Friday, April 25, 2008

I have business cards, I’m Official!

I wanted to share with you how excited I am about my brand new business cards. I have been in business with Story Time Felts for six years and never had professional business cards made. It was always on my list of things I wanted to do. Well, I finally did it because I found THE cutest cards in the world. It helped that one of my best friends owns the design company and I think she’s brilliant. She makes all kinds of cards and I love her Mommy cards! This is my friend, Dominique's, website. www.Hermes in Heels.comI also had her make me some cards that I can use as my author cards to give out at writing conferences and have on hand to give to publishers, editors, and agents who will soon be flocking to my door to buy my books.
Would you like to see an example of the business card I chose? Click on this link. Hermes in Heels They are so cute! Dominique Etcheverry graduated in graphic design from Notre Dame and she knows her stuff. Here’s a little description of what Dominique offers.
Hermes in Heels provides custom creative design for all your message needs, including invitations, announcements, save-the-dates, holiday cards, personal cards, or wedding programs. It’s message design with a kick.

Go check out her website. These are incredible deals for personally designed business cards and all of the other items she offers.
And remember, I'm official now.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Forwarding for Luck


I don’t like to be told what to do, so I hate it when I get an email with some great thought but it tells me that I’m going to die some terrible death or have bad luck for seven years if I don’t send it to 11 people within the next 5 minutes. I just get done being all teary-eyed and sentimental and then I have to get ticked off by some idiot fortune teller, commanding me to send this email to X amount of people to escape my utter doom and destruction.
Do any of you share similar sentiments? Can you tell I’m not superstitious?
I have the solution. Now when I read some cutesy, touching story in an email, when I get to the end I just scroll down and hit delete. I don’t even read the bottom part where I know it will say something like:
Send this to 5 people in the next 5 minutes and you’ll receive good luck
Send this to 10 people in the next 5 minutes and you’ll receive good luck and a new car
Send this to 20 people in the next 5 minutes and you’ll receive good luck and a new car and a new house
Send this to 100 people in the next 5 minutes and those 100 people will pass your email on to 100 other people and then your email address will be up for grabs for all kinds of great phishing and internet scams.

Okay, I’ve never read one with that last part, but the reason I bring it up is it’s true! Many of these forwards feed internet scammers who love to collect email addresses. Have you ever noticed that when you forward tons of stuff, you start getting more spam?
Yes, I have another partial solution to this problem. If you must forward, and yes some of them are worthy of forwarding then do this. First delete the dumb fortune teller part at the end. Then… * Pay attention all forwarding morons!
When you click on forward, instead of putting all 100 email addy’s in the ‘send to’ box, click on Bcc—this stands for Blind Carbon Copy. What it does is allows you to send to everyone but it hides the email addresses of everyone you are sending to. When your friend receives the email, instead of having to scroll down through two pages of addresses just to get to the story, they will only see their address.
Now try it out—PLEASE! It’s not hard and your friends, especially this one, will like you much better because you are not passing around their email address to hundreds of would-be scammers.
If you think I have some strong feelings on this subject, you should talk to my brother. If you forward something to him and don’t delete the two pages of addresses first, you hear about it.
Yes, that’s another idea. When you forward something, you can delete all the addresses and just send the story. What a novel idea—stole it from my brother—sorry Bro! But I’m too lazy to do that every time I forward something. Sorry friends!
Now save some of your friends from internet scamming and spamming and have them read this blog.
If you send 5 friends to this blog within 5 minutes you will have good luck.
If you send 10 friends to this blog…
Ha, ha just kidding! But if you follow these suggestions I think you really will have good luck with your email account.
Oh and I can't believe I almost forgot to tell you. Whenever you get a forward and you're not really sure if it's a true story, just go to snopes.com, then you can do a search there and they will tell you if it's true. You can check out viruses, charity hoaxes, political forwards, etc. Even if you get a missing child email, they can tell you if it's real or not. And yes, there are plenty of bogus ones. I just received one saying a teenage boy was missing and it had his picture and it was a joke.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Books, Books, Books

Okay, I think most of you might have figured out I really like books. I mean I love to write so it goes hand in hand, right? I've been reading a bunch of different books lately and thought that I would review a few here for you. I like to read all kinds of different books, pretty much every genre except horror and pretty much every age group.
So we'll start with the picture books. I have tons of favorites, but this week I took my girls to the library and we checked out a book called, Wild About Books by Judy Sierra and illustrated by Marc Brown. I loved it! It's funny and the illustrations are great and obviously it's all about books. But it's different because the animals at the zoo go wild about books, so wild that they even start writing their own. My favorite part is probably where the scorpion gives a stinging review of the animal's writing. It's written in prose and really fun, so go check it out and read it with your kids! Both of my girls liked it.
Next up is a favorite middle grade reader that I started reading again. Ida B by Katherine Hannigan is a treasure. Ida B has such a great voice and it's funny, touching, and just altogether enjoyable. I love it because I felt like I had a lot in common with Ida B, running through the trees and talking to nature and just loving to be outdoors. As a child, I hated to wear dresses and climbed trees regularly.

Another library book we checked out inspired my 4 year old daughter to dress to the nines, including sunglasses and a pink boa and run outside and ride her bike around the driveway. It's called Fancy Nancy by Jane O'Connor. It is a funny little story about a little girl who loves to be fancy. When I looked it up, I found there are several books about Fancy Nancy and even a Fancy Nancy kit available. Pretty funny!

I have a weak spot for picture books so I better move on to the Young Adult novel I just finished. Fame, Glory, and other things on my to do list by Janette Rallison was a riot. It was the first YA novel by Janette that I've read and I really enjoyed it. She is funny and when I laughed out loud several times, my little girl kept asking me what was so funny. This was a great story and I enjoyed Janette's writing style. It's a clean book with a great plot, meaning you don't have to be worried about giving it to your teenager to read. And my book is signed by this very successful author too, because I met her at the LDStorymakers conference I attended. She is very nice and knows her stuff!
And of course I have to include the latest romance I just finished. It was excellent and a Whitney award winner! Counting Stars by Michele Paige Holmes kept me up late for a few nights trying to find out what was going to happen. It had a great mix of life events with some good romance. I can see why it was a winner. And it's nice that the author is such a nice person too. I met Michele at the writer's conference I attended and it was fun to hear about her road to success. This is her first published novel. I think there's plenty more in store from her.
Okay, so if you don't have a good book to read right now-- I just gave you plenty of choices, so get busy reading and tell me what you think.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

J. Scott Savage Blog Tour Coming Soon


This is pretty cool. I'm going to be able to be a part of a blog tour. J. Scott Savage, author of several books and the upcoming Farworld will be kicking off a huge blog tour in July. This will be to promote his new book, Farworld, published by Shadow Mountain.
You can see more about this tour at his blog Find Your Magic and even get information about how you can be a part of the tour if you'd like and get a free Advanced Reader Copy of Farworld, which I'm sure will be awesome!
Stay tuned for more details of how you will be able to also win a free copy from my blog.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Job Opening

Job Opening: Potty Trainer Needed
Description: Potty train 2 year old, clean up messes, never show frustration if child sits on potty then stands up and pees on floor.
Pay: None



Yes, I am in the middle of the curse of all parenting—potty training. We clap and get very excited whenever Maggie decides to use the potty and try to be encouraging and supportive when she doesn’t. Although I would like to put this off a couple more months, I have no choice in the matter. Maggie has been taking off her diaper nearly every time she goes and it’s not very fun when it’s #2. My sister in law uses duct tape to keep her little boy’s diaper on, but I decided to just go for the potty training since Maggie seems ready.
Today, I was trying to be a good little homemaker and prepare a lasagna to go in my crockpot when I heard a cheerful voice call from down the hall, “Mom, I pooped.”
I stopped what I was doing and said, “I’m coming.”
“It’s a big poop, Mommy.” I heard the little voice say and suddenly wondered if it could actually be coming from the bathroom. But my hopes were quickly dashed as I came closer to her bedroom. I walked in and saw my lovely little child standing on the top of her changing table with a bare bum. She had emptied the entire wipe box and there was a lovely present about the size of a Baby Ruth candy bar sitting on the changing table.

I screamed.

Maggie just pointed at the present and said, “It’s a big one, it stinks.”
Gracie came running because of all the noise and as I extracted the tird to be flushed down the toilet, I told Maggie to put away the wipes. As soon as I got to the bathroom, I heard Gracie screaming that poop was falling on the diaper box.
Unfortunately, just because there was a tird the size of a candy bar on the changing table didn’t mean there wasn’t more stuck to Maggie’s behind. So you can probably imagine what happened when she bent over to pick up the wipes.
After a few minutes, we had the whole mess cleaned up and disinfected. I found Maggie’s Pull-up in the bathroom sitting right by her potty.
I still have no idea how she was able to climb up on the changing table and stand there and not fall off.
I called my husband and told him that I had a job offer for him. He laughed and said it sounded like a lot of fun but he was okay with his job. I also told him that if he ever wonders why I don’t get around to deep cleaning our house, it’s because I have to conserve my energy to deal with the next disaster.
Luckily, I have a really nice husband and he would never wonder that because he is very appreciative of what I do every day. But I can still blame him for our strong-willed child who will sit on the potty for an hour and play and cross her legs so she won’t pee and then when she gets her diaper on, goes within 5 minutes. Of course, he doesn’t care if I blame him because he knows I’m just as strong-willed as he is.
I love to write and I’m thinking of writing a new novel. It would be a fantasy based on a child who potty trained herself and never had an accident—what do you think? I know, I know, maybe too far-fetched.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Writing and Rewriting

I have to put in another plug for the wonderful LDStorymakers conference! I had such a great time and have had all kinds of ideas running through my head since I returned.
Now I am busily revising and rewriting a few manuscripts to get them ready for submission. I am really excited about getting some of my manuscripts a step closer to publication. Of course, I know some of those steps involve receiving rejections but I'm getting good at that, so bring 'em on!
The problem with revising a book is I have fallen in love with my characters. I really like them and it's hard to see what they are doing wrong (which basically means what I have written them doing wrong). It's also hard to cut, cut, cut out favorite lines because they aren't relevant to the story. Does anyone else think of the movie Rainmaker when I say "Cut, cut, cut!"? Anyway tangent, but we authors will do almost anything it seems to get away from the revising project. But I'm determined to make some definite headway this week.
Today was actually a really good day. While my 2 year old was taking her nap, I was reading my middle-grade novel aloud to my almost 5 year old. It's important to read your manuscript aloud to catch things and since she was playing by me, she got to hear it. What was fun, was how much she comprehended and then would ask me questions. In one part, my character has a confrontation with a bully and Gracie said, "If he did that to me, then I would slap him." Okay watch out fellow kindergartners next year, you better not be bullying my daughter! :)
Anyway I will keep you posted on all of my publishing successes as I am sure they will be coming soon--hey that's optimism, not sarcasm there.
Really though, stay tuned because I'll be posting the totally awesome illustrations for another of my short stories which has been published by Story Time Felts.
And if you couldn't tell my brain is fried after a few hours of editing and this was my pitiful attempt to give it a break. I think I'll go eat some Dove dark chocolate now to get those creative juices flowing.

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