Don't forget to visit my website! Jackie Coleman - Author

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

My Little Sister

One of my younger sisters lives in Minnesota. I don't know how she does it, but she's lived there almost 21 years, so she's apparently found a way to adapt to the land of the frozen tundra. She married a man who grew up in Michigan, so he doesn't know any better ... but she does! Regardless, they've been married 25 years, so it seems to be working out for her! Her husband is a good man. He's a good provider, a good husband, and a good father. He's a pretty good brother-in-law (living 700 miles away, it's hard for him to be an intrusive in-law!), and he's really funny. He has a very quick, sarcastic wit and I enjoy talking to him.

It's a good thing her husband didn't marry me. I don't think he would have been very happy.  I mean, really ... how happy could a man be if his wife won't take off her clothes nine months out of the year? And how romantic would it be to sleep with a woman who wears a snowsuit to bed from August until June?

For their 25th Anniversary, they went on a cruise. And where do people who live in Minnesota like to cruise to? If you guessed the Caribbean, you would be oh-so-wrong. They went on a cruise to ... (drum roll, please) ... Alaska! I've seen a lot of their pictures, and my sister looked happy. She was smiling, so I assume she was happy. Of course, she could have been smiling inside the cabin, walked outside and the smile froze on her face. But, she was smiling none-the-less!

The kids and I went to Minnesota one June to visit them. I figured it was safe to visit Minnesota in June!

Boy, I was wrong.

I nearly froze to death! I slept in my jeans and a jacket. It was cold enough that I would have been wearing a winter coat at home, and they had the air conditioner on!! When my sister found out I was sleeping in jeans and a jacket, she said "Oh, Jackie, you should have told me!"  I expected the next sentence to be, "We could have turned the air off." But that's not what she said at all.  Instead, she finished by saying, "We have more blankets."

I wanted to cry! I didn't want blankets ... I wanted heat! I didn't really expect them to turn the heater on, but I really hoped they would turn the air conditioner off!

We went to one of their kids soccer games. My kids and I were huddled in a pile like puppies, trying to stay warm ... while all the Minnesota-ites walked around in shorts and tank tops! (I'm not really sure how they refer to themselves ... ("idiots" is the first word that pops up in my mind) ... but that's probably not how they prefer to be referenced ... so Minnesota-ites it is!)

Their oldest daughter will be in her third year of college this year.  She was excited about going to school down south, where it's so much warmer. And it is a lot warmer where she goes to school, but it's hardly "down south". She's going to school in St. Louis, Missouri!

That poor, frozen thing!

If I accomplish only one thing in life, it will be to never live someplace so cold that winter in St. Louis is warm!

A New Dress!!

My daughters went shopping and came home with a surprise for me ... they found a dress I had pinned on Pinterest and bought it for me! Wasn't that incredibly thoughtful and sweet? I must say, I really do have some pretty amazing kiddo's!

There is nothing like a pretty dress to put a smile on my face :)

Monday, July 15, 2013


Like every other aspiring writer out there, I've read a multitude of books written to help unpublished authors successfully query agents and pen a concise synopsis of their work. I have also found a plethora of agent blogs that showcase query letters, both good and bad. The bad ones really need no comment ... once you read them, the agent doesn't really need to tell you why they decided to pass on that particular piece of work.

It's the ones they find compelling enough to request more from that I find titillating. One blog I read showcases successful query letters on a regular basis.  The letter is printed in its entirety, then the agent describes what it was about the letter that led them to request all or part of the manuscript, which in most cases, led to an offer to represent them and a publishing contract.

Reading the letters and the agent comments only reinforced my decision to be a writer, as I would not be a very good agent. They have the ability to select works that don't appeal to their own personal taste, but know what is selling, and those are the ones they select.

As a rule, I do not enjoy paranormal/fantasy/sci-fi plots. You know the Twilight Saga that made a gazillion dollars in books, movies, posters, t-shirts, etc.? I would have passed on that and missed out on all that money. I probably wouldn't have even had the courtesy to respond to the query with a "no thank you" ... I would have rolled my eyes and hit delete.

I did, however, read and enjoy The Hunger Games trilogy. Although it probably falls into the "fantasy" category, it read to me as though it was set in the future, and the things described were plausible.

That's what I look for ... plausible. No ghosts, no vampires, no fairies or other non-existent things. While there is a HUGE audience for that kind of work, it just doesn't do anything for me.

I would not be a good agent, but I am a good writer. Writing for me is easy, finding an agent, however, is not. A lot of famous and fabulously wealthy authors have been passed on by agents who did not see the value in their work, and ended up missing out on a real gravy train.  Knowing it's hard does not deter my quest for the elusive unicorn ... er ... agent! I just have to find an agent who sees the potential in my work. He/she is out there ... I just have to find them :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Working Vacation

I recently spent some time traveling around Georgia and the Carolina's.  It was both a vacation and to do research for my latest book. Past vacations have always been going to one place and staying for the duration, with a short trips to see nearby sights. This vacation had us moving around a lot, and I was afraid I'd made it stressful rather than relaxing, but we had an amazing time! Here are some highlights:

This is why they're called the Smoky Mountains

The Ocoee River, site of the Canoe Slalom for the 1996 Olympics

The Supermoon rising over the Blue Ridge Mountains in Blue Ridge, GA

The Blue Ridge Mountains from our deck in Blue Ridge, GA

Morning coffee on the deck in Blue Ridge, GA

My daughters and I in front of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC

Chambers Waterfront Park in Beaufort, SC ... how ingenious to use porch swing as park benches!

The picturesque marina in Beaufort, SC

A majestic live oak tree, dripping with Spanish moss, growing in the middle of North Street in Beaufort, SC (Note: It has the right of way!)

Hunting Island Lighthouse (I love lighthouses!)

Shrimpers catching my dinner off Hunting Island, SC

And here's a picture of what's left that dinner. It was undoubtedly THE best shrimp salad I've ever had the privilege to eat

A spectacular sunset over northeastern Georgia

And last, but not least, my daughters hamming it up in front of the incredibly beautiful and awe-inspiring Angel Tree on John's Island, SC (estimated to be 300-400 years old)

The unpaved, dirt road leading to the Angel Tree was impassable due to recent rains, so we had to back down the narrow road about a half a mile (where stunt-worthy backwards driving impressed my daughters!), and hike the a half mile back to the tree. It was thundering and lightening (in the distance), and we were caught in a torrential downpour. I know it is unwise to walk under a canopy of towering trees on the way to a gigantic tree during a thunderstorm, but we had driven an hour and a half to see it. I have wanted to see this tree for years and I just couldn't force myself turn around and leave when we were this close!!

We slogged through the muddy road ... in sandals. We were dirty and soaking wet when we reached the tree ... but we were rewarded for our efforts. Pictures do not do justice to the majesty of this tree. It is truly incredible to behold!

The rain was slowing as we walked back to our car, passing a dozen or so others on their way to see the tree. Each and every one, without exception, asked "Is it worth it?" Meaning, of course, walking a half mile, in the mud, in the rain, just to see a silly tree! 

We answered honestly. "YES!"

One man asked if it was worth it, and we said yes.  His daughters passed, then his wife.  She looked at me and asked skeptically, "Is it really?"  I told her yes, it is absolutely worth it.  

Because it really and truly is worth the walk ... in the rain, through the mud!

We had an amazing time, and like all vacations, it ended too soon. But, I have a good life here at home, so I don't guess I have too much to complain about!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The National Anthem

Last weekend my daughter and I went to the air show at the riverfront. I used to take the kids to the air shows when they were little, and they are now hooked on them! Before the show began, the announcer asked everyone to rise for the National Anthem.

As I stood beside my daughter, both of us holding our hand over our hearts, I looked around and noticed nearly everyone I could see was doing the same.

It made me proud.

For as long as I can remember, I have gotten choked up and fight back tears when The Star Spangled Banner is played. That song means something to me. I can't explain why I get so teary-eyed, but it moves me, deep inside. I guess I just love America  ... with every fiber of my being.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Autographed Pre-Orders and Book Trailer for A Summer in Ocracoke

Pre-orders are now being accepted for an autographed copy of A Summer in Ocracoke, which will be released September 9, 2013 ... (Click here for ordering options.).

The book trailer is made and is available. I think it turned out quite well!