Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Huge Announcement! Charley through Canada on Tour!



Remember that time I had the idea to write a book celebrating Canada's 150'th Birthday? Well so far the book has done quite well and now, to make things perfect, I am going to spend this summer sharing my work across the province, west to east in the Amazing Canada 150 Literary Tour NL. The tour is a collaboration between Literary Events NL (An amazing organization you'll hear more about in the future) and the amazing Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries.

It was grade seven, and I lugged a huge book home.  I had pretty much devoured every other book in our small public library on Change Islands and, well I'd heard of this guy Shakespeare and so, I was going to give it a go. At the beginning, I struggled with this great tome. What the hell was this guy trying to say? But I learned to read the footnotes and made my way through it. Who knows how many times I had to renew it so that I could finish but I did it. And what joy it brought me.  Only at the public library could a young girl with a voracious appetite for the written word find a treasure such as The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. That was also the year I read Gone with the Wind. I think I read it ten times if I read it once.

So now, as an adult, as a writer and novelist myself, I am thrilled to be able to work with the Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries, to share my books at their venues surrounded by the pages that consoled me on lonely nights and entertained me on boring days.  And I get to so with other authors who probably had similar experiences and fond memories of days with musty books and a million stories. 

I even won a contest for a poem I wrote about the library and won a set of Schaeffer Pens, my first reward for written work. I guess that was the day I turned professional!  The pay has not improved much, let me assure you!

So back to the Library I go, but now to read out loud, to share the space with others who bend the pen and create tales of escape and romance, of hardship and triumph.  And to show appreciation for a place that helped form me and gave me all I ever needed as a girl. A good book.

See you at the Library!   


Tour Dates for the LENL-NLPL Canada 150 Litarary Tour NL

Stephenville            July 10th, 2017                5-7:45pm
Corner Brook          July 19th, 2017                5-7:45pm
Deer Lake               July 20th, 2017                2-4:00pm
Lewisporte              July 26, 2017                  5-7:45pm
Grand Falls             July 27th, 2017                5-7:45pm
Fogo                        August 1, 2017                5-7:45pm
Gander                    August 9, 2017                5-7:45pm
Clarenville              August 10, 2017              5-7:45pm
St John’s                 August 16, 2017              12:30pm to 7:45




Oh  yeah, the book is number one on Amazon Canada on this list!




Thursday, April 27, 2017

A HUGE Update! And FREE stuff!

Now Available on Amazon


"Just literally finished the book I laughed so hard! I got misty eyed and I was inspired! Truly a great book. Got a trip from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland planned that starts in seven days!!! I might read it again while we travel 🇨🇦 I hope I find as much insight about myself as you did on the road. Well I'm off to download "The Secrets of a Rare Moon Tickle" !

~Trish Prosser-Loehr

It's out! It's live on Amazon and I'm working on getting it into stores over the next month! Now that I've released it I'm wondering, what took me so long? 

And you're probably wondering also!  I have been writing in that time but much of it was non-fiction, freelance, newspaper stuff. 

I've been working on other projects that have kept my fiction writing to a minimum. But for the last while, I've been going strong. In fact, I have three more books drafted and likely will draft at least two more before the next book is released, in the fall of 2017. 

But for now, let's talk about my new release, Charley through Canada, available for purchase on AMAZON!  

First off, it's selling and has hit a few Bestseller lists in its categories! Yay! Canadians love reading about Canada so writing a book that celebrates Canada's 150th birthday seems to be something people are on board with. 

The next step is to find more Amazon reviewers. Stuff like what Trish Prosser-Loehr wrote at the top.  Reviews are so important to an author that I'm willing to give books away to get them.  So if you want to read the book for free, I can forward a Kindle review copy to you free of charge.  Seriously, you can get the book for free if you want to spend a few moments when it's done on several lines and click a star-rating on Amazon. You just need to have an Amazon account on which you've spent at least $50. That's it. 

Email me at carolynrparsons@gmail.com to make arrangements for your review copy or leave a comment on this post. 

I feel like the home shopping network! Don't go yet! There is more!

I have another freebie!  In March the ebook version of The Secrets of Rare Moon Tickle was released, by Pronoun, a company owned by MacMillan Publishing. I've arranged to make that book free for people as well. Just click HERE and you can claim a free ebook version of my first novel.  And of course, if you're inclined to review it, that would be amazing! 

That's all for now! More to come more frequently now as I pick up the pace on this author gig again.  Cheers and have a fantastic day!

Carolyn



Thank you for all your support!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The First Draft-How to do it in 16 days!



This is about that time I drafted a book in 16 days.  Does that sound crazy? It wasn't, it was actually easy. And to add to that, I finished the draft of a book I started Mid December before I started this one, and I took 2 weeks off for Christmas.

And neither are absolutely horrible drafts.

The book I just finished was a project I'm publishing myself simply because I want to get it out there, it's a fun book, a story to celebrate the 150th birthday of Canada and there isn't enough time to shop it out to publishers.  I'll do that with the next one.

Meanwhile, I know you writer types. You want to know one thing. How did I do it?

1. I set a goal of 1000 words per day, 5 days per week, 7000 per week.  The fact is the first 1000 words are the hardest. I started every day at 9 am knowing I had a block of three hours to complete 1000 words. That had to be done, and it was every day. Some days I struggled to get that many but I always did it but most days I did far more, usually between 3000 and 5000. I was slowed down only by the odd google to research something.

2. I did it nearly all in dialogue which is my weakness.  Now I get to improve my description in rewrites which is far easier for me. And of course, when I started reading I had some fairly good description in there anyway.

3. This is something that may have given me an edge.  I'm a really fast typist, 80 words a minute back when I was tested last. I didn't even learn to type until I was 25 but since that time, I've typed a helluva lot. And now, my typing is super fast.

4. I never gave up, even in the moments where I thought, this is awful, this is boring, this isn't going anywhere because I had only an idea. I didn't have a fully developed story.

5. I trusted the process.  Nearly two-thirds of the way into the story I had no clue where it was headed. I just kept going. Then, during a conversation with a friend about something totally unrelated it hit me. So I started writing out that idea and it all came together from that point. I did have to go back and insert some references to the thing that came to me, but that is how it goes. Still finished the draft.

6. I set the goal at 50,000 words as the finish, the book will be around 60,000 but that's fine. Getting to 50,000 meant novel-length and accomplishment. Realizing there were six more chapters required after I reached 50,000 was fine. If I could write thirty-six chapters, I could write six more right?

7. I just did it. I set a time to start, a time to finish and just do it.

8. I'm in rewrites, end of this week it should go to readers, then a week later off to editors. The minute this goes to editors, I'm starting another book.  Don't ever start writing. It must become the thing you do, no matter what. Great swathes of time without writing aren't what writers have. I hated even taking the weekends off but I am finding it does help with burnout.

9. There are no secrets. You want to write books, write them.

Many of you are thinking, yeah, but is it good? It can't be that good. Well, it's actually quite good, not Pulitzer prize good, but a really good, fun, quick-to-read book. And that was the goal so I've achieved it.

Write. Sit down, make the goals and write.  Excuses don't write books.  The photo above is just an inspiration, the cover is being designed by a very talented graphic artist and will be available for reveal soon.

Have a fantastic day everybody

Carolyn


Monday, January 9, 2017

Romance, Love & witing like a Fiend



That clipart above? That's the kind of muse I have lately.  My deadline for finishing the draft of the romance novel I'm working on is January this coming Friday, But me, in an epic marathon writing spree finished that sucker on Friday. I wrote over 15000 words, well beyond my goal.  I have set the manuscript aside and I'm now working on another book, a character-driven story that I'll have published before the summer. The goal is to finish the draft. I'm into Chapter four with 3500 words written this morning before noon.

Discipline is the key. At the moment I am now enjoying the time to work and so, work I am. At 9am I sit down every morning and write at least until noon with a goal of 1000 words.  If I do that I am satisfied that I have accomplished enough. There is some research happening simultaneously, locations to be researched and so forth but when there is just the dialogue I can zoom along at great speed.

I saw a tweet from a writer who said he was disappointed he had only reached 1000 words today when his goal was 3500.  That's backwards to me. Set 1000 as the goal, it's easy and achievable and delight in reaching it. When you're having a wonderful day, and hit 3500, which I most often do, you feel amazing. Trick your brain. Go ahead. It works.

Have a happy day!

#amwriting
Carolyn

Monday, January 2, 2017

Book Reviews; Then She Danced and Skinny Me!



And with a flip, the wall calendar is now glaring 2017 at me over my shoulder. I should really do something new, make some resolutions, restart life and so on. But I am just carrying on writing when I can and doing catch up on other things when I can't.

Today's catch up included writing two reviews for some books I've read recently. I'm trying to do that more because reviews are very important to authors.

To read the reviews or to purchase the books click on the links below. The second one is free right now on Amazon so get in there and grab it!  Might be a good one to read if you've got that "get fit in 2017 new years resolution" thing going on!

Then She Danced by Janis Godin

Skinny Me by Charlene Carr

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Process of Changing the Process.



When I wrote my first book it was a roller coaster ride.  I was so productive but nothing other than writing was ever accomplished.  For some time now I've been scared to death to get into that again, letting my life fall by the wayside as I write. For some reason I thought that was the process,  the only process that would work for me. So, I need a period of six months to do nothing but write. Now that I think about it that's crazy. I have children, a husband, other commitments.  Lately, however, I've been trying something completely different and it's working.

 I set a goal. 1000 words per day every day of the week, weekends if I can but without pressure.  Nothing comes before that and if I have to do a morning appointment, I'll do it and write later.  But I'm booking things around my "job" now after all, that's what people employed by others have to do. This is my work, I have to treat it as such.  I have allowed myself to not write on holidays and weekends because they're so challenging but I am trying to do it if I get up before the girls. Now a second thing has happened. I write, no matter if I'm stuck or not. In fact I've got four projects on the go, that are in different phases so that I have something to write. One is well underway and looks to be the first in line for completion, The other two are also romances that I work on as well

The fourth is a completely different sort of project, a short story collection needs research so I'll do the research at times when writing isn't so easy, it is just reading and taking notes after all, and promotion occurs in between times. So when I'm truly not able to do either. And it's working. I cannot remember when I've been more productive. Last week I wrote at least 20,000 words, on two of my projects, moving one into the midpoint that I always find so daunting, when things change and move forward, the part that causes me to lose focus because it requires some inspiration and focus.

The best part is that I'm living life. The house is semi-clean, I eat fairly regularly and things are not crazy and hectic from day and night marathon writing session.   After Christmas I plan to work full time but cutting myself some slack I've made the remainder of this year about working part-time, and 1000 words per day which morphs into thousands more once I get into the rhythm, is a good goal.

Today I broke the 5000 word mark and it's not even noon.  I've learned that I can do it if I choose.  And that four works in progress is fine.  Plus I still have the entire afternoon and evening to get some Christmas stuff done. No excerpts from either book yet but the photo above will give you an indication of the heat level of my latest project. It's going to singe your eyebrows and leave you wanting more...more of my romance stories or more of something else...wait and see... Romantically yours... C

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Holiday Hearts; A Christmas Romance Anthology!

Very Proud of this Project!


It is almost Christmas!  And this year we have a bit of snow here on our beautiful shores.  Our family is in a new home that is undergoing renovations, I am  just back from a long vacation-over three weeks away in Ontario and then Florida-and now I'm pumped up on Vitamin D and ready for the winter!  And I'm re-committing to my writing with a series of short stories to kick things off mid-winter!  But first, an anthology!

I want to let you all know about the above book, an anthology of Christmas Romance that I'm certain you will enjoy a great deal! Grab your beverage of choice, bundle under some blankets, turn on the tree lights, fire up the e-reader and enjoy some incredible escapism from some very fine authors.

Romance is a new genre for me but it is so fun! My story is called Seasons of Love and is an easy and quick escape into the lives of two people caught up in feelings that are not appropriate but oh so very real and strong.  Buy it on Amazon iTunes Books or Kobo for only $2.99 and please leave a review after you've panted through it! 

A bit about my story in the anthology.

 SEASONS OF LOVE-CAROLYN R. PARSONS

Isolated on her little point of land in a tiny town, Donna is delighted when the house next door is sold. But when the very married William Gage arrives alone sparks fly as they figure out the boundaries of their properties and their friendship. Will she give in to temptation and sample some pre-Christmas treats before his wife arrives?


Also here is a  video excerpt from the story 

Win! Win! Win!

Also, subscribe to my email list by sending an email to carolynrparsons using the email address you want to use with the subject line "Subscribe to Carolyn R Parsons Books" and you will be entered to win a signed copy of The Secrets of Rare Moon Tickle, my first novel. The draw will be held January 1, 2017 and the winner will be announced here!

Ps. You won't receive a deluge of emails from me. Just updates from time to time and notifications of new published material!


Happy Holidays everyone;

Carolyn

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Come From Away~A Few Thoughts. (Spoiler Alert)



In a world where horror is often the predominant televised experience, where humans commit atrocities against humans for the flimsiest of excuses-a different religion, appearance, gender, sexual orientation, passion, revenge and general hate--and for this continent, our shared experience of on September eleventh 2001--it's easy to lose hope.  Horror can only be overshadowed by an extreme outpouring of bravery and compassion.

"Look for the helpers," I've read and that's where you find the means to pull yourself up out of the depths of despair for humanity and find hope.  The heroes, the regular people doing what they can for a traumatized people.

On September 11, 2001, Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, along with multiple communities in the region gave refuge to thousands of people from all over the world when American airspace shut down and a large number of planes were forced to land there.

Come From Away, a musical performance, seeks to tell the story of those days when "The Plane People" were here, awaiting permission to return home.

It succeeds by every measure.

From the first note it is a celebration of who we--Newfoundlanders--are as a people. Set to Newfoundland inspired music, the tales are spun, the poignant stories extracted from the true stories, merged but somehow made bigger while being condensed. These are nobody's stories and everybody's stories. The plane people shared theirs, the surrounding residents told of their experiences and they set the entire damned thing to music. And it's brilliant.

There is love, hate, fear, anger, racism, homophobia, feminism and a dogged determination on behalf of the locals to just fix this, to make it better, to ensure that all are taken care of, both human and animal.

It is such a fascinating thing to see your people through the eyes of others.

It is eye-opening to note that what to you is perfectly normal, is in fact perfectly remarkable.

"Go steal everybody's grill," the mayor of Appleton advises one CFA (Come From Away) when they decide to cook up the excess food and have a community gathering in Gander for residents and plane people. "They're gonna shoot me," he thinks. But of course, if you need all the barbecues in the town to use for a big town event, what community of Newfoundland wouldn't offer theirs up to whoever came knocking on the door? None. Ours in on the back porch...we'd help load it on the truck.  That's what you do. Here. It's Normal.

Apparently that's not normal in the big world and as such, normal is probably not something we should strive for.  There is nothing wrong with us. There is something wrong with "normal."

Normal is taking the plane people for a drink at the legion or a stop at the Tim Horton's or giving the RCMP the go ahead to clear the shelves of the Shoppers Drug Mart of whatever is needed in a state of emergency.   You know, ordinary things.  In other places you hear of looting during a State of Emergency, in Gander there was permission to loot.

I recall asking my daughter a few weeks into her new school here in Lewisporte about how it was going and what noticeable differences she had discovered between this school and her previous, fantastic school, in Ontario.

"Well," she said, "in that school, if I need a pencil and I told the teacher, somebody in my class would offer me a pencil. Here, if I needed a pencil, everybody would offer me a pencil."

And indeed I've seen it for myself.  When the Syrian crisis was at the forefront of the news and the government committed to bringing twenty five thousand people to Canada, this region offered to take ten families. They're all not here yet but some are. And some of those new Canadians were at the show last night. They enjoyed it very much and feel very proud to be new Newfoundlanders.

We, in this province, have a family dynamic going on. We row among ourselves, get right upstrapless at times, but when the chips are down we stick together, we celebrate together and we dare anyone come out against one of us because we'll all have that person's back. Loudly and soundly. We are family, a great big loving, giving, passionate family.

And we will pull together for the common good, every single person offering for everything they require. Put out a call and you will receive, if somebody is in need. Whether it be a pencil or seven thousand beds, they'll be provided immediately.

That's us.

And the show? Well I started weeping around the time they hit the second note. I started stomping my feet at the first. I laughed, cried, was shocked, was proud (over and over and over) and as the energy in the room built, the energy on stage grew. I probably wept most at the celebration of the social issues that were covered and was delighted that the entire place erupted in joy or sadness at those junctures as well.  I probably laughed loudest at the line, "Hi, I'm your Walmart greeter, would you like to come to my house for a shower?"

I walked out feeling blessed and grateful and thoroughly entertained. Blessed to be here. Grateful for all who brought the show to us and thoroughly entertained because that was a rock solid, energetic and absolutely incredible performance.

And after a run in Toronto, it's going to Broadway in February.

Broadway is lucky to have them.



















Friday, September 23, 2016

A Heartwarming Welcome to Canada

Some things are worth missing sleep for. Recently I drove to Gander and witnessed what Talal calls his "Miracle." After years of uncertainty after leaving their home country he is here now in Canada, along with his family, as permanent residents. I first became familiar with this family when a letter Talal wrote to the Prime Minister was read to GRO. We pledged at that time to do all we could to get the family to Gander and now that pledge has been fulfilled. It has been a pleasure getting to know Talal through Facebook this past year and we all look forward to getting to know the entire family now that they've arrived. I made this video of the arrival. Please excuse the amateur camera work. I don't use the video setting on my camera very often. < < <

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Stories by a Cove Garden Girl

How winding the road is that takes you along in life. And yes the road is the driver and you are the passenger because you really have no control over outcomes, you only have control over your enjoyment level.

I've been distracted. For years.  I've found my way back however.  There are things to be written that have filled my brain while I spent (wasted?) my time doing other things.

I've found my way back and I've been working on some podcasts. Here is the first one..just a practice but something to share as I move back into my writing life. Stories by a Cove Garden Girl (That's me) will be some short stories about women in the history of Newfoundland. You'll note I never name the woman in this story. That's because I wanted her to be any woman or every woman. Most of the women of the time disappeared, a marker, a side bar on the life of the man. My goal is to make some of them breathe again. Perhaps this story is an attempt to make all of them breathe again.