Author Archives: Erika Beebe

The Attention Trap #IWSG #AmWriting

[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here

Thank you to our awesome co-hosts this month:  Pat Garcia, Sylvia Ney, Liesbet @ Roaming About, Cathrina Constantine, and Natalie Aguirre!

 Check out our IWSG homepage for recent news and events.  And as always, thank you to founder Alex J. Cavaugh 🙂 

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Henry Miller Quote on Attention

I stare at the computer screen at my desk in the office slouched over with a tight deadline on my school district’s magazine. I’m already behind. I was quarantined for COVID exposure just before the holiday when … an Administrator blows past my desk. “Hey, Erika, I’ve got an idea and I need your help.”

“Great! When do you need it by?” I ask.

The smile gets me every time. “Today. Before you leave would be great.”

At home, I’m working out on my new Spin bike, zoned into and pushing up a hill when I can’t shake a sudden idea about my recent story. I can’t focus. I need to write down some notes. Then again, my youngest child could cruise by, begging for immediate attention with her school issued device. Big Tears. Huge! I have to solve it. I want to solve it all at once. Wouldn’t it be nice to be an Octopus for a day?

In any case, my point is this: as I’ve aged through the years, my attention competes with multiple distractions no matter where I am. I’m in a constant battle to stay in the now, to stay on a topic or a single focused project. This dilemma may also be applied to reading great books. I do very much love reading. However, I admit it (raising one hand in the air while covering my eyes with the other). I do not always finish a book I start.

What could go so wrong I put down a book? A friend of mine is a diligent reader. She never puts a book down without finishing it. When I told her I have no problems doing so, it blew her away.

Then I saw this month’s question and it was perfect. “Being a writer, when you’re reading someone else’s work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people’s books?”

I think the biggest frustration I have when reading a new book, especially by a different author, is building the scene in my mind. To do so, I need a really great feel of the main character right from the start with a really great line showing me the struggle in the moment. If a writer throws me straight into the action, I’m fine with that. But I also need reflection. I need a sense of urgency. A reason to relate to the conflict with a balance of why I should care so much. Sometimes great books start off with this in the beginning, but something I’ve noticed that often happens in books is a fizzle effect through the middle. The first quarter of the book is great, maybe even a first chapter, and then the plot somehow falls apart. I don’t see a reason to turn the page with a muddling of too much detail and not enough conflict.

I have been reading a bit. I have a great example of a book where I’ve been drawn in and I can’t put it down. Try Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. WOW WOW Wow! The first four chapters are poetic, magical and make me care about the world.

What competes for your attention? Do find it hard to focus on one project at a time?

Happy New Year! May we all be filled with peace, hope and healthy vibes.

May Love and Work be the Same #IWSG #AmWriting

[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here

Thank you to our awesome co-hosts this month:  Pat Garcia, Sylvia Ney, Liesbet @ Roaming About, Cathrina Constantine, and Natalie Aguirre!

 Check out our IWSG homepage for recent news and events.  And as always, thank you to founder Alex J. Cavaugh 🙂 

Quote about work and love

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The month of December fuels my fire more than some months. The year wraps up. There’s wrapping to do. If there were ever a shortage of time, I believe December is that month because in a blink, it’s is over and then we are left with a new year to dream.

This month’s questions asks December 2 question – Are there months or times of the year that you are more productive with your writing than other months, and why?

I love Coco Chanel’s quote so much because in my eyes, we work because we love and love is founded in so many different roles. Maybe someday my work and my love will be the same, but for now, I’m loving where I am. To answer this month’s question, I’ve actually picked up my writing pace doubling my time spent with my editor. Meeting with her twice a month keeps the story in the forefront of my mind.

Here’s a few thoughts to consider when thinking about where you are with your own writing work:

“Do or do not. There is no try.”
~Yoda

“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”
~Thomas Jefferson

Cheers to you this month. Especially if you’re on that sprinting spree right along with me. Happy Holidays. I’ll see you next year 🙂

Let’s Help Launch #LIFTOFF #NewBookRelease #YABooks

Today, I’m celebrating my friend Tyrean Martinson. She’s amazing. She’s full of hope. She loves to reach out and help every young person she can, both virtually and physically. So today, take a moment to get to know Tyrean and her fantastic new book LIFTOFF.

So what is it about you may ask? Here’s all you need to know to add it the book to your gift list in 2020 this year.

Liftoff: The Rayatana Series, Book 1

A spaceship in disguise,

An Earth girl searching for a sense of home,

And a Thousand Years’ War between alien races,

All collide on a summer afternoon.

An old movie theater welcomes Amaya in and wraps her up in the smell of popcorn and licorice. But one sunny afternoon during a matinee, the movie screen goes dark. The theater rumbles.

Amaya gets trapped in the middle of an ancient alien conflict. Angry and frightened, Amaya entangles herself in a life-changing cultural misunderstanding with Sol, a young alien who keeps omitting key information, even while they’re on the run from his enemies.

What will it take to survive a battle between alien races involved in an ancient war?

Liftoff is a fast-paced read for fans of Code 8, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Cobra Kai.

Release Date: November 10, 2020

Paperback ISBN:  978-0-9889933-8-9

Ebook ISBN:  978-0-9889933-9-6

Copyright Tyrean Martinson November 2020

Publisher: Wings of Light Publishing, Gig Harbor, WA, USA

Professionally Edited by Chrys Fey

Cover Art and Interior Design by Carrie Butler

LINKS: Kindle            Barnes and Noble                   Kobo               Smashwords                Bookbub         Goodreads

About the Author: Tyrean Martinson is an author and teacher from Washington State. As a former fencer and kickboxer, she enjoys writing fight scenes in fast-paced novels and novellas. As a teacher and writing tutor, she loves to get students writing and reading comfortably by any means: talk-to-text, short writing assignments, short stories, novellas, and adventures. She wrote her latest novella, Liftoff, for herself during COVID, but realized it also fits a dream she’s had for a while: to create a short, fast-paced read for teen/YA readers who love popcorn movies, adventure, and sweet romance.

How to find out more? Here’s a way to follow Tyrean’s blog, newsletter, and social media accounts:
Blog     Newsletter      Instagram        Twitter             Facebook

Have a great rest of your day and I wish you much luck Tyrean!

Writing Choices Coincide With Dreams #IWSG #AmWriting

[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here

Thank you to our awesome co-hosts this month: Jemi Fraser, Kim Lajevardi, L.G Keltner, Tyrean Martinson, and Rachna Chhabria!

 Check out our IWSG homepage for recent news and events.  And as always, thank you to founder Alex J. Cavaugh 🙂 

***Quote about dreams

 

I wanted to be a teacher once. Not right away. At 9 I wanted to a singer, then a zoologist until I learned I was allergic to most animals. After that I wanted to be a game warden, then a dietician, then a landscape architect, and I ended up in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Graphic Design. 

I think the path to become a teacher was never straight or clear. But my writing genre has–Young Adult.  I guess maybe it’s because I’ve always been a kid at heart. I’ve made lots of crazy choices and I DO STILL LOVE to help young people with their dreams. I’ve tried to help them learn to make better choices from my mistakes. 

A long answer to this month’s question, but the true answer. 

So what is this month’s question? “The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” Flannery O’Conner said, “I write to discover what I know.” Authors across time and distance have had many reasons to write. Why do you write what you write?

The world is more difficult than ever. My writing tends to reflect teens forced to grow up too fast and face difficult choices in magical worlds. Magic makes these choices seem less scary, yet they still feel very real. 

I love this month’s question. Why do you write your genre? 

Happy IWSG Day 🙂