Monday, January 25, 2016

Teacher: A Gift of Flight

In Bud Rudesill's TEACHER, Roland Brun aspires to be a teacher but karma leads him to invention and design engineering instead. Karma works a different sort of magic when twelve-year-old Jamie Richie, a math genius and social misfit, is chased into his shop by bullies. She becomes his dream student and he, the inspiration she needs to fly.

Thinking back on TEACHER, Bud Rudesill pondered the amount of conflict the story contained. Roland and Jamie’s conflicts center on the way Roland helps Jamie design and build an airplane. The story seems fantastic or maybe even unbelievable, but it’s fiction. Last week, however, Rudesill discovered Sabrina Gonzalez Paterski, a real-life teenager who built a plane from scratch for her father. Now, TEACHER doesn’t seem as implausible.

By contrast to Sabrina Paterski, Jamie Richie has antagonists. They aren’t people so much as a political system, a learning disability, a social disp
erception, and other less common conflicts. Jamie is more like Temple Grandlin who was diagnosed with autism as a child and had to overcome mental quirks to prove her genius.

Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski and the plane she built for her father. 

Watch her progress:

Young Eagles Report: 

Total Young Eagles Flown: 1,967,255

TEACHER is a comprehensive read, written by a person with a social disperception of his own, that will leave you gripped with harrowing emotion. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

A Photo Story Board: The House That Bud Built

When Bud and I moved to Dubois, Wyoming in 1995 Bud crossed one more item off his bucket list—he began designing and building a house (mostly) by himself.

We should have written a story about it, but we lived the experience instead. Here are just a few photographs of the dream home we named, Ten Forward (our living space) and Moonstrike Gallery and Studios (our creative/work space).

Leaving North Carolina

May 2, 1995 First step: Finding land with a view

May 14 Digging a well 

Framing June 25

And more framing June 25

Then the roof June 30

June 30 Bud had already built raised beds outside our living room windows so I could plant bulbs for spring!

Same raised year later

June 30 Our view

August 4 finishing the roof

August 27 Almost done—outside anyway!

September 20 Can't stop for snow!

 September 24 Bud put up the drywall & I did most of the mudding...but not all in one day

 September 30 Staining the wood floors 

October 5 Building the stairs

The royal couple descending the stairs for the first time

November 16 The last soffit (left)

Nov 18 Cabnits for the studio

 Nov 20 A few windows

December 1 Finished enough to move in!

Dining room on left, kitchen center, living room where the tile starts

Living Room



Moonstrike Gallery: paintings, sculpture, jewelry, and dolls

My creative space where I made dolls and wrote children's books to accompany them.

June 1996 Enjoying the fruits of our labor on our upstairs deck with our king cat, Hisha.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Book Trailers: How important are they

The Importance Of Book Trailers For Self-Published Authors 

Writer’s Relief, Inc.
Ronnie L. Smith, President

“The success of your self-published book will ultimately be determined by your ability to rise above the competition and grab the attention of your potential buyers. And let’s face it—with all the books currently on the market, there are a lot of titles competing for your readers’ attention. To stand out from the crowd, media-savvy authors are using book trailers to entice book buyers and build sales.

Some writers may wonder if using video to sell the written word makes sense. Think of it this way: You’ve most likely experienced the effectiveness of movie trailers. A well-crafted movie preview creates buzz and convinces you to buy a ticket. In the same way, a professional book trailer will help you engage your audience and generate more interest in your book.”

Okay, so some of my writer friends think my trailers are out dated in this modern video world of flashing images, bright lights, and “talking movies” rather than photographs with voiceovers. But here they are examples of what can be done with Movie Maker on a PC.

The trailer for Child Of My Heart is responsible for selling more books than all my others, probably because it comes up in search engines of popular themes (children, child abuse, child neglect, NICU, PICU, pediatric nursing, motherhood, etc.). 

So here they are--all with their original covers. Enjoy! And let me know if any make you want to purchase one of my books.






If you’ve made a trailer for your book(s) feel free to post me the link and I’ll be happy to share it on next week’s blog.

If you haven’t thought about making book trailers the article below may inspire you.

Writer’s Relief, Inc.

Monday, January 4, 2016

How HarperCollins Cheated Wiley Cash

The first story Wiley Cash remembers telling was told to his neighbor when they were six years old. His family had just returned from Myrtle Beach. Cash told the boy that his dad had buried him neck-deep in the sand, so deep that a crab latched on to his big toe. His sister overheard the story and asked, “Why’d you lie? That didn’t happen.” Cash didn’t have an answer for her. The truth was they’d played in the sand, and swam in the ocean, which seemed boring. But to have your big toe almost torn off by a crab? Now that’s a good story.

Later in life Cash thought about his lie but knows that as a six-year-old, you’re called a liar when you tell a story that you know isn’t true. But if you can keep telling stories and writing them down, people will eventually call you a writer.

Tiffany B. Davis

Cash, Wiley (2012-04-17). A Land More Kind Than Home . HarperCollins. Kindle Edition. 
This Dark Road to Mercy is a novel of love and atonement, blood and vengeance, set in western North Carolina, involving two young sisters, a wayward father, and an enemy determined to see him pay for his sins.

After their mother's unexpected death, twelve-year-old Easter and her six-year-old sister Ruby are adjusting to life in foster care when their errant father, Wade, suddenly appears. Since Wade signed away his legal rights, the only way he can get his daughters back is to steal them away in the night.

Brady Weller, the girls' court-appointed guardian, begins looking for Wade, and he quickly turns up unsettling information linking Wade to a recent armored car heist, one with a whopping $14.5 million missing. But Brady Weller isn't the only one hunting the desperate father. Robert Pruitt, a shady and mercurial man nursing a years-old vendetta, is also determined to find Wade and claim his due.

Narrated by a trio of alternating voices, This Dark Road to Mercy is a story about the indelible power of family and the primal desire to outrun a past that refuses to let go.

(FYI: I cut and pasted this HarperCollins synopsis from Amazon. I’m glad that I didn’t read it before I read the novel. For me, it tells too much of the story and leaves little, except the ending, to be discovered.)

Now for the difficult part—a review:

The premise of “This Dark Road” is pretty solid but the conflicts were so coincidental and serendipitous that it read more like a Nancy Drew mystery than the Southern Gothic novel some tout it to be.

I enjoyed that the story is set in the summer that both Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire were trying to break Roger Maris's home run record. I’m not a fan of baseball but Cash added just enough information about the rivalry to knit the story together and not bore me with a sport I don’t appreciate.

The Southern (North Carolina) dialect didn’t seem quite authentic and the three voices—Easter, Weller, and Pruitt all sound the same—the same as Cash’s.

It seems that Cash wrote this book with the notion that someone would turn it into a screenplay and then a movie. With a little help I believe it could be. It certainly has sufficient plot and charm but I’m afraid, if the movie is done right, people will never say, I liked the book better.

The book has flaws…flaws that a good editor could have easily corrected, like what Tay Hohoff did for Harper Lee. Hohoff realized that Lee’s Go Set A Watchman was a rough draft. She encouraged Lee to turn that rough draft into the beloved masterpiece, To Kill A Mockingbird.

An astute editor at HarperCollins could and should have recognized that Cash’s manuscript was not ready for publication. HarperCollins cheated Wally Cash and HarperCollins cheated me as a reader. This Dark Road To Mercy stopped being literary fiction with the title. HarperCollins could and should have encouraged and assisted Wally Cash to turn this rough draft of a novel into a triumphant Southern Gothic novel, maybe to become one of the best books of the century.

Had this book been self-published I’d give it 5 stars because of its charm and the last line that lingers. But because the publisher is prestigious, respected, and a royalty publishing company This Dark Road To Mercy will have to settle for 2 stars.

Saturday, January 2, 2016


Rather than make a New Year's resolution I'd like to request an argument!

                                                                 (c) Shelia Bolt Rudesill

It seems to me that reasoned argument or banter is necessary for a blog to be of any value. Many people write blogs to establish a platform for their work or their ideas. Bloggers not only “show off” their work and share ideas; they make friends, and hope that, somehow, their blog will attract an audience (contacts/customers) large enough to go viral. 

A certain amount of “conflict” on blogs seems to be necessary for the blog to go viral. When people read blogs and only compliment the author, the author gets nothing but kudos—especially if the readers send a private email response rather than comment publically (on the blog) for others to read. When there is conflict (controversy), readers will hopefully comment and share the blog with their friends who will then read the blog and comment and share again and again until the blog has hundreds, thousands, or even millions of “followers”.

So, my friends, this is my wish for 2016: Let’s Argue! Not fight or squabble, or put one another down, but kindly discuss or debate our opinions. Believe me, I will not attack you personally if your opinions differ from mine. I will welcome opposing positions, but I will also defend my arguments and expect you to do the same. Otherwise, nothing constructive results from the debate. There doesn’t have to be a definitive consensus of opinion or agreement in a good argument.

In a blog I posted several weeks ago, I mentioned that I hadn’t read the book I was blogging about. I did that on purpose, to get a discussion going, but no one took the bait. If someone had protested, perhaps someone else would have either agreed with the protestor or stood up for me and then, just maybe a huge discussion would have ensued. Ah, my dream!

On Tuesday, January 5, 2016, I will post what I hope will be a controversial blog about how one big NYC publishing house not only let me down, but let down a noteworthy author. Please let me hear what you think about my opinions. LETS ARGUE intellectually and have a Happy New Year!