Showing posts from January, 2011

Teachers, I Need Your Help!

Are you, or have you ever been, a teacher of grades 3 – 6? Then I need your help.I’m putting together a teacher’s guide for my novel The Weaver. One problem, I’ve never been a teacher.Would you mind taking a few short moments to dash off an email to me about one thing (or two if you’d like) you’ve most loved in a past guide you’ve used with your students?I don’t need tons of details, but I’d love to hear what WORKS for you in the classroom.
Please pass this message on if you know someone who might be interested in giving their input. My email is kaistrand (at) yahoo (dot) com. Of course it needs to be formatted correctly, but I’m hoping to avoid those spam bots as much as possible.
Thanks so much for your help!


I admit, there are times I feel like maybe I'm just in a really good mood and that's why I really like the books I read during that time period.  But I'm pretty sure the authors are actually the ones responsible for the praise, not my moods.
Recent Reads
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins– humble rating: Golf Clap+ – There really wasn’t anything original about this story, so why did I like it so much?Maybe it is the spunky main character. I loved her voice. Ending was kinda frustrating, but I’ll get over it.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare– humble rating: Motivational Speaker– This book is chock full of mystery and suspense and anticipation. I was left wanting in a delicious though frustrating way. Guess I’ll have to read The Mortal Instruments Series now.

Entice by Carrie Jones - humble rating: (for this book) Motivational Speaker– Major fan girl gush going on here. I’m pretty upset with Carrie Jones for making me care so much about her strange world of pixies and wereanimals. (T…

How Charlie Sheen Could Destroy This Country

I’m straying far from the topic of writing for this post.But who am I to not use this skill that I’m working so hard to develop to call attention this issue. So, this is a “Call to Action” if you will for my fellow countrymen.
I have figured out the core problem in this country and Yahoo – with all their investigative talents – were the ones to reveal it.Our problem is Charlie Sheen.Sure, you will argue that Charlie has his own problems, why would I want to dump the country’s on him as well.I’m not really trying to point a finger and say, “He did it!” Let me back up a ways.
Back in the 50’s we had Ozzie and Harriet and Father Knows Best.Women vacuumed in heels and pearls and men wore hats they could tip in a friendly greeting to a passing stranger.
In the 60’s we graduated to My Three Sons. Very liberated, a single father raising his sons with only help of the crusty ole male housekeeper.But the boys wore button down shirts with slacks and said things like, “Gee.”
Those days our culture w…

What's Your Interpretation?

Interpretation -noun the act of interpreting; elucidation; explication: This writer's work demands interpretation. the rendering of a dramatic part, music, etc., so as to bring out the meaning, or to indicate one's particular conception of it.oral translation.
Like so many other English words, this word has many varied definitions. What I like about this particular word is that even the definitions require a bit of interpretation.
Elucidation – make clear, explain Rendering – an act of interpretation (love when the definitions point back to each other) Oral – spoken
Interpretation – to speak a clear explanation.
We know that isn’t an accurate summation of the meaning of the word interpretation. However, it is a valid demonstration of how our intended message in our writing doesn’t always get interpreted correctly.
When you seek input from critique partners and they give you something like, “what do you mean here: ‘to speak a clear explanation’?” and another partner says, “beautiful elu…

Watch Out for the Splatter!

I visited with Susan Kaye Quinn over on her blog Ink Spells. Please visit. Feel free to heckle, in a good-natured way.Topics that leave themselves wide open for it are; the Midwest accent I worked so hard to get rid of that comes back when I’m speaking in front of a room of people or when I’m talking to my big sister, my snobby attitude and how well THAT worked for me or maybe my lack of focus in my writing based on my subs and WIPs.
Now onto more serious matters. Exploding heads.That would be mine. Let me preface this by saying, I’m thrilled to have this problem, but that’s not going to stop me from complaining about it.
In the short time since The Weaver hit the presses, my life has changed so much!
1.I feel like I have pregnancy brain. (I know, it’s birthed already, weird—huh?) I am experiencing a distinct lack of focus and can’t seem to follow a thought thread to its end. 2.I feel like I have two jobs.My day job, which most unfortunately is feeling the strain of #1 and my responsibili…

My Apology, Fellow Authors

Dear fellow authors,
This is a formal apology for what I am only now discovering is my intense ignorance.I thought I was doing good things to help promote you and your fabulous works, but now I’m discovering there is more that can be done.Simple, easy steps I can take that will make a difference to an author sitting in front of his or her laptop obsessing over their online presence or their Amazon numbers.As I discover the small things that can make a big impact, I feel so bad that I didn’t know and I wonder how many other things I still haven’t discovered.
Amazon and Barnes & Noble reviews.I had someone mention mine to me, “Oh, you even have a five star review.” I was like, “Wow, you saw that already?”When I went to the local library, they said, “And we’ll go online to see what people are saying about it.” I thought, “Oh crap! What if there’s nothing there?” I’ve only posted a few reviews in the past, because reviews just aren’t my forte. I’ll be changing that, now that I know the …

Sad News

Wow.On my last Recents post. I wrote this:
The Mermaid’s Mirror by L.K. Madigan– humble rating: Motivational Speaker– I have come to the conclusion that I really like L.K. Madigan’s writing!This was so very different from Flash Burnout, yet I enjoyed it just as much. Talent abounds.
While she wrote this: Hard News
Even standing eye to eye with agony and heartbreak, her words are eloquent.I’m so sorry she will have the indignity of more cancer treatment. I’m so sorry her family will experience the helplessness of loving someone who is so very sick. And I’m sorry for us. Those of us who have just discovered or have yet to discover Lisa’s ingrained talent.
Though I really can’t imagine what she is going through, I would imagine that it would help in some small way to know that my writing has made an impact.Lisa, please know that I’ve loved your books and I’ve aspired to write at your level. Regardless of what the future holds, you’ve already made a respectable mark on young adult fiction.


I was hanging out on Donna McDine's blog today, Write What Inspires You. Please click over when you have a chance. Recent Reads
Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon– humble rating: Golf Clap – I can’t quite figure out how I felt about this book. What I do know: the characters are still with me, especially Dante = good, the book felt like it went on forever = bad. Tough one.

The Mermaid’s Mirror by L.K. Madigan– humble rating: Motivational Speaker– I have come to the conclusion that I really like L.K. Madigan’s writing!This was so very different from Flash Burnout, yet I enjoyed it just as much. Talent abounds.

Bunnicula by Deborah & James Howe - humble rating: Golf Clap – Cute middle grade mystery with boy appeal. Made even cuter, because we just got a bunny over the weekend.

Don’t Die Dragonfly by Linda Joy Singleton - humble rating: Golf Clap –I admit, I read this because it was a free download on Kindle. The book had a lot of errors, but I don’t blame the author for that.I do like Lin…


I am visiting with Beverly Stowe McClure over at The Story of a Writer. Please stop by and say hi.
GAP Family Blog announced great news for The Weaver and many other GAP books at Amazon today.
I have a date for my local book signing event!Yippee!! If you are anywhere near Central Oregon February 10th, I’d love for you to come by.

Blogview with Susan Kaye Quinn and Life, Liberty and Pursuit

Today blogview is happy to present middle grade and young adult novelist, Susan Kaye Quinn.Make some noise on those keyboards and welcome Susan!
Susan, I must say, you seem so approachable and kind.If I were doing this interview in person (which, btw, I really wish I were!) would I offer you coffee or tea?Flavored? Cream or Milk? Sugar?
Susan: Straight black tea, none of that sissy stuff in it. I need caffeine!
Describe the location you are answering these questions from.Is this your usual writing location?
Susan: I’m parked at my workstation with a mini-pot of (straight black) tea, under the watchful eye of Writer Mouse. I write either here or on my couch with my netbook, but more often on my desktop computer, using my shiny new Scrivener-for-Windows software.
What genre do you love to read that you don’t feel you can write?
Susan:Ooh, interesting question. I tend to write what I read (read what I write?), but I do love me some historical novels on occasion, and I don’t think I could susta…

Attention Avid Readers

What a difference a year makes.At the close of 2009, I called out to all my online writer friends to suggest books for my to-be-read list for 2010. I got a LOT of great suggestions. Read many of them.
Yet this year, I didn’t need to raise my virtual hand and ask my question. Why? Because now I belong to Goodreads.I love Goodreads!I don’t even use all the awesomeness that it offers, but one feature I fully appreciate is the ability to easily add to my tbr list based on the books my friends are reading, have read or plan to read. It’s really a great way to find books you wouldn’t normally be exposed to.If you are an avid reader, I suggest joining.You’ll find plenty of people to befriend with similar reading habits or you can just follow people’s reviews if that is all you are interested in.
Speaking of great reading resources, I’m A Reader, Not A Writer is a fantastic book review and author interview blog.I don’t know how the heck she keeps up the volume that she does AND do such a great …

Tips for the Trade

New to online promotion?I don’t claim to be an expert, but I’m happy to share some of the idiosyncrasies I’ve picked up along the way that don’t seem to be intuitive.
When you want to steer people to your most frequent blog post, don’t just post the general url for your blog. Post the specific url for that post. You might think that it is better for someone to have to see all of your witty posts when they are looking for a specific one, but trust me when I say, it annoys!Recently, dealing with promotion of, The Weaver, I remembered an author had shared some wonderfully helpful advice on library promotion. I scrolled through my emails (I had to go back a few months) and found where she originally shared the link. But the link went to the most recent posts on her blog.I scrolled and scrolled searching for that post. Obviously, I started my search around the date of her email but couldn’t find it. I scrolled backward and forward until I got frustrated and gave up.
When you are posting a li…

When Death Becomes Public

Words. They can be so beautiful. So powerful.So heartbreaking.
Just when I think I’ve wrapped my head around the reach of social media, it surprises me yet again.
Around Thanksgiving an acquaintance of mine posted her very own goodbye on her wall on Facebook.She’d been battling cancer for a couple of years and it became obvious that her war was almost over.The responses from her family and friends were eloquent and touching. Each word written was the most beautiful word I’d ever seen.
As the year closed its door, this beautiful woman closed her eyes.Neither will be experienced again. Both are now only memories.
Today I was browsing through statuses in my news feed and froze.I blinked a few times, sure I wasn’t seeing what I thought. Yet, I truly was.I slowly guided my mouse over to the name on the screen and clicked.
There on her wall was a goodbye note from her husband.His message was simple and true. He stated it clearly. He chose beautiful words filled with heart and meaning. He loved …