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.