Monday, December 17, 2012

Unexpected Kindness...


I first want to thank all of you who participated in the Cheers, Cavanaugh Blogfest. It was a HUGE success and a BLAST to read all of the amazing/hilarious/meaningful posts--and it was great to be connected with new faces. Looks like Alex survived... though I hear rumors of a new victim for next year...

Also, I want to thank all of you who have been so kind in supporting me with my writing journey. I was doubtful whether to post my story, which is why it took me several months, but the response has been so  kind and it's so nice to know we're not alone on this crazy journey.

Next, for my querying friends, one of my FAVORITE tools is Querytracker asked me to do an interview, and it was just posted yesterday, so if you want to check it out, click here.

And finally, to bring in the holiday spirit, I HAVE to post these pics. The sickly talented, Michael Di Gesu, handcrafted these gorgeous stockings for our kids! I mean, how incredible are these? Take a look:

He also made gourmet cookies for my hubby and knit a phenomenal scarf for me. It's this kind of selfless giving that sometimes seems to be lost today. Opening that gift really brought in the magic of what this community/friendship is about. Hope this doesn't embarrass you, Michael, but I had to show off your rare skills!

Along with Michael's gifts (and your gift, Melissa-TY!) and just finishing reading Madman Koop's ridiculously amazing WIP, I think I'm set for having the holiday spirit this season. I hope we can all have peace and happiness in these upcoming days--I know it's been difficult with everything going on--but hopefully we can focus on all that we do have, cling onto our loved ones, and move forward with renewed strength.

Red. Head. Out.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cheers, Cavanaugh Blogfest!

It’s here! The time has finally come. Welcome to the Cheers, Cavanaugh Blogfest! It's a privilege to be part of this fabulous Alexfest. Alex is such an amazing influence in this writing community and though I feel bad for the embarrassment this fest will bring, I also think Alex deserves to be recognized. For the full details, click here. And now on with the fest:

What does Alex look like?  In my mind, Alex looks like an old Hollywood movie star, but suffers with his stuck-in-the-80’s haircut. Strong jaw, sharp nose, thick brows. Dark hair, but graying. Is fit, but doesn’t flaunt it. He’s content wearing his plaid button-up shirts and sweatpants.

Who could play Alex in a documentary? Monty Clift. But with a little bit more length to his hair, mullet style.

Who does Alex remind you of? The French con artist, Francois Toulour (The night fox—or the Ninja burglar) in the movies Ocean’s 12 and 13. He’s the coolest character ever—remember the jumping through the laser scene? Yeah, that’s Alex. Make sure you watch until the end heel click! 

My flash fiction piece using the prompts: Cavanaugh, Ninja, IWSG, Cosbolt, and Guitar:

Shrugging on his long leather duster, Mr. Cavanaugh stepped away from the body crumpled at his feet. He snickered, his breath white in the air. Poor chap. He didn’t have a chance against the Ninja. No one did. He gave the man one last kick in the ribs, before noticing the small black lettering printed on his neck. IWSG. The world spun to a stop. Sweat beaded on his brow. This man was a member of the Cosbolt, the rogue organization out to get one thing. Him.

Fog curled around the bottom of his boots as Mr. Cavanaugh clenched his jaw. It was time to seek help. Time to visit the Guitar. But the last thing he wanted was to show his face in that dirty nightclub again.

(Hahaha… gotta love flash fiction. This was fun not only because of the words, but because I’ve never written in this tense/POV before)

Note to Mrs. Cavanaugh: Thanks for allowing Alex to be who he is. He really is so loved and respected in this community. We know it’s a sacrifice on your part to let us have a portion of his time, so thank you for that. And make Alex give you a foot rub tonight!

Thanks, everyone, for participating in this blogfest. Alex is certainly worthy of recognition. He will be by reading everyone's entries and will announce his winners on Friday! And thanks also to Mark (the mastermind behind this fest), DPK, and Stephen for being the best co-hosts ever!

And Alex, I hope I’m eligible to win even though I’m co-hosting? I really want that pic of you! ;-) 

And it’s not too late to sign up. The linky list is below.

Red. Head. Out.

Friday, December 7, 2012

My Writing Journey: Part 4—The Conclusion

Thanks to all of you who have been dedicated in reading each part of my journey. I don’t normally post so much in a week, so if you’re as exhausted as I am, I understand! Because of the big Alexfest (I mean Cheers, Cavanaugh Blogfest) on Monday (If you haven’t signed up, click here), I wanted to finish my story this weekend. I originally had this planned in two more posts, but wanted to finish up today. So, please forgive me with the extended length—but I figured if you were interested, you’d read it. And if you weren’t, you’d leave a generic comment anyway. ;-)

If you missed it, click here for Part I, Part II, or Part III.

Part IV:

I had hope again. And I had a sparkly new idea for another manuscript. I was okay shelving my first novel, because this next one was going to be it.

I threw myself into NaNoWriMo 2011 and vomited my MS out in 30 days. Then I took until March 2012 to polish it up and MAKE SURE I was ready to query this time. I was NOT going to go through the same query experience again. If I did, I was convinced I would die. But I knew this manuscript was stronger, and had complete faith in it. Or complete faith that Karen was going to love this manuscript.

Yes, I was still hung up on the fact that we were supposed to work together. The feeling wouldn’t go away. My whole writing journey seemed to be centered around her. The way her rejection had thrown me into the darkest part of my journey and the way meeting her had pulled me out of it.

Karen was closed to unsolicited queries at this point, save for those she met at conferences, so the fact that I had met and spoken with her in LA was another sign we were meant to be. So I emailed off a query and she immediately responded, remembering who I was and told me to mail my full.

I DIDN’T EVEN QUERY ANYONE ELSE I was convinced Karen was the one. I practically skipped to the mailbox and whistled a tune as the postman took my package away. This was it. I had fought through hardship and I was going to rise above the ashes and finally succeed. Karen was going to want my manuscript.

She didn’t.

Holy. Crap. Shock. The most depressed pic I could find of myself-------->

I think I stared at the rejection on my computer screen for two days. I couldn’t believe it. My gut had failed me. AGAIN. With two manuscripts. (Do you have any idea how much work 2 novels are?!) With tears streaming down my cheeks, I typed out a response, thanking her for taking the time to have a look, etc, etc. Of course, with her being so kind, she wrote back and asked if I was going to the SCBWI conference in LA again that year. And if I was, it’d be great if we could connect and have coffee. I showed the email to my mom and mother-in-law, and they both told me I HAD to go—that they would help sponsor and help with kids. (To which my mom also told me I better start drinking coffee, because I don’t, lol)

So I continued to query, and continued to get great response from my manuscript. Partials were upgraded, fulls were requested, but I didn’t care about that. I was focused on pounding out a new project, and the looming coffee date I had with Karen.

In May 2012, I sat down to write my third book. And honestly, it was like all the stars aligned for me. This story flooded out of me in 6 weeks, and it became the essence of who I am. It was like I had to write those two books before SO I could write this book. I couldn’t believe I had the capacity to write anything else. This story was me.

July 2012, I started querying. I sent out 10 test queries. Seven of which requested. I didn’t want to query Karen yet, because I wanted to see if I could get helpful feedback from rejections before going there. I had already made that mistake before. Plus, I was going to meet her in August, and I’d much rather query her after.

Within the month, I received two R & R’s (revise and resubmit), which told me I was close. I was really close with this one.

August came and I flew to LA with my dear friend, Cortney, who I had invited to come have “coffee” with Karen and me. It ended up being breakfast. For two hours. And I swear it was the two most magical hours of my life. The energy and passion around this woman was undeniable. My soul just connected with hers, and it was so comfortable and easy and natural. And there’s nothing better than talking the publishing business with someone who knows their stuff. Karen also invited me to send her any future work. (Because she was still closed to queries) She even mentioned me in her blog after the conference, which made my month!

September came. I was working on my R & R’s, when an unexpected email came. Phew. I GOT AN OFFER OF REPRESENTATION. It was the most… unexpected, crazy moment ever. It was the moment I had been waiting for FOREVER, but I wasn’t ready yet! I had just started my revisions, and I hadn’t even queried Karen yet! (Not officially) This wasn’t the way this was supposed to happen.

But of course I was delighted. And I would’ve been beyond pleased to work with this person. So I threw myself into finishing the requested revisions, and sent my updated manuscript to all the other agents who requested. I also had 2 other requests that were thrown into the mix—one AMAZING agent who contacted me, and another who wanted to see the story whose client had referred me.

Thus began 2 of the craziest weeks of my life. Note to everyone: When offered rep, don’t ask for 2 weeks to consider the offer, just ask for ONE. No need to torture yourself more than needed.

I informed the other agents who had requested about the offer and waited.

And then I wrote Karen. I told her about the offer and how I wouldn’t feel comfortable accepting rep from anyone else without at least having her look at it. (I of course wanted to scream, “WE’RE MEANT TO WORK TOGETHER, AND THIS IS OUR LAST CHANCE! PLEASE WANT ME!”) She responded quickly and very graciously said I could mail her the full.

And the waiting began.

Except, I didn’t have to wait too long. It took two days for the MS to mail out. Karen emailed me that Friday afternoon when she received the MS, and I NEVER EXPECTED to hear from her the NEXT DAY. Saturday night, I received the longest email of my life, with Karen saying she’d love to represent me with this series, and gave me a whole slew of notes. I’ll NEVER forget running upstairs and shoving my phone in my hubby’s face and telling him to READ. My gut feeling was right.

But I couldn’t accept right away, because I had given the other agents 2 WEEKS to get back to me. What was I thinking???

Not two days later, I received my THIRD offer. From an AMAZING agent. I loved speaking with her on the phone, and on paper, it made total sense that I go with her! Then I received a FOURTH. And a FIFTH. And a SIXTH. I spoke with each of these agents on the phone and (don’t hate me) but I began to doubt the gut feeling I had had all along. The story ideas these other agents were throwing at me sounded SO appealing, and their passion for my story really shone through and I sorta fell in love with them.

I was seriously debating about which agent to go with—they were all so awesome—one standing out more than the others—but my gut had always been so strong about Karen. And we had such history! I honestly was physically ill. I couldn’t eat, sleep, the works. My mind was playing tricks on me and I knew I needed to get Karen on the phone and fast.

Karen called me on a layover on her way to a SCBWI conference at which she was speaking. The conversation was amazing. The minute I hung up, I felt better, not whole, but better. I knew the connection was there, but I was still conflicted. It wasn’t 30 minutes later that Karen called back.  It was after that second conversation that it was sealed. I KNEW Karen would fight for me no matter what and I suddenly felt stupid for EVER doubting my gut. I had NO DOUBT in my decision.

Writing rejection letters to the other amazing agents TRULY was so difficult. I felt attached to some of them and not to be dramatic, but it really was like cutting out a chunk of my heart. But it made the moment when I could finally say, “YES!” to Karen so worth it.

I’m grateful for my journey so far. I’m glad it hasn't been easy. I've learned how to face rejection and now I’m not afraid anymore. I've learned how to persevere even when I didn’t know if the work would be worth it. I've learned to trust my gut, even though "reality" said my gut was nothing. I've learned that good does happen to people who duck their heads and focus on the work. It doesn’t matter what others are doing around you, all that matters is that we are each doing our best, pushing ourselves to see how far we can stretch ourselves. And the coolest part? Is that it isn’t about the writing. It’s about the journey, and the change that takes place inside of us.

Thanks for reading.

Red. Head. Out.

Other Parts: Part I.  Part II.  Part III. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

My Writing Journey Part III

For those of you following my writing journey in parts, thanks so much for your support. If you need to catch up, part I is here, and part II is here. And here's part III:

January 2011. We just had our 4th child and the desire to write came back with a vengeance. I knew I had to set goals—some serious goals if I wanted to finish my first book. So it was actually Jason Matthews, my first writing mentor who dared me to finish the whole book by March 17th that year.

I was on fire.

Every moment I could, I was in the document, typing away, pushing myself to get this story out. Our newborn had colic, so he CRIED for hours each night. But it actually worked in my favor, because that’s when I wrote. From Jan-March that year, 6 days a week, I woke up at 3:00 am and wrote with the baby until the kids got up. (Hubby took the baby from 10-3 for me so I could sleep).  There were SO many moments when I just wanted to cry from lack of sleep, from the stress of a hard newborn, and the other kids. But the desire to write kept me in check. I knew that if I didn’t force myself to get this story out I’d never succeed.

But I did it. It was actually 2 days before my deadline that I typed “The End” on my first manuscript. It was time to query. (I’m skipping the part where I beta’d/perfected the MS)

--Now to interrupt for a little bit where my head was at--

I, like some of you (?) thought I had the best/most creative masterpiece that the publishing world had ever seen. Two of my besties had Big 6 deals on their first novels. Why couldn’t I? I honestly expected agents to throw themselves at me. I had no doubt I could succeed, no doubt I had something special to offer. And now I realize I’m coming off totally cocky—which is not the case—I just really believed in myself. (Oh how naïve I was) The truth is, growing up, anything I put my heart to, I succeeded at. Just a-matter-of-fact thing. In my mind, there was no reason not to succeed.

And when I started querying, the requests started pouring in. But so did the rejections. With my first project, I received 28 full requests, which ALL ended in a rejection. Now, I’m not sure how to convey how crushing each rejection was. If you’ve felt it even once, you understand. Each time I sent the manuscript off, I was sure that particular agent was going to feel the magic and want me.

Now, I’m a spiritual person. And I rely a lot on gut feeling. And there was ONE particular agent who I just knew I was supposed to work with. It was one of those “hit by lightning” moments, where peace filled my whole frame and I just… knew. So when I snail mailed off my manuscript to Karen, I ceased to have the anxiety that came with querying. I knew she was going to say yes. To be cliché, every fiber of my being screamed that we were supposed to work together.

A week later my rejection came. It came through the mail, and the handwritten note was the kindest rejection I ever received. She also gave me $20 to pay for mailing costs! Honestly, what agent does that?

I was heartbroken. And it was this rejection that BROKE me. It sent me spiraling into a place I never want to be again. You have to understand, I grew up not knowing what rejection was. Failure wasn’t programmed into my brain. I didn’t know how to handle it. I began to doubt everything about my journey—my gut had never been wrong before. I knew she was the one! So how could my gut feeling fail me?

So I put down the pencil, put away the keyboard, and tried to ignore everything. I could just be a mom, right? I didn’t need to be a writer. Apparently it wasn’t for me. Staying in the writing world was too hard, so I didn’t want any part of it. (And I realize this doesn’t put me in a very good light, but I want to be wholly honest with how I felt.) But I had already signed up to go to the LA SCBWI conference with my dear friend, Leigh, so I couldn’t back out. Not with the trip all planned.

So I went.

And I’m sooooo grateful I did. Long story short (Trust me, this is hard to condense), it was right after a keynote speaker, when the thousand or so people stood to go to their next class, that the crowd parted.

And in walks Karen.

It was one of those slow motion movie moments. It was a miracle I spotted her in the crowd. And she was walking right toward me. I knew without a doubt I had to go speak with her. So I marched right up to her, told her who I was, thanked her profusely for the kind reimbursement, and her kind words on my rejection. And something happened during our conversation. Speaking with her brought the spark back. A piece of the hole in my heart healed. And I wanted to try writing again. 

And it KILLS me to stop here! Because this is where the story really takes off! Gah. It's definitely not over yet. 

Red. Head. Out.

Other Parts: Part I.  Part II.  Part IV. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

What Inspires Me...

You know how we each have that “thing” that grips the inner part of our soul and demands that we create? Everything about this video is what “that spark” is for me. The music is my favorite kind of music; the movement makes me want to furiously write words on paper. This is what inspires me:

(And yes, this must be the world record of posts for me in one week. I just have wanted to post this video since the night it premiered and finally found it!)

Red. Head. Out. :D 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Cover Reveal, Blindsided, And You Are...?

I usually never post back to back, but there's so much going on! For those of you who are following my writing journey posts, I posted part II yesterday. The saga continues...

But for today, I'm beyond stoked to be a part of Christa Desir's cover reveal for FAULT LINE. I met Christa in LA at the SCBWI conference last summer and I couldn't get enough of her. She's just one of those people you want to align yourself with because she's going places. Sickly talented, hilarious, and real. FAULT LINE comes out with SimonPulse on 11/12/13. Can't wait.

Here it is:

I love how unique it is. Simple, yet powerful. Really cool, Christa.

Ben could date anyone he wants, but he only has eyes for the new girl — sarcastic free-spirit, Ani. Luckily for Ben, Ani wants him too. She’s everything Ben could ever imagine. Everything he could ever want.

But that all changes after the party. The one Ben misses. The one Ani goes to alone.

Now Ani isn’t the girl she used to be, and Ben can’t sort out the truth from the lies. What really happened, and who is to blame?

Ben wants to help her, but she refuses to be helped. The more she pushes Ben away, the more he wonders if there’s anything he can do to save the girl he loves.

Can't wait to read it!

Next, I of COURSE had to be part of Kyra Lennon's Blindsided tour.

Kyra's stories are always so much fun and I'm so stoked for all of her success. If you haven't heard about Blindsided yet, here's the synopsis:

After a successful first soccer season in L.A, Jesse Shaw heads to London with his best buddy, Hunter, but his world is turned upside down when a dangerous prank threatens his career and his blossoming relationship with Hunter’s cousin, Isabelle.

Isabelle Mills lives in Notting Hill with her parents and her twin sister, Georgia. When she finds out her cousin is coming to stay, along with his famous soccer player friend, her first instinct is to hibernate until they’ve gone. However, once she meets Jesse, everything changes. He’s everything she ever wanted, but with so many obstacles in their path, can she really risk putting her heart on the line?

 Find Kyra's books here on Amazon. And don't forget to check out her blog. She's awesome. 

And last? Phew. Tired yet? I'm participating in Emily R. King and Tammy Theriault's AND YOU ARE...? Blog Hop. These girls are great, I just had to participate. My answers to David's questions: 

1. How many speeding tickets have you gotten? None! I'm ticket free! 

2. Can you pitch a tent? 
Who can't??? 

3. What was your worst vacation ever? 
Is there such a thing? 

4. What was the last thing you bought over $100? 
Bah! Erm... groceries? 

5. We're handing you the keys to what? 
My own cottage in Nova Scotia. 

6. What was the last meal you cooked that made even you sick? 
Pancakes... it's the last time I've had gluten. 

7. Fill in the blank: Oh my gosh! Becky, look at her butt! It is so big. She looks like  ____? 
Er... not really my sense of humor, so I'm going to say _____. 

8. What was your first car? 
An old school Crown Victoria, baby! 

9. Your best friend falls and gets hurt. Do you ask if he/she's okay or laugh first? 
Oh my gosh... I wouldn't ever laugh... 

10. What's the worst song ever? 
Eternal Flame by the Bangles... 

Thanks for dropping by. Hope you are all surviving the chaos... And I'll be posting Part III of my writing journey later this week...

Red. Head. Out. :D 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

My Writing Journey Part II

As I said in an earlier post, I’m telling my writing journey in parts. If you missed part I, click here. And now with part II:

Jan 19, 2009. The day I wrote my first sentence. (Strangely, I’ve always remembered that date). We had finished two rounds of chemo treatments with our son, and like I said, reading wasn’t enough anymore. It couldn’t transport me—not with the stress. I needed a challenge. Something that could distract me from real life.

So I thought, “I can write a book. If reading won’t give me what I need, maybe I can create it.”

So I wrote. I dug deep into who I used to be as a child and tried to summon any kind of magic I still possessed and let it spill onto paper. And I thought I was pretty good. Thought. I joined an online critique group (on yahoo, I believe) and found out pretty quick I had A LOT to learn.

But I wasn’t afraid to ask for help. I remember one guy telling me I needed to learn how to “Show not tell.” I had no idea what that meant, so I Googled it.  Yes, I Googled “Show not tell!”

And that’s when I met my first writing angel. For some unknown reason, brilliant author, Jason Matthews, decided to take me under his wing. He taught me how to write. Showed me the difference between passive and active voice, how to eliminate unnecessary words, make my writing as tight as possible. But at the same time, I immersed myself into any craft book I could find. I had purpose again, and I wanted to master this craft.

I put myself out there, continued to do the online critiquing, when I heard about an online community called inkpop. The idea of this site was to upload your work, people would then vote or “pick” your project, and if you made it into the top 5 by the end of the month, the prize was a review from a HarperCollins editor.

So on Jan 1, 2010, I submitted the first 10,000 words of my first novel. I didn’t expect what happened next. Within two weeks, my story rocketed past 30,000 projects and landed in the number one spot. The opportunity connected me to people I still consider my closest friends today. 

That was when I knew I could do this. Er… when I had confidence and thought I could do this. Little did I know it was barely the beginning.

A few months later (I’m 28 at this point), I got pregnant with our 4th child. I still had only 10K written with my first novel and it stayed that way for the rest of the year. For some reason (I blame it on preggo craziness), my brain shut down completely for the next 9 months. I couldn’t write. But I could read again. I spent the whole pregnancy devouring books, this time with a different eye. I knew that for whatever reason the creative juices had left, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t still progress.

I continued to study, as well as find the magic again in reading.

It wasn’t two days after I had the baby that inspiration struck hard. I was ready to write again, and this time with a vengeance.

And this is where I’m sad to stop the story, because in the next segment, not only do I finish my first novel, query, and meet my agent for the first time, it’s also the darkest part of my journey.
Red. Head. Out.

Other Parts: Part I.  Part III.  Part IV. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Writing Journey Part I

I’ve wanted to tell my story for a while. The story of how I fell into writing and ended up where I am today—including connecting with angels and my dear agent and everything in between. But I can’t do it justice in one post, because really, I feel like my whole journey has been SO guided and inspired. So I’ve decided to tell it in parts.

So here we go. Part I:

Growing up, I hated reading. Loathed it. Which is crazy, because my parents were pretty much the perfect parents—read to us every night, the whole thing. But I wanted to live my experiences rather than read about them. I was always in my own little world—I totally had secret passageways to other worlds and had invisible people who lived in my backyard. This worked as a ballerina—because being a dancer gave me a reason to pretend and act out these stories on stage. Long story short, I didn’t think I’d EVER be a writer.

Fast forward fall 2007. I was 26. My mother in law gave me the first Twilight book and said, “You’ve got to read this.” I’m pretty sure I patted her on the hand and said, “Sure, thanks.”

I didn’t touch it.

A few weeks went by and I gave her the book back. Told her it wasn’t my thing. She wouldn’t have it. She had me sit down on her bed and she read out loud. Read the first 14 pages. I still wasn’t interested. But she MADE me take the book home again and told me to give it another try. (Little did I know this move alone would be a life-changing act!)

It collected dust for another couple weeks. I was 9 months pregnant with our 3rd baby, and went into the hospital to be induced. Hubby brought the book because he thought it’d be funny if I were reading a vampire book in front of phlebotomists. Funny enough, each of the phlebotomists commented on the book and told me I had to read it.

So I did.

Heh, what else was I going to do stuck in a hospital bed? And funny enough, I have a picture. This was taken a few hours before I had the baby. Twilight in hand---->

I loved it. I fell in love with the magic of the story like so many millions of other people. And something happened. I liked reading. For the first time in my life, I actually liked reading. And then I couldn’t stop. I devoured every book my mother in law threw at me. Romances, paranormals, contemporaries, the works. It was fun to escape into another world for a while. Fun to feel magic and experience life through another person. I finally understood what the big hoopla was.

I read everything I could get my hands on for the next YEAR. Of course, at the time, I had no idea I was unconsciously learning the craft, analyzing plot structure, beautiful phrases, and how to put words on paper.

Fall 2008 came. Our second child was diagnosed with Leukemia. This story is a whirlwind of it’s own--and not one I’m going into--but worth mentioning because it was this experience that took away the magic of reading for me because I couldn’t ever get rid of the fear of having such a sick child. Reading wasn’t enough anymore. Which is what spirals us into the day I wrote my first sentence. And why I started writing.

Which will be told in the next segment! Which can be found here: Part II.  Part III.  Part IV. 

Red. Head. Out. ;D 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Writer Weekend Fun!

This weekend Tiana Smith and I hosted a dinner for writers here in Utah.


There's nothing better than meeting up with your own breed of people.

Soooooo fun.

And there are so many of us here! Someone needs to do a study and figure out why there are so many Utah writer/bloggers.

DPK's wife, DPK, Me, Julia, and Shelly--------->

<------We had awesome food with a sneak peek shot of DPK in the background...

Cute pic of the fabulous Donna K. Weaver, Laura, and Julia King------->

<-----DPK and his wife, and "You wouldn't believe she's had 5 kids" Shelly Brown...

Me and Tiana.--------> Not sure what kind of look I'm sporting with my orphan-messy hair... but heh, it was a busy day, alright?

<----More of the same with Caryolyn Vawdrey

<-----And the life/celebrities of the party. Shelly and Chad Morris.

Coolest. People. Ever.

We made Chad tell us his publishing adventures and forced him to give us free swag about his upcoming book 'The Inventor's Secret' out in March by Shadow Mountain Publishing.

Cue Cover Plug:

Do you guys have writers near you? If you do, I highly encourage you to reach out and connect. It's amazing how much inspiration and support can come from just getting together and talking the talk. It's so easy to sometimes feel so alone on this journey, and just knowing that we're not can make the biggest difference.

Red. Head. Out. :D

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cavanaugh BlogFest Reveal!


It's time...

If the title doesn't give it away...

I told you it was going to be epic...

Poor Alex is going to be embarrassed for weeks...

This BlogFest has the BEST PRIZE EVER...

Something that's never been done...

It's time to give back...

And now the big reveal...

Ever attended a Christmas party where you bump into the person who was always there for you during the last year? You'd thank them for being such a RockStar, right?

If there's one person in the Blogisfear who you want to say cheers to, who would it be?

For us, it was a no-brainer. Alex "no hyperlink needed" Cavanaugh.

Alex is an awesome blogger who's helped hundreds of us via book releases, guest posts, guest interviews and always positive comments. While we can't have a live part-ay for the Ninja Captain, we can host a BlogFest:

Welcome to the "Cheers, Cavanaugh BlogFest." 

Hosted by Mark Koopmans, Morgan Shamy, David Powers King, and Stephen Tremp, the BlogFest runs from December 10-12.

While Alex is an awesome blogger, he's also an enigma.

So, here's the four questions:
  • In +/- 20 words, what does Alex look like?

  • In +/- 20 words, who could play Alex in a documentary? (Living or dead.)

  • In +/- 20 words, who does Alex remind you of?

  • In +/- 100 words, (excluding the title) write flash fiction using all these prompts:

  • Cavanaugh
  • Ninja
  • IWSG
  • Cosbolt
  • Guitar

For Bonus Points:

  • In +/- 40 words, leave a comment for Mrs. Cavanaugh - thanking her for sharing 
  • Join the Linky List
  • Be a follower.
  • Post your 200 (total) word contribution Monday, Dec. 10.
  • Have Fun!


Two winners – chosen by Alex – will each win one prize:

FIRST PLACE: A signed copy of CassaStar.

GRAND PRIZE*: A picture of Alex and a download of him playing the guitar.

(*One caveat: Alex asks the picture or download NOT be shared online.)

The Linky is open until Dec. 12, 2012.

AMAZING, right? I'm freaking out about the Grand Prize. Who doesn't want to see what the ninja captain looks like??? And hear him play??? 

Seriously. I'm so excited for this BlogFest. Alex has done SO MUCH for this community and I'm so grateful for the chance to help give back. 

Excited? Shocked? Imagine how Alex is feeling! Sign up for the Linky List below:

Red. Head. Out. :D 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Oh, How I Miss You... and Other News!

First off, thank you, Alex, Andrew, and Matthew for hosting this fabulous fest.

A year ago I first connected with Sarah Belliston. She invited me to be part of her Twelve Days of Christmas bloghop. It was my first hop/giveaway I co-hosted and the opportunity connected me with some of my favorite bloggers today. (Thank you, Sarah!)

She's been off the blog circuit for a while and I miss her! I hope she comes back to the blogging world again. She always had entertaining posts and was always so welcoming. I hope she's doing well.

Next, like all of you, it's near impossible to choose one blogger we would miss if they suddenly vanished. And the blogs on my sidebar are ones that I have to visit frequently. But if I had to choose one blogger who I would really miss, it would be Mark Koopmans.

Mark's posts have two sides. One, they're either mind-blowing HILARIOUS they have you cracking up because there's too many details that are so clever--or two, they're so heartfelt and REAL that you walk away a better person. Whenever I see Mark has a new post up, I can't wait to see what he has to say. So don't vanish, Mark!

Which leads us to...

A quick reminder to stop by on Monday to either mine, Mark, Stephen, DPK, or Alex's (Heh, he's a ninja: he knows everything) blogs, because the secret to the MYSTERY blogfest will be revealed. Trust me, it's awesome.

And last, Emily R. King  and Tammy Theriault are holding the "And You Are...?" hop on Dec 3rd:

Ms. Claus is giving away presents to three lucky people, but they must answer interview questions with David Spade first. Click here to sign up for the "And You Are..?" Blog Hop. Hurry, before all the good seats are taken!

These girls are awesome. And it's great so much is going on we can take part of! Makes me wonder the last time I posted something that didn't involve a fest or hop... ;-)

Red. Head. Out. :D

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It Works.

I’m a true believer.

I honestly believe that when you have an overwhelming desire to accomplish something, it can happen. I sound like one of those cheesy motivational speakers, but it’s true.

We each have that “something.” That nagging desire/dream/goal that won’t go away. That burn in your chest that is sometimes so overwhelming you have to stop and force yourself to breathe.

With most of you, like me, it’s the desire to create. And not only create, but to create something wonderful. Something magical. Something that can stand the test of time. Or maybe it’s just to create something that uplifts and inspires someone. Or even just to provide an escape for awhile.

It’s crazy how LONG you can be struggling and striving and working toward something, and not know if it’s even going to amount to anything… Day after day of facing doubt, seeing others succeed, and not knowing if you’re “meant” to do something, or if you’re “good” enough.

But I believe you have to trust in that inner desire. That inner spark—or gut feeling that’s drawing you forward. You’ve got to act on those feelings, because they can lead to great things.

It’s amazing what can happen when you seize that feeling and just… go for it. And sometimes, that desire/feeling is the only thing we have to go on. And sometimes, it doesn’t seem to be enough.

But I know. I know that amazing things come to people who persevere. People who take the steps forward even when everything/everyone around them says it’s crazy.

It isn’t crazy.

You will/can do it. And to me, it almost seems like a part of us already knows we’ll succeed. Isn’t that our gut? Like we’ve already lived it, and now just have to act. 

I know this IWSG post is a bit different, but these are my feelings on the topic today! Thanks, Alex, for being so awesome. 

Red. Head. Out. :D 

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