Posted in Personal, Uncategorized

Inspiration

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving. I know I did. This year was certainly better than last year, that’s for sure. Now it is officially Christmas Season. My favorite holiday, but enough about that, this isn’t a Christmas post…not yet anyway. 🙂

 

I want to talk about Inspiration.

 

Image courtesy of allthefreestock.com 

http://allthefreestock.com/

 

What inspires me to write? There are many things but here are a couple that I’d thought I’d share with you.

The first is a note from a fellow author, who purchased my first book “The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer.” She bought it in hopes her reluctant reader would be inspired to read. This is a direct quote:

Image

 

“Lisa Orchard is like the best writer EVER” ~according to my daughter, who until recently, never read a book voluntarily. Her next statement was, “You’d better get the rest of the series.”

Yes, ma’am. Going to buy them now! 

Here’s the review they left on Amazon:

My 12 year old daughter says:

I loved this book so much because it was so exciting. All the cool moments in the house were really creepy. It made it feel like the girls were going to come to the end of their road. It was super suspenseful. Please keep writing more books like this!

I say:

My reluctant-reader daughter inhaled this book–twice! She came rushing into the room at least three times an hour with breathless updates on the adventure. Definitely an engaging read for kids who like a little mystery.

This made my week. It just felt so good to inspire someone to read. I immediately began thinking of ideas for the next book in the series, even though I’m in the middle of a new one with new characters. I’ve got a couple of ideas brewing so we’ll see where they go.

My kids also inspire me to write. They’re so proud of my accomplishments. My oldest has read two of the books in the series and he told me they were awesome. I’m hoping by sticking with my writing, they’ll see how the hard work pays off and they’ll learn to follow their own dreams and aspirations.

My boys are learning so many valuable lessons with my writing. Just the other day, I was talking with a friend and she told me about another author who bought enough copies of her own book to get on the New York Times Bestsellers list. She told me this as an idea for marketing.

I relayed this information to my husband and told him that I didn’t think I’d get a big sense of accomplishment if I made it to the list that way. My son was present during the conversation and this was his response.

“Mom, that’s cheating.” He wrinkled his nose and shook his head.

I was cheering inside, while on the outside, I just smiled. My son has an excellent moral compass and it’s so nice to see it. My hubby and I did at least one thing right. 🙂

Image courtesy of allthefreestock.com 

http://allthefreestock.com/

 

So there you have it. Two things that inspire my writing. How about you what inspires you? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

 

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Posted in promotion

“Lark Singer” is here!

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you! Today is release day for “Lark Singer!” The second book in the Starlight Chronicles! Here’s an excerpt just for you!

Continue Lark’s journey toward a bright future while she finds answers to questions of her past.

LarkSinger 500x750Lark Singer is seventeen years old and already on the way to a brilliant music career. As she and her band, Starlight, gear-up for an upcoming, life-changing band competition, though, life seems to be throwing her a few curve balls. The mysteries of her past seem to be unraveling, and she’s no longer certain she wants to know those answers, or how knowing about her past will affect her difficult relationship with her mother. And when her best friend, Bean, changes things between them, all her plans for a musical future are placed in jeopardy. How can she balance her unraveling personal life to keep her musical goals on track?

Chapter One

THE GUYS ARE impatiently waiting for me. Bean’s foot jiggles so fast; it appears as if a current of electricity runs through him. We have to be down at Pearl’s by seven.
We’re all geeked about playing on stage, I can tell. Performing at Pearl’s gives us the face time we need for when it’s really going to count. The real event — the competition — is only a few weeks away. I pick up my pace, we have three hours to jam and grab some food before we go on stage.
“Come on, Chickie,” he says, gesturing with his sticks as he settles into position behind his drums.
Rushing forward, I plug in my amp. As I crank out a few chords to warm up, that old energy buzzes through my veins. After a couple of licks, I’m ready and my nimble fingers tingle. I’m wired. I love playing in front of a live audience. “Which one are we jamming on?” I look over at Bean and wait for his answer.
His brow creases as he tries to decide. “This one here.” He holds up the lead sheet and waves it impatiently in the air.
I squint to see it. It’s the one we titled “Secrets.” Pointing to the lead sheet sitting on Stevie’s stand, I get into position. I had taken a few minutes and titled Stevie’s lead sheets for him the other day.
He nods. “Thanks.”
Bean slams his sticks together and counts out. “One… two… three.”
We’re off, filling the garage with musical energy. My body’s rigid, as if every muscle’s flexed and ready for action. Screaming chords fill the air, as my nimble fingers crank on my Gibson. I feel like I’m a live electrical wire, popping and snapping with unrestrained energy.
When we’re done with that song, no one speaks. Instead, Bean holds up another lead sheet and then we’re off again. Tonight’s performance is going to be epic. I can tell just by how we’re coming together. I grin in spite of my intense concentration; my confidence is growing by leaps
and bounds. We are so ready for this competition that I can feel it all the way down to my bones.
After the second song, I hold up my hand and say, “Our sound smokes. But don’t you think we should play some of the music we’re going to be performing tonight?”
Bean snorts. “Yeah. Probably.”
We take a few minutes and discuss some of the songs we want to play. We usually crank out tunes that were big hits in the seventies and eighties, a lot of Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, and Rolling Stones. They’re more mellow than what we’ve been playing, but they’re still good melodies and the crowd at Pearl’s digs that classical sound. Playing this type of music broadens our musicianship, but there’s nothing like cranking out our own songs. After choosing a few of the harder tunes we immediately start jamming.
We’ve chosen “Hotel California” by the Eagles. It’s a dark tune about moving to California and I love the melody. My guitar howls out the chords and I feel that quiver inside as I sing the lyrics. After cranking out three more Eagles’ songs, we change it up for a few Fleetwood Mac and Rolling Stones songs. They’re great dance tunes and we know we’ll get people out on the floor with these.
After the last melody, we take a break. The garage seems to hum with the absence of our music. As if it was vibrating at a rapid rate and is slowly winding down because the music stopped. We all take swigs from the water bottles Bean brought out earlier and then sit in the folding chairs by the wall.
“What time is it?” Stevie asks, screwing the cap back on his water bottle.
“Time to get going,” Bean answers after a quick glance at his watch. “My brother should be here any minute to help me get my drum set down to Pearl’s.”
“Cool. I guess I’ll ride down with Francine.” I grimace as I say this and Bean exchanges a look with Stevie.
“I’ve got my parents’ Toyota for the night. You could ride with me,” Stevie offers with grin and a shrug.
“Awesome.” I smile at him as my heart swells with gratitude for my band mates. The truce between Francine and me has been extended, mainly because I’ve been
avoiding her and there hasn’t been an opportunity to wage another war. So I welcome any opportunity to keep the avoidance plan going.
A horn sounds off in front of the house. Moving to the garage door opener, I press the button. The Brown Turd sits in the driveway, rumbling and vibrating.
“There’s my ride,” Bean says. “Can I get some help?”
No one talks as we all gather around Bean’s drum set and help him disassemble it. It takes us about fifteen minutes to get everything in the car, but when we’re done, Bean’s satisfied with our work. He gives me a wink and says, “I’ll see you down there, Chickie.” Shifting his focus to Stevie, he says, “Later, dude.” They exchange a quick knuckle bump, and then Bean jumps in the car.
As they pull out of the driveway, Stevie gives me a nudge. “Come on. Let’s get going.”
I follow him back to the garage, where we grab our equipment and stow it in the backseat of his parents’ green sedan. Then we hustle inside and grab our coats. On my way out the door, I glance at my watch and realize we’ll just have enough time to eat before we play. Since we don’t charge for our performance, the owner of Pearl’s gives us our meal on the house. We’re okay with that because we need the face time and the food at Pearl’s is epically awesome.
After we climb into the car, Stevie starts it and pulls away from the curb. “What’re you going to get?” he asks after adjusting his mirror.
I tilt my head and think about it before I answer. “Probably a wet burrito.” I smile and face him. “How about you?”
“That does sound pretty good. I’ll probably get one of those too.”
We share a giddy laugh and then zoom down the road. I love Friday nights at Pearl’s, the relaxed atmosphere and the friendliness of the staff. The owner of the bar, whose actual name is Marge, always welcomes us with a smile. Her grandmother, the original owner, was Pearl.
Marge is a rotund woman with big boobs and an even bigger heart. When I was a young girl, I’d been afraid of her. Afraid that I’d get lost in that big pillowy chest and suffocate.
I snicker every time I think about that now and chalk it up to irrational fears of childhood.
As we pull into the parking lot behind the bar, I turn to Stevie and say. “Hey, did Bean tell you we have a name for the band?”
Stevie shakes his head as he puts the car in park and shuts it off. “Nope. What is it?”
“Starlight.”
Stevie grins and fiddles with his glasses. He repeats the name a couple of times, then turns to me, and says, “I like it.”
I let out a squeal of delight. “I do too.”
Stevie laughs because I’m not the type of girl that squeals. I’m much more levelheaded, but I can’t help it. We have our songs picked out and we have a name for the band. And the fact that we’re getting face time tonight is just frosting on the cake.

  Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lark-Singer-Starlight-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B00QPD8GQQ

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lark-singer-lisa-orchard/1120868410?ean=2940149846207

Posted in Personal

Chemo Update for Number Six

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. It’s been awhile since I’ve given an update on my chemo journey. Therefore, I’m back today to fill everyone in. My doctor cancelled my sixth treatment due to the fact that I have some numbness in my toes and fingers. After talking with my friend from Gilda’s club, I spoke to my doctor and let him know that I was concerned. He recommended that we cancel the treatment and then lower the dose. So instead of bi-weekly visits, I’ll be doing weekly visits. My friend from Gilda’s had to do the same thing and she said that the weekly chemo treatments were tolerable. The only bad thing is that it puts me out a week longer on my timeline.

There have also been some emotional side effects that didn’t occur until the second half. I’m not sure why that is, I’m guessing that being sick is wearing me down and causing some anxiety. I seem to worry about everything whether it warrants it or not. I’ve spoken to my doctor and he has prescribed some medication. All we can do is see if it works.

I also had some sort of infection and the doctor prescribed an antibiotic for me. I didn’t even know I was sick, I figured I felt lousy because of the chemo. So a word to the wise don’t get lackadaisical about checking your temperature. When the nurse informs you to check it every day, do it.

One last note for everyone, the fatigue is still hanging around. I have this fear that it won’t go away although everyone assures me that it does. 🙂 It might take me a while to get back into the swing of things. I hope it doesn’t take long. I know it’s different for everyone, but I hope I have a speedy recovery. Anybody else have any thoughts on that?

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. I appreciate your taking the time and if you could leave a few words of encouragement, I’d greatly appreciate it!

Posted in Personal

Chemotherapy Update

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m talking about my third and fourth rounds of chemo.

The third one hit me pretty hard and that’s why there wasn’t a blog post on it. 🙂 I was still recovering. The side effects were more severe. Although I was expecting that it wasn’t fun to go through. In fact, I ended up getting another prescription for anti-nausea medication. There’s three different ones that are available and I have all three. The third medication seemed to do the trick. It dissolves under my tongue and it feels like the relief was within minutes.

The fourth treatment is supposed to be the worst, but I feel a little more prepared for this one and I’m hoping I’ve got a better handle on the side effects this time around.

I’m halfway done! I only have four more treatments left and then chemo is over and it’s my understanding that the second half is easier than the first half. At least that’s what my friend from Gilda’s club told me. I hope I have the same experience that she did. Time will tell I guess.

I’ll keep you posted! Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today!

One more thing! The first book in the Starlight Chronicles is available! Check out “Gideon Lee” if you’re looking for a great new YA series!

 

 

GideonLee 500x750Lark Singer’s relationship with her mother is prickly to say the least. As she enters a musical competition that could launch her career, Lark also searches for answers her mother would rather keep hidden. Throw into the mix the fact her best friend Bean has been acting strangely, and Lark finds herself launched into uncharted territory. Will her quest for answers sabotage her musical aspirations?

 

 

Amazon:   http://www.amazon.com/Gideon-Lee-Starlight-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B00OPDQC4Q

 

 

Posted in Health, Personal, Teen

Dreams are important to Our Mental Health

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I want to talk about focusing on your dreams. In my opinion, dreams are important to your mental health.

Why, because our goals and aspirations are what get us out of bed in the morning. Your goals can be small or big, but if you have a huge goal, you might want to break it up into a bunch of smaller goals to make it more manageable.

Achieving our dreams provides us that motivation we need to keep doing those small mundane tasks that are boring. However, if we have our goal in sight, we can grit our teeth and get through them.

This is an important part of the process, because every dream has those moments of perfecting our technique. For example, let us say you want to be a professional basketball player. Well, in order to do that you have to be good at making baskets. So what are you going to do? You’re going to perfect your shot. And not just one shot either, you’re going to perfect your jump shot, your layup, your hook, and your free throw shot, just to name a few.

I bet you know where I’m going with this, don’t you? You’re going to have to spend a lot of time in front of the basket, just shooting the ball. If you have your goal in sight, this isn’t going to be a problem for you. You’ll grit your teeth and get through it because it’s important to achieving your goal. You’ll look forward to it.

In addition, the thing you’ll have to remember is, even professional athletes still spend a lot of time practicing their plays and perfecting their shots even after they’ve reached professional status. Because once your there, you have to keep your edge.

Another thing about goals is this, when you’re going through a particular trying time in your life, for example, like me having to do chemo. I have to for my health. However, I’m able to focus on my writing, not as much as I did before, but enough that I feel I’m moving forward with it. So staying focused on my goals is actually helping me get through this period. It helps me to make sure I’m doing what the doctor says because I want to write. I don’t want to spend my time dealing with the side effects.

So if I manage my side effects, I get to work on my next book, or on editing the ones that are coming out soon. My writing goals help me to manage my side effects so that I can work on them. And that’s good for my mental health too. I won’t be slipping into a depression because my side effects have gotten the best of me.

So there you have it. Goals are important for our mental health.

On a side note, I’ve received some awesome news! My next book “Gideon Lee” will be releasing soon! Yay!

It’s the first book in the Starlight Chronicles and once I receive my galleys, it will be set up for preorder. So crossing my fingers that all goes well and I can tell you the release date very soon!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and if you’d like to leave a comment on why goals are important to you, please do. I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Family, Health

Second Round of Chemo

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today with the second round of chemo under my belt. I was a little anxious because I’ve been told that the side effects grow worse each time you have a treatment.

I spoke with the nurse about this and she told me that the only side effect that gets worse is the fatigue. Well, fatigue I can handle, it’s the nausea that gets to me and since there’s the wonderful anti-nausea medication, I feel like I’m good to go.

Since I’ve had one treatment, I know what to expect. For example, in my concoction of chemo drugs there’s a steroid that makes sleeping difficult. Now that I know this, I’ve been able to prepare for that and take something that’ll help me sleep.

The biggest difference between the first and second chemo is the loss of hair. I was hoping that I could bypass this side effect somehow, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I started noticing my hair coming out in tiny clumps when I was in the shower a day before my second treatment.

After my second treatment, it came out in huge clumps. When I brushed it, there were even bigger clumps stuck in my brush. I’m not bald yet, but it’s only a matter of time.

I expected it and prepared for it, but it’s not a happy moment to say the least.

There are some positive effects to this event in my life. I know what you’re thinking, how can this be? Well, first and foremost I’ll have my life back in just four months.  According to my oncologist, I’ll be cured. The cancer won’t come back. That’s a big positive in my book.

However, there’s more to it than that. It’s brought my family closer. Hubby and the boys are more attentive and we appreciate each other’s company more than we did before. It’s hard to explain, but there’s a tenderness there that wasn’t present before.

I also have a  lot of support. I have a long line of strong women in my family, both on my mom and dad’s side. So it’s nice to have these women rally around me and offer their support.

Speaking of support, I have to mention my friend from Gilda’s club. Her name is Ginger, and she has been a constant source of positive energy for me. She calmed my nerves when I found out I had to have chemo. She took the same drugs that I’m taking and she was very helpful because she shared her reaction to them. It really set my mind at ease.

Posted in reviews

My thoughts on “Gone Girl!”

 

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today with a book review. The book I’m talking about is “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn. The cover and blurb are below.

 

 

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

MY THOUGHTS

I was expecting a story about a woman who disappears and her husband’s desperate attempts to find her. This does happen, but there’s a twist that I did not see coming that made this story darker and much more intriguing.

This is a story of a husband and wife who slowly fall out of love with each other. Gillian Flynn flawlessly develops the characters and shows how sacrifices in a marriage create resentment and build walls between the husband and wife.

The characters in this story are human with strengths and flaws. Nick convinces Amy his wife to move back to his hometown after they both lose their jobs. She agrees and they end up buying a bar. Nick runs it with his sister while Amy stays at home.

Nick becomes involved with another woman and Amy finds out. I won’t say any more than that because I don’t want to give away too much of the story, but I will say this was a much darker story than I expected and I certainly got lost in it.

If you enjoy dark, intriguing tales this is a must read!