An article of mine was featured in the Funds for Writers newsletter recently. I wrote about what you need to write young adult novels. You can find the article here:
www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07J5X6FDL?pf_rd_p=d1f45e03-8b73-4c9a-9beb-4819111bef9a&pf_rd_r=8D0MY1RVKNS9GQBEBWHHTime To Soar
You are more than the numbers trying to define you.
You are more than second chances.
You are more than you imagine. Your life, love, and legacy consist of so much more than one moment and one list where somebody tries to define you.
Every little moment accrues into this wild and wonderful storyline you've been entrusted with. What will you do with your moments? Who will you engage? Encourage? Inspire? Who will you be when the door slams in your face? What are you when the door opens again?
Right now, you have been called here below. Be your legacy now, regardless of what the numbers try to prove. You are limitless. You are as strong, as capable, as powerful as you choose to be. Your talents, skills, and challenges have been entrusted to you. This challenge, this falling rock, consider it an invitation to greatness. Open your invitation and accept the gift.
During the 1988 Calgary Olympics the world saw the debut of the Jamaican Bobsled Team, and also where Eddie “The Eagle” soared into last place as a famously unsuccessful ski jumper. The media called him, “a heroic failure.” At the closing ceremonies of the 1988 Olympics, Frank King, organizer of the Olympic Committee stated, “You have captured our hearts. You have broken world records and you have established personal bests. And some of you have soared like eagles.”
Michael “Eddie” Edwards spent three years of his childhood wearing plaster casts on his legs after a noble yet unnecessarily dangerous risk blocking a soccer goal, damaging the cartilage in his knee. He wore thick glasses. At the age of thirteen he began downhill skiing, and by the age of seventeen he had advanced on the British national skiing team. He decided to pursue ski jumping due to lack of funding for the costly sport of downhill skiing. He traveled the European ski circuit in his mother’s van, utilizing second-hand equipment. He earned money doing odd jobs, such as babysitting, mowing lawns, and working in hotels. The Italians gave him a helmet, and the Austrians handed over a pair of extra skis. His boots were too large, so he wore six pairs of socks to fill the gap. “When he broke his jaw, instead of paying to be treated at a hospital, he tied it up with a pillowcase and went about his business” (The Guardian). Edwards received news he qualified for the British Olympic Team while staying at a Finnish mental hospital — he’d booked their accommodations for the cheap cost of one pound a night.
Edwards was twenty pounds heavier than the other ski jumpers, and barely scraped by the minimum qualifications for ski jumping. But he was the fastest ski jumper from Britain.
At the 1988 Olympics, fellow Olympians watched as Eddie smashed into a glass door at the airport, crushing his skis and ruining some of his gear.
But despite all of his difficulties, Eddie persisted. The media ran with his story and ridiculed him. Fans adored him. The fans rooted for the underdog. He participated in all three jumps, and scores landed him absolutely last place. According to Wikipedia, “In the seventy [meter jump], he scored 69.2 points from two jumps.” Next to last place, “Bernat Sola Pujol of Spain scored 140.4 points. Winner Matti Nykänen of Finland had 229.1 points.” Underwhelming results didn’t stop him from showing up and jumping to the best of his ability. And the whole crowd rooted for him.
See, we love an underdog. We love seeing someone dedicate and overcome. We love to see the guy who doesn’t give up, no matter what.
In 1990, the International Olympic Committee even made an “Eddie The Eagle Rule,” raising the minimum qualifications. As People magazine stated, “stricter qualification rules were imposed, making it nearly impossible for Eddie the Eagles of the world to ever make the Olympics again.”
Edwards sold the movie rights to his life story in 2007, and production halted on the movie until the right people fell into place. In 2016, the movie “Eddie The Eagle,” starring Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman hit theatres, which is where I first saw this fantastic story of heart and grit. We all have our Eddie moments. Ever been wearing six pairs of socks to fill someone else’s boots? Are you out of your league? Are you underprepared and financially incapable? [Raises hand.] Eddie braved it all and didn’t look back.
Even considered a “heroic failure,” he still went to the Olympics, man. And he was mentioned in the closing ceremony address, to thunderous applause.
Maybe you’re dreaming of big things and great stories. Maybe you’re stuck facing overwhelming odds, and fears which leave you crippled. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s time to soar.
After I finished my Insurrection trilogy, some questions continued to nag me. What do you do when the fear is real? Are you able to get back up? Saylor came into her own power and ability in the Insurrection trilogy, and saw tangible fear, damage, and pain. The story wasn’t satisfied with the ending of the trilogy. Do you know why? Because she did this hard thing. So was her story over? No. There’s always another hard thing to do. The story of EARTHSHNE beckoned to me: What would Saylor do when the lights went out…again? I needed to know. My readers need to know. We need those examples of perseverance and grit…because this life requires it.
May you be the hero. May you face the fear with a grin on your face. May you overcome the odds. And may you be somebody’s Earthshine.
An excerpt from earthshine:
I accepted the document, two sweaty palms reaching, tentative, unprepared. I scanned the words, reading them aloud. “I've got this deep wrestling within my dark soul. A hunger for the oppressed. An almighty beckoning for the broken and bent, a writhing which cannot be tamed by silence. No; the silence, the hush, the hustle, cannot squelch the fire to share light for those trembling in the depths. I cannot stop giving of myself for my mission, for to stop is to suffocate. To quit, impossible. To surrender, unattainable. My wrestling therefore occurs not in the loss, but the gain. Loss no longer exists. All movement, all attempts, fulfill the mission. My mission.
For I have been redeemed, and I defeat the darkness within me by each lent hand and rescued soul whom I reach. I am Alliance. I defend freedom, defy injustice, and deepen creative productivity to enhance mankind’s survival. In living victory, I bear my burden, a warrior for my objective: Be powerful. Be consistent. Never quit. Finish the mission.”
My eyes glanced up from the words to my father, then back down, reading, re-reading. Recoiling. Rerouting. “I guess with this kind of mission statement, there’s no room for fear.”
“There’s no need for fear. It’s not part of the mission.”
“I am Alliance. I like it.”
“I am Alliance.”
Fear may be a liar, but hope can be a monster.
Saylor single-handedly saved the world from a devastating solar flare...and it nearly killed her. Now her father's Alliance Military Guard must track down pirated tech, missing ships, and a rogue billionaire, and they’ve requested a reluctant Saylor’s help.
Tucker spent a year training the rookie Guardsmen. They call themselves Dragons. He calls them defiant. Dispatched across the ocean on a mission to retrieve AMG's bootlegged tech, he rallies Saylor to overcome her fears and return to the field by his side.
Working together wielding unprecedented tech and determined to defy their destinies, the two wrangle missing ghosts, brunt force betrayal, and the swagger of power. What lies beneath the earth just might save it.
EARTHSHINE is the final book following the McConnell clan and Alliance Military Guard, a standalone for the seeker of YA Sci Fi Action Adventures.
Purchase EARTHSHINE on amazon in paperback or ebook: www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07J5X6FDL?pf_rd_p=d1f45e03-8b73-4c9a-9beb-4819111bef9a&pf_rd_r=8D0MY1RVKNS9GQBEBWHH
Kadee Carder Bio:
Fierce yet sparkly, I rally seekers to thrive in their stories. The goal is magic, the medium is ink, and the fuel is coffee. And sometimes pizza. I teach English on the university level when I'm not dancing around the living room with my family, lifting heavy at the gym, traveling the planet, or binging superhero shows.
INSURRECTION, INCOMPLETE, INDELIBLE, HERE BE DRAGONS, EARTHSHINE and non-fiction inspirational KINGDOM COME roll out perilous motives, twisty plots, and daring protagonists. Grab some real estate and your copy of my latest adventure, and follow along on KadeeCarder.com.
Visit http://www.kadeecarder.com for inspiration, encouragement, freebie codes, and more!
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I’m giving away a free, empowering e-book to those who subscribe to my email list at kadeecarder.com/subscribe. Titled IGNITE, the 60-page book offers a serving of inspiration, a dash of hope, and a cup of grace to help you get kickin’ on those challenging tasks you’ve got to do!
**Grab Book Three, INDELIBLE, for only $.99 this week!**
I'm excited to have singer Laurie LaCross-Wright from the Rusty Wright Band on the blog today. I first met Laurie years ago when I was working for a newspaper and assigned to cover the band. From then on I covered the band when they had performances in the area and Laurie and I became friends.
Here's some info about the band: :The band’s 2015 album, “Wonder Man” reached #8 on the Billboard Blues chart, #4 in the Midwest Heatseeker chart, #3 on the Hit Tracks 100 chart (Europe) and was nominated for Album of the Year in Vintage Guitar Magazine’s Reader’s Choice Awards alongside Sonny Landreth, Jeff Beck, Pink Floyd, and Joe Bonamassa. The song “Gonna Come a Day” from that album was selected from approximately 19.000 entries as a top finalist in the 2015 International Songwriting Competition. Wright’s 2013 album “This, That & The Other Thing,” earned widespread radio airplay across North America and won Blues 411’s Jimi Award for Contemporary Blues Album of the Year."
Tell me about how you got your start in the music business.
I was probably 15 when I played my first *paid* gig. A friend and I performed at a ladies bowling banquet. They took up a collection and we each made about $30 for a 30-minute show. at that time the minimum wage was less than $3 per hour so making a dollar a minute was pretty exciting for us.
I was always one of those independent kids who figured out how to do things on my own. I was a choir geek all through school so I didn’t fit in with the kids putting together rock bands, although I desperately wanted to. I bought my own PA and guitar gear, lugged it all myself and performed as a solo act for a long time, eventually broadening my circuit to cover 27 states. I also played in local bands, duos, trios, etc. Throughout the 80s and 90s I made my living juggling music and writing jobs. When I was on the road playing the solo circuit I would spend my days locked in my hotel room working on freelance magazine articles and then I’d spend the evening performing. My first national magazine piece was for a music magazine and covered tax tips for musicians. They used a photo of George Bush Sr. holding an electric guitar, lol.
Rusty and I met in the early 90s when I interviewed him for a monthly entertainment publication I owned for a while. We started dating a few years later and it was two full years before we ever played a note of music together. We each had our own bands and were playing very different styles of music so it never occurred to us. Eventually I needed a guitarist to fill in for some shows and he said he would help out. That was in 1998. We’ve been working together ever since. We spent a few years playing cover tunes at private clubs but we weren’t very happy doing that and eventually we decided it was time to make a change - either quit playing music or make a major shift and put together the band we had always talked about so in 2004 we launched The Rusty Wright Band. We were both in our 40s by then but we figured it would be an interesting challenge to see how far we could take the band. After all, you’re never too old to pursue a new dream.
Since 2004 we’ve toured across the US, Canada & the US Virgin Islands, performing at clubs, theaters and some of North America’s top blues and music fests; we did an Armed Forces Entertainment tour that took us to South Korea and Japan, and we toured Italy, Poland, and the Czech Republic. We’ve put out five albums and our last one, Wonder Man, reached #8 on the Billboard Blues charts and was nominated for Album of the Year in the Vintage Guitar Magazine Reader’s Choice Awards alongside some pretty impressive names.
We moved from Michigan to Florida in 2015 and basically had to start from square one rebuilding our band and our brand. That kind of sucked but this business is like a roller coaster ride anyway, so we weren’t totally surprised. You just keep working, working, working. For every hour we get to spend on stage we spend 20 hours behind the scenes doing the grunt work that keeps our machine rolling. Eventually it pays off and things are finally beginning to pop again.
I heard you opened for Lynyrd Skynyrd. What was that like?
We had just put the band together and had only written a handful of the songs that would go on our first album. We were all experienced musicians but had played just one show when Rusty got the call from an agent. She’d heard we had a new band. The opener for the Skynyrd show had had to cancel. Were we interested in the opener slot? The show date fell on our third anniversary and I’d asked Rusty not to book any shows. He was hesitant to ask me about it but of course, I said yes. We had less than a week to prepare.
After the initial rush of adrenaline, reality set in. We had only played one show with our new band. Just one stinkin’ little show, and now we were going to play with one of our musical heroes. We rehearsed relentlessly for three days.
Show day arrived and so did a line of thunderstorms. Lots of rain. And tornadoes. Lots of those too. We arrived backstage to the sound of tornado sirens. The Skynyrd crew had arrived earlier and one tornado warning after another had kept the band and crew hunkered down in the lower level of the concrete amphitheater. Tensions were running high so we sat at a table and just kept quiet.
It wasn’t until 45 minutes before show time that the decision was made to go ahead with the concert - mostly because 4000 ticket holders had shown up. Undeterred by the weather they were sitting on wet bleacher seats in torrential rain peering out from the hoods of rain ponchos and even trash bags with holes cut for arms and faces.
There was no time for a sound check. We plugged in & did a quick line check. A brief introduction and Rusty kicked into a wild solo leading into an instrumental called Hell on my Heels. At the exact moment the band hit their first roll and stop a bolt of lightning struck behind the Amphitheatre, in perfect time with the music. The audio crew was magnificent and at the end of the song a huge roar from the crowd washed over the stage. We kicked into another song and then we noticed them. Offstage, just out of sight stood all three Skynyrd guitarists, watching. Arms folded. The percentage of headliners who watch their opening act is less than five percent - and probably more like one percent. Rusty’s first thought was that we must have set up in the wrong spot on stage. When we finished our short set we exited stage right so as to delay the ear chewing we figured was coming our way. We’d just gotten a full-on raucous standing ovation and we wanted to enjoy the triumph a little.
We had just finished packing our guitars into their cases when all three of them rounded the corner. Gary Rossington, Rickey Medlocke and Hughie Thomasson.
Rickey Medlocke stuck his hand out and shook Rusty’s hand, exclaiming “Dude, where the hell did YOU come from?”
I’m not ashamed to admit I had kind of a Sally Fields moment right then and there but I managed to keep my mouth reined in and didn’t say anything embarrassing.
After chatting for a couple minutes they left to go do their set. We thought we’d go watch Skynyrd’s set from the front of house sound booth. The security guard opened the gate and we stepped out but people from the nearest bleacher seats gave a cry and began lunging toward us. The gate guard pulled us back and snapped the chain link gate shut.
“Guess you played TOO good tonight,” he laughed. “You’re gonna have to watch this show from side stage.”
Who are some of your musical influences?
My first guitar teachers were bluegrass musicians, first JB King and later Michael McKellar. They had a significant impact on me but because I was immersed in choral music all through junior and senior high school I was drawn to ‘pure’ sounding voices like Barbra Streisand and Linda Rondstat. Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart were huge influences and I respected the way Pat Benetar integrated her opera vocal training into a rock sound. If Pentatonix would have been around in the 70s I would have swooned over their music because I love their harmonies, their arrangements and their crazy good vocal skills. Years later I developed an appreciation for earthier, raspier voices, voices that have character and sound like the singer has lived through some stuff. KT Oslin was an 80s country singer who had her first hit at age 40, an almost unheard of thing Her vocal delivery style was almost like a conversation. She definitely influenced the way I approach a song vocally.
What are some of the albums that have really spoken to you over the years?
Carole King’s 1971 Tapestry album was huge for me. I can sing every word of every song. Bad Company, by Bad Company was a favorite too. I remember playing Stevie Nicks’ Edge of Seventeen album endlessly. The soundtrack for The Commitments was a favorite for a long time. I loved the power of Whitney Houston’s voice but Dolly Parton’s version of I Will Always Love You hits me where I live when her voice breaks at the end. John Denver and Jim Croce were huge when I first started playing guitar so I knew all their songs word for word but I soaked up everything from bluegrass and classic country to Barbra Streisand to Bad Company, Heart, Lynyrd Skynyrd. when Melissa Etheridge released her first album I was immediately hooked on her songs because she could paint an entire scene in my head with just a few words. I loved singers like Etta James but didn’t truly connect with blues music until a little later in life. My first blues albums were Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Texas Flood LP and Bonnie Raitt’s Green Light LP. Right now I’m listening to Larkin Poe a lot and an Australian heavy rock/Latin music acoustic guitar duo called Opal Ocean.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Ugh. So many things I would say - but I know I probably wouldn’t have listened, lol. I was clever and I was mature for my age in a lot of ways but I have an impulsive streak that has landed me in hot water on and off for decades.
Quit trying to rush the milestones in your life. You don’t have to do it all in the next five minutes. Go to college. Not everyone needs to go to college but reining in my impatience to get on with my adult life would have have given me a much wider spectrum of choices. Realize there are no shortcuts to some things. Suck it up and do it right. You’ll be glad later that you did. No, you aren’t fat. Get a AAA card. Understand that you aren’t obligated to live your life according to the expectations or fears of others but if possible, be kind in rejecting their expectations. In fact, be kind as much as possible. The sound of one kind voice can keep a person from jumping off a bridge. Spontaneity is great if you’re jumping in the car for a trip to the beach, but not so great jumping into a marriage. Skip husband #2 - seriously.
Tell us about your latest album.
Our new single No Man is an Island, comes out October 4th. The song was inspired, in part, by a boy with autism but wound up being written to resonate with anyone who has felt like an outsider or set apart, through no fault of their own. I truly feel it’s our best work, to date. We knew that had to be the first single after the song received a standing ovation at Buddy Guys Legends, in Chicago. It will be available as a digital single and through streaming services, digital jukeboxes, etc.
Much has changed since our last album, Wonder Man, was released in 2015. People are moving to streaming services and CDs will eventually go the way of DVDs. People are picking individual songs for their streaming playlists so rather than putting out a full album we’ll be releasing a new single every six or eight weeks and then we’ll press the full album next spring before we start our summer tour runs. It’s an experiment we wanted to try.
Who were your musical favorites when you were growing up? Anyone you pretended to be singing into a hairbrush? Any music crushes?
David Cassidy and Donny Osmond. Major preteen crushes, lol. And I was always singing into a hairbrush - it didn’t matter what was playing. I used to record myself on a little Panasonic cassette recorder. I’d sit on a stool in the garage (because it echoed a bit out there) and I’d try to sound like Barbra Streisand. Oh the caterwauling! Eventually, our cat Boots jumped up on the stool next to me and literally put his paw across my guitar strings as if to say “Just stop. Please just stop!”
If you haven't checked out their music yet, head over to their website:
Their new lyric video is out now:
This is Our Time: Everyday Myths in Light of the Gospel
By Trevin Wax
I thought this would be an interesting commentary on society, but I was surprised how in-depth and interesting it was. He starts out talking about teen girls on social media and the dynamics behind their posting online. Although I was aware of the thoughts that go behind when teens post online because I write for teens and preteens, but this went deeper and it was really eye opening at how they view their posts and the added stress they have from this that those of us who didn’t grow up during the social media years didn’t have back then.
I really enjoyed reading his take on how we view comments and status updates on social media especially when it comes to people we don’t agree with and how we frame what they say with our own opinions. A very timely message.
I have my minor in Communications and I wish this book had been around then because this would have been interesting to focus on for a paper or project. The fact this is a Christian take on it really sets it apart, too.
If you are interested in cultural norms and how society has adapted and changed over the years you will enjoy this. Basically news junkies will love this one, but this is really a book that will can be enjoyed by anyone who pays attention to popular culture.
I received a free copy of this book from B&H Publishers for the purpose of giving an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Author of the Landry's True Colors Series, the Star Series, Dating the It Guy, & Can Dreams Come True