Assessing Actions

Been thinking about yesterday and the value of going to the KABAM festival each year. The cons are – travel distance, low sales and no time to work on my current novel. The pros are – interaction with other writers (both local and distant), the possibility of having that ‘one’ person walk up and offer you a publishing/marketing contract. It didn’t happen yesterday, but you never know who was there and what they saw/read.

I was chosen by my grandson Nick to be his confirmation sponsor. Because I can’t be with him physically each week, we call each other every Sunday as suggested by the confirmation coordinator. Today was Sunday and Sunday is the day we make the calls to check to see if spiritual guidance is needed in any way. Fortunately, guidance wasn’t needed this week, so we just had a nice conversation about a report on the immune system he had to write, then orally present it to his teacher and his classmates. He feels like he did quite well. He is brilliant, so no worries about his grade on the report.

Also, today, I worked on Peace by Pieces – Farrell Family Saga  –  Book 7. I worked on the formatting of ‘was’ and effectively sharing old family memories/deeds without boring the reader to death. I think I got it, but won’t know for a few days. Regardless, it worked for me and brought back lots of Farrell family antics/gatherings.  The current characters’ trip down memory lane is about over and soon I’ll have them back in Houston for their moon trip prep.

All that work with memories brought to mind this quote from Cicero. “Memory is the treasury and guardian of all things.” So very true!

 

KABAM – 2016

Spent a fun day in Kingman, AZ at their annual KABAM (Kingman Area Books Are Magic) festival. Lots of authors attended, at least 5 from Lake Havasu City. The three sitting near me in the author’s tent were from the Phoenix area. The variety of genres was quite varied, but there did seem to be a lot of fantasy and children’s books. To supplement the author sales, there were booths containing food, arts, crafts and clothing.

The planners worked hard and were so very accommodating to us authors. They had entertainment on a small stage from 10 am to 4 pm consisting of musicians, poets and story tellers.

The only drawback was lack of customers/readers. Most of the folks who stopped at my table to talk to me were authors who had tables themselves. I didn’t make many sales, but met some interesting folks. My favorite was a nine year old boy who kept coming back to my table to talk. He said he loved to read and intended to write his own book someday. I made him promise that he would write a ‘book’ and bring it to my table next year so I could read it. He said he loved fantasy and had many ideas of his own, especially regarding a character called ‘Flash’. I enjoyed his positive outlook on life and his promise to write his book. I’ll look for him at next year’s KABAM.

Mike, one of the moderators on the small stage, came around and interviewed the authors. He would take that info to the microphone and do a nice ad/promo for that author’s selection of books. When he did mine, he talked about my Farrell Family Saga series of books. He said the name, then spelled it out. Because, he joked, folks might think it was the ‘Feral’ Family. He laughed and said maybe they were feral which could make them a different kind of exciting reads. I do have to admit that, at times, some of the Farrell brothers have acted quite feral. Anyway, it was a cute promo and I thank Mike for it.

All in all, it was a good day and I came home motivated and hopeful. Those feelings, along with my memory of that nine year old potential author, reminded of this quote from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. “We have left undone those things which we ought to have done.”

My latest novel ‘The Band – Farrell Family Saga Book 6

Sharon Poppen’s latest novel, The Band – Farrell Family Saga Book 6, is now available in both print and ebook at Amazon.com. Below is the blurb on the back cover of the book.

The Band

The Band – The Farrell Family Saga – Book 6

The world has tended to the wounds suffered across the lands. Human nature has picked up the pieces and prosperity looms for those willing to accept the past, but look to the future and all the possibilities it offers.

The latest generation of the Farrell Family has joined in looking toward the future. They continue to love ranching and daily intermingling with the land and the livestock, but another love has taken the attention of the sons of Josh and Lani Farrell. Their Hawaiian ancestors have instilled a love of music in all four sons. In this novel, the Farrell brothers are ranchers by day and musicians by night after forming a quartet to entertain tourists in the nightspots of Maui.

Growing up as son of a father who gave so much during the Second World War, oldest son J.J. took on responsibilities as devoted son and reliable brother. He accepted those responsibilities readily. In addition to his brothers, a child of druggie parents comes under his protective wing. This child, Annie, becomes the love of his life.

A talent agent discovers the brothers and lures them into the wild world of rock and roll music. They take the name The Islanders and the four young Farrell men are introduced to the exciting, yet dangerous, world of music. A world filled with fan admiration, exhausting touring, alcohol, drugs and women wanting their night with a music idol. A world not appreciated by their wives.

As usual with the Farrell family, what happens to one Farrell affects every Farrell from grandparent to grandchild. I hope this family continues to touch your heart and that you’ll want to read on to discover how this next Farrell generation copes with the changing times as they search for their generation of love, happiness and peace in their lives.

 

 

LHCWG – Writers Forums

The Lake Havasu City Writer’s Group begins its 2016 Writers Forum Presentations tomorrow, Jan. 11, 2016 at Mohave Communtiy College. The topic for this presentation is ‘So You Want to Write Short Stories – Fiction’. The moderator is Sharon Poppen. The program starts at 7:00 p.m. in room 202.

New Story Posted

Just posted a new short story. With high school graduations happening all over the country, I thought my readers might enjoy the tale of a nerd’s attempt to change his image as he exits his high school years. You can find it on the menu along the right side of my website under the category ‘Story of the Week’. Just a fun piece I hope you enjoy.

Congrats to all the graduates who will be moving on to high school, college or careers. Work hard, make plans for the future, but most of all remember to have fun.

Story of the Week: Always the Good Kid

Always the Good Kid

By Sharon Poppen

Always the good kid.  Never one to fight the system, Tommy decided that he couldn’t graduate high school without breaking at least one rule.

Once coming to that decision, he thought hard about what to do.  It had to be something noticeable or it wouldn’t really count.  He knew he was considered a nerd.  He made a list of the reasons for his nerdhood:  straight A student, twelve years of perfect attendance, never a homework assignment or book report missed, no piercing, matching clothes, never a drink of alcohol, let alone drugs and he was still a virgin.  Yes, he thought, I’ve been a straight arrow.  The time had come to update his list.

There was a term paper due the next day, Tommy left it undone.

To miss his first period class, he decided he’d leave home on time the next morning so as not to upset his mother.  But, he’d spend an hour at a coffee shop near the school.

Sticking a needle in his ear brought tears to his eyes and a trickle of blood colored the sink.  The safety pin he fastened in the hole didn’t stem the bleeding, but a couple of ice cubes helped and eventually the bleeding stopped.  He hoped the band-aid and a tale of a zit would satisfy parental curiosity.

He slit the knees of his Levis with the scissors, then tore the slits into ragged holes.  He turned his red YMCA lifeguard shirt inside out.  A pair of shoes consisting of a white Nike and a brown loafer, but no socks, completed his ensemble.  He’d change clothes in the coffee shop restroom.

Tommy stuffed the items into his backpack along with an empty beer can he’d dug out of a neighbor’s trash.

Tommy drew the line at breaking the drug rule, even if he had known where to get some.

The virgin stigma required a partner, so that one he couldn’t change.

With his plans completed, Tommy tried to sleep, to hurry the morning.  But, his pending walk on the wild side had his adrenalin boiling.  He dozed fitfully, but was awake to see his clock move ahead hour by dragging hour.

Finally, his mother called from the kitchen.  Breakfast was ready.  Feeding five children kept his mother too busy to notice Tommy’s jitters.  He hurried through his cereal and left for school.

At the coffee shop, all went as planned.  He arrived at school just before his first period class let out.  His nerves got the best of him and he had to pee.  As he was finishing, the period-ending bell clanged and an idea popped into his head.  He reached in among his clothes and books and switched his Buddy Holly black rims for some Elvis shades.

It was now or never.  Making sure the beer can was visibly peeking out of his backpack, he took a deep breath and barged out into the crowded hallway.

He’d only gone a couple of steps when a blond cheerleader raised her eyebrows.  “Very nice,” she giggled.

A redhead from his science class grinned.  “My, my, the caterpillar is set free.”

Three hotties from his english class smiled and cooed, “Hi, Romeo.”

At this point, Tommy was in a confident strut and fully enjoying the smiles on the faces of girls who’d never looked his way before.

And so it went down the long hall to his trig classroom.  His friends Duane and Todd were already seated in their front row seats.

Duane’s eyes bugged out.  “What the heck are you doing?”

“Attracting babes!” Tommy boasted.  “They’re really digging my new look.”

Todd coughed and pointed toward Tommy’s middle.  “Yeah?  Well I gotta say you’re definitely looking.”

Tommy looked down to find his penis, uncaged and standing at attention.  In his nervousness, he’d forgotten to zip.

A hand clamped down on his shoulder just as he finished tucking in and caused Tommy to zip off a tender layer of skin.

He was ushered to the principal’s office and his mother was called.  The three-day suspension actually turned out quite well.  After a lecture from his mom and a Come-to-Jesus meeting with his father, Tommy spent most of his time on the phone with the blond cheerleader, the redhead and the hotties from his English class, among other calls from female classmates.

The final couple of months before graduation were the best Tommy could ever remember.  He was voted “most popular” in the senior yearbook and by graduation night, he’d crossed off the item requiring a partner from his rules-to-break list.

The End

“Deborah’s Story” Book Signing

DeborahsStory_ForWebJoin Sharon Poppen Saturday, May 9th, 2015 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hastings Entertainment, 321 Lake Havasu Avenue North, Lake Havasu City, Arizona. She will be signing her newest novel, “Deborah’s Story” which is the third book in the Farrell Family Saga.

Stop by and say “Hi!”

Join Sharon at KABAM! — Kingman Area Books Are Magic.

Sharon Poppen will be at KABAM — the Kingman Area Books Are Magic event on May 2, 2015.

Located at 315 W Beale at Grandview, in Kingman, Arizona, the 4 acre Metcalfe Park will be home to the Eleventh Annual book festival. Come join in the fun!

Authors…Books…Live Entertainment…FREE Family Fun…and a chance to meet and greet Sharon Poppen and many other local authors.