Happy New Year

Happy New Year, everyone! 2017 is here and as I stated in my last blog, there are so many things that I am excited about. First, I spent the past few weeks in my hometown of Moab, Utah, rambling over the desert sandstone on my two feet and my two wheels, and sharing my writing with the community that taught me to read and love words. I am so thankful to Back of Beyond Books for hosting the launch party for The Peace Keeper, to KZMU radio for having me on the air for a fantastic interview, to the Moab Sun News for their generous write-up, and to the Times Independent for being so kind as to share the news about me and the upcoming launch event with the community of Moab. Not only was my trip special because of my own nostalgia with the area and the friends and family I got to see, but also because of the support that the community showed me.

Thanks, Moab! You rock as always!

As I was driving home from Utah to Texas, I got to thinking about what books have meant to me over the course of my life. In the spirit of the New Year, I want to encourage everyone to set a 2017 reading goal to accompany the other objectives you’ve set for yourself. Now I’m not saying this to sell books or to say that everyone must read 50 novels this year or you fail. I just know how much reading has meant to me, affected me, and has helped me over the years. There is literally a book on everything! The insights you can gain from fictional character’s journeys are invaluable to your own growth and development as a human being. When I read Harry Potter as a kid I thought to myself, “that’s the kind of hero I want to be.” When I read Lord of the Flies, I thought to myself “that’s the kind of writer I want to be.” And when I read The Girl on the Train, I thought to myself “hell, I don’t want to be like any of these horrible people.” My point is that a book can set an aspiration for you to live up to, or give you a low standard to avoid, even if it isn’t real. If you are going through hard times, or struggling, or are having the best moments in your life, read a book. Be a sponge. Soak it in. And expand.

Your goal can be modest, or grand. For me, I’d like to get through 30 books this year, and from now on in my blogs I will be sharing what I am currently reading. As a writer, it is important for me to continue studying the craft, to see what works and what doesn’t. Part of my goal is for entertainment, but part of it is for my own development as a writer.

And if you set your goal to one book for 2017, make it a Soul Mender year!

Or a Peace Keeper year! Speaking of The Peace Keeper, if you still need to pick up your copy of the book, click here! And if you read either of the two books this year, please leave me a review. Reviews are as good as gold to writers!

And finally on to the third book in the trilogy. I sat down yesterday and began organizing my note cards and setting up each character’s remaining story line. I’m hoping to spend a few more days planning, and then get to writing early next week. I will keep everyone posted with my progress in my blogs as well.

Here’s to a great year of reading and writing, of working out and working hard, to all!

What I’m reading: The Stand, Stephen King

Where I’m at with book three: Planning & outlining