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Scott Eagan’s Alien Vampire Bunny Contest

About six weeks ago, I posted about an upcoming contest: The Alien Vampire Bunny Contest. The contest ran throughout the month of October and Scott Eagan of Greyhaus Literary was the host. Mr. Eagan offered up a critique on two partials of your choice if you won. Wahhh??? Yessah.

The challenge: write a blurb to entice the reader, get a catchy title, and then write the opening two pages of a romance with an alien vampire bunny playing a central role. The idea, he said, was to test our chops (my words not his). How well can we get out of our comfort zone, be creative, create worlds and develop characters?

This is the second year of the contest and it was created by Mr. Eagen in honor of Kate Duffy, an editor who made a great impression on him and on his fabulous literary agency.

The contest has been extended by two weeks due to an email issue over at Greyhaus. If you had the opportunity to enter, I’m thrilled! I jumped on this the minute I saw it. What a fun challenge! What an awesome prize! Sheeyah!

If you haven’t had a chance to stop by the site, please do. Alien Vampire Bunny Contest. If you have a few minutes, open the file and read the submissions, maybe even take a moment to vote on your favorite. It’s exciting to see the votes tallying up. I’ve been glued to the results since October first. All writers need a little love and those who are involved in a contest like this (like me) could really use a boost. Contest closes in four days, so its crunch time and you’re votes are much appreciated!

If you simply don’t have time, but love learning more about the  industry, try Mr. Eagan’s blog. It’s a fabulous resource and I check it often. *Love it!* Babbles From Scott Eagan

Thanks!

Thank Heaven for Little Children

I wasn’t sure what to call this. “Thank heaven I’m not alone” was the best title, but it lacked that certain “ring.” Parenting is some serious tough stuff. If you have more than one child, you’re increasing your odds of having that “special” child who will grate your nerves and press your buttons for fun, around the clock, for years. I know. I have one of those. I was blessed to have him first because after him, every other child seemed like a piece of cake.

I homeschool, so my special child  is a real joy to have 24/7 with no break from the madness. On the other hand, he has no break from my continued and often loud demand for respect, honor, obedience and character. I homeschool because I always need a pet project and before I started writing in an attempt to be published, I put my children into my crazy. I was the Martha Stewart of homeschool.  Writing has really quelled that. Nowadays, I just try to stay a float and balance it all. It’s tough and often impossible.

Having said that, I want to say that I would never trade my wild child for anything. He tests my patience and character everyday. He teaches me about myself and pushes me to be a better me. Truthfully, I don’t always feel that way, but it’s still true. As a mother and a writer, I am especially thankful for writers who write about parenting. I don’t know what I’d do if I thought I was alone in this. So, to all my fellow mother/writer friends, thank you. Thank you for being tough, for helping me through my days and for giving me hope on the hopeless days! Thank you to every mom who has written a book full of ideas and kindness. You are appreciated! Then, finally, most importantly, thank you to all my children for cultivating the garden of my heart, developing my character, defining my patience and increasing my ability to love.

I wrote today’s post as part of the WOW-Women on Writing Blanket Tour for Not Just Spirited: A Mom’s Sensational Journey with Sensory Processing Disorder by Chynna Laird. The book is a memoir of a mother fighting for a diagnosis when countless doctor’s told her that her daughter was just “spirited”. Chynna shares the heartbreaking reality of mothering a child with a severe “No touch” rule. She calls it “Mothering without touch.” Although Not Just Spirited is the perfect match for parents of children with SPD, the determination and victories shown in the book will encourage anyone parenting a child with special needs or working to overcome an obstacle in their own life.

Chynna has also written a children’s book, I’m Not Weird, and resource book about SPD,At-Home Strategies for Managing Sensory Processing Disorder: A Guide for Parents .She is now working on another book White Elephants. When not writing, Chynna is a mom to her three young children and a student working on her BA in Psychology. You can stop by and visit Chynna Laird’s site http://www.lilywolfwords.ca/

If you comment on today’s post you’ll be entered to win a copy of Not Just Spirited and you can enter at all the stops on her tour to increase your chances! The other blog tour stops can be found here: Chynna’s Blog Tour

To read Chynna’s post about parenting and a list of other blogs participating in Chynna’s
Blanket Tour visit The Muffin.

Give Your Writing A Flu Shot: Find a Critique Group or Partner

I’m no doctor, but I have been sick for a week and I haven’t been writing. What I have been doing is reading. This week, I’ve been devouring beta reads and pages from my critique group and my crit partner on the side as well. The conclusion I’ve come to is this: reading pages from other works in progress (WIPs) is the equivalent to getting a flu shot for your manuscript.

Beta reading subjects your brain to writing errors, and being exposed seems to make us more vigilant in our editing. This week, I’ve found myself making notes in other manuscripts and really taking those to heart. I see the faux pas I know I make and I work a little harder to see those in my drafts. Then, something else happens too. I see errors in other WIPs and realize I do the same things.

While I’ve been too tired to really whip out some new material, I have been wearing my editing hat, and my WIPs are cleaning up nicely. I’m taking my own advice, opening my eyes and seeing things I hadn’t noticed before a healthy dose of those other reads. I know my craft is improved because of the time I’ve spent reading other writers works.

Since I’ve been blogging and tweeting, I’ve met countless women looking for advice on writing. My advice to those women is to find a crit partner. Find someone to trade pages with and swap. You’ll make a new friend and improve your craft. It’s a great win-win situation.

So, don’t be afraid to ask another writer to trade pages. I was lucky enough to be approached by my crit group leader back when she was looking for a few ladies, and by my new writer bestie when she wanted a lady to trade pages with. I was luck y because they were brave. I learned from that. I hope you will too. Ask and you will be so thankful you did. Every writer wants someone to trade with. Its how we improve, learn and grow.

Go ask! Then, stop by and tell me your story because I love a happy ending!

Mailbox Monday! The Pink Locker Society

I am very very very excited to tell you all that this is my first week participating in Mailbox Monday where I actually got something in my mailbox! The last few weeks I’ve been putting them in there myself, figuratively of course, because I had to go get them first LOL.

Mailbox Monday is on a blog tour and this month’s hostess is the lovely Knitting & Sundries stop by for deets on how to join in the meme!

This week I am the proud new owner of a lovely middle grade novel, the first in a new series by Debra Moffitt. The series, my book: The Pink Locker Society and I love it!I won this awesome read from Kristin Callendar’s blog The Truth Lies in the Dark.

Blurb from Amazon:

Welcome to the Pink Locker Society. Membership is a high honor, but Jemma and her two best friends can’t tell anyone about their secret office, the work they do, or how they always manage to skip study hall. Behind pink doors, the trio of teens (plus Bet, the new girl) have been asked to take on a mysterious mission at Margaret Simon Middle School. They’re supposed to help other girls by answering their questions about the PBBs.* Can Jemma, Piper, Kate, and Bet think fast and think pink?

I am a big fan of YA, that’s no secret, but I am reading more and more younger grade books with my son. This book sent me right back to 8th grade with the characters. I easily slipped into their awkward shoes and wanted more. Its a delightful read that I highly recommend to anyone, but especially those who already love the middle grade genre. It was just lovely.

In My Mailbox: The Pink Locker Society

I am very very very excited to tell you all that this is my first week participating in the Story Siren’s (Stop by her site to get deets on joining the meme!)In My Mailbox (IMM) where I actually got something in my mailbox! The last few weeks I’ve been putting them in there myself, figuratively of course, because I had to go get them first LOL.

This week I am the proud new owner of a lovely middle grade novel, the first in a new series by Debra Moffitt. The series, my book: The Pink Locker Society and I love it!I won this awesome read from Kristin Callendar’s blog The Truth Lies in the Dark.

Blurb from Amazon:

Welcome to the Pink Locker Society. Membership is a high honor, but Jemma and her two best friends can’t tell anyone about their secret office, the work they do, or how they always manage to skip study hall. Behind pink doors, the trio of teens (plus Bet, the new girl) have been asked to take on a mysterious mission at Margaret Simon Middle School. They’re supposed to help other girls by answering their questions about the PBBs.* Can Jemma, Piper, Kate, and Bet think fast and think pink?

I am a big fan of YA, that’s no secret, but I am reading more and more younger grade books with my son. This book sent me right back to 8th grade with the characters. I easily slipped into their awkward shoes and wanted more. Its a delightful read that I highly recommend to anyone, but especially those who already love the middle grade genre. It was just lovely.

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