Thursday, September 30, 2010

Last Day to Earn the 4-Book Linky Love Prize!

Thanks to all those who have already linked to this blog in honor of my 2nd blogiversary. For those who haven't but have been thinking about it, TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO DO SO!

Oh, sorry about all that yelling. I was a little too excited, wasn't I. Yep.

Go here to get the 4-1-1 on how to win the four signed books I am giving to the person with the most linky love. Yes, I'm bribing you to love me. I don't have problem with this, so hopefully you don't, either.

(Okay, actually I do have a problem with bribes. And with paying people to show me love. Yet here we are. Let's face it, I'm an oxy-moron in the flesh.)

Speaking of oxy-moron...Oscar, starring Sylvester Stallone, has some of the best grammar and linguistic jokes ever to grace the silver screen. I laugh every time I watch the show. And yes, I own the DVD, so I watch it quite frequently. In fact, I think I'll go turn it on now. That way I can get my mind off the fact that I'm waiting to pay someone to love me.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Kidlit Con and Me

Even though it hasn't been officially posted, I thought I should mention to everyone out there that I will be presenting at Kidlit Con this year.

Shocking, I know.

(No, I really mean it. It's shocking that someone would actually WANT me to speak for an hour in front of an audience of people who probably know more than I do. But I digress...)

One of my mixed-up cohorts, Kurtis Scaletta, and I will be teaming up for this one, actually. We will be speaking on MG blogging (of course, since I'm going as the spokesperson for From the Mixed-Up Files).

So, if you've been on the fence, now's the time to sign up. Not only will you be able to prove to everyone else that I am a real human being, with a face and everything, you will also get to use your own face and laugh along as I entertain* the masses.

So go here for more info about Kidlit Con and how to register.

And while you're out trolling the internet, do me a favor and leave some links back to this blog. I'm bribing the one who links the most with four signed books. Come on...I know you want 'em...

See you at Kidlit Con!

*Not guaranteed. Actually, it's more likely that we'll all sit there in awkward silence as I try to figure out how to use the projector.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Keep On Keepin' On

(Please please please share the linky love for my Blogiversary! I'm giving away 4 signed books one lucky reader! Go here for details.)

When I was in college, Barry Williams came to speak and do a book signing for his new tell-all book about his experiences playing Greg on The Brady Bunch. His appearance was lively and exciting, and he signed my book (and others) with the simple yet profound, "Keep on keepin' on."

And after his appearance, I was lucky enough to be one of the representatives chosen by the college to take him and his agent out to lunch. We went to The Dodo Restaurant in Salt Lake City, and had a nice chat over [I forget what we ate, so insert your favorite dish here].

Barry probably doesn't remember this afternoon. I doubt he even wanted to be there, hanging out with three college girls and their male college advisor. In fact, he hardly said much the whole time, and we spent most of the lunch chatting with his agent instead. I remember pitying poor Barry Williams, who looked as if he wasn't happy with his life. From the conversation with him we learned he had divorced and now spent most of his days alone, on the road for his book tour. All he had left was memories of his glory days on the set of the Brady Bunch. And instead of keepin' on, he was wallowing in how things had taken a turn for the worse.

I wished he would have taken his own advice that day. (Maybe has has now. I don't know.)

Today I realized that I've probably been a little like Barry Williams was when I met him. It's no big surprise to my readers out there (hi, all 6 of you!) that my book has not sold yet. It's still on submission, and I keep hoping editors will actually pick it up and read it one of these days. I'll admit it's been frustrating to watch other books sell as mine languishes in the submission piles. And I have been wallowing. I'll admit it.

But I'm not going to be like Barry Williams was at that lunch way back in the mid 90's. I'm actually going to take his advice. I will keep on keepin' on until I, too, have some good news to share. I'm not going to dwell on what has (or hasn't, in my case) happened. I'm going to look to the future instead of dwell on the past.

And for those of you out there who may be in a similar place, either in their writing or life in general...I just have one little piece of advice:

Keep on keepin' on.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I'm-No-Good-itis Strikes Again...but it could be worse

(Don't forget to go here to enter my Linky Love contest in celebration of my blogiversary. I'm giving away 4 signed books to the lucky winner!)

I recently sat through an entire day of training offered by the Boy Scouts of America. It was training to teach me how to train others to do their jobs more effectively (titled, appropriately, the Trainer's EDGE). There was much taught there that also applied to public speaking. Though I've never been nervous in front of people (trust me, I routinely make a fool out of myself in front of large groups of Scouters and their families, plus I spent my entire childhood/teen years singing in front of full auditoriums), it was enlightening to listen to some of the dos and don'ts they suggested when addressing large or small crowds.

(My favorite part of this training, however, was making and flying paper airplanes. Man, BSA is my kind of organization. Those people know how to have fun.)

Anyway, one thing listed in the training session was: don't apologize for the things you don't do right or well.

I got to thinking about this phrase, and how appropriate it is for writers, too. There have been many times when I've handed a manuscript to my crit buddies and apologized for all the missing parts and rough edges (and I've even been guilty of doing this when handing something to my agent, too). I am embarrassed that it's not perfect, so I make excuses. I have that debilitating disease called "I'm-No-Good-itis."

I am trying to overcome my I'm-No-Good-itis, but it's hard work. It's easy to second-guess yourself, especially in a business where subjectivity rules. One email may say your book is outdated and will never sell, while another uses the word "love" and "offer" in the same paragraph. But we shouldn't ever feel like we need to apologize.

Let me say that again.

We shouldn't ever feel like we need to apologize.

On the other hand, however, I do know a few authors who have the opposite problem: Big Head Syndrome. I hope I'm never one of those people who think my opinion should be revered and that the masses should bow down to me whenever I grace their presence. Humility and I'm-No-Good-itis aren't the same thing, and a little humility never hurt anyone. I'm just sayin'...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Linky Love Contest: Second Blogiversary Edition (With Double the Prizes)!

This weekend my little blog turned 2. (Well, I started blogging on LJ two years ago, anyway. This Blogspot edition came a little later.)

I am hoping this means it will be potty trained soon and can move quickly through that awkward teenage phase and on to the grown-up blog it was meant to be.

And to help it along, I've decided it's time to shamelessly promote it.


I'm hosting a Linky Love: Second Blogiversary Edition Contest!

I want to see how many links to my blog we can get out there in the world. I will be seriously disappointed if only three people enter. So do me a favor and help me out here.

All I ask is that you share a link to my blog somewhere, asking people to check it out. Then leave a comment telling me where you've shared your linky love--on FB, blog, twitter, message board, email*, in a letter to your grandmother, on the bathroom stall at the local college**, whatever (share a link to your linky love if you can). Each link counts as one entry. You can also earn extra entries if someone sees your link, checks out my blog and leaves a comment telling me you sent them (they must mention your name in the comment for you to earn the additional entry).

The person with the most linky love entries wins. So linking once most likely won't be a winning entry. (It had better not, at least. If it is, I will be so embarrassed.) In case of a tie, the winner will then be chosen by lottery.

Seems simple enough, right?

Since my blog is now TWO, and this is the SECOND Blogiversary edition of a Linky Love contest, I thought I'd stick with the "TWO" theme for the prize. But that didn't seem like it was big enough, so I'm doubling that.

The winner will receive the following FOUR (you know, because 2 X 2 = 4) SIGNED books:

Soul Enchilada (hardcover), David Macinnis Gill

The Healing Spell (hardcover), Kimberley Little

Jungle Crossing (ARC), Sydney Salter

Palace Beautiful (hardcover), Sarah DeFord Williams

(Yes, all four are signed by their respective authors! I'd take pictures, but my camera isn't working. You'll just have to take my word for it.)

Please don't make me feel like a loser. Hopefully the prize is worth a little linky love on your part. And, yes, pity links are as much appreciated as "Ohmygoodnessyouhavetocheckoutthisblogit'sawesomeandthebloggerishysterical" links. I'm not picky.

I do have to mention here that this contest is for US/CAN residents only. Sorry, international friends. I would love to include you but I think shipping these mostly hardcovers would be a little more than I could cover at this time. But you are still welcome to link away. In fact, I would really appreciate it. And I should also mention that this contest is being run simultaneously on my LJ journal and my Blogspot blog (same content, different platform). So if you want to see where your entries stand, you'll have to check both blogs.

To give people time to link and check out links, this contest will run through Thursday, September 30, 2010. All entries must be posted by 11:59pm Pacific Daylight Time (PDT). Winner will be announced once I can tally everything up.

Link away! And thanks for playing!

Oh, and happy blogiversary, little blog.

*Spamming your entire email list will NOT count. Well, it will, but you'll only get one entry. So I don't suggest you do it. It might make your friends and family mad at you. Let's share the love, not the spam, okay?
**On second thought, maybe not on the college bathroom stalls. I don't think anyone would appreciate the vandalism. But putting a flyer up on the college's public bulletin that could work.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Want to Join the MG Group Blog?

Okay, okay. I know. My last few entries have only been about the From the Mixed-Up Files blog, and I promise to post something non-Mixed-Up-blog related soon, but this was news I have to mention here in case the six or so of you who read his blog might be interested.

At From the Mixed-Up Files, we've decided to open our membership doors and add four dedicated MG authors (agented and/or published only, please) to our ranks.

(See, I told you it was juicy news.)

(Okay, not really, but humor me, will ya?)

If you are interested in more information, please check out the announcement here. I would like to mention that we will only be accepting applications until Saturday, September 18, 2010, so be quick about checking in.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

If You Know a Kid...

...please tell them all about the new For Kids pages at From the Mixed-Up Files...of Middle-Grade Authors. My mixed-up cohorts have been hard at work compiling book-related resources for kids, including crafts, games and activities, homework help, and writing ideas. A shout out to Joanne Prushing Johnson, who spearheaded the For Kids pages and did most of the work. Way to go, Joanne!

And you have to check out the adorable original puzzles created by our very own Bonnie Adamson. She's creating unique puzzles and crafts exclusively for our site. Here are links to the first and second puzzles she's added to the site. Aren't they fun?!

Today the For Kids page mascot posted an entry on the blog, introducing himself and the For Kids pages. He's hoping one of our kid readers will give him a name, since right now he's simply known as M. G.

So, spread the word to all the kids you know. Come help pick a name for our mascot and poke around our new files.

Happy reading, kids!