I Must Be Crazy – NaNoWriMo and Other Fall Things

We’re knee deep in autumn here in Middle Tennessee. Leaves are an impressive array of golds and reds and oranges, the breeze is a little cooler every day, and pumpkin has permeated everything from our porches to our coffee cups. Halloween has come and gone, ushering in what, for most of us, is the busiest season of the year. As the saying goes, the New Year will be here before we know it.

I Must Be Crazy: NaNoWriMo and Other Fall Things

So, November naturally serves as the perfect time to take on a massive new project, right? Along with several author friends, I have accepted the challenge to once again participate in National Novel Writer’s Month, referred to as NaNoWriMo, and write 50,000 words during the month of November. I must be crazy.

I do have my reasons (she said behind wide eyes and a racing heart). I’ve signed on the be part of a very exciting novella collection set to come out early next fall! I will join hands with five other Christian authors to bring you some unique stories sure to satisfy your love story cravings. I can’t wait to tell you more about it soon.

You won’t be surprised to know that I’ve not written steadily for quite some time. Book two of the Laurel Cove series is still in need of a lot of attention! But this novella has really inspired me and I’ve decided to let NaNoWriMo give me the chance to hammer out the first draft. If you’ve been with me for a long time, you may remember that the first draft of Someplace Familiar was written during NaNoWriMo way back in 2013! If I can stick with it, it’s a really fun and exhilarating experience.

The novella needs to be only about 25,000 words. So, book two might just get the chance to grow a little, as well. I toyed with the idea of cramming in a Christmas novella, like I’d announced I had plans for a while back. But I’ve learned the hard way recently that life sometimes throws wrenches into the mix. Back in September, my husband joined one of the national tours of Hamilton! We’re so thankful for the opportunity, but that leaves me flying solo at Fort Tysinger. Less time for myself and a few more responsibilities. The days feel shorter and to-do list longer.

Have I said how crazy it is to take on NaNoWriMo right now?

But, we serve a BIG God who somehow empowers us to do much bigger things that we consider ourselves capable of managing. Often times, it’s just saying “Yes, God” today, then tomorrow, then the next day. And having grace with ourselves on days we need to take a breather and rest in Him.

If you’re still hanging on, I’d sure appreciate your encouragement and prayers during this crazy month. How can I pray for you?

Back in the South Again

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you’ve likely seen that my family and I recently made a big move. We packed up and left the summer furnace of Texas for the rolling warm hills of Nashville, Tennessee.

And my Southern-loving heart couldn’t be happier.

While a new job opportunity for me sparked the move, there is so much to be thankful for being back in the Southeast. Here are my top five reasons this relocation has me feeling all the feels…

  1. We’re closer to my family than we’ve been in 20 years. Ever since I left for college back in 1999 (gasp!), I’ve not lived closer than 8.5 hours to my parents. Now, they are a short and easy 2-hour drive straight down I-65! What’s better? My sister and nephew are not much farther, too! So long to the days of planning flights months in advance, boarding the dog, and TSA security lines just to hug their necks. We’ve already seen my folks several times and my mom is even here this week helping take our daughter to VBS while we work.
  2. I can now commune with my muse. (Wow, what a cheesy line. Sorry. LOL) My author tag line is “Charming Southern romance inspired by grace.” While many consider Texas to be a Southern state, it’s got nothing on the charm and small town culture of this region. Now, my office building is on historic Music Row near downtown Nashville, so I’m not claiming to be front porch rockin’ all day long. But the surrounding rolling hills, blue grass music, down home meat-and-three meals, and friendly hat-tipping are what the stories in my heart are made of. Can’t wait to see how this place inspires me to get back to regular writing.

    IMG_8040The gorgeous (and green) view from our new porch!

  3. The food scene is insane. Now, to be fair, we had zero complaints about the food in Fort Worth. No arguments from us that Texas knows how to do BBQ, Tex-Mex, and margaritas. But, Texas ain’t got nothing on Tennesee fried chicken, Southern sides, cobbler, and sweet tea. We lunched at the famous Puckett’s Grocery in downtown Franklin after church this past Sunday and might end up regulars. Don’t take my word for it, let the picture of my lunch prove it.

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    To top it off, you’re hard pressed to find an eating establishment in the area that doesn’t offer sensational live music. I mean, it’s “Music City” for a reason and everyone is good.

  4. We are within driving distance, once again, to some of our favorite places. When we lived in North Carolina, we were used to being able to drive a few hours and be in numerous different states, destinations, landscapes, etc. Then we moved to Texas and felt a tad land-locked. There were a lot of great places to see in Texas, but we love the ability to get in the car and take a day trip to some of our favorite places: Atlanta for a Brave’s game, Gatlinburg for fall festivities, Chattanooga for family fun, and just about any direction for some of the best outdoor exploring through hiking trails, waterfalls, scenic views, and more. We can’t wait to get out there again!
  5. The charming, small town culture warms my heart. Really similar to number two, this final reason to celebrate our new home really hones in on the sort of family experience I love. We’re settling in Franklin, a quaint but fast-growing town about 25 minutes outside of Nashville.

    Downtown Franklin Main Street_0Photo courtesy of tnvacation.com

    You may have heard of it as a top choice for celebrities looking for some anonymity to raise their families without being hounded by paparazzi. (I’m keeping my eyes peeled for Natalie Grant, Stephen Curtis Chapman, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, or maybe Carrie Underwood and will report any sightings!) But, there’s a lot about Franklin I’ve wanted for my family for a long time…things like a mix of country/city, lots of festivals, steeped in American history, Saturday markets where folks stroll and engage in friendly catching up. I know Franklin doesn’t have the market on this sort of place — maybe your town is the same! But the DFW area of Texas was more metropolitan than I care for, and I’m excited to enjoy this new pace of life.

While I’ve got your attention, be sure to pop over to Faithfully Bookish where Beth is talking to one of my favorite authors, Courtney Walsh about her favorite book cover fonts. So excited and honored that Someplace Familiar made Courtney’s list! There’s some great other covers as well as a giveaway of Courtney’s latest release, Just Let Go.

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Recapping Release Month + Giveaway

Recapping Release Month | Someplace Familiar by Teresa Tysinger

I can’t believe it’s been one month since Someplace Familiar released into the world! A special thank you to everyone who has shown support and encouragement for the book these last few months. It’s been a whirlwind full of some unexpected lessons, surprises, blessings, and more. I thought it would be fun to share a few highlights recapping my first book release month!

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Big Book Birthday Giveaway

Someplace Familiar Book Birthday Giveaway!

Wowzers, if that doesn’t get your attention, then what will people?

So, in celebration of the book birthday of Someplace Familiar, coming up very soon at the end of the month, I’m giving away:

  • Kindle Fire 7″ 8GB with Alexa
  • Signed Paperback copy of Someplace Familiar
  • Large Book Sleeve from Live the Cozy Life
  • Amazing Grace Necklace from MinMac Etsy shop
  • And a few Blue Ridge Mountain goodies that inspired parts of the book (secret fun!)

Entering couldn’t be easier…just requires an email address. Winner announced on release day, May 30!

ENTER TO WIN

Check out some of these fun book quotes for a sneak peak at Someplace Familiar. Click on each for a closer look. Which is your favorite?

And here’s a lovely review from Laurie Tomlinson received earlier this week. Blessed my socks off!

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Out and About

I’m up to my eye balls in final edits for Someplace Familiar. That might mean things are a tad quiet in my little blog sphere, but you can find me out and about in a few others places this week:

Tick-Tock Writer’s Block Series

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I’m excited to be the guest bloggers today over at Andy Carmichael’s blog for her 10-week Tick-Tock Writer’s Block series. I’m sharing about how procrastination can actually (wait for it) make you a BETTER writer! What–don’t believe me? Come check it out HERE and let me know your take on it.

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Andy and all of us guest bloggers for the series have put together a fun GIVEAWAY package, too. Including a $25 Amazon Gift Card, copy of Someplace Familiar when it releases, and lots of other freebie books from amazing authors. So be sure and enter that, too.

Indie Releases on RelzReviewz!

I started my week with a HUGE and unexpected honor. We’re talking dance around the house in my underwear (TMI?) on Monday morning before work when I saw it.

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Someplace Familiar was included on RelzReviewz list of upcoming indie releases! next to the likes of Pepper Basham, Tamara Leigh, Jenny B. Jones, Susan May Warren, Ronie Kendig, Sarah Monzon, and my sweet dear writing partner Mikal Dawn. Mikal and I have been critique partners for years and know each other’s stories inside and out. For our debut novels to be releasing the same month is a crazy blessing and I’m so thrilled she made this list with me.

Check out Rel’s post HERE to read all about these amazing coming releases.

Where You Can Find Someplace Familiar

I’ve had several folks ask where they can find Someplace Familiar. Not, it’s not up on Amazon yet, but I’m hoping to have pre-orders set up before too long. In the meantime, you can read more about it and add it to your Want to Read list on Goodreads.

Someplace Familiar by Teresa Tysinger on Goodreads

Join the Street Team!

It’s also not too late to join THE GRACE GIVERS, my “street team” helping with the launch of the book through early reviews (i.e. advanced reader copies!), sharing posts, promoting features, etc. If you’re interested in joining, contact me!

That’s all I’ve got for you, sweet friends. Hope you all are well….leave a comment telling me what you’re up to? What are you reading these days? What upcoming releases (besides Someplace Familiar, of course — wink, wink) are you most looking forward to?

My First Live Interview!

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Yesterday evening around 5 p.m. I received a text from my sweet author friend Cara Grandle. “Do you want to be spontaneous?”

Um, clearly she doesn’t know me too well, yet. Spontaneous, to me, means having any less than a week’s notice. Ha!

But something pushed me to say “yes,” and before I knew it Cara and I were Skyping for a LIVE Periscope interview with her fun gang! I was truly blessed to be her very first guest for a new series called “Meet the Crew” in which she chats with authors at all phases of the journey who are part of the community of writers.

So, for about half an hour, Cara and I chatted about my short story series that just launched yesterday, why I’ve chosen to go that route right now, and lots of other fun writing stuff.

When you have a little time, watch the clip here:

Did You Miss Yesterday’s Release?

Yesterday, I released “After All These Years,” the first short story in my Blue Ridge University Series, to my newsletter subscribers. But it’s not too late! Sign up today HERE and receive a “second chance” email tomorrow with the story.

I won’t do second chances every month, so be sure and jump on board now to not miss this first, sweet installment. Then, every month you’ll receive another short story in your inbox. And, no need to download anything, click any links, or give any payment info. It’s all free and easy. Just some fun stories between friends.


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TODAY’S TWEETABLE:

WATCH the first #MeetTheCrew interview with @TMTysinger and @CaraGrandle on #writing, #shortstories, and more! — TWEET THIS!

LAST CALL: Don’t Miss Tomorrow’s Release!

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Tomorrow is the day, friends! Are you excited? Me, too!

Tomorrow “After All These Years,” the first short story in my brand new Blue Ridge University Series, releases exclusively to subscribers. Every month a new short story will debut, introducing new characters and building on story lines in an old-fashioned “serial” story method. How fun! I hope you’ll love the cozy campus of BRU as much as I do, modeled after my alma mater, Mars Hill College.

Remember to leave a comment telling me if you’ve shared about the release on social media so you can be entered to win a few of my favorite fall things!

If you’ve not yet subscribed (FREE) it’s not too late!

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE

Recharging

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As you read this, I’m traveling to North Carolina to meet up with my best friend. She’s my person. One of the few in this world who truly “get me.” Someone I can be 100% myself with at all times. We’ve laughed, cried, worried, prayed, parented, and traveled together. For the next four days, being with her will recharge me. Without fail, being with this friend provides a unique opportunity for me to regroup, breathe deep, and return home refreshed.

It doesn’t hurt that she lives in the exact area of the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains that inspires much of my writing. Laurel Cove, the fictional town in my first novel, is inspired in part by Burnsville, the town in which my friend was born and raised. Now just a short few miles down the two lane highway, my friend lives amongst a tall dense forest, in view of a picturesque mountain lake. The refreshing, cool summer breezes are matched only by the subtle sweet scent of wildflowers and pine. It’s a slower pace at mom-and-pop cafes, roadside antique stores, and porch wind chimes. Only the rhythm of cloggers at summer festivals on the Parkway call a tap to your toes.

Doesn’t it sound enchanting? Trust me, it is.

I hope to get some great photos to share with you on this place that has soaked into my creativity and fed countless stories into my mind like the cold mountain springs. Stay tuned…while I’m away recharging.


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WHAT I’M CELEBRATING:

I am so grateful and excited to tell you that my not-yet published novel, Someplace Familiar, has placed 3rd in the Short Romance Category in the Touched By Love Award Contest, announced last night at the Faith Hope and Love Award Ceremony at the Romance Writers of America Conference taking place in San Diego! What a thrill!


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WHERE I’M WRITING:

Look for my guest post on learning from a child today over at Jennifer Slattery’s blog, Lives Out Loud. My daughter taught me something pretty special recently about being a child of God.

It’s Not You, It’s Me: Unexpected Rejection

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During the last several months I have been in contact with a literary agent whom expressed interest in my first novel after meeting at a conference. I like to compare these months since to a season of courting. Our first date was at the conference, second date was sending a full book proposal, third date was a lengthy phone call that resulted in her request of the full manuscript, and our fourth date included her request for me to fluff the book a little more in some specific areas. It seemed things were looking very promising. Soon, maybe we’d “go steady” — be exclusive and she’d sign me. (Pardon the cheesy analogy.)  Continue reading