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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

100 Followers Giveaway!

Edited: Added another option to the Grand Prize: a $20 dollar Amazon card OR a 100 page crit.

This month celebrates not only 100 followers here on the blog, but also the start of my querying and entering online writing contests. Thank you for encouraging me to push send, and for being with me on the journey.

Right now my life feels like this and I'm enjoying the ups and even the downs of the ride:

So, what can my lovely readers win?

1. I've always thought that the 100th followers should get a prize.  So for Kim, who blogs at Confessions of a Bibliophile and is nearing 100 followers herself, I'm giving a 1st chapter critique (or 1st page and query crit. if preferred).

2. Because I've seen the need for new eyes on queries, I'm giving away 3 query critiques.

3. And because I can't live without reading (seriously guys, I've considered learning to read Braille in case I lose my eye sight) one winner will receive their choice of my favorite 2012 reads: The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green; Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater; Icefall by Matthew Kirby;  or Insurgent by Veronica Roth.

4. The grand prize winner will receive a 100 page critique from me (Yes, this means when I reach 200 followers I'll be giving away a 200 page critique!) OR (edited to add) a 20 dollar Amazon gift card-winner may choose.

To enter:
1. comment on the blog and tell me your favorite read of 2012  (1 point)
2. follow my blog (5 points)
3. tweet or blog about this contest (3 points)
4. write a hauki about your favorite book of the 2012 (20 points)
4. add up your points (1 point)

Friday, September 7, 2012

What I Did Last Summer: Reveal, 1st Page Crit, and the Coolest Thing I've Learned All Week

First off, please check out my First Impressions Entry on Dianne Salerni's blog In High Spirits. She and Marcy of Mainewords are authors giving back by critiquing 1st pages the first week of every month. They're accepting submissions for October, so if you'd like some spot on feedback, I recommend them.


I'm the guilty party, so congrats if you guessed 1st one fiction and 2nd one fact. That said, Stan would have left the house without me in it. That day really did happen, but he was still in the driveway when I got home. "Oh, I thought you were out back stretching," he said, and pedaled off like it was no big deal.

I had so much fun with this bloghop. Thank you Emily and Melody!

And now for the Coolest Thing I Learned this Week
The Boomerang plugin for gmail is my new best friend. If you're like me and entering a bunch of online, time-sensitive writing contests, it could become your best friend too. Over on WriterlyRejects I was bemoaning all these 9am EST contests, that they're hard on a California girl (even one that writes in the early AM), and how I wished I could set up my emails to send when I want them too. And guess what? Within minutes a wonderful someone was telling me how to do just that. 
Boomerang is a plugin that can be downloaded here. So at 6am Boomerang sent my entry for me as I slept (which I needed because my 8 year-old decided to get the stomach flu in the middle of the night- Oh the joys, right?)
If you know of another plugin that schedules email for yahoo, etc. let me know in the comments for any non-gmail users out there. 

And readers, I'm nearing 100 followers. *throws confetti* I have a celebratory contest in the works, so check back soon.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What I Did Last Summer: Fact or Fiction #2 and IWSG

 Emily R. King and Melody Wright are hosting this bloghop where we tell one true and one false story,  in 500 words or less. My 1st story is here. We get to vote Thursday on which one is true or false and there are prizes:) The true story doesn't have to be from this past summer, but it does have to be true.

It's another sweltering summer, but this time I'm sweating it out in Southern Mississippi (hello, no point in ever doing your hair or make-up. So pretty much a great place for me to live). I was on our patio swing reading The Book Thief and enjoying the morning as my children napped. I was still in my pajamas pants and had on my white, threadbare marine biology shirt from sophomore year in high school trip to Key Largo.

When I went to go back inside I discovered I'd locked myself out and no amount of rechecking the windows and doors was going to get me inside my house. I didn't have a cell phone, my neighbors weren't home, but I had a best friend about a mile away. So, leaving my children and praying that nothing bad would happen, I walked (no bra and nursing me made running a no go), the asphalt burning my bare feet, and tried to look confident in my glasses and pillowcase styled hair. My feet were blistering and I could only hop so much without making a bigger fool of myself. I knew I wouldn't make it to Suzanne's. We had a more casual friend who lived closer. I hoped she'd be home and stopped there. Of course her husband opened the door, and let me just say he seemed pretty shocked to see me standing on his porch. Mortified, I tried to act casual AND cover my boobs as I asked to borrow his phone. He was super nice, a sweetheart really, but for me it made it even more awkward as I sat in his car on the ride back to my house. He stayed with me and attempted to break into the house, even though Stan was coming, because we could both here my son crying (he was too little to understand how to open the door).

Fifteen minutes later I was inside my house and rocking my little guy. Everything had turned out fine, but, that day is the reason we have a keypad today. Even I can't lock myself out anymore.

Fact or Fiction: You decide
Voting happens tomorrow, so I'll be seeing you all soon:)

I need you guys today. It's as if I've locked myself out of my house again. I posted last month that I was ready to start querying, but I keep on finding excused not to start. Waiting for feedback from one more beta reader, after this contest, after this conference, after GUTGAA. What I really need is someone to kick me in the pants and make me start pushing send. I have my novel, I have my query written. Now I need some guts. Anybody have some to spare? Rejection is fun, right? Right?

Monday, September 3, 2012

GUTGAA Meet and Greet

If you're looking for What I Did Last Summer: Fact or Fiction bloghop click here

The wonderful Deana Barnhart organized Gearing Up to Get an Agent for the month of September and this is the first event. 
Deana Barnhart

Who I am
I am a lover of stories, Tillamook Extra Sharp Cheese, my crazy handsome husband, my children (for whom I started writing), and physical activity in almost all varieties (from rock climbing to scuba diving). I began my writing journey January of 2010. Two plus years--and three manuscripts--later I've finally written a book I'm ready to query. I'm excited for GUTGAA and to meet even more writing friends. The writing community is so giving and I feel lucky to be a part of it.

Questions for the Meet and Greet
-Where do you write?
I don't have a dedicated writing space. In the early morning I write in our lazy boy or at the table. Once the family is up and craziness ensues I hide away and write on my bed.

-Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?
My writing journal (I need for the pantser in me: who is that character I created in chapter 2 that had the fro?)

-Favorite time to write?
5 to 7 am. It's crazy early, but I'm so much more productive with no distractions. Plus, I'm not already weighed down by the stresses of the day.

-Drink of choice while writing?
Ice cold water. A must for our 110 + arid climate

-When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?
I'm a complete silence kind of girl. If I do listen to anything, it can't have words. I occasionally try soundtracks, but then those distract me too. I do have one of those white noise machines I write to from time to time.

-What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?
My husband. And I found him in my college weight room-man I loved his muscles-I still do, for that matter:D

-What's your most valuable writing tip?
Butt in chair/bed/couch

Thanks for stopping by, if you're doing GUTGAA I'll be seeing you soon!

What I Did Last Summer: Fact or Fiction

If you're looking for GUTGAA click here.

Emily R. King and Melody Wright are hosting this bloghop where we tell one true and one false story,  in 500 words or less. Entry number one posts today. Come back Wednesday the 5th for my second entry. If you haven't signed up yet, but want to participate the linky is still open here. We get to vote Thursday on which one is true or false and there are prizes:) The true story doesn't have to be from this past summer, but it does have to be true.

Running is something from my past, high school, college, and those years when I only had one child to push in the jogging stroller. But this summer I'm running off baby fat from #4. Only it's so dang hot that I'm running at 5am and still, the heat hits me. It's this arid, suck your breath and all the sweat from your pores, so that even when I finish running I'm as dry (or more dry) than when I started. This morning I run to the Chocolate Drop. It's this graffitied hill, a hard incline, but short enough I can push up it and feel like the king of the world. It's my quiet spot, where I see my little town and often do my sun salutations (in my running shoes). Today the climb seems hard, the rocks poking more through my shoes and I know I have a cactus spine in my left heel. But I don't let myself stop. Starting again is more than my old of shape body can handle; besides, the sun is going to rise any second, the light is already filling the horizon. I crest the ridge, breathing hard and make myself stand up tall--instead of bending over like I want to. I rest both hands over my head and suck in all the oxygen I can get as the pink sun peeks over the horizon, and then rises, so fast that each time I watch it I am in awe.

I move into my sun salutes, staying an extra breath in upward facing dog so I can keep watching the sunrise. After three salutes I sit cross-legged on a flatfish boulder and close my eyes, the sun's light visible though my lids. I try to meditate, but the need to get back home (so my husband, Stan, can bike to work) won't leave me, so I stand, say goodbye to the sun, and turn west. And there, biking towards the Chocolate Drop is a guy on a road bike eerily like Stan's. It's read and white and the guy has his same blue helmet. He's bent low over his bike and doesn't look up to me, so far overhead. As he passes the drop I see his shirt, the free Bike for Aids shirt my husband got from a race in Palm Springs. 

I cuss in my mind yell to Stan, but he doesn't hear me. I run my fastest time ever back home, making that mile in seven minutes (not good for my HS time, but for here and now, I flew). I punch in the code and race into the house. It's silent, eerie, and thankfully, my children have no idea they were temporarily abandoned. My husband, on the other hand, gets a earful. 

Fact or Fiction: You decide.