Sunday, October 30, 2016

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! If you haven't figured out already, I'm a big fan of this holiday -- in fact I think it's safe to say that Halloween is my favorite day out of the entire year. There is just something magical about it that takes me back to being a kid. I loved dressing up in costume, carving pumpkins into Jack-o'-lanterns, and going trick or treating, and the costume parade and party we always had at school just made the day that much more fun. I try really hard to recapture that feeling in my books, because it was such an important part of my own childhood, some of the happiest times I had.

If you haven't already, it's not too late to pick up (or download) a copy of my children's Halloween stories on Kindle. Reading together is a great way to wind down before bedtime, after your little ones are all tuckered out (or perhaps still hyped up) from trick or treating.

I wish you all a happy, safe, and above all else magical Halloween.

Monday, October 17, 2016

"The Pumpkin Fair" Will Be Free for Two Days Only

In honor of Halloween swiftly approaching, my children's book The Pumpkin Fair will be available for free on Kindle on Tuesday, October 18October 19, 2016. You can download it from and if you don't have a Kindle, you can download the Kindle app for free on Amazon as well. Enjoy! As always, reviews are much appreciated!


Saturday, October 1, 2016

"Ordinary World" is Free on Kindle Today

For today only, Ordinary World is free on Kindle.

When I considered revising and publishing a second edition of the book, I made a promise to myself that I would always give it away for free on October 1st, which is the anniversary of my cousin Cheri's death. She was the girl who inspired the story.

So today I remember the real girl behind the tale, whose life was tragically cut short at the age of 14, and I offer you the fictional story that I wrote in an attempt to keep her memory alive.

But the Sherrie in Ordinary World is not the same Cheri I knew in real life. I think Sherrie is more like me. I hadn't spent time with Cheri in a while before she died; she was 5 years older than me and our parents didn't like each other, so our childhood friendship ended long before her life sadly did.

My family ran into her at our grandparents' house about a month before she died. I remember she looked older. I thought she was so pretty. I wanted to be like her when I grew up.
She said "hi" and smiled at us, but we had to leave before anything else could be said.
That was the last time I ever saw her. Even now, 23 years later, remembering it makes me sad.

October 1st is always a sad day for me. Other family members have passed away since then, and their anniversaries come and go, and I may or may not remember them. But this day has always stuck out, perhaps because Cheri was the first young person I knew who died. She was not much older than me. When I was little, she was my friend.

I didn't get to go to her funeral, a fact that I still regret to this day. I never really got to say goodbye. I suppose, in a way, writing Ordinary World was my way of finding closure.
But now I know that even when our loved ones leave us, we don't really say goodbye. Our love for them, our memories of them still live on.

So here's to Cheri, and to Sherrie, and to finding peace.


Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Pumpkin Choir is Now Available!

I'm thrilled to announce that my fifth children's book, The Pumpkin Choir, is now available.
You can buy it in print or in ebook form on Amazon.
Enjoy! As always, please consider leaving a review!


Monday, September 12, 2016

The Pumpkin Choir -- Coming Soon!

©2016 Stacy Baggett
The Pumpkin Choir is almost finished! The illustrations are done, the story is done. All that's left to do is scan the illustrations, add the text, and prepare the book for publishing. Hopefully it will be available on Amazon by sometime next week. I can't wait!

Monday, September 5, 2016

"The Pumpkin Choir" is Almost Here

I'm so happy to announce that the illustrations for my latest children's book, The Pumpkin Choir, are almost finished. I just have to color in the backgrounds, which shouldn't take too long. Then all that's left is scanning the pictures, adding the text, and putting the book together for publication. Hopefully it will be ready and available by the middle of this month.

Attached is a sneak peak, in case you're interested...

© 2016 Stacy Baggett

I can't wait to see what the finished product will look like! And of course, working on a Halloween story has gotten me excited for Halloween. Fall will be here soon enough! 

Until then I hope you all are enjoying your Labor Day weekend, if you celebrate it.


Monday, July 25, 2016

The Pumpkin Choir

CC0 Public Domain/PublicDomainPictures / 18043 images/Pixabay
Hello readers, I hope you are all doing well. I am still here, fighting to get well. While I haven't been able to work much on any of the novels I had been working on (and I'm really disappointed to have to put those on the back burner,) I have started the illustrations for my next children's book. The story has already been written, so it just needs some pictures. I am hoping to have them completed within the next month. It is another Halloween story (my favorite thing to write about,) so drawing the illustrations has been fun. They are a bit different than my usual style -- I decided that this story will be illustrated all in silhouette drawings. I think it gives it a real spooky, Halloween feel. 
Hopefully my new book, The Pumpkin Choir, will be available by this fall. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, anyway.

I promise to be in touch soon with further updates.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Falling Ill and Falling Behind

CC0 Public Domain/condesign/Pixabay
It's been a while since I've posted. I was busy working on multiple projects, but unfortunately about a month ago I was struck by some mystery ailment that has forced me to put my work on hold. I've undergone multiple medical tests (and even had a hospital stay) and have been told that everything looks fine. And yet, I am sick. I have been having abdominal pains and chest pain, and random shooting pains all throughout my body, which seem to travel around. Some days are better than others. Some days I am so exhausted all I can do is veg out on my couch. It's really frustrating being ill and not knowing why, and wondering if there even is a cause at all, or if it's all anxiety-based, or just "Stacy Syndrome." I experienced a similar illness when I was writing Ordinary World, and I've always worried it would strike again. Well, it has. And I won't lie, it's pretty scary. It'd be less scary knowing what is causing all this so that I could start treatment and work on getting better.

I am sad and disappointed that I have had to put my writing on the back burner for now. I hope to be able to get back to work soon. And yet, I'm realistic, and I know it could be a while. I miss my characters and I want to get their stories down on paper. But, I must take care of my own health. I have been doing quite a bit of reevaluation of my life lately, and making lifestyle changes in an attempt to feel better and get healthy. Hopefully I will start feeling like my old self again one of these days.

Until then, I am still over here, dreaming of my stories, and holding conversations with my characters in my mind, and waiting for the day when I can share them with all of you. Hopefully it will be sooner rather than later. (I'm still hopeful to at least finish illustrating my latest children's story and have it ready for a fall release, but...we shall see.)

Thanks for your understanding and patience.


Monday, April 25, 2016

The Best Thing That Could Have Happened

CC0 Public Domain/Unsplash/Pixabay
Getting told by a celebrity that I couldn't use his name or likeness in my story is possibly the best thing to happen to my story. I was very upset at first, but I've moved past that. The story shall go on, in a completely fictionalized form. Now I don't have to worry about writing anything insulting or that may come across as painting a real individual in a negative light, because the main character's idol is fictional and therefore I can have her do and say whatever she wants about him. Teenyboppers aren't always very nice, even when they "love" someone. I know this from experience.

So I have been going back through the story I have written so far and changing things here and there, and writing new material, and it is still fun, although different than what I originally envisioned. Oh well, that happens with most storiesthe story you originally think you're going to tell doesn't always end up being the one you actually write. Sometimes, characters and stories take on a life of their own.

I'm just happy to be working on a new novel, one that is fun and not dark and gloomy (like some of my stories are.) It's been a blast, and I hope it continues to be so. Working on this book has reminded me why I love to write. I can't wait to let you guys read it.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

"Book Blocked"

CC0 Public Domain/Pexels/Pixabay
Once upon a time, when I was an adolescent, I got my "start" as a writer by having corny love poems published in teeny-bopper magazines. The first time I ever saw my name in print was when BOP magazine printed a response I wrote for their Hey, Hey! What Do You Say? column. I was eleven years old, and I knew I was on my way. Later, when I was around 15 or 16, I had a handful of poems written for Joey McIntyre (and one for Jordan Knight) published in both BOP and BB magazines (remember those?) Most of my life, and my writing, has revolved around various fandoms, as movies, TV shows, and music wereand aremy escape from an otherwise unhappy existence. I find inspiration in the things I love, and often that is reflected in my stories.

A couple months ago I had an idea for a novel, which would be told from the point of view of a teenage girl's fan letters and love poems to her favorite celebrity. The celebrity I chose was a real-life one whom I admire and am a fan of. I have written quite a bit already, and have been having fun with it, but I wanted to write and ask permission to use this person's likeness before getting too ahead of myself. As a freelancer, I am aware of what types of photo licenses can be used for commercial purposes, and I also am aware that I would need to get a model release from anyone whose photo I used on the cover of my book. I thought it would be fun to feature an old publicity still (which, to my understanding, are in the public domain if dated prior to 1989,) cropped in a heart-shaped frame, such as you would find on a cover of a teen magazine. So, I contacted the appropriate email on this celebrity's website, and pitched my idea, along with my request to use a photo (actually, I asked how I could go about obtaining permission. I half expected to be told I would have to pay a licensing fee to use this person's likeness.) I figured the worst they could do is say "No," and possibly ask me to not include their name in the title of my book. The book itself is not about this celebrity, nor is he featured as a character in any way. Nothing in the book is slanderous. It is a collection of love letters and poems from a fan, which she never sends because she feels they are not good enough. I felt anxious contacting this celebrity's representatives, because I knew if they responded in a negative or off-putting way, I'd be crushed.

And sure enough, I am crushed. I received a response a while ago saying that not only could I not use this person's likeness, I could not use his name, period. Anywhere in my book. Even though the book is not about him. It is about a fan. It is a story written out of love. I am not seeking this person's endorsement. I am not trying to cash in on anything by using their name. It was a fun project for me that helped me get past my writer's block. It was a project that distracted me from my depression. It was a labor of love, and it hurt reading a response that insinuated that I was somehow committing copyright infringement for even writing it. (Mind you, this is not something that has been published!) The person who responded reprimanded me for not seeking permission and any copyright issues up front (wasn't that what I was doing? Or attempting to do?) and advised me to consult with my "literary attorney to see where this book [I] have written falls." (I never said the book had already been written. I had also mentioned in my opening line that I am an independent author...I don't have a "literary attorney." I'm not J.K. Rowling, for Pete's sake! Whoops, am I allowed to say her name?)

I get celebrities have the right to privacy and to control their public image. And I respect that. Hey, you don't want me to use your name in my book. Fine. I'll fictionalize it. But don't make me feel small or talk down to me! I doubt the celebrity in question was even consulted regarding my inquiry, as the response came from his webmaster. Still, I feel gutted and sad and like my voice doesn't matter. My stories don't matter. I don't matter. I'm just an annoyance that some egotistical old star can swat away, like a fly. My stories and characters can be squashed and killed because they're not good enough. If I were a high-profile author, would I be having this issue?

Public figures are thatpublic. And to say that I cannot write about being a fanwhen I am a fanfeels like a slap to the face. And right now, I don't feel very much like a fan at all. I feel like I have been censored and I worry that I'll never be able to publish any of the stories I'm working on because, god forbid, my characters might be obsessed with a band, or go to a movie, or maybe a character is described as looking like someone famous. (I knew a teacher in high school who relished the fact that he resembled Harrison Ford. Am I allowed to say that name? Or do I need to consult an attorney?)

Right now I am very, very disappointed, frustrated, and depressed. I feel like my story got killed before it was fully developed. Oh, eventually I'll get over it. I'll fictionalize the story and maybe I'll even still dedicate it to the person who tried to book block me. After all, they can't possibly sue me over a dedication, can they? 


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Call Me Old Fashioned

CC0 Public Domain/Unsplash/Pixabay
Call me old fashioned, but for the life of me, I cannot write on my computer.

I can't even really explain it. Perhaps it is paranoia that someone is lurking and reading over my shoulder (I have a difficult time writing if anyone else is around, period, and I do not share my writing with anyone until I have finished a complete draft.) Perhaps it is anxiety from confronting a completely blank slate that's waiting for me to fill it with words, to somehow get this story that is living inside my head onto paper to the best of my ability.

All I know is that having a large, empty screen in front of me sends me into a brain freeze, and I cannot write a single word.

Now give me a pen and paper, or a smaller screen to type on (such as my smartphone or tablet) and the words flow freely.
I'm not sure why this is. Perhaps because I grew up in a time without computers? (Oh, sure, computers were around, but I never had free access to one.) Or perhaps because I'm less likely to edit as I write when I'm writing longhand. It could even be that I'm less prone to distraction when I'm writing on something that has no (or limited) Internet access.

Curious, isn't is? I guess we storytellers all have our preferred methods of writing. I prefer having things typed up (it makes it easier to read and involves one less step in preparing a manuscript for publishing -- when you write longhand, you have to go back and retype it all up afterwards) but I get more done when writing with my handy pen and paper. Ahh, if only stories would write themselves! That would make life so much easier.


Sunday, April 3, 2016


CC0 Public Domain/Pixabay
It's been quite a while since I last posted, and I'm aware that I'm well-overdue for an update. I've been busy at work on several different titles, which I hope will be available later this year. Currently I have three children's books, two novels (well, three really, but one's been put on the back burner for now), and one collection of short stories in the works. Between balancing working on these and freelancing, I've been busy, busy, busy!

All three children's stories have been written, and I am in the process of finishing up the illustrations for one before moving on to the others. Illustrations take a lot longer than the actual writing, but I'm hoping to have all three stories released by the end of the year.

As for my writing for older readers, I'm hopeful that I'll be finished with one novel by the end of this month, and then I will focus on finishing up the collection of short stories, which has been in the works for about three years already. Sorry I can't give more in-depth details than that, I have this hangup over discussing the stories I'm working on before they're finished. Just one of my weird little quirks!

If everything goes as planned, you should be seeing new published work from me by early this summer!


Monday, January 18, 2016

Farewell, Starman

Image courtesy of Elmar J. Lordemann (de:User:Jo Atmon)
(Own work — photography by Jo Atmon)
via Wikimedia Commons.
This is a week late, but I have been ill. I am deeply saddened by the passing of David Bowie. His existence was something I always just took for granted. I first discovered him as the Goblin King in Labyrinth when I was a little girl, and since then, he's always just...been there. And now he's gone. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it.

I first fell in love with his music when I heard Space Oddity when I was in 6th grade. It was hard for me to believe that that singer was the same guy I had come to know from his '80s work. I loved the song so much that I 'stole' the title for a poem I wrote; quite possibly my best work at the age of 11. I think I still have it floating around somewhere. Back then I was going by the name Stacy McCartney. 

I've always had a soft spot for David Bowie's earlier music, as well as his songs from the Labyrinth soundtrack. Labyrinth was the ultimate slumber party movie when I was a kid. Whether I was squealing and howling with my sister over how ridiculous Bowie looked prancing around with his big hair and tight pants (and even bigger bulge,) or cracking jokes about his alleged love affair with Mick Jagger (which seemed hilarious to us middle schoolers in the '90s -- back before the world became politically correct,) David Bowie was a bright spot in an otherwise dark and tumultuous time in my life. I learned to appreciate his artistry more once I grew older. Now he's an old favorite.

Something I've always had in common with David Bowie is anisocoria, a condition that results in unequally dilated pupils, although his was far more severe than mine ever has been. I always loved that I had that in common with him. I used to wonder how it affected his vision, if he saw the world the same way I did. But then, perhaps nobody viewed the world the same as Bowie. He was in this world, but not of it.

David Bowie still influences my work. One of the novels I've been working on is to be called As the World Falls Down, after his song. Perhaps I will dedicate it to him.

David Bowie's passing has resparked an urgency in me to create, to tell my stories and release them to the universe. My own mortality has been weighing on my mind lately. Despite the sadness his passing has brought, David Bowie has always brought me joy. And I would like to pass that on, to keep that fire going. Nobody will ever replace the Starman. But we can pay tribute to him by remembering, and creating.