Birth Announcement: Baby Number Two!

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I know a lot of you are thinking “Gosh, I didn’t even know you were pregnant!” But I have been for a couple of years now, in a figurative “authorly” way. I had written my second novel with a planned due date of May 2nd, 2017. But just this week, she decided May 2nd was just too far away.

When I approved the final version to order print books for a May book signing, I accidentally released her nine weeks early!

I’m sure there are marketing gurus out there who would say; “never admit to such a mistake!” But I view it differently. Sometimes, your baby decides to come into the world before the expected delivery date, and when that happens, you roll with it. Just to clarify, she is fully baked. She has been proofed and edited and formatted and properly clothed. She’s just . . . a premie.

The first order of business, now that I’ve gotten over the shock, is to send you all an official birth announcement:

Want to celebrate this wondrous experience with me? Then by all means, please schedule a visit by clicking on this link to order your copy now (Kindle or Print version). If you live outside the U.S. and you prefer a more tactile reading experience, it is best to order it from your Amazon store in your country or region, or order it directly from your local bookstore to support bricks and mortar business. You can also click on the links to the right of this post.

One last announcement. My son (the human type) hopes you will all order a copy. What a sweet, supporting child, you think! (Disclaimer: I promised him that after my 100th sale I’d get him a new Lego set. He’s suddenly very interested in how sales are going.

Thanks for your time!

Kristin Anderson

 

 

Sarah Turner from Bend, Oregon Coming to Europe.

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I have this close friend Sarah Turner* from The States who keeps saying she wants to come visit me in Europe. Sarah’s a high school counselor in Bend, Oregon. She’s totally into hiking and running, has been happily married for over a decade, is close with all of her siblings, enjoys her job. In other words, she has a great life.

But then her husband cheated on her with one of her best friends who happens to be the wife of her husband’s boss. It’s a total cluster f*&k, as you can imagine, not to mention humiliating. So there she is, 36 years old, suddenly divorced, betrayed by not only her best friend, but her husband (I never really liked that guy to be honest). Did I mention that her mom passed away not long ago? I’ve been worried about her because these are big, disruptive life changes all at once.

X003Most of our communication about all of this has been through email and PMs on Facebook. But she called me up at 4:00 in the morning (forgot the time change) to tell me something totally out of character; she left her job and has just embarked on a solo-trip through Northern Europe to rediscover herself! At the end of her trip, she plans to visit The Netherlands for some appointment she has scheduled in Amsterdam, and will have time to visit me in The Hague!

I’m really impressed. It’s pretty gutsy to travel all by yourself through Europe; especially for a woman who’s never left the continental U.S. and has a hard time picking up foreign languages. As I recall, she’s also a bit afraid of the dark and she became a vegan a couple of years ago. Hmmm. Not sure how traveling in Europe will work out for a vegan. That’s got to be hard.

I’d love to introduce Sarah to some of my single friends, because she really is quite a catch. But it’s obviously too soon. I wouldn’t say she’s in a man-hating phase, but more like she just needs to be totally on her own and remember what it’s like to be an individual.

I hope Sarah doesn’t mind me sharing all of this personal stuff on my blog.

Want to get the full scoop on Sarah Turner, then you might want to click here. I understand you can read quite a few intimate details about her.

Originally posted on http://www.kristininholland.wordpress.com

 

Graphic Public Service Announcement

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If I were in charge of the posters in airports, train stations and tram stops, they might look something like this.


Or like this:


I might even get a bit preachy.


Or blunt and demanding.


Okay. I’ll admit that this blogpost is inspired by my recent caving in to yet another social media platform: Instagram. I ignored it for years based on its’ name alone. As a writer, I savor a well-written article, short-story or book. I enjoy taking the time for a story to unfold on the page. Instagram was for me the antithesis of this idea.

As you can see by my little image gallery here, I’ve been using the app Phoster to combine words and images for my Instagram posts. I have to admit, it’s been fun.

Speaking of fun, the proof for my second novel The Things We Said in Venice just shipped. Any bloggers or columnists who are into reviewing books, please let me know if you’d like a review copy.

Any readers up for a light, travel romance, my second novel should be available to order by mid-May! The cover of my second novel is still a secret, but if I were to announce it’s pending arrival in Instagram terms . . .

Rumor Has It

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I was at a networking event in Amsterdam the other evening and I ran into an old friend of mine who works as a translator. Anyway, she was translating from Swedish to English at this trial at the Criminal Court and on her break she was in line at the cafe to order a latte when she overheard a conversation. Guess who’s single? Fokke van der Veld.*

I’m not usually one to gossip, but he’s only one of the most famous travel writers in Europe. I have at least three of his guide books on my bookshelf and he’s been translated into 36 languages, so he’s also known around the world.

One book of his I have is van der Veld’s travel guide to Peru. To be honest, I bought it because of that shot of him on the cover. He’s so handsome! That, and of course I hope to go to Peru someday.

According to my source, he now lives in The Hague. Not that I’m interested, being happily married and all. But it’s interesting to know.

*Thanks for reading the fine print! Want the full scoop on Fokke van der Veld? Get it here.
 

Failure and Success as Synonyms

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If you occasionally check out my author website, you might get the impression, based on the lack of updated blog posts, that I’ve thrown in the writing towel and dropped off the face of the earth.

Au contraire! I have been writing on a semi-regular basis, just offline. And what are the results of my efforts?  The completion of my second novel!

I wish I was writing to inform my multitudes of followers (humor me for a minute) that my second novel will soon be released.  The instant gratification part of me is twitching it’s fingers and wants to hire someone to design an eye catching cover and then upload my manuscript and self-publish. After all, I’ve spent over a year writing and rewriting, having it edited and rewriting again. As soon as it comes back from the proofreader, wouldn’t it be logical to publish it online?

I listened to that voice when I published my debut novel Green in October of 2013. In fact, I didn’t even consider the traditional route of attempting to get an agent or starting the arduous process of submitting to publishers. I read enough books about publishing and novel writing to know the chances of getting an agent and getting published are both slim. Take this quote for example:

“A literary agent may get 5,000 query letters a year. Only a fraction of these will lead to the agent requesting the manuscript. If you think about it, an agent reading one out of a hundred submissions must read 50 books every year!” Source: Mark O’Bannon’s article on Betterstorytelling.net.

I could find a hundred more quotes that would justify a second round of self-publishing as the most logical route. But there is another voice within me that has been gaining ground over the last six months, and she has been saying something rather wise: Why not try? Do the research; do it right; put in the time. If it doesn’t work out, who cares? You can self-publish.

But my ego cares. I’m sure on some level my id and superego also care. Because really; who wants to set themselves up in an almost statistically guaranteed position of rejection? And who wants to admit failure? Despite all of this logic, that steady voice within keeps telling me to defer the excitement of sharing my latest novel with the world and invest the time and energy into getting it published–despite the odds. After all, if I fail in being selected out of those thousands of manuscripts, I will have at least tried. This is almost as big an accomplishment as writing the darned book in the first place! wouldn’t you agree?

Now that I’ve made that decision, it’s almost like the universe is providing me with the framework to take the first step.

This past Monday I attended the first Connecting Women gathering of the year in The Hague. The topic? Failing: A gift in Disguise, presented by psychologist Vassia Sarantopoulou. (And yes, with a name like that she is Greek).

In less than an hour, she took the word failure and transformed it into a positive concept. Everybody in this world must experience failure to get to know themselves, gain clarity in their lives and to learn how to succeed; even if that success comes in another form than you originally intended, she explained.

During the presentation, she asked the audience to come up with an imaginary person who was struggling with a failure in their lives. The group came up with a woman named Lilly who was both a writer and hair stylist. I was not the one to suggest she was a writer! This imaginary Lilly became a case study for our group. The advice that poured forth, the strategies for addressing her passion to write and her frustrations around her failure to publish seemed to be speaking to the future me. If Lilly takes up the gauntlet and gives it a try, why can’t I? Because if you view failure and success as strange synonyms, you have changed the way you view the world.

 

 

 

Steelies and Other Endangered Species A five-star read

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Author Kristin Anderson’s Review of Steelies and Other Endangered Species: Stories on Water

It is a bit tricky taking a well-written book on vacation as once you begin, it can be a bit demanding of your time. Should I go for a hike in the California sunshine or read another chapter? Shall I stay up late with friends chatting about life or sneak off to that rocking chair in their living room and resume reading to see if that main character gives into his vice? Rebecca Lawton’s latest novel Steelies and other Endangered Species: Stories on Water, is the perfect solution for my summer vacation reading companion. Each short story provides the satisfaction of a full reading experience, yet you are easily compelled to read on, not by tricks of plot and craftsmanship, but by the promise of another beautiful nature-based story ready to unfold.

Steelies-front-cover-design1-675x1024What I like about Lawton’s writing in Steelies is the simplicity and pace. Like water in a well-fed stream, the words in each of the fifteen short stories in this compilation spill out effortlessly, taking you along in their current of storytelling. Take the first sentence of short story “A Real Cafe” for instance:

“You may think someone’s your opposite–neat where you’re messy, tough where you’re tender–until you run a river with him.”

You know immediately that this story will be about being on the water, but also about insights into human nature and compatibility when faced with the forces of a river. And considering author Rebecca Lawton was “one of the first women guides on Western whitewater, and an oarswoman on the Colorado in Grand Canyon and other rivers for fourteen seasons,” you know she writes about the experience with authority.

Our vacation this year has included a five-day journey to the Grand Canyon, driving through Navajo land, seeing glimpses of isolated desert life as well as distant vistas of the Colorado river where some of the stories in Steelies  take place. What a blessing to read Steelies under the very landscapes that inspired the writing!

Released on June 18, 2014, Steelies and Other Endangered Species is hot off the press (Little Curlew Press) and has thus far garnered only five star reviews on Amazon. I guess I’m going to have to join the band wagon raft on the five stars! Lawton brings not only her white water rafting experience to her writing, but also her MFA in Creative Writing coupled with a hard science background as a geologist. No wonder she can write just as fluidly about love and attraction as she can about Steelhead Salmon, paleontologists and geologists. Take this passage from short story “The Road to Bonanza” starring a female geologist.

“Utah was wild and stripped to the bone. Strange and beautiful–rock exposed everywhere, naked and honest. The few trees were the size of mere shrubs, casting scant shadows, nothing like the deep, oak-filled woods back home. Even the colors of the earth were different here: hills of orange, spires of red, stripes of yellow in bald topography that stretched to every horizon.”

Who else but Lawton, a creative writer & geologist, could describe rock and topography in such prose?

Lawton is not afraid to throw love and passion into the mix. In her compilation namesake short story Steelies about a naturalist dubbed “Fish Lady” by the non eco-minded locals, a love story unfolds that addresses one of the other Endangered Species–environmentalists doing the right thing against all odds.

I highly recommend Steelies and other Endangered Species: Stories on Water as a thoughtful, enjoyable read that will take you on many memorable natural journeys. It may just leave you longing to spend more time in nature, while deepening your appreciation for all of God’s creations, whether it be the mountain lion, Steelhead, the rolling river or the person you love.

 

Lawton

Author Rebecca Lawton

More about Rebecca Lawton:

Rebecca Lawton is an author and natural scientist whose poetry and prose have won a Fulbright award, the Ellen Meloy Fund Award for Desert Writers, residencies at Hedgebrook Retreat for Writers and The Island Institute, and nominations for three Pushcart Prizes.

Rebecca’s collection of essays about whitewater guiding, Reading Water: Lessons from the River, was a San Francisco Chronicle Bay Area bestseller in 2008 and ForeWord Nature Book of the Year finalist in 2003. She is co-author of five books on creativity and the outdoors, most recently Sacrament: Homage to a River with photographer Geoff Fricker (Heyday, 2014). Her debut novel, Junction, Utah, explores the impact of oil exploration on American community, water, and wilderness (van Haitsma Literary, 2013). Her short story collection, Steelies and Other Endangered Species: Stories on Water, is forthcoming from Little Curlew Press.

One of the first women guides on Western whitewater, Rebecca was an oarswoman on the Colorado in Grand Canyon and other rivers for fourteen seasons. Her work as a scientist has focused on water resources and sediment. Currently she serves on the Board of Directors for Friends of the River, as an external advisor for the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Program at Sonoma State University, and on the Natural Resources Committee for Jack London State Historic Park in Glen Ellen, California.

 

This review was written by Kristin Anderson, author of Green. Feel free to share this review on your own website.