Sunday, August 24, 2014

A New school year has launched!

A new year has launched and I'll be busy juggling my author and  teacher hats. I am super excited to announce I've been offered a contract for my second book Still Faithful to be reworked and retitled.

Also in the works is the new book Cooking up Trouble at the Peabody Palace. I hope to publish that in the next three weeks. Stay tuned and here's hoping for cooler weather.

Jewell 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Teachers as Writers



Teachers as Writers-Why They’re a Good Fit
 by Jewell Tweedt
Exactly 30 years ago I was a disillusioned young teacher looking to make a career change. Searching through help wanted ads I came across a job listing for a Merchandising Assistant. Now I didn’t know what that was but I did have some retail experience and a lot of chutzpah. I applied for the job, was interviewed by the president of the discount chain, and got the position. I spent fifteen years with the organization and received several promotions. Why was I successful? Because as a teacher I had skills that transferred: I was organized, I was creative and most importantly, I could follow through.
The skills that are useful as a teacher also help in business and writing is a business. It’s creative and fluid but also a business. Writers produce a product and market it, if they finish the darn book.
Organization- Teachers juggle curriculum, meetings, parents, discipline and instruction. Most of them are trying to get better at their profession. Writers juggle their stories, interviews, signings, self-discipline (sometimes I’d rather go outdoors), writing and re-writing. They are always trying to improve their product and themselves.
Creativity-Teachers are always looking for new methods to interest their students and themselves. They research new sources, and collaborate with others. Writers are always looking for new ways to tell a story, write it better and collaborate with writers through local groups and national organizations.
                Inspiration can come at any time and any place. This year as I was teaching a unit on American westward expansion I told my students about how women made money during the California Gold Rush by cooking and sewing for miners. Some women became quite wealthy. As I looked out over my group of teenagers I asked, “What if a teenage girl got stranded in a rough camp. How would she survive?”  The ensuing discussion led to my latest book, Gold in My Pocket-A Gold Rush Diary. Laura Webb is a fifteen year old who is stranded in Black Gulch, California with no family, few friends and gold in her pocket. Over a three year period she defends her honor, supports herself and finds her own way (and some romance).   
This book was easy to write and to finish: I had the background knowledge, primary sources and about 75 female students to pull character traits from. Plus I’ve written a series called The Back to Omaha Adventures so I had some experience to draw from.
Follow-through- Not only do teachers plan, they instruct and assess. That takes preparation and time. Then assessments are given, work is evaluated and recorded. That takes follow-through. This past year I had 140 students under my tutelage. How did I manage that AND write a book? By having a plan and setting a time to write. Each afternoon after school and before I started chores and dinner I’d write. For 45 minutes I’d write as much as I could in the diary. After dinner I’d edit and rewrite. Then I put it away. Life balance is important otherwise it’s too easy to get overwhelmed.
Effective writers know that too. Everything takes longer than it should. Work needs to be edited and the darn book must get finished! Changes occur with titles, covers, even agents and publishers. But isn’t that true in most endeavors? It doesn’t matter if you’ve never earned an educator license, everyone teaches someone or something and can develop these qualifications.  Take a look at your organization, creativity, and follow-through and you’ll see why you as a teacher and a writer are a good fit.


Jewell Tweedt is the author of the fictional series, The Back to Omaha Adventures, and the newly published diary, Gold in My Pocket. She is a field editor for Our Iowa magazine, teaches American History and loves reading, old movies and anything Okoboji.      

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Release date announcement!

As many of you know I have contracted with Prism Book Group to rewrite and publish Faith of the Heart. Well, I now know the release date is November 4th. It will have a new title, cover and maybe even a new pen name for me. Anyway it's been a long process and I am excited to see it nearing completion.

More information will be relayed as it becomes available.

Meanwhile I am finishing up the companion diary to Gold in my Pocket. Cooking up Trouble at the Peabody Palace is the fun diary of Anna June who is always sticking her foot in her mouth as she stirs up delicious meals as the Palace's new cook. Watch for this latest creation in September.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Blog signup giveaway today!

I would love my followers to join my blog so today I am offering an autographed copy of one of my books to the fifth person who joins today or tomorrow. Sign up, leave me a comment and I will contact you. If you're already a member, thank you. Leave me a comment as well and I will put your name in a drawing too.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Get a glimpse of Gold in my Pocket below



Meet Laura Webb who’s been dragged to Black Gulch, California when her father catches gold fever. But the tough mining camp with no streets, houses, or other women is a dangerous place. When her father abandons her Laura is determined to make her own fortune and go back to civilization. She learns that the quickest way to put gold in her pocket is not with a pick ax but a sewing needle. But some of the miners have their eyes on her.   
Joshua Quigley is a young pastor with a daunting mission-minister to the men in the California gold camps. Meeting Laura he’s convinced he’s found his helpmate in building a church and respectable community. Trouble is, Laura’s focus is lining her pockets and heading east.
When her father is murdered for his gold and Laura is the next target she must find a way to protect herself and her pony, Sugar Pie, until she can escape. Look out miners- Laura’s coming with gold in her pocket and a pistol in her hand.   

Monday, June 23, 2014

Come meet Lorna Seilstad Saturday at the Olive Branch

Saturday June 28th Lorna Seilstad and I will be signing our new books at the beautiful Olive Branch gift shop. Lorna writes for Revell. Her new book is "While Love Stirs," and my latest is "Gold in my Pocket- A Gold Rush Diary." Come visit us from 1:00-3:00 at 19278 Conifer Lane in Council Bluffs.

A special note of thanks to Ogden Salon for hosting me Saturday morning and for the lovely ladies of D.A.R. that I met Saturday afternoon. Lunch was delicious and I enjoyed meeting you.