Saturday, September 15, 2012

Friday Recap: Reader Appreciation Award, A New CP and Contest Updates, not in that order.

Friday. Only 171 days left of this school year. Or so my co-worker tells me. This means I have 171 days to get my butt in gear and get an agent for my present manuscript, finish my WIP and query the hell out of that. All before summer. I better get on it. No more procrastinating. Like working on anything other than my writing. Certainly not a blog. Er…

briefs,cartoons,clothes,underwearSo this week was so crazy. Being in 3 contests made me lose half my mind. I was checking my local blogs and websites more times than Brittney Spears checks to make sure she's wearing underwear. That's a lot, by the way.

The results are in! I had 2 agent requests. One for 75 pages and one for 150 pages. I am so excited, but nervous as hell. So, I am doing (yet another) read through just to make sure there is nothing that blurts out "mistake". Not that there should be. I have read my novel more times than I care to admit, and I can practically say the whole thing out loud. But, still, even now, I get nervous twinges when I send my baby out in the world. I hope I've prepared her for what she may face. I hope she can speak for herself and not let others take advantage of her. I hope she shines. It's the best I can do. At the end of the day, a writer has to believe in their story. Because if they can't, why should anyone else?

I do. I believe this story needs to be told. I believe there is an audience. I believe that not every girl wants the traditional story with the expected storyline. I think there is room for a protagonist that is flawed and makes mistakes. When I started out writing my novel, the question I wanted to answer was this: What if the character we were rooting for was not necessarily a perfect person? What if she made the wrong choices? If she did something so unspeakable, would we still forgive her?

accessories,apparel,Cinderella,cushions,entertainment,fairytales,glass slippers,high heels,household,pillows,storiesI also wanted to take a hard look at what fairy tales do to girls as they grow to be women. Do these princesses and their stories make it into our own worldview? I think they do. I think they color how we look for love. Obviously, as we get older, we realize the truth. Life isn't a fairy tale, and how boring if it was.

I'm now entered in GUTGAA and made it in the email window. New query. We'll see how that works. Same 150. Because I love it. And that's how I roll.

Now, even more exciting…I was nominated for a Reader Appreciation Award. I know. Cool right? Yep. It totally is. And I am honored. See, the plus of all these contests is the networking and making new writing friends. And they are really wonderful women. The community of writers I have found on sites like Query Tracker and Twitter amazes me. We are all here, going through the same things. I see published writers helping unpublished. I see unpublished rooting each other on. I see fellow fangirls tweeting to their mentors, co-writers, and would be writers. It's amazing.

Can I tell you a secret? Don't tell, because if this gets out…I will be out one wonderful CP. That's critique partner, for those who don't know. These are the fellow writers that read your writing when it's crap and tell you it's crap. But they also tell you what they love about it. They give you honest feedback, but support you at the same time. It's fabulousness. And I have some of the best ones around. Especially my new one.  I swear, I think we were born to meet. One of her screen names even matches my manuscript…paradox girl. How crazy is that? She loves rain. And coffee. I'm from Seattle! That's not coincidence! It's kismet! I heart you Jodie Andrefski

Not only is she keeping it real on my first foray into YA lit, she's a tremendously talented writer. It's going to be months, not years, until she is signed. I know it. I can sense it. She really is that amazing. Kind hearted, smart, funny…all wrapped into the cutest little blond package. But, shhh. I don't really want this getting out. Else others will be clamoring for her, and she'll realize what a nerd I am and ditch me. I would die. DIE! So keep that on the down low.

So, I must also follow the reader appreciation guidelines. Because those be the rules, yo. (I'm not sure what possesses me to free style like a rapper sometimes, just go with me on this.)

If I tag you next, and you are reading this…remember. You must follow before you can lead. So…read the directions below and rinse and repeat. (which is to say, it's your turn)

  • Identify and show appreciation to the blogger who nominated you (yep…I'll get to read all about me. Love this part. Take heart, when you do it, you'll have your blog love-fest too!)
  • You must add the reward logo to your blog.
  • Tell your readers 7 things about yourself.
  • You must nominate 5-10 of your favorite bloggers for this award.
  • Inform your nominees that you nominated them.

See? Easy-peasy lemon squeezy!

7 Things:

1.       I flew a plane. For reals. I was on an internship study, going down to Mexico. Guaymas  to be exact. We were researching one of the most endangered marine mammals of our time. The vaquita. At the time we went, there were only 1000 or so left in existence. Since porpoise don't survive in captivity, their chance of survival is pretty bleak. Beautiful animals. Their name means "little cow" in Spanish. We stayed with one of the top researchers at the time, Omar Vidal. Awesome host. We drank WAY too much mescal, ate crickets, and skinny dipped in the Gulf of California. On the way back, the pilot (a friend) let each of us (6 passengers on a Cesna) fly. Yeah, I flew us into the U.S. Pretty damn cool.

2.       My best friends growing up were usually boys. I didn't get along with girls. Too much drama. Besides, I smoked cigarettes, cussed like a sailor, and never wore a dress. Yeah. I was badass. In college, I dated one of my best friends. He is now happily married (as am I) to a wonderful girl and they are so great for each other. But I miss him and the crazy times we had, along with our other friend from Jersey. He's the real Jersey Shore. Good times. Taught me what a Philly Cheesesteak is supposed to taste like. And introduced me to TasteyCakes. Those on the East Coast, know this.

3.       I taught drama for three years to a bunch of 8th graders. I put on 4 amazing productions. And I loved every minute of it. Directing a play was like being god. I got to tell everyone what to do and how to do it. It was like Glee every single day. It was so awesome. And to see kids who were poor academically shine in the spotlight…man, that was a proud moment for me. The cast and crew became like a family. We bonded because we worked every day in class, and for hours at night, eating pizza, listening to music. Generally causing chaos. Drama folk are CRAZY. And I love them. I found an appreciation for theater and productions that are still with me. There is nothing like the feeling after a show. Better than any high. Ever. Which is probably why my WIP characters are all thespians. Write what you know.

4.       I volunteered at Seattle Aquarium collecting sea otter poop and separating the DNA from the other compounds. Yep…I scooped poop. That's marine biology at it's finest. But you know what, I got to get close and personal with the otters. It's cool that they began to recognize me. They were all like "hey, there's the chick with the food!" I also helped rehabilitate some wayward green sea turtles and learned they LOVE having their shells scratched.

5.       I play guitar and I am learning the ukulele. My first song was a Radiohead tune. Green Plastic Trees.

6.       I have the unfortunate luck of being both a sibling and an only. My brother, Darren, was struck by a truck at age 12. I was 8. Shattered my world. We were best friends. I miss him every day.

7.       I've ghost hunted. It intrigues me. Never have seen anything, but have put myself in some creepy situations. And I have experienced some things that defy explanation. I think the death of my brother propels me to prove there is something more.

Wow. That went a little heavy. Okay, turning the tables. Here are some of my favorite peeps.

  • 1.       Sarah Ahiers: Sarah Ahiers Writes One of the coolest writer chicks I know. She is badass. A great supporter of everyone, she helps anyone who asks. Never one to shy away from any topic, she'll tell you like it is, whether it's what you want to hear or not. And this is a GOOD THING. Love her.

  • 2.       Lisa Chickos:Kicked, Cornered, and Beaten Could a person be any awesomer? No. No they could not. Lisa is a) talented b)friendly and supportive and c) one of the most committed people to her passions. She puts 120% in everything she does. An amazing human being. Makes the rest of us look like punks.

  • 3.       TJ LovelessQueen of the Padded RoomMy orginal CP. Love this lady. LOVE. She is sweet, funny, committed to her characters, all around amazing person. Wonderful mom, devoted wife. She is someone who I want to remain in contact with forever. I cannot say enough good about her.

  • 4.       David List: Regarding Silexare Funny as hell. Smart as a whip. Has damn good taste in music. Need anything more be said? Oh yeah, talented writer. He writes a little darker and more fantasier…(is that even a word? Spellcheck says no. I politely disagree) Supportive, friendly, and all around good guy. Did I mention his cutting wit?

  • 5.       Mere Joyce: Mere Joyce Another fantabulous writer and person. This is the girl you want to talk to about YA. She knows it all. Well read, well spoken (typed), total supporter to everyone, she is one of the nicest people around. Not to mention she knows a thing or two about writing. She's one to watch.

There are some others I'll just mention, but I don't think they have a blog, Suzan Headley, Beth Brodie, Mary Beth Bishop, and Jill Urbach are also amazing ladies I'm proud to call CP's. Love to you.

That's it. I'm out.


  1. I love this! Thank you so much for the shout-out. I'm having a kind of crappy day, and you have definitely perked me up! Excited to pay this forward!

  2. My very FIRST tag!!!! *cabbage patch* I shall go and contemplate how to honor your tag...XD

    PS - I still think it is the absolute bomb that you did all the marine biology. Have I told you of my envy???

  3. Aww thanks so much!! You rock!
    I loved reading about your 7 things, and i'm so sorry to hear about your brother. One of my high school friend's has a PhD in marine biology and she also tells us about the glorious life of fishing out whale poop etc.

  4. I heart you back. =) And this is how I know we are writerly-soul-mates...(Besides the other things we've already discovered)....I've already flown a Cessna as well. Of course I wasn't flying into Mexico, but it was while the sun was going down over the mountains here in PA and it was still beautiful. What a rush isn't it????

    Lots of my best friends were (and many still are) boys. They can sometimes make the best ones. Less drama.

    I didn't teach drama, but I was always IN drama..and my 13 y/o is INSANE about drama. She's in everything. Loves it.

    Same daughter (above) wants to BE a marine biologist (for years now)...and I'm thinking she prob will be.

    I play guitar. Just not very well. Learned on a Sigma...always wanted a Martin acoustic. Then actually had a Les Paul. (sold it during my poor years)

    I am Sooo sorry about your brother. This makes me feel awful for ever asking you to critique my query for Summer of Hope given the subject. =( I do believe your brother is still with you in many ways.

    I've done ghost hunting as well. Gettysburg was fun for this. I can also tell you true stories about a restaurant my dad owned that has been written about as being haunted by a friendly spirit that people have seen evidenced there. Not sure my stance of ghosts...but I most definitely believe in an afterlife.

    Anyway, I am beyond flattered that you would say such nice things about me. Because I know you are going major places with your writing...and SOON. =)

  5. Thanks for the love. This is one CP that won't tell you your manuscript is crap. Cuz it rocks.

    So glad we connected. I sincerely hope our novels are sitting next to each other on someone's bookshelf someday, Carey.

    Never stop writing. Yes, there are stories to tell, and you have a gift for writing them.


  6. Aww, thanks for the nod! You can see my happy blatherings on my blog, =)

    Ghost hunting would be tons of fun, as creepy as it would be, too!

  7. It's such a strange coincidence that I came here and read this and 0_0 saw my name!
    It is the result of meandering in a procrastinatory way. (or was it procrastinating in a meanderitory way?)
    I'm very flattered by the words you wrote. Thank you.
    What's so odd to me is that just today I finished a blog post with something very similar to this: "At the end of the day, a writer has to believe in their story. Because if they can't, why should anyone else?"
    It's under the 'Breaking the rules & Bull nuggets' entry on my page, please go have a look!
    (crazy crazy, I know!)
    Thanks for the shout out and I will for sure undertake the lengthy response blog and mention you!


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