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Merri's Blog

10 Questions with Merri Hiatt and 2,000+ Downloads

Posted by Merri Hiatt on February 13, 2012 at 8:05 PM Comments comments (0)



Ethan Jones posted an interview with me on his website (linky goodness: http://ethanjones.blog.com/2012/02/13/10-questions-with-merri-hiatt-the-author-of-marayahs-return/). The topic: Marayah's Return and writing. Swing by Ethan's website and check it out if you have a minute.

In other news, THANK YOU for making it possible that 2,000+ e-books have been downloaded since I began self-publishing at the end of September, 2011.

I was shocked when I passed the 1,000 download mark and am equally surprised to have surpassed the 2,000 mark.

I remember sitting in my high school creative writing class thinking, "Wouldn't it be great to write for a living? Spending all my time with words and connecting with the people who read those words."

Now, I'm doing just that and I feel incredibly lucky and grateful to be sharing characters and storylines with all of you. What a joy!

Blessings!
Merri

If this hadn't happened, then this wouldn't have happened

Posted by Merri Hiatt on December 20, 2011 at 6:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Have you ever played the, "If this hadn't happened, then this wouldn't have happened" game? I was playing it today as I reflected on becoming a writer full-time. 

Yes, I've done what people tell you not to do. I quit my day job. :D

I thought back to a year ago and conversations I had with friends about e-books. I had a list of reasons why I would never like reading a book on a device:
* You can't feel the paper.
* You can't smell the book.
* You can't curl up with it in the same way as a book.
* Books don't break.
* Books don't require WiFi or a cellular plan.
* Books are forever.

Fast forward to my mom's need to leave her home and live in a long-term care facility. She moved into a wonderful facility where she shared a large room with two lovely ladies; one had an iPad. 

Mom and I talked about moving her computer to the facility, but she didn't want to do that. The iPad was much smaller and the facility had free WiFi. It seemed like a win-win. 

Now, I had no desire to own an iPad, but I had to learn how to use it so I could teach mom how to use it. I downloaded many apps, including the free Kindle app. I found a ton of free romance books (mom's favorite genre) and loaded 'er up. 

As I was choosing books, I began browsing through some of them once they had downloaded. It was fun to tap and watch the page turn. I could increase the font size easily and danged if I didn't become hooked on having sixty books available to me with a touch here and there.

If mom hadn't needed the extra care a long-term care facility provided and her roommate hadn't had an iPad, I never would have bought mom an iPad, downloaded the Kindle app, fallen in love with e-books and considered self-publishing my books in paperback and e-book form.

And, I wouldn't have just quit my day job to start a full-time career as a writer.

If this hadn't happened...

You just never know when a decision will become transforming.

Peeking over my laptop lid to say Happy December 1st!

Posted by Merri Hiatt on December 1, 2011 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (0)


I'm excited it's December 1st! Yes, I know. There's so much to do in December and you're already feeling stressed just thinking about it all.

I happen to love December. I renamed it the Season of Love years ago and I see it with new eyes now.

I ditched most of the "have to's" and replaced them with "want to's."

When I thought about the things that really give me pleasure and joy, the choices were pretty easy to make.

I don't really like baking twenty million Christmas cookies. Now I don't.
     I love looking at Christmas tree lights and decorations on houses. I
     travel a different way home from work and take back roads, just so
     I can see them.
I don't enjoy shopping in crowded stores with pushy people, so I do my shopping early in the morning or online. 
     I love going to Christmas concerts and pageants at local
     churches.
I don't like going to parties where the conversation is all superficial, so I don't attend.
     I love going to craft shows and bazaars.
I don't like being solicited to give money to people I pass by. Now, I plan ahead and do research on which organization(s) I want to donate to.
     I love getting together with friends in a quiet atmosphere
     where we can really talk and share our lives.

It's all about being purposeful and finding meaning in the activities we participate in. Not in what other people believe is meaningful, but in what YOU find meaningful.

We give our time, talent and resources away often without giving much thought to why we are doing it. Taking a few moments to pause, reflect and even linger over our choices seems like a luxury, but really, it is a necessity.

Carve out time this year for the things that bring you the most joy, peace and lightness of spirit. These are great gifts to be thankful for.

Happy Season of Love!
Merri

"Sneak Peek" of The Magical Christmas Cookies

Posted by Merri Hiatt on October 14, 2011 at 3:10 AM Comments comments (0)

I'm working on a short story as a free gift for readers for Christmas and thought I'd post a "sneak peek." Enjoy!

Cinnamon, cloves, butter and vanilla danced as the beaters purred out a hypnotic rhythm.


“What are you adding now?” Vanessa asked.


“This?” Holly asked as she eyed the small round container.


“Yes.”


“Oh this is something extra special. No Christmas cookies can ever be made without it.”


“What is it?”


Holly leaned forward and whispered, “It’s Christmas Magic.”


Vanessa rolled her eyes. “But what is it?”


“Sleigh bells ring, are you listenin’?” Holly sang as Vanessa crossed her arms stubbornly, waiting for an answer. “Down the lane, snow is glistenin’.”


“How will I ever learn how to make Christmas cookies if you don’t tell me what’s in them?”


“All you have to do is follow the recipe on this card.” Holly handed Vanessa the three-inch by five-inch recipe card. Vanessa read the ingredients carefully.


“But this just says to add two dashes of Christmas Magic. Where do I get Christmas Magic?”


Holly smiled, but gave no answer. “How about helping me put the cookies on the sheet pan so we can get them into the oven?”


Vanessa sighed heavily as she slipped off the stool and joined her aunt on the other side of the kitchen island. Holly continued to alternately sing and hum Christmas songs as they diligently scooped the cookie dough into small mounds and placed them on the baking sheet.


“In twelve minutes we’ll have the most delicious Christmas cookies ever,” Holly said as she placed the cookies in the oven and shut the door, setting the timer in case time got away from her.


“Where do you buy Christmas Magic?”


“Oh, you can’t buy Christmas Magic, Nessa. You have to make it yourself.”


“Will you teach me?”


“I thought you’d never ask. I have the recipe right here.” Holly used a step stool so she could reach the cabinet above the stove. Even so, she had to stretch to reach the very back corner of the shelf. She pulled out a small box covered in purple velvet, the only adornment a gold tassel on the lid.


Vanessa watched with eyes wide as Holly opened the box. There was only one small piece of paper inside. Holly retrieved the paper and handed it to Nessa.


Vanessa read aloud, “One pinch of love, one dollop of hope, two dreams that can’t possibly ever come true, an ounce of compassion, one cup of inspiration, two tablespoons of forgiveness, and one-quarter teaspoon of salt for flavor.


This isn’t even a real recipe! All you added to the cookies was salt, that’s why it was white. All cookies have salt in them. I don’t think your cookies are magical at all!”


Vanessa threw the paper on the counter and ran out of the kitchen toward her bedroom.


Holly sighed. No one seemed to believe any more. It wasn’t just Vanessa. She saw it in people’s eyes as they walked down the street. They were struggling to pay bills and keep their jobs, not to mention trying to stay healthy. They’d lost hope.


She’d seen the power of the Magical Christmas Cookies firsthand, but never with an entire town. Did they have enough power to bring hope back into the hearts of the people of Maple Valley?


More to follow...


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