Thank you for your support during an exciting year and happy new year 2020! I wanted to give an update about some neat things in the works and what will be coming in the months that follow.
Upcoming and recent appearances
I wrote a science/devotional about the amazing inner world of diamonds and gems for Clubhouse magazine for children with Focus on the Family, and it will be out in February, 2020! I just received this preview and have to share how rewarding it was working with the Gemology community in researching the specialty of Photomicrography – taking very detailed photographs of gems through specialized cameras and microscopes. I spoke with experts all over the world and hope to do more writing about this amazing specialty. Here’s the preview (first page only) and you can order copies and subscribe for the kids in your life HERE .
Just before the holidays, some author friends and I discussed the story angles of The Mandalorian on The Story Biz podcast with Brock Eastman and Chris Miller. You can listen to it here, and their podcast has great, fun tips for writing characters with depth and intrigue! HERE is the link.
On Twitter and Facebook, some authors have asked me to compile the most common mistakes you see in dealing with gems in stories, questions about magical properties in jewelry, and a lot of fun story ideas, so if you have any burning questions you’ve always wanted to ask a gem expert, or you know an author or screen play writer, now is a super time to ask me in the comments here or via email! HERE’s the link to FB for more information too where you can add your question in the comments. I’ll be putting together some resources and videos so share your burning questions please!
What I’m reading
Fiction and nonfiction:
I just finished Keeper of the Lost Cities – Legacy by Shannon Messenger which is a super series for middle grade audiences. Right when I think I’ve got her figured out after all these books, she sends us on another thrilling, completely unexpected ride. There’s more teen angst issues but even with these, she plays it accurately and well. We’ve especially enjoyed the audible versions of these books and this one does not disappoint! I’ll post a full review soon.
I also finished adult fiction The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers which is a very nice read. I’ve loved her books over the years, and since this is set in California I knew almost all the locations. And I’ve dabbled in art so it was a treat to have one of the main characters be an artist. Her treatment of two different experiences of kids who lost their parents is very intriguing as well. And l love the back-story behind her cover – she hired a real graffiti artist and used some of his work for the cover image.
Right now, while I work on goals around the house or while cooking, I’m listening to Atomic Habits by James Clear. This book was recommended by author Kathi Lipp who writes about having a clutter-free life and has great resources for public speaking, and this book is really stretching my mind so far about rethinking how small, incremental change can really impact your long-range trajectory with great impact. His personal story recovering from brain trauma injury is also so encouraging.
My middle grade fantasy novel is on submission and I’d love your good thoughts and prayers for it to find the right publisher. I have nonfiction and other fiction projects in the works and articles as well. I’m tremendously excited about a project I’ve had in the works for two years with other authors who write for kids and hope to get that running this year, and possibly a podcast with other collaborators. It’s very exciting! I’ll keep you posted as things gain momentum. I’ll also be booking speaking events and guest posts for teens, women’s groups, and would love to come visit your group on-line or in person so reach out if you have a need!
Fundraiser for Author Mary Weber
If you’re on-line with me you know our family has been part of launching support efforts for dear friend Mary Weber, author of many wonderful YA books, who has lost her home and health to mold poisoning. As wildfire survivors, we know what it’s like to close your door for the last time and lose everything in a day, but their family also has serious health threats and expenses. Along with many in the writing community, I wanted to encourage you to visit their Gofundme page and learn about this extraordinary family who gives so much to their community as we support them with encouragement. You can see my video link here on YouTube.
And we’ve formed Weber’s Warriors to provide ideas for ongoing support, come join us on Facebook to keep in the loop. So far, the group has helped contribute almost $10k to their fund! Click HERE to join!
This year’s highlights – what’s coming in 2020
Be on the lookout for:
Great stories of inspiring teens and people – we’ll be updating the YouTube channel to include people who inspire your teens to reach their full potential. I’m so excited to introduce you soon to a film-director who’s gone big but started at 10 years of age and more! And I’m taking some interviews out of the archives and making special moments with wonderful authors discussing resilience like Debbie Macomber, Sara Ella, Nadine Brandes, and many more.
Gems, gems, gems – the next feature will be on an exotic jeweler I met in Hawaii with innovative pearls and beautiful creations. We’ll also have the articles about gemology for writers.
Bookish things – reviews, gift suggestions, and author sightings – there will be more reviews for MMGM and other sites – if there’s a book you loved feel free to share. I’ll have two features upcoming on Rick Riordan from and Shannon Messenger, so stay tuned. And I’m developing a feature on book boxes and other gift ideas for the young reader (or yourself, too) you know well.
Family friendly and fantasy inspiring places – This year I want to share a wonderful clothing exhibit traveling the country, continue posting fun places to see with your family, and beautiful moments that are uplifting.
Reflections – I’ll continue to take a breath and share reflections on parenting, living a resilient life, and ensuring your true north is aligned in the heart matters of life.
Hoping you have a wonderful new year friends! If you have any other topics you’d like to see, let me know in the comments too.