Lightening Before the Thunder…

During a trip to my publishers, I had the opportunity of sharing my experiences with a group of authors, many of whom later talked with me in a private capacity. I learned that we all had one thing in common – OPPOSITION.. A certain person I spoke with was ready to quit. Coming from this particular individual, it was quite shocking to me. They hadn’t written in months because of the vast amount of negativity received from naysayers. I shared with them a quote from a famous author in response to the haters. “Your next book will be your first book, and I wouldn’t like your book either.” It’s a mouthful I know, but a lot of people who criticize merely want to reserve the right to do just that – because they’re too lazy and too fearful to walk the road you have. It’s easier for them to complain rather than put themselves out there because they’ll get back what they gave…
In retrospect for me, writing started with a dream, a desire… I was heavily chastised for daring to think outside of the box. Many of you have a dream… A wish… Whether it’s to be an author or something else, I’m here to tell you that you can have all the wishbone in the world, but without backbone you won’t ever see it come to volition. Without actually getting out there and putting your plan into action you will stay right where you’re at.

Yes, you will have obstacles and people come against you for no reason. DON’T QUIT! They’ll go to the extent of making things up about you, lie about you – because they are afraid you will succeed. DON’T QUIT! If I were to share what I wrote my first book through, it would literally drop your jaw! If I were to share with you the violence I grew up in once again, it would drop your jaw. I had a lot of excuses to not even start let alone continue. But I’m here to tell you, it’s not your start in life, it’s your finish, and that finish is up to you. The point is I never gave up. NEVER GIVE UP! When you’re tired, learn to rest – BUT DON’T GIVE UP!!!! If you’re feeling low about your situation, go out and do something nice for someone. Take your mind off of yourself for a change. If it’s not well received sew it as a seed – in laymen’s terms good karma will always come back to you but you must give out to get back.

The song Lightening Before the Thunder by Imagine Dragons – in the very last few minutes of this song you will hear almost inaudibly the words – “Never give up.” Some of you have those exact words whispering in the recesses of your mind. You need to turn them from a whisper into a shout, until it’s tattooed in your brain. I’m here to remind you not to give up on your dreams! Don’t let the haters have it their way!!!! Don’t let circumstances have their way!!! Who are they to decide your fate?

 

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Book Two – And Other Tidbits of Brain Matter by C. L. Lewis author of The Road to Dendura Creed Griffon Series https://www.facebook.com/creedgriffonfictionseries

Okay, so
where have I been? It’s been a long time since I last posted . No, I haven’t been in hiding…. And, I haven’t been on some
soul searching quest – such has been rumored! (Where would I find the time?) Regardless of fanciful hearsay, I’ve
been DILIGENTLY writing. A lot of readers forget, I’m a teacher too. It’s hard
to choose between two things you love doing, i.e. writing and teaching. In many
ways, I believe one feeds off of the other. (At least in my case it does)

But since school has let out, it’s
more along the lines of “full steam ahead!” My sole job now is – you guessed it
– to write until I’m satisfied.  I will
NEVER be a speed writer. I’m not into that. And I don’t think my readers would
want that either. Some people are good at such things whereas, I like to take
my time and write where my pen/keyboard takes me. There is a peaceful freedom
in that. In the famous words of Pixar’s Geri the cleaner, from Toy Story 2,
“You can’t rush art!” Or rather, you shouldn’t. It’s something to be savored
and appreciated. A good word picture would be when mom or dad slaves over that
Thanksgiving feast for two days – and the ‘fam’ devours it in ten minutes! Yikes!

 “Most men
pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it.” ~Søren Kierkegaard


“Remember
the great adversity of art or anything else is a hurried life.” ~Robert James Waller
Adding to the
previous dilemma, I/the series have been taken over by a new publishing company,
something I’m excited about!! However, as it passes through the fiery trials of
“rights,” I am thankful that they’re allowing the time I need to finish book
two – according to how I see fit. You see, as strange as it may sound to
someone who isn’t into writing, I’ve gotten to know each and every one of my
characters intimately. Similarly to a fervent fan that knows every last detail
about their favorite characters… 

No, I don’t see them walking around my flat,
neither do I have conversations with them over my morning Cheerios.
Nonetheless, they’ve become pseudo real people to me, and I want to give each of
them the respect they’re due because I care about them. I care about my story.
And, I care about providing readers with a tale that will come alive and jump right off of the pages. Thankfully, my publisher understands my passion, and thus book 2 will be out fall of
2016. It is over three times as longs as The Road to Dendura, and is filled
with sketches, and associated guides to help readers keep track and immerse
themselves into the world of Craft. 

So, to my faithful readership, I thank you
for your patience and the many emails asking about me and/or the new release. I’m still here. Book 2 is
coming… And you won’t be disappointed! 

Sneak peeks of book 2 to follow…

Respectfully,

 

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A Visit to the Charles M. Schultz Museum Snoopy Charlie Brown Lucy Linus Sally and More! By author C.L.Lewis www.creedgriffon.com or like us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/creedgriffonfictionseries

Recently, I was invited to attend the Charles M. Schultz museum with Ms. Abbott’s 10th grade class. The museum is located in Santa Rosa California. I’d never been
there before and was just as excited (if not more so) as the kids to learn
about the famous cartoonist. For me, it was like re-visiting my childhood. Like
many of you, I grew up with the Peanuts gang.  Schultz’s comic strip was a Sunday morning staple alongside
my Shredded Wheat or Fruit Loops. Many of us relate to Schultz’s – often times – poignant humor. If you’re a true fan, you understand that Charlie Brown wasn’t a loser. Rather, he epitomized the human spirit because he never quit trying. 

 Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Sally and the Gang~

As I began my journey through the museum, I was able to see many of Mr. Schultz’s drawings,
memorabilia, and even a replica of his office. However, above all I walked
away with the fact that Charles M. Schultz was not just a brilliant cartoonist, he
was an over-comer and in many ways like his main character.

The museum itself contains two floors and is filled with mementos
from his public and private life. It is also equipped with an educational center for
children who’d like to learn about cartooning. Also on display, are the works of several
other talented artists who have depicted snoopy or the peanuts gang in one of
the various art forms such as paintings, sculpture, or Paper Mache. 

Who doesn’t love Woodstock?

Located next to the museum is an ice skating rink called, Snoopy’s Home Ice Arena, along with the Warm Puppy Café. (Which by the way, they serve a mean
sandwich wrap!) Why an ice skating rink you might ask? Because Mr. Shultz loved to play
hockey! When you visit, you will see a special section devoted to his own
personal hockey equipment including his jersey, stick, and helmet. 
 Snoopy’s Home Ice Arena
 A replica of Charles Schultz Cartooning Desk

This desk is precious to me. I have my own writing desk. The hours I spend at it are both triumphant and at times – frustrating… But always worth it:)

 

I’m somewhat limited to the amount of information I can include in my blog, but for those of you interested in the biography of Charles M. Schultz, and need a little inspiration, please click on the link below. You’ll soon see what I mean about him being an over-comer.Through countless rejections, world war, and even death, he never gave up his dream to do what he loved most.

Respectfully,

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A Note to Aspiring Writers and Parents – by C. L. Lewis www.creedgriffon.com www.facebook.com/creedgriffonfictionseries

I”m often asked how I got started writing young adult, teen, and tween fiction. And if you’ve read my biography on the Creed Griffon – Road to Dendura website, then you’ll know initially, my experience led me in a totally different direction. One of my main reasons for writing this series was (and still is) the fact that I’m a teacher who wants to inspire kids to read. However, I didn’t know how many intricate slippery-slope pathways or tumultuous seas I’d have to cross to get my idea into print. Neither did I fully expect the countless yet valuable lessons I’d learn along the way. Nonetheless, the following topic is something many people may not be aware of when purchasing a book:

Suggested Age Ratings for Books and How They Come Into Being… 

Warning: Ratings are not determined by magical wand waving pixies who sprinkle sparkly dust over said reading materials resulting in their categorization into the appropriate age groups… ( I was absolutely crushed when I found this out)

 

If you’re an aspiring writer take heed. If you’re a parent choosing books for your kids keep reading, this may surprise you. When pertaining to books, we often use words like children’s books, tween, teen, and young adult – but did you know that there’s really no set age range for any of these categories? Now, the American Library Association may argue this statement, but unfortunately not everyone follows their guidelines, and that’s a fact! More often than not, age guidelines set themselves because vendors go with the age group of individuals purchasing or receiving the books. Below is a rough guideline for each category per age group. By no means is it the only one, the official, or complete one. As a matter of fact, if you scout around you’ll find that most age level recommendations for books conflict. I understand that the suggested reading levels below don’t really pertain to adults, but it gives you a basic idea of how each term is viewed. 

Age Related Categories:

Children’s Books: 8 – 10
Tween Books 10 – 12
Young Adult Readers 12 – 22 

When I first started out, I thought I had a general knowledge of what these categories meant. However, I quickly learned that sometimes, the industry simply groups books together and recommends them to readers of all ages when really, if we were to hold true to any definition, we’re talking the difference between a picture book, and something like Hunger Games. Case and Point: Harry Potter was deemed as a children’s book. In many bookstores you’ll find it in the children’s section. However, I know countless parents who won’t let their children read the series because of the ‘graphic content’. (And no, I’m not one of those parents, but I understand and respect their opinions) 

 

Regardless, the author of course has NO control over age rating issues aside from giving his/her own personal recommendation of their works. When a professional/bookstore recommends a reading age for a particular book, that rating will depend solely on their opinion. This is where you need to be careful because someone else’s idea of what’s good for you, your teen, or tween may differ than what you may consider appropriate. I’ve had children as young as nine read The Road to Dendura and love it. I’ve had teen, tween, and young adult readers do the same. I believe aspects such as this also fall on the readers maturity and reading levels.

Solution? As a parent, if your kids are still in the age range where you’re concerned about what they’re reading, then my suggestion to you would be to read the book in question for yourself. No one knows your child’s reading needs better than you. Meanwhile, previewing or reviewing allows you to be in more control of the situation. In most cases, libraries keep copies of the latest books on their shelves. Librarians also make a good point of reference for age appropriate books. And if you’re a writer? Learn to go with the flow. You may have written your story for an older or even younger audience, but the suggested age level will ultimately depend on those buying/receiving it. 

Respectfully,

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