Good Stuff Is Happening


Vitality Stories



Good Stuff Is Happening


I am just back from a cruise through the Panama Canal. Next week, I’ll share some photos and a time-lapsed video. It was an inspiring trip in more ways than one, and I look forward to sharing more details with you.

But right now, I can’t wait to tell you some awesome news! As you know, I recently rolled out the landing page for my novel Tiger Drive. It’s being released in February 2018, and I will be sharing pre-order options, holiday gift cards, and bonus material soon.

I am officially now able to share that a portion of the proceeds of my novel will help fund the annual Tiger Drive Scholarship fund!

Thanks to generous friends, family, and strangers, we have been able to help eight students go to college in the past three years. They are now Dean’s List students 🙂

When I think about all the people who helped me change my life and attend college or when I think about the village of folks who have helped me become an author, I am overwhelmed by the fact that this scholarship and my dream to be published can now come together. And as a subscriber, you are one of those people who have helped make this all possible. I am beyond grateful to you.

I look forward to writing you next week. Until then, thank you for being you.

Teri

Was this email shared with you? If you’d like to subscribe for future newsletters, click here, and then give our mutual friend a big hug for me for spreading the word about the Vitality Stories newsletter and the  TIGER DRIVE Scholarship.

TIGER DRIVE Has Landed!


Vitality Stories


Tiger Drive Has Landed


TIGER DRIVE Has Landed!


It’s official! TIGER DRIVE has landed. Landed as in there is an:

  • Official book trailer
  • Official book landing page
  • Official cover (you’re in for a surprise)
  • Official book description (this about killed me)
  • Official release date
  • Official pre-order date
  • Official pre-order gift cards (just in time for the holidays)
  • Official (signed) book labels

I have to admit that all of the “official”-s above are making me feel like an official author, which reminds me of a cherished memory. Continue reading

The Orange Door: a true story

Vitality Stories

Teri Case Orange DoorThe Orange Door: a true story


With Halloween creeping our way and orange candy wrappers teasing me every where I look, I am reminded of a story my mom, Bonnie, shared in her memoirs about a house we owned in the seventies (and lost to foreclosure–but that’s another story) in Carson City, Nevada, on Telegraph Street. It had an orange door–an “infamous orange door.”

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The Day I Was Born


Vitality Stories


teri case canva


The Day I Was Born


As I go into the final month of my 46th year with exciting plans of publishing Tiger Drive in my 47th year, I can’t help but share a portion of my mom’s memoirs about how we bonded when I was born (and my birth also sums up our family life as well). In Tiger Drive, the daughter, Carrie, wonders if she and her mom, Janice, missed this important window of bonding. Read the below if you’d like to find out how my mom and I managed.


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Tiger Drive Is Everywhere!


Vitality Stories


road trip


Tiger Drive Is Everywhere!


Dear Friend,

I promise I won’t turn every newsletter solely into an update about Tiger Drive (the novel), but can we talk about Tiger Drive the drive?

I grew up in the Safari Trailer Park on Tiger Drive in Carson City, Nevada, from 1978 to 1986 (I left home when I was fifteen and would graduate from high school in 1989). I liked living there before I hit my wise teen years. There were always kids to play with and large fields to take long walks in with my dog. The trailer park was across the street from the movie theater and a drug store where I could get a ten-cent ice cream cone and candy for ten cents a box. I ran, played, and shopped unsupervised (most of the time).

My family wasn’t perfect, but they were my family. Our trailer wasn’t perfect, but it was our trailer and home. So because there is so much nostalgia and because so much of “me” came out of my years on Tiger Drive, when I sat down to write a novel, the simplicity and punch of TIGER DRIVE as a title felt like a no-brainer to use for my novel. It felt “right”–a very important gut-level benchmark for authors to spring from.

But the thing is, what happened on Tiger Drive the drive is not what happens in Tiger Drive the novel. In the novel, I use the trailer that I grew up in because the smells and sounds are ingrained in my memory and therefore, easier to convey in writing. Tiger Drive the novel is about a family that needs to confront the truths about their lives and each other in order to move forward and to pursue their ideals–but you’ll have to read the novel to see who does and doesn’t succeed. But as for the drive itself, the story is not about the trailer park. The novel has nothing to do with Tiger Drive the drive.

When I first started writing Tiger Drive, I made a promise to the universe: I would not tell anyone’s truths or cause any harm with my words. If I ran into blurred boundaries, I’d talk to the source and check their comfort level and get their blessing.

So when I found out that Tiger Drive in Carson City was a private drive and owned by the owners of the Safari Trailer Park, I called them to see how they felt about me using Tiger Drive as a title and to tell them about the Tiger Drive Scholarship.

It turns out they are the same owners who owned the park when I lived there and get this, the park manager who is now over ninety-years-old is still the manager!

After I introduced myself, the owner asked, “So did you live on Tiger Drive at some point?”

I said, “Yes, in the 1980s.”

She said, “So you survived.”

The owner told me about the lengths they’ve taken since the 1980s to improve the reputation and image of the park and to make families feel welcome. With pride, she said the school bus is packed with residents of Tiger Drive. I told her about the scholarship (she was thrilled to learn about it) and about my novel (not so thrilled). These owners are nice people who don’t want the stigma of a fictional and dysfunctional family to send the wrong message about what the real drive has to offer, and they don’t want anyone who lives there to be stereotyped by the flawed characters in my novel.

I absolutely agree with them. So we talked it over and reached a comfortable agreement. In the United States, there are hundreds of Tiger Drives. The closest one to me today is in Newfield, New York.

Subscribers often send me photos of Tiger Drive when they see one:

Here’s one Jack sent in Lockport, Illinois:

Tiger Drive Lockport IL
And Sue from St. Louis, Missouri, sent me this note: “Our high school mascot is a tiger, and there’s a road sign that says Tiger Drive.”
tiger drive mascot

 

So the owner and I agreed: they don’t own “Tiger Drive” but to reference Tiger Drive in Carson City, Nevada, is too specific and as the book is fiction, it’s also unnecessary. So our easy solution: make up a town or city in Northern Nevada. Northern Nevada is important to the story, but Carson City is not (though I have many friends who liked the idea of their home town being in a book). But the owner likes that there is a Tiger Drive Scholarship that gives special consideration to the residents of her Tiger Drive. She has high hopes for them. Before we hung up, she said, “You’re doing a great thing, and I want to read your novel.”

So, my dear subscriber, if you’d like to help me make up a name for a fictitious city in Northern Nevada with a population under 100,000 people, send me an email with your idea 🙂

What are you up to this week?

Happy Thursday and thank you for being you.

Teri

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WMYL?


Vitality Stories


What Makes You Laugh?


What Makes You Laugh?


It’s Fall and time to for a laugh

Dear Friend,

One of my subscribers often snail mails me comics and cartoons. I just received a new batch from him the other day. The giggles were timely and much needed as the leaves begin to fall and summer comes to a close. So I’m paying the laughter forward: Continue reading

F*ck It!


Vitality Stories


F*ck It!


Dear Friend,

 

Exciting things are happening with Tiger Drive. Exciting things as in after several years of writing and editing, I am close to announcing Tiger Drive‘s release date.

I know, crazy right?

But first, WTF is up with my newsletter title?

Well, a few things.

I’ve decided to publish my novel and not pursue a traditional publisher for a variety of reasons, the most significant being,

  1. The resources that were once exclusive to traditional publishers are now available to anyone who is willing to invest in their work (in particular: editors, cover artists, lawyers, marketers, layout designers, and more),
  2. Using an agent and a traditional publisher could mean Tiger Drive might not be published for another year or more,
  3. I would most likely forfeit my rights to Tiger Drive for the rest of my life plus seventy years which means I’d have to get permission on how I market Tiger Drive, would have little insight on what is working and what isn’t working, and if the publisher decides they only want to print 1,000 copies and nothing more, I would have to get a lawyer to try to buy back my rights to do another print-run.

So I decided (with the support of my peers in three creative groups) in a very unusual Teri fashion, F*ck it. I’ll publish on my own.

What this means is things need to start happening, um, yesterday.Tiger Drive is currently in the hands of a copy editor. This week I’m finalizing the back of book description with the help of other authors and the Tiger Drive Squad, and next week, professional designers will start drafting the cover. I’m going to be honest, choosing the right cover and back of book description are more intimidating than writing the novel. Did you know (and I will try not to hyperventilate while I type this) that a book cover only gets 0.2 seconds to convey the genre and attract a reader’s attention? Point two seconds! It took me three seconds to type “point two seconds.”

Exactly!

But F*ck it! I have a team–a professional team–helping me get the cover and description right.Also, Tiger Drive is in the hand of an editor as I type. If I used a traditional publisher, I was going to face a problem that is now no longer a problem: use of the F-word.

Drug dealing, biker gang WJ in Tiger Drive can now be a realistic character and say f*ck as much as he wants. I rarely swear or use the F-word, but as I was writing Tiger Drive, WJ kept dropping F-bombs all over the place like F-ing cigarette butts. No kidding, during the first draft I was so embarrassed by WJ’s potty mouth, I said out loud, “You can’t write that. He can’t keep saying that!”

But F*ck it! A drug dealer, biker gang member like WJ would swear. So I let him.

However, now is a good time to share that many readers frown upon foul language in a book, and it’s possible you might be one of them, and for that, I’m sorry. In fact, using the F-word guarantees at least one negative review on Amazon and Goodreads. So I searched how many times WJ says it in Tiger Drive:

f*ck it

108 times?! WJ gets an “F” for language! But WJ won’t give a fig about an F grade. He’s got other problems to deal with.

Anyway, enough about me. What’s going on in your world?

As always thanks for being you,

Teri

P.S. If I don’t have your first name, send me an email, and I’ll update your subscription 🙂
P.P.S. If you are receiving this newsletter because one of my awesome subscribers forwarded it to you, and you want to subscribe to the newsletter, too, then click here and Thank You!

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Letting Go on the Camino de Santiago


Vitality  Stories



Letting Go on the Camino de Santiago


Why the wait?

Boy, this newsletter is long overdue. I’ve promised to share details about my week long hike between the French Pyrenees and Spain’s Rioja region at least five times in the past three months, but each time I tried, I just couldn’t do it justice, and there are a few reasons.

One, I’m not a travel writer. I’ve never been great about repeating the history and facts I learn about an area. What I hold onto are the feelings that a trip evokes in me: How I feel standing in a field or on a mountain top I could’ve never found on my own; experiencing the beauty of anonymity and humility in a crowd of people whose language I can’t speak; or recognizing that the world is huge, and the realities and perspectives in it are diverse and not exclusive to my own.

I also love seeing the native flowers and animals (see donkey above). I love connecting with nature. I enjoy architecture.

Continue reading

The Corner

 


Vitality Stories


Teri Case


The Inside Scoop – The VS Corner


And now introducing . . .

So many of the Vitality Stories readers have powerful, insightful and often funny stories they graciously share in response to some of the VS newsletters. With their permission, I’m starting the Vitality Stories Corner (VS Corner) so we can all benefit from our shared life experiences and laughs.

Recently I shared my What the Cantaloupe?! Inside Scoop, and for the next three days, I laughed as readers sent me emails and shared their own “treats gone wrong” experiences.

In today’s world, we need laughter breaks more than ever, and I hope you get a laugh out of two of my favorite responses.


They Went Coconuts by David Prater

“I remember when I worked for the Telephone Company, and I supervised six people. One of them, David D., and his wife had a baby, and we had a shower for them in the office. I wasn’t really clued in on what was appropriate for a baby gift, so I got her a coconut. It was in the crusty brown fibers that come out of the original full shell. Some people were aghast. I thought it was pretty clever, and there wasn’t another coconut gift from anyone else. I sort of like the original.

I still think about giving coconut gifts but I ask my wife now if it’s a good idea.  So far, no other coconut gifts.”

Continue reading

The Inside Scoop


Vitality Stories


tiger drive


The Inside Scoop


What the cantaloupe?!

Thanks to your encouragement and your ‘Go Teri’-s, I was able to finish the edits to Tiger Drive as planned. In addition to your support, I had the amazing Tiger Drive Squad keeping me on my fingertips as they read each edited chapter. The squad came back with suggestions and some much needed praise, and I really enjoyed the daily interaction with these twenty readers.

When Tiger Drive Squadster Lorraine Watson (Follow Your Light) finished reading Tiger Drive, she said, “As with all good books, it’s a struggle between finding out the end and not wanting it to be over. It feels like I’ve been hanging out with you for several weeks and now it’s over. A gap. Void. So I changed out more electrical outlets.”

I felt like I was hanging out with each squad member, too. For the past week, I’ve been torn between being happy the editing is done and sad that I’m not hearing from the squad every day. One reason is that, after each chapter, I shared an “Inside Scoop.” Tiger Drive is fiction, but like most writers, I drew from personal perspective and experiences. The Inside Scoop served as a fact vs. fiction tip. In return, the squad member often sent me a note sharing a similar story of his/her own, and I enjoyed getting to know each person better. Here’s an example of what I might have shared: Continue reading