December 15, 2015

Teacher and Writer: Fuzzy Logic Romance Blog Tour

Today I welcome special guest author and teacher Maren Anderson, who just released her latest book, Fuzzy Logic.  (Also available in various formats at Smashwords.) And-- be sure to check out the Rafflecopter to be entered to win an ebook!




Interestingly enough, in real life she's  an alpaca rancher and the book also involves a ranch... (See those eyes peering at you from the cover? ha!) Here's another view: A face you can't resist!



About the book:  


She thinks moving to a ranch will lead to the simple life she craves, but the countryside has other ideas…
 After divorcing her unfaithful husband, Meg Taylor buys an alpaca ranch to finally do something on her own. Almost as soon as she arrives, she meets not one, but two, handsome—and baffling—men. She thinks choosing between the shy veterinarian and her charming securities co-worker is her biggest problem, until life and death on the ranch make her re-evaluate more than her love life. At least her new life is nothing like her old one.


The Writer/Teacher Gap
 By Maren Anderson
 That student in the front row raised his hand. Again. I usually have at least one guy who questions every activity or assignment in my class, but this guy was really persistent. “Why, I mean, what’s the point of this exercise again?” he said.
I saw many other ears prick up when he asked the question. It was a fair question given what I had asked them to do: cut their rough drafts into paragraph-sized chunks. Actually cut, with scissors. It seemed to them a weird exercise; none of their previous teachers had asked them to rip their papers to literal shreds in the name of revision.
I teach writing to mostly first year students at a small college known for having lots of students who are the first in their families to go to college. I am probably the only person they have ever met who writes novels.
It’s this gap between me and my students that made me pause. When that one guy asked me, “What’s the point?” he was not challenging me to be a jerk. He was serious. He did not know what it takes to organize a five-page essay, so he had no concept of what it’s like to plot and organize a 300-page novel. He didn’t know that for my novel Fuzzy Logic, I had to write each scene on a 3x5 card so I could spread them on my dining room table. That was the only way I could visualize where each of scenes needed to go, and which scenes had to go. But I had to bridge the gap.
“The point is to disassociate yourself from your writing as far as possible so you can objectively make revision decisions,” I explained. “Your brain fills in the gaps of what you meant to say, and doesn’t really see what you do say. Cutting the essay in to pieces allows you to see each piece separate from the rest of the paper, so you can see if it actually belongs in the essay.”
“Oh. Okay.” he said. He smiled, went back to his seat, and began shredding his essay.
Teaching Moment, FTW.

** Excerpt from Fuzzy Logic by Maren Anderson:
 He hadn’t said anything since we’d left the barn. I replayed the events leading up to me sitting in the hostile air of the truck.
My heart sank when I remembered the image of Evan in my frilly pink robe holding coffee in my driveway.
“Cody?” I said when I couldn’t stand the silence any longer. “Are you mad?”
He glanced at me, his eyes flashing. “Why would I be mad?” he growled.
“He just kind of showed up last night,” I said.
“Don’t,” he said. “I don’t want to know.”
“I just want to tell you that I’ve been thinking about you, us—”
“And he just showed up and spent the night last night. I hear you.” Cody swung around a corner so forcefully that I gathered the baby alpaca more tightly into my arms to keep it from sliding.
“Please, give me another chance,” I said. “I’m not ready to let you go.”
“But you’re not ready to let him go, either,” Cody said. Pain was sharp in his voice.
“Please,” I said. “Give me whatever time limit you want.” I was afraid to touch him, so I clutched the baby animal to my chest and hoped.
He glared at me again, but his eyes softened before he looked back at the road. He made a turn into a parking lot and turned off the key. He turned to me and looked into my eyes. “A week,” he said. “One torturous week, and I’m done.”
I nodded, afraid breathing would break this reprieve.

About the Author:


Maren Anderson is a writer, teacher, and alpaca rancher who lives in rural Oregon. She writes while her children are at school and spends the rest of her time caring for alpacas, knitting, playing with her family, reading funny books. She teaches literature and composition at a local college and novel writing to eager, budding writers. 
If you want to know more about Anderson’s writing, novel classes, or alpacas, contact her via Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MarenBradleyAnderson), on Twitter (@marenster), or at http://www.marens.com.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


** If the Raffle isn't working - post a comment to be entered in the drawing!!

I love finding out about new-to-me authors so thanks to Maren for stopping by. You can't beat a book that features animals! 

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