Saturday, April 4, 2020

Pardon The Dust...

Posted by Bethany Averie, author at April 04, 2020 0 comments Links to this post
Hello Darling Readers,

Please pardon the "dust" and chaos here. I'm updating/revamping my blog design and website, so you'll notice some changes here. Please be patient as things get sorted out.

Thank you!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Long Overdue...

Posted by Bethany Averie, author at April 02, 2020 4 comments Links to this post
Happy Thursday Folks!

I know it's been a while. My head has been in a whirl over everything going on these days. I never in all my years thought I'd see a pandemic like this, and it's even eerier than the HIV/AIDS scare years and years ago (yeah, I lived through that tense times, too--although that was a different situation--it wasn't as widespread). But, I'm certain you didn't come to my blog wanting to talk about that (or did you?)

Anyway, I'm no health expert, so I won't even try to say what's what about COVID-19. But I will say, I keep praying and looking for those glimmers of hope.

Book 5 of Immortal Dreams is in the writing stages...as it has been for a while. It's a tough book to write and once it's released you'll know why. I have to keep my characters' balancing the act between grief and emo-ness (we do not want to go down very far on the emo-ness path, that could get too depressing for what I write). Jason, Laney, Arion, and Hailey all make cameos, of course, but the story revolves around Nic and Sirena. No, it's not going back to when they were in high school and fleshing out all the details of what Sirena mentions in Perfect Love, but it will give the story of all that happened--what now? I haven't decided if it's the last book or not. We'll have to see. Probably. They're all grown up for the most part, so it kinda makes sense to end a YA (Young Adult) with this book.

I'm working on several other projects, as well. One is a YA fantasy, and the other is a contemporary YA inspired by some stuff (which I won't reveal just yet...I have to see if it pans out).

Big news:  In addition to the awesome group I work with already, I've added a new critique partner, Michelle Sinclair. I've already worked with her on my Jeannie Averie query letter and synopsis for the story I'm querying. She's really good and seems to get my vision from the get-go, so that's awesome. She also has some fun ideas for her own work and I hope her work gets published soon! (I had the honor of helping with her query letter, and she's definitely imaginative. :-) ).

What have I read lately? For that, I have to plug my new author friend, Fiona Woodifield. She's an author from "across the pond" who has a fun Contemporary romance entitled The Jane Austen Dating Agency, which I enjoyed. It was published earlier this year. It's not real hot on the steamy scale, but it is geared toward 20 year-olds and up, I'd say (I could be wrong, but it feels like it's geared toward that age group).

So, what are you all doing during this quarantine, my darling readers? Let me know in the comment section. :-)

Have A Totally Terrific Thursday!

Monday, February 24, 2020

End Of An Era, Writing Updates, K-Dramas, And...

Posted by Bethany Averie, author at February 24, 2020 0 comments Links to this post
Happy Monday Everyone,

The newest news for me is that after 10 years, 2 months, I left Romance Writers of America. It wasn't an easy decision and I didn't make it lightly at all. I won't get into the reasons or any of the recent events. I made a decision I thought was the right one for me. I plan to keep the good relationships/friendships I made while a member of the organization and continue to learn and grow the best I can with the many other resources available to me. I'm grateful to the organization for the experiences that I treasure and for the connections I did make because of being a part of it. I plan to continue writing Romance, just not being a member of RWA.

I'm working on several projects--some are books, and some are book-related but not writing or critiquing. I like keeping busy and I like the different ideas and things coming my way.

Under my Jeannie Averie pseudonym, I've been querying agents and participating in Twitter Pitch parties. I'm not ready to reveal anything about those experiences at this time, but rest assured there has been some positivity from those things.

I'm working on Book 5 in the Immortal Dreams series, and contemplating maybe ending the series in Book 5 instead of having a Book 6. I haven't decided, but I have made some progress--of which, I'm hoping to keep moving forward on it.

As Bethany Averie, I'm working on a new manuscript that's not connected to the Immortal Dreams series, but that's all I can say about it right now.

Other than that, I continue being a wife, mother, friend, sister, daughter, and relative. I've finished reading a few novels--and discovered I really like Helen Hoang's The Bride Test.

I've been watching a bunch of K-Dramas on Netflix, as well as various movies and shows, including P.S. I Still Love You, as well as the new reality series, Love Is Blind. So far, my favorite K-Drama is Cinderella And The Four Knights (All. The. Feels! ALL THE FEELS! Plus the music is so good!) Author Kerrelyn Sparks is also a K-Drama fan, so we compare notes. We both like My Holo Love.

What's new on your end, darling readers?

Have A Marvelously Melodious Monday!

Monday, February 10, 2020

Getting Past It All...

Posted by Bethany Averie, author at February 10, 2020 0 comments Links to this post
Happy Monday One and All!

Yikes! It's been a month since I wrote on this blog. I'm sorry! If it's any consolation, I did update the Jeannie Averie blog.

This post is one that I started thinking about last week. I did some talking about this on Twitter (under both names) but I haven't actually written it all out in a more cohesive format.

First and foremost: this is not a pity party. I hate throwing myself pity parties. Please, don't pity me. Don't feel sorry for me. My life has had ups and downs like everyone else's and I'm not looking for special treatment. In fact, I hate being patronized, too. The only special treatment I ever got out of this was having a laptop to take notes in high school and untimed standardized testing days. For the rest, I've worked hard. Oftentimes, swallowing my nerves and asking for help. Sometimes facing less-than-understanding teachers, but never felt entitled to anything except for the help I needed...and even then, it was sometimes hard for me to accept because I didn't want to be different. (Now I like being different and unique!)

I grew up in the 1980s and 1990s. Yes, I know, I'm basically revealing my age, which I don't usually do--not from embarrassment, or being sensitive about my age, but because it just isn't important to my writing. But, it is important to my story, because I grew up in a time where learning disabilities weren't really as understood as they are today or have quite as many options and resources.

I'm one of eight children. Number 7 to be exact. I have 2 brothers and 5 sisters. We're pretty close-knit and very close to our folks. My dad was a Chemical Engineer, but you can banish the idea we were super rich or affluent because we weren't. That money had to cover the roof over our head, food, clothing, schooling, etc. With 8 kids, it adds up. (I wore hand-me-downs along with some newer stuff, too). But, I have no regrets with how I was brought up. From a young age, I was taught the value of hard work, honesty, faith, courtesy/manners, and taking responsibility for my own actions. We weren't perfect, but it was nice.

We weren't aware I had learning disabilities until I hit Elementry school. And even then, it wasn't until I was in the 4th grade that anyone took my low test scores and other stuff into serious consideration. My teachers before that meant well and made excuses that "some kids test low" and that my mother couldn't expect me to be a straight-A student like the sister closest in age to me (not that she ever did, she didn't...she just wanted to help me). So after 4th grade, I got taken out of the school, and Mom homeschooled me. It wasn't long before she noticed I had very clear differences in how my siblings learned. When teaching me the monetary value of things, I didn't make the connection between ten pennies being the same as one dime. So, in the sixth grade, she found out about a learning clinic and got me tested.

The tests revealed that I shouldn't even be able to use the bathroom on my own--which, was nonsense since I'd been going to the bathroom on my own rather successfully for YEARS (and I'm happy to report that I still can use the bathroom on my own). But, tests don't measure abilities, just a certain set of criteria. So, I went for remediation. I worked with the whole office on different things--visualization, focus, puzzles, memorization, and the like.

Part of my diagnosis fell under umbrella categories like dyslexia and such. The way I describe it is that everybody has bridges in the brains--bridges that connect one idea to another. Some of my bridges were broken, and in some cases, none existed. Through the program they used to help me, I made tremendous improvement.

They had me learn how to touch-type, and I started writing more. Mom says my handwriting improved, and even my math and spelling improved. Stories poured out of me, lyrics, and poetry, too.

In high school, I opted to go to a school 2 of my sisters had graduated from, and one of my other sisters was a senior. I don't regret it. Yes, I faced some bullying like I had in elementary school. Yes, sometimes it was hard. But, I don't regret it.

I met some great teachers, whom I'm still friends with over 20/30 years later. Some of my best friends are those I met in high school (and one who I became friends within the 4th grade).

Senior year, I decided I'd challenge myself. I'd go for the Silver Honor Roll for the entire year. I'd gotten it for different quarters, but never all year. The Silver Honor Roll required the student to maintain an A and B average for the entire semester, which meant for both semesters I had to maintain the average. Sometimes I was worried I wouldn't make it, but through tutoring, working my butt off at times, and dealing with being a procrastinator, I managed to maintain the Silver all year. It was one of my proudest academic moments.

Unlike my sister, I never qualified for the National Honor Society, and I only took one advanced class my entire academic career, but I got that Honor Roll and I graduated.

I ended up going to a business school for their 8-month Information Processing (clerical/secretarial work) and graduated from there with decent (I think A's and B's) grades.

The corporate world presented different challenges. I tried NOT to reveal my learning disabilities because I didn't want special treatment. I wanted to earn jobs and to prove my capabilities without any particular treatment. Unfortunately, that didn't really work out and I ended up having to reveal them pretty much in every job I had. It was frustrating because if I revealed them I risked being treated in a way I didn't want to, and if I didn't, I got in trouble.

Eventually, in my early twenties, I got married to a man who didn't care if I had learning disabilities or not (in fact, he's been really nice about them and encourages me to overcome my obstacles). I started getting serious about writing, and in 2013 my first novel was published. I've published 4 more since, and working on more, and now I'm working on getting my first adult (Jeannie Averie pen-name) out there.

The point is, aside from some extra tutoring, and my deceased friend spending a ton of time on the phone with me Senior year explaining the teacher's lecture from our Shakespeare class (my one and only advanced class!) And the patience of some excellent teachers, friends, and colleagues, I got where I am. I never asked them to just hand me anything. I wanted to earn it. I wanted to prove I could do it. (In a group situation in high school, kids would try to just give me the answer, instead of teaching me the process, which I wouldn't accept. I'd either learn it and come up with the answer, or I'd tell the teacher or my parents that I needed help). 

That's the way I am, now, too. I don't want things handed to me, I want to earn them. I know how to work hard, so I'll put in the time. I might not always get it right, but I will try, learn, and grow from experiences.

If you have learning disabilities (I hate the term "learning differences" because EVERYONE has their own way of learning, so it's all different; but, what I have are actual disabilities in my learning) I hope my story can encourage you. Even if it's hard, you can accomplish things. You have to set realistic goals, but don't be afraid to challenge yourself. More than once, it's paid off for me.

Have A Marvelously Merry Monday!

Monday, January 13, 2020

Welcome To 2020...

Posted by Bethany Averie, author at January 13, 2020 0 comments Links to this post
Happy Monday & 2020 To Everyone!

When I was in high school, I couldn't even fathom 2000, much less 2020. It didn't matter how close or far any of those years were, I just found it astounding.

It's another year to grow, learn, and experience life. Speaking from my experience, every year has good and bad. Some years you enjoy the good more, and other years, you've got to push through more of the bad. In any case, I like to experience each year whether it is mostly good or not.

This year, I want to finish books 5 and 6 in the Immortal Dreams series. I'm pretty much ready to wrap up the Immortals, at least, for now. I've got some other ideas flashing here and there, so it would be good to see where else my imagination takes me. Now, that doesn't mean I'm not going to pay attention to those last 2 books and try to do the series justice--I am, and I will. The series is important to me, and I want to do it justice. Just hang on a bit while I work out what that means for those books.

Under my Jeannie Averie name, I'm looking at books for older teens and adults. I still plan on keeping my goofy sense of humor, of course (and romance), but Jeannie Averie books will feature older characters.

So, while you're waiting on all that, a YA novel I recently read (and loved) is S. Jae-Jones' Wintersong. It was poignant and beautiful. (Also, fans of the movie, Labyrinth, will appreciate certain things that allude to the movie!)

Anyway, I wish you all a fantastic new year and the best 2020 has to offer!

Have A Marvelously Magical Monday!

 

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