The Art of Going the Distance, 2007, & Worlds of Jessicas

Hey all!

I’m excited to let you know that I’ve got a new book out: The Art of Going the Distance.

chasing normal 2016 promo Coleen Patrick

Click banner above for my books on Amazon (spoiler: there’s a sale)

This is the last book in my YA series, Chasing Normal and while it’s kinda sad to close the book on Grace and Zac, I think they probably need a break from me. According to my word documents we’ve been hanging out since 2007.

going the distance with family

That’s a lot of time and change. My kids are so much older!

It’s possible that the original idea may have been born in 2005. But I’m not exactly sure, because all of the stories I wrote around that time (most of them middle grade) have a main character named Jessica. Back then I believed that the process of deciding on a name before I finished the first draft would yank me out of that early creative writing rush. And so, yeah, I’ve got worlds of Jessicas.

Anyway, The Art of Chasing Normal was never really about being Jessica in a World of Jessicas normal. It’s about Grace dealing with change in her family and friendships, and navigating the idea of what she thinks she SHOULD be doing vs. being herself (turns out I  didn’t need to do any research on this concept).

But at its heart this series is about love, family, and friendship. And a big crazy road trip. (My favorite things!) I may have teased Grace with a road trip in The Art of Second Chances, but it really happens in The Art of Going the Distance.

So if you or someone you know loves books about first love and friendship and road trips, I hope you check out my Chasing Normal series.

It’s a perfect time, because the first two books are only 99 cents on Amazon this week!

Oh and the ART part of all these titles? Grace’s passion is art, and I had so much fun researching this that doodling and art has become something I love and do every day too.

Happy Valentine's ewe doodle coleen patrick

I know I’m a day late for Valentine’s, so consider this a happy wish for President’s Day or if you’re not feeling very political, National Gumdrop Day.

So, what were you doing in 2007? I’d love to know!

Thanks so much for stopping by, hope you have a happy one!!

xo

Spambots Ate My Blog or The Art of Second Chances

If you’re reading this, then the Spambot war I’ve been engaged in is over.

Phew.

My site was down most of last week. It popped back up for a few minutes here and there only to be swallowed again by these guys

spambot attack doodle_opt

 

 Note: This is not an actual spambot for they don’t show there faces. They like to lurk behind Burberry ads and gibberish disguised as flattery.

 

 

They were ruthless. They got thru Askimet and dumped so many comments HostGator had to shut me down. Finally, thanks to my tech guy (aka my hub), I got my site back.

Fish whisperer ninja_opt

 His other super power: Fish Whisperer 😉

 

Yay! Because I’ve got stuff to tell you all.

I finished my big Photoshop project–the one that required me to take classes–and pull my hair out.

Here’s what I’ve been up to–the cover of my new book:

The Art of Second Chances 3D_opt

 

 

 A visitor from Zac’s past shows up, sending Grace and Zac’s spring break—and their relationship—into uncharted territory.

 

The ebook is available now. You can check out all the details here.

The paperback is almost ready to go live. I got a bit sidetracked with choosing between matte or glossy–and again there was more learning to be done with the fancy Photoshop.

But I did it. It wasn’t easy and I still have lots to learn, but I’m pretty happy with how far I got.  And that I tried. There was lots of mistakes and trying again–which fits nicely with one of the themes in this new book. So there’s that too. 🙂

 Plus, the companion book, The Art of Chasing Normal, is a Kindle Unlimited book!

So what have you been up to? I’d love to hear! But first…

a teensy, tiny bit of bad news. Unfortunately commenting here now requires a little math. Sorry, I know this is a lot to ask, especially on a Monday. Hopefully I will find a better Captcha setup (I’m open to suggestions).

So because I miss your comments and hope you will tell me what’s been going on with you, I offer you some very pretty cake.

Dessert cake Shyndigz_opt

 Gives new meaning to fruit cake.

Or maybe you’d like a little zen.

Me too. My new favorite thing is this class

yoga garden_opt

Yoga at the botanical garden. 🙂

 

What’s happening in your world? I’d love to know!

HAPPY MONDAY!

Gratitude and The Art of Chasing Normal

My latest YA novel

 

Today I’m talking about NORMAL.

Not that I know what “normal” is, exactly. Except to say, sometimes I lose my way and fixate on the grass around my feet that somehow just doesn’t seem to look as green as the grass on the other side of the pasture. The green I used to have, or was supposed to have. Or thought I had.

I don’t know. All I can say is, trying to write about “normal” this week was confusing. I mean, usually when I sit down to write my blog posts I choose whatever floats to the top of my brain, like say, Hey! I’ve got a brand new book!

Except this week something else kept fighting for top billing. I can’t stop thinking about my actual brain–and the MRI scan I had last week.

Sure, health stuff is important, but this was my third scan in three years (I’ve written a bit about it before here). Each time my neurologist has ordered a scan to “Rule out The Chronic Illness That Shall Not Be Named.” But so far, there’s been nothing conclusive. Except physically, I don’t have the bright shiny green-ness I used to.

Plus, there’s the worry. Because there were these unidentified things, not normal things, or maybe they are normal for me (one can hope). Either way they were confusing to the radiologist and doctor, something that maybe shouldn’t be there. Here’s a little graphic to give you an idea of what shouldn’t really be floating in your gray matter:

MRI scan picture

This is my brain. I’m sure you’re not at all surprised to see all the dessert.

 

But the problem with chasing after normal, is I think I’m going after me, but I lose a bit of myself in the process.

So, in order to get my brain off the subject of my brain, I’m focusing on my heart by practicing some gratitude.

Here are this week’s highlights:

 

funny faces

I’m grateful for my family–and silly faces.

 

dutch resistance world war two

Cornelia Warmenhoven

I am grateful to have heard Cornelia speak at a Kristallnacht Memorial service yesterday. Cornelia is a rescuer and an inspiration. She worked with the Dutch resistance against the Nazis during World War II.  I’m especially grateful for brave rescuers like Cornelia because my husband is a grandchild (and my kids, great-grandchildren) of Holocaust survivors.

 

I’m grateful for a college visit that took us on a scenic country drive. And for barns.  Barns are awesome.

 

military family

I’m grateful for my parents–and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Yes, I’m thankful to the U.S. Coast Guard for moving my dad and our family every couple of years. I’m serious! Because of this nomadic experience, I’ve been forever fascinated with the idea of living life in one place and falling in love with the boy next door (and road trips, but that’s another Grace and Zac story). Which leads me back around to…

 

I’m grateful for my new book.

 

I’m so thankful I get the opportunity to write, especially characters like Grace and Zac. I started this story several years ago, but it wasn’t until 2011 when they came back with more to tell, that I started reworking this one. It’s been so much fun writing about friendship and love and the boy next door. You can find out more about THE ART OF CHASING NORMAL here.

Last, but not least, I’m also grateful for YOU.

Huge thanks and big hugs to you for taking the time to read, or comment, or share. You are what make this part so rewarding. You make me feel a part of a super awesome community when I emerge from my writing cave. Tons of thanks for taking the time to share a part of  your lives with me.

Happy Monday.

 

 

 

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