Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Wishing you all a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! There is much to be grateful for. I am thankful for ALL of you.
Thank you so much for following my blog!
Friday, November 8, 2013
It's a typical September evening until --->
I turn my back for one second to make dinner and my laptop is drowning in a tall glass of water.
Okay, maybe not literally drowning as my laptop could never fit inside a glass, but my super-duper unbreakable Tervis Tumbler tumbled right flat on my keyboard.
My heart pounds like a jackhammer gone wild and I stand there for a sec registering the waterfall submerging my baby.
It's only a split second before I run, toss the cup to the floor, and turn my laptop upside down on the counter. I grab a towel and blot and blot and blot and blot and blot but water is still seeping out from the keyboard.
No way did that just happen.
If you have kids under ten, I take that back, if you have kids period, chances are this has happened to you. And what a heartache it is.
The first time this ever happened to my poor little laptop, I was outside in the backyard writing away. My son was in kinder or maybe it was first grade, and he had the water hose in hand. Trusting he'd stay across the way, faaaaar away (never trust a kid with a hose), it rained my way.
I prayed and prayed as much as I blotted and repeated the same exact steps as my September episode. In case you're wondering, yes, my son accidentally knocked over my cup. The tumbler did have a lid on it but water seeped from the straw opening.
An amazing CP of mine (waves to Sheri Fredricks) unfortunately had to go through a drowning the other day as well. BUT, her little baby is a fighter too! It survived. I shared some of the things that helped me and will share with you below.
Don't you just love HEAs? For you non-writers HEA = Happily Ever After.
My biggest point in writing this blog post is accidents do happen and unfortunately laptops do get showered. But don't ever underestimate the strength of your baby. That and a whole lotta praying!
I luckily have a good friend who is married to a computer tech and I texted her immediately. I also called Best Buy and other places that sell PCs. I kept notes as I wanted to share my survival process with you in hopes that it may save your baby if the time should come.
So here we go…
First thing you do if your laptop comes in contact with any liquids is:
1. Unplug your laptop immediately. And hit the OFF button as soon as possible.
2. Turn your laptop upside down to get water out but keep screen open.
3. Wipe off as much as the liquid you can. Some say you can use a blow dryer on cool shot and I've done that before until I read online that it can harm the components (your call)
4. Remove the battery and dry it off if it's wet. I've read you can place battery in a bag or bowl of rice. I did not do this but it is an option (This was my husband's idea and it helped.)
5. Comp tech suggested to unplug for 2 days and let it dry out. He recommended waiting 24 hours to turn it on but preferably 2 days. We waited one day. One. Long. Day.
The following day, we inserted the battery back in and fired it up and it roared back to life. Thankfully, it was water and not coffee or soda. Sugar makes things worse (not just in health).
I had a few friends recommend putting it on top of a bed of salt. As you know salt absorbs water but kind of hard to do with a laptop. Rice was another suggestion. Again, laptops have a lot of crevices and I simply didn't have a 20 lb sack of rice handy but thought to share in case you want to experiment.
My lovely buddy, Angela Ackerman over at Writers Helping Writers recommended DampRid. I had never heard of it. So I picked up the phone and called every hardware store I can think of but nobody carried it. She also shared a really interesting article on how to save your phone from a liquid submersion. You can read it HERE. I would have loved to try it. Definitely a good product to add to an emergency kit.Thank you for the recommendation, Ange!
So there you have it. Tips on how to help your laptop survive a drowning brought to you by MartzBookz. Though I hope you never have to use them.
Happy SAFE writing!
Monday, October 21, 2013
Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi at Writers Helping Writers (formerly The Bookshelf Muse) have added two more books to their Descriptive Thesaurus Collection: The Positive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Attributes and The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Flaws. To celebrate, they are hosting a race, and not just any old race, either. It's the...
Writing is hard, isn't it? Create the perfect hook. Make your first page compelling. Craft an amazing 25 word pitch. Knock out a query that will blow an agent's mind. On and on it goes. And sometimes, well, you just wish someone would help.
WISH NO MORE!
From October 21st until October 27th, Writers Helping Writers is posting an OPEN CALL for writers. You can fill out a form, requesting help with critiques, book visibility, social media sharing, blog diagnostics, advice and more.
An army of Amazing Racers are standing by (ME INCLUDED!) waiting to help with your submissions. How many people can we help in a week? Let's find out! Did I mention there are Celebrity Racers too--amazing authors and editors who know their way around a first page. Maybe one of them will pick your submission to help with!
Each day this week, there's an AMAZING giveaway, too. So stop in at Angela & Becca's new Writers HelpingWriters website and find out how to take advantage of this unique, pay-it-forward event for writers. I'll see you there!
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
I've recently came across two websites I found helpful in generating characters' names.Forgive me if I've shared them before. They sound a little familiar to me.
The first one is:
This one has several choices to pick from including WOW names. I was stuck on finding the perfect last name for a character and voila. Problem solved. :-)
And HERE is an oldie but a goodie.
Hope you all are having a lovely October!
Friday, September 20, 2013
Have you heard Katy Perry's newest song Roar? I haven't either until I came across a video of critics discussing it.
She recently performed at the MTV VMAs, and a critic mentioned how she wasn't a fan of Katy's, but she actually really liked the song. When the other critic agreed, it totally sparked my interest. I knew I had to hear it.
I have to admit Katy Perry really catches my heart a lot of the time. The girl always has the right words to say! Not to mention, teenager or not, a lot of her music is very catchy. When I heard her song Firework years ago, she won my heart. I've had a blog post 'to do' with Katy's name written all over it regarding her new song Roar and it has been sitting in a folder ready to write along with some videos and inspiration thoughts.
When I heard Roar for the first time it was OK but when I listened to it again and again I was hooked! I just listened to it on my SoundCloud yesterday. It's a kind of a song where the more you listen to, the more you're hooked. IMHO. Especially if you listen to the lyrics.
A few weeks ago, I wanted to post my excitement/inspiration on Facebook and share the lyric video but thought nah, I'll save it for a blog post. Not everyone was going to agree with me, or maybe they'd bash on Katy, I thought. I had my fingers crossed my blog followers would find the message in her song.
Surely nobody would be as hooked as I was. I was totally wrong. Turns out I wasn't the only one who found inspiration in the song. I received a blog notification to Elana Johnson's blog post this morning and she too found brilliance in it. I love that Elana found inspiration in it too!!! Great minds think alike!!!!! :-)) You can find her post HERE.
All I gotta say is Katy is indeed a great inspiration to her fans. I am sure many will agree.
A little background note, Katy had mentioned in a video she was going through some dark moments and that's where a lot of her songs came about. Well, no wonder the lyrics are heartfelt! Katy, you rock!
Below you will find two lyrics videos (one is easier to read, the other is an official KP lyric video-pretty creative how they added lyrics in a text!) and I've also included the official video to ROAR. I hope you find it just as inspiring as we did!
Dance through that fire and ROOOOOOOAAAAR! Happy Friday everyone!!
Click HERE to view my FIREWORK POST I wrote two years ago. This includes the video which I will also include below.
This video is the lyric video to ROAR.
Click HERE to view my FIREWORK POST I wrote two years ago. This includes the video which I will also include below.
This video is the lyric video to ROAR.
This video is different from the above. It's the creative text lyric video.
Official ROAR video.
Lyrics to FIREWORK.
Friday, September 6, 2013
I am saddened to hear the news of A.C. Crispin aka Ann Carol Crispin.
Apparently, I missed a note she had posted on Facebook regarding her two year struggle with cancer. Her co-blogger also shared her note on their well-known blog WRITER BEWARE. If you've missed it, you can find it here:
A Message From Writer Beware Co-Founder and Chair, Ann Crispin
The announcement of her death is posted HERE
About six years ago when I first started writing I came across her amazing WRITER BEWARE blog (if you're a writer, chances are you're familiar with this blog) and after all these years I am still subscribed to her site. In fact, I just received an email post just days ago. It's such an amazing and helpful blog for writers.
I remember contacting her in my early years of writing. I can't quite remember why I decided to get in touch but I know one thing. It had to do with writerly advice. She was a great listener and such a caring person. I'll never forget her taking time out of her busy schedule for me and I'll never forget her generous heart. She shared selflessly to the writing community and I am forever grateful to have known her and her blog.
It really breaks my heart that she is no longer with us. All us writers will continue to keep her legacy alive.
We will miss you so very much, Ann!! Thank you so much for taking care of us and keeping us from harm's way! May you rest in peace. ♥♥
Friday, May 3, 2013
I've recently came in contact with an amazing 16 year-old writer named, Lilly Maison. I found her on Jessica (another amazing writer) Brody's blog HERE. Her super short story won 3rd place at “A Chance to Unremember” hosted by Figment.com.
And that's not all; Lily was recently recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing awards for one of her short stories and received a gold medal. Did I mention she's only sixteen? Wow! Ah-mazing!!
Lilly is working on editing her novel and preparing it for submission to literary agents. She asked if I had any advice for her about the process? Oh, do I?!
BTW All you seasoned writers, please feel free to direct a comment to her below. I know there are probably some things I missed. And I know a lot of you have got some great things to share.
Advice about the submission process? Hmmmmm…let's see now, before you hit the Send button make sure you've already sent your ms (manuscript) to several trusted CPs aka critique partners. Don't have any? Join a writing group. There are some free ones online such as YALITCHAT. Ask around, referrals are priceless.
The professional ones are obviously not free but well worth it as you are in the midst of seasoned writers (lots on bestselling authors too) and some even offer free classes. SCBWI, RWA, ACFW, ITW to name a few popular ones.
Follow your dream agents on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Learn more about them. Sometimes they even send out tweets regarding what's on their submission wish list. You can also create a list of them on Twitter or star or group them on Facebook so they all can come up on one feed. Nobody will ever know you're stalking them
On Twitter you may list them publically or privately. All you have to do is go to the person's page and click on the person icon next to the Follow button. Click on 'Add or Remove From Lists.'
And don't forget to personalize the query. Mention one of your favorite authors they represent, if they do. Or if you follow their blog and enjoy reading, don't be shy to let them know.
Always keep track of who you query (also the agency they work for) and the date you sent it out. When they respond, jot down the date and the status i.e. rejection or request-full/partial. I also save my sent emails of the requests I send out, organizing them in an email folder for reference. I don't know how many times I went back when in need. It really saved me.
I'm sure you know this but just in case, remember you NEVER EVER pay for an agent. Ever. Let me repeat that, you NEVER EVER PAY FOR AN AGENT OR A PUBLISHER. If they ask for any kind of reading fees or any fees at all, run the other way. This includes any editing system they feel you can benefit from. Chances are they are getting commission on your referral. Under no circumstances should you pay anything. Real publishers and real literary agents do not charge a penny.
If you can, not crucial but definitely useful, establish a platform. Get your name out there and interact. Agents and publishers like to see potential authors working hard and building a fan base. Blog, participate in social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, even Pinterest.
If you're querying, your goal is to get published—might as well start with the platforming and building now. I've met some pretty amazing people just by interacting with them on blogs and social networks. So it really isn't just all work. It's very much worth it.
When sending out subs, query batches of maybe six to eight at a time. It's best to get feedback and see how it goes rather than ruining all your chances at once. And besides if everyone is noting the same thing, i.e. "I didn't connect with the protagonist/didn't click with the characters" or "The voice wasn't strong enough for me/GMCs weren't clear enough" maybe it's time to reevaluate their feedback. Professional criticism is gold!
Here are some of my favorite sites to research agents:
Casey McCormick Literary Rambles blog
Lastly, EXPECT REJECTIONS.
Even the best of the best have to endure those heart stinging oh, so lovely rejections. I know, I know but why? Why can't it be easy? For some a streak of luck surpasses those dagger disses. But keep in mind some of the most well-known work of all time have gotten the boot too.
And if good fortune is on your side, you might not have to endure many but for the most part rejections are definitely inevitable. It's why I created an Encouragement page. If you ever need a little pick me up click HERE. Hope it helps. But don't let it get you down. Take what you can and learn from each and every one (if it's not a form rejection) and grow, grow, grow. It does a writer's mind good.
Keep in mind each rejection is closer to that YES and THE CALL! Whoop whoop! Be like Stephen King and hang them on your wall with a railroad spike. (Or not. If you live with your mom. I'm sure she'd freak. I'm not responsible J.) He had so many but it didn't falter him. Be like Steph.
In the process don't forget patience is a virtue. Without it every writer would be shipped to the loony bin. Send your work off and dive into another project. Always strive to grow in your craft. The publishing industry is a lot like turtle racing. Most of the time, it's gonna take weeks, sometimes months depending on the agent and/or publisher.
And if they happen to ask if you have anything else, bam, now you have a great answer in return. <Why yes, I do (or will, depending on your time frame with ms) Ms. Such & Such, thank you for asking. >
Don't be shy. Leave them in a comment below!
And here's my For Writers link for more help. Best of luck and let us all know when you get that call so we can celebrate with you!
How To Get A Literary Agent: A Step-By-Step Guide To Finding Representation For Your Novel Or Nonfiction Book