In Time of Transition (aka The Sloggy Book Launch)

Somewhere in the past few months I launched a book. You wouldn’t have known it unless you were paying close attention because there wasn’t much fanfare, no virtual or physical launch parties (not yet, anyway), and only a small amount of wordz as the day passed. Life, yes, life… I love the cover, though. And it reminded me that it takes a village to build a book (and a book launch). And so I’d like to thank the following people for their hard work and support: Tod McCoy fearless indie publisher at Hydra House Julie Fain  lovely fantasy artist (who has done all my covers) Jennifer D. Munro the best copy editor an author could have (and a fantastic author to boot) Early and Beta Readers Tony Ollivier, Karyn and Kelly Hoskins, Sam Fink-Jensen,...

Right to Speak

~   ~   ~ I really dislike the term “thick skinned.” As in… “Ya gotta be thick-skinned, Danika, to be able to take the slings and arrows of life.” I have an idea. Why don’t people just stop slinging and arrowing? This is truly the age of the bully, as social media has given bullies megaphones and permission to use them. To put yourself out there risks a world of complete strangers turning against you. It can be a nasty, nasty place online. (image by Michael V. Manalo) There’s a 2015 TED talk by Monica Lewinsky called The Price of Shame. My immediate reaction when I first came across it was why would I want to hear THAT woman’s story? I watched it anyway, and I encourage you to do the same, because my reaction was the whole point. Monica was basically the...

Found Mourning: a poem and writing exercise

In a previous post I wrote about how I grew creatively stagnant after the US election, how I couldn’t convince myself that what I did as an author really meant much in the scheme of things. A few days ago I was wandering about my unfinished pieces of recent work and came across a poem I forgot I had written. It was dated Nov 10, just a few days after the election. I guess I wasn’t completely creatively stagnant after all. I probably forgot about it because I went numb for a few weeks after that. The same kind of numb I felt after my father had died. The kind of numb that happens when one is in mourning. Writing through mourning is a great way to work through it. To sort out your thoughts and feelings and place it in the world so others can connect and...

Help Her! She Spoke French!

Bonjour et bienvenue. A few months ago I started learning French via the website Duolingo. Anyone close to me knows just how amusing this is. I have a history of bludgeoning the French language. I’ve dropped out of two French courses. Small children have made fun of me for my particularly bad pronunciation. I can never keep the conjugations for “avoir” (to have) and “etre” (to be) straight. My husband is from Quebec and speaks lovely French. When we were visiting Montreal, strangers would address him in French and then turn to me and speak in English, as if the words “Don’t even try” were stamped on my forehead. When people spoke French around me, I was sure they were making fun of me. And still, I’ve always wanted to learn French. On the outside, I laughed...

Road Trip Book Tour: Part Two

  WINNER of the ROAD TRIP book contest is DEBBY DODDS (how in the world could I resist a book about John Waters hitchhiking?). ~      ~      ~ The first Road Trip Book Tour post was more about the Road Trip, this post is more about the Book Tour itself. Even if you never plan to go on a book tour in your life, the information may be helpful in other ways. I’ve been book touring for six years. And for many years before I started, I led workshops in schools, conferences, and festivals, performed live spokenword, and produced literary arts events. I was used to organizing events, traveling around, and speaking in front of others. But doing these things may scare the pants off of you. It doesn’t have to. My tours are set up in collaboration with my publisher in...

ROAD TRIP BOOK TOUR: PART ONE* (PLUS a CONTEST!)

For the first time in my book touring life, I am going on a “road trip” instead of flying, training, busing, and rental carring. The Danika Road Trip is a special kind of road trip. Be forewarned when travelling with me. If I see a sign in Nebraska for the Pony Express Station or in Arizona for indigenous cliff dwellings, I will make a spontaneous side trip. World’s largest ball of twine? I’m there. If I get off schedule, I will drive until I can’t drive any more and sleep in my car. I bring camping gear in case there’s a mesa I have to climb and get tuckered out. I WILL take the scenic route if one is offered. I WILL take the road less travelled (I almost got stranded in the middle of New Mexico when a sudden rain storm turned the dirt road into a slick mud...