Monday, April 7, 2014

A to Z Challenge: F is for Focus (and Kerrie Flanagan and Teresa Funke and Finding Rodolfo by K. Michelle Lindstrom)

Does it seem as if my titles are getting longer and longer?

It won't always be true, but today's very long list is because I'm giving you two amazing authors for the price of one. These two Northern Colorado women are interesting, productive, energetic, and highly respected in our community of writers and readers and beyond.

Featured Author Kerrie Flanagan

Kerrie is the Director of Northern Colorado Writers, a company she created to bring writers of all kinds together for networking, education, and just plain fun. Her NCW Conference each spring features well known keynote speakers and presenters, as well as an excellent lineup of agents and editors.

Writer's Market 2014 includes a couple of Kerrie's articles ("How to Find Success in the Magazine World" and "The Art of Promoting"), and she recently released her first book, a memoir called Planes, Trains and Chuck and Eddie: A Lighthearted Look at Families. She has placed a long list of essays and articles in magazines, newspapers, and online.

Kerrie also coaches writers, teaches classes, edits, and assists with self-publishing projects.

Featured Author Teresa Funke

Teresa has her own company to publish her books, both fiction and nonfiction, about World War II. Most of her recent titles are for kids (The No-No Boys and Wave Me Good-bye). I've read all of her books, but my favorite is a collection of touching stories about women's lives during the war, Dancing in Combat Boots.

Supplying her books to kids across the U.S., coaching writers, teaching, and writing would seem to take up more time than most people find in a day. Teresa, however, is tireless. She now has an excellent series for writers on You Tube, including this one on why we write.

Featured  Book:  Finding Rodolfo by K. Michelle Lindstrom

The book is memoir, and it was so much fun I could hardly put it down until I flipped the last page on my Kindle.....only to immediately want a sequel.

I love memoirs about women (and men as well) who get so fed up with the status quo that they chuck it all and head into the unknown for a change....or for a grand adventure. Lindstrom (her pseudonym) is an attorney who walked away from her job and life to attend the Cordon Bleu in Paris and search for the man of her dreams.

I can't tell you how it turns out. I can tell you, however, that the journey is funny and poignant and alarming and charming. And there are recipes, too, from Lindstrom's up and down experiences in restaurant kitchens. I loved the story, and if you've ever wanted to run away from home and do something wild and crazy without getting into too much trouble, you'll enjoy Finding Rodolfo, too.

Word of the Day:  Focus

I picked this word because I'm having a tough time doing it.

I am my own worst enemy.

I'm scattered, frizzled, swamped, overwhelmed, and bloggled.

How do you make yourself pick just one task or project and stick with it until it's completed?


Margot Kinberg said...

Pat - Thanks as always for sharing talented authors and their works with us. And as to focus? When I have those days, I try to pick one thing to get done. One thing. That helps me feel less frazzled and less like I can't get my to-do list done. For what it's worth, I've found it helps.

Trisha F said...

I understand that 'bloggled' feeling. haha.

Teresa sounds more busy than I would be comfortable with being. And yet she clearly must love every second of it! hehe

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I'm finding it harder for me to concentrate for longer periods of time. Not sure whether that's due to getting older or that there are more distractions - like the Internet, etc - now.

Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption
Minion, Capt. Alex's Ninja Minion Army
The 2014 Blogging from A-Z Challenge

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Her own publishing company? That's a lot to take on.

David P. King said...

Memoirs are really picking up steam in publishing it seems. :)

Anonymous said...

Focus. Yes, I must learn to do that as well. I think it's a problem for most creative types. :) Thank you for sharing new authors with us. It's always so much fun to meet new people with a passion for writing.

Anonymous said...

How do I focus - there's a loaded question. With great effort - and rarely.

Like you, I'm worked out, scattered and 'bloggled'(lol) and now the A to Z has me rushing to make additional deadlines.

Deadlines help me focus.

That, and I'm learning to make choices, like what to sacrifice and what to prioritize. I love writing so she's always up top on the list.

:) And thanks for the recommendations. Will check them out!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Margot, that's exactly what I need to do. The hard part is picking one thing...

Trisha, I think Teresa does love what she does, but you're right in thinking she's a very busy lady.

It might be the getting older thing, Madeline. I'm more forgetful, too. If I didn't have my list of tasks written down, I'd miss all kinds of deadlines.

Hi Alex -- I know several Colorado writers who are doing that, and some of them plan to publish other authors, not just their own work.

David, the trend toward self-publishing has helped memoirists a lot. Publishers only want celebrity memoirs, but us regular folks like to read about the lives of other regular folks who've achieved interesting things.

Hi Jen. Thanks--books and authors are a fun topic (at least until I get to the hard letters like Q). :D

Patricia Stoltey said...

Pouiseason -- deadlines help me too, but only when they're imposed by a higher authority (like my publisher). I'm a rebel when it comes to self-imposed deadlines.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Patricia, my focus is really bad at this moment, but its understandable because summer days do that to me :(

Cathy said...

What a sweet idea ... to promote other local writers. I'm envious of you that you know so many! Nice to meet a fellow writer via the A-Z challenge.

klahanie said...

Hi human, Patricia,

I really think that's wonderful you share such awareness of those writers and I do love a memoir. I'm still writing mine.

I prioritise my tasks and break them down into workable amounts leading to the final goal.

Penny, the pawsitive host of the Alphabark Challenge, 2014!

Grammy Staffy said...

I'm with you Pat. I have a hard time staying focused too now that I am retired. When I was teaching I was very focused. I had to be to keep up with my college and high school classes. There were always papers to grade or lesson plans to write. I had to keep my school work and house work on schedule or I couldn't survive. I had to be focused. Now that I am retired I flit from task to task thinking "I'll do that later"..... only later often gets put off indefinitely. I need to stay focused!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I'm feeling a little frizzled myself. Your titles are getting really long. LOL

Dean K Miller said...

Two of NoCo's finest, that's for sure. Finding Rodolfo sounds great and I'll check it out.

Focused...maybe only when I am sleeping, but my dreams would tell a different story!

Susan Kane said...

Evidence of my lack of focus is in boxes in the LR. I decided to go through family photos. Didn't know we had so many boxes.