My grandmother used to say it all the time. She told me that when she was little someone would walk down the street ringing a bell calling out, “It’s 12:00-0- clock and all is well!” I miss her. Virginia Keen–my grandmother–my rock. She taught me to think positive and follow my heart. Thank you, grandmom. All is well.
For those that have read MYSTIC now you know where Keen came from. Queen Fredonia (the grandmother) lives in Keen. A bit of MYSTIC trivia.
All is well in my world. Arielle is on her way home for spring break. I just had a four hour breakfast with a good friend I hadn’t seen in months. Kai has his license and my child who’s been itching to be independent since he was two is extremely happy with his new freedom. I’m writing and thoroughly enjoying our beautiful Florida weather.
I figured it would be a good idea to write about my writing life since it’s such a huge part of my life and I don’t mention it often. For those that are new to following this blog, I’ve written a middle grade fantasy called MYSTIC. It took me six years and I worked with a professional editor named Emma D. Dryden of dryden bks. She’s the absolute best, I highly recommend her and I can’t wait to send her my new book!
By the way, if you read MYSTIC and enjoyed it, please consider leaving an Amazon review. It definitely helps me out. I hate asking, I really do, but not everyone knows that a positive review on Amazon gets the word out to others about my book. Thank you. Oh, I have a Mystic the novel, Facebook page too. If you have a child who’s read MYSTIC and has a question for me, they can send me a message (public or private) on that page.
I’m writing a YA (Young Adult) romance. I love my characters! I’m halfway done… I think. And most importantly I’m having a BLAST writing it. The working title is…drum roll please…. Unforgiven. When it’s finished I will go back to writing the sequel to MYSTIC which I started and then set aside when the characters of the YA took over.
Muza and I are still working on ELLE and BUDDY. Muza is creating a different cover and I’m working on the back matter. Our Facebook page will have updates on our progress. Please “Like” our page and follow along on our picture book journey.
This blog is about everything from our family to healthy recipes to really unhealthy desserts. Life’s all about balance. Authors and illustrators are always welcome to write guest posts and share their work. I post on Sundays and Wednesdays and try really, really hard not to miss a post. I highly recommend (hint,hint) clicking the FOLLOW button at the bottom right of the screen and entering your email. That way if I do miss a Wednesday and post on a Friday or forget to put my post on Facebook, you’ll get my posts delivered right to your INBOX. I never give away email addresses. It’s safe.
So, that’s what I’m up too when I’m not substitute teaching, running errands, going to spin class and taking care of my many pets. All is well! Life is good!
The letter that made me cry
When I have author visits with schools I tell the students my inspiration behind writing MYSTIC. Arielle. Before I knew I was going to write a fantasy, I knew I would have a protagonist who used a wheelchair. Arielle was reading many books as a fourth grader in the Accelerated Reader program and not one of them had characters using a wheelchair. Meanwhile, I watched as Arielle’s life changed and she had to persevere through many obstacles while surrounded by able bodied people who she continually had to educate about these obstacles. Kids as well as adults could behave in ways that were insensitive. Playgrounds were not accessible and often her friends would run off and leave her. Sometimes things were said that were not appropriate like: “So if I shoot you in the leg, you wouldn’t feel it?” And then there was the substitute teacher in 5th grade that yelled at her for not standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. Arielle had transferred to her desk and he didn’t notice the wheelchair in the back of the room.
I wanted to write a book that showed the inner and outer struggles of a child using a wheelchair. After six years, many edits and seven full rewrites, MYSTIC was published January 5, 2013. Since then, I’ve received many letters and emails from children telling me how much they enjoyed MYSTIC and asking when the next book will be out. I love hearing from kids and I’ve kept all of the letters and emails they sent. Yesterday, a letter came addressed to Krista Rausin from Illinois. I was very curious because I write under the name K.D. Rausin and it was an adult’s handwriting on the envelope. I opened the letter and read it out loud to Eric. Tears streamed down both our faces. The words told of three young girls who read MYSTIC. All three used wheelchairs and lived in small towns where they were the only ones using wheelchairs. They were, “SO excited to read a story about a girl who uses a wheelchair ‘just like them.'”
Suddenly, a sense of closure came over me. After a year of worrying about how many books I sold, whether I was doing enough marketing, and whether or not I was taken seriously as a writer since I published MYSTIC myself, I let it go. MYSTIC made a difference. Three girls that may be feeling the same things Arielle felt at their age had the chance to read about a young girl “just like them.”Disability Resources and Educational Services