Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Release Day of FINN'S CHOICE

Welcome to the world, boyo!

Today marks the official release of the final book in the ADVENTURES OF FINN MacCULLEN series. Thank you to all my friends, fellow authors, and family members who have tagged along with me on this adventure. I thought I'd share a wee piece from the Acknowledgement page:

Ah, Dear Reader, it’s been a high joy and great pleasure to have shared Finn’s and Gideon’s adventures with you. Strange, is it not, that so much could happen to one boy in the course of less than a year’s time?

I want to thank all of you who have read and recommended these books to others. You’ve made my books a success by spreading the word of Finn’s adventures. In a way, you’re like the bards of ancient times—sharing the tales of heroes and heroines with others. A happy thought, eh?

Will there be more tales of Finnegan MacCullen and Gideon Lir? Yes, in a way. You see, once you’ve read a book, those characters continue on in your head (they certainly have occupied a great deal of my mindspace for the last four years) and I am more than happy to pass them to you for safekeeping. 

Promise me you’ll take care of them.


Friday, September 16, 2016

My Current Reads

I don't know about you guys, but my reading is all over the place right now. Which usually means I'm working on my own book. Reading both inside my genre (middle grade) and outside my genre (almost anything) helps me write better. I don't why. Maybe the  balance?

I also like to read two books at the same time. That's something I started doing over the last few years. Weird. My default mode used to be to concentrate on one thing at a time. Funny how our thinking changes over time, no? 

So, what are you reading? The books I posted here are all winners if you need suggestions. Feel free to leave suggestions for me, too.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

More Shenanigans for FINN'S CHOICE

Come join the shenanigans!
Check out these early reviews of FINN'S CHOICE
Enter a giveaway of the entire series

The Story of a Writer
"Once again, Darby Karchut has created a story that’s magical..." 
                                         ~ Beverly Stowe McClure, author of UNDER A PURPLE MOON

"If you are looking for a fantastic MG series that features one of the best father/son relationships ever plus Irish folklore plus strong characters, read these four books. You’ll thank me later."  ~ Kelly Hager

A Belle's Tales
"These may be middle-grade books, but there is something in the Adventures of Finnegan MacCullen series for all ages. There's humor and heartbreak and plenty of adventure. I for one know that this is a series I'll be re-reading for many years to come and that someday my own kids will love it as much as I do."
                                                                                          ~ Mckenzie  at  A Belle's Tales

We're doing a giveaway of the entire four book series!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Finn's Choice by Darby Karchut

Finn's Choice

by Darby Karchut

Giveaway ends September 15, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Friday, August 19, 2016

Finn's Choice by Darby Karchut - Now available on NetGalley

This is happening over on NetGalley!
Release Date: September 20th
A Note From the Publisher:

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Don't Just Sit There - Move!

We’ve all heard of the negative effects of sitting too long. It’s bad for our muscles, organs, and can even increase the risk of various kinds of cancer. As writers, we must be extra vigilant to guard against this insidious stalker of our health. If you want to know more of the medical hows and whys, you might want to read Get Up! Why Your Chair is Killing You and What You Can Do About It by Dr. James Levine (co-director of the Mayo Clinic). In his book, Dr. Levine lists the areas and systems of the body that are damaged by too much sitting:

Brain Damage (due to less fresh blood and oxygen)
Strained Neck and Shoulders
Back Problems
Muscle Degeneration
Hip Problems
Varicose Veins
Weak Bones
Even more depressing news: A study by the 2015 Inaugural Active Working Summit also found that sitting increases lung cancer by 54%, uterine cancer by 66%, and colon cancer by 30%.

Yikes! What’s a writer to do?

Well, for one thing, get up out of your chair. The current manta from health experts is to “stand up, sit less, move more.” And by moving, they mean more than just our daily walk/run/gym time. Yes, vigorous sustained exercise once a day is vital to our health. However, a number of findings report that standing more during the day is also beneficial to people who don’t exercise. In other words, any kind of moving around counts. The more, the better, but even a little helps.

Here are some straightforward, but effective, alternatives to sitting:

Stand at your desk. A couple of boards across two stacks of books will do the trick. Or, you can get those cool gizmos that raise and lower your work surface. Some experts recommend putting a foot rest (a small box works fine) under your desk. Standing with one foot on the box eases the strain on your back and hips. Switch feet as often as you like. This is one I use a lot, and it really works.

A treadmill/desk combo is also very popular. Just be careful not to get too engrossed in your writing and fall off.

An inflatable exercise ball is a cheap and easy alternative to chairs. Roll it side to side as you write to work your core muscles.

Of course, a gadget that you wear on your wrist that measures your steps is another way to keep moving. I’ve never tried one, but a lot of my friends find them motivating.

However, standing or walking makes it harder to concentrate. So, a rule of thumb that I found helpful is the 20-8-2 Breakdown. For every 30 minutes, sit for 20 minutes, stand for 8 minutes, move for 2 minutes. You can set your phone’s alarm, your sports watch, or even an egg timer, to remind yourself.

Once you’re up, the moving around part can be as simple as walking around your house or office, climbing up and down a flight of stairs, jogging in place, do a round of jumping jacks, or break out the yoga mat. Even light housework counts. Just move. I read of one executive who makes a point of walking laps around her office whenever she’s on a phone call.

The 20-8-2 Breakdown isn’t supposed to be a hard and fast rule, however. It’s more of a reminder to incorporate opportunities into your work day to rise up. The more you move, the more your body craves it, which in turn, encourages you to be more active. It’s a wonderful, virtuous cycle.

So, give it a try for a week. See what works for you. Even small steps can add up to big results. Like writing a book, no? The hardest part is getting started.

I’d love to hear your suggestions on what you do to keep healthy while writing. Please feel free to share in the comments below. 

(This article was previously posted on Writing from the Peak)