Friday, December 30, 2011

Fingertips itch in anticipation...

Excitement bubbles in your chest...

Muscles tense, ready for the spring....

The world seems to tilt sideways as you grip the weapon in your hand. Sweat drips down the sides of your face as you zone in on the one thing you know you must destroy. The one thing that's been eating at you all year. And as you lift your weapon, ready for the kill, only one thought runs through your mind. You're either going to conquer this piece of crap or go down trying.

Sound familiar?

Looks like you're either ready to beat some vampires to the pulp or you're making a goal list for 2012. If it's the former, I'm sure you'll win. The latter? I know I'm not that confident in my chances.

Instead of rambling further, because I'm sure you need a break from my thoughts, I thought I'd pass this one onto my lovely. If there is someone on this planet that doesn't know the meaning of the words, "I can't" it's Aaron Shamy. This was a scholarship application video he submitted a couple years ago. (Yes, he did get the scholarship *winks*) If you're looking for some motivation on goals, take a look!


What's on your list for 2012? Do you have a list? Do you write things down and check them off? Or are you like me where jumbles of ideas bang around inside your head all year and sometimes something gets done?

Red. Head. Out. :D

Monday, December 26, 2011

Inkpop, Rejection, and my HarperCollins review

Exactly two years ago this week, I made a decision that changed my life. I joined a site called inkpop.

For those of you who don't know how inkpop works, it's kind of like American Idol for writers. You post your work, people vote or "pick" it, and it rises up the charts. At the end of the month, the top 5 picks get a review from a HarperCollins editor. (REALLY cool... how often do you get to have a real live breathing editor review your work before it's query ready?)

At this point, I had the first ten thousands words of Shadow Watchers written and decided to upload it onto inkpop to see how it was received by teens.

My story rocketed. I was floored. Within two weeks, it shot to the number one spot and stayed there for the remainder of the month. Usually it took months to get into the top five, if that. And that's if you knew how to work it.

When my review from HarperCollins came in, I was sick. Sure, I had fooled teens to like my work *winks* but what about a Harper editor?

It ended up being a great review. And I took the advice whole-heartedly. A little too heartedly as you'll see below.

Part of my advice was and I quote: "There can be a fine line between intriguing readers and frustrating them by doling out too little information." This was in response to the editor saying there was not enough  answers being given up front. Great advice. I needed to hear it.

But I went overboard. I grasped onto this advice like a dying man in need of water. (Who wouldn't?) This became clear when the feedback coming in from agents was that the action never stopped. That I didn't slow down enough for the reader to take in the setting and catch up. Funny huh? Note to self: Find balance. 

Right after my review is when I believe I lost sense of my story--when I began to lose "that feeling" I wanted to surround my words. Because I was writing to appease advice I was given instead of what I knew was right deep down. And I won't expand further, because I've already done a post on this here. 


But it's okay. Because now it's clicked. I don't regret any advice I've taken and I don't feel remorse for a single rejection I've received. <-------and it's taken quite a bit for me to get here. But I am finally where I need to be. I'm in the part of the V for Vendetta when Natalie Portman is standing in the rain, crying, lifting her arms to the sky because she isn't afraid anymore.

I'm not afraid anymore. I'm not afraid of rejection.

As Herald Angus Penn (inkpop buddy, aka Ryan Greenspan) once told me, "It makes us stronger, doesn't it?"

I'm glad I'm not there yet. I'm going to enjoy the refiners fire. Because if I had had an easy "success" story, I wouldn't have learned that the success I needed first was conquering fear of rejection--not getting agent, getting published, or letting my friends down.

And why was it that I joined inkpop in the first place? To see how my work would be received. I ended up getting so much more. I've connected with the world's best breed of people, aligned myself with the most talented beta readers, and most importantly, made friendships that go far beyond the writing world.

Red. Head. Out. :D

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

How the Nutcracker Suite is Sweet with my Writing...

For those of you who know me, you know that I was a ballerina for years and years and years. Like, hard core. Loved it. After dancing, I became a teacher and at my peak, was teaching just over 300 students a week. Madness!

DANCING is so closely knit with WRITING for me... it taps into that same part of my brain that longs for a creative outlet. In fact, I'm just as passionate about writing as I ever was with dancing. If not more so. I can't explain the link, but it's there.



This time of year stirs magic in my blood. You know how every now and then time seems to stop and you have to catch your breath because there's a real, physical change in the air? And you try to pause and just experience the moment because you know it'll be gone in seconds? (and if I'm starting to sound crazy, you can just nod and smile)

For some, there's a trigger... a "special something" that'll put you in that moment every time. For me, it's The Nutcracker.

For seven years, I danced in The Nutcracker with Ballet West--the big ballet company here in Utah. I was one of the lucky few that successfully auditioned out of thousands to be part of this production. Still to this day, nothing affects me like hearing the opening overture by Peter Tchaikovsky. Every time I hear it, it puts me right back in the wings, waiting backstage to perform. The smell of coffee, resin, and the sound of pointe shoes clicking on the Marley floor as dancers warm up... Such a high! There's nothing like being on stage in front of hundreds, being part of creating a story, creating art, creating magic.

The more writers I meet, the more I realize they have a history either in music, musical theatre, or dance. Why is that? What is the connecting factor? It's interesting! How many of you have a history in these areas? Or what is that "something" that taps into that special place in your soul?

Red. Head. Out. :D

Friday, December 16, 2011

On The Fourth Day Of Christmas, My True Love Gave To Me...

A signed copy of Timeless and soundtrack by Alexandra Monir!!!




I've got them in my hands, ready to send out... now all we need is a winner... 


*goes to random.org*


*inputs the number of contestants*


*pushes the generate button*


Annnnnnd...


                                               

The winning number is...

41!!!!!!

Not including my comments, the 41st person to enter was...

LEXIE!!!!!

CONGRATULATIONS, LEXIE!!!!!

You've just officially become the 4th winner of the 12-Days of Christmas Blog Hop!



Special thanks to Sarah Belliston for putting this fantastic giveaway together! Make sure to stay tuned on Sarah's blog for the rest of the Blog hop winners!

And many thanks to all of YOU. Not only for entering, but for being such an amazing support system to me on this writing journey. You really are remarkable. Truly.

Red. Head. Out. :D



Monday, December 12, 2011

Last Day To Enter For The Giveaway!

That's right.

Just a friendly reminder that tonight at midnight, the 12-Days of Christmas Blog Hop ends! The winners will start  tomorrow the 13th.

Remember that I'm day FOUR, or the "Four Calling Birds" day of Christmas, so the winner will be announced on Dec 16th!!! Click here if you haven't entered!

And if you haven't seen all the giveaways yet, head over to Sarah's Blog to check out all of the amazzzzing stuff being given away!

I'm excited to see who wins. We've got some great entries! (Well, you're all great--except those of you who said you were half sparkly *winks*)

Red. Head. Out. :D

Monday, December 5, 2011

Agents/Querying/Writing and the Twisted Cycle it is...

I've decided to bring it down a notch today. I knew I wanted to do a post, but I'm not up to my usual snuff. I'm feeling a bit... morose, but not in a "woe is me" type way. Never that. I think once you've been through some pretty big issues like having a small child surviving cancer and other things that put a true perspective on life, you know to be wholly grateful for all that you've been given. (I know you know what I mean--most of us have been there)

But the truth is...

This writing/querying thing is probably the toughest thing I've been through. Emotionally. Ever. Am I crazy for saying that? It's something that (and not to sound cliche) I know I want/need/have to do, but it's also soooooo draining.

I know it's wrong to think that it gets easier if you have an agent. I've got plenty of friends in the business to know that isn't the case. But, I feel like it does say something to have an agent in your corner. It gives you credibility. It gives you confidence to know your work is good enough that someone of significance backs you up--that in and of itself says a lot.

I wish I had that.

Of course I've got amazzzzzing friends and family, but it's different. It's hard on this side of the fence. The fighting. Fighting. It's a constant inward battle to make yourself sit down and write not knowing if your efforts will ever come to fruition. How many times have I said, "I'm done!" ... only to find myself typing away at the keyboard five minutes later? It's a twisted cycle. 

The funny thing is I've never doubted my skills. I only doubt if the universe will line up for me. From what I've read/heard, it takes a bit of luck on your side too.

I do think that when (and I'm saying when not if) I get that agent who says, "yes" I'll take a deep breath. Because that one person does make a difference. At least that's what it looks like from where I'm sitting.

Am I way off? Or am I right? It's hard to know because I'm not there yet. I'd love to know your thoughts.

Red. Head. Out. :D 

Oh, and on a side, happy note, if you haven't entered the 12-Days of Christmas giveaway, click here

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

NaNo-who?

That's right. I said it.

NaNo who? I kicked NaNoWriMo's trash this month! 50,000 words in under thirty days. Pretty awesome, eh?


Above is a screen shot of my stats. It was a struggle in the beginning to get my minimum word count done. But you can see I was consistent with pumping the words out, regardless.

I know that NaNoWriMo might not be for everyone, but for my personality it worked. I loved the discipline and since I'm a visual person, seeing my stats each day helped motivate me to continue.

I thought it'd be fun to share with you the opening of my NaNo book. The story is currently entitled, WESTRIDGE, which is about an all boy rehab facility that has an uncanny success rate. The boys are coming out perfect. Too perfect.

When Allie, aka Al, learns that her brother's life is in jeopardy, she disguises herself as a boy to get enrolled into Westridge and save him. I could tell you more, but... I won't.

Here's the first bit:




Warmth spread over me, deadening my muscles and mind. I held onto the feeling, knowing it wouldn’t last long. The air around me was a gigantic cushion, tingling and caressing my skin as though it were lifting me from the couch. I felt languid, free, good.
“Nice, isn’t it?” Zach murmured next to me.
I snuggled closer, careful not to move too much so it didn’t ruin the effect of the drug. I closed my eyes and let the sensation carry me away… away from school, stress, and Lady Edna’s dirty basement.
I didn’t know why I’d fought against Zach for so long. This was wonderful, this feeling of utter freedom, this numb, warm place. Maybe Zach and I would take that next step tonight. After all, he had been patient. I opened my mouth to say so, but stopped, waiting; words would spoil this moment.
The coziness continued to stretch beneath my skin, wrap around my toes. I felt equal to everyone else on the planet. Nothing mattered. My lack of parents, money—and as cliché as it was—love. Even Jason, being the over protective older brother, couldn’t bring me down.
We’re all the family we need, you and I.
Crap.
The thought of Jason’s words dampened the high. I shoved him from my mind, trying to focus on the moment, although it was hard knowing he was upstairs probably doing his homework being the perfect person that he was. He would kill me if he knew what I was doing down here with his best friend.
Double crap.
There went another bit of the high. I sighed and rolled away from Zach, placing my hands on top of my thighs. My legs barely registered the contact, just the slight impression of heat. I felt disconnected from my body, like my hands were a million miles away from my head. I rubbed the fabric of my jeans, slowly, because it was hard to move.
Just as I began to give into the feeling again, a crash sounded from upstairs. I jerked upright. My head spun.
“Did you hear that?”
Zach moaned and mumbled something incoherent. My heart pounded in my ears. Maybe I had imagined it. Hallucinating on this stuff was pretty common. I relaxed back into the couch.
Another crash came, followed by hurried footsteps. I sat upright again, straining for the source of sound. Shouts and a series of loud bangs echoed from upstairs. No way I imagined those.
“Zach, come on! Something’s happening!”
I shoved his shoulder, trying to get him to stand, but he swatted me away. I got to my feet, swayed, and managed a few steps before the world slipped out from under me. The thick, green carpet was soft under my cheek and for a moment I closed my eyes, relishing in the comfort.
“Al!” Jason called from upstairs. “Al!”
My eyes snapped open and my heart thundered in my chest. On my hands and knees, I hobbled over to the base of the stairs, feeling like I moved through emerald slush. I glanced up and saw a dozen masked men tearing through the living room, their outlines blurring around the edges.
Two of them carried Jason. My stomach went hollow.
“Al! Call someone! Help!” Jason yelled. He kicked out his legs and caught one of the men in the jaw. The man went tumbling. Two more seized Jason, holding him by all limbs. I watched from below, unable to move.
Jason’s panicked eyes caught mine before a black bag was thrown over his head. He cried, the sound muffled, and then he was out of sight. The front door slammed.
Silence ripped through my ears, meshing with the shock in my head. Then reality hit.
“Jason!” I yelled. “Jason!” My voice sounded far away, like the tail end of an echo. I grabbed onto the banister, my vision swimming in ripples.  “Zach, please,” I said. “You have to do something!”
But Zach was in his own world, a goofy daze on his face.

***
I hope you enjoyed! I'm pretty stoked about this project and it's flowing really well. Thanks to NaNo, the first draft is out and now I get to do the fun part. Cleaning it up! (No sarcasm, I'm being serious!) I'd love to hear about the projects you're working on and if you find NaNo helpful. 

Oh, and don't forget to enter the 12-Days of Christmas Giveaway

Red. Head. Out. :D 

Monday, November 28, 2011

My First Giveaway!

Yes, you read that right.

Today's blog post is a... GIVEAWAY!

Blogger Sarah Belliston has organized a 12-Days of Christmas blog hop. On her website is a list of twelve blogs that are all giving something away for the month of December. The contest starts now and ends on Dec 13th when we start picking one winner a day. How awesome is free stuff?

I'm lucky enough to be the "Four Calling Birds" day of Christmas. Hence the cool pic ------------------------>

So what's my giveaway?

*clears throat and waits for drumroll*



A signed copy of TIMELESS by Alexandra Monir complete with the Timeless soundtrack, written and performed by the lovely author herself!

How do you win?

All I ask is that you be a follower of my blog and comment on this post. That's it! And on Dec 16, I will use random.org and select a winner. The contest is open to anyone! (unless you're a sparkly vampire)

So check out the grab button on my sidebar and take a look at all of the awesome giveaways going on in December! Yay for the holidays!

Red. Head. Out. :D

Monday, November 21, 2011

The 5x5 Thanksgiving Post!

When we're asked what we're GRATEFUL for, the big obvious answers are usually the ones that come to mind: health, happiness, home, family, etc, etc...

Now, I definitely don't want to downplay any of these items, (because of course I'm GRATEFUL, only a psychopath wouldn't be) But I wanted to break it down and find the obscure things in my life that I really am GRATEFUL to have.

Five Foods:

Brown Sugar Pop-tarts (not toasted)
Dolmathes (a Lebanese family favorite)
Zuppa's Turkey, Spinach, Artichoke sandwich
Ruth's Chris Filet Mignon with blue cheese and asparagus (drool...)
Marie Calendar's fresh peach pie with whipping cream to the sky!

Five moments in the last year:

Birth of new baby
Son reaching THREE years of complete remission from cancer!
Oldest daughter discovering the tooth fairy wasn't real
My SCBWI retreat with Leigh Fallon
McDonald family trip to the Grand Canyon

Five tools that help me write:


Thesaurus (love)
iPad
Any scrap of paper I find around the house to jot notes down on
Beta readers (You know who you are!)
Nice Agents

Modern Conveniences:


Lip Gloss
Kitchen Aid Mixer (Love to bake!)
Warm showers
Big Comfy Blankets
Hair straightener

Five Miscellaneous:


Best husband on the planet
Hazelnut hot chocolate (with whipping cream, not marshmallows!)
Being thirty years old and STILL cavity free!!! (er... it's probably time I go to the dentist... been awhile)
My first partial being upgraded to a full!
Foot rubs


Calling all Gratefuls! What has you smiling the most this holiday season? Is it family related? Twilight related? Or is it as simple as the pair of toe socks you've been dying to pull out from your winter storage? Do any of my top fives coincide with yours? I'd love to hear!

Red. Head. Out. :D



Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Anticipate Much?

Anticipation: To expect or predict/ Guess or be aware of/ Look forward to

What is it about anticipation that makes your heart pump and fingers tingle with excitement? Sometimes the anticipation is better than the actual thing.

Since I'm completely consumed with NaNoWriMo right now, I thought I'd share an excerpt from the novel I'm querying. I think this scene depicts how awesome anticipation can be. Without getting into too many details, Clara, the MC, has a huge thing for the voice in her head. This scene is when she decides to tell him her true feelings:


I spread the blanket on the ground and sat with the journal on my lap. After a few minutes, I fidgeted, worried he wouldn’t show. But then, he was there, hovering like a shadow in my head.
Did you think I’d forget? he asked. 
I felt my mouth turn up at the corners and warmth spread inside my chest. I loved the sound of his low, honeyed voice. Normally, whenever I felt his presence slide into my mind, I pushed down any feelings that threatened to surface, in fear he would discover the truth. But today, all my walls were down.
“I brought you a gift,” I said, reaching for the journal. I allowed my thoughts to tumble forward, the pages and pages of words that expressed how I felt.
His presence froze and then shifted uncomfortably in my mind.
Clara… don’t. His voice was hesitant, embarrassed.
My heart dropped, the acid in my stomach eating it raw.
“Why not?” I asked. “You had to know on some level how I felt.”
He retreated, but I held on, keeping him there. I swallowed and gathered my courage. “If there was one thing I wanted… would you give it to me?”
I felt his interest pique. Like what?
I shut my eyes and searched through the jumble of ideas that banged around in my head, trying to pick the one thing I most wanted. When the answer popped forward, I smiled.
“I want a kiss.” Hope danced just under the surface of my skin, weaving, twisting through my body.
His presence became deathly still. He was fighting, debating whether or not to go. 
“I’m seventeen,” I pleaded. “I’ve never been kissed. Please?”
With my eyes still closed, the sun was warm and red through my lids. Then, everything went dim.
Gone from my mind, I sensed him before me, but was too scared to open my eyes. A net of energy pushed, pulled, and twirled between us. He shifted closer and I felt his breath on my face. The journal dug into my palms and a drip of sweat slid down the nape of my neck. Anticipation choked me. In what felt like an eternity later, the energy released and something tingled like a warm breeze over my lips. I gasped.
The darkness lifted. My eyes shot open.
I was alone.
---------------
I hope all of you have something that you're anticipating right now... whether it be your first kiss, a fun trip, or just that leftover turkey sandwich you have for lunch! 

Red. Head. Out.  :D

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Truth Behind My Querying Mask...

I'm feeling a bit open and vulnerable right now, so I've decided to be bold and peel off a layer so you can see the dark truth.

I've a bit of Jekyll and Hyde in me.

To the world, I put on the happy query face. Because really, I've had an AMAZING run with my first novel. I've gotten request after request, and had multiple partials turn into fulls, I've even had an agent say, "Your first ten pages are some of the best I've ever received."

But nothing has clicked yet.

I respect every agent I've had contact with and especially the ones who have given me FEEDBACK. I swear, getting advice from an agent is so rare. I've been one of the lucky ones. So of course, I've seized any ounce of counsel I've been given and applied it to my MS so fast I'm sure my MC's head has spun.

But here's the problem: It doesn't feel wholly right anymore. I feel like I've messed up the pacing. Maybe there's too much action and not enough character development. Does it read too much like a fable? Is it too plot driven? It's when I started getting contradictory advice that I knew I'd made a mistake.

I wasn't trusting my gut.

I've always considered one of my strengths being my ability to adapt, to take advice and not be sold on the current state of my MS. I'm not one of those stubborn writers where it's either "my way or the highway" ... I'm in this to learn, to soak up every piece of knowledge in this art that I can. Because I know I have the talent to do this.

...but...

and it's a huge BUT...

I've also learned I need to trust that little something inside of me... that little spark that told me I was the one person to write this story.

Each manuscript starts out as a little seed: (and cue cheesy plant metaphor) an idea, a passing thought, a dream (heh, Steph Meyer wasn't the only one) ... but after your story has grown to adulthood, reflect on whether or not that "feeling" that burned inside your heart when that first idea took hold is still there. Am I making sense? Or is my mom the only one reading still? (Hi mom!)

I still hope there'll be an agent that will see the magic and potential with my story, but if not, heh, I know I won't make the same mistakes with my future novels. I'm going to trust my gut. Because I think each of us writers have that inner compass built within us.

What about you? Do you jump on advice too quickly? Do you take into full account everything that your beta readers or agents tell you? Or are you too stubborn? Unable to bend when you need to bend?

Red. Head. Out.

:D

Friday, November 4, 2011

Drumroll please...

Yes, ladies and twitter folks, we have the results for my new sign off phrase!

The competition was steep, and even a little frightening at times, but a strong leader did come through in the end! *clears throat* Can we have the lights dimmed, please?


Okay, and the results for the honorable, honorable mentions are: (1 vote)

Pack light
I'm stronger than I book
Write on
Stay Strong
Keep it relevant, keep it real
Book mom, no hands! (yes, someone actually voted for that)
Morgypoos has vacated the building
Spot you later
Oo-de-lally (now we're just being ridiculous)

Alright, moving on to honorable mentions: (3 votes)

Toodle-oo
Take luck
Shamy out for now (SOFN)

Third place: (4 votes)

Bahahaha!!!! (Really? REALLY, people?)


...............................................dramatic break..........................................

Second place: (with a whopping 7 votes)

Shamy out!

Now, before we go onto the first place winner, I'd like to give a special award to Tymothy Longoria's original sign off phrase that still has me laughing with originality:

"Up, up... and Shamaaaaaay!"

*waits for applauds*

Annnnd cue confetti:

(Oh, and all of you people at home can turn on some Celebration by Kool & the gang, that'll help with the ambiance)

THE FIRST PLACE WINNER IS......

Red. Head. Out.

(With an astronomical number of 10 votes!)

I'd like to thank all the twitter peeps, facebook friends and small people out there that have made this contest possible. Without you I wouldn't have a slammin' sign off phrase and would probably be ending my post with something cliche like: "And that's the way it is."

So, on that note, I'll bid you adieu!

Red. Head. Out.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Holy Catchphrase, Batman!

Since I'm new to the blogging world, and have a tendency to become obsessive with any new project I take on, I've been reading every blog I can get my hands on. (Which is surprisingly easy with twitter... if you blink, you'll miss a handful of links on the live feed within a matter of seconds)

So with my new, critical blog eye, I've noticed that a lot of people have a sign off phrase. Most of them are pretty ordinary--things like "Hugs" or "Happy Writing" ... generic phrases that make a smooth transition to your lovely signature at the bottom of the page. But shouldn't a sign off phrase be catchy? Something that separates you from the sea of bloggers trying to get their name out there?

Think: "And that's the way it is" or "Get your pets spayed or neutered" It doesn't take a genius to know immediately who those people are. (If you don't, it's okay... just don't tell anyone)

But does it work in the blogging world?

Yes.

Take Tymothy Longoria's "Word." <-----Every time I hear/think/see the word "Word" I automatically think, "Tym!" It's brilliance! It's like he's sealed up his entire personality in one... well, word. Or what about Leigh Fallon's  "All the best and talk soon" <-----This instills a feeling of personal connection. It's like when she says "Talk soon,"  she cares about the reader and can't wait to chat again. (Sorry Leigh, I always pick on you)

Now, there's no way I'd be able to pull off Tym's coolness or Leigh's classy Irishness, but I do think I need something.

So what I want YOU guys to do is tell me what my sign off phrase should be. My lovely hubby and I have come up with a few options. Whichever phrase gets the most votes, I vow to use it for the rest of my blogging career! (Er... don't read the disclaimer in small print at the bottom of the page)

S'later
Shamy Out!
Write on!
Hasta la scriba
I'm stronger than I book
Take care
Good luck
Take luck
Book mom! No hands
Black, white, and read all over
Red. Head. Out.
Write away!
Keep it relevant. Keep it real
Toodle-oo
Stay strong
Pack Light
TTFN (Ta Ta For Now)
Spot you later


~Morg

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Latest Addiction...

Medic! Medic! We need 20 cc's of Antenolol and a shot of Heparin Stat!  (Okay, so maybe I have been watching a little too much House) 


If you know me, you know that I have a HUGE crush on Hugh Laurie, aka Dr. House. Even my hubby supports it cuz heh, I've put up with his obsessions with Agent Scully for years. *glares at her because she's a redhead infringing on my territory*

I have a very addictive personality. When I dive into something, I go
head first and don't come up for air until I'm ready to pass out. (Which
is great for writing, bad for real life)

My Latest addiction? SCBWI. Saving California Based Working Immigrants. I'M KIDDING!!! It stands for Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

This last August, I went to LA with my writer BFF, and uber talented author, Leigh Fallon. Her book, Carrier of the Mark was released by Harperteen this Oct. You can find her site here. *waves* Hi Leigh! Anyway, I loved the fast-paced buzz of chatting with agents and other authors. The classes were so motivating and the people I connected with were top notch.

I have officially decided that writers are the FRIENDLIEST people on the planet--second only to rock climbers. I left with an all around feeling of unity... that we're in this together, supporting each other's future careers. (Blah, blah, blah... kumbaya)



From the left: Josephine Angelini (Starcrossed), Bree Despain (The Dark Divine), Brodi Ashton (Everneath), Lindsey Leavitt (Sean Griswold), Lani Woodland (Instrinsical), Leigh Fallon (Carrier of the Mark) Me, Alexandra Monir (Timeless), and Gretchen McNeil (Possess)


But more recently, I just got back from a SCBWI revision retreat featuring the amazzzzingly talented editor, Emma Dryden. We met in the backwoods at a secluded cabin in Idaho with 16 other writers. Sounds like the beginning of a horror film, right? No one died, thank goodness. Or maybe that was a bad thing? Considering we're all writers looking for fresh material.

As much as I loved the fast-paced big conference in LA, I highly recommend going to a smaller, chapter retreat. You get to meet writers in your area and connect with them on a more personal level. Not only did I receive amazing feedback on my novel, but I connected with people I know I'll be friends with for life.

So why am I an addict? As great as Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and Email is for connecting with awesome authors, there's nothing like meeting with someone face to face. *gasp* <----I know, people still do that. 

SCBWI is just one way you can get out there and network with other authors. There's something about meeting with people in "real life" that creates lasting relationships. 

What about you? What's your addiction? Have you done the retreat circuit? And do you prefer the big conferences or the smaller ones? 

'Til later-

~Morg

Monday, October 17, 2011

Testing... 1,2,3 ... hello???

Okay, okay... I know. I'm a little delayed with this blogging thing. But when all my cool writer friends starting throwing blogging parties that I wasn't invited to, I thought I better jump on the blogging bandwagon before they replaced me with the token redhead friend. *glares at all the redheads trying to replace me*

Hi! I'm Morgan. And I'm a writer. Cue: *gasp* <----I know what you're thinking. Who isn't? I'm currently in the process of querying my first novel. Cue: *second gasp* or maybe you just gave me a *sympathetic look* (if you did, thank you) I might as well be nicknamed "Slush," right? Being one of the thousands of people on the planet trying to catch the elusive dream agent.

Well, regardless of what my nickname is, I'm here to tell my tale, whether it be to my awesome writer buddies whose blogs are listed right over.........................there--------------------->
... or to the glaring redheads who hate me because yes, my hair is completely natural.

Okay, peace out. Later, peeps! (Er... did I just get all gangster all of a sudden?)

~Morg
 
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