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Vision: Five Minute Friday

I am so happy to see another week of the 2021-2022 school year come to a close. Two more stand between me and summer vacation. It’s Friday and I’m excited to join in on the Five Minute Friday writerly fun. This week our prompt is Vision.

Five months into the year and I want to take some time to reflect. So far in 2022 the days have been long, but the weeks have been short. At the beginning of the year I cast a vision for myself in my bullet journal and set an intention for the year to live with “passion and drive”.

I started my business and brand at the beginning of the year and have used passion and drive to build my client list and to get the word out about all that I offer with The Ameri Brit Mom Writing and Editing Services.

The vision I started the year with has expanded in five months.

I’ve worked with clients on novels, short stories, blogs, letters, academic papers, social media profiles, and more. With each client I am building confidence and expertise in the field.

Each month I send out a newsletter to update those who want to know how this vision and business is growing. The newsletter starts with a letter to my readers and provides updates on my business as well as my blog. If you want to join the FREE subscription and receive those monthly newsletters, subsribe here:

Another way the vision is expanding is through Patreon, a website dedicated to helping creative small businesses interact with customers and clients by providing exclusive content. You can join my Patreon page to receive free monthly edits, a monthly short story, creative content, and more.

This vision for The Ameri Brit Mom continues to grow and I am so happy to have readers and fans like you to support my dream. Thank you so much for stopping by and I would be delighted if you would consider a way to partner with me and my vision during the second half of 2022.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Support My Female-Owned Business

The Ameri Brit Mom Writing and Editing Services launched in January 2022 and I have already built a great client list. As I continue to grow my business, I would appreciate any type of support that you are able to offer.

Since the business launch I have worked with clients on manuscript edits, doctoral thesis formatting, scholarship revisions, business letters, and blog audits. I am open to just about any project and would love to come alongside you to produce any type of project that effectively communicates your message.

Join the FREE subscription to The Ameri Brit Mom and help support the launch of this female-owned solopreneurship:

If you would rather support financally and receive exclusive perks for doing so you can also support The Ameri Brit Mom via Patreon:

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Stephanie Mund: 10 Questions with the Author

On March 8, Stephanie Mund is releasing her debut children’s book, The Love Light. I am so inspired by her journey toward publication and growth as a writer. Stephanie and I both work for the same school district and at one point were neighbors as well.

The Love Light was inspired by the uncertainty of the pandemic and offers a story of hope and encouragement for young readers.

To purchase a copy of The Love Light check out Stephanie’s website.

Stephanie’s love light shines bright in her first grade classroom and I am so looking forward to seeing how her debut book will brighten the lives of her readers as well.

10 Questions with Stephanie Mund

  1. Where did you get the ideas or inspiration for your book?

During the summer of 2020 the world felt so heavy and uneasy.  I could feel the shift, like a boat capsizing.  Everything was turning upside down and people weren’t sure how to move on.  On a morning jog the book began to unfold.  If I could paint a visual picture the words seemed to tumble out of Heaven, falling from the sky and right into my heart.  God reminded me of the very words I speak to my first graders and my own girls every single day, “Shine your light!”  

  1. What is your favorite genre to read? How many books do you read monthly/annually?

I read everything my first graders are reading!  I love both fiction and non-fiction.  When reading for my own pleasure outside of my classroom, I enjoy non-fiction books.  I love learning new things!  I try to read at least one book a month, but when writing and publishing a book as well as being a teacher, mom and wife full time, it’s a miracle if that happens! 🙂

  1. Describe your process of landing an agent.

I am published through a hybrid publishing company, so I don’t technically have an agent.  All of my communication is with my publisher and CEO as well as my marketing manager.

  1. What was the process like as you queried publishers? 

I went back and forth on whether to self-publish or traditionally publish.  I know a few friends that self-published and they shared with me how difficult it was, however, researching traditional publishing I found it could take years to get your book published in the current market.  Then I came across BiblioKid Publishing, a hybrid publishing company.  They do so much of the legwork, but you still have a say in everything.  It was a perfect fit!

  1. How long did the editing process take? What all did it entail?

The editing process took around two months to complete.  My book went through 5 edits.  My book started with 847 words and ended up with 305!  I also had to change my story from 1st POV to 2ndPOV.  I had a lot to learn about writing a children’s book!

  1. What tools do you use to strengthen your craft?

The biggest tool that helped me during my experience with The Love Light was my publisher, Brooke.  I attended her KidLit Launch School during my publishing process and learned so much about the marketing side of publishing a book.  This has truly made all the difference in getting my book out to the world.  

  1. What was it like to open that first box of your books? Describe the feelings and thoughts involved.

I actually did two unboxings.  I wanted to share the first moment with my husband and my girls.  They’ve walked every inch of this journey with me and have been an intricate part of this book.  Opening the first box was very surreal.  It was like all of my hard work was coming to fruition at that very moment.  I was truly watching my dreams come true!  Right away my girls started screaming and jumping up and down!  Tenley began to read it out loud and I just stood there crying. It was pretty amazing.  My second unboxing was with my first graders.  That was so fun!  They too have walked this journey with me and I felt like they needed to be a part of this as well.  After all, they’re the ones I wrote The Love Light for!

  1. What are you looking forward to in your future as an author?

Through this journey of my first book I have discovered such a love for writing!  I believe having the courage to step out and be vulnerable was the push I needed.  I actually have a second book started and the title for a third.  

  1. What does your writing practice look like?

I’m definitely not the traditional writer!  So far, all of my books have started with the title.  From there the message appears and then the story unfolds.  

  1. What advice do you have for writers who dream of a published book?

Go for it!  Be brave and courageous.  Be willing to accept constructive criticism and grow not only as a writer, but as a person.  In life there are so many opportunities to grow if we’re willing!  Anything is possible with God!

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Kristy Boyce: Ten Questions with the Author

Author Kristy Boyce with her debut novel, Hot British Boyfriend

This is a very special Valentine’s Day edition of The Ameri Brit Mom. I am excited to introduce you to my author friend, Kristy Boyce. I first met Kristy at my local chapter of SCBWI. I had no idea that she had been writing a novel about England and once she announced her book deal I was both excited for her and anticipating the release of Hot British Boyfriend.

The Q&A below is based on Kristy’s road to publication. Below she offers great advice for those who aspire to be a published author.

10 Questions with Kristy Boyce

1.     Where did you get the ideas or inspiration for your book?

My original inspiration came from teaching a psychology class on “the Self.” We talk a lot about gaining self-knowledge and self-esteem in the class and that led me to write an application multiple-choice question about times when we feel comfortable sharing our “true” selves with others.

I started thinking about how someone would act if they were in a totally new situation for a few months with people they didn’t know. It might be tempting to try acting like someone else because who would know? And you wouldn’t have to keep up the charade forever. Then I decided to set it in England because I love it there! 😉

2.     What is your favorite genre to read? How many books do you read monthly/annually?

Well, unsurprisingly, I love reading both young adult and adult romance novels! I also love sinking into a wonderful fantasy series.

I’m not a particularly fast reader so (if I’m lucky) I can finish about one book per week. Oftentimes it’s less than that though.

3.     Describe your process of landing an agent.

Hot British Boyfriend was the fourth novel I wrote and the third that I queried. The first time I queried HBB I got full requests followed by rejections. I didn’t know how to improve the book and was about to give up on it, but then I decided to enter PitchWars (a writing mentorship program). My wonderful mentors, Carrie Allen and Sabrina Lotfi, chose me and I’m forever grateful to them. They helped me to rework the novel and then Tara Gonzales with Erin Murphy Literary Agency requested it during the 2019 PitchWars agent showcase and signed me after.

4.     What was the process like as you queried publishers? 

I did some revisions for my agent and then she sent out the manuscript in early fall of 2019. We were very lucky to hear back from my editor, Catherine Wallace, after about five weeks. I was expecting for the book to be out on submission for a long time, so I was completely shocked when the offer came in!

5.     How long did the editing process take? What all did it entail?

Editing with a traditional publisher is an extensive process, even if the manuscript has already been revised many times. My editor and I did two rounds of general revisions, a round of copy edits, then first pass pages and final pass pages.

During the first rounds, I was still changing elements of the plot and working on the emotional arcs for the characters. During copy edits, HarperCollins hired two copy editors to review the manuscript for repetitive words, awkward sentence structure, typos, inconsistencies, and other mistakes. After that, the manuscript was formatted as a PDF and I had two chances to review it for additional mistakes before it went to the printer.

I got my initial offer in October 2019 and I believe we finished all the edits around August of 2020!

6.     What tools do you use to strengthen your craft?

I think one of the best things a writer can do is to read both inside and outside their genre so that’s one thing I do. I also beta read for a few friends and that’s always helpful. We can learn so much about writing that way.

7.     How did the traditional publishing process enhance your writing?

Traditional publishing isn’t for everyone, but I love that there are so many people invested in making your book the absolute best it can be. Working with my editors has been a blessing and has pushed me to improve my writing immensely. For instance, I think I have a better understanding of pacing, particularly in the first half of the book, and that was something I used to really struggle with when writing.

8.     What was it like to open that first box of your books? Describe the feelings and thoughts involved.

It was an incredibly emotional experience. My husband was videotaping the “unboxing” and my son was sitting next to me (and very anxious to see the books himself, lol) so it was definitely a family affair. I was on the verge of tears the entire time, but what tipped me over the edge was opening the book to a random page and seeing my words there. Which is silly because of course my words are printed on the pages—that’s the whole point of publishing!—but holding a “real” book with my dialogue in it was one of the best experiences of my life.

9.     What are you looking forward to in your future as an author?

I would love to get to meet some readers in person and talk about the book. Because it came out during the pandemic, I haven’t had any in-person events yet. I’m also looking forward to launching my next book, Hot Dutch Daydream, in 2023!

10.  What does your writing practice look like?

Pre-Covid I would often write in libraries or coffee shops, but nowadays I write at my desk at home. I always light a candle and often have a cup of tea by my side. Sometimes I like to write while listening to music—my current favorite is Vitamin String Quartet.

*Bonus Question: What advice do you have for writers who dream of a published book?

There’s lots of advice I could give, but I think my biggest piece of advice is to befriend other writers and hold them close. The entire publishing business can be brutal, and you really need others who understand and can help you through the hard times and celebrate your successes. Some of my closest friends are writers and I’m so thankful for them. I wouldn’t be here without them!

To get your own signed copy of Hot British Boyfriend, use this link (be sure to request the signed copies inthe comments): https://www.covertocoverchildrensbooks.com/book/9780063025912

To purchase from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Hot-British-Boyfriend-Kristy-Boyce/dp/0063025914/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1644353060&sr=1-1

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Commit: Five Minute Friday

As I prepare to cross another week off of the 2022 calendar, I am excited to join fellow writers for yet another Five Minute Friday post. This is a weekly link-up where a community of writers agree to spend five minutes crafting pieces all inspired by the same prompt. This week our prompt is: Commit.

A few weeks ago, when 2022 was in the future and we had not yet faced the trials of the past six weeks, I set out to write some goals for the new year. It’s become an annual tradition for me focus on what I want to reflect on throughout the year ahead and I commit to a word or phrase that becomes my mantra for the next 365 days.

In 2022, I am committed to Passion and Drive.

While pursuing my graduate degree over the past several years, I neglected my own passions and desires. I knew that when I started that program it would cost me time that I had previously set aside for my passions. Knowing that the sacrifice of my passions was temporary, I allowed myself to push through with little regard for the things that cause me to alight with passion.

Things like developing my craft, reading, pursuing publication for my manuscripts, working out, and building my community of writers became less of a priority while I focused on the pursuit of my studies.

I am six weeks into my new adventure.

Myself holding my graduate defree from Bowling Green State University

My commitment to chase my passions is fueled by a drive of someone who cares deeply for their personal growth and for helping others to do the same. I am committed to my passions by setting goals, rebranding this blog, pursuing publication for my manuscripts, creating a community of supporters, and offering Writing and Editing Services.

If you want to join this journey into passion and growth please consider signing up for the FREE subscription to The Ameri Brit Mom. I’ll send you a monthly email with updates and ideas for chasing your own passions with drive.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Six Ways to Support the Brand…

As with the launch of any brand or small business, The Ameri Brit Mom has been busy setting up multiple channels for clients to find and interact with this new vision. Today, I wanted to create a post to share ways in which you can stay connected with The Ameri Brit Mom and support all of the work being done to serve readers all over the world.

1. Email Subscription

If you want to stay up-to-date on the news and all things connected to The Ameri Brit Mom blog and brand you will want to make sure you join the FREE subscription. With a subscription, you will receive a monthly newsletter in your inbox that includes updates and special offers.

2. Facebook Page

The Ameri Brit Mom posts on the Facebook Page a couple of times a week. This is also a place where I share tools I encounter in my own growth as a writer–articles, memes, photos, etc.

3. Instagram

My Instagram story and posts are full of photos that convey the aesthetic of both The Ameri Brit Mom as an individual and as a brand. On this platform, you will see photos and videos of my family, real life adventures, and updates on the brand.

4. Pinterest

If you love the things you read about and the vibes of the brand then you will love to follow The Ameri Brit Mom on Pinterest. This is where I curate boards of beautiful inspiration that come across my feed. There are even some pins that are original to the brand.

5. Patreon

This is a paid platform. You can choose to pay $5, $10, or $20 a month to support the brand. In exchange for your patronage, you will receive exclusive deals and content. This is a platform that is critical in the growth of the brand. With monthly donations, I can continue to build on the foundation of the brand and offer more in the coming months.

6. Hire The Ameri Brit Mom to serve your own writing Projects

If you have a piece of writing you have been working on or dreaming about, The Ameri Brit Mom can serve as an extra pair of eyes and experience to bring to your work. From one page resumes to full manuscripts, The Ameri Brit Mom has experience with the process and publication of writing in its various forms. Completing a client survey can get the ball rolling and help The Ameri Brit Mom serve your needs.

Thank you so much for your support as I launch this creative brand into the world and as I prepare for a BIG future for The Ameri Brit Mom. Anytime you follow or share this brand with others you help to widen the audience and get the services of The Ameri Brit Mom into the hands of people with dreams to communicate a message to the world.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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5 Podcasts I’m Loving…

Okay, Muse, I know that I am late to the game, but I have recently discovered the power of a good podcast. For years, my husband would put on a podcast while doing dishes, driving on longer trips or riding his bike, but I always thought--if I want to listen to something I want it to be music. I never really got the appeal of listening to other people’s dialogue [or monologues in some cases]. But I think this faulty mindset was due to the fact that I had yet to find a podcast that had something valuable to offer me.

This unique period in history has given us time to chase new endeavors, and when face-to-face interactions are infrequent I have found the desire to listen and learn from others growing. I began to search out some podcasts that spoke to me lifestyle and personal goals.

These five podcasts are some of the gems I mined in a wide sea of content. Allow me introduce you to some of the voices I’ve been listening to lately:

1. Brave New Teaching-This is the podcast that opened my eyes to what I had been missing. Marie Morris and Amanda Cardenas co-host this podcast for teachers. The focus is all about challenging the status quo in creating rigorous, research-supported, inquiry-rich classrooms. I needed these ladies this summer as I prepared for the return to in-person teaching. They encourage me and inspire me weekly. I have NEVER missed a Thursday release of a new episode. If you are a teacher I could not recommend this podcast more. AMAZING!

2. Proverbs 31-A faith based podcast where members of the Proverbs 31 team interview voices and authors from their communities to provide challenging content for their listeners. I like to listen to these podcasts like I listen to a sermon–with a pen, paper, Bible, and furious note taking.

3. DIY MFA-This is a writing podcast that interviews authors. Gabriela Periera is the host and creator of DIY MFA, a tool for writers to expand their skills and craft. I find the podcast to be inspirational. Hearing the stories of successful writers helps me to understand where I am in the publication process and gives me hope that one day my words may make it out in the cut throat world of publishing. It also helps me find contentment in writing for myself in the case that publishing isn’t part of my journey.

4. Serial– Created by This American Life, Serial is a true-crime podcast. In this podcast, each season examines a different crime using a journalistic approach. Facts are examined, interviews conducted, as Sarah Koenig seeks to get to the bottom of some of America’s most puzzling crimes. [side note: I am thinking about using a series of this podcast in my English classes and at the end of the series students have to write a persuasive piece explaining who they believe is at fault for the crime and why.]

5. The Minimalists–Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus host a podcast where they impart wisdom on how to create a minimalist lifestyle. I find this to be encouraging and liberating as I try to create a clutter-free, eco-friendly, minimalist life.

I am still looking for some inspiring podcasts so if you have any that you love, please share those with me in the comments!

The Ameri Brit Mom

fiction · Uncategorized

Humpty Dumpty (Poe Style)

Prompt-9

As a new technique I am going to rewrite a nursery rhyme in the voice of a legendary author. This was way more fun than I thought it could be. I’m still laughing at how easily Poe’s voice seemed to connect to a nursery rhyme.

Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall.

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men

Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

Humpty Dumpty revised (in the voice/style of Edgar Allan Poe)

On a dark and dreary night upon a high wall of the city sat a man.

His soul still broken from the death of his lover.

Atop the city’s great wall he sat peering into the distance

Hoping one day to glimpse his bride.

She was taken too soon.

As the cloud of night grew thick and gathered about him

The young man wrestled with the notion of sleep.

Could he finally quiet his soul?

Would rest be upon him?

Or would he forever be tortured by visions of Lenore?

With heavy lids he began to sway.

And from the wall with great force he fell.

On horses did men from the kingdom come.

Rushing through the streets with doctors

Clearing the path through bystanders to attend to the man.

No one was able to revive his shattered body.

Not the king. Not his knights.

Because Lenore came down and woke him from his slumber.

And forevermore he danced with his bride.

The Ameri Brit Mom

fiction · Uncategorized

Favorite Story Types

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When it comes to reading and writing my favorite story type is the one in which the protagonist must confront himself. Some sort of inner conflict causes the main character to engage in a battle in these types of stories. These are the ones where a misunderstood character rises to the challenges of his life.

Weaknesses are clear from the beginning and the protagonist must overcome the main obstacles of maturity or self-doubt in order to be the hero of their own story.

I love reading the tales penned by authors like Frederick Backman, Mindy McGinnis, Emery Lord, JD Salinger, Markus Zusak, and Kiera Cass to name a few.

 

Family · Uncategorized

Build: Five Minute Friday

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I’m getting my butt kicked by my February schedule.

Can you relate?

For some reason I keep double-booking myself even with my efforts to keep a bullet journal. There just isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. That’s why it is even more important than ever to build into that schedule some time for me.

A few months ago my husband and I agreed on an arrangement that allowed both of us ample time to focus on our hobbies. On an ideal day, we would each get ONE HOUR to ourselves. For him, it would look like a run to the gym or a drill session with five basketballs. For me, that time would be sitting in front of the computer like I am right now and allowing myself some time to write.

Now, it doesn’t happen this way every day.

There are days when my kiddos interrupt that time and days when my husband never makes it out the door. But, our goal is to make this time a priority every day.

As parents it can be so easy to lose ourselves. I could spend over half a day cleaning messes or changing diapers. But one thing I’ve learned after six years of this gig is that I am a much better mom when I’ve taken some time to focus on  me.

I am thankful for a husband who is supportive and encourages me to take that time.

I am grateful for a daughter that understands when Mom is writing she really needs to be left alone.

This ONE HOUR trade-off with my husband has helped to curb my anxiety and given me a renewed sense of purpose in writing. I’ve taken time to dream again. I’ve taken steps toward reaching that dream. And I’ve begun feeling more accomplished than ever.

How do you build time for yourself during the day?

*This post is part of the Five Minute Friday prompt for the week. Be sure to check out the link in order to see other positive writer’s explore the same word prompt.

The Ameri Brit Mom