New Release: “New Army Officer Survival Guide” by CPT Levi Floeter

We are incredibly excited to share our new release with you! The New Army Officer’s Survival Guide: Cadet to Commission through Command is the advice-equivalent to a double espresso for junior Army officers. It’s simple, it doesn’t take long to get through, and it provides results. Author Levi Floeter’s crisp and clear writing style answers many of the questions and concerns that cadets and junior officers have as they enter a career in the U.S. Army, making this book a great complement current to Army doctrine and regulations.

CPT Levi J. Floeter

Combining dozens of resources into a single and easily readable volume a cadet or junior officer can carry with them, the New Army Officer’s Survival Guide: Cadet to Commission through Command aids junior officers’ success by blending in Floeter’s first-hand experiences from over forty-one months in two separate Company Commands to personally advise and cover many lessons that most officers learn the hard way.

The book’s structure provides an overview of Army ROTC, a detailed walkthrough of skills needed by Junior Officers across the Army, and some explanations of techniques and possible leadership styles or methods to utilize in common situations. Four Annexes: Useful gear for the field and office; officer branch and Basic Officer Leader Course information; common acronyms and phrases, and a list of each Punitive Article of the UCMJ wrap up the book for quick access and reference.

Levi J. Floeter, following in his father’s footsteps (RET Air Force) into a military career, commissioned as an Army Infantry Officer from Eastern Washington University in 2008. Almost immediately after graduating Airborne and Infantry School at Fort Benning, Floeter received orders to deploy as a Platoon Leader in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from October 2009 – July 2010. Since then, Floeter has held various positions as a Company X.O., Battalion Operations Assistant, Company Commander (on two occasions), and most recently serves as an ROTC instructor in the Military Science Program at the University of Washington. CPT Floeter is married and is the father to one daughter.

Don’t miss out on our other exciting New Army Officer Survival Guide events:

  • Dec 6 — Author Interview
  • Dec 11— Cover Reveal
  • Dec 18— Press Releases
  • Jan 3— Sample Chapter
  • Jan 10— Recommended Books
  • Jan 17— Book Giveaway Begins

We’re pumped about this new book! Have any questions? Want to join in the fun? Leave a comment below and visit us on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram!

How to Hit That NaNoWriMo Word Count

This is the fourth post in a four-part NaNoWriMo blog series.

The days are growing short, and your word count for NaNoWriMo is even shorter. Inspiration can be few and far between in these last few days. We here at the Press decided to help you find some creative ways to keep your engine running to the magic 50,000-word count. Here are our four tips and tricks.

  1. Write your stream of consciousness

Sometimes you cannot concentrate on the story at hand and just need to get some words on the page to help get the ball rolling. One way you could do this is by writing a stream of consciousness. This means you will just start writing down whatever you are currently thinking about. It could be an amalgamation of different ideas that may not even link together, but the point is to give you the momentum to continue writing your novel.

  1. Write the same word over and over until you write something else

Maybe you have a word stuck in your head. It’s blocking any work that should be getting done on your novel. Sometimes writing one word over and over and over and over and over can make you forget that it was even a problem in the first place. This will get you back in the zone and typing your heart out.

  1. Type for thirty minutes in pig latin

Some words or phrases just cannot be translated into another language. Take this as an excuse and spice up your writing by writing in pig latin. It may rouse some good ideas and allows you to use some colorful language to jazz up your novel. Ytray itway outway!

  1. Do a handstand and try to write

This may seem like an unconventional idea, but hear us out. There are times in your writing where you cannot type another word. It is even unbearable to look at the word count for one more second. A way to get past this block is to look from another perspective (you know, like standing upside down). With all that blood rushing to your head, all the ideas will start flowing, and you will be writing in no time.

We hope that you try and use some of the recommendations that we have given in this article. Outside of them, we hope that you had a fun time writing during this month. This month is less about completing a novel and more about putting pen to paper and writing some words. That’s how you sharpen your skills, generate ideas, and get something good to come out of your stories. Happy writing everyone!

Thanks for following our NaNoWriMo blog series this month. Leave a comment or visit us at FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. We’d love to see your NaNoWriMo progress!

Native American Author Spotlight: Sherman Alexie

The Native American Renaissance opened doors for many Native American authors to flourish. Authors like these are now able to publish stories about their own experiences and continue to bring awareness to the issues that plague the modern Native American. In this post-renaissance period, we find Sherman Alexie.

Sherman Alexie was born in 1966 and grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. There, he lived around Spokane culture, but was never really accepted by his community. In infancy, he developed a condition that lead to surgery. This caused him to be in and out of the hospital for much of his adolescence and left his head larger than usual. He was constantly teased and not able to participate in many of the activities that are considered a rite of passage for young Native American male’s due to the side effects of that condition. This did not stop him from being academically successful.

He excelled during his high school career, leading him to receive a scholarship at Gonzaga University. After switching his major multiple times, the only place he seemed to find solace was in his literature classes. After a couple of years, he left Gonzaga and transferred to Washington State University. There, he found Alex Kuo, a respected poet that served as a mentor for Alexie. In these classes, he was able to begin writing and publishing his own works.

The themes of these works encapsulate the life of a contemporary Native American person living on a reservation. Despair, poverty, and alcoholism are riddled in this community and directly affects the characters in his stories. Through irony and dark humor, Alexie paints the picture of life as a modern Native American and the challenges they face on a reservation.

While being successful in his literary career, he has also dabbled in film. He created the first all-Native American movie, Smoke Signals, which got top honors at the Sundance Film Festival. Much like his books and poems, this is a story that reflects on the many struggles that Alexie encounted during his time on the reservation.

Alexie now lives in Seattle, Washington and is still active in the literary community. He most recently published a memoir titled You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me which sheds light on his trials and tribulations at the Spokane Indian Reservation.

Have you ever read any of Alexie’s work? Are there any other Native American authors that you think we should know about? Leave a comment or visit us at Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to tell us!

How to Survive Your Word Count: Expert Level

This is the third post in a four-part NaNoWriMo blog series.

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is in full swing, and writers are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. There are others, however, struggling to survive the 50,000-word goal by the end of the month and are barely crawling their way toward that light. If you come to find that you are one of those writers, have no fear! We at the University of North Georgia Press are here to lend a helping a hand, and give you some tips and words of encouragement to help beat that writer’s block and nudge you closer to the finish line!

  1. Take a break from writing. Let’s face it: sitting down and continuously writing upon hours on end can be straining, especially on your imagination and creativity. So, take a step away from what you’re writing and do something fun!
  2. Move your body! Moving around increases blood flow, including the blood flow to your brain. This can help open your mind, and when you return to your writing, you are more likely to feel refreshed and be more creative. Your joints will thank you if you move every thirty minutes or so.
  3. Get rid of distractions. It’s hard to focus when you have notifications or conversations buzzing around you, so go somewhere you can easily focus. It could be in your room, maybe even your car. Go somewhere you can separate yourself from the world, so that it’s just you and your writing.
  4. Read inspiring quotes. Writing for hours and days can become exhausting, which can cause you to become unmotivated or uninspired. No worries! One of the best ways you can overcome this is by reading inspirational quotes. You may even find inspirational quotes from some of your favorite authors .
  5. Free write. You might’ve choked up a bit when you read this one. You’re already writing 50,000+ words, and one solution is to write more? As crazy as it seems, yes! Write about anything that doesn’t pertain to your writing. This can help clear you mind, acting as a cleansing palate.
  6. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You are your own harshest critic, so keep in mind that everything that you write doesn’t have to be perfect. Allow yourself to make mistakes, and gain constructive criticism from your readers and learn from it. You will be a better writer because of it.
  7. Use the Cube or Webbing method. One challenge that writers face is smoothly connecting plots of the stories together. Another challenge is describing a situation in the story. Don’t fret because the Cube and Webbing methods can solve both issues! If you are not familiar with these methods, click here!
  8. Read your favorite book(s). Reading books from some of your favorite authors can not only give you a break from your writing, but it can also remind you why writing is so fun. Let your favorite authors influence or inspire your writing structure or style.
  9. Create a loose schedule to follow. When you create deadlines or goals for yourself, you are more likely to be motivated to complete them. It also helps break up the 1,667 daily-word goal into smaller pieces, making it seem less threatening and easier to conquer.
  10. Reward yourself. Writing can be very challenging, and writing over 50,000 words in a single month adds to it. Be sure to reward yourself from time to time! After you complete a small goal you set for yourself, do something you enjoy. Eat a cookie, watch a movie, dance around, and indulge a little. Celebrate your accomplishments because you deserve it!

Follow along with our NaNoWriMo blog series this month. Leave a comment or visit us at FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. We’d love to see your NaNoWriMo progress!

Native American Author Spotlight: Zitkala-Sa

Though the Native American Renaissance was a time that developed awareness for the Native American community and their struggles, there were other extremely influential Native American authors before this movement. These people preserved the oral history of the Native American community by writing and publishing it for readers. This helped to convey the rich and diverse cultures in the Native American community. One of the most well-known of these authors was Zitkala-Sa. She was not only a published author, but an advocate for the Native American community. Her story, like the many of the other authors, is one of trying to bridge the gap between two worlds.

Zitkala-Sa was born in the Yankton Sioux Agency on February 22, 1876. She lived there for eight years and was raised in the culture of the Yankton people. However, like many of the Native American children during the late 19th century, she was recruited and taken to the White’s Manual Labor Institute. This was a boarding school created for Native American people that was supposed to teach them, but the educational quality of the school was so poor that many could only acquire low paying positions. There, she was able to learn English, reading, and the violin. She excelled and was able to take her efforts to achieve bigger goals.

Against her family’s wishes, she enrolled at Earlham College until 1897, when she was forced to leave due to ill health and monetary issues. In 1899, she began teaching at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School.  She was uncomfortable with the harsh discipline and curriculum of the school, but it provided her the opportunity to focus on writing and starting her literary career. She was able to publish a few short stories and essays in monthly magazines that described her struggle of retaining her Native American roots in a world that was so against it. She also wrote the first American Indian opera, The Sun Dance Opera. But Zitkala-Sa is most well known for her anthologies of Native American stories she curated by writing down the oral history of different Native American cultures. These are called Old Indian Legends and American Indian Stories.

Though she was well known for these anthologies, she was also a political activist for the Native American people.  She worked in the Society of American Indians (SAI) as a secretary and moved to Washington D.C. to be a liaison between SAI and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). She also founded the National Council of American Indians in an effort to unite the tribes so that they could gain full citizenship rights.

She continued writing political articles and books that influenced Native American civil rights reform until her death in 1938. She was an artist, an author, and an activist for her community. Check out some of her work this month to celebrate Native American Heritage Month!

What are your thoughts on Zitkala-Sa? Leave a comment or visit us at Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to tell us!