Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Middle Grade Midweek Madness

I have a couple of things to share with you, and they all have to do with one of the best genres around: Middle Grade Fiction.

1. My fellow friend and author extraordinaire -- Kristiana Gregory -- just received a gold medal honor from Literary Classics, for her book Stalked. Yes, the book is fantastic! And yes, the book is more for young adults than kids. But, if you're over twelve, this book is for you regardless. I highly recommend it, too. Historical, fast-paced and action-packed, you'll be reading until way past your bedtime.

2. Another great read, called Dead Man's Hand by Eddie Jones will be released in a few days, and it looks riveting. Great for girls and boys, it had adventure written all over-- and absolutely inside -- the cover of it. Eddie Jones is a wonderful writer, speaker, teacher, and great-all around guy. I can say this because Eddie practices what he preaches. Got a middle grade boy in your house looking for a super sized order of adventure with a hint of paranormal on the side? This book is for him. Pre-order it today.
 
3. And last, and definitely least, there's my little book, The Puzzle Master, which is free today and tomorrow. Click on the link to find it.
  
There you have it folks, three middle grade reads for your midweek. Enjoy!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Growing Where You are Planted

I've written about this topic before: Growing where you are planted; becoming the best you can with what you're doing despite your circumstances.

And the truth of it is, while I write about it and talk about it like it's easy to do, I hate it.

Hard work is just that ... hard work. And I still don't like it.

And who wants to write anyway, only to feel like they're going nowhere?

No one. No one likes to see zero progress. No one wants their work to be in vain.

But is our work truly in vain? If it's to the best of our abilities, whatever we are doing from writing to cleaning the house, it isn't in vain because someone ultimately benefits whether it's a clean house hours from now, or an actual well-written book WRITTEN years and years from now.

It has to benefit someone. Yourself, namely. And if you don't grow where you were planted -- if you don't sit down and write or work hard or sweat out the tough things when you don't want to -- what have you to say for yourself?

You got nowhere because you did nothing.

Work hard. Toil much. Benefit much. Pretty simple. And yet though we know the potential harvest, the workers are few.


Take these plants. These are herbs. They were once discarded seeds of parsley thrown into my compost pile. But hey, did they just sit there and die? Did they whine and moan that nothing was happening to them and woe is them?

No. They became proactive and took root in the dirt and grime -- in the ROCK that was their home -- and became flowering, healthy, beautiful herbs on the side of my house where nothing gets watered and where, quite frankly, the garbage collects.

That's incredible. If only we human beings could aspire to such greatness.

Some of us have. But, some of us won't because we refuse to work for ourselves, instead relying on others.

I refuse to be that person when I'm perfectly capable of working hard.  I tell my sons over and over again that anything worth doing is going to take time and a lot of work. I must take my own advice if I'm to succeed.

How does that proverb go? "A sluggard does not plow in season so at harvest time he looks but finds nothing," (Proverbs 20:4).

See, I can't not work just because I'm too tired, or selfish, or lazy, or want instant results. I must be like the parsley plant and grow where I'm planted -- yes, even if it's hard -- and thrive so that when the time does arrive when I can show myself succeeding amidst my circumstances (like my parsley in the rocks) I will have something to harvest!

We reap what we sow. And I choose to sow hard work to actually gain a harvest, any harvest, when the time comes.

Be the parsley!