Fall in Alaska is different. The ground is black and gray, the grass yellowish brown with no yellow nor red to be seen.
I love fishing in the summer. If the day is warm, or even slightly sunny. You’ll often find me on the river bank. Like a chubby white dwarf in Neoprene. Dreaming of dragons and other fun story ideas as I cast away.
There is something peaceful of the simple repetitiveness of fishing. I can stay on the river bank for hours, just fishing/dreaming away.
Then I hit a setback, (a snag) and I’m suddenly seven years old again. Stomping my feet, angry at the world because my fishing pole is way to big for my little hands and I can never find help when I need it.
We hit snags in real life to, not just on torn branches on the opposite bank.
Like when we go to the grocery store and realized we’ve overspent. Hours later, we’re back at home furiously crunching numbers trying to figure out how to balance our checkbook/bank card and worse, how did it get all messed up in the first place?
When I hit snags while writing, I usually have the worst self pity break down ever. (ask my husband, he will agree). I stomp, I shout, I cry, I get frustrated, irritated, opinionated and more. All because i’ve struck a wall i’ve never seen before. One that looks impenetrable and i’m unable to break through it, or can I?
Sometimes it takes research. Sometimes, a little more applications or just looking at my problem in a different light.
If your facing your wall today, your snag and desperately pulling on that line trying to come up with your solution, then take a step back.. and breath. I might be there in that same spot, breathing deep with you.
I firmly believe there is a solution to every problem but it might take a while for us to figure it out. Tomorrow or the next day your solution might come to you. Perhaps, it will take a few more days or a month, but if you believe and keep trying, you’ll get there.
We both will.
Today, I’m very excited to bring you the COVER of the lovely and talented, Amaleen Ison.
Not only does she have the prettiest cover i’ve ever seen, but the the story behind the cover! Whoah!
REMEMBER ME: Sera isn’t living. She’s existing—barely. Bedbound by illness, she has no memory of life before the freezing barn she now calls home. A mournful song haunts her dreams and hints at a past not completely buried—one she’s desperate to uncover. Yet Father’s whirlwind visits to draw blood and administer medication don’t provide answers. He only confirms the one thing she already knows; she’s dying.
A lonely death without ever knowing her past seems inevitable until a sudden, mystifying return to health coincides with the arrival of a boy in the opposite out-building. The inextricable pull to the stranger, and the broken memories that storm her mind when he’s near, warn of a history quite different to any she could have imagined. If she’s to uncover the truth she craves, she’ll have to decide whether knowledge of the past is worth forfeiting her second chance at life.
Now for the COVER!
Author Picture & Bio:
Amaleen Ison is a married mother of one. She lives with her family in Hertfordshire, England, along with her cats (Oscar and Winston), guinea pig ( LouLou), and gerbils (Blackberry and Pumpkinseed). She writes Young Adult fantasy stories that meander into a variety of sub-genres.
As a child, Amaleen lived most of her life in her head. She imagined herself in mystical lands populated by the weird and wonderful. She still spends way too much time daydreaming, but now she writes about her imaginings and weaves them into stories. The fantasy element is always important, but more so the hodgepodge of emotions that arise from her characters first time experiences.
Today I want to talk to you about one of the most important things I’ve ever done.
When I was twenty-nine I was at a low point in my life. I was separated from my son’s father, on welfare, going to college so I could get my clerical degree. I spent over four hours a day on the bus, and I lived in a drug infested neighborhood in the middle of a major city. I was tired, discouraged and broke.
I came to the slow realization that something in my life needed to change and that something was me.
I wrote down a list of five things I wanted (material things for the un-material girl).
1. A house
2. A snow machine (even in Fresno, I was an Alaskan at heart)
3. A camper
4. My own vehicle
5. and most of all, I wanted to move back home.
Not to a specific house from my childhood, but the place I lived longest as a kid. To Alaska. It took me a year to save a pitiful amount of money.
Then I totaled my truck which I had for sale. My plan had been to use the truck money to purchase the tickets. Instead I sold it for scrap. It was a very disheartening day. A lot of people would have given up then, I refused to. (Don’t think it ever entered my mind). I told my former mother in law (who lived up here) It would take me a while longer, she paid for my trip. (I will always have a fondness for this lady, who unlike her son treated me with the utmost respect and kindness and whom I still feel I owe!)
People gave me sage advice about moving, like.. “You know, women can’t make it in Alaska,” (From one of my relatives believe it or not.) “It’s too hard, you’ll freeze to death.” “You shouldn’t be doing this to your son.”
So in 96, I moved up here anyway. I’ve left only for family vacations (3x in 16 years). My father was here for about a year, then he split, so I was without family or a support for years. I’ve spun out on ice, ruined the rim on my car (so broke, I still don’t remember how I could afford to get it fixed), had the washing machine, the dryer AND the well pump all go out in the same month. I’ve shoveled my driveway a good dozen times each winter, saw the death of several of my beloved dogs, planted flowers, and discovered new places to explore every summer.
So what about my goals? I bought a camper (it was a screaming deal, and I had no truck! It was old but so sturdy it could survive an earthquake). A few years later I got a used snow machine. The struts were gone, but it was as steady as a rock. The bank and I own my house, small dinky two bedroom, but heck, less cleaning!
Why am I bringing all this up? Because it’s life. There are times in your life where you will want to do more, and you’ll stop yourself. You’ll freeze in place, unable to move. You’ll say, no, I can’t write that book. I can’t climb that mountain, or create that work of art. You might even tell yourself not to make a snow man in your own front yard. You’ll say, what if the neighbors see? Trust me, as long as you’re not naked building the snow man, they really won’t care. They might even go outside and make one to! Or they might stay in side, toasty warm and jealous as spit.
Life is so short, and each and every one of us has so many challenges just to get through the day. I’m just saying, don’t limit yourself. Refuse to let that no, into your heart. (unless your a stalker then trust me, he meant the word NO).
There will be nay sayer’s, you will get put down. You will get bullied and pushed around. People will tell you that you can’t do whatever it is you want to, but I say, it’s your life! The only person you can guarantee to stick up for you is you! So grab that paint brush, open a new word document, or pick up the phone and make that call! It doesn’t have to be perfect, you just need to get started and isn’t today a good day for that?
Visions of Alaska!
This was taken at 9 a.m! My front yard! It’s not quite that spacious, (all in the angle!)
Here’s me on my birthday.. (level up up baby!)
Yes, there is a line straight down the middle, it’s a self portrait from a mirrored medicine cabinet. Sure, I could have posted one of me smiling, but personally, I think my smiles sorta, well boring, and this is more me when I’m thinking hard.
The shirt was one my son left when he moved out, so naturally when I’m missing him (don’t feel sorry for me, he lives across town!).. I wear his shirt!
Yo, Moose at the old Hyundai? Go lick someone else’s car!
Just another day in the life of your ordinary Alaskan Geek. Note, I stayed in side for all of these photo’s. Cold is cold people! J.