Sunday, June 2, 2013

National Cancer Survivors Day

Today, the first Sunday in June, is National Cancer Survival Day. To honor my mother's passing due to cancer, I've dropped the price for my Kindle ebook about dealing with her loss. Check out A Bird with No Name on Amazon for just 99 cents instead of $2.99.

Give your survivor a hug today. Or if your loved one is no longer with us, like my mother, dedicate your thoughts to her today.

Miss you mom. Wish you were here.

A Bird with No Name on Amazon.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

My mom has been gone for 7 years on Friday. It doesn't seem like it's been that long, yet it also seems like it's been forever.

Fontella Howes Hunt, 1936-2006
Fontella Howes Hunt, 1936-2006

This year I published an Amazon Kindle ebook in tribute to her. I wrote this story back in 2006, not long before she passed due to cancer, but she was able to read it before she left. The story was never written to be published, but was for myself and my family. It turned out to be a rather incredibly personal therapy for a guy who finds sharing emotions difficult, except through the printed word.

The tribute story to my mom was too personal for me to share with a large audience at the time. So after the funeral, and after I had handed out printed copies to friends and family, the story sat dormant on my hard drive as I continued the healing process that the writing had started.

Last fall, more than six years after we lost my mother, I, by chance, found the story on my hard drive and read through it. After a tearful session on my computer, I decided the time had come to share it. Within a week or so, I had asked an artist in Arizona, which I knew from a previous painting I had purchased, if she was open to a commission piece. She said she was.

A Bird with No Name
So I sent Nancy Christy-Moore my book and asked that she read it, and if she felt so inclined after reading it, that I would like her to try painting the cover art for it. She did read and she did feel inclined to d it--in fact, I think she became as passionate about the project as I was!

The name of my story was A Bird with No Name and dealt with a bird that I found in my front yard that had been injured during a summer storm. I believe it's wing had been broken from crashing into a tree in the wind. As my mother lay suffering from cancer, I began have an irrational belief come upon me---which was that if I saved this bird, God couldn't allow my mother to die. I don't know how I believed that at the time, but I did. I think I was probably just trying to grasp for control in a situation in which I had no control.

What resulted from the words of my heart and from the images of Nancy's heart surpassed my wildest imaginations. A wonderful tribute to a life had been born in the aftermath of death. And I want you to share in it!

Over the weekend, my Amazon Kindle ebook went to #1 on the Bestsellers List for Amazon Cancer books! And it's FREE today on Mother's Day! If you don't have a Kindle, that's OK--you can still read it using the Kindle reader app on many devices, such as iPhones, iPads, Androids, PC computers, or Macs.

So, Mom, here's to you! Thanks for who you were in life and who you are still to me in Heaven. I miss you dearly and think about you every day, and I hope you are doing well. We know you are where you should be, but we wish you were still here with us. With this book, sometime you still are.

Happy Mothers Day, Mom!

A Bird with No Name on Amazon.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

StoryMakers Conference Report

Today I'm finishing up my 10th LDStoryMakers Conference. What a great conference, once again! As of today, I've made some new writing goals and am renewing some old ones.

The conference has been so much fun--mostly because I get to meet with longtime writing friends. The conference organizers showed a collage of pictures from coferences over the last 10 years, including a picture of me where I wore a red dress and wig to accept my first-chapter contest win in the women's fiction category. Of all of the things I have done at writing conferences over the years, that single event gets mentioned the most! I'll post the picture of it later if I can find it.

So, after having blogged with a group of great friends at LDS Writers Blogck, which I founded a number of year ago, I have now created my new author blog, Town of Eagles (which is the meaning of my first name). I hope to get active with blogging as much as I used to be with LDS Writers Blogck.

Also, the story about my mother's cancer has been out for a few months now and has jumped to #1 on the Amazon Bestsellers List for Cancer Books (which I'm going to cover here tomorrow for Mother's Day!), so now it's time to get back to my middle-grade novel, _There's an Alien in my Head!_. I really love this story and am SO excited to get back to it this week.

I pitched this kids' novel about an alien invasion at an elemenctary school in a live pitch session to an agent this afternoon and got a full manuscript request! What a great start to restart my quest to get an agent to sell my book.


Monday, February 4, 2013

Today is World Cancer Day!
And My New Cancer Ebook is Released Today!

To start my official author blog, I wanted to tell you about my newly released ebook that deals with my mother dying from cancer, since today is officially WORLD CANCER DAY. It's fiction, but it's closely based on a true story that features my mom, me, and a dying pigeon.

My official release date was last Friday, just before World Cancer Day, and it's now available in the Amazon Kindle store. I'm donating the majority of all profits earned from the sale of my book to further cancer research.

The story is about a man (basically me!) who believes that if he can save an injured bird that's been hurt in a storm, God won't let his mother die from cancer. I think all those who know someone who has suffered from cancer will be able to relate to my story, as well an any other extreme illness that might afflict your loved ones. It's about hope and survival, when neither seems possible, and being able to deal with the thoughts of losing someone close. I'd love for you to take a look at it!

Over the weekend and just after its release, my ebook jumped up to #6 on the Amazon Best Sellers List for Cancer Books. How cool is that? This was because of my friends who bought my book already. Thanks so much, everybody!

I also hired an award-winning artist, Nancy Christy-Moore, to create the cover art--and I think she did an absolutely WONDERFUL job! Don't you think? (See the cover art at the below Amazon link.) It's been so much fun working with her on this project!

Now for a little bit about how this book came to be written back in 2006. The events which I wrote about in my book happened about six months before I wrote them down in fiction form. Frankly, I had so much of a hard time getting myself to write it. It was just too hard and too painful to think about it. The only thing that forced me to finally write it was that my mother's condition was worsening and I knew she wasn't going to last long and I wanted her to read it.

So, one day I discovered that I was ready, but yet I still resisted. I feared I would mess up the whole story in trying to write it down. I knew there was a chance that I would just completely ruin it--and I believed I would only get one chance to do it. I can't describe to you the fear I had thinking that I could ruin my mother's story, but I could no longer resist doing it.

So, I sat down about 10:30 in the morning and I began to write. Approximately 3 hours later, I had completely written the first draft of my story at about 8500 words, the most I have ever written in a single sitting. Afterwards, I was so overcome with emotion, both grief and elation and probably a bunch of others, that I had to take a half-hour walk to let my soul calm down. Tears flowed the whole time during that walk--and heck, during most of the writing as well. It was probably the most emotional experience of my life.

Anyway, I found I could only write my story down when I was finally ready, but when I was, I couldn't type fast enough to get the words out of my head.

And now, six years later, I've gone back to look at my story, which has been on my hard drive collecting digital dust ever since. It's taken that long to decide this piece of writing needs to see the light of day. It was never, ever my intention to publish it. It was for myself--as a sort of therapy in dealing with the loss of my mother--as well as for my family. That was it. It was too personal to me to share with strangers. Back in 2006, I handed out maybe 30 copies to friends, family, and a few healthcare workers who were caring for my mother, but that was supposed to be it. Once my mother read it--and she loved it, by the way--that was it.

It took me over half of a decade to realize "that was NOT it." The story deserved more life. And I couldn't be more pleased with how "spreading the word" is going, including hiring the artist that I did to create the cover art.

My mom would be so pleased. And I have little doubt that she knows about it.

See see my ebook here in the Amazon Kindle store: