Anita's Haven

books, thoughts, stories, poetry, interviews, writing

Blah

You know that feeling of (near) defeat when you’ve tried and tried, and then, just when you get hopeful and are on the brink of a breakthrough, you hit a wall again? Yes, well – me today. This too shall pass. Not sure when, but today I feel like wallowing a bit, blanket over my head and nobody around. This too shall pass. (Notice a pattern in my mantra?)

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Inside

As night approaches

And I feel like a howl,

The moon is so distant,

I can’t help but growl

So low, barely heard,

Still honest and true,

Whatever you think of me,

Whatever you do.

My thoughts are my cave,

My soul is my shrine,

My moods are my windows,

My sadness is mine.

Your mind and my own

May not always be one,

But I must chase my fury

Or I’ll be undone.

My demons need voicing,

In stories or verse,

Or they’ll take me over,

My dreams will disperse.

So let my beast be,

Its tale needs a bark,

And when light returns,

It will mellow my dark.

Versus Verses – Love

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Interesting article to share: Top Ten Publishing Trends Every Author Needs to Know in 2018 – Written Word Media

https://www.writtenwordmedia.com/2018/01/08/publishing-trends-indie-publishing/

Quote: 

“As indie publishing becomes more competitive and requires more and more business and marketing skills, I expect to see all successful indies outsource a major part of their marketing efforts — including the planning — to professional freelancers or agencies. Those who don’t will almost certainly experience burnout”, says Ricardo Fayet, CMO at Reedsy…”

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Another gem!

Finished reading this phenomenal book today and already facing withdrawal symptoms. Isn’t it amazing how, once you’ve finished reading historical fiction, you feel as if someone stripped you of those historical robes, tore you away from the scents and sounds of those times, and left you in the technical reality of now, with all those amazing people (to realists, characters) left behind in the book? Good to know book 3 is out there for grabs. 

Take a bow, Jean Gill! Review coming soon.

#amreading 

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Here is my interview with Anita Kovacevic

https://wp.me/p3uv2y-7jb

It was an honour to be interviewed by Fiona Mcvie! Read more about my writing at her blog!

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​And what do YOU have to say? – ELLEN L. BUIKEMA

Due to popular demand, my first author interview series is continuing. I hope it gives you a chance to meet some interesting new authors, or to find out more about the ones whose books you have already read. Today we are joined by Ellen L. Buikema. Thank you very much for your time, Ellen.

Ellen L. Buikema

I am a writer, speaker, educator, and mom. I graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago, received a M.Ed. specializing in Early Childhood, and have post-graduate studies in special education from Northeastern Illinois University. I worked as a teacher for 23 years.

During the school year I have the pleasure of being a visiting author, either in person or via Skype. I usually visit with students in Pre-K through fourth grade, although I have spoken with students through eighth grade. For Pre-K through first grade I bring Sock Puppet Tim along to help. He is a well-loved addition to author visits as he is funny and helps maintain students’ attention.

IDENTITY CARD

Name/pseudonim: Ellen L. Buikema
Book(s): Parenting . . . A Work in Progress, The Adventures of Charlie Chameleon series, currently working on The Hobo Code
Genre(s): Self-help, Children’s Fiction, Young Adult Historical Fiction
Day-job: Writer
Likes: Dark Chocolate and wine
Dislikes: Yelling
Favourite virtue: Sense of Humor
Fault: Very Stubborn
Favourite movie genres: Comedy, Suspense/Thriller
Favourite song/band/musician: I have an eclectic taste in music, so there are too many to mention.

INTERVIEW

1. Welcome to Anita’s Haven. Pull up a chair, relax and fire away. Firstly, tell us five things about yourself that you think matter the most.

Patience, persistence, love of children and animals, creative, humorous.

2. ​When you were a kid, what did you want to do in life as an adult? ​Can you remember the moment you realized you had become an author? How did it feel to transcend from that point when you just wrote for yourself to the point when you realized this was what you wanted to do full time?

My mother told me that when I was three-years-old, I lined up all my dolls and conducted school. However, I didn’t become a teacher until after I had my own children and decided that kids are awesome.

I knew I was an author when I held my very first proof in my hand. Until then it wasn’t real. The physical book made it truly real for me. It felt great!

3. Why do you write?What’s the most challenging aspect of your genre? How do you feel when you write? Is there a special ritual to it, a playlist, place, company, technology?

I write to get the ideas out of my head and to keep the characters quiet. I’ve had characters request name changes, as odd as that might sound. One insisted on being named Hugo.

I write on a laptop on our dining room table. A foot tall, plush dragon named Nom Nom, as in nom-nom I just ate another faerie, sits across the table as I write.

Currently, I am writing my first YA historical fiction novel after writing a children’s chapter book series. Two more are written, making it a series of five. I find the change in genre isn’t as difficult as the age change. This genre requires a great deal of research, so I am having fun talking to people all over the country about trains, hobos, and specifics about some cities and towns. I spend an hour on the phone with the owner of a bar in Wausau, Wisconsin, the location of the story’s beginning. She was able to give me details that make a huge difference in the setting for one part of the story. My list of acknowledgements is growing all the time.

4​. Tell us more about your book characters. Who is your favourite character and why?

There is a little bit of me in the majority of my characters. My favorite character in The Adventures of Charlie Chameleon series is Frankie, the worlds most obnoxious goldfish. He is the main character’s pet and a wonderful comic relief. Of the characters in The Hobo Code, so far I am most fond of Hannah. She begins the story as a feisty, eight-year-old who loves art, puts up with her older brothers, and is quite stubborn.

5. We all know typing those special words, the end, gives us a priceless feeling, but that is when the actual work begins. How do you deal with the editing process? Are you your toughest editor and beta-reader or do you rely on someone for that?

Wow! Editing is so important, too much for just one person. I go to two different critique groups, have beta readers, and use professional editors as well. I do not mind editing and find many of my errors when I read the chapters aloud, but I never, ever find all the errors myself.

6. How much do praise and positive reviews help to fuel your creativity and keep you writing? How do negative reviews affect you?

Positive reviews are awesome and appreciated. They do keep me writing.

When I get a negative review, I read it with an eye towards making a better story if the comments are constructive. If the comments are a bit off-the-wall, I read the reviewer’s comments of other authors’ works to see if there is a pattern. Sometimes people don’t like my work, preferring other genres and writing styles, and that is fine. Differences of opinion are to be expected. No one that I know of enjoys all genres and all styles of writing.

7. What do you do when you are not writing books? Any hobbies or projects you are particularly passionate about?

When I have a bit more time, I plan to go back to drawing and painting. I love art in its many forms. I can carry a tune and love to sing. Maybe some day I’ll learn how to play the guitar. Right now I am working on fluency in Spanish. I feel it is important to speak more than one language.

8. What’s the funniest or most interesting reaction you​’ve​ had from people when you told them you were a writer?

I have been looked at in awe and asked for my autograph. A few students have asked me if I am wealthy. I find that amusing.

9.​ ​Would you like to add anything, share a brief sneak peek into your book, or send a message to the readers?

Here is a snippet from The Hobo Code. Most of the story is in Jack’s perspective. This is a Hannah chapter.

John Schmidt opened the front door and herded his children into the largest building they’d ever seen. They entered a cheerless hallway of bare, drab-colored walls. I think if people stared at those walls long enough, they’d lose their imagination. Wooden cane chairs and a few stark benches leaned against one wall.
“Sit here while I speak to someone in charge.” Their father walked into the main office, directly across the hall from the uncomfortable bench Jack, George, and Hannah occupied.
The three children sat together, carpetbags on the floor in front of them, and waited to learn their fate.
“Jack, I think Hannah is right,” said George. “We shouldn’t be here. I feel like we’re being watched.”
The three huddled together, Jack speaking quietly so no one could overhear. “If all of us feel the same way, something has got to be wrong.”
They were being watched. A man dressed in dark pants and a blue work shirt, washing the floors, whisked his mop in their direction with a practiced rhythm. Every now and then he’d flick his brown hair back and sneak a peek. He licked his lips. The corners of his mouth tilted up into a leering grin.
I don’t like how that creep is staring at me. The closer he came, the greater Hannah’s urge to either smack him or to grab her brothers and run.
The creep was a few arm’s length away when John exited the office of the headmistress, followed by a tall, silver-haired woman in a waist-cinching, long black dress that swept the floor has she walked. The creep looked away and mopped in the opposite direction and down another hall.
John held his hat in his hand. “Children, this is the headmistress. She’s in charge of the orphanage.”
They sat frozen on the bench.
The willowy headmistress bent down and shook their hands. It was like shaking a fresh-caught fish—moist, droopy, and cold.
“Welcome to your new home, children. I’ll give you a few moments to say goodbye to your father, then I’ll have someone show you to your rooms.”

QUICK  POP-QUIZ

Dogs or cats Cats
Ice-cream or fruit
fruit
Meat or salad
salad
Fact or fiction
fiction
Music or silence
music
Indoor or outdoor
outdoor
Ocean view or mountains
Ocean view
Books or movies
Books
E-book or print
print 
Teach or learn
learn – this keeps the brain young so-to-speak
Romance or crime
crime

AUTHOR LINKS

Books:

https://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Charlie-Chameleon-New-Beginnings/dp/0990897931

https://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Charlie-Chameleon-School-Days/dp/0990897966

https://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Charlie-Chameleon-Summertime/dp/0990897990

https://www.amazon.com/Parenting-Work-Progress-Ellen-Buikema-ebook/dp/B00R2807X8

Website:

http://ellenbuikema.com

Social networks:

https://www.facebook.com/ecellenb/

https://twitter.com/ecellenb

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ellen-buikema-b289a661/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJugScmUYKs6L3NH9oyYn2A

https://www.pinterest.com/EllenKidsAuthor/pins/

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+EllenLBuikema

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/12592731.Ellen_Buikema

https://www.amazon.com/Ellen-L.-Buikema/e/B00THGTSA6/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

(All images and replies provided by author Ellen Buikema herself.)
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Sweet realizations

There is something uncanny and beautiful in this tiny detail from our family life yesterday. Anyone who writes will tell you it is sometimes a very lonely profession, which might even make you feel alienated from your own family. And then there are days like this one…

We have this habit of recycling paper by using it as drawing paper. My regular job is teaching, so there are always some extra copies of paper which has printing on one side and is empty on the other, or old calenders, handbooks and so on. Naturally, there are always pen holders, overfilled with pencils, markers and various drawing and writing utensils, all available on desks and shelves in our rooms. Nothing strange about that.

Yesterday, my daughter was drawing something on a pile of papers. They happened to be copies of my initial manuscript for The Forest of Trees. It always warms my heart to see that – at least all that paper has some useful purpose, right? As always, she showed me the drawing, but amond them was also a copy which didn’t contain drawings, but words. She blushed slightly and let me see it. They were words in English, in small, print-like letters. Now, she is not a shy person, but she is in first grade so writing anything is still an adventure, not to mention in English, which is not our native tongue. 

“What did you write, honey?” 

“Oh just some words…. from the other paper… I liked them,” she said. 

Needless to say, I praised her for writing and let her get back to work. But inside, I glowed. Not really sure why. She has only become aware of the fact that I write books last year when I piled all the paperbacks I have at home on our sofa and let her read the author’s name. The sparkle in her eyes was unbelievable.

Tiny things, right? Not for me. 

You see, my first stories seen by the world were inspired by my son – one of them is The Threshold, written on the floor next to his crib during sleepless nights of his baby fevers, and the other is Dragon Core, still patiently waiting its revision and publication. My daughter helped me choose illustrations for Spikes for Hank, and I told my first children’s book, Winky’s Colours to her kindergarten group when she was almost three. 

So this – our daughter learning to write by copying words from my book – this is our miracle.

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“The Forest of Trees” by Anita Kovacevic

https://wp.me/p4h9JT-3ND

Reblogged this with immense gratitude! When an author you admire as much as reads your book, you are humbled. When they like it, you are… almost passing out:)

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Writer’s Gift 4U from Phoenix Rainez

To end this challenging year, there is nothing like having a guest over. A romance author with a kind heart, Phoenix Rainez will make this transition from 2017 into 2018 smooth and gentle! Here she is, sharing with you some of her latest poetry:).

AUTHOR : Phoenix Rainez

GENRES : Romance, Erotica, Poetry

BOOKSITE LINKS : http://www.amazon.com/dp/1501022539

                                http://www.amazon.com/dp/1515302156

SOCIAL NETWORK LINKS : http://www.facebook.com/phoenixrainez2

                                             https://phoenixrainez.wordpress.com

                                             https://twitter.com/phoenixrainez

1. Do you have a favourite winter holiday story?

No favourite winter holiday story, but my favourite holiday film would have to be LOVE ACTUALLY.  I have so many books in my collection still to read, I honestly don’t have time to re-read any of the books I’ve already read.

2. Which character from a holiday story would you like to be?

I think I’d love to be Elsa from Frozen.

3. What is your ideal way to spend Christmas Eve this year?

Curling up with a good book all day in my pj’s and a steaming mug of hot chocolate.

4. If you could travel anywhere this winter, where would it be and why?

I’d love to visit Lapland during a winter holiday season.

5. What would you like to ask your readers?

I’d like to ask my readers if they think a companion novella is a good way to introduce other characters in the story.

Do share a sneak peek into your current work in progress.

My present work in progress is my poetry book.

Give us a riddle to your wip. 

When you need to share a secret quietly you ….

Where can we follow your progress? 

 http://www.facebook.com/phoenixrainez2

What’s the blurb for your work in progress?

No one asks to fall in love, but sometimes it happens, and the timing is all wrong.  So, they wish upon stars for a love they can’t hold, and whisper their love on the wind, across oceans that keep them apart.

Sneak peek, please?

1st poem from my new poetry book:

You’re the whisper on my mind

Wrapped around my heart

I see you in my dreams

And touch you when I sleep

Your love is like a whisper

From a time so far away

Caught in a moment of silence

On the tail of a shooting star

We dare in dreams to share

A whisper of love so soft

Like the feathers on a breeze

Of a lover’s dream in thoughts

Sailing those intimate waves

Of a secret love lost in thought

We touch only in dreams

Our love just a breath

A whispered I love you

MY HOLIDAY WISH for my readers is that they find the time to read all the books they want to, not only over the holidays, but all year through.


Thank you, dear Phoenix. May your 2018 be a happy beginning to a new adventure!

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May it be. Make it so.

May 2018 be filled with kindness, smiles, fun and challenges. May our hands be busy with creativity, our ears caressed with quality music. May our eyes rest on wonderful sights and may our souls be filled with friendship and the joy of our loved ones. Happy 2018! 

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