DEBUT

Writing-wise I’ve hit some milestones this year.

  1. I became an associate member of SFWA (science fiction writers of America)
  2. I had three short stories published in semi-pro or pro magazines: “Breakage”, “The Boy from Omran”, and “A Quick Getaway.”

    Tethys Issue of Pantheon Magazine. My story “The Boy from Omran” is available to read for free at http://www.pantheonmag.com

  3. I’ll be at author events September – December and……….(Drum Roll)
  4. My book, Walking Through Fire, is finally out in the world. Thank you to everyone who purchased a copy! We get to have fun now! Last night was firestorm yoga and the audience was as silly as I was — we had a lot of laughs as I led a class with poses modified to reflect the story in Walking Through Fire. The next event is Friday the 14th at Barnes and Noble in Bel Air, Maryland. And, on September 18th we will have a PARTY at Julie Ellyn Designs on Main Street in Bel Air. Special cupcakes, you ask? Maaayyybe.
  5. All events have details here.

Now, I need you to do one more thing: If you liked Walking Through Fire then please, please, please leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. Even just rating with stars gets the Amazon AI to recognize traffic and then boosts the page higher on a search results list.

We are getting noticed, though. Check out this review from Fantasy Hive.  AND, I have an interview with S. H. Harrison. And, I have a video chat with The Richard Wilmore Show.

Thank you to everyone who is helping my dream become reality,

Love,

Sherri

 

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READINGS AND SIGNINGS

Hi Friends,

First, a big THANK YOU to everyone who pre-ordered WALKING THROUGH FIRE. It’s not too late — here are the links for purchase:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Talos Press

The book will also be available in bookstores starting September 4th, 2018.

I’ve set up some local places where I’ll sign books and do readings. I hope you can join me!

READING AND SIGNING SCHEDULE

Friday, September 7th  FIRESTORM YOGA AND READING

6:30 PM – 7:30 PM  Anytime Fitness, 1 Newport Drive, Forest Hill, MD

Yoga Instructor and Fantasy Author Sherri Woosley will teach a special twenty-minute yoga class inspired by her novel WALKING THROUGH FIRE. The class will be followed by a reading. If you have a book, please bring to have it signed.

Friday, September 14th      SIGNING

6:30-8:00 PM  Barnes and Noble, 620 Marketplace Dr, Bel Air, MD 21014

The bookstore isn’t hosting readings at this time, but I will be present and happy to sign or discuss the book.

Tuesday, September 18th   READING AND SIGNING

12:30 – 1:30 Julie Ellyn Designs, 18 S Main St, Bel Air, MD 21014

Come listen to a reading from Walking Through Fire in a shop that features beautiful handmade jewelry as well as other unique gifts made by artisans from around the country. Light refreshments will be served.

Saturday and Sunday, September 29th – 30th Signing and Panels

Saturday: Signing at the SFWA tent at 5 PM, Inner Harbor of Baltimore

Sunday: 1:00 PM       Panel: The Future of Cities, the Fantasy of Cities

4:00 PM       Panel: From Harry Potter to the Broken Earth Trilogy: Magic                                                Systems That Will Put You Under Their Spell

 

CRITTER QUIZ for Walking Through Fire

Hello Friends,

  1. My novel releases in three weeks. I’ve been waiting six years for this, so kind of a big deal. You should definitely pre-order a copy here
  2. I’m working on a list of readings and signings and will share soon.
  3. Please, if you are on Goodreads add my book to your “to-read” list.

Why should you do these things? Well, remember THIS post? But, there are other reasons too. The CRITTERS in my novel deserve their own post.

Animals are important to me. That’s why I have my foster-fail pup Gabe. That’s why my oldest daughter is in the Animal Science program at her high school and we experienced the whole Bunny Project. We still have 2 1/2 bunnies, by the way, in case anyone local to Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania is looking for a wonderful pet. The 1/2 is because…well, I digress. We also have a baby horse. She’s a beautiful four-year-old off-the-track Thoroughbred filly who has a ridiculous racing record (like, ridiculously bad. That is also another story…and I’ll post about her with pictures of her doing yoga with the equine osteopath because, you know, that’s my life.)

Anyway, I say all this because OF COURSE animals are going to be a big part of my world-building. Energy follows ley lines and causes changes that… Hey! I don’t want to give too much away, though. There’s a quiz below to tell you who your perfect “pet” would be, but DON’T READ ANY FARTHER IF YOU WANT TO BE SURPRISED WHEN READING.

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You’re still here? Okay, here’s the quiz:

  1.          Do you want a pet that requires more or less attention?

A) Every minute with my pet

B) I have a couple hours every day.

C) I want a pet that fits into my lifestyle

D) I want my pet around when I remember it

E) I have no interest in actually interacting with my pet

                        2. How important is obedience from your pet?

A) Obedience is nice, but love is more important.

B) I need obedience so I can trust my pet.

C) Well, maybe obedience is overrated.

D) Who needs a pet who does tricks?

E) Umm. I need my pet to understand, “STOP.”

3. How important is it that your pet be housetrained?

A) Very

B) Accidents are unacceptable. We can work on manners.

C) Kind of

D) I’m willing to change my pet’s water.

E). Nope. Never coming in my house anyway.

4. How traditional do you want your pet to be?

A) Very

B) Pretty traditional

C) Somewhat

D) That’s boring

E) I want a pet that no one has never seen before

5. Do you want your pet to like you?

A) You said “like.” I think you meant “love.”

B) I want my pet to respect me.

C) I’d like my pet to recognize my voice, at least.

D) It’s okay if my pet doesn’t even know I’m home.

E) My pet and I will be actively avoiding each other.

 

Look, you guys have done magazine quizzes before. You know what to do. Whichever letter you choose the most often corresponds to your perfect “Misbegotten” pet.

A) Dido — a white female wolf who keeps Caesar “in the friend zone.” She’s elegant, maternal, and protective. With the right person, she’s not above snuggling. Dido is highly intelligent, but discerning about who she’ll love. She’s loyal to a fault and will give everything for her special one.  

B) Caesar — a solid black male wolf. He’s an alpha who will keep you safe by attacking promptly and without remorse. He is stoic, but might come across as arrogant. He’s not into being cuddled, but will consent to sit beside you when, and if, he chooses. He’s a soldier with perfect posture. It’s not his fault that he’s so damn handsome.

C) Saki — a penguin-turtle who helps Tamaki hold on to her sanity through many terrible experiences. She excels at being quiet and her fur is soft to the touch, but she’ll retreat inside her shell when she needs some alone time. She needs a lot of alone time.

By artist Amelia Grace

D) Zombie horseshoe crabs — these are kind of the equivalent of those frog kits where you send away for the tadpoles. They don’t require a lot of maintenance because they are already dead, but they do drift through the water, preferably brackish water like that found in the Chesapeake Bay, especially when in the presence of etemuu.  You can have one or a whole swarm. Warning: under the right circumstances they can be dangerous to humans.

E)Two-headed Moose — This guy is often misunderstood, probably because he is truly of two minds. Like a Gemini, this BIG fella has a good side, purely vegetarian. And then he has the other side, devilish side, literally. His second head, the one growing from his shoulder, would like to spear anyone and everyone. He’ll definitely get your friends attention. Warning: Hire a professional animal trainer for this pet.

 

So, ready to hit the pet store and buy supplies? Post in the comments which pet was right for you.

A couple of notes. The wolves and moose pictures all came from a World Wildlife Fund calendar a couple years ago — and I’m sorry I don’t have the specific photographer’s name to acknowledge him or her.

HOWEVER, I’m very happy to share the artist who created Saki for me: Amelia Grace. Her website is: http://amelia-grace-illustration.com and she has even more artwork on Instagram @Ameliagraceillustration

I’ve ordered bookmarks to give out at readings/signings and they will feature the cover art for Walking Through Fire on one side and Amelia’s design on the other side.

Let me know which pet you chose!

Sherri

 

Taos Toolbox 2018

This summer I had the opportunity to attend a two-week writing workshop called Taos Toolbox in New Mexico.

This is the longest I’ve ever been away from my family — I think the previous record was four days when I attended a mandatory yoga training — and it wouldn’t have been possible without several factors. First, my grandmother moved in with my parents a few months ago. She paid for my trip as a combined Christmas/Birthday gift. Second, my children are older now. They still need to be driven to their activities and their own camps, to have food prepared, etc., but they are old enough to be okay without me. Third, my beloved niece was home from college AND, because of her own summer commitments, hadn’t taken a job. So she stayed at my house while I was gone, my sister checked in, and my partner…well, of course it turned out that he had to go to France for work during the first week that I was gone.

So, I was not only very excited to attend this workshop, but I was also determined not to squander the opportunity. I think it went very well. I studied with science fiction masters Walter Jon Williams and Nancy Kress. They arranged for guest speakers such as Carrie Vaughn, Emily Mah Tippetts, and this guy that you might have heard of…he’s done this little thing called GAME OF THRONES.

The workshop was exciting, exhausting, and ultimately inspiring. I had the first 15,000 words of my next book (Misbegotten #2) critiqued and came home with a lot of ideas.

I also made friends. This is not the easiest thing for me, but I had three exceptional roommates: Kelli Fitzpatrick, Amanda Helms, and Gabrielle Harbowy. I’m writing their names because these women…wow, they are amazing authors.  I promise that you will see their names all over short stories and novels in the next couple years.

My FRIENDS and I drove to Santa Fe over the weekend to explore Meow Wolf. It’s….an interactive exhibit with a speculative storyline inside of a bowling alley repurposed by a team of about 400 artists. Not that it will make it any clearer, but here’s some pictures:

I flew home at the beginning of July and immediately had to play catch up with work and with the critters and with my kids who were a little angry I’d been gone. And, I’m glad to be home. I missed them all very much, but I’d go so far as to say that Taos Toolbox was a life-changing time for me. I got to be an adult, saturated in reading and critiquing 17 other manuscripts TWICE in two weeks, reading and dissecting published works, dining with guest authors, and being an adult.

I’m going to be pulling on that well of creative energy because my novel WALKING THROUGH FIRE releases on September 4th. Here are some ways that you can help, if you want.

  1. If you’ve considered buying the book, pre-orders REALLY help an author to ensure there will be a second book.  Amazon
  2. Adding the book on Goodreads.
  3. Leaving a review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads
  4. Asking your library if they have a copy of the book.

My next task is marketing. This is very much outside my wheelhouse, but I’ll keep you posted.

Love,

Sherri

 

Cover Reveal

Hello, Friends. It’s been…a chaotic couple of months, but I wanted to focus on some positive news. Would you like to see the amazing cover for my debut novel, Walking Through Fire?

I love this. We have Rachel and Adam standing in front of downtown Baltimore and a dragon in the flames overhead. Everything I wanted.

I have some other BIG news. My novel releases September 4th, 2018, BUT IT IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER.

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Talos Press

I’ll have more news soon.

Love,

Sherri

The Never-Ending Bunny Project is finished. (Almost)

My daughter loves animals and is in the Animal Science Magnet Program at her high school. Which is all well and good except for these year-long projects that somehow involve the whole family. This year it was rabbits. I can truthfully say that I’ve learned more about rabbits than I ever planned to know. She submitted the paperwork and essay yesterday and carried the trifold poster out to the bus stop this morning.

Every parent knows this trifold poster, right?

This year’s project had two parts.

1) The science experiment part. In this case she had an adult female rabbit named Storm produce a litter with Butterscotch and a litter with Opie and then compare the phenotype and guess at the genotype. <— See, I’m speaking science already.

2) There had to be an entrepreneur aspect. In this case, selling the offspring (to loving, committed homes with the understanding that babies would be returned to us if something didn’t work out).

She wouldn’t let me read her essay about what she learned this year, but we had some adventures. Remember this? Bunny Soap Opera

I learned a couple of things too.

  1. Even if student starts the project in June of 2017, the student will finish the night before it is due.
  2. Baby bunnies really are that cute.
  3. One orea bunny, two white with caramel markings, one striped with a Harlequinn face, one striped with solid face, and two fawn colored with gray bellies.

  4. There are dog people and cat people…and there are bunny people. And, bunny people are some of the nicest, most generous people you’ll meet. Pam, the alpaca farmer, has been so kind with lending us Opie and giving advice. The young women who lent us Butterscotch. The couple who adopted Clover when Clover turned out to be a boy and then they came back and bought little Luna from us so the bunnies could be a bonded pair (after Clover was altered).
  5. The phrase “herding cats” should be “herding bunnies.” Once they turned two weeks, bunny eyes opened and suddenly seven adorable fur babies were jumping into and out of their nesting box and hopping in seven different directions. This made for a very challenging picture. Also, they have no problem “bunny piling” and there is a brown bunny beneath these six. I think. Either that, or we lost one.

    Three weeks old

     

  6. If you feed a large carrot to a bunny, perhaps as a “thank you for having this second litter so the project is almost done” present, they will have red urine the next day that looks like blood and may freak you out. This time, before rushing to the Bunny ER, you check the internet.
  7. If you need to give bunnies an oral antibiotic you wrap them in a “bunny burrito” with a clean towel and approach from the side, not the front.
  8.  

    Also, pick up a bunny from underneath and support the legs, cradling the animal to your chest — do not swoop down from above because then you will seem like a hawk and they will hop away and they are fast and you will land on your face.

  9. Once you bring hay into your house for the bunnies, you will never get all the hay out again. There will be little pieces stuck to your socks and in your hair. Like Christmas Tree pine needles that you vacuum up until Thanksgiving…and then you start again. 
  10. Perhaps the most important thing I learned (beyond how to battle botflies) is that bunnies are cute, sweet, adorable, cuddly…blah blah blah. I am a dog person.

 

The babies are three weeks old and three have already been reserved. Four more to go and then Storm will return to her owner and this chapter will be over…until my daughter needs to start next year’s project. AHHHHHHHHH!

Love,

Sherri

 

 

Three-Legged Dog

I took Gabe to the dog park on Thursday, December 22nd  to run off some excess energy. Within five minutes another dog attacked him. The other owners and I ran over. I pulled off the first dog, but behind me the rest of the dogs had piled onto Gabe. When my dog got up, his hind leg dragged behind. My daughter was with me. I carried him to the car and we rushed to our vet. The vet squeezed us in, shoehorning an exam and x-rays between all the other appointments right before the holiday.  The news wasn’t good: Gabe had puncture marks in his throat, in his shoulder, and a dislocated hip.

I sat, stunned, as my mind flashed through everything supposed to happen between December 23- Jan 3rd . We are hosting Christmas and New Year’s at our house. My niece Izzy from Germany is visiting. Between her and the twins we have three birthday celebrations. I’d already arranged a trip to Virginia with each day over-scheduled: ski trip for seven people, a visit to my mother-in-law, our annual New Year’s visit to our friends the Perrones, and we’d even bought tickets to tour Monticello. My wedding anniversary is January 2nd. And, perhaps the most important celebration for our family: on January 3rd my daughter will return to Hopkins for her 5-year post-chemo check-up.

The vet said that Gabe would need to go to the emergency animal hospital. That way the doctors wouldn’t be rushed through the surgery and then he’d stay overnight for observation. I looked at my watch. My daughter and I had already been there three hours.

“Can’t you do it here?” I asked. I’d seen the movies where you put the cloth around the joint, pulled, and that sucker popped back into place: easy-peasy. The vet sketched a picture for me and said things like “shallow socket” and “cutting off the femoral head” and “false joint.” So….NOT easy-peasy.

I nodded my head. “I get it.”  I called Izzy. She’d already stepped up to drive my oldest daughter to drivers ed and my son to basketball practice. Now she drove over to pick up Syl so the three of them could have dinner before she picked up the older kids, who were literally in opposite directions. I waited with Gabe.

The vet came back in. I knew she felt bad about his being attacked, but by now the office was closing down. She said, “I’m not making any promises, but I’ll try.”

My mouth dropped open. If it worked, her doing the procedure would save me a lot of money and a lot of time. And it would get Gabe back together that much more quickly because his dangling leg was…upsetting. To both of us.

I waited. The vet and the vet techs stayed late as they tried to fix my dog. I pulled up my feet to get out of the way of the mop. I moved from the exam room to the waiting room and back again. It was super quiet. I waited.

And then…the vet said, “It worked. His hip is back in the socket. We’re just waiting for him to wake up from the anesthesia.”

I hugged her. He was fixed! She explained, “I had a horrible experience with a certain company. They’ve been so frustrating…well, I just couldn’t be that company.”

Here’s Gabe. He’s taking his antibiotics and anti-inflammatory and pain medication. He’s moving around and learning how to navigate the stairs. Hint: going down is much easier than going up. I called the dog sitter to let her know about his situation and my niece will stay behind to take him to his follow-up and then join us in Virginia.

But, my friend Lyn always advises to look for the lesson in situations. What was I supposed to learn here? How wonderful animal lovers like vets and vet techs are? I already knew that. That emergencies happen even when you already have plans? I already knew that too.

I think the take-away is what I noticed yesterday, after Gave was tired of laying around. He got up and I hovered over him with my arms outstretched so he wouldn’t fall and his hip wouldn’t fall out of the socket. I worried about if he was going to fall down and how he was going to use the bathroom outside and whether his bed should be down in the family room so he could see what was going on or up in my room so he could be by himself. I berated myself for deciding to go to the dog park and for him getting hurt.

Gabe gave a quizzical look at the leg in the sling and then stood on three shaky legs, figuring it out. He didn’t think of himself as crippled or needing special treatment. In fact, he was very confused when I gave him a treat “for free.” Instead of taking it he went through the “sit, shake, down” sequence he is familiar with and today we walk-hopped two half-miles instead of two miles but that was because of the rain, not because he wasn’t willing.

Gabe’s simple acceptance gave him the freedom to move forward, to literally get up and hop around without embarrassment or blame or anger. He didn’t have an idea in his head of how he wanted to be; he wasn’t disappointed when he didn’t match that idea. Maybe that’s the letting go and surrendering to each moment AS IT IS that I need to learn.

I wish you a wonderful holiday, whatever you celebrate, and a season of light.

Love,

Sherri

PS Just to make sure that we didn’t get too comfortable, our dishwasher broke today too. Did I mention we are hosting Christmas AND New Year’s here? Bring on the paper plates.