanted to become somebody. That character was based on me...and I mean truly based on me. After all, every character has a little part of you in them. But Emily is me in the fiction world.
It made me think. Why the paradox of feelings? Wanting to be noticed and not wanting attention at the same time.
As a writer, I have the urges to want the fame and fortune of J.K. Rowling, but at the same time, I wouldn't care about the fame and fortune so much as the humble admiration. Knowing that my words and characters have changed one life and made a difference. Jane Austen used to write anonymously. I would love to do that.
I've no answers for my inner Emily Lin, but I will probably continue to stalk blogs.
Edited: *gasp* I've been writing about her for 6 years(!!!)...what the what!
I think I have gotten used to calling it that...death...rather than passing.
It has been 6 years.
I still get emotional when I watch movies and tv shows where it deals with the death of an adult figure and I did get emotional when speaking in front of the book release audience. But, when talking about it conversationally, I am okay with it.
I know that my dad is in a better place and I know that he is proud of whatever I do...small or big.
I think about the what-ifs...if he would have been alive, what would have been different?
All I know is that, everyday, I admire my mother more and more...for her strength, her courage, and her determination to defy loneliness. It is a testiment to God of her character.